Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mo' money

The secret to being rich is to convince a lot of people to give you a little money. A thousand people won't miss the dollar they spend on your cause, but you will be a thousand dollars richer.

Maybe the reason why the income divide we have here is growing is because our national aspiration is to attain the cushy, air-conditioned job with the stable pay for life. With such an assurance, we don't mind spending a little here and there to make our lives cushier because there's always more money -- even if it is a mere pittance -- coming in next month.

In the meantime, somebody's gratefully receiving the money we are thoughtlessly frittering away. Those guys are the rich and are getting richer because there aren't too many of them while the mass of us fork over our hard-earned cash over to them because we think we deserve what they are offering to us in exchange: mostly disposable luxuries which we know we can live without, but are nice to have anyway.

So the poor, that's us, are those who spend money at every opportunity we get. The rich, on the other hand, are those who make (or take) money every opportunity they get. Seen in this light, it isn't so much the system that's exacerbating our income disparities as it is our frugality or lack thereof in managing our own incomes and impulses.

This would also explain why we are a great place for foreign multimillionaires to park their wealth. I'm assuming 'foreign' because... well look around; how many locals do you know who are millionaires compared to those who aren't? Our local people are neither ambitious nor dishonest. We know our place and would do nothing to jeopardize our ricebowl by stepping out of line and doing stupid things with other people's money. We are a nation of nose-to-the-grindstone employees, happy with a fixed wage, but at the same time hopelessly vulnerable because we are both easily replaceable and disposable. It's ironic, but our desire for job-for-life has made us this way. But we are trained from young to be a redundancy of cogs in the machine, after all.

I'm not knocking the system. I like the system, in fact. It's an open system that allows those who have seen through the facade to exploit it and make themselves rich as long as they have a plan to do something different, and are willing to risk it all, possibly more times than once.

I have seen through the facade... now if only I had a plan... and some guts...! And if I didn't already buy [insert random disposable luxury item here] to make me believe I've already made it, and therefore don't need to work any harder for any more money.

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