Flaunting Wealth: Are We About To Reach America’s “Let Them Eat Cake” Moment?
In the social media era, public displays of wealth have become a way to show the world that you are “somebody”. Of course our value as human beings has absolutely nothing to do with how much money we have, but it is undeniable that those that have tremendous wealth are often idolized in our culture. Just think of how much we fawn over Bill Gates, Elon Musk and countless social media “influencers” that have become household names. Sadly, this has created an environment in which people increasingly feel a need to flaunt their wealth, and that is extremely unfortunate.
Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, 8 million more Americans have fallen into poverty, 10 million more Americans are now in danger of being evicted from their homes, and more than 70 million new claims for unemployment benefits have been filed. With so many people deeply suffering, it is extremely insensitive to publicly flaunt your wealth, but many rich people are doing it anyway.
Recently, social media influencer Kylie Jenner has gotten a lot of attention for photos that she has been posting to Instagram. In one, her daughter poses with a $1,390 designer bag in front of a $225,000 Lamborghini…
Kylie, 23, posted a new picture of her toddler today, as the two enjoyed the Calabasas sun.
The Instagram model showed off Stormi’s outfit, consisting of gray sweatpants, a matching tank top, colorful sneakers, and a $1390 mini tan Prada bag.
As if the high-end bag wasn’t enough of a flash of wealth, the photo was taken in front of Kylie’s $225K bright orange Lamborghini.
The caption “chill days w mommy” was posted under the photo.
How are the millions of Americans that have had to wait in line for hours at local food banks supposed to feel when they see something like that?
Another way that wealth is being flaunted is through the purchase of NFTs. On Monday, a tech executive paid 2.9 million dollars for an NFT of Jack Dorsey’s very first tweet…
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, offered for sale as a nonfungible token, was sold on Monday for 1,630.58 ether, a cryptocurrency. That’s equivalent to about $2.9 million based on ether’s price at the time of sale.
The tweet, which said “just setting up my twttr,” was first published on March 21, 2006. It was listed for sale as an NFT on March 6. By March 9, the highest offer was from Sina Estavi, CEO of Bridge Oracle. Estavi won the auction, though his bid was worth about $2.5 million it was placed.
Of course Sina Estavi doesn’t actually own Jack Dorsey’s first tweet now.
All he owns is a digital collectible that memorializes Jack Dorsey’s first tweet.
How ridiculous is that?
Even worse, someone recently spent 69 million dollars for an NFT “work of art” that was created by a digital artist named “Beeple”…
Last week, the auction house Christie’s announced the artist Beeple sold a piece of artwork for more than $69 million, the third highest price for a living artist.
But “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” isn’t a physical work of art. It’s all digital.
The work was sold through an NFT, a burgeoning technology that could potentially change how we own everything from art work and concert tickets to our homes.
If you want to know how to get rich quick in America these days, just change your name to something really stupid like “Beeple” and start pumping out NFT “artwork”.
You don’t even have to paint anything, and you can make millions of dollars in the process.
Meanwhile, about two-thirds of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and are just trying to survive from month to month.
The gap between the wealthy and the poor has never been greater, and there is a tremendous amount of resentment building toward the ultra-rich right now.
In such an environment, you would think that religious leaders would be extremely cautious about flaunting wealth, but in many instances they are some of the most brazen examples of all.
A man named Ben Kirby started the @PreachersNSneakers Instagram account in 2019, and today it has more than 210,000 followers. For more than a year, he has been posting photos of some of the most famous preachers in America wearing extremely expensive designer clothes…
On his feed, Kirby has showcased Seattle pastor Judah Smith’s $3,600 Gucci jacket, Dallas pastor T.D. Jakes’s $1,250 Louboutin fanny pack and Miami pastor Guillermo Maldonado’s $2,541 Ricci crocodile belt. And he considers Paula White, former president Donald Trump’s most trusted pastoral adviser who is often photographed in designer items, a PreachersNSneakers “content goldmine,” posting a photo of her wearing $785 Stella McCartney sneakers.
When I was growing up in the 1970s, I never heard of this sort of thing happening.
In those days, preachers wore very conservative suits and ties, and they were usually not paid very well at all.
But now a new brand of “celebrity preacher” has emerged, and they are often treated like rock stars…
In his book, Kirby writes that these pastors who have enormous social media followings aren’t simply pastors anymore, he writes. Often they are motivational speakers, corporate coaches and leadership consultants. Kirby said he has heard of churches where a volunteer was designated solely for the purpose of carrying the pastor’s Bible. Often, he writes, these pastors have private entrances, reserved parking spaces, security details and a gaggle of personal assistants or handlers. And, often, they promise blessings from God to their followers if their followers bless the church.
“Like Hollywood — a world so often criticized by the pietistic — these institutions and their leaders celebrate and reward the ‘blessing’ of fame, popularity and influence,” he writes. “Pastors function like ‘talent’ performing for an audience or like a spokesman for the church’s ‘brand.’ ”
If this is how corrupt our churches have become, what hope is there for the nation as a whole?
Flaunting wealth and throwing money around recklessly might be fun for a while, but there will be a price to pay.
Even as I write this article, the resentment that the “have nots” are feeling toward the “haves” is growing.
When things get bad enough in this country, a breaking point will come, and the “have nots” will be looking to extract some revenge.
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Wed, 03/24/2021 – 12:00