There was one finer point I wanted to make in my last post and to tell the truth, I got so wound up it slipped my mind while I was writing…
Here’s the quote from the New York Times article that really got my dander up:
This is another way of saying that Mr. Armstrong put a layer of legal protection between himself and the money. And if nothing else, it shows that he has had good legal counsel over the years.
Now, being a fairly honest fellow and having come from a life of nothing and having turned that into something, there are two ways to look at that sentence. The first is that, through a series of unfair loopholes, Lance protected his money and he did this because his lawyer was good… But understanding that statement in that way is just a little more than ignorant considering what is normal with wealth in the US.
That reality leads to the other way: One thing painfully clear when it comes to money is that for every one person who accumulates wealth (New Money), there will be many more who will try to take some of it. The only way safely accumulate wealth – or at least as safe as possible after the politicians have their way with you – is to add “layers of protection” between your income and your corporation(s). Compared to Armstrong, I’m seriously small potatoes but that hasn’t stopped people from trying to steal from me – both those above me in the food chain, and those below me as well. The “layers of protection” between my money and my company’s simply means that if something happens to the company, my wife, kids and I won’t be penniless – out on the street. After all, we owners don’t get unemployment if we have to close up shop, we’re just out. Most in the middle class, who work for a company or corporation, don’t understand this concept fully. They mistakenly assume some level of “unfair treatment” – that if I make a mistake that ends up costing me my company, “fairness” dictates that others should be able to take my personal effects and wealth as well… This is usually backed with something to the effect of “well they’re rich, they can afford it” (I’m not even close by the way, though many make the ignorant assumption that I am rich simply because I own a company).
Theft by Lawyer (or Retirement Funding by Lawyer) is funny that way, and rarely are those same people willing to point that dagger at themselves. Take a factory worker working for an hourly wage and a 401k or pension. They make mistakes that cost their companies money on a regular and consistent basis. Should a company be allowed to go after their wage or 401k to recoup that money? Not if you ask them, but that is exactly what will expect from others – they just going after deeper pockets. Automaker doesn’t stop a shop worker whose at work while she’s drunk or stoned and she kills somebody? They gottta pay, millions! It’s not the Automaker’s fault but that’s who they go after…and it gets even better! If a bunch of employees are found getting stoned on their lunch break – on video, clear as day, that company can’t fire the workers.
The point is, while you’re accumulating your wealth (rather than a pension and huge benefits), to not protect that wealth from the vultures would be colossally stupid – because the only other thing that’s as sure as death and taxes is that if you are wealthy, there will be people looking to knock a chunk off for them… Of course, the way that the writers at the New York Times lean politically, I wouldn’t expect them to understand this.