Ever since childhood I have disdained the attitudes of the ‘rich/wanna-be-rich’ set. In my island there is a saying about people with little wealth who nevertheless live above their means &/or desire to only rub elbows with those who have some wealth/influence/social mobility. We describe(d) such people as “fighting class”. The term speaks for itself. Time after time, I bore witness to people of lesser means change their style & attitude when mingling with others who had some means . This ethical flaw even extended to people within their own family – I’ve known people who shunned their siblings, cousins, etc., just because they were not as ambitious & successful as they themselves were (& sometimes they shunned those who became more successful! The pendulum swing from pity to envy is utter madness!) Many moons ago, I lashed out against a high-ranking government official from St Lucia who had a terrible attitude towards the poor & disadvantaged. In a nutshell, he said something like this: “I got mine! Why don’t these people get off their lazy backsides and do something! Why should I worry about them?” By the time I was finished excoriating his dumb ass with some pertinent facts, he was almost in tears & left the function a little early. In hindsight, I was quite harsh & embarrassed the man, but with half of the world’s working population living in poverty, there is just no excuse for having such a souless, primitive mind-set. Regrettably, I find this same bullshit attitude amongst many successful African-American families who really should know better/care more given the history of race & class in the U.S, but I will get into that some other time. I’ll say one thing though: the fallout from our current economic malaise is a bitter tonic for many of them who were once flying high without a care except when it came to themselves. Being as I am, I took a road less traveled during the rush to buy over-sized homes and fancy cars: I saved, bought a moderate-sized home & lived well within my means by simply saying “no” to the pressure to do otherwise. The power of “no” will save your greedy, pretentious ass (& keep your credit score above 800)–trust me!