IN THE COEN BROTHERS’ excellent movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, James Franco’s character is set for a good old-fashioned Wild West hanging. Franco appears to accept his fate, but there’s a poor slob next to him with a noose around his neck crying inconsolably. Franco quizzically turns to him and says, “First time?”
I cracked up when I watched that scene. It has since become a famous meme. I feel like uttering the same phrase when younger friends,
WHEN WE AIM FOR financial independence, what we’re usually trying to do is to convert our current work time into future free time. We exchange our time and labor for money today. The wealth we accumulate then buys us a future that’s free from labor.
Given this exchange of labor for future freedom, what’s the most efficient way to speed our progress? According to a research paper, “Capitalists in the 21st Century,” the best strategy is to own a business.
I TELL MY CHILDREN that they can’t possibly fathom the amount of information that they have in their hands. I’m part of the last generation—so-called Gen X, those born between 1965 and 1980—who actually had to trudge down to the library and pray it had the information we needed. Today, the internet provides it all in seconds.
I needed to change a leaking bathtub faucet. I’m not qualified to be a plumber. But I looked up a few YouTube videos and,
THERE’S A GROUP of high-income earners who sit just below the billionaire business founders, the C-level suite set and the heiress crowd. Matthew Stewart, in his new book The 9.9 Percent, labels them the “new aristocracy.” Author Richard V. Reeves famously called them “dream hoarders” in his book of the same name.
By all objective criteria, this high-income crowd should be thrilled with their financial gains over the past three years.
AS I PULLED UP IN my used Subaru wagon to the high school drop-off line with two grumpy teenagers on the first day of school, I noticed something was different.
Because of the pandemic, our sleepy, semi-rural town in upstate New York had seen an influx of Manhattanites and Brooklyners over the past year. My Subaru was now bracketed by a shiny Tesla sedan and a polished Mercedes SUV. The usual collection of less flashy cars and trucks seemed to be missing.