196. It is strange that, according to his position in life, an extravagant man is admired or despised. A successful businessman does nothing to increase his popularity by being careful with his money. He is expected to display his success, to have a smart car, an expensive life, and to be lavish with his hospitality. If he is not so, he is considered mean and his reputation in business may even suffer in consequence. The paradox remains that if he had not been careful with his money in the first place, he would never have achieved his present wealth. Among the two income groups, a different set of values exists. The young clerk who makes his wife a present of a new dress when he hadn't paid his house rent, is condemned as extravagant. Carefulness with money to the point of meanness is applauded as a virtue. Nothing in his life is considered more worthy than paying his bills. The ideal wife for such a man separates her housekeeping money into joyless little piles- so much for rent, for food, for the children's shoes; she is able to face the milkman with equanimity and never knows the guilt of buying something she can't really afford. As for myself, I fall into neither of these categories. If I have money to spare, I can be extravagant, but when, as is usually the case, I am hard up, then I am the meanest man imaginable.
Question: In the opinion of the writer, a successful businessman: