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The Almighty Buck

Wealth Therapy Tackles Woes of the Rich 444

HughPickens.com writes: Jana Kasperkevic writes in The Guardian that it can be very stressful to be rich. "It's really isolating to have a lot of money. It can be scary – people's reaction to you," says Barbara Nusbaum, an expert in money psychology. "There is a fair amount of isolation if you are wealthy." According to Clay Cockrell, who provides therapy for rich, this means the rich tend to hang out with other rich Americans, not out of snobbery, but in order to be around those who understand them and their problems. One big problem is not knowing if your friends are friends with you or your money. "Someone else who is also a billionaire – they don't want anything from you! Never being able to trust your friendships with people of different means, I think that is difficult," says Cockrell. "As the gap has widened, they [the rich] have become more and more isolated." Sci-fi author John Scalzi has published an entertaining take-down of the cluelessness in this article.
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Wealth Therapy Tackles Woes of the Rich

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  • Why the fuss? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wooppp ( 921578 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:17AM (#50757179) Journal
    If the simplest solution is to donate all your wealth?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wouldn't it be easier for them to just buy a bunch of friends. Then they wouldn't need to wonder if their friends are friends with them or their money.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Wouldn't it be easier for them to just buy a bunch of friends. Then they wouldn't need to wonder if their friends are friends with them or their money.

        Worked out well for Thomas Jefferson.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2015 @09:22AM (#50757475)

      If you go around driving a high end luxury car, Armani suits, gold Rolex watches, etc ... you're going to get attention.

      Now, if you live your life like old school humble Protestants/Jews - live in a small house, wear Timex watches, at best a Brooks Brother's suit only when you need to, drive a Toyota, etc ... you don't have to worry.

      And if you're really wealthy, biz causal and and a beat up anything. I actually met a very wealthy person and he was so low key I didn't know until I went to his place of business and one of his executives told me who he was - a guy who owned a $200 million concrete business.

      Geeze!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:18AM (#50757185)

    Let me find the world's smallest violin for you guys.

  • Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:18AM (#50757187) Journal

    Someone else who is also a billionaire – they don't want anything from you!

    Anyone who claims that has no understanding of the psychology of the majority of billionaires. See Carly Fiorina and her 'good friend' Steve Jobs for an example. If you're a billionaire, then other billionaires are the ones that have the most of what you value and therefore the best targets. Stealing from the poor is far more effort - you need to steal from loads of them.

    • Re:Nonsense (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2015 @09:38AM (#50757561)

      Stealing from the poor is far more effort - you need to steal from loads of them.

      Hey, it worked for the Waltons!

    • Someone else who is also a billionaire – they don't want anything from you!

      Anyone who claims that has no understanding of the psychology of the majority of billionaires. See Carly Fiorina and her 'good friend' Steve Jobs for an example. If you're a billionaire, then other billionaires are the ones that have the most of what you value and therefore the best targets. Stealing from the poor is far more effort - you need to steal from loads of them.

      Not if you get tapped into government money. Then the government (also made up of poor people) does the footwork for you.

    • Someone else who is also a billionaire – they don't want anything from you!

      Anyone who claims that has no understanding of the psychology of the majority of billionaires. See Carly Fiorina and her 'good friend' Steve Jobs for an example. If you're a billionaire, then other billionaires are the ones that have the most of what you value and therefore the best targets. Stealing from the poor is far more effort - you need to steal from loads of them.

      And that's the governments job :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dj245 ( 732906 )

      Someone else who is also a billionaire – they don't want anything from you!

      Anyone who claims that has no understanding of the psychology of the majority of billionaires. See Carly Fiorina and her 'good friend' Steve Jobs for an example. If you're a billionaire, then other billionaires are the ones that have the most of what you value and therefore the best targets. Stealing from the poor is far more effort - you need to steal from loads of them.

      Not just billionaires, problems can happen between people with any wealth gap. I'm nearing the point where interacting with people on the lower end of the income ladder than me is just irritating. Frequently they want something from me and give me basically nothing in return. They come to my apartment, want to use the pool, eat my food, drink my beer, and bring nothing. No food, no beer, nada. I know their situation- they're poor. I don't expect much. Just give me a gesture of appreciation. When you

  • by badger.foo ( 447981 ) <peter@bsdly.net> on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:21AM (#50757197) Homepage
    Most societies would be more than willing to help ease the terrible burden of an abundance of assets. Raising the taxes on high incomes and capital gains would help reverse the Reagan-era onwards trend of wealth redistribution towards the higher income and wealth segments of society. We now know that wealth did not start trickling downwards, and grownups need to step in to correct the mistakes.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Trachman ( 3499895 )

      You are right, wealth did not start trickling downwards, just as Obama predicted.

      Rather than salivating about raising taxes on rich, there is much easier solution. Much much easier to understand and execute. Stop collecting taxes from the poor and middle class. I would say middle class family is the one which earns less than $300K.

      Reduction of the tax burden for the little man and middle class would be felt and would appreciated much more than increase of taxes for super-rich.

      • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @09:15AM (#50757451) Homepage Journal

        Then the claim that the government should only look after the interests of the rich will become louder, there's already an element of society that claims that, because the superrich pay the bulk of taxation (because they earn the most, with taxes being related to income) that, despite the government's affects being felt by everyone, the government should only be answerable to the superrich and their interests.

        I prefer some taxation for everyone than taxation only for a tiny minority who happen to be the people hoarding all the new wealth.

        Higher taxes on the superrich also discourage absurdly high salaries, from past experience. People who own businesses are less likely to skim an extra million from their revenues if they only get $400,000 of that back after tax (assuming a 60% top tier tax rate.) Better to re-invest it in their own businesses, than increase what's ultimately a status symbol (how many plasma TVs does a man need anyway? A huge amount of the reason why wages are so high amongst the superrich is the belief that a higher salary shows greater worth.)

        • by khallow ( 566160 )
          Or we could just not do stupid stuff. One thing I find is that a large portion of the poor are just as greedy and short-sighted as the rich, they just aren't as competent or lucky. Creating a huge underclass for which society is just something to take stuff from, legally or otherwise, is one of the worst ideas explored in modern democracies.

          Higher taxes on the superrich also discourage absurdly high salaries

          Why would we want to do that? Pulling money out of businesses is one way wealth gets redistributed naturally.

          hoarding all the new wealth.

          Forcing rich people to keep their wealth in their business m

          • You seem to be clinging to the same trickle-down economic theories that have created this mess. How is more of the same supposed to lead to a different result?

            The GP was recommending policies that seem to have worked in the New Deal era. Forcing rich people to keep their wealth in their business led to business expansion instead of high scores racked up in Swiss bank accounts.

          • Forcing rich people to keep their wealth in their business makes this worse.

            So put a cap on the amount of cash a business is allowed to have in the bank, forcing them to spend it on investments, return it as dividends, buy back stock, etc etc. When the money moves it can be taxed.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by tompaulco ( 629533 )

        I would say middle class family is the one which earns less than $300K.

        The government disagrees with you. They think anybody that actually has a job is rich. Anybody that has never had a job is poor (but not somebody that had a job and then lost it, they are still rich and not entitled to long term benefits). And with the governments current policies, it won't be long before there IS only poor and rich, and there will probably be a lot more poor when people figure out they can live a more fulfilling lifestyle by being poor than working their but off being "rich".

        • I would say middle class family is the one which earns less than $300K.

          The government disagrees with you. They think anybody that actually has a job is rich. Anybody that has never had a job is poor (but not somebody that had a job and then lost it, they are still rich and not entitled to long term benefits). And with the governments current policies, it won't be long before there IS only poor and rich, and there will probably be a lot more poor when people figure out they can live a more fulfilling lifestyle by being poor than working their but off being "rich".

          Wow, you make being poor sound like a great deal. So why are you still working? Is it just personal pride? Or are things maybe not quite as extreme as you make them seem?

      • Earning more than 200k a year puts you in the 90th percentile. More then 400k is the top 1%.

        The problem is the people who earn more than a million a year pay less in total tax dollars than someone earning 400k a year.

    • Most societies would be more than willing to help ease the terrible burden of an abundance of assets. Raising the taxes on high incomes and capital gains would help reverse the Reagan-era onwards trend of wealth redistribution towards the higher income and wealth segments of society. We now know that wealth did not start trickling downwards, and grownups need to step in to correct the mistakes.

      Raising taxes on high incomes and capital gains does nothing but take money from the rich and the middle class and give it to the government. Why would we want to do that? Isn't letting people keep the money they earned, regardless of their income level ALWAYS going to be better than taking it away and giving it to the government?

      • Only if you think that the government makes the money it receives disappear through a black hole rather than doing any good with it. Many would disagree.

      • ,p>Isn't letting people keep the money they earned, regardless of their income level ALWAYS going to be better than taking it away and giving it to the government?

        No, why would you think such a thing?

      • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @12:05PM (#50758899)

        Isn't letting people keep the money they earned, regardless of their income level ALWAYS going to be better than taking it away and giving it to the government?

        No, because this way I don't have to spend time shopping for a private army to protect me, and know I won't starve to death even if I were to lose my job.

    • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Monday October 19, 2015 @10:03AM (#50757765) Journal

      Many dogs, if given unlimited food, will eat themselves to death. Yes, really. These dogs have no restraint and will consume food until their stomachs cannot physically hold any more. The stomach may rupture, and if not treated quickly, that is fatal.

      I think of most of the super rich as suffering from the same sort of problem, only with money instead of food. They will earn, steal, and horde wealth beyond all sense. Even if it causes great harm to many others, damages society, they can't stop themselves. An example is wage theft. We have many people working in the restaurant business, for extremely low pay. But it seems the low pay isn't low enough to suit some owners, who bully their workers into working a few extra hours off the clock, delay paychecks, miscalculate the pay in their favor, and other tricks. It might be somewhat understandable if the franchises were struggling, but often they are doing very well indeed, don't really need more money. Nor is the owner hurting for money. Why then do they do it? They don't have good reason. Reasons of the "trickle down" variety are wrong. It simply is not possible for one person to use vast wealth efficiently. They can blow thousands on luxury conveniences that save a few minutes here and there, but it is not good value.

      Meanwhile, the cheated workers must spend even more time struggling to get by on extremely limited means. The old expression "time is money" is so true for the poor. A lot of expense can be eliminated by burning more time. Dishwasher broken? Wash dishes by hand! Water cut off? Lug your laundry to a laundromat, use paper plates and plastic spoons, and as for showers, well, can rent a cheap motel room or visit the Y, but not every day. Instead, keep the deodorants and perfumes handy, and wear a cap to hide your hair. Toilets can be flushed with buckets of rainwater. Car repossessed? Take public transport, or bike or walk. The poor are forced to work around all kinds of things that the middle class take for granted, and ingenious and actually better and healthier though some of the workarounds are, it all takes time. What might they be able to accomplish if they didn't have to spend so much time scrapping and scrounging for every penny?

      We should keep constant watch on the rich, and rein them in. Instead, we practically worship them. That's not good for anyone. People think the rich are really special, leaders and doers who've been rewarded with great wealth for their hard work, think it's all merited. Think they're John Galt. Some are, no doubt. However, when such status is given to someone who doesn't merit it, the result is almost always bad. That's where we as a society have fallen down. We let these undeserving rich get away with murder. In all the fraud and cheating that resulted in the Great Recession, only Madoff ended up in prison. This Angelo Mozilo should have gone to jail, instead he was only banned from ever running a company again, and allowed to keep much of the wealth he had stolen, and live on in freedom. Sure, he was fined a record amount, a fact they like to play up to try to show how tough they are on rich criminals, but it didn't reduce him to poverty, far from it. Since then, a few more perps have been put away, but it took years to do it. Meanwhile, little people are routinely dragged through the mud over petty debts. Some consequences would be okay if the big people faced the same consequences, but they don't.

      • Thread creep, but my dogs will do nothing of the kind with dog food. I really can't say what ONE of them would do with unlimited angus steak, but TWO or MORE of them will eat it as fast as they can to keep the other dog(s) from getting it. There is a metaphor in here somewhere, I think the overlord class sees money as a zero-sum game where they win if they get the most.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:21AM (#50757201)

    ... is hire someone to manage their wealth and disguise themselves and go live among normal people to "cure" themselves of their own self imposed exile. AKA go live like a normal person instead. Wealth is something you can leave behind at any moment, there's no law of nature saying you need to be around your own wealth. AKA think of it like going on vacation.

    People on this planet are so stupid.

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      It's not that easy. Most people worry about money constantly, and as a result, talk about money constantly. It's tough to have enough and to sit and listen to friends gripe about this or that money related thing. It's part of the same problem. Pretending not to be wealthy doesn't help.
  • They considered a companion program for the woes of the poor;

    alas, they can't afford pay attention... let alone for therapy.

  • Try being poor (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vasheron ( 1750022 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:30AM (#50757237)
    If the rich feel that being wealthy is too stressful, maybe they should try being poor instead.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This attitude is precisely why rich people don't want to be around poor. The human mind is pretty strange, because even when everything seems good by pretty much any conceivable metric, you still typically have stuff you worry and need to talk about. It won't help if someone just dismisses all of it as non-issues.

      • Re:Try being poor (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Vasheron ( 1750022 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @09:21AM (#50757473)
        I think the rich don't want to be around the poor because of their preconceived notions about the poor. I am poor because I have a disability that destroyed my career and makes it nearly impossible to hold a job. While I sometimes stress about money, I am largely happy because I don't measure my self-worth by how many possessions I have or by the amount of money I have in my bank account. Positive relationships are more important. Doing something you love is more important. If the rich have trouble forming positive relationships or doing what they love because of how much money they have, then my suggestion would be to give it away.
        • Re:Try being poor (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @12:43PM (#50759207) Journal

          I think the rich don't want to be around the poor because of their preconceived notions about the poor.

          I think that's total bullshit.

          I'm not rich (to that level) and I'm aware that my relative wealth makes my unemployed friends uncomfortable. They don't resent it, they don't think I flaunt it, they're just painfully aware that I can (and am happy to) take them to a sodding good restaurant and pay for everyone's meal.

          They don't want or like charity. They can't reciprocate. So do they refuse to dine out with me, take on an expense they can't afford, feel shit about themselves by letting me treat them or force me to compromise my own lifestyle to fit in their budget?

          These are friends so we find ways to compromise in which everybody stays happy, but even the gap between 'well paid' and 'unemployed' causes social frictions.

          Is it so hard to imagine that someone with 'never work again' levels of wealth has the same challenges even with their own friends?

          Now add in the people that have no integrity, no self-esteem, high levels of greed and no compunction about pretending to be a friend purely to enjoy a lifestyle they can't personally afford. Sure, you know your existing friends aren't like that, but what about new people you meet.

          It's easy (ish) to build positive relationships with your socio-economic peers, but there's a ton of material - fictional and otherwise - out there that explores the challenges around bridging those tiers.

      • It is a non-issue. Thousands of people die every day due to not having enough money for food, medical care, etc. To go around pity trolling because you're wealthy is the worst sort of first-world problem imaginable. All the aforementioned people would have loved to hve the "stress" of being financially secure for life.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:39AM (#50757273)

    Another problem is that if you ever lose your wealth, you tend to lose your rich friends too. Other rich people might not be your friends because of the money, but because they're essentially just networking in order to get business opportunities. When you lose your wealth you become useless to them. I've personally noticed that the only real friends you have tend to be the ones you found in college. You might find a few from high school too.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      I have observed that to be true going to a gathering held by a wealthy friend of mine. He is wealthy, but most people attending were not. Also, most people there are people he had known since high school, prior to him getting wealthy.

      Of course, if you are born into wealth, your upbringing may not afford you that option, since everyone new and old may know you as 'wealthy' and have the potential for ulterior motives that go with it.

      However, it's not wealth that is really isolating, it's the lifestyle choic

  • Since this is a tech site and people work or have worked in that field I would say that everyone here is in the top 1%. Congratulations BTW.
    So how many of the people here regularly deal with people in the bottom 70% on a regular basis. Unless traveling to remote parts of the world not that often.
    So why would you expect America's or Europe's 1% from doing the same thing?
    • Specifically, 99% of people live on less than $22,000 per year. So if your incom is higher than $22,000, you are the 1%. Whatever you say of "the 1%" you are saying of yourself.

      • Specifically, 99% of people live on less than $22,000 per year. So if your incom is higher than $22,000, you are the 1%. Whatever you say of "the 1%" you are saying of yourself.

        Maybe if you're talking about "in the entire world", but the reference of "the 1%" usually refers to just in the US. It can refer to just in another country as well, usually modified with the country name like "the 1% of Canada", but I've never heard of it referring to the entire world's population without specifically mentioning th

      • Nonsense. That's only true if you're measuring income in dollars as if that's some absolute and not adjusting for local cost of living. Cost of living varies hugely across the world. Even within a relatively small country country, I moved from somewhere in the UK where my cost of living was around £10K/year living very comfortably to somewhere on the other side of the country where that won't even pay my rent.
      • by rossdee ( 243626 )

        "Specifically, 99% of people live on less than $22,000 per year."

        I guess that must be a worldwide figure or something.

        I saw one Money site that said you have to have household income of around $400,000 to be in the top 1% (at least in the USA)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I earn about 80k and I used to dedicate 20% of my income and most of my weekends to running a soup kitchen in a shanty-town along with a couple other volunteers. The local narco-lord eventually moved in with assistance from political point-men, our lives were threatened both on the "legally ruin your life" and "shoot your head off" sense, and now it's a front for drug dealing. This, in the words of one of the point-men, was backed from all the way up by a ridiculously powerful and wealthy Cabinet minister w

  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:42AM (#50757291) Journal
    So, other people have their own problems. I bet you still complain when you stub your toe even though there are people with no feet.

    Giving away money isn't the solution, any more than chopping your foot off solves the foot issue. You can't buy yourself out of the feeling people are judging you.
    • Mod parent up!

      This is completely true. Everyone had problems. Thing is there's always someone else in the world with worse problems. If that invalidates problems then the only person with valid problems is some North Korean with no arms and legs currently on fire and living in a barrel of radioactive waste in a prison camp.

      It is of course very hard to feel sympathy for a billionaire who's problem is that he's a billionaire. Thing is your brain one's brain doesn't care and provided one generally had enough t

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      If you read the thread - it's not that it's a feeling that people are judging you. It's fact that many are. Some, in a "good" way like, "They must be smart, good, and wise because they have money. I want to be like and near them." The others, well, read this thread. I sold my business and acquired some wealth. No, not billions or anything like that - not even a half billion - not even a quarter of a billion.

      While I don't mind taxes (and even think my tax rate is too low) the initial taxes due were a real ey

  • Hanauer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:43AM (#50757293) Homepage Journal

    If they're not this guy: http://www.politico.com/magazi... [politico.com]

    If they're not that guy, fuck 'em. If the system is making them hyper-privileged and it's wrecking their relationships and making it impossible to live as a human being, it's on THEM to change the system because the system is there to serve them.

    They're guilty for a reason. They don't need therapy, they need reform and rehab, and they are the ones in a position to change things.

    It's morally wrong to give 'em therapy and soothe their little feelings without addressing the larger problem. They're unhappy because they are BAD PEOPLE.

  • All of my multimillionaire friends are just tight as fuck and wont lend money to anyone. They will condescendingly refuse to let you pay your share for a taxi ride/meal. Other than that they are just like the rest of my friends only better dressed (normally)
    • by Holi ( 250190 )
      So they are stingy and they rub it in your face? And they wonder why they have a hard time maintaining friendships?
      • by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @09:22AM (#50757477) Homepage Journal

        My brother does this. He pays for meals but I find it awkward because he'll use his tip as a bludgeon. If service is bad, he'll not only refuse to tip but will sometimes refuse to ever set foot in the place again. If you're good, you might get a fifty dollar tip on a ten dollar pizza.

        I don't think he's trying to impress me, or not primarily. I think it's a Darwinian thing where he's trying to improve the breed by punishing and rewarding.

        Too bad this only underscores a sense that he is the puppetmaster managing and directing all his servants, passing judgement upon them because that's his duty. Put like that it sounds like the most extreme entitled assholery.

        I'm poor, and I'm capable of getting bad service and thinking 'oh well, guess I'd better do some kind of tip, not like I'm special and there to throw my weight around. Maybe they were just having a crap day'. I guess if I was rich I would be more likely to assume I was there to pass out punishments and rewards.

        "Rubbing it in your face" might be preferable because it implies someone posturing and doing a dominance behavior thing. This 'improving the breed' stuff, it's like dominance is already so completely assumed that the only remaining question is how you manage your slaves. And it seems to sneak into the behavior of relatively rational, non-evil people.

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          Your brother is an asshole. By the way, unless he's also an idiot, he's probably loaning money all the time - that's what investing and, even, just leaving it in a bank is doing.

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            Oops - wait - your brother wasn't the 'won't lend money' person - my bad. Still true though, only an idiot wouldn't loan money. It's a rather lucrative process.

  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:45AM (#50757309)
    Don't drive around in Bentleys, Lambos, or those ugly as sin Mercedes SUVs. You don't need a 10,000 sq ft, 6 bedroom house when you have no kids. Live comfortably but not showy and don't advertise the fact that you are loaded and you won't have the problem of wondering whether people are only interested in your for your money because no one will realize you have money. But therein lies the problem: most of these people WANT others to know they have money.
    • Don't drive around in Bentleys, Lambos, or those ugly as sin Mercedes SUVs. You don't need a 10,000 sq ft, 6 bedroom house when you have no kids. Live comfortably but not showy and don't advertise the fact that you are loaded and you won't have the problem of wondering whether people are only interested in your for your money because no one will realize you have money. But therein lies the problem: most of these people WANT others to know they have money.

      Most of the people buying those things are NOT rich. They are TEMPORARILY rich due to lottery, rap album, sports career, pop album, inheritance, but within decades if not years, they will be broke again. Living beyond your means is the new American pastime.

    • This. A trillion times this.

      The whining of the rich about how difficult it is to be them is nothing more than a weak post hoc rationalization of their hypocrisy. They WANT people to know they are wealthy, because it is not merely the exercise of wealth, but its ostentatious display, that translates to power. The rich would justify that display as simply the consequence of wanting to live well with their "hard-earned" gains. But this is overwhelmingly not the case.

      I once dated a trust-fund baby. He was

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      No, that's not true. Most wealthy people I know don't act like that. People who buy showy luxury things are usually those least able to afford them.
    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      Most of the rich actually don't show off. Sure, they like luxury and comfort : why stay cramped in economy class when you can go first class, or even book a private jet?
      Did you ever meet some rich people without knowing it at first? It is often quite an unsettling experience. You start talking with him like you talk with "normal" people, he is nice and interesting, nothing special about his appearance : maybe he has a watch you've never seen before, or well fit clothes, but nothing that catches the eyes. It

  • Not too surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mycroft-X ( 11435 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:48AM (#50757315)

    This is true all over. How often do posters on this site kick back and have a beer after their friends come home from their job on the lawn service crew, or as an auto mechanic? Are most of your friends in technical positions? Do most of your friends have interests that align with your own? Same sort of thing.

    People responding to this article act like they are fonts of egalitarianism when if you look at it they are probably just as judgmental (up and down, the responses being a case in point) as the purported billionaires in TFA.

    • In all too many cases, I totally agree. Here in Portland, the whole brogrammer/hipster thing is in full-force... most of the tech types I have worked with in the past (and now) only hang out with other, similarly-successful professionals with similar tastes.

      However, this is not always the case. As evidence I present, well, my situation. I commute into the city from a small town in the foothills of the Coastal Range... I rent the place. My neighbor across the street is a single mother who works at the grocer

  • I remember hearing some question that was, I suppose, meant to test your character, or something. "Would you rather be poor and happy, or rich and unhappy?" I think the "correct" answer was supposed to be "poor and happy," but I beg to differ. I've been poor and happy before. I've also had more than my share of poor and unhappiness. I think I'd give "rich and unhappy" a try. And if I can't deal with that I'd give away the money until it made me happy.
  • by asylumx ( 881307 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:52AM (#50757329)
    Wow, could there be a MORE polarizing article than this? And really, it *needs* a takedown? Come on. This is like the class warfare version of race-baiting.

    Coming into money, especially quickly (e.g. winning the lottery) has been shown time and time again to leave people in a MUCH WORSE situation than they started from because they don't know the first thing about handling that much money responsibly. As far as the issue of finding people with similar problems, isn't that just part of life? My wife and I don't have kids, and that makes it really difficult to find other people/couples we can connect with. It's the same thing.

    So quit bitching about how clueless rich people are. You're just as clueless about them as they are about you.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > This is like the class warfare version of race-baiting.

      Class warfare *is* taking place, mind you.

      The rich are winning.

  • Noblesse Oblige (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darthsilun ( 3993753 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:52AM (#50757333)

    Sci-fi author John Scalzi has published an entertaining take-down of the cluelessness in this article.

    One thing Scalzi has missed in his screed is this:
    Noblesse oblige is a French phrase literally meaning "nobility obliges". It is the concept that nobility extends beyond mere entitlements and requires the person with such status to fulfill social responsibilities, particularly in leadership roles.

    And it's one of the things that's missing from a lot of the 1%ers. This society made it possible for them to be 1%ers. They have a debt to society. And like the Lanisters – who always pay their debts – so should they.

    • And it's one of the things that's missing from a lot of the 1%ers. This society made it possible for them to be 1%ers. They have a debt to society. And like the Lanisters – who always pay their debts – so should they.

      Didn't society also give us that same opportunity, so don't we also owe that debt? Or do we pay that debt back by paying taxes, just like they do?

      • Taxes is one way. As 1%ers they got a lot more. Some would say they owe a lot more too.
      • Re:Noblesse Oblige (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2015 @11:18AM (#50758445)

        A person born in a ghetto with one parent making 15k a year does not have the same opportunities as someone born in the Hamptons with a trust fund in the six-digits from birth. Similarly two middle-class people that just so happen to have skill sets with differing levels of economic demand do not get the same opportunities either.

        So the answer to this:

        Didn't society also give us that same opportunity

        is no.

  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @08:54AM (#50757347) Journal
    "she directly makes a comparison by encouraging people to replace the word "rich" with "black" to see the problem with how she says people speak of the rich."

    Sorry, John, but if you don't "like" the implications of replacing group X with group Y in a sentence, the problem exists in your own wetware, not with the underlying premise. You don't get to discriminate against "the right" groups with impunity just because it happens to better fit your world-view. Nor does the whiteness of that cohort have any relevance to the analogy (and in fact, your mentioning it actually commits the offense you accuse Kasperkevic of) - If you describe someone as "hung like a bull", their lack of actual bull-ness simply doesn't matter in the least; not even if that person makes their living as a professional butcher.

    Kasperkevic didn't intend to literally equate the struggles of the rich with those of blacks (something you, as a professional author, should have grasped); rather, she used it as a literary device to highlight the fact that calling for lynching any group, whether black or Jewish or rich, should offend us as a violation of basic human dignity.
    • This post is only interesting if you have a turtle's grasp of logic.

      On a side note, nobody mentioned lynching in either article that I could find. Here's the context in which the author introduced the rich/black analogy.

      "“You can come up with lot of words and sayings about inheritors, not one of them is positive: spoiled brat, born with a silver spoon in their mouth, trust fund babies, all these things,” she said, adding that it’s “easy to scapegoat the rich”."

      Yeah, the poor s

      • by pla ( 258480 )
        nobody mentioned lynching in either article that I could find.

        Remember that little thing called "Occupy Wall Street"? You seriously want to defend that hill, to claim that no one has called for lynching the rich?


        This post is only interesting if you have a turtle's grasp of logic.

        First, WTF does that even mean? But phrasing aside, I get your point, and largely agree - What I wrote should have gone without saying: If we consider discrimination bad, it doesn't matter which group you fill-in-the-blan
    • Just replace "Billionaires" with "Women" and "Money" with sex.
    • by thewolfkin ( 2790519 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @12:09PM (#50758931) Homepage Journal

      "she directly makes a comparison by encouraging people to replace the word "rich" with "black" to see the problem with how she says people speak of the rich."

      Sorry, John, but if you don't "like" the implications of replacing group X with group Y in a sentence, the problem exists in your own wetware, not with the underlying premise. You don't get to discriminate against "the right" groups with impunity just because it happens to better fit your world-view. Nor does the whiteness of that cohort have any relevance to the analogy (and in fact, your mentioning it actually commits the offense you accuse Kasperkevic of)

      Kasperkevic didn't intend to literally equate the struggles of the rich with those of blacks (something you, as a professional author, should have grasped); rather, she used it as a literary device to highlight the fact that calling for lynching any group, whether black or Jewish or rich, should offend us as a violation of basic human dignity.

      What are you talking about? discriminating against black people is NOTHING like the discrimination against the rich. First of all the rich as a group can do a whole lot more against discrimination against them then black people as a community. The rich have gotten away with MUCH MUCH more grievous harm and the black community has been punished for much less reason than the rich.

      Which isn't to say that every rich person deserves to get their hands cut off or anything but their "struggle" is nothing like a racial struggle and bringing up the struggle of a racial minority like the black community only serves to make the black struggle seem disingenuous. The point of the comparison was not about literal lynching. No one thinks it's ok to literally lynch the rich. Which is the only way such a comparison might not be wildly offensive. The comparison was about how the rich are perceived and treated which is NOTHING like how a racial minority is treated or perceived.

    • Nonsense. Her point is a stupid example. By her reasoning, I shouldn't say "sex offenders should all be jailed" because if I replaced "sex offenders" with "black people" in that sentence it would sound really bad. Talking about groups of people isn't a bad thing, it is difficult to have any kind of meaningful conversation about society without doing it.

      This is just a weak attempt to use political correctness to defend the rich from any kind of moral culpability. Being rich isn't an affliction. It is a state

  • by Anonymous Coward

    While I understand "you can't tell if people are friends with you or just with your money," at the same time I also feel that if you are extraordinarily wealthy and you're not gladly dumping excess money to your friends, you're not a very good friend. After buying a nice house in a nice part of a city I love and putting enough away that I could have ~$100k/year in spending money, there is literally nothing else I would rather spend money on than bringing the people I love up to the same level. I know a lo

    • You can't do this dumping, your friends become your whores. Their basic survival becomes dependent on servicing you as soon as you 'bring them up to your level' which means they have the same budget, otherwise what are you even talking about?

      You can only throw money around like that among people who have roughly the same amount of money, otherwise the power dynamic changes radically and alarmingly. You've literally explained how you'd set people up to be completely dependent on you giving them money to be a

      • I don't think they intended handing their friends paychecks. The way I took it, and I would do it, would be to actually give my friends/relatives an equal share of the wealth, such that all are equals. I have a number of siblings but very few friends, any kind of significant lottery win could be split equally among them and result in a huge change in quality of life for all.

        • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
          If a friend of mine won the lottery (actually, a friend of mine built up a business and sold it for ~$10M), and wanted to just give me money, I'd walk away and never be friends with that person again. As it was, he alienated all his old friends - nobody asked him for a dime.
      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        He's straight up full of shit.

  • Simple solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jodido ( 1052890 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @09:16AM (#50757453)
    A couple of others have referred to this idea, which I have myself suggested to individuals who were troubled by "privilege." Give away all your money, get a job at Walmart and join the fight for $15 and hour and a union. All your (previous) troubles will seem so far away, you will make new and interesting and sincere friends and you will be contributing to making a better world. What more could you ask for?
  • Get bent and get over it.

    That will be $10,000.

  • I've known stingy rich people and generous rich people. I've known stingy middle class people and less stingy middle class people. On the whole, the rich people I know are more generous. But I have been screwed over a time or two by rich people. However, most of the time when I have been screwed over, it has been by people that make about the same as me who desire to become rich by stepping on others and backstabbing others.
  • fff (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sociocapitalist ( 2471722 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @09:53AM (#50757679)

    Stated problem: People don't like me because I'm rich
    Actual problem: I choose to be a complete asshole and fuck people over to become disgustingly rich.
    Rich people therapist: Will say absolutely anything to make disgustingly rich person feel better about themselves so long as they get paid

    Solutions:
      - take away the tax dodges that let the super-rich get or stay super-rich
      - raise taxes on those same super-rich and lower the tax burden on the middle class

  • I had a friend I knew from before he started the business he eventually sold for millions of dollars.... he alienated me, not the other way around. I never asked for a dime, I never even talked about money. So, like a lot of others here, their paranoia is hardly my concern.
  • Billionaires think BIG. They hang out with other billionaires because that's where the money is. If you're a billionaire, everyone you know, especially the other billionaires, are trying to figure out ways to get your billions. And you hang out with them because you're trying to get their billions. Billions isn't enough any more than millions was. The one who dies with the most wins!

  • Rich Implies Greed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @05:54PM (#50761759)
    So you are rich. You got there either because you were a greedy little piglet or a parent left you a pile of money. And being a wealth addict you know you want more. So where is the best place to get a big pile of money to add to your stash. Mining the poor and wretched is too slow. You just have to manipulate way too many poor people to steal one penny at a time. But hanging out with rich people gets your leads as to where big money might be had. And if you need an investor only a rich guy is any good to you at all. One way to think about it is Donald trump. He is a living proof that a man can be a liar and an idiot and still have a pile of wealth. The wealthy are not smarter or more able they are simply greed bags with feet.

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