Monday, July 08, 2013

A reader asks: Was I right to pass along a counterfeit coin

Thanks for standing by while I get a few things done. In anticipation of this little break, I recruited a slate of guest posters, who were supposed to keep things going during my absence. Unfortunately, they all seem to be suffering from writer's block. I'll be back soon, and regular psoting will resume. In the meantime please enjoy this guest post

-- DB

Hello Readers of DovBear! You last heard from me about two years ago when I tried to argue that it was okay to use my iPhone on shabbos. Many of you disagreed, including DovBear himself. But the 100s of comments you left were thought provoking all the same.

Today I have another controversial subject to discuss. For the moment, I live abroad in what some might call a banana republic. The other day, one of my coins was rejected by a vending machine. Later, a street vendor threw it back at me when I tried to use it purchase lunch. "This is fake," he said.

The next day, I purchased some flowers. In exchange for the flowers, I gave the vendor a handful of coins. One of them was the fake.  My son, who was there when the lunch vendor rejected my coin and saw me pass it off on the flower vendor, called me a crook. But I don't see it that way.

The coin itself has no value. It isn't a piece of gold or silver. Its a piece of scrap metal that only  has value because we, as a society, have agreed to accept it in exchange for goods and services. I ended up with the fake coin, because of a  trade. Someone gave it to me in exchange for something else.  Later, the flower vendor accepted it in exchange for the flowers and he, no doubt, will be able to trade the bad coin for something else, just as I did.

Where's the harm? It will always be possible to find someone willing to accept the fake coin, so who is being cheated?

  Search for more information about ###

No comments: