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From the NYT opinion section, an extract from the book I reviewed for Taki’s Magazine last week Don’t Trust Your Gut by economist/data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.

The Rich Are Not Who We Think They Are. And Happiness Is Not What We Think It Is, Either.
May 14, 2022

By Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Mr. Stephens-Davidowitz is the author of “Don’t Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in Life,” from which this essay is adapted.

We now know who is rich in America. And it’s not who you might have guessed.

A groundbreaking 2019 study by four economists, “Capitalists in the Twenty-First Century,” analyzed de-identified data of the complete universe of American taxpayers to determine who dominated the top 0.1 percent of earners.

This study is not by Raj Chetty, but is very Chetty-like in not using a sample but instead using the universe of tax -filers.

The study didn’t tell us about the small number of well-known tech and shopping billionaires but instead about the more than 140,000 Americans who earn more than \$1.58 million per year. The researchers found that the typical rich American is, in their words, the owner of a “regional business,” such as an “auto dealer” or a “beverage distributor.”

… What are the lessons from the data on rich earners?

First, rich people own. Among members of the top 0.1 percent, the researchers found, about three times as many make the majority of their income from owning a business as from being paid a wage. Salaries don’t make people rich nearly as often as equity does.

And these are people who made at least \$1.58 million in taxable income in a year, not untaxed capital gains on paper. Who knows how much they will leave to their heirs?

Second, rich people tend to own unsexy businesses. A different study, by the statisticians Tian Luo and Philip B. Stark, examined which businesses were most likely to fold fastest. The kind most likely to go out of business most quickly is a record store. The average record store lasts just 2.5 years. (For comparison, the average dentist’s office lasts more than 19.5 years.) Other businesses that fold quickly include toy stores (3.25 years), clothing stores (3.75 years) and cosmetics stores (4.0 years).

Book stores, too.

Record and book stores have the problem that they are being eaten alive by virtual technology, but this class has the general problem that a lot of people, e.g., rich men’s ex-wives, would kind of like to own a toy or cosmetics boutique. (Tom Wolfe drew a cartoon once of of a rich man explaining to his children that they would be getting a beautiful new mother, while their old mother would be fine as she opened a boutique and sold yarn to her friends.) But you also don’t want to be in a business where some insanely rational multinational would like to crush you: e.g., Walmart and Target sell a whole lot of toys. And the truth is that kids like quantity in toys more than they like quality.

There are, however, plenty of unsexy businesses from which [only] a few people are getting rich. These include auto repair shops, gas stations and business equipment contractors.

Gas stations are pretty fungible, unless you own a great location, like, say, the last gas station on the right in Marin County before you drive over the Golden Gate Bridge.

The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.

Comparing data from the appendix of the economists’ study with data from the SUSB Annual Data Tables put out by the Census Bureau, I estimate that more than 20 percent of auto dealerships in America have an owner making more than \$1.58 million per year.

Auto dealerships have legal protections; state franchising laws often give auto dealers exclusive rights to sell cars in a territory.

That’s the central joke in John Updike’s award-winning 1981 novel Rabbit Is Rich, the third in the series about a high school jock hero turned adult screw-up. Rabbit Angstrom has inherited his late father-in-law’s Toyota dealership, and not even Rabbit can mess up making a bundle off owning a Toyota lot during the Energy Crisis.

I’ve been told that because Toyota was the first Japanese car company to export to America, Toyota signed a lot of extremely onerous deals with established American car dealers granting them exclusive deals in perpetuity with impunity. That helps explain why buying a Toyota was such an ordeal: good cars, but the dealers could abuse you without fear of getting their right to sell Toyotas taken away. (I’ve heard that Toyota has finally expensively bought back most of their dealerships, but I don’t know if that is true.)

A decade or so ago I asked a Costco lawyer why Costco didn’t sell cars. I’d much rather buy for a fixed price compact SUV that Costco negotiated a great price on the top of the line trim package for 250,000 cars per year than play stupid games to see if I could outsmart malevolent car dealers on Van Nuys Blvd. He said that Costco had looked into the car market in vast detail, but state laws protected existing dealers so much that to enter the car business, Costco would first have to spend a fortune on lobbying state legislators to change the laws.

Same for many beverage distributors, which act as middlemen between alcohol companies and stores and supermarkets. Beverage distributors have long been protected by a system set up after prohibition that prevents beverage companies from distributing their products themselves.

Big time sports heroes often had beverage distributorships bestowed upon them, such as boxer Max Schmelling got a Coca-Cola distributorship and second baseman Joe Morgan, a Republican, got a beer distributorship from conservative Coors.

Of course, if upon learning this you try to buy someone’s auto dealership, you may not have much luck. Owners of auto dealerships know how good they have it.

I suspect much of the new blood in auto dealerships and beer distributorships gets in the Rabbit Way: marrying the owner’s daughter.

Is there any business that tends to make people rich that you might have a better shot at?

My data-driven advice for getting rich for someone with good analytical skills and deep experience in a field is to start a market research business. Use your specialized knowledge in the field to write up reports; sell them widely and charge a fortune to your contacts in the field. I have estimated that more than 10 percent of owners of market research businesses are in the top 0.1 percent.

In a niche big enough for 1.5 market research firms, you want to own the 1.0 market research firm. For example, Nielsen TV ratings has always been a lazy but lucrative business because there’s usually only Nielsen serving the whole TV industry. (Occasionally, Arbitron, the radio ratings firm, threatens to enter TV and/or Nielsen threatens to enter radio.) Sure, the networks know that Nielsen’s sample size is small and technology is a few generations behind, but their careers depend upon The Nielsen Ratings so they have to pay what Nielsen asks.

Thirty years ago, I interviewed for a job at a tiny marketing research company in San Francisco that published reports on the Yellow Pages. There were only about five employees, but the owner was doing very well for herself, because this was the only Yellow Pages marketing research firm in America so they charged exorbitant amounts.

In contrast, I worked for the two market research firms that tracked the biggest market — consumer packaged goods sold in supermarkets and drug stores. By contrast to the Yellow Pages firm, these were big businesses, with about 1,000 times more employees. But they comprised 2.0 firms in a niche big enough for 1.5 firms, so they conducted an endless price war with each other and usually failed to meet Wall Street expectations.

Stephens-Davidowitz does a lot of the same methodological tricks as I do with data: e.g., rank order a big list and see what kind of explanation you can come up with for who is at the top and who is at the bottom: e.g., the answers are usually out of Competitive Strategy 101 from MBA school: find a business where you are sheltered from competition, both from countless little competitors (like gas stations) and from a handful of giant potential competitors like Google and Costco: e.g., marry the local Toyota dealer’s daughter.

 
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  1. Salaries don’t make people rich

    Unless you’re Nancy Pelosi.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    @Bill Jones

    What are you talking about? Pelosi married a finance/Venture capitalist type.

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Alden

    , @Lurker
    @Bill Jones

    A big salary would be a good start though.

    , @Prof. Woland
    @Bill Jones

    Another characteristic of 'millionaires' is that they are typically not young. Tech millionaires are more the exception rather than the rule. If they are first generation wealth, they typically made it in their 40's or 50's after working hard in a low prestige industry for little pay. They also tend to have children and one wife.

    Money compounds so the longer someone keeps working and saving they more they end up with. I think that is one of the gripes the youngsters have. The baby boomers keep working until they are in their 70's and won't retire or die.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer

  2. To summarize.

    1. Own equity in a business.
    2. The business should be in a niche with high barriers to entry.

    • Agree: Twinkie
    • Replies: @Charon
    @JohnnyWalker123

    3. Leverage cheap immigrant labor.

    4. PROFIT

    Replies: @Alden

    , @Alden
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Most businesses have a high barrier. Money, the cost of buying it. You’re absolutely right that owning a business is much better than working for a business.

    , @guest007
    @JohnnyWalker123

    A third step would be to make sure the business is one where payroll is not the biggest expense. If payroll is the biggest expense, then one is competing on low margins that are volatile.

    , @Hypnotoad666
    @JohnnyWalker123


    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.
     
    The NYT's analysis sounds pretty superficial and borderline economically illiterate. For example, the concept of automatically reaping extra profit from a "local monopoly" is kinda dumb. First, every retail shop or franchise has a "local monopoly" on its own block or whatever. But that hardly means it is guaranteed to profit. The Chevy dealership on Van Nuys has to compete with every other car maker, with every other Chevy dealer outside its exclusive area, with every internet auto broker, etc. In fact, the idea that there isn't "ruthless price competition" in the car market is laughable on its face.

    And more fundamentally, if the exclusive contract right to operate the only Chevy dealership in that part of the San Fernando Valley did have any special "monopoly" profits attached, those would have been priced into the cost of acquiring the business in the first place. If the owner somehow bought it long ago for less than it's now worth, that's just an example of executing a good old "buy low, sell high" strategy.

    Being the NYT, I assume the hidden agenda is to plant the idea that even small business owners are just mini-monopolists who can be justifiably separated from their ill-gotten profits.

    Replies: @prosa123

    , @Twinkie
    @JohnnyWalker123

    I've always maintained that there are two crucial things to be successful in life:

    1. Choose your parents well.

    2. Choose your spouse well.

    And, yes, having ownership/equity is essential for building wealth, but increasingly there is a higher and higher barrier to entry to ownership. For example, it was very common a couple of decades ago for physicians to complete their residency and join medical groups on partnership tracks, but most such groups sold out to large corporations or merged to form large groups a long ago and no longer offer partnership tracks, just jobs as physician employees.

    That said, even as many parts of the country are being immiserated, even not-so-bright people who take chances in certain parts of the country that rise economically can become wealthy. The owner of the landscaping business that I patronize is a high school dropout. He and his childhood friend started their business a couple of decades ago where I live. Long story short, the area exploded into extreme wealth during those two decades and his firm now has about $10 million in annual revenue. He has so much business that he basically no longer accepts new clients (he's at a point where he can't really scale up without a lot more work and headache and he is happy with the current level of business).

    Interestingly, his children aren't exactly rocket scientists either and are a source of much trouble for him. It will be interesting to see what happens to be the business when he gets old. I have a feeling there might be decline in the family fortune with the next generation.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

  3. We now know who is rich in America. And it’s not who you might have guessed.

    … determine who dominated the top 0.1 percent of earners.

    As I’m forever explaining, income isn’t remotely the same thing as wealth.

    And it’s not accidental that we’re forever being bombarded with sliced-and-diced income stats, broken down every which way. But wealth? What are you looking at, goy boy?

    • Agree: Alden, HammerJack
    • Replies: @dearieme
    @Charon

    In most advanced countries there will be good government figures for income, or more accurately for declared income. Her Majesty's Government certainly knows my income for those years in which I have lived in this lovely land, and my wife's.

    But I doubt if they know our wealth. If they do, how did they find out? I asked somebody this on a blog and he said that they could probably estimate it by noting the value of our house and multiplying by three. Where that rule of thumb came from I have no idea. It would certainly be bonkers for younger people who often own only a small fraction of their house once you subtract their mortgage loan. And it would wildly exaggerate our own wealth. I suggest that few countries have any useful data on household wealth. In which case it would be pointless trying to analyse it.

    To that you must add the crass misunderstanding of wealth - I've seen bloody fools claim that Queen Elizabeth is the wealthiest person in the world. Presumably they've simply added up everything belonging to the various arms of government in the UK and attributed it all to the Queen. That might make sense for Saudi Arabia but not for us.

    Replies: @HammerJack

    , @Sick 'n Tired
    @Charon

    Chris Rock summed up the difference between rich & wealthy.

    "Shaquille O'Neill is rich, but the guy who signs his paychecks is wealthy"

  4. @JohnnyWalker123
    To summarize.

    1. Own equity in a business.
    2. The business should be in a niche with high barriers to entry.

    Replies: @Charon, @Alden, @guest007, @Hypnotoad666, @Twinkie

    3. Leverage cheap immigrant labor.

    4. PROFIT

    • Replies: @Alden
    @Charon

    Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor. Farmers do use cheap immigrant labor.

    The key is is inherited wealth not earned income. And a lot of luck and being in the right occupation in the right place at the right time.

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @Old Prude, @LP5

  5. Isn’t this what the message of The Millionaire Next Door was?

    • Agree: JackOH, ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Redneck farmer

    R.F., I haven't read that book, but I was under the impression that it was about assets, not income. In other words, that millionaire may have a small business, a house that is mostly paid off, and invested wisely in the market. As I recall, the point was that you - next door to this family - could easily have no idea.

    It was about living fairly frugally, something that's pretty rare now. At some point, many of the millionaires next door will be Chinese.

    OTOH, being a millionaire does not make one rich anymore, after 20 years of 4-5% inflation and now the latest bout - thanks, FED! Just to pull a year out of my rear end, I'd say in 1970, being a millionare means being seriously rich.

    This article has $1.58 million gross income as the cut-off using 0.1%. Even after huge taxes and regular expenses, one can become a millionaire in a couple of years.

    Replies: @Dutch Boy

  6. Stephens-Davidowitz was born on September 15, 1982, in Englewood, New Jersey[1] into a Jewish family,[8] son of Esther Davidowitz and Mitchell Stephens

    What kind of fabbot hyphenates a last name from his mother and father. This is a tell. I don’t know what it tells, but something not good.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    @Daniel H

    My favorite is the author of one of the Lonely Planet phrasebooks for Hebrew, who worked in parentheses.

    Replies: @International Jew

    , @Ganderson
    @Daniel H

    I’m repeating myself here, but here in Moonbat-infested Western Massachusetts there are a ton of hyphenated names- mostly bestowed by the parents. Articles about games between Northampton and Amherst high schools have to add many column inches to get all the combo monikers into the story.

    , @Carol
    @Daniel H

    I think is a prog tell. It is really so dumb, as plenty of liberals used three names without hyphens, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, to honor the mother's family.

    Or kept their maiden name as a middle like Hillary Rodham.

    That more elegant solution seems to not occur to progressives.

    , @Right_On
    @Daniel H

    The British are world-leaders in hyphenated surnames; the more names you have, the more titles you've inherited. Something to brag about.

    Here's one: "Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax"
    The character Sir Hugo Drax in the James Bond novel Moonraker was so named by Ian Fleming as a tribute to Sir Reginald, a good friend.
    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcReNJqK14yeRPel_F899jJ864JzHZgWhwe01A&usqp=CAU

  7. Steve, that figure of only 140 ,000 individuals who make net taxable income of 1.58 million a year seems awfully low to me. There must be more.

    There’s hundreds of people who live in the north east quadrant of the small city of San Francisco who make a million or a bit more a year. But not 1.58 million Plus at least one farmer I know of . And they aren’t tech people. There must be more. Plus all the Asian Persian Armenian Russian Israeli immigrants. They must file tax returns, completely fraudulent and evading or not. .

    It’s a better idea for a kid to use his or her trust fund to put a down payment on an apartment house or strip mall than waste it on college tuition. The tax deductions alone from rentals are great Plus, it’s easy to hide the rent from one or more units from the satanic greedy mo’fa IRS.

    But you’re the research expert and I’m not. And there’s a huge difference between a million and 1.58 million a year. Beer and alcohol distributerships cost a fortune to buy.

    • Agree: SIMP simp
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Alden

    Alden, the calculation was very simple, once they had the IRS data (as iSteve has written about Raj Chetty, you wonder what happened to privacy at the IRS).

    The authors picked the round number of 0.1% top income. There must be 140,000,000 (actual*) taxpayers out of the US population of 350,000,000. That results in 140,000 making more than the other 99.9% and the lowest of those would be $1.58 million.

    .

    * Some people don't file, but the main reason it's about half the population is that tax returns are for couples and families.

    Replies: @Alden

    , @guest007
    @Alden

    Most of the individuals who people believe are rich are not really that rich due to having leveraged heavily. Think of all of the professional athletes and celebrities who go bankrupt or who had small estates when they died.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    , @Anonymous
    @Alden


    Plus, it’s easy to hide the rent from one or more units from the satanic greedy mo’fa IRS.
     
    Really?

    Do tell us how it’s done! 😀
  8. So, monopoly, family connections, special protections for certain people, and rent-seeking.
    Welcome to “free market capitalism”, welcome to America.

    As George Carlin (I think) said, “it’s called ‘the American dream’ because it’s just that, a dream.

    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
    @Dumbo

    [cue a brogue]: Ameriky is a great country where the rich and the poor have an equal opportunity to stay that way.
    Mr. Dooley

  9. First, rich people own. Among members of the top 0.1 percent, the researchers found, about three times as many make the majority of their income from owning a business as from being paid a wage. Salaries don’t make people rich nearly as often as equity does.

    Wow, what insight. People have barely known that for 3,000 years. This Seth Stephens-Davidowitz guy is amazing. He did a previous book called Everybody Lies, which while pretending to be objective, was really about how people who he doesn’t agree with politically are racists.

    However, I’d say this; if you want to be recognized by the Establishment, it might pay to kiss up to guys like Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.

    • Thanks: Je Suis Omar Mateen
  10. @Charon
    @JohnnyWalker123

    3. Leverage cheap immigrant labor.

    4. PROFIT

    Replies: @Alden

    Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor. Farmers do use cheap immigrant labor.

    The key is is inherited wealth not earned income. And a lot of luck and being in the right occupation in the right place at the right time.

    • Replies: @James B. Shearer
    @Alden

    "Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor. .."

    You sure about that? Who do you think does the service work?

    Replies: @International Jew, @Jack D, @obwandiyag, @Alden

    , @Old Prude
    @Alden

    Auto Dealers definitely use cheap immigrant labor. Detailing.

    , @LP5
    @Alden

    Alden writes:


    Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor.
     
    Ask your local car dealers where they are finding mechanics to replace those who have 'retired' due to Covid and other issues. They will tell you, as they have me, that there just isn't the same level of interest among young people in learning and plying that trade. When experienced mechanics, or similar people in other fields, walk away, a lot of knowledge leaves with them. See the IT world, decimated for a mess of pottage curry.

    Meanwhile, the car dealers have to placate the manufacturers that exert many controls over dealership operations. There is always brand equity at stake.
  11. I’m still doing the lottery. Won £2.74 last month.

  12. Who knows how much they will leave to their heirs?

    Easy, establish if they’re boomers, in which case you know exactly how much is being passed on.
    This analysis rings true as far as America being either the land of class mobility or dream careers, but not both (at least not at the same time), and of rents and wages being the ordeal of a three-legged frog in a well. However, I want to be comfortable, not rich. I positively don’t want the problems which come with being even a technical millionaire. Once I can have a dacha with animals and lunar distance from any bipeds but me, I expect to become uncharacteristically devoid of complaint. Of course, not content with ending class mobility, the Fink caste are now doing an end run around property ownership. Hopefully it will result in a huge number of avoidable deaths.

  13. @Daniel H

    Stephens-Davidowitz was born on September 15, 1982, in Englewood, New Jersey[1] into a Jewish family,[8] son of Esther Davidowitz and Mitchell Stephens
     
    What kind of fabbot hyphenates a last name from his mother and father. This is a tell. I don't know what it tells, but something not good.

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Ganderson, @Carol, @Right_On

    My favorite is the author of one of the Lonely Planet phrasebooks for Hebrew, who worked in parentheses.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    @J.Ross

    What's his name? Parentheses, in Israel, usually indicate the European name someone used before adopting something more authentically Hebraic. Like Ilan Harari (Bergman) or Oded Caspi (Silberdick).

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Joe Paluka, @Daniel H

  14. @Alden
    @Charon

    Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor. Farmers do use cheap immigrant labor.

    The key is is inherited wealth not earned income. And a lot of luck and being in the right occupation in the right place at the right time.

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @Old Prude, @LP5

    “Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor. ..”

    You sure about that? Who do you think does the service work?

    • Replies: @International Jew
    @James B. Shearer

    Indians?
    https://youtu.be/kkoiYtSWBgw

    , @Jack D
    @James B. Shearer


    Who do you think does the service work?
     
    In my experience, mostly white blue collar guys work at car dealerships. Is this not true where you live?

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @Alfa158, @Reg Cæsar, @Sollipsist

    , @obwandiyag
    @James B. Shearer

    One old white guy listening to classic rock over on the prestige side of the garage.

    The rest Hispanics, listening to salsa in the rest of the garage.

    , @Alden
    @James B. Shearer

    The place I take my car to charges a fortune. The mechanics are all White men 2 years of schooling and make about 80 to 100 K a year.

    But you’re right about the car washers. I was thinking of the salesmen.

    But cars nowadays are so complicated and constantly innovating its not like guys who took high school auto shop or learned from Dad can repair today’s complicated cars.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

  15. @JohnnyWalker123
    To summarize.

    1. Own equity in a business.
    2. The business should be in a niche with high barriers to entry.

    Replies: @Charon, @Alden, @guest007, @Hypnotoad666, @Twinkie

    Most businesses have a high barrier. Money, the cost of buying it. You’re absolutely right that owning a business is much better than working for a business.

  16. Step one: be a black guy with a 103 IQ, a clean criminal record, and college freshman-levels of literacy and numeracy.

    Step two: Good morning to our new Assistant VP of Diversity. Here is your corner office, the keys to your company Lexus, and your personal assistant, Ms. Blondie O’Shiksa.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Add 20 points to his IQ and a penchant for appointing who his donors tell him to and reading his prepared speeches well, and welcome to the Obama years.

    , @International Jew
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    You're not aiming high enough. Be that guy but become the front for a white guy who wants to bid on building major public works projects.

    Replies: @Alden

  17. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    Step one: be a black guy with a 103 IQ, a clean criminal record, and college freshman-levels of literacy and numeracy.

    Step two: Good morning to our new Assistant VP of Diversity. Here is your corner office, the keys to your company Lexus, and your personal assistant, Ms. Blondie O'Shiksa.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @International Jew

    Add 20 points to his IQ and a penchant for appointing who his donors tell him to and reading his prepared speeches well, and welcome to the Obama years.

  18. “I made my money the old fashioned way: I inherited it.”

    –John Raese

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @R.G. Camara

    A friend who never had a regular job but did a lot of great things quoted Churchill to me: "Saving is a very fine thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you."

    Replies: @dearieme

  19. Making 1.X million a year for one year will have lots of noise. There are all sorts of non-reproducible reason you might be in there for one year and go back to being a schlub the next. It would be much more interesting to see the people who are in there two or more years.

    Also, John McCain married into the family that had some distributorship of anheiser busch for Arizona. That’s a nice gig if you can get it

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang


    Also, John McCain married into the family that had some distributorship of anheiser busch for Arizona. That’s a nice gig if you can get it
     
    McCain was a piker compared to John ‘effing’ Kerry.
    , @Harry Baldwin
    @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang

    Also, John McCain married into the family that had some distributorship of anheiser busch for Arizona. That’s a nice gig if you can get it.

    Yeah, but it may require you to be the kind of guy that dumps his first wife, the one who anxiously waited for him back home and raised his children while he was a POW.


    Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: ‘I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is – deceit.

    ‘When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it.

    ‘Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.

    ‘This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.’
     
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1024927/The-wife-John-McCain-callously-left-behind.html

    Replies: @Steve from Detroit, @vinteuil

  20. Good physical and mental health is really rich. Some of the “richest” men in the world are probably living on borrowed time and last time I checked I didn’t see any Uhaul at anyone’s funeral. Soros looks like he has one and a half feet in the grave now, Jeff Bezso (spelling) is ugly and Trump is a few quarter pounders away from a massive heart attack, while Oprah is a butt ugly fat pig who hates herself and everyone else. And all that yo-yo dieting over the years can’t be good for ya.

    Some of these freaks aka cunts and pricks could feel really rich if they set up portable showers for the homeless instead of fulfilling some nerd fantasy barely riding into space as a passenger no less, yep, these freaks barely drive their 100 cars much less pilot a spaceship. Rent out hotels and order pizza and sodas for the homeless for a weekend, lots of good could be done but for some reason the wrong peop!e seem to always acquire uber wealth and it doesn’t come honestly or from hard work.

    • Replies: @Muggles
    @Trinity


    Some of these freaks aka cunts and pricks could feel really rich if they set up portable showers for the homeless instead of fulfilling some nerd fantasy barely riding into space as a passenger no less, yep, these freaks barely drive their 100 cars much less pilot a spaceship. Rent out hotels and order pizza and sodas for the homeless for a weekend, lots of good could be done but for some reason the wrong peop!e seem to always acquire uber wealth and it doesn’t come honestly or from hard work.
     
    What a malevolent comment. Even for iSteve, pretty bad.

    Your envy is showing...

    So you think the homeless just need a free shower and a cheap room for the night? What shelter do you devote your spare time volunteering in?

    I'd like to see your 1040 charitable deductions list. I'm sure it reflect your love of humanity.

    Poor people who win lotteries seldom turn into Mother Theresa types.

    I'm not defending the likes of Bezos or Gates, but they are under no more obligation to support lazy drug addict zombies than you are. I believe in charity, but other than places like the Salvation Army most feel-good actions are just virtue signaling. (Farm Aid, Darfur Needs You, etc.)

    Envy corrupts the soul.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

  21. @J.Ross
    @Daniel H

    My favorite is the author of one of the Lonely Planet phrasebooks for Hebrew, who worked in parentheses.

    Replies: @International Jew

    What’s his name? Parentheses, in Israel, usually indicate the European name someone used before adopting something more authentically Hebraic. Like Ilan Harari (Bergman) or Oded Caspi (Silberdick).

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    @International Jew

    Justin ben-Adam (Rudelson), son of Man as much as he is son of Wolf: Justin to Justin is Justin.

    , @Joe Paluka
    @International Jew

    (Silberdick)

    That one will make you very popular with the yentas in Tel Aviv!

    , @Daniel H
    @International Jew


    Like Ilan Harari (Bergman) or Oded Caspi (Silberdick).
     
    Anybody birthed with the name Silberdick has not only the right to change the name but the right also to curse his parents.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @J.Ross

  22. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    Step one: be a black guy with a 103 IQ, a clean criminal record, and college freshman-levels of literacy and numeracy.

    Step two: Good morning to our new Assistant VP of Diversity. Here is your corner office, the keys to your company Lexus, and your personal assistant, Ms. Blondie O'Shiksa.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @International Jew

    You’re not aiming high enough. Be that guy but become the front for a white guy who wants to bid on building major public works projects.

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
    • Replies: @Alden
    @International Jew

    Our family business has a black sub contractor who bids for all the government jobs . He’s both a regular inside wireman and a contractor. He’s a competent electrician. Although he does tend to talk a lot and not concentrate.

    But as a contractor running a big job he’s really not capable. . He needs a person getting the regular wages. Who actually takes care of payroll, code and other paperwork and actually runs the crew. While the AA contractor just does the regular work. And another guy or gal does all his work.
    And doesn’t get foreman’s wages
    At least he’s really a nice honest friendly guy who gets along with Whites. Instead of hating Whites like so many. Which is something to be thankful for.

  23. @James B. Shearer
    @Alden

    "Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor. .."

    You sure about that? Who do you think does the service work?

    Replies: @International Jew, @Jack D, @obwandiyag, @Alden

    Indians?

  24. @International Jew
    @J.Ross

    What's his name? Parentheses, in Israel, usually indicate the European name someone used before adopting something more authentically Hebraic. Like Ilan Harari (Bergman) or Oded Caspi (Silberdick).

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Joe Paluka, @Daniel H

    Justin ben-Adam (Rudelson), son of Man as much as he is son of Wolf: Justin to Justin is Justin.

  25. Anon[416] • Disclaimer says:

    The new book about Apple, After Steve, talks about Project Titan, Apple’s on-and-off-and-on-again car project, and it sounds like they are thinking about the last mile problem for car sales, probably with the result of imitating Elon Musk’s “showrooms” combined with online orders and delivery from regional warehouses or from the factory. Musk has already done a lot of the work in filing state-by-state lawsuits and pinning down what needs to be done in each state to end-run dealers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_electric_car_project

  26. @Redneck farmer
    Isn't this what the message of The Millionaire Next Door was?

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    R.F., I haven’t read that book, but I was under the impression that it was about assets, not income. In other words, that millionaire may have a small business, a house that is mostly paid off, and invested wisely in the market. As I recall, the point was that you – next door to this family – could easily have no idea.

    It was about living fairly frugally, something that’s pretty rare now. At some point, many of the millionaires next door will be Chinese.

    OTOH, being a millionaire does not make one rich anymore, after 20 years of 4-5% inflation and now the latest bout – thanks, FED! Just to pull a year out of my rear end, I’d say in 1970, being a millionare means being seriously rich.

    This article has \$1.58 million gross income as the cut-off using 0.1%. Even after huge taxes and regular expenses, one can become a millionaire in a couple of years.

    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
    @Achmed E. Newman

    It would be more interesting to classify rich people by net worth rather than income, which is what the press does with the well known billionaires. I have no idea what the income of Gates, Musk, Bezos, etc. is but the press never fails to mention their net worth.

  27. @Alden
    Steve, that figure of only 140 ,000 individuals who make net taxable income of 1.58 million a year seems awfully low to me. There must be more.

    There’s hundreds of people who live in the north east quadrant of the small city of San Francisco who make a million or a bit more a year. But not 1.58 million Plus at least one farmer I know of . And they aren’t tech people. There must be more. Plus all the Asian Persian Armenian Russian Israeli immigrants. They must file tax returns, completely fraudulent and evading or not. .

    It’s a better idea for a kid to use his or her trust fund to put a down payment on an apartment house or strip mall than waste it on college tuition. The tax deductions alone from rentals are great Plus, it’s easy to hide the rent from one or more units from the satanic greedy mo’fa IRS.

    But you’re the research expert and I’m not. And there’s a huge difference between a million and 1.58 million a year. Beer and alcohol distributerships cost a fortune to buy.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @guest007, @Anonymous

    Alden, the calculation was very simple, once they had the IRS data (as iSteve has written about Raj Chetty, you wonder what happened to privacy at the IRS).

    The authors picked the round number of 0.1% top income. There must be 140,000,000 (actual*) taxpayers out of the US population of 350,000,000. That results in 140,000 making more than the other 99.9% and the lowest of those would be \$1.58 million.

    .

    * Some people don’t file, but the main reason it’s about half the population is that tax returns are for couples and families.

    • Replies: @Alden
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I believe you but still. A million a year is a lot less than 1.58 a year. Depends on location too.

  28. A groundbreaking 2019 study by four economists, “Capitalists in the Twenty-First Century,” analyzed de-identified data of the complete universe of American taxpayers to determine who dominated the top 0.1 percent of earners…

    The study didn’t tell us about the small number of well-known tech and shopping billionaires but instead about the more than 140,000 Americans who earn more than \$1.58 million per year. The researchers found that the typical rich American is, in their words, the owner of a “regional business,” such as an “auto dealer” or a “beverage distributor.”

    Hence the engineered lockdown. Being rich in America is now the limited province of those who are connected and their connections.

    To wit, \$40 billion for Ukraine, with 10% for the Big Guy.

  29. @Bill Jones

    Salaries don’t make people rich
     
    Unless you're Nancy Pelosi.

    Replies: @Peter Akuleyev, @Lurker, @Prof. Woland

    What are you talking about? Pelosi married a finance/Venture capitalist type.

    • Agree: guest007
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Peter Akuleyev

    She didn't.
    Mr Pelosi's little "Leasing Services" company was in the business of making sure the real estate investments of doctors and lawyers had cleaners and plumbers on call for clogged toilets when he married Nancy at age 23. It's been transformed into their own little hedge fund on the back of all the bribes, sweetheart deals and inside information of the usual political grift.

    You are confusing cause and effect.

    , @Alden
    @Peter Akuleyev

    Nancy’s family was middle class politician with 8 kids.

    The Pelosi’s were wealthy back in N Italy. They came to America with plenty of capital for investment. And they’ve been wealthy as in real wealth for about 140 years. Long before Nancy. The Pelosis are German or Celtic looking. Not shirt dark S Italians. Husband Paul is maybe 6’2 reddish brown hair when he was young white not tannish skin and blue eyes His brother Ron had blondish golden brown hair. When they were younger.

    Nancy had black hair and very white not tannish skin and light brown eyes. She’s very short like about 5 ft and thin and tiny.

    Most San Francisco Italians ancestors came from N Italy during the big grape disease in Europe. With money to invest in businesses. Very different type from the starving S Italians happy to work for starvation wages.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  30. @JohnnyWalker123
    To summarize.

    1. Own equity in a business.
    2. The business should be in a niche with high barriers to entry.

    Replies: @Charon, @Alden, @guest007, @Hypnotoad666, @Twinkie

    A third step would be to make sure the business is one where payroll is not the biggest expense. If payroll is the biggest expense, then one is competing on low margins that are volatile.

  31. @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang
    Making 1.X million a year for one year will have lots of noise. There are all sorts of non-reproducible reason you might be in there for one year and go back to being a schlub the next. It would be much more interesting to see the people who are in there two or more years.

    Also, John McCain married into the family that had some distributorship of anheiser busch for Arizona. That’s a nice gig if you can get it

    Replies: @The Alarmist, @Harry Baldwin

    Also, John McCain married into the family that had some distributorship of anheiser busch for Arizona. That’s a nice gig if you can get it

    McCain was a piker compared to John ‘effing’ Kerry.

    • Agree: Old Prude
  32. @Alden
    Steve, that figure of only 140 ,000 individuals who make net taxable income of 1.58 million a year seems awfully low to me. There must be more.

    There’s hundreds of people who live in the north east quadrant of the small city of San Francisco who make a million or a bit more a year. But not 1.58 million Plus at least one farmer I know of . And they aren’t tech people. There must be more. Plus all the Asian Persian Armenian Russian Israeli immigrants. They must file tax returns, completely fraudulent and evading or not. .

    It’s a better idea for a kid to use his or her trust fund to put a down payment on an apartment house or strip mall than waste it on college tuition. The tax deductions alone from rentals are great Plus, it’s easy to hide the rent from one or more units from the satanic greedy mo’fa IRS.

    But you’re the research expert and I’m not. And there’s a huge difference between a million and 1.58 million a year. Beer and alcohol distributerships cost a fortune to buy.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @guest007, @Anonymous

    Most of the individuals who people believe are rich are not really that rich due to having leveraged heavily. Think of all of the professional athletes and celebrities who go bankrupt or who had small estates when they died.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @guest007

    Some of us KNOW they are not rich, Guest, but others are fooled by all the bling. My wife used to be the same way, not about athletes but neighbors with nice houses, 2 new cars, etc., etc. She gets it now - they don't actually OWN much. It's the American way - debt for everything. I'm very glad to have grown up in a fiscally conservative family.

  33. @R.G. Camara
    "I made my money the old fashioned way: I inherited it."

    --John Raese

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    A friend who never had a regular job but did a lot of great things quoted Churchill to me: “Saving is a very fine thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you.”

    • Replies: @dearieme
    @Harry Baldwin

    Alas for Churchill his mother managed to steal (part of?) his inheritance.

  34. @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang
    Making 1.X million a year for one year will have lots of noise. There are all sorts of non-reproducible reason you might be in there for one year and go back to being a schlub the next. It would be much more interesting to see the people who are in there two or more years.

    Also, John McCain married into the family that had some distributorship of anheiser busch for Arizona. That’s a nice gig if you can get it

    Replies: @The Alarmist, @Harry Baldwin

    Also, John McCain married into the family that had some distributorship of anheiser busch for Arizona. That’s a nice gig if you can get it.

    Yeah, but it may require you to be the kind of guy that dumps his first wife, the one who anxiously waited for him back home and raised his children while he was a POW.

    Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: ‘I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is – deceit.

    ‘When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it.

    ‘Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.

    ‘This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.’

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1024927/The-wife-John-McCain-callously-left-behind.html

    • Agree: Twinkie
    • Thanks: Old Prude, PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @Steve from Detroit
    @Harry Baldwin

    I use McCain as the textbook example of how the media can completely control the narrative regarding our alleged leaders. Virtually no one knows the backstory of McCain and his first wife, but everyone knows the story of his time as POW. I've tried to convince a couple of my friends, both of whom are admirers of McCain, the real story is far different than what they've been led to believe. My attempts attempts have been futile.

    The difference between the conventional story and the truth is so utterly different. What is even more astounding is the ease with which you can find the real story if you have even the slightest desire to do so. Alas, very few people have that desire.

    Replies: @Anon

    , @vinteuil
    @Harry Baldwin

    Of all the Republican candidates for President between 1988 & 2012, which one was the god-awfullest worst?

    The competition is stiff. But I think, in the end, there can only be one answer: John McCain.

  35. anon[216] • Disclaimer says:

    Beyond the in-law technique, there may be other ways to enter businesses like car dealerships. One is taking a chance on new manufacturers, like the South Koreans a few decades ago and maybe, EV’s now. Also, maybe identify an area of high population growth, though it seems existing dealers are far more likely to be given the chance to open a branch than an outsider is to start a whole new dealership.

  36. @James B. Shearer
    @Alden

    "Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor. .."

    You sure about that? Who do you think does the service work?

    Replies: @International Jew, @Jack D, @obwandiyag, @Alden

    Who do you think does the service work?

    In my experience, mostly white blue collar guys work at car dealerships. Is this not true where you live?

    • Replies: @James B. Shearer
    @Jack D

    "In my experience, mostly white blue collar guys work at car dealerships. Is this not true where you live?"

    I am under the impression that there are a lot of Hispanics. But I could be wrong, things are set up so you don't talk to the mechanics directly and I don't have a large sample size in any case.

    , @Alfa158
    @Jack D

    Maybe he lives in California, like Steve and myself. Here 98% of the people who do manual labor such as auto mechanics, utility workers, construction workers, truck drivers etc. are Mexican. Interestingly the government employed municipal and state workers doing jobs such as highway construction and maintenance are now also only about 2% White.
    Where he is wrong is about being poorly paid. The types of day laborers who hang around big box construction material stores are poorly paid, but all those other jobs I mentioned pay very well. Those workers are driving $50k pick up trucks or SUVs and all their kids have the latest mobile phones and video game players.

    Replies: @Johann Ricke, @Jack D

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Jack D


    In my experience, mostly white blue collar guys work at car dealerships.
     
    According to the Magliozzis, it's "Butchie". There are still a lot of mechanics named Butch.
    , @Sollipsist
    @Jack D

    Probably varies by region. Here in Vegas, it seems to be around 75% Hispanic, 20% lesbian, and 5% present or future 20-something white meth addicts.

  37. So here’s the author:

    Looks like the kind of Orthodox Jews that regularly fill up the Worst Landlords list in New York City. I wouldn’t believe this guy if he told me the sky was blue. Even worse:

    He received his BA in philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford, and his PhD in economics from Harvard.

    Yeesh.

    Anyway, car dealerships are going to be a dying business, replaced by on-line shopping. AutoNation now sells nearly half its cars via their website. It gets you out of that nonsense of getting pressured by the sleazy car dealer to buy add-ons you don’t need or to sign a crappy finance deal or to just plain get ripped off.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @peterike

    Looks like the kind of Orthodox Jews that regularly fill up the Worst Landlords list in NY City.

    Nah, that's a hipster look. Ultra Orthodox guys (NYC landlords list) are very rarely ,if ever, hyphenated .

    , @E. Rekshun
    @peterike

    It gets you out of that nonsense of getting pressured by the sleazy car dealer to buy add-ons you don’t need or to sign a crappy finance deal or to just plain get ripped off.

    Last month, my 84 y/o father went into the local Chevy dealer to get the "free" oil change on his 2021 Chevrolet Silverado, owned in full, no loan, no lease. An hour later, he left as the new lessee of a 2022 Chevrolet Camaro on a 3-year lease.

    , @Anon
    @peterike

    His face is punchable.

  38. OT – it turns out that Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter are responsible for the mass shooting in Buffalo because of their espousal of the racist “elect a new people” meme:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2022/05/15/buffalo-suspect-great-replacement-theory-conservative-media/

    Implicit in this article is that it’s about time for these vile genocidal commentators to be imprisoned or at least taken off the airwaves.

    Steve gets no credit.

    If this was really the nutjob’s inspiration, why did he shoot up a supermarket full of ADOS’s? They are about as Old Stock as you can get? Shouldn’t he have gone to the Latino or Asian neighborhood? Or is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?

    • Replies: @Henry's Cat
    @Jack D

    Going by the manifesto, seems he had a bigger beef with blacks than others. Choosing a grocery store was probably a good idea if he wanted an easy target and a captive audience.

    , @Charon
    @Jack D


    If this was really the nutjob’s inspiration, why did he shoot up a supermarket full of ADOS’s? They are about as Old Stock as you can get? Shouldn’t he have gone to the Latino or Asian neighborhood? Or is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?
     
    Why? Because he's a psychopathic idiot, that's why. Losers like him and Dylann Roof do more damage to civil rights for white people than anyone this side of Hollywood Jews.

    And while Buffalo is very depressed, it's sort of irrelevant since he drove three hours to get there.

    It would be much better for everyone if he'd died in a car wreck on the way there. Better for everyone except Hollywood Jews, and their fellow travelers in government, media, etc. They're lovin it.

    I just know you'll agree with me on that last bit.

    , @J.Ross
    @Jack D

    Is that the same newspaper which published "Great Replacement Isn't Real, But It's A Good Idea"? Oh, wait, that was NYT, and the title was "We Can Replace Them."
    Final stab: the overweight woman who wrote that -- is childless.

    , @Adam Smith
    @Jack D

    Greetings, Mr. D,

    The demographics of Buffalo in 2022:

    • White: 47.11%
    • Negro or African: 36.53%
    • Other race: 5.95%
    • Asian: 5.86%
    • Two or more races: 4.04%
    • Native American: 0.48%
    • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.05%


    Is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?
     
    Buffalo is very depressed (and very depressing).

    Buffalo has a poverty rate of 30.06%. (That's pretty similar to Detroit's 30.6% and a bit higher than Philadelphia's 23.3%)

    Buffalo does have a sizable population of Puerto Ricans and a vibrant Somali Community.
    The former president of Somalia is a bureaucrat from Western New York.

    , @vinteuil
    @Jack D

    Jack D - just FYI - your link is useless to those of us who don't subscribe to the Washington Post. It just takes us to a dialogue begging us to subscribe.

    As if.

    Replies: @Jack D

    , @Seneca44
    @Jack D

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/01/23/watch-the-rapid-decline-of-white-america-over-three-decades/

    They didn't want to call it replacement when they wrote about it seven years ago!

    , @Dave Pinsen
    @Jack D

    I got sent to Twitter jail for pointing out that Tucker’s name appears nowhere in the shooter’s manifesto ( https://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/spree-killer-manifesto.pdf ). Unsurprising, as 18 year olds aren’t big cable news viewers.

    He also includes a meme claiming Fox is run by Jews.

  39. In my experience, it is hard to make money at bars, nice restaurants, yoga or dance studios, etc because people become owners for status rather than to make a profit. Many Pilates or dance studios are opened by wives of rich guys after their kids have grown. After all, they’ve been doing it for years, taught it a little and “Pilates studio owner” sounds better than stay-at-home mom or retired.
    Now it’s more common for party dudes to try to run a bar or club and they don’t know what they are doing but just like to drink. It’s hard to compete against a money losing bar if they are losing money because their drink prices are too low.

    • Agree: E. Rekshun
    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    @Zpaladin

    Pilates or dance studios are opened by wives of rich guys after their kids have grown.

    Also, "interior decorator."

    , @Veteran Aryan
    @Zpaladin


    In my experience, it is hard to make money at bars, nice restaurants, yoga or dance studios, etc because people become owners for status rather than to make a profit.
     
    Sixty percent of restaurants fail in the first year. Eighty percent fail within the first two years. My observations lead me to believe that the most common reason for their failure is that they hire their relatives.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara

  40. Be lucky. Be in the right time and the right place with the right interests.

    Seriously: that’s the biggest factor. I’ve seen enough millionaires to know that they work insanely hard and are well above the mean in intellect. Guess what? Most people in tech, especially in fintech, also fit that description.

    Now, if you change our definition of “rich” from “donor class” to “well-to-do”, that’s totally different. Avoid debt like the plague if possible, budget well, use compound interest to your advantage. Yadda yadda.

    (This isn’t limited to money. The politician who understands that being open and unapologetic about his luck will be received positively by the American public desperate for any alternative to the stale, self-serving platitudes on offer from everything mainstream will go far. If you are an optimate, own it and be the best damned optimate you can be, with no apologies. Unfortunately, we’ve turned victimhood and obstacles from something to be understood and overcame into something to be aspired to, as anybody familiar with UMC college applications understands.)

    • Replies: @scrivener3
    @nebulafox

    There is certainly an element of luck. I remember Ross Periot saying in an interview that getting rich selling IBM iron to big corporations in 1950 did not take a lot of brains or effort.

    An article also stuck with me about a new stock broker trying to build a book of customers (dialing for dollars). Everyone in his office got the registration records for BMW's, MB's, Porsche's, Ferrari's. When he landed one or two as customers he soon realized they were broke. The car was leased, the house was mortgaged the client had no equity in anything.

    Then in a doctor's waiting room he saw a magazine about Entrepreneur of the Year. It was about the owner of a private refuse dump. He went to see the guy and the guy was loaded. He got referrals to other private dump owners. They were all loaded. Owning a business is the best way to get rich.

  41. @Jack D
    OT - it turns out that Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter are responsible for the mass shooting in Buffalo because of their espousal of the racist "elect a new people" meme:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2022/05/15/buffalo-suspect-great-replacement-theory-conservative-media/

    Implicit in this article is that it's about time for these vile genocidal commentators to be imprisoned or at least taken off the airwaves.

    Steve gets no credit.

    If this was really the nutjob's inspiration, why did he shoot up a supermarket full of ADOS's? They are about as Old Stock as you can get? Shouldn't he have gone to the Latino or Asian neighborhood? Or is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?

    Replies: @Henry's Cat, @Charon, @J.Ross, @Adam Smith, @vinteuil, @Seneca44, @Dave Pinsen

    Going by the manifesto, seems he had a bigger beef with blacks than others. Choosing a grocery store was probably a good idea if he wanted an easy target and a captive audience.

  42. @Jack D
    @James B. Shearer


    Who do you think does the service work?
     
    In my experience, mostly white blue collar guys work at car dealerships. Is this not true where you live?

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @Alfa158, @Reg Cæsar, @Sollipsist

    “In my experience, mostly white blue collar guys work at car dealerships. Is this not true where you live?”

    I am under the impression that there are a lot of Hispanics. But I could be wrong, things are set up so you don’t talk to the mechanics directly and I don’t have a large sample size in any case.

  43. @nebulafox
    Be lucky. Be in the right time and the right place with the right interests.

    Seriously: that's the biggest factor. I've seen enough millionaires to know that they work insanely hard and are well above the mean in intellect. Guess what? Most people in tech, especially in fintech, also fit that description.

    Now, if you change our definition of "rich" from "donor class" to "well-to-do", that's totally different. Avoid debt like the plague if possible, budget well, use compound interest to your advantage. Yadda yadda.

    (This isn't limited to money. The politician who understands that being open and unapologetic about his luck will be received positively by the American public desperate for any alternative to the stale, self-serving platitudes on offer from everything mainstream will go far. If you are an optimate, own it and be the best damned optimate you can be, with no apologies. Unfortunately, we've turned victimhood and obstacles from something to be understood and overcame into something to be aspired to, as anybody familiar with UMC college applications understands.)

    Replies: @scrivener3

    There is certainly an element of luck. I remember Ross Periot saying in an interview that getting rich selling IBM iron to big corporations in 1950 did not take a lot of brains or effort.

    An article also stuck with me about a new stock broker trying to build a book of customers (dialing for dollars). Everyone in his office got the registration records for BMW’s, MB’s, Porsche’s, Ferrari’s. When he landed one or two as customers he soon realized they were broke. The car was leased, the house was mortgaged the client had no equity in anything.

    Then in a doctor’s waiting room he saw a magazine about Entrepreneur of the Year. It was about the owner of a private refuse dump. He went to see the guy and the guy was loaded. He got referrals to other private dump owners. They were all loaded. Owning a business is the best way to get rich.

  44. @Harry Baldwin
    @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang

    Also, John McCain married into the family that had some distributorship of anheiser busch for Arizona. That’s a nice gig if you can get it.

    Yeah, but it may require you to be the kind of guy that dumps his first wife, the one who anxiously waited for him back home and raised his children while he was a POW.


    Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: ‘I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is – deceit.

    ‘When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it.

    ‘Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.

    ‘This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.’
     
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1024927/The-wife-John-McCain-callously-left-behind.html

    Replies: @Steve from Detroit, @vinteuil

    I use McCain as the textbook example of how the media can completely control the narrative regarding our alleged leaders. Virtually no one knows the backstory of McCain and his first wife, but everyone knows the story of his time as POW. I’ve tried to convince a couple of my friends, both of whom are admirers of McCain, the real story is far different than what they’ve been led to believe. My attempts attempts have been futile.

    The difference between the conventional story and the truth is so utterly different. What is even more astounding is the ease with which you can find the real story if you have even the slightest desire to do so. Alas, very few people have that desire.

    • Replies: @Anon
    @Steve from Detroit

    Something about McCain's first wife getting into a crippling auto crash while McCain was a prisoner in Vietnam. Then McCain coming back to freedom only to divorce his disabled wife for a hot new trophy wife.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

  45. @Charon

    We now know who is rich in America. And it’s not who you might have guessed.

    ... determine who dominated the top 0.1 percent of earners.
     
    As I'm forever explaining, income isn't remotely the same thing as wealth.

    And it's not accidental that we're forever being bombarded with sliced-and-diced income stats, broken down every which way. But wealth? What are you looking at, goy boy?

    Replies: @dearieme, @Sick 'n Tired

    In most advanced countries there will be good government figures for income, or more accurately for declared income. Her Majesty’s Government certainly knows my income for those years in which I have lived in this lovely land, and my wife’s.

    But I doubt if they know our wealth. If they do, how did they find out? I asked somebody this on a blog and he said that they could probably estimate it by noting the value of our house and multiplying by three. Where that rule of thumb came from I have no idea. It would certainly be bonkers for younger people who often own only a small fraction of their house once you subtract their mortgage loan. And it would wildly exaggerate our own wealth. I suggest that few countries have any useful data on household wealth. In which case it would be pointless trying to analyse it.

    To that you must add the crass misunderstanding of wealth – I’ve seen bloody fools claim that Queen Elizabeth is the wealthiest person in the world. Presumably they’ve simply added up everything belonging to the various arms of government in the UK and attributed it all to the Queen. That might make sense for Saudi Arabia but not for us.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    @dearieme

    The people I know with the most expensive houses own several, and in several different countries. And their houses comprise a tiny percentage of their wealth.

  46. “The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.”

    Larry Miller’s heirs sold the Utah Jazz a few years ago – for \$1.6 billion. Then last year they sold off their car dealerships, which is how Millet built his fortune, for \$3.5 billion. They still have real estate and movie theater holdings they are holding on to. When Miller signed Karl Malone he was dressed like a parts employee (his entry job into the car business) and they talked things over at a fancy, high end restaurant called Wendy’s.

    Unless there’s someone in Utah sitting on a secret stash of Apple or Amazon stock, that should easily make them the richest family in the state. From car dealerships.

    Utah has had quite a few fairly successful tech companies (the guy who bought the Jazz sold his company to SAP). None of them are as rich as the Millers.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @Wilkey

    Car dealerships are some of the big time college football booster guys. They love getting the big players for their alma maters through the usual bribery, and often time gift cars to various family members (or the players themselves).

    Car dealerships seem to be one of those businesses in which you can hide/launder a lot of money, much like movie making and construction, except car dealers seem to allow for lower-level entrepeneurs to get in on the action without becoming part of a vast web of companies or one monolith owned by the mob. Liek, if movie companies and construction companies are upper class corruption, car dealerships seem to be upper-middle class corruption.

    Replies: @EdwardM

    , @Daniel H
    @Wilkey

    Utah has had quite a few fairly successful tech companies (the guy who bought the Jazz sold his company to SAP). None of them are as rich as the Millers.

    Utah was a player in the early PC software market. Novell and Wordperfect came out of Utah.

    Replies: @Stan Adams

  47. rich men’s ex-wives, would kind of like to own a toy or cosmetics boutique.

    We used to live in Edinburgh which is a notably upmarket city. Rich men’s wives ran art galleries. And they sold real art, not the children’s daubings sort of “art”.

  48. @Jack D
    OT - it turns out that Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter are responsible for the mass shooting in Buffalo because of their espousal of the racist "elect a new people" meme:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2022/05/15/buffalo-suspect-great-replacement-theory-conservative-media/

    Implicit in this article is that it's about time for these vile genocidal commentators to be imprisoned or at least taken off the airwaves.

    Steve gets no credit.

    If this was really the nutjob's inspiration, why did he shoot up a supermarket full of ADOS's? They are about as Old Stock as you can get? Shouldn't he have gone to the Latino or Asian neighborhood? Or is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?

    Replies: @Henry's Cat, @Charon, @J.Ross, @Adam Smith, @vinteuil, @Seneca44, @Dave Pinsen

    If this was really the nutjob’s inspiration, why did he shoot up a supermarket full of ADOS’s? They are about as Old Stock as you can get? Shouldn’t he have gone to the Latino or Asian neighborhood? Or is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?

    Why? Because he’s a psychopathic idiot, that’s why. Losers like him and Dylann Roof do more damage to civil rights for white people than anyone this side of Hollywood Jews.

    And while Buffalo is very depressed, it’s sort of irrelevant since he drove three hours to get there.

    It would be much better for everyone if he’d died in a car wreck on the way there. Better for everyone except Hollywood Jews, and their fellow travelers in government, media, etc. They’re lovin it.

    I just know you’ll agree with me on that last bit.

  49. The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.

    Auto dealerships have legal protections; state franchising laws often give auto dealers exclusive rights to sell cars in a territory.

    What a stunning insight! A more reasonable book title would be “Yes the typical rich person is exactly who you have always thought, if you’ve been paying the slightest attention.”

    I.e. middle man parasites selling something valuable or a lot of something … who have managed to wrangle government protected monopolies. I.e. car dealers #1.

    ~~

    I’m a big believer in federalism, self-government–by responsible productive people. But this does highlight one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from…. allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.

    Forget Costco, there’s absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that i want. Then either fly to the factory, or for a modest couple hundred bucks pick it up at the “Ford Depot” at the railhead in the nearest city near me.

    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together–i.e. to actually produce–these amazing machines … and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value–absolutely zero–and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.

    Parasitism. It’s what’s for dinner in America 2.0.

    • Replies: @(((They))) live
    @AnotherDad

    This is why car dealers hate Tesla, Tesla still can't sell their cars in some States, if Tesla continue to grow, you may well get your wish to buy a Ford direct from the factory

    , @anon
    @AnotherDad

    The auto manufacturers came up with the idea of independent dealers to save capital expenses during their expansion phase. Same with Coke bottlers.
    Both are good but not great businesses and capital intensive. Not good enough for big money to consolidate until recently.
    Farming is mostly the worst business imaginable. Except it is capital intensive and any family farmers left tend to be multi generational with high net worths. And if you own the land, it isn't that unprofitable.
    The kind of businesses owned by individuals tend to be not the greatest. And surprisingly capital intensive.

    , @Prosa123
    @AnotherDad

    Car dealers are horrible, especially now that the Carmageddon has empowered them to add huge markups, but fortunately new cars are an anomaly. For all its turmoil the Retail Acopalyse has made buying just about anything a much more user-friendly experience.

    Replies: @Jack D

    , @epebble
    @AnotherDad

    Are the new Electric vehicles also sold that way i.e., exclusive geographical monopolies? There is even less need for dealers since there is virtually no maintenance - no oil/filter change, no radiator or water pump to break, hoses to replace, oil leak/gaskets to replace. Even brakes need less work as they are mostly regenerative. One big thing, battery, is usually not replaceable anyway. Most interestingly, what is there to prevent amazon or Costco to source it from Canada or Mexico or heck, even directly from China or Korea and drop it off on your driveway with key inserted and engine started?

    , @mmack
    @AnotherDad

    "Forget Costco, there’s absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that I want."

    If you're willing to wait, and have a strong will, you can order a vehicle to your specifications.

    If you're willing to wait.

    Back in the late 1990s I had a co-worker whose then husband wanted a specifically optioned F-150. He held his ground and the dealer ordered it for him.

    He had to wait two months for the truck to be sequenced into the production line order and built.

    That's the problem we'd face: You and I would line up behind the orders of, oh, Smilin' Steve Sailer, your Valley Ford Man, California's top Ford Dealer, located right next to the Rancho Coalinga Country Club. Because Smilin' Steve, Friendly Frank, and everybody else you see on your color TV screen are buying and selling LARGE VOLUMES of Fords, and big data for Smilin' Steve says Steve sells Platinum Package F-150s in black, white, silver, and blue like hotcakes. That's MONEY my man, and We Want Smilin' Steve to keep smilin' and SELL FORDS! Cause Smilin' Steve has a big credit line and that credit line helps us pay our bills.

    Oh, you want the '22 Escape in green with cloth seats? Who are you again? Smilin' Steve needs 50 Escapes in black, blue, white, and silver, with leather interiors, and Friendly Frank needs 100. We'll fit your Escape in somewhere.

    Replies: @onetwothree

    , @Almost Missouri
    @AnotherDad


    one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from…. allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.
     
    Seems to me that the US Federal government, despite its enormous size, still manages to get torqued around, hijacked and favor-extracted by very rich and self-interested people. Worse, the losses to Americans aren't just monetary, but include lives and blood (and of course lives and blood of foreigners too). In the last few months, the Federal government has even been flirting with starting nuclear war on behalf of these favor-extractors.

    Even worse, it is so big that it is now immune to voting, so, unlike your corrupt town council there is no way to get rid of it. Even just talking about getting rid of it makes you a person of interest to the Disinformation Czarina, a potential "domestic terrorist", a No-Fly List candidate, and a SWATting target.

    So I'll still take small government any day of the week. Even if you don't have a majority to vote out the rotten ones, you can still go to a town meeting and humiliate them verbally. But I guess the FBI is working to foreclose that possibility too, oh hey, that's big govt at work again.
    , @Marquis
    @AnotherDad

    Nah…you don’t know the business. All the money in selling the cars is made by Ford. Dealerships make very little on new cars.

    Dealerships make some money on used cars and the majority of their money on servicing and auto-body shop. If I live in middle of nowhere Wisconsin and someone side swipes me I can take my car to the nearest dealership for auto body repair within 15mi. I have to take my Tesla 150mi to Chicago.

    Replies: @Jack D

    , @Muggles
    @AnotherDad


    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together–i.e. to actually produce–these amazing machines … and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value–absolutely zero–and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.
     
    The manufacturer-dealer arrangement was done in the early 20s-30s to "protect" the local mechanics and the like. These are legally embedded in every state. Like alcohol sales, the arrangement was politically arranged to "protect" the consumer. Or middleman. Nearly impossible to change since legal middlemen have expensive lobbies and make generous campaign contributions to state legislature candidates.

    Teslsa has no dealers since Musk wouldn't play ball. You order and they deliver.

    As for Ford, yes some good engineering, etc. They didn't go bankrupt and get bailed out like the others.

    However the recent WSJ review of their super-duper F-150 electric pickup was revealing. The reviewer (given a freebie look from Ford) was all agog about this wonderful machine. Of course the model he was in love with had a pre-tax sticker cost of $93K.

    So all the redneck farmers/ranchers and hunters, classic pickup owners, better start saving up for their best model. Just make sure you charge it up every 250 miles or so. That'll be easier out in the boonies. If you own your own windmill power generator.

    The Journal (like others) does nothing but rave about E vehicles. Elsewhere in their news, many articles about the looming power shortages due to Green mandated insanity. So soon to be scarce electricity (as in California) and costly power is not going to be a problem for E vehicle owners. Biden Magic I tell you....

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Jack D

    , @MLG
    @AnotherDad

    Another Dad, I have a couple of question abourt the Ford depot. If the car arrives while I am in the hospital or on vacation can I let it sit there for a month? If I go to the depot and notice a scratch can I get a full refund? Is it my car so the hail damage is on me? What if the vehicle just looked better on the screen? Do I take my car to the depot and it will honor my 3 year warranty? Your a smart guy and I take your suggestion seriously but it seems like a complicated process for a company that hasn't been setting the stcok market on fire for several years( Ford owner in more ways then one).

  50. anon[356] • Disclaimer says:

    Gas is mostly sold by chains. They quit having price wars. And the combo convenience store, gas station owns the biggest and best. Seven Eleven just bought out Speedway to become #1 in the C-Store News lists, with over 10% market share. The combos buy the best property, and make 30 cents/gal on the gas and the C-Store make about the same in aggregate as the gas, not competing with Amazon or Costco. You can buy stock in these firms, like Circle-K, for example.
    Same with car dealers. Auto Nation and Car Max are big chains. The number of dealers are shrinking. New cars are (or were) commodities, with internet pricing ruining that part of the business. Parts and service is usually the biggest profit center now. Followed by the companion used car part. And the financing and insurance part. Chains include Auto Nation (AN), Penske (PAG), Lithia Motors (LAD) , Group One (GPI), etc. You could buy the stocks or read their published financials.
    C-Stores include Casey’s (CASY) and the Speedway deal has public filings from 2021. And ANCUF, Canadian global chain Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
    Overall cars have been a bad sector, since GM in the 50’s and Tesla. Parts suppliers are awful. A sweet spot is Auto Zone and O’Reillys, which have perfected the retail aftermarket parts business.
    (AZ and ORLY).

    • Agree: ginger bread man
    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @ginger bread man
    @anon

    Parts and service....

    A few years ago, My Dad’s BMW had an error so we brought it in to the dealer to get inspected. The Service department said our acceleration limit or (or YAW detector, i can’t remember) would be $1500 to repair.
    $1250 for the part, which they had in stock, and $250 for the labor.

    This seemed expensive, and our mechanic friend told us to check with the parts department within the dealership, maybe they would quote a better price. We called the parts dept. and to our surprise, they quoted us $750 for the exact same part. Almost half!

    Our friend said that they do this because most BMW owners will never check with the parts department, so they add a significant markup because they know you’ll probably just pay the higher price.

    To satisfy my curiosity, I googled the part and see if I could find it cheaper on EBay. I did some scouting and found dozens of people selling the part for ~$150. Eventually I bought the part for $50 and had our mechanic friend replace the part for $250.

    Saved us over $1000

    Replies: @Alfa158

  51. Minimum salary (2022):
    MLB = \$700,000
    NFL = \$705,000
    NHL = \$750,000
    NBA = \$925,000

  52. @AnotherDad

    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.
    ...

    Auto dealerships have legal protections; state franchising laws often give auto dealers exclusive rights to sell cars in a territory.
     
    What a stunning insight! A more reasonable book title would be "Yes the typical rich person is exactly who you have always thought, if you've been paying the slightest attention."

    I.e. middle man parasites selling something valuable or a lot of something ... who have managed to wrangle government protected monopolies. I.e. car dealers #1.

    ~~

    I'm a big believer in federalism, self-government--by responsible productive people. But this does highlight one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from.... allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.

    Forget Costco, there's absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that i want. Then either fly to the factory, or for a modest couple hundred bucks pick it up at the "Ford Depot" at the railhead in the nearest city near me.

    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together--i.e. to actually produce--these amazing machines ... and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value--absolutely zero--and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.

    Parasitism. It's what's for dinner in America 2.0.

    Replies: @(((They))) live, @anon, @Prosa123, @epebble, @mmack, @Almost Missouri, @Marquis, @Muggles, @MLG

    This is why car dealers hate Tesla, Tesla still can’t sell their cars in some States, if Tesla continue to grow, you may well get your wish to buy a Ford direct from the factory

  53. anon[356] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.
    ...

    Auto dealerships have legal protections; state franchising laws often give auto dealers exclusive rights to sell cars in a territory.
     
    What a stunning insight! A more reasonable book title would be "Yes the typical rich person is exactly who you have always thought, if you've been paying the slightest attention."

    I.e. middle man parasites selling something valuable or a lot of something ... who have managed to wrangle government protected monopolies. I.e. car dealers #1.

    ~~

    I'm a big believer in federalism, self-government--by responsible productive people. But this does highlight one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from.... allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.

    Forget Costco, there's absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that i want. Then either fly to the factory, or for a modest couple hundred bucks pick it up at the "Ford Depot" at the railhead in the nearest city near me.

    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together--i.e. to actually produce--these amazing machines ... and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value--absolutely zero--and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.

    Parasitism. It's what's for dinner in America 2.0.

    Replies: @(((They))) live, @anon, @Prosa123, @epebble, @mmack, @Almost Missouri, @Marquis, @Muggles, @MLG

    The auto manufacturers came up with the idea of independent dealers to save capital expenses during their expansion phase. Same with Coke bottlers.
    Both are good but not great businesses and capital intensive. Not good enough for big money to consolidate until recently.
    Farming is mostly the worst business imaginable. Except it is capital intensive and any family farmers left tend to be multi generational with high net worths. And if you own the land, it isn’t that unprofitable.
    The kind of businesses owned by individuals tend to be not the greatest. And surprisingly capital intensive.

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
  54. @AnotherDad

    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.
    ...

    Auto dealerships have legal protections; state franchising laws often give auto dealers exclusive rights to sell cars in a territory.
     
    What a stunning insight! A more reasonable book title would be "Yes the typical rich person is exactly who you have always thought, if you've been paying the slightest attention."

    I.e. middle man parasites selling something valuable or a lot of something ... who have managed to wrangle government protected monopolies. I.e. car dealers #1.

    ~~

    I'm a big believer in federalism, self-government--by responsible productive people. But this does highlight one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from.... allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.

    Forget Costco, there's absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that i want. Then either fly to the factory, or for a modest couple hundred bucks pick it up at the "Ford Depot" at the railhead in the nearest city near me.

    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together--i.e. to actually produce--these amazing machines ... and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value--absolutely zero--and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.

    Parasitism. It's what's for dinner in America 2.0.

    Replies: @(((They))) live, @anon, @Prosa123, @epebble, @mmack, @Almost Missouri, @Marquis, @Muggles, @MLG

    Car dealers are horrible, especially now that the Carmageddon has empowered them to add huge markups, but fortunately new cars are an anomaly. For all its turmoil the Retail Acopalyse has made buying just about anything a much more user-friendly experience.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Prosa123


    For all its turmoil the Retail Acopalyse [sp] has made buying just about anything a much more user-friendly experience.
     
    No, not really. If anything, it has made getting good advice harder than ever. The "user friendly" aspect is that you can get more information online but you may or may not even be able to buy the item in person anymore. If you do decide to go to a bricks and mortar store, it's doubtful you will get any good advice.

    Yesterday I needed a new TV and I did my research online as usual and was prepared to buy it on Amazon but they were out of stock on that model until a week or 2 from now. Luckily my local Best Buy store had that model in stock and they will price match to Amazon via online chat so that was all good.

    However, the fly in the ointment was that my wife wanted to "see" the TV in person so into the BB store we ventured, for perhaps the first time since the 'rona (and the last if I can help it). At first the sales clerk (friendly young woman with slight Spanish accent) says that they don't have this particular model on display, sorry. Please let me know if you need anything else, and she skedaddles. I look at the display of TVs and sure enough it is up there, tucked in a corner (Brand X did not pay BB for prominent floor placement like Samsung does). However, the TV clearly misconfigured and the picture looks much worse than all the other TVs - maybe the Samsung rep sabotaged the settings - the colors look washed out and dim. Luckily my wife doesn't notice (I think she was more concerned that the TV would be somehow ugly or purple or something but it's not, it's a black rectangle like all the other new TVs) and we proceed with the purchase. I'm sure that not 1 person in a hundred who goes into the store buys that TV unless they have done their research in advance.

    I get the TV home and set it up and configure it according to the settings that the Interwebs recommend (BTW, this is very important - TVs today have a million settings and if you configure it wrong the picture will look like crap) and it looks great. So by going into the store I was WORSE off than if I hadn't gone in at all. The retail store actually added NEGATIVE value to my purchase.

    Replies: @epebble, @kaganovitch, @Anonymous, @Twinkie

  55. Pixo says:

    I’ve looked at this same database of people with \$1m and above taxable income. There are tons of law consulting and accounting firm partners and a fair number of pro athletes and lots of doctors.

    The start a business advice for getting rich in other words is overstated. Now is also a difficult time to start a business because the labor market is tight, you give up more and have to pay more. And if you don’t hire anyone, you’re unlikely to get rich, you’re just an independent contractor.

    • Replies: @Another Canadian
    @Pixo


    And if you don’t hire anyone, you’re unlikely to get rich, you’re just an independent contractor.
     
    Build a pyramid leveraging the labour of others, especially utilising protective regulatory or certification barriers to entry. Successful accountants, lawyers, electricians, dentists and car dealers all do this.
  56. The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly

    I can’t remember who made the statement about the libertarian ideal of competition (IE, people whose services and good I use should be in competition and let me explain why competition against me is actually anti-competitive!) being the path to great success and wealth by making the observation that the hardest working man in greatest true competition being a Bangladeshi rice farmer.

    But this is also why I find it odd when people think major league sports in North America is ‘socialist’ compared to say Europe. A cabal of owners who shut out competition against them and ensure things stay the same to benefit them is actually how, absent disruption to their business model or government regulation, how any free market will end up. Winning helps you win more. That’s the essence of feudalism, that’s what it was. (And the deaths of enough of the peasantry from the plague disrupted their business model) Absent regulation is there anything that will stop Amazon from being able to become a cyberpunk style conglomerate?

    The great frustration people have with neoliberalism is that it sets up things that are ‘good for the economy’. There is no such thing. Every policy has winners and losers and winners or losers over different lengths of time. The real question that should be central and blaring in politics all the time is “What do you want?” and construct policies from that.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Rob
    @Altai

    Very well stated, Altai. The people who are rich in economy 1.0 had no guarantee that they’d be rich and powerful when the economy leveled up. It's sort of funny, rich people would rather be rich grow old and die than lose the status contest with the people who cure aging. I guess we’re in economy on 3.2? Hunting and gathering, then farming and animal husbandry, then industrial, and now we’ve gone through mainframes, to desktops, and now nearly everyone has an impressive computer in their pocket.

    Parasitic elites are a problem, but there’s a lot of capital going into start-ups. The currently rich people now want to be owners of economy 4.0, when we have significant biotech affecting our everyday lives. Maybe we’ll get a von Neumann economy, but rumor has it no one understands that within like three degrees of separation from the people in power who can understand exponential growth,

    There was a time when there was not an elite. Every country, by which I mean European countries had both homegrown elites and rechanvists over some piece of land. If a nation did not keep up with the Joneses, so to say, got clobbered in a war by a country that was developing. Today, the world’s elites have been subsumed by American elite culture. Probably China is an exception. That’s also why people in power are both terrified of China’s rise and addicted to everything China produces that we no longer can.

    I wish Western elites were not so sure that they can just jump ship and move to Singapore/China as the West decays. I don’t think China will want the people whose greed and fear of living conditions improving for the masses coming to spread their poison in China. “You say we will have decades off 3.5% annual growth, instead of 2%, by cutting taxes and running the government on rich people loaning that money to the government, and in forty years everything will collapse, and the rootless financial class will jump from China’s rotting corpse onto Elon Musk’s booming Barsoom City on Mars? Sign us up!”

    When/if America’s position in the world declines precipitously, would China’s ruling party let American capitalists own large segments of China’s economy? They are, y’know, what’s that word? Oh, right they are communists.

    In the end, rich people’s lifestyles depend on developed countries producing the goods and services they consume. Whether or not they live in America and pay taxes on their income, their income depends on America and other developed producing a lot. If America collapses, the Caymans will no longer be wealthy. Remember in Lucifer’s Hammer, right before/after the comet hit, a main character and his girlfriend leave LA for his personal astronomical observatory? Well, his research assistant who somewhat resents his diletante boss, has other ideas and a rifle. I think that could happen to wealthy people in all their bolt holes. I really hope nothing collapses, though.

    Whatever you think of socialized medicine, having medical care available is better than not having it. Nixon considered a national health service/insurance. Why? He wanted conscripts to be healthy enough to slog through the radioactive mud in Europe after a nuclear exchange.



    Have you heard of the research where they took old mice and infused cerebrospinal fluid from young mice, and their paper is Young CSF restores oligodendrogenesis and memory in aged mice via Fgf17. Conceptually, this is similar to the parabiosis work connecting young mice’s circulatory system to that of an old mouse. The mouse chimera that creates is interesting. The young mouse ages, but the old mouse is “rejuvenated” or at least becomes a healthier mouse, except for this other mouse that’s surgically attached to him. That’s led to experiments where they’d replaced like half of a mouse’s blood plasma with an isotonic fluid that, IIRC, has albumin in it. This somewhat helps the mouse, showing that plasma exchange.is pulling some bad things out of the blood, not only adding good things. Other researchers have done young mouse blood into old mice, also somewhat rejuvenating the mouse...


    It kind of reminds me of the studies that showed men who gave blood had fewer heart attacks than controls. A legitimate-looking site said donating blood lowers blood pressure and heart disease. There was an HBD-adjacent guy, Dennis Mangan, who I think segued into a health-nut guy who thinks ferritin is the root of all health problems. They don’t replace the blood they take, they just give you orange juice and a cookie.

    There are companies in Silicon Valley that offer people plasma from young donors. They just can advertise it as anti-aging.

  57. @Jack D
    @James B. Shearer


    Who do you think does the service work?
     
    In my experience, mostly white blue collar guys work at car dealerships. Is this not true where you live?

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @Alfa158, @Reg Cæsar, @Sollipsist

    Maybe he lives in California, like Steve and myself. Here 98% of the people who do manual labor such as auto mechanics, utility workers, construction workers, truck drivers etc. are Mexican. Interestingly the government employed municipal and state workers doing jobs such as highway construction and maintenance are now also only about 2% White.
    Where he is wrong is about being poorly paid. The types of day laborers who hang around big box construction material stores are poorly paid, but all those other jobs I mentioned pay very well. Those workers are driving \$50k pick up trucks or SUVs and all their kids have the latest mobile phones and video game players.

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
    @Alfa158


    The types of day laborers who hang around big box construction material stores are poorly paid
     
    That would depend on your definition of poorly paid. 6 months ago, from the WSJ:

    Migrants who entered the U.S. illegally typically struggled at the bottom of the economic ladder; they can now earn $25 per hour
     

    Replies: @Daniel H

    , @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    Surely 2% is an exaggeration? California as a whole is still 1/3 non-Hispanic white.

    Philadelphia is only 14% Latino so they haven't taken over all manual laboring positions yet.

    auto mechanics - a lot of the "we'll fix your car in the street" guys are, but dealer mechanics still mostly white with some blacks.

    utility workers - Philly has a municipally owned gas utility where most workers are black. The private utilities - mostly white.

    construction workers - this is where a LOT of the Latinos work. Often the boss or owner of the company who signs up the job is white but the guys who actually show up to work are Hispanic.

    truck drivers etc. - again a mix of white and black.

    Anything unionized and blue collar (outside government) is heavily white but changing as the old guys retire.

    Hispanics are found among the younger guys in the non-construction blue collar trades in Philly but in limited #'s, probably not exceeding their % in the population. However, they (and other immigrants - eastern Europeans and guys from the 'stans) are big in construction. Unskilled construction labor in Philly used to be a black thing but immigrants show up and work hard so they have largely displaced blacks in construction.

    Replies: @Alfa158

  58. @Dumbo
    So, monopoly, family connections, special protections for certain people, and rent-seeking.
    Welcome to "free market capitalism", welcome to America.

    As George Carlin (I think) said, "it's called 'the American dream' because it's just that, a dream.

    Replies: @Dutch Boy

    [cue a brogue]: Ameriky is a great country where the rich and the poor have an equal opportunity to stay that way.
    Mr. Dooley

  59. “Big time sports heroes often had beverage distributorships bestowed upon them, such as boxer Max Schmelling got a Coca-Cola distributorship and second baseman Joe Morgan, a Republican, got a beer distributorship from conservative Coors.”

    Automobile racing provides inroads to owning or managing a car dealership. The late Andre Ribeiro drove in IndyCar and for the 1998 season got hired on with Roger Penske to drive for his team. The team was in complete turmoil at that point and Andre retired rather than run for Penske again. As noted in his Wiki:

    “The Brazilian received an offer to work with Roger Penske in South America, with United Auto, running over 15 car dealerships in São Paulo.”

    Rumor had it that Penske offered the job to make up for the poor performance of Team Penske.

    Race car drivers like Bobby Rahal (Indy 500 winner and CART Champion) and David Hobbs (Sports cars, Indy cars, etc.) are two that spring to mind, and plenty of NASCAR drivers own dealerships. Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, and the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. had or have dealerships.

    You get successful enough and win enough for a major manufacturer and it can open the door to a dealership offer. Even AJ Foyt had a Chevrolet dealership for a while.

  60. @Achmed E. Newman
    @Redneck farmer

    R.F., I haven't read that book, but I was under the impression that it was about assets, not income. In other words, that millionaire may have a small business, a house that is mostly paid off, and invested wisely in the market. As I recall, the point was that you - next door to this family - could easily have no idea.

    It was about living fairly frugally, something that's pretty rare now. At some point, many of the millionaires next door will be Chinese.

    OTOH, being a millionaire does not make one rich anymore, after 20 years of 4-5% inflation and now the latest bout - thanks, FED! Just to pull a year out of my rear end, I'd say in 1970, being a millionare means being seriously rich.

    This article has $1.58 million gross income as the cut-off using 0.1%. Even after huge taxes and regular expenses, one can become a millionaire in a couple of years.

    Replies: @Dutch Boy

    It would be more interesting to classify rich people by net worth rather than income, which is what the press does with the well known billionaires. I have no idea what the income of Gates, Musk, Bezos, etc. is but the press never fails to mention their net worth.

  61. Anonymous[419] • Disclaimer says:


    “I have just one word to you. Just one word. Defense contracting.”

    I’ve heard personal stories of DARPA sending millions of dollars to start-ups with 3 employees and no tangible product run out of a Regus virtual office. Absolutely no strings attached.

  62. “That’s the central joke in John Updike’s award-winning 1981 novel Rabbit Is Rich,”

    Now that you mention it, that is a central joke.

  63. @Daniel H

    Stephens-Davidowitz was born on September 15, 1982, in Englewood, New Jersey[1] into a Jewish family,[8] son of Esther Davidowitz and Mitchell Stephens
     
    What kind of fabbot hyphenates a last name from his mother and father. This is a tell. I don't know what it tells, but something not good.

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Ganderson, @Carol, @Right_On

    I’m repeating myself here, but here in Moonbat-infested Western Massachusetts there are a ton of hyphenated names- mostly bestowed by the parents. Articles about games between Northampton and Amherst high schools have to add many column inches to get all the combo monikers into the story.

  64. And these are people who made at least \$1.58 million in taxable income in a year, not untaxed capital gains on paper. Who knows how much they will leave to their heirs?

    Steve, there’s a September 2021 article on “American Gentry” in The Atlantic by Patrick Wyman, a Jewish critic of dispossession-worthy White American kulaks:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/09/trump-american-gentry-wyman-elites/620151

    Here’s a deleted tweet from him on the subject:

    https://twitter.com/Patrick_Wyman/status/1441154863396577283

    Michael Brendan [email protected]
    This is the beginning of the argument. It will end with “multinational corporations good.”

    Patrick [email protected]_Wyman
    Lmao nah man it’s mostly just that these folks are largely loathesome and undeserving

    5:37 PM · Sep 23, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone

    Wyman’s article repeatedly mentions golf courses and country clubs. My extensive past comment on Wyman’s hit piece on (in his words) …

    sweating local grandees at the country-club bar

    half-soused overweight men in ill-fitting polo shirts, in gated communities and local philanthropic boards

    … is here:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/ryder-cup/#comment-4921839

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    So here at last is a loser whose aspiration in life is to be Hunter S Thompson but without the glamour.

  65. Anyway, the “boring business” path to wealth isn’t all that surprising. It’s the same conclusion reached by the authors of “The Millionaire Next Door.” That book was published over 20 years ago.

    Another one of their conclusions was that getting married and staying married was a really great way to get rich. Despite all of the headlines about famous rich people getting divorces, rich people are far less likely to get divorced than the rest of us. That’s how they get rich and stay rich.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @Wilkey

    Way back in Peter Lynch's One Up on Wall Street, Lynch was advising would-be stock pickers to pick "boring" businesses, and he gave lots of his examples of this technique working for him.

    I particularly remember Lynch's story about investing in a dry cleaning business in the Deep South that had incorporated (for some reason), had no debt and growing yearly profits, and yet the stock price was in the toilet. Sure enough, Wall Street eventually caught on and the stock price went zooming, making Lynch a bundle. I believe he called it a "ten-bagger" (made 10x his investment).

    Separately, about 20 years ago I learned of a prominent member of the Cabot/Lodge old New England money held a monopoly on a key ingredient in....printer ink. And they had had it for decades.

    Sounds boring and worthless until you realize that in the computer age up until the iPhone and iPad most people preferred to print things than read them on a computer screen, and only about half of all documents were emailed, the rest printed and mailed. Even today, with many documents only created virtually, there's a ton of printing going on. And every sheet printed nets the Cabot-Lodges another dime.

    , @Achmed E. Newman
    @Wilkey


    Despite all of the headlines about famous rich people getting divorces, rich people are far less likely to get divorced than the rest of us. That’s how they get rich and stay rich.
     
    I can believe that, Wilkey. Other than for the super-rich, maybe the top 0.001% (that's still 1,400 taxpayers - wait, who am I kidding? They don't actually pay income tax, do they?), divorce is a big hit for the men. I mean, it's a HUGE hit for the super-rich too, but the absolute amount of money left will still be enough to where you couldn't easily spend it in a lifetime.

    Instead of being the millionaire next door, a divorce will result in the spendthrift former millionaire still next door and the guy living in a van, down by the river.

    Replies: @Flip

    , @Corn
    @Wilkey

    What was it Charles Murray wrote in “Coming Apart”?

    Our elites no longer preach what they practice. Or something to that effect.

    , @silviosilver
    @Wilkey


    Anyway, the “boring business” path to wealth isn’t all that surprising. It’s the same conclusion reached by the authors of “The Millionaire Next Door.” That book was published over 20 years ago.
     
    Just because that's how the people in that book made their wealth, doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea for someone else to try it. You'd first have to check the statistics on the people who tried it and did not become millionaires, which I don't recall Stanley and Danko delving into. Without that information, it's a parody of the of the glib advice a Malcolm Gladwell would dispense: "Own a boring business - but only if it makes you a lot of money." (Point being, you're not going to know if it'll make you a lot of money or not until you try running it, by which time it's too late.)
  66. @Alden
    @Charon

    Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor. Farmers do use cheap immigrant labor.

    The key is is inherited wealth not earned income. And a lot of luck and being in the right occupation in the right place at the right time.

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @Old Prude, @LP5

    Auto Dealers definitely use cheap immigrant labor. Detailing.

  67. He said that Costco had looked into the car market in vast detail, but state laws protected existing dealers so much that to enter the car business, Costco would first have to spend a fortune on lobbying state legislators to change the laws.

    In the People’s Republic of Illinois, car dealerships don’t open on sundays, because that’s what the car dealer cartel wants.

    I knew of someone decades back whose family got rich making the wire pail handles for those 5-gallon plastic pails. When a competitor got into the business and started a price war forcing the profits down for both parties, they met and agreed to NOT engage in this.

    Illegal price fixing for sure.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Joe Stalin

    In the People's Republic of New Jersey it is also illegal to buy a car on Sunday

    Replies: @FPD72

  68. @AnotherDad

    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.
    ...

    Auto dealerships have legal protections; state franchising laws often give auto dealers exclusive rights to sell cars in a territory.
     
    What a stunning insight! A more reasonable book title would be "Yes the typical rich person is exactly who you have always thought, if you've been paying the slightest attention."

    I.e. middle man parasites selling something valuable or a lot of something ... who have managed to wrangle government protected monopolies. I.e. car dealers #1.

    ~~

    I'm a big believer in federalism, self-government--by responsible productive people. But this does highlight one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from.... allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.

    Forget Costco, there's absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that i want. Then either fly to the factory, or for a modest couple hundred bucks pick it up at the "Ford Depot" at the railhead in the nearest city near me.

    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together--i.e. to actually produce--these amazing machines ... and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value--absolutely zero--and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.

    Parasitism. It's what's for dinner in America 2.0.

    Replies: @(((They))) live, @anon, @Prosa123, @epebble, @mmack, @Almost Missouri, @Marquis, @Muggles, @MLG

    Are the new Electric vehicles also sold that way i.e., exclusive geographical monopolies? There is even less need for dealers since there is virtually no maintenance – no oil/filter change, no radiator or water pump to break, hoses to replace, oil leak/gaskets to replace. Even brakes need less work as they are mostly regenerative. One big thing, battery, is usually not replaceable anyway. Most interestingly, what is there to prevent amazon or Costco to source it from Canada or Mexico or heck, even directly from China or Korea and drop it off on your driveway with key inserted and engine started?

  69. @Wilkey

    “The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.”
     
    Larry Miller’s heirs sold the Utah Jazz a few years ago - for $1.6 billion. Then last year they sold off their car dealerships, which is how Millet built his fortune, for $3.5 billion. They still have real estate and movie theater holdings they are holding on to. When Miller signed Karl Malone he was dressed like a parts employee (his entry job into the car business) and they talked things over at a fancy, high end restaurant called Wendy’s.

    Unless there’s someone in Utah sitting on a secret stash of Apple or Amazon stock, that should easily make them the richest family in the state. From car dealerships.

    Utah has had quite a few fairly successful tech companies (the guy who bought the Jazz sold his company to SAP). None of them are as rich as the Millers.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Daniel H

    Car dealerships are some of the big time college football booster guys. They love getting the big players for their alma maters through the usual bribery, and often time gift cars to various family members (or the players themselves).

    Car dealerships seem to be one of those businesses in which you can hide/launder a lot of money, much like movie making and construction, except car dealers seem to allow for lower-level entrepeneurs to get in on the action without becoming part of a vast web of companies or one monolith owned by the mob. Liek, if movie companies and construction companies are upper class corruption, car dealerships seem to be upper-middle class corruption.

    • Replies: @EdwardM
    @R.G. Camara


    Car dealerships seem to be one of those businesses in which you can hide/launder a lot of money
     
    How? It seems like they would be good places to fudge financial statements (with probably some flexibility in valuing inventory and other assets and liabilities like warranties, financing agreements, and service contracts), but cash is cash. Do tell please.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara

  70. @Jack D
    OT - it turns out that Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter are responsible for the mass shooting in Buffalo because of their espousal of the racist "elect a new people" meme:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2022/05/15/buffalo-suspect-great-replacement-theory-conservative-media/

    Implicit in this article is that it's about time for these vile genocidal commentators to be imprisoned or at least taken off the airwaves.

    Steve gets no credit.

    If this was really the nutjob's inspiration, why did he shoot up a supermarket full of ADOS's? They are about as Old Stock as you can get? Shouldn't he have gone to the Latino or Asian neighborhood? Or is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?

    Replies: @Henry's Cat, @Charon, @J.Ross, @Adam Smith, @vinteuil, @Seneca44, @Dave Pinsen

    Is that the same newspaper which published “Great Replacement Isn’t Real, But It’s A Good Idea”? Oh, wait, that was NYT, and the title was “We Can Replace Them.”
    Final stab: the overweight woman who wrote that — is childless.

  71. @Wilkey
    Anyway, the “boring business” path to wealth isn’t all that surprising. It’s the same conclusion reached by the authors of “The Millionaire Next Door.” That book was published over 20 years ago.

    Another one of their conclusions was that getting married and staying married was a really great way to get rich. Despite all of the headlines about famous rich people getting divorces, rich people are far less likely to get divorced than the rest of us. That’s how they get rich and stay rich.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Achmed E. Newman, @Corn, @silviosilver

    Way back in Peter Lynch’s One Up on Wall Street, Lynch was advising would-be stock pickers to pick “boring” businesses, and he gave lots of his examples of this technique working for him.

    I particularly remember Lynch’s story about investing in a dry cleaning business in the Deep South that had incorporated (for some reason), had no debt and growing yearly profits, and yet the stock price was in the toilet. Sure enough, Wall Street eventually caught on and the stock price went zooming, making Lynch a bundle. I believe he called it a “ten-bagger” (made 10x his investment).

    Separately, about 20 years ago I learned of a prominent member of the Cabot/Lodge old New England money held a monopoly on a key ingredient in….printer ink. And they had had it for decades.

    Sounds boring and worthless until you realize that in the computer age up until the iPhone and iPad most people preferred to print things than read them on a computer screen, and only about half of all documents were emailed, the rest printed and mailed. Even today, with many documents only created virtually, there’s a ton of printing going on. And every sheet printed nets the Cabot-Lodges another dime.

  72. So, if you want to be wealthy you need to own productive assets and not work for wages. Gee, I never would have thunk that.

    Ladies and gentlemen, seldom have we been treated to such rare and magnificent insight.

    This is almost tautological. It’s tantamount to saying, “If you want wealth, you need to accumulate wealth.” There is no mystery here. There is no secret to getting wealthy; the path to wealth is rather obvious and straightforward. The real question is, why do so few people pursue such a strategy with any sort of deliberate seriousness?

    My parents, for example, seem to have no clue about what it takes to build wealth. Despite the fact that I have spent the last 25 years explaining it to them a thousand times over, they appear constitutionally incapable of putting it into action. No one in my extended family can do so, either. My grandfather once owned large parcels of farmland on Long Island and in upstate New York, land which today would not only be worth a Croesan fortune, but which could also have provided a priceless perfection that few people can even dream about anymore—an island of relative freedom from the Globohomo machine and its wage-slave economy. How I wish I could have inherited even a fraction of that. I never got the chance; he sold it all before I was born, apparently because he didn’t feel like paying the taxes on it. The idea that real property is an invaluable gift to be held in trust for the family line, and was worth any short-term sacrifice to hold onto, was foreign to him.

    My aunts and uncles, likewise, seem to have no sense of what they missed out on. They pursued tony suburban lives, working in nursing or sales or overpaid union jobs, rightly discerning in these careers the surest path to what they really wanted—flashy cars, motorized toys, vacations, and entertainment.

    I never found a kindred soul amongst my family. They had no interest in the things that really last. I couldn’t make them understand that in depleting my patrimony on their frivolities, they had destroyed my one chance at earthly happiness. I am not ambitious for more money or a better career. I don’t want to be a wage-slave, not even in a highly paid position. I don’t want to be better at running the rat race; all I want is to be out of the rat race. I want freedom, dignity, nobility, and peace. I needed “the red earth of Tara,” but now it’s gone, and I can’t return to it.

    I feel exactly the same way about academia. The conversion of the university system into a credentialization and jobs program for middle class douchebags has had a ruinous effect on intellectual life. The academy is supposed to be a temple of contemplation; it is where you go to adore divinity, philosophy, mathematics, and the arts, all for its own sake, without the need to justify it in terms of its practical value. Perhaps less than 1% of the population is really capable of this intellectual love of truth, but that 1% cannot really be happy anywhere else. I belong to that 1%, and now it’s ruined for me.

    My family, true to their philistine view of things, knew nothing about me except that I was “smart.” They wondered why I didn’t take my perfect SAT and ACT scores, and my supposedly superior intellect, and run out into the rat race in pursuit of a college degree and a “good” job. All the while I was pleading with them to understand what was really important, they were trying to shove me headlong into slavery and vanity. I showed little interest in college after I went there and found out what it was really about. I made three attempts to go, each time dropping out from sheer misery before completing a degree. My grandmother was furious. She thought I was insane and literally tried to commit me to a mental hospital, perhaps thinking that some Thorazine and ECT would fix me up and make me see things her way. I recall one time my aunt remonstrated with me using the words, “Don’t you ever think about all the things you could have?”

    All the things I could have.

    As I said earlier, there is no mystery to why more people aren’t rich. The fact is that reality is an all-or-nothing proposition. If you’re going to be serious about one thing, you have to be serious about everything else, too. Most people simply aren’t serious. They eschew the sort of sobriety and self-discipline it takes to become proper stewards of wealth, and they spend their lives chasing pleasing wisps of smoke. They do this willingly and they can’t be cajoled or educated out of it, because this is who they are. They have no organ with which to perceive and no capacity to receive the higher things in life.

    Man is a prodigal race.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Intelligent Dasein

    The idea that real property is an invaluable gift to be held in trust for the family line, and was worth any short-term sacrifice to hold onto, was foreign to him.......................I never found a kindred soul amongst my family. They had no interest in the things that really last. I couldn’t make them understand that in depleting my patrimony on their frivolities, they had destroyed my one chance at earthly happiness.

    So basically your grandfather and parents were obligated to think of you front and center and accumulate wealth, but you haven't done anything for future generations because you were thinking deep thoughts?

    Replies: @Twinkie

    , @E. Rekshun
    @Intelligent Dasein

    My aunts and uncles, likewise, seem to have no sense of what they missed out on.

    In 1927, my great grandfather left $50,000 to each of his ten children. One of those children (my grandfather's brother) convinced the nine others to let him manage each of their $50K. He proceeded to lose it all during October 1929. According to the US BLS CPI Inflation Calculator, that $500,000 estate in 1927 would be worth $8.3 million today.

    https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

    , @Inquiring Mind
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Parcels of farmland in Long Island and update New York?

    Tell me something. How is that the property taxes, alone, would not drive a person into penury?

    Someone can set the record straight for me, but I heard that that fundamental problem is that New York State has high taxes, and this is a large part of the reason why everywhere outside of New York City is economically depressed?

    , @silviosilver
    @Intelligent Dasein


    I don’t want to be a wage-slave, not even in a highly paid position. I don’t want to be better at running the rat race; all I want is to be out of the rat race. I want freedom, dignity, nobility, and peace.
     
    And those bastards, they robbed you of it. Freedom, dignity, nobility and peace are hardly worth it if you actually have to work to achieve them. Life is so unfair sometimes.
    , @Sam Malone
    @Intelligent Dasein

    You're a prickly guy, far too quick to stamp your feet and insult all those here who don't perfectly align with your thinking, but you're also sincere and thoughtful and this


    If you’re going to be serious about one thing, you have to be serious about everything else, too. Most people simply aren’t serious. They eschew the sort of sobriety and self-discipline it takes to become proper stewards of wealth, and they spend their lives chasing pleasing wisps of smoke.
     
    is gold, and absolutely true. We could have gone to the stars. But we were just human, all too human.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

  73. I was at the local airfield this weekend. The rich guys weren’t the CFI or the guys strapping thrill seekers to themselves for a parachute drop.

    The rich guys owned the Flight School and Skydive New England.

    Not that the youngsters weren’t having fun. They just were getting paid peanuts.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Old Prude

    I'm glad the business is still doing well O.P. I've been to that place. That 4,000 ft. by 22 ft wide paved strip is tight, maybe not for the Twin Otter they have now but for the King Air they used to have.

    Then, in the winter, the smart birds fly South and drop Meat Bombs there. They had the first-year model C182 for the die-hards, 1958, I believe.. As I recall, the King Air pilot had a pet duck who hung out there, and then rode as the only passenger in the King Air down to Louisiana.

    In the past, it didn't seem like anyone was making much money at the drop zones. I could tell you stories ...

  74. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    And these are people who made at least $1.58 million in taxable income in a year, not untaxed capital gains on paper. Who knows how much they will leave to their heirs?
     
    Steve, there’s a September 2021 article on “American Gentry” in The Atlantic by Patrick Wyman, a Jewish critic of dispossession-worthy White American kulaks:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/09/trump-american-gentry-wyman-elites/620151

    Here’s a deleted tweet from him on the subject:

    https://twitter.com/Patrick_Wyman/status/1441154863396577283


    Michael Brendan [email protected]
    This is the beginning of the argument. It will end with “multinational corporations good.”

    Patrick [email protected]k_Wyman
    Lmao nah man it’s mostly just that these folks are largely loathesome and undeserving

    5:37 PM · Sep 23, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone
     

    Wyman's article repeatedly mentions golf courses and country clubs. My extensive past comment on Wyman’s hit piece on (in his words) ...

    sweating local grandees at the country-club bar
     

    half-soused overweight men in ill-fitting polo shirts, in gated communities and local philanthropic boards
     
    ... is here:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/ryder-cup/#comment-4921839

    Replies: @J.Ross

    So here at last is a loser whose aspiration in life is to be Hunter S Thompson but without the glamour.

  75. just read a tweet about Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan style democracy sounds like justice to me — imagine if instead of some black working class person, who just wanted a dozen eggs and a bottle of ketchup, the victims were the framers of policy.

  76. @Daniel H

    Stephens-Davidowitz was born on September 15, 1982, in Englewood, New Jersey[1] into a Jewish family,[8] son of Esther Davidowitz and Mitchell Stephens
     
    What kind of fabbot hyphenates a last name from his mother and father. This is a tell. I don't know what it tells, but something not good.

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Ganderson, @Carol, @Right_On

    I think is a prog tell. It is really so dumb, as plenty of liberals used three names without hyphens, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, to honor the mother’s family.

    Or kept their maiden name as a middle like Hillary Rodham.

    That more elegant solution seems to not occur to progressives.

  77. I knew a couple of local general contractors who sometimes took property in lieu of full payment. Later they would develop the property into a small plaza that they rented out and eventually they built buildings for chain restaurants. Slowly they amassed sizeable wealth.

  78. @James B. Shearer
    @Alden

    "Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor. .."

    You sure about that? Who do you think does the service work?

    Replies: @International Jew, @Jack D, @obwandiyag, @Alden

    One old white guy listening to classic rock over on the prestige side of the garage.

    The rest Hispanics, listening to salsa in the rest of the garage.

  79. @Jack D
    OT - it turns out that Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter are responsible for the mass shooting in Buffalo because of their espousal of the racist "elect a new people" meme:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2022/05/15/buffalo-suspect-great-replacement-theory-conservative-media/

    Implicit in this article is that it's about time for these vile genocidal commentators to be imprisoned or at least taken off the airwaves.

    Steve gets no credit.

    If this was really the nutjob's inspiration, why did he shoot up a supermarket full of ADOS's? They are about as Old Stock as you can get? Shouldn't he have gone to the Latino or Asian neighborhood? Or is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?

    Replies: @Henry's Cat, @Charon, @J.Ross, @Adam Smith, @vinteuil, @Seneca44, @Dave Pinsen

    Greetings, Mr. D,

    The demographics of Buffalo in 2022:

    • White: 47.11%
    • Negro or African: 36.53%
    • Other race: 5.95%
    • Asian: 5.86%
    • Two or more races: 4.04%
    • Native American: 0.48%
    • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.05%

    Is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?

    Buffalo is very depressed (and very depressing).

    Buffalo has a poverty rate of 30.06%. (That’s pretty similar to Detroit’s 30.6% and a bit higher than Philadelphia’s 23.3%)

    Buffalo does have a sizable population of Puerto Ricans and a vibrant Somali Community.
    The former president of Somalia is a bureaucrat from Western New York.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
  80. @Alfa158
    @Jack D

    Maybe he lives in California, like Steve and myself. Here 98% of the people who do manual labor such as auto mechanics, utility workers, construction workers, truck drivers etc. are Mexican. Interestingly the government employed municipal and state workers doing jobs such as highway construction and maintenance are now also only about 2% White.
    Where he is wrong is about being poorly paid. The types of day laborers who hang around big box construction material stores are poorly paid, but all those other jobs I mentioned pay very well. Those workers are driving $50k pick up trucks or SUVs and all their kids have the latest mobile phones and video game players.

    Replies: @Johann Ricke, @Jack D

    The types of day laborers who hang around big box construction material stores are poorly paid

    That would depend on your definition of poorly paid. 6 months ago, from the WSJ:

    Migrants who entered the U.S. illegally typically struggled at the bottom of the economic ladder; they can now earn \$25 per hour

    • Replies: @Daniel H
    @Johann Ricke


    Migrants who entered the U.S. illegally typically struggled at the bottom of the economic ladder; they can now earn $25 per hour
     
    In places like NYC, Jersey, Boston, DC, LA, San Francisco, etc... $25.00 is not a good wage it is just a survival wage, that is if you don't wish to live on the street, and can put up with 6 people living in a 2-bedroom apartment.

    Leave aside the minimum wage, the standard wage for a worker in the USA should be at least $35-40 per hour, with health insurance. Forget about that. What balls that a worker should expect so much.
  81. @Wilkey
    Anyway, the “boring business” path to wealth isn’t all that surprising. It’s the same conclusion reached by the authors of “The Millionaire Next Door.” That book was published over 20 years ago.

    Another one of their conclusions was that getting married and staying married was a really great way to get rich. Despite all of the headlines about famous rich people getting divorces, rich people are far less likely to get divorced than the rest of us. That’s how they get rich and stay rich.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Achmed E. Newman, @Corn, @silviosilver

    Despite all of the headlines about famous rich people getting divorces, rich people are far less likely to get divorced than the rest of us. That’s how they get rich and stay rich.

    I can believe that, Wilkey. Other than for the super-rich, maybe the top 0.001% (that’s still 1,400 taxpayers – wait, who am I kidding? They don’t actually pay income tax, do they?), divorce is a big hit for the men. I mean, it’s a HUGE hit for the super-rich too, but the absolute amount of money left will still be enough to where you couldn’t easily spend it in a lifetime.

    Instead of being the millionaire next door, a divorce will result in the spendthrift former millionaire still next door and the guy living in a van, down by the river.

    • Replies: @Flip
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I used to work with a guy who said his wife always told him that he couldn't afford to get divorced.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

  82. @JohnnyWalker123
    To summarize.

    1. Own equity in a business.
    2. The business should be in a niche with high barriers to entry.

    Replies: @Charon, @Alden, @guest007, @Hypnotoad666, @Twinkie

    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.

    The NYT’s analysis sounds pretty superficial and borderline economically illiterate. For example, the concept of automatically reaping extra profit from a “local monopoly” is kinda dumb. First, every retail shop or franchise has a “local monopoly” on its own block or whatever. But that hardly means it is guaranteed to profit. The Chevy dealership on Van Nuys has to compete with every other car maker, with every other Chevy dealer outside its exclusive area, with every internet auto broker, etc. In fact, the idea that there isn’t “ruthless price competition” in the car market is laughable on its face.

    And more fundamentally, if the exclusive contract right to operate the only Chevy dealership in that part of the San Fernando Valley did have any special “monopoly” profits attached, those would have been priced into the cost of acquiring the business in the first place. If the owner somehow bought it long ago for less than it’s now worth, that’s just an example of executing a good old “buy low, sell high” strategy.

    Being the NYT, I assume the hidden agenda is to plant the idea that even small business owners are just mini-monopolists who can be justifiably separated from their ill-gotten profits.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @Hypnotoad666

    Car dealers have a monopoly in the sense that franchise laws in every state give franchised dealers a legal on new car sales. Buyers cannot purchase new cars directly from the manufacturers, Costco, Amazon etc.
    Tesla is different, as they sell their cars directly from the company without dealers. Which in a way doesn't mean much, as the sort of sophisticated, affluent people who buy Teslas usually can hold their own against dealers.

    Replies: @Hypnotoad666

  83. @Bill Jones

    Salaries don’t make people rich
     
    Unless you're Nancy Pelosi.

    Replies: @Peter Akuleyev, @Lurker, @Prof. Woland

    A big salary would be a good start though.

  84. @Achmed E. Newman
    @Wilkey


    Despite all of the headlines about famous rich people getting divorces, rich people are far less likely to get divorced than the rest of us. That’s how they get rich and stay rich.
     
    I can believe that, Wilkey. Other than for the super-rich, maybe the top 0.001% (that's still 1,400 taxpayers - wait, who am I kidding? They don't actually pay income tax, do they?), divorce is a big hit for the men. I mean, it's a HUGE hit for the super-rich too, but the absolute amount of money left will still be enough to where you couldn't easily spend it in a lifetime.

    Instead of being the millionaire next door, a divorce will result in the spendthrift former millionaire still next door and the guy living in a van, down by the river.

    Replies: @Flip

    I used to work with a guy who said his wife always told him that he couldn’t afford to get divorced.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Flip

    "Is that a threat, honey?"

    "No, it's promise."

  85. @Wilkey
    Anyway, the “boring business” path to wealth isn’t all that surprising. It’s the same conclusion reached by the authors of “The Millionaire Next Door.” That book was published over 20 years ago.

    Another one of their conclusions was that getting married and staying married was a really great way to get rich. Despite all of the headlines about famous rich people getting divorces, rich people are far less likely to get divorced than the rest of us. That’s how they get rich and stay rich.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Achmed E. Newman, @Corn, @silviosilver

    What was it Charles Murray wrote in “Coming Apart”?

    Our elites no longer preach what they practice. Or something to that effect.

  86. Back in the day, I recall reading that the rich disproportionately worked for it: doctors, lawyers, CPA’s.

    I strongly suspect it’s where you draw the line: after all, draw it low enough and the answer is, ‘be in a first world country.’ Your average American is definitely a lot wealthier than your average inhabitant of Upper Volta.

    …just don’t set the line so high that the answer is ‘be Jewish.’ That’d upset people.

    • LOL: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Alden
    @Colin Wright

    Drs and lawyers are upper middle class st best. They don’t have wealth. Over a life time, nurses are better off than Drs. Fewer young adult years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in education. Beginning an adult career at 23 instead of 35. And belonging to one of the most powerful labor unions in the country. While Drs work for hospitals big practices and their income is restricted by insurance companies and Medicare medi caid

    It’s not the 1950s and 60s anymore. When the patients were workers with good insurance. And the medical providers could charge and overcharge whatever they wanted.

    Now days so many patients are poor immigrants and people on welfare that many practices are dependent on medical caid Which pays only about one fourth of the real cost of treatment.

    For instance, UCLA hospital is in a very White wealthy area. But according to a friend who works in billing, about 80 percent of the babies born there are Mexicans on medi caid

    Drs are upper middle class. But the long delay before they start earning and paying off student loans more and more Medicaid patients they are not as affluent as they once were.

    The insurance companies cracked down on costs 40 years ago. Another problem is delayed payment. All the insurance companies Medicare and Medicaid do this. Years to collect. It’s ok for drs who are hospital or Kaiser type organization employees. But years of delay in payment can destroy an independent practice

    Now days the only ones who take home more that about 400K a year are plastic surgeons. Which the patients pay out of pocket. So the plastic surgeons can charge whatever they can get out of the patients And they take credit cards. It’s like buying a 25 or 30 K car. Just another payment.

    The article is about people who take home 1.5 million a year. Not people who take home 2oo to 500 K a year. Lawyers range from very well
    paid to just making it and everything in between.

    Another thing about the true wealthy. Their kids don’t have to wait till they’re 60 and their parents are 90 and die before they get their inheritance. They get money from parents and grandparents all their lives. Some wealthy Californians buy a small apartment house for their kids when the kids are babies. And turn the place over to a trustworthy management company. Real estate has its ups and downs. But because the government allows unlimited immigration it will always have value.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @Almost Missouri

  87. @Hypnotoad666
    @JohnnyWalker123


    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.
     
    The NYT's analysis sounds pretty superficial and borderline economically illiterate. For example, the concept of automatically reaping extra profit from a "local monopoly" is kinda dumb. First, every retail shop or franchise has a "local monopoly" on its own block or whatever. But that hardly means it is guaranteed to profit. The Chevy dealership on Van Nuys has to compete with every other car maker, with every other Chevy dealer outside its exclusive area, with every internet auto broker, etc. In fact, the idea that there isn't "ruthless price competition" in the car market is laughable on its face.

    And more fundamentally, if the exclusive contract right to operate the only Chevy dealership in that part of the San Fernando Valley did have any special "monopoly" profits attached, those would have been priced into the cost of acquiring the business in the first place. If the owner somehow bought it long ago for less than it's now worth, that's just an example of executing a good old "buy low, sell high" strategy.

    Being the NYT, I assume the hidden agenda is to plant the idea that even small business owners are just mini-monopolists who can be justifiably separated from their ill-gotten profits.

    Replies: @prosa123

    Car dealers have a monopoly in the sense that franchise laws in every state give franchised dealers a legal on new car sales. Buyers cannot purchase new cars directly from the manufacturers, Costco, Amazon etc.
    Tesla is different, as they sell their cars directly from the company without dealers. Which in a way doesn’t mean much, as the sort of sophisticated, affluent people who buy Teslas usually can hold their own against dealers.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    @prosa123


    Car dealers have a monopoly in the sense that franchise laws in every state give franchised dealers a legal on new car sales.
     
    Sure. But that doesn't mean any individual dealership gets a license to mint money out of that regulation. Mainly, it just screws over consumers by adding a whole unnecessary layer of middlemen. It also puts the legacy car makers at a big disadvantage against Tesla because they are stuck with this giant dealership-network albatross.
  88. He said that Costco had looked into the car market in vast detail, but state laws protected existing dealers so much that to enter the car business, Costco would first have to spend a fortune on lobbying state legislators to change the laws.

    On the pop star thread, someone scoffed at Tesla, but an impressive accomplishment of theirs was breaking through this system to establish company-owned retail stores.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Dave Pinsen

    It hasn't been easy because of all the anti-competitive laws. The rich car dealers are major campaign contributors. If you are a consumer, the anti-competitive franchise laws are going to cost you a few hundred $ ever few years when you buy a new car. If you are a car dealer, it is going to make you millions extra every year. So the car dealers (and beer/alcohol distributors) have a BIG stake in keeping these laws in place. They really should have been pre-empted long ago at the Federal level.

    Tesla has really had to struggle - in some states they haven't been able to sell cars at all. They can have showrooms where they just show you the car but you can't actually buy it there. They've managed work arounds but it's been a struggle.

    Replies: @Herbert R. Tarlek, Jr., @kaganovitch

  89. @Alfa158
    @Jack D

    Maybe he lives in California, like Steve and myself. Here 98% of the people who do manual labor such as auto mechanics, utility workers, construction workers, truck drivers etc. are Mexican. Interestingly the government employed municipal and state workers doing jobs such as highway construction and maintenance are now also only about 2% White.
    Where he is wrong is about being poorly paid. The types of day laborers who hang around big box construction material stores are poorly paid, but all those other jobs I mentioned pay very well. Those workers are driving $50k pick up trucks or SUVs and all their kids have the latest mobile phones and video game players.

    Replies: @Johann Ricke, @Jack D

    Surely 2% is an exaggeration? California as a whole is still 1/3 non-Hispanic white.

    Philadelphia is only 14% Latino so they haven’t taken over all manual laboring positions yet.

    auto mechanics – a lot of the “we’ll fix your car in the street” guys are, but dealer mechanics still mostly white with some blacks.

    utility workers – Philly has a municipally owned gas utility where most workers are black. The private utilities – mostly white.

    construction workers – this is where a LOT of the Latinos work. Often the boss or owner of the company who signs up the job is white but the guys who actually show up to work are Hispanic.

    truck drivers etc. – again a mix of white and black.

    Anything unionized and blue collar (outside government) is heavily white but changing as the old guys retire.

    Hispanics are found among the younger guys in the non-construction blue collar trades in Philly but in limited #’s, probably not exceeding their % in the population. However, they (and other immigrants – eastern Europeans and guys from the ‘stans) are big in construction. Unskilled construction labor in Philly used to be a black thing but immigrants show up and work hard so they have largely displaced blacks in construction.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    @Jack D

    The 1/3 includes old folks. Last time I checked (I was comparing the percentage of kids admitted to UC who are White, to the percentage of school age kids who are White, to see if White kids are over or under represented in UC admissions), the percentage of school age children are in California who are White, is about 18%. And that includes middle Easterners, who are still classified as White. There aren’t many young White people actually left, and the few who are don’t want to go into trades. I’ve tried telling some of them they should go to a trade school and make good money as a jet engine or diesel mechanic, but they all seem to think they are entitled to be either rock musicians or stock brokers. Even getting a trade where you can get into a blue-collar job with a utility. My wife had a co- worker whose husband retired from the Los Angeles County Department of Water and Power on a five figure a month pension with cost of living increases and free health care.
    And I literally can’t remember the last time I saw a Black construction worker.

    Replies: @prosa123

  90. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/13/opinion/college-university-remote-pandemic.html
    >By several measures — attendance, late assignments, quality of in-class discussion — they performed worse than any students I had encountered in two decades of teaching. They didn’t even seem to be trying. At the private school, I required individual meetings to discuss their research paper drafts; only six of 14 showed up. Usually, they all do.
    …Anonymous (ID: jIG50FRT)
    05/16/22(Mon)11:56:00 No.377937873
    >>377937509 (OP) #
    did it ever occur to the global academic sphere that they have been teaching the same exact [Biden] for 1000 years?!

  91. gas stations don’t make any money. my dad’s first wife owns one. but you don’t need to have an owner in the family to know that they don’t make much money. fuel retail is ultra ruthless, like supermarkets with their 1% margin. gas stations bring in about a nickel per gallon. corner gas stations change hands often and sometimes go out of business and sit empty. the earnings that keep them in business come from having an attached a retail shop, or less common these days, a repair garage. some have added a car wash to generate more cash from the property.

    in terms of earnings: gas station -> auto parts store -> repair garage -> body & paint shop

    not really sure where used car lots figure into that equation, their earnings vary wildly. a new car dealership is a big venture and not a small business owner type operation.

    owning a mcdonald’s, or even better, a chick fil a, is where you make serious money on a real estate lot in these size ranges. that gets you into the auto body range, 1 million a year, or higher, for certain mcdonalds locations, and all chick fil a locations, which average over 2 million a year.

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @prosa123
    @prime noticer

    owning a mcdonald’s, or even better, a chick fil a, is where you make serious money on a real estate lot in these size ranges

    Chik-fil-A franchise owners aren't really owners as the company retains most or all of the equity. To be sure, they make good money, supposedly about $250,000 a year on average, and unlike "real" franchise owners they are required to pay only $10,000 up front as compared to far over a million for a McDonald's. It's supposedly a highly selective process with hundreds of applicants for each slot.

    Another cheap franchise is Amazon delivery partner, each of which owns a fleet of around 20 to 50 delivery vans (which Amazon supplies) and hires the drivers. It's also $10,000 with a $30,000 liquid asset requirement. They make on average about what CfA franchise owners make but there's more variation.

  92. @Dave Pinsen

    He said that Costco had looked into the car market in vast detail, but state laws protected existing dealers so much that to enter the car business, Costco would first have to spend a fortune on lobbying state legislators to change the laws.
     
    On the pop star thread, someone scoffed at Tesla, but an impressive accomplishment of theirs was breaking through this system to establish company-owned retail stores.

    Replies: @Jack D

    It hasn’t been easy because of all the anti-competitive laws. The rich car dealers are major campaign contributors. If you are a consumer, the anti-competitive franchise laws are going to cost you a few hundred \$ ever few years when you buy a new car. If you are a car dealer, it is going to make you millions extra every year. So the car dealers (and beer/alcohol distributors) have a BIG stake in keeping these laws in place. They really should have been pre-empted long ago at the Federal level.

    Tesla has really had to struggle – in some states they haven’t been able to sell cars at all. They can have showrooms where they just show you the car but you can’t actually buy it there. They’ve managed work arounds but it’s been a struggle.

    • Agree: AnotherDad
    • Replies: @Herbert R. Tarlek, Jr.
    @Jack D

    Hey, Jack, do you ever think of changing your screen name to "Cliff Clavin"?

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @kaganovitch
    @Jack D

    If you are a consumer, the anti-competitive franchise laws are going to cost you a few hundred $ ever few years when you buy a new car. If you are a car dealer, it is going to make you millions extra every year. So the car dealers (and beer/alcohol distributors) have a BIG stake in keeping these laws in place. They really should have been pre-empted long ago at the Federal level.

    Diffuse costs and concentrated benefits have been the bane of good government since time immemorial.

    Replies: @Muse

  93. @James B. Shearer
    @Alden

    "Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor. .."

    You sure about that? Who do you think does the service work?

    Replies: @International Jew, @Jack D, @obwandiyag, @Alden

    The place I take my car to charges a fortune. The mechanics are all White men 2 years of schooling and make about 80 to 100 K a year.

    But you’re right about the car washers. I was thinking of the salesmen.

    But cars nowadays are so complicated and constantly innovating its not like guys who took high school auto shop or learned from Dad can repair today’s complicated cars.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Alden

    I've gone out of my way to establish good relations with my mechanics. Get everything done there except "must be dealer stuff"- primarily recalls , I've had two of those , even if my guy is $10 more expensive than the Midas oil change sale. Always pay cash, even for the 3, count them 3, sets of 4 tires I've bought in two years.
    It is I believe in my interests to have an independent Garage Workshop guy favorably disposed.

    Replies: @Colin Wright, @Anonymous

  94. restaurants go out of business the fastest. they last less than 3 years on average. pizza shops in strip mall locations are most common. those come and go. pizza is here to stay, so the ongoing shuffle of pizza places over decades of time is study material for economists and entrepreneurs forever.

    in the past, there have been several other strip mall fads that have come and gone. in the late 70s thru the mid 80s, it was arcades. most of those got consolidated by the late 80s, then arcades finally disappeared forever by the late 90s. significant improvement in video game systems largely closed the electronics gap between arcade machines and home machines. in the early 80s it was huge, by the late 90s not as much. it increasingly got harder to justify charging the customer only a quarter to play arcade machines that cost more and more to manufacture, versus the ever improving \$300 home machine.

    in the early 90s, it was car audio shops. most of those are long gone now, but it was impossible to drive thru medium size towns back in the 90s and not pass a few places installing amps, subs, and car alarms. OEM improvement in factory car audio and alarms largely eliminated these businesses.

    today it is vape shops, which spring up across america like dandelions. previously, these had been tobacco shops, but these had steadily gone away as cigarette smoking and especially pipe smoking declined. pipe smoking is virtually eliminated, largely replaced by tobacco dipping. today, in states where marijuana is legal however, an explosion of weed shops is happening, but it’s regulated by the state, so it’s not moving at the pace it would under unregulated conditions.

    • Thanks: The Wild Geese Howard
  95. @Peter Akuleyev
    @Bill Jones

    What are you talking about? Pelosi married a finance/Venture capitalist type.

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Alden

    She didn’t.
    Mr Pelosi’s little “Leasing Services” company was in the business of making sure the real estate investments of doctors and lawyers had cleaners and plumbers on call for clogged toilets when he married Nancy at age 23. It’s been transformed into their own little hedge fund on the back of all the bribes, sweetheart deals and inside information of the usual political grift.

    You are confusing cause and effect.

  96. Surprised to hear this about dealerships since only those that sell new cars and need a contract with the auto maker, therefore creating a large barrier. I always heard their margins were slim on new vehicles but sizable on auto repair work and used vehicles. That’s why trading in a car is such a ripoff. Never do that.

    It’s common for small non-chain auto shops to give you a discount if you pay for cash, if you build mutual trust with the owner, so often they make more than what the IRS knows about.

  97. @Flip
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I used to work with a guy who said his wife always told him that he couldn't afford to get divorced.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    “Is that a threat, honey?”

    “No, it’s promise.”

  98. @Peter Akuleyev
    @Bill Jones

    What are you talking about? Pelosi married a finance/Venture capitalist type.

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Alden

    Nancy’s family was middle class politician with 8 kids.

    The Pelosi’s were wealthy back in N Italy. They came to America with plenty of capital for investment. And they’ve been wealthy as in real wealth for about 140 years. Long before Nancy. The Pelosis are German or Celtic looking. Not shirt dark S Italians. Husband Paul is maybe 6’2 reddish brown hair when he was young white not tannish skin and blue eyes His brother Ron had blondish golden brown hair. When they were younger.

    Nancy had black hair and very white not tannish skin and light brown eyes. She’s very short like about 5 ft and thin and tiny.

    Most San Francisco Italians ancestors came from N Italy during the big grape disease in Europe. With money to invest in businesses. Very different type from the starving S Italians happy to work for starvation wages.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Alden

    The Coppolas are a classic Northern Italy --> Northern California family.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  99. @R.G. Camara
    @Wilkey

    Car dealerships are some of the big time college football booster guys. They love getting the big players for their alma maters through the usual bribery, and often time gift cars to various family members (or the players themselves).

    Car dealerships seem to be one of those businesses in which you can hide/launder a lot of money, much like movie making and construction, except car dealers seem to allow for lower-level entrepeneurs to get in on the action without becoming part of a vast web of companies or one monolith owned by the mob. Liek, if movie companies and construction companies are upper class corruption, car dealerships seem to be upper-middle class corruption.

    Replies: @EdwardM

    Car dealerships seem to be one of those businesses in which you can hide/launder a lot of money

    How? It seems like they would be good places to fudge financial statements (with probably some flexibility in valuing inventory and other assets and liabilities like warranties, financing agreements, and service contracts), but cash is cash. Do tell please.

    • Agree: Paul Mendez
    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @EdwardM


    It seems like they would be good places to fudge financial statements (with probably some flexibility in valuing inventory and other assets and liabilities like warranties, financing agreements, and service contracts),
     
    You just answered your own question.

    but cash is cash
     
    Given that car dealerships are all about negotiation; prices aren't fixed and therefore can't be tracked regularly. Its easy for a dealership to claim that the reason they had so much more $$$ this month/season/year was that they marked up some cars well over value and had some motivated suckers pay cash.

    So there's the laundering.

    For bribery (or tax evasion), do the reverse: claim the reason you had such a poor month/season/year was your product wasn't popular or everyone was negotiating fiercely so you had to sell the inventory below price. Take the extra $$$ you're hiding due to this lie and use it for bribery or whatever you want.

    The fluid nature of car pricing makes it easier. Similar to how the mob uses construction project for graft or tax evasion, since prices of materials fluctuate and the numbers of workers employed on a project can be inflated or deflated. But with a car dealer, there's far fewer people in on the scam. And car dealers, unlike regular shopkeepers and other business owners, are far more practiced at such lying.

    Tangentially, dirty car dealerships will sometimes loan out cars to drug dealers to make deliveries. The cars can't be traced to the drug dealers if the cops try to do one on the street, the car dealer gets a cash prize off the books, and if the cops arrest the drug dealers in the car the dealership can claim that the keys were stolen from the dealership and the car was parked out back, and therefore the theft was unnoticed. Plausible denialability.

    And as a side note, with big time college athletes being young men in love with flashy cars and not thinking much about the future, and the majority being black, they and their families can be bribed with a dealer's flashy new car kept safely out back of a dealership. Just before he was drafted as the #1 pick in the NBA, Lebron James's mother was seen driving around in a huge new expensive car, despite their family only having a modest income; she claimed the dealer signed it over to her based on LeBron's likely financial situation after the draft, but some wondered if Lebron's agent had a crooked dealer get her the car so LeBron would sign with the agent.

    Replies: @Paul Mendez

  100. @guest007
    @Alden

    Most of the individuals who people believe are rich are not really that rich due to having leveraged heavily. Think of all of the professional athletes and celebrities who go bankrupt or who had small estates when they died.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    Some of us KNOW they are not rich, Guest, but others are fooled by all the bling. My wife used to be the same way, not about athletes but neighbors with nice houses, 2 new cars, etc., etc. She gets it now – they don’t actually OWN much. It’s the American way – debt for everything. I’m very glad to have grown up in a fiscally conservative family.

  101. @International Jew
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    You're not aiming high enough. Be that guy but become the front for a white guy who wants to bid on building major public works projects.

    Replies: @Alden

    Our family business has a black sub contractor who bids for all the government jobs . He’s both a regular inside wireman and a contractor. He’s a competent electrician. Although he does tend to talk a lot and not concentrate.

    But as a contractor running a big job he’s really not capable. . He needs a person getting the regular wages. Who actually takes care of payroll, code and other paperwork and actually runs the crew. While the AA contractor just does the regular work. And another guy or gal does all his work.
    And doesn’t get foreman’s wages
    At least he’s really a nice honest friendly guy who gets along with Whites. Instead of hating Whites like so many. Which is something to be thankful for.

  102. @prime noticer
    gas stations don't make any money. my dad's first wife owns one. but you don't need to have an owner in the family to know that they don't make much money. fuel retail is ultra ruthless, like supermarkets with their 1% margin. gas stations bring in about a nickel per gallon. corner gas stations change hands often and sometimes go out of business and sit empty. the earnings that keep them in business come from having an attached a retail shop, or less common these days, a repair garage. some have added a car wash to generate more cash from the property.

    in terms of earnings: gas station -> auto parts store -> repair garage -> body & paint shop

    not really sure where used car lots figure into that equation, their earnings vary wildly. a new car dealership is a big venture and not a small business owner type operation.

    owning a mcdonald's, or even better, a chick fil a, is where you make serious money on a real estate lot in these size ranges. that gets you into the auto body range, 1 million a year, or higher, for certain mcdonalds locations, and all chick fil a locations, which average over 2 million a year.

    Replies: @prosa123

    owning a mcdonald’s, or even better, a chick fil a, is where you make serious money on a real estate lot in these size ranges

    Chik-fil-A franchise owners aren’t really owners as the company retains most or all of the equity. To be sure, they make good money, supposedly about \$250,000 a year on average, and unlike “real” franchise owners they are required to pay only \$10,000 up front as compared to far over a million for a McDonald’s. It’s supposedly a highly selective process with hundreds of applicants for each slot.

    Another cheap franchise is Amazon delivery partner, each of which owns a fleet of around 20 to 50 delivery vans (which Amazon supplies) and hires the drivers. It’s also \$10,000 with a \$30,000 liquid asset requirement. They make on average about what CfA franchise owners make but there’s more variation.

  103. @prosa123
    @Hypnotoad666

    Car dealers have a monopoly in the sense that franchise laws in every state give franchised dealers a legal on new car sales. Buyers cannot purchase new cars directly from the manufacturers, Costco, Amazon etc.
    Tesla is different, as they sell their cars directly from the company without dealers. Which in a way doesn't mean much, as the sort of sophisticated, affluent people who buy Teslas usually can hold their own against dealers.

    Replies: @Hypnotoad666

    Car dealers have a monopoly in the sense that franchise laws in every state give franchised dealers a legal on new car sales.

    Sure. But that doesn’t mean any individual dealership gets a license to mint money out of that regulation. Mainly, it just screws over consumers by adding a whole unnecessary layer of middlemen. It also puts the legacy car makers at a big disadvantage against Tesla because they are stuck with this giant dealership-network albatross.

  104. “Big time sports heroes often had beverage distributorships bestowed upon them,”

    a lot of the battle today is getting the new casino license from the state. whoever wins that gets the automatic 200 million a year in revenue or whatever from the local casino they’re allowed to build and operate. apropos Steve’s comments about limiting marijuana licenses to africans, in some states the casino license battle is often slowed down by diversity concerns.

    usually how this goes is the state will award the license to some diverse businessman led consortium who is in way over his head. he’ll waste a few years stumbling around, then eventually yield the license to real casino operators, who then go build the casino and get it up and running. this is why africans will never operate businesses like these at a large scale. they don’t run all that many businesses, because they can’t. not because they aren’t allowed. the marijuana shop idea will never work.

    what can be done, is to award entire sports franchises to former legendary players. Larry Bird was furious when NBA awarded the expansion team in Charlotte to Michael Jordan instead of him, especially after the league had previously committed to giving the new team to Bird. actual businessmen can then step in and run the day to day operations for the retired african jocks, while the jocks remain owner. Jordan owns about 80% of the team.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @prime noticer


    Larry Bird was furious when NBA awarded the expansion team in Charlotte to Michael Jordan instead of him, especially after the league had previously committed to giving the new team to Bird
     
    This isn't how it happened. The team was awarded to Bob Johnson of BET in 2004, although Bird was in the running at that time. Then in 2010 he sold to Michael Jordan, who renamed the team the Hornets (from the Bobcats) in 2014.
  105. @Old Prude
    I was at the local airfield this weekend. The rich guys weren't the CFI or the guys strapping thrill seekers to themselves for a parachute drop.

    The rich guys owned the Flight School and Skydive New England.

    Not that the youngsters weren't having fun. They just were getting paid peanuts.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    I’m glad the business is still doing well O.P. I’ve been to that place. That 4,000 ft. by 22 ft wide paved strip is tight, maybe not for the Twin Otter they have now but for the King Air they used to have.

    Then, in the winter, the smart birds fly South and drop Meat Bombs there. They had the first-year model C182 for the die-hards, 1958, I believe.. As I recall, the King Air pilot had a pet duck who hung out there, and then rode as the only passenger in the King Air down to Louisiana.

    In the past, it didn’t seem like anyone was making much money at the drop zones. I could tell you stories …

  106. @Alden
    @Peter Akuleyev

    Nancy’s family was middle class politician with 8 kids.

    The Pelosi’s were wealthy back in N Italy. They came to America with plenty of capital for investment. And they’ve been wealthy as in real wealth for about 140 years. Long before Nancy. The Pelosis are German or Celtic looking. Not shirt dark S Italians. Husband Paul is maybe 6’2 reddish brown hair when he was young white not tannish skin and blue eyes His brother Ron had blondish golden brown hair. When they were younger.

    Nancy had black hair and very white not tannish skin and light brown eyes. She’s very short like about 5 ft and thin and tiny.

    Most San Francisco Italians ancestors came from N Italy during the big grape disease in Europe. With money to invest in businesses. Very different type from the starving S Italians happy to work for starvation wages.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    The Coppolas are a classic Northern Italy –> Northern California family.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer


    The Coppolas are a classic Northern Italy –> Northern California family.
     
    South America's Italians were from the north. The rule of thumb is South Italy--> North America, North Italy --> South America.

    The musical Caymmis of Brazil go back to a Milanese immigrant of the early 19th century. (Italian and Portuguese both lack a Y; it's apparently an affectation.) Senna is a Lombard name, Fittipaldi split between Lombardy and southerly Basilicata. (That may be an effect of industrial migration; Michigan is full of Southern surnames like Nugent and Mathers.)

    Messi concentrates in Milan and Ancona. Galtieri is in Lombardy and Liguria as well as places farther south Bolsonaro shows up once in modern Italy, on the Piedmont-Lombard border.

    Replies: @RAZ

  107. @Jack D
    @Dave Pinsen

    It hasn't been easy because of all the anti-competitive laws. The rich car dealers are major campaign contributors. If you are a consumer, the anti-competitive franchise laws are going to cost you a few hundred $ ever few years when you buy a new car. If you are a car dealer, it is going to make you millions extra every year. So the car dealers (and beer/alcohol distributors) have a BIG stake in keeping these laws in place. They really should have been pre-empted long ago at the Federal level.

    Tesla has really had to struggle - in some states they haven't been able to sell cars at all. They can have showrooms where they just show you the car but you can't actually buy it there. They've managed work arounds but it's been a struggle.

    Replies: @Herbert R. Tarlek, Jr., @kaganovitch

    Hey, Jack, do you ever think of changing your screen name to “Cliff Clavin”?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Herbert R. Tarlek, Jr.


    Herbert R. Tarlek, Jr. says:

    Hey, Jack, do you ever think of changing your screen name to “Cliff Clavin”?
     
    We're waiting for Ed Norton to chime in.
  108. @Jack D
    OT - it turns out that Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter are responsible for the mass shooting in Buffalo because of their espousal of the racist "elect a new people" meme:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2022/05/15/buffalo-suspect-great-replacement-theory-conservative-media/

    Implicit in this article is that it's about time for these vile genocidal commentators to be imprisoned or at least taken off the airwaves.

    Steve gets no credit.

    If this was really the nutjob's inspiration, why did he shoot up a supermarket full of ADOS's? They are about as Old Stock as you can get? Shouldn't he have gone to the Latino or Asian neighborhood? Or is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?

    Replies: @Henry's Cat, @Charon, @J.Ross, @Adam Smith, @vinteuil, @Seneca44, @Dave Pinsen

    Jack D – just FYI – your link is useless to those of us who don’t subscribe to the Washington Post. It just takes us to a dialogue begging us to subscribe.

    As if.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @vinteuil

    vinteuil - just FYI - I don't subscribe to the Post either (although nowadays they have all sorts of "introductory" offers where they will give you 6 months for 99 cents or something). If you desire to read most (but not all) publications with a "soft paywall" there are ways that you can install an extension in your browser in order to "bypass paywalls". Your favorite search engine should lead you to the method if you so desire. Once the extension is installed, you will be able to access links like this every time, 80% of the time. It's not perfect but it's better than nothing.

    Replies: @Johnny Rico

  109. @Colin Wright
    Back in the day, I recall reading that the rich disproportionately worked for it: doctors, lawyers, CPA's.

    I strongly suspect it's where you draw the line: after all, draw it low enough and the answer is, 'be in a first world country.' Your average American is definitely a lot wealthier than your average inhabitant of Upper Volta.

    ...just don't set the line so high that the answer is 'be Jewish.' That'd upset people.

    Replies: @Alden

    Drs and lawyers are upper middle class st best. They don’t have wealth. Over a life time, nurses are better off than Drs. Fewer young adult years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in education. Beginning an adult career at 23 instead of 35. And belonging to one of the most powerful labor unions in the country. While Drs work for hospitals big practices and their income is restricted by insurance companies and Medicare medi caid

    It’s not the 1950s and 60s anymore. When the patients were workers with good insurance. And the medical providers could charge and overcharge whatever they wanted.

    Now days so many patients are poor immigrants and people on welfare that many practices are dependent on medical caid Which pays only about one fourth of the real cost of treatment.

    For instance, UCLA hospital is in a very White wealthy area. But according to a friend who works in billing, about 80 percent of the babies born there are Mexicans on medi caid

    Drs are upper middle class. But the long delay before they start earning and paying off student loans more and more Medicaid patients they are not as affluent as they once were.

    The insurance companies cracked down on costs 40 years ago. Another problem is delayed payment. All the insurance companies Medicare and Medicaid do this. Years to collect. It’s ok for drs who are hospital or Kaiser type organization employees. But years of delay in payment can destroy an independent practice

    Now days the only ones who take home more that about 400K a year are plastic surgeons. Which the patients pay out of pocket. So the plastic surgeons can charge whatever they can get out of the patients And they take credit cards. It’s like buying a 25 or 30 K car. Just another payment.

    The article is about people who take home 1.5 million a year. Not people who take home 2oo to 500 K a year. Lawyers range from very well
    paid to just making it and everything in between.

    Another thing about the true wealthy. Their kids don’t have to wait till they’re 60 and their parents are 90 and die before they get their inheritance. They get money from parents and grandparents all their lives. Some wealthy Californians buy a small apartment house for their kids when the kids are babies. And turn the place over to a trustworthy management company. Real estate has its ups and downs. But because the government allows unlimited immigration it will always have value.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Alden

    Now days the only ones who take home more that about 400K a year are plastic surgeons. Which the patients pay out of pocket. So the plastic surgeons can charge whatever they can get out of the patients And they take credit cards. It’s like buying a 25 or 30 K car. Just another payment.

    While plastic surgeons are handsomely remunerated they are not the highest paid specialists. Both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons make substantially more on average.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    , @Almost Missouri
    @Alden


    Now days so many patients are poor immigrants and people on welfare that many practices are dependent on medical caid Which pays only about one fourth of the real cost of treatment.
     
    A medical practice I used to go to was bought by a Middle Eastern immigrant with a bevy of Russian concubines, after the previous owner retired. The new owner expanded and revamped the place in imported marble and chrome. Must've cost more than the purchase of the practice. Then he hired a bunch of physically attractive assistants to replace the frumpy/grumpy local ladies who came with practice (except for one, who was probably the only one who understood the billing system).

    The strange thing is that it is not a wealthy area. I'd guess about 1/2 - 3/4 of the patients are poor Medicaid-type patients. Heaps of these people and their hangers-on sat interminably in the waiting room while those of us with better insurance were waved through for immediate service. I gather that they had no other options than to wait for low-priority attention.

    But there did not seem to be enough of a stream of insured patients to pay for all of the uninsured ones, the massive revamp, the chicer staff, and the new owner's larger lifestyle. I could never get it to add up in my head. Had the previous guy just not understood the potential of his practice? Or is the new guy running some kind of Medicare scam? But then why bother with all those noisesome patients at all if you are not really treating them anyway? Or maybe there is a way to treat them that is profitable if you have the volume?
  110. @AnotherDad

    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.
    ...

    Auto dealerships have legal protections; state franchising laws often give auto dealers exclusive rights to sell cars in a territory.
     
    What a stunning insight! A more reasonable book title would be "Yes the typical rich person is exactly who you have always thought, if you've been paying the slightest attention."

    I.e. middle man parasites selling something valuable or a lot of something ... who have managed to wrangle government protected monopolies. I.e. car dealers #1.

    ~~

    I'm a big believer in federalism, self-government--by responsible productive people. But this does highlight one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from.... allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.

    Forget Costco, there's absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that i want. Then either fly to the factory, or for a modest couple hundred bucks pick it up at the "Ford Depot" at the railhead in the nearest city near me.

    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together--i.e. to actually produce--these amazing machines ... and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value--absolutely zero--and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.

    Parasitism. It's what's for dinner in America 2.0.

    Replies: @(((They))) live, @anon, @Prosa123, @epebble, @mmack, @Almost Missouri, @Marquis, @Muggles, @MLG

    “Forget Costco, there’s absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that I want.”

    If you’re willing to wait, and have a strong will, you can order a vehicle to your specifications.

    If you’re willing to wait.

    Back in the late 1990s I had a co-worker whose then husband wanted a specifically optioned F-150. He held his ground and the dealer ordered it for him.

    He had to wait two months for the truck to be sequenced into the production line order and built.

    That’s the problem we’d face: You and I would line up behind the orders of, oh, Smilin’ Steve Sailer, your Valley Ford Man, California’s top Ford Dealer, located right next to the Rancho Coalinga Country Club. Because Smilin’ Steve, Friendly Frank, and everybody else you see on your color TV screen are buying and selling LARGE VOLUMES of Fords, and big data for Smilin’ Steve says Steve sells Platinum Package F-150s in black, white, silver, and blue like hotcakes. That’s MONEY my man, and We Want Smilin’ Steve to keep smilin’ and SELL FORDS! Cause Smilin’ Steve has a big credit line and that credit line helps us pay our bills.

    Oh, you want the ’22 Escape in green with cloth seats? Who are you again? Smilin’ Steve needs 50 Escapes in black, blue, white, and silver, with leather interiors, and Friendly Frank needs 100. We’ll fit your Escape in somewhere.

    • Replies: @onetwothree
    @mmack

    Not that it matters, but I think most dealers have to take whatever the car company decides to send them.

    Replies: @Colin Wright

  111. @International Jew
    @J.Ross

    What's his name? Parentheses, in Israel, usually indicate the European name someone used before adopting something more authentically Hebraic. Like Ilan Harari (Bergman) or Oded Caspi (Silberdick).

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Joe Paluka, @Daniel H

    (Silberdick)

    That one will make you very popular with the yentas in Tel Aviv!

  112. @anon
    Gas is mostly sold by chains. They quit having price wars. And the combo convenience store, gas station owns the biggest and best. Seven Eleven just bought out Speedway to become #1 in the C-Store News lists, with over 10% market share. The combos buy the best property, and make 30 cents/gal on the gas and the C-Store make about the same in aggregate as the gas, not competing with Amazon or Costco. You can buy stock in these firms, like Circle-K, for example.
    Same with car dealers. Auto Nation and Car Max are big chains. The number of dealers are shrinking. New cars are (or were) commodities, with internet pricing ruining that part of the business. Parts and service is usually the biggest profit center now. Followed by the companion used car part. And the financing and insurance part. Chains include Auto Nation (AN), Penske (PAG), Lithia Motors (LAD) , Group One (GPI), etc. You could buy the stocks or read their published financials.
    C-Stores include Casey's (CASY) and the Speedway deal has public filings from 2021. And ANCUF, Canadian global chain Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
    Overall cars have been a bad sector, since GM in the 50's and Tesla. Parts suppliers are awful. A sweet spot is Auto Zone and O'Reillys, which have perfected the retail aftermarket parts business.
    (AZ and ORLY).

    Replies: @ginger bread man

    Parts and service….

    A few years ago, My Dad’s BMW had an error so we brought it in to the dealer to get inspected. The Service department said our acceleration limit or (or YAW detector, i can’t remember) would be \$1500 to repair.
    \$1250 for the part, which they had in stock, and \$250 for the labor.

    This seemed expensive, and our mechanic friend told us to check with the parts department within the dealership, maybe they would quote a better price. We called the parts dept. and to our surprise, they quoted us \$750 for the exact same part. Almost half!

    Our friend said that they do this because most BMW owners will never check with the parts department, so they add a significant markup because they know you’ll probably just pay the higher price.

    To satisfy my curiosity, I googled the part and see if I could find it cheaper on EBay. I did some scouting and found dozens of people selling the part for ~\$150. Eventually I bought the part for \$50 and had our mechanic friend replace the part for \$250.

    Saved us over \$1000

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    @ginger bread man

    Most of the components in cars are sourced from OEM manufacturers who sell the parts online for a fraction of the dealership price. We buy BMW or Mercedes because there are two master mechanics who used to be factory mechanics for those brands, have opened their own shop and are great to work with. They won’t buy parts except from the auto companies so they can warranty the work, but will also be happy to install the parts if I buy them. The most extreme instance of saving money was when I had a Mercedes with the glass in an outside rear view mirror that was cracked in a minor side swipe. From Mercedes $1082 because of the heating, auto dimming, warning LEDs, etc. From an internet supplier $242. The box it came in had the Mercedes logo and part number blacked out with a marker and the mechanics showed me where the Mercedes logo and P/N had been shaved off of the electronic circuitry housing so that the part could be sold to customers other than Mercedes. One of them installed it for free because we were regular customers and it didn’t take long.

    Replies: @Jack D

  113. @Joe Stalin

    He said that Costco had looked into the car market in vast detail, but state laws protected existing dealers so much that to enter the car business, Costco would first have to spend a fortune on lobbying state legislators to change the laws.
     
    In the People's Republic of Illinois, car dealerships don't open on sundays, because that's what the car dealer cartel wants.

    I knew of someone decades back whose family got rich making the wire pail handles for those 5-gallon plastic pails. When a competitor got into the business and started a price war forcing the profits down for both parties, they met and agreed to NOT engage in this.

    Illegal price fixing for sure.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    In the People’s Republic of New Jersey it is also illegal to buy a car on Sunday

    • Replies: @FPD72
    @ScarletNumber


    In the People’s Republic of New Jersey it is also illegal to buy a car on Sunday
     
    In the PRNJ it is also illegal to pump your own gas. I think that applies to Oregon as well.

    In Texas it is illegal for dealerships to be open on both Saturday and Sunday. Most choose to be open on Saturday and closed on Sunday but a few in large metro areas choose to be open on Sunday and closed on Sunday.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @ScarletNumber

  114. Gas stations are pretty fungible, unless you own a great location, like, say, the last gas station on the right in Marin County before you drive over the Golden Gate Bridge.

    I’ve represented some gas station franchisees in the past and the business model is that they don’t make any money on selling the gas, which is a break even proposition more or less.

    The profit comes from the attached convenience stores, which sell all sorts of junk on high margins. People will pay more for coffee, candy or chips and impulse buy cheap sunglasses or whatever because they’re on the road and it saves time.

    There’s also the fact that the industry of gas station franchisees seems to be dominated by South Asians who are able to ignore wage and hour laws because the guy who works in the booth 110+ hours a week is betrothed to the owner’s daughter, who will get to apply for citizenship at some point in his indenture and then bring his parents and siblings and grannies over too. He’ll eventually have a daughter of his own to arrange a marriage to, hopefully just in time after getting his own franchise with the fees paid under a side deal with his father in law.

  115. I’m in the top 0.01% (ie, > ~9 million per year in income and ~\$110 million of assets, last time I looked). You can choose to believe this or not.

    A few quick observations based on my experiences:

    1. There are many exceptions, but by far the best way to have started with \$0 and achieved that in America over the past 40 years has been to have equity in tech and/or carry in finance.

    2. The observation that having equity leads to wealth is pretty obvious, but also suffers from survivorship bias. What you don’t see in these numbers is how many people tried and failed within each employment category. If you are talking about top 0.1% wealth (with this guy’s cut-off of \$1.58MM per year), it takes some brains and lots of unrelenting hard work, but you can get there with quite high odds, for example, by making partner at BigLaw, consulting, finance drone etc. You can usually get to about that number by late 30s – early 40s and then sustain it for 10 or 20 years. You will almost never get to the 0.01% , but the odds of actually accomplishing that if you set out to do it are vastly lower than your odds of making and maintaining a partner-level job.

    3. When you are at this level, the income tax rate is almost irrelevant, which is one of the things that always strikes me as funny about these debates. That’s not because I pay “almost no taxes,” it’s because the taxes that matter to me are taxes on capital.

    4. The thing about businesses with barriers to competition is that unless you invent this business, the cost of buying into it reflects the value of those barriers.

    5. I’ve worked very hard in my life for many years, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never worked as hard as my dad did who ran a gas station.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Recently Based

    I'll choose to believe you, and I hope Steve Sailer will be reminded of your comment next money-raising period. ;-}

    We can all tithe 0.1% of gross income. Deal?

    , @Almost Missouri
    @Recently Based


    have equity in tech
     
    I think it is the getting more than the having that is the hard part. :-)

    carry in finance
     
    ?

    2. The observation that having equity leads to wealth is pretty obvious, but also suffers from survivorship bias. What you don’t see in these numbers is how many people tried and failed within each employment category. ...
     
    Yes, but I'm not sure if you are arguing for or against equity building versus professional development in the rest of this item. To try for the brass ring in equity of something, or better just to drone away at law, consulting, or finance?

    3. When you are at this level, the income tax rate is almost irrelevant, which is one of the things that always strikes me as funny about these debates. That’s not because I pay “almost no taxes,” it’s because the taxes that matter to me are taxes on capital.
     
    Arguably, all taxes are on capital, but I gather that you mean that you are more concerned about property taxes than about income taxes.

    4. The thing about businesses with barriers to competition is that unless you invent this business, the cost of buying into it reflects the value of those barriers.
     
    Agree. The "barriers to entry" discussion almost always neglects to consider whether one is inside or outside the barriers when they arise. If you're inside, hey, great work if you can get it. If you're outside, you gotta pay to get in like everyone else. That's why they're "barriers".

    Replies: @Recently Based

  116. @Jack D
    OT - it turns out that Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter are responsible for the mass shooting in Buffalo because of their espousal of the racist "elect a new people" meme:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2022/05/15/buffalo-suspect-great-replacement-theory-conservative-media/

    Implicit in this article is that it's about time for these vile genocidal commentators to be imprisoned or at least taken off the airwaves.

    Steve gets no credit.

    If this was really the nutjob's inspiration, why did he shoot up a supermarket full of ADOS's? They are about as Old Stock as you can get? Shouldn't he have gone to the Latino or Asian neighborhood? Or is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?

    Replies: @Henry's Cat, @Charon, @J.Ross, @Adam Smith, @vinteuil, @Seneca44, @Dave Pinsen

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/01/23/watch-the-rapid-decline-of-white-america-over-three-decades/

    They didn’t want to call it replacement when they wrote about it seven years ago!

  117. @Achmed E. Newman
    @Alden

    Alden, the calculation was very simple, once they had the IRS data (as iSteve has written about Raj Chetty, you wonder what happened to privacy at the IRS).

    The authors picked the round number of 0.1% top income. There must be 140,000,000 (actual*) taxpayers out of the US population of 350,000,000. That results in 140,000 making more than the other 99.9% and the lowest of those would be $1.58 million.

    .

    * Some people don't file, but the main reason it's about half the population is that tax returns are for couples and families.

    Replies: @Alden

    I believe you but still. A million a year is a lot less than 1.58 a year. Depends on location too.

  118. @peterike
    So here's the author:

    https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/51d894bee4b01caf88ccb4f3/1652365038494-607L77LF1IO75VJPABN2/Seth51.jpeg?format=300w

    Looks like the kind of Orthodox Jews that regularly fill up the Worst Landlords list in New York City. I wouldn't believe this guy if he told me the sky was blue. Even worse:

    He received his BA in philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford, and his PhD in economics from Harvard.

    Yeesh.

    Anyway, car dealerships are going to be a dying business, replaced by on-line shopping. AutoNation now sells nearly half its cars via their website. It gets you out of that nonsense of getting pressured by the sleazy car dealer to buy add-ons you don't need or to sign a crappy finance deal or to just plain get ripped off.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @E. Rekshun, @Anon

    Looks like the kind of Orthodox Jews that regularly fill up the Worst Landlords list in NY City.

    Nah, that’s a hipster look. Ultra Orthodox guys (NYC landlords list) are very rarely ,if ever, hyphenated .

  119. “state laws protected existing dealers so much that to enter the car business, Costco”

    Tesla was able to do it. created a new american car brand, the first one in 50(?) years, while also selling directly to customers. there is no haggling. you pay the price tesla says on the tesla site and that’s it, with some minor qualifications.

    they now also sell auto insurance, in states where they can do it, and will directly sell you Tesla insurance on your Tesla car. they get immediate electronic data from the car on how good or bad of a driver you are, then sell you insurance at an optimized actuarial rate.

    they’re pretty far ahead of legacy OEMs in many areas. and there is still more room for technical and business improvements over competitors. within a few years i expect them to make more money than ford or GM.

  120. When Obama bailed out GM in 2008, one of the conditions was that they had to decertify a bunch of dealerships. I always suspected that was political. Many car dealers have been active in conservative politics, and some major conservative politicians are former dealers. Two that spring to mind are Jim Renacci of Ohio and the late Evan Mecham of Arizona.

    BTW I bought a car through Costco’s auto program years ago, but all it was was a referral to local dealers with a suggested price that ended up being higher than the price I negotiated myself. It would only be useful for girlymen who don’t like to haggle.

    • Replies: @James B. Shearer
    @Faraday's Bobcat

    "When Obama bailed out GM in 2008, .."

    Obama didn't become President until Jan 20, 2009 so something is off here. As for getting rid of dealers bankruptcy is a way businesses can sometimes get out from under onerous contracts.

    Replies: @Brutusale

  121. @peterike
    So here's the author:

    https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/51d894bee4b01caf88ccb4f3/1652365038494-607L77LF1IO75VJPABN2/Seth51.jpeg?format=300w

    Looks like the kind of Orthodox Jews that regularly fill up the Worst Landlords list in New York City. I wouldn't believe this guy if he told me the sky was blue. Even worse:

    He received his BA in philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford, and his PhD in economics from Harvard.

    Yeesh.

    Anyway, car dealerships are going to be a dying business, replaced by on-line shopping. AutoNation now sells nearly half its cars via their website. It gets you out of that nonsense of getting pressured by the sleazy car dealer to buy add-ons you don't need or to sign a crappy finance deal or to just plain get ripped off.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @E. Rekshun, @Anon

    It gets you out of that nonsense of getting pressured by the sleazy car dealer to buy add-ons you don’t need or to sign a crappy finance deal or to just plain get ripped off.

    Last month, my 84 y/o father went into the local Chevy dealer to get the “free” oil change on his 2021 Chevrolet Silverado, owned in full, no loan, no lease. An hour later, he left as the new lessee of a 2022 Chevrolet Camaro on a 3-year lease.

  122. @peterike
    So here's the author:

    https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/51d894bee4b01caf88ccb4f3/1652365038494-607L77LF1IO75VJPABN2/Seth51.jpeg?format=300w

    Looks like the kind of Orthodox Jews that regularly fill up the Worst Landlords list in New York City. I wouldn't believe this guy if he told me the sky was blue. Even worse:

    He received his BA in philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford, and his PhD in economics from Harvard.

    Yeesh.

    Anyway, car dealerships are going to be a dying business, replaced by on-line shopping. AutoNation now sells nearly half its cars via their website. It gets you out of that nonsense of getting pressured by the sleazy car dealer to buy add-ons you don't need or to sign a crappy finance deal or to just plain get ripped off.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @E. Rekshun, @Anon

    His face is punchable.

  123. @mmack
    @AnotherDad

    "Forget Costco, there’s absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that I want."

    If you're willing to wait, and have a strong will, you can order a vehicle to your specifications.

    If you're willing to wait.

    Back in the late 1990s I had a co-worker whose then husband wanted a specifically optioned F-150. He held his ground and the dealer ordered it for him.

    He had to wait two months for the truck to be sequenced into the production line order and built.

    That's the problem we'd face: You and I would line up behind the orders of, oh, Smilin' Steve Sailer, your Valley Ford Man, California's top Ford Dealer, located right next to the Rancho Coalinga Country Club. Because Smilin' Steve, Friendly Frank, and everybody else you see on your color TV screen are buying and selling LARGE VOLUMES of Fords, and big data for Smilin' Steve says Steve sells Platinum Package F-150s in black, white, silver, and blue like hotcakes. That's MONEY my man, and We Want Smilin' Steve to keep smilin' and SELL FORDS! Cause Smilin' Steve has a big credit line and that credit line helps us pay our bills.

    Oh, you want the '22 Escape in green with cloth seats? Who are you again? Smilin' Steve needs 50 Escapes in black, blue, white, and silver, with leather interiors, and Friendly Frank needs 100. We'll fit your Escape in somewhere.

    Replies: @onetwothree

    Not that it matters, but I think most dealers have to take whatever the car company decides to send them.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    @onetwothree

    'Not that it matters, but I think most dealers have to take whatever the car company decides to send them.'

    But you don't have to just accept what the local dealer will do for you.

    I was talking to a guy in Hawaii who had his brand new cherry red Corvette, etc, etc.

    The Hawaiian dealer had wanted to charge him what amounted to a five thousand dollar markup. This was Hawaii, after all. Everything has to come on the boat.

    Dude found a dealer in Montana who would only charge him a thousand dollars extra for the shipping -- which was pretty fair.

    I don't see why anyone can't do that. Find what you want and see what the dealer will do for you when it comes to shipping.

    Replies: @Jack D

  124. @Zpaladin
    In my experience, it is hard to make money at bars, nice restaurants, yoga or dance studios, etc because people become owners for status rather than to make a profit. Many Pilates or dance studios are opened by wives of rich guys after their kids have grown. After all, they’ve been doing it for years, taught it a little and “Pilates studio owner” sounds better than stay-at-home mom or retired.
    Now it’s more common for party dudes to try to run a bar or club and they don’t know what they are doing but just like to drink. It’s hard to compete against a money losing bar if they are losing money because their drink prices are too low.

    Replies: @E. Rekshun, @Veteran Aryan

    Pilates or dance studios are opened by wives of rich guys after their kids have grown.

    Also, “interior decorator.”

  125. That helps explain why buying a Toyota was such an ordeal: good cars, but the dealers could abuse you without fear of getting their right to sell Toyotas taken away.

    Just drive down the road to the Nissan dealer.

  126. @AnotherDad

    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.
    ...

    Auto dealerships have legal protections; state franchising laws often give auto dealers exclusive rights to sell cars in a territory.
     
    What a stunning insight! A more reasonable book title would be "Yes the typical rich person is exactly who you have always thought, if you've been paying the slightest attention."

    I.e. middle man parasites selling something valuable or a lot of something ... who have managed to wrangle government protected monopolies. I.e. car dealers #1.

    ~~

    I'm a big believer in federalism, self-government--by responsible productive people. But this does highlight one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from.... allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.

    Forget Costco, there's absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that i want. Then either fly to the factory, or for a modest couple hundred bucks pick it up at the "Ford Depot" at the railhead in the nearest city near me.

    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together--i.e. to actually produce--these amazing machines ... and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value--absolutely zero--and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.

    Parasitism. It's what's for dinner in America 2.0.

    Replies: @(((They))) live, @anon, @Prosa123, @epebble, @mmack, @Almost Missouri, @Marquis, @Muggles, @MLG

    one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from…. allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.

    Seems to me that the US Federal government, despite its enormous size, still manages to get torqued around, hijacked and favor-extracted by very rich and self-interested people. Worse, the losses to Americans aren’t just monetary, but include lives and blood (and of course lives and blood of foreigners too). In the last few months, the Federal government has even been flirting with starting nuclear war on behalf of these favor-extractors.

    Even worse, it is so big that it is now immune to voting, so, unlike your corrupt town council there is no way to get rid of it. Even just talking about getting rid of it makes you a person of interest to the Disinformation Czarina, a potential “domestic terrorist”, a No-Fly List candidate, and a SWATting target.

    So I’ll still take small government any day of the week. Even if you don’t have a majority to vote out the rotten ones, you can still go to a town meeting and humiliate them verbally. But I guess the FBI is working to foreclose that possibility too, oh hey, that’s big govt at work again.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  127. @Steve from Detroit
    @Harry Baldwin

    I use McCain as the textbook example of how the media can completely control the narrative regarding our alleged leaders. Virtually no one knows the backstory of McCain and his first wife, but everyone knows the story of his time as POW. I've tried to convince a couple of my friends, both of whom are admirers of McCain, the real story is far different than what they've been led to believe. My attempts attempts have been futile.

    The difference between the conventional story and the truth is so utterly different. What is even more astounding is the ease with which you can find the real story if you have even the slightest desire to do so. Alas, very few people have that desire.

    Replies: @Anon

    Something about McCain’s first wife getting into a crippling auto crash while McCain was a prisoner in Vietnam. Then McCain coming back to freedom only to divorce his disabled wife for a hot new trophy wife.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Anon

    And, to keep the discussion accidentally on topic. McCain's "Hot new trophy wife" was the daughter of a wealthy beer distributor.

    But you knew that anyway. didn't you?

    Replies: @Anon

  128. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alden
    Steve, that figure of only 140 ,000 individuals who make net taxable income of 1.58 million a year seems awfully low to me. There must be more.

    There’s hundreds of people who live in the north east quadrant of the small city of San Francisco who make a million or a bit more a year. But not 1.58 million Plus at least one farmer I know of . And they aren’t tech people. There must be more. Plus all the Asian Persian Armenian Russian Israeli immigrants. They must file tax returns, completely fraudulent and evading or not. .

    It’s a better idea for a kid to use his or her trust fund to put a down payment on an apartment house or strip mall than waste it on college tuition. The tax deductions alone from rentals are great Plus, it’s easy to hide the rent from one or more units from the satanic greedy mo’fa IRS.

    But you’re the research expert and I’m not. And there’s a huge difference between a million and 1.58 million a year. Beer and alcohol distributerships cost a fortune to buy.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @guest007, @Anonymous

    Plus, it’s easy to hide the rent from one or more units from the satanic greedy mo’fa IRS.

    Really?

    Do tell us how it’s done! 😀

  129. @Intelligent Dasein
    So, if you want to be wealthy you need to own productive assets and not work for wages. Gee, I never would have thunk that.

    Ladies and gentlemen, seldom have we been treated to such rare and magnificent insight.

    This is almost tautological. It's tantamount to saying, "If you want wealth, you need to accumulate wealth." There is no mystery here. There is no secret to getting wealthy; the path to wealth is rather obvious and straightforward. The real question is, why do so few people pursue such a strategy with any sort of deliberate seriousness?

    My parents, for example, seem to have no clue about what it takes to build wealth. Despite the fact that I have spent the last 25 years explaining it to them a thousand times over, they appear constitutionally incapable of putting it into action. No one in my extended family can do so, either. My grandfather once owned large parcels of farmland on Long Island and in upstate New York, land which today would not only be worth a Croesan fortune, but which could also have provided a priceless perfection that few people can even dream about anymore---an island of relative freedom from the Globohomo machine and its wage-slave economy. How I wish I could have inherited even a fraction of that. I never got the chance; he sold it all before I was born, apparently because he didn't feel like paying the taxes on it. The idea that real property is an invaluable gift to be held in trust for the family line, and was worth any short-term sacrifice to hold onto, was foreign to him.

    My aunts and uncles, likewise, seem to have no sense of what they missed out on. They pursued tony suburban lives, working in nursing or sales or overpaid union jobs, rightly discerning in these careers the surest path to what they really wanted---flashy cars, motorized toys, vacations, and entertainment.

    I never found a kindred soul amongst my family. They had no interest in the things that really last. I couldn't make them understand that in depleting my patrimony on their frivolities, they had destroyed my one chance at earthly happiness. I am not ambitious for more money or a better career. I don't want to be a wage-slave, not even in a highly paid position. I don't want to be better at running the rat race; all I want is to be out of the rat race. I want freedom, dignity, nobility, and peace. I needed "the red earth of Tara," but now it's gone, and I can't return to it.

    I feel exactly the same way about academia. The conversion of the university system into a credentialization and jobs program for middle class douchebags has had a ruinous effect on intellectual life. The academy is supposed to be a temple of contemplation; it is where you go to adore divinity, philosophy, mathematics, and the arts, all for its own sake, without the need to justify it in terms of its practical value. Perhaps less than 1% of the population is really capable of this intellectual love of truth, but that 1% cannot really be happy anywhere else. I belong to that 1%, and now it's ruined for me.

    My family, true to their philistine view of things, knew nothing about me except that I was "smart." They wondered why I didn't take my perfect SAT and ACT scores, and my supposedly superior intellect, and run out into the rat race in pursuit of a college degree and a "good" job. All the while I was pleading with them to understand what was really important, they were trying to shove me headlong into slavery and vanity. I showed little interest in college after I went there and found out what it was really about. I made three attempts to go, each time dropping out from sheer misery before completing a degree. My grandmother was furious. She thought I was insane and literally tried to commit me to a mental hospital, perhaps thinking that some Thorazine and ECT would fix me up and make me see things her way. I recall one time my aunt remonstrated with me using the words, "Don't you ever think about all the things you could have?"

    All the things I could have.

    As I said earlier, there is no mystery to why more people aren't rich. The fact is that reality is an all-or-nothing proposition. If you're going to be serious about one thing, you have to be serious about everything else, too. Most people simply aren't serious. They eschew the sort of sobriety and self-discipline it takes to become proper stewards of wealth, and they spend their lives chasing pleasing wisps of smoke. They do this willingly and they can't be cajoled or educated out of it, because this is who they are. They have no organ with which to perceive and no capacity to receive the higher things in life.

    Man is a prodigal race.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @E. Rekshun, @Inquiring Mind, @silviosilver, @Sam Malone

    The idea that real property is an invaluable gift to be held in trust for the family line, and was worth any short-term sacrifice to hold onto, was foreign to him…………………..I never found a kindred soul amongst my family. They had no interest in the things that really last. I couldn’t make them understand that in depleting my patrimony on their frivolities, they had destroyed my one chance at earthly happiness.

    So basically your grandfather and parents were obligated to think of you front and center and accumulate wealth, but you haven’t done anything for future generations because you were thinking deep thoughts?

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
    • LOL: Johann Ricke, Twinkie
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @kaganovitch

    Geez, just when I was feeling a bit sorry for him, he launches into that ridiculous whining. He's mad at the previous generations in his family for not entitling him with wealth. Ugh, what a spoiled child.

    He wants "freedom, dignity, nobility, and peace." He seems to think that he's just entitled to all that by birth and doesn't seem to realize that most human beings have to work and even fight to earn some of those things.

    "My patrimony... my one chance at earthly happiness." All about "my," eh? This from a guy who says I am not a real Catholic. I have a friend who is a priest who gave up everything, including a very successful international business, and is now a penniless parish priest, but is happy as a clam to serve the people of his parish and, yes, God.

    He goes on and on about the finer points of Catholic dogma like a pharisee, but doesn't seem to understand that this earthly life is but a vale of tears, and that earnest and genuine Catholics shouldn't live for "earthly happiness" at the end of the day. For that matter, what earthly happiness we do experience in this life should be about love of family and friends, of neighbors and community, not some dynastic wealth. And the common denominator of all forms of love, from erotic to Agape is sacrifice - giving without expecting.

  130. @Prosa123
    @AnotherDad

    Car dealers are horrible, especially now that the Carmageddon has empowered them to add huge markups, but fortunately new cars are an anomaly. For all its turmoil the Retail Acopalyse has made buying just about anything a much more user-friendly experience.

    Replies: @Jack D

    For all its turmoil the Retail Acopalyse [sp] has made buying just about anything a much more user-friendly experience.

    No, not really. If anything, it has made getting good advice harder than ever. The “user friendly” aspect is that you can get more information online but you may or may not even be able to buy the item in person anymore. If you do decide to go to a bricks and mortar store, it’s doubtful you will get any good advice.

    Yesterday I needed a new TV and I did my research online as usual and was prepared to buy it on Amazon but they were out of stock on that model until a week or 2 from now. Luckily my local Best Buy store had that model in stock and they will price match to Amazon via online chat so that was all good.

    However, the fly in the ointment was that my wife wanted to “see” the TV in person so into the BB store we ventured, for perhaps the first time since the ‘rona (and the last if I can help it). At first the sales clerk (friendly young woman with slight Spanish accent) says that they don’t have this particular model on display, sorry. Please let me know if you need anything else, and she skedaddles. I look at the display of TVs and sure enough it is up there, tucked in a corner (Brand X did not pay BB for prominent floor placement like Samsung does). However, the TV clearly misconfigured and the picture looks much worse than all the other TVs – maybe the Samsung rep sabotaged the settings – the colors look washed out and dim. Luckily my wife doesn’t notice (I think she was more concerned that the TV would be somehow ugly or purple or something but it’s not, it’s a black rectangle like all the other new TVs) and we proceed with the purchase. I’m sure that not 1 person in a hundred who goes into the store buys that TV unless they have done their research in advance.

    I get the TV home and set it up and configure it according to the settings that the Interwebs recommend (BTW, this is very important – TVs today have a million settings and if you configure it wrong the picture will look like crap) and it looks great. So by going into the store I was WORSE off than if I hadn’t gone in at all. The retail store actually added NEGATIVE value to my purchase.

    • Replies: @epebble
    @Jack D

    Wow, it is quite a project. Typically, my TV purchase is simple; wait for the Black Friday holidays, pick whatever Costco has on sale. Never bothered to touch any settings.

    , @kaganovitch
    @Jack D

    So by going into the store I was WORSE off than if I hadn’t gone in at all. The retail store actually added NEGATIVE value to my purchase.

    Not following here. Your wife presumably didn't want to buy from Amazon either, no? So, the only harmonious way to buy was local. Which you did. So how are you worse off?

    , @Anonymous
    @Jack D

    Interesting - where can I find these InterWebs.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Twinkie

    , @Twinkie
    @Jack D

    You are making it much more complex than it actually is (which is par for the course for someone trying sound more "in the know" than other people).

    Vast majority of TVs at stores at set on either sales mode, standard, or dynamic. To simplify, all this means that the color temperature is set to "cool" (aka higher color temperature number/more bluish) and the color itself is highly saturated and bright. This is to make the screen image "pop" out.

    If you care at all about accuracy of the image (as the TV show or moviemaker intended), all you have to do is turn off all the "special" modes (except HDR for 4K and up TVs - keep that), put it in "theater" or "movie" mode (which has a more neutral, warmish color temperature). This might make the image look warmer and less bright (more "faded") than what most people are used to, but keep watching it like that for a couple of weeks and your eyes will adjust and provide for what the content-makers intended.

    KISS.

    Replies: @Jack D

  131. @Harry Baldwin
    @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang

    Also, John McCain married into the family that had some distributorship of anheiser busch for Arizona. That’s a nice gig if you can get it.

    Yeah, but it may require you to be the kind of guy that dumps his first wife, the one who anxiously waited for him back home and raised his children while he was a POW.


    Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: ‘I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is – deceit.

    ‘When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it.

    ‘Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.

    ‘This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.’
     
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1024927/The-wife-John-McCain-callously-left-behind.html

    Replies: @Steve from Detroit, @vinteuil

    Of all the Republican candidates for President between 1988 & 2012, which one was the god-awfullest worst?

    The competition is stiff. But I think, in the end, there can only be one answer: John McCain.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  132. @vinteuil
    @Jack D

    Jack D - just FYI - your link is useless to those of us who don't subscribe to the Washington Post. It just takes us to a dialogue begging us to subscribe.

    As if.

    Replies: @Jack D

    vinteuil – just FYI – I don’t subscribe to the Post either (although nowadays they have all sorts of “introductory” offers where they will give you 6 months for 99 cents or something). If you desire to read most (but not all) publications with a “soft paywall” there are ways that you can install an extension in your browser in order to “bypass paywalls”. Your favorite search engine should lead you to the method if you so desire. Once the extension is installed, you will be able to access links like this every time, 80% of the time. It’s not perfect but it’s better than nothing.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    @Jack D

    And apparently you feel there is something the WP is publishing that is worth all that work. Why don't you just pay for it? You must not be rich. Lol.

  133. @Jack D
    @Dave Pinsen

    It hasn't been easy because of all the anti-competitive laws. The rich car dealers are major campaign contributors. If you are a consumer, the anti-competitive franchise laws are going to cost you a few hundred $ ever few years when you buy a new car. If you are a car dealer, it is going to make you millions extra every year. So the car dealers (and beer/alcohol distributors) have a BIG stake in keeping these laws in place. They really should have been pre-empted long ago at the Federal level.

    Tesla has really had to struggle - in some states they haven't been able to sell cars at all. They can have showrooms where they just show you the car but you can't actually buy it there. They've managed work arounds but it's been a struggle.

    Replies: @Herbert R. Tarlek, Jr., @kaganovitch

    If you are a consumer, the anti-competitive franchise laws are going to cost you a few hundred \$ ever few years when you buy a new car. If you are a car dealer, it is going to make you millions extra every year. So the car dealers (and beer/alcohol distributors) have a BIG stake in keeping these laws in place. They really should have been pre-empted long ago at the Federal level.

    Diffuse costs and concentrated benefits have been the bane of good government since time immemorial.

    • Replies: @Muse
    @kaganovitch

    Most mechanics at new car dealers around Chicago are unionized. The mechanics make a decent living. Businesses that are not protected from cutthroat competition cannot survive with the added costs of a unionized workforce. In that sense, some of the benefits of the oligopoly power of car dealers is passed on to working stiffs.

  134. @Alden
    @Colin Wright

    Drs and lawyers are upper middle class st best. They don’t have wealth. Over a life time, nurses are better off than Drs. Fewer young adult years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in education. Beginning an adult career at 23 instead of 35. And belonging to one of the most powerful labor unions in the country. While Drs work for hospitals big practices and their income is restricted by insurance companies and Medicare medi caid

    It’s not the 1950s and 60s anymore. When the patients were workers with good insurance. And the medical providers could charge and overcharge whatever they wanted.

    Now days so many patients are poor immigrants and people on welfare that many practices are dependent on medical caid Which pays only about one fourth of the real cost of treatment.

    For instance, UCLA hospital is in a very White wealthy area. But according to a friend who works in billing, about 80 percent of the babies born there are Mexicans on medi caid

    Drs are upper middle class. But the long delay before they start earning and paying off student loans more and more Medicaid patients they are not as affluent as they once were.

    The insurance companies cracked down on costs 40 years ago. Another problem is delayed payment. All the insurance companies Medicare and Medicaid do this. Years to collect. It’s ok for drs who are hospital or Kaiser type organization employees. But years of delay in payment can destroy an independent practice

    Now days the only ones who take home more that about 400K a year are plastic surgeons. Which the patients pay out of pocket. So the plastic surgeons can charge whatever they can get out of the patients And they take credit cards. It’s like buying a 25 or 30 K car. Just another payment.

    The article is about people who take home 1.5 million a year. Not people who take home 2oo to 500 K a year. Lawyers range from very well
    paid to just making it and everything in between.

    Another thing about the true wealthy. Their kids don’t have to wait till they’re 60 and their parents are 90 and die before they get their inheritance. They get money from parents and grandparents all their lives. Some wealthy Californians buy a small apartment house for their kids when the kids are babies. And turn the place over to a trustworthy management company. Real estate has its ups and downs. But because the government allows unlimited immigration it will always have value.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @Almost Missouri

    Now days the only ones who take home more that about 400K a year are plastic surgeons. Which the patients pay out of pocket. So the plastic surgeons can charge whatever they can get out of the patients And they take credit cards. It’s like buying a 25 or 30 K car. Just another payment.

    While plastic surgeons are handsomely remunerated they are not the highest paid specialists. Both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons make substantially more on average.

    • Agree: Twinkie
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @kaganovitch


    While plastic surgeons are handsomely remunerated they are not the highest paid specialists. Both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons make substantially more on average.
     
    Yup. Alden overstates the case (about a nurse being better of vs a doctor over lifetime - RNs make relatively little while PAs and CRNAs do much better). And you are correct that neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons are highly compensated. Also well-paid are dermatologists.

    That said, it's not all about the specialty. The most important variable is ownership or equity in practice. And this is very highly shifted toward older physicians, with the younger ones often being employee physicians.

    Being a doctor used to be a sure path to modest wealth in this country, but as with many other industries, the medical profession is now subject to the same market forces/dynamic and the resultant "winner takes all" paradigm.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

  135. Athletes and entertainers must make up 5% of the list

  136. @Jack D
    @Prosa123


    For all its turmoil the Retail Acopalyse [sp] has made buying just about anything a much more user-friendly experience.
     
    No, not really. If anything, it has made getting good advice harder than ever. The "user friendly" aspect is that you can get more information online but you may or may not even be able to buy the item in person anymore. If you do decide to go to a bricks and mortar store, it's doubtful you will get any good advice.

    Yesterday I needed a new TV and I did my research online as usual and was prepared to buy it on Amazon but they were out of stock on that model until a week or 2 from now. Luckily my local Best Buy store had that model in stock and they will price match to Amazon via online chat so that was all good.

    However, the fly in the ointment was that my wife wanted to "see" the TV in person so into the BB store we ventured, for perhaps the first time since the 'rona (and the last if I can help it). At first the sales clerk (friendly young woman with slight Spanish accent) says that they don't have this particular model on display, sorry. Please let me know if you need anything else, and she skedaddles. I look at the display of TVs and sure enough it is up there, tucked in a corner (Brand X did not pay BB for prominent floor placement like Samsung does). However, the TV clearly misconfigured and the picture looks much worse than all the other TVs - maybe the Samsung rep sabotaged the settings - the colors look washed out and dim. Luckily my wife doesn't notice (I think she was more concerned that the TV would be somehow ugly or purple or something but it's not, it's a black rectangle like all the other new TVs) and we proceed with the purchase. I'm sure that not 1 person in a hundred who goes into the store buys that TV unless they have done their research in advance.

    I get the TV home and set it up and configure it according to the settings that the Interwebs recommend (BTW, this is very important - TVs today have a million settings and if you configure it wrong the picture will look like crap) and it looks great. So by going into the store I was WORSE off than if I hadn't gone in at all. The retail store actually added NEGATIVE value to my purchase.

    Replies: @epebble, @kaganovitch, @Anonymous, @Twinkie

    Wow, it is quite a project. Typically, my TV purchase is simple; wait for the Black Friday holidays, pick whatever Costco has on sale. Never bothered to touch any settings.

  137. @International Jew
    @J.Ross

    What's his name? Parentheses, in Israel, usually indicate the European name someone used before adopting something more authentically Hebraic. Like Ilan Harari (Bergman) or Oded Caspi (Silberdick).

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Joe Paluka, @Daniel H

    Like Ilan Harari (Bergman) or Oded Caspi (Silberdick).

    Anybody birthed with the name Silberdick has not only the right to change the name but the right also to curse his parents.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Daniel H

    It's a Yiddish/German surname. It means silvery/silverish. It doesn't have the coarser meaning it has in English and it has other spelling variants such as dik, dig, etc. In any case, I think IJ was being very literal in his translation. In all likelihood, Hebrew Caspis were Yiddish/German Silbers even if the tenses don't quite match.

    , @J.Ross
    @Daniel H

    "Dick" in German doesn't mean shvantz, it means "fat."
    So ... uh ... yeah.

  138. @Harry Baldwin
    @R.G. Camara

    A friend who never had a regular job but did a lot of great things quoted Churchill to me: "Saving is a very fine thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you."

    Replies: @dearieme

    Alas for Churchill his mother managed to steal (part of?) his inheritance.

  139. @Intelligent Dasein
    So, if you want to be wealthy you need to own productive assets and not work for wages. Gee, I never would have thunk that.

    Ladies and gentlemen, seldom have we been treated to such rare and magnificent insight.

    This is almost tautological. It's tantamount to saying, "If you want wealth, you need to accumulate wealth." There is no mystery here. There is no secret to getting wealthy; the path to wealth is rather obvious and straightforward. The real question is, why do so few people pursue such a strategy with any sort of deliberate seriousness?

    My parents, for example, seem to have no clue about what it takes to build wealth. Despite the fact that I have spent the last 25 years explaining it to them a thousand times over, they appear constitutionally incapable of putting it into action. No one in my extended family can do so, either. My grandfather once owned large parcels of farmland on Long Island and in upstate New York, land which today would not only be worth a Croesan fortune, but which could also have provided a priceless perfection that few people can even dream about anymore---an island of relative freedom from the Globohomo machine and its wage-slave economy. How I wish I could have inherited even a fraction of that. I never got the chance; he sold it all before I was born, apparently because he didn't feel like paying the taxes on it. The idea that real property is an invaluable gift to be held in trust for the family line, and was worth any short-term sacrifice to hold onto, was foreign to him.

    My aunts and uncles, likewise, seem to have no sense of what they missed out on. They pursued tony suburban lives, working in nursing or sales or overpaid union jobs, rightly discerning in these careers the surest path to what they really wanted---flashy cars, motorized toys, vacations, and entertainment.

    I never found a kindred soul amongst my family. They had no interest in the things that really last. I couldn't make them understand that in depleting my patrimony on their frivolities, they had destroyed my one chance at earthly happiness. I am not ambitious for more money or a better career. I don't want to be a wage-slave, not even in a highly paid position. I don't want to be better at running the rat race; all I want is to be out of the rat race. I want freedom, dignity, nobility, and peace. I needed "the red earth of Tara," but now it's gone, and I can't return to it.

    I feel exactly the same way about academia. The conversion of the university system into a credentialization and jobs program for middle class douchebags has had a ruinous effect on intellectual life. The academy is supposed to be a temple of contemplation; it is where you go to adore divinity, philosophy, mathematics, and the arts, all for its own sake, without the need to justify it in terms of its practical value. Perhaps less than 1% of the population is really capable of this intellectual love of truth, but that 1% cannot really be happy anywhere else. I belong to that 1%, and now it's ruined for me.

    My family, true to their philistine view of things, knew nothing about me except that I was "smart." They wondered why I didn't take my perfect SAT and ACT scores, and my supposedly superior intellect, and run out into the rat race in pursuit of a college degree and a "good" job. All the while I was pleading with them to understand what was really important, they were trying to shove me headlong into slavery and vanity. I showed little interest in college after I went there and found out what it was really about. I made three attempts to go, each time dropping out from sheer misery before completing a degree. My grandmother was furious. She thought I was insane and literally tried to commit me to a mental hospital, perhaps thinking that some Thorazine and ECT would fix me up and make me see things her way. I recall one time my aunt remonstrated with me using the words, "Don't you ever think about all the things you could have?"

    All the things I could have.

    As I said earlier, there is no mystery to why more people aren't rich. The fact is that reality is an all-or-nothing proposition. If you're going to be serious about one thing, you have to be serious about everything else, too. Most people simply aren't serious. They eschew the sort of sobriety and self-discipline it takes to become proper stewards of wealth, and they spend their lives chasing pleasing wisps of smoke. They do this willingly and they can't be cajoled or educated out of it, because this is who they are. They have no organ with which to perceive and no capacity to receive the higher things in life.

    Man is a prodigal race.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @E. Rekshun, @Inquiring Mind, @silviosilver, @Sam Malone

    My aunts and uncles, likewise, seem to have no sense of what they missed out on.

    In 1927, my great grandfather left \$50,000 to each of his ten children. One of those children (my grandfather’s brother) convinced the nine others to let him manage each of their \$50K. He proceeded to lose it all during October 1929. According to the US BLS CPI Inflation Calculator, that \$500,000 estate in 1927 would be worth \$8.3 million today.

    https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

  140. @Wilkey

    “The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.”
     
    Larry Miller’s heirs sold the Utah Jazz a few years ago - for $1.6 billion. Then last year they sold off their car dealerships, which is how Millet built his fortune, for $3.5 billion. They still have real estate and movie theater holdings they are holding on to. When Miller signed Karl Malone he was dressed like a parts employee (his entry job into the car business) and they talked things over at a fancy, high end restaurant called Wendy’s.

    Unless there’s someone in Utah sitting on a secret stash of Apple or Amazon stock, that should easily make them the richest family in the state. From car dealerships.

    Utah has had quite a few fairly successful tech companies (the guy who bought the Jazz sold his company to SAP). None of them are as rich as the Millers.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Daniel H

    Utah has had quite a few fairly successful tech companies (the guy who bought the Jazz sold his company to SAP). None of them are as rich as the Millers.

    Utah was a player in the early PC software market. Novell and Wordperfect came out of Utah.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    @Daniel H

    WordPerfect was a very Mormon company, despite the fact that one of the founders was secretly gay. (He made frequent "business trips" to Europe.) The company's management philosophy was based on Joseph Smith's statement about the governance of the Mormon church: "I teach correct principles and they govern themselves."

    WordPerfect supplanted WordStar as the leading PC word processor around 1986. In the late '80s the legendary WP 5.1 enjoyed a market share of roughly 80 or 90 percent. But the company stumbled badly during the transition from DOS to Windows in the early '90s. The first version of WordPerfect for Windows hit the market in late 1991, just as Microsoft was releasing the second version of Word for Windows, and WordPerfect never caught up. In late 1993, the company tried and failed to go public.

    As WordPerfect was struggling, Ray Noorda, the longtime CEO of Novell, became obsessed with the idea of making his company as big as Microsoft. In 1991, Novell bought Digital Research to acquire that company's version of DOS.

    Then, in early 1994, Novell purchased WordPerfect for $1.4 billion. The company also purchased a couple of products from Borland so it could offer a complete suite of office applications.

    Noorda's timing was awful. WordPerfect's market share was collapsing as corporate America was rushing to standardize on Microsoft Office. Novell had no experience in the productivity-software market. It quickly became clear that Novell was going to lose a huge amount of money on its investment.

    In short order, Novell's board forced Noorda into retirement. His successor saw little point in making a vigorous pursuit of the office-suite market now that Microsoft had achieved overwhelming dominance. WordPerfect's sales continued their rapid decline.

    In August 1995, Microsoft steamrolled the industry with unprecedented levels of hype surrounding the introduction of Windows 95 and its companion product Office 95, even as Windows 3.11 and its corresponding version of Office continued to sell like hotcakes.

    Shortly thereafter, Novell announced that it was negotiating to sell WordPerfect to one of several potential buyers. (At one point IBM was considered a likely candidate.) The negotiations dragged on for several months. This protracted period of uncertainty about WordPerfect's future scared off even the most loyal corporate customers, because major companies with hundreds or thousands of installations did not want to be stuck with an orphaned product.

    In the end, Corel ended up buying WordPerfect for about one-tenth of what Novell had paid for it only two years earlier.

    At the time, Corel was primarily known for its low-cost graphics software. It had always been a purely Canadian company, but now it had hundreds of employees working out of Utah. This did not sit well with many of the old-timers.

    Corel rushed the long-delayed Windows 95 version of WordPerfect out the door. It sold a sizable number of units at cut-rate prices. But the small Canadian company could not stop the Microsoft juggernaut, especially after Office 97 debuted in 1997. The release of Office 97 marked the end of even token competition in the office-suite market.

    WordPerfect did not die out completely - even today it is still sold and updated periodically - but by the late '90s it had become a niche product.

    For a couple of years, Corel maintained a sizable contingent at the old WordPerfect campus in Orem. But the company was hemorrhaging money and the Canadians finally conspired to give the Utahns the shaft.

    At its peak, the old WordPerfect Corporation employed over 5,000 people. By 1998 only about 500 remained. When Corel shut down the Orem facility, between 50 and 70 Utah-based employees were offered jobs at Corel's main office in Ottawa. Many of those who were given offers did not take them.

    Replies: @Jack D

  141. There was a wonderful Thatcher comment on comfortable cartels. At a drinks do a couple of retail bankers were complaining to her about competition from Building Societies (in American “Savings and Loans”).

    She replied “You could try opening on Saturdays.”

  142. @Jack D
    @Prosa123


    For all its turmoil the Retail Acopalyse [sp] has made buying just about anything a much more user-friendly experience.
     
    No, not really. If anything, it has made getting good advice harder than ever. The "user friendly" aspect is that you can get more information online but you may or may not even be able to buy the item in person anymore. If you do decide to go to a bricks and mortar store, it's doubtful you will get any good advice.

    Yesterday I needed a new TV and I did my research online as usual and was prepared to buy it on Amazon but they were out of stock on that model until a week or 2 from now. Luckily my local Best Buy store had that model in stock and they will price match to Amazon via online chat so that was all good.

    However, the fly in the ointment was that my wife wanted to "see" the TV in person so into the BB store we ventured, for perhaps the first time since the 'rona (and the last if I can help it). At first the sales clerk (friendly young woman with slight Spanish accent) says that they don't have this particular model on display, sorry. Please let me know if you need anything else, and she skedaddles. I look at the display of TVs and sure enough it is up there, tucked in a corner (Brand X did not pay BB for prominent floor placement like Samsung does). However, the TV clearly misconfigured and the picture looks much worse than all the other TVs - maybe the Samsung rep sabotaged the settings - the colors look washed out and dim. Luckily my wife doesn't notice (I think she was more concerned that the TV would be somehow ugly or purple or something but it's not, it's a black rectangle like all the other new TVs) and we proceed with the purchase. I'm sure that not 1 person in a hundred who goes into the store buys that TV unless they have done their research in advance.

    I get the TV home and set it up and configure it according to the settings that the Interwebs recommend (BTW, this is very important - TVs today have a million settings and if you configure it wrong the picture will look like crap) and it looks great. So by going into the store I was WORSE off than if I hadn't gone in at all. The retail store actually added NEGATIVE value to my purchase.

    Replies: @epebble, @kaganovitch, @Anonymous, @Twinkie

    So by going into the store I was WORSE off than if I hadn’t gone in at all. The retail store actually added NEGATIVE value to my purchase.

    Not following here. Your wife presumably didn’t want to buy from Amazon either, no? So, the only harmonious way to buy was local. Which you did. So how are you worse off?

  143. Augie Busch rewarded Roger Maris with a beer distributorship after he ended his career with the Cardinals, providing the team with modicum of help in reaching the World Series two years in a row.

    Quite a lucrative business it has become! So much so that after Augie and Roger died, The AB corporation tried everything within and without the law to try to take it from the Maris family and award it to a more compliant party. It did not end well for the brewing conglomerate.

  144. “Big time sports heroes often had beverage distributorships bestowed upon them, such as boxer Max Schmelling got a Coca-Cola distributorship and second baseman Joe Morgan, a Republican, got a beer distributorship from conservative Coors.”

    NY RF Roger Maris owned a Budweiser distributorship. It would appear that post-Prohibition, that owning alcoholic distributorships are a fairly safe bet for making money. They tend to be both recession and depression proof. Of course, they have to offer more and more local based craft brews to keep up with newer trends in the beer industry, not to mention the competition from convenience stores and supermarkets selling beer.

    “I suspect much of the new blood in auto dealerships and beer distributorships gets in the Rabbit Way: marrying the owner’s daughter.”

    John McCain got his political career off the ground by marrying his second wife, whose family owned several large beer distributorships in the Mountain standard area.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    not to mention the competition from convenience stores and supermarkets selling beer.

    I think the distributors are the ones who supply the supermarkets and convenience stores so not a problem for them.

  145. @Alden
    @James B. Shearer

    The place I take my car to charges a fortune. The mechanics are all White men 2 years of schooling and make about 80 to 100 K a year.

    But you’re right about the car washers. I was thinking of the salesmen.

    But cars nowadays are so complicated and constantly innovating its not like guys who took high school auto shop or learned from Dad can repair today’s complicated cars.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

    I’ve gone out of my way to establish good relations with my mechanics. Get everything done there except “must be dealer stuff”- primarily recalls , I’ve had two of those , even if my guy is \$10 more expensive than the Midas oil change sale. Always pay cash, even for the 3, count them 3, sets of 4 tires I’ve bought in two years.
    It is I believe in my interests to have an independent Garage Workshop guy favorably disposed.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    @Bill Jones

    '...It is I believe in my interests to have an independent Garage Workshop guy favorably disposed.

    This sounds like the opposite of my technique.

    We live in a small city. I got into it with my neighbor's wife over fence lines. To make a long story short, I wound up inquiring as to why she didn't go fuck herself.

    So then I find myself having a growl 'n bristle session with her husband.

    Well, that's not good. But here's the kicker. Ol' Ian is a mechanic. When I started inquiring about who could do a good job changing the timing belt on my Toyota, people kept suggesting Ian would be the guy to do it.

    Of course, if it's like most such operations, probably it would be his wife figuring the bill.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

    , @Anonymous
    @Bill Jones


    Always pay cash, even for the 3, count them 3, sets of 4 tires I’ve bought in two years.
     
    Why pay cash?

    How did you manage to go through 3 sets of new tires in only 2 years?

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @E. Rekshun

  146. “The worst odds of a boy getting a scholarship are in volleyball (one out of 177) and wrestling (one out of 176). Wrestling is a sport with a fanatical base of athletes, but one that has been decimated by Title IX mandates of equality in scholarships for female athletes (despite girls not caring as much as boys about sports).”

    My high school had wrestling phenom Kurt Angle, 1996 Gold Medalist at the Atlanta games, later a star on WWE. Heavily recruited, about 25 colleges offered him a full wrestling scholarship. Perhaps the few individual wrestling standouts are heavily recruited and offered more than half of the annual scholarships available in the wrestling sport as a whole.

  147. @Recently Based
    I'm in the top 0.01% (ie, > ~9 million per year in income and ~$110 million of assets, last time I looked). You can choose to believe this or not.

    A few quick observations based on my experiences:

    1. There are many exceptions, but by far the best way to have started with $0 and achieved that in America over the past 40 years has been to have equity in tech and/or carry in finance.

    2. The observation that having equity leads to wealth is pretty obvious, but also suffers from survivorship bias. What you don't see in these numbers is how many people tried and failed within each employment category. If you are talking about top 0.1% wealth (with this guy's cut-off of $1.58MM per year), it takes some brains and lots of unrelenting hard work, but you can get there with quite high odds, for example, by making partner at BigLaw, consulting, finance drone etc. You can usually get to about that number by late 30s - early 40s and then sustain it for 10 or 20 years. You will almost never get to the 0.01% , but the odds of actually accomplishing that if you set out to do it are vastly lower than your odds of making and maintaining a partner-level job.

    3. When you are at this level, the income tax rate is almost irrelevant, which is one of the things that always strikes me as funny about these debates. That's not because I pay "almost no taxes," it's because the taxes that matter to me are taxes on capital.

    4. The thing about businesses with barriers to competition is that unless you invent this business, the cost of buying into it reflects the value of those barriers.

    5. I've worked very hard in my life for many years, but I'm pretty sure I've never worked as hard as my dad did who ran a gas station.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Almost Missouri

    I’ll choose to believe you, and I hope Steve Sailer will be reminded of your comment next money-raising period. ;-}

    We can all tithe 0.1% of gross income. Deal?

  148. Using \$1.58 million as a bar is pretty high. I knew a guy well who was worth around \$100 million 20 years ago. His real “income” was barely around that mark, and his taxable income was probably waaaaaaaay under that mark. It could have been a fair bit higher if he’d jacked rental rates to market rates on a massive strip mall he owned, but still. However he had a heck of a lot of net worth growth happening. Haven’t talked to him in a long time, but presume he is still alive. Given his investment strategies at the time he could easily be worth between 500 million and a billion now. Maybe more. But he was planning on wasting more cash on toys because his kids were useless and he didn’t care about leaving them much, so who knows.

    In any event, the number one way to get into the multimillionaire club is simply buying and holding real estate. I’m on this journey myself. It never ceases to amaze me how dumb normal middle class people are with money. With 3-5% down loans on owner occupied one could simply buy a house, live there a year or two, buy another, rinse and repeat to 4 properties because there are guidelines on federal loans. Ta-da, multi millionaire in a couple decades. If you’re really wise you move into duplexes or quadplexes which count as single family for loan purposes. It can literally take as little as 4 years to set yourself up for life, yet people throw away the opportunity.

    If you actually put in effort you can grow that into the deca-millionaire level very easily. It’s virtually risk free if you’re buying cash flowing properties, as market volatility in pricing is irrelevant. You just hold and ride the waves up and down without selling.

    That said, if you want to get rich faster (not outright FAST or easy, that’s usually a recipe for disaster), an active business of some sort is really the main way. When I was a teenager I started an online business that got up to ~\$6 million a year gross by the time I was 20. Ultimately shut it down as it wasn’t all that profitable and switched to something I like more but that didn’t have the same rapid growth potential. If I’d either picked something a little better that first time (it was somewhat of a passion thing too), or tried to find something else with similar potential just for the cash, it would have been entirely possible to have had a very high income by an early age.

    I’ve actually recently started another business that is likely to grow very rapidly due to underlying fundamentals. It should be able to roughly double to triple it’s size annually on a self funded basis. It’s hard to say where it will max out revenue wise… If I had to guess I don’t see anything more than \$5-10 million gross as likely, but with the margins it has it could be netting in the millions even at that. Niche markets are a crazy thing! It could max out a lot smaller though, we’ll see.

    Other than my main business, and this new one, all I want to do is buy long established, profitable local businesses. Boring ones. Buy the coffee stand that’s been there for 15 years. The bar that’s been there for 50. That kind of thing. You can almost always negotiate a leveraged owner finance situation with these types of businesses as they’re hard to sell. That’s a great way to make cash if you want to. Starting a business from scratch, unless it is insanely obvious an area is lacking in something, is a very risky proposition. People always think the thing they think people need is needed… But it’s frequently not. If you’re doing it purely for monetary reasons, not ego stroke or out of passion, it’s way better to just buy established businesses.

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Wilhelm Beck


    If you’re really wise you move into duplexes or quadplexes which count as single family for loan purposes
     
    Not everyone has what it takes to be a landlord.

    When I was a teenager I started an online business that got up to ~$6 million a year gross by the time I was 20. Ultimately shut it down as it wasn’t all that profitable
     
    LOL were you selling $100 bills for $99.99? Revenue doesn't mean jack shit without profit margins. I wasn't dumb enough to fall for this, but Don Lapre used to run infomercials where he would talk about the power of tiny classified ads. All of the testimonials from his customers would talk about revenue without actually mentioning how much profit they made. He then went on to hawk vitamins through infomercials. The FTC eventually caught up with him, and he slit his throat in jail awaiting trial in 2011.

    I will say that unless you are paying close attention, his pitch is captivating.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mubCkCAEiDQ

    Replies: @Alden, @Wilhelm Beck

  149. @Steve Sailer
    @Alden

    The Coppolas are a classic Northern Italy --> Northern California family.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The Coppolas are a classic Northern Italy –> Northern California family.

    South America’s Italians were from the north. The rule of thumb is South Italy–> North America, North Italy –> South America.

    The musical Caymmis of Brazil go back to a Milanese immigrant of the early 19th century. (Italian and Portuguese both lack a Y; it’s apparently an affectation.) Senna is a Lombard name, Fittipaldi split between Lombardy and southerly Basilicata. (That may be an effect of industrial migration; Michigan is full of Southern surnames like Nugent and Mathers.)

    Messi concentrates in Milan and Ancona. Galtieri is in Lombardy and Liguria as well as places farther south Bolsonaro shows up once in modern Italy, on the Piedmont-Lombard border.

    • Replies: @RAZ
    @Reg Cæsar

    Maybe generally so but not always. I'm in the east and most Italian families I knew here came from Sicily or from Naples or further south. But I've also know about 5 different families in the east with the last name Ferrara so they came from the north. And Joe Dimaggio's family moved from Sicily to San Francisco.

  150. @onetwothree
    @mmack

    Not that it matters, but I think most dealers have to take whatever the car company decides to send them.

    Replies: @Colin Wright

    ‘Not that it matters, but I think most dealers have to take whatever the car company decides to send them.’

    But you don’t have to just accept what the local dealer will do for you.

    I was talking to a guy in Hawaii who had his brand new cherry red Corvette, etc, etc.

    The Hawaiian dealer had wanted to charge him what amounted to a five thousand dollar markup. This was Hawaii, after all. Everything has to come on the boat.

    Dude found a dealer in Montana who would only charge him a thousand dollars extra for the shipping — which was pretty fair.

    I don’t see why anyone can’t do that. Find what you want and see what the dealer will do for you when it comes to shipping.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Colin Wright

    Right now is not a good time to buy a car because the dealers have the upper hand, but when the market is favorable to buyers it certainly doesn't hurt to broaden your search to say a 75 mile radius if the local dealer won't play ball.

  151. @Herbert R. Tarlek, Jr.
    @Jack D

    Hey, Jack, do you ever think of changing your screen name to "Cliff Clavin"?

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Herbert R. Tarlek, Jr. says:

    Hey, Jack, do you ever think of changing your screen name to “Cliff Clavin”?

    We’re waiting for Ed Norton to chime in.

  152. @Jack D
    @James B. Shearer


    Who do you think does the service work?
     
    In my experience, mostly white blue collar guys work at car dealerships. Is this not true where you live?

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @Alfa158, @Reg Cæsar, @Sollipsist

    In my experience, mostly white blue collar guys work at car dealerships.

    According to the Magliozzis, it’s “Butchie”. There are still a lot of mechanics named Butch.

  153. @Jack D
    OT - it turns out that Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter are responsible for the mass shooting in Buffalo because of their espousal of the racist "elect a new people" meme:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2022/05/15/buffalo-suspect-great-replacement-theory-conservative-media/

    Implicit in this article is that it's about time for these vile genocidal commentators to be imprisoned or at least taken off the airwaves.

    Steve gets no credit.

    If this was really the nutjob's inspiration, why did he shoot up a supermarket full of ADOS's? They are about as Old Stock as you can get? Shouldn't he have gone to the Latino or Asian neighborhood? Or is Buffalo too depressed to have a Latino or Asian neighborhood?

    Replies: @Henry's Cat, @Charon, @J.Ross, @Adam Smith, @vinteuil, @Seneca44, @Dave Pinsen

    I got sent to Twitter jail for pointing out that Tucker’s name appears nowhere in the shooter’s manifesto ( https://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/spree-killer-manifesto.pdf ). Unsurprising, as 18 year olds aren’t big cable news viewers.

    He also includes a meme claiming Fox is run by Jews.

  154. @kaganovitch
    @Jack D

    If you are a consumer, the anti-competitive franchise laws are going to cost you a few hundred $ ever few years when you buy a new car. If you are a car dealer, it is going to make you millions extra every year. So the car dealers (and beer/alcohol distributors) have a BIG stake in keeping these laws in place. They really should have been pre-empted long ago at the Federal level.

    Diffuse costs and concentrated benefits have been the bane of good government since time immemorial.

    Replies: @Muse

    Most mechanics at new car dealers around Chicago are unionized. The mechanics make a decent living. Businesses that are not protected from cutthroat competition cannot survive with the added costs of a unionized workforce. In that sense, some of the benefits of the oligopoly power of car dealers is passed on to working stiffs.

  155. Watching Tucker now and he and Glenn Greenwald are whistling past the graveyard about the Buffalo shooting. No mention yet of the great replacement.

  156. @Alden
    @Colin Wright

    Drs and lawyers are upper middle class st best. They don’t have wealth. Over a life time, nurses are better off than Drs. Fewer young adult years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in education. Beginning an adult career at 23 instead of 35. And belonging to one of the most powerful labor unions in the country. While Drs work for hospitals big practices and their income is restricted by insurance companies and Medicare medi caid

    It’s not the 1950s and 60s anymore. When the patients were workers with good insurance. And the medical providers could charge and overcharge whatever they wanted.

    Now days so many patients are poor immigrants and people on welfare that many practices are dependent on medical caid Which pays only about one fourth of the real cost of treatment.

    For instance, UCLA hospital is in a very White wealthy area. But according to a friend who works in billing, about 80 percent of the babies born there are Mexicans on medi caid

    Drs are upper middle class. But the long delay before they start earning and paying off student loans more and more Medicaid patients they are not as affluent as they once were.

    The insurance companies cracked down on costs 40 years ago. Another problem is delayed payment. All the insurance companies Medicare and Medicaid do this. Years to collect. It’s ok for drs who are hospital or Kaiser type organization employees. But years of delay in payment can destroy an independent practice

    Now days the only ones who take home more that about 400K a year are plastic surgeons. Which the patients pay out of pocket. So the plastic surgeons can charge whatever they can get out of the patients And they take credit cards. It’s like buying a 25 or 30 K car. Just another payment.

    The article is about people who take home 1.5 million a year. Not people who take home 2oo to 500 K a year. Lawyers range from very well
    paid to just making it and everything in between.

    Another thing about the true wealthy. Their kids don’t have to wait till they’re 60 and their parents are 90 and die before they get their inheritance. They get money from parents and grandparents all their lives. Some wealthy Californians buy a small apartment house for their kids when the kids are babies. And turn the place over to a trustworthy management company. Real estate has its ups and downs. But because the government allows unlimited immigration it will always have value.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @Almost Missouri

    Now days so many patients are poor immigrants and people on welfare that many practices are dependent on medical caid Which pays only about one fourth of the real cost of treatment.

    A medical practice I used to go to was bought by a Middle Eastern immigrant with a bevy of Russian concubines, after the previous owner retired. The new owner expanded and revamped the place in imported marble and chrome. Must’ve cost more than the purchase of the practice. Then he hired a bunch of physically attractive assistants to replace the frumpy/grumpy local ladies who came with practice (except for one, who was probably the only one who understood the billing system).

    The strange thing is that it is not a wealthy area. I’d guess about 1/2 – 3/4 of the patients are poor Medicaid-type patients. Heaps of these people and their hangers-on sat interminably in the waiting room while those of us with better insurance were waved through for immediate service. I gather that they had no other options than to wait for low-priority attention.

    But there did not seem to be enough of a stream of insured patients to pay for all of the uninsured ones, the massive revamp, the chicer staff, and the new owner’s larger lifestyle. I could never get it to add up in my head. Had the previous guy just not understood the potential of his practice? Or is the new guy running some kind of Medicare scam? But then why bother with all those noisesome patients at all if you are not really treating them anyway? Or maybe there is a way to treat them that is profitable if you have the volume?

  157. @AnotherDad

    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.
    ...

    Auto dealerships have legal protections; state franchising laws often give auto dealers exclusive rights to sell cars in a territory.
     
    What a stunning insight! A more reasonable book title would be "Yes the typical rich person is exactly who you have always thought, if you've been paying the slightest attention."

    I.e. middle man parasites selling something valuable or a lot of something ... who have managed to wrangle government protected monopolies. I.e. car dealers #1.

    ~~

    I'm a big believer in federalism, self-government--by responsible productive people. But this does highlight one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from.... allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.

    Forget Costco, there's absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that i want. Then either fly to the factory, or for a modest couple hundred bucks pick it up at the "Ford Depot" at the railhead in the nearest city near me.

    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together--i.e. to actually produce--these amazing machines ... and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value--absolutely zero--and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.

    Parasitism. It's what's for dinner in America 2.0.

    Replies: @(((They))) live, @anon, @Prosa123, @epebble, @mmack, @Almost Missouri, @Marquis, @Muggles, @MLG

    Nah…you don’t know the business. All the money in selling the cars is made by Ford. Dealerships make very little on new cars.

    Dealerships make some money on used cars and the majority of their money on servicing and auto-body shop. If I live in middle of nowhere Wisconsin and someone side swipes me I can take my car to the nearest dealership for auto body repair within 15mi. I have to take my Tesla 150mi to Chicago.

    • Agree: Twinkie
    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Marquis

    Yes, you are correct. New cars sales by themselves are not particularly profitable - the dealers make most of their money in other departments. New cars get marked up less than most products.

    Although Ford didn't create the legal framework that protects dealers, they (and the other auto makers) created the dealer distribution model themselves precisely because they didn't want the headache of dealing directly with the public. It's pretty rare for a manufacturer to sell directly to end users because retail distribution is a different business than manufacturing.

    Maybe nowadays the internet has made direct selling easier but even in the absent of all the laws that lock the current system in amber, I'm not sure that Ford would really want to get rid of all dealerships and start dealing directly with 2 million different customers every year and putting 170,000 dealer employees on their payroll and renting 3,000 premises, etc. Selling thru dealers cuts down the complexity of their sales model by a factor of almost 1,000 - instead of 2 million customers they have 3,000 customers.

  158. @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    Surely 2% is an exaggeration? California as a whole is still 1/3 non-Hispanic white.

    Philadelphia is only 14% Latino so they haven't taken over all manual laboring positions yet.

    auto mechanics - a lot of the "we'll fix your car in the street" guys are, but dealer mechanics still mostly white with some blacks.

    utility workers - Philly has a municipally owned gas utility where most workers are black. The private utilities - mostly white.

    construction workers - this is where a LOT of the Latinos work. Often the boss or owner of the company who signs up the job is white but the guys who actually show up to work are Hispanic.

    truck drivers etc. - again a mix of white and black.

    Anything unionized and blue collar (outside government) is heavily white but changing as the old guys retire.

    Hispanics are found among the younger guys in the non-construction blue collar trades in Philly but in limited #'s, probably not exceeding their % in the population. However, they (and other immigrants - eastern Europeans and guys from the 'stans) are big in construction. Unskilled construction labor in Philly used to be a black thing but immigrants show up and work hard so they have largely displaced blacks in construction.

    Replies: @Alfa158

    The 1/3 includes old folks. Last time I checked (I was comparing the percentage of kids admitted to UC who are White, to the percentage of school age kids who are White, to see if White kids are over or under represented in UC admissions), the percentage of school age children are in California who are White, is about 18%. And that includes middle Easterners, who are still classified as White. There aren’t many young White people actually left, and the few who are don’t want to go into trades. I’ve tried telling some of them they should go to a trade school and make good money as a jet engine or diesel mechanic, but they all seem to think they are entitled to be either rock musicians or stock brokers. Even getting a trade where you can get into a blue-collar job with a utility. My wife had a co- worker whose husband retired from the Los Angeles County Department of Water and Power on a five figure a month pension with cost of living increases and free health care.
    And I literally can’t remember the last time I saw a Black construction worker.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @Alfa158

    Last time I checked (I was comparing the percentage of kids admitted to UC who are White, to the percentage of school age kids who are White, to see if White kids are over or under represented in UC admissions), the percentage of school age children are in California who are White, is about 18%. And that includes middle Easterners, who are still classified as White.

    Some of the nonwhite 82% are going to be second, third, or even fourth-generation Hispanics and Asians who are completely Americanized and often speak only English. They aren't really minority.

    Replies: @anon

  159. @Recently Based
    I'm in the top 0.01% (ie, > ~9 million per year in income and ~$110 million of assets, last time I looked). You can choose to believe this or not.

    A few quick observations based on my experiences:

    1. There are many exceptions, but by far the best way to have started with $0 and achieved that in America over the past 40 years has been to have equity in tech and/or carry in finance.

    2. The observation that having equity leads to wealth is pretty obvious, but also suffers from survivorship bias. What you don't see in these numbers is how many people tried and failed within each employment category. If you are talking about top 0.1% wealth (with this guy's cut-off of $1.58MM per year), it takes some brains and lots of unrelenting hard work, but you can get there with quite high odds, for example, by making partner at BigLaw, consulting, finance drone etc. You can usually get to about that number by late 30s - early 40s and then sustain it for 10 or 20 years. You will almost never get to the 0.01% , but the odds of actually accomplishing that if you set out to do it are vastly lower than your odds of making and maintaining a partner-level job.

    3. When you are at this level, the income tax rate is almost irrelevant, which is one of the things that always strikes me as funny about these debates. That's not because I pay "almost no taxes," it's because the taxes that matter to me are taxes on capital.

    4. The thing about businesses with barriers to competition is that unless you invent this business, the cost of buying into it reflects the value of those barriers.

    5. I've worked very hard in my life for many years, but I'm pretty sure I've never worked as hard as my dad did who ran a gas station.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Almost Missouri

    have equity in tech

    I think it is the getting more than the having that is the hard part. 🙂

    carry in finance

    ?

    2. The observation that having equity leads to wealth is pretty obvious, but also suffers from survivorship bias. What you don’t see in these numbers is how many people tried and failed within each employment category. …

    Yes, but I’m not sure if you are arguing for or against equity building versus professional development in the rest of this item. To try for the brass ring in equity of something, or better just to drone away at law, consulting, or finance?

    3. When you are at this level, the income tax rate is almost irrelevant, which is one of the things that always strikes me as funny about these debates. That’s not because I pay “almost no taxes,” it’s because the taxes that matter to me are taxes on capital.

    Arguably, all taxes are on capital, but I gather that you mean that you are more concerned about property taxes than about income taxes.

    4. The thing about businesses with barriers to competition is that unless you invent this business, the cost of buying into it reflects the value of those barriers.

    Agree. The “barriers to entry” discussion almost always neglects to consider whether one is inside or outside the barriers when they arise. If you’re inside, hey, great work if you can get it. If you’re outside, you gotta pay to get in like everyone else. That’s why they’re “barriers”.

    • Replies: @Recently Based
    @Almost Missouri

    Yes, getting equity is the hard part for sure, and the best way to get a lot of it is to start the company. The trick is that >>90% even of venture-baked companies never get to a successful exit that will make the founders really rich.

    Carry is the slang term for "carried interest," which is basically the share of the profits (typically 20%) that the managers of a hedge fund / VC fund etc. get. For all practical purposes it is like equity in an LLC. Importantly, like equity, it is taxed as capital gains.

    I'm not arguing to either go for the brass ring or not, just to be rational about the odds of success if you do. This is part of why the payoff when you succeed has to be so high in order to get people to try it.

    What I meant about the taxes is that if you (1) make a ton of money through equity or equity-like carry, it is taxed as a capital gain, then (2) your income becomes dominated by returns on the capital you accumulated that way, so the actual income stream that is then supporting you is also mostly taxed as capital income. It's why if you are a thoracic surgeon or law partner making a ton of money, you care about the income tax rate, but if you have a fortune, you care about taxes on capital. So, when people talk about Bezos or Buffett's taxes and then start talking about income taxes, they're using these billionaires as a rhetorical device to go after high-income professionals.

  160. RAZ says:
    @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer


    The Coppolas are a classic Northern Italy –> Northern California family.
     
    South America's Italians were from the north. The rule of thumb is South Italy--> North America, North Italy --> South America.

    The musical Caymmis of Brazil go back to a Milanese immigrant of the early 19th century. (Italian and Portuguese both lack a Y; it's apparently an affectation.) Senna is a Lombard name, Fittipaldi split between Lombardy and southerly Basilicata. (That may be an effect of industrial migration; Michigan is full of Southern surnames like Nugent and Mathers.)

    Messi concentrates in Milan and Ancona. Galtieri is in Lombardy and Liguria as well as places farther south Bolsonaro shows up once in modern Italy, on the Piedmont-Lombard border.

    Replies: @RAZ

    Maybe generally so but not always. I’m in the east and most Italian families I knew here came from Sicily or from Naples or further south. But I’ve also know about 5 different families in the east with the last name Ferrara so they came from the north. And Joe Dimaggio’s family moved from Sicily to San Francisco.

  161. You can buy bridal gowns on Amazon for less than \$200. I figure that a bride-to-be who goes that route is probably either (a) a smart shopper who avoids being overcharged at bridal shops, or (b) an object of pity, as she likely can’t afford the traditional bridal shop experience.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @prosa123


    ...as she likely can’t afford the traditional bridal shop experience.
     
    Let alone sew it herself. Or even depend on mom or the grandmas.
  162. Rob says:
    @Altai

    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly
     
    I can't remember who made the statement about the libertarian ideal of competition (IE, people whose services and good I use should be in competition and let me explain why competition against me is actually anti-competitive!) being the path to great success and wealth by making the observation that the hardest working man in greatest true competition being a Bangladeshi rice farmer.

    But this is also why I find it odd when people think major league sports in North America is 'socialist' compared to say Europe. A cabal of owners who shut out competition against them and ensure things stay the same to benefit them is actually how, absent disruption to their business model or government regulation, how any free market will end up. Winning helps you win more. That's the essence of feudalism, that's what it was. (And the deaths of enough of the peasantry from the plague disrupted their business model) Absent regulation is there anything that will stop Amazon from being able to become a cyberpunk style conglomerate?

    The great frustration people have with neoliberalism is that it sets up things that are 'good for the economy'. There is no such thing. Every policy has winners and losers and winners or losers over different lengths of time. The real question that should be central and blaring in politics all the time is "What do you want?" and construct policies from that.

    Replies: @Rob

    Very well stated, Altai. The people who are rich in economy 1.0 had no guarantee that they’d be rich and powerful when the economy leveled up. It’s sort of funny, rich people would rather be rich grow old and die than lose the status contest with the people who cure aging. I guess we’re in economy on 3.2? Hunting and gathering, then farming and animal husbandry, then industrial, and now we’ve gone through mainframes, to desktops, and now nearly everyone has an impressive computer in their pocket.

    [MORE]

    Parasitic elites are a problem, but there’s a lot of capital going into start-ups. The currently rich people now want to be owners of economy 4.0, when we have significant biotech affecting our everyday lives. Maybe we’ll get a von Neumann economy, but rumor has it no one understands that within like three degrees of separation from the people in power who can understand exponential growth,

    There was a time when there was not an elite. Every country, by which I mean European countries had both homegrown elites and rechanvists over some piece of land. If a nation did not keep up with the Joneses, so to say, got clobbered in a war by a country that was developing. Today, the world’s elites have been subsumed by American elite culture. Probably China is an exception. That’s also why people in power are both terrified of China’s rise and addicted to everything China produces that we no longer can.

    I wish Western elites were not so sure that they can just jump ship and move to Singapore/China as the West decays. I don’t think China will want the people whose greed and fear of living conditions improving for the masses coming to spread their poison in China. “You say we will have decades off 3.5% annual growth, instead of 2%, by cutting taxes and running the government on rich people loaning that money to the government, and in forty years everything will collapse, and the rootless financial class will jump from China’s rotting corpse onto Elon Musk’s booming Barsoom City on Mars? Sign us up!”

    When/if America’s position in the world declines precipitously, would China’s ruling party let American capitalists own large segments of China’s economy? They are, y’know, what’s that word? Oh, right they are communists.

    In the end, rich people’s lifestyles depend on developed countries producing the goods and services they consume. Whether or not they live in America and pay taxes on their income, their income depends on America and other developed producing a lot. If America collapses, the Caymans will no longer be wealthy. Remember in Lucifer’s Hammer, right before/after the comet hit, a main character and his girlfriend leave LA for his personal astronomical observatory? Well, his research assistant who somewhat resents his diletante boss, has other ideas and a rifle. I think that could happen to wealthy people in all their bolt holes. I really hope nothing collapses, though.

    Whatever you think of socialized medicine, having medical care available is better than not having it. Nixon considered a national health service/insurance. Why? He wanted conscripts to be healthy enough to slog through the radioactive mud in Europe after a nuclear exchange.

    Have you heard of the research where they took old mice and infused cerebrospinal fluid from young mice, and their paper is Young CSF restores oligodendrogenesis and memory in aged mice via Fgf17. Conceptually, this is similar to the parabiosis work connecting young mice’s circulatory system to that of an old mouse. The mouse chimera that creates is interesting. The young mouse ages, but the old mouse is “rejuvenated” or at least becomes a healthier mouse, except for this other mouse that’s surgically attached to him. That’s led to experiments where they’d replaced like half of a mouse’s blood plasma with an isotonic fluid that, IIRC, has albumin in it. This somewhat helps the mouse, showing that plasma exchange.is pulling some bad things out of the blood, not only adding good things. Other researchers have done young mouse blood into old mice, also somewhat rejuvenating the mouse…

    It kind of reminds me of the studies that showed men who gave blood had fewer heart attacks than controls. A legitimate-looking site said donating blood lowers blood pressure and heart disease. There was an HBD-adjacent guy, Dennis Mangan, who I think segued into a health-nut guy who thinks ferritin is the root of all health problems. They don’t replace the blood they take, they just give you orange juice and a cookie.

    There are companies in Silicon Valley that offer people plasma from young donors. They just can advertise it as anti-aging.

  163. @Alfa158
    @Jack D

    The 1/3 includes old folks. Last time I checked (I was comparing the percentage of kids admitted to UC who are White, to the percentage of school age kids who are White, to see if White kids are over or under represented in UC admissions), the percentage of school age children are in California who are White, is about 18%. And that includes middle Easterners, who are still classified as White. There aren’t many young White people actually left, and the few who are don’t want to go into trades. I’ve tried telling some of them they should go to a trade school and make good money as a jet engine or diesel mechanic, but they all seem to think they are entitled to be either rock musicians or stock brokers. Even getting a trade where you can get into a blue-collar job with a utility. My wife had a co- worker whose husband retired from the Los Angeles County Department of Water and Power on a five figure a month pension with cost of living increases and free health care.
    And I literally can’t remember the last time I saw a Black construction worker.

    Replies: @prosa123

    Last time I checked (I was comparing the percentage of kids admitted to UC who are White, to the percentage of school age kids who are White, to see if White kids are over or under represented in UC admissions), the percentage of school age children are in California who are White, is about 18%. And that includes middle Easterners, who are still classified as White.

    Some of the nonwhite 82% are going to be second, third, or even fourth-generation Hispanics and Asians who are completely Americanized and often speak only English. They aren’t really minority.

    • Replies: @anon
    @prosa123


    Some of the nonwhite 82% are going to be second, third, or even fourth-generation Hispanics and Asians who are completely Americanized and often speak only English.
     
    What does "Americanized" mean in this context?

    Rhetorical. It means nothing beyond paperwork and linguistic accident.
  164. @ginger bread man
    @anon

    Parts and service....

    A few years ago, My Dad’s BMW had an error so we brought it in to the dealer to get inspected. The Service department said our acceleration limit or (or YAW detector, i can’t remember) would be $1500 to repair.
    $1250 for the part, which they had in stock, and $250 for the labor.

    This seemed expensive, and our mechanic friend told us to check with the parts department within the dealership, maybe they would quote a better price. We called the parts dept. and to our surprise, they quoted us $750 for the exact same part. Almost half!

    Our friend said that they do this because most BMW owners will never check with the parts department, so they add a significant markup because they know you’ll probably just pay the higher price.

    To satisfy my curiosity, I googled the part and see if I could find it cheaper on EBay. I did some scouting and found dozens of people selling the part for ~$150. Eventually I bought the part for $50 and had our mechanic friend replace the part for $250.

    Saved us over $1000

    Replies: @Alfa158

    Most of the components in cars are sourced from OEM manufacturers who sell the parts online for a fraction of the dealership price. We buy BMW or Mercedes because there are two master mechanics who used to be factory mechanics for those brands, have opened their own shop and are great to work with. They won’t buy parts except from the auto companies so they can warranty the work, but will also be happy to install the parts if I buy them. The most extreme instance of saving money was when I had a Mercedes with the glass in an outside rear view mirror that was cracked in a minor side swipe. From Mercedes \$1082 because of the heating, auto dimming, warning LEDs, etc. From an internet supplier \$242. The box it came in had the Mercedes logo and part number blacked out with a marker and the mechanics showed me where the Mercedes logo and P/N had been shaved off of the electronic circuitry housing so that the part could be sold to customers other than Mercedes. One of them installed it for free because we were regular customers and it didn’t take long.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    If you bought a more reliable brand (e.g. Lexus) you wouldn't be visiting mechanics as often. Current day luxury German cars plummet in value after the warranty is over because they are expensive to keep on the road - all the electronic doodads keep breaking and every time they break it's expensive. Key parts, even engine parts, are made of plastic and the plastic gets old and brittle over time. The mfrs don't care - they want you to lease the car for a few years and then when the lease is up to lease another one. They could care less what breaks in 10 or 15 years. They would prefer that you junk it at that point and buy a new one.

    Every time an auto part gets sold there is a markup. Most car mfrs get their parts from a handful of suppliers - in the case of German cars, Bosch, Siemens, Mahle, etc. (a lot of the factories are in China now). If they put a BMW part # on it, the price goes up - you're much better off getting the OEM item without the BMW part #.

    But China opens up a whole world of counterfeiting possibilities. I got a tire pressure sensor (the thing inside the tire that talks to the low tire pressure light on your dashboard) on ebay that looked just like the factory item but if you looked closely it was marked "CHYBSLER" and it cost maybe 1/4 of what the dealer part cost.

    Sometimes these things really are the equivalent of the factory part and other times they ain't but for 1/4 the price it's worth it if the part lasts 1/2 as long (as long as it isn't something critical like a timing belt or if it's a $50 part that requires $500 in labor to install). The key is knowing where it is OK to skimp and where you should never skimp.

  165. @Faraday's Bobcat
    When Obama bailed out GM in 2008, one of the conditions was that they had to decertify a bunch of dealerships. I always suspected that was political. Many car dealers have been active in conservative politics, and some major conservative politicians are former dealers. Two that spring to mind are Jim Renacci of Ohio and the late Evan Mecham of Arizona.

    BTW I bought a car through Costco's auto program years ago, but all it was was a referral to local dealers with a suggested price that ended up being higher than the price I negotiated myself. It would only be useful for girlymen who don't like to haggle.

    Replies: @James B. Shearer

    “When Obama bailed out GM in 2008, ..”

    Obama didn’t become President until Jan 20, 2009 so something is off here. As for getting rid of dealers bankruptcy is a way businesses can sometimes get out from under onerous contracts.

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    @James B. Shearer

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_Chapter_11_reorganization

  166. @prime noticer
    "Big time sports heroes often had beverage distributorships bestowed upon them,"

    a lot of the battle today is getting the new casino license from the state. whoever wins that gets the automatic 200 million a year in revenue or whatever from the local casino they're allowed to build and operate. apropos Steve's comments about limiting marijuana licenses to africans, in some states the casino license battle is often slowed down by diversity concerns.

    usually how this goes is the state will award the license to some diverse businessman led consortium who is in way over his head. he'll waste a few years stumbling around, then eventually yield the license to real casino operators, who then go build the casino and get it up and running. this is why africans will never operate businesses like these at a large scale. they don't run all that many businesses, because they can't. not because they aren't allowed. the marijuana shop idea will never work.

    what can be done, is to award entire sports franchises to former legendary players. Larry Bird was furious when NBA awarded the expansion team in Charlotte to Michael Jordan instead of him, especially after the league had previously committed to giving the new team to Bird. actual businessmen can then step in and run the day to day operations for the retired african jocks, while the jocks remain owner. Jordan owns about 80% of the team.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    Larry Bird was furious when NBA awarded the expansion team in Charlotte to Michael Jordan instead of him, especially after the league had previously committed to giving the new team to Bird

    This isn’t how it happened. The team was awarded to Bob Johnson of BET in 2004, although Bird was in the running at that time. Then in 2010 he sold to Michael Jordan, who renamed the team the Hornets (from the Bobcats) in 2014.

  167. @Bill Jones

    Salaries don’t make people rich
     
    Unless you're Nancy Pelosi.

    Replies: @Peter Akuleyev, @Lurker, @Prof. Woland

    Another characteristic of ‘millionaires’ is that they are typically not young. Tech millionaires are more the exception rather than the rule. If they are first generation wealth, they typically made it in their 40’s or 50’s after working hard in a low prestige industry for little pay. They also tend to have children and one wife.

    Money compounds so the longer someone keeps working and saving they more they end up with. I think that is one of the gripes the youngsters have. The baby boomers keep working until they are in their 70’s and won’t retire or die.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    @Prof. Woland

    Our system is based on raising your family in your 20s, taking over in your 40s, dying in your 60s. Since the last part has become less true, the other parts have declined.

  168. After going into the store I knew less than I knew before.

  169. @Bill Jones
    @Alden

    I've gone out of my way to establish good relations with my mechanics. Get everything done there except "must be dealer stuff"- primarily recalls , I've had two of those , even if my guy is $10 more expensive than the Midas oil change sale. Always pay cash, even for the 3, count them 3, sets of 4 tires I've bought in two years.
    It is I believe in my interests to have an independent Garage Workshop guy favorably disposed.

    Replies: @Colin Wright, @Anonymous

    ‘…It is I believe in my interests to have an independent Garage Workshop guy favorably disposed.

    This sounds like the opposite of my technique.

    We live in a small city. I got into it with my neighbor’s wife over fence lines. To make a long story short, I wound up inquiring as to why she didn’t go fuck herself.

    So then I find myself having a growl ‘n bristle session with her husband.

    Well, that’s not good. But here’s the kicker. Ol’ Ian is a mechanic. When I started inquiring about who could do a good job changing the timing belt on my Toyota, people kept suggesting Ian would be the guy to do it.

    Of course, if it’s like most such operations, probably it would be his wife figuring the bill.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Colin Wright

    So here's your opportunity.
    Take your car to him.
    Play the White Man.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

  170. @Daniel H

    Stephens-Davidowitz was born on September 15, 1982, in Englewood, New Jersey[1] into a Jewish family,[8] son of Esther Davidowitz and Mitchell Stephens
     
    What kind of fabbot hyphenates a last name from his mother and father. This is a tell. I don't know what it tells, but something not good.

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Ganderson, @Carol, @Right_On

    The British are world-leaders in hyphenated surnames; the more names you have, the more titles you’ve inherited. Something to brag about.

    Here’s one: “Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax
    The character Sir Hugo Drax in the James Bond novel Moonraker was so named by Ian Fleming as a tribute to Sir Reginald, a good friend.
    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcReNJqK14yeRPel_F899jJ864JzHZgWhwe01A&usqp=CAU

  171. @prosa123
    You can buy bridal gowns on Amazon for less than $200. I figure that a bride-to-be who goes that route is probably either (a) a smart shopper who avoids being overcharged at bridal shops, or (b) an object of pity, as she likely can't afford the traditional bridal shop experience.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    …as she likely can’t afford the traditional bridal shop experience.

    Let alone sew it herself. Or even depend on mom or the grandmas.

  172. @Charon

    We now know who is rich in America. And it’s not who you might have guessed.

    ... determine who dominated the top 0.1 percent of earners.
     
    As I'm forever explaining, income isn't remotely the same thing as wealth.

    And it's not accidental that we're forever being bombarded with sliced-and-diced income stats, broken down every which way. But wealth? What are you looking at, goy boy?

    Replies: @dearieme, @Sick 'n Tired

    Chris Rock summed up the difference between rich & wealthy.

    “Shaquille O’Neill is rich, but the guy who signs his paychecks is wealthy”

    • Agree: HammerJack
  173. Anon[229] • Disclaimer says:

    The difference between the working class and the upper-middle class is that even though they both make a wage, the upper-middle-class buys stocks with their spare cash. The upper-middle class makes money two ways, not just one way.

    Starting a business is very hard. Owning a business is a lot of work. But you don’t have to own a business to make passive income off stocks, so it saves you an incredible amount of hassle. Just don’t day trade or gamble with your stocks. Buy good stocks that are making money right now–not stocks in companies that might make money in the future–and hold them for a long time.

  174. @Daniel H
    @International Jew


    Like Ilan Harari (Bergman) or Oded Caspi (Silberdick).
     
    Anybody birthed with the name Silberdick has not only the right to change the name but the right also to curse his parents.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @J.Ross

    It’s a Yiddish/German surname. It means silvery/silverish. It doesn’t have the coarser meaning it has in English and it has other spelling variants such as dik, dig, etc. In any case, I think IJ was being very literal in his translation. In all likelihood, Hebrew Caspis were Yiddish/German Silbers even if the tenses don’t quite match.

  175. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "Big time sports heroes often had beverage distributorships bestowed upon them, such as boxer Max Schmelling got a Coca-Cola distributorship and second baseman Joe Morgan, a Republican, got a beer distributorship from conservative Coors."

    NY RF Roger Maris owned a Budweiser distributorship. It would appear that post-Prohibition, that owning alcoholic distributorships are a fairly safe bet for making money. They tend to be both recession and depression proof. Of course, they have to offer more and more local based craft brews to keep up with newer trends in the beer industry, not to mention the competition from convenience stores and supermarkets selling beer.


    "I suspect much of the new blood in auto dealerships and beer distributorships gets in the Rabbit Way: marrying the owner’s daughter."

    John McCain got his political career off the ground by marrying his second wife, whose family owned several large beer distributorships in the Mountain standard area.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    not to mention the competition from convenience stores and supermarkets selling beer.

    I think the distributors are the ones who supply the supermarkets and convenience stores so not a problem for them.

    • Agree: Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  176. @Intelligent Dasein
    So, if you want to be wealthy you need to own productive assets and not work for wages. Gee, I never would have thunk that.

    Ladies and gentlemen, seldom have we been treated to such rare and magnificent insight.

    This is almost tautological. It's tantamount to saying, "If you want wealth, you need to accumulate wealth." There is no mystery here. There is no secret to getting wealthy; the path to wealth is rather obvious and straightforward. The real question is, why do so few people pursue such a strategy with any sort of deliberate seriousness?

    My parents, for example, seem to have no clue about what it takes to build wealth. Despite the fact that I have spent the last 25 years explaining it to them a thousand times over, they appear constitutionally incapable of putting it into action. No one in my extended family can do so, either. My grandfather once owned large parcels of farmland on Long Island and in upstate New York, land which today would not only be worth a Croesan fortune, but which could also have provided a priceless perfection that few people can even dream about anymore---an island of relative freedom from the Globohomo machine and its wage-slave economy. How I wish I could have inherited even a fraction of that. I never got the chance; he sold it all before I was born, apparently because he didn't feel like paying the taxes on it. The idea that real property is an invaluable gift to be held in trust for the family line, and was worth any short-term sacrifice to hold onto, was foreign to him.

    My aunts and uncles, likewise, seem to have no sense of what they missed out on. They pursued tony suburban lives, working in nursing or sales or overpaid union jobs, rightly discerning in these careers the surest path to what they really wanted---flashy cars, motorized toys, vacations, and entertainment.

    I never found a kindred soul amongst my family. They had no interest in the things that really last. I couldn't make them understand that in depleting my patrimony on their frivolities, they had destroyed my one chance at earthly happiness. I am not ambitious for more money or a better career. I don't want to be a wage-slave, not even in a highly paid position. I don't want to be better at running the rat race; all I want is to be out of the rat race. I want freedom, dignity, nobility, and peace. I needed "the red earth of Tara," but now it's gone, and I can't return to it.

    I feel exactly the same way about academia. The conversion of the university system into a credentialization and jobs program for middle class douchebags has had a ruinous effect on intellectual life. The academy is supposed to be a temple of contemplation; it is where you go to adore divinity, philosophy, mathematics, and the arts, all for its own sake, without the need to justify it in terms of its practical value. Perhaps less than 1% of the population is really capable of this intellectual love of truth, but that 1% cannot really be happy anywhere else. I belong to that 1%, and now it's ruined for me.

    My family, true to their philistine view of things, knew nothing about me except that I was "smart." They wondered why I didn't take my perfect SAT and ACT scores, and my supposedly superior intellect, and run out into the rat race in pursuit of a college degree and a "good" job. All the while I was pleading with them to understand what was really important, they were trying to shove me headlong into slavery and vanity. I showed little interest in college after I went there and found out what it was really about. I made three attempts to go, each time dropping out from sheer misery before completing a degree. My grandmother was furious. She thought I was insane and literally tried to commit me to a mental hospital, perhaps thinking that some Thorazine and ECT would fix me up and make me see things her way. I recall one time my aunt remonstrated with me using the words, "Don't you ever think about all the things you could have?"

    All the things I could have.

    As I said earlier, there is no mystery to why more people aren't rich. The fact is that reality is an all-or-nothing proposition. If you're going to be serious about one thing, you have to be serious about everything else, too. Most people simply aren't serious. They eschew the sort of sobriety and self-discipline it takes to become proper stewards of wealth, and they spend their lives chasing pleasing wisps of smoke. They do this willingly and they can't be cajoled or educated out of it, because this is who they are. They have no organ with which to perceive and no capacity to receive the higher things in life.

    Man is a prodigal race.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @E. Rekshun, @Inquiring Mind, @silviosilver, @Sam Malone

    Parcels of farmland in Long Island and update New York?

    Tell me something. How is that the property taxes, alone, would not drive a person into penury?

    Someone can set the record straight for me, but I heard that that fundamental problem is that New York State has high taxes, and this is a large part of the reason why everywhere outside of New York City is economically depressed?

  177. Big time sports heroes often had beverage distributorships bestowed upon them, such as boxer Max Schmelling got a Coca-Cola distributorship and second baseman Joe Morgan, a Republican, got a beer distributorship from conservative Coors.

    In December 1966 Roger Maris was traded from the Yankees to the Cardinals for Charley Smith. Maris’ leadership was the final piece of the puzzle for the Cardinals, as they won the World Series the next year and the NL pennant the following year. Gussie Busch was so grateful that he gave Maris a Budweiser distributorship in northern Florida. Maris and his brother ran this and made more money selling beer than he ever did playing baseball. He did this until his untimely death at 51.

    By the way, according to Wikipedia, Roger Maris is not the most famous Roger M. with a 5-letter last name. That distinction goes to

    [MORE]
    Roger Moore

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @ScarletNumber

    "Maris and his brother ran this and made more money selling beer than he ever did playing baseball. He did this until his untimely death at 51."

    Allegedly, HOF CF NY Mickey Mantle was nearly devastated upon hearing Maris' death, he always assumed that Roger would outlive him by several yrs. Perhaps the Mick should've tried to purchase a beer distributorship in his retirement years, all things considered. A bit surprised that Ballantine Beer (one of NY's sponsors in the '60's) didn't make Mickey that offer on his retirement in '69.

  178. @EdwardM
    @R.G. Camara


    Car dealerships seem to be one of those businesses in which you can hide/launder a lot of money
     
    How? It seems like they would be good places to fudge financial statements (with probably some flexibility in valuing inventory and other assets and liabilities like warranties, financing agreements, and service contracts), but cash is cash. Do tell please.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara

    It seems like they would be good places to fudge financial statements (with probably some flexibility in valuing inventory and other assets and liabilities like warranties, financing agreements, and service contracts),

    You just answered your own question.

    but cash is cash

    Given that car dealerships are all about negotiation; prices aren’t fixed and therefore can’t be tracked regularly. Its easy for a dealership to claim that the reason they had so much more \$\$\$ this month/season/year was that they marked up some cars well over value and had some motivated suckers pay cash.

    So there’s the laundering.

    For bribery (or tax evasion), do the reverse: claim the reason you had such a poor month/season/year was your product wasn’t popular or everyone was negotiating fiercely so you had to sell the inventory below price. Take the extra \$\$\$ you’re hiding due to this lie and use it for bribery or whatever you want.

    The fluid nature of car pricing makes it easier. Similar to how the mob uses construction project for graft or tax evasion, since prices of materials fluctuate and the numbers of workers employed on a project can be inflated or deflated. But with a car dealer, there’s far fewer people in on the scam. And car dealers, unlike regular shopkeepers and other business owners, are far more practiced at such lying.

    Tangentially, dirty car dealerships will sometimes loan out cars to drug dealers to make deliveries. The cars can’t be traced to the drug dealers if the cops try to do one on the street, the car dealer gets a cash prize off the books, and if the cops arrest the drug dealers in the car the dealership can claim that the keys were stolen from the dealership and the car was parked out back, and therefore the theft was unnoticed. Plausible denialability.

    And as a side note, with big time college athletes being young men in love with flashy cars and not thinking much about the future, and the majority being black, they and their families can be bribed with a dealer’s flashy new car kept safely out back of a dealership. Just before he was drafted as the #1 pick in the NBA, Lebron James’s mother was seen driving around in a huge new expensive car, despite their family only having a modest income; she claimed the dealer signed it over to her based on LeBron’s likely financial situation after the draft, but some wondered if Lebron’s agent had a crooked dealer get her the car so LeBron would sign with the agent.

    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
    @R.G. Camara

    You clearly don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara

  179. @prosa123
    @Alfa158

    Last time I checked (I was comparing the percentage of kids admitted to UC who are White, to the percentage of school age kids who are White, to see if White kids are over or under represented in UC admissions), the percentage of school age children are in California who are White, is about 18%. And that includes middle Easterners, who are still classified as White.

    Some of the nonwhite 82% are going to be second, third, or even fourth-generation Hispanics and Asians who are completely Americanized and often speak only English. They aren't really minority.

    Replies: @anon

    Some of the nonwhite 82% are going to be second, third, or even fourth-generation Hispanics and Asians who are completely Americanized and often speak only English.

    What does “Americanized” mean in this context?

    Rhetorical. It means nothing beyond paperwork and linguistic accident.

  180. Anon[420] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Biden is re-establishing an American military presence in Somalia. What the heck sort of strategic interest does Somalia serve for us? I guess it’s geographical, the US wants to be able to hang on to the Horn of Africa to control shipping in and out of the Middle East. But we’ve already screwed up enough in Somalia, and I really would rather not see more Somalian refugees flooding into the United States.

    We need a Murphy’s Law for Joe Biden: There is no situation that Joe Biden cannot make worse.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/biden-orders-us-troops-back-war-torn-somalia-reversing-trump-withdrawal

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Anon


    What the heck sort of strategic interest does Somalia serve for us?

     

    Gotta maintain a Safe Somalia so that Ilhan Omar can take pleasant trips back home to Mogadishu for family holidays.

    Seriously, the stupider it is, the more likely Joe will succeed in thinking it.

  181. @Johann Ricke
    @Alfa158


    The types of day laborers who hang around big box construction material stores are poorly paid
     
    That would depend on your definition of poorly paid. 6 months ago, from the WSJ:

    Migrants who entered the U.S. illegally typically struggled at the bottom of the economic ladder; they can now earn $25 per hour
     

    Replies: @Daniel H

    Migrants who entered the U.S. illegally typically struggled at the bottom of the economic ladder; they can now earn \$25 per hour

    In places like NYC, Jersey, Boston, DC, LA, San Francisco, etc… \$25.00 is not a good wage it is just a survival wage, that is if you don’t wish to live on the street, and can put up with 6 people living in a 2-bedroom apartment.

    Leave aside the minimum wage, the standard wage for a worker in the USA should be at least \$35-40 per hour, with health insurance. Forget about that. What balls that a worker should expect so much.

    • Agree: Alden
  182. Anonymous[108] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bill Jones
    @Alden

    I've gone out of my way to establish good relations with my mechanics. Get everything done there except "must be dealer stuff"- primarily recalls , I've had two of those , even if my guy is $10 more expensive than the Midas oil change sale. Always pay cash, even for the 3, count them 3, sets of 4 tires I've bought in two years.
    It is I believe in my interests to have an independent Garage Workshop guy favorably disposed.

    Replies: @Colin Wright, @Anonymous

    Always pay cash, even for the 3, count them 3, sets of 4 tires I’ve bought in two years.

    Why pay cash?

    How did you manage to go through 3 sets of new tires in only 2 years?

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Anonymous

    Why cash?
    I do not believe the tax man needs to be an observer of my daily activities. Nor my mechanic's.

    Three sets of tire on three different vehicles. The Owie was the ones on the old truck but that was the first set on that in 16 years.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Achmed E. Newman

    , @E. Rekshun
    @Anonymous

    My Afghani barber gives a $2 discount if I pay in cash.

  183. @Wilhelm Beck
    Using $1.58 million as a bar is pretty high. I knew a guy well who was worth around $100 million 20 years ago. His real "income" was barely around that mark, and his taxable income was probably waaaaaaaay under that mark. It could have been a fair bit higher if he'd jacked rental rates to market rates on a massive strip mall he owned, but still. However he had a heck of a lot of net worth growth happening. Haven't talked to him in a long time, but presume he is still alive. Given his investment strategies at the time he could easily be worth between 500 million and a billion now. Maybe more. But he was planning on wasting more cash on toys because his kids were useless and he didn't care about leaving them much, so who knows.

    In any event, the number one way to get into the multimillionaire club is simply buying and holding real estate. I'm on this journey myself. It never ceases to amaze me how dumb normal middle class people are with money. With 3-5% down loans on owner occupied one could simply buy a house, live there a year or two, buy another, rinse and repeat to 4 properties because there are guidelines on federal loans. Ta-da, multi millionaire in a couple decades. If you're really wise you move into duplexes or quadplexes which count as single family for loan purposes. It can literally take as little as 4 years to set yourself up for life, yet people throw away the opportunity.

    If you actually put in effort you can grow that into the deca-millionaire level very easily. It's virtually risk free if you're buying cash flowing properties, as market volatility in pricing is irrelevant. You just hold and ride the waves up and down without selling.

    That said, if you want to get rich faster (not outright FAST or easy, that's usually a recipe for disaster), an active business of some sort is really the main way. When I was a teenager I started an online business that got up to ~$6 million a year gross by the time I was 20. Ultimately shut it down as it wasn't all that profitable and switched to something I like more but that didn't have the same rapid growth potential. If I'd either picked something a little better that first time (it was somewhat of a passion thing too), or tried to find something else with similar potential just for the cash, it would have been entirely possible to have had a very high income by an early age.

    I've actually recently started another business that is likely to grow very rapidly due to underlying fundamentals. It should be able to roughly double to triple it's size annually on a self funded basis. It's hard to say where it will max out revenue wise... If I had to guess I don't see anything more than $5-10 million gross as likely, but with the margins it has it could be netting in the millions even at that. Niche markets are a crazy thing! It could max out a lot smaller though, we'll see.

    Other than my main business, and this new one, all I want to do is buy long established, profitable local businesses. Boring ones. Buy the coffee stand that's been there for 15 years. The bar that's been there for 50. That kind of thing. You can almost always negotiate a leveraged owner finance situation with these types of businesses as they're hard to sell. That's a great way to make cash if you want to. Starting a business from scratch, unless it is insanely obvious an area is lacking in something, is a very risky proposition. People always think the thing they think people need is needed... But it's frequently not. If you're doing it purely for monetary reasons, not ego stroke or out of passion, it's way better to just buy established businesses.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    If you’re really wise you move into duplexes or quadplexes which count as single family for loan purposes

    Not everyone has what it takes to be a landlord.

    When I was a teenager I started an online business that got up to ~\$6 million a year gross by the time I was 20. Ultimately shut it down as it wasn’t all that profitable

    LOL were you selling \$100 bills for \$99.99? Revenue doesn’t mean jack shit without profit margins. I wasn’t dumb enough to fall for this, but Don Lapre used to run infomercials where he would talk about the power of tiny classified ads. All of the testimonials from his customers would talk about revenue without actually mentioning how much profit they made. He then went on to hawk vitamins through infomercials. The FTC eventually caught up with him, and he slit his throat in jail awaiting trial in 2011.

    I will say that unless you are paying close attention, his pitch is captivating.

    • Replies: @Alden
    @ScarletNumber

    It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage. So the owner isn’t left trying to repair and remodel himself.

    I personally love the construction repair remodel decorating gardening aspect of it. Love my crew and the fire safety and building inspectors and all the codes. Others like the office work part of being a landlord

    What usually happens is there’s some bad tenants and problems at first. But landlords learn from their mistakes and it works out after a while.

    What’s astonishing is that small 4 to 8 unit apartments sometimes don’t cost much more than a single family home. .

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @E. Rekshun, @Wilhelm Beck

    , @Wilhelm Beck
    @ScarletNumber

    I mean some people aren't cut out to be landlords... Some people aren't cut out to do anything useful in life. But compared to running an active business I think far more people are capable of owning rental houses. There's stuff involved, but it's all very simple. Not easy mind you, but simple.

    Find not sketchy person, rent house to them, fix stuff when it breaks. If somebody is REALLY not cut out for it, they can always hire a rental management company. I don't trust the stock market because I don't have control over it. Plus due to the way mortgage financing works, even if doing 20% down, it's very easy to make returns that surpass the stock market.

    It's the best way for normal people to become wealthy IMO... Which is why more millionaires made their money this way than any other.

    As for the business, no I wasn't selling $100 bills for $99.99! The short version is I was just slinging products of a certain type online I was buying from a few distributors. Having lower overhead than big companies doing the same products meant I could kind of get away with lower margins to a point. I sold on eBay and Amazon.

    The real trick that made it possible was for the type of products I was selling I was able to pull almost all relevant data from the distributors databases, including pictures, and just list a vast catalog online. I integrated my inventory that was being listed on eBay/Amazon with what they had in stock, so didn't even have to stock much inventory as I knew what they had available. Because I got to be a big customer I could get free 1-2 day shipping from them. So somebody buys something, I automatically place an order, get the item in 1-2 days. I had a custom programmed system where we could literally pull an item out of a box from a distributor, scan the barcode, and the oldest pending order for that title would be pulled up, print the invoice and packing slip johnny on the spot. Then send it over to be pulled and packed.

    In hindsight it was actually pretty darn slick for a 19/20 year old to pull off, although obviously not as slick as the stuff boy genius billionaires did. LOL Gross profit was 10-15%, so maybe $50-75K a month towards the end. But I had 20 something employees at peak, and a warehouse. So actual net was a little touch and go. I thought about raising pricing just a touch, which would have probably dropped sales a lot but tipped it to the point of being consistently profitable... But due to various reasons at the time I decided to just throw in the towel. Maybe I shouldn't have, but I had my reasons at the time.

    The new thing I've been messing around with is running margins more like 50-80% profit depending on the specific item in question! Plenty of room to cover employees and overhead. I really don't know what it could do even just expanding to all marketplaces, and building up a decent direct sales website... But I guess I'll find out. Eventually I might expand into wholesale of the products since there are still a lot of mom and pop businesses that carry the product type. If I were to ever land some of the big retailers in the category that could be crazy money. I don't think it will get into the multiple millions gross wise until I start doing wholesale, but a million buck a year business direct retail with the margins it has would be plenty fine by me!

  184. Tom Wolfe drew a cartoon once of of a rich man explaining to his children that they would be getting a beautiful new mother, while their old mother would be fine as she opened a boutique and sold yarn to her friends.

    Wasn’t that Charlie Croker of A Man in Full?

  185. @Wilkey
    Anyway, the “boring business” path to wealth isn’t all that surprising. It’s the same conclusion reached by the authors of “The Millionaire Next Door.” That book was published over 20 years ago.

    Another one of their conclusions was that getting married and staying married was a really great way to get rich. Despite all of the headlines about famous rich people getting divorces, rich people are far less likely to get divorced than the rest of us. That’s how they get rich and stay rich.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Achmed E. Newman, @Corn, @silviosilver

    Anyway, the “boring business” path to wealth isn’t all that surprising. It’s the same conclusion reached by the authors of “The Millionaire Next Door.” That book was published over 20 years ago.

    Just because that’s how the people in that book made their wealth, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea for someone else to try it. You’d first have to check the statistics on the people who tried it and did not become millionaires, which I don’t recall Stanley and Danko delving into. Without that information, it’s a parody of the of the glib advice a Malcolm Gladwell would dispense: “Own a boring business – but only if it makes you a lot of money.” (Point being, you’re not going to know if it’ll make you a lot of money or not until you try running it, by which time it’s too late.)

  186. @ScarletNumber
    @Wilhelm Beck


    If you’re really wise you move into duplexes or quadplexes which count as single family for loan purposes
     
    Not everyone has what it takes to be a landlord.

    When I was a teenager I started an online business that got up to ~$6 million a year gross by the time I was 20. Ultimately shut it down as it wasn’t all that profitable
     
    LOL were you selling $100 bills for $99.99? Revenue doesn't mean jack shit without profit margins. I wasn't dumb enough to fall for this, but Don Lapre used to run infomercials where he would talk about the power of tiny classified ads. All of the testimonials from his customers would talk about revenue without actually mentioning how much profit they made. He then went on to hawk vitamins through infomercials. The FTC eventually caught up with him, and he slit his throat in jail awaiting trial in 2011.

    I will say that unless you are paying close attention, his pitch is captivating.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mubCkCAEiDQ

    Replies: @Alden, @Wilhelm Beck

    It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage. So the owner isn’t left trying to repair and remodel himself.

    I personally love the construction repair remodel decorating gardening aspect of it. Love my crew and the fire safety and building inspectors and all the codes. Others like the office work part of being a landlord

    What usually happens is there’s some bad tenants and problems at first. But landlords learn from their mistakes and it works out after a while.

    What’s astonishing is that small 4 to 8 unit apartments sometimes don’t cost much more than a single family home. .

    • Replies: @James B. Shearer
    @Alden

    "It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage. So the owner isn’t left trying to repair and remodel himself."

    And you will pay through the nose for all of that stuff. Won't be much profit left over especially for a small operation.

    Replies: @Wilhelm Beck

    , @E. Rekshun
    @Alden

    It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage.

    At the end of the real estate crash, I bought a beautiful 1900 sf waterfront FL condo, with garage and boat slip in a small, well-maintained, well-managed complex. The plan was for this to be my future retirement dream spot. I've used a property management firm to list the rental on the MLS and to screen rental applicants, and they set me up w/ the perfect tenant - seven years same tenant, I've heard from him three times. Rent check is on time in full every month, and he keeps the unit spotless. The rental placement cost 75% of one month's rent.

    I don't use a property manager for the day-today management (cost is 10% of the rent) mostly because I'm concerned about getting price gouged on repairs. Nonetheless, ever-increasing property tax (doubled over the past five years), HOA, and maintenance fees and $20K in special assessments over the past three years has crushed my profit down to an annual 1.5% ROI. On the other hand, my equity has doubled. I'm very tempted to cash out and sell soon.

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Wilhelm Beck

    , @Wilhelm Beck
    @Alden

    Exactly. It's not that complicated. Many people are just quitters at everything in life.

    My aunt and uncle rented their old house when they bought a new one. They had one bad tenant and decided to sell and never own a rental again. If he had just learned from the experience and carried on with it he'd have made millions of extra dollars. He retired recently as an exec from a good job, so he's not hurting or anything... But I think he has a complex about not being better off than he is. Uhhhh, it's because you spent money like a drunken sailor on shiny stuff your whole career, and only made mediocre investments because you were too spineless to actually take risks, even when they're pretty minimal.

    But that pretty much describes all middle class people who work for others.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

  187. @ScarletNumber

    Big time sports heroes often had beverage distributorships bestowed upon them, such as boxer Max Schmelling got a Coca-Cola distributorship and second baseman Joe Morgan, a Republican, got a beer distributorship from conservative Coors.
     
    In December 1966 Roger Maris was traded from the Yankees to the Cardinals for Charley Smith. Maris' leadership was the final piece of the puzzle for the Cardinals, as they won the World Series the next year and the NL pennant the following year. Gussie Busch was so grateful that he gave Maris a Budweiser distributorship in northern Florida. Maris and his brother ran this and made more money selling beer than he ever did playing baseball. He did this until his untimely death at 51.

    By the way, according to Wikipedia, Roger Maris is not the most famous Roger M. with a 5-letter last name. That distinction goes toRoger Moore

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “Maris and his brother ran this and made more money selling beer than he ever did playing baseball. He did this until his untimely death at 51.”

    Allegedly, HOF CF NY Mickey Mantle was nearly devastated upon hearing Maris’ death, he always assumed that Roger would outlive him by several yrs. Perhaps the Mick should’ve tried to purchase a beer distributorship in his retirement years, all things considered. A bit surprised that Ballantine Beer (one of NY’s sponsors in the ’60’s) didn’t make Mickey that offer on his retirement in ’69.

  188. @Anon
    OT: Biden is re-establishing an American military presence in Somalia. What the heck sort of strategic interest does Somalia serve for us? I guess it's geographical, the US wants to be able to hang on to the Horn of Africa to control shipping in and out of the Middle East. But we've already screwed up enough in Somalia, and I really would rather not see more Somalian refugees flooding into the United States.

    We need a Murphy's Law for Joe Biden: There is no situation that Joe Biden cannot make worse.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/biden-orders-us-troops-back-war-torn-somalia-reversing-trump-withdrawal

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    What the heck sort of strategic interest does Somalia serve for us?

    Gotta maintain a Safe Somalia so that Ilhan Omar can take pleasant trips back home to Mogadishu for family holidays.

    Seriously, the stupider it is, the more likely Joe will succeed in thinking it.

  189. @Intelligent Dasein
    So, if you want to be wealthy you need to own productive assets and not work for wages. Gee, I never would have thunk that.

    Ladies and gentlemen, seldom have we been treated to such rare and magnificent insight.

    This is almost tautological. It's tantamount to saying, "If you want wealth, you need to accumulate wealth." There is no mystery here. There is no secret to getting wealthy; the path to wealth is rather obvious and straightforward. The real question is, why do so few people pursue such a strategy with any sort of deliberate seriousness?

    My parents, for example, seem to have no clue about what it takes to build wealth. Despite the fact that I have spent the last 25 years explaining it to them a thousand times over, they appear constitutionally incapable of putting it into action. No one in my extended family can do so, either. My grandfather once owned large parcels of farmland on Long Island and in upstate New York, land which today would not only be worth a Croesan fortune, but which could also have provided a priceless perfection that few people can even dream about anymore---an island of relative freedom from the Globohomo machine and its wage-slave economy. How I wish I could have inherited even a fraction of that. I never got the chance; he sold it all before I was born, apparently because he didn't feel like paying the taxes on it. The idea that real property is an invaluable gift to be held in trust for the family line, and was worth any short-term sacrifice to hold onto, was foreign to him.

    My aunts and uncles, likewise, seem to have no sense of what they missed out on. They pursued tony suburban lives, working in nursing or sales or overpaid union jobs, rightly discerning in these careers the surest path to what they really wanted---flashy cars, motorized toys, vacations, and entertainment.

    I never found a kindred soul amongst my family. They had no interest in the things that really last. I couldn't make them understand that in depleting my patrimony on their frivolities, they had destroyed my one chance at earthly happiness. I am not ambitious for more money or a better career. I don't want to be a wage-slave, not even in a highly paid position. I don't want to be better at running the rat race; all I want is to be out of the rat race. I want freedom, dignity, nobility, and peace. I needed "the red earth of Tara," but now it's gone, and I can't return to it.

    I feel exactly the same way about academia. The conversion of the university system into a credentialization and jobs program for middle class douchebags has had a ruinous effect on intellectual life. The academy is supposed to be a temple of contemplation; it is where you go to adore divinity, philosophy, mathematics, and the arts, all for its own sake, without the need to justify it in terms of its practical value. Perhaps less than 1% of the population is really capable of this intellectual love of truth, but that 1% cannot really be happy anywhere else. I belong to that 1%, and now it's ruined for me.

    My family, true to their philistine view of things, knew nothing about me except that I was "smart." They wondered why I didn't take my perfect SAT and ACT scores, and my supposedly superior intellect, and run out into the rat race in pursuit of a college degree and a "good" job. All the while I was pleading with them to understand what was really important, they were trying to shove me headlong into slavery and vanity. I showed little interest in college after I went there and found out what it was really about. I made three attempts to go, each time dropping out from sheer misery before completing a degree. My grandmother was furious. She thought I was insane and literally tried to commit me to a mental hospital, perhaps thinking that some Thorazine and ECT would fix me up and make me see things her way. I recall one time my aunt remonstrated with me using the words, "Don't you ever think about all the things you could have?"

    All the things I could have.

    As I said earlier, there is no mystery to why more people aren't rich. The fact is that reality is an all-or-nothing proposition. If you're going to be serious about one thing, you have to be serious about everything else, too. Most people simply aren't serious. They eschew the sort of sobriety and self-discipline it takes to become proper stewards of wealth, and they spend their lives chasing pleasing wisps of smoke. They do this willingly and they can't be cajoled or educated out of it, because this is who they are. They have no organ with which to perceive and no capacity to receive the higher things in life.

    Man is a prodigal race.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @E. Rekshun, @Inquiring Mind, @silviosilver, @Sam Malone

    I don’t want to be a wage-slave, not even in a highly paid position. I don’t want to be better at running the rat race; all I want is to be out of the rat race. I want freedom, dignity, nobility, and peace.

    And those bastards, they robbed you of it. Freedom, dignity, nobility and peace are hardly worth it if you actually have to work to achieve them. Life is so unfair sometimes.

    • LOL: Paul Mendez
  190. @Daniel H
    @International Jew


    Like Ilan Harari (Bergman) or Oded Caspi (Silberdick).
     
    Anybody birthed with the name Silberdick has not only the right to change the name but the right also to curse his parents.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @J.Ross

    “Dick” in German doesn’t mean shvantz, it means “fat.”
    So … uh … yeah.

  191. @dearieme
    @Charon

    In most advanced countries there will be good government figures for income, or more accurately for declared income. Her Majesty's Government certainly knows my income for those years in which I have lived in this lovely land, and my wife's.

    But I doubt if they know our wealth. If they do, how did they find out? I asked somebody this on a blog and he said that they could probably estimate it by noting the value of our house and multiplying by three. Where that rule of thumb came from I have no idea. It would certainly be bonkers for younger people who often own only a small fraction of their house once you subtract their mortgage loan. And it would wildly exaggerate our own wealth. I suggest that few countries have any useful data on household wealth. In which case it would be pointless trying to analyse it.

    To that you must add the crass misunderstanding of wealth - I've seen bloody fools claim that Queen Elizabeth is the wealthiest person in the world. Presumably they've simply added up everything belonging to the various arms of government in the UK and attributed it all to the Queen. That might make sense for Saudi Arabia but not for us.

    Replies: @HammerJack

    The people I know with the most expensive houses own several, and in several different countries. And their houses comprise a tiny percentage of their wealth.

  192. @JohnnyWalker123
    To summarize.

    1. Own equity in a business.
    2. The business should be in a niche with high barriers to entry.

    Replies: @Charon, @Alden, @guest007, @Hypnotoad666, @Twinkie

    I’ve always maintained that there are two crucial things to be successful in life:

    1. Choose your parents well.

    2. Choose your spouse well.

    And, yes, having ownership/equity is essential for building wealth, but increasingly there is a higher and higher barrier to entry to ownership. For example, it was very common a couple of decades ago for physicians to complete their residency and join medical groups on partnership tracks, but most such groups sold out to large corporations or merged to form large groups a long ago and no longer offer partnership tracks, just jobs as physician employees.

    That said, even as many parts of the country are being immiserated, even not-so-bright people who take chances in certain parts of the country that rise economically can become wealthy. The owner of the landscaping business that I patronize is a high school dropout. He and his childhood friend started their business a couple of decades ago where I live. Long story short, the area exploded into extreme wealth during those two decades and his firm now has about \$10 million in annual revenue. He has so much business that he basically no longer accepts new clients (he’s at a point where he can’t really scale up without a lot more work and headache and he is happy with the current level of business).

    Interestingly, his children aren’t exactly rocket scientists either and are a source of much trouble for him. It will be interesting to see what happens to be the business when he gets old. I have a feeling there might be decline in the family fortune with the next generation.

    • Thanks: JohnnyWalker123
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Twinkie


    I have a feeling there might be decline in the family fortune with the next generation
     

    Three generations from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves

    --Andrew Carnegie
     
  193. @Prof. Woland
    @Bill Jones

    Another characteristic of 'millionaires' is that they are typically not young. Tech millionaires are more the exception rather than the rule. If they are first generation wealth, they typically made it in their 40's or 50's after working hard in a low prestige industry for little pay. They also tend to have children and one wife.

    Money compounds so the longer someone keeps working and saving they more they end up with. I think that is one of the gripes the youngsters have. The baby boomers keep working until they are in their 70's and won't retire or die.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer

    Our system is based on raising your family in your 20s, taking over in your 40s, dying in your 60s. Since the last part has become less true, the other parts have declined.

  194. @kaganovitch
    @Intelligent Dasein

    The idea that real property is an invaluable gift to be held in trust for the family line, and was worth any short-term sacrifice to hold onto, was foreign to him.......................I never found a kindred soul amongst my family. They had no interest in the things that really last. I couldn’t make them understand that in depleting my patrimony on their frivolities, they had destroyed my one chance at earthly happiness.

    So basically your grandfather and parents were obligated to think of you front and center and accumulate wealth, but you haven't done anything for future generations because you were thinking deep thoughts?

    Replies: @Twinkie

    Geez, just when I was feeling a bit sorry for him, he launches into that ridiculous whining. He’s mad at the previous generations in his family for not entitling him with wealth. Ugh, what a spoiled child.

    He wants “freedom, dignity, nobility, and peace.” He seems to think that he’s just entitled to all that by birth and doesn’t seem to realize that most human beings have to work and even fight to earn some of those things.

    “My patrimony… my one chance at earthly happiness.” All about “my,” eh? This from a guy who says I am not a real Catholic. I have a friend who is a priest who gave up everything, including a very successful international business, and is now a penniless parish priest, but is happy as a clam to serve the people of his parish and, yes, God.

    He goes on and on about the finer points of Catholic dogma like a pharisee, but doesn’t seem to understand that this earthly life is but a vale of tears, and that earnest and genuine Catholics shouldn’t live for “earthly happiness” at the end of the day. For that matter, what earthly happiness we do experience in this life should be about love of family and friends, of neighbors and community, not some dynastic wealth. And the common denominator of all forms of love, from erotic to Agape is sacrifice – giving without expecting.

    • Thanks: Bill Jones
  195. @Daniel H
    @Wilkey

    Utah has had quite a few fairly successful tech companies (the guy who bought the Jazz sold his company to SAP). None of them are as rich as the Millers.

    Utah was a player in the early PC software market. Novell and Wordperfect came out of Utah.

    Replies: @Stan Adams

    WordPerfect was a very Mormon company, despite the fact that one of the founders was secretly gay. (He made frequent “business trips” to Europe.) The company’s management philosophy was based on Joseph Smith’s statement about the governance of the Mormon church: “I teach correct principles and they govern themselves.”

    WordPerfect supplanted WordStar as the leading PC word processor around 1986. In the late ’80s the legendary WP 5.1 enjoyed a market share of roughly 80 or 90 percent. But the company stumbled badly during the transition from DOS to Windows in the early ’90s. The first version of WordPerfect for Windows hit the market in late 1991, just as Microsoft was releasing the second version of Word for Windows, and WordPerfect never caught up. In late 1993, the company tried and failed to go public.

    As WordPerfect was struggling, Ray Noorda, the longtime CEO of Novell, became obsessed with the idea of making his company as big as Microsoft. In 1991, Novell bought Digital Research to acquire that company’s version of DOS.

    Then, in early 1994, Novell purchased WordPerfect for \$1.4 billion. The company also purchased a couple of products from Borland so it could offer a complete suite of office applications.

    Noorda’s timing was awful. WordPerfect’s market share was collapsing as corporate America was rushing to standardize on Microsoft Office. Novell had no experience in the productivity-software market. It quickly became clear that Novell was going to lose a huge amount of money on its investment.

    In short order, Novell’s board forced Noorda into retirement. His successor saw little point in making a vigorous pursuit of the office-suite market now that Microsoft had achieved overwhelming dominance. WordPerfect’s sales continued their rapid decline.

    In August 1995, Microsoft steamrolled the industry with unprecedented levels of hype surrounding the introduction of Windows 95 and its companion product Office 95, even as Windows 3.11 and its corresponding version of Office continued to sell like hotcakes.

    Shortly thereafter, Novell announced that it was negotiating to sell WordPerfect to one of several potential buyers. (At one point IBM was considered a likely candidate.) The negotiations dragged on for several months. This protracted period of uncertainty about WordPerfect’s future scared off even the most loyal corporate customers, because major companies with hundreds or thousands of installations did not want to be stuck with an orphaned product.

    In the end, Corel ended up buying WordPerfect for about one-tenth of what Novell had paid for it only two years earlier.

    At the time, Corel was primarily known for its low-cost graphics software. It had always been a purely Canadian company, but now it had hundreds of employees working out of Utah. This did not sit well with many of the old-timers.

    Corel rushed the long-delayed Windows 95 version of WordPerfect out the door. It sold a sizable number of units at cut-rate prices. But the small Canadian company could not stop the Microsoft juggernaut, especially after Office 97 debuted in 1997. The release of Office 97 marked the end of even token competition in the office-suite market.

    WordPerfect did not die out completely – even today it is still sold and updated periodically – but by the late ’90s it had become a niche product.

    For a couple of years, Corel maintained a sizable contingent at the old WordPerfect campus in Orem. But the company was hemorrhaging money and the Canadians finally conspired to give the Utahns the shaft.

    At its peak, the old WordPerfect Corporation employed over 5,000 people. By 1998 only about 500 remained. When Corel shut down the Orem facility, between 50 and 70 Utah-based employees were offered jobs at Corel’s main office in Ottawa. Many of those who were given offers did not take them.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Stan Adams

    Wow, WordPerfect still exists? Who buys its? I don't think I've seen a WordPerfect document in 20+ years. For the people who don't want to (pay to) use Microsoft Word, there is LibreOffice and Google Docs. I can't imagine ANYONE still using WordPerfect. What is their business model?

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Stan Adams, @R.G. Camara

  196. @Alden
    @ScarletNumber

    It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage. So the owner isn’t left trying to repair and remodel himself.

    I personally love the construction repair remodel decorating gardening aspect of it. Love my crew and the fire safety and building inspectors and all the codes. Others like the office work part of being a landlord

    What usually happens is there’s some bad tenants and problems at first. But landlords learn from their mistakes and it works out after a while.

    What’s astonishing is that small 4 to 8 unit apartments sometimes don’t cost much more than a single family home. .

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @E. Rekshun, @Wilhelm Beck

    “It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage. So the owner isn’t left trying to repair and remodel himself.”

    And you will pay through the nose for all of that stuff. Won’t be much profit left over especially for a small operation.

    • Agree: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @Wilhelm Beck
    @James B. Shearer

    There's still plenty. That's why tons of people who even do it the lazy way make millions at it.

    Really simplified math. 20% down. If a house merely appreciates 3% a year (which is a low average), your cash on cash return is 15% (5 times 3% to account for your only having 20% in it) a year day one. Factor in 3% increases in rent on average. You should be buying properties with cash flow day one, but let's pretend it's zero to make it a very mediocre deal.

    Run those below average value increases and rent increases out a few years. Then a few decades. Even if you start at essentially zero cash flow after expenses in the beginning (which there's no reason to do really, you should be pocketing money day one), your equity build and eventual cash flow start to grow like gangbusters after awhile. If you're reinvesting etc it's easy to snowball up to a lot of equity. Of course it's also very tax advantaged compared to other investments too.

    It's probably the easiest money there is over the long haul, mainly due to being able to use leverage at such low interest rates. You'll make tons more money not using property managers, but you'll come out fine with them too.

  197. @Pixo
    I’ve looked at this same database of people with $1m and above taxable income. There are tons of law consulting and accounting firm partners and a fair number of pro athletes and lots of doctors.

    The start a business advice for getting rich in other words is overstated. Now is also a difficult time to start a business because the labor market is tight, you give up more and have to pay more. And if you don’t hire anyone, you’re unlikely to get rich, you’re just an independent contractor.

    Replies: @Another Canadian

    And if you don’t hire anyone, you’re unlikely to get rich, you’re just an independent contractor.

    Build a pyramid leveraging the labour of others, especially utilising protective regulatory or certification barriers to entry. Successful accountants, lawyers, electricians, dentists and car dealers all do this.

  198. @ScarletNumber
    @Joe Stalin

    In the People's Republic of New Jersey it is also illegal to buy a car on Sunday

    Replies: @FPD72

    In the People’s Republic of New Jersey it is also illegal to buy a car on Sunday

    In the PRNJ it is also illegal to pump your own gas. I think that applies to Oregon as well.

    In Texas it is illegal for dealerships to be open on both Saturday and Sunday. Most choose to be open on Saturday and closed on Sunday but a few in large metro areas choose to be open on Sunday and closed on Sunday.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @FPD72

    but a few in large metro areas choose to be open on Sunday and closed on Sunday.

    Schroedinger's dealership?

    , @ScarletNumber
    @FPD72

    When I was younger and more libertarian, I used to rail against New Jersey's law against pumping one's own gas, saying the market should decide. Now that I am older, I am glad to not have to get out of my car in the heat, in the cold, in the rain, in the dark, &c...

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Dave Pinsen

  199. @Almost Missouri
    @Recently Based


    have equity in tech
     
    I think it is the getting more than the having that is the hard part. :-)

    carry in finance
     
    ?

    2. The observation that having equity leads to wealth is pretty obvious, but also suffers from survivorship bias. What you don’t see in these numbers is how many people tried and failed within each employment category. ...
     
    Yes, but I'm not sure if you are arguing for or against equity building versus professional development in the rest of this item. To try for the brass ring in equity of something, or better just to drone away at law, consulting, or finance?

    3. When you are at this level, the income tax rate is almost irrelevant, which is one of the things that always strikes me as funny about these debates. That’s not because I pay “almost no taxes,” it’s because the taxes that matter to me are taxes on capital.
     
    Arguably, all taxes are on capital, but I gather that you mean that you are more concerned about property taxes than about income taxes.

    4. The thing about businesses with barriers to competition is that unless you invent this business, the cost of buying into it reflects the value of those barriers.
     
    Agree. The "barriers to entry" discussion almost always neglects to consider whether one is inside or outside the barriers when they arise. If you're inside, hey, great work if you can get it. If you're outside, you gotta pay to get in like everyone else. That's why they're "barriers".

    Replies: @Recently Based

    Yes, getting equity is the hard part for sure, and the best way to get a lot of it is to start the company. The trick is that >>90% even of venture-baked companies never get to a successful exit that will make the founders really rich.

    Carry is the slang term for “carried interest,” which is basically the share of the profits (typically 20%) that the managers of a hedge fund / VC fund etc. get. For all practical purposes it is like equity in an LLC. Importantly, like equity, it is taxed as capital gains.

    I’m not arguing to either go for the brass ring or not, just to be rational about the odds of success if you do. This is part of why the payoff when you succeed has to be so high in order to get people to try it.

    What I meant about the taxes is that if you (1) make a ton of money through equity or equity-like carry, it is taxed as a capital gain, then (2) your income becomes dominated by returns on the capital you accumulated that way, so the actual income stream that is then supporting you is also mostly taxed as capital income. It’s why if you are a thoracic surgeon or law partner making a ton of money, you care about the income tax rate, but if you have a fortune, you care about taxes on capital. So, when people talk about Bezos or Buffett’s taxes and then start talking about income taxes, they’re using these billionaires as a rhetorical device to go after high-income professionals.

  200. @Colin Wright
    @onetwothree

    'Not that it matters, but I think most dealers have to take whatever the car company decides to send them.'

    But you don't have to just accept what the local dealer will do for you.

    I was talking to a guy in Hawaii who had his brand new cherry red Corvette, etc, etc.

    The Hawaiian dealer had wanted to charge him what amounted to a five thousand dollar markup. This was Hawaii, after all. Everything has to come on the boat.

    Dude found a dealer in Montana who would only charge him a thousand dollars extra for the shipping -- which was pretty fair.

    I don't see why anyone can't do that. Find what you want and see what the dealer will do for you when it comes to shipping.

    Replies: @Jack D

    Right now is not a good time to buy a car because the dealers have the upper hand, but when the market is favorable to buyers it certainly doesn’t hurt to broaden your search to say a 75 mile radius if the local dealer won’t play ball.

  201. @Alfa158
    @ginger bread man

    Most of the components in cars are sourced from OEM manufacturers who sell the parts online for a fraction of the dealership price. We buy BMW or Mercedes because there are two master mechanics who used to be factory mechanics for those brands, have opened their own shop and are great to work with. They won’t buy parts except from the auto companies so they can warranty the work, but will also be happy to install the parts if I buy them. The most extreme instance of saving money was when I had a Mercedes with the glass in an outside rear view mirror that was cracked in a minor side swipe. From Mercedes $1082 because of the heating, auto dimming, warning LEDs, etc. From an internet supplier $242. The box it came in had the Mercedes logo and part number blacked out with a marker and the mechanics showed me where the Mercedes logo and P/N had been shaved off of the electronic circuitry housing so that the part could be sold to customers other than Mercedes. One of them installed it for free because we were regular customers and it didn’t take long.

    Replies: @Jack D

    If you bought a more reliable brand (e.g. Lexus) you wouldn’t be visiting mechanics as often. Current day luxury German cars plummet in value after the warranty is over because they are expensive to keep on the road – all the electronic doodads keep breaking and every time they break it’s expensive. Key parts, even engine parts, are made of plastic and the plastic gets old and brittle over time. The mfrs don’t care – they want you to lease the car for a few years and then when the lease is up to lease another one. They could care less what breaks in 10 or 15 years. They would prefer that you junk it at that point and buy a new one.

    Every time an auto part gets sold there is a markup. Most car mfrs get their parts from a handful of suppliers – in the case of German cars, Bosch, Siemens, Mahle, etc. (a lot of the factories are in China now). If they put a BMW part # on it, the price goes up – you’re much better off getting the OEM item without the BMW part #.

    But China opens up a whole world of counterfeiting possibilities. I got a tire pressure sensor (the thing inside the tire that talks to the low tire pressure light on your dashboard) on ebay that looked just like the factory item but if you looked closely it was marked “CHYBSLER” and it cost maybe 1/4 of what the dealer part cost.

    Sometimes these things really are the equivalent of the factory part and other times they ain’t but for 1/4 the price it’s worth it if the part lasts 1/2 as long (as long as it isn’t something critical like a timing belt or if it’s a \$50 part that requires \$500 in labor to install). The key is knowing where it is OK to skimp and where you should never skimp.

  202. @Anonymous
    @Bill Jones


    Always pay cash, even for the 3, count them 3, sets of 4 tires I’ve bought in two years.
     
    Why pay cash?

    How did you manage to go through 3 sets of new tires in only 2 years?

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @E. Rekshun

    Why cash?
    I do not believe the tax man needs to be an observer of my daily activities. Nor my mechanic’s.

    Three sets of tire on three different vehicles. The Owie was the ones on the old truck but that was the first set on that in 16 years.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Bill Jones


    that was the first set on that in 16 years
     
    Aside from tread wear, rubber deteriorates or dry rots, especially if it exposed to the sun. You really shouldn't be running tires that are more than 10 years old even if they have tread left on them.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    , @Achmed E. Newman
    @Bill Jones


    Why cash?
    I do not believe the tax man needs to be an observer of my daily activities. Nor my mechanic’s.

     
    Damn straight, Bill! So many Americans are just too lazy to care about any of this. They will let 1984 come upon them and wonder "Why? How'd this happen?". Or, they think they are in the America of 1925, where the government didn't steal too much of your money and what they did steal didn't get used to screw you over.

    Cash is King!
  203. LP5 says:
    @Alden
    @Charon

    Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor. Farmers do use cheap immigrant labor.

    The key is is inherited wealth not earned income. And a lot of luck and being in the right occupation in the right place at the right time.

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @Old Prude, @LP5

    Alden writes:

    Auto dealers don’t use cheap immigrant labor.

    Ask your local car dealers where they are finding mechanics to replace those who have ‘retired’ due to Covid and other issues. They will tell you, as they have me, that there just isn’t the same level of interest among young people in learning and plying that trade. When experienced mechanics, or similar people in other fields, walk away, a lot of knowledge leaves with them. See the IT world, decimated for a mess of pottage curry.

    Meanwhile, the car dealers have to placate the manufacturers that exert many controls over dealership operations. There is always brand equity at stake.

  204. @Colin Wright
    @Bill Jones

    '...It is I believe in my interests to have an independent Garage Workshop guy favorably disposed.

    This sounds like the opposite of my technique.

    We live in a small city. I got into it with my neighbor's wife over fence lines. To make a long story short, I wound up inquiring as to why she didn't go fuck herself.

    So then I find myself having a growl 'n bristle session with her husband.

    Well, that's not good. But here's the kicker. Ol' Ian is a mechanic. When I started inquiring about who could do a good job changing the timing belt on my Toyota, people kept suggesting Ian would be the guy to do it.

    Of course, if it's like most such operations, probably it would be his wife figuring the bill.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

    So here’s your opportunity.
    Take your car to him.
    Play the White Man.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Bill Jones

    Still on the topic. On Wednesday morning we noticed the AC was out; feeble wafts of warmish air.
    Called the Heating/AC guy @11:30. Left a message. He called back at 2:30. Was there at 3:00. Done by 5:00. Dead capacitor on heat exchanger. Paid cash.
    We picked a guy who lives less than 5 miles from us. We are the ideal last call of the day.
    Today's temp forecast is 95F.

    Foresight beats forecast.

  205. @James B. Shearer
    @Faraday's Bobcat

    "When Obama bailed out GM in 2008, .."

    Obama didn't become President until Jan 20, 2009 so something is off here. As for getting rid of dealers bankruptcy is a way businesses can sometimes get out from under onerous contracts.

    Replies: @Brutusale

  206. @Stan Adams
    @Daniel H

    WordPerfect was a very Mormon company, despite the fact that one of the founders was secretly gay. (He made frequent "business trips" to Europe.) The company's management philosophy was based on Joseph Smith's statement about the governance of the Mormon church: "I teach correct principles and they govern themselves."

    WordPerfect supplanted WordStar as the leading PC word processor around 1986. In the late '80s the legendary WP 5.1 enjoyed a market share of roughly 80 or 90 percent. But the company stumbled badly during the transition from DOS to Windows in the early '90s. The first version of WordPerfect for Windows hit the market in late 1991, just as Microsoft was releasing the second version of Word for Windows, and WordPerfect never caught up. In late 1993, the company tried and failed to go public.

    As WordPerfect was struggling, Ray Noorda, the longtime CEO of Novell, became obsessed with the idea of making his company as big as Microsoft. In 1991, Novell bought Digital Research to acquire that company's version of DOS.

    Then, in early 1994, Novell purchased WordPerfect for $1.4 billion. The company also purchased a couple of products from Borland so it could offer a complete suite of office applications.

    Noorda's timing was awful. WordPerfect's market share was collapsing as corporate America was rushing to standardize on Microsoft Office. Novell had no experience in the productivity-software market. It quickly became clear that Novell was going to lose a huge amount of money on its investment.

    In short order, Novell's board forced Noorda into retirement. His successor saw little point in making a vigorous pursuit of the office-suite market now that Microsoft had achieved overwhelming dominance. WordPerfect's sales continued their rapid decline.

    In August 1995, Microsoft steamrolled the industry with unprecedented levels of hype surrounding the introduction of Windows 95 and its companion product Office 95, even as Windows 3.11 and its corresponding version of Office continued to sell like hotcakes.

    Shortly thereafter, Novell announced that it was negotiating to sell WordPerfect to one of several potential buyers. (At one point IBM was considered a likely candidate.) The negotiations dragged on for several months. This protracted period of uncertainty about WordPerfect's future scared off even the most loyal corporate customers, because major companies with hundreds or thousands of installations did not want to be stuck with an orphaned product.

    In the end, Corel ended up buying WordPerfect for about one-tenth of what Novell had paid for it only two years earlier.

    At the time, Corel was primarily known for its low-cost graphics software. It had always been a purely Canadian company, but now it had hundreds of employees working out of Utah. This did not sit well with many of the old-timers.

    Corel rushed the long-delayed Windows 95 version of WordPerfect out the door. It sold a sizable number of units at cut-rate prices. But the small Canadian company could not stop the Microsoft juggernaut, especially after Office 97 debuted in 1997. The release of Office 97 marked the end of even token competition in the office-suite market.

    WordPerfect did not die out completely - even today it is still sold and updated periodically - but by the late '90s it had become a niche product.

    For a couple of years, Corel maintained a sizable contingent at the old WordPerfect campus in Orem. But the company was hemorrhaging money and the Canadians finally conspired to give the Utahns the shaft.

    At its peak, the old WordPerfect Corporation employed over 5,000 people. By 1998 only about 500 remained. When Corel shut down the Orem facility, between 50 and 70 Utah-based employees were offered jobs at Corel's main office in Ottawa. Many of those who were given offers did not take them.

    Replies: @Jack D

    Wow, WordPerfect still exists? Who buys its? I don’t think I’ve seen a WordPerfect document in 20+ years. For the people who don’t want to (pay to) use Microsoft Word, there is LibreOffice and Google Docs. I can’t imagine ANYONE still using WordPerfect. What is their business model?

    • Agree: Paul Mendez
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    @Jack D

    Apparently WordPerfect is used a lot in legal offices and law firms!

    Replies: @Another Canadian, @Jack D

    , @Stan Adams
    @Jack D

    Yes, it still exists in a somewhat zombified state. Corel releases a new version every couple of years to maintain compatibility with current versions of Windows and Office:
    https://www.wordperfect.com/en/
    https://www.wpuniverse.com/vb/index.php

    The basic feature set and interface have not changed since the late '90s. This is the 2021 release:
    https://i.pcmag.com/imagery/reviews/033Fjy1shdiVWhHsBdjts5s-24..v1643218677.png

    Presumably Corel still makes enough money on the program to justify keeping it around. It was only a couple of years ago that the company discontinued shipping the suite on physical media.

    , @R.G. Camara
    @Jack D

    WordPerfect is given to all courts (state and federal) for free, instead of the normal Word. I believe it goes back to before Windows 95, when companies were trying to get business and push people online, and thus giving it free to courts was a method of getting legal professionals into the computer age. If the courts all used it, then the law firms would, or so the thought went.

    Then Word came along and was superior, but courts stuck with WordPerfect, because it was cheaper and also because all the old files were in WordPerfect, and no lazy bureacrat wanted to update the old database into Word documents. Plus judges are fussy, and once they get hooked they didn't want to change.

  207. @Bill Jones
    @Anonymous

    Why cash?
    I do not believe the tax man needs to be an observer of my daily activities. Nor my mechanic's.

    Three sets of tire on three different vehicles. The Owie was the ones on the old truck but that was the first set on that in 16 years.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Achmed E. Newman

    that was the first set on that in 16 years

    Aside from tread wear, rubber deteriorates or dry rots, especially if it exposed to the sun. You really shouldn’t be running tires that are more than 10 years old even if they have tread left on them.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Jack D

    That's right, and I'd say they start cracking at 5 years now. More Cheap China-made Crap for you. It was not always this way. A friend's 1970s Corvette (that will probably never get back on the road) has its original tires. They are not cracked up like the new ones.

    Replies: @Jack D

  208. @FPD72
    @ScarletNumber


    In the People’s Republic of New Jersey it is also illegal to buy a car on Sunday
     
    In the PRNJ it is also illegal to pump your own gas. I think that applies to Oregon as well.

    In Texas it is illegal for dealerships to be open on both Saturday and Sunday. Most choose to be open on Saturday and closed on Sunday but a few in large metro areas choose to be open on Sunday and closed on Sunday.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @ScarletNumber

    but a few in large metro areas choose to be open on Sunday and closed on Sunday.

    Schroedinger’s dealership?

    • LOL: ScarletNumber
  209. @Anonymous
    @Bill Jones


    Always pay cash, even for the 3, count them 3, sets of 4 tires I’ve bought in two years.
     
    Why pay cash?

    How did you manage to go through 3 sets of new tires in only 2 years?

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @E. Rekshun

    My Afghani barber gives a \$2 discount if I pay in cash.

  210. @Alden
    @ScarletNumber

    It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage. So the owner isn’t left trying to repair and remodel himself.

    I personally love the construction repair remodel decorating gardening aspect of it. Love my crew and the fire safety and building inspectors and all the codes. Others like the office work part of being a landlord

    What usually happens is there’s some bad tenants and problems at first. But landlords learn from their mistakes and it works out after a while.

    What’s astonishing is that small 4 to 8 unit apartments sometimes don’t cost much more than a single family home. .

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @E. Rekshun, @Wilhelm Beck

    It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage.

    At the end of the real estate crash, I bought a beautiful 1900 sf waterfront FL condo, with garage and boat slip in a small, well-maintained, well-managed complex. The plan was for this to be my future retirement dream spot. I’ve used a property management firm to list the rental on the MLS and to screen rental applicants, and they set me up w/ the perfect tenant – seven years same tenant, I’ve heard from him three times. Rent check is on time in full every month, and he keeps the unit spotless. The rental placement cost 75% of one month’s rent.

    I don’t use a property manager for the day-today management (cost is 10% of the rent) mostly because I’m concerned about getting price gouged on repairs. Nonetheless, ever-increasing property tax (doubled over the past five years), HOA, and maintenance fees and \$20K in special assessments over the past three years has crushed my profit down to an annual 1.5% ROI. On the other hand, my equity has doubled. I’m very tempted to cash out and sell soon.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @E. Rekshun

    The question as to when to sell should always be in tandem with what that money goes into.
    With rampant inflation, over-valued stocks, deepening recession and potential war It's difficult not to think that hard physical assets are most likely not to depreciate to zero.

    , @Wilhelm Beck
    @E. Rekshun

    Some people learn the ins and outs and do it as a niche, but generally people consider condos as better to avoid. Anything with an HOA really. Your rate of return needs to include the equity in any fair evaluation, which means you've done just fine. There are many ways to analyze investment returns, but you definitely can't just ignore pay down and equity growth in real estate!

    One way you might be able to really capitalize on a condo like that would be to Airbnb it. More work, but potentially a lot higher return. Where I live I know a few people who bring in about $4-5k a month on houses that would rent for barely over a grand. It's a 3rd rate tourist area, not even a very good one.

  211. @Jack D
    @Stan Adams

    Wow, WordPerfect still exists? Who buys its? I don't think I've seen a WordPerfect document in 20+ years. For the people who don't want to (pay to) use Microsoft Word, there is LibreOffice and Google Docs. I can't imagine ANYONE still using WordPerfect. What is their business model?

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Stan Adams, @R.G. Camara

    Apparently WordPerfect is used a lot in legal offices and law firms!

    • Replies: @Another Canadian
    @Jonathan Mason


    Apparently WordPerfect is used a lot in legal offices and law firms!
     
    So are fax machines and ball-point pens.
    , @Jack D
    @Jonathan Mason

    Gee Jonathan, I know something about the type of word processing that is used in law offices. As I said before, it's been a good 20 years since someone sent me an editable document that was in other than Microsoft Word format. Print-only documents come as PDF.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Wilkey

  212. @Jack D
    @Stan Adams

    Wow, WordPerfect still exists? Who buys its? I don't think I've seen a WordPerfect document in 20+ years. For the people who don't want to (pay to) use Microsoft Word, there is LibreOffice and Google Docs. I can't imagine ANYONE still using WordPerfect. What is their business model?

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Stan Adams, @R.G. Camara

    Yes, it still exists in a somewhat zombified state. Corel releases a new version every couple of years to maintain compatibility with current versions of Windows and Office:
    https://www.wordperfect.com/en/
    https://www.wpuniverse.com/vb/index.php

    The basic feature set and interface have not changed since the late ’90s. This is the 2021 release:
    Presumably Corel still makes enough money on the program to justify keeping it around. It was only a couple of years ago that the company discontinued shipping the suite on physical media.

  213. Nielsen threatens to enter radio.

    Nielsen does do radio ratings. I filled one out a few months ago and now they won’t stop sending me junk.

  214. @Zpaladin
    In my experience, it is hard to make money at bars, nice restaurants, yoga or dance studios, etc because people become owners for status rather than to make a profit. Many Pilates or dance studios are opened by wives of rich guys after their kids have grown. After all, they’ve been doing it for years, taught it a little and “Pilates studio owner” sounds better than stay-at-home mom or retired.
    Now it’s more common for party dudes to try to run a bar or club and they don’t know what they are doing but just like to drink. It’s hard to compete against a money losing bar if they are losing money because their drink prices are too low.

    Replies: @E. Rekshun, @Veteran Aryan

    In my experience, it is hard to make money at bars, nice restaurants, yoga or dance studios, etc because people become owners for status rather than to make a profit.

    Sixty percent of restaurants fail in the first year. Eighty percent fail within the first two years. My observations lead me to believe that the most common reason for their failure is that they hire their relatives.

    • Agree: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @Veteran Aryan


    My observations lead me to believe that the most common reason for their failure is that they hire their relatives.
     
    I thought it was the opposite: restaurants/bars that fail tend to be the ones that are bought by businessmen in other fields (dentists are a big one) who have no idea about hiring and so hire only pretty girls (whom they try to sleep with) and hucksters who steal from the till.

    Anthony Bourdain's book made this point with some saltier language--lots of guys hit middle age and suddenly want to open a bar or a swinging restaurant but have no experience in the area and just want to drink and be the life of the party. Those restaurant renovation shows on the Food Network and other channels are 90% these kinds of restaurants/bars.

    Meanwhile, family-run businesses seem to do better because the owner is not trying to sleep with the help (wife is usually working and doing hiring, so no cheap tramps), and family won't rip you off. Plus since its a family business everyone's eggs are in the basket and they need it to succeed, so they'd pick up the slack when people weren't around.

    The best restaurants.bars in the towns I've lived in were family affairs.

    Maybe I'm wrong. Would love to see stats on this.

  215. @Trinity
    Good physical and mental health is really rich. Some of the "richest" men in the world are probably living on borrowed time and last time I checked I didn't see any Uhaul at anyone's funeral. Soros looks like he has one and a half feet in the grave now, Jeff Bezso (spelling) is ugly and Trump is a few quarter pounders away from a massive heart attack, while Oprah is a butt ugly fat pig who hates herself and everyone else. And all that yo-yo dieting over the years can't be good for ya.

    Some of these freaks aka cunts and pricks could feel really rich if they set up portable showers for the homeless instead of fulfilling some nerd fantasy barely riding into space as a passenger no less, yep, these freaks barely drive their 100 cars much less pilot a spaceship. Rent out hotels and order pizza and sodas for the homeless for a weekend, lots of good could be done but for some reason the wrong peop!e seem to always acquire uber wealth and it doesn't come honestly or from hard work.

    Replies: @Muggles

    Some of these freaks aka cunts and pricks could feel really rich if they set up portable showers for the homeless instead of fulfilling some nerd fantasy barely riding into space as a passenger no less, yep, these freaks barely drive their 100 cars much less pilot a spaceship. Rent out hotels and order pizza and sodas for the homeless for a weekend, lots of good could be done but for some reason the wrong peop!e seem to always acquire uber wealth and it doesn’t come honestly or from hard work.

    What a malevolent comment. Even for iSteve, pretty bad.

    Your envy is showing…

    So you think the homeless just need a free shower and a cheap room for the night? What shelter do you devote your spare time volunteering in?

    I’d like to see your 1040 charitable deductions list. I’m sure it reflect your love of humanity.

    Poor people who win lotteries seldom turn into Mother Theresa types.

    I’m not defending the likes of Bezos or Gates, but they are under no more obligation to support lazy drug addict zombies than you are. I believe in charity, but other than places like the Salvation Army most feel-good actions are just virtue signaling. (Farm Aid, Darfur Needs You, etc.)

    Envy corrupts the soul.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Muggles


    other than places like the Salvation Army most feel-good actions are just virtue signaling
     
    I do like satire. play again soon.

    https://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/news/salvation-army-confirms-hosting-undocumented-immigrants-who-have-been-tested-for-covid-19/
  216. @Anon
    @Steve from Detroit

    Something about McCain's first wife getting into a crippling auto crash while McCain was a prisoner in Vietnam. Then McCain coming back to freedom only to divorce his disabled wife for a hot new trophy wife.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

    And, to keep the discussion accidentally on topic. McCain’s “Hot new trophy wife” was the daughter of a wealthy beer distributor.

    But you knew that anyway. didn’t you?

    • Replies: @Anon
    @Bill Jones

    Oh yeah,sorry. McCain was a swell guy.

  217. @AnotherDad

    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.
    ...

    Auto dealerships have legal protections; state franchising laws often give auto dealers exclusive rights to sell cars in a territory.
     
    What a stunning insight! A more reasonable book title would be "Yes the typical rich person is exactly who you have always thought, if you've been paying the slightest attention."

    I.e. middle man parasites selling something valuable or a lot of something ... who have managed to wrangle government protected monopolies. I.e. car dealers #1.

    ~~

    I'm a big believer in federalism, self-government--by responsible productive people. But this does highlight one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from.... allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.

    Forget Costco, there's absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that i want. Then either fly to the factory, or for a modest couple hundred bucks pick it up at the "Ford Depot" at the railhead in the nearest city near me.

    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together--i.e. to actually produce--these amazing machines ... and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value--absolutely zero--and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.

    Parasitism. It's what's for dinner in America 2.0.

    Replies: @(((They))) live, @anon, @Prosa123, @epebble, @mmack, @Almost Missouri, @Marquis, @Muggles, @MLG

    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together–i.e. to actually produce–these amazing machines … and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value–absolutely zero–and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.

    The manufacturer-dealer arrangement was done in the early 20s-30s to “protect” the local mechanics and the like. These are legally embedded in every state. Like alcohol sales, the arrangement was politically arranged to “protect” the consumer. Or middleman. Nearly impossible to change since legal middlemen have expensive lobbies and make generous campaign contributions to state legislature candidates.

    Teslsa has no dealers since Musk wouldn’t play ball. You order and they deliver.

    As for Ford, yes some good engineering, etc. They didn’t go bankrupt and get bailed out like the others.

    However the recent WSJ review of their super-duper F-150 electric pickup was revealing. The reviewer (given a freebie look from Ford) was all agog about this wonderful machine. Of course the model he was in love with had a pre-tax sticker cost of \$93K.

    So all the redneck farmers/ranchers and hunters, classic pickup owners, better start saving up for their best model. Just make sure you charge it up every 250 miles or so. That’ll be easier out in the boonies. If you own your own windmill power generator.

    The Journal (like others) does nothing but rave about E vehicles. Elsewhere in their news, many articles about the looming power shortages due to Green mandated insanity. So soon to be scarce electricity (as in California) and costly power is not going to be a problem for E vehicle owners. Biden Magic I tell you….

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Muggles

    My 20 year old Ram 1500 has increased in value in the past three years.

    It used to be worth five eighths of fuck-all and is now seven eighths .

    , @Jack D
    @Muggles

    Nobody is forcing you (yet) to buy an electric truck. You'll be able to buy brand new gasoline cars for at least until 2035 and used ones will be available until at least 2050.

    And the barriers to entry in electric cars are lower - there are surely going to be other competitors in the electric truck market, including probably the Chinese and once these cars become common and in strong supply the prices are going to come down.

  218. @Jonathan Mason
    @Jack D

    Apparently WordPerfect is used a lot in legal offices and law firms!

    Replies: @Another Canadian, @Jack D

    Apparently WordPerfect is used a lot in legal offices and law firms!

    So are fax machines and ball-point pens.

  219. @Jonathan Mason
    @Jack D

    Apparently WordPerfect is used a lot in legal offices and law firms!

    Replies: @Another Canadian, @Jack D

    Gee Jonathan, I know something about the type of word processing that is used in law offices. As I said before, it’s been a good 20 years since someone sent me an editable document that was in other than Microsoft Word format. Print-only documents come as PDF.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    @Jack D

    Obviously WordPerfect can produce documents in Microsoft Word format or in PDF. Perhaps the senders spoke to your secretary and (s)he requested Word format.

    , @Wilkey
    @Jack D

    Perhaps even usage in law offices is dwindling, but WordPerfect retained several feature advantages over Word up until at least 2005 for certain types of users. It’s Reveal Codes feature allowed more immediate access to the underlying formatting, and line numbering.

    WordPerfect was a very Mormon company. My older brother worked for them as his first job out of college (BYU) just before Novell bought them out. At one point Alan Ashton, the cofounder and CEO, walked into the office on a Sunday, while programmers were madly rushing to get the Mac version of WP to market, and told everyone to go home. It was Sunday, a day for rest and worship. Microsoft’s Word ended up dominating the Mac market. Ashton’s grandfather was David O. McKay, who was the head of the Mormon Church for nearly 20 years.

    Hiring and compensation were also very backwards. WordPerfect was a closely held private corporation, so while thousands of Microsoft employees were running up fortunes in stock options, WP employees were on salary - which is why my brother, along with lots of other talented employees he knew, quickly left for greener pastures.

    Much of WordPerfect’s demise was thanks to Microsoft’s abuse of its OS monopoly. But no small part of its death was thanks to its own mistakes. Had WordPerfect gone public and opened a development office somewhere other than deep in the heart of Mormon country, it might have survived. Probably not. Lotus didn’t. But maybe.

    Replies: @Jack D

  220. @E. Rekshun
    @Alden

    It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage.

    At the end of the real estate crash, I bought a beautiful 1900 sf waterfront FL condo, with garage and boat slip in a small, well-maintained, well-managed complex. The plan was for this to be my future retirement dream spot. I've used a property management firm to list the rental on the MLS and to screen rental applicants, and they set me up w/ the perfect tenant - seven years same tenant, I've heard from him three times. Rent check is on time in full every month, and he keeps the unit spotless. The rental placement cost 75% of one month's rent.

    I don't use a property manager for the day-today management (cost is 10% of the rent) mostly because I'm concerned about getting price gouged on repairs. Nonetheless, ever-increasing property tax (doubled over the past five years), HOA, and maintenance fees and $20K in special assessments over the past three years has crushed my profit down to an annual 1.5% ROI. On the other hand, my equity has doubled. I'm very tempted to cash out and sell soon.

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Wilhelm Beck

    The question as to when to sell should always be in tandem with what that money goes into.
    With rampant inflation, over-valued stocks, deepening recession and potential war It’s difficult not to think that hard physical assets are most likely not to depreciate to zero.

    • Agree: E. Rekshun
  221. @Muggles
    @AnotherDad


    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together–i.e. to actually produce–these amazing machines … and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value–absolutely zero–and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.
     
    The manufacturer-dealer arrangement was done in the early 20s-30s to "protect" the local mechanics and the like. These are legally embedded in every state. Like alcohol sales, the arrangement was politically arranged to "protect" the consumer. Or middleman. Nearly impossible to change since legal middlemen have expensive lobbies and make generous campaign contributions to state legislature candidates.

    Teslsa has no dealers since Musk wouldn't play ball. You order and they deliver.

    As for Ford, yes some good engineering, etc. They didn't go bankrupt and get bailed out like the others.

    However the recent WSJ review of their super-duper F-150 electric pickup was revealing. The reviewer (given a freebie look from Ford) was all agog about this wonderful machine. Of course the model he was in love with had a pre-tax sticker cost of $93K.

    So all the redneck farmers/ranchers and hunters, classic pickup owners, better start saving up for their best model. Just make sure you charge it up every 250 miles or so. That'll be easier out in the boonies. If you own your own windmill power generator.

    The Journal (like others) does nothing but rave about E vehicles. Elsewhere in their news, many articles about the looming power shortages due to Green mandated insanity. So soon to be scarce electricity (as in California) and costly power is not going to be a problem for E vehicle owners. Biden Magic I tell you....

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Jack D

    My 20 year old Ram 1500 has increased in value in the past three years.

    It used to be worth five eighths of fuck-all and is now seven eighths .

  222. @Marquis
    @AnotherDad

    Nah…you don’t know the business. All the money in selling the cars is made by Ford. Dealerships make very little on new cars.

    Dealerships make some money on used cars and the majority of their money on servicing and auto-body shop. If I live in middle of nowhere Wisconsin and someone side swipes me I can take my car to the nearest dealership for auto body repair within 15mi. I have to take my Tesla 150mi to Chicago.

    Replies: @Jack D

    Yes, you are correct. New cars sales by themselves are not particularly profitable – the dealers make most of their money in other departments. New cars get marked up less than most products.

    Although Ford didn’t create the legal framework that protects dealers, they (and the other auto makers) created the dealer distribution model themselves precisely because they didn’t want the headache of dealing directly with the public. It’s pretty rare for a manufacturer to sell directly to end users because retail distribution is a different business than manufacturing.

    Maybe nowadays the internet has made direct selling easier but even in the absent of all the laws that lock the current system in amber, I’m not sure that Ford would really want to get rid of all dealerships and start dealing directly with 2 million different customers every year and putting 170,000 dealer employees on their payroll and renting 3,000 premises, etc. Selling thru dealers cuts down the complexity of their sales model by a factor of almost 1,000 – instead of 2 million customers they have 3,000 customers.

  223. @Muggles
    @AnotherDad


    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together–i.e. to actually produce–these amazing machines … and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value–absolutely zero–and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.
     
    The manufacturer-dealer arrangement was done in the early 20s-30s to "protect" the local mechanics and the like. These are legally embedded in every state. Like alcohol sales, the arrangement was politically arranged to "protect" the consumer. Or middleman. Nearly impossible to change since legal middlemen have expensive lobbies and make generous campaign contributions to state legislature candidates.

    Teslsa has no dealers since Musk wouldn't play ball. You order and they deliver.

    As for Ford, yes some good engineering, etc. They didn't go bankrupt and get bailed out like the others.

    However the recent WSJ review of their super-duper F-150 electric pickup was revealing. The reviewer (given a freebie look from Ford) was all agog about this wonderful machine. Of course the model he was in love with had a pre-tax sticker cost of $93K.

    So all the redneck farmers/ranchers and hunters, classic pickup owners, better start saving up for their best model. Just make sure you charge it up every 250 miles or so. That'll be easier out in the boonies. If you own your own windmill power generator.

    The Journal (like others) does nothing but rave about E vehicles. Elsewhere in their news, many articles about the looming power shortages due to Green mandated insanity. So soon to be scarce electricity (as in California) and costly power is not going to be a problem for E vehicle owners. Biden Magic I tell you....

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Jack D

    Nobody is forcing you (yet) to buy an electric truck. You’ll be able to buy brand new gasoline cars for at least until 2035 and used ones will be available until at least 2050.

    And the barriers to entry in electric cars are lower – there are surely going to be other competitors in the electric truck market, including probably the Chinese and once these cars become common and in strong supply the prices are going to come down.

  224. @R.G. Camara
    @EdwardM


    It seems like they would be good places to fudge financial statements (with probably some flexibility in valuing inventory and other assets and liabilities like warranties, financing agreements, and service contracts),
     
    You just answered your own question.

    but cash is cash
     
    Given that car dealerships are all about negotiation; prices aren't fixed and therefore can't be tracked regularly. Its easy for a dealership to claim that the reason they had so much more $$$ this month/season/year was that they marked up some cars well over value and had some motivated suckers pay cash.

    So there's the laundering.

    For bribery (or tax evasion), do the reverse: claim the reason you had such a poor month/season/year was your product wasn't popular or everyone was negotiating fiercely so you had to sell the inventory below price. Take the extra $$$ you're hiding due to this lie and use it for bribery or whatever you want.

    The fluid nature of car pricing makes it easier. Similar to how the mob uses construction project for graft or tax evasion, since prices of materials fluctuate and the numbers of workers employed on a project can be inflated or deflated. But with a car dealer, there's far fewer people in on the scam. And car dealers, unlike regular shopkeepers and other business owners, are far more practiced at such lying.

    Tangentially, dirty car dealerships will sometimes loan out cars to drug dealers to make deliveries. The cars can't be traced to the drug dealers if the cops try to do one on the street, the car dealer gets a cash prize off the books, and if the cops arrest the drug dealers in the car the dealership can claim that the keys were stolen from the dealership and the car was parked out back, and therefore the theft was unnoticed. Plausible denialability.

    And as a side note, with big time college athletes being young men in love with flashy cars and not thinking much about the future, and the majority being black, they and their families can be bribed with a dealer's flashy new car kept safely out back of a dealership. Just before he was drafted as the #1 pick in the NBA, Lebron James's mother was seen driving around in a huge new expensive car, despite their family only having a modest income; she claimed the dealer signed it over to her based on LeBron's likely financial situation after the draft, but some wondered if Lebron's agent had a crooked dealer get her the car so LeBron would sign with the agent.

    Replies: @Paul Mendez

    You clearly don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

    • LOL: R.G. Camara
    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @Paul Mendez

    lmao. I'm sorry, what were you lying about?

    https://medium.com/@alacergroup/used-cars-drug-dealers-and-money-laundering-801709625a82

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1996/10/23/cars-seized-at-md-dealership-in-drug-money-laundering-probe/a12fe6c7-ff06-4d16-8ea2-d9105fb93e20/

    https://www.ksla.com/story/19132862/used-car-dealership-operators-accused-of-laundering-drug-money/

    https://www.fincen.gov/sar-leads-guilty-plea-used-car-dealer-willing-launder-drug-proceeds

    https://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/obama-hezbollah-drug-trafficking-investigation/

    https://dailycaller.com/2017/12/19/house-it-aides-ran-car-dealership-with-markings-of-a-nefarious-money-laundering-operation/

    That literally took 2 minutes of googling. Next time you don't know what you're talking about, champ, keep your mouth shut and do an internet search.

    Replies: @Paul Mendez

  225. @Muggles
    @Trinity


    Some of these freaks aka cunts and pricks could feel really rich if they set up portable showers for the homeless instead of fulfilling some nerd fantasy barely riding into space as a passenger no less, yep, these freaks barely drive their 100 cars much less pilot a spaceship. Rent out hotels and order pizza and sodas for the homeless for a weekend, lots of good could be done but for some reason the wrong peop!e seem to always acquire uber wealth and it doesn’t come honestly or from hard work.
     
    What a malevolent comment. Even for iSteve, pretty bad.

    Your envy is showing...

    So you think the homeless just need a free shower and a cheap room for the night? What shelter do you devote your spare time volunteering in?

    I'd like to see your 1040 charitable deductions list. I'm sure it reflect your love of humanity.

    Poor people who win lotteries seldom turn into Mother Theresa types.

    I'm not defending the likes of Bezos or Gates, but they are under no more obligation to support lazy drug addict zombies than you are. I believe in charity, but other than places like the Salvation Army most feel-good actions are just virtue signaling. (Farm Aid, Darfur Needs You, etc.)

    Envy corrupts the soul.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

    other than places like the Salvation Army most feel-good actions are just virtue signaling

    I do like satire. play again soon.

    https://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/news/salvation-army-confirms-hosting-undocumented-immigrants-who-have-been-tested-for-covid-19/

  226. @Jack D
    @Jonathan Mason

    Gee Jonathan, I know something about the type of word processing that is used in law offices. As I said before, it's been a good 20 years since someone sent me an editable document that was in other than Microsoft Word format. Print-only documents come as PDF.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Wilkey

    Obviously WordPerfect can produce documents in Microsoft Word format or in PDF. Perhaps the senders spoke to your secretary and (s)he requested Word format.

  227. Anonymous[331] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    @Prosa123


    For all its turmoil the Retail Acopalyse [sp] has made buying just about anything a much more user-friendly experience.
     
    No, not really. If anything, it has made getting good advice harder than ever. The "user friendly" aspect is that you can get more information online but you may or may not even be able to buy the item in person anymore. If you do decide to go to a bricks and mortar store, it's doubtful you will get any good advice.

    Yesterday I needed a new TV and I did my research online as usual and was prepared to buy it on Amazon but they were out of stock on that model until a week or 2 from now. Luckily my local Best Buy store had that model in stock and they will price match to Amazon via online chat so that was all good.

    However, the fly in the ointment was that my wife wanted to "see" the TV in person so into the BB store we ventured, for perhaps the first time since the 'rona (and the last if I can help it). At first the sales clerk (friendly young woman with slight Spanish accent) says that they don't have this particular model on display, sorry. Please let me know if you need anything else, and she skedaddles. I look at the display of TVs and sure enough it is up there, tucked in a corner (Brand X did not pay BB for prominent floor placement like Samsung does). However, the TV clearly misconfigured and the picture looks much worse than all the other TVs - maybe the Samsung rep sabotaged the settings - the colors look washed out and dim. Luckily my wife doesn't notice (I think she was more concerned that the TV would be somehow ugly or purple or something but it's not, it's a black rectangle like all the other new TVs) and we proceed with the purchase. I'm sure that not 1 person in a hundred who goes into the store buys that TV unless they have done their research in advance.

    I get the TV home and set it up and configure it according to the settings that the Interwebs recommend (BTW, this is very important - TVs today have a million settings and if you configure it wrong the picture will look like crap) and it looks great. So by going into the store I was WORSE off than if I hadn't gone in at all. The retail store actually added NEGATIVE value to my purchase.

    Replies: @epebble, @kaganovitch, @Anonymous, @Twinkie

    Interesting – where can I find these InterWebs.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Anonymous

    For example https://www.rtings.com/

    Consumer Reports also suggests calibration settings for each TV that they review (you have to be a subscriber). To get value from their reviews you have to drill down to the attributes that you are seeking. For example, the TV that I bought got a relatively mediocre 57 overall rating from CR but 5/5 on picture quality. It was downrated for stuff I don't care about like viewing angle and sound quality (I view the TV head on and have a separate sound system).

    Frankly, you can generally do better with a specialized site than with CR, where the guys review TVs one week and washing machines the next.

    Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. A $400 TV is not going to look like an $1,100 OLED TV but neither is it going to look like a $300 bottom of the line model. What you want is it to look good compared to other $400 TVs (or whatever # is in your budget).

    , @Twinkie
    @Anonymous

    https://www.lifewire.com/best-picture-settings-for-samsung-4k-tv-4776573

    There are other pages like this on other brands.

  228. @Anonymous
    @Jack D

    Interesting - where can I find these InterWebs.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Twinkie

    For example https://www.rtings.com/

    Consumer Reports also suggests calibration settings for each TV that they review (you have to be a subscriber). To get value from their reviews you have to drill down to the attributes that you are seeking. For example, the TV that I bought got a relatively mediocre 57 overall rating from CR but 5/5 on picture quality. It was downrated for stuff I don’t care about like viewing angle and sound quality (I view the TV head on and have a separate sound system).

    Frankly, you can generally do better with a specialized site than with CR, where the guys review TVs one week and washing machines the next.

    Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. A \$400 TV is not going to look like an \$1,100 OLED TV but neither is it going to look like a \$300 bottom of the line model. What you want is it to look good compared to other \$400 TVs (or whatever # is in your budget).

  229. @FPD72
    @ScarletNumber


    In the People’s Republic of New Jersey it is also illegal to buy a car on Sunday
     
    In the PRNJ it is also illegal to pump your own gas. I think that applies to Oregon as well.

    In Texas it is illegal for dealerships to be open on both Saturday and Sunday. Most choose to be open on Saturday and closed on Sunday but a few in large metro areas choose to be open on Sunday and closed on Sunday.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @ScarletNumber

    When I was younger and more libertarian, I used to rail against New Jersey’s law against pumping one’s own gas, saying the market should decide. Now that I am older, I am glad to not have to get out of my car in the heat, in the cold, in the rain, in the dark, &c…

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @ScarletNumber

    Nobody's got a gun to your head making you go to the self-serve.

    - still a Libertarian

    , @Dave Pinsen
    @ScarletNumber

    There’s also a security element to these seemingly superfluous jobs. How many women have been attacked in elevators since they got rid of elevator operators?

  230. @Jack D
    @Bill Jones


    that was the first set on that in 16 years
     
    Aside from tread wear, rubber deteriorates or dry rots, especially if it exposed to the sun. You really shouldn't be running tires that are more than 10 years old even if they have tread left on them.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    That’s right, and I’d say they start cracking at 5 years now. More Cheap China-made Crap for you. It was not always this way. A friend’s 1970s Corvette (that will probably never get back on the road) has its original tires. They are not cracked up like the new ones.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Achmed E. Newman


    A friend’s 1970s Corvette (that will probably never get back on the road) has its original tires. They are not cracked up like the new ones.
     
    It's possible that the quality of the rubber has gone down, but I would bet that it has a lot to do with the fact that Corvette is (I assume) kept indoors at a relatively stable temperature and not exposed to the sun and heat. If you have a spare tire that doesn't get rotated (nowadays most cars have those donut things although increasingly they don't have spares at all) it probably looks pretty good even if your car is 10 or 15 years old, because it is protected from the environment.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @scrivener3

  231. @ScarletNumber
    @FPD72

    When I was younger and more libertarian, I used to rail against New Jersey's law against pumping one's own gas, saying the market should decide. Now that I am older, I am glad to not have to get out of my car in the heat, in the cold, in the rain, in the dark, &c...

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Dave Pinsen

    Nobody’s got a gun to your head making you go to the self-serve.

    – still a Libertarian

  232. @Bill Jones
    @Anonymous

    Why cash?
    I do not believe the tax man needs to be an observer of my daily activities. Nor my mechanic's.

    Three sets of tire on three different vehicles. The Owie was the ones on the old truck but that was the first set on that in 16 years.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Achmed E. Newman

    Why cash?
    I do not believe the tax man needs to be an observer of my daily activities. Nor my mechanic’s.

    Damn straight, Bill! So many Americans are just too lazy to care about any of this. They will let 1984 come upon them and wonder “Why? How’d this happen?”. Or, they think they are in the America of 1925, where the government didn’t steal too much of your money and what they did steal didn’t get used to screw you over.

    Cash is King!

  233. MLG says:
    @AnotherDad

    The third important factor in gaining wealth is some way to avoid ruthless price competition, to build a local monopoly. The prevalence of owners of auto dealerships among the top 0.1 percent gives a clue to what it takes to get rich.
    ...

    Auto dealerships have legal protections; state franchising laws often give auto dealers exclusive rights to sell cars in a territory.
     
    What a stunning insight! A more reasonable book title would be "Yes the typical rich person is exactly who you have always thought, if you've been paying the slightest attention."

    I.e. middle man parasites selling something valuable or a lot of something ... who have managed to wrangle government protected monopolies. I.e. car dealers #1.

    ~~

    I'm a big believer in federalism, self-government--by responsible productive people. But this does highlight one problem which is that smaller governments are easy for rich and very self-interested people to hijack and extract favors from.... allowing them to torque government around and rip off productive normies.

    Forget Costco, there's absolutely no reason I should not be able to go onto the Ford web site, tap through a bunch of drop down menus of various features and prices and order up the SUV that i want. Then either fly to the factory, or for a modest couple hundred bucks pick it up at the "Ford Depot" at the railhead in the nearest city near me.

    Ford employs a huge number of people doing the complex vehicle and factory engineering and then put together--i.e. to actually produce--these amazing machines ... and collects a modest profit. Then some parasitic middle man grifter who contributes *no* value--absolutely zero--and in fact makes buying a car unpleasant, grabs up a huge chunk of change.

    Parasitism. It's what's for dinner in America 2.0.

    Replies: @(((They))) live, @anon, @Prosa123, @epebble, @mmack, @Almost Missouri, @Marquis, @Muggles, @MLG

    Another Dad, I have a couple of question abourt the Ford depot. If the car arrives while I am in the hospital or on vacation can I let it sit there for a month? If I go to the depot and notice a scratch can I get a full refund? Is it my car so the hail damage is on me? What if the vehicle just looked better on the screen? Do I take my car to the depot and it will honor my 3 year warranty? Your a smart guy and I take your suggestion seriously but it seems like a complicated process for a company that hasn’t been setting the stcok market on fire for several years( Ford owner in more ways then one).

  234. @Jack D
    @Jonathan Mason

    Gee Jonathan, I know something about the type of word processing that is used in law offices. As I said before, it's been a good 20 years since someone sent me an editable document that was in other than Microsoft Word format. Print-only documents come as PDF.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Wilkey

    Perhaps even usage in law offices is dwindling, but WordPerfect retained several feature advantages over Word up until at least 2005 for certain types of users. It’s Reveal Codes feature allowed more immediate access to the underlying formatting, and line numbering.

    WordPerfect was a very Mormon company. My older brother worked for them as his first job out of college (BYU) just before Novell bought them out. At one point Alan Ashton, the cofounder and CEO, walked into the office on a Sunday, while programmers were madly rushing to get the Mac version of WP to market, and told everyone to go home. It was Sunday, a day for rest and worship. Microsoft’s Word ended up dominating the Mac market. Ashton’s grandfather was David O. McKay, who was the head of the Mormon Church for nearly 20 years.

    Hiring and compensation were also very backwards. WordPerfect was a closely held private corporation, so while thousands of Microsoft employees were running up fortunes in stock options, WP employees were on salary – which is why my brother, along with lots of other talented employees he knew, quickly left for greener pastures.

    Much of WordPerfect’s demise was thanks to Microsoft’s abuse of its OS monopoly. But no small part of its death was thanks to its own mistakes. Had WordPerfect gone public and opened a development office somewhere other than deep in the heart of Mormon country, it might have survived. Probably not. Lotus didn’t. But maybe.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Wilkey


    Perhaps even usage in law offices is dwindling,
     
    No, it's not dwindling, it is extinct. If I tried to send someone a file in WordPerfect format (indeed in any format other than Word) they would look at me as if I was a Martian. Most people without gray hair have never even HEARD of WordPerfect.

    Reveal Codes was great for expert level users, especially in the days of text only displays. But Windows and WYSIWYG was a game changer - you had no need to see that the text was formatted bold italic because you could see with your own eyes how it was formatted.

    Admittedly, there are times when Word seems to have a mind of its own and autoformats things that you don't want to be autoformatted and where it would be nice to have full manual control. But it's like automatic transmissions on cars - enthusiasts who write for car magazines all love manual transmissions but out in the real world 99% of buyers buy automatics.

    As you say, Microsoft abused its monopoly because their application writers had access to and understood the internals of Windows long before everyone else so that when Windows came out, all the other software houses were behind the curve - their Windows version 1.0 always sucked and by the time they got to 2.0, Microsoft Office had stolen their market. The kings of the MSDOS market (WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3) became nobodies under Windows.
  235. …Nielsen threatens to enter radio.

    I wish he would.

  236. @Paul Mendez
    @R.G. Camara

    You clearly don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara

    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
    @R.G. Camara

    Sorry, Buddy, but a factory car dealership (as was the topic of the original discussion) is not the same thing as some guy who buys and sells used cars.

  237. @ScarletNumber
    @FPD72

    When I was younger and more libertarian, I used to rail against New Jersey's law against pumping one's own gas, saying the market should decide. Now that I am older, I am glad to not have to get out of my car in the heat, in the cold, in the rain, in the dark, &c...

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Dave Pinsen

    There’s also a security element to these seemingly superfluous jobs. How many women have been attacked in elevators since they got rid of elevator operators?

    • Agree: ScarletNumber
  238. @Jack D
    @James B. Shearer


    Who do you think does the service work?
     
    In my experience, mostly white blue collar guys work at car dealerships. Is this not true where you live?

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @Alfa158, @Reg Cæsar, @Sollipsist

    Probably varies by region. Here in Vegas, it seems to be around 75% Hispanic, 20% lesbian, and 5% present or future 20-something white meth addicts.

  239. @kaganovitch
    @Alden

    Now days the only ones who take home more that about 400K a year are plastic surgeons. Which the patients pay out of pocket. So the plastic surgeons can charge whatever they can get out of the patients And they take credit cards. It’s like buying a 25 or 30 K car. Just another payment.

    While plastic surgeons are handsomely remunerated they are not the highest paid specialists. Both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons make substantially more on average.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    While plastic surgeons are handsomely remunerated they are not the highest paid specialists. Both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons make substantially more on average.

    Yup. Alden overstates the case (about a nurse being better of vs a doctor over lifetime – RNs make relatively little while PAs and CRNAs do much better). And you are correct that neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons are highly compensated. Also well-paid are dermatologists.

    That said, it’s not all about the specialty. The most important variable is ownership or equity in practice. And this is very highly shifted toward older physicians, with the younger ones often being employee physicians.

    Being a doctor used to be a sure path to modest wealth in this country, but as with many other industries, the medical profession is now subject to the same market forces/dynamic and the resultant “winner takes all” paradigm.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Twinkie

    That said, it’s not all about the specialty. The most important variable is ownership or equity in practice. And this is very highly shifted toward older physicians, with the younger ones often being employee physicians.

    Are there really sort of journeymen neurosurgeons who are just employees? I thought they could all basically write their own ticket. As usual Gary Larsen was there first....

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/0f/2e/32/0f2e3235864ec331d9215c4c92f90123.jpg

    Replies: @Twinkie

  240. @Anonymous
    @Jack D

    Interesting - where can I find these InterWebs.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Twinkie

    https://www.lifewire.com/best-picture-settings-for-samsung-4k-tv-4776573

    There are other pages like this on other brands.

  241. @Jack D
    @Prosa123


    For all its turmoil the Retail Acopalyse [sp] has made buying just about anything a much more user-friendly experience.
     
    No, not really. If anything, it has made getting good advice harder than ever. The "user friendly" aspect is that you can get more information online but you may or may not even be able to buy the item in person anymore. If you do decide to go to a bricks and mortar store, it's doubtful you will get any good advice.

    Yesterday I needed a new TV and I did my research online as usual and was prepared to buy it on Amazon but they were out of stock on that model until a week or 2 from now. Luckily my local Best Buy store had that model in stock and they will price match to Amazon via online chat so that was all good.

    However, the fly in the ointment was that my wife wanted to "see" the TV in person so into the BB store we ventured, for perhaps the first time since the 'rona (and the last if I can help it). At first the sales clerk (friendly young woman with slight Spanish accent) says that they don't have this particular model on display, sorry. Please let me know if you need anything else, and she skedaddles. I look at the display of TVs and sure enough it is up there, tucked in a corner (Brand X did not pay BB for prominent floor placement like Samsung does). However, the TV clearly misconfigured and the picture looks much worse than all the other TVs - maybe the Samsung rep sabotaged the settings - the colors look washed out and dim. Luckily my wife doesn't notice (I think she was more concerned that the TV would be somehow ugly or purple or something but it's not, it's a black rectangle like all the other new TVs) and we proceed with the purchase. I'm sure that not 1 person in a hundred who goes into the store buys that TV unless they have done their research in advance.

    I get the TV home and set it up and configure it according to the settings that the Interwebs recommend (BTW, this is very important - TVs today have a million settings and if you configure it wrong the picture will look like crap) and it looks great. So by going into the store I was WORSE off than if I hadn't gone in at all. The retail store actually added NEGATIVE value to my purchase.

    Replies: @epebble, @kaganovitch, @Anonymous, @Twinkie

    You are making it much more complex than it actually is (which is par for the course for someone trying sound more “in the know” than other people).

    Vast majority of TVs at stores at set on either sales mode, standard, or dynamic. To simplify, all this means that the color temperature is set to “cool” (aka higher color temperature number/more bluish) and the color itself is highly saturated and bright. This is to make the screen image “pop” out.

    If you care at all about accuracy of the image (as the TV show or moviemaker intended), all you have to do is turn off all the “special” modes (except HDR for 4K and up TVs – keep that), put it in “theater” or “movie” mode (which has a more neutral, warmish color temperature). This might make the image look warmer and less bright (more “faded”) than what most people are used to, but keep watching it like that for a couple of weeks and your eyes will adjust and provide for what the content-makers intended.

    KISS.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Twinkie

    Doing what you say usually gets you in the ballpark but to really optimize the picture you may have to tweak a few more settings. Sites that test TVs such as CR and rtings.com have instruments that can measure various picture parameters and compare them to idea and determine which settings get you the closest (and how your TV compares to others) and offer suggested calibration settings.

    In order to perform these tests and suggest calibrations is indeed a complex process that requires that requires a lot of specialized knowledge. But if you are average bloke all you need to do is find the suggested expert calibrations online and go thru the menus to make a handful of tweaks from the default settings. You don't really have to understand anything about what all those settings mean, you just have to set Gamma: BT1886 and Color: 48 and Tint: G2 (or whatever they suggest for your TV).

    When you buy a new TV it takes maybe 10 minutes to find these suggestions online and then drill into the menus to make the suggested tweaks and then these settings are then saved for the life of the TV so I think it is worth it to spend the extra 10 minutes to get your TV from 90% optimal to 100% optimal.

    Note also that if you use for TV as a display for gaming, these might not be the best settings. And some people LIKE inaccurate settings - they want the football field to glow an unnatural neon green like they saw at the TV store.

    Replies: @Twinkie

  242. @R.G. Camara
    @Paul Mendez

    lmao. I'm sorry, what were you lying about?

    https://medium.com/@alacergroup/used-cars-drug-dealers-and-money-laundering-801709625a82

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1996/10/23/cars-seized-at-md-dealership-in-drug-money-laundering-probe/a12fe6c7-ff06-4d16-8ea2-d9105fb93e20/

    https://www.ksla.com/story/19132862/used-car-dealership-operators-accused-of-laundering-drug-money/

    https://www.fincen.gov/sar-leads-guilty-plea-used-car-dealer-willing-launder-drug-proceeds

    https://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/obama-hezbollah-drug-trafficking-investigation/

    https://dailycaller.com/2017/12/19/house-it-aides-ran-car-dealership-with-markings-of-a-nefarious-money-laundering-operation/

    That literally took 2 minutes of googling. Next time you don't know what you're talking about, champ, keep your mouth shut and do an internet search.

    Replies: @Paul Mendez

    Sorry, Buddy, but a factory car dealership (as was the topic of the original discussion) is not the same thing as some guy who buys and sells used cars.

    • LOL: R.G. Camara
  243. @Jack D
    @Stan Adams

    Wow, WordPerfect still exists? Who buys its? I don't think I've seen a WordPerfect document in 20+ years. For the people who don't want to (pay to) use Microsoft Word, there is LibreOffice and Google Docs. I can't imagine ANYONE still using WordPerfect. What is their business model?

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Stan Adams, @R.G. Camara

    WordPerfect is given to all courts (state and federal) for free, instead of the normal Word. I believe it goes back to before Windows 95, when companies were trying to get business and push people online, and thus giving it free to courts was a method of getting legal professionals into the computer age. If the courts all used it, then the law firms would, or so the thought went.

    Then Word came along and was superior, but courts stuck with WordPerfect, because it was cheaper and also because all the old files were in WordPerfect, and no lazy bureacrat wanted to update the old database into Word documents. Plus judges are fussy, and once they get hooked they didn’t want to change.

  244. @Veteran Aryan
    @Zpaladin


    In my experience, it is hard to make money at bars, nice restaurants, yoga or dance studios, etc because people become owners for status rather than to make a profit.
     
    Sixty percent of restaurants fail in the first year. Eighty percent fail within the first two years. My observations lead me to believe that the most common reason for their failure is that they hire their relatives.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara

    My observations lead me to believe that the most common reason for their failure is that they hire their relatives.

    I thought it was the opposite: restaurants/bars that fail tend to be the ones that are bought by businessmen in other fields (dentists are a big one) who have no idea about hiring and so hire only pretty girls (whom they try to sleep with) and hucksters who steal from the till.

    Anthony Bourdain’s book made this point with some saltier language–lots of guys hit middle age and suddenly want to open a bar or a swinging restaurant but have no experience in the area and just want to drink and be the life of the party. Those restaurant renovation shows on the Food Network and other channels are 90% these kinds of restaurants/bars.

    Meanwhile, family-run businesses seem to do better because the owner is not trying to sleep with the help (wife is usually working and doing hiring, so no cheap tramps), and family won’t rip you off. Plus since its a family business everyone’s eggs are in the basket and they need it to succeed, so they’d pick up the slack when people weren’t around.

    The best restaurants.bars in the towns I’ve lived in were family affairs.

    Maybe I’m wrong. Would love to see stats on this.

  245. @Twinkie
    @Jack D

    You are making it much more complex than it actually is (which is par for the course for someone trying sound more "in the know" than other people).

    Vast majority of TVs at stores at set on either sales mode, standard, or dynamic. To simplify, all this means that the color temperature is set to "cool" (aka higher color temperature number/more bluish) and the color itself is highly saturated and bright. This is to make the screen image "pop" out.

    If you care at all about accuracy of the image (as the TV show or moviemaker intended), all you have to do is turn off all the "special" modes (except HDR for 4K and up TVs - keep that), put it in "theater" or "movie" mode (which has a more neutral, warmish color temperature). This might make the image look warmer and less bright (more "faded") than what most people are used to, but keep watching it like that for a couple of weeks and your eyes will adjust and provide for what the content-makers intended.

    KISS.

    Replies: @Jack D

    Doing what you say usually gets you in the ballpark but to really optimize the picture you may have to tweak a few more settings. Sites that test TVs such as CR and rtings.com have instruments that can measure various picture parameters and compare them to idea and determine which settings get you the closest (and how your TV compares to others) and offer suggested calibration settings.

    In order to perform these tests and suggest calibrations is indeed a complex process that requires that requires a lot of specialized knowledge. But if you are average bloke all you need to do is find the suggested expert calibrations online and go thru the menus to make a handful of tweaks from the default settings. You don’t really have to understand anything about what all those settings mean, you just have to set Gamma: BT1886 and Color: 48 and Tint: G2 (or whatever they suggest for your TV).

    When you buy a new TV it takes maybe 10 minutes to find these suggestions online and then drill into the menus to make the suggested tweaks and then these settings are then saved for the life of the TV so I think it is worth it to spend the extra 10 minutes to get your TV from 90% optimal to 100% optimal.

    Note also that if you use for TV as a display for gaming, these might not be the best settings. And some people LIKE inaccurate settings – they want the football field to glow an unnatural neon green like they saw at the TV store.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Jack D


    Doing what you say usually gets you in the ballpark but to really optimize the picture you may have to tweak a few more settings.
     
    99% of the people aren't going to note the difference.

    I would bet neither would you if I gave you two images. Moreover, at that difference level, the ambient conditions (lighting level in the room, etc.) are going to matter far more for the image quality.


    And some people LIKE inaccurate settings
     
    That's why I wrote "if you care at all about the accuracy of the image..."

    Some people also like all that motion-blur "enhancements" that make movies look like soap operas. Are you one of those people?

  246. @Bill Jones
    @Anon

    And, to keep the discussion accidentally on topic. McCain's "Hot new trophy wife" was the daughter of a wealthy beer distributor.

    But you knew that anyway. didn't you?

    Replies: @Anon

    Oh yeah,sorry. McCain was a swell guy.

  247. @Wilkey
    @Jack D

    Perhaps even usage in law offices is dwindling, but WordPerfect retained several feature advantages over Word up until at least 2005 for certain types of users. It’s Reveal Codes feature allowed more immediate access to the underlying formatting, and line numbering.

    WordPerfect was a very Mormon company. My older brother worked for them as his first job out of college (BYU) just before Novell bought them out. At one point Alan Ashton, the cofounder and CEO, walked into the office on a Sunday, while programmers were madly rushing to get the Mac version of WP to market, and told everyone to go home. It was Sunday, a day for rest and worship. Microsoft’s Word ended up dominating the Mac market. Ashton’s grandfather was David O. McKay, who was the head of the Mormon Church for nearly 20 years.

    Hiring and compensation were also very backwards. WordPerfect was a closely held private corporation, so while thousands of Microsoft employees were running up fortunes in stock options, WP employees were on salary - which is why my brother, along with lots of other talented employees he knew, quickly left for greener pastures.

    Much of WordPerfect’s demise was thanks to Microsoft’s abuse of its OS monopoly. But no small part of its death was thanks to its own mistakes. Had WordPerfect gone public and opened a development office somewhere other than deep in the heart of Mormon country, it might have survived. Probably not. Lotus didn’t. But maybe.

    Replies: @Jack D

    Perhaps even usage in law offices is dwindling,

    No, it’s not dwindling, it is extinct. If I tried to send someone a file in WordPerfect format (indeed in any format other than Word) they would look at me as if I was a Martian. Most people without gray hair have never even HEARD of WordPerfect.

    Reveal Codes was great for expert level users, especially in the days of text only displays. But Windows and WYSIWYG was a game changer – you had no need to see that the text was formatted bold italic because you could see with your own eyes how it was formatted.

    Admittedly, there are times when Word seems to have a mind of its own and autoformats things that you don’t want to be autoformatted and where it would be nice to have full manual control. But it’s like automatic transmissions on cars – enthusiasts who write for car magazines all love manual transmissions but out in the real world 99% of buyers buy automatics.

    As you say, Microsoft abused its monopoly because their application writers had access to and understood the internals of Windows long before everyone else so that when Windows came out, all the other software houses were behind the curve – their Windows version 1.0 always sucked and by the time they got to 2.0, Microsoft Office had stolen their market. The kings of the MSDOS market (WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3) became nobodies under Windows.

  248. @Achmed E. Newman
    @Jack D

    That's right, and I'd say they start cracking at 5 years now. More Cheap China-made Crap for you. It was not always this way. A friend's 1970s Corvette (that will probably never get back on the road) has its original tires. They are not cracked up like the new ones.

    Replies: @Jack D

    A friend’s 1970s Corvette (that will probably never get back on the road) has its original tires. They are not cracked up like the new ones.

    It’s possible that the quality of the rubber has gone down, but I would bet that it has a lot to do with the fact that Corvette is (I assume) kept indoors at a relatively stable temperature and not exposed to the sun and heat. If you have a spare tire that doesn’t get rotated (nowadays most cars have those donut things although increasingly they don’t have spares at all) it probably looks pretty good even if your car is 10 or 15 years old, because it is protected from the environment.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Jack D

    Sorry I didn't say, but that Corvette has been outside, for almost all those years, believe it or not. The mechanic who owns it (in business for 40-odd years) has seen this phenomenon, but then I had independently. I had tires on cars for 15 years, sometimes, 10, and for the ones that didn't go far, the tread was fine, so they were good to go. That was in the past.

    I gotta say that, in your favor, none of these has stayed inside very long. My mechanic, because he has WAY too much car crap inside, cannot keep ANY cars inside - I will ask him about any customers who garage their cars (if he knows, even), whether theirs start cracking in 5-6 years.

    Now, you are very much time-limited. There are other reasons not to wear out your car, but tires are not one of them, unless you go the American average 12,000 miles per year. I never have, on any vehicles.

    No, I don't have any real spares, at least that are not so old they wouldn't be good samples.

    , @scrivener3
    @Jack D

    From what I read at Tire Rack:

    It is O2 that ages tires. does not matter if they are stored indoors, outdoors, in a temperature and humidity controlled environment. does not matter if you drive them regularly or almost never. does not matter if you can see dry rot.

    Latest data says an 8 year old tire is pretty much the safe limit. The USG requires the mfg date on every tire so you can tell the age.

    Lots of Ferrari's are driven 1-2K a year. when they are nine or ten years old with 10-15K miles is sort of a sweet spot when most of the rapid depreciation is done, and the car is a little more affordable too. But you better replace those P Zero's before taking her to the track. A catastrophic tire failure at 140 mph is no fun

  249. @Twinkie
    @kaganovitch


    While plastic surgeons are handsomely remunerated they are not the highest paid specialists. Both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons make substantially more on average.
     
    Yup. Alden overstates the case (about a nurse being better of vs a doctor over lifetime - RNs make relatively little while PAs and CRNAs do much better). And you are correct that neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons are highly compensated. Also well-paid are dermatologists.

    That said, it's not all about the specialty. The most important variable is ownership or equity in practice. And this is very highly shifted toward older physicians, with the younger ones often being employee physicians.

    Being a doctor used to be a sure path to modest wealth in this country, but as with many other industries, the medical profession is now subject to the same market forces/dynamic and the resultant "winner takes all" paradigm.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    That said, it’s not all about the specialty. The most important variable is ownership or equity in practice. And this is very highly shifted toward older physicians, with the younger ones often being employee physicians.

    Are there really sort of journeymen neurosurgeons who are just employees? I thought they could all basically write their own ticket. As usual Gary Larsen was there first….

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @kaganovitch


    Are there really sort of journeymen neurosurgeons who are just employees? I thought they could all basically write their own ticket.
     
    Neurosurgery is not done in offices or even surgery centers. It requires a decent-sized hospital, often with a university/research affiliation. And hospital groups have been buying up specialty practices and turning the partners into employees (yes, that means, ONE generation of partners make a ton of money and the rest are screwed).

    Neurosurgeons will always be well-compensated, but they will be expensive employees.

    Consolidation has been a powerful trend in medicine for the past several decades - that's why rural towns are losing hospitals like crazy.

  250. @Intelligent Dasein
    So, if you want to be wealthy you need to own productive assets and not work for wages. Gee, I never would have thunk that.

    Ladies and gentlemen, seldom have we been treated to such rare and magnificent insight.

    This is almost tautological. It's tantamount to saying, "If you want wealth, you need to accumulate wealth." There is no mystery here. There is no secret to getting wealthy; the path to wealth is rather obvious and straightforward. The real question is, why do so few people pursue such a strategy with any sort of deliberate seriousness?

    My parents, for example, seem to have no clue about what it takes to build wealth. Despite the fact that I have spent the last 25 years explaining it to them a thousand times over, they appear constitutionally incapable of putting it into action. No one in my extended family can do so, either. My grandfather once owned large parcels of farmland on Long Island and in upstate New York, land which today would not only be worth a Croesan fortune, but which could also have provided a priceless perfection that few people can even dream about anymore---an island of relative freedom from the Globohomo machine and its wage-slave economy. How I wish I could have inherited even a fraction of that. I never got the chance; he sold it all before I was born, apparently because he didn't feel like paying the taxes on it. The idea that real property is an invaluable gift to be held in trust for the family line, and was worth any short-term sacrifice to hold onto, was foreign to him.

    My aunts and uncles, likewise, seem to have no sense of what they missed out on. They pursued tony suburban lives, working in nursing or sales or overpaid union jobs, rightly discerning in these careers the surest path to what they really wanted---flashy cars, motorized toys, vacations, and entertainment.

    I never found a kindred soul amongst my family. They had no interest in the things that really last. I couldn't make them understand that in depleting my patrimony on their frivolities, they had destroyed my one chance at earthly happiness. I am not ambitious for more money or a better career. I don't want to be a wage-slave, not even in a highly paid position. I don't want to be better at running the rat race; all I want is to be out of the rat race. I want freedom, dignity, nobility, and peace. I needed "the red earth of Tara," but now it's gone, and I can't return to it.

    I feel exactly the same way about academia. The conversion of the university system into a credentialization and jobs program for middle class douchebags has had a ruinous effect on intellectual life. The academy is supposed to be a temple of contemplation; it is where you go to adore divinity, philosophy, mathematics, and the arts, all for its own sake, without the need to justify it in terms of its practical value. Perhaps less than 1% of the population is really capable of this intellectual love of truth, but that 1% cannot really be happy anywhere else. I belong to that 1%, and now it's ruined for me.

    My family, true to their philistine view of things, knew nothing about me except that I was "smart." They wondered why I didn't take my perfect SAT and ACT scores, and my supposedly superior intellect, and run out into the rat race in pursuit of a college degree and a "good" job. All the while I was pleading with them to understand what was really important, they were trying to shove me headlong into slavery and vanity. I showed little interest in college after I went there and found out what it was really about. I made three attempts to go, each time dropping out from sheer misery before completing a degree. My grandmother was furious. She thought I was insane and literally tried to commit me to a mental hospital, perhaps thinking that some Thorazine and ECT would fix me up and make me see things her way. I recall one time my aunt remonstrated with me using the words, "Don't you ever think about all the things you could have?"

    All the things I could have.

    As I said earlier, there is no mystery to why more people aren't rich. The fact is that reality is an all-or-nothing proposition. If you're going to be serious about one thing, you have to be serious about everything else, too. Most people simply aren't serious. They eschew the sort of sobriety and self-discipline it takes to become proper stewards of wealth, and they spend their lives chasing pleasing wisps of smoke. They do this willingly and they can't be cajoled or educated out of it, because this is who they are. They have no organ with which to perceive and no capacity to receive the higher things in life.

    Man is a prodigal race.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @E. Rekshun, @Inquiring Mind, @silviosilver, @Sam Malone

    You’re a prickly guy, far too quick to stamp your feet and insult all those here who don’t perfectly align with your thinking, but you’re also sincere and thoughtful and this

    If you’re going to be serious about one thing, you have to be serious about everything else, too. Most people simply aren’t serious. They eschew the sort of sobriety and self-discipline it takes to become proper stewards of wealth, and they spend their lives chasing pleasing wisps of smoke.

    is gold, and absolutely true. We could have gone to the stars. But we were just human, all too human.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    @Sam Malone


    but you’re also sincere and thoughtful and this is gold, and absolutely true.
     
    Thank you, that's very kind of you to say and I hope I can live up to such an assessment.

    You’re a prickly guy, far too quick to stamp your feet and insult all those here who don’t perfectly align with your thinking,
     
    Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me?

    If you look at the calumny, the libel, the complete uncomprehending and unwarranted vehemence directed at me by the other respondents in this thread, you might come to a different conclusion about certain things.

    Replies: @Twinkie

  251. @Twinkie
    @JohnnyWalker123

    I've always maintained that there are two crucial things to be successful in life:

    1. Choose your parents well.

    2. Choose your spouse well.

    And, yes, having ownership/equity is essential for building wealth, but increasingly there is a higher and higher barrier to entry to ownership. For example, it was very common a couple of decades ago for physicians to complete their residency and join medical groups on partnership tracks, but most such groups sold out to large corporations or merged to form large groups a long ago and no longer offer partnership tracks, just jobs as physician employees.

    That said, even as many parts of the country are being immiserated, even not-so-bright people who take chances in certain parts of the country that rise economically can become wealthy. The owner of the landscaping business that I patronize is a high school dropout. He and his childhood friend started their business a couple of decades ago where I live. Long story short, the area exploded into extreme wealth during those two decades and his firm now has about $10 million in annual revenue. He has so much business that he basically no longer accepts new clients (he's at a point where he can't really scale up without a lot more work and headache and he is happy with the current level of business).

    Interestingly, his children aren't exactly rocket scientists either and are a source of much trouble for him. It will be interesting to see what happens to be the business when he gets old. I have a feeling there might be decline in the family fortune with the next generation.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    I have a feeling there might be decline in the family fortune with the next generation

    Three generations from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves

    –Andrew Carnegie

  252. …but instead about the more than 140,000 Americans who earn more than…

    They didn’t dare write 144,000.

  253. @Jack D
    @Achmed E. Newman


    A friend’s 1970s Corvette (that will probably never get back on the road) has its original tires. They are not cracked up like the new ones.
     
    It's possible that the quality of the rubber has gone down, but I would bet that it has a lot to do with the fact that Corvette is (I assume) kept indoors at a relatively stable temperature and not exposed to the sun and heat. If you have a spare tire that doesn't get rotated (nowadays most cars have those donut things although increasingly they don't have spares at all) it probably looks pretty good even if your car is 10 or 15 years old, because it is protected from the environment.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @scrivener3

    Sorry I didn’t say, but that Corvette has been outside, for almost all those years, believe it or not. The mechanic who owns it (in business for 40-odd years) has seen this phenomenon, but then I had independently. I had tires on cars for 15 years, sometimes, 10, and for the ones that didn’t go far, the tread was fine, so they were good to go. That was in the past.

    I gotta say that, in your favor, none of these has stayed inside very long. My mechanic, because he has WAY too much car crap inside, cannot keep ANY cars inside – I will ask him about any customers who garage their cars (if he knows, even), whether theirs start cracking in 5-6 years.

    Now, you are very much time-limited. There are other reasons not to wear out your car, but tires are not one of them, unless you go the American average 12,000 miles per year. I never have, on any vehicles.

    No, I don’t have any real spares, at least that are not so old they wouldn’t be good samples.

  254. @Sam Malone
    @Intelligent Dasein

    You're a prickly guy, far too quick to stamp your feet and insult all those here who don't perfectly align with your thinking, but you're also sincere and thoughtful and this


    If you’re going to be serious about one thing, you have to be serious about everything else, too. Most people simply aren’t serious. They eschew the sort of sobriety and self-discipline it takes to become proper stewards of wealth, and they spend their lives chasing pleasing wisps of smoke.
     
    is gold, and absolutely true. We could have gone to the stars. But we were just human, all too human.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    but you’re also sincere and thoughtful and this is gold, and absolutely true.

    Thank you, that’s very kind of you to say and I hope I can live up to such an assessment.

    You’re a prickly guy, far too quick to stamp your feet and insult all those here who don’t perfectly align with your thinking,

    Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me?

    If you look at the calumny, the libel, the complete uncomprehending and unwarranted vehemence directed at me by the other respondents in this thread, you might come to a different conclusion about certain things.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Intelligent Dasein


    If you look at the calumny, the libel, the complete uncomprehending and unwarranted vehemence directed at me by the other respondents in this thread
     
    Oh, this continuing and repulsively unmanly whining. "The calumny, the libel, the complete uncomprehending and unwarranted vehemence" you direct at others are much more grating and noticeable (and frankly bitchy) than the mild ribbing you receive for your flowery buffoonery and I-am-a-neglected-genius routine you play on every thread. And then you outdid yourself on this thread by crying about how your grandparents and parents didn't leave you wealth and robbed you of your "one chance at earthly happiness."

    Good grief, man. Do you actually read the stuff you write? Even a commenter who thought you wrote something good for a change couldn't stop himself from reminding you so very aptly that you are "far too quick to stamp your feet and insult all those here who don’t perfectly align with your thinking." And he didn't even mention the fact that you immediately accuse the more prominent commenters here of being "sock puppets" of Mr. Unz, you know, just to get your gore... because the world apparently revolves around the conspiracy of making your life more difficult.
  255. @ScarletNumber
    @Wilhelm Beck


    If you’re really wise you move into duplexes or quadplexes which count as single family for loan purposes
     
    Not everyone has what it takes to be a landlord.

    When I was a teenager I started an online business that got up to ~$6 million a year gross by the time I was 20. Ultimately shut it down as it wasn’t all that profitable
     
    LOL were you selling $100 bills for $99.99? Revenue doesn't mean jack shit without profit margins. I wasn't dumb enough to fall for this, but Don Lapre used to run infomercials where he would talk about the power of tiny classified ads. All of the testimonials from his customers would talk about revenue without actually mentioning how much profit they made. He then went on to hawk vitamins through infomercials. The FTC eventually caught up with him, and he slit his throat in jail awaiting trial in 2011.

    I will say that unless you are paying close attention, his pitch is captivating.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mubCkCAEiDQ

    Replies: @Alden, @Wilhelm Beck

    I mean some people aren’t cut out to be landlords… Some people aren’t cut out to do anything useful in life. But compared to running an active business I think far more people are capable of owning rental houses. There’s stuff involved, but it’s all very simple. Not easy mind you, but simple.

    Find not sketchy person, rent house to them, fix stuff when it breaks. If somebody is REALLY not cut out for it, they can always hire a rental management company. I don’t trust the stock market because I don’t have control over it. Plus due to the way mortgage financing works, even if doing 20% down, it’s very easy to make returns that surpass the stock market.

    It’s the best way for normal people to become wealthy IMO… Which is why more millionaires made their money this way than any other.

    As for the business, no I wasn’t selling \$100 bills for \$99.99! The short version is I was just slinging products of a certain type online I was buying from a few distributors. Having lower overhead than big companies doing the same products meant I could kind of get away with lower margins to a point. I sold on eBay and Amazon.

    The real trick that made it possible was for the type of products I was selling I was able to pull almost all relevant data from the distributors databases, including pictures, and just list a vast catalog online. I integrated my inventory that was being listed on eBay/Amazon with what they had in stock, so didn’t even have to stock much inventory as I knew what they had available. Because I got to be a big customer I could get free 1-2 day shipping from them. So somebody buys something, I automatically place an order, get the item in 1-2 days. I had a custom programmed system where we could literally pull an item out of a box from a distributor, scan the barcode, and the oldest pending order for that title would be pulled up, print the invoice and packing slip johnny on the spot. Then send it over to be pulled and packed.

    In hindsight it was actually pretty darn slick for a 19/20 year old to pull off, although obviously not as slick as the stuff boy genius billionaires did. LOL Gross profit was 10-15%, so maybe \$50-75K a month towards the end. But I had 20 something employees at peak, and a warehouse. So actual net was a little touch and go. I thought about raising pricing just a touch, which would have probably dropped sales a lot but tipped it to the point of being consistently profitable… But due to various reasons at the time I decided to just throw in the towel. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I had my reasons at the time.

    The new thing I’ve been messing around with is running margins more like 50-80% profit depending on the specific item in question! Plenty of room to cover employees and overhead. I really don’t know what it could do even just expanding to all marketplaces, and building up a decent direct sales website… But I guess I’ll find out. Eventually I might expand into wholesale of the products since there are still a lot of mom and pop businesses that carry the product type. If I were to ever land some of the big retailers in the category that could be crazy money. I don’t think it will get into the multiple millions gross wise until I start doing wholesale, but a million buck a year business direct retail with the margins it has would be plenty fine by me!

  256. @Alden
    @ScarletNumber

    It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage. So the owner isn’t left trying to repair and remodel himself.

    I personally love the construction repair remodel decorating gardening aspect of it. Love my crew and the fire safety and building inspectors and all the codes. Others like the office work part of being a landlord

    What usually happens is there’s some bad tenants and problems at first. But landlords learn from their mistakes and it works out after a while.

    What’s astonishing is that small 4 to 8 unit apartments sometimes don’t cost much more than a single family home. .

    Replies: @James B. Shearer, @E. Rekshun, @Wilhelm Beck

    Exactly. It’s not that complicated. Many people are just quitters at everything in life.

    My aunt and uncle rented their old house when they bought a new one. They had one bad tenant and decided to sell and never own a rental again. If he had just learned from the experience and carried on with it he’d have made millions of extra dollars. He retired recently as an exec from a good job, so he’s not hurting or anything… But I think he has a complex about not being better off than he is. Uhhhh, it’s because you spent money like a drunken sailor on shiny stuff your whole career, and only made mediocre investments because you were too spineless to actually take risks, even when they’re pretty minimal.

    But that pretty much describes all middle class people who work for others.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Wilhelm Beck


    He retired recently as an exec from a good job, so he’s not hurting or anything
     
    So why should he have to deal with asshole tenants as a landlord. Are you familiar with the concept of the diminishing marginal utility of money? Some people think life is a video game where you need to die with the most people

    Replies: @Wilhelm Beck

  257. @James B. Shearer
    @Alden

    "It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage. So the owner isn’t left trying to repair and remodel himself."

    And you will pay through the nose for all of that stuff. Won't be much profit left over especially for a small operation.

    Replies: @Wilhelm Beck

    There’s still plenty. That’s why tons of people who even do it the lazy way make millions at it.

    Really simplified math. 20% down. If a house merely appreciates 3% a year (which is a low average), your cash on cash return is 15% (5 times 3% to account for your only having 20% in it) a year day one. Factor in 3% increases in rent on average. You should be buying properties with cash flow day one, but let’s pretend it’s zero to make it a very mediocre deal.

    Run those below average value increases and rent increases out a few years. Then a few decades. Even if you start at essentially zero cash flow after expenses in the beginning (which there’s no reason to do really, you should be pocketing money day one), your equity build and eventual cash flow start to grow like gangbusters after awhile. If you’re reinvesting etc it’s easy to snowball up to a lot of equity. Of course it’s also very tax advantaged compared to other investments too.

    It’s probably the easiest money there is over the long haul, mainly due to being able to use leverage at such low interest rates. You’ll make tons more money not using property managers, but you’ll come out fine with them too.

  258. @Jack D
    @Twinkie

    Doing what you say usually gets you in the ballpark but to really optimize the picture you may have to tweak a few more settings. Sites that test TVs such as CR and rtings.com have instruments that can measure various picture parameters and compare them to idea and determine which settings get you the closest (and how your TV compares to others) and offer suggested calibration settings.

    In order to perform these tests and suggest calibrations is indeed a complex process that requires that requires a lot of specialized knowledge. But if you are average bloke all you need to do is find the suggested expert calibrations online and go thru the menus to make a handful of tweaks from the default settings. You don't really have to understand anything about what all those settings mean, you just have to set Gamma: BT1886 and Color: 48 and Tint: G2 (or whatever they suggest for your TV).

    When you buy a new TV it takes maybe 10 minutes to find these suggestions online and then drill into the menus to make the suggested tweaks and then these settings are then saved for the life of the TV so I think it is worth it to spend the extra 10 minutes to get your TV from 90% optimal to 100% optimal.

    Note also that if you use for TV as a display for gaming, these might not be the best settings. And some people LIKE inaccurate settings - they want the football field to glow an unnatural neon green like they saw at the TV store.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    Doing what you say usually gets you in the ballpark but to really optimize the picture you may have to tweak a few more settings.

    99% of the people aren’t going to note the difference.

    I would bet neither would you if I gave you two images. Moreover, at that difference level, the ambient conditions (lighting level in the room, etc.) are going to matter far more for the image quality.

    And some people LIKE inaccurate settings

    That’s why I wrote “if you care at all about the accuracy of the image…”

    Some people also like all that motion-blur “enhancements” that make movies look like soap operas. Are you one of those people?

  259. @kaganovitch
    @Twinkie

    That said, it’s not all about the specialty. The most important variable is ownership or equity in practice. And this is very highly shifted toward older physicians, with the younger ones often being employee physicians.

    Are there really sort of journeymen neurosurgeons who are just employees? I thought they could all basically write their own ticket. As usual Gary Larsen was there first....

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/0f/2e/32/0f2e3235864ec331d9215c4c92f90123.jpg

    Replies: @Twinkie

    Are there really sort of journeymen neurosurgeons who are just employees? I thought they could all basically write their own ticket.

    Neurosurgery is not done in offices or even surgery centers. It requires a decent-sized hospital, often with a university/research affiliation. And hospital groups have been buying up specialty practices and turning the partners into employees (yes, that means, ONE generation of partners make a ton of money and the rest are screwed).

    Neurosurgeons will always be well-compensated, but they will be expensive employees.

    Consolidation has been a powerful trend in medicine for the past several decades – that’s why rural towns are losing hospitals like crazy.

  260. @E. Rekshun
    @Alden

    It’s not hard to be a landlord. Best way is to find a well regarded management company even for a duplex if you don’t feel capable of doing it yourself. They carefully screen the tenants. And have a skilled maintenance crew for all the buildings they manage.

    At the end of the real estate crash, I bought a beautiful 1900 sf waterfront FL condo, with garage and boat slip in a small, well-maintained, well-managed complex. The plan was for this to be my future retirement dream spot. I've used a property management firm to list the rental on the MLS and to screen rental applicants, and they set me up w/ the perfect tenant - seven years same tenant, I've heard from him three times. Rent check is on time in full every month, and he keeps the unit spotless. The rental placement cost 75% of one month's rent.

    I don't use a property manager for the day-today management (cost is 10% of the rent) mostly because I'm concerned about getting price gouged on repairs. Nonetheless, ever-increasing property tax (doubled over the past five years), HOA, and maintenance fees and $20K in special assessments over the past three years has crushed my profit down to an annual 1.5% ROI. On the other hand, my equity has doubled. I'm very tempted to cash out and sell soon.

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Wilhelm Beck

    Some people learn the ins and outs and do it as a niche, but generally people consider condos as better to avoid. Anything with an HOA really. Your rate of return needs to include the equity in any fair evaluation, which means you’ve done just fine. There are many ways to analyze investment returns, but you definitely can’t just ignore pay down and equity growth in real estate!

    One way you might be able to really capitalize on a condo like that would be to Airbnb it. More work, but potentially a lot higher return. Where I live I know a few people who bring in about \$4-5k a month on houses that would rent for barely over a grand. It’s a 3rd rate tourist area, not even a very good one.

    • Agree: E. Rekshun
  261. @Intelligent Dasein
    @Sam Malone


    but you’re also sincere and thoughtful and this is gold, and absolutely true.
     
    Thank you, that's very kind of you to say and I hope I can live up to such an assessment.

    You’re a prickly guy, far too quick to stamp your feet and insult all those here who don’t perfectly align with your thinking,
     
    Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me?

    If you look at the calumny, the libel, the complete uncomprehending and unwarranted vehemence directed at me by the other respondents in this thread, you might come to a different conclusion about certain things.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    If you look at the calumny, the libel, the complete uncomprehending and unwarranted vehemence directed at me by the other respondents in this thread

    Oh, this continuing and repulsively unmanly whining. “The calumny, the libel, the complete uncomprehending and unwarranted vehemence” you direct at others are much more grating and noticeable (and frankly bitchy) than the mild ribbing you receive for your flowery buffoonery and I-am-a-neglected-genius routine you play on every thread. And then you outdid yourself on this thread by crying about how your grandparents and parents didn’t leave you wealth and robbed you of your “one chance at earthly happiness.”

    Good grief, man. Do you actually read the stuff you write? Even a commenter who thought you wrote something good for a change couldn’t stop himself from reminding you so very aptly that you are “far too quick to stamp your feet and insult all those here who don’t perfectly align with your thinking.” And he didn’t even mention the fact that you immediately accuse the more prominent commenters here of being “sock puppets” of Mr. Unz, you know, just to get your gore… because the world apparently revolves around the conspiracy of making your life more difficult.

  262. @Jack D
    @Achmed E. Newman


    A friend’s 1970s Corvette (that will probably never get back on the road) has its original tires. They are not cracked up like the new ones.
     
    It's possible that the quality of the rubber has gone down, but I would bet that it has a lot to do with the fact that Corvette is (I assume) kept indoors at a relatively stable temperature and not exposed to the sun and heat. If you have a spare tire that doesn't get rotated (nowadays most cars have those donut things although increasingly they don't have spares at all) it probably looks pretty good even if your car is 10 or 15 years old, because it is protected from the environment.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @scrivener3

    From what I read at Tire Rack:

    It is O2 that ages tires. does not matter if they are stored indoors, outdoors, in a temperature and humidity controlled environment. does not matter if you drive them regularly or almost never. does not matter if you can see dry rot.

    Latest data says an 8 year old tire is pretty much the safe limit. The USG requires the mfg date on every tire so you can tell the age.

    Lots of Ferrari’s are driven 1-2K a year. when they are nine or ten years old with 10-15K miles is sort of a sweet spot when most of the rapid depreciation is done, and the car is a little more affordable too. But you better replace those P Zero’s before taking her to the track. A catastrophic tire failure at 140 mph is no fun

  263. @Bill Jones
    @Colin Wright

    So here's your opportunity.
    Take your car to him.
    Play the White Man.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

    Still on the topic. On Wednesday morning we noticed the AC was out; feeble wafts of warmish air.
    Called the Heating/AC guy @11:30. Left a message. He called back at 2:30. Was there at 3:00. Done by 5:00. Dead capacitor on heat exchanger. Paid cash.
    We picked a guy who lives less than 5 miles from us. We are the ideal last call of the day.
    Today’s temp forecast is 95F.

    Foresight beats forecast.

  264. @Jack D
    @vinteuil

    vinteuil - just FYI - I don't subscribe to the Post either (although nowadays they have all sorts of "introductory" offers where they will give you 6 months for 99 cents or something). If you desire to read most (but not all) publications with a "soft paywall" there are ways that you can install an extension in your browser in order to "bypass paywalls". Your favorite search engine should lead you to the method if you so desire. Once the extension is installed, you will be able to access links like this every time, 80% of the time. It's not perfect but it's better than nothing.

    Replies: @Johnny Rico

    And apparently you feel there is something the WP is publishing that is worth all that work. Why don’t you just pay for it? You must not be rich. Lol.

  265. @Wilhelm Beck
    @Alden

    Exactly. It's not that complicated. Many people are just quitters at everything in life.

    My aunt and uncle rented their old house when they bought a new one. They had one bad tenant and decided to sell and never own a rental again. If he had just learned from the experience and carried on with it he'd have made millions of extra dollars. He retired recently as an exec from a good job, so he's not hurting or anything... But I think he has a complex about not being better off than he is. Uhhhh, it's because you spent money like a drunken sailor on shiny stuff your whole career, and only made mediocre investments because you were too spineless to actually take risks, even when they're pretty minimal.

    But that pretty much describes all middle class people who work for others.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    He retired recently as an exec from a good job, so he’s not hurting or anything

    So why should he have to deal with asshole tenants as a landlord. Are you familiar with the concept of the diminishing marginal utility of money? Some people think life is a video game where you need to die with the most people

    • Replies: @Wilhelm Beck
    @ScarletNumber


    So why should he have to deal with asshole tenants as a landlord. Are you familiar with the concept of the diminishing marginal utility of money? Some people think life is a video game where you need to die with the most people
     
    I am familiar. The bigger studies done on it that I've seen were older, but IIRC it was around $75K a year where your happiness gain from more money becomes pretty small. Adjusting for inflation, one is probably a bit north of $100K a year now to hit that mark.

    That said, it's all about the individual. I know people who make well under that that are pretty darn happy people, because they have the important things in life on lock down. Family, friends, etc. That said, they frequently let slip little "I wish I had the money to do this or that" statements. They might not actually be much happier than they are now if they had more money, or maybe they would. But they certainly think they would be happier. That in and of itself makes them less happy.

    With my uncle, I think he's fairly happy. But he definitely has that wistful "I wish I had more money" thing going on, despite probably being more comfortable than the vast majority of people who are retired. And the fact is if he hadn't been dumb/a coward he easily could have. See he wanted to have more, but didn't have the balls to do it. THAT is why it is a problem. If he was genuinely happy and didn't care about money, which is the case with some people, it'd be fine. But he clearly does.

    That's what makes it sad. If he had the testicular fortitude and the knowledge I do at my age, he'd have many millions more than he does now. Even if he'd taken the hiring the property management out route he'd have made a ton more money. He was killing himself the last several years at work too. He could have retired earlier by doing the smart things when he was younger, on net dealing with less "BS" than he ended up dealing with the way he did it!

    I don't think I'm a super genius with money, it's really just following a set of tried and true rules. If you do the steps you will become wealthy over time. Hiccups may happen, but slow and steady sticking to a plan wins the race. Most wealthy people become rich by taking the right steps and investing over decades, not like Bill Gates or Elon Musk or whatever.

    I've had a few ups and downs because I chose to be self employed for my main income, but I'm solidly on the right track, and will probably end up having put up with less "BS" for my money by the time it's all said and done than most people who take the "easy" way... And I'll have a lot more money than them to boot. I'm in my mid 30s, and TECHNICALLY I could basically retire right now. I'd have to put in a few hours a quarter for accounting, or hire it done. I'd be fairly comfortable too. My income is mainly residual based off of previous work I have done. But why would I want to do that when I can have more? Plus I'd go nuts not doing work anyway. After I stack a bunch of real estate I'd be able to not work if I didn't want to and be even more comfortable. That's the power of a plan.

    Some people legitimately don't care about having money, which is cool. More power to them! But I think a lot of people wish they had more, but never had the knowledge or courage to take the pretty simple steps to do it. Read some self help, investment, business books, etc. It's all in there. It's ok to not have money if you're genuinely ok with it, but in the USA there's really no reason for lower middle class people on up to NOT have money. It's just a series of bad decisions on their part, which they usually end up regretting to some degree.

    The mentality is the difference between the successful/wealthy and the middle class. Which would be fine... If the poor people and middle class didn't complain about those who made smarter moves and sacrifices to get what they have.
  266. @ScarletNumber
    @Wilhelm Beck


    He retired recently as an exec from a good job, so he’s not hurting or anything
     
    So why should he have to deal with asshole tenants as a landlord. Are you familiar with the concept of the diminishing marginal utility of money? Some people think life is a video game where you need to die with the most people

    Replies: @Wilhelm Beck

    So why should he have to deal with asshole tenants as a landlord. Are you familiar with the concept of the diminishing marginal utility of money? Some people think life is a video game where you need to die with the most people

    I am familiar. The bigger studies done on it that I’ve seen were older, but IIRC it was around \$75K a year where your happiness gain from more money becomes pretty small. Adjusting for inflation, one is probably a bit north of \$100K a year now to hit that mark.

    That said, it’s all about the individual. I know people who make well under that that are pretty darn happy people, because they have the important things in life on lock down. Family, friends, etc. That said, they frequently let slip little “I wish I had the money to do this or that” statements. They might not actually be much happier than they are now if they had more money, or maybe they would. But they certainly think they would be happier. That in and of itself makes them less happy.

    With my uncle, I think he’s fairly happy. But he definitely has that wistful “I wish I had more money” thing going on, despite probably being more comfortable than the vast majority of people who are retired. And the fact is if he hadn’t been dumb/a coward he easily could have. See he wanted to have more, but didn’t have the balls to do it. THAT is why it is a problem. If he was genuinely happy and didn’t care about money, which is the case with some people, it’d be fine. But he clearly does.

    That’s what makes it sad. If he had the testicular fortitude and the knowledge I do at my age, he’d have many millions more than he does now. Even if he’d taken the hiring the property management out route he’d have made a ton more money. He was killing himself the last several years at work too. He could have retired earlier by doing the smart things when he was younger, on net dealing with less “BS” than he ended up dealing with the way he did it!

    I don’t think I’m a super genius with money, it’s really just following a set of tried and true rules. If you do the steps you will become wealthy over time. Hiccups may happen, but slow and steady sticking to a plan wins the race. Most wealthy people become rich by taking the right steps and investing over decades, not like Bill Gates or Elon Musk or whatever.

    I’ve had a few ups and downs because I chose to be self employed for my main income, but I’m solidly on the right track, and will probably end up having put up with less “BS” for my money by the time it’s all said and done than most people who take the “easy” way… And I’ll have a lot more money than them to boot. I’m in my mid 30s, and TECHNICALLY I could basically retire right now. I’d have to put in a few hours a quarter for accounting, or hire it done. I’d be fairly comfortable too. My income is mainly residual based off of previous work I have done. But why would I want to do that when I can have more? Plus I’d go nuts not doing work anyway. After I stack a bunch of real estate I’d be able to not work if I didn’t want to and be even more comfortable. That’s the power of a plan.

    Some people legitimately don’t care about having money, which is cool. More power to them! But I think a lot of people wish they had more, but never had the knowledge or courage to take the pretty simple steps to do it. Read some self help, investment, business books, etc. It’s all in there. It’s ok to not have money if you’re genuinely ok with it, but in the USA there’s really no reason for lower middle class people on up to NOT have money. It’s just a series of bad decisions on their part, which they usually end up regretting to some degree.

    The mentality is the difference between the successful/wealthy and the middle class. Which would be fine… If the poor people and middle class didn’t complain about those who made smarter moves and sacrifices to get what they have.


  267. https://www.wired.com/story/car-dealers-electric-charging-smaller-online-shopping/

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