Saturday, May 10, 2008

A "YAWN"ing Divide?

It was going to happen sometime and it's too bad it happened in such a sad way. Arduous and Green Bean Dreams highlight two articles from the UKs Telegraph about YAWNs "Young And Wealthy (but) Normal" or individuals of great wealth who disdain ostentation with their wealth and live below their means and giving to charity. Wealthy is defined by UBS as having £250,000 investable assets.

On this side of the pond (or more accurately, my side of the pond, I have no idea where you are reading this), the San Francisco Chronicle picks up the story with featured stories on YAWNs in California with guess what? Former dot-com millionaires.

What really gets my goat about the acronym is the emphasis on the word "WEALTHY" as it implies that living below your means requires you to be wealthy. One of the featured story profiles includes an man who is struggling to live only on get this $50,000 a year! Well nice to be slumming when in 2006, the median annual household income was $48,201.00 according to the US Census Bureau. (Source: Wikipedia) and let me indicate that is HOUSEHOLD not individual.

There are plenty of individuals who have decided to live within their means, work hard, save, give back to their community that aren't wealthy by US standards (note almost everyone who lives in the developed world is wealthy by global standards). If our media presents living responsibility as a privilege of the rich, as opposed to a part of the transformation from consumer to citizen, then it fails to see the leaders around us living without fanfare. Sometimes a little less fanfare might be a good thing, if you check out the walk and talk of Brad Pitt. But then again, there are theories to how we got here.

It's not what you have it's what you do.


At 2:15 PM , Blogger Green Bean said...

Good point. I actually choose to ignore that "wealthy" part of the acronym because I find it to be a red herring. There is a movement afoot and it has nothing to do with how much money you have. We are all wealthy compared to the rest of the world - where people who live on $2 a day are considered middle class. I guess we should not be surprised that the media likes to focus on the rich and the famous. You are right though - it doesn't matter what you have but what you do.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home