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Is it rude to be rich?

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Friday, August 26, 2011
Posted: 3 pm ET

Public perception of the rich has taken a beating since the recession. Where once the middle classes aspired to emulate the wealthy -- in many cases overextending their credit to appear richer -- now there's a certain morbid curiosity in observing the foreclosures and stock market losses among the financially privileged.

During the economy's long run, the number of millionaires and multimillionaires surged upward faster than at any other time in history. But that was yesterday -- before the economy tanked. As frugality has become fashionable in the years following the recession, those still spending on luxury were accused of being out of touch and self-centered. Many of the wealthy pulled back, embarrassed by public sentiment that it was irresponsible to drop scads of money on extravagant parties and private clubs. Charitable organizations also reported a drop in donations since the recession.

But of course, fiscal restraint from those who could afford to spend ended up hurting the people who own and work in the clubs, retail outlets, car dealerships and building industry, not to mention those who benefit from charity. There's no doubt that those who saved nothing and used credit to spend beyond their means needed a lesson on penny-pinching, but perhaps we should encourage those who've got it to flaunt it. In defense of the wealthy, conspicuous consumption on luxury items such as yachts and Rolex watches may look unseemly when others are struggling to hold on to a job, but spending helps the overall economy.

Should the rich spend it if they've got it?

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September 29, 2011 at 9:28 am

Being rich is not rude, it's all down to how you feel.
If your rich and happy then good for you, but if your rich and sad give your money to a homeless person.

September 01, 2011 at 8:24 am

Huh? What kind of an article or blog entry is this?

"Is it rude to be rich?"

Come on now, let's write something with substance next time.

August 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I've worked 18 hour days for 4 years. I'm "rich" and 22. No, it's not rude to be rich.

It's rude to constantly bash the rich, though. I'm really tired of being bashed by every group of people on earth because I'm not worried about my next meal. It's sad that people get so angry during recession that they focus on bashing those with more rather than figure out a way to get more themselves.

Alan Smithee
August 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm

It is no more rude to be rich than it is to be poor. For those with means earned with their own effort it is not inappropriate to spend or save or do the watoosi. You earned it dispose of it as you will.
For inherited wealth, I am personally of the opinion that it is always in bad taste to not contribute (not $$ someone else earned but contribute your mental or physical labor to the civilization that protects your right to that wealth) individually while resting on the laurels of one's dead relatives. The idle wealthy annoy me, the idle wealthy who are wealthy by ingeritance- we should put them against the wall with the lawyers.
Inherited wealth is as pernicious as inherited poverty (multi-generatonal welfare families).