Income isn't what makes people wealthy as much as outgo keeps them from saving money. We tend to keep up with the Jonses. As an ancient Jones, I try to make that easy, but people persist in wasting money on large screen TVs, cell phones with cameras and GPS, video games, dinners out, and other money sponges. Most of these don't enhance the quality of life, but they do keep us from really living. Henry Thoreau may have overdone the basic lifestyle at Walden Pond, but it certainly beat going into debt for unnecessary baggage. Many Americans learned how to make do with nearly nothing in the 1930s. It was a tough time, but it made tough people who could teach their descendants much.