I stumbled across a very crafty Twitter feed called “GS Elevator Gossip” @GSElevator the other day. The idea behind the Twitter feed is to share with the public random elevator gossip from one of the most hallowed, and vilified investment banks in the world. Given the average compensation for Goldman Sachs employees runs around $300,000-$500,000 a year, it’s safe to say that Goldman Sachs has its fair share of 1 percenters.
Some of the Tweets are quite witty. And others are downright offensive. The key to all good snark is to be witty, a little offensive, and contain a good dose of truth. One of the Tweets that piqued my interest is this one:
“I’m in the top 1% because I want the best for my family. What does that say about the 99%?”
ZING! Let’s discuss the merits of this statement, shall we? I’m assuming that most parents in the 99% won’t be in agreement with the statement. We’ll also touch upon why the 99% is better than the top 1% as well.
Logic would say that if you want what’s best for your family, you are going to be the most loving parent who makes enough money to provide everything in the world for your family. From piano and soccer lessons, to study abroad trips, to $1,500 SAT prep courses, to full-tuition paid for at any college of choice, the best parents should arguably be able to provide anything for their kids.
To let your family worry about their finances is an unnecessary burden. It may cause your daughter to have to work multiple part-time jobs during high school just to pay for college. Given that she’s working so much, she’s at a competitive disadvantage vs. her peers who get to study 20 hours more a week to get straight A’s. As a result, your daughter goes to a mediocre school, and ends up with a mediocre job for the rest of her life.
If you aren’t rich, you might only be able to afford an average house in a relatively dangerous part of town. As a result, you subject your kids to negative influences that may corrupt their minds. Why do you think there is so much urban violence in cities such as Oakland, Detroit and Philadelphia? Even here in expensive San Francisco, where public schools are free, parents with money don’t dare send their kids to the school several blocks away, and would rather spend $20,000 a year on private school. What a shame.
Let’s say you have the most loving husband. He is the best homemaker on the planet with food on the table every night. The house is always clean and the laundry is always folded. The kids are always dropped off and picked up at school. Finally, he rocks your world whenever you want.
If you are poor, you can’t treat him to anything super special because your finances won’t allow it. But if you are rich, you could one day surprise him with a guys trip to Hawaii or a Porsche 911 Turbo just because you love him so much. Aren’t you a better wife because you have the financial means to reward your spouse for a job well done?
Given that you agree it’s better to be able to provide everything for your family rather than not, why doesn’t everybody strive to be in the Top 1%? If we truly want what’s best for our family, shouldn’t we stop being foolish with our money by spending on things we can’t afford? Shouldn’t we get good grades in high school so we can get into good colleges so we can have the optionality of getting better paying jobs?
If we truly want what’s best for those we care most dearly about, why don’t we just try harder? Whatever it is that we do to make a living, shouldn’t we do our absolute best for our family?
We all know that good grades + hard work + good communication skills + team work = success.
On the flip side of the argument, one can easily argue that the 99% are much better than the 1%. The 99% are by definition, most of us. We are what makes up our great country!
* In any election, the 99% will always beat the 1%.
* The 99% combined pay more taxes than the 1%.
* The 99% produce more of our country’s servicemen and war heroes than the 1%.
* The 99% built America to what it is today.
* The 99% likely has more time than the 1% to spend quality time with the family.
* The 99% can’t spoil their children as easily as the 1%, thereby producing more thankful people.
* Without the 99%, there wouldn’t be such a thing as the 1%.
Related: Be In The Top 1% In Something, Anything For A Better Life
Photo: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. SD. TJ died broke.