• author
    • Donald Sanders

    • May 13, 2015 in Columnists

    How to get rich quick

    The world is full of people that want to grab all of your cash. To them, we’re what you’d call “a mark.” If you have money, sooner or later you’ll be considered “a mark.” There are all kinds of schemes and little devious plans they can use to get you to part with your money, some legal and some not so legal. The greatest tool these people have in their shed for getting our money is our own greed.

    “Charles Ponzi (also known as Charles Ponei, Charles P. Bianchi, Carl, or simply ‘The Ponz’) promised his clients a 50 percent return on their investment in a ridiculously short amount of time. He initially achieved this by paying his past clients with the investments of future clients. More recently, Bernie Madoff got rich using the same scheme.”

    Eventually they went to prison but my point is their best tool was our own greed. Greed, I say!

    “In 1999, David Phillips realized that the return on a mail-in-rebate outweighed the price of Healthy Choice pudding snacks. So he bought 12,150 cups of pudding (and spent $3,500), and sent in the rebate, netting over a million frequent flier miles from American Airlines. To avoid suspicion, he claimed he was stocking up for Y2K. And since all the pudding was donated to charity, he also netted a hefty tax-break.”

    Every once in a while, opportunities like this come along and as it happens, are perfectly legal.

    My favorite scheme was carried out by a guy named, Gregor MacGregor, who “not only has a hilarious name, but a hilarious story. After fighting for South American independence, he returned to England, pretending to be cazique of ‘Poyais,’ a totally made-up island nation off the coast of Honduras. He even created a guidebook detailing the landscape and abundant natural resources. He collected money from over 250 would-be colonists, and by the time his investors reached the patch of water where their island should have been, he was already rounding up more money from potential colonists in France”.

    What has all of this to do with me? Well, a couple of weeks ago, my wife made me go with her to a diner given by the local “Walk-a-thon” thingy at my favorite restaurant, The Buckhorn, in downtown Winters, California. There was plenty of what I like: meat and potatoes. Well, some vegetables too, but I didn’t eat that stuff. What I’m trying to get at is the fact that the food was free because of some cancer society thingy.

    I was sitting there feeding my face when it dawned on me that if I did a little research as to when these events are held in other towns, I could possible eat for free every night. All I have to do is sit there and eat while looking sad and concerned for all the cancer guys. I can do that easy!

    Yesterday, I was wakened up way before noon by the noise from an excavator tearing down a building just down the street from my house. I got out of bed and went to the front of my house fully intending to yell and give them the finger until I got a good look at what they were doing. The demolished building looked exactly like the buildings destroyed by a large earthquake. This set me to thinking and then to action.

    Suppose I put on some dirty clothes and put a huge bandage on my head and across one eye. OK, if I could get that guy to move his excavator so I could take my picture sitting on the rubble of the demolished building I could say I was a victim of an earthquake and get a lot of charity money.

    Believe me, it could work. Who’s with me?

    I don’t know why, because I’m no mathematician, but I have to say that the three quotes I used above were taken from buzzfeed.com. That way I don’t get sued. That’s another get rich scheme too, but we’ll get back to that later.

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