Friday, August 6, 2021

Multi-generational wealth


Top 10 in the Fortune 500 by generation

The fleeting nature of wealth is captured in the cliché "Shirt-sleeves, suit, shirt-sleeves". One generation creates the wealth. Then next dissipates it. The third generation is back to being a working stiff.

If you look at the Fortune 500 you see that it is dominated by extractive and basic manufacturing industries in 1960 and 1980.

Forty years later half of the companies in those industries have been bumped off the Top 10 by retail, financial and data companies.

History accelerates. The next 20 years sweeps in healthcare and insurance type companies. The only firm that survived in the Top 10 was Exxon-Mobil and that is because the two of them merged.

Graft and Corruption

Looking at Graft and Corruption as an industry, how long will it be a significant generator of wealth for those in a position to exploit it?

Is Graft and Corruption a viable, long-term business model for Crack-pipe Hunter and his ilk?

Many of the features we associated with sailing ships were driven by the avoidance of harbor taxes and not seaworthiness. Some harbors taxed by the size of the highest deck, others by the second deck and still others by water-line. Hence the flying decks and tumble-home.

Graft and Corruption is a cost like a tax or a toll-gate. Businesses and households quickly adapt to figure out ways to avoid those taxes.

How to destroy multi-generational wealth  (source)

  • Concentration of wealth in a single business, sector, or geography 
  • Excessive use of debt 
  • Taxes 
  • Excessive consumption 
  • Growth in the numbers of family members drawing down wealth 
  • Divorce and other litigation
  • Inadequate preparation of heirs 
  • Poor decision making / inability to delay gratification

What do you think? Will Biden, Pelosi, Feinstein, Harris, McConnell, Occasional-Cortex and the rest of the rascals avoid those landmines?


  1. Of course not, unless they die first...

  2. Avoid them? They're the very people constructing them.

    1. Yes, but they believe that their control of politics will allow them to float above the problems they cause. Graft and corruption aren't like normal businesses because they are independent of changes in technology and fashion. They feed on all types of productive activity, using the threat of violence (government law enforcement) to extort us. They want to create a new class of royalty, exactly like the Inner Party members of Orwell's 1984. If they get far enough, and they may already done so, the French Revolution is the model for breaking up their little racket. But the problem with revolution is we can't know in advance whether the "winners" will be the Constitutionalists or some other faction which will be as bad as or worse than the current, corrupt regime.

    2. Let me propose that the Cartel's (MS-13, Sinaloa, etc) will take exception to the Elites horning into their business and will react the way they do in Mexico.

      One thing that currently stays their hand is the fact that they are importing legions of foot-soldiers over the border and are in an arms race with the other Cartels.

      At some point, Crack-Pipe and the other hell-spawn will start showing up in alleyways with Haitian necklaces and slit throats. Then it will be GAME ON.

      And it will not be "White Supremacists" who knocked over the table and started the war.

    3. That sounds really ominous - Americans having to fight a two-front war against both traitors and Mexican gangs, both of whom are better armed than we are.


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