Right around now you might have caught an episode of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, a ”reality show” featuring two annoying, [overly] chatty socialites [yay! for racial diversity] and their friends. We have another show with people who will be famous for being famous, awesome! Like most reality show you wonder why you watched in the first place but this show is different. Firstly, it helps to numb your brain after a day of back breaking work you can sit down and not have to think about much. Secondly watching gives you reassurance that money indeed can’t buy intellect and good sense. Show.
In my country, there is what we call tenderpreneurs. These are business people who make their money by supplying or providing services to the government. These contracts are usually allocated through the tendering process. Through a variety of sectors be it catering, manufacturing, construction, information technology etc they get rich and climb up the social ladder very quickly. Now there has been a sharp rise in youth between their 20s and mid 30s getting involved and they are usually not a good example to the younger generation coming ahead because of their lifestyle.
These nouveau riche usually come into a lot of money and they don’t have the financial background to properly manage the money. Consequently, it is squandered through a newly adopted flashy lifestyle. Before the business is solidified, which any expert will tell you it takes about 3 years before considering profits, they buy houses and cars, eat a the best [read expensive] restaurants and spend ridiculous amounts of money on weekends and holidays.
There is a problem in that they use company start up capital for personal exploits and view all returns as profits of which a large percentage goes straight into their pockets. The fundamental problem, in my opinion, is that they feel a need to show off to people that they are successful. A deprivation in their upbringing leads to irresponsible spending trying to buy material possessions that they never had. They have a bad habit of over compensation because they feel inadequate somehow and suffer from a debilitating short sightedness.
We are all not wealthy and some of us who are less equal than others that have more wealth and in turn, higher social standing, are on the lower end. However they get their wealth is not an issue but the bottom line is that they have it and we just have to deal with it. Another thing we have to deal with is their privileged offspring. While we resent them for being born into wealth it is important not to paint them with the same brush because they come in every shape and form. I have recognised 3 basic categories trust fund babies are divided into.
Firstly it’s the baby doll type like the RKOBH duo who live off their parents and don’t make apologies for their charmed life. They cultivate their lifestyle based on a culture of spending which is encouraged by their parents.
A second category is what my friend calls the Poor Rich. This bunch takes a completely different route and gets mixed with the wrong crowd. They get involved with and consumed with the 24/7 party lifestyle and its drug culture. In what their equally privileged peers call “slumming it,” they associate and even shack up with low-income downtrodden people embracing their way of life. Some attribute their alternative lifestyle and criminal activity as a cry for help which is a result of years of craving attention from neglectful parents. There is also a dangerous sub category of morally bankrupt trust fund babies who take their dominance to great murderous heights a la Christian Bale in Shaft or the douche leader of the mob in The Purge. Truth is stranger than fiction my friend, In South Africa there was a case of two rich kids who went out killing for fun with no remorse and a warped sense of morality.
The third and last category are the more responsible of the trust fund babies recognise the privileged position they’re in but feel a need to make something of themselves and contribute to society. They take two avenues; either getting involved in the family business or getting accomplished in a completely unrelated field. While others argue that they still use their connections to get ahead, the result for them is a satisfaction that they went their own way and struck gold.
An interesting class of nouveau riche is made up of those that come into money through inheritance from deceased parents or relatives. Picture a situation where people around you change and treat you different because they either want to be in your position or want to extract something from you. You feel guilty for spending money you haven’t earned on things that make you happy and every frivolous expense makes you sick to your stomach. The money you watch over like a nursing eagle makes you paranoid and you lose trust in every single person around you even people you have been close to for years. You realise more and more that your morals become fickle because people treat you like a deity and mistreating them comes easily because they suck up to you so much.
You lose all respect for humans; your instincts for mastery take over so you use money to control people after discovering how easily their loyalty can be bought. Picture feeling trapped in your own mind gripped by that Scarface paranoia where you think everyone is out to get you. Your new found wealth makes you love money and you sacrifice time, relationships and your own personal happiness just to get more. Have you ever heard the saying “there’s no such thing as enough money,” Believe it. You feel enslaved by money and people encourage your vices to take over and you watch yourself turn into an egotistic hedonist. Over time you realise you can’t really buy what you need like companionship, an impartial opinion or true love because there’s no price on it. Right there and then you realise that all the money is worthless.
Can you picture that? No, me neither I just know a little more money would help pay all these bills so I can spend days laying on a beach somewhere. Money can’t buy you happiness but in the words of the great philosopher and visionary of our time Rick Ross “poverty is a sin.” FYI: Everyone has problems.