Monday, July 30, 2007

Poor Little Rich Kids

From the front page of the Boston Globe-Democrat comes this truly tragic tale of woe:

When David Ludlow's wife died in a climbing accident 11 years ago, her death transformed him into a multimillionaire: He inherited Vanda Sendzimir's share of her family fortune, a $5 million trust that generates an annual interest of about $300,000. Then a freelance photographer with a passion for social justice issues, the Jamaica Plain man was plunged into a swirl of shock, guilt, and confusion.

"I've always been very left-wing politically and all of a sudden I was living incredible inequality," said Ludlow, 64. "Suddenly I was in the upper 1 percent of the population in terms of wealth, and I felt terrible about that for a long time."

He felt "terrible." Shock, guilt, confusion. How can he possible live with...ALL THIS MONEY?!

Poor David.

He's not alone. It turns out, according to the Globe-Democrat, that there are many other wealthy people just like poor (rich?) Dave, suffering from the infliction of TMI (Too Much Income). There are so many of these "Poor Me" Millionaires that they've actually started their own club: The 50% League. They give away half of their well-gotten gains in order to atone for the sin of success.

Why can't more people be like Frank Butler, a retired chief executive of a subsidiary of Kodak?

"I always dip into principle," Butler, 77, told the Globe-Democrat. He and his wife have a "substantial retirement savings" that is more than enough to pay their bills for the rest of their lives. But Frank also collects an annual pension and Social Security income of $80,000 a year.

I bet all those struggling, low-income workers getting pounded by Social Security taxes are thrilled to know that Frank's giving their money away to make himself feel better about being wealthy. Now THAT'S social justice!

But Frank Butler and his wife aren't just thinking of themselves: "Their goal is to have spent all their wealth by the time they die, leaving no inheritances for their two daughters."

See? He's going to keep his children from suffering by giving their inheritance away first! What a thoughtful guy. After all, why should your children benefit just because you worked hard, invested, took risks, etc? Aren't other people's kids just as entitled to your wealth as your kids are? What--you think your family is special?

No, no, no. They're just strangers who happen to live in your house. Your money is everyone else's money, so give it away! Preferrably to "social justice" organizations that lobby the government to raise taxes on those greedy bastards who try to pass their wealth on to their own kids.

We'll show 'em! Hillary Clinton will put every successful American worker into the 50% League.

Whether they like it or not.