Warning: Spoilers below.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy
In the future, money will be called “units” and will be instantly transferable from one person to another, I guess by telepathy or or telepathic Internet or something. Everyone will be obsessed with getting as many units as possible even though there’s no reason to buy anything. You will only need one outfit and you’ll wear it all the time, and nobody ever goes grocery shopping in space. Also, Walkmans last for decades without ever wearing out or running out of batteries.
Even though there’s no real reason to have units, people (and raccoons) will still do a lot of stupid things to get as many units as possible.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
If you are a rich person, you’ll do everything that you can to increase your net worth, including releasing a deadly toxin over New York City and then attempting to sell the government the antidote (which is conveniently made from Ninja Turtle blood). You also invest a lot of money into a mecha suit for a mob boss, for reasons unknown.
If you are a Ninja Turtle, you’ll outfit your home with used furniture (including an entire wall of boomboxes) and somehow have enough money to order out for pizza even though you don’t have a job.
Money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness, but it does buy stability, and life is much easier to deal with when it’s stable. In many ways you really do become a different person when you have enough money to provide for yourself and your family on your own. The middle class is a precarious place. So much of adulthood is about earning money and forming relationships with people who can help increase your family’s stability. You can lose everything you’ve earned, again and again and again.
4. A Most Wanted Man
If you are a rich person, you’ll do everything that you can to increase your net worth.
Just because a society functions without money doesn’t mean that social inequality disappears. When there aren’t enough resources to go around, there is often the incentive for unequal and unjust distribution. You may think you’ve escaped an unjust system by destroying it, but have fun sharing your limited resources with an apex predator.
This post originally appeared on TheBillfold.
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