Rise of the Non-Working Rich, 2014-09-15

Rise of the Non-Working Rich, 2014-09-15 

More than three out of four self-described conservatives believe “poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything.”

The reality is that most of the USA's poor work two or more jobs. 

David Brooks has never made much sense to me, but his recent statement that "Instead of taxing the rich, David Brooks wants to beg them to stop ...." In other words, go ahead and exploit the men and women who produce the good and services consumed by our nation and by people around the world, but just don't flaunt it. Ye gads man, where are your morals? 

The reality is non-workers are the wealthy who inherit their fortunes. And their ranks are growing. 

"In fact, we’re on the cusp of the largest inter-generational wealth transfer in history.

"The wealth is coming from those who over the last three decades earned huge amounts on Wall Street, in corporate boardrooms, or as high-tech entrepreneurs.

"It’s going to their children, who did nothing except be born into the right family.
~ Robert Reich, The Rise of the Non-Working Rich, Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The thing that troubles me is all the young, poor, working class men and women see all the extravagant things being purchased and used by the wealthy. The internet flaunts the stuff of wealth. These hard working, ambitious, enterprising, active people have some kind of notion that they are entitled to that stuff. They watch the advertisements, they see the splendor of fast cars or exotic machines. They yearn for the fancy house with the kitchens that knocks my socks off, the baby gear that is to die for, and they have not a chance in a lifetime to have these things. This stuff. 

Discontented? Yes! Dissatisfied? Oh my goodness, are they ever. Angry? Some are! Afraid? yes, often! Tormented? I see it all around me. 

So, given the reality that the idle rich young men and women and their parents believe poor people live off the government dole without doing anything. The middle class thinks they have a chance to ring those bells of the idle rich if they just work hard, budget wisely but be frugal, they too could enjoy the fruits of their labor. Wake up, small business and wage workers. The deck is stacked against you. Find a friend who knows what is happening and join with other like minded people struggling to make a living. It is the only way I know of to make such a huge social change.

 

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Comment by Čenek Sekavec on September 29, 2014 at 7:27pm

Just to be clear that I understand your complaint isn't that that there is unearned wealth but rather that the distribution of unearned wealth isn't equally distributed?

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 29, 2014 at 12:10pm

Oh! What a beautiful morning. Fall is really here. The temp is chilly and light clouds cover the sky. Perfect weather for winterizing the garden. Right now, I am still up to my armpits in grapes and will be for a few more days. 

Laura, 50 miles north of me, has had several killing frosts already. We have not. We have had one night of frost on the roof of the garage, but not on the tomatoes. A few more are ripening ... maybe we will have a couple dozen green ones, which I can use. 

I made a playlist that some of you may enjoy. It is from a person that Loren Miller introduced us to last week, from TheraminTrees. I like his style. Thanks Loren!

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 29, 2014 at 12:01pm

I have nothing against wealth. I do have a quarrel with unearned income. Wealth created by others' hard work. 

As to definition of " 'Unearned Income': Any income that comes from investments and other sources unrelated to employment services." 

That is not my term, it is the term used by economists. I have nothing against wealth, it is how it is accumulated. If theft, embezzlement, manipulation and exploitation of others is involved, I am against it. Funny, I mention theft as unacceptable, I come from a long line of horse thieves and bank robbers from Oklahoma. Our family came from Ireland at the same time as Jesse James and his tribe came to the USA. 

Strange how history plays itself out, isn't it. 

Comment by Plinius on September 29, 2014 at 1:22am

It would help if a frugal lifestyle was more glamorous. People who are influenced by beautiful ads look down on it - but it's so simple: spend more than your income and you're always poor, spend less and you have enough.

Comment by jay H on September 28, 2014 at 8:35am

The thing that troubles me is all the young, poor, working class men and women see all the extravagant things being purchased and used by the wealthy. The internet flaunts the stuff of wealth. These hard working, ambitious, enterprising, active people have some kind of notion that they are entitled to that stuff. They watch the advertisements, they see the splendor of fast cars or exotic machines.

I find this nutso, even though it's a common thread in some political circles. Jealousy is 100% in the mind of the jealous, it's not up to others to hide their wealth so people 'wont' feel bad'.

Seriously, though I am reasonably comfortable now (not wealthy) and I sure as hell didn't start with much.  I always live within my means I have no desire to stress myself out because some people have a lot more than me, or a lot less than me. I appreciate the beauty of some of these things. but I'm not concerned that I don't have them (I even briefly rented a Ferrari once for the hell of it, but there is no way I'm going to put myself into debt for any fancy car).

First it's NOT terrible that some people have fine things. Throughout history, fine art, fine architecture, things that we admire now have been significantly created for the wealthy or powerful (no one else could afford to support artists and their work, certainly not the general population). I sometimes visit a site of 'wealth porn', just pictures of exotic cars, boats, houses, jewelry. I'll never own a Pagani but to see 3 of them parked in one driveway is intriguing.

All this exotic stuff is made by skilled working people. Because someone is buying that stuff, they have jobs. The mother of a woman I worked with was a skilled pattern maker with a career creating the patterns for designer handbags (i.e $5000-15000). She loved her job, I saw pictures from the coffee table book of some of these handbags, and her job was possible because some women had the money to buy these things.  A disastrous tax some years ago on expensive yachts (misguided egalitarian BS) wound up costing skilled people in my home state their jobs. Fortunately people came to their senses.

Jealousy sucks, but it's really the fault of the jealous

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 26, 2014 at 11:25am

Daniel, beautifully and wisely written. Rich or poor, educated or ignorant, they all come in different shades of "character and some human kindness, are responsible, and know they deserve equal, respectful. kind, friendly treatment because they are human, not special treatment because they are special."

The interesting thing about living is ferreting out those with the attributes that enrich one from those that chew one up and spit. 

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