With friends like these, Democratic voters don’t need Donald Trump.
There is an old saying in America: “From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” In Japan, there is a similar saying: “Rice paddy to rice paddy in three generations.” An almost identical sentiment is expressed in England, “Clogs to clogs in three generations.”
The Scots are more explicit: “The father buys, the son builds, the grandchild sells, and his son begs.” The Chinese, even more so: “Wealth never survives three generations.”
The meaning, lamented by wealthy families the world over, is that what one generation works so hard to build is almost always gone in three generations. No matter what wealthy families try to do to prevent this- complicated wealth planning, legal trusts, long-term investments- the curse is hard to break.
The few families you can probably think of who have managed to hold onto vast wealth after three generations- the Rothschilds, the House of Windsor- represent the tiny percentage of exceptions that prove the rule.
This doesn’t stop wealthy families from trying to preserve wealth for future generations of their progeny, of course.
It is this same desire for wealth propagation that causes large companies to engage in similar strategies to preserve company interests over the long term.
Huge, powerful corporations don’t just have life insurance policies on their most valuable executives. They have a plan of succession- or five. Any wealthy family hoping to successfully preserve what has been built and pass it on to the next generation has at least one, too.
When the head of the company or family retires, there is already a plan in place, including a successor.
That plan is not scrapped together while the family patriarch or matriarch is on their deathbed. That company plan of succession doesn’t happen the day a CEO announces his resignation.
Smart generals talk about tactics. Wiser generals talk strategy.
Winning generals talk logistics.
Companies grow, and most eventually die. Families amass wealth; most of the time that wealth is gone in three generations, no matter how…