Cheerful Wealth Creation

On the same day that Asok cheerfully asks for more busywork, Scott Adams cheerfully suggests that the world can be divided into wealth consumers and creators:

I’ve met a lot of rich people, and as far as I can tell, they aren’t addicted to money, power, or even prestige. I say that for the same reason you don’t crave a ham sandwich at the moment you finish eating one. Once the rich become rich, their motives evolve.

My hypothesis is that the rich are often addicted to hard work itself. Once that hard work produces all that a person needs for personal use, the impulse for hard work doesn’t go away. …

I tend to agree that rich people are often driven to succeed, though I wouldn’t strictly attribute their success to hard work. Some of them are hard-working cheapskates, some work hard and don’t pay their bills, some work hard and consider cheating par for the course – though by no means all of them. I hear so many people look at someone on TV – Michael Phelps, Heidi Klum, Donald Trump – and say, “Why doesn’t he/she just retire and enjoy all that money?” I always tell them, “They didn’t become successful by wanting to retire.”

I wonder if instead of dividing the world into poor, middle-class, and rich, we’d be better off sorting the world into people who create more wealth than they consume and people who consume more than they create. There might be a lot of power in that model.

I don’t believe that anyone creates more wealth than they consume. Obviously some are very adept at exploiting wealth from scarce natural resources or from the efforts of other people. While that may or may not be very commendable, it just isn’t the same as creating wealth. What Adams probably means is people that earn money vs people that live off the system. But you can make a case that we all live off the system. Even so-called wealth creators line up for government contracts.

From an energy standpoint, much of what they call wealth creation is indistinguishable from busywork.

I could see dividing the world into levels of energy and resource consumers, because I think energy and scarce resources are at the root of what we call wealth.


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3 responses to “Cheerful Wealth Creation”

  1. ziadabdelnour says :

    Wealth creation is not a business suited to those whose skill set consists of voting “present.” It requires decision making, risk taking, hard information, discipline, insight, and intelligence.



    • Donal says :

      Ideally that is true. But in practice wealth creation also involves avoiding the hard decisions, risk aversion, spreading disinformation, encouraging lack of discipline, tunnel vision and foolhardiness.


  2. cmaukonen says :

    For me it has always been the process. Designing, building, constructing, repairing….the end result some what less important. I enjoy seeing the end result when I am successful but then want to move on to the next thing.

    Monetary rewards are much. much less important.


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