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Getting rich by slacking off

The magic of an inheritance invested

John’s Journal

This is where I hastily scribble about what’s going on. May include righteous anger and typos.


Here’s a short TikTok for you to get back into the swing of things around here. The transcript and some fun links are below.

In America, it’s an article of faith that hard work is the way to riches. The problem is that it’s not true. Donald Trump would be richer right now if he invested his inheritance in the stock market forty years ago and done no work at all.

In that scenario, he would have started off with around $200 million of inheritance money, and through the discipline of not working (even a little bit), would have transformed himself, with grit and vigor, into a multi-billionaire.

He did not do that. He tried very hard. There were highs and lows. We all, unfortunately, were subjected to it. And after all the toil, he now has less money than he would have if he simply did not work.

This is just one high-profile example of an underacknowledged American reality - that our system prints obscene amounts of money for people with obscene amounts of money. The bigger the pile of money you start with, the bigger the pile of money you end up with. That is, if you don’t do something foolish like use your pile of money to do anything resembling honest work.

The most hilarious and enraging part is that you can’t even give away money faster than our system prints it for the super-rich.

MacKenzie Scott divorced Jeff Bezos and walked away with $38 billion dollars. Then she decided to give most of her wealth away (which, ironically, is one of the best ways to stay rich). To date, Scott has given away over $14 billion dollars, yet her current net worth is hovering around $32 billion dollars. Amazon stock, which makes up most of Scott’s net worth, has slumped down to near its pre-covid level. When the stock was surging in 2021, Scott’s net worth was growing faster than she could give it away.

Just to recap, the “work” that this person was doing, was giving away money full-time as fast as possible. Giving away your money as your full-time job as fast as possible is not typically on the list of ways to stay rich, but that is the system we live in.

Why are we so obsessed with work if it isn’t buttering the bread like it’s supposed to? Because millions of people clocking into work and hoping for the best is *why* this system prints money for the super-rich in the first place. Somebody actually has to pack the Amazon boxes and create all that value. Might as well be you!

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Video Transcript

It blows my tiny little brain.

Donald Trump would be richer today if he invested his inheritance in the stock market and done no work at all. He would have more billions if he invested, did no work and just waited it out.

All that stuff he did - The Apprentice, the real estate, being president - whatever made him a business genius in the minds of millions of Americans...

He'd have more money if he did less work.

But how? How is that possible? You can have more money by doing less work. You don't become a billionaire without doing work.

Oh No, no, no, no, no. That's not how it works. See, the big secret is that work isn't related to wealth at all. Getting super duper rich has nothing to do with how hard you work. That's the huge secret.

The best way to make a fortune is to own a piece of paper *a stock* that entitles you to the value other people work to create. They do the work and you take the money because you have a piece of stock that entitles you to do that. And that's what's happening. Allllll around us. All around us.

Piles of money just multiply themselves. They don't actually do that. You multiply the pile of money for somebody who owns that value stock. That's how it works. And you can do it too! If you put $1,000 into Amazon stock in 2008, you would have nearly $20,000 right now, (I made a mistake in the video. You’d have closer to $36,788 now) courtesy of all the underpaid workers who make Amazon everything that it is today.

So if somebody dies and leaves you $200 million, exactly what happened to Donald Trump, you can be even more of a business genius by sticking it in an index fund and letting other poor bastards multiply it for you. And literally fucking off for 40 years. And that is how every single rich person is getting super rich.

They all tell us, oh, they're better than us, they're smarter, they're innovative, they're they work harder. It's the grind culture. It's just that they're built different. But that's all bullshit that they tell you so that you and everybody else who's living in this shitty system don't get super duper mad at how this all works.

The Holler
The Holler
John Russell