For the Love of Money

This NY Times article by Sam Polk is the best article I’ve read to date about Wall Street. It begins:

“IN my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted.”

The article goes on to reveal an inside look into perhaps the most pervasive and unchecked addiction in our culture … one with enormous ripple effects but so lauded by so many people that not a single support group exists for it. Yet. Please click here to read this insightful and eventually inspiring article by a former hedge-fund trader and the founder of the nonprofit Groceryships.

For anyone who has any additional questions about what wealth addiction looks like, here’s an article about Larry “pull it” Silverstein, owner of the World Trade Center buildings who conveniently took out huge insurance policies for terror attacks just prior to 9/11, ordered the controlled demolition of the mildly burning Tower 7, collected a cool $5 billion from insurance … and who … twelve years later just as American Airlines emerges from bankruptcy, has decided to sue the airlines whose plane supposedly crashed into his towers, because, you know, $5 billion just isn’t enough.

Must. Have. More.

“Instead of donating even a penny to the 9/11 first responders who were told they would be fine while inhaling toxic substances only to be denied healthcare for their chronic conditions, Silverstein says that he simply hasn’t been relieved of his ‘economic’ loss that suffered after 9/11. Even after receiving around $5 billion from his insurance company following the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings, he says that he needs another $3.5 billion to line his pockets. An additional 3.5 billion that brings the total to 8.5 billion, which airline attorney Roger Podesta says will be 2 1/2 times the fair value of the fallen buildings.”

Can you say, “Junkie?” Details here.

“The U.S. incarcerates more people than any country in the world. …25 percent of prison inmates in the world are locked up in the U.S.,” [source] many for addictions or bogus drug related charges. Just curious when we will begin to see some “time outs” for some of the most damaging addicts on the planet … some of whose institutions also happen to be laundering vast amounts of drug money from CIA drug running.

I wonder how the world will change when these people get off the sauce and start moving through the 12 Steps of Wealth Addiction:

1. We admitted we were powerless over money – that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to wealth addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

“I wonder” is a very powerful phrase. I wonder when more wealth junkies will take the plunge to the rock bottom that leads to freedom. May it be so.

As with alcoholism, so with wealth addiction:

“Individuals that are involved in peer-groups of the Alcoholic Anonymous 12 steps program don’t think that quitting drinking is easy.

“They believe that it takes a large amount of willingness, a change in attitudes and acts on the alcoholic individual’s part to successfully be able to make a positive change in their life without alcohol.

“This change is achieved through the involvement of four individual phases which can be seen in the list of the 12 steps above. These phases are….

“An admission on the alcoholic individual’s part that they indeed have an addiction to alcohol and need to abstain from alcohol.

Submission of the alcoholic person’s will and life to the power of God or a Higher Authority.

“The act of restitution with individuals that the alcoholic has harmed in any way.

Spreading the message of AA and the 12 steps and principles to achieve each of the above, providing each person with a healthy alcohol-free life and the ability to help others.

“Recovering alcoholics continue to live by the 12 steps in order to stay sober. The reason they continue live these principles is to learn a new healthier, happier and freer way of living, while removing various alcoholic behaviors that may be in their way.” [source]

Addiction is a spiritual disease. When we, as a society, recognize the disease of wealth addiction instead of aspiring to and rewarding it, we can stage our own intervention and begin to heal. Stop waiting for angels and aliens to save us. We need some self-respect and self-responsibility, along with partnering with the Divine:

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”

Change beings with serenity, but it also requires courage and wisdom.

Blessed Be.

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kieron on February 3, 2014 at 2:49 am

    Yep, Michael Rivero of whatreallyhappened.com has been calling them money-junkies for quite some time now. Personally, I think they’re sucking up every last dime because they sense that money, as we have known it, is going away. Having it all will avail them not! As the incoming energy increases like the growing light of dawn, they, like vampires, will turn to dust when the first rays strike them. 🙂

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  2. Yes, I’ve had that vision, too … about the vampires and the light. 🙂

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  3. Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
    Thank you for posting this. I have long imagined a world based on somother Ghandi err than money, like love, creativity, caring, service, compassion.
    Those who believe we couldn’t live without capitalism tell me no one would be motivated then but I don’t believe it. Who has ever truly *deeply* been motivated by money ?
    Little dirty often smelly pieces of paper or invisible digital bits-not exciting at all!
    Capitalism is rooted in power over others-money is just the tool used to achieve that.
    In societies based on family, kinship and obligation insteadof power over/money people still get things done.
    Creativity is rampant, everyone eats, dances, laughs, makes love. What’s missing?
    Toxic waste, radiation, poverty, and 37 flavors of toothpaste. I can easily live without those-and without skyscrapers, paved everything, factory farms, mindless entertainment and endless wars. How about you all? Would you really miss those things?

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  4. So true! I do my best to bypass money when I can — manifest the things I need w/o the middle man, mostly because I don’t like paying taxes to corrupt governments that represent corporations and death machines rather than my values. David calls it “Laura Bruno-ing” whenever I do need to buy something and it just happens to be 50-75% off when I walk into the store I intuit … or, if I get a hit to go to a thrift shop, which is rare, but when I go, I find tons of things for 50% off thrift shop prices. Just like boom, boom, boom. When I had sales jobs, my bosses could never figure out why I always hit bonuses if they were things like a trip I could take my mom on, but only skated by with my quotas each month. I just didn’t care about the money, unless I needed it for something tangible that I couldn’t get another way.

    “Little dirty often smelly pieces of paper or invisible digital bits-not exciting at all!” Exactly!

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  5. Addiction rears its ugly head in many forms. The more obvious addictions are alcohol and drugs. The less obvious ones are those such as working all the time and trying to make more money than you need. Either way, they rob you of many precious moments in life.

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  6. So true.

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