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You Don't Have to Stay Poor
Townhall.com ^ | September 11, 2013 | Walter E. Williams

Posted on 09/11/2013 3:42:56 AM PDT by Kaslin

No one can blame you if you start out in life poor, because how you start is not your fault. If you stay poor, you're to blame because it is your fault. Nowhere has this been made clearer than in Dennis Kimbro's new book, "The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires."

Kimbro, a business professor at Clark Atlanta University, conducted extensive face-to-face interviews, took surveys and had other interactions with nearly 1,000 of America's black financial elite, many of whom are multimillionaires, to discover the secret of their success. Kimbro's seven-year study included wealthy blacks such as Byron E. Lewis, Tyler Perry, Daymond John, Bob Johnson, Cathy Hughes and Antonio Reed. Kimbro says that many of today's black multimillionaires started out poor or worse. So what were their strategies?

"The Wealth Choice" argues that wealth (millionaireship) is not a function of circumstance, luck, environment or the cards you were dealt. Instead, wealth is the result of a conscious choice, action, faith, innovation, effort, preparation and discipline. Or, in the words of billionaire W. Clement Stone, founder of Combined Insurance, whom Kimbro met with and mentions early in the book, "Try, try, try, and keep on trying is the rule that must be followed to become an expert in anything." He also said, "If you cannot save money, the seeds of greatness are not in you." Saving is necessary for investment and wealth accumulation. Therein lies much of the problem for many black Americans.

Kimbro gives us some statistics to highlight some of the problem. The median net worth, or wealth, of white households is 20 times that of black households. In 2009, 35 percent of black households had no wealth or were in debt. Twenty-four percent of black Americans spend more than they earn, compared with 14 percent of all Americans. Thirty-two percent of blacks do not save at all, compared with less than 25 percent of all Americans. To underscore these statistics, Earl Graves Jr., CEO of Black Enterprise magazine, said that blacks are six times as likely as whites to purchase a Mercedes-Benz and that blacks who purchase Jaguars have an income one-third less than whites who purchase the same vehicles.

Some, but not all, of the explanation for the wealth differences between blacks and whites has to do with inheritances. Slavery, poverty and gross discrimination didn't create the conditions for inheritances. But slavery and gross discrimination cannot explain today's lack of saving and investing. Nobody's saying that marshaling the resources for wealth is easy. Gaining wealth is a challenge, as singer Ray Charles lamented in his hit song "Them That Got": "That old saying 'them that's got are them that gets' is something I can't see. If you gotta have something before you can get something, how do you get your first is still a mystery to me." But as John Harold Johnson, who rose above abject poverty and racial discrimination to build a publishing empire, said, "if you want to know how people feel about themselves, look at their bank account. ... Wealth is less a matter of circumstance than it is a matter of knowledge and choice."

"The Wealth Choice" suggests several disciplines that can be only summarized here. Among them are: Be passionate, and focus on unique strengths; develop clear, delineated goals. Then develop strong work ethic. Recognize the power of ideas, and never consider the possibility of failure. Be thrifty and frugal in nature. My stepfather put Kimbro's list of self-disciplines in another way. He said: If you want to be successful at anything, you have to come early and stay late.

When Dr. Kimbro graciously sent me a copy of "The Wealth Choice," he included an 18-minute video, titled "In Conversation with Dr. Dennis Kimbro." On top of putting together an excellent book, he reveals himself as an excellent motivational speaker who should be speaking to young people regardless of race.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: income; jobs; poor; wealth

1 posted on 09/11/2013 3:42:56 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

you can be a “rapper” or a basketball star...

Or at least thats all that seems to be important (don’t go to college ‘n be all actin’ white)


2 posted on 09/11/2013 3:45:49 AM PDT by Mr. K (Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and then Democrat Talking Points.)
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To: Kaslin

Access to wealth, or the opposite position, aversion to accumulation of worldly goods, is a state of mind, not a condition forced upon an individual by others. Each of us has a “comfort level” at which we maintain our personal standards and attitudes about money, and this is largely an inheritance we get from our family and associates. None of it is genetic.

“A man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be.” This quote is attributed to Abraham Lincoln, and it is one of those eternal verities that does not change over time.

Watching some people use their access to wealth is like watching a dog eat peanut butter.


3 posted on 09/11/2013 3:53:16 AM PDT by alloysteel (Those who deny natural climate change are forever doomed to stupidity. AGW is a LIE.)
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To: Kaslin

Speaking strictly as a guy who’s been far from wealthy most of his life: Williams is right. If I’d sincerely wanted to be wealthy, I’d have got there.


4 posted on 09/11/2013 4:04:50 AM PDT by Standing Wolf (No tyrant should ever be allowed to die of natural causes.)
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To: Kaslin

“Some, but not all, of the explanation for the wealth differences between blacks and whites has to do with inheritances.”

This is the rationale for reparations; the inherited money (passed down through generations) was “stolen from blacks”. I’m middle-aged with two living parents; any inheritance would be split many ways (it’s an Irish thing). I started delivering newspapers in sixth grade and haven’t been without a job since; that may be why I have something (which isn’t much anyway). Oh, and I didn’t start breeding until my late twenties, and then it was with my wife in a monogamous marriage.


5 posted on 09/11/2013 4:04:56 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: kearnyirish2

Proverbs 13:22

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just


6 posted on 09/11/2013 4:10:26 AM PDT by EBH (America is not judge, jury, and executioner for the world.)
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To: Kaslin

Essentially the same points Thomas Stanley made when he wrote the Millionaire Next Door.


7 posted on 09/11/2013 4:21:27 AM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: Kaslin

Bflr.


8 posted on 09/11/2013 4:21:59 AM PDT by SunTzuWu
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To: Kaslin

As a mother, I share Walter Williams’s frustration as he tells people the same simple, obvious things over and over again.


9 posted on 09/11/2013 4:23:50 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Make sure you notice when I'm being subtly ironic!)
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To: Standing Wolf
If I’d sincerely wanted to be wealthy, I’d have got there.

I agree. My family could be much more wealthy if we made that our priority. We know what builds wealth; we just make other choices because we have other values.

10 posted on 09/11/2013 4:25:17 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Make sure you notice when I'm being subtly ironic!)
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To: Standing Wolf

Agreed. It is all how you define it as well. “Wealthy” in the center of Maine, Arkansas or Nebraska is mediocre at best on Long Island, Santa Barbara County or Metro-Boston. If I lived outside of Bangor or Houlton I’d be very well off.


11 posted on 09/11/2013 4:27:33 AM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: Mr. K

You can also become rich if you make movies and TV shows that make fun of blacks.


12 posted on 09/11/2013 5:32:14 AM PDT by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: Mr. K

There are an awful lot of blacks who wouldn’t agree with you. They’re going to college and studying things that will get them good jobs. Of course in the ghetto there are kids who aspire to be rappers, and certainly ten-year-olds in every social class think they can be sports stars.

But here’s something that white people often forget: the majority of blacks in this country are middle-class, are employed, are sending their kids to college, and have the same aspirations whites do.

I live in the suburbs of DC. Sure, there are dysfunctional impoverished criminal and/or drug-addled blacks in bad neighborhoods here, but there are also huge areas filled with prosperous middle-class black business people and professionals or those working hard to get into those positions. Some of these successful blacks have been my employers or managers.

One difference I’ve observed that this article also notes: more successful blacks will buy a nice car rather than driving a piece of junk and putting the money toward a nicer house. The blacks in my community drive way nicer cars than I do.


13 posted on 09/11/2013 6:22:49 AM PDT by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
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To: ottbmare
"But here’s something that white people often forget: the majority of blacks in this country are middle-class, are employed, are sending their kids to college, and have the same aspirations whites do. "

huh???

not according to what I have seen and Welfare statistics. 50% of all younger black males have been to prison, not to college. That's not a good aspiration.

14 posted on 09/11/2013 6:51:44 AM PDT by Mr. K (Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and then Democrat Talking Points.)
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To: Kaslin

No, I am just a victim. I’m sick so I’ll never get out of poverty. I have Can’tcer


15 posted on 09/11/2013 6:56:42 AM PDT by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: Mr. K

“But here’s something that white people often forget: the majority of blacks in this country are middle-class, are employed, are sending their kids to college, and have the same aspirations whites do. “
huh???

not according to what I have seen and Welfare statistics. 50% of all younger black males have been to prison, not to college. That’s not a good aspiration.
________________________-

this makes sense when one realizes that middle class blacks do not reproduce much.


16 posted on 09/11/2013 6:57:22 AM PDT by Chickensoup (...We didn't love freedom enough... Solzhenitsyn.)
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To: Mr. K

And in a number of states, one can live a middle-class lifestyle on public assistance, or live an upper middle-class lifestyle on an overpaid make-work municipal government job handing out that assistance, like St. Trayvon’s “mom.”


17 posted on 09/11/2013 7:08:06 AM PDT by Trailerpark Badass (There should be a whole lot more going on than throwing bleach, said one woman.)
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To: MSF BU

Kind of funny, when I left Indiana almost 20 years ago, I did pretty good. One place I worked at, they decided to close up shop and move everything to the East Coast. When I refused, management was pretty pissed. Another thing about the East Coast, everything is very expensive as well. I have a cousin who lives in VA by DC and he is working his ass off just to stay ahead. He even lived in Colorado for a short time and advised him to stay here, nicer lifestyle versus VA. He would have been much closer to retirement if he stayed.

Downside, liberals have taken over on a lot of things but hope this can change real soon especially with the results of the recall election, hopefully turn things around and correct the mistakes made.

> Agreed. It is all how you define it as well. “Wealthy” in the center of Maine, Arkansas or Nebraska is mediocre at best on Long Island, Santa Barbara County or Metro-Boston. If I lived outside of Bangor or Houlton I’d be very well off.


18 posted on 09/11/2013 8:51:08 AM PDT by CORedneck
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To: Mr. K

I didn’t say “the majority of young males in the ghetto are middle class.” I mean that the members of the average black family in this country are employed and intend for their kids to go to college. The criminals get media coverage and the hardworking churchgoing families don’t.


19 posted on 09/11/2013 9:07:14 AM PDT by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
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To: Mr. K

I didn’t say “the majority of young males in the ghetto are middle class.” I mean that the members of the average black family in this country are employed and intend for their kids to go to college. The criminals get media coverage and the hardworking churchgoing families don’t.


20 posted on 09/11/2013 9:19:40 AM PDT by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
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To: ottbmare

you are probably right

But at 25% unemployment it’s gotta suck

And its not that MOST blacks do not commit crime, its that MOST CRIME is committed by blacks.

Just like most muzzies are not terrorists, but most terrorists are muzzies

And just like the majority of muzzies do not speak out against the terrorist minority, the majority of blacks and especially black ‘leaders’ do not speak out against the criminal minority of blacks.


21 posted on 09/11/2013 10:40:28 AM PDT by Mr. K (Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and then Democrat Talking Points.)
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To: CORedneck

I agree with you. In New Hampshire they can only go so far unless they institute an income and/or sales tax. I don’t think that will happen and the parasite class will suffer.


22 posted on 09/11/2013 7:04:39 PM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: Kaslin
The difference between poor people and those who are no longer poor is a matter of behavior, not luck or inheritance or race or anything else, but doing the right things. "The right things" have been known since antiquity.
23 posted on 09/11/2013 8:40:39 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: ottbmare
The blacks in my community drive way nicer cars than I do.

Nobody needs a Mercedes or a Jaguar. That is an example of a stupid money decision by someone who should be trying to elevate his game.

24 posted on 09/11/2013 8:44:30 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

Of course nobody needs a Mercedes or a Jaguar. Nobody needs a fine house, or attractive furniture, or books, or a computer, or nice clothes. Nobody needs a car of any sort. All anybody really needs is food, heat, water, shelter, and medicine. But when one has some disposable income it’s not the business of anyone else to tell him how he may spend it; doing so is the sort of thing Obama does.

Now, I may agree with you that someone of modest means shouldn’t be wasting money on a Mercedes or a Jaguar. But the blacks in my community are doctors, scientists, and lawyers, and if they’re driving nice cars, the chances are good that they can manage the payments without difficulty and don’t need to “elevate their game.”

Me, I’m driving a piece of crap I paid cash for a dozen years ago because I can’t afford even a used car.


25 posted on 09/11/2013 9:58:20 PM PDT by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
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