Recently the Liberal Joke thread has become an argument over the rich and the poor.
I was going to respond there, but decided to start a new thread about this subject instead because this really needs to be better understood then it is.
First welfare recipients and poor are not the same thing. Also, if I remember right, the average person who receives welfare only is on if for less then 3 years. (It could be less then two actually, and this statistic is about 10 years old.) So most welfare recipients are not the "welfare queens" often depicted.
On the opposite side, at least 80% of current millionaires are first generation millionaires. The term "trust fund baby" comes up quite a bit, as a way to say a person did not earn their wealth. Yet many people who are wealthy children of the rich actually did not receive wealth from their parents as much as an education in how to create that wealth.
But there are both welfare queens, and trust fund babies, don?t get me wrong. I have known a couple welfare queens, and Paris Hilton is a great example of a trust fund baby.
But they are actually the same thing with different circumstances. Both actually have the problems of life blunted, and without those hard knocks of life, you become spoiled. Take the carrot and stick, remove the stick, and you have a big problem.
Neither person is going to be truly successful in life, and both are truly pitiful, and actually have a harder time becoming successful.
Now in the other thread rainjack said:
"There are more hard working millionaires than there are hardworking welfare recipients."
People wanted to argue this, but never actually read it, or even thought about it. They just wanted to jump into the fight.
If you are on welfare, it most often means you are unemployed, or underemployed. That means less work then average. (A large number of recipients are pregnant, or recently parented teens.) Next is the millionaire, who works an average of 60 - 80 hours a week. The average American works less then 40. Even with many working 2 jobs, the average is still less then 40.
Discussing the poor, and not just welfare recipients, plain logic can bring some facts. Like a larger percentage of the poor are abusing drugs. This does not mean being poor causes people to use drugs, what I am saying is that if you are abusing drugs, you are more likely to be poor. The same with alcoholism, and a whole host of character flaws.
The rich are also susceptible, and they may not lose everything, but it is harder to maintain it with such problems.
On the other side, can anyone deny that if a person works hard, and is frugal, they cannot become successful? Isn?t a hard working, frugal living person more likely to become wealthy? That also will also push the numbers of hard working people into the millionaire status.
I have a friend headed that way. Working 2 jobs to make $40,000 a year, and still puts $1,000 away each month. Not a millionaire yet, but halfway there. I estimate he will be there by the time he is 50. (And this is with him paying alimony and child support.)
Now the majority of complaints you hear about the rich and the poor are by the middle class. They are upset that they have to work while it seems like the people on welfare don?t. (Not the full story.) And at the same time another group of middle class complains about the rich, thinking they need to be knocked down a peg, upset that they work hard, and have not benefited from "life's lottery". (Again not the full story.)
The singe biggest reason most people are not rich is because of something called delayed gratification. Instead of being able to wait, too many people want it now. If you have had a balance on your credit card over the last 6 months, this is you. If you bought your car with a loan instead of cash, this is you.
Researcher did a little test years ago where they gave children some M&M's, and told the children they could either eat them now, or wait a few minutes, and get twice as many. Some children waited, and some didn't. When following up years later they found that the children who waited were more successful later in life then those who didn't.
To really understand this, look at all the fat people who want to be lean, and muscular, but do not want to work out or diet. They might be looking for the magic pill, or checking into liposuction, or wrapping their fat with plastic. Then they look at the people who actually work out, diet, and say they are lucky, or have good genes, or just benefited from "life's lottery".
I am not rich myself. Over the past year my wife and I have paid off 14 medical bills, and we still have a few to go. But a big part of our problem is the fact that we didn't learn these lessons earlier in life. I received assistance from my parents early on, and fell for the idea that credit is good, and the only way to buy a car is with a loan.
There are actually some good statistics in the book The Millionaire Next Door. I was surprised that I had actually paid more for a watch then the average millionaire.
What makes them rich? Hard work and frugality. They are much less likely to have received what the book calls economic outpatient care, i.e. money from the parents.
Instead of bitching about the rich, become one. Worried about the poor? Get rich and give away a lot of money, or start a trust fund to forever supply financial assistance to the poor.
The poor may not be what you think, but neither are the rich. All those people living in mansions, driving BMW's, wearing the Rolex, are more often then not living the dream of credit. Being rich means you have money, not stuff. And often having stuff means you do not have money.