Why is wealth better than wealth

How does wealth affect poverty?

Table of Contents

1. Definitions of "wealth"

2. Wealth Aspects
2.1 Perceptions of wealth in the population
2.2 No wealth without poverty?

3. Income development and wealth

4. Educational Opportunities and Wealth

5. Health situation

6. Wealth and opportunities for political participation

7. Critical examination of the poverty and wealth report in relation to wealth

8. Reflection on inclusion and exclusion


If you look back in history, you come across many wars and conspiracies that were waged because of material values, poverty and wealth. Karl Marx also speaks of a class system that triggers many conflicts but also drives social change. His model of the initial satisfaction of people's needs and the resulting process of ownership of land, energy sources and tools, its increase and envy or non-ownership, creates classes that develop their interests according to their property relations.1 In Germany there is currently more than ever about the distribution of the acquis. Is it possible to condemn wealth from the outset or to divide it into those empires that have achieved a lot and those that enrich themselves in society? What are “the rich” anyway and how does wealth affect poverty? In the following work, I will deal with how this behaves in our society today. Since this topic is very extensive, I have limited myself to a few points. First, I put emphasis on the definition and perspective of society on wealth. In the further course of the housework I will deepen some points such as health and education in relation to wealth and to round off I will critically examine my most used source, the poverty and wealth report of the Federal Republic of Germany.

1. Definitions of wealth

There is a lot of talk, speculation and discussion about “rich” people in Germany. But how do you actually define wealth? There is an enormous variety of definitions relating to wealth in the literature. The difference in the definition depends on the main topic, previous experience and social origin of the author. One definition for me is "The word wealth refers to the availability of immaterial and material goods that enrich life."2 According to this definition, wealth refers not only to the fact of owning material objects such as land or money, but also to the abundance of spiritual values, opportunities for realization, power of disposal, fairness of participation and equal opportunities, as intangible goods. In addition, it must of course be seen that

“Wealth”, like poverty, is based on the average of society, ie is above average.

In today's society, income and wealth are seen as the central point of wealth. However, it should not be overlooked that the term wealth is to be understood in the closest relation to economic and social power. For Marx human wealth, man and the development of his personality were considered "real wealth".3 Thus, wealth and poverty are always relative and change depending on the eye of the beholder. So even a person without material goods can have spiritual, immaterial wealth.

According to the Focus, those are rich who can make a living from their wealth. Who can do a job, but don't have to. Focus Money has even set an asset limit for this. They require a credit balance of around three million euros, which should yield at least 110,000 euros in interest per year.4 One can live luxuriously on this interest without having to touch one's property.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that “the division into haves and those who do not, the relationship to property in a society that constructs classes. Within these classes, specific sub-classes arise under different conditions.5 So we have to differentiate again in the group of the rich, in people with a lot and people with even more material wealth. Private banks use the term "Ultra High Net Worth Individuals" for this class of society.

If one deals with wealth, information about the sources of wealth would be very interesting. However, it is difficult to generalize from which sources wealth arises. This may be because the majority of these "rich" lead a life in secret rather than "inconspicuous". The rich that you “know” are the movie stars, top athletes and top managers who are more or less inevitably in the limelight. Or the exalted, who are only too happy to present their wealth and lifestyle to an audience. "This group makes up no more than ten percent of the rich in Germany," says economist and business ethicist Espenhorst.

A large part of the population believes that you can only get rich if you have favorable relationships and starting conditions. Individual abilities and talents or hard work are cited as further reasons. More than half of the respondents cite hard work as a cause of wealth. However, a large part of the population assumes little or no connection between wealth and personal achievement. Half of the respondents see wealth as a result of dishonest behavior and the economic system.6

Thus, the definition and consideration of wealth is always more dependent on approaching reality than it could represent it as a whole.

The colloquial phrase “money makes you happy!”, That is, wealth, is quickly questioned. According to Hirzel, the rich are exposed to stereotypes and prejudices all their lives - they always feel morally at risk. There is a great fear that their wealth will be perceived as social injustice.7 Rather, there is more of a connection between happiness and the hope of money. Almost everyone dreams of getting rich one day. And this dream alone can trigger feelings of happiness. The contrast to “poverty makes people unhappy” and that is obvious, because it is connected with problems that weigh heavily on people.

Thus, wealth is undoubtedly very attractive. In Germany, a society is favored by the majority in which there is the possibility of being able to get rich in some form or another. Are the differences between rich and poor perceived by the overwhelming majority of the population as relatively large and difficult to overcome? This is especially the case when large parts of the population do not participate in the income growth of society as a whole.

The proposal goes back to the American philosopher John Rawls to tolerate inequality as long as the weaker ones are also better off in the course of social development.8 It is therefore crucial whether an economic and social order allows the weaker to be better off, regardless of the position of the richer.

Growing social prosperity does not necessarily benefit the poor, however. It must be questioned to what extent a responsible handling of wealth is achieved that is based on socially meaningful standards that are committed to the common good.


1 Stadlinger 2001, p.26

2 Diamond 2010

3 Diezinger / Mayer-Kleffe 2009, page 18

4 Hirzel 2008

5 Breckner 1989, p.31

6 Federal Government 2008, p.29

7 See Hirzel 2008, p. 27

8 See Zinger / Mayer-Kleffe 2009, page 24

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