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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Would the biggest shock be those who were dirt poor but became filthy rich, or those who were insanely wealthy and ended up below the poverty line?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26806points) August 25th, 2011

Imagine you had someone who was dirt poor, had to shop thrift, using food banks or EBT card, and making use of soup kitchens, receive a windfall. They go from the outhouse to the penthouse, from nothing to 100s of millions of dollar. You have a second person, beach houses, several mansions in different time zones, vacation property in Tuscany, penthouse in Manhattan, vehicles that cost as much as many middle-class homes, etc, and they lose it all. The gold cards are all gone, the bank account, the country club, gone also. To eat they have to use food banks and soup kitchens. They have to buy off the rack, etc. Who would have the greater culture shock, going from nothing to more than you can imagine, or from the top of the world to barely scraping by?

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6 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I think going from very poor to very wealthy. Maybe I’m wrong, but it just seems far less likely, realistically. On the other hand, a fortune seems relatively easy to lose.

Prosb's avatar

It also depends on how they started out. Did they climb their way to the top, or were they born into wealth? If it’s the latter, I think that would be a bigger shock than vice versa.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

I think from riches to rags would be a bigger shock!

Cruiser's avatar

Wealthy to dirt poor would have the biggest shock value. Anyone who is dirt poor knows how to survive and get by with nothing and probably has spent a good part of their life dreaming about having finer things in life where Daddy Warbucks probably has never given Goodwill a second thought.

wilma's avatar

Going from rich to poor would be more of a culture shock.
If you truly mean going from the gold plated bathroom fixtures to having to use an outhouse and sleep on a nasty old mattress or the floor, then of course this would be more shocking to the senses than going from those conditions to being able to have a comfortable home and good food when ever you want it.
If you aren’t going to those extremes and mean going from very rich, with everything you want, to having to scrimp and save to pay your bills and shopping Goodwill and clearance sales at Walmart; but you still have a home to live in, with indoor plumbing and food to eat well….I still think it would be more shocking to go from rich to poor.

flutherother's avatar

I would say going from rich to poor would be the bigger shock. When you become rich more options open up to you when poor you have none.

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