What's classy if you're rich, but trashy if you're poor? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
If you're rich, doing nothing is classy for a number of reasons. You're relaxing, you're taking it easy, you're liberating yourself from this horrible and stressful world. That's good for your mental/physical health, right? Since you're not preoccupied, you get to take in and appreciate all of the wonderful things that life has to offer. Golly, you sure know how to live, if you're rich and you can spend time doing nothing!
If you're poor, doing nothing is trashy because it makes you come across as lazy, and "perhaps you wouldn't be so poor if you got up off your ass and did something". Doing nothing for the same reasons as a rich person isn't acceptable when you're poor.
Talking on the phone all the time.
If you're rich, talking on the phone all the time can make you look good. If it's for business/work, you "must be so important" and you are "such a wheeler-dealer". If it's personal, you "have got such a bustling social life".
If you're poor, talking on the phone all the time is viewed as "just yakking". After all, what important things could a poor person ever have to be talking to someone about?
Working too much/being busy.
If you're rich, working too much is "the image of success" and "an example of how hard work pays off". Not only will you receive high recognition for it from others, others will fall all over themselves to accommodate you. This is why you'll hear high-end service providers such as wealth management companies saying such things as "we understand your busy schedule and can work with it".
But if you're poor, you may be equally as busy/overworked, just under different conditions such as working multiple lower-wage jobs. Mathematically, working two 30-hour per week jobs is working just as hard as working 60 hours per week at one job. In fact, you'll probably be working harder while getting to and from both jobs, and managing the possible overlaps/conflicts between them. The difference is, when you're poor, no one cares how busy you are. Not only does no one care, it looks bad. This is where such labels as "workaholic" come from, followed by accusations/remarks such as "but if you work so much, how can you ever be there for your family?", and "maybe if you went to college and got a better job, you wouldn't have to work so much".
Receiving public assistance.
If you're rich, they call it a "bailout". If you're poor, they call it "welfare".
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