This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to
me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.
May 18, 2010
If I Had A Million
MasterPo read recently, in response to an article on Yahoo Finance’s Tech Ticker regarding the housing industry, a poster saying quote:
“The only real way to resurrect the vital residential construction industry is to take from the rich Jabba's (and there's a hell of alot of them these days and they're five times as rich as they where 50 years ago in inflation adjusted terms), and give to the bottom 90% in one way or another.”
This poster isn’t saying anything totally new. Indeed, President Obama himself has stated his policy is to take from those who have succeeded and give it to others:
The morals and ethics of taking the hard earned money from Peter and giving it to Paul is shocking. But not without historical precedence in terms of the concept at least (as well as the attempt – all failed!).
Nevertheless, regardless of the moral/ethical discussion there is a hard and cold truth about people and money:
The overwhelming vast majority of people who never had money and are suddenly given a large sum (defined however you want) generally tend to squander it!
If you do the research on lottery winners, for example, you will find that a H-U-G-E number (more than half) that have won $1 million or more are bankrupt, or at least back to where they started, in 5 years or less. They ended up spending it on truly stupid and frivolous things.
One can forgive (maybe) some bad investments or poor business dealings. But most of these people blew the money on:
- New cars for them and their friends.
- Trips for them and their friends to Mexico and Bahamas.
- Junkets to Las Vegas.
- Rolexes for everyone!
- Fancy shmancy dinners at the highest end eateries.
Now MasterPo doesn’t have a problem with any of these things per se. And surely if MasterPo won a big lottery pot there would be a little self-indulgences to be enjoyed (MasterPo isn’t a complete stick-in-the-mud). It’s their money. They can spend it (or waste it) as they wish.
And that’s the point.
The Yahoo Finance user (as well as other who parrot the same concept) fall into the same trap as all social engineers especially in government positions: Throw money at the problem and that will magically fix it.
MasterPo guarantees that if the U.S. government issued $1,000,000 checks to people making under some arbitrary level within a year at least half those people would be impoverished again.
It’s one thing to give money to someone who used to have it and lost it somehow. Hopefully they learned their lesson (if the loss was entirely their own fault). But it’s totally another to give it blindly to people who never had it before and expect them to act responsibly.
Money given and money earned are valued totally differently.
“Free” money is worthless.
Earned money is precious.