Measuring Generosity?

If you’re looking for a podcast to explore, I highly recommend Freakonomics Radio hosted by Stephen Dubner.  If you’re familiar with the book by the same title, the podcast follows the same line of discovery.  Are all of our economic/life assumptions wrong?  What is happening beneath the surface that may be changing the outcome we expect?  And so forth. 

While I do encourage you to check out the podcast, this post is inspired by a rebroadcast of an episode (#288) from May, 2017.  The title is “Are the Rich Really Less Generous than the Poor?”, and the answer to the question was less interesting than the clear assumptions held by the researchers.  The general feeling, if you weren’t aware, is that rich people are selfish jerks who do their best impression of Scrooge McDuck on a daily basis.   The researchers seemed to agree with this premise.

We could take many posts to discuss who would be considered “rich”, how to segment them out, how they grew their wealth, and the various assumptions made about this group of people.  The short version is that the majority of this group of people are wealthy for one reason.  They figured out how to serve their fellow man by delivering the most value to the most people possible.  Of course there are exceptions to every generic statement and this is no different.  There are lottery winners, young adults living off successful parents, the latest Internet scammers, etc.  The major difference here is that the latter group has money, but they aren’t wealthy. 

The reason I make this distinction is to point out that, in general, people who have earned a decent living, have already been generous with their resources.  Their time and talent has been transferred into dollars by adding value to the lives of others.  In addition, our friends conducting the research discovered that “the rich” are just as generous with the money they earned. 

No matter where you are on the income scale, the Perpetual Wealth Code can provide you with a solid foundation for money management.  Building on this foundation can only help your ability to give to your favorite cause. 


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