If the super-rich are supposedly the royalty of today, whatever has happened to the drama? Where is the selfishness and pride? Where the jealousy and rivalry? Where, if I may be so blunt, is the treachery and murder? If they have to rule us, let’s at least have some palace intrigue!
Don’t tell me today’s half-brothers and stepmothers and third cousins twice removed have outgrown the base–I mean, basic–no, I mean, base–human drives of ambition and greed! Don’t tell me the children of the super-rich today are more loyal and content than their blah-blah-divine-right frères! Maybe they think they’re guaranteed their slice of the pie one day, they only need to bide their time, but if there’s one thing your parents taught you, and it’s likely the only thing, it’s that, one, it must be the whole pie, and, two, the pie has to be had now!
And besides, irrespective of the promised life expectancy in your generation, you know–you know–your parents are going to outlive you anyway, and even if they don’t, they’re still going to give more to your snivelling, butt-kissing little brother and your oh-so-innocent-let-me-sit-on-your-lap daddy’s-little-princess sister. They’ve ignored you your whole life, parcelling out affection like dog treats. ARE YOU A DOG? Remember the cards you made that they never opened, the cake untouched on the restaurant table? They didn’t even show for the state finals, your big day, just made certain that your dad’s lawyer was umpiring and double-faulted Johnny Goodspeed thus crowning you champion. Ahhh, who else in your life–your life of strength and power and perfect control!–can make champion sound so much like loser?
So where was he? Yeah, you know exactly where he was. Blowing your rightful inheritance on the Côte d’Azur, that’s where, with his hands, leg and feet model of a third wife. It’s not okay. All of it is just not okay. Something must be done. And it’s so easy, it doesn’t even have to be a thing. He’s old and on too many pills for this heart and liver, and you can certainly make sure that she won’t get a cent. Your brother races powerboats which is the most dangerous sport in the world, and of course you’d still look after your sister, as long as she does what she’s told.
Why not, right? Why not?
It’s a zero sum game: there are only so many good jobs, so many good schools, so many good neighbourhoods. If the poor are to be allowed their fair share, the rich must give up some of what they have. On the level of the individual, it makes sense to want the best for your children. But collectively, it can only lead to inequality. We must change our thinking about the worth or a person.
The problem is that most poor people don’t want to eliminate poverty, they just want to be the ones that are rich.