“In the months I was writing this, the media, driven by Occupy Wall Street, became obsessed with the discussion of the 1% vs. the 99%, but neither the Occupy spokespersons nor the media dealt with the perspective of behavioral causes.

Actually, there is an ‘Income and Wealth Pyramid’ in society as a whole, and in microcosm, inside virtually every industry or profession, every sales organization: 1%, 4%, 15%, 60%, 20%.  It has stayed virtually static for many decades despite various government-run wealth re-distribution schemes, despite the advent of the internet and a plethora of technology advancements: 1% reap extraordinarily high rewards, 4% do well, 15% harvest satisfactory incomes, these three group totaling 20%.  A pyramid atop a bigger pyramid. 


Income and Wealth Pyramid _ Color

From there, incomes, wealth, prosperity and security take a precipitous drop.  Those at the top of the 80% pyramid may earn less than half what those at the bottom of the 20% pyramid earn.  This is really quite remarkable.  Thus, 60% of any given group tends to barely get by and never get ahead, and 20% tend to be impoverished.  The pyramid could be of hardware store operators in the U.S. or just in the Southwest or Pacific Northwest, or doctors or lawyers or auto sales professionals.  Any free-market population.  (Schoolteachers, for example, are exempt from free-market forces, so their Income Pyramid is a lot less pyramidal, however, interestingly, they somehow re-arrange themselves in a Wealth Pyramid that still winds up 5%, 15%, 80%.)

There are many reasons for all this, but there is one very significant reason that is never given sufficient credit as cause, and that is directly relevant to what I’ve presented here.  The reason is behavioral.  Simply, that those at the peak of the income and wealth pyramids do quite a few things everybody else could do but refuses to do.

Most such things are difficult or time demanding or involve learning or are complicated to do. Consequently, most avoid them. A comparative few do them.”

Source: Dan Kennedy, this is an excerpt from his No B.S. Trust-Based Marketing book

I have read this now multiple times from Dan Kennedy. It is a more in depth look at the 80/20 rule that works for almost everything in life.  20% of all people, from basically any industry, profession, or walk of life, out produce, out earn, out learn, out work, out give to charities, out volunteer, etc. the other 80%, almost all the time.

But what is rarely spoken about, especially in the media, is why that is. It is behavioral. There is no doubt that other factors come into play. Simply the luck of the draw as to what family you were born into will be a tremendous advantage or disadvantage in a person’s life. We also know that kids from the same parents with the same upbringing turn out vastly different from one another, with probably the 80/20 rule playing out with them, if you have enough kids, statistically speaking.

Mr. Kennedy continues to make an important case-in-point, by posing the question of how many people who read this particular section of the book would actually follow through with the strategy he had presented. This would require you to stop and actually work at something, in order to gain greater value, beyond the simple act of just reading the book and thinking, “that sure sounds like a good idea.”

These are the behaviors that differentiate the individuals within the pyramid. Nothing that is worth something comes without a price. Therein lies the frustration with this increasing “entitlement society” we live in.

Why should one person who works extraordinarily hard at getting better and getting ahead be expected to give more of his or her money away to others who don’t?  That is the million dollar question, my friends.