Rich People Very Stressed About All The Persecution They Face, Say Wealth Therapists

If I were a conspiracy theorist, which I am not, I would start to believe that the Guardian was attempting to instigate a class war. Yet, between whatever that was yesterday with the “tights are for plebes” shit, and this here profile of therapists for wealthy people, I honestly don’t know what to think. My jaw, however, is on the goddamned floor.

The gist of this one is that rich people need special therapists who understand how hard it is for them to be rich, and take their problems seriously. Sure, fine, whatever. It does not surprise me that rich people would have different problems than I do. I once spent an entire hour of my life standing outside a dressing room consoling a woman whose friend got the Birkin bag she wanted before she did, and certainly, it is highly unlikely that I will ever have that problem.

I’m not opposed to rich people having therapy anymore than I’d be opposed to anyone getting therapy.

HOWEVER. The therapists interviewed for the article ended up going on and on and on, to the point of near satire, attempting to explain why discrimination against rich people is somehow similar to that of minorities, and how coming out as an exorbitantly rich person is basically just like coming out of the closet as a gay person.

Let’s break some of this bullshit down, shall we?

“The Occupy Wall Street movement was a good one and had some important things to say about income inequality, but it singled out the 1% and painted them globally as something negative. It’s an -ism,” said Jamie Traeger-Muney, a wealth psychologist and founder of the Wealth Legacy Group. “I am not necessarily comparing it to what people of color have to go through, but … it really is making value judgment about a particular group of people as a whole.”

The media, she said, is partly to blame for making the rich “feel like they need to hide or feel ashamed”.

Truly, if I do anything, as a member of the media, to make the top 1 percent feel ashamed? Let me know so I can send myself flowers!

Criticizing the abhorrent and frankly immoral distribution of wealth in this country is absolutely nothing like racism or sexism or any other “ism.” It’s also not always wrong to make “value judgments” about people! For instance, I can make as many damned “value judgments” as I want about members of the KKK or what have you. I can also make “value judgments” about the exorbitantly rich, because the very fact that they are that wealthy more often than not signifies what it is that they value.

One of the poor souls discussed in this column is a woman who is married to a “tech entrepreneur” who is worth $80 million dollars and feels like she can’t connect with people because they don’t want to hear about her problems.

Now, that guy did not make that money alone, in a vacuum. Since there is only so much money to go around, someone else had to be poor so he could be that rich. It is unlikely that anyone is going to get $80 million dollars without exploiting anyone else on some level. Also, if you have that much money and are a business owner, that’s a pretty clear indication that you are not paying your people enough–because if the people under you are working hard enough to get you that money in the first place? I’m gonna say they deserve a pretty sweet raise. I’m also going to say that it means we are not taxing you enough.

Let me be very clear here — I believe that having $80 million dollars is an act of violence. It is the same thing as being able to walk past a person who was drowning and not do anything to help, because whatever, you’re not the one drowning. If you are able to walk around, casually, with that much money, while 1.6 million children a year go homeless? You are a monster. And you know what? Fuck you, I hope you really are miserable.

That guy could buy a giant building in an area with a nice school district and let poor families live there free of charge all the while barely making a dent in his bank account. In fact, he would actually get a huge tax break for doing so!

If someone is sad, and feels like they are being “rejected” by people because they have $80 million dollars? Then I think there’s a pretty easy solution to that.

In case you think that’s the worst of it, you would be mistaken. The other victims of cruel bigotry? Inheritors.

“You can come up with lot of words and sayings about inheritors, not one of them is positive: spoiled brat, born with a silver spoon in their mouth, trust fund babies, all these things,” she said, adding that it’s “easy to scapegoat the rich”.

“Sometimes I am shocked by things that people say. If you substitute in the word Jewish or black, you would never say something like that. You’d never say – spoiled rotten or you would never refer to another group of people in the way that it seems perfectly normal to refer to wealth holders.”

Are they fucking kidding here? Is this an Onion article? Is “wealth holders” a new politically correct term for the filthy rich?

We live in a world where politicians regularly sneer about how poor kids just need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Where Newt Gingrich, while running for president, once suggested that those children work as school janitors in order to pay the school back for subsidized lunches. That, to me, is far more sickening than accusing people who didn’t earn their wealth of not having earned their wealth. Also, for the love of god, no, it is not like being discriminated against for being Jewish or Black. These people are not victims. If you are born with that much money and you are not horrified and angry that other children are born into poverty? Then yes, you are a bad person and you deserve to be judged.

Working hard and succeeding is great, but I don’t believe that there is any amount of work someone can do to justify having that kind of wealth while others starve. There just isn’t. Greed is a sin for a reason.

In recent years, members of the 1% have been singled out by protesters seeking to highlight the growing disparity between rich and poor. In October of 2014, for example, a number of workers staged a protest outside Walmart heiress Alice Walton’s $26m 6,346 sq ft New York condo. The protest, designed to highlight workers’ low wages and part-time schedules, resulted in 26 arrests.

These types of protests can be very stressful for the rich. “It’s really isolating to have a lot of money. It can be scary – people’s reaction to you,” said Barbara Nusbaum, an expert in money psychology.

Oh! Really? They’re stressed? They’re stressed? I’m sorry, but how dare they have the gall to be “stressed”? Frankly, I hope they’re a lot more than “stressed.” In fact, I hope that people like “heiress Alice Walton” are humiliated and “stressed” enough to demand that the companies their families own pay their workers a decent goddamned wage. That woman is worth $34 billion dollars, and her family owns a company where workers have to host canned food drives so their fellow workers can have food for Christmas. Fuck her, I don’t care if she’s “stressed.”

Another psychologist explained that rich people often feel that they have to keep their wealth a secret, instead of going on and on to people about how totally hard it is to be exorbitantly rich.

To avoid such awkwardness, some Americans have taken to keeping their wealth secret. “We talk about it as stealth wealth. There are a lot of people that are hiding their wealth because they are concerned about negative judgment,” said Traeger-Muney. If wealthy Americans talk about the unique challenges that come with their wealth, people often dismiss their experience.

“People say: ‘Oh, poor you.’ There is not a lot of sympathy there,” she said. “[Wealth] is still one of our last taboos. Often, I use an analogy with my clients that coming out to people about their wealth is similar to coming out of the closet as gay. There’s a feeling of being exposed and dealing with judgment.”

Oh no. It is not at all the same as coming out of the closet as gay. That is a very different thing, and to suggest that it is at all the same suggests a lack of empathy so profound I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it.

I mean, what is this shit? “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”? I realize we live in a world now where we all have to pretend that everyone’s problems are deserving of equal weight so that no one’s feelings are hurt, but I am not OK with playing that game here. I am not going to be just as concerned that a rich person feels “isolated” as I am about someone who is dying of AIDS and can’t afford a $750 Daraprim pill because some pharma asshole jacked up the price.

Also, some things are just a matter of tact. You’re never going to see me going around complaining about the one zit I get a year in front of someone with cystic acne! Because that would be an absurdly rude thing to do! Similarly, it is callous and rude to even want to complain about how hard it is to be rich in front of someone with mountains of debt and to expect them to have empathy for you.

This article has not only made me not feel as though the rich were the victims of persecution, it has made me feel more in favor of a class war.

[The Guardian]