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Why do people worship wealth and the wealthy

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posted on Aug, 25 2013 @ 06:16 PM
I think our young are virtually groomed by the media to worship celebrity wealth and the shallowness that has produced the majority of it. As kids get older they become disillusioned because they have no way to aspire to the luxurious lifestyle celebrity can bring, so perhaps they live a fantasy-like adoration and satisfy themselves with their pet celebrity's life which they avidly follow in the media.

I do think that the gap is getting so far between the unskilled workers and the professionals and then onto the mega-rich that we are going to be in serious trouble.

People don't seem to worship the rich so much in this country but there has always been a feeling that being too rich is at the cost of others and somewhat uncool. In this case the industrialization period brought terrible living and working conditions with no workers rights yet very rich and often hard-nosed industrialists.

People went through a period of hope and improvement to their lot and life was on the up for most people. But now its crashing down and yet there rfe the wealthy even wealthier and many such as the financial sector are proven, unpunished criminals.

I think its the opposite to worshipping the wealthy and wealth itself that is happening now. If the financial markets collapse and the system with the banks fail, I don't doubt that the fear of loosing one's job or getting a bad credit rating, which are the blackmail of keeping the little workers beavering away for the wealthy, is going to come down with a rude, loud and nasty prang and then the safety bubble for the very rich, especially the bankers and our politicians and all those who worked to exploit the public, will be broken once and for all and they will face the music.

posted on Aug, 25 2013 @ 07:14 PM
reply to post by WhiteAlice

If that were the case, then why is it that the very people you list are constantly striving to increase their wealth through acquisitions, investments, or expansions? Whereas I agree that the relationship between money and power most definitely exists and may be a motivation, I think that it's too simplistic to say that those who have exorbitant sums of money are no longer in it for the money but power alone.

Well, what I said wasn't that money had no meaning but that it wasn't in any sense you and I know it. Money buys a dinner or for all but the very highest of the middle class in thinking, at least big ticket items like cars or appliances still mean something for saving a bit for. At their level and the Ultra-Wealthy? Billions? Well... How many yachts can one man water ski behind? It isn't wealth, but power at that point. Measure and means of projecting power.

I thought this was one of the defining moments in movie history for addressing this side of things. A bit dated for some and well remembered by many, I think. It's been consistent to how I think I see the world working at those rarefied levels we only glimpse, most of the time.

To make the point though, this is a board that I made up last year to explain compounding interest. As it happens, it's about how it compounds our national debt into silliness and nothing payable in a dozen lifetimes. However.......Plug 1 Billion into the chart there and refigure the outcome. The Rich don't need to do a thing. Literally...anything at all. They don't even need to get out of bed each day, beyond a certain point. The numbers compound and multiply all by themselves for pure generation of money, for it's own sake.

That's how people like Mayor Bloomberg increase wealth by multiple billion over a few year period at most. Compounding numbers are like magic or the most evil curse (Depending on the side of the ledger)...and remove wealth generation for motive of actions to the highest tiers, IMO.

posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 07:36 AM
People want less problems. Problems are fixed by money. Therefore people with money are the best people to be as they have least problems.

Worship? I think its more thinly veiled jealously.

posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 09:00 AM
reply to post by poet1b

The "power" and "control" that they are really seeking is emotional. They want to feel good. This is why some people turn to alcohol and worse substances. They believe that if they can control things so that they can always get what they want, then they will always be happy.

posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 12:14 PM
reply to post by poet1b

People worship and idolize cause it is a desire of the flesh. It is up to oneself to awake spiritually, and see things for what they are. It has been proven since the creation of man that we seek things in flesh, not in the Spirit.

It is like a curse, and to get rid of it, to really see and hear, let The Holy Spirit guide you. Seeking to see and hear with your spirit in patience, endurance, perseverance, self control and faith.

Of course the only way is to accept our Salvation from Christ, through The Almighty. It is a hard path to walk. Even the strong become weak, all because we are all still in flesh.

Spiritual knowledge is through One Source only. With that we shall sweep away which is not worth our spirits.
edit on 09/02/2012 by KaelemJames because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 01:30 PM
reply to post by wrabbit2000

You're forgetting one aspect and that is, as one's wealth incrementally goes up, it tends to have an effect on one's cost of living as well. My dad used to make close to $1 million a year. He had 11 cars, 5 of which he changed out every six months to minimize their mileage. He bought a 10k sq ft home that has an electricity bill of around $600 a month and requires 3 maids to clean. Spent $300 for dinner a few times a week for a party of two, sometimes for business (which he could expense) and sometimes for pleasure. My step mother would spend about $90k every year redecorating the house. Those are the basics. When I was working for him, I bought a $2200 couch made of Egyptian cotton (looked like silk) and a $900 chair made of Haitian cotton. When it came time to clean both, the cost of the cleaning tripled because of the rarity and delicateness of the fabric. My dad gave me a rare exotic breed of kitten and well, when I got her fixed, that caused twice the normal amount because the breed needed special anesthesia. It's all kind of stupid really because the number one thing that my dad always complained about was not having enough money.

The thing that I realized, growing up in that world, is that as one's income goes up and as one is capable of buying more unique things, those items almost always have an extra cost to them due to that uniqueness. That was for a family of millionaires. I had an $150 shower curtain when the highest range of shower curtain price is around $10k. It's kind of stupid but that's what happens so even a billionaire is going to have tremendous costs associated with their wealth in just the maintenance and upkeep of it. Some own islands. How many people do they pay to upkeep that island? And parties--well sometimes they can be millionaire dollar affairs at that level. So it's not just all about power. It's about the maintenance of wealth in the form of all of their possessions and properties, including those yachts. That stuff adds up and promotes that vicious cycle. For a billionaire, one could reasonably include additional costs such as a security detail, driver, and at least one personal assistant.

Now, you may get the rare wealthy individual that doesn't fall into this trap. I met quite a few rich friends of my dad's who drove old piles of junk pick up trucks, wore denim jeans and flannels. However, the kind of people that we're talking about--they aren't the junky pick up truck types. Had a friend who had dinner at the Gates' home who said it was intense in its excess and size. And probably maintenance costs, regular upkeep, utilities, and more.

Here's a few articles on the effects of almost an economy of scale in terms of incomes and their costs, though I disagree with the first one as Milner probably doesn't have a mortgage.

As an accountant, I do understand compounding interest though the rate is rather high. My grandfather had several million in investments and he'd receive about $30k a month in dividends (he was pretty close to the old pick up type but lived pretty simply and just bought two new cars every couple years). So yes, one can live off of the compounding interest if one chooses to and dependent on what one invests in. Most of the people at the very top don't because even they are competing with the Jones'.

posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 03:40 PM
reply to post by WhiteAlice

Well, the way you open, differentiates my outlook on the topic of the thread from what your presenting. At least, how I'm reading it.

A Million or even 20 million isn't wealthy in my view, for precisely what you note there. At 20 million? You're a few bad decisions from skid row and you're 1-2 years of no income at the accustomed lifestyle to losing everything. At 20 billion? Well, the man could buy the place a millionaire owns and considers the pinnacle of a life's achievement...and not even ask the accountant how much the misc. costs came to.

I figure we're middle class when going from week to week or month to month is life. It's lower class into poverty when that is day to day.

Wealth, I believe, starts at the point where every moderately bad and stupid decision you could possibly make (moderate) will still take months of bleeding money from it to bother or feel much.

TRUE wealth? Bloomberg and Soros Wealth? When your net worth literally exceeds the annual GDP of over 1/3rd of the world's nation's? Year to year or decade to decade replaces our concept of week to week ...if they even think that much about it, and don't just hire a staffer to do that thinking for them.

When a man can pay off the standing debt of multiple U.S. States....with a personal check...and NOT feel pain? Money is beyond something they see or understand as the same thing we do.

In my thinking, an apt comparison would be eating a huge Holiday dinner. We have plenty....a feast, no less! So, a biscuit or roll tossed after touching the floor won't matter. In fact, several slices of Ham or Turkey can get thrown for the same reason and no one will notice, let alone shriek in horror at the waste. In OUR world, it isn't waste for that moment. It's crumbs from a mountain and nothing to be missed or thought much about.

To the man across town, homeless and hungry? What we call waste from that Holiday dinner would not only have stuffed him but made a significant difference to his quality of life and general well being for at least the day, if not a few to follow....

Hence...Like you say, in a way. No matter how much you get, it's not rich when you're the one holding it ...but there is a point where no one alive can say it's anything but obscenely rich. Below that? We're all the same, IMO.

posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 04:12 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

What I was trying to point out is that, as personal income and wealth increases so do one's expenses. They are frequently directly correlated. The lifestyle of my father was dramatically different from the majority of the US despite him being a multimillionaire. As the income and accumulated wealth increases, so do the expenses. The costs of a party would be an example. For a typical middle class individual, that could be anywhere between $150 to $400 depending on what was served. For my dad as multimillionaire, a party would cost around $1300-2000. For a billionaire, a party may cost $1 million dollars. Nowhere did I mention day to day living as I was offering a comparison that I experienced personally that was already well outside the probable norm that the majority of posters on this forum are in what the difference is between a multimillionaire and themselves.

The world's richest billionaire, Carlos Slim, has $73 billion. Saying that he has the ability to pay off the debts for a few states without feeling the pinch is kind of misleading. Bill Gates comes in at second with $67 billion. Sure they could probably individually pay off a few states with the lowest of debts without feeling much pain like Wyoming. Vermont, North Dakota, and Idaho. However, that would diminish their wealthy by almost a full third (around $18.7 billion). They'd probably feel the pinch as much of their fortune would most likely be tied up in stocks, bonds and other investments. And Slim is Mexican.

Not a fan of comparing their wealth to the 1/3 of the countries in the world's GDPs if you're stating that on an individual basis. 1/3 of the countries in the world would be roughly 65 countries. In ranking by GDP, it'd be 130 and below. Just the countries numbering from 130 through 135 surpass Carlos Slim's total wealth by $2 billion. So, if you're stating one person having that a wealth that surpasses 1/3 of the countries in the world's GDPs, that's factually incorrect.

posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 06:18 PM
reply to post by WhiteAlice

I'm sorry if you took my reply as nitpicking your response. It wasn't meant to be more than discussion.

You hadn't mentioned day to day. Nothing remotely like it. I mentioned it in clarification to how I was using the concepts of Middle Class, Upper Middle and into the exceptionally wealthy.

I'm having a hard time finding any terminology or form of definition we can even use together to refer to the ultra-rich. What I bring up as a very general reference seems to have fatal flaws in one way or another.

So I'll just make it simple by saying 1%. Since I marched under the 99% banner, it's familiar, accurate and works. 1% is a fair term to use in describing the people who have more wealth than opposed to people who are wealthy in a conventional sense of personal wealth.

As we see people reaching levels SO far beyond anything even average to the upper levels of society, I think whole concepts and paradigms begin to shift and that's been the case for however long we care to look in the modern world.

Whatever choice of words or specifics of semantics we want to debate over... this is the level I actually do agree with the OP on. It's the ease with which people interchange the merely wealthy with the people holding nation-state wealth that caused me to reply on the thread at all.

posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 06:20 PM
it's called: greed

posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 07:08 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Perhaps where we can utterly agree on can be put into one simple question--does anybody really need to have a $10,000 shower curtain? The shower curtain represents the absurdity of that kind of embodies the lifestyles of that 1%.

When you compare it to say, the old man who sometimes sleeps in a shelter and sometimes on the ground outside, it gets odious and defies rationality. Why should one man wipe his bottom with toilet paper that costs $20 a roll while another struggles to eat? It's a heartbreaking duality that is almost obscene. Overall, we are on the same page and that's what matters.

posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 07:47 PM
Yes, there we can agree entirely and without doubt. If you are using a $10,000 Shower Curtain, I must say? You're either showering in a very very high risk area for bullet or radiation resistant?? have far far more money than is decent for any one person!

You know the bad part? There is no solution that stays on the right side of this nation and our values. We can't outlaw high pay or net worth. Everything we stand for, stands against such a thing. We can't tax it to death. Money can afford to move in those quantities. it'll just live elsewhere and renounce citizenship if needs be.

What happened to the old days when businesses making a profit made everyone happy and that was enough? Somewhere along the last couple decades, making a profit wasn't even a good starting point. Just profiting is being a loser. Shareholders and Market analysts all but talk doom on a company if it merely made the same amount this quarter as last. So everything has to be more, record setting more, and failure is defined at anything less. No way to fix that and stay right.

posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 06:51 AM

Originally posted by poet1b
I understand people want more, they desire power and control, but why the worship?

What the absolute vast majority of 'people' want ( something like the film) is as far as i can tell essentially the security of their persons and as well as the emotional security resulting from close personal bonds to family&relatives as well as some sense of contributing to larger *tribal* like groupings of relatives and neighbors. Since we now largely live in societies where most of these things have become associated with the pursuit of wealth in the form of independence buying currency it is hard to know when you have 'enough' and when you should start employing it to meet your original needs.

Why do some people get upset if anyone dare to criticize the rich, or any actions of accumulating wealth.

As far as my reading goes doing as much amounts to attacking someone's religion in the sense that even if they are #ty Christians (in how they treat others; accumulating wealth automatically disqualifies you anyways) they aspire to 'someday' make it up to god and thus eventually gain the eternal reward. In a consumer society where the pursuit of wealth has largely taken over the pursuit of being a moral person attacking such is akin to blasphemy and treated similarly.

There are people who worship wealth so completely that they support laws and philosophies that work against their own best interests, and the best interests of their own families.

Yes but sadly the pursuit of wealth , like any other religion ( and wealth has the type of immediate benefits that no conventional religion can compete with) corrupts you in the sense that dedication to it does not really require attention to much outside that narrow goal. Does the *Christian* crusader weep for the families, or his own family left back home, of the infidels he is destroying when he burns their cities and homes killing as he goes along? Why would he if believes he is on the right path and being assured that he is doing gods work?

Ignoring the religious underpinnings of the naked pursuit of wealth is in my opinion a big big mistake.

These people get down right hateful and spiteful towards anyone who criticizes the accumulation of wealth or the wealthy.

It makes no sense.

Since i have not read this thread i hope other posts have contributed to showing that it makes perfect sense once one understands the reasoning from false principles. The pursuit of wealth is in that way quite insane ( defined as reasoning logically from false principles) and that is why it is perhaps more dangerous and as persistent as the much more nebulous religions it is slowly replacing.

This religion pays real dividends, in double time, and has gained real traction in the last century.


posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 12:13 PM
Thanks for the posts guys, excellent contributions.

I think this is a question that aims at the very roots of culture. This is clearly a large part of what Jesus talks about in the gospels.

What point does healthy pursuit become unhealthy and dangerous?

At what point does admiration become worship?

"How much is enough," may be the essential question of our era.


"Modern technology has removed us from the natural arena, and placed us in an artificial environment of our own creation. This has added a new and unique twist to the way we interact, and is possibly one of the greatest changes we have ever faced. This new world created by technology seems to have endless possibilities. It is a place where forward planning and automation increases the gap between actions and consequences, where the gray areas between what is said and what is done have expanded to a point where the connection is often almost untraceable.
The twentieth century was an era of excess, not only of drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll, but also of monster trucks, giant mansions, and celebrity worship. Ours was a disposable society where consumption was necessary to keep the gears of our market economy turning. Industrial pollutants threatened our environment, while poverty and ghetto violence isolated and segregated us behind our TVs and jobs. The world's super powers engaged in a cold war rivalry based on competing economic philosophies, where the people of the third world were often used as pawns.
The alternative to our world of excess was a world living under a totalitarian government where opportunity had been vastly removed. Hovering above this conflict was the very real threat of nuclear war and the destruction of life as we knew it. Among the first lessons we learned is how destructive technology can be. Once released from its bottle, the nuclear genie could not be put back. It was as if we could not go forward, nor could we go back."

This is a part of the intro to the book I am working on, "The Pursuit of Common Sense."

posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 03:17 PM
reply to post by Shiloh7

I think our young are virtually groomed by the media to worship celebrity wealth and the shallowness that has produced the majority of it.

In very subtle ways. Miley Cyrus is a good example of that, but I think it is much deeper than people realize. You have good girl Selena verses bad girl Miley, and a whole lot of mixed themes going on in the batch. What we are looking at is a very well scripted and developed process paraded as news. Disney channels seemed to have developed into the well oiled machine when it comes to programming young minds.

Gotta wonder how many head games are played on these child celebrities, responsible for how many of these child stars go bonkers later on in life.

If you really want to give credit where credit is due, when it comes to wealth worship. look to right wing talk radio. For a lot of people who listen to these programs, it is like a daily brain washing session.

The gap between the rich and everyone else has definitely widen with the whole free market global economy model. Wealth has been closely associated with the concept that the wealthy got to where they were going because they worked harder, while ignoring all other possible reasons, and completely disassociating wealth from the activities that created that wealth.

I would say that people in other countries, especially third world countries, worship wealth far more than in Western culture. Which IMO is the biggest reason immigration is encouraged. Cheap wages and skyrocketing housing prices are only secondary.

If you look at third world nations, the power and control the wealthy hold over the rest of the population has been steady state for centuries.

Only in the Northwestern nations have people succeeded in throwing off the yoke of aristocracy over extended periods of time.

posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 03:51 PM
I don't think people worship the wealthy however... Jealousy sure plays a part... Butt... More importantly I feel $$ equal freedom. To those that labor hard daily and living from pay-check to pay-check. W/ money your able to see more, do more. When you don't... You're stuck and confined with-in a small portion of our world because your not able to find the gas to go explore whats out there.

Everything takes money today and what suxs for the little guy... We're being taken advantage by everyone!!! We can't turn around and bill people when prices go up and push those cost off on our Customers.

... And then there's the shallow attitude-self righteous attitude of those with money that scream they've worked sooooo hard for what they have when in reality... If we could get the breaks the wealthy do concerning how they make more money threw knowing how to work the system and the banks... We might hang onto our dollars a little more if we could break the same laws the wealthy do... However it takes money to even do that.

posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 04:21 PM
They stare at the TV screen which puts a strong emphasis on "sexuality" and "money". Some people stare at this screen or hours feeling relaxed while all of what's being said goes to their sub-conscious mind. That's why they worship "celebrities" and "wealth".

posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 07:15 PM
reply to post by Biigs

I would say it is a myth that money solves problems. People think that, and then come into money, and get themselves into even bigger problems.

In this modern society, it is not that hard to earn decent money for a decent living.

What studies show, is that people tend to have a natural level of happiness, and that is how they usually are. Money doesn't change that.

It definitely doesn't take money to live a rich full life. IMO, struggle is inherent to our nature. We need problems, we need conflict, obstacles to overcome, or we tend to create them.

I don't see where jealousy comes into it either, except the it would be the people who worship wealth who would be jealous.

edit on 31-8-2013 by poet1b because: add last statement.

posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 07:35 PM
reply to post by WhiteAlice

I would say a 10 grand shower curtain is a sign something is wrong.

I know what you mean, people who make lots of money usually wind up spending lots of money. I have seen that up close and personal. $80,000 couch covers, wow.

Money is power at a certain point, and power has gravity, it draws all kinds to it. Walls have to be built, which is where one's liberty gets taken away.

posted on Sep, 1 2013 @ 05:37 AM

Originally posted by poet1b
An education is no guarantee of wisdom, or barrier against doing bad things for selfish desires.

Well it CAN be but since our education systems are mostly geared towards creating some balance between docile citizen voters, diligent workers for the factories and avid consumers it is no surprise why wealth is so consistently being concentrated; that after all is what the architects of the system had in mind!

Self control is good, in fact a critical necessity to success in life, but it is as equally important to be able to let loose the reigns, go a little crazy now and then.

But what sort of self control can be had in this sort of system? The self control not to tell the owner/boss to go #$%$% himself and then to drink yourself stupid over the weekend/beat the wife/gf when she tries to share her expectations? This, varying country by country, system is putting absolutely enormous strain on people that are ever more badly educated and becoming less and less emotionally mature due to the artificial social constraints that is formal schooling till your early twenties. This is also why prisons/jails are so full and why they will rather build more of those than let off any on the economic pressures being ever more consistently shifted onto the working classes.

I don't see wealth as the solution, or the problem.

I do think "Necessity is the mother of invention."

Wealth might not be a problem if it was truly abundant and not to be had mainly trough the labors of others. Since most of what we consider wealth in our system comes from the private ownership of land and or the right to exploit them wealth accumulation by a few can not be anything but bad for the vast majority who are not emotionally stunted enough to care about pursuing it. Why should the freaks of nature be encouraged by praise?

Originally posted by poet1b
I wouldn't say the accumulation of wealth is bad or evil. It greatly depends on how that wealth is accumulated.

Ideally this could be so but since currency generally comes into existence as debt and the interest on it someone MUST lost out and the greater the advantage of some the more losers there will be in time. The national debt is essentially the result of the lack of taxation of those who have proven themselves more than capable of bearing the burden and still making do. Remember that only half a century ago corporate taxes in the US were a great deal higher ( and this was the era of true US economic dominance) but that burden has now shifted significantly to payroll and individual taxes and then, more specifically, more so to the lower income groups.

I don't think making a 100k in a year qualifies as rich. I think one needs at least th accumulation of 10mil to be considered rich.

Rich is owning several mansions and a fleet of cars and or aircraft.

You are right in that around 20% of American households now earn more than 100 000K but as you point out whether that makes you rich or not greatly depends on your circumstances; if you want to raise 3-4 kids on that in a larger city/suburb you might be surprised by how little it really buys! Inflation of mortgage payments, medical, insurance and such has resulted in a situation where you now need to make nearly 300 000k to have the same purchasing power as was considered the six figure ( 100 000K) 'wealthy' income of the 80's.


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