Do People Want Riches to Buy Stuff or Status? | Scott H Young - Deepstash
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Why people want riches

Why people want riches

Even though material conditions have improved during the last few decades, happiness has decreased.

This can be because of two factors:

  • People want money to buy more stuff. But if we've already exceeded the amount of money we need to buy happiness, why do we desire more?
  • A more plausible theory is that people want money because it buys them status. However, as society's wealth increases, the money to uphold a status increases, causing status to stay out of reach.


17 reads

People want to buy status

Most wealth is acquired because people want status. You want to spend money to show everyone else that you have the power to buy.

But seeking status is a low-status behaviour. It becomes distasteful if someone is seen trying to gain fame or new stuff to impress their friends. This results in many people telling themselves that they want material possessions for intrinsic reasons. 


16 reads

A fundamental conflict: Either admit we want status or forego it

A fundamental conflict is that we want status but also don't want to be seen as people who want status.

  • Some people think the solution is to wipe yourself free of the need to gain status.
  • Another solution is to admit that people want status and do everything they can to earn fame and praise.
  • A third solution is to pursue status but delude yourself that you are seeking nobler reasons.


14 reads

A possible answer to status is balance

A possible reason so many people pursue the delusional approach is that it is the most effective or sincere resolution to inner conflict.

A solution could be to accept our need for status like other needs such as hunger or affection. We don't have to think that status will make us happy, but at least accept that seeking status is unsatisfying and repulsive in the extremes.


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