Classic argument: Wealthy people are evil and poor people are just.

While glancing at Facebook the other day,  a friend had made a comment about The Secret Millionaire, which led to other individuas posting their views on the show and the idea of wealth. Below is a conversation/debate that took place on a Facebook book wall regarding the correlation of wealth to morality and justness. People have this perception that wealth is evil. It's a belief that prevents many people from achieving their full potential because they associate wealth with being unjust and unfair. Therefore, they avoid wealth seeking activities, because engaging in those would make them "one of them". I hope you find the conversation below enlightening.

Original Facebook Comment by Facebook Friend: I dare you to watch "Secret Millionaire" without shedding a tear. I'm a mess over here. They're literally killing me with kindness

Facebook Guy's Response (Let's call him Jose): I shed tears...because ABC's attempt to stamp a happy ending on the enormous wealth disparity in this country and convince the poor that the wealthy are actually on their side...has clearly worked.

My response to Jose: I've never seen it, but I don't think it has to do with sides. To say that the "wealthy" are or are not on the "poor's'" side implies there is this war between the two and that the poor are singled out or as if their poverty was due to someone else's actions (i.e. the rich). Poverty and wealth are results of decisions that you make, no doubt that external forces play a part. The wealth disparity is a reality, but I think this has more to do with people's dependency on fixed income (i.e. steady jobs), lack of education for how to increase wealth and internal beliefs on the individual's part than "the man" oppressing them. The rich don't make the poor poor and the poor don't make the rich rich. To believe so will inevitably keep you POOR.

Jose's Response: "My wealth doesn't make you poor" is the classic dodge all wealthy people use to make themselves feel better. Wealth begets influence, and influence begets legislation, policies, and media coverage that favor the wealthy. This is why the top earners in the US are paying record low income taxes at the same time programs like head start are being cut into oblivion. The average CEO (like those featured on Undercover Boss) makes over 300x what the average worker makes. If they really wanted to "make a difference" they would properly reward EVERYONE who works for them. Instead, they offer a pittance to a handful of employees on national TV and reap the enormous PR rewards that follow. Our GDP is only so big, and the more of it that is concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy plutocrats, the poorer the rest of us all are.

My response: It's a division of beliefs. I believe something different than what you do. I don't believe there is limited wealth. I acknowledge injustice, but do not believe it to be a deciding factor in my future or anyone else's. I think their futures are based on choices, choices to move forward or to not and realizing that by progressing, you don't inherently condone the poor actions made by others. I'd be interested to know how much of the wealthy population is made up of CEOs. I would bet that it is a minority... I also think that the wealth gap you speak of is more indicative of a failed system than of a minority of people whose values are questionable. And I think they should give back to their employees; their employees are the foundation of their business. But I'm not mad they make a lot of money so long as they ensure they are taking care of their own. And admittedly they don't always do that, but we are talking about a fraction of people of a fraction of the population. That should made clear.

To propose that wealthy people are bad and poor people are good is just blatantly incorrect. It would be far more accurate to say that people with influence should use it wisely and responsibly, and even that is subjective because both of those terms are opinion based.

As a side note, the reason that poor people pay more taxes is because of where their income originates. The wealthy do not have jobs; they have assets in the forms of investments and businesses. Poor and middle class people have jobs, which are the highest taxed brackets. This brings me back to my original point: if people understood more about how to develop wealth and removed their dependency on a job or the government, they would have different options and ultimately a different future. What you're saying has validity, but what positive impact does that stance, in all its negativity, have on the world?

What that explanation encourages me to do is to say, "I hate rich people because I believe that they don't fight for laws that make them pay more money. I won't acknowledge the large sums of money they do donate to other causes, and if I do, I'm even more mad they get a tax break for donations, even though I could too, but I don't donate money because I think I can't afford it. But really, I'm mad because I'm poor and I work so hard. So I'll blame it on others and assume that all rich people are bad and poor people are inherently good, because this is easier than figuring out how to better my lot in a way that isn't dependent on someone else doing it for me." That idea is as flawed as saying that one sex or race is better than the other.

P.S. I don't think that you're negative. I think that the statement feels negatively charged and that, to me, will ultimately destroy the good you're trying to create

Your thoughts dictate your actions and your actions dictate your results. Most people just want to be able to do more of what they love (spend time with family, travel the world, pay for their child's education). Building wealth affords you the time do so, and thinking that making money is bad will significantly limit your ability to do the things you love.

Money is not evil. It's an inanimate object. It's a metric, one of many in fact, to gauge how well you are doing.

You control what you do and you control how you use your financial resources.

In a homicide, you don't blame the gun for shooting the victim do you? You don't send the gun to jail do you?

No, you blame the man, because the man, not the gun, knows the difference between wrong and right. He has the power to make decisions, not the gun.

The same principle applies to money.