Friday, September 28, 2007

Begrudging the Rich

The Anchoress notes that she does not begrudge the rich, but is annoyed by the "better than thou" attitude that many of them have. As usual I think she is correct. Generally, I do not view the world as a zero sum game -- what makes Bill Gates or an actor rich does not make me poor. On the contrary, what makes them rich betters my life. It may enrichen me materially (the computer software created by Microsoft probably increases my material wealth) or in an immaterial way (such as when I enjoy a movie or a piece of music).

What is annoying is the seeming attitude of many of celebrities that they know better than I do how I should live. And many times, they themselves completely ignore what they claim needs to be done (such as when John Travolta, who has a 707 in his yard, lectured about global warming).

The real problem is that the rich, especially celebrities, live in a world of make believe. They are surrounded by sycophants who tell them what to do, and are very much divorced from reality. As Isabel Paterson once said:

We do not object to the rich, as long as they know their place. Segregated in Newport and other penal colonies, they do little or no harm . . . A lot of them have decided to Help Others. And the results are just about what you’d expect.

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