“Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter.”
Those words come from the character Francisco d'Anconia in Ayn Rand’s seminal novel, Atlas Shrugged. Today is a good time to visit this, because part one of the movie adaptation opens April 15 in limited release. We’ve had a lot of discussion about the book recently and those posts demonstrate how insidious and prevalent the negative mind viruses about money are.
That meme “money is evil” is just one of a number of fallacies about money. Here are some common myths about money and the actual reality:
Myth: Money is evil.
Reality: Poverty is evil. It causes people to lie, cheat, steal and even kill. There is nothing noble or spiritual about poverty.
Myth: Money changes you.
Reality: Money doesn’t change you; it reveals who you are.
Myth: Rich people lie, cheat and steal.
Reality: People lie, cheat and steal. And truth is, rich people have less cause to do so. I remember flying the Concorde, waiting in the special lounge and needing to use the rest room. My carry-on luggage had passport, tickets, and about $10,000 in various currencies, but I didn’t want to schlep it to the bathroom. Thinking about it, I decided that the people in the lounge were all rich and they didn’t need to steal my stuff. So I left it. Try that in the subway station!
Myth: You need money to make money.
Reality: You need an idea to make money. No one has a money shortage, only an idea shortage. As Atlas Shrugged demonstrates so well, prosperity is created by solving challenges, and creating value.
Myth: Rich people only think about money.
Reality: Rich people almost never have to think about money. Poor people have to think about it all the time.
Myth: Rich people are stuck up and snobby.
Reality: Personally I see a lot more poor people who are jealous, judgmental, and condescending towards rich people than the other way around. Most wealthy people I know support a lot of causes to help the less fortunate.
Myth: Star athletes and CEOs are overpaid.
Reality: No one comes to the football stadium to see the owners, managers, or trainers. Stars sell tickets, which sustain their sports and provide the incomes for everyone else. Corporate CEOs run companies and are responsible for the profitability that provides return to stockholders, products or services to the market, and jobs for employees.
Myth: It is the responsibility of people farther ahead of you to help you, and it is your moral prerogative to help those less fortunate than you.
Reality: This is just a racket run by the looters and co-dependents. Now personally I hope you do help those less fortunate than you, and I do a great deal myself. But you should do it because you desire to, it brings you happiness, and those you help are deserving of the assistance.
Myth: Prosperity has nothing to do with money. If you are healthy and have good relationships, you’re prosperous.
Reality: Certainly health and loving relationships are part of prosperity. But if you have to worry about making the mortgage or your car payment, that is not true prosperity.
Myth: Spiritual leaders and social workers should subsist on a meager existence so there’s more money for their causes.
Reality: Personally I want my minister to be driving a Bentley or Lamborghini, because that tells me that he or she is qualified to teach the true spiritual principles of prosperity. And if you have a cause that is near and dear to your heart, wouldn’t you want to create a benefit package that would attract the very best candidates to apply? Having the best person running the organization is ultimately what will help the most people.
So what do you think about all this? Do you agree or disagree? And what are some other myths about money?
And be sure and find a theatre showing Atlas Shrugged! Then check back and let us know what you think!