Updated on 03.29.10

You’ll Never Get Ahead With Resentment, Jealousy, and Hate Inside You

Trent Hamm

When I was younger, I used to have a great deal of resentment towards rich people. I often felt like they were greedy. I believed that they had somehow “cheated” to get where they were at. Yet, at the same time, I desperately wanted what they had, too.

Today, I no longer feel that way. Instead, I recognize that the vast majority (I’m not saying all, but most) of wealthy people I’ve met have done things I really admire.

They busted their butt. Most of them worked incredibly hard to get where they are, even if you don’t see it on the surface. Famous actors take years of acting lessons and often spend many, many years taking on awful roles and working for peanuts before they get their break. Businessmen often spend many years in school and give every ounce of themselves to build a business up in the face of stiff competition. Sports athletes – particularly the top ones – practice in a way that can just blow your mind.

Sure, they were lucky, but they usually did things to make that luck for themselves and they took advantage of it when it came along.

They bargain hunt, just like I do – they look for bargains in their employees and their assets just like I look for bargains in my food and toiletries. They seek to maximize their bang for their buck.

All of these things are things I admire and strive for in my own life – and they’re often major elements of how the people who have become very successful live their lives.

The truth of the matter is that my earlier resentment of people who have achieved success came down to two things: my own jealousy and my own impatience.

The flaws came from within me, not from them. I allowed myself to waste my emotions, my energy, and my passion along the useless roads of resentment and jealousy and impatience.

That wasted energy could have gone toward building a great career, building great relationships with people, or towards building my own luck. But, for a long time, I didn’t choose that.

When I finally started waking up to this, sometime in 2005 and 2006, things began to change in my life. I stopped wasting my energy on a lot of frustration and resentment and started using it on creating my own luck. That, along with a healthy dollop of responsibility for my finances, has put me in a much better place in every aspect of my life.

If you find yourself feeling resentful and angry towards people who have the things you wish you had, step back for a second. Usually, the problem is within you. Jealousy. Frustration. Impatience. Put those feelings away and start asking yourself what you can do to get where they’re at.

Negative feelings are destructive. They’ll burn you up and leave you in a mess unless you figure out how to channel them correctly to push you forward. Then you’ll take off like a rocket.

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  1. wanzman says:

    There seems to be a lot of this going around right now. Almost without question, the 2 sides of the healthcare debate revolve around people with less money thinking its a solid idea, and people with more money being fed up with paying more in taxes.

    It is very hard not to be jealous of people who have tons of money and can seemingly do anything they want with it.

    I just hope the US is careful in crafting policies that will not prevent those who wish to have weath, an opportunity to pursue said wealth without such hatred from others.

    I am not wealthy, but I aspire to be, and I do not hare people who are wealthy, or think they should support me.

  2. wanzman says:

    *hate not hare (obviously)

  3. Peter says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I think so many people in this day and age spend their time assuming the worst of others, and waiting for someone else to blame for their own failures. If they would just instead start working on improving themselves and their lives, they would be so much better off!

  4. Ellen says:

    Just read an article elsewhere along the same lines – opting out of the “Ain’t It Awful” club & using time more constructively.

  5. Ms. Clear says:

    Seeking economic justice is not the same thing as hating the rich. I feel that post #1 is an unhelpful conflation of those two things. Progressive taxation does not equal hatred for the wealthy.

  6. wanzman says:

    #5, I respectfully disagree. I don’t think my comments are “unhelpful”.

    Who is say what “economic justice” is?

    I guess most people with modest means would say economic justice is taking money from those with a lot and distributing it to those with a little (through services, etc.). That is essentially what happens.

    I would bet that people that are having a larger and larger amount of money taken from them (taxes) would disagree that this is economic justice.

    People with a lot of money typically work very hard and take large risks to gain that money. Who is to say that they should have to give more away to help others? They (typically) already own companies that provide jobs for the majority of Americans. When will we say, enough is enough, they have given enough, its time for us to start helping ourselves? I assume the hunt for “economic justice” as you call it will only end when each and every American has the exact same amount of wealth (complete socialism/communism).

  7. wanzman says:

    And I also must say that the term “economic justice” does imply that some wrongdoing has occurred – hence the word justice.

    Assuming wealthy people have done something wrong and owe something to the rest of society goes right back to the topic of Trent’s article.

  8. Ms. Clear says:

    I’m sorry, that’s utter nonsense. Every other industrialized country in the world guarantees health care to all its citizens. These are free market economies with healthier safety nets.

    Sorry, it’s not justice when someone dies because they get cancer but don’t have health insurance.

  9. Johanna says:

    Negative feelings toward the poor are just as destructive as negative feelings toward the rich.

  10. Des says:

    If every other industrialized country in the world jumped off a bridge, would you want to do it too?

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist :)

  11. marta says:

    Ok, so I checked what the top income tax bracket was in the US. 35% for income above 370K or so, right?

    Gosh, and yet people complain about taxes for the wealthy. That’s *my* tax bracket where I live (and no, I don’t make six figures at all). And yes, we pay other taxes on top of that – sales taxes ranging from 5 to 20%, for example.

    And yes, we have universal healthcare. Flawed as it is, I like living in a place where a family won’t have to declare bankruptcy because of a bad illness.

  12. wanzman says:

    @ Johanna, I don’t have negative feelings for the poor, by many standards in the US, I am poor.

    Perhaps using the healthcare example was bad.

    I just think there needs to be some sort of line drawn in the sand when the US says, for item X, it is not fair for rich people to buy that for poor people.

    Maybe they deserve food, maybe they should get free housing, maybe even free healthcare.

    But what about when we start taking tax dollars and handing them to a person who bought a house with absolutely nothing down, and now they are underwater?

    Does everyone in the US have a “right” to own a home and not be underwater on the mortgage?

    New plans from Obama would call for just that. Some might say that the rich are not going to be footing the bill, but sure they will. This will lead to higher taxes (the government cannot keep spending in this manner without raising taxes). And it is a fact that wealthy people pay a huge percentage of all taxes in the US.

    My overall argument is simply this – where is the line drawn? What are rights, and when does it become too much?

  13. chacha1 says:

    Wow, Trent, look what happens when you advise people to let go of frustration, jealousy, impatience, resentment.

  14. Todd says:

    wanzman–Thank you for post #12. People are far more likely to listen to your ideas if you state them respectfully, as you do in #12. And no matter how annoyed you get at what someone says, please don’t stoop to telling people to shove things “you know where” again. Then they might really need your healthcare dollars. ;-)

  15. Ms. Clear says:

    I absolutely don’t think health care was a good choice.

    However, I’m sort of with you on housing. As a renter, why should a homeowner’s housing be subsidized by the feds, but I pay with post tax dollars? In that case, it doesn’t really matter if one is underwater or not. The mortgage tax deduction costs the government billions and billions every year. The deficit would vanish pretty quick if it was done away with.

    But somehow….I’m doubting that the idea would get much support. ;)

  16. jgonzales says:

    Ms. Clear, while the federal government doesn’t do anything for renters, most states do. I live in California and there is a renter’s credit here. It is nowhere near as much as the homeowner credit, but it’s something!

  17. wanzman says:

    @ Ms. Clear:

    Good point – the mortgage tax deduction really is unfair, but it accomplishes the government’s goal of increasing home ownership. The merits of that goal are another debate.

    I think the tax deduction’s benefits are way overblown – spend a dollar to save 25 cents. If anyone that does not own a home would like to receive the same benfits, I will provide my address, and feel free to send as many dollars as you would like, and I will be more than happy to exchange your dollars for quarters.

    If I was in the market for a house currently, I would be furious at the government for artificially propping up prices at falsely high levels. I don’t understand why falling real estate prices are portrayed as being such a bad thing – houses are becoming more affordable to people looking to buy. But that does mean that people cannot currently use them as an ATM to buy useless crap (the foundation of the US economy).

    Just think about how the media portrays things:

    Gas prices rising – TERRIBLE – Its an Outrage!
    Gas prices falling – HOORAY!

    Food prices rising – OMG, WHAT WILL WE DO?
    Food prices falling – HOORAY!

    House prices rising – HOORAY!
    House prices falling – OMG, WHAT WILL WE DO?


  18. wanzman says:

    By that logic, we’re happy paying an extra $100K for a house, as long as we can save a few bucks on gas. Go figure.

  19. Johanna says:

    @wanzman: I agree with you that it’s not fair for people who bought houses they couldn’t afford to get government help. But I think that sometimes, what’s fair or not fair has to take a back seat to what’s best for everyone. And I think that what’s best for everyone is to keep the houses in the hands of people who are willing to take care of them, rather than allowing hundreds of thousands of them to sit vacant. Whether the current government plan is the best way of accomplishing that, I don’t know enough to say, but I appreciate that they’re trying.

    By the way, you’re not the only one who’s paying taxes for things you don’t agree with. I’m paying taxes for two wars that I don’t support. You win some, you lose some – it’s part of living in this country.

  20. Ryan says:

    Amen Johanna (your last post in particular!)

    I think it’s good for EVERYBODY if EVERYBODY has food, shelter, and health care.

    All these arguments against a single payer healthcare system seem to be “I don’t want to pay for the lazy bum who smokes three packs a day.”

    Neither do I. But I’m not willing to just let them die. And it’ll help prevent the thousands of bankruptcies that are a result of medical bills. Which means people will not be eaten alive by debt and can contribute to society.

    As a young person who may well end up (I honestly have no idea) earning a 6 figure income (maybe a high 6 figures?) I say bring on higher tax brackets if it means better services for everybody.

  21. Moby Homemaker says:

    Unfortunately, not everyone has read this post, Trent. I think way too much time is wasted on entitlement in our world–and it leads to resentment. Keeping up with the Jones’–and ultimately hating them is a waste of time.

    If everyone looked at the positives within themselves and strived to be the best we can all be–we’ll ALL be successful. True success does not breed contempt. It sounds pie in the sky–but it’s true.

  22. JT says:

    Nice post. I don’t hate wealthy individuals, never had. I have never been one to keep up with Jones or even care about what they had that I didn’t. I have been struggling with my negative feelings about Wall Street and big banks, though. That one has been a tough one but time has helped.

  23. lurker carl says:

    If everyone was a millionaire, nothing much in our society would change. People would still need to tend crops, hammer iron and sweep floors.

    I think Henry Ford said that. Or something close to it.

  24. Lisa says:

    Great article Trent. I have a brother who has worked for over 20 years to build his business. 80 hour work weeks, stress, fear along with great accomplishment. He has earned every penny he has made. Over the years when people have scoffed because he bought a new Mercedes his reply has been “I guess 80 hour work weeks have finally paid off”. These scoffers don’t see that a Mercedes does not make him a spend thrift. He is very frugal in many areas of his life and manages his finances wisely. Thanks again for another great article.

  25. Kevin says:

    Wow. This was certainly an interesting article. Trent’s central message of “let go of negativity, focus on positivity” has inadvertently spawned an angry debate of fair taxation and health care. I hope the irony is not lost on the readers!

    I think Trent’s message is valid, but I do think there is still room for the counterpoint, as well. Not negativity, but let’s call it “critical analysis.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with defending your wealth from those who would seek to seize it from you. That’s not being negative, that’s just objectively engaging in the sort of healthy debate that lies at the very heart of democracy.

    @Ms. Clear: Everybody dies eventually. If your cancer patient spent his money on iPhones and vacations instead of health insurance, then yes, I’m absolutely OK with letting them die to cancer. They’ve got to die from SOMETHING, and why should a frugalista like Trent be forced to provide care for someone who chose other priorities over their own health? What’s the objective here? To keep everyone alive, forever?

    @Ryan: You’re not willing to let the 3-pack-a-day smoker “just die?” Why not? I’m certainly OK with it. They’ve made their choices. They could’ve chosen to quit smoking, or buy their own health insurance (or, ideally, both). They made their bed. And like I just said, nobody lives forever, so why should the rest of us pay to give that person a few more years of life when they clearly didn’t value it themselves?

    Great post Trent, good food for thought.

  26. J says:

    This is why I’ve pretty much given up on reading blogs’ comment sections and concentrated instead on my work and family to-do lists. The results have been amazing, I’m getting more work done (and getting noticed for it), spending more time in the gym and am generally in a better mood.

    “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda

  27. Ken says:

    Great points. Wallowing in self-pity and jealousy is truly wasted energy. We each have to devise our own plan and work hard….being a victim gets you nowhere.

  28. wanzman says:

    @ #25 Kevin:

    I am really glad you beat me to these key points so that I might avoid some wrath:

    “You’re not willing to let the 3-pack-a-day smoker “just die?” Why not? I’m certainly OK with it. They’ve made their choices.”

    “Everybody dies eventually. If your cancer patient spent his money on iPhones and vacations instead of health insurance, then yes, I’m absolutely OK with letting them die to cancer.”

    These are exactly the reasons why most entitlement programs just rub me the wrong way – about 99% fo the time, the people being helped really do not value the assistance, and do nothing to improve themselves. They simply get content on the free money.

    There are always those where a person has just terrible misfortune, and the social programs serve their purpose to help these people during a dire time of need. But 9 times out of 10, people just abuse the system, and a ton of money gets wasted.

    In one county in the state where I live, about 70% of the residents receive food stamps. 70%!!!

  29. Johanna says:

    @Kevin: I hope you realize that the “Your health problem is your own fault, therefore I shouldn’t have to pay for it” argument is a very slippery slope.

    What about people who get injured while engaging in risky hobbies (sky diving, motorcycle riding, mountain climbing, or even running or playing basketball)? Do they value their health enough to deserve medical care? What about people who choose careers or hobbies that put them in contact with dangerous chemicals or disease agents? What about someone who gets injured in a car crash while on a non-essential trip?

  30. Jules says:

    @ Wanzman: Do you actually have numbers for that “9 times out of 10, people just abuse the system”? I’m willing to bet money that more often than not, it’s more like “9 of the 10 cases that get media attention”.

    Seriously: welfare abuse in the Netherlands ranks at around 20%, as in 20% of those who get it don’t actually need it. I’m fairly certain that, in the US, the number is actualy lower, given how many hoops you have to jump through to qualify for things like food stamps. When I worked for the food stamp program, they said that the abuse of the system was maybe 10%–at the most. This was 4 years ago, so maybe the number has changed a bit. But 90%? Gimme a break.

    As for health care: there are only two problems. 1) the cost is too high, and 2) personal consumption of health care is not equated with personal expense (for the insured, obviously). The cost of health care has risen exponentially because we think that Anencephalic Annie should be carried to term and then kept on life support until death, and because too many people do not have DNRs and so doctors are legally and ethically obligated to listen to patients’ family members insist on top-of-the-line care. Amongst other problems–the list could go on forever.

    But the main reason behind the exponential increase in cost of care is that Americans think that the price of life, as it were, shouldn’t have a limit. Which is all very well and good, and noble. But we also don’t want to have to pay that price. In other words, we think that Little Orphan Annie should be able to get the same top-of-the-line treatment as Princess Suzy, even though LOA is penniless and Suzy is rolling in cash. And nobody should get stuck with the bill.

    The reality is that health care in the US is, in fact, rationed in just this way–by money. If you ask me, this is an awfully twisted way to make decisions about health care. You can quite easily say you don’t need a $500 iPhone. But if you’re in an ER with chest pains, and the doctor says, “Well, we can have an EKG done, which is $10 and will tell us if it’s a heart attack; but a CT scan will let us be *really* sure and it’s only $500,” which one are you going to pick?

  31. Kevin says:


    Just so we’re clear, I don’t have a horse in this race. I’m Canadian. I already have free health care.

    I was simply trying to highlight the absurdity of the notion that every last second of life is priceless, and thus no expense should be spared to save any life.

    Like I said. Everybody dies. People have been dying for thousands of years, and a thousand years from now, people will still die. The idea that society owes it to its citizens to squeeze every last second of life out of their bodies, regardless of the cost, is inefficient and pointless. If it’s not cancer, it’ll just be something else next month.

    If your mother was 90 years old and dying of cancer, but you could buy her another year of life for $1,000, would you do it? Of course you would. What if it was a month instead of a year, and it was $50,000 instead of $1,000? What if it was a day for $100,000? An hour for $500,000? Where’s the limit? *IS* there a limit? She’s 90 years old, fer cryin’ out loud! Let her go! What do you expect, that she’s might live to be 200?

    It’s all well and good to say life is priceless, but the reality is, it’s not infinite. Everybody has to die eventually, so why waste all those resources prolonging the inevitable? Particularly when the individual themselves contributed to their own demise (via smoking, poor eating habits, whatever)?

  32. James D says:

    @ Johanna: Everyone makes choices in life and they should be prepared to deal with the consequences of those choices. If they don’t take the time to consider how their actions can affect themselves and others then no, I don’t have any interest in saving them. It is not their right to have what I have worked so hard for because they acted negligently. Now accidents do happen, and disease happens but we can’t provide everything to everyone. It’s simply not possible as resources are limited. The world economy is based on the idea of supply and demand for that very reason. Just look at natural selection, it is also based on supply and demand as well. Over the long-term the most efficient way for humans to live is through this same structure and not a communist or socialist structure where everyone is provided for. We will be far worse off down the road by following this line of thought.

  33. wanzman says:

    @ Jules – I don’t mean that 9 out of 10 don’t need the help – abuse of the system does necessarily mean lying to obtain benefits, it might also include using benefits for other than the intended purpose. Such as selling foor stamp cards for cash so that you can buy liquor and beer, a very common practice.

    Also, my wife works within this system (section 8 housing), and deals with the recipients on a day to day basis. Per her, very very few are grateful for the help, and most feel as though the world owes them something. Over half have iPhones but need housing assistance.

  34. anne says:

    I have an ex-husband who worked in uranium mines during the 70’s. The lingering medical effects are staggering. He’s disabled and cannot work. There are/were settlement dollars available for people who worked in the mines – but only up to certain dates. He doesn’t qualify. After a three year battle he was able to get Social security Disability – $672/month, and Medicare. Does he appreciate his “handouts”? Is that even a relevant question? Should he have been able to see 30 years into the future and know that working for the mines would harm his health down the road? Maybe the answer is “yes”.

    I myself work full-time and part-time. I have a very tiny house and the mortgage still eats an entire paycheck from my full-time job. I live frugally and have no debt other than medical bills. I don’t travel or drive a nice car. I don’t eat out. I work for a small business owner with no access to group health insurance. We’ve doubled my deductible and my premiums over the last four years. Makes it pretty tough to get ahead financially. All the money that might go towards a raise is paying my premiums instead. Switching health insurance isn’t an option because I’ve had cancer twice in the last six years. I still have big medical bills that I’m paying on.

    @Kevin – My ex-husband’s health problems certainly aren’t his own fault though I will concede that he needs to lose some weight. Should we just tell him to stay home the next time he has an acute pancreatitis attack? If we simply let him die it would certainly save a lot of money, wouldn’t it? And what about the responsibility of the mine owners who didn’t keep their employee safe? Or the government that didn’t provide proper oversight and ensure workers were safe. Would that oversight have been simply another handout?

    What about me? Being overweight is a risk factor for one of the types of cancer I had. Does that make it my own fault?

    Or my best friend, who has a very severe type of bi-polar disease. The only medication that’s ever worked for her will no longer be covered by her insurance. She can’t afford the $470/mo it would cost to keep taking the medication. After all, she’s teacher in a public school. 20 years of service and she doesn’t even make $50k/year. You’re right. It’s probably her own fault that she went into such a low wage earning profession. And if only she had better self-discipline she would be able to control her mental illness without the use of drugs.

    It’s so easy to say that we should all be responsible for only our own “stuff” and no one else’s. But a great society helps those who can’t help themselves. And helps those with limited resources. We are a great society, aren’t we??

    Trent is absolutely right. Letting go of negativity and seeing your role in your own problems is really important. I’ve significantly improved my life by doing just that. All three of these cases can be (and have been) greatly helped by seeing that they can all do things to better their situations.

    One other question for you, Kevin. You quote “about 99% fo the time, the people being helped really do not value the assistance, and do nothing to improve themselves. They simply get content on the free money.” Can you cite your source or is this merely your interpretation based on stereotypes and your own (limited) reference point?

    Sorry to pick on Kevin but it’s a pretty sore subject.

  35. kristine says:

    Overlooking the obvious regarding healthcare, welfare. 75% of the recipients are children. Children have made no choices, either way, to either deserve, or not deserve, food or doctor visits. I don’t know may 5 year old 6-pack a day lazy bums who smoke. Regardless of what you think of the parents, or their right to procreate- these children exist, and do not deserve the large brushes of stigma some here paint them with.

  36. Nicole says:

    I’m going to be obnoxious, but I teach public finance and health economics and I’m sick of these debates about healthcare when people don’t understand the basic point of insurance. I’m tired of explaining it (even at dinner parties) because it is complicated and I feel like a broken record.

    But if you want to have an informed discussion not just arguing about the morality of paternalism (which is only second order unless we’re talking about kids who don’t get to make their own decisions): Look up the term “adverse selection.” Read about it and try to understand it. The role of government is to correct (another term to look up) “market failure,” not just to be paternalistic. If that’s all you’re arguing about, it misses the point of most programs.

    And yes, this discussion is ironic.

  37. Jeannette says:

    No 6 writes:
    “People with a lot of money typically work very hard and take large risks to gain that money.”

    Really? You know this for a fact? Cause we know a lot of people who work very hard (and smart) and do not make a lot of money. Well-educated, well-informed, highly professional and very intelligent. There are typically far more of them with those attributes making less than a lot of people making more (Seriously, there no longer is a correlation between education and intelligence and ability to make money. Drug dealers make more than college graduates.) Actually, these people I’m thinking of work hard to make money for a lot of company owners and/or managers…who do relatively little work, if any, in some cases. THEY are the ones making others rich, just as we, as consumers, via our purchases, make a lot of people (sports figures, entertainment folks) rich, even as some of us balk at higher salaries for teachers and other educators.

    Yes, there are folks who got rich thru very hard work and risk. But today, that is not necessarily typical or average.

    The issue to me isn’t how much money someone has (or doesn’t), but how they live their lives professionally, how they treat co-workers and/or employees, and how they act as citizens. How do they make their money? Off the hard work of others (think of all those companies that outsource to foreign lands and pay paltry wages)? I admire and respect those who start/run businesses in this country and strive to pay decent wages and include incentives and rewards for their workers, recognizing that they live/die by those people. But these days, few and far between because our government does next to nothing to foster small biz development, the very source of most jobs.

    There is no point wasting time and energy being angry and frustrated by what someone else has. It’s human, but it drains us of energy.

    But given the world today, where people work long and hard, and have no healthcare because either it is not offered or they still cannot afford it if it is, or they simply can’t afford it, it’s hard for people on the “wrong” side of the socio-economic scale to feel all warm and fuzzy for people with lots of money who constantly complain about taxes. (And fyi, I believe if you look at stats, proportionately, the rich STILL pay less than those who are very disenfranchised economically. And there are plenty of rich who pay NOOOOOOO taxes and gloat about it. They’d rather pay a fortune each year to lawyers, investment folks and the like so as NOT to pay taxes! Some citizens THEY are.)

    Frankly, it’s time to address the attitudes of the many well-off and/or rich who seem to think that just because they “have” what they have, the rest of the world is just sloughing off and doing nothing…and thus, deserves no assistance.

    Frankly, most people simply want a job that pays a decent wage to raise their family. They aren’t looking to live La Vida Loca with lots of stuff.

    We were raised to believe that while all are created equal in rights and deserving of respect, that some would not have the same options, resources and opportunities as we did. Therefore, as we succeeded, it was only right to lend a hand to others, to help them help themselves.

    As a citizen, I have no real issue with helping others. I would not want to live in a country that took no responsibility for those who cannot take care of themselves.

    Yea, there are folks who abuse the “system” for help, etc. There are also people in jobs who do not do the jobs they are paid for, get undeserved raises and tons of benefits for next to nothing. Life is not fair on either end.

    A real society (forget “great”) does work to provide a net for people.

    And a real society creates jobs and offers education and help to all who can benefit from it.

    Once upon a time, this country was funded by robber barons. Guys who made lots of money in not so nice ways. THey had guilt, lots of it, and so many took their money and donated it and created charities. They at least had the guts to recognize that their good fortune was made off the backs of others and not just by hard work.

    TOo many people today forget that they too owe their success to many others: their employees and customers.

    FYI: The most generous people I know are not rich or wealthy in money. They are just real folks who do what they can to help others, quietly, without any need for a charity in their name, etc.

    By the way, to those who think that most people abuse the system and don’t deserve the help, good luck to you. Tides of fortune turn…maybe one day you’ll find out how erroneous that thinking is.

    meanwhile, this country continues to be divided by the “haves” and the have nots. Some of the rich love being the haves and until they can learn some humility and stop judging, our country will be divided. It’s not the poor being angry about what they don’t have that creates the state we’re in now as a country. In fact, it’s the opposite. The big companies scamming the taxpayers for money to bail them out, while still paying big bucks to execs who got them in financial trouble in the first place (gee, doesn’t anybody have a problem with that? Or is it oK if you’re rich to steal from others, including fellow citizens)

    The poor and the struggeling don’t have time for tea party participation and protests. They’re too busy working their asses off to just live on the most basic level.

    They don’t waste their energy on badmouthing the rich. They know they live in a world where those folks will continue to live, in some cases, without regard for them. They have a life to live and create, even with very limited resources.

  38. wanzman says:

    @ #37 Jeannette: you said…

    “People with a lot of money typically work very hard and take large risks to gain that money.”

    Really? You know this for a fact? Cause we know a lot of people who work very hard (and smart) and do not make a lot of money. Well-educated, well-informed, highly professional and very intelligent.

    I never once stated that some people who don’t have a lot of money are lazy and uneducated. I simply said that when people DO have money, they typically work hard and take risks. Its not a mutually exclusive situation.

    People always like to say that people who own businesses are lazy, do none of the work, and get rich off of the people working for them. Let’s rememeber some key points.

    1. The person who “does no work” might have worked their ass off for 40 years and is just now able to work less.

    2. The people working for the person who own the company could choose to work somewhere else, or start their own company if its so easy to do, and then they could make a ton of money by having people work for them while they sit on their ass (according to you its that easy).

    3. Most people who start businesses have to personally sign on the dotted line and risk their entire financial life to start and maintain a business (this is called a personal guaranty and it equals taking a huge risk).

    You sound a bit bitter at people who own companies and make a lot of money.

    If its so easy, why don’t you do it?

  39. Johanna says:

    @Kevin: “I was simply trying to highlight the absurdity of the notion that every last second of life is priceless, and thus no expense should be spared to save any life.”

    Then it seems that you were arguing against a straw man, because I don’t see where anyone brought up anything like that notion. Ryan, in particular, seems to have had in mind youngish people who recover from their illnesses and go on to “contribute to society,” not 90-year-olds looking to spend $500,000 for one more month in the nursing home.

  40. Kevin says:


    I’m sorry for what your ex-husband has gone through. I’m not being glib, I mean that. Clearly, your ex-husband’s former employer bears the bulk of the responsibility for providing care to their former employees.

    That said, none of that will matter in 100 years. He will be dead, I will be dead, everybody reading this right now will be dead. Some of us will die at unfairly young ages or in unfair ways (i.e., extremely rare diseases). To that I say: so what? What does “fairness” have to do with anything? One way or another, we’re all going to die. Is the goal to take money from the prudent, healthy, lucky people and use it to extend the lives of those to whom life was less “fair?” Is the idea that we should make life as “fair” as possible to everyone involved?

    Life is not fair. I don’t think it’s healthy or productive to dwell on all the ways you think the universe has been “unfair” to you. Nor do I think it is an efficient use of government time and money to try and make sure life is “fair” for everyone. It’s not fair when someone gets cancer, but should the rest of us be required to pay whatever it costs – without any limits – to treat their cancer and try and keep them alive a little longer? Why? Wouldn’t it make more sense to direct money towards things that can improve society for everyone in the long run (like, say, reducing the national debt), rather than provide a few more weeks/months of life to someone, just because they don’t feel life has been “fair” to them?

    Also, you misquoted me. I never said the quote you attributed to me regarding people not appreciating the assistance.

  41. Jennifer says:

    Trent, I feel like I wrote your first paragraph. I used to feel like that, not eaten up with jealousy, but definitely green-eyed. And you’re right, harbouring those negative feelings do nothing for us, and simply close our eyes to our own possibilities. Thanks for the article!

  42. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    I’m a firm believer in karma, and all three of those, to me, are karma killers

  43. SLCCOM says:

    Kevin, old buddy, then under your philosophy, anyone who is injured or ill should get no treatment at all, and just go home and die.

    I’m so glad you aren’t running the world!

  44. Doug says:

    Many people who aren’t rich look at the rich and say “Why do they have money and I don’t? I’m nice, I’m hard-working! They must have cheated! It’s the only explanation.” They forget that “working hard” doesn’t mean working smart.

    Spending $60k on tuition/loans to get a 4 year sociology degree isn’t smart. It doesn’t matter how hard that person works, since that degree is essentially worthless to employers. Getting a leased car isn’t smart, and will keep you living above your means. “Working your 40” will keep food on the table, but you won’t shine as an employee. No business owner just “does his 40” and goes home.

    But I don’t expect the envy to stop. I have a coworker who drives a BMW. She wanted to sell it because people look at her funny and make comments about her “having money.” I had to remind her that of all the comments people make when one has nice stuff, very rarely will someone say “Wow, you’ve got a BMW. Good job.” “Congratulations on your new house. You must’ve worked very hard in order to succeed.” No, the comments will be negative because people don’t understand how to build the foundation of success in their lives.

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