53 comments on “How to get rich. Oh, and lonely. Well, you can’t have everything…

  1. Wise words. There are a lot of very unhappy rich people out there. They delude themselves thinking everyone wants to emulate their lives.

    If I can provide for my family, make the world a slightly better place and set a good example for my children, then I’m doing all right, as far as I see it.

    • That sounds like a good and happy life to me. 🙂
      I think the rich often can’t see past their money and can’t understand how the rest of us can be happy without it.

    • Gina certainly doesn’t seem like a very nice person, it is probably lucky you have never heard of her over there. If you had it would probably mean she is ready with a digger on the outskirts of town! 🙂

    • I know! Only a person without friends can suggest that the rest of us would be better off working more than we would be socializing. Poor Gina….

  2. Great soap box post, an worthy subject. I knew that your post would be about the lovely Gina, as soon as I read the subject line… I’m waiting for her to proclaim “Let them eat cake”. She’s become a joke, and is kidding herself that we care one bit about what she thinks, that she is rich, or being rich ourselves. I believe she also has an “alleged” half sister [some things you just can’t control… must annoy Gina!] who isn’t rich but is happy enough like the rest of us, and can’t be bothered taking Gina on, just for money – lucky for Gina the half-sister isn’t like her 😉

    • After I heard the news I was so annoyed by her judgemental attitude this post pretty much wrote itself! I expect that there will be any amount of blog/news rants about her nasty attitude over the next few days 🙂

      I think the only thing keeping her greed in check was her father, once he was gone she seems to have gone completely mad about her riches doesn’t she? Taking on her stepmother, and eventually her kids, when there is more than enough money to keep them all in extreme comfort for the rest of their lives is just petty.

      Gina is hardly one for telling us to all use a bit of restraint is she? I was wondering how her health has been too, she seems to have put on quite a bit of weight in recent years which is unfortunate. Will she see out her days unwell and alone? That is a sad choice of end for a clearly intelligent woman.

  3. You tell her, girl! 🙂
    No seriously, those are wise words spoken from your soapbox. By the way, I am proud to say that I have no idea who Gina Rinehart is… never heard of her… which makes me dangerously clueless, I know, but happily so. 🙂

    • 😀 I was so grumpy about her attitude that I was shouting at the radio in my car when I heard the initial report!
      I know people with money and people who are poor, money just makes things easier, only the ones with happy families are happy people.

      It is a bit of a surprise that the richest woman in the world is an Australian woman. You aren’t really missing anything by not knowing who she is. Just be worried if you find her poking around for promising minerals in your backyard, you’ll be out on the street and poor and she will be just that little bit richer 🙂

  4. Don’t get me wrong — I really want to be a successful fiction writer and make enough money to travel and have fun BUT…. I’ve seen a few too many people drown in the consequences of too much money. Instead of making people comfortable, it can make them insecure and, a bit crazy.

    Not that many years ago I became friends with a woman at my health club. She was reading a murder mystery so I struck up a conversation. She had just bought a beautiful single family brownstone house in the Village. This is something that only a seriously rich person can do. Maybe not richest woman in the world, but definitely heiress to a fortune made generations ago. The more I got to know her, the more I began to see how the money had eroded her hold on reality. At a certain point she said she was putting me in her will. I told her not to in no uncertain terms. She was so used to “buying” people that she didn’t trust normal friendships. When her husband died, another gym friend, my boyfriend at the time and I took care of her as she made all the arrangements and went through the funeral, etc. When she started “shopping” for a second husband I started to pull away. I’d seen too much of what money had done to her. It was a long, strange and sad tale of a life ill-spent.

    An excess of money can create as many problems as it solves.

    • A sad story, especially since she was probably living what she though was a good life. I would rather the real reality of life than that kind of wierd reality where the people around you are judged by their wealth or their use to you. 😦

      I used to work in a warehouse, and often a lovely elderly man dressed in an old tracksuit would turn up and buy some bits and pieces and spend a while out in the shelves just talking with the guys who worked there. Seeing him always cracked me up because he was a very rich man and the car we loaded up with his purchases was a Rolls. He was certainly not living up to the stereotype!

      • The weird thing is she knew she wasn’t living a good life. She was always scrambling to find the happiness she thought everyone else had (not true) and the since she didn’t get it naturally, she would try to buy it. Years ago I wrote a short story that was based on her in which her husband tries to kill her and she, without knowing it, foils the plan and he drinks from the wrong bottle of Scotch. I should dig it up and rework it….

    • I used to run a very small business teaching baby boomers how to use computers. It was one-on-one tuition and I’d come to their homes for $35 an hour. One of my clients was a rich lady in her 60’s who drove a beautiful English racing green Porsche and had two stunning properties. Nonetheless after every session she’d complain about her husband not giving her enough money – I assume to pay for expensive teachers like me 😀

      Ah to be rich enough to have such foibles!

  5. I googled her. I thinks he could have been even richer if, instead of getting out of the pub, she had gotten out of the all-you-can-eat buffet.

    • She certainly hasn’t followed the self-restraint theory herself, has she? 😀

      It only seems to have been in recent years that she has become like that, I wonder if it coincided with the realization that she could be so much richer if she stopped socializing? Of course, staying home and eating chocolate biscuits alone on the couch is a poor substitute for happiness….

        • I saw one of our news show anchors doing a deadpan to-camera piece telling us that not being rich was our own fault and if only we had knuckled under and worked harder we too could have been born into wealth.
          Gina certainly didn’t do herself any favours opening her mouth like that.

        • As you Aussie’s no doubt know, the US is in the middle of a very contentious presidential election. The Republican candidate came from a very wealthy family and grew up with a sense of privilege and entitlement. He also grew up with a dedication to doing good and doing service to his community, but…. since his community is largely his Church, he was a Mormon Missionary in France.

          Putting that aside, he was recently addressing a college crowd and talking about self-reliance and how successful business people do it themselves. He managed to suggest that students with good business ideas ask their parents for the money to get rolling!

          What a disconnect!

          Many families are in debt just to send the kid to college and they don’t have money in the bank for starting businesses. Anyway, his naivete about the real world is rooted directly in growing up rich.

          Of my soap box and back to work for me.

          • That’s the thing, isn’t it. Hard work and financial restraint really do help you become better off, the problem for those of us living in the real world is that for most of us ‘better off’ is just paying bills without robbing Peter to pay Paul or having a more reliable car, and for some it means just eating at all. It isn’t lending our kids business startup money or making our first million.

            Those people lucky enough to come from wealth really don’t understand what it is to not have money, their version of poor is far removed from the day to day reality of the majority of their supporters or employees. Mitt Romney or Gina Rinehart might think they know, but I am sure the reality of living it would be a rude shock for them.

            Here in Australia our pollies are at pains to minimize any references to wealth. As soon as we see them as rich they are immediately assumed to be out of touch with the population and their credibility takes a dive. We have compulsory voting here, so alienating the electorate doesn’t mean they just don’t turn up on election day, it means votes for the other guy.

            We are also very intolerant of our pollies and bore easily, a long election process like the one you have would never get off the ground here! They not only have to keep an lid on their wealth, they also have to keep religion out of it. If one of them tried to tell us that god was part of their team that would pretty much be the end of their campaign. Being rich and religious? Never going to win over the population on that platform!

          • Funny but on this side of the planet — rich & religious is a recipe for political success.
            The big hitch in Romney’s chance is that the super religious far right aren’t entirely comfortable with his specific religion.

          • Yes, even in a place that loves a religious politician, a Mormon is probably a bridge too far.

            I read a report last night about Romney’s wife telling people that the family understood suffering because of their problems with MS. That just makes them sound even less in touch. Being rich and ill only makes you understand fear and physical suffering. The multitude of people out there she ‘understands’ would never be able to afford the therapeutic drugs or physical therapy that help her to have such a fulfilling life. To have a sick child and not to be able to afford the doctor or medicine to help them is something that would really give her a reality check.

            We are very lucky here in Australia, we can walk into any hospital (and kids can go to the local doctor) and get help without cost, insurance is not needed. Just as well, because the adventurous number 2 son has ensured that we have been regular attendees at times! I can’t imagine how it is in the US where no insurance means no help or a massive cost.

            Being rich means a different plane of existence, doesn’t it.

          • Yes, Anne Romney’s disconnect is pretty amazing. They were playing yet another interview with her on the news this morning — same rap on her medical diagnosis, as her clear view of how other people struggle and suffer. It’s particularly weird given her husband’s opposition to the affordable healthcare act (AKA ObamaCare). Most Americans are one major medical emergency away from financial disaster. She’s been able to benefit from specialized therapies, including one that uses horseback riding, while other people with MS similar difficult diagnoses, spend down their savings until they are poor enough for state-paid medical care.

            As F.Scott Fitzgerald famously said — The rich are different.

          • Even though I don’t know too much about the details of the ObamaCare thing I was amazed when it seemed to be completely dismissed. I don’t understand how people can want to pay huge amounts for healthcare when there are different, and extremely workable, models of the free version around the world to take example from.

            Even in my own small family we have had broken limbs, assorted bits of damage, a pediatric intensive care stay, multiple ward admissions and births and not once have we ever had to pay a thing. You walk in, ask for help and you get it. No question. If you pay a fee per year for membership to the ambulance service (under $200 for a family) you get any amount of use for free too.

            Our health system is not perfect, but poor or rich, you will get help. I know of people with private health insurance who will choose to go through the public system because the care is no different.

            I can imagine spending everything trying to keep a family member healthy. One day you would reach the point where you just run out of funds and have to stop, what a dreadful realization to come to.

            Universal good health, one more thing to add to the list of what I will fix if I am ever elevated to god status *crack of thunder and dramatic music* 😉

          • If I had any idea about the mental gymnastics people perform in order to dismiss healthcare for everyone — in favor of some kind of self-reliance, freedom from government intrusion (and yet we’ll tell women what to do with their bodies) I’d be in politics.

          • I expect that the ones who are the most vociferous on the dismissal side are the ones who can afford to pay their bills and have the best health insurance. Imagine how different politics (the world!) would be if the average people were in charge.

  6. Go Metan! I don’t know where the lovely Gina thinks she’s living but it doesn’t sound like Australia. Come to think of it, it doesn’t sound like planet Earth either.

    • It sounds like a pretty lonely existence being Gina. Easy for a person without friends and doing her best to alienate her family to tell the rest of us to work more and have less fun.

          • I guess it would depend on whether she just said ‘let them eat cake’ or whether she actually distributed said cake all nicely gift wrapped.:)

          • I think Gina has already had her fair share of cake…… although she would still probably say something along the lines of “gimme your cake too”!

          • She cant rest!! It is hard working people like her that are keeping the country afloat isn’t it?! I mean it can’t be those poorly paid workers slacking off at the pub with their mates, can it….? 😉

  7. I’ve had the unusual opportunity of working for many wealthy people. Some had a little wealth $1 billion. You’ve got to suspend your disbelief and remember your humanity (which is tough with this crowd) and just take in the quote I’m about to share. Over lunch at their private table in fairway dining room of the North Shore Country Club, Mrs. Money confessed her unhappiness in life. My face must’ve turned traitor and showed my immediate revulsion because she begged patience and said: “There’s nothing as pitiful as a wealthy woman who’s unhappy; everyone thinks wealthy people buy happiness, but we can’t. When people of moderate means are unhappy they find relief in their dreams of wealth. So I’m here, wealthy, what do I dream about to disquiet my absence of hope?” When you work with the wealthy you need twice the hope; it’s the first thing tossed overboard once they’ve surpassed concern (i.e. degree of wealth).

    • I guess you are right, we all say to ourselves “When I’m rich” knowing full well we never will be, but secretly expecting that lotto win or death of an (as yet unknown) rich relative at any moment.

      We all have dreams that will be fulfilled when that unlikely event happens. If you have enough money to make all of your dreams come true, what on earth do you have to look forward to? That is probably the definition of a pointless existence.

      I think it is the ostentatious displays of wealth by the feral rich that have turned the rest of us against the wealthy as a whole. They are not bad people, they are just so disconnected from our reality we can’t relate to them in any way.

      Of course, I can’t feel too sorry for them, I would rather be unhappy and rich than unhappy and poor!

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