Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What is "Self-Made"

A lot of the income inequality/mobility discussion has, as part of its background the fact that most of the really wealthy are "self-made" which, as far as I can tell, means they didn't inherit their great wealth.  But there's a problem with that fact: it doesn't count leg-up wealth.  Mitt Romney is a good example.  Everyone knows he was born to wealth and opportunity, but his current wealth is "self-made".  Sure he inherited (or would have, not sure on the timing) lots of $$, but he has made quite a bit more.

Even Bill Gates, who most people see as an innovator and self made man, had pretty well off parents.  The children of wealthy people have advantages that others don't, even without looking at some big inheritance/gift.  They can afford to take more risks and chances than most people, because if they fail, they won't be destitute.  Bush Jr. failed at every enterprise he ever attempted and he was gifted the presidency thanks to daddy's little supreme court justices!

That America has lots of "self-made" extraordinarily wealthy individuals is not a testament to America as a land of extraordinary opportunity unless rich, middle class, and poor alike all have the same chance of making it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

83% Out of $1 Billion Bracket...After Game 1

So 83% of people in the billion $ bracket picked Ohio State over Dayton, and are now marred.  As one of the 16% who picked Dayton, I'd brag, but chances are very good that I will miss a game by the end of today (if not the end of this afternoon) and almost certain that I will have at least one miss before the second round finishes.

Still, it is fun to fantasize about what I'd do with the money.  As I've said before, mostly, I'd give it away.  I don't have any use for that much money, but it would be nice to be debt free and to get all the work done on my house that I want, and some new furniture.  ...Also a Tesla.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Free Money For Everyone

Sounds crazy but it would work.  Since it's really no less likely than fiscal stimulus (infrastructure spending please) pushing for it is not a bad idea.