As a trainee accountant I was taught that money is a means of exchange, a store of value and a unit of accounting, all at the same time. All rather abstract.
In my introduction to Public Financial Management lecture I ask students what they think money is before introducing them to the concept that money is, in fact, debt. And that it is created by banks as well as by governments, at the touch of a keypad.
Then I go on to explain that the story they (and the media) believe about government’s needing to collect taxes in order to spend money is a myth. It’s the other way around. Governments create the money they spend and when they take that money back from people and businesses as taxes they destroy the money.
Mind-blowing, I know.
For more on this, check out this PDF by Richard J Murphy where he explains the political economy of Money. It just might make you think about money, government spending and tax, in a different way.