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On Huge Wealth, Greed, Temptations, And Good Causes

26 July 2014 @ 18:45

Frequent TOM commentator RKae and I just had a little back-and-forth in a post by Stacy McCain that I would like to read your thoughts on…

RKAE:

…Greed? Well, responsible people put some money aside; but if you have 50 billion and you’re still trying to make more, that’s when you’re losing God….

BOB:

…Indeed, you are more than likely, at that point, starting to lose God because of the corrupting Temptations such seemingly unending amounts of wealth bring about naturally.

But, that should not stop one from continuing to accumulate wealth if one dedicates oneself to truly good causes – in other words: starts a determined program to give a lot of it away.

The key is for it not to be given to causes [ala Bill and Melinda Gates] that ultimately seek to destroy Western Civilization.

RKAE:

I don’t think a person can play ANY game with that much money and not break things. Charities become dogma and worse-than-welfare machines.

And I stand by the notion that no one can acquire a billion dollars in the first place without playing completely evil games with pretend money and interest – civilization-damaging tools.

What say you?

10 Comments
  1. 26 July 2014 @ 23:21 23:21

    I’d love to test this little theory of yours… …could you spare a few billion bit coin so I could find out?

  2. 26 July 2014 @ 23:26 23:26

    How much is too much and who gets to decide that? I think how someone answers that question says everything about where they stand on the question of liberty and individual responsibility.

    • 27 July 2014 @ 02:09 02:09

      Well, we’ve had plenty of trial and error with civilization building, and I’d say that monogamy has been a brilliant civilizing tool. It leads to the stop of women being property and forces moderation on those who think their lack of moderation is some sort of mark of their greatness.

      In many cases, we can impose moderation through law, and I wouldn’t call it oppression. Our law is constantly using the term “reasonable.” Guilt/innocence is always based on “reasonable doubt.” We actually have a lot of experience with basing laws on “what a reasonable person would expect or allow.”

      In every society, SOMEONE is going to be told, “No, you may not do that.” There’s no reason to claim “liberty” for every single thing every single person wants to do.

      Total liberty is Sodom & Gomorrah. Not a good thing.

      Profanity/pornography: we USED TO have a damned good handle on how to make a reasonably clean public forum. (See the old “Bob Newhart Show” sometime. People used to have more to talk about than sex. No one was oppressed because certain words were kept off of television. It’s hyperbole to call that oppression.). But a few rotten apples just had to scream, “I want to do a show about [fill in the blank with something untoward].” And it wasn’t enough for them to do their project on the fringe. No, they had to put it in the main public forum. They should have been told to go peddle it at the dirty book store out by the airport.

      It’s actually pretty simple to keep an orderly society. A-G is allowed. H-L is available at the porn shop. M-Z is forbidden. Yes, people who sell M will always complain that L is available while M is forbidden. So what? Tell them to shut up and settle in with what’s legal.

      • 27 July 2014 @ 12:17 12:17

        Then how much is too much? A billion? A million? A hundred thousand? Ten thousand? Who decides the figure and how do you ensure that no one makes “too much”?

        • 27 July 2014 @ 13:24 13:24

          Seems like a certain person in a high place of authority said the same thing a while back. Seems like he also said that “You didn’t build that.”

        • 28 July 2014 @ 08:09 08:09

          That’s partly what I’m thinking about this subject. The thing is that you can make the argument that obscene wealth and consumption is immoral, but you need to *persuade* people to engage in what you think is moral behavior. If you mandate it, people will respond in the same way they always respond to prohibitions in a nation which values individual liberty.

  3. David R. Graham permalink
    27 July 2014 @ 00:57 00:57

    Treasure on earth (i.e., delusion) is transitory. It comes to those who have it coming to them and does not to those who do not. For both, it is transitory. “Sic transit … etc.” Treasure in reality is self-confidence, self-satisfaction and self-sacrifice. Those are permanent. Treasure is what God wants of one that one actually does, by God’s Grace. Nothing else is worth time, energy or money.

  4. 27 July 2014 @ 01:13 01:13

    There was a heated discussion about this very subject in the comments section of an article I was reading about something close to my heart…or liver as it may be. The article was discussing the cost of a brand new treatment for Hepatitis C. The new drug costs about $1,000 bucks a pill.

    The CEO of the company said the cost was worth it for the life saving treatment and the cost of the R&D that went into it. That was bad PR in my opinion.

    There was a lot of back and forth about how the drug company was taking advantage of it’s patent and how insurance companies were turning down patients because of the cost, including Medicaid.

    A whole olt of people were excoriating the drug company for the high cost, but just as many were taking the side of the drug company.

    What it comes down to is are we a free market/capitalist society or aren’t we?

    Soon enough, that drug company will have competition and the price will come down. Plus the company also has programs for people who can’t afford the medication. In other words, they will give it to some people for free.

    • rkae permalink
      27 July 2014 @ 02:13 02:13

      But even in a free market there is such a thing and tarring and feathering a swindler. Modern pharmaceutical companies fit that description, in my opinion.

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