A recent study showed that the 85 richest people in the world have as much money as the poorest three billion (which can’t be that much, I mean, those three billion people are poor). Now, I’m sure most of you are pretty upset to hear that. (I assume you’re all poor too — that’s why you’re so nasty to Rob Ford, because he’s rich and you’re not. And no, I won’t introduce you.) But I’m here to tell you why you’re wrong. Why you, the poorest three billion, should be happy you don’t have the problems of those 85 people.
Sure, having billions of dollars might sound like a lot of fun at first. You can buy cars, and boats, and the basic necessities of life. But it’s also a lot of work, and you don’t want that, because you’re lazy (that’s why you’re poor).
For instance, when you have billions of dollars, there’s a lot of “legal loopholes” and “moving money around” that you have to do to make sure that the government can’t tax you to provide services to those lazy poor people. (Of course I don’t mean actually physically moving money around, because rich people don’t do physical labour — that’s what you lazy poor people are for.) Imagine all the stress that’s involved with making sure that the government doesn’t really know how much money you’re making so you can pay the minimum amount of taxes possible on your billions of dollars. Meanwhile, all you poor people have to worry about is trying to keep your heat on each month.
And sure, it might seem super-cool to have more than you need. For instance, you might think it would be cool to have a garage full of cars. But, when you have 79 cars to choose from, that also means having to fuel and maintain 79 cars to make sure they are always available to choose from. And you, poor guy? — You get stressed from trying to keep just one car fuelled and hoping that your ’96 Trans-Am doesn’t break down again on the highway, because you can’t afford another unexpected expense this month!
And isn’t deciding what you’re going to eat for dinner every night difficult enough already? I mean, you get off from working your double shift, take the hour-long bus ride home, and then have to decide what to cook up. Now, imagine if you actually had more choices than Kraft Dinner and Ichiban Noodles.
Trust me, you don’t want that.
And sure, you might think that a lot of these “problems” I’m saying the super-rich have are solved by their ability to hire poor people (like you) to do the work for them. But just think about that … having all those people working for you could get mighty stressful.
I mean, how are you supposed to trust that your maids, and chefs, and valets, and butlers, aren’t stealing from you? (After all, they’re poor, while you have so much stuff you probably wouldn’t even miss what they stole). Look, just be glad that all you have to worry about is not getting murdered when you walk home from work every night.
Take solace in knowing that the complicated stresses of the rich, the having to hide your billions of dollars, the having to maintain multiple cars, the not trusting your servants, and the having too much food to eat, are not problems you have.
You have the straightforward problems of the poor, like “How am I going to pay rent, and pay my bills, and buy food … so I can live another day?”
Ahh, the simple life!
Nathaniel Moher is a television writer living in Vancouver. This column first appeared in The Flying Shingle.