Chirpy songbird Elton John is adamant is two sons won’t inherit his £200 million fortune and believes giving kids a silver spoon “ruins their life.”
To be fair, the gruff and grizzled crooner has a valid point. Power may corrupt and absolute power may corrupt absolutely, but an excess of unearned cash just makes a soul rather coarse and vulgar. Just look at Paris Hilton and the predictably squalid and tedious lives of the rich kids of Instagram, who think private jets and cleaning their overpriced shoes with £50 notes is the height of sophistication and the epitome of style.
Although some might say that by sitting on a £200 million fortune as the rest of Rome burns, Elton John is hardly setting a suitable example when it comes to the “brotherhood of man,” “universal equality,” and “fair distribution of wealth.”
Yet as Chairman Mao Tse Tung once said, when not busy killing millions of people, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
The little psychopathic Chinaman also once said, “Change must come through the barrel of a gun.” But, I digress. Elton John has made one small step for a flamboyant capitalist and a slightly bigger step for mankind by questioning the poisonous nature of inherited wealth.
In an interview with the Mirror, little John stresses that both he and his husband, David Furnish, are keen to instill the value of hard work in their 5-year-old Zachary and 3-year-old Elijah.
Obviously, this stops short of sending the two lads down the mines or raising them to work in a call centre, but both Elton and David believe in the importance of not taking anything for granted, and the redundancy of obscene wealth compared with the priceless nature of human relationships.
“Having children changed everything about my life. I’ve learned that the simplest things in life, like having a minute with them, are worth more than any painting, any photograph, any house or hit record.”
Although Elton is the first to admit that before he became a father, he led the charge when it came to the craven materialists brigade.
“Before we had the children we just had our lives and we would spend money because we didn’t have anything else to focus on. We have really toned things down because we have enough stuff. There is nothing else we need.”
Although Elton’s kids will not inherit all of the singer’s £200 million, they will not join the extra half-a-million British youngsters who will be plunged into absolute poverty by 2020 “as a result of planned tax and benefit reforms” by the U.K. government, because although they will not get the lion’s share of Elton’s wealth, they’ll still get a little taste of the good life.
“Of course I want to leave my boys in a very sound financial state. But it’s terrible to give kids a silver spoon. It ruins their life.
“Listen, the boys live the most incredible lives, they’re not normal kids, and I’m not pretending they are. But you have to have some semblance of normality, some respect for money, some respect for work.”
Obviously, in comparison to the world’s youngest billionaire, Norwegian teenager Alexandra Andresen, who spends most of her time riding horses, Elton’s boys are mere paupers with their pinched faces pressed against the cold glass of poverty, peering at the opulence and indulgence festering by the fire on the other side.
And Elton freely admits that he’s a hard taskmaster when it comes to teaching the boys the value of hard graft.
“They have to do chores in the house – take their plates to be cleaned, help in the kitchen, tidy their rooms and help in the garden, and each time they do they get a little star to put on these charts they’ve made. They understand they need to do these things, and they enjoy it.”
Using American business magnate Warren Buffett, who is leaving half his £53 billion fortune to charity as an example, Elton is adamant that if his boys ever wake up one day and want to buy a Picasso, then by god they have to earn it.
“Warren Buffet, the third wealthiest man in America, has a really cool model in that he leaves his children enough money so that they have a house, a car and all their basic needs covered and cared for so they never need worry. But it’s not crazy, silly, go-wild money so that they could be buying Picassos or private jets. Anything beyond the basic, they have to go out and earn it themselves.
“If they want a Picasso, they have to go out and earn it. I think there’s real sensibility in that.”
Make your fortune and blow it all by buying a ridiculously overpriced painting by an overrated painter. What could be saner?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AOL]