What MAKES People View Socioeconomic Wealth With Suspicion, Even Negatively

We have been taught by parents & other adult authoritative figures that it is good to strive for & attain success-but moderate success.  We are given CONFLICTING messages, stating that it is good, even great, to be successful but not TOO successful.
We have been taught by parents & other adult authoritative figures that it is good to strive for & attain success-but moderate success. We are given CONFLICTING messages, stating that it is good, even great, to be successful but not TOO successful.
American society glorifies, even deifies the middle class. The middle class is seen to represent wholesome & homespun values. The middle class is perceived to be successful yet humble, even unobtrusive in terms of its success.
American society glorifies, even deifies the middle class. The middle class is seen to represent wholesome & homespun values. The middle class is perceived to be successful yet humble, even unobtrusive in terms of its success.
While the middle class is deified, those who aspire to be wealthy are often demonized. They are going beyond the acceptable societal paradigm re:attaining success.In many eyes, wealthy people are seen as avaricious, immoral, conscienceless,even EVIL!
While the middle class is deified, those who aspire to be wealthy are often demonized. They are going beyond the acceptable societal paradigm re:attaining success.In many eyes, wealthy people are seen as avaricious, immoral, conscienceless,even EVIL!
Some even conclude that people who wish to attain wealth do so because they have unfulfilled needs/voids in their lives.  They maintain that if they were more fulfilled in their lives, they would not be so obsessive regarding attain wealth.
Some even conclude that people who wish to attain wealth do so because they have unfulfilled needs/voids in their lives. They maintain that if they were more fulfilled in their lives, they would not be so obsessive regarding attain wealth.

While It's GOOD Being Successful, Inordinate Success......Is BAD, Even E-VIL

Our society admires and avidly encourages success. We have been inculcated that success is a good, if not a great thing, to aspire to and achieve. Our role models are successful people who have overcame obstacles in their lives. We were also given another message regarding success-while it is admirable to strive for and attain success, one should not be TOO successful. Success, if it is to be achieved, should be on acceptable, even moderate levels.

America purports herself to be the society of the middle class. While being poor is viewed somewhat negatively in American society, oftentimes being wealthy is even viewed more negatively. It is often thought that the wealthy are overreached their bounds socioeconomically. American society is the society that reveres the Average Joe/Josephina because it is believed that such people have solid, homespun values. The idea is although they are successful, they are quite unobtrusive in terms of their success. Another idea is they do not let such success go to their heads.

The middle class is glorified in American society because they are deemed moderate and reasonable in terms of their success. They are seen to have strong and prudent values. They are considered to be quintessential Americans. The premise related to us that success is indeed good but only within certain parameters. Inordinate success is viewed as excessive, even obsessive. People who are overly ambitious are somehow viewed as flawed by many in our society and culture. It is routinely believed that they are pursuing success because of an unfulfilled void in their lives. In essence, it is argued that they are missing something in their lives whether it is friends, family, and/or other interests; if such were not the case, they would not be compensating for such missing component in their so-called extreme pursuit of success.

Highly successful and wealthy people are considered suspect because they dared to go beyond what is deemed acceptable and moderate levels of success. Wealth is oftentimes considered to be an eyesore. The reasoning behind such a premise is that while it is good to have a comfortable socioeconomic standard of living, anything beyond this is considered to be extravagant, wasteful, even greedy. It is strongly contended that people only need a sustainable income to live comfortably and find it quite odd that people want to attain wealth. To such people, wealth is considered the ultimate degree of pure avarice.


There are THOSE who view wealth as the source of many problems.They contend that wealth corrupt,even damage more important aspects of life such as family & relationships. They argue that people in pursuit of wealth often places wealth ABOVE all else.
There are THOSE who view wealth as the source of many problems.They contend that wealth corrupt,even damage more important aspects of life such as family & relationships. They argue that people in pursuit of wealth often places wealth ABOVE all else.
A few maintain that the pursuit/attainment of wealth diverts one from pursuing more important & substantial things in their lives.  It is their assertion that wealth is a just a transitory, even meangingless aspect of life.
A few maintain that the pursuit/attainment of wealth diverts one from pursuing more important & substantial things in their lives. It is their assertion that wealth is a just a transitory, even meangingless aspect of life.
There are people to whom pursuing/attaining a certain level of wealth is ethical, even moral. They contend that people can only use a CERTAIN amount of wealth & beyond that, wealth, in their eyes, is viewed as quite UNnecessary, wasteful, & useless.
There are people to whom pursuing/attaining a certain level of wealth is ethical, even moral. They contend that people can only use a CERTAIN amount of wealth & beyond that, wealth, in their eyes, is viewed as quite UNnecessary, wasteful, & useless.

Wealth Is.............PROBLEMATIC And UNNecessary


There are some people to whom socioeconomic wealth and the attainment are the sources of corruption and other problems. Their assertion is that wealth brings disrepair and creates havoc in families, relationships, and societies. They further argue that wealth corrupts, even debases, the true definition and the sanctity of family and relationships, placing money above and before all.


Some contend that it is fallacious that wealth improves the quality of life and standards of living. They insist that the obsessive pursuit of wealth causes people to divert their energies from more substantive components in their lives in order to focus such energies in so-called meaningless, even transitory pursuits. They feel that people who are consumed in pursuing wealth are missing the so-called more important and authentic components of life.


Others adamantly believe that attaining a moderate level of success and wealth are far more ethical, even moral than attaining wealth. They contend that people should acquire and use what they truly need and no more. They are of the school that avidly pursuing and attaining wealth is wasteful and the definition of avarice. They assert that people can only reasonably use a certain amount of wealth, arguing that people do not need more wealth than it is deemed necessary.

There are those who have a poverty/scarcity mindset, psychology & consciousness. To them, socioeconomic struggle & deprivation are viewed as normative ways of life. They refuse to envision a lifestyle beyond that of constant socioeconomic struggle.
There are those who have a poverty/scarcity mindset, psychology & consciousness. To them, socioeconomic struggle & deprivation are viewed as normative ways of life. They refuse to envision a lifestyle beyond that of constant socioeconomic struggle.
Others strongly contend that life w/o socioeconomic struggle is not an authentic life at all. They maintain that struggle, even deprivation, makes one morally stronger & resilient.They see wealthy people as morally inferior, even SPOILED.
Others strongly contend that life w/o socioeconomic struggle is not an authentic life at all. They maintain that struggle, even deprivation, makes one morally stronger & resilient.They see wealthy people as morally inferior, even SPOILED.
Others believe that being poor, even being in poverty, is far morally nobler than being wealthy. They maintain that poor people have a more spiritual nature & purer outlook in life than wealthy people whom they believe are morally jaded.
Others believe that being poor, even being in poverty, is far morally nobler than being wealthy. They maintain that poor people have a more spiritual nature & purer outlook in life than wealthy people whom they believe are morally jaded.
Some cite religious teachings that confirm their view that in order to be truly spiritually attuned & connected, one must be poor.To them, wealth is the antithesis of spiritual values & is the ULTIMATE falsehood.
Some cite religious teachings that confirm their view that in order to be truly spiritually attuned & connected, one must be poor.To them, wealth is the antithesis of spiritual values & is the ULTIMATE falsehood.
Others view money & wealth as the ULTIMATE EVIL. They see the pursuit & attainment of wealth caused humanity to descend to a darker, lower level of existence. They further believe that humankind would be MUCH better if it didn't pursue wealth.
Others view money & wealth as the ULTIMATE EVIL. They see the pursuit & attainment of wealth caused humanity to descend to a darker, lower level of existence. They further believe that humankind would be MUCH better if it didn't pursue wealth.

Anti-Wealth, Mindset/Consciousness, POOR Is BETTER


There are some people who have a poverty mindset, psychology, and consciousness. They view socioeconomic struggle, even socioeconomic deprivation, as a normative and acceptable lifestyle. They cannot see a lifestyle beyond the most rudimentary socioeconomic existence. Since they are seemingly happy with their lifestyle, they refuse to understand why people would want to pursue and attain wealth. They are the ones who inculcate those with different views, psychologies, and mindsets regarding wealth that the attainment of wealth is out of their reach, informing them to be content with their station in life.


They view socioeconomic struggle and/or deprivation as quite ennobling, even character building. They are of the school that life is nothing if one does not do without socioeconomically. They take pride,,even rationalize,living at a subsistent level or just barely. They contend that they are better, more authentic people because such socioeconomic struggle makes them more appreciative and conscious of life. In their estimation, wealthy people are not as morally strong as they are because the latter have everything at their asking and disposal. They contend that wealthy people have it too good thus are spoiled because they do not have to struggle and/or being deprived socioeconomically.


There are people who glorify being poor. They maintain that being poor, even being in poverty, is far nobler and more spiritually authentic than being wealthy. Many cite religious dogma and citations that being poor makes one more attuned to spiritual consciousness. They further denigrate wealth as antithetical to spiritual values. They proclaim that wealth and its related values such as materialism are taking humankind away from its original state of consciousness and lowering it to a more darker aspect of existence. They see the pursuit and attainment of wealth as the ultimate falsehood.


Others see wealth and money as the ultimate evil. They were inculcated in such a premise from childhood by their parents and religious authorities. To them, wealthy people are utterly conscienceless and devoid of the core component of morality. Such people perceive wealthy people as being ruthless, putting money above the needs and good of humanity. They view wealthy people as more connected to and concerned with the physical and temporal world than the spiritual world.


There are THOSE who envy the wealthy. After, wealthy people are subjects of curiosity, even intense fascination. If such weren't the case, there wouldn't be countless magazines & tv programs re: wealthy people. They SECRETLY wish they're WEALTHY.
There are THOSE who envy the wealthy. After, wealthy people are subjects of curiosity, even intense fascination. If such weren't the case, there wouldn't be countless magazines & tv programs re: wealthy people. They SECRETLY wish they're WEALTHY.
Despite many rationalizing their socioeconomically moderate lifestyle, they fantasize about being wealthy & the many accoutrements that go with socioeconomic wealth. They seem to have an ambivalent  relationship with socioeconomic wealth.
Despite many rationalizing their socioeconomically moderate lifestyle, they fantasize about being wealthy & the many accoutrements that go with socioeconomic wealth. They seem to have an ambivalent relationship with socioeconomic wealth.
To many people, wealthy people live a stratospheric life. The latter, due to their wealth, have UNLIMITED lifestyle choices whereas theirs are more limited. Many are quite unhappy at the prospect that wealthy people have MORE opportunities & choices.
To many people, wealthy people live a stratospheric life. The latter, due to their wealth, have UNLIMITED lifestyle choices whereas theirs are more limited. Many are quite unhappy at the prospect that wealthy people have MORE opportunities & choices.
Others HATE the rich because they have the power &clout that they DON'T have.Money does talk & exert influence.They know that they AREN'T powerful they aren't wealthy.To them, the wealthy HAVE ownership in addition to THE MEANS to make things HAPPEN.
Others HATE the rich because they have the power &clout that they DON'T have.Money does talk & exert influence.They know that they AREN'T powerful they aren't wealthy.To them, the wealthy HAVE ownership in addition to THE MEANS to make things HAPPEN.
Some feel that the wealthy are RESPONSIBLE for the former's socioeconomic predictament. They see it's the wealthy who are outsourcing,downsizing,even eliminating their jobs,reducing them into an even more perilous socioeconomic situation.
Some feel that the wealthy are RESPONSIBLE for the former's socioeconomic predictament. They see it's the wealthy who are outsourcing,downsizing,even eliminating their jobs,reducing them into an even more perilous socioeconomic situation.
There are those who are barely ekeing out a living, believing that no one should be wealthy while others are struggling. They contend that the wealthy are out of touch elitists who have their own agenda, not being concerned with anyone else.
There are those who are barely ekeing out a living, believing that no one should be wealthy while others are struggling. They contend that the wealthy are out of touch elitists who have their own agenda, not being concerned with anyone else.

ENVY, Even HATRED of ............the Wealthy


Believe or not, there are people who envy, even hate, the wealthy. Although they may rationalize their socioeconomically moderate, even poor, lifestyle, they see the wealthy as living the life that they wish that they could live. People, rather they are willing to admit it or not, secretly wish that they were wealthy. If that was not true, there would not be magazines geared to luxury and upscale lifestyle. In addition to that, there would not television programs and reality shows that spotlight the lifestyles of wealthy people.


To many people, wealthy people are like deities. They see wealthy people as living a rarified life, living at a level that very few people are able to live. In their purview, wealthy people do not have to worry about making a budget because they have unlimited discretionary income at their disposal. They know that wealthy people have more infinite avenues regarding lifestyle choices than they would conceivably have. Although they rationalize their more moderate lifestyle, subconsciously they are unhappy that their socioeconomic lifestyle provides limited lifestyle options.


In addition to this envy, there is hatred of the wealthy among some people. They see the wealthy as having clout and infuence whereas they have none. They also view the wealthy as having a sense of power and ownership over their lives while they are at the mercy of societal elements. They believe that the wealthy also have opportunities that they and their associates will never have.

They contend that the wealthy will never have to worry about socioeconomic outturns, upturns, and/or downturns whereas if something happens, it is THEY who will be affected. In their estimation, their socioeconomic situation is precarious at best and perilous at worst. They feel is if they are navigating a socioeconomic tightrope while the wealthy have it made in the shade.

If they are middle class, they view the wealthy as causing the demise of their class by continuously outsourcing their jobs or downsizing, even eliminating their jobs. They see the wealthy as the worst enemy to the middle class, causing them to become poorer, even the upper lower class. They feel the wealthy as unattuned to and unconcerned with their feelings and predictament. They maintain that the wealthy are a bunch of selfish, out of touch elitists who could care less about them.

There are a few who hate the wealthy because they are socioeconomically living below water, just barely ekeing out an existence. They contend that why should there be wealthy people why they are struggling to live at a subsistent level. They see the wealthy as living a life which they deem to be excessive, even extravagant. They are quite overwhelmed and powerless, even angry, regarding their socioeconomic situation. Simultaneously, they feel that if they had some of that wealth, their lives would be a.......little, if not much, easier. They hate the wealthy because the latter have such a sweeter life while their life if one can it that is a constant purgatorial existence.

Many people's attitude, mindset, & attitude regarding pursuing & attaning wealth oftentimes influence thus preclude them from ever being wealthy thus locking them in a perpetual state of socioeconomic struggle.
Many people's attitude, mindset, & attitude regarding pursuing & attaning wealth oftentimes influence thus preclude them from ever being wealthy thus locking them in a perpetual state of socioeconomic struggle.

Conclusion

In our society, success and attainment of wealth is encouraged within certain limits. The pursuit and attainment of wealth is oftentimes against the paradigm of the middle class lifestyle. There are those who view the pursuit and attainment of wealth as bordering on the obsessive, if not excessive. Highly ambitious and successful people are oftentimes demonized, thought of having a void in their lives.

Our society has a cult of averageness, particularly socioeconomic averageness. This explains why the middle class is viewed as the idea class in our society. The middle class is considered to be somewhat wealthy but not in a threatening way. People who are interested in wealthy are viewed as materialistic, even greedy. It is commonly thought why have more than what is considered to be enough. Then there are religious inculcations that state that the pursuit of wealth is evil.

The wealthy are envied, even hated because they have the lifestyle which others wish that they had although the latter are quite hesitant to acknowledge this. Many people who rationalize their moderate, even poor, socioeconomic status, are unhappy that they have limited lifestyle choices and options. They are also fearful of the precarious socioeconomic climate. If the socioeconomic situation changes for the worse, they would be in even worse socioeconomically. Many people's outlooks and purviews regarding wealth actually influence and preclude them not to pursue wealth thus remaining in a socioeconomic state beset with struggle.

© 2014 Grace Marguerite Williams

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Comments 10 comments

Janice Horner 2 years ago

There is nothing wrong with having wealth, provided you do not use this to control other people!

Looking down the nose at people who do not have a more than the healthy bank account, is total arrogance, which I will never tolerate from anyone! Snobs, are silly people. I prefer intelligent, nice people who accept others from all walks of life!

Anyone, lucky enough to have 'wealth,' should think themselves very lucky!


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Thank you for your eloquent response, it is greatly appreciated in kind!


Melinda Longoria profile image

Melinda Longoria 2 years ago from Garland, Texas

Sometimes, people can appear "wealthy" but they are living on credit cards and loads of debt. They are living beyond their means to keep up with the Joneses. Where are their priorities?


VJGSA profile image

VJGSA 2 years ago from Texas

I have been around people who are envious of people who have wealth and want that wealth as well. Yet, condemn those who have it by saying that they were sneaky, ignored their families while obtaining wealth, cheated, etc. etc. I stand there thinking: rather than condemn those who have it, why not discover how they got it and perhaps adopt their methods?


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Thank you, however, people would rather negate & hate than to access their dire socioeconomic situation, take responsibility,plan, organize, and implement their goals. It is much easier for the masses to make excuses & be haters. How sad indeed!


VJGSA profile image

VJGSA 24 months ago from Texas

I was raised in Texas along the Mexican border. When people who were unquestionably low income, but drove new Caddys, we automatically thought to ourselves: drug trade. People who we would know to be poor one day, but practically over night built a mansion (what would pass for mansions in our area) again, we thought: drug trade. That seems to be nature - suspicious of people who earn their wealth.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 24 months ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Thank you for stopping by and adding to the discussion.


Kylyssa profile image

Kylyssa 22 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

First let me say that lumping an entire class of people together is invariably wrong on multiple levels. I think the vast majority of wealthy people are perfectly normal human beings and that quite a few of them are extraordinarily lovely people. For example, I adore Bill Gates and think he's one of the most amazing people of our era.

I think the perception that multi-billionaires are evil comes from the very few but very visible wealthy people who, to put it a bit melodramatically, use their wealth for evil. The problem lies in the fact that a handful of incredibly unethical, extremely rich people can harm millions of lives with literally no legal repercussions.

People see the people harming them and generalize. Generalizing about an entire class is wrong but people do it all the time. For instance, I've known middle class people who think all poor people are morally corrupt and stupid. I've met people afraid of black people because somebody they knew once knew somebody who was hurt by a black person. Generalizing like that is wrong but it seems to be part of human nature.

If multi-billionaires didn't have such massive power over everyone who has less, I think people would resent them less. They get to control our laws and our lives and that upsets a lot of people. Not many wealthy people try to control the lives of others but those who do so do it on a massive scale.

Just knowing that another person is above the law makes people around that person uneasy. Knowing there's an entire class of people who are above the law is pretty scary even if the vast majority never break the law.

It's not the luxuries that most people are jealous of but the ridiculous amount of power individual billionaires are given over their lives that frightens them.

When multi-billionaires use their wealth to redefine rape, deny human rights to gays, control what textbooks get used in public schools, uphold the "right" to bully, control access to medical care, and limit access to birth control it irritates the people whose lives are affected. They also own law enforcement, jails, and prisons and manipulate the laws to keep them full of people who can't afford to buy their way out. And they let people buy their way out of prison!

It's frightening that a wealthy thief or wealthy violent criminal or one with wealthy backers can lay out some money and get back on the street in days or even hours.

Because the wealthy can buy their way out of legal repercussions for everything right up through negligent homicide to intentional murder, they sometimes do so. In many communities it's an open secret that festers. It's sad the resentment has the wrong and far too broad a focus, but it isn't surprising.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 22 months ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Thank you for your response.


Debrah 22 months ago

You put the lime in the cocnuot and drink the article up.

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