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Here's a thread that will bust the myth of the 'self-made' billionaire who started out 'poor'

A Twitter user popped the bubble of the "self-made" billionaire, using examples such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.

Here's a thread that will bust the myth of the 'self-made' billionaire who started out 'poor'
Image Source: (Top) Amazon Prime Video's Golden Globe Awards After Party - Red Carpet. BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 06. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images) (Bottom) Mitochondria95 / Twitter

We are all familiar with the American Dream; if you just work hard enough and pull yourself up by the bootstraps, you can make it as big as you want to. However, the American Dream is largely a lie. Bar a few instances that required quite a bit of luck, researchers have proven that being born into at least relative wealth is the answer to making even more money. In a viral Twitter thread, one person pointed out why perpetuating the idea of the "self-made" millionaire or billionaire is actually false (apart from just unethical). Aidan Smith, responding to a tweet by journalist Jon Erlichman about how Amazon founder Jeff Bezos started out with nothing in his home garage, tore apart the rags-to-riches story.





On July 5, Erlichman posted, "On this day in 1994: Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in his garage." He attached a photo of the founder's (very upper-middle-class) garage. To this, Smith replied, "Cute propaganda. In reality, Bezos' parents gave him $245,573 to stop Amazon from failing in 1995, but you'd never know it from listening to our right-wing mainstream media that blames poverty on personal failure and attributes wealth to personal virtue." And he's right. Even though there was a 70 percent chance⁠—as he told investors⁠—that Amazon would fail, his parents simply invested $300,000 into his company, a luxury not afforded to many. Would Bezos be where he is right now without that start-up capital? Who knows.



Smith didn't stop there, though. He went after every single billionaire out there. "You can find this in the backstory of almost every billionaire," he continued. "The story of Bill Gates is told as if he was a normal guy who dropped out of college to pursue his dream when in reality his mom Mary Gates, the president of United Way, convinced IBM to hire Microsoft to build an OS... Gates is a talented individual but his career break wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t the child of wealthy, well-connected parents who were able to convince IBM to hire the-then obscure Microsoft to build an OS. He likely wouldn’t be a billionaire if he was born working-class."



Next, he came for Warren Buffet. He wrote, "The tale of Warren Buffett is told as if he was a scrappy upstart living in a lower-middle-class suburban home in Omaha who had a knack for investing. In reality, his dad was a Congressman (and Bob Taft’s campaign manager!) and, uh..." The Twitter user attached a screenshot from Buffet's Wikipedia article. "In high school, he invested in a business owned by his father and bought a 40-acre farm worked by a tenant farmer," it read. "He bought the land when he was 14 years old with $1,200 of his savings. By the time he finished college, Buffett had accumulated $9,800 in savings (about $105,000 today)."



Does that pop the bubble of the self-made billionaire? Many people believed so. One Twitter user, alluding to a statement once made by President Donald Trump, wrote, "Just a small loan of a quarter-million dollars." Another added, "Another thing I would add is that having wealthy or even comfortably upper-middle-class parents means you FEEL like you can take risks on that big idea you have. Poor kids can’t." Though there was still some pushback by folks who wanted to protect the wealthiest folks in the world who rely on the exploitation of thousands of poorer Americans, one user drove the point home: "Exactly. It’s all propaganda. To be wealthy, you either have to stumble on good luck, be a criminal, or be born into relative wealth."


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