Monday, December 3, 2012

Why I Love Money

“Me and money go together / I love her like my favorite sweater.” 
-Gucci Mane, “Me and My Money"

I love money because, as a human, I want. I want pleasure, experiences, possessions, I want more, I want to be able to point at something I want and get it. I want to live a lifestyle unhindered by price tags. I want to wear a tailored suit and a gold rolex. I want to drive a black Lamborghini and have a personal chef. I want to eat at expensive restaurants. I want to have a penthouse with a pool, pool table, and cigar cupboard, and invite all of my friends over and have a big party. I want a brand new Macbook Pro. I want Bathing Ape sneakers. I want to buy my girlfriend gold. I want to take a taxi instead of the subway whenever I want. I want to go to a sushi restaurant and order the most decadent platter on the menu.

I want influence. Money is influence. People listen to money. In capitalism, the most powerful people are the people with the most money. Politicians—who we’re told are the ones in charge—need money for their campaigns, and so their policies cater to rich people. Rich people are, and always have been, the real ones in charge.

So it’s a shame that most rich people are assholes. Me, I’m not an asshole, so if I make it to the top, I’ll be able to fight them on their own terms. I believe in fair wages, civil liberties, fighting climate change, peace, etc etc. I want to show powerful people those ideas in their own language, the language of money.

Money is love. Yes, love. Money can be a way to demonstrate affection. Time is money, and when you give somebody something that you bought with your money, it’s like saying “Here, I’m dedicating the time I spent making this money to you.” Granted, that doesn’t replace actually spending time with someone, but it’s a nice gesture. It’s satisfying to financially take care of your parents in their old age. It’s satisfying to take a girl you like to a store and for her to know’s what’s up, that whatever she wants, you’ll buy it for her. It’s satisfying to be in a position where you can give your friends financial support. It’s like how Lupe Fiasco said, “if you are my homeboy, you never have to pay me.” I want to be in a position where all my homeboys don’t have to worry about money or anything like that, ever.

Let me make a distinction here: there’s a difference between wanting money to spend it and wanting money to have it. There are rich people who do the latter, who just like having money, but I don’t get with that at all. Hoarding money like that seems selfish, greedy, and absurd. It also precludes other people from enjoying their lives with that money when one stockpiles it like that.

Money can motivate people to do some pretty evil stuff. It’s easy to make money by exploiting other people and harder to make money by helping other people. I don’t respect money made by taking advantage of innocent people. I consider that kind of money dirty money, blood money. I could probably try to get a job on Wall Street and make six-figures out of college, but I’d prefer to make six figures doing something I like, or make nothing at all.

I love money because I love life. In capitalism, if you want something, you need money to get it. As a human, I am driven by hunger. Hunger for pleasure, experiences, and possessions. In this society, having money is the way to fulfill that hunger.

I’ll come clean—it’s really not about the money at all. It’s about the lifestyle you want to live and the costs associated with it, and as for the lifestyle I want to live—if you want to know the lifestyle that I crave, well, just know that I’m chasing millions.