To the Editor:
Your April 12th article “The Myth of the Rich” was a laughable defense of class warfare, yet again trotting out the tired tropes of the idle rich and the working poor. Don’t make me laugh. Of course the rich work harder than the poor.
Just ask my father, a man who clawed his way up from upper-middle-class hell to become a multi-millionaire based on nothing but effort, a meager $300,000 inheritance and the noble desire to support his 37-year-old son financially.
Look, it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, a nobody or my father, there’s only one way to succeed in this world, and that’s by working your butt off. So to the low-class losers complaining about income disparity, claiming the deck is stacked against them and blaming everyone but themselves, I say boohoo, get a job!
Do you honestly think my father, a man in his seventies who still supports two fully-grown children, complains when he goes to work every single day? Do you think he spends his free time, what little of it he has, whining that he has virtually no chance of retiring because his daughter paid out of pocket to record an LP that Pitchfork described as “confusing”? Heck no, he understands that in a capitalistic society the only guarantee is hard work.
That’s why he wakes up at 5am every day, holding meetings with the wealth manager overseeing his kids’ trust fund before most people get out of bed. That’s why he works 70 hours a week, even if it means emotionally abandoning his children to the point that his son once called the family therapist “daddy.” Can you claim the same? Well, then maybe you should look inside yourself before blaming everyone else for your empty bank account.
As David Brooks put it in a 2016 column, “for the first time in human history, the rich work longer hours than the proletariat.”
And before you get your poor panties in a bunch, just know this isn’t just some offhand anecdote. I’ve seen it. Just the other morning I was at a bar full of low-class leeches, who could barely finish their game of darts with me, much less get a job.
How many times have you seen someone lounging in a tent on a busy street corner, when they could be at work? You think my father wouldn’t like to go camping in Downtown Los Angeles on a Wednesday afternoon? But he knows it’s that or Coachella for the kids, and then he heads right back into that office.
Poor people blame everyone else for their problems. Well, maybe if they went out and worked their butts off for five decades, they’d have enough money to float two fully grown kids, one of whom has a substantial drug habit and another who claims to be a handbag designer but who really spends her free time all wrapped up in some Kundalini yoga sh*t that no one understands.
The fact of the matter is, poor people, if you don’t have a job, a credit shelter trust or a bypass trust, maybe you shouldn’t have an iPhone. If you spend your days buying lottery tickets, instead of diversifying your portfolio in real estate, index or bond funds, intangible assets and cryptocurrency, then maybe you just don’t have the drive to succeed.
Stop waiting for a handout! My father didn’t have someone to coddle him, making sure he always had everything he wanted, no matter how ostentatious or pricey. His parents didn’t buy him a trip to Ibiza for his 16th birthday or get D.B. Sweeney to direct his high school production of The Music Man. They didn’t pay his way into one of the lesser Seven Sister schools, only to see him flunk out thanks to a pretty healthy coke habit. They didn’t buy him a condo in Santa Monica, which he never had to pay rent on, and promise him that they understood he had more of an artistic soul, and could take his time getting his sh*t together.
No, my father grew up in a generation where you worked and you didn’t complain or make up excuses. Where you didn’t blame your 2.2 GPA, or the unexplainable work gaps on your spelling error riddled rezume, or the fact that you just needed to work on yourself for a bit and couldn’t do that while holding down some menial job.
“Liberals talk about circumstances; conservatives talk about character,” Paul Krugman once wrote, stating that for the rich failure is, “all about not trying hard enough”.
So the next time you think you’ve done enough, worked hard enough, for enough hours, take a look in the mirror. If you don’t see my father staring back at you, screaming that he went back to work two days after having a heart attack because his daughter was uncomfortable working with Mercury in retrograde, then maybe you just don’t understand that hard work is the ONLY secret to success.
Brewer Calloway, Entrepreneur