Poch Peralta

Freelance Writer / Blogger,

This conversation is closed.

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

  • thumb
    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.
    • thumb
      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.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: Pat, Irony can be lost in the written form! :-)
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: That's true, but isn't the recognition of irony a sign of a sentient being?
    • thumb
      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.
      • thumb
        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.
        • thumb
          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.
        • thumb
          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.
        • thumb
          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
      • thumb
        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.
        • thumb
          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.
        • thumb
          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
      • thumb
        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
        • thumb
          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
      • thumb
        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.
        • thumb
          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.
      • thumb
        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.
      • thumb
        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.
      • thumb
        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.
      • thumb
        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?
      • thumb
        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.
      • thumb
        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.
      • thumb
        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?
      • thumb
        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.
      • thumb
        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.
      • thumb
        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.
        • thumb
          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
    • thumb
      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.
        • thumb
          Feb 5 2014: Yes indeed Joe....let us see what rattles loose:>)
    • Comment deleted

      • thumb
        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
  • thumb
    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.
    • thumb
      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.
      • thumb
        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?
        • thumb
          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.
      • thumb
        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.
      • thumb
        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!!
      • thumb
        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
  • thumb
    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.
  • thumb
    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.
    • thumb
      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?
      • thumb
        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
    • thumb
      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 :)
    • thumb
      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.
        • thumb
          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.
  • thumb
    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.
      • thumb
        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.
    • thumb
      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?'
      • thumb
        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?
        • thumb
          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.
        • thumb
          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.
      • thumb
        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?.
      • thumb
        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?
      • thumb
        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.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      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%.
    • thumb
      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
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          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.
    • thumb
      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.
        • thumb
          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.
  • thumb
    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
    • thumb
      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.
  • thumb
    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."
    • thumb
      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.
    • Comment deleted

      • thumb
        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.
      • thumb
        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.
    • thumb
      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.
  • thumb
    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.
    • thumb
      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.
      • thumb
        Feb 12 2014: The big banks can't make it rain when there's drought or stop it when there's flood.
    • thumb
      Feb 12 2014: .
      Everyone is "distracted" by money
      if it is beyond its optimal point or making INVALID HAPPINESS.

      Invalid happiness makes us unhappy!
  • thumb
    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.
    • thumb
      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.
  • thumb
    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.
    • thumb
      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.
      • thumb
        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.
        • thumb
          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.
      • thumb
        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.
        • thumb
          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.
    • thumb
      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.
        • thumb
          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.
        • thumb
          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.
  • thumb
    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?
    • thumb
      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.
      • thumb
        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.
        • thumb
          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.
  • thumb
    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.
    • thumb
      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.
      • thumb
        Feb 3 2014: Im confused by your question. I never said anyone was erroneously comparing themselves to halocaust victim to meet thier need.
      • thumb
        Feb 3 2014: No worries
  • thumb
    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.
    • thumb
      Feb 2 2014: Hating greed and wasteful rendering of that wealth at the cost of humankind is the right 'hating' Uba.
      • thumb
        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".
  • thumb
    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..
    • thumb
      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.
    • thumb
      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.
    • thumb
      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.
        • thumb
          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.
    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: And which other of the pet cause you mentioned, besides fcuking cops and gay rights is not related to economics?
    • thumb
      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.
    • thumb
      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.
    • Comment deleted

      • 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.
  • thumb

    Lejan .

    • +1
    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.
    • thumb
      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.
    • thumb
      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.
    • thumb
      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.
        • thumb
          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.
    • thumb
      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?
        • thumb
          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?
        • thumb
          Feb 1 2014: That is the beauty of stereotypes, as in detail they become so difficult at times ...
      • thumb
        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
  • thumb
    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... :-).
    • thumb
      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!
  • thumb
    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
    • thumb
      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' :-)
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: in essence its all about interest and who's going to benefit from it.
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: I will give you a 100 to 1 that it ain't the people.
        • thumb
          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.
      • thumb
        Jan 30 2014: I'll bet the same with Robert.
      • thumb
        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.
        • thumb
          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.
  • thumb
    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.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: Hi Carolyn,

      you mentioned "Most of us have a collective memory of the wealthy inspiring civilization...not exploiting it.History anyone?"

      I hope I'm not taking what your saying out of context but I would have to say it equally runs the other way as well. From what I know throughout the vicissitudes of human history, the wealthy have always exploited those below them for their own personal self interest. I'm not saying that this is the case for every single wealthy person but it has occurred most of the time in most places throughout history.
  • Jan 29 2014: I don't think hate is ever a productive or practical choice, and it does seem to be a choice. Hate narrows the mind and limits our ability to think. "I permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him"- Booker T Washington. Ita not suprising though with so many people working so hard only to struggle to get by. I think the consolidation of "wealth" to be unhealthy to any society but it has been a part of civilization since the development of agriculture. It will take a severe change in our paradigm of what success is before there will be any change.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: I agree Jacob and your choice of quote is excellent.
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2014: If we should hate any group it is those who create and stoke the fires of economic and rascal hatred for their own personal gain.

    They do nothing to raise the bottom up, only bring down the top and give talks to divide us instead of uniting us.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: '...it is those who create and stoke the fires of economic and rascal hatred for their own personal gain.'
      Yes Don. The wolves in sheep's clothing. And you remind me of the Arab Spring where it's the governments who do exactly that.
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2014: As with most of life - its want you do with what you have that matters - and that goes for rich and poor alike.
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2014: Poch,
    As already mentioned in this conversation, hate is one of the biggest challenges in our world. What is the benefit in contributing to hate, which is fear based? If you are perceiving "a rising tide of hatred", I suggest you discontinue watching or reading some of the "stuff" you are watching/reading.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: I'm sorry Colleen but I refuse to be apathetic. I will always be a passive activist. Most world problems become worse because most people just don't care. That's selfishness. I don't like hating too and I don't advise it but I will not just sit pat and watch doing nothing and enjoying myself.
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: Poch,
        There are HUGE gray areas of possibilities between hating, being apathetic, not caring, being selfish, doing nothing and enjoying oneself.

        Nothing to be sorry about Poch.....we each have our own personal thoughts, feelings, ideas and beliefs which motivate us to take action.....or not. I have not observed hate as a valuable tool with which we can move forward in any way.
        • thumb
          Jan 29 2014: You understood as I expected ma'am. Thank you.
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

        But good men would no longer be good if they turned to hate.

        Its a conundrum!
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2014: First of all the US has over 300-million people, so there is over a 3-million people in the 1%. If know a hundred people, you likely know a 1%er.
    The US has 442 billionaires, so that is less than 0.02% of the top 1%. And it is only about 1% of the US billionaires that actions could be deserving of such hatred.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_the_number_of_US_dollar_billionaires

    Yin and yang, for every evil billionaire there is a Bono.


    May I suggest the teachings of Buddha, for those who are filled with hatred.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: Bono might be worse than the 1% because he supports Monsanto.
      And yes Don. I agree about your suggestion with Buddhism. Thanks.
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: For a long time I thought Bono was just another celebrity, going on stage and asking others to give for PR reasons. But after a TED talk he did: I did a little research, and must say I judge him wrong.
        Check out his Philanthropic work at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bono , but anyway there is also Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey if you prefer.

        As to Monsanto (GM crops) I have two thoughts.

        1. I think you would like this holistic management TED talk, healthy soil would do much more than what some GM crop do. http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html
        2. It seems there is a good way to do GM crops, for example the GM purple tomato looks like to have been done properly. It looks like all they did was change the color, and by doing so enriched the anti-oxidant levels plus it is impossible to hide the fact it is a GM food.

        So there is a Yin and Yang to even GM crops.
        • thumb
          Jan 29 2014: Thank you for this useful feedback Don. It would give us more to think about.
  • Jan 29 2014: I'm not sure we should hate the ultra rich in any country. However, I do believe that the ultra rich have a responsibility to give back something to the world. Remember these people became rich because of other people. Their success makes them ideal for carrying out humanitarian missions throughout the world or even just creating more jobs for other people to reduce unemployment. Think of how many people, especially when young, are concerned about making the world a better place. Most people cannot do much about this but rich people have an opportunity to actually do something that matters for many others.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: Right and I like the neutrality of your comment Frank. It's so easy for rich people to do good and it's sad when we want to do that but can't because we're not rich enough. And most of those 1% use their money to suppress rather than uplift others. Other People's Money---that's where the wealth of the 1% comes from. And it's a shocking fact that majority of the rich are more selfish than average people.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Feb 17 2014: Hey Bren. Thanks for your little bomb. Although I disagee with hating back, I will surely not roll over, surrender, capitulate, and otherwise continue sucking up to the power elite. I will oppose apathy with all my might buddy.
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Feb 18 2014: 'There is a difference between 'hating back' and 'hitting back,' Capisce?'
          lol sure Bren. I see that now.

          'Certainly you have noticed in my many wordy comments on TED that I firmly believe that "The pen is mightier than the sword," right?'
          Now that I noticed that, I'm so glad since I definitely also firmly believe that.
  • thumb
    Feb 17 2014: I Guess if the current top 1% disappeared then the next1% would become the top 1%.

    There will always be a top 1%
    • thumb
      Feb 17 2014: See? That's what I meant evil will always be present LOL
  • thumb
    Feb 17 2014: Will there be 1%ers if there are no 99%ers?
    • thumb
      Feb 17 2014: lol it's mathematically impossible yes but can evil always exist even without opposition? I think so Rodrigo.
  • thumb
    Feb 12 2014: "We are enriched not by what we possess, but by what we can do without.”
    ― Immanuel Kant
    • thumb
      Feb 12 2014: Great quote Vera.
      It's only now I learned Kant also philosophied about morality too.
  • thumb
    Feb 10 2014: I agree hate is counter productive.

    but I'd be concerned if we are heading towards a world where1% have virtually everything and 99% have virtually nothing.

    just based on exponential growth of wealth, the concentration of wealth, is inevitable with out some intervention.

    the question is what to do in order to maximise and improve the human condition.

    Suggest humans are at their most dynamic and creative when striving for something.
    • thumb
      Feb 10 2014: '...humans are at their most dynamic and creative when striving for something.'
      True Obey. But even if the 99% is in that condition, how can they strive to the fullest if they are malnourished. Keith suggested that the 99% will relax if they are fed properly :-D
  • thumb
    Feb 9 2014: Wealth that is earned usually shows a sign of intelligence.
    The wealthy will know what they are doing with they're money if
    they earned it themselves. For instance:
    Richard Brandson is trying to make space flight possible for the
    not-so-wealthy but for this there need to be wealthy people to first
    get the prices down.
    • thumb
      Feb 9 2014: Great of you to cite Branson Xajoc. I think he's one of the billionaires who's not being accused of corruption.
      • thumb
        Feb 10 2014: I'm not saying Richard Brandson isn't rich of corruption, I'm saying he's trying
        to prevent it. In my opinion corruption causes the person who has done it
        to lose their money because they don't know how to handle it and it then somehow
        ends up at those 1% we spoke about. (it's rather unpleasing that I have to add to
        Richard Brandson again, I just wanted to use him as an example)
    • Feb 10 2014: I don't agree with your first sentence. I would say wealth cant really be earned for one. Systems can be manipulated and wealth can be extracted and hoarded but I'm not sure if its being earned. I think instead of intelligence, it usually shows a sign of greed and a self serving nature.
      • thumb
        Feb 10 2014: But then knowing to deal with money, because even if someone has
        money and doesn't know how to make that money grow it won't do him
        good, right? I think you're right it isn't a sign of intelligence, rather of
        using your chances or something like that.
        • Feb 10 2014: Ill give you that, surely there are smart ways to manage what money you have. I was just saying that it seems to me the drive to accumulate wealth doesn't (again, only my opinion) demonstrate intelligence, rather it demonstrates an unhealthy mind. Although I will also say that there are no universals when it comes to personality traits and characteristics.
        • thumb
          Feb 10 2014: When Jacob said 'I would say wealth cant really be earned for one.', he was talking philosophically. We agreed that true wealth isn't money but things and abilities that could be turned into cash.
        • Feb 10 2014: Poch, I'm afraid you give me more credit than I deserve. I managed to contradict myself. I should have taken a little more time and chose my words better. We do agree I think about what has true value in this world, but what I meant here is that I don't agree with how certain jobs are valued and the dispariry between top and bottom. I think you can earn a living wage (I think pure capitalism is beautiful, all I am born with is my ability to work, to exert energy, and if can trade that for food and shelter then I'm all for it), but I don't value jobs the same way as my society does. There are only 24 hours in a day and I don't think people that are making millions and billions are earning it, do they work harder than people working 3 jobs to make ends meet?. Are they more valuable than our teachers, police and firefighters? Sorry folks you may want to take your thumbs up back on that one, not sure I deserve them.
  • thumb
    Feb 8 2014: HATE of any sort, is brewing from great misunderstanding and our Denial of the right to exist for what we hate.

    The reason that something looks wrong, or even hurts - is not enough to give ourselves an authority to cut off simeone's head.

    To understand WHAT it is that we really hate is a challenge, this means to understand ourselves by re-vising our needs and our judgement in comparison.

    This may lead us to some wisdom - our peaceful personal independent choice of what we are as irriplacable individuals, regardless our labled social position.
    • thumb
      Feb 8 2014: 'To understand WHAT it is that we really hate is a challenge, this means to understand ourselves by re-vising our needs and our judgement in comparison.'
      And that is one big challenge every wise person should take seriously. Great feedback Vera. Thanks.
  • thumb
    Feb 8 2014: Poch,
    I have been following this conversation and my take on the consensus is that all wealthy people are bad and should give up their wealth. I am not quite on board with this, first... all is too... absolute, but more concerning, let's say they do... suddenly there are no more 1 %ers. All that money is dispensed evenly (I hope) to everyone. As I see it, you can do that only once. Maybe a few of them can regenerate their wealth, but not likely.
    Most wealth is in the form of non liquid assets that would have to be disposed. Since the 1%ers are American, that means the other wealthy of the world would be the buyers of these assets and I would imagine that the sudden sale of all that property would not bring the best returns. I don't remember the numbers, but I remember reading that someone had taken all the wealth of the USA and divided it by 300 mil and came up with not such a big number, which is probably why is doesn't come to mind. However, that is not the point. The point is that, if history serves, most people who receive this new found wealth at what ever amount will spend it on goods most of which would be probably expendable and soon would be gone.
    But the isn't the end of the problem as I see it. That means the big wealth will be controlled by Corporations and Banks... whose American owners sold off to international buyers.
    We can see some of this happening now, except it's the US government selling off assets to international buyers and those are promissory notes and look at the trouble we are in.
    But I am an old worry wart and what do I know...
    • thumb
      Feb 8 2014: 'That means the big wealth will be controlled by Corporations and Banks... whose American owners sold off to international buyers.
      We can see some of this happening now...'

      And that is just exactly why we have to do something about the 1% most of whom are in conspiracy with Big Banks.
      • thumb
        Feb 8 2014: But Poch,

        if we do away with the 1%ers as many would like to do, they will not be 1%ers and not in conspiracy with anyone... that was my point.
        And why is it some sort of conspiracy? Most of the big banks are corporate owned.

        I am not sure you really understand who the 1%ers are. They are highly paid employees and small business owners. The 0.001%ers,are entertainers, sports figures, commissioned employees and mid size business owners, The 0.000001%ers are the billionaires.... Just which group are you really trying to "do something" about?
        • thumb
          Feb 8 2014: For the sake of our exchange, let's forget about the 1% and I admit I was wrong about that.
          Now, I'm referring to ANY group that is in conspiracy with the Big Banks.

          'But the truth is that the Federal Reserve was established by the bankers and for the benefit of the bankers. As you will see below, at the very core of the global economy there exists a "super-entity" of financial institutions that control an almost unimaginable amount of wealth and power. These financial institutions and the ultra-wealthy individuals behind them are really the ones that are pulling all the strings. In this world money equals power, and the borrower is the servant of the lender.

          When you follow the pyramid all the way to the top, it begins to become very clear who really is in control...'
          http://www.activistpost.com/2013/07/who-controls-global-economy-do-not.html

          If you're still not convinced with that, I suggest we stop arguing about it.
      • thumb
        Feb 9 2014: Poch,
        Sorry, I read your link, just enough truth to be a conspiracy theory.
        First, big banks are corporations with thousands of stockholders, to include the wealthy, all sorts of pension funds and even the reserves of governmental agencies.... cities and states... at least the American ones. A century ago, there were one man bankers that wheeled and dealed but those days are gone. If there is a bogeyman in the financial world it is governments. Governments control their various money markets to insure they remain stable to insure the continuation of the government. And even they screw it up. Someone mentioned the Federal Reserves in the states. It came to be as a compromise to keep the two political parties out of the money business. It works in name only.
        Like I said Poch, they are not saints, but I am not convinced they are the sinners you seem so concerned about. Nice chatting with you,
        • thumb
          Feb 9 2014: I still respect your belief like I said Mike. Correction though: I'm not concerned about their sins because I don't think they still have souls.Hope to hear from you on other convos buddy.
  • thumb
    Feb 6 2014: Billionaires use super PACs to advance pet causes
    'Steyer, Bloomberg ranked as top two super PAC super donors in 2013
    The first generation of super PACs operated as shadow party committees, embodied in American Crossroads, the pro-Republican behemoth co-founded in 2010 by Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie.

    'Next came candidate-specific super PACs, like those that last year aided President Barack Obama and his GOP rival, Mitt Romney.

    'The latest iteration is the single-issue vanity super PAC — a group backed by a single, wealthy donor focusing on an issue of national importance, such as climate change or gun violence...'
    http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/02/05/14210/billionaires-use-super-pacs-advance-pet-causes
  • Feb 5 2014: Puch

    It would be interesting to hear your point of view, as specifically you have in the Philippines the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, which it has never been operational.

    Given that it was an american corp that got rich building it - on a earthquake fault line and a volcano, yet the people there are the ones that have, and will continue to pay the ultimate price.

    What's your perspective?



    For those that dont know about it.......

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bataan_Nuclear_Power_Plant
    • thumb
      Feb 5 2014: Interesting question Steve.
      First off, for those who don't know, Bataan is famous for World War II's Bataan Death March 1942 where thousands of American and Filipino soldiers died of hunger and diseases under Japanese occupation.

      The creation of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was a ridiculous event. It was built expensively in 1973 but was never used. There were also many allegations of corruption in its construction---corruption was normal during the Marcos admin. The ridiculous reason for mothballing the plant was to avoid a nuclear disaster and to prevent more air pollution which was allegedly atrocious during that time. Why build the plant when you're afraid of nuclear disaster in the first place!? At least the latter reason was sensible.

      Just last month, our lawmakers revived calls to look into the Power Plant to address the rise of power rates---which was also ridiculous since nuclear accidents are on the rise!
      • Feb 8 2014: Well Poch lets not forget too that 50% of the gdp of your country was allocated to paying back the debt, which was why during the Aquino presidency, social programs were cut, street prostitution was rampant, forest's were cut down, farmers were removed from lands to put up factories.

        But then of course she had no option, as otherwise she would have no doubt be assassinated or the military sent in. It's just a crying shame that generations of people had to pay for some corporation, the world bank, and the imf tor them to get rich.

        Which I suppose takes us back to the original question, how do you feel about it?

        But in some ways the answer is given, by you being on here Poch, means you survived. I'm sure that those children that were child prostitutes due to no fault of their own, after being abandoned by their parents, who couldn't afford to feed them, and the lack of social programs to help them, or the lack of educational opportunities probably now are not internet savvy people.

        Poch, Read Confession of an economic hitman by john perkins, might be on youtube, it might give you an alternative outside perspective on what and why was done to the people of the Philippines, and why you are today the country is in the position it's in.
        • thumb
          Feb 8 2014: Your tip about John Perkins is very interesting. Thanks a lot for that. I hope to use it when I bash the Manila government again :-)
  • Feb 5 2014: Boy you are really gonna be pissed when America coins it's first trillionaire.
  • thumb
    Feb 4 2014: to my knowledge, the 1% is anyone who has over $14 million dollars.
    • thumb
      Feb 4 2014: I hope you're right Greg. But since someone is bound to ask how you got that percentage, I'm asking the question now. You see, the exact percentage is a big issue here and led to a heated debate.
      • thumb
        Feb 4 2014: sorry, Poch, I didn't read the whole conversation. I just read the figure on the net somewhere.
        • thumb
          Feb 4 2014: Mr. Fritzie just gave the answer for you Greg. Thank him.
      • thumb
        Feb 4 2014: Yes that's good that she actually got a source on it. She has a good way of tying things down. By the way, Poch, Fritzie is a woman, I know, I thought she was a man at first, too.
        • thumb
          Feb 4 2014: I knew it at once when you said 'she'. Oh my.
    • thumb
      Feb 4 2014: The Survey of Consumer Finances puts the wealth cut-off for the 1% at $8.6 million, according to the NYTimes. It is an estimate based on that survey.
  • thumb
    Feb 4 2014: Poch,
    Interesting question... thanks for letting me get my comments in. May you get Mr Perkins some relief from his fears from the many responses you've received.
    • thumb
      Feb 4 2014: Your comments Mike are always welcome and I thank you a lot for them.

      'May you get Mr Perkins some relief from his fears from the many responses you've received.'
      LOL
  • thumb
    Feb 4 2014: For those who are wondering if I'm singling out any country, here is my explanation:

    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?
    • thumb
      Feb 4 2014: Poch,
      Whatever country your convo reference is citing, is the country you single out or are focusing on.

      It is clear that you focus on "America" in this conversation. Another question is....what part of America are you focusing on? I presume it is the USA because you referenced San Francisco. However, your question could include all of America. Would you like to focus on ALL of America? Or do you prefer to hate only a group of USA Americans?
  • Feb 3 2014: Maybe off topic but who are the bigger leeches on our society, the lazy who don't aspire to be self reliant or the trust fund kids that contribute no more than them and have no need of such aspirations?
    • thumb
      Feb 3 2014: Yes. I see what you're pointing at Jacob. Anyway, the lazy leeches have no right to criticize or hate ANYTHING but themselves.
  • Feb 3 2014: No, especially those who have earned their money and not inherited it.
    • thumb
      Feb 3 2014: Right Wayne. There are others who share your view.
  • thumb
    Feb 2 2014: 'So what evidence is out there to justify Mr. Perkins’ worry? Everyone from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to President Barack Obama to Pope Francis is talking about the evils of inequality these days. Coming on the heels of the Occupy movement from 2011, this rhetoric, say Mr. Perkins and others, contains the seeds of hatred toward those who have ascended to the top of the increasingly tall economic ladder. Politico writer Ben White reports on how some New Yorkers atop the heap see ominous signs of discriminatory treatment from their new egalitarian mayor:

    More recently, the New York Post dedicated considerable ink to complaints from residents of the Upper East Side that newly elected progressive mayor Bill de Blasio directed plows to avoid the neighborhood as some kind of revenge for their wealth and support of de Blasio’s opponent...'
    http://bigthink.com/praxis/why-are-the-rich-fearing-for-their-lives
  • Feb 2 2014: I said :
    ..."In short, it is the job of congress to ensure there are not billionaires in the first place"


    Colleen Steen asked:
    "Can you help me understand how that might be accomplished and enforced?. "

    It is actually quite simple, and we have done it twice before.

    Once, from 1917-1921. The result was launching the Roarin' 20s. We then slowly dialed back, and got the bubble that ended up collapsing into the Great Depression.

    We went back to the policy from 1936-1980, and created the vast American Middle class.

    Beginning in 1981, we again rolled back the policy, putting us on the path of unsustainable debt growth, large economic bubbles, widening wealth disparity and middle class destruction.


    Many lie, or misunderstand, and say the policy is akin to Robin Hood. Taking from the rich to give to the poor, punishing success and rewarding failure.

    The truth is that the policy is simply encouraging those with a high income to convert the form of their reward from money (other peoples' debt) into products, services, and more long-tern sustainable forms, creating work and income opportunities to allow the poor to lift themselves up through the production of their own labor.


    Let's say you invent a product that every American wants, and you end up profiting $3 per person, or $1 billion. Should you be able to hoard the $1 billion? If you do, you lock every American into $3 of debt from which they can not ever possible escape. OR, should a carrot and stick to get you to spend that $1 billion back into the economy, creation demand for goods and services, employment opportunities, and the possibility the debt that offsets the $1 billion may possible be able to be paid back?
    • thumb
      Feb 4 2014: Darrell,
      Yes.....you made the statement...
      "In short, it is the job of congress to ensure there are not billionaires in the first place".

      And I replied...
      "Can you help me understand how that might be accomplished and enforced?. "

      You say "It is actually quite simple"..." launching the Roarin' 20s"...."...got the bubble that ended...into the Great Depression"...."went back to the policy from 1936-1980"...."rolled back the policy..."

      Your response is very vague, and it is unclear what "policy" you refer to. One "policy" that was an initiative in the "Roarin' 20s" was to roll back income taxes on the wealthy in the hope of improving the economy".

      Is that the policy you refer to? Is that what you are suggesting? Apparently it did not work, because we have more wealthy people today per capita than we had back then.

      Perhaps this will help clarify for you?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roaring_Twenties
  • thumb
    Feb 1 2014: Are Authoritarianists the 1% in Europe?
    'Secretary of State John Kerry has criticized what he calls a "disturbing trend" among governments in eastern and central Europe to "trample the ambitions" of their people.

    'Speaking at an international security conference in Munich, Germany, Kerry said:

    "The aspirations of citizens are once again being trampled beneath corrupt, oligarchic interests — interests that use money to stifle political opposition and dissent, to buy politicians and media outlets, and to weaken judicial independence and the rights of non-governmental organizations."...'
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/01/269919349/kerry-disturbing-trend-of-authoritarianism-in-eastern-europe

    Is the 1% Psychocrats too?
    In Psychocratcy, the technocrats, bureaurocrats, executives, and the middle-managers are still the players.
    Apathy is a dose of futility that dispels anxiety.
  • thumb
    Feb 1 2014: Poch,
    As I read continually these comments, I am better understanding the question. Mr Perkins has a fear of a mob whipped into a frenzy by sociopaths. Well, it has happened before and unfortunately, it could happen again.
    I am not saying it will happen to billionaires, but....
    Two things at play, People like to blame others for their own failings. People with (political?) agendas incite people with slanderous phraseology, skewed information and outright lies. Sadly, people fall for this propaganda.
    Mr. Feliciano has addressed the bottom line, economics is not a science, it is an art form. And as an art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    • thumb
      Feb 1 2014: I reviewed the question after your comment here Mike. Perkins and other billionaires could indeed be attacked by a frenzied mob. That happened before again and again. After most coup de etats succeed, the rich
      who supported the thrown out government, became targets of mobs. And most of them are satisfied
      with stealing a few things from them.

      The blame game. Yes. The haters should ask 'Am I responsible for something here?'
      If economics is an art form, form is in the eye of the beholder.
    • Feb 2 2014: The ignorance is amazing.

      Economics is a science that says what happens and why. Now, not everyone agrees what is cause and effect vs. simply correlation. But, that is science. In virtually every field of science you will find disagreement.

      Desired outcome is the subjective part of economics. We know what things will cause widening wealth disparity and what will cause narrowing wealth disparity.

      Some people prefer the economy sort winners and losers, preferring policies that increase disparity.

      Others think the economy should be more about efficient production of goods and services and equitable distribution based on relative input. This happens when there is a narrow disparity of wealth, so they prefer policies that narrow rather than widen disparity.


      The desirability or aversion to inequality is the point where economics becomes a shouting match.
  • Jan 31 2014: I have been to the Philippines.

    Too many people, too little land, too few resources.

    Combine that with the corruption, vast inequity, foreign influence..

    I do not think most Americans can relate. My numbers are out of date as it was 25 years ago when I was there, but then it was $300 a year annual income. 25 cents a day spent on food. A cup of rice per meal, and maybe a piece of fruit for vitamin C.

    30,000 young women clamoring to get into the bars, not for the $2 they may get from US sailors buying them drinks, but rather for desperate hope an American would fall in love, marry them, and take them away. A flush toilet meant a hand pump to draw a bucket of water to pour down the toilet, flushing the waste into the open trench in the alley behind the buildings.

    I traveled from Subic to Manila. I met a family of 10 living in a windowless, cement house (and that was an upgrade from the plywood and tin many lived it. They worked a rice paddy the size of a football field for $1000 a year worth of rice, but then the land owner would charge them $800 a year rent. Electricity? Nope.

    In Manila, million dollar mansions and $400 a night hotels across the street from the $5 a night motel, $15 if you wanted companionship. BMWs driving the streets that are lined with girls offering sex for $5, or less for a quickie.

    Bribery everywhere. You had to bribe the trash man to pick up the trash, because he had to bribe the city official to get the job, because that city official had to bribe the national official to get his election, because that government official had to bribe the citizens' groups....

    I had to bribe the people working airport security to clear my bag and to let me through to the gates.

    America's bottom 10% are like the top 10% in many places in this world.
    • thumb
      Feb 1 2014: I confirm your feedback Darrell.
      'America's bottom 10% are like the top 10% in many places in this world.'
      For the sake of the decent moral Americans, I wish that is true.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: That is why I changed the phrase 'should keep in mind' into the word 'check'---so you'll see there was no disagreement. I only wanted to shift the timeframe focus.

      I don't promote anarchism much less hating so I'm glad to hear what you said.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: LOL possibly what happened.
      'Gotta love and listen to our dear, dear, Lilly, the persistent Angel of Our Better Natures, right?' You bet I agree!
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Feb 1 2014: Absolutely right Bren.
      It's easy enough to be misunderstood even when both are speaking the same language. Then imagine
      300 dialects being used in interchange! Even intonation could get you in trouble since some dialects
      sound sweet but are not and others sounding angry but also not! lol
  • thumb
    Jan 31 2014: Hi Poch,

    This is referring back to your recent response back to me:

    Yes, I'm essentially saying it is just rhetoric. The way it comes off to me is like this: "Well there are so few people in the U.S. House of Rep and the Senate compared to the U.S. public so there is no way so few people can influence the rest of the country". It doesn't add up for me but maybe I'm just missing the point. I'm open to being wrong about my analysis.

    Now I'm not saying every politician and CEO is concerned about personal interest. And I'm not saying every politician or CEO is responsible for every single crime in the U.S. but when it does come to matters of politics and economics there is no denying their influence. When it comes to matters of gun laws there is no denying the influence. When it comes to matters of abortion and gay marriage there is no denying the influence.. I think your getting what I'm trying to say. Numbers are important depending on what we're talking about but I think your entire thread is based on the notion of the influence that very few people have on the rest of the world (if not the U.S. or your own country)
    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: Sure Orland. I definitely get what you're trying to say.
      The influence of the few is not so much a problem here in my own Philippines. The bigger issue here is that
      we're almost sure most of the 1% here are not Filipino citizens---so it appears that we are being controlled
      by the underworld.
  • Jan 31 2014: The issue is a lack of trust.

    Tell the folks in Bhopal that the wealthy have their best interest in mind, and you will be carried out with the effigy of Warren Anderson for some remedial history, old school style.

    With a persistent background of corporate murder, insider trading and market collapse directly related to money accumulation, is it any wonder why the mistrust?
    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: If the issue is lack of trust, then it's non-issue since we can't really trust them.
      Did I get that right Joe? Thanks for joining.
      • Feb 3 2014: Thank you for the welcome and please accept my apologies for the late reply. The weekend called me away from the keyboard.

        I have advocated that money is not sentient, therefore we have control over it. Yet our daily lives are filled with money being used against society for the gains of a few. There lies the trust issue and lack of trust breeds hatred.

        If we accept that money and the economy is not a deity, then as a society we must look to who controls the system. That naturally points to the wealthy. The mistrust is real and unless the system becomes more transparent or shifts to a social one the hatred will also become real.
        • thumb
          Feb 3 2014: You don't have to apologize for late replies Joe. That's just normal in forums.

          Have you read this comment from Darrell? (concentrate on the last sentence):
          '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... I was actually really surprised how little hate there was for billionaires...'

          If there's still little hate for billionaires, your notion that mistrust will eventually become hate is astute.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: Ahh...so it's Lilly I misunderstood not you. Sorry.
      Strongly female-affirmative Ancient Egypt lasting for more than 3000 years? That's obviously a lesson!
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: 'Empires rise and fall because of the left brain folly of us idiots of the male persuasion!"'
      So you are now agreeing with LillyLilly?
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: Yes Bren. You are right about why the 45 was created. But it was created specifically for Muslim Moros who believe in using talismans, performing a rite, then running amok with bolos.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: So you are saying that Ford deserved the suppression of his inventions? I just won't believe that that is not happening because those who write about that are bona fide hardcore activists.

      I don't understand why I should keep in mind that the US media equated capitalism with fascism when that is already past. Why not keep in check newscasters equating capitalism with fascism at present instead? That's already being done by activist writers on the Net.
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Jan 31 2014: All's well since we agree on fascism in the US. The rise of the police state.
          If dictatorship is worse than fascism, then I use that word instead.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: 'Capitalist Henry Ford gave $70. million to a young Fascist punk named Adolph Hitler who used that money to create the Nazi Party...'
      Is that the reason why the US gov persecuted Ford by suppressing all his revolutionary inventions that could have ended the oil industry mafia?

      'The Soviet Socialist army destroyed 80% of German Fascist army divisions. US/British Capitalist armies (with many Allies) only managed to destroy one-forth as many German army divisions.'
      The lesson I see in that is that the Soviet army was socialist, not capitalist.

      Read this first and guess if it came from fiction or not:
      'When the revolution comes to this country, it will begin here in Southern California, the farthest point in the evolution of man. Every culture is mutating in our direction...'
      How do you interpret that?
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: I just love your satirical sarcastic style Brendan lol. But I hope for reconciliation between you two gentlemen.

      Evidence on war for business abound online (try ActivistPost) but that one is a big bomb since it's a first-person account.
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Jan 31 2014: 'MacArthur's famous "I Shall Return" speech given to you Filipinos before he bugged out on a PT boat was motivated by personal financial concerns as much as anything...'

          Now I wonder if our President ML Quezon knew that. And if that's the reason why he said
          'I would rather have a country run like hell by Filipinos than a country run like heaven by the Americans...'
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jan 31 2014: Hi Brendan,

      Yes , I am aware of Zinn's book. By far one of my favorite books of all-time because he really reveals the other influential events and individuals that helped shape the United States and make it to what it is today. It is good to hear American history from the perspective of the people as opposed to the leaders.

      I could only imagine how the "Reconstruction" period must of been for minorities. Politicians were even aligned with the KKK at that time. Very scary times.

      Your last paragraph is really spot on Brendan. There are a couple of people on this thread who has mentioned that the 1% is actually less than 1%. Its 0.000001%. Although the number may actually be accurate it is actually beside the point because they make it seem impossible that such a small number individuals could have any sort of influence on politics and economics around that world. So no, I don't let the numbers dictate anything because statistics always change and numbers don't always reflect the way things really are. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has pointed this out.
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Feb 4 2014: Hi Brendan,

          I will certainly check out the links and hope to respond back to you shortly so hang on tight. I have not forgotten about our conversation. Thanks for the links
  • Jan 30 2014: But if we didn't use all our energy in hating those more fortunate than ourselves, we might have to shoulder responsibility for bettering our own condition regardless of what those more fortunate than ourselves might or might not do on our behalf. Could our current political and social structures withstand such a subversive event?
    • Comment deleted

      • Jan 30 2014: The so-called "Bohemian Grove photos" are hoax movie stills. Conspiracism is never healthy. There might be no such thing as Photoshop in 1909, but there were talented artists who painted stills and negatives by hand and setting up very clever special effects shots. Indeed, there were people who made a living at doctoring photos or producing special-effects photos. Darkness does not exist. "Darkness" is merely a label for "absence of light" just as "vacuum" is merely a label for "absence of matter". Hate is a prelude to mass murder. Hate is for those who embrace mass murder. Conspiracy theory is a way to engender hate.

        And I am extremely happy to say that nobody among my relatives has any connection at all to the location you cite.
      • thumb
        Jan 30 2014: And I was just thinking of asking you if Bryan is your relative lol
    • Comment deleted

      • Jan 30 2014: There is no such thing as a "crown of evolution". No scientist would ever believe such a thing. Likewise, as a biologist, I do not care at all what silly bias or mistake Linneus might make. I am no more bound to the works of Linneus than I would be bound to one of my own experiments that I later determined to have been mis-designed. Say "oops", replace outdated data with new, move on.
  • thumb
    Jan 30 2014: .
    Yes.
    It destroys human symbiosis.
  • thumb
    Jan 30 2014: Poch,
    Just a point of clarity, Ultra rich has been defined as those whose annual adjusted gross income was $1 million or more. American's ultra rich are only 0.001% of the population. So,for the sake of clarity, you can edit your headline.
    • thumb
      Jan 30 2014: Oh thanks for the alert Mike. And I thought the 1% are the most high. Wow.
      • thumb
        Jan 30 2014: Better, but, only 0.000001% of Americans are billionaires. Should we really focus on less then 500 American's as the root of all evil... it hardly seems fair.
        • thumb
          Jan 30 2014: Again! You better suggest the precise word since you know more about it please.
      • thumb
        Jan 30 2014: How about... "Should we hate the ultra rich billionaire Americans? The 0.000001 %

        OK, I am not all that upset about people's hatred. It's an emotion. But, it should be a rational hatred, like my hatred for beets Hatred you have questioned is irrational. People say they hate the ultra rich, because the ultra rich are perceived as having money they don't. So, to justify these emotions, they make up irrational reasons. These billionaires stole the money, or, or got it at the expense of others. I looked and found no evidence to justify these irrational emotions Most have gotten their wealth by providing goods and services that people wanted, A few inherited the money from ancestors who provided goods and services.... My take is that people can hold any emotions they want for any reason,
        When they take actions based on their emotion to harm others.... I draw the line.
        • thumb
          Jan 30 2014: Thanks Mike but your suggestion is still not 1%. It's still 0.000001 % so I leave that problem with the one who first coined '1%'.

          'When they take actions based on their emotion to harm others.... I draw the line.'
          And I agree we must. I even edited my convo title to 'Should we hate what the 1% is doing or not doing?' to suggest we must avoid the hating that could harm anyone. The one who hates is the one who suffers anyway.
      • thumb
        Jan 31 2014: Hi Poch,

        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?
        • thumb
          Jan 31 2014: Excellent question Orland. When I asked that question, the percentage was just rhetoric.
          I'm guessing you're favoring the matter of influence which is what I choose.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: Ok I get your point. So your saying that since the high stationed nobles we wealthy and therefore had access to education, they created the values and policies in which their societies would live by? If my analysis is correct about what your saying that I'm inclined to agree with you.

      I'd also like to mention the issue with the catholic church urging sub-Saharan Africans to not use condoms although this would cause a major spread in aids.
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Jan 30 2014: Carolyn, Given a board with all of politicians photos it would be impossible to throw a dart and not hit a stinker. As the USA spread from the East to West giants of industry in steel, oil, railroads, land, etc ... made millions in the days when hundreds were rare ... they were hard men that stepped up to the challenge. Many died in the process. Many made fortunes in running rum .... drugs .... you name it and it has most likely occurred.

          Religion is written in blood ... all royals have a history ... etc ...

          So Carolyn are you suggesting that we hate the ancestors of these people. Should we stone the females who bear the family name and hang the males. Jimmy Carter once said that one of his ancestors was hung as a horse thief ... so do we blame him also.

          This smacks of a witch hunt ... what is fact and what is fiction .. where does it stop. More important what good will it do and what are the bad things that could happen.

          Most do not care. Because we all know of this I will use Bill Clinton as a example. He has many out of marriage sexual experiences some before the white house some in the white house ... we knew, his wife knew, the law knew, he lied his butt off, and congress impeached him ... there is also a list of what is called a Clinton body count ... Whiteriver, scandal ... this is someone who is by all standards NOT a role model ... yet both he and his wife are held in the highest of regard by the party and many people.

          So by naming a name, as you suggest, what difference did it make ... we all knew these things ... he was not divorced ... impeached but not thrown out of office ... makes millions in speeches ... and his wife is thinking about a run for another office and is supported by many.

          The problem is not the 1% it is us. We accept the lack of honor / morals / ethics / etc ...
  • Jan 29 2014: I would like to add that you should reserve some of your anger and frustration at the top 1% for those of us that are too comfortable or apathetic to work towards creating change. Those that are so greedy and/or narcissistic to accumulate wealth at the expense of others will continue to to do just as much oras little as we allow them to do. They can only accumulate wealth as long as the rest of us cogs go along for the ride
    • thumb
      Jan 30 2014: 'Behind every great fortune, there's a great crime.'
      That is almost a creed to law enforcers and crime writers. The rich always have a reason for what they do---whether the reason is sinister or not.

      One thing I like about the rich is that they hate waste. My rich relatives do that. So most of them get the first impression of being stingy or cheapskate. They'll start a quarrel if someone keeps on wasting something they own. Maybe a reason how they became rich.
      .
      • Jan 30 2014: In the course of making/installing custom cabinets and furniture I have catered to a handful of millionaires and a larger number of people that would fall into the "upper class" tax brackets. As often as not they are polite and friendly, though they tend to be a bit condescending. This was something that was hard for me to reconcile with my preconceived prejudices and hang ups. The thing I've come to realize is that very few of us knowingly choose to do evil or to harm others. Not that we don't do evil things or harm others, but that we don't admit it to ourselves, or convince ourselves that we are acting justly. There are few things we cant justify to ourselves and history bears this out. Evil is a broad and hard to define word, and may have no place in this conversation, is greed an evil thing? I don't know. I have come to think of it as a sickness. I assume that the accumulation of wealth is as addictive as smoking crack and maybe ultimately just as hard to quit and just as unhealthy (to the soul at least).
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2014: Hmm? Yesterday’s high in the US Midwest was 3-fahrenheit /-16celsius and in the Philippines it was 86-fahrenheit /30-celsius.
    So please share the wealth Philippines! ;)

    Material goods are only one way to measure wealth, to me spirituality, mental and physical health, environment, family and friends matter much more.
    Sorry for getting off topic, this freezing cold it getting to me. ;)
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about our weather here. Actually, this is the weirdest January I've ever experienced since my long adult life. Instead of the month getting warmer, it's still getting colder! I didn't take a bath for a week because it was so cold and not because I was feeling ill. Weird too I didn't stink.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: I agree with you Don that family, friends, mental and physical health are very important. Everyone should have the means and opportunity to do so but I also see families that have to work nearly 7 days a week and when they do have down time it is spent sleeping because they are recovering from working a very busy week. To me this is not a good thing and one result of the system that we are in.

      Now I'm not blaming the system for every bad thing that goes on but it does play a major role if you have a family to feed or recent college graduate trying to establish themselves. Many parents want my generation to get out of the house but the standard of living is much higher than it was in the 1990s, therefore resulting in a high percentage of college graduates returning home after graduation than previous generations. I see this occurring a lot with friends of mine.

      I guess what I'm asking is how do we seize the opportunity to have mental, spiritual and physical well-being if some people do not have the time? Is it just a matter of will?
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: Firstly I have to say I feel for those in their 20s, economically specking that generation is getting an unfair hardship, to put it nicely.

        I can only give advice based on the hardships I have been though; I hope you will find something useful in the wisdom I have gained from my experience.
        I was Dx 11-years ago with MS, a hardship that affects all aspects of my life, economics, family, friends, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
        Many with the same hardship get stuck in the “Why Me!” phase; I have been blessed and took different path.
        I continued to work full time, but do to chronic fatigue not much else.
        With limits to experiencing the normal expects of life, I looked inward to contemplate the meaning of life type questions.
        And over the years I have learn to embrace the hardship and see them a lessons and that I need to learn from them and once I do the hardship is eased.
        For example I feared how other viewed my walk that made me look drunk, and once I learn not to let how others see me affect me my walk improved.
        So my 6-pack drunk walk is now a single beer walk and just on bad days. And that is just one example.
        So for me it is not so much a matter of will-power, more a matter of viewpoint and seeking the spiritual growth in a hardship/lesson.
        • thumb
          Jan 29 2014: Hmm, that is a very good answer. It is never bad to have a beer or two. Hopefully my response did not come off as if i was denigrating what you were saying. thanks for your response
        • thumb
          Jan 29 2014: I agree Don since that was spoken as if it came from a bona fide guru.
        • thumb
          Jan 29 2014: @orlando
          '...If you noticed that when someone moves up within a company they use their mind more than their body...'
          And that is how one great corporate idea could shoot you up the ladder. The mind was used.

          'Some people, sad to say, just do not have that much time on their hand to put what you and Don mentioned into practice.'
          Yes. I see your point now.
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: I recently read a great article claiming that true wealth is not having a lot of money but the ABILITY to produce money or materials that transform into cash. Money we hold could vanish in a flash but our abilities stay.

        If we have that ability, I don't see how making time to use it is impossible.
        • thumb
          Jan 29 2014: You see it all the time in the workforce. When you apply for a employment the only reason why you get hired is because the company is willing to invest in the skills that you have because by doing so you are now an asset to the company. What you said is partly true but that is depending on the job and skills that you have. If your skills are those that involve physicality then, sad to say, you are most of the time usually at the bottom of the ladder. If you noticed that when someone moves up within a company they use their mind more than their body. Climbing up the ladder does not take a physical tool on you as much as it would a farmer. I'm not saying one is better than the other but simply pointing out how I see things operate.

          My point is, is that if you are usually at the bottom, you are more than likely going to have a job that involves a lot of physical labor and much of your time is dependent on feeding yourself and your family (and this all depends on where you live). Some people, sad to say, just do not have that much time on their hand to put what you and Don mentioned into practice.
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: O’yea that reminds me,
        You have to learn to laugh, at both the hardships and yourself. :)

        Personally BBQ without a beer in my hand is just not right, I think it’s a balance thing, hurry out spring time! :)
        • thumb
          Jan 30 2014: Ahh, now I'm planning on having BBQ Meat and a Beer tomorrow..why not :)
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2014: Poch,
    I noticed your comment describing you as an passive activist... and I am one of those who say "I don't care".
    I see a conflict here. There is a word for the term "passive activist" but I wouldn't insult you..
    But, you deserve to better understand my position. When I say I don't care, I am saying there are things of which I have no control, I can not effect, regardless of my intellectual involvement or to become emotionally involved will only cause me great stress and discomfort. So, I don't care. I know it is self-serving and cowardly. But that's me.
    But... passive activism?
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: Oh... don't worry Mike. I didn't target you and I understand those who don't care anymore. I know they have valid reasons too. Thanks for clearing that up.
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2014: 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?
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: Better yet, "Who are we to say what any percentage is doing or not doing?"
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: When the wealth of the 1% is accumulated at the expense of millions of other peoples well-beings to fulfill their own personal self-interest. When other countries pristine resources are destroyed so corporations could be built (look up Coca-Cola shut down in India around 2003-2004) and especially when innocent lives are the result of collateral damage during times of war so the military industrial complex can continue to make a profit.

        With that being said, who are we not to say anything?
        • thumb
          Jan 29 2014: Bravo!
        • thumb
          Jan 29 2014: Orlando,
          I am at a loss on how you can determine that the 1% accumulated their wealth at the expense of millions of other peoples... As I understand it, money is medium of exchange. It would follow that a person with a lot of money, a 1%er, must have given something to those millions of other people to have gotten all that money? It would also follow that the exchange was agreeable to both parties, or countless laws would have been broken. So, your comment maybe an unsubstantiated opinion. Which you are welcome too.
          But, who are you not to say anything? I don't know.
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: Mike,

        So you mentioned "So, your comment maybe an unsubstantiated opinion"

        Right.....

        For the record I provided you with two examples in my post and based off your response you really did not look up the issue about coca-cola so allow me to elaborate for you since my statements were just mere opinion. What I'm about to say next will makes your statement " It would also follow that the exchange was agreeable to both parties" somewhat flabbergasting (although there is a hint of truth depending on the circumstance)

        In I believe it was 2003 (my gut says '04) Coca Cola decided to build a facility in India (which I'm sure the often corrupted government in India allowed for). What they did was take the territory of two indigenous tribes in India (the Adivasis and Dalits to be exact) . Now before Coca-Cola got there many people of this tribe used the environment for the pristine resources that it provided. The water was suitable for drinking and the land produced great food. The moment Coca-Cola came in and built their facility, they started polluting the water, grass and other aspects of the indigenous tribes biotic community. What happened next was remarkable.

        Because of Gandhi's influence both tribes were connected by one unifying principle "Ahimsa" which calls for nonviolence. With about 2,000 or so protesters both tribes shut down the facility and drove coca-cola out and received their land back.

        So the question remains, who's interest did it serve to have Coca-Cola there in the first place? You mentioned that "It would also follow that the exchange was agreeable to both parties, or countless laws would have been broken."

        Well it is clear that the indigenous people of that region did not consent to having Coca-Cola take their land.

        Here is a link for you just so you know that I'm not just spitting out conjectures:

        http://www.indiaresource.org/campaigns/coke/
        • thumb
          Jan 30 2014: Orlando,
          Your coke story is so outrageous, it is one to save.
          I am aware of the Coke in India story. The land claimed to be so pristine had the badly polluted ground water that Coke pumped to use in their bottling process.
          Not to say that Coke should have halted production as soon as the bad water was discovered, but New Delhi approved the deal and a huge investment was made. However, you may want to spin the story, there was no exchange with the local government. Bribery not included.

          Further, this example has little to do with the wealth of the 1%ers. Coke is majority owned by institutional investors.
          Sorry, this a herring and I am not falling for it.
      • thumb
        Jan 30 2014: Mike, please do save it!
        What I did say is that there had to be some agreement with Coke and the indian government for Coke to establish a facility (since the ingenious tribes did not want them there) but I'm not too sure about the politics so I'm not going to speak there...Secondly, your statement about the resources is inaccurate. If that was the case there would have been no reason for them to drive coke out (and that was just one of many variables that led to the protest). Several articles mentioned that conditions were made worse when Coke arrived. So either there was no way they knew about the conditions of the water before they decided to take the land or they knew about it and still used dirty water to make soda? That is very grotesque. so your essentially saying that the water was bad already but made worse by Coke? Or that Coke was at no fault at all? The same issues occurred with the construction of the "three gorges dam" in China (without the protest). The land was not pristine but the dam was still constructed driving people out of their homes that were already struggling.

        As for "Further, this example has little to do with the wealth of the 1%ers. Coke is majority owned by institutional investors.
        Sorry, this a herring and I am not falling for it."

        I'm just going to stop beating this dead horse since your missing the bigger point about how some of the rich can exploit the poor by taking their resources and making a profit (which is a method that is used by some of those in the 1% and which was original topic of our discourse). All I can say is many environmental scholars (like the two Ph.D professors that introduced me to the issue and the principle of Ahimsa) and advocates have talked about the Coke issue through documentaries and articles so I have no need to conflate the facts. Nonetheless we can agree to disagree and I wouldn't want you chasing my red herring. I hope you enjoy the rest of the time on this thread and thanks for talking.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: Poch,
      You say you "don't advocate hate which is a waste of energy". And you would judge and hate "what the 1% is doing or not doing"?
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: I think what Poch is referring to is indignation
        • thumb
          Jan 30 2014: Perhaps you are right Orlando, and it would be helpful to know if the conversation is about hate, or indignation.
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: Orlando is 99% right again.
        Hating persons wastes a lot of energy. 'Hating' things is figurative and NOT literal.
        Orlando's first visit and he's already reading my mind.
        • thumb
          Jan 29 2014: Well good for Orlando! Thanks for letting us know how you are using the word hate! I am only reading your posts, and we've had a couple conversations about hate/hating, which you have started Poch. It is a little difficult to keep track of your interpretation, and how you are using the words hate/hating at any given time!
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: @colleen
        I promise to make my interpretations easier to understand ma'am :-)
        • thumb
          Jan 30 2014: It is helpful, when facilitating a conversation Poch, to use the accepted definition, so everyone in the conversation can be on the same page with interpretation, understanding, and discussion.

          Hate:
          "intense hostility and aversion usu. derived from fear, anger, or sense of injury; extreme dislike antipathy; loathing"

          You ask..."Should we hate..."

          In my perception and experience, hate (hostility, fear, anger) serves no useful purpose, and it appears to only hurt the one who is hating. Hate, hostility, fear, and anger simply cause more of the same, and do not resolve any underlying issues.

          We can be very aware of a situation or person, how s/he/it impacts our world, and take steps to change the situation when/if that is possible.

          Hate, as you insightfully state, is a "waste of energy". So, why do you keep asking the question...."should we hate"? Why do you present examples, in your introduction, of all the things and people we should be hating, seemingly supporting your idea that we "should" hate?

          You say you "don't advocate hate which is a waste of energy". And you would judge and hate "what the 1% is doing or not doing".

          That statement seems contradictory
      • thumb
        Jan 30 2014: Hi Colleen,

        I understand where you are coming from. I was a bit confused myself at first. Indignation was just a lucky guess on on my part since he stated that he didn't advocate for hate but I can see where everyone else was confused. Hopefully everything is cleared up by now
        • thumb
          Jan 30 2014: I think I understand where you are coming from as well Orlando, and it does not appear that either one of us is coming from a place of fear/hate.....thankfully:>)
  • Jan 29 2014: We must hate all rich people (beep).
    Hate all rich people (beep).
    Hate the rich (beep).

    After all, if we aren't supposed to mechanically and blindly hate all rich people, why is their wealth touted as if it were an evil, in and of itself?

    It's not a matter of wealth or even "inequality". It's a matter of what one does. As my own holy book says, "And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." (Luke 12:47-48, KJV chosen merely for prettiness of language)
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: 'For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required...'
      Proof that requiring from the 1% is right. But who has the right to require?

      I also prefer the KJV to avoid misinterpretation.
      • Jan 29 2014: Given the source of my quote, my answer should be obvious. Of course, those who worship money would be hard to influence by any sort of religious argument. Likewise, liberals, leftists, and other nihilists would automatically reject any religious or moral argument.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: Btw, since you've cited the Bible, I also cite Christ:
      'I came here not to bring peace but a sword.'
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2014: Poch,
    Make it four.
    Mr Perkins may have overstated the situation, the OWS people are not an arm of the government as were the National Party members who executed the terror on the 1% of German Jews in 1938. But, his point is taken.
    Wealth has become a bad thing, it has people riding to work on buses, real estate prices high in a desirable location and this sounds any less outrageous then Krystalnacht?
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: It seems to me you're the first replier to imply that hating the 1% isn't so bad Mike.
      So I'm curious if I'm right :-) You are free not to answer that of course.
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2014: If that is what you understood, I am woefully inadequate in expressing myself.
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2014: The first three repliers don't agree that we should hate the 1%. A bit surprising?
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2014: Visceral hatred for other people on the basis of demographic attributes, nationality, or because the person disagrees about something is shockingly common in public discourse, even among people who consider themselves good and enlightened people. The propensity to hate is a cause of much of the strife in the world.

    May people one day lose their taste for prejudice and hate and quit believing every rotten and often deliberately misleading claim people make about "the other," whoever that other may be.
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2014: Tom Perkins was foolish to openly state the correlation between OWS and the Kristallnacht. Since he's a member of the 1%, the comment seemed self-serving and repulsive. And he had to know the backlash he would receive.

    Nevertheless, the statement is valid if you understand history. The German 99% weren't concerned with the religious beliefs of the Jewish community. It was their wealth amid the great depression that the poor wanted to get hold of. That's how the Reich was able to stir up the masses against the Jews. The parallels between the Kristallnacht and OWS are fairly obvious.

    It's always struck me how liberals are so open-minded and tolerant of all the different social, ethnic, and sexually-oriented groups. They don't hate folks just for being different from them. No, no. But gawd how they hate those rich people because they're different from us. How hypocritical. It's just straight-up class envy and nothing more.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2014: Didn't Perkin's citing of OWS show that he is anti-activism?
      Great explanation of the parallels between the Kristallnacht and OWS Lawren. Thanks.