Worden: The Millionaires of South Central Los Angeles

LA-Gang-Tours-420x0Years ago, a research study concluded that if all wealth were taken from everyone in the United States and then redistributed to every American equally, within five years the formerly wealthy would be wealthy again, and the formerly poor would be poor again. Think about that for a moment.

It may come as a surprise to most people that present-day millionaires rarely have a degree from Harvard or any other Ivy-League school. In fact, most American millionaires have only a High School education, and many never graduated High School at all. Few people know that Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, barely had an elementary school education, yet he built one of the largest and most successful American corporations ever to exist.

I personally witnessed the achievement of the American Dream in South Central Los Angeles when I sold and serviced insurance there, and this little tale will be an object lesson in what it takes to succeed in America, because if the millionaires of South Central Los Angeles could do it, anyone can, and that means YOU.

The future millionaires of South Central LA weren’t even born in America. They were Korean immigrants who emigrated to America poor, uneducated and unable to read or speak English. It was the mid-1970s, and South Central LA was a cesspool of drugs, prostitution, crime and abject poverty, but thanks to President Lyndon B. Johnson and his War on Poverty, the locals received regular government hand-outs to keep them afloat.

The Koreans had no such welfare benefits available to them. They came to the United States for only one reason, and that was the opportunity to work hard and succeed in providing for their families when no such opportunity existed in South Korea.

The locals of South Central LA were mostly born in the U.S. and had the benefits of a free education and a common language, but most just supplemented their government freebies with income derived from crime, and most were content to just sit back and watch as the world passed by.

The Koreans, on the other hand, had a plan, a purpose and a dream in mind. Five families would commonly rent a five-bedroom home, and the only form of entertainment I ever saw was usually a black & white 12 inch portable TV sitting on the shared kitchen table. They had no stereos, no microwave ovens or any of the other luxuries most Americans take for granted. Most had but one change of clothing and they took turns washing their work clothes and ironing them each evening as they prepared for the next day. Most had only one pair of shoes.

The Koreans couldn’t speak English when they arrived, so they took jobs like dish-washing in restaurants and other menial jobs that didn’t require them to speak English. After work, they would grab a quick bite and then head out to attend night classes to learn English. Once they had English mastered, they began taking night classes to improve their education.

All five families would pool the money they earned, spending nothing on non-essential items and saving every possible dime. Over time, these five families would save up enough money to buy one of the many corner grocery stores in South Central LA, working hard to build the business, but again, not spending any of their money on entertainment or other non-essential items. As time went by, they would save up enough money to buy a second corner grocery store, and then a third and then a fourth and then a fifth, until each family had a store to run. Eventually, just about every corner grocery store in South Central LA was owned by an immigrant Korean family.

Predictably, the locals who sat watching from the porch all this time were convinced the Koreans had been given some kind of extra spiff by the government in order to buy the grocery stores, a rumor that was entirely false, but it apparently stuck because they all believed it.

The Koreans continued to build their little empires, working from dawn to dusk like dogs, constantly harassed by crime, envied and hated by the resentful locals, yet continuing to save every possible penny in order to make various investments in real estate and other business opportunities.

Eventually, every family became millionaires or close to it.

When the Rodney King Riots broke out in South Central LA, the locals hated the Koreans for their success so much they used the opportunity to try to burn them all out. But the Koreans, by now U.S. citizens, had taken advantage of our Second Amendment and had armed themselves to the teeth with semi-automatic, military-style weapons. When the rioters approached to burn them out, the Koreans opened fire, driving the rioters back.

As most of us will recall, the police refused to go into South Central LA for reasons of personal safety, and California had this pesky 14-day waiting period to buy a firearm. So when the locals realized the cops weren’t going to protect them, they ran to the gun stores to buy guns to protect themselves and they were barred from taking possession of the guns until the 14-day period was up. You would think the idiotic anti-gun-nuts would have learned a lesson from this, but it was obviously too much to expect.

After the riots and the clean-up, the Koreans continued to work long hours and make investments until they finally reached the point they could sell off the stores at a huge profit and move into the more safe and secure suburbs of Los Angeles.

That is how the American Dream is still achievable in the United States, but the false security of welfare had destroyed the, “want-to” of the locals, who had every advantage over the Koreans. Think about it: The locals had the availability of a free education, but most took it for granted and few took advantage of it. The locals had the advantage of speaking English, where the Koreans did not. The locals could take jobs the Koreans could not, but didn’t because they didn’t feel they had to.

Most American kids today think they need a blue-ribbon education to get a high-paying job, and they do if they want to go into a field like medicine that requires a diploma. But the United States still has almost unlimited opportunities to succeed, if only our people still had the motivation to do what is necessary to succeed like the Koreans did. But they don’t and they probably won’t until all the freebie government money runs out, and when that happens, the United States will be a war zone between factions of former welfare recipients and those who worked hard for what they have. It won’t be pretty, and it is a mathematical certainty that a total collapse of the American Dollar will occur within five years. That is why smart American families are leaving the large population areas for the relative safety of more rural digs.

So don’t believe all the excuses Americans use to do nothing today, because that is all they are; excuses! We have a slovenly, lazy population of smart-phone zombies who waste every moment and dime on entertainment and non-essential items, then complain they have nothing left over to invest. If you want to succeed in America, you have to be prepared to work hard, long and smart. You will need to have a set of achievable goals to work for, and you will need to sacrifice, so while all your buddies are out having a good time dancing and drinking and entertaining the girls, you’ll be holed-up with a book you checked out of the library so you can self-educate — providing you can actually read and understand what it is you are reading.

Carl F. Worden
Liaison Officer
Southern Oregon Militia

May 6, 2014

One thought on “Worden: The Millionaires of South Central Los Angeles

  1. Neal

    I work for Sunsweet Growers, a large prune packing facility. Most of the people there complain because it’s hot inside the building, they have to lift heavy baskets of fruit, and are actually expected to work. They want the employer to change the requirements so that they don’t have to ever break a sweat. I tell them that is like me wanting to be a boxer but telling the boxing commission that I don’t want anyone punching me in the face. IT COMES WITH THE JOB, and maybe they need to find one where they don’t have to actually work, or at least make room for someone who does.


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