Skip to comments.Do the Wealthy Work Harder Than the Rest? (Yes.)
Posted on 04/28/2012 8:30:41 AM PDT by reaganaut1
One of the most controversial issues surrounding inequality is work effort. Some on the right argue that top earners are successful in part because they work harder than others. Many on the left argue that the middle class and poor work just as hard maybe even harder, with multiple jobs but that the economic deck is stacked against them.
A new study offers evidence that higher-educated (and therefore higher-earning) Americans do indeed spend more time working and less time on leisure than poorer income groups. In fact, while income inequality may be growing, leisure inequality time spent on enjoyment is growing as a mirror image, with the low earners gaining leisure and the high earners losing.
The paper, by Orazio Attanasio, Erik Hurst and Luigi Pistaferri, finds that both income inequality and consumption inequality (the stuff that people buy) have increased over the past 20 years.
The more surprising discovery, however, is a corresponding leisure gap has opened up between the highly-educated and less-educated. Low-educated men saw their leisure hours grow to 39.1 hours in 2003-2007, from 36.6 hours in 1985. Highly-educated men saw their leisure hours shrink to 33.2 hours from 34.4 hours. (Mr. Hurst says that education levels are a proxy for incomes, since they tend to correspond).
A similar pattern emerged for women. Low-educated women saw their leisure time grow to 35.2 hours a week from 35 hours. High-educated women saw their leisure time decrease to 30.3 hours from 32.2 hours. Educated women, in other words, had the largest decline in leisure time of the four groups.
(The study defines leisure as time spend watching TV, socializing, playing games, talking on the phone, reading personal email, enjoying entertainment and hobbies and other activities.)
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.wsj.com ...
30 to 39 hours a week LEISURE time? I’m pretty well off now, retired, but when I worked, I never had that much time for myself. Weekends, sometimes; during the week, just about nothing.
And think how much higher that ratio would be if the Obamas weren't in that equation.
Assuming sleeping is not leisure, if one is not working, the weekend could be leisure. Thats two @ 16 hrs right there, plus a couple each day when you cease “working”. I suppose the definitiion is everything.
In my job I dealt with wealthy people on a daily basis.
I often noticed they were not particularly smart, tho some were.
Eventually some things seemed to stand out among the wealthy. First, they were risk takers. Next they were very hard workers. Most tho not all, were crooked. I think most were also goal oriented.
There are probably a lot more things I didn’t realize but those mentioned were very common among the wealthy.
That meant that my hourly income was actually only around 60% of that of a person working for the same annual salary and a working a standard 40 hour week.
I felt lucky for the opportunity.
This is the way it is for many professions!
Those who achieve success, which we measure mostly by wealth are born with selective attributes that separate them from others. They are usually bright or very focused on their particular interest. They are ambitious, innovative and talented. They have a desire to complete their mission, task or invention. They are usually talented negotiators and have the ability to recognize their weaknesses, thus avoiding them or delegating those functions to someone else.
If you took all the wealth away from the successful people and spread it out evenly across the population, those successful people would have it all back in a few short years. The left doesn't understand this.
The one distinct trait common among high achievers is the willingness to take risk and chance failure. In professions like journalism and government there are people who are just as obsessed with work and who work just as hard. But that aversion to risk, rejection or failure is what draws them to a career of steady employment rather than amazingly rewarding entrepreneurship.
Smartphones, eMail and internet access is making remote disconnected areas for a vacation a necessity.
Ya'think maybe that's why they're...wealthy???
One aspect of this debate that is omitted frequently is what people do with their money once they earn it.
The wealthy save/invest a substantial potion of it, and live below their means. The rest spend it and try to out-do the Joneses.
A good discussion of this, and the distinction between income and wealth, can be found in “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. (Vastly superior to “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” IMHO).
Yeah, no kidding—big flaming sack of duh.
They not only work hard, they know what to work hard at.
If you want to be successful, emulate what the successful do. Study, work hard, invest. If you want to be poor, do the opposite.
It also helps to have a wealthy family and connections to sources of capital.
I have spent a career working directly with, around, and for the 1%, becoming a small fish one myself.....OK, I am more like a 2 or 3 percenter. Successful people lie a lot. Get used to it.
Yes I worked hard. Yes I am smart and well educated. Yes I deferred pleasure. Yes I took risk. BUT the single thing that made me richer than most and more successful than most was getting on the inside with “them”.
Most wealthy I have found are “made men and women”. Bush II and Mittens Romney being examples. Born that way. Married that way. Or taken in as a protege of older rich guys.
Being in equity capital.....I have seen hundreds of real entrepreneurs with ideas abilities and hard work for years have ALL of it taken from them by sharpie bankers, lawyers, and financiers. Hundreds.
The guy with the idea, hard work, ability gets 10%....the money guys get 90%. That is the way Mitt Romney did it.
To some extent, it is like Logan’s Run. Carrousel is mostly show for the clueless.
However.....at the local level. Real estate, shopkeepers, dry cleaners, tradesmen, small biz owners like printers (until the internet age), machine shops, construction companies, car dealers (because they are protected from big biz by most state laws, etc a person can become very successful on his own.....but not a mega-millionaire like Romney or Buffet.....that takes connections and a rigged game one way or another.
There are anecdotes and exceptions....I am just speaking from my experience. I was and am very fortunate to have been at the right place and time with the correct line of bullshit. Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.
Oh crap...gotta go....more work to do.
1. They almost always work harder than most people
2. They are almost always self-employed
3. They almost always know what to work at and have a knack for what to pay attention to
4. They almost always figure out how to stretch themselves by hiring others, they have employees
5. Only a few become rich by being significant profit centers as individuals... some doctors, brokers and lawyers, inventors etc.
6. Many are not outwardly well off, they save what they earned because they worked very hard for it. It goes away much more quickly than it comes in.
7. Some are obsessed by money, these are the ones who are often crooked. Obsession often has no out of bounds markers.
8. Some are very honest and respect the possessions of others.
9. I seriously doubt many self-made people have 30+ hours a week for leisure. Their days are often two part... 10 to 12 hour days out and about an hour or two to decompress and then 2 to 4 hours of odds and ends, self-education, planning etc. Nobody pays these self-employed people for their training or planning retreats like corporations do.
10. They work harder than they would for a corporation or someone else but they also have more freedom but in some ways less.
Each morning the self-employed person has to get up, look in the mirror, brace himself with a mission and a pep talk because if he does not go out and kill something this day he and his family will not eat. He pays for every slack day he is not able to keep pushing.
For the most part, if a person is wealthy or successful and began with all but nothing he has earned his place.
In what used to be the United States, if you were not well off it was because you didn’t try hard enough.
That is a good list.
My late wife’s Uncle was a good example of a self made millionaire. He was definitely a one percenter but not even close to a billionaire.
His most outstanding personality trait was likeability. He was very careful with his money but wasn’t afraid to invest it either. He was honest with his business dealings but was willing to cheat on his taxes etc. Unlike some, he was very smart.
I remember one thing which probably defines him as well as anything. He and several of his partners and friends were regularly invited to Las Vegas where they were put up for free, had free transportation and so forth.
After a few years he got taken off the list. The reason? He was not doing any gambling.
“I never had that much time for myself. Weekends, sometimes; during the week, just about nothing.”
Same here. I dont have the ability to leave work and forget about it until morning. When I get an hour or so to myself it is rarely even relaxing.
I've gotten in more than a couple arguments about this topic, but I agree with you. I want to be a millionaire (and I think I'd be a really good one, too,) but I've never taken the financial risks, gotten the education, or wanted to work the hours to make it happen.
Some people are just more ambitious than others.
bogus study again stating how much better the "productive" class is then all of us peons....
maybe, just maybe, the guy picking up garbage needs to have more "leisure" time than the rich banker dining on prawns and steak for a lunch time "business" meeting...
physical work is exhausting...physically exhausting...
“physical work is exhausting...physically exhausting...”
You’re talking to someone who worked in a factory all his adult life. That’s why I retired as soon as I could.
I have never had a job that wasn’t physically exhausting or at least demanding.
Prior to factory work, I was in the military for 4 years and not with a “desk job”, prior to that I did farm work from the time I was about 10 years old, mostly in the cotton fields.
I’ll be 67 years old in June and my wife and I are adopting 2 more kids, ages 13 and 12, they have lived with us for the last 4 years, final adoption hearing is May 11 th. We need and love them and they need and love us but sometimes I think I was born tired. God has blessed us with 4 adult children, 14 grand children and 4 great grand children. Our oldest is 44 years old and she, along with our other grown kids are thrilled to be getting a new little brother and sister.
P.S. I’ll be writing a “vanity post”, with pictures when the adoption is final, If it’s OK, I’ll put you on my “to ping list” when I post it, I want everybody to know about our “new children”.
You got that exactly right! The only time I can get away from the office and be unreachable is when I take the family to the cabin in the U.P.
No cellphone signal, no 4G signal, and without the dish there's no TV either. I don't have a hardline for phone up there but I do maintain a minimum bandwidth DSL connection that I do not speak of with my employer. It's well known when I say I'm headed "up north" that I'll be unreachable.
I relish my breaks from technology. It's my 'decompress' time.