Bethenny Frankel covers Money: ‘Most people are lazy & wait for things to happen’


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Bethenny Frankel covers the new issue of Money, where she talks about the fact that she’s rich and didn’t used to be. She was in credit card debt and was bad with money up until her late 30s, when she got a spot on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, joined the Real Housewives of New York and created the Skinnygirl brand. She sold Skinnygirl cocktails to a big company but retained the rights to the brand for other tasteless products and is now rolling in it. According to Bethenny it was achieved through hard work, which she emphasizes multiple times in the interview. The underlying message is that people who aren’t wealthy haven’t tried hard enough.

She was 20k in debt until her late 30s
“Until my late thirties, everything was just an anxiety and a struggle. It’s like the way people feel when they eat something and they don’t feel good about it… I used to think the credit card didn’t countThen I consolidated all my credit cards and got a strategic plan to pay more than the minimum each month. That was a concerted effort.

“You can’t put yourself in a position where, if the s–t hit the fan, you couldn’t pay all of your bills at one time, If the world came to an end, I would be able to pay for everything. I might not be left with much, but I can afford what I have.”

Her Housewives of NY costars are living beyond their means
“They can’t afford the lives they’re living. And if the music stops, they’re going to get in some trouble.”

If you work hard “you will soar”
“Most people are moving papers around a desk, pretending they’re working,” she says. “If you are a really hard worker, you know it. And you will soar.”

“You know if you’re that person who’s really going to be Michael Phelps and not look to the left or to the right and just get to that wall before anybody else.”

Most people are lazy
“Most people are lazy, sit back, and wait for things to happen for them, and complain when they don’t get them. So don’t be that person.”

[From Time.com/Money]

She’s not wrong about people living beyond their means or about the fact that you should work hard and add value to your company. Bethenny is parroting the capitalism talking points, that hard work leads to success and money, but she has a huge blind spot about her privilege. She’s told minority women business owners to hire white men to front their companies, she’s been racist, she’s stanned for Trump, and she’s said clueless things about gender. There are people who work harder and longer than she can ever imagine who lose teeth because they can’t afford to go to the dentist. There are people who work in white collar jobs with health insurance and still go bankrupt from medical bills. Of course this is in Money so she has to talk about how she made it and how other people can too. To be fair she did start a nonprofit through which she has made substantial donations to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and has continued to give back, she didn’t just throw paper towels at them. We know because there are photos and videos on her Instagram where she’s giving gift cards to people. When you go to the website for her charity you get a popover for Skinnygirl jeans, which she would say is just good business sense.

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Photos credit: WENN, Instagram and Money

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91 Responses to “Bethenny Frankel covers Money: ‘Most people are lazy & wait for things to happen’”

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  1. Neelyo says:

    The cynical part of me (well just me) thinks she started that non-profit helping Puerto Rico to get a tax write off on her private plane.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I actually bought Skinnygirl Pinot Grigio last night bc I figured I would just try it. It may be fewer calories than a typical Pinot but meh. Not worth it lol. too sweet but also lacking in flavor.

    And Michael Phelps always looks to the right and left. He’s just usually so far out in front that it doesn’t matter. Or he does it underwater so you cant necessarily tell. But all swimmers do it.

    Anyway. I hate the idea that if you work hard, you’ll be rich. Lots and lots and lots of people in this country work hard. Sometimes being rich is about how hard you work and how talented and smart you are. But it’s almost always also about luck – right place right time, right family, etc. We hear the bootstraps stories, and rags to riches – and the reason they are so popular is bc they aren’t that common overall. My parents did better than their parents but its not quite rags to riches, you know?

    • Loras says:

      She is leaving out some information:Being from Florida ,I know she attended one of 10th most expensive private high schools from down here.I seriously doubt she started from scratch,I am sure she had connections at least.This is very much the Republican talking point,if you aren’t wealthy it is your own fault,which is just not true at all.I have heard enough stories to believe she is a jerk.Maybe she has worked hard but she was given the boots to pick herself up by the bootstraps!

  3. Tiffany says:

    Says the privilege white daughter of Bobby Frankel.

  4. Jenns says:

    Two things:

    1. If the world was coming to an end, f*ck paying your bills.
    2. Not everyone wants wants to be a business mogul. Some people just want to go their jobs as a nurse, teacher, cashier and not live paycheck to paycheck while the 1% gets to buy another house and yacht due to Republican tax cuts. Lots of people work really hard, even at multiple jobs, but still can’t get ahead. So F*ck you, Frankel.

  5. Sherry says:

    ‘Most people eat to stay alive.’

  6. Maria says:

    Agree Kaiser. “Most people are lazy” is simply not true. Just because she has been successful doesn’t mean that others, who may apply themselves equally or even more than her, will encounter the same level of success. Life isn’t like that. People living beyond their means is somewhat true when it comes the millennial generation. She seems to have all kinds of pat answers.

    • Jordan says:

      You must be a baby boomer.

      • FLORC says:

        Maria’s comment holds up with me and I’m a mid 80s baby.

      • Jordan says:

        Don’t worry Florc, generation X almost puts the boomers to shame. Time released an article that millennials will now earn 90% less than what the boomers did. As mentioned below, who crashed the economy back in 2008 and what generation is still in there? The ones you’ve continued to vote in to assure the generic brands of bread stay at $5, the ones who vote it acceptable to give sex offenders state funded viagra. If you want to get in on Gen X, we can too. Nevermind another generation sees a problem and calls it out. How millennials can overspend is beyond me when majority can’t even have $10 after rent. They get cell phones versus overloading themselves on meaningless jewelry or further debt by multiple cars such as Gen X and the boomers. You all are the reason why we are in the state we are in from economics to finally being able to come forward about sexual abuse. Take problems with our spending but we take problems with the way yalls generation has gotten us to present.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      I’m a baby boomer who agrees that it’s unfair to swipe at millennials. These generational divides have to stop. Baby Boomers are rich, poor and everything in between, but many of us benefited from more reasonable costs for higher education, companies that still conducted in-house training, and affordable government loans. Younger adults have been saddled with unreasonable debt that’s nearly impossible to pay off (and getting harder, thanks to private scalpers like Betsy DeVos), all to get degrees that are now the minimum ticket to white-color work. They are postponing relationships, children, houses; they do it with patchier health insurance and far less income stability. That’s why they carry more debt. And Baby Boomers were no slouch in the over-extended, use-your-house-as-a-piggy-bank lifestyle either (yet the biggest reason for bankruptcy filings? medical expenses). It’s easy to generalize until you dig into what’s actually going on.

      So millennials have cell phones. Big deal: So do Baby Boomers. It’s how we live now. My parents -Depression babies – got landlines put in every bedroom and that was a big deal then.

    • Jenns says:

      What generation is running the country right now? What generation was running the country in 2008 when the economy crashed?

      Blaming millennials is a tired cliche.

      • FLORC says:

        I watched a bunch of millenials buy a vape called pax 3. Most over extended themselves doing it. They had poor money management skills. I want watching other age groups do that.
        I’m not saying they’re to blame. I’m saying each age group/generation has to grow and learn. The young will always be frowned upon in this way. And millenials will in time do it to the next group.

      • Jenns says:

        So…you watched a bunch of young kids buy vapes and assumed poor money skills?

        Also, I feel like there is this assumption that millenials are young. And while that is true for some, part of the millenials generation is now in their early to mid-thirties. They bogged down with student loan debt, can’t afford housing due to this debt, healthcare costs and the overall cost to living. They’re grown and have already learned that the previous generation f**ked them over big time. Not to mention that the kids they’re raising will face the same challenges and also the changing world due to climate change.

        I get that all generations crap on younger generations, but maybe we should stop doing that. Because we were all young and stupid(and blew money on dumb crap). But let’s not act like trying to get ahead in this world financially all comes down to saving money by not buying vapes and avocados.

      • HyacinthBuckey says:

        How would Millenials make ends meet without their parents supplemental income

      • Jenns says:

        Finally, I just saw this on my Twitter feed:

        https://twitter.com/byHeatherLong/status/1027931302031491074

        The American wage growth is getting wiped out. The economy may be strong, but it’s not being reflected in our paychecks(unless your in the 1%).

        Instead of accusing younger generations of not working hard, or maybe spending their money on things they don’t need, get angry at this. Because this stat affects us all.

      • FLORC says:

        Jenns
        No. I watched them buy. Heard them announce how their parents or family or SO will cover their bills for them. And know their landlords personally. Connecting dots in the most simplistic way.

        For these young adults. Especially in my area. Privilege is real. No one has pushed them to survive in many cases. The previous generation in theory worked hard and coddle. Feeling it’s better their children never have to work that hard. And that’s amazing, but it leaves many weaker and with poor money management skills. Because there will always be someone to hear your pleas for money and pay. That is not everyone, but when people complain about millennials in this instance the stereotype is accurate.

        Let me take this a step further. It’s a large town and a university area. The businesses love hiring college kids. They all make minimum 30% above minimum, which is increasing $1 a year for a few more years. Leaving my area and state among the highest minimum to cost of living federal and state standards. We are doing well in those terms and students are thriving. Easy, plentiful jobs that pay well above minimum in a state that already is 1 of the highest at that.
        Js

    • Harryg says:

      I find millennials smart, trying to figure out new ways to do stuff. I haven’t met a “lazy millennial” yet.

    • RLF says:

      Kaiser didn’t write this. I know she writes most things…

    • Veronica S. says:

      Millenials are also dealing with the largest income to debt ratio out of the current generation, and wages have stagnated for almost two decades now. It’s not really difficult to overextend yourself.

      For the record, baby boomers are starting to exhibit increasing rates of bankruptcy, too. This isn’t just a single generation issue. The current economic situation is purposefully designed to benefit a very narrow few.

  7. Swackd says:

    As I know little of Frankel, I looked up the time line of her success. She was on Apprentice in 2005, Real Housewives starting in 2008 and sold her Skinnygirl line in 2011. I wonder if she would have been able to sell her line and get the deal she had if she wasn’t already famous. While she may worked hard, she still had more than many people have when starting up a business.

  8. Jordan says:

    Celebrities are laughable when they say hard work. She would throw carbs at hard work if it were a person to scare it away.

  9. MissKittles says:

    Bethenny got lucky! I’m not doubting her work ethic. But if she wasn’t on TV, her skinny girl brand would be nothing.
    Being wealthy & being successful are too different things. You can be successful at a white collar job & still be making a difference in the community.
    The last episode I saw of RHONY, she was rude, entitled, and having anxiety attacks every time something didn’t go her way. If that’s her version of success, then let me keep my lil office job moving papers around.
    I hope she doesn’t think her accountant, etc aren’t working hard just bc they aren’t millionaires.

  10. Elena says:

    I work 7-7 lifting patients, preparing people for surgery, getting them after surgery, taking them to the bathroom, managing complex medications so they don’t clot or bleed to death and running down the hallways after bed alarms so that people don’t fall. I’ll never be CEO of anything, but I’m not lazy.

    I have watched RHONY and love it but someone was right when they said she can’t deal if it’s not about her. She threw temper tantrums all of Tinsley’s trip and is allergic to fish but can eat shellfish(?) Her pathology was truly on display this season.

    EDIT: she’s still bad with money. She impulse buys when shopping routinely and has bought, sold, redone multiple apartments in the past few years. She just has so much money it doesn’t matter, but you can see her habits haven’t changed.

    • AmunetMaat says:

      Totally agree. I’m a teacher, I spend 8-12 hours on site and my state has it in our contracts that doing any work at home or on weekends is apart of our compensation. We do not have a true lunch break, we barely have bathroom breaks. I just spent 250 bucks for classroom supplies and that’s the cheapest I’ve spent in 6 years. I work hard, it’s expected but no matter how hard I work it doesn’t matter and right place, right time is the only way to a promotion. I just want to live my life, drive my Rav4 and afford daycare. I love RHWoNY but Bethany has all that money but no happiness. I doesn’t seem worth it.

    • LahdidahBaby says:

      Great observations, Elena! You really nailed it!

  11. Crumbs says:

    “You can’t put yourself in a position where, if the s–t hit the fan, you couldn’t pay all of your bills at one time” WOW Thank you so much for that amazing advice. I never knew it was bad to have so much debt! And also, I wish I was only 20k in debt. That is child’s play to me.

  12. Sarah says:

    I’m sure Goop and Ivanka Trump agree.

  13. Tania says:

    A friend of mine was married to a white guy and they had 2 kids. He was always stressing the importance of how they’ll make money. She was always focused on their happiness and being good people. Suffice it to say, they divorced. She reminded me that for too long, our children were being taken away from our communities and sent to schools to “take the indian out of them.” and all the laughter was gone so now we have to focus on bringing it back and stop adopting outside standards of what living a good life meant.

    Sure, if money was your goal, follow bethany’s example. But I doubt she’s all that happy. And as my great-uncle said, “I came into this world with nothing and I’ll leave with nothing”.

  14. FhMom says:

    In a perfect world, hard work would guarantee success, but as we all know that is not, nor has it ever been, true. She does have b*lls, though, i’ll give her that.

  15. Mo' Comments Mo' Problems says:

    She’s one of those people who I wish would keep herself hushed.

  16. Honey bear says:

    She’s right. This is America. You can be endlessly successful if you have enough hustle. Ask the numerous immigrants that come here for a better life and opportunities and work their ass off to make that happen. While Americans sit around and complain if unfairness and don’t put any real work in to change their lives. I know. I came from nothing and homelessness and now live in the top 5-10% of America. It wasn’t easy. There were many tears, food from the food bank, walking five miles each way to work, etc. Sorry you didn’t want it bad enough. Don’t even start with “poor victims” aren’t allowed to be successful in this country.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Every single data point confirms that upward mobility in the United States has declined over the past few decades and that material success now has more to do with inherited wealth than with hustle.

      May we ask in what profession you managed to succeed despite all the odds? What education did you need to acquire? How did you pay for it? In what city did you walk 5 miles each way to work? When was this achievement achieved?

      My parents were able to rise one level — as part of the great post-war expansion of the American middle class, with benefits from the government’s GI bill for my father, with medical bill worries about their parents removed by the advent of Medicare, with relative inexpensive higher-ed for their kids thanks to government interest in public education, with free city college in New York City (long since changed), with unions fighting for their better pay and benefits and security — and did they work hard? Of course they did. But without those other economic and social factors and forces they would have stayed in the working class no matter what their drive and ability.

      All we’re seeing is America’s original Protestant ethic (the rich deserve it/will get salvation), which mutated into Social Darwinism to put a scientific gloss on it, back in all its self-justifying glory, while the middle class gets hollowed out and the rich-poor gap grows wider.

  17. megan says:

    Not a fan of hers *at all* but I think the reason some people get rich is that they take risks. You don’t take a risk in a white collar job sitting behind a desk. You take a risk when you start a new business or invent something new. I’m fine with that – I’m not a risk taker. And most risk takers aren’t going to become multimillionaires..they are the outliers. Frankel is very tone deaf when she makes her statement about people being lazy. I don’t think that’s it at all.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      And the funny thing is, from what other comment people who know her background better are saying, she really didn’t have to take too much of a risk. She came from money and she got on TV, which gave her brand a boost (much like Trump). A line of bland low-calorie foods is not a big risky innovation in a society obsessed with diet and becoming thin.

      You make a great point about true risk and innovation reaping rewards in the American system. And the few successes mask the many more failures.

  18. Harryg says:

    Not true. You can vomit out a turd of a pop song and become a millionaire. You can enlarge your butt and sell lipstick and become a billionaire. You can almost by accident buy a house at the right spot and a few years later get a million dollars for it.
    Working hard has nearly nothing to do with money. The hardest, most productive workers who benefit the society most are paid the worst salaries (teachers, cleaners, nurses). People like hedge fund managers or whatever vague bankers who should not exists at all are paid the most. Ridiculous.
    And, Bethenny Frankel’s personality is so off-putting it will destroy her business.

  19. Mel says:

    Ok, I’ll bite. I’m not American but I was talking to my BFF about the American Dream the other day. I was wondering if it was still instilled in people’s minds nowadays. I think we should update it to White American Dream. If people truly believed in the American Dream, they would not automatically assume that a POC in a nice neighborhood or driving a nice car is a thief. White people buy into the « anything’s possible » narrative as long as it doesn’t apply to POC. That would mean saying goodbye to privilege. OMG the horror!!!

    • AmunetMaat says:

      Sadly, many people are still encouraged to go after the “American Dream” even though it is hollow and fake. Honestly, it is a concept created by the wealthy elite of this country to maintain a poor working class because the American Dream is about being in debt, accepting certain debt and then maintaining that debt. Our financial institutions operate on debt. We are hardwired and brainwashed to believe that debt is good (we are told there is good debt and bad debt, so we can work even harder to acquire good debt even though the cost of living is so outrageous that most of us have bad debt), even though the only people benefiting from this debt is the top 1-5%.

      • Erin says:

        I agree with this. If we could decrease our desire to accumulate things and instead use our money to purchase our freedom, we could break free of this way of life perpetuated by the wealthy to keep us enslaved. The hard part of this is, you have to decrease your spending to increase your saving significantly and invest that money by way of maxing out tax deferred accounts like your 401k, HSA then you’re tax advantaged accounts like a ROTH IRA. You also have to have the advantage of making enough money to have enough left over to invest. I highly recommend reading some Mr. Money Mustache articles, specifically the article, The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement. It changed how I spend and how I look at debt and the unnecessary accumulation of “stuff”.

  20. Jess says:

    Bethenny is so effing blind to her privilege. Even though she was broke in her 30s, she still had far more social capital than the average person. Her brand Skinnygirl never would’ve gone anywhere if Bethenny’s rich, well-connected friends hadn’t introduced her to her business partners, who are the ones who invested the money in the company.

    • AmunetMaat says:

      Precisely, I also do not understand her woe is me story. She mentions having a horrible childhood with an alcoholic parent, etc. which is all very plausible and true; however, still does not take away that she was born into wealth and she was raised with a cushion and connections. She likes the bootstraps narrative even though she does not fit it and trouts out her poor parents as the reason for why the narrative fits. That is an ugly thing to do.

  21. LoveBug says:

    Sorry, I just can’t stand her, she seems entitled, rude and full of herself.

    Most people are not lazy, most people work hard, but hard work does not guarantee success and wealth.

    And lets be honest here not everybody wants to be in the business world, some people are into arts, some into activism, some into helping the sick in the health care field.

    Working is not only about money, I’m an engineer, I will never be a millionaire, but I love what I do.

    There is luck involved, right time, right place, how one was raised and so on…

    When I immigrated to the USA, I was very shocked by the level of materialism, nothing seems enough here for many people.

    I think of shopping as a chore, most Americans think of it as fun.

    America is a wealthy country and there are still many opportunities here that don’t exist in other parts of the world that is certainly true.

  22. Betsy says:

    If she were just talking about the financial irresponsibility of the wealthy, fine. But do not talk about poor people like it’s laziness. It’s expensive to be poor. You frequently can’t afford the stitch in time and you end up having to put nine in later. Blame isn’t useful.

  23. Whatever Gurl says:

    If she is so rich and successful, why does she come off as a petty, selfish, combative and unhappy person?

  24. Lala11_7 says:

    Her interview…and her life is the best definition of “entitlement” I have seen in damn near my WHOLE LIFE…Everything she has achieved…she got because of where she came from…she wasn’t plucked from obscurity…she knew people…who knew people and exploited her connections…she’s lucky because she has more income streams coming in then the other “housewives” due to the fact that she was able to market her products, which ONLY had market value because of being on the show…and she was ONLY on the show because of who she knew…

    If hard work made you rich…me and EVERYONE else I know would be rolling in cash…we’re not…because being rich has NEVER been about working hard…it has ALWAYS been about who you know and the access you’re able to obtain because of that knowledge…THAT is the rule…everything else is the exception…

    And the fact that she spent SO MUCH TIME in P.R. during the horror show that continues…helping people who have worked their fingers to the bone…JUST to have a roof over their head and food on the table…and yet she gives THIS INTERVIEW…makes me know she’s not a nice person…not at all…

  25. Justmyopinion says:

    Her Skinnygirl vodka sold because of the Housewives fame (duh, i know), and the fact that there are a lot of not-so-bright women who buy that swill. Skinnygirl vodka tastes like slightly spiked water, and didn’t even get me buzzed.

  26. Jess says:

    She forgets that she’s always been with wealthy men, as was her mother I believe. I go back and forth between loving and hating her honestly, she has great comedic timing and one liners, but she is pretty self absorbed and batshit crazy at times. Sure she hustled hard and it paid off, but MOST people work just as hard or harder and don’t get that kind of payoff in the end.

    I have a friend who has/had the same mindset and it drives me crazy. He thinks he got where he is on hard work alone and anyone could do it, wrong. He thinks his success has nothing to do with being a white male living in the south, or being able to get away with doing some really dumb illegal shit when he was younger and not being in prison for it now, as any person of color would be. He also thought because I make less money that means I don’t work as hard, I always tell him no you lucked out and your area of expertise pays better than mine, we work equally as hard in different ways, money has nothing to do with it in my opinion. Anyway, he’s coming around and opening his eyes to his white privilege.

    It just drives me nuts when rich white people tell everyone all it takes is hard work, it’s so fkng delusional.

    • Veronica says:

      I had some dipshit get into with me on Facebook over trade v.s. degrees, claiming that people who went to school and complained about low pay are just idiots. And I’m just like…the trades?? were gutted?? for almost a decade??? after Millenials graduated???

      What reality y’all living in where the 2008 recession didn’t happen and pushed more than a million young people out of construction and general trade because there was no work? That’s why they’re desperate now for new people *now.* But, hey, if you actually read the news, you know there are legitimate concerns about another housing bubble on the rise because the cost of real estate is outstripping incomes so quickly. Which means another crash may be on the rise, and maybe your trades job won’t be as recession proof as you like to think, eh?

    • Veronica says:

      Yes. I just deleted a long comment here because I’ve spent the week dealing with idiots on Facebook on want to condescend about basic economics THEY aren’t educated about, and I’ve reached the saturation point for capitalist bullshit.

      Unless you are an economics major who had to work from the ground up?

      Shut the f*ck up about money and work ethic.

      • FLORC says:

        Well, that’s facebook, right? Majority being loud, uneducated, alternative facts? I dont have it. I’m assuming from what I’m told.

        BF sounds like a lot of those driven business folks. All or nothing and no excuses. If you failed dont complain. Just keep going.
        That both makes sense and is wrong. It’s context. My 2 cents.

        I had my own business in my 20s. Starting a new 1 now. Have a career. Have a bf starting his own. And it’s hard. I’m seeing distractions and how those can lead to failures. Sometimes those distractions are family. Friends. Sleep. Things we prioritize for good reasons. But they can increase failure rate for growing bootstrap personal wealth.
        It’s not easy and it’s not easily done. Cost can be too high.

  27. LadyLilith says:

    Because that’s what we really need now, living under the Trump regime. More privileged, rich white people telling everyone else they are lazy.

  28. april says:

    I suffered acute adrenal dysfunction from working too hard; suffering burnout from work. Words like that will bite you in the butt, Bettheny.