On Entitlement

by JT McGee

Need an intern with a strong sense of entitlement and bad manners? Hire a rich kid.

This article is amazingly interesting. It’s on entitlement among wealthy kids — err, the children of wealth.

I’m lucky enough to have lived a fairly privileged life. Until middle school, or so, my parents were certainly “well off,” at least in Midwestern terms.

Flying private or commercial was never a choice, though — we certainly weren’t that wealthy. In fact, “wealthy” is probably charitable. I mean income rich. Vastly different thing, especially in the eyes of the tax code.

It afforded some comforts. But my parents loved saying no. Loved it. Unless, of course, we wanted something educational. My dad would eagerly open his wallet to feed us knowledge. And I mean eagerly. I only recently threw away a stack of almanacs, math books, etc. that I had saved from childhood.

To some extent, I think being born with wealth is a disadvantage. The disadvantage is asymptotic, though. Super rich = no problems. Moderately rich = problematic. Wealthy enough to think the world owes you something, not wealthy enough to sit on your laurels.

I know far too many people who came from far more privileged backgrounds who are working hard to ensure that familial wealth never makes it past three generations. It amazes me that wealth can be destroyed so easily — so carelessly — in such a short time. But I guess it is what it is. I welcome the opportunity to blow an inheritance.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’ve ever really read anything from the New York Observer, but I found this article worthy of sharing. Give it 15 seconds…maybe you’ll end up giving it 5 minutes.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Minikins October 2, 2015 at 12:12

Entitlement has to be fought or worked for, ironically. Which is why generational entitlement is really an honour and ideally generates true humility and a sense of indebtedness which you will find in some noble, very wealthy or even impoverished families perhaps with a proud history or treasured name.

The danger is when people mistake wealth or privilege as an entitlement. Perhaps they’ve been privileged to have an expensive private education, maybe their parents moved heaven and earth for that. But what they get in life is now what they make of it. If they expect more then they’ve missed the point, truly entitled people work tirelessly for others with whatever privilege has been bestowed upon them.

Thanks for this.

Very interesting post

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Michael @ Financially Alert October 9, 2015 at 01:58

JT, sounds like your parents are very wise individuals! I certainly would agree that wealth can be a disadvantage. If we are given everything upfront, there’s no hunger and thus growth to figure out things for ourselves.

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James December 5, 2015 at 05:46

I respectfully disagree. I think being born into a wealthy family is definitely an advantage. Many hardworking people don’t succeed financially simply because they weren’t born into the right environment.

When you’re born into a wealthy family, you get:
A) a large inheritance, which you can use towards building a business or pursuing your dreams
B) connections to other wealthy men and women
C) a big picture view (i.e. if you’re father is a CEO, you can learn a lot from him)

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