Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Does it seem like many "rich" people assume they are smarter than everyone else?

Asked by Dutchess_III (39543points) August 22nd, 2010

Like, “My intelligence exceeds yours in direct proportion to the difference between our incomes.”

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58 Answers

NaturallyMe's avatar

I was going to say i’ve not come across one like this before, but then somone came to mind…when we have a disagreement about how something should be done, this person will sometimes support their argument by the fact that they’ve “made it” financially wise, which is indirectly implying their older age and exerperience and a better “know-how” is to thank for their financial success. Which makes sense in this case – more experience does help one get further in life sometimes.
However, those who think they’re inherently more intelligent than the less wealthy folk, just because they’re wealthier, are retarded and arrogant. Then again you get people like this in all walks of life, not just the wealthy ones.

Frenchfry's avatar

They do seems to carry themselves that way. I have worked with the public on and off for a long time. . Money does not make you smarter. It seems they are more arrogant sometimes. but I also met some people with alot of money that is down to earth. I think it’s all about their person and personality and money does not have anything to do with it. Does that make any sense?

kevbo's avatar

The people you are thinking of are probably very ego-driven and competitive. This drives their affect of assuming they are smarter. In some cases, it is simply true in that they are very smart about how money flows and how to divert that stream into their bank account.

One of my college classmates is already retired at 39 with a million dollar plus home. He is the child of immigrants from Vietnam and early in his career he worked his ass off learning about supply management and accounting systems. He is also a wizard at stock market trading. Even with all that, within ten seconds of meeting him you would realize that he has absolutely a heart of gold and wears it on his sleeve. He is a really amazing guy.

NaturallyMe's avatar

@Frenchfry absolutely! Money has nothing to do with how one behaves.

john65pennington's avatar

These people may make their own assumption, but in reality, if you look at the lottery winners, most of their money is gone within a year. that does not appear to be a very smart move to me.

I think its in their attitude, if you know what i mean.

Another thought…..what about people that own high-dollar automobiles? do you think they believe they should be given the rightaway on the open road or is this just another example of smarts and attitude?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Not necessarily.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet jackasses from all walks of life
chuckles ;)

john65pennington's avatar

Lucy, you are something else.

TexasDude's avatar

All the rich people I know are very smart. That’s how they got rich.

Most of them are really nice too, and even if they weren’t, I harbor no jealousy nor animosity towards rich people.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

It’s mostly a stereotype (i believe) but i have met a lot of snobbish rich people.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

And snobbish wanna be rich people.

JilltheTooth's avatar

This goes both ways. Having been raised in a privileged environment, I find that many people assume the worst of me. My lifestyle is simple, the only thing I flaunt is my hair I have great hair! she said modestly but if people ask me about a school I went to or how I spent summer vacations as a kid, some will get angry because I had advantages they didn’t. That said, I’ve found that most people are just people, and the chip on the shoulder of a less fortunate person is really no bigger than the one on the shoulder of someone who is well off.

Austinlad's avatar

A wealthy person may have been able to afford a better education, but that certainly doesn’t mean he/she is necessarily smarter than someone who went to a two-year college, or no college at all. On the other hand, there are a lot of very smart well-to-do people out there and a lot of dumb high school dropouts.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I think you are correct in that a lot of “rich” people assume they are smarter than everyone else. This is has nothing to do with money however. This is because they are people. Some people assume they are smarter and some of those people happen to be rich. The two are not connected.

A related question: Does it seem like many people assume I’m an arrogant prick when they hear I have more money than they do?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, in my experience many people who have “made it” financially did so by putting the Money God first, and everything else, family, etc. second. I never “made it” financially because I kept looking for a balance between raising my children and supporting them too (single Mom.) I turned down jobs that would require an hour’s commute both ways, although the money would have exceeded anything I could have made at the time. I will agree that those who have made it themselves do have brains, but they aren’t necessarily any brainer than anyone else. They just set their priorities differently.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@KatawaGrey : As to your “related question” I think that depends somewhat on where they hear it… :-)

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Wait, I thought this question was about rich people thinking they were smarter? Where did priorities come into this?

I’m beginning to think this is just another “I hate rich people because I don’t have very much money myself” rant.

@JilltheTooth: Haha, well, whenever I would tell people where I was going to school, apparently that qualified as me being an arrogant prick. Because I should sacrifice my education to make them feel better about themselves.

zophu's avatar

Most probably have to feel like they’re smarter than the majority. Even if they don’t believe they “earned” their wealth, they can’t hide from the fact that being rich gives them significant social responsibility. To be comfortable with their lifestyle, they have to convince themselves that they are capable of living up to that responsibility, even if they aren’t.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@zophu: I had never thought of it that way. GA!

DominicX's avatar

Hasn’t been my experience, just being honest. I’ve definitely met snobby rich people before, but it wasn’t necessarily about intelligence as much as it was just an overall “I’m better” attitude (which of course could’ve included intelligence). I’ve noticed that most people regardless of income believe they’re smarter than everyone else. Especially online…

KatawaGrey's avatar

@DominicX: The difference is that I actually am smarter than everyone.~

JilltheTooth's avatar

@KatawaGrey ; Not me you’re not! and don’t you ever forget it! ;-)

Cruiser's avatar

I think it is almost opposite. The sucessful wealthy people I kbow are simply smart enough to surround themselves with people who are smarter than they are and can do a better job than them. That is how my boss made his little forftune.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I haven’t met many with that attitude exactly but there is a feeling of being fortunate to have made well for themselves where so many others may have tried the same things but come up short.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KatawaGrey OK, what I’m saying is, the people who “have it made” often do so at the expense of family, children, whatever. But then they want to go around acting like they’re so smart because the “have it made,” compared to people who put their families and children first and didn’t make the bucks as a consequence. So, the question is, are they really smarter, or just more prepared to sacrifice Really Important things for Money? Are they smarter for putting Money first? Are the people who put it 2nd dumb? Not from my POV, but from theirs they are.

Haleth's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think the underlying question in this thread is, “Will people justify their lifestyle?” You aren’t claiming to be smarter or wealthier, but you do imply that you have better priorities than rich people. (“Are they really smarter, or just more prepared to sacrifice really important things for money? Are they smarter for putting Money first?... not from my POV…”)

The first two are rhetorical questions, so the answer is implied. – Are they really smarter? No. And then you hide your opinion by saying, “Not in my POV.” If that’s not your point of view, then why use the rhetorical question in the first place? (See how I just used one to get my point across?) It seems like you have the same attitude about your choices that you think rich people have about theirs.

To answer the original question, it seems like whether someone earned their riches or got born into them makes a big difference. I’ve known a few people who were totally self-made, and you can tell they’re really proud of it even if they try to seem humble. Even if they got lucky, there had to be some cleverness and hard work involved somewhere.

A couple of my college friends were born into rich families. I knew one dude whose dad bought a house for him and his friends to live in at school. There was a freaking recording studio in there. They said it was an investment property. One of my girlfriends drove a new Eclipse that her parents bought her for her 18th birthday, and had a rented townhouse all to herself. To me, stuff like this as a teenager means you’re rich. They both had a kind of devil-may-care attitude and never seemed stressed or worried, but that was the only difference. They never acted superior in any way.

ratboy's avatar

If you’re so rich, why are you not smart?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Haleth So…what happened to the kids? The few “rich” people I’ve known seemed, to me, to have their priorities backward in many ways. In my opinion. If a person puts money before family their priorities are backward, in my opinon.

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III Nailed it with her observation on the wealthier being more willing and able to put work before family. My boss bought this company 14 years ago and for the first 4 he did not take a vacation and for the first 10 he missed all sorts of milestones in his families young lives. I would not have ever made those same sacrifices at least not at those times of my kids lives. He now though is living a kings life and perhaps it was all worth it but only he knows that answer.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Cruiser: Is it better for a single mother to work 60 hour work weeks at a minimum wage job and never see her kids or a wealthy person to work 60 hour work weeks at a big company and never see her kids?

Cruiser's avatar

@KatawaGrey That is comparing apples and baseballs….the big difference is choice. My now wealthy boss had a choice between fortune and time with his kids…..he chose the money same with a wealthy person working 60 hours no matter where it is they work, it is their choice to do so. The single poor mom has no choice but to work her ass off to make ends meet. 14 years ago I made that choice to stop being self employed and take the job here and be paid enough so my wife did not have to work and I could have time off so I could attend my kids sports events and other milestones in their lives. It is all about choice for the wealthy…no one put a gun to their head and said work your ass off for lots of money while your kids grow up and that you won’t see all that often.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Cruiser: No, it’s not comparing apples and baseballs. The point is that neither person spends much time with her kids but one can afford to feed her kids well, send them to good schools, etc. However, she is evil. I will never understand this.

Edit to add: It sounds to me like this isn’t about who spends time with her kids but rather about people who have options being evil. Really, I am sick of people hating those who make money.

Cruiser's avatar

@KatawaGrey Well then it becomes a matter of you applying your own personal judgment to the wealthy persons choice and not a simple comparison anymore.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KatawaGrey Well….lets get back to the point….is the person who chooses to work 60 hours a week with the sole goal of getting wealthy and sacrificing all that time with their family smarter than the individual who chooses a 40 hour week and simply living comfortably AND being able to spend time with their family?

I seriously don’t know of any single moms who even get the opportunity of working 60 hours a week, and certainly not at minimum wage. Most of the minimum wage jobs are positions with companies that try to keep them under 40 so they don’t have to pay benefits.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Do you know any single moms who work two jobs? Also, I’m just curious, how do you feel about men who work a lot of hours and barely get to see their kids while their wives look after the children? Also, how do you feel about a parent who takes a pay cut to spend more time with his/her children and thus forces his/her children to go without certain things including, say, a good college education?

I understand what you’re trying to ask, but automatically assuming that a parent who has a lot of money is a bad person is a flawed assumption. Also, they are not necessarily smarter, but neither is the person who does not make a lot of money either by choice or by ability.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KatawaGrey Do I know any Moms who work two jobs? I don’t know any single moms who can AFFORD to work two jobs.

I am speaking from my own experience. When I filed for divorce in ’91 my now-ex made $50,000 a year, and was ordered to pay $1000 in support. But this was before it became status quo for child support to be withheld from the paycheck. In other words, he had the freedom to play head games with the support check, and he did. Headgames that I could do nothing about because I had no extra money for an attorney and he did. I was supporting our three kids on a full time, professional daycare income (which I ran out of the house,) while going to school full time in the evenings to get my degree in Education (so I could be on the same schedule as my kids (ame reason I choose daycare for an income…so I wouldn’t have to put my kids in someone else’s’ daycare.) I didn’t have the money to litigate! I knew it would just be a matter of time before my ex would quit paying child support altogether, and he did. Eventually he quit his job at Boeing and began working under the table. When he did resurface with a real job, it was in a different state 2000 miles away—do you have any idea what it would take to litigate across state lines? Was I making close to minimum wage even then, ten years later? Yes. Was he making far more than that? Yes.

Long story short, I’ve BEEN a single Mom. I was for 10 years. I’ve BEEN a child care provider, and invariably it’s the Mothers who bear the brunt of paying for child care while they work, and invariably the fathers who abscond, one way or another, and get away with it because the Mothers don’t make enough money for an attorney to do something about it. So, no. I have yet to find a single Mom who can afford to pay childcare for working two jobs, especially since neither job would be full time, and at least one of them would be 2nd or 3rd shift (have you ever tried to find a 2nd or 3rd shift childcare provider?) And the Moms get no relief from the courts (because the fathers have $13, $15, $20 an hour jobs to Mom’s minimum wage job or two, that let the fathers hire attorneys to keep the Moms beat down and themselves “debt” free.)

So, back to the question, if the dad “makes it” after 20 years, because he sacrifice his children, emotionally or financially, and the Mom is still fighting financially after 20 years because she’s carried all of this on her back….was he the smarter of the two.

I’m really emotional right now, because I speak from experience. And I’ve been watching both of my daughters fight the same damn, unfair, one-sided battle. And watched a lot of other single mothers get the shaft because they can’t do anything about it because they don’t have the money to buy justice.

So, back to the question: Who is smarter. The fathers, who are, by now, financially comfortable, or the single mothers, who are not.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Is this question about rich people or your ex-husband?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KatawaGrey Neither, actually. My post above was in response to your posts regarding single women. My post was one of experience. I could post the experiences of my daughter and it would be the same in many ways. You tried to draw a parallel between a single Mom working 60 hours a week to feed her family, and another, married person working 60 hours a week just to have lots of money. The point is, single mothers don’t have the option of working 60 hours a week, or two jobs either, simply for the lack of child care. Who’s gonna watch the kids? And how are you gonna afford that many hours of daycare a week? Compare that to a person who is married to the parent of their children, and the other parent takes care of all that, for “free.”

My post got long and emotional, and for that I apologize. It’s just that so many people just really don’t have a clue what it really and truly entails to BE a single Mom. People don’t understand what a battle it is to juggle being both breadwinner and caregiver.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Okay, so, single mothers are simply incapable of working a lot of hours because of lack of childcare. Is it any better for mom and kids to go hungry because mom doesn’t make enough money to feed the kids?

It sounds to me like this is less a question about how intelligent rich people perceive themselves to be and more a rant about how unfair it is that you have to raise a kid by yourself. Some people can afford to do that, some people can’t. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time raising your child but that’s no reason to take your anger out on people with more money.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KatawaGrey My three children are grown and gone, having kids of their own now. I didn’t feel it was “unfair” that I raised them alone. It’s just the situation that I wound up in and had to make the best of. I could have taken a lot of different routes, but I chose a balance between being their mother in person and providing for them financially. I sacrificed some from both of those worlds.

It doesn’t take tons and tons of money to feed kids, keep them in clean, neat clothes and to keep a decent and clean roof over their heads. None of that was ever sacrificed. What WAS sacrificed were designer clothes for school, expensive tennis shoes, expensive presents at birthdays, and Christmas, ordering pizza, eating out in general. And yes, there were those who looked down on me because my kids didn’t have all the unnecessary luxuries of “success,” so they assumed that they had to be smarter than me because they were able to give their kids whatever they wanted (except themselves) simply because at least one parent had the LUXURY of working 60 hours a week without having to worry about the kids,

Also, single moms are not “incapable” of working 60 hours, nor are they incapable of working two jobs. “Incapable” is the wrong word. That it’s just not “feasible” would be a better way to put it. For one thing, I don’t think you could find someone willing to watch your kids 60 hours a week. That aside, it’s not cost efficient either. It stands to reason that 60 hours or two jobs is going to mean needing some 2nd or 3rd shift care which is more expensive and next to impossible to find. It means picking your kids up in the middle of the night, or taking them to day care in the middle of the night. It also means that you’re looking at two different providers, and the problems that come with day care providers multiplied by two. It means taking off of two jobs in the same day to stay home with a sick kid that the day care providers won’t take. It just isn’t feasible for a single mom to work that many hours.

PLUS that means that someone else is raising their kids, period. If it were a grand parent or an aunt that might be different. But chances are it would be a commercial or professional care provider. I know deadbeat dads who don’t have a problem with that, but every mother I know would have a problem with it.

And last: Of course the question was rooted in personal experience! Every question on here has it’s roots in personal experience or personal feelings. It wasn’t meant to segue off on my own experiences, but I felt I needed to point out that there is a difference between a person working 60 hours a week because they aren’t saddled with the physical care of their children, and a single Mom who IS saddled with their children and therefore CAN’T work 60 hours a week. You tried to make a comparison as though they are similar. They aren’t even close. One is a luxury, the other is almost an impossibility.

weeveeship's avatar

The rich can get into better schools than others.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@weeveeship The rich can also hire live in surrogate mothers.

Well, I was going to just delete that last long ass response, but since it’s out there I’ll let it stand. But the point I’m trying to make @KatawaGrey is that you can’t compare single mothers doing it by themselves to rich and powerful corporate executives who can buy whatever they need to replace their position as a child’s mother or father.. I’m trying to explain that this is not a simple opinion of mine…it’s my own personal experience. It’s a fact.

And, in answer to your question, no. I’ve never known a single mother who worked two jobs unless she had a family member who was willing or able to help out for the long run so the child care could be shared between a paid provider and a free family member. Most single moms don’t have that kind of help, in my experience.

Ben_Dover's avatar

This is too funny. To me the ability to accumulate vast wealth is indicative of a person’s lack of intelligence.

But yes, it does seem that rich people automatically assume they are superior to those less well-heeled.

DominicX's avatar

To me the ability to accumulate vast wealth is indicative of a person’s lack of intelligence.

I’m sure you can back that one up…

Ben_Dover's avatar

Accumulating vast sums of wealth puts you in a position to pay for the criminally insane practice here in America of running around the world killing men, women and children and creating all types of terrorists who hate the USA.
if you don’t mind footing th bill for the wholesale slaughter of innocent families worldwide, and thereby setting the US up for another terrorist attack, then by all means use your exceeding fine intellect to generate wealth so as to help fund our criminally insane practices now common-place from US operatives world-wide.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@DominicX: Don’t. Trust me. This thread is rife with people who are mad at us because we have more money than they do.

Ben_Dover's avatar

I’m not mad t anyone. I am however, a little disgusted at the stupid way people throw money at the government to keep the gov’t out of their hair. meanwhile, the money thrown at the gov’t is used to cause mayhem world-wide.

Besides, neither fo you have your own money. you only have your mommy and daddy’s money.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Ben_Dover: How do you know that?

TexasDude's avatar

Is it wrong of me to not harbor even the slightest bit of jealousy against wealthy people? I even come from a rather poor family too.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Ben_Dover : Just FYI @KatawaGrey doesn’t have my money, nor a Daddy. Just sayin’. You’re making some wild generalizations here

@Fiddle Playing Creole Bastard: Refreshing to hear. And rare. I always felt it was less about the money you have (or don’t) and more about how you treat your fellow humans. Simplistic, maybe, but very true.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KatawaGrey…...I don’t see anyone who appears to be angry that they don’t have as much money as others?

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard No, you shouldn’t be jealous! Most folks who have a lot of money worked their butts off for it, and were willing to make sacrifices that others weren’t willing to make. My dad and mom were raised in total poverty. But Dad went to collee, school, got his EE degree, and worked his way really high up the Boeing corporate ladder. They certainly were far from poor when all was said and done. You can do that too, if it’s the money you want! So, no, you can’t be jealous of something you can have too….see.

TexasDude's avatar

@Dutchess_III, ah, gotcha. Thank you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Actually, I need to amend. If there are two parents in a house then the sacrifices aren’t so….sacrificial. If that make sense. Yeah, Mom or Dad may be gone a lot, but the kids still have their other parent and not some babysitter.

@Ben_Dover You said, “Besides, neither fo you have your own money. you only have your mommy and daddy’s money.” Who are you talking to? The vast majority of the people on this site ARE the mommy and the daddy. Adults. Not too many kids here.

DominicX's avatar


I think he was referring to me because I often defend rich people, I’m 19 and yes, I only have “mommy and daddy’s money”. The thing is, though, my mom was a stay-at-home mom and did not have to work for us to be wealthy. My dad also never worked “ridiculous hours” either.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@DK…that’s cool! ..... Can I borrow some money??!! Tell your Mom I said she’s beautiful (cause she is…but maybe then she’ll gimme money!! :)

There is nothing at all wrong with being rich. There IS something wrong when a rich person feels they have the right to look down their noses at those who, for whatever reason, wasn’t as fortunate as they were. And yes, sometimes it IS just luck. Just luck that something bad didn’t come along to totally derail their life.

I can understand frustration with dead beats. But there are those who look at nothing except the fact that you don’t have much money. They don’t look into your character, your work ethic, your morals, nothing. You’re not worth even looking at because you don’t have money.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Dutchess_III: I think it’s wrong for anyone to look down on anyone else, regardless of financial ability. You seem to be picking on rich people in particular though. Personally, I don’t think a poor single mom who looks down on a person with a lot of money is any better than the rich person who looks down upon the poor single mom.

DominicX's avatar

@Dutchess_III @KatawaGrey

I agree with both of you. :) And I’ll my mom what you said. :D

I’m not a fan of judging people based on the amount of money they have, and that goes both ways.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Does it seem like many “rich” people assume they are smarter than everyone else?

Some yes. Some no!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KatawaGrey I agree with what you said. No one has the right to look down on anyone else, for any reason, really. Although we’re all guilty of it to some extent. I have “rich” people in my family and with only a couple of exceptions they’ve become….smug. I don’t know how else to phrase it. They think that if you’re too poor to afford health insurance, then that’s your own fault, and you don’t deserve the kind of health care they get. During the Health Care Bill thing I was debating with one such person…the husband of a good friend of my Mom’s. He actually equated having health care with all the “perks” that well-off people have such as “Nice houses, vacations, nice cars, etc.” I could NOT believe what I was hearing. So…if you’re poor you deserve to just die? The overall thread of his personality is “I’m rich because I’m smart.” I’ve seen it with others and it’s really frustrating….and really shallow IMO.

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