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Forum Post: Greed is the primary underlying cause of nearly every major problem of modern society. Including racism.

Posted 6 years ago on Dec. 7, 2014, 11:27 a.m. EST by StillModestCapitalist (343)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The entire debate over Ferguson is based on a failure to understand human nature. It can not be wished, regulated, educated, ordered or inspired away. We are biological machines. Nothing more. This remains true in spite of our diversity. In spite of the apparent ability some have to rise above their own circumstances.

The best possible formula for a peaceful, civil, just, responsible, and compassionate society begins with a reasonable distribution of wealth and resources. This foundation is vital. Without it, there is no chance for the masses to relate without serious complications. To hope otherwise is like hoping that a pack of starving dogs won't fight over a steak.

If you were to take two identical litters and raise them in separate environments, one litter safe, properly fed, housed, cared for and socialized, the other left to fend for themselves in a junkyard, you would end up with two entirely different dog societies (sorry, the proper phrase escapes me). There would be some diversity within each group but the more fortunate group would be more tame, more trusting, and easier to train. Their offspring would fare better as well right from birth. You could repeat this experiment a thousand times and get the same result every single time.

We humans make ourselves out to be above the animal behavior the wild is known for. But we aren't. Like dogs, we are programmed by our environmental circumstances. Like dogs, we do have natural instincts to care for our young and one another but even those basic instincts are effected by our own experiences. Not only in terms of method but also desire, devotion and courage.

When the resources and wealth of any society are concentrated too heavily, or the rugs pulled out from entire communities because of deindustrialization, different groups are formed. The cultures, trends, and behaviors develop in relation to the circumstances of each group. From the way they behave at the age of five to the way they relate to others at the age of 18 to the way they work as adults (if they even bother) to the way they raise and teach their children to the way they grow older to their state of mind near death and everything in between.

Damn right minority (poor minority) culture is an issue. Racism has made a huge comeback. Most of the fantastic progress made in America from the 50s to the 80s has been reversed because of 30+ years of uninterrupted wealth concentration and deindustrialization. The monster responsible for it is more powerful than ever before. It has corrupted virtually all of Western Society.

Of course, Al Sharpton is a bad influence. It makes him richer. Otherwise, he wouldn't bother. Of course, millions of minorities have bad attitudes. They were raised primarily in neglected communities. Their attitudes regarding work, welfare, crime, bling, white privilege and authority are the products of wealth concentration, deindustrialization, poor minority concentration, and racially targeted marketing. Of course, we need welfare reform. But the entitlements never would have become anywhere near as necessary to begin with if it weren't for the COW. Because of ongoing deindustrialization and human nature, they tend to become generational. They are abused because they can be.

All of the above complications are products of a society under the intoxicating influence of greed while suffering from the socio-economic effects of wealth concentration and deindustrialization. In other words, it's our own damn fault. We have built, bought, promoted, sold and voted for an obstacle that we can not overcome. The best we can hope for as a society under the intoxicating influence of greed and the horribly unjust circumstances resulting from it is an occasional tweak. To hope for anything more without a massive redistribution of wealth is like hoping for a pack of junkyard dogs to line up in single file for a bite of steak.

Even with a massive redistribution, it would take a full generation or two to effectively re-program minority culture.

The really bad news is that it won't happen. Not a single one of us will live to see the societal reform we call for from behind a wall of ignorance. The ancient Romans didn't have the courage to resolve their socio-economic issues and neither do we. It's only going to get worse. A lot worse.

Someday, many years from now, entire cities will burn to the ground.

But never mind all that. A new $600 cell phone is on the market. Beyonce and Taylor Swift have new albums. Lebron is back with the Cavs. It is now possible to artificially enhance your sex life. There is a lottery ticket out there with your name on it.


A country must have it's priorities.



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[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

What a disgusting waste of human resources, not only of the disadvantaged themselves, but of the decent people who are fighting hard to help them while the whole system works against them. Until the shit from the fan hits your own face, you can't possibly imagine what it would be like to grow up in such an environment. Tragically, but also fortunately (from an awakening point-of-view), the shit has starting to hit the middle class. Hopefully they can figure out that genetic inferiority and laziness have nothing to do with why people are poor... before the debt bubbles that are keeping society going all burst at once.

[-] 2 points by elf3 (4203) 6 years ago

How can you assume that others haven't? You don't know what people have been through...what because someone is white you think you can see into their life...this is very narrow. And yeah that dog analogy is like really bad ...and creepy in a hitlerish way...I hate this divisive shit. Ws doesn't get my sympathy neither do gangs neither do child molesters, rapists, murderers. Whatever. What does it have to do with Occupying Wallstreet...like weaving racial fibers into a rug of injustice that blankets some more than others..."wallstreet fucked me hard, well they fucked me harder, well I think they were fucked so hard". "No me no I was fucked hardest"...it is stupid ...seriously I'm sick of it...News Flash! Wallstreet is fucking us all! But I will bag on baby boomers because I just don't like their culture I will talk about them all day and some millenials who are like the reincarnation of boomer greed...but that is my beef...and man children...I really really hate grown men with jewelry and sideways hats. Who act like twelve year olds. I dont have to like everyone...I don't like gang members. Hell I don't like myself a good portion of the time...so seriously don't expect me to like you with your magical bouquet of aroma and annoyances and lessons and medley of tragedies: if you are a dick...I probably won't like you especially ...and I'm quite happy that I don't work for you...so I can tell you that. Let's give a shout out to everyone who hates your boss ...I know you can't say it but you know you feel it. Fuck your bosses! Fuck you for being such dicks! Goodnight and goodluck on Monday!

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Greed has everything to do with OWS.

[-] -1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Elf3, I don't know what has suddenly gotten into you after making sense so many times. Your rant begins with a question that isn't directed and runs on with a mishmash of incomplete points about my analogy, boomers, sideway hats, and people who don't like their boss for whatever reason.

It's like you read a half dozen comments posted by a half dozen users, had a few drinks, stubbed your little toe really hard and decided to take it out on donOld and I with no memory of what you would have said before your evening went to hell. All in response to a very serious issue with profound socio-economic ramifications. In fact, your pretention that it's petty makes me wonder what your true motives are here at OWS.

Because your reply is so out of character and so incoherent, I'm going to ask you three very specific questions hoping for three very specific answers given one at a time. Not smothered together in another mishmash.

1. Do you understand that the private wealth of America has become horribly concentrated over the last 35 years?

2. Do you understand that many American cities have been deindustrialized over the same time frame?

3. Do you understand that because of wealth concentration and deindustrialization, blacks in particular have taken the greatest losses?

Please answer these three questions one at a time with a 'yes' or 'no' and then begin a new paragraph explaining your position on, well, whatever you feel is relevant to the issues.

By the way, I see the conservative posers have been marking down dozens of my older comments again in order to reduce my overall user rating. It's a given that it will continue. It's also a given that elf3's comments on this page will be marked up by the same conservative posers. For that reason, it's a given that I will post the following link with each comment from now on.


[-] 2 points by elf3 (4203) 6 years ago

I understand all of it and i fight against it.

I just wonder why no black person has spoken out on this site against violence on whites? Like the white guy beaten to death with hammers near Ferguson where his fiance looked on . So I'm on your Javert list now...whatever. Who are you ...the censorship police. I'm a steaming liberal btw. But I'm not a blind follower. I live in a mixed minority neighborhood...so I get to see the otherside. You aren't all angels and halos and a fair amount are blatantly racist against whites. Ask me how often I get randomly shoved in the grocery store by black or spanish girls...enough that it is pretty plain to see...how the attitudes developing could turn dangerous and ugly. I just want to live my life but every time I leave my house I have to wonder who might break in. Because...what makes the type of people who do this feel justified doing it? Someone has to speak out against it cause excuses and like it or not...it happens to be the truth.

How long before I need someone to ride with me to stay in my city? Would anyone?

Oh my god...I'm a racist now...because I have observations of the world around me...better not speak the Racial McArthyites might come for me.

[-] 0 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Another tragedy. It may have been a hate crime. But again, there is a formula to ensure the best possible race relations within any society. It begins with a reasonable distribution of wealth and resources. With such a foundation, the wheels of civility are greased. Without it, they are run in salt water.

[-] -1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Damn right there are areas where no white man or woman is even relatively safe. My old stomping ground is one of them. But they were relatively safe 20 years ago. Even safer 30 years ago. Since then, they have been deindustrialized. A significant portion of the wealth has been transferred to the rich. I don't know what my old friends Devon and Raymond, two of the nicest guys I've ever known are up to these days but there is a pretty good chance their kids have been in serious trouble. If so, it would be counter-productive to rip on them without at least acknowledging the rotten hand they were dealt right from birth by a wealth concentrating deindustrializing society chock full of morons and cowards who refuse to draw the lines.

The analogy works and I never called you a racist.


[-] 0 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

It's frustrating almost beyond belief.

[-] 0 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Disregard the shameful Wal-Mart plug. They are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. The rest is legit.

Minority Children Four Times More Likely to Start Poor, Stay Poor

Children of color are four times more likely than their white peers to be born into a poor family and suffer a lifetime of consequences, ranging from diminished academic standing to increased financial insecurity, a report released Thursday found.

Beyond financial comfort, even practical dreams of education and savings remain an elusive idea for many nonwhite Americans. The nation's racial wealth disparity is more pronounced in the lives of children, the study, prepared by the California-based Insight Center for Community Economic Development, revealed.

"You could say that, 'oh these poor children of color, they are doing so badly. We should help them out of...generosity,'" said Trina Shanks, associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, who authored the report. "But this is a different conversation. What we are saying here is look at the numbers. Children of color will represent the majority of children in the United States in 2024, 2024. Right now, so many of these children are living and learning in conditions that diminish their potential as early as two years old. If we...help families build just the most basic of assets, it can benefit the country over a longer period of time."

In about 13 years, the population of black, Latino, Asian, Native American and Pacific Islander youths is expected to collectively outpace the number of white children living in the United States.

Right now, Latino, black and Native American children under the age of five are three times as likely as their white and certain Asian counterparts to live in households with very little income and sometimes, zero assets, the study found. And even when children of color come from homes that do hold wealth-building assets, the value of what their families own is generally worth less than that of white children, according to the report.

That is why some white Americans who don't earn high incomes or build their own assets can still turn to their parents or other relatives for financial help when it is time, for instance, to move to a better school district. But many families of color don't have relatives with deeper pockets, Shanks said.

"There will be people who look at this study and say, you know, I can provide a little help to my family if the time comes," said Shanks. "...But what you are essentially saying is, you don't mind people who have historically had more continuing to have more. You are almost guaranteeing that inequities are going to continue over time."

In 2007, just under one third of white households with young children throughout the country had incomes below the poverty level, and about 14 percent had no assets. But a full 69 percent of similar Latino households and 71 percent of black families lived below the poverty line. In each case, 40 percent of such black and Latino families also had no assets.

Between 1994 and 2007, the wealth gap between white and black households with children increased by $22,000. And in a two-year period between 2005 and 2007, the percentage of black households living with no or negative net worth--debt--grew from 35 to 39. During that same stretch, the share of white families with zero net worth remained steady at 15 percent.

Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit works to reduce poverty by strengthening families and helping poor individuals overcome obstacles. About 77 percent of Detroit's population is black and seven percent Latino, and nearly 28 percent of the city's residents lived in poverty in 2009.

This year, a $2.5 million corporate donation from Walmart allowed the agency to launch Beyond Jobs, a pilot program that will serve 250 poor single mothers and their families. Many of the women were born into poverty, sometimes second-generation poverty. According to Jaycee Memminger, women's services coordinator for Beyond Jobs and Flip The Script, another poverty-reduction program, the effects of lifelong poverty are clear among her clients.

Memminger, for instance, has seen grown women come to the realization that it might not be wise to keep their money in a shoebox beneath their bed.

She's talked to women in their 30s and 40s who have never held a job or earned more than $7.40 and hour.

And this year, thanks in part to the work of her programs, she's seen some of these women enter college. She's heard her clients discuss the way their parents' expectations shaped them, and witnessed them reflect upon the impact their own financial standing, lack of education and emotional baggage may have on their children.

"We are talking about a population that hasn't been given the opportunity to put very much thought beyond today," Memminger said. "It really isn't uncommon for us to ask a client about a career path, or even their dreams, and they will literally sit in silence. Poor people can get so busy surviving that their sense of agency, that they can in some way shape their destiny, is just zapped."

"Now imagine being a single mother raising kids," she continued. "How do you teach your children anything different?"

The Center's report advocates for a series of what it calls asset-building public policies that can help poor families build modest savings accounts, which they can then use to cover emergency expenses or education costs. Such policies also aim to enhance the poor's understanding of non-predatory financial services.

In Singapore, the government deposits small amounts of money into an account for each child born, Shanks said. That money can be withdrawn to cover costs such as extra tutoring for children or higher education for young adults. Or it can sit, earn interest and become the sort of nest egg or emergency fund the child's future family may need.

As a result, almost all families in Singapore--regardless of income--own their own homes. Those homes can then be used to finance business investments or education for subsequent generations, said Shanks.

"Income matters, but assets, and what they can do for a child and its family, matter more," said Shanks.

Many families cycle in and out of poverty a number of times, usually because of economic shocks like a job loss and a lack of savings, the study found.

Poverty itself can damage a child's physical health and cognitive skills, said Curtis Skinner, director of Family Economic Security for the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University. Chronic asthma, depression, anxiety and behavioral problems are far more common among poor children. These conditions make it more likely that the child will not graduate from high school or college, increasing the chances a poor child will go on to become a poor adult, Skinner said.

“It becomes a vicious circle,” said Skinner. “Unfortunately, its such an engrained part of the United States’ culture. We still have a lot of this pull your self up by your bootstraps notion. And it is kind of romantic to think that poverty is simply about character and fortitude and anyone can escape it. But that’s a notion. That’s not the truth.”

Since the recession began, newspapers across the country have been filled with stories about people forced to visit community food pantries who never thought they would have to. It’s possible the recession has exposed some of the structural issues--rather than character concerns--that contribute to low incomes and the lack of savings and assets, said Skinner.

Getting past common assumptions about character and poverty might allow lawmakers to work on creating policies that would reduce poverty and trim the vast wealth gaps between demographic groups, Skinner said. Right now, 12 percent of white children live in poverty compared to 33 percent of Latino kids and 36 percent of black children.

But the nation does not appear to be ready.

“We’ve been a little disappointed, actually," Skinner said. "Despite these disturbing increases in poverty due to the recession, no one likes to actually use the word poverty anymore. President Obama didn’t use it once in the State of the Union. Instead, what we heard was a lot of talk about the middle class. Everyone is not middle class.”


[-] -1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

you might include power - unless you think the quest for power is also greedy