Once Upon a Time in America


My colleague has a friend who pays $12,000 a year in property tax. That’s $1,000 a month! In tax!

By the way, this isn’t a mansion. This is a very modest home in Connecticut on a 1/4 acre lot.

“That’s absolutely ridiculous!” I exclaimed. “That’s disincentive for being a home owner.”

I don’t think anyone in the break room expected to hear that from the new interactive designer. Artists carry the stereotype of being terrible with finances, after all.

It’s easy to think, “Once upon a time, it was possible to get rich in America but not anymore. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

Look at our current problems:

•Over $16 trillion in national debt
• the Sequester, which cuts things like tuition assistance for our troops yet does not cut the six figure salaries in Congress or the White House.
• Ever-rising income tax
• Ever-rising capital gains tax
• Wars we can’t afford

Here’s an excerpt from an article from Fortune Magazine, written by Warren Buffett.

Inflation is now worldwide; the propensity of major groups in our society to utilize their electoral muscle to shift, rather than solve, economic problems; the demonstrated unwillingness to tackle even the most vital problems if they can be postponed; and a political system that rewards legislators with reelection if their actions appear to produce short-term benefits even though their ultimate imprint will be to compound long-term pain.

Most of those in political office, quite understandably, are firmly against inflation and firmly in favor of policies producing it. (This schizophrenia hasn’t caused them to lose touch with reality, however; Congressmen have made sure that their pensions—unlike practically all granted in the private sector—are indexed to cost-of-living changes after retirement.

That article was written in 1977! Yes, Congress has been comprised of—not representatives of the people—self serving sharks for a very long time. This is nothing new. (That was a bipartisan statement of disdain for our politicians.)

Look, I know I’m stepping outside of personal finance and into economics—which means I’m stepping outside my area of expertise; but I want to make a point. Yes, we’re facing new problems but the fact that we’re facing problems is not new.

Microsoft, Disney, and Hobby Lobby were all launched during economic recessions

I’m not trying to make any economic assertions. This is my point: wealth has been made in the US during good times and bad times.

Turn off your tv, stop listening to the gloom-and-doom mainstream media (all they care about is profits. Fear creates the best ratings which turns into the most profits), and take advantage of the Information Age! Be selective with your news.

Read about:

• Warren Buffett
• Seth Godin
• Dan Pink
• Robert Herjavec
• Richard Branson
• Kevin O’Leary
• Barbara Corcoran
• Robert Kiyosaki
• Dave Ramsey
• Daymond John
• Bill Gates
• Steve Jobs
• Jeff Bezos
• Ken McElroy
• Donald Trump
• Andrew Carnegie
• John D. Rockefeller
• Thomas Edison
• Mark Cuban
• Michael Bloomberg (just don’t let him tell you what size soda you can drink)

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