Money and prosperity are, or should be, significant pre-occupations for everyone. Money is primarily obtained through work. Irrespective of money, everyone needs to work to keep in contact with themselves, others and social realities (even if only indirectly).
The different orientations to money provide a stark sense of the differences between the.
-centred individuals are the embodiment of «free-enterprise capitalism». They value money greatly and tie wealth directly to being competitive and working hard.
It is rational analysis of one’s own abilities and market demand which are used to choose a job or create a business—not personal wishes. Money is obtained directly from customers or market participants, or indirectly through employment by a successful business.-centred people spend and invest with ease within their means. They object to government intervention and bureaucratic regulations, except to ensure fairness.
-centred individuals apply money to their cause: either directly through enabling transfers, or indirectly through their own unpaid cause-related activities. They freely solicit funds from businesses, governments and the-man-in-the-street.
Businesses have to employ a certain number ofcentred people in technical and professional posts. By contrast, pure ideologically-based jobs are relatively poorly paid e.g. in academia, churches, advocacy and crusading bodies.
-centred individuals take a balanced view of money and do not give it pre-eminence. In analyses, they seek value for money and cost-effectiveness.
They expect to be paid the rate for the job and seek jobs where impartial assessments on significant matters are required: e.g. as bureaucrats, leader-writers, members of regulatory authorities, and commissions of inquiry. Businesses may employ such people as strategic thinkers, or appoint them to the board for their judgement and wide knowledge.
Kinship-centred individuals view money and work as a necessary part of surviving. A family business can engender intense efforts, but work done for outsiders is performed more perfunctorily. However, living off an inheritance or off welfare benefits are also acceptable modes of coping.
The breadwinner is ready to slave to maintain the family’s standard of living, whilst taxes are resented. Preservation of family assets is a major pre-occupation.
Power-centred individuals see money as ideal for domination and self-gratification. Although riches are highly desired, work itself is less appreciated. Wealth is obtained by working the system: via subsidies and tax breaks, powerful connections, or inside information cf. «Big» business and investment banks that operate hand-in-glove with government.
At the extreme, «working» becomes «milking» and exploitation. Quasi-legal scams or crime soon follow. Management in most businesses offers a social environment to use tactics like bullying, threats, dishonest accounting tricks and bribery to get bonuses and promotion.
Community-centred individuals are preoccupied with the use of money to meet the needs of others and seek funds for worthwhile social projects. They hold that inequalities should be reduced by tax-based re-distribution and charitable giving. Such people gravitate to the helping professions, often in the public sector or in service-oriented voluntary organizations.
Work is viewed as a social duty and benefit: everyone needs work and must have access to training and opportunities. Wealth is partly recognized as a reward for effort, but it is also often judged as a manifestation of greed and a generator of envy.
Reality-centred individuals recognize money’s role in the social system and the need for a safety net for all. Unprejudiced observation reveals that benefits often cause the harm they are seeking to relieve and that governmental costs blow out due to incompetence, corruption and the creation of moral hazards like dependency and free-riding.
Reality-centred people are observers of the social scene and may work as advisers to people in power who mean well and wish to recognize and develop society's potential. Welfare may be supported to reduce the likelihood of violence and revolt as much or possibly even more than it is supported as a means to produce fairness and reduce suffering.
Return to the overview of support for business and markets.
Originally posted: July 2009