Thursday, August 16, 2012

Money As A Measure of Individual Value

Money is a great development to humanity.

Humanity by nature is extremely judgmental and money at least is not personal. Utilizing money and wealth as a criteria for human judgement eliminates prejudices based on skin color, religion, geography, gender and this is a great thing. In our modern world, money trumps all else in terms of valuing people's worth and is a wonderful comparative tool such that we can individually get a sense of our worth and our placement in society.

Where this personal valuation has gone awry however is in terms of the origin of one's individual wealth. The mere possession of money has come to supersede the means of accumulating it. In our modern world any single person can accumulate wealth with no regard to the impact one makes on other individuals or society. The worst aspect of our current system though, is that one can accumulate wealth at the expense of others.

In my eyes, accumulation of wealth at the expense of others is not wealth that should be judged as valuable or honorable. I suggest, that wealth that is accumulated without adding value to individuals or society should be shunned and per my initial point regarding human judgment, should actually be judged as negative.

The effect of this negative label would be to encourage individual wealth-building as a result of benefiting a wider group of persons. It would also serve to keep those who have amassed their fortunes in a less than savory manner from having personal influence or access to broader political, business or social institutions.

Unsavory then becomes the criteria for valuation at this stage. Unsavory needs to defined as wealth-accumulation that derives from 1) illegal actions, 2) curtailing production, 3) reducing societal economic conditions or 4) detracting from the human condition. Recent examples of each would be as follows: 1) Bernie Madoff's 25 years of fraud, 2) stock market speculation, 3) Wall Streets debt mortgage products and 4) pornography. This is just a quick list.

Let me state clearly that anyone is still free to amass as large a fortune as they may want.

Ethics though need to be re instituted into wealth-building such that the amount of money that one accumulates is proportionate to that contribution that is made throughout that process.