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Generate conflicting opinions
$$: Academics make professors' salaries, in the high five or low six figures. Those who work for Wall Street firms or other fiduciary institutions can make enough to force Eliot Spitzer to sit up and take notice.
Skills required: Write very poorly, or at least so obliquely that no matter what happens in reality, the theories and prognostications you offer can never be called wrong, exactly.
The upside: People think you're brilliant, and you may be!
The downside: Your mother leaps off the side of a cruise ship when her retirement account goes south.
The dark side: Your ideas are adopted by the ruling class of a third-world nation, who then use them to exterminate the entire middle class.