Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Why would you not make the number one goal the pursuit of wealth?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) July 11th, 2011

Humans have only a finite time to spend trudging upon the Earth. Why spend most of it slaving away in some job [ J ust O ver B roke] instead of enjoying things while you are young and fit enough to do it. To think you will retire then go travel and do those things you were too busy being a wage slave to do will not happen if your health is fading by then. Would it not make more since to become wealthy as quick as possible so you can retire early or at least have your time be your own? Rather than settle being just some hack punching a time card why would it be wrong making the acquisition of wealth paramount to anything else you would have going on?

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36 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

My #1 priority is raising my kids and providing for them which is why I made sure I was not some hack punching a time card! After this goal is accomplished I will spend whatever money I have left on living what time I have left to it’s fullest! And that will be one hell of a party!

Blackberry's avatar

How do you suppose hundreds of millions of people (the U.S.) all become wealthy? We also see that wealthy people have their own problems and money doesn’t seem as great as we think in excess.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Life is not slaving away,living for,or hoping for a payoff.
It is enjoying what you have now.
Live your life now!There may not be a tomorrow.
There are some very happy people out there,hacking their way through in the moment because that’s all we really have is right now.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s too much trouble. My partner and I had a discussion about this a few years back. He was on what his company call the “corporate track” which meant he attended seminars provided by the company, and worked 60 or more hours a week. He got higher pay raises than most other employees, but the stress level was too high.

I told him I was satisfied with our current standard of living, and he chose to cut back. It turned out to be good timing, because the company sold his division, and we would have had to move to the corporate offices in Klamath Falls. Ugh.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it came down to making lots and lots of money or taking physical care of my kids. As a single mom I couldn’t do both. So I made enough money to live on, and was always there for my kids.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I had a nice job. I replaced it with being a stay at home homeschooling mom. My husband can only work so many hours in a day/week. We’re content where we are.

In a dream world, we’d be financially independent and not have to concern ourselves with bills. I prefer to reside in reality, not delusion.

tinyfaery's avatar

I hate $.

lillycoyote's avatar

Because: there is a whole lot more to life than money.

Also, the question only seems to offer two options, slaving away like some chump, some automaton for next to nothing and the slavish pursuit of wealth, it’s too black and white. There are many things in between.

obvek's avatar

Studies show that beyond a certain point, more money does not create more happiness.

snowberry's avatar

I have all the money I need. Why should I knock myself out to get more and in the process turn away from more inspiring and important pursuits?

CWOTUS's avatar

You may not believe it – many people who feel that they “slave away” in their jobs don’t believe it – but business can be enjoyable in its own right. Some people enjoy “the game of business” so much that they devote most of their waking moments to it. It’s a game to them and they enjoy it over all other games, so why wouldn’t they keep on playing?

Money is just a function of doing business well; a way to keep score.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Money isn’t wealth, but is one path to it. Wealth isn’t happiness, but can certainly help it.

marinelife's avatar

Because wealth does not equal happiness or satisfaction or contentment.

ETpro's avatar

If it pleases you to pursue wealth, go ahead. I believe strongly in the old Mexican proverb, “Take whatever you want in life, says the Lord, and pay for it.” Like it or not, that is how life works. If you pursue wealth above love and family and friends and all else, you may get what you want, but you will lose all the other. Jackie Robinson put it very simply. “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” If you make life all about you and nobody else, when you die, you leave NOTHING of value behind.

incendiary_dan's avatar

In reference to my observation that money isn’t wealth, and is only one path to it, I posted this on another thread, because not all of my wealth is based on money (though not yet totally disconnected from it).

ratboy's avatar

Given the current distribution of wealth in the US, I’d conjecture that most people who make the acquisition of wealth paramount fail in their endeavors.

ETpro's avatar

@ratboy Excellent point. They have the deck stacked heavily so that the haves win, and the have nots stay where they are.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ratboy Mark Zuckerberg, Damon John did not start off as one of the haves, it is within anyone reach if they are innovative enough.

ETpro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central And they represent what percentage or 320,000,000 people?


I wish I could, but there is so much damn red tape with the government always sticking its fingers in my pocket, it’s difficult to reach that goal. My everyday goal is to raise my kids the best way I can, to provide for them securely and give them a safe and happy home. Another is to maintain a good marriage. ;)

ETpro's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp earned $10.3 billion in profits, and paid ZERO US taxes. In fact, Murdoch’s News Corp got $4.8 billion in rebates from the Government. Corporate welfare. The problem isn’t that the government is stopping anyone from getting rich, it’s that you don’t know how to milk the system, and Murdoch does.


I don’t know about that ETpro, but I’m talking about taxes!

ETpro's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES As Mr. Murdoch has so amply demonstrated, you just aren’t properly plugged in. The tax man should be paying you to exist. But hey, you forgot to be a billionaire and own a major media empire. What can I say. Bad game plan.



My main goal was always to get married and raise a family. I guess I should have aimed for the billionaire game. Lol. ;)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ETpro And they represent what percentage or 320,000,000 people? I could not tell you. What percent of that 320,000,000 are real go getter and risk takers and how many just resign themselves to getting a job and swapping sweat for bucks? “If you are going to dream, dream big” Donald Trump If they thought above just trying to claw their way up the ladder hoping the boss or powers that be see their hard work and reward them with bonuses or a raise they may not get a billion, or even 100s of millions but they would be better off.

I have spoken to immigrants that have come here decades or so ago and build them up a successful business. Many said they came over hardly speaking the language, and with little money, sometimes less than $500. They sold everything they had in their native country just to get here, because they knew if they could just get here they had 10 times the chance to have something. They believed the US was the land of milk and honey that many born here have long forgot. They want to whine and say what is owed to them, even when the poorest person here would be rich in dozens of other nations. If more Yankees channeled their inner immigrant maybe they would have more and have less to whine about.

CWOTUS's avatar


I don’t know what you’re trying to rile us about here, the fact that Rupert Murdoch is a clever businessman who has managed to work the system – a system that he didn’t put in place – to his benefit, or the fact that the government that he has gamed is so stupid to have allowed encouraged this? You seem to want us to be outraged at Murdoch, who as far as I know has committed no crime, and yet you want us to sign up for more government from more of the same bozos who allowed all of the corporate welfare in the first place.

If the rules that allow corporate welfare were in place, as they seem to be in place pretty firmly and for a long time now, and Murdoch could garner $3.4 billion through legal accounting moves and minor business modifications, then he’d be an arrant fool to fail to take advantage of that, wouldn’t he? I don’t suppose you’d then say, “Well, bless his soul, what a kindly old fool patriot he was to forgo billions that he could have pocketed.”

Don’t pin it all on “right-wingers”, please. That’s old and tired and false. The fact is that “wings” in the US government are more of the same type of faux drama and dumb show that airport security falls into. It’s just that “airport security” happens right in front of us, and the machinations of government are pretty well cloaked, for the most part.

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ETpro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central There are all sorts of things that go into being a big financial success. Drive and initiative are part of that, and those you probably learn either from your parents if you are lucky in the birth lottery, or from the school of hard knocks if you pay attention in class. But being born into wealth makes it far easier. Being sent to the nation;s top fprivate schools and having a dad and granddad who went to an Ivy League school so you get in on family preference helps. Being born with an IQ of 170 is a great asset. It’s not something all 320 million Americans can manage to do. Most of it, in fact, is not even in their power to control. And what dowes an Ayn Rand Gospel of Greed society work like. How many people get to the top when 320 million all play king of the mountain and play it with the ruthlessness of a Rupert Murdoch? How many end up crushed? Is that the world we want? I don’t.

Our great grandfathers learned in the late 19th and early 20th century what unfettered laissez-faire capitalism produces. We lurched from one depression to another with the final one occcurring in 1929. The wealthy and well connected ran roughshod over people. THey built monopolies and manipulated markets and ran insider scams and self dealing to the point nobody could trust investing in anything.

Our grandfathers and fathers learned under FDR that a society that regulates business and keeps it playing clean, a society that takes care of its weakest while amply rewarding its best and brighest, works best for us all.

But sadly too many in this generation have forgotten all those lessons of history. We went back to Laissez-faire dogma under Reagan and got 2 savings and loan crises that required taxpayer bailouts. We got Michael Miliken and the Junk Bond scams. We got the corporate takeover rush, with LBOs being financed by looting pension funds, and the buyout artists hitting the golden parachute just before the debt service collapsed the corporation. Jobs flew off-shorre for the first time since the Great Depression.

Then we further gutted regulation under Bush Jr. and we got Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Adelphia and Arthur Andersen imploding. We got the mortgage scams and runaway real-estate bubble, with nearly $200 trillion in garbage derivative securities stacked atop it. And still, we have the Ayn Rand accolates who want yet another lesson in why Greed isn’t Good.

@CWOTUS Murdoch actually has had a great deal to do with putting the system he works in place. He is a big provider of funding of far-right think tanks and PR firms, and his media empire has let him preach the Gospel of Greed in subtly crafted terms that average working class dupes will swallow hook, line and sinker. Most of them never realize he is pushing them to have themselves financially raped and pillaged for the benefit of folks in his wealth bracket.

Dutchess_III's avatar

ya. what et said.

So, do you think things are slowly getting better, or are we continuing the decline @ETpro?

ETpro's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think we are going to see a major shift in political forces and the national meme. This budget fight has not gone well for the Tea Party branch of the Republican Party. I think it may split the party into two—one that’s committed to the far-right ideology and plays every round “My way or the highway.” The other that provides a place for the moderates and less ideologically extreme, that are pro business but not sold on Ayn Rand objectivism(Ayn_Rand). I think ALEC overreached. But if ALEC’s voter suppression attempts now going on in 40 states. Hopefully, the Justice Dept. will find some of them violate the law. But even if they all stand, I don’t think it’s going to be enough far-right electioneering to save them after this threat to force the US into default if taxes are raised on even one millionaire.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just read Atlas Shrugged…

To me…there is almost a spirit among the Republicans of opposing Obama just on some crazy principal. Even if he has a great plan, the Republicans are going to create trouble around it, just because of who he is. (He’s Hawaiian and all, you know!) They don’t seem to give a rats ass about hurting this country, as long as they can make trouble for the man. Or maybe I’m just imagining things. IDK.

ETpro's avatar

@Dutchess_III Senator McConnell said it quite clearly when Obama irst took ofice. His number One priority was making sure Obama was a 1-tern president. Massive unemployment. A glut of foreclosed homes. Virtually no growth in the GDP.. Two unfinished wars and soaring debt. None of that mattered to McConnell. His every action was to undermine Obama any way he could so the American People would blame Obama for the bad times and give the presidency back to Republicans. That’s why the filibusterer has been used in a record smashing fashion since Obama took office. The GOP will stop any effort to revive the economy or do anything else wothwhile. They think they can blame Democrats for the lousy economy Bush created and they worked tirelessly to make worse.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ETpro The GOP will stop any effort to revive the economy or do anything else wothwhile.[sic] They think they can blame Democrats for the lousy economy Bush created and they worked tirelessly to make worse. That is kind of a Bozo strategy, don’t you think? Say they succeed in making Obama look like a feckless buffoon and is voted out. If the GOP ruin the economy so bad and put it in a deep hole you could swallow up the Space Needle in, when they hand it over to their man, how do they think he/she is going to clean all that up in four years? They would look no better than Obama unless they had one hell of a master plan, and they never had one up to now, so why believe they will have any then.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They look horrible @Hypocrisy_Central. They think they’re fooling us, though. They live in a world where they expect praise and worship and ignore those who don’t offer it. You could have 50 people criticizing them and 1 praising them. They will ignore the 50 and post the one person’s comments on the front page.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Yeah, what the hell. Republicans have been preaching that philosophy since the Gilded Age.

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