"striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

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Riggerjack
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Riggerjack »

Spartan warrior, what's missing from your book analogy, is the life design part of the equation. If you are a billionaire, the cost in $ of the book and the bookcase, and even the larger house are small enough not to be concerned with. You seem to think they then are immune to "sacrifice ", or as I think of it, tradeoffs.
The difference I see between the rich and middle-class, is having an abundance of $, the importance of$ in most decisions goes down.
If you can walk into B&N, and buy one of each book, and have them all delivered, and this wouldn't put a dent in your annual budget, would you? Of course not. Outside of the $, each of these books carries other costs. Space, storage,time, have all been mentioned. What about life design? How do you want to live? Do you want to live in a warehouse full of bookshelves? How about next to that book warehouse?

Jacob was talking about ERE being about life design. When money is no longer a factor, how do you want to live? Excellent! Now that you know what you want, ERE is all about how to get there without spending your whole life working for it.

I think of it as the difference between a dieter and an athlete. The dieter sacrifices to achieve his goal, not eating what he wants, and exercises as much as he needs to. The athlete designs his workout around building the body he wants, and feeds himself to achieve that goal. If you are still thinking of savings, an sacrifice, you are in the dieter mentality. Like me.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

@Ego: Throughout this discussion I've been trying to avoid ascribing value judgments--good/bad, preferable/not preferable. That you don't actually want to own a sailboat isn't that relevant.* I'm merely discussing differences. Owning a sail boat is different from occasionally using one, and it actually hits on the crux of my argument. Ownership is a form of control. Control is a form of power only available to the wealthy. The fact that there are a myriad of other obstacles to owning a sail boat for you even speaks to this point a little. As Jacob's example points out, the wealthy have means (primarily wealth, also tax loopholes, legal and business structures, etc) to bring those costs of ownership (in real terms, not necessarily in dollars) down to almost nothing. You don't. No other class does.

*It's relevant in the context of whether it's a "sacrifice", but at this point I think the sacrifice discussion is really tangential to my main point, which is why I originally pondered if it might deserve its own thread. ;)

I also think we're talking around each other somewhat. You all keep talking about mindset. To me, socioeconomic classes are just that--socioeconomic entities. In that context, I maintain that the wealthy have little in common with ERErs. As described in the OP article, and what my main point has been, the wealthy class has avenues of power and control unavailable to ordinary folks. Despite all the argument, no one seems willing to engage me in this, which I see as the critical difference: the wealthy have "control", the most an EREr can hope for is "freedom". (Possibly even freedom from the very control the wealthy enjoy.)

I agree that ERErs are most like the wealthy class in terms of how they use money. Where I disagree(?) is that ERErs enjoy anywhere near the same benefit and scale of power from that use. Without that, socioeconomically speaking, I see no kinship between ERE and the wealthy class. And to slip into value judgments for a while, I think it's somewhat dangerous to think of yourself as part of the wealthy class, when you aren't. Not to imply that anyone here is saying that, but I guess I'm wary of the slippery slope.

workathome
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by workathome »

I think Spartan_Warrior is arguing specific instances while Jacob is arguing mental models. Sure, ERE Joe can't go bribe a Senator to let him buy national park lands and turn them for into lumber and vacation rentals. However, Joe uses the same mental model and recognizes that rules are temporary and open to alteration.

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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by jacob »

I guess we're getting nearer. Yes, I AM arguing mental models and also to an extent practical use/lifestyle rather than socioeconomic levels and political influence. This is mainly because I'm more interested in who I relate to and because I find that socioeconomical scales are too crude. Counting money puts too much emphasis on money and too little on the ability to act and change.

Specifically, money does not automagically translate into influence. That's putting the cart before the horse. Rather, it's the other way around. Influence translates into money. In particular, you can develop influence by developing the right mental models which will allow you to connect with the right people, etc. and then you can use that influence to make money. To wit, people don't go Ivy League colleges because the education they receive there is much superior to a state college. It isn't! However, the connections made there are. The way the people there (your future friends) were raised and consequently, the way the students think about life(style design) is.

It's essentially rich dad poor dad all over again. You can be sure that if rich dad loses his money, he will somehow find a way to be rich again (because he didn't lose his connections and his drive to act).

That was my original issue with the "striking it rich as a fantasy". ERE and the wealthy share the same mental models. Conversely, the middle class does not. Hence, striking it rich to the middle class is the old saw about wanting to be a millionaire so they can spend a million dollars rather than have a million dollars, which ironically will exclude them from ever becoming a millionaire in the first place, whereas that's not how ERE/wealthy sees it. Until the middle class change their mental model from spending money to controlling money, them getting rich will remain a fantasy intended to make them work (time for money) harder and harder.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

I find that socioeconomical scales are too crude. Counting money puts too much emphasis on money and too little on the ability to act and change.
Yeah, I agree. I've been trying to think in terms of ability to act and change as well. To me, poverty is a lack of skills. Either specialized skills valued in the job market or the skills needed to survive on less money. ERE may have the least in common with the poor. (Although there is some crossover in terms of expenditure types and levels--buying used, buying less, etc.) On the other hand, the difference in ability to act and change is exactly what I've been describing of the wealthy. They have a very different ability to act and change. They have influence not only over their own lives, but the lives of others, often on an enormous scale. The difference is such that I cannot envision ERE fitting there. That leaves only the middle class.

I don't see "consumer" as being necessarily entailed by "middle class". Maybe that's another source of disagreement? The middle class is more or less what's left between the poor and the wealthy. They have some skills and powers--enough to see after their own livelihoods for the most part. That's the difference I see. The poor = no skills/power; the middle class = some skills/power over themselves/"freedom"*; the wealthy = exclusive skills/power over others/"control".

*The middle-class seems to me to have the same "freedom", by the way, as ERErs, at least in a broad sense. They have control over how they spend their own lives. That most of them are too dumb to realize this or take responsibility for it is another story...

You're exactly right about influence, too. Ivy League schools are another interesting example of the wealthy maintaining a closed system and setting the bar of entry to where only their own can pass. Control. I agree that mindset may be the only way you can open those doors because that might allow you to make the necessary connections. But that the doors are closed so tightly in the first place seems to agree more with my take. :P
That was my original issue with the "striking it rich as a fantasy". ERE and the wealthy share the same mental models. Conversely, the middle class does not. Hence, striking it rich to the middle class is the old saw about wanting to be a millionaire so they can spend a million dollars rather than have a million dollars, which ironically will exclude them from ever becoming a millionaire in the first place, whereas that's not how ERE/wealthy sees it. Until the middle class change their mental model from spending money to controlling money, them getting rich will remain a fantasy intended to make them work (time for money) harder and harder.
Agreed.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

Just for shits and giggles and to further distract myself from the pressures of actual work...


A Wealthy Man Chooses Whether To Buy a Book
A (Mostly) Satirical Dramatization by Spartan Warrior

Hey, this book looks interesting! I've been wanting to read a book on this subject for some time. It might even help me in my professional endeavors. What a great value!

No need to worry about whether I can afford it. I have lots of assets and I'm confident the money I need for my lifestyle will always be there.

Hm, but my book shelf at home is getting rather crowded. I suppose I could give this book away when I'm done with it, or some of my older books, to make room. But what if I need them for reference? What if my nephew Bob wants to borrow one of them as he often does? I derive value from having them.

Well, I suppose I could always build some new shelf space. I've always liked working with my hands. It could be a pretty fun project, and I'd definitely learn something.

Oh, but I'm so busy for the next few months--I have so many other projects I need to work on, and many of them will produce more value for me than building a book shelf. Ultimately, wood working isn't one of my primary interests in life anyway. Do I want to spare my precious, finite time to build new shelf space?

No, but I want this new book and all my old books. I suppose I could just hire someone to build me some new shelf space. Maybe I can get Nephew Bob to do it for below market rates, or maybe even call in some favors to get it for free.

Ah, but I forgot--Bob is on vacation, and I'm fresh out of favors. Oh, well. I can afford to pay full retail price for this renovation. I have lots of assets and I know they'll always be there.

But actually, now that I think about it, my library room itself is already too crowded to fit a new book shelf. I'll have to do substantial home renovations. That's okay. Afterward I can buy even more books. My library is an asset that impresses others and can help me make business deals. And, let's face it, I love reading!

Ah, but I don't think my house is big enough for such renovations. And wifey has been wanting to move to the Hamptons. Maybe it's finally time I bought some new property there. I can rent this one out. It's okay if I can't get a renter right away, even, I can afford it. I think this is the lifestyle I want for myself.

Come to think of it, there's that one property I've been looking at, but it's surrounded in government red tape. I'll have to get a team of lawyers to wrestle through the law, a team of lobbyists to bribe the law makers, and a team of advertisers to convince the locals to have the property developed. Afterward, I can parcel out the land into rental units to make even more money! Maybe even develop some factories and chemical warfare development facilities so the government can subsidize my efforts.

Well, it's settled then! I can't wait to read this book. Phew, for a minute there I was afraid I'd have to choose...

The End

---

So, ERErs, at which paragraph would your thought process have diverged from the wealthy man's? :D

Alcibar
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Alcibar »

Between paragraph 2 and 3 as I would buy it as an ebook.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

@Alcibar: :lol: Crafty, but for the purposes of the thought experiment, assume the book is only available in print, maybe even rare. I'm sure ebooks aren't the only clever sidestep I didn't consider...

EDIT: In fact, you could add this at the end of Paragraph 2: "The book is only available in a rare print edition so I may never see it again if I don't buy this exact book today. It has a high intrinsic value, so how much money I have is not an obstacle."

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

@Cael: I don't know much about it so probably should have kept my mouth shut on that one, but I would point out there are plenty of middle class people who own sail boats too. And plenty of other things they can't really afford and which aren't really marketed for them. Considering that an Ivy League education is in the ball park of a quarter million dollars (http://findingmycollege.com/2013/03/25/ ... r-million/), I figure it's probably only really "affordable" by the wealthy. (Maybe not just the $10M+ "true" wealthy, granted.) Just considering the sheer demographics though (the wealthy being only .5 to 1% of the population) I'm not surprised upper/rich middle class kids fill out the ranks. Student loans are all the rage...

A better question to consider might be--how many sons and daughters from wealthy households don't attend Ivy League schools or similar?

Side note: IMO there is a difference between being rich and being wealthy. Wealthy being, again, a socioeconomic class, rich being a financial state (ignoring the metaphorical "rich" e.g. "I live a rich life). I would have far less argument with calling ERErs rich than I do with calling us wealthy.

theanimal
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by theanimal »

My sister will likely be enrolling in an Ivy school next fall. Also, there are plenty of people from my high school and surrounding area (Chicago Area) that are currently students or will be and the vast majority are not wealthy ($ 10 + mil). Upper middle class, sure, but definitely not wealthy.

Riggerjack
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Riggerjack »

Who are these nuclear powered rich people that offend you so much?
I grew up poor, and as a kid, thought rich people were the ones who could make advanced rent payments. And had cable. So I'm certainly no expert on the behavior of the wealthy. In my experience, people are people,, the more money they have, the more it takes to get them to screw you over. A thousand dollars is enough to get you mugged and raped in some groups, but the more someone has, the more it takes to get them to act outside of their comfort zone. Your average doctor wouldn't even write a questionable prescription for a thousand dollars.
this makes me wonder about your cabal of rich folks, buying senators, raping the environment, bribing officials, killing puppies, bathing in the blood of virgins, etc...
so my question is, who are these evil rich people, and why do you hang out with them?

Riggerjack
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Riggerjack »

Out here in WA, we have some rich folks too. Bill Gates, bezos, paul allen. Thousand of software millionaires. The worst thing I can attribute to them would be the giant booger added to Seattle's sklyline (EMP, thanks, PAUL).
Since senators have no intrinsic value, I assume, if they are being bought, it is because they put a price on their cooperation that is lower than the price of not having their cooperation. This is called extortion, if you or I do it, but you blame the victim. Odd.

workathome
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by workathome »

Sorry, I was just joking about the senator thing. I don't know that any rich person would actually engage in that behavior. Just inventing a fictional "specific example."

JohnnyH
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by JohnnyH »

Met a minor CEO on a plane recently. Was easily one of the most insufferable asses I've ever met or imagined.

I was flying on someone's employee buddy passes and any incidents can have negative consequences for the employee... So I diffused the situation he created, but all I could think about was goading him into touching me and beating him unconscious.

I am completely nonviolent, but days later I cannot shake off how horrible this person was/is and how much he deserves some comeuppance... Just one anecdote about [probably] the richest person I ever met. :D

Seneca
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Seneca »

@johnnyH, I think you've proven rich people are still just imperfect people. :)

JohnnyH
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by JohnnyH »

@Seneca: Maybe... but I've never met another that acted anything like this guy. It was truly like he was borderline insane.

http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2012/01/2 ... uccessful/

Felix
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Felix »


Seneca
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Seneca »

Leaders of any type are likely to have an overrepresentation of psychopathic traits. An interesting discussion, but I think it's a bit of a different topic than "striking it rich". Most of the people who recently struck it rich at Twitter or Facebook were not leaders, they were likely...INTJs...just working away at their computers like many other geeks, but in the right place and time.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/rising-ri ... 38335.html

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jennypenny
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by jennypenny »

In some ways I think it's related because I think getting to be a jerk is a part of the 'strike it rich' fantasy. It goes along with the cars and houses and such. When you see the 'rich' fantasy being marketed, is the person usually acting generously or selfishly?

I've seen it the most in wannabes or almost-made-it's. They have the lifestyle and attitude even if they don't really have the fortune to back it up.

Felix
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Re: "striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy"

Post by Felix »

I don't think that there's any amount of money that justifies being an asshole. :D

Interestingly, there is also research posted on this forum that basically says that simply having money pushes people into asshole territory, too. So the INTJs, already not known for their people skills and empathy, would be in danger, too.

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