We know that money often doesn’t make a person happy. In fact, many of the very wealthy (people completely worry free about how much anything costs now or ever) are quite miserable.
What happens when personal wealth is so great that there’s literally nothing out there that we don’t already own several of? What gets us out of bed in the morning when there’s no challenge, no sense of purpose or nothing new to look forward to because we’ve done it all a hundred times?
Sadly, the one thing that truly gets the juices going is to feel the jealousy/resentment/envy from all who covet what they don’t have. Our desire for another or a bigger or a more luxurious anything is only to place it out there for others to see and want. Even more unpalatable, if & when others do try to develop ways to acquire the things we have, our misery manifests itself by manipulating the system to prevent them from getting it.
Recommended Viewing: History Channel – The Men who Built America – a series about the lives of industrial giants and bankers like John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnagie and JP Morgan. Who they were, what they did and why they were driven to do it.
Political rhetoric is valueless. Hardly any talk of importance at all but if we really listen, every now and then we’ll hear whispers of things like… there’s a difference between venture and vulture investments – about making a profit in the name of capitalism regardless of ethics isn’t capitalism – that allowing the letter of the law to trump the spirit of the law is to our detriment. These are nuances to be sure but they and others like them distinguish capitalism from cronyism… they help define the line between a free competitive marketplace and a corrupted system that replaces honest individual gain earned through talent and effort with unimaginable contrasts in wealth created through insider (non-market) advantages. It’s in these cultural nuances where we fail ourselves and it’s a large part of government running amok.
All day long we read about & hear people senselessly bashing each other over being Democrat or Republican/Liberal or Conservative. For whatever reasons, our behavior displays hateful expression that serves only to both polarize and paralyze us. It keeps our focus on the nonsense instead of where it needs to be – and it puts the lambs (us) exactly where the wolves want them to be.
We need to see through this nonsense and recognize we have abandoned constitutional practices that helped make us the envy of the world. We can’t be willing to trade what we were (what we could be again) for the mediocrity that stagnates the rest of the planet. Our notion of financial fairness must pertain to opportunities but not results and never demonize success yet mandate that personal gain be tempered with what’s possible via honesty, ethics, morality and uncorrupted law/legislators. When we held to these things (or at least tried to) we led the world by every imaginable measure. As we stray from them (either by ignorance, corruption or just lack of trying) we become the world’s equal.