Monday, January 20, 2014

Wealth Addicts

I read a most interesting article in The NY Times, written by a former Wall Street money junkie.  His insights into earning obscene amounts of money and bonuses were quite eye-opening.  I think all people entertain the notion of getting a huge amount of money and living the high life.  Unfortunately, that would only be for a little while, as someone unaccustomed to having a lot of money would have absolutely no clue on how to manage their finances, and would spend their fortune very quickly.  I see this has happened frequently, and is called the Curse of the Lottery, when it really is just inexperience and ignorance.

But, the point this writer was making is people with money, lots more money than average people can ever imagine, have an addiction to it that is similar to heroin or methamphetamine users.  There is never enough.  If there is never enough, then they keep that money out of circulation by hoarding it.  More sad, though, is their absolute belief that they will never have enough money and they need more; and they get more by believing what they're doing on Wall Street is somehow important and they work hard for it and deserve it.  But what do the rest of the people deserve?  Certainly not the toilet world that's being handed to them.

What a vicious addiction wealth must be.  It changes the brain, as do the more mundane substances one can become addicted to.  This article almost (almost being the key point here) made me glad I'll never have a lot of money.  But then, if I did, my joy would be in making other people's lives easier; not hoarding it into extinction (my own).  I know I probably wouldn't have great wealth for very long.   But that would be okay.  I don't want to be a slave to anything, not money, not stuff, not drugs.  It took me many decades to get here, so apart from feeling very sad about not being able to help people who really struggle to make it in the world, I guess I'll just be happy being here and being (relatively) free.

I wonder what the world will look like when money is worthless.  It will be interesting to find the value then.

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