Money Is Good, People Are Amazing

"Money Is Good, People Are Amazing" by blueoxen on flickr

Money is more important than people.

That is what I hear day in and day out from the right and regrettably not all just the right.

For at close to 30 years I have had the strong belief that people are more important than money.  It began with my first serious girlfriend.  We argued nicely; her saying that a good job and lots of money was more important than a good family and friends.  I said the opposite.  It seemed harmless enough, but it became a deal breaker.  I didn’t want to devote my life in the pursuit of money above all else.

When I met my wife of 27 years we were in agreement that our children would be more important than things bought with money.  We agreed that one of us would stay home to raise our children.  I had no problem if she wanted to work, or me.  I worked and did okay enough.  We never had the goodies that many consider “making it”; rarely ate out at restaurants and such.  Actually, our kids went with us wherever we went unless it was impossible.  We had a sitter 4 times in all my children’s childhood; not because we couldn’t, but because we they were family.

I say that to illustrate that I don’t just say that “people are more important than money” I live it.

Every day, literally every day, I am confronted with numerous challenges to my personal philosophy.  Take the tea radical Republican’s that cry “what about the children?” when speaking of taxes.  Look at the motivation, it is pure personal greed.  They don’t really care about the children; they care about wanting more money in their pocket.  Those same exact people want Social Security, Medicare, and public education eliminated to “save the children.”  They don’t care if it kills Grandma Em or Uncle Fred as long as they get a few bucks back.

Some say that 40 years ago no one would even think of taking welfare, yet forget that back then one person could work to support a family instead of two unless sacrifices are willing to be made.  40 years ago workers had value; had worth.  They were not just a combined number on a balance sheet for labor costs that is always too high no matter how low.  40 years ago a worker took pride in his work because he knew he was appreciated for his effort unlike today where one hears “everyone is replaceable” almost daily.

When I say that “people is more important than money” or the reverse, I don’t mean that they exclude the other.  I believe the phrase is “you can’t serve two masters.”  If one puts money above all else, then people cannot be as important.  To the reverse, if one puts people as being more important than money, then money cannot be as important.  I am sure someone can come up with singular exceptions, as can I.  When my light bill is due I need money, not people, but that doesn’t really say I care more about money, just that it is necessary.  Likewise, I am sure that there are many people that believe that money is the single most important thing that there is, and still have families that they care about.  What I mean is they will put the pursuit of money above even the family.  It is about how one lives his life and what he values more.

When I say that “people are more important than money” I am not saying that we should be socialists, or a welfare state.  I would really like to eliminate the need for most forms of welfare.  The answer is very simple, the way to achieve it near impossible.   Return to people having value and earn pay that they can live on without government help.

I apologize to anyone that may take what I said as “Preaching” because that is not my intent.  I wanted to share my way of life and personal philosophy and explain what I see as the real difference between those that care and those that just want money.

Look at the debt talks; eliminate social programs that will hurt people in exchange for money.

Eliminate unions so that teachers can be paid less than other with the same degree.  Some even want public education eliminated entirely and converted to pay only schools.  Can anyone really want and advocate an illiterate populace?  Or is it just the want of a few extra bucks in their pocket and who cares about the children?

I could go on all day, but it still comes down to a choice of which master is followed; money, or caring about people, your family over money, people in general over money…

On a side note, I have found that debating those that think you are the enemy with the belief that people ARE more important than money they tend to not know how to respond.  If you are the enemy and you care about people over money they can’t attack that enemy because he isn’t greedy.