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Book Review-Green With Envy

June 14th, 2006 at 05:15 am

Subtitle, why keeping up with the Joneses is keeping us in debt. By Shira Boss.

Nothing terribly profound or new, but it was a quick, interesting read. I'd recommend it as a library borrow, but it wouldn't be worth buying IMHO.

The author and her husband were going through a rough period financially, and it looked to them like their peers and neighbors were doing much better. However, one day she overheard a seemingly rich neighbor talking about financial problems, and her curiosity was piqued.

She found a way to get the low-down on the neighbor's situation, and then went on to do more interviews on the same theme--how did actual financial situations differ from how they appeared?

The most surprising part was the chapter on congressmen who have such a hard time financially they have to sleep in their offices!

I did find it hard to have much sympathy for the ultra-rich, whose main problems seem to be 1) a lack of privacy because of all the servants in the house, and 2) boredom because of not having to work. I'm sorry, their money still gives them choices the rest of us don't have.

An interesting tip, if you are husband- or wife-hunting and living in the Northwest. Apparently many children of the wealthy, from the Northeast, are relocating to the Northwest and trying to live life like "normal" people. So if you meet a nice starving artist in Seattle, give them a chance. They might be a millionaire in hiding. Smile

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