Isn't It Ok For Arnold Chase To Build His Dream Mansion?

Arnold Chase Mansion AP PhotoThere's a home being built in West Hartford, Connecticut that is estimated at being 50,900 square feet. It's being built by Arnold Chase a business man whose family has made a fortune in media and real estate investments.

Just imagine having a 33,500 square foot basement complex with a 103-seat movie theater! Hmm...now that's The Good Life!

Some people think that building this home is just going a little overboard. Susan A. Eisenhandler, a sociology professor at the University of Connecticut, was quoted in this news article released by the Associated Press as saying, "Do you actually need to have that amount of space to live a good life? There are homeless people. There are impoverished people. There are serious social concerns, and we're not addressing that."

No, nobody needs that much space to live a good life, but I feel that if you have the money, why not build your dream home? Who knows, Arnold Chase may be addressing homeless and impoverished people as well. For all we know he donates millions of dollars to charities, so isn't he allowed to live the life that he desires?

What do you think?

**Photo Credit: Associated Press
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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think there is a point where less is more. The world needs to think more of "impact" living. As Americans, we really value individualism, but I think we could benefit as a culture by asking how our lifestyle lifestyles impact the world and our communities?

Plus, I think when it comes to "bigger is better," it's purely an ego thing. When he is dying, will he wish he'd built this house even bigger, or that he did more with the massive fortune he was given?

Maria Palma said...

I understand your point and I, too, believe that less is more. That's why my wardrobe could probably fit into a nice size suitcase and I don't own all those fancy gadgets that most people can't live without.

But a home...I think it's ok to have a big one if you are going to put it to good use.

Who knows, maybe that house he built will go to a big family who needs it after he passes away. Maybe in the far future it will become a school...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Chase has worked very hard for his money and i believe that gives him the right to build any size house he wants. He gives a great deal of money to charities and other organizations and is very socially concious. If he were to build a smaller house it would have no effect on poverty or lower income families. At the end of the day there will always be impoverished families, and people complaining that someone else could do more to help them.

jChertkov said...

Susan A. Eisenhandler, a sociology professor at the University of Connecticut, criticizes the Chase house saying “There are homeless people. There are impoverished people. There are serious social concerns, and we’re not addressing that.” Ironically, Professor Eisenhandler fails to recognize that Arnold Chase provides far more relief to the lower class than the average American. Though he does not directly give money to the poor, Chase’s lavish endeavors and large income stimulate the general market and provide significant revenue to people of all economic classes via services, upkeep, taxes, and other expenses.
One major way in which Mr. Chase provides revenue to the general public is by supplying jobs. A mega home like Chase’s requires a huge amount of time and labor to construct and maintain. To construct the house, Chase would have to hire contractors from just about every trade to construct his home. Imagine if you were a general contractor and you were asked to lay a foundation for a 50,900 square foot home. Also, Chase would need other services such as surveying, zoning, road access, etc. Aside from constructing the house, Chase would also need to hire people to maintain his house. For example, the Chase home includes eight full bathrooms and five half bathrooms. Most likely, Chase does not clean those bathrooms and change all those rolls of toilet paper himself. He has probably hired a janitorial or maid service to do it regularly for him. Yet cleaning bathrooms is just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to upkeep. Other maintenance jobs are required for his more extravagant luxuries, such as his two-tiered movie theater, 400 foot observatory, and most likely he hired a caretaker or full time landscaper to maintain his land. Overall, due to Chase’s massive upkeep and maintenance, he provides full time, consistent jobs to people who need them. Another way in which Chase benefits the general population is through taxes.
On income tax alone, Chase is required to pay 3% of his income for his first ten thousand dollars and 5% on everything afterwards. Therefore, if Chase has an enormous sum of money, he will also be forfeiting a great amount of that money to the federal government. Judging from his mega home, it is plausible to say that Mr. Chase pays an enormous amount of money on income tax alone. Following his income tax comes his property tax. When a person builds or buys a home, his property is rated on a scale by the local government. The more property someone owns, the higher they will be rated and the more they will be taxed. This money is then distributed to both the local and federal governments, which is used to pay for infrastructure, education, security, welfare, etc.
In this day in age, one should take a second look at what is considered moral and what isn’t. Traditionally, being humble and thrift are generally considered moral virtues, but in today’s market, that may not always be the case. It is essential in today’s market for people to spend money in order for businesses to survive and people maintain a steady job. If everyone in the U.S. were to become frugal and humble, the demand for unnecessary luxuries would kill our economy and drastically increase unemployment. Business would go bankrupt due to the lack of demand, and people would be laid off nation wide. Though it may sound contradictory, this country needs unnecessary luxuries in order to thrive economically. The construction and maintenance of the Chase house is a good example of this. If Chase were to give away all his money and live in a stucco house on a farm living only off the land, would he benefit the general public? Despite the large initial sum of money that he may donate, he would still be more beneficial to the general public by building his mega house. A wise economist once said that throwing money at an issue wont make it go away; however, providing jobs and purchasing goods will stimulate the market and only generate more work and capital for the working American in the long run.

annea said...

I seems I'm late into this blog but I'll put in my two cents anyway. My husband and I grew up in Bloomfield and West Hartford respectively and moved away to Seattle in 1968. Last weekend we were back in the Hartford area for a funeral and explored some of our old "stomping grounds" and it was during one trip over 44 that I caught a glimpse of this huge house. During our visit we shopped, ate at area restaurants, visited friends and relatives, and (yet again) came to the conclusion we were VERY happy we'd left - it is so incredibly depressing and, frankly, boring there! Everywhere so many houses look very rundown and in need of paint and basic upkeep; we had really mediocre food at some of the so-called "best" places and dealt with surly clerks and waitpeople who seem to have forgotten how to smile. Poor old Hartford's downtown is totally DEAD, and while we were there a man was hit by a two cars downtown and completely ignored by passersby as he lay suffering! So...why this Chase person would even stay in the area since he says he's traveled extensively and seen the world outside Hartford is a total mystery to me, but since he seems to have a reason I don't blame him for building his own amusement park-like home. He can have his own small town with all the accoutrements and avoid having to put up with the lifeless environment surrounding him and his family! I'd put in my own airport up there too so I could get in and out real fast and not have to even drive through it all to Bradley (which is another horror story!)...

Ultimate said...

I have a different take on the Chase Family. They destroyed my business and I believe thats how the family reached there fortunes.

Anonymous said...

I personally know the Chase family. I just graduated from Kingswood-Oxford school in west hartford where his daughter, melissa, also graduated from. While this may be a huge house, I must vouch for the family and say that they give millions to charities. Not only that but they donated millions to the high school so that a new math and science building could be built.

Anonymous said...

I too know this family as I live in their current neighborhood. This family is a joke. the end.

Anonymous said...

Why build yet another "cookie-cutter" house. It looks the same as all the rest, just super-sized like a meal at McDonald's.

If you are needing to spend that much money, create a statement through style and art, not through size.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is that Arnold Chase is not even close to amassing the wealth of Bill Gates, and yet he feels he needs to build a bigger house. I think he can afford an in house shrink as well.

In fact. looking at the Forbes 400, I don't seem to find Arnolds name anywhere. His father, from whom Arnie received his money from seemed to be able to find his way to the list in the 80's and yet Arnie can't. Kind of an embarrassment when your dad kicks our ass. I imagine that one would need a giant house to ease the pain and embarrassment.

Bill Gates was indeed a self starter. Warren Buffet was a complete self starter and both are usually in the top f of amassed wealth in the world. Arnold is not worth that of Gates or Buffet in any way you want to look at it and perhaps feels sorry for himself that he ruined his daddies business. As is being proven by the Yankees, the father does not always give there kids everything. In this case, that everything is lake of common since.

I look forward to seeing the house soon. When it will be open to the public housing some of my favorite art work.

Anonymous said...

I do not begrudge Arnold Chase or anyone else, their right to enjoy the fruits of hard work. That is the key to the American Dream.

What I definitely DO resent is the fact that, throughout the state of Connecticut, these mansions pay a far lower tax rate per square foot than everyone else. My property tax rate works out to roughly $3.30 per square foot. The property tax on Mr. Chase's new mansion is less than $2.00 per square foot.

So if you have worked hard and enjoyed success, go right ahead and build whatever your dream home might be. But you should also pay the same property tax rates as everyone else.

Greg said...

These comments are hilarious. If chase amassed his fortune in an immoral and unfair fashion, then he does not deserve the house (obviously). I am pretty sure the IRS, SEC, FBI etc, would have caught on to any illegal deals. He manipulated the markets and the American dream and came out on top. His dad's house is equally big above ground and built with more luxurious materials (Dont see any of y'all complaining about that). Look, he could of built the 30,000 square feet above ground, he did us all a favor by hiding it underground :)

Sounds as though people need to get over their jealousy and get to work so someday they can build a dream house.

Remember, in Communist Russia, you do not live in house, house lives in YOU :)

Live the American dream, do not be jealous of it!

Imagine the property taxes. The town must laugh all the way to bank.

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