What's Wrong With Being In The 1%?

Hello Everyone

Can someone tell me what is wrong with being in the 1%? What is wrong with ending up in the 1%? Most people want to be rich. Just look at all of the lottery tickets sold every day. Tell me who would not want to be in the 1%.

I don’t know if Mitt Romney would be a good president or not but I hold no grudge or am jelous because he made a lot of money. This is America and one of the few places on earth where anyone can be succesful and become pretty comfortable if they work hard at it. I try to avoid every tax I can. I love dividends taxed at 15% and I love tax free bonds. It is not Mitt’s fault that he invested his money and is receiving a ton of dividend income. I wish I was in the 15% bracket.

I for one had nothing when I started out. I had no college degree and I was not very good at anything in particular. What I did have in my favor which turned out to be my competitive advantage was a “Can Do” attitude and a strong work ethic.

I started as a banquet waiter with about $180.00 in my pocket from my last pay check from the US Army when I was discharged in March 1965.

When I got tired of waiting on tables after three years I took a clerks job in an office for $80.00 a week. Since that was not enough to live on in the way I wanted to live, I took a job five nights a week as a waiter and then another job on Saturday and Sunday with a catering company.  I basically worked seven days a week except when there were no events on the weekends which was not very often. On those day I went to Georgetown and partied half the night away.

What I did not do was to blame the government,  stock market executives, bank executives, my mother, my teachers or me for not having a college degree or anyone else. “Can Do” people just make it happen. They find a way. “Can’t Do” people love recessions especially since then they will have nice big excuse for all of their woes. It is never their fault…never. Every problem in their life is someone else’s fault. People don’t understand them. The boss always picks other people and is unfair. The policeman always picks them out of all of the speeding cars to issue a ticket.

I know it is my fault when I speed and that is why I have been to driving school at the Holiday Inn three times. Priscilla tells me I don’t know how to speed smartly. I hope my insurance company does not see this post. I am driving much slower now.

When I was not happy with my income I went out and got two more jobs and worked day and night. When my boss at Hilton treated me badly I did not blame him. I found aother job and quit. When I got fired once I took a job at Marriott paying me 40 percent less than I was making before I was fired. When I was passed over for a promotion at Marriott I quit and took a job at Disney which paid me less than I was making at Marriott….It all worked out in the end.

Priscilla and I deferred our gratification. We did not accumulate credit card debt. We only bought things when we could pay for them and not charge them. For three years we had no car. I took public transportation to work. We were pretty hot living in our apartment in New York but did not buy a $35.00 fan until we could save up an extra $35.00.

If you want to be in the 1%, live in America. If you make around $35,000.00 a year and live in America, you are in the top 1% of all people in the world.

One thing I am pretty sure about is that most of our problems in life are created by us but we really love blaming every problem we have on someone else. I even do it. When Priscilla is annoyed at me for something, my favorite reply to her is, “It’s not my fault.” This does not work but it makes me feel better for a minute or two. Go out and make it happen. Any job is better than no job. Be the best at the worst job and you will move up. Take the job nobody else wants and become an expert at it.

And remember that many people that are in the 1% are not happy. I just read that over 50% of CEO’s are suffering from anxiety over their performance. What they are probably really worried about are those big pay checks to pay for things they can’t really afford. Take care….Lee

PS: After telling you all of this, I will also tell you that I would be happy to pay more taxes and do believe that I should be paying more, but I am not sending in a check until they change the law. My mother did not raise no fool!

1 Comment
  1. Lee, It has been interesting to read your posts for some time now. I agree wholeheartedly that “can do” makes a huge difference. For me there is also a part that knows “things will work out in the end” I think it’s a foundational part of “can do” that is overlooked. It’s how I can face any task that I get and added to a little force of will it adds up to “can do”

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