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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro

Pecuniary Prevarication

Updated: Apr 28, 2020

The best things in life are free / But you can keep them for the birds and bees

Now give me money / That's what I want

Money don't get everything, it's true / What it don't get, I can't use

Now give me money / That's what I want

So sang the Beatles in their 1963 hit. It would have also been a it in a.d. 63 or 1063 or 1663. Matter of fact, it’s been a dominant world theme since critters acquired the ability to count. Wars, murder, mayhem, destruction, and all sorts of misery have been occasioned by the lust for money. Nothing wrong with money per se, but as a fella wrote around the end of the first century to a guy named Tim, it’s the love of money that is the root of all evil.

“What money don’t get, I can’t use,” John Lennon belted out. I’m guessing he really didn’t believe that, but it certainly caught the lurid imagination of many who – thinkingly or unthinkingly – base their lives on that philosophy. Nothing’s changed much since then. Here in 2020, half of the world's net wealth is held by the top 1% of the population.

Michael Sandel wrote the book, What Money Can’t Buy. In it he explores the philosophical basis for the failure of wealth to create or foster meaning, joy, and peace. Sandel says this about his hopes for his children: What I really want for my children is that they be loved and that they be happy and that they lead a good life. Having adequate food, shelter, and being able to pay the bills certainly contributes to a person’s well-being. But history has unquestionably proven two things: 1) having WAY more than enough does not generally lead to joy and peace, and 2) having WAY too much deprives many others of even the minimal requirements outlined by the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Wiggling the body around a dance floor can be a cathartic release of energy. So go ahead and gyrate to the Beatles singing Money. Just don’t believe the words.

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