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Although there is an obvious distinction between the two types of affluent in this country, I would first like to point out one thing; money is great. I’m not saying money is the source of all happiness, but if there is one thing I know, it sure as hell isn’t the root of all evil either. Money serves as the great incentive which makes this country productive. Without currency, there would be no way of knowing how much something is worth and there would be no way of rewarding those who work harder (gold star stickers might have sufficed in the eastern bloc, but this is America God Dammit). The point I’m trying to make is that we live in a capitalist society, and money turns its gears. The problem I want to address is the fact that some people don’t see a difference between net-worth and merit anymore.
First of all, let me explain that old and new money have little to do with how much you make, and a lot more to do with how you make it. Old money blue-bloods tend to have history behind their wealth. From the Rockefellers to the Vanderbilts, if you’ve heard your last name in a history book, chances are you might be from old money. Now, not all old money families are like this. You would still be considered old money if the family wealth has been passed down quite a way before reaching you.
New money, or the Nouveau Riche, refers to people who have acquired wealth within their generation. The Silicon Valley dot comers, lawyers who have taken on big cases, and those who have learned to play the stock market and win could all be considered new money. There is nothing wrong with this at all, America is all about finding opportunity to raise your socioeconomic status and I truly do not understand why new money is looked down upon by some of you readers claiming to be from old money. This isn’t India; we don’t have a caste system.
Where I am from, the new money in the state tends to stay toward South Beach so they can flaunt, while the old money families settle down in the historical northern half. Florida is a weird state, it’s full of GDIs and riff-raff, but it is a prime example of why new money used to be a bad word. Flaunting is arrogance; it misrepresents the wealthy as people who look down on society instead of those who have worked hard to earn their spot within it.
However, lately I’ve noticed that a lot of people who claim to be “old money” are the ones who have been preaching their superiority complexes to the open forums of this website. If that doesn’t reek of GDI, I don’t know what else could. The whole allure of being from old money is that you don’t talk about it, it’s something that you’ve grown up with and it is understood that wealth is nothing to brag about. Furthermore, if you brag about coming into an inheritance or the prospect of one day running the family business, I will undoubtedly consider you less of a man. Stop living under Daddy’s coat-tails. It’s one thing to perpetuate the success of your family fortune through hard work at the company; it’s another to brag about work you have never done yourself. The new money may not have a lineage, but if they are modest about their earnings then they are damn sure better than a trust fund baby who mooches off grandpa’s dime. Quit ruining your family’s good name and get to work.
I know this seems like a rant, but when it comes down to it maybe some of you kids need a good ranting. It goes against the entire greek culture to believe you are better than someone because of how much money you make. Merit is the name of the game here, brothers, and I will hold a man who makes a modest living in higher regard than the son of a bitch who makes more money than God if the modest man isn’t a showboat. What happened to judging a man by his actions? Did all of you forget that along the way to the fucking clubhouse bar? Money should never be held as a character trait. New or old, if you talk about your money, you’re doing it wrong.