Is wealth immoral?

In a capitalist system, people can earn large amounts of money in a variety of ways (both moral and immoral), and once they pay their taxes, they can use or retain it however they wish. The predominate view in such a system is that these people have a right to earn money through hard work, and many people extend this to a right to retain this money as well. But is it really moral to retain that money?

The argument can be made, as it is in this article, that retaining wealth is inherently immoral due to the vast number of people suffering due to a lack of funds. The millions or billions of dollars spent on mansions or frivolous, unnecessary goods by people with wealth could be spent paying for houses for homeless people or opening a hospital with completely free medical care to save lives. Needless deaths and suffering could be prevented without meaningfully decreasing the wealthy person’s quality of life.

Regardless of the means of acquiring wealth, is it immoral to retain wealth instead of helping others? Do we even have an obligation to help others and relieve their suffering? And finally, how much money could one retain before it would become immoral to have wealth?