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Build a profitable business- the baby steps part 10

2. Middle-class-group. We could just as easily have named this one “I´m quite content with my life”-road or ”I´m rather happy than rich”-road instead of middleclass-road. This is the road most of us are born and breed into. People in this group are heavily influenced by the opinions of their parents and that of the society as a whole. Thus, this group longs for a good education and a steady secure job, Those who belong to this group and proclaim that they want more, are often subject to suspicion, scepticism and ridicule from their peers. Why would anybody want a different lifestyle? Do they feel they are better than their parents or their neighbours? Have they been blinded by greed. Everybody else is doing it this way, that must mean it is the right way to go about it, right?

This road is all about security. Paradoxically, you think you are choosing security when in reality nothing could be further from the truth. They are all just one downsizing operation or “cost saving program” away from realizing thet somebody else is holding their keys to security. And that somebody else is (on most occassions) a faceless global corporation in the process of moving more and more production to the third world and automating the process even further. Does is sound tempting? No? Well, that´s just the thing. This is THE road to take says conventional wisdom. Our feeling is that you´d be better of being more wise and less conventional.

Smart people understand that happiness and wealth are two different variables, not to be considered mutually exclusive to one another. That´s why we always find it amusing when we hear stuff such as “I´m rather happy than rich”, “You can´t take your money with you when you die”, “You can´t become rich unless you become a bad person” or “Money doesn´t make you happy”. What a load of crap. Whenever somebody tells us something along the lines “I´m rather rich than happy”, we immediatley conclude that we are talking to a poor person with little hope of ever becoming rich. Think about it. It´s the best excuse in the world. These people have accepted their fate even before trying. And since they can spend the rest of their life claiming the only reason they are not rich is since that would somehow limit their happiness, they have the perfect alibi for failure. We can tell you that there are rich people who are very happy. And if you could choose between being poor and happy or being rich and happy, we are pretty certain you would go for the latter option.

Another thing that we always find amusing regarding the middle-class-road is that it is full of people who pretend to belong to another class entirely. It is generally in this group that you will find some of the most luxurious living. Well, it´s not really luxurious living, it just looks and feels like it. This group of people have modest savings in relation to their income simply because they spend most of what they earn trying to keep up with “the Joneses”. The “social race” virtually forces them to buy the fanciest car they can (´t) afford, get all the latest gadgets, own the flashiest clothes, watches and designer bags- and topping it off by going on the ridiculously overpriced vacation. How can they afford all that? Well, in most western societies they can´t.

Enter the debt cycle. The fuel keeping the individuals on the middle-class-road in motion are loans. Banks, second mortgages, credit cards, whatever. As long as it keeps this baby rolling, they are in. Everybody else is doing it so it can´t be that wrong, can it? If this was as stupid as it felt at times the government would surely stop it? After all, there is no government so stupid it would let its citizens rack up all this preposterous debt without some kind of plan for how to deal with a potential setback, right?  There is no government so irresponsible that it would allow for the leverage to become so ridiculously high that even a minor disruption would destabilize the whole system and put the financial future of a nation (and the rest of the world) at risk? As a matter of fact we know of just such a government. Actually, we know several. As far as the politicians are concerned, we basically have the same feelings towards politicians as we have regarding meetings. We try to avoid them as much as possible, since we find they are of little practical value. Enough said.

The middle-class road is built on tradition, “the social race” going on around us and outstanding debt. When you pair up instant gratification with the right credit card bad things are bound to happen. The lucky ones in this group end up as upper middle class with some reasonable savings tucked away. Most of them stand little chance of becoming truly rich, although you might guess otherwise judging from their credit-card-infused lavish material “lifestyle”. But the sense od security and wealth are but illusions.

Only the debt is real. Very real indeed.

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