Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Terrified Rich!

"I've been rich been rich and I've been poor, but rich is better!" -  Sophie Tucker, Gertrude Stein, Mae West

During these times of worldwide chaos I've been somewhat amused by business and financial publications like Forbes, The Atlantic, and Business Insider describing the whining and fears of the well-heeled rich. While many of us scramble to come up with rent money or the electric bill, it's true that the rich and super rich have their own set of headaches that keep them awake at night - as inconceivable as that may sound.

In no particular order, here's a list of some of their self-imposed anxieties:

- HANGING ON TO THEIR MONEY: Once they've busted their butts and accumulated a pile of cash, "How on earth do we hang onto it?"

- DECLINING MARKETS: Could their fortunes evaporate overnight with rumors of a recession or an actual collapse? (Even those in the middle class with 401K's have this worry, right?)

- THE IRS: Rich people know all too well that the Internal Revenue Service is breathing down their necks, watching every move they make and ready to pounce. Which requires teams of accountants and lawyers to help them find all the loopholes.

- LAWSUITS: Everyone wants to sue the rich and they're always being dragged into court for some reason or other, which is why they keep lawyers on retainer. (My employer even has a special cheap suit from Walmart and a $25 butt-ugly watch from Walgreen's that he wears to court, so he won't look too rich.)

- CAR WRECKS: At any given moment on any given day, a simple car crash could cost them millions once the injured party and their lawyers find out they have deep pockets! Which is why many of them take taxis, limos, or hired car services when they go out and about.

- POLITICAL CONCERNS: Who is currently in the White House or Congress that might help or hinder them for getting a tax cut or eliminating corporate regulations? (And therefore huge contributions to political campaigns!)

- DIVORCE: No doubt about it, this is decidedly the easiest and quickest way to lose HALF your fortune overnight! (Especially when the wife knows the best attorneys who can break a prenuptial agreement.)

- SEXUAL IMPROPRIETY: As we all know, anyone with money or power is at risk of blackmail, public exposure, or lawsuits for inappropriate behavior. It's all over the news all the time, and I needn't explain more.

- CHARITIES: The rich are under constant siege from a long list of charities seeking donations. Which is why most of them assuage their guilt by aligning themselves with a favorite few, attend their glitzy (if not boring) Charity Balls, then scribble out a check and be done with it. (Around the holidays we literally gets stacks of charity requests in the mail!)

- SECURITY: The multiple homes of the rich are always targets for professional thieves and cat burglars who are after their million-dollar art works, jewels and silver. Even worse, some rich people need to hire body guards to protect against more sinister situations like kidnapping, ransom, or worse.

There's other disquieting stuff, like fear of gold-digging friends, corporate embezzlement, or worrying that their kids will bump them off for the inheritance - but I'll stop here. Many of us daydream about being rich. (Or at least having enough to make ends meet every month.) But as with anything else, there are consequences and responsibilities involved.

As Oscar Wilde said: "When the Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers."

Thanks for dropping in this evening,

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Rich People Vs. Trump!

Lordy lord, what a difficult time this has been the last few weeks. Destructive hurricanes hitting Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. And now this deadly attack on innocent people in Las Vegas. All so appalling and heartbreaking!

These tragic events impact all of us of course, and hurt us deep in our souls. But in my capacity here, working for a rich family, I thought I might share some thoughts on how rich peole react to all of this - at least those within my scope.

By way of background, my employer is a republican of course. But he's on the "small government" side of the party - not the extreme right wing side that wants to snoop around in everyone's bedrooms and control our private lives.

And as tax cuts for the rich is a current proposal in Washington, I'm also happy to tell you that my employer is a part of the non-greedy rich like Warren Buffett who says "I don't need a tax cut!" It's a small group but seemingly growing as the world's problems increase.

Having said all that, here's some amazing champagne-driven conversations I've overheard at cocktail parties these last few weeks:

Q: "Why does he keep appointing climate deniers? I was having such a nice time in Palm Beach."
A: "Doing what? Or should I say who?"

Q: "Did he really throw out paper towels to Puerto Ricans? Seems a little condescending to me."
A: "That reminds me, I need to send someone out to Costco tomorrow."

Q: "Why does anyone have access to automatic weapons nowadays? Haven't we had enough?"
A: "I think you've had enough. Shall I call your driver?"

Q: "I love handguns but I certainly don't need a silencer."
A: "I wouldn't mind having one. You've obviously not met my husband."

Q: "Do you need a tax cut?"
A: "Why not? But what would I do with it?"

Q: "Are we going to re-elect this man?
A: "That would be up to the Russians, wouldn't it?

Q: "So many dead! How could this happen?"
A: "You're asking me you silly bitch? I'm not the NRA."

Q: "Do you like his wife?"
A: "I've always been a fan of stilettos."

Q: "Is he fit to run the country?"
A: "About as fit as you are to drive home."

Q: "Are we going to blow up North Korea?"
A: "Why do you ask? Would that interrupt your winter cruise?"

Okay, I could go on and on, but I'll draw this silliness to a close.

The thing is, republicans are not a monolithic group, are they? We'll just have to see how this all plays out.

Thanks for dropping in this evening, and God bless us all!