I read a news item today that informs us about Elin Nordegren (Tiger Woods' ex-wife) tearing down a $12 million home she bought only last year and re-building. As someone who's never known $12 million and quite likely never will, I was certainly "impressed" by the story. After all, I don't think she and I have a lot in common. I have trouble throwing out a $12 shirt I bought on sale that has served me well for 5 years but still shows no signs of wear - why discard perfectly good clothing??
What was more interesting though was reading the comments. I only scanned the first page of comments and practically every single one of them complained about the excessive spending and wasteful nature and what $12 million would do for so many people who could better use that money. It was typical Occupy-rant with us versus the 1% mentality. But are those people really right?? I don't think so and here is why...
In my opinion, every one of us 99%ers should applaud her decision to tear down the $12 million home. It is the perfect example of wealth re-distribution from the rich to the ... well ... less rich. The money she spent buying the home and whatever she spends on tearing it down and rebuilding and decorating will go where? To real-estate agents, lawyers, construction workers, dump truck operators, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, architects, builders, carpenters, cleaners, interior designers, chandelier manufacturers etc etc. These people in turn will spend that money at local restaurants, coffee shops, toy stores, car dealerships, spas, electronics stores, cinemas etc.
In short she is quite probably single-handedly kick-starting the local economy. If she hadn't decided to renovate / rebuild, all that money would stay in her bank account. This way it gets spread out among the people. Why would anyone have a problem with this, I fail to understand.
Ideally, we should encourage every single wealthy person to take similar actions that appear vain and ridiculous at the outset but if you scratch just a wee bit deeper, they are actually exactly what we need.
I'm sure I am not the only one that sees it this way.