Holiday Politics Coach: when Aunt Christie is pretty sure billionaires earned their fortune.
It's a little like Robin Hood, but the complete opposite.
Words from John
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Holiday Politics Coach: Aunt Christie is pretty sure billionaires earned their money
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Okay, champ, you're a leftist. It's Thanksgiving dinner. The cranberry sauce is going around and then aunt Christie hits you with some bullshit like this.
“Well, money doesn’t just pop into existence. They either earned it, or someone did and gave it to them. Life’s not fair.”
Now, you can either duke it out or you can give her the radical nudge. So here's what you gotta do. You gotta meet Christie where she is right now. In her world, if someone has money, they worked for it. If they didn't work for it, that wouldn't be right. And that is your in.
Now behind this comment is a lot of anger at people who have money but didn't work for it. She is mad at the "welfare bums" and you have to make her mad at billionaires too.
Okay, so you say "I get it Aunt Christie." Bam! You just stepped to her side. Okay, now make her believe it. "Working hard should pay well, right?" Yes, it should. She's saying yes. You're walking together. "And doing nothing shouldn't be a way to get filthy rich. Right?" Exactly. She's thinking you finally are coming around.
Now here's where you show Aunty Christie a whole new world. You say, "Dave Ramsey says the stock market goes up about 10% a year over the long run." You're using a source that she trusts. So say you put 100 bucks in January, next year you have $110. But did you work for that $10 that popped into existence? No. You bought a piece of paper that entitled you to the profits other people work to make. Their work made $10 go into your pocket because you bought stock.
Dramatic Pause. Let it take hold. Now escalate.
"Say you put in a million bucks. Now you get $100,000 without doing any work." Pour it on right here. Let her eat. "If it were a billion bucks, you'd get 100 million! No work, just owning the work people like you do every day Aunt Christie.”
“America has 700 billionaires that's at least 700 people earning at least $100 million on an average year, all with no work! Sure they might invent a company, but in the background, this program is running making them crazy rich all the time no matter what they do. And they just hand it to their kids."
"And what gets me, Aunt Christie, is that they pay a lower tax rate than you do." That's where you stick the landing. "It ain't right. And everybody who's not in the ruling class should get together and change it. Can you see what I'm saying?"
And there's a radical nudge. All right, I'll get back in there and change some hearts and minds.
The cutting floor: talking about stuff that didn’t make it in this video.
I love comparisons that put extreme wealth into context. This article (2020) has a couple of great grafs.
Unimaginably, it would take an American household earning the mean $60,000 a year nearly 2.5 million years to accumulate the estimated $147bn which Jeff Bezos is estimated to be worth… if they did not spend a penny. A low-paid Amazon worker on the shopfloor would take more than 4 million years of saving their entire income to assemble their boss’s fortune.
The fattest cats in America, for example, saw their wealth bloat by over 1,100 percent between 1990 and 2018, according to the Institute for Policy Studies report, yet their proportional tax obligations decreased a spectacular 79 percent over the same timescale.
There’s a difference between “earning” money working a job, and being at the tip of a wealth rocket propelled by everyone below you.
Take it easy, but take it.