Why you’re Money Counts for Nothing
Why is Money so precious that it keeps you alert? Do you ever find yourself broke yet someone else’s account, has an accumulation of a massive Kshs 300 million in a bank account locally or overseas? Or how a politician’s asset worth billions of shillings is questionable? It’s amazing how people amass this kind of wealth.
My argument is basically what you and I know. The way, you and I live in our daily lives. ‘I will be very frank with you.’ To start off, let me answer that question from the outset: your Money counts for nothing because it is yours and not theirs. The more affluent you are, the more your Money counts for nothing. Allow me to explain.
Money – The Theories:-
I really don’t want to bore you with theories, but there is one that fascinates me or catches my eye. Money News evolves around how people spend money. It simply implies that Money spent has a co-relation on whose Money it is, on whom it is spent, and for whose benefit.
Money ideally introduces three competing factors. Who’s Money? It can be anybody’s, starting from yourself to someone else’s. On whom? It can be yours or on somebody else. Whose benefit? It could be for one’s own benefit or for another. Isn’t that a true scenario?
Money naturally dictates our behavior changes. Have you ever asked your lover out for dinner? How does she/he behave when you give her an opportunity to decide which restaurant you should go?
Obviously if you observe her body language it will tell you quite a lot. She will be very excited and go for a very expensive hotel as opposed to a cheaper one. To them it does not matter how much Money you will spend.
If you give her/him the Money outright for them to spend, all that changes. Why is this so? It is simply the question of; whose Money are they spending. Is it yours or theirs? Off course it’s yours! Give them the same Money and ask them to bring evidence of the expenditure. Mischievously, revert to a cheaper restaurant or fake receipts from there.
A friend of mine living in Dubai once told me that he used to bring jewelry and perfumes to his spouse worth a modest cost of a bout £130. One time he was not able and instead gave her the equivalent Money worth; Kshs11, 000 to expressly “buy the same items”. One month later she confessed that she only spent Kshs3,000 and used the remaining Money on other things.
The “Value for Money” theory simply states that we get the most out of Money if it delivers effectiveness, efficiency and economy, that is the “3Es”. Effectiveness is getting done what you really want to do. For example if you want your stalled car repaired you can call AAR services to come and pick it for repair, you pay for the services. If the car is on the road again, you have used your Money effectively.
Let us now look at ‘Efficiency’ I think it has to do with how much less of it one uses to achieve an objective. I could possibly board KQ Airways plane to a meeting in Mombasa from Nairobi tomorrow and get there in 45minutes at a cost of Kshs 5,000. Alternatively I could board a night bus at a cost of Kshs1,500 to get me there on schedule. That is Economy.
In comparison of the Money spent, the last option achieves the same objective at least cost and it is therefore the most efficient. Can I attend a meeting without losing resources like time, and Money or can I repair my car with less Money and achieve the same objective?
What are the three factors achieved, when the theory of value for Money is superimposed on the theory of how people spend Money?
- When one spends his/her own Money on her/himself or on somebody else so that he/she may benefit, he aims to achieve all the 3Es.
- In another instance when one spends someone else’s Money on himself so that he is the only one who benefits, it therefore implies effectiveness matters.
- In the case where one spends somebody else’s Money on another person and for that other person’s benefit then none of the 3Es matters.
When we give the legislature the power to decide how our Money is to be used and determine their own remuneration and whether to pay tax or not; all fall squarely and the second factor and all that matters to them is effectiveness.
That is why you hear MPs defending the requirement that they need not pay tax because they have perfected the art off living effectively yet expensively. For the Kenyan taxpayer, their option is to simply cut down costs and obediently pay tax. Their Money is spent as required.
You can actually change the behavior of MPs to some extent, by taxing them so that in their eyes state resources become “our” Money rather than “their” Money.
Ask me why some donors give funds to NGOs run by their fellow countrymen, and they do not worry at all about governance as they do when the NGO is run by locals. The answer is easy. An American in charge of an NGO in Kakamega is attributed as in factor one as an American donor while, the local Programs Officer is in the third factor.
Why then, my last Money theory of choice and what does it state?
This is “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” theory. It states that we yearn for different things at different stages on the ladder of life.
‘The body, the soul and the mind’ are key determinants to our needs which range from basic physiological needs, safety, love, esteem to self-actualization. On the onset we prioritize or consider food, water and shelter as the basics then we gradually attach the Money incidence of growing rich.
Eventually we switch to love and recognition. At the top we want to self actualize or to shape the destiny for others. Availability of Money is the motivating factor.
Does it really make sense now why our Money does not count? A junior manager will spend Money worth Kshs 3000 to buy school shopping for their child to go to school or Kshs 15,000 to pay fees. That is his position on that ladder. Wow unto you if the person is of lesser moral status.
Are you wondering what is going through a politician who is thinking of how to finance an election to become an MP, a senator, a governor or a president? What kind of is Money involved, probably 20million? You can bet that they will only talk of and negotiate deals way above Kshs 100,000. Read more Articles on SmileKenya
Our Members of Parliament and Money Issues
I am extremely curious to know why it is alleged that some members of parliament are cheap because they can be bought at Kshs 100,000. It also perplexes me to imagine if that is really cheap. What about the fat cats and big fish? Where do you place them on life’s ladder? Our blood can be sucked dry to satisfy their appetites.
It is probably easier now to understand why MPs award themselves salaries of Kshs 0.8 million monthly and resist paying tax on them. Why a massive 300 million is in an overseas bank account, and the assets amounting to billions of Money is under watch by powerful states.
In conclusion, our Money counts for nothing because of the two last factors. There is literally the lack of motivation for all the 3Es. How much of your Money that is taken depends on where they are on Maslow’s ladder of needs. Our Money will count when we decide to move resources from the last factor to the first one, or at least to the second one.