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Is the American Democratic civilization dying? Why are our electors no longer listening to their constituents? Is plutocracy ruling the US?

Question: Is the American civilization dying? Are we, in reality, being ruled by a plutocracy? Is mankind doomed as a species because we, ignorantly, believe we are the superior species on this planet and have the capacity to control everything? Yes or no to these heavy questions from a 76 year old codger.

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    Aug 27 2013: The democratic process just needs updating. In an age of portable communication devices, it's time to give the voting public more say more often.

    Ticking a box every few years is laughable to me. It does nothing to improve the policies and behaviour of politicians and their parties.

    Considering that we live, not in an information age but a propaganda age, it's not surprising that lies, half-truths and slick T-shirt sized slogans rule the lead up to elections. They just need your tick and then they can forget about you until the next election.

    It's my opinion that the general media should be banned from reporting anything other than bald, boring facts leading into elections. In New Zealand, our mainstream media is so biased, sensationalist and soft that they only make a bad situation worse.

    Some serious changes have happened recently in NZ and the current government couldn't care less about the people. They have made changes that fundamentally oppose the historical character of this country (in my opinion) and it has gone beyond Red vs Blue or Left vs Right and into the realm that George Orwell warned us about 60 years ago.
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    Aug 27 2013: Not dying, of course, but quite sick. Though I would say it's still as "democratic" as any other country, which isn't saying much. One of our chief problems is with the political parties, which have forgotten how to work together. Goal number one for each party seems to be to damage the other party, rather than the good of the country. Toss both parties out of Congress and vote for independents.
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    Aug 27 2013: Nothing will change until the structure itself is changed. Modern day "representative" democracy's top-down structure is only slightly different from the monarchies, aristocracies, military juntas, dictatorships and priesthoods that democracy was supposed to replace.

    As long as small groups of individuals promoting their own open or hidden agendas - namely political parties and the backroom deal makers that control the parties - are able to seize control of the political decision making process of nations we will never see an end to the sort of arrogant, self-righteous and small minded governance that has becomes the norm in modern day politics.

    Direct Democracy and Participatory Democracy eliminates the top down hierarchy and creates a level playing field which puts the decision making squarely in the hands of those who are to be governed. DD and PD are the best alternatives we have to these top down hierarchies if, in fact, we are really interested in improving and promoting democracy.

    But a direct and participatory system of decision making means we - the voters - have to become informed and involved in the issues, the discussions and the decision making. Yes it can be a time consuming, annoying and often frustrating process but that is the PRICE of democracy.

    Otherwise we should just shut up and accept the abuse of office that is also the norm of modern day politics because we are simply too lazy or too indifferent to care. .
    • Aug 28 2013: Direct democracy and participatory democracy? Direct, participatory democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for supper.

      Direct participation would in no way force people to become informed or even to participate, unless done at gunpoint. Most people will either not bother or will "participate" on their whims and opinions.
  • Aug 2 2013: It's been a long way like that, I'm unafraid. It's hard to know what to call it inevitably - plutocracy, oligarchy, victim of globalization... you'll never know a true answer to that as long as you don't have the knowledge of how the government works as a whole, thoroughly.

    Assuming that it's a plutocracy, I'd still say that it's better than the alternative. Want to know why? Let me quote Winston Churchill - "Talk with the average voter for five minutes"

    And another thought from a Finnish philosopher Esko Valtaoja; "God help us from direct democracy, where on occasions we can have Idols-vote for turf production or immigrant laws - decide for things, which most of us do not have a slightest clue about, but have even more opinions than that"

    That being said - I find that there's two layers to the "problem" you're describing. First layer is that your average vote doesn't really matter. As for that, I largely agree - I would never lay a vote for anyone, knowing that the vote might have large consequences that I'd be unaware of at that moment. As people, we have to accept that we can't be deciding about things we don't understand anything about.

    The second layer, however, is not that simple. The reason why we can't know why politicians can't control anything is "hidden", simply to put it. It lacks transparency. There's a whole bunch of guesses why we came to this point. However, Susan Strange had great arguments pointing towards economical globalization which unfortunately is impossible to regulate. I'd recommend reading some of her books, such as Casino Capitalism. Also, she is not a low-profile economist. Many would argue that she is one of the biggest figures in modern global economics.
  • Aug 2 2013: I agree Jah! As a species, I believe we are stubbornly and egotistically no longer adaptable to changing circumstances and as such, are doomed to failure, sad to say. The plutocracy feels psychologically superior and refuses to see what harm they are doing to our planet.
    • Aug 2 2013: M-L Reifschneider
      I suppose us old farts have to remind the young ones.

      Of the worth and dignity of all Americans.

      The weak oversight by our "Elected Congress" has overpaid
      a Military - who deals in brute force - and who has persecuted
      "non-stop pre-emptive wars" upon other nations shores for such a
      long period of time now, 73+ years.

      Once, that which was American Military Forces may have soured
      from so many years of settling arguments with brute force.

      They may have lost prospective on the worth of Americans and the
      proper social and political system under which They and We should live.

      73+ years of being on someone else's lands, doing and taking by Might
      what was someone else's by Right.

      Have they reached the stage of being a Threat instead of a Protection?
  • Aug 2 2013: As a world leader the US and it's corrupt morals became the example many countries tried to copy. Also, it was very interesting to learn how many small countries (such as Italy, Greece etc.) were intentionally sold our many bad derivatives in order to prop up their financial situations; only to later suffer the little anticipated consequences. Thus, we have brought the rest of the globe down with us. Thanks for your views.
    • Aug 2 2013: M-L Reifschneider

      Let us not forget that Bernie Madoff was central to those sales
      with his little Ponzi scheme, and has paid with 250 years of his life,
      while his world-wide sales force got away with little more than a slap
      on their wrists. His son got 10 years in the slammer.

      Today, Goldman Sachs' non-stop Public Relations, with a bit of
      Warren Buffett's help, have been creating 500 new small businesses
      world-wide, and have effectively hidden their responsibility for having
      milked AIG's $160 Billion Dollar bailout, and starting the mess.

      Henry Paulson, former Treasury Secretary, who brought the financial
      crisis to the Congress and suggested a bail-out of the Too Big to Fail
      or Prosecute Wall Street Banks, got a cool $1 Billion, all for his own
      Corporation. Burp !!!

      Historically, for 2,000 years now, It is about every 50 to 60 years that
      the Banks cook the books and take their profits. Like clockwork.

      Read your History. It is all there. Tic Tock
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    Aug 2 2013: We are doomed as a species because of our ignorance to what we are doing to the planet. Regardless of being a superior species or not, we are smart enough to see the effects of our actions yet we can't accept it. We are not superior in my opinion. We're still barbarians, we just have better toys now.
    • Aug 2 2013: Jah Kable

      I wouldn't say doomed, but you're close.
      If the Warm Up doesn't kill us all off, the Banks will try to by lending
      our geographical governments war toy monies, and bribes of
      lobsters, wines, women, and song. (and a bit of gold here and there)
  • Aug 1 2013: M-L Reifschneider
    Make it a game. Someone will just have to look

    I only want to point out one thing. The Memo to the employees of Microsoft.

    Earlier last month, July, the CEO of Microsoft created a shakeup, demoting
    most managerial staff and replacing the President.

    The CEO gave a speech. He sent a memo to employees.
    Within that memo he described two classes of customers. One people, the other,
    spy surveillance agencies. He did not call them that.

    Find the word he used.
    Follow that memo thread to the actual threat. It is not hard to find, and it exists.

    When you find the website, the government's warning of 'not to enter'
    might interest you.

    I point this out to those of you who wish to investigate. I have made this a bit
    ambiguous on purpose. If you have little interest, you will not care.

    But, those intelligent inquisitive readers might.
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    Aug 1 2013: Yes and Yes.

    It is nothing more than cronyism that is the problem. Everything else is irrelevant.
    • Aug 3 2013: Our survival as species is hardly irrelevant.
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        Aug 3 2013: The prime directive of every individual is to survive.

        The only time they deviate is when government coerces them to deviate.
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        Aug 3 2013: Terrorists work for the survival of their culture
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    Aug 27 2013: re-reading your comment...I apologize you are correct Paul. My thoughts lead me elsewhere.

    I guess it's a whole lot easier to believe there is truth in these quick snippets. Are we lazy, disheartened or maybe your are correct... easily lead. Frightening!

    I still hold fast to the idea of getting rid of the electoral college! thanks Paul!
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      Aug 28 2013: Mary,
      the electoral college is the last vestige of our constitution still holding on. Once that is gone, The Federal Government will be supreme and it will be the end of our constitutional republic. The Romans surrendered their republic to the Senate and the Emperors and look how that turned out..
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    Aug 24 2013: Young people see a plutocracy. Old codgers see an ochlocracy.
  • Aug 5 2013: lol! How about will we destroy the planert?
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    Aug 5 2013: From one old curmudgeon to one old codger.... why should we care? America has been through worse and came out the other side as America. We should be concerned with real problems like... will these new Depends keep us from wetting ourselves and be seen in public.
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      Aug 27 2013: LOL Mike! you "old codgers" work very hard getting us through all of these struggles. Mike, I wonder in your life time, was the person who won the game acquiring the most dollars the only person who had a shot at a political contest? was it a time when "we the people" really meant all of us and your voices were heard and made a difference? was it a time when a high school diploma was an assurance of procuring work to support a middle class way of life? was it a time when health insurance was not a necessity to remain healthy? Did you frequent the hardware store on the corner and knew of the family that owned it? did you all feel optimism in the air that this system was working and hope was alive? I wonder? thanks again Mike , enjoy and be well!
  • Aug 4 2013: 1. Not sure if it is dying, it is changing how, not sure.
    2. Believe that the tea party republicans are listening to those that elected them and this is causing a major problem in Congress. It is when politicians make compromises and not listen to their constituents. Mark Twain said "When you are with the majority, it is time to change"
    3. The US has never been a democracy bur a democratic republic and we have always been lead by a plutocracy. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, FDR, etc. have come from the upper tier of society. I would say this was true of all our leaders.
    • Aug 4 2013: Good point!
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      Aug 27 2013: "upper tier"? Not the case with Lincoln, Jackson, Obama, and a number of other presidents.
      • Aug 28 2013: http://247wallst.com/banking-finance/2010/05/17/the-net-worth-of-the-american-presidents-washington-to-obama/

        Jackson - 1804 became a large plantation owner in Tenn. and was considered to be part of the elite.

        Lincoln - 1841 became a lawyer and formed his own partnership in 1842. A major customer for his practice was the Illinois Railroads. He presented before the Illinois Supreme Court 175 times. His wife was wealth.

        Obama - by the released Income Tax forms made 3.3 million the year before becoming president. Punahou School is considered the most expensive private school in Hawaii and was only white until the 1960's
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          Aug 28 2013: OK, Wayne, I guess I misunderstood you. You were illustrating "plutocracy" by saying that our presidents "have come from the upper tier of society." That usually means from socially prominent families. But I see you just meant that the poor-man's sons I mentioned had worked their way up and thereby had become prominent and "the upper tier."

          So yes, that's true, of course. All presidents have naturally arrived at some eminence before being elected president. That seems to go without saying. If you or I work smart and have success, become famous and get elected president, I don't think we'd call that a plutocracy. That refers to rule by hereditary wealthy families.
      • Aug 28 2013: Yup, and I probably did not state it well.
  • Aug 4 2013: Thanks for your optimistic viewpoint. Taking your theory to it's conclusion, what will happen hen our so-called "educated citizens" no longer agree with their electors? Has this not already happened? I.e. the public approval of Congress has never been so low yet nothing seems to change.
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    Aug 4 2013: no its not dying. we are just waking up to the fact that this is how the business in government has been done for years. we are no longer a nation of people who are easily fooled. A population of educated citizens is a danger to our electives officials . Not only are we far more educated, we have access to others voices, opinions, ideas, view points not only in our county but, an entire world. The age of self-serving electives is slowly (way to slowly)but surely coming to and era I wish we never be visited again.
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      Aug 27 2013: We are not "people who are easily fooled"?
      The evidence points to the opposite conclusion.

      The fact that the biggest spender almost always wins US elections, the fact that bumper stickers, glib stump speeches and mindless 15 second TV spots actually work and sway voters, all point to an electorate that's easily led. Far from having the education necessary to make a success of the difficult enterprise that democracy is, the education of most US voters has not taught them to distinguish good argument from bunkum. A well-educated voter is not affected - except negatively - by a candidate's effort to sway him/her with empty rhetoric, but examines the issues with care, immune to variations in campaign spending. We don't have that electorate, and it will be a long time before we do.
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        Aug 27 2013: Thanks for reply Paul. No we aren't fooled. This political machine has grown so huge, so antiquated. let's start by getting ride of the middle guy, the electoral college
  • Aug 3 2013: I'm not an unhappy person. Just disappointed in our government's lack of leadership in the past few decades and hate to see our great nation falling so far below others; it's a shame but we seem to be in a definite decline where politicians are NOT listening to their constituents anywhere.
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    Aug 3 2013: No, it's not dying. Elected officials have to listen to their electors because most of them want to be reelected. No it's not ruled by a plutocracy, although I would say almost by definition part of being a successful person is that you're more influential than less successful people, but this comes from hard work.

    I think a big part of the problem is some people have problems in their life and they want government to magically fix them all for them. Fixing problems takes a lot of work and it's not government's job to do alone, we all have to work on the problems and help fix them.

    Why did you start this conversation, M-L? What are you unhappy about? Is it a problem you expect government to fix for you? Is it fair to put it all on government?
    • Aug 3 2013: greg dahlen 30+
      I wonder if the elected officials do more than merely
      read press releases created by their staffs.

      Our US Government cannot fix life or health problems.
      They've instead created a vast welfare system as pressured by minority's needs,
      and a sympathetic majority.

      Otherwise ineligible, the minority's corrupted by laze, alcohol, drugs, kleptomania,
      and poor regulation, allowed welfare employees, using sub-contracted medical doctors
      to blindly endorse applications.
      ..These blind endorsements, never before brought to light has changed this US
      government into a welfare failure.

      I've railed against 73+ years of US government's "Warfare" policies.
      But the "Welfare" policies are just as bad.

      I think it is "more than just fair" to put it all on government.

      Elected Officials spend 20 and 30 years in High Office.
      One would wonder what they do there?
    • Aug 4 2013: If one truly knows the facts surrounding the work schedules of most electors, it becomes adamantly clear that very few of them work very hard. First, Congress is "out of session" several times a year. these "vacations are meant to be spent speaking with their constituents when in fact, they are usually spent in various junkets, parties and re-election campaign fund-raising. Maybe we need campaign finance reform or some such but not very realistic. Even most aides admit that Congressmen rarely have the time to read proposed bills before they vote on them. Is this not what we are paying them to do? Yet, they seem to be doing nothing but fighting amongst themselves. Why?
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        Aug 4 2013: How often is Congress out of session? How do you know what Congresspeople do when they're out of session, I would think they do a mix that includes some of the things you mention but also other things, like talking to their constituents. I don't fault Congresspeople for not reading all the bills they vote on, I would imagine they have a massive amount of paperwork to deal with. M-L, you cannot say they do nothing but fight among themselves, they do that, but, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, they do the business of the government.
        • Aug 4 2013: Greg, I'm sorry but this has not been my experience, nor supported by the facts.
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        Aug 4 2013: Sorry, M-L, what has not been your experience, I put three or four different points in there.
  • Aug 3 2013: Any sources for this information?
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    Aug 3 2013: 1) Is the US civilization dying? Yes. As are all living organisms from amoebas to nations. 2) Is the US being ruled by a plutocracy? Yes. It has been so since the banking cartel known as the Federal Reserve Bank* took control shortly after its secret formation 23 years before you, M-L, were born. 3) Is mankind doomed by its own arrogance? No. Godlessness is Man's fatal error. *QUOTE: "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property-- until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."--Thomas Jefferson, 1802
    • Aug 3 2013: Thanks Edward for your answers and quote. Where does the Rothschild family fit in?
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        Aug 3 2013: Salomon; James; Nathan; Alphonse; Kalmann; and Amschel each participated in the creation of debt by financing war which they then used to create more war, etc., etc. ad infinitum.
    • Aug 4 2013: i would argue the plutocracy started much earlier, like the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,

      In the Panic of 1907, JP Morgan acted like the Federal Reserve.
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        Aug 5 2013: "The early presidents nearly all attended college; most were lawyers or generals or both. Those facts alone would place them in the top economic tier since in 1800 there were perhaps a dozen colleges in the entire country, and perhaps just 1% of early Americans attended." --Prof. Jeffrey Passley, U. of Missouri.
        Quote from Forbes magazine: "Although it is difficult to compare wealth across historical periods, these ten presidents (listed in order of service) were considered rich by the standards of their day:
        President Term
        George Washington 1789 to 1797
        Thomas Jefferson 1801 to 1809
        Andrew Jackson 1829 to 1837
        Zachary Taylor 1849 to 1850
        Theodore Roosevelt 1901 to 1909
        Herbert Hoover 1929 to 1933
        Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1933 to 1945
        John F. Kennedy 1961 to 1963
        Lyndon B. Johnson 1963 to 1969
        George W. Bush 2001 to present .
        Only 10 from Washinton to Bush were "wealthy". Does that statistic indicate a plutocracy? I don't think so. Always follow the money. . . . on planet Earth that means follow the Federal Reserve System.
        • Aug 5 2013: given that the rich controlled congress and the presidency and in many cases the supreme court, isn't that a plutocracy?
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        Aug 5 2013: RE: "Given that the rich. . . ". You calling it "given" does not make it true. I do not know that the rich controlled all three branches of government prior to the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank. The Jefferson quote above does not strike you as prophetic? In a plutocracy everyone, including the CEO, reports to the CFO. The world's CFO is the Federal Reserve System. Only in that sense is America a plutocracy. In Civics 101 textbooks the US is (rightfully) not called a plutocracy.
        • Aug 5 2013: 1. The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 in response to 22 bank recessions/depressions from 1836-1910, especially the panic of 1907. In 183, Andrew Jackson closed the 2nd national bank, ending the Bank Wars. Admittedly, the power of the Federal Reserve was increased after 1933 to prevent another Depression.

          2. Look at the Gilded Age of the Robber Barons and how much they controlled the economy, the government - possibly even more than today - JP Morgan, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Rockefeller - their workers were marched to the voting booths and their ballots checked by the foremen to make sure they voted correctly.

          3. I take what is written in textbooks, especially k-12 and freshman courses with a grain of salt. I kept one of my history books which stated the 1st major defeat of the Axis was El Alamein. The battle of the Coral Sea was in May 1942, the battle of Midway was in June, 1942, and the battle of the El Alamein was in July, 1942.

          Interesting book: More Powerful than Dynamite - it is about the bombing in July 4, 1914 and the plutocratic rule of the Rockefeller's in New York.
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        Aug 5 2013: RE: "1. The federal reserve was created. . . ". I fear you and I are in a race to get the last word here. I willingly give the honor to you. Use it in good health and make it count! I have no more evidence to support the fact that the US is not a plutocracy so I will not respond further. Thanks for your views sir.
        • Aug 5 2013: i was about to suggest we agree to disagree - 8>))
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    Aug 3 2013: Yup.

    But you also started the Occupy Movement, which could be a light at the end of that tunnel ...
  • Aug 3 2013: Let me list just two sentences about the two branches of our current government:

    The majority of our members of Congress took the priority of their voting as follows:
    First priority: Their own party affiliation,
    Second Priority: The welfare of their own states, not necessarily of its citizens,
    The welfare and the RIGHTS of all citizens in the nation are placed way down the list of priorities.

    President Obama's fiscal and foreign policies are almost parallel to that of President Jimmy Carter, but on a larger scale in terms of wastages.
    • Aug 3 2013: I see government and the President as merely executors of the plutocracy. We no longer have a democracy when our electors no longer do as their constituents wish and merely ignore them. Even Congressional aides say that members of Congress rarely know what they are voting on; reading the bills is too time consuming.
      • Aug 5 2013: Haha, Not only the members of Congress didn't spend much of their time to READ the proposed bills, they also didn't spend too much time to WRITE their proposal either, that's why the Affordable Care Act, with 2000+ pages, has been found many holes of impractical rules in it, and now it is falling apart considered by many people.
  • Aug 2 2013: I thank you for your thoughtful input and interesting thoughts. Agree that the average voter has no knowledge of most subjects and certainly not enough to intelligently vote on. However, I must say that I find most politicians are even more ignorant, if that is possible! Historians say that democracy may be the best form of government but it has one serious inherent weakness: it starts out on a moral foundation but with time, inevitably ends up having a materialistic foundation, which causes corruption and inevitable decline. I believe we are currently in this last stage and only riots and revolution may bring about change. What are your thoughts regarding the Rothschild family financially ruling the globe for centuries?
    • Aug 3 2013: Historians say that democracy is the best form of government? Now that's strange, considering that direct democracy only existed for awhile in Athens and even in there, it wasn't really that direct as we understand democracy these days.

      Same goes to dictatorships - there's one occasion in history where dictatorship worked out really well.

      Either way, the greatest flaw of democracy is that it often leads to oligarchy or plutocracy. Especially now, since democracy is led by ideology (hegemony).

      About Rothschild, I wouldn't know. I do understand that they exist, but god knows how much power they actually have and how much power they use. It's a matter of lack of transparency, these questions can't be answered if nobody shows us exactly what's going on. But if someone did show us what's going on, we wouldn't be necessarily fit to handle the truth. Or many wouldn't. There's a lot of people who still believe in democracy, in the right to vote... these people might get hurt badly if the truth happens to be inconveniently bad for them; that their vote never mattered and those slackers who didn't vote... were right.

      Sadly, though, it's always been like this. For such entities to not exist... we would need something else than democracy or perhaps we would need to tailor democracy into something that can protect from such entities.
      • Aug 3 2013: Perhaps you're correct. Even if I think back to to the US's early days, women and slaves weren't allowed to vote. However, I disagree that our country is being ruled by dogma...I think it's being ruled by selfish greed, i.e. money.
  • Aug 2 2013: M-L Reifschneider
    Great Questions.

    When we "Sign In" to comment a little (snatch the gossip) "bug" takes
    the comment to the US Military for processing. The processing "Form"
    (created by whom?) is (signed and approved by whom?) and the now
    active account is being billed by the supplying Corporate Partner.
    The cost: AT&T only charges a $345 fee to split and transfer the data.
    Oh, I forgot there is that damned $100 a month reoccurring fee.

    Gee it kind of makes you wonder, Who set the accounts up? Who
    sold the idea in the first place. Who made the decisions? and Who
    carried them out? Follow the money. Commissions were paid.
    Salaries were paid. And today the Paper-Shredders are working
    24/7/365. Hide Hide Hide.
  • Aug 2 2013: There are high tides.
    There are low tides.
    Fight the tide, and suffer....or drown

    The SOLUTION is ALWAYS buried in the PROBLEM.
    There are no exceptions to this rule.
    Think harder codger. You are swimming in the solution.
    :-)
    • Aug 2 2013: You are fascinating in your mysteriousness. Read all your past comments and you are an enigma for sure. Very intriguing as it suggests someone either brilliant or bordering on the insane but I agree with you that I am indeed sadly "swimming in the solution".
      • Aug 2 2013: Haha. I'm an average blue collar turdball. Nothing else.
  • Aug 2 2013: I have read his whole speech and the only thing which stands out for me is the mention of an "evangelical team". But I believe you.
  • Aug 2 2013: Except that a lot of this so-called "demand" is propaganda, excellent advertising and built on a lot of hot air...dreams and schemes. "These things of value" are often artificially "created" and have no lasting value.
  • Aug 2 2013: The history of the Rothchild's in all this financial chess-playing, is also incredulous.
  • Aug 2 2013: As the rest of the world now sees us, the answer would have to be YES.
  • Aug 2 2013: Disaster for the U.S. is not the same as for the whole world. Our dry rot or dead wood is more or less than many countries. ;This is something that happens from time to time. Returning to a meritocracy would be good but our elections and campaign funding make that unlikely.
  • Aug 1 2013: Pat, How about the love of money and power?
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      Aug 2 2013: You could have the worst case of avarice in the world that will not make you a dime more.

      Admittedly it is debatable with some of the Wall St investment banks like Goldman Sachs, but the fact is that they have some redeeming qualities. E.G. Michael Milken was considered very greedy but the fact of the matter is that he created a huge number of jobs by utilizing under utilized capital to finance companies that would not have been able to get financing otherwise these companies include MCI, Turner Broadcasting, Steve Wynn.

      It does not matter how greedy you are, it matters that you create something of value that someone is willing to exchange for which Milken did despite all the conjecture otherwise.
      • Aug 2 2013: Your point only serves to those who are foolish enough to call greedy people as a problem overall. Your point, however, does not serve anything in the big picture. If you're going to argue against something based on one example, well, it won't convince anyone who is smart.

        With that, I'd might as well talk about Cyrus the Great and totalitarianism. Seems like living under his rule wasn't that bad, seeing as among the first things he did in newly conquered cities, was an establishment of rule that didn't allow slavery.

        And your final line... You know, anything can have a value if you make people believe that it has a value to them. Take a look at iphones for example - why do so many people have them, despite the fact that they use them as phones and mp3-players mostly? Sure, some browse the internet, but the rest? You're basically paying 500-600 bucks for something that works as a phone and mp3 player, whereas you could get both for a lot cheaper or a lot cheaper phone that is designed to be an effective mp3-player with a lot of memory. And within that deal, you most likely get also a more durable phone.

        It seems to be more of an ideology.
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          Aug 2 2013: Yes clearly you have a much more profound understanding, and i don't have any idea what I'm talking about. Have a nice day
      • Aug 3 2013: See, I just find it funny how some people offer an answer to everything which you seem to be doing. Waving that magic word "cronyism" everywhere. See this referrence;

        "I found that those of my friends who were admirers of Marx, Freud, and Adler, were impressed by a number of points common to these theories, and especially by their apparent explanatory power. These theories appear to be able to explain practically everything that happened within the fields to which they referred. The study of any of them seemed to have the effect of an intellectual conversion or revelation, open your eyes to a new truth hidden from those not yet initiated. Once your eyes were thus opened you saw confirmed instances everywhere: the world was full of verifications of the theory. Whatever happened always confirmed it. Thus its truth appeared manifest; and unbelievers were clearly people who did not want to see the manifest truth; who refuse to see it, either because it was against their class interest, or because of their repressions which were still "un-analyzed" and crying aloud for treatment."

        -Karl Popper

        Though, those people that Karl Popper mentioned... they usually did more than just weave magic words that seem to solve everything, because their idea is so convenient. Or at least, so does the average human mind perceive.
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          Aug 3 2013: I find it odd when ever someone wants to complicate/obfuscate something that is simple.