inheritance and work (was Re: capitalist religion)

From: Miriam English (
Date: Sun Jul 22 2001 - 08:48:54 MDT

At 08:59 PM 21/07/2001 -0600, Chris Rasch wrote:
>...2,500 Americans who received inheritances in 1982 and to
>find out whether they were working and how much they were earning
>three years later....

>"...the more you get thrown at you, the
>more likely you are to get out of the labor force. And, if you stay in
>the labor force, you work less."...

>"...a single person who receives an inheritance
>of about $150,000 is four times more likely to leave the labor force
>than a person with an inheritance below $25,000."...

>...second piece of research looked only at entrepreneurs who
>received inheritances...

>...32.6% of
>entrepreneurs who received small inheritances were out of business
>four years later, but the attrition rate fell to 23.5% for those who
>received more than $150,000. (These figures are in 1982 dollars; the
>equivalent sums today are $43,000 and $260,000.) More striking, the
>revenues of companies run by entrepreneurs who received bigger
>inheritances grew 20% faster.

Perhaps the results are not as different as they seem. The entrepreneurs
were already working in something they felt passionate about. It seems
natural that they would use the money to further their passion.

The non-entrepreneurs would have worked for other people. That is not
generally something that people feel passionate about. These days people
are told over and over again that what they really want is to have
recreation. Recreation is a giant industry. (I believe tourism is
Australia's biggest money earner.) A lot of the non-entrepreneurs would
believe that recreation was what they felt really passionate about.

My father worked for the bank for many of his best years. When he retired
with a heart condition he wanted to enjoy himself for a while. He soon
found that he couldn't bear the "idle" life, so he bought a business and
went back to work, but this time for himself and found that vastly more

My point is that if the study followed the people longer than 3 years I bet
they would have found that many more went back into the workforce.

Another caution is that some people may end up doing work which often
doesn't earn a wage, for example charity work, or 3rd world development
work, or musical composing, or artwork, or writing.


         - Miriam

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association

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