Appeal to money

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An appeal to money is a logical fallacy that occurs when money is associated with truth or quality.

  • An appeal to wealth (argumentum ad crumenam) occurs when more money involved means something is truer or better, exploiting the impression that money flows from intelligence or work.
  • An appeal to poverty (argumentum ad lazarum) occurs when less money involved means something is truer or better, exploiting the impression that money corrupts.

Inverse forms of these fallacies (people who are poor are wrong, rather than right) are also common. Although very rarely encountered, it's possible that a "middle" amount of money might be considered a good thing (perhaps "appeal to middle class").

The fallacy is an emotional appeal, generally considered an informal fallacy, though experimental evidence bears out the appeal to poverty. A 2017 study by Igor Grossmann and Justin Brienza at the University of Waterloo in Canada found that poor and working class people are more likely to show "wisdom", defined as the ability to consider opposing perspectives and find a compromise that defuses an interpersonal dispute, than those in higher socioeconomic classes.[1][2]


P1: X is poor/rich/etc.
P2: Poor/rich/etc. people say true/false/etc. things.
C: X says true/false/etc. things.


Smart people can be poor, dumb people can be rich, and vice versa. Socrates, Sun-Tzu, and Spinoza were all poor when compared to the likes of Donald Trump, Mike Adams, and Alex Jones, but are the latter better than the former?



  • The Watchtower Society is a non-profit organization, and nobody is getting rich on all this. Isn't that what God wants?
  • Poor, but honest.
  • Priests and nuns are more likely to possess insight into the meaning of life because they have given up the distractions of wealth.
  • All you need to know about the civil war in that country is that the rebels live in mud huts, while the general who sends troops against them sits in a luxurious, air-conditioned office.
  • "What reason have you to be merry? You're poor enough."Wikipedia


  • If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?
  • It costs more, so it must be better.

External links[edit]


  1. Michael Price. "The lower your social class, the ‘wiser’ you are, suggests new study". Science, 2017-12-20. doi:10.1126/science.aar8218
  2. Justin P. Brienza, Igor Grossmann. "[1] Social class and wise reasoning about interpersonal conflicts across regions, persons and situations". Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2017-12-20. Accessed 2017-12-23. doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.1870