Beware The Tricks Financial Wealth Can Play On Your Mind

Do the Ultra Wealthy Only See Dollar Signs?

Hey You,

It’s #2.

My opinion wreaks havoc sometimes.

I’m a member of a super exclusive site and a conversation was started there about the movie, “The One Percent” by Jamie Johnson.  Here’s the HBO blurb about the movie just in case you’re unfamiliar with it…

“This 80-minute documentary focuses on the growing “wealth gap” in America, as seen through the eyes of filmmaker Jamie Johnson, a 27-year-old heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune. Johnson, who cut his film teeth at NYU and made the Emmy®-nominated 2003 HBO documentary Born Rich, here sets his sights on exploring the political, moral and emotional rationale that enables a tiny percentage of Americans – the one percent – to control nearly half the wealth of the entire United States.”

I can’t quite remember if this was the blurb that sold me on watching the movie but it was close.  I remember thinking this was going to yield some goodies, you know, uplifting “Millionaire Next Door” kind of revelations, especially when I saw who the kid was interviewing during the show…

Steve Forbes Jr., son of Malcolm Forbes, Milton Friedman, 1976 winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Bill Gates Sr., father of Bill Gates, and Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s, but…

…it didn’t bear that kind of fruit.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen it but from what I remember, with the exception of Milton Friedman and Paul Orfalea, it pretty much turned out to be a bitch fest, what I viewed as poor people and privileged liberals denouncing/tattle telling/pointing the finger at “other wealthy people’s” bad behavior.

There was one scene in particular that pissed me off.

It was the scene with Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s that was in the peaceful setting outside, not far from the first Kinko’s location, where mid-interview,  ‘magically’ appears a homeless person who barges in to ask Paul, not the interviewer, for some spare change.

Being that he zeroed right in for Paul instead of the pampered, pansy looking Jamie, I wouldn’t have put it past him or one of his stooges to have set up the whole thing up.

Paul handles the situation gracefully and peels the bum off some paper and gets back to the interview.

I don’t know about you but I don’t know of many people in general that have balls big enough to just bust in on someone doing an interview while being video taped and asking them for something as harmless as directions let alone money.

I don’t care if it’s the pee-on local union representative no more than 30 people know by sight being interviewed by a high school kid.  People in general just don’t do that shit.

Yeah, if I’m homeless and I scope out a group of guys shootin’ film, my mind would say “Jackpot, muthafucka!!!  There’s some money somewhere in that group.  Daddy’s gettin’ drunk early today, (the interview with Paul was shot in the morning).”  COMMON SENSE says you don’t wipe your boogers on the shirt of someone while simultaneously asking them to do you a favor!

DUHHHH!  That’s like “Homelessness 101”.

My experience with being hit up by homeless people for money, and I’ve had plenty of experience being a city boy all my life and being swarmed by the world class pan handlers daily when I worked in downtown Los Angeles, is that they aren’t overzealous about doing it.

THEY KNOW THEY’RE IMPOSING so most of them are real shy and meek about it.

Yeah, you get annoying, turbo-charged homeless dude once in a while, but they’re rare.

For the movie crasher, common sense says you wait until the group is done handling their important business and strategically post up where they have to pass you and then you make your presentation, AFTER they’re done.  The guy on this movie just moseyed perfectly into the shot (surprise, surprise) and crashed the party like he was totally oblivious to the situation.

I call bullshit.

Smells like they were out to toy with Paul seeing if they could get him to squirm by putting him on the spot, attempting to force his hand on T.V. and that’s not cool.   This actually makes me not like this kid Jamie’s taste even more.

What’s weird is it’s been months since I’ve seen the movie and this thought just hit me.  I kinda wanted to get the terrible taste of the film out my mind and I had until I saw the topic of this movie brought up.

Here’s the review I’d posted real quick…

“Watch this movie to get a voyeuristic glimpse at what being ashamed of wealth looks like.

The son is ashamed of the family fortune.  The dad isn’t as vocal about his but there’s ambivalence and his repressed shame makes it so he can’t defend his viewpoint or bring himself to dismiss his piss ant son’s opinion.  The dad relies on his financial advisor to speak for him and this guy’s got a slightly bigger set of balls but he’s no John Galt by any means.

Part of me was greatly disappointed in this movie, kind of like that feeling you get when you think you picked a good watermelon and it turns out to be shit, then I remembered there’s always something you can learn from people, even if it’s how NOT to behave.”

I was the only one who’d made a comment and I did so just wanting to spare anyone else the let down I’d experienced.  I didn’t expect much activity but I was wrong.  People came on and agreed with me.  A couple of people defended Jamie’s “philosophical perspective” and they were not so gently smacked down by a bunch of people I didn’t even know and never talked to before.

This is Why Posting To Forums Can Be Hazardous To Your Time Management

I think this was my second post to the site.

What this made me realize is how easy it’d be for some Brittany Spears fan to get sucked into a 3 hour back and forth conversation on some forum defending Brittany’s “artistic” honor” while during those same three hours she could’ve been doing that didn’t make her stupider.

I had no idea my comment would generate so much interest.  This prompted me to spend probably close to an hour shoring up what I hadn’t made so clear in my “Quickie” comment.  If I hadn’t gotten my daily writing and a post out of it, I would’ve chalked it up as a loss but since I reaped those benefits, I win.

Here’s my enhanced review of this almost worthless movie…

“Everyone’s a liberal until they have something to conserve.”

Ronald Reagan

I’ve seen this play into action in my own family.  My step sister went to college on a full ride based on her genius ability to play the clarinet.  Our family had no means to send her otherwise.

After graduating college she went onto CalArts, full ride once again, (Walt Disney’s Higher Education Art School) after that. Her whole adult life she was surrounded by lots of people like Jamie, kids who’s families had wealth, and had never tasted the grit of the street.

While attending CalArts, my step sister and soon-to-be-husband were living in some shanty in the woods that didn’t even have indoor plumbing.

Taking a ride-a-long with a cop to the hood as Jamie did in the movie is a wee bit different from growing up with a poverty conscious mom who was addicted to opiates your whole life skirting on the edge of homelessness up until the day she died, like I did.

My dad and mom were never together and were separated ever since I was an infant.  However my dad was also lived at death’s door playing with the fire of addictions for a very long time, even while teaching school, up until I was about 10 when he found sobriety.

When my dad met my step mom, he was balancing a crazy addiction and she was so naive she couldn’t see all the signs and married him anyway having to finally have his addiction beat her into submission which led to her giving him the ultimatum of “Get your shit together or I’m leaving with your new born son.”

That was the day that changed his life for the better.

Now back to my step sister.  She grew up with two state employees filling her head with what terrible wretches the rich were and then went onto a social circle and community filled with wide-eyed liberal lambs at her graduate school.

Well, after finishing graduate school she took the leap and skirted off to New York City to try to make something of her love of music.  After years of living in rat infested apartments it turns out her music ability and technology came together like booty cheeks  and her little 2 person company started making ring tones for the music division of a major, major media company.

Not overnight, but in a very short period of time she went from snoozin’ with bed bugs rodents, and roaches to becoming a millionaire.  I’ve asked her only once how much she was paid by this company initially and she would only say “A lot”.  I didn’t bug her but I’ve gotta assume it was millions because she has subsequently purchased a condo and an office building in New York City, a cabin in Utah and god knows what other cool toys she’s bought and who she’s donated money to or helped out personally and with her proceeds.  I know she’s been generous to my brothers and for that I’m grateful.

Because of her talent and perseverance, my step sister is one of my role models.  She’s an inspiration to me.  And through her rise to wealth I’ve watched her philosophy about money radically transform.

And I sense now, what I sense in Jamie, an ambivalence about money.  She’s done some good with her money no doubt, that was not possible when she didn’t have it and made a nice home for her first child to be born into.  Yet bringing up the idea that she’s “rich” arouses fierce resistance from her, almost implying that if that tag is in any way tied to her, she’s a scumbag like the money grubbing tycoons she railed against all of her life.

Seeing this scenario unfold has been highly instructive and interesting.

Growing up the way I did, I’m supposed to be Jamie’s biggest fan boy.  Unlike Jamie I’ve had brothers, parents and friends in jail and prison, addicted to drugs and alcohol, on the path to a grim & grizzly death.

Only through mentors with a balanced view of wealth (Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Dan Kennedy, etc.) was I able to grasp and sustain a concept of wealth that allowed me to appreciate what it can do in the right hands.

Dan Kennedy’s view on wealth was a breath of fresh air in my life.  Especially in his Renegade Millionaire program where he spoke of the inner game aspects that put some entrepreneurs in a choke hold, feeling guilty for having what other don’t, even though they earned it.  If you’re at all interested in what Dan Kennedy’s thoughts are on wealth click here to get the notes we put together on his Renegade Millionaire program.

My concept is that founders of companies usually have a deeper appreciation of wealth than do their children or the board of executives that show up waiting for salaries and paychecks when the company grows to be a super power like a Johnson & Johnson.

This is why I’m not all that much of a fan of “Big Business”.  I’m more in awe of the founder who built the company from nothing and what he did to make sure what he passed on was so endurable.  Not the leeches who live off what he or she built.

Yeah, some companies have exceptional leaders come in make the company even stronger but I’d say this applies to 5% or less of the companies ever built.

It is my estimation that most, not all, of the children of founders and the “Employees” who go on to run the company, disease the wealth that has been amassed.  Their sense of entitlement and willingness to waste money that isn’t theirs, that they didn’t have to earn, has led to the destruction of some of the mightiest corporations America has ever known.  And if pre-cautions like trusts weren’t set in place they’d Paris Hilton the fortune away.

I believe it is the ‘Jamies’ of the world and their polar opposite, the ruthless Shit Bags who scam investors and shareholders out of fortunes and destroy the environment for a fast buck with wanton abandonment, that are to partially to blame for America’s current condition.

The ‘Jamies’ take some blame because their bleeding hearts lead them to pissing away wealth to socialist causes/countries and irresponsible expenses like grossly exaggerated “Boards of Directors” and employee positions. Think Atlas Shrugged and Jim Taggart here.

The Shit Bags carry blame for having hearts of diamond and not living to bring value to world but to suck every last drop of it into their bank account to try to fill the void that is their self esteem by dumping the wealth into symbols that “Impress” people, symbols such as homes, carcasses of exotic endangered animals, women, planes, trains and automobiles.

My view of wealth is that it can serve good to humanity but not when it’s in the hands of irresponsible people with imbalanced or corrupt intentions.

My perspective is only mine and I know there’s more than one way to be right.

With that said, I’m happy to see the sharp pencils of this community posting here and I’m proud to be a part of it.

Until next time,

You know what I think about this topic.  What you think?  If you’ve seen the movie, please give me your viewpoint.

Talk soon,

Note Taking Nerd #2

P.S. Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Selling With Emotional Impact”.