One Thing & Another

Word for the Wise  Retrodict (ret-roh-DIKT) – to use present information to explain or reinterpret or revise knowledge of the past. Example from Jamie Whyte in The Wall Street Journal: “Many are impressed by the fact that climate models can ‘retrodict’ climatic change – that is, use past climatic data (say, from the 1860s) to predict climatic data from the less-distant past (say, from the 1920s). They should not be.” Did You Know… ? Top speed skaters can reach 37 miles per hour. Principles of Wealth: #7 of 61 Every virtue has its opposite vice. The opposite of common sense is foolishness. The opposite of commitment is equivocation. The opposite of persistence is inconsistency. In understanding what it takes to build wealth, …

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One Thing & Another

Word for the Wise

 Pinguid (PING-wid) – fat and oily. Here’s a lovely sentence from The Bunsby Papers by John Brougham that includes it alliteratively: “Peter was pinguid, plump, and plethoric – she was thin to attenuation.”

Did You Know… ?

If you add up all the numbers from 1 to 100 consecutively, the total is 5050. Keep that in mind. You never know when it will come up in conversation.

Principles of Wealth: #5 of 61

Wealth and income inequality are realities that exist in every economy – even those committed in principle to the distribution of wealth.

Many people today, believing that equality is an intrinsic and achievable good, seek to flatten financial inequalities through government programs and social action. A smaller group, sympathetic to the notion of equality but less trusting of governmental solutions, seek to create substantial personal wealth and then distribute some of that to others. Still others are dubious that financial inequality is intrinsically good and practically achievable. And a final group is sure that equality is intrinsically bad and can only be partially achieved and that only by severe repression.

My view is that human nature is innately opposed to equality. You can, by force, make a community financially equal for a moment in time. But an hour later, individuals within that community will get to work recreating inequality. Some will seek to have more. Some will be satisfied with what they have. And some will seek to have less.

This is the fundamental reason why history has shown us that the goal of achieving financial equality has never been achieved or even attempted.

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One Thing & Another

Word for the Wise  Brumal (BROO-muh) – wintry. Example from the poem “Atavism” by John Myers O’Hara: Old longings nomadic leap, Chafing at custom’s chain; Again from its brumal sleep Wakens the ferine strain.  Note: If you’re a Jack London fan, you’ll recognize this as the epigraph for Call of the Wild.  Did You Know… ? In 1950, only 2% of Americans received Social Security or disability payments. Now, there are more than 10 million recipients (about 4% of the population). Principles of Wealth: #3 of 61 Wealth, by its nature, is not easily acquired because wealth, if understood correctly, is synonymous with “that which is desired but difficult to acquire.” A nice plug for Rancho Santana (and my art …

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Word for the Wise  Stultify (STULL-tih-fie) – to make dull or appear foolish. Example from the French philosopher Jacques Rancière: “Whoever teaches without emancipating stultifies.” Did You Know… ? Leonardo da Vinci invented the scissors. Principles of Wealth: #4 of 61 Racism, ageism, sexism, classism, and elitism exist in most cultures and can retard and, in some cases, restrict individual economic advancement. But the negative effects are rarely absolute. Extraordinary individuals can and do overcome them. Something to Think About Bestselling author James Altucher likes to say that advice is autobiography. What he means, I think, is that: * There are many ways to skin a cat. * Anyone can learn any or several of those ways. * But to …

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Word for the Wise Fustigate (FUSS-tih-gate) – to beat, cudgel, criticize severely. Example from an episode of The Simpsons titled “The Homer They Fall”: Homer has become a professional boxer (don’t ask) and heavyweight champ Drederick Tatum is looking for a comeback fight. Trying to promote a match between Homer and Tatum, Lucius Sweet says to Homer’s friend Moe, “I just need a body who can sustain verticality for three rounds.” Moe replies, “But Homer’s no boxer. He’s– He’s just a freak. Tatum will fustigate him.” Did You Know… ? On average, Americans eat 18 acres of pizza a day. Principles of Wealth: #1 of 61 Wealth is not an absolute good. Nor is it a necessary component of happiness. …

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