Let's all shed some tears on behalf of the rich!
From: Racheli Gai (jnpalmeattglobal.net)
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 12:33:01 -0600 (MDT)
>From Racheli

Hi Sharon,

I want to acknowledge at the outset that your post is causing a strong
emotional reaction in me.  I think the issues brought up deserve a
response, though, and will attempt to do so in a civilized manner ~.

>I don't have a rationale but want to second the question (if that is
>possible) or confirm the observation. I find myself in the position of
>the woman who writes books on how to marry a rich person. Her argument is
>"The rich need love too."

That's a pretty strange advice.  It seems like you'd get attached to
someone because you love her/him, not because "they need love too"...

>If one is in favor of safe and secure housing for _all_, that includes
>the rich. And some rich want to be able to spend their money both for
>themselves and the community -- without creating a charity situation. How
>many cohousing communities have made allowances for the person who has
>chosen to have the $1million a year job and therefore does not have time
>to do workshare but is perfectly happy to share her personal staff with
>the community? 

Let me mention some issues which come up for me:

*  Do rich people have a hard time get secure housing? - This isn't my

*  As to the $1 million job - it seems to me that this person *could*
choose to work less and have some time for the community, if this was any
kind of a *meaningful priority* for them.  Those who have
to work their butts off to pay the mortgage don't have this option
available.  (Am I the only one who sees great ASSYMETRY between the
alleged plight of the rich and the plight of the poor?) 

*  The idea of someone's servants doing community work on behalf of the
rich-but-oh-so-busy person makes cringe.  

*  I want to point out as gently as I can that most people who are
horribly rich don't come by their money in ways which many of us would
consider honorable and community-enhancing.  One might point out that many
of us end up holding up to jobs which are objectionable to some degree or
another.  However, the rich person has a hell of a lot more options open
to them than the overwhelming majority of the citizenry.  

>If a famous rock star wanted to live in cohousing but needed personal
>bodyguards with guns to be on premises and with her children at all
>times, would they be welcome?

This seems to insert considerations other than simply of one being rich.

>Corporate executives are expected to do a _lot_ of entertaining. If such
>a person wanted to live in cohousing and to have a commonhouse with
>especially fine furnishings and smaller private dining room for special
>parties that was available to other members, would she be allowed to
>furnish the commonhouse?

Again, a lot of other considerations come into play.  Some examples: to
what extent would the executive get to use the premises ahead of other 
community people?  Do we really think that for one person to put  that
much money in,  keeps all members of the community on equal footing? Why
is it necessary to have "especially fine furnishings" for rich people? -
average furnishings are beneath them? - if the rich person needs to
impress their guests, is it incumbent on the rest of the community to
accommodate it?  

>The rich and famous often _need_ to live in a gated community in order to
>protect their families. Would this be allowed?

*Should* it be allowed? - How is this going to affect other people's way
of life?  How does it sit with other people's values? Are other people
obliged to give up on the value/wish, let's say, of having an open
community simply to accommodate a rich and famous person?  To what extent
having that person with his/her bodyguards threatens the safety of other
people? (I'm not saying that I know the answer to these questions, but
they are legitimate questions to ask).

>Judges often have to have their children under armed guard when they are
>hearing sensitive cases (mafia lords). Would this be allowed?

We have a case which is in this category, and have done work to
accommodate the member's needs while not completely giving up on other
people's needs. This isn't simple, but it makes a difference when a member
does work which the rest of the community sees as necessary for the
well-being of the larger community.  If I had to do it simply to allow
someone to protect a vast wealth and privilege, I might in all likelihood
think differently.

>Do we have diversity if we exclude these people? Do they have needs for
>community or not?

I think that their need for community is, more often than not, compromised
by their other needs/desires (to protect their wealth, and perhaps to keep
 generating it; to have a standard of living which is way beyond what 
many of us consider reasonable; etc.)

As was mentioned in recent postings, diversity doesn't mean allowing
everyone in.  It's allowing people who share some basis of common values,
and a desire for a shared way of life.  The rich in your examples seem to
need/want to have *their* way of life kept intact, while the rest of us
make room for them (and perhaps enjoy some financial benefits which will
hopefully trickle down)...


jnpalme [at] attglobal.net (Racheli Gai)

Cohousing-L mailing list
Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org  Unsubscribe  and other info:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.