TED Conversations

Poch Peralta

Freelance Writer / Blogger,

TEDCRED 10+

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Should there be animosity towards America's 1% (billionaires)?

I don't advocate hate which is a waste of energy. So I paraphrase the question: Should we hate what the 1% is doing or not doing?

Billionaire Tom Perkins' Fear: America's 1% Facing Hate on Holocaust Level

'From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these "techno geeks" can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a "snob" despite the millions she has spent on our city's homeless and mentally ill over the past decades...'
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304549504579316913982034286

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    Jan 29 2014: Absolutely it will do you a tremendous amount of good.

    Look at their heinous crimes they brought the world: cell phones, home computers, mp3 players, the internet that we are conversing on, smart phones, cable tv, 3d printers, mapped the genome, stem cell applications, created insulin for a fraction of the cost, created procedures that can be done on an outpatient basis that previously would take a hospital stay, transmit information through fiber optics at a huge volume, GPS applications so we can navigate from a car, text messages, digital cameras, more computing power in a smart phone than a home computer of a few decades ago, computerized manufacturing equipment, etc etc etc

    You are right we have to stop this insidious madness.
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      Jan 29 2014: At last. You're the first to agree with the hating Pat. We should mention weather modification (playing God) and suppression of beneficial and useful tech (real cures for cancer) too sir.
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        Jan 29 2014: Exactly even more heinous.
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          Feb 8 2014: My dear Pat-

          Please check my new comments and data at beginning of Poch's chat. Take your time, have a stiff drink or three, contemplate it all deeply and please do get back with me, sir. Please keep in mind that the super rich are very much a part of the power elite and itd deeper machinations behind the scenes. Such power does not and can not exist without the vast sums of money the "1%" possess.
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      Jan 29 2014: Pat, Irony can be lost in the written form! :-)
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        Jan 29 2014: That's true, but isn't the recognition of irony a sign of a sentient being?
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      Feb 4 2014: It's interesting how all the credit went to the billionaires and not the actual people who created/manufactured everything that's been mentioned.

      In that case I guess we can ignore the actual creators of the Ipad jumping out of windows because we are more concerned more about bringing technology to the world as opposed to the working conditions and exploitation involved.

      We can all agree that technology and scientific advancement is great for the world. How it is brought about is extremely questionable. Even more interesting is when these heinous acts are pointed out they are just a quickly dismissed.
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        Feb 5 2014: I was being factitious these dudes not only raise the standard of living but also create jobs. There is nothing to hate. The media plants this crap in people's heads.


        Response to Orlando below.

        Look at China, 10-15 years ago the per ca pita income of China was $500, today it is $7000. Their alternative would have been working brutal hours for a tenuous life on the family farm, working in the factory was a better alternative for them.

        What you call exploitation I would call opportunity.

        " Secondly who is to say that working in a factory is better than working on a farm?"

        If working in the factory is not better then why do the farmers choose to work there?

        "What really perturbs me is that these more developed parts of the world creates the ideal standard of living and if anyone is not living in this way they are considered uncivilized. This is usually the rational for more developed countries invading these lesser developed ones."

        I contend that a better lifestyle equates to longevity and productivity and fewer hours working and better food and more food and more abundance and more happiness and more creativity and more interesting. All of this occurs in a more ideal standard of living. Why would you disagree with that?

        "I remember watching a documentary on the "Three Gorges Dam" in china. "

        Dams are built for 2 reasons flood control and electricity generation. Doing this is for the greater good and does more good than harm. How many families farms will saved because of flood control how much better will life be because of electricity?

        "So the question remains: who's interest does the manufacturing of the Ipad, dam or anything corporations invest their time in serve?"

        Their customers, why would anyone buy something that is not in their best interest?

        " who will profit from this?"

        The customer because he can now enhance is life though the use of the internet no matter where he is. The company also profits it is a win win situation.
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          Feb 7 2014: I was always under the impression that the media was putting out elite opinion, not public opinion. This is something that Walter Lippmann, Edward Bernays and Noam Chomsky pointed out. The media and elite opinion are intertwined.

          So when you mention that "The media plants this crap in people's heads." Your right. I think they are doing exactly what they are told to do.

          I'm not advocating for hate. I never will and as I've stated yes, technology and science is good for the world. Yes those rich people are creating jobs but we can't act as if they are just pious individuals and most people in underdeveloped parts of the world are countlessly being exploited by the same people (or companies) that you praise. In most countries someone would be lucky if they make 30 cents an hour. Now I'm not saying every billionaire is an immoral bastard but what I'm trying to say is if the cost of me getting an Ipad results in countless misery for one person and their family I couldn't support it (as with the case in China). Instead of making working conditions better they decided to put nets out just to break the workers fall. I'm sure the corporate heads in Apple are well aware of the issue. Interesting to see what will be done about it.

          Funny thing is the media never really talk about issues like this unless there is so much social pressure to where it can't be ignored.
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          Feb 10 2014: Hi Pat,

          I see you edited your response so I'm addressing your second point to me.

          The argument now is essentially what we should value you more, which in this case is money. Yes it is true that in some circumstances money could make things better and improve living conditions and create better opportunities for people in their lives. I am not denying that aspect.

          But that is not what I see in this case and I don't want to get into playing semantics. Secondly who is to say that working in a factory is better than working on a farm? What really perturbs me is that these more developed parts of the world creates the ideal standard of living and if anyone is not living in this way they are considered uncivilized. This is usually the rational for more developed countries invading these lesser developed ones.

          I remember watching a documentary on the "Three Gorges Dam" in china. There are many people that profited off the dam. And I am sure the Dam does serve a suitable purpose in some aspect. It created jobs, stimulated the economy and improved the water conditions and allowed for sailing (if I remember correctly). What I also saw with the dam is several families losing their homes. Not only were they already poor and living off the land but now these families were homeless and in one case the daughter (who wanted to pursue an education) and was only her way to doing so had to put that aspiration to a halt and help her family find a new place to live. I'll never forget the tears that she had.

          I don't find this to be opportunity for families like this. For some yeah. So the question remains: who's interest does the manufacturing of the Ipad, dam or anything corporations invest their time in serve? who will be affected by this? who will profit from this? and what should we value you more?

          You can say what you want about the economic aspect of this situation but I'll never value money over the well-being of people's lives. Money can be destructive.
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          Feb 11 2014: Nice response Pat. Ok here we go.

          "If working in the factory is not better then why do the farmers choose to work there?"

          For one, if a family who was living on a farm had to depend on self-sufficiency (although difficult at times) over being exploited and working in horrible working conditions (which many people in lesser developed countries have to do i.e India and Africa) then I would think they would choose the farm. The only justification I would see for a family leaving the farm for the factory is for the prospect of making more money (as you've stated) and depending on the circumstance this could be good or bad. In some cases working in factory would be great. Some cases its contrived since some families who live off the land could potentially lose their resources to bigger corporations. I've seen this happen in mexico with a starbucks.

          "All of this occurs in a more ideal standard of living. Why would you disagree with that?"

          To be honest yes and no. Again it depends on the circumstance. If the reason for going to other countries (like Africa which is infested with countless diseases) is to bring westernized medicine, ending the civil war and instituting a democracy then yes this is great. Who would disagree with that? But there is a flip side to this as well. Countless interest groups and countries also invaded Africa and made it the mess that it is today. Missionaries wanting bring Christianity to the African world. the pope telling people not to wear condoms although there is a high spread of aids, people getting killed over blood diamonds so us Americans can celebrate the fact that "he went to Jared" and spend thousands over a wedding.

          I'll end on this not and start another thread: I do agree with the points that you are making. What I want to stress is that its not all bad and its not all good. That's life. But we can't ignore that some of us have better lives at the expense of others. I don't think that's a false claim
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        Feb 5 2014: "It's interesting how all the credit went to the billionaires and not the actual people who created/manufactured everything that's been mentioned. "

        That's easy. The billionaires provided the funding and leadership (and employment) without which the "actual people" would have had nothing to do.
        • Feb 6 2014: The chicken or the egg, yet in this case the profits come after the invention.
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          Feb 6 2014: Lawren,

          Your right in regards to money. Even still they would not see their "dream" come alive without the workers which is why the issue about the Ipad perturbs me. (apple is just one example of many companies that underpay their workers or have really bad working conditions (like sweat shops. They should be able to have the decency to give them proper working conditions. As Joe mentioned the profits come after the manufacturing so if all the workers decided to quit guess who's going broke?

          Your right. That was easy.
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          Feb 7 2014: In reply to the question: "Which came first, the egg or the chicken?"

          A literal answer is an egg according to some people, as egg-laying species pre-date the existence of chickens. To others, the chicken came first, seeing as chickens are merely domesticated Red Junglefowls. However, the metaphorical view sets a metaphysical ground to the dilemma. To better understand its metaphorical meaning, the question could be reformulated as: "Which came first, X that can't come without Y, or Y that can't come without X?" Wikipedia
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        Feb 10 2014: "and what should we value you more?"

        Value is a subjective thing that is determined by the individual.

        If everyone had the same values why would any one trade or buy anything.

        I recommend this video if you have already seen it you still don't get it.

        http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex.html
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          Feb 11 2014: I don't think all values are subjective (such as political ideologies/parties. This can be objectified and imposed on the world) and there are many values that can be disruptive as well as beneficial.

          I'll take a look at the video
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        Feb 11 2014: "For one, if a family who was living on a farm had to depend on self-sufficiency (although difficult at times) over being exploited and working in horrible working conditions (which many people in lesser developed countries have to do i.e India and Africa) then I would think they would choose the farm. "

        The reason people live in a city is that it is a more efficient way to live and creates a better lifestyle. The reason for this is more trade occurs in the city. If you watch that video trade or comparative advantage is what raises the worlds standard of living. When a person lives in the country there is not as much trade.

        "To be honest yes and no. Again it depends on the circumstance. If the reason for going to other countries (like Africa which is infested with countless diseases) is to bring westernized medicine, ending the civil war and instituting a democracy then yes this is great. Who would disagree with that?"

        The thing that is going to raise the standard of living in Africa will be and is what I talked about above. A large part of why it took a large step backwards was because Mandela kicked farmers/business owners off of their land and replaced them with incompetent cronys. I would guess that this lady has done a lot of good for Africa through the market without trying to convert them.

        http://www.ted.com/talks/jessica_jackley_poverty_money_and_love.html

        "I don't think all values are subjective (such as political ideologies/parties. This can be objectified and imposed on the world) and there are many values that can be disruptive as well as beneficial."

        Socrates says that the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms. by subjective I mean from one's own view, objective is the agreed upon view. Value is subjective what I consider valuable you many not. Value is not objective. The sun is a source of heat is objective, gravity is objective as everyone agrees on these things.
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          Feb 11 2014: "The reason people live in a city is that it is a more efficient way to live and creates a better lifestyle. The reason for this is more trade occurs in the city. If you watch that video trade or comparative advantage is what raises the worlds standard of living. When a person lives in the country there is not as much trade."

          Connecting with one another is one thing and a great thing when it is practiced correctly. People are content in isolated regions of the world as well. Even still I don't wholeheartedly agree that is the only reason why people move to cities or leave their farm to working in conditions of pure drudgery. Matt Ridley's notion is interesting and I agree that a mating of ideas is great for any place on earth if people are willing to talk.

          "The thing that is going to raise the standard of living in Africa will be and is what I talked about above. A large part of why it took a large step backwards was because Mandela kicked farmers/business owners off of their land and replaced them with incompetent cronys."

          I never disagreed with this point. the conditions that you mentioned would be a far better solution than what is going on in many regions in Africa. There is perhaps no better example of a failed state than what is going on over there. What I was attacking is the notion that this is the only way to bring out a sense of happiness and a better lifestyle in people's lives. Native Americans are an example. I think the native Americans were far better off before the Europeans came over. And before you think I'm romanticism them I am well-aware of their barbaric behavior and religious practices.

          We also know Africa was messed up far before Mandela. Once again, I'm not against people like Jessica Jackley. who could be? All I'm saying is that money is not always the answer for every issue.

          I am aware of the distinction between objective and subjective and I still cling to my notion. This is a bit of digress from Poch's topic so I'll stop here.
    • Feb 5 2014: This comment is really DUMB, "Absolutely it will do you a tremendous amount of good."


      NONE of those examples are true. NONE not a one.


      Apple was founded in a garage, that's how it began. The internet was funded by Darpa, YOUR tax dollars, by the UK tax pounds via the work done Tim Berners-Lee...

      and the same is true for every other example given.


      This is the typical crap, people with limited knowledge throw out or the 1% themselves.

      I can bet you that the person that wrote this actually has no REAL idea where the 1% came from.

      It's a real shame, that with all the great information out there on the internet some can't see to use it well, they are probably OLD.
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        Feb 5 2014: I see, you are ambiguous was the government responsible for Apple?

        Some how DARPA produced the majority of what we have today on the internet?

        Since you are attributing so much to DARPA and other government acgencies, it would seem it would make sense to look at what life would be like without the 1%ers contributions.

        No oil, no cars, no cell phones, no electricity, no computers, we would have networks but it would be .000001% of the internet we have now, no airplanes, no tv, no medical advancements, and worst of all no thermos.
        • Feb 5 2014: Parasitoid relationships, all of them. You can do better Pat :)

          Oil… Edwin Drake
          Cars… Charles Duryea
          Electricity… Nikola Tesla
          TV… Philo Farnsworth
          Cancer… Henrietta Lacks
          Radio… Edwin Armstrong
          Tires… Charles Goodyear
          Polio… Jonas Salk

          What do the above have in common? They died broke or committed suicide from being broke or gave away their inventions for the greater good.

          True inventors, who contribute immensely to society, are extremely rare. Leveraged money to profit from their work is not rare.
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        Feb 5 2014: Not so, the ones who brought the invention to fruition was as I said.

        Are the inventions the sole property of the inventor or is it an amalgamation of many ideas?

        The reality is that it takes capital to buy producer goods which means you are going to have to borrow. But it can and is done as with Bill Gates, Steven Jobs, the Google guys, etc.
        • Feb 6 2014: Yes ,Invention is collective knowledge, though a product could be the thought of a single person.

          We footnote the inventor and glorify the producer because the producers are the front man, Visible, dynamic and singular. Not many live vicariously through the band, they want the lead singer.

          Given this nature the shouldered giants fall into folklore, trotted out to illustrate but not emulate.

          A rather twisted world, when invention is what drives us.
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        Feb 6 2014: The benefactor of this process is the consumer. The producer does not stay on top for long without government intervention. There is no task master more unforgiving than the free market.
        • Feb 7 2014: This is a better descript …The producer gains the ability to influence government.

          Your framing puts the government as a separate entity.
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        Feb 7 2014: And your conflating the two makes it difficult to see the reality of the situation.
        • Feb 7 2014: We have one reality but two views :)

          Can we agree that there must be an interaction between the individuals who control wealth and those who create wealth?
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        Feb 7 2014: The Internet was invented by DARPA? Not Al Gore as we were told? Say it ain't so. Please tell me that a politician would not lie to me.

        Not only did you crash my dreams but you called me old. I am old but the text you used it in is like a spit on us ... and yes I do take it as in insult the very way you mean it.

        Hating the 1% is a political trick used best by Karl Marx and the socialist and communist societies. The most commonly recognized agent of this is unions who have taken the labor VS management (a Marx standard) to a profit making capitalist organization with more management millionaires than most companies ... but yet the sheeple follow.

        As the saying goes ... build a better mouse trap ... etc The saying is NOT invent a better mouse trap. A great idea unfunded is nothing and will never be known.

        Supporting the socialist / communist ideology is not a crime ... It is however a shame that it is dome by people who do not understand either the cause or effect ... just blindly follow like lemmings to the sea.

        I do not hate you but I do feel sorry for you ... with all of the information available on the internet ... you fail to heed the warnings of history.

        Steven ... be careful what you wish for .... you may get it.

        Bob.
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        Feb 7 2014: Joe

        Do you have a point?
        • Feb 7 2014: Of course, to reach common ground to start a discussion.

          I see corporate influence in government. From your comments you do not.

          To establish dialog I need to determine if you see any interaction. There is no ruse. If the conversation invades your time I apologize and will seek answers elsewhere.
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        Feb 7 2014: The reality is that corporations have to influence something, so there must be 2 parties. The fallacy starts when these two entities are conflated.
        • Feb 7 2014: I think we are on a different page, hence my confusion.

          Property rights to tariffs corporation's and governments are intertwined.

          Did I go off on a tangent some where?
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        Feb 7 2014: They are definitely intertwined.

        The usual problem is that people look at this as a monolith acting in unison as either big business or government.

        They are in reality individuals following their self interest.

        This takes corporations out of the accountabilty created by the market place.
        • Feb 9 2014: “They are in reality individuals following their self interest.”

          My name is Legion??

          Very shaky logic, this separates enteric bacteria from the person. They are individuals working in their best interest. So why not give them individual status.

          And Any group working in unison such as defense and government is a monolith.
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        Feb 9 2014: "My name is Legion??

        Very shaky logic, this separates enteric bacteria from the person."

        That is esoteric I don't know that you mean.

        "And Any group working in unison such as defense and government is a monolith."

        The problem is that you don't isolate an exact real problem without looking at the isolated individual situation.

        This does not occur with a monolith as the individual is camouflaged. Which is why centralized government creates problems.
        • Feb 10 2014: Esoteric, perhaps
          My name is Legion… Can we allow the corporation to claim that it is innocent because it does not cause harm, it is the individuals who make up the corporation who cause the harm. Or do we say the individuals are the reason for the corporation’s actions?

          Originally used in the context of demonic possession, Mark 5:9

          “This does not occur with a monolith as the individual is camouflaged. Which is why centralized government creates problems.”

          You cannot ever separate the two.

          Hobby Lobby for example, here the corporation is used to advance the religious philosophy of the founders, not to better serve the individual employed within or the corporation as a whole.

          In the above example the individual is not camouflaged, as you stated, they present themselves as an individual who falls under free speech protection.

          In government the individual is not camouflaged either, they too must present themselves for the scrutiny of the electorate.
          Via election or takeover, all individuals within a monolith or corporation or government are subject to removal.
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        Feb 10 2014: "Hobby Lobby for example, here the corporation is used to advance the religious philosophy of the founders, not to better serve the individual employed within or the corporation as a whole."

        Evidence?

        "In the above example the individual is not camouflaged, as you stated, they present themselves as an individual who falls under free speech protection."

        Non Sequitur

        "In government the individual is not camouflaged either, they too must present themselves for the scrutiny of the electorate.
        Via election or takeover, all individuals within a monolith or corporation or government are subject to removal."

        Congress benefits from their positions, they are not held accountable.

        http://www.cbsnews.com/news/congress-trading-stock-on-inside-information/

        State of California employees are grossly overpaid
        This is one of a gazillion references, they are not held accountable:

        http://publicpay.ca.gov/


        Here is a fun one.

        Both Soros and Chertoff are profiting from the naked-body scanners by way of the company Rapiscan, whose contract is worth $173 million. Lobbyists for this company include Susan Carr, a former senior legislative aide to Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) who is coincidentally chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee.

        They are not held accountable

        http://www.thenewamerican.com/economy/commentary/item/3938-getting-rich-from-the-tsa-naked-body-scanners


        You see this fine public officials hide within the monolith.


        Corporations not so much, EXCEPT if they are cronys.
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          Feb 11 2014: "Dams are built for 2 reasons flood control and electricity generation. Doing this is for the greater good and does more good than harm. How many families farms will saved because of flood control how much better will life be because of electricity?"

          Yes we should applaud the fact that many people will have electricity, better water and perhaps a better life. Once again, not in disagreement but are you telling me that should not pay attention to the fact that many families (not to sure how much) were left homeless? children unable to get an education because they have to work at the age of 12. There should at least be some services to help them out (which appeared non-existent in the film). I'm not against constructing a dam. What I'm against is how it came about. the ethics of the situation. they've could of choose land that was not people's homes but they choose not to.

          "So the question remains: who's interest does the manufacturing of the Ipad, dam or anything corporations invest their time in serve?"

          For one there are things that we buy that aren't in our best interest and that we'll later regret. And the things that are in our interest like our basic necessities people profit off of. If you value your survival and those close to you, your going to buy food and clothing and shelter. And if you don't have the funds then guess what your not getting. I'm not buying your invisible hand argument. sorry pal.
        • Feb 11 2014: Pat
          Evidence

          http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/10/hobby-lobby-files-supreme-court-brief-asking-protection-from-contraception/

          end evidence.

          The beauty of our democracy is we do have the ability to effect a change. Certainly the articles you submitted make folks upset. They made me upset.
          Now what do we do about it, there lies our test as citizens.

          You are quite the enigma, the 1% capital achievements have your praise, yet you decry Raspican for doing just that.
          “Since you are attributing so much to DARPA and other government acgencies, it would seem it would make sense to look at what life would be like without the 1%ers contributions.

          No oil, no cars, no cell phones, no electricity, no computers, we would have networks but it would be .000001% of the internet we have now, no airplanes, no tv, no medical advancements, and worst of all no thermos. “

          Oh on a side note, failure to grasp the opening phrase of a statement, does not make the preceding phrase, a non-sequitur. Don’t let that little stumble discourage you, we need you for the cause.
  • Feb 2 2014: And God said......"let there be only ONE game played!"

    play another game. there is enough hate and war and violence.
    hating is for children
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      Feb 4 2014: I wholeheartedly agree Scott.....there is WAY MORE than enough hate in our world, and I perceive conversations like this to fan the fires of hate.
      • Feb 5 2014: Or fan the fires of curiosity. Let us see what rattles loose.
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          Feb 5 2014: Yes indeed Joe....let us see what rattles loose:>)
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          Feb 7 2014: Hey, Joe! (an old Jimi Hendrix song)

          Actual scientific experiment:

          Put a frog in a pan of cold water, slowly increase heat to boiling and the frog will not hop out of pan, but just sit there and die.

          The power elite is very aware of that experiment and has learned after riots of 1960s and 1970s not to crank up the heat on us too fast. So now we are fat frogs surrounded by comfort and hypnotized by media, and within a very few years we will be slow-boiled tender enough to stick a fork in us without us flinching.

          Sorry for bad news, TEDsters, but that is the way it is.

          Anyone for hopping out of the damned pan before its too late? Is hate perhaps a useful tool for doing that? I agree that hate is rarely a good thing, but as Ecclesiastes says: "There is a time for everything under Heaven," or perhaps when faced with Hell on Earth?

          Best!
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      Feb 7 2014: Hate the 1%? Well, they certainly hate us!

      Horrific photos of power elite/ 1% / false alpha Bohemian Grove child sacrifice. Those who wish to further study these sick abominations by the "Best and Brightest" in the United States can enter "Bohemian Grove 1909" in a Google Images search. Ignore photos of thespians - focus on elite.


      Bohemian Grovers hanging a black teenager. Hat placed over face to hide bulging eyes and tongue of victim. President Theodore Roosevelt attended the "festivities" that year and that may - emphasis on may - be him at far left in dark suit and roadster cap at very end of rope.

      http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/imagenes_sociopol/bohemiangrove02_01.jpg

      Hanged teenager's body atop table/sacrificial altar before he was burned in opening night ritual. Grim faces of super-rich murderers show that this is no farce - they are in sick and deadly earnest here. Male thespians in women's clothes under table are symbolic "weeping mothers" of child sacrifice. Keep in mind that tens of thousands of identical murders/lynchings of blacks took place in the United States between the years of 1868 and 1968.

      http://www.fatimamovement.com/images/018a_GovernmentRitualsBohemianGrove/bohemiangrove_cremation_of_care_victim_1909.jpg

      Bohemians holding a mock funeral for "Poor Gus, the Sucker Born Every Minute." Gus being We the People, of course.

      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/tomasutpen/Album%202b/bohemians.jpg

      Enter "lynchings in the south" in Google Images in order to see that the above photos are very real indeed - an all-too common thing in the Land of the Free.

      Now, let's extrapolate this "child sacrifice" in US society a bit. There have been over 200 wars in US history, the great majority of them being un-just wars of imperial conquest. So the poor and middle-class young men, black and white, who fill the military ranks and die in these wars for corporate profit should be numbered among the power elite's long, long list of sacrificial victims
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        Feb 8 2014: If the 1% hates us, let's rejoice! That should be the case. Our victory is more possible if we feed their hate. If we hate back, the score evens up :-D
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      Feb 7 2014: After seeing our nation's Best and Brightest's unspeakable abominations in those Bohemian Grove photos and links, I recalled that the late, great George Carlin had a thing or three to say about the perpetrators of these abominations and their lap-dog promoters in this enlightening one minute video:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzrxy9A7Ja4
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    Feb 2 2014: Boy, this conversation hits home in a huge way for me. I have a brother who is worth a couple hundred million - so I apologize for being of course with the billionaire definition. He was a VP of Goldman Sachs and runs a huge hedge fund (incidentally my idea if a hedge fund is the 20 bucks I put aside to have my hedges trimmed) My brother spends absurd amounts of money on things that nobody needs (again, my opinion). For example, an assistant was hired to fly from NJ to CA weekly to do his son's laundry when he was in college. Also spent 30 grand on Springsteen tickets. Pardon me if I call that wasteful. In the meantime while my son was in his first year of college, I was going through chemo and lost my car, my home and my business. This of course was not my brothers fault that I got sick and fell upon hard times so I have no anger about that. However, my mother lives in a house that has mold and is falling apart around her and still has a car payment at the age of 73. Now that makes me very angry. And the fact of the matter is I will never hate him because he is my brother. But I do not like what money has done to him. He is cold, he is paranoid that everyone is out to use him and he is never satisfied or grateful for what he has, as there is a bottomless bank account to fix all problems and he looks down on people who are not in his "circle" That makes me sad. I wake up happy to still be here, happy to have food in the fridge and happy to have a roof over my head. He is happy about nothing. So before we judge a person solely based on the zeros in their bank account, please realize that with money comes problems, anger, paranoia - and behind mansion walls live some really miserable people.
    My answer only addresses the issue of "hate", as there are not enough characters to vent about all other issues concerning the filthy rich and their wasteful spending.
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      Feb 2 2014: What a testimony Amy. The best over all others on all my convos!
      First of all, I want you to know that I share your griefs and wish to everything that all your griefs
      come to end speedily. If there is one person who has the right to hate the filthy rich, it is you. And
      your unwillingness to hate your brother makes you more endearing. I've known very nasty persons
      but no one compares with your brother!

      Anyway, I think your brother is more miserable than you are since 'he is happy about nothing.'---
      which is mostly true for all filthy rich.

      You also gave a great lesson about judging and hating. Bravo Amy and more power to you.
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        Feb 2 2014: Poch, Thanks for your comments and well wishes. I must say that I have nothing to complain about these days. I am in remission and my son not only graduated college, but went on to earn his PhD. We are both in debt up to our eyeballs, him with student loans and me with medical bills, but the alternative is far worse. I also have an amazing husband who stuck by me through ten years of the illness which left me autoimmune and without a nose. I learned what is important and what has real value - people, love, hearts - not things. Perhaps if the billionaires could spend one day with me and watch me smile from the moment I wake up til the moment I go to bed and complain about nothing, they may look at life a little differently - or maybe not?
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          Feb 2 2014: 'Perhaps if the billionaires could spend one day with me and watch me smile from the moment I wake up til the moment I go to bed and complain about nothing, they may look at life a little differently...'

          That would shame even the most religious persons Amy! :-) Actually, incidents like that
          have been used for illustrations by different churches and gurus. You're really admirable Amy.
    • Feb 3 2014: I think you should hate him Amy because he's an asshole who does not think. And those people regardless of wealth are not worthy, they make the world a worst place for all of us.

      Because you know it takes little effort to 'think' of others, and theoretically it should take even less to 'think' of one's own family.

      You talk about you're mother, my wife's family had nothing food wise come Christmas, how much effort is it to open the fridge and see that? How much effort does it take to take them down to the supermarket and fill two trolleys with necessities and long forgotten treats? Not much I say.

      That's the difference, he has chosen not to care not to think, and only looks after himself, that leads to psychotic behavior because eventually you'll believe everyone is trying to access what one has. That makes him an asshole, because it's in HIS mind not necessarily others.

      In fact I've change my mind, you shouldn't hate him, you should pity him, or just ignore him, for what does it matter that a man inherits the earth and loses his soul, and I wouldn't want to be there when he realizes that he does.

      I've see that happen to, with some snowbirds, NY-to-FL escaping the cold, one who was wealthy, the others were not, he was no-one's friend, he was there because his late wife was their friends. He was lost, and was never going to be found. It was a sad and lonely site to see, and the money didn't save him.

      I would do one thing if I were you, as i did to my wife's siblings, explain the position of other members of your family to him, for then at least you have made the effort, you have tried, then never can you fault your self for not at least trying to save, in some small way, his soul.
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        Feb 3 2014: Steven, Thanks for your note. First, believe me when I say that the other three siblings (myself, sister and other brother) have bent over backwards to embrace and include the asshole both in family events as well as providing information about our mother's deteriorating home and health. He never replied to e mails, and does not pick up his phone.

        A friend of mine asked me "What the hell did your mother do to deserve this". Believe me again when I tell you that she asks nothing of anyone, counts her blessings and is caring and supportive with her children as well as her grandchildren. This woman held my hand through every chemo session and sat in waiting rooms during 15 surgeries. When I get home from the hospital, my fridge was packed with homemade meals all ready to just heat to make my recovery easier. By the way, the asshole has three kids who wouldn't know their grandmother if they fell on her - nonetheless she sends them cards and gifts for holidays and birthdays and never gets a thank you. She has taught me a lesson in all of this. Its all about feeling that you did your best - that you did the right thing - that you are moral and kind. If you do that, you will sleep well at night and in the end have no regrets. That's why I can't hate him. Because in reality, I am richer than him. I wouldn't trade places with an narcissistic immoral sociopath at any price. I really do pity him because he is blind to all of the beauty life has to offer. Once I even wished he would get sick, some thing you cannot fix with money, and maybe then he would appreciate what matters...and I hated myself for thinking that.

        So the bottom line here is that hate is a waste of energy. and quite often the person that we feel hate towards is not affected, only we are, in a very negative way. I need to trust that what goes around comes around and trust in karma.
        • Feb 4 2014: I understand but I'm also looking at it Amy, not only from the personal stories we've both given, but what it means for society as a whole.

          I understand what you say about hate and the feelings you've had, but there is another kind of hate, it's actually positive hate. That is where you hate what he has become, and even if you die, penniless with no home, that hate keeps your principles alive, it reminds you of what you ever want to become.

          I'd also like to remind you of two events in recent history, even with all his money, even jumping the queue, Mr Jobs died. One should remember that, that there but for the grace of god go you or I, so what positive difference will we make in the world?

          Which leads me to Ghandi, who did not own land, a home, a car, had no money, and yet still gave of his life to the people of india, their freedom from British rule.

          Take a look at his funeral, from the film of his life, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRHjpHzpg8c

          He also said that all the real battles are the one's in your own heart, I'm so glad you won. :)


          I'll paste my other reply here above as I too believe you need to hear it.
          ----
          Look at the American declaration of Independence for some guidance.

          it says.........

          people and their ability to take responsibility for themselves and the situation and come together to make things better. Effectively if you have ability to make things better, then you have the responsibility to do so.

          And anyone who only believes in Greenbacks, is NOT a true American, he sir is a parasite.

          Realize what made America great was the founding fathers, who to coin a phrase realized the power and validity of another old says...all for one, and one for all.

          Something America has solely forgotten, and its the reason its lost it's way.
          ----

          And Amy your efforts, your concern is, your attitude, is undeniably what is mean to be a real American.

          Amy never forget - that's one thing that no-one can ever take away from you. You have to surrender it.
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        Feb 4 2014: Steven,Thanks - I must admit that I never looked at my situation in terms of being a good American citizen, To me it was about not giving my brother the power to control how I feel - he doesn't deserve it. If he causes me to hate, then he wins. He doesn't need to help me, but I refuse to let him hurt me.

        There is a book that helped me with these feelings called "Healing Anger" by the Dalai Lama who also wrote "An open Heart" which contains lots of healing tools. He explains the ripple effect that anger and hatred causes. I don't want to be part of that ripple effect. He also explains that politeness, kindness, patience and compassion also have a ripple effect. Now that's something I want to be a part of. I could be miserable, hateful and call myself a victim of him, of my illness and of back luck, but how would that help? What would that change? and more importantly who would want to be around me? I must trust that everybody gets whats coming to them when they do wrong.

        When I read the words " Effectively if you have ability to make things better, then you have the responsibility to do so." seems to be more and more of a foreign concept with each passing year. Another problem with that concept is the people that so something nice purely for their own recognition and popularity, or to get a tax write off. I believe that there is no greater gift , big or small, than one that is given freely and with an open heart. And you do not need a fortune to make a difference to make things better even for just one person at a time. It can be as simple as giving a smile or telling a joke.

        When my son was 11 years old, he would go twice a week to the senior center which was very close to our home. I would give him my Reader's Digest", and he would sit and read short stories and jokes to seniors who could no longer see well enough to read themselves. It cost nothing and made a huge difference - one person at a time. This mindset needs to be taught to children asap!!
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        Feb 5 2014: Steven, I did take a look at the conversation that you pointed out and posted the story mentioned in this conversation about my son. Would love if you have the time to take a peek. You are so kind with your compliments and support - they made me smile. Thanks
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    Feb 4 2014: Don't ask ourselves how to hate, but how to help, how to improve, how to empower; it's a long lasting task, and we don't have so much energy, let's manage it well.
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    Jan 29 2014: Hi Poch,

    I don't think we should hate anyone. That would essentially make the 99% no better than the 1%. With that being said we should have a sense of indignation of how things are going and how the 99% are treated from an economic and social standpoint.

    Yesterday before President Obama's State of the Union Address one CNN analyst showed this graph comparing the Average American Household to that of the top 1% in the U.S since President Clinton since I believe 1994. Although the income for the average american consumer increased since then (the average in 2012 turned out to be $56,271) this is nothing compared to the top 1% (who averages out to $1.26 million). It should also be noted that the highest increase in wealth for the top 1% since Clinton, occurred (to no surprise) when President Bush was in office in 2008, around the same time the market began to crash and the start of the recession.

    The main issue is the fact that so few people control the majority of the wealth while those at the bottom (especially if you live in major cities) are barely making ends meet or unemployed. Libertarians would assert that we should do nothing and let the market play out for itself. Now I am with Libertarians that nice, peaceful people should be left alone and that people have every right to do what they want with their money (and make as much money as they can). But what I have issue with is if this wealth is accumulated at the expense and lack of opportunity of other people. If climbing the socio-economic ladder entails stepping on other peoples heads, I cannot support such a system.

    Some people assert that capitalistic-democracies provides a sense of hope; well I see it as nothing more than a joke. Its a horrible system that affects everyone globally for the benefit of a few people (unless you read Adam Smiths "Wealth of Nations")...I would get into more detail but I'm running out of character space so I'll leave it here.
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      Jan 29 2014: Bravo to your reply to Mike!
      And with that reply, I saw that you already know that the 1% is yet accumulating wealth at the expense and lack of opportunity of other people.

      Libertarianism and Laissez-faire capitalism are synonymous but major dictionaries vary in their definition:

      - The Free Dictionary
      lais·sez faire also lais·ser faire (lĕs′ā fâr′, lā′zā). n. 1. An economic doctrine that OPPOSES governmental regulation of or interference in commerce beyond ...

      Laissez-faire - Merriam-Webster Online
      economics : a policy that allows businesses to operate with very little INTERFERENCE from the government.

      Does that affect how we view the system?
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        Jan 29 2014: Hi Poch,

        It depends on how one interprets the two but in essence (and practice) they are saying the same thing.

        I believe the issue is this: We already know what it is like to have no regulation at all (you can look at the industrial revolution). Mike mentioned to me in an earlier post that those at the bottom and the top consent about how the wealth be distributed. So this means that the workers realize what they are getting into. It also reminds me of the notion of the "invisible hand" and Adam Smith himself had already mentioned that the division of labor and an unregulated market is not good.

        But at the same time you don't (or shouldn't) want government putting regulations on everything. It becomes too powerful of a monster and would not allow for personal liberty so I understand and agree with that aspect as well. I am also not in the business of saying people cannot make as much money as they want. They should be able to do whatever they want so long as it does not effect others in a negative way.

        If there were some sort of middle ground I'd be ok but it does not seem to be that way. the main difference I find between socialist countries and countries like the U.S. is in socialism you are looking more towards economic equality where as in capitalism its about economic and individual freedom. It really is a matter of where your ideologies are.
  • Feb 19 2014: The animosity towards the richest 1% of the population is misguided in my view. While income inequality is definitely responsible for a ream of social ills I do not think open animosity is going to solve the issue. Rather than rebellion it is a revolution is law and politics that will be effective.

    In addition to this I must point out the narcissistic nature of this argument. Here in Canada the richest 1% average an income of $430,000 per annum, while the average income is $44,000. So the wealthy make, on average, 10 times more than the middle class. In Monrovia a median income can be as little as $400.00 per year, more than 100 times less than the Canadian average. Who exactly is the 1% in this equation?

    Thus, if someone of middle income here complains about the unfair nature of others making 10 times as much, their argument relies upon the artificial construct of nationality. If it is unfair for X to make 10 times more than Y, how can it be fair that Y takes home 100 times as much as Z? When looked at on a global scale middle class westerners are the 1%, not the underprivileged.

    If you want me to believe in the sincerity of the occupy movement, I will need to see them giving up their wealth for the less privileged. Intrinsically I question any group who's argument is, "I deserve more!"

    It is true that the worlds wealthiest 85 citizens hold an amount of wealth equal to the poorest 50% of the worlds population. This is a staggering fact, and I cannot quite comprehend how it came to pass. But if morality is to hold any authority it must be universal. Conditional morality is always a method of preferment and prejudice.

    Thus, if you want the rich to share their wealth, you should start sharing it, because you are the rich. Just because someone else is wealthier still does not exonerate you from the responsibility of doing your part. Why should anyone participate in income redistribution if you do not? It is either good for all, or good for no one.

    Regards
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      Feb 19 2014: First off Ian. Your first sentence inspired me to paraphrase my question to: 'Should there be animosity towards America's 1% (billionaires)?'. Thank you.

      Canada is not famous for corruption so there's surely no need for animosity towards the ultra-rich.

      'Intrinsically I question any group who's argument is, "I deserve more!"'
      Those groups should not just be questioned but at once disbelieved.

      'Why should anyone participate in income redistribution if you do not? It is either good for all, or good for no one.'
      I strongly agree Ian. Very strong argument.
  • Feb 3 2014: YES, but not for the reasons you might think.

    What's the crime then? If we accept that the majority of the money can't be spent if a 'normal' life time, then not using it to help others, for the short time you have on this planet, is such a wasted opportunity, a crime. As anyone who has abilities, abeit money, skills, education, ideas, and does not use them, not only does themselves a disservice but the whole of society too, after all it's not that hard to help others. Remember too no matter how much money you have, you NEED others, where do you think that food come from, that coffee comes from, the clothes on your back come from. You see literally we are all in this together, so why not help, after all you literally cant take it with you. So die bankrupt :)
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      Feb 3 2014: I don’t accept your premise; if some-one is overly self-reliant it does no harm to me or others.
      I have a stronger dislike for those who are needlessly reliant on government charity, wasting a life by being a leech on charity is far more harmful to mankind then some wasting money or anything else.

      And having more money can be spent if a 'normal' life time, is not a waste, for at some point the money will be spent or given to help others. It may be by a great grandson or by a descendants trophy spouse, who and when does not matter. There have been people in need for thousands of years, and sadly that is likely not to change anytime soon, there is likely some timber lord's great grandson spending money earn long ago on people in need today.
      • Feb 3 2014: "Needlessly reliant" may be the point. While there may ne a small % of our population that has no desire to be self reliant, I think they are so small a group that their existence shouldn't stop us from strengthening our social services. What about the elderly that worked their whole lives and now cant afford to pay bills or for their medication? What about the disabled ? I think its a bit amusing to hear about the .01-1.0% being successful when we obviously do not start out on an even playing field. How successful are you really when you start out with an enormous head start? I hear people saythat the wealthy have a right to do whatever they want with their fortunes, well I call BS on that. The only right we are born with is the right to die. Everything else is a social contract and if society says they want better healthcare, education, and social services, then your right to be frivolous with fortunes or to hoard them is and should be revoked.
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          Feb 3 2014: I knew you go there.
          FYI: over 51% of Americans receive government charity; a desire to be self-reliant is meaningless without the drive to do something about it.
          Despite my handicap I work and enjoy giving to effective charities, but can’t save properly so I can stay self-reliant/retirement due to high taxes that majority goes to pay for ineffective charity and waste.

          Yes there are people in need (thru no fault of their own) and I’m all for help them, but being forced to pay for politicians’ vote buying is revolting.

          There is no reason to believe percentage of rich that are good, bad or indifferent or any different than the percentages of poor and middle-class that are good, bad or indifferent. To assume otherwise would be as wrong as the Indian class system.
      • Feb 3 2014: I think we agree on many points. I am unsatisfied with our current form of "democracy" and the buying and selling of votes is revolting. I also agree that having wealth does not make you a bad person, though I assume (maybe incorrectly) that what is required to accumulate that wealth more often than not Does make you a bad person. As I stated farther down in this conversation, I don't hate them, hate is a waste of my time and energy, and accomplishes nothing. To be perfectly honest, mst of the time I feel sorry for them, as I do any other addict. But that pity ends there, it does not lead to excusing them for the consequences of their actions or relieving them of their responsibility. And they Are responsible to the society from which they extracted their wealth. Which of them could have become so wealthy if not for a great mass of people that sold the hours of their lives for a low wage?
      • Feb 4 2014: Don, your entitled you not believe my premise, but your not remembering the past and two very important points that i shall state for you and others.

        Your assumption is exactly the same as Ronald Regan's "Trickle down economics", every one, every economist has stated that it does not work. Honestly I'd thought people had given up on believing that.

        And all you need to do is look out the window, to see it's not working. Or look further, to monarch's to see the same ideology there too, and the disruption happening.

        But in some ways that's not even the major point, so what is??.......
        Look at the American declaration of Independence for some guidance.

        It is a remarkable document on several levels. It is remarkable as a statement of political theory. It is clear as a legal document. It is foundational as a political document and it is personal as a statement of responsibility.

        it says.........

        people and their ability to take responsibility for themselves and the situation and come together to make things better. Effectively if you have ability to make things better, then you have the responsibility to do so.

        And anyone who only believes in Greenbacks, is NOT a true American, he sir is a parasite.

        Realize what made America great was the founding fathers, who to coin a phrase realized the power and validity of another old says...all for one, and one for all.

        Something America has solely forgotten, and its the reason its lost it's way.
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    Feb 1 2014: Mr. Peralta,

    To put things in perspective and to be more specific:
    - In 2013, the are 442 American Billionaires and the total population of the United States is
    318,892,103 (approximately 319 Million). Forbes
    - 442 divided by 319,000,000 = 0.00000138558 or one hundred thirty eight millionth percent, definitely not
    even close to one percent ( 1% = 0.01 ).
    - Based on WealthInsight of London, in 2012 there are 5,231,000 millionaires in the US. Divide this number
    by the total US population of 319 million will equal to 0.0164 or slightly more than 1 and 1/2 %.

    Proportionately, billionaires are a very small minority of the US population. Millionaires and Billionaires are about 1.6 percent of the US population. Granted, the average Americans have more assets than the average citizens of poor countries.

    Back to your question: Should we hate American billionaires? Or for that matter, billionaires regardless of citizenship?

    Personally, we should NOT. To the contrary, we should learn from them. They must be doing something right and something really, really, really good. That is mainly the reason why they became so rich. I am not implying rich people are perfect. Rich people will admit themselves they are not perfect. In general, though, rich people are just more smart, and maybe, more lucky. They also work harder and longer.

    To do good or to do philanthropic work, one must have a lot of money, like Bill Gates of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Please take some time and research what Bill and Melinda are doing for the many poor citizens of the world, especially in Africa. This is just a tip of the iceberg. If you research some more, many of the billionaires and millionaires of the world are doing a lot of good - building foundations, schools, hospitals, funding cutting-edge research, and opening businesses and generating employment. Imagine if there are a million Bill Gates and Warren Buffett ...
    • Feb 1 2014: For each transaction, there is a buyer and a seller. The amount of money spent is exactly equal to the amount of money received. Since this is true for each and every transaction, it is also true for the sum of all transactions.

      This means that for one entity (person, business, government) to be spending less that it earns (accumulating money or paying down debt) another entity (person, business, government) has to be spending more it earns (by spending down savings or going into debt).

      We should all spend less than we earn, accumulating money. Not only a good idea, but absolutely mathematically impossible.

      In fact, anyone with even a high school level understanding of economics should realize that money is borrowed into existence via fractional reserve banking's multiplying effect on seed money on the central banks' balance sheets.

      That is not to say that wealth (which includes non-debt/money assets) is limited or offset by debt. It does mean that the money (and near-money) exist only when there is an equal amount of offsetting debt.

      The rich did not get richer since 1980 "despite" everyone else going into debt at 3x the sustainable rate. That would be like thinking the ugly girl got attractive despite you having gotten drunk.

      The massive debt generation was a necessary prerequisite to the money creation and accumulation into the hands of the few very, very rich.

      Many say that the debt can not possible be repaid. That is untrue. There is money or near-money in the economy for every debt. We simply need to return to a tax code that gets money moving instead of a tax code designed to let it accumulate into a few hands.

      And no, not take from the rich and give to the poor. More like a 1950s tax code where the rich could/did spend money, creating jobs and income, to avoid the 90%+ top tax rate.
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        Feb 1 2014: Mr. Shimel, Jr.,

        "And no, not take from the rich and give to the poor. More like a 1950s tax code where the rich could/did spend money, creating jobs and income, to avoid the 90%+ top tax rate." Your quote.

        Can one tell a rich person to spend his/her money or donate it to a government or private entity so that jobs are "created"? If my neighbors and I are jobless and miserable, is it right for us to blame Mr. Gates, Mr. Musk, Mr. Trump, and Mr. Buffett?

        Who is responsible for "creating" jobs? Is there any law, man-made or divine, that specifically states that certain Mr. A and B are responsible for creating jobs for Mr. C,D,E, and F or Ms, X, Y, and Z? Mr. E and F are miserable because they have no jobs, and, therefore, Mr. A and B are to be blamed for not creating jobs for them.?

        Let us assume the "1950's Tax Code" is the sensible solution to bridge the gap between the rich and the average citizens, who is responsible in changing the tax code? Mr. Buffett has been saying for years that he is in favor of taxing the rich like him more.

        "The rich did not get richer since 1980 "despite" everyone else going into debt at 3x the sustainable rate. That would be like thinking the ugly girl got attractive despite you having gotten drunk." What do you mean? Please explain clearly.

        You wrote, "In fact, anyone with even a high school level understanding of economics should realize that money is borrowed into existence via fractional reserve banking's multiplying effect on seed money on the central banks' balance sheets."

        What baffles me is watching and listening to a group of Economists, some Nobel Prize winners, discussing issues, having a difficult time agreeing with each other. These are people who are supposed to have attained understanding of Economics way beyond high school level. It seems Economics is more complex and more difficult to understand than Euler's equation, e raised to the i pi is equal to -1.
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      Feb 1 2014: Have you read this comment from Orlando?:

      'Is it really a matter of how many individuals are in the 1% (or lower if we take Mike's statistics to be accurate) or is it a matter of the influence that these individuals in power have that can potentially affect everyone else? I agree that not everyone who has a millions or billions of dollars are just out to subjugate those below them on the economic scale (I don't see Bill Gates in that way and he has done a lot by giving back to charities) but I'm pretty sure there are some that are only concerned about their own personal interest at any cost.

      'So I ask, is it really a matter of numbers or a matter of influence?'
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        Feb 1 2014: Now you are getting to the real issue Poch! There are people who are only concerned about their own personal interests at all levels of economic security or insecurity.

        Ask yourself that question Poch....is it a matter of numbers, or a matter of influence....TO YOU? Which ones do you choose to hate.....or not?
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          Feb 1 2014: I have already replied to Orlando and expressed that it should really be a matter of influence which I also would bet on is his choice too.
      • Feb 1 2014: It's a matter of moral character, which has nothing to do with wealth. Wealth only lets the evil be more successfully evil. Any apparent "imbalance" or "excess" in the proportion of evil among the wealthy is merely revelation of the proportion of evil in the population at large.

        I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.

        The inability due to lack of resources to do widespread harm is not virtue.
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          Feb 1 2014: 'It's a matter of moral character, which has nothing to do with wealth...'

          Now that should be our convo guideline here. If we hate the hateful, we become immoral too.
          Bravo Bryan.
    • Feb 1 2014: "Who is responsible for 'creating' jobs? Is there any law, man-made or divine, that specifically states that certain Mr. A and B are responsible for creating jobs for Mr. C,D,E, and F or Ms, X, Y, and Z?"

      Rather than making specific laws that specific individuals have to create jobs, we create systems and regulations that effect everyone, that create a strong economic environment where jobs can and will be created.

      Think of it like a National Park. We do not plant specific trees or breed specific animals. Instead, we created environments where plants and animals will be able to breed on their own, and prevent people from doing things that will damage the environment and prevent that natural breeding.

      For economics, we have created many institutions that create a stable money supply, create trust in equities markets, create contract law, ownership rights, education of the workforce, transportation systems, basic research to keep technology moving forward, insurance regulations, banking system, on and on and on.

      There is one more area of regulation that is needed to maintain a healthy, long-term stable economy that we are failing miserably. That is, the creation and persistence of wide trade imbalances.

      Is it the job of billionaires to create jobs? No!

      It is the job of congress to create laws to ensure that we do not have large drains of money from active circulation.

      In short, it is the job of congress to ensure there are not billionaires in the first place.


      Instead what they did was set loose the banking system to create unsustainably large amounts of debt, because that debt creates assets that were hoarded by a few, creating the billionaires.
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        Feb 1 2014: Darrell,
        You say..."In short, it is the job of congress to ensure there are not billionaires in the first place"

        Can you help me understand how that might be accomplished and enforced?.
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        Feb 1 2014: Thank you, Mr. Shimel. Now we are barking at the right trees.
    • Feb 3 2014: Rodrigo

      Philanthropy is often brought up, its effect are apparent. The poor do not need charity they require opportunity. I rarely see the two, welfare and philanthropy, interchanged. One is always the socialist evil and the other is the benevolent benefactor. Tax break or wealth redistribution?

      Should we not advocate for justice?
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        Feb 3 2014: Hello Mr. West,

        We should advocate to each other and for each other. We should advocate for: equal access to opportunities; good and affordable education; good and affordable healthcare; taking care of our planet Earth; cleaning our lands, rivers, lakes, oceans (hope people all over the world know about the Great Pacific and Atlantic Garbage, it makes me cry); taking care of the other living creatures on Earth; kindness and civility; beauty and serenity; good world citizenship; good world government; and world cooperation and peace.

        I suggest "Imagine" of the late John Lennon as our world anthem.
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      Jan 30 2014: Great info Brendan.

      '...I beg you not to trivialize this with percentages of population and monetary figures... this is a moral issue at heart!'

      Brilliant! So that is why I feel uneasy whenever someone uses stats and percentages favoring the 1%.
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        Jan 30 2014: Thanks, Poch-

        I added a bit after "This is a moral issue at heart." Now, we should realize that the US power elite is not alone in its abuse of its citizenry, right? It really is a pretty general male-dominant phenomenon worldwide. History is full of such cruelties. Please visit the new debate I am hosting, or click on my name to read an interesting abstract in my profile.

        Best!
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      Jan 30 2014: oh my those images were a horrible site to see. I could only imagine what that poor teen had to go through. So sad
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        Jan 30 2014: Did you catch my very recent reply, Orlando? Perhaps I didn't send it via the reply button. I just now tagged it with your name. I'm a TED newbie.
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          Jan 31 2014: Hi Brendan,

          I actually did not catch your reply but I'll be sure to check it out on this thread. Thanks for the heads up
  • Jan 29 2014: Completely ignoring the moral aspect of the issue (which we could all debate until the sun blows up without reaching any conclusion), I'm not sure its such a good idea practically speaking.

    That sort of thing usually leads to social unrest which further deteriorates the situation for everyone, rich or poor. In worst case scenarios, we end up with pogroms and revolutions, and despite America's cultural fondness for the latter, usually don't end up changing much at all despite their body count.

    Social inequality is quite a problem, don't get me wrong, but hatred isn't the way to fix it. In fact, it leading to hatred and violence is probably social inequality's biggest problem.
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      Jan 29 2014: '...In worst case scenarios, we end up with pogroms and revolutions, and despite America's cultural fondness for the latter, usually don't end up changing much at all despite their body count.'

      Now I wonder when was the last time a revolution was a success. I seem to remember it was against British colonization.
      • Jan 29 2014: If you actually look at the consequences of that particular revolution, you'll notice it wasn't actually all that revolutionary.

        The land owning rich who held all the money and power, still held all the money and power. It just so happened that some of the new land owning rich were on the west side of the Atlantic. In terms of life of the common man, not all that much was actually accomplished--probably why only about a third of the colonists supported it; another third was pro British, and the remaining third just apathetic.
        It should also be noted that slavery was abolished in Britain a few good decades before it was abolished in the US... "All men are created equal" was written by a rather prominent slave holder, ironically enough.

        A more traditional revolt against the rich was the French revolution, or perhaps Russia's 1917 experiment with communism.
        Hell of a body count on those two, and in many aspects, they actually made things worse.

        One revolution off the top of my head that actually did as intended was Haiti, but seeing as they were slaves with practically nothing to loose anyway, its something of a special case.
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          Jan 29 2014: Great examples that proved your opinion Nadav.

          I think Haiti is the most ironic and hopeless nation and is worse than Mexico. It's indeed the only nation in the world established as a result of a successful slave revolt. But there's a general belief that there will never be a Haiti government that is not controlled by the underworld.

          The location of Haiti is very favorable for smuggling and money laundering. And cartels are forever at war with each other for the control of Haiti. Any legit and moral Haiti government will either have to be corrupted by cartels or get destroyed for not 'cooperating'.
      • Jan 29 2014: Yet I still argue that despite Haiti's considerable troubles, they're still better off then when some 90% of the population was slaves. Many of those same problems would have probably sprung up if they were given their independence normally some decades later (with France having a strong financial incentive not to abolish slavery, as Haiti was very profitable, it would have taken a long time).

        Normally a violent revolt is a dangerous gamble; history shows that the odds of actually improving your situation aren't good. When you're a slave with next to nothing to loose on the other hand, the odds suddenly don't seem as bad.
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    Feb 19 2014: Who rules America? You may find the link below interesting and it may add a little more spice to the topic.

    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html
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      Feb 19 2014: Thanks for the spice Rodrigo. Even though I haven't read it yet, I already have ideas because I have read similar articles. I read a lot of activist materials.
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      Feb 19 2014: Great stuff, Rodrigo!

      Saved it in my favorites for much future use! The most telling data to me is in table below. From 1922 - 1976, share of wealth between 99% and 1% goes up and down, as would be expected in the normal course of events.

      However, it looks like when a high of 80% was attained by the 99% in 1976, the 1% (power elite) took notice of that and found it unacceptable to them. Many modern scholars believe that in a series of secret meetings they decided that a steady "engineered" decline in wealth of the proletariat was in order. Note how steady the decline is... it just isn't a "natural" process- it is obviously engineered!

      Note that the lowest percentage of wealth for 99% after 1976 was in 1995 when Rhodes Scholar/Anglo Freemason Bill Clinton's Malthusian World Trade Organization was created and power elite immediately started outsourcing American jobs to nations with far lower labor costs - Unions that created middle class here soon died.

      This gradual decline fits exactly into my thinking about frogs and humans: Place a frog in a pan of cold water and slowly heat it to boiling and the frog will just sit there and die. Power elite knows the very same phenomenon applies to We the People! If a decline was sudden, we would probably revolt, right? Be afraid, TEDsters - be very afraid of our all-too-predictable human/frog natures!

      Is hate irrelevant here?

      Table 4: Share of wealth held by the Bottom 99% and Top 1% in the United States, 1922-2010.
      Bottom 99 percent Top 1 percent
      1922 63.3% 36.7%
      1929 55.8% 44.2%
      1933 66.7% 33.3%
      1939 63.6% 36.4%
      1945 70.2% 29.8%
      1949 72.9% 27.1%
      1953 68.8% 31.2%
      1962 68.2% 31.8%
      1965 65.6% 34.4%
      1969 68.9% 31.1%
      1972 70.9% 29.1%
      1976 80.1% 19.9%
      1979 79.5% 20.5%
      1981 75.2% 24.8%
      1983 69.1% 30.9%
      1986 68.1% 31.9%
      1989 64.3% 35.7%
      1992 62.8% 37.2%
      1995 61.5% 38.5%
      1998 61.9% 38.1%
      2001 66.6% 33.4%
      2004 65.7% 34.3%
      2007 65.4% 34.6%
      2010 64.6% 35.4%
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      Feb 28 2014: Rodrigo!

      Check out my most recent post before this monster of a chat ends.

      Best, my friend, and please do write me (anonymously) via my TED profile!
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    Feb 17 2014: Well, what if you were born in their shoes? What would you do? It doesn't matter how much money you have when it's all said and done, it's how you'll be remembered. How will your obituary read? Do these people pay it forward in any way? Are they hurting people/communities, displacing people/jobs, etc.? I just hope they know they can do much to truly improve the lives of others and that would be quite honorable and memorable. "True contentment depends not upon what we have; a tub was large enough for Diogenes, but a world was too little for Alexander." -Colton Alexander the Great thought he had it all. How do we remember him........as a tyrant! How will these people go down in history? What will their "verse" be in this "song" of life? We'll all be equal one day. As our own TEDster Alain de Botton says "dust is that most democratic of substances."
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      Feb 17 2014: '...what if you were born in their shoes?'
      Great question Dennis. I'll still be an activist even if my family disowns me. Although it's hard to imagine that happening since persons who grew up in luxury would be 'addicted' to their lifestyle.

      Those quotes by Alexander the Great and de Botton are great too. You're a great compiler Dennis.
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      Feb 18 2014: Hi, C Dennis -

      Please view this really popular TED Talk by Paul Piff: "Does money make you mean?" It has almost 1.5 million views in a very short period of time and may well give Jill Bolte Taylor's "My Stroke of Insight" TED Talk with its 14 million views a run for the "money," so to speak. Main message in Paul's lecture is that having a lot of money does indeed make most folks mean and it requires a supreme and conscious effort on their parts to resist being SOBs; thus they have access to greater "evil" than We the People usually do. Assuming that their brains are no different from ours, they are far more likely to do evil deeds than us, right?

      Best!

      http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_piff_does_money_make_you_mean.html
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        Feb 18 2014: Even if having a lot of money does indeed make most folks mean isn't true, I continue to observe that it makes most folks more selfish with it.
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          Feb 18 2014: Watch the Talk, Poch- great stuff! He really hit a home run with it- lots of studies to back it up.

          Vast shoals of lawyers the big problem in US: More than 4 times as many laws here now than there were at the end of WW II. Something like 60,000 lawyers living within the Washington D.C. Beltway, almost all Bills passed by Congress so huge and complex that 1) Congressmen almost never read them fully before voting on them and 2) would not understand them if they did read them, so all sort of corporate-beneficial loopholes are in them. They ought to pass a law that no new Bill can exceed 200 pages in length- many are well over 1000 pages.

          Re acting on hating super-rich SOBs (not all are, of course), it is a lot more problematic for me to take them on a sailboat ride from which they might not return- small lakes around here that are well-covered by security cameras. Much easier in your Phillipines, where you are surrounded by vast seas full of real sharks! Cartoons here:

          http://members.chello.nl/m.jong9/map15/lawyers.gif

          http://wordsandtoons.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/shark-restaurant.jpg
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        Feb 19 2014: 'Vast shoals of lawyers the big problem in US: More than 4 times as many laws here now than there were at the end of WW II. Something like 60,000 lawyers living within the Washington D.C...'
        Reminded me of the news that a lot of lawyers are commiting suicide. I forgot the reasons.

        'Congressmen almost never read them fully before voting on them...'
        Some Philippine senators were caught doing that because one of the clowns tried to insert a bylaw out of session!

        'would not understand them if they did read them...'
        For the simple reason most of them like to sound majestic with high words and gobbledygook jargon.

        'Much easier in your Phillipines, where you are surrounded by vast seas full of real sharks!'
        Something deadlier than sharks in the south---rebel pirates.
  • Feb 15 2014: Nope, but I sure wish that some of them would stop hating on the rest of us and be a little bit more patriotic. I don't want to be around for an all out revolution in this country and that's what will happen if certain people keep hoarding all the resources and leaving only scraps for the rest of us. Something needs to change or this country will look very different in a hundred years. I'm afraid to even imagine a world where America isn't the superpower anymore. We NEED our middle class and we need to elect leaders who aren't puppets for the wealthy folks with nefarious and greedy agendas. It all looks okay now, but give it another 25 years going down this road. Detroit is a perfect example.
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      Feb 16 2014: You're right Michelle. If we hate back, we only hurt ourselves.

      ''I'm afraid to even imagine a world where America isn't the superpower anymore...'
      The US is virtually not a superpower anymore. It just doesn't appear like that. The US debt, at $17 trillion, is the largest in the world. How can US be still powerful with that debt?

      'It all looks okay now, but give it another 25 years going down this road. Detroit is a perfect example.'
      I bet it would only take less than 10 years. Maybe the sooner it happens the better. But of course we want US to get clean and be the world leader again instead of the impending catastrophe.
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    Feb 11 2014: Ignoring money for a minute and concentrating on things that actually matter. Is it not true that life expectancy is rising in almost every country on Earth. What percentage of the worlds population currently has access to clean water? What percentage has adequate food? These are the real international issues. It matters not how much money I have if there is no food to buy. We in the west have become distracted by bank accounts.
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      Feb 11 2014: 'What percentage of the worlds population currently has access to clean water? What percentage has adequate food?...'

      Don't you think the Big Banks have anything to do with these problems? One thing sure Peter: The 1% have something to do with Big Banks.
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        Feb 12 2014: The big banks can't make it rain when there's drought or stop it when there's flood.
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      Feb 12 2014: .
      Everyone is "distracted" by money
      if it is beyond its optimal point or making INVALID HAPPINESS.

      Invalid happiness makes us unhappy!
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    Feb 10 2014: "Hobby Lobby for example, here the corporation is used to advance the religious philosophy of the founders, not to better serve the individual employed within or the corporation as a whole."

    Evidence?

    "In the above example the individual is not camouflaged, as you stated, they present themselves as an individual who falls under free speech protection."

    Non Sequitur

    "In government the individual is not camouflaged either, they too must present themselves for the scrutiny of the electorate.
    Via election or takeover, all individuals within a monolith or corporation or government are subject to removal."

    Congress benefits from their positions, they are not held accountable.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/congress-trading-stock-on-inside-information/

    State of California employees are grossly overpaid
    This is one of a gazillion references, they are not held accountable:

    http://publicpay.ca.gov/


    Here is a fun one.

    Both Soros and Chertoff are profiting from the naked-body scanners by way of the company Rapiscan, whose contract is worth $173 million. Lobbyists for this company include Susan Carr, a former senior legislative aide to Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) who is coincidentally chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee.

    They are not held accountable

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/economy/commentary/item/3938-getting-rich-from-the-tsa-naked-body-scanners


    You see this fine public officials hide within the monolith.


    Corporations not so much, EXCEPT if they are cronys.
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      Feb 10 2014: 'Corporations not so much, EXCEPT if they are cronys.'
      And if corporations are cronies, so are their owners and officers---part of the 1%.

      Great research work sir.
  • Feb 10 2014: Hi Dear Poch,of course no hatred,I think everyone deserves what they own:no matter good or bad they keep as well as I do so.
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    Feb 7 2014: Hate feeds both sides. Net result = zero. Pat mentions all the brilliant toys that capitalism has gifted us with. I was much happier and healthier without them. I long for the days where I could till the family farm all day then go in a night and have dinner with the family. I am saddened by the realities that our younger people never had the chance to experience. All their lives they've been primed by marketing. Being pumped daily with pseudo information about what is good and what is not. All driven by the those who stand to profit by it, regardless of the outcome. We are trapped by these false senses of need and we are obese with it. By the time we realize what it's doing to us we will be fighting to save our lives. To grow we must unlearn so many things. Your own happiness comes from within. Seek not in others what you have not found in yourself.

    May your journey lead you to happiness.
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      Feb 7 2014: 'We are trapped by these false senses of need and we are obese with it...'
      Yes Wade. It's a great error of many to focus on wants rather than on needs. Do we really need
      what we want?

      'To grow we must unlearn so many things...'
      A necessary painful process. Our mind, like a computer, should be 'defragmented' so it could function to its fullest.

      'Your own happiness comes from within. Seek not in others what you have not found in yourself.'
      Spoken wisely like a guru. I'm guessing you're a Buddhist Wade.
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        Feb 7 2014: Not a Buddhist. Just one man trying to find a place in this world. A place that is not so rigid from rules based on distrust and dishonesty. A place where being different is a value. A place where common ideas are wonderful but not written in law. We are all different yet we all share many common values. That is where we can meet and find peace. If we were all carpenters, there would be no one to feed us. If we were all farmers, there would be no one to build us shelter. We all have unique gifts and skills to provide for trade. These gifts were never meant to gain advantage. Trust and honor is the true value of trade. As you have witnessed, when one seeks to gain advantage in trade, trust and honor are diminished. Find the simple things, there you will find truth and quite possibly..a true sense of why you belong on this planet.
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          Feb 8 2014: 'If we were all carpenters, there would be no one to feed us. If we were all farmers, there would be no one to build us shelter...'
          If we were all billionaires...

          'Trust and honor is the true value of trade.'
          That is why trust is sacred to me.

          'Find the simple things, there you will find truth...'
          Most of the time, important simple things come to me---frequently in retrospect.
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        Feb 8 2014: "If we were all Billionaires" Then we would either starve or serve each other. The currency would be stable due to all having the same value. Start from a billion and you will witness the worst in mankind. Start from zero and you will find the best in mankind.
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          Feb 8 2014: I'm sure your notion is absolutely right Wade.
  • Feb 5 2014: Banned TED Talk: Nick Hanauer "Rich people don't create jobs"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T80-ConDFAQ
  • Feb 4 2014: I think we should consider what form the wealth takes.

    Let's say I come up with an idea for a new widget, take the idea to venture capitalists that offer to invest 3/4 the start-up money in exchange for 1/2 the ownership. A few years pass and the company is making $2 million profit a year. A reasonable P/E of 15 to 20 would put the value of the company at $30-$40 million. As half owner, I would now be in the top 1%.

    That "wealth" is not spendable money. There is not debt anywhere in the economy, no obvious collateral damage.

    Let's say I assume the life-span of the product will be fairly short-lived. Maybe a decade. As result, I do not want to reinvest my profits. I take my $1 million a year, hand 35% to government, and use the rest to buy AAA bonds and stuff into depository accounts.

    There is collateral damage to the economy as the profits are money that I am draining from active circulation within the economy. In the face of such drains, the actively circulating money supply can only be maintained if debt is increasing. Now there is debt in the economy backing up my money and near-money.

    Too much money draining from active circulation means debt must increase at an unsustainable rate. This is exactly what has happened since 1980. We drastically lowered top marginal income tax rates, allowing people to do exactly what I describe above. To maintain economic activity in the face of such drains, we loosened lending to allow debt to increase at 3x the sustainable rate for over 30 years.

    So, I believe the form of the wealth, equity vs. security, should play a major role in our feelings toward "the rich". Becoming wealthy by creating is good. Draining that wealth from ownership (equity) into money/near-money (security) is somewhere between less-good and down right bad. The worst is buying a company to slash workers and pay, drain pensions and extract "hidden value" (Romney style).

    Profit from making things = good. Profit from manipulating markets = bad.
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      Feb 4 2014: Bravo Darrell. I think you've just made the best reply so far. Not only did you answer the question but also gave the best illustration.

      You also reminded me of True Wealth which is not cash but things that could be turned into money.
      Great work again Darrell!
      • Feb 4 2014: "You also reminded me of True Wealth which is not cash but things that could be turned into money."

        I have this issue with people all the time. I ask "How is money created?" Most say "By working".

        Incorrect. Wealth is created by working. Money (and near-money like bonds) is created when it is borrowed into existence.

        Money has value because people need it to repay debts. This allows you to convert money to wealth and wealth into money in a way that makes them seem interchangeable.

        Many anti-government politicians have used the saying "The problem with Socialism is that you run out of other peoples' money to spend." Idiotic on its face. Money does not go away when spent. On the contrary, it leaves the economy when it is NOT spent.

        The real flaw of Socialism is that if you pay people the same regardless of how hard they work, they tend to not work very hard. This reduces total wealth (stuff that can be bought with the money).

        Think back to images of the Soviet Union. Were there stores full of goods, but no money? No. What we actually saw was people with money standing in line to get into stores with empty shelves.

        Of course, the people making such idiotic statements are not really anti-socialism. They are anti-equality.

        They do not want to say that they are anti-well-functioning-capitalism resulting in falling inequality, such as existed in the United States during the 1940s-1960s when there was a 90%+ top income tax rate. So, they have to lie.

        Government intervention that makes the rich richer and poor poorer is capitalist, but any intervention that acts to resist or reverse widening wealth disparity is socialist.

        These are the REAL definitions that conservatives mean, but will NEVER admit to.

        They say "Government should not pick winners and losers". No, it should not. It should create economic conditions where there are fewer on each extreme. Not by taking and giving, but rather by encouraging (forcing) those with high incomes to spend.
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          Feb 4 2014: I hope I will not spend all my 'thumb ups' on you Darrell lol. How is it you know so much about politics and economy? Are you an economist? Do you run for elections? I'm not really interested in politics but I'm becoming more interested because of your persuasive views!
          I'll try to look for the answers in your convos.
      • Feb 4 2014: "How is it you know so much about politics and economy? Are you an economist? Do you run for elections?"

        I am neither an economist nor a politician. I am a computer programmer.

        I once thought I understood economics. However, 30 years of data simply did not fit my understanding.

        I started out as that really annoying guy in high school that aced every test without putting in any effort. Genius has its benefits. This primary education served as the foundation of my false knowledge, but was reinforced by Reaganomics (was in high school 81-85).

        Joined the Navy out of high school and promoted to E6 in 5 years (average is 10 years). Saw bits of the world where the understanding didn't fit. Then I went to college. BSCS with 4.0 GPA in 3 years. Actually, didn't help explain macroeconomics much.

        Lived the tech bubble from the inside. Saw the changing economy. Watched the housing bubble. etc. etc. The more I learned, the less my understanding of economics fit reality.

        I kept searching for better and better understanding, until I was able to find an explanation that actually fit.

        It is difficult to let go of your misunderstanding, especially when that belief is strongly held, and accept actual knowledge. i just kept digging and digging and digging.

        Knowledge did not come in a single grand epiphany, but rather a long series of small epiphanies.

        Money as debt:
        http://www.federalreserveeducation.org/resources/detail.cfm?r_id=1047cf84-4f84-4a4f-afbc-f6b319bed907

        Debt growth: (check table D3)
        http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/current/

        Economy was actually better when top tax rates were higher:
        http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats-Historical-Table-23

        The more recent epiphany was an understanding of the differences and similarities between money and near-money (debt assets held by non-banks). This came from telling a top economist (former Fed Res official) he didn't get it. Turns out it was me that didn't get it.

        Never stop learning.
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          Feb 5 2014: Ahh...A young genius techie. Not far from my inkling.
          'The more I learned, the less my understanding of economics fit reality...'
          Happens to all great thinkers whatever their subject is.

          'It is difficult to let go of your misunderstanding, especially when that belief is strongly held, and accept actual knowledge. i just kept digging and digging and digging.'
          Reminds me of criminal probes. A sleuth will miss important clues because his main clue 'is strongly held'.

          'Knowledge did not come in a single grand epiphany, but rather a long series of small epiphanies.'
          That is where many wisdom seekers err. They thought something grand they finally discovered was the end point. Learned that from 50 years of experience.

          I'm grateful for your 'money' links but I'm afraid I'm dumb with economics and wouldn't be able to give useful feedback. Do you have political convos? Anyway, I'm sure others will find your 'money' links useful.

          'Never stop learning.'
          I know someone who is so conceited he doesn't admit mistakes. Who in my opinion is the dumbest. When someone knows all things, it means he doesn't learn anything new anymore ergo he's dumb.
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    Feb 3 2014: I'm curious why you single out the American billionaires, Poch. Your home country of the Philippines has eleven billionaires. How do you feel about those eleven individuals? Do America's wealthy have a greater responsibility to the world than the wealthy of other countries?
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      Feb 3 2014: Good question Lawren.
      I never intend to single out any country on any of my questions or convos. It depends on what country my convo reference is citing.
      As to my own Philippines, most of us believe the problem is not really our 1% but their citizenship. Most of them are really foreigners thus making it seem our country is being run by underworld cartels. That's WORSE isn't it?
      And yes I believe that America's wealthy have a greater responsibility to the world than the wealthy of other countries because your wealthy are the most powerful on earth and thus can have greater control over the rest.
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        Feb 3 2014: As you are aware, we Americans quite often take upon ourselves a greater role for the humanitarian needs of the world. But we are offended when someone such as yourself insists that we have a responsibility to do so. We do not.

        In the particular case of the Philippines, you were a part of America until your people chose to declare independence from us in 1946. Afterwards, we maintained a military presence in Subic Bay and Clark Air Force Base until your country asked us to leave in 1992. So you have no place insisting that America take responsibility for any needs where to Philippines are concerned, sir.
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          Feb 4 2014: First off sir, I do not insist that the US 'have a responsibility to do so.' I said 'I believe' and believing is not insisting. Believing is an opinion which you have the right to disprove.
          If you reject my opinion, then I respect your right to do so. Thank you Lawren.
        • Feb 4 2014: Not trying to pick a fight but I would like to mention that it seems that the u.s. was only in the philippines because of the imperialist and expansionist views of roosevelt. It also seems that "business" is the main reason we annexed Hawaii, got involved in the Spanish-American war "freeing" cuba, and sailed onward to the Philippines. United fruit, the lumber and tobacco industries, and many more used the lives of American soldiers to "spread democracy" giving them access to vast fortunes. You may or may not be right that American s take upon ourselves a greaterresponsibility fo humanitarian needs, but maybe (if we do) its because we have caused so much pain and suffering in the name of capitalism and profit.

          Edit: check out brendon maloney's post about general butler in the conversation discussing the u.s. constitution and conflicts of interests. He quotes butler on his views of what he "accomplished" in his military career. Again I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just think as citizens we Are responsible for what is done in our name.
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    Feb 3 2014: It may be wise to be wary of any forms of objectification, as it can lead to persecutin but if there seems to be one group of people who are safe from the swelling police state we been living with in the states it would be billionaires. There are many demographics that are not statically safe from this and the common denominator seems to be they are poor.. Throwing the H word around hyperbolically just seems a good way to distract people from enacting social change that not meant to hinder the well off, but merely provide ways for people to meet there needs. One need being of course to create communities that are safe both from crime and from prisons.
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      Feb 3 2014: Not only the billionaires are safe from the swelling police state. Most of those who lobby for police state are billionaires themselves. It's one of their safety nets.
      If throwing the H word around can provide ways for people to meet their needs, then why not do it?
      Thanks Anthony.
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        Feb 3 2014: Im confused by your question. I never said anyone was erroneously comparing themselves to halocaust victim to meet thier need.
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        Feb 3 2014: No worries
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    Feb 2 2014: i'm from a country of more than 1billion people, where i felt more than 300 million are poor, if we redefine the poverty line, taking into account the inflation rate, international economic distress etc, i can say more than 48% of Indians will fall under poverty line (many might disagree with what i said). the income-disparity and polarisation of wealth is staggering and growing day by day.

    i really don't know what to say, to hate or not to hate, since i have read and seen billionaire(s) and their philantropy, for example Bill and Linda Gates contributions/philantropy in India, in relation to health.
    i have to say i hate the System and Philosophy that perpetuate, sanctified, and institutionalised this anomaly, that tilted the scale of wealth.
    to me it does not matter, if a person is rich because of his/her own toil and sweat and use that extra wealtt for the welfare of humankind, but the thing i hate most is the Greed, and wasteful renderring of that wealth at the cost of humankind.
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      Feb 2 2014: Hating greed and wasteful rendering of that wealth at the cost of humankind is the right 'hating' Uba.
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        Feb 2 2014: Poch,
        In another comment, you say you "don't advocate hate which is a waste of energy".

        Now you advocate "the right hating".

        How do you honestly feel about hate or hating Poch?
    • Feb 2 2014: One person's "wasteful rendering" is another person's "good business".
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    Feb 2 2014: One thing we haven't addressed.... there are less then 500 billionaires in the US today, according to tax records that are available. The first one recorded was in 1927. So, all things being equal, did we become 500 times better at making money or has the value of money decreased by 500 times? At this rate, there may be more billionaires then people to hate them..
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      Feb 2 2014: That's sharp thinking Mike. I'll bet on the value of money decreasing by 500 times than on us becoming 500 times better at making money. Considering the state of the economy, the latter is just impossible---
      unless those making that money are anonymous underworld money launderers.
    • Feb 2 2014: This is why we should always think of it in terms of years of median income.

      1820s, median income was about $1000 a year. $1 million represented 1000 years of income and $1 billion was 1,000,000 years of income.

      Today, with $50K median income, $1 million is only 20 years of income. $1 billion still represents 20,000 years of income.
  • Feb 2 2014: Rodrigo P. Feliciano said
    "Personally, we should NOT. To the contrary, we should learn from them. They must be doing something right and something really, really, really good. That is mainly the reason why they became so rich."

    I like to call this the Lotto Logical Fallacy. This is the assumption that if some can do it, everyone can do it.

    We do a study of billionaires and find that the one thing they all had in common is that they were entrepreneurial risk takers. Therefore, we should all do this and become billionaires.

    The one thing all Lotto winners have in common is they bought Lotto tickets. Therefore, we should all buy Lotto tickets, and then we will all be winners.

    Right? WRONG!

    The system requires there will be very few that win huge, and the vast, vast, vast majority lose. The more losers, the bigger the win. PowerBall has the worst odds (most losers), and therefore, the biggest prizes.


    In the real economy, take Bill Gates. Dropped out of college, adapted other peoples' hard work to port a Unix Basic interpreter to Intel CPU. Excepted to make $10Ks selling the software for $10s to 1,000s of people.

    One day, IBM knocks on his door. They want to license his interpreter. Gates will make extra $10Ks from the IBM deal, getting $1s from 10Ks of sales.

    IBM mentions, they need an OS. Gates runs off and buys Quick and Dirty Operating System, not telling the guy there is an offer from IBM. He may make $10Ks more from the IBM deal.

    Except IBM doesn't sell 10Ks units as expected. They sell millions. Other manufactures come to Gates, and license his software. More $100s of millions.

    There were thousands of guys writing hobby software, but only one of them was going to get the IBM deal and become a billionaire.

    One person can win the Lotto, and Gates did. That does not mean that everyone can.
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      Feb 2 2014: Mr. Shimel,

      It takes a dollar or so and tons and tons of luck to win the Lotto. It takes a whole lot more than a dollar or so and luck to form and make a company like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon successful.

      Are you serious when you called Bill Gates a lotto winner? C'mon, I believe you can do better than that.

      We all learn from other people, past and present. We all adapt, borrow, and/or copy other people's ideas and inventions. The difference is that successful inventors and entrepreneurs know the right combination of knowledge, design, and technology that will make a product or service successful. Success also takes a lot of intelligence, creativity, hard work, guts, grit, determination, risk-taking of the right kind, and what some people call the x-factor.

      To compare lotto winning with entrepreneural success is, to borrow your own phrase, Lotto Logical Fallacy.
      • Feb 2 2014: Yes, Gates put in a lot more work than just spending the $1.

        But you miss the point.

        Everyone can do the things to make a successful company. And even if we did everything exactly correctly, not all could be billionaires, or even millionaires.

        Unlike Lotto, our actions can influence the odds that we will be a winner. However, there is still a high degree of randomness.

        Even if we do everything exactly correctly, there is still a high probability we will fail.
        • Feb 3 2014: I get the point, and it's a very good one.

          It's only too clearly seen when we see those self help books by billionaires, you see they assume that luck had not part to play. Nor coincidentally being in the right place at the right time. They believe, or some do, that they know best. It's often seen in the inane, rude and downright horrendous comments they make. (i'm thinking of the one billionaire who said he feel like a concentration camp jew as the masses are after him). Really !??

          But others too are stupid, and give them too much credence, Ted included, for example it shows Bill Gates and what he thinks about education and what 'must' be done. But does not offer the same space to an actual educator - you know someone with REAL experience.

          Maybe the best way to think about it is - We're all assholes, they just have more money.
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      Feb 2 2014: If Gates won 'the IBM lottery', then that's a very smelly coincidence. Then Gates was accused of being a corporate godfather. It was alleged that he was strong-arming software clients to use his just released Windows.
      • Feb 2 2014: Indeed. At the dawn of the PC revolution, there were many word processors on the market. Word Star and WordPerfect dominated the market.

        Then Microsoft used their position as OS provider to get Word bundled on newly sold PCs. If you wanted a new computer, it came with Word. Bye bye other word processors.

        Then they did the same with Excel. Bye bye Lotus 123.

        They included networking in the OS. Bye bye Novell..

        Internet Explorer, bye bye Netscape.


        Gates used his income and leverage of bing the OS provider to expand into new markets and destroy competition. More proof that not everyone can do it.
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          Feb 2 2014: Indeed it's more proof that not everyone can do it Darrell. And now that we have exposed Gates, please stop using him as an example of a moral one-percenter.
      • Feb 2 2014: "Indeed it's more proof that not everyone can do it Darrell. And now that we have exposed Gates, please stop using him as an example of a moral one-percenter"

        I didn't use Gates as an example because he is immoral. He is a good business man, and that means using what you have to get more. As far as billionaires goes, he's one of the most moral.

        The point is that there is a high degree of randomness. We can influence the odds to increase out chances, but everyone else can influence the odds in their favor, reducing our odds. There will always be a high degree of randomness.

        Some can win, but not everyone can.
        • Feb 3 2014: I disagree that he is one of the most moral.

          After all let's not forget that he was forced to appear in-front of a senate hearing about illegal business practices.

          That and Morality - don't tend to go hand in hand.

          You have to wonder if they are trying to buy their way into heaven, screaming look at me, "I'm good".

          Or like ex-Prime minster Blair after sexing up the reports that WMD's were in Iraq, later when he quit politics decides to "Get Religion" and becomes a catholic.

          Gotta wonder if either would have done the same, if they were not who they once were.
  • Jan 31 2014: I spent many a day at the local Occupy encampment, trying to get people to talk about economics. What I found is that the vast majority of the "occupiers" were there trying to recruit people to their pet cause. 1000 people with 900 different agendas.

    Pro-union, anti-war, legalize pot, amnesty for illegal immigrants, animal rights, stop global warming, shop local, eat local, on and on and on.

    I was actually really surprised how little hate there was for billionaires.

    Even the anti-1% rhetoric was more about trying to reverse "citizens united", which was a SCotUS ruling, so would take an amendment. Even that hate was more focused at the billionaires being able to outspend them.


    After the first month of no one being able to get their opinion elevated above the noise of 900 different pet issues, we spent a month trying to come up with the "top 3 issues". Then that became the "first 3 issue". What eventually got presented for a vote was "Big Banks" what not sure, but we were again' it. "Citizens United" again, not sure what, but we were again' it.

    And #3?

    Gay rights, animal rights, union rights, end democracy, replace democracy, 9/11 was an inside job, end the wars, legalize pot, immigration, native rights, GMOs out of the food supply, small business, green energy, fcuk the cops, erase all borders, free college education, free healthcare...

    We couldn't even get a vote, because some people wanted their issue moved out of 3 into 1 or 2, while others wanted theirs added...


    Then everyone stopped going.
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      Jan 31 2014: And which other of the pet cause you mentioned, besides fcuking cops and gay rights is not related to economics?
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      Jan 31 2014: Great illustrations Darrell.
      I have always said that the problem with us activist groups is that we can't unite which mystifies me. And its really surprising how little hate there was for the 1%. 'Even that hate was more focused at
      the billionaires being able to outspend them.' That affirms my suggestion that we hate what
      they DO instead.

      'Big Banks' is a main part of 1% so 1% is virtually first in your voting too.
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      Feb 1 2014: Some Occupy groups were probably much less focused than others. While the most pronounced issue in my particular location seemed to be legalization of marijuana, a large proportion of the group when interviewed were people who were camping there because they heard one could camp there for free. There was report also when a decision was made that an encampment had to move (an issue being too much drug paraphanalia and uncontained garbage too close to a day care center), the leaders could not be reached because the Occupy group was having a dance party.

      From local report, then, I have a feeling other Occupies were much more serious than the local one. But I have the same impression you have, Darrell, that there was not a coherent focus in many ensembles.
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      Feb 1 2014: Astute observations, Darrell!

      It takes years of practice to organize a movement, and I think the last big one here was women organizing for the Equal Rights Amendment for Women and that was unsuccessful.

      The Occupy Wall Street movement was too diverse because there where just too many targets for our anger and frustration... who was to blame? Bankers, bank-owned Congressmen, corporations that bankers and Congress suck up to? The universities that crank out MBAs in vast quantities? The lawyers who write huge bills no Congressman reads in full that conceal corporate loopholes by the dozen?

      Also, the Occupy movement had a higher collective I.Q. than many previous movements, which can be big trouble, because of Way Too Much Information running around in over-active brains, causing massive confusion, of which this Conversation is a perfect example, if you read it all.
      • Feb 1 2014: Indeed, high I.Q. people can be difficult to lead. They tend to question what you tell them, think their ideas are better than yours, and in general, like to question the authority of leaders.
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    Jan 31 2014: Taming them would already do ...
  • Jan 31 2014: Hate comes from a nutrition deficiency. If we ate better food we would not need to hate anyone.
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      Jan 31 2014: LOL funny but very plausible!
      • Jan 31 2014: "artists and craftsmen thrive on hunger" What you are talking about is adrenalin rush and stress, both of which are good in moderation. Monks use fasting and purging as a regular part of their routine but in order for that to be effective they have to eat the proper nutrition also. If you are eating the right thing you do not have to eat very much and your body will perform otherwise impossible tasks.
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      Jan 31 2014: Your idea has merit Keith, as one factor, and I will expand a bit....

      If we are mentally and physically healthy (which our diet contributes to), there is no need or desire to hate. In my perception, hate, which is fear based, is not very healthy for anyone, nor has it ever resolved any issues in our world.
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      Jan 31 2014: It is well known depression can come from a chemical imbalance in the brain, and thus diet and exercise can often correct the imbalance.
      And it is know other emotions can be triggered by chemicals, so I would not say a 100% of the time but yea a large amount of hate is due to a chemical imbalance. And thus diet and activity/exercise can have direct effect on level of hate.

      And may I suggest those with hate issues, look-up happiness/mood diets and get active.
      • Jan 31 2014: Thank you my friends, we are the chosen ones to spread "not so common" common sense to the population, especially the children. Keep up the good work. It is not going unnoticed and it is spreading to a generation that has been starved of the truth and will no longer accept "do as I say, not as I do".

        There are only two parts to common sense I want to propagate, returning to a plant based diet and responsibility. It sounds simply but I believe it is at the very heart of most of the problems we have in our world. Once the human race starts sailing in that direction I believe anything else we encounter will be a breeze.
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          Jan 31 2014: @don
          Yes Don. The right diet can enhance good mood---but not with all. Most brilliant artists and craftsmen thrive on hunger. There are also persons who become lazy with good nutrition.

          @keith
          You improved yours and Don's comment suggesting veggies. Too much meat can really make us aggressive and physically and mentally unhealthy.
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      Jan 31 2014: Is this why 'Americans' don't like the French very much? ;o)
      • Feb 1 2014: Wow Lejan that took me back a ways to a folk song I used to sing by the Kingston trio in the sixties.
        "They're rioting in Africa. They're starving in Spain. There's hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain.
        The whole world is festering with unhappy souls. The French hate the Germans. The Germans hate the Poles.
        Italians hate Yugoslavs. South Africans hate the Dutch and I don't like anybody very much!"
        Nice to hear from you again, I miss our marathon logic and philosophy chats, although they exhaust me:)
      • Feb 1 2014: Question? Your name has a space afterward and then a period
        Clerical error or would you explain the meaning pls?
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          Feb 1 2014: The rhetorical question was:

          Is this why 'Americans' don't like the French very much?

          And as for my nickname, TED's registration routine did not allow for 'first names' only and would not accept space as valid input either. At least not when I was changing my profile back from my real name I was using before.
      • Feb 1 2014: I'm not sure about the your question but here are some observations: Americans love French cooking, French chef's, French fries, French toast, the French Quarter (New Orleans), French maids, Statue of Liberty, French kissing, French perfume, Jacques Cousteau... there is a lot to like about the French.
        "I would rather have a German battalion in front of me than a French battalion behind me"
        George Patton Maybe it is stuff like this but George is dead and gone long ago. It is pretty obvious the French are more interested in Love than War, should we fault them for that?
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          Feb 1 2014: That is the beauty of stereotypes, as in detail they become so difficult at times ...
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        Feb 3 2014: Yea Yea that is the reason. {roll-eyes}

        Actually I have some ancestors (Surname Traill) who left Frances around 1300, because after a few 100 years they were fed-up with the French. So the dislike for the French has been around a lot longer the American junk food diet. ;) LOL
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    Jan 31 2014: Poch,
    Sorry, I contributed to your confusion. Let me try to resolve the who is rich in the America riddle.
    First, let me reiterate that America is a big country, I think we are 4th in the world in size. So, in different parts of the country there are different costs of living and the spread nearly 100 %. So a rich person in south Texas is on the dole in San Francisco..
    But the Federal Government uses a national average to make the reports. Using IRS data for adjusted gross income as a basis, the top 1 % of Americans earns $390,000 or more, million dollar earners are only 0.001% of the population. Billionaires, there are about 450 of them, ave their income as what ever they want it to be... :-).
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      Jan 31 2014: If the confusion brought about this useful info, then thanks for the confusion Mike :-)
      Just proves that we have to analyze official or reliable stats before citing them. A very good lesson!
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    Jan 29 2014: Poch, I haven't answered one of your questions in a week ... To be fair we must look at all of the issue not just that they are rich and I am not. The current administration is in a big re-distribution of wealth thing in the USA so we see and hear a lot of how the 1% are the bad guys (of which Obama is one of the 1% and will not give up one red cent to charity or even his Aunt or Uncle who are on welfare).

    Okay here is a fact the top 5% pay well over one half of all the taxes ... if you really want to show them how upset you are with them ... cancel all of your welfare programs that they are funding ... that will show them.

    Congress is also the One % ... They have perks and access to stock information they use all of the time ... such as Nancy Polsi buying a bunch of Visa stock prior to casting her vote that doubled the worth of Visa stock .. she made millions. Check what these idiots say in the campaign to how they vote and act when elected.

    The fight against the wealthy is a old communist / marxist rant that is brought out and aired by the liberal socialists to accrue votes prior to going back to their mansions and the good life.

    Write to these people ... like Obama ... and tell them to divest all of their wealth as a token of their dedication to the cause ... all of the democratic politicians who yell this ... tell them to lead the way in the redistribution of wealth.

    Wanna make a bet on what will happen .... zip ... nada ... don't make that bet.

    Argentina in 1916 was a thriving country with a upper, middle, and lower class ... the election of a socialist who used keynesian economics to redistribute the wealth and provide for the needs of the poor .. grew a very large government, took all the money from the rich and the middle class and the country collapsed.

    The way to power is tell you what is wrong and who is to blame .... we see the blame game all the time. It works. It never solves anything

    .See ya Poch
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      Jan 29 2014: Your every visit is a treasure no matter how long the gaps sir.

      '...cancel all of your welfare programs that they are funding ... that will show them...Check what these idiots say in the campaign to how they vote and act when elected.'
      Great advice to follow.

      My bet on what will happen? I follow your advice again and won't make 'that bet' :-)
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      Jan 29 2014: in essence its all about interest and who's going to benefit from it.
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        Jan 29 2014: I will give you a 100 to 1 that it ain't the people.
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          Jan 30 2014: Hi Robert,

          Just referring to your comment you made to Carolyn, I'd like to add that the problems that we see throughout the world is a combination of things. So you are correct that it is unfair to blame everything on the 1% when we are still praising and voting these elected officials in office after their misdeeds. At the same time what would be the alternative for such people? Most may have been conditioned to believe that this system works. this is the way the world is and to rock the boat too much would create chaos. Maybe I'm being a bit hyperbolic but I have to agree with Carolyn that the high stationed are the one's who create the values of the system and they have convinced people that this is the way the world is..but I also believe that many of us know the flaws and still do nothing about it and people just do bad things for the sake of doing bad things.
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        Jan 30 2014: I'll bet the same with Robert.
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        Jan 30 2014: Orlando, I wonder if the conditioning as you refer to it was done by the 1%ers or through the media and spin doctors. In the early years I would agree that Royals set the tone for everyone ... today we have (again) Bill Clinton being selected for father of the year. In politics we once had "The buck stops here" and today we have it is Bush's fault coming from the guy that was named the liar of the year and still has about 50% approval level.

        Very confusing times .... and worse for those who understand what is happening and where we are headed.

        Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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          Jan 30 2014: HI Robert,

          Great questions. From my perspective the media is a corporation with a product to sell to the people. In a way I see the media as an extension of the political power. I think it is a combination of the media putting news out based off popular opinion (just look how much new coverage there was for Justin Biber. It was even bigger news than the NSA spying on global citizens). I also think it is based off what they want to indoctrinate to public, especially if they get lots of viewers (Fox News).

          I try to be as objective as I possible so I will not place all the blame on the 1%ers. But what I will say is that I know someone from the 1% has control over some media outlets (Rupert Murdoch for example). I do know there is a relationship there because public opinion (or changing and at time controlling) public opinion matters. So it may be a combination of elite and popular opinion but I'd say its mainly elite opinion (just an assumption)

          As for the case with Bush I honestly believe the events of 9/11 boosted his approval rating. It also did not help that democrat Zell Miller decided to go to the republican national convention and support Bush. During that time we were concerned more about security than our own liberties and it made sense. That has been an issue since Thomas Hobbes wrote the Leviathan.

          But I do get what you are saying Robert and you are correct that "we the people" can at often times become the problem. If you ask me, the 2008 elections were a chance for us to change the system and start fresh but Obama is one great speaker who can promise many things.

          I hope this makes sense to you for I am in full agreement with what you said.
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    Jan 29 2014: I refuse to grant energy to something that is so far removed from me.

    Let the techno geeks keep their money.

    Petty jealousy.