Jeffrey, and many others of the people who write about money miss a simple, though huge point about why so many of us aren't rich.
Truth be told, we don't want to be rich. Don't get me wrong. Most of us act like financial idiots. Are we in debt up to our ears? Yes. Do we buy things we can't afford? Yes. If our income suddenly stopped could we survive six months until we could get it kickstarted into action again? No. Do we save enough for our retirement? No.
But.... Deep down, as incoherent as the thought may be, most of us know that money is a tool, not an end in itself.
Most of us want what money can buy. We want a roof over our heads. We want good food and clothing for ourselves and our families. We want a decent means of transportation. We want to have some fun. We want to know if we or our family get sick, we'll be taken care of. We want educational opportunities. How much of these we want will decide in large part how much money we want to make, and how hard we're willing to work for it.
Oh. There is one other thing money can buy. Freedom. Options. Choices.
Strange as it feels to say it, most of us want only so much freedom. We wiil choose the secure over the insecure almost every time. If you don't believe it, look at the political world. Every day people choose security over freedom. Cameras on the streets? Catch the bad guys. Phone records kept? I've got nothing to hide. GPS in my celphone? Medical services can get to me. The incumbent? Vote for him. Did my father do it? It must be right.
We want to know where our next meal is coming from. We want to have medical care without having to pay for it. We want someone else to make the hard decisions and do the planning so we can go home at night and do something else. We want to be able to get paid to take a vacation.
The unknown is a scary place to be. Knowing we are responsible for the results of the decisions we make is a hard fact to face. Most of us want freedom, but not too much. We want choices, but within limits. Working for someone else, even though it limits our chances of becoming rich, is an easy decision for most of us.
Then look at it from the other side. How many people are actually happier or more content because they have large amounts of money? The information in Reversal of Fortune puts the lie to the idea that increasing wealth beyond a certain level improves our lives.
So... Most of us don't want to be rich - with good reason. We want the goods and services money can buy. We want only limited amounts of freedom. Why should we be rich?
[tags]money, abundance, rich,wealth, security, freedom[/tags]