By Teneshia “Miss Money Sense” LaFaye
Sure, there are rich people who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. But the United States was built by people who capitalized on the hottest commodity — other people’s efforts and time.
Slavery is a given. The founding fathers built this country off the backs of slaves, and a Civil War broke out to preserve the human commodity. Then, the Industrial Age brought forth the revolutionary idea of renting human labor at the lowest or minimum wage. Because of the Great Depression, former small business owners had no choice but to abandon their shops and lend their talents and time to factories for a hourly wage in order to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads.
Hence, 19th century oilman John D. Rockefeller, America’s first documented billionaire, stated that he would rather earn 1% of 100 people’s efforts than 100% of his own. This means that he would rather have a bunch of people working for him instead of doing the work himself.
This mindset is why the rich keep getting richer and everybody else slips closer to poverty.
Time is money, and therefore extremely valuable. Rich people get it. The middle class and poor don’t otherwise they wouldn’t be spending 40 or more hours a week on a job, away from the home and family they work so hard for.
On a job, you’re basically trading your time for dollars, and you will never get ahead unless you live below your means. Jobs pay you just enough to stay, and before you know it, you’ve stayed for 10, 20, 30 years, with not much to show for it.
The average retiree’s Social Security check is $1,332 monthly. That’s just enough for rent and some food, but certainly not enough to enjoy the remainder of your life. Trust me, as co-owner of a health insurance agency, I have visited 1,000 retirees, and most of them are scrounging up their dollars for food, medical visits, medications and transportation. Many still pay on their mortgage or rent an apartment unit.
So wise up and learn how to leverage the efforts of others and utilize cooperative economics to build wealth so you can enjoy life and leave a legacy. Because in the end, your time is more valuable than the dollars you are paid to build your boss’ legacy.
Teneshia LaFaye is a former award-winning newspaper journalist and a nationally certified financial education instructor. She owns a health insurance agency and has written two books, What My Mom Taught Me About Money and Mom’s Money Lessons, available on her site, www.mytensense.com. Get her FREE daily money tips to work on improving your financial mindset by “liking” her MissMoneySense page on Facebook.