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Is there any word, expression or proverb for the condition or state where you can't do anything because you have too much? I have heard a professor of English refer to this as "resource paralysis" when he was trying to explain why Nigeria is not moving forward fast, but this is obviously not a dictionary term.

Just to explain further, this condition is found for instance in the scenario where a boy born with a golden spoon has no drive to be as successful as his father because he already has it all. In short, the reason for this is that contentment is a strong inhibition to change and when you have so much, you are likely to be content.

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"resource paralysis" is an economics jargon term that essentially means "inability to make use of resources." This usually means that you are limited in some way by a scarcity of one or more crucial resources which essentially makes it impossible to make use of the ones you have. Like having 1000 cars but no windshields to install. This might work well with the implications for Nigeria (a lot of oil money, but without infrastructure), but has nothing to do with spoiled kids as far as I can tell. –  horatio Apr 2 '13 at 20:50
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If you already have everything you need, you are unmotivated to acquire more. A snake who’s been sated by his last meal just lies about in torpor; so do people. –  tchrist Apr 2 '13 at 21:06
    
@tchrist, exactly. So the state in between where the motivation is low because you have enough to survive/manage? I'm also trying to find a way to warn people about this type of trap so proverbs might be the way to go? –  Chibueze Opata Apr 2 '13 at 21:12
    
@horatio: Thanks, if motivation is considered a resource for achievement, I guess this will apply to spoilt/about to spoil kids as well... –  Chibueze Opata Apr 2 '13 at 21:12
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I don't think it is a good fit for an unmotivated individual. "Silver Spoon Syndrome" seems to be a better fit, and then there appears to be a dubious and hilarious term: "affluenza" –  horatio Apr 2 '13 at 21:36
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"Resource paralysis" is an economics jargon term that essentially means "inability to make use of resources." This usually means that you are limited in some way by a scarcity of one or more crucial resources which essentially makes it impossible to make use of the ones you have--like having 1,000 cars but no windshields to install. This might work well with the implications for Nigeria (a lot of oil money, but without infrastructure), but has nothing to do with spoiled kids as far as I can tell. I don't think it is a good fit for an unmotivated individual.

"Silver Spoon Syndrome" seems to be a better fit, and then there appears to be a dubious and hilarious term: "affluenza."

Two terms which evoke the image of "so many resources you can't do anything" are "logjam" and "bottleneck."

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I’ve heard of a phrase that’s vaguely similar: golden handcuffs.  It refers to a person being paid a salary greater than his market value, with the result that he feels “locked in” to his current employer (because he would have to take a cut in pay if he left).  I guess this may have been more of an issue 20 years ago than it is now.  :-)

Another: gridlock –– most commonly used to refer to traffic congestion (too many automobiles in one place, so nobody can move).

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+1 for golden handcuffs. Gridlick is not a good fit IMO. –  Kristina Lopez Apr 2 '13 at 21:43
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There are a number of contexts that this concept might apply to:

  • A group, e.x. an army, has too much food, and can't move quickly because they have so much supplies. You might say they're overburdened or a victim of their own success at supplying. A great example of this is the Union during the American Civil War, where the Northern generals were for most of the war defensively-minded and had their armies too well supplied to maneuver and keep up with the Confederate forces.
    • There's the example of getting full on candy, that many people experience as a kid. Too much candy that you don't get the things you actually need. Tha's heavily related to:
  • A group, e.x. a nation, has access to a lot of a non-essential resource (e.x. oil), and the easy money of bringing that resource to bear is detrimental to their long-term growth towards stability. One might say that were cursed with riches, instead of building it themselves from the ground up.

But all of these could be summarized under the simple header of too much of a good thing.

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Usually one says embarrassment of riches; sometimes the French is used: embarras de richesse.

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The mildly ironic expression "poor little rich kid" is a saying that has several meanings relevant to your question.

First, it can mean that the person who possesses great wealth is not exempt from feeling deprived, empty, pitiable. Perhaps he has no real friends who accept him for who he is without regard to his wealth, status, or privilege.

The expression coming from an envious onlooker is another way of saying, "Geez, this guy thinks he has struggles. Poor little rich kid, I'd like to have your struggles!" (In other words, the envious person wishes he could trade places with the rich kid.)

Still another way of interpreting the comment is as a genuine expression of pity for the poor little rich kid, because sooner or later he will have to grow up and face the harsh realities of life from which even rich people are not exempt. Again, however, many people would gladly switch places with the wealthy, if only to experience what it's like to be rich.

A parting thought: How much money did John D. Rockefeller, Sr. leave behind when he died? Answer: all of it!

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