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Forum Post: Why do you deserve more?

Posted 3 years ago on Sept. 29, 2011, 5:35 p.m. EST by UberRichChic (5)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I would genuinely like to understand why people who make average or lower wages believe they are entitled to more. From where does this sense of entitlement come?

Much of the "greed" of the wealthy derives from their feeling that they worked hard and played their cards right, and therefore, they deserve to have a lot of money. I'm speaking for people like myself who were born lower-middle class, worked through 8 years of college, chose a historically lucrative career, worked 80 hour weeks in the beginning years of our careers and are now doing well financially. That's what I did to become part of the top 1 or 2%.

What did you do to deserve more?

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[-] 4 points by soloenbarcelona (199) from Barcelona, CT 3 years ago

Well, I dont think we (most of us) believe we need to earn more. In some cases this is not the case (or people just want to earn something, dificult enough already), but generally we believe its not fair that some hard working thiefs, manage to become rich while they play with our savings and future: http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/meltdown/2011/09/2011914105518615434.html

Then we have some dificulty that you (maybe, not sure) have the possibilities to find ways to pay less taxes as your employees.

I personaly wish you and many people all the happiness and $ you earn. What I think our wellfare economies, should defeneatly reinstate are education, healthcare, food and shelter to everyone (shelter could be just a tent for the leazy ones).

And my anger is more towards the 1% that can organise the end of the middleclass and benefit from it. Tear down the world trade center and benefit from it or continue blocking the usage of renewable energies and make us continue using petrol and benefit from it while this leads to the possible extinsion of human kind very soon or in the generation to come. (basicly those who are so strong/ corrupt, that they play with the rules of capitalism)

But if you worked hard and made an honest living and believe you do your world and country good, then I love you for that and say, "keep up the good work".

[-] 4 points by entrepreneur99 (114) from Los Angeles, CA 3 years ago

It's not about deserving more.

It's about having a government that represents the needs of the people, not the needs of the corporations.

I don't have a problem with the people or the corporations that are in the 1%. What I have a problem with is when the system allows those in the 1% to exploit the government for their own gain. This is unfair, and needs to be stopped.

Note: the media will portray this as a leftist movement, but there are large numbers here who would disagree with that portrayal.

[-] 3 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 3 years ago

i would like to suggest that this is not about what we or anybody deserves. I am not arguing that i deserve more. Nor am i personally out here like many people are trying to actually fight back over the caste wars.

No. The simple truth is that the uber rich have waged a class war including upto even the simple fact that all my duped in the matrix bros are calling it capitalism. Its not capitalism. I think capitalism is a neat idea. when can we start? No. Its about the caste wars. I am sick and tired of watching you evil bastards in essence rule over us and control us like a bunch of ants and i am even more amused to note that it creates an inverse hell; a world you don't really want to live in either. As far as them working hard; this is not borne out by the evidence. formal analysis shows that what the rich mostly do is shop and sit around and ride the gravy train. own property, and collect rent. Etc. And if you were born lower middle class, then you got yourself confused up there at the near tip top of the american dream ladder. clue by four. you are with us and you are expendable to them and playing in any case in a casino rigged against you. I don't deserve more. you don't deserve less. But we all deserve to quit having a win/ lose slave system instead of a win/ win United Federation of planets. And thats the SICK part. Because i'm not really here to fix your social and civil problems i'm just the proto scout indigo captain that was given the blue prints for warp drive. I can't hand them over to you because your civilization is evil. Curiously, the same goes for the replicators and the nanites. Seriously. Stop kidding yourself and go get an education about what this is really all about.Political Science; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_science http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Political-Science/index.htm http://www.apsanet.org/ http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9109548/political-science

Propaganda http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda http://www.propagandacritic.com/ http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Propaganda http://www.esrnational.org/whatispropaganda.htm http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9109443/propaganda http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061115153632AAcIoJT http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Propaganda_techniques http://www.serendipity.li/more/propagan.html http://mason.gmu.edu/~amcdonal/Propaganda%20Techniques.html http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=405

Oligarchy; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9057016/oligarchy http://www.bartleby.com/65/ol/oligarch.html http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/oligarchy http://www.oligarchyusa.com/ http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200503u/pp2005-03-30 http://www.democracymatters.org/article.php?cat=Press&select=458 http://familyrightsassociation.com/news/federer/american_oligarchy.htm http://www.shoutwire.com/comments/15598/The_American_Decline_Into_a_Two_Tiered_Theocratic_Oligarchy http://www.irregulartimes.com/oligarchy.html

Class warfare; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_Warfare http://www.therationalradical.com/outrages/class_warfare.htm http://www.disenchanted.com/dis/technology/class-warfare.html http://www.thenation.com/blogs/capitalgames?bid=3&pid=292 http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmoney/26every.html?ex=1322197200&en=0cf877b05b918674&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060902110547AAc3Bjq

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

Well. Lets see. Incomes flat for the last three decades. Health insurance up 9% just this year. Two wars, unpaid for(with tax breaks to boot) Ever been to a military depot and walked the miles of wrecked hummers during a sunset. As far as you can see. Beautiful!! Oh! And how about those weapons of mass destruction. We nailed that one didn't we. Ya. We made a lot of money off that one. We should do it again and give the corporations another tax break just for doing so well on the last one. How about those gas prices. Last I saw it was pretty cheap. $3.50 a gallon. And our reserves are full. It only cost about $700 a month now for the 7-11 worker to get back and forth to work. Of course his salary hasn't gone up, but he doesn't care. He's on a diet now. Credit card interest rates. Through the roof! Some as low as 29%. That's probably where you should invest some of that hard earned income. Think of the return. Billions. Late fees, over draft fees, checking account fees. Fees, Fees, Fees. Makes the hair on my arms rise up just thinking about it. Food prices are up. Utilities are up. 22% of housing loans underwater. Pensions wiped out. 42 million in poverty. Crooked brokers, Crooked Bankers, Crooked politicians. Oh! And one more thing. JOBS?? There are none. They are gone, kimosabe. Ya! Gone!!!. And not coming back. What was the last figure I heard?? 38% of Ohio's manufacturing has moved overseas. And that's just one state. Ya! Things are just rosy.

Give me a break. This is not about getting more from the 1 or 2%. It's about living in a country that is not controlled by the corporations. Consider yourself one of he lucky ones.

[-] 2 points by HenkVeen (46) from Utrecht, UT 3 years ago

Because life is not a game. As you describe yourself, you seem one of the fortunate ones, who pair talent, opportunity and a pragmatic skills, which works great with the current financial / economic 'game design'. Still, when you are starting off your carreer you mostly don't carry the burdens that only come later in life, so the thing work swell as long as your view is limited. It's only lateron in life, when you have a mortgage, kids growing up, than maybe some unforseen set backs, healthcare needs, when your perspective will probably shift toward somewhat more broader shared human experiences. You will by than have to make choices and sacrifices you can't possibly have forseen earlier. If the games rules work for you now, that does not mean the gameplan isn't flawed. The lack of empathy is excluding your future self. The gameworld you live in now is exclusive, based on exclusion. Life is all including, and that is where love is at too. Jobless, penny less, dangerpously insecure and real, you can still have that which all the money in the world can't give you. It's just a shield, all this money you 'earn'. It has real and moral basis and the price for the surplus you gather you are entitled to is being paid for by exploiting both the planets natural resourses as well as the majority of humanity. What's the deal with one person able to choose from 40 desserts while others dies last in line of 400 people at the soup kitchen?

[-] 2 points by Unagodd (9) from Sacramento, CA 3 years ago

If you spend one third of your day working, you deserve to be able to afford a place to live, food, and other basic amenities of first world living. You were born middle class, what entitled you to the advantages you had from the start? What entitles you now to reap the benefits of those initial advantages that you didn't work for? And, more importantly, what the hell makes you think that corporations have the right to influence politics and our society to the degree that they do?

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

I don't think I deserve more but I also don't think this is what this protest is about. As long as you earned your money honestly I don't deny you the right to enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, real people in these big banks did real criminal things and no one is going to jail. This should be the primary focus of this movement. Those criminal actions caused people to lose jobs, retirement savings, home equity, etc. I don't see how this can be seen as a "right" or "left" issue..laws were broken. This should be all about demanding some real white collar crime accountability, once and for all

[-] 0 points by UberRichChic (5) 3 years ago

Well that's not entirely true that "no one is going to jail." A good friend of mine works for the SEC on the Galleon matter, and several people are going to jail over that one. I don't think that the SEC and NY attorney general and other such organizations are simply turning a blind eye. I think it is hard to prove these kinds of cases and hard to assign responsibility to individuals when the entire system has been set up to facilitate greedy behavior. For example, the housing/debt freeze situation was precipitated by numerous lending institutions giving people loans that they shouldn't have gotten because no one was performing any real underwriting analysis. Who do you send to prison for that? All the bank CEOs? The loan officers? The people who stupidly accepted the loans?

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

CEOs and CFOs yes. I did read about that one case I think and I am happy about that. Still, enough of them need to be prosecuted so we are sure it doesn't happen again. If you read those Market Ticker postings or others like it, it seems like nothing at all has changed in how these banks are still operating. Add to that these supposed White House backroom negotiations on settlement of these rotten loans, kicking the NY Atty general off the committee because he "wasn't cooperating"...this all just still smells really really bad and people don't know what to do but protest right where it smells the worst

[-] 2 points by soloenbarcelona (199) from Barcelona, CT 3 years ago

Well, to be honest, I wouldn´t have any problem with the idear of taking all the money aways from those CEO´s (or at least the money they earned while they misslead the world) and give it the people that lost their houses and are on the street now. (In the USA) Same for the CEO´s, bank directors and even some real estate agents in Spain, where I saw the same criminal activities happen between 2002 and 2007

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

It's not that simple. You can't tell me that people in higher places did not know this was coming. You can't tell me that Bush and his crony's didn't know this was coming. I've watched manufacturing being moved overseas for the last 10 to 15 years. Think back to around October of 2006. My mail box was stuffed everyday with credit card offers. They were handing out money like it was candy. The economy was being artificially inflated by the housing market to cover for the jobs being lost in the manufacturing sector in my opinion. Then when the crash came. Surprise!! How do you think the banks are surviving. Bail outs and higher fees. In the Billions. They knew this was coming. And believe me, they prepared for it. Once there was nothing left for them to do gambling with mortgage loans, the system had to fail, but they were not going to go out without making a big pile of money. You think this was all an accident. I'm sorry. With all the brains we have in this country. I just can't buy it. Look at how many guys moved into the White House, FROM GOLDMAN SACHS. Most of the people in the administration didn't have a clue. They knew nothing about finance. World markets, etc., etc. But you can be certain the Goldman Sachs guys did along with a very few at the top in the white house. And they rigged it. They rigged it big time. And the government just sat there and did nothing. I've had enough. I'm outta here.

[-] 1 points by anonrez (237) 3 years ago

UberRichChic, this isn't simply a case of a few bad apples who busted a few capers. This is about systemic problems. Systemic problems require systemic solutions. A few people going to jail over the Galleon matter do nothing to prevent the gaping disparity of wealth and power that is increasing in this country. And it does nothing to stop the practices that wrecked the economy from continuing. All our government has done is throw money at the perpetrators and shrug their shoulders.

The problem is that the social contract in the USA has been burned, salted, torn to shreds, and used as toilet paper by financial institutions and corporations. People are finally beginning to stand up like sovereign individuals instead of passive victim/consumers and demand real changes.

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

Cos I'm the Godamn Batman!

[-] 2 points by anonrez (237) 3 years ago

Many people did/are doing the same things, and.....they have nothing.

This is not about wanting "more". This is, for many, about basic survival, with record numbers of Americans living in poverty, record numbers on food stamps, record numbers unemployed.

This is about access to healthcare and education, not luxuries - and about the broader question of why government can throw trillions of dollars at wars and financial institutions but can't ever seem to provide for people's needs.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 3 years ago

If you work 80 hours, you deserve twice the pay of someone who works 40 hours. But some in the top 1% makes hundreds of times what the median 40 hour worker makes.

What makes you think you are entitled to more than twice the pay? What did you do to deserve more than that?

While you were spending your 8 years studying in a classroom, others were actually working just as hard if not harder for those 8 years earning a living.

What makes you think you are entitled to more than what they make simply because you went to college instead of worked a job?

Since the vast majority of people who work just as hard as you will never earn what people in the top 1% make since being able to get paid those incomes in a market system is based largely on luck, why do you think you are entitled to a larger income simply because you were luckier than others?

From where does this sense of entitlement come?

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

I suppose the real question is what makes you think you deserve more than anyone else? Everybody works hard. You are no exception. And everybody contributes. In fact, I would argue those that make the most often contribute the least, regardless of how many hours a week they work. I hate to say it, but you, my dear are the entitled one. And for those who say this isn't about getting more I completely disagree. This IS about getting more. It's about getting more for me and everyone who works hard and contributes to making the world around them a better place. It's about having a decent home and clean safe streets, good affordable health care for you and your children, good education for yourself and your children, communities in which to grow and learn, a clean environment, free time to spend with your loved ones and friends and to better yourself, and a sense of dignity and belonging. We have enough to provide all of these things to everyone, but our system is built on competition and greed, instead of cooperation and equality. The fact that you would even ask such a ridiculous question is a testament to how hard it is for some people to think out side of the narrow ideology of fake capitalist meritocracy.

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

That's a good question.

Rich Man, Poor Man http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkebmhTQN-4

Another good question is , if people are sooo tried of corporate greed , then why do you people keep buying and using their products? You are anti , but yet you support them?? Some of you says your unemployed , and yet your yelling, bitching, rather then finding a job , any job. Some of you bitch about the cost of education, but yet some of you paid it. You don't need some high priced education to get a job. Sounds like many are pissed because you got scammed into thinking it would.

Some of you bitch about the poor , and the ever so growing gap between the rich. Not everyone has to, or wants to live at the same standards as everyone else. Many are happy to live with less, and aren't envy , and have this need to get more stuff and money. But I'm sure for many of you that never crosses your mind.

You complain that wall st took peoples money. People who invested knew the risk. If they didn't that is their own fault for not educating themselves. You guys bitch about the banks. But yet I'm sure many of you are still using them , swiping that debit , or credit card. Using them to hold what money you have still, or using them to cash donation money orders. If you don't like how money rules the world. Stop using it and trade with each other. Stop using the banking system.

You want this , and that , but seems many of you are not willing to stop what ever it is that you are against when it comes to you personally. You are just as responsibility for many of the issues you complain about. Which in the end , no one is going to take you serious. I'm not trying to be mean here , or rain on your cause. I'm just saying what I'm sure many other people may be thinking.

I've seen many signs , and people saying. "You must be the change you want to see in the world." or something of that nature. I think many of you need to ask , are you really being that change , chanting , yelling , banging on drums , marching and so on ? Are you really changing anything ? If not then I think you need to sit down and think how you personally can change something you are complaining about.

[-] 1 points by npowell85 (249) from Montana City, Mt 3 years ago

Please, watch this harvard professor and noted philosopher discuss that very question:

http://fora.tv/2011/07/08/Michael_Sandel_Government_and_the_Common_Good

take the time to watch the video, and please let me know what you think, I am sincerely interested.

[-] 1 points by soloenbarcelona (199) from Barcelona, CT 3 years ago

Poeff, Its really late here in Spain, but I think it was worth listening to. Tomorrow I´ll think about it.

[-] 1 points by npowell85 (249) from Montana City, Mt 3 years ago

Great. I look forward to hearing your thoughtful reaction. Good night

[-] 1 points by soloenbarcelona (199) from Barcelona, CT 3 years ago

After the a good sleep my reaccion:

Point one - Yes, over the last few decades, the poor and rich are living more and more apart, and this could be a reason why the system is so in need for a revolution. Rich go to different schools, practise different sport, use different hospitals, get different jobs, use different transport, live in different parts of town, see the sportmatches from a skybox..... "we dont all live in a yellow submarine anymore" Lets tear down the Wall!!

Maybe as militairy service used to be obligatory a good generation ago, there was more understanding and more help to make eachother happy. If in a country there would be something to fill that lack, I believe it would be beneficial for everyone. For example "an obligatory year as servants for the greater good". A possibility for rich and poor to live together for one year and to make a difference together. Age 17-18 or 19 is where you really devellop your believes. Another idear that crossed my mind is the abolition of private schools. Equal opportunities, let the ultra rich kids go to the same schools and the ultra poor. (not to sure if everyone would benefit from is, but its a funny demand)

Point 2 The cost analyse part wasn´t so new to me. I have master in science degree economics, and during my studies I had my moment of unbelieve and anger on how far we push some soughts and how sick our society is becomming. But how are you going to improve the world if you cant give a value or a pricetag to love or freedom for example?

Its just wrong that a peron of 25 or 30 (or whatever few individuals) make the models, come up with the values and those that implement the policies dont have time to go over it, really think about it, and that can have, terrible consequences. The value of the extinction of human kind was a funny but good example. I personaly like the example of the economical benefits of a human desaster in Irak for the Americans, it´s likely the have a positive outcome, but soooo wrong!! (Living in this world just makes an outsider find it really hard to feel simpathy for the Americans (But you guys and this movement i like and its nothing personal) "The benefits of making people smoke for the state and society" was a revelation. Suddenly I understand the smokinglaws a lot better.

Point 3. (of course all points are linked and mix up in my mind) The fact that money, the Rich or Corporations can buy almost everything in the USA and all western countries to some degree, is very shocking. The example of Pepsi being able to buy the exclusive right to sell its drinks in public schools goes too far and again there are way worse examples. Where is the limit in our obsence society?

In other worlds, good discussion and I could continue on the theme of the mobility between classes and more, but I off for a walk, thanks for the tip!

[-] 1 points by npowell85 (249) from Montana City, Mt 3 years ago

glad you enjoyed it! The speaker also has a thought provoking series on iTunes U that is free. It is a recoding of a Harvard class he teaches (the most popular one at the school) entitled "Justice". I would highly recommend it just as an exercise in personal exploration.

I understand the hesitation to feel any compassion for the American people. Many of us didn't deserve it a few years ago, and still don't now. But I would argue that, while it is no excuse for failure to act, people have been raised to believe that we can have no impact. And that government is simply something we have to accept in our lives. I think that this is the idea people are beginning to challenge. After all that we have blindly accepted; from being lied to about the justification for the Iraq war, to the horrendous torture that took place in our names, to the 9 trillion dollars our government gave away in a "free market" to companies that THEY dubbed "too big to fail" coupled with total inaction toward the unemployment and personal debt crisis the populous is going through now, believe me, the people are sick and tired of it. We should have done something long ago, but didn't, and that is inexcusable. But please, help others understand that we are ready to act now. I can't wait to see where this goes, it really is something special.

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

Hi, I'm of a similar background to UberRichChic. I watched some of it just now. From what I can tell, his primary (only?) proposal is to bring moral arguments back into our discussion of what government's role is. I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment. But he doesn't go on to say what that means. To me, it means ahimsa or the moral principle of nonviolence. This is why I oppose violence in all its forms: including wars of aggression and compulsory taxation.

@npowell85 - what does morality mean to you wrt Government's role?

[-] 1 points by npowell85 (249) from Montana City, Mt 3 years ago

if you finish the video he goes into some depth about why the income disparity in America is such a problem. I think the argument he presents is a pretty good explanation of how many of us feel.

As far as your question to me; I believe the government's purpose is to ensure equality of opportunity (proper import taxes and educational reform would help), to enforce contracts, to defend our boarders from DIRECT attack/invasion, and to protect the inalienable rights of the citizenry. I do not believe the government should have a direct role in influencing morality in any way, that is for the people. Albeit, the morality of certain decisions made by our representatives should be discussed and debated at length when government is making policy, so that rather than government influence morality, our morality influences and shapes our government.

My chief complaint, and my reason for spending countless hours in this forum, is I believe that money has far more influence on policy than the common good. And I would like to help end the practice of lobbying (in its current form) and political campaign contributions by corporate entities, and see the institution of a flat tax. Something similar to what has been proposed by rep presidential candidate Herman Cain (I don't now anything about him other than his 9/9/9 plan, and am not endorsing his campaign.)

So I am here as a concerned American debating with others to try and find a solution to a problem that clearly is effecting many people.

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

I noticed him talk about social mobility, and I agree that it's a problem and a fiction that we have a lot of it. In fact, he pointed to a lot of problems but I did not hear a lot in terms of positive solutions. The morality thing stuck to me because it was the only proactive suggestion he seemed to be making.

He seemed to be hinting at a lot of things and bashing on markets a lot, but not proposing alternatives. He also implied that the system we've had over the past 50 years has been a free market, which from my perspective is pretty hard to swallow.

Regarding the purpose of government; we could probably talk at length about specific issues, but one point stands out to me and I'm wondering if you can elucidate a bit. How do proper import taxes help us achieve equality of opportunity?

If the government is only involved in the three things you suggested, perhaps it wouldn't need so much $$$ and we could do away with even the 9-9-9's and just have a few excise/pollution taxes or something to earn federal revenues.

[-] 1 points by npowell85 (249) from Montana City, Mt 3 years ago

I believe that part of the unemployment problem has been the loss of a manufacturing base in the US, and that in order to create more and better jobs, we need to revive that part of our economy.

In my mind companies producing products in other countries and then bringing them to market here is costing us as a people a lot more than we save by the decreased cost of production. As most of this savings is seen not in decreased retail prices, but increase profitability.

Therefore, the solution I arrive at, is a higher import tax in order to off-set the impact foreign manufacturing has on our economy. This would either encourage companies to produce more here, or it would allow us to spend the new revenue on other things like energy independence, as one example.

I agree that if in fact my vision was realized, the federal government would be a much smaller entity, and would require far less income in the long run. Though initially the 9/9/9 tax would be necessary in order to avoid a recession / depression from the drastic increase in unemployment resulting from the loss of government and military jobs and the retraining of our workforce, we could conceivable turn that 9/9/9 into a 5/5/5 or decide as a people to leave it higher and create more entitlements or use the remaining for philanthropic causes around the world, or universal healthcare (not that I endorse that now, but in this hypothetical situation it is much less far-fetched than in our current state).

What is your opinion on the purpose of government?

And btw, thanks for the great discussion

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

Thank you for the discussion! I'm beginning to see that as a great aspect of this movement; that people from all sorts of divergent viewpoints are finally talking to each other! Much needed discussion is happening! Hooray!

All right, enough cheerleading, down to business.

Manufacturing. Sure, we've lost a manufacturing base to overseas. However, I'm nervous to espouse any policy that says "try and create X industry" via government. Who knows what the future holds? I kinda like a future in which all manufacturing is done by robots, so people can spend more time doing the things they love instead of working in factories. I make daring to dream big a way of life :). So maybe we need better and smarter computers and programmers (and in particular, programming languages, but I digress.. :)).

I worry that import tariffs are harmful to the economy as a whole and make us all poorer. Are you familiar with the economic arguments to such? wikipedia has a pretty straight discussion on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariff#Economic_analysis.

If we did get new revenues from a tariff, how could we keep the government from squandering it on more wars I wonder?

As far as my vision of the purpose of government; it's simply to protect liberty. That means providing for the common defence (not to be confused with offence :), and providing a legal framework for enforcing contracts and the like, and providing law and order to protect the weak from being preyed on by the strong-but-immoral (even if they be the democratic majority!). I think government could play a role in protecting the environment, but I would like it to be based on sound moral principles, so perhaps a property rights angle could work ("you have no right to pollute my air, but since it's impossible to regulate any other way, I'll agree that you can pay a bunch in taxes to make up for it").

Ahimsa is the standard by which I judge any system of government. How much harm does it cause? Reduce the harm caused; the violence or threats of violence used; and you've improved the system.

[-] 1 points by npowell85 (249) from Montana City, Mt 3 years ago

The idea of a robot-drivin work force is a potentially very scary one. How then, is the common man going to make his living in order to afford to enjoy his new-found free time? Services can only employ so many, sales are increasing being done via internet, if we loose manufacturing completely... scary.

I agree that government getting involved in the promotion of any industry usually doesn't turn out very well. But, with high unemployment in the hypothetical scenario I was imagining, short term public interference would be necessary due to the sudden loss of 10,000's of jobs due to the downsizing of government. And I guess that would answer the question on government squandering the funds also. I was answering the question in the framework of "what if I got my way" and in that case the government would have no rights to wage war, only to defend property rights within its borders.

In the current world, import tariffs do no good. Without significant political reform I don't think there is much that will help our unemployment rate. And I think that government has a responsibility to do something about overseas manufacturing for more reasons than just the loss of American jobs.

These companies make huge profits by taking advantage of the poor, and they pollute the earth in ways that would surely not be tolerated in America. Yet, day after day, we commend them on their ingenuity and say, cheaper, bigger, better! With no regard for the harm this causes abroad

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

Vote with our dollars! Don't buy stuff that's made in unsustainable ways. Be vegan -- that's the biggest single environmentally-impactful decision a person can make, and it's huge.

Humor my robot work force a bit longer, would you? If robots are plentiful and food, shelter, and basic medical care are really cheap due to the robots doing all the work, the common man won't need to earn much for his living. He can be an artist, a philosopher, a writer.. hell, whatever he wants! Not having a real job is not scary if there aren't bills to pay. Anyway, it's just a fantasy, no need to worry too much about it yet ;).

[-] 1 points by npowell85 (249) from Montana City, Mt 3 years ago

I think it is an interesting idea. I think that the nature of human greed will not allow for that to easily come to fruition, but it certainly is a great fantasy.

I applaud your self control. I could not do the vegan thing. I am however very picky about what I eat and what I feed my family. Organic local produce whenever possible, free range chicken, no antibiotic organic milk and never fast food...

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

It's true it takes some work to go vegan initially (mostly because there's so little community support), but after the first month or three it gets easier.

I don't want to be a jerk, but I see hypocrisy in being outspoken about the environment while continuing to support the environmental devastation caused by eating animal foods. Don't you? http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?newsID=20772&CR1=warning http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetarianvegan101/f/forestclearcut.htm http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetarianvegan101/f/waterpollution.htm http://www.veganoutreach.org/whyvegan/environment.html http://www.vegansociety.com/resources/environment.aspx

"The expansion of agricultural land accounts for more than 60 per cent of worldwide deforestation. "

Even the "free range" chicken and organic milk products you consume are in all likelihood engaged in a lot of animal suffering and environmental damage.

http://www.vegansoapbox.com/why-organic-dairy-isnt-good-enough/ http://www.cok.net/lit/freerange.php

Okay, I'll stop here. I hope I haven't offended you. I'm just very passionate about this issue and once the cap comes off the bottle it's hard to stop the flow :).

[-] 1 points by npowell85 (249) from Montana City, Mt 3 years ago

No offense taken. I know I pay a lot of attention to where my food comes from and theres probably no way to convince you of that. But most of the animal products we eat come from local farms (intentionally). I live in Montana and I actually know the farm most of our beef comes from. I keep meaning to visit one of the dairy farms we get our milk from but haven't made it yet. I am horrified by the practices of Tyson chicken and the mass-production beef farms and I'm very careful not to support it. But I've been raised eating meat, and cooking and eating is one of the few things I still get to enjoy, we can't afford much, my wife is a student and I was recently regulated out of my business.

So long story short; I respect your choice to be vegan, and I do what I can to minimize my support of companies who abuse or neglect their animals.

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

I'll have to view later. It's an hour long.

[-] 1 points by npowell85 (249) from Montana City, Mt 3 years ago

You can't explain such a complex issue in a much shorter window. Thanks for at least coming here to ask people why. I hope you take the time to get your question answered.

[-] 1 points by ZinnReader (92) from Encinitas, CA 3 years ago

False premise. The question is not why we deserve more, but rather why do they? Meritocracy is a debuffed myth. It was a common belief I'n the 1950s and occasionally you still hear it.

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

@ entrepreneur99 - I don't disagree with what you're saying. Having the government in bed with the mega rich and giant corporations is simply wrong and should be changed. I also agree that everyone, regardless of life choices, deserves a basic education and healthcare.

However, I read something on this website that referred to the "corruption and greed of the 1%," as if everyone who makes good money has done something evil to get to that place. That's completely false. Depending on which analysis you read, my family is in the top 1 or 2 or 3%. My spouse and I came from modest backgrounds and have done nothing but work hard to get to where we are. AND, we don't live lavishly because, where we live, making 3 or 400,000 per year doesn't buy a lavish lifestyle. It buys a tiny house, 10 year-old cars and vacations to grandma's house.

I'm so sick of reading and hearing that I'm "Super Rich" and that I deserve less, especially when some of the folks spewing this were sitting around smoking dope or living it up while I was in 8 years of college. Screw them.

[-] 1 points by entrepreneur99 (114) from Los Angeles, CA 3 years ago

UberRichChic, There are a lot of different views being expressed here that reflect the many different views of the people who are participating in the movement.

I am also frustrated with some of the people who think any rich person is a bad person. It's very simple-minded.

Apparently we agree on one of the main lines of thinking of the movement: that excessive corporate influence on the government is not right. If you look around you will find we are discussing what this movement should really be demanding. The movement is in its formative stages and therefore influenceable. If you feel strongly about this issue (like many of us here) please consider lending your voice and ideas.

PS: please use the "reply" link at the bottom of posts so we can get notified of replies. Thanks.

[-] 0 points by UberRichChic (5) 3 years ago

Thanks.

[-] 1 points by revg33k (429) from Woodstock, IL 3 years ago

the anger is not directed at you. It is the lobbyists, the CEO that takes a bail out and pockets it, its the company who ships all the manufacturing jobs over seas not to reduce the cost of the item but to raise the value of the stock putting hard working people out of a job to do it these are the people who the anger is directed at.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 3 years ago

CORPORATE OLIGARCHY is ONE KIND of FASCISM. wake up.You know theres a scene in the movie dr parnassus imaginiarium etc where they are in dreamland climbing the corporate ladder together. You know thats just a stairway to heaven ticket to hell? right? The real secret of where to go next after the parnassus mirror is scalarly inward into the god consciousness star. Most people would be lost. Map the the tree of life as an inward scalar. thats babble to you because you are a muggle human and actually like 1000 years after e=mc squared.

[-] 1 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 3 years ago

Same reason you deserve LE$$

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

@ "littleg" - My spouse and I make our money primarily through our salaries. We have invested a portion of the excess in mutual funds sitting in our retirement accounts. We've also been granted company stock, but we don't touch that money because it is for our child's college. Those investments for the most part are not yielding income.

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

There are some young graduates today who have equally worked hard as you did, but due to economic downturn they are not able to get a good paying job. What should they do ?

Please reply by clicking on the reply button below, so that I get a notification.

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

Did you make your money through salary or stock market/real estate investments ?

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

@ anonrez - When you say, "this is not about...", by "this" are you referring to this movement? To OccupyWallStreet?

[-] 1 points by anonrez (237) 3 years ago

Yes, I'm referring to the movement.

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

Thanks. I think some members of the movement may be over zealously throwing around terms like "the greedy rich," which appears to indite everyone who has money rather than send a thoughtful message about unhealthy government and corporate relationships.

[-] 1 points by anonrez (237) 3 years ago

That may be so. But I think a larger problem is the dominant narrative which holds that anyone who DOESN'T have money is simply lazy; that people "deserve" whatever they have or don't have and that their station in life is solely the result of their own effort - that or Jesus doesn't love them.

We are living in a system that is not designed to meet people's needs, it's designed to siphon wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands, and that is primarily what this movement is protesting against.

[-] 1 points by shinyheart (27) 3 years ago

I obviously copied/pasted this from other things I've written, which I think helps prove my point about zero marginal cost :P

Just because you make money, doesn't mean you're socially productive. In fact, you can make an awful lot of money by creating artificial scarcity.

"Catch a man a fish and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity."

Furthermore, money doesn't really exist. Money is just a claim check upon the capital resources of the real economy. It's just a virtual artifice built upon real output.

Therefore, I agree with TEDster Malcolm Gladwell in believing it is socially justified to raise the top marginal tax rate to something like 90%, so no one can make more than ~2 million per year, and also to raise the estate tax and the effective corporate tax rate. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/festival/2010/10/video-malcolm-gladwell.html

First, because speculators, bankers, and hedge fund managers are not socially productive at all, let alone enough to justify making what they make.

Second, because every human being is entitled to food, watter, clothing, and education, because there is more than enough to go around - just because you work on Wall Street doesn't mean you can squander the (finite, but growing) capital production of society on luxury goods while people starve.

"Those who create phantom wealth, and those who are the beneficiaries of mutual funds or retirement funds invested in phantom wealth, may never realize that they are giving its holder a claim on the real wealth produced by others, and that phantom-wealth dollars created out of nothing dilute the claims of everyone else to the available stock of real wealth. They may also fail to realize that Wall Street and its international counterparts have created phantom-wealth claims far in excess of the value of all the world's real wealth, creating expectations of future security and comforts that can never be fulfilled."

David Korten

Many economic institutions are driven by waste, not efficiency, because waste is a "fitness display," and thus it is sexually selected for. (You can only afford to waste huge amounts of resources if you are really really wealthy - so think of peacock's tails, bling, and MTV's cribs)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/business/darwin-the-market-whiz.html?pagewanted=all

Knowing this, a rational society only allows so much of it: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/business/sales-of-luxury-goods-are-recovering-strongly.html

Money doesn't really exist, but people do...think about it for a minute.

We already had a top marginal tax rate of over 90% during the 50's.

Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz recently tore the "marginal productivity" theory of earnings to shreds: "Those who have contributed great positive innovations to our society, from the pioneers of genetic understanding to the pioneers of the Information Age, have received a pittance compared with those responsible for the financial innovations that brought our global economy to the brink of ruin." http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105

Furthermore, suppose even that a billionaire was soooo socially productive that he "earned" his billions, as it were. Does that entail that he has a right to consume 1 billion dollars worth of luxury goods, while people are starving?

There are diminishing marginal returns to wellbeing from money - the 1,001st dollar you have make is worth much, much more to your survival than your 1,000,001st dollar.

Therefore, in the REAL world, in which we're speaking about life, health, social wellbeing, etc. society as a whole is made much better off by redistributing virtual capital from those who don't need the money to those who do.

The vast, vast majority of super-wealthy people are wealthy far in disproportion to their contribution to society - and that is the whole point about "phantom wealth."

Moreover, in an age in which all digital content can be recreated virtually infinitely for everyone at zero marginal cost, a random person with Internet access can potentially be hugely socially productive.

And it just so happens that Jesus was right, that giving money to the poor is a pretty good fix for poverty: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/to-beat-back-poverty-pay-the-poor/

Zero marginal cost changes everything, as I've argued here: http://www.ted.com/conversations/5936/are_capitalism_and_education_f.html

And here: http://www.ted.com/conversations/1650/in_2011_is_it_possible_to_mak.html

Unfortunately, not only has the Mainstream Media, Fox News, and the right wing propaganda machine kept people ignorant/misinformed about deep, persistent inequality, the working class in this country has been brainwashed against "socialism"...but there is nothing wrong with "socialism," which the working class can't even define - they have just been emotionally brainwashed against it.

In fact, it is exactly what this country needs. We need to break the taboo against talking about "socialism."

"The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to "End Poverty in California" I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie." - Upton Sinclair

"Even a single taboo can have an all-round crippling effect upon the mind, because there is always the danger that any thought which is freely followed up may lead to the forbidden thought.” – George Orwell.

The wealthiest 1/5 own 84% of the wealth in the US, while the bottom 2/5ths own 0.3%. Most Americans think the US is much more equal than it is: (we actually live in C, the banana republic): http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec11/makingsense_08-16.html

"Libertarian socialism": http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/to-beat-back-poverty-pay-the-poor/

Robert Reich explains the economy in 2 minutes, including how the economy has doubled in size since the 1980's, while wages have remained stagnant, because all the gains have gone to the wealthiest 1%:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTzMqm2TwgE

There are record corporate profits, yet no hiring: http://www.slate.com/id/2289619/

The rationale for separation of powers in government was that the US Founding Fathers didn't trust power concentrated in too few hands. There should be a corresponding check upon the power of concentrated wealth. http://fairelectionsnow.org/

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on." -Warren Buffett, a smarter, better man than Paul Ryan will ever be

"When rich speculators prosper While farmers lose their land; when government officials spend money on weapons instead of cures; when the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible while the poor have nowhere to turn- all this is robbery and chaos."

-Tao te ching

"Socrates was once gossiping with some friends about an Athenian who was about to take a voyage. "Will he learn much from his trip?" asked one friend. "Unlikely," replied Socrates. "He's taking himself along." Twenty-four hundred years later, the words still bite deep. Real learning is not, like foraging or money-making, a simple matter of acquisition. It is rather a process in which new experience that encounters is reciprocated by inner change in oneself. This inner change, this growth, is difficult, if not impossible, if one "takes oneself along," that is, if one confronts every new situation with an armored identity, imposing a familiar perspective on unfamiliar events. This assertive attitude, this obsessive self, is like some government censor blocking any ideas or data that might provoke rebellion. Instead one must be ready to lose the self, or to have a sense of self so flexible and yielding that it poses no threat to the new. This flexible self is not a weak self; it is a stronger, more youthful, more human identity, open to the outrageous variety of experience and the profound surprises of change." Robert Grudin

"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you!

But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that maurauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea — God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.

But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along." - Elizabeth Warren

[-] 1 points by pariscommune (205) 3 years ago

impressive post!

here is a discussion about money which you might find enlightening, it does exist very real and here is explained how and why:

https://occupywallst.org/forum/we-have-the-movement-so-whats-the-solution/