Thursday, April 7, 2016


As I was in the shower this morning, I found myself musing on the idea of what I would do with my money were I a wealthy man. (I had read this comic, and it called to mind an earlier article I had read that notes JK Rowling's surrender of billionaire-dom. [The link is to a different source; I do not recall that I read it in Forbes at first, but it does corroborate the assertion.]) I know that it is greatly unlikely I will ever become a wealthy person. I work in humanities education, in a field whose average salary is in the upper $50,000s for tenure-line faculty (per this source), and I am not on the tenure line (hence the end of my visit), so that I make less. My family once had socioeconomic privilege, but that is some generations back, and it was the kind of socioeconomic privilege that derives not from liquid capital but from real holdings--which we no longer hold, hence the "once." Odds on the lottery are against me. But the thought of having money is pleasant.

So, were I to suddenly become wealthy, things I would do include (and more or less in the order presented):
  1. Pay off the family's debts. Mine. Those of the Mrs. Those of my brother. Those of my parents. Maybe one or two others, but definitely those.
  2. Set up a trust fund for Ms. 8. I won't be around forever, after all, and it would be nice to take care of her even after I am gone.
  3. Put money into savings, bonds, and investments. I have time for slow and steady growth to be workable, but I might also like some more money now. (You expect me to be wholly altruistic?)
  4. Buy a really fancy bottle of booze and drink it with a few people. They know who they are. (You expect me to be wholly altruistic?)
  5. Make vehemently obscene gestures and statements towards a select few people. They will know who they are. (You expect me to be wholly altruistic?)
  6. Set up some scholarships. I was helped, and I would like to pay some of it forward. (You expect me to be wholly selfish?) My undergraduate and graduate schools would be recipients. Maybe a place in New York City.
  7. Build a place to live in a nice neighborhood.
  8. Fill it with awesomeness.
  9. Have a crawfish boil/turkey fry/cook-out, inviting family and the neighbors.
  10. Sleep off the party.
  11. Get right back to work.
I am relatively unambitious.

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