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Imagine I’m a Moral Multibillionaire

December 26, 2015

Does my wealth limit my range of moral choice? Does the very system that produces, or at least provides the opportunity for production of, multibillionaires constrict my range of moral decision-making? Does it eliminate some alternatives?

I really want to know. (Just in case.)

For instance, can I choose to scale down to being a unibillionaire, within an acceptable period of, say, two years—I tend to become impatient when my money is involved—allowing for the need to make reasonable and morally responsible arrangements for personal downward redistribution of my wealth?

If I can do that, freely choosing to do so, within a free market, what is a morally acceptable reason not to do so?

(Or then, too, is there some other kind of reason why it would be unwise for me to do that?)

[In other words, having an exorbitant amount of money within a culture of severe inequality is both immoral and foolish. Sorry. What can I say? It is immoral because (a) it avoidably creates and supports conditions that damage and destroy lives—including human, and (b) it fails to do what it can to counter those conditions. It is foolish in that (a) it manifests a failure of attention to reality, and (b) it is so disproportionate as to be an extreme that manifests a deeper psychological malaise.

Within that context of immorality and foolishness, some individuals exert some of their wealth in ways that are relatively moral and wise. We can appreciate that somewhat. Some don’t.

Thus the relevance of this topic to the present narrative.

I mean, come on. We’ve known these things for as long as we’ve had a modern economy. 8,000 yrs? 10? Billionaires are persons, my friends. Or am I being to much of a conservative about it?]

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