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Forum Post: The 1% aren't all evildoers....

Posted 6 years ago on April 7, 2012, 9:31 a.m. EST by JoeTheFarmer (2654)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

There are some great, hard working, caring people that are part of the 1%.

One of the new billionaires on the list for 2012 is Sara Blakely.

At 41 she’s the youngest woman to join this year’s World’s Billionaires list. She started with $5,000, owns 100% of her private company Spanx, has zero debt, has never taken outside investment and hasn’t spent a nickel on advertising. What is also amazing is that most of Spanx products are made in the USA.

Having read books on marketing, she designed her own logo on a friend's computer, and then to save the $3,000 legal fee needed to trademark the Spanx name, used a Barnes & Noble textbook and learned how to do it herself. In 2000 she launched the Spanx brand from her home, undertaking all initial calls and marketing herself across North America.

In 2006, she launched the Sara Blakely Foundation to help women through education and entrepreneurial training, and has funded scholarships for young women at Community and Individual Development Association City Campus in South Africa.



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[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 6 years ago

If you check out her website the prices for mens underwear, $25-$35 each. T-shirts $58 - $75 each. She sure doesn't sell to the 99% who are men. Maybe a woman here can comment on the womens prices, can an average woman afford her products? She seems to have found a profitable niche in body shaping wear. Does she have little competition or is she a predatory business person?

[-] 3 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 6 years ago

I guess that is why she can afford to make them in the US.

She obviously is doing something right to own a company that is worth a billion.

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 6 years ago

I checked, their good bras are $62 with a only very basic ones for $32. That is above what I will spend. I can hand wash a $12 Wal-mart bra and have it last for ages these days. The price point looks too high to be economical for me. At $62 I'd guess that I could have two bra's in two years, or five Walmart bras per year for two years. I can't afford to gamble that those Spanks will last threw two years of constant wear. She may be a billionaire but she won't be making it off of me!

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 6 years ago

No, many women can afford to buy some Spanks. You see, all quality women's undergarments cost considerably more than cheap stuff at Wal-Mart. For instance if you are a larger women, you may need to invest in a $30 bra from Lane Bryant. Victoria's Secret products are pricey but they never lasted me much longer than a bra bought at Wal-mart. So when it comes to undergarments that last, you must save up and purchase quality. You will even save money in the long run buying a well made product at three times the cost of the cheap stuff. I am low enough in income I do not own any Spanks because I see it as a vanity product. I don't work and I attend no social events so I have no need for Spanks currently. However, knowing it does produce goods in the US, I am more inclined to see if they make a quality bra that would suit my needs. If it was $35 or less, I would give it a try to see if it lasted long enough to be economical (And that is on a very meager income.)

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 6 years ago

Exactly .... and shopping at Walmart is just short sighted. I'll give an example, many years ago I shopped at Walmart. All the shit I ever bought there always fell apart. Whether it was a belt or some gadget or whatever. I spend an extra $5 on a good, made in USA, leather belt, and several years later, it's still good as new.

But America has become plagued by short term thinking. From our corporate boardrooms to average consumers, this mentality is killing us.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 6 years ago

And the 99% aren't all saints ..... but such is life :)

Yet, progressive values gave our country many gifts, which have been under attack for a long time. Glass Steagall gave us 70 years of financial stability. Social security moved our elderly citizens from being our most poor, to at least a semi-comfortable retirement. Under Clinton the upper tax rate was a mere 5% higher than it is today, yet conservatives shifted the goal post yet again. What used to be sensible and fiscally responsible policy, has become framed as an attack against success, envy, and all sorts of other unkind things.

At one time we valued manufacturing, labor unions, civil rights, and social welfare for our most needy. Progressives (at one time) supported efforts towards more direct democracy, and these were all popular ideas. Yet slowly, I guess you could say the forces of narcissism accumulated, regrouped, began using religion, race baiting, etc. as tools of manipulation, and it worked.

They tried to rewrite history, and people believed them, unions didn't exist because of tragic events from our past, like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, according to the conservative revision of history, the desire for empowerment, an end to sweat shop labor conditions, etc., became an alien thing, a European thing, like a red scare, an attempt to undermine what made us great ... but in fact it was almost always progressives who made us great (even though they came in many shapes and sizes). Even the desire to prevent environmental catastrophe is framed as hating America.

Against this avalanche of insanity, movements like OWS arise. It won't be perfect, but it can reset our trajectory if we don't blow it.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 6 years ago

I have to laugh when you bring up the right-wing revisionists; I'm sure they could rewrite the history of the battle of Matewan, the assassination of Sid Hatfield shortly afterward, and the miners' subsequent insurrection to appear as if the miners were at fault for attempting to steal the profits of the coal-mining company.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 6 years ago

The insurrection (Battle of Blair Mtn) is, like other major events in labor history, well recorded, but revising history isn't just a matter of trying to edit a Wikipedia page, or Texas revising the history books used in its schools to better match its radical ideology, it's a matter of perceptions shaped through propaganda (in the context of my previous statement, right wing propaganda).

[-] 2 points by jojo (16) 6 years ago

Joe, you're a typical American, locked into a quasi-religious battle twixt good and evil. This, the movement, isn't about morality unless you can apply the term to something like the structure of the economy.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 6 years ago


I am not religious, and do not believe in God, good. or evil.

The title was tongue in cheek.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 6 years ago

It is not the top 1% itself that is the problem but the system that created them.

Furthermore, you cannot blame people for becoming rich by accident and luck.

So they are not evil.

But most people that work hard do not become a billionaire so the top 1% did not deserve it.

They were just lucky.

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 6 years ago

Weird. A strangly retarded discussion where most participating, no matter which side, are using cognitive distortions or being selective (pretending ignorance?) in the basis for their positions.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 6 years ago

Its the .01%, not the 1%.

[-] 1 points by nobnot (529) from Kapaa, HI 6 years ago

The one who popularized the term is.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

Of course not. It's there class position we oppose, not their personal morality, at least not for all. Of course many are unethical, but even for the ethical ones, their class interests are antithetical to the class interests of the vast majority.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 6 years ago

In what I call "worker's capitalism", the interests of the working class and the capitalist class are mutually supportive. This is the kind of capitalism practiced under the likes of FDR or JFK.

[-] 1 points by jojo (16) 6 years ago

It's hard to respect the views of someone who thinks that the nature of the system changes with every election.

Here's what happened, Arturo. The ruling class is more vulnerable at certain points (faced with the rise of strong enemies like the rise of fascism or the threat of the Soviet Union), so it compromises enough to buy a little support, gain a little credibility. It's because Americans were pretty much given their relatively high standard of living - they haven't had to defeat a fascist ruling class at home - that we have such illusions about America, elections, freedom, capitalism, etc. In Greece or Spain, the people know why we have to fight back.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 6 years ago

In this forum, there is no lack of disrespect for every perspective and ideology. So there is no point in my being concerned about being respected or disrespected.

If you are suggesting some kind of Marxism, I think you are making the mistake generally made which is to not recognize that there are different forms of capitalism. That there is indeed a "workers capitalism" and that system has been the most productive and beneficent of any in history.

I believe Americans earned and are completely capable of earning a high standard of living, just as any people on earth have such capabilities. The American system is intended to produce more than it consumes, it is anti-entropic.

And we have and do have fascists at home, at least that is what professor Sutton says:

WALL STREET AND THE RISE OF HITLER http://reformed-theology.org/html/books/wall_street/

[-] 1 points by jojo (16) 6 years ago

Well, I'm glad you didn't melt from my little blast of disrespect. But, seriously, Kennedy? Your 'worker's capitalism' has the merit of sounding like a fresh squaring of the circle, a repackaged liberalism, but you need to dump Kennedy from your spiel. 3 years of Cold War and hair spray and Jim Crow.

And it isn't really necessary to find an 'actually existing' for your ideal.

And, while I'm advising on polishing the delivery of your bs: I'd drop the 'entropy' thing. Too overtly scientistic, sounds like some new age buddhist who thinks that einstein and the dalai lama are talking about the same thing.

[-] 0 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 6 years ago

So, Marxist historical revisionism? Can't say I buy it. Its not liberalism I'm suggesting, I'm a conservative democrat.

Anti-entropy, I said. Its the opposite of what new age Buddhists believe. No point in dropping a good idea just because people misunderstand it.

[-] 1 points by jojo (16) 6 years ago

You seem to want to pin me down. I don't mind the Marxist label although it's hard to know what it means nowadays. Mostly just used by redbaiters in this country. I don't think we're dealing with capitalism anymore. We still have a lot of capitalist features, vestiges of the past, sort of like how the European aristocracy lingered into the 19th and 20th centuries, sometimes even pretending to be in control.

When Marx wrote about the spectre of communism, there was hardly anywhere on earth where the bourgeoisie ruled directly. The reformers were mostly aiming to topple the crowned heads. I feel a little like Marx. To me the 1% Occupy opposes are like the crowned heads of 1848, but the real threat is the rising class, in Marx's time the capitalists, in our day, the professionals.

Even most investment decisions are made by professionals, not by the actual owners of capital.
[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 6 years ago

I guess you could say that the capitalism of today is a kind of neo-feudalism. But that's free trade capitalism, workers capitalism has opposed it ever since the American revolution.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

The number 1 problem in this world, by a very large margin, is lack of income. And the only reason why people lack income is because we have an economic system that allows people like Sara Blakely to take far more income than they earned and far more than they deserve, leaving too little income left over for everyone else - too little for people who work just as hard and just as many hours as Sara.

Sara probably isn't evil, but the system she benefits from is. It directly and unfairly kills millions every year and sentences billions to a life of misery.

[-] 2 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 6 years ago

Our system allowed Sarah Barkely to start with nothing, save up a few thousands dollars to invest in a business she thought of and become a billionaire without help from anyone.

She did not kill anyone on the way.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

That very same system in addition to making 1 girl a billionaire also made 150 million poor or close to poor in just this country. And it makes the rest of the world even worse.

Sara did not kill anyone, the system did. When you have a system that allocates a pizza pie of 100 slices to 100 people by giving 1 person, Sara, 90 slices and leaving the remaining 99 people to fight over the remaining 10 slices which results in some of those people dying because they didn't get enough pizza to prevent their starvation, those people died because the system allowed Sara to take more slices than she earned or deserved.

[-] 0 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 6 years ago

The system should not allocate any pie slices. Individuals should earn their pie.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

If the system didn't allocate pie slices, nobody would have any slices. You are not going to have an effective economic system if it doesn't pay out incomes.

And since Sara doesn't work 50,000 times the hours or work 50,000 times harder, she did not earn 50,000 times the pay.

There is nothing fair about how we allocate income. Since the only economic reason for paying one person more than another is to get people to work hard, the only fair way to allocate income is to limit differences to only what is necessary to get them to do difficult work and give their maximum effort.

If we allocated income based on hard work only then could you say the slice you took was earned.

[-] 0 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 6 years ago

The system does not allocate slices people do.

People are willing to pay Sara a premium for her goods. Her ideas, her designs, her company created with her investment means her profit.

Nobody is forced to work for her.

It is not just about how hard you work it is also about how smart you work.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

The system determines how people can allocate slices.

We have a capitalist system which dictates how income is allocated. And it dictates that income be allocated based on bargaining power.

People are not poor because they are forced to work for her. People are poor because Sara and others like her unfairly take so much of the available income, there is not enough left over to pay everyone else.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 6 years ago

She does not take income from anyone. People give their income to her.

Ironically it is you that want to take income from her.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 6 years ago

The 1%'s secret:

Buy low, sell high. Buy labor at a low price, sell product at a high price.

Why the 99% are poor:

Sell low, buy high. They sell their labor for a low price, then buy products at a high price.

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

People do not send her money because they want to earn less at their job so she can earn a billion at hers.

They send her money because they value the product she sells.

She then uses her bargaining power to unfairly take more of that income than she earned or deserves.

If workers and consumers had power over how the income they spend gets allocated, she would never be able to take a billion in income and leave everyone else broke because none of them want to willingly sacrifice the majority of their income so she can make 50,000 times more even though she doesn't work 50,000 times more hours or 50,000 times harder.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 6 years ago

Her ideas, her designs, her company created with her investment means her profit. People are willing to pay her ten times what they would pay for stocking at Target. That is why she can afford to make them in the USA. She owns the good will of her brand name.

You seem like someone from the generation where everyone gets a trophy. IT used to be only the winning team got the pennant/trophy. These days it seems schools and rec departments feel everyone deserves a trophy.

Anyone is free to go after the same goals that she did.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

Paying ten times more for a product is not the same thing as paying someone ten times more to work.

When you pay someone a billion dollars, that is a billion dollars less that everyone else can make.

Consumers are clearly willing to pay for her stockings. But that does not mean they are willing to earn $80k less at their job so that she can get paid a billion at hers.

Your trophy analogy is way off.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 6 years ago

It was the system that allowed her to take food from a Childs mouth. On billionaire row, Sara has starved many.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 6 years ago

If it's so easy to become a billionaire, why are so many people working poor minimum wage jobs !

[-] 2 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 6 years ago

Nobody said it was easy. In fact if you read her story it was a lot of very hard work, persistence, and perseverance. Most people lack most of those attributes.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 6 years ago

because most people are lazy, stupid, unfocused, have bad habits, do drugs, drink too much, spend too much time watching The Jersey Shore, get pregnant too young and spend there time blaming other people for their lack of success & occupying public spaces accomplishing nothing as usual.

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 6 years ago

You forgot to mention how people are bad spellers, too judgmental of others and are very dogmatic. Even though it brings you comfort insulting your fellow man, you should really do a little soul searching yourself. Having disdain for others and being judgmental, speak volumes more about those who do the judging, than it says about the human condition.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 6 years ago

and you should do some self examination instead of blaming others for your problems. This whole forum is about judgement, generalization, stereotyping etc. who are you kidding lol!

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 6 years ago

I was just combating generalization with generalization. At least i can honestly state, I did not mean what I wrote. What say you? Although those who do go around calling other people lazy ingrates usually have baggage of their own. lolololol.

But, yes, you are right that politics always devolves into generalizations and stereotypes, take death panels, welfare queens and anchor babies, all forms of generalization. So why should this forum be any different?

That is why I try to stick with what I know, my experiences and perceptions.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 6 years ago

how about "fair share" "activist court" etc. enough demagoguery to go around. What's the dems budget plan? All they seem to do is shoot down the GOP budget as "Social Darwinism" Does that count?

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 6 years ago

Yes, they, too, count as gross generalizations, but you have to admit they rally the base. Or why else would both sides do it?

I just wish more people would see political generalizations for what they are, political, theatrical hyperbole and nothing more.

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 6 years ago

You forgot to mention back- riders. Back-riders are a heavy burden on society. Sara became a back-rider and has now joined the back-riders club.

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 6 years ago

Her success actually proves the Upper Class would rather see taxes lowered and food stamps stopped so they have more money to spend on things like Spanks! You can't look at her success without shining a light on where the values of monied consumers are.

[-] 0 points by JadedGem (895) 6 years ago

I have looked at her products. They are over-valued, I would not purchase them to begin with. I'm not impressed with her business model. She capitalized on people too self-indulgent to go on a diet. A true win, win in America no doubt but hardly a humanitarian endeavor that is a sign of shear genius. A back rider she is, she could have paid people what they were worth to her and made a good living. You are only as good as your lowest paid employee says you are! But what she has gained is money the upper class gladly tossed her to make their butts look smaller. Its a sad sick world we live in.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 6 years ago

Judging by the fact she is now worth billions it is obvious the so called competition factor does not atiquitly control profits and pricing.

Bottom line- we need cap on profits to prevent wealth imbalance.

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 6 years ago

Her success doesn't prove the abilty to make it big is still viable or upward mobility is accessible. I'd also like to point out that some one wins lotto however the odds are at 1 in 175 million. How many lotto winners do we have each and every year? Now how many people born into poverty do have ascend to grace the pages of Forbes? If we analyze the true odds we wouldn't feel bad at all about buying a lotto ticket. Even if we searched only those people who won scholarships to Ivy League schools based on being from low income families and looked at their success and incomes, we'd be disappointed.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 6 years ago

Well , even with a profit cap her success would have been achieved. A good product on the market is always welcome.


[-] 0 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 6 years ago

Just like the 99% are not enlightened Saints. But tracking the enormous shift in wealth in America, the enormous new influence of anonymous money in politics, and the flat-lining of the middle class, including the loss of retirement and health insurance, is not right. Period. Something needs to bring the pendulum back toward the middle.

The GREAT AWAKENING is happening. Join up May 1st at an OWS even near you.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 6 years ago

I am not sure what the point of the awakening is. What is the goal? To take money from the rich and do what with it? I just do not get it. If you take 100% of the income from the rich it would not cover the federal budget deficit for one year. After you have spent that what do you do?

[-] 0 points by Dc123 (4) 6 years ago

Just cause you are a millionaire doesn't mean you are greedy.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 years ago

There are exceptions to every rule !!! Some folks have money to burn & some folk got 'karma to burn' : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cccwBEsx2f4 !! fiat lux !

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 6 years ago

There aren't exceptions to every rule. There are many generalizations that may be accurate in some, many or most cases. But if they are true and fit a situation they are very useful. Reversing many are a source of humor at least.

Just because a person is greedy doesn't mean they are a millionaire.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 6 years ago

yet OWS paints the group all as one

[-] -1 points by factsrfun (8329) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

"I am not a crook"

speaking of things that just can never sound good

[-] -2 points by HapteMikael (162) 6 years ago

"herd working" You got that right.

And seriously? You are trying to sell these people pantyhose? Fucking dimwit, Can you plz crawl back under your bridge now?

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 6 years ago

See that is the point. The trick to becoming a billionaire is selling something that people want to buy.

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8329) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

hey who doesn't like the clasic quotes?