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Thread: Money Changes Everything; or does it?

  1. #1
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Money Changes Everything; or does it?

    I did a search but didn't find anything this would fit with. So here goes.

    On the way home from work yesterday I was listening to Erik Kuselias on ESPN radio. He made the observation that money does not change a person but only enhances their personal attributes. If you’re a generous person, you become more philanthropic if you become wealthy. If you’re greedy, you become more of a miser if you become wealthy. He went on with a couple of other examples. Interesting perspective. What do you think? Would it change you?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    I don't have an actual link to the study, so it might not exist, but I've heard that there was a study done on people who win the lottery and it turned out that after one year their personalities were unchanged. Upon first winning the lottery they were very happy but if they're a jerk who is miserable all the time, a year later they are still a miserable jerk but now with a lot of toys.

    I think the term "personality amplifier" is appropriate here. People have all kinds of weird quirks and money can allow them to indulge them. Look at Michael Jackson. He probably would have still been a creepy guy if he never made a fortune but he wouldn't have had the means to get all the plastic surgery, build "Neverland", etc. So while the core creepiness probably would have always been there, the money allowed him to go down a path of creepiness that he otherwise would not have been able to do.

    In the same way, a rich person who gives away most of their fortune may have still been as generous at heart if they had been poor but not have had an opportunity to give away money. Perhaps it would have shown up in small ways, like feeding birds or letting a down on their luck relative stay rent free until they got back on their feet.

    With that said, there is likely a limit to this. A very generous person who somehow finds their way into absolute poverty, living on the streets, etc would almost certainly develop a different personality to help them survive their new circumstances.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I'm not sure that money would not change who people are. From the few examples I can think of, several of those people did change, as they began to do things, go places, and acquire tastes they did not have before. Some good. Some bad.

    Money would not change me. It would only be a vehicle to help me reach my life's goal of world domination.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I did a search but didn't find anything this would fit with. So here goes.

    On the way home from work yesterday I was listening to Erik Kuselias on ESPN radio. He made the observation that money does not change a person but only enhances their personal attributes. If you’re a generous person, you become more philanthropic if you become wealthy. If you’re greedy, you become more of a miser if you become wealthy. He went on with a couple of other examples. Interesting perspective. What do you think? Would it change you?
    I agree with Erik Kuselias. Just look at people who where flat broke before they won the lottery... it is only a matter of time and they are flat broke (and in serious debt) again. However those who have worked hard to achieve wealth and have done it honestly the entire way are the ones who keep it. Additionally look at Donald Trump. He was an arrogant perfectionist in military school, now he is a billion times worse since the money is his and not his dads.

    On the flip side of the coin, the people who were phenomenally wonderful people before they were wealthy are the ones who “anonymously” give to foundations and charities. These people don’t do it for the glamour or to have some building named after them, they do it because it is the right thing to do.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I'll echo agreement with others - by no means does having lots of money improve the quality of one's inner life. And the old addage 'it's better to be rich and miserable than poor and miserable' may not hold true - I heard once about a guy who drank himself to death after winning the lotto - something he apparently couldn't accomplish without sufficient funds .
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by AubieTurtle View post
    I don't have an actual link to the study, so it might not exist, but I've heard that there was a study done on people who win the lottery and it turned out that after one year their personalities were unchanged. Upon first winning the lottery they were very happy but if they're a jerk who is miserable all the time, a year later they are still a miserable jerk but now with a lot of toys.
    I saw a TV show that checked up on New Zealanders who had won the lottery, a year or two after their win. It was really amazing to see how many of them frittered it all away, and some were even living back on the verge of poverty! A lot of them spent the money unwisely without doing research first. Most of them didn't seem to have changed much, and many were back where they started.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    I like this thread's topic. It's not something that I've ever really considered, but I've touch upon with some surficial thoughts.

    Wow, these examples are an eye-opening testimony to the proposition that money may not really change us after all.

    Do you have examples that money actually did change people?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    My only marginally-expensive hobby is books, but how much room do you have for those? I'd keep my library card. I don't think I'd change except maybe to get a maid, I hate house-cleaning.

    I don't think money changes you. I'd love to see what my SIL would do with lottery winnings. She might move up from daily shopping at Big Lots.... hehehehe...

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    If I won the lottery I'd invest most part of it...I'd also travel around the world, but I wouldn't waste money on superfluous things... So yeah... I wouldn't change.

    Now to prove that people don't change with money, when someone poor wins the lottery they usually end up poor later too... why? They don't save it up, they don't invest... and that's why they were poor in the first place. Sounds harsh, but it's true.

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