True Wealth

The following quote is from a recent post on HumbleDollar. The article, as the title implies, is not really about money. Nevertheless, this paragraph caught my attention in the context of the issue of inequality so popular in some political circles.

Education and experience. If we suddenly took all the money in the world and gave everyone an equal share, there would be inequality again by the next day—because of our differing abilities to adapt and respond to the situations we find ourselves in. That, in turn, partly reflects the wealth we’ve accumulated in the form of education and experience.

Source: True Wealth – HumbleDollar

Yes, experience and education are important, but also what we do with both. And so are drive, ambition, effort and attitude, self-discipline and making good life choices or at least not making bad ones.

Inequality is not the result of a flawed economic system. It is the result of differences in people.

Our goal should not be to redistribute wealth, but to do our best to remove every artificial obstacle people face for their own earned success, to ensure as much opportunity as possible.

4 comments

  1. While personal traits and decisions affect one’s educational and financial success, there is so much more causation to inequality than traits and choices. Inequality is the result of many causes including government policies. According to a Brookings Institute report
    “In the 20th century, Black wealth denial was associated to a large degree with racist policies vis-à-vis home ownership, which led to reduced rates of Black homeownership and lower rates of appreciation for those homes purchased. The situation was exacerbated in the late 1940s when the GI Bill was introduced in a manner that overwhelmingly benefited White veterans. Ira Katznelson reported in his book, When Affirmative Action Was White, in Mississippi, only two returning Black veterans received home buying benefits from the GI Bill.” The GI Bill created the middle class after WWII through its education benefits and low interest mortgages yet its benefits were effectively denied to Black service members because they were denied admission to colleges throughout the US, and especially the southern states as far north as Maryland.
    Employers (private and public) and labor unions excluded non-white people from employment opportunities until the latter part of the 20th century. Funding public schools through property taxes results in disparate quality of education to children not living in affluent suburbs. That in turn hampers college admissions. The US tax code favors those with high incomes in numerous ways including taxing passive income at lower rates than earned income and enabling businesses (especially in real estate) carry forward losses forever. The Social Security income ceiling favors high earners, who pay a smaller percentage of their income in social security taxes on than most taxpayers.
    So while the cited hypothetical of everyone starting with $1,000 might be accurate in the abstract, the fact is when it comes to existing disparities in wealth, the starting line has never been uniform for all people and to date there has been little catching up.

    Like

  2. I echo and endorse the very well written article on inequality discussed daily in American Society. I will do my part in spreading this very true human fact that inequality is the result of differences in people, and I hope that every Leader and Politician can understand this basic concept and use this knowledge to help people find and achieve their full potential.
    Every Human Being on Planet Earth has the same EQUAL number of hours in a calendar day, 24 hours. It is how well those 24 hours are utilized that yields success or failure in life.

    Like

  3. That paragraph should be memorized by every politician right after they memorize the US Constitution.

    You can give people $1000 to do with what they please and the next month someone might have spent it all while another invested all the money and is now $100 richer. One person having $0 and another $1100 is not “equatable” or “fair” if you only look at the money part. Did one person get a life experience by hiking in a national park, or donate to charity? Or did a person do drugs, get drunk and get a tattoo?

    But what is fair and equitable is that they both got the opportunity to spend $1000.
    Americans, for the most part, have equal opportunity such as free high school education, access to college loans, and military for vocational training in exchange for service and if need be having the military paying for college. But that does not mean that there will be equal outcomes.

    Life choices and family support have a big role in the out comes. I am not saying that life will not throw you curveballs, but you can play the victim or brush off the dirt and get ready to bat again with what you already have.

    Why should we demand equality with money? Nobody thinks that everybody should be a CEO or a company president. Not even the communist believe that. Some of the communist are the privileged party leaders. The don’t eat stew but steak because they are special and worked hard for the party as decided by the party. But in a free and capitalistic society, when we work hard and make good life choices, society as a whole will decide if we shall be rewarded not the party. A free society determines what is fair and how you should be rewarded not a government telling you how much you are allowed to have.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s