Casino magnate Steve Wynn tossed a verbal grenade into class warfare when he likened his company to a luxury brand that focuses only on people with money.
Earlier this year, the billionaire founder of the publicly-traded Wynn Resorts was quoted saying in a presentation with investors that an environment that attracts and caters to the wealthy will attract everyone else.
“Rich people only like being around rich people,” he said. “Nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people.”
Wynn’s line had since gone viral and had everyone losing their minds, not unlike the 2014 remarks made by tech venture capitalist Tom Perkins, who said that rich people were being persecuted and should get more votes.
In all fairness though, Wynn began by saying how Wynn Resorts is more of a luxury brand like Louis Vuitton than a casino or hotel chain and was making a point that he wanted to create an “environment” of wealth that draws all kinds of wealth.
That’s a reasonable business proposal. That said, the “poor people” remark could have been done in better taste, especially when it’s coming out from a Ferrari-driving and Picasso-collecting billionaire.
His take on popular attitudes towards the wealthy however, is not entirely unfounded. As Einstein said, “consciousness is contagious”. In this scenario, one’s network may well be one’s net-worth.
Birds of a feather, flock together
For starters, exposure to those who are more successful than you can potentially expand your thinking and boost your chances of increasing your income. We become like the people we surround ourselves with, and that’s why winners are attracted to winners.
Such attitudes are prevalent in other segments of society but are generally better accepted. The wealthy, however, continue to get flak for their predisposition to engage the company of those with similar financial success.
The average Joe wants to meet a millionaire to tell their friends they met a millionaire. Millionaires, on the other hand, want to associate with billionaires to learn the secret of their success.
The message of associating only with the wealthy might sound elitist or discriminatory against the middle class, but it’s not. The saying that everyone, regardless of financial status, has access to all the good things in life is however, naïve and untrue.
Whether you think it’s right or wrong, wealth offers perks and privileges, and one of the most fundamental ways to start the wealth-generating process is to get into the circles of the rich and learn the secrets of their trade.
The bottom line: birds of a feather flock together. People with high academic qualification would like to associate themselves with those on the same wavelength. Physically fit people enjoy partaking in activities with those of similar fitness levels.
And rich people like to hang out with those who are rich.