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What is "obscene" wealth?

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Posted By: Big Bopper, 12/27/2021 12:30:06 PM

According to a friend at a Christmas party, “obscene” wealth is the kind that’s unneeded. His example was a 100-foot yacht. “Nobody needs a 100-foot yacht,” he intoned. I agreed that nobody needs a 100-foot yacht. But nobody needs a glass of expensive chardonnay either. I kindly offered to relieve him of the one he was holding. The only things that are truly needed by humans are food, shelter, simple clothing and occasional medical treatment. Everything beyond that is unneeded and, therefore, under my friend’s definition, obscene. So “obscene” wealth must mean something other than the unneeded kind. But what? For guidance in defining obscenity, let’s look at sex

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Reply 1 - Posted by: franq 12/27/2021 12:40:23 PM (No. 1020127)
Good article. And by his definition, welfare could qualify as obscene wealth. It is human nature (I include myself) to judge others. It is not just envy.
9 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: TJ54 12/27/2021 1:03:19 PM (No. 1020142)
Obscene wealth is what politicians like the Clintoons, the Obozos and the Xbidens have - all from peddling influence
16 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: udanja99 12/27/2021 1:18:55 PM (No. 1020155)
Here’s an example of the difference - Donald Trump is a multi-billionaire who earned his wealth through hard work and ingenuity. Joe Biden is a multi-millionaire who got his wealth through theft and grifting. Bidet’s wealth is obscene. Donald Trump’s isn’t.
46 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Birddog 12/27/2021 1:39:54 PM (No. 1020169)
"Obscene Wealth"? Pornhub millionaires, Kardashians(their entre to fame and fortune was sex videos), Only Fans millionaires...there are hundreds of them. If the wealth is not derived from Obscenity, it is not obscene wealth. Though I will concede that "Panic Porn media and politicians" are prurient propagandists, polemical panderers, and pusillanimous perverters of the vox populii....if you want to add them to the Obscene list? I won't reject that perception. All of that being said...I have never worked for anyone less wealthy than myself. I do what I want to do, am good at what I do because I enjoy it...people seek me out to do things that THEY are not good at and do not enjoy, then pay me for it. I do the very same things for people less wealthy than myself, but I do not charge them. I do it because I enjoy it, can do it readily and easily and they NEED it done. I have been Rich, and I have been Poor, Rich is better...but having already tested myself against the world with that metric there are things I will no longer do just for money, many things I no longer even want to have just to impress someone else. I did some work on expensive yachts, while doing so I had an actual "King" track me down and ask me to do some work for him too...He called me by my first name, and asked that I call him by his.
7 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: bigfatslob 12/27/2021 1:44:56 PM (No. 1020173)
That's a foolish statement right up there with Obama deciding when you're rich enough in his opinion. A jealous person of others says something like that. I don't like red sports cars with big engines but it's not for me to condemn my neighbor who purchases and drives one. Judge not least ye be judged in modern terms 'mind your own business and shut up'. MAGA
10 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: justjoe1237 12/27/2021 2:19:23 PM (No. 1020194)
The term "obscene wealth" was coined by Benjamin Franklin. If you have a mansion and all the luxuries of life, it is "obscene" to just keep stacking more on top of more. Franklin was very much commonwealth minded-- he invented the lending library-- so once you have attained wealth you should now turn your attention to the needs of your community, including aiding the poor. I agree. There is simply a point beyond which lie selfishness and narcissism.
9 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: NancyD 12/27/2021 2:57:58 PM (No. 1020215)
Those who are jealous and envious of those who are "rich" are so narrow minded that they cannot see the full picture of what is happening around them. When someone rich orders a 100 foot yacht, it probably costs $7-20 million dollars depending on the yacht builder. There are probably dozens of people who work on that yacht in the factory, and hundreds who supply the goods to build that yacht and thousand of those who make the goods to sell to the supplier. All of those workers have families. The rich guy who ordered that yacht paid a lot of money for it, and by doing so, hundreds of people were able to get a mortgage, put food on their table, send the kids to college, etc... Next time some idiot makes a stupid comment like "who NEEDS that?" needs to hear an earful of facts and reality.
27 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: navybrat 12/27/2021 3:24:02 PM (No. 1020235)
I have no jealousy or scorn toward someone who has acquired wealth through hard work, sound decisions, I believe they have the right to spend their money on luxuries as they please. I also feel much the same way about someone born into wealth. They had no choice and are just lucky. That is just the way it is. Greedy politicians using taxpayers, insider trading. receiving payoffs and using their political position to make deals to get filthy rich, I do have a big problem with.
20 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: skacmar 12/27/2021 3:53:23 PM (No. 1020254)
Unfortunately, too many people today see obscene wealth as anyone having more than they do. For some, that bar is set very low. I have employees who happily live in single wide mobile homes who see my 5000 sq foot home on a lake excessive. It all depends on where you are coming from and your life experiences. It also depends on the level of indoctrination you have received in school/college. However, taking away what others may see as my "excessive" home will not make their lives better one bit. Those who get jealous of others seem to forget this. Making those who have more appear to have less will not make the lives of those less fortunate better. It will just make them feel better for a short time until they find something else to be upset about.
13 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: Venturer 12/27/2021 4:15:13 PM (No. 1020276)
The only things that are truly needed by humans are food, shelter, simple clothing and occasional medical treatment. Yes these are the thing Americans need. But there is no RIGHT to any of it. Democrats feel that this IS a right and that people who work should pay for it for people who don't.
12 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: Philipsonh 12/27/2021 4:21:49 PM (No. 1020281)
It just depends ! If you have a child being given top notch medical care in a hospital wing paid for by a donation from an obscenely wealthy individual, I'll bet you are glad that person had the extra money and wanted the tax break; However, if you drive by his mansion and do not know who owns it, you think , geez, what a waste of $$$.
8 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: earlybird 12/27/2021 4:33:41 PM (No. 1020287)
Beaton is one of the best writers posted here. Smart. Articulate. He gets it.
5 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: watashiyo 12/27/2021 4:51:01 PM (No. 1020295)
What's obscene is 80 + years old pompous geriatric politicians grifting off taxpayers' money and having the galls to dictate what's good and bad for us.
13 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: chance_232 12/27/2021 5:04:24 PM (No. 1020301)
I've never used the phrase obscene wealth. I do however use the phrase stupidly wealthy. That's when you purchase a 6 figure bejewled case for your IPhone. Or several million for a dress that will be worn one time. Its your money, spend it anyway you want. But....... if you spend $25,000 for a Frrrozen Haute Chocolate ice cream sundae, then your a moron.
7 people like this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: earlybird 12/27/2021 5:26:11 PM (No. 1020320)
Envy is a very destructive sin. Mostly destructive of the self. I prefer contentment.
9 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: bpl40 12/27/2021 5:55:04 PM (No. 1020340)
More than what 0bama thinks you should have!
5 people like this.

Reply 17 - Posted by: Owney 12/27/2021 6:27:28 PM (No. 1020356)
Obscene wealth is when it is earned via capitalism and then used to spread communism.
8 people like this.

Reply 18 - Posted by: padiva 12/27/2021 9:16:16 PM (No. 1020452)
#17 Are you thinking of LeBron James?
3 people like this.

Reply 19 - Posted by: ChattyCatsSusan 12/27/2021 10:00:22 PM (No. 1020471)
Sounds like the writer's friend was just a tad envious. It isn't anybody's right to decide for anyone else just what defines obscene wealth. If somebody earns their money honestly, it isn't obscene. Think about that jobs that buyer of that yacht is contributing to. Is Glenn's friend making jobs?? I doubt it. Too busy whining about how others have made lots of money vs himself not doing so well. If that friend would read his Bible, God blessed people like Abraham with great wealth for being obedient to God. It is the love of money, not the having of it that leads to problems. It is also the envy of those who have money by those who don't that are a problem as well.
3 people like this.

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