It seems like everyone has an opinion about the “rich” these days. Take for example Ranger X. Rich. We first noticed the ranger as we hiked out of the large parking lot adjacent to the wilderness area. He was just opening his ticket book when my wife said to me, “did you put your parking pass [self administered] on the dashboard?” I had not; I had left it on the console. With that I said to the ranger, “I better run back and put my pass on the dashboard; otherwise you are going to give me a ticket.” He smiled, pointed to the parking lot and asked me what kind of car I drove. I reported to him “a Toyota 4-Runner.”
He then said something that shocked us. “I’ll probably never get around to the Toyotas. Most people who drive Toyotas. . .Fords. . . Chevrolets pay the $3 to use the park. It’s the people with Mercedes, BMWs, Jaguars, the worst, and Range Rovers who usually don’t pay. [He checks those first]. I’ve been doing this a long time. It’s the working man who pays in this country. Rich people don’t pay taxes, they don’t pay to park.”
My empirical research does not cover the parking habits of the rich. So I cannot say whether Ranger X. Rich is correct in his assumption that people who drive status makes of motor vehicles are more likely to scoff at the notion of paying parking fees. Further Ranger X. Rich asserts that those people who drive these status cars are by definition “rich.” But as I pointed out in Stop Acting Rich . . . 86% of those who drive status motor vehicles are not millionaires. So it may be that many people who drive expensive cars don’t have enough money left to pay the parking fees or tip the waiters, the caddy, etc.
What do you think about Ranger X. Rich’s perceptions of the rich?