TED Conversations

william clegg


This conversation is closed.

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.


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. .

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 27 2013: the whole obsession with hoarding of anything comes from a mentality of scarcity which occurs endlessly in Europe...starvation,plague,war,persecution,bad weather...all this lead to a mentlity in Europeans of desperation and idealism in which a perfect enviorment was mythologized. Other areas of the world were in fact paradise and people developed more relaxed attitudes that lush vegetation supports. PTS.syndrome from this FACT...is easily visible by outsiders to the aggressive style of peoples from regions of scarcity and the behaviour now a MEME has deep roots in culture,myth,literature,law,to such a degree that all these peoples are in fact surrounded by excess and sre dangerously compiling storages which in fact are seen as the cause of enivitable world destruction. Therefore I would reason the obsession with wealth as a "THING" is illogical,say as in comparaison with creative endeavours....For example the building of interesting enviornments or building enviornments which are capable of flux is a surer sign of a richer reality. The very fact that money is an abstract concept and not really a thing makes the collection of it profound...but the lack of knowing what to create really suggests that those who hoard do so with limited GOOD concepts of why.
    • Timo X

      • 0
      Oct 27 2013: So the accumulation of wealth is a typically European phenomenon?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.