There’s a small, but very prominent group of individuals in our society who view money as the end, not the means.
Long after all of their monetary needs and desires were met, they continue their pursuit of more, more, more. Somewhere along the way these individuals completely lost (or chose to ignore) the knowledge that there are diminishing returns to their continued relentless drive for higher net worth.
Sadly, nothing can break them from their sickness. Any poor soul who stands in the way of them adding to their secured-cloud vault stockpiles hovering somewhere over the Bahamas (or Panama) is the enemy. These individuals will spend tens, sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars just to eliminate the slightest perceived opposition to them hoarding even larger sums of cash.
Usually the wreckage is not just limited to their perceived rivals. It can include relationships with friends, family, co-workers, and employees, the environment, politicians with a moral compass, taxpayers, their community, and even society as a whole.
Somehow this greed and gluttony to amass useless wealth became acceptable, even admirable to many. I see it as anything but. And it reminds me of this quote:
“Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshiped.”
That excellent nugget of wisdom is brought to you by America’s 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, circa 1928. And it’s just as relevant now as it was then.
If money isn’t used as a tool to make this world a better place for others and for yourself (without being at the expense of others), then what’s the point of its pursuit?
This is an important topic that far too few people have thought about. Money is just a tool and should be used as such to achieve goals inline with personal priorities. Thanks for calling it out.
Great blog post – best post I’ve read here – and there are many good ones. All the best,
Flattery will get you everywhere.
I don’t support this behavior obviously, but here is one person’s explanation:
That’s a long read. Can you summarize?
I actually don’t think I can because I don’t exactly have this mentality nor do I have friends that do. BUT I try my best to acknowledge and see why these people think this way so here’s my best attempt:
Luxury goods have a purpose beyond just their practical purposes: it’s a way to display to others that you have money to burn. Let’s say you are a male trying to attract females through money (bad idea in my opinion). It’s not good enough to only have money, you must display it to her with your big house/Lamborghini/etc. For females it’s to advertise your wealth to “friends”. You’re familiar with 50,000+ weddings right? It’s a display of how popular she is, how well to do they are and will be, etc. Maybe this is to impress her friends to show she “made it”. Maybe it’s to impress her parents to show she is independent. Some people live only for the opinions of others, even if they hate them. It’s a human need to feel “accepted”
So, it’s basically modern day cavemen trying to woo cavewomen with the size of the kill they bring home (even if it’s an elephant and most of it will completely go to waste)?
Such an excellent post Mr. Miller. I am so impressed by your blog and have followed it for a couple of years…you provide a great service to your young peers providing pragmatic tactical knowledge. I was pleased to see this sentiment shared as well.
There are trade-offs to having wealth, no question.