The Rich get Richer and the Poor get Poorer
By Keith Bunn Jr.
May 26, 2013
Are the Rich getting Richer?
Have you heard the old saying, "The Rich get Richer and the Poor get Poorer"? Who hasn't, right? Do you think that saying is true? Do you think that those wealthy families got their money just by hoarding it and passing it down to their children and so on? That maybe true for some but not all of them. Some of the wealthiest families in this country are first generation rich and they have had to work very hard to get the wealth they have today. So why does it seem that the wealthy family kids have a ton of money themselves later on in life? Well, I'm sure some of them do get some money as an inheritance, but for the most part they have money because they were taught how to handle by their parents, and it is those lessons that have made them rich also, not the money being handed over from one generation to the next.
The Giving Pledge
Some of these wealthy families have even decided to teach their kids and grand kids that they have to make their own way in the world like their parents did. That the family wealth was the parent's money, not theirs'. In fact, years ago in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, writer/director George Lucas stated when asked about his 3 children and the billions he's worth, he said he told them, "I'm rich, you're not" that they had to make their own way through life like he did.
And he's not the only one who thinks like that. The two wealthiest men in this country, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, have started what is called The Giving Pledge. They have been reaching out to what started to be the wealthiest families in this country, but has now gone global and asked them to donate a majority of their net worth while still alive or upon their death, to a charity they get to pick.
Now you would think that if the wealth were like what everyone thinks of them, (cold and uncaring you would think those rich people would go tell Warren Buffet and Bill Gates what they could do with that pledge, but believe it or not, they have gotten positive results. In fact, at last count 114 wealth families have signed the pledge committing to give away anywhere from half to all of their net worth. Some of those who have signed are New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, entertainment executive Barry Diller, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens, media mogul Ted Turner, David Rockefeller, film director George Lucas and investor Ronald Perelman, just to name a few.
When asked why he signed it, Mayor Bloomberg said, "It didn't make sense to leave everything to his children and have them go through life as members of "the lucky sperm club." he continued by saying, "You don’t want to leave them so much money that it ruins their lives," Bloomberg said. "You want kids who can look back and say, 'Yeah my family helped me but I did something on my own.'" Even the two founder who have a combined net worth of $90 billion have signed the pledge. Warren Buffet himself has promised 99% of his net worth to be given away.
It may seem that wealthy people are nothing but cold and uncaring and do nothing but hoard their money and just pass it on to the next generation, but the truth is that those families have worked very hard to get that wealth and it is those lessons of working hard, live on less than you make, save/invest and giving to others they are passing on to their children and grandchildren, not just money itself.
The problem is, some of the not so privileged have never learned some or all of those lessons, so they couldn't pass them on to their children and grandchildren, so all they see the wealthy as is "Lucky" and in my opinion, is why the rich seem to get richer and the poor seem to get poorer. But the truth is, as with most things, those lessons can be learned like everything else and at any age too.
1) Do you think the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer?
2) What are your thoughts about the Giving Pledge? Good idea or not?
3) Do you think its a good idea to teach our kids how to work hard, live on less than you make, save/invest and giving to others? Why or why not?
The reason I do this is to give people hope and to try to inspire others. To make them think about their finances, whether they are young or old, so they can win financially.
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