Neal Gabler’s Money Problems

Comments at LOTB:

* The great thing about that Atlantic article is how it turns into a humblebrag if you keep reading. First the guy’s all about his economic insecurity, then you learn:

– Thinks were tight for him in NYC because he and his wife put their two daughters in private school to avoid “bad” public schools.

– Then he moved to East Hampton, where the public schools were “good”.

– One of his daughters became a Rhodes Scholar, went to Harvard, then medical school. Or something like that.

– He sold a screenplay that was made into a movie by Martin Scorsese.

Other than that, he’s just like you, ya poor bastard!

* he author is so poor that his parents had to pay for his daughter’s tuition at Stanford (!!!):

“In the end, my parents wound up covering most of the cost of the girls’ educations.”

I have little sympathy for writers who complain about their poverty. They are actually complaining about the fact that they are unsuccessful in their chosen field. It is a standard trope, recycled every few years. There is a reason why Woody Allen, Philip Roth, John McPhee, etc, etc, do not complain about money, it is because they are successful.

In Prolistan, where I was raised, there was a simple and straightforward admonishment: Get a job!

* You asked in another thread we had, why I consider economists to be leftist globalist apologists. It’s for a number of reasons:

First they are generally extremely supportive of free movement of labor, which is generally their way of underhandly supporting the destruction of borders and sovereignty but doing it under the cover of economics, BUT they are doing it for lefty cultural reasons primarily and not economic. You give legitimacy to the ideas and sell them to right thinking practical people with economics. That’s the whole raison d’être of magazines like “The Economist”. To make the bobo Wall Street class feel good about their work in promoting policies which are otherwise destructive to our domestic economy.

Second, on policies of the welfare state they are generally supportive of various handout programs, but again under the cover of economic stimulus or some other model related gobbledygook. In reality when you push them into a corner that stimulus is a failure or what if it is net negative they default to the moral argument that social spending programs are good. Actually, you need those programs to run a globalist trade program where one trade partner runs massive deficits, since only the government has a credit card rating good enough to charge two decades or three decades worth of stuff to the national tab and prevent an implosion of the lower classes whose livelihoods were destroyed.

Leftism and globalism go hand in hand, it’s pretty well documented in this part of the Internet. It’s only a coincidence that pure laissez-fairie capitalism also supports globalist ideas. You can’t have Globalism without heavy handed government no more than any other program that is highly antithetical to human nature.

* To be fair… why would I even need to worry about keeping 400-2000$ cash on hand anyways? I access to multiple lines of credit totally a little over 30,000 in borrowable cash (with the majority of it at a 3% interest rate and the remainder at a reasonable 6%) and if for some reason I couldn’t use that I pull cash from my credit card for an emergency and go to the bank to consolidate (i.e. get a loan at a better rate).

What is the point in me keeping 2000$ cash around, when I could put that cash against my existing debt and pay less in interest… I still have the liquidity in the case of an emergency.

* I have not read the article, but I did hear an interview with Gabler on NPR. At one point he said, “If someone saw me on the street, they wouldn’t think I’m poor, and frankly, they wouldn’t think I’m poor if they saw my 1040.”

He mismanaged his money, and I have very little sympathy for someone who lives beyond their means. I make jack shit, but I can come up with $500 or $2000 at a moment’s notice. It’s mind-boggling that people do not make an effort to save in case of an emergency.

* No matter how much you make or have you can still blow through it faster. Studies show that people actually get a “high” from spending money. But, in my experience, it ultimately causes stress and clutter. Happiness comes from simplicity and self-control and personal achievements. Not from blowing cash on the upper middle class version of “bling”.

You should pay yourself a small salary and set the rest aside. The salary should be low enough that you have to keep a budget. If you don’t then you lose perspective and impulse control. Check out all the athletes and celebrities who’ve made insane amounts of money then end up bankrupt with insane amounts of debt.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in Economics. Bookmark the permalink.