Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Wealth’ Category

Hedge billionaire Robert Mercer has $2 million model railroad

with 88 comments

Not the hobby you’d expect from a billionaire! However, at 71 years old, he’s in the right age bracket to be a model railroad aficionado. Most model railroaders are old men.

He must have quite a layout in his mansion in Long Island.

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How would someone go about quitting their dayjob to become a highly paid model railroad consultant, setting up million-dollar layouts for rich people?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 3, 2017 at 10:04 am

Posted in Wealth

The working rich

Commenter “Alex” writes:

I always thought rich was limited to people who don’t have to work for a living.

As I’ve written before, that’s an old-fashioned definition of rich. Today, it’s considered low class to not have some kind of job. And the thing about the top out-of-sight rich is that because of their high social capital, in addition to their inherited financial capital, they tend to get paid a lot more money than you think relative to their actual value-creating contributions to the economy. So a top out-of-sight lifestyle can be maintained with less inherited wealth because it’s supplemented with a six-figure salary.

Furthermore, as I’ve also written before, non-transferable capital (what might be called human capital) has become a more important component of being rich. Mere ownership of assets have become a declining source of income. The dividend yield on stocks, the interest rates paid on corporate debt, have never been lower. If you’re just sitting on your assets, then your wealth is declining. I believe that the money which used to go to stockholders is now being transferred to C-level executives, investment bankers and other finance types, and to a lesser extent overpaid corporate helpers like BIGLAW partners and management consultants.

This could change in the future when robots replace all human workers, and at that point, owning the means of robot production (let’s call it robot capital) might be more important than any sort of human capital.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 11, 2017 at 9:30 am

Posted in Wealth

Out-of-sight rich in the New York Times

There’s an opinion article in the New York Times. The out-of-sight rich are distinguished by their desire to hide their wealth from their world rather than show it off like the much lower-class (but wealthier) Donald Trump.

The article explains that they are “socially liberal,” which reading between the lines means that they voted for Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump. It’s just as I have always been telling you.

The only thing new I learned from the article that there’s one rich woman in her late thirties who feels so guilty about being richer than her “Latina” nanny that she takes the price tags off the loaves of bread so that her nanny doesn’t know that rich-people bread costs $6, instead of the $2.50 that the nanny probably pays for poor-people bread in the outer boroughs. As if the nanny doesn’t already know that.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 10, 2017 at 9:16 pm

Posted in Wealth

Rich foreign oligarchs are buying a lot of luxury U.S. properties

The recent NY Times “Upshot” article about rich oligarchs buying luxury U.S. properties is an informative read.

It has been suggested by Trump-haters and Russia-conspiracy-mongers that there’s something sinister amiss because one or two of Trump’s super-high-end properties were purchased by super-wealthy Russians.

However, if you read that Upshot article, you would learn that it’s normal that if you’re selling those sorts of properties, a few Russian oligarch types are likely to be among your buyers.

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And by the way, when the article talks about “foreign cash,” it means paying in full with a money transfer, it doesn’t mean literally showing up with a suitcase full of cash.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 27, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Posted in Wealth

How the REALLY rich voted

The ANES, like all studies of the general population, don’t pick up the REALLY rich because they are too small of a percentage of the population to show up. At best, the ANES can show us how the top 4% voted, by looking at respondents whose family income is $250,000 or more.

When you break down the top 4% vote by education, the result is quite remarkable. Even though the numbers have a large margin of error because of the small sample size, I am sure that the big picture, that there is a vast difference in voting behavior between the top 4% wealthy without a college degree, and the top 4% with a college education, is accurate.

This shows us that class has a lot less to do with income than is commonly understood by mainstream journalists. If one doesn’t have a college degree, then one is prole, no matter how much money you make. And as I’ve said zillions of times on this blog, the proles love Trump. Even the wealthy proles love Trump, and in fact they love him even more than poor proles. The wealthy proles buy into the Republican philosophy of abolishing Obamacare and lowering taxes for the rich.

Unfortunately, there is no survey I know of that tells us how the top 1% voted, or how the top 0.1% voted, but I can make some guesses.

I have no reason to believe that those with greater wealth, say income more than $500,000, or income more than $1 million, or even $10 million, would be more pro-Trump than those with only $250,000 of income. Just the opposite, everything I know tells me that the more elite a person is, the more likely it is that he or she hates Trump, and higher income generally makes one more elite.

I also believe that as income increases, the percent of people without a college degree decreases to a very tiny percent. Even the most prole billionaire I can think of, John Catsimatidis, has four years of college education. Therefore among the wealthiest cohort, there would be hardly anyone without a college degree, and their political leanings would resemble those with income of $250,000 or more who have a college degree. So I would say that members of the top 1% probably voted Clinton over Trump by a 2 to 1 margin, and that probably increases to a 3 to 1 margin when you reach the top 0.1%.

Furthermore, I believe that that the children of the top 0.1% were even more pro-Clinton and anti-Trump than their parents.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 9, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Posted in Politics, Wealth

Rich kids vote Democratic, so I say raise their inheritance taxes!

Steve Sailer has a chart showing where rich parents send their children to college.

With the weird exception of Washington and Lee University which is well known as a politically conservative school (but probably Koch Brothers open-borders conservative) with a tiny undergraduate enrollment of only 1,890 students (smaller than a lot of high schools), all of the other schools on the list are hotbeds of liberal political activism, and where Republican-voting students are a small minority.

These are the kids who will inherit their parents’ money. Instead of voting for the party that has shamelessly been trying to eliminate the estate tax, they vote for the party that wants to raise the tax and thereby significantly reduce the amount of money that they will inherit.

Once again, this leads us to the conclusion about the stupidity of Republicans, who are hell-bent on lowering the taxes of people who hate them, people who by their voting patterns obviously want their taxes raised. They should raise those taxes and distribute the money to those working-class and middle-class people who vote Republican.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 3, 2017 at 8:52 am

Posted in Education, Wealth

A rare inside look at the TOOS

Must-read NY Times article about twenty-something TOOS.

24-year-old Toby Milstein, despite being an heiress of a billionaire family, has a regular job in “business development” for a tech startup. This demonstrates, once again, how the topmost elite aspire to self-actualize by having careers, even though they have no need to earn money. Toby’s eventual inheritance may actually be more than the entire value of the company she’s working for.

And check out her Instagram.

The article also demonstrates a lot of other stuff I’ve written about the TOOS.

1. They are Democrats. Notice the Instagram post from DC where she mentions how “uplifting” it was when Obama was inaugurated the second time, and how she implies that the inauguration of Trump is the opposite. In fact, the article calls her a “social justice warrior princess.” Why do Republicans insist on trying to lower the estate tax so that these rich brats who support the other party can inherit even more money? All of the evidence is that NONE of those rich brats care enough about their inheritance being taxed to ever vote for a Republican.

2. They go to the best schools. Yale and Barnard are mentioned in the article.

3. They’re main hobby is philanthropy. “The Milstein siblings have been cutting a dash on the city’s junior philanthropy circuit recently, making sizable donations to institutions like the NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, and serving as Young Fellows of the Frick Collection.”

4. These days, the TOOS aren’t so much out of side as they are hiding in plain site. Probably, the people who work at the tech startup are mostly unaware that Toby is TOOS. They just wonder how she managed to already be a “Director” at the age of 24.

And the unexpected:

1. They live with their parents. The ultimate goal for the less wealthy is to show they have “made it” by not living with their parents. But not for the TOOS.

2. They believe in the supernatural and hold séances at their apartment in The Dakota.

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A commenter asked, “what’s TOOS?”

That’s the top-out-of-sight class described in Paul Fussell’s book. Here I wrote a good post about that class.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 25, 2017 at 9:33 am

Posted in Wealth

How much money do you need to be rich?

I answered this question before, and I agree with the answer.

The answer means that Steve Bannon qualifies as rich because he’s said to be worth $10 million, and my previous answer was the rich begins at a net worth of around $7.5 million.

You may wonder how much a three bedroom coop in Manhattan plus a summer home in the Hamptons costs? Let’s say $2 million for the coop and $1 million for the summer home. With a net worth of $7.5 million, that leaves $4.5 million left over to pay for private school education for your children, two international vacations per year, maintenance on the coop and the house, and a car (plus $600/month for parking in Manhattan) to drive from your coop out to the Hamptons.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 25, 2017 at 10:11 am

Posted in Wealth

Politics of rich people fall mostly into two categories

Politics of rich people fall mostly into two categories:

1. Those rich people who are in close or even complete agreement with the policies of Obama and Hillary Clinton, and they voted for Obama and Clinton.

2. Rich people who have the same worldview as the first type of rich people, but nevertheless they hold their noses (to avoid the stench of prole anti-gay anti-abortion anti-environment anti-immigration anti-affirmative-action stuff) and vote Republican because they want financial benefits from Republicans. Either they want lower taxes, or freedom from regulation because their money comes from industries that Democrats hate, oil and gas being most notable, but including other non-urban-based industries such as agriculture, mining, chemicals, transportation, and certain types of manufacturing.

The Koch brothers are #2 type rich people. Koch Industries are involved in all of those non-urban-based industries, including oil and gas, that Democrats hate.

The #2 type of rich people who vote Republican are NOT to be admired in any way. Since they agree with the worldview of #1 type rich people, they are only voting Republican because they are greedy. When they vote Republican they are thinking “I agree with everything the Democrats say, but screw that, I want to make more money!”

Many of the #2 type of rich people voted for Hillary in 2016. They would have voted for Jeb Bush, but the stink of Trump’s proleness was just too overpowering for them. They weren’t concerned about the Supreme Court falling into liberal hands because they agree with liberal jurisprudence.

It is very typical that there’s an older male Republican-voting #2 type whose wife and children all vote Democratic.

Some have said that the Republicans need the #2 type of rich people for their political contributions, but Trump showed that political contributions from rich people are vastly overrated. Jeb Bush spent massively more money in the primaries thanks to his rich donors, but Trump totally schlonged him. And then Trump beat Hillary who also had far more money in donations from rich people.

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To give credit to commenter “destructure,” this is the comment he wrote:

If you read the wikipedia entries for the Koch brothers, who basically own the GOP, you’ll see they’re the kind of people who claim to be ‘socially liberal but fiscally conservative’. The thing is, they equate being ‘fiscally conservative’ with being libertarian which are NOT the same at all. The Koch brothers support abortion, feminism, gay rights, SSM, open borders, free trade, etc. About the only Democrat policies they don’t support are higher taxes and environmental regulation — because the latter interferes with their business. In other words, they’re liberals on everything that doesn’t affect them and libertarian on everything that does.

Now, obviously, there might be disagreement among conservatives on some issues. But, from what I can tell, the GOP are just liberal Democrats who don’t want to pay taxes. So the Democrat establishment are liberals who want to pay more taxes. And the GOP establishment are liberals who want to pay less. And conservatives wonder why the GOP hasn’t been doing what they want? There’s the answer.

The thing is, the GOP couldn’t push higher taxes without losing their billionaire supporters who want lower taxes. Those billionaires would just switch parties. After all, that’s the only difference they have with liberals anyway. And I kind of think that the establishment is already too tilted in favor of the Democrats as it is.

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One of the points of this post is that when rich people say they want higher taxes, it’s not because of some hidden scam they are running, it’s because they agree with the policies of Democrats.

Certain middle-class conservative types who comment on social media and blogs just don’t seem to grasp that the rich people are liberals.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 21, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Politics, Wealth

Rich people WANT their taxes raised

As reported by the Daily News.

I’ve been telling your for a while that rich people want their taxes raised otherwise they wouldn’t vote Democratic.

It’s pretty stupid of the Republican party to fight for lower taxes for the rich who vote Democratic and who have now come out in favor of higher taxes for themselves.

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The letter clearly states that they want the state to have more money by raising taxes only on the very highest of incomes, it’s not some scam to lower their own taxes while raising taxes for middle-class people.

Commenter Aric writes in defense of rich people who have been accused of hypocrisy for not donating money to the government if they want the government to have more money:

[T]here is nothing suspicious about calling for higher taxes while not donating to the government. They rightly believe that if they want to improve the world, their money could do more good through the right charity than through the government. Even if they thought the government is the best place to donate to, it would be an inconsequential amount. The coercion of taxes is necessary to raise enough money. There is nothing hypocritical about calling for higher taxes while paying the minimum tax you are legally required to pay. Just like I don’t see a problem with calling for changes to trade laws to protect American jobs while running a business that imports large quantities of products. As players we play the game with the rules that exist, but we should also try to change the rules to make a better society.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 21, 2017 at 10:13 am

Posted in Politics, Wealth

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