In a recent Fortune editorial, Nina Easton writes “. . . don’t blame the rich: a defense of the 1%.” Instead of constantly criticizing the 1 percenters most people could learn a lot about accumulating wealth through understanding the habits of these wealthy people. She states succinctly:
It’s entertaining to wail about the fat cats and the greedy rich. But if we’re serious about addressing widening inequality, we should figure out what the 1% is doing right– and apply some of those ideas to closing the gap.
Again, the original title of The Millionaire Next Door was “That’s Why They’re Wealthy.” One of the main reasons they are wealthy is that they have stable and long term marriages. On the other hand, there are “. . . far higher divorce rates and more children living with one parent in workingclass communities.”
As stated in The Millionaire Mind,
. . . consistent participation in marriage results in significantly higher wealth. Conversely those people who are not married continuously over time have a propensity to accumulate lower levels of wealth during their adult life cycle.
Millionaires and those who will probably attain the status have a unique ability to select mates with a certain set of qualities. Among the first things [millionaires] say [about their spouses] include down to earth, unselfish, has traditional values, my emotional backbone, patient understanding. . . .
Among the 944 millionaires surveyed nationwide for Stop Acting Rich, 91% were married to the same spouse on average for 36 years. Fully two-thirds have never been divorced. Only 2% were never married; 3% are currently widowed, and the remainder, 4%, are currently divorced or separated.
In the same survey, 90% of the milllionaires indicated that their parents were never divorced or separated any time prior to their 18th birthday. Add to this the fact that only 16% of the respondents reported being raised in an atmosphere other than one filled with love and harmony.
It’s not the fault of the 1 percenters that there is an inverse correlation between divorce and net worth. And it’s certainly not the fault of the 1 percenters that fully 30% of households with children under 18 are single parent families. That is nearly 12 million households. And in 85% of the cases these households are headed by women. As Ms. Easton says in the Fortune article, “But the rage against the 1% is misplaced. . . the rich aren’t getting wealthier at the expense of the poor.”
It is well documented that income is a high correlate of wealth. High income households tend to be of the traditional husband/wife type. Fully 84.4% of tax returns at the $200,000 and above income level are filed jointly. Only 20.1% of tax returns with incomes under $50,000 are joint returns. More than ever before the high income household is composed of a husband and wife who are both working full time.