Rich People Complaining About Debt

I recently read an article on the struggles of being a start-up entrepreneur, and was surprised to find that these alleged struggles for entrepreneurs almost hitting economic “ruin”.

He had cashed in his 401(k) and maxed out a $60,000 line of credit. He had sold the Rolex he bought with his first-ever paycheck during an earlier career as a stockbroker. And he had humbled himself before his father–the man who raised him on maxims such as “money doesn’t grow on trees” and “never do business with family”–by asking for $10,000, which he received at 5 percent interest after signing a promissory note.

Smith projected optimism to his co-founders and 10 employees, but his nerves were shot. “My wife and I would share a bottle of $5 wine for dinner and just kind of look at each other,” Smith says. “We knew we were close to the edge.”

The horror: “I had to beg my rich dad for money and could only afford the CHEAP wine!” This kind of reminds me of the “struggles” Mitt Romney went through growing up:

They were not easy years. […] We were happy, studying hard. Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time.

For reference, Mitt and Ann Romeny were living off of today’s equivalent of $377,000 in assets (not to mention Mitt’s father was the CEO of a major company).

The fact is, if you’re upper class, with college educated parents, then you’re never really “on the brink.” During the Victorian Era, most of the debt actually came from the upper class, and often ended up in debt forgiveness or easy to manage deals to avoid ruin. Given that we’re living in the equivalent of a new Gilded Age, this is not too far off the mark the “struggling” rich.