COMMENTARY: The temptations – and trappings – of Silicon Valley’s super-rich

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RNS photo by Adam Tinworth via Flickr (

RNS photo by Adam Tinworth via Flickr (

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(RNS) The privileged see only the prizes they think they earned. Soon, to protect their delusions, they buy politicians and demand that they chase wealth for the greedy by turning the frightened against the vulnerable. By Tom Ehrich.

  • Huey Bahr

    “I hope that as Marissa Mayer and her peers….fail at marriage,”

    Really? you must be one stone-hearted cleric. I wouldn’t wish a bad marriage on anybody.

  • Troy Montana

    I’m an author and “budding” blogger. An attorney once cautioned me that written words “sound” stronger than spoken words. I don’t know anything about Tom Ehrich other than what I read in this article but it seems to me that Huey Bahr heard Tom in a stronger tone than Tom intended. I don’t think he said that he hopes Marissa Mayer or her peers would suffer troubles. Rather he simply recognizes the human condition and that sooner or later troubles come to every person to one degree or another in this fleeting life. “Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.” (Job 14:1-2) If I heard Tom Ehrich correctly, he actually hopes those inevitable troubles will lead Marissa and her peers to a deeper understanding of what really matters in life while they still have vitality.

    A friend once posed a thought for me. He asked, “If everybody is looking out for #1 how many people are looking out for you? But if everybody were looking out for everyone else how many people would be looking out for you?” Here we see the difference between the principles of God’s Kingdom and Lucifer’s experiment in government.

    Really, $2,700 sweaters, $4,000 purses and $20,000 watches are overkill. It’s selfishness, plain and simple. How-about settling for seven $270 sweaters, a $400 purse and a $2,000 watch. That doesn’t sound too shabby to me and the $38,610 left over could be used to help some poor unfortunate souls somewhere in this vast lazar house of suffering we call a world. That rationale would certainly make sense to Marissa if she were the suffering person in the unfortunate circumstance. I like to dress well but I would be ashamed for anyone to know that I had squandered $20,000 on a watch. Frankly, even $2,000 is far more than necessary to purchase a very dependable, attractive quality watch.

    Does Marissa have a right to be selfish? Yes and No! Yes, in this temporal probationary life God allows everyone to choose which kingdom they will serve. But He isn’t going to allow anyone into His eternal Kingdom that He can’t trust. In that Kingdom everyone loves everyone else as they love self and they love God supremely. That’s paradise and anyone that God can trust as a citizen of that Kingdom will be entrusted with riches far beyond a few paltry billion dollars. I hope Marissa Mayer, her peers and each of us who are tempted to idolize temporal wealth & power will discover the secrets of God’s enduring wisdom while our probation lingers. “For what shall it profit a man [woman], if he [she] shall gain the whole world, and lose his [her] own soul? Or what shall a man [woman] give in exchange for his [her] soul?” (Mark 8:36-37)

    Please note that I am not trying to pick on Marissa Mayer, she’s faced with temptations that few of us will ever experience. Most people don’t have $20,000 to blow on a watch, but for her the money is there and plenty of it. So it is quite easy for someone in her position to spend it and never recognize that it might be a selfish or foolish indulgence.

    “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21)