Last night finally saw Citizen Kane from beginning to end. In a nutshell--story of a guy who makes a shitload of money, mostly by running an unscrupulously sensationalist newspaper (think Rupert Murdoch, without the neat accent), and ultimately loses all his friends and dies lonely and rich. Since much of this took place during tough economic times, I have a pretty simple solution for Mr. Kane--hire some dude to be your friend!
Now, everyone's going to say the same thing--"you can't buy real friendship, blah blah hippie bullshit blah". Untrue, I say! With enough money you can buy some very convincing friendship.
Let's say I was a dirt farmer raising three adorable but expensive moppets, and a wife who looks rather unsatisfied with being married to a guy who spends all day trying to grow dirt. (Seriously, being a dirt farmer is a bad idea even during the best of times). Some rich guy comes by and says "guess what, I'll pay you quite well to hang out on my yacht and drink beer and tell me jokes and pretend we've known each other for years". Believe me, I'd be pretty convincing in the role! Who wouldn't be?
Side Note: Apparently when the movie "Citizen Kane" came out it pissed off William Randolph Hearst (the man the character was based on) and the film was later shown to his granddaughter, Patty Hearst when she was held captive by the Symbionese Liberation Army. No word on whether this ever helped liberate the Symbionesians, but it did embarrass the hell out of the Hearst family. Take that, wealthy plutocrats!