Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr

Forum Post: I've been told that nothing 'positive' can come from my hatred for the rich.Thats a load of crap. 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

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 24, 2011, 12:25 p.m. EST by ModestCapitalist (2342)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I have been criticized for my relentless persecution of the rich and my particular brand of protest. I've been told that nothing 'positive' can come from it. Thats a load of albino lobster crap. The truth is just the opposite. Nothing positive can come from our toleration of the rich. That toleration got us in this mess to begin with. It prevents us from doing what must be done in order to reverse this obscene concentration of wealth, save the middle class, and prevent another Great Depression.

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 of this country would be significantly less concentrated in one year. After 5 or 10, 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 all together. 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'."




Read the Rules
[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 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. 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.

[-] -1 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

OK....walk with me here. I have faith that you can follow this...

Where do the groceries/dry goods/pretty much everything in that small grocery retailer have in common? BIG COMPANIES. From the Private Label Trade Show 2012 website-"What are store brands"?

Manufacturers of store brand products fall into four general classifications:

• They are large national brand manufacturers that utilize their expertise and excess plant capacity to supply store brands.

• They are small, quality manufacturers that specialize in particular product lines and concentrate on producing store brands almost exclusively. Often these companies are owned by corporations that also produce national brands.

• They are major retailers and wholesalers that own their own manufacturing facilities and provide store brand products for themselves

• And they are also regional brand manufacturers that produce private label products for specific markets


Small companies (especially those with a revenue under $500,000) cannot cheaply produce or mass market many of the things your local grocery store needs to get and stay up and running. And the grocery store would have to pass along the increase in prices to you-the customer-in order to maintain a profit.

This is why more often than not, it is big companies that manufacture the lights and signs in your local store, the aprons the checkers wear, the shelving the goods are placed on. The paint used, the grocery carts, the cooling systems, and every plastic and rubber container on the planet comes from PETROLEUM (big oil)

Even local artisans who create original works of art are not the sole beneficiaries of their own work. They purchase paints, supplies, tools and solvents etc that come from LARGE companies at some point. It's a food chain my friend, and you cannot kill the top predator without affecting those lower on the rungs. You take down the big companies that make "art" tools-you'll make getting those tools MUCH harder and more expensive for the artist. You take down big oil, and you make every "small business" under them struggle to find or produce containers to put their products in. Which increases the cost of their supplies, which they pass on to their customers. Which makes their customers even MORE poor.

[-] 2 points by kayak69 (57) from West Sand Lake, NY 12 years ago

You just made a good point for OWS. Corporations control too much. Just like the financial institutions that were "too big to fail", these large corporations, that you are referring to, have us by the chestnuts. Thanks for making it very clear to those who may not have realized it.

[-] -1 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

Nope. The feeling that your chestnuts are being restricted could be due to any number of things. Tight underwear, too tight jeans. Your own hands in your pants.

Because no one from OWS can PROVE that our "collective" chestnuts actually are being gripped by anyone or anything in particular in the first place, me demonstrating that "large corporations" have a great number of hands that are everywhere doesn't prove that those hands are indeed guilty at all.

Put another way-the fact that the players on the football field get hurt doesn't mean the crowd in the stands is responsible simply because they are so much more numerous and unhurt.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

First paragraph: Only true in part. Not true enough. You're disregarding the ratio of big name brands with larger units of production shelved at Wall Mart Super Center to lesser known brands of equal quality but smaller units of production shelved at the regional chain. Its not exactly the same selection. The local store or regional chain shelves more products from smaller companies and more locally and regionally produced products.

You're also disregarding the revenue at point of retail. With nationally known retailers, especially publicly traded juggernauts like Wall Mart, a larger portion of that revenue leaves the community and ends up not only in the pockets of filthy disgusting rich CEOs, executives, accountants, attorneys, and heirs, but also share holders. 40% of all Wall Street dividends are paid to the richest one percent of Americans. That richest one percent already own 43% of all financial wealth in America. Those Wall Mart heirs alone are worth more than the bottom 25% of the entire US population.


I realize that small business is often at a disadvantage with regard to manufacturing and distribution costs. I realize that many of the products ultimately come from a larger business with larger units of production. I've made the same point many times. But again, you're disregarding the ratio. Its more local and/or regional with smaller businesses. They shelve many big name brands.They also shelve more lesser known brands of equal quality. Its not the same ratio. Anyone who shops at a local independently owned grocery or even a nationally known discount chain like 'Dollar' knows this. They can read labels. So can I. Again, you're disregarding the ratio.

The oil industry is one of the rare exceptions where the consumer is to a large extent, at the mercy of the producer. I realize there are no mom and pop oil companies. Therefore, you can't purchase a gallon of gas, or virgin rubber or plastic container without passing a portion of your dollar directly to big business. Still, the consumer can choose the locally owned station over the corporate store. They can chose containers produced from metal, cardboard, or recycled materials. With regard to the ratio of recycled materials shelved at Wall Mart vs the locally owned retailer, I have no idea.

Last paragraph: Not entirely true. Again, you're disregarding the individual choices the artist can make regarding tools and supplies not produced by big oil or big business. You're also disregarding the market for used tools and supplies. I realize that in most cases the artist is not the sole beneficiary of their work. This is what I meant when I stated the following: "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." The last line of your last paragraph just isn't true. At least not when the customers also represent the workforce benefiting from more support of small business. Like I said before, small business shares more of its total revenue with its workforce.

I never stated any desire or remotely realistic goal of ending support for big business. Its been around from the very start. It was around in 1976 when we had the strongest middle class ever. But for the last 35 years or so big business has taken a much larger share of the market. Putting thousands of smaller producers and retailers out of business. This has resulted in a consolidation of profits and a greater concentration of wealth. My goal is not to eliminate that share held by big business. Only to reduce it. This would ultimately result in a partial redistribution of wealth. A weaker 1% club and a stronger middle class.

I've had these debates many times. I've done my home work. You can't win.

[-] 0 points by economicallydiscardedcitizen (761) 12 years ago

ModestCapitalist, I think you can add this to your arsenal. There is so much misinformation, misunderstanding and lack of self education 'out there.' Here's something to help those you come across with a bit less knowledge from an unusual source, the John Birch Society which I hadn't heard about since around 1976:

http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/americadefinitions-of-principles-helpful-in-exposi/ Thanks to YouTube there is a synopsis of what America as a nation is supposed to be as setup by the founders along with the true definition of capitalism when practiced without the corruption (obscene concentration of wealth and economic manipulation of US government and the world through the fractional reserve banking system)we are seeing now and rightfully railing against.

The great thing about this series is it allows a quick educational overview of the principles and form of government America was founded on and through clear definitions allows the viewer to see the pros and cons of each type of government in comparison.

PS:And when you have time you can read the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and Federalist Papers.

John Birch Society - Overview of America - Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_ciT1psaPc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

John Birch Society - Overview of America - Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsoIR2BlCH8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

John Birch Society - Overview of America - Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPr0ujS2kyc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

John Birch Society - Overview of America - Part 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szbLKeQIZCk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

Read the list of "store brand" manufacturers again-(I didn't make up those stats-see the Trade Show website)

1-they are the SAME big companies that manufacture the "national brands" simply using extra warehouse space and workers to "repackage" the exact same product in a box with your local market's label on it. 2-the are smaller companies OWNED and funded BY bigger corporations that ALSO make and market "national brands". 3-"major retailers and wholesalers" capable of making and marketing their own brand of products ARE NOT Mom and Pop businesses are they? 4-regional brand manufacturers supply specific markets with specialized products but this requires many workers and production equipment that doesn't fall under the "small business" requirements you set.

My point is that the SAME "big companies" are manufacturing and selling the products to BOTH the national stores and the local stores.

"A larger portion of that revenue leaves the community and ends up..."

What about the revenue that BEING THERE brings to that community? How much revenue pour into the often struggling communities where it builds a store? How many house payments are made with $$ earned from WalMart? How many school programs exist because WalMart sponsors them? How much of the $$ generated BECAUSE WalMart is there gets spent and circulated through OTHER businesses in the same area?

My local Dollar store doesn't sell ONE item made in my area, or region. Most of them are from CHINA. The LABELS tell me this.

My "local" grocery store-before WalMart ever existed here-employed about 40 people. It still does. WalMart employs 400.

You can win every debate you enter. And good on you if you do. But you'll never change human nature. People do what they do, and spend where they spend, because they CHOOSE to. Big businesses come in and kill off little businesses ONLY if the people in those communities choose the big company over the little one. CONSUMERS kill stores and build stores. It's part of progress.

I'm personally glad we no longer have blacksmiths, and traveling salesmen, and human/horse powered farm machinery, and woolen underwear, and corset makers, and only local produce, and covered wagons, and many other businesses whose time came and went.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

Again, you're disregarding the ratios I made reference to in my last reply.

The community 'revenue' you referred to ultimately comes from the masses in the surrounding area. Any funds invested by Wall Mart in the community are offset by tax breaks and/or subsidies and represent a fraction of those funds that are ultimately extracted from the masses and/or leave the area because of Wall Mart. Otherwise, they wouldn't invest.

Bullshit. You just compromised your own credibility with a claim that your local Dollar store doesn't sell ONE item made in your area. We were discussing groceries. Check the food isles. In a few days, I will visit my local Dollar store and return here with a list of at least a dozen items produced locally or regionally.

You're still disregarding the ratios. Small business creates more jobs 'dollar for dollar' and shares a larger portion of its revenue with its workforce. Big business creates fewer jobs 'dollar for dollar' and shares a smaller portion of its revenue with its workforce. Therefore, it is not the number of jobs created by big business that tell the story but the ratio of dollars in to dollars out.

I wouldn't have a problem with big business if it weren't for the tax breaks, the subsidies, its tendency to crush small business and consolidate profits, and ultimately its tendency to concentrate wealth.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

Ok....if the community revenue I'm referring to ultimately comes from the masses in the surrounding area, and is then paid back to people in the area as payroll, doesn't that KEEP that income IN the area-aren't local people then supporting other local people?

The question still remains-WHERE did the masses in the surrounding area GET their money? What percentage of it came from companies/businesses/services that gain ALL of their revenues by developing creating products locally vs what percentage of it came from companies/businesses/services that gain their local revenues from national or international sources?

Point 2-bear with me. If there are communities, regions in the US that are not conducive to growing local crops or fruits etc, they usually do not "produce" a great number of food items. That YOU live near a Dollar store that is in the same area where a dozen or more items that store sells are produced, DOES NOT MEAN that everyone else does too. MY dollar store might sell the exact same items your store does... items produced in YOUR local area, not mine.

But hey! I'll look and see, because my WalMart sells items produced IN MY LOCAL AREA too. Honey, jam, college and local football team sportswear, bread, religious materials, and seasonal fruit sometimes. But doesn't that void your point about local businesses not benefiting from big companies....I've lost track.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

First paragraph. You left out the higher portion of revenue paid upward to higher income owners, heirs, CEOs, executives, accountants, attorneys, and share holders and the higher portion payed outward to richer communities where those higher income reapers live.

Now, you're disregarding another ratio. The ratio of local time proximate transactions of small business vs big business. You're expanding further and further outward and backward in a desperate attempt to attribute virtually every transaction in the history of every community to big business. Its getting ridiculous.

Let me put this another way. Supporting small business more and big business less ultimately effects the ratio of local little guy transactions to that of outside big guy transactions. It is virtually impossible to eliminate every single outside big guy transaction from the chain in many cases.

But here is the thing:


I realize that some areas produce more food than others. However, with dairy products in particular, small retailers tend to purchase more from local or regional producers (farms). Less from big agriculture.

When we started comparing the local Dollar store to Wall Mart, we were discussing groceries in particular. Now, you're trying to slip manufactured goods into the equation. I never said that the local Dollar store has anymore tendency to sell locally manufactured goods than Wall Mart. They are both national chains. They both import the bulk of their manufactured products.

Would you like to compare my local thrift store to Wall Mart? They both sell clock radios. They both sell books. They both sell toys, hats, cooking utensils, CDs, DVDs, ect. If I were to go out and buy a lightly used clock radio from my local thrift store and a new clock radio from Wall Mart, where do you suppose I would get a better price? What portion of the revenue would end up in the pocket of the little guy? What portion would be paid locally?

So whats it going to be? Would you like to compare my local thrift store to Wall Mart?

and save the "3 years ago, the case for the clock radio was produced from big oil and the circuitry was produced in Silicon Valley and the distributor was a national chain" crap. Like I said up there, your relentless expansion further and further outward and backward in a desperate attempt to attribute virtually every transaction in the history of every community to big business is getting ridiculous.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

No no no. You misunderstood my comment because I misunderstood yours. :)

My comment about the revenue coming from the masses in the area and being paid back to employees-staying in the area-wasn't meant to be WalMart specific. I apologize...I was just thinking out-loud (in print?) in general-revenue coming from an area going back into an area...sorry about that.

But my question still stands....where did the people "in the area" get the "revenue" they spend at their local WalMart? If it came from outside the "local area"-isn't that essentially a redistribution of wealth from somewhere else into the pockets of the locals? Doesn't our currency flow in and out of communities and states in both directions?

For the record-my Dollar stores DO NOT sell dairy products or refrigerated products of any kind. Not even soda. They certainly do not sell perishable items. So if yours do, that's very different than mine. So I'm unsure what items you are referring to that could be, or are, manufactured in my area...

You introduced comparing WalMart to the Dollar Store, and I was only pointing out that I am unaware of any of the "groceries" on the shelves at my dollar store being produced or picked or grown etc in my area. But I COULD see that a dollar store in an area where a LOT of "grocery items" were produced probably would carry some of those items-and someone who lives near one of those stores might assume that ALL stores do the same thing....:-)

I'm sorry I frustrate you. It's certainly not my intention. And even if it was, it grows old rather quickly. I'm seriously trying to understand YOUR points, while at the same time hoping that you will TRY to understand mine.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

Alright but I'll stand by the points made not only with regard to Wall Mart but big business in general. The money does flow in and out of communities and states but not at the same rate. Unfortunately, mass producing juggernauts with a nationwide customer base are reaping wealth from all over and increasing the divide between rich and poor communities, cities, and states. There has always been a divide. Especially between rural areas and industrial areas. That was a little less unjust because of differences in population density. But its worse than ever. Now the divide is between rural areas, deindustrialized areas, and newly industrialized areas. and between rich and poor within every community, city, state, and nationwide.

The store I had in mind was Dollar General. They are a small department chain with a full line of groceries. I should have been more specific.

I appreciate the sentiment. Its no fun arguing on Christmas eve.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago


On Saturday the 10th of December, I promised all of you that CNN would use their new show about 'ordinary people' heroes as yet another excuse to plug their army of filthy disgusting rich fake humanitarian celebrity pigs. All of which are promoting new CDs, movies, tours, ect. ITS ALWAYS ABOUT MARKETING.

I just did some checking. They did exactly as I promised they would. Those 'ordinary people' were exploited. The entire show was just another gimmick to sell product. Below is the exact entry I posted on Saturday the 10th.

CNN. The Celebrity News Network. What a bunch of rotten sold-out pigs. It's bad enough that they constantly praise celebrities for their bogus fake humanitarian crap every time they have a new movie, show, CD, fashion line, or some other over-priced crap to promote. All while COMPLETELY IGNORING the record high concentration of wealth that filthy rich celebrities represent. That's bad enough. But now, they have the nerve to hype up a new show about 'heroes' and claim that its about ordinary people. It's not. It should be but it's not.

IT SHOULD BE BUT ITS NOT. Those 'ordinary people' are being exploited for ratings and PR. How do I know this? That's easy.

The show will be hosted by Anderson Cooper. The CNN poster boy. His face appears on every single ad for the show. EVERY SINGLE ONE. That wasn't necessary. The show will be attended by the same filthy rich celebrity pigs that CNN commentators constantly praise for their bogus 'good will' fake humanitarian crap. That isn't necessary.

Mark my words: Those celebrity pigs won't be upstaged by 'ordinary people'. No way in hell. THEY REFUSE TO BE UPSTAGED BY ANYONE. They won't stay seated. They won't stay in the background. They have agreed to attend the show in part, to give the ILLUSION that they are humble and modest. They are not. They all have ulterior motives. Every single one of them.

Mark my words: Those filthy rich celebrities have already negotiated with CNN for their own airtime. Their faces will be shown OVER AND OVER AND OVER during the show itself. They will be mentioned by name and invited to appear on stage during the show.


Of course, there will be scripted lines. The ordinary people were chosen in part, for their willingness to show love for their favorite celebrities or fake it for the camera. Of course, there will be celebrity praise. Maybe, even fake tears. Just remember: Commercial airtime is incredibly valuable. Each minute of commercial airtime is worth six or seven figures. They aren't allocated unless there is a profit to be made. These shows don't just happen. They are carefully planned and rehearsed ahead of time. Every single participant has been coached on what to do and what to say. This includes the ordinary people. Most of whom probably don't realize that they are being exploited by CNN. The Celebrity News Network.

CNN. It's bad enough that they constantly praise filthy rich celebrity pigs for their bogus fake humanitarian crap. They even devoted an entire segment in December of '09' to Madonna and her now disgraced 'Raising Malawi' foundation. That's bad enough. But they can't even throw a bone to a few ordinary people without including a bunch of filthy rich fake humanitarian celebrity pigs.


It makes me sick.

Good will has become big business.

Thats what I posted on Saturday the 10th. The show aired Sunday the 11th. It was basically a two hour long commercial with a gimmick. Those 'ordinary people' were exploited by CNN to give the illusion of heart felt appreciation when in fact, the entire event was sold out to the entertainment industry.

If you search the phrase "CNN heroes", the vast overwhelming majority of entries make immediate reference to the filthy disgusting rich fake humanitarian celebrity pigs who attended the event. All of whom have new products to promote. Ch'Ching!

If you search the phrase 'CNN heroes' on the 'image' page most of the photos that show up are of the filthy disgusting rich fake humanitarian celebrity pigs who attended the event. All of whom have new products to promote. Ch'Ching!

I wish I could tell you that 1 out of 10 of those photos on the 'image' page were of those 'ordinary (decent) people'. But I can't. Its more like 1 out of 100. The rest of the photos are of Anderson Cooper and the filthy disgusting rich fake humanitarian celebrity pigs who attended the event. Ch'Ching!

Like I said on Saturday the 10th, those filthy disgusting rich fake humanitarian celebrity pigs negotiated with CNN for their own air time. Their own close-ups. Their own introductions. Otherwise, they wouldn't have bothered to show up. Its now obvious that they have also instructed their publicists to plaster the entire web.

Ch' God Damn Fucking Ching!

Those bastards. They couldn't even step aside for one fucking event and let those 'ordinary (decent) people' have their own fucking day. They just had to show up and exploit ANOTHER event for maximum publicity. Maximum sales. MAXIMUM PROFIT.

Anderson Cooper, Miley Cyrus, Kid Rock, Taylor Swift, and the whole bunch of those filthy disgusting rich fake humanitarian celebrity pigs suck. THEY SUCK. They have some God Damn nerve.


No? THATS WHAT I THOUGHT. You miserable fucking sell-out pigs. THATS WHAT I THOUGHT!

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 12 years ago

It is sad (but not unchangeable) that many people see corporations and the rich as a necessity for the further advancement of society. If an individual was to look a little closer she/he would find that the PEOPLE are the real necessity. For some reason Humanity has a way of looking higher than itself as being "good", and that has amounted to many problems. I personally tend to believe that to be rich is to keep money away from people. The persons who keep this money (in our society) are thus given higher status and power for legally stealing the wealth of the people. It is all a clear pattern of control right before our eyes, they rule politics and create laws that legalize their actions, we live in a consumer society, we do not buy what we need but what they make us want. It is undeniable in all societies that people are necessary to build whatever must be built, in this consumer society people are workers and they are legally exploited by the rich in two distinct ways. (1) The people are the workers and so they are being exploited to make the goods, they get almost nothing out of this. (2) The people buy what they produce, they pay with the little they get from the rich. Now of course they get goods but these do not last long, the goods are always replaced later on. During all this the rich keep getting richer by using US. We as citizens obey the law and therefore see this as legal because the rich make it legally acceptable. This is one of the many faults of law, it can be used to make anything legal. But that is only beause the systm we live in permits it to be thus. If we act now we can change this once and FOR ALL!

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

Although the circumstances are incredibly frustrating, I do enjoy reading well thought of and relevant essays like yours. All good points and very well said. Glad to be on the same team.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

The rich and famous do not want to be seen as 'pigs' or go down in history as 'villains'. They want to be seen as 'heros' and go down in history as 'humanitarians'. The market for their product has become global. The fan base has become global. Therefore, the 'humanitarian' effort and 'good will' PR machine has gone global. These 'humanitarian' efforts and 'good deeds' are not chosen to address the greatest need or injustice. They are chosen almost exclusively to appeal to the largest demographic for their respective commercial products. The largest fan base. Efficiency or effect is of little or no concern. Its all about PR, marketing, image, and fame.

This is why the rich and famous have all taken up 'philanthropy' or 'good will' around the world. This is why so many have 'schools' or 'foundations' in their name. This is why so many play golf or appear on a TV game show for 'charity'. This is why so many sign motorcycles, other merchandise, or auction off their own 'personal effects' for 'charity'. This is why so many have TV shows with a 'charitable' gimmick. This is why so many arrange photo ops with wounded veterans, firefighters, or sick children. This is why so many have adopted children from around the world (Which they always pay others to care for full time. The hired professionals are sworn by legal contract to confidentiality. Not allowed to discuss or appear in public with the children they care for. Those 'photo' and 'interview' opportunities are reserved exclusively for the rich and famous 'adoptive' parents.). This is why every 'humanitarian' effort and 'good deed' is plastered all over the media worldwide. Its not about 'humanity' or 'good will'. Its all about marketing, image, fame, and PROFIT. This is why we are so often reminded of their respective 'good deeds' or 'humanitarian' efforts shortly before or after the release of their latest commercial product.

Charitywatch.org and Charitynavigator.org are both non-profit charity watchdogs. Of all the well rated charities (about 1500) only three are closely affiliated with celebrities. Michael J Fox (not the primary donor), Tiger Woods (not the primary donor), and Bill Clinton (not the primary donor). That's three well rated celebrity foundations out of 1500. In general, celebrity foundations run like crap because they blow half the money on private jet rides, five star accommodations, and PR crews.

The fans have been terribly misled. For example:

Virtually every penny 'donated' by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to date has come from repeated sales of baby photos. With each sale, the baby money goes to the 'Jolie-Pitt' foundation. A foundation which has never done anything but shelter funds. The 'donation' is immediately publicized worldwide.

When Jolie or Pitt have a new movie to promote, a portion is then donated from their own 'foundation' to a legitimate charity. This leaves their ignorant fans under the impression that 'another' donation has been made. When in fact, its the same baby money being transferred again and again. Another portion is blown on private jet rides, super-exclusive accommodations, photo ops, and PR crap. This saves Jolie and Pitt millions in travel/stay expenses and their respective studios tens of millions in advertising. It's all very calculated.

Of course, Jolie and Pitt could simply endorse any of the 1500 most efficient and effective charities. Of course, the baby money would go much further and do far more good if it were donated to such charities to begin with.

But that would be too boring.

The 'Make it Right' Foundation took in over $12,000,000 the first year alone. Tens of millions overall. Brad Pitt has never been the primary donor, planner, or designer. He is a figurehead and salesman with a position on the board of advisors. Nothing more. Still, he has been showered with glorious praise by fellow celebrities and media outlets around the world. Again, the fans have been terribly misled.

In order to move into a 'green' home, the innocent victims of Katrina are required to provide a property deed, meet a number of financial requirements, and pay an average of $75,000 UP FRONT. The difference is offered in cheap loans or on occasion (according to the website) forgiven. To date, only a few dozen former home owners have qualified.

The 'Make it Right' foundation was never intended to help the lower income residents of New Orleans reclaim anything lost in Katrina. In fact, 'Make it Right' is part of a calculated effort to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward without them. Part of a calculated effort to raise property values in the area by displacing the poor. They are by design, excluded. Unable to qualify. Of course, Brad Pitt could have simply endorsed 'Habitat For Humanity'. A well known, proven, and efficient home building operation. Of course, the tens of millions in funding would have gone MUCH further.

But that would be too boring. Big name celebrities have no desire to make the world a better place.

Their primary goal is to appear as if they do.

It's a sham. Good will has become big business.

[-] 1 points by KOMODO8887 (13) 12 years ago

Please watch this 2011 oscar winning documentary narrated by Matt damon YOULL KNOW ALL ABOUT WALL STREET GREED:


[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

Did Matt Damon mention one word about the obscene concentration of wealth he represents?

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 12 years ago

"They (First Continental Congress) also approved the policy of non-intercourse with Great Britain, and formed an association to carry it out. The forming of this association, which at first constituted the revolutionary machinery, was an act of great importance. Its object was to secure a redress of grievances by peaceful methods, by enforcing the non-importation and non-consumption agreement. To carry out this purpose committees were to be formed in every county or township in the colonies. These worked under the guidance of the Committees of Correspondence. The local committees marked out for persecution every loyalist who refused to comply with the recommendations of the Congress. The loyalists made a feeble effort at counter organization; but the patriots were so furious in their opposition that little came of it."


[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 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 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.


[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

The most important information you can GIVE to "poor" people, is to teach them about compound interest. Albert Einstein called compound interest the "8th wonder of the world". It's like the old question "Which would you rather have...$1 million dollars given to you over the course of a month, or a penny that doubled every day for 30 days?"

A penny that doubles upon itself every day for 30 days ends up being worth $5,368,709.12

Of course investments very rarely, if ever, "double" themselves in one day, but the eternal principle of compound interest is a powerful tool in gaining wealth.

Here's a great page that explains it:http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/how-to-million-dollars3.htm

Thomas Stanley and William Danko's book "The Millionaire Next Door" revealed that most millionaires really could be the folks next door. They don't drive a new car every year or jet around the world. In fact, sometimes they're the least likely person you would suspect.

"In their book "The Millionaire Next Door" Stanley and Danko revealed that most millionaires really could be the folks next door. They found that millionaires share a few common characteristics:

They live below their means. Half of the millionaires interviewed did not live in high-status neighborhoods. Instead, they lived in average neighborhoods in average houses. That's how they were able to save money. The other half that did live in high-status neighborhoods only moved there after they had become wealthy.
They lead frugal lifestyles. Most do not buy $5,000 suits, expensive boats or even new cars. You might say they're tightwads. They shop for bargains and always negotiate for a better deal.
They're self-employed or own their own businesses. They also love their work -- they connect with their jobs and feel very passionate about them.
They plan and study investments. The majority of millionaires invest heavily and spend a large amount of their time studying their investments or seeking advice from financial advisors.
They weren't always at the top of their class. Another surprising commonality among the millionaires interviewed was that they didn't all have advanced degrees or graduate at the top of their classes. Some didn't even go to college and a few didn't even finish high school.
They're self-made. Finally, the majority of millionaires received no family money and do not plan to give their own children a lot of money. They want their children to succeed the same way they did -- on their own."
[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

The total wealth produced within any economy of any size can not double every day for 30 days. No such thing has ever happened. It never will.

No return on any investment can be made unless there is a transfer of funds. That transfer must involve a payer and a payee. Therefore, it is mathematically impossible for the entire population compromising of individuals making up the demand to profit from investments based on that demand at the same time. Mathematically impossible.

I've had it with the outrageous claims that the rich are down to Earth. The vast overwhelming majority live in upscale gated communities or mansions. They acquire material wealth and hoard the excess financial wealth. Otherwise, they wouldn't be so rich to begin with. We've all seen how big time executives, celebrities, performers, pro athletes, and entrepreneurs live. For example: Bill Gates owns an entire community surrounding his primary 40,000 square foot mansion and at least one private jet. Paul Allen owns a $173,550,500 yacht with two helicopter ports and at least one private jet. Oprah Winfrey owns a dozen mansions around the world and at least one private jet. Every CEO of every fortune 500 company owns at least one mansion and a private jet. Virtually every big name Hollywood celebrity, performer, and pro athlete owns at least one mansion and a number of exotic cars. The vast overwhelming majority of doctors own at least one McMansion and live in upscale communities, often gated. With regard to the very few multi-millionaires who prefer the ranch over the mansion, the Ford over the Mercedes, they still hoard millions in financial wealth. This is not a modest act. Its not down to Earth. You can save the PR claims for someone else. I know better.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

Note-I SAID "Of course investments very rarely, if ever, double themselves in one day". I never said "the total wealth" so don't put words in my mouth. I was talking about a specific economic principle-not an actual economic event.

I'm not claiming the rich are down to earth. I'm not making PR claims. I shared some statistics from a book about millionaires-NOT billionaires. When you start to blow my words out of proportion, or insinuate that I mean something I did not say, it indicates one of two things to me. 1) that you have no more rational proof to offer to support your argument and are forced to attack me personally in an attempt to save face or 2)you're an aggressive, victory minded person who values "winning" an argument over obtaining and forwarding what is TRUE.

I hope you are interested in what is true vs what is not rather than trying to promote your personal beliefs as TRUTH or FACT by doing whatever you have to.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

I didn't put words in your mouth. I made a point to show that the 'old question' you referred to wasn't relevant.

You and I have never discussed the lifestyles of the rich before. Never once before today. When I stated that "I've had it with the outrageous claims that the rich are down to Earth.", that was an indication that I was responding not only to your 'statistics' but also to the claims of others before you.

If the 'statistics' you shared regarding millionaires weren't about PR, then what was the point?

No more rational proof? God damn! You've read a few of my entries which have been refered to many times as "walls of text". Check my facts and statistics for yourself. Confirm the quotes of Einstein, Eccles, and Greenspan. Ask any professor of economics to confirm or deny the relationship between concentration of wealth and economic instability. Review current and recent events. Check those statistics again. How much more proof do you need?

I can be aggressive and I have taken a few jabs at die-hard conservative partisan puppets. But I have not attacked you. When I get aggressive its only because people like you frustrate me.

Here we are in the SECOND most unstable economic period since the industrial revolution. Here we are with the HEAVIEST concentration of wealth since the MOST unstable economic period since the industrial revolution. I've quoted Albert Einstein, Mariner Eccles, and Allen Greenspan. I've made references to Robert Reich, Richard Wolff, and Paul Krugman. All of which have gone on record with a claim that a heavy concentration of income and/or wealth causes economic instability. I've posted the latest statistics to prove that our wealth is still being concentrated. The unstable uncertain state of the global economy has been plastered all over the media.

But STILL you die-hard conservatives ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to acknowledge the SLIGHTEST POSSIBILITY that the HEAVIEST CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH since the GREAT DEPRESSION may have anything to do with the GREAT RECESSON or cause another GREAT DEPRESSION.

Meanwhile, tens of millions in America alone struggle to make ends meet. Millions live in fear.

Still you refuse.

What the hell do you expect? A cookie?

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

No. I have NO problem accepting the the SLIGHTEST POSSIBILITY that our economic problems are due to the "heavy concentration" at the top. Hell, I'll grant you the POSSIBILITY without the "slight" part. But just because something is possible or even probable, does not constitute proof.

I'll even agree with you that corruption and greed and all kinds of nasty things are occurring at the top that are affecting our economy. What I will not accept-without proof-is that EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the 1% is guilty of those things. I want PROOF before I condemn people-no matter how RICH they might be-because MY innocence and MY reputation mean more to me than any amount of money so as a fair minded person I also extend that same value to THEIR innocence and THEIR reputations.

It's TOO easy. It's a flat out lazy cop out to label ALL people of one group as being identical to each other. I HATE it. I LOATHE it. I've met MANY a stubborn, egotistical liberal in my life, but that doesn't stop me from being open minded and willing to listen to the next one I meet before I make up my mind. I don't like it when someone hears I'm conservative and proceeds to tell me what I think or feel or believe or how I act based on the feelings, thoughts, beliefs, or actions of "other conservatives". And I don't care if ALL of the ones you've met previous WERE nearly identical. Possibility and probability are not PROOF.

To me it sounds just like the racist rational from the past-"If one black person was a heathen or stupid or primitive....they ALL are". And the racist crap of today-"If one white man is rich and evil and selfish-they ALL are". And the sexist crap of all ages-if one woman does a certain thing, they all do. If one man doesn't do something, none of them do.


Wealth is being concentrated. Our economy is messed up. Facts both of them. I can see that. I can verify that. What I cannot verify or see is that a certain group of people have concentrated that wealth by taking wealth by diabolical means from others that would have had it otherwise. All I see is two events occurring together and a whole bunch of finger pointing about WHO is responsible.

Merry Christmas. I'm off to celebrate something that no one can take from me. :-)

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

Well, it certainly took you long enough to acknowledge the POSSIBILITY. I'm honored to have been instrumental in some way.

The very concept of deliberately hoarding and concentrating wealth is greed. It is immoral. It is evil. Especially during these times of socio-economic instability and the POSSIBILITY that you have finally found the courage to acknowledge. The next step is to acknowledge the POSSIBILITY that it just isn't right. The POSSIBILITY that it shouldn't be this way.

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.

If this relentless concentration of wealth is not stopped soon, here and in Europe, it will cause a global depression. If there is no partial redistribution, there will be no recovery for the middle classes. Fear and instability will remain worldwide for decades to come.

Its gone way too far already. The means no longer matter. Otherwise, we may as well argue over the morality of burning down an orphanage with matches you bought legally or matches you stole from Wall Mart.

If the concentration of private wealth in America and Europe continues, it will cause a severe global depression. It will cause economic hardship and social instability on a scale never seen in the developed world.

The means of concentration no longer matter.

No excuses. Its gone too far already. I condemn those who deliberately took it this far and I condemn those who take it even further as we speak.

No excuses. Its gone too far. I condemn the rich. Period.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

The "wealth" in the United States is not static. There is more "wealth" in America today than there was 50 years ago, because the wealth is growing. US investors who "earn money" (wealth) in other countries and markets aren't "gaining" that money at the expense of the "poor" here in the US. And the "poor" here in the US who have "lost money" by investing in the same markets that the "rich do" took on that risk when they invested in markets that have no guarantee of return.

A great deal of the "loss" of "wealth" in the middle class recently stems from the housing market crash. If you calculated the wealth of the middle class prior to that crash, the "market value" or equity in their homes would have been the largest asset to the "wealth" of the middle and lower classes. In many cases it's their ONLY asset. Assets-debts=net worth-degree of "wealth".

Since real estate took such a hit, the "market value" of all those middle class homes fell-and so obviously so did their net worth. Because the value of their homes is usually NOT the biggest asset of the RICH, they naturally did not suffer the same percentage of "wealth loss" that 98% of us did. Their homes may have lost value, but the rest of their assets actually INCREASED in value.

If the "wealth" of this country WAS static (and it's not) then you could easily prove that the wealth IS being concentrated at the top by simply demonstrating that more and more money is being funneled into a group of people whose numbers were either remaining steady or dropping. (In order to concentrate something-you have to maintain or decrease all other aspects of the formula-in this case-the number of people in a given group- while increasing the amount of the thing being concentrated-in this case, the money.)

But you can't do that because the number of millionaires in the US has not remained the same or declined steadily over time.

"According to the annual World Wealth Report from Merill Lynch and Capgemini, the U.S. had 3.1 million millionaires in 2010, up from 2.86 million in 2009. The latest figure tops the pre-crisis peak of three million."

"Merrill and Capgemini define millionaires as individuals with $1 million or more in investible assets, not including primary home, collectibles, consumables and consumer durables."

The "wealth" at the top is growing, but so is the number of people at the top. The "wealth" of the 98% is falling, not because the rich are taking it, but because the 98% keep taking on more and more debt (which the rich don't) to purchase things that do not increase their net worth.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

I've been through this 'static wealth' thing at least 20 times already. I've never once claimed that wealth was static. But the creation of net wealth isn't as simple as growing the economy. Net wealth can't be created without harvesting a new resource or making more efficient use of one. A value is given and with growth, the money supply is gradually increased to cover the transactions involved with inflation and/or an expansion of wealth. I understand that. But last year alone, the richest one percent increased their income by $120 billion collectively. The lower 98% lost 4.5 billion in income collectively. Thats indisputable proof of concentration. I understand your point about housing values but the middle class didn't just start losing ground in '06'. They have been losing ground for over 30 years. Your final point is valid. I've made the same point several times. But thats nowhere near enough to explain the loss of middle class wealth. Its also not a valid enough point to justify the transfer of wealth from poor to rich. There has been a concentration of wealth far exceeding any creation of 'net wealth'. That concentration started 35 years ago and continues as we speak. I've been on this for a while now. There is no point anyone can make to debunk the ugly truth of concentration. Not a chance.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

"But last year alone, the richest one percent increased their income by $120 billion collectively. The lower 98% lost 4.5 billion in income collectively. Thats indisputable proof of concentration."

Short response- Can you prove that was lost from the 98% went directly into the coffers of the 1%?

There is a $115.5 BILLION dollar difference between the loss of the poor and the gain of the rich. WHERE did that income come from? Since there is obviously a source "outside" of "the 98% in the US" from which the 1% gained the majority of their income increase, is it not possible that either that same source, or other sources "outside" of the 1% are the sources to which the poor "lost" their income decrease?

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

"Net wealth can't be created without harvesting a new resource or making more efficient use of one"

Right. Net wealth CAN and does grow when we make more efficient use of already existing resource. CASH. If I spend every dime I make on things that have no value, I am WASTING this resource and I will not increase my wealth.

BUT if I use the cash I'm already earning more efficiently, then I can grow my wealth. Or if I am already using all of my resources in the most efficient manner possible (very rarely are people actually doing that) there are endless ways I can explore for bringing more of the already existing resources of others into my wallet-so I can use it as "seed money" to grow more money.

If I use the cash I'm already earning to "invest" in purchasing currently available resources and produce a NEW product or item out of those resources that someone else will pay me for-and I make a profit over what I invested-I'm growing my wealth.

If I invest the resource of me (time energy talent) in performing a service for others, that others will pay for, I'm growing my wealth.

I can save up my (cash) resource over time, and then invest it in something that uses that resource more efficiently (than keeping it in a savings account or stock etc) and if that investment returns MORE money to me than I invested, then I efficiently used that resource to grow more wealth.

Now in NONE of those above examples did I "steal" or "embezzle" or "take" someone else's resources (money). They gave me some of their resources in exchange for something I had in return. But the fact remains that MY net wealth increased during the exchange and theirs decreased.

The fact that someone's "net worth" decreased while another person's net worth increased does not automatically mean that the increasee engaged in some kind of criminal behavior that directly resulted in the decreasee's loss.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

You failed to mention the lagging downside. When you concentrate financial wealth by individual or region, other individuals or regions lose some ability to maintain existing material wealth. This results in depressed communities, neglected neighborhoods, and gang activity. This causes a downward spiral. There is a lagging downside.

No return on any investment can be made unless there is a transfer of funds. That transfer must involve a payer and a payee. Therefore, it is mathematically impossible for the entire population compromising of individuals making up the demand to profit from investments based on that demand at the same time. Mathematically impossible.

I never said that the relentless acquisition and concentration of wealth was criminal. There is no law to prevent or reduce it. But there damn well should be. It creates economic and social instability. If the issue is not addressed, it will compromise the prosperity and civility of an entire world.

Greed kills.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

"No return on any investment can be made unless there is a transfer of funds. That transfer must involve a payer and a payee. Therefore, it is mathematically impossible for the entire population compromising of individuals making up the demand to profit from investments based on that demand at the same time. Mathematically impossible."

The lagging downside can be caused by MANY things. You can only prove that the lagging downside is DIRECTLY caused by the concentration of wealth in any given population IF the economy and the wealth of the entire population is STATIC. If the economy and wealth is NOT static, concentration MIGHT be the cause of the loss in other areas but it also MIGHT NOT be. With a flowing market it is entirely possible for one group to gain wealth and another to lose wealth without even interacting or affecting with each other at all, much less DIRECTLY.

"No return on any investment can be made unless there is a transfer of funds"-right.

People who do not invest in, or transfer their money TO a specific entity cannot expect, nor should they get, any kind of return at all from that entity. And yet you want to "redistribute" the profits made by one person who profited from their investment to another person who did not invest anything.You said it yourself-it's mathematically impossible for ALL to profit from the demand of all at the same time.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

Again, I never said that the wealth was 'static'. I said that any creation of 'net wealth' over the last 35 years represents a fraction of the wealth that has been concentrated. Otherwise, the middle class never would have shrunk. The lower class never would have expanded. Those depressed communities never would have become so. There would be virtually no downside.

The lower 98% would not have lost 4.5 billion in collective income last year alone.

No. I want the compensation across reasonable income levels to be more representative of the contribution. The richest one percent own at least 43% of all financial wealth in America. The richest one percent did not build 43% of America, maintain 43% of America, feed 43% of America, defend 43% of America or save 43% of America. Therefore, they should not own 43% of America.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

Not ALL of the 43% of the wealth they own CAME FROM, IS IN, BELONGS to America. That they OWN 43% of what is here TODAY DOES NOT mean it call CAME from here, was generated here, or was taken from other people here. They own 43% of the wealth in America TODAY-they do NOT own 43% of all the wealth that was ever existed in America nor do they own 43% of all the wealth that ever WILL be created in America.

Here's a visual-Imagine there are 10 little boys in a room. I ask them to come forward and empty their pockets on the table in front of everyone. From the contents of their pockets we collect $10.35 in money or "wealth". $3.00 belongs to one boy, $5.00 belongs to another, and the remaining $2.35 cents is divided amongst 4 boys. 4 of the boys had no "wealth".

The $10.35 represents "100% of the wealth" of the whole. Two of the boys own 80% of the collective wealth. 4 of the boys own none of it.

Point-there is absolutely NO evidence that because 80% of the wealth that is concentrated between the two boys, it CAUSED the absence of wealth for the 4 boys!

If I ask the same 10 boys to come back in a year and repeat the process-and this time 100% of the wealth of the group is $35.00 and 80% of that wealth ($28) belongs to one boy-the boy who had previously owned $5.00 of the past years wealth. You would STILL have no evidence that what the "richest" boy had in a year was gained by TAKING even ONE DIME from the others. He could have gotten it ANYWHERE and the others could have lost wealth ANYWHERE for ANY reason.

The "overall" "wealth increased 300%, and ONE boy increased his previous wealth by 500%. That more boys owned LESS of the collective wealth AND that one boy now owns 300% more than the previous wealth of the group combined are FACTS. That the one boy's increase is directly related to the loss of the others is SPECULATION. It MIGHT be true and it might NOT be. BUT the chance that it might be true DOES NOT give you or anyone else the authority to declare that IT IS ABSOLUTELY true. You'll have to produce EVIDENCE and PROOF and a papertrail that PROVES your theory before you get to declare that boy guilty to me!

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

First paragraph: I was referring to existing wealth in America and existing individuals in America. It is illogical to change the terms of the comparison by referring to existing individuals in America but all wealth that ever existed or will exist in America.

Second paragraph: The microcosm would almost make sense if 4 out of 10 American households hadn't made any contribution whatsoever to America. But they have so it doesn't.

Fifth and sixth paragraphs. If you're going to refer to a microcosm then don't import elements from outside of that microcosm in an attempt to change the circumstances within that microcosm.


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.

If you are going to attempt to debunk this evidence of concentration with a microcosm then at least keep the circumstances within that microcosm.

I have a hunch where you will go with this next in another desperate attempt to disprove that which can't be disproved. You already dropped a hint. It won't work.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

"Second paragraph: The microcosm would almost make sense if 4 out of 10 American households hadn't made any contribution whatsoever to America. But they have so it doesn't."

The statistics taken that measure the "current wealth" in the US DO NOT take into consideration who made what contributions to America. They simply measure the current wealth. NOTHING else. It does not measure who built what, or maintained, or fed, or defended or saved anyone.

Your entire argument is based upon trying to "import" a measurement of how much each citizen has "contributed to society" into a microcosm/matrix that DOES NOT MEASURE "contribution" at all. It simply measures existing amounts. And your last post proves that you KNOW and admit that changing the terms of the comparisons IS ILLOGICAL. I created an accurate microcosm that reflects how "the current wealth" in America is measured. You don't have to like it. But it IS accurate.

You are connecting TWO events happening concurrently and insisting that one (concentration of wealth in one quintile) directly CAUSED the other (loss of wealth in another quintile). Not just affected it. CAUSED it. And yet you consistently give me numbers that DO NOT MATCH. For example-the wage incomes of the top 1% "jumped by $120 billion" in 2010. The wage earnings of those "making less than $200,000, saw their earnings FALL by $4.5 billion collectively." There is a difference of $115.5 billions dollars here-in favor of the 1%, that could NOT have come from the "wage incomes" of the 98% BECAUSE THEY DID NOT FALL THAT MUCH!!!

Even if we DOUBLE the $4.5 billion-as if we're not only giving them back what the rich "supposedly" stole from them, but we're also giving them a raise that they "might have otherwise earned-had the rich not stolen it"- we're still left with $111 BILLION dollars that came from SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN the 98%!!

In other words-the "rich" brought at least $111 BILLION dollars MORE wealth to this county than ANY possible amount they could have "stolen" from the rest of the entire country!

Because I KNOW these things-because I READ about what is happening, I have a hard time with people who "condemn the rich. Period."-which are your own words. Talking like that doesn't equate with a "suggestion" " that such a thing "might be a possibility". It's stating it as an outright fact. Had you right from the very beginning asked me "do you believe this is a possibility" I would have agreed that it was, right from the beginning.

And if you're going to assert that you are logical-then you must adhere to the logical principle that "absence of proof, is not proof of absence". That I cannot PROVE that the rich did not, or are not, stealing/concentrating/hogging all the wealth, does not mean that no such proof exists. And that I cannot "disprove" your theories does not make them FACTS by default. Be completely logical or don't bring logic into your arguments.


[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

When you read a statistic that only reports what the current wealth in American IS, and who that wealth belongs to-the matrix used to determine that DOES NOT measure contributions to society. IT ALSO does not "trace where that wealth came from within the microcosm. YOU are the one putting contributions to society and the origination of the wealth into the microcosm.

I'm trying to point out, again and again, that YOU know "damn well" that the wealth IN THE US cannot be traced within that microcosm. You admit you CANNOT ACCOUNT for the other $115.5 billion. Which you WOULD be able to if the wealth COULD BE TRACED.

"Again, the entire difference may have come from middle/lower class savings....Savings are not reported as income."

Excuse me? Savings are ALSO not reported as "wage income".

Your rationale continues to be that every time the rich gain income, the poor lose income so therefore the first must be the cause of the second.

That holds all the logic of saying that every time I clean my fridge someone else's fridge gets dirtry therefore cleaning my fridge CAUSES their fridge to get dirty. And if 1% of US citizens have a clean fridge and 98% of US citizens have dirty fridges that it PROVES concentration and proves a transfer of dirt!

In statistics they call that a spurious correlation. In logic it's a logical fallacy to claim that correlation proves causation. Where I came from, it's simply called being full of shit.

But hey-here's a scientific principle that proves that this "concentration" you are so freaked out about OCCURS all the time and always HAS. It's called the Pareto Distribution:

"Pareto originally used this distribution to describe the allocation of wealth among individuals since it seemed to show rather well the way that a larger portion of the wealth of any society is owned by a smaller percentage of the people in that society. He also used it to describe distribution of income.

This idea is sometimes expressed more simply as the Pareto principle or the "80-20 rule" which says that 20% of the population controls 80% of the wealth. This principle ALSO shows up in a myriad of other situations in life-you can read more about it here- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_distribution

Currently the top 20% in the US owns 84% of the wealth in the US.


[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

I don't HAVE to prove anything. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim. And the claim you are making is that 98% of Americans are becoming poorer BECAUSE 1% are getting richer.

LOGIC dictates that producing all the facts and statistics in the world that (A) the rich ARE richer (I'm not disagreeing with this fact) and that (B) the poor are poorer (I'm not disagreeing with this fact either) does NOT PROVE that A is causing B or that B is the direct result of A. (I AM now and always have been disagreeing with YOUR CONCLUSION-not your premises)

That the wealth is "concentrated" in the top 20% is not a freak of nature-uncommon, catastrophic situation. It's a mathematical, statistically consistent probability!!!

I can compare your argument to ridiculous things like dirt in refrigerators, or volcanic lava, or rosebuds or butterflies because it is your ARGUMENT-that correlation proves causation-I am attacking-not your facts. A ridiculous argument IS ridiculous even if the facts used in it are rock solid truths.

ANY student of logic KNOWS that.


[-] -1 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

How many times do I have to tell you that I'm NOT challenging your facts? I agree....for the love of all that is holy-YES-your facts are real.

BUT you have failed on every occasion to PROVE that those facts independently or collectively PROVE anything beyond what those facts actually SAY.

"it MIGHT, EVENTUALLY THREATEN". Since when, and in what universe, does the word "might" mean the exact same thing as "WILL"???? Hell-several good earthquakes or an EMP to the grid "might eventually threaten the stability of democratic capitalism itself". Even Greenspan was SMART enough not to speak in absolutes. You apparently aren't.

FYI to all: Eccles was a Mormon, a millionaire banker by the age of 22 who managed a chain of banks that survived the depression and the quote MC posted from him above was regarding the pre-depression US economy of 1929-30. Apparently none of those things affect his credibility whatsoever as an honest/accurate source of truth to MC so he really must not believe his own rhetoric about all millionaires and/or bankers being evil, dishonest, greedy, liars.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn64 (337) 12 years ago

Concentration of wealth doesn't cause recessions. If you look at some of the older studies and the recent study by Christina Roemer it comes down to the money supply.

I'm not part of the 1% but I scrape by and have a family so I an very pleased that Walton and Price started the warehouse clubs. It allows me to both feed and provide for my family. If that competition wasn't there prices would be higher. I was just noticing this morning that Sears is now undercutting Costco on certain items.

Yes, I would love to be compensated more for my work but unfortunately I live in the real world, and we are not doing well we are trying not to lay people off.

That doesn't me angry with the 1%. In fact, I admire their work ethic and penchant for taking risk when others won't. I watch the Facebook folks work very hard to produce a product that obviously people want.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

Have you ever played a game of Monopoly? Tell me. What happens when one player owns 3/4 of the board? What happens when that 'money supply' beomes concentrated?

The lower players drop off like flies. Thats what. The economic activity slows down and the game stops.

Whats that you say? Its not that simple?

Its close enough. Check this out:

"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.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 12 years ago

The game of monopoly is a closed system. The same thing can happen in real economies if there is no cross border trade, money flow, and rules to eliminate new entrants.

Concentration of wealth is not the money supply.

There is no evidence that redistribution of wealth brought us out of the great depression.

There is some thinking out there thinking that technology is playing a bigger role across all income strata. What's interesting, is that median incomes around the world went up for a long time and has stagnated in most first world countries. There is no correlation between those countries with concentration of wealth.

In my opinion, the greatest debate the congress could have right now is how to issue money. This discussion has been ongoing for over 100 years and unfortunately there are some answers but not great ones. Volcker put a price rule in place in 1980 using a basket of goods instead of gold and it appeared to work very well. Greenspan used it until the mid 90s.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

Then simulate world trade with three games of Monopoly on three tables in the same room playing off one another. Simulate any real world policy on those three boards. No matter how many real world policies you simulate on those boards, the economic activity will slow down drastically when the wealth becomes concentrated.

The richest one percent in America own 43% of all financial wealth. Currency is one form of financial wealth. Its concentrated. Otherwise, the middle class would have much more of it.

Those 'median' incomes you referred to are a sham. Wages have not increased for the middle class. Household incomes have risen somewhat but thats primarily because of 2nd providers, and retirees going back to work. When you account for the true cost of living prioritizing key items like energy and food (not considered when core inflation is calculated), healthcare and higher education, the middle class have actually lost ground.

If you intend to forge ahead with your attempt to debunk the relationship between the concentration of wealth and economic instability, you will have one hell of a debate on your hands.

Bring it on.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

With monopoly everyone receives $200. This doesn't happen in any real world economy.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 12 years ago

If true then why isn't Pullman still around. If it was a closed group then they should have been able to control it. What is happening to Microsoft right now, why can't they stop Apple.