I've been mulling this over for a couple of months. Since I've been unemployed for almost a year (2-year computer degrees are near worthless), I have learned how to make do with less. My brings home a decent paycheck as a nurse, but overall we are "poor". Since I have been removed from the notion of "earning a paycheck" (this year I plan on taking prerequisital courses toward being admitted into a nursing school next year), I have realized that we are all perfectly capable of surviving happily without "money" (I've gotten involved in bartering lately), but the government has created this fictional system called the "economy". If it weren't so important to earn more and more money each year, there wouldn't be any need or an economy. Competition would be between those who barter (have a service, skill or product to offer). This leads me to a question I would like to ask those here: If you weren't living in a system where you "earn money", would you still value your life? Without money, how valuable is life? Sorry if I sound naive or misinformed.