The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions



There is a convenient myth that rich people are not happy.  It is convenient to the non-rich, as it justifies being non-rich.  After all, who wants to be unhappy?

During my decades of exposure to both groups, I have found no difference in the happiness level of either group.  An exception might be those rich who were born with modest means.  I suspect their happiness results not from their possessions but from their sense of accomplishment.  Otherwise, both the rich and the non-rich have a similar capacity for happiness.

The group evidencing the least happiness, in my opinion, are the children of rich people — not all, of course, but I have found the most likely to be unhappy are the children who are “pursy” or “purse-proud”, which means they feel pride in their wealth without any other distinction.  You know the type – “I am rich, therefore I am better than other people.”  Parents who made themselves rich would be wise to hide their justified pride from their children and to teach them humility instead.  That is the antidote to pursy!

Like all parenting advice, it sounds so easy . . . and is so un-wanted.

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