Jump to content

Does how much money a person has reflect their value to society?


Does how much money somebody has reflect their value to society?  

58 members have voted

  1. 1. Does it?

    • Yes
      12
    • No
      46


Recommended Posts

Ok so interesting thought, see the above. I’ve heard some say that in life the bigger the problems you address or solve, the more money you make. Look at the richest folks, guys like Bezos, Musk, Gates…they undoubtedly changed the world and have been compensated accordingly. Conversely, look at folks on welfare programs and in debt, the opposite is pretty clear as well, IMO.
 

I’d suggest folks DO NOT think of themselves personally when answering this to avoid biases. Also exclude clear outliers like fraudsters or people who work in finance. By and large, does the amount of money one has, reflect their value?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gandhi and Martin Luther King weren't wealthy, but I would say they had as much of a social, and indirect economic, impact as any person in history...probably as well as the Suffragettes.  Huge classes of displaced citizens/workers that suddenly had the world opened to them, created economic activity, educational opportunity, entrepreneurship and changes in rights...at least until three days ago, where we went back 50 years!  Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends what you mean by value.

 

I think perhaps you mean productive… or something else?

 

I’d say across society, and on many metrics, the most valuable people are mothers and fathers.

 

By and large unpaid work but vital to society.

 

Edited by Sweet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, Sinbius said:

Putin is ultra rich...

For sure. So I'd say if we are excluding significant portion of fraudsters, finance and Putin's friends, that would remove a significant portion of wealthy population and this rule doesn't work and doesn't apply to them (which is already skewing us from the truth). That leaves us with general working and honest population. Among them IMO this rule is mainly applicable. The more people you can help and solve their problems, the wealthier you get. But it further depends on circumstances such as political system, country and occupation. In some or many places health care and education specialists are less wealthy then say pilots. I'd argue that teaches are doing more profound job in terms of usefulness to people then pilots just bringing people from point A to point B. And in both cases you need to exhibit certain personal qualities and skills to do these jobs. So i think, in theory and probably in most cases, money on its fundamental level Is made to solve this equation, and an ordinary person looking to grow their wealth can use it as a guiding principle. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Yea I find topics like this fun because there really are a number of ways to evaluate this, and almost all of them are somewhat correct, even though they support entirely different answers. Someone working the checkout at a QSR probably has a net worth reflective of that value. Someone in debt, has literally been a net taker from society. Someone who runs an auto repair shop, probably has more utility than a QSR clerk. But then the next layer is ethics. A teacher can change a kids life and may be overpaid or may be underpaid or may be a temp. Two auto repair shop owners can have vastly different worth depending on how aggressively they sell. And so on. Fun mental exercises. 

Edited by Gregmal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Sweet said:

Depends what you mean by value.

 

I think perhaps you mean productive… or something else?

 

I’d say across society, and on many metrics, the most valuable people are mothers and fathers.

 

By and large unpaid work but vital to society.

 

 

mothers and fathers - thats a real answer. 

 

I had a great upbringing with good parents. They had almost not financial literacy and did enough to get by. I can attribute much of my success to having solid examples that laid a good foundation for me to continue upon. I have some friends who grew up in broken homes who would have paid a lot of money to have a different outcome from their mothers and fathers. 

 

I don't think enviroment determines a persons success but it sure influences a lot of out comes. IE (buffet's genetic lottery quote).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Sweet said:

Depends what you mean by value.

 

I think perhaps you mean productive… or something else?

 

I’d say across society, and on many metrics, the most valuable people are mothers and fathers.

 

By and large unpaid work but vital to society.

 

 

+1!  Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Longnose said:

 

mothers and fathers - thats a real answer. 

 

I had a great upbringing with good parents. They had almost not financial literacy and did enough to get by. I can attribute much of my success to having solid examples that laid a good foundation for me to continue upon. I have some friends who grew up in broken homes who would have paid a lot of money to have a different outcome from their mothers and fathers. 

 

I don't think enviroment determines a persons success but it sure influences a lot of out comes. IE (buffet's genetic lottery quote).

 

There was a report of two twins recently...one adopted by a U.S. family as a baby who ended up with significant economic and family issues, while the other twin was adopted as a baby by a financially comfortable family in Korea.  While the twins had similar personality traits, likes and dislikes, there was a fast difference in IQ...the Korean twin's IQ was some 15-20 points higher.   

 

So, its likely the nature and nurture both have significant influence on who we are and what we become.  Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That’s another element that becomes subject to individual interpretation. I mentioned avoiding thinking of your own situation for that reason. Everyone has personal stuff to be grateful for or resentful of. But how about the other side of the coin? What would a random third party think of let’s say, your parents net worth stacked against a list of their life accomplishments? Would the result be, about right? Underpaid? Overpaid?   
 

We see in movies all the time, terrible father, super career focused, built a company that employs hundreds, net/net….net worth probably reflects value to society. Shitty parent though. Vice versa true too. Steel worker who retired at 70 and is worth $150k but did everything for their kids. Society value? Probably little. Family value, through the roof. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Gregmal said:

I mentioned avoiding thinking of your own situation for that reason. 

 

Fair enough going back to the original thought. Does someone's net worth translate to their societal value? 

 

Short answer No. 

 

But does wealth amplify an individuals impact on society? Yes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting topic, something I often think about a lot is what is "value" and if GDP is the right metric / north star to continuously focus on. My view is the correct answer to this question is both yes and no. Clearly, some of the billionaires in the world (past and present) have created tremendous value for society and this is easily measured by dollars in the bank. Think of Henry Ford, the invention of the modern assembly line, Model T, etc... revolutionary. In the mid-1920s, his net worth was estimated around $1.2 billion.

 

On the other hand I think a lot of value created in the world is not measurable in dollars or the creator of that value does not necessarily reap the financial rewards. For instance, look at Adam Smith and some of the other Scottish academics that created the intellectual framework underpinning the modern world. Did Adam Smith's wealth equal his contribution / value to the world? Definitely not, even though his ideas help create trillions in value that we see today.

 

Lastly, there are so many "intangibles" in society that have value but are not measurable - like art. Look at Leonardo Da Vinci and the works of genius he bestowed on mankind. As far as I understand Da Vinci was not personally wealthy and was actually quite poor. Same with Van Gogh - he was basically destitute his whole life. Or look to philosophy - many of the great thinkers of the past were not wealthy. Socrates was a stone-cutter / mason. And what about civil service? Surely that has value but civil servants don't (usually) acquire much material wealth. Finally, works of charity - Ian Flemming is revered not just because of his discovery of penicillin – which has saved millions of lives – but also due to his efforts to ensure that it was freely available to as much of the world's population as possible. The full financial benefit of his contribution to society did not accrue to himself personally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, thepupil said:

 

 

hahaha, ouch

I mean come on, does anyone you’ve ever met in finance really deserve to make what they do? Especially those who make a career out of it and get to the compounding level. I returned 20% so I made $7M last year…

 

I also think it’s a classic gatekeeper career. Name anywhere else where you have to conform to establishment and good ole boys club like finance. Private school. Elite grades. Elite references. Ivy League. Know somebody to get in. Not attainable to 98%.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Gregmal said:

I mean come on, does anyone you’ve ever met in finance really deserve to make what they do? Especially those who make a career out of it and get to the compounding level. I returned 20% so I made $7M last year…

 

I also think it’s a classic gatekeeper career. Name anywhere else where you have to conform to establishment and good ole boys club like finance. Private school. Elite grades. Elite references. Ivy League. Know somebody to get in. Not attainable to 98%.

 

Nothing else pays crazy amounts of money for pushing paper and mediocrity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The question is worded wrong. The answer is clearly no with how it is worded. Many people have a lot of money which they didn’t create. People have inherited money, politicians and criminals have money stolen from others, etc…

 

Does the amount of money a person earns/creates reflect their worth to society?  Almost always, yes.

And before someone gives a bunch of outlier examples, of course there are always exceptions to the rule.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've thought about this question many times in my life. Its an interesting one. In theory yes, the compensation should come from the value you create for society and I think often times that is the way it works. Elon, Gates, Ford etc are examples of this...but it isnt a RULE. 

 

Short answer is there are tons of people that create value for society that are not compensated as such, and tons of people that do not...but are compensated like they do. 

 

There are also "wild cards"....you can be a special ed teacher in a rural community spending your career making under $40k/yr or you can be a street thug but run a 4.3 40yrd or have a 36" vertical and make multi-millions, guys back in the early days of the NFL were construction workers in the off season..come out with one hit song...some of these rappers that have a hit, prison before or after...

 

Alot of this as stated has to do with opportunity, location etc. Doctors in many countries are not compensated nearly as much as in the States here. You could be the best realtor in the county in the middle of BF Alabama and your commission on avg sale could be a couple grand....vs best realtor in any county in CA. 

 

I think there are more ways to positively impact society that do not have a monetary benefit, than there are that do. You could almost say that the inverse could be true as well. We can all think of TONS of ways people have made ridiculous amounts of money that was the result of arguably zero positive value creation for society. 

 

I think this is difficult because "value" to society invites the idea of morality and ethics...we assume that value to society is a positive thing, something good, you create that improves lives of all...but it doesnt have to be that at all...

 

I think the times have changed so much, and basic needs are satisficed that now there is potential for many other forms of "value" to be compensated exponentially. Look at these people on Youtube that make videos and have a channel and all the guy does is sit down and eat 20lbs worth of McDonalds, Wendys, other fast food...mukbang I think its called....if you use the ap that projects what these channels are making via ad revenue etc with a couple million followers its staggering. Are they creating value for society? No not in the way that Henry Ford did, or Elon Musk is, or some of the other big names in this countries history..but some would say that they ARE creating value to society via entertainment and the views illustrate this, views = ad revenue and thus they are compensated for the "value" they create. 

 

Many examples of people that create/contribute tremendous value to society and are not compensated adequately. 

 

The interesting thing is HOW SOCIETY HAS CHANGED WHAT IT VALUES. That to me is the real interesting thing to ponder.  How much did Cardi B make off her WAP song? The figures would suggest that the song created tremendous value to society. What if she released that song in the 1950's vs today? What if she was singing that song in 1864?

 

TLDR: Yes there is positive correlation between societal value creation and monetary compensation. There always has been and always will be. The fascinating thing to me is how society changes what it values through time. Often times ones OWN personal view of the "value" created does not match that of society...and it can be confusing. For instance the WAP song IMO creates absolutely zero value for society, some may make the case that it is actually negative for society...but the numbers dont lie...Society valued that song all over the world.

 

Certifications and sales for "WAP"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[294] 4× Platinum 280,000double-dagger
Austria (IFPI Austria)[295] Platinum 30,000double-dagger
Belgium (BEA)[296] Gold 20,000double-dagger
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[297] Diamond 160,000double-dagger
Canada (Music Canada)[298] 6× Platinum 480,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[299] Platinum 90,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[300] Platinum 200,000double-dagger
Germany (BVMI)[301] Gold 200,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[302] Platinum 70,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ)[303] 2× Platinum 60,000double-dagger
Norway (IFPI Norway)[304] Platinum 60,000double-dagger
Poland (ZPAV)[305] 3× Platinum 60,000double-dagger
Portugal (AFP)[306] Platinum 10,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[307] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[308] 7× Platinum 7,000,000

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Parsad said:

 

There was a report of two twins recently...one adopted by a U.S. family as a baby who ended up with significant economic and family issues, while the other twin was adopted as a baby by a financially comfortable family in Korea.  While the twins had similar personality traits, likes and dislikes, there was a fast difference in IQ...the Korean twin's IQ was some 15-20 points higher.   

 

So, its likely the nature and nurture both have significant influence on who we are and what we become.  Cheers!

 

IQ is not a fixed trait, it can change.

 

If someone takes an IQ test today and scores 100 they are average IQ. You give that same person an IQ test from 50 years ago they would score a 115. This is the Flynn effect discovered by James Flynn. So something (nutrition, education system, health system,?) over the last 50 years has significantly raised IQs in the US.

 

Carol Dweck has shown that she can change children's performance on an IQ test by how she praises them before the test. Praise them on their work ethic and they score higher than if she praises them for their intelligence.

Edited by boilermaker75
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...