From: James Rogers (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Dec 09 2002 - 13:29:35 MST
On Mon, 2002-12-09 at 08:10, Gary Miller wrote:
> Obsessive fear of losing what one has already worked so hard to achieve
> is one of the drivers for achieving ever increasing power and wealth.
I know these people; you are simply incorrect. Most of the people who
acquire vast wealth (at least in the US) do so primarily as a
CONSEQUENCE of their love of building things and creating value in the
world. Society values people who create and build, and therefore making
a ton of money is a foregone conclusion if you are good at this whether
that is your intention or not.
This is also why you see billionaires working long hours. It isn't so
that they can make their next billion, it is because they enjoy the
process of building things; the money is a secondary issue. For many,
money serves only as a metric of the quality of their creation.
You have to understand the psychology: When people give them money for
whatever business they are in, they see it as those people showing
appreciation for the quality of their work. In their minds, they are
> Perhaps it is the recognition and fear of one's eventual mortality today
> that encourages the very rich to share the wealth through philanthropy
> and to invest in their afterlife so to speak. Once a person has reached
> this level of success and power, I would defy anyone to reeducate them
> to the fact that giving a large portion of their money away is the
> optimal way to further their own self-interests especially if their
> life-spans were hugely extended.
Again, this all follows from invalid assumptions. They use the money
they earn from one business to build another in hopes that society will
appreciate that work of art as well. They don't give their money away
until they have decided they have nothing left to offer society doing
what they do best. And many of these people work until the day they die,
hence why they don't just starting throwing money at philanthropic
And they do invest heavily in life enhancing technologies, they are just
smarter about it. Why do you think so many of the wealthiest people in
the US are heavily invested in very speculative bio-tech? Regardless,
investing heavily in bio-tech research stands to deliver far more value
to themselves and society at large than giving their money away to
social causes, PARTICULARLY as it applies to their own longevity.
> We live in a day again where the middle class is being eroded from the
> top and bottom. The rich do get richer and the poor are becoming more
> numerous. I have a tremendous respect for people like Bill Gates who
> are spending large amounts of their money in this life to improve living
> conditions in so many parts of the world. I would pray to see this
> become the norm instead of the exception. But unfortunately too many
> billionaires still operate under the philosophy that "whoever dies with
> the most toys (or billions) wins the game".
Tripe. You know nothing about the psychology and motivations of
If you want them to listen to you, you have to show them how they can
maximize their value to society by listening to you. They are already
very good at it, so you need to have a better answer than donating their
money to nebulous social causes. They aren't idiots; they can see how
precious little value is actually generated from most philanthropic and
charitable causes. Most have the confidence in their ability to
generate value (and the track record I might add) that they would rather
maximize value the way they know best rather than handing the reins to a
bleeding heart with good intentions and no clue.
What do you actually care about, pursuing a faddish social cause or
maximizing the value that these people generate for all mankind? And
are you honest enough to see the difference? If we all had the sense of
value creation that most of these people have, we would all live in a
wealthier and happier society.
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