Sunday, October 2, 2011


Galatea writes:
Saying that the difference between the person who saved and the person who spent is personal willpower, or better budgeting, is the real drastic oversimplification.

Shockingly enough some of us have noticed that only white straight men ever make it.


Anonymous said...

Galatea, what color is the sky on your planet? Does a fever swamp make the sky yellow?

Many anecdotes are available about people who are not-white, not-straight, not-male. Okay, more than one anecdote is not anecdata.

More anecdotes: people on the skids who win lotteries, and who are back on the skids within a few years, blew it all on fripperies, did not save. People who hit the jackpot as sports stars and blow it all on a few years of mansions and retinues.

I'm an acolyte of the FLoiG school of long-term planning, as you can see. dave.s.

Andrew Stevens said...

I have some sympathy for the claim. If Galatea had stuck to white men, I could have bought it. Adding "straight" is just ridiculous. Many of the best wealth accumulators I've ever met are gay men. No women to spend money on, usually double incomes, usually no children. The idea that gay people are economically oppressed would be as silly as claiming that Jews or Asians or Caribbean immigrants are economically oppressed, all groups that do better on average than white Americans do.

My sympathy for the claim is that personal finance education in this country is abysmally bad. Often, the only people who know that there is a path to wealth without a great income (or even with one) are people who had the right parents and/or the right education. It's easy to believe that the people who receive this education are overwhelmingly white men (or, more accurately, men from certain ethnic groups), for a wide variety of reasons. I meet people all the time who are seemingly not even aware that there's anything they should do with their money other than spend every penny they bring in.

Andrew Stevens said...

I want to correct myself actually. The data is not as clear as my own anecdotal accounts and recollection of the evidence would have indicated that gay men (never mind lesbians) do as well as I implied in my comment above.

This used to be the conventional wisdom, but better samples have thrown doubt on that conclusion. So my apologies to Galatea for speaking hastily.

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