Money, money, money

Money is complicated. You need it to survive, to pay the rent or the mortgage, buy food, have healthcare, pay for college, clothes, books…basically life.

My bank account has been overdrawn where a credit card was handy although that creates an entire other issue of problems. My bank account has also found itself in a place where I could have never dreamed to be. That opens a whole other can of worms. I wanted to make sure our kids understood the value and respect of a dollar, hard work and how lucky we are. Money is complex.

Then there is the world of needing money to build your business or needing money to fund education programs, keep museums open and make sure that non-profits can continue to fulfill their missions. This is how America works. America is one of the wealthiest countries in the world but people find themselves begging, borrowing and sometimes turning a blind eye to blood money to move forward. It is set in our foundation.

Joi Ito resigned from MIT this past week over the hubbub of his financial ties to Jeffrey Epstein. Joi did incredible work building the MIT Media Lab. His impact is so much larger than any of us realize. Perhaps he turned a blind eye to the big check even though it was tied to evil. So have museums, admission departments of Universities, start-ups, VC’s and Government officials. I am not saying taking a tainted check is a good thing but when you need the cash and nobody else is ponying it up it is probably an easy rationalization.

As this can of worms gets larger and larger, will we begin to see change? Is this why we have a youth movement behind Bernie Sanders? Is this next generation seeing something that we have chosen not to see? Is that why many recent graduates are gravitating towards what really makes them happy vs going after the cash?

The divide is too large and that includes putting a moral compass in front of the money. From #MeToo to blood money to the ugly racism that is pervading our streets and media, the curtain is coming down and I hope it forces all of us to take a good look at the simple distinction between right and wrong.

Comments (Archived):

  1. DeeJai23

    Money is the root of all evil. And money corrupts, absolutely, for most. The flip side is that most things that do the most good in the world can’t be accomplished without it. The cost of both sides of that coin a moving target. One needs to live with one’s decisions. If the internal discussion was had and the possibility of doing something questionable and getting caught didn’t make the ‘no’ column in the decision making process, this kind of result is not a surprise. That good people succumb to a decision in the short term that they believe will ultimately result in no harm (though it does) in the long run, happens every day. It’s the ‘what if’s’ that pester and plague the brain. When money is at stake many of us lose our minds at least just a little. Those that don’t are often, in this shallow, fickle world we live in, regarded as naive, and also failures. Get it done! the rallying cry. No matter what. But the what does matter. Each one of us has the luxury of deciding how much. Thank goodness Ito’s work will live on. #empathy

    1. Pointsandfigures

      No. Absolute power corrupts absolutely

    2. A-Ly

      My little brother always told me that money is for poor people because only poor people need money.

      1. A-Ly

        On the contrary to that funny little statement when you’re born with a social security number in the United States, you’re already given an obligated citizens debt of over 65,000 that you wouldn’t be aware of until discovering something similar to the “World debt clock”

  2. Semil Shah

    I am not sure the “curtain is coming down.” IMO the key function when evaluating these money equations is — do the constituents of said institution really care? At MIT, their constituents cared; maybe at a famous museum, they won’t?

    1. pointsnfigures

      China through an entity wants to invest as an LP in your fund; you know they brutally treat Muslims, and just tried to change Hong Kong. You know their goals are totalitarian. You want to raise a bunch of money, and having them as an LP would be a signal to the market and give you a leg up on raising all the money. Do you take it? Or, Make the country Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Russia etc

      1. Gotham Gal

        Good question

    2. A-Ly

      Let’s ask Gary?!

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    4. Ken Pretchem

      I agree!

  3. samfjacobs

    I have been thinking along the same lines.We are seeing how much power, influence, protection, freedom, corruption there really is and has been for the very wealthy.And to your point the question is what’s next. For many of us, the answer can be, “Don’t hate the player hate the game.” If this is what you need to do and if this is how you get to be when you have money then we need it too or we’ll be left out.We/I haven’t had the strength to simply reject the system in its entirety.Sometimes I wish I did have the strength. And sometimes I’m glad at least the goal is clear and I know what to strive for.

    1. Gotham Gal

      “Don’t hate the player hate the game.” For sure!

  4. Pointsandfigures

    If one is following Sanders for his policies then you haven’t a clue about how destructive Socialism is. If one is following him because you are angry about big corporations and big government find another candidate or run yourself. Hint: not really any candidates support both of those positions.Get really familiar with Prof George Stigler, listen to the Capitalisnt podcastCapitalism makes humanity better. Crony capitalism does not and government cannot solve for that. Unbridled competition can

  5. JLM

    .Money is a tool, like a hammer.Some persons wield the hammer for good — putting a roof on a church or a temple, as an example, or building housing for the homeless. In many instances, the deployment of this tool also creates leverage, making the impact much greater because of the ripples turned loose into the sea of life.Some persons wield the hammer for evil purposes — hitting somebody in the head, or breaking into somebody’s house. This too has larger repercussions as it sets a bad example.The tool — money — has no character of its own. It is the person on the end of the handle who determines the manner in which it is used and imparts their character into the inanimate and soulless tool.One can do much more good with a full wallet than they can with an empty one. This is the justification for seeking to make money — if that is your gift, your talent. Make money. Do good works with it.When one catalogs the basic pleasures of life, they are rarely based solely on money. My most pleasant experiences have next to nothing to do with money. I love to float in the ocean at 5:00 PM. I love to write something that captures an emotion. I love to spend time with my granddaughter. I love to go to bed tired, that good kind of tired that says I did something of value and it was hard work.It is only when we allow others to value things for us that we are led astray. If I have an ancient, worthless watch and it tells good time while providing sentimental value — what can a gold Rolex really do for me? Nothing.I have an old Army watch that contains some important chapters of my life, that was there when my manhood showed up and took over, that can never be equaled by a Patek Philippe Calatrava.Some of this requires the wisdom of life to teach us what is truly valuable. Some of us will never get it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  6. LE

    With respect to Epstein it could also be looked at as some form of reparations possibly (money he donated or people took from him).Let me explain. My father was in (as I have said countless times) a concentration camp in Germany (Buchenwald) and 3 of his siblings and his parents perished in that camp. Cousins also. Now after the war Germany paid reparations to holocaust survivors such as my father. In fact I believe my mother even at her age still gets money from Germany. When I was growing up I remember my parents getting in the mail monthly ‘the german check’. Money from Germany. Reparations. This is not widely known from what I can tell. They have also paid other money from time to time separate from those monthly checks.What Germany (as a country) did is obviously far worse than anything that Epstein did. Germany (as a country) was forgiven for what they did. The people who perpetrated the crimes were not forgiven but the country apparently and for practical purposes felt guilty enough to not only pay money but continue to pay money to this day (they have also done a great deal for Israel as well). Should my Dad have taken that money? Of course.I just don’t get this all out hate for Epstein but in particular thinking taking money from him is tainted and bad (to the extent that it is). I just don’t get it. Negroponte has from what I can tell the same thoughts he even says he would have taken the money even if he knew what is known today.https://www.technologyrevie…You know what the bottom line is? It’s easy for people when they have nothing to gain at all taking some kind of high road and saying ‘should not have been done’.Nice of course (as always) for the media to amplify a few voices and make as if everyone in the world feels the same way about a subject. And that there is only one way to feel about something. Not the way it is.

  7. JLM

    .Haha, Sanders — a 78-year-old, arrested development dinosaur who has literally never held a job of any substance in his entire life and who has been on the public teat for his entire life is the inspiration for the “woke” youth of America?This shows how desperately the youth of America requires direction and real leadership and how disarmingly stupid they truly are.It is difficult to imagine a less accomplished politician and man more lacking in the experience of life than Bernie Sanders.Nobody seems to know this man’s actual voting record in the Congress wherein he voted AGAINST the Brady Bill which imposed mandated Federal background checks and a waiting period on gun purchasers. He voted AGAINST it.He voted FOR the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that protected firearms manufacturers and dealers from liability for negligence in the sale of weapons used in crimes.He voted for the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, the act that has underpinned the long Iraq War and the longest war in US history — Afghanistan.In the Congress he passed two bills that became law — One named the US Postal Service building in Fair Haven, Vermont the “Matthew Lyon Post Office Building” and the other was a Veterans’ Cost-of-Living Adjustment bill of 2013.Sixteen years in the US House of Representatives and he passed these two inconsequential bills?Sanders — a supposed Independent who was really a faithful Dem tool supported by Schumer, Obama, Harry Reid — passed two bills in the Senate: The same 2013 Veterans’ Cost-of-Living Adjustment bill he had sponsored in the House and a second USPS Building naming: the Thaddeus Stevens Post Office.”He is a missing-in-action legislator with not one piece of meaningful legislation sponsored and these four pathetic bills that became law (really three bills as the COLA law was in both the House and Senate).He is a self-avowed socialist.This is the inconsequential cipher that inspires the youth of America?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      I think a great deal of support for Sanders by both young and old can be tied to his very avuncular [1] and ‘wise’ physical appearance.This is actually and ironically what holds women back not moves them forward. The idea that a man of a certain appearance appears to be wiser than he actually is.And of course what he is offering to young people is no doubt appealing (cancel student debt etc.). But the fact that he looks like someone’s grandpa helps with the believability of his message even if on the surface they know it’s just a political promise that will never happen.Lastly people that are in desperate situations frequently will believe and want to believe what rationally they know is not true. Take people who travel to foreign countries for dubious medical treatments as an example of that. Take people in relationships with cheating spouses as another ‘he says he will change and I believe him’.[1] To mean ‘uncle like’.

      1. JLM

        .No doubt. That is an indictment of how fundamentally stupid the youth of today are to be drawn to appearance and to be so blind as to believe his utterances could ever become reality.He is an unaccomplished dope.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  8. jason wright

    I read today that Epstein was a member of the Trilateral Commission. That piqued my interest in his background and connections. More reading required.

  9. Akpobome Agadaigho

    Money is essential for our living but it should be made available for all. Please, how can will make money available for everyone.

    1. Carol Davenport


      1. Akpobome Agadaigho

        Thanks Carol for your reply, but what of people like me that need capital to work with?

        1. Carol Davenport

          You need capital to go to work?

          1. Akpobome Agadaigho

            Capital is needed for my personal business.