I believe that children from a young age should aim to go to college and graduate. Parental guidance towards going to college should start from a very young age. College can lead to wonderful careers or entrepreneurship. There are a lot of people bashing the concept of going to college. I’m not one of them. I believe that every parent should aim for their child to graduate from college. The only exception to this rule however is children of rich parents. Children of rich parents do not have to go to college. The reason that children of rich parents do not have to go to college is because a child of rich parents has a fall back plan if they fail. The child of a rich parent can fall back to the rich parent for help. The children of rich parents can afford to take more risks because their risks are actually lower than others. This set of risks includes not going to college. The child of a rich parent can use a rich parent to initially bankroll their passions.
Rich Children Still Have A Chance to Do Better than Parents Even Without College
Every parent wants their child to do better than they have done. That’s the one goal of good parenting. This is true for all parents poor, middle class and rich parents. A poor child who doesn’t graduate from college, has increased his or her chances of being poor as an adult. A rich child that doesn’t go to college hasn’t necessarily decreased his chances of being rich. The child’s family is already rich. This makes it such that the child can take more risks pursue his or her passion and not ever graduate from college.
Researching the Parents of Successful People
About a week ago I watched a video called “The Most Successful People Explain Why A College Degree is Useless”. The video had some very successful business people referenced in the video. The video is a series of interviews taken from various places. The following entrepreneurs were mentioned in the video: Donald Trump, Kevin O’Leary, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Cuban, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Peter Thiel. The following quote came directly from the video.
“There is no need to even have a college degree, at all, or even high school.” – Elon Musk, Tesla, CEO
After watching this video, I wanted to know why these people are telling people publicly not to go to college. The only way that I could think of to find the answer to this question was to research the parents of each person referenced in this video. I then researched the parents of each. See the table below that I put together from my research.
|Mark Zuckerberg||Father Edward Zuckerberg||Dentist||$$$$$|
|Donald Trump||Father Fred Trump||Real Estate Developer||$$$$$|
|Elon Musk||Father Errol Musk||Engineer||$$$$$|
|Bill Gates||Father Bill Gates Senior||Lawyer||$$$$$|
|Kevin O’Leary||Mother Georgette Bukalam CEO Kiddie Togs and stepfather economist||CEO Small Business||$$$$$|
|Peter Thiel||Father Klaus Thiel||Chemical Engineer||$$$|
|Mark Cuban||Father Norton Cuban||Automobile Upholsterer||$$|
|Steve Jobs||Father Paul Jobs and Mother Clara Jobs||Blue Collar Workers||$$|
|Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent)||Grandparents Beulah Jackson and Curtis Jackson Sr||$|
|Sean Carter (aka Jay Z)||Mother Gloria Carter||Clerk||$|
Above table is a table of successful business people and parents approximated wealth
Children of Rich Parents and Multigenerational Wealth
The findings are that half of the people in the video are second or multi generational wealthy. The half that were not are Mark Cuban, the late great Steve Jobs, Peter Thiel, Curtis Jackson (50 cent), and Sean Carter (Jay Z). The other half was second generation or greater wealthy. Using Mark Zuckerberg as an example, his father owned his own dentist practice. Mark Zuckerberg dropping out of Harvard to create Facebook isn’t that risky with this extra piece of information about his father. Edward Zuckerberg loaned his son one hundred thousand dollars to start Facebook. You will find similar parental backgrounds with Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Kevin O’ Leary, There is no intent here of denigrating what these entrepreneurs have accomplished. These entrepreneurs have successfully met the goal of doing better than their parents. The only point I’m making here is that some generation before them already took the risk, therefore lessening the child’s risk. Each of these people did not need to graduate from college, irregardless of if they went to college or not.
Children of Poor Parents Take Greater Risk Doing Less
Let’s now look at the other half of the people on the list. I’m not going to mention everyone on the second half of the list but let’s look at the poorest parents on the list 50 cent’s and Jay-Z’s parents. Jay Z was primarily raised by his mother Gloria Carter. 50 Cent was primarily raised by his maternal grandparents. Both are entertainers first who later became successful businessmen. Either one of these two failing could have meant prison, death, or generational poverty. These two actually took the greatest risk on the list even though it’s lessened by the fact that both were entertainers first. De-incentivizing a young child where these two are from not to go to college is reckless. College is a form of upward mobility where these two are from. Some successfully use it others don’t. The act of trying made it such that these two men may have taken more risk than a child of a rich parent needs to.
How Steve Jobs Won The Lottery?
The late great Steve Jobs is actually an extremely interesting parental use case. Steve Jobs was an adopted child by two blue-collar workers Paul and Clara Jobs. Steve Jobs birth mother fled her country and moved to San Francisco to do her adoption. The Act of Steve Jobs’s birth mother moving to San Francisco is where Steve Jobs won the lottery. It made it such that Steve Jobs was in the middle of Silicon Valley before Silicon Valley was Silicon Valley. It also allowed Steve Jobs to meet Steve Wozniak. Had Steve Jobs’s birth mother moved to let’s say Milwaukee to perform her adoption it can be argued that Apple Computers may have never been formed or successful. Also a little known fact is that Steve Job’s birth grandfather was a self-made millionaire. It leaves some credence to the idea that entrepreneurial spirit is hereditary.
“Put me anywhere on Gods green earth I’ll triple my worth” – Jay-Z (U Don’t Know)
Summarizing the Analysis of the Parents of Successful People
This exercise of analyzing the parents of successful people has been an interesting exercise. The exercise is pretty narrowly performed. However, I do give some credence to the fact that children of rich parents have less risk. This allows the children of these successful people to take on more risk such as not going to college. The children of these successful people are free to directly pursue their passions without college. Real risk is already performed by generations earlier. In my opinion, the statement however that everyone shouldn’t go to college is a reckless statement. For many college is a form of upwards mobility. I do agree however that Blue Ivy Carter and Sire Jackson should consider not attending college. They both should consider directly pursuing their passions without college. The real risk that took them out of poverty was already performed by their parents. They now only need to build on top of that.
Do you think that a college degree is useless? Who do you think should attend college and who do you think shouldn’t? Is graduating from college a potential method of upward mobility? Do children of rich parents need to graduate from college?