We left off with all of the good things this burgeoning new class of very wealthy are providing society. But there is a dark side, as with all things. Having great wealth does not mean one is happier. Less stressed about the basics, yes, but with most things there is always a downside, and with wealth there are plenty of down sides.
They may have quantity in their lives, but finding quality is not as easy. The psychological lift in treating ourselves with luxury once in a while is lost if your life is all luxury. Extravagant gifts are the expectation, and not a wonderful surprise. The rich, especially those that inherit their wealth, know that many people despise them. Relationships are always suspect. They resist talking about their dilemmas in public, assuming, maybe rightly so, that their problems are "high class problems," and therefore take a back seat to the problems of those less fortunate. Organizations such as "More Than Money" have emerged as a place to deal with psychological issues of the very wealthy. And psychological issues abound. Especially with children who spend most of their time with a revolving door of paid staff from nannies to household help. They tend to have higher incidences of drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and difficulty connecting to other people. Many hide their status while attending college, luxuriating in feeling "normal." They cannot use the lack of money for not feeling at peace or living their lives with honor and integrity.
Most worry as much about money as those at the low end. The extremely wealthy worry about losing their money. They worry about having enough money. In fact a study reveals they double whatever amount they currently are worth in order to feel secure. If they have $20 million then they feel they need $40 million to feel secure, if they have a billion dollars then they feel they need two billion dollars. They worry about how to invest their money, they worry about their children lacking motivation if they inherit large sums of the stuff. They worry about gold diggers and prenuptial agreements. They worry that husbands marrying their daughters will feel usurped as providers.
Someone suggested in my comments yesterday that they felt there would be eventual class warfare with this emerging class structure. I cannot disagree. We are seeing it in the Middle East as we speak. Major revolutions have been fought over this very thing. We have an hourglass shaped class structure with the very wealthy at the top, a shrinking middle-class, and an ever-widening lower and working class. As we see more and more of our country's wealth buying only luxury items, it will surely have an effect. Trickle down aspirations have the offshoot of making everyone else feel poor as we tend to gauge our happiness, in part, by how well we feel we are doing in comparison to others.
The ramifications are world-wide. This growing group of extremely wealthy individuals are from many different countries. They have many homes, in many places, and feel more a nation of their own making than nationalism to any one country. What that means for our future is anyone's guess.