Author Topic: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?  (Read 13319 times)

Cap_Scarlet

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Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« on: August 10, 2014, 02:21:40 AM »
Here's a question which I would like views on.

When I "retire" i could technically claim unemployment benefit for around 12 months even though I have no intention of ever looking for another job.  The benefit would be worth around $30-35,000 which would mostly offset my first years retirement costs.

I have been working for almost 30 years and have never made a claim for unemployment or any other benefits.

To make the claim is not illegal but there are some who believe in these financially constrained times that it is morally wrong (as we don't need the money).

What do you think?

fixer-upper

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 02:28:36 AM »
You'd have to commit fraud to make the claim.

Cap_Scarlet

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2014, 03:28:55 AM »
You'd have to commit fraud to make the claim.

Why fraud?  I might decide to take another job if something suitable came up.

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2014, 03:36:48 AM »
Don't you need proof that you are at least looking for another job? In the Netherlands you have to send out letters and stuff like that, otherwise they will cut you off. But anyway, I don't think it's appropriate to do this.

cdttmm

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2014, 04:50:03 AM »
In most states, when you retire (aka QUIT) your job, you don't qualify for unemployment. You'd have to finagle someway for your employer to lay you off or fire you (but depending on your state, if you are fired for cause you wouldn't get unemployment either).

jeffersonpita

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2014, 06:00:41 AM »
In Brazil, if you get fired, you will receive 1/3 of your paycheck for 6 months. No questions asked.

I dont think it is immoral. What about the taxes you've paid yet?

surfhb

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2014, 08:13:07 AM »
You paid into it right?    It would be immoral not to take it

Daley

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2014, 08:38:59 AM »
I dont think it is immoral. What about the taxes you've paid yet?

The following is being presented for the sake of argument even though I know the OP is supposed to be from Europe. I am unsure of the exact policies and procedures that the unemployment safety net is put in place by there, but many people on these boards are from the United States, so it's important to provide the perspective on this issue for US citizens who do consider this to be an immoral act.

Unemployment Insurance in the United States isn't paid for by taxes from the employees, it's paid for through collective taxes from the employers within the state. UI claims can also potentially raise that specific tax rate for the business in question that the employee is filing against, especially if OP were to bait his employer into firing him and successfully file a fraudulent claim with no intention of actually finding another job.

So there you go, UI isn't designed for quitters in this country (and many others from what I understand of the system elsewhere). UI is for people laid off and unjustly terminated to provide a safety net until another job can be located.

Ask yourself, if these are the conditions that unemployment is provided in this country, and someone like the OP were to game the system to actually get on the roles by baiting his employer into unjustly terminating him instead of quitting, and then files a claim that would most likely result in a review board hearing where he convincingly lies through his teeth enough while the employer was sufficiently unprepared to defend their case, which would raise his former employer's tax rate just so he gets an extra year's worth of retirement costs covered, while he then proceeds to continuously lie to the government for the next 26 weeks or so about looking for another job to keep the checks coming in, which then puts an additional strain on the system due to the general unemployment rates outstripping the taxes coming in from employers in most states, which in turn has been putting enough strains on the system to lower benefits amount and length for all people who have successfully filed a claim for UI the past few years... do these sound like the actions and consequences to those actions chosen by a moral man?

Cap_Scarlet, you claim to be from Germany. I won't pretend to know the unemployment system in your country. However, if $30k matters that much to your long term game plan that you're seriously considering this path instead of just putting in the extra time to get that money with your current employer or another where you supposedly already that close to FI, that just shows a crappy and irresponsible work ethic. I won't pass judgment on you specifically, but I will leave you with this question to answer for yourself: Do these actions sound like anything but Scrooge-like miserliness when admitted to be actions taken by someone who has professed that they don't actually need the money in the first place?

You either need the money or you don't. You've gone 30 years at this point. Either put in the time necessary to cover this extra bit of cash you're wanting to have, or step up and just retire already if the money doesn't actually matter. Don't go on the dole just because you can or because you never have in the past. Leave that money for the people who actually need it.

beltim

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2014, 08:43:33 AM »
IP, you're awesome.  I've noticed that many times, but I don't think I've ever let you know.  So, keep up the good work, and continue being awesome.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2014, 08:45:13 AM »
OP, where do you live?

In the US, unemployment benefits are funded by employers, and employers needs to pitch in when they lay someone off. When you make a claim, you have to certify every week that you are looking for a job. Where I live, you have to certify that you looked for a job something like 3 days out of every week.

So that's where the "fraud" issue comes up. If you're willing to perform 3 job searches a week and certify as such, then it's not fraud. But again, that's for the US.

jeffersonpita

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2014, 08:49:55 AM »
I mentioned taxes because in Brazil, while employed, we pay some taxes that work as a insurance. Once you get fired, you recover part of it

socaso

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2014, 08:56:28 AM »
I can understand why you would ponder this because I sometimes feel that way myself. I've paid my taxes for years and never had to file for any benefits so sometimes I get grumpy about what I'm getting out of it. At the end of the day I wouldn't do it if I didn't genuinely need the money because it is to help people who really need the help and do intend to work again. We still have lots of people in the US suffering from long bouts of unemployment and unless I was in the same boat as them I would feel too guilty to take the money.

Daley

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2014, 08:59:13 AM »
IP, you're awesome.  I've noticed that many times, but I don't think I've ever let you know.  So, keep up the good work, and continue being awesome.

Aww, shucks. *grinds heel into the floor*

G-dog

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2014, 09:08:03 AM »
IP, you're awesome.  I've noticed that many times, but I don't think I've ever let you know.  So, keep up the good work, and continue being awesome.

Aww, shucks. *grinds heel into the floor*

And don't forget the <blush>   ;)

Cap_Scarlet

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2014, 09:41:03 AM »
I dont think it is immoral. What about the taxes you've paid yet?

The following is being presented for the sake of argument even though I know the OP is supposed to be from Europe. I am unsure of the exact policies and procedures that the unemployment safety net is put in place by there, but many people on these boards are from the United States, so it's important to provide the perspective on this issue for US citizens who do consider this to be an immoral act.

Unemployment Insurance in the United States isn't paid for by taxes from the employees, it's paid for through collective taxes from the employers within the state. UI claims can also potentially raise that specific tax rate for the business in question that the employee is filing against, especially if OP were to bait his employer into firing him and successfully file a fraudulent claim with no intention of actually finding another job.

So there you go, UI isn't designed for quitters in this country (and many others from what I understand of the system elsewhere). UI is for people laid off and unjustly terminated to provide a safety net until another job can be located.

Ask yourself, if these are the conditions that unemployment is provided in this country, and someone like the OP were to game the system to actually get on the roles by baiting his employer into unjustly terminating him instead of quitting, and then files a claim that would most likely result in a review board hearing where he convincingly lies through his teeth enough while the employer was sufficiently unprepared to defend their case, which would raise his former employer's tax rate just so he gets an extra year's worth of retirement costs covered, while he then proceeds to continuously lie to the government for the next 26 weeks or so about looking for another job to keep the checks coming in, which then puts an additional strain on the system due to the general unemployment rates outstripping the taxes coming in from employers in most states, which in turn has been putting enough strains on the system to lower benefits amount and length for all people who have successfully filed a claim for UI the past few years... do these sound like the actions and consequences to those actions chosen by a moral man?

Cap_Scarlet, you claim to be from Germany. I won't pretend to know the unemployment system in your country. However, if $30k matters that much to your long term game plan that you're seriously considering this path instead of just putting in the extra time to get that money with your current employer or another where you supposedly already that close to FI, that just shows a crappy and irresponsible work ethic. I won't pass judgment on you specifically, but I will leave you with this question to answer for yourself: Do these actions sound like anything but Scrooge-like miserliness when admitted to be actions taken by someone who has professed that they don't actually need the money in the first place?

You either need the money or you don't. You've gone 30 years at this point. Either put in the time necessary to cover this extra bit of cash you're wanting to have, or step up and just retire already if the money doesn't actually matter. Don't go on the dole just because you can or because you never have in the past. Leave that money for the people who actually need it.

I think your comments are fair and reasoned.

But the system is not fair....

There is actually nothing illegal about what I am proposing, in fact the system allows you to exit work voluntarily (but there is then a three month waiting period before any benefits are paid).  I would not be forced (at least initially) to take any job but rather I would be allowed to hold out for a job at a comparable level (none of which are available).  There will be on baiting of my employer to dismiss me.

So nothing illegal..

Now lets come to the morality.

The benefits system in the EU is exploited by universal availability and by cross border movement of people from less wealthy countries to more wealthy countries where they are entitled to benefits even though they have paid nothing into the system.  In fact I currently fund them with my contributions.  Morally wrong.

I estimate that over the last 15 years that I have lived in Germany I have paid in many many times the $30,000 that I may now be eligable to take out.  I will not be any other burden on the state as I will continue to pay for private health insurance.

I don't think you its right to put "miserliness" and "need" in the same sentence.  Of course I don't need the money but answer me this - do you think if I don't claim it is will make one iota of difference to others? 

Daley

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2014, 10:46:49 AM »
I think your comments are fair and reasoned.

But the system is not fair....

There is actually nothing illegal about what I am proposing, in fact the system allows you to exit work voluntarily (but there is then a three month waiting period before any benefits are paid).  I would not be forced (at least initially) to take any job but rather I would be allowed to hold out for a job at a comparable level (none of which are available).  There will be on baiting of my employer to dismiss me.

So nothing illegal..

Now lets come to the morality.

The benefits system in the EU is exploited by universal availability and by cross border movement of people from less wealthy countries to more wealthy countries where they are entitled to benefits even though they have paid nothing into the system.  In fact I currently fund them with my contributions.  Morally wrong.

I estimate that over the last 15 years that I have lived in Germany I have paid in many many times the $30,000 that I may now be eligable to take out.  I will not be any other burden on the state as I will continue to pay for private health insurance.

I don't think you its right to put "miserliness" and "need" in the same sentence.  Of course I don't need the money but answer me this - do you think if I don't claim it is will make one iota of difference to others?

The thing that troubles me the most about your claims to entitlement on those taxes come down to your defense that you paid them in, so you have a right to take them back out. Unless the German government provides a tax reimbursement program for unused unemployment insurance after retirement, then no, it is not your money to take away. It is communal taxes, and taking it unnecessarily has the potential of taking money out of the hands of the less fortunate who may actually need that money. This is part of your social contract with your government and your fellow citizens. It's not a private savings account or personal loan from you to collect on whenever you deem it appropriate. That is not how taxes work. If someone has the potential to take out more than what they have paid in due to circumstances and how the program is run, then that additional money has to come from somewhere.

I think placing miserliness and need in the same sentence is quite fair and appropriate. You said you don't need the money. If you genuinely don't need the money and you're FI, why take it? It's money from a program that helps support unemployed people, not retiring/retired people.

Mustachianism is about using money as a tool to enable you the freedom to do with your life as you feel called to do. To have the resources to make the world a better place. It's not about greed or focusing so intently on your bottom line that you begin to idolize the money itself. That's what miserliness is. It influences your decisions in a way that has you making choices in life that are dictated only by what you spend and what you keep... it gives you a reason to ignore your fellow man.

If your defense to do something hinges not on morality but legality and admitted exploitation of a situation and loophole... well, the burden is on you. Irrefutably demonstrate to the world how two wrongs can make a right, and people will support your decision... but the defense of "others can do it" or "the system is not fair" doesn't make it right. Exploiting a system for your personal gain requires having someone or something else to be exploited. The fact that if the idea bothers yourself and or others you know sufficiently to lead you to ask this question here in the first place, then clearly deep down, some part of you recognizes it as being an unethical and selfish act. We are what we practice, and you ignore that voice at a great price. Ask yourself: What sort of legacy do I want to leave behind? What do I want to be remembered for once I pass away?

If you didn't care about what others thought of you, you never would have asked this question in the first place... you just would have done it. The only problem is, you're getting people who aren't telling you what you wanted to hear. Personally, I don't care what you do... but you're going to be the one who has to live with your conscience, the consequences of your actions, and your children the legacy of your choices.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 10:58:06 AM by I.P. Daley »

MichaelR

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2014, 11:03:36 AM »
If it's just a question of immorality then taking this money would be at the low end of dastardly deeds.
I personally feel uncomfortable taking money I haven't earnt or been given freely.

It's clear that you would be taking the money under false pretenses - it's for people who are unemployed, not for people who are retiring right? Therefore you would be lying to get the money. Therefore it would be immoral. Sure people do far worse all the time.

But this forum is for people who don't follow the herd. It's about getting ahead through ones own effort and badassity. Nothing badass about this scam.

Rezdent

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2014, 11:19:57 AM »
I agree with everything that I.P. has said.
Taking money from the government is taking money from all the people of that government.  If you do not meet the intended use for that money , then it is immoral to take it.
Justifying the act by pointing out others who are doing it - you are lowering yourself to their level.  This lowers your whole country by one more person.  So someone sees you doing it and also does it, influencing others...

What kind of person do you want to be?  What kind of country do you want to call yours?  You either raise yourself up or fall.  And as you go, so does your neighborhood,  your community, your country.

No Name Guy

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2014, 11:42:28 AM »
IP's sage comments and Cap's comments point out the fundamental flaw of ALL UI / social insurance - that they breed an entitlement mentality in individuals.  "I worked so long and paid so much in taxes that I DESERVE to milk the system in a manner that it wasn't intended to cover" - the voluntary separation. 

Sorry Cap, you're asking for permission to sponge off the system - you're in the wrong, plain and simple.  Cap's attitude is why I dislike all collective, mandatory systems - it encourages the less moral to screw over their neighbors.  A better UI system - the flipping savings account.  Then there's no question about screwing your neighbor, since it's all your money, from beginning to end.

robotclown

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2014, 11:48:26 AM »
The government will take your money any chance they get.  Whenever they offer some of it back, take it, before they change their minds.  Employer-paid taxes are passed onto the individual in the form of reduced wages. 

Daley

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2014, 12:37:55 PM »
IP's sage comments and Cap's comments point out the fundamental flaw of ALL UI / social insurance - that they breed an entitlement mentality in individuals.  "I worked so long and paid so much in taxes that I DESERVE to milk the system in a manner that it wasn't intended to cover" - the voluntary separation.

-snip-

Cap's attitude is why I dislike all collective, mandatory systems - it encourages the less moral to screw over their neighbors.

And there-in lies the rub. These social services exist within larger social collectives to help compensate and adjust the system for the greedy people who would just as soon screw their neighbor than help them, in an attempt to help prevent the less fortunate from simply being mowed down by the system and that greed. Unfortunately, the system is never perfect, and the same greedy jerks in which the system was intended to compensate against go in and game that new system as well, leading to even larger and more complex laws and stifling regulations to compensate and adjust the system for the greedy people who would just as soon screw their neighbor than help them...

It's a vicious cycle, and the price paid of larger co-operative civilized societies that can ultimately only end one way as we approach full globalization, a corrupt minority gaming the exploits and loopholes only to amass all the power. The very people who frequently decry the system being corrupt the loudest and feel justified in screwing the system the same way it supposedly screws them (while they also advocate for smaller government without sacrificing larger societal advancements as well) are the very sorts of people responsible for why the system has gotten so large and gnarled to begin with. Unfortunately, you can't legislate morality... you can only try and teach it.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 12:40:46 PM by I.P. Daley »

Nords

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2014, 01:20:37 PM »
Of course I don't need the money but answer me this - do you think if I don't claim it is will make one iota of difference to others?
You appear to have conceded the "right/ethical/moral" part of the debate and moved into a discussion of "It's really not that bad" coupled with "Everyone else is doing it!". In this unemployment situation you have to lie by going through the motions of searching for a job that you don't intend to take.  And if you decide for yourself "Well, I'll take a job just before the end of the benefits in order to show that I was telling the truth"... then why not just stick around at your regular job for a few more weeks?

This idea also seems to cross the line from "frugal" to "cheap".  If your financial independence relies on the funds obtained from this plan, then perhaps your plan isn't adequately funded to begin with.

In the many times I've read through this perpetual debate, there's one other point that's often ignored:  the hassle factor.  The unemployment funds that you'd collect aren't worth your time or effort to collect them.  In other words, you're wasting your time chasing money you don't need.  Is that a hobby or a job?  Would you be proud to share this accomplishment with the other people at the unemployment office?  Would you recommend it to your grandkids?

Dicey

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2014, 01:30:56 PM »
This:

Mustachianism is about using money as a tool to enable you the freedom to do with your life as you feel called to do. To have the resources to make the world a better place. It's not about greed or focusing so intently on your bottom line that you begin to idolize the money itself. That's what miserliness is. It influences your decisions in a way that has you making choices in life that are dictated only by what you spend and what you keep... it gives you a reason to ignore your fellow man.

I.P. Daley, you have spoken brilliantly. Bravo.

Cap_Scarlet

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2014, 02:58:03 PM »
Lots of good arguments here but let me throw a few more in.

You could argue that Mustachianism in itself is selfish relative to the rest of the population.  why?  Because we quite obviously now live in a society which relies heavily on consumer spending and consumer demand to generate economic growth.  Let's face it, if everyone adopted the Mustachianism philosopy then many of the people on this forum would indeed struggle (or at least those investing on low cost index funds that - at the end of the day - rely on corporate earnings growth).

And lets talk about that coporate earnings and cash flow growth?  How much cash flow growth is now driven (at least in  the larger companies) by coprorate inversions or tax free spins?  I am sure that many of those who find my suggestion morally repugnant should answer me the question.  how many would be happy if the corporate funds in which they invest suddenly started showing flat or negative growth because they decide the completely moral route was the way to go?  How does that "safe" 4% withdrawal rate look now?  Money Morality is like archair vegetarianism in that respect - i.e. I will continue to eat meat sso lojg as I don't have to kill it myself i.e. so long as my funds continue to deliver the growth that maintains my 4% withdrawal I will (conveniently) ignore the corporate shenanigans that defraud the government of its fair corporate tax take.  To those of you that have a fully ethical investment portfolio I apologise (but I suspect it is not many ;-))

I am nowhere so naiive as to think that the government purse into which I have paid is my personal bank account - of course it isn't - but I have absolutely no problem maximising my own personal financial situation within the boudaries of the law.

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2014, 03:00:40 PM »
"Everyone else does it!" is the kind of excuse my kids used to give me when they were little.  Sorry, OP. You're dead wrong on this one.

Daley

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2014, 03:11:03 PM »
I am nowhere so naiive as to think that the government purse into which I have paid is my personal bank account - of course it isn't - but I have absolutely no problem maximising my own personal financial situation within the boudaries of the law.

You're absolutely right for calling out the ethical hypocrisies that may exist in other people's investment strategies. Unfortunately, you yourself have demonstrated that you know and recognize this as being hypocritical. This just means you're now held to a higher level of understanding and accountability than the others who haven't gained quite the knowledge and perspective that you have. This is not a defensible excuse to slide down further into the immoral camp by citing, "Everyone else does it, so it's okay!"

NO, IT CLEARLY IS NOT.

If you do so anyway? Congratulations, you're now part of the problem you're complaining about, and frankly you deserve a great deal more scorn for doing so because you know this sort of behavior is unethical and problematic in the first place.

Cap_Scarlet

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2014, 03:32:50 PM »
"Everyone else does it!" is the kind of excuse my kids used to give me when they were little.  Sorry, OP. You're dead wrong on this one.

Actually I didn't say that.

The debate I was having was distinguishing between things that are illegal and things which are not illegal but which may create a moral challenge.

The issue is that the more remote a person is from the source of the wealth the less compelled they are to take a moral stance.

I think the challenge is to define how many steps removed does an immoral act need to be before it becomes acceptable to turn a blind eye. Think about it.


fixer-upper

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2014, 03:37:32 PM »
"Everyone else does it!" is the kind of excuse my kids used to give me when they were little.  Sorry, OP. You're dead wrong on this one.

Actually I didn't say that.

The debate I was having was distinguishing between things that are illegal and things which are not illegal but which may create a moral challenge.

The issue is that the more remote a person is from the source of the wealth the less compelled they are to take a moral stance.

I think the challenge is to define how many steps removed does an immoral act need to be before it becomes acceptable to turn a blind eye. Think about it.

Change the question from money to sex, and you'll get stronger opinions.  Many people do revolting things for money with excuses like "it's just business". 

Daley

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2014, 03:52:50 PM »
Think about it.

I have, and it's one of the reasons I believe and strive to practice what I do.

There are more important things in life than money.

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2014, 07:11:03 PM »

You could argue that Mustachianism in itself is selfish relative to the rest of the population.  why? 
...

And lets talk about that coporate earnings and cash flow growth?  How much cash flow growth is now driven (at least in  the larger companies) by coprorate inversions or tax free spins?  I am sure that many of those who find my suggestion morally repugnant should answer me the question.  how many would be happy if the corporate funds in which they invest suddenly started showing flat or negative growth because they decide the completely moral route was the way to go?  How does that "safe" 4% withdrawal rate look now?  Money Morality is like archair vegetarianism in that respect - i.e. I will continue to eat meat sso lojg as I don't have to kill it myself i.e. so long as my funds continue to deliver the growth that maintains my 4% withdrawal I will (conveniently) ignore the corporate shenanigans that defraud the government of its fair corporate tax take.  To those of you that have a fully ethical investment portfolio I apologise (but I suspect it is not many ;-))

I am nowhere so naiive as to think that the government purse into which I have paid is my personal bank account - of course it isn't - but I have absolutely no problem maximising my own personal financial situation within the boudaries of the law.

I take your point that rewards go to the top while risk is placed as a burden on all individuals, or more specifically in this case we moralize over any imperfection in an individual, demanding complete obedience, but waving away blatant problems in corporate/government entities, possibly because we have difficulty assigning responsibility in those cases.  But the system being broken doesn't change anything fundamental about the foundations of ethics and morality.  The fact that you recognize that there are problems and unfairness at the top proves that you recognize your proposed plan is wrong.

Likewise your feeling that mustachianism might be selfish because if everybody did it the world would go to hell, while debatable, shows that you do take the 'what if everybody did it' argument as valid.  And you know that if everybody did what you're proposing it would be disastrous, therefore it's wrong.

I suspect you're playing devil's advocate and want more perspectives to help see why it's wrong (or that it's not unfair for you not to get the money).  Consider this: in the US the full name is unemployment insurance.  So think of it like insurance.  If you buy fire protection for your house and never use it, you haven't lost out.  You wouldn't set your house on fire to rectify some perceived unfairness that people whose houses did burn down got something you didn't.  Your whole career you've benefited from the safety net and that's what you're paying 30K for now.

----

Reading your next post, I think your question about corporate profits has to do with 'if I maximize my profits there why not maximize my profits here.'  Corporate lawyers aren't using good faith so why should you when  you're fulfilling the letter of the law regarding whether you qualify for unemployment.  One argument would be that corporate shenanigans is in a zero-sum system so legal tricks make one company more profit by taking it from another, but if you're invested in the market as a whole then you benefit regardless, like everybody else.  However, in your proposed plan you are getting an advantage to someone else's disadvantage.
Other interpretations depend on your idea of what's wrong with the system and depend on what system you live in.  Corruption in some countries actually results in less profit to the shareholders, so there's that.  If you're talking immorality, like, you think oil wells are morally wrong, well then yeah it sounds like you should have acted very differently in your life up to this point.  As to your next step, the fact that it's consistent with your previous steps doesn't have any bearing on its morality.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2014, 07:27:35 PM »
Coming from the US perspective, where it's unemployment insurance paid for by the employer and not the citizen, and requires that you're laid off (not fired and not quit), I think it crosses the line to claim it by lying about your job search.

Now, if I lived in a place where one of the purposes of unemployment was to provide a "soft landing" into retirement, it might be a different story. If it's a benefit that the government offers for that purpose, I don't think it's any more morally wrong to take it than it would be to (taking examples from the US) claim a first-time homeowner's credit or the mortgage interest deduction on my taxes. But I honestly can't weigh in on this debate because I *don't* know how it works or its purpose where you are. In the US, it's extremely different.

Cap_Scarlet

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2014, 01:51:02 AM »
Think about it.

I have, and it's one of the reasons I believe and strive to practice what I do.

There are more important things in life than money.

I agree there are more important things in life than money but I fail to see why that needs to be put in a religeous context.

Lets not go there.

pom

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2014, 02:04:48 AM »
... I fail to see why that needs to be put in a religeous context.

Lets not go there.

+1

Cap_Scarlet

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2014, 02:40:59 AM »
The fact that you recognize that there are problems and unfairness at the top proves that you recognize your proposed plan is wrong.

I suspect you're playing devil's advocate and want more perspectives to help see why it's wrong (or that it's not unfair for you not to get the money). 

As to your next step, the fact that it's consistent with your previous steps doesn't have any bearing on its morality.

You make some very good points although I am not sure about the use of the word "wrong".  As I mentioned I am not suggesting anything illegal so the wrong only applies to the moral judgement which essentially comes down to an individuals value system.  My argument was that there is a lot of self serving convenience when it comes to those value judgements.

Personally I think we are in a world in transition from one based on national borders to one that needs to be managed and governed on an international basis.  As we make that transition there will be a very lenghty (i.e. not in my lifetime) alignment of legal and moral values.  To put that in context in a very simple way - in Germany I can drive at any speed I like on the autobahn whereas in other countries I would be thrown in jail and morally vilified as a potential murderer.  How can that be?  Well, its becasue our legal and moral attitudes have not developed in an even way.

But I will thrown another argument in here and that is conscience (as distinct from morality).  I would define the difference as follows.  Morality relates to things which a majority of the population generally accept as being detrimental to the broader functioning of society.  Conscience is a personal value system that allows someone to decide whether and how they will operate within that moral framework.  That is what drives the inconsistency i.e. a personal may acknowledge that something is morally inappropriate but go ahead and do it anyway. I suspect that applies to more people than we might imagine!


BlueHouse

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2014, 06:20:19 AM »
Immoral

Daley

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2014, 08:20:43 AM »
I agree there are more important things in life than money but I fail to see why that needs to be put in a religeous context.

Lets not go there.

You're the one who brought morality into the argument, morality goes hand in hand with religion. You should never ask questions you're afraid to hear the answer to.

Lastly, you'll note that the way I framed my statement, the truth of the world lead me to my faith. My faith has not informed me of how to view the world.

Cap_Scarlet

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2014, 10:03:25 AM »
morality goes hand in hand with religion

I could not disagree more.

Daley

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2014, 10:20:06 AM »
morality goes hand in hand with religion

I could not disagree more.

You've disagreed with nearly everything stated in this thread that goes against what you want to do, yet the only person who hasn't presented a solid argument to defend their position is you... the OP.

If you don't want to hear the answers to the questions you ask, it's best not to ask them to begin with.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 10:22:03 AM by I.P. Daley »

sheepstache

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2014, 10:29:28 AM »

You make some very good points although I am not sure about the use of the word "wrong". 

Yeah it's tricky in talking about difficult or abstract things on the internet to be precise without running into the 'tl;dr' problem. 

"Morality relates to things which a majority of the population generally accept as being detrimental to the broader functioning of society. "
I think you'll find that many people couldn't agree with this definition.  Of course, they do think there is such a thing as what you're describing, they'd just call it something else.  Likewise for 'conscience,' many people think of it as an urge toward Platonic values, ones that are consistent between cultures.  (To take your autobahn example, they would say there is one set of guidelines which would allow us to make a decision regardless of the law, probably involving intent and situation-specific-knowledge, respect for authority, etc.)  If you're espousing moral relativism and the other people weighing in aren't fans of it, the discussion becomes sort of fruitless.

So your question comes down to whether this is 'moral or immoral' by the above-quoted definition?  I think a couple people have pointed out some problems such as the fact that with limited funds, your actions may require austerity down the road.  Or that your "defrauding" the system may make people less content about it.

Sometimes I find when questioning my beliefs and values that defining what type of evidence or argument would convince me otherwise is a helpful exercise.  If I find that absolutely nothing would convince me of an opposing view then I know that there's something irrational in my thinking on that topic.  It sounds like if your specific action, by itself, disadvantages another person, you would accept that as being immoral.  However, the nature of the system is such that no one individual's actions have an effect on it.  So you may be searching for a chimera.  Or perhaps if you specify what other types of arguments against it would make you think it's immoral--even if you think there are no true examples of such arguments--the discussion would at least be a little more on track.

frugalnacho

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2014, 10:43:30 AM »
Is it immoral to put all your money into a tax advantaged 401k, then quit your job (lowering your earned income) and slowly convert that money into a roth so you can avoid ever paying taxes on that money?  It's not illegal, but I don't think the legislation behind it ever intended for you to retire early and avoid ever paying taxes on a large part of your income. 

Fonzico

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2014, 10:50:36 AM »
Perhaps I'm being dense here, but humour me:

If you were to state your true intentions when applying for this benefit, would you be accepted or rejected? ie: saying that you are indeed retiring, have no intention of finding another job, and would turn down an equivalent position if it were offered to you?

If you have to lie (whether directly, or by omission) in order to receive the payout, it is illegal, no matter how easy it would be to get away with. If they would still give you the money if you were completely upfront, then you are not taking it under false pretenses, and it is being used for at least one of the situations for which it was intended.

The first situation is immoral (and illegal) and the second is not. It's pretty straight forward.

wizlem

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2014, 10:55:50 AM »
You could argue that Mustachianism in itself is selfish relative to the rest of the population.  why?  Because we quite obviously now live in a society which relies heavily on consumer spending and consumer demand to generate economic growth.  Let's face it, if everyone adopted the Mustachianism philosopy then many of the people on this forum would indeed struggle (or at least those investing on low cost index funds that - at the end of the day - rely on corporate earnings growth).

This has already been argued and answered:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/09/what-if-everyone-became-frugal/

Increased consumer spending isn't the only reason for economic growth. You leave out the increased efficiency side of the equation. As technology advances, productivity increases and that causes economic growth as well. You could say that mustachianism springs from reaching the point where productivity has lowered the amount of necessary work needed for people to live high quality lives to low levels while most people have just used those gains to horde more stuff.

daverobev

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #42 on: August 11, 2014, 12:48:32 PM »
If the app form asks 'what caused you to leave your position?' and you put 'career break/sabbatical/early retirement', you are not searching for a new job and so on, and they deny your claim, that's the end of it.

Lying is lying. Lying to mislead is wrong.

Religion has nothing to do with anything. There is, clearly, no father figure in the sky who is going to judge you (though also clearly, the internet will!).

Lying is wrong because society has to be built on rules and trust. We flourish in safe, clean, green environments. We live in misery and poverty where corruption is rife.

Cap_Scarlet

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #43 on: August 11, 2014, 01:23:41 PM »
This has already been argued and answered:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/09/what-if-everyone-became-frugal/

Increased consumer spending isn't the only reason for economic growth. You leave out the increased efficiency side of the equation. As technology advances, productivity increases and that causes economic growth as well. You could say that mustachianism springs from reaching the point where productivity has lowered the amount of necessary work needed for people to live high quality lives to low levels while most people have just used those gains to horde more stuff.

Its a good idea which sounds intelectually sensible but is flawed.  Sustainable economic growth needs both investment and consumption.

Cap_Scarlet

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #44 on: August 11, 2014, 01:28:32 PM »
If the app form asks 'what caused you to leave your position?' and you put 'career break/sabbatical/early retirement', you are not searching for a new job and so on, and they deny your claim, that's the end of it.

Lying is lying. Lying to mislead is wrong.

Religion has nothing to do with anything. There is, clearly, no father figure in the sky who is going to judge you (though also clearly, the internet will!).

Lying is wrong because society has to be built on rules and trust. We flourish in safe, clean, green environments. We live in misery and poverty where corruption is rife.

I agree that, in general, lying is not right.

But in this case no lying and no illegality would be involved.

The German system does not immediately force you to take any job, you are allowed at least initially to aim for a job at comparable level and salary.  I know that there are no comparable jobs available.

Nords

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #45 on: August 11, 2014, 01:46:55 PM »
Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
<Unsubscribe.>

You make some very good points although I am not sure about the use of the word "wrong".  As I mentioned I am not suggesting anything illegal so the wrong only applies to the moral judgement which essentially comes down to an individuals value system.  My argument was that there is a lot of self serving convenience when it comes to those value judgements.

Personally I think we are in a world in transition from one based on national borders to one that needs to be managed and governed on an international basis.  As we make that transition there will be a very lenghty (i.e. not in my lifetime) alignment of legal and moral values.  To put that in context in a very simple way - in Germany I can drive at any speed I like on the autobahn whereas in other countries I would be thrown in jail and morally vilified as a potential murderer.  How can that be?  Well, its becasue our legal and moral attitudes have not developed in an even way.

But I will thrown another argument in here and that is conscience (as distinct from morality).  I would define the difference as follows.  Morality relates to things which a majority of the population generally accept as being detrimental to the broader functioning of society.  Conscience is a personal value system that allows someone to decide whether and how they will operate within that moral framework.  That is what drives the inconsistency i.e. a personal may acknowledge that something is morally inappropriate but go ahead and do it anyway. I suspect that applies to more people than we might imagine!
<Ignore poster.>

gimp

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2014, 02:33:16 PM »
You know it's fucked, you came here to try to get justification, it failed, you lash out. Narcissism. You don't feel guilt, you feel shame, and by getting people to support you, you hope your shame disappears. It's the same reason you're trying the "everyone does it" excuse.

The only thing you can do is realize you've fucked up, you're a bit fucked up, and try to fix your attitude. You're not the only real character in your book; what you do affects others and they have real feelings and needs, and you're proposing to fuck everyone else out of a little bit of money so you can have some more money.

Cwadda

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2014, 02:48:05 PM »
Think about it.

I have, and it's one of the reasons I believe and strive to practice what I do.

There are more important things in life than money.

Really off-topic question I.P. Daley...do you believe Jesus is the son of God?

Quote
Lastly, you'll note that the way I framed my statement, the truth of the world lead me to my faith. My faith has not informed me of how to view the world.
I REALLY like this.

@OP, collecting unemployment varies a lot by state and country. In the US, at least, there are loopholes all over the place, hence why it's said that only 50% of people in the US pay income taxes. Do things like that justify collecting unemployment and not "looking for any other job"? Only you yourself can give the final answer.

My dad knew someone that collected 52 weeks of unemployment while making 70k/year cash under the table. The problem is large-scale though.

My answer is that it's not morally sound. But then again, I haven't been working and paying taxes for 30 years...idk
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 02:51:29 PM by Cwadda »

daverobev

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #48 on: August 11, 2014, 02:56:04 PM »
If the app form asks 'what caused you to leave your position?' and you put 'career break/sabbatical/early retirement', you are not searching for a new job and so on, and they deny your claim, that's the end of it.

Lying is lying. Lying to mislead is wrong.

Religion has nothing to do with anything. There is, clearly, no father figure in the sky who is going to judge you (though also clearly, the internet will!).

Lying is wrong because society has to be built on rules and trust. We flourish in safe, clean, green environments. We live in misery and poverty where corruption is rife.

I agree that, in general, lying is not right.

But in this case no lying and no illegality would be involved.

The German system does not immediately force you to take any job, you are allowed at least initially to aim for a job at comparable level and salary.  I know that there are no comparable jobs available.

Ok, so what info *do* you have to give when 'signing on'?

I think you're presenting yourself poorly; I somewhat agree that there is a sliding scale, but you wouldn't take free food for unemployed people I assume? But you also wouldn't pay for public healthcare that you didn't have to even if you could afford it (and it was underfunded? Hmm).

I have no particular qualms reporting our family income honestly and getting child benefit even though we don't 'need' it. My income is dropping as I ease into retirement, and hence we get $80 a month from the govt rather than the $30 we got last year. That's just how the system is designed.

I assume people have no issue taking a govt pension even if they do not need it. But again, no lying or withholding of info required there.

So the question is: what do you tell the organisation that will give you this money?

Cap_Scarlet

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Re: Moral or immoral when it comes to money - does it matter?
« Reply #49 on: August 11, 2014, 02:59:09 PM »
You know it's fucked, you came here to try to get justification, it failed, you lash out. Narcissism. You don't feel guilt, you feel shame, and by getting people to support you, you hope your shame disappears. It's the same reason you're trying the "everyone does it" excuse.

The only thing you can do is realize you've fucked up, you're a bit fucked up, and try to fix your attitude. You're not the only real character in your book; what you do affects others and they have real feelings and needs, and you're proposing to fuck everyone else out of a little bit of money so you can have some more money.

Wow...lash out?  I must have missed that.  Narcissism, really?

I don't really feel guilt or shame (why should I?) and I certainly don't need the approval or validation from an online forum to justify any action I might take.

But thanks for posting ;-)