Hands Off Your Neighbor’s Ass

My friend Max Borders is running a Kickstarter fundraiser to launch his book Superwealth: Why We Should Stop Worrying About the Gap Between Rich and Poor:

If The New York Times can trot out billionaires with guilt complexes, maybe someone out there will listen to a middle-class guy with a well-considered, well-researched case for why we should:

1. Stop worrying about The Gap,
2. Understand the true nature of wealth and poverty,
3. Stop demonizing the wealthy,
4. Focus on how best to help the poor, and
5. Learn to celebrate wealth creation.

Max’s thesis is something I’ve echoed in my own arguments with folks worried the rich are growing richer and the poor allegedly poorer (I’m looking at you, Dad). If you understand wealth is not zero-sum and is therefore infinite, then there will always be persons who grow richer daily just as every moment Voyager 2 travels farther from our sun.

Now, if an individual uses his wealth to prevent others from rising to the same plane; if he and others conspire to raise costs of goods or services through monopolization or price-fixing or corporatism; if he invests unwisely only to be rescued from loss by public money — then that’s wrong and must be combated.

But wealth in and of itself is not evil. Camels-through-the-eyes-of-needles jealousy is Nietzsche’s slave morality, simple knee-jerk emotionalism that tars something bad merely because you don’t have it.

And, in fact, because wealth has no inherent moral value — what is steel compared to the hand that wields it? — it does just as much good as evil, if not more. For every Wall Street profiteer deriding his own clients as muppets there’s a Santa Claus handing out hundreds at a homeless shelter. As Max says, instead of fretting over the zeroes in the country club president’s savings, we should concentrate on how those on the other side of the tracks can add digits to their own accounts.

So please — give Max’s Kickstarter page a gander and consider supporting him.

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