Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Wealth’ Category

Chickens in Silicon Valley

with 115 comments

No, we’re not talking about fearful computer programmers, we’re talking about birds that lay eggs. And not regular chickens, but “heritage breeds.” Only the wealthiest can afford to raise heritage chickens in Silicon Valley where real estate is so expensive.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 3, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Wealth

Are rich kids more likely to be screw-ups?

I believe that poor people like to believe that rich kids are more likely to be screw-ups so they can feel better about their own poverty.

But what do we mean by rich? Do we mean extreme wealth like the kids interviewed in the documentary “Born Rich” (who don’t necessarily represent an accurate cross-section of the extreme-wealth social class), or just regular everyday wealth, meaning upper-middle class parents who pay for their childrens’ education so that they have no student loans to pay off, and then provide them with the living expenses they need to live in an apartment in Manhattan, or have car if they live in a location where a car is pretty much a necessity (which are most places outside of Manhattan).

I’ve previously written about the working rich: “Today, it’s considered low class to not have some kind of job.” The importance of having a career or something “to do” is indoctrinated into rich young people in private school and then in college.

In the world as I see it, the best career tracks (either because they pay the most money, or because they are perceived as being desirable on account of providing self-actualization, even though in the real world the term “self-actualization” is rarely used) tend to be dominated by people who didn’t have to pay back any student loans and received financial support from their parents so that they could live in Manhattan (or San Francisco or some other city known for having the best careers).

I think this attitude even extends to children of extreme wealth. Take Trump’s kids, all of them are college graduates, the three oldest have jobs (working for Trump’s business), the youngest daughter is in law school at Georgetown. Compare Trump’s kids to the screw-ups that are Sarah Palin’s kids. Sarah Palin’s kids picked up crappy prole values in the crappy prole public schools in Wasilla, Alaska, while Trump’s kids picked up upper-class values in elite private schools in Manhattan.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 27, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Wealth

Parents who help adult children with rent

Have I blogged about this article before? The article gives us some numbers: “According to surveys that track young people through their first decade of adulthood, about 40 percent of 22-, 23- and 24-year-olds receive some financial assistance from their parents for living expenses. Among those who get help, the average amount is about $3,000 a year.”

If you follow the link to the article, you will see that adult children in blue collar work receive less money from their parents than children in white-collar work like “Art and Design” and “STEM.”

$3,000/year isn’t enough to afford to live in Manhattan, but remember this survey is for all of America and that amount is an average for all Americans and not just the children of the top 1% who live in Manhattan.

Here’s a summary, somewhat exaggerated, explaining parental support by class:

Low prole, mid prole: Kick kids out of the house with no money when they turn 18.
High prole, middle class: Kids live at home after they graduate college.
Upper-middle class: Pay the kids’ rent so they can live in a prestigious city like Manhattan.
Upper class: Buy their kid a condo/co-op in Manhattan.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 26, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Wealth

The most expensive house

A commenter asked me to write about the most expensive “house” in America, which is not really a house at all but more of a small-scale resort hotel and nightclub, with a separate living area for the owner that’s sort of a house within a “house.”

Who would want to live in such a gauche nouveau riche monstrosity? It’s being marketed to young tech billionaires who want to buy themselves into a more alpha lifestyle.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 23, 2017 at EDT am

Posted in Wealth

Hedge billionaire Robert Mercer has $2 million model railroad

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 EDT 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 EDT 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 EDT 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 EDT 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 EDT 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 EDT am

Posted in Education, Wealth

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