Saturday, September 12, 2015

Are Rich People Mean?

Over the years I've been asked in various ways about the attitude and demeanor of the rich toward their servants and house staff - which obviously includes moi, n'est-ce pas?

Question: "Are rich people nice?"
Moi: "Well, in a phony sort of way I guess, especially at cocktail parties. But in general, their 'being nice' is not within my daily experience."

Question: "Do they treat you well?"
Moi: "Pay-wise yes, and I have no bruises to report. But their lack of appreciation for anything anyone does for them is hurtful. Not just for me, but for all the house-staff."

Question: "Are the rich always happy?"
Moi: "No, not by a long shot!  In fact, even though they have life's major financial stresses completely eliminated (like coming up with monthly rent or getting enough food and health care for their kids) they still manage to whine and complain about every damned little thing in their path, from sunup until sundown - and they do so without any self reflection, shame or embarrassment as far as I can tell."  

But now comes a Forbes article that addresses the topic from another direction. Written by health and psychology contributor Alice G. Walton, it's entitled "Rich People Are Mean, but Does It Pay To Be Nice?" 

I'll not be a spoiler, but the humor in the title sets the pace for an intelligent look at what money does to people, and more importantly how the rich relate to others around them.

Here's a link to Alice's article in Forbes. In these days when the one-percent are under a microscope, I promise you'll not find it a waste of time.

As always, thanks for stopping in this evening.



  1. Good article. It makes me think of an unexpected upside to the legions of instant-millionaires the dotcom era has produced - they aren't as likely to be self-selected sociopaths. It seems like there is more altruism in the dotcom CEOs vs. traditional ladder-climbers. Might be my imagination though.

    1. I tend to agree; people who've obtained sudden success, as opposed to being born rich or clawing their way to the top, seem to have a more balanced view of the world around them and more empathy/generosity toward others. At least that's my observation and I don't think we're both imagining it.