Being Rich Is Not Hard Work

Working is for schmucks. Interest is for capitalists

We recently found $4,000 in some forgotten bank account. A FD was just dumping interest there. Our cash was making babies, without us even knowing it. That’s capitalism.

The biggest lie capitalism ever told you was that being rich is hard work. Like, yeah, hustle bro! Entrepreneurship! Hard work is not how the system works. This is how you work for the system.

Startup founders mostly fail, but VCs almost always make money. And what’s their skill? Capital. They have money. Money makes money. This is how the game is actually played. Working hard is for losers.

Let me give you a real example. A few years ago I was earning LKR 250,000 a month. This was a good job and I worked hard, weekends, nights, putting the kids to sleep with a laptop open.

However, my wife had investments worth, say, 25 million, which earned more in interest than I did working. She put more food on the table despite not working (she was raising the babies and studying, which should be paid, but that’s not why she was paid). She was paid for being rich in the first place. Do you see how the system works? If you have enough money, banks will literally pay you a salary.

If you work a job you are literally working for someone else. Maybe me. For example, we have money in a Money Market Fund. It goes into some company’s payroll somewhere, I don’t know or care. These people think they’re working for a living but no, they’re given a living. They’re working for me. The minute their work stops increasing my wealth by some amount I don’t need, they’re on their own.

I give you these personal examples because I’ve been on both sides (I married across, really) and the real world of Capital is invisible to most people. People really do believe that they can work hard and get to the top, but they have no idea how the top operates.

We are conditioned to think that the equation of wealth is this:

wealth = work

But go to a bank and wealth is just:

wealth = wealth * interest-rate

Can you work for your initial nest-egg, absolutely, but someone with family money is starting so far ahead, and that advantage literally compounds. It’s called compound interest.

Capital Vs. Labor

For example, yesterday my wife rearranged some investments and I cleaned the pipes under the sink. I did more work, but her four phone calls will make money for the rest of the year. I would literally have to A) be good at plumbing and B) do it for 10 years to make nearly as much. By that time, however, my wife’s wealth would have compounded 10x by just being money. I would have eaten most of my wages by being human.

What’s crazy to me is that capitalists have somehow appropriated the mantle of hard work, to show that they are deserving and poor people just need to work harder. But how capitalism works is literally in the name. It’s CAPITAL not LABOR!

Compared to what a strawberry picker or maid or nurse does, what rich people do is not hard, nor is it risky. Being a serious investor and going to meetings might be stressful because you’re so greedy, but you can also just chill out with an FD. Taking the risk of starting a company is nothing compared to the risk of a migrant crossing a military border where they might steal her child.

If people were paid by hard work, the pyramid would literally be inverted. The rich are the laziest people on earth, by design. THIS IS THE POINT OF CAPITALISM. Again, it’s called capitalism, not laborism. Why would you work, when poor people can work for you? Rich people work for fun, or for greed, but not for a living. Only the poor work to live.

Giving Labor Capital

So I’m a class traitor, pointing out the obvious thing you’re supposed to ignore. So what? Am I going to give up the money? Haha, no, having money is great. I’m a champagne socialist. I think everyone should have champagne. And France can go to colonizer hell, sparkling wines of the world unite.

I think first we have to break the illusion that work will set us free (literally what’s written above the gates of Auschwitz) and be clear about how capitalism works. Workers must seize the means of production, but not factories. Why seize the factory to work in it when you could seize shares and not work at all? Workers should socialize the stock market and take board seats, like in that communist hellhole, Germany.

The public, at large, should have the experience of having money just pile up without them worrying about it. And we must get rid of the paternalistic attitude that people must be motivated to work by poverty, and essentially fear of starvation or destitution. Because rich people do not live like this. We do not work to live, and yet many of us still live to work.

Hence I am not asking for some new category of rights or privileges, but for more people to be treated like the rich. To be just given money for having money. Because the public does have money, it’s just not equally distributed. Wealth is distributed to schmucks like me, who then tell poor people to work harder while we, what, make a few phone calls. But being rich isn’t hard work. We need to break that association, and stop working so hard for nothing. Working is for schmucks. Capital is for capitalists.

Written by

A writer living in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He/him. indi@indi.ca. Videos: tiny.cc/indication and podcast: anchor.fm/indication. patreon.com/indication

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