You don’t make your money work for you – you just make someone else work for you
“Oooh, wow, the magic of compound interest!” says my childhood self.
Just invest your money and it will magically grow year after year:
- At 8% over 10 years, $10,000 turns into $21,589!
- At 10% over 20 years, $10,000 turns into $67,275!
- Like 20% over 40 years, $10,000 turns into $14,697,715!
Says my childhood self.
Now that we’re adults, can we be honest for once?
There’s nothing like making your money work for you.
You are simply using your capital advantage to put someone else to work for you, gouging out a profit from someone else’s time, talent, energy, and effort.
- Those Amazon nomads you saw in that Oscar-winning movie.
- These migrants who pick tomatoes and kill cows for food monopolies.
- Those underage children and Asian assemblers who build all those iPhones.
- Those Bangladeshi textile workers who make our clothes in sweatshops.
- These fifty-somethings who deliver food and work without real support.
- These single parents who work late in every fast food restaurant in the country.
Money doesn’t magically turn into more money – hard workers turn that money into cheap goods and services, which they mostly end up buying because they can’t afford anything better.
If you bought 1,000 shares of Berkshire Hathaway in June 1990, they would be worth $424 million today. But did you or Warren Buffett bring $424 million in real wealth and value to the world during that time?
Fight it like a swaddled baby, but you know it’s the truth.
Go ahead, take your time.
This does not change the mathematical reality.
When you jump on your phone and buy a share of Amazon or Tesla or Uber or Robinhood or any of those other predatory companies, you’re actually joining a cartel of speculators reaping passive profits on your back active workers.
You become one of “them”.
Those against which 99% protest.
Those that the unions fight on a daily basis.
Those against whom the reformers are trying to legislate.
Those whose history will not speak kindly.
Those whom little children pray to will leave mom and dad alone, or at least pay them a little more so that life will not be so full of difficulties and suffering.
We don’t need for-profit corporations to exist.
When people with the capital advantage manage to use their capital to extract more capital from labor, the time gap between rich and poor widens.
Corporate profit is the ultimate business inefficiency, and it’s an equality and democracy killer to boot.
We would be in much better shape if we banned for-profit corporations altogether.
It’s not as drastic as it sounds.
After all, the for-profit society has only been around for a few centuries—about exactly as long as we’ve put planetary destruction into overdrive.
How on earth could we survive without for-profit corporations?
Quite easily, because capital always finds a way:
We would have sole proprietorships, family businesses, partnerships, cooperatives, non-profit organizations and social benefits. Want stock? Get a job. Want dividends? Go to work.
Without for-profit corporations, all wealth will go to all workers.
The real wealth creators.
And all the moochers will be SOL
Just stop being a parasite on a living host.
It’s not hard.
Just be honest and admit that you are lazy and authoritative, uncreative and greedy and would rather get something for nothing, take advantage of others and ignore their sufferings instead of creating real wealth by working hard and bringing something truly useful to society.
Then, sell all your shares and stop skimming other people’s profits.
You won’t believe how rich you will feel.
A weight will instantly lift off your shoulders.
You’ll stand a little taller, walk a little prouder.
You’ll also work a little harder, knowing that your financial future depends you now.
You will sleep a little better, knowing that no child is praying for your mercy and/or your impending demise.
(God might even start answering your prayers too.)
You will become better at eye contact.
You will enjoy a fairer world.
And more security.
And a thriving economy.
and general well-being.
And more democracy.
Better yet, you’ll feel the tension in your gut begin to ease, as you finally come to terms with the gnawing reality that compound interest isn’t magic and you’re no great wizard.
You will learn the hard truth that easy money is hard on the soul.