Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Enjoying Wealth

There are two ways to enjoy wealth. The good way is the simple pleasure of owning something, whether it be a comfortable chair or a cattle ranch or a fountain pen. These material items can add pleasure to our lives.

The bad way to enjoy wealth is to relish the power it gives you over other people. You get to go to the head of the line. Other people have to get out of your way. You can brag about what you have and excite the envy of people who don't have what you have..

Here's how it works for me. When I encounter a man, let's say he's very wealthy, and I see him enjoying the simple pleasure of a fine piece of woodwork, then I don't resent him, I'm happy for him.

But if his wealth gives him an attitude like he can get something over on me, no, no, I hate that attitude. And I despise that man.

The enjoyment of wealth is like any other activity, it can be done well or done poorly.

Now we discuss the attainment of prosperity. The simplest way to acquire wealth is to take it from somebody else. Robbing a bank comes to mind. You grab a hold of somebody else's money and now it's yours. By force or by guile. You can cheat in a game of cards. You can make and sell a faulty product. You can deliver half of the promised service, but charge the full price. That's the bad way to make money.

The good way to attain wealth is by adding to the value of what already exists, by creating a better pizza, by devising a swifter delivery of same, or by dry cleaning clothes in a less expensive and more environmentally-friendly manner.

We applaud this kind of wealth creation because every one benefits. We condemn the "taking" of wealth from other people. What we don't do is agree on what is the taking and what is the making -- that's politics, and I'm not getting into that today.

Don't Be a Fool. David Karp sold Tumblr to Yahoo and made $275,000,000 on the deal..... He's 26 and he invented a clever app, so he on his way to a billion dollars, while the rest of you 25-year-old chumps are struggling as unpaid interns with $50,000 in student loan debt and no way in hell you will ever pay it off.

The youth of America -- all idiots! Look around, one of you makes a billion dollars, and the rest of you get to "explore your creative potential" and collect food stamps.....

Comforter-in-Chief. The news anchor described Pres. Obama as comforter-in-chief as he addressed the nation with concern for the people of Oklahoma after the tornado disaster. This is a waste of time. The people of Oklahoma have the resources --- material and spiritual -- to recover from this disaster. They don't need a flyover from Air Force One as if in benediction.

Pres. Obama needs to deal with the situation in Syria -- that is his unique responsibility, that is where he should apply all his effort.

We can fix the mess here at home, and Obama should take care of the trouble overseas.

I am not sure what Obama can do in Syria, to intervene or to wait and see, to back the rebels with economic or military aid, to forge a better alliance with Turkey -- these are tough decisions. He should be working on it as his top priority, but we don't need him to fix Oklahoma.

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