16 September 2020

David Roth: “It is unclear what rich people are for. In the most generous interpretation, the rich are here on earth for the same ineffably profound reasons that other people are: to create and aspire, to love and be loved, to live and die and eat the sandwiches of their choosing. But the ways in which extreme wealth continues to warp and diminish and generally impoverish the world raise the existential stakes significantly on the question. The people who have the most also tend to demand the most, and on a level that ordinary people can’t or won’t demand things. The rich fund institutions and armies of credentialed factotums to recast their greed and dull, atavistic desires as valid ideologies, and politicians spin all that corny dross into policies, and it all piles up downstream from there. It chokes, it floods. Some rich people also collect art, to be fair, although that’s mostly because art is currently the most expensive thing a person can collect.”