Wealth does not make Wise

The time has come for us to abandon the implicit belief that the successful acquisition of deep pools of money or vast power does not confer prima facie credibility or rightness on anyone. That process begins in our daily conversations.

So the next time someone defends a questionable idea posited by a self-made individual with a rejoinder along the lines of “hey, he’s worth $10 billion, so he must be doing something right,” respond with “hey, he’s worth $10 billion, and it is also likely that he got there by doing something very wrong.”

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Author: David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.

One thought on “Wealth does not make Wise”

  1. While I strongly agree with the sentiment, I can’t help but note that it strikes directly against the very core of American-style evangelical Christianity, which *explicitly* ties earthly gain to heavenly favor.

    Not “rightness” as you expressed it, but “righteousness” which is, for this group, a far more important quality.

    It is, unfortunately, literally no use at all to point out how this flies against the equally explicit sentiments of the alleged Christ.

    I’m reminded of an old, old conversation with a USian who informed me that he “believed in the Constitutional right of ‘innocent until proven guilty'” — my observation that the Constitution doesn’t contain either the word “innocent” or even “guilty” let alone this broader sentiment meant nothing.

    The staunchest defenders of the document haven’t read the document.

    War is peace. Etc.

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