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US is an oligarchy, not a democracy (Page 5)
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Apr 30, 2014, 09:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Indeed.

Building wealth is hard, and most people lack the discipline and drive to do it. There isn't some magical formula, and there's no alchemy at work; it's 80 hours /wk, brass balls, and the refusal to back down, even when you get your nose bloodied (and that'll happen many times). You get up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

Remember when Rob was asking if there were any "shortcuts" to "getting there"? He was asking the wrong questions, but at least he had the temerity to ask, and I respect that. Despite popular opinion, wealth isn't like a large, finite pool that people are intentionally kept away from, there are definite habits and perceptions at work that heavily contribute to the "financial divide", and they aren't a part of some machination manufactured by mustache-twisting multi-millionaires. Try saying that 6 times, really fast.

A list to consider:

1. Don't view money as a consumable resource. Think of ways to make it grow, study the habits of people who are self-sufficient and read books on the subject, there are lots out there.
2. Do you love to work? 9/10 people who are in the top 1% are extreme workaholics, compared to 3% in the bottom 98. In the case of the former group, they sleep an average of 4-6 hours /night, spend <2 hours /day on recreation. The rest of the time, yeah, you guessed it, they're working on ideas to build wealth.
3. Do you enjoy saving money? I'm not talking about stuffing it away in a mattress or savings account (both bad ideas, of course), but more about getting a good deal. For me, haggling and shopping are more fun than the actual buying. Years ago I "rewired" myself to view spending money as being physically painful, unless it was really necessary, and taught myself that it was emotionally rewarding to save and make more. The first part took a long time to undo, and even now it's still a part of me.
4. Do what you love. Make a list of the things you enjoy and find ways to make as many of them as you can profitable. This is one of the most vital things, and it takes a while, but really think about it. Allot time (1-2 hours) every day to come up with ideas and write them down, then explore how to make them happen. Don't be afraid to approach successful people in those fields and ask them for advice and information. Some may brush you off but many won't.
5. Go where the money is. If there's little or no opportunity where you live, then you may have to move. If applicable, research where the best location for such a business is.
6. Don't undervalue your work and efforts. If you treat your time as valuable, other people will too. Time = money, money = time.
7. Set financial goals you can achieve and then gradually make them more challenging.
8. Don't quit. At some point you will fall, but learn from it. Analyze what happened and look at it as a chance to do better the next time. Don't get angry at other people WRT money, that's like personally drinking poison just to spite them. They won't care and you're only hurting yourself. Get back at them by making yourself better and becoming more successful than they are. I once lost $25M in two days, and it wasn't just a situation of, "oops, the market plunged". That was a very expensive lesson, but I'm glad it happened because it made me stronger and more focused, it didn't take long to get it back.

Three years ago I was asked to talk to a group, as some type of inspirational speaker (yeah, that's funny), and I made out those points and tried to share that the first thing that must change is yourself. It's necessary to re-program yourself to not be a consumer and to stop looking at money as fuel, but to imagine it as seed. Once you change your perspective, spending money becomes less attractive, you stop thriving on consumption and begin to focus on growth. Anyhow, when they realized I was telling them they needed to cut their credit cards, stop lusting after useless crap, and that there was a lot of hard work involved, they became restless, some even walked out. It's all about you, your habits and perceptions, and whether you choose to change those so you can build wealth. It's not easy, only 3% of the USA can count their net worth in the 7 digits while most others live hand-to-mouth, impulse is a killer.

Here's the dirty little secret, for free! Money itself isn't the actual reward. The goal is getting away from vapid consumerism and learning to be happy while pursuing self-sufficiency. No, I can't guarantee that anyone can become a billionaire, but I will say that you'll be much happier and more comfortable.
Very similar conclusions that I have reached. When I look at the people around me who are incredibly successful and have a ton of money, the near-universal trait is that they work more than everyone else, they absolutely love what they do, they would likely rather be at work than anywhere else, and they are entirely willing to sacrifice their "free time" and family time in order to work.

After some self-analysis I decided that I would never be rich, because the above just wasn't "me". As much as I am busy and enjoy what I do, I'm generally working for the evenings and weekend, i.e. I'm not a workaholic and I do my job so I can have money to do the recreational things I truly love to do. For whatever reason, I just don't have that willingness to put work first and foremost above everything else (or perhaps rather - I'm not willing to deal with how miserable I am when I do that).

So I've come to grips with the likelihood that I'll never have more than a comfortable middle-class life and likely will never own a new Porsche.
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Apr 30, 2014, 12:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
The first line is a strawman
I didn't intend it to be. I meant 'any one can be a millionaire' in the same way people claim any one can succeed in the US. While very one can't replicate your suggested criteria, supposedly we're all capable if try hard enough, right?



Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I suspect Marx is a great deal more popular among academics than Nazi Germany.
True, but the point is Communism (and by extension Marx) is vilified so that one need not actually present argument against perceived 'communist' solutions.

Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I'd say his math problem is a failure to acknowledge material wealth, but the primary problem is indeed one of ideology. Rather than focus on what creates poverty and seeking to mitigate it, Piketty focuses on wealth and seeks to mitigate it, at times in an unabashed manner as you alluded with his suggestions of global wealth taxes and more specifically, an 80% tax on those earning more than $500k/yr in the US. Which really should put all my respondents' well-wishes of "hey good luck on that!" in perspective.

His work cites examples of the times of greater inequality and times of lesser inequality, but misses the effects of globalism overall and does not acknowledge intra-country inequality vs global inequality. Yes, there were eras of greater equality, but it was not that more of those in poverty were digging their way out of a hole as much as more wealthy people found themselves falling into it. Any solution with a goal primarily of the latter seems not only mean-spirited, but counterintuitive and that is strictly because it is patently, ideologically-bent. Being French is one thing, ardently supporting the French Socialist Party is another.
That was a hell of a better reply.
     
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Apr 30, 2014, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I didn't intend it to be. I meant 'any one can be a millionaire' in the same way people claim any one can succeed in the US. While very one can't replicate your suggested criteria, supposedly we're all capable if try hard enough, right?
Millionaire? (I could have sworn you said "B"illionaire) Yes. As long as a person isn't too mentally challenged, they can become a multimillionaire and be comfortable while doing something they love, it only requires obsession and the inability to quit. I say "too" because I know a person with a below average IQ (~80) who did it through sheer stubbornness, and that showed me what's possible.

As far as wealth reallocation goes, the real issue is the nature of wealth, not even the individuals themselves, on either side of the "tracks". Money is a fluid not a solid, and most people have relatively small, leaky cups (or even worse, just their bare hands).
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Apr 30, 2014, 04:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Millionaire? (I could have sworn you said "B"illionaire)
I probably did. In the grand scheme of things the vast majority of people won't make either milestone, and either way one could live comfortably.

Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
people have relatively small, leaky cups (or even worse, just their bare hands).
I'm not disagreeing, but I think its also been mentioned that the opposite occurs – how houses act like concrete blocks around the necks of people.
     
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Apr 30, 2014, 08:12 PM
 
For most, homes aren't assets, they're liabilities, particularly when people are tied to mortgages for decades. I saw an ad for a 50 year mortgage the other day and it blew my mind, for a moment I thought I was in Tokyo.

In the grand scheme of things, the vast majority of people aren't very interested in finances, unless they're spending. As for comfort, I agree 100%.
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Apr 30, 2014, 08:17 PM
 
If you're living in the house, it's a mistake to consider it an investment, unless you're willing to dump it on a moment's notice the way you need to do with a real investment.
     
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May 2, 2014, 07:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If you're living in the house, it's a mistake to consider it an investment, unless you're willing to dump it on a moment's notice the way you need to do with a real investment.
In the present economic climate, especially. We need to start granting incentives to encourage people to rent rather than buy, like maybe making a portion of their rent tax-deductible. The prime rate has been at virtually nothing for so long that it's enticed 2 (if not 3) generations to get mortgages; one, that they often can't afford, and two, that anchor them down, further inflating unemployment rates in already stressed urban centers.
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May 2, 2014, 11:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
We need to start granting incentives to encourage people to rent rather than buy, like maybe making a portion of their rent tax-deductible.
Wait, aren't there already incentives to buy? Why would we want to pile incentives onto incentives? Wouldn't the logical conclusion be that removing incentives to buy would automatically make renting more attractive?
     
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May 2, 2014, 11:05 AM
 
I n c e n t i v e s e v e r y w h e r e
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May 2, 2014, 11:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Wait, aren't there already incentives to buy? Why would we want to pile incentives onto incentives? Wouldn't the logical conclusion be that removing incentives to buy would automatically make renting more attractive?
I don't believe that would be enough, it's too far ingrained into the American psyche. Cease the buying incentives and give rental incentives.
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May 2, 2014, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
In the present economic climate, especially. We need to start granting incentives to encourage people to rent rather than buy, like maybe making a portion of their rent tax-deductible. The prime rate has been at virtually nothing for so long that it's enticed 2 (if not 3) generations to get mortgages; one, that they often can't afford, and two, that anchor them down, further inflating unemployment rates in already stressed urban centers.
Christ...

If you can't afford to buy the shit outright, then it's really not an investment.

[Not directed at you, Shaddim]
     
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May 2, 2014, 01:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If you're living in the house, it's a mistake to consider it an investment, unless you're willing to dump it on a moment's notice the way you need to do with a real investment.
Hmmm... that's interesting. I won't pretend to know what people buying houses think, but I often hear about investing should be a long-term consideration (when you're in the stock market) so I wouldn't be surprised if people think buying a house is a good investment because they're willingly going in for the long haul (Rather than flipping).


Originally Posted by subego View Post
Christ...

If you can't afford to buy the shit outright, then it's really not an investment.

[Not directed at you, Shaddim]
That's a very good point, however.
     
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May 2, 2014, 01:30 PM
 
Here's my quickie investment rundown.

Never invest in a single stock unless you are intimately familiar with the company and their industry.

Never have more than 5% of your net worth in a single stock.


The above limitations will likely make it so the majority of your stock investments are in mutual or index funds. Investing in either is essentially investing in the stock market as a whole. It's reasonable (relatively speaking) to assume the thing as a whole will go up after a long period of time, so that's a relatively safe investment. A single house isn't diversified like that. In fact, it's not diversified at all.
     
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May 2, 2014, 01:35 PM
 
There are some shortcuts to wealth that don't involve those insane working hours:

- be Justin Beiber or the like
- be the son or daughter of somebody very wealthy and make sure you are on their will

Beiber works fairly hard since touring takes a lot out of you, but not 80 hours a week obsession
( Last edited by besson3c; May 2, 2014 at 01:48 PM. )
     
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May 2, 2014, 01:40 PM
 
I betcha Bieber works close to 80 hours a week.
     
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May 2, 2014, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I betcha Bieber works close to 80 hours a week.
Maybe only if you consider his time away from home as working, and it is, but he has handlers doing most everything, I'm sure.
     
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May 2, 2014, 01:45 PM
 
I'm with besson on this. He may have weeks where between travel and appearances he puts in quite a few hours, but I'm sure he has many free weeks as well.
     
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May 2, 2014, 01:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I'm with besson on this. He may have weeks where between travel and appearances he puts in quite a few hours, but I'm sure he has many free weeks as well.

And the hours he does put in are managed by his handlers. All he needs to do is go along with things and stay healthy. It's work-ish, as in he's not at home doing nothing, but it's certainly not the same sort of work as building a company is, and it's not 80 hours/week. I'm sure he gets plenty of sleep.
     
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May 2, 2014, 01:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I'm sure he gets plenty of sleep.
If he doesn't its because he goes out to the club til 4 am.
     
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May 2, 2014, 01:54 PM
 
For Bieber, schmoozing is work, as is being dogpiled by rabid fans at a moment's notice.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.
     
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May 2, 2014, 02:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
There are some shortcuts to wealth that don't involve those insane working hours:

- be Justin Beiber or the like
- be the son or daughter of somebody very wealthy and make sure you are on their will

Beiber works fairly hard since touring takes a lot out of you, but not 80 hours a week obsession
I'm not sure if Bieber counts as a "shortcut" to wealth.

He is doing something incredibly well: extracting money from people for shit.

He's brilliant at that, and to say that this is a shortcut underestimates his brilliance.

Being able to legally extract large sums of money from people will always be hard work, because you have to count in the millions of people that tried and failed, and spent countless days of their lives trying. Just looking at those that succeed and say "oh look, it's easy" is way too simplistic.

-t
     
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May 2, 2014, 02:10 PM
 
I think the idea he doesn't work is more a general lack of respect for him.

Which is fine. I'm not saying he deserves respect. The guy has mortgaged his entire teens though. It's unfair to say it's his handlers doing the work.
     
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May 2, 2014, 02:17 PM
 
Theres a difference between saying being a child star sucks and is grueling and thinking that post-massive success adult has 80 hour work weeks.
     
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May 2, 2014, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I'm not sure if Bieber counts as a "shortcut" to wealth.

He is doing something incredibly well: extracting money from people for shit.

He's brilliant at that, and to say that this is a shortcut underestimates his brilliance.

Being able to legally extract large sums of money from people will always be hard work, because you have to count in the millions of people that tried and failed, and spent countless days of their lives trying. Just looking at those that succeed and say "oh look, it's easy" is way too simplistic.

-t

Except he has songwriters, a record label marketing his stuff, venue promoters, and hordes of other people doing all of that work for him. Not many people know that many pop stars don't even write their own songs, but it's true.
     
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May 2, 2014, 02:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I think the idea he doesn't work is more a general lack of respect for him.

Which is fine. I'm not saying he deserves respect. The guy has mortgaged his entire teens though. It's unfair to say it's his handlers doing the work.

But it his. He doesn't book his tour dates, he doesn't plan them, he doesn't setup the sound/lights, he doesn't setup his press engagements, he likely doesn't write many of his songs, and he doesn't even do menial tasks like plan dinner.

This would be different if he were a U2 or somebody that got to this place on their own, but he got good enough to be noticed by his record label, and they turned him into the money making machine he is pretty quickly.
     
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May 2, 2014, 02:25 PM
 
For a traditional business, the average life cycle to go from nothing to a pretty good money making model and a nice growth trajectory is around 10 years. Beiber's record label shortened that considerably, because they don't have time to wait for 10 years.

Shaddim, how long did it take you to go from nothing to something? Does the 10 year rule-of-thumb apply to you, roughly?
     
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May 2, 2014, 02:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
But it his. He doesn't book his tour dates, he doesn't plan them, he doesn't setup the sound/lights, he doesn't setup his press engagements, he likely doesn't write many of his songs, and he doesn't even do menial tasks like plan dinner.

This would be different if he were a U2 or somebody that got to this place on their own, but he got good enough to be noticed by his record label, and they turned him into the money making machine he is pretty quickly.
His handlers do handler work.

Handler work is real work but being a performing monkey isn't?
     
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May 2, 2014, 02:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Theres a difference between saying being a child star sucks and is grueling and thinking that post-massive success adult has 80 hour work weeks.
He's post-massive success?
     
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May 2, 2014, 02:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
He's post-massive success?
Yeah, that's the most important part of that post to ****ing mince over.
     
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May 2, 2014, 02:55 PM
 
Sorry, I thought that was your ****ing argument, crankypants.
     
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May 2, 2014, 02:58 PM
 
My argument is work before and after getting a shitload of money/stardom.

Edit: i.e., the first million is the hardest
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:02 PM
 
Let me put it this way. I'm essentially a roadie. At the end of a show, I'm breaking down lights and wrapping cable. The people in the band are schmoozing with fans.

We're both working.

I'm sure the fans Bieber talks to are CEOs who want an autograph for their kids as opposed to broke, drunk people, but it's still the same work.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:09 PM
 
Great, so this is a semantic argument over the term "working"? Because the vast majority of people don't consider being sociable and drunk "working".
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
His handlers do handler work.

Handler work is real work but being a performing monkey isn't?

I don't even know what you are arguing, it seems like you are arguing for the sake of arguing.

Being a touring musician is most definitely an 80-hour week type situation. Being a touring musician with the resources that Beiber has isn't. It also isn't nearly as stressful, because somebody else is stressing over everything. Beiber may stress over when his good run will end, but it's still a pretty ideal situation.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
My argument is work before and after getting a shitload of money/stardom.

Edit: i.e., the first million is the hardest
Most people try and leverage that, and things end up the same.

It's like computers "saving you time". That doesn't really happen. That time you "save" ends up getting used on different work. You accomplish more, but you don't work less.

There are exceptions, but that's the general way of things.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Great, so this is a semantic argument over the term "working"? Because the vast majority of people don't consider being sociable and drunk "working".
Should I really need to explain how being sociable may just be a touch different experience for a celebrity?
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Let me put it this way. I'm essentially a roadie. At the end of a show, I'm breaking down lights and wrapping cable. The people in the band are schmoozing with fans.

We're both working.

I'm sure the fans Bieber talks to are CEOs who want an autograph for their kids as opposed to broke, drunk people, but it's still the same work.

Except Beiber shows up for his gig, plays for a few hours, does this shmoozing, is driven back to his hotel, and he is done until the next show. He may have press stuff in-between, but it's still the same sort of deal. Let's be generous and say that is 5 hours a day. Even if he does this 7 days a week (and he doesn't, there are plenty of off days and travel days), that's still less than a 40 hour week.

You could say that his travel days are work days, and they kind of are, but touring musicians just learn to make the road their home. It's not as nice as being home, but it is certainly not comparable to what Shaddim was talking about given Beiber's comfortable lifestyle.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I don't even know what you are arguing, it seems like you are arguing for the sake of arguing.

Being a touring musician is most definitely an 80-hour week type situation. Being a touring musician with the resources that Beiber has isn't. It also isn't nearly as stressful, because somebody else is stressing over everything. Beiber may stress over when his good run will end, but it's still a pretty ideal situation.
You're still a monkey who has to dance on command. If it's such an ideal situation, why does it **** up so many people?
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Should I really need to explain how being sociable may just be a touch different experience for a celebrity?
It's called a drawback, not work. You've basically created a situation where anytime he isn't a hermit he's 'working'. So basically next to all his waking hours.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:18 PM
 
Have you guys ever wondered what life would be like being the inheritor of a massive fortune? Your life would basically be defined, in a number of ways, by your parents. It's gotta be weird.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
You're still a monkey who has to dance on command. If it's such an ideal situation, why does it **** up so many people?

Being seduced by fame and being unable to handle it is a totally different topic altogether.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Have you guys ever wondered what life would be like being the inheritor of a massive fortune? Your life would basically be defined, in a number of ways, by your parents. It's gotta be weird.
Paris Hilton? If anything her life is anything but defined.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Except Beiber shows up for his gig, plays for a few hours, does this shmoozing, is driven back to his hotel, and he is done until the next show. He may have press stuff in-between, but it's still the same sort of deal. Let's be generous and say that is 5 hours a day. Even if he does this 7 days a week (and he doesn't, there are plenty of off days and travel days), that's still less than a 40 hour week.

You could say that his travel days are work days, and they kind of are, but touring musicians just learn to make the road their home. It's not as nice as being home, but it is certainly not comparable to what Shaddim was talking about given Beiber's comfortable lifestyle.
At the least, you're demonstrating limited knowledge of how press junkets work for top-tier celebrities. It's a huge ****ing grind.

Likewise, that part where celebrities seem all relaxed and have smooth answers to questions doesn't just happen. It takes work. They want you to believe they're living some life of Riley. "Belive" as in "because it's untrue".
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
It's called a drawback, not work. You've basically created a situation where anytime he isn't a hermit he's 'working'. So basically next to all his waking hours.
You're being very binary about this.

If you consider people being up in your shit a "drawback" you aren't going to make it far as a celebrity.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Being seduced by fame and being unable to handle it is a totally different topic altogether.
The point is the difficulty of handling doth not spring from it being easy.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Paris Hilton? If anything her life is anything but defined.
Her life is defined by being undefined, if that makes sense? Everybody knows or can easily figure out who these inheritors are, and they are known, and thus defined in part by society, because of the work of their parents.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The point is the difficulty of handling doth not spring from it being easy.

I didn't say that being Justin Beiber is easy. It's a totally different set of challenges then building your own company though, which is the point. It's also a shortcut to wealth because you can be Justin Beiber in the fraction of the time it takes to be, say, Jimmy Wales since we were just talking about him recently. Of course not everybody can be Justin Beiber, these opportunities are scarce, but if given the same opportunity a number of people could be Justin Beiber.
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If you consider people being up in your shit a "drawback" you aren't going to make it far as a celebrity.
They consider not being able to go anywhere without being recognized a drawback. I've never heard a celebrity refer to just being awake and outside their house as 'work.'
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
At the least, you're demonstrating limited knowledge of how press junkets work for top-tier celebrities. It's a huge ****ing grind.

Likewise, that part where celebrities seem all relaxed and have smooth answers to questions doesn't just happen. It takes work. They want you to believe they're living some life of Riley. "Belive" as in "because it's untrue".

I don't even know what we are talking about anymore. Should I repeat my original point so that it can be acknowledged, or do you get it?
     
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May 2, 2014, 03:34 PM
 
I'll agree the challenges are different, but I question placing them on different scales.

This "sociable" element is a great example. A celebrity's bread and butter is the relationship they have with their fans. Maintaining that is a job.

For non-celebrities, being sociable is recreation.
     
 
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