The one thing I wondered when reading that 100% of people who make over $500,000 are very happy is whether rich and powerful people WANT the middle class to stay poor. Popular media loves to report that money doesn’t buy happiness beyond a very average level of income. But it’s clear that the rich have successfully manipulated the gullible media into making us believe the rich are not safe and happy with their wealth, when they really are.
Part of the reason why I write is to highlight so many of the absurdities that go on in this crazy world. And for some reason, a lot of the absurdities have to deal with government-funded policies e.g. Have a $1,000 child tax credit per child if you make below a certain income level despite our reports saying that it costs $250,000+ to raise a child into adulthood. Thanks to conflicting signals, can we really blame some families for having five children and staying on welfare their entire lives?
The happiness and income survey is anonymous and provides no incentives for participants to vote differently from how they feel. Therefore, it’s highly likely that a large majority of people who do make over $500,000 a year are much happier than those who make less. The only people who say money doesn’t buy happiness are those with no money to make themselves feel better, and those who have a boatload of money and don’t care about money anymore.
In order to feel rich, you must make or have more than the average. Even if you earn only $30,000 a year, you’ll feel rich if the average person earns $20,000 a year. But if the middle class grows more wealthy, then the rich won’t feel as rich anymore.
Given the rich and powerful like to mingle within their own circles, it becomes extremely difficult for the rest of us to get ahead in society because everybody just takes care of each other. A middle class person has to be an exceptionally brilliant, hard working, or lucky to move into the rich class where hopefully they’ll stay for a couple generations until the third generation wastes it all because they don’t understand what it takes to get ahead.
An old colleague of mine used to hold one of the highest positions of power in the US government. We’re talking direct phone call to the President. He told me that some of the powers to be purposefully wanted to keep the masses poor because it is easier to manipulate the poor. Furthermore, he says that the reason why many in government want to aggressively raise taxes on the rich is because tax policy is the best ways to control the rich. The rich have so many ways to elude government control. But it doesn’t matter how rich you are, if you break the law, the government can take everything away.
One of the greatest things that has happened over the past 20 years to reduce the power held by government is the internet. Now that the internet has made the transfer of information cheap and easy, no longer do people sit in darkness. Whole uprisings have occurred overseas thanks to the use of social media. Look at what’s going on in Hong Kong and in Egypt for example. The world is watching, so governments have to be more careful about eliminating people.
The government is still omnipotent, which is why I have to be careful with what I write online. But I do encourage all of you to continuously think about why the government wants things a certain way. Eventually, the government will come after all of us. When they do, hopefully you’ve developed multiple contingency plans.
On a consistent basis, I feel like an odd ball because I’m still stuck living like the way I did when I was in my early 20s despite no longer being poor. I feel I owe it to the FS community to share with you what some of the rich and powerful really think. Yet, I don’t want to betray anybody’s confidence either. I do know the rich want to be loved and admired just like anybody else. The rich are also afraid of backlash, which is why many of them stay fanatically private about their activities.
It hasn’t been my experience that the rich want to keep the middle class poor. The rich are the ones who donate significant amounts to education, disease research, and combatting poverty. I’m more wary of folks who have never been rich, and who suddenly come into power and want to be rich. The temptation to abuse one’s power for self-enrichment is often too great to ignore. I wish us all the best if such a person develops power over you.
Readers, do you think many rich and powerful people want to keep the middle class down on purpose to retain their wealth and power? Why do you think coups occur overseas? Why do you think governments try to censor what is said over social media, and the media in general? Does the government have your best interest at heart?
Photo credit: Ickbins, Flickr Creative Commons