Speaking openly about money remains taboo in polite society. I never meet wealthy people who speak about themselves as “rich.” More often than not people of means display their wealth and the status it gives them through material objects—where they live, shop, what they own. While they may not speak openly about money, many wealthy individuals think about their riches all the time. Possessing wealth in a greedy culture, where millions of poor people live without the basic necessities of life, they work to hold on to what they have, using it to make more. Protecting their class interests takes time. Many wealthy people live in fear that the people they meet want to get money from them and, as a consequence, thinking about money often dominates their personal relationships.
Most individuals from poor and working-class backgrounds do not work directly as servants for the rich and know no wealthy people. Even though citizens of this nation like to insist that the United States is a classless society, we all know that the rich live apart from the rest of us and that they live differently. Growing up in the fifties, I was surrounded by folks who wanted to have more money to buy the things in life their hearts desired. I was most moved by the longings of grown women who worked hard keeping household, doing jobs