June 26, 2011 in City

Clark: Who wants to work hard to become a millionaire?

By The Spokesman-Review

It’s now 8.3 percent easier to become a millionaire.

That good news comes from a World Wealth Report I read about on the Internet right after reading another fascinating story, “What Celebrities Eat to Stay Healthy.” (Answer: trail mix.)

Anyway, according to the report, the number of people with big dough has grown to an incredible 10.9 million millionaires in 2010.

The bad news is that amassing such a large amount of cash still takes a long time and involves things that are no fun at all, like making a budget and saving.

Fortunately, I’ve spent my entire career observing and writing about some of the very worst elements of humanity.

What this has shown me is that there are much quicker ways to becoming fabulously wealthy.

So I’d like to share a few of these can’t-miss insights that you can use in your own portfolio.

Start a cult

If we learned anything at all from last month’s erroneous prediction that the world would end, it’s that many religious followers are dumber than earwax.

We’re living in an Enlightened Age of Netflix and Kardashians. Who would believe in a geezer’s prediction that the world would end on May 21?

Quite a few, as it turned out.

Some of his followers quit their jobs. Others blew their savings trying to warn the world.

Then the Last Day came.

And went.

Now the old kook says that the apocalypse has been rescheduled to October, like a rain-delayed baseball game.

But here’s the thing: There are still idiots believing him.

I think the lesson that God is trying to teach us is pretty clear.

He’s telling us that any pigeon this stupid deserves to be plucked.

So follow these easy steps.

1. Announce to the world (via billboards or Facebook) that God has personally chosen you to be his new spokesman.

2. Offer anyone who believes a free bottle of “Individually Blessed Miracle Tap Water.” Only $39.95 for shipping and handling.

3. Make sure to rent a post office box big enough to hold all the checks and money orders that soon will be rolling in.

Cheat on your taxes

The American tax laws are so confusing that IRS agents often can’t explain the differences between the 1040 and the WD-40.

As a result, it’s easier than ever to get away with claiming bogus deductions.

The trick is to make your fake deductions look believable.

Let’s say for literary purposes that you are a grossly underpaid columnist who is working somewhere in the Northwest for a newspaper that used to be medium-sized.

Here are two deductions. One is believable. One is not believable.

Can you spot the bad one? Let’s find out.

Deduction 1. 1987 Jaguar, XJ6 – $7,000.

Deduction 2. Custom-made Armani suit – $5,000.

If you guessed the second deduction you’re right. It obviously doesn’t pass the sniff test.

While you’d likely see a columnist in an old car, you’d never catch him in a new suit.

Become a career criminal

Anyone who says crime doesn’t pay isn’t watching enough C-SPAN.

Criminals get caught, sure. But those are the dumbass miscreants who rob drugstores or snatch purses from little old ladies.

The smart criminals rarely get caught.

And by smart criminals I, of course, mean politicians.

Holding a public office is still one of the most lucrative of all lawbreaking enterprises.

There is no shortage of fortune to be made off scams, kickbacks, graft or using the public’s money to buy a new racetrack.

The tough part is getting elected, of course.

Doing that requires joining a political party and then paying the crooks in charge to nominate you as their candidate.

Knock on some doors. Kiss a few dozen babies.

Voilà! Suddenly you’re surrounded by a pack of piddling nincompoops who are constantly saying, “Can I get you some more coffee, Mr. Commissioner?”

Well, I hope this gets you started on your quest to become a millionaire.

Want to know more?

I suggest you send for my new Clark’s “Keys to Riches” pamphlet, which I’m giving away absolutely free.

Plus a nominal shipping and handling fee, of course. I’ve got this strange hankerin’ for some trail mix.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at dougc@spokesman.com.

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