1.2 post per day. LOL.
slightly more than 80% of US millionaires are self-made
I highly doubt it.
True. But that overstates class mobility in the US - most self-made US millionaires come from center- or upper-middle class households -- not millionaires, but their parents made several hundred thousand per year, and they upped the ante a little -- only 1/3 of US millionaires have a net worth of more than $3 million. I'm using the Chamber of Commerce as a source (obviously somewhat biased).
The one person I've known in my life who had a net worth of more than $3 million was a family friend who died several years ago. He lived in Manhattan; he was a self-made man who worked as a dentist for the very
rich and powerful, eventually becoming very wealthy himself. When I knew him, he had been retired for several years, and was a little bit of a crank. He had foreign policy views similar to Jacobtm; he was very opposed to the Iraq War and so on and so forth. He was the exact opposite of ostentatious; he didn't own a car, preferring to use public transportation; once, he dragged my uncle along into spending five hours
trying to find a certain type of shoe for a price several dollars lower than it was usually sold.
After not finding it, he decided to buy a different, cheaper kind of shoe. His economic views were quite conservative - he came from a working-class background and truly believed anyone with a good education and sufficient determination and luck could become just as successful as he was. His wife had died several years before we met him, and he was estranged from his only son, though I never knew the details. When he died, he left his money to a veterans' charity.