...Money, like nicotine or cocaine, can activate the brain's pleasure centres, the neurological pathways that make biologically beneficial activities such as sex feel so rewarding. Of course, money does not physically enter the brain but it might work in a similar way to pornographic text, argue Lea and Webley, which can cause arousal not by giving any biochemical or physiological stimuli, but by acting through the mind and emotions.Mark Buchanan
For the love of money is the root of all evil... God.
Me and the missus recently welcomed a new addition to the family. Yep, a new Lunatic has been added to the brood, and one of the main things on my mind right now is money.
Diapers, car seats, strollers, food, breast pumps, formula, health insurance, college and everything else in between. They call babies bundles of joy, but they should really call them bundles of debt. Those little suckers are like walking ATM debits; every time one of my babies breathes, it costs me some money.
But, I'm not here to complain. Lord knows I'm way too blessed to waste my time complaining. Nah, I brought up my changing financial situation because I read the quote above in a story about how the need, or want, for money affects our lives. Basically, folks can get addicted to the "high" of making money, the same way they can get addicted to lotion loving on the couch. I always knew that money had the power to change folks, I just didn't realize it had that kind of power.
Does the idea that money is addictive change the way you view our current economic crisis? I mean, if the greedy bankers and soccer moms who ran up mountains of debt that collapsed into ruinous rubble were actually addicted to money like Pookie loved crack, well does that make them more sympathetic? Nobody truly likes a junkie, but we typically understand that some of their actions are beyond their control because of the insidious power of dope.
While I can see and understand that argument about the addictive power of money, I can't quite put it on the level of heroin or, even, porn. Maybe it's because while I like money, it doesn't make me go crazy. I'm cheap as hell, but that doesn't mean I fiend for money. It's hard for me to imagine anyone having the same sort of addiction to money that crack produces.
Maybe I need to expand my thinking. After all, as I thought about all the things people do for money, I started to realize that it's not that far-fetched to conceive of a money addiction. People sell their bodies, they sell their souls and they generally do all manner of evil just to attain little green pieces of paper with dead white men on the front. Just think about the crazy things that happen in the world because of the mighty dollar...
Maybe this addiction thing has some legs.
If we view the love of money as an addictive behavior, does that change how we as a society view folks who are successful? Can we compare the drive to be rich to the drive to get high? If so, how horribly does it reflect on America that we have placed such an emphasis on acquiring money?
I've written in the past that the current tough economic times (TET*) cannot be blamed solely on greedy bankers and unscrupulous Wall Street traders. Most Americans are also to blame for living lifestyles that they knew in their hearts they could not afford. If this information about the addictive power of money is true, then not only are Americans the consummate consumers, but we also might all be junkies.
I don't know, it's a tough pill to swallow that some folks get their "fix" from cold cash. It makes me question my own attitudes about money and wondering if my miserly instincts are really a sign of a deeper problem. Am I frugal because it makes sense, or am I frugal because I can't bear to be without my dough?
I can't figure it out.