Monday, August 06, 2007

I am on vacation in Old Lyme, Conn. this week.

Luckily, you can get the New York Times here. Good story yesterday on the front page about working-class multi-millionaires. I had friends to the cottage (Nikko and Mike, Jen, Elizabeth, Blake, and Kim), and Brett is here, and we all got a kick out of the quote under the picture that was printed with the story. "A few million doesn't go as far as it used to." I really cannot comment on this quote from my own personal experience, but it does really hit on many key points.

First, I kind of feel bad for the people in the story. They are obviously very driven, but the reason they are driven is kind of interesting. They believe they don't deserve the money-- that it kind of fell in their laps because of the Internet boom. They think if they don't work hard, they could lose it all. And then where would they be? The answer, of course, is where they started: very smart, with a good career and in some cases, a good family. Yet this doesn't seem to be enough. One quote from one of the subjects that is also a nice summary:

"“Here, the top 1 percent chases the top one-tenth of 1 percent, and the top one-tenth of 1 percent chases the top one-one-hundredth of 1 percent,” he said.

“You try not to get caught up in it,” he added, “but it’s hard not to.”

In Australia, I have heard, people are content just being where they are. Is it ok to just make a couple hundred thousand dollars a year? In the U.S., of course not. In Australia.... sure.

NOTE: Article excerpt from New York Times, "In Silicon Valley, Millionaires Who Don't Feel Rich," by Gary Rivlin, August 5, 2007.

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