“Too Much” Money?
When do you have “too much?”
And who makes the determination?
If you’re working in a high profile job and you’re earning $300,000 a year, is that “too much” money? Should you have to forfeit some of your income because it’s “more than you need?” Should you have to “help others” with it? Should you be required to “share your good fortune?”
Some guy named Anthony Bourdain was on TV the other day bitching about Paula Deen. Seems he feels Paula makes too much money and she “doesn’t need” all that. I’m not necessarily a huge fan of Paula Deen — I do like some of her recipes — but wtf? Why is this guy worried about how much she’s earning? Well, come to find out Mr. Bourdain (who works for the Travel Network) has a special hatred for Food Network chefs in general, and Paula Deen is just one of his many targets. So it’s easy to dismiss him and his rantings because he’s clearly got some kind of a bias.
But I was talking to a friend about this, and remarked about Mr. Bourdain being an asshat who needs to learn to mind his own business and not worry about what other people earn and my friend replied “fair enough, but come on, does Paula Deen really need all that money? Why isn’t she helping more people with it?”
WHAT THE HELL?
Let’s totally discount the fact that we have no freaking clue what Paula Deen does with her money. For all we know she’s bringing the homeless blankets and supper five days a week and footing the medical bills for her hometown. We don’t know and it’s none of our damned business. But again, let’s discount that. Let’s say she spends her evenings sitting at home counting her money while wearing custom-made gold lamé underoos.
Why does Paula Deen (or Bill Gates or Richard Branson or anybody else) need to “help” anyone if they don’t want to? I’d like Paula to write me a check for $50k so I can fix up my house. Should she somehow stumble upon this post and decide hey, you know what, I want to send this woman $50k, well then I’ll gratefully accept it and cheerfully tell everyone that my home renovations are courtesy of Paula Deen. Hell I’ll put a sign in my front yard that says as much. Should she stumble upon this post and laugh her ass off, I’ll fully understand — and expect — that reaction too. She doesn’t owe me — or you, or anyone else — a damn cent.
What the hell is wrong with people that they think the rich have to “share” or “help” anyone? Why should you have to be “responsible” with your money? I don’t care how much money you have. I don’t care if $50k is a drop in the bucket for you. I don’t care if you wipe your ass with hundred dollar bills and papered the walls in your family room with $50′s. It’s your money, why on earth should anyone expect to get a voice in how you spend it?
If I ever become rich, I will help myself and my family first. Once my family’s needs are met, I’ll be helping the people I love. If I have money left over after that, more than my family and loved ones need, then I’ll be helping others with it. You know why? Because that’s my decision to do so. Not because I “should” or because it’s expected of me, but because I will choose to do so.
I don’t understand people thinking they deserve a share of someone else’s hard work or good fortune. You want more money? Earn it. You can’t earn as much as you want? Revise your expectations and live within your means. The American Dream is alive and well — let’s keep it that way.