Sunday, August 05, 2007

It's hard out there for the filthy rich

I have been struggling to come up with an appropriate response to today's New York Times article about the poor millionaires of Menlo Park and Los Altos. An article about what it's like to be poor in Silicon Valley would have been far more helpful. Instead, the New York Times decided to make fun of my neighbors. Here's what they have to say for themselves.

"A few million doesn't go as far as it used to."
-- Menlo Park resident Hal Steger

I'm pretty sure he's just talking about inflation. But when you hear someone say this, you can never entirely rule out the possibility that they are a little bitter about the fact that slave trade no longer exists.

"I’d be rich in Kansas City. People would seek me out for boards. But here I’m a dime a dozen.”
-- Los Altos resident David Koblas

In college, I had this idea for a radio show. It would consist of me interviewing people about how they were cool in high school in hopes of getting them a date (which the show would pay for). If the interview didn't succeed, they would get a t-shirt that said, "I was cool in high school and all I got was this t-shirt. If any readers are trying to come up with programming for KFJC this fall, please consider a spin-off: "I'd be rich in Kansas City."

"We could move. But if you do that, then you’re admitting defeat."
-- Hillsborough resident Umberto Milletti

Interestingly enough, this is exactly what I tell people when they ask why I want to live in Silicon Valley. The only difference is that the defeat I'm referring to consists of abandoning the place I love to people who complain about being multi-millionaires.


robin said...

I thought the same thing (except about slave trade, that was original!) What was the NYT possibly thinking? Infuriating!

Nemesis of Evil said...

I suppose they were thinking they could inevitably find some people to say the kind of embarrassing things in the article. It's also quite possible that they decided, much like the Sacramento Bee, that their readers just don't want to hear about poverty anymore.

Kathy Schrenk said...

There was a similar article a while back about people who have only, say $10 million and their inferiority complexes about the people who have $100 million. Since my hubby went to the U of Illinois computer engineering school, he knows some of these people. One told him how the reporter was trying to get him to admit ill will toward the founder of Pay Pal, his good friend.

This type of article is also funny to my husband and I because he "only" works 40 hours a week, as a rule, and would totally quit working if he had only, say $3 million.