Drink Your Way to Being Rich


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Since we are all college students, most of us do our fair share of drinking. This got me to thinking about whether this leads to success or, well, failure in life (monetary wealth). We all know how hard this activity can be on our bank accounts. I have heard of many students going broke when they turn 21 because of how much money they spend at bars. You may be thinking how could this behavior possibly lead to becoming rich. A 2010 Gallup Survey showed that 46% of people earning $20,000 are regular drinkers versus 80% of people earning more than$75,000. That is a staggering increase to me.

 The reasons for this are all over the board. Some of them include but are not limited to rich people can afford the alcohol, drinking could be a social activity for affluent people, or rich people drink to relief stress from work. These are all arguable because they vary by the individual. For example, most college students aren't considered affluent but most of them engage in drinking. This might have something to do with the fact that binge drinking is correlated to lower incomes.  

 I don't think the answer to this question will ever be conclusive since there are so many third variables involved. This could be due to direct causation (drinking leads to wealth), which is unlikely. It could also be reverse causation (wealth leads to drinking), which I think is the more likely of the causes. I believe this because rich people have more of a reason to drink. Dr. Selman, a famous New York Psychiatrist whose client base includes some of the wealthiest New Yorkers ranging from Wall St. bankers to lawyers thinks so too. He notices more people using prescription drugs, opiates, stimulants and tranquilizers. Why? Heightened stress levels caused by their jobs and the struggling economy (CNBC article). This is a plausible cause since wealthier people have jobs with more power and workload, which leads to higher stress and alcohol, can be seen as a stress reliever to some people.

There hasn't been any research yet on this matter but the increasing interest will surely lead to some studies in the future. Another cause, which may be a bit far fetched, is that it's not yet recognized as a health risk. Actually, moderate drinking is believed to be good for health. Dr. Brewer, leader of the CDC alcohol program has this to say on the topic, "we would expect people with a higher socioeconomic status to be among the first to avoid binge drinking, as is generally the case with other risk behaviors, like smoking and obesity." He believes that wealthier people are more likely to listen to their doctors when they tell them not to engage in these types of risky behaviors.

So my conclusion is that drinking, especially binge drinking won't lead to being wealthy. Being wealthy is more likely to play a role to drinking more. My advice to all you college goers is to lay off the alcohol a little bit. Being able to consume large amounts of alcohol is not likely to play a role in how rich you are.



3 Comments

Reading this made me laugh a little, i'm sure more people would be rich if alcohol lead to you being wealthy. I do agree with the fact that wealth can lead to drinking, I have witnessed students who have more money drink more obviously because they can afford it. But alcohol can cause many problems for college students, check them out here! http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/niaaacollegematerials/panel01/highrisk_04.aspx

It's interesting to see all the causes that may lead someone to think that wealthier and more successful people drink more. However, I feel that this relation can work both way. For example, as you said work load can lead to an increase in alcohol consumption. This can also be true in those who are not as wealthy or successful. Many people indulge in excess alcohol consumption because they are depressed or stressed about not having a job. In this article binge drinking has been known to kill more working class people than well off people.

I agree with your point here. Great read I definitely can relate to that. As one of my biggest aspirations in life is to be rich, as I'm sure is everyone else's, my one downfall is the amount of money I spend on drinking. Binge drinking is a very collegiate activity that should stick to just a college atmosphere. Excessive drinking in later years is normally a sign of a problem, as Anushi said. Rich people drink more because they can afford it and don't spend all of their money on alcohol because they are usually happier and less stressed, thus usually drink to celebrate and not to black out.

some fats on binge drinking
http://www.the-alcoholism-guide.org/binge-drinking-facts.html

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