Monday, 19 November 2007
At the weekend, we watched "Mr Deeds Goes to Town" (1936), starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. In the film, Mr Deeds is an eccentric but basically "nice" guy who lives in a small town. He inherits $20million, and goes to New York to live the life of a millionaire. In the end, he gives all of the money away to help out of work farmers, and goes back to his town, with Jean Arthur, of course.
At today's prices, the money would be nearer $400 million. So the question is - would you give it all away?
I think if it was me, I'd have to give a lot of it away - after all, how much would you really want? I don't want or need a private jet, or a mansion. People might say that it would be my duty to make the amount grow so that I could pass it on to Helena, but I'm not sure I follow the logic of that. Is she supposed to do the same?
I think I'd put some of it by for Helena, and some for myself - would it be right to keep enough so I never had to work again? Why should I be able to stop contributing to society? On the other hand, maybe it would be best for me to give up working so that someone else wouldn't have to be unemployed?
Anyway, I don't have any multi-millionaire relatives that I'm aware of - my family is very small, and even if I did inherit that much, knowing my luck it wouldn't come with a Jean Arthur lookalike.
Still, I can dream...