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July 30, 2007

Rich Kids Don't Stay Rich? « Social Issues »

Personally, I think I agree. Being raised rich doesn't require the development of the sorts of habits that allow one to retain wealth.

That's the thesis offered for your reactions.

What do you think?

Posted by Nathan at 08:09 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

I disagree kinda...I think *spoiled* children don't become earners in adulthood. Parents that sacrifice everything to meet each child's every whim (within financial ability) set the kids up for a lifetime of failure, because they never gain a work ethic. Responsible wealthy parents will instill a work ethic in their kids.

Posted by: Jo at July 31, 2007 05:48 AM

Okay, so define "spoiled".

I do agree with you that being rich doesn't automatically mean your kids will fail in life. Literature and film are filled with stories of wastrel youth who suddenly have to make it on their own and flounder...but those stories almost always result with the children figuring it out, eventually. While those stories are mostly fiction, I think there are significant corresponding examples in life.

But I will say that rich parents have that challenge: how do you raise your kids without spoiling them with material goods, or creating resentment by denying them the material goods they crave?

Many rich parents got that way because they wanted to make sure they gave their kids everything they didn't have themselves...but if the rich parents hadn't been lacking the material riches, they wouldn't have been motivated to work so hard, and wouldn't have gotten rich...

So maybe there's nothing to the writer's assertion. But I agree with his assessment of human nature: people need adversity to thrive; they need something to struggle against to really achieve. Material comfort reduces challenges and the necessity of struggle.

Posted by: Nathan at July 31, 2007 08:45 AM

Spoiled: not required to contribute via chores or outside work, but freely supplied of all needs and wants to the furthest extent the parent can afford (and occasionally then some).

Take, for example, my modest-earning coworker and her husband. Because she grew up with so little, she gave her sons everything she could, she worked full time, husband worked full time, and they both intermittently held additional part time jobs to give the kids everything they needed, including academic opportunities. Oldest son can't even keep his electricity on or a vehicle running, and he has a wife, a toddler, and a baby on the way. And because of this, mom and dad continue to give, give, give. They covered the last power bill and are planning to buy the family a "brand new car and he can make the payments to us", since he has horrid credit. Son still has yet to learn how to budget. He's 30. It ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: Jo at July 31, 2007 09:02 AM

Well, that's the way I figure most rich parents raise their kids.

In any case, we're pretty much on the same page. I absolutely agree that it isn't the wealth itself per se, but the way the wealth is used in conjunction with raising the kids.

Posted by: Nathan at July 31, 2007 10:30 AM

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