Sunday, February 6, 2011

Obscenity and equilibrium

Today’s ‘Positive and Optimistic Sunday’. Gina Rinehart (pictured) [1] is the first woman to top Forbes Asia’s list of the wealthiest Australians [2]. Her current fortune’s an estimated US$9B – up US$7B in the past year. That’s obscene. Presumably Ms Rinehart’s money lets her buy whatever takes her fancy. Unlike we mere financial mortals, who need to exercise care that we don’t spend too much. Despite our consumerist materialist society imploring us to spend as much as possible. Even if that’s more than we can afford. And/or more than we have. Indeed the temptation’s to work harder to earn more to spend. But if we do that, we put our work-life balance out of equilibrium. Restoring its equilibrium’s often not easy. Maybe it’s never easy. Vicki Robin [3], co-author of the finance self-help classic Your Money or Your Life [4], recommends converting the price of a TV, icecream, vacation, or whatever we’re considering buying, into life hours, i.e. the time (in minutes or hours or days) it takes to earn the money we’re thinking of spending. That, she says, puts our own true value on money, and teaches us to truly love our money for what it is (rather than what we think it is) [5]. And if by doing that we restore our work-life equilibrium into the bargain, then how positive and optimistic is that.

P.S. Ms Rinehart’s unimaginable wealth didn’t stop her protesting against the government’s resource rent tax (aka tax on mining super profit) [6]. That’s beyond obscene.

1 comment:

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

Hey Farmdoc, lovely to hear from you in my comments; I was worried.
I love Vicki Robins advice, because that is exactly what Sel and I did when we took early retirement, things look infinitely less attractive when you figure out the number of working hours required to purcahse them.
I am excited about the trip and hope we can get Sel's little netbook working down there, it was an early birthday present for him,we bought today. Quite e few hours of work I think,but he's worth it! Take care, Chris