What are some possible motivations as to why people want to be rich?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The motivations for people wanting to be wealthy comes from varied and divergent experiences in their narratives.  One answer will not suffice in this analysis.  I believe that one reason individuals would wish to become rich would be to be well- off.  The financial benefits of being rich can be seen in averting the condition of being poor.  In "being rich" one is not "poor."  This is certainly one motivation for people wanting to be rich.  It is especially evident in those who have been poor, understood what it was like to not have money.  Being wealthy, especially when one's background was not, is a motivation for being rich.  Another motivation comes from external viewing in society.  The "rich" are seen as "different," in a good way.  While there might be much in way of the political realm in terms of calling for wealth equity, the reality is that "the rich" are viewed differently and many like this.  Rich people might not be seen as "better" or "superior," but they are seen as fundamentally different and many covet such a distinction.  The wealth effect idea as one in which people are able to generate better senses of taste and more discriminating approaches to being in the world is another motivation for wanting to be rich.  There are instances when one would want something more than merely "fast food," and this desire underscores the wealth effect's motivations on individuals who want to be rich.

William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many people believe that being rich would make them happy because they could live in luxury and enjoy everything there is to enjoy in the world, including traveling to foreign lands and dining in the finest restaurants. They would also be free from the stress and worry of never having quite enough money and never having a feelinig of financial security. No doubt, they overestimate the benefits of being rich, but there certainly are numerous advantages of having enough money. Robert Burns says that the advantage of having money is "for the glorious privilege of being independent."