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« W's Got Spunk | Main | A new kind of affirmative action »

More Dollars than Sense

I was in a My favorite bar when a guy who had just bought a round of drinks started complaining about how hard it is to survive in this economy. He went on about how he and his wife had to struggle just to make ends meet. Between the bills taxes and the cost of living he just did not know how they where going to make it. Now he was a junior partner in a large law firm his wife stopped working to raise their child. He paid more in taxes last year than I made.

Therefore, I explained to him that he, like many like many of the neo-rich had made some bad choices. 1. He lives in the wrong nationhood. 2. He has every toy imaginable. 3. ( this hurts me to say ) He walks into this bar 3 or 4 times a week and buys rounds of drinks for up to ten of us regulars. (I drink cognacs) and at Founding Fathers the prices are high to keep the riffraff out.
Now please understand I believe that the man works hard for a living and can spend his money why he wants, just do not complain.

Ok back to the bad choices. First, let us look at real state. Let's say you and your wife have a combined income of 150k. However, you move into a neighborhood where the average household income is 300k. You're the poor boy on the block you may as well be on welfare. After meeting the neighbors, that furniture you bought on sale is no longer good enough. Now you've got to go Antiquing. One of your new friends gets you a deal on that German touring car that you've loved since you where a kid. Now the wife wants a hot new family truckster, and they are not on sale. How can you say no? And just wouldn't it bee great if the kids could go to that private school with the English sounding name and the headmaster who's verbiage reeks of a Oxford education.

Keeping up with the Joneses is a no win proposition they will always be able to out spend you. They are the Joneses!
Like the old Temptations song says Don't let the Joneses get you down. The best example of not letting the joneses get you down was a guy I knew in Columbus Ohio. He was a technical director for a TV station and moonlighted with Monday Night Football. He made great money but he had a modest home in a decent neighborhood, he drove a nice domestic car and hung out with us poor people. Yes, he was a big fish in a little pond but he did not flaunt his money so most people liked him.

It's simple in order to feel rich you must know that the poor exist when you isolate yourself among those who make as much or more than you, you don't know you have made it.

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