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Why the Rich are Rich

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Revo357912
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Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 01:31 PM Reply

I honestly think this is very true; it really explains why few in society make it to the top, and why those at the top tend to stay there as well.

But that makes me wonder; can you be born "rich"? After all, according to this article, what determines a person being rich is their thinking, and that is largely affected by personality, which in turn is heavily affected by genetics. I'm not saying that genetics purely determines the personality, but it does indeed play a huge role.

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-rich-people-think-differe ntly-from-the-poor-2012-8?op=1


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leanlifter1
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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 01:46 PM Reply

Well the problem is people confuse the meaning of wealth and turn it into some sort of monetary econ thing just like with everything even Philosophy they will some how think it means monetary econ LOL. To be truly happy is to be content with where you are at in life and with the reality that you have helped to create for yourself and those around you. Many rich people are not happy at all and the reason in most causes that they are rich is because they played the game and jumped through the hoops to appease other people instead of focusing on personal growth and just being an all around health individual. In short what you think of as rich I see as poor.


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Revo357912
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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 02:12 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 01:46 PM, leanlifter1 wrote: Well the problem is people confuse the meaning of wealth and turn it into some sort of monetary econ thing just like with everything even Philosophy they will some how think it means monetary econ LOL. To be truly happy is to be content with where you are at in life and with the reality that you have helped to create for yourself and those around you. Many rich people are not happy at all and the reason in most causes that they are rich is because they played the game and jumped through the hoops to appease other people instead of focusing on personal growth and just being an all around health individual. In short what you think of as rich I see as poor.

Isn't that a fallacy?
I'm pretty sure not having to work more or less leaves one with the time to focus on what they enjoy.
Also, that article kinda shows that it is focusing on personal growth that leads one to be rich. The rich do the opposite of appease other people if anything, they do what they want, which is why they are where they are. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have the money to be set for life and do what I want than to spend my life working for someone else to make enough to pay the bills and barely go out.

I'd rather have the potential to do what I want, whether its to travel the world or study what I want simply because I enjoy learning than to be restrained by limitations for financial reasons and be forced to learn (while in the process leaving myself in debt) in order to get a job working for someone else just to barely live comfortably.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 02:53 PM Reply

Having the resources to manipulate the tax code goes quite a bit further than genetics in helping sustain earned and inherited wealth. Though the Marxist historians would have a field day with how this article seems to point to the wealthy as somehow genetically or intellectually superior to the 'common man.'


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 03:24 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 02:12 PM, Revo357912 wrote:
Isn't that a fallacy?

How so ?

I'm pretty sure not having to work more or less leaves one with the time to focus on what they enjoy.

If you stop working you will become a cunt and it's as simple as that. For example the more expendable time and the more resources I have available to me the more often I can work on various projects and public services I have on the go at any given time. Involuntary/coercive wage slaving for a corporation on the other hand is a whole other ball of wax.

Also, that article kinda shows that it is focusing on personal growth that leads one to be rich.

For me the value comes in being able to develop a useful product for my clients which in turn at the same time enables me to sharpen my skill sets aka "personal growth" so if in turn the client wants to pay me for keeping my skills sharp and for my personal growth I am a happy person. What my point is that having money will not make you happy if you are not happy to begin with as true wealth comes from within you and me not some dam money. Happiness is being happy and content not money and this is when you realize what true Richness really is.

The rich do the opposite of appease other people if anything, they do what they want, which is why they are where they are.

Not really as generally speaking unless you came into an inheritance having lots of money means you have a whole ton of responsibility's to other people, corporate entities and ideals that you don't always agree with and might even hate. Also being a greedy wealthy cunt with lots of money is fundamentally one of the issues why a former heavyweight powerhouse country like the US has gone to shit.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather have the money to be set for life and do what I want than to spend my life working for someone else to make enough to pay the bills and barely go out.

The first problem is you have to know what you want to do with your life and most people really do not have a clue what they want to do with there life. We can't have people just lying around doing nothing with there lives we all need to learn to become a producer of something tangible that will add value and purpose to peoples lives in an economical non violent and efficient way. Being "set for life" is all well and good and I agree that at a minimum everyone should have there basic needs met without question or complaint but you we have to all understand that we must each create value or else all will be lost and our society will become full of a bunch of self entitled cunts.

I'd rather have the potential to do what I want, whether its to travel the world or study what I want simply because I enjoy learning than to be restrained by limitations for financial reasons and be forced to learn (while in the process leaving myself in debt) in order to get a job working for someone else just to barely live comfortably.

Coercive subordination to monetary socioeconomics and commerce is the greatest con and fallacy of our time as it is an archaic system that with the given current level of technology should be history. Even if you had all the money or enough to as you say do what you want would you really just frivolously want to do as you please or would you learn to find inner peace and contentment by way of understanding that you are taken care of and now have a world of responsibility on your shoulders to do whats right for society, the planet and the people ?


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 03:33 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 03:24 PM, leanlifter1 wrote:
At 12/2/12 02:12 PM, Revo357912 wrote:
Coercive subordination to monetary socioeconomics and commerce is the greatest con and fallacy of our time as it is an archaic system that with the given current level of technology should be history. Even if you had all the money or enough to as you say do what you want would you really just frivolously want to do as you please or would you learn to find inner peace and contentment by way of understanding that you are taken care of and now have a world of responsibility on your shoulders to do whats right for society, the planet and the people ?

I don't see why being rich = being a cunt to you. Isn't that more determined by discipline rather than money?

Also, as an example of the potentials of being rich, look at Batman. Sure, he's fictional, but if you had the wealth to do it and wanted to, then you could is my point. If you wanted to fund scientists so they can find a way to purify rivers and other environmental factors, then you could with money.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 03:40 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 03:24 PM, leanlifter1 wrote:
If you stop working you will become a cunt and it's as simple as that.

Plato and Aristotle would like a word with you.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 03:50 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 03:24 PM, leanlifter1 wrote:

LOL everything ur saying is just what the article says middle class thinking is, so you're falling right into the definition.


no, really...DON'T CLICK THE PIC

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leanlifter1
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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 03:50 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 03:40 PM, JMHX wrote:
At 12/2/12 03:24 PM, leanlifter1 wrote:
If you stop working you will become a cunt and it's as simple as that.
Plato and Aristotle would like a word with you.

I am glad Plato never stopped working at developing his craft.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 03:51 PM Reply

I find the article be both insulting and lacking in proper logic.

The traits fall into three categories: "rich people act like dicks"; "poor people are dumb"; and "rich people can do this because they're rich".

The first category speaks for itself. "Rich see selfishess as a virtue" is enough to sum this up.

The second category is the insulting one. Like "poor people don't take risks" and "poor people think it's all luck". Well fuck you too. Having money allows wealthy people to act differently. It;s not that poor people are too big of pussies to take risks. It's that poor people are already living with razor thing margins and even a small risk can mean losing one's home and food. It's not that poor people think it's only luck because they don't want to work hard. Poor people by far do work hard, just as hard as any one else. But when you bust your ass day after day and still have nothing to show for it, it's damn hard to believe that hard work alone will get you very far.

The third category just goes to show how stupid the author of the article truly is. "Rich people love to take risks", "Rich people prusue what they love", and "Rich people find comfort in uncertainty". The WHY here is extremely important, and I already touched on this above. Rich people can take big risks often and can pursue what they love and can enjoy uncertainty because they have enough money to survive the pitfalls of these things. The middle class and lower person cannot afford to do any of these. One risk can make a family homeless. The pursuit of passion above income can and most likely will lead to homelessness. Finally, when living on an already tenuous financial situation or one that barely sits above paycheck to paycheck, the slightest nudge in the financial life can start a spiral into poverty, or can immediately bump a middle or lower class family into immediate poverty.

I put very little stock into thic article except that these are the lies the wealthy tell themselves to justify their wealth amongst so many who have much much less.

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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 04:00 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 03:51 PM, Camarohusky wrote: I find the article be both insulting and lacking in proper logic.

I agree very disrespectful and inaccurately closed minded to both sides of the fence.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 04:02 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 03:51 PM, Camarohusky wrote: I find the article be both insulting and lacking in proper logic.

The traits fall into three categories: "rich people act like dicks"; "poor people are dumb"; and "rich people can do this because they're rich".......much much less.

I thought the article was mostly talking about middle class people and not poor, since middle class would have the possibility to take risks as you said that the poor cannot.

Also, it keeps saying that rich people don't really value education until they are rich, implying that some parts of the article are written in perspective of someone who just got out of high school whom has to make that decision, which also tends to be middle class since a rich person can go to college because they can afford it and a poor person will only have that option if they apply for scholarships or grants and did well in high school.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 04:05 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 03:50 PM, SenatorJohnDean wrote:
At 12/2/12 03:24 PM, leanlifter1 wrote:
LOL everything ur saying is just what the article says middle class thinking is, so you're falling right into the definition.

Even if I had a Billion dollars I would still eat Kraft Dinner but I would just eat more :-)


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 04:33 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 02:12 PM, Revo357912 wrote:
At 12/2/12 01:46 PM, leanlifter1 wrote: Well the problem is people confuse the meaning of wealth and turn it into some sort of monetary econ thing just like with everything even Philosophy they will some how think it means monetary econ LOL. To be truly happy is to be content with where you are at in life and with the reality that you have helped to create for yourself and those around you. Many rich people are not happy at all and the reason in most causes that they are rich is because they played the game and jumped through the hoops to appease other people instead of focusing on personal growth and just being an all around health individual. In short what you think of as rich I see as poor.
Isn't that a fallacy?

actually, for once, Leanlifter is right.

I'm pretty sure not having to work more or less leaves one with the time to focus on what they enjoy.

not necessarily... well, the core of the statement is true, but 'wealthy' people still have to work. Wealthy people tend to develop very expensive tastes that would deplete their wealth in the matter of a few years if they just stopped working.

Also, that article kinda shows that it is focusing on personal growth that leads one to be rich.

suppose it depends on how you define rich. if its simply monetary wealth, then the article is blown out of the water. However, what good is wealth when you have to fight tooth and nail just to try and keep it?

The rich do the opposite of appease other people if anything, they do what they want, which is why they are where they are. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have the money to be set for life and do what I want than to spend my life working for someone else to make enough to pay the bills and barely go out.

Honestly, a lot of the reason why people live paycheck to paycheck with the inability to put away any money or have any fun is because of poor decision making. for example popping out 7 children when you live on a walmart paycheck. bad idea. Financing a Chevy Suburban or Ford Crown Victoria (both chug gasoline) while living on a walmart paycheck. horrible idea. smoking, drinking, narcotics, all poor decisions. a drink on occasion is one thing, but you have no idea (or perhaps you might) how many people living on an unskilled labor paycheck go to bars every weekend and spend their money, and for what? a hangover the next day. The number of 'poor' people who have multiple ATVs (in the south at least) is mind boggling.

I'd rather have the potential to do what I want, whether its to travel the world or study what I want simply because I enjoy learning than to be restrained by limitations for financial reasons and be forced to learn (while in the process leaving myself in debt) in order to get a job working for someone else just to barely live comfortably.

the rich simply trade one set of problems for another set of problems. the only rich people who can live without working are the ones who live humble lives who don't need a mansion, multiple expensive new cars, a yacht, and 5 star restaurants. those are few and far between.

personally, I'm 'dirt poor' as most people would call me and I'm perfectly happy with what I got, but that's just me. I can study as I please, thanks to the internet. While I can't physically travel the world (yet), it's all in due time. I'm currently planning on attending a culinary program in a nearby community college. why? because I love to cook.


I'm not crazy, everyone else is.

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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 06:18 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 04:33 PM, Korriken wrote:
personally, I'm 'dirt poor' as most people would call me and I'm perfectly happy with what I got, but that's just me. I can study as I please, thanks to the internet. While I can't physically travel the world (yet), it's all in due time. I'm currently planning on attending a culinary program in a nearby community college. why? because I love to cook.

Your not dirt poor, at all. Your using a computer to start with, and even if you don't have one, that means theres at least a library with one. That only gets me a little heated up because I have lived dirt poor before.
This is dirt poor:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fxyh fiCO_XQ

And like you said, it depends on the life style whether you have to keep on working or not once your rich. But even then, there is a limit as to how lavish you can live and not deplete your wealth. Imagine you had Warren Buffet's wealth, for example; now, name every single lavish thing and none lavish thing you can think of doing in your life time: I'm sure that even with that, you probably wouldn't deplete that money. Heck, the man has enough money to purchase certain countries if he wanted to, perhaps even certain states if they were for sale.

Also, I think Leanlifter is confusing personality with money. Would Leanlifter become evil if he was given a 50 million dollars? Again, that depends on discipline, and that's also why some rich people send their kids to live in dirt poor countries, to learn the value of what they have.

You said you want to travel, right?
Why? Just for pretty sight seeing?
Or is it more; to understand the world, its culture, its history - all in the short life span which humans have?
That would be personal growth; and again, one that wealth can achieve, whether you like to accept that as fact or not.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 06:20 PM Reply

The article is pretty much based on the assumption that gaining wealth is every single person's foremost priority, which I believe is a false assumption. I agree with Camarohusky in that I find the article insulting, especially how they paint the middle class as a dumb mob and the "world class" as a psychologically superior race.

But oh wait, I'm probably just an average person trying to make myself feel better about being a poor loser. Forgive me for not wanting to become a "human success machine".


It made more sense in my head.

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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 06:32 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 06:20 PM, Tremulos wrote: The article is pretty much based on the assumption that gaining wealth is every single person's foremost priority, which I believe is a false assumption. I agree with Camarohusky in that I find the article insulting, especially how they paint the middle class as a dumb mob and the "world class" as a psychologically superior race.

But oh wait, I'm probably just an average person trying to make myself feel better about being a poor loser. Forgive me for not wanting to become a "human success machine".

The very last entry in the article is about people who don't care for money or success, and it actually links you to a whole other article about said person as it's explanation.

Also, it isn't saying that, but it's written from the perspective of why middle class doesn't go up, not why the rich become rich.
Finally, the "World Class" you called "a psychologically superior race" was talking about the middle/poor class, not the rich, but perhaps you simply didn't read that right...


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 06:46 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 06:32 PM, Revo357912 wrote: Also, it isn't saying that, but it's written from the perspective of why middle class doesn't go up, not why the rich become rich.
Finally, the "World Class" you called "a psychologically superior race" was talking about the middle/poor class, not the rich, but perhaps you simply didn't read that right...

"Labeling the world class as snobs is another way the middle class finds to feel better bout themselves and their chosen path of mediocrity." They used "world class" to describe the rich throughout the entire article. I saw the last link, but it's a different article, and not the one being discussed in this thread. Nothing said in a different article changes anything this article says.

I don't believe there is superior trait or traits that rich people have in common that the middle class lacks that keeps them from becoming rich themselves; this article does believe that. There are many ways to become wealthy, just as there are many ways to live regardless of how much money you have, but this article treats life as if there are two ways to live it; suffering through poverty or cruising on riches.


It made more sense in my head.

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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 2nd, 2012 @ 07:02 PM Reply

At 12/2/12 06:46 PM, Tremulos wrote:
I don't believe there is superior trait or traits that rich people have in common that the middle class lacks that keeps them from becoming rich themselves; this article does believe that. There are many ways to become wealthy, just as there are many ways to live regardless of how much money you have, but this article treats life as if there are two ways to live it; suffering through poverty or cruising on riches.

I don't see how, I see that the article explains why the middle class stays as a middle class and why the rich don't blow all their money, and I see as certain points as being very true.

For example, the college one, almost every single middle class parent wants their child to grow up to go to college to get a good job (and that greatly affects the outcome of your life). Schools in general teach you to prepare for college as well.

And yet, for 90% of rich people didn't finish college, and out of the 10% that did, 9% didn't become rich because of their degree or education.

Also, it doesn't reference poverty, it references the middle class. It even says multiple time that the average people think about their savings and retirement; people who live in poverty can't afford savings! And there are only 4 ways to live, and it touches on 3:
Rich, where there are no financial worries and you have a lot more liberty to do what you would like.
Middle class, where you are restrained financially but can live comfortably
Poor, where its about financial survival
Survivalist, where life is just about survival, that's your only worry. Live off the land and to just, well, live. Very chill.

No matter what you do, be it artist, philosopher, explorer, traveler, your life will fall under one of those categories. If I am wrong, please correct me so that I may learn.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 08:08 AM Reply

At 12/2/12 04:05 PM, leanlifter1 wrote:
At 12/2/12 03:50 PM, SenatorJohnDean wrote:
At 12/2/12 03:24 PM, leanlifter1 wrote:
LOL everything ur saying is just what the article says middle class thinking is, so you're falling right into the definition.
Even if I had a Billion dollars I would still eat Kraft Dinner but I would just eat more :-)

Your choice of low rent food aside, this is hardly was I was talking about.

I'm sorry, having lived around LA, I just know too many immigrants who started with some shit job and now they live in Beverly Hills, so all the whining above just sounds like a bunch of entitled spoiled suburban kids who will never work past the point of immediate comfort.

There are always "risks" that can be taken that don't cost millions of dollars. Single failures do not bankrupt families if they are taken with a strategy. Geez. You guys just all extrapolated to the extreme rather than thinking of the real world.

Everybody who is investing time in putting artistic content on Newgrounds is taking a risk. If you are not a professional, you have risked the time that it took to create that thing. You could have been at McDonalds earning $6 during that hour you spent drawing or animating or whatever, but you thought the act of creating was worth more. Those who are able to take these kinds of risks and combine them with talent and a bit of salesmanship can become rich.

And I'm a liberal talkin here, you entitled pussies.


no, really...DON'T CLICK THE PIC

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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 09:16 AM Reply

Meh, if you think "there's a certain shame that comes along with "getting rich" in lower-income communities." you've never been to the ghetto.

Apparently he's studied millionaires for decades, either Mandi Woodruff misinterpreted Steve Siebold, or Steve Siebold is just writing another self-help book style list of empty platitudes.

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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 09:21 AM Reply

I'd say anyone can turn rich just by knowing a few people and having a few bright ideas to revolutionize mankind. But that's for material gain. Being truly rich is when you achieve all your life's goals and die peacefully without regrets :)


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 09:41 AM Reply

At 12/4/12 09:16 AM, science-is-fun wrote:
Apparently he's studied millionaires for decades, either Mandi Woodruff misinterpreted Steve Siebold, or Steve Siebold is just writing another self-help book style list of empty platitudes.

I can't think of anything more quintessentially American.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 10:34 AM Reply

At 12/4/12 08:08 AM, SenatorJohnDean wrote:
Your choice of low rent food aside, this is hardly was I was talking about.

"Even if I had a Billion dollars I would still eat Kraft Dinner but I would just eat more :-)" which is a way of saying that I as a person do not change even if my income does not that I have anything against KD.

I'm sorry, having lived around LA, I just know too many immigrants who started with some shit job and now they live in Beverly Hills, so all the whining above just sounds like a bunch of entitled spoiled suburban kids who will never work past the point of immediate comfort.

It's funny you talk about other peoples success but never mention your own or back up your non seance claims with any functional proof. No offense intended just reality. Just because someone gets credit cards, High Interest Bank Loans, Tax breaks and other governmental affirmative action program benefits so they can in turn barley afford to maintain the illusion to look like they made it is not a measure of success it is a measure of how generally shallow and greedy people in L.A. are.

There are always "risks" that can be taken that don't cost millions of dollars. Single failures do not bankrupt families if they are taken with a strategy. Geez. You guys just all extrapolated to the extreme rather than thinking of the real world.

How about this one... While you manage your money and chase other peoples ideal of dreams I will be living my life my dream as I see fit for me and my family is that ok with you uncle penny bags ?

Everybody who is investing time in putting artistic content on Newgrounds is taking a risk.

Not the way I see it but I respect your ideal.

If you are not a professional, you have risked the time that it took to create that thing.

Again not the way I see it.

You could have been at McDonalds earning $6 during that hour you spent drawing or animating or whatever,

LOL Mc Donald's is not the answer for anybody. Also FYI in Canada at leased you can pick empty bottles and fairly easily make around $200 in 8hrs if you have the work ethic and now how of where and when to pick in turn further undermining and devaluing the retards that own and run McDicks. Personally my time is priceless but when I do work for the union I charge a nominal base fee of $35hr plus $100 a day live out allowance and mileage and even still I feel ripped off for my time.

Those who are able to take these kinds of risks and combine them with talent and a bit of salesmanship can become rich.

Um sounds like some pseudo rhetorical BS that somebody without any actual skills, knowledge, aptitude and wherewithal would try and say.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 10:53 AM Reply

Your first clue to this article being stupid is that it's called "21 Ways Rich People Think Differently" which sounds like it was lifted from Cracked.com.

The second clue is that it suggests an article named "5 Tips To Make It Through The Holidays Credit Debt-Free". Gee I wonder how I can NOT get into debt during the Holidays. Could it be related to the amount of money I spend? Only clicking on this tantalizing list could solve that mystery!

"Average people live beyond their means. Rich people live below theirs."

Wow. NO FUCKING SHIT.

"Average people teach their children how to survive. Rich people teach their kids to get rich."

Oh and they also leave their kids millions of dollars, give them free world-class education and give them jobs and a laundry list of powerful connections. BUT THAT'S BARELY EVEN USEFUL if you don't learn that "greed is good"!

"Average people never make the connection between money and health. Rich people know money can save your life."

This is about where I stopped reading as the stupid was overflowing.

Yes, article. Everyone can be rich. Of course. And not doctor rich, everyone can be Trump rich. You know, that guy who was born rich? Born rich through HARD WORK!


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leanlifter1
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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 11:16 AM Reply

At 12/4/12 10:53 AM, poxpower wrote: Your first clue to this article being stupid is that it's called "21 Ways Rich People Think Differently" which sounds like it was lifted from Cracked.com.

I was thinking National Enquirer myself but fair enough LOL.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 11:45 AM Reply

Some people get rich by earning it like Bill Gates. Others are born rich in that there mommy and Daddy are rich and then they give alot of there money to there spoiled kids.

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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 05:14 PM Reply

At 12/4/12 10:53 AM, poxpower wrote: Yes, article. Everyone can be rich. Of course. And not doctor rich, everyone can be Trump rich. You know, that guy who was born rich? Born rich through HARD WORK!

Everyone can be Trump rich; nothing is standing in your way that can't be overcome. Being born rich makes it easier, but it's not a guarantee, and an expensive education alone doesn't make one successful. There's a reason ivy-league and prestigious schools only accept a handful of applications each year; their academic programs are intense and only a select few capable students can handle them. The money has nothing to do with it; they could make a fortune by keeping tuition the same and increasing admissions.

Besides, if startup money is all that's needed to become really wealthy, why do so many lottery winners squander their in about five years? Why don't they start their own dynasty?

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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 05:57 PM Reply

At 12/4/12 05:14 PM, adrshepard wrote:
There's a reason ivy-league and prestigious schools only accept a handful of applications each year; their academic programs are intense and only a select few capable students can handle them.

Having gone through one of these programs I can without any doubt guarantee you this is not a true rationale.


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Response to Why the Rich are Rich Dec. 5th, 2012 @ 12:36 AM Reply

Having done some research on the subject, I will contribute...

There are several reasons why the rich are rich in this country, but first some historical perspective.

Following the end of World War II, much of Europe laid in ruins, with little manufacturing capacity left that could be devoted to producing the needed materials to rebuild, let alone progress their society. With the Asian economies at that time not yet having industrialized to the point where they could support the demand coming out of America and Europe (as they can today), the US entered into what most economists and historians call a 'golden age of manufacturing' which lasted into the mid 70's.

At that point, not only had Europe fully rebuilt from World War II, but the Asian economies were industrializing at a fast pace. The statistics showing that are straggering - in 1973, only 7% of the US economy was exposed to international trade and globalization. By 1993, that figure had increased tenfold, and continues to do so. With the rebirth of European manufacturing and the birth of newly industrialized economies in Asia, it is no surprise that the American trade deficit exploded, and with savvy businessmen who knew how to take advantage of it, it is no surprise that the wealth gap started widening dramatically soon after.

As the image at the end of this post shows, the overall percentage of wealth among the richest families (top 10%) stayed relatively stable from 1945 - 1985, staying between 32 and 35%. Even the top 1% stayed stable, between 9-11% over the same period.

Now, I will not begrudge businessmen their right to make a dollar in this economy, but it's somewhat sordid to me that as manufacturing was moved offshore, the income gap began to rise in a hurry, nearly doubling the % of income for the top 1% over a period of 20 years, following nearly a half century where it had remained relatively stable. Moreover, it is an inherently negative thing for the US economy to lose over half of GDP related to manufacturing (26%:1965 to 12%:2009).

Moreso, the strength and length of US recessions over the last 40 years have helped aid the growth of the wealth gap. Between 2000 and 2006 alone the US jost nearly 3 million manufacturing jobs to other low wage countries,which supports the bottom line of businesses and lines executives pockets, but doesn't help the Average American who is trying to get by in this new economic order. And since recessions tend to hit manufacturing jobs the hardest (and those jobs don't return when recovery begins), we are losing a vital part of the American economy, one that has traditionally been a strong source of growth. And since manufacturing jobs also tend to pay more in America than many other kinds of work, we suddenly have less options available for people to make a living wage, further contributing to wealth gap.

It's also interesting to note that the US tax code plays a big role. First off are the de facto (and occasionally de jure) tax incentives that exist for offshoring jobs. Companies that establish subsidiaries in low tax countries pay lower tax if they certify that their profits are invested abroad (i.e, back into the country where that subsidiary was established, not the US). So why stay? Also, by establishing manufacturing operations in low tax countries and manipulating transfer pricing, companies avoid paying US taxes altogether. The tax incentive along with the power of "absolute advantage" creates an irrestible force. The losers, ultimately, are US workers which further balloons the gap between rich and poor.

Also on the table with tax policy is the role of trickle-down economics, the bullshit idea pushed by Reagan and Bush and pretty much every Republican in 2012. The basic (unstated) tenet is simple - shift the tax burden from the rich to the middle class and keep profits high by keeping wages low. Specifically, the bottom 85.4% of households saw 0.1% of the Bush tax cuts from 2001-2006, and during the same time average wages were falling as US companies struggled to remain competitive in a globalized economy.

Finally, there is a huge disconnect in our society between performance and rewards. The argument was given that in order to attract the best people, many jobs (especially executive-level positions) must have astronomical incomes attached to them. But what has the reality been? We all remember the financial collapse in 2007 and the bailouts of big investment banks, but it is not a recent trend. The government bailed out LTCI in 1998, and Drexel Burnham Lambert outright collapsed in 1990. But during all of this, executives have been increasing their own pay, even while company after company either fails or has to be rescued to prevent an economic catastrophe. So while executive pay has increased from 42x the average wage in 1980 to 419x the average wage in 1998 (and even higher since, with many Wall Street banks giving bonuses to their CEO's totalling more than 20 billion dollars during and after the 2007 collapse), their ability to successfully run their businesses has apparently diminished.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have people working 2 and 3 jobs just to make ends meet who are making just a small fraction of what CEO's are making while they run banks and companies into the ground.

The biggest thing we need to do now is find solutions to these problems. Obama has done well in at least recognizing some of these issues, the problem now is just finding ways to address them within the current system of campaign financing (or, short of that, making public funding of elections a priority, something I have supported for a long time).