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"Let me tell you about the very rich," F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his short story "The Rich Boy" in 1925. "They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different."
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Of course the super-rich of today bear little resemblance to the very rich of the F. Scott Fitzgerald era. The super-rich of today got to their 'position' less on inheritance and more on guile and greed. And when one looks at the mega-barons of 2012 we see less social class being attached to them and their income. In fact I would even shy away from using the term 'upper class' when talking about today's billionaires.
They come from all walks of life and from every street in America, but they are not like you and me. They are different They are different because they can command $30,000,000 a year salary and not bat an eye. Some are talented, some work hard for the money and others are just damn lucky to be standing in the spot where the drop-off is taking place.
F. Scott tried hard to emulate the lifestyle he wrote about in his books and no matter how much he earned from writing he always managed to spend more. Today's lifestyle of the rich and famous would have indeed been a challenge for him.
Today we live in a greedy society. Who can have the biggest home, the most homes, the greenest lawn, the most unique vacation spot? We are constantly being fed the line to have, have, have. Just look at the magazine and television ads, if you can't afford to shop at Neiman-Marcus then take what ever paltry few bucks you have on over to Marshall's or TJ Maxx, but bring every dime and plan to spent it. It's not that you need it, you greed it.
Money rules the world and turns the world. It buys our politicians and sets our policies. We go to war for money, not for some moral issue. We currently have more private military resources on the ground in the mid-east than we do troops. The war is big business and big bucks to bank accounts.
We have a shrinking backbone in this country and it's the middle-class, but maybe they are the ones that got themselves into the bucket of hot-water to begin with by buying into the American Dream that they can't afford.
The rich are different and you can't be like them if you are not one of them, no matter how hard you try or how much knock-off items you drape on your body.
What this country needs is a moral revival. We need to care about our fellow man, we need to make sure he is fed well and educated properly. We need to provide the pillow he can lay his head upon at night and close his eyes and dream. Dream of becoming someone special, dream of exploring the stars or maybe just dream of a reality of walking hand in hand with his child in the neighborhood park and not have to worry about dodging bullets.
Let's worry less about being rich and spend more time about being good, caring human beings. Let's be people that are respectful of each other, that puts out a hand to help a brother up when he stumbles. Let's be a people that sees inside the heart and not just the label on the garment we wear,
Remember - The rich are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful...