Last week, former President Barack Obama bought a $15,000,000 estate on Martha’s Vineyard.
Let me first be clear in saying that I do not find this expense in any way "wrong." However, what I do find wrong is the fact that Obama spent the greater part of his presidency railing against those who had more money than others. Specifically, how "they didn't build that," or how socialism was the more virtuous ideology when compared to capitalism. He might not have used the term "socialist" very often, but his policies implied his belief in this form of government.
Throughout his term, Obama made the case that those who had too much money weren't paying their fair share of taxes, and they were instead living a selfish life that did little to help those that were beneath them in economic status.
I compiled this list because if you are going to obtain power and notoriety preaching a certain message, you should at least live out the life that that message describes. Why then, would Obama choose to spend $15 million on a house in the most prestigious neighborhood in America? Did he not believe in the very message he was preaching?
I'm sure we'll hear plenty of excuses like- "That's nothing compared to what (that guy) spent on his house." "He spent years helping other people, he deserves to have a nice house for himself, and his family." "He's already given (x amount) to charity."
Those points aside, Obama still chose a nice house over several charities that would have loved to help others with his money. If you preach the idea that those who have more than others should be forced to give up that money in the pursuit of a greater good, are you being hypocritical by spending $15 million on a house? Yes.
He could have easily chosen to help one of these groups. Showing the virtues of altruism vs. the "evils" of selfishness:
1. Paid off the student loans for 500 students
2. Pay this years medical bills for 1,500 people
3. Sponsored 32,000 children in Africa for the next year.
4. Helped tens of thousands of children in Chicago increase their literacy through Chicago’s non-profit “Open Books” - He could donate $300k per year for the next 50 years.
5. Fully funded the first 6 pages of “medical” search results on gofundme.com - Potentially saving the lives of 75 people.
6. Paid the school lunches for 28,000 elementary children this year
7. Given $500 for school supplies to 30,000 teachers for the 2019-20 school year
8. Paid $500/month rent for 2,500 homeless veterans in 2020
9. He could have built 2,414 new homes in Syria.
10. He could have written a $15,000,000 check to the U.S. Treasury, since he believes the government knows better what to do with money than private individuals
Once again, I'm not saying that it's wrong to purchase an expensive house. After all, people were paid to build the house, to provide the supplies, to maintain the landscaping, etc.
It's completely okay to buy lavish items. It's not okay to do it while berating others that do the same. I'm not saying he's wrong, I'm just saying he's a hypocrite.