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Why You Are Not On Any Forbes Lists of Rich People 192

Mike writes "Ever wondered why, no matter how hard you work, you are not getting any further towards getting on one of those Forbes Billionaire lists? Mike Cassidy at Mercury Center has the answer to why you are not on any Forbes lists via a Q & A he has prepared for all us working stiffs."
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Why You Are Not On Any Forbes Lists of Rich People

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 1999 @07:28AM (#1607355)
    Money isn't the key. What's important is that you live life to your fullest potential, experiencing all it's ups and downs, all it's joys and vulnerabilities, and trying to be happy a good deal of the time. And even during the times that you aren't happy, you can live life openly and fully and not cut off or numbed and thus learn from your experiences. After a certain amount, money won't help you with this and can actually hurt you by wasting your energies in it's sole pursuit.

    The sad thing about America is that we hammer our kids during their formative years with the message that all the wrong things matter. We tell them that succeeding in a narccisitic power game is the most important thing or even the only thing. It's a lie, and it screws everyone over, expecially the weaker kids who believe the lie and who can't afford to be distracted from the hard work of finding their potential. If we focused our educational system on teaching kids how to be fully potentialized human beings and didn't concern ourselves with their value to the capitalist machine (at least during their formative years), they would have a chance to reach their full potential and it would likely have value to society (even unsuccessful artists add to a society). Instead, we churn out generations of cripples, simpletons capable only of consumerism or narrow minded capitalist pursuits, and as this mass grows, they in turn pass on the lie to their own children since it is all they know.

    Sure, some money is needed. There are basic needs (food, clothing, shelter) to be met. There are medical bills. There is the cost of education. There is the need to save for retirement. There is the want to support your hobbies and interest and to have time for your family. But we need to put this into perspective. First of all, even in America where everything is becoming privatized and expensive, you don't have to be rich to achieve these goals. But if all you know is consumerism=happiness, then you are going to need a ton of money to be happy expecially since you get more and more jaded with every toy you buy (diminishing returns). A non-consumerism-addicted human who has emerged from their formative years undamaged will be able to enjoy life at a much smaller cost. Second of all, if we were able to start reversing the course of this problem and head back towards sanity (perhaps starting with a stock market crash), eventually we might be able to shift the emphasis of our government towards providing a real safety net, where everyone is truly able stay above the poverty line, to get a good education, enjoy medical benefits, and a reasonable retirement.

    The emptiness of our society right now is very disturbing to me. We eat our own. Adult foreigners come here to play and make money but raise their kids elsewhere. The elite don't make use of our public schools and universities. It should be clear to all that true quality of life for the majority of americans is headed into the gutter. But this isn't an oft discussed topic these days while stock prices are high.

  • There is going to be no communist revolution in the US. It's more likely that a socialist revolution will occur. And if there is one, we techies won't be the target. The target will be the traditional media, religion, capitalist industry, right-wing politicos, members of the Fascist Party of America (also known as the Republican party), captains of industry, and other things that make up the ruling class. Remember that techies are not the source of the oppression. It is the political and economic system and the people behind it that are the source of the oppression. I'm a hacker, and I'm also a socialist. If the revolution was to happen, I'd probably start intentionally throwing fuel into the flames. Remember that Richard Stallman is not a rich capitalist. Also, you should realize that killing all the hackers and techies in this country would not do anything to help the revolution. On the other hand, there is a good number of politicians, heads of industry, priests, and ministers of which I wouldn't mind their being taken out into the streets and getting shot. Their demise would probably help socialism. There has been cases of leftist intellectuals getting shot in revolutions, but I've not seen any cases in which this has actually helped those revolutions.
  • Parents of wealthy kids are expected to do certain things, and behave certain ways that others simply aren't. eg: Sports after school every season (mandatory), 3 hours minimum of homework since 6th grade, moves, no TV, get into a top college, etc etc etc. My parents and most of my friends' parents certainly required us to get jobs during the summer and during vacations.

    I was expected to do the exact same thing, except I was expected to work part-time year round. My dad was a pipefitter/electrician. My mom worked at JC Penney's. Don't be complaining.
  • This isn't a reply to the parent message, but instead a reply to the parent message's replies. If find it easier to just say this once than to reply individually to all of them.

    Now, I don't remember whether he's a socialist, a communist, or what, but I know he's ONE of those things, and it sure ain't Democracy.
    By Marx's definition, a true Communist society can't exist without Democracy, seeing as how there isn't any government in a true Communist society and the people rule themselves. This, of course, is a bit too utopian, which is why you don't see any true Communist societies. What you see instead is the totalitarian Leninist/Stalinist states (i.e.: Soviet Union) and Social Democrat states (i.e.: the majority present-day Europe).

    while every country that has even remotely adopted Marxist dogma is now deep in poverty.
    In case you didn't notice, socialism has now proven itself to be a failure in most areas of the world.
    The majority of Europe is Socialist. Is France a failure? Is Sweden a failure? Is Germany a failure?

    My guess is that it won't -- for the same reason that they aren't wealthy in the first place -- they refuse to work for and earn it.

    Since when does hard work equate with being wealthy in our society? My Grandfather worked as a mason for most of his life - which I consider fairly laborous work - and he didn't die rich. Now compare some upstart twenty-something year-olds that make a web portal and become millionaires overnight.

    I can't believe how many people I've heard compare Communism/Socialism and Democracy, thinking the two are incompatible. Communism and Socialism are economic states! Democracy is a governmental state! The U.S. is a Capitalist Republic, whereas the Soviet Union was a Socialist Dictatorship. There is nothing that says you can't have a Socialist Democracy or Capitalist Dictatorship.
    Another thing that really erks me is when I see kids at school (or even adults) talking about how much they love living in a democracy. The U.S. is a Republic. We democratically elect people to rule over us. We as citizens don't have say in government decision, we just choose who does say (and the polls tend to be biased towards a selection of only two or three people).
    If anyone is actually interested, here's the websites for the U.S. Communist Party [] and the U.S. Socialist Party []. You'll notice neither of them talk about destroying the current free-market system everyone here appears to be enjoying, but instead more realistic goals like increasing Union presence, equal hourly pay according to job (i.e.: how much labor is required to effectively work in this field), etc.
    -Chris Andreasen
  • This is all so true, my parents are worth over a million dolars. I have to work my ass off in the summer to help pay for college. Yeah thats right, money just ain't worth what it was years ago. I realize how lucky i am to be able to go to college at all, i have to work hard, but if i fail to get that last $250 scholarship it doesn't mean the end for me. Heh, i'm not even going to a very expensive college. The buck just ain't worth waht it was and anyone who has enough that hey don't have to worry should sit down and take a few minutes to realize just how amazingly lucky thay are.

  • You strike me as the bitter type. There was not one ounce of whine in my comment. You're obviously bitter. The point is that IT is _expected_ weather or not the kid really wants to go to one of the top colleges or not. All things being equal, sure, i'd still choose my life in a second. But life doesn't come without some complications. The original post stated and implied that children of rich parents don't have to work, etc etc etc. This is simply untrue, and I was addresssing them.

    If you wish to see the world as black and white, be my guest. But don't pull apart my comments (snip snip) as if you're offering some revealing insight. Its the qualitative aspects that you simply fail to grasp. Its easy to write me off as being just another 'rich kid', but whatever its your life...

    PS: You seem to want to believe that I'm rich, and you're not. I don't have to know you to know (reasonably) that this is not true. I'm sure that if anyone looked at your circumstances, it'd be well beyond the means of 95% of this world. So put this in perspective.

  • This has little to do with 'defending' my wealth. I really don't feel the need. The issue is weather or not more money will help the school system. I know from personal experience that it will not.

    Instead, of attacking my arguments with reason, you find it easier to merely group me with 'thousands from my socio-economic class...'

    Forcing one into schools is certainly NOT about freedom. And I seriously doubt, it'll help. But come on, give me your best arguments as to why you believe this will help. Until then, shut your mouth.
  • There are a certain percentage of elitists who sort of cruise through life with a sense of entitlement. eg: Go to the right prep school, get into the right college, land a cushy job at some leading firm, country club... (clip) they're becoming a dying breed... (clip) just going through the motions and resting on your laurels isn't enough.

    Hmmm... Tell that to George W. Bush!!! :->

  • Yeah, well... being poor doesn't make you happy either. So. Given a choice of being:
    • Poor with no guarantee of happiness
    • Rich with no guarantee of happiness
    I'll have to go for rich.

    Just my $.02

  • Sheesh, so many people around here have NO sense of humor. The article wasn't supposed to explain how to get rich -- it's was supposed to be funny. That's all, nothing else. If it didn't match what YOU consider to be funny, them's the breaks, but some of us DID find it funny.

    Just move on with your life, plotting to get rich somehow... we'll won't miss ya. Honest.
  • Lets organise to have BillG give $1,000,000,000 to the FSF. :)
  • "The Millionaire Next Door" is a get rich SLOW book, not a get rich quick book. It's worth a read, although to assist you in the process of getting rich slow, I suggest you borrow it instead of buying it. :-)

    The ironic thing is that the book probably caused the author(s) to get rich quick.

  • You're telling me that most(or many) electrician's sons are just expected to go to Princeton, Penn, Harvard, Stanford, etc? Perhaps your parents personally demanded that of you. I've seen that before. But it is not the same, as when every stitch of your social life demands such things of you. What if you're simply not bright? Legacy and the like means less and less these days. Again, this comes down to qualitative, not quantitative issues. If you're brought up a certain way, making a drastic change from that can be traumatic for some.

    Secondly, I was NOT complaining. If you read my comment, you would have seen that I said that I wouldn't want to trade places. Growing up wealthy does not mean that I have my head stuck in the sand as many would like to believe.
  • Because then the rich parents, the ones with influence, will force a school situation that they approve of. At this point, anybody who would give a shit has given up. Raising the overall standard of life, starting with education can do nothing but help this country. A mixing of classes can do nothing but help this country. How's that for starters?
  • by gnfnrf ( 39155 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @05:38AM (#1607379) Homepage
    What if Bill Gates reads slashdot? I think this article is unfairly written, because it assumes that it's addessing the 5.99999 billion inhabitants of the earth who are NOT excessively rich. What about the neglected minority, the .000001 billion who are? Where is THEIR Q&A? Is this discrimination? Could they sue?


  • I was not complaining. Many people who've posted on /. seem to bear a natural resentment to anyone established. The person before me said that rich kids dont have to work, and other such non-sense. Imagine LIVING that life, and being told that No, your jobs working as a janitor in inner city hospitals and the like never infact happened. Nor do I have to work my ass off for anything in my life. And that, I'm just going to inherit money. It couldn't be further from the truth.

    The primary difference being was that I was responding to an actual comment. Whereas you're assuming i'm saying my life sucks (because I've got money, and I indicated that its not black and white). Far from it, I would NEVER want to trade places. However, I have seen some that have burnt out. There is more to this life than money... but failing relative to the level of performance of your social group is hurtfull.

    ...and as I stated, I have the highest respect for those who really climb... You brought far too many assumptions into what you read (or didn't read) from my comment.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Colour printers, now on sale
  • Yes, and busing was/is such an obvious success. The "rich" may wield more influence proportionately, but I think in reality the various interest groups carry alot more weight. eg: teachers unions, minorities, religious groups. etc. Every time I see any change for the better, it gets shot down by various groups.

    You see some reasonably decent public school programs in certain suburbs. But I think this has more to do with the fact that since most EVERYONE comes from such a background, that a certain level of performance is expected. The question is, when you bus a kid out to the some school, and there is a 1:1000 ratio of 'rich to poor', does the same effect occur? I don't think so. Is there a higher likely hood of the same kid, despite his parents, falling through the cracks? Yes, I think so. Is this the greater good? I think not.

    This still doesn't answer why Catholic schools do significantly better with the same group of people. Or how about, why is it that so many Asians have come to the US year after year, in the the period of one generation or less, manage to create sucessful businesses, speak english fluently, etc. Yet other classes/races in the same schools make so much less of themselves generation after generation.

    The dynamic of private schools is also changing. More and more people of 'lower' classes are going to private schools. Look at the admissions rates at most any. The fact of the matter is that more than just the 'elite' realize how hopeless the situation is. Now economy has certainly helped, but it is more than just that. The lengths that many people go to send their kids to such schools is unbelievable....
  • by Mudhiker ( 15850 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @05:41AM (#1607383)
    Oh foo! all i need is enough money for a nice new computer and a stereo and a bunch of cds and a truck and some acreage and a tractor and that nice taylor guitar and traveling to europe and paying off my school loans and donating to charity and i will be just dandy and comfortable.
    "i don't need anything!!...Except this chair!! All i need is this chair! and this lamp! but that's all!"

  • As a poor person I do what everyone else does (you know you do it) and wish that i somehow received a check for a few million, maybe 20, from billy g. but that leads me to the question of "Is it worth it, or immoral, to take money from him?"

    fuck open source that's twenty million dollars =)

  • From the article:

    > Q: I read that Gates is worth $85 billion and that he's starting
    > to give some of it away. Do you think he'd give me a million or two?

    *giggles* A few of my friends and I are thinking of applying to the Gates foundation for a grant to slack. "Mr. Gates, if you give us money, we promise that we won't do anything. Think of the publicity you'd get!"

    Think it'd work? There's something great at the thought of taking Bill's money, isn't there? ^_~
  • What? What was the point?

    Sounds like he feels low for not being rich, and is trying to make his readers feel low too. There was a nice, smug looking photo of him though. :P

  • Actually, there's little correlation between being rich and being happy. And most people driven to be rich are severely messed up - that's why they're rich.

    You need to find out what makes you happy. It's probably not money, although you might think it is.

    Of course, it is nice being able to fly to Paris when you want to, if that's your bag. But do you really need all those possessions?

  • . . . which is quite obvious, because that wasn't funny. Eh, some of it was, considering a '77 Civic is what my cousin drove until three years ago, but the rest just isn't. Maybe if he gave a better BS answer from an economist (no economist in the US, save for maybe some marxist academic, would ever believe you get "rich off" another person), with some highly made up technical terms (the bond market is at fruition, yet not a saturation!), then it could, maybe, be funny.

    But it isn't.
  • Why, this is the third year running I've made their list of the "400 Richest Americans Living In The State Of Washington Whose Slashdot Alias Begins With The Letter 'O'". But do they print that list? No, of course not! This obviously indicates bias on their part, but whether it's against Slashdot posters, moles at Microsoft, people with barely enough cash to buy a Gartner Group report about smoking being bad for you, or just weirdos in general, I'm not sure.
  • Good attitude. And, who knows, someday you might just inherit it.

    Most people get to be millionaires (or more), by:
    1. saving a lot of their money to invest (10-20% of it - and yes, you can afford that);
    2. staying married; (darn, blew that one)
    3. living below their means; and
    4. working for themselves.

    That's what worked for my grandparents. Although they didn't work for themselves, they just invested a lot.

    It's more likely the guy on the bus is a millionaire than the guy in the Maserati.

  • by Upsilon ( 21920 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @06:05AM (#1607395)
    I have absolutely nothing against the entrepreneur who finds some way to make a fortune (as long as they do it legally and morally). What bugs me is their kids. You know, people who are BORN rich. People who think that they're better than you because they've never actually had to WORK for a living. Isn't there something we can do about them?
  • Actually its not even true that rich people need to get rich off someone. They can do - it is possible to get rich just by ripping people off. But they can also get rich by selling people something they want. This is called "economic growth".
  • The world has three types of people, those who can count, and those who can't. :)
  • It's called getting rid of inheritence. Karl Marx called for it a long time ago. It will never happen though, our country is run by a good 'ole boys club whose wealth depends on their inheritence. One of the many facets of our corrupt political system.

  • And what of the entreprenuer who starts up a firm that cures AIDS? treats Diabetes? etc. Would you have us believe that only one party is better served by this invention/innovation? Money may be transferred from one party to another, but obviously the purchasing party finds more VALUE in that item than they do in their cash.

    Furthermore, money IS created. You can't explain a growing economy by mere transference of money (zero-sum)...unless of course you're leftish and believe that we're just selling wares to the ignorant masses in third world countries. Or stealing their money, or what have you...
  • bah... u know hes to busy swimming in his money and using linux to send us checks. But seriously, what are the chance sthat mr. gates DOESENT use windoze at home? makes u think doesent it? eh justin?
  • Maybe it's just me, but I am sitting here wondering why this article was posted. If it was for humour, it was a failed attempt. It seemed like someone just slapped together a really crappy list, and posted it. I found it vaguely amusing, but this is what I would expect from various anonymous cowards, not something to be posted on the main page.

  • Exactly. We all, in the US (and some other countries), make more than people in most of the world. I've actually lived on $500 for one year - it can be done.

    If you just took the money you spend on Jolt Cola and invested it, and bought used cars, but lived the same otherwise, you'd be a millionaire in a couple of decades.

    But will you?

    Most won't.

  • I mean, really, you can go through that much money pretty fast. Just like we go through money that could feed and shelter an entire town in other countries, just for one person in the US.

    My Dad lives in Vermont nowadays - cost of living there is incredibly low. So, if you took all your stock options and never spent them, you could retire to somewhere else and live quite nicely for the rest of your life.

  • So I may get flamed for this, I don't care.

    Personally, I think you're full of s***. I'm from a lower middle-class family, in a white trash town in upstate New York. And hey, I went to a pretty crappy public highschool, the worst one in the county. I would have had a better education had I been in the city instead of my particular suburb. But I still did things at my highschool, I didn't just sit around and smoke pot. I played three varsity sports, I was in every academic competition team that we had, and I was in our marching band and stage bands. Why? Because I wanted to, not because my parents made me. I pushed myself to achieve what I have. I didn't have my parents pushing me because of "principles" or some b.s. like that. I saw the kids in accelerated programs at the wealthier public highschools being burned out before they were even seniors by what the schools and their parents PUSHED them to do. And yes, then they go from their great public highschool to one of those nice Ivy League colleges on the east coast because that's where mommy or daddy went, so they are just waved in by admissions, they coast through because of grade inflation and the general ease of passing, even at Harvard or Princeton and Yale, graduate and go to get their MBA, or go to law school or med school, marry another nice rich person from the Ivy's that dresses only in Abercrombie and Fitch (et al.) and propagate the cycle.

    So you'll forgive me if I'm a little put off by your diatribe, since I'm at Caltech (note: the #1 school in the nation, better than Harvard even) purely on my own merits, not because I went to a great highschool (it sucked), not because my parents are rich (we're not, I said that), but because I actually accomplished something for myself.

    When I graduate I'm going to form a start-up with my best friend from my little white trash town. And even if I manage to make a good deal of mine my kids are still going to go to a public highschool and succeed on their own merits. If they aren't good enough to go to Caltech, so be it, I won't have them go here just because I did. That would be denying someone else who actually deserves the spot at the school the ability to go there. Children of alumni are admitted at a 2:1 rate over other kids at the Ivy's. The cycle propagates itself, and it isn't going to end. So stop bitching at us because you were privileged, those of us who weren't so lucky don't want to hear about your so-called hardships.

  • The reason that the poor the way they are is
    because they refuse to work? Come off it!

    You seem to be saying that people prefer to live
    on the streets with no homes and no idea where
    the next meal is coming from because they dont
    WANT to work?

    Again, we seem to be forgetting that there is
    not a level playing field, and that apart from
    wealth as an advantage, the prejudices exist which
    keep the advantages with the wealthy.

    Don't believe me? Surely it must be admitted that
    the statement "the poor don't want to work" is
    a prejudicial statement?

    I agree that giving money wholesale to
    the poor from the rich is not a good solution,
    but I don't think that is the one being
    put forward. Rather, it is to force the wealthy
    to redistribute their wealth - to keep
    the money flowing instead of hiding
    it under the mattress where it stagnates and
    hurts the economy in general.

    I'd also like to debunk the notion that taxes
    are theft. They are theft only if you disagree
    with the notion of government.

    The price of stability is partially charged in
    taxes => money to run the government, maintain
    law and order (with police), distaster relief so
    that a region can re-establish production, courts and so on.

    Now, the proportion of tax distribution may be argued, but the notion that taxes are theft is nonsense.
  • Actually, you're funny :-) Even though Bill wouldn't like your post..
  • Bah, I didn't say that I wasn't going to be skipping the country post haste when the revolution comes, just that I'll have time to get away, since they'll get that dude first.


  • I heard that thought stated a bit differently: "Money is not everything-- but if you have a lot of it, you can BUY everything."

  • The notion that I was attacking was that rich kids: just inherit money, don't have to work, etc. This is untrue. It was not whine. Most of the people posting on this thread seem to ASSUME that I'm bitching becuase a) I'm 'rich' b) I dare imply that NOT EVERYTHING is perfect. I clearly stated that I would not want to trade places.

    That being said however, you said you've seen kids who've burned out in 'lower middle' class areas. Well this happens in private schools as well. The difference is that it is more than just your parents pushing you. Its every part of your social life. I don't think thats so rosy. Its fine if you're capable of succeeding. But its not so great if you realize that perhaps you're not smart enough, not motivated enough, sick of that life, or perhaps you'd just be happier teaching high school...

    You seem to see a certain sickness in the 'preppy' situation. I couldn't agree with you more. That is exactly my point. While I don't agree that parents should be forced send their kids to public school (many like you end up changing their minds --especially when you live in a not-so middle class town in upstate NY), I do have some objections to the 'coasting' lifestyle.

    That being said, I think you overstate the admissions process. It is becoming tougher and tougher for such kids to get admitted like that. Being the son or daughter of an alumni simply doesn't give you carte blanche these days. (Look at the admissions ratios alone could tell you this) Yet the pressures to 'succeed' still exist. These do bring certain streses. PERIOD. Are these stresses greater than the ones experienced by poor people? Probably not.

    I do have respect for people who make more with less. But wakeup, will you? As you stated earlier, you are lower-middle class. Which most certainly qualifies you as living a life well beyond that of most of this world. Purely on your own merits? I'm sure circustances had NOTHING to do with your success (as if). Caltech is a fine school, better in many ways than many of the Ivys. But number #1? Do you really believe those surveys? Where just the year before another school was number #1 (Harvard, or Yale). I don't buy into the notion that schools actually go from 'best to better' in a period of a year, every year. I think some schools are better at certain things, over an extended period of time. But what you GET out of college depends far more on the individual than the college (almost regardless of where you go. Note: Doenst have even have to be "#50")
  • I could bore you with numerous examples of people I know personally and through others who have "made it" even though they were at a complete disadvantage economically to start, but I won't. I realize that all poor people are not lazy, and that was a blanket statement -- some are not able to work due to physical reasons, etc. I also understand that the government performs necessary tasks (which require taxes to operate), that I cannot be personally resonsible for (police, national defense, etc.), but I have grown very tired of the idea that I should be responsible for the "safety net" which supports many people who would rather grab their anonymous welfare checks from the mailbox than bother going through the effort of getting a job. And yes, I DO believe that there are many people who would rather do this than work simply because it requires less effort overall. This is why I was bothered by the initial post I responded to suggesting that we do away with inheritance. I don't believe that anyone has the right to say what I should do with my money and property I have earned when I die, let alone have it confiscated by the government. Yes, I also believe that is theft no matter what the government ultimately uses it for.
  • > That being said however, you said you've seen kids who've burned out in 'lower middle' class areas.

    Let me clarify, my suburb was lower middle class. There was very little burnout at my highschool, the kids that I am talking about that burned out in highschool were in the upper class suburbs. Granted, it's not as rich a community as several in long island, or the ones in Princeton, NJ, but it is every part of the "social life" that you so aptly described.

    > You seem to see a certain sickness in the 'preppy' situation. I couldn't agree with you more. That is exactly my point.

    Thank you for making that clear, I didn't catch that in your first post, but I may have just been blinded by my prejudices.

    > Do you really believe those surveys?

    Of course I don't believe those surveys. The schools aren't rated in a static and consistent manner, and some of the categories the schools are ranked in are questionable. Maybe you noticed that when the most recent college rankings came out, the president of Stanford called for a boycott of the rankings by the top schools. One of the points he made was that Caltech always lost points in the rankings for have a very low graduation rate (around 80%) compared to the high 90's that the Ivy league schools had. He made the point that Caltech shouldn't be penalized for making classes hard enough that students had difficulty passing. There are other places we lose points, one of them being campus diversity (there are no african-americans in the class that just entered, and maybe 7 in my class), and another being that we don't have a great deal of programs because we are so small. I admit I may have overstated the admissions process when related to sons and daughters of alumni, but they are still admitted more easily than other students, there is no denying that. We don't even need to go into the bias against white males. I have two friends whose rejection letters from MIT said "We cannot admit you at this time because you do not add enough ethnic diversity to the campus."

    >But its not so great if you realize that perhaps you're not smart enough, not motivated enough, sick of that life, or perhaps you'd just be happier teaching high school...

    Or perhaps you'd just be happier teaching highschool? I know you didn't mean this as a bad thing, but I feel obligated to call you on it anyway. I'm just wondering what you mean here. Some of the happiest people I know are highschool teachers. The best teacher at my highschool used to own his own business and was very successful, but he decided he would be happier teaching. Most of the people from my highschool want to be teachers, so they can help and try to make a difference. Personally, I think that's better than going out to try and make money, since they are going to be directly trying to make kids' lives better.

    Not motivated enough? That's something that's easily changed. You just find something you love doing, and it's easy to be motivated enough.

    >But what you GET out of college depends far more on the individual than the college.

    Obviously. But I just felt I had to say something about this, because everyone here, even the biology majors, could transfer to Harvard as senior math or senior phys majors after just two years here. Sometimes it is what you get out of the college, but sometimes it's what the college puts into you.
  • Considering the content of your post, I would have to say that the M-x spook .signature was slightly redundant.



    (a pacifist moderate socialist hacker)

    (oh, how boring, I know)

  • "Everybody is making money off the Internet. And by everybody, I mean everybody except you."

    His column was funnier.

  • Oops. Sorry. The actual quote is ...
  • Ah, dang it.
    Just go read it yourself. []
  • Good Lord! Wow, I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever feel drawn to the SF Bay area. And I thought No. VA was bad.


  • I don't buy the strict economics argument. The public schools, contrary to popular belief, are not poor performing for want of money. The fact of the matter is that public school teachers are paid significantly more, yet they tend to be poorly educated. Public schools also recieve almost as much money per student on average as do private schools(more in some cases). I don't think an infusion of money is going to help anything. Take a look at the Catholic parochial schools, for example. They have basically the same set of kids, from the same neighborhoods, economic background, etc. Yet they consistently do better than public schools in the worst parts of town with MUCH less money.

    The primary thing that sets schools apart is expectations and interference. Public schools are plagued by unions, regulations, etc. Private schools are relatively unencumbered. Students are simply expected to perform and behave. Parenting no doubt plays a large role. But I don't see how adding a few extra voices (wealthy) into the already loud rumble is going to help the others. I don't see how adding one rich kid into a class room of poor kids is going to change the atmosphere for the better. Perhaps politically if the 'rich' have more of a stake in the public school system, change might happen faster. Though I doubt this, the various interest groups and unions seem to sway the vote alot more.

    I don't have all the answers, and i'm not prepared to offer a complete formula for success. But forcing the wealthy into the same schools strikes me as an obviously bad answer (intuitively, emperically, etc). There are more fundamental issues that need to be addressed first.
  • Karl Marx a villian? First of all, Marx did not advocate superior genetics/race or discriminate against people's aesthetics.

    You know what Marx did do though? He provided an alternative to the capitalist theory and how capital should be dealt with, etc. Most "communist" implementations that we have seen in this century is a result of mis-interpertations of Marx's texts and just plain human errancy.

    Was Marx responsible for what happened to Russia? Nope, he himself detested Russia. What basically happened is that Lenin overthrew the monarchy of the old russia and later had internal battles between federal organizations, other socialist/communist parties, etc. Then here comes Stalin overthrowing Lenin, blah blah blah rest is history.

    Have you read the communist manifesto? Have you taken a class in marxist economics?

    If you answered "no" to the first question, then don't even bother posting. What gets me is when people critisize the philospher and crucify him for having a different idea. Want to critisize how its implemented? Fine go ahead.. its your right, and I encourage you to do so.

  • His name is Robert Paulson.
  • Yep - both of you make excellent points,

    but, people are creatures of habit. What we do we tend to continue doing. How might we instill our children with the desire to succeed (financially, personally, socially, artistically, whatever) without trying to give them an achievement-ended view?

    We might be breeding a materialistic, competitive race, but that beats the alternative of a society based on just getting by - achieving the minimum necessary level of comfort and settling for it. I would rather that people work hard and set goals high when young and find their comfort level when they have already achieved it.


    Just my $0.02

  • Hey! I want to be rich. That doesn't mean it won't happen. I am still young, I am sure their are lots of young slashdot readers. In fact, I think we should have a poll to figure out how old the average slashdot reader is. I have been reading slashdot for the past 2 years or so. I am 17 now. I love this stuff. I love being able to get the latest news and also what people, who I consider some of the smartest people out there, think about what's happening.

    Most of us just have to find out how we are going to make our millions. I have had a few ideas, but nothing I have taken much action on. But the time is nearing, I need to get myself a job, get a little capital going so I can start someting. I am not going to let an article like this deture me. And it should not deture you either, no matter how old you are.

    Oh ya. If you live in the Las Vegas area and have an opening for a young, smart, slashdot reader, send me an e-mail,
  • 2 words: corporate sole
    3 words: off shore trusts

    Why is the Queen of England a Corporate Sole ?
    Left as an exercise for the readers ;-)

    Work smarter, not harder !

  • Marxism suffers from more than just implementation errors. The economic scheme is flawed from the get go. It assumes that resources can be efficiently allocated centrally. This is a fatal flaw. It was written by a dilletante academic with no experience or understanding of markets, let alone human nature. People will suffer no matter how it is implemented or enforced.

    When people advocate confiscating property in ANY philosophers name, expect a reaction.
  • In case you didn't notice, socialism has now proven itself to be a failure in most areas of the world. I have been reading /. for a while now, and I have to say, this is possibly one of the most ignorant posts I have seen here. Did you ever stop to think that the reason there is any wealth in this country at all is because people are ALLOWED to pursue it? If you continue to take from the productive, you will successfuly kill the incentive to earn and everyone will be poor. Besides, what is your solution for all the inheritance that is confiscated from the wealthy when they die? Give it to the poor? Will that make them wealthy too? My guess is that it won't -- for the same reason that they aren't wealthy in the first place -- they refuse to work for and earn it. And if it isn't just wholesale given to the poor, who will keep it? I'll put my money on the government -- the very same 'ole boys club you are currently bitching about. Come on, let's get realistic here, if you don't like captialism, then move. If you want a lot of money then get out and earn some -- don't just devise ways to steal it from the rich. This country allows you to choose either one, that's the beauty of it.
  • Look up "corporate sole" in Black's Law Dictionary (under corporation) and learn WHY that would never work. Why is the Queen of England a corporate sole?!

    Also, off shore trusts are another way to transfer money without being taxed.

    Work smarter, not harder.

  • Is Bill Gates rich? Er, it doesn't seem likely

    You're kidding, right? The guy's got 80-some-odd-billion DOLLARS. He's the head of a company that's worth $500 billion, more than there is liquid cash in this country, and he's not rich? He has a shitload of money. So he's rich. Pretty simple.

  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @09:54AM (#1607446)
    Although that article was written with tongue very firmly in cheek, the author's affliction is rampantly clear: he's been brainwashed by the very system on which he's attempting to pass comment.

    Fortunately for us though, we know that money is only one of the things you need to be rich, and that without the other things then you're not rich, you're just monetarily encumbered.

    Let's take the case of the classic "rich" person we speak about here a lot, partly because he's about to come on UK telly in 12 minutes' time, interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on BBC2.

    Is Bill Gates rich? Er, it doesn't seem likely, otherwise he'd have enough of a clue to discard virtually everything in Windows right now and replace it with a *BSD or Linux infrastructure with just a Windows-compatible covering over the top. That would make Windows the undisputed king of O/S's, end of story. Having a clue is central to being rich.

    Maybe he's got the clue to realize that he should do that, but instead he hasn't got the *freedom* to do so. Well, in that case then he's not rich either, because freedom is the other essential component of being rich.

    One could go on and on. Nope, good ol' Bill isn't rich, he's just monetarily encumbered.

    And I'm off to watch Jeremy Paxman, who, alas, doesn't know anything about technology so the interview won't be up to much, I expect.
  • Before anyone starts getting resentful of the multibillionaires of the geek world, here's a few cliches to ponder:

    1) Eventually, you will run out of things to buy.
    Ok, after you've bought five Lamborghini Diablos, the house on the hill, the yachts and the private planes, you WILL get tired of buying stuff. Those weeks of satisfaction that you got when you used to scrimp and save for something slowly dwindle away, until buying stuff is merely a way to spend time.

    2) You can't take it with you. I think the Dave Matthews Band song puts it perfectly: "Look at me in my fancy car and my bank account / Oh, how I wish I could take it all down to my grave / God knows, I'd save and save"

    3) Can't buy me love. So, you think all of your (non-rich) friends are going to come and hang out and party on the yacht and fly around the world with you for the rest of their lives? The ones that are truly your friends won't. They'll be too busy trying to achieve their goals in life.

    4) You have to eat your own cooking. If you were happy as a poor person, you're going to be happy as a rich person. If you were miserable when you were poor, give yourself 6 months as a rich person and you'll be just as miserable as you were before.

  • The lack of a sense of humor here is astounding.
  • The real richness is not in the money of one person. It is in the Richness of the whole! The CEO is rich only because he has made(or maintains) his company rich(ness). So the real winner are those who can contribute to the whole--those who makes a bigger pie, instead of cutting off a bigger piece for him self.

    My 2 Cents.
  • I'd rather have a life, thanks.

    Wrote he, on Slashdot. ;) (...replied he, on Slashdot)


  • I can't believe good old Mike Cassidy gets paid for this drivel. On the plus side he does kinda look like the Norton Utilities Guy
    I, too, was disappointed. But I don't think he looks anything like Peter Utilities.
  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @12:16PM (#1607453)
    You mention a lot of good points, but the analysis is more emotional than scientifically dissective. I can't do the topic justice either, but others before us have done a fairly good job.

    Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs gives a particularly good framework for considerations of the value of money in the scheme of things. In a nutshell, the items of maximum value to you as an individual are determined by what you need to satisfy your immediate requirements. Good hifi speakers are not relevant when you don't have a roof over your head, and shelter is meaningless when you are dying from starvation. Money is often considered a general enabler but it's far from being that: it's worth nothing when you're stuck on a rock in the middle of a crocodile reservoir. Even in more mundane circumstances, it can be unhelpful, and even a liability.

    Financial riches are merely part of a larger picture. This doesn't come across in the media and on the stock market of course, but that doesn't really matter, because everyone knows it anyway. When we hear people say "Be happy with what you've got" it sounds like advice from a have to a have-not, but only if you accept that you are a have-not. If you're intelligent enough to understand the phrase, they you are clearly not a have-not. You may not have a lot of money (join the club), but that's not a reflection on much at all except on the amount of tax you'll be paying. The law of diminishing returns hits with a vengence in this area, and I'm not just talking about tax.

    In summary, who cares whether we're on some Rich List or other. The taxman, for sure. For everyone else, if you care then I'd seriously worry about your quality of life, because you'll be *very* unhappy for the rest of it.
  • Unfortunitly what Marx wanted cannot exist for at least a few eons. Marx that people would be willing to sacrafice for the common good, while capitalism worked off peoples' greed. Communism was way to radical and didn't fit how people thought back then (or now). ONly when people are ready for it (few eons from now) can communism work.
    I AM NOT AS I CRAZY AS I THINK I AM! or am i??? -GODriel
  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs gives a particularly good framework for considerations of the value of money in the scheme of things. In a nutshell, the items of maximum value to you as an individual are determined by what you need to satisfy your immediate requirements. Good hifi speakers are not relevant when you don't have a roof over your head, and shelter is meaningless when you are dying from starvation.

    If that were actually true, then there wouldn't be poor people buying stereos, TVs, etc. -- but there are.

    Maslow's efforts to classify and heirarchicize human behavior and development have always struck me as being more perscriptive than descriptive, more laden with value judgements than valuable judgement.

    Simply put, real human priorities aren't as simplistic as he would have them. As the Sufis have it, Nazradin reaches for the strawberry even as he dangles over the cliff.

  • Look, I'm not going to start shooting at people. I should have just stated that there are a whole lot of fascist politicians (eg Pat Buchanan, Henry Hyde (the guy who proposed a gov't censorship organization which would make the US look like the Soviet Union when it still existed)), heads of industry (the people who run the companies who exploit people in 3rd world countries and do corporate crime at home (eg HMOs trying to take away your coverage while increasing the costs of your coverage)), priests and ministers (all those creationists, fascists, and anti-abortion people) who I quite thoroughly hate. I stated that I would not mind if they were the targets of a revolution. I didn't say that I'd be shooting at them. I didn't even say that I'd try to start a revolution.
  • Considering the content of your post, I would have to say that the M-x spook .signature was slightly redundant.



    (a pacifist moderate socialist hacker)

    (oh, how boring, I know)

    Well, I am a pacifist to a good extent, but I might not be so pacifist if the US becomes a fascist or near-fascist nation (which it is currently heading towards).
  • Which lie would that be? The lie that money can buy happiness? Or the lie that the root of American unhappiness is its shallow consumerism?

    I'm getting a little weary of people complaining about "rampant consumerism". If you don't want stuff, don't buy it. Is there any more to this kind of thread than sour grapes?

    Yes, I agree money isn't everything; yes, I agree that anyone who thinks having enough money will make them happy is a fool; yes, I agree that it often seems the money (and concommitant power) of the world is not distributed justly. But do we have so to go on about it?

    After all, that rampant consumerism is putting paychecks in most of our pockets! How many of us work directly in pure research or in vital services such as agriculture? Most of the products manufactured, most of the services rendered on which geeks work these days are modern toys. If the American consumer were not so willing to fork over (for home computers on which to look at our blinkenlichten web sites, via our ISPs, etc.) were would we be?

    But back to the question of the "emptiness of our society" -- it makes more sense to me to see consumerism, if it must be freighted with negative value, as a symptom, not a cause. There are so many more logical places to point fingers: our culture's abdication of the custody of spiritual technologies to religion(s), which has since failed to lead; the dramatic rise in status value of corporate fealty (the life-time employee), and the resultant dominance of corporate obedience over familial fidelity (e.g. millions of families uprooted on their employers' say-so); two world wars, a depression, and the threat of nuclear annihilation; the continuing financial desperation of an ever growing class of Americans; etc.

    Somehow in the face of those things, the cry of "If only we didn't spend so much money on toys, then we'd be happy" seems (to me at least) silly.


  • I didn't mean anything by the teaching comment. It is merely an example of a career that is not part of "the path". It, in and of itself, is a noble career in my opinion.

    However, that being said, I've observed a certain apathy at public schools (and private schools to a lesser extent) amongst teachers. Have you ever for example noted in US News and World reports observed the 'intelligence' of education majors (which are required for most every public school teaching job), by almost all accounts its shockingly low on average. Even at the 'best' schools you compare them with virtually anyone else in that same school, and they're orders of magnititudes lower. I did a little math, and I was suprised to find out that the average score equivelents at the top schools were lower than even the N.C.A.A cutoff for college athletes (think football).

    That in combination with talking to various people involved in public education and personal experience, has lead me to some conclusions over the years. Put simply, there is a great deal of dead wood in the system. The system is in many ways setup to assure this, but thats too much to get into here and now. In order to prevent further confusion, I reiterate, there is NOTHING wrong with teaching in and of itself.

    I think the college ratings are overly discussed. It can be revealing, even useful, to get a sampling for the reputation of schools in the business community. Graduation rates. Average GPAs. That and other statistics can provide some useful information. But to read much beyond these statistics, strike me as an excercise in futility.

    I also think the value of particular colleges are overemphasized. Sure, the 'top' schools tend to get brighter students (atleast if you think high school GPAs and standardized tests are accurate measures). But they by no means have the lock on it. Sure, it helps when applying for a job from a "name" school (though a few years later in many professions it matters little). Sure, in certain areas the better/wealthier schools can offer facilities which many others can't. But I believe school is for the most part, what you make of it. Some schools though, do a better job of insuring that the lower half atleast acquire certain skills before they graduate (eg: reading, writing, etc)

    On the flip side, you see a certain self-satisfaction of a certain number of the 'top' grads. Which cause or allow them to pursue the easier path (much like prep school grads). There are also a lot of people who don't really do well in high school, for whatever reason, and only start to produce in college or later -- but come out with a fire in their belly.

    In either case, when I look at the people at the top of their careers (be it business, engineering, computer science, or what have you), I see little differentation between the better schools (~800 different colleges) With the exception of perhaps academics, where name is everything.
  • hehe, right on. It never ceases to amaze me how many people, particularly slashdotters just don't get it.

    Though I think your imagery could use some work...

    It's like planning a manned space flight; designing a ship with no space for fuel or means of propulsion, giving up control to a committee of people 30 miles underground on earth, and plotting your course straight through the center of the sun. Then pinning failure to reach Pluto on the astronauts, because of their poor behavior on board the ship.
    ...or something like that =)

  • I'd inclined to pursue 'rich'. But not everyone feels this way. Rich many times implies more work and risk. Its not just, do you want to be rich or do you want to be poor all things being equal. All things are not equal. Its not just a matter of being smart, fortunate, lucky, etc. For the entreprenuer atleast, its more a matter of focus, drive, hardwork, risk, intelligence and willingness to cross nay-sayers.

    At a certain point though, for most people, its no longer about the money. For most, after a couple million in cash (as opposed to non-liquid forms), you have the freedom to do what you. You can buy the cars you want, the sailboat, the house, etc. You come to realize that the next toy won't bring you lasting happiness, and in many ways means more hassle. Thus you set other goals for yourself. eg: Contributing something of real value to the world. And for a more distributed percentage its to reach some arbitrary goal, eg: More Money than Ellison, be the best in your career, improve shareholder value, make sure your trusted long time employees can retire, etc. In other words, something to keep striving for.

    I know many people like this, my parents for one. The stressed incurred as an owner/president/CEO of a startup corporation is like none other. Its a love/hate relationship. Both highly rewarding in some ways, but grueling in others. Free Time? Whats that? Is this worth it? For some, for me, for my parents, yes. I'd rather risk falling on my face for the opportunity to see greater things, than choose the safer but less rewarding career. I'd rather work longer and harder and not enjoy my money as much, and see my company continue to grow. There are alot of personal value judgements involved. For me atleast, this has less little to do with money. (Though the money is part of it -- relative to my other options the difference as to what I can really spend is not that great...though a Chalet in the Rockies, and a sailboat would be great). If it were merely a matter of _wanting_ more money, provided the option, the economy would look much more different.
  • Please be aware: I'm not contradicting you to make you angry. I genuinely want to know where money comes from too. Unfortunately I don't think the folks at have it right.

    Money gets created whenever interest is charged. When you are charged interest you are expected to somehow "find" this extra money. To do this you have to fight with everybody else to get theirs after all you are not allowed to create it by just printing up some. In short money flows from those who are charged interest to those charging interest.

    Hold on, Tex. If money were created whenever interest was charged, then interest payers wouldn't have to scratch for it. The entire point of interest isn't to create money. It re-allocates it.

    An example: I loan you ten bucks. You pay me back eleven next month. I didn't create that dollar. You didn't either. You scavanged it up from somewhere.

    In other words, money wasn't created, just 1/10th was sucked into the banker's (my) pocket.

    Thing like productivity require either people (who need to eat, drink and breathe) or machinery (which needs energy and materials). Even though the economy is not a zero sum game the natural resouces game is.

    I have to disagree. Natural resources, sunlight included, aren't zero sum. Sunlight is just the simplest non-zero sum addition. Sunlight can be gathered and converted to electricity, it is thus a pure unit of Arthur Clark's kilowatt currency. And it just falls out of the sky. Other resources are practically unlimited when you stop considering the earth as the only supply.

    Titan looks to have an atmosphere composed almost entirely of methane. CH4 is a hydrocarbon. So is oil. Conversions can happen with addition of energy (remember sunlight?)

    Earth seems to have a nickel-iron core. If it does, then there's probably lots more around the sol system. Probably in easier to get at areas too.

    Our real problems are energy - collecting useful energy, and getting rid of the heat without cooking/killing the planet. Definetly not a zero-sum game, not an any practical sense, anyway.

    After thinking about this post, I think money might be created by the government paying interest. I'd have to check the figures, but it seems like printing new money to finance the interest on the public debt is it.

    Course, I can always be wrong.
  • by FallLine ( 12211 )

    The fact of the matter is that BOTH parties CHOOSE to participate KNOWING full well the outcome. I fail to see how anyone can argue that all such transactions mean that one person must loose, and the other must win. It simply doesn't work this way. If one person 'won', and the other 'lost', the transaction simply wouldn't take place. Sure, one party will normally end up holding the other's money. But in exchange, you recieve something which you find to be of greater or equal value to the cash you had. This is not a loss.

    Lets say if I were a farmer, and I produce 500 bushels of wheat. I'd far rather have 50 bucks in my hand, than keep 2 bushels of wheat. You, the baker, need my product to bake bread. So you purchase 2 bushels of wheat at 50 bucks. I'm happy. You're happy. These two bushels then enable you to create 1000 loafs of bread. You then sell each loaf for 50 cents a piece. It only costs you 5 cents per loaf for my product. And, lets say, 10 cents for the other ingredients. This gives you a value added of 35 cents per loaf. Because you did business with me, you can now earn more money. You still think this is a loss?

    You didn't loose because you found it MS software more valuable than the alternative of keeping your money. Your customers didn't loose, because they choose to purchase your software. They may either purchase it for entertainment, producivity, business, you name it. The notion that one "looses" because they fail to pass along expenses is silly.

    When you go to the grocery store, are you loosing 50 times over? Following your logic, the only way to not loose would mean that you go out and grow it on your own. The people who brings these products to you enjoy various efficiencies, which bring you cheaper products. Which is the more efficient use of time and money? The farmer, the baker, the packagers, the distributor, are all specialized and experience economies of scale which you could never. Furthermore the learning curves are too many and too steep to allow you to reproduce what they do as efficiently as they do it. ...Yet you "lose" because you purchased these goods. You either have to assume that the end consumer is an absolute moron. Or that your theory is wrong.

  • I agree in part that college is what you get out of it, but what you get out of college entirely depends on the environment that you are in. Given that, the environment is drastically different between Caltech and say, Michigan State, Cornell, or Smith. It is true that you can get an outstanding education at any college, my physics TA went to SUNY Stoney Brook. But a large part of what you get out of college is not just the academics, but the experiences. And quite frankly, the experience of being at Caltech or Harvard or MIT is so far removed from that of being at Berkeley or Cornell of Penn that there really is no comparison. Yes the top of the college list is incredibly crowded. But then again it's really quite difficult to convey what it is actually like at one of these places without you having been there. To understand you would have to experience it. So I guess that makes me wrong for railing on your first post, since I have no experience there :) but you should also take what we say with a grain of salt. I am impressed that you have been responding to all the comments posted to you, mostly in an intelligent manner. If you keep acting like this maybe you will improve our opinions of "spoiled rich kids."
  • Obviously, this writer doesn't appreciate the ambition and sacrifice of people who did get rich -- sounds bitter. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, worked in his garage, and lived a rather tenuous existence to make Microsoft what it is: A company that produces unreliable software, great hardware and makes him and his investors filthy rich.

    I jest a little bit, but hard work is the one constant across all "success" -- this joker refuses to acknowledge that. As for the people born rich, their generous endowments (?) should neither be an indictment nor a quality of value -- give'em a chance to prove themselves in their own endeavors.

    *** Proven iconoclast, aspiring bohemian. ***
  • First as an AC, and now as your user account. I know the article might bother you, but one message is enough.
  • Classes in Marxism? Nope. I just use the primary sources, like reading the works of Marx, Engels and comrades instead, including their blasted Manifesto of 1848.

    Marx's theories are essentially irrelevant. Assuming that equitable distribution is possible, that centrally planned economies work, that people would work en masse without merit-based compensation, that capitalist industrialism would implode, and so forth -- just about EVERY assumption that he makes is incorrect. Since these are required for the efficacy of his recommendations, the latter can be ignored as impractical.

    It's like planning intergalactic manned spaceflight, but requiring that one be able to warp space/time by creating huge gravitonic forces completely beyond our understanding and probable capabilities.
  • by Slamtilt ( 17405 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @10:24AM (#1607473)
    Oh good grief. Here's a coupla points:

    I, for one, have wealthy extreprenuereal parents. Yes, my education is mostly paid for. College? no problem? A small loan for grad school? maybe. A Little seed capital? maybe.

    Oh, the little home comforts.

    However, its not always win-win. There are certain tradeoffs that are made many times.

    You mean there can be drawbacks??? Tell us more!!!

    Parents of wealthy kids are expected to do certain things, and behave certain ways that others simply aren't. eg: Sports after school every season (mandatory)

    OUCH! My god, that's brutal! Oh, except there are poor people who have to do that too, if their parents demand it...

    3 hours minimum of homework since 6th grade,

    AAH, the nerve! Having to study to get good grades! I'll mention that to the next kid I see who doesn't have rich parents and wants to go to college. I'm sure he'll agree with you, and consider himself lucky he doesn't have those rich-folk expectations...

    My parents and most of my friends' parents certainly required us to get jobs during the summer and during vacations. It has nothing to do with money. They simply have principles.

    Except for people without money, it has everything to do with money... And it's not only rich people have principles, y'know.

    In order to be a productive member of society, you must know the meaning of work. When I wanted something growing up, say a new stereo, I had to earn the money myself.

    Whereas non-rich people just magic them up from pixie dust.

    Grow up!!!
    There are few things worse than listening to people who don't realise how lucky they are when they start whining...
  • by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <> on Sunday October 17, 1999 @12:40PM (#1607478) Homepage
    Here in Southern California, there's a lot of pressure to be rich. You see, even a really lousy lower middle class home in a crummy neighborhood nudges $ 200,000. If you want a house that feels "upper middle class", you're going to pay almost half a million dollars.

    And let's not even talk about a half-decent car: A Mercedes E320 ($46,000).

    Because of all this, the desire to be rich infects your brain. You most surely can't get your dream girl - or even something close - without being rich. But I wouldn't laugh too hard at this culture of greed - more than anything, it comes from what are traditionally considered middle-class necessities turning into upper-class luxuries.

    I have a friend who wants me to move down to his neck of the woods. I think he feels I'd make a pretty good match for the company he works for, although I'm not so sure. (They are, sadly, still using Windows NT down there, ugh!) But his location is the Space Coast of Florida, which has waterfront homes selling for $ 119,000 and up. Waterfront. With a boat dock. The type of lifestyle that costs a minimum of $ 2,395,000 (!) in Orange County.

    This has made me think a lot about this subject. I think many of us are driven to make money not because of innate greed, but because we tend to live in horrendously expensive places. From what I understand, Silicon Valley makes Los Angeles look cheap.

    And yet ... and yet ... I visit 24500 Piuma in Malibu (15 acres of your own hilltop land at a bargain $495,000, "Plans and permits for 4,000 square foot home included"), gaze at the spectacular view, and it is at that moment that I really love Southern California.

    But I sure as heck don't have $ 1 million to buy that land and erect a suitable dream house.

    Maybe I'd be better off moving to South Florida, enjoying the gloriously comfortable warm water from the vantage point of my own personal boat dock, right off of my comfortable middle class home.

    Anyone know what the market for consultants/software developers is like down there?


    For more on this subject, see my David's Dream House web page:

  • If you are convinced that you are poor because you don't have millions or billions in the bank then you have a narrow view of values and a very hard life ahead of you.

    You are rich beyond your (current) wildest dreams. Possibly more so than Bill Gates. But you won't know that until you look beyond superficial things like the Rich List.
  • Feel sorry for them? I mean, what does it matter? If they are happy and not harming anyone, then fine. But money doesn't make you happy, not permanently anyway. So they have to resort to showing off and so on, in vain attempts to make themselves feel better, coz, guess what, they've already got what many strive all their lives for, in pursuit of happyness. But are they happy? Has the dream delivered the promise? Or is it just ultimately empty, and then they die, like everyone else.
  • Gee thanks, I guess. The onus isn't on me to change views, particularly superficial ones. Especially on a forum such as slashdot, where virtually everyone is rich by historical and current international standards (even domestically).

    The "rich" by no means have a lock on spoiled children. Wealth is an enabler; it is not an ends onto itself. Wealth may make it easier and even provide the opportunity for "spoilage" to occur. But its not just the rich who are spoiled, and not all the rich are spoiled. This is particularly true when you compare the American middle class with the upper middle class/upper class. None of which know the meaning of a day to day existence, insofar as the basic staples go.

    What is it about money that causes "spoilage"? Is spoilage the mere act of living a safer, more secure, and more comfortable life? If this is the case, then virtually everyone on slashdot guilty from any perspective other than that of today in the US (and those few other developed nations). Otherwise, you believe there are other qualifications. Such as how one behaves and acts in this world, and their outlook on life.

    Does merely having money in the bank cause spoilage? It doesn't do you much good if you can't spend it, or if you only spend it on essentials. I believe wealth is but one factor in spoiled kids. There are many others, though some are somewhat dependent on wealth. Consider these other elements (both quantitatively and qualitatively):

    # of Siblings - Parents attention, wealth, etc is divided. Parents tend to adopt unrealistic expectations of their first born...

    Looks - Do you know what its like to be ugly? fat? skinny? tall? ...Humility.

    Intelligence - Are you blessed with intelligence? Cursed?

    Athletic Prowess - Are you an athlete? Oafish?

    Upbringing - Do your parents shield you from the world? Expect you to work around the house? Take jobs below what you're capable of getting due to privileges? Did your parents tell you that you're a little genius? Did your parents shuttle you around? Remind you of how fortunate you are? Teach you how to forgive and forget? Your parents allow you to watch TV? Join the consumer culture? Buy you crap? Did your parents know when to say no? Apologetic for not giving your more?

    Health - You ever have medical problems? Family? Lost a parent? Had to help siblings? Made commitments to family?

    Social - You a nerd? Super-cool? Jock? Affluent friends? What are your social expectations? Do you understand people, like to hear yourself talk, or both? Introvert, Extrovert?

    Failure - You ever made a mistake in your life? Learn anything from it? Your parents go through hard times? Did they tell you anything about it? Did you experience it yourself?

    Fortunate - Were you brought up in a good neighborhood? Safe? Comfortable? Polite? Decent school? Or are you the only college bound one in your school?

    Moves - You ever left your home town, the security of friends and family? Moved across the country? Done it several times? Lived anywhere where you don't know anyone? Changed schools, economic, and social groups?

    This is by no means a complete list, but they are some of the larger factors in ones personl growth that strike me. They are far more significant than merely having money in the bank. Wealth merely provides an increased potential (in one dimension) for some acts. Most of these are beyond the control of the individual, much like parents' wealth. When you start to change a few of these variables, the tables can turn quickly.

    The bottom line is, looking strictly at the wealth of ones parents is a very poor indicator of personality. You would have better luck by just glancing at the individual for the first time and drawing conclusions from that (eg: How they carry themselves). Atleast that is a reflection of the individual. Though, hopefully, you've come to the conclusion over the years that that you've been woefully wrong there as well.

    I could draw an equally offensive correlation, by saying the poor are stupid. But hey, if you keep on behaving the way you're behaving, I might change my mind about you....

    On another note, regarding colleges, I agree partially with you. Though I think you overstate the particular differences between the specific schools that you mentioned. In my experience and the experience of others at these schools (Princeton, UPenn, MIT, Stanford, Cornell, etc) are not all that different. Even the EEs I know disagree. Its probably somewhat accurate when you're comparing the lower ranked schools with the higher ranked schools. The only way to really compare them is to study at for all 4 years. And even then, the impressions are going to be vastly different depending on the indidividual, the crowd they fall in with, their major, and others. It can't be overstated enough.
  • To be clear: I was definitely not born into money. I don't have money now, and I probably never will (not the kind that we're talking about anyway). Having said that:

    How can you make such a blanket statement about people who inherit money? Yeah, I'm sure they all really think they're better than you because they have more of it. Come on, that's just plain ignorant bias. Certainly their are people out there who feel this way, but I'd like to point out that there are probably just as many people out there who think they're better than you that don't have more money. They're just conceited. It happens - deal with it.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • My point is not that you're an idiot. I don't know you well enough, and I try to reserve my judgements of others.

    You started off your previous comment by apologizing, but there was still a hint of "Gee maybe if you keep it up I'll change my mind about you (rich kid)". Maybe I misinterpreted what you said.... I don't believe that you're a "poor" kid, nor do I assume the "poor" are "stupid". If you found that particular comment offensive, i'm sorry. What I was trying to show you was that it is a two way street. That there should be a certain amount of symetry in your beliefs. If you believe it is ok to associate wealth with spoiled children, be aware that using similar methods one can associate poorness with stupidity.

    I take issue with these kind of superficial judgements (particularly when it is assumed that EVERYONE is this way), even if there might be a kernel of truth to them. Rather then flaming you with sheer emotional rants, I attempted to provide you with a cohesive rational argument -- I wasn't trying to "outsmart" you. Sometimes people just don't use their intellect to challenge their preconceptions. I've certainly been guilty of it before, and i'll probably be guilty of it again.

    Regarding colleges (again), its merely a difference in opinion. Though my age and experiences may play a role here. I was more inclined when I was younger to buy into the whole "Rah Rah" school thing. I believe that some schools are better, but they don't have the lock on highly capable and intelligent students. More subjectively (in my experience), I just don't see a great deal of differences between the schools you mentioned (except maybe Cornell, yuck, heh).

    No hard feelings.
  • Go see "American Beauty", the above post is what it's all about, a fine film.
  • All fine and dandy except that what you are speaking about is spiritual goals. Those same spiritual goals advocated by Jesus, Budha, and Mohammed as well as as thousands of enlightened persons all over the world. Unfortunately spiritually advanced people don't own media ro corporations and they certainly aren't in the government. You see shallow baseless desire is the grease that makes our economic engine turn. Without the seven deadly sins (greed, gluttony, covetousness etc) the economy would collapse and Bill G. and Rupert M. et al could no longer be rich. Face it. The economic system of the entire world is in opposition to the spiritual values.

    Take a microsecond and think about what kind of world it would be if everybody ran around living like Jesus did. It sure would look different wouldn't it.
  • But forcing the wealthy into the same schools strikes me as an obviously bad answer (intuitively, emperically, etc).

    ..Because the rich are naturally better.

    You might even have an evolutionary arguement for this one, but that would be your only chance.

    Sorry, but your posts reflect such a obvious, sad bias. I've heard a number of people defend their wealth. The problem is they always start from a different place in the argument (much like life). They start with the assumption that everyone is like them (it's a common mistake, Freud) and go from there. The differences, especially in America, in growing up "with money" and not are extreme, too extreme to understand without extensive study, and experience. By "with money" I mean having enough money, continuously, for food, clothing, and shelter. And NOTHING else. There are many people who live below that line. Unless your life is much different than the thousands of people I know from your socio-economic class, these have never been a concern for you. Until they have you have no business talking about this subject.

  • That was quite an interesting interview with Bill Gates. Predictably though, Jeremy Paxman concentrated on financial riches alone.

    He didn't ask whether BG was rich enough to realize that his O/S was so buggy and underpowered as to be a liability to many people, and how he felt about that. He didn't ask whether BG was rich enough to throw away the Windows infrastructure if he felt that the lame horse needed shooting. Nor did he ask whether BG was rich enough to alter the perception of the the Dept of Justice. BG's own comments made the real situation quite clear, although you had to read between the lines: the advantages that his money gives him are limited (would *you* want the "privilege" of meeting politicians?), and he'd have most of them with him still even if he left Microsoft and gave all his money away. It was actually quite sad.

    No, instead of asking deeper questions, Paxman just focussed on BG's money much of the time, which made the interview very superficial, predictable and boring, since there's nothing interestingly new in the property of having a lot of money.

    There's a balance to be had, and money can be applied on one side of the scales alone.
  • by TimTaylor ( 95880 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @11:28AM (#1607512)
    Come on. Think it through a little and then repost. You can do better than this.

    The world is a better place than it has ever been, and the trend is very good. The only problem is that the lights are coming on, and we're seeing ourselves for the flabby, whining pessimists most of us are.

    The Unabomber and the Columbine "script kiddies" show us examples of negative analysis without positive analysis and positive synthesis. If you are going to address the problems of the world, you should be prepared for a big job and a scholarly, serious effort. It's pure ego to just point out a few problems and feebly propose hackneyed solutions. Check out Camus and Jung, and heed what they have to say about the results of this type of "thinking."

    Intelligent people like the AC above and Katz and Gleick have all of this negative stuff to say, and it resonates. People earnestly feel these things. But it's lazy and useless. It's passive and pathetic. I simply can't stomach it.

    Our parents had it worse than us, and they did magnificent things. We could too, but we won't if we are paralyzed with fear. Let's snap out of this. Let's stop feeding on this opiate of despair. Stop visualizing Armageddon. Visualize a sustainable, pleasant Earth, and it will happen.

    Use your mind to make things better. It will work. Forget the greed-heads. Would anyone you know change places with Bill Gates? Michael Jackson? People are relatively smart.

    Safety Net? How about a Safety Elevator? The safety net was turning into a spider's web.

    Stock market crash a good thing? Please. We haven't transcended a utilitarian economy yet. Everyone would suffer.

    Society is not empty, it's just misguided. But the net is making us smarter all the time. If we can get some of this negative noise out of the system (and out of our attitudes), we can make the world a much better place.

  • Mr Cleese said this on Dennis Miller Live a while ago when it was taped in Denver. I'm paraphrasing it heavily.

    He talked about how he attended an event where they had a few of the richest people in the world in one room. Cleese thought that all the people would be able to sit back, have a glass of wine, and be happy that they've succeeded. But no. They all hate each other. It's insane.

  • Well said. :)

    I agree, I think being rich would likely be not much fun at all. Those I know who have become rich did so by holding down two jobs, being politically and socially correct, and saving every penny for twenty years. That's an investment I can do without.

    Then, once you've got the money, everyone is your friend. Not. The demands to invest it in hare-brained schemes, or to help out shiftless relatives and friends have got to be irritating after that kind of take-no-prisoners effort.

    Acquisition of wealth also seems to make some people hard and cynical, and intolerant of those without blinding ambition. When wealth becomes its own goal it's an addiction like any other.

    Acquiring wealth by birth, or in a sudden flash like the lottery, or a brilliant idea might be fun. Pulling a Horatio is just too much work. Having money for a few modest toys is enough for me, I'd rather have a life, thanks.
  • by ffatTony ( 63354 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @06:32AM (#1607523)

    I'd like to moderate the Article down, please. If similiar blathering was a post from an AC it would immediately be marked at flamebait/worthless/etc. I'm going a step further than the usual moderation and giving that Page, a rating of "-1 Lame/Un-interisting/Waste of Electrons".

    Slashdot is usually very good about posting interesting/thought provoking and often wacky stories. This article was none of those. For any of you who did not read the article, here is a synopsis:

    • Q: When will it be my turn to be rich?
    • A: Never.
    • Q: Never? Why is that?
    • A: That's the way it goes.

    I can't believe good old Mike Cassidy gets paid for this drivel. On the plus side he does kinda look like the Norton Utilities Guy :)

  • Hmm, what does it mean when someone quotes "The Jerk"?

    Hmm, what does it mean when someone looks for the meaning in someone quoting "The Jerk"?

    It must mean...THE NEW PHONE BOOKS ARE HERE!!!

    "Cyberspace scared me so bad I downloaded in my pants." --- Buddy Jellison

  • Your using a computer to browse and peruse the Internet, i.e. the "richest" source of information yet devised. You read Slashdot, one of those "rich" sources of info. Perhaps you are not the wealthiest person arround, but you are "rich"!!! The easiest way to be wealthy is to leverage off of others. Pure talent is harder to acheive and harder to sell(mostly because of all the people leveraging off of you!). It's a lot easier if you are a: Pushy, arrogant, uncaring, unfeeling, semi-ignorant, work-aholic on a power trip. In otherwords, well balanced people tend not to become overly wealthy. Some do, but if your not super wealthy it's probably because your a more balanced person - Good for you!!!!
  • I wonder how `scientific' Maslow's hierarchy really is. Is the idea that our ultimate and most sublime motivation `self-actualisation' really subject to scientific criticism?

    (For those not familiar with Abraham Maslow's hierarchy, a few points to add to Morgaine's discussion: he breaks up our needs into five categories, the lowest being self-preservation, then safety, then social needs, then self esteem, and finally `self-actualisation'. He based a theory of education upon it, based upon the idea that we try to get people to listen to their inner feelings. It has been highly influential in modern Management science.)

  • Just because ones' parents are rich doesn't mean they don't have to work for a living. Children of wealthy parents are normally provided with a decent education and they tend to be a little bit more mobile. But being rich doesn't mean that you get carte blanche. Secondly, taxes are a bitch. Even if you want to transfer all your money to your kids after your death, its suprising how little you actually can. eg: Capital Gains, Estate Taxes, legal fees, etc. Unless you're a billionaire, your kids aren't going to be living in the same kind of lifestyle for the rest of their lives (assuming the parents live an extravagant lifestyle).

    I, for one, have wealthy extreprenuereal parents. Yes, my education is mostly paid for. College? no problem? A small loan for grad school? maybe. A Little seed capital? maybe.

    I can't claim that i'd rather be born poor. However, its not always win-win. There are certain tradeoffs that are made many times. Parents of wealthy kids are expected to do certain things, and behave certain ways that others simply aren't. eg: Sports after school every season (mandatory), 3 hours minimum of homework since 6th grade, moves, no TV, get into a top college, etc etc etc. My parents and most of my friends' parents certainly required us to get jobs during the summer and during vacations. It has nothing to do with money. They simply have principles. In order to be a productive member of society, you must know the meaning of work. When I wanted something growing up, say a new stereo, I had to earn the money myself.

    There are a certain percentage of elitists who sort of cruise through life with a sense of entitlement. eg: Go to the right prep school, get into the right college, land a cushy job at some leading firm, country club... But they are for the most part a minority. And I feel that they're becoming a dying breed. The world is simply becoming more and more competitive; just going through the motions and resting on your laurels isn't enough.

    While I have a great deal more respect for individuals that manage to climb their way to the top without any advantages, it is extremely difficult (statistically). Would you really propose that rich people aren't allowed to support their children, and educate them decently? That they must go to the same public schools, no matter how poor? Might it have ever occured to you that one of the incentives to get 'rich', is to be able to provide your kids with a decent chance in life (eg: education).

    I do find the notion of redistributing wealth by means of law out of 'principle' a bit disturbing. That is leaning towards socialism...
  • ...but then he would be in bad taste, because he makes fun of (a specific category) of poor people.

    Read it like a "grumpy-old-man"-style parody, this time with a "grumpy-poor-man" instead. Yes, obviously everything he wrote is wrong, the keyword being "obviously". But if someone actually believed what was written, that would be sufficient to explain why that person would stay poor. Which makes it a pretty good self-referential piece of satire.
  • by NickGully ( 96491 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @07:23AM (#1607546) Homepage
    nuff said.
    Neither happy or rich, but would settle for either.
    or an ion cannon, you decide.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.