Sunday, April 7, 2019

Rich, Richer, Richest, Super-Rich

Rich - No risk of death from curable disease; hunger rare and minor; lavish portfolio of modern comforts/conveniences/entertainments; days off; personal possessions; car owner (or access to mass transit).

Soccer Mom Rich - Overabundance of possessions and food seems like a negative; vacations; spare time for hobbies; savings.

Dentist Rich - Late model car; investments; parking garages; frequent $20 meals and infrequent $50 meals.

Lawyer Rich - Occasional business class; fancy car; hires people for jobs they could do themselves.

Entrepreneur Rich - Business class; prestige car; default question is "do I really need?" rather than "can I afford?". Children financially assured.
Fwiw, "Entrepreneur Rich" circa 2004 was merely dentist rich.

The "Rich" in America (what we here call "the working poor") enjoy a lifestyle of comfort, health, security, and entertainment beyond the imagining of aristocrats of past centuries, and are the envy of most people in the Third World today (though, even there, extreme poverty is down almost 36% over a mere 25 years).

The young - as has been the case for time immemorial - are geared up about inequality. In the past, such radicalization has served to focus attention on the impoverished, but it's become perverted in an era when rich people feel poor. The extreme Left embraces Marxist constructs in their struggle for the perks not just of the rich (they're all rich) but of the super-rich. Class warfare between the have-lots versus the have-tons. I've dubbed this strange phenomenon "Liberal Materialism."


Anonymous coward said...

"No risk of death from curable disease" Jim Leff

There is misinformation as in quackery sCAM. See the video about how religion is bad for your health. Yes, you can still die from measles in the USA if your community is all anti-vax. This is in 2011.

I have seen homeless people, and I don't seem them as rich. Particularly the homeless who died or loss limbs in the latest polar vortex.

"Who are the victims?

Homeless people have been particularly at risk, with warming shelters set up across cities. "

Next, is class-ism being poor might not be that bad, except your constantly bombarded with images from the mass media of perfect homes, perfect teeth, etc. Similar to your post about watching a Christmas special and suddenly feeling real bad about yourself.

Personally, I don't want to below a certain level. The further I go below that level, the more upset I get. Perhaps my drawing of the line is arbitrary.

Finally, if the human race survives we will probably be much more wealthy and be in disbelief of the poverty we have now. Just as it is difficult to imagine the wealthy elite having terrible dental issues in ancient Egypt, future generation will be shocked to learn that we used to smoke tobacco, lacked self driving cars, hunger insecurity, and educational inequality.

That not all of us had central air condition and heating. Future generations will be surprised that school was closed when it snowed, after-all the self driving snow plows just plow it all away. Yet, I believe the future generation will be a further princess and the pea scenario.

I imagine a futurist utopian where a Marxist revolution is taking place. The battle is over self driving flying Telsas, SUV limousines, and Ferraris. The "poor" will complain loudly and incessantly about their houses sometimes dropping down to 69 degree F during a polar vortex. The sheer horror of having to feel temperatures below 72F.

As for communism/Marxism. It is all a form of hypersensitivity. Hypersensitivity is when the immune system overreacts causing more harm than the initial threat. A good example is people dying from peanut butter allergies. The peanut butter was incapable of killing the person, the hypersensitive immune system did.

Overall, I think people should push for a better life, I mean why not? I see no reason for there to be homeless people in a 1st world country in 2019, unless of course the person is taking some sort of vow of homelessness. Yet, don't take the movement to end involuntary homelessness to the extremes of a peanut butter allergy.

Richard Stanford said...

I really do like this list, and the ideas behind it.

But at least in the US, if you have a curable disease that requires more than a single prescription for medication, using that as the definition of "rich" rules out a ton of people and certainly does not apply to "the working poor."

Jim Leff said...

Richard, of course, I wasn't trying to create bullet-proof carve-outs. Just trying to make a point.

I'm not saying this is what you were doing, but there's a cognitive virus that makes people furious with "most" statements (explicit or implicit). If they can point to an exception, they feel that they've rung some sort of bell. If they themselves embody the exception, they can infuriate. See this twitter thread: . Not "my experience differed" but "WRONG WRONG WRONG!!" After all, how can one be an edge case when one is at the center of everything? :)

In fact, I suspect the word "most", which is currently almost entirely disregarded, may wind up archaic within 50 years. It's part of the black-and-whiting of contemporary thought. We're losing all subtlety.

Again, not saying this is what you were doing, I'm just riffing here. I've been wanting to Slog about it, but I can't think of anything more interesting to say about it than "we're all narcissists", and I'm getting sick of demonstrating that....

Richard Stanford said...

Jim, that makes sense. It does happen to be a pet peeve of mine, having lived (and still having family living) under the UK's NHS and seeing how they're treated vs. the disappointing expectations that many of "us Americans" have of our own system. Other than that, I agree strongly with your opinions and categorization.

Jim Leff said...

...and I agree that our healthcare system is ghastly. Though it would seem a benevolent miracle (and scientifically a godsend) to a time traveler from 1960....and many times more so to one from 1940.

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