Money or Love? A mathematical computation of their necessity.

The moot question is that if it’s money or love everyone wants?


It is definite that one wants both, but the duty assigned to me by myself is to find the ratio, proportion of love:money according to their desirability.


Maslow’s hierarchy

Abraham Maslow introduced this concept of a hierarchy of needs in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”[1] and thereafter in a book called Motivation and Personality.

It’s plausible that you won’t have time to read the book and come back here, at least you may read the book but there is only ~8% probability that you’ll come back – Google analytics say so.


Random facts apart – I was just beginning this article.


What Abraham Maslow said was neither ground-breaking nor abstract. He had put across a hierarchy pyramid.

Maslow 3D


His simple idea was that, human beings would pursue higher excellence and social interest only when their lower requirements are met.


One would invest in pension funds (security) only when he is sure he has food to eat and a house to live in (physiological);


One would do charity (social) only when he has secured enough for his self, his family, and his future is beyond reasonable uncertainty (security);


Also that one would go for an LLM degree abroad (esteem, self-fulfilment) only when he is satisfied that he has repaid his education loan, and there is none to depend upon him (Social).


In other words the pursuit of excellence and common prosperity starts “selflessly” only when the pursuer realises he has nothing to worry about.


The only assumption Maslow made in this theory – like all other theorists – is that all people are rational. This is an assumption social scientists make, even I do when I hypothesise.


Whereas there are irrational people as well who would exercise their will power and bypass Maslow’s hierarchy, making it completely optional for them.


These are these people who are so attached to wealth that they would stick to the level of self-preservation throughout their lives and can’t be reasonably forced to think socially; and then there are people of same irrationality but due to their difference in nature they would be selfless painters, inventors, journalists, etc. [2][3] who would die penniless, see their families die, skipping multiple levels of Maslow’s hierarchy at a time – sacrificing everything to pursuit of excellence and a higher pursuit of prosperity – selflessly.


We can rationally call them irrational even though there may be made many arguments in their favour, what they don’t do is react accordingly as expected.


And the fact that irrational people would always be minority, that doesn’t mean we don’t think about them, we can always allot them a minority status and include them proportionately in calculations. The majority, the mass who react as expected – the automatons of selfish gene – the other 80%[4] – would anyway force themselves into all conclusions.


A deeper perusal of Maslow’s hierarchy would tell you that (rational) people satisfy their concrete needs first, and then they go for abstract, insatiable needs.



Let’s now come back to the main equation between Money and Love.


We all have concrete needs like air, water, food and shelter. These help us sustain our lives and these are bare necessities. You can learn more about bare necessities[5] and what I want to mean here from “The Jungle Book” Movie by Walt Disney.


And all bare necessities earlier could be gathered by just plucking from the trees and finding caves in the earlier days, but now they have to be bought. And to buy anything you would need money.


So for the actuation of the lowest of Maslow’s pyramid we need money. Money has become the bare necessity.

And for rational people who can’t or won’t skip steps on the Maslow’s pyramid, they need to satisfy their need for money first, and then they can pursue love (abstract principle).


And whereas 67% of India’s population are potential beneficiaries of the Food Security Bill[6], those who have to struggle for bare necessities all the time, how are they supposed to reach a higher level and achieve anything beyond the levels of self-preservation and security?


The maths behind the philosophy

Now let’s find out mathematically what is more important: money or love.


Assuming there are N number of people on this earth.

And ratio a:p divide the population into affluent:poor

Ratio r:i divide the population into rational:irrational


There might be many other essential parameters, I will just take the most obvious for the simple purpose of deciding between money and love.


Therefore the importance of money or of any bare necessity out of 100% would be:



And the importance of love or other abstract necessities out of 100% would be:


Let’s take practical data

In India only 3.5 crore[7] people earn more than 2 lakh a year

Total number of dependants = 3.5 crore x 4 (number of average dependants) = 14 crore


14 crore affluent people and the rest 107 crore poor, i.e. 13:87


And as we do not know how and where to get a ratio on rational:irrational we can assume it to be 80:20[8] according to Pareto principle.


So the numbers are like this:



Therefore in a country like India or in situations where we take developing countries and with low standard of life – Importance of money is 83.4%.

As a corollary importance of love would be 16.6%



  1. Between love and money, money has always remained the first choice, we fail to look at it this way because we never think of life as starting from zero, we have always inherited either genes or wealth, and at least we have inherited a life and a livelihood from our parents.
  2. Money can never be less important than love even in ideal conditions.
    Ideally we would always put affluent:poor at most at 50:50 because there would always be a fine point of class difference of majority and minority and the working of law of variable proportions affording only a few the maximum available.
  3. And rational:irrational also has to be lowest at 50:50. Because rationality is instinctive and in no way instincts are going to leave the human body and fail them after taking us through space and time for thousands of years. By failing I mean the rational people or automatons would never be less than the irrational ones in number even in the most ideal situation.
  4. Under the most ideal conditions when we don’t have to worry about food or shelter or a car maybe, we would definitely go for selflessness, excellence, socialism and definitely love, but not at the cost of food, shelter or society.
  5. Love can never exist without money, as without a body there can’t be a heart (brain).
  6. On a large scale considering a huge population (proportionally where resources are low) Money will be more important, and in smaller populations (with higher per capita resources) love would be more important.
  7. Considering the probability of who reads my blog, you’ll be more aligned towards love. Your ability to read this post shows that you have already secured a livelihood, and therefore rationally now you’d pursue love.
  8. Women would go for love mostly after they acquire a little survival as they desire everything[9], and men would go for money mostly, as they desire only sustenance, security and sex.
  9. Teenagers face a curious situation. Most of them don’t have to worry about sustenance, and they have newly attained the ability to love.  They have a very ideal mindset due to the lack of threat to their survival; they become selfless and thus easily corruptible with idealisms. They would write poems, songs, compete with colleagues, and definitely fall in love. But these things get over soon when they realise the world is not an ideal place.



Somebody from a national law university recently asked me a question which made me realise that I have skipped a very important part of this hypothesis.

That being: Can money buy love?

With all due respect to her, this question itself is very biased. It shows one side of a debate, the other side of which is completely skipped – Can love cajole money?

In both the questions the answers are “No”. Both are mutually exclusive and in no way one can affect the other merely by its existence. The existence of which is purely dependent upon the subject’s reasoning, necessity and rationality.

Money can never buy love. What it can do is make you able enough to pursue love. Money gives you the option to pursue or not to pursue love.

“Money doesn’t gift you love, money makes it possible for you to earn it.”


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