5
   

Is the love of money the root of all evil?

 
 
snood
 
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 07:46 am
I apologize that this is a little long, but I needed a lot of words to get my point across.

Here’s a quote…

”they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”


That’s where I first heard the idea – The Holy Bible, in 1 Timothy 6: 9-10… that money, or specifically the love of money, is the source of all evil.

As I sit writing this today it is an idea that seems axiomatic. But, since the word “axiomatic” connotes “unquestionable”, let’s question it a little bit.

There is a discussion that is ongoing in the United States right now about income and income tax equity; about the unfairness that has been built into our system that favors the rich and penalizes the working class. And underneath the discussion, there is a question worth asking that is being begged – Why should money that is earned (for instance) from the investments made by a “blind trust” be taxed at a far lesser rate than money that is (for instance) earned by someone who empties bedpans and cares for the aged for a living at a nursing home?

It is oversimplified to say that the reason for the intractability of these problems is the avarice of the “haves”, but although that may not be the entire truth, I say it is the greater part of it.

The rotten, corrupt and crazy worship of wealth affects every part of our society, and I’ll try to illustrate a few ways this is true.

When Shaquille O’Neal began his professional basketball career and received what at the time was one of the most lucrative contracts ever, I had an argument with a fellow soldier I was serving with in San Antonio at the time. I had recently met “the Big Aristotle”, and I was arguing that the young man would ultimately profit as a person more if he completed his education first. I frankly found him to be an alarmingly shallow individual, and I was trying to make the case that there would be more real value for him in the long run in becoming comfortable with reading a book than in driving a gold plated SUV. My opponent made a comment I have never forgotten:
“He don’t need to read – he can hire people to read to him (insert scoffing chortle here)!”

I have sat in the pews of a church and listened to a pastor preach the “gospel of prosperity” which seems to me to basically be that gain equals godliness. I’ll never forget one sermon in which the pastor made the case that if you are content for example, with driving a “Rent-a-Wreck” car, then your father in heaven would not reserve the best mansions in heaven for you.
Get this clear, because I’m not making this up. The pastor was making the blatant statement that there are better and worse neighborhoods in heaven, according to what level of wealth you were able to accumulate here on earth (There was a case consequently made that you could of course increase your chances of gaining wealth by giving to the church in the correct apportions, but that’s a separate abominable meme from what I’m discussing here).

It took seven years for our government to pass legislation that allowed the people who were injured because they rushed into the burning and crumbling buildings of the World Trade Center to receive special financial aid for their health care. That is unfair on the face of it, to the point of insanity.

Because our Supreme Court ruled relatively recently that money can be construed as free speech, and that corporations can be construed as people, our politicians can simply be bought more openly than ever, and we can’t even know who is buying who.

I have participated in and seen several discussions over the years in which one side will defend a morally questionable person on the basis of their wealth. The discussions go something like this: First person - “So and so is bad and does questionable things, and is perpetuating an evil practice! Second person – “Well they are sure making a lot of money at it so they must be doing something right!” (???) Whether we’re talking about gangsters or entertainers or politicians or ministers, it makes me shake my head, dumbfounded.

It’s no revelation to anyone who has talked to me that I’m an unapologetically liberal-leaning person in my social and fiscal views. There is an old, snarky saying that a conservative is just a liberal that has been mugged.

Well, I’ve been mugged, but I will never understand the upside down thinking that seems to characterize those who think it’s okay and even desirable not only to not raise taxes on the rich, but even to decrease their tax burden in favor of the great benefit that will do the rest of us. About 400 individual rich people now have more wealth than half of all Americans combined. That’s 400 people that have more than 155 billion people.

Speak your mind, true believers. Is love of money at the root of all the evil in the world? Is the inequity in our economic system a hideously unfair situation that needs correction, or simply the way healthy capitalism works? Do we as a people hold too much value in the owning of wealth? Wha’dya think?
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 08:04 am
It bothers me more that there is inequality in our local school districts and access to medical and dental healthcare in this country, than in economic status of its citizens.

We have put obstacles in the way of equal opportunity in this country.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 08:32 am
Correction:
In my launch post, it should read "400 people have more wealth than 155 million (not billion) people"

-Thanks to Frank A., for finding my outlandish math error.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 09:02 am
@snood,
No need to apologize snood. Good points all.

I think everyone needs to realize having money doesn't make one good or bad.
It is the how and why of accumulation that ends up being the issue. Bill Gates didn't start Microsoft to become a billionaire. Nor is he using the company to enrich himself at this point. We don't know why Bain Capitol was started but we can suspect that it was to enrich the investors. Whether that is true or not, we don't know for sure but the desire to pay less in taxes, while being fabuously wealthy, points to greed.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 09:05 am
There are two roots of evil, in my book. The love of money (and power) and bedrock fundamentalism. Both are tearing the nation apart just now.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 09:43 am
@snood,
Hey Snood.

There was a time where I was pretty certain the love of money WAS the root of all evil.

But since listening to the Republican primary debates, I think the word "all" is probably excessive.

The love of money certainly is the root of a whole shitload of evil...but apparently not all.

Good thread.
0 Replies
 
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 10:12 am
@snood,
Great points all, Snood.

I would suggest that it's not money that's the root of all evil, but rather people's greed that's the heart of it. Money is just a handy tool for people to indulge their greed.

Lately I've heard quite a bit of grandstanding in the news and media about people demanding equality, demanding that the playing field be leveled. In theory that sounds fantastic. In practice, I fear that not a single one of those people would hold to that doctrine if presented with the chance to join the ranks of the 1%.

Our country was founded on the beliefs that we all have the rights to pursue our own dreams, our own goals, and better lives for our families. What person anywhere would turn aside $5,000,000 if it were offered to them? Now add the stipulation: "If you take this money, it means that 2 other people out there will never earn over six figures a year." How easy is it to then rationalize "Well, they probably wouldn't anyway . . . and I can use this money to help people!"

See the trap?

Taking money out of it, let's say it's food. How many groceries do we buy that winds up spoiling? How many fridges out there have milk that's gone bad in it? Or that bunch of asparagus that we just didn't get to? We don't buy the groceries we do necessarily because we 'need' them, but rather because they would make our lives more comfortable to 'have' them.

There's greed there too.

Same with collectibles. Same with Music. Same with Art. Same with (name a possession that you hold dear).

I ramble, but long story short, money can be a tool of 'evil', but the basic human nature that allows greed to flourish is at the root of it.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 04:08 pm
I think generalities on any issue is a mistake. Money is not always evil; many charities exist by people donating their money.

We have allowed by our votes to elect people who have created this un-level playing field called income. It's not only greed, but the board of directors and the CEO's and Officers of companies that have influenced their pay to the top while ignoring the average worker. The results are obvious; during the past decade, most middle class workers have barely kept up with inflation (or lost ground) while the CEO's and Officers increased their pay and benefits a hundred-fold.

OWS hasn't been successful in their message, because the transfer of wealth still goes to the top, and our government continues to favor their income over the middle class workers. The tax code is proof, and Obama's extension of GW Bush's tax cuts only proves that our government has been broken too long.

Nothing will change; CEO's and Officers are not going to demand that their pay and benefits be cut to spread the wealth to all the workers.

The banks that were bailed out by TARP, and cheap money, speculate with that money to earn more, and charge their customers atrocious fees while paying no interest on their money.

It's been going on for too long for this trend to change any time soon.

Our elected officials always favor Wall Street over Main Street, and their rhetoric only disguise what they have been doing for over 30 years.

parados
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 05:03 pm
@cicerone imposter,
The quote is "love of money" CI.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 05:58 pm
@parados,
Okay, the love of money. My post stands as is.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 06:30 pm
@snood,
Evil seems to me a by word having to do with Satan, and thus God.
A blame word.
A descriptive word.

I've read a lot over many years and I don't ascribe human behaviors I don't wish to describe to some word like "evil".

That's an adjective, and that's too easy.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 08:58 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

Evil seems to me a by word having to do with Satan, and thus God.
A blame word.
A descriptive word.

I've read a lot over many years and I don't ascribe human behaviors I don't wish to describe to some word like "evil".

That's an adjective, and that's too easy.


If I named the thread "Is the love of money the cause of a majority of harmful, negative ****?", would it have been more conducive to your responding to the asked question?
0 Replies
 
babsatamelia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jan, 2012 12:15 am
@snood,
I agree that "having money" alone is not such a problem. Where the soul is
truly endangered is when GREED and ENVY rear their heads in our lives.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Dollar circulation map - Discussion by gungasnake
Who Deserves to Be on Money, But Isn't - Discussion by Brandon9000
The future of money - Question by Cyracuz
HOW TO GET WEALTHY - Discussion by farmerman
$100 B series 1950 - Question by Carl W Vincent
What is remittance? - Question by MaxAndrew
The War and America's Tax Money - Discussion by edgarblythe
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Is the love of money the root of all evil?
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 02/23/2024 at 01:47:24