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Rich people give money a bad reputation
Is money the root of all evil or are evil people just the ones who always seem to have the bag*?
I love Google for letting you know the random things our fellow human beings around the world are pondering. Start typing in the phrase ‘Why are rich people’ and see what comes up. My search resulted in this:
Interesting. Or maybe we just love to hate rich people because the majority of us don’t have what they have?
A friend who is a fitness trainer tells me that her worst clients are the rich women who pay her handsomely to come to their homes and do personal workouts. They treat their staff – and my friend – like dirt and she often wants to walk out. But alas, she has a mortgage that simply will not pay for itself.
Many Christians and religious people ascertain that money is the root of all evil or that money leads to evil, which, apart from not being quite biblically accurate (it’s a misquote of 1 Timothy 6:10 which reads ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil’) is factually inaccurate. Do you know what else money leads to? A well-fitting wardrobe and access to food that doesn’t make you sick. So I would also like to see rich people being happy. Alright, yes, we know money does not buy happiness but it does buy you private healthcare, a valet-cleaned SUV and a mortgage-free town house in Primrose Hill. Stop telling us peasants how hard your life is despite your gold lined castle. Choose your audience and keep that chat to your private chef-served dinner parties, please.
And I hear you cry, ‘no one needs more than enough! Enough is all we need!’ Well, I disagree. I want more than enough
Being rich means having more than enough. And I hear you cry, ‘no one needs more than enough! Enough is all we need!’ Well, I disagree. I want more than enough. I want to be able to give and not lend my friend money to pay the children’s school fees when the father decides greener pastures look like his secretary’s living room. I want to be able to look after my parents in their old age (if they need me to) in a wing of a house close enough to use the same WiFi code but with enough healthy distance that we won’t have to see each other every day because you know - parents. And I want to not worry if I get sick again and can’t work for a year. These are the things for which “enough” just doesn’t cut it.
I stopped watching the news a long time ago but the phrase ‘cost of living crisis’ simply cannot be avoided. Someone I met recently told me that years ago when he bought a house in London, it was £100,000. And no, I didn’t miss a zero. Not that I understand money anyway – despite getting an A in Economics – but this steep rise in house prices seems to be wildly out of step with salaries. Whose bright idea was that?
Money itself is healthy and a good thing to aspire to having, in the right hands
During the pandemic, while many people were holed up at home worried about being told off by police if they dared venture outside and others were surreptitiously shopping their party-loving neighbours behind twitching curtains, there was another group of people criss-crossing the world in PJs – the vehicle, not the bed wear. Rich people. That selfish, death-defying lot were using their money to their advantage while letting us know via their Instagram feeds that they were “working” as if we should be grateful for the exposure to the sunnier climes we legally couldn’t access. Honestly, sometimes rich people can be really tone deaf. But the money they use so carelessly is not to blame for this arrogant behaviour. Money itself is healthy and a good thing to aspire to having, in the right hands. Robin Hood was onto a good thing. Steal from the rich and give to the poor. Excellent way to ensure a more equal distribution of wealth. But that seems an exhausting pursuit. Why can’t we work to encourage those who have money to be more willing to use it in ways that are good and not galling?
Let me be clear. I love the things money can buy. I’m not against freedom of travel, clothes that cannot be bought on the high street or white linen sofas. As I said above, I want money and I’m not ashamed of working for the bag, as the kids say. But if you’re reading this and you’re rich, please don’t be a douche about it, you’re ruining the dream for the rest of us.
*“the bag” is a street term for a significant amount of money
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