June 11, 2007


Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy sh*t we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.
     --Fight Club

Apparently a poll of 13-18 year olds found that 73% of them are Fight Club kids.

In fact, the teenage boys expected to make an average $174,000 annually. Teenage girls expected to earn $114,200.

The reality check:

Median earnings of men who worked full time, year round in 2005, the latest year for which Census Bureau statistics are available, was $41,386.
Women working full time made a median $31,858.
Fewer than 5% of the U.S. population makes more than $100,000, according to the bureau. Only one household out of six report a six-figure income, according to the Federal Reserve's 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances.

We live in a world of fine lines. I think about these fine lines all the time when I think about my imaginary children. We've taught every child in our country that anyone can grow up to be President of the United States, but I think we've forgotten to tell them that only one person actually gets to do it at a time.

Getting rich takes effort. It either takes a boatload of sacrifice and savings, or it takes extreme ambition and hard work. It's something you have to earn. That's why lottery winners usually end up right back where they started. It's why people like M.C. Hammer end up broke. If you don't get rich the old-fashioned way, you're less likely to understand what it means.

I plan to teach my imaginary kid to be old-fashioned.
And, as much as I enjoyed the movie, my kids won't be Fight Club kids.

Posted by Sarah at June 11, 2007 08:28 PM | TrackBack

We've also forgotten to tell kids that it's okay if you don't want to be President of the United States and love working on cars. We need good car mechanics.

And, quite frankly, I know car mechanics who make more money than we do.

Posted by: airforcewife at June 11, 2007 10:16 PM

inflated at 3.5% over 40 years, $41k is $162k and $32k is $126k. these kids aren't that far off!

"getting rich takes effort" - tell that to Paris Hilton (and GW Bush for that matter)

"That's why lottery winners usually end up right back where they started" - usually? really? is that a fact?

Posted by: Fred O at June 17, 2007 02:31 PM

Yeah, I thought of that as well, but I seriously don't think these kids were adjusting for inflation when asked the question! Do you really think they were doing that?

And I found that 1/3 of lottery winners later file for bankruptcy. Google "bankrupt lottery winners" to find tons of articles.

Posted by: Sarah at June 17, 2007 05:25 PM