The Morality Of Money. Essay

1187 words - 5 pages

In reacting to the Enron scandal, many cultural commentators have been quick to recur to a favorite theme: the corrupting power of commerce.Here is a typical example, from the "Letters Column" of the New York Times: "Enron's collapse was a product of the culture of greed, dishonesty, ethical blindness and wishful thinking that has characterized much of corporate America since the advent of the Reagan administration" (John S. Koppel, January 22, 2002). In this view, Enron is simply the representative of corrupt, "free market" capitalism. And the author's reaction, like the reactions of many editorialists and commentators, is disgust with "greed" and contempt for the idea that money-making might be moral. The Los Angeles Times's editorial cartoonist, Jeff Danziger, captured the feeling perfectly by depicting Enron as a house of prostitution, whose parlor is decorated with statues and pictures of naked and scantily clad women holding bags marked with the dollar sign. The message was clear: Dollars are money; money symbolizes capitalism; capitalism is immoral.Danziger is right that money symbolizes capitalism, but what should we think of this symbol? Ayn Rand's answer was unequivocal: "Money demands of you the highest virtues," she wrote in Atlas Shrugged. Yet her view seems incongruous in light of the moral shortcomings of certain businessmen, wealthy heirs, and corporations, of which Enron is a particularly noisome instance. Under the circumstances, it may be useful to re-examine Objectivism's view that money is a badge of nobility, a view of money that underlies the economic commentaries in this magazine.In Atlas Shrugged, one of the heroes, Francisco d'Anconia, gives a speech on the meaning of money. In it he says: "The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human morality." His reason is that one makes money through production and trade. And that is the noblest way to live: as a producer who creates value and then gains values from others through voluntary exchange.That is just what people normally do in a free market. Money does not itself create anything, but because it is the medium of exchange it makes possible the specialized production and long-distance commerce that are the basis of our advanced and bountiful civilization. This is why, in the abstract, it is a symbol of justice, achievement, and progress.Objectivists thus defend the moral worth of making money because we admire the productive, rational, independent man or woman. But this does not mean we equate wealth with moral worth, especially not in the mixed economic system we have today. That should be apparent from the various wealthy villains Rand portrays in her novels, such as the architect Peter Keating in The Fountainhead and the railroad heir James Taggart in Atlas Shrugged.Still, the goodness of wealth is only a presumption. An heir whose business skill amounts to hiring a responsible private banker is not necessarily evil, but once we ask how he earned his money, we...

Find Another Essay On The Morality of Money.

Bitcoin: Money of the Future? Essay

855 words - 4 pages Bitcoin: Money Of The Future? Bitcoin is slowly making its way into our daily vocabulary, the news, and maybe even your wallets. But what is Bitcoin and how does it work? According to its website, "Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money.” It’s basically a new online digital currency that’s been around since 2009 but has just recently became popular because of advancing technology. We’ve had digital currencies for a long

Transcendentalism: The Basis of Morality Essay

1171 words - 5 pages Basis of Morality). Although there is not much logic to support the theories of a God or a higher being somewhere, there is also not enough evidence to disprove the belief of anyone. God is a breeze, you can feel it but cannot see it. Theologians and Philosophers have chosen to not start huge conflict with this idea because of its assistance in keeping principles and moral conduct intact in everyday life."...is physically full and rich...win the

The morality of Capital Punishment

2110 words - 8 pages Penalty.com)In the scope of this paper, I offer a summary of the article "Capital Punishment" by Hugo Adam Bedau. Bedau's article argues against capital punishment and talks about the two main principles of retributive justice that relate to the controversy of capital punishment. I will refute Bedau's claims and offer my arguments for the morality of capital punishment, including how capital punishment is a crime deterrent and how it keeps

The Morality of Capital Punishment

2156 words - 9 pages The Morality of Capital Punishment   We find ourselves at a moment when considerable national attention is being given to the morality of capital punishment, so let's discuss it in detail in this essay. Although preserving the death penalty is nowhere near the top of my moral concerns, I can think of no persuasive reason-save perhaps one, to which I will come-why a clearly guilty terrorist such as Timothy McVeigh should not be

The Morality of Capital Punishment

2651 words - 11 pages aspects of the morality of capital punishment. The Catechism (1997) #2267 says, in part, "... the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor...." "Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an

The Morality of Assisted Suicide

2768 words - 11 pages The Morality of Assisted Suicide Deciding when to die and when to live is an issue that has only recently begun to confront patients all over the world. There is an elderly man lying in a hospital bed, he just had his fourth heart attack and is in a persistent vegetative state. He is hooked up to a respirator and has more tubes and IV’s going in and out of his body everywhere. These kinds of situations exist in every hospital everyday

The Morality of Lord of the Flies

879 words - 4 pages William Golding wrote of his novel "Lord of the Flies" that the theme was an attempt to explore how the defects society are based largely on human nature rather than the structure of civilization. Golding used "Lord of the Flies" to allegorically explain that the architecture of a society depends on the morality of the individual rather than a social or political construction, regardless of its inherent merit or esteem. Golding very

The concept of Time Value of Money

956 words - 4 pages Show Me the MoneyThe concept of Time Value of Money (TVM) is that a dollar in ones hand is more valuable than receiving that same dollar in the future because of the potential earnings of the money in ones possession when invested properly (University of Phoenix, 2007). TVM has factors that can assist in determining whether money should be held on, invested or spend. This paper will define the factors that include opportunity cost, interest rate

Morality of the Genetic Engineering of Animals

1289 words - 6 pages to theology and God, genetic engineering of animals should be allowed but should also be heavily regulated. God has set forth a mandate for humans to care for and treat the world with respect. Therefore, the resources should be utilized wherever needed for the good of other humans. Genetic engineering should, therefore, be used positively and wisely. Theology and basic morality provide the limits to genetic engineering and the governments in the

The Morality of the U.S. Bombing Hiroshima

1663 words - 7 pages The Morality of the U.S. Bombing Hiroshima On August 6 and 9, 1945, the only atomic bombs ever used in warfare were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The mass destruction and numerous deaths caused by those bombs ultimately put an end to World War II. Was this the only way to end the war, however? Could this killing of innocent Japanese citizens had been avoided and the war still ended quickly

Nuances of Money in The Great Gatsby

1484 words - 6 pages No American writer has understood money more than F. Scott Fitzgerald has, says James L. W. West III . "He knows money has a deadening effect on morality. It insulates people from the pain of others." Fitzgerald's books seem to give a clear picture of the influence of money upon people's behaviour and relationships during that time. The Great Gatsby is his most reflecting book of his deftness in showing how money and class distinguish mattered

Similar Essays

The Power Of Money Essay

1126 words - 5 pages acquire money from his luck. This is a sad tale of one child’s struggle to obtain the acceptance and love from a parent by taking any all drastic measures necessary, only to learn that no amount of money can buy happiness or love. Subsequently, the underlying need for money can affect anyone, even a small child. The power of financial stability is dangerous to toy around with; one could work their selves to death just to earn a dollar. In the

The Morality Of Abortion Essay

1398 words - 6 pages in the question of the morality of abortion. When parents decide to keep or not keep a baby the issue of adoption does not play into this. The reason for this is that once the baby is born that the parents may change their mind if they want to keep it. Parents must decide at the onset of the pregnancy to decide if they can in good conscience bring a child into the world, if the answer is yes, then people should proceed with the pregnancy and

The Morality Of Torture Essay

1348 words - 5 pages The Morality of Torture The moral issue of torture is one that has come under scrutiny by many national and international organizations as of late. To talk about torture one must really understand what torture is. As taken from Dictionary.com “1.a. Infliction or severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion. b. An instrument or a method for inflicting such pain. 2. Excruciating physical or mental pain; agony. 3. Something

The Future Of Our Money Essay

2559 words - 10 pages The invention of money is perhaps one of the greatest achievements of human civilization. From the very beginning of society, people have used money to circumvent the difficulties of bartering and to foster trade and commerce. Since then, money has come a long way. No longer do we need to rely on silver coins, cocoa beans, or even anything of intrinsic value to conduct our business; today, we use paper currency, which is convenient and easy to