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Nero fiddles while Rome burns -- spending habits of the ultra-rich

Last post Tue, Apr 15 2008 8:45 AM by rolo. 7 replies.
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  • Mon, Apr 14 2008 12:17 PM

    Nero fiddles while Rome burns -- spending habits of the ultra-rich

    Dear All, The above subject title expresses how I feel about the tidings of a story in NYTimes.com, in teh NY/Region section.  The story is entitled, "Despite Tough Times, Ultrarich Keep Spending."  Frankly, the examples in the story disgust me.  If those people were to invest their money instead of spending it, IMHO (& not a well-informed opinion), teh economy would be better off.  What do you think?  Yours in Him, Deb

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Government & Charity Assistance

    Proud guardian of Heart, a black female Miniature Poodle, a Psychiatric Service Dog

    Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise; give thanks to Him, bless His Name. (Psalm 100)

    Yours in thrift, Deborah



  • Mon, Apr 14 2008 1:32 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Nero fiddles while Rome burns -- spending habits of the ultra-rich

     I think I like your title better than theirs, Deb. "Nero fiddles while Rome burns" describes the situation quite well. 

    Although it's disgusting to see people spending money like this, I think it's probably better that they spend it than to sit on it. At least it's in circulation, although limited. There will always be people with money and people without, people who can spend and people who cannot. The extremes will no doubt become even more pronounced if we move deeper into recession (or whatever you want to call it). 


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  • Mon, Apr 14 2008 2:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Nero fiddles while Rome burns -- spending habits of the ultra-rich

    All I can say is, it must be nice to have that kind of money. 

  • Mon, Apr 14 2008 3:17 PM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: Nero fiddles while Rome burns -- spending habits of the ultra-rich

    A person works hard, makes different choices than some of us, and becomes very wealthy through the earning potential/high income and wise investing.  It is their hard earned dollars and the lifestyle reflects it.

    They can vacation and recreate and live differently than us because that is what their income allows.  I don't see anything wrong with it.  

    If I were wise and/or fortunate enough to make the choices that lead/led to a high income I think my lifestyle would reflect my income level. 

    I don't think they are being judgemental or anything like that.  They are doing what many wealthy people do...spend money at a level most of us won't achieve because they earn and invest at a level most of us won't achieve.  

     

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • Mon, Apr 14 2008 6:58 PM In reply to

    • Walt34
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Dec 17 2007
    • WV eastern panhandle
    • Posts 1,406

    Re: Nero fiddles while Rome burns -- spending habits of the ultra-rich

    Agreed, rolo.

    Additionally, their spending creates income for other people. For example, a carpenter I knew worked for a while in Aspen, Colorado. A wealthy woman wanted a skylight put in the foyer of her home, and he told her that the location she wanted it in would not create the lighting effect that she wanted. She insisted, and he was right. So she next paid him to remove it, repair the roof and ceiling, and put it where he had originally suggested. Most of us on this forum would consider that a foolish waste of money, but to her it was pocket change, like most here would buy a candy bar. The effect was that it kept him employed for a week instead of a few days, and in turn his spending on materials, tools, food, etc. contributed to giving other people jobs.

    I think "wealth" is a relative term. Relative to someone starving in a tin shack in Africa, DW and I are astonishingly wealthy. We have a nice home, two-car garage, a five-year-old pickup truck and five-year-old car, everything is paid for and we don't give a thought to how to pay for next week's groceries. But we can't afford some luxuries that others take for granted, like a new Caddy every year or annual round-the-world cruise - and yes, some people can do that and pay cash.

    Whether wealthy people bank their money, invest it, or spend it, that also creates jobs for other people. When someone goes to the bank for a loan, where does the bank get the money? From others who banked their excess money. We have several savings/investment accounts, but that money is not sitting in a drawer somewhere, it's being loaned out to others. The bank charges them a higher interest rate than they pay us and the difference, after the bank's expenses, is the bank's profit, some of which goes to individual people who invested in the bank as shareholders.

    Think of the scene in It's a Wonderful Life where the S&L is down to it's last two dollars. All of the other depositor's money was not in the S&L, most of it was being loaned out to other people. So if wealthy people want to spend their money on whatever suits them, fine! They want a 300 foot ocean going yacht, then fine - that's going to give a whole crew of people jobs because someone has to build it, and another crew to maintain it.

    It's the people who are not wealthy but try to behave like they were that create problems for themselves. At work we called them "29-cent millionaires".

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Money Management
  • Mon, Apr 14 2008 7:54 PM In reply to

    Re: Nero fiddles while Rome burns -- spending habits of the ultra-rich

     Bravo!  The best response yet!

    Mom of six wonderful kids...
  • Tue, Apr 15 2008 12:30 AM In reply to

    Re: Nero fiddles while Rome burns -- spending habits of the ultra-rich

    UHHHH! I say scrap the news at times,I have  been around the rich when I had to do the car titles gee they spend the money and I just wonder about how much tax shelters and lope holes that they get to use or have ,while our taxes go higher and these people have it made in the shade...

    That news artical is down right scarey...

    Cynythia

  • Tue, Apr 15 2008 8:45 AM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: Nero fiddles while Rome burns -- spending habits of the ultra-rich

    The wealthy are legally using tax codes, just as we do with our child tax credits, interest dedcutions, charitable contributiosn, etc.

    It is our elected politicians that have made these tax codes possible.   

    Don't be angry at somebody for acheiving wealth, be angry at the politicians lined up at the public feeding trough that has made this possible.  

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

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