Analysis Of Terry Pratchett 's ' Captain Samuel Vimes '
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Americans in general look to superstars, athletes, and business moguls as the pinnacle of economic power, and hold them in great esteem for the amount of money they possess. We tend to see their success as the new ‘American Dream’ and strive to obtain what they have. However, while we know how the rich and well-to-do obtained their wealth, how do they manage to keep it? Why is it so difficult for the economically poor to change their fortune? Terry Pratchett utilized a character from his Diskworld series, Captain Samuel Vimes, to demonstrate out one of the key reasons that the wealthy manage to stay wealthy.
“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example.…show more content… After taking into account the value of all marketable assets, all debts, such as credit cards, mortgages, and others, are subtracted, yielding a person’s or family’s net worth.
Additionally, it is important to distinguish wealth from income. A person’s income is what is earned from any work they do, or services they provide. However, income is also derived from dividends or interest they earn from investments, or rent that may be paid to them from property they own. It is interesting to note that in 2008, there were 13,480 tax returns with a reported income of over $10 million. “Of the $400 billion in income reported on those 13,480 returns, only 19 percent of it came from wages and salaries, much less than came from capital gains, even in such a bad year for stocks.” (Norris, 2010) This report demonstrates that the majority of the wealthy in the United States do not ‘work’ for a living; rather they live off of the results of investments they have made. This fact also bring to light another question. Exactly how is wealth within the United States distributed amongst the population?
The Congressional Budget Office prepared a report in 2016 titled ‘Trends in Family Wealth, 1989 to 2013’. That report states the “aggregate family wealth in the United States was $67 trillion (or