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You’ll be comforted to know that the rich are concerned about you. Not concerned about your joblessness, lack of health care, or anything else about your economic condition. No, no – it’s your psychological state of mind that has them worried. In particular, they are troubled by what you think about them. With the rich, you see, it’s always about them.
They sense a disquieting psychological mood among the hoi polloi – an anger at what Wall Street has done, a feeling that the rich are greedy and get unfair advantages. To think such thoughts, they say, is unhealthy for you emotionally. After all, says a wealth management advisor for high-dollar bankers, “To revile the rich is to revile the American dream.” So, turn your anger into appreciation and view the rich as your role models.
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Besides, your negative vibe is upsetting the extremely well off. “They feel mischaracterized,” says a Merrill Lynch wealth manager. Many give to charity, and some even get buildings named after them, making donations to universities and cultural centers. As the Merrill Lynch advisor put it, “Then to be characterized as not doing their fair share begins to wear on them.” See, you’ve made them sad.
So lighten up on the rich, and just be happy. Otherwise, explains a financial psychologist, we’ll create “a generation that distrusts investing and associates wealth with greed.” Oh? And how irrational is that? Well, says the financial shrink, young people “have watched their parents lose their money, and now they think, ‘you can’t trust banks.’ We need to do work around that,”
Get real! It’s not hard-hit, workaday folks who need to be stretched out on the psychiatrist’s couch – it’s the wealthy elites who’ve made a mess of our economy and now want to feel better about themselves by blaming us for being a wee bit angry at their narcissism.
“All This Anger Against the Rich May Be Unhealthy,” The New York Times, October 17, 2009.