Politicians know that a sure-fire
way to get votes is to fan the flames of envy by proclaiming
that the rich keep getting richer while the poor keep getting
While that may be true in some
cases, the implication behind it — that the rich are getting
richer at the expense of the poor — isn’t.
People like Jordan Belfort (“The
Wolf of Wall Street”) and Bernie Madoff, who made their fortunes
at the expense of others, are the exception. They are not the
Legendary country music DJ Gerry
House summed it up best when he said it all boils down to a
matter of “He’s gettin’ something I ain’t gettin’, and I’m not
gonna be happy as long as he does”.
The United States is actually a
great place to be poor because it provides so much opportunity
for upward mobility. Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief
economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, said:
“In 1985, 38% of poor households
owned a home. By 2005 it was 43%. And these homes were of better
quality than the 1985 homes. In 1985, 17% of these homes had
central air conditioning, and in 2005, 50% did. 56% of homes
owned by poor households had washing machines in 1985. In 2005,
it was 64%.”
Buying into the toxic belief that
someone else getting more means you must get less is what Dr.
Stephen Covey referred to as the “Scarcity Mentality” in his
best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
People with a Scarcity Mentality
believe one person has to lose in order for another to win, and
this isn’t limited to money. They also have difficulty sharing
credit, power, and recognition.
They have a hard time celebrating
other people’s successes because they believe that it somehow takes away from their own.
You’ll see it in employees who
feel threatened when others are recognized for achievement. This
is tied to their feelings of low self-worth and poor
Successful people have what Dr.
Covey referred to as the “Abundance Mentality”. They believe
there’s plenty out there for everybody, and don’t waste time
worrying about what other people have.
This requires that people have
high self-worth, strong self-esteem, and are secure in
No surprise, good managers have
the Abundance Mentality, and teach it to their team members.
To Your Success,
P.S. Those who resent high achievers usually think
they’re set for life, and don’t realize how much downward
mobility there is at the top. According to The Wall Street
Journal, only 25% of those in the top 1/100 of 1% of income
earners in 1996 were still in the top category in 2005.
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