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The Thousannaires Club

 
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:26 am    Post subject: The Thousannaires Club Reply with quote

With all this talk about millionaires and billionaires, one is tempted to feel belittled if not part of this new Global Jet Set.

Yet, as I sit back and view my bank and stock accounts online, I realize...I am a thousannaire. I have assets that range in the thousands of dollars. If desired, I could spend 10 or even 100 dollars without blinking an eye!

Thinking about it, many if not most Americans would wish to be a thousannaire. How many people are actually thousands in debt to credit card companies with little hope of paying the principal? What if suddenly they were to become thousannaires, with, say $5000 in the bank, and zero debt? Would that make our society better? More relaxed.

A good Internet buddie of mine, Jeff Relf, has the concept of financial obesity. He thinks people can become laden with wealth to the point of immobility, or the inability to be a person. I created the rejoinder, "You can never be too poor, or too thin." That statement actually says a lot, because it takes skill to live on little, but to not be poor. That requires great knowledge. For example, my friend Brian can walk into a supermarket, and with careful planning and coupons, walk out with $21 dollars of food, and yet spend only $5 dollars. I joked to him that yes, but the amount of brain power and energy required to make these calculations probably uses up as much heat energy as the saved 16 bucks!

At one point, I thought of sponsoring my own worldwide Foundation and charity called the Thousdannaires Club. The idea would be to insure that everyone, everywhere, always had available to them $5000 dollars of capital in the bank at any given time. This would include starving Somalians and debt ridden Alabamans.

Imagine the change in the human spirit if each person knew that they were not only free of debt, but enriched by just enough money to be able to do out and spend $100 on a dress or buy a few lattes!

You know they say that after the initial spending spree, many lottery winners become quite conservative, like many rich people, they no longer feel the need to splurge on people. They save. They become...well, wealthy.

Imagine that world, where people have just enough. All people...everywhere.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: The Thousannaires Club Reply with quote

Intriguing post.

I especially like that it could fit into several of the YRIHF forums (for example "Units of Measurement" [the thousand dollar bankbook] and "Wordplay" [Thousannaire or Thousandaire]) Actually, with your permission, I'd like to move it to "Units of Measurement".

*********************

Intriguing, but very problematical. I can understand why you haven't created your foundation. But I do find it surprising that you like the idea. I recall a discussion we had a little while ago where you said something along the lines that the constitution or declaration didn't say anything about helping other people and I mentioned something about "promote the general welfare". I took, I'm starting to think mistakenly, your argument as something picked up from right wing radio, and I assumed that it was only part of a larger configuration of beliefs that I could predict (with the help of Lakoff's great book [with a dreary title], "Moral Politics").

Anonymous wrote:
Thinking about it, many if not most Americans would wish to be a thousannaire. How many people are actually thousands in debt to credit card companies with little hope of paying the principal? What if suddenly they were to become thousannaires, with, say $5000 in the bank, and zero debt? Would that make our society better? More relaxed.


I see that there would be 3 categories of effects: some would be helped, some would be hurt, and some would be helped but still dissatisfied. I read recently something along the lines that consumer demand was unlimited. Your story about lottery winners is direct contradiction to this.

For a large number of people, it would be a genuine relief. The small degree of financial freedom offered would increase the job liquidity. People could quit and get better jobs without worrying about the utility payment. Some could buy the materials and tools to make some dream a reality, whether its inventing a new way to build geodesic domes, or simply landscaping the yard. Some could sleep at night, knowing that their kids could go to the dentist. Just having that money in the bank means that one has the opportunity to make positive changes if things get bad, even if one never spends a penny of it.

Others might use this freedom self-destructively, driving up the cost of beer and cigarettes for everybody Wink

Overall, yes, more relaxed, and more realized.

Anonymous wrote:
A good Internet buddie of mine, Jeff Relf, has the concept of financial obesity. He thinks people can become laden with wealth to the point of immobility, or the inability to be a person.


I often think of the word "sclerotic" in this context. A hardening. A hardening of habits, or lines of thought. Everything you own also owns you. Every possession imposes a responsibility and a burden on the possessor. Every class has its burdens, but it takes "a lesson in tightropes" for the wealthy to "stay human", not to mention a small camel or a large needle.

Anonymous wrote:
At one point, I thought of sponsoring my own worldwide Foundation and charity called the Thousdannaires Club. The idea would be to insure that everyone, everywhere, always had available to them $5000 dollars of capital in the bank at any given time. This would include starving Somalians and debt ridden Alabamans.


For the poorest, there's no disputing that this would be a boon. Somalians could have solar lighting and water pumping.

This might be a good place to mention an analogy I heard that illustrates the distribution of incomes in the US. If you think of all earners as being distributed along the 100 yards of a football field. The 50 yard line (the median earner) earns about $40,000 a year. If you translate that into $100 bills, it totals about 1.7 inches of bills. If you go to the 90 yard line, it was something like 5 inches of bills. If you go to the 99 yard line, it totals about 16 inches. If you go to the 99 and 2 foot line, it totals about 40 inches. If you go to the 1 inch line (left) the total goes to 50 miles!

No wonder 12 families have donated/invested 10s of millions of dollars to overturn the inheritance tax!

Anonymous wrote:
Imagine that world, where people have just enough. All people...everywhere.


It is very difficult to imagine. I'm going to have to work on imagining it for a while longer. Maybe it'll sink in.

-Brian


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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rich continue to get poorer...it's now the "Half Millionaire Next Door" who is desireable.

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/wants-half-millionaire-youd-surprised/story.aspx?guid={5E9E86F8-E140-4881-BFA0-220B38B00672}&dist=TNMostRead

Quote:
There are scores of arguments why any sort of government action against high salaries, bonuses, stock options or other forms of compensation could be unfair, or detrimental to business. Most of them hark back to the free-market philosophy that the "best and the brightest" need to be paid whatever the market will bear or they will go do something else, like run for political office and help people.



Still, we Thousandaires know we're the future...
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