‘Working Class’ Does Not Mean ‘Works A Lot’

NYTimes has an article (requires NYTimes registration) on all those multi-millionaires in Silicon Valley that are deluding themselves that they aren’t in the top 1% of the country’s wealthy:

“I know people looking in from the outside will ask why someone like me keeps working so hard,” Mr. Steger says. “But a few million doesn’t go as far as it used to. Maybe in the ’70s, a few million bucks meant ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,’ or Richie Rich living in a big house with a butler. But not anymore.”

Maybe if you moved out of one of the highest cost-of-living areas of the country?

Silicon Valley is thick with those who might be called working-class millionaires — nose-to-the-grindstone people like Mr. Steger who, much to their surprise, are still working as hard as ever even as they find themselves among the fortunate few. Their lives are rich with opportunity; they generally enjoy their jobs. They are amply cushioned against the anxieties and jolts that worry most people living paycheck to paycheck.

I call bullshit on that. Part of the definition of ‘working class’ these days is the anxiety that a health setback or sudden unpredicted expense will shoot you down the hole.
Working class does not equal works a lot.
Could the glamour of the bootstrap be fading? Isn’t bootstrap just another way to say working your ass off and trying not to starve your kids?

To Mr. Milletti, it all looks like a marathon with no finish line. “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.

Yes, there, but not everywhere else. Why don’t you just move? Who are you trying to impress? Get over yourself. You’re not that special.

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About Andy Wibbels

Andy is an award-winning blogger and author of the book Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Wired, Business Week, Forbes, and other national and international media. He was worked at several San Francisco startups including Typepad, Get Satisfaction, SInMobi, Keas, and Mindjet. Currently, Andy is Director of Marketing at Lucidworks. Tw · Fb · G+ · Li

3 thoughts on “‘Working Class’ Does Not Mean ‘Works A Lot’

  1. Dave Zirnhelt

    Indeed Andy. If you’re smart enough to make a few million, you can probably figure out a way to save some and live off of it effortlessly for the rest of your and your family’s life.


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