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Financial "Worthiness"
09-12-2004, 04:14 PM
Post: #1
Financial "Worthiness"

Some of the discussions in other threads have prompted me on to one of my philosophical ramblings.

There seems to be a consensus that some people "deserve" to earn the money they have more than others. For example, several people have said that Paul Burrell doesn't "deserve" the money he's earned from selling stories about the Princess of Wales.

It would seem the reasoning behind this is that he made money out of somebody without their consent.

So, to turn the argument on its head - what does someone have to do to "deserve" money?

You may say - they have to be in a job where their primary aim is to help others.

But how do we define helping others? Most people would say that doctors and nurses help others and so should be paid more. But lots of other people help others too...a shop assistant is helping people. Actors help people, because some poor souls have no other life than watching films and TV, and those actors help to experience things they never get to see for themselves. Advertising execs are helping people, because they are assisting their business!!

Ah, you may say, but doctors and nurses are helping people UNSELFISHLY. Are they? No one is forced in to the profession. For a lot of them, they wanted to do the job because helping other people in this way makes them feel good about themselves. Others do it because they find it interesting and enjoy the variety. For some, it's merely a question of money. So are they REALLY unselfish?

Perhaps your views are based on a moral perspective. You feel those that do morally acceptable work should be paid more than those who make money out of other's misfortune. Unfortunately, most businesses rely on others misfortune to make money. The worker at the end of the line, who sits in the factory for twelve hours a day turning raw materials into goods, is inevitably low paid and probably deeply unhappy. But is it likely that we would turn our backs on coffee, clothes and so on because of this?

And if businesses DIDN'T run this way, the owner's family would suffer as there wouldn't be enough money for them to live in - so does that make it OK?

Or maybe you would say people who work hardest should earn the most. But what is "hard work"? Do we mean physically tiring, mentally taxing, number of hours worked, or do we view it in terms of the impact the job has on the person's life? Because if it is the latter, those in the public eye must by definition "earn" their money - because every aspect of their lives is under constant public scrutiny.

Again, it's one of those questions to which there is no "right" or "wrong" answer - I'm just interested to know what people think!
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09-12-2004, 04:51 PM
Post: #2
Financial "Worthiness"
Ceridwen Wrote:Perhaps your views are based on a moral perspective. You feel those that do morally acceptable work should be paid more than those who make money out of other's misfortune. Unfortunately, most businesses rely on others misfortune to make money. The worker at the end of the line, who sits in the factory for twelve hours a day turning raw materials into goods, is inevitably low paid and probably deeply unhappy. But is it likely that we would turn our backs on coffee, clothes and so on because of this?

The thing is Ceri, it isbecoming rare in this country that a factory worker is working 12 hours. It more likely that children are working 16+ hours in some sweatshop turning raw materials that are later sold in our high streets for a HUGEprofit! I cannot believe the prices in GAP, they want us to sepnt £24 on a pair of jeans for a toddler that has probably been made by a child not much older and I wonder how much he/she got for that!

It annoys when you get big firms like M&S or Sainsburys saying they made huge losses but still mananged to make profits well into several millions. To me it is the people at the top who indulge themselves, taking huge pay rises, bonuses and fantastic pension deals.

I am not really sure that I have answered your post correctly Ceri, but these are just a couple of my thoughts.

TRINITY JEWELLERY - DESIGNS THAT STAND OUT
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09-12-2004, 04:55 PM
Post: #3
Financial "Worthiness"
Actually there is a large trade in sweatshops in the UK. They are usually staffed by illegal immigrants who have been lured in to the country on a promise of wealth and a lovely home. When they get here, they are told they have to pay their "smuggler" back for getting them in to the UK - and frankly the sweatshop is the nicer option than some of the other things they are forced to do.

(Although I do realise most sweatshops are abroad...but there is a huge trade in counterfeit stuff here in the UK).
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10-12-2004, 12:46 PM
Post: #4
Financial "Worthiness"
Ceridwen Wrote:Unfortunately, most businesses rely on others misfortune to make money. The worker at the end of the line, who sits in the factory for twelve hours a day turning raw materials into goods, is inevitably low paid and probably deeply unhappy. But is it likely that we would turn our backs on coffee, clothes and so on because of this?

Hi Ceridwen. I'm interested in social and environmental justice issues. I have a website (the url is in my profile here) telling about injustice in the coffee trade and encouraging normal people to help heal it.

Can you point me at any information about sweatshops in the UK, please?
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10-12-2004, 01:13 PM
Post: #5
Financial "Worthiness"
My info on sweatshops has been gleaned from working closely with a lot of Police officers over the years and picking up bits and bobs from various news articles/clippings, so sadly there isn't anywhere in particular I could point you to.

All I can tell you is that there is a significant trade in Eastern European and Turkish/Kurdish women, who are shipped here and then told they'll be killed if they don't do as they're told. The lucky ones end up in sweatshops making counterfeit copies of designer clothing, and the unlucky get put on the game. The men are usually forced to work for nothing, again either making clothes, or sometimes in cafes and restaurants, or sometimes drug running.

It's tragic how apparently minor crime can be a front for something far more sinister.
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10-12-2004, 02:10 PM
Post: #6
Financial "Worthiness"
Ceridwen Wrote:It's tragic how apparently minor crime can be a front for something far more sinister.

That is why I would never buy counterfiet DVD's. I have seen the quality of some of these and they are very very good, and yes they are considerably cheaper, but what exactly is that fronting. I don't buy my DVD's/CD's from shops either, I use the internet as they are cheaper. I can understand why people want to buy cheap DVD's, CD's etc but in most cases they are probably supporting some drug baron or the like.

That said though, with regards clothes etc, just because I am buying them from a reputable company I have no idea where they have come from or where it was made and if it was indeed legally done.

TRINITY JEWELLERY - DESIGNS THAT STAND OUT
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10-12-2004, 02:28 PM
Post: #7
Financial "Worthiness"
I have heard (though whether it is true I don't know) that a lot of the factories abroad used for cheap labour to make "genuine" designer goods are also used to make counterfeit goods, where hooky chargehands can make a fortune selling them on to organised criminals. I suppose it makes sense when you think about it.
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10-12-2004, 03:20 PM
Post: #8
Financial "Worthiness"
Look at the rapist who won the lotto 7mil?? Did he deserve it- no. Its luck of the draw though. Some get lucky and some don't. My friend made 10k from selling his story because he went out with Rebecca Loos for 5 months... Did he deserve it- probably not, but he got lucky.

I wouldn't sell my story but loads of people do and from what I hear, Paul Burrel took a lot of time to do it. I think he may have been doing it just to get his version of events out to untarnish his name??
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10-12-2004, 03:27 PM
Post: #9
Financial "Worthiness"
If you are an existentialist, you believe you are what you are, not your potential. Therefore what you have in life at any one time is the sum total of your worth, and you don't become any more "worthy" unless you actually DO something to change your circumstances.

Applying a similar sort of logic to this, you could say that everybody is only worth what they get paid. Therefore, if someone is willing to pay the price, the person receiving the money must, by definition, "deserve" it.

Personally I am inclined to follow this view. I think the only true value of anything is whatever someone, somewhere, is willing to pay for it.
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10-12-2004, 04:16 PM
Post: #10
Financial "Worthiness"
Money doesn't make you. It does give you things that can make you happier and more comfortable but if you are unhappy, things are never going to make you truly happy. Maybe temporarily but not permanently.

Some people are handed it on a plate and others work hard and make lots of money or the bare minimum, some people run into it (selling your story).

I suppose they deserve it because as you said "something is worth what somebody is prepared to pay for it" and the newspaper or whoever was prepared to pay a large sum for what they had... ie their story.
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