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  1. #1
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Secret Fears of the Super-Rich

    Quote Originally Posted by By Graeme Wood
    Secret Fears of the Super-Rich

    Does great wealth bring fulfillment? An ambitious study by Boston College suggests not. For the first time, researchers prompted the very rich—people with fortunes in excess of $25 million—to speak candidly about their lives. The result is a surprising litany of anxieties: their sense of isolation, their worries about work and love, and most of all, their fears for their children.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...per-rich/8419/

    The study is titled “The Joys and Dilemmas of Wealth,” but given that the joys tend to be self-evident, it focuses primarily on the dilemmas. The respondents turn out to be a generally dissatisfied lot, whose money has contributed to deep anxieties involving love, work, and family. Indeed, they are frequently dissatisfied even with their sizable fortunes. Most of them still do not consider themselves financially secure; for that, they say, they would require on average one-quarter more wealth than they currently possess. (Remember: this is a population with assets in the tens of millions of dollars and above.) One respondent, the heir to an enormous fortune, says that what matters most to him is his Christianity, and that his greatest aspiration is “to love the Lord, my family, and my friends.” He also reports that he wouldn’t feel financially secure until he had $1 billion in the bank.
    In early 2009, roughly 115,000 American households were warming or singeing their toes on fortunes of $25 million or more—a population that had increased more than threefold since 1989, according to the center’s Havens. The broadest distinction among this group is between those who primarily inherited their money and those who primarily earned it. The former are members of what Warren Buffett famously dubbed “the lucky sperm club.” These inheritors sometimes display the stereotypical arrogance of privilege—the fast cars and wanton lifestyles—but the more introspective among them contend with worries that they’ll lack the motivation to accomplish anything in life or to escape the shadows of their parents. This self-doubt is magnified by the knowledge that they’re unlikely to find sympathy from anyone other than their fellow inheritors.

    Respondents who earned their wealth worry less about their self-worth. But unlike the inheritors, they have to contend with a major life transition, from the workaday world to a world where work is voluntary.
    As they get older, many children of privilege take either too many risks, because they know the consequences of failure are minimal, or too few, because they feel assured in their financial well-being. Kenny says they, like their parents, can grow bored with one line of work and make consequence-free shifts to other jobs—until finally they reach middle age and discover that they have put together the résumé of a dabbler and haven’t made the impact that they had hoped. “They get to be 50 years old,” says Kenny, “and all of a sudden they say to me, both in their love life and in their work life, ‘I have to stop hitting that reset button.’”
    Life is tough when you are rich!

  2. #2
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    I bleed for them from my heart

    Most of them still do not consider themselves financially secure; for that, they say, they would require on average one-quarter more wealth than they currently possess.
    Same story no matter how much you have, ain't it, just that little bit more and I'll be secure...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Why would you ever be satisfied with what you have, when every person has the potential to be so much more than what they are? This may sound like we're defining a person by their possessions, but I consider that to only be one component which can be developed, among many others. The point is, would you rather be worse off if you had any say in the matter?

    Rich people having anxiety shouldn't be surprising to anyone. Having more dollars does not make you immune to all the tricks and traps of biology.

  4. #4
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Rich people having anxiety shouldn't be surprising to anyone. Having more dollars does not make you immune to all the tricks and traps of biology.
    This, though I still don't see how some of these people don't feel financially secure. Only thing that I can think of is a depression style event... which was contained before it could wreak havoc, or some social upheaval...in that case... generally speaking... that is when a big portion of a population isn't happy.

    As for having anxiety about everything else, definitely. Doesn't matter how rich or poor you are.

  5. #5
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Being wealthy doesn't preclude anyone from being human, no matter how people want to tear them down.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeru View Post
    This, though I still don't see how some of these people don't feel financially secure.

    As for having anxiety about everything else, definitely. Doesn't matter how rich or poor you are.
    Well they're linking their financial security to other sorts of security I think and the figure they are coming up with is what they would need to maintain their lifestyle in the event of a need to move between countries or something like that, Neil Straus' book about Emergency has a chapter in which he discusses his knowing "B Boys", that's billionaires, and he said that they were all planning on how to get a couple of passports and citizenship in a couple of countries, creating business empires in each so that they could move around like some kind of bond villain, it was mad, the reason being that they were chasing security from natural disasters, terrorism etc. with their fortunes intact.

    I could see how if you're responsible for or know the people who are responsible for crisis like the one being handled with bail outs and know how easily it would be for another to happen and have a lot to lose then you're likely to be panic stricken, money brings happiness but after a certain point it just brings more money and that needs to be serviced and protected and will be a burden.

    Do I have sympathy with that? I do and I dont, anxiety is terrible, I sympathise with anyone who is trying to cope and the dilemmas of the rich who're relatively protected from natural or logical consequences are real, on the other hand my dilemmas and anxieties are different, if I had their money I'd be secure.

  7. #7
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    I'm pretty sure B.I.G. summarized this study 14 years ago in four words: Mo' money, mo' problems.

    Anyone here watch Kudlow Report? I'm surprised the wealthy aren't having chain aneurysms and heart attacks in this kind of environment.

  8. #8
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well they're linking their financial security to other sorts of security I think and the figure they are coming up with is what they would need to maintain their lifestyle in the event of a need to move between countries or something like that, Neil Straus' book about Emergency has a chapter in which he discusses his knowing "B Boys", that's billionaires, and he said that they were all planning on how to get a couple of passports and citizenship in a couple of countries, creating business empires in each so that they could move around like some kind of bond villain, it was mad, the reason being that they were chasing security from natural disasters, terrorism etc. with their fortunes intact.

    I could see how if you're responsible for or know the people who are responsible for crisis like the one being handled with bail outs and know how easily it would be for another to happen and have a lot to lose then you're likely to be panic stricken, money brings happiness but after a certain point it just brings more money and that needs to be serviced and protected and will be a burden.
    It might have happened if the banks actually failed... Wall Street and their corporation butts were saved at the expense of everyone else. If a financial meltdown occurred exactly like the Great Depression... it does not matter if you are a billionaire or not, especially in this day and age when everything is global.

  9. #9
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeru View Post
    It might have happened if the banks actually failed... Wall Street and their corporation butts were saved at the expense of everyone else.
    Had they been allowed to fail, you too would have failed if you're working.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeru View Post
    It might have happened if the banks actually failed... Wall Street and their corporation butts were saved at the expense of everyone else. If a financial meltdown occurred exactly like the Great Depression... it does not matter if you are a billionaire or not, especially in this day and age when everything is global.
    I'd be interested to see what would happen if that happened, the last time that it happened there were a lot of powerful labour organisations and the USSR so the no doubt crisis of morality which took place resulted in the rich capitulating and conscenting to the welfare state project, I believe that were history to repeat itself there'd be some kind of rich mans coup resulting attempts to realise the capitalists wildest dreams.

    With the predictable results of any revolutionary upheavel and then some.

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