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Forum Post: Again, I have been criticized for my hatred of the rich. This time, I'm being criticized for lumping all of them together. These people just don't understand. We are talking about the prosperity and social stability of an entire world!

Posted 11 years ago on Dec. 25, 2011, 1:17 p.m. EST by ModestCapitalist (2342)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Those of you who have read my entries know how I feel about the rich. You know how I feel about the very concept of extreme personal wealth. I see it as nothing but self-centered self-serving black-hearted evil.

I have already made dozens of legitimate points about the obscene concentration of wealth and the horrible downside. I have quoted Albert Einstein, Mariner Eccles, and Allen Greenspan. All of which have gone on record with a claim that extreme income and/or wealth disparity causes economic instability. Albert Einstein and Mariner Eccles both went on record attributing the Great Depression to an obscene concentration of wealth. A dozen or more prominent economists including Robert Reich have gone on record with similar views.

I have posted statistics to prove that we now have the greatest concentration of wealth in America since 1929. I have posted dozens of warnings of another Great Depression. I have tried desperately to convince as many of you as possible to reduce your support for the rich. All of them without exception. My absolute belief is that if this relentless concentration of wealth continues in America and Europe, it will cause a global depression. I have made this absolute belief, my primary motive, crystal clear from day one.

Still, I have been criticized for lumping the rich all together. My critics tell me that I should persecute only those who attained their extreme personal wealth illegally. Of course, some of these people are rich pigs and/or plants typing on their behalf. Of course, they desperately want my mouth shut and my fingers broken. This is to be expected.

My critics swear that I should persecute only those who have attained their extreme personal wealth illegally. This level of ignorance, naivete, and spoiled brat self-preservation is astonishing.

Those of you not fully intoxicated by the concept of extreme personal wealth consider this: Keep in mind those warnings I have posted regarding this relentless concentration:

Lets say that you live in a two story apartment building. You share your apartment on the bottom floor with your family. You have made this apartment your home. You have nowhere else to go. One day, you learn that the resident of the apartment directly above yours has taken up a new hobby. Its perfectly legal. There are no laws whatsoever to prevent anyone from taking up this hobby. The hobby is collecting bricks.

A few weeks go by and you notice cracks in the ceiling. So you pay a visit to that resident of the apartment directly above yours. When he opens the door, you immediately notice that his collection of bricks has taken up most of the space in his apartment. Just then, a delivery man shows up with a very large crate on a dolly. Its more bricks. You explain to this resident that you live in the apartment just below and that you have noticed cracks in the ceiling. You fear a collapse. You plead with him to get rid of the bricks. Or at least reduce the collection by a few tons.

This resident denies any responsibility whatsoever for those cracks in your ceiling. He then reminds you that his hobby of collecting bricks is perfectly legal. He scolds you for blaming the cracks in your ceiling on him. He tells you that you have no right whatsoever to decide how many bricks he is allowed to collect. Frustrated beyond words, you leave.

The next morning plaster begins to fall from the ceiling. Cracks appear in the walls. They begin to buckle. You realize that the entire structure of your apartment is being compromised by the lunatic above you who absolutely refuses to stop collecting bricks. Its no longer safe.

Question: Would it make any fucking difference to you how many of those bricks were stolen and how many were bought legally?



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[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 11 years ago

"The income gap between the rich and the rest of the US population has become so wide, and is growing so fast, that it might eventually threaten the stability of democratic capitalism itself." -Allen Greenspan testifying before congress in spring of '05'.

"Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society." -Albert Einstein 1949

" The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, is responsible for an instability in the accumulation and utilization of capital which leads to increasingly severe depressions." -Albert Einstein 1949

"The United States economy is like a poker game where the chips have become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, and where the other fellows can stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit runs out the game will stop." -Mariner Eccles Chairman of the Federal Reserve under FDR

Robert Reich and a dozen more prominent economists have gone on record with similar views.

You're probably wondering. If these guys were/are right and the wealth was heavily concentrated just prior to the Great Depression, how did we recover?

That's simple but not well known.

There was a partial redistribution of wealth from the mid '30's to the mid '70's.

So why are we in this mess all over again?

Again, very simple. The wealth has become concentrated all over again. We have allowed the rich to become too rich. Now, we are paying for it.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 11 years ago

Let me put it this way. If everyone felt the way I do about greed, and made a statement to that effect with their wallets, the wealth would be significantly less concentrated in one year. In 5 or 10 years, we would have the strongest middle class in American history.

Whats that you say? Massive job loss?

No. I'm not proposing that we stop spending our money alltogether. Just that we stop giving so much to the rich. Support small business more and big business less. The little guy more and the big guy less. Poor and middle class communities more and rich communities less.

I don't believe that one single person out there will take that seriously until they understand the severity of concentration and the horrible downside.

They are even less likely to make that statement with their wallets if they make or accept any excuses for the rich. Like:

"The rich create jobs." "The rich pay more taxes." "The rich 'give back'."


[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 11 years ago

When I say support small business and the little guy, I 'm not just trying to reduce support for international companies. I'm trying to reduce support for most big business and all of the richest one percent. All of them without exception. Even those with lower incomes are partly to blame for this country's horribly concentrated wealth. If it weren't for our thoughtless spending habits and love-affair with the rich going back decades, then big business never would have become the juggernaut that it is today. The wealth of this country never would have become so horribly concentrated to begin with. The middle and lower classes would have been much better off. We wouldn't be having this discussion and we wouldn't be in this mess. For the most part, its our fault as a society. This includes the poor.

That being said, I understand the need for those with lower incomes to find the lowest prices on some products some of the time. For example, food. This is a necessity. In some communities, Wall Mart Super Centers may be the only option. But those circumstances are rare. In fact, I don't know of any. I live in a lower middle class community. There are three grocery retailers in town (Not counting gas stations and drug stores.). Wall Mart, K Mart, and a regionally owned grocery store with only two locations. I prefer the later. My next choice would be K mart, followed by the juggernaut.

Even the poor should be doing their part to reverse this obscene concentration of wealth. If they need a manufactured item, they can almost certainly find a great deal at the local GoodWill, a locally owned thrift store, a yard sale, garage sale, or Craigslist. The later three don't directly support jobs but the transfer of funds would directly increase the income of the local recipient. 100% of the transfer would go directly in his/her pocket. 0% to a CEO, stock holder, celebrity, pro athlete, ect.

There are similar points to be made regarding the purchase of virtually every product and service. There is virtually no excuse for anyone in this country to continue their voluntary support for the rich. At least not anywhere near the same level. We must reduce that support significantly. If it weren't for our thoughtless spending habits and support for the rich, the wealth of this country never would have become so concentrated to begin with. The middle class never would have become so weak.

Small business (Total annual revenue of under $500,000) creates more jobs 'dollar for dollar' and shares more revenue with its workforce. There are no CEOs, stock holders, nationally known celebrities, pro athletes, ect directly affiliated with small business. The owners of small business (Total annual revenue of under $500,000) are not rich. Except maybe in very rare cases where the owner represents the entire workforce. Only then can he/she personally reap anywhere near the full revenue.

It is not possible or even necessary to remove the rich and their big business from the equation all together. But it is possible and absolutely necessary to alter that equation in favor of the middle class and smaller business.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 11 years ago

The ugly truth. America's wealth is STILL being concentrated. When the rich get too rich, the poor get poorer. These latest figures prove it. AGAIN.

According to the Social Security Administration, 50 percent of U.S. workers made less than $26,364 in 2010. In addition, those making less than $200,000, or 98 percent of Americans, saw their earnings fall by $4.5 billion collectively.

The incomes of the top one percent of the wage scale in the U.S. rose in 2010; and their collective wage earnings jumped by $120 billion. In addition, those earning at least $1 million a year in wages, which is roughly 93,000 Americans, reported payroll income jumped 22 percent from 2009.

Overall, the economy has shed 5.2 million jobs since the start of the Great Recession in 2007. It’s the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930’s.

Another word about the first Great Depression. It really was a perfect storm. Caused almost entirely by greed. First, there was unprecedented economic growth. There was a massive building spree. There was a growing sense of optimism and materialism. There was a growing obsession for celebrities. The American people became spoiled, foolish, naive, brainwashed, and love-sick. They were bombarded with ads for one product or service after another. Encouraged to spend all of their money as if it were going out of style. Obscene profits were hoarded at the top. In 1928, the rich were already way ahead. Still, they were given huge tax breaks. All of this represented a MASSIVE transfer of wealth from poor to rich. Executives, entrepreneurs, developers, celebrities, and share holders. By 1929, America's wealthiest 1 percent had accumulated 44 percent of all United States wealth. The upper, middle, and lower classes were left to share the rest. When the lower majority finally ran low on money to spend, profits declined and the stock market crashed.

Of course, the rich threw a fit and started cutting jobs. They would stop at nothing to maintain their disgusting profit margins and ill-gotten obscene levels of wealth as long as possible. The small business owners did what they felt necessary to survive. They cut more jobs. The losses were felt primarily by the little guy. This created a domino effect. The middle class shrunk drastically and the lower class expanded. With less wealth in reserve and active circulation, banks failed by the hundreds. More jobs were cut. Unemployment reached 25% in 1933. The worst year of the Great Depression. Those who were employed had to settle for much lower wages. Millions went cold and hungry. The recovery involved a massive infusion of new currency, a public works program, a World War, and higher taxes on the rich. With so many men in the service, so many women on the production line, and those higher taxes to help pay for it, some US wealth was gradually transferred back down to the majority. This redistribution of wealth continued until the mid seventies. By 1976, the richest 1 percent held less than 20 percent. The lower majority held the rest. And rightfully so. It was the best year ever for the middle and lower classes. This was the recovery. A partial redistribution of wealth.

Then it began to concentrate all over again. Here we are 35 years later. The richest one percent now own over 40 percent of all US wealth. The upper, middle, and lower classes are sharing the rest. This is true even after taxes, welfare, financial aid, and charity. It is the underlying cause. If there is no redistribution, there will be no recovery.

Note: A knowledgable and trustworthy contributor has gone on record with a claim that effective tax rates for the rich were considerably lower than book rates during the years of redistribution that I have made reference to. His point was that the rich were able to avoid those very high marginal rates of 70-90% under the condition that they invested specifically in American jobs. His claim is that effective rates for the rich probably never exceeded 39% and certainly never exceeded 45%. My belief is that if true, those effective rates for the rich were still considerably higher than previous lows of '29'. Also that such policies still would have contributed to a partial redistribution by forcing the rich to either share profits and potential income through mass job creation or share income through very high marginal tax rates. This knowledgable contributor and I agree that there was in effect, a redistribution but disagree on the use of the word.

One thing is clear from recent events. The government won't step in and do what's necessary. Not this time. Book rates for the rich remain at all time lows. Their corporate golden geese are heavily subsidized. The benefits of corporate welfare are paid almost exclusively to the rich. Our Federal, State, and local leaders are sold out. Most of whom, are rich and trying to get even richer at our expense. They won't do anything about the obscene concentration of wealth. It's up to us. Support small business more and big business less. Support the little guy more and the big guy less. It's tricky but not impossible.

For the good of society, stop giving so much of your money to rich people. Stop concentrating the wealth. This may be our last chance to prevent the worst economic depression in world history. No redistribution. No recovery.

Those of you who agree on these major issues are welcome to summarize this post, copy it, use any portion, link to it, save it, show a friend, or spread the word in any fashion. Most major cities have daily call-in talk radio shows. You can reach thousands of people at once. They should know the ugly truth. Be sure to quote the figures which prove that America's wealth is still being concentrated. I don't care who takes the credit. We are up against a tiny but very powerful minority who have more influence on the masses than any other group in history. They have the means to reach millions at once with outrageous political and commercial propaganda. Those of us who speak the ugly truth must work incredibly hard just to be heard.

[-] 1 points by IslandActivist (191) from Keaau, HI 11 years ago

Obviously I did not read everything, but I agree with you on the point of its all of the rich not just the illegal rich that are the problem. What would solve your problem is if social classes were abolished leaving everyone equal with assured decent living (not luxury). Have you considered abolishing the monetary system? Maybe you could benefit from looking into TVP.