Plutus Award winner and regular guest on the 2 Guys and Your Money podcast, Len Penzo, got some airtime from Dave Ramsey. MSN Money featured Len’s “What’s it like to be a billionaire” article (click here for the original post), which Dave was inclined to read during the 3rd hour on January 7th, 2013.
Len’s literary piece
It is an unusual look of how much your income can purchase when compared to lower-income earners. By the way, if you are reading this post you are probably a lower-income earner when compared to Amancio Ortega, who earned more than $18 Billion last year.
Dave Ramsey contemplates how this really works in the average American’s mind. It’s about ratios. “When you start thinking about judging what other people spend”, Dave said, “have you ever noticed that the level of car that you drive is the level of car that is holy?”
He further commented about this mindset that “If anyone has a nicer car than you then [you think] they spent too much on their car and they should have spent less and given it to the poor – that they’re not as Christian as you?”
“By the way, your car is nicer than 96% of the rest of the world. The same applies to your house: Your house is the holy level of house. Anyone that has a house that is ten times as nice as yours then you can’t be holy. That’s unspiritual”, Dave said.
Beware the green monster
Jealousy drives people’s feelings about other people’s big purchases when it doesn’t fit into their income/spending class. What I mean by that is we, as humans, constantly want what we can’t have. That causes us to do one of three things:
- Whine about how our situation prohibits us from ever having something so nice
- Complain and moan until someone feels so bad for us that they buy us something (kids are great at this)
- Promote socialistic ideals (the redistribution of wealth principle)
None of these are good for us or for the person we are envious of. The green monster bursts out of our spirit as if it were the Incredible Hulk.
I covet like everyone else
I find myself doing this often, wanting things other people have and thinking I should have one because “I work hard”. I change my mindset quickly by thinking about the little girl we sponsor in India. They truly are lower-income earners, making only a few dollars a month, yet they seem to get by without the latest smart-phone or luxury transportation vehicle.
Thinking about that makes me realize how truly blessed I really am to have clean water, a furnace powerful enough to warm the entire house, and the freedom to buy anything on Len’s What It Feels Like list – so long as I have the cash for it!
How about you? Do you have ways to beat the green monster of jealousy?