MoneyIt's a crime Share it fairly But don't take a slice of my pie Money So they say Is the root of all evil today But if you ask for a raise It's no surprise that they're giving none away
Money - Pink Floyd
I decided I wanted to cover this topic, because I have a love/hate relationship with money. Love/hate because I love the fact that with it I can buy things I like and I like things. I like in particular technology and let's face it that does not get developed without money and you certainly need it to acquire it. Yet, I hate the fact that some have it and some don't, and that in many cases this is not the fault of those who don't and in many cases those who do are not evil doers cheating the have nots out of their right to have. Man that is a sentence and a half!
I have a strong social conscience, and that means that on many levels I have a desire to help those less fortunate than myself. Yet, I have no desire to help those who plainly do not want to help themselves. Also, I have no desire to give to the point of my own poverty. A true follower of Christs teachings I am not. In fact as we have already covered in an earlier blog, I am not a follower of Christ at all. However, we don't need to go down that track again.
I fundamentally cannot abide a right leaning government and even a centre right one, such as we appear to have in the form of National in NZ, makes me feel uncomfortable. At their heart, is not a care for all members of society or a desire to ensure that the fundamental basis of our society is equity and fairness. At their heart is a belief that by maximizing profits and ensuring growth, we will ensure a prosperous society and all will benefit. Yet, mostly the rich will get richer. This is not enough for me and indeed, from what we have all witnessed as a result of the Global Economic Melt Down, greed as a driver of the global civilisation leads only to corruption and those with the least to loose, losing the most in overal terms. Bernie Madoff may be in prison and in theory penniless, but he deserves to be, the millions of investors who in some cases lost everything they had, did not ask to be left this way.
And yet here is where part of my conflictedness (sic) lies. I would also argue, that on some levels it was the greed of the mum and dad investors leading them to believe that amazing returns on investment with low risk were possible that got us some of the way to the global crisis. High returns, come from high risk unfortunately and I found myself with little sympathy for some people when that all turned to custard. However, someone sold them that dream. Someone led them to believe it was possible and in many cases the people who enabled this, walked away poorer but still wealthy.
Tax! A subject that makes me hot under the collar and not because I don't like paying it. I am not and have never been a supporter of the recent tax cuts in New Zealand. The argument that people could choose what to do with the money they now had and that they would not be worse off holds no weight with me. Too many people are short sighted and were willing to vote for a tax cut giving them $10 or $20 a week in the hand more, when the reality is the associated necessary cuts in social expenditure by the government and meant that they would spend far more than this personally making it up. Also, for those of us who CAN afford to pay a bit more in taxes, why should we not, so that the people who need the government support that taxation allows, can get it. I for one earn more than enough to support myself and be comfortable and I am happy to help ensure others have the necessary education, health care and whatever else they need. Also, I am bright enough to realise that the collective power of the tax dollar can achieve more for me than I can do personally. I don't need money for money's sake, but I do like to know I can be comfortable have my needs and desires, and if that leaves me with the ability to help others, then I am even happier for it.
So, dear old money. I would not be without you and yet every day I feel conflicted about your place in my life and the world. You can bring me comfort and agony all in one day......
How do you feel about money?