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Wealth & Economics > Who's working harder?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments When discussing American dream, it's often associated with something like 'a reward for hard work', somehow implying that that's a golden rule for success. You work hard, you become rich.
However, from what I know - one can work hard and ... just get tired, and even barely make the ends meet.
Is a mover, say, working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week a hard-working fella? A teacher in a problematic area? An assembly line worker? Construction worker?
Would a billionaire, spending half a day on the yacht and closing one sweet multi-mil deal in a fancy restaurant, be more hardworking? Or CEO handling - 5 conference calls, two meetings, writing 15 emails, reading 3 memos and looking through 2 excel tables a day, be more hardworking than a janitor or window cleaner?
Yeah, industriousness and 'hard working' characterize many self-made successful dudes, but so it does similarly hard-working and industrious folks getting nowhere.
It's less 'hard-working', more - 'smart-working' + lots of additional factors, mentioned by people here, like luck, guts, connections and many more that make the difference.
Don't think Detroit, practically 'wiped out' by last (lasting?) crisis necessarily had mostly 'lazy' population.
So, is it (i) an urban legend, often used to instill false hopes or joshing those unsuccessful for their failures, (ii) just one of many factors, required for success, or (iii) the one and only path to wealth and glory?


message 2: by Joanna (new)

Joanna Elm | 145 comments Nik, you can become rich in America by working hard BUT you can't be working for "the man." If you're going to be working 12/16 hours a day, seven days a week etc, you'd better be working for yourself. Then , you can get somewhere!!!!!
But that means struggling in the beginning, taking risks, going through tough patches and so on. Most don't want to do that. They want to put in their eight hours a day, get paid time and half for any hours they work over and above the eight hours, and go home and not have to think about work.
When I first arrived in America, I worked two jobs, one at a magazine as a reporter then editor, and one in TV news (so from 8a.m. to 11p.m five days a week.) I made a tidy sum that allowed me to enjoy a few luxuries like rental of summer homes in exclusive summer resorts on the East Coast BUT I was never going to get really wealthy that way.


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Joanna wrote: "....you'd better be working for yourself. Then , you can get somewhere!!!!!
But that means struggling in the beginning, taking risks, going through tough patches and so on. Most don't want to do that...."


Very true.. Not sure, 'struggling' is always a must, but entrepreneurial part with all its pros and cons seems essential. Selling one's own labor is seldom sufficient for anything sizable, except for a very small percent of top executives, high-end consultants, top sportsmen, movie stars and .... yes! - a handful of authors -:)


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Who's the most hardworking then?


message 5: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Domestic aids: long hours, backbreaking work, little or no recognition, abused in many cases, very poor pay, little or no job benefits. That is even truer if you work for rich people who got their elevated positions from bloodlines (Saudi princes, European aristocrats, etc.), inheritances or crime (kids of drug lords or oligarchs, crooked financiers, etc.), meaning people who didn't have to work hard or work at all to have their riches. Those 'silver spoon people' will often tend to be the worst employers for their domestic aids.


message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Should work necessarily be "hard"?


message 7: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1753 comments I think we see who has become successful in America. Was it hard work - probably. But, I think the last 40 years it has been more about new technology and new ideas on making it better and making use of what it can do, combined with some luck. Hard work alone will not get you there.

In the old days, it was more about land and other physical assets (mines, cattle, cotton). We had so few people for the amount of land mass that it was then more of a hard work on your own land bred success type of situation.

The American Dream in the time that I grew up was the white picket fence, the job, the 2 kids, the dog, the 2 cars, vacations in the summer, and eventual retirement (at which time you owned your home in full). That is really hard to achieve for many these days without 2 incomes. Added to that has been the change to our society to include - the divorce rate wiping out people's savings and home equity, the cost of medical care (it is child neglect now not to have your children's teeth taken care of), the mobility which has left many without support they otherwise would have, both parents working - all of which has made it impossible to even manage the necessitties, as we start over after each divorce and no longer have the pension plans that added to social security income to allow seniors to live comfortably.

In regards to hard work. Which is harder - an electrician working outside in Phoenix, AZ on new construction during the summer or the paralegal who spends day after day reading and summarizing cases of child abuse. The 1st is physically harder; the 2nd is emotionally brutal. Hard work comes in many forms.


message 8: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments Right. Hard work comes in many forms. Most of us do really hard work when we're starting out in our work life, then things get easier as we prove ourselves and work our way up.


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Can the world run out of work or of people wanting what's available? What do you think?


message 10: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments I'm not sure about what you're asking. If it's whether there will always be work for those humans who want it, I guess you have to think about jobs that AI and robots can't do. They'll eventually be able to reproduce and program themselves, so what's left? Maybe our entertainment value :-)


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments It feels like we might be coming to a junction, where there will be no technological need for manual labor, nor a desire for one on the part of the new generations. So far, less developed countries send workers to do physical work and host sweatshops, but at some stage it'll probably level. The demand for creative work is limited and indie writers exemplify it. High-tech absorbs a lot of working minds and offers high rewards. It too may exhaust the intake at some stage. Not sure the job demand is shrinking at the moment, but some solutions might be needed lest we see again the pic's from Great Depression of hundreds of people crowded by fences begging to get a working shift...


message 12: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments Nik wrote: "Who's the most hardworking then?"

The lowest paid.


message 13: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments Nik, that's when we'll see guaranteed income from the government for not working.


message 14: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1753 comments Scout wrote: "Nik, that's when we'll see guaranteed income from the government for not working."

Is that a complaint? It seems to me that we enjoy social security benefits, medicare, and so on, because of that very line of people. It led to FDR and the New Deal - which gave us the social security system along with minimum wage.

If we want to get down to the roots of it, The English Poor Laws in the early 1600s probably were the cornerstone of the belief that society has a responsibility to the poor. Since it included the distinctiion that the "deserving" poor were different from the "undeserving" poor, and those attitudes and belief came to America with the Puritans, Pilgrims, and other English settlers, it is not suprising that it evolved into our modern-day system, including the attitude that only some people deserve such help.

Our government is founded on the principle that all are equal - not on one that only the working, non-user, gender-preferred, properly sexually-oriented are enttitled to assistance. Imagine if certain religions or certain colors or certain genders or certain encomic levels get to make the call on who is entitled to assistance. Don't get me wrong - I resent my tax dollars going to drug sales on the street instead of food and clothing, but I definitely know I don't want to be the person who points and picks who gets what. I want a law that does so without discrimination.

The hardest work - doing a job you hate.


message 15: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Scout wrote: "Nik, that's when we'll see guaranteed income from the government for not working."

Corona availed an opportunity for a grand rehearsal


message 16: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Lizzie wrote: "The hardest work - doing a job you hate...."

I like this one. Allowing for many researches that claim most people don't like their job ....


message 17: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Is army a job?


message 18: by J.E. (new)

J.E. Park | 13 comments Nik wrote: "Is army a job?"

I spent 6 weeks in the Army, and worked my derriere off. I spent 6 years in the Navy and, sure I worked, but I worked significantly less there than I did as a civilian.

In fact, I get kind of uncomfortable when people thank me for my service. I feel like I should reply, "No, thank YOU for funding my three years' worth of plowing my way through the Far East while drunk and naked. It was a hoot!"

Don't get me wrong, there were certainly people aboard my ship who slaved away for sure, but having landed in a highly technical rate, I was able to put in the hours while underway so when we landed in port, I had nothing to do but blow my money on wine, women, and song.


message 19: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments J.E. wrote: "...It was a hoot!...."

It sure sounds so. Just the ship needs to stay clear of torpedoes, mines and stuff :)


message 20: by J.E. (new)

J.E. Park | 13 comments Nik wrote: "J.E. wrote: "...It was a hoot!...."

It sure sounds so. Just the ship needs to stay clear of torpedoes, mines and stuff :)"


Ha! That stuff was easy to avoid. Angry husbands. law enforcement officials who disapprove of your lifestyle choices, and venereal disease on the other hand...


message 21: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1753 comments Nik wrote: "Is army a job?"

In America, I have several friends who would say -
Nope. Army is a walk in the park. It's the marine who do the real work.


message 22: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1753 comments J.E. wrote: "Nik wrote: "J.E. wrote: "...It was a hoot!...."

It sure sounds so. Just the ship needs to stay clear of torpedoes, mines and stuff :)"

Ha! That stuff was easy to avoid. Angry husbands. law enforcement officials who disapprove of your lifestyle choices, and venereal disease on the other hand..."


And their various family members and attorneys and the local procss server, I suspect.


message 23: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments Lizzie wrote: "Is that a complaint? It seems to me that we enjoy social security benefits, medicare, and so on, because of that very line of people. It led to FDR and the New Deal - which gave us the social security system along with minimum wage. ..."

There is a far difference between working poor and just being given money. This is welfare by another name. It will do nothing more than trap people in continued cycles of poverty. This is a trap, nothing more. I spend a great deal of time reading about those that got out and those that did not. I missed not getting out by the skin of my ass. It leaves me both depressed and angry every time. having said that, I got out through shear hard work and sacrifice. If I can do it anyone can.

Welfare by another name will sap that drive because you will be almost comfortable enough. Always remember, nothing is free and everything has costs.

As for all of the other programs you mentioned, you pay into them when you work.


message 24: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1753 comments Papaphilly wrote: "Lizzie wrote: "Is that a complaint? It seems to me that we enjoy social security benefits, medicare, and so on, because of that very line of people. It led to FDR and the New Deal - which gave us t..."

and we pay farmers not to work their land, so I hear,

Separate from morals and ethics, I do not want to be the one to decide who tried hard enough, who let themselves give up. Maybe the latter has depression issues, which we can't see. Having bilateral neuropathy and being limited to lift, carry, and so forth of 2 lbs., but looking healthy otherwise, do you know how many people I had make fun of me or give me dirty looks in the grocery store or elsewhere when getting carryout help? Do I want someone like that determining my level of need? NOPE! So, a few scam the sytem - I prefer that over the needy going without.


message 25: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10674 comments There are many reasons for being poor, and very few for being rich. Nobody gets rich by hard work; the real rich get there by tithing those who work hard, and who have a lot of luck. They may say they work hard, and in some cases they do, but that is not the reason for the wealth. On the other hand, there are many reasons for the poor. Yes, some are simply lazy, but other simply do not have the means through having physical defects, or be at the low end of the IQ spread. There is no simple answer to the bottom of the economic scale issues, and I feel it is better to help some undeserving rather than grind a lot of the unfortunate into what is the next best to slavery.


message 26: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments Lizzie wrote: "Papaphilly wrote: "Lizzie wrote: "Is that a complaint? It seems to me that we enjoy social security benefits, medicare, and so on, because of that very line of people. It led to FDR and the New Dea..."

I think you are missing what I am trying to say. This is not about need or help. This is not about physical or mental issues. This is about morals, but not in the way you may think. I do not look down on those in true need, for whatever their reason happens to be about.

There are plenty being taken advantage of, no doubt. There are plenty that will not make it for no other reason than they did not come across the right help at the right moment in time. Being poor certainly makes life harder in more ways than one, especially if you want to try and climb out of the hole. The system is not going to make it easy. I can tell you from first hand experience.

Yet, the harshest critic of the poor are not conservatives, but those that made it out. Because they see what they did and how their contemporaries did not. Most do not try. Much of that is because they already feel defeated. However, much of it is through poor choices and the "right now" mentality. They would rather buy lottery tickets than put the money in the bank. They would rather buy a soda than drink tap water and save the pennies for the future. They would rather buy the $200 sneakers instead of spending that money on books that can teach them how to make money. They would rather complain how unfair it all is and not work two jobs to get ahead.

This is not a knock, but a reality that I had to deal with in my life. Trust me, I can tell you what it is like living on peanut butter and crackers. I can tell you what it is like living on pasta 6 nights a week. I can tell you when I finally bought my wife a color television, I did not eat lunch for three months because it was one or the other.

I am not by any stretch against helping those in need. I am not against helping those with various physical/mental problems. I am not against helping those that are trying like hell to get an education. But to just give able bodied people things does not help them in the long run. I am not talking about giving someone a break. However, when you give people things for no "work" in return, you help them become even lazier even if that is not your goal or their desire. When you give it a pretty name, it makes the trap even harder to resist, especially when it sounds like it is an entitlement. Like it is theirs by birthright.

As many of you know, I delivered food boxes last year for six months during the height of the Pandemic. There was lots of need. Lots of people were helped and were able to tide over during a truly brutal period. I had zero problems helping those in need. Yet, there were plenty that felt they deserved personal service. There were plenty that felt they did not have to help in their own cause. I cannot tell you how many times there were demands that I personally carry boxes up their stairs or put it in their car, not because they had problems, but because they felt entitled. They thought I was there to serve them and not help them. That is a mind frame. I see it far to often. Not willing to lift a finger to help move boxes for themselves, but more than willing to watch me move the boxes and then take one for themselves without helping.

That is why Universal Guaranteed Income will ultimately fail. Because people will lose the will to better themselves through handouts they do not really need with the idea it is for a good cause.


message 27: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments Ian wrote: "There are many reasons for being poor, and very few for being rich. Nobody gets rich by hard work; the real rich get there by tithing those who work hard, and who have a lot of luck. They may say t..."

Ian,

You are wrong, plain and simple. you can certainly become rich through hard work. How do you think they get rich in the first place? The get rich fairy just shows up and donks them on the head? No it is not easy and many will probably fail because it is not easy. Yet, you can certainly end off much better than when you started. You may not be rich, but you can certainly end up comfortable.

https://www.inc.com/business-insider/...


message 28: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10674 comments How do I think they got rich in the first place? Take John D Rockefeller. He effectively cheated the inventor out of the technology to refine oil. Working hard? Most of the so-called robber barons made their wealth that way, and it is inherited now. You think the Clintons' wealth is a result of their hard work?

Bill Gates - he was given the market of IBM for his not particularly valuable operating system when it was totally against IBM's interests to do so. Some, like the guy who runs Netflix were in the right place at the right time with seed capital that he did not acquire through hard work (and I am not suggesting there was anything dishonest - merely that he was lucky to get it) to employ a hundred guys who made the company. I am not saying he did not work, but without those hundred guys he would never have got as rich as he is.

And yes, if you work diligently and do the right things you can make enough to be comfortable, even if things don't go right for you, but you do not get to be rich. Rich is made by using the money or effort of others.


message 29: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 3660 comments Papaphilly wrote: "That is why Universal Guaranteed Income will ultimately fail. Because people will lose the will to better themselves through handouts they do not really need with the idea it is for a good cause."

One minor point of disagreement. The reason that UBI would fail is because, like all entitlements, it is a Ponzi Scheme. It can only remain solvent as long as several times more people are paying in than are collecting.


message 30: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1753 comments I see what Papa is saying, but I am more inclined to agree with Ian.

1. Like immigrants, the worst critics of the poor and the illegal are those who managed to get out of poverty or into the USA by following the rules (because the rules just happened to work for them, not because of who is more deserving). As a society, we always seems to want someone below us to look down on.

2. We all want to believe that we are understanding of the person who truly deserves assistance, but someone is always standing there judging without real facts. I experienced too much of it in just 4 months while awaiting my private disability policy to kick in. Pending that, I had state medical care, SNAP (food stamps), and many disapproving looks for everything from what i just bought with my food stamps to asking for assistance to empy my cart because I couldn't bear to life and move another can of beans or package of meat.

3. I don't disagree that there are those who simply like the way things are enough such that they are unwilling to help themselves. But, I think for way too many, it's not unwillingness, it's defeat and fear. I have seen too many faces where they have simply given up, because it feels like nothing changes, it feels that nothing you do results in permanent positive change as you look at your parents and grandparents, and because it's scary to "move up" and no one teaches you how to effect or deal with change.

Papa, I applaud your contribution. As human beings we should all be doing similar things. The problem I run into is who decides who deserves help? What criteria? I must buy bread but no cake? I must buy chuck steak rather than rib eye? I must buy canned veggies bedause they are cheaper than fresh? Your idea of my clothing is cheap material? Does it matter that I am allergic or that the job I am qualified for requires that I "look the part".

I don't have a simple solution. I just am tired of the criticism against those who haven't found a way out.


message 31: by Papaphilly (last edited Mar 26, 2021 02:59PM) (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments Ian wrote: "You think the Clintons' wealth is a result of their hard work?..."

Bill Clinton is lots of things and I am no fan by any definition. However, he was born on tobacco road to a broken home. He may be liar and a cheat, but he most certainly did not inherit a dime.

As for the others, nobody gave them anything. Gates was born to middle class parents. Regardless of what one thinks of him, he built his company. He started out with two guys and built it from there.

As for Netflix, it was started by two guys that earned their money prior to Netflix. They did not wake up rich, they earned it first. They also saw a niche in the market that others did not see and exploited it.

Rockefeller for better or worse was not born into wealth. As a matter of fact his father abandoned them when he was young. Regardless of whether he was ruthless or not is beside the point. He built his company and nobody gave him anything.

Besides myself, I look at the immigrants in the NYC area. As all prior groups, they are assimilating, having families and living a life. Do you know what is the uppermost on their minds? Making sure the children are getting educated. The poorest paid of the newly arrived is Asian. They are also the very best at getting their children in the very best schools. Do you know why? Because they outwork everyone else as a group. NYC's best high schools are even more exclusive than the IVY League schools and they are over-represented by population percentages than all others. Their parents do not speak a lick of English and their children are getting into the best schools; that is not a fluke. As a matter of fact there is a joke about their excellence. An American parent congratulates their child for the 97 on the test and an Asian parent wonders what happened to the other three points.

The vast majority of American millionaires are self made, that is not a misstatement. That is happening right now.

Maybe J.K. Rowling should have given up and never written Happy Potter. She was on welfare at the time.

BTW,

They all employed lots of people that would not have had jobs otherwise.


message 32: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments J. wrote: "Papaphilly wrote: "That is why Universal Guaranteed Income will ultimately fail. Because people will lose the will to better themselves through handouts they do not really need with the idea it is ..."

That goes without saying.


message 33: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments Papa, opinions based on personal experience are the best. Thanks for sharing yours. What I've gleaned is that hard work can get one out of poverty and build character; that getting something for nothing degrades character, promotes a feeling of entitlement, and encourages lethargy and dependency. As you said, "Nothing is free and everything has costs." But it's also true that giving someone who's trying to better themselves a hand up is a worthwhile endeavor. Well said, you.


message 34: by Nik (last edited Mar 27, 2021 02:25AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Agree, to combat the entitlement feeling the descendants of aristocracy, super-rich and career politicians should undergo a mandatory 2 year long internship in say McDonald's, coal excavation or municipal garbage collection


message 35: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1753 comments According to the Statista Research Dept., "As of March 2020, the number households with a net worth of one million U.S. dollars or more (excluding primary residence)dropped to 1.5 million, down from 11 million in 2019. This drop is attributed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic."

In 2020, there were 128.45 million households. So the millionaire households dropped from 8 percent to 1 percent, but in either case that doesn't support that hard work results in wealth.

Gates was a millionaire at age 26 - do you think that was hard work for any length of time?


message 36: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments I've witnessed a rise of some rich and a few super rich dudes. Industriousness (rather than hard work) characterizes most of them and I'd say it's one of the pre-requisites, but it wasn't necessarily a decisive factor for success. Just as regularly - luck or as Ian put it "being in the right place in the right time", biz intuition, merchant skills or audacity.


message 37: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments If Hunter slaved for peanuts in Burisma, anyone can :)


message 38: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments Lizzie wrote: "Gates was a millionaire at age 26 - do you think that was hard work for any length of time? ..."

How do you think he became a millionaire?


message 39: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments Nik wrote: "Just as regularly - luck or as Ian put it "being in the right place in the right time", biz intuition, merchant skills or audacity. ..."

And without the hard work put in, non of the rest matters. You know what my stroke of luck was, I met my wife Without her, I am nothing. Yet, we still put in the long hours.

All of the books about someone getting out of poverty and making something of themselves all have this element in common, they caught a break because the right person came along at the right time. Yet, they still have to put the work in. Success just does not happen with the success genie. You have to earn it.


message 40: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments Using Lizzie for a sec (sorry Lizzie), she gets disapproving looks because she needs help carrying the groceries. It is not because she needs help that bothers people, but she looks healthy because they do not know she needs help because her condition is not apparent. People think she is acting entitled. If she had crutches. leg braces, a wheelchair .... They probably would not have thought twice about it.

It is not about needing actual help, but it is about giving things to people that do not earn it. Welfare in America is a touchy subject. There is little argument about giving people proper help. However, there is a ton of arguments of what constitutes that proper help. My personal favorite right now is that advocates claim air conditioning is an essential right. I grew up without it and did fine. I am not going to argue that it makes life much more pleasent, but essential?

My general thought runs: if you can afford beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets, you do not need the help.


message 41: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Papaphilly wrote: "... You know what my stroke of luck was, I met my wife Without her, I am nothing. Yet, we still put in the long hours...."

I respect your path and achievements, Papaphilly


message 42: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Papaphilly wrote: ".... My general thought runs: if you can afford beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets, you do not need the help...."

I agree. No need to help someone buy Ferrari.
And I still remember the irony of travelling with private jets to ask for a handout: https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/WallSt...


message 43: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments Nik wrote: "Papaphilly wrote: "... You know what my stroke of luck was, I met my wife Without her, I am nothing. Yet, we still put in the long hours...."

I respect your path and achievements, Papaphilly"


As much as I appreciate the thought, I am not fishing for a compliment. I am trying to use myself as an example of how hard work can bring you up the ladder of success.

If hard work does not pay, why is the United States the number one destination for immigration in the world?


message 44: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Papaphilly wrote: ".... I am not fishing for a compliment. I am trying to use myself as an example of how hard work can bring you up the ladder of success...."

I know, I'm not making one - I sincerely respect your path of sacrifice and success.
I think "hard work" has acquired a mythological, almost religious meaning, which is partially misleading (for everyone who's unsuccessful enough, is automatically assumed to be not working hard enough) and definitely overrated. It's pretty clear that many work very hard and barely make the ends meet, yet only a few - really make it big time. Some work hard for it, some - maybe not so much. Here for example, a sound business idea and inventiveness - definitely, not sure how much hard work contributed to this story: https://money.cnn.com/2014/02/20/tech...
Don't know, if the most - but definitely the States is a coveted destination for many of those who seek a better life. And deservedly so. For the same hard work at home and on relocation, immigrants know that the returns are better, freedoms are better, and a general balance of life is better. It's pretty easy to win comparison against the third world


message 45: by Nik (last edited Mar 28, 2021 10:14AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 14891 comments Another story that I like. Few minutes before the bankruptcy their luck turned: https://www.prosperity.net/from-near-...
You know how many thousands (or millions?) of apps are there, all created with a similar effort, however a relatively small number become really big, like Whatsapp or Angry Birds


message 46: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10674 comments Nik wrote: "If Hunter slaved for peanuts in Burisma, anyone can :)"

Everyone should avoid wherever Nik buys his peanuts. Talk about overpriced :-)


message 47: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10674 comments Papaphilly asked, how do you think Gates got to be a millionaire at such a young age. Ask instead, how do you think IBM gave Gates that contract? How many others could do that? Especially when the net result would inevitably take IBM from being the leader in computer technology to being an also-ran.

I never said wealth did not require effort. What I said was that effort alone cannot make you rich. Further, inheritance is not necessary, but you have to get money to make money and very few get it from hard work. That does not mean it is illegal or immoral either, but you have to get it. Warren Buffet apparently started by getting friends to invest modest amounts. That is perfectly reasonable, and he made his friends far richer than they would ever have made it on their own. Buffet certainly put in effort, but again while effort was necessary it was not sufficient, whereas for the guys he made multimillionaires, they did not even put in effort.

And yes, I totally agree that people should at least make the effort, and they should be rewarded. I have no idea whether PP is rich but I suspect he has adequate wealth. For what it is worth, I once entered a joint venture to make the raw material for high temperature plastics, and yes, I put in a lot of effort to get this going. However, five million in the hole and about to start construction of a major plant when the government, which owned the raw material, tore up the supply contract and handed the resource stream to a different company. No amount of hard work could avoid that disaster.


message 48: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments Ian wrote: "I never said wealth did not require effort. What I said was that effort alone cannot make you rich...."

My only point is that without the hard work, none of the rest matters. You can have all of the money and not produce one thing or lose it through bad investments. Plenty of stories about great families falling into obscurity.

Your Bill Gates question is not really about Bill Gates, he took advantage of an opportunity, but about IBM missing the very same. Why did Facebook make it and yet My Space which was there first and filled the space already, not make it?

The most talented do not always make it big or even make it. Some of it is luck and much of it is pure sweat.

As for a losing business, been there and done that. I was on Wall Street on Black Monday in 1987. I used to deliver computer paper to the trading houses and lost it all due to the crash. I was very close to making very large amounts of money and bad luck struck. All of my equipment and contracts lost and was left in a very big hole. I dug my way out through hard work and it was both exhausting and back breaking. I will never see that lost money again and it set me back ten years, but there were some very good lessons I took with me.

As for Buffet, you get half the equation right. Yes he worked hard and made some people including himself very rich. However, the people he made rich could have lost all of their money. You mention modest amounts, that tells me they probably did not have lots of money to start with. The invested and it paid off. it does not mean they were lazy or did not deserve their returns.

If you write that ten million seller, do you think you deserve it? Do you think you should be required to give away half of your money to some third party because someone else decided it was not fair that you have that much money? If either one of these answers are yes, after you have your head examined for the hole that is leaking your brains, give me the money......8^)


message 49: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10674 comments Papaphilly wrote: "If you write that ten million seller, do you think you deserve it? Do you think you should be required to give away half of your money to some third party because someone else decided it was not fair that you have that much money? If either one of these answers are yes, after you have your head examined for the hole that is leaking your brains, give me the money......8^)"

I don't follow this argument. I say yes to the first and no to the second, and I feel they are the sensible answers. Just because I feel that in the odd event I actually made a success in writing and I keep the returns does not make me want to have my head examined, and no, after putting that self-contradictory proposition to me does not make me want to give you had the money I haven't got :-)

My view about lost money (and as you can see I lost fairly big - almost a wipe-out) is it is a waste of time even thinking about it. It is what it is and you can't recover it. Better to set about recovering your economic position, and yes, that takes effort too. The point I am making is hard work alone won't make you rich. Talent alone won'
t make you rich, and I rather think, but cannot prove, that an absence of good fortune or a run of bad luck at the wrong time will ensure you do not get rich. And rich means a lot more than just being able to live adequately.


message 50: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3262 comments Ian wrote: "I don't follow this argument. I say yes to the first and no to the second, and I feel they are the sensible answers...."

You are making my point for me. You work hard on your book and it becomes a success. You deserve your rewards. Nobody gave you your book. Yes it takes talent and I hope you have enough to make a success. Yes it takes some luck to be found and bought. Yes it takes money because you are doing it on your own. However, it takes tons of hard work. You can have all of the talent and none of the drive.

I keep pointing out all of the hard work. That is what it takes. It is not the only thing, but it is the main one. You may not agree that you cannot work your way out of poverty, but I certainly disagree with you. Maybe you do not have the talent to write (my problem), but you can work harder on something else to make your way.

The reason I asked the facetious question was to point out you get to keep the fruits of your labor as you should. You should be able to keep what you earn. You should not have to give over a large portion to give to a third party because they need a universal income.

BTW, the money you lost, I assume you owed a great deal for a period. How did you pay it off if you do not find my question too obnoxious or prying. I am assuming you paid your debts or went bankrupt as the law allows.

I am assuming that the pay off the debt fairy did not donk you on the head.

With myself, trust me the pay the pay debt fairy did not donk me on the head. I worked for lots of years to pay the debt off. I was able to avoid bankruptcy by the skin of my teeth. I worked lots of hours for lots of years to pay that debt.


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