So I missed a day, well, not really, I got to writing late, so here it is after midnight and I am ready to post my blog. But I just did a lot of writing.
I felt compelled to write in response to a New York Times article posted on Yahoo entitled “Financial Advice Gleaned From A Day In The Hot Seat.” Being a poor man in need of financial advice I readily clicked to learn what I could about improving my wealth and stature, since I do not have any. So I read the article.
And then I replied. I could have gone a bit father but instead stopped at the mandatory 4000 character limit. Here is what I wrote:
There isn’t just a radical difference between Tiger 21 members and typical Americans. There is a radical difference between the author and typical Americans as well. The typical American, if we were to average the income level of all adults, would not allow for $100 a week to pay somebody else to care for your pets. Typical Americans do it themselves and eat out just as much as anyone else, albeit not gourmet dining, keeping the fast food industry in business. Typical Americans make under $50,000 a year and would never conceive of paying 5-10% of their household income to a dog walker. Typical Americans are the ones who spend 80 – 100% of their income every year to survive and in turn keep the American economy alive, helping to maintain employment at those fast food places and warehouse stores. Rich Americans don’t do that.
Take another look at the Tiger 21 group. $10M+ in net worth, typically spending 300K annually, according to the article. Great, they spend 6 – 10 times more than the typical American, but on what? Luxury items that keep a fraction of the population working and wealthy? $30,000 on dues to a club? Not being “in that league” it is difficult for typical Americans to commiserate.
Chances are the members of Tiger 21 or any other overtly wealthy Americans are not going to read this article and these comments, but if a good number of them did, and understood the value of expenditure, and I do not mean charity, I mean investment, and would just open the floodgates to their wallets, so much good would be done for typical Americans that the world would become a far better place. Most of the hyper-rich, those earning in excess of $1,000,000 a year, if they were to spend 80% of their earnings (after taxes) would boost the American Economy into a such a boom that whatever stocks they were invested in would likely rise based on consumer spending from the jobs they create through the simple act of investment in tangible business.
There are plenty of ways to turn the American economy around and still have a sweet and reasonable nest egg. But I suspect few of the hyper-rich would participate because they simply don’t have to. They are safe and secure and have enough to last many lifetimes so they don’t have to worry about the rest of the world. I am not trying to vilify anyone here, just stating a fact that spending increases spending and the ones with cash need to start that process now. Because guys like me need a job.
If the aforementioned rich were to invest 80% of their annual income in a combination of household wants and needs, vacations and new ventures, just for one year, that extra spending would boost the American economy far beyond what I now imagine or envision.
But what would they do? Where to invest? Who cares? Open some yogurt shops, start a new shoe factory, finance somebody with a good idea if you don’t have one of your own.
One way to create 250,000 jobs overnight would be to hire somebody to pump gas at every gas station in the country. It should be a law, not just because I don’t like pumping my own gas, in fact I despise it, but because it would create a job. You can’t pump your own gas in New Jersey or Oregon, why should you have to pump it anywhere else? Somebody should be getting paid to do that for you. It would not raise the cost of gas. Do the math on what would come back into the economy and you will see how sound the idea is.
Tear yourself away from the self-serve line and make somebody work. Don’t fall for it at the grocery or home improvement store. Just stand in a line with a live checker and make them do away with those things. A lot of us would love a job at a grocery store.
Now, if you see the value in spending and you are rich, by all means, please spend more money. At least this year. Share the wealth. Literally. Please.
And if you like the idea, let’s pick a day, say 09/02/2011 and call it DON’T PUMP YOUR OWN GAS DAY.
Email this to everybody.
I wrote to President Obama with the idea and a staff member sent me a very nice letter on White House stationery with Mr. Obama’s authentic White House approved signature by the auto-pen that told me he appreciated my idea and wishes me well. Nothing affirmative, yet not dismissive, perfectly apportioned politics.
I thought perhaps this forum would be a place to be heard, but one page refresh later, my comment is now on page two, likely gone for good and the few who may have read it said “Hmmph.” Current comment count is 1,748 and increasing steadily by the minute. In the next few wee hours of the morning it will be lost for good in cyberspace and alas, my birthday plans will be ruined.
Yes, my birthday is September 2, a.k.a. DON’T PUMP YOUR OWN GAS DAY. If I had more than 4000 characters to work with I would have gone on to say that I was actually suggesting a don’t buy gas day. Buy it the day before and the day after, but not that day, unless you have a delivery service of some kind and your business relies on gas. I wonder what it would be like if all of a sudden gas pumps became eerily silenced for most of a day. At least it would make for interesting news.
See. I’m not just a writer. I am also an anarchist.