There was a song back in the 1980’s that went something like… “I wanna be rich,” that was the chorus. One of the verses went on to say, “I want money, lots and lots of money/I want the pie in the sky/I want money, lots and lots of money/So don’t be asking me why…” and then it would go back to the chorus – something like that.
The song was by Calloway circa 1989, and although it is almost thirty years old, what the song is about is something that many people have often said – makes the world go round. Money. Even more than that, being rich. Filthy rich. Yet, it is not only the idea of being rich and wealthy but also the status that constantly and consistently separates humanity. The nomenclature for it – Middle Class and the One Percent, Lower-Middle Class, etc. These degrees of separation affect how we view the world, our reality depending on what class we are in, and usually those that are outside of the rich and wealthy peer up to, or at least gaze directly at, the others with a kind of mystique that is an everlasting want without a hope of ever attaining…
In most paupers’ minds, wealth is a degree of living that is usually associated with someone of the elite. It doesn’t matter if the person is literally royalty or not, but rather he or she has been born to a status that is seemingly untouchable no matter how bad those lesser than may want it. There is a clear separation from have nots and haves, not-rich and rich. For most people if they were to look in the mirror and say, “Who’s the richest of them all?” the mirror would not respond with their name, nor show their likeness… To be rich is an everlasting want, something unattainable to a degree, for most and for a reason.
What this missive is about in short is an introduction to a conversation that many Americans probably should have. Call it the starting point of a diatribe that opens the door to examine where we are as people, citizens, taxpayers, in our country – because our status, whether we like it or not, affects everything about us, from our fears to our ambitions, and in between all of that are the choices that we make. For most, money talk is hard to have, it is a topic that is glossed over but not having such conversation only sweeps understanding, and thus progress, under the rug. Maybe it’s time. Time to talk money, degrees of separation, and possibly how to close gaps.