Monday, January 25, 2021

Why We're All Richer Than Mark Dayton

As most of you know I hate Mark Dayton.

I do not "dislike" him.
I do not "disagree with" him.
I do not "find him distasteful."

I hate Mark Dayton.  And the reasons why are simple to understand.  

He is a spoiled trust fund baby.  He is a weak man who suffered no challenges or rigor in life.  And I wouldn't hate him if he was just a Kennedy trust fund baby who spent his granddad's money and left us all alone.  But no. Like most trust fund babies, they have to "do something" and that "something" is usually politics, wherein their inexperienced asses arrogantly assume to know what's best for society.  And thus we are lectured and proselytized at what is nothing more than an adult child who could never support themselves.  It's ultimately the hypocrisy and laziness of the Mark Dayton's of the world that compel me to hate them and their inferior, worthless asses.

But for all my hate of Dayton (among most other trust-funders), my little economist brain had time to sit and think while waiting at McCarran International Airport.  Because there I was, quite impressed with myself and this little empire I had built.  But more so that I managed to build my little empire coming from poverty, with no help, even suffering obfuscation and outright lies from the Boomer generation that was supposed to guide me.  And then it dawned on me...

Me, you, and nearly every normal person in the US is richer than Mark Dayton.  And allow me to explain why.

Take for example my friend Atham.  Atham is from Mexico, he endured the American experience of suffering a Boomer-broken home, had to travel all over Mexico and the US working low-level, subsistence-level jobs to survive, but is (more or less) on the precipice of earning his Chemical Engineering degree, which will launch him into a much easier and profitable life.  And though the life he led to get there was much more difficult and laborious than anything Mark Dayton suffered, this suffering gave Atham something Mark Dayton will never have - a challenge to overcome.  

If you think of it in terms of a movie, who's life would you rather watch?  On one hand you have "The Mark Dayton Show" which would be the most god-awful boring show.  Born into wealth, having everything taken care of, and now two full generations removed from the original capitalist who created the Dayton fortune, the "Daytons" are merely NPC's with no challenges, problems, or crises to form them.  The "crisis" of the movie would be whether Mark Dayton got a new Beamer or Mercedes in 1971 from dad.  Would he vacation in the Bahamas or stay and boat around Lake Minnetonka?  And if he stayed at Lake Minnetonka, which boat would he use?  Perhaps the climax of the movie would be Mark having to choose which worthless, math-avoidant, liberal arts degree to study and then the movie ends with the family helicopter flying him away from his Kenwood estate.

"The Movie of Atham" would be a much more interesting show.  A poor Mexican kid, born on the mainland of Cancun, has to strike out on his own with only his siblings to support one another.  Working various menial jobs from Monterrey to Tijuana to Los Angeles to Reno, they stick together as that is all they have, to inevitably, after years of hard and harsh studying, our smug-looking, pipe-smoking friend graduates with a degree in Chemical Engineering who heartily celebrates his first $60,000/year job with a house party of good friends.

Obviously, Atham is guaranteed to live the more interesting life.

And this is the point of this short little post.

As I've written in "Sanity is the Future of Wealth," "wealth" or "riches" is becoming increasingly meaningless.  Bill Gates may eat sushi every night and drive a Ferarri, but you are no worse off technically speaking eating a good sandwich at Subway or driving your reliable used Ford that does everything a Ferrari does, minus "look sexy."  Jeff Bezos no doubt has a much bigger house that you, but he can only occupy one room at a time and he has to sleep stationarily in his bed every night.  Your humble 3 bedroom home is just fine, affording you 98% of what Jeff Bezos' mansion does.  And yes, Mark Dayton probably drinks scotches that are older than me.  But how much better is a 50 year old scotch than a equally handsome Laphroigh 10 at 1/20th the cost?

And here is where being a trust fund baby and playing life on "easy mode" makes rich people poor and poor people rich.  Because as long as you don't screw up, as long as you don't have kids you can't afford, as long as you don't major in stupid shit, and as long as you stay thin/attractive, you will "make it" in life.  And the life you lead is guaranteed to be more interesting and rewarding than all the Nancy Pelosi's, Bush's, and Dayton's of the world, simply because you had to earn it.  There was a cost.  There was a challenge.  There was a story behind your life. Whereas with Mark Dayton there was merely irrelevant existence.  And so when you live that same 79 years that Mark Dayton does and you're on your death bed, wondering if you made your life count, you at least had a ride, a story to tell, a legacy to leave.  Whereas Mark Dayton only leaves behind more of his grandfather's money and a predictably boring, even worthless life.  You are infinitely richer than Mark Dayton, even if you just managed to attain a middle class life-style, homeownership, or a career in the trades on your own.

So going forward in life, do not get upset at the rich, leftists of the world, taking their parents money and self-decreeing themselves as leaders of the country.  Don't get angry at the Thadeus McWinthrop III's who never had to suffer or toil to get the job daddy landed them at Cargill or Thompson Reuters.  They are unforged flavorless humans with no trials and tribulations to make them human, let alone interesting ones.  And while, yes, you may see Mark Dayton eating at a haughty restaurant, dining on salmon and cheese, remember that the $7 Subway sub you bought with your own money has guaranteed that your life, your friends, your spouse, and your intellect are infinitely more interesting than his.  And that makes your life much richer than anything a trust-funder will enjoy.


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Anonymous said...

I have a super rich uncle (self made not inherited money)who is well into the top 1% of income. Not hating on him, but he takes like 6-10 vacations a year. I'll take a vacation once every few years and despite spending significantly less money, I guarantee I enjoy my vacations more than he does, because they are a rare treat for me.

Anonymous said...

America used to instinctively and somewhat more self-awarely understand the phenomenon you describe. I think of movies like "Back To School" and "Trading Places" as showing the type of spoiled men you describe finally learning the lesson that hard work, struggle, and the potential for failure build character and provide a more rewarding life.

As someone else said, "Hard men create good times. Good times create soft men. Soft men create hard times."

We're right in the middle of the "soft men create hard times" part of this iteration of the cycle.