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Forum Post: Life Lessons From A 1 Percenter

Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 23, 2011, 1:44 p.m. EST by elpinio (213)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

  1. Study hard instead of working hard - Effort pays off differently at different times of your life. When you are 60 years old, no matter how hard you work, you won't be paid much more. If you are a janitor, no matter how hard you work, you won't get paid much more. So, the lesson is that study hard in school. That's when it'll make the most difference in your life. 1 hour of studying = 100 hours of working. That's what my parents taught me, and it has been true.

  2. Study hard means really study hard - Don't go by the American definition of studying hard. That is a joke. This is a global economy. Go by the global definition. Look to Asia and set that as your standard. As a kid, even on summer holiday, I was forced to study starting from 5am. I got the afternoon off. My average in highschool was 95+%. As Edison said, genius is 99% perspiration.

  3. Study the right subjects - Don't study or major in subjects that are easy or will give you no competitive advantage, i.e. most liberal arts degrees, unless you get into a Harvard or Stanford. Because those subjects are easy and natural to learn (easily related to normal human experience), everyone can do it and hard work doesn't pay off as much in those subjects. In contrast, math, physics, chemistry, etc.. don't come naturally. It takes a lot of practice and isn't fun. Therefore, if you have the determination to work hard at those subjects, you will be at a competitive advantage because others avoid it. This is why liberal arts majors have a hard time getting jobs. While those with science and engineering backgrounds have a relatively easy time, even today.

  4. Don't leverage up - That means, don't buy a house until you can put 40% down, at least. Leverage got all these people buying McMansions into trouble. And it's what got the banks into trouble too.

112 Comments

112 Comments


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[-] 8 points by BlueRose (1437) 2 years ago

And kill off all disabled and artists because they are not efficient and useful to society, right?

PS, education costs money. If you think math takes hard work, tell that to the elite who get business degrees while preventing poor students from getting those math degrees. A math degree does not make you a 1%er.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17677) 2 years ago

@ BlueRose : I get where you're coming from and for an alternative "self-identified 1%er's story", try : http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-persons-view-from-his-1-perch/ . fiat lux ;-)

[-] 0 points by HarryPairatestes2 (380) from Barrow, AK 2 years ago

The poor have the best chance of going to college without having to pay. A poor kid with a good GPA can go free to Harvard and Yale if their family income is less than $60k a year. Most division one colleges offer full merit and need based scholarships to kids with less family income (below $100k).

[-] 0 points by BlueRose (1437) 2 years ago

The poor don't do well in high school often due to circumstances beyond their control. Much of these scholarships are based on high school.

[-] 0 points by HarryPairatestes2 (380) from Barrow, AK 2 years ago

You're just making up stuff as you post, right?

Of course the scholarships are based on high school grades. Where else do colleges get their freshman?

[-] 0 points by BlueRose (1437) 2 years ago

This needs to change. Students should get community college for free until they achieve college level and are able to transfer. Really, all education should be free. Remember, the high school graduation rate is very low in USA, especially among the poor.

[-] 0 points by HarryPairatestes2 (380) from Barrow, AK 2 years ago

Thanks for ignoring my question.

"Really, all education should be free." Really? Up to which grade or how many degrees? Who is paying for this free education, not you I guess.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Wow, your own prejudices ran that off the rails immediately. That was fascinating.

[+] -4 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

There are millions of liberal arts students that are of no use to society. The proof is in the pudding - they are all unemployed.

Expensive? Work hard and get a scholarship, as my sister did. Work work through school and graduate with little debt, as I did.

You want to be a 1%er? I thought you were protesting against them. A math or other advanced degree makes you a useful contributor to society. And gives you the potential to become a 1%er.

[-] 4 points by BlueRose (1437) 2 years ago

You can only afford so much education with NSF STEM scholarships, at some point you will need money or credit, something the poor do not have.

[-] 0 points by HarryPairatestes2 (380) from Barrow, AK 2 years ago

Stop posting your incorrect opinion. The poor have a much better chance at getting into college and having it paid 100% then do middle income and rich kids.

http://ug-finaid.northwestern.edu/docs/FinancialAidBrochure.pdf

read the Northwestern University brochure on financial aid.

[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Not true. I know poor people who got scholarships and worked part-time. They finished university (with double majors) in 3 instead of 4 years to save on tuition.

[-] 2 points by BlueRose (1437) 2 years ago

I personally have received numerous scholarships, including National Science Foundation STEM. I cannot get a loan without a cosigner which I don't have. I do not think you know how expensive education is. The days of paying for college with a little job are OVER.

[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Actually, I do. Finished my advanced degree not 5 years ago.

So is this preventing you from attending college?

[-] 2 points by BlueRose (1437) 2 years ago

Did you get a loan or did you get a sports scholarship from high school? I never graduated high school, attended one year due to circumstances out of my control. I had to learn on my own, so scholarships attached to high school performance were OUT for me as it is for many poor and those from bad families.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

I don't know what to say. Seems like you work hard. But government can't provide for all circumstances, such as those caused by family issues. If you don't even graduate from high school, you are up for a hard time. But even then, if you are young enough, you can succeed.

[-] 1 points by BlueRose (1437) 2 years ago

The graduation rate in this country is relatively low, parents are overworked and stressed in this country.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

you misunderstand what 1% represents in this context. 1% own nearly 80% of the assets and cash in this country leaving 99% of us to fight over what is left. That means for very dollar you make, 80 cents of that will end up in the pocket of someone who didn't work for it but collects it from you through a series of charges, tax subsidies, or unjustified price inflation. If you are ok with working your ass off and someone else benefiting from it more so than you, that is your right. I just felt it was important o bring you up to speed on what those terms represent so you don't continue to look foolish.

[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

You are the one who is misguided. If you don't want to fight for the scraps and work for someone else, the solution is simple.

Study hard, build up capital, and start up your own business. Pretty simple.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

http://richardketgates.com already on it bud. If you ran your own business, you wouldn't assume such ridiculousness. Owning your own biz doesn't mean the country is fine and peachy. If you're ok with the way things are, fine, go sit back down and watch more TV.

[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

I don't need to assume anything. I've already made it.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

So your here because you have nothing better to do?

[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Yep, just like everyone else here.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Sucks to be you.

[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Actually, no. I'm collecting money as I surf the net right now. Heading out soon though. Talk to you tomorrow.

[-] -3 points by nucleus (3291) 2 years ago

TROLL

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

[Removed]

[-] 2 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Make your point concisely, don't link me to random articles (that I won't read) and hope I deduce your point.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Learn how to write. Your post is organized like like dog shit on carpet that has been spread around by a robotic vacuum cleaner.

[-] 1 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

they only give so many scholarships... the proof in the pudding is that our entire economy and society has been grossly mismanaged for the majority of 6 decades by the very people entrusted to ensure it's safety and survival and the last 30 years have seen an unprecedented explosion in the very policies that have driven america into the ground.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

they only give so many scholarships... so be the one who gets one.

[-] 1 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

what about everyone else???

[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Get a job and work through college. My dad did it managing a pizza hut after he got out of the navy.

[-] 1 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

this is 2011 incase you didn't notice pizza hut is not fucking hiring.

[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

It was the idea behind it genius. And by the way my friend was fucking hired there recently.

[-] 1 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

what about when you graduate in business with honors and still can't find a job what then? one of my best friends graduated over a year ago and still waits tables and bartends at ruby tuesdays his loans have started to come due what now for him??????

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

A degree in business is a joke. He should have studied something more challenging.

[-] 0 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

not what i would major in however if the economy was fuctioning correctly he should be able to find a job no problem, however that is not the case.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Sounds like he planned for the best case scenario and got screwed when that didn't materialize. Hint: plan for the worst case scenario or have a back up plan.

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Well I would have to say that everyone has problems. Seems like more of a personal story to me. I personally feel for him because I've been trying to get a job since summer last year.

[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

My lessons were how to get to the 1%. By definition, there has to be the other 99%.

[-] 1 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

exactly your whole philosophy is predicated on taking advantage of the other 99% regardless and that my friend is why if there is a heaven there won't be many rich men there.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

No, if you read my lessons, my whole philosophy is working hard, at the right time, and at the right subjects.

[-] 1 points by Anachronism (225) 2 years ago

Look at it this way: The empire needs only about 20-25% of its population at the very most to administrate and perpetuate itself -- through lawyers, insurance managers, financial managers, college teachers, media managers, scientists, bureaucrats, managers of all types and many other professions and semi-professions.

What happens to the rest? They are the production machinery of the empire and they are the consumers upon the empire depends to turn profits. If every one of them earned a college degree it would not change their status, but only drive down wages of the management class, who are essentially caterers to the corporate financial elites who govern most things simply by controlling the availability of money at all levels, to to bottom, hence your hard struggle to pay for college in an entirely capitalist profit driven economy. In every other modern post industrial economy you would have attended for free as long as you chose to, and been given free healthcare and a stipend to live on while you did it.

Clawing down basic things like an education in such a competitive, reptilian environment makes people hard. And that's what the empire wants, hardassed people in the degreed classes managing the dumbed down, over-fed proles whose mental activity consists of plugging their brains into their television sets so they can absorb the message to buy more, and absorb themselves in the bread and circus spectacles provided them through profitable media corporations operating mainly as extensions of the capitalist state's propaganda system, such as "buy this," or "you have it better than anyone in the world," (not at all true). The more generations subjected to this, the more entrenched ignorance, materialism and lack of intellectual drive becomes. So you are right to the degree that we live in a degraded society. But the dumb mooks down on the corner did not do the degrading. They never had that much power.

At the same time average household income in America is $34,000. So a guy like making $75,000 has two choices. He can feel like the money justifies a superior attitude, or he can take some time to think about things other than the capitalist state's stamp upon his brain that, yes, he is superior because he can buy more things, and he can call other Americans lazy because they did not make the same choices he did.

Only about 20-24% of Americans get a college degree. One quarter of Americans do not finish high school. Interestingly, they are beginning to come together, though they don't know it. Right now we are seeing the proletarianization of college graduates, as increasingly more of them are forced to take service and labor jobs. (Remember that it only takes a limited number to directly or indirectly manage the working masses, which these days includes workers like hospital technicians, and a thousand other occupations we have not traditionally thought of as working class.)

. America will go through its most profound changes over the next few decades . When the ecological and economic collapse comes, and it is now unavoidable, you may well find yourself gutting chickens at a Tyson poultry plant. Be nice to the Mexican-American guy standing next to you. He got his college degree the same way you did.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Too long.

[-] 1 points by Anachronism (225) 2 years ago

Your post is simplistic and completely ignores systemic pressures which makes this "How to be successful" schtick irrelevant and eventually will become sociopathic. The system will keep alienating people until social forces overthrow the old system. We don't need more jobs - we need a culture that does not condemn that those that don't work.

[-] 0 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

no your brain power is too short.

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[-] 3 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 2 years ago

As Einstein says, genius is 99% perspiration.

Source please. It doesn't sound like Albert Einstein.

"Education is that which remains, if one has forgotten everything he learned in school." -- Albert Einstein

Education is important, no doubt, but only if it's done properly, not in the form of authoritarian indoctrination, like we have in most schools.

[-] -1 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

thomas edison was a two bit hack and a thief just like you most likely. claiming credit for others success as his own and cooking elephants alive what a pathetic human being http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bowA1xUZpmA

[-] 2 points by ubercaput (175) from New York City, NY 2 years ago

Come on, education is not sweat but attitude.

[-] 2 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 2 years ago

Is it just me or is there something psychopathic about this post?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Blah, blah, blah, blah. You aren't even a 1%er, you're just their hired lacky.

[-] 1 points by Nicolas (258) from Québec, QC 2 years ago

These are all pretty good pieces of advice, and indeed many folks would benefit from heeding them. The problem is that they are essentially true in any society and largely irrelevant when trying to judge one or try to better it. Work hard and be better than other people has always worked and will always work to some extent.

You could give the same sort of advice to a peasant of the low middle ages living in some german state.

  1. Working hard in the fields when you're old will never get you anywhere. You have to start honing your skills early and hard.

  2. Real hard. No time for wenches, hunting and ale, those are for loosers (and established nobility).

  3. Choosing the right skills. Basically, you want to be a warlord. Try to get in some mercenary army, plenty of those around. Get good at killing folks and leading manly men. Move up the ranks, and eventually take leadership or make your own band. Beat up some armies, maybe siege a castle, make yourself useful to royalty or nobility, and soon enough titles and lands should come your way. Farming is easy, every peasant can do it, so obviously it can only lead to abject poverty.

  4. Usurers are evil. You should probably lynch any you see.

None of that means feudal society is a fine system.

Your advice comes from a sound personal ethic, one I respect though I'd probably disagree with you on some finer points, but personal ethic is not adequate or entirely applicable when thinking about the structure of our societies. I understand it's difficult to dissociate the two : demanding a fairer society while teaching responsability to your kids might sound like mixed messages or even hypocrisy, and there is an increasing tendency for politics to turn into culture war. But teaching an individual how to succeed in a given society and thinking about the workings of a decent society are simply not the same things.

America today has significantly less social mobility than many european countries, all the while having some of the longest working hours. It has historically and globally very high and increasing wealth concentration. These are facts, and bad, and "buckle up" is not an appropriate answer.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

My post was not to meant to show how one can change society. It is meant to show how to become the top 1% within the society that exists.

Despite all the stats about social immobility, they are mostly directed to correlation rather than causation. In my personal experience, the American dream is alive and well. I have moved up, and so have most of my friends and relatives.

If you want to change society, great. But change comes slowly and by the time it does, you'll probably be dead. So again, my post is not directed to that, and I'll leave that to others.

[-] 1 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

(#5) VOTE AGAINST all incumbents.

[-] 1 points by WhigPartyRep (2) 2 years ago

This is such utter simplistic nonsense. I don't begrudge the 1%ers their precious wealth, nor do I wish to become one of them. Why would you assume that success = more money?

I've fought in wars and seen men of couragious valour exchange their lives for nothing more than a simple idea. I've travelled the world and made many lifelong friendships. I've loved women who were beautiful both inside and out. I graduated college with a bachelors in Journalism and later a MBA.

I've climbed to the top of Mt. Fuji. I ransacked one of Sadam's palaces. I stood watch on the DMZ in Korea. I've flown backseat in a fighter jet. I've watched a refueling midair from the boom of a KC10. I drove a Humvee across Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and into Iraq.

I've been on an aircraft carrier. I've flown over both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the same day. I've seen the beauty of the cherry blossom festivals in Japan and the devastation in Haiti.

I've lived through national tragedies like 911 and space shuttle explosion. I've met Tuskegee airman, a President of the United States, 2 Secretaries of Defense.

I'm 35, sit in a cubicle 40 hours a week now, and I barely get by financially. In the short time I've been on this Earth, I've seen and done more than most do in several lifetimes. Am I now a failure because I'm not wealthy?

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

You can study hard and use your money to do many of those things and more. For example, I'm younger than you and have amazing travel adventures in all 7 continents (multiple times). And you will live in luxury past 35.

Or you can go the other route to get some cool world experience by joining the military. Of course, you risk getting blown to bits, but that's just a minor point...

[-] 1 points by DYLANDIRT (44) 2 years ago

These are the 2 percenters yearning to be 1 percenters.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Actually, this will get you into the 1% for sure. Now if you are talking, 0.01%, that's a different story.

[-] 1 points by 1ofus (29) 2 years ago
  1. be born into family that could give you all of your advantages. It's always easy to give yourself pat on back for all your great decisions, hard wok and intelligence but the truth is chance plays a bigger part in success than any other factor. There are many more people that work as hard as you and have very little to show for it. Many people are as smart or smarter than you that again have nothing to show for it. Only an arrogant SOB would suggest that you can be successful if you just do as I do. You could have been born to parents with aids in Africa, how far would your superb decision making ability and intelligence take you then?
[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

But you weren't born to parents with Aid in Africa.

Instead, you were born into the top 5% of the world simply by being born American. A country where you can, if you work hard, get to the top 0.1% of the world. Yet you bitch for handouts.

[-] 1 points by 1ofus (29) 2 years ago

I don't want anything from you personally as you have absolutely nothing of worth to me. I'm doing alright myself because I've worked hard, but I'm not so blind to see that we're not all playing with same rules and ethics nor am I so arrogant to see that a persons success has more to do with chance than anything else. To claim to be in 1% and then convince yourself that it was all because of your own efforts alone is arrogant , gluttonous and just plain delusional. The question is; can you succeed with level playing field and less advantage over your fellow man and if so why are you fighting so hard to prevent any correction to a corrupted system?

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

You complain about a non-equal level playing field while being born in America - the most powerful and richest country in the world where by default you are in the top 5% of the world. How ironic. Why don't you swap places with a woman in Afghanistan if you are so righteous in your quest for equality?

[-] 1 points by 1ofus (29) 2 years ago

I see you walked right around the question I had for you. No I certainly wouldn't want to trade places with the woman in Afganistan, but like you I would like to do better than I am while working less. I am certain that I would if our government wasn't corrupted to interests of top 1%. Unlike you, I would like to see everybody doing better not just the1%.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

No free lunch. You can want as much as you like, but unless you also work hard, you're not going to do better.

[-] 1 points by stuartchase (861) 2 years ago

And don't do business with dishonest people!

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-great-satan/

The Revolution starts here!

[-] 1 points by laurenpihera (10) 2 years ago

It appears that you define a person's usefulness in terms of how much money they are able to produce. Compassion, integrity and truth are not especially efficient in terms of rising to the top of society's elite class. True excellence and creativity in art, literature, music does not come naturally. It takes practice, sweat, and extracting the truth of human emotion and struggle from the depths of one's own soul and turning it into a piece of art or music. Learning math is much less grueling in many ways. And physics isn't at all boring, it is fascinating and fun, so I am certain most scientists enjoy their work.

Not everyone can receive a scholarship, no matter how hard the study. That doesn't mean they are less useful to society. No one is saying that everyone should be a millionaire. But what is obscene is when the CEO of JP Morgan Chase makes the equivalent of $10,400 per hour - or 20.8 million dollars a year. It's not because he is more intelligent, harder working or more inventive than most people. Scientists and chemists certainly make no where near that salary. The real problem is that our society values wealth and power more than character and integrity. It values power and influence more than human rights, peace, truth or an honest day's work.

The real problem is that office politics, manipulation and willingness to look the other way and/or compromise one's principles are more essential to rising to wealth and power than one's commitment, effort and skill at one's work.

In case you think I am just pond scum complaining about my inferior genetic lot, I grew up in a wealthy family. My father started his own business - it was an advertising and public relations business - he was one of those useless artist and writers. But he did very well for himself. And I was fortunate enough to go to college. However, I was disowned when I followed my convictions and married outside my race.

So I am familiar with both sides of the picture. My husband has worked his way from the bottom of a business to the administration level. He was unable to get a scholarship so he has made the executive level. But he works 12 to 14 hours everyday and at least 6 hours on weekend (he is salaried so he doesn't get extra). He seldom takes his vacation days, we can't afford to go anywhere even if he did. And still he make under $40,000 a year, better than many but certainly challenging especially when we have huge medical expenses because of my health issues.

I tried to return to school to get my master about 10 years ago. Even if one is eligible for grants and loans, it is nearly impossible without additional income - all ours goes to bills. And we DO NOT live above our means. Our vehicles are 26 and18 years old and our home is not large nor new.

So many of your preconceived notions about the uselessness of individuals who are of a lower economic status are not backed up factually.

And here a reality check. Unless you happen to be one of the obscenely wealthy few - the ones with untold billions - your millions can be wiped out rather quickly. My mother has Alzheimer's. It would cost $8,000 per month to place her in a nice retirement facility. And that doesn't include the cost of her personal items like clothes, soap, shampoo, etc. At that price, even with insurance and my father's millions in assets and saving, within five years of so, it would be gone. So for now he just deals with the extreme daily verbal abuse and punches and hair pulling that she inflicts on him.

Of course, the care for people without the millions is to be sequestered in a substandard closet type room and subjected to substandard care. I have seen it. As I have seen many honest, hard working people barely getting by, picking themselves up after losing everything through no fault of their own and starting over.

And they are, for the most part, more honest, understanding and compassionate than many of the CEO types that I know well, who tend to be self righteous, judgmental, typically working fewer hours in better conditions than the less fortunate.

None of the spiritual teachers in history were part of the wealthy elite. The emphasized character over accumulation of power, wealth and prestige.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Is this your manifesto or something? If you have a good point, you should be able to make it in 2 paragraphs. Do so, and I'll read it.

[-] 1 points by laurenpihera (10) 2 years ago

My apologies. Actually, I stated more than one point in the above post, rather than having to piece meal them out. I was unaware that more than two paragraphs would be so inconvenient for such an educated person.

I also find it curious that you have judged creative individuals and their works - such as the literature of Shakespeare, the art of Da Vinci , the music of Mozart, or the insights into human nature by Carl Jung as useless and a joke.

The real mark of character is to live one's life with integrity and authenticity, to have the courage to live according to one's highest principles, regardless of the sacrifice. Wealth, status and power have little to do with character. And a person with true character, is never useless or worthless to my way of thinking.

The points I have made in this post are not the same as the points in my prior post

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

I have not judged "the literature of Shakespeare, the art of Da Vinci , the music of Mozart" as useless.

What I have said is that there is a huge glut of liberal arts majors who went into those subjects not because they were geniuses or loved those subjects, but because they didn't know what else to major in, and those subjects were easiest.

Obviously, if you are a child-prodigy like Mozart was, I wouldn't discourage you from going into music at college. In fact, you probably wouldn't need college.

However, if you are mediocre at something and not really that dedicated, then you need to take a serious look at what your career options would be at graduation and decide on a path. Most likely that path should not be a degree that employers don't value. Unless you are independently wealthy and are just going to college for enlightenment.

[-] 1 points by laurenpihera (10) 2 years ago

Sadly, not everyone is born a genius or a prodigy. However, with a little talent, a lot of work, dedication and passion, one can still create excellent works of music, art and literature. Moreover, contrary to your assumption, it does take effort, serious concentration and dedication to create something worthwhile. And even geniuses can waste their lives if they had no dedication or if they use their genius in unscrupulous ways.

My father was an artist and writer and turned those skills into a very successful Advertising Agency.

I see you didn't mention Carl Jung so perhaps you see no need for the need to understand human nature. I will concede that many therapist and counselor are less than effective. However, I have met a few that are passionate, dedicated, knowledgeable and have enabled people to turn their lives around and realize their potential. I hardly think that is a useless skill. To assist a person who is drowning in self doubt and confusion and guide them on the path to confidence, esteem, efficacy and purpose is more meaningful than programming a computer. And it many ways it is more difficult because with humans, 2 plus 2 don't always equal four.

[-] 1 points by Anachronism (225) 2 years ago

Look at it this way: The empire needs only about 20-25% of its population at the very most to administrate and perpetuate itself -- through lawyers, insurance managers, financial managers, college teachers, media managers, scientists, bureaucrats, managers of all types and many other professions and semi-professions.

What happens to the rest? They are the production machinery of the empire and they are the consumers upon the empire depends to turn profits. If every one of them earned a college degree it would not change their status, but only drive down wages of the management class, who are essentially caterers to the corporate financial elites who govern most things simply by controlling the availability of money at all levels, to to bottom, hence your hard struggle to pay for college in an entirely capitalist profit driven economy. In every other modern post industrial economy you would have attended for free as long as you chose to, and been given free healthcare and a stipend to live on while you did it.

Clawing down basic things like an education in such a competitive, reptilian environment makes people hard. And that's what the empire wants, hardassed people in the degreed classes managing the dumbed down, over-fed proles whose mental activity consists of plugging their brains into their television sets so they can absorb the message to buy more, and absorb themselves in the bread and circus spectacles provided them through profitable media corporations operating mainly as extensions of the capitalist state's propaganda system, such as "buy this," or "you have it better than anyone in the world," (not at all true). The more generations subjected to this, the more entrenched ignorance, materialism and lack of intellectual drive becomes. So you are right to the degree that we live in a degraded society. But the dumb mooks down on the corner did not do the degrading. They never had that much power.

At the same time average household income in America is $34,000. So a guy like making $75,000 has two choices. He can feel like the money justifies a superior attitude, or he can take some time to think about things other than the capitalist state's stamp upon his brain that, yes, he is superior because he can buy more things, and he can call other Americans lazy because they did not make the same choices he did.

Only about 20-24% of Americans get a college degree. One quarter of Americans do not finish high school. Interestingly, they are beginning to come together, though they don't know it. Right now we are seeing the proletarianization of college graduates, as increasingly more of them are forced to take service and labor jobs. (Remember that it only takes a limited number to directly or indirectly manage the working masses, which these days includes workers like hospital technicians, and a thousand other occupations we have not traditionally thought of as working class.)

. America will go through its most profound changes over the next few decades . When the ecological and economic collapse comes, and it is now unavoidable, you may well find yourself gutting chickens at a Tyson poultry plant. Be nice to the Mexican-American guy standing next to you. He got his college degree the same way you did.

[-] 1 points by infonomics (393) 2 years ago

You quote Einstein, I'll quote Bill Gates:

"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others."

And he did ! If not for Bill Gates and the geek community, I would be stuck in traffic anguishing a day of genuflecting to the man. Bill Gates, the Dept. of Defense, Tim Berners-Lee et al made it possible for us to work at home. They freed us from sycophancy. They did more for Americans who seized the opportunity than the old Dow Jones crow did in a century. They empowered people.

[-] 1 points by hymie (391) 2 years ago

Not everybody can be scientists and engineers though. I would like to see a society in which everybody can make a decent living, including workers who don't have higher educations.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Yes, many more people can be. It doesn't take a genius to become one. Just hard work. Or a doctor, or medical technician, etc.

What you would like is irrelevant. We live in a global society. Your "workers who don't have higher education" are competing against $2 per hour workers in African and Asia. For good reason too... they have no skills and don't deserve to get paid any more.

[-] 1 points by hymie (391) 2 years ago

Sure, more people can be scientists and engineers or doctors, but we still need all kinds of other workers too and I believe, that since we need them, they should make a decent living.

You may think that what I would like is irrelevant, but I make it relevant by contributing substantially to a political organization that supports my political views.

We don't have to live in a world in which people have to compete to be the lowest paid workers. We used to have factory workers who could buy houses and cars and put their kids through college. I believe we can and should strive to have that kind of society again.

Some of the older engineers in their 70s and 80s remember those days and think we should go back to doing things that way. It was called "the American way".

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Yes, there will always be poor and lazy people in the world. My lessons were not to teach kids how to create an ideal society. They were to teach kids how to get to the 1% in the society we have and will have in the foreseeable future.

In the 70s and 80s, the primary determination of a person's standard of living was where they were born. If you were born in Africa, you probably lived to 30. In China or India, millions died because of political strife and war and famine. It wasn't so much the "American way" as it was the rest of the world was still messed up in comparison.

There is no going back. Developing countries are developing no matter what you want. They are not going back to starving themselves and American cannot prevent them from competing in the global economy. Nor, honestly, would it be fair for America to even try.

[-] 2 points by hymie (391) 2 years ago

By "the American way" I mean a distinct economic system called the American Economic system. It is directly opposed to free trade which was the system of the British empire.

We fought the American revolution so that we wouldn't have to live under the British empire, so in a way, we have gone backward to the ways of imperialism. Just because one moves forward in time doesn't mean progress is being made.

We fought the revolution so that our own workers could manufacture our own stuff and make a decent living at it, rather than buying the empire's cheap goods made in India.

Developing countries like China want to move away from the cheap labor system, which is what I want. I want for all workers in all countries to be able to make a decent living.

I think this can be done by each country trying to be as self sufficient as possible, and when it comes to trade, not to trade on the basis of the cheapness of goods, but on their uniqueness or high quality.

[-] 0 points by DiogenesTruth (108) 2 years ago

Those days are gone. Unless you blockade our shipping and become a totally closed society, manufacturing jobs that paid high wages are as gone as dinosaurs.We COULD pay $75 for a white tee shirt made in America, but if we can get one from China for $3, which shold we do?

[-] 1 points by hymie (391) 2 years ago

Our society is gone if we keep going in the same direction that we are now. Martial law, world war, these are the directions we are going in. Your thinking represents the status quo, which is what has gotten us into our current predicament.

A country being as self sufficient as possible is not the same as being totally closed. There would still be trade, it just would not be based on cheap price.

If 30% of our society were factory workers who make $50k a year, buying a $75 shirt is no problem. But more importantly, by having a well paid workforce, you are better able to have a more highly educated workforce.

In a society in which workers are paid well, more of their children can go to college and become scientists and engineers who develop new industrial process that allow products to be made at lower prices and with better quality.

The key question in economics is, which system can produce the greatest number of scientist, engineers, and high skilled worker, because that society will progress the fastest. I suggest that that system is the American System of Economics, rather than Free Trade, or neo-imperialism.

A society that strives to pay the lowest wages will regress, or go backwards in terms of civilization, which is what our society is doing today.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Walling yourself off, isolationism, is one of the first signs of a crumbling empire. Rome, China, etc.

[-] 1 points by hymie (391) 2 years ago

I've said a number of times that this would not be isolationism. It just would not be a system in which trade is based on the cheapness of products. Cheap products result in cheap people which is the problem we have today.

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[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You can't handle the truth!

This is why we are here this is why you are needed.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/inside-job-documentary/

Share, circulate, educate, inspire.

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[-] 2 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

If you have a good point, you should be able to make it in two paragraphs. This is a message board, not a library.

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[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Or maybe it's too convoluted and unfocused.

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[-] 0 points by Doc4the99 (591) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

One -- you are not one percenteter and your net worth is not over 350 million.

Two -- I have done all thos things; I alsowould invest in the markets, including gold/ commodities; and I make good money; I have an advanced degree.

I support occupy because I refuse to this country return to pre 1929 and 1929 robber barron/ depression world in which our civil liberty is bought by billionaires via baton wielding keystone cops.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

One - 1%er by the OWS definition goes by top 1% income in the US. According to that (retarded) definition, I qualify. If you have a better definition by wealth, that's great - but not the one the fools use here.

Two - I am not talking about you. And investment advice (e.g. investing in gold, which has gone parabolic over the past 10 years) over the internet is sketchy by nature, so I don't give it.

Your refusal? As if you can make a difference. The world is globalized and it's not going back.

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[-] 0 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

so wait social sciences, english, art. are all natural and easy to learn. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha this just shows how ignorant you are.... science and math don't come naturally??? obviously you have never met a nerdy science math person before with a natural proclivity for the subjects... just more non-sensical bull shit from the right... news flash buddy people the majority of people in OWS are not in fucking high school or college. what should they do????? only 27.2% of the population has any kind of college degree what about everyone else?????

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Yes, all those social science subjects are a joke. I took quite a number of them for fun and to bump up my GPA - and many science and engineering grads do this. Not only are they EZPZ, but they confer no marketable skills.

Agreed, most people in OWS are screwed. My lessons are for the younger ones, or for OWSers so that they can teach these lessons to their kids. After all, if their kids do well, they can have a good life after 60.

[-] 0 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

introductory courses in any curriculum are principally easy, and yes we should absolutely ameliorate peoples comprehension in math and science, absolutely. however to suggest that science or math are of higher value to the human experience in any way than the omnifarious "liberal arts" and/or b. that "liberal arts" are of no consequence other than to serve as fodder for repartee at social engagements and/or c. that "liberal arts" are in any way, shape, or form are easier to attain a mastery in the course of study than these subjects obviously is either functioning at an intelligence level far beyond the capacities and acumen of the highest genius level polymath or they don't know what on earth they are prattling on about. do you have any idea of the multitudinous nature of "liberal arts", do you have any concept of the knowledge now possessed by some of those in OWS with "liberal arts" degrees? you think what we know is nugatory but the knowledge we possess as polymaths will do nothing but help us in our conquest of what was formerly known as the united states of america.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

No, even introductory courses in engineering are challenging. Any engineering student could easily do introductory liberal arts courses. In fact, many could do masters courses in liberal arts subjects with little difficulty.

But few to no liberal arts majors could pass an introductory engineering or science curriculum comprised of Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, Circuits, etc.

Also, your focus on the "human experience" is misguided. The focus of college should be to get a job (unless your parents are rich). If you want enlightenment, go become a Tibetan monk. No tuition required.

[-] 0 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

your assertion that few liberal arts majors could pass an introductory curriculum consisting of calculus (learned that in highschool), physics (really my uncle invented squid you do know what squid is don't you? hurry google it so you can act like you do.), chemistry (so wait this is not even organic chemistry or inorganic chemistry or theoretical chemistry yawn), circuts (really! shop class for nerds.) is on it's face pretty funny. that you think you could do masters level course work in anthropology, psychology, sociology, architecture, fine arts, economics, or any of the "liberal arts" courses on a masters level with out a commitment to excellence and get a's is a huge fallacy. we won't even touch on truly creative arts like dance, theatre, cinema, visual arts in which you actually have to have talent to excel in because you and i both know that only people with a mastery of jazz get a master's degree in jazz.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Yep, most liberal arts majors couldn't pass an introductory engineering course in calculus, chemistry, physics because they took none of the building block courses in high school.

How many liberal arts students do you see taking science courses? None, because they are too hard.

In contrast, many science, maths, and engineering students take liberal arts courses to boost up their grades because they are so easy. For example, I took a senior-level anthropology course and got the highest grade of the entire class. It was a joke, really.

Regardless, it's pretty obvious that liberal arts degrees confer almost no skills that employers are looking for.

[-] 0 points by blackbloc (-19) 2 years ago

your right employers just want clones they can boss around and most liberal arts majors are not clones mindlessly doing what they are told to advance their career. now back to the earlier point i was making about being a well rounded individual wtf are you talking about become a buddhist wtf does that have to do with being a polymath??????

[-] 0 points by DiogenesTruth (108) 2 years ago

i have to say, i never saw any Liberal arts majors in my organic chemistry class because they considered organic chemistry to be a creampuff easy A. i did take an English cass thatwas considered to be the hardest English class at my Uni, because it was the only class i could fit into my schedule. i got the only A in the class because it was a piece of cake compared to engineering physics.

[-] 0 points by toukarin (488) 2 years ago

So true... but the fact is that people who have studied hard and worked hard are still not finding work... and still cant support their families. This is a state of affairs that must be corrected.

As for 40% down, my grandfather told me "If you cant pay cash upfront... you don't deserve it..."

Tax breaks should not be proportional to earnings, but to jobs created.

[-] -2 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

I don't know ANYONE who has studied hard and does not have a good job.

[-] 1 points by toukarin (488) 2 years ago

I know a whole bunch of such people. People with (at least) Bachelors degrees in Aerospace, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering to be precise. Not something easy by any standards...

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Tell them to go to silicon valley. They're hiring like mad this year. Google had the most hires this year than any other in its history. btw, mechanical engineering is a joke.

[-] 2 points by toukarin (488) 2 years ago

Well it didn't seem like a joke when they were doing it... I wouldn't exactly know... I went the Aerospace way... worked my rear off for the expenses, but came out of it with no debt...

I have a job with a good start-up and am making enough to get by, but cant say the same for many others who graduated with me...

It is unrealistic to hope for absolutely everyone to have a job and have a high paying job at that... but it bothers me that the bulk of the US economy is based on financial services which add little tangible value to anything... pushing money around and speculating does not create value, only bubbles which may or may not pop...

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[-] -1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

I plan to buy every single one of my houses with cash. No loan. Same goes for cars. I don;t care if anyone thinks its unrealistic I've made up my mind. What about biology? Not exactly hard to understand but there are a lot of different fields that you enter into that pays very well.

[-] -2 points by earnyours (124) 2 years ago

Now you're asking for trouble. Just like advice against getting a criminal record, making babies too early, graduating high school and the like, liberal OWSers can't see the connection to a better life. Haven't you heard? Life outcomes are either random or controlled by bankers. LOL.

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[-] 1 points by CriticalThinker (140) 2 years ago

Why do you even bother? You are using air that the rest of us could redeem more constructively.