but more importantly it's about becoming a more human being.

What truly defines human beings; not so much our ability to make tools or the br avado, aggression and cunning that has allowed us to climb to the top of the foo d chain in spite of mediocre physical strength, but the things that we usually p lace under the label of culture. I believe that the more we understand and appre ciate (and produce) these things, the more truly human we become. The point is, money spent on consumption is toxic value-destroying. This is true even in our daily lives. Every time we spend money on a yacht or an iPhone or a nice jacket or even food, we re taking something of value from society and using it for our own purposes. That s why wealth is toxic. As long as someone s money is tucked away in his bank ac count, we re safe. But the minute it starts to leak out, via consumption, we all b ecome that much worse off. We d want to inquire how the money was earned, for example. If it s earned in free, honest, competitive transactions, it s going to be a better measure of value-added than if it s earned coercively, dishonestly, or in stifled markets. If it s earned in positive-sum games (like farming), it s going to be a better measu re of value than if it s earned in zero- or negative-sum games (like spamming). On the spending side, we need to account for whether the goods we re consuming are rivalrous or non-rivalrous, as well as all the externalities from consumption, both positive and negative. If no one consumed anything above basic subsistence, we d have a lot less economic growth, fewer innovations, and inferior technology (including medical technology). The point isn t to use the size of one s bank account as a measure of moral worth. S uch a measure breaks down in a ton of ways. It ignores all the good things peopl e do that aren t rewarded with money. It ignores the huge element of luck. It igno res people s intentions, if those matter to you Scrooge wasn t trying to be pro-soci al in accumulating his fortune. Instead, the point is that earning money is, in general, something to celebrate, not feel guilty about.

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