The problem of poverty is very acute in our world, and the division into rich and poor only exposes the sad situation. I have sometimes noticed the same thing: I see people on TV and on social media who are rich and famous, and they are proud to show off their expensive clothes, cars, or jewelry. But none of those luxury items are necessary! They are status symbols to show people how wealthy they are, but it also shows something negative about their character. To value expensive items more than you value helping other people does not show any compassion. The author writes, “There are elderly people who become homeless because they cannot afford rent. There are children living on streets and in cars, there are mothers who can’t afford diapers for their babies.” In other words, there are so many more important things to spend money on. Why not change someone’s life, pay for someone’s education or groceries, instead of buying a fancy pair of shoes? For this reason, it does seem morally wrong to just save your money or spend it on luxury items instead of helping other people. However, it is difficult to agree with the author in all the listed aspects concerning the immorality of wealth. For one thing, he writes that a wealthy person must either give away all their money, or they are immoral: “If you’ve got $3 billion, and you give away 1, you’re still incredibly wealthy, and thus still harming many people by hoarding wealth. You have to get rid of all of it, beyond a realistic moral amount.”
I disagree about this point. There are many wealthy people who are very generous, and use their money to make a difference. Consider McKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jess Bezos. In 2020 alone, she gave away $6 billion to charity, including $30 million to BMCC. Or consider Oprah Winfrey, who has funded schools and educations for young girls in Africa. Scott and Winfrey still have plenty of money, but I don’t think it’s fair to call them immoral. They could spend their money on anything, and they chose to use it to help others. For another thing, it seems like the author doesn’t consider anything but money. There are many ways to help other people, such as volunteering your time and your skills. For people who are rich and famous, they can use their image to increase awareness and raise money for a particular cause. For both of these reasons, I cannot completely agree with the author. In brief, the passage says that being rich is shameful, and the only moral thing to do is give away all of your money beyond your basic needs. In my opinion, the author has a good point about wealth, but I find that some of his ideas are too extreme for me. Poverty is a serious problem, and I hope our society will prioritize solutions.