Wealth And Ignorance

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

Something simple I’ve been running into a lot lately has been the confluence of wealth and ignorance. Money is to ignorance what water is to a grease fire. There’s a lot more danger and definitely a larger mess when the things mix.

I don’t know why wealth is so highly respected around the world. Yes, wealth equates to having stuff, and in that regard it’s security against the chaos of the world. But being wealthy doesn’t confer any superpowers or special abilities upon a person. It doesn’t transform people into better versions of themselves.

Like other forms of power, it just reveals the person who possesses it. Kind person? They do kind things. Monster? They do monstrous things.

Despite all that, wealth gives people a lot of benefits of a lot of doubts. It’s a social myopia. There’s a wrong conflation that more stuff equals something better. And it’s hammered into everyone’s head.

I wish there was something I could do about that.

6 thoughts on “Wealth And Ignorance

  1. Wealth, in other parts of the world, is not necessarily regarded in the same way as it is in America. I think few here regard wealth as being important apart from the material benefits that it brings to oneself. It seldom, if ever plays much part in how a person is perceived. If wealth is part of the equation it would be the perception the public have on how the person attained that wealth. What comes out of someones mouth is more significant than what comes out of their pocket.

    I think only once in our history have we had a millionaire as political leader. Most the rest could be classed as middle income to upper middle income. A many have come from a more modest background.

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    • What I’m getting at here is the difference between stated ideals and actual behavior. Here in the States, many people would agree in principle to what you’re saying about perceptions of wealth. But there are behaviors which aren’t talked about because nobody’s thinking about them.


  2. An ignorant but wealthy person is a bad combination. And I agree with Barry. The question is how did this person come into this money and the next is I like to have money just so I don’t sweat the small stuff.

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  3. The wealthy promote being wealthy as a sign that they are better, certainly better than the non-wealthy. They become deluded … more deluded … when they actually acquire their wealth. This is how people like Mitt Romney and Donald Trump can describe themselves as “self-made men” or “earned everything they have in life,” when in reality they were given millions for the parents.

    Rules are changes in society to change the way we thing. Corporation executives are told that the only measure of their success is “shareholder value” and if they don’t embrace that ideal enough, they are paid in stock options. Laws are changed that allow corporations to buy their own shares, thus providing a way to manipulate their own stock price … and then greed is allowed to take over … encouraged actually. These people heard “Greed is good!” out of Gordon Gecko’s mouth and got a different message that what we heard.

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  4. I’m going to side with Barry here. If you have a lot of wealth, people might see the importance of what your wealth is capable of, but it doesn’t guarantee they respect you in any way. Of course you will get a lot of superficial respect from those who seek to benefit from you.

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