TED Conversations

william clegg

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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.

+5
Share:

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.

  • Oct 31 2013: What gives you the right to say that hoarding is dysfunctional? If anyone wishes to collect mass quantities of anything that is their right as long as they do not engage in theft to do so.
    • thumb
      Nov 2 2013: firstly, anyone has the right to label anything as they see fit. secondly, one can clearly exercise their rights and be dysfunctional in doing so. Drinking and eating to gross excess are two simple examples. Greed, no matter how it's dressed up, is dysfunctional, and should not be given a pass and rebranded as a mark of success.
    • thumb
      Nov 2 2013: it is a question,a debate...is it ok to ask questions? do we need permission to question behaviour? what would you prefer intellectuals do..not question ourselves? Some people are in fact suffering,and indeed some others are collecting resources..should no one observe the behaviour and see it as profound..your thoughts ..please..but try to stay calm..its just a question

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.