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Chaney Carriker

Student , Phi Rho Pi

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Why do we let rich people run the country?

Money doesn't imply intelligence, and lack of money doesn't dismiss critical thought. So why do rich people run our country for the benefit of themselves and not the middle or lower class? I am open to all views on the issue, and hope that we all gain a better understanding.
Clarifying that the discussion is not about socialism.
* also relating to elections, and how they relate to money. The ways we do not see all the possible candidates.

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Closing Statement from Chaney Carriker

I already posted a sectioned summary for the discussion so this will be a short closing statement.
Thanks for contributing to the TED experience here on this discussion and sharing your opinions and ideas. I hope to see your comments in future discussions.
Chaney Carriker

  • Mar 13 2014: I have known many wealthy people who would not lower themselves to be in politics and most poor people are poor because they are not achievers. They have no ambition to leave their comfort zone, no desire to take a risk. This is just who they are and as long they care for themselves they should not be faulted. Can you assure me that if poor people ran the country they would not run it for their benefit.
    If a welfare recipient was running for office and his only credentials was his ability to claim food stamps; would you vote for him?
    There is also the definition of 'poor' that is troublesome. How poor should someone be to run for office?
    Unquestionably the US is being run into the ground with feel good philosophies, much like the one embodied in the posted question.
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      Mar 13 2014: I'm not saying that all rich people are in power, I am saying that the ones who are in power are indeed rich. In my opinion they do most things in order to further their greed and own purposes.
      My uncle is a millionaire, not because he is head of a corporate organization or because he is in politics- he is a cattle rancher in Minnesota. So I understand that not all rich people are in politics or running the country.
      I think that people who are rich in politics don't necessarily understand the way middle class and below middle class live. Middle class supports the lower and the upper classes with their hard work and the amount they pay in taxes. Instead I think rich (millionaire and +) people should pay more taxes because they can afford to and it would help bring money back into circulation.
      I would also like to thank you for the contribution to this discussion.
      • Mar 13 2014: Chaney

        A recent release by the CBO indicates that the top 40% of wage earners pay 106% of taxes http://www.cnbc.com/id/101264757, Now the top 20% pay the lions share of that; how much less should poor people pay. How much more should the rich pay?
        It would seem that your goal is to reward those, who for whatever reason fail to even support themselves with the money earned by those who do. The name for that is socialism.
        Wealthy people do not hoard their money. It is in stocks, bonds, investments, which is called circulation.
        Not all politicians are rich. Many become rich while in office, which is one of the reasons they are there. The President has become very wealthy while in office. He does believe in the redistribution of wealth.
        If you would like to discuss the benefits of socialism, weather in the form of Fascism, Nazism or Marxism, as opposed to the evils of Capitalism, I would be willing to do that.
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          Mar 13 2014: My purpose is not to affiliate with socialism, I don't really consider myself to be in any party or labeled as such. I don't think that capitalism is very good, but I have kind of a simple view on it. To me it just makes sense to raise taxes on the rich, instead of relying on the ones who don't make as much. I'm not really sure on how much. I have formed my opinions based on experiences. I grew up dirt poor, with a mentally unstable mother who literally could not work. So I kind of view it I guess from a child's perspective, I don't think they should suffer for things they can't control.
          My purpose for initiating the discussion was to make sense of something and learn by hearing other peoples opinions. Again I thank you for the contribution.

          I would definitely like to continue this thread of discussion by discussing Capitalism, If you would could you maybe reveal some of the pros to Capitalism?
      • Mar 14 2014: just because you grew up poor, doesnt have to mean that you are stupid. Other kids might make fun of you just because you are poor, but im sure you are smart. you came into this world for a reason. you wrote that you are a good singer, so you might become a good and a famous singer one day. just remember, everyone are equal. also you might probably be smarter than those who are rich. so knowledge matters more than being rich
      • Mar 17 2014: Just to consider:

        Brasil today and last presidents came from the poors

        http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_piff_does_money_make_you_mean
      • Apr 2 2014: Chaney

        Reference to your reproach of my conduct with Brendon, you are, of course right, and I wish to offer my apologizes to those who have read them. As for your criticism of other areas of my posts, you are wrong, in that and are not qualified to make that judgement based on your noted bias, which we have discussed.. Admittedly and rarely, there may be times when a legitimate challenge and not a harangue is missed and I do not elaborate.
        You, for example, challenged me to expound on the pros of capitalism, I had missed that until this morning. One of my favorites past times. I will respond now.
        As defined;
        It is a social system based on the principle of individual rights. Politically, it is the system of laissez-faire (freedom). Legally it is a system of objective laws (rule of law as opposed to rule of man). Economically, when such freedom is applied to the sphere of production its result is the free-market.
        It is the decided fair exchange of goods, material, money, time, effort between two or more individuals.
        The premise here is equality and value of equity, whether in goods produced or effort to produce.
        Capitalism is not imperialism, as it has been acquainted with, nor is it anything other than what the definition states. Is it a perfect system, doubtful. Can it be improved, possibly. Is it an opening to exploit, yes, as is all systems of the human character. Has it been exploited, yes.
        Of capitalism it is said that it is a moral system. I would disagree, as the concept of "moral' is a changing factor. Does capitalism preclude a government oversight, no! Government is more likely to corrupt than capitalism. If a company goes bad, some may suffer. If a nation goes bad everyone suffers.
        The capitalist who wrongly offers a bribe to an elected politician, whether or not solicited, as is often the case; who is the real bad guy, the corp or the politician entrusted by the people?
        Out of space-will continue if you like.
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          Apr 2 2014: Charles,

          I really meant no harm, that is just how I felt when when you implied that I was interested in the communist parties, called me altruistic, mentioned my young age to dismiss my argument, and called me a socialist. For expressing a desire to equalize exposure for political candidates, so that we can make better decisions. You wouldn't buy a used car without checking on the mechanics, and if it was missing the engine you definitely wouldn't buy it.

          Thank you for responding on capitalism. I wish you would have responded sooner, it probably would have helped our side discussion a lot.
          I maintain that the context of this discussion was not meant to be about socialism, or socialism vs capitalism. The discussion was meant to analyze and share opinions on the government officials that we elected. The way money influences them, and sways our decisions.

          I really hope I have been direct enough. Your welcome for defending you, and showing a care for constructive criticism. I enjoyed hearing your opinions, and hope their are no hard feelings.

          Thanks again Charles for participating!

          Chaney Carriker
      • Apr 2 2014: Chaney
        No harm done and thank you for the reproach on manners, although, well crafted it was out of place.
        Perhaps, I was a bit condescending toward you, in retrospect, but that was not my intention. Again, I am sorry that we went askew ( I love that word).
        With this explanation of your position, I understand your point and I am not in disagreement. I do not feel however, that most people want anything but the two party system. Ross Perot, 1992 or 94 tried to run for President, as an Independent and lost miserably. I liked what he said and the reasons why he said them. He, however was a self made billionaire and this was used against him by both parties,
        The Tea Party is a good example. Although I am not a member, I do applaud their effort. These are people, who, like you, were frustrated and angry with the Establishment Politicians, who election after election went back to their office and continued down the same dusty old road. Most of the people brought to political power by the Tea Party were not rich. Some had no competency at all and failed.
        IF--If--If one has the desire to go into office or into business it will happen. The price is not cheap and from experience you have to eat and sleep your desire; allowing nothing or nobody to get in your way. For the most part, 99.5% of the people, once the cost is seen, do not wish to pay. It is not just money, it is drive and with that drive money comes. That is why few are rich and few are in politics.
        Like sports; (not a fan) people do not pay to see B-C-D teams because they have not earned a top ranking. To be seen or heard, people want to know that you have fought, earned a chair at the table.
        Perhaps, a different look at the survival of the fittest.

        If you see me over using satire--let me know. Age is not synonymous with patience or wisdom.

        Chuck Hunsinger
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          Apr 2 2014: Thank you very much for understanding, and I hope to see your posts in future discussions. Its nice to go back and forth, it certainly helps me with my own hobby of debating competitively. I also like the word askew, its sad to see some words and phrases to go out of circulation.

          I take to heart your point on how well established these parties are. Though the idea of it all is frustrating to me. I cannot deny the reality of it though no matter how nonsensical it seems to me. It's hard to change a person who is set in their ways, let alone a whole country of people whose society has been focused on the same things for most of its "life".

          I do admit that my age affects some things, but by participating in these discussions I believe that it helps me to establish, generate and verify my own views. I can admit that I am still learning "the ways of the world". I appreciate your contribution to this cause and others.

          Chaney
    • Apr 1 2014: Ayn Rand would be proud of you!

      Unfortunately you are incorrect and 1/3rd of wealthy inherited their wealth and did nothing to achieve that wealth except to be born to a wealthy family.

      Ayn Rand was angry because her wealthy pharmacist father had his business taken away when the peasants overthrew the Zars.

      Many financially poor people have been in politics Lincoln, Obama, Johnson, Truman etc. so yes people will vote for a poor politician.

      The majority of wealthy people have not proven they can run a country and most like the Koch bro's inherited the business from their father.

      Very few wealthy ever personally produced anything that significantly improved the lives of others and they relied on the skills and drive of people that worked for them.

      We could do away with the wealthy and the world would be just fine!
      • Apr 1 2014: Argos

        I would like to think so.

        You are right and I think it should be made into a law. When someone is angry, whether it means anything or not, they should be condemned for something.
        You could do away with the wealthy today and within ten years the same type of person would be wealthy again.
        I never thought much about the Koch family other than when hear their name come up when some socialist wants to complain about how much money they have, like you.
        Did some research. They have an annual revenue of about $100 billion, but the next time you drive a car, which is affordable due to Henry Ford, and you fill your tank with gas you can thank Koch, because he invented the cracking system that turns oil into gasoline.
        There is no point in further communication, as you seem to be a very frustrated and angry person who believes that because you are alive you deserve something more than you have earned. This is called greed, that which you condemn the successful of possessing.
        Best of luck to you
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      • Apr 1 2014: Brandon
        You have responded to 5 or 6 of my postings as Don Quixote in an Abrams tank, but to no avail Don..
        In one post you asked where I got my info from, as I was combining Socialism, Nazism and Fascism all into one basket. Well, it was, initially, in a bar/pub in London in 1962 in a conversation with a couple of old English chaps, who explained that such 'isms' relied on an authoritarian rule, without exception. That regardless of the manusha involved, dotting i's and crossing t's the result was the same. totalitarianism.
        One can argue I guess that a Great Dane is not a Poodle, but can one argue that they are not both dogs, both descendant from a wolf? To another ill conceived point you tried to make, stating that, if communism and Nazism were not different why than did they kill each other? For the same reason that Catholics killed Protestants. My version of god is better than yours.
        Your, "Does that inspire---" question is answered as, a no. The Bush Administration, in all it's moronic attributes, is only exceeded in such endeavors by the talents of the Obama Administration. I did not think that it could get worse, but it did, proving the old adage.
        When two people wish to debate identity is important to establish foundation and to avoid the merry-go-round effect. I will be the first to identify my political and overall philosophy. A Constitutional American, in that The Constitution is the best thing ever accomplished by the mind of Man. I possess an Atheistic perspective on life, death and existence. I am 70+ years of age with a background in poverty and economic success, a Capitalist. Consult profile if more is desired.
        It is your turn, if you wish to proceed.
      • Apr 1 2014: Brandon, Brandon, Brandon
        I know your name is Brendon. I was being insulting and connecting you with Don Quixote. You do know that character? It is said that even a stupid man knows when he has been insulted. Good thing it was not a test.
        I am doubtful if continuing this dialogue has any merit. You failed to state your position, but continue to rant, making absurd and vacuous statements. Your assertions are, at best, half truths.
        For the General a movie was made, entitled, Seven Days in May that was loosely based on the General.
        War is a racket, as a combat veteran, a very vicious, insidious racket. This is a truth.
        To continue and I will ask you again, identify your position and your loyalties, as I did, or have a good day.
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          Apr 2 2014: For the both of you. (Brendan and Charles)
          I understand that there is a clash of views and opinions, but insulting each others intelligence (and other character attributes) doesn't make your arguments any stronger. Instead it reflects badly upon the two of you.
          Charles quit broadly generalizing peoples views and associating them blindly with groups and other affiliations. People may misinterpret (hopefully not purposefully) your message as belittling, in the way that I also had an issue with you previously.
          Brendan, Charles does have a profile. He is a 71 year old Vietnam veteran and a former police officer. Referring to his mental stability is a rather low blow on your part. Brendan you are obviously intelligent I saw your abstract on the study of the evolution on the human brain (very interesting by the way) So I imagine that you recognize the fault on your part.

          Reverting to character attacks (on both your parts) is a logical fallacy (ad hominem) which doesn't strengthen your argument, as said earlier, but it weakens it.
          I have read both your profiles. Both of you desire to contribute to the betterment and learning of our society, and are intelligent and experienced in your own ways. By stooping low you are not representing yourselves in an accurate manner that reflects upon you and your real life intelligence and experience. You are blocking your common cause. You guys are counteracting what I have read and seen in your profiles and previous comments, of what you guys state yourselves to be.
          Please keep the rest of the discussion pinpointed on the topic at hand and not on attacking each others characters and intelligence.
          Thank you guys for participating,
          Chaney Carriker "The Host"
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    Apr 1 2014: the wealthy have numerous political advantage over the poor..shortcuts to information.relationships with heavyweights whose jobs include an affinity in illegal activities in mining,banking ,construction,well just about anything one could imagine.With these connections in which one can afford to pay to have results outsourced and favours given..the wealthy can yield a more effective result then someone who has to connect individually in order to produce an influence.From my personal experience with the tragically rich..the topic of politics is more often discussed from the point of how to influence the outcome..then from how the results affect them personally. ultimately if they see no way to sway the result...they will simply move from the geographical region...those of less wealth cannot.Potlitics to me seems like sports to the wealthy...they feel welcome and have a history of players in the game and feel entitled to make adjustments with policy for their own benefit. This behaviour would not be an average day for a lower income worker who has been instructed by the system by education that he is a cog in a wheel and was informed he is expendable.I believe mythology perpetuates a false myth that heroes made the planet better,(not plumbers)and only recongintion by royalty,or powerful individuals can signify greatness. Hence we associate falsely greatness with wealth.
  • Mar 20 2014: When we become rich , we will automatically know the answer
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    Mar 19 2014: Letting rich people run the country is a bit like applying leeches to someone who is already suffering massive blood loss.
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    Mar 13 2014: There is a lot of discussion about the rich who control people. These people are the ones I call the crony capitalist. They make their money by influencing government. Now, to be fair, I don't believe all "rich" people are crony capitalist. However, they are not the problem, the problem is us. Every time the election rolls around we keep sending the same people back to government so they can keep dealing with crony capitalist.
    There is a history where Washington was to be a King and the new America a monarchy. Well, it sort of came true.
    Today, we have a ruling class, who are coronated every four years, a castle on a hill (capital hill in Washington) and the wheeler dealers hanging around the court; making money puffing up the royalty and the hell with the peasants outside the walls.
    Here is what I am saying, the peasants have the power, Let us dethrone the royalty, and elect those who will obey the constitution and represent the electorate... I know it is a lot to ask.
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      Mar 13 2014: I liked the way you worded that, it really captures whats going on without scooting around definitions and wording, its straight and to the point.
      Thank you for your response.
      • Mar 13 2014: Chaney

        By your picture I am guessing that you are very young and with youth, as in my youth, altruistic ambitions have to be met with the pragmatism that is reality. Mike Colera made some good points. The Constitution however, is representative of a capitalistic founding, coupled with the premise of Individual Freedom. That means that Rights (The Bill of Rights) are not granted by government; they are yours because you are alive and an American. The government is barred by the Constitution from, "infringing on those Rights. All that you enjoy a car, roads, light bulb, radio, TV, planes, medicine, steel for building and many, many more things were brought to you by virtue of that Constitution. For the first time in the history of the human race, "Man" was free to achieve without king or church. There were abuses and still are, but then humans are involved.
        Winston Churchill was asked to define the difference between socialism and capitalism; I will paraphrase, "Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth. Socialism is the equal distribution of poverty." WWI was fought to stop the aggression of a socialist Germany. WWII was fought to stop the aggression of the Socialist/Fascism of Germany, Italy and Japan.
        I bring this up due to your statement regarding capitalism and I realize that all this was way before your time and there is not much connection here. I do not often recommend authors, but I would recommend Ayn Rand.
        Experience is a good teacher, but sometimes we have to question the credentials of the teacher.
        I, and many others have had bad childhoods; you are not alone. There comes a time however. when childish things need to be put away or they will debilitate the rest of your life.
        No child or 'deserving' adult should have to suffer in this nation, but in no way does that require that debilitating disease of socialism.
        If you want to learn, read, listen and question everything.
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          Mar 14 2014: Thank you and I am trying to accomplish that with this discussion. I think it is good to hear all sides to gain a better understanding.
          I believe I have a good understanding of reality, I just also see my view as common sense. In another comment I cited how many official political parties there are (33) and the fact that elections usually center around Rep. and Dem. even thought there are way over four individuals running for office. To me it just just makes sense that we should see all signs instead of those that are chosen because they were able to push out the most money into their campaign.
          Also earlier I brought up my upbringing merely as an example when this came up "It would seem that your goal is to reward those, who for whatever reason fail to even support themselves with the money earned by those who do." Yes, some people somehow fail to support even themselves. But that doesn't mean all of them are undeserving, or that they can help being the way they are.
          Also "childish" to me isn't really what I would use to describe me. My mention came not from self-pity or to gain your pity, I was using my experience to help gain an understanding. I am young, but I am also not typical. I'm in college full time getting my AA and HS diploma when I graduate. Without my past I wouldn't be the strong individual I am today, so no it definitely does not debilitate me, nor do I let it.
          I do not have a good view on socialism, and I can admit I don't have a full understanding of it of which I would be delighted that you would explain further, but I also don't see capitalism as a good thing either.
          As I would in a debate round I would claim utilitarianism- the greatest good for the greatest number of people. To me the public not seeing all the contenders or all the facts simply because money is in the way is not the greatest good for the greatest number of people. We don't see all the possibilities and therefore don't necessarily elect the right official.
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    Mar 30 2014: There is something powerfully psychological that makes the majority of people trust those who make lots of money -
    "those rich guys must be very smart !"

    It is hard for an average majority to see the difference between some street-smart "successful" idiots, and very rare learned, sound-minded ndividuals.

    Therefore, this teaching of the ancient wisom, below, has not been practiced yet, for millennia.

    "Cleverness is not wisdom".
    Euripides
  • Mar 29 2014: Money equals power. The reason the wealthy rule our country is because all the citizens of this country strive to have more and more money. Why? There is no real answer. Maybe because the more money you have the more luxurious life you can live. Maybe it is because of the social status you obtain when you are 'rich'. Or, because one is power hungry. No matter the reason, the reason the 'rich' rule this country is not because they declared it and made it that way. It is because the average income citizen made it that way.
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    Mar 19 2014: I think the majority of us trust that someone who can make a ton of money is trully intelligent and knowledgeable in Every Way...

    In our postmodern time of overwhelming industrialization and mass production one stupid trick can work very successfuly - because that trick can be multiplied "endlessly" and sold to masses. When we choose politicians to rule us they know only these methods - to multiply their stupid, nearsighted ideas or some recycling old concepts.

    To avoid giving the power to small-minded players People shall learn how to be responsible for themselves in their private life, what to select to know, consume or drive, how to create an independent sound business, Not to get sick or poisoned, or how to heal themselves wisely.

    We can have an endless list of billionaires with very cunning and tricky small minds, who are absolutely unable to understand where they are, why and what knowledge and intelligence really mean, they do not even see the real reason why they have become rich (based on others naivety or lack of common sense).
  • Mar 17 2014: Money is passed down through generations, so the ones at the top will remain at the top and will share similar blood lines. It appears that many different types of rich people are running the country, but the people who are covertly running the country and the world, may in fact all be related and are all from the same gene pool stretching back generations. The hierarchy keep it in the family. Everyone, but especially the lower classes will have a very hard time penetrating this hierarchical gene pool.

    However, not all is lost. The lower classes and all else, just need to find an ingenious method of practice that will displace the hierarchies from the top of the rung. When this happens the world will inevitably become a better place for everyone and true democracy will prevail once again.
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    Mar 16 2014: I think that our system of government lends itself to manipulation of laws that enhance the money making abilities of those who think money is an objective in itself. What do we need lobbyists for who catch the ears of politicians who will vote for various laws which are affecting business practices that do not favor the man on the street ? Corporate greed is rampant because money talks and there are various luxuries provided to our lawmakers. I do not indict all lawmakers but there is much corruption in our government. This is one aspect of freedom. It will take honest politicians to try honesty for a change. Now we have laws, or lack of laws that strangle the smaller competition. There is nothing wrong with making an honest profit no matter what the amount. What is really wrong here is that there is no flat tax without loopholes favoring those who have the money to keep this at bay.. What about if I make 30,000.00 and tax rate is 10%. I pay 300.00and the corporation or CEO who makes 1,000,000.00 pays10,000.00 ? Seems like the solution to a big problem. Do we need an IRS that citizens fear and that can be bought ? I think not !!!
  • Mar 15 2014: I really like how you phrased the question: Why do we let...
    We as people, embrace the hierarchy that we impose with each other. Whoever has the fanciest car is better, whoever has more, newer, expensive stuff is the cool person, the alpha, the one to be. How did this happen? By being constantly bombarded with T.V. ads, media, propaganda, etc. But also, our parents and teachers, and friends and coworkers all treat each other according to class or education level, or even plainly, physical appearance.
    Class is natural also, many other living beings have hierarchy and is evident in all modern research on the subject. So why do we do this? Because it is the animal in us. Just like all the feelings and emotions we share, nature creates those feelings to impose its own law, its own science. It is one that humans, I believe, will never truly understand, because there doesn't have to be a purpose. We created purpose, nature had nothing to do with our perception, nature is, because it is. These innate feelings that we label "negative feelings" are there for a reason. The problem is that we don't know how to deal with them, they overwhelm us as they control our lives, and worst of all, they are the one thing no one wants to talk about. Unless it's on TED talks, and TED talks is only "worthwhile" stuff right? Hierarchy
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    Mar 15 2014: Being rich comes with responsibilities, both to the local community and the nation. Rich people pay taxes and they are employers of labour.
    I dont believe that everybody in government's top positions are rich, even though the rich and famous are quite influetial in determining who calls the shots.

    I dont see why it should be the other way round. We are all human beings; being poor is not a virtue. It is quite easy to think that only rich people are selfish. Most poor folks do nothing but protest regularly, criticize the government, and collect welfare. What would be the advantage of the rule of the poor on the society? Redistrubution of wealth? Which they didn't create?

    How many great inventions are from poor African nations?
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      Mar 15 2014: In my opinion money corrupts, which is a pretty common phrase. I think that it makes you greedier than our already greedy disposition we have as a species. Why shouldn't they share their money for the betterment of their society and peers? I can most honestly say I would never want to be rich. I don't think it gives you happiness or makes you a better person, I want only what I need when it comes to money and only what I earn.
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        Mar 15 2014: People dont just get greedy when they've got lots of money. If you are greedy, you are greedy. If you're selfish, you're selfish.
        Money just amplify these human failings.
  • Mar 14 2014: Its very simple. Everyone else believes that in a capitalistic society they too can be rich and respected and then ignore everyone else and their plight. They just want an easy life where they don't need to work and be able to do whatever they want. So, they don't resist the status quo as this might take away their own "right" to be a rich bastard who cares about no one else.
    • Mar 16 2014: Name one country where the rulers do not have a better lifestyle than the common people. It's got nothing to do with capitalism.
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    Mar 12 2014: Chaney, It i because of the Golden Rule: .... He who has the gold rules. Money and position are aphrodisiacs. Yeah I know life ain't fair. If life was fair horses would ride half of the time.

    In modern times Senator Nelson Aldrich formed a group of five who held one fourth of the worlds wealth to meet on Jekyll Island for a "Duck Hunt". The purpose of this secret meeting was to outline the details for what would become the Federal Reserve. There was no intention of helping the people ... this was thought necessary to protect their money after the scare of 1909.

    For many years the Builderberg Group has met to decide who will rule / lead. You should not discount the power of the super rich such as George seros who pulls many strings in Washington. There is much talk about shadow governments who do the actual governing.

    These meetings are secret ... exclusive ... and are very much about controlling leaders and people of nations. As you may know there are 144 organizations that control the world economy.

    They do not lose sleep over if we are happy, hungry, or dead.

    Take a second and think about "the people" ... in the news now is ObamaCare. No Senators read it ... Nancy Polsi said lets pass it and then read it .... it was never transparent as we see today ... it is designed for failure ... when it fails the government will step in and provide sole source medical care ... nationalized health care ... or socialism that was promised in the campaign speeches of Hillay and Obama in 2008 (sole source medical care).

    The sheeple all buy in on step one and then it is to late when the shoe falls on the following steps.

    We are being legislated into the elite and the poor as the middle class is fading fast.

    We not only let them ... we elect them and cheer them on as they spend us into recession and depression while taking away our basic rights and the ability to resist.

    Out of space sorry. Wish you well. Bob.
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      Mar 13 2014: I completely agree with that statement. Do you think we can ever change this or are we already "in too deep"?
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        Mar 13 2014: Nikita Khrushchev, General Secretary of the Communist Party in the 1950's, once said "We will conquer the United States without ever firing a shot."

        As others have already pointed out ... our education system has been going this direction for about twenty years ... unions and liberal socialists have influenced decision making toward this occuring ... the war on religion .... moral downfall ... and general apathy ... are all contributors.

        To overcome what we are now experiencing would take about 20 years of Austrian economics to overcome what Keynesian economics has wrecked in 6 years.

        We would have to establish a Constitutional Government. By doing so we could eliminate many high paying and inefficient jobs that taxpayers are supporting and using that money to re-build the USA. To do this we must remove the elites from Congress and the executive branches. Under a Constitutional Government only four areas would need attention thus eliminating the need for liong term sessions. Next would be to re-evaluate the Fed and possiable eliminate it returning monitary control to the elected officials. Make our representative subject to the same laws that the public must abide. Do away with short cuts like the Executive Orders. Return the power to the states.

        Yeah we are in way deep ... it is really up to the people. We went through a very rough recovery period with Ike. But we did it. This would be even tougher.

        We have lost most of our overseas friends and have no diplomatic status to speak of. We would have to start from scratch.

        We sit on the edge of a recession and depression and the sheep still cheer. Until the sheep can think for themselves the ship will continue to sink.

        These are things the rest of the world knows ... why do the US citizens not see it?

        Question everything .. the US debit clock is a great source. Look at unemployment official and real .. look at debits ... spending ... etc ...

        Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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        Apr 1 2014: Chaney, As I looked over the replies I noticed some of the hard core socialists making a desperarte argument for socialism .... this interested me especially when you said "this is not about socialism". LOL.

        I am a Independent and if a good argument could be made for anything I will listen and then analyze and decide for my self ... as I listen to the hard core left and right I wonder how anything ever gets accomplished.

        So my question is are you going to provide a summary in 9 days to tell us what you heard, learned, and decided about your question. If possible tell us what you learned about TED members and their comments. I have read your comments and feel as though you have reached a decision .... I would like to confirm that guess.

        I wish you well. Bob.
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          Apr 1 2014: I will write a summary for you Bob, I will try to touch on all the things you have asked for me to. I hope my answer will be sufficient enough for you and that you will be appeased by the answer. I would also like to thank you for being a gracious guest and commentator on this discussion forum debate. I appreciated the respect and open-mindedness you showed, and hoped I did as well as that as you.
          Thanks
          Chaney
          I will post my response as its own initial comment. Please let me know if your guess was right.
          :)
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          Apr 10 2014: I am going to release my summary now. Its in sections since I went a little long in answering each aspect of your questions.
  • Mar 12 2014: Currently there is no means for a poor person to get elected. Advertising is expensive. Perhaps if we created a website for individuals to express their views and present themselves as candidates for public office there might be a way. The site would need to allow access to everyone without allowing any one person to use money to overwhelm the system.
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      Mar 12 2014: Such a site is a good idea. How though could we keep the site monetarily objective?
      • Mar 13 2014: Perhaps an internet security expert could help?
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          Mar 13 2014: I think the only real issue with this solution is getting payed off to post extra information on candidates.
  • Gail G3

    • +1
    Apr 9 2014: There is clear and undeniable answer to that question. To recognize it, you have to have a better grasp on history--Not the history you were taught in mandatory public education--that's all a lie.

    If our schooling existed for the purpose of educating us, we would have thrown out capitalism long ago. Schooling exists to promote capitalism by keeping us ignorant. Documentary evidence exists for all I've said here. We've been brain-polluted. Public schooling, as it exists today, causes brain damage. The brain damage is curable, but too many in the USA are afraid of the cure because the God of Abraham is against it..
  • Apr 1 2014: I don't think it's a matter of "let" it's a matter "ignorance" ; we vote for whom ever the can afford to put up a commercial.
  • Apr 1 2014: Caterpillar skirted $2.4 billion in taxes, Senate report says

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/caterpillar-skirted-24-billion-in-taxes-senate-report-says/2014/03/31/36d2bc3a-b8ee-11e3-899e-bb708e3539dd_story.html?tid=hpModule_79c38dfc-8691-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394

    This is how many people get wealthy. They avoid taxes using loopholes they paid politicians to create for them.
  • Apr 1 2014: People especially Republicans often point to Bill Gates as an example of how wealth is used for good but they never mention that Gates developed his first computer in a garage and was a middle class college drop out not wealthy.

    The Koch bro's inherited the business from their father and 1/3rd of wealthy inherited their wealth and did nothing to earn it except to be born to a wealthy family.

    Then there are the wall street tycoons that gamble and the real estate moguls like Trump that took advantage of the housing market bust that most people lost from.

    Nothing wrong with being wealthy- it is how you use that wealth that makes the difference.
  • Mar 14 2014: Well, some countries are corrupt, and rich people usually threat other people if they dont vote for them or their kids.
    one example is louis xvi(16),who couldnt make decisions and removed his fathers tax system. But, napoleon who wasnt from a rich family,but he became a conqureor, and a dictator. so being rich doent mean being smart or having leadership.
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    Mar 13 2014: Rich people run every country because they have more power and influence. And in general, rich people are really smart and well-educated.
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    Mar 11 2014: The short answer is "who better".
    Your point of money or lack of is any indication is well taken.
    I don't believe that all rich people who run the government are dismissive of the rest of us. The ones who seem to
    do the most "damage" to many citizens are smart poor people who ask rich people for money to become the 'runners' of the government and give those rich benefactors benefits for their participation. Rich people, for the most part, hold other rich people who manipulate the runners of the government as "slime balls" according to one rich person I know.
    Ask around.
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      Mar 12 2014: I agree with you that not all rich people are bad, from a political standpoint I feel as though the ones who run the country are corrupt and dismissive. They seem to me like they just want to maintain their own riches at the cost of others. Elitist is a word I have heard tossed around.
      • Mar 13 2014: Actually, the term "elitist" tends to be tossed around more by conservative politicians against liberals who say that only the well-educated ought to lead and "ignorant rednecks" (who happen to vote for conservative candidates) should just shut up.
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          Mar 13 2014: Elitist Def.
          a person who believes that a system or society should be ruled or dominated by an elite.

          As in the rich being in political power.
  • Apr 10 2014: I'm British. There's not one single President of the USA or Prime Minister of UK that I could describe as "in it for themselves."
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    Apr 10 2014: What I gathered from TED commentators
    I was really happy with the results I saw in the discussion. I felt everyone was for the most part courteous to the other. I really appreciate everyone’s comments and hope everyone else learned and had a good experience. Though I felt there was some clash between myself and a few that unnecessarily targeted me personally. I also near the end saw some interactions between other commentators that upset me. The purpose that I had drawn for the TED Conversations and the website itself is to spread a pro-learning, pro-understanding, and pro-contribution environment. But some commentators instead of focusing on the topic resorted to attacking each other. I understand that disagreement can be unavoidable, but attacking each other’s character attributes because you disagree does not help further any of our goals in participating in such conversations. The discussion didn’t focus on what I thought it would.
    For my first time hosting a TED Conversation I felt for the most part very welcomed by my peers here on TED.com. I would like to thank all of you here for participating in my growth and in hopefully your own and others. I am still developing my opinions on these matters, and I am happy to say thank you for all of your contributions to this.


    I hope this is a sufficient summary for you, and thanks again for participating!

    Chaney Carriker
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    Apr 10 2014: What I decided
    I still can’t say that I am for or against capitalism and socialism, which the discussion wound up on despite clarification that that was not the goal. If I lean towards one or the other I am not trying to and for me it just makes sense, but that’s sort of the point isn’t it? To share, and expand, our opinions and learn from them. What I meant for the discussion to focus on was the aspects of a money race within our government, and that this isn’t beneficial for our country or other countries. If we are voting for those who rule over us because they can afford to sway others opinions. Or if we are only being shown certain political candidates from limited political parties when there are tons of others that are not represented. How can we make the best educated decision (vote) for ourselves if we aren’t seeing the full possibilities? Some say that we have the choice to go out and search for the other parties. But why should we have to? We live in a consumer society where we are force-fed opinions, ads, and information through the media. We are used to things being laid out before us, so why shouldn’t that be with all the candidates? There isn’t, in my mind, a reason for this. I believe strongly that we have that right. Every vote counts. We have been told this a lot, so we should be able to make the best decision that we can make, know as much as we can. Forgive the analogy but you can’t complete a puzzle when you are missing half the pieces. So we should have some sort of advertising system that gives equal advertising to all the candidates and parties. To me that is not socialism, that’s logic. We can better decide what’s right for us, not just choose the only limited options that have been paid for or influence us. I think what’s right is to be able to make conscious decisions and opinions on arguments (politics, ideas, etc.) based upon things such as conductive reasoning. Not making these decisions based upon what’s popular and the status quo.
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    Apr 10 2014: What I learned:
    Through what I have heard I gained a greater understanding of the views of my TED peers and more about politics. I can admit even though it might be seen as ignorant or I might be criticized for it, that I didn’t quite have a good grasp on the definitions of socialism or capitalism. I just had a connotative definition that wasn’t supportive for either. I found out that some of my views can be considered socialistic, though I wasn’t really intentionally viewing matters from that perspective. I learned I am not the only one who has a feeling of stigma towards these political and idealistic views. To me it seems like people were either for or against each side.
    I feel that what I learned was more in-tune with others connotative definitions. What they felt about each position and their interpretation of socialism or capitalism.
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    Apr 10 2014: The Following posts will be about my experience hosting this debate discussion:
    What I heard:
    Throughout this discussion I have heard many insightful comments from both sides of the spectrum that was established as capitalism vs socialism by the forum commentators. Though I wasn't trying to lead it into that subject topic, I must suppose that I unwittingly did so. Even with that I am happy to hear people’s reasoning. I heard lots about socialism, capitalism, and certain aspects of the human condition.
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    Apr 2 2014: OK Chaney, class is in session.

    You first sentence is good and probably (as in my experience) is true.
    Your second sentence is an assumption and you provide no support. Worse it belies the third sentence. Are you really open to all views?
    Then you insert a "ringer".... socialism? Why would that be significant? Wealth does not define political philosophy.
    Finally, you bring in an aside, the cost of elections.
    Your closing was.... I'm sorry.... somewhat inane... how do we know what we don't know.

    So, if you are trying to say that you think "some" rich people are too politically powerful, that is a discussion. Give us some examples of your concerns and we can discuss them. I happen to agree, I have come to believe that some people are manipulating government policies to advance their agendas and income.

    Class dismissed.

    Alumnus, Delta Tau Delta
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      Apr 2 2014: Thanks for "schooling" me.
      My second sentence comes from my own experiences and observations.
      I am open to all views I like hearing all sides of an argument. I am a debater it's my job to be able to view all sides of an argument and be able to argue any position. This discussion is a debate arguing civilly and trying to persuade each other by sharing our opinions is the means by which this discussion is carried out. I also wanted to try and provide a welcoming discussion forum, since it is my first time hosting a discussion.

      The point of mentioning socialism is to say that it is not what the discussion is about. I have said this over and over because commentators keep bringing it up to me, and or insinuating that I am a socialist. I keep trying to clarify that the discussion is not a socialism or socialism vs capitalism debate. It was supposed to be about our elections and elected officials, and the idea that the way they get there is by money. Self-promotion. They can afford to insert themselves into our media while all the other official political parties get no attention in mainstream media.
      I stated earlier that as of February 24 of this year there are 33 officially recognized parties in the US. The ones that I hear about are Democrats and Republicans, sometimes I hear about Liberals and Independents.
      There should be someway that we receive equal amounts of programming for all the parties instead of being fed limited options over and over again. If you can hear all the options then you can make a better decision based upon the views of the officials, instead of voting on who can afford to advertise themselves the most.

      If you don't like the discussion topic you could just address me and state your opinion, instead of attacking the discussion host with sarcasm. However thank you for agreeing with me on some points, and I hope to see your other responses in future discussions. Sorry if I am coming off a bit cross.

      Chaney Carriker :)
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        Apr 2 2014: And perhaps I was a bit overbearing.
        I agree this subject can be discussed. I believe that there are some "rich" people who are unduly influencing governmental activities and processes.
        However, your approach seem to imply all rich people were at fault. I would suggest that nothing is all or every. When you use such arguments, you come off as irrational.
        I will also concur that there are a number of recognized political parties and perchance some of these have rational valid points for the electorate to consider. But they are not majority parties and they can not afford to get in your face with advertisements as do the big two. They are not discussed on a national scale by ABC and CBS, etc. So, if anyone in interested in these parties, they have to do the "digging".... but about a third of the people say they are democrats, a third are republicans, a few declare as libertarians, or one of the other bigger minor parties and the rest are non affiliated., so there isn't a lot of "enthusiasm" to spend time or money on all the other political parties.
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          Apr 2 2014: I suppose that's my fault with phrasing and all. I'm not meaning to imply that all rich people are at fault, but the politicians who are usually rich are.
          Of course I think that its also the citizens fault too. It's easier to accept an either or policy when it comes to these matters. Jacob Warren mentioned the fact that we as a country are young in comparison to many, and that we still have the ability to evolve and develop more fully.
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    Apr 2 2014: i generally think money implies intelligence, and that lack of money often suggests less critical thought. I tend to think that it's not so much that people lead because they are rich, it's that the same things that make you rich also make you a leader, you work hard, and you take risks.
    • Apr 2 2014: That doesn't say much for me ha ha. I work 50+ hrs a week and stay pretty close to flat broke, ha ha. Not complaining though. I'm living the life I want to live.
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        Apr 2 2014: maybe you don't take enough risks? My parents were pretty successful, Jake, they started with nothing and ended up worth about $25 mil. My dad said they were two things you must do to succeed, work hard, and take risks. Of course, the main thing is to be happy, if you're happy as you are, excellent.
        • Apr 2 2014: If I had stayed at a job I was working at a few years back I would have been making 100k+ by now but it would have cost me my clear (but hazy ha ha) conscience. I would have needed ti put the company's bottom line above the employees that I was responsible for. I would have had to turn a blind eye to things I felt were wrong and kept my mouth shut as opposed ti being confrontational about these things. I don't have an aptitude for office politics. I don't know anything about your folks and mean them absolutely no disrespect, but there seems to be three things you need to "succeed", the two you mentioned and and a third, putting yourself ahead of your employees. Il admit though that I base this solely on my own limited experiences.
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        Apr 2 2014: how is your conscience "hazy"? What things you felt were wrong would you have had to turn a blind eye to? I would think a boss would want to treat his employees well so they would be motivated and want to keep working for her. It seems to me my folks's employees (apartment house managers, as my folks owned apartment buildings) liked them, even now when Bruce who manages my mom's building on Alpha brings her rent checks, he stays and talks for a half-hour or hour.
        • Apr 2 2014: Re: hazy - not work related, just things I have dine or not done, maybe for another conversation.

          Re: treat employees well. Like I said I don't know anything about your folks and I understand that there are countless companies that treat their employees well. But there are as many or more that view their employees as expendable cogs and treat them accordingly.
  • Apr 2 2014: We were taught in school that America is an example of democracy, but I don't think it is now or ever has been. America is an example of plutocracy and it has been since its inception. It was a source of wealth for the british elite when it was a colony and it became a source of wealth for the American elite after the revolution. Who were the voters just after the revolution? White, land owning males(in the context of those times, a relatively very wealthy minority). Who are the voters now (in the sense of having actual power to affect legislative, judicial, and executive change) super PACs, lobbyists for corporations, and the super rich.