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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 27 2013: In my view: hoarding has been happening and will continue to happen. since wealth is seen as a major incentive for any action or activity until we come to know a better alternative for hoarding wealth hoarding will continue. wealth represents a lot more than just money, it represents status, respect, pride, prestige and the most important one security. so the question is "Is there a better alternative?". cheers
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      Oct 27 2013: agreed, which begs the question WHY are the wealthy accorded any kind of status, respect or prestige in the first place?
      Beyond the hoarding issue, we have all kinds of historical evidence showing that many family fortunes and plenty of arrogant billionaires have been made by ripping off taxpayers through government boondoggles and criminal enterprises such as bootlegging during prohibition in the past and drug smuggling more recently. Then there are the countless stock and investment frauds perpetrated by crooks who then became "shrewd entrepreneurs' throughout the past century, but which pale in comparison to the more recent heist where corporate crooks robbed millions of investors of trillions of dollars and then the cost of that fraud was dumped in the laps of U.S. taxpayers by colluding politicians. What about those who did nothing to "earn" the wealth other than simply being born into it? .

      Surely wealth in and of itself is the poorest reason to accord honours such as prestige, respect or status without first determining just how that wealth was acquired?

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