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Why we need the rich: A message to Americans – and our leaders in Washington DC – on wealth creation by a wealth creator.

June 30, 2010

It has an often repeated axiom that a person can learn a whole lot about a society by how it treats its poor. But just as much can be learned by looking at how that society treats its rich. Indeed, the economic future of the poor – and our nation – will be determined in the coming decades by how we treat the people in this country who create great wealth. It will be determined by our understanding of the so-called rich. And our ability to protect this minority.

It is an unpopular thing to say, I know. Rich people need help? Rich people need to be protected? Rich people a minority? Give me a break. They just seem to keep getting richer!  Regrettably, too many Americans, and far too many intellectuals and politicians, don’t understand these people we call “the rich.” And how it is they got rich in the first place.

Because most of us don’t actually know any of these rich people, we instead experience them in the abstract, through policy debates and statistics, and always through the prism of our own ideological lens. We look at the raw data to state our case either against or for the richest among us. In the end, our view of the rich has much to do about how all of us view “capitalism” itself. Indeed, in that respect, our opinions about the rich are a sort of Rorsach test, revealing more about ourselves than anything else.

To those on The Left who think capitalism creates unfair outcomes, they have statistics to confirm their outlook. It seems absurd on its face that the top 1% of American families own 90% of the nation’s wealth.

Wouldn’t it be possible to contrive an economy that is just as prosperous but with a fairer distribution of wealth? Couldn’t we cap the earnings of the rich at $50 million? Or even $100 million? 

Most defenders of capitalism and free markets say no. They contend that the bizarre inequalities we see are an indispensable part of the processes that create wealth. They imply capitalism doesn’t make sense, morally or rationally, but it makes wealth. So don’t knock it.

What nonsense it all is!  And how little to do with the reality of the rich. And how sad that defenders of the rich – or the rich themselves – can’t come up with a better economic or moral case! Quoting Adam Smith and supply side economists just doesn’t cut it.

So who are the so called rich? As someone who is rich (and would love to be even richer), and has spent a lifetime working with people who create wealth, I thought I’d explain who they are, where they come from, and why we should care about their wealth – and their desire to hold on to it.

To begin, it is not exactly a list of the Who’s Who and Most Likely to Succeed in high school or college, this group of Americans called the rich. They are certainly not the best looking. They didn’t get the highest SAT or ACT scores in high school, they probably weren’t voted most likely to succeed in any yearbook, and they certainly didn’t get where they got through the force of their personalities, charisma or celebrity.

A great number of the richest among us never finished high school, and many who went to college never managed to graduate. That’s because the rich in this country are chosen not by blood, credentials, education, or services to the establishment. The rich are chosen for performance, and for their relentless desire to serve consumers.

The entrepreneurial knowledge that is the crux of wealth creation has little to do with glamorous work, or with the certified expertise of advanced degrees. Great wealth usually comes from doing what other people consider insufferably boring.

The treacherous intricacies of building codes or garbage routes or software languages or groceries, the mechanics of butchering sheep and pigs or frying and freezing potatoes, the murky lore of petroleum leases or housing deeds, the ways and means of pushing pizzas or insurance policies or hawking hosiery or pet supplies or scrounging for pennies in fast-food unit sales, all of those tasks are deemed tedious and trivial.

In short, our rich – America’s best entrepreneurs – perform work that most others spurn.

You need to read the rest of this article -> blackhawkpartners.com

Very important article.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 10, 2011 5:01 pm

    This is a great post. The American people should understand that you do not need a college education to be successful. Some of the most successful people in the world learned early that education was in business itself. Thanks again.

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