Advantage and disadvantage

I’ve just read a chapter in a book about how to plan your life and finances. It was written by a man who grew up poor (by American standards) and pulled himself out of it.

This man says that being born rich or poor is only a temporary advantage or disadvantage and that the rest of your life is determined by your work, planning and financial self-discipline.

Do you agree with this?

I agree with the author.
In my coutry there was a coup in the early 19-ies and poor people turned to looting and became temporarily rich. Some time aferwards they squandered their booty away and ended up “in the red”. Because they didn’t know how to deal with money, throughout their lives all they had done was drinking and loitering around, not working.

I saw similar things happen in one of the formerly Soviet-occupied countries in the early '90s (not the 19s, I hope). This usually happened among people who’d swallowed the communist line that wealth is created only by stealing and exploitation. They didn’t understand that the “decadent, idle rich” don’t stay rich very long in a capitalist society where you’re free to gain wealth but get immediate karmic “feedback” on your behavior.

And not by market forces, race, gender, location, criminal attack, etc?

What’s “karmic feedback” in the context you describe?

Was that the communist line? Can you link us to some real examples of such?

The country I live in (Russia) taught its people that only by stealing can a man become rich. That was in a way true under the reign of the communist party, since the average salary of a worker wouldn’t make for becoming rich. But people in power did steal and were on top of the world about it.

You live in Russia? And I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly Communist thing to assume that stealing and exploiting others is a good way to get rich - people having been doing the same for centuries, all over the world and in many types of society. Sometimes, it works.

Yes, I do

The funny thing is that my grandmother (now deceased), when she would see a rich, luxurious car driving by, would exhale “what a car! that SOB must’ve bled our country a hell of a lot to be able to afford it”.

When I was in soviet Russia, back in the 80s, many of my friends told me that to get even a normal car, one could either wait for seven to eight years or pay-through-the-nose to the local mafia (often KGB members) and get one much sooner. Many of my friends decided to wait. I guess they were not of the people who were taught that stealing or exploitation is the way to get rich. The same friends would also say exhale a sound of desire when they saw photos of my quite-simple flat and its contents (in London). They assumed that capitalism would make them all rich. No one had told them about credit, credit cards and mounting debt. :wink: