31 December 2013

20 Broad Assumptions About Poor People Made Using Flawed Dated and Questionable Methodology.

This is a response to this article on Dave Ramsey's site.  Perhaps the sources for his gem are found in his book Tom Corley's "Rich Habits - The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals"? Who knows why he would not include them here? Perhaps if he did we would not buy his book Tom Corley's "Rich Habits - The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals."

My responses are based solely on my own experience as a poor person. I do not pretend to be a spokesperson for the poor as I seem to do OK now. I just remember what it is like.   

"1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble." Because junk food is cheap and available. If you are poor you are more likely to live in an area with a lack of places to find affordable healthy food and you have less time to prepare the healthy food you can get. And if you are poor gambling gives you a chance to imagine being rich.

"2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this." See Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It is easy to focus on one goal when you have all your other goals are met. Hard to focus on your new start up when you are worried about rent, food, and getting to work.

"3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this." It is easy to make time when you have time (and the energy.) Most low paying jobs are physically draining. After being on your feet all day 30 minutes of any physical activity is usually not the first thing on your mind.

"4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people". Such as Tom Corley's "Rich Habits - The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals" possibly available as an audiobook? Audio books require a device to play them and access to a way to get them. That free phone that you got at the county welfare office doesn't do much and Audible and other services require a credit card. Most of the poor are "unbanked" and do not have access to credit. Sure there are libraries and free audiobooks but again, this means time.  

"5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor." #1 Kick a poor person. #2 Foreclose on his house. #3 Write a list complaining about the homeless.

"6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% of poor."  Such as Tom Corley's "Rich Habits - The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals" soon to be released as a graphic novel for young readers?

"7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% of poor." The wealthy have the privilege of working for free. The poor have to work. Growing up, when I worked, it went into the household budget, not my pocket. 

"8. 80% of wealthy make Happy Birthday calls vs. 11% of poor." Time is money. If you have money you have time. Plus access to a phone with unlimited minutes

"9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor." If you have poor your goal is simple. Food, clothing, shelter. Writing down "don't get evicted" does not help.

"10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor." Such as Tom Corley's "Rich Habits - The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals"?  If your job is intellectual then there is a lot of overlap with work and self improvement. If your job is physical, there is little time to spend reading.

"11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% of poor." Except for Tom Corley and his list of things wrong with poor people.

"12. 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month vs. 16% of poor." Good for them for having the time and money to "network." If only Burger King would have a cocktail hour so we could all get together and talk about smelling like fry oil when we get home.

"13. 67% of wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% of poor." Because they are spending so much time "Networking" and exercising and cooking healthy food that they bought from the local organic co-op.

"14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% of poor." Why would rich people want to watch shows about heartless bastards with a sense of entitlement? They can do that at their "Networking" events.

"15. 44% of wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. 3% of poor." It was hard to wake up because my legs were sore from working in the chicken processing plant.

"16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% of poor." Apparently not 'Don't be a dick to poor people.'

"17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% of poor." "18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% of poor." These two go together. Say I was to make up a word but not define it and then make up a statistic to go with it. What would that make me? Apparently a rich man who sells books to suckers but not Tom Corley and his "Rich Habits - The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals" as that would be slander.

"19. 86% of wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement vs. 5% of poor." Such as Tom Corley's "Rich Habits - The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals" now available in paperback where ever fine books are sold?

"20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor." Such as Tom Corley's "Rich Habits - The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals" now available in a mental implant where ever mental implants are sold?

23 January 2010


"I was thinking about an art project that is as much about the agreement that the buyer signs as it is about the art itself.

When the buyer purchases the piece he/she signs an EULA. It would basically say that the by purchasing the art the buyer agrees to the stipulations listed. These would be very similar to a common software EULA: the buyer is "licensing" the art, the art is non-transferable, at anytime the artist reserves the right to change the art.

That last part would be the best part. You could show up during the middle of dinner and add a small dot to the painting. You could show up early in the morning and staple taxidermy to the frame. You could hide fish heads in a box under a bed. Anything goes as long as it is still within the EULA.

The whole point of this is to demonstrate that we sign so many things that we don't understand and would not have signed if we did." - http://tinyurl.com/53bbn7

15 September 2009

"Contingency Plans"

Sometimes I go in to planning mode for Apocalyptic and lesser scenarios. Unlike most people, I do not really think that I would be one of the few survivors of some terrible catastrophe. I am relatively sure that I would be either wiped out in the first wave or die soon afterward.

Even the most basic catastrophe, I am woefully unprepared. What if transportation shut down today, leaving me with no way to get food or get out of town?

First, I have a hard enough time thinking about what to eat day-to-day. If we rationed our food, we probably have about a month of slightly above starvation level. Maybe a little more. After that, we will be eating the fish in the koi pond. I also have some understanding of edible plants in the area and I do know how to prepare several common garden plants and weeds to eat. However, given that I live in one of the larger metro areas in the region, I will be competing with about a million other people.

More important than food, water will be a significant issue. Plumbers shut off the water for the neighborhood last week and we were without any water for the evening. I have been in a situation with not potable water before and it is not fun. But that was in a smaller city and the National Guard came in and provided drinking water. At this moment, I have several sources of water to use, mainly ice and the toilet tanks. After that, we will be collecting rain water and filtering the koi pond (after we eat the koi.)

If there was a breakdown in law and order then I again would be behind my neighbors. I am willing to bet that there are better armed people within 5 miles of me. Even for defense, a pistol is better than the simple swords, knives, and clubs I have access to. I do have martial arts training but not much of a response to a firearm. If they wanted to, my meager supplies would be gone.

Without even one zombie, alien, or nuclear bomb, I am pretty screwed. So what can I do about it? I could start stockpiling canned goods. Start canning more food on my own too. If I had a way to do so, I could build a cistern to supply emergency water. There are plenty of places in my house that could store a large water container as well. I do not want to own a gun so the best way to avoid raiders is to give the impression that we have nothing or we have already been raided. Then find a place to hide our stores.

The best way to avoid the pitfalls of the metro area in a disaster is to plan an escape route. No interstates, get to the first point on one tank of gas. We have bicycles, so once the care dies, we have human powered transportation. We also have a tent so there is emergency shelter. Of course camping may be worse than the city as we have a less defensible position and less supplies. We would have to make our way north to a cabin in the mountains; several of my friends have cabins and it would be a matter of picking one to go to. Plus many of the cabins are rentals so likely to be empty. Of course, "cabin in the woods" also means "people with guns" so we would have to be careful. I would say move south to my parents but they are worse supplied than us and live near a military base. While a base would be a good place to go for protection, it would also be a good target and there are closer bases than that one.

" - http://ping.fm/GrOE3

14 August 2009

Who said this?

"The discoveries of healing science must be the inheritance of all. That is clear. Disease must be attacked, whether it occurs in the poorest or the richest man or woman simply on the ground that it is the enemy; and it must be attacked just in the same way as the fire brigade will give its full assistance to the humblest cottage as readily as to the most important mansion." - http://ping.fm/hs4nQ

24 July 2009

Meetings, Bloody Meetings

It seems that far too often, the people tasked with scheduling and leading meetings have absolutely no idea on how a meeting should be run.

For someone who has a lot to do everyday and people calling for assistance and questions, my time is valuable. Rather than value and respect my time, I am often in meetings where the topic is fluid and the goal is unclear.

There is a great training video available called "Meetings, Bloody Meetings" and I think every manager should watch it. Unfortunately, it is rather expensive and not widely available but if you ask me, I can get you in touch with someone who has an official copy.

18 May 2009


I heard somewhere recently that the common thread between all politicians is the diesire to be liked and ambition. I think one reason I am not a politician (at least not now) is that I often compromise my ambition. I would rather be comfortable than consumed by success; happy over powerful.

11 February 2009




Please put your NAME and DATE on your food.   


If you do not label you food it will be thrown away (or eaten.) 


Anything older than 2 weeks will be brought back to your desk and hidden for you to find later. 

05 December 2008

Small Business is the Backbone of America

A commercial (ironically, advertising the need to advertise) spoke about the fact that "small business is the backbone of America!"

Is it? The first thing is to establish terms. What is a small business? Number of people? Amount of money/profit? I am going to say a business under 50 people, making less than $10 million is gross revenue. This excludes franchisees of larger companies.

I look around my house and I see many products. Few were created, distributed, or sold by a small business. There are services that I receive. Car care, hair cuts, dry cleaning, etc. Is the independent car shop the backbone of America?

Big business is the backbone of America. There is no debate about saving small businesses. It is the "too big to fail" who are getting the help. Small business is the fingers of America. You can lose a few fingers, even all of them, and still keep moving. If small business what the backbone then Walmart would be coming in and decimating small towns. They don't. Walmart replaces the smal business with big business.

Is this bad? I would borrow from evolution. If the only genes we have are "big business" genes, the genetic diversity is ripe for extinction. With the diversity of small business we have a chance to survive the next meteor/climate change/hunters.

15 November 2008


I went to get an oil change and due to other repairs needed, I was left at the shop for an hour. A National Geographic article kept my attention. It spoke about the increase in light pollution and that most of the country and the world is in a permanent twilight. Even hundreds of miles outside of a major city, the glow blocks out most of the stars.

Then as we put our son to sleep, my wife sang "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." When she sang, "how I wonder what you are" I wondered if he will be able to look up into the sky and wonder as well what is up there. Will he be more in awe of the lights of the city than the lights of the stars?

For all of human history we have looked to the skies and wondered. Now we are left with our eyes straight ahead. Will the stars still inspire or will we be inspired by what we see on a screen?

12 November 2008


I have noticed an interesting trend; and I suspect it will be an ongoing theme in my writing. People cannot disagree anymore. We are no longer capable of accepting that someone has a difference of opinion. They are either in our camp or our enemy; compromise is out of the question.

Sometimes, once NPR switches to classical music for most of the day, I listen to the talk shows on the radio. Since the recent election many of these shows have decided that the American people are wrong and we will pay for our poor choice.

Why the contempt for the American voter? Why not ask "why did the majority of the electorate choose this man over the other?" The unfortunate thing is that they are asking this question and answering it themselves.

The American people voted the way they did, not for rhetoric or handouts, but for the idea that government should work. For decades we have been told that government is inefficient, bloated, and slow. Conservatives have governed with the point of proving this rather than correcting it. The voters have decided to elect a government who will govern instead.