FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

An Open Letter to The Obscenely Wealthy From a Guy Who Isn’t

So, you’ve strived and clawed your way up the “ladder of success” to become the top person in your field. You are worth insane amounts of money, so much money that even “investing” it barely dents your total net worth. Every day you plot and plan, all to increase your vast fortune. The problem most people have is understanding why.

I do not labor under that conundrum. I understand you, quite possibly, better than you understand yourself.

And yes, I’ve heard all the explanations that people like you give out. Mostly, it always ends up being the “counters in the best game around” excuse. But that is, actually, all that is… an excuse. Allow me to explain why that is so.

You say that making money is just a game to you, and having huge stacks of money (well, not really, it’s all just numbers in some computer somewhere after all) is how you keep score in the game. Ok, I could get that, but for one minor point. Why do you actually need the numbers in the computer, or the money in the bank or in your portfolio? Don’t you (and every one else in your circle) know how much you’ve made? If you are worth one hundred billion dollars, and you were to give away half of it, does that actually change the fact that you had made one hundred billion? Will all your competitors refuse to believe you made that much unless you can produce the reciepts? I think not. In fact, considering how important making and having the money is to you and all your kind, I am sure everyone in your circle knows exactly how much each and every one of you has made.

So, you really do not need the actual money, in whatever form, to prove your skill as a money maker, do you?

Now you will say it is all about the striving, right? You feel some sense of accomplishment when you make that next big deal. Ok, I guess I can see that. But again, that doesn’t explain the need for the massive pile of cash (figuratively speaking). In fact, just the opposite, right? Think about it. If “striving” and “working” to make that money is the whole point, and that is what (you claim) makes you happy, then wouldn’t having to strive harder make you even more happy?

It’s exactly like a gambling addiction, or even a drug addiction. You always need more to get the same amount of thrill out of it, don’t you? Be honest now. So, which is more impressive, which would be the bigger thrill? Making a second one hundred billion if you already have one hundred billion, or making one hundred billion starting with only one million? Imagine you are the richest person in your field of endeavor, and you have one hundred billion. The next richest guy only has fifty billion. If you gave away half your money, so you were even with that second guy, and then you made another one hundred billion, while he only made his second fifty, it would be obvious who the “winner” is, right? You ought to feel far more justified, and have far more in the way of bragging rights, when you both started out with the same amount, and you made double what he did. You are the clear winner in that competition. And the win is far more impressive.

It would be even more impressive, and your bragging rights would be that much greater if you’d started with only fifty million, instead of the fifty billion that made the two of you equal, and yet you still made one hundred billion to his fifty, right? If you’re telling me this is about bragging rights, or winning, or “playing the game better than anyone else,” then what I say makes perfect sense, and you should be happy to divest yourself of most of that unneeded money. Otherwise, the “counters in the best game” excuse is proven to be just that, an excuse.

And it’s obvious to everyone that it’s not really about any benefit you gain by having large amounts of money you can’t spend. No matter how many mansions you have, how many yachts, how many expensive cars, fur coats, diamond rings or whatever… after a while, all those material goods don’t bring any more happiness, and you still have far more cash than you could ever use. Far more even than you would need to give your offspring in an inheritance. So, it’s not about having money to buy “material goods”, either.

It’s not about the money itself, nor what it can buy you, and the story about “counters in the best game in town” is proven to be nothing but an excuse, so what is it really? I can only think of two other alternatives.

One is that you are a hoarder. Just like that old man that lives in an old wreck of a mobile home, filled to the ceilings with old newspapers… the only difference is what kind of paper you hoard. No difference between you and “crazy cat lady”. A mental illness, in fact. It might not be so bad, except that, because of you and so many others like you, the rest of the world’s population is forced to suffer. Some people will die today for a lack of food, or clean drinking water, and it’s all because there is a group of mentally ill people who hoard money.

Or the other possibility, and if you think you’re finally off the hook, sorry, this one is the worst of all… you’re a damned psychopath. Plain and simple. It’s not about playing the game, it’s not about material goods, it’s not just that you have a mental illness like hoarding… no, you actually need those poor starving millions to look down on. You people don’t collect huge piles of money to “have more”; you do it so that everyone else has less. You are so pathetic and childish that you’d rather watch the world burn, as long as it doesn’t touch you. You need those starving millions, those struggling billions of people who need three jobs to make ends meet, because otherwise, you are revealed to yourselves as the hollow, unhappy, useless human garbage you really are.

And don’t even think about denying it. You know it as well as I do. You know, deep down, that your life is empty and meaningless. All your money, all your stocks and bonds, all your gold or jewels or whatever, it is all just a way to distract you from the simple fact that you can’t even love yourself, let alone truly love anyone else. And worst of all, it doesn’t even work… and you know that too. You can feel that blackness that eats away at whatever is left of your pitiful soul all day and every day. But if you keep consuming more and more, keep collecting more and more, keep “winning” more and more, you can at least hide your emptiness from yourself for a little while. The real trouble is, the more you have, the more you need to achieve the same amount of distraction from that emptiness. A never ending vicious cycle of greed, that never really fills the void.

Honestly, if it were not for all the damage you do, I’d be able to feel sorry for you. But I have already given all my compassion to the victims of your unending avarice, I am sorry to say, I have none to spare for you.

More articles by:

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
Robby Sherwin
Here’s an Idea
Susan Block
Cucks, Cuckolding and Campaign Management
Louis Proyect
The Mafia and the Class Struggle (Part Two)
David Yearsley
Smoke on the Water: Jazz in San Francisco
Elliot Sperber
All of Those Bezos
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail