haves and have nots

The rich say to the poor: Our wealth isn’t as wonderful to have as you think; you’re piggish and immature to desire it so; and we are to be congratulated and admired for having it.

And not just about money, either.

9 thoughts on “haves and have nots

  1. If it’s true a rich man leads a sad life
    That’s what they say, from day to day
    Then what do the poor do with their lives?
    On judgment day, with nothin’ to say?
    I’ve been beat up, I’ve been thrown out
    But I’m not down, Oh I’m not down
    I’ve been shown up, but I’ve grown up
    And I’m not down, Oh I’m not down
    On my own I faced a gang of jeering
    In strange streets
    When my nerves were pumping out
    I fought my fear in, I didn’t run
    I was not done

  2. “The poor man has always a precise view of his problem and its remedy: he hasn’t enough and he needs more. The rich man can assume or imagine a much greater variety of ills and he will be correspondingly less certain of their remedy.”

  3. That’s a pretty concise summary of a great deal of the D. H. Lawrence novel I just read. The coal miners are all “shiftless” and “common” and basically animals that can talk, meanwhile the ruling classes are busy strangling each other and trying to beat each other’s heads in with paperweights but it is made clear that this is from an excess of the passion they feel because of their refinement and superiority. It is apparently because they are brutish that the coal miners don’t engage in this type of behavior; emotions proportionate in intensity to one’s circumstances are the hobgoblin of little minds. To burn always with a hard and gemlike flame is to be always ready to just totally whale on someone with little or no proximate cause.
    And it seriously doesn’t seem to occur to anyone in the book that the difference between shiftless and refined has a one-to-one correspondence with the difference between poor and rich. They seem to think it just kind of happened like that, naturally.

    1. What’s more, it’s not at all true that the rich are more passionate or more capable of abstracting from present cirucmstances. There’s just as much romantic intrigue going on in Brazzaville as in the fleshpots of Park Ave.
      Scratch that. There’s far more romantic intrigue going in Brazzaville.
      It’s just that poor people have other things to do in addition to pining, conniving, etc.

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