Sunday, June 29, 2014

People who say they "Don't care about money"

A recent example is the Clinton's daughter:

Chelsea Clinton: I tried to care about money but couldn't
The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and ex-secretary of state Hillary Clinton explained in a recent interview why she left lucrative professions and opted for working with her family’s philanthropic foundation. ‘I was curious if I could care about (money) on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t,’ she said.


Comparing her experience to the average millennial, the 34-year-old former first daughter defended jumping around to different careers — from consulting to a hedge fund to academia to journalism — before finding her true calling working with her parents.

“It is frustrating, because who wants to grow up and follow their parents? I’ve tried really hard to care about things that were very different from my parents … it’s a funny thing to realize I feel called to this work, both as a daughter and also as someone who believes I have contributions to make,” she continued about her reluctant status as a boomerang kid.

The Clinton name likely opened doors for the political heiress, including an eye-popping $600,000 annual salary for an irregular stint as an NBC special correspondent, but Chelsea insists her work speaks for itself.

“I will just always work harder (than anybody else) and hopefully perform better,” said Clinton, who along with former banker husband Marc Mezvinsky, purchased a $10.5-million Gramercy Park apartment in 2013. [...]
Didn't her parents spend $3,000,000 on her wedding? I wouldn't be surprised if she has a trust fund, too. I doubt she ever has to worry about becoming homeless.

Given that she has more than enough to live comfortably, perhaps what she means is, she doesn't wish to work hard trying to earn more, because she already has enough? That she doesn't care about striving for more cash?

That would be understandable. But it's not quite the same as not caring about money. It's not like she's giving it all away, and becoming a renunciant with a begging bowl or anything. In fact, I find that people in her income class usually do care, and take steps to hang on to their money. Her parents have:

Wealthy Clintons use trusts to avoid full estate tax they back
Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton have long supported an estate tax to prevent the United States from being dominated by inherited wealth. That doesn't mean they want to pay it.

To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death.

The Clintons created residence trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York house into them in 2011, according to federal financial disclosures and property records.

Among the tax advantages of such trusts is that any appreciation in the house's value can happen outside their taxable estate. The move could save the Clintons hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes, said David Scott Sloan, a partner at Holland & Knight L.L.P. in Boston.

"The goal is really be thoughtful and try to build up the nontaxable estate, and that's really what this is," Sloan said. "You're creating things that are going to be on the nontaxable side of the balance sheet when they die." [...]
All this posturing about not caring about money is easy when you have more than you could ever need, but IMO it rings hollow to someone whose annual income is only $11,000 a year. At that level, you HAVE TO CARE, and you know it, if you are reasonably smart and don't wish to be living in the streets.

I'm not envious of people for having wealth; who doesn't want to be better off than they are? That is perfectly natural, and I'm glad for people who manage to do it, because I want to be better off too. But it does grate when those who have so much more talk about being "broke" when they never were, like Hillary does, or not caring about money, like her daughter. Couldn't they be more honest? And shouldn't we insist that they are? Especially if they involve themselves in making laws about what is to be done with OUR money?


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