On the Burdens of Being Rich.
"All but the hard hearted man must be torn with pity for this pathetic dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it." G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) It's a daily challenge and, frankly, gets tiring. Thank god for fine scotch and full body massages.
"In Appalachia, children were stunted by poverty. In Affluencia, children are stunted by wealth." Steve Blow (Dallas Morning News, March 4, 2001) While Bono and movie stars are constantly shown boo-hooing about malnutrition, world hunger, blah blah blah, when was the last time the liberal media ran a story on the ravaging epidemic of Affluencia?
"The poor of the world cannot be made rich by redistribution of wealth. Poverty can't be eliminated by punishing people who've escaped poverty, taking their money and giving it as a reward to people who have failed to escape." P.J. O'Rourke Here, Here! But we are continually attacked by activist and liberal groups. Luckily, their members are mostly junior-college league lazy slackers without a pot to pee their Starbuck's-scented urine into.
"The contrast of affluence and wretchedness, continually meeting and offending the eye, is like the dead and living bodies, chained together." Tom Paine (1796) So true. There are many days that I walk amongst you people, feeling that I am chained to dead bodies I must drag along. But I do - without complaint - just like many of my affluent colleagues.
"Nature still obstinately refuses to co-operate by making the rich people innately superior to the poor people."Sidney and Beatrice Webb (1923) It's burdensome being superior. But don't worry. Nature will get what's coming to her.
"What's wrong with being rich in America?" Phil Gramm (former Texas Senator, July 14, 2000) Thank you, Phil. The truth is that we ultra-wealthy are often treated as if our success is something to be ashamed of. Why should we hide our wealth from anyone other than the IRS?
"I thought government was supposed to protect our property, not confiscate it, not penalize someone because they've been successful." Don Nickles (calling for repeal of the estate tax, 2000) Amen, brother!
"He who increases wealth increases worry." Talmud Few give us solace, credit or sympathy for the burden of worry we bear. The Jewish God who wrote the Talmud knows what I'm talking about.
"You have the pilots at your throat about vacation, that their wife is pregnant, why can't they have New Years Eve off? It's on and on and on." Arnold Schwarzenegger (discussing the trials of owning a Gulfstream jet). Everyone knows the trouble of not having money (well, most everyone), but few know the problems Arnold and I grapple with on a daily basis.
"It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done. " Gordon Gekko, in the movie "Wall Street" Being better than others can be very lonely at times.
"What good is money if it can't inspire terror in your fellow man?" C. Montgomery Burns Luckily, most of the time it can.
"Family. Religion. Friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business." C. Montgomery Burns Fortunately, I didn't have to slay anything really important. Like, say, narcissism.
"You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself." Ivan Boesky (junk bond pioneer and self-help guru, 1986)
"[I]njustices survive, not merely because the rich exploit the poor, but because, in their hearts, too many of the poor admire the rich." R.H. Tawney If you don't think it's difficult being a role model and billionaire icon all the time, you should try it.
A Yearning for Earning.
"Money is my first, last, and only love." Armand Hammer (1898-1990)
"Money is the root of all good." T.J. Rodgers, chief executive of Cypress Semiconductors (2000)
"What's worth doing is worth doing for money." Gordon Gekko, in the movie "Wall Street"
"...Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of it's forms - greed for life, for money, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind..." Gordon Gekko, in the movie "Wall Street"
"It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation. " Gordon Gekko, in the movie "Wall Street"
"There's no nobility in poverty." Bud Fox in the movie "Wall Street"
Guilty as Charged!
"There are in the United States some few people richer than it is wholesome for people to be." Henry George (1890)
"Perhaps I am too cynical, but I believe there is a separate class of people in this country called Too Rich to Go to Prison." Molly Ivins I remember the day I was invited in to that class. A sweet memory indeed...
"Together the 400 richest Americans are worth more than $1 trillion. Just 400 people -- they could all stay at New York's Plaza Hotel at the same time -- are worth nearly one-eighth of the total gross domestic product of the United States, the world's richest economy." Holly Sklar (1999)
Miscellany of the profound and inspirational
"To suppose, as we all suppose, that we could be rich and not behave the way the rich behave, is like saying that we could drink all day and stay sober." L. P. Smith
"Wealth is the product of industry, ambition, character and untiring effort." Calvin Coolidge
"The properity of the lower and middle classes depends upon the good fortune and light taxes of the rich." Andrew Mellon (Treasury Secretary, 1921-1932)
"What I want to see above all is that this remains a country where someone can always get rich." Ronald Reagan
"Just give the great unwashed a pair of oversized breasts and a happy ending, and they'll 'oink' for more every time." C. Montgomery Burns
"Monday morning. Time to pay for your two days of debauchery, you hungover drones." C. Montgomery Burns
"Never tell the truth when a good lie'll do!" J.R. Ewing
[Some of these fine quotes were found on inequality.org RQ]