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Last week, when I was reading Rich Habits, the sermon was on wealth and generosity. This week, after #1 daughter and #2 son had I had a lengthy conversation about income inequity, the sermon included, “Those who had gathered a lot didn’t have too much, and those who gathered a little didn’t have too little.”

#1 daughter says she doesn’t get why people complain about income inequality. It’s not like the rich people took the money away from the poor people, she figures, and everyone has a chance to make more money if they feel like it. What good does whining do? Where’s the personal responsibility?

#2 son told us that in their classes they learn about the causes of income inequity. It involved externals and internals and apparently they don’t consider whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing or what if anything should be done about it.

In my attempt to find a clear, simple explanation of what #2 son was talking about, I encountered this in a post from the National Bureau of Economic Research:

The authors introduce two new issues, disparities in the growth of price indexes and in life expectancy between the rich and the poor. “While the poor may do better when price indexes are corrected, they do much worse when their health outcomes are considered,” the authors write. They cite evidence that between 1980 and 2000 the life expectancy of the bottom 10 percent of earners increased at only half the rate of the top 10 percent. “This may be the most important single source of the increase in inequality in the United States, and it combines not only unequal access to medical care services and insurance, but also to differences in personal habits and environment related to education and income,” the authors conclude.

It appears to say that the rich are getting richer largely because they live longer than the poor. I found this arresting. They suggest that this relates to the personal habits of the rich and poor, echoing the Rich Habits claim.

Speaking of which, here’s how I did this weekend:

  • Exercise aerobically 30 minutes a day, 4 days a week.
  • Track your eating.
  • Eat less than 300 calories of junk food per day.
  • Avoid fast food
  • Floss daily.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours a night.
  • Set daily goals, in writing.
  • Spend 30 minutes each day reading for self-improvement.
  • Do everything in moderation.
  • Think before speaking.
  • Work toward developing relationships every day.

Hallowe’en candy and #2 son’s favorite doughnuts account for the 300+ calories of junk food, and leaving my phone in the car all weekend brought meal tracking from orange down to red.

As for the Rich Habits, I may have mentioned that I was disappointed that Corley didn’t just list the toplines in his book, but I continue to find them excerpted hither and thither online, so here are some more, along with my current level of compliance or habituation:

  1. 72% of the wealthy know their credit score vs. 5% of the poor
  2. 6% of the wealthy play the lottery vs. 77% of the poor
  3. 80% of the wealthy are focused on at least one goal vs. 12% of the poor
  4. 62% of the wealthy floss their teeth every day vs. 16% of the poor
  5. 21% of the wealthy are overweight by 30 pounds or more vs. 66% of the poor
  6. 63% of the wealthy spend less than 1 hour per day on recreational Internet use vs. 26% of the poor
  7. 83% of the wealthy attend/attended back to school night for their kids vs. 13% of the poor
  8. 29% of the wealthy had one or more children who made the honor roll vs. 4% of the poor
  9. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during their commute vs. 5% of the poor
  10. 67% of the wealthy watch 1 hour or less of T.V. per day vs 23% of the poor
  11. 9% of the wealthy watch reality T.V. shows vs. 78% of the poor
  12. 73% of the wealthy were taught the 80/20 rule vs. 5% of the poor (live off 80% save 20%)
  13. 79% of the wealthy network 5 hours or more per month vs. 16% of the poor
  14. 8% of the wealthy believe wealth comes from random good luck vs. 79% of the poor
  15. 79% of the wealthy believe they are responsible for their financial condition vs. 18% of the poor

Number 5 obviously correlates with my previously mentioned poor eating habits. Numb er 13 is actually an “I don’t know.” I’m not sure how much time I spend networking. 5 hours doesn’t seem like much, frankly. I think I will need to keep track.

I spent time with my kid this morning, and did church, which included leading the kid’s music class, leading the litany, and singing in the choir. Phone calls with my remaining kids followed. I’ve been working and will have to work some more today, I fear, but right now I’m going to go lie on the sofa and read and knit, with a nice cup of organic tea to sustain me.