The budget deficit will burden our children and grandchildren. Pundits and politicians say this all the time, but is it really true? Should you worry about Social Security running out of money, or should you worry about something else instead? And what caused the economy to unexpectedly shrink in 2008? Understanding money -- what it is, where it comes from, and how it functions -- can provide surprising clarity on these and similar issues. No longer based on gold, our monetary system is in fact a social construct, based on trust and backed by social and legal institutions, that facilitates private transactions and satisfies the need for private savings. It also moves goods and services from the private sector to the public sector. This class examines the functional operations of modern currency in the United States and summarizes consequences for inflation, interest rates, unemployment and general economic activity.