Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Being Super Rich

Sunday evening I had dinner with a very astute friend that I have known and loved for some years. Over dinner he said something that has been nagging at me for a few days now. " America is in an unstoppable death spiral," he said. My heart stopped for a second. My head became cloudy. What did he say? I couldn't believe it. I'm no Pollyanna by any means, but "unstoppable death spiral?"

His words were almost as if to say that he would not sacrifice or risk his wealth to save this country or its people. (He's a tax cut king!) But these are the words of a man who has cleaned up in the stock market over many years and has gained whether in a bull or bear market. This country has done very well by him. I asked him, "So, where will you and your multiple many millions upon millions go?" He chuckled, "Switzerland."

Do the Wall Street bankers, traders, and super rich not love this country?


Khaled KEM said...

Hi Judith,

I guess that there is no need to comment on people that all they care about is just money and making money. This is a topic you have been writing about very good in all your recent Beings that I follow regularly.

I do really appreciate your comments on my work. Each of your comments is a Post in itself. It shows how you read carefully our works and you take the time to share your sincere opinions and your valuable points of views.

I am always glad to read your posts and your comments on my work and others work my dear friend Judith.

judith ellis said...

Dear Khaled, Friend

You are a strong and sensitive soul and I so enjoy reading your posts. This is the reason I pop in often. The pleasure is really mine.

We are helpers one to another. As I read your writing, it helps me to further be exactly what I shall yet be.

We are forever becoming...

The friend about whom I wrote is my friend for very good reasons. He is dear and I love him. But he too is forever becoming what he will yet be; the very same goes for me.

Thank you, dear Khaled, for your beautiful words and strength; they are appreciated.


Brosreview said...

Umm, I agree with Khaled KEM mentioned in his comment.

But, then I reckon he (your friend) is being a realist here. I guess he thinks that he, alone cannot do much for his country. Besides, such individuals also begin to feel insecure when they put money into something without any returns, don't you think?

I am not accusing your friend of being inconsiderate. I would not do that as I do not know him.

But, then the saying always says it all - the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Unless and until he or any wealthy person is not financially benefiting from it, I don't think any wealthy and wise individual would do anything for anybody. The whole world is a barter system of give and take, don't you think? Nothing is free.

I reckon after a certain age, with maturity, when he realizes that he is taking nothing with him once departed, he shall do something for his country.

Talking about Switzerland - I reckon the interest rates are quite high there. Since, he shall gain a lot there, it is quite clear that he shall invest there.

He should be middle-aged, is he? Most rich ones in that age bracket do so - think about multiplying their savings.

Sorry for the long comment.

judith ellis said...

Brosreview - You may always leave as long of a comment as you'd like. I appreciate your words.

My friend of nearly ten years is 48. My words about him is not an excuse in the very least. I have, after all, written publicly about him. It is rather a simple explanation that you or me are not what we hope yet to be. In fact, he has come a very long way since our meeting and I have too. He is brilliant and loving, though complicated.

Actually, many people indeed have complicated lives and it's always easier to judge others from where we stand. I really really try not to do this. But I also believe in judging righteously. (By this, I mean, with fairness and clarity at any particular time about any particular thing.) I tend not to paint with a broad brush. We are complicated beings and our past also have significant influence on how we see things today.

Age is an interesting thing. Maturity or the lack thereof is ageless. I have always had friends who are 20 to 30 years olders ad well as those who are much younger. Age should teach wisdom, but often times it does not and sometimes children come with very wise eyes.

Khaled KEM said...

Hi Judith,

Just to clarify one thing and I know that you understood my words very well, I am not talking about someone in particular including your friend. You are absolutely right that it is not appropriate to judge people for what we stand for...Many people worked very hard to reach the positions they are now.
I just believe that if you choose (money/work/investment) as your home, you will always live in a very thin edge with no comfort. It is important to secure financially the years ahead to come in your life but not at the cost of actually living your life.


Khaled KEM

judith ellis said...

Khaled - I understand completely and appreciate your words.

I love this:

"I just believe that if you choose (money/work/investment) as your home, you will always live in a very thin edge with no comfort."

Thank you.

Bob Foster said...

Judith – I have followed the writings of “futurists” for quite some time, and they all seem to agree that, indeed, “democracy” in America is in a death spiral. This does not mean that America will dry up and die, have a total financial collapse, or become a 2nd rate country. We are just going to have a major change in how our country operates.

So, we are becoming more “European,” and one day we will likely be a socialist nation. We will just have to learn to live with that, because greed by the super rich will have brought it about. It is now what the “people” want. The greedy should feel lucky we don’t live in the times of the French or Russian Revolutions. Fortunately, villagers with axes and pitchforks shouting “off with their heads” just doesn’t happen today—at least not in America.

“Do the Wall Street bankers, traders, and super rich not love this country?”

Judith – Regarding your above comment, I would make this observation: I’m sure they love this country very much…it is where they made all their money, and there is no other country in the world where they could legally accumulate this kind of wealth. However, I think we need to differentiate between greed and wealth. There are many wealthy people who love this country and share their wealth generously with the people of the world—think Gates, Ford, Buffet, Armani, and thousands of other wealthy people who willingly share their wealth.

On the other hand, for some, wealth is never enough. They must have more and more, and they must protect what they do have at all costs—even if it means leaving this country. This is definitely greed at its worst.

But yet, we are all “works-in-progress,” and can change. Let’s hope it is always progress and change for the betterment of mankind.

Thank you Judith, for this thought provoking post.

judith ellis said...

Thank you, Bob, for your great thoughtful comments. As any system (capitalism socialism, communism, etc.) is made of people, there will probably always be the necessity of change for continued viability. I very much appreciate your distinction between wealth and greed. I have many very wealthy friends and most are indeed givers. The friend in the post maternal and paternal grandparents were very poor immigrants from Europe. His parents grew up in the Depression and taught him to save every penny. I would not call him greedy, but he definitely struggles with the idea of being poor, though he has never been and is, in fact, super rich. He is a friend whom I love dearly.

My great grandparents grew up in the Depression too. But if you ever heard Richard Pryor speak of his grandparents (my great grandparents) you know that they were not only fun-loving, but very much givers. My mom would tell us story of the picnic my grandfather gave during that time for all the "colored" kids in the all white park. But, of course, if you heard Pryor talk about our relatives you would know just how they got so much considering goods were rationed. Well, who said they were saints. :-) By and large, good people they were.