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Why Make Money a Life Pursuit
This is the last article in my get money series, which is a series about how and why you should pursue money. We’ll now talk about why making money a life pursuit is such a worthy goal.
So, why should you try to make a lot of money? While this seems like a really dumb question to people who have trouble paying rent or buying a car, it becomes not so obvious when your networth is around the 1-10 million dollar range (or much less for some people). At that particular point, you would already have enough money to retire on, assuming you invest it wisely, so you would have no need to try to make more money. However, you should try to make as much as possible anyway, as I’ll explain below.
To examine this question, we should keep in mind what money is. It is an abstract concept that represents the value of the resources that it can be traded for. As long as the monetary system stays intact, money is for the most part equivalent to the resources they represent. Since resources are what we need to exist, and people’s ultimate want is to exist (see the meaning of life), money is an important part of any person who exists.
How the Pursuit of Money Helps People
The interesting question here is, why would anyone who want to exist, give up the resources that they need to exist, willingly? This is easy to see from a trade example. If I’m a corn farmer who only has corn and you’re an apple tree grower who only has apples, I’ll be happier with an apple than a cob of corn and you’ll be happier with a cob of corn than an apple. In this case, I gave up my cob of corn, a resource for existing, to get an apple, which to me, is an even more valuable resource for existing. So the answer to the question is that people willingly give up their resources to exist, if they think that they will receive a more valuable resource in return! This is possible since everyone perceives the value of a particular resource differently in terms of its contribution to their existence.
Therefore, whenever someone pays you for something you provide, and are happy with the trade, they have gained existence, and you are the one that has provided that to them. If you’re making a lot of money, that means you have increased the existence of those people who gave it to you by at least that much. Note that this does not mean if you don’t make money, you’re not increasing other people’s existence. You can hug someone, make them feel better, and have increased their existence. You can be a teacher and teach people how to think, and increase their existence. However, in those cases, those people would pay you some amount of money for the services if you wanted it, but you just happen to not be charging them.
For example, let’s say you are thirsty and would like a bottle of water. At this particular point in time, that bottle of water is worth $5 to you. Let’s say person A sells you a bottle at $1, and person B gives you a bottle for free. In this case, both people have given you $5 worth of existence. Therefore, a poor person could have contributed the same amount of existence as a rich person. However, only the rich person can say for certain that he has contributed at least that particular amount. In the water example, only person A could’ve said that he has contributed $1 worth of existence to someone else. That’s because that bottle of water might’ve been worth only $.50 to me, so person B, by giving it away free, would not know how much value he has contributed.
A Common Objection
Another objection to this argument might be that say there’s a guy who puts a gun to your head, and forces you to give up all your money for your life. In this case, wouldn’t he have contributed an existence amount equal to all your money? Well, that depends on what your definition of the deal is. If it’s just that particular trade, then yes, he did. However, he also took away that amount of money worth of existence when he pointed a gun to your head, for which you got nothing. If you take the whole exchange into account, the robber took away the money, and most of the guy’s existence, and only gave the existence back. As a result, there is a net loss on the guy being robbed. This can be seen from the fact that the guy being robbed would not like to be robbed again (meaning he did not give up his resources willingly), which is one of the criteria stated above for making money properly.
One last thing to watch out for is the negative externalities of any trade you make. Say you’re running a factory which produces stuff for people, and making a lot of money from that. In that case, you’re increasing the existence of a lot of people. However, let’s say your factory was also producing a ton of pollution, which is decreasing the existence of your customers (and other people who aren’t buying your product). People wouldn’t complain about this, until it gets too bad, but this is more like you taking a slice of existence from everyone, to give it to a particular group of people. You can check for this by thinking about how a random person would generally react to your operation. You can also imagine yourself in their shoes and see if your feelings on this is negative. If it’s a grey area, you can probably stay away from it since there’s plenty of non grey ways to make a lot of money.
Make Money a Life Pursuit?
Of course, as mentioned above, you can contribute without getting any money in return, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Mother Theresa, Malcom X, Abe Lincoln, and various other leaders have done just that. However, there would be no objective way to tell or measure how much you have contributed so far. Money (representing the resources that we need to exist) is one very convienent means of measuring the amount of contribution you have made, since everyone needs it to exist. As long as we make sure that the people we make money from are happy to give it, and we aren’t negatively affecting other people while making money, acquiring a lot of money is a great measure of just how much existence we have contributed to other people.
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