You’re so money and you don’t even know it

The Colonial - - OPINION -

If your net worth is at least $3,650 — and this could be in cash, base­ball cards, home mi­nus mort­gage, oxen, cars owned out­right, celebrity hair clip­pings, what­ever — con­grat­u­la­tions: You are wealth­ier than half of the world, ac­cord­ing to the 2014 Credit Suisse global wealth re­port.

(Another fail-safe way to know if you’re in that top 50 per­cent: Do you know how to pro­nounce “Suisse?” I think it’s “sweece” but for all I know it could be “su-is-say.” Or “suey-suh-say.” Who knows. Swedes. Nor­we­gians? Swiss? Los­ing my thread here …)

But yes: A mere $3,650, and you’re look­ing down from the world stage at the have-nots. Now I don’t want to make too big a deal of it here, but based on this in­for­ma­tion, I’m loaded. I’m talk­ing big bucks. Put me down for three oxen and some Kim Kar­dashian ex­ten­sions.

I’m guess­ing you’re in the same boat. Just take a look around at what­ever stuff you have, and put it on eBay. And just like that, you’re bet­ter off than half of the world’s pop­u­la­tion.

Of course, there’s two ways for us Americans to di­gest this wealth in­for­ma­tion. I’ll lay them out here:

“Wow. Am I lucky or what? Half the world — that’s 3 bil­lion plus peo­ple! — don’t have $3,650 to their name. And re­ally, as far as wealth goes, that’s noth­ing. I mean, if you have a new Sony PlaySta­tion, you’re 10 per­cent of the way there. It’s a scary, sad world out there for a lot of peo­ple. Sure, we hear about poverty here in the United States, but ap­par­ently, that’s noth­ing com­pared to the world­wide num­bers. It’s ac­tu­ally shock­ing to find this out, and I can as­sure you, tonight, when I lay my head down upon my pil­low, I’m go­ing to thank my lucky stars I have what I have. It could be so, so, so, so much worse.”

That’s op­tion #1. Op­tion #2 is a lit­tle more… well, true.

“Holy crap, $3,650? Yeah, I guess I’m rich, but what a joke. I’m dy­ing over here try­ing to pay the mort­gage each month. I’m also a lit­tle ticked off at the sushi place. I swear, those tuna rolls are get­ting smaller. I said some­thing to Takumi about it — he’s the owner, we’re very good friends — and he tells me the rolls are the same size, but he changed the rice to a longer­grain, and it makes it feel lighter. Dif­fer­ent mouth­feel. Uh­h­h­h­hgh.

Any­way, I need to get to the mall to­day. Those jeans I got last month work with just about ev­ery­thing ex­cept my black shirt. You know, with the ivory but­tons? Well, fake ivory, I hope. Hate to think an ele­phant paid with his tusks for my but­tons. That’s just wrong. We need to save the ele­phants! But yeah. I need a darker indigo. Prob­a­bly boots, too, now that I’m think­ing about it. My wife loves me in that shirt.

Did I tell you we’re go­ing to Ve­gas for a few days at the end of the month? Yeah, just a lit­tle get­away. Be­lieve me, we de­serve it. Work has been in-sane. Yeah, of course we’re fly­ing. Sure, we’re wor­ried about Ebola, so we bought a pair of res­pi­ra­tors on Ama­zon. Full face, $285 shipped for the pair. To­tally worth it.” So yeah… I’m def­i­nitely op­tion #2 on this one. I want to be op­tion #1, I try to be op­tion #1, but I am not op­tion #1. I’m op­tion #2. Not that I’m com­plain­ing about sushi rolls, and I never had a shirt with real or fake ivory but­tons, and no, I’m not go­ing to Ve­gas (though yes, I am con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a quin­tet of MSA Safety Works 10041139 Full Face Multi Pur­pose Res­pi­ra­tors), but re­ally: I find tremen­dous ways to say bye-bye and see ya later to my mea­ger (or not-mea­ger, now I’m con­fused) salary.

I mean, the mini­van is nice, but do we need it? The house is swell, but at 1,700 or so square feet, do we re­ally need all that space? That yearly va­ca­tion sure does take a chunk of my cash and…

Ah screw it. Yes, I need the mini­van, the house, the va­ca­tion.

What? Did you ex­pect some kind of holier-than-thou thing here? Yeah, so did I. The first note I jot­ted down after read­ing the Credit Suisse re­port was “so I should prob­a­bly stop com­plain­ing about money.” Not go­ing to hap­pen. While it’s crazy to con­sider how lit­tle money it takes to be in the top half of worldly wealth, to think I’m ac­tu­ally go­ing to do some­thing about it — you know, as in not spend what I have and crave more — is equally crazy.

Is this the right and proper and godly way to live? Of course not. But… you know. Whad­dya gonna do.

So tonight, when I lay my head upon my pil­low, I’ll prob­a­bly be think­ing of ways to make more money. Viva Amer­ica, and I mean it. It’s good to be the king. Or at least the prince. Heck, I’m happy be­ing a sub­ject.

Jeff Edel­stein can be reached at jedel­stein@tren­to­, face­­freyedel­stein and @ jeffedel­stein on Twit­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.