Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What "we" Earn & what "they" Earn

It takes much more than just hard work to make a decent living these days, let alone to eventually become uber-rich. It takes a lot of talent, and a whole lot of luck too. Even successful criminals need talent and luck. But if you just work hard, that's not enough anymore, not when there are so few jobs paying a "living wage".

Now you need a lot of luck just to get a job interview. Even a college education is no guarantee anymore, but it might help to give someone the upper hand when applying for a menial job, even when an advanced education isn't even needed or required.

Gone are the days of big manufacturing or working in a good trade and belonging to labor union, negotiating wages and benefits for a job that only one parent would need to provide enough for an average family of four. Now it take both parents working menial jobs just to survive. And they both will have to work very hard just to keep those jobs, providing "increased worker productivity", lest they be fired for a more desperate person who's been out of work a long time.

But if you have a special talent, such as in business (e.g. finance, banking, stock trading, etc), or in the arts (e.g. acting, painting, music, etc.), or in athletics (e.g. football, baseball, basketball, etc.), and you have a lot of luck (and get discovered by someone who can market your talent), then you'll stand a much better chance of surviving much more comfortably...but you'll also have to work hard too.

Talent, luck, and hard work...you'll need all three.

According to the Wall Street Journal last year, the U.S. has a record number of millionaires (3.1 million). The wealth held by these millionaires also hit a record, with a combined total of $11.6 trillion. According to Forbes Magazine (a year ago), there were over 400 billionaires in the U.S.

Below are just those on the Forbes 400 list that have billions in double digits. And below that is a short list of Hollywood notables. And below that, a short list of athletes.

  • Bill Gates $59 billion net worth - Microsoft
  • Warren Buffett $39 billion net worth - Berkshire Hathaway
  • Larry Ellison $33 billion net worth - Oracle
  • Charles Koch $25 billion net worth - diversified
  • David Koch $25 billion net worth - diversified
  • Christy Walton $24.5 billion net worth - Wal-Mart
  • George Soros $22 billion net worth - hedge funds
  • Sheldon Adelson $21.5 billion net worth - casinos
  • Jim Walton $21.1 billion net worth - Wal-Mart
  • Alice Walton $20.9 billion net worth - Wal-Mart
  • S. Robson Walton $20.5 billion net worth - Wal-Mart
  • Michael Bloomberg $19.5 billion net worth - Bloomberg LP
  • Jeff Bezos $19.1 billion net worth - Amazon.com
  • Mark Zuckerberg $17.5 billion net worth - Facebook
  • Sergey Brin $16.7 billion net worth - Google
  • Larry Page $16.7 billion net worth - Google
  • John Paulson $15.5 billion net worth - hedge funds
  • Michael Dell $15 billion net worth - Dell
  • Steve Ballmer $13.9 billion net worth - Microsoft
  • Forrest Mars $13.8 billion net worth - candy
  • Jacqueline Mars $13.8 billion net worth - candy
  • John Mars $13.8 billion net worth - candy, pet food
  • Paul Allen $13.2 billion net worth - Microsoft, investments
  • Phil Knight $13.1 billion net worth - Nike
  • Carl Icahn $13 billion net worth - leveraged buyouts
  • Donald Bren $12 billion net worth - real estate
  • Anne Cox Chambers $12 billion net worth - media
  • Ronald Perelman $12 billion net worth - leveraged buyouts
  • Abigail Johnson $11.7 billion net worth - Fidelity
  • James Simons $10.6 billion net worth - hedge funds
  • George Kaiser $10 billion net worth - oil & gas, banking

Those working in Tinsel Town have always done financially well. Last year Vanity Fair Magazine released the 2011 list of Hollywood’s highest paid stars for 2010. Their estimated total "net worth" and bios are from Celebrity Net Worth. The Republicans in Congress won't even raise taxes on their arch enemies, the Hollywood liberal elite!

  • James Cameron estimated 2010 earnings: $257 (Net Worth $700 million)
  • Johnny Depp estimated 2010 earnings: $100 million (Net Worth $350 million)
  • Steven Spielberg estimated 2010 earnings: $80 million (Net Worth $3 billion)
  • Christopher Nolan estimated 2010 earnings: $72 million (Net Worth $90 million)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio estimated 2010 earnings: $62 million (Net Worth $200 million)
  • Tim Burton estimated 2010 earnings: $53 million (Net Worth $80 million)
  • Adam Sandler estimated 2010 earnings: $50 million (Net Worth $300 million)
  • Todd Phillips estimated 2010 earnings: $34 million (Net Worth $55 million)
  • Taylor Lautner estimated 2010 earnings: $34 million (Net Worth $40 million)
  • Robert Downey Jr. estimated 2010 earnings: $32 million (Net Worth $85 million)
  • Will Smith estimated 2010 earnings: $29 million (Net Worth $188 million)
  • Joe Roth estimated 2010 earnings: $29 million (Net Worth $700 million)
  • Kristen Stewart estimated 2010 earnings: $29 million (Net Worth $55 million)
  • Jerry Bruckheimer estimated 2010 earnings: $28 million (Net Worth $850 million)
  • Robert Pattinson estimated 2010 earnings: $28 million (Net Worth $55 million)
  • Tyler Perry estimated 2010 earnings $25 million (Net Worth $350 million)
  • Jennifer Aniston 2010 earnings: $25 million (Net Worth $120 million)
  • Jon Favreau estimated 2010 earnings: $24 million (Net Worth $60 million)
  • Nicolas Cage estimated 2010 earnings: $24 million (Net Worth only $18 million now)
  • Angelina Jolie estimated 2010 earnings: $24 million (Net Worth $120 million)
  • Brad Pitt, soon to marry Angelina Jolie (Net worth $150 million)
  • Sandra Bullock estimated 2010 earnings: $22 million (Net Worth $125 million)
  • Ron Howard estimated 2010 earnings $21 million< (Net Worth $140 million)
  • Christopher Meledandri estimated 2010 earnings: $21 million (Net Worth unknown)
  • Joel Silver estimated 2010 earnings: $21 million (Net Worth $300 million)
  • Owen Wilson estimated 2010 earnings: $19.5 million (Net Worth $40 million)
  • Vince Vaughn estimated 2010 earnings: $18.5 million (Net Worth $35 million)
  • Daniel Craig estimated 2010 earnings: $18 million (Net Worth $45 million)
  • Vin Diesel estimated 2010 earnings: $18 million (Net Worth $44 million)
  • Ben Stiller estimated 2010 earnings: $18 million (Net Worth $120 million)
  • Steve Carell estimated 2010 earnings: $17.5 million (Net Worth $45 million)
  • Martin Scorsese estimated 2010 earnings: $17 million (Net Worth $70 million)
  • Katherine Heigl estimated 2010 earnings: $16 million (Net Worth $18 million)
  • Tom Cruise estimated 2010 earnings: $14.5 million (Net Worth $250 million)
  • Shia LaBeouf estimated 2010 earnings: $16 million (Net Worth $25 million)
  • Reese Witherspoon estimated 2010 earnings: $15 million (Net Worth $80 million)
  • Hugh Jackman estimated 2010 earnings: $14 million (Net Worth $65 million)
  • Shawn Levy estimated 2010 earnings: $14 million (Net Worth $20 million)
  • Guy Ritchie estimated 2010 earnings: $13.5 million (Net Worth $90 million)
  • Eddie Murphy estimated 2010 earnings: $13 million (Net Worth $75 million)
  • John Travolta (estimated net worth $120 million)

And that is just the tip of the iceberg for Hollywood. CelebrityNetWorth.Com also lists a few professional athletes, their recent salaries, and their net worth.

  • Tiger Woods' net worth - $500 million Floyd Mayweather Jr. – The boxer nicknamed “Pretty Boy” had quite the year in 2010 earning an estimated $60,000,000 for his two boxing matches against Sugar Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez. Net worth $90 million
  • Alex Rodriguez – "A-Rod" has been the highest paid player in MLB since he signed his first record setting deal with the Texas Rangers. In 2010, his salary was $33,000,000 and he earned an additional $5,000,000 or so in endorsements. Net worth $300 million
  • Kobe Bryant – Kobe’s base salary during the 2010 season was slightly over $23,000,000 and he earned an estimated $10,000,000 in additional endorsement revenues. Net worth $200 million
  • Peyton Manning – The fact that Peyton Manning was the highest paid professional football player comes as no surprise, however, the amount he makes in a year might. Peyton’s base contract paid him slightly less than $16,000,000 and he earned another $15,000,000 in endorsements. Net worth $115 million

Again, that is just the tip of the iceberg for professional athletes. And we can't forget "rock stars". Steven Tyler of Aerosmith has a net worth estimated at $130 million

In the U.S. most good manufacturing jobs were outsourced overseas, and 70% of the workforce is now in the service industry, which is anticipated to generate nearly 18 million new jobs by the end of the decade.

The "land of opportunity" has become the "land of low wages". While the job market may still look grim for those looking to replace their good-paying office or manufacturing job, opportunities are expected to abound for a host of jobs paying less than $10 an hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here's what the rest of us will have to do and live on while serving those mentioned above:

  • Food preparation and serving workers, including fast food - $8.71 an hour, or $18,000 annually. The occupation is now the fourth largest in the country with 2.7 million workers. Hourly mean wages: $8.91 Yearly mean wages: $18,540.
  • Dishwashers - There are roughly half a million dishwashers in the United States, and they earn about $8.81 an hour. Hourly mean wages: $8.98 Yearly mean wages: $18,680.
  • Counter Attendants - Hourly mean wages: $9.27 Yearly mean wages: $19,280.
  • Dining Room Attendants And Bartender Helpers - Hourly mean wages: $9.29 Yearly mean wages: $19,320 (A union bartender in Las Vegas, about $15 a hour, but it's a difficult job to get now.)
  • Cashiers - A workforce of about 3.3 million, behind only retail sales people with 4.2 million. Cashiers make $9.15 an hour, or $19,000 annually; about half of those who work cash registers are part timers. (Hourly mean wages: $9.52 Yearly mean wages: $19,810 ).
  • Hosts and hostesses - These jobs bring in $9.23 an hour, compared to $9.80 an hour for waiters and waitresses. About $19,000 a year. Hourly mean wages: $9.43 Yearly mean wages: $19,600.
  • Amusement park attendants - Median wages for these jobs are below the national mean hourly wage of $9.35 an hour. Hourly mean wages: $9.50 Yearly mean wages: $19,750.
  • Movie theater ushers, ticket takers - $9.43 an hour.
  • Farm workers - Often cited as the "jobs Americans don’t want" - $9.51 to $9.64 an hour ($20,040 a year).
  • Personal and home care aides - $9.75 an hour.

It's no wonder this country is turning into a welfare state...all the money is being hoarded by the top earners, and is not being re-circulated throughout the economy.

Someone needs to tell Ann Romney (the woman running for First Lady) that those people earning less than $10 an hour NEED to earn $25 an hour at a 40-hour-week job to support their "stay-at-home" spouse and children. The minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour, and Mitt Romney doesn't want to raise it. How can someone live on that?

It's no wonder young adults are supplementing their incomes by selling drugs! And even at less that $10 an hour, it wouldn't matter anyway, because no one will hire them, because the jobs aren't here...they're in China.

* Also see my post BIG MONEY & tiny taxes (regarding hedge fund mangers, CEOs, and bankers)

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