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william clegg

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Should we view wealth hoarding as dysfunctional as any other form of hoarding?

We tend to view those who acquire and accumulate "stuff" endlessly as hoarders who are dysfunctional and requiring health care assistance. Therefore, those whose lives are an endless accumulation of wealth and who use that wealth for little more than acquiring ever more "stuff" and/or endlessly stimulating as many pleasure centers as they can as often as then can seem to fall into that dysfunctional category.

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Closing Statement from william clegg

We had quite a lively debate ensued on this topic. The majority of comments suggest that hoarding wealth is, in fact, dysfunctional and many offered insightful ways in which they saw that dysfunction being played out in the real world. They also point out that the harm caused by a wealth hoarder is generally imposed upon their community while for other forms of hoarding it is the hoarder themselves who bears the brunt of that behaviour.

There were a few who were opposed to the hoarding label and who appeared to have no problem with the endless accumulation of wealth, largely because they seem to believe that the wealth was still being invested but offered no validation of this premise. As well that seems to be a rather specious argument if all the investing does is acquire more wealth.

It was pointed out a number of times that hoarding can have very real health issues involved, both psychological and physical. However, whether those health issues are as problematic for the wealth hoarder who has estates with lots of gates, security and staff to hide behind as they are in the poor and middle class who are far more visible is uncertain. Although the number of wealthy celebrities who have overdosed on drugs and/or alcohol abuse may be one indicator.

But the most humorous comments appeared to take real umbrage with the mere suggestion that wealth was being hoarded and even employed old 20th century commie fear mongering to make their - rather dull - point. .

It seems that for the majority of contributors hoarding is hoarding and as such is as dysfunctional as other forms of hoarding but that we all experience the consequences of that dysfunction. .

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      Oct 24 2013: softcore option: take their wealth away, it just hurts them
      hardcore option: put them in a behavioral correction facility

      ps: for those that believe in fixing people against their will, i recommend reading up on the case of alan turing.
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        Oct 24 2013: But it is OK to fix people against their will the moment they take away some of your accumulated 'stuff' in despair of their survival, right?

        Would that be soft or hardcore by your definition?
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        Oct 24 2013: why is this OK but not the other?

        My book allows people in order to survive to take what they need from others who have more than they need to survive if they can not get it otherwise. Not in yours?
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        Oct 24 2013: Also in my book is the right of any community to fight anything and anyone destructive to it.
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        Oct 24 2013: ' ... that is the question?' - Yes

        'for example theft' - with named exceptions and dysfunctional hoarding, of course.
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      Oct 24 2013: So Theodor, how do you make your connection to what you heard somewhere, what you think is in my book and what I wrote what is in my book?
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          Oct 25 2013: I see what you mean now, it was my comment above the one on which you commented, which may have cause my confusion.

          Yes, thats in my book, yet it is just a small excerpt of it and came without much detail and context, what probably caused confusion as well.

          The term 'survival' is key and got nothing to do with hording, power, influence or any other agenda or interest. So in order to 'survive', humans need certain basics to be able to do so, and if for whatever reason they can not get it otherwise (via work, help, etc.) they are allowed to take it from others which have more than they need to secure their basics.

          In short, the protection of a human live has priority over the protection of private possession, at least in my book. Maybe the term 'Petty larceny of food' may explain better what my intention is. It is not to confuse with any ' ... minority to take whatever course of action it deems appropriate to safeguard its interests' beyond the needs for plain survival.

          Also dysfunctional hoarding on large scales by a minority could cause artificial shortages for a majority, which, even if it does not endanger their basic survival, allows the majority to secure their interest towards the minority. in my book, which is based on the fairness principle, yet this is where it usually becomes very difficult and highly depends on the conflict of interests itself.

          An artificial shortages on beer mats (as collectibles) has a different weight than an artificial shortages on rice, which may get bought and stored in large quantities by a few to artificially rise the price for rice for many. This sort of market manipulation has nothing to do with the original idea of markets and is therefore destructive for any society as it allows 'financial capital' to disturb the usual exchange of goods and services.
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          Oct 25 2013: I agree with what you say about acute poverty and that those people often lack the energy to claim their share for the basics. Yet this usually happens due to system failures within the political realm or due to force majeure, such as insufficient harvests due to weather conditions. For both the world usually reacts helpful to those in hunger and try to support the people in need by food care programs or educational help programs. But this is based on donations and not to help the poor in their behalf by plundering 'their' rich. Yet I would welcome a fair and equal world council, which would fight in their behalf if the cause of their suffering was based on a local corrupt political or economical system. I didn't say this comes without conflict, as it usually doesn't.

          Ideas are as easy as lip service, I highly agree. Yet if we don't have any ideas in our books, we wouldn't know what to do if the time has come to finally take action. Call it ideas, ideals, world view or morals - we should have them and hopefully never have any reason to act upon them, as when we do, things can become very messy.

          I was thinking about what would happen if the USA would stop their food stamps program to balance their recent budged 'theater' yet fundamental dept crisis, as never in the history of that nation before, so many people were depended on it. What would happen if millions of people wouldn't know how to get foot within a first world country. Would there be riots? Would they act before they are to weak from malnutrition? Would they act in accordance to my book and take from those who have more than they need for survival? Would they break into supermarkets or private homes in their search for food? I think they would. All of this would happen and this even pretty soon, because their 'collective memory' about 'good times' would directly bring them to action to fill their stomaches. This would cause instability within this society, which will be reason not to stop food-stamps.
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          Oct 25 2013: High obesity and criminal rates are no positive indicators for a healthy society. On the contrary, and both have their reasons within the current system.

          Studies in Germany showed, that obesity and crime is directly related to relative poverty, integration and education. And to break this link, one got to end poverty, re-integrate and increase education.

          Switzerland has just started a political debate weather or not a 'basic income' shall be introduced or not. If this finds their majority vote, this would mean, that every citizen would earn a basic income of 2.500 Euro per month and this regardless if they work or not. This would be a very interesting experiment to follow, how and in which way the society would change and this negatively as well as positively. Therefore I hope they decide for it, so all other nations could learn from it as well. And in case it doesn't work out as assumed, they can easily change it back at any time, because Switzerland is way more flexible as direct democracy as many other democracies we know of today. I for my part am very curious.
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          Oct 25 2013: Ah, I forgot to mention this, Switzerland is also going to decide democratically, to reduce the difference of the minimum wage and the maximum wage to a maximum of 12.

          This means, that the highest possible income could only be 12 times higher than the lowest possible income, which was 2.500 Euro a month if the basic income would pass as well.

          You can imagine that some people are not very happy about this idea, yet it remains to be seen, if those people are enough to form the majority vote.

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