All of the times we’ve been worrying about whether we can afford our health care premiums, how to pay the mortgage after losing a job or how to feed our children while we wait for the next pay day, we’ve forgotten one very important detail.
The rich have much bigger problems.
Or so claims an article in Bloomberg News where the top 1 percent of earners complain about the budget cutbacks they have had to make because their Wall Street bonuses just aren’t as large these days. Some of those sacrifices they’ve had to make? Cutting annual ski trips, choosing between paying the private school tuition or the rental on the summer cottage or even giving up their $7500 a year country club memberships.
One executive quoted complained, “People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress…Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?”
For those who earn less an hour that the dog walkers these people hire to walk their labradoodles and bichon frises (it’s $17 a walk, in case you are curious), it’s hard to feel a lot of empathy for those who think suffering is going to a different neighborhood to chase down $6 a lb salmon.
But pointing out that not being able to afford the trip to Aspen isn’t as dire as not being able to pay both the electric bill and the copay on your medication is apparently poor form, according to The Atlantic writer Megan McArdle. McArdle believes that it’s the equivalent of “when conservatives rejoice to see union members thrown out of work.”
Her commenters agree. One even argues that it’s better to be poor and scraping than rich and lose income. “A person who was making $18k a year and suddenly finds themselves making nothing, as a practical matter, can often break their lease and move in with mom and get on food stamps until a new job materializes and wind up with only a couple thousand dollars in debt. Not that it’s not still ultimately much better to be the rich person, but the rich person does get hit with a more panic-inducing financial calamity in the short term.”
Do you think the rich have it harder in the economic downturn? Let us know in the comments.
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