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Being rich good?

FinnMacCool

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Many people have said that the great thing about capitalism is that no matter who you are, you have the chance to become rich doing whatever type of career you choose. But is being rich really that great? I mean if people lived in a world where everyone had such and such amount of money and every single person could live relativly comfortably that would be great but this is not the case.

I see nothing wrong in someone making money off doing what they love but when it is possible, can we not share the wealth with those who are less fortunate then us? Do we really need to have like 5 sports cars etc.? People hired to do our dirty laundry etc.? Do you believe that those who are rich should need to share some of the wealth which they have earned?
 

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I read a quote about being wealthy that I like.
You are not rich by what you have, but what you do not need.
Myself, I don't need a big SUV, oversized house, fancy clothing, etc.
I don't need to put on a show of success.
Another concept I like is the self sufficient ego.
By not having to have my ego puffed by the admiration of others, I don't go out of my way to impress people who probably don't care about me any way.
And being rich is not the American dream. Having a nice house in a safe neighborhood, good schools for the kids, and enough money for a secure retirement is the American dream for most of us.

The churches, especially in the 19th century, taught that the rich must be doing good, so God made them rich. They neglected the poor, thinking that God was not happy with them for some reason. Just one more thing the churches get wrong.
Of course, if you are a preacher, you can enjoy a more financially rewarding life by making the rich feel good about themselves, as they can afford to donate lots of money to the church. A good preacher then uses that money to help the poor, but typically the money only got used to make the preacher's life nice without having to hold down a real job.
 

ddoyle00

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Geez Finn, have you ever heard of the word naive? If living in a capitalist economy is such a drag for you, maybe youd prefer living in socialist Europe. Take Sweden for example where the average citizen will pay over 40% of their wages in taxes for their free healthcare. Maybe you could try Germany where they have low unemployment because the gov't finds them jobs where they can have free healthcare. What they dont tell you is that if the only job is a govt sanctioned prostitute and you dont take it, you lose your healthcare. Maybe youd like raising your kids in a socialist economy where they take an exit exam in high school to see how they score. Do well, you can go to college. Do poorly and you have NO chance of going to college and your kids are stuck sweeping streets in gay bright orange jumpsuits.
Its a fact the media doesnt like to report that the rich do pay the bulk of all taxes. Its the rich who are donating to charitable foundations for philanthropy and as a tax write-off because they are taxed so much.
And Utah, please read a little Ayn Rand before you make comments on how the ego works. An hour or two studying psychological egoism will alert you to a new perspective on how people operate. On top of that, if you and your family worked hard all their lives, would you want to give it away to someone who didnt word as hard as you did? I sure the hell wouldnt.
 

UtahBill

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ddoyle00 said:
And Utah, please read a little Ayn Rand before you make comments on how the ego works. An hour or two studying psychological egoism will alert you to a new perspective on how people operate. On top of that, if you and your family worked hard all their lives, would you want to give it away to someone who didnt word as hard as you did? I sure the hell wouldnt.
I have read Ayn Rand, not all but some, and am re-reading The New Left:The anti-Industrial Revolution now. This copy has the extra part, Age of Envy. I agree with what she has to say.
I was commenting on how my ego works. It is not dependent on the opinions of others. I know how many people operate, and that is like a bunch of selfish children. They will take from others, hurt others, abuse others all for the sake of self.
Selflessness is the preferred attribute, and that does not exclude being rich. There are many rich who give a lot of their wealth to worthy causes. There are many more who create "foundations" that have a secondary goal of employing their worthless children. Not entirely selfless, are they?
Can you show me where I said I would "give it away to someone who didn't work as hard as me"? Altho I would give some, and have, to those who worked harder but didn't have the good fortune that I have enjoyed. The lazy bums don't get much sympathy from me, but those who try and just have bad luck should be helped. To do otherwise is to be heartless.
Very few of the rich got that way solely based on their own efforts. Luck plays a part. Bill Gates almost sold his operating system to IBM, I think, but they didn't want it. Their bad luck, his good luck.
If you are rich, and selfish to boot, and believe in a just God, good luck.....
 

ddoyle00

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Utah, most of that was directed towards Finn so I apologize if I wasnt specific. I dont agree that selflessness is the correct attribute for someone. Even we we practice altruism, all we are doing is satisfying our own selfish emotional needs. Think of the most selfless person you know. Mother Theresa comes to mind, right? Do you think she would really have did all that if she didnt believe in a reward in heaven? I know Ayn explains it differently, but on a basic level humans are animals. In the animal world, altruism is not exclusive to just us. There have been recent studies where a certain species of bird will stay at the nest while its siblings go off to grow up and spread their genes. Thus ensuring their genetic survival. That one bird will suppress his biological need and will help find food for the new hatch of birds. Thus helping to ensure the survivial of his familes genes in his own way.
Since altruism can be explained in a logical and scientific way so can selfishness. Being selfish to a certain degree allows one to appear more desireable to a mate (money, cars, status, being able to offer protection, etc etc).
Also, I dont think luck or random probabiltity as I like to call it, was the rule when it comes to fortunes made. Rather, I think it was the exception. America has the highest number of millionaires in the world. I believe it has to do with the American work ethic and that fact that our early settlers had a Protestant work ethic. Europe has more geographical area, but much less billionaires than we do. Blame the French who petition to work even less than a 30 hour work week.
Also Bill Gates had donated a total of 20 billion to a world organization that specializes in vaccinations for 3rd world countries.
 

UtahBill

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ddoyle00 said:
I dont agree that selflessness is the correct attribute for someone. Even we we practice altruism, all we are doing is satisfying our own selfish emotional needs. Think of the most selfless person you know. Mother Theresa comes to mind, right? Do you think she would really have did all that if she didnt believe in a reward in heaven? .
Since altruism can be explained in a logical and scientific way so can selfishness. Being selfish to a certain degree allows one to appear more desireable to a mate (money, cars, status, being able to offer protection, etc etc).
That is a fairly distorted view you have. Selfish emotional needs? I don't get it. You are saying that doing good is done because we want to reduce our guilt load or something?
Do you think that Mother Theresa knew for a fact that there is a heaven? How about non religious types who do good for goodness sake?
Any woman who seeks money, cars, status, or as you say, selfishness, as highly desireable traits in a man is not to be trusted. She will live with you just long enough to take half of it from you. I know a good looking guy who can't keep a girl friend, much less get a wife, and he fits that description perfectly. He has the car, nice house, money, etc. but no love life beyond loving himself most of all. His problem is that he was doted on by mommy and sisters and now thinks that the world of women should revolve around him.
Granted, a lot of my selflessness involves making sure my kids get a good start in life. We paid for their college education and helped them with down payments on their first houses. But we have also helped out nieces, nephews, and neighbors. We have more than enough for a nice retirement, altho not yet millionaires. There are more important things in life than having a lot of money, and they don't even take money to get. I suppose I could send pics of our grandchilren.:smile:
 

ddoyle00

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Utah, one thing about me is I always use a logical arguement and never an emotional one. I might not be right, but I always try to present my arguements that way. So when I present my reasons, try to look at them without emotion. First, about Mother Theresa. Psychological egoism says that every behavior is made to fulfill a psychological need; including selfless acts. Example: A man volunteers at a soup kitchen for no extrinsic reward, but he gets an intrisic reward-feeling good for helping those less fortunate. Now, if he didnt get that good feeling for his selfless acts, would he still do it? I doubt it. That act is psychologically fulfilling to him and the only reason he does it is to feel good. Being selfish is not a bad thing. All over the world, people are being selfish when they buy a safe vehicle for their family, insurance for their house, volunteering at the Red Cross, donating blood. Every act we call selfless is being done for themselves and not for others. Yes, on the surface it looks like its selfless, but it isnt.
Now, I thought I gave a good example when I described the bird story to you.
Read it again without emotion and from a purely scientific point of view. A person who makes a good life for themselves can be seen from the opposite sex as being in a stable position and a protector. A person who is strong and successful can be seen as desireable because innately we are all doing a mating dance where we try to impress the opposite sex. Like animals who gather bright objects for ther nest to attract a mate, a person with money is doing the same thing.
Now cut and dry without any emotional refrences, thats how it is. I know life isnt going to be as sterile as a laboratory where we can control all the variables, but the guy you talked about is a more complex being so it makes it hard to compare him to my model.
 

FinnMacCool

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Geez Finn, have you ever heard of the word naive? If living in a capitalist economy is such a drag for you, maybe youd prefer living in socialist Europe. Take Sweden for example where the average citizen will pay over 40% of their wages in taxes for their free healthcare. Maybe you could try Germany where they have low unemployment because the gov't finds them jobs where they can have free healthcare. What they dont tell you is that if the only job is a govt sanctioned prostitute and you dont take it, you lose your healthcare. Maybe youd like raising your kids in a socialist economy where they take an exit exam in high school to see how they score. Do well, you can go to college. Do poorly and you have NO chance of going to college and your kids are stuck sweeping streets in gay bright orange jumpsuits.
Its a fact the media doesnt like to report that the rich do pay the bulk of all taxes. Its the rich who are donating to charitable foundations for philanthropy and as a tax write-off because they are taxed so much.
And Utah, please read a little Ayn Rand before you make comments on how the ego works. An hour or two studying psychological egoism will alert you to a new perspective on how people operate. On top of that, if you and your family worked hard all their lives, would you want to give it away to someone who didnt word as hard as you did? I sure the hell wouldnt.
I never said any of that. All I said is that perhaps instead of using money to buy a sports car I could use it to help other people and I don't mean by randomly going to people who are bums and giving them money but by helping those who cannot help themselves and there are people like that who exist. Just because someone is poor doesn't mean they are bums.

Also I never mentioned socialism in the entire thread so don't put words in my mouth.
 

Gray_Fox_86

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Ever read the new testament? The rich man had trouble passing while the poor one easily passed through the gates of heaven.
 

V.I. Lenin

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Take Sweden for example where the average citizen will pay over 40% of their wages in taxes for their free healthcare.
Yeah, stupid Swedes. Their living standards are so low. It's like Ethiopia over there!

What they dont tell you is that if the only job is a govt sanctioned prostitute and you dont take it, you lose your healthcare
I'd much rather be a corporate whore who has to beg and unionize to get ANY healthcare, oh yes... :roll:

Maybe youd like raising your kids in a socialist economy where they take an exit exam in high school to see how they score. Do well, you can go to college.
Stupid commies testing kids on intelligence and not how much money Mommy and Daddy have put away for tuition!

Its a fact the media doesnt like to report that the rich do pay the bulk of all taxes. Its the rich who are donating to charitable foundations for philanthropy and as a tax write-off because they are taxed so much.
Being taxed so much..but they're still called rich. *Sniff* Mmm..irony.

And Utah, please read a little Ayn Rand before you make comments on how the ego works.
Noam Chomsky wrote books too. So did Lenin and Marx. Does that mean they're right?

Look, I don't mean to be such a sarcastic a-hole. Well, I do. Thats me. But Utah isn't saying that money is bad. It's not. I love it. But he's saying what is TOO much. When some people are scrounging for food, should others really be riding in limos and helicopters? The rich can still be rich and we can still have a capitalist society running without the rich being uber-rich.
 

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Christ on a stick, Stalin! I put up an argument that is debate worthy and all you have to add is some theological rhetoric? Furthermore, Stalin was responsible for the murder of at least 20 million innocent people, almost twice that of Hitler. Go use some of that money you are using for bubblegum and comicbooks and buy a clue.
I am not attempting to put words in your mouth Finn. If I did, then you would make sense, but since I haven't then you dont and since I wont, then neither will you. If you want to spend you inconsiderable assets on feeding or clothing the poor, then go ahead. I, on the other hand, will invest mine on more worthwhile ventures like furthering myself. Because doing so will only get me one step closer to financial freedom. Financial freedom means less stress for my wife, my kids and my extended family. Less stress on my wife means a higher chance of furthering my genes. And thats really what its all about. Everything that walks, hops, slides, slithers, crawls or swims has one mission in life and thats to reproduce. Humans are not any different.
I get really sick and tired of all this romanticizing of how much different people are from animals. We have higher cognitive functions, thats true. But biologically we are just like them.
And Stalin......I wasnt kidding about how dumb your name is.
 

FinnMacCool

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That is really sad. You don't think that human beings work for any other reason then to eat, sleep, and make little babies? How depressing. No wonder so many people believe in a God, though I do not. If my whole life was going to be based on working only to produce, I swear I would not want to be alive.

For me, I would have to find some kind of fufillment in my work without having to receive a paycheck every now and then. I would like to be able to use my work to contribute something towards the world and make things happen, if you know what I mean.

Perhaps your right though. Maybe humans exist only to exist. But I hope to God, that is if there is a God, that this is not true.
 

ddoyle00

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A good joke will always have a bit of truth in it. Lenin showed that bit in his counter arguments, but failed to make a point. Look guys, we are arguing the same point from two different views. Here is mine: People only very rarely get filthy rich by luck alone. It takes coordination, smarts, intelligence, hard work and persistence. People not in the same tax bracket either didn't have the same opportunities, didn't work as hard, were not as persistent, or didn't have the good business sense. The people with money can be compared to adaptation/survival of the fittest. The people with money have a much greater chance of surviving because of their skills and that gives them an advantage. Now the people without money will have to find other ways to survive and compete with those who have money. And we all know what happens to a species that cant adapt. Well, maybe not Stalin.
Now, you are arguing from a purely philosophical viewpoint and that is almost impossible to quantify. This thread will never get anywhere until we are both debating from the same point. Apples and oranges....biological and philosophical. All of my threads have been based on quantifyable and empirical evidence. I offer and explain proof for my statements. Even though I do this and now matter how convincing it seems, it wont do jack against an emotional arguments. Ive rehashed this point at least five times now. I cant make it any clearer.
 

FinnMacCool

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All of my threads have been based on quantifyable and empirical evidence
Er. . .not really. For one thing this is the type of question that can only be answered based on ones beliefs. There is no hard evidence to support either side.

People only very rarely get filthy rich by luck alone. It takes coordination, smarts, intelligence, hard work and persistence. People not in the same tax bracket either didn't have the same opportunities, didn't work as hard, were not as persistent, or didn't have the good business sense. The people with money can be compared to adaptation/survival of the fittest. The people with money have a much greater chance of surviving because of their skills and that gives them an advantage. Now the people without money will have to find other ways to survive and compete with those who have money. And we all know what happens to a species that cant adapt. Well, maybe not Stalin
How is it that you have money? It is not merely chance that you were born in a country that has equal opportunity? In other countries, this may not be the case, despite how smart or skilled you are.

Back in the day, people were assigned government posistions based not on their skill but by the accident of their birth. People like Napoleon changed this so idiots would not be allowed to influence government. If your born into a society where you have such a limited amount of choices of what you can do, well, your kinda ****ed.
 

ddoyle00

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Things that can be easily quantified
1.money
2.materiel possessions
3.net worth

Things that cant be easily quantified
1.emotions
2.beliefs
3.morals

Now, I have always tried to make the connection that people of wealth have a solid and easily identifyible advantage in more ways than one over people of lesser wealth. These advantages include
1.status (which appeals to many people)
2.better health
3.more security

My entire DAMN arguement was not whether or not people should give a portion of their money, but that they have a comparable biological advantage to those without money. All Im asking is if you could possibly maybe see the connection below......

basic biological need to procreate
________________________________________________________________
given an advantage by
1.security......... VS.............. 1.less security
2.better access to hosp......VS..........2.a crappy HMO
3.money..............VS ........... 3.less money

People of wealth (with a few exceptions) are more likely to be able to pass on their genes because they are seen as more desireable.
 
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UtahBill

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ddoyle00 said:
A good joke will always have a bit of truth in it. Lenin showed that bit in his counter arguments, but failed to make a point. Look guys, we are arguing the same point from two different views. Here is mine: People only very rarely get filthy rich by luck alone. It takes coordination, smarts, intelligence, hard work and persistence. People not in the same tax bracket either didn't have the same opportunities, didn't work as hard, were not as persistent, or didn't have the good business sense. The people with money can be compared to adaptation/survival of the fittest. The people with money have a much greater chance of surviving because of their skills and that gives them an advantage. Now the people without money will have to find other ways to survive and compete with those who have money. And we all know what happens to a species that cant adapt. Well, maybe not Stalin.
Now, you are arguing from a purely philosophical viewpoint and that is almost impossible to quantify. This thread will never get anywhere until we are both debating from the same point. Apples and oranges....biological and philosophical. All of my threads have been based on quantifyable and empirical evidence. I offer and explain proof for my statements. Even though I do this and now matter how convincing it seems, it wont do jack against an emotional arguments. Ive rehashed this point at least five times now. I cant make it any clearer.
It seems that you think some of the responses are emotional. I don't see it, especially not in my own. Could it be that you have no adequate response and want to claim that others are being emotional, compared to your cold hard empirical evidence, of which I see none?
And survival of the fittest is fine for the non-human animal kingdom. Man is superior to the rest of the animal kingdom. He does not have to compete for survival or the chance to reproduce like most of the animal kingdom. We have progressed to the point that we can have both without having to kill someone else. We compete, yes, but we don't have to compete to the death for anything. We are not required to hurt others to gain for ourselves, altho many do for the sake of competition. Usually, competition is good, except for those who knowingly hurt others to succeed. Success is good, but not as easily measured as you think. The lesser among us are not always envious of the success of others, as we usually have some measure of success for ourselves. Mine is not measured in dollar signs. Speaking of signs, I saw this on a billboard about 40 years ago.
No success elsewhere compensates for failure in the home.
Based on that, my wife and I are a wonderful success. We live well, without any of the in-your-face conspicuous consumption of our "successful" movies stars, but we enjoy what we have. It is all paid for, no one can take it away.
It is enough, for us. And our children and grandchildren love us. How do you quantify that and compare it to mere wealth?
And trust me on the procreation thing, the poor are very good at it. They do it for fun and entertainment, they do it for love, they do it for religious reasons, they do it for the sake of doing it. Maybe the rich have better health care and security, but the sheer numbers of the poor will outweigh whatever advantages may be denied them because they are poor. Some of us, yes I and my wife were poor, will crawl up the ladder of success even tho the rich and greedy who want more than their share of success are doing their best to drag the ladder up with them, less any of us poor get a chance to approach their high and mighty self appointed status.:2wave:
 

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Fine..fine, it doesnt apply to the topic at all. I went off on a left-field tangent. Finn was asking why cant the rich contribute more than they do and I got the bull sees red attitude so it looked like another rich basher to me. I decided to make the suggestion that yes, both the rich and the poor can have equal amounts of sex, it is the rich who have a higher probability of raising their children to be successful because of the abundant oppertunities available to them. Yes, there is always gonna be a Tyrone or a Maria from the ghetto who breaks out and makes it big, but I said generally. And stop using yourself as an example, damn. I could do the same thing by saying I was raised by my parents who are financially independent, but I dont cause I dont use personal examples and the point would be moot anyway. I dont know why a lot of people get this hatred of the rich. Freakin middle class mob mentality. Dont deny how you feel Utah. I will quote you.

"Some of us, yes I and my wife were poor, will crawl up the ladder of success even tho the rich and greedy who want more than their share of success are doing their best to drag the ladder up with them, less any of us poor get a chance to approach their high and mighty self appointed status."

Their high and mighty self-appointed status, huh? That sounds a little self-rightous to me.
The rich and greedy who want more than their share of success are doing their best to drag the ladder up with them. Where is this bitterness coming from?
And man is not so superior to the rest of the animal kingdom. We still have to answer basic instinctial urges and chemical releases. We have higher cognitive functions and opposable thumbs, but thats all.
 
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UtahBill

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ddoyle00 said:
. And stop using yourself as an example, damn. I could do the same thing by saying I was raised by my parents who are financially independent, but I dont cause I dont use personal examples and the point would be moot anyway. I dont know why a lot of people get this hatred of the rich. Freakin middle class mob mentality. Dont deny how you feel Utah. I will quote you.

"Some of us, yes I and my wife were poor, will crawl up the ladder of success even tho the rich and greedy who want more than their share of success are doing their best to drag the ladder up with them, less any of us poor get a chance to approach their high and mighty self appointed status."

Their high and mighty self-appointed status, huh? That sounds a little self-rightous to me.
The rich and greedy who want more than their share of success are doing their best to drag the ladder up with them. Where is this bitterness coming from?
And man is not so superior to the rest of the animal kingdom. We still have to answer basic instinctial urges and chemical releases. We have higher cognitive functions and opposable thumbs, but thats all.
Well, in case you haven't figured it out yet, I like to dig at the selfish, and you were starting to sound like one. There is a whole community of retirees near me who do not have to pay the schools portion of their property taxes, and their reasoning is that they don't have schools in their neighborhood, or kids in school. The young could make the argument that they will not likely collect social security, so why pay into it? And when I was working, I had good, solid, Christian Republican co-workers who would vote for whichever candidate would reduce their taxes the most. It isn't just the rich, it is US, the middle class, who do not want to share the wealth. Those who were born with silver spoons in their mouths are also not likely to care about those who didn't even get a spoon, much less a silver one.
We are all in this together, and we ARE very superior to the rest of the animal kingdom, or at least we should be. Much of the animal kingdom eat their young, or at least kill the young of the previous herd head animal. We do it differently, we deprive the young of others an equal playing field, equal opportunity, equal chance at getting a bite off the apple. No guarantees that they will make it, but let's at least give them the chance.
Basic instinctual urges, chemical releases? Please, we are adults here, not children, and we should have learned by now to control our urges.
According to the "good book" that my well off christian friends like to quote, it isn't money that is evil, but the love of money. If any of us love money more than our fellow man, we are already lost. They don't like hearing that.;)
 

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Damn Bill, do you have a beeper that tells you when I am finished writing a response? As for being superior, have you seen Jerry Springer lately? Makes you wonder.
And for your easy dismissal of my basic urges remark, you thought I was talking about what exactly? Since you make yourself out as an adult, you should have realized I was talking about hormones and neurochemicals that are released during certain times in our lives. Usually predicatable moemnts like a fear of dying or sex or taking a test. Dopamine, seratonine, adrenaline, oxytocin if your a lady, testosterone, estrogen,the entire gamut of chemiclas your body makes you are vulnerable to. Just like the other animals.
 

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ddoyle00 said:
Damn Bill, do you have a beeper that tells you when I am finished writing a response? As for being superior, have you seen Jerry Springer lately? Makes you wonder.
And for your easy dismissal of my basic urges remark, you thought I was talking about what exactly? Since you make yourself out as an adult, you should have realized I was talking about hormones and neurochemicals that are released during certain times in our lives. Usually predicatable moemnts like a fear of dying or sex or taking a test. Dopamine, seratonine, adrenaline, oxytocin if your a lady, testosterone, estrogen,the entire gamut of chemiclas your body makes you are vulnerable to. Just like the other animals.
When there is nothing worthwhile on TV, I tend to spend a lot of time on the internet. You can guess what that means. Springer? no thanks. There are lots of examples of intellect gone awry, and the boob tube seems to have a lot of them on at any given time. Can you imagine what the rest of the world thinks when they watch American TV? We must come off like a nation of simple minded fools.
I understand the concept of what you are saying. I am usually fighting depression without the benefit of drugs. Side effects aside, those damn things are expensive and my insurance doesn't pay cover drugs very well.
Being cheap is one of my faults, or is it a fault?
But knowledge is power, even over our body chemisty. Not always of course, there are lots of people out there who have serious brain chemistry problems that even the most powerful drugs don't help much. My brain chemistry is only mildly messed up. Keep reading my posts, and you will know when I need the meds I am too cheap to pay for.:lol:
 
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