The Official Blog of Mike Rayburn

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Wealth, Welfare, and the “Something For Nothing” Myth

something-for-nothingWealth, Welfare, and a New Word: Flucrative

I made a cool typo I just discovered this morning. Writing the word “lucrative” I somehow put an “F” in front, “Flucrative.” Joking to my wife, I almost passed it off until it dawned on me, it’s the perfect word for a profoundly important principle.

New Word…

Flucrative: adj. fluky, random and producing a great deal of profit.

Examples of something flucrative would be winning the lottery, a large inheritance from a relative you didn’t know, winning in Las Vegas, “no-money-down” real estate endeavors.

In other words, flucrative means getting something for nothing. And therein lies the problem.

The universe does not work that way. It never has. Brian Tracy says that “Something For Nothing” (his book title) is “The all-consuming desire that turns the American Dream into a social nightmare.”

How Wealth Is Created…

Despite what you may have heard, long-term wealth creation is almost never the result of a sudden windfall. It is almost always achieved through a combination of inspiration, perspiration, self-discipline, understanding money, and operating from a financial plan. It is a result of the fair trade of value for value.

But this is very good news! If wealth is created by accident, a lucky break, a good guess, or government handouts, you have no control over the situation. The best you can do is hope for a flucrative break. That’s victimhood. And it sucks!

Instead, at least in the USA and other mostly free-market economies, your wealth is in your hands. Don’t believe the line many politicians today are feeding you. The glorification of government handouts and simultaneous demonization of successful people is a travesty. I am here to tell you, in the long run, if you work hard, and smart, learn about money, operate from a plan and are self-disciplined, you can build wealth.

I know because, in my anecdotal experience, I have lived both sides… my father, hard working as he was, believed wealth was the result of some get-rich-quick, flucrative scheme working. He was wrong. Seeing his failure in that respect, I decided instead to study money, to seek financial guidance, to be disciplined, to save and build wealth over time. That is working.

Read “The Millionaire Next Door,” and “The Millionaire Mind” and “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” Most millionaires build their wealth by working hard every day, having a long term plan, being frugal, and most do NOT play the lottery. And according to “The Millionaire Next Door,” 80% of them started with nothing.

Poor People With Money…

I have known people – ones who know little about money – who actually consider playing the lottery a viable retirement plan. Huh??? I have watched people come to Las Vegas actually thinking they’ll be winners! Look, I live in Las Vegas, all those lights are not paid for by winners.

Poor people who win the lottery are not rich people; they are poor people with a lot of money.

This is because the principles and habits it takes to build a fortune are the exact same principles and habits it takes to keep and grow a fortune. And as you’ve likely heard, most lottery winners lose it fairly quickly and some end up in worse financial shape than before they won.

If the vessel leaks, it will end up empty, whether you pour a cup in it or a bucket. 

Amazing fact… 

One year after their watershed experiences, lottery winners and quadriplegics express the exact same levels of happiness, however differently it’s measured. The first study on this was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1978, and there are others.

What does that tell you? Flucrative doesn’t work, for wealth or happiness!


I say this next realizing I may be opening a can of worms… or Copperheads. Beyond the safety net, which is of utmost importance, most welfare is “something for nothing;” it’s flucrative and thus does not work in the long run. Instead of achieving it’s purported goal of helping the less fortunate, it actually worsens and perpetuates their situation. We had three, four, in some cases five generations of welfare through the 20th and now 21st Century. It’s inhumane.

I’m not at all against welfare! I’m against not requiring anything of it’s recipients, thus it’s self-perpetuation. The proof is manifold. Look at any major city with extensive welfare programs requiring little or nothing of it’s recipients: In fifty years nothing has changed.

Over a trillion dollars has been spent since LBJ’s “War On Poverty” and the result? We have exactly the same poverty rate now as we did over 50 years ago. (What’s that definition of insanity, again?) We need to change.

The worst part is blaming and penalizing those who have worked a lifetime to build something for themselves only to have great portions of it taken away by the government. Show me something the government does well, show me a government with fiscal responsibility we can admire and I’ll consider a change in my opinion.

DO NOT GET ME WRONG… I am a passionate advocate for the poor! While I keep the specifics private, I actively help, give to, and teach those less fortunate. What I’m against is hoping for, praying for and even worshiping government handouts or the hope of the surprise windfall. Living for the flucrative is no less idolatrous of money than the fat-cat, Mr Potter-type who equates self-worth with net worth.

Forget the flucrative, take responsibility for your financial future.

Action Steps… 

  1. Stop looking and hoping for “your ship to come in,” your flucrative windfall. Ask yourself, where am I seeking something for nothing? Change that belief immediately.
  2. Begin studying money and wealth creation. Read Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover,” “The Millionaire Next Door,” “The Millionaire Mind.”
  3. With the help of a good financial planner create a sound, longterm financial plan and stick to it.
  4. Give abundantly, teach those less fortunate and help them grow out of poverty.

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