Lover of the superrich and apparent handbag savant Richard Kirshenbaum is at it again in his “Isn’t that Rich” column in the Observer. This time, he places his gilded microscope over the “brich,” aka R&Bs aka the rich and broke.
So what does it mean to be broke and rich?
“O.K., let’s play the numbers game,” a rich and broke Australian tells Kirsh. “I made $10 million last year. Now that I am a U.S. citizen, almost 50 percent goes to taxes…Then I got divorced and half of everything went to the ex. That left me with $2.5 million. I just bought a new apartment with Cha Cha [his new paramour] and had to put down $1.5 million. Then if you subtract alimony, private schools, camps, vacations, doctors, therapists, clothes, credit card bills, tutors and buying a couch, I have exactly $1.99 left over.”
But save your tears, these down-and-out millionaires blame everyone but themselves for their out-of-control spending and bad live choices.
The first victim in this blame game is naturally the government. If these briches were smart like our tiny-handed Republican presidential nominee, they wouldn’t pay any taxes, but, as it is, they reluctantly let the government gobble up their hard-earned inheritances.
“Let’s say you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth and your father leaves $100 million when he goes to…the tap room in the sky,” a polo-playing Palm Beach brich bitch says. “If there is only one of you, you’re still rich after the estate taxes. However, if Pappy had four children and you’ve been counting on your inheritance, that only leaves $25 million per kid and $13 or $14 mil after taxes.”
Brich kids hate their siblings for basically the same reason. Who likes sharing?
“How many brothers and sisters you have to share in the estate and how many stepmothers and stepsiblings there are in the picture. It totally affects one’s life,” he adds. Indeed!
But it’s friendships that can really do you in.
“Let’s take weddings, bar mitzvahs, Sweet 16s,” a Tribeca event planner/ “chic housewife” says.”The gifts now run $250 to $1,000 a couple depending how close you are. Then there are the fundraisers. Friends get honored, and you need to buy one or two tickets. The tables now are all $10,000 to $50,000 a pop. If your best girlfriend is getting honored you need to do the $1,000 ticket, minimum for two, then they hit you up for the journal ad. That’s $2,500 to $10,000. You can’t do a quarter page when everyone else is doing a full gold page for your bestie. Then you have to buy the dress, the shoes, the bag. Even if it’s a sample sale purchase, it’s going to run you $1,600: $600 for the bargain dress, $400 for the shoes and $600 for the bag.”
[At this point, Kirshenbaum makes us aware of his highly-developed handbag senses, noting that “she dug into her 2012 and somewhat suspiciously dinged YSL.” Impressive. Now back to the action…]
“Then you get invited to their parties and dinners, where they have major staff…all off the Milan runway, and you want to reciprocate…” Tribeca mom with handbag adds. “The bill is always over $1,000 with wine, and you have to pay it. You have to throw your 3- or 6-year-old a birthday party and invite all the little princes and princesses, and they want a theme and gifts. You need to also buy all the little brats a gift card for $25 to $100 for their parties. You have 10 parties—that’s another $1,000. I mean, really! I’m in the social poorhouse before my husband even gets his lesser bonus than last year.”
It hard out there for brich. Maybe it’s best to just forgo all human interaction and sit alone with your wealth. At least that way you’ll never have to share it.