just procrastinating

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

FU Money
Here is an interesting article in Slate that talks about the difference in support for presidential candidates between the rich and the super rich, and helps to explain why folks like George Soros and Warren Buffet support John Kerry. Excerpt here:
The rich folk favored Bush by a 58-42 margin. Not too surprising. But when you break out the numbers, they tell a different story. The petit bourgeoisie millionaires were passionately for Bush: Those worth between $1 million and $10 million favored Bush by a 63-37 margin. But the haute millionaires, those worth more than $10 million, favored Kerry 59-41.
Why is this?
But at some point, millionaires get so rich that they don't really have to worry about how to pay the mortgage, or for that new Bentley. And if you can live off the tax-free interest of your municipal bonds, it really doesn't matter whether the top marginal income tax rate is 33 percent or 39 percent.

On Wall Street, veterans speak of "f***-you money": the nice round figure a guy needs to set himself up for life, buy (and decorate) multiple residences, create trust funds for kids, and still have enough cash to buy expensive toys and pursue new business ventures. At a certain point—somewhere north of $10 million—wealth may become "f*** you and f*** you, Republicans" money. This is the kind of cash that George Soros, Warren Buffett, Peter Lewis, and the 200 business leaders who endorsed Kerry possess. People with such sums don't need to worry about how income or capital gains taxes affect their daily lives. Raise 'em, lower 'em, who cares? They're still going to be disgustingly rich. And so they are free to devote their attention—and resources—to other areas: the environment, education, foreign policy, the Supreme Court, social issues, stem-cell research, the war on drugs, whatever. And it seems that for many of the truly wealthy, focusing on those other issues leads them to favor Kerry over Bush.
Kinda interesting.

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