Who are the self made wealthy? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Just glanced at a crappy article and was thinking what are the metrics on how many people who are of modest or even considerable wealth really pushed through a like of obstacles to do so.

Because it does seem things are typically presented in this form:

And this doesn’t mention the many failures like a gambler who tells you of their winnings and not their losses.

So where does one get a proxy for different countries social mobility?
The American Dream is a thing that is real and exists with countless examples. But there are also things like family money and barriers like education costs that can make that dream easier for some than others if all else is equal.

It would be naive to think things like family wealth doesn't have an impact on someone's success, just as it is naive to think everyone is a victim of circumstance and upbringing and that they have no personal agency. Donald Trump was born into wealth VS Oprah who was born into poverty, plus all sorts of examples in-between.

I think it's fine and good to push for better social mobility like more equitable education, while also not blaming all of one's bad decisions on "the system". People have barriers and privileges, and people have personal agency to make their own good & bad choices that they need to take responsibility for, it doesn't have to be an "either-or debate.
@Unthinking Majority You are spot on.

In the US there are barriers to some and others get a leg up. The acquisition of new wealth is still quite possible in the US.

I want to add another wrinkle to what might turn out to be a great thread. How to define wealth. I am not talking about some romanticized notion of two young people, no education, as the song goes "warmed by the glow of insolvency" but living on love. Trying to romanticize poverty is a cheap shot at best.

I am talking about how, once one has decided on what constitutes "wealth" in their own lives, whether to seek more and how to draw the line. Not where to draw it but how. This, you will find, is a very difficult thing to resolve. The more you get the more pressure there is on you to hold what you have and to acquire more.

As an old man I am glad that I took steps to ensure that I would be comfortable in my old age. Am I wealthy? By the standards of most of the world, almost certainly. By American standards? Sort of. But what is key is this. Throughout one's life one has to balance wealth acquisition with the enjoyment of everyday life. For example. I saw Santorini when I was young. I could enjoy the beach and the women. Now not so much. I could not afford to travel first cabin then. I could never have afforded (or even wanted) the Notos Therme & Spa then but I can now. My point is that I have had the memory of a couple of wonderful trips for 30 years. I see Santorini for the young. Today London or Athens are more my style.

A friend of mine is a school teacher. He has at least a couple of months off every year. Though he does not earn nearly as much as I do he has spent almost every summer traveling, albeit frugally, to virtually every corner of the world. Every time he returns he is totally jazzed and dives into saving for and planning his next adventure.

@godstud is a man who I would describe as "wealthy". He has retired comfortably and early, to what many would consider an exotic place, and has found the love of his life there. Is that not wealth? I'll leave it him tell us if he wants to. But I am sure he could have continued his quest for even more wealth in Canada. He was obviously good at it. But it would have cost him his "real" fortune...His beautiful life now.

A very wise man told me something that I have never forgotten. He said, "Money is never the goal of investment. It is what you do with the money now and someday that is the real goal." It is not having X millions of dollars in the bank that is the goal. It is the house on the beach, the adventure travel, the great wine, or even a little cabin in the woods that is the goal of investment.

One of the funniest men I know, the kind of person who can have an entire room ROFLOL in two minutes, is a writer. Well. That is what he says he is and occasionally he actually publishes something so I buy his story. He inherited a moderate income from his mother. Probably on the order of investments that net him something like $10K per month. What does he do with the money? He travels the world, very frugally, seeking out, in his own words, "the best fucking $10.00 bottle of wine in the world". He loves doing it. Even in his 60s seems to always have a pretty lady traveling with him or waiting at home. I think he is much wealthier than I am though not more affluent.

So what is your bliss? How much money do you need to find it and not have it spoiled by poverty? And just to consider another point of wealth, how much do you want to have left over when you finally achieve room temperature?

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