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Forum Post: How do the rich threaten US?

Posted 7 years ago on Nov. 20, 2012, 9:26 a.m. EST by agkaiser (2416) from Fredericksburg, TX
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

It's about corruption of social instinct. The Human Race and our immediate antecedents have survived for millions of years by forming groups (extended families, clans, villages, tribes etc.) that provide the security for individuals to survive and prosper. If the community doesn't prosper then no one will. Few could make it alone in prehistoric times and virtually no one can now. Certainly it's impossible to have much more than average without exploiting the work of others.

The rich, by the corruption of social instinct, are an abomination Human Nature. The corruption is the use of leadership positions to advance individuals, at the expense of the community that makes life possible.

Not only the concentration of wealth, which hoards resources that billions need to live, threatens our existence. Degradation of the environment for the profit of the rich and their corporations, monopolization of food production and distribution by a handful of Giga corps and the genetic engineering of plants and animals, wars of resource conquest [for profit war in general] and their privatization and worst: the usury and debt, banned by Moses 3500 years ago, which must own everything in the end. That last is a mathematical certainty.



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[-] 5 points by agkaiser (2416) from Fredericksburg, TX 7 years ago

That distillation of the book is about as concentrated as is possible. For detailed [does the math] proof of my assertions, with references, read:

How Does That Work? https://www.createspace.com/3852916

[-] 2 points by schwartz (20) from Moosic, PA 7 years ago

Marx was a moderate!

[-] 3 points by grapes (5232) 7 years ago

The rich threatens the U.S. through its capture of our political system. Countries with large wealth inequalities inevitably ran into the rut of long-term low economic growth. I do not know for sure why but I certainly do not want the U.S. to find that out just to inform the world with its real experience.

The well beings of ourselves, our children, and our children's children are likely at stake here.

Some hypotheses are: The rich being few in number simply cannot sleep in a hundred beds per person, eat three hundred meals a day, or drive a hundred cars to allow the accumulated wealth to recirculate in the economy eventually causing an economic thrombosis.

The rich do not care about shoring up the country's commons such as health care, education, new technologies, etc. and slowly but surely strangulates the economy through its control of the political system and wealth.

The tensions between the rich and others become so great that security becomes prime concern so long-term quasi-warring state sets in so they point their guns at each other while having their other wrists chained together.

The tensions snapped and there was a Revolution and much was damaged so the country was set back for decades.

Anyone who can refute or validate these hypotheses are welcomed to discuss their findings.

[-] 5 points by agkaiser (2416) from Fredericksburg, TX 7 years ago

The rich have all the wealth and all the cash. Most people (at least 75% and probably closer to 90%) have more debt than equity in their property. ie: Negative net worth. We borrow to keep up. The interest on the debt gives them even more. The power of compound interest increases the money supply and makes it worth less. Eventually, we become debt saturated then our economy must slow. It's because of concentration of wealth that debt and usury make it inevitable that the economy must fail, as Marx predicted over 150 years ago. He may not of had all the answers but Karl was a competent economist. The answer to the flailing and failing economy is debt forgiveness or renouncement. Declare a Jubilee!!

Read: 'How Does That Work' at: https://www.createspace.com/3852916

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 7 years ago

The problem seems to be the debt. We in the U.S. has a kind of "Jubilee" and it is called bankruptcy but it has been very much watered down to take care of the moneyed interests.

The other way is to get the wealth redistributed, preferably non-disruptively, such as through casinos.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

From http://www.epi.org/page/-/BriefingPaper292.pdf

The 2010 data came out earlier this year but I have not looked at it.

On page 14, Table 8: Bottom 40% had average net worth of $2.5k in 2004 and $2.3k in 2007. Compared to $110k in the middle quintile and $19m in the top 1% of wealth (distinct from top 1% of income).

For the bottom 40%, this was made up of $1.7k of stocks, $47.6k of non-stock assets like housing equity, and $47k of debt.

From Table 5, it was estimated (from projected data) that 20% of white households had zero or negative net worth in 2009, compared to 40% of black households. For the politically sensitive, some of this can be explained through discrimination.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Countries with large wealth inequalities inevitably ran into the rut of long-term low economic growth.

China has huge inequality, higher even than the US, but has been growing at a rapid pace.

So your explanation does show why unemployment exists, but 'growth' is what you get when you add population increase to productivity increase... it isn't a real goal by itself.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 7 years ago

I do not agree with the population increase part because there are countries where population increase was large but that only led to disasters -- such as Uganda, Rwanda, etc. We cannot breed ourselves to prosperity. Singapore and China realized that and took actions to curb population increase and succeeded.

China has been and still is socialist fundamentally so in spite of its having become a fascist (i.e., one-party political supremacy plus capitalist economy shored up with a huge military force) state, it retains its socialist ability to keep up the country's commons such as health care, education, new technologies, etc. It achieved a balance that fostered growth at a rapid pace.

Of course, the Chinese people's labor ability was legendary and definitely a very sound basis for China's economic growth. We in the U.S. were smart enough to take advantage of that, too, in our punching through the Continental Divide to truly open up our West and we did "thank" China with our Chinese Exclusion Act.

China's huge inequality is extremely worrisome, no doubt known to China's power elites as shown by the crackdowns. Well, they do have multiple ways to pin down their population, not the least of which is the People's Liberation Army. It is ironic that the Liberation of the People means having them being pinned down in China.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Very true. It was meant to be a critique of obsession with GDP (and by extension "economic growth"); see this: Why economists are wrong

(Re China's army, a long and boring article about corruption in China's military: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/16/rotting_from_within

For better stories on China, http://chinasmack.com/)

But as the pastebin link mentions and you may have read on these forums before, working less would fix the economy and reduce unemployment. The latest thread is apparently too crazy for anyone to have replied to though: http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/the-us-is-1-including-rampage-killings-among-devel/

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Obviously, no one is talking every single rich person! It literally goes without saying that generalizing "all" of any group is always wrong.

Some wealthy support fair taxes (even increases on themselves) and other policies that benefits the 99%.


[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Nice article. And of course, the "Buffett rule" they mention is from the billionaire's suggestion.

The same billionaire who helped start the philanthropic "Giving Pledge" which has had limited success though.

People look at these efforts, see they aren't effective, and assume that it is a failure of intent, instead of a failure of capabilities.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

We gotta get in the street and agitate for stronger buffet rule & a 90% tax rate on income over a million dollars.

Build on any suggestion from wealthy people if that is an opportunity.

Every avenue, all suggestions, any non violent tactic.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Wealthy people are generally just as clueless about how to fix the economy.

This sums up why there aren't enough jobs: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/business/a-capitalists-dilemma-whoever-becomes-president.html?pagewanted=all

"Too many efficiency innovations, and not enough innovations that create new product types for the middle class."

Then you have another wealthy person saying that it's the middle class that creates jobs (through spending), but he isn't able to advance from that to an actual solution: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/05/here-is-the-full-inequality-speech-and-slideshow-that-was-too-hot-for-ted/257323/

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Lotsa problems.

Pass the jobs bills, raise taxes on the wealthy, cut taxes/debt for the working class. penalize outsourcing, reward insourcing.


[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

The Tea Party movement may have been more heavily represented by rich people, but the votes came from more than just the top 1%. And it was one of the reasons that the jobs bill from the end of last year was not passed.

Do you think cutting taxes on the middle class, or even the working class is more important than controlling the debt?

(I'm pretty sure you've commented in one of the threads that explains how working less time fixes unemployment without higher taxes or spending, but just in case: http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-system-is-well-and-truly-broken/)

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Yes I believe cutting taxes (& personal debt) on the working class is more important than controlling the national debt.

Because this will help people today, & provide stimulus, which would grow the economy, raise revenue & improve deficit/debt.

In fact I have to be honest and say that the fear mongering regarding the debt is simply a scare tactic by the right wing to attempt to cut the programs that benefit the 99%. So I disregard all that propaganda.

Don't be afraid. Don't believe the hype.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Oh, well then if the government listened to you we would have less poverty and more jobs.

But not enough people think like you. Because they hear about things like this: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/pa_police_ot_sarge_livin_large_RjaEvsSKBB7VhOrlH0E8dI


[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

It is easy to find individual, isolated cases of waste, fraud & abuse. I support addressing those limited situations. I do not apply that to every worker.

That would be unfair.

I support decent hard working Americans. I stand with the 99%

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Waste is inevitable when department managers and heads of organizations are told that the goal of the government is to create jobs. (Though the overtime example involves hiring fewer people~)

I have addressed these types of inefficiencies on a theoretical basis before; the point though is just that working less would create jobs without more government spending or taxes, while also reducing many types of inefficiencies in the economy and government.

The latest thread, too crazy for people to reply to:

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

I support shorter work weeks as a way to create more jobs. I also support lowering retirement age to increase employment as well. I believe it is inevitable, logical, evolution.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Thank you.

A shorter work week is the simplest way to cause people to work less... I guess the details of why it isn't the best way are something to be discussed elsewhere. An important point though is that people like CEOs and doctors basically decide their own hours and government regulations about the work week would not change this. A different mechanism is needed if those groups are to be affected.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Ok. I would say that CEO's frequently do not put in a full week and I bet their responsibilities can be shared by other execs. (gotta train a backup for all positions anyway no?)

Dr's should also be able to have shorter weeks. It is possible

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Your expectations are maybe right in some cases, but wrong in others :P..

This is aimed at CEOs and shows how some executives view their responsibilities: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Recovering_from_information_overload_2735

Educated workers in general work longer hours, currently. (Doesn't this seem a bit backwards?) http://www.gallup.com/poll/122510/Self-Employed-Workers-Clock-Hours-Week.aspx

And yes, doctors currently work very long hours. Added up here: http://benbrownmd.wordpress.com/

"One study reported that the average hours worked per week by practicing Internal Medicine physicians was 57 hours per week. Another study reported the mean to be 55.5 hours per week."

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Great info.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Im not saying he's not a nice guy, or doesnt want to things to change, Im just stating that we already have more than enough people who "support" things but wont follow through. 536 of em actually.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

When someone wants to start the Buffet rule, and then on their taxes deduct to the point where they themselves are taxed at less a rate than their secretary, it was just a PR move.

Berkshire owns a ton of shit, and their service industry stuff pays like shit just like the rest of em. I almost vomited every time I heard this financial titan talking shit.

Because when it came down to it, he talked the talk and didnt walk the walk. Im not suprised, who wants to pay more than they have to? But if you are going to make a big stink, you should lead from the front on the issue.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Or he can be like everyone else who controls a company that pays low wages, and just keep quiet while paying a low tax rate.

If no one is going to do anything about it either way... but of course the President is currently trying to raise taxes on the rich so maybe it will change.

Im just stating that we already have more than enough people who "support" things but wont follow through. 536 of em actually.

Well, do you want them to create jobs or reduce spending? They can't do both at once.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

The president can raise them to Clinton levels and do all sorts of the minor stuff. The country is still insolvent. The entire monetary policy isnt under the control of the people, and until it is the welfare/warfare state is going to be their main priority.

We dont need more war. And we dont need more welfare. We need a leveled field and opportunity.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Cut defense bud 50%, cut taxes/debt for working class, create 90% tax rate income $1 million. penalize outsourcing, reward insourcing. identify, denounce, ridicule & vote out all pols who engage in fear mongering, war on terror propaganda.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

We dont need more war. And we dont need more welfare. We need a leveled field and opportunity.

Well, working less would do all that (which you commented on before). But I realize some people don't like the idea of encouraging "underemployment"!

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

I think we have to be careful to not group all the rich in this country with the select few that are destroying the way economies function.

I've known a few people that would be considered "rich", and they have done a shit ton of good things to help people. We dont want to start grouping good hard working people who happen to fall into some good positions with the criminals.

The millionaire who owns a construction company should not be grouped with the people of the Federal Reserve.

[-] 0 points by agkaiser (2416) from Fredericksburg, TX 7 years ago

Their existence as rich, implying the wealth they hoard and we need to live, is an evil that outways any good they may do.

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Most of them run businesses and are more actively investing in the economy than the very upper .01%.

Like Ive said, Ive known a decent amount of em, and I have no problem with them having money and creating businesses. Most of em I know pay their people well. Its the big multinationals that pay minimum wage.

If the people that work with them (notice I said with, not for, this is the difference between good business and bad) are appreciative and very happy with their day to day activities, I think that guy is an asset to a community. Now if all the workers think the company sucks and hate their job, obviously we have a problem.

Calling good people evil is a sure fire way to end up a hypocrite.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

I agree with your sentiment.

There is nothing inately evil about capitalism. The evil resides in the hearts and minds of the greedy pigs who choose to lie and cheat and steal under the auspices of legitimate business. They are our enemy.

The average Joe who has ideas that can become income, with the assistance of a helpful workforce, who get to actively assist in making a business idea a success, is what made America a place that other entrepreneurs wanted to go to.

Get rid of the criminal elements of crony capitalism (top to bottom cleanout needed) and get the ball rolling again.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

I agree with all that. I would also add that too many people (Rich, almost rich, & wanna be rich) become wealth hoarders, adopt selfish, greedy postures, and 'blame the victim' mentalities because they succumb to the fear that is used by politicians to garner support for anti 99% policies. Fear fosters the 'you're on your own" mentality that poisons too many inour culture.

When people aren't afraid (of poor rising up, of economic collapse) they are more liberal, generous, & more likely to adopt 'we're in this together' lifestyle.

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (2416) from Fredericksburg, TX 7 years ago

Write On!!!

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

OWS has begun changing the national dialogue and made it ok to even discuss tax fairness, economic equity and wealthy Americans failure to contribute an adequate share to the public coffers.

It is always the terminology/rhetoric that must change 1st. We have finally made it popular to ridicule trickle down economics, & weak regulations.

These seemingly simple insubstantial successes in fact are critical if we are to move the country away from the catastrophic pro 1% policies and enact progressive change that benefits the 99%

[-] -1 points by RedDragon (-161) 7 years ago

Could not an argument be presented though that the rich generate all wealth? If it were not for the desire to be rich, if it were not for both corporate growth and hoarding, how much money would be in circulation to feed the machine of economy?

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (2416) from Fredericksburg, TX 7 years ago

Spin that shit at Fox News, if they have a blog for thrall's input.

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 7 years ago

Well what if we spin it against those who actually create our money? And see what they have to say about the effects of demand on money supply.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Of course the rich generate all wealth, but not without the rest of us providing labor, taxpayer govt help, and consumers purchasing products..

So in fact we all contribute to wealth creation.


[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

YES! That argument could not be made.

At least you didn't make it.

[-] -1 points by RedDragon (-161) 7 years ago

We ignore the fact that those who desire billions require the creation of trillions; those trillions circulate through our economy in search of a home, which once locked away, will require their recreation in economy, or wealth cannot grow. And so... "prosperity."

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

"Facts" are ignored in this statement.

Money doesn't "search" for anything at all.

[-] 1 points by RedDragon (-161) 7 years ago

haha... "search" is intrinsic; if it were not, money could not exist. Because it is intrinsic, inherent, money will always exist.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

That's still a lot of faith to place in an inanimate object.

I stand by my statement, that money doesn't search for anything at all.

It's "true believers" do all the searching.

Are you one of those?

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 7 years ago

Definitely. It's far more convenient than trading in hogsheads. And it's lighter and wears better than silver.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

Whatever that has to do with your original statement about money "searching" for something or other.

You should stop dealing in hogsheads, as you seem to have a pocket full already

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 7 years ago

What I smoke is my own business even if arrives in thousand pound kegs.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

You've also confused smoking with drinking, as well as avoiding your statement.

Considering your confusion, perhaps you should quit snorting bath salts.

I hear that's bad for you too.

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Im reading the book you suggested, Deadly Spin.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

I found it enlightening not only in reference to health care, but even more so into the world of multi-pronged marketing/PR.

It's virtually.....everywhere.

[-] -1 points by RedDragon (-161) 7 years ago

Uhh, noo... hogheads were used primarily to transport tobacco initially.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

So, instead of addressing the original issue, you've decided that tobacco can be neither smoked, nor drank.

Can't be drunk, I'll agree with.

You are incapable of holding a subject, I can agree with.

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 7 years ago

haha... tobacco can't be drunk, no. But it can be used to get high. Which is what our original seamen used it for - to get high. The tobacco of today is watered down version.

Money does seek out a home and it always, always, finds one, doesn't it? Inanimate things often possess qualities intrinsic. Money seeks out people in the same way a hammer seeks a nail.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

No. It's people that put hammer and nail together.

There is nothing mystical about money.

There is no invisible hand pushing it into someones pocket.

There is nothing intrinsic about it. The intrinsic behavior is of the people that use in the ways you are poorly describing.

You are merely attempting to justify greed.

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 7 years ago

Greed is vital to our survival.