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  • mistermuse 12:17 am on May 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: greed, , , , income inequality, living wage, , , , price, , wealth   


    Like a full moon, the mere thought of lots of money seems to make some people crazy. No doubt you’ve noticed with lotteries, for example, that the higher the jackpot, the more people play the lottery. I mean (leaving aside the astronomical odds against winning), what could you do with $500+ million that you couldn’t do with $250+ million — except maybe buy a sports team, put your money where your political ideology is (think Koch Brothers),  or build a Trump Tower-like monument to your ego?

    So I found it refreshing to read recently about a guy who not only didn’t let dough go to his head, but stood income inequality on its head: Dan Price, a successful Seattle business owner who decided to help the people who helped him grow his business, by lowering his almost $1 million annual salary to $70,000 and increasing the salary of his 120 employees to that same level. According to Bloomberg Business data, America’s CEO-to-worker pay has increased 1,000% (to a ratio of 300+ to 1) since 1950. Price believed he could make the ratio 1-to-1 without raising prices or decreasing services to customers, and Price was right. Employee morale grew even stronger and business thrived. As a result of this heresy, he was named 2014 Entrepreneur of the year by Entrepreneur Magazine. I suspect it’s not a magazine run by conservatives.

    As entrepreneur of this blog, I will now attempt to improve your morale by turning the remainder of this post over to the musings of others on the matter of money and affiliated subjects:

    Where I was brought up, we never talked about money because there was never enough to furnish a topic of conversation. –Mark Twain

    Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to shop. –Bo Derek

    The chief ingredient that makes expensive merchandise so expensive is profit. –Evan Esar

    I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need, if I die by four o’clock. –Henny Youngman

    The only thing wealth does for some people is to make them worry about losing it. —Antoine Rivarol

    Men make counterfeit money; in many more cases, money makes counterfeit men. –Sydney J. Harris

    The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated. —H.L.  Mencken

    The definition of a living wage depends upon whether you are getting it or giving it. –Evan Esar

    I spent a lot of money on booze, broads and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. –George Best

    The leaders of the French Revolution excited the poor against the rich; this made the rich poor, but it never made the poor rich. –Fisher Ames

    There are two classes of people: the have-nots and the have-yachts. –Evan Esar

    Greed is not a money issue. It’s a heart issue. –Andy Stanley



    • Don Frankel 6:52 am on May 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Call me a cynic but maybe this guy did this after 20 years of banking a million a year. Maybe?

      I don’t play lotteries or dream of a lot of money because I’m old enough to know that a lot of money only gets me in trouble. You can quote me on that Muse.


    • mistermuse 9:57 am on May 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Actually, the guy began his business in his college dorm in 2004 at age 19, so he probably didn’t start banking a million until 2005 (just joking – it may have been 2006 or 2007, ha ha).

      Glad to hear you don’t dream of a lot of money, Don. After all, there are a lot of other ways to get into trouble!


    • literaryeyes 3:14 pm on June 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This Evan Esar sounds interesting. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:14 pm on June 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Evan Esar is the author of a 1968 book titled 20,000 QUIPS & QUOTES (both his and those of others). I think you can still buy it online, if interested.


    • arekhill1 9:51 am on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Money is the root of all evil,. they say. Personally, I can’t afford all the evil I want, so it may be true.


    • mistermuse 3:30 pm on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not buying that, Ricardo – I hear you wouldn’t kill a fly (unless it was hovering around your glass of brew).


  • mistermuse 12:02 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , John Maynard Keynes, Ku Klux Klan, love of money, madness, , , sanity, wealth   


    I don’t like money, actually, but it quiets my nerves.  –Joe Louis

    Perhaps the most uncynical of the quotations in my last post was the one above, attributed to the late Joe Louis, heavyweight boxing champion 1937-49. I can picture Louis saying those words, first of all because as a boy during the 1940s, I remember him well, and second, because he was born dirt-poor in rural Alabama, a grandson of former slaves, had a childhood speech impediment, and moved to Detroit as a 12 year old after a Ku Klux Klan experience. As an adult, he suffered from financial mismanagement (to put it charitably) by his boxing handlers, which led to years of heavy indebtedness and hounding by the IRS for back taxes. Given this background, one can understand where that quote was coming from.

    What may be less easy to understand is the money-motive that economist John Maynard Keynes called “The love of money as a possession — as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life” — which is elaborated upon by psychoanalyst Adam Phillips in “Money Mad,” a chapter in his book GOING SANE. The money for-its-own-sake obsession has long struck me as shallow and superficial, but Phillips goes further (as befits a psychoanlyst), calling it an aberration “in which the bad is made to seem good; in which what was once considered to be most distasteful about people — the callous ruthlessness of their greed, say — begins to be described as morally impressive.”

    He continues, ” What one is loving when one loves money begs all the questions: power, prestige, invulnerability, independence, glamour — all these ideals involve asking in turn what each of these represent a desire for. Rather than being a love akin to other loves, a love for money may be a new kind of love [appetite] altogether — a love that destroys the capacity for all the other kinds of love that preceded it.”

    “We should not be tempted into believing that there is something natural and normal about the insatiability of our appetites. Human beings can even get pleasure from ruining their own and other people’s appetites. Since money always promises something other than itself — it is only, as we say, worth what it can buy — it seems to protect us from the fear of there being nothing we want. A world in which there is a scarcity of need, a world in which wanting is a futile passion, is more terrifying than a world in which there is a scarcity of resources.”

    Since I don’t want this little seminar to come off sounding like a sermon, I will stop here and simply recommend GOING SANE as a thought-stimulating and readably profound book on sanity and madness, including money madness.

    Nonetheless, money makes….


    • Don Frankel 7:21 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Money it seems, like a whole lot of things, is whatever you think it is.


    • mistermuse 11:46 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Right you are, Don. I suppose a case could be made that life would be less interesting without the Donald Trumps (for example) of the world….but I, for one, ain’t necessarily buyin’ it. On the other hand, characters like Scrooge make for a Dickens of a story.


    • arekhill1 5:20 pm on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You never see anyone’s credit rating on their tombstone. That’s what I’ve observed.


    • mistermuse 11:50 pm on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve never heard any deadbeats complain about it, Ricardo. Maybe they find consolation in finally being on a level plane with every body else.


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