Why Do Americans Revere the Rich?
umair haque

I think you have written another piece of fiction here. Some of it ring true and some clearly false. Your stereotyping Americans this, Europeans that is crass and disrespectful to both. Same deal with labeling all the rich as greedy unsatisfied evil lost souls.

Many working class American have despised the “Country Club” sect for as long as I can remember. Evangelical Christians for most of my life preached against the evils of riches until recently a new crop of aspirational churches talk about Jesus wants you to be rich.

It is possible to be rich and not be greedy and evil. Some of the rich and I only know a few, can be happy and not pursuing only more money. I don’t know any European Rich. The rich I know are not working or retired, they have meaningful things they do, some of it makes money and some don’t.

Yes, the idea that Americans, too many Americans aspire to great wealth is at least one thing you got right. Too many people all around the world aspire to great wealth. They want yachts and airplanes and multiple homes and villas.

I worked for a while on Paul Allen’s space program and even though I have not work on Jeff Bezos’ space program I have worked with people who are on his team. I think you should be careful about criticizing people like them who invest their money to advance technology instead of just sending people to school. I learned more after I started working than I did in college. In a lot of ways hiring a kid right out of college is an act of charity.

I would prefer that Gates endow a bunch charity hospitals in the U.S. instead of what the Gates foundation is doing but that is only a gentle criticism.

If you gave me ten million dollars today, I would not retire. I would make something or do something with that money. The only reason I would care if I grew the value of that money would be so I could do more or make something better. I already could retire, I didn’t spoil my kids and they resent it. I live way below my means.


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