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Wary of wealth – Charity trumps consumption

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In spite of their fascination with lottery and Internet millionaires, Americans believe helping people in need is far more important than earning lots of money, a new survey says.

More than 80 percent of those queried in a survey commissioned by Modern Maturity magazine said wealth makes people feel greedy and superior. Another 75 percent felt the rich were insensitive to others.

Fully a third of 2,500 adults of all ages queried in a telephone poll answered “no” when asked if they would like to be wealthy.

Almost a quarter of respondents said they would spread their good fortune with family and friends if they became rich. Another 14 percent said they would give to charity, and only 3 percent would use the money to primarily “buy things.”

“The reality is, traditional values trump money every time,” said Hugh Delanty, editor-in-chief of Modern Maturity magazine.

The best benefits of wealth, respondents said, were freedom to live as one chooses (71 percent), excitement in life (68 percent) and less stress (56 percent).

“The survey shows Americans have a love-hate relationship with the almighty dollar,” Delehanty told Reuters. We pursue it because of what it can do to us, and we fear it for the same reason.”

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