How To Do Business With Americans: Attitudes Toward The Rich
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.
In general, Americans who are not rich do not hate those who are. This is in stark contrast to attitudes in many parts of the world where there is deep resentment toward the rich.
Americans are negative about rich people who abuse their power, who are arrogant, haughty, and rude. And they may resent the rich if they find out that they have completely avoided paying taxes. But even then, it is “may” resent.
The reason for this is Americans generally feel that they have a chance to become rich themselves. Even down-and-out Americans. We have heard older Americans who are poor, when asked how they feel about the rich say: “If I had made different career choices, I could be rich myself.”
If you are rich, poor people will not attack you or vandalize your possessions. There are exceptions of course but for the most part they will admire you, defer to you, and in their hearts think that they or their children might be rich like you one day. Some of them will steal from you, if they get a chance, and do it with no pangs of conscience. But that is true most anywhere, not just America.
If you are rich, America is good place to live and a good place to do business.
But follow this advice. Always be nice to people. Even little, insignificant people, like your housekeeper and clerks in stores and waiters and waitresses and the valet that brings you your car. Don’t even think about ordering Americans around, just because you’re rich, telling them to do this, do that. And don’t become annoyed when ordinary Americans try to strike up conversations with you. And don’t be condescending toward ordinary Americans.
It’s OK to let people know that you are rich. No need to conceal it, and if you do it in a friendly manner, you will be admired. We have heard these people say, “She is rich, but really nice. Here’s what she said to me….”