On Money & Meanness: A Perspective

"Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver." Ayn Rand 

On Money & Meanness: A Perspective - Does money make you mean?

Money and Meanness: What do you think of rich people? What about people in poverty?  When it comes to the subject of money, everyone has an opinion. Some of us see it as financial freedom, others see it as a burden, and there are those who see it as a way to dominate others. Yet, money is energy and gives us the opportunity do with it as our heart or head dictates. If we don't have it, we worry about paying our bills and our meanness might be the result of our frustration. If we have it, we worry that others might steal it or we might decide to use it as a control mechanism: a weapon against our enemies. Regardless of how we view it, one thing is clear, our upbringing and experiences have an impact on our attitude towards money.  There are mean and stingy rich and poor people. The mean behavior has more to do with the relationship they have with money, a sense of entitlement/loss/not having enough, than their social standing.
Is there anyone in this forum who has an income of $500k annual salary? Are you all married? I wanted to ask: what should I do to marry rich persons like you? Among those I've dated, the richest is $250k annual income, and it seems that this is my upper limit. If someone is going to move into high cost residential area on the west of New York City Garden ( ? ) , $250k annual income is not enough. I'm here humbly to ask a few questions: 1) Where do most rich bachelors hang out? (Please list down the names and addresses of bars, restaurant, gym) 2) Which age group should I target? 3) Why most wives of the riches is only average-looking? I've met a few girls who doesn't have looks and are not interesting, but they are able to marry rich guys 4) How do you decide who can be your wife, and who can only be your girlfriend? (my target now is to get married) Ms. Pretty Amazing

Does money make rich people mean?  Not entirely. I believe it can exacerbate an existing tendency that already exists in us. If you've always been a considerate person, winning the lottery won't turn you into an ogre unless that monster was always part of your shadow self.  Bill Gates, Oprah, Bono, and other very wealthy people we know put their money to work for good. They use it to help educate, heal and uplift the downtrodden. Some wealthy folk see their money through the lens of power and privilege and become abusive but this is not a given for every rich person. Some rich people become very paranoid because they fear the Ms-Pretty-Amazings (see above) of the world want them strictly for their money.  The young lady, a 25 year old pretty girl, posted this in Craigslist some years ago. It brought attention to her when, allegedly, a high ranking office or the CEO at JP Morgan sent her a reply. What motivates you to work for your own upkeep? What would you have advised her to do?  The Investment Banker's reply is in the 2nd half below.

 If you want to rear financial blessings, you have to sow financially. Joel Osteen 
Money For Nothing - Meanness,  not a gold coin, is free.

Paul Piff: Does money make you mean?

What has had more influence on your life perspective: your upbringing or your experiences?
I would say both have influenced my perspective about money. My dad was a generous, yet conservative philanthropist. He saw money as seeds to be planted and nurtured. Later in life, I met people who saw money as bullets used to destroy anyone who opposed their myopic thinking. I prefer my late dad's thinking. Another subject that triggered this post was the December presentation (see above) by Paul Piff at a TED event. In the video, Paul speaks about an experiment he conducted to help him determine the relationship between money and meanness. He offered two groups of  volunteers a chance at playing a win-money-game of monopoly. Unbeknownst to the poor group, the rich players had the advantage because the game was rigged.

As the game unfolded, the behavior of the rich players shifted; they became abrasive and pompous. This was, as Piff suggested in the video, a way the mind makes sense of advantage. As the advantaged power players  won each game, they started bragging, got bolder, started cheating,  and had a sense of entitlement and self-interest. Their  lack of compassion grew as the Poor players, feeling down and intimidated, gave in to their opponents. if you've been exposed to that sort of oppressive environment, it could shape your attitude about poverty and wealth. To learn more on the Rigged game of monopoly - watch the video above.

Money is a lubricant. It lets you “slide” through life instead of having to “scrape” by. Money brings freedom—freedom to buy what you want , and freedom to do what you want with your time. Money allows you to enjoy the finer things in life as well as giving you the opportunity to help others have the necessities in life. Most of all, having money allows you not to have to spend your energy worrying about not having money. T. Harv Eker

 As much as I understand the saying that loving money is the root of all evil, I believe we can love making money without pernicious outcomes. My personal belief is that money is energy and by itself is not evil. People have different motivations for making money and, as we earn more, certain character traits are enhanced. Money alone is not evil but what people choose to do with it can become evil. T.Harv Eker says it well  in the quote above: having money helps us spend energy elsewhere instead of worrying.  What's your take?
More below

A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money. John Ruskin
Money and Meanness: Even tainted money(a security tracking measure) has its value

Reply by J.P. Morgan CEO:
Dear Ms. Pretty, I have read your post with great interest. Guess there are lots of girls out there who have similar questions like yours. Please allow me to analyze your situation as a professional investor. My annual income is more than $500k, which meets your requirement, so I hope everyone believes that I'm not wasting time here. From the standpoint of a business person, it is a bad decision to marry you.. ;The answer is very simple, so let me explain.

Put the details aside, what you're trying to do is an exchange of 'beauty' and 'money': Person A provides beauty, and Person B pays for it, fair and square. However, there's a deadly problem here, your beauty will fade, but my money will not be gone without any good reason. The fact is, my income might increase from year to year, but you can't be prettier year after year. Hence from the viewpoint of economics, I am an appreciation asset, and you are a depreciation asset. It's not just normal depreciation, but exponential depreciation. If that is your only asset, your value will be much worried 10 years later.

By the terms we use in Wall Street, every trading has a position, dating with you is also a 'trading position'. If the trade value dropped we will sell it and it is not a good idea to keep it for long term - same goes with the marriage that you wanted. It might be cruel to say this, but in order to make a wiser decision any assets with great depreciation value will be sold or 'leased'. Anyone with over $500k annual income is not a fool; we would only date you, but will not marry you. I would advice that you forget looking for any clues to marry a rich guy. And by the way, you could make yourself to become a rich person with $500k annual income. This has better chance than finding a rich fool.. Hope this reply helps. If you are interested in 'leasing' services, do contact me.... J.P. Morgan CEO Replies Source:Hulltruth.com
J.P. Morgan

 The alleged CEO gave his honest point of view to the young lady and the reply went viral. External beauty depreciates and has a short lifespan; she's better off working for her own 500k. If I may add, it helps to be able to count your money. Till this day, the letter circulates in some version or other. Of course, the most popular version I see on the internet is: JP Morgan CEO Replies to a Gold Digger! Do you think the CEO offered her concrete facts and truths, or is everything in life fairly fluid? For more discussions on money, listen to Does Money Make You Mean? by Susan Weinschenk  Also, YouTube has a wide selection for your enjoyment.

 What are your thoughts?
There are no wrong answers; our views are ours to share and/or protect. They aid conversation, contemplation and stories on money and meanness. Please share your views with me in the comment section. Thanks again! If you are interested in joining the February Challenge, there are a few tips to remember:
1) The NaBloPoMo February 2014 theme is "Perspective"
2) The NaBloPoMo writing prompts are Fantastic
3)  NaBloPoMo has added a photography component to its theme and prompts
4)  I'm doing NaBloPoMo, and I'd LOVE some company.

Some Food for Thought:
What are your thoughts on Money and Meanness? What experience have you had with the subject?  Do you think winning 100 million dollars would change you? How/Why?  In what way?  Happy February! Love and Peace!

I would love to hear from you: Please leave me a comment. Thank You!

All Photographs: Billets, US Coins, Stained money, via Wikipedia or My Personal Collection

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
 Mirth and Motivation
 Positive Kismet


  1. Wow, my first thoughts are if that is a real reply from the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, he did not get his money's worth in his education in grammar or spelling. Aside from that, I agree money is definitely a lubricant. It makes life easier. I think it might be like alcohol, the more you have, the more it "enhances" your personality. So, if you were a jerk before you had money, you'll probably be a bigger one with more money.

    1. Wow this is such a perfect way to describe it! I totally agree on it being a lubricant. Has anyone heard about the guy who sold his million dollar startup and donated the money to charity? I don't know if I could ever do that, despite how much I want to say that I would be able to.

  2. I think money can often promote meanness, but having money doesn't always make someone mean.

    I was saddened by the woman's post because I have met people who think this way. In fact, one young girl I'm very close to told me she wants to become a "basketball wife" so she doesn't have to work. When i asked her what about love? she said she could get a divorce and get money later.

    Then, I asked her what about making it on your own? She said why would I do that? I can just marry rich because I'm beautiful and fabulous. I'm not sure where she got this idea -- perhaps television, but I've heard many other girls say this too.

    I would love to win 100 million dollars, but I'm not sure it would change me or the way I live my life -- it would definitely help with stress, paying off debt, and help increase our contributions to charities. As you said, it's not money that's evil. It's the way it's used.

  3. I think it is all about your roots and perspective. I know a lot of people that have money and are incredibly generous with their money and drive old beat up trucks and wear old dirty jeans. You just have to keep your perspective on life and what really matters. BUT a lot of people lose sight of that and greed can really destroy a person, families, etc.

  4. In my experiences, money does change people. I would like to think that if I won millions of dollars it would not change who I am as a person. But all the things you have to face when gaining wealth so fast could have an impact on one that is unpredictable. I would rather a person give me their time over their money anyday.

  5. Meanness has less to do with money and more to do with a person's heart. In my opinion, if we walk with God, we'll acquire his positive attitude. Positive attracts. Negative pushes away. If you want wealth, happiness, good standing, you need to be positive in attitude. I'm not one who really cares how much money I have, as long as bills are paid, and God has always provided.

  6. I love that first quote. It is so true.

    Michelle F.

  7. I think that we put too much value to money. Money in itself has no value, it's only paper and ink. It only has the value we give to it. And for me, it's really overrated.

  8. I think generous spirits are nurtured while we're young. I've known some very generous and very rich people. I think it's hard to know what motivates people when it comes to why some people worry about money and others don't care at all.

  9. I don't' think winning a million bucks would change me much, it would have 10 years ago but I am old enough now to know that money doesn't make us happy and what it takes to make a dollar the honest way.

  10. I sincerely doubt the response was from the CEO of JP Morgan but it doesn't detract from what the person is saying. Beauty will fade. Money is necessary and can make life easier. Money is also a problem because it enslaves you. You need enough to be secure, but not too much to make you insecure on the other end of the spectrum.

  11. This was such an interesting post! I've never heard this story before, and I agree: Money itself isn't bad, but it's our attitude regarding money that can corrupt a person.

  12. I think money could be used for good too, and it is in so many cases. Helping reach out where help is really needed.

    Would a big win change me? The question is good, and probably yes. My biggest fear is distributing it. Hubby and I would never agree on where it should go and to whom, our ideals are too different. He's want to keep it all until we passed. I'd want to share with our loved ones now. I wouldn't like the strife between him and I that I am sure it would bring.

  13. Your upbringing really does plays a significant role in how you view money as a child... and as an adult. I lived in a household where as a child, I never felt like I wanted or needed anything, and I was in no way 'spoiled' financially. It wasn't until recently that my Mom revealed that she had a lot of penny pinching moments when I was young (I had NO CLUE as a child - never felt any stress from her). As an adult, I don't view money as being a huge important part of my life...I mean...it doesn't take much to make me happy. I place value on the simpler, heartfelt gestures and making my loved ones happy. I am frugal (yet do not want for anything) and LOVE saving money for the sake of making what I have last longer.

  14. Money can definitely be a tool... good article!

  15. I think money is not only freedom to not stress about your bills..On the other hand, money never buys happiness, just makes you freer.. I know people who were broke, and now have allot of money, and they have not changed.

  16. I'm a huge fan of Joel Osteen. I don't think win a million bucks would change me. Everyone is indeed different.

  17. I love what Stephanie said above. I agree with her. Thanks for the post. Greed is the root of evil, not money.

  18. 100 million would probably change me a little. I could definitely see myself becoming lazy. :)

  19. I agree with Kung Phoo. It can make life easier but it can never buy permanent happiness. You might be happy for a few days with a purchase but then the purchase gets old. And I don't think money changes a person.

  20. Money gives us the guts to do something beyond our control. And greed for money causes evil doings.

  21. The original quote was "The love of money is the root of all evil." It was not "Money is the root of all evil." There is a difference. Money doesn't make people mean. Greed makes people mean. I also believe the lack of money can also make people mean and desperate.

  22. This was such an interesting story! I've seen many friends who have indeed changed when they became rich.

  23. I think a lot of people that have money don't share the good fortune. Although this is not necessary true. Ellen is always giving away free items. In fact, if I ever won a large lottery I would share with people in need and animals in need. But maybe this is because I have always been poor. Something to ponder.

  24. That is an interesting article. I liked the letter J.P. Morgan wrote. The only rich persons I know personally are very generous and are always helping others through donations to charity. I guess I'm lucky to have met some of the good ones. I'm sure some rich persons are power-hungry and stingy.


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