The Case For Wealth

by Dual Income No Kids on June 7, 2007 · 0 comments

At last count, there were over 71 million blogs. Many of these are devoted to topics like real estate, personal finance and investing. That is, there are hundreds of thousands if not more people writing about, money, wealth and everything that has to do with it. This leads one to ask: Why should one put time and energy into obtaining money? Aside from needing currency to pay for basic things like housing and food, there some compelling intangible reasons to acquire wealth.

Power: For all its advantages, America is inherently an unequal place. Some people live in better neighborhoods than others; some people have better jobs than others. Some have arrest powers; some have positions which allow them to make laws. Others are disproportionately subject to those laws. Power is inherently unequal in America. Acquiring wealth allows one to obtain power. For example, if you are wrongly arrested or cheated by a company, you have the option to sue for redress if you can afford it. The main point here is that having money gives you power. Power in the sense that one is less subjected to the whims of unequal economic, racial and political arrangements.

Options. Having money generally increases the amount of options available to you. For example, let’s say you need to sell your house, but there is a problem with the roof. If you have enough money, you could fix the roof, thus commanding a higher price for your home. If you don’t have the money you’d be forced to borrow or accept a lesser price for your house. Similarly, if your kids aren’t doing well in school, you could hire a tutor to help them. If you don’t have the cash, your kid is out of luck. In both these cases, without wealth your options are far more limited.

Benchmarking. Many people find this idea somewhat distasteful, but society often judges one based on how much money one has. Think about popular board games like Monopoly@, Life@, or TV shows like “Who wants to be a millionaire” or “Lifestyles of the rich and famous” and the national obsession with getting a bigger house or better automobile. People inherently judge you based on how much wealth you have. And like it or not, you’ll be subjected to the consequences of their judgement. This is why many people don’t talk about money and many people act like they have it.

Finally, if you want a degree of security, a reasonable set of life options and the positive regard of your peers, it pays to put some time into making money.

Best,

James

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