Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is there such a thing as too much money? Not for me.

If had earned a lot of money, practically unlimited amount to spend, here is what I would buy:

  1. An ice skating rink, all to myself.

  2. A beautiful house with a huge garden which I would design myself, with a lake, small river, lots of flowers, statues and hidden gardens where I could just sit by myself and think, read a book or have an interesting conversation. The house would have huge windows compromising no privacy since the house would be relatively secluded.

  3. Then, I would have an airplane. Why? Because it's darn nice to be able to fly to anywhere in the world, to visit a great restaurant, or shop for clothes at a great designer store abroad. Which brings me to number 4:

  4. Lots of clothes. I love shopping, I love clothes that emphasize the figure, can't get enough till I get enough. So shopping would be a great side activity, whenever the mood strikes.

  5. A good studio for my art.

  6. An art gallery where I would put up all my favorite works of art which I would collect.

  7. Restaurants and food. I can admire a good meal, and would gladly admire more of them.

  8. Some cool personal flying machine, whatever exists.

  9. A very powerful computer or two.

  10. It's hard to believe but I am running out of things. I would contribute to research that I think would come up with cool new technologies or medical products. I would also contribute to the Ayn Rand institute.

  11. Buy great presents for my family and friends. I would get my little brother a decent private tutor who would educate him correctly, unlike the crap he has to go through at school.

  12. All the music I want, and my private dance studio.

  13. A huge room full of small lamps and elegant decorations for ball dancing parties which I would throw sometimes.

  14. OK, I guess I would also require a car, with a driver. I don't think I will have a servant though, I like getting my own stuff and not having a stranger in my house.


OK, I can't think of more things, but given more time I'm sure I'd come up with them. Point is, money can provide a lot of pleasure, a lot of ways to enjoy yourself and express yourself.

Money also has to be earned to be enjoyed - earned by productive work (unlike just a boring job or just getting the money without doing anything to earn it).


6 comments:

  1. I forgot a flight to space, an underwater apartment in an exotic sea and for my land home - a rather big (though not huge) aquarium of exotic fish. In fact, maybe it will be huge so that I can go diving in it. Ooh yeah..

    See, I told you I can always come up with more.

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  2. Well, I just realized only your latest post was analytical in nature - others seem to be actually personal.

    Anyway, reading about the reason you offered for not having a servant made me curious of one thing. Do you believe to be someone's servant is against human dignity? Meaning, the moment one has a servant, the other becomes the master. This in turn results in the servant subordinating his/her 'value of existence' to their master's. My perception could be built because of how things in India stand, where domestic helps (servants) are perceived to be inferior to their masters. I do not know if same is the case where you live (the US, I presume). The second thing I feel wrong about having a servant is our asking someone to do a job for us, which we ourselves would not do for the money we are offering. For instance, if you pay amount 'x' for doing a job, and the other person agrees to do it, it means you fundamentally feel you would not do the same job for amount x. Because had you been alright with doing that job for x, you would have anyway done it yourself, because by doing that job yourself you would be saving x, which is as good as earning x and asking someone else to do it. So, I feel whenever we ask someone to work specifically for us despite our possessing the requisite expertise, we are asking them to work for a price at which we ourselves would not do the same work! Is this fair? This is not a rhetorical question, but am genuinely curious, as I have been thinking a lot about the nebulous concept of ownership and what one 'deserves' to own.

    I think, whenever one agrees to be someone else's servant, they do it not because they or the one who pay them feel that it is the right price to pay, but because of former's unfavorable financial condition.

    I too have read The Fountainhead and Atlas shrugged, and have been deeply impressed by various aspects of the stories, including the philosophy contained. One thing that I could never find a convincing answer to (reading the two novels) is the ethicality of inheritance. Do you think one inheriting 'deserve' what they inherit, considering they themselves would have never worked towards it? Again, this issue is deeply related to that of ownership.

    Wish you get what all you want. :)

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  3. "Do you believe to be someone's servant is against human dignity?"

    No.

    "The second thing I feel wrong about having a servant is our asking someone to do a job for us, which we ourselves would not do for the money we are offering"
    There is nothing wrong with it. I would pay money to get a TV I do not wish to spend my time building, pay a taxi driver even though I don't want to be one, buy tomatoes even though I don't want to be a farmer etc'. Each person chooses what is a value to them - that depends on their lives, goals, talents, abilities etc'.
    Thank goodness we are different, it would be awfully boring if everyone had the same productive interests!
    Being a servant is no different. some people like it, or it fits their lifestyle - good for them.

    I don't think there is anything inherit in serving someone that requires giving up one's system of values. Everyone has to deal with other people's feelings and desires and make a choice if they want to spend their lives pleasing others to get what they want or stick by the principles they see as right and make it in life that way. Even a wealthy employee can encounter a case in which the boss would like him more if he had certain political views... the position of being a subordinate doesn't force anyone into compromising their views or values.

    If I need to struggle to make money and because of that I am willing to accept jobs I would not otherwise prefer, that is nobody's problem but my own, whatever I get is "fair" because it is under agreement of both sides and serves both sides. No one is born with the right to have it easy...

    As for inheritance - I think that while one deserves the money legally, to really become worthy of the money one needs to do some productive activity. Having more money than what one produced is a nice bonus but one must justify it by a productive lifestyle. If one is a bum then one does not deserve the money in the spiritual sense (though he does in the legal sense). To deserve money one must respect the meaning of money - which is a translation of wealth, of human ingenuity and productivity.

    Productive activity is a virtue and a psychological need. For details see http://wbx.me/l/?u=http://ifat-glassman.blogspot.com/2009/11/work-games-and-self-esteem.html. (And also Ayn Rand's money speech from Atlas Shrugged.

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  4. This post for some reason surprises me about you, Ifat. I don't really know why as I don't really know you. I DO think there is such a thing as too much money, don't get me wrong, I'd love to have that problem. I agree, money can provide a lot of pleasure but I disagree that money has to be earned to be enjoyed. To be able to buy the types of things listed in your original post you would need the type of money that couldn't be earned in the traditional meaning. Do you feel Bill Gates earned his money? Phil Knight? These men have accumulated mass wealth...but are they earning it? Are they deserving it? One could say they simply have there servants working to make them more.

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  5. Yes, they most certainly deserve the money they have. I am especially grateful for Bill Gates for the unmeasurable value he brought to my life.

    How do you measure if someone deserves what they have?
    Money in a free society is the gauge of wealth. If someone manages to make a fortune it is a sign that they have provided incredible value to many people. Making money takes thinking, effort, creativity and so on.

    Do you think they don't deserve it? If so - how do you measure "deserve" - how does anyone deserve anything material?

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  6. I am certain that a man must be productive in order to be happy and to enjoy their money.

    I've seen it in myself and in others as well.

    We are thinking creatures though we have the ability to procrastinate, not use our ability and then we sink into decay.

    But creating something, using your mind to create something good is one of the greatest feelings there are - and it is essential for self-esteem.

    To illustrate my point, you can also read:
    http://ifat-glassman.blogspot.com/2009/11/work-games-and-self-esteem.html

    Nice to have a conversation outside Facebook, by the way. I'm glad you like the blog and decided to read. :)

    ReplyDelete

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