04 November, 2003

Money is Good

I will go farther than to merely say that money is not evil. I will say that money is good.
There is nothing about the earning of and accumulation of wealth. No, it will not buy happiness. Poverty, likewise, does not earn you happiness. Not many are ready in their karmic cycle to give up all their worldly possessions and compete for the title of Ascended Master.
Money is the reward for values I grew up with like hard work, loyalty, integrity, and stick-to-itiveness, for want of a better word. Anyone who is ashamed of wealth did not EARN it. Though I am not wealthy, by today’s standards, I have enough money for the necessities, and whatever luxuries my family might decide upon. I earned my money, and to say the reward for my labors is evil is to suggest that I worked for evil (and that is another story, but still doesn’t make money evil), and that would imply that I was evil. And of all the negative things that people could, rightly, accuse me of, evil is not one of them.
Money has no value of it’s own. It must be assigned value. In turn, people place a value on the goods and services they wish to purchase. The laws of supply and demand are the most basic principles concerning the placement of value on commodities, but they are not the only ones. The market will pay what the market will bear. People will pay whatever they think is fair for something, or else they will not pay for it. (except in the case of taxes). In a mature society, people would demand higher pay for the really important jobs like teacher, nurse, scientist, policeman, fireman, soldier, or EMT.
Of course, everybody wants the people I have mentioned to get good salaries, they just do not want to have to provide for it through taxes. They can’t, so that they can afford their sixty-thousand dollar SUV that puts out as much emission as two sedans and uses three times as much gas. They are willing to pay outrageous fees for a seat at a sporting event, or concert; they shell out $120 dollars for a set of sneakers, and they pay $20 for a CD that cost $0.13 to make. Most people, I would imagine, think the salaries for movie stars and athletes is outrageous.
But we are the ones who agree to pay for them, by purchasing the products they sponsor and produce. In a mature society, the celebrities stars would not be getting millions of dollars, but not because of legislation, but because of market pressure. Just because someone disagrees with the value that society places on something, does not make the currency evil. It is a signal that the society that uses the currency is sick, and is in danger of collapsing.
Money did not determine that a football player should get paid millions of dollars to play a game, while the people who teach your children have bake sales to be able to afford supplies. Society did that. And that is the basic drawback in having a democracy in a country where the majority of people are short minded self centered judgmental hypocrites. Nero, get your fiddle.
I do not completely hold true with the phrase, “The best things in life are free.” Neither do I agree with the song that answers that age old adage with the response that, “You can save them for the birds and the bees. I want money.” While it is true that the abstract things that let one say they live a valuable life are intangible and can not be purchased, all things that are good are not free, because the corollary argument that things that cost money are not good, is false. A balanced life requires both.
The final test of intelligence and use of language is the ability to think and discuss in abstract terms. The abstract things (love, loyalty, dedication, duty, integrity, and honor) of life are the final test of evolution, and can only be purchased with effort, sweat, and Spirit.

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