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Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:24 AM

There are exactly two ways to get rich

Way Number 1: be born into a rich family who can afford to bootstrap you.

Way Number 2: have rich friends who can find you a shitload of startup capital.

There is not one rich person in the world who doesn't fall into one of those two categories. It doesn't matter how wonderful your idea is, if you can't afford to exploit that idea it will remain an idea. Turning ideas into reality requires a shitload of money, always has and always will.

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Reply There are exactly two ways to get rich (Original post)
jmowreader Dec 2013 OP
Skittles Dec 2013 #1
Archaic Dec 2013 #4
demwing Dec 2013 #66
liberal_at_heart Dec 2013 #2
bluedigger Dec 2013 #3
liberal_at_heart Dec 2013 #5
El_Johns Dec 2013 #13
stevenleser Dec 2013 #15
El_Johns Dec 2013 #25
demwing Dec 2013 #65
El_Johns Dec 2013 #69
demwing Dec 2013 #99
canuckledragger Dec 2013 #29
demwing Dec 2013 #64
jmowreader Dec 2013 #30
bluedigger Dec 2013 #45
treestar Dec 2013 #55
bluestate10 Dec 2013 #75
El_Johns Dec 2013 #76
seattledo Dec 2013 #115
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #49
treestar Dec 2013 #54
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #83
YoungDemCA Dec 2013 #90
Dr. Strange Dec 2013 #100
jmowreader Jan 2014 #141
ErikJ Dec 2013 #6
El_Johns Dec 2013 #12
ErikJ Dec 2013 #17
El_Johns Dec 2013 #19
ErikJ Dec 2013 #24
El_Johns Dec 2013 #26
ErikJ Dec 2013 #28
El_Johns Dec 2013 #33
jmowreader Dec 2013 #31
ErikJ Dec 2013 #47
El_Johns Dec 2013 #58
enlightenment Dec 2013 #57
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #82
ErikJ Dec 2013 #84
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #86
ErikJ Dec 2013 #88
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #93
ErikJ Dec 2013 #94
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #97
ErikJ Dec 2013 #98
El_Johns Dec 2013 #108
ErikJ Dec 2013 #110
El_Johns Dec 2013 #111
ErikJ Dec 2013 #112
El_Johns Dec 2013 #113
ErikJ Dec 2013 #114
El_Johns Dec 2013 #116
ErikJ Dec 2013 #117
El_Johns Dec 2013 #118
ErikJ Dec 2013 #119
El_Johns Dec 2013 #120
ErikJ Dec 2013 #121
El_Johns Dec 2013 #123
ErikJ Dec 2013 #126
El_Johns Dec 2013 #128
ErikJ Dec 2013 #131
El_Johns Dec 2013 #133
valerief Dec 2013 #138
El_Johns Jan 2014 #139
El_Johns Dec 2013 #101
ErikJ Dec 2013 #106
El_Johns Dec 2013 #109
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #89
ErikJ Dec 2013 #92
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #95
ErikJ Dec 2013 #96
El_Johns Dec 2013 #122
ErikJ Dec 2013 #124
El_Johns Dec 2013 #127
ErikJ Dec 2013 #129
El_Johns Dec 2013 #130
ErikJ Dec 2013 #132
El_Johns Dec 2013 #134
ErikJ Dec 2013 #135
El_Johns Dec 2013 #136
Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #7
WillowTree Dec 2013 #11
Electric Monk Dec 2013 #23
HangOnKids Dec 2013 #107
El_Johns Dec 2013 #14
stevenleser Dec 2013 #16
El_Johns Dec 2013 #18
stevenleser Dec 2013 #20
El_Johns Dec 2013 #21
stevenleser Dec 2013 #22
El_Johns Dec 2013 #27
jmowreader Dec 2013 #32
Orrex Dec 2013 #41
Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #42
Orrex Dec 2013 #44
Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #52
El_Johns Dec 2013 #59
Igel Dec 2013 #60
El_Johns Dec 2013 #61
Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #72
Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #71
El_Johns Dec 2013 #73
The Straight Story Dec 2013 #8
Cosmocat Dec 2013 #78
indie9197 Dec 2013 #9
indie9197 Dec 2013 #10
hughee99 Dec 2013 #34
jtuck004 Dec 2013 #35
baldguy Dec 2013 #36
El_Johns Dec 2013 #37
Little Star Dec 2013 #38
FBaggins Dec 2013 #39
Orrex Dec 2013 #40
El_Johns Dec 2013 #70
pipoman Dec 2013 #43
JHB Dec 2013 #46
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #48
DrDan Dec 2013 #50
Nye Bevan Dec 2013 #51
DanTex Dec 2013 #53
Boom Sound 416 Dec 2013 #56
BlueCheese Dec 2013 #62
woolldog Dec 2013 #63
Taitertots Dec 2013 #67
L0oniX Dec 2013 #68
bluestate10 Dec 2013 #74
El_Johns Dec 2013 #77
marybourg Dec 2013 #79
Major Nikon Dec 2013 #80
moondust Dec 2013 #81
taught_me_patience Dec 2013 #85
Incitatus Dec 2013 #87
El_Johns Dec 2013 #105
YoungDemCA Dec 2013 #91
doc03 Dec 2013 #102
darkangel218 Dec 2013 #103
Throd Dec 2013 #104
1000words Dec 2013 #125
leeroysphitz Dec 2013 #137
jmowreader Jan 2014 #142
Fla_Democrat Jan 2014 #140

Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:25 AM

1. 3) win a mega lottery

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Response to Skittles (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:36 AM

4. Lottery winners pay taxes. And spend a lot of it.

They're the type most likely to pay off their home, and their friends' homes, and do good with it.

And that money will make them comfortable for a little while. It'll be gone in 3 generations. Kids, college, cars, etc.

Rich people get richer.

I doubt 10% of lottery winnings keep the grand kids rich.

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Response to Archaic (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:07 PM

66. Now we're talking about the ways people *stay* rich

 

which is entirely different.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:27 AM

2. very true.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:35 AM

3. J.K. Rowling, Michael Jordan, and Bruce Springsteen would disagree. n/t

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:39 AM

5. maybe they can lend me some money to start a business.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:12 AM

13. They all fall under #2.

 

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:25 AM

15. No they dont. nt

 

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:45 AM

25. Why do you think so?

 

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:05 PM

65. He doesn't - he thinks not. Why do you think so?

 

It was your hypothesis, do you have any supporting facts?

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Response to demwing (Reply #65)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:48 PM

69. He thinks so: that it's not. I asked the poster the question.

 

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #69)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 08:13 AM

99. let's assume he disagreed because

 

Because you didn't provide any proof or supporting evidence.

Now's your chance to make your case....

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:16 AM

29. They do...

Think of recording contracts with major studios as having 'rich friends', a sports contract being the same thing.

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Response to canuckledragger (Reply #29)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:02 PM

64. Those aren't friends

 

they are business associates. You're trying to hard.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:22 AM

30. They actually do

We'll start with Springsteen. If investors (they're called "record companies" weren't willing to finance record production, marketing and touring to support him, he'd be working in a factory and playing bars along the Jersey shore to this day.

Jordan? Someone spent $100,000 to finance his athletic scholarship (at the time MJ went to UNC, fully endowing a UNC athletic scholarship cost you $100,000 spread over 10 years), someone owns the Bulls, etc., etc., etc.

Of course, JK Rowling wouldn't be famous if Scholastic didn't think they could sell books about a boarding school for wizards.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #30)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 12:09 PM

45. If you are setting the bar that low, I guess.

There probably isn't any way to acquire vast wealth in a capitalist society without having some sort of relationship with other capitalists, but my point was that it was their talents, not their social relationships, that enabled them to do that. I agree that most rich people start from an advantageous position, but it is disingenuous to think that it is a closed system. People can and do rise from poverty to riches, just nowhere near as often as the Horatio Alger myth would have us believe is possible.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 01:20 PM

55. I don't think they necessarily had a rich friend

But they did have enough talent to get the investment of a capitalist - publishing company, record company - to think their works would sell. That would go for any artist who makes it big, other than the ones who get the chance because their father or mother was a rock star/actor.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:57 PM

75. Bullshit. Rawling was on public assistance when she started writing as a way to relieve her

despondency. Springsteen wasn't selling any thing, was poor and about to loose the meager recording contract that he had when he recorded Born to Run.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #75)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:11 PM

76. Her being on assistance is immaterial. ditto springsteen's alleged "poverty".

 

Though I do have to note in passing that Rowling was born into an upper middle class family (father an engineer for Rolls Royce) & she went to a top 10 university in the UK (Exeter). She worked for Amnesty International & her ex-husband was a Spanish journalist. Also, at the time, UK welfare benefits were rather generous.

Springsteen came from a working class family that was stable, if not well-heeled. He graduated from high school in 1967 & had a recording contract with Columbia by 1972. I remember very well all the hype surrounding Springsteen's Born to Run album (1974 -- I myself bought the album because of the hype) & it was very clear the company was putting a lot of money into pushing him as "the next big thing".

This has more materiality than anything else.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #75)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 03:25 AM

115. Huh?

 

> about to loose the meager recording contract

Never heard a record contract described as not tight before. What does that mean?

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 12:57 PM

49. What do you think they're respective opinions of Warner/NBA/Columbia Records are? n/t

 

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 01:18 PM

54. OK way 3

Have an especially strong talent.

Not that they didn't work for it and deserve it, but they were blessed in the talent department. Most of us have no hope of that kind of artistic success.

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Response to treestar (Reply #54)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 12:17 AM

83. And each of them was made super-rich by selling their talent to huge corporations.

 

It's a favorite straw-man of Wall Street weasels...

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 01:23 AM

90. Statistical outliers.

 

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #90)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 12:04 AM

100. According to the OP there are NO outliers.

These are the ONLY TWO ways to get rich.

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Response to Dr. Strange (Reply #100)

Wed Jan 1, 2014, 06:44 PM

141. And they will remain the ONLY TWO ways to get rich

J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins used Scholastic's resources to publish the books that made them rich.

Dan Gookin used International Data Group's money to publish a little tome called "DOS for Dummies." The success of that book allowed him to write over 130 more books.

Michael Jordan attended the University of North Carolina on a basketball scholarship. Going to UNC put him in front of the pro scouts.

NASCAR drivers ALL come from families who were able to indulge their children's passion for go-kart racing - the people you see turning left on Saturday and Sunday started out at the age of five in go-karts.

Steve Jobs had a whole string of investors behind him, including Ross Perot.

Henry Kravis' father was an Oklahoma oilman who made enough money to send his son to the best boarding schools. There he made the connections necessary to bring him to the attention of Bear Stearns, where he met Jerome Kohlberg, the guy who invented the "bootstrap deal" that became the leveraged buyout that became The Way the Masters of the Universe all got rich.

Mitt Romney was a bright young Harvard Law/Harvard Business graduate who was recruited out of school by the Boston Consulting Group and later persuaded to jump ship to a new consultancy formed by a BCG consultant named Bill Bain.

We could go on for days, but the bottom line is clear: no matter how wonderful your ideas and creations are, they will never change the world if you don't have the money you need to bring them to the world. And you get it in one of two ways: you come from a family that counts its money by weighing it, or you know people who either weigh their own money or who themselves know those people.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:40 AM

6. Most huge corporations started by middle class people-Nike, Apple, Walmart, Microsoft etc.

 

Very few by very wealthy top 1% or corporate spinoffs. Proof that a large, well-educated middle class is very important for a good economy.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:11 AM

12. Phil Knight was the son of a lawyer turned publisher. Knight's father sold out

 

to the Newhouse organization for $8 million (Knight Sr. didn't get all of that, but he got part of it).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oregon_Journal

Bill Gates is from the Seattle upper crust. His maternal grandfather and great grandfather were Seattle bankers. His mom's position on the National Executive Committee of United Way with the CEO of IBM was Bill's ticket to success.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Maxwell_Gates


Walton's dad repossessed farms during the Depression:

Sam's father...decided to go back to a previous profession of farm mortgaging, working for his brother's Walton Mortgage Company, which served as an agent for Metropolitan Life Insurance [3] </ref></ref>[4] where he repossessed farms during the Great Depression.[5]

Walton's father-in-law, a wealthy rancher type, bankrolled his early ventures. Walton later found even better financial angels in the Stephens Group (financier Jackson Stephens).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Walton

The only one with really middly-middle-class background is Steve Jobs. He had the good luck to grow up around Silicon Valley & early on meet lots of industry bigshots, including the one that financed his early venture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Markkula

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:28 AM

17. What about the hundreds of others? Very few created by supposed "job creators"

 

I'd take a million garage tinkerers over a few corporations/billionaires to come up with the next big thing. example: Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. ALL created by American middle class tinkerers whether they be lower or upper middle class.
And it should be noted that most of today's corporations began when the top income and corp tax rates on the "Job creators" were at least twice as high as they are now. Proving that their fear of higher taxes killing jobs is nonsense.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:31 AM

19. "Middle class tinkerers" with intelligence & Ivy League backgrounds.

 

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #19)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:44 AM

24. I'd bet for every corporation started by Ivy Leaguer

 

there would be at least 10 started by average middle income person with a good idea. And most Ivy Leaguers are middle and upper middle class anyway. Somebody should research and to do an article about it.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #24)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:45 AM

26. You mentioned specific corporations.

 

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #26)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:50 AM

28. And all started by middle class

 

the most interesting by Steve Jobs who was on food stamps while starting Apple.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #28)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:32 AM

33. I addressed your first list of "middle class" people; Steve Jobs was the only one who could

 

fairly be called middle class, but the environment he grew up in was not.

Your second list was:

"Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. ALL created by American middle class tinkerers"

Not.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:23 AM

31. Garage tinkerers rarely get rich.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #31)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 12:51 PM

47. I heard only one of 2000 patents makes a profit.

 

But it is a fact that 90%+ of our biggest corporations have ultimately come from the vast middle class and NOT the top .001% "job creators" or their established corporations .

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #47)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 02:06 PM

58. It's a fact? Where's the study showing that?

 

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 01:59 PM

57. Middle class?

Bill Gates was never middle class. Middle class people don't send their kids to exclusive (and expensive) private schools.
Sam Walton's father made enough money to loan Sam $25,000 to buy a Ben Franklin franchise in 1945. Today that loan would be around a quarter-million. How many middle-class families can drop that kind of cash as seed money?
Bill Bowerman - one half of the Nike founders - was the son of the governor of Oregon. After college he moved into an officer's job in the Army and from there into a successful career as an athletic director. The other half of the team, Phil Knight, was the son of a lawyer/legislator/newspaper publisher - not exactly a middle class upbringing, either.

The closest you could come on this is Steve Jobs - and let's face it, Apple was invented by Wozniak - and his dad was an electrical engineer at Lockheed (my uncle was a structural engineer at Lockheed at the same time; his salary was rather exceptional as I recall).

Yes, a large and well-educated middle-class is important to a nation's success - but suggesting that these are good examples is pushing the idea of how "middle-class" is defined.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 12:14 AM

82. Rich kid, Lower Middle Class kids, Rich kid, Very, Very Rich Kids.

 

Last edited Mon Dec 30, 2013, 01:03 AM - Edit history (1)

Half your proof doesn't even meet your mythical criteria. The most accurate indicator of future success is the class into which you were born. The lower the socioeconomic strata yo are born into, the worse your chances of success.

Over the last 40 years the U.S. has dropped from first to worst of the OECD nations for class mobility.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #82)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 12:21 AM

84. So you SUPPORT the idea that tax cuts for the rich (job creators) WILL be good for job creation?

 

Are you a Republican?

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #84)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 01:01 AM

86. I didn't say anything remotely like that. Did you reply to the wrong post?

 

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #86)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 01:08 AM

88. My WHOLE POINT is that 99% of our corporations were conceived by independent people

 

most in the middle class. NOT the billionaires or corporations who say they are the job creators that need tax cuts to create more jobs.I guess my Asperger lack of communication skills are showing today.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #88)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 01:38 AM

93. We agree on the cause and solutions to the problem. Where we disagree is your assertion that huge

 

corporations are started by average citizens with a good idea. It has happened, but they are the rare exceptions, the game is not built for that to happen.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #93)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 01:56 AM

94. Most if not all corporate founders are INDEPENDENT INNOVATORS and entrepreneurs.

 

Certainly not the established billionaire corporate job creators. Yes the established giant corporations make small innovations here and there but the REAL revolutionary innovations and businesses (Nike, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google etc) come from the OUTSIDE INNOVATORS with good ideas and not necessarily money. ANd many of the greatest innovators have been poor like Edison who started GE which is now one of the worlds biggest corporations.
To keep the meme going that we have to cut taxes on the rich so they can create new jobs is ABSURD.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #94)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 02:08 AM

97. Where are you getting this "tax cuts for the rich" crap? You are the only one talking about this

 

and it is the second time you've brought it up.

Yes, we have to completely overhaul the U.S. tax code. Yes the rich should be taxed more, a lot more. But for two facts, there are several easily achievable changes to the existing morass that could make significant progress, those obstacles being that the rich are and own everybody that could make those changes, and the second is that while it would help, it won't fix the underlying problems in our current economic system.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #97)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 02:26 AM

98. RW propaganda is that we have to cut taxes for the super-rich BECAUSE they are the "JOB CREATORS"!

 


And I am saying they are NOT THE JOB CREATORS. The INDEPENDENT innovators and entrepreneurs ultimately coming from America's vast well-educated middle class are the ones who found the newest revolutionary businesses that are the true job creators. I've never heard of a revolutionary new business startup like Apple or Google coming from a large established corporation.

And small businesses hire the most people in America on a percentage basis and most of those are founded by the middle class NOT the rich billionaires.
If I was a writer I would do an article on this topic as I dont think anybody has covered this idea which is quite obvious to me.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #94)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 02:13 AM

108. OK, Let's talk about Edison.

 

By the time he was 21, Edison was working in Western Union's headquarters, where he filed his first patent application.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/edison/timeline/

At 22, he landed a $300 a month job (very good pay for the time & we might wonder if his WU connections didn't help with that) in NYC & started a company with two older men with significant expertise in telegraphy.

http://books.google.com/books?id=1YDrMFug17cC&pg=PA87&lpg=PA87&dq=%22james+n+ashland%22+edison&source=bl&ots=-rQFQnvbH-&sig=IrfGoUQfAKTnq4ZrCJ7l32DR4dE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=b1vCUqikEY7ZoATk0oKoAg&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22james%20n%20ashland%22%20edison&f=false

They sold the company & their invention (a ticker tape) in 1870, when Edison was 23. There were bad feelings all around; Edison claimed they'd tried to cheat him of money, they claimed Edison had struck independent deals with manufacturers (which he had, because he set up manufacturing almost immediately afterward.)

And funny thing, Western Union immediately bought the company Edison et al had just sold to another party. (Given the bad feelings among the partners & the FACT that Edison had gone behind their backs to recruit manufacturing contracts for the business he was planning, makes it look like he had some kind of insider deal with Western Union)

"When Western Union bought control of Gold & Stock in 1871, Edison came under the wing of the industry giant. Western Union was particularly eager to finance Edison's research into duplex telegraphy..."

http://books.google.com/books?id=mAwVz2-CeX8C&pg=PA20&dq=%22western+union%22+finance+edison&hl=en&sa=X&ei=y13CUqCgMZLgoASEn4CoDg&ved=0CFYQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22western%20union%22%20finance%20edison&f=false

There were other financial angels too...

Painter invested in the work of a 23-year-old electrical wizard...

http://books.google.com/books?id=ik8kKFJrDS4C&pg=PA110&
dq=thomas+edison+early+investors&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Q1TCUtflLtDzoATWzYHwAw&ved=0CFcQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=thomas%20edison%20early%20investors&f=false

IN 1874 (he was 27) Western Union paid him $40K for the quaddruplex telegraph he'd invented with their financing -- that built Menlo Park.

Edison set up his new complex in rural Menlo Park, New Jersey in 1876. Menlo Park was a town on the main rail line between New York City and Philadelphia. He chose the location because the land was cheap and there was easy access to the resources of the cities (especially the rich investors Edison needed to support his work)...

http://invention.smithsonian.org/centerpieces/edison/000_story_02.asp

His next task was the electricity industry. In the late 1870s, (JP) Morgan had been very impressed by Thomas Edison’s experiments and, against Junius’s warning, invested as much money as he could in the eccentric genius’s work.

http://www.fordham.edu/academics/colleges__graduate_s/undergraduate_colleg/fordham_college_at_l/special_programs/honors_program/hudsonfulton_celebra/homepage/biographies/jp_morgan_32212.asp


Western Union, along with Mr lowrey's wealthy group of clients, agreed to buy the rights to Tom Edison's electric light & distributing system. This group of capitalists, which included the powerful Morgan & Vanderbilt families, gave Edison $50,000 to begin his research. This established the Edison Electric Light Company. Edison's investors were willing to support his new, not yet created invention. Why?

http://books.google.com/books?id=2mc-T81gS68C&pg=PA116&dq=%22thomas+edison%22+vanderbilt&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ilbCUqHGJpHqoAS51oLoBw&ved=0CDsQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=%22thomas%20edison%22%20vanderbilt&f=false


Edison was never "poor" (not even as a child, his father's finances & businesses were up and down. By the time he was 21 he'd gotten the attention of one of the biggest corporations in the country & by 22 he was making more money than the majority of young men his age -- & from there he only got richer.

He was never "independent". He was financed, first by Western Union (whose majority stockholder in 1870 was -- Cornelius VANDERBILT!!!)

http://books.google.com/books?id=Mfd4AAAAQBAJ&pg=PT189&dq=western+union+board+of+directors+1870&hl=en&sa=X&ei=OWHCUpDzL8LgoATtroGwBQ&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=western%20union%20board%20of%20directors%201870&f=false

& miscellaneous other investors, then by JP Morgan & the Vanderbilts -- the biggest capitalists in the country.

And General Electric was created by Morgan, not by Edison. But Edison was a creation of BIG CAPITAL.








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Response to El_Johns (Reply #108)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 02:45 AM

110. Thanks for proving my point. A strong middle class is what creates innovators and entrepreneurs.

 

Edison was from at least the middle class if not more. If he was dirt poor and uneducated he never could have been one of the greatest inventors ever. Yes, most inventors eventually get financing from banks or often rich investors or family but they are usually always independent outsiders.

The other point is that the vast majority of small businesses are started by well-educated middle class entrepreneurs with good ideas.

And small businesses employ the most people in the US on a percentage basis. So the vast middle class in that aspect truly are the job creators. NOT the rich corporatists who the Republicans falsely call the "job creators".

And finally my main most important point is that to maintain a healthy economy with full employment, we must strive to keep a very large strong well-eduacted middle class becausee they truly are the real job creators.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #110)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 02:49 AM

111. With backing from big money. Without that, bupkis for the good ideas. And big money doesn't

 

need a "strong middle class" at all; look at the backgrounds of the folks who created most of your beloved tech companies: they are not "middle class" as it's usually thought of. The majority are from the top 5%, and 2 are from the top 1%. Only ONE was born into the middle class.

Yes, Edison was middle class for his time. But the reason he was successful is because he started associating with the rich very early in his career. The richest people in the country, in fact.

This is what the OP said:

Way Number 2: have rich friends who can find you a shitload of startup capital.

There is not one rich person in the world who doesn't fall into one of those two categories. It doesn't matter how wonderful your idea is, if you can't afford to exploit that idea it will remain an idea. Turning ideas into reality requires a shitload of money, always has and always will.


You haven't rebutted the OP in any way by insisting that the majority of big corporations were started by "middle class" people.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #111)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 02:57 AM

112. Thanks for making my point again. ALL of them ultimately CAME from the middle class FIRST.

 

Without a strong middle class you are going to have very few advancing up to the very rich willing to lend out the money. The smaller the middle class-the smaller the number of rich.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #112)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 03:07 AM

113. No, they didn't. Bill Gates was the great-grandson & grandson of bankers, a birth member of

 

Seattle's ruling class with a reportedly million-dollar trust fund from his grandfather.

Eduardo Saverin is the son of a Brazilian industrialist.

Pierre Omidyar is the son of a Johns Hopkins surgeon, grandson of wealthy Iranians.

All went to prep schools and elite universities. They're not "middle class".

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=4253962

A "strong middle class" isn't needed for technological development today; that can be supplied by a mere fraction of the children of the upper-middle to upper class -- and generally is.

It's your illusion that the "middle class" is somehow in the forefront of technology development. No, it's a highly educated fraction of the population that's doing that, because to be in the forefront, you need to start young, with lots of resources -- and the "middle class" doesn't get those.

The "middle class" is doing the technology grunt work, for the most part.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #113)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 03:20 AM

114. Thats absurd. They ultimately all started out poor

 

These people you name ultimately came from middle class incomes. Unless they came from royalty that is. You CANNOT get to the upper class without first being middle class at least. The Gates ancestors were not always rich. And I would claim that Paul Allen had more to do with Microsoft founding than Gates anyway. It was Allen who discovered tiny revolutionary Altair (invented and built by a middle class tinkerer!) and convinced Gates to drop out of Harvard and help him come to New Mexico and design software for it in the 70's.

And I would venture that as much as 95% of small business startups are begun by people in the middle class, whether they are mom and pops, restaurants, salons etc etc many of which have grown into huge businesses and corporations. You need to read Entrepreneur Magazine. Thousands of examples.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #114)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 03:27 AM

116. What in the hell are you talking about? Now you're claiming that because maybe Gates'

 

5th great grandpa was "poor", Bill is middle class?

WTF????

First you claimed that most big corporations were started by people from the middle class, now you're claiming most small businesses are started by people from the middle class?

Yes, I'm sure "Entrepreneur Magazine" has lots of heart-warming stories about little guys who made good. That's what it's for.

But maybe you should do some research outside the glossy magazines -- like about how super-rich guy A fronts some capital to not-so-rich guy B to invest in little middle class Joe's good idea so no one will know rich guy A is the real backer.

You can learn stuff like that by reading real financial & economic history in real books.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #116)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 03:42 AM

117. I said Paul Allen was true founder of Microsoft anyway.

 

And he was VERY middle class. The "father" of the microcomputer and his partner both true middle class "garage tinkerers" who built it for other middle class garage tinkerers.

Bill Gates was just the soft-ware writing wizard and the guy who eventually built it up. He actually bought the MS-DOS operating system from a San Francisco MIDDLE CLASS software wizard who was too proud to sell out to IBM. Gates "stole" it from Seattle Software for a song, signed with IBM and the rest is history.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #117)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 03:53 AM

118. OK, now Paul Allen is the founder of MS because Gates doesn't fit your storyline.

 

OK, so Paul Allen wasn't a 1%-er, he was just upper middle class. His father was "the longtime associate director of the University of Washington library system."

http://staffweb.lib.washington.edu/units/office-of-the-dean/general-policies-procedures/allen-endowment/kenneth-s-allen-library-endowment

His mother was a teacher -- just like Bill's mom, Mary Maxwell Gates, though both quit teaching to be stay at home moms.

He went to the same private school Gates did, Lakeside -- and not on scholarship.

Paul Gardner Allen was born in Seattle in 1953, the son of a university librarian (sic) and a teacher turned stay-at-home mother. They paid for him to attend the prestigious Lakeside School starting in the seventh grade, and it was there, three years later, that he first met the younger Gates, “all arms and legs and nervous energy.” The two were among the most obsessively dedicated members of what essentially became the world’s first high school computer club. With funding from a parents’ organization, the school in 1968 began leasing a Teletype terminal that accessed an off-site General Electric mainframe.

http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/topic/excellence_in_philanthropy/minding_paul_allen


And yeah, ain't it interesting how the two prep school boys are billionaires & the public school boy who wrote QDOS -- ain't.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Paterson

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #118)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:00 AM

119. Oh yeah as if university employees in the 1960's were multi-millionaires.

 

You need to get off Microsoft. How about Google founders now. 2 more BILLIONAIRES? HAHAHA

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #119)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:08 AM

120. Do you always need to resort to straw men? It bespeaks the lack of a strong argument.

 

Allen's dad was an Associate Director of the UW Libraries. That is an upper middle class job today, and it was an upper middle class job in the 60s.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #120)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:15 AM

121. NO university job pays upper middle class except for football coach!!

 

Are you CRAZY?

OK on to Google and even more revolutionary company.

LARRY PAGE FOUNDER:
Page was born in East Lansing, Michigan, United States (U.S.).[7] His father, Carl Page, earned a Ph.D. in computer science in 1965—when the field was being established—and is considered a "pioneer in computer science and artificial intelligence." Both he and Page's mother, Gloria, were computer science professors at Michigan State University.[8][9] Page's mother is Jewish, but he was raised without religion.[10]

SERGIE BRI:
Brin immigrated to the United States with his family from the Soviet Union at the age of six. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, following in his father's and grandfather's footsteps by studying mathematics, as well as computer science. After graduation, he moved to Stanford University to acquire a PhD in computer science. There he met Larry Page, with whom he later became friends. They crammed their dormitory room with inexpensive computers and applied Brin's data mining system to build a superior search engine. The program became popular at Stanford and they suspended their PhD studies ..............................................................to start up Google in a rented garage.

I REST MY CASE

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #121)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:31 AM

123. Sorry, you have no idea what you're talking about.

 

This is the equivalent of Allen's job today. It pays $147K.

http://data.spokesman.com/salaries/state/2012/job-titles/browse/?job_title=Sr%20Assoc%20Dean%20Of%20University%20Libraries

Here's the salary of Sergey Brin's father Michael: $104K. (2010/2011)

http://www2.math.umd.edu/~mib/

Combine that with his wife's equivalent salary or better as a researcher at the Goddard Space Center and you're nearly touching the top 1.5%.

When Sergey was a kid maybe they made 80K each, solidly in top 5% territory.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #123)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:36 AM

126. Youre stuck on temporary income--theyre ALL from MIDDLE CLASS STOCK

 

And not even a fraction of a billionaire income.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #126)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:42 AM

128. "stock" = yeah, they're all ultimately descended from poor cavemen.

 

Except everyone on your lists so far save 2 (Edison & Hughes) has been born into families in the top 5% of income.

Go read some more issues of your "Entrepreneur Magazine".

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #128)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:53 AM

131. Youre absurd. Is that why Google's founders RENTED A GARAGE?

 

Why didnt they buy a high tech lab if they were so rich? They were your CLASSIC middle class garage tinkerers that I have been talking about.
Just because your parents have money doesnt mean YOU are rich--by a LONG shot. My professional parents were in the top 1% but I've considered myself poor or middle class ever since college.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #131)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:56 AM

133. You mean the poor guys had money to RENT a garage????

 

Where do you think they got that money? Working at Burger King?

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #111)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 07:13 AM

138. Right. It takes money to make money. There are TONS of talented, brilliant people

with useful ideas. Unless someone with lots of money wants to make money off one of those ideas, the idea stays just that--an idea.

You can't make money off an idea without money behind it. Either you have that money or someone gives it to you.

And wealthy people should pay TONS more in taxes. There will still be pah-lenty of money around for them to exploit good ideas.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #111)

Wed Jan 1, 2014, 12:53 PM

139. More high-tech companies started with funding from other corporations:

 

First, the US government was the backer for most early high-tech research; I don't think there's any argument about that.

Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory: Backed by another corporation...

Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, a division of Beckman Instruments, Inc., was the first establishment working on silicon semiconductor devices in what came to be known as Silicon Valley...

Shockley's... father, William Hillman Shockley, was a mining engineer who speculated in mines for a living, and spoke eight languages. His mother, Mary (née Bradford), grew up in the American West, graduated from Stanford University, and became the first female US Deputy mining surveyor.[4]

Beckman agreed to back Shockley's efforts in this area, under the umbrella of his company, Beckman Instruments...In 1955, Beckman established the seminal Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory as a division of Beckman Instruments to begin commercializing the semiconductor transistor technology invented by Caltech alumnus William Shockley. Because Shockley's aging mother lived in Palo Alto, California, the Shockley Laboratory was established in nearby Mountain View, California, and thus, "Silicon Valley" was born..


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shockley_Semiconductor_Laboratory


Fairchild Semiconductor: backed by another corporation:

Eventually a group of the youngest employees went over Shockley's head ... Fed up, the group broke ranks and sought support from Sherman Fairchild's Fairchild Camera and Instrument, an Eastern U.S. company with considerable military contracts. In 1957, Fairchild Semiconductor was started with plans for making silicon transistors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shockley_Semiconductor_Laboratory


And the "Fairchild" was this guy:

Born in Oneonta, New York, Sherman Fairchild was the only child of George Winthrop Fairchild (1854–1924) and Josephine Mills Sherman (1859–1924).[3] His father was a Republican Congressman as well as a co-founder and the first Chairman of IBM. His mother was the daughter of William Sherman, of Davenport, Iowa.

His father died on December 31, 1924, and as an only child he inherited his father's multi-million-dollar estate. He also inherited his father's IBM stock, becoming IBM's largest individual stockholder until his death in 1971.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Fairchild

...small world

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #88)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 12:22 AM

101. You keep asserting that but I haven't seen any evidence but your list of corporations which

 

were supposedly started by "middle class tinkerers" -- but weren't.

What else ya got?

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #101)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 01:25 AM

106. Youre obviously incapable of understanding the point.

 

Read all my other posts. I'm not going through all this again. Name me one revolutionary corporation like Apple, Microsoft, Nike, Google etc etc that was founded by another corporation. They were aqll founded by INDEPENDENT innovators and entrepreneurs.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #106)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 02:34 AM

109. Please point me to where I (or the OP) claimed that corporations were founded by other

 

corporations?

But you might want to read about your supposedly "independent" Edison:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=4254150


The PR machine about the "independent" "boy inventor" who went from "rags to riches" was working overtime even then. No, Western Union didn't found Edison, but Vanderbilt (who controlled Western Union) money did. And then Morgan money.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #84)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 01:22 AM

89. I did however point out that your premise of average Americans starting huge corporations was wrong.

 

Only one quarter of your evidence meets the premise, Apple is the only corporation you name that was founded and grown by people not in the 1%, and though it is judiciously forgotten now, Apple would not exist at all today if not for M$ bailing them out to avoid a literal monopoly. So even here we have a huge corporation that exists because the 1% wanted it to.

For a middle class to exist there must be both an upper class and a lower class, both of which are bad for the economy.

A productive, well educated, safe, and free citizenry creates a good economy.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #89)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 01:36 AM

92. I am FOR business and corporations. They DO create jobs and a strong economy. My problem

 

is that they are not NEARLY regulated or taxed enough. And most of all they are allowed to grow way too big through mergers and monopolistic practices.
They are able to do this by the propaganda that THEY are the job creators and should be left alone and be low taxed. That's BS because they can squash or buy off new businesses.
And VERY FEW established corporations create new corporations (like Apple, Microsoft, Nike, Google, Facebook), which ALL came from middle or upper middle class independent innovators and entrepreneurs.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #92)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 01:57 AM

95. For the last time, your claim that 99% of these huge corporations were started by people from

 

the 99% is simply not true. It is apparent that you would like it to be, but it is not the case.

If you would like to know who the actual job creators are, it is the micro and small businesses, and they will continue to create more and more jobs until they become large businesses. It is at this point that they begin to shed jobs because they have reached the limits of their market. This is over-simplified for DU format. See: Business lifecycle for a more in-depth explanation.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #95)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 02:04 AM

96. I dont care if the founder is an upper middle class millionaire's son or not.

 

My point is that they are always INDEPENDENT of the billionaire /corporation in that particular industry!
Please name one new successful revolutionary corporation founded by an established corporation that we are supposed to worship as the job creators.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #96)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:19 AM

122. Edison Electric was founded from the beginning with backing from Western Union, controlled

 

by Vanderbilt Money.

Further iterations of Edison's business were backed by JP Morgan.

He was never independent at all.

And there are many more such tales.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #122)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:33 AM

124. Even Vanderbilt came from middle class parents

 

Wikipedia:

Cornelius Vanderbilt's great-great-grandfather, Jan Aertson or Aertszoon, was a Dutch farmer from the village of De Bilt in Utrecht, Netherlands, who emigrated to New York as an indentured servant in 1650. The Dutch van der ("of the" was eventually added to Aertson's village name to create "van der Bilt" ("of De Bilt", which was eventually condensed to Vanderbilt.
Early years

Cornelius Vanderbilt was born in Staten Island, New York, to Cornelius van Derbilt and Phebe Hand. He began working on his father's ferry in New York Harbor as a boy, quitting school at the age of 11. At the age of 16 Vanderbilt decided to start his own ferry service. According to one version of events, he borrowed $100 from his mother to purchase a periauger (a shallow draft, two masted sailing vessel). However, according to the first published account of his life, published in the magazine Scientific American in 1853, the periauger belonged to his father and he received half the profit. He began his business by ferrying freight and passengers between Staten Island and Manhattan.
------------------------------------

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #124)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:40 AM

127. Oh for god's sake. You're ridiculous.

 

"He began working on his father's ferry in New York Harbor as a boy"

In other words, his father had his own ferry business, and his mother had enough money to loan him $100 in 1810 -- or in the other version, his father loaned him a boat to start his business.

A ferry is fairly large capital.

Jeseus H Christ.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #127)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:45 AM

129. Again, NOTHING compared to billionaire income.

 

And they came from Netherlands as indentured servants. Ferry operators back then were very middle class if not poor.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #129)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:51 AM

130. You don't know bupkis about "ferry operators then" & dont pretend you do. Yeah, the

 

Commodore's great-great grandpa came as an indentured servant & 100 years later the Commodore became one of the richest men that's ever lived.

His descendants, 200 years later, are still 1%-ers, including Anderson Cooper, who delivers the nightly dose of propaganda.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #130)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:55 AM

132. You sound a bit bitter now-what happened?

 

Your ship never came in? HAHAHAA

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #132)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 05:03 AM

134. Straw men & personal attacks, it's all you got. It's been fun, but I'd rather argue with someone

 

who actually reads something besides "Entrepreneur Mag"

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #134)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 05:08 AM

135. YEAH? WELL GO TELL IT TO YOUR SHRINK!

 

Punk!
Or better yet, read my book coming out on the subject maybe in a couple years. Title: "Maintaining a strong middle class is necessary for a dynamic creative society",,,,or something like that.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #135)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 05:13 AM

136. You have a problem. Your alleged class origin (1%) is probably why you think people of your

 

class are "middle class".

Class blind spot.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:46 AM

7. Couple more...

 

3) Create something the world wants

4) Start your business small, test it and prove it, have more than just wild ass guesses, know everything there is to know about your product, the market, and your competitors, then take the idea to investors. All of this requires work, a lot of work, and work that at the time seems like a whole lot of wasted effort.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:04 AM

11. Exactly.

Which is just the way that my best friend became a very wealthy woman herself. Has her own business which she runs by herself. Never had an employee so she can't be accused of exploiting them. Offers a product/service that's also offered by scores of others, so a case cannot be made that she "cornered the market" or overcharges because if she didn't do what she does better than just about anyone else, her clients/customers have many options to take their business elsewhere.

The notion that a person cannot become wealthy just from hard work and good sense is just wrong. Not easy and doesn't happen for many, but the fact is that a person doesn't have to be an asshole to get and be rich and those who insist in believing so are just munching on sour grapes.

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Response to WillowTree (Reply #11)


Response to WillowTree (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 01:40 AM

107. Lovely Defense Of The Weathly

 

You have a knack for doing that. SPLENDID! So bling bling. Keep going it is quite amusing.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:17 AM

14. Without capital how do you market, develop, manufacture your product? As you acknowledge in

 

4).

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:26 AM

16. Convince the SBA or a bank or group of investors to fund it. They dont have to be friends. nt

 

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:29 AM

18. "Friends" used loosely, & if they're "friends" it sure helps to get in the door. Point 2) still

 

stands.

Great ideas, hard work = bupkis without access to capital. And if you do get your foot in the door to big money you're as likely to get taken to the cleaners as rich if you don't have the money for good legal representation.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #18)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:34 AM

20. No, point two doesn't stand. None of the SBA or Bank or group of investors is your friend.

 

I understand you want to believe this is true, it isn't.

That doesn't change the fact that almost everyone who becomes rich has a lot of luck play into it.

The fact that the sport that Michael Jordan's happens to be good at is lucrative is lucky. If his sport was beach volleyball, he wouldnt have nearly the money he has. Even beach volleyballs richest player of all time, Karch Kiraly, 'only' made 2 million dollars over a 20+ year career and perhaps twice that in endorsements. Lots of money, sure, but Jordan probably made that in a month.

Even Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were extremely lucky. Had they been born 20 years earlier or later, they would not be rich, at least not from the same thing. I doubt either one would have become rich doing anything else.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #20)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:37 AM

21. Bill Gates was rich at birth, due to his $1 million dollar trust fund from grandpa.

 

The poster's points stand; without access to capital, which is most easily accessed through connections ("friends", your good ideas & hard work don't get you very far.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:40 AM

22. That is not a defense of OPs point number two. It has thoroughly been debunked. nt

 

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #22)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:46 AM

27. What has been thoroughly debunked?

 

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:25 AM

32. Your number 4 is another way to phrase my number 2

Number 3 only works if the world can buy it. Which requires either 1 or 2.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 09:50 AM

41. Statistically speaking...

You're more likely to be struck by lightning while skydiving than you are to realize either of those strategies.


Nice work, if you can get it.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #41)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 11:55 AM

42. Perhaps I am overstating the case in terms of becoming RICH...

 

That probably requires both a bit of luck and a motivation to actually become rich -- something most people don't have, they just want to be comfortable. If that is your objection, fair enough, but if not, if you are saying that small business success is out of reach for most or requires the stars to fall into Lovecraftian alignment, I could not disagree more.

It requires nothing more than a change in how you view the world. You have to stop looking at the shiny veneer, and see instead the gears and guts and grease of the machine.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #42)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 12:01 PM

44. Have you seen the statistics for the number of small businesses that succeed?

By which I mean small businesses that start from scratch and survive 10 years or more as the owner's primary income? See my earlier point about skydiving.

Do you really assert that the vanishingly small percentage of success stories can be explained by a lack of motivation on the part of the countless failed business owners? That is exactly the same bootstrap mythology put forth by the Horatio Alger cultists.




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Response to Orrex (Reply #44)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 01:12 PM

52. Answers (your questions in bold)

 

Have you seen the statistics for the number of small businesses that succeed? By which I mean small businesses that start from scratch and survive 10 years or more as the owner's primary income? See my earlier point about skydiving.


Yes. I have not only seen the statistics, I have seen literally hundreds -- literally hundreds -- of small start-up businesses crash and burn. I've met and talked to the owners, some with significant start up cash. Not to boast, and meaning no disrespect towards the people starting and failing, but I could tell within a couple minutes of talking to them whether they were likely to succeed or fail.

There are two broad issues the cause that start-up carnage. The first is a general lack of knowledge. We are talking here about people who not only haven't written a business plan, but who don't know what one is, and couldn't begin the answer the BASIC foundational questions that would be expected in such a plan. Forget a roadmap to success, forget competitive advantage, they don't even know if the numbers work -- and amazingly, they are often unaware that their own numbers, pulled entirely from their imaginations, all too often already indicate failure.

They are pointing their ship at the iceberg, grabbing some speed, and closing their eyes hoping the berg jumps out of their way.

The second major cause of business failure, and one that many people don't anticipate, is that once a small business owner has found some success and stability, he discovers that managing a business isn't anywhere near as fun and exciting as CREATING a business. You've climbed the mountain, danced around for a while at the top, no one other that you even appreciates what you accomplished and many curse you for your success, and now that's you've won you basically hate the whole thing. That burn out is a killer, and many of the businesses that are tracked as failures didn't fail at all, their owners sold them or retired.

Do you really assert that the vanishingly small percentage of success stories can be explained by a lack of motivation on the part of the countless failed business owners? That is exactly the same bootstrap mythology put forth by the Horatio Alger cultists.

Not motivation, no one is more motivated than a poor person offered hope, and few people work harder. I am talking about knowledge and a change in perspective.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #52)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 02:09 PM

59. Most small businesses fail because of lack of capital & expertise.

 

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #59)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 02:35 PM

60. "Business plan."

The few small businesses I've been involved with or exposed to have crashed and burned.

They had crappy business plans. Products that they believed everybody would want but had no basis in fact for their belief. Belief that they'd start raking in the money before the owners' nest eggs ran out and with no means to keep the cash flow going.

One common problem was making something that was very much a niche product. They had actually pretty much met all the demand in most of the country but misread the signals. Rather than thinking that flatlined demand was a consequence of, well, demand, they decided that it had to be lack of publicity or lack of supply. So they ramped up production and had a huge stock that didn't move. Taps for them.

One decided to "leverage" its suppliers' output of a particular material and go into clothing. Ignorance killed them, as size 2 dresses were marketed as size 6 and size 8 dresses were marketed as size 14. They fixed this problem the same season as they decided to increase production by a factor of 10, confusing the buying surge from being novel with a sustained demand. Taps in 6 months.

Cash flow could have sustained most of them, allowing them time to clear out their stockpiles and right-size. Or expertise would have told them to aim low because barring a miracle, they'd never have a large market.

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Response to Igel (Reply #60)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 02:44 PM

61. A business plan isn't expertise. Expertise includes, for example, $ to hire good lawyers.

 

Capital is key.

It's true that if you're trying to sell something no one wants, you'll fail -- but even there, $ can create demand where none existed before.

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Response to Igel (Reply #60)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:51 PM

72. Good post. nt

 

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #59)


Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #71)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:56 PM

73. It's a sign of lack of capital.

 

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:56 AM

8. You see - that is not the REAL issue/problem, this is:

Money is a finite object. There is only so much of it out there, like oil, coal, gold, etc.

Since there is only so much the myth from conservatives that anyone can be rich is only slightly true - it/they imply all can be.

But then who would clean office buildings, collect the trash, make our food, farm, build homes, etc?

You will always have a working class, period. It can never not exist. So....the idea, from a progressive view imho is, work to ensure that those who are in that class can at least survive and be able to meet not only their basic needs but have enough left to go places, buy a nice tv once in awhile, etc and so on.

What is happening is that the few are retaining more and more of the money so there is less to meet the needs of those who do the actual work. When someone does rise up and become more wealthy someone else is losing money (since, again, there is a finite supply). Money shifts around.

The wealthy want more of it to shift their way, which they say they are happy to spend to give us more by buying things like yachts, planes, etc. Problem is they want to pay so little to others that the people providing the services don't get enough to live off of. So people are being used and getting less for their labor.

The other problem comes in via investing in a new business by the mega wealthy. They can go in, invest, clean it up (ie, lay off people, cut wages, etc) profit, then close it down (ala kay bee toys) and make more money (which, again, pulls money away from others to them). They are always looking at ways to save money. Or, in other words, keep it from the middle class.

We can have more and wealthier people, less hunger, homelessness, etc - but that means the wealthy would have to do with only a billion dollars instead of two billion.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:33 PM

78. Jesus

Right?

This only makes sense.

Not everyone can be "rich" in fact there is only a limited percentage of people who can be rich by definition.

What just is so hard for me to accept is that the accepted economic ideas of our time are based on the unstated premise that EVERYONE can be rich.

Any policy, politic or idea that has that concept at its core is utter BS that I dismiss out of hand.

But, somehow, it is what people have come to know as the truth about the world we live in.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:01 AM

9. You can have both ways like Al Gore! n/t

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Response to indie9197 (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:04 AM

10. Or George W Bush and his dad! n/t

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:33 AM

34. It would seem like entertainers and athletes may not fall into either category.

While it may require having a shitload of money to make money from those talents, those providing that money aren't "rich friends", they are people who are hoping to also profit from your talents. Many people have wonderful ideas and find investors NOT because they have rich friends, but because rich people see the potential to profit from it. Simply because you don't get to keep all the money your idea makes doesn't mean you're not rich, and it doesn't necessarily mean the investors are your friends in any way.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:36 AM

35. Is rich the only objective? People in Spain started the Mondragon Cooperative by borrowing

 

money from their neighbors while under a dictator (1954 or so) that enjoyed personally signing death warrants for their executions.

They bought a paraffin stove mfg plant, and today, in an employee-owned cooperative, have their own bank, hospital, university, and are doing much better than the rest of Spain.

They got their freedom, and a generally pleasant life without too much concern or want, not much inequality to deal with. I'd take that over rich most days, if we could deal with the inequality that causes so many problems and so much want and tragedy.

I get what you are saying, but you should also note that even with those two, a LOT of people fail because they didn't have the mindset that it takes to use those advantages to become rich.

On the other hand, with the appropriate mindset...that is, an education that allows you to BELIEVE you can do something, one can overcome or at least find ways to gain, that second one. Not always, but it does happen.

So whether by accident of birth, or genetics, or association, or a country which invests in it's people and begins to build a solid middle class (like we used to, and like Mexico is doing now, btw), where we at now, #6(?) - luck, has to enter in to your equation.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:47 AM

36. There's always cheating & stealing.

 

Of course, they don't call it that.

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Response to baldguy (Reply #36)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:54 AM

37. Like the famous "middle-class tinkerer" Mark Zuckerberg. First he stole some people's ideas, then

 

he stole private information from Harvard's databases. Then he founded a company devoted to stealing people's private information.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 09:06 AM

38. Do you mean that pulling myself up by my bootstraps won't work? ...

What a spoil sport you are! lol

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 09:12 AM

39. Untrue

Unless you stretch #2 beyond all rational bounds.

All sources of wealth necessarily involve people with money deciding to give it to you for one reason or another (in large amounts or small). That's true whether it's the result of honest effort or wealthy friends.

The hard-working athlete earns a scholarship to a good school... she doesn't suddenly have "rich friends" that pay the scholarship... she earns it. A newly-discovered artist or author doesn't have "rich friends"... he has a product that someone is willing to pay for. The venture capitalists that finance a startup are in no sense your "friends" - they're just another business transaction (on both sides).

Then there's the obvious 3rd route that has always been called the "American Dream (tm)". Study hard, get a good job, spend much less than you make, invest the difference over long periods of time.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 09:47 AM

40. The incomparable Kurt Vonnegut addressed this quite handily:

From God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
"It's still possible for an American to make a fortune on his own." [font color="red"]said his father, the old-money Senator.[/font]

[font color="red"]Eliot Rosewater replied, [/font]"Sure--provided somebody tells him when he's young enough that there is a Money River, that there's nothing fair about it, that he had damn well better forget about hard work and the merit system and honesty and all that crap, and get to where the river is. 'Go where the rich and the powerful are,' I'd tell him, 'and learn their ways. They can be flattered and they can be scared. Please them enormously or scare them enormously, and one moonless night they will put their fingers to their lips, warning you not to make a sound. And they will lead you through the dark ot the widest, deepest river of wealth ever known to man. You'll be shown your place on the riverbank, and handed a bucket all your own. Slurp as much as you want, but try to keep the racket of your slurping down. A poor man might hear.'"
The red text is not in the original work and is added here for clarity.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #40)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:50 PM

70. "'Go where the rich and the powerful are,' I'd tell him, 'and learn their ways." = so true.

 

Children should be educated about this when they are very young & inoculated against the elite mythology promulgated by the media.

Most people don't catch on until well into middle age (if then) & by that time they have set a course & it's too late to make use of their learning. I don't mean that if they'd known earlier they could have become "rich," I mean that if they'd understood how the world works better they would have made different choices in general.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 11:58 AM

43. If you are good enough

 

Or have a good enough idea, #2 will come.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 12:14 PM

46. 2a) Cozy government contracts

If you want to make a mint, become buddies with the mint.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 12:54 PM

48. Way Number 3: Steal it.

 

Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 12:59 PM

50. bull - sounds like sour grapes

what do you consider rich?

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 01:05 PM

51. "In a moment of inspiration, Blakely cut the feet off panty house, and Spanx was born".


Sara Blakely had been selling fax machines and office copiers door-to-door for seven years when she had an idea for a clothing line that would transform her from an employee into a successful entrepreneur. In a moment of inspiration, Blakely, frustrated with her "unsightly panty lines," cut the feet off a pair of panty hose that she could wear under her white pants with a pair of open-toed sandals—and voilà, a primitive version of Spanx was born.

Blakely, who had originally hoped to be a trial attorney before failing the LSAT, knew she was onto something. After that, Blakely says, her biggest decision was to simply follow her gut instincts. During the next two years she plowed $5,000 of her own money into getting a prototype made. In 2000 she began selling Spanx in major department stores such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Not long after, she got the call of a lifetime— Oprah Winfrey (BusinessWeek.com, 8/24/06) had fallen for the body slimming, toeless panty hose and wanted to feature Spanx on her annual favorite things show.

Today, Spanx, based in Atlanta, Ga., is a $150 million company with 55 employees and 100 different styles. In January, Blakely will unveil a new product line: the Bra-llelujah, billed as a comfortable all-hosiery bra.

Blakely spoke recently with BusinessWeek.com's Stacy Perman about confronting failure and starting a company from scratch. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow:

How did you originally come up with the idea for Spanx?

I did not like the way I looked in a pair of white pants. I was 27 at time and spent a lot of money on them but you could see panty lines, you could see the thong. Nothing worked. I shopped for body shapers for the first time in my life and I was horrified. They were thick—it was like wearing workout clothes and they all had a leg band on one side that showed through the pants. So I cut the feet off of a pair of panty hose and it allowed me to wear a pair of great strappy sandals. I didn't see lines but the hose rolled up at my feet—and that's how Spanx born.

I spent the next two years working nights and weekends out of my apartment to get a prototype made, design packaging, and name the product. Once I did that, I knew that other people were going to want it, and I set out to sell it. The company was built around the reaction to the demand for the product.

http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2007-11-21/how-failure-molded-spanxs-founderbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 01:14 PM

53. This just isn't true.

If you have the talent and the work ethic, you can become become pretty wealthy just by doing well in school, going to college, then some kind of grad school, say law or med school, and then working hard. I know a number of people who did not come from wealth or have wealthy connections and have done just that.

This is not to say that it's easy, or that the deck isn't stacked in favor of people who were born rich or have rich friends. But to say it's impossible otherwise is incorrect.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 01:21 PM

56. BS

 

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 02:48 PM

62. When I saw the thread title...

... I was hoping there would be more specific instructions.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 02:55 PM

63. Complete and utter horseshit. nt

 

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:11 PM

67. There is only one way.... Luck n/t

 

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:21 PM

68. Option 3: bank robber?

 

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:54 PM

74. You are dead wrong. Some of the largest companies in the world were started up simply,

some out of garages. The trick is to adjust goals to capital. If a person doesn't have much money, that person must size ambitions to allow earnings to fund the business. Saying that only people with money can succeed is a cop-out that buffers the claimants from a need to take risks that could lead to failure, IMO.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #74)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:26 PM

77. Can you name some of these companies started in garages, funded solely out of earnings from

 

the business?

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:44 PM

79. So the take away is

There's no point to getting the best education you can get, working hard, saving a good portion of your salary, living below your means, starting to invest in the stock market as soon as you can, educating yourself about investing, limiting the size of your family, working an extra job when possible, increasing your savings every time you get a raise.

No reason to do any of those things. Just keep stirring the pot and hoping for the revolution. Well it ain't going to come. Because millions of working class and lower middle class people (including me) HAVE become rich by just those means. And they know that what you're saying is self serving bull crap and they don't respect you and they're not going to be recruited.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:52 PM

80. Depends on what you mean by rich

If you mean having enough means to live off your capital, then all sorts of people manage that simply by investing over the course of their life. Most people don't realize who they are because they live in modest homes and drive modest cars which is how they got rich in the first place. Often those who live in extravagant homes and drive extravagant cars spend everything they make and are leveraged up to their eyeballs to the day they die.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 08:16 PM

81. Why the American obsession with "getting rich"?

Is the pursuit of grotesque excess for a few so important as to warrant economic cannibalism of the many and widespread deprivation?

At one time it made sense to encourage getting rich by producing something that met people's needs or wants. But after more than a century of industrialization and meeting every imaginable human need and want several times over, getting rich now increasingly depends on Wall Street and corporations cannibalizing Main Street and anything else that moves.

And it'll probably get worse.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 12:42 AM

85. How about getting a good education then a good job

 

and excelling at it. That's the way thousands of people get rich in this country. The OP is absurd.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 01:04 AM

87. For 1%ers, you are probably mostly right.

That doesn't mean people from lower and middle class can't become rich. One can become a doctor, surgeon, athlete, actor/entertainer without being a friend or family member of the rich. I don't think The founders of Google, Facebook and Ebay came from 1%er parents, middle class or upper class, maybe. I do believe beyond a certain point wealth is concentrated and tends to stay that way and it is a very difficult ceiling to crack unless you have family or make friends in that group. Maybe 1% of the 1% is self-made idk what the statistics are. Regardless, wealth disparity is the real issue. Maybe making the majority realize that becoming that wealthy is just a fantasy is s step toward solving that problem since so many in the lower classes defend the 1% that own over 42% of the wealth.

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Response to Incitatus (Reply #87)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 01:11 AM

105. "founders of Google, Facebook and Ebay"

 

Last edited Tue Dec 31, 2013, 03:22 AM - Edit history (2)

Ebay:
Pierre Omidyar: Son of Johns Hopkins surgeon & linguist mother, Iranians who'd been sent to the US for their education by their parents. Upper class or better (the class able to finance US educations for their offspring). Pierre went to prep schools & Tufts University.

Facebook:
Only 3/5 of the supposed founders have significant background info on the net.
Zuckerberg was the son of a dentist & a psychiatrist: prep school to Harvard. Upper middle to upper class.
Saverin = son of Brazilian industrialist = 1%, prep school to Harvard.
Hughes: prep school to Harvard, but as a scholarship student = middle class son of a paper salesman.

Google:
Larry Page = Son of "IT pioneer" father and computer science professor mother, both profs at Michigan State. Montessori school, East Lansing High (public), Stanford.
Sergei Brin = Son of Russian emigrants, father math prof at U of MD; mother researcher at Goddard Space Center. Montessori + home schooling; public magnet school, Stanford.
Both upper middle class to upper class.

The PhD research that became Google was financed by the US government (National Science Foundation & others).


So out of 6 guys, there's only 1 (Hughes) who apparently came from a middly-middle-class background, son of a paper salesman, & got into prep school & Harvard on scholarships.

One is a 1%-er's son (Saverin), & Omidyar is probably the grandson of Iranian elites.

Page & Brin were both children of academics in related fields (math, computer science, space research): upper middle class or better.

Zuckerberg, son of psychiatrist, upper middle class or better.

Only two (Page & Brin) attended public high schools, & Brin's was a magnet school for the sciences.

Let's say top 5% or better for everyone but Hughes.


The top 5% of households, three quarters of whom had two income earners, had incomes of $166,200 (about 10 times the 2009 minimum wage in the US) or more,[8] with the top 10% having incomes well in excess of $100,000.[9]

The top 1.5% of households had incomes exceeding $250,000 with 146,000 households, the top 0.12%, having incomes exceeding $1,600,000 annually.[10]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affluence_in_the_United_States









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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 01:27 AM

91. Most rich people are born rich or at least upper-middle class...

 

Yeah, there is a relatively small, small number of working-class or poorer people who manage to "make it big", but let's not kid ourselves here.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 12:23 AM

102. Not true, a friend of mine started with a bucket of

asphalt sealer and a broom and now owns a paving company. He is not a billionaire but has done very well.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 12:37 AM

103. You couldnt be more wrong. nt

 

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 12:40 AM

104. I don't want you on my team.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:36 AM

125. Have a good idea, whose time has come.

 

History is rife with examples.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 05:27 AM

137. What about the stock market, or flipping houses?

 

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Response to leeroysphitz (Reply #137)

Wed Jan 1, 2014, 06:45 PM

142. That's how you get rich then poor then rich then poor then rich then poor...

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Wed Jan 1, 2014, 12:59 PM

140. That's cute

/pat


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