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Money Is Slowly Killing Our Society

by Michal Wroblewski

posted in News and Society

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There is one simple concept to understand about our world these days; money rules the world. Although money and the concept of barter can be traced back as far as 9000 B.C. it has never been more prevalent than today. Of course, money is very much the logical solution to everyday economy. You work, you get paid and you buy with what you have earned. Professions which are deemed more difficult, necessary and demanding pay more than those which require less skill. The ideas sounds simple and fair. However the problem doesn't lie with the idea; it lies with the people subjected to it.
I want to start with some basic maths. The average premier league player earns £31,000 a week. There are 46 game weeks in the premier league leading to an astounding £1,426,000 per season. Even if we only take the starting eleven from each of the twenty teams and add up their earnings it will lead to an extraordinary figure of £313,720,000 pounds being paid out to premier league footballers in a single season, not accounting for sponsorship deals and other income. I ask you, why? Why do we as a society accept this vast and ridiculous amount of money being thrown away at something which is essentially entertainment? If every football player in the premier league donated their week's wage (a grand sum of £6,820,000.) we could solve many, if not all domestic problems in the UK within 10 years.
Those of us, unfortunate enough to have been born in the 90s will know that we have grown up in a consumer driven society. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements trying sell us things which we don't need, for the money which we do not have. Every day we are hit with around 500 adverts trying to sell us produce. Furthermore, as a society we have grown accustomed to buying with money which we do not have (through loans such as your typical student overdraft or short term loans through sites such as wonga.com). As a result, it is now far easier to buy goods with far less responsibility. It is simple for us to buy goods over the internet with a single click of a mouse using a credit card instead of physical money and so in recent years we have transformed as a society into one that once again, like the pagans of the olden days gives praise to statuettes made of gold.
As sad as it may appear, we have devalued family and friendship, and replaced it with ownership. It is now more important how new your car or house is than the last time that you have seen your family. We increasingly put our elderly parents in the care homes as our jobs and commitments keep us too busy in order for us to be able to care for those that we supposedly love. As people increasingly spend more time at work (Full Time US workers report that they work an average of 47 hours a week), children become accustomed to growing up in an environment where a good job and a better pay is the number one priority. And this is how the vicious circle is formed. As kids, we now spend less time than we used to with our parents. They buy us pretty, shiny things in order to make up for times when they weren't there to play with us whilst telling us they can only buy us those things because they have a good job. Through this, we create individualistic people, driven by money and the need for possession, which lack empathy and the idea of communal living and sharing.
Looking back at my childhood, I am now grateful that I was not born in the area of phones, tablets and computers. There wasn't a day in summer when I wasn't outside with my friends playing football or going for adventures with my parents. Money had a real value to me. With a few quid, we (as a group of friends) were able to buy water and ice-cream for all and were all happy to share what we had with one another. These days it would seem, that both adults and children have forgotten the true value of money. We seek money like addicts seek drugs; in a way, we are all addicted to it. But perhaps it is time for us to stand back and think about how much we really need. Because as my mother used to say to me: "as long as you have a roof over your head, clothes on your skin and food in your belly, you are as happy as a man can be".
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