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Forum Post: I'm in the 1%: Here is the truth

Posted 3 years ago on Oct. 10, 2011, 11:56 a.m. EST by Im1percent (30)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The Tenth Man

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59. So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the restaurant owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." (FYI: this is the Bush tax cut) Dinner for the ten now cost just $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six men who did pay? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to eat their meal. So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings). The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man even though his percentage savings was the greatest all. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!" "Yeah, that’s right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than me!" "That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The rich get all the breaks! They need to pay their fair share!!" "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up (aka voted for Obama). Even though the 10th man received the lowest percentage savings, the others still thought it was unfair.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill! And that, boys and girls, journalists, and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the most taxes clearly get the most DOLLAR benefit from a tax reduction, even though all of the others received a higher PERCENTAGE benefit.

The moral to the story is: Tax the rich too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. They might just go somewhere else! (read Atlas Shrugged)

392 Comments

392 Comments


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[-] 14 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

Fuck Ayn Rand and her sociopathic spawn.

[-] 11 points by groobiecat2 (746) from Brattleboro, VT 3 years ago

Ugh, leave it up to the privileged to try to drive the narrative with a condescending, overly simplistic conservative metaphor that really isn't what this is all about. But it does underscore how deeply divided the country is. Sooo...

I'm the 99%: Here is the truth: It's about priorities and choices as a country, and not some simplistic conservative metaphor that turns the 1% into some sort of landed gentry hero we should be grateful to have in our lives.

Here's a story of two different countries and what happened to them:

In Finland, they Decided to Eliminate Homelessness. That was a prioritized policy decision: it wasn't wild eyed marxism, it was a choice. They're a capitalist society. They're successful. People aren't lazy and haven't been destroyed by intrusive government. They made a choice and it appears to be working for them. Unlike the rightists in this country, who exalt the individual over the greater good, many countries support their populations. They don't call them entitlements--that's an American construct. Finland? They strive mightily to ensure that their people--whoever they are--have shelter. Are they run by marxists denying freedoms? Um, no, they're very economically successful. They are however, one of the most educated countries on the planet. (source: the liberal rag WSJ). According to the European Federation of National Organizations Working with the Homeless:

Perhaps the most concerted and successful effort to deal with homelessness is in Finland where, after the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless in 1987, the Government devised a multifaceted response to the problem. It included building of social housing, the creation of social welfare and health care services, and setting a target to provide a dwelling of minimum standards for every homeless person. The number of single homeless persons at that time was approximately 18 000. In just 10 years, the number of homeless in Finland was cut in half.

This was a national decision on a) prioritizing need, b) deciding what to do about that need, c) executing to meet that need. They decided--as a country--to make this a priority. Did it hurt them economically or otherwise impoverish them? No. They're one of the most successful countries on the planet. Are they less happy for it? No. They rank in the top 10 on having the happiest population (unlike the United States). Oh, and they're one of the most highly educated countries too--far more educated than the United States, in fact. (links: http://tinyurl.com/2e5coe; http://tinyurl.com/6877g38)

In the United States, they Decided to Bicker and Strut.

Instead of focusing on improving society as a whole, the United States focuses on non-existent enemies and puerile one-upmanship, all driven by political, religious, and cultural "sports-like" agendas. And as a result, we have made some really bad "life choices" over the last 10 years. We decided, for example, to invade a country that didn't attack us based on lies and insidious fear mongering. It cost the country $3 trillion dollars (50% more than the national debt from WWII to 1980), tens of thousands of lives, and pariah status in much of the world. What could we have done with that money? Make education and healthcare more affordable? Improve the nation's infrastructure? We'll never know, but that's what's known in macroeconomics as "opportunity cost. (links: http://tinyurl.com/2eb4zne)

And instead of regulating highly risky debt-based securities and banking practices that offered "No money? No Credit? No Problem!" mortgages to people who couldn't afford them, the United States let the free markets run and play and have a good time. And as a result, the United States allowed the 1% to blow up the economy in 2008 and are now in for years and years of economic stagnation.

What's the Moral to this Story? Countries determine for themselves their priorities and how to allocate their resources and what constitutes "basic rights." Many in the United States have paid far more attention to the importance of individual benefit over the greater good, and this today defines our core differences. They have also ignored the consequences of a free-for-all marketplace (especially for financial transactions).

So, it was a nice story by Mr. 1 percent, but that's all it was, a childish story. Read Paul Krugman ( http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/10/opinion/panic-of-the-plutocrats.html?_r=2&ref=columnists)

Oh, and as for Mr. 1% threatening not to show up? Oh, I think #OWS is good with that. The country was doing just fine without him.

[-] 2 points by Headiot (7) 3 years ago

Righteous. Incredibly well said.

[-] 1 points by AN0NYM0US (640) 3 years ago

This is quite well written and I would appreciate seeing it on the main forum with it's own thread so more people can see it.

[-] 1 points by groobiecat2 (746) from Brattleboro, VT 3 years ago

Thanks, I think I will, but I doubt it'll get a lot of attention. The recent post about the newly minted #OWS democratic process and declaration didn't get any attention either: http://occupywallst.org/forum/come-to-the-nyc-general-assembly-on-10-15-12-to-st

This is a shame because it's incredibly important. I really think #OWS should have put that on the "News" page, because it's the process that the MSM and the haters say isn't in place. it's really important, and only a handful of people even know about it.

I'm trying to help ms3000 (one of the lawyers helping #OWS) edit it. Don't know if he wants my help or not, but I'm providing nonetheless. I'd love to offer my services to the movement, but don't know who to contact (and am doing this all off the clock while working...)

[-] 0 points by Owen (28) 3 years ago

quote:

And instead of regulating highly risky debt-based securities and banking practices that offered "No money? No Credit? No Problem!" mortgages to people who couldn't afford them, the United States let the free markets run and play and have a good time. And as a result, the United States allowed the 1% to blow up the economy in 2008 and are now in for years and years of economic stagnation.

(end quote)

Do you think a free market would have offered "no money? no credit? no problem" loans? Why? Who would have wanted to loan the money to borrowers like that? If you read up on the issue I think you'll find that these loans were made by mortgage brokers who had no stake in the game because they simply sold the loans off to large institutions such as government-sanctioned Fannie and Freddie. I suspect government-created moral-hazard to be deeply connected with this problem, so it's hard to pass judgement on so-called "free-markets" as a result.

It's a rare thing for this to happen, but I kind of like Krugman's article that you posted. That's the beauty of this movement. It has potential to really bring people together from all sides, if it can avoid taking a side. (Krugman's article is a bit harsh on "republicans".. I'm no lover of the Republican status quo, but since about half of the country identifies with that term, if one's interest is unity, one may want to be careful with bashing it.)

[-] 1 points by groobiecat2 (746) from Brattleboro, VT 3 years ago

You have a point about fannie and freddie, I admit. But when I say "free market," I mean that it wasn't regulated. In fact, banking deregulation began in earnest in the '80s, and subprime mortgages and other risky loan instruments are the natural evolution of that. Just as highly risky credit default swaps aren't regulated. But your point is taken.

And your second point is a good one too. Krugman is unabashedly liberal, agreed, but he ain't a pulitzer and nobel prize winning economist for nothing.

I appreciate your civility. By my calculations, people who disagree with my line of thought tend to be 90% uncivil, and 10% civil. Hopefully, those numbers will change, but it's one person at a time.

Peace.

[-] 4 points by abundantmind (17) from Siheung-si, Gyeonggi-do 3 years ago

I loved all of Ayn Rand's books when I first read them. I was single. Now I'm married with a kid. My opinion has since changed. They're still good reads, but there is a basic flaw in them, and it has to do with favoring excessive "individualism" (or selfishness) vs. selflessness / sacrifice. Anyone who has raised a child recognizes the changes that come about as the result of the sacrifices we make for our kids. Ayn never had a child. Her stories are not about people helping others. There is no "love" in her stories...only sex for the sake of sex, never for the act of procreation that we need in order to stay alive as a species. Seen through this lens, her books are seriously lacking in credibility, yet they are exactly what you would expect someone of her background and historical timing to produce. I would still recommend them, and I may even re-read them...but they don't make good fodder for any argument against what we're trying to accomplish here with OWS. In fact, they do just the opposite -- they support what we're trying to do, because the shortcomings of her philosophy are at the very center of our argument.

[-] 3 points by Chimptastic (67) 3 years ago

The reason your family changed your opinion is because the family is a microcosm of society. When you begin to see your fellow human beings as brothers and sisters, you simply cannot abandon them to the elements. Rand's mistake is very deep; the only reason our species is alive today is because of this inherent deference to the needs of our fellow survivors, without whom we would not stand the slightest chance.

[-] 0 points by sluggy (49) 3 years ago

havent read her books though i dont see why anyone not having a child means they must be missing something.

I think that is extremely selfish to squirt out a child when there are lots of unwanted children needing homes.

More so, our species does not need anymore population to survive, the opposite is more true, the planet is already hurting from too many people.

Having children does not make you less selfish , i think it makes you more selfish, reasons given above.

[-] 0 points by mrsvickiem (4) 3 years ago

Since there are, as you say, "too many people" would you and your family be willing to make that ultimate sacrifice for the cause? Oh, that's right people who say there's too many people on the planet never include themselves in that number.

[-] 1 points by sluggy (49) 3 years ago

I am not going to top myself but I am not giving birth to more people. I think it is rude when parents make out only parents can know this 'amazing love' for others (their kids). Some people choose to not have kids, some people cannot have kids, it does not make them less loving, less kind, less of a person and their life experience is not diminished - there are lots of ways of caring for others and having love for others that don't include giving birth to a child!

I don't understand how giving birth to children and raising them is considered by some to be so unselfish when there are lots of needy children who are already alive who need adopting/fostering.

[-] 0 points by mattthecapitalist (157) 3 years ago

I would definitely recommend reading them if you get a chance. Start with Fountainhead and proceed fervently to Atlas Shrugged.

[-] 1 points by sluggy (49) 3 years ago

thanks, I think I will read Atlas Shrugged, is that the one where he gets fed up with society and disappears? I do remember now i think over a decade ago I read the one with the architect in it (and saw a bit of the movie i think too) but it was so long ago i can hardly remember it.

[-] 4 points by sewen (154) 3 years ago

I liked the thread.

Lets get rid of the FED, breakup the "Too Big To Fail" institutions, default on the debt, and lets all start over from scratch. I'll give up my iPad (if I had one) and I already live on Ramen Noodles so I don't have to worry if the tenth man doesn't show up.

[-] 1 points by mrsvickiem (4) 3 years ago

Lol!

[-] 3 points by pissedoffconstructionworker (602) 3 years ago

The average Rand fan is a frustrated nerd.

I propose we take up a collection and send them all to a massage parlor for a happy ending. It would improve the tone of our politics.

[-] 3 points by cives (8) 3 years ago

It's easy and not at all helpful to the conversation to say something like "Fuck Ayn Rand and her sociopathic spawn." It would be much more helpful to express what is is that you find disagreeable and your reasons behind those points.

[-] -1 points by e000 (371) 3 years ago

You make too much sense. Go rally at home. grin

Yeah, I agree, how about less kiddie insulting and immature pissing and moaning, and more on what your problem is with the OP. The top comments are all about Ayn Rand? Really? How about the scenario described. You want to prove the dissenters right? Then keep just telling people who disagree with you to fuck off, don't listen to their arguments, and maybe while you're at it, try to mock something irrelevant about them.

Nice work.

[-] 3 points by libitibi (4) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Agreed. Ayn Rand's literature was constructed very carefully over a series of dinner parties as a kind of propaganda to manipulate others and support and protect her cloistered social group's agenda. She speaks very little truth. Although I do imagine she was pretty skilled at making houses of cards.

[-] 0 points by redteddy (263) from New York, NY 3 years ago

Wow! Ayn Rand worked very hard and she wasn't always in a financially stable situation. I suggest you pay closer attention to the story of her life and the historical time that created her and the essence of her work (philosophy). She wouldn't not have been in favor of bailouts because she was against that kind of government intervention and because she was against propping up failed systems. She would not have been in favor of wall street gangsterism because she valued productivity and the financial sector doesn't produce anything. She valued self-sufficiency and individualism and declared that if you want to help someone you should do so because its in your self-interest not because it is forced. Its in this way she would have valued a community deciding to help those who were less fortunate if they felt it was in their best interest to have a society where the less fortunate were protected. You seem to not really understand anything about Rand's 'objectivism' which used logic as its base. Greenspan too didn't understand Rand's 'objectivism'. Is it logical to completely destroy your natural environment? No. Rand would have considered that illogical and unproductive. Would Rand have considered impoverishing the masses for the good of the few? No. Because that would have mirrored what had happened in Russia after the revolution. Rand despised the idea of socialism because its what the basic economic model championed by the Nazi's. Rand is a figure that belongs in a specific time and place. You should start with that before you judge her. I suggest you check out a documentary called "Ayn Rand: A sense of life". There are aspects of her philosophy as in all philosophical models that can be criticized but you should know what they are.

[-] 0 points by mattthecapitalist (157) 3 years ago

Great post.

[-] 3 points by Boletus (125) 3 years ago

Well she wrote fine fantasy novels; I log her on par with Steven King. I wouldn't let either guide my world view. By the way, in general, a libertarian is just a republican that is too lazy to vote.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

:-)

[-] 1 points by Boletus (125) 3 years ago

Thanks, I needed one of those today.

[-] 2 points by WhiteOw1 (17) 3 years ago

history shows us that "rich" people got rich (and still get rich) by harming society. Alcohol, tobacco and slavery all made people rich in centuries past (and low ... it still does come to think of it!) Oh and USURY makes banking families especially rich too! Oh yeah, and stealing land and resources from Native Peoples ... yep that makes people rich too! Oh and stealing land through "iminent domain" ... yep that makes real-estaters/development mongers rich too! Oh yeah ... let's not forget the WAR ... now that really rakes in the bucks for the a-holes doesn't it! And last but not least ... degrading Mother Earth ... yep that's payed a perty penny hasn't it! I think you should be paying for ALL of the pie for what you and your kind have done, since you have made your precious funnymunny by way of evil done to everyone else.
I also agree with looselyhuman ... Fuck Ayn Rand - have you ever actually LOOKED at her?? Eeewww!

[-] 2 points by vizenos (85) from Manitou Springs, CO 3 years ago

No thanks--she's a bit too dead for me. As for her "sociopathic spawn", they don't sound too attractive, either.

[-] 2 points by Boletus (125) 3 years ago

I keep coming back to this post just to read that line.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

That's awesome. Thanks. Another smiley for ya: :o)

[-] 1 points by WhiteOw1 (17) 3 years ago

history shows us that "rich" people got rich (and still get rich) by harming society. Alcohol, tobacco and slavery all made people rich in centuries past (and low ... it still does come to think of it!) Oh and USURY makes banking families especially rich too! Oh yeah, and stealing land and resources from Native Peoples ... yep that makes people rich too! Oh and stealing land through "iminent domain" ... yep that makes real-estaters/development mongers rich too! Oh yeah ... let's not forget the WAR ... now that really rakes in the bucks for the a-holes doesn't it! And last but not least ... degrading Mother Earth ... yep that's payed a perty penny hasn't it! I think you should be paying for ALL of the pie for what you and your kind have done, since you have made your precious funnymunny by way of evil done to everyone else.

[-] 1 points by WhiteOw1 (17) 3 years ago

history shows us that "rich" people got rich (and still get rich) by harming society. Alcohol, tobacco and slavery all made people rich in centuries past (and low ... it still does come to think of it!) Oh and USURY makes banking families especially rich too! Oh yeah, and stealing land and resources from Native Peoples ... yep that makes people rich too! Oh and stealing land through "iminent domain" ... yep that makes real-estaters/development mongers rich too! Oh yeah ... let's not forget the WAR ... now that really rakes in the bucks for the a-holes doesn't it! And last but not least ... degrading Mother Earth ... yep that's payed a perty penny hasn't it! I think you should be paying for ALL of the pie for what you and your kind have done, since you have made your precious funnymunny by way of evil done to everyone else.
I also agree with looselyhuman ... Fuck Ayn Rand - have you ever actually LOOKED at her?? Eeewww!

[-] 1 points by mattthecapitalist (157) 3 years ago

A is A.

[-] 1 points by Bizinuez (120) from Raleigh, NC 3 years ago

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha ahem HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA You poor dumb bastard.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

And Hayek, Friedman, Mises, and all the other social darwinist free market fundamentalists, too.

[-] 1 points by ithinkergoiam (201) 3 years ago

Agreed...

[-] 1 points by wiseoldman61 (9) 3 years ago

Common Sense Solutions to our Demands (posted on CNN)

Please share with everyone. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-686666

[-] 1 points by LetThemEatCake2011 (43) 3 years ago

Excellent.

[-] 0 points by IQ143 (21) 3 years ago

Typical. Don't even try to present evidence countering his example, because you cannot. Curse instead.

[Removed]

[-] -3 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

"Fuck Ayn Rand and her sociopathic spawn." Really? Do all fiction writers scare you or is it just the ones who's words ring of truth?

[-] 5 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

The ones whose words trigger the most base tendencies of impressionable youth and bring them to the forefront; the ones whose writings greenlight antisocial, selfish, greedy behavior as virtue and make ego the center of the human universe... Yes, extremely frightening.

[-] 2 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

I'm neither impressionable nor young. I just believe that the fruit of my labor should be mine. It's so simple, really. Of course I also believe in supporting my city, county, state and federal Governments. I just don't believe I should bear MORE burden than any other. If 4 kids found a dollar they'ed agree that each would be entitled to 25%. That's fair, right? I can accept a progressive tax burden. However, my friend, I am nearing capacity!

[-] 2 points by deluu (6) 3 years ago

But it's not just your labor. That's the problem isn't it? Every company has lots of people providing labor for it. But the people at the bottom don't see any of those profits. The people in charge are raising their salaries and the salaries of their friends around them, while everyone else who labors for them sees less and less.
It's not just a tax burden, prices on everything is going up. Food, rent, transportation. Not only are our wages not increasing to compensate, benefits are being cut so we have to pay more for medical, dental, saving for retirement.
Companies and the 1% are posting record profits and celebrating there greatness having parties throwing around money; while the people who support those companies, the people who work under them are scraping by and being told they need to carry more of the burden. The 99% are being expected to pay more and do more but salaries aren't being raised to compensate. (and this really only applies to those who CAN find jobs.)

[-] 2 points by GahDamnLogins (2) 3 years ago

Your 4 kid analogy is too simple. It is more like 3 kids hoisted up a 4th kid up a tree. Unexpectedly, that kid in the tree finds a dollar. In your worldview, that kid in the tree gets 100% of that dollar because he alone found it. In my worldview, the other 3 kids deserve an equal share.

[-] 2 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

Ok so the next time you'll get the chance of being hoisted up the tree. Meanwhile when you have to get up at 6am and cover for two employees who are out sick for the second week in a row and a third who refuses to work because of the union rules so you wind up finishing work at 11pm we'll see what you have to say then.

[-] 2 points by unended (294) 3 years ago

No you don't. You believe the fruit of somebody else's labor should be yours. That's what profit is. Jesus, does every capitalist really have no idea what capitalism is?

[-] 2 points by TLydon007 (1278) 3 years ago

"Jesus, does every capitalist really have no idea what capitalism is?" Why are you asking Jesus?? He despised capitalism.

[-] 0 points by jdog (146) 3 years ago

nobody is forced to do anything with capitalism. with socialism, people are forced, by the power of the gun, to give to someone else.

[-] 2 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

Not to give to someone else but to the state.

[-] -1 points by FuManchu (619) 3 years ago

That someone else gets paid for the labor. That someone isn't working for free. I understand pay needs to be fair. Beyond that, the guy that takes the most risk with his capital deserves to make the most out of its success. That is what motivates people. Greed is good if it is not at the expense of others. It is an extension of the survival instinct. We hoard because we are afraid of what might happen in the future.

[-] 5 points by unended (294) 3 years ago

That somebody "gets paid" for his labor does not mean that he is being paid for the full value of his labor, i.e., that he is receiving the fruit of his labor. I've already had to explain to capitalists once what capitalism is here, so I'm just going to copy and paste it. I think I may start a school to teach capitalists what it is that they believe in, since they never seem to know.

Consider a man who builds a desk. It costs him $25 in materials and after he builds it he sells it for $100. That man has engaged in socialism. The $75 he earned is not "profit." It is the value of his labor. Now consider the same man who spends $25 in materials to build a desk, except that he finds he is unable to complete the desk because he lacks a certain expensive tool. His neighbor has the tool, and his neighbor agrees to lend him the tool in exchange for 20% of what he sells the desk for. The man agrees and finishes the desk and sells it for $100. He gives $20 of that to his neighbor and so his surplus is $55. That $55 does not represent the full value of his labor, which is still worth $75. The neighbor, however, earned $20, even though he performed no labor whatsoever. The neighbor, therefore, received $20 in profit. And where did that profit come from? It came from the other man's labor.

Now consider this on a wide scale in which a society's productive wealth (capital) is concentrated in just a few hands. This requires the majority of people to "sell their labor" in order to be productive and sustain themselves. But they can never realize the full value of their labor because the people who control the capital will always be appropriating some of it in the form of profit. The more desperate the laborers become, the more fruits of their labor can be appropriated by the capitalist.

[-] 2 points by cives (8) 3 years ago

There is more to capitalism than ursury, isn't there?

[-] 0 points by FuManchu (619) 3 years ago

You assume only labor has value. In your example the tools were just as integral a part of the manufacturing process as labor. One provided the labor, one provided the tools. Stated differently the guy who provided the tools also provided capital in a way. Each contributor gets a piece of the profit. Also im not sure he engages in socialism if he uses his own tools and takes the $75. You seem to be equating capitalism to exploitation. While exploitation does happen, that is not capitalism. Exploitation happens in all systems. Its the corruption of human nature.

[-] 3 points by unended (294) 3 years ago

Capitalism is based on exploitation. The salient feature of capitalism is that capital--society's accumulated productive wealth--is privately held for profit, i.e., people who own capital rent it to people who need it to do labor and create wealth. Profit is literally defined as that which is earned by renting capital. That is the only way that one can make a "profit." (Everything else is earned through labor.)

If one is a capitalist, one cannot defend capitalism by describing it as if it were socialism, which is what most capitalists resort to doing. I am not saying that one cannot be a capitalist and think it the best economic system despite its exploitative features (many do). But I am saying you cannot deny its very essence and that it must be defended based on what it really is.

[-] 1 points by GeoffH (214) from Jacksonville, FL 3 years ago

Does the man working for minimum wage to feed his family of 5, who has to choose between giving his kids ramen noodles for dinner for the week, or have lights on, or getting kicked out of his house; Does he risk less? I think not. This is about the top 1% of Capitalist buying the government and stacking the deck in their favor so that they can attain the most wealth for themselves. They really care little for anything but, 'their' bottom line. It is time for the 99% to cast off the yoke of Capitalist Feudalism and take back the power of our Government. Keep capitalism but, make it fair by keeping it away from our Government. The Church and the Market have no business Governing our People. Collectively we have to start fighting back against the 1%. They will not recognize the need for change and will not relinquish control they have over the Government unless by doing it, it is in their best interest. We need to fight back by refusing their System of Credit. We need to stop paying our Student Loans, Mortgages, Car Loans, Insurance, Credit Cards, Medical Bills, etc. Anything that is reflected on your Credit Rating needs to be refuted. Until the Banks feel the pain of our collective monetary might they will not give into our demands. Force them to let go of the noose they hold around our Elected Officials so that we can rid our Government of their corruption.

[-] 2 points by cives (8) 3 years ago

Perhaps there is a difference between capitalism with a free market society and corporatism where corporations have undue influence over public policy and sovereign rule.

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

The man working for minimum wage obviously never heard of condoms.

[-] 1 points by mrsvickiem (4) 3 years ago

perhaps he cannot afford them.

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

They give them away for free at planned parenthood. Anybody can afford 'free'.

[-] 0 points by FuManchu (619) 3 years ago

I agree with companies buying the government. That is not related to the guy working a minimum wage job. No one forced him to take that job. People get paid based on the service they provide. As a company they are supposed to care about their profits. That is the whole reason for its existence. Now that doesn't mean they can do shady things to maximize profit. I have a problem with that. The answer is not anger at rich people or companies. The answer is to fix the system.

[-] 4 points by GeoffH (214) from Jacksonville, FL 3 years ago

No one forced the rich guy to invest and risk his substantial portfolio while paying the workers 1/475th of the salary of the CEO. America has the largest discrepancy of earnings in the world by a huge margin. Second place is Venezuela at 50:1, Mexico at 47:1, Britain at 22:1, and rounding out the top 5 is South Africa at 21:1. The CEO's don't take the 'greatest risk'. The workers do. If they fail they don't eat and will be kicked out of their houses by the Banks. If the CEO fails he just loses a percent of his wealth and moves on...

[-] -1 points by FuManchu (619) 3 years ago

He is free to invest what he wants and offer what he wants. Its up to the worker to take the job or not. I think what you are talking about is exploitation of workers. That is a corrupt system. That is fixed by enforcing decent workplace wages and working conditions. We are much better than a lot of countries. We can clean it up further. The investor loses his money that he earned. The worker loses an opportunity to earn. The impact may be more on the worker. Unless there is exploitation, i dont see the CEO as a bad guy.

[-] 2 points by johnbarber (39) from Altamonte Springs, FL 3 years ago

It's up to the worker to take the job? That's presupposing that there is another job to compete for the labor of the worker and that the opposing companies would actually compete and not semi-collude (they're offering x amount (which is undervalued) so I'll offer the same). Too long large and small companies have trimmed compensation with the understanding that whoever stood up for their rights could easily be replaced with another body (thank you massa for the job). Trims kept coming until they were industry wide and ingrained in the system. When all decks are stacked against you what choice do you have? I'm not anti-business but employers are the only ones that can go to the grocery store (labor) and set their own prices.

[-] 1 points by FuManchu (619) 3 years ago

Thats fixed by ensuring proper wages and working conditions. Market determines the wage to a large extent. Will you pay $1000 to a plumber to fix the drain? People have an idea of value and that decides what they will offer to pay. When there are more people willing to do the same job, competition brings the wage down. I dont know how it can be solved.

[-] 1 points by GeoffH (214) from Jacksonville, FL 3 years ago

Then you are blind. We suffer from systematic exploitation that has robbed the People of a fair Government. When a Corporation can buy legislation to better his business at the expense of the working class then our Government is only a commodity to be traded on Wall Street like any other futures market. I agree with Capitalism. However, I agree with it as a form of Economy, not as a form of Government.

[-] 1 points by FuManchu (619) 3 years ago

Ok that is what I was trying to say all along. It is the corruption in the system that needs to be fixed. Capitalism is not a form of government. By calling the corrupt system we have "capitalism" some are trying to turn people away from capitalism. Politicians like to use that line. So did Michael Moore in his movie. Just saying capitalism = corruption is not constructive.

[-] 1 points by GeoffH (214) from Jacksonville, FL 3 years ago

The only way to 'remove' the corruption is to fight against the Banks. The only way to fight the banks is to make their profits sink. It is the only weapon we have against the corruption in America. The Government won't change things. Both parties are in league with some form of the 1% or another. We the People have to wrest the Government back away from the 1%. It is unfortunate that there will be collateral damage to the few that are not exploiting the system. But, in the end they will be better served by a strong Government and a strong People.

[-] 1 points by FuManchu (619) 3 years ago

Stop political funding a.k.a. Bribes

[-] 1 points by GeoffH (214) from Jacksonville, FL 3 years ago

Yes, then we agree. However, how do you do that? The Government has been promising to have campaign reform, lobbying reform, etc for decades now. The Banks are not going to just give up their control because we ask nicely. The politicians are not going to stop taking campaign contributions from big businesses. We have to make them hurt. We have to revolt. We have to make them change. That is what I propose. We the 99% of American that is not in control, we take back our America at all costs.

[-] 1 points by FuManchu (619) 3 years ago

I dont know how either. However the way to attack any problem is to take away its funding. Boycott all banks that got bailed out? That alone will not be enough though. The way things are going Europe may show us the way by doing it first!

[-] 1 points by GeoffH (214) from Jacksonville, FL 3 years ago

I advocate the systematic attack on the Credit System. By refusing to pay our substantial debt (as a collective) we can force the banking industry and vicariously the Government to enact sweeping changes to the system that returns us to a Democratic Republic. Boycotts are not enough. We have to fight them.

[-] 1 points by abundantmind (17) from Siheung-si, Gyeonggi-do 3 years ago

@Im1percent...The world is abundant enough to allow you to keep the fruits of your labor. Even if our government guaranteed everyone enough calories to survive each day AND a warm place to sleep with clean water...there would still be enough of a need for creativity to allow capitalism to thrive. You sound as though you don't have much faith in capitalism? I do...but I also know at least one way to solve the financial mess we're in...and it involves turning the Financial Industry into a Public Service...one with zero tolerance for greed...one that will allow a form of capitalism based on abundance -- not scarcity -- to thrive.

[-] 1 points by MiMi1026 (937) from Springfield, VA 3 years ago

Obviouesly this Movement is not for you....the selfish ,the greedy 1% who ride the backs of middle/working class. This is about the 99.9% who are completly overburden by banks,high taxes and GREEDY corprations. Marie Antoinette didn't get far with that type of selfish greedy disposition either.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

Under Eisenhower your marginal tax rate would have been 90%, of which you'd have paid about half. Currently, the top 1% pays a total of 17% (considering avg percent which is capital gains). Yes, your back must be breaking. Corporations, the figures are nearly the same. Recommended for you: http://robertreich.org/post/11113448478

(The "six lies" video which you can find at the same link contains the figures I just referenced, by the way. The one I posted is a good summation with pretty pictures.)

[-] 0 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

And under Grover Cleveland your marginal tax rate would have been 2%.

[-] 0 points by Slave2debt (16) 3 years ago

I have no problem with the fruit of your labour being yours. None whatsoever! However, I have a massive problem with the fruits of my labour as one of the 99% also being yours. I notice that the measley portion which you do give as people starve, would not even be missed by you. No, you prefer to go out and rob apples from people who have none and amass them in the storehouses surrounding your abundant orchards. Hope you don't choke on a pip!

[-] 1 points by MiMi1026 (937) from Springfield, VA 3 years ago

Agreed

[-] 0 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

You've confused Ayn Rand with someone else.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

You're blind to the brainwashing, malicious propaganda you've been fed.

[-] 0 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

Me? I think you should look in the mirror to find the truth to that answer.

[-] 2 points by VoiceOfThePeople (9) from Boca Raton, FL 3 years ago

What ring of truth? That it would be great if the rich took over government? Why does the novel end before we see what that is like? Oh, because it would be horrible and completely ruin her point.

[-] 1 points by MrWombat (124) 3 years ago

"That it would be great if the rich took over government?"

Oh you must have not read the seventh chapter of "USA" - it already happened and the economy crashed due to outsourced jobs in a global race to the bottom. Lots of people lost their homes also due to the debt fueled economy and the deregulation of banks. The rich kept stealing and expected the middle class to pay for the meal and bail THE RICH out. Of course the middle class complained, but since the rich took over government and had the funds to buy out the nepotic career politicians (Rockefeller and Bush are two examples), the middle class shouldered the burden of the rich, middle AND the poor.

Then when the economy was (naturally) still bad due to outsourcing, illegal immigration, tax cheating by the rich, etc. the rich demanded that the poor pay taxes. Nevermind that that doesn't make sense because -

10% of 1 = .10 and that 10% of 100 = 10

The rich merely wanted to "punish poverty".

Oh wait...this isn't a book! And I'm a character! Aaaaah!

[-] 2 points by TLydon007 (1278) 3 years ago

" Do all fiction writers scare you or is it just the ones who's words ring of truth?" Just Ayn Rand and Karl Marx... Two sides of the same fucking coin.

[-] 1 points by butterflyprincess37 (45) from Fort Collins, CO 3 years ago

you want a fiction writer who's words ring of truth? try heinlein

[-] 1 points by Longjohn412 (8) 3 years ago

The only truly relevant thing you can say about Ayn Rand is Fiction Writer

With heavy emphasis on FICTION

[-] 1 points by incarceratejohnkasich4life (23) 3 years ago

You aren't even the "1%" you TEA minion! Also, you should practice your spelling (you meant "whose"). Your ethos is dwindling faster and faster.

[-] 0 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

I apologize for the spelling. Where was that so I can fix it? Also sorry to say I'm not a TEA party associate. In fact, I've never been to a rally or even a website. I do believe I'm Taxed Enough Already. Minion? Certainly not. As for my character, I'll defend that my friend. Political opinion has no sway on ethos.

[-] 1 points by incarceratejohnkasich4life (23) 3 years ago

If you can't spell, you are less credible and therefore have poor ethos. It has nothing to do with political opinion, just the fact that you have lower standards and don't pay attention to details. I recognize you don't have great capacity for critical thinking and dialectical discourse, that would expand your ethos. However, your reply to jmcdarcy below is helping it nonetheless. Read some Dewey and expand your mind outside of the TEA box. I think you should pay less taxes too, but I think those making over a million a year must make a greater sacrifice, sliding up as their annual income increases. It is fat trimming time in America. Tax loopholes must be closed for companies like GE, JPMorgan, GSachs, etc.

[-] 1 points by powertothepeople (1264) 3 years ago

"I will not live my life for another nor ask another to live for me" until my lungs start to rot due to my own choices and I need Medicare.

Yes, the ring of truth resounds thru the ages.

[-] 0 points by MiMi1026 (937) from Springfield, VA 3 years ago

Nothing true about those words. The current and pass rich got to the table first and ate all the main courses. Didn't even leave dessert.

[-] 7 points by jmcdarcy (158) 3 years ago

Hi Im1percent. I appreciate your civil discourse here. Tax law is no doubt extremely complicated. The problem I find with the story is not the math...that all makes sense. It's the dinner. You are supposing that all 10 people agreed to go to this expensive ass restaurant to eat :) The problem, and what OWS is expressing, is that we did not elect to eat at said "expensive ass" restaurant (excuse my fun with words). When 250 thousand people occupied the streets of NYC to protest the Iraq war...that was the majority of our dinner party saying, "I'd rather have a cheeseburger!". When we protested our government bailing out Bank of America, that was our party saying "I'd rather have water instead of champagne!" I'll spare you further analogy. But the point is it's the corporations who have stake in government's expenditures and therefore deserve to finance the vast majority of them(Lockheed Martin, Haliburton, Exon Mobile, to name a few). This is an important point. The vast majority of Americans do not feel supported or represented in their government. And it is not because they have an improper understanding of economics, it is because it's true. There has been no justice since the financial meltdown. Pedlars of sub prime mortgages and derivatives still have their jobs. Those responsible for playing craps with 20 percent of our accumulated nations wealth have not been held responsible. Nothing has changed. It's not that we're angry at the rich. You deserve to keep the money you earn. We're angry at the immorality of many of America's lobbyist weilding corporations, financial institutions and last but NOT least, it's crooked politicians who will ignore their constituents for the campaign contributions. Did I say immorality? Let me say it better; The COMPLETE lack of and UTTER DISREGARD for all forms of business ethics, public morality, personal morality, rule of law and decency. We use the current joblessness situation as hyperbole for what is truly an outrage and miscarriage of justice and democratic process. We say, when the private sector says "jump", you say "how high?". 800 billion dollars channeled through the system within days for bank relief. But when 10% of the population can't find work? The system is mysteriously broken. Well it's not such a mystery. It's because the government doesn't give a damn about the 99%...only the 1. And I'm sorry that you are grouped with all the other devious sons of bitches if you are indeed not one. And I'm also sorry about looselyhuman's vulgar comments. I wish people would be civil and realize that vitriolic discourse is no discourse at all. Or, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all!

[-] 5 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

You've got me. I agree with you. Disregard for ethics is why we're in this mess.

[-] 1 points by myne (23) from Fitzroy, VIC 3 years ago

It's good to see you're not as shallow as your regurgitated analogy.

That analogy is deeply flawed because its scope is so narrow. One of those poor people could be a garbage man. An unskilled job, but no one want's to return to the days of garbage in the streets.

I think Fight Club said it quite eloquently.

"We cook your meals. We haul your trash. We connect your calls. We drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. Do not fuck with us."

We all have a role to play. Without the 99%, the 1% cannot exist. Sure, you're probably all very smart people, but no society grows without people doing the dirty work. Do you want to be out there in the middle of the night on a Saturday, under lights laying asphalt?

Do you want to be in a Hummer in some random third world shithole worrying that every single road you successfully drive down only brings the odds of a mine closer?

I suspect not. We support you, you support us.

This is the price we all have to pay to live in a civilisation. Some pay the price with their quite hard and relatively low paid labour, others pay the price through taxes.

If you're in the 1%, you're lucky plain and simple. You've got an advantage somewhere. You could be lucky genetically, educationally, socially, intellectually, physically, or whatever.

Not everyone is lucky. Many get trapped by harsh reality into roles they can get, rather than role's they aspire to. How many supermodels were born ugly but worked hard to make up for it? How many geniuses were born with brain damage from an umbilical cord rapped around their neck, but tried really hard and got where they are today? How many athletes were born with dud bodies but tried and tried until they overcome?

Success is not purely hard work. There's always an element of luck in there. A lot of things have to go right long before you get a chance to prove your own worth. Any one of us could have easily been delivered by a tribal elder in a hut, during a civil war.

I'm not in the 1%. Hell, I'm not even in the USA. I was lucky enough to be born in a far more egalitarian society.

"There but for the grace of god, go I." Words to remember.

[-] 1 points by jmcdarcy (158) 3 years ago

It's nice to know that we can have a civil discussion and people actually listen. Hat off to you.

[-] 1 points by peacejam (114) 3 years ago

amen brothers

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 3 years ago

Nice job. Sometimes history is more accurate than fiction. I believe the consensus is that we can do better than this. There are a lot of people who believe we should at least try. There are a relative few who defend the status quo. Some because they have got theirs, and they aren't so proud of how they did it, some because they are getting theirs and don't believe they could compete in a fair game, Some don't have it, but think that a rigged game is the only way they will ever get it. And some just love to fight, hate to lose and know enough history to believe that the bad guys are going to continue to win. It is sad to see. Sadder to be, so cynical.

[-] 1 points by CaptainBacardi (106) 3 years ago

A great reply, even if it is simply from capitalist bourgeois swine trying to get us to let our guards down. ;)

In all seriousness, a couple of points. First, the whole 99% vs 1% thing is great rhetoric, but I know quite a few in the 1% who work their asses off for what they've got. If your lifestyle is going to cease being sustainable if you stop working tomorrow, you're working class in my book. The problem lies with the top 1% of the 1% and not even with the whole of it. Even the second richest man in America is suggesting sensible ways to begin addressing "the problem."

Prosperity is only possible because of society. As much as conservatives and libertarians might protest, when you've climbed to the upper echelons of success you have not done so on your own. The owner of a successful factor only provided the initial capital -- his success was made possible by the workers in the factory, the companies that manufactured his equipment, the teams that marketed his product, the roads that allowed his product to reach stores, the truck drivers that drove them there, and a host of others too long to mention. The creation of wealth is a social effort and not an individual one. When a society has enabled you to make a fortune, you have strong obligations to that society. Those obligations extend beyond whatever products or services you might have to offer in the market place.

There will always be a "1%" at the top of it all. That's simply the nature of society. The important part is that this 1% understands that its success has been entirely made possible by the 99% that surrounds it and that it behooves the 1% to see that we are all part of an intricate network of relationships that enables each and every one of us to do that which we do. We have obligations to the greater whole and, when you have been given much by the world, it is not wrong for the world to ask much in return.

[-] 1 points by Headiot (7) 3 years ago

Bravo.

[-] 1 points by e000 (371) 3 years ago

Cheeseburgers are disgusting. I'd rather eat at home.

[-] 1 points by jmcdarcy (158) 3 years ago

Even less expensive.

[-] 1 points by e000 (371) 3 years ago

But requires more personal work put into it ;)

[-] 1 points by Brehhah (17) from Montclair, NJ 3 years ago

Great explanation. My objection would be many at the protests including myself are angry at the rich and do not feel they earned their money

[-] 1 points by jmcdarcy (158) 3 years ago

I am concerned about misguided anger. Anger is a dangerous thing. Especially when it is not directed at any particular individual. How can you know that ALL, most, or even half of rich people have not earned their money? Wouldn't it be more helpful to target your anger to advocate for points which everyone will agree with, such as the ones I list in my response? You may or may not be right to be mad at all rich people. But I think if you channel your anger, you may achieve good results which are also in line with your broader goals, whatever they may be. And thank you for being at the demonstrations...I would be there with you if I could.

[-] 1 points by Brehhah (17) from Montclair, NJ 3 years ago

Thank you. Anger isn't really my driving emotion, but what anger I do have I think I am channeling constructively by protesting.

In terms of not earning money, there are statistics. If you believe that making money off ownership, however acquired, is illegitimate, than yea, most of the rich, especially the super rich, did not earn their money

[-] 1 points by jmcdarcy (158) 3 years ago

I would say that's a big if. Can you elaborate? Do you mean like through dividends and capitol gain and so forth?

[-] 1 points by Brehhah (17) from Montclair, NJ 3 years ago

Infoshop.org has a great FAQ. Or go to Znet and look at the Parecon section

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

Hey open up the gates!

[-] 1 points by JohnTM (25) 3 years ago

jmcdarcy - what a wonderful reply. I wish I had such strong ability to express myself! I really enjoyed your reply.

[-] 1 points by MiMi1026 (937) from Springfield, VA 3 years ago

I like the way you laid that out for all to comprehend.You speak the TRUTH . Thank you

[-] 1 points by Feloneius (9) 3 years ago

That was beautiful...:)

[-] 1 points by attorneysomewhere (22) 3 years ago

Spoken like a logical thinker. My hat off to you, indeed. My only wish is that whomever is in charge of OWS's news feed rescind control to you so that this protest could take a positive, directed change that the larger majority of the 99% (as in, the ones who don't think communal thinking is the way to live) could get behind.

The only thing I would have added is a follow-up to Im1percent's statement in which he says to protest D.C., not Wall Street. I won't go into detail about the fact that Wall Street has played its role in making the current economic environment, but will agree that Wall Street serves an important purpose to help unite investor and owner to grow a business further. However, I will say that, ultimately, Congress is definitely the entity which needs to listen (power of the purse and all), but Wall Street has and will likely remain to be a (if not -the-) symbol of the financial sector in our country. For example, it has been the focal point of many financially-themed movies, helping enshrine it in that role (Personal note: my favorite remains Trading Places). So while it does not make blatant strategic sense to protest at Wall Street, it does have a significant symbolic impact for a large variety of people. (There is a reason that the police made sure to protect the bull statue, after all.) Said symbolic impact can be more useful at the beginnings of a grassroots movement, as proven by the imagery "Tea Party" brings up with those who agreed with them. (But let's hope this doesn't take a hijacked turn as that did).

[-] 4 points by ForTheWinnebago (143) 3 years ago

What if all of the lanscapers, dish washers, line cooks, farmers, construction workers, teachers, sanitation workers, stone cutters, hospitality workers, and nurses decided to get up and go somewhere else? Which would have a worse effect on society, if these people all left, or if the capital owners left?

[-] 1 points by Slave2debt (16) 3 years ago

You are so right. One thing I've noticed all my life because my grandfather was in hospital for 11 years and we visited him every day... everyone suddenly loves the nurses when they're dying. So many asshole politicians who cut the poor nurses money from them when they barely had bus money to get to their jobs, were suddenly singing their praises with fear on their faces from their deathbeds. They knew in their hearts and souls that they had robbed from the angels during their time on earth and now here they were, totally and utterly under the mercy of their hands to be fed and washed before death, knowing that they'd robbed them and made their lives utterly miserable. But, next stop... their maker!

[-] -2 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

That's 10 people that would have to get it together. I'm just one guy. I agree the system is broken. But it's the government you should be protesting. Wall Street is just a place businesses go to get financing. Where ideas can become reality. Where jobs are created.

[-] 1 points by Slave2debt (16) 3 years ago

If the government is bought and sold on both sides why on Earth would you go to them? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

[-] 4 points by plague (6) from New York, NY 3 years ago

This manipulative story would have some credence if the rich diner was eating with his fellow oligarchs.

OWS has been characterized as a "hate the rich" movement. To some extent there is confusion on this point, but "hating the rich" has no explanatory value and cannot account for the success of the movement. Crucially, hating the rich will not motivate the American people, who care more about fairness than wealth inequality. But there is more than enough unfairness around, and general consensus across the political spectrum about who the culprits are.

Many Americans have seen their livelihoods threatened and destroyed by oligarchs who enriched themselves at taxpayer expense and who have shown no love of free markets. Conservatives who believe in meritocracy fail to see the merit in a rigged system that rewards oligarchs for their political position, and that punishes the remaining 99%, or more accurately, the remaining 99.5%, no matter how hard they work.

Wall Street wants Washington to give it business, and Washington has complied by providing it with privileged access to the money supply, lax regulation and an implicit tax on savings. Despite a public relations campaign according to which the oligarchs have repaid the taxpayer for bailouts with interest, the Fed zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) provides banks with very low interest cash loans they use to purchase debt from the Treasury, which remunerates the banks with interest, using public tax dollars. Savers are punished for saving, and popular social programs such as Social Security and Medicare are threatened. Bank reserves are very high compared with historical levels, and the Fed pays interest on these reserves, providing a further disincentive to invest.

These developments--among many others--have served to enrich the banking oligarchy at the expense of the taxpayer. This offends a basic sense of fairness--hatred of the rich is entirely unnecessary.

Some economists believe that by dismantling firewalls between investment and commercial banks, the too-big-to-fail behemoths ensured that the US government would have to bail them out, or else Americans would not have received their paychecks at the time, and their bank accounts and pensions would have been wiped out. Others dispute this, saying that the government would have stepped in to make payrolls. The point is that the system is an interlocking network, whose losses are largely absorbed by the taxpayer by design. In other cases institutions are permitted to survive even though investors take a bath, but someone has to pay for the institutions to survive. Whether making shareholders whole, or permitting failed institutions to fail another day, the bitter taste of unfairness and the profound sense that merit is nowhere to be found, leads to the animosity of the public toward the financial industry. This has nothing to do with hating the rich.

It's fine to be critical, but we should consider some proposals. These aren't original with me--they are due to an economist, Herb Gintis, who is in no way a liberal.

"These recommendations all stem from the simple observation that contemporary financial fragility is caused by excessively tight interactions among participants in the network of financial institutions. This excessive institutional interpenetration leads to amplifying rather than damping reactions to shocks to the system.

Banking regulations should foster a large number of small and medium sized financial institutions, as well as limited inter-institutional connectedness.

There should be firewalls between different types of financial institutions of a sort that limit contagious asset bubbles and collapses.

Stockholder groups should ensure that monetary incentives for decision-makers in the financial sector favor long time horizons.

There should be a complete separation of auditing and audited institutions. In particular, the latter should not hire and fire the former.

Auditing firms should be financially liable for covering up weaknesses in the firms they audit.

We need a new macroeconomic model replacing the rational expectations model that is engineered to deal with complex networks of financial institutions.

There perhaps should be a small tax on financial transactions.

The European Union should develop a central back with the full powers of a national central bank.

Government accounts should be audited by international lending institutions, thus preventing covering up the true state of a country's finances.

The major impediment to implementing these changes is the political influence of the financial sector, especially in the United States. The current "too big to fail" system is perfectly acceptable to the giants of finance, and the move to accountability will be vigorously opposed. In Europe, the obstacle to reform is political fragmentation."

[-] 3 points by nouveaupauvre (14) 3 years ago

The rich exploit people all over the world to maintain their wealth. They continue making products in hideous working conditions in Asia (yes even Steve Jobs, the late holy man...) The rich of Wall Street act entitled to rake in billions upon billions when Americans are going bankrupt in record numbers. The rich for the most part do not appear to even bat an eyelash at other people's misfortune, much of which was directly caused by their own need for excessive wealth. Instead they protect themselves emotionally from seeing any consequece of their own greed. The worst thing for the rich, at least according to the image they put forth in the media -- is to be criticized in any way. So, what do they expect is going to happen? If the wealthy were not so allergic to self-criticism they would have seen it coming years ago. Of course it is in their own benefit to make sure everyone has a fair piece of the pie. Otherwise, people start to suffer. They suffer for a while and then feel real hate directed at those they see as holding them as economic captives.

[-] 1 points by incarceratejohnkasich4life (23) 3 years ago

I like your sentiment here. That "tenth person" post is a powerful bag . . . of wind.

[-] 3 points by number2 (914) 3 years ago

This is an argument comparing socialism and capitalism. This is not the problem. Fascism is the problem. The Fed and the international bankers are the problem. I'm a tea partying libertarian eager to join OWS if we can identify the real problem. It's not capitalism. It's crony-capitalism AKA fascism.

[-] 1 points by MichaelRDimock (1) 3 years ago

I am not a tea party member, I am a liberal dem, but I agree. The problem is crony-capitalism, AKA fascism. It is truly emerging and no one has called it until now. Congress is bought and sold by the corporations. Lobbyists vote every day and we vote every two years. Its no contest given that reality. Corporations rule the land. We must take back the government. Campaign spending laws must be changed. Greed must be checked.

[-] 3 points by powertothepeople (1264) 3 years ago

Where are the John Galts going to go? They outsource the jobs but they still need those other nine men to buy their products. Are they all going to take an extended vacation?

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

This is a valid point!

[-] 2 points by Zophim99 (12) 1 year ago

Fortunately we have learned that we cannot structure real-world economic systems by using poor interpretations of fictional works like Atlas Shrugged. We tried it and discovered that a real-world story such as this ends by discovering that the wealthiest men were never paying the bill. Rather, they were paying with empty promises based on the assets of the first four men while taking down payments from them. They were also scrapping the tables as they left the restaurant for the bus boys and waitresses tip money. When restaurant ran out food and it came time to pay, they tried to devour each other until only a few were left standing. Finally, the few that were left ran to congress with crumbs and dried gravy stains all aver their filthy fat gluttonous faces and threatened to destroy the country with mass unemployment if they were not given a taxpayer funded bailout so they could continue to stuff their faces. It would be really nice if Atlas Shrugged were a real-world scenario and the 1% would leave. They are nothing but a cancer that will not stop feeding until their host is dead.

[-] 2 points by mgiddin1 (1057) from Linthicum, MD 3 years ago

Yep. Confiscating others' wealth doesn't get you anywhere. But the siren song of socialism and taxes is always so seductive, that it's hard to resist the temptation to look at the 10th man, and blame him for the condition of everyone.

[-] 2 points by EricAndersonJr (51) from Bloomington, IN 3 years ago

First, 'Atlas Shrugged' is a work of fiction and John Galt doesn't exist (though, clearly, plenty of elected Republicans see it as their mission to "stop the engine of the world" so they can then rebuild it as they see fit).

Second, your adorable little parable assumes that the restaurant can afford a $20 dollar reduction in the meal price. And not only afford the price reduction, but that it could, at the same time, engage in a ludicrously expensive campaign to infiltrate and take over two other restaurants in the city that presented no real competition, but required way more than it was worth to reestablish them as quality establishments.

Life is not a parable, and you are not Jesus.

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

You never read Atlas Shrugged have you?

[-] 1 points by EricAndersonJr (51) from Bloomington, IN 3 years ago

yes, actually, i have. why do you ask?

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

Just an observation.

[-] 1 points by EricAndersonJr (51) from Bloomington, IN 3 years ago

did i misquote it? do you think i've misinterpreted it in some way? i don't mind an honest question, but please don't be coy or cute.

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

You are misrepresenting the books narrative. Don't go by what Glen Beck says. Read it for yourself. The book and Ayn Rand were heralded during the 60's protests.

[-] 1 points by EricAndersonJr (51) from Bloomington, IN 3 years ago

I say again, I have read the book, and I'm quite familiar with its narrative. And I can certainly assure I don't go by anything Glenn Beck says.

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

Then go on hating anything you want. That's a good solution.

[-] 1 points by EricAndersonJr (51) from Bloomington, IN 3 years ago

I don't believe I've expressed any hate in this thread -- I'm sorry if I gave that impression.

I'm also sorry I've bothered trying to have a conversation with someone who only seems interested in posting pithy observations that serve no purpose whatsoever.

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

Then what was the plot of atlas shrugged? It it your claim that it's about a guy named John Galt who wanted to stop the engine of the world so that the republicans could reshape it as they see fit? Because that's not he plot of the book.

[-] 1 points by EricAndersonJr (51) from Bloomington, IN 3 years ago

See, if you had just said THAT from the beginning, we wouldn't have had to take all evening to figure out what you were taking issue with in my comment.

You're correct that that's not the plot of the book; I also never suggested it was. My point was that, while John Galt is a fictional character, some Republican members of Congress sadly seem to view themselves as latter-day John Galts: bringing the system as we know it to a halt (threatening government shutdowns, advocating government default, &c), pointing to the dysfunction (which they have caused) as evidence of the failure of "big government", and then arguing that the solution is their own vision of "limited government"(which, by all accounts, would reverse over a century's worth of progress in terms of civil and labor rights, not to mention environmental protection and industrial regulation).

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

So the Republicans caused all ills of the world?

[-] 1 points by EricAndersonJr (51) from Bloomington, IN 3 years ago

Oh dear god, no. Where in anything I said did I make that conclusion? I'm specifically talking about current Congressional Republicans (particularly the Tea Party Caucus) who truly seem to glory in preventing the government from functioning as it should.

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

So you're saying that if you disagree with the way something is going and you show evidence supporting your argument you should go along with the flow anyway?

[-] 1 points by EricAndersonJr (51) from Bloomington, IN 3 years ago

No. But I would dispute the notion that the Republican caucus has in any way successfully argued that their obstructionism is ultimately beneficial for the country. In fact, they've made it perfectly clear that the goal of their obstruction is not the good of the country, but instead the good of their electoral prospects. Which, frankly, I find disgusting.

[-] 2 points by zz1968 (89) 3 years ago

But where would they go? How come that in some countries the taxes are much higher than in the US but the rich don't leave? Maybe they are just not as mobile as the poor. The rich like the places where they live and can afford to remain there

[-] 2 points by MrWombat (124) 3 years ago

Lies! Where was Double Dutch Double Irishing Google in all this?

Also - Tax the rich ANYTHING and they'll cry like babies and continue to cheat on taxes and outsource jobs anyway. All while receiving the same tax payer funded benefits that everybody else in this country (mostly the lower middle class) already pay for.

Also also - The Bush Tax cuts were only possible because he stole from Social Security, much like a coke and booze addicted parent who raids the rainy day jar and their childrens' piggy bank.

[-] 2 points by dewitback (63) 3 years ago

This is not true! In canada its because we have the power to tax that we are in a better financial situation that the United States. We have the funds to be fiscal and yet continue with the welfare we provide our citizens.

[-] 2 points by Picliam (2) 3 years ago

Ayn Rand was an intelligent, but lonely and sad woman who could not seem to show any empathy for her fellow human beings. Her idea of how of the world worked, was just that, an idea and one that seeks to make us all sad and lonely. No thanks. If the rich don't want to help build a society that everyone can feel part of, then please, by all means leave.

[-] 1 points by abundantmind (17) from Siheung-si, Gyeonggi-do 3 years ago

Well said.

[-] 2 points by VoiceOfThePeople (9) from Boca Raton, FL 3 years ago

Except 1. OWS is not attacking anybody for being wealthy. 2. The tax system is not like you describe it. And 3. If the rich want to not show up anymore, that's fine. Plenty of people willing to fill their gap for less money. However, with the highest tax bracket at 90% there was no shortage of people working hard to become rich. Nice try, but you wasted your time on this little fantasy story.

[-] 1 points by knarfster (5) 3 years ago

Simpleton.

[-] 2 points by djtopper (6) 3 years ago

Ayn Rand =~ philosophy, the lite trial version.

[-] 2 points by TLydon007 (1278) 3 years ago

“Two novels can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other involves orcs.” ~John Rogers

[-] 2 points by tritone (36) 3 years ago

Oh yeah, Ayn Rand. The one who, against everything she ever preached, accepted Medicare and Soc. Sec. benefits at the end of her life. http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/149721/ayn_rand_railed_against_government_benefits,_but_grabbed_social_security_and_medicare_when_she_needed_them/

[-] 2 points by chuckhanger (19) 3 years ago

Where are they going to go? This protest is global, moron. The only place to run away and hide is in outer space...so more power to them! I know a CEO who dumpster dives in his competitor's trash to gain an edge (because in reality, he can't compete). He's trying really hard to be part of that one percent by doing what they do. That same CEO doesn't pay taxes because of loopholes and tells others they are stupid if they pay their taxes. So I'm glad the author of this cute little story claims to be part of the 1% (even though that is probably a lie because the 1% aren't the type of people to directly confront opposition, they are cowards). There are over three hundred million of us, and you think you're going to win? If you look to history to predict the outcome of this event (the social conflict in the U.S.) then you will see that those who have hoarded the resources don't fare well in a proletarian revolt. This has happened twice in history already, now is the third time. Although we are not advocates of violence, I hope the 1% doesn't make that the only option. Oh and about the "truth"...Knowledge is defined is what is widely accepted to be true. And what I received from this cute little story is that the author is a member of the 1% and telling the 99% they got it all wrong. Those are some spiffy reasoning skills you have there, Mr. 1%, did you learn that on Wall St.? This author wants us to believe he is a member of the 1%...I seriously doubt it. Sociologists and law enforcement personnel are taught that only 1% of the population are criminals. Isn't it ironic that 1% of the population has all our money? This revolution is going to be beautiful. The fact that you are posting on the other side's forum tells me that you are afraid. And you should be, because we are pissed.

[-] 1 points by knarfster (5) 3 years ago

"Where are they going to go? This protest is global, moron." LOL, Global? The people in the 3rd world countries are protesting NOT having a democracy and capitalist society. They hardly have anything in common with your worthless, give me what I deserve, attitude.

[-] 2 points by MJMorrow (419) 3 years ago

This is utter nonsense. If your taxes go up, you will leave the USA? Go right ahead and move to Portugal or China or Mars, for that matter. There are plenty of bright men and women, including myself, willing to pay significantly more in taxes, in exchange for political access and an upper middle class or rich lifestyle. I am an MBA, with a specialization in international business and I know for a fact that your paying more in taxes is not going to end Western Civilization, as we know it. The problem is that there is a bit of a shell game going on. The Corporations want to make money off of efficiencies and off of outsourcing labor; destroying jobs in the USA, but they, the rich, don't want to manage the risk of destroying the stability of our commercial market.

To ensure that we maximize shareholder value, off of activities conducted in the USA, geared toward servicing the US market, we need to ensure that Americans have babies and that we have moderate population growth; that will include immigration, as well as increased birthrate. In order to sustain growth in shareholder value, you need to sustain the benefits of free cash flow and in order to do this, long term, you need to grow the population you serve. Unfortunately, the financial and industrial elite have placed so much investment in foreign countries that it is growth in the consumer markets of everyone, but the USA, that is driving growth in shareholder value.

By paying much higher salaries and creating high paying jobs, in the USA, we could brain drain and skills drain the World, bring the Global market right to the USA and we do not need the shell game of Globalism. The fact is that we can sustain growth in shareholder value and grow the middle class. If this means that a billionaire is worth twenty billion instead of a hundred billion, well boo hoo. Better that two generations achieve the American dream and that we boost birth rate and immigration, than see the P.R.C. raise as a global power, while two generations of Americans end up in poverty, so a few I- Bankers can do it with four thousand an hour prostitutes.

The big point is that the rich created a problem: They undermined the financial future of two generations of Americans and then the financial elite and industrial elite want someone to feel sorry for them, because they are going to pay more in taxes? Globalization benefits the few, the rich, at the expense of the majority of Americans. It doesn't matter how cheaply you can produce a product I cannot afford to buy, because the USA is not creating jobs. It does not matter how rich you become, because I do not need you to be rich, I need a high paying career.. If you are rich, then clearly your being rich has not benefited me. You pay all these taxes, well boo hoo. I will gladly trade with you. You have no more right to be rich, in the USA, than anyone on this board has to be employed. Are you worrying about their future? Are you worrying about my future? You want to be rich and take advantage of others, how heroic of you. No, you are not worried about anyone but yourself and we are worried about ourselves; not you. Until you start getting useful, for our purposes, there is no reason not to raise your taxes. Have fun on Monster Island or wherever Ayn Rand wanted you to move to. -MJ Morrow

[-] 1 points by MiMi1026 (937) from Springfield, VA 3 years ago

Terrific.

[-] 2 points by RichardGates (1529) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 3 years ago

dude i don't care if you never show up. money doesn't build, we do. we can farm, cook, and build for our selves, hell we can even replace the currency. what can you do without us? Jack sh!t homie, get bent.

[-] 0 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

First, clearly I'm not your homie. I'm a country boy. "I can skin a buck" (though I prefer smaller doe. They just eat much better. Tender), "I can run a trot line. A country boy can survive". (credit to Hank Jr, no copyright infringement intended. I just couldn't say it better). You'll know me if you see me: .45 in the hand, 7mm RemMag for big stuff, and .223 for the real predators. I didn't buy gold; I bought lead!

[-] 1 points by RichardGates (1529) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 3 years ago

dude i could care less about your redneck ass and all your guns. if thats some kinda threat, bring it on, i'll take what i need. keep runn'n that mouth.

[-] 2 points by Idaltu (662) 3 years ago

Wow..that sure scared the shit out of me. Yep...OK let's all pack up and go home. We now know there is no Percentage in doing this protest. LOL

[-] 2 points by deffe (8) 3 years ago

dear im1percent.

im 99 % sure that you get the point of ows.

best regards

[-] 0 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

Agreed. Just try to get these folks to stay on point. Let business flourish, let Government decline.

[-] 2 points by Tihasu (4) 3 years ago

So the moral of the story is there is no point in continue working if you can only afford 3 italian sportcars. Gas too expensive for your private jet? Might aswell jump off a bridge. No point in mentioning the poorest 4 spent all day in a dark cave breathing acetylene and might deserve to not starve to death. Also the 10 of them should have a shared account thats like 14 trillion in dept. Otherwise that tax cut reference makes no sence.

[-] 2 points by bmatus (10) from Toledo, OH 3 years ago

WHAT A BUNCH OF SHIT. Most of the realy rich only pay 10% tax on capital gains. Thats right 10%, because they don't have an income except capital gains on the sale of their investments. So, F^%# Atlas and take your shit logic and shove it up your ass. I pay at least 19% and if I were to sell one of my rental properties I would pay 15% capital gains (thats a joke because my properties have lost 50% of their value). BOOO HOOO a rich man has to pay $100,000 for every $1,000,000 he cashes in stocks. I pay $190 for every $1000 I make. Fuck YOU do the math

[-] 2 points by littleg (452) 3 years ago

"They might just go somewhere else! " - Same old non sense logic ! If you can't figure out why it's non sense logic, I will be happy to explain.

[-] -1 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

I'm looking at Andorra. Full citizenship takes a while, but it certainly is a better scheme than what we've got here/now. I already work more than 50% of the time to pay my taxes. Any more burden and I'd just as soon quit.

[-] 2 points by littleg (452) 3 years ago

Do you think we are afraid that rich will leave ? First of all, I know for sure the rich won't leave in droves. Even if people like you want to leave, We would be happy to say you good bye !

For your kind information, this country wasn't built by arrogant rich people like you. So, please leave as soon as possible.

Inside, I know you ain't going anywhere and why also :)

[-] -1 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

No littleg, how can you suggest I'm arrogant? I know I'm not important, in the scheme of things. And you're right; it will make no difference if I leave. Well, maybe to those I currently employ. No, I probably wont go (soon anyway). I do love this Country. It is, by far, the greatest in the world (to the best of my limited knowledge. I've only seen 22 others). You should, however, be afraid. If investment on Wall Street dries out, you will definitely go hungry whereas I will not.

[-] 2 points by littleg (452) 3 years ago

You come here, threaten/scare people not to raise taxes else you will leave this country and expect us to call you as friendly and well mannered ?

"You should, however, be afraid." ? It seems that you are afraid, that the majority will force the rich to pay higher taxes and you want us the 99% to be afraid. We are on the side of hard working people, we have nothing to be scared of.

"If investment on Wall Street dries out, you will definitely go hungry whereas I will not." Again, I have to laugh at your understanding of economy even though you are somehow in 1%. We the working class know how to grow our own food in this great land of ours and I hope wall street implodes tomorrow.

By talking to you, I'm guessing you were born in a wealthy household. It's unlikely you made it to 1% on your own.

[-] 1 points by patriot4change (818) 3 years ago

ha! get'em, littleg. he thinks we will go hungry and he will not? well, i hate to break this to him. but, if we all start to go hungry, then we are all going to raid his nice big house and throw him on the streets... and enjoy his well-stocked kitchen of high-end food and wine.

[-] 0 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

Please excuse me, I misspoke. Afraid is not the correct word, lets try worry/worried. Most jobs are held in small businesses, like mine. But if investment in growing small businesses dies, so will jobs. It's not Wall Street you should be protesting, it's the Federal Government: bailouts, kickbacks, so many rules/regs that no new business can understand enough to compete/grow, union rule, fraud. I'm against all of that! I work every day, twelve to fourteen hours a day. I was fortunate enough to have my family loan me enough money to buy a business, which I paid off early. I've earned what I have. Blood, sweat, and countless tears. Puked when I saw my tax bills!; not figuratively, actually went behind my office and vomited. I have NO intention of threatening or scaring anyone. I sincerely apologize for that. I'm just saying that OWS is misguided and that it's actions could make life worse for many. We all want the same thing: a better America. We just have different opinions on how we get there. We agree on many levels. Bailouts are wrong. Companies should just go bankrupt as the free market has mechanisms to sort that out. GM, for example! The banks, for the most part, were loaned money that they paid back with interest. Financial system collapse might have been really bad. Bottom line is LIMITED GOVERNMENT.

[-] 1 points by squarerootofzero (81) 3 years ago

You just said "small" business. Therefore you are not part of the 1 you are "actually" part of the 99. Lloyd Blankfein, Oprah or Warren Buffet can call himself/herself part of the 1. And not all 1% are bad apples...some are, some are not. It is not a literal designation. The 99 represents all hard working Americans (like you) watching the dream turn into a nightmare. No one should be directing frustration at you (except for claiming to be part of the 1% and re-posting e-mail chain letter garbage), but the logic you represent is flawed. It is the very large corporations who want to put you out of business because they are systematically removing the (potential) competition. Do you get that? OccupyWallStreet is standing up for YOU.

[-] 1 points by hardworknohandout (1) 3 years ago

@im1percent - My understanding is that taxing the rich is pointless. Aren't you guys just going to reinvest your money in your businesses and end up with no profit on dec 31? That is what I would do. If I were one percent I would stop working and wait for a new president with a better tax policy. Just hang out, buy a farm. Taxing the rich is pointless right? Won't taxing the rich extend our economic depression?

[-] 1 points by littleg (452) 3 years ago

You need to talk to a lot of people to hear what they think.

[-] 0 points by Bankbuster (3) 3 years ago

Im1percent! Reading between your lines it is obvious that you had hard times with banks when you started business. I can only confirm this fact. Many people do not seem to understand that the problem is not wealth and the rich themselves, but the banks who do not support entrepreneurs to start businesses more easily. I know it is hard to understand for an employed person or even a jobless. Problem is not wealth it is the fact that the system of banks offer easy investment in some fonds instead of young startups.

Good friend of mine always said: Seduce the rich people to spend and invest money! This is my tip to this movement. If you want to be heard seduce the wealthy, do not fight them.

[-] 1 points by patriot4change (818) 3 years ago

The 99% may go hungry. But, the Elite 1% will be 6 feet under. That's just my guess of what the World will be like if you greedy, corrupt bastards drive the Financial System into ruin. You can run... but you cannot hide. Remember what happened to the Nazis that fled Germany. The Jews spent the next 60 years hunting them down.

[-] 2 points by OneVoiceInMany (91) 3 years ago

Cool story bro. We now take you back to your regularly scheduled dose of REALITY.

[-] 1 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

It's the current tax code "bro". Reality is that I work 12-14 hours a day and don't get to keep a cent until after July. Is that right??

[-] 2 points by cylonbabyliam (73) 3 years ago

I used to work 12-14 hour days and I didn't get to keep a cent before OR after July. Is that right?

[-] 0 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

I'm there now. Break even is my lofty goal.

[-] 2 points by jjrousseau714 (59) 3 years ago

Stiglitz and Krugman know the way

[-] 2 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago
  1. "UTEFANS7" I'll agree that "Wealth does not create jobs......Jobs create wealth!!!". However it typically takes some sort of investment to create the job. Could be an investment in time/labor, etc? But it always requires some cash to at least pay for your Gov privilege licenses, etc.
  2. "4opportunity" Who promised you "opportunity"? True, this is the land of opportunity, but it isn't mailed to you by Uncle Obama, you have to actually leave your parents basement, cut your hair, shave, put on clean clothes, hunt it down and seize it! Carpe Diem my friend.
  3. "Cindy" read "dagny's post!! (perfect Dagny!) Further, maybe the business discussed was hiring one of those guys...
[-] 2 points by SophieH (30) 3 years ago

In what universe do the bottom guy and top guy have dinner together? Nice parable but the top guy ate lobster and dry aged beef. The bottom guy ate ramen noodles.

And FYI, Fiction can't get much worse than Atlas Shrugged. Galt's Gulch? LOL, really? Worst book ever.

[-] 1 points by menelopie (23) 3 years ago

YOU do know that Atlas Shrugged is fiction-not reality

[-] 1 points by Howtodoit (1232) 3 years ago

That's all great if we have an even playing field as we had before 1999, the deck is now stacked against most hard working Americans, and here's one way to once again be equal...

Take away their powers "once again." And a Million People March on The Hill will help a lot!

"We are here Congress because we want to bring REINSTATE the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 http://www.investopedia.com/articles/03/071603.asp#axzz1aPEc3wX which help saved our country from the Great Depression by preventing investment companies, banks, and insurance companies from merging and becoming large brokerage firms; instead of just being Banks and Insurance companies--can't we learn a history lesson here Congress? Btw, why did most of you vote for its repeal in 1999? http://www.counterpunch.org/2008/09/19/shattering-the-glass-steagall-act

Think about where we are now, it all started in 1999 with the subprime loans Senator Phil Gramm was peaching on Senate floor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKQOxr2wBZQ&feature=related

Furthermore, we also want you to CHANGE the Commodities Future Modernization Act of 2000 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_Futures_Modernization_Act_of_2000 BACK to where it was before 2000, which since has deregulated energy markets and consequently allowed for such scams as The Enron Loophole; whereas in the early 2000's Enron Corp. was charging 400 bucks plus for a kilowatt hour...They all when to jail for this. But, the Enron loophole is still not closed, for example, allowing speculators to resell barrels of oil over and over again before it reaches the gas station owner. It's basically, legal gambling at our expense. What were those lawmakers thinking then? What are you thinking now? Either do the right think, or you're part of the 1%."

Why are oil prices high? The Enron Loophole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbdtTGYQBMU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNp0y0SjOkY&feature=related

Rolling Stones Reporter: Truth about Goldman Sachs--how they have cornered the markets--basically, The Enron Loophole and the Repeal of Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waL5UxScgUw

Let's get focused and bring back Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, they got it right 1933, we don't need to REINVENT the wheel because bringing this Act back will create an even playing field once again....and let's finally Close the Enron Loophole, which allowed Enron to charge what they wanted for energy; they went to jail for this; but no one closed the loophole, why? Re-election Monies from the banks and oil companies! The writing is on the wall.

[-] 1 points by OurTimes2011 (377) from Arlington, VA 3 years ago

Actually, HERE is the truth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q&feature=related

or, if that is too much for you, how about this cartoon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CjrZNi49bE&feature=related

See if you can respond to the facts in each.

[-] 1 points by Levi99 (15) 3 years ago

The US is the worlds biggest consumer. The rich LOVE us... they can run, but they "won't" hide !

[-] 1 points by Uguysarenuts (270) 3 years ago

This is excellent, in language simple enough for even the dumbest hippies to understand. God they are going to hate it though.

[-] 1 points by Alleric (9) 3 years ago

WOW!!!

You are the ROOT of the problem! Where do you live? Oh! Yeah.

I give you credit for infiltrating the Middle Class here. But that's where your pass ends.

I have just revoked your Passport Mr. International Genius!

You are in MY Country NOW! Listen up arrogant asshole...

YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! No responsibility and No accountability and All the fkn profits! Great work if you can get it!

I dont doubt you believe the spoon fed shit your servn!

Your still wrong. This country of great positive values allowed putrid sharks like you to plunder. Leave. Now.

Your days are over.

Alleric

[-] 1 points by jdragonlee (119) 3 years ago

Fuxx you again. Let one corporation down, there will be one hundred small businesses grow. Corporations actually kill jobs by their ability to monopolize markets and control resources. For example, without Walmart, how many mid-size stores still exit. When Walmart moves in a town, do you more people find jobs or more people loss their jobs? The same simple idea applies to globalization. When industrialized countries start to compete for the global markets, other counties don't stand a chance which only make them poorer. So, Fuxx you. The rich only grab more so that they can grab much more. Greed has no bound. To tax the rich is to restore the balance, is to let middle class live.

[-] 1 points by ikeman32 (1) 3 years ago

Actually the original poster is almost correct; however, the example has one flaw that would make the arm chair economics reveal the real truth. All of these arguments on taxes mean squat unless the one making the argument actually understand the actual calculation process. The example is based on a premise that the calculation of who pays what is a straight forward process. But the tax system is anything but straight forward, in the example six of the men the breakdown: 1, 3, 7, 12, 18 and 59 dollars percentage wise are equivalent to the amounts paid i.e: 1, 3, 7, 12, 18, 59 percent respectively. As I said though the tax system as it is today does not work that way.

Here is how it works in layman's terms. For simplicity's sake lets assume that there is 10 tax brackets and only one filing status and the top income level is 1,000. For each 100 the tax goes up by 10% eventually reaching 100%. I'm not going to get into the other things like deductions and exemptions we will just assume that those have already been done. It is important to note that the amounts below do not represent the taxpayer's gross income but a lower amount called the taxable income that is determined by the a fore mentioned deductions and exemptions. Now lets assume that there are 10 different tax payers each in a different bracket.

tp1 is in the first bracket with 100 and owes 10 in taxes leaving tp1 with 90. tp2 is in the next bracket at 20% with 200 for income 20% of 200 is 40; however, tp2 owes 30 because tp2 pays 10% of the first 100 and 20% of the next 100 tp3 at 30% owes 60 out of 300 instead of 90 tp4 at 40% owes 100 out of 400 tp5 owes 150 out of 500 tp6 owes 210 out of 600 tp7 owes 280 out of 700 tp8 owes 360 out of 800 tp9 owes 450 out of 900 and finally tp10 owes 550 out of 1000

There relative percentages of each taxpayer are as follows: 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55

The numbers don't lie, this is precisely how the taxes are calculated and that is the absolute truth.

[-] 1 points by OWSNewPartyTakeNY2012 (195) 3 years ago

in your story the 10th man is vitreous 100% of the time and everyone else is ignorant. Pretty much Fairy tale status. life is a lot more messy then that. Well written and charming though. Your humanity really shines through and maybe you have a point. If I felt I was getting shook down for money by everyone I met i would resent it too. But we don't want money, we want something totally different. We want change and respect.

[-] 1 points by AndyBlake (1) 3 years ago

Well said, Im1percent. Now I have to go work & make some money so I can pay my high taxes so the gov't can pay the unemployment for most of the people "occupying" and not working.

[-] 1 points by OWSNewPartyTakeNY2012 (195) 3 years ago

The next week the 10th man drove a golden bulldozer through the neighborhood of the other nine men. Destroying all of their houses (AKA the housing bubble) The 10th man said "Omg, what a terrible mistake. I've scratched the side of my golden bulldozer!" Then the 10th man said "Its ok, I know we all have about a $trillion saved up, I'll just take that to fix my bulldozer." (AKA Tarp) So he took the money and went off to destroy even more homes in Europe. And every said "wow that guys a douche."

[-] 1 points by PeoplehaveDNA (305) 3 years ago

That is a bunch of crap!!! Do me a favor go to Wikapedia and look up historical taxes by year. You will find out that historically we have taxed the rich pretty high in the past for a very long time. And what....... did the rich suddenly get up and leave the country then?

No! In fact the rich have done what they have done in history use loopholes to get out of paying taxes. Today we have thousands of millionaires and billionaires that do not pay taxes at all on their gross net worth. You want to know why because they take advantage of loopholes they also put money in off shore accounts in places where they are not taxed. Next time any one thinks that that 47 percent is people on fixed income or the poor think again! Some rich people do not pay taxes either. Personally, I believe that middle class are the ones who are keeping the gov't running all along the problem now is that people are losing their jobs and not paying taxes therefore their is a deficit in the tax revenue and general deficit because of it. Why should the middle class alway be squeezed to oblivion. Read my lips no new taxes for middle class! Tax the rich more or close the loop holes forever or both :}

[-] 1 points by KerryRawe (47) 3 years ago

You forgot that the first man was a farmer who had to subdivide his property to the 10th man because he could not work his land due to the pollution the 10th mans' factory rained down on him.

You forgot to mention that the second and third men were construction workers, who built houses on the farmer's former land, and were laid of when the 10th man found unlicensed workers with no formal training, who were willing to work for slave wages.

You forgot to mention that the fourth and fifth men worked for the 10th man in his factory, until the 10th man moved the plant to the other side of the world, to pay slave wages and deny his workers any benefits.

You forgot to mention that the sixth man was a local mortgage broker, who saw his bank bought out by the 10th man's bank, and was laid off beforehand to "shore up losses" and "improve profitability".

You forgot to mention that the seventh man was a business man, who after 50 years of serving his community, saw his department store close when the retail giant the 10th man sold his products to moved into town and competed with the 10th man's products, once sold by him, now sold by the retail giant who retained more profit due to it's low wages and the slave labor that made the 10th man's products cheaper.

You forgot that the 8th man was a Congressman, who pushed for legislation that allowed the 10th man to import his goods from that far-away factory without taxing them.

You forgot that the 9th man was the 10th man's CFO.

A banquet none the less... and as the men ate, they all had different thoughts on where their next meal would come from.

Moral of the story? The 10th man wasn't as chivalrous as he thought...

[-] 1 points by KerryRawe (47) 3 years ago

Please, if you liked my reply, give me points. I want the 10th man to tell the whole story...

[-] 1 points by simonshortt (14) 3 years ago

do us all the favour and GO mate your wealth means nothing you fool wealth is not power communication and beliefs are power your minow in a big sea my friend remember that

[-] 1 points by KerryRawe (47) 3 years ago

You forgot that the first man was a farmer who had to subdivide his property to the 10th man because he could not work his land due to the pollution the 10th mans' factory rained down on him.

You forgot to mention that the second and third men were construction workers, who built houses on the farmer's former land, and were laid off when the 10th man found unlicensed workers with no formal training, who were willing to work for slave wages.

You forgot to mention that the fourth and fifth men worked for the 10th man in his factory, until the 10th man moved the plant to the other side of the world, to pay slave wages and deny his workers any benefits.

You forgot to mention that the sixth man was a local mortgage broker, who saw his bank bought out by the 10th man's bank, and was laid off beforehand to "shore up losses" and "improve profitability".

You forgot to mention that the seventh man was a business man, who after 50 years of serving his community, saw his department store close when the retail giant the 10th man sold his products to moved into town and competed with the 10th man's products, once sold by him, now sold by the retail giant who retained more profit due to it's low wages and the slave labor that made the 10th man's products cheaper.

You forgot that the 8th man was a Congressman, who pushed for legislation that allowed the 10th man to import his goods from that far-away factory without taxing them.

You forgot that the 9th man was the 10th man's CFO.

A banquet none the less... and as the men ate, they all had different thoughts on where their next meal would come from.

Moral of the story? The 10th man wasn't as chivalrous as he thought...

[-] 1 points by KerryRawe (47) 3 years ago

You forgot that the first man was a farmer who had to subdivide his property to the 10th man because he could not work his land due to the pollution the 10th mans' factory rained down on him.

You forgot to mention that the second and third men were construction workers, who built houses on the farmer's former land, and were laid of when the 10th man found unlicensed workers with no formal training, who were willing to work for slave wages.

You forgot to mention that the fourth and fifth men worked for the 10th man in his factory, until the 10th man moved the plant to the other side of the world, to pay slave wages and deny his workers any benefits.

You forgot to mention that the sixth man was a local mortgage broker, who saw his bank bought out by the 10th man's bank, and was laid off beforehand to "shore up losses" and "improve profitability".

You forgot to mention that the seventh man was a business man, who after 50 years of serving his community, saw his department store close when the retail giant the 10th man sold his products to moved into town and competed with the 10th man's products, once sold by him, now sold by the retail giant who retained more profit due to it's low wages and the slave labor that made the 10th man's products cheaper.

You forgot that the 8th man was a Congressman, who pushed for legislation that allowed the 10th man to import his goods from that far-away factory without taxing them.

You forgot that the 9th man was the 10th man's CFO.

A banquet none the less... and as the men ate, they all had different thoughts on where their next meal would come from.

Moral of the story? The 10th man wasn't as chivalrous as he thought...

[-] 1 points by German (82) 3 years ago

Your to simple example has one big problem:

The restaurant has payed the dinner with 10 $ of new debts, befor cutting the price. After cutting the price the restaurant pays the dinner with 30 $ of debts - every day.

Don't seem to be a good businessman !


I don't think that we need to discuss how the 10th person has earned the money !?

[-] 1 points by chrischrischris (143) 3 years ago

I love you.

[-] 1 points by ddyer0617 (41) from Salisbury, MD 3 years ago

I'm not asking for more tax breaks, that is actually the last thing this country needs. Cutting taxes, giving out checks to increase spending, and bailing out companies is a waste of money that our government doesn't have. Picture you're out to dinner with 10 friends and you pay before hand but the restaurant takes the money and pays off its partners and fails to give you your food and then threatens to close every month for the past year.

[-] 1 points by Marlene (1) from Broken Arrow, OK 3 years ago

Well if thhis was true that would be one thing. But what is happening is you are only paying 17%($17) while I (the 99%) had to pay 23% ($23). Or if I'm a small business I pay $23 and GE pays $0. beacuse all the loopholes are for the rich and large corp. So it is time to get real>

[-] 1 points by debbiejc (4) 3 years ago

No one is anti-rich. We're anti-unfair playing field. All the rules, all the laws enacted since Ronald Reagan, gave you the total advantage as wealth was spread upward in the belief it would trickle down. Well, sir, we're not dogs under the table waiting for scraps. We're the 99% and we demand our rights to sit at the table, too. So, take Ayn Rand and....

[-] 1 points by debbiejc (4) 3 years ago

No one is anti-rich. We're anti-unfair playing field. All the rules, all the laws enacted since Ronald Reagan, gave you the total advantage as wealth was spread upward in the belief it would trickle down. Well, sir, we're not dogs under the table waiting for scraps. We're the 99% and we demand our rights to sit at the table, too. So, take Ayn Rand and....

[-] 1 points by Uguysarenuts (270) 3 years ago

Hahaha, brilliant work! I love it

It makes it simple enough for even protesters to understand. They aren't going to like the confrontational truth though.

[-] 1 points by Bernie (117) 3 years ago

Capitalism is the best economic structure yet devised for a modern society. It is not perfect. The very name “capitalism” describes one of it’s weaknesses. If you are an entrepreneur in our society you realize that it takes money, capital, to make money, the more capital you acquire the easier it is to acquire more capital and then it gets even easier to make more wealth, etc. That is why it is called a “capitalistic” system. A small minority of our citizens have the personality the desire and skills to become a successful entrepreneur. Taking the above situation to its logical human nature conclusion, without any governmental tax or regulation policies, a small percentage of the population will end up with 99% of the money, capital. You could say fine, good, those people “smart” enough to acquire the capital have a right to it. You could also ask the question if a person does not have the desire or the skills to be an entrepreneur (make and acquire capital) is that person any less valuable to our society. Is a violinist, teacher, fire fighter, or waitress less valuable than a hedge fund manager? This does not diminish the importance of the entrepreneur, the wealth builder, he is crucial to our system.

Our US system has evolved into one of the best capitalistic systems the world has seen, with government regulation and a progressive income tax system that levels the playing field between those entrepreneurs who want to gain wealth, and to those who believe money and wealth are secondary life goals. How much value is there in playing a beautiful Mozart concerto on a violin, the teacher who has the uncontrollable urge to impart knowledge to her students, how much is it worth to have a firefighter go into a burning building for your son or daughter?

Our form of capitalism has in the past allowed for diversity, it has made our country great! However, the statistics are clear, an imbalance has developed between the money haves and the money have nots. I am afraid some in our society have developed a disease called greed. The tax structure is out of wack in favor of successful capitalistic entrepreneurs, it must be corrected.

I for one, do not want to live in a society that has 50% of its citizens living in poverty, and that is where we are heading, fast. The families of our soldiers fighting our wars are living on food stamps. Teachers are losing their right to collective bargain for their wages. Firefighters are being laid off all over the country. McDonalds turned away 938,000 qualified applicants for below poverty rate jobs.

If you don't want to pay for the opportunity this country is giving you, just go away. You can be replaced probably for 1/20th of what you are making.

[-] 1 points by tim4490 (15) 3 years ago

your opinions is a good point in theory, but in reality we will not be around long enough for this to matter at all lest we change the way we treat our planet. Money is printed out of thin air anyhow so what the fuck is the merit.

[-] 1 points by davebrestensky (59) 3 years ago

Go then!!!!!!! Leave the USA!!!!!!!We don't want you here!!!!!!!!!!!

[-] 1 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 3 years ago

or less greedy and more reasonable ones will take their place right here. goodness, you use an example of dinner trades as a metaphor/analogy for something as complex as our society and economy; don't expect to be taken very seriously. i'm in the 1% too and it appears you wouldn't know the truth if it bit you in the ass.

[-] 1 points by Publius (21) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

They might go somewhere else? I really doubt that. The 1% needs american consumers to keep their companies afloat. Regardless of the argument though, this protest represents something that I don't think the 1% understands: We want to work, we want to contribute to our society, we want problems solved as a community, and we want our government to work for us.

I don't believe anyone is saying that we should tax the 1% into oblivious, as the above overstated strawman asserts. What we are arguing is that there was a time when corporations cared about their place in this society. A time where corporate citizenship and responsibility, not only to shareholders, but to America, was a good business model.

Somehow that model has been transformed into a snatch and grab system where everyone is in it for themselves and their own profit. Rich people do not have to go the way of the wind, but the increased taxes that they, and their corporations, should pay is a tacit recognition that the success of those people did not occur in a vacuum. Our SOCIETY helped to make sure that the successful could become that way. To repay the great benefits bestowed on the 1%, it is justified to ask that they pay more than their fair share for those less fortunate.

[-] 1 points by LaoTzu (169) 3 years ago

The truth is most people who think they are considered to be in the 1% have no idea how small of a fish they really are in terms of wealth, when really they too are part of the 99%

[-] 1 points by PJ63 (48) from St Paul, MN 3 years ago

If they do not want to show up, then maybe they should just go away. The truth is, they should go away because they are adding nothing but misery to a society. Let true and fair democracy take over. Let ous have a government that are really public servants and work for the good of the people who vote. I don't think that getting rid of the rich mans rules would hurt society for too long, and in the long run it will help us . So long, and seeya! Enjoy your cake and be glad you still have your big mouth to eat it with.

[-] 1 points by Redsuperficiality (96) 3 years ago

The rich have not left the table. But as a class what they have done is shift a great deal of the surplus labour that is the wealth of any economy (in the primitive communism of the earliest human social formations this was the store of provisions to tide the community over the lean times and in the late capitalist economies is the blood, sweat and tears of everyone who has been, laundered to become private capital). And where they have shifted it to is the totalitarian supposedly communist Peoples Republic of China and one of the most stratified societies that has ever existed and our world's largest democracy, India. You need to know what capital is before you (Im1percent) claim our dependency on the rich. I'm sure feudal princes thought they were the bees knees as well and that their society could not live without them. Hence they became the completely necessary fall guy for the social transformation out of feudalism. My suggestion is you read Marx. He wrote mainly about capitalism because he knew we need to know capitalism before we can get beyond it. About the nearest he came to describing the post-capitalist world was the generality that it would need to be more productive, more democratic and freer. Anything less would remain in a capitalist paradigm and simply a continuation of the present redistribution of income upwards.

[-] 1 points by kateoftheredcrossing (4) 3 years ago

You know, I see what you're saying. It definitely makes sense. By "reduced their bills by roughly the same amount," do you mean that each was given a percentage of that $20 based on the percentage of the bill they paid? That would be logical. However, there is one thing that is really important to remember about this movement: that isn't just about the rich; it's about corporations as well, enough of which do (or did) get away with tax fraud. And, frankly, I'm not pleased about that. I am also not pleased that people (not just the rich, many poor people as well) want to reduce taxes, because really, that's not going to help at all. Yes, the government needs to redistribute where that money goes, but realistically, if we don't have higher taxes, how else will we have schools? Roads? Medicare? A standing military (for crying out loud)? It's simple to see that the country is failing, economically. So why not increase everyone's taxes, but on a graduated scale? And why not set an income of $250,000 a year as "rich" and put them in a high income bracket? Why not do that? I am completely happy to pay higher taxes, if it means that I don't have to permanently move to Canada to allow my children to have better access to insurance and education. The United States is a world leader, and it's very hard to be so when you're economy is falling to pieces and your populace is apparently unwilling to help put it back together.

Wouldn't it be beautiful if we could all agree that no one really needs millions of dollars? That no one really needs ten houses and few fancy cars? Can we agree that those things are unnecessary and perhaps they aren't what make people happy in life, universally? And so then, in that hypothetical situation, couldn't you see how a lot of people might think that the rich should give back a little more? So that every family can have ONE house, and maybe even have ONE car, and do something that DOES make them happy.

I'm not for stripping the rich of all their wealth and communizing the crap out of them. Let them have a yacht and a big fancy house. I'm just for finding a way to keep people under roofs and fed and relatively happy. That's why I'm part of the 99%.

Peace go with you. There is too much strife in the world.

[-] 1 points by oneprogressiveguy (1) 3 years ago

Not only is this incredibly simplistic and condescending, it doesn't really deal with the real issue - The imbalance of wealth in the U.S. This little story is supposed to show how disproportionately the wealthiest pay taxes. In fact, the top 1% do pay upwards of 35-40% of federal income taxes. But what is almost never mentioned, is that the top 1% have over 40% of the wealth in the U.S. Additionally, the wealthiest pay only 15% on much of their income, because they make most of their money on investments that are taxed at long term capital gains rates. The real problem is the disparity in wealth. In the U.S., too many people are in poverty, including those that are working poor. Too many people have little or no access to affordable medical care. The top 1% get all the tax breaks, loopholes, and investment opportunities; while most working poor and middle class are a paycheck or two away from disaster. The idea that taxing the rich a few more percent will potentially drive them away, is ludricrous. This is where they make all that money, and those at the top are not about to go somewhere else. Like where? Greece maybe?

[-] 1 points by wadsworth88 (1) 3 years ago

They already have gone somewhere else...They usually go somewhere else, (not speaking of individuals, but of systems). Why pay a fair wage? Why not produce and sell products (i.e. sugar plantations, chocolate plantiations, sweat shops, etc if it means more money for the 1%... ??? It not just about taxes....Its about exploitation, and lack of equal opportunity. When was the last time you spent a day at a crumbling inner city school, or in the fields with agricultural workers...

[-] 1 points by WhiteOw1 (17) 3 years ago

history shows us that "rich" people got rich (and still get rich) by harming society. Alcohol, tobacco and slavery all made people rich in centuries past (and low ... it still does come to think of it!) Oh and USURY makes banking families especially rich too! Oh yeah, and stealing land and resources from Native Peoples ... yep that makes people rich too! Oh and stealing land through "iminent domain" ... yep that makes real-estaters/development mongers rich too! Oh yeah ... let's not forget the WAR ... now that really rakes in the bucks for the a-holes doesn't it! And last but not least ... degrading Mother Earth ... yep that's payed a perty penny hasn't it! I think you should be paying for ALL of the pie for what you and your kind have done, since you have made your precious funnymunny by way of evil done to everyone else.
I also agree with looselyhuman ... Fuck Ayn Rand - have you ever actually LOOKED at her?? Eeewww!

[-] 1 points by WhiteOw1 (17) 3 years ago

history shows us that "rich" people got rich (and still get rich) by harming society. Alcohol, tobacco and slavery all made people rich in centuries past (and low ... it still does come to think of it!) Oh and USURY makes banking families especially rich too! Oh yeah, and stealing land and resources from Native Peoples ... yep that makes people rich too! Oh and stealing land through "iminent domain" ... yep that makes real-estaters/development mongers rich too! Oh yeah ... let's not forget the WAR ... now that really rakes in the bucks for the a-holes doesn't it! And last but not least ... degrading Mother Earth ... yep that's payed a perty penny hasn't it! I think you should be paying for ALL of the pie for what you and your kind have done, since you have made your precious funnymunny by way of evil done to everyone else.
I also agree with looselyhuman ... Fuck Ayn Rand - have you ever actually LOOKED at her?? Eeewww!

[-] 1 points by SIBob (154) from Staten Island, NY 3 years ago

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. http://sibob.org/wordpress/

[-] 1 points by WhiteOw1 (17) 3 years ago

history shows us that "rich" people got rich (and still get rich) by harming society. Alcohol, tobacco and slavery all made people rich in centuries past (and low ... it still does come to think of it!) Oh and USURY makes banking families especially rich too! Oh yeah, and stealing land and resources from Native Peoples ... yep that makes people rich too! Oh and stealing land through "iminent domain" ... yep that makes real-estaters/development mongers rich too! Oh yeah ... let's not forget the WAR ... now that really rakes in the bucks for the a-holes doesn't it! And last but not least ... degrading Mother Earth ... yep that's payed a perty penny hasn't it! I think you should be paying for ALL of the pie for what you and your kind have done, since you have made your precious funnymunny by way of evil done to everyone else.
I also agree with looselyhuman ... Fuck Ayn Rand - have you ever actually LOOKED at her?? Eeewww!

[-] 1 points by WhiteOw1 (17) 3 years ago

history shows us that "rich" people got rich (and still get rich) by harming society. Alcohol, tobacco and slavery all made people rich in centuries past (and low ... it still does come to think of it!) Oh and USURY makes banking families especially rich too! Oh yeah, and stealing land and resources from Native Peoples ... yep that makes people rich too! Oh and stealing land through "iminent domain" ... yep that makes real-estaters/development mongers rich too! Oh yeah ... let's not forget the WAR ... now that really rakes in the bucks for the a-holes doesn't it! And last but not least ... degrading Mother Earth ... yep that's payed a perty penny hasn't it! I think you should be paying for ALL of the pie for what you and your kind have done, since you have made your precious funnymunny by way of evil done to everyone else.
I also agree with looselyhuman ... Fuck Ayn Rand - have you ever actually LOOKED at her?? Eeewww!

[-] 1 points by WhiteOw1 (17) 3 years ago

history shows us that "rich" people got rich (and still get rich) by harming society. Alcohol, tobacco and slavery all made people rich in centuries past (and low ... it still does come to think of it!) Oh and USURY makes banking families especially rich too! Oh yeah, and stealing land and resources from Native Peoples ... yep that makes people rich too! Oh and stealing land through "iminent domain" ... yep that makes real-estaters/development mongers rich too! Oh yeah ... let's not forget the WAR ... now that really rakes in the bucks for the a-holes doesn't it! And last but not least ... degrading Mother Earth ... yep that's payed a perty penny hasn't it! I think you should be paying for ALL of the pie for what you and your kind have done, since you have made your precious funnymunny by way of evil done to everyone else.
I also agree with looselyhuman ... Fuck Ayn Rand - have you ever actually LOOKED at her?? Eeewww!

[-] 1 points by WhiteOw1 (17) 3 years ago

history shows us that "rich" people got rich (and still get rich) by harming society. Alcohol, tobacco and slavery all made people rich in centuries past (and low ... it still does come to think of it!) Oh and USURY makes banking families especially rich too! Oh yeah, and stealing land and resources from Native Peoples ... yep that makes people rich too! Oh and stealing land through "iminent domain" ... yep that makes real-estaters/development mongers rich too! Oh yeah ... let's not forget the WAR ... now that really rakes in the bucks for the a-holes doesn't it! And last but not least ... degrading Mother Earth ... yep that's payed a perty penny hasn't it! I think you should be paying for ALL of the pie for what you and your kind have done, since you have made your precious funnymunny by way of evil done to everyone else.
I also agree with looselyhuman ... Fuck Ayn Rand - have you ever actually LOOKED at her?? Eeewww!

[-] 1 points by PlasmaStorm (242) 3 years ago

Brilliant OP post.

[-] 1 points by tx8370 (8) 3 years ago

The problem with the occupy wall street protesters is that they don't want to hear what you wrote. All they want is a free meal on the backs of hard working people. And they want the government to do it for them.

[-] 1 points by hopiakuta (11) from Desert Hot Springs, CA 3 years ago

I am not as literate as you are; but, I do think that that means that you have either emigrated to a monarchy, or committed suicide, & that you want the middleclass & underclass, particularly the homeless, phyically disabled, emotionally disabled & cognitively disabled, like me, to starve to death, & that you want to own the restaurant: you already own the nation.

You are not immigrateful for your luck to watch us suffer in our desperation, in your restaurant or nation.

DonFphrnqTaub Persina

[-] 1 points by Chromer (124) 3 years ago

GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! It can't be any worse than it already is. If Texans want to succeed from the union, let them go is what I say.

You can have all the money you want. I could care less. But when you have bought off the politicians that are supposed to represent me, then you've crossed the line.

[-] 1 points by Markmad (323) 3 years ago

She was libertarian? Well, in that case fuck Ruthbard too.

[-] 1 points by sandhill (5) 3 years ago

Could this possibly be about a continuation of dominator societies instead of cooperative societies where individualism is not stressed, but individual contributions are? Why is it seen to be an American's "right" to trample on other folks for individual gain, like that old maxim of all's fair in love and war and business? Do we have a moral compass anymore? It certainly is not nor ever was crafted by Ayn Rand whose needle pointed in a direction of soul soiling sociopathy. Thus we see the creatures that are the economic vampires of the 1%. All " legal" you know! Come join us!

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 3 years ago

This is a joke I suppose these people then go to church and the rich guy's tithes are a lessor percentage than the others. Isn't that the logic?

Then when the military protects the country the rich that has more to lose pays a lessor percent because, help me out I lost my sense rationalizing

[-] 1 points by theainavl (124) from Asheville, NC 3 years ago

Ayn Rand was a speed freak. She wrote The Fountainhead high on Benzedrine.

[-] 1 points by Liberated1 (22) 3 years ago

Please review and share this important information: http://cafr1.com/ProtestWallStreet.html

[-] 1 points by jdiet1980 (2) 3 years ago

This is right on the mark...

[-] 1 points by quietlike (194) 3 years ago

They have gone elsewhere, thats why we have no jobs. A combination between taxes regulations.

[-] 1 points by ChiefOrganizer (2) 3 years ago

Press Release Operation Occupy October 10, 2011 Many have inquired as to the specific aim of Operation Occupy. In fact it has been unclear as to the purpose behind the movement. It is important to know that Operation Occupy is not affiliated with any political party or special interest group. The sole mission of Operation Occupy is to let the current government and financial establishments know that all Americans are tired of the economic and fiscal irresponsibility. It is time to stand up and let our voices be heard. The mission of Operation Occupy is as follows: In 2007 America was promised “hope” and “change”. Instead we saw hundreds of billions of dollars poured into our banking system. This “stimulus” left our country with upside-down mortgages and people forced out of their homes at a rate greater than in any time in our country’s past. If this was not bad enough, continued use of “stimulus” packages have been crippling the value of the US dollar globally. The most recent Obama Jobs Act will again funnel “stimulus” money, hundreds of billions of dollars that really do not exist, into our economy to create jobs that are going to be temporary at best. It is obvious that there is a clear effort from within the White House to disassemble America by destroying our economy. America is not being fiscally responsible and more and more citizens are becoming financially disabled. The US banking system is being used as the catalyst to produce this outcome. If we continue on this reckless path, it will only take four more years under this current regime to bankrupt America.
Operation Occupy represents an opportunity for Americans to stand up for economic responsibility and let the current leadership in Washington DC know that our votes in 2012 will just be the beginning of putting our country back on track. The only true “hope” and “change” will not come from one man, but will come from a unified effort of all Americans. Increasing Government and the power of our banking system will never be successful. America must invest in private industry and developing corporate growth within our own borders. It is only through these fundamental investments that the US dollar will once again strengthen and our citizens will prosper. If we truly want to provide support to our country’s disabled, elderly, veteran, and other indigent citizens; we must have economic strength. If we want to create jobs and insure individual financial security; we must have economic strength. If we want to invest in education on all levels; we must have economic strength. If we want to have quality teachers, firefighters, police, social workers, and other public servants; we must have economic strength.
Operation Occupy has one clear unified message that can be summarized with our battle cry, “Our Banks Are Murdering America. Obama is in bed with the banks!”

[-] 1 points by Dutchess (499) 3 years ago

Ayn Rand.....was a reaction to Communism. She was a very critical thinking and although I disagree with her on altruism, she does open doors to quite some controversial subjects.....that need to be discussed....

[-] 1 points by ddashred (11) 3 years ago

Let them go.

They will be hurt worse in the long haul.

[-] 1 points by bogusanger7 (83) 3 years ago

"The moral to the story is: Tax the rich too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. They might just go somewhere else! (read Atlas Shrugged)"

So long suckers!!! Don't forget, where ever you all go, your ass is gonna get ran out of that country too!!! That is, if it hasn't already taken place, you all are too GREEDY!!. Do you holier than thou individuals really think this is going away?

Leave us...please and give us back our farmland, our companies, our way of life to sustain ourselves....after all you only got rich off the back of others!!

[-] 1 points by abmebratu (349) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

First of all, let's keep it real. We don't really eat at the same table. We may live in the same country, but the areas and places we live,meaning the rich and the poor, are considerably different; you might as well call it different countries. Also unmentioned in your protracted opposition to the 99% is the hundreds of loopholes used by the wealthy to evade taxes and also the hundreds of way the wealthy receive in government welfare. Tax cuts are not written in stone. Many times they are manipulated by the wealthy through offshore banking and litigation, and also pseudo charitable deeds designed to garner tax breaks. Then you have corporate welfare for rich corporations through various means too long to mention here. Finally you have the financial sector, which is largely responsible for producing the crisis we find ourselves in today. Most sane economists now agree that financial speculators serve no economic service. They are just gamblers on Wall Streets. These guys are no Steve Jobs or Mark Zucherbergs. They are just in the business of scamming. Lastly, in response to the endless threats of capital flight unless Wall Street gets its way. This is not going to work anymore. The American work force is still the most productive, dynamic, and intelligent. It is capable of creating wealth better than the wall streeters have done in the past. Capital needs us more than we need it. If you must betray America and flee with your capital then do what's in your heart. But never never talk about your patriotic zeal and integrity.

[-] 1 points by WorldFreedom (62) 3 years ago

What you have just described is a Ponzi Scheme.

That aside, if the wealthy want to go elsewhere, maybe they should go to say Zimbabwe and get a dose of reality.

[-] 1 points by Headiot (7) 3 years ago

Let's suppose the 10 men are a teacher, a farmer, a pilot, an actor, a lottery winner, a politician, a janitor, a soldier, a carpenter and a banker. From a societal viewpoint, the most important of these men are likely the lowest earners. If you're going to cry "unfair," you need to start with a level playing field. Otherwise you're just arguing a principle which doesn't do anybody any good. Put down Ayn Rand and pick up an economics textbook.

[-] 1 points by deeber (4) from Hanover, NH 3 years ago

Do not be sucked in by this story. In real life, the bottom 4 got pancakes and fake maple syrup. The next two got pasta with meat sauce and a coke. The next few had hamburgers, fries and a beer. The guy at the top had champagne, caviar, lobster tails, steak and hand-made truffles. He then either vomited or took the leftovers home. Rich people used to pay much higher taxes and they didn't leave the country. The wealth gap was much smaller then. The system is set up like this: if you have more money than you can spend, you invest it in corporations that take natural resources and turn them into commodities, many of which are unnecessary, all of which ultimately become waste. Yes, it creates jobs, but many of those are shipped overseas or given to robots so that the corporations and their investors can make more money. Never mind the rest of the people, who also have a claim to the natural resources of the planet, and the right to have food and shelter even if they were not born rich, talented or intelligent, and even if they didn't have good nutrition growing up, or a decent education. I am in the 1% too, and I would gladly pay much more in taxes if I didn't think it would be used to keep this corrupt and unfair system going.

[-] 1 points by jammer1019 (2) 3 years ago

The way it really works is The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $5. The sixth would pay $9. The seventh would pay $13. The eighth would pay $20. The ninth would pay $53. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $0 because of his deductions.

[-] 1 points by jammer1019 (2) 3 years ago

The way it really works is The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $5. The sixth would pay $9. The seventh would pay $13. The eighth would pay $20. The ninth would pay $53. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $0 because of his deductions.

[-] 1 points by jweale (1) from Stratford, PE 3 years ago

You forgot about the part where the rich man (let's call him Goldman Sachs) leaves the restaurant, goes and plays some roulette (derivatives, ABCP) and then uses his goons (government) to force all the other men to cover his losses (2008 bailouts).

[-] 1 points by ADemocraticRepublic (49) from Midland Township, MI 3 years ago

A phenomenal analogy. And a very accurate one. This one is a keeper!

Thanks for taking the time to post.

[-] 1 points by MilkOfParadise (5) 3 years ago

The tenth man is the rich man because his function in his 10-man society was to collect as much of the other men's wealth as he could. As such, he is expected to bear the tax burden more, since his actions have not only made him rich, but have also made the other men poor. If the 10th man flees this society, he is no longer the rich man, but a thief. You want to be rich, act like it. You want to be a thief, act like it. But you can't be both.

[-] 1 points by MilkOfParadise (5) 3 years ago

also, a side note: when the 9 of us voted for Obama, we weren't trying to beat you up. We elected someone who's been kinder to 10th men then most presidents past, and the most capable of the 2008 candidates. But this thing we're doing now, on Wall St. and around the country, THAT's beating you up. Obviously, or you wouldn't sound so hurt.

[-] 1 points by FRANK (6) 3 years ago

Your ARE your brothers keeper pal.

So, while you and your malignant cohorts who exclaim "If you work harder", "You will succeed". All the while scheming devious tortious tricks to scam people and financial institutions out of "Hard Work"

Does Enron, World Com, Bear Stearns, Fanni Mae, Freddie Mac, etc...ring any bells? How about the Gulf Oil spill, or Iraq (Oil), or Fukushima, or Afganistan? Who is doing this "Hard Work"?

"The moral to the story is: Tax the rich too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. They might just go somewhere else! (read Atlas Shrugged)"

Why don't you go somewhere else? (If you think you can.) You will find the 99% in every corner of the planet.

[-] 1 points by FRANK (6) 3 years ago

Your ARE your brothers keeper pal.

So, while you and your malignant cohorts who exclaim "If you work harder", "You will succeed". All the while scheming devious tortious tricks to scam people and financial institutions out of "Hard Work"

Does Enron, World Com, Bear Stearns, Fanni Mae, Freddie Mac, etc...ring any bells? How about the Gulf Oil spill, or Iraq (Oil), or Fukushima, or Afganistan? Who is doing this "Hard Work"?

"The moral to the story is: Tax the rich too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. They might just go somewhere else! (read Atlas Shrugged)"

Why don't you go somewhere else? (If you think you can.) You will find the 99% in every corner of the planet.

[-] 1 points by joewealthyhaha (152) 3 years ago

That tenth Man story is EXCELLENT. Spot on. I'm going to send it to all my friends.

[-] 1 points by jonesr728 (4) 3 years ago

Ayn Rand was a miserable person and not nearly as influential an author as my generation wanted to believe, Get on with the important tasks at hand and forget Ayn Rand.

[-] 1 points by jonesr728 (4) 3 years ago

Ayn Rand was a miserable person and not nearly as influential an author as my generation wanted to believe, Get on with the important tasks at hand and forget Ayn Rand.

[-] 1 points by Dave (14) 3 years ago

Money was created to enslave people, and give the money makers more power, land, wealth, ect...We live in a debt slave system, wake up. It's all fake, and we have been brainwashed that money must run the planet. The earth provides everything we need to survive, Banks created money to gain power over the earth and everything it provides for free. Lets evolve as a planet without fake money.

[-] 1 points by Dave (14) 3 years ago

Money was created to enslave people, and give the money makers more power, land, wealth, ect...We live in a debt slave system, wake up. It's all fake, and we have been brainwashed that money must run the planet. The earth provides everything we need to survive, Banks created money to gain power over the earth and everything it provides for free. Lets evolve as a planet without fake money.

[-] 1 points by bythepeople (56) 3 years ago

The door is open and swings both ways. Don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out.

You're not going anywhere. You like it here. You got rich here and your'e getting richer here by the minute.

What you don't realize is if these folks and all folks like them work, get paid an honest wage, and contribute, you get even richer.

Wake up already.

[-] 1 points by bjkahuna (40) 3 years ago

This is an idiotic and meaningless analogy. Tax rates have nothing to do with how much anything costs. They are a percetage of your income, etc. I'd like to know how you "earned" your money.

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 3 years ago

"Tax the rich too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. They might just go somewhere else!"

America did very well during the 1950's, when the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans was 90+%!

Mass production, demands mass consumption, but people can’t afford to consume if the wealth an economy generates is concentrated at the top. In consequence, as in a poker game, where the chips are concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other people can stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit runs out, the game stops.

[-] 1 points by MikeMilligan (4) 3 years ago

2 of the men aren't even in the restaurant. They're out in the alley digging through the garbage.

4 of the men are the middle class. 1 of the men is a congressman. 1 of the men is a lobbyist. 1 of the men is the she-male escort that the tenth man has hired to entertain the congressman and lobbyist. And of course, the tenth man actually owns the restaurant. So, the bill he's paying is actually just money he's giving back to himself.

[-] 1 points by IWantFreeStuff (119) from New Orleans, LA 3 years ago

Dude: You can't win this argument with your puny facts and logic. This is about feelings, and bringing down the establishment. It's a good excuse to get out of mom's basement too.

[-] 1 points by afinewine (1) 3 years ago

The services provided by our tax dollars cannot be equated to a dinner. Unless you want to describe the tenth man as a man who can win every eating and drinking contest in the world; or, in other words, fat and drunk, eating and using more than anyone else, and unwilling to pay for their fair share. He is also trying to convince me to eat more and drink more because he owns an interest in the restaurant so he gets a return on the restaurant tab in the form of a share in the profits. He knew somebody who knew someboy who got him in on the private offering so I wasn't even asked to invest, never had an opportunity for profit... etc...etc...

[-] 1 points by e000 (371) 3 years ago

Ayn Rand, Karl Marx, and L. Ron Hubbard are all dead. It's time to move on. It's a new day, isn't it?

[-] 1 points by jonesr728 (4) 3 years ago

On first blush I am inclined to disagree. There is something to the old adage that to ignore the past is to relive it. However, ultimately I must agree it is time to move on. Do you want something new or the same old tired discussions.

[-] 1 points by e000 (371) 3 years ago

Time to move forward, to clarify. I would find it extremely refreshing to see SOMEONE add a thread on proposed solutions that mentioned real world details, ideas, and absolutely zero figureheads or organizations. I'm tired of reading the agendas or disagreements of every dead spokesperson for all the old systems. How about we consider the idea of BALANCE, look for unbiased facts, and try to come up with something new, something that suits the goals we desire without ignoring circumstances that are albeit unpleasant, nevertheless very real, and make things actually happen. Rallying to a cause (or fifty in a pigpile, all lumped together under one name, with the people inside fighting each other to hijack the whole) is all good and well, but I would really like to see more than just some proposed bills that have already been tied to partisan agendas. I'm eager to see more creativity in this movement, if there is any to be had.

[-] 1 points by fraser (35) 3 years ago

And just where is the rich man going to go? UK, Greece, Italy? Where is this magical 'other place' that is not going to demand the same fairness. Also, your trite story negates to point out that the 10th man actually owns the restaurant and actually gets most of the money back anyway (even after he paid the chef minimum wage)

[-] 1 points by john333smith (1) 3 years ago

WHAT THE STORY REALLY SAIS IS THAT AMERICANS ARE STUPID. "HEY THANKS! WE'LL TAKE THIS NEW $80 CHECK AND PAY the same percentage we were paying before and each pay equally less!." Tenth man says, "Lets see. .59 x 80 = $47.20. I save $11.80! etc. Seriously? divide 20 by six? noone would do that in reality. you should switch from ayn rand to Aesop.

[-] 1 points by Reigne (175) 3 years ago

That should make some folks use critical thinking - thanks for sharing this!

[-] 1 points by orianavfallaci (16) from San Francisco, CA 3 years ago

I just call dude's behavior as being ignorant and cheap rather than "being Chinese"- no matter how much his sister would insist otherwise.

The point to these protests is that you can't enjoy a collective quality of life as a society and a community (I know these are difficult abstract concepts for right-of-center civil libertarians and republicans, but make the effort to explain nevertheless) without the concept of mutual sharing and obligation.

Of course there are alternatives. Take my older brother the orthopedist who was making one might well assume at least the average income of someone in his profession of a half million $$ per year. He chose to let our parents die wondering how to pay their medical bills... just like this former lover let me know I was worth only $800 to him and that he'd turn his back on me in a global depression, and even after he knows his sister proudly took credit for the breakup. What a capitalist asshole.

[-] 1 points by orianavfallaci (16) from San Francisco, CA 3 years ago

And I'll bet he spends 10x that much in a single day on his lover, which of course he denies exists, but which is social fact (or a dozen of them) for a man in his social position (let alone him telling me he never once felt anything more than "appreciation" for his wife but not love), all of which apparently suits him to a tee, as he was equally comfortable emotionally manipulating me so that he could insult me in every manner possible, even though his sister boasted he was a different "class" now (even though he didn't have any). Or maybe that's just called "being Chinese" as his sister would have it. To each his own.

[-] 1 points by orianavfallaci (16) from San Francisco, CA 3 years ago

I can tell you a long, meandering, and otherwise useless story as well about some guy who said I was the love of his life who is in fact a billionaire industrialist in Shanghai... and who refused to so much as pass my resume, while handing me $800 as my sum 'value' to him, otherwise telling me "You're on your own," which is pretty much the same bullshit you purvey here.

[-] 1 points by 3DogsBarking (2) from Death Valley, CA 3 years ago

This rant is based on several false premises. 1) Wealth isn't created in a vaccum. The rich guy depended on common resources, natural and/or human, to aquire his stacks of cash. 2) The creation of wealth generally has associated externalities such as pollution, wars, limits to liability, etc.. the cost of which is transfered to the public. 3) Nobody is getting a free lunch. For an honest discussion you have take into consideration all taxes paid. Cherry picking income taxes to make your point is dishonest and doesn't reflect reality. 4) Comparing a restraunt tab to a complex income tax system that attempts to encourage beneficial behavior and ensure the commons are funded is lame on it's face.

In fact even if you enact a flat tax you'd have the same dinner scenario as above, 10% tax, the bottom guys make $20k they pay $2k, the top guy makes $2mil and pays $200k. Exactly what is the author suggesting we do cut the top guy a check for $198k, bringing his effective tax rate to .1%?? Should we send an apology card too??

[-] 1 points by celauing (1) 3 years ago

Please by all means take your money and let us have our country back!!!!!

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 3 years ago

Why do people equate libertarianism with objectivism? They are two different philosophies (the fact that they each have their own names should be a hint).

[-] 1 points by Coreupt (294) 3 years ago

TIme bank: Learn about it, Think about it, DO it

[-] 1 points by Tr99One (4) from Port St Lucie, FL 3 years ago

50 years ago, the rich guy would have anted up 80$ on that same tab.

We have the greatest disparity in wealth redistribution in this country since 1929.

Time has come for you to tighten your belt 1mpercent. As part of the middle class, I've had lots of experience in feeling the pain. Walk a mile in my shoes baby!

[-] 1 points by MiddleClassPhoenix (7) 3 years ago

No your example is invalid: Should you leave, yes you would take your ability to pay the $59 toward the tab, but you would take the $100 BILL WITH YOU due to your exquisite TASTE in the FIRST place! and yeah maybe the other nine might not eat quite so "fine" at first but i promise you that eventually they will, and they'll be able to do so off of a well-founded dollar...not an inflated inheritance!!

[-] 1 points by Tr99One (4) from Port St Lucie, FL 3 years ago

50 years ago, the rich guy would have anted up 80$ on that same tab.

We have the greatest disparity in wealth redistribution in this country since 1929.

Time has come for you to tighten your belt 1mpercent. As part of the middle class, I've had lots of experience in feeling the pain. Walk a mile in my shoes baby!

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

They should think about eating at home. I'm sure their wives were pretty pissed that they went out every night carousing.

[-] 1 points by Nulambda (265) 3 years ago

Ok. I agree. Our tax code is unfair. I think the tax code you speak of, though, applies to the 99%. I think you are confused on who the 1% are. In your analogy, you have described the 99% sitting around a table, and, as usually, they are bickering over how the 1% have divided them, taxes in this case, while promoting equality.

The 1% is not, like in Ayn Rand's Fountainhead, the individual who aspires to know their trade and to be passionate about what they build, and believe they have a fundamental right to build what they want and not have tyrants, in the name of equality and popularity. The spirit she speaks of is what makes us human and prosperous.

The 1% is, like in Ayn Rand's novel, the forces that use equality and as a divider of that human spirit so that they may manipulate our actions for their own personal popularity and glory. The man who is the coward who must use others for his battles, like the 1% do today by having the 99% go to war for their profits, forcing us to work of their debts because they are to big to fail, monopolizing regulation laws to guarantee their corporate cartel securities, destroying nations to profit off of their re-building. The multi national cartels do not pay taxes. They manipulate and bend the system, and using taxes as a way to divide the people to insure their cronie-capitalism.

As in your analogy, imagine the same people, sitting outside the restaurant, hungry, but with no money in a new land. Now, imagine the owner of the restaurant ask the people if they are hungry. They all exclaim "Yes! We are very hungry. But," sadly, "we have no money."

"That's okay. I will feed you on credit! Then you can pay me later," explains the owner. Realizing that this was the only restaurant in town, and they were very hungry, they agreed. But then one spoke up: "But we have no way to pay you back. We are new to town and we have no money."

"That is okay. You can work it off. But I will have to charge you interest."

This seems reasonable to the group so they all go inside to have a nice meal.

After the meal, the group ask the owner if they know of a place they can stay. He says "Of course! I own the only hotel in town. But.... You have no money."

The group is sad because they will have to sleep outside in the car.

"Hmm... I guess you could work that off too.... Of course I will have to charge you interest.."

They all agree and in the morning they begin working for the owner. After their long day of work they receive their pay. And because they have been working all day, that have not left the town and are again hungry and tired. The owner takes from their pay what they we, but because of the interest, they can not pay it all, and must go back to working again the next day. Plus, they have acquired the new bill with the compound interest. Thus, they are forever in debt to the owner, even if he decides to stop feeding them because they owe him so much money they are a bad risk.

Now, to use your tax example: suppose the owner does decide to cut off their food supply, or at least rations out less and less (he doesn't want to kill his servants :) ) and begins to smell mutiny in the air in the group. The leader of this group is bigger than the rest, so the owner rations less food to the big guy and more to the others based on equality principles. Now the leader as been marginalized, and the rest of the group are happy with their new "tax" position. Eventually this strategy is manipulated into the hodgepodge we see today. Thus the group bickers among itself about taxes and forgets that they are perpetual servants to the owner.

I think this is a better reflection of the 1% relationship to the 99%. If you pay taxes, or if you are to desolate to pay taxes, you are the 99%. The 1% do not pay taxes, and force us to work of their debt that generates their wealth because they are above the system because they own the system. And that is the evil Ayn Rand speaks of.

[-] 1 points by Marchelo (67) 3 years ago

The virtue of earning one's success in a free market is not what should be called into question. Money is a common means of exchange and the wealth it affords is justly derived from providing a valuable service to society. This free exchange provides tangible incentives to innovate and has consistently delivered technological advancements for the betterment of humanity and our basic quality of life. The free market system is time tested and it works.

What needs to be questioned here is the notion that our market is free. The cumulative effect of special interest lobbying and unlimited/untraceable corporate political donations is a system which favors (and legislates) for the benefit of the top 1% at the expense of everyone else. Money has become too great an influence upon our government, and this has inequitably distorted the democratic will of the people. There is far too much market manipulation going on, both government on market and market on government. The result is a further concentration of wealth among fewer and fewer individuals with less and less concern for the welfare of the lower income brackets.

This is evident in the ongoing erosion of social welfare programs and the expansion of legal loopholes for Wall Street to subsidize its risk at the expense of the taxpayer. The top financial firms didn't generate record profits by providing a valuable service to society. They fabricated income by selling their own debt to themselves through shell corporations (a practice called "Repurchase Agreements") to post bigger "profits" and drive up their share value. They know that these values no longer reflect reality, yet they focus our nation's wealth to perpetuate the perception of ever-upward linear growth to satisfy their shareholders.

Its lunacy and it is wholly unsustainable.

[-] 1 points by riversideCA (9) 3 years ago

since when do the rich eat fast food? thats the best i can afford.

[-] 1 points by noism (78) from Seattle, WA 3 years ago

Likelihood was that the rich guy ordered the caviar, steak and lobster with an expensive chardonnay which jacked the bill up anyways, when the others would have been happy at a $10 All American diner down the street.

[-] 1 points by otonzer (33) 3 years ago

Please also explain how much each person at the table makes?

[-] 1 points by cives (8) 3 years ago

Ayn Rand praised the individual and his genius. In Atlas Shrugged the main characters were not motivated by money, they were motivated by producing quality(consider "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence"). Corporations today are motivated by profit, not quality, not the integrity of their product. While the protagonists in Ayn Rand's novels never compromised their ideals, the antagonists consistently compromised ideals, quality, integrity, morality to satiate their lust for profit.

Small businesses have to rely on the quality and integrity of their product; whereas, large corporations rely on lobbying power, advertising campaigns, and the apathy of the consumer.

Corporate lobbying tends to shout so loud with such sums of money that the voice of even the majority is drowned out. Friends of mine running small farms have had their homes raided by regulatory agencies who purportedly don't have enough man power to monitor big agribusiness, but can find enough manpower to seize computers and documents from small farm businesses and fine them for noncompliance with this or that regulation while food from big ag seems increasingly to be recalled after distribution because of health risks such as e-coli.

No one should fault another entity for being wealthy, but certainly the means employed to gain that wealth can be questioned; and if the means are illegal, immoral, or undermine justice and fairness, does that entity truthfully have a right to that wealth? Shouldn't a system that allows such active disparity be re-examined?

[-] 1 points by Longjohn412 (8) 3 years ago

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 3 years ago

What book are you talking about? Lord of the Rings is a delightful fantasy and Atlas Shrugged is about a man who will not compromise his ideals to subjugate and avail himself to nefarious individuals who uses people as cannon fodder. Maybe you're talking about Das Capital - agreed reading that book would lead to a socially crippled adulthood.

[-] 1 points by Lance161 (46) from San Tan Valley, AZ 3 years ago

Atlas Shrugged perpetuates the negativity of the Nietzsche objective man.

This being said I completely agree with you, in a simple progressive tax system we'd do that.. I AGREE WITH YOU.. BUT... you are doing that as if it were based on simple INCOME. On this very crucial point we disagree, capital gains are not taxed, for example, this would hold if this were based on flat INCOME, not specific kinds.

[-] 1 points by Ascension13 (46) from Tampa, FL 3 years ago

Interesting thought experiment. Reality doesn't work that way.

[-] 1 points by MichaelRDimock (1) 3 years ago

Where would they go? Europe? No higher tax rates there. Latin America where they would be subject to kidnapping; don't think so. China or India? Nope, not really wanted there and could not own much do to laws that protect their respective economies from foreign domination. Africa? I doubt it, too much unrest and too little rule of law. I guess they need to stay in the US which protects their ability to become wealthy and keep the vast majority of the money they make.

[-] 1 points by craponallestablishment (5) from Bronx, NY 3 years ago

Let's return to the gold standard and shut down the fed.
We should also cut off all the corrupt big businesses, big government, United Nations, big unions, and all the other dysfunctional big organizations.

Rouseau said only the smaller business owners and individuals could create a natural state of freedom - true anarchy. We could all either choose to support ourselves or share with each other without asking anything from the big corrupt organizations, as long as they leave us alone.

[-] 1 points by BadAss0830 (68) 3 years ago

If I made more money in a year than most make in a lifetime, I'd probably just pick up the bill.

[-] 1 points by BadAss0830 (68) 3 years ago

But I don't, so I don't eat out. Your logic is flawed.

[-] 1 points by atki4564 (1259) from Lake Placid, FL 3 years ago

All true, and although I'm all in favor of taking down today's ineffective and inefficient Top 10% Management Group of Business & Government, there's only one way to do it – by fighting bankers as bankers ourselves. Consequently, I have posted a 1-page Summary of the Strategic Legal Policies, Organizational Operating Structures, and Tactical Investment Procedures necessary to do this at:

http://getsatisfaction.com/americanselect/topics/on_strategic_legal_policy_organizational_operational_structures_tactical_investment_procedures

Join

http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/StrategicInternationalSystems/

if you want to support a Presidential Candidate Committee at AmericansElect.org in support of the above bank-focused platform.

[-] 1 points by ModernDayGentleman (1) 3 years ago

Hello,

More important and what I have seen works best is the richest (10th guy) pays the tab for all at the dinner. They can certainly afford it. Everyone has a much better time. They can take whatever tax benefit good or bad for the total tab. In conclusion America will be better off when people from different pay grades can go to dinner without thinking about the taxes.

For those so-called Americans that "might just go somewhere else" please leave. If your reason for being here is just to become wealthy and not contribure then you are more of a burden those that abuse the welfare system. America is worth paying for and not resorting to get a Walmart/China discount. In addition, I challenge anyone to explain how someone of wealth that can take advantage of all of the benefits of America and not be willing to contribute significantly like the men and women in the military and their families that protect your life style.

I'm honored to pickup the tab and pay my taxes.

TDH

[-] 1 points by Feloneius (9) 3 years ago

Uh...can you even eat at McDonalds for 10 people for 100$? I was thinking more along the lines of 1000$ at a nice restraunt.Whitch means the first 4 never made it thru the door, the 5th got up and left because he felt out of place,the 6th had water,the seven a salad so fourth..Just an observation! Or am i wrong..?

[-] 1 points by straylightfire (1) 3 years ago

Don't you dare state that we live in a society that is on par with Ayn Rand's morals, you fucktard. Obviously, you read her books and thought, "Oh! so its okay to be greedy!" That's not the point at all...Ayn Rand is not about the love of greed, even though that is how the vast majority of people lay her now. If you actually READ what she has written, her idea is as such; All men have a right to use their property that they have earned through hard work as they see fit, either to the benefit of themselves or others. Are you trying to tell me that the CEO's of these multibillion dollar companies earned their money? Only if your idea of earn = give people who make $10/h the idea that they can afford a $1M home and then when they find out they can't, take the home and then steal money from the government to cover your losses. No one who supports OWS feels that wealthy people who earned their wealth should give it up...its about all those other rich dicks who got rich by corruption.

[-] 1 points by knarfster (5) 3 years ago

"No one who supports OWS feels that wealthy people who earned their wealth should give it up." Oh how wrong you are.

[-] 1 points by Mjollnir (9) from Sacramento, CA 3 years ago

That is the silliest thing i ever read. The scary thing is you believe that without any historical evidence, its a made up story. We already had the higher tax rate - remember its that time that all republicans and the tea party look back on as being the greatest period of US history, right after WWII. Strange, the rich were not fleeing . . . . I guess that would make you full of it.

[-] 1 points by knarfster (5) 3 years ago

It was easier for the Rich to move money off-shore during the 78% tax rates. 78% ?! thats absurd that for every $1 you earn the Government get .78. Only a Marxist would disagree.

[-] 1 points by Mjollnir (9) from Sacramento, CA 3 years ago

Its a progressive tax rate, fool. Use your head. Only a man corrupt with greed would agree with FOX news - that is you - poor brainwashed fool. PS read the bible too- I seem to remember some guy talking about greed in there too . . . . hmm. . . . who was that guy?

[-] 1 points by LOVEPEACE (199) 3 years ago

Look, to most families in impoverished Africa we are ALL the 1%. I definitely am. This isn't about getting your money. You think you are rich but you are still not free. You cannot buy your way out of the slavery. The slavery says that the system you bought into OWNS you. They can tax you and take your money any time they want. They PRINT IT. And they enforce it's value with violence. If you want to keep the value you have accumulated you should leave. It should be clear to you that this rigged system's collapse has been engineered as pretext to WWIII. And when that becomes clear you know there is no where to go. Time to join in and Demand PEACE. PEACE is prosperity. If you want security then DEMAND peace. Join the 99 because they are just the 1 for some other 99.

[-] 1 points by MiMi1026 (937) from Springfield, VA 3 years ago

Let the rich go. We The People will be better off without them. They help NO ONE but themselves!

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 3 years ago

I have a question for you if you don't mind. I'm not trying to get too personal or anything, but I'm just curious as to how much money you might spend in a given election cycle? Local, State, Federal all together, something approximate will do. Again, no offense, just curious.

[-] 1 points by FuManchu (619) 3 years ago

Bush tax cuts also reduced capital gain tax. People with a lot of investments were able to show most income as capital gain and reduce tax. That is why it called tax cut for the rich and unfair. I don't agree it was tax cut for the rich either. Just presenting one point of view. Every time someone is in a bad situation, it is easy for vested interests to get him to blame someone. The rich is the reason the poor are poor. Rich people are evil! Rich people don't deserve to keep what they earned. They must pay 100% tax. Of course, when the companies close and move to China, blame them for moving jobs overseas.

[-] 1 points by squarerootofzero (81) 3 years ago

OK, but the first four men actually didn't get anything to eat. The 5th only had bread. The 6th had a green salad. The 7th had chicken on his salad. the 8th had a hamburger. The 9th had steak. And the 10th had the Surf and Turf Lobster and Steak with a fine Pinot Noir.

[-] 1 points by sunsetpark (1) 3 years ago

FINALLY someone mentions what's wrong with this analogy. We're not all sharing the same dinner equally.

[-] 1 points by knarfster (5) 3 years ago

We all have the same shot at being the "one"

[-] 1 points by dewitback (63) 3 years ago

This is not true! In canada its because we have the power to tax that we are in a better financial situation that the United States. We have the funds to be fiscal and yet continue with the welfare we provide our citizens.

[-] 1 points by dewitback (63) 3 years ago

This is not true! In canada its because we have the power to tax that we are in a better financial situation that the United States. We have the funds to be fiscal and yet continue with the welfare we provide our citizens.

[-] 1 points by novak (1) 3 years ago

You forgot to mention the part where the 1% drives home in his Mercedes Benz, has absolutely no trouble finding the money to fill up his tank, and then goes back to his big house where he prepares to send his kids to college, pay up front and send them into the world debt free. Plus if you are in the 1% then you are probably in a business that sells goods. If your taxes are raised and underprivileged people are able to see some benefit of it, such as increased funding for schools (Since lack of education is a direct link to crime and poverty. i.e. in order to find out how many jail cells to build we take a poll on how many 3rd graders can't read). If those people were to see the benefit of you're tax dollars then they would in turn go to college and get jobs, instead of being a social tax drain by being in prison, and with those jobs they would in turn buy more products because they could afford it, and eventually the money would go right back up to the 1% that is selling the products, and increase your consumer base.

[-] 1 points by jefftheben (4) 3 years ago

Tax the rich and do they not bleed? Boo hoo! Where are they going, besides hell in the end? Go back to 90% tax rates and make them work for their money too. That's the only way to get jobs back, cause the only way the rich work is hire somebody to do it for them.

[-] 1 points by majickals (1) from Liverpool, NY 3 years ago

The problem with your analogy is that they richest don't seem to want to "break bread" with the poor in the first place. While the poor are reduced to discount grocers and food pantries, the rich are enjoying an abundant buffet...since you promote the atheist Ayn Rand...Read James 2:1-5 ESV

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

[-] 1 points by patriot4change (818) 3 years ago

I would like to personally be the one to escort you, and your 1% Elite friends, to the Airport when you "leave the playground". But, before you go, at least have the balls to tell us where the $16 Trillion dollars have gone... where all the BAILOUT money went... and why you and your arrogant cohorts hire illegal immigrants... ship our jobs overseas... and pay minimum wage with NO benefits whenever you can. Go ahead Mr. 10th Man. Leave. This Country will be a better place without your kind.

[-] 1 points by chigrl (94) 3 years ago

This is awesome :)

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[-] 1 points by cap1 (65) 3 years ago

Clever story. Very true. I might add, the tenth man most likely stayed home (aka, quite work to keep his millions, and laid off all his employees since he didn't need the business anymore. Or something to that effect).

[-] 1 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 3 years ago

Let em go! Most of them are parasites anyway.

[-] 1 points by Leabharan (9) from Ashland, OR 3 years ago

Where will you go and when? You have been sending your money abroad for years. Invest in America, create jobs for your fellow citizens.

[-] 1 points by Slave2debt (16) 3 years ago

Is there any point when your children are going to be enslaved to debt? Surely it is better to fix the broken system and free your children from those intent on enslaving them.

[-] 1 points by kmanpdx (105) 3 years ago

That's all fine and dandy, if it were 100% true. Warren Buffet even admitted he only paid 17.4% tax (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/warren-buffett-raise-taxes-wealthy-friends/story?id=14307993). I paid over 30%. The 1% will not just leave. They need us. What if the consumer 'just leaves'? What if the government regulates (fairly) and protects the people vs the super rich? We need a level playing field that just does not exist today.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 3 years ago

This is utter nonsense. If your taxes go up, you will leave the USA? Go right ahead and move to Portugal or China or Mars, for that matter. There are plenty of bright men and women, including myself, willing to pay significantly more in taxes, in exchange for political access and an upper middle class or rich lifestyle. I am an MBA, with a specialization in international business and I know for a fact that your paying more in taxes is not going to end Western Civilization, as we know it. The problem is that there is a bit of a shell game going on. The Corporations want to make money off of efficiencies and off of outsourcing labor; destroying jobs in the USA, but they, the rich, don't want to manage the risk of destroying the stability of our commercial market.

To ensure that we maximize shareholder value, off of activities conducted in the USA, geared toward servicing the US market, we need to ensure that Americans have babies and that we have moderate population growth; that will include immigration, as well as increased birthrate. In order to sustain growth in shareholder value, you need to sustain the benefits of free cash flow and in order to do this, long term, you need to grow the population you serve. Unfortunately, the financial and industrial elite have placed so much investment in foreign countries that it is growth in the consumer markets of everyone, but the USA, that is driving growth in shareholder value.

By paying much higher salaries and creating high paying jobs, in the USA, we could brain drain and skills drain the World, bring the Global market right to the USA and we do not need the shell game of Globalism. The fact is that we can sustain growth in shareholder value and grow the middle class. If this means that a billionaire is worth twenty billion instead of a hundred billion, well boo hoo. Better that two generations achieve the American dream and that we boost birth rate and immigration, than see the P.R.C. raise as a global power, while two generations of Americans end up in poverty, so a few I- Bankers can do it with four thousand an hour prostitutes.

The big point is that the rich created a problem: They undermined the financial future of two generations of Americans and then the financial elite and industrial elite want someone to feel sorry for them, because they are going to pay more in taxes? Globalization benefits the few, the rich, at the expense of the majority of Americans. It doesn't matter how cheaply you can produce a product I cannot afford to buy, because the USA is not creating jobs. It does not matter how rich you become, because I do not need you to be rich, I need a high paying career.. If you are rich, then clearly your being rich has not benefited me. You pay all these taxes, well boo hoo. I will gladly trade with you. You have no more right to be rich, in the USA, than anyone on this board has to be employed. Are you worrying about their future? Are you worrying about my future? You want to be rich and take advantage of others, how heroic of you. No, you are not worried about anyone but yourself and we are worried about ourselves; not you. Until you start getting useful, for our purposes, there is no reason not to raise your taxes. Have fun on Monster Island or wherever Ayn Rand wanted you to move to. -MJ Morrow

[-] 1 points by hotdoghenry (268) 3 years ago

That was great! I plan on being a 1% er some day! When I get there, I'll buy ya lunch!

[-] 1 points by rmmo (262) 3 years ago

No, here is the truth: There has been a massive "wealth redistribution" that has gone on for the last 30 years. The top 1% now control 42% of all of the nation's wealth and the top 10% now control 70% of our entire nation's wealth. The bottom 50% control a mere 2% of all of our nation's wealth. The middle class is the economic engine of our economy. The middle class spends their wealth on goods/services and the corporations make a profit from the spending. Corporations have redistributed the middle class wealth by paying the vast majority of their profits all out to the executives and shareholders.

Middle class wages have stagnated for 30 years while executive wages have gone up 256% in since 1980. Even last year executive compensation went up another 11%. All of our nation's wealth has been redistributed into the hands of the few.

How did this happen right under our noses? The middle class was roped into replacing wages with easy credit/loans. So instead of paying people living wages, corporations fooled us into thinking we were doing well and could afford things by giving us easy credit instead of wages. Instead of having wages to buy t.v.'s, furniture, etc. we were given easy loans. So the middle class became a debtor class.

There used to be a tax disincentive to paying out all of corporate profits at the top because in the 1950's income was taxed at 90% over a certain amount money ($2 million in today's dollars) and now that tax disincentive has disappeared. In 1950's the highest marginal tax rate was 90%. In 1960-1970's it was 70%. In 1980's it dropped to 49%. In 1990's dropped to 39%. Under George Bush it dropped to a mere 36%. We have had over 30 years of massive tax cuts for the wealthy.

There is now no tax disincentive to paying out all of the corporate wealth at the top. And there is no employee bargaining power because now less than 12% of all of our jobs are unionized. Corporate profits are at an all time high, healthcare company profits are at an all time high, and oil profits are at an all time high. We have a profit-taking crisis at the expense of the people that no politician will doing anything about. Healthcare and oil companies have enjoyed a decade of record profits while we have had a decade of massive premiums for little coverage and a decade of outrageous gas prices.

The problems are: 1) deregulation of the banks by the Republican-controlled congress in 1999; 2) hedge funds are exempt from regulation; 3) tax system no longer has a disincentive against paying outrageous executive salaries (highest marginal tax rate has dropped from 90% to 36%); 4) commodities market is exempt from regulation (Republican-controlled Congress exempted it in the Commodities Future Modernization act of 2000); 5) the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations can spend unlimited funds in campaign elections (thus politicians on both sides favor the wealthy/corporations) and 6) the rise of corporate/billionaire propaganda media "news." Because of the need to raise massive sums in politics today, we no longer have a party that represents the people. The Democrats have to chase the corporate and big money donors too.

What can we do about this: 1) re-instate Glass-Steagall Act regulating the banks; 2) regulate hedge funds and the commodities market (because the commodities market is not regulated speculation has caused prices for commodities to go through the roof); 3) get rid of the money in politics (have federally funded elections with clear limits on spending and no outside groups allowed to have ads); 4) get rid of 1980's laws stating that corporations' only duty is to maximize shareholder profits; and 5) regulate "news" channels and newspapers (no more "slanted opinion news" masquerading as hard news) and reinstitute the fairness doctrine across all news outlets to ensure that both sides get equal time.

Corporations should have duties to society and to their workers too. They should have to balance their duties to maximize shareholder profits against their reinstated duties to their employees and to society. The laws saying that corporations' only duty is to maximize shareholder profits have led to the destruction of long-term business plans and care for their workers and have created short-term profit monsters at the expense of workers and society.

[-] 1 points by alwayzabull (228) 3 years ago

The real problem is that in the real world scenario, the rich man would own the money printing press, the restaurant, the restaurateur, and the houses of all his dinner guests. He owns them because he owns the monetary supply, economic policy and the policymakers. He owns everything.

[-] 1 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

That's a little far, don't you think?

[-] 1 points by alwayzabull (228) 3 years ago

A little far, yes. But my point is still valid. The system is rigged. Nobody is safe from the corruption coming out of Washington. In time, you may be their next target. It's all well and good until you get the shaft and then you'll be the one 'whining'.

[-] 1 points by BringBackGlassSteagallAct (67) 3 years ago

Well, that's an old one, what we want and will get is an even playing field, which is in your balance for a while longer:

You all are great! I feel the only way we can get back on safe financial footing again is to close the Enron Loophole for oil speculators and bring back The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which prevented the current banking and insurance scams/loopholes. After all, it worked great until late 90's when Congress threw it out. Since then, like prior to 1933, we are experiencing what our country went though then, total Wall Street greed with no penalties, its all legal now...Thanks to the architects of our new system in 1999, President Clinton and Senator Gramm. Cheers to all that are involved! Jim

Why we need Glass-Steagall to be reinstated:

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/03/071603.asp#axzz1aPEc3wXj http://www.counterpunch.org/2008/09/19/shattering-the-glass-steagall-act/

Why are oil prices high?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbdtTGYQBMU&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNp0y0SjOkY&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-kExdTgNZA&feature=channel

[-] 1 points by incarceratejohnkasich4life (23) 3 years ago

We want a meritocracy, and that is not the reality right now. That is why OWS is happening.

Also, your frail metaphors failed to address how the tenth person came to the table with 60% of the spending power. Was it because they were working around the clock without sleep, or because they were violating ethics and defrauding others?

[-] 0 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

My intent was that it was earned, not stolen.

[-] 1 points by incarceratejohnkasich4life (23) 3 years ago

What country is this supposed to be about then?

[-] 1 points by ltjaxson (184) 3 years ago

The reason the tenth man would pay the most is because they have the most wealth. Regardless of what you say the fact is: the tenth man owns 50 percent of the taxable wealth in this country and the top 20 percent won 85 percent of the taxable wealth. I doubt very seriously that the bottom five percent go to the same restaruant as the the top five percent, but if they did, I would expect the top five to pick up the bill...

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[-] 0 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

Dear gawdoftruth, If two were starving in the streets, why didn't they go to a shelter, church, neighbor, or dare I say a trash can. I've eaten from dumpsters. Have you? I've never mugged anyone but yet I'm wealthy now. I've sweated making payroll. I've paid employees before I paid myself. I've cut my own pay by 20% to keep others on my payroll. But I'm sick and tired of the uninformed telling me I need to pay my fair share! I thrown up when I received my tax bill. I've had to borrow money to PAY TAXES because I left MY money invested in my companies. PLEASE do NOT stereotype! I worked, day and night, to get where I am, and I still do! Weekends too. I've sacrificed! I'm not calling you names here: your ignorance of the real world is shameful. You just don't know. You just don't understand. That's ok. Nothing is EVER equal. Intelligence. Ability. Effort. Money. etc.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 3 years ago

the real question is did you get wealthy honestly? what did you DO to earn that money? con scam the dupes? Look you are the one who started in with the stereo types and a nice little parable which lumps us all in, and which avoids the simple truth that HOW you people make your money and HOW you stay on top is CROOKED.

Its conceivable that you are not. But not very likely- esp given your fascist little parable thats detached from anything resembling whats really going on.

I do understand. i do know. And your not going to schiester me out of my objective truth with your subjective distortions of reality.

Nothing is ever equal. I have a 180 IQ and 20 phds of autodidactic knowledge and i know wonderful little secrets about how to make all kinds of technology toys work including warp drive. but i can't share that information with your civilization because it is evil.

Wake up, and quit playing team sports with evil parables. The problem is that your top guy is crooked, your bottom guys are uncontainable victims, and the entire con scam game of corporate oligarchy is a rigged and evil fascist casino. Nothing has anything to do with merit. or truth,. or logic. or compassion. If your civilization was sane I'd be hanging time with some one percenter giving you all the keys to the galaxy. instead, here we are.

[-] 1 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago

Warp Drive? Wow. I'm just in the low 120's. Most of the truly high IQ people I know can't put words together nearly as well as you. I agree the system is broken. I just think the OWS approach is misguided. Protest Washington. Wall Street is just a place where business go to get funded. Ideas brought to fruition.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 3 years ago

i agree. the ows approach is misguided. but. its still better than apathy or nothing.. which is where we were two months ago. I have been trying to make real change happen for 20 years. It would be nice if these people could grow up and get with an adult right action problem solving process. But. Kids will be kids and will learn their hard lessons the hard way. we need to support whats right and confront and critique the problems. help them. but don't be sucked into the noise and games.

[-] 1 points by skb (8) from Albuquerque, NM 3 years ago

The wealthy gentleman's exit will leave the other men unaffected beyond the realization that he didn't show up for dinner. He probably was out to dinner with people who worked for him, which begs the question...why was anyone so poor that their share of the bill was nothing? The story only works if their share of the restaurant bill is connected to what they ordered. If he ordered steak and wine, and the poorest ordered "ramen noodles" then sharing the bill by percentages is ridiculous. Every man pays for his own meal. Then the division is fair. That is what the movement is about.

[-] 1 points by wemartin89 (7) 3 years ago

Guess what? They got their tax breaks and they still left....LOL

[-] 1 points by georgiaric (3) from Newnan, GA 3 years ago

Actually this movement is kinda Atlas Shrugged in reverse. John Galt's idea was to stop the world. This time it is the globalized world of money that is being stopped because the people that understood what is happening just stopped participating.

[-] 1 points by Cindy (197) 3 years ago

That somewhere else may have to be to the moon because this movement is spreading across the globe. NO FREE LUNCH

[-] 1 points by AllComeTogether (2) 3 years ago

True, but. But In many ways they have already gone. Develop our patriotism and desire for the country and it's inhabitants to succeed. Teach the message that those who have more have the obligation to help those who don't have. Right now the message is "Greed is good"!!! The message needs to include "A strong middle class is good for everyone". Rampant poverty creates so many social problems that even with the insulation they can build around themselves,the richest can't avoid some of them.

[-] 1 points by UTEFANS7 (1) 3 years ago

The wealthy always want to talk percentage. Except for the 99%. Reality is that you forgot that without the other 9, the tenth has no wealth. The wealthy man probably took the $10 and invested overseas to exploit the difference in labor costs. Now the seventh man has been laid off, and also the sixth. Benefits for the first four have been cut and now.....well they just go hungry.

Meanwhile the wealthy man watches Erin Burnett and laughs at those "idiots" at Occupy Wall Street. He says those losers need to get a job instead of "partying" in the street, damn hippies.

Wealth does not create jobs......Jobs create wealth!!!

[-] 1 points by littleg (452) 3 years ago

I agree.

[-] 1 points by Cindy (197) 3 years ago

That is only part of the story. At the end of the year number 10 man took a tax deduction aka entertainment expense because work was spoken about while at the restaurant and that restaurant was located in Hawaii where more business spoken about how to rip off the rest of society hense another tax break . If we are not for the people, of the people and by the people perhaps we should leave. There is no free ride! Bye.

[-] 1 points by Dagny (4) 3 years ago

A business can only deduct 50% of business entertainment expenses, so based on your assumption, the tenth man still pays more than everyone else.

[-] 1 points by Cindy (197) 3 years ago

I'm concerned with the amount that would have been paid to the population if that 50% was not a deduction. And if the one percent would care to leave it may be noteworthy the occupation is slowly spreading to every country. Perhaps the moon?

[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Suppression of engine technology is not fiction.

[-] 0 points by jph (2652) 3 years ago

Atlas dropped the ball,.

It would be great if the "rich" (call them the greedy) did not show up at all! In fact it would be great if they did not TAKE so much more than their share. It really is that simple. We live on a planet with finite resources (limited). We are all born naked (no property),. yet some feel entitled to take way more than their share. Hard work is NOT what makes the greedy rich, it is the systems of inequity that funnel wealth from the many to the few.

One simple example; Bankers get to create money,. when you take a mortgage the amount you owe is created, that money did not exist before. They do not pay for this money you do, the money is a representation of the debt, your promise to pay it back with interest that the banker gets to keep. These people are getting money for nothing and they are the ones manipulation the democracy, in fact if you listen to the Republic folks they are against democracy in principle, preferring a system where the wealthy few rule over us all,. as so much chattel.

Also, looking at you break down, why not show the NET WORTH or even the incomes of the ten men? Complaining about having to pay a higher percentage in taxes while you still are taking way more than your share is infantile. What you take, you take away from someone else. (finite world!)

Whining of taxes while you are still the 1% is pathetic. It as sad that some people (middle class and even lower) support the 1% in the vain hope that they themselves may one day join that greedy elite. Pathetic.

[-] 0 points by MegMcG (8) 3 years ago

from my earlier comment, and I think it bears repeating:

Your return on that dinner investment is a hundredfold and trying to trick us otherwise is why we are so damned pissed off

[-] 0 points by riversideCA (9) 3 years ago

if they divided the bill by percentage of money earned that week. the tenth man paid the least. and didnt leave a tip. fuck the rich!

[-] 0 points by MegMcG (8) 3 years ago

cute. But the first that ate for free had to ride a city bus to get to the restaurant. The fifth guy had to work 16 hours to pay for a sitter to watch his kids while he was at dinner. 6th, 7th and 8th took their money for dinner out of their kids college account and number 9 is hoping like hell this dinner will land him in your favor so he can get that contract that will keep his business open.
You sir, you number 10? You own the restaurant. You own the farms that supplied the food and the factories that made the napkins. You own the energy companies that keep the lights on and the gas for the stove. You own the politicans who are using your $49 to pass the laws that keep the farm subsidies coming, that allow you to pay children overseas to sew the napkins and pay for the military force that keeps your energy sources available. Your return on that dinner investment is a hundredfold and trying to trick us otherwise is why we are so damned pissed off!

[-] 0 points by glooskap (64) 3 years ago

Terrific thread, 1percent. Alas you are fighting a losing battlexas you nondoubt found out. Your patience, tolerance, optimism and good intentions met with mockery and obscenity. Wonderful display of what the city is observing every day...mobs n trash.

Im a 1%-er who is still trying to figure out why the 99% think i have ANY more sway over the govt than them. I DIDNT vote for what this admin is doing and have no more chance at changing it than those that did, beyond voting again..

Always nice to feel unwelcome in your own country, huh.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 3 years ago

I define the 1% as those that use their money to buy their representation in government. If you do not feel that you have "sway" over the government and the government is not hearing your voice, then you are in the 99% too.

Money speaks too loudly in our political process.
1% buys their representation, 99% are left with the scraps.

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 3 years ago

Awesome analogy im1! Funny, as simple as you made it the Hippies are still in denial of how our tax system works. I suspect many of the negative comments here are from the 40 pct that pay nothing, and abuse our entitlements anyway. UTEFans: The beauty of capitalism is if the 10th man really got rich off of the other 9, in this country all 9 of those folks are just as capable of working hard, saving, and starting their own company. Of course, as they become successful the next 9 bums will hate them. More money is available for the alleged 99% to do something today than ever before. Go talk to the SBA if you don't believe me. Just stop bitching and start doing something!

[-] 1 points by brokeandstarving (62) 3 years ago

the last pay stub i received on my glamorous minimum wage job still had the taxes taken out of it.....what the heck do you mean the poor dont pay?

[-] 1 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 3 years ago

If you make minimum wage you pay 1400$ or less in taxes a year. A six figure earner in the suburbs with kids will pay 40K in taxes. We both got some benefit from the federal government. Call it $1K each per year. You then paid $400 back to society, while the guy in the burbs paid $39K. Both get welfare if needed, but one guy paid $400 for his; the other paid $40K.

[-] 2 points by brokeandstarving (62) 3 years ago

with more money comes more responsibility...isnt that one of the rules? If i made 40K per year of course my tax would be higher, but i would still pay it like i do now....just because i dont pay a LOT doesnt mean i DONT pay.

[-] 0 points by Im1percent (30) 3 years ago
  1. "powertothepeople" I'm looking at Ecuador and Andorra primarily.
  2. "SophieH" I just ate at a little greek place here in Wilmington, Chris'. A few of the people there were workmen (roofers). I had a club sandwich. Typically I save the aged Angus for dinner. PS: I bought the roofers lunch.
  3. "plague" I owna company that sells to the FedGov. The system is SO far from rigged. Please review the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). If it's rigged, then it's set up so the little guy can compete. Nice big words though! Wall Street is just a place where you (ready "anybody") can invest in companies large and small. It allows anyone to participate in Shell's 5% profit or Apple's 21% profit. I think maybe you fail to see the forest because of all those damned trees. Corporations CANT be evil; no doubt some of the people running them have a malfunctioning moral compass. SOME! Not most. Why dont you add up all the charitable giving that results from these same companies (including that of their employees)?
  4. "nouveaupauvre" Am I exploiting the people who work for me? If so I'll fire them immediately!! Please let me know....
[-] 1 points by MiMi1026 (937) from Springfield, VA 3 years ago

The stock market is a gambling house(like poker chips going up&down ). Wallstreet went bust.. They swindle the 99% TARP money .they gambled on the backs of the middle class. GREED!

[-] 0 points by 4opportunity (3) from Rochester, NY 3 years ago

If you had read Atlas Shrugged, you would know that Hank Reardon (a 1%er) valued his employees contributions to his success. He paid them enough that they were able to pay their fair share at dinner. The question here is, why is one man richer than the rest of them? Yes, often it is due to hard work, skill and talent, but often there is also a huge amount of luck involved. The truth is that there are millions of hard working, skilled, talented, creative people out there eating Ramen noodles today. I have just one question - Where is the opportunity I was promised??

[-] 1 points by ADemocraticRepublic (49) from Midland Township, MI 3 years ago

Who promised you opportunity? I suggest that you find that person and ask they to deliver on their guarantee.

There is plenty of opportunity in this country. But you must take it, it is not guaranteed.

The only promise I see is "life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness". The liberty here is one of personal liberty (freedom of speech, the right to take up arms, etc) and even economic liberty. It is not the liberty for others to pay your way.

[-] -1 points by MichaelRDimock (1) 3 years ago

Where would they go? Europe? No higher tax rates there. Latin America where they would be subject to kidnapping; don't think so. China or India? Nope, not really wanted there and could not own much do to laws that protect their respective economies from foreign domination. Africa? I doubt it, too much unrest and too little rule of law. I guess they need to stay in the US which protects their ability to become wealthy and keep the vast majority of the money they make.