When does so much become too much?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Bowser, Dec 21, 2016.

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Does money buy happiness?

  1. Yep...

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Nope...

    3 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    There seems to be a myth going around that greed drives the rich. My theory is that some people become so good at earning money that nearly everything they touch turns to gold. I suspect that after a certain point, earning money becomes a hobby, not a necessity. If you were incredibly wealthy, would you grow dissatisfied with your life and possibly turn your attention towards community service such as politics?

    I think that having access to any material possession might have limited value at some point for many people, and would create a need for greater fulfillment elsewhere. Your thoughts?
     
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Some rich people - the intelligent, thoughtful ones, like Andrew Carnegie and Bill Gates, do turn to social engineering as the next challenge.
    Some rich people never stop wanting more, because it becomes a contest between the have-mores and have-mosts.
    Some rich people die or become incapacitated relatively young and leave their vast fortune in the hands of spoiled, jaded, hedonistic offspring - either to keep making more money, just because that's what invested capital does as a matter of course, or to be squandered and recycled.
    Some rich people simply enjoy using and abusing the power money gives them. So they buy governments and push other people around.
     
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Here is the problem with that, it's not a myth. It's a truth. There are some rich folks who are questionably motivated by greed, your man Trump being one of them. And you don't have to look far to see evidence of his greed, e.g. Trump University. But others are very honorable and truly philanthropic and altruistic like Bill and Melinda Gate, and Warren Buffet.

    The rich are a diverse group. There is no one single stereotypical rich person. Each rich person has their own motivations and their own behavioral drivers. So to lump them as one single monolithic entity as you have done is overly simplistic and just flat out wrong.

    What you have done is recite a Trumpian myth; the myth that rich folk like Trump are not greedy.

    Like I previously wrote, you cannot fit all rich people into a single mold. They are a diverse group of people. For the likes of Trump, money is never a hobby, nor has everything he touched turned to gold. Trump has a long trail of bankruptcies and failed businesses behind him which spans the course of decades and some of them are recent. If Trump hadn't been born to wealth, he would selling used cars down the street for cousin Harry.

    If Trump were a philanthropist, if money didn't mean anything to Trump, he would have donated significant sums of his own money to charity and he hasn't. He would sign Buffet's Giving Pledge. But he hasn't. What little charity Trump has done, it was done to further his brand. Because in the end, Trump's brand it is single most valuable asset.

    Like I said, if Trump were looking for fulfillment through philanthropy, he would have done so. But he hasn't. No, Trump is all about greed, but Trump's narcissism greatly exceeds even his greed.
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I didn't answer the poll. This is a subject that will go nowhere. Money doesn't buy happiness and it does cause unhappiness either necessarily. If you have no money then having some money will undoubtedly make your life better.

    For anyone who has food and a roof over their head it's just not that related to happiness and it's not something to be all that concerned with. If I have more money than you and if you have more money than me is that really something to be concerned with.

    People are people and how much money they have isn't that determinative of what kind of a person they are. On an unrelated note, the forum's spellchecking software is no good. In the sentence above "determinative" is underlined as if I've misspelled it. I haven't.
     
  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I would never be incredibly wealthy. If a lot of money fell into my lap - e.g. a lottery win - I'd give away what I don't need.
     
  9. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I would spread the wealth with family and retire to where it is perpetually warm, maybe the Caribbean.
     
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I'm waiting for global warming to make it perpetually warm here.

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  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    I think the rich are like any other group. Some want more and more money for the sake of money. Some are doing what they love and want to keep doing it - and the money is a byproduct. Some need vast amounts of money to do what they want (i.e. launch rockets, build cars.) Some actively dislike having a lot of money. In other words, everyone's different.
     
  12. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    The idea came to mind because of a remark given the other day, something about the rich never doing anything for the poor. It kind of made me mad. It seems that almost every employer I've had was either rich or an investor.
     
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Greed drives most of the rich. Even many of the ones who inherited wealth in the first place.

    If it didn't, most of them would find other ways to spend their short time on this earth. Look at what they do all day, to add yet another million on top of the hundreds they already have.

    Look at how many die rich, despite long aging and ample time to do otherwise.

    What other explanation is there?
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    That's not my experience. I know some very rich people who spend their times getting hospitals built, developing new technologies, campaigning for political initiatives they think are important etc. Most of them spend their time working on things they find important, rather than trying to add another million on top.
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    And that's how you know them, for the most part. That's not a representative sample - even of the time and money you know about.

    It's partly a stats matter - unusually greedy people are more likely than average to accumulate wealth, T/F?
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    There's probably a weak correlation there. Greed does not enable the accumulation of wealth, and indeed often gets in the way of such pursuits. However, if you take two people who are both _capable_ of attaining a lot of wealth (which is a small subset of the population) the greedier one will probably end up wealthier.
     
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I don't agree that only a small subset of the population is capable of attaining a lot of wealth, if greed is factored out. It's not that small, methinks, if a lack of focus and motivation is not included in the "capability".
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    OK. Then the middle class is just lazy, rather than struggling to adapt to an ever-rising barrier to entry into wealth.
     
  19. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I think that greed is a mindset, not necessarily contingent upon what someone owns, or how much wealth they have. You can be materially poor, yet still greedy. Greed by definition is just an intense selfish desire for money, food, etc. Doesn't mean that you actually have a lot of it, though, it just means that you have an intense desire to have a lot of it, thinking that if you do, then you'll be content. A person can never truly be happy and greedy, at the same time.
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The greedy among them have a better chance, is all I'm saying - most people are more focused on other things.
     

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