Switching ten couples for a month, study confirms what many rich already know: the poor complain for no reason at all

CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA. ( Yale Department of Psychology in a study to be published later this month in American Psychology, has found what many wealthy have long suspected: being poor isn't so bad.

Dr Milton Redman, II, explained how the project was carried out. "We simply chose ten wealthy couples and ten poor couples and we switched their lives for a month. For example, one poor couple was moved to a loft in Soho, and the respective wealthy couple was moved to a run-down mobile home in a rural part of West Virginia. Then, each couple was closely monitored to see how they coped."

"It was absolutely charming," said Lydia Rickenbacker, a wealthy socialite from Manhattan. "We cooked for ourselves, cleaned a bit. Did our own shopping at the local store. It was like a very rustic holiday. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but it was kind of fun. Like camping-not that I've ever done it, but I imagine that's what it's like. Definitely not as bad as those people always make it out to be."

Echoed her husband, Rupert: "These people make such a big deal out of being poor, they milk it for all it's worth. You know, the whole, I'm poor, feel sorry for me routine, but we found it charming, just like Lydia says. It just felt kind of, oh, I don't know, real, you know. Everything was just real. And at the same time not. Like being at Disney World, but a really run down one. I mean, just the way these people decorate, it was ghastly, but amusing. They could do with an interior decorator-we gave them the name of ours, but they seemed terribly ungrateful--and some new furniture, but surely they waste their money unwisely. I bet they don't even invest in the stock market."

President Bush, himself a Yale graduate and a personal friend of Dr Redman, II, said the findings only confirmed what he had long suspected.

"I thought as much. We may have to re-evaluate this whole tax thing again. The poor just don't pay enough," the President said. "But, boy, do they know how to whine."

Dr Redman, II, said the study had mostly run according to plan. The only setback, he conceded, was that of the 10 poor couples, all 10 refused to leave their temporary premises and had to be evicted by law enforcement agencies.

"Those people," Dr Redman, II, said, referring to the poor couples, "will go to any lengths, any extent to get things for nothing. One guy who wouldn't leave was holding to the table legs for dear life, screaming he didn't want to go back. It was disgusting. They had to literally drag him out. And his wife-she tried to sneak off with a dress! They had to physically rip it off her. Pathetic-just pathetic. They have no shame. I had my misgivings from the start, but they're worse than we ever imagined."

Copyright © 2004, TheShortStraw


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