Friday, July 27, 2007

Gilded Boorishness?

The gap between rich and poor is great, and there is plenty of want, and also confusion. What the superrich do for a living now often seems utterly incomprehensible, and has for at least a generation. There is no word for it, only an image. There's a big pile of coins on a table. The rich shove their hands in, raise them, and as the coins sift through their fingers it makes . . . a bigger pile of coins. Then they sift through it again and the pile gets bigger again.

A general rule: If you are told what someone does for a living and it makes sense to you--orthodontist, store owner, professor--that means he's not rich. But if it's a man in a suit who does something that takes him five sentences to explain and still you walk away confused, and castigating yourself as to why you couldn't understand the central facts of the acquisition of wealth in the age you live in--well, chances are you just talked to a billionaire.

Peggy Noonan elaborates on the relationship of "great wealth and lousy manners."

[My take: I don't think wealth has anything to do with it. Manners and the concept of nobleness receive far less attention than in the past.]


At 2:13 PM, Blogger Sarita said...

I agree with you. Manners are just not taught at school or at home- has nothing to do with tecnology or wealth.

At 9:26 PM, Blogger Michael Wade said...


I enjoy Noonan's columns but this one was a real stretch.


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