My financial picture, however it looks, is based on the choices I have made. Some of them have been good, and others have not. As it stands, I have a good career, but I am always broke. This is not because of a life of excess, but because there are just a whole lot of responsibilities that I have to maintain. And I’m fine with it, because that’s the price of living my life, and I’ll deal with it.
There are many people in my immediate circle worse off than I am. I know far too many people who struggle every month, and I know that for all of them, there are still people in My Home Town doing far worse, and if we widen our parameters and bring in war-torn third world countries, I start looking like I’m doing pretty bloody great. As a result, I don’t like to moan about my money issues. They’re mine, they’re private, and they’re not as bad as they could be. Yay for me.
But every now and then I read something like this from Mano Singham which point to stories like this from Bloomberg, and all I want to do is go on a cock-punching spree of legendary proportions. I very much agree with Mano’s take on it, that it’s awfully hard to find it in our hearts to feel bad about the social difficulties of only making $350,000US a year plus bonuses, benefits, and all the bells and whistles. But he’s right, the exhorbitantly wealthy have no idea what the real world is like.
It reminds me of one of Poet’s poems from the TV series Oz called Kidnap The President’s Wife Without A Plan. The ignorance to the lives of the rest of us by the wealthy is one of the biggest problems with our system. Obviously I am not saying that all rich people see the world this way, but I think it is a common problem. When you’re poor, you certainly can’t understand the realities of wealthy life. The difference really is that nobody dies if you have to take your children out of private school. Nobody is going to starve to death if you only make $300,000 a year. On their worst day, people like this Schiff in the article will never experience what my life is like. I’m always a paycheck away from the street, and I take a lot of people with me if I fail.
There is no reason behind why these people are successful and those people are not. There are reasons, certainly, but no reason. Being wealthy isn’t an impossibility, but it’s something that’s a hell of a lot easier to be born into than to fight your way into. Being born poor isn’t a guarantee that you will die poor. It’s a hell of a lot harder to climb a ladder than it is to take the slide down, though. These people at the top, they will never understand that. Their slides generally don’t go down that far.