Sometimes you watch programmes because you can’t be bothered to change the channel at the end of a long day (say after Masterchef: The Professionals on BBC2) and then you can’t stop staring at the screen in disbelief.
BBC2 have just shown the first part of a three part documentary called ‘Money’ by Vanessa Engle as part of their money season. They’ve been having various trailers for the programmes in this series using various songs about money….
- Price Tag: Jessie J
- Billionaire: Travis McCoy
- Money, Money Money: ABBA
The programme follows various people who attend ‘Get Rich’ seminars. Very Americanised seminars that seem very alien to the British mindset, but apparently have been very popular over here too. In particular, there are a lot of admirers of Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad book and his ‘Rich Dad’ company, and for T. Harv Eker and the Millionaire Mind. All I could think of was Tom Cruise in Magnolia and then that awful Aaron Ekhart and Jennifer Aniston movie where he’s a motivational speaker. In fact, the way in which Eker was talking to people it looked like a cult. A money cult. Eker urges people to do morning ‘millionaire’ warm-ups where you do basic yoga-like postures but say things like ‘I am a millionaire’ and then put coins in a savings jar while saying KERCHING out loud each time….. Quite.
Engle, who had a rather discombobulated voice, perhaps because she was behind the camera, followed in particular one couple of 18 years olds, still in college, and a nursery nurse who attend such seminars, read such books and hope to become millionaires within the next three years. They’re all in debt but assured that they’ll eventually get rich. And maybe they will but they’re spending £1000s on attending these seminars. Apparently the secret to getting rich is partly about mindset, but also that large amounts of wealth can only be earned through investing in stocks and shares or investing in property. But maybe the secret to getting rich is to start a business in motivational speaking and Get Rich seminars.
What was particularly offensive though was Kiyosaki’s urge that there’s no point of going to school and that education and getting a job is a waste of time. And then he started talking about the feudal system and the need for rich people and peasants. Another semi-elderly couple, who had 29 properties worth £4.5 million in total (which doesn’t seem that much for TWENTY-NINE properties – each property is on average worth £155,000), from following such advice and who now run such seminars (earning about £100,000 a year from giving these talks) also talked about the need for rich people and poor people for ‘balance’.
What’s happened to good old-fashioned socialism?