According to my Rich Habits study, one of the reasons the wealthy accumulated so much wealth was due to the fact that they worked more hours than those who were not rich, or who were poor. Here’s some of the data:
- 44% of the wealthy worked 11 hours more each week than the poor.
- 86% of the wealthy who had full time jobs worked 50 hours or more each week, whereas 57% of the poor who had full-time jobs worked less than 50 hours each week.
- 88% of the wealthy took fewer sick days than the poor.
- 79% of the wealthy, on top of their robust work hours, networked 5 or more hours each month. 55% of this networking was done during their lunch hour.
- 65% of the wealthy were working so many hours, in part, because they had 3 sources of income to manage.
- 45% had 4 sources of income. Only 6% of the poor had more than one source of income.
- 67% of the wealthy watched less than an hour of T.V. a day, whereas 77% of the poor watched more than an hour of T.V. a day.
- 63% of the wealthy spent less than an hour a day on the Internet whereas 74% of the poor spent more than an hour a day on the Internet.
So, the rich are just harder working than everyone else? Yes. But not necessarily because they have a better work ethic. They just like what they do and, as a result, devote more hours. Eighty six percent of the rich in my study liked what they did for a living. Seven percent loved what they did for a living. Those who loved what they did for a living worked 58 hours a week on average vs. 51 hours a week for those who liked their jobs. That’s an average of 7 hours a week more. This works out to 336 more working hours a year for the job lovers (less 4 weeks for time off).
I initially thought this disparity in work hours, between the rich and the poor, was in large part due to the fact that 91% of the wealthy in my study liked their jobs and were decision makers, which carries with it more responsibility and, thus, more work hours. But that’s not the case. According to the Census Bureau, the average wealthy household (defined by the IRS as the top 20% of income earners in the U.S.) worked five times as many hours as the average poor household. The cause of this, according to Census data, is due to:
- The high rate of single parent households among the poor – The poverty rate in single parent households is triple the rate of two parent households – 42% vs. 13%.
- Fewer workers in the household – 95% of poor households have only one worker. 75% of the wealthy households have two or more workers.
- Unemployment – 60% of poor households have no one working at all.
When politicians, bent on bashing the wealthy, tell us the poor work just as hard as the rich, they’re lying. And they know it because they have access to the same Census data as we do. When these same politicians pontificate that the only way to fix the wealth gap is through higher taxes on the wealthy, wealth redistribution policies, increasing the minimum wage or outright government assistance, they are missing the elephant in the room. The genesis of much of the poverty in our country has nothing to do with policy or that evil 1%. It has everything to do with the broken family unit. We don’t have a wealth gap in this country, we have a parent gap. We don’t have income inequality, we have parent inequality.