August 10th, 2003


The Myths of Rich & Poor: Why We're Better Off than We Think

More for Less
Book Review by Michael Fumento

Copyright 1999 Michael Fumento

(The Myths of Rich & Poor: Why We're Better Off than We Think, by W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm, New York: Basic Books, 248 pages, $25.00)

With the stock market booming, the federal budget in the black (at least if you count Social Security receipts), and inflation crawling along in the basement, you'd think the last thing we'd need is a good news book about Americans' economic position, right? Wrong.

First, the bad news business is always booming. (If there were a mutual fund for bad news products and services, I'd plow my life savings into it).

Second, to many there's almost something reassuring about bad times. After all, the higher you go, the more it hurts when you fall.

So now is as good a time as any for Myths of Rich and Poor, by Federal Reserve Bank Vice President W. Michael Cox and Dallas Morning Newsreporter Richard Alm, a fascinating eye-opener that somehow manages to shoot out numbers like a submachine gun and yet keep you thoroughly engrossed.

Does the book claim this bull market will go on forever? Obviously it cannot. Will inflation always be this low? That's up to us, but probably not. Will the budget remain in the black? Not if the Democrats can help it. Not if the Republicans can help it.

Stop asking such silly questions; those aren't the point of this text. Rather, it takes a long view of conditions (usually back to 1970; but often back to 1900) and points out that despite myriad ups and downs, despite the doomsayers who come and go, in the ways that really count, Americans just keep improving their lot. And there's probably not a damned thing President Clinton or Congress can do about it.

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Your Money Or Your Life

Your Money Or Your Life
Transforming Your Relationship With Money
And Achieving Financial Independence

By Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin
Penguin Putnam Inc. (1992, 1994)
Copyright © Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, 1992

Summarized by editor Clare Moss with Laurence Toltz
to introduce people to the nine-step program in
Your Money Or Your Life.

How this book came about

This book is not based on theory, good ideas or a new philosophy. It is the result of 50 years of combined experience (30 years for Joe Dominguez, 20 years for Vicki Robin) in living the principles presented here. This book just didn't happen, it evolved.

Joe Dominguez was a successful financial analyst on Wall Street before retiring at the age of 31, never again to accept money for any of his work.

Vicki Robin graduated with honors from Brown University and later left a budding career in film and theater in New York. Her open mind allowed her to recognize the value of Joe's new road map for money and apply it to her own life.

He and Vicki Robin were founders of the New Road Map Foundation, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that promotes a human, sustainable future for our world.

Joe Dominguez died on January 11, 1997. His work and message live on in the transformed lives of program followers throughout the world.

Your Money Or Your Life is full of examples, stories and experiences of many people who have followed their nine-step program in their journey to financial independence.

Ask yourself these questions:

* Do you have enough money?

* Are you spending enough time with family and friends?

* Do you come home from your job full of life?

* Do you have time to participate in things you believe are worthwhile?

* If you were laid off from your job, would you see it as an opportunity?

* Are you satisfied with the contribution you have made to the world?

* Are you at peace with money?

* Does your job reflect your values?

* Do you have enough savings to see you through six months of normal living expenses?

* Is your life whole? Do all the pieces -- your job, your expenditures, your relationships, your values -- fit together?

If you answered, 'no' to even one of these questions, read on.

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