EDIT: Owing to thoughtful and constructive discussion in the comments (one of my favorite G+ features) my take on this has softened and gained nuance. Thanks to everyone who helped me hash out my feelings on this.
He is the latest celebrity multi-millionaire to cut his kids out of his will — Money documented a long list of the ultra-rich who won’t pass along fortunes to their children, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, George Lucas, and Sting.
Rich people tend to be shitheads, film at 11.
I made the mistake of looking at Facebook yesterday, and this popped up in my feed. The comments were, of course, filled with praise — Ramsay is “teaching his kids a lesson” and making sure they’re not “spoiled” — all from people who I’m pretty sure will be lucky if they have enough money to retire on, much less have much of anything to leave to their kids.
I’m totally mystified by this. I would kill to leave my son a fortune, allowing him to bypass the rigged, bullshit capitalist system that most of us work within. Isn’t the whole point of parenting to make sure your kids start life better off than you did? Is there really any virtue in perpetuating a never-ending cycle of financial struggle?
The idea that the only way to teach your child financial responsibility is to force them to live through some Horatio-Alger-induced gauntlet of misery is complete horseshit. The big names mentioned in this article are privileged asshats buying into the same, shitty, bootstrap-ing mythology that the fascist shitstains running their respective nations use to ensure financial disparity.
My mom basically died a pauper. The only thing of value she left behind was her house — paid for*, but often nearly lost due to her inability to pay property taxes, dilapidated, and severely devalued by the 2008 collapse. If we’ll ever be able to get even $90k out of that house, we’ll be lucky, and all of that money will be going to the medical and survival needs of some of my other family. I.e., no one is profiting here.
Would anyone have been singing my mom’s praises if she’d vaporized that asset and left behind nothing? If she’d denied her descendants even that meager gift, just because hey, she started with nothing back when she first immigrated to the US, so why shouldn’t others face the same, character-building adversity? Give me a break.
This is bald-faced privilege, and it makes me sick. It’s a philosophical luxury available only to those who’ve forgotten (or never knew) what day-to-day life is like for most people. Ramsay proudly talks about his life asa poor kid living on a council estate with an alcoholic father — seriously, does he drink heavily and beat his kids, too? You know, to “build character”? Would we admire him if he did?
It’s likewise nauseating when I see struggling middle-class people consider this laudable behavior. It’s the same bullshit American Billionaire mythology that got Drumpf elected.
(And let’s not even get into the anecdotes about Ramsay making his kids fly coach while he flies first class, teaching nothing more than the idea that there are haves and have-nots, and enjoying a pleasant travel experience is something on certain people “deserve”.)
Fuck you, Gordon Ramsay. I hope your kids eventually have you declared incompetent and then re-write your will.
* Paid too much for, as she got conned; did I mention that? Maybe if she had grown up with money and knew how to manage it…