For those of you who have been worrying about how to succeed under Reaganomics, there is boffo news from the Big Apple.
There, in the heart of capitalism, a few hardy, brave entrepreneurs are teaching the one true way for the average working girl or boy to still make it big--yes, even in today's bleak business world.
For a mere $21 investment, more than 200 souls are spending an occasional Wednesday night in a school gymnasium on Manhattan's West Side learning how to realize the updated American dream. They are taking an adult education course called: "How to Marry Money."
What is so marvelous, so wonderfully refreshing about this educational endeavor so few miles from Wall Street is that at long last someone has discovered and is willing to share the secret of making it in the Reagan era. People no longer teach how to follow Horatio Alger's route to the top; they teach how to meet Horatio now that he's up there.
Marrying for Money has the symbolic course (of action) for the '80s.
To begin with, there is the perfect teacher. Who could be more appropriate for this class than a woman who earned a master's degree in social work in 1973.
Today, social work is the auto industry of the professional world. As the anti- poverty programs of the '70s turn into the anti-poor programs of the '80s, a lot of us have wondered what on Earth would become of the social workers without a society to work in. Joanna Steichen, the "professor" of How to Marry Money, is a role model in the recycling effort. By just a slight change of perspective, this soul has landed a teaching job--no mean feat in itself-- and a job that gives hope to the hopeless.
Of course, the whole class works only because greed has finally come out of the closet. Not long ago, people would have been too embarrassed to actually sign their own names at the registration desk.
Now the motto of the day is "My Money Is O.K., Your Money Is O.K." and spouse-shopping seems no more outrageous than mortgage-shopping. As a female computer consultant and student told a reporter in the classroom: "I'm here because of plain old greed. . . . I can't think of a better hedge against inflation than money."
There is a woman after your own pocketbook.
This is not just an isolated event, a single class, I am sure. Marrying "up" fits the new Reaganomics too perfectly not to catch on. This is the ultimate financial-planning program. Moreover, it takes place exclusively in the private sector and depends solely on private enterprise. It is even, you might say, a volunteer self-help effort.
A highly practical economic idea, it isn't mucked up with all sorts of liberal emotionalism. And it has a certain traditional support. Who, after all, can forget the grandmotherly advice of past centuries: "It's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man."
But what is most important about this pilot program is that it offers the only possible method left under Reaganomics for the redistribution of wealth. If you can't tax 'em, marry 'em. It is clearly in the public interest to support the intermarriage of classes . . . as often as possible.
If a graduate of "How to Marry Money" meets one of the Fortune 500, we can only approve their marriage. If they argue, we can only applaud their divorce, preferably in a community property state.
Having thus halved their wealth, with any luck each will meet other members of the lower classes and start all over again, until the Fortune 500 are the fortunate 50,000.
There are, of course, some flaws in this brilliant solution to the economic woes of the average American. Premarital agreements, for example. And love. The rich, you see, can still afford to marry for love. All too often, they have unpatriotically chosen to fall in love with each other.
But not to worry. We are all rooting for a stronger America. Surely even the rich realize that the only place money really trickles down is over the sacrificial altar.