The Rich are hoarding the Nation into poverty!
“Where will the rich go if they turn the entire planet into one giant ghetto?”
Where will they go? Will the wealthy live behind great walls, once they’ve turned America in to one vast ghetto? Will they flee to some other country? Or is it time for them to move into their decommissioned missile silos
or onto some giant ship
that simply sails from ocean to ocean, avoiding the fallout of their greed? Before we look closer at each of these possibilities, let’s see if we can get into the minds of the ultra-wealthy to determine their motivations.
First, I would like to get my own personal belief out there for consideration. Simply put, I believe the rich see something coming, and they decided to take whatever action(s) they can to circumvent or avoid some planet-wide catastrophe of which the rest of us are or will be unaware. Remember that opening scene in the movie “2012”, where billionaires are being called and told that they must contribute more to keep the project on schedule. In case you didn’t see that movie, here’s a spoiler alert. In it, the rich are given some heads up about some impending disaster that requires more of their wealth being thrown at the problem than was previously thought necessary. In the end, the audience discovers that the project the rich were funding was for a series of giant arks or ships, meant to save these millionaires and billionaires from a Noah-esk flood that will cover the planet. Outrageous, right? But would this idea be so outrageous, if you had the means to protect yourself and your family from such a disaster? If you had more money than you could spend in a lifetime, wouldn’t you spend the money to safeguard against such a tragedy or one similar?
Let’s say, instead of a biblical flood, the threat were social unrest and upheaval caused by an unsustainable and failing economic system? After all, the American dollar is a fiat currency, meaning it’s not based upon or backed by anything with intrinsic value. Where it was once backed by gold, the American dollar’s value is now only based upon an evaluation provided by the Federal Reserve, the central bank for all banks in America. The Federal Reserve can increase or decrease the value of each dollar by putting more money into circulation or removing it, which does not actually provide more intrinsic value for every dollar.
Simply put, it would be as if you were playing a game of Monopoly and the player with the most money wanted to keep playing, so they made a rule change that allowed them to incorporate the money from a second Monopoly game into your current game. If that rule allowed for the incorporation of exactly twice as much money into your game, every single Monopoly dollar would now be worth half of its previous value. For the person with the most money before this influx of new Monopoly money, the impact would be inconsequential. To illustrate, let’s say this first-place player had 40,000 dollars before the new money. Now they have 80,000 dollars. In the real world this influx of money causes the price of everything to increase, so rent on Boardwalk goes from 2,000 dollars to 4,000 dollars. With 80,000 dollars, however, 4,000 dollars is still affordable, but what if you only have 4,000 dollars in your pocket? Do you pay rent or eat? Do you pay rent or die of exposure? Do you pay rent or go to debtor’s prison? In today’s America, all three are possible.
And this is the quandary in which the rich, especially the super-rich find themselves these days as they oversee the downfall of America. “Should I use my money to make more people homeless, starving, naked or afraid?” To explain the thought processes of the Uber-rich, I’ve come up with the following three scenarios:
One: They’re crazy!
Studies seem to show that the more wealth one accumulates, the more likely they are to exhibit sociopathic tendencies. In other words, money does not seem to make one care more. In fact, it seems to do just the opposite. The wealthy lose touch with really as basic needs of survival fade into obscurity. When you’re rich, you never have to worry about food water or shelter, so the basics are no longer viewed as items for which one must struggle. It seems easy to buy a house, to send “the help” to pick up your food, clothes, bottled water or whatever else one needs to live. When these basic requirements of life are muted, it becomes harder to sympathize with those who must struggle every day to attain them. And, if survival is deemed such an easy task, imagine how “the luxury” of attaining healthcare must be perceived. Even though born into their wealth, some of the richest people in America believe that it is easy to thrive in a country where the cost of everything (other than wages) continues to increase. Illogical, right? I guess that’s why they look like sociopaths. An article written in 2017 defines what the rich need “to keep their heads above water.” If you visit the following link, keep this thought in the back of your mind. The Rich are Crazy!
“Why are the rich the biggest preppers in the world?”
Now, if it isn’t out of some sociopathic programming, it could be out of fear that ultra-rich Americans ignore that plight of their fellow citizens. So, you created a situation in your country where you have more money than you or your descendants could ever spend, while 50, 60, or 70 percent of your fellow Americans starve or die from exposure or dehydration or poisoned water? What’s next? WHAT’S NEXT? You created this mess, what are you going to do to stop and fix it? In this instance, it would be smart to consider ways to reverse the situation to minimize the fallout that is to come, but when you lack the foresight to see it coming, how could you come up with a valid way in which to fix the situation? I can imagine that someone who believes this might simply choose to further insulate themselves from the impending collapse, which in their mind require accumulating even more wealth. In this way, the peasants will have to go through all of those wealthy, who cannot afford more security or a larger island or jet. It’s like running from a bear. You don’t need to outrun the bear, you just need to outrun the guy next to you.
Three: “It’s out of my hands”
Maybe fate has stepped in so no matter what the ultra-rich do, America will turn out how it is currently turning out. One possible train of thought might be: “If I wasn’t the rich jackass running the country into the ground, it would just be some other rich jackass, so I might as well enjoy the spoils of jackass-hood”. This belief requires a certain amount of faith. Misguided as it may be, the rich must believe that the future is either set in stone or being guided by some unseen force. I guess any god could account for this believe. It’s all a matter of interpretation.
Class Warfare: Who's really waging it?
“With some estimates claiming 21 trillion dollars hidden in off-shore tax havens, is it any longer even a question who is winning the war of the classes?”
Lately, both side of the political aisle have been talking about class warfare. I find it an interesting coincidence that the book I'm reading discusses just this issue. It points to what possibly lies beneath claims made by both the Democrats and the Republicans. The book is entitled "Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists" and here is an excerpt:
The Corporatocracy uses its money and power to try to persuade Americans that it is "populist demagoguery" to even bring up the subject of class war, and that populism means pandering to destructive prejudices. Fortunately, despite the Corporatocracy's great efforts here, many don't buy it. In March 2009, a Rasmussen Reports poll reported that "55 percent of Americans are Populists." They defined populist as trusting the American people's judgement more than America's political leaders, as seeing government and big business as political allies working against the interest of most people and seeing the federal government as one more special-interest group that is primarily looking after its own needs. Specifically, they asked Americans three questions.
1. Generally speaking, when it comes to important national issues, whose judgement do you trust more - the American people or America's political leaders?
2. Do government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors?
3. Some people believe that the federal government has become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests.
Has the federal government become a special interest group?
As stated earlier the poll showed that 55 percent of respondents could be categorized as populists, which broke down to 52 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Republicans and 51 percent not affiliated with either party. I realize that polls can be made to say whatever people or groups want them to say, or at least appear to do so, but you must ask yourself: Do you personally feel that the federal government or your state government seem to be looking out for your best interests? Control of the governing bodies swings from democratic to republican control every few years, but has it felt as if the people of this nation have been in control in the past decade? For an indication of how much control corporations have over our lives, visit the following website: (Source: http://alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed), which details how corporations are responsible for all of the state legislation that deals with "voter suppression", "collective bargaining", "privatization of prisons" and so many other policies and bills that GOP governors have passed around the country. Short of visiting the ALEC Exposed website, read the following to understand the threat we face in unregulated corporations and unfettered capitalism.
Corporations have benefited from large scale and long-lasting wars that have had little REAL benefit to either country involved.
Corporations have benefited by pulling finite resources out of the planet, while leaving environmental disasters in their wake: The spill in the gulf and other, more recent spills that have affected the lives of so many Americans, the spread of fracking, which has contaminated the water supplies of entire communities, the coal mine collapses, which were avoidable had safety regulations been adhered to prior to the collapse.
Corporations have made record profits in a year when they are laying off people by the tens of thousands and demanding lower taxes, so they can promise to hire people.
This article details how twenty-five of the highest paid U.S. CEOs made more money than their companies paid in taxes.
This article details those companies in which the CEOs not only received exorbitant compensation (while the company laid off tens of thousands of employees) but got even bigger pay packages.
Another influencing factor (at least for our GOP leaders) is the author Ayn Rand. The philosophy of Rand, who so many Republican leaders idolize and cite as inspirational has led to tax cuts for the rich, time and time again. Paul Ryan even stated that thinking like that of Ayn Rand was sorely needed today. While this type of thinking might be okay for business (even this is questionable), it should never be applied to a way in which a nation is led.
For more on Ayn Rand, watch her interview with Mike Wallace.
Basically, Rand believed that people should, at all times, only look out for themselves; which explained her idolization of serial killers who epitomized this philosophy. One of those killers Rand idolized was a convicted murderer named William Hickman, who kidnapped and dismembered a twelve-year-old girl after receiving the ransom from the little girl's father. Ayn Rand was also an atheist, which I only mention, because leaders like Paul Ryan oftentimes credit their Christian values as reasons for giving HUGE tax breaks to the rich.
One thing to think about as we move into the future is that while the cost of living has continued to increase over the years, wages have remained stagnant or gone into decline while Republicans continue to insist that the tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the rich will someday trickle down to the rest of us. Even when faced with the fact that, for the first time in decades, the median home income has been lowered to levels not seen since 1968.
(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/13/inflation-adjusted-income_n_960588.html ).
There is no logic in thinking that corporations which saw record profits in the years since the Great Recession, should be allowed to make more money by lowering taxes. It does not make since that millionaires should continue to pay less in taxes than the rest of us, because while it may not solve our deficit problem, it is fair. Many millionaires and even some billionaires realize and understand this fact. For proof, below is a link to a website that consists only of millionaires who believe that the Bush Era Tax cuts were unnecessary, unwise and unwanted.
(Source: http://patrioticmillionaires.org/ )
One of their videos on this website is a compilation of millionaires who explain why raising taxes on millionaires is right.
“Something has to change, and it seems quite unlikely that this change will come from the political leaders we have in office now. It's got to come from us.”
Trickle Down explained and hopefully debunked, once and for all
Though this may be too simple of an explanation, I believe that, given our current leader’s propensity to justify “Supply Side” (another name for Trickle Down) economics in the most ambiguous, complex and disingenuous manner, an oversimplification is warranted to shed light on the truth. I am no economist, so if there is a better or simpler explanation of Trickle Down economic theory, I am open to hearing it. For now, here is my understanding of Supply Side/Trickle-down economics.
Simple Definition of Supply Side Economics
The wealth of the wealthy is increased by lowering their taxes. The extra income that is generated for the wealthy will be used by the wealthy for investments that will help the economy, or it will be used to create jobs for the rest of us, which will in turn boost the economy.
An Even Simpler Definition of Supply Side Economics
We give the Rich our money, so the Rich can give some of our money back to us after we’ve done some work for them.
Again, but with parentheses:
We (all taxpayers) give the rich our money (in the form of tax breaks) so they (the rich) can give us some of our money (tax dollars we must pay to cover the loss of tax breaks for the rich) back after we’ve done some work for the rich.
How does this even sound close to something we should have even considered in the past? How does it sound like something we should continue utilizing, as Republicans propose tax reforms that disproportionately help the rich? How does this sound like a course of action to continue when it has been the policy practiced for decades without the intended or implied outcome? The rich who are continually given the designation of Job Creators have failed to create good-paying, new or extra jobs “out of thin air”. Use of the phrase “out of thin air” is my way of designating a market in which there is little to no demand for the supposed jobs that the rich will create. You see, valid jobs (ones that increase a company’s value) are NOT created without there first being a need. Car manufacturers don’t build cars that no one is going to buy (at least not intentionally). Cell phone companies won’t build cell phones when there is no evidence that they could sell those cell phones. Restaurants won’t hire more chefs, wait staff, etc. unless more people eat at that restaurant.
The truth be told, jobs are created when there is a need for that position. Car manufacturers hire more factory workers when more cars are purchased. The same holds for cell phone companies, restaurants, toilet manufacturers, toy builders and every other industry that exists in a capitalistic society. An even closer look reveals that it is the consumer who dictates how many jobs there are and how many new jobs will need to be created. This theory is called Demand Side economics and it relies on consumers having enough income to keep the economy flowing.
The problem we have is that we keep allowing our leaders to use the Supply Side economic theory which has taken more wealth out of our hands and put it in the off-shore accounts of the rich. This, in turn has the effect of insuring less money in the economy, because money that is hidden away in off-shore tax-havens for the Rich is money that is no longer available to purchase goods. Fewer goods bought means fewer jobs necessary which leads right back to fewer goods bought. It’s a downward spiral that the rich seem all too willing to ride to the bottom and the rest of us all too complacent to reverse.
“Do most of the problems stem from the injustice and inequaity that festers in America?”
If the answer is yes, then put your head back in the sand and let Uncle Sam do whatever he wants to that part of you still exposed above the sand. If your answer is no to any one of my examples, keep reading by buying the book at one of the following links:
Solutions for Android devices $0.99
Solutions in paperback (I get the hypocrisy, but where else can you buy anything these days?) $16
Solutions for Kindle (I get the hypocrisy, but where else can you buy anything these days?) $10