Why Are We So Quick to Ridicule the Wealthy?
WHY ARE WE SO QUICK TO RIDICULE THE WEALTHY? – I just read an article in the Daily Mail regarding Russian-born tycoon Leonid Blavatnik. With the word ‘tycoon’ thrown in it automatically conjures up images of extreme wealth and in Leonid Blavatnik’s case this is extremely true.
According to the recent Forbes Rich List Leonid (Len) Blavatnik has accumulated a personal fortune in excess of £11 billion. From his resume it is easy to establish that this guy is no dummy and amassing this type of fortune is never achieved through luck but rather through extreme hard work and careful due diligence.
Leonid Blavatnik is not the only multi-billionaire in the world the list is actually long and varied and includes famous people such as Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg.
The article by the Daily Mail (see the link above) details Leonid Blavatnik’s recent decision to refurbish his multi-million pound London mansion. Leonid Blavatnik purchased the Grade II Listed home in Kensington Palace Gardens, West London for £35 million and since then has undergone a transformation so that the property now includes:
¤ 13 Bedrooms
¤ 25 Metre Swimming Pool – The pool is unusual as it is divided between indoor and outdoor sections which certainly gives the home a very unique flavour.
¤ Huge Basement with Hot Tub, Gym, Massage Room, Cinema and a rather large Wine Cellar.
¤ Underground Multi-Storey Car Park which is accessible by a car-lift.
¤ To top it all off the home has a ‘state-of-the-art’ security system; including armoured glass windows.
From the picture and details it is clear to see that Leonid Blavatnik owns a beautiful home. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, it could in fact, for some, be just a little too big or even ostentatious, but for Leonid Blavatnik it’s perfect and affordable.
There is no denying that Leonid Blavatnik is a fortunate man and lives a lifestyle that most of could not truly comprehend or even imagine in our wildest dreams. For people like Leonid Blavatnik the world is his playground and he is in a position to indulge in whatever his passions may be; from buying expensive homes, owning a super yacht, travelling by private jet and buying any form of motor transport his heart desires – the world really is his oyster.
That’s the ‘bone’s of the article but this article is far from over. What I want to explore is why people like Leonid Blavatnik are often attacked in the online comment facilities most websites and blogs provide?
For Leonid Blavatnik it was the usual comments such as;
“How can one person have so much while there are people living on the streets of London?”
“Ah, he’s Russian, wonder how much of it was ill-gotten gains?”
“Who needs all that – it’s just sick.”
“Having all this money is simply vile.”
There were many other comments; some of a complimentary nature but for the bulk they were mainly snide remarks which leads me to my question in the heading:
Why Are We So Quick to Ridicule the Wealthy?
It is obvious that most of us will go through life struggling to make ends meet and when we see one person with so much it can, physiologically, make us feel depressed or even promote feelings of failure – the little voice inside our heads screaming at us; “Where did we go wrong?”
While many people are driven to exceed; generally to create wealth, there are others who strive to succeed just for the challenge of making something a success – this success of course is determined by how much money has been accumulated.
Take Mark Zuckerbery, the founder of Facebook. He is a multi-billionaire through his creation of Facebook, however he appears to live a very modest life; there are no flashy cars or huge mansions and he walks around wearing the same clothes all the time – the famous grey hoodie, jeans and sneakers.
For most multi-millionaire and billionaires the ideal of having all that money is to use it not just to create more but also to live life to the full. You often hear of tycoons, such as Roman Abramovich who is rather keen on ‘super yachts’ and in fact until recently owned the longest super yacht in the world; complete with its own missile defence system.
Again when we read these types of article the comments that accompany them are highly negative and I often wonder if this simply comes down to jealousy or the fact that those writing such negative comments simply would not know what to do with such wealth.
While I enjoy working at meebal.com I didn’t create it just because I had nothing else to do. I created it in the hope that other people just like you, would like to write articles, vent your frustrations or talk about the things you really like.
The idea was, and remains, to create a Social News site and in return make a fortune. Yes, I know that very few websites and blogs every make it to super stardom, but if you don’t try how will you ever know if something will be a success?
I have no grand illusions that meebal.com would ever be worth billions; for a start it would have to have at least 500 million registered users, and that’s a lot of people. But what I am hoping for is that it’ll be worth a few million within the next few years and someone will want to buy it.
While I won’t be able to live a billionaire lifestyle on a million dollar bank account I can assure you that I would be able to indulge in my passion, which is playing golf; but I want to play golf around the world.
This may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I can assure you I would be perfectly content to travel and play golf.
Going back to all the negative comments I look at these and wonder how many of these people actively and religiously buy their lottery tickets each week. I would assume that a large proportion of these people do, considering the overall number of people in the UK who buy lottery tickets each week is fairly high.
But what would they do with all this money? According to some of the comments they would find the inflated wealth obscene and yet I doubt very much if they would simply give it away. The most likely scenario is that these folks will be off to the nearest estate agent to upgrade their home with a stop-off on the way to order their new car.
The article about Leonid Blavatnik home is not the first time I have read an article about someone extremely wealth and the comments on this, and other articles I have read, appear to follow a set pattern; one that often displays that of deep resentment and jealousy.
Personally I like to take a different attitude which is; if you have earned it, enjoy it to the full and if a super yacht is your thing then why not? Life is about enjoyment and for some they are fortunate enough to be able to enjoy it to a greater level than others.
I take solace in the fact that there are many wealthy people in the world and that they enjoy their money because it makes me realise that if I really want my own private jet, super yacht or just the ability to play golf then that dream is attainable – these folks are living proof.
Before I close off this article you might be wondering how Leonid Blavatnik made his money and I’m sure the information below will quickly make you realise that Leonid Blavatnik is not only highly educated but he has over the years worked extremely hard and therefore no one would admonish him for his wealth or berate him for the lifestyle he leads – he earned it.
Making of a Billionaire - Leonid Valentinovich Blavatnik
Born Leonid Valentinovich Blavatnik in 1957 in the Soviet Union, he arrived penniless in the U.S. with his parents at the age of 21 but immediately took to American entrepreneurial capitalism.
After studying computer science at Columbia University in New York and attending Harvard Business School, he made an early fortune buying and selling apartments in Manhattan.
In May 2011 he bought Warner Music Group, in a $3.3billion all-cash buyout of the world’s third-largest music company, whose artists include Green Day, Metallica and Bruno Mars.
In February, he bought Parlophone Records, the once legendary record label, for £500 million.
Parlophone has the likes of Coldplay, Tinie Tempah and Blur on its roster and Blavatnik’s purchase makes him an even stronger power in the music game.