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Money’s pretty ridiculous isn’t it.
The concept is fine – a carpenter wants some food, and a farmer wants a table and chairs to eat it on. It’s difficult to quantify exactly how many chickens a chair is worth, so let’s come up with some third thing that we can swap around, and have some consistency on.
The problem is that over time human greed has affected money to such an extent that we’d probably all be happier if we just went back to simpler times. This was highlighted to me recently in two ways:
1. The lottery
I mean, what on earth is this? I pay £1 to enter a contest which I’m less likely to win than being eaten alive by flesh-eating bacteria whilst being struck by lightning and hitting a hole-in-one. Apparently it’s 200,000% more likely that I’ll be legally executed than winning the lottery. Actually, it’s infinitely more likely because I never play, but if I played the odds would look like that.
So when I read the paper this morning and saw that a couple had won so much on Euromillions that the interest alone would pay them over £2million per year I sort of felt pleased for them (and their friends, who they’ve apparently promised to make millionaires), but it also made me a touch upset, because this win has had two knock-on effects.
- The couple has retired to enjoy their money, so they’ve put down any responsibility they had; and
- Everyone reading the story is now convinced that the best way to become financially stable is to play the lottery.
Conclusion: money makes people irresponsible and stupid.
I don’t really think I need to elaborate too much on this, but basically sports stars get paid a whole bunch. I don’t think he’s the highest paid player in the world, but the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Michael Vick, recently signed a 6-year, $100million contract, basically because he’s able to throw a ball better than me or you. Not being funny, but I don’t think I’ll earn that in my life! Maybe I should play the lottery…
The distribution of sports funds works perfectly in a capitalist society, because fans are willing to spend the extra dough and it would be unfair for some owner who doesn’t actually do anything to take all that money.
And this all just makes me frustrated – the original purpose for money was a good idea, but what it’s actually done has moved us away from a mutually-supportive society in which we take personal responsibility and use our skills for the common good, towards a selfish culture focused on personal gain for as little effort as possible.
Jesus said that you can’t serve both God and money. Thankfully, God’s far more loving, faithful, reliable and generous than money.