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Wed Mar 13, 2013, 06:53 AM

Being lectured by millionaires -

Oped in the NYT this weekend re "living with less": http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/opinion/sunday/living-with-less-a-lot-less.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I had read the original article over the weekend so when Starry Messenger posted this critique yesterday I was thrilled: http://gawker.com/5989989/it-would-be-great-if-millionaires-would-not-lecture-us-on-living-with-less

It Would Be Great if Millionaires Would Not Lecture Us on ‘Living With Less’
Hamilton Nolan

There is something about achieving great financial success that seduces people into believing that they are life coaches. This problem seems particularly endemic to the tech millionaire set. You are not simply Some Fucking Guy Who Sold Your Internet Company For a Lot of Money; you are a lifestyle guru, with many important and penetrating insight about How to Live that must be shared with the common people.

We would humbly request that this stop.

Meet Graham Hill. Graham Hill became a multimillionaire at a very young age when he sold his internet company in 1998. Good for him. We would not be telling you about Graham Hill at all, except for the fact that he wrote a remarkable op-ed in the New York Times Sunday Review yesterday in which he instructs you, the common man, on the virtues of "Living With Less." He bases this prescription on the wisdom he has learned on his own personal journey, from millionaire with a big house and many material possessions to millionaire with a smaller house and fewer material possessions, but just as many liquid assets. And what did it take for this millionaire to learn that his 3,600-square-foot Seattle home, personal shopper, and cars and furniture and other expensive baubles just weren't worth it? ...



The interesting part for me was sharing it on my own Facebook wall to see the if anyone would read it and how they would respond. The "likes" I received were from folks who are in low-paying service jobs here, or live abroad. There is so much propaganda in this country that encourages everyone to idolize the rich (and not question the discrepancy) that I was thrilled to see any response at all.

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Being lectured by millionaires - (Original post)
TBF Mar 2013 OP
Overseas Mar 2013 #1
Pakid Mar 2013 #2
mulsh Mar 2013 #3
Tuesday Afternoon Mar 2013 #4
tk2kewl Mar 2013 #5
TBF Mar 2013 #12
Locrian Mar 2013 #6
TBF Mar 2013 #10
ehrnst Mar 2013 #7
Alkene Mar 2013 #8
MsLeopard Mar 2013 #9
Starry Messenger Mar 2013 #11
TBF Mar 2013 #13

Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 07:54 AM

1. K&R. Well said.

Reminds me of why I resent those celebrity diet plans.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 08:12 AM

2. And the reason they want us to live on less is why?

So that they can live on more! I am all in favor of living on less of what ever product idiots rich guys sell, until they start to pay more and invest there money here instead of in China!!!!

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 08:35 AM

3. op eds like the above is why I only read the Times for the comix.

The great gray lady grows paler every day.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 08:36 AM

4. Millionaires need to drink a nice big cup of STFU.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 08:51 AM

5. from the aticle: "Money doesn't matter at all, as long as you have too much of it."

 

...pretty much sums it up.

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 10:42 AM

12. Exactly. nt

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 09:10 AM

6. he has a point...

Actually he *does* have a point about possessions etc. It's just that he shows what an ignorant fuckwit he is by not realizing that there are billions on people who would (literally) die for his 'problems'.

His 'downsizing' was not a realization that others had so little and he had so much as it was a pragmatic consideration that he was spending too much time with material things.

It's still all "me, me, me" in his life. You would have thought traveling would have made him more of a 'global citizen' *(yeah right). But he still doesn't get it. Never once did it cross his mind that the problem is that he has so much while others have so little - THAT'S what should bother him more that 'gee, I got too many homes to keep track of - it's such hard work"

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Response to Locrian (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 10:40 AM

10. Right - it's not that downsizing is bad

in that most of us could learn to live w/fewer material possessions. The problem is the inequality. The top 1/10th of the top 1% are controlling so much wealth in this country that the rest of us are forced to downsize whether we want to or not - while the very richest fly from mansion to mansion etc. In fact one family, the Waltons (owners of Walmart) control a full 40% of the wealth in this country.

There are 2 ways this can be fixed. We can have taxation or we can have a revolution. We'll see what happens.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 09:18 AM

7. His "Downsizing" involves an incredibly expensive customized 420 sq ft studio

 

He states that he lives in a small apartment - but it's tricked out with walls that move, telescoping dining table, and custom murphy beds....

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2265438/Graham-Hill-See-transforming-New-York-apartment-fits-rooms-just-420-square-feet.html

Yes, everyone should be so happy to live in a cubicle.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 09:28 AM

8. I'll be sure to place an Icon...

...of this guy on my alter of worship to the god of: Fucktards-that-expect-me-to-work-hard-so-that-others-can-have-a-nice-life. It's admittedly a long deity hyphenation- and that alter is getting crowded- but I'll try to remain pious to it, sucking up the endless downsizing.

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Response to Alkene (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 09:39 AM

9. Well said!

And welcome to DU!

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 10:41 AM

11. Hatip to Petrus, he posted it in GD in a thread about the NYT article. :)

I read some of the comments on the Gawker blog, and the were split between the "you must be jealous of this guy's genius" (snarf) and ones by people who were grateful that someone had crafted a rejoinder to the fatuous bullshit.

Someone else pointed out that the NYTimes comments on the original article were split by class. The regular comments showed people saying "fuck this guy" while the comment promoted by the NYTimes had people agreeing and saying things like "oh yes, life became so much simpler when I moved my family to France."

My partner and I know a few folks like Graham Hill who have wealth from tech. Trying to have conversations with them is surreal. They just can't imagine having less than 10,000 a month--that's their floor amount. They seem to think that some of us decided to make much less out of some bohemian quirk.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 10:55 AM

13. Thanks to Petrus as well :)

We see this a lot as well. We feel like the poor relatives when we go to colleagues' houses. Many of the folks who have gone to medical/law/business school had $$$ to start with and they continue to accumulate w/these careers. If you start with student loans, as we did, the road is much longer and pricier. And we are lucky - it is far harder these days unless you have a career like that to go into. We at least can afford the middle class lifestyle, so to speak. Folks who would like to graduate without $100K+ in student loans - just have a decent job, work, and enjoy their families as their parents/grandparents did - are scraping from paycheck to paycheck with their service jobs rather than enjoying a life-long career. My grandfather's job was at Speed Queen - you worked regular hours (stability!) until retirement and had a decent lifestyle along the way. Those days seem to be gone for most.

They will fix this w/taxation if they want to continue with the capitalism - or they can keep stealing from everyone else (next up Social Security) and see how folks react.

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