Wealth Creationism

For a handful of years, getting rich was easier than shooting fish on a screensaver. All you had to do was take a popular commodity ­ like books or toys or dog food or child pornography ­

Mar 22, 2001 at 2:06 pm

For a handful of years, getting rich was easier than shooting fish on a screensaver. All you had to do was take a popular commodity ­ like books or toys or dog food or child pornography ­ that was sold to people in the slow, cumbersome, boring, same old-same old way and announce that you were going to start selling it in a light-speed, hip, exciting, "e-commerce"/"e-tail" way. Next thing you knew ­ badda-bing-badda-ka-ching! ­ the venture capital or IPO dough was cascading in (actual earnings were never part of the Internet "get rich" scenario), with the only downside being you had to get up 10 minutes earlier every morning to decide whether to take the Boxster or the Beemer into work.

Sadly, this is no longer the case. Over the last year, dot-coms have hit something of a bump in the road (kind of like Tupac Shakur's career has "hit a bump in the road"), turning once-bold i-ventures into worthless "Oy!"-ventures. Upshot? The acquisitive young Turk of today needs to find a new way to make his/her millions/billions.

So, in the interest of helping today's energetic poor become tomorrow's idle rich, I did some poking around. What I found is that a post-tech (or 4th Wave) economy is already emerging.

And, with it, the following very hot, highly enriching careers. (You know, the good kind of enriching. The money kind.)

Lotterist: Don't think this is a career best pursued by the numerate and statistically minded; some very successful lotterists have been ill-educated and untrained. But the budding lotterist should be prepared to spend most of his/her days crunching numbers, generally those between 1 and 49. Through a process of trial and error, random selection, spontaneous generation and instinct, you'll distill these 49 integers down to six, which an associate will then input into a complex statewide intranet via an interface apparatus or "lottery terminal." Each series of integers is backed with a personal capital investment on the part of the lotterist, often as little as $1 per number set. If the set has been discerningly and intelligently chosen, it will, necessarily, align with a "master set" determined in a remote location and thereby earn the lotterist a return on investment of at least a million-fold. A sub-specialty, PowerBallogy, while employing essentially the same battery of skills, can earn one even higher returns.

Vicodin/OxyContin Dealer: Drug dealing is a tried and true way to make big bucks fast. Unfortunately, many of society's more popular, high volume drugs already have effective channels of distribution and moving in on such territory can mean low profit margins and/or dying in a hail of hot lead. That's why the emergence of Vicodin and OxyContin as hip, sexy, highly abuseable drugs is such good news. This is the first truly ground floor opportunity in the prescriptionless sale of prescription narcotics since Quaaludes. An opportunity you can't afford to miss.

Punctuarian: Join the ranks of those trying to expand America's punctuation and, through royalties on usage, get rich by doing so. Did you know that the inventor of the semicolon hasn't worked a day since she introduced it in 1938? Or that the developer of the backslash now owns four of the Solomon Islands? It's true. So if you've ever dreamed of double commas or apostrisks (apostrophe/asterisk fusions) or a squiggly line that means "read this part really fast," punctuary science is where you belong.

FOB (Friend of Bill): Once embraced by hundreds of cloying cronies, climbers and apologists, Bill Clinton, in the aftermath of the Mark Rich pardon, the White House furniture and gift "appropriations," the Manhattan office space fiasco, his admission of perjury, et al, now finds himself without a single friend or defender. Thanks to monstrous speaking fees and (coming soon) big money book deals, however, he's also in robust financial shape. Meaning he's now able to afford to pay you to be his friend. But hurry. It's almost certain he'll be needing one again very soon.

Transpigmentation: Turning skin a color other than it's natural one has been practiced from Black Like Me through Michael Jackson. Today, this process of transpigmentation has been refined and simplified. It's also about to win FDA approval. When it is, all the young, suburban, white hip-hoppers with the baggy clothes, doo rags, loud Rap, etc., will, through a short and sweet series of costly injections, be able to indulge their ultimate fantasy: Being black. Conversely, African Americans tired of discrimination and disenfranchisement could choose to become white. The result is heavy traffic for your transpigmentation practice. Double-dip bonus: If enough blacks turn white, the formerly white kids will think that's hip and want to be re-turned white. ©