Today’s Yahoo News featured an article headlined ” Spending Habits of the Wealthy”. It was based on a poll of 2,000 Ultra rich families and most of the habits were predictable. It was no surprise to read that the wealthy are spending less, are more choosy about their purchases, do more on-line shopping and are happier and less worried than the rest of us.
Of the ten habits listed , there was one only one which gave me pause.
# 8 . ” They feel less guilty about being rich. “ Apparently, they feel less guilty about buying luxury goods and discussing their net worth. They also have a greater desire to let people know they are affluent.
I find this highly surprising. The human tendency is to feel guilty about one’s good fortune when one meets with the less fortunate. When one travels abroad and sees real poverty , or even when one encounters a panhandler here at home , the first thought that comes to mind ( for most of us anyway) is ” There ,but for the grace of God, go I.” It is pure instinct and , along with it, comes a feeling of guilt at our comparative good fortune.
In these difficult times , when people are without jobs , when homes are being foreclosed, when there is so much misery around, it is inexplicable that the ultra rich actually feel a need to flaunt their wealth .
Truly , they are not like you and me.