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Giving Back

Giving Back

I have a philosophical point for you.

I have long been sickened by the phrase “Giving back” and was not entirely sure why.

Finally, I have come to the following conclusion:

Bangkok Thailand - Southeast Asia
Khao San Road Area
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Andy of HoboTraveler.com ---

1. In a free economy, you only get great wealth by doing something more productively than others or perhaps by supplying something that no one else has (Bill Gates and his operating software).

2. Thus, the productive person already is “giving” to the world in ways that others are not or have not.

3. Thus, they were not “given” what they accumulate. They earned it. As such, they cannot “give back”.

I suppose that, some would take exception. They would say that the high performing high wealth person was given a start by the society in some way. Perhaps through education or the legal system protecting property rights. While I would agree that this is true, I would also say that the high wealth person, in our society, has generally paid a huge amount of taxes and has employed many others that pay taxes on their way to becoming truly wealthy. Thus, to the extent that any “debt” for this foundation existed in the beginning, it is more than paid off by the time wealth is achieved.

Thus, no self made wealthy person can “give back” because they have been “given” little or nothing by society. The wealthy person can “give”, but that is altruism, and their decision to do so should not be reduced by the implication that what they are giving is owed. It is not.


Very good Gary,

I believe to tell a person to give back is a form of "Guilt Extortion" or using "Middle Class Guilt" to beg money from people.

When I hear the words "Giving Back," I look at the NGO organization or person as a beggar, or the beggar working in stead of the true need. I however refuse to ever give money because if I feel an pains of guilt.

I will give if I see a need, but to give because of guilt is an indication of some problem in my soul.

Spending money is giving back, and stops a recession, somewhere in this mix, I believe a person must look to who is asking and propose the question,
"Is this person or organization a TAKER?"

Gary is a friend of mine, and writes clear, or I would say more clear than me.

Giving Back