A True Story About Mary
Throughout history there has always been a saying that purports, "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.". This catch-phrase, or proverb, is frequently used (with variations in wording) in discussing economic inequality. Below are a few examples from different points in history which illustrate this idea.
Why the "Rich" Get Richer and the "Poor" Get Poorer
Andrew Jackson, in his 1832 bank veto, said that "when the laws undertake... to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society... have a right to complain of the injustice to their Government."
William Henry Harrison said, in an October 1, 1840 speech, "I believe, and I say it is true Democratic feeling, that all the measures of the government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer."
In 1821, Percy Bysshe Shelley argued, in A Defense of Poetry (not published until 1840), that "in his England, 'the promoters of utility; had managed to exasperate at once the extremes of luxury and want. They have exemplified the saying, 'To him that hath, more shall be given; and from him that hath not, the little that he hath shall be taken away.' The rich have become richer, and the poor have become poorer; and the vessel of the State is driven between the Scylla and Charybdis of anarchy and despotism. Such are the effects which must ever flow from an unmitigated exercise of the calculating faculty."
The phrase resembles the Bible verse: "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath."
Why the "Rich" Get Richer and the "Poor" Get Poorer has Been in Debate for Hundreds of Years
Mary Has the Answer to This Debate in the 21st Century
This story begins with a customer we will call "Mary", who called us one Monday morning in 1984 to inquire about pricing on a replacement entrance door for a "fixer upper" home she said she had just acquired. She spoke with trepidation to our designer, and explained she was a school teacher on a limited income. However, she had champagne taste and a beer pocket book. She further explained she might not be able to afford us, or we might think her small order too much of a bother.
Mary also explained she would not settle for anything less than the best, as well as certain design elements she had in her mind's eye for many years. She faxed to our designer a pencil drawing of the door concept. Our designer quoted her a price based upon her design requirements. As she gasped for air, she asked our designer if we had any terms of payment available.
Our designer explained that no order was too small for the Scottsdale Art Factory, and no customer was considered less important based upon the size of an order. He also further explained that we accepted all credit cards, and we offered a layaway program, as well as some additional discounts for extended production time. Now with less trepidation, and a little more confidence, she explained she was in no hurry and opted for the layaway program. She would have her design built now, and we would keep it safe and ready for delivery, and she would make twelve equal payments with no carrying charges or warehouse fees until it was paid in full, then we would arrange shipping.
Starting with her door design concept, every year for the next 25 years she ordered one or two major design elements such as lighting, windows, interior doors (one at a time), furniture for every room, a garden gate, cabinets, one year it was hand carved personalized hope chests for her children, and the next year a new hand carved fireplace mantle.
Mary Was Special To Us - But There Was Nothing Special About Mary
With one exception, how she viewed spending her hard earned income. Over the years we came to know Mary on a more personal basis and she was a wonderful customer as well as an inspiration to us all. Over the years we found out through conversation that Mary had lost her husband in the Army and was a single mom and the sole wage earner. We also learned she had no outside help and a meager self earned savings account earmarked for college tuition for her children. She also made it known that she stood in no line for any inheritance. Her only additional income was a small Army related income for her children until they became 21. In other words a normal working single mom living on her teacher's salary.
Then We Were Informed That Mary Had Become A Self Made Millionaire
How is this possible? Mary shared with us that she was in the position, due to her age and the love of her children and grandchildren, that she needed to put together a living trust to insure the correct distribution of her assets in the event of her untimely demise. She further expressed she was not planning to go anywhere soon. However, in doing this she needed to get her home, as well as all of her belongings and artifacts, appraised at real market value.
In the pursuit of being fair to her children, she insisted on a certified true market value in that day's market if everything was to be liquidated to be split up among her heirs. She also expressed her children would not allow liquidation to happen because of the many hours of fun memories they all had in the joint family creation, with the help of our design department, of each furnishing and design element over the years. She expressed they would never sell their family heritage and heirlooms for mere cash and felt her legacy was safe within her family.
Mary shared her appraisal with us. She told us she had purchased her home in a nice neighborhood with the best school district in mind, considering not only her employment needs but her children's education as well. It was the most run down, the worst house on the block and in 1984 she paid ninety thousand dollars for her home. That same home appraised for one million two hundred thousand, including adjustment for the recession. She also expressed she had four years and three months left on the original loan payments.
Mary expressed that over the past twenty five years she had purchased $110,000.00 in furnishings, according to her receipts, in addition to windows, doors, cabinets and other building elements that were included in the home appraisal. We were unsure of the accuracy of this number however, in checking our records, she was correct. She further expressed these items now appraised at $490,000.00 and she said together with her renovated home, furnishings and other personal belongings her net worth was a whopping two million, three hundred thousand dollars. She was also proud to express she had been told her home was now the best on her block, and had many inquires about if she would like to sell it. All of this done by a person that claims to have never made more than forty five thousand dollars gross per year.
The Reason Mary Could Achieve This Position Of Wealth Is Simple
Studies show it has very little to do with how much money a family earns. It has more to do with having an investment state of mind. The ability to discern the difference between an expense and a long term investment. Most Americans are focused on how cheap each item can be purchased on sale prices with little attention given to true value. Mary focused on value and took the time to understand the true value of each purchase.
Mary always purchased wholesale, direct from the factory, never retail on big ticket items. While focusing on price works well for expense purchases on commodities such as food, clothing, cars, computers, etc., this never works well on long term, big ticket purchases, such as your home, building products, or home furnishings. The reason this is, is because your home should be an investment and as it gets older it should appreciate in value. This of course excludes items that have to be replaced because they are worn out or become out of date.
Investment Quality Furnishings Never Need Replacement and Always Appreciate
The Rich minded "never purchase" low quality products or home furnishings that have to be replaced. Maybe as you were growing up your mom and dad or grandparents might have said something to the effect that they would rather save up for one good item that will last and they could be proud to own, rather than purchase many cheap low quality items just to fill the room. Maybe you enjoy some of these priceless family heirlooms today.
"The Rich Get Richer" - Solid wood furniture, cabinets, and genuine stone will never need to be replaced and will age with grace and become more valuable over time.
"The Poor Get Poorer" - The man made furniture with fake backs, plywoods, veneers, tile, faux stone, corian, or formica will have to be replaced over and over again.
Understanding True Quality Makes All The Difference
When you purchase investment quality furnishings, doors, gates, cabinets, lighting and hardware they will appreciate and keep up with inflation or exceed most other investments. For this reason, becoming wealthy has very little to do with a higher education or having a lot of extra money. It is truly making wise decisions and a state of mind that allows for you to pay once for a good value and continue to grow wealth while enjoying living in your investment. Not to mention this type of investing has many other benefits, such as priceless family heirlooms that have meaning and the ability to pass on your legacy to future generations.
Throughout our American history, no matter the economic conditions investing in yourself, your home and your legacy has always paid off. This is the big secret to building true wealth. Simply declare yourself worthy of the best, invest in it and enjoy.
For more information about hand crafted products, please contact us at 1-800-292-0008.