Friday, August 08, 2008

book notes

Richistan by Robert Frank

Upper Richistanis ( > 50M, or so) tend to support Democrats because they don't care so much about taxes, among other reasons, while Lower Richistanis (< 50M) tend to support Republicans because they think that lower taxes will help them keep up in competitive consumption with the Upper Richistanis.

Comment by Larry Ellison that he thought his yacht was uncomfortably big, that it felt like him and his wife eating in an empty restaurant. Now that I see that the book is sensationalized, I wonder if Ellison was just being wry or slyly boastful. But if the comment was serious, it's quite an absurdity of hyper-competitiveness -- that someone would spend 400M on something he doesn't really like just so he can say he's got the biggest. Somebody also complained that his deck is so high that he doesn't really feel is if he's in the water.

The survey that said that when rich people are asked how much money they would need to make them happy, they almost always give a number that's double their net worth, no matter what their net worth is -- 2M, 50M, 100M, whatever. Of course, it's a loaded question -- how much money would make you happy? How many cars would make your commute faster?