Tom Hayden: 60s activist, SDS* leader; Vietnam war protestor, ex-husband of Jane Fonda, member of the Chicago Eight : dead at 76.
*Students for a Democratic Society
*Students for a Democratic Society
Of course it’s harder to be poor. Poverty is violence. It’s hard to BECOME wealthy unless you are born into it, but it certainly isn’t hard to BE wealthy. Most “challenges” faced by being wealthy can be resolved by paying someone else i.e. a ‘fixer’ : to make it go away, or advise you on how to deal with it.
*We cannot shovel the poor into ghettos, throw some food stamps and money at them and hope they figure out how to be rich some day. They need a hand up, not a hand out. We need more people to understand the problem so we can work collectively as a community and a society to reduce poverty on a global-scale instead of just asking “how come you’re not rich?”
Wealth gives you freedom and it gives you choices. You can even choose to be poor, by putting yourself on a budget and living on the same income most others do or simply by giving it away to charity and starting over from “scratch”.
Poor people have few choices, and they simply cannot “choose” to suddenly be rich. The solution to anything is always easy if you don’t understand the problem.
And chronic-poverty is not just a money problem.
Answer by Bernie Klinder:
Of course it’s harder to be poor. Poverty is violence. It’s hard to become wealthy unless you are born into it, but it certainly isn’t hard to be wealthy.
Most “challenges” faced by being wealthy can be resolved by paying someone else to make it go away, or advise you on how to deal with it. There are a few things that money can’t buy, but you can get close to renting those things for a while. Wealth gives you freedom and it gives you choices. You can even choose to be poor, by putting yourself on a budget and living on the same income most others do or simply by giving it away to charity and starting over from “scratch”.
Poor people have few choices, and they simply cannot “choose” to suddenly be rich. The solution to anything is always easy if you don’t understand the problem. And chronic poverty is not just a money problem. I spent 10 years as a Paramedic working with urban poor, and living in poor neighborhoods (because inner city Paramedics aren’t paid well) and I’ve learned that chronically poor people are not just “poor” in money. They are often poor in education which limits their income and job choices. They are “poor” in family, and have few people who have the resources to be a safety net and help them when things get tough. They are poor in nutrition because cheap food is not nutritious. As a result they are frequently poor in health. They are poor in choices, as they have few options and often must make choices just to get through the day – they don’t have the “luxury” of thinking about the impact 2 months from now, they just get by one day at a time. They have to take the jobs they can get, live where they can afford to, and generally take what they can get. But most of all, many are poor in hope: many chronically poor believe that their circumstances will never change unless they win the lottery. They can’t see the path from poverty to wealth, they just see walls and obstacles – and there are many. In addition, the stress is immense: it frequently leads to substance abuse which compounds the problems they already have. It also leads to mental illness.
If you were born to a drug addicted teen mother, in an unstable household, malnourished as an infant (which hampers brain growth and limits your ability to learn for the rest of your life), then go to a substandard school with limited funds, have few positive role models, can’t read and have poor math skills, surrounded by decay, drug use, urban violence, and basically raised yourself from the time you are 10 years old, what choices do you think that person has left? You might feel angry, and alone, and convinced the entire world is against you. You may not even believe that you’ll live past 25. You have few positive role models.
I met hundreds of kids with stories that would break your heart. Most people born into middle class can’t even imagine what these people live through day to day. And this is in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It’s worse in other countries.
There are some that manage to break the cycle and move from abject poverty to working poor. They work 3-4 part time jobs, stretch every dollar, make good choices, and improve their lives a little bit every year. It’s a very hard road with many setbacks. There are people who arrive here as immigrants with nothing but the shirt on their backs and make a good life within a few years. But they rarely do it alone (they get a lot of help from the immigrant community), and they learned their trade and business skills back home. (My father did this, we are first generation immigrants.)
We cannot shovel the poor into ghettos, throw some food stamps and money at them and hope they figure out how to be rich some day. They need a hand up, not a hand out. And we need more people to understand the problem so we can work collectively as a community and a society to reduce poverty on a global scale instead of just asking “how come you’re not rich?”
Hope this was helpful. Serious questions and comments are welcome.
Answer by Bernie Klinder:
Money sitting in cash or near cash (short term investments like 30 day CDs) earns very little interest, so you’re right in assuming most of the wealth is tied up in longer term investments that may not be easy to unravel.
However, the majority of those investments would “throw off” cash on a regular basis. For example, Investors looking to get rich invest primarily in growth stocks hoping the value of the stock goes up over time. Someone who is already rich will invest in a strong stable stock that pays a quarterly dividend, like Proctor & Gamble, Microsoft, GE, etc. Hold 100,000 share of a firm that pays a $4 annual dividend, and you’ll receive $100,000 every 90 days. They would also invest in bonds that pay interest annually, or commercial real estate (shopping mall, apartment building, office building) that would earn rental income.
All of these investments could be set up to pay out to an easily accessible account that can be accessed from an ATM. They also have access to an instant line of credit for binge shopping. For larger purchases (like the million dollar beach house) things can get creative. For example, they might set up an arrangement where they purchase the property on an interest only loan, and then purchase a long term CD (certificate of deposit) at the bank for the same amount as collateral. Then they divert the interest payments from the CD to make the lions share of the payments on the beach house. Hold the house for 10 years, and then sell it when the value of the house increases for a tidy profit. Repeat as required.
The main point is, they try hard to never spend their principal wealth – only the interest earned or dividend income. Often, they don’t even spend all of that. They typically set a budget where they spend about half of the interest income and reinvest the other half. For example, $100 million earning a modest 5%, would yield about $5 million per year in income. If they can scale back a bit and try to make ends meet with just $2.5 million a year (about $200,000 a month) the principal will grow and their annual interest income would steadily increase every year.
Hope this was helpful.
11 dead, 30,000 rescued,11,000 people in shelters; 40,000 homes underwater, 30″+ (over 2′ of) torrential rain inundates Louisiana
Should Hillary Clinton file a harassment suit against Donald J. Trump?
On what grounds? He’s not stalking her or physically molesting her. She’s running for president, she has to take a few verbal digs, what’s she going to do when the Ayatollah’s start making insults towards her?
Chance can have a greater impact on outcomes when skill levels are well matched. In an Olympic sprint event, all participants are blazing fast, so a runner’s start or the lane they’re assigned to could mean the difference between winning and losing. Likewise, it’s tough to predict the victor between two chess grandmasters, but the outcome is rarely in doubt when one plays an amateur. – The very essence of chance versus skill in contests.
• Skill-based contests tend to exclude people who cannot succeed—to wit, it’s been years since I last played chess.
• Chance games, on the other hand, pull the floodgates wide open (i.e. lotteries, bingo, roulette, slots, keno, baccarat, craps, most casino machines and table games such as 21, 3 card, Chinese, Caribbean and crazy pineapple poker, Badacey, Baducy (but not Badugi)).