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Value Vs Worth
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Value Vs Worth

One article, Trump The Chump - From Business Hero To Groupon Bust, struck a cord with me and I thought I'd add my own "two cents" on the topic of value vs worth. When you look into the mirror do you ask yourself , "Where is the money?" to determine your value. I sure hope not.

Here's a case in point: the origin of the saying "two cents" can be traced to the "Lesson of the widow's mite" in the Synoptic Gospels of the Bible. The moral of the tale is that the little bit the poor sacrifice is worth much more than the extravagant donations of the wealthy. Now, I'm not a religious man but that's a concept that seems to have value. Considering inflation, and the many thousands of years that have passed since the saying's creation, we might need to say "add my twenty thousand bucks" to get the same worth.

This is a very misunderstood concept in our society. Most large companies who declare bankruptcy line the pockets of their powerful ownership structure quite well upon solvency. The big wigs then start a new corporation or go into management in someone else's; no skin off their backs. It's the employee who suffers, loses his or her job and gets stiffed on back wages. Another sucker to pad the unemployment statistics and forfeit on a mortgage. After the travesties of recent years like the poorly distributed savings and loan bailouts and the 26+ t-t-trillion dollars misplaced (yes I stuttered!) by the world banking system, it seems as though only the poor (which on this scale includes our middle-upper class) are responsible for their debts.

When I hear people talk about how much rich people pay in taxes as a percentage of earnings, or how they gave a large sum to charity, I have to ask the question "Does a hamburger cost them any more than it costs me?" In the end that's all that really matters. When you have 100 bucks to last out the week for your family you might not be able to afford meat every night so you might have to eat noodles three nights that week. But if you profit a million a year you can always afford meat or any of the other basic needs you have.

Sure, if you buy very expensive luxury items and will only eat aged prime rib off a celebrity's stomach you could cry poverty, but are those things really necessary? It reminds me of these large corporations who scream taxes are too high and claim limited profits, but when you research their expenses you find they reinvested all their profits into themselves. Just because you spent all your money on yourself does not mean you had none; it means you're misrepresenting yourself at best and are detrimental to society at worst.

If you make $2200 a month and give $300 a month to friends, family or your local interests you are most likely tapped out completely. This is because your basic necessities liberated you of most of your money and a few hundred bucks to help out an unfortunate friend or stranger is a very real drain. You may help your community, and I don't refer only to charity; you may help your local junior high school basketball team, for example, even if it's in the form of gas for carpool and snacks for a sleep over. These seemingly small amounts of cash are what most people have to work with.

Then people ask how can there be starving homeless in America; the answer is that food doesn't cost less because you're generous or kind or lost your job. Most of the poor people I know are poor because they regularly give outside their means; they don't live outside their means. Come on! They're poor, if spending a few hundred bucks on an iPod is them spending outside their means then they couldn't really afford to buy anything that isn't a necessity, could they? Ever? Without their poverty being considered their own fault? How can you work 40+ hours a week, every week, year after year, and not ever be able to buy anything impractical without it instantly making your poverty your fault? That's basic slavery.

The practice of giving outside your means is frowned upon by the rich and it's taught-out-of-you by programs that groom you to be rich. When was the last time you heard someone like Trump say that they were in the poor house because they simply gave too much or they broke their hand at work and lost their job? No, it's always some self-serving act that breaks the rich. In Trump's case it was insider trading. But even after that the lines of credit he was given, straight out of prison, allowed him to be worth $2 billion again only twelve months after release; most felons can't even pass a background check to get hired at a mediocre paying job!

Maybe the question here is whether the widening rift between the elite and the masses is really an economic one or if economics is only the necessary ramification of something much deeper. Perhaps it is a widening rift of generosity, ethics and accountability. According to UC Berkley's Paul Piff's research writings, Higher Social Class Predicts Increased Unethical Behavior, a perception of high economic status contributes to a disassociation from humanity and an inclination towards the pursuit of self-interest. What happened to those "who have" feeling a responsibility to those "who have not"? Did it die with King Arthur and the nobility of the past? If so, why do we allow non-regional rule? Why do we idolize the wealthy and famous? Is it a dog's unconditional love for an unkind master or what?

In conclusion, the next time you feel guilty because you can't seem to make ends meet remember these seven little things:

1) Your value has nothing to do with your worth.

2) Chances are those in your life love you anyway. A lot.

3) Chances are you aren't a power monger who's causing poverty by working way too much for way too little. That's just how they want you to feel.

4) Chances are some of those 26+ trillion dollars that went missing came out of your pocket. Quite of few of them, most likely. Considering that sum is more than 26 times the "free money" estimate of the whole world economy at roughly only 950 billion dollars.

5) Chances are whoever has that money is why you can't find a better paying job and cover your bills, not you. If they didn't have those other 25 of the 26 bucks available, you could have 26 times as much worth for every dollar you control...

6) So go easy on yourself...and give someone else a break, too.

7) Remember, if power corrupts then absolute power... Well, we all know how that saying ends.

If someone of moderately high status can be expected to show an increase in unethical behavior, and pursuit of self-interest, what does that say about those who have real wealth? Real power. It makes me shiver. What do you think?

Street Talk

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