Just a casual reminder that 60% of all wealth in America is inherited.— Robert Reich (@RBReich) December 20, 2019
“Pull yourself up by the bootstraps” is a sham.
Reich is trying to be a clever demagogue. Note that he didn't say that 60% of the rich people inherited their wealth; only that 60% of the wealth is inherited.
Here's a scenario:
- A city has 100 millionaires.
- 80 of them inherited $0. Their wealth is worth exactly $1 million each.
- 19 of them got exactly $1 million inheritances.
- 1 lucky bastard got a mammoth $101 million dollars from his rich uncle.
- Conclusion: 60% of the wealth was inherited in this city. Yet, only 20% of rich people got inheritances!
Of course, when it comes to those horrible, eeevil rich people, perception and reality are often different:
We recently released the findings of the largest study of millionaires ever conducted, with 10,000 people participating. We also surveyed the general population, and we found out that 74% of Millennials believe millionaires inherited their money. So do 52% of Baby Boomers.
Our study of millionaires blows that theory out of the water. Only 21% of millionaires received any inheritance at all. Just 16% inherited more than $100,000. And get this: only 3% received an inheritance at or above $1 million.
So, four out of five millionaires inherited $0! Not only is it a lie to say otherwise but it also diminishes their efforts over decades.
We gave the millionaires in our study a list of items that could contribute to someone becoming a millionaire, and then we asked them to rank them. What ranked number one, beating out everything else? Financial discipline. What ranked number two? Saving consistently.
Here in Canada, there have been stories of people who worked for many decades and consistently added money to their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs). When they retired, they had over a million dollars in their RRSPs. By design, one can only contribute to an RRSP after earning an income. An old rich dude who never worked would have precisely $0 in his RRSP.
Instead of showcasing the teachers, doctors, and engineers who worked and saved to become millionaires, schmucks like Reich demoralize their audiences by telling them that they can't make it.