Here’s a rundown of The Martini Report on Slate; the article originally appeared on Inc, though. The headline might as well be: “Rich People … They’re Just Like Us!”
I grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There’s some real wealth there, for sure. My zip code and the three-four surrounding zip codes are always on the goddamn “Richest Zip Codes” lists. I enjoyed my childhood for the most part (that’s for another post, or maybe a fucking novella of some kind), but the wealth aspect always terrified, confused, and various other emotions-that-can-become-verbs me. Rich people can be extremely down to Earth and fun — I have met dozens like that — but they can also be terrifying and stodgy and make you feel like less of a human being, and that’s a lot of what the UES (that’s fancy slang for the Upper East Side) brings out in my personal ethos.
When I see reports about “the spending habits of the rich,” it always makes me want to gag. People present this data as if it’s something new or revolutionary. For example, in this article, there’s a big up-sell on how the rich are super intertwined with technology. They use Amazon and, often, Amazon Prime! They have smartphones and book things from them, including air travel!
What the ever-loving shit?
Of course rich people use Amazon — half the battle of being rich is staying rich, and if you can get things cheaper and faster via a service, you’ll do it. And of course the rich are technologically-interwoven: the other half of the battle of being rich is being hip and current within your friend set, and Apple / cool technology helps greatly with that. Do you think Apple might become the first trillion-dollar company solely on the credit card information of the paupers? Nay.
I wanted to cram a stick of dynamite in my butt on this one:
The objective of the report was to learn more about the wealthy so that brands can better target them in their advertising. It looked at four subcategories of the affluent consumer: The aspiring affluent are those above 40 years old who make $75,000 to $99,000. The emerging affluent who are between ages 18 to 39 making $75,000 to $99,000 a year. The mass affluent makes $100,000 to $249,000, and hyper affluent makes $250,000 or more.
What DA FUQ? There’s a group of people in the world classified as “emerging affluent?”
Then there’s this:
What differentiates them, however, is how much of the national spending they account for. The affluent make up 65 percent of all US dollars spent on cruises, 60 percent spent on suits, 54 percent on hotels, 52 percent on airfares, 47 percent on online videos, and 42 percent on new cars.
No shit, ya pig. Why would an average middle-class person go on a cruise or buy numerous suits? Don’t even get me started on fucking hotel prices.
There’s an endless fascination in American society with contextualizing the relationship between “THE HAVES” — rich people, celebrities — and the “HAVE-NOTS” (me/you/our friends). It’s pointless. Live your life in the best way possible for you, and try to make something of it with the talents and abilities God and your parents provided you with.
But of course, take some solace in the fact that the dude four subdivisions over making $250K — a “HYPER-AFFLUENT” — is also buying printer paper from Amazon Prime, just like your lowly self.
Jesus Christ. I need a drink.