Money - the most important thing in life, and this axiom is to be laid in the foundation of any healthy morality - both personal and national. (George Bernard Shaw).
Who came up with the money just do, I would like to ask? Why is it necessary? And that all worked from morning till night and gnawed out for them! Immediately begs the quote "God created people, and divided them into rich and poor and the Colonel Colt revolver created their chances and made the call ....". In a good society is not only lazy money.
There seems to be fuzzy lines and thresholds where money makes a difference in one's freedom as the main medium to access of physical and sustenance resources. Certainly at poverty level or below there is more chance and danger for one to be homeless or entrapped by the State for survival. ex: homeless shelters, food kitchens, imposed rules and vagrancy laws. Then the struggling middle class where it's never enough while being trapped by mortgages and now the whims and corruption of the (investment)banking/system and the Fed.
I skimmed the documentary, and was pleased to see Bill Gates Senior at :53 minutes in saying in essence, noblesse oblige.
Personally, I'm not yet at the point where I have all the money I want. But for me, the drive to get there has a lot less to do with a desire for comfort, prestige, or getting off the grid. I look forward to the day when I am in order so that I can help others more. Noblesse a la joie d'aider. (thanks google translate!)
If nothing else, it's a lot more appealing than the idea of being a cranky old coot yelling at kids to get off my lawn.
But I think the documentary (what I saw of it) is missing the point, as is much of the "1%" discussion.
Wealth in America and elsewhere was generated by creative thinkers. Instead of haggling over marginal tax rates, as one might divvie up a pizza, I think the discussion should be how do we feed this golden goose called creativity. Sadly, I think having a large chunk of children's education consisting of studying for standardized tests, and then when they go to college saddling them with massive debt is precisely the wrong approach.
What we should do is step back and think bigger, but that doesn't fit into the average cable TV news cycle. Fortunately for me, my OCONUS lifestyle insulates me from all that [----].
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Sad, sad story about a generous guy who won a $30 million lottery who wound up dead. I was amazed he did not have a single smart good friend , relative or church relation that could have helped him before he got desperate and listened to the wrong person. I guess also "money buys freedom" didn't work well here unless he used his money in a smart way like literally buying a way "out of Dodge" but then that could have personal sacrifices also.
All I was stating was my own assessment and thoughts of the topic thread at hand i.e. how does more money relate to more freedom where it's financial freedom or some other type of physical freedom like less dependence on the grid utilities and government. Big Mike had another thread "millions made, what now?" which address more to the point that line of discussion of what one would prefer to do when one comes into substantial personal wealth.
The documentary is daring, independent, and doesn't fit the "average cable TV news cycle". It shows the attitude of the 1% as literally the wealth has been put into the fraction statistic of the very few while the disenfranchisement gap has never been bigger. A few of the interviewed wealthy has "nobless oblidge" but the majority do not in the author's viewpoint and the film explores that from an "insider"'s viewpoint which is unique.
The massive debt of students and increasing costs of higher education is a byproduct function of too much government subsidy and interference in the educational market. We have seen a lot of posts here about what could be done such as abolishment of the Fed, dismantling of the IRS, going back to a flat tax etc. Hopefully history does not repeat itself in bloody revolution but rather change for the better resulting from smarter electorate action/voting before it's too late.
Last edited by Cloudy; August 1st, 2013 at 03:56 AM.
update: looks like they did ok (more than ok haha) afterall. Mainly they were just holding out on a better deal to liquidate the money from the Vegas hotel. That documentary sure did make it look like they were losing everything. It also made it seem like their time-sharing business was ripping off the customers by 900%. Mr. Siegel has sued the director. Maybe the documentary ended up good advertising for Westgate in a twisted way.
Last edited by Cloudy; August 6th, 2013 at 05:49 AM.
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There's a great passage in one of Talebs books. He was doing really well, they were the richest on their block - they were multi-millionaires.
So they moved to a richer area. In their new social circle were billionaires. Whilst they had a boat, their new peers had luxury yachts. Whilst they had a second home, their peers had mansions in the countryside.
They went from richest on the block to poorest on the block.
And you know what? That made his wife miserable. Not being able to keep up and do the things their peers were doing.
I would put it to you that someone like Talebs wife will never be free. Most people are the same, always wanting something more, always wanting to keep up. If you are like that, you will never have freedom from your own desires. You will always be unhappy because you always desire more.
I would say that someone who sits back and enjoys the journey is already free.
Money isn't freedom. Look what it does to people....
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I busted Big Mike's chops because his latest poll of "when was your last vacation" didn't have an "I'm on one now" option. I am such a geek, but I just can't leave futures.io (formerly BMT) alone!
That said, having some more time to let my mind wonder these days I realized there is one CONCRETE way that money DOES buy freedom:
It can get you out of debt.
Maybe I need to run with a new crew, but I am shaking my head at how many people I know who can't wait to get a bigger house, and if they don't have the job they like then they figure the best thing to do is to go back and get a degree for many tens of thousands of dollars. Has anyone learned ANYTHING in the past 5 years?
As I said earlier, I am not yet at the point where I have all the money I want. But I should add I don't have debt either. I think that puts me way ahead of the game. In Taleb's latest book [Antifragility, which I have posted about elsewhere, read it, it is great] he talks about how debt makes you fragile. You need to make regular payments with interest or else....
Conversely, if you are out of debt, you are more robust and open to new opportunities. It may be a long time until I make a lot in the market (or somewhere else) but in the meantime, I don't have to worry about anyone taking away my car, house, etc.
And as far as what the neighbors think, back in "The Mak" I've got diplomatic plates, but they are on a 20 year old Peugeot 306. Not wanting to kiss a banker's a** can be a fashion statement too.
Maybe Big Mike started this thread because he is out of debt too, and from that perspective, saying money buys freedom is more troubling, because once you are free from debt, the only thing money can do for you is help you fulfill your dreams.
But that is more complex, as you first need to figure out what those dreams are. Hint, don't think they are the dreams society has told you to want, those ideas talk people into too much debt in the first place! Hint 2, it is my belief that helping others is a more fertile option to explore.
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I watched The Queen of Versailles a few months ago and really enjoyed it.
@bob7123, debt is somewhat of a choice, but largely dependent upon where you are born and how you are raised. Many cultures around the world have large swaths of their population that have no such concept of debt or living beyond their means...
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