1. You are here and we are glad. Enjoy your time. Please check out the sticky note for tips & tricks.
    Dismiss Notice

A bias against wealth?

Discussion in 'The Earth and Our World' started by Pinga, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. Pinga

    Pinga Room for All

    Messages:
    6,862
    Likes Received:
    3,390
    It seems that there is a bias against those who are successful as measured in dollars or who have wealth?

    I am going to call @Lastpointe in, as we kinda touched base on it in another thread.

    I'm curious if there is a bias against, it, and if so why?

    I am thinking it is similair to a bias against those who are homeless, or those who live with mental health -- that it is based on stereotypes and misunderstanding,s but, I am curious, what do others think?


    Note: I think that measure of wealth is different dependent on your position. So, how do you define wealth?
     
  2. BetteTheRed

    BetteTheRed Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,966
    Likes Received:
    4,149
    Perspective is everything. My old guy, who's been on a disability pension for 20 years, thinks that employed people, especially those in union environments (i.e. a living wage, to some extent), are "fat cats". He doesn't even see beyond that.

    I think some people have a "talent for wealth" and others don't. I can tell you from personal experience that trying to ignore money doesn't make one any richer...
     
  3. ChemGal

    ChemGal One with keen eye

    Messages:
    7,971
    Likes Received:
    2,227
    I see it, lots of incorrect stereotypes.
    Many people tend to see people making over x amount as having it easy, evading taxes whatever.

    Lots isn't discussed - what it took to get there. In many cases there's lots of education involved. Years of tuition payments or other costs along with years of lost income and the inability to save when young.

    There's also what's being done with the money - helping out other family members, charitable givings - often without getting a tax receipt, etc.

    More stereotypes when it isn't self-earned.
     
  4. Pinga

    Pinga Room for All

    Messages:
    6,862
    Likes Received:
    3,390
    Scripture says:
    I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew19:23-26
     
  5. Pinga

    Pinga Room for All

    Messages:
    6,862
    Likes Received:
    3,390
    I know that others read negativity towards wealth in that post..

    Yet, in context, it seems to be in response to Jesus first saying (possibly in a sarcastic way), just dump all your wealth and follow me. The individual saying 'can't do that", and then being told, aaah, then, you must work hard.

    I take this to read that those who live on earnings close to a living wage, are doing what they can, in a way that they can. There is no additional burden placed on them.
    Yet, those that have wealth, must accept that there is more responsibility and accountability placed on them to use those $$$ / power for good works.
     
  6. crazyheart

    crazyheart tomorrow,tomorrow

    Messages:
    5,549
    Likes Received:
    2,406
    be back
     
  7. Mendalla

    Mendalla Crazy, spiritually mixed up gorilla general

    Messages:
    14,802
    Likes Received:
    8,667
    I have no issues with wealth or the wealthy per se but I understand why Jesus taught what he did about it. Focussing on wealth necessarily becomes a focus on material things. You earn wealth by providing goods and services; you use wealth by buying them. If you spend all your time on earning and spending wealth, where is the time spent on the "soul" (in the broad sense of living relationally and mindfully in the world, not the supernatural sense)? What, if any, ethics do you follow/display in earning/using your wealth?

    So he's arguing that making being wealthy the focus of your life necessarily distracts from making spirituality the focus of your life and following him is about the latter, not the former. It is not a condemnation of wealth per se, but of an attitude to it. And it is not unique to Christianity. There is a good reason why most monastic traditions hold any wealth communally rather than individually.

    I do tend to get a bit snippy about people who abuse their wealth or earn/use in ethically dubious manners (corporate raiders, drug pushers, war profiteers). I have 0 respect for various heirs and heiresses who live high off the hog created by their parents without doing anything meaningful or productive themselves (hi, Paris Hilton). So, while I do not subscribe to the whole "eat the rich" attitude, wealth alone is not enough to earn my respect. The wealth has to have come from some meaningful contribution.

    I do have respect for those who recognize that wealth and power come with responsibility and try to do something meaningful with it. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan come to mind, as do the Gateses. Both got rich out of changing how we use technology (which strikes me as meaningful and productive even if some ethically dubious stuff happened along the road) and both use that wealth in a variety of ways to make lives better (Gates through their work on vaccines, disease prevention, and so on; Zuckerberg/Chan through their various health and education endeavours).
     
    PilgrimsProgress, Carolla and ChemGal like this.
  8. Pinga

    Pinga Room for All

    Messages:
    6,862
    Likes Received:
    3,390
    Understood.

    Question: is it more righteous to work at $10/hr versus $200/hr?

    Ie, if you are working 40hrs/week, then, is there something inherently wrong with earning a high wage?

    Does the executive that gets stock options automatically become evil?
     
  9. Mendalla

    Mendalla Crazy, spiritually mixed up gorilla general

    Messages:
    14,802
    Likes Received:
    8,667
    No, there is nothing wrong with earning a higher wage. There is a problem in the system when you can work 40 hrs. per week and still not make enough to live above the poverty line (as happens in too many places) but that doesn't mean the ones who do earn enough are wrong.

    Stock options are a problem to the extent that they are sometimes used in place of other, more reliable compensation. After all, offering me the opportunity to buy a stake in the company doesn't put bread on the table or a roof over my head if the company then goes bust making my shares worthless. But becoming rich off stock options in a company you helped build, as happened with many RIM employees before things went South there, is no problem to my eye.

    Executives getting fat bonuses for shutting down the company while workers have to fight tooth and nail in court just to get pensions that they earned, OTOH, is a serious problem to my eye. Equity doesn't mean the CEO has to earn the same as a line worker, but it does mean that s/he shouldn't be getting rich at the expense of the line worker. But, going back to my previous post, that isn't a problem with wealth or the wealthy, but with an attitude to wealth; namely that the wealthy and powerful, esp. ones who own shares in the company, are somehow magically worth more than the grunts in the trenches.
     
    monk likes this.
  10. BetteTheRed

    BetteTheRed Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,966
    Likes Received:
    4,149
    Does anyone think that there's any problem with executive compensation being tied to worker compensation? For instance, making a commitment that the gap between the average employee wage and executive wages can't exceed 20X or 40X or some other number that we might pull out of the air.
     
    PilgrimsProgress and Carolla like this.
  11. monk

    monk EYE SEE YOU

    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    538
    And "what good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his whole soul?"
    Personally I think of the Zuckerbergs and Gateses in this world as spiritual paupers.
    They personify for me the meaning behind the phrase 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'.
     
  12. Pinga

    Pinga Room for All

    Messages:
    6,862
    Likes Received:
    3,390
    Hmm, what makes you think that those inidividuals are spiritual paupers?
     
  13. Mendalla

    Mendalla Crazy, spiritually mixed up gorilla general

    Messages:
    14,802
    Likes Received:
    8,667
    I have no problem with the concept but negotiating it, and it would have to be negotiated, could be tricky.
     
    Pinga likes this.
  14. Pinga

    Pinga Room for All

    Messages:
    6,862
    Likes Received:
    3,390
    I like the idea in principal, Bette.
    I can see where they may be exceptions, in the case of high risk situations, but, personally, I do support max.
    The challenge is that a lot of these executives salaries are set to stock options, so let me give you an example.
    Executive a signs up when the stocks are sitting at $20. He gets options to buy at $10. He is promised 100,000 shares if he can make the business profitable again. He not only makes it profitable, he does a stellar job, and the organization's stock raise to $100, then drop back to a more reasonable $50. He has an automatic sale set for 20,000 if it hits $75, and 50,000 if it hits $100. He makes a lot of money; however, NONE of it is at the expense of the employee.
    The amount of money was also not predictable, ie it was how the market reacted.
    So, there are challenges if there are stock manipulations, but, if doing his job in a straight up way, those who had bought stocks in the company would have had the same advantage.

    So, what controls would you put in place?
     
  15. Kimmio

    Kimmio This is my custom title

    Messages:
    13,270
    Likes Received:
    2,387
    My bias against wealth, and people like the Gateses and billionaires generally, is why does anyone need billions in personal wealth? If he gave away all but what he needed to live a comfortable life - not extravagant but comfortable, not lacking in anything - his life wouldn't change. Who needs billions in the bank?

    The other thing about wealth is how people use it for power leverage. Being wealthy doesn't automatically make someone bad. Using wealth to bully with makes them look like a real arsehole though. And being wealthy often means someone has the smarts to manipulate others out of their money - others who have far less - which I don't find very noble. That's not "working hard".
     
    monk likes this.
  16. Graeme Decarie

    Graeme Decarie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,354
    Likes Received:
    1,135
    The road to wealth is usually by bullying and abusing others Our western capitalists do that all over the world. Here, they rig the system so that all wealth flows to them. This has been going on for some years - and it accounts for the rise in poverty in the U.S., especially.
    Historically, the wealthy have used their power to debase everyone else. Anyone who has a different view might take a look at the history of empires.
    AS for ability, there is no evidence the rich are somehow gifted. A very high proportion of the wealthy are born into wealth. What they have to do is to be greedy, and indifferent to the needs of others.
    The whole idea of great wealth is not only unChristian, it is anti Christian.
    Almost all wars are fought for reasons of economic dominance. That was true of every war I can think of - including world war 2, Korea 3. Vietnam. 4. Afghanistan. 5. Iraq
     
    monk likes this.
  17. Graeme Decarie

    Graeme Decarie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,354
    Likes Received:
    1,135
    6. Libya 7. Syria.....
     
  18. Pinga

    Pinga Room for All

    Messages:
    6,862
    Likes Received:
    3,390
    Ok, so, what are you considering, wealth, Graeme.

    I can say that those that I know who by luck or hard work who are in the upper middle class to upper class sure as hell didn't get it from bullying and abusing others.

    I also know that the VP's that I worked with, who worked hard, didn't bully people. Well, some may have been focussed more than others, and I didn't always like their strategies, but, they weren't what you are talking about, and they would fit into the higher end.
    The folks that I work with who are consultants are actually pretty nice folks. They are hard workers. They do a damn fine job.
    The folks that I know who have become wealthy through the going public of a company worked bloody hard for the last 10 years, and happened to stick with a concept. In fact, the owner is someone who listens to all.

    So, I rail against your idea of all wealthy people being bullies.

    I challenge your bias.
     
  19. Kimmio

    Kimmio This is my custom title

    Messages:
    13,270
    Likes Received:
    2,387
    Money is like a casino. The house always "wins" - financially.
     
  20. Kimmio

    Kimmio This is my custom title

    Messages:
    13,270
    Likes Received:
    2,387
    Military soldiers don't make very much money. Lots of them die for the concept of the American Dream, to preserve it, which not everybody who works hard will ever be able to attain- that's a fallacy. And then there are the wealthy and obscenely wealthy - who one can't honestly say "worked harder" for it. They were luckier to be born in the right place at the right time with the right attributes. That's it.
     

Share This Page