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:
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
Jeff Ballinger
Nike and Colin Kaepernick: Fronting the Bigots’ Team
David Rosen
Why Stop at Roe? How “Settled Law” Can be Overturned
Gary Olson
Pope Francis and the Battle Over Cultural Terrain
Nick Pemberton
Donald The Victim: A Product of Post-9/11 America
Ramzy Baroud
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords
Kevin Martin
U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue
Robert Fisk
A Murder in Aleppo
Robert Hunziker
The Elite World Order in Jitters
Ben Dangl
After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror
Charles Pierson
Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC
Robert Fantina
Trump and Palestine
Daniel Warner
Hubris on and Off the Court
John Kendall Hawkins
Boning Up on Eternal Recurrence, Kubrick-style: “2001,” Revisited
Haydar Khan
Set Theory of the Left
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail