Monday, July 22, 2013

What Rich People Do

So, I read the most FASCINATING article the other day:  "20 Things the Rich Do Every Day".  (Personal note: for anyone who actually looks at the list and knows me well -- yes, the misspellings made me crazy.  What reputable person posts something like this online with these kinds of blatant errors?  Is your spellcheck broken, buddy?  But I was able to separate the content from the errors and focus on that.)

I couldn't find the original source of these statistics to verify their accuracy (and I would like to -- I always wonder how anyone "knows" these kinds of things), but if they are accurate, they invite much discussion.  I may spend a few blog posts on this topic.

Because if you've read here for a while, you know I find this topic fascinating.  I have friends who struggle with money on a regular basis who are very wise and intelligent in many areas of their lives . . . but I've seen them make decisions about their money that made no sense to me.  I'm certain there is a mindset behind poverty and one behind wealth that the other simply can't relate to, and understanding each other's mindsets will go a lot further toward ending economic inequities in this country than all the various government policies being touted out there.

Several on this list of twenty seem related to me.  For example:

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people. (A lot of things could play into this one -- the nature of one's commute, one's access to audio books and means to play them, etc.)

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read 2 or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% for poor.  (I have always contended that teaching kids to love reading early on is critical.)

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% for poor.  (I wonder, though, how many of these wealthy have jobs that require such reading and how many of them are choosing to do so.)

13. 67% of wealthy watch 1 hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% for poor. 

And the kicker for me:

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% for poor.

Now, I know people who are quite successful financially who don't enjoy reading.  And I also have very poor friends who are book fanatics.  And as I said, I don't know the source of these statistics.  But it wouldn't surprise me if this is accurate.

However, there is a lot that is NOT said in this statistic that I think is important.  For example, do these people not love to read because they are poor readers (being a poor reader often leads to a lack of education which leads to poverty) or because they just naturally don't have that inclination?  I know that my husband and eldest daughter fall into the latter category; they are both very intelligent and good readers, but they rarely choose to read for pleasure.

Also, what do these people love to read?  Do they love to read fashion magazines, celebrity websites, and romance novels . . . or do they love to read newspapers, histories, and Tolstoy?

In any case, reading is the primary means in our society of communicating information and carrying on a national conversation about important topics, so a lack of desire to read also indicates a lack of involvement in this conversation and a lack of information about . . . well, everything.  And it's easy to see how this could contribute to financial problems.

More to come . . .

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