I don’t know if it is because I have been reading and blogging about personal finance for five years now and I’m more attuned to this stuff or if more people are just voicing their opinion, but in the past five years or so I’ve noticed a growing trend toward resentment towards the rich and wealthy. I’m not simply talking about a sense of jealousy or entitlement, but more like a viewpoint that the wealthy are evil and they need to have their money taken away.
There can be many reasons why people feel this way. It might be:
- People are struggling and it feels good to release their anger at someone who isn’t.
- They don’t think they will ever reach that level of prosperity and they don’t think it’s fair.
- They think wealth is about being lucky, and they simply wish they could be as fortunate
- They think that to achieve that level of success, the rich/wealthy must have used someone or taken from someone else to achieve that success.
In my late teens, and early twenties I had feelings at some point that mirrored all of the above thoughts. However I’ve realized, as I’ve gotten older and made more money, that the way I thought about money 10 years ago was wrong. Having read Dr. Thomas Stanley’s two books on the wealthy: The Millionaire Next Door* and The Millionaire Mind*, I realized that the vast majority of those who we deem to be wealthy weren’t lucky, weren’t greedy, and weren’t evil. They had great discipline and have done incredible things that most of us won’t or can’t do to get to that point. Instead of being envious of those who have won with money over a long period of time, I instead attempted to learn their “secrets” and soon realized that I could achieve financial success as well.
The problem with despising the wealthy is that it can negatively impact how we handle our finances. If we feel that the only way we can prosper is to cheat, steal, be immoral, or get lucky, we will never handle our money well enough, look at the long term impacts of our financial decisions or aspire to earn more income, which are the real ways that the wealthy become wealthy. In addition, with having that mindset you ensure that wealth will stay concentrated since individuals will prevent themselves from building wealth and changing the world. So instead of showing anger towards the wealthy, learn what their habits are and what they are doing and start to emulate it. As a financial coach my goal for you is not to hoard your money and become a miser, but instead to enjoy your money and change lives for the better.
For more information on this topic I recommend checking out this recent podcast from a mentor of mine:
Have you too noticed an increase in anger towards the wealthy? If so, is it warranted?