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At the risk of incurring the eternal wrath of Ray and others, I do indeed perceive huge amounts of inherited money as luck. However, I disagree with der Spiegel's notion that this inheritance is contumelious.

This cover shows a difference between the US and Germany - in the US, there is no envy at all towards rich people. In Germany, making money is associated with being ruthless and evil.

@ german observer,

I agree that inheriting a large sum of money is lucky. That's not what this posting is about.

I'm quite sure the Spiegel cover is ambivalent and possibly misunderstandable. It refers to Sterntaler, best translation probably being Starbucks or Star-Money. It actually is not a rich girl, but rather poor (see http://www.4literature.net/Jacob_and_Wilhelm_Grimm/Star_Money/). It refers to the perception that the offspring of rich people has not done much to acquire or "deserve" this money, the message being "you have done nothing to earn this money yourself, you're just lucky". The most common perception in Germany appears to be that a successful enterpreneur deservers what he gets, but that his heirs have no connection with him and just "are there".

The reference to the new Iraq strategy is beyond me.

I clarified it some more. That is why I wrote endnote. It is a different subject matter involving the same publisher. As far as the girl goes, it is pretty obvious what the cover is saying. Lucky little inheritor.

Actually the picture is completely off the mark. The fairy tale is about a poor little girl, who still gives away anything she still possesses to needy people and is rewarded by God.

So she earned it by her altruistic goodness. Hardly the analogy the Spiegel wanted to push for.

It would have been more appropriate to put a picture of the Kennedy clan on the cover. Somehow I don't think that idea occurred to the Spiegel staff.

Luck is paying a buck for a lottery ticket and actually winning. Inheiritance involves someone choosing to give the money to someone else. If it was simply a matter of luck we'd be hanging out at hospices right now.

Do you want to punish kids for having rich parents, or rich parents for having kids?

How much is large???

--there is no envy at all towards rich people.--????

Oh, yes there is.

This reminds me that Francois Holland was quoted as saying "I don't like rich people".

Would have been nice if you could have commented on the actual article and its possible relevance to recent changes in inheritance tax laws in Germany, instead of getting worked up over the cover... undoubtedly it's trying to provoke, yet the way you react to provocation is in my opinion completely over the top.

Good work. I find you comments and the article to be right on point.

@tarito - I don't think it is over the top. It is an accurate description of what is going on.

Where money is there is hell, where no money is there is hell a fortiori.

Spiegel would have had a more effective cover page if they had put Paris Hilton on it rather than the cute little blond girl.

"For the love of money is the root of all evil" I Timothy 6:10
"The lack of money is the root of all evil" Mark Twain

@tarito

I don't think Ray read the Spiegel article.

@Cynthia - IIRC this one attributes to Bernward Vesper, but couldn´t dig it out yet.

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