** Uneasy Street by Rachel Sherman

It’s a little difficult to conjure up empathy for a family of four that spends $800,000 a year (and could spend more), yet frets about how to spend money. Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence pictures such a family and fifty other uber-affluent people in New York City, along with their worries about appearing too flashy and not having enough dough to do all the things they would want to do (lol). If you can suspend your hilarity, or anger, long enough to read the book, you will find that the rich are just like us: they worry about having enough money (to buy their third house, not to pay the rent); non-working spouses have secret accounts so they can buy the shoes they covet without their partners questioning their tastes (designer shoes, not sneakers); they worry about spoiling their children (because they always fly private jets, not just because they go on vacation with them).

It was quite fascinating to me to see how much the respondents valued hard work, being nice to others, and the importance of not bragging. Considering the relatively small size of the sample, I imagine there are many rich people who laze about, are mean, and brag — but it was comforting to see that at least 50 try to behave differently.

 

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