Good for the wealthy; lessons for the rest of us

Here’s what I don’t get: those who are continually surprised, as reported yesterday, that the wealthiest top 1% of the population continues to get wealthier? Why does that surprise people? Simply put: they are the people that are very very good at making MONEY? Unlike the rest of us who really only know how to survive by paying the bills, going to the job each week, vacationing on occasion and hopefully save a bit for retirement–the people in this group know how to keep what they have, invest it, AND MAKE MORE. Why is it a surprise that over the past 20+ years, they are making more and more money and doing so at an increasing rate? Do we expect that because we don’t know how to prosper, they shouldn’t as well? I want to be in that group and although as I am getting older…and it becomes more apparent that I likely won’t, I don’t wish for misfortune to fall upon the 1% nor do I expect them to all of a sudden, because I am not skilled like they are, share their wealth with me? Let me put it another way; the US has a massively disproportionate amount of wealth and resources compared to the rest of the world (we also utilized a disproportionate amount of resources). There are cries from within the US to distribute the wealth of the 1% with the rest of the 99%. Following this logic, shouldn’t we, as a country, also be expected to share our excess with the rest of the world? Van Gogh fundamentally changed the world of art 100 years ago but didn’t sell one painting in his lifetime. Many years later, they go for $100M. But in his lifetime, [and of course as a consequence of his time in history and what he was doing specifically] he wasn’t able to translate his specific skills into monetary success. Warren Buffett, Jack Welch, Madonna [maybe bad examples]…well, they could buy Van Gogh paintings. The 1% know how to translate their specific skill sets into monetary success; the rest of us simply don’t know how to do that…or we don’t care, or aren’t passionate about it…or aren’t passionate enough to want to work that hard.

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