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Wednesday, 30 November 2005

Update on Education


Yes, more than 15% of millionaires have college degrees. It's actually more like 90%:

Thomas J. Stanley, former professor of marketing at Georgia State University, shows that the critics of capitalism are dead wrong. Stanley, you may recall, is the author of a bestseller, The Millionaire Next Door. In his more recent book, The Millionaire Mind, he demonstrates that most millionaires are model citizens. Here are the results of his survey of more than 1,000 people who earn $1,000,000 a year or more...

- They live far below their means, and have little or no debt. Most pay off their credit cards every month; 40% have no home mortgage at all.

- Millionaires are frugal; they prepare shopping lists, resole their shoes, and save a lot of money; but they are not misers.

- 97% are homeowners; they tend to live in fine homes in older neighborhoods. (Only 27% have built their "dream home.")

- 92% are married; only 2% are currently divorced. Millionaire couples have less than one-third the divorce rate of non-millionaire couples. The typical couple in the millionaire group has been married for 28 years, and has three children. Nearly 50% of the wives of the super-rich do not work outside the home.

- Most are first-generation millionaires who became wealthy as business owners or executives; most did not inherit their wealth.

-90% are college graduates, and 52% hold advanced degrees; however, few graduated top of their class - most were "B" students. They learned two lessons from college: discipline and tenacity.

- Most live balanced lives; they are not workaholics; 93% listed socializing with family members as their #1 activity; 45% play golf. (Stanley didn't survey whether they were avid book readers, but I suspect that many are.)

- 52% attend church at least once a month; 37% consider themselves very religious.

- They share five basic ingredients to success: integrity, discipline, social skills, a supportive spouse, and hard work.

- They contribute heavily to charity, church and community activities (64%).

- Their #1 worry: Taxes! Their average annual federal tax bill: $300,000. The top one-tenth of 1% of U.S. income earners pays 14.7% of all income taxes collected.

- Not one millionaire had anything nice to say about gambling. Okay, but his survey also showed that 33% played the lottery at least once during the year.

We can see how the super upper-income families of this nation are not the ones contributing to crime, welfare, divorce, child abuse and a spendthrift society. But they are paying a lot of taxes and making a lot of contributions to solve these social problems.

Although Stanley did not cover this issue, I've also seen studies indicating that higher-income individuals live longer - five to 10 years longer than the average American (76 years), and they enjoy better health, fitness and quality of life.

--From Investment U email

Note: they learned 2 things from college: neither of which are necessary to graduate from college, and both of which can be learned without going to college.
In other words, the same qualities that made them millionaires helped them stick it out through four years of (for the most part) time-wasting studies.

By the way, like most of the millionaires surveyed, I have more than one college degree. But I'm not a millionaire; I live so far below the poverty line that I had to 'correct' someone else's pre-approved credit app just to get a credit card. I now have somewhere around half a dozen cards--it's hard to keep track, as I use only 3 of them at any given time. At one point my credit limit exceeded my annual income by several thousand dollars.

Monday, 21 November 2005

Update on Megiddo Mosaic

Here are the other two inscriptions translated:

Remember Primilles and Kuriake and Dorothea, moreover also Chreste.

broutis hrgas(ato)."

Gaianos, also known as Porfuris, our brother in Christ ...
(honouring/honoured?) had this mosaic made from his own money.
Broutis carriedout the work.
(A few letters, upper right edge, may be missing) ([#] is a heart or a leaf)

Monday, 14 November 2005

The Megiddo Mosaic

A lot has been written in blogs about this church floor mosaic, recently unearthed on the grounds of a prison in Megiddo, Galilee. It seems everybody got at least something wrong.

I haven't been able to read the whole inscription, so I can't comment on why spelling varies so much on the names listed on the eastern side. But photos of the western inscription are easy to read, so I'll focus my attention on that.

Literally and lineally translated, the inscription is as follows:
Hereby presents
She who [is a] lover of God--
This tab-
le to G-d J-s Ch-t
as a memorial

Translations vary for the first and third lines; but there is no other translation possible for the fifth line than "to God, Jesus Christ." Yet many have been so unprofessional as to offer the following:
to the god Jesus Christos
to the Lord Jesus Christ
to the God Jesus Christ

This line, however, is absolutely explicit in its implication: Prior to Constantine, prior to the Nicene council, Jesus Christ was considered, not a god, but God Himself.

The Da Vinci Code is wrong. But we knew that already.

What's the use of an education?

My son got a job this summer. Nothing unusual about that, a lot of teens his age get jobs for the summer. But my son didn't quit when time came to go back to school. Instead, he got a raise, and more responsibility. Still working part-time, he's going to be making more than his dad once his next promotion comes through, probably before his age mates have started their senior year of high school.

So who needs school to succeed? My son doesn't. His teenage co-worker, who makes about $20 an hour, didn't finish high school. Neither, I suspect, did their employer. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most of their customers have had more education than anyone in the company. The culture here in north-central Indiana doesn't support the idea that education beyond the elementary level is essential to success.

Here are some interesting statistics on the comparative demographics of counties just north, and just south, of the Michiana state line ( including Indiana Counties: Elkhart, Kosciusko, St. Joseph, La Porte, Marshall and Starke; and Michigan Counties: Cass, Berrien, Kalamazoo, Van Buren and St. Joseph)

Indiana Counties Population 709,797
High school Graduates 78.6%
Bachelor's degree or higher 15.2%
Home Ownership 75.9%
Median Household Income $41,681
# Persons with Church Affiliation 287,164
Religious Congregations 817 (1 per 858 population)

Michigan Counties Population 597, 335
High School Graduate 81.7%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher 17.9%
Home Ownership 75.2%
Median Household Income $40,315
#Persons with Church Affiliation 218,982
Religious Congregations 583 (1 per 1025 population)

Indiana is more religious and less educated than Michigan.
But has a higher income and higher home ownership rate than Michigan.

I'd also like to see a list comparing the education of millionaires to the general public. Do you suppose more than 15% of them have bachelor's degrees? Bill Gates doesn't. I know of quite a few in Indiana who never got even so far as High School. But they do employ a lot of high school and college graduates!

Conclusion: Education and Income are not inextricably linked. The ability to communicate, follow directions, and get along with co-workers is far more an indication of ability to succeed than level of education.

So why are so many employers still insisting that college graduates only need apply?