Being Rich Is Just the Worst

In case you were spending part of this afternoon fantasizing about what it would be like to be rich, here’s a new report from a Certified Rich Person: It’s the worst. Don’t bother.

“I tell everyone, getting rich is life’s biggest booby trap,” billionaire Jim Koch told Business Insider this morning.

Koch — no relation to the Koch Brothers, except for the billionaire part — first worked for the Boston Consulting Group before leaving to start the Boston Beer Company and create Samuel Adams beer. As Business Insider reports, “it had a record year in 2014, bringing in $903 million in revenue.”

But Koch warns other would-be billionaires that life on the other side isn’t like a perfect pour of Sam Adams: “Koch believes achieving wealth brings the temptation to sacrifice your passion for whatever will result in more cash, and using wealth as your main motivator sets you up for self-destruction.”

Sacrificing your passion for something that brings in cash is an experience unique to the wealthy, after all. Nobody with less than a billion dollars in net worth has ever considered putting a passion aside for the sake of earning money.

In case that weren’t enough to put you off being rich, Planet Money recently shared new data that indicates rich people have to work harder than everyone else: “High-income families are much more likely than average to have both spouses working full time.”

It isn’t all wife bonuses and lives of leisure, people! In fact, to quote Planet Money, “It’s pretty hard to be rich with only one income.”

Where are these families who are supporting themselves on just one income? Surprise: it’s the people in the poorest quintile. In fact, many of these poorest couples are flouting tradition and having the woman go to work while the man stays at home! As Planet Money explains: “The story here has as much to do with the decline of working men as it does the progress of women in the economy.”

Or maybe these poorest families followed Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recent Washington Post advice to put men in charge of family life and let women achieve success in the business world. “Would men resist becoming lead parents if it meant their wives could bring in more money and they could spend more time with their children?” she asks.

But not too much money, of course. We wouldn’t want to accidentally end up rich.

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