Overheard cow-worker: "What about real people...

… that don’t have stocks?!" is what he stuttered after having overheard something on the news about the financial crisis.

I’m not really outraged by this statement, although I’m intrigued by what he means by this. It started to make me think more about the type of mindset that would utter this great exclamation of our time.

I’m also wondering if there’s even a small majority of people here that agree with this sentiment… that people who don’t own stocks are not “real” people? If you need examples, don’t hesitate to ask.

Then I started thinking about “real” Virginia. But these words were spoken well before the news started headlining with it lately.

So obviously something is up in the psyche of people who interpret what they don’t associate themselves with, as not real.

What is up with that?

bold added

Your OP is contradictory. I don’t understand the question.

The title says are real people and the lower paragraph says are not real people. Does your “cow-worker” own or not own stocks. And which one is supposed to be real?

Upon further reflection, maybe you’re saying that your “cow-worker” is saying that no one is real, whether they own stocks or not. I’m good with that. :stuck_out_tongue:

It reminds me of a few years ago when I was heavily involved in MMORPGs, how people would constantly make remarks about ‘real life.’ Most of the time it was just a shorthand for meat-space (offline), but some times it would take on the connotation that virtual activities weren’t real. Just because something is online doesn’t make it unreal!

The worst part was when people used it as an excuse to be assholes. “It’s just a videogame. It’s not real. Lighten up!” Ugh.

My mistake

that people who do own stocks are not “real” people?

Many people have the idea that it’s only banks and financial institutions who own stocks; even if they have money in some sort of funds, they don’t connect “I have a fund” with “my fund owns stocks” to form “I pay someone to buy and sell stocks for me without bothering me with details.”

Shoot! I’d love to be one of those “real” people right now.

Stocks are owned by fat men with waistcoats and watch chains, and top hats when they’re outdoors. Indoors, they gather around a kind of glass dome that spits out a ribbon of paper, lighting fat cigars with 100 dollar bills all the while. I thought everyone knew that.

Yay! I don’t own stocks, I must be real. :rolleyes:

Many people don’t own stocks, even in funds. The most recent article I could find – from 2000, so it may have changed a bit – is that only 50% of American households do.

There are many people who can’t afford to put aside the money to buy stocks, and whose jobs don’t have any 401(k). For the person making the statement, it’s probably true that few of the people she knows actually owns any stock. Using the word “real” may have the wrong implication, but if by that she means, “The people I hang out with and know,” then she may be right.

I have heard the idea that people in Alaska are not ‘real people’.

I think you would be just about the only one in this market.

We had the opposite of this, we’d have guys in FFXI announce that they forgot they needed to cook and so their wife, who’s set to food-aggro, was aggroing them and they needed to train her to the dining room, possibly linking their kids.