Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Those poor rich

Via Paul Krugman, I became acquainted with this post by J. Bradford DeLong over the travails of being rich in America. A certain professor of law at the University of Chicago and his physician wife probably pul in half a million dollars a year between the two of them, but he presents himself as just a poor working stiff, being taxed to death and barely scraping by. The problem? DeLong probably has it right: our Prof. X is trying to keep up with the megamillionaire Joneses, which puts a strain even on his resources. The Joneses can afford everything and more besides; Prof. X can only afford everything, and then only if he budgets carefully. What's a poor millionaire to do?

It's the basis of our economic problems today. This country spent the last eight years with an economic policy designed solely to gratify X and the Joneses; now that the bubble has burst, guess who expects to be last in line to pay for the damage? Ah, that would be Prof. X and the Joneses.

Really, I don't mind that people are rich. Prof. X and his wife have certainly worked harder than I have and I don't begrudge them their wealth. But at the same time to be such whiners! It's ... well, let's remain civil and just call it unseemly.

1 comment:

James Hanley said...

There's been a lot of internet hoopla about that law prof's post (which he's now pulled out of deference to his wife). The guy has a very large mortgage, sends his kid to private school, pays for special art classes, sends his youngest to a $100+/day daycare, pays for a house cleaner and someone to mow his lawn, then complains he doesn't have any money left over for discretionary spending.

He clearly fails to understand that the lawn service, cleaning service, art classes, private school, extra art classes, fancy day care, and super-sized mortgage are all discretionary spending. He doesn't get that that's not basic stuff that everybody has, that's the extra stuff that his high salary gets him.

Disturbingly, it's reported that the guy teaches law and economics. He might need to start over with the economics part of that topic.