Re: capitalist religion

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sun Jul 22 2001 - 09:19:32 MDT

Chris Rasch wrote:
> You may be interested in by book by H. Roy Kaplan, a sociologist now with the
> National Conference for Community & Justice in Tampa, Fla: Lottery Winners:
> How They Won and How Winning Changed Their Lives.
> Also see the article: Inheritance and Sloth by James K. Glassman, in the
> October 11, 1999 of Forbes. Some excerpts:
> What happens when someone gets a barrel full of
> cash he hasn't earned himself? Does he work less, work the same, or
> work more? "What we found was that 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." The research, published in the
> Quarterly Journal of Economics in May 1993, concluded that Carnegie
> was right. "For example, 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."

Well, DUH. How likely are you to be able to do much more with less than
$25k than pay off debts and/or buy a new car? There is no incentive to
leave the labor force with such a small inheritance.

I'd also like to see what they mean by 'leaving the labor force'. Do
they mean that the individual permanently retired? I doubt it, for
$150,000. Did they instead start a small business? I suppose if you are
a business owner, you are not considered a 'worker' per se, but it
hardly means you've stopped working, you've just stopped working for
other people.

> But the story
> doesn't end there. A year later, the trio, using the same data,
> published another paper, this time in the Journal of Political
> Economy. The second piece of research looked only at entrepreneurs who
> received inheritances. The question this time was whether they were
> more likely to stay in business for themselves if they received large
> bequests. The answer: Yes! The authors found that 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.

Another 'well, DUH' conclusion. This doesn't say anything about
lotteries, though.

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