But that represents only a small percentage of Americans. In his just-published memoir "For the Love of Money," former Wall Street player, Sam Polk, details how the addiction to wealth generated other addictions. They ranged from compulsive overeating to excessive drinking
Polk first put out there this meme in a 2014 The New York Times op-ed which went viral. Among the reasons why it caught fire is that those who have not acquired great wealth got tremendous satisfaction at bearing witness to the suffering it can trigger.
However, the actual darker side of the American ethos may be the power chase. To get, hold onto, and increase power, politicos, members of the media, and literature professors in higher education (I was once one) are often willing to "sacrifice it all." Meanwhile most wind up accumulating little wealth.
Frequently, unless you're truly an astute player, you can't chase power and money simultaneously. Also, there is no sure thing in if power will be a platform of future big money.
The Clintons seem the exception. They got very rich. Most former politicos only wind up comfortable. For instance, they land a full-time partner job in a law firm. There the typical profit per partner may only be several million.
Power can also get in the way of money. As a syndicated blogger I have a choice. I can leverage my three blogs (the other two are here and here) as a total business development tool. That would bring in lucrative accounts.
More often, I chose to use my reach to put out there my points of view. Those do turn off some potential clients. But, boy, do I gain the power to attract eyeballs. The attention is, to use a term from addiction, intoxicating.
In addition, as they say, the pen is more mighty than the sword. Since my blogs are older than 10 years, Google gives the posts high rankings. That means that I can use them as a tool to right what I perceive as wrongs in society in general and to me.
About the latter - circa 2014, I experienced what I perceived as unsolicited advice from former Seton Hill, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, classmates. Those alleged miscreants included Kathleen Huebner, Irene Nunn, Lee Harrison, and Charlotte Toal. You bet, that royally pissed me off.
What was immensely useful in getting through that (at least 80%) and learning from it was sharing how I saw it with my myriad followers. Since I have been a long-term syndicated legal blogger I was and remain well aware how to wiggle-word descriptions of wounding and be on the right side of the law.
Knowledge, as the conventional wisdom puts it, is power. You readers add to my knowledge. That ranges from insight about how the games in communications are really played (to max exposure) to not having regret about paying top dollar to mediums who helped me navigate pet grief.
However, not everyone is in the power chase. Daily, professionals contact me from around the world asking if the return on investment (ROI) in terms of money is worth starting and maintaining a blog. I smirk. They are missing out on what's so much more heady and fun than money.