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The Ethics of Personal Enrichment


Is it ethical for a person to become financially wealthy as a consequence of their political, racial, or socio-economic stance and theories?

I think not.

For example let us note Certainly there is nothing wrong with charging money for speaking or your services. This is fine. The bigger issue is when you charge large sums of money about issues like “race, class, gender, equality” and stuff like that.

Skill sharing

Certainly it is fine to charge money to inspire and motivate others. For example what Tony Robbins does is fine, as well as other speakers who teach you how to do x, y, z. To me, I get an insanely foul taste in my mouth whenever someone touts modern notions about inequality, injustice, and class or racial privilege yet still charge large sums of money. Certainly if one really cares for racial justice, equality, or socio-economic justice, one would do it for free.

Politics for personal enrichment?

I voted Obama and find him a very likeable person. I think he does have his heart in the right spot.

But — I find it highly suspicious to see him now making millions of dollars post-presidency. For example the Bloomberg article:

Obama Goes From White House to Wall Street in Less Than One Year by Max Abelson

This is not good, because Obama advocated to bail out the big banks, and now he is accepting (any sum of money) by banks to give a speech or talk? Isn’t this highly unethical?

Isn’t that a bit much?

Even more suspicious — Obama’s wife (Michelle Obama) paid $65 million dollars with Penguin Random House for her “Becoming memoir” (10 million copies sold) according to this article:

Michelle Obama has also benefited after the family’s departure from the White House. The couple signed a $65 million book deal with publishing company Penguin Random House for their political memoirs. Michelle’s memoir “Becoming” was the best-selling book of 2018 with over 10 million copies sold. 

Also more information on Vox.

What if one simply donates all their money?

The hard thing— we cannot ever truly know the motives of others. They themselves also might not know. Some people are misguided, tricked, fooled, or perhaps have some sort of drug or alcohol dependence people don’t know about. But I suppose the end statement I got is this:

Trust nobody else but yourself (skepticism is a sign of wisdom) and even put less faith in people who seem like “nice guys”.



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