4 BILLION LIVING IN POVERTY
And the worlds most expensive shoes
(US$ 1.97 Billion - you get both for this. Hint: you might want to check the facts)
Is this ok?
If we look at the amount of these shoes, we can only assume that the person that bought them is someone like Whitey Basson, or anyone else that earns that amount of money to be able to afford it. So, in asking the question “Is this ok?” I would have to say no.
But let’s have a look at it from a common intuitions point of view:
Is the person who bought these shoes deserving of it? Well, from what I could see on the Daily Mail (14 April 2011), it doesn’t seem like anyone has bought them yet (I wonder why!). But let’s suppose someone has bought them in the meantime (I couldn’t find any newer article related to it without having to see hundreds of ads on designer items; ironic isn’t it?). The answer to this can go two ways. Let’s say the person who bought it has worked hard their whole life, and have saved up enough money to be able to afford it. They would probably be deserving of the shoes. The other side of the coin is that when someone inherits a small fortune and can buy the shoes. In both cases I find it still morally wrong to buy such expensive shoes, but in the latter case I’d say the person is less deserving.
I think this particular example is fairly straightforward. I cannot possibly imagine anyone that would really need these shoes as a matter of life or death. However, a particular psychologist/psychological philosopher comes to mind here. Abraham Maslow. He is well known for his theory of the human hierarchy of needs [Maslow, A theory of human motivation: 1943] [www.wikipedia.org]. In the simplest terms, his theory involved levels of needs. The most basic ones were esteem, friendship and love, security, and physical needs [www.wikipedia.org]. I want to focus on the need of esteem here. Let’s say that someone with a seriously low self-esteem comes across these...