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Will you ever get rich?

It used to be an easy question to answer if you were headed to Wall Street.

Not so much today...

Yet another look at America's growing wealth gap doesn't instill confidence.

In fact, if you stop to actually read the article you may wind up looking in the mirror and asking yourself some difficult questions with regards to your goals, aspirations and ambitions.

Proceed... with caution.

Very disturbingly the poorest 90 % of Americans make an average of $31,244 a year. While the richest 1% make a hardly inspiring $1.1 million plus.

Two Very Disturbing Extrapolations

1) $31,244 is a very humble amount of money. It is a very humble amount of money if you are a single person in their 20's living in a studio apartment in a not-so-terrific urban neighborhood. Taking into account this must read Zero Hedge article, (assist to VTech Forever on that one) we can safely say that the majority of today's middle class...really is poor. For an average of ~$30K to apply to 90% of the population (i.e. ~270,000,000 people) there has to be an anchor of dead weight pulling down the honest hardworking sub-six figure crowd subsidizing them.

But who cares...we are the elite,right?

Let us examine...

2) $1.1 million dollars is a nice chunk of change. Let's be clear. A mil definitely does not buy you what it once did. But it's still a nice number...

However...

If the top %1 of Americans (i.e. 3,000,000) make a mil...how discrepant is that figure, really?

Considering how many F50-1000 bosses make a lot more, considering the billionaires and media megastars involved...how many people are actually making that much?

Isn't it highly likely that the "typical Wall Street stiff making $400K/year" is the caboose pulling down this party wagon?

Isn't it actually becoming a reality that in the top 1%, the monkeys and the chimps are the anchor babies making the disgusting discrepancy seem more paletteable in this sort of analysis?

Tell me, monkeys...

What do these figures tell you?

Then think about it and answer honestly...

Will you ever really be rich or will you be paying someone else's free lunch so the real %1 do not have to?

Comments (353)

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    monkeysama's picture

    UFOinsider wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    econ wrote:
    IlliniProgrammer wrote:
    I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

    Once people figure out that no matter how hard they try they will stay crushed in debt at the bottom of the social pyramid they'll stop believing in the field of diamonds and start wondering why the rich deserve their palaces.


    With all due respect, the majority will never be at either extreme. As long as the vast majority are more or less content, not a whole lot is going to change.

    True. I think for a revolution to really get off the ground there have to be food riots. It seems to be the one common thread that spans pretty much any coup in history.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    UFOinsider's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    UFOinsider wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    econ wrote:
    IlliniProgrammer wrote:
    I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

    Once people figure out that no matter how hard they try they will stay crushed in debt at the bottom of the social pyramid they'll stop believing in the field of diamonds and start wondering why the rich deserve their palaces.


    With all due respect, the majority will never be at either extreme. As long as the vast majority are more or less content, not a whole lot is going to change.

    True. I think for a revolution to really get off the ground there have to be food riots. It seems to be the one common thread that spans pretty much any coup in history.


    I don't know enough to comment beyond saying that food riots in the US are highly unlikely.....

    Get busy living

  • In reply to IlliniProgrammer
    monkeysama's picture

    IlliniProgrammer wrote:

    Absolutely. If you want a green car, and have the money, you can have one, and it's not up to other people to tell you what to do. But the industrialists of the 1890s saw that people, rightly or wrongly, get angry when someone has a green Rolls and they can't afford a green bicycle. That's bad for business, even though it might not be the industrialists' faults.

    So they spent money on public libraries and gyms, cut back the workweek a little, and it resulted in a system where there was some very minor redistribution of wealth, but nobody was complaining.

    The notion of there being an economic ruling class doesn't accomplish anything for the would-be "ruling class" members and it only serves to piss off people who aren't members of this "ruling class".

    Quoted for truth.

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    IlliniProgrammer's picture

    UFOinsider wrote:
    Ruling class = people who make the decisions in society. I'm not interested in parsing words here, I simply make the point that as long as the system keeps the majority of people satisfied, the level of inequality is irrelevant....AS LONG AS the people all the way at the top keep the system going: which is the case in the US. In other places, say Libya, not so much

    Well, if that is the case, voters make the decisions in society and for every decision, there is someone else who has to wind up agreeing with it. If you want to hire me, I don't have to work for you. If you want to move 2 million barrels of oil somewhere, someone can always quit on you and screw everything up.

    So there is no real ruling class in in a democratic capitalist society. It's a bunch of different people making decisions about the country's economy- maybe with some having more decision making power than others- and everyone getting the same say about the country's politics. You only have a ruling class in a communist society.

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    monkeysama's picture

    UFOinsider wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    UFOinsider wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    econ wrote:
    IlliniProgrammer wrote:
    I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

    Once people figure out that no matter how hard they try they will stay crushed in debt at the bottom of the social pyramid they'll stop believing in the field of diamonds and start wondering why the rich deserve their palaces.


    With all due respect, the majority will never be at either extreme. As long as the vast majority are more or less content, not a whole lot is going to change.

    True. I think for a revolution to really get off the ground there have to be food riots. It seems to be the one common thread that spans pretty much any coup in history.


    I don't know enough to comment beyond saying that food riots in the US are highly unlikely.....

    True. Maybe gas riots could happen. I could see a latino uprising like the riots after the MLK assassination if things start to go really south in the immigration department. Or simply the drug war moving north enough to take over Arizona or New Mexico. I could definitely see a failed state situation where the Feds have to come in to restore order as Arizona is bankrupt and literally can't keep the drug runners from taking over the capital.

    Outside of that there's not a whole lot of popular uprising in this country. It's demographically too old to really support a youth movement. The only dissent we've had from the two party system is an octogenarian right wing fringe group which is disorganized and doesn't really have a coherent philosophy - kind of sad really.

  • In reply to IlliniProgrammer
    econ's picture

    IlliniProgrammer wrote:
    econ wrote:
    IlliniProgrammer wrote:
    I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

    I honestly don't find that very convincing.

    What do you mean? The US, above all, is a very pragmatic country. We use capitalism not because it's necessarily the "right" thing to do, but because it works.

    Sorry, I should of been more clear. I understood your statement as saying that people on this site are financially successful (or will be in the future) which is why the support capitalism. My argument is that capitalism helps "the poor" a lot too. In fact, I would argue it helps the poor more than the rich.

  • TNA's picture

    Lol let the poor revolt. Educated and well off will just leave. Look at how well China fared when they killed and punished the educated class.

    Fuckem. All te rationalization in the world doesn't make taking what people have earned and giving it to those who haven't any more right or correct.

    If liberals are so comfortable with violating basic rights, why not advocate simply killing people in the lowest bracket. Both will reduce the number of poor.

    The USA offers a chance at wealth. That is it.

    Our taxes are high enough.

    If people are under crushing debt, go bankrupt. We offer legal remedy for this.

    The intelligent and rich are the economic engine for this country. Hurting us hurts everyone. Giving money to poor people is probably the worst use of cash. Why not just tax the rich and burn all the money. Same effect.

    @Monkey- please provide a pic of your taxes showing 60-70-80 of your income going to the lower class. You advocate state backed theft, I sure hope you are walking the talk yourself.

  • TNA's picture

    Why would Latinos uprise? We are anti illegal immigration, not anti Hispanic people. Are you saying Latinos identify with illegal immigrants instead of fellow Americans?

    Entering the USA without documentation is

    ILLEGAL

    Criminal and civil

    The USA is not a right, it is a privilege. Try and grasp that.

  • In reply to IlliniProgrammer
    econ's picture

    IlliniProgrammer wrote:
    So they spent money on public libraries and gyms, cut back the workweek a little, and it resulted in a system where there was some very minor redistribution of wealth, but nobody was complaining.

    Are you talking about the public libraries that were funded out of their private wealth? Or are you talking about politically funded public libraries? There's a huge difference, at least from a libertarian point of view...

  • In reply to TNA
    econ's picture

    ANT wrote:
    @Monkey- please provide a pic of your taxes showing 60-70-80 of your income going to the lower class. You advocate state backed theft, I sure hope you are walking the talk yourself.

    LOL! +1

    You seem to be saying that taxing the sh*t out of the wealthy is for their own good. If improving the material wealth of the poor is so great for the middle and upper class, I sure hope you're all for donating large sums of your money "for the cause"...

  • In reply to TNA
    monkeysama's picture

    ANT wrote:
    Why would Latinos uprise? We are anti illegal immigration, not anti Hispanic people. Are you saying Latinos identify with illegal immigrants instead of fellow Americans?

    Entering the USA without documentation is

    ILLEGAL

    Criminal and civil

    The USA is not a right, it is a privilege. Try and grasp that.

    Some people don't have a

    CHOICE

    Eating is a right, not a privilege. Try and grasp that.

  • In reply to econ
    monkeysama's picture

    econ wrote:
    ANT wrote:
    @Monkey- please provide a pic of your taxes showing 60-70-80 of your income going to the lower class. You advocate state backed theft, I sure hope you are walking the talk yourself.

    LOL! +1

    You seem to be saying that taxing the sh*t out of the wealthy is for their own good. If improving the material wealth of the poor is so great for the middle and upper class, I sure hope you're all for donating large sums of your money "for the cause"...

    I would provide a pic of me donating 50 percent of my wealth if I was making a billion a year. As it is I'm unemployed and probably will be destitute for a long time.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    econ's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    econ wrote:
    ANT wrote:
    @Monkey- please provide a pic of your taxes showing 60-70-80 of your income going to the lower class. You advocate state backed theft, I sure hope you are walking the talk yourself.

    LOL! +1

    You seem to be saying that taxing the sh*t out of the wealthy is for their own good. If improving the material wealth of the poor is so great for the middle and upper class, I sure hope you're all for donating large sums of your money "for the cause"...

    I would provide a pic of me donating 50 percent of my wealth if I was making a billion a year. As it is I'm unemployed and probably will be destitute for a long time.

    Oh, okay, I get it... it's okay for you to tax the sh*t out of the wealthy because you'd be okay with it IF you were in their shoes.

  • txjustin's picture

    Typical do as I say not as I do liberal argument.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    econ's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    Some people don't have a

    CHOICE

    Eating is a right, not a privilege. Try and grasp that.

    Depend on what kind of rights we're talking about. A lot of people will tell you that human beings have the right to be free of force, but not the right to food, housing, etc. Dr. Walter Williams explains it pretty well in this short article titled "Rights versus Wishes": http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/politics/rights/...

    At the heart of the argument, is this:

    Quote:
    We hear so much about "rights" -- a right to this and a right to that. People say they have a right to decent housing, a right to adequate health care, food and a decent job, and more recently, senior citizens have a right to prescription drugs. In a free society, do people have these rights? Let's look at it.

    At least in the standard historical usage of the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people. A right confers no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference. Similarly, I have a right to travel freely. That right imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference.

    Contrast those rights to the supposed right to decent housing or medical care. Those supposed rights do confer obligations upon others. There is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy. If you don't have money to pay for decent housing or medical services, and the government gives you a right to those services, where do you think the money comes from?

    More importantly, you're not talking about taking billionaires money to feed the poor. You're talking about taking billionaires money to change the income distribution, in a society in which "the poor" are far from starving. If what you're really concerned with is feeding "the poor" than you should be all for taxing the sh*t out of lower, middle, and upper income Americans, in order to feed the real poor (you know, those people in third world countries). I suspect you don't like that idea though because as far as I can tell, one of the main reasons you're so in favor of taxing the wealthy, is not because you're trying to feed the poor. It seems, you're just against the economic gains the rich have earned, and you simply wish that different outcomes had occurred, and you want to use coercion and politics to make your wishes a reality (regardless of how much other people share your wishes).

  • In reply to econ
    monkeysama's picture

    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    econ wrote:
    ANT wrote:
    @Monkey- please provide a pic of your taxes showing 60-70-80 of your income going to the lower class. You advocate state backed theft, I sure hope you are walking the talk yourself.

    LOL! +1

    You seem to be saying that taxing the sh*t out of the wealthy is for their own good. If improving the material wealth of the poor is so great for the middle and upper class, I sure hope you're all for donating large sums of your money "for the cause"...

    I would provide a pic of me donating 50 percent of my wealth if I was making a billion a year. As it is I'm unemployed and probably will be destitute for a long time.

    Oh, okay, I get it... it's okay for you to tax the sh*t out of the wealthy because you'd be okay with it IF you were in their shoes.

    It's called empathy. I have it and clearly some of the wealthy don't. Additionally, your thinly veiled sarcasm aside there's nothing implicitly absurd about the statement. I believe in a rule that should be applied to everyone - taxes should be apportioned upon the individuals ability to pay them. How do you not understand this?

  • In reply to monkeysama
    econ's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    It's called empathy. I have it and clearly some of the wealthy don't. Additionally, your thinly veiled sarcasm aside there's nothing implicitly absurd about the statement. I believe in a rule that should be applied to everyone - taxes should be apportioned upon the individuals ability to pay them. How do you not understand this?

    Why can't you live and let live? If you had $1B, you're free to donate 50% of it to poor people. Why do you feel the need to force others to live by your values?

  • econ's picture

    If you have so much empathy, then how come you can't understand that not everyone shares your opinions and values, and just let people live their own life without so much interference from you?

  • txjustin's picture

    ^^That's an easy one. It is because majority of the liberal base want you to live by what they believe or they're gonna whine and cry about it and claim life is unfair when they should be out there hustling to make a better life for themselves.

  • In reply to econ
    monkeysama's picture

    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    Some people don't have a

    CHOICE

    Eating is a right, not a privilege. Try and grasp that.

    Depend on what kind of rights we're talking about. A lot of people will tell you that human beings have the right to be free of force, but not the right to food, housing, etc. Dr. Walter Williams explains it pretty well in this short article titled "Rights versus Wishes": http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/politics/rights/...

    At the heart of the argument, is this:

    Quote:
    We hear so much about "rights" -- a right to this and a right to that. People say they have a right to decent housing, a right to adequate health care, food and a decent job, and more recently, senior citizens have a right to prescription drugs. In a free society, do people have these rights? Let's look at it.

    At least in the standard historical usage of the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people. A right confers no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference. Similarly, I have a right to travel freely. That right imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference.

    Contrast those rights to the supposed right to decent housing or medical care. Those supposed rights do confer obligations upon others. There is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy. If you don't have money to pay for decent housing or medical services, and the government gives you a right to those services, where do you think the money comes from?

    More importantly, you're not talking about taking billionaires money to feed the poor. You're talking about taking billionaires money to change the income distribution, in a society in which "the poor" are far from starving. If what you're really concerned with is feeding "the poor" than you should be all for taxing the sh*t out of lower, middle, and upper income Americans, in order to feed the real poor (you know, those people in third world countries). I suspect you don't like that idea though because as far as I can tell, one of the main reasons you're so in favor of taxing the wealthy, is not because you're trying to feed the poor. It seems, you're just against the economic gains the rich have earned, and you simply wish that different outcomes had occurred, and you want to use coercion and politics to make your wishes a reality (regardless of how much other people share your wishes).

    What is at the heart of our philosophical difference is that you believe in only negative rights - those things for which other people may not do to you (such as incarceration without due process) whereas I believe in those things as well as positive rights - things that human beings must have done for them (they must have access to clean drinking water).

    The funny thing about positive rights is that it really doesn't matter if you believe they are rights or not, they affect you. Many Mexicans do not have access to fundamental positive rights, such as freedom from fear of violence, adequate food water and shelter to provide for the bear minimum of human comfort and security. It doesn't matter how illegal it is to cross our border (one of the largest borders in the world). So long as they do not have access to those rights in their home country they will come, they are COMPELLED to come, as necessary for there own survival.

    The only way to get Mexicans to stop illegally emigrating to our country is to make it more miserable to be here than in Mexico - we'd have to probably have to resort to large scale torture and murder on an industrial level to get there.

  • In reply to econ
    UFOinsider's picture

    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    It's called empathy. I have it and clearly some of the wealthy don't. Additionally, your thinly veiled sarcasm aside there's nothing implicitly absurd about the statement. I believe in a rule that should be applied to everyone - taxes should be apportioned upon the individuals ability to pay them. How do you not understand this?

    Why can't you live and let live? If you had $1B, you're free to donate 50% of it to poor people. Why do you feel the need to force others to live by your values?


    monkeysama -> you need to be looking for a job, not BSing here. I say this for your benefit.....

    econ -> while I am a conservative, I will point out that the enormous concentration of wealth and power is dangerous for a democracy.

    Let the debate rage on, gentlemen, start your engines

    Get busy living

  • In reply to econ
    monkeysama's picture

    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    It's called empathy. I have it and clearly some of the wealthy don't. Additionally, your thinly veiled sarcasm aside there's nothing implicitly absurd about the statement. I believe in a rule that should be applied to everyone - taxes should be apportioned upon the individuals ability to pay them. How do you not understand this?

    Why can't you live and let live? If you had $1B, you're free to donate 50% of it to poor people. Why do you feel the need to force others to live by your values?

    Then I presume you advocate not taxing people based on their ability to pay? How much do you feel the poor should pay more as a percentage of their income than billionaires?

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    monkeysama's picture

    UFOinsider wrote:
    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    It's called empathy. I have it and clearly some of the wealthy don't. Additionally, your thinly veiled sarcasm aside there's nothing implicitly absurd about the statement. I believe in a rule that should be applied to everyone - taxes should be apportioned upon the individuals ability to pay them. How do you not understand this?

    Why can't you live and let live? If you had $1B, you're free to donate 50% of it to poor people. Why do you feel the need to force others to live by your values?


    monkeysama -> you need to be looking for a job, not BSing here. I say this for your benefit.....

    econ -> while I am a conservative, I will point out that the enormous concentration of wealth and power is dangerous for a democracy.

    Let the debate rage on, gentlemen, start your engines

    I'm pretty much convinced I'm unemployable at this point. I'm tired of humiliating myself over and over for no gain.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    econ's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    What is at the heart of our philosophical difference is that you believe in only negative rights - those things for which other people may not do to you (such as incarceration without due process) whereas I believe in those things as well as positive rights - things that human beings must have done for them (they must have access to clean drinking water).

    The funny thing about positive rights is that it really doesn't matter if you believe they are rights or not, they affect you. Many Mexicans do not have access to fundamental positive rights, such as freedom from fear of violence, adequate food water and shelter to provide for the bear minimum of human comfort and security. It doesn't matter how illegal it is to cross our border (one of the largest borders in the world). So long as they do not have access to those rights in their home country they will come, they are COMPELLED to come, as necessary for there own survival.

    The only way to get Mexicans to stop illegally emigrating to our country is to make it more miserable to be here than in Mexico - we'd have to probably have to resort to large scale torture and murder on an industrial level to get there.

    First paragraph: Yes, I know the difference between positive and negative rights. If you're such a fan of positive rights, than let me ask you again, why aren't you in favor of taxing all Americans to provide the positive rights of the poor in the third world?

    Second/third paragraph: Immigration is a separate issue. If it were up to me, anybody could come here. Especially if we focused more on negative rights. As long as they're not forcing me and you to pay for their food, water, shelter, etc., then why should I have the right to keep them out?

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    econ's picture

    UFOinsider wrote:
    econ -> while I am a conservative, I will point out that the enormous concentration of wealth and power is dangerous for a democracy.

    Some of that is debatable (in a cause and effect sense, not in a correlation sense). More importantly, I hold the belief that in a fairly capitalistic country, the poor will be fairly wealthy on an absolute sense. I'm almost tempted to say that we might even have much less inequality because I currently see the government as a huge barrier to the progress of poor people (watch the videos in the econ group about public policies and African Americans). Richard Epstein lays out a lot of this stuff quite eloquently in the podcast I keep posting: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2008/11/richard_e...

  • In reply to monkeysama
    econ's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    I'm pretty much convinced I'm unemployable at this point. I'm tired of humiliating myself over and over for no gain.

    Did your empathy for billionaires develop before or after you figured this out? By the way, that is 100% tongue-in-cheek, so don't take it personal. I'm unemployed too, so don't feel too bad. Not to mention, I guarantee you'll have a solid job within the next 5 years, so keep your head up...

  • In reply to econ
    monkeysama's picture

    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    What is at the heart of our philosophical difference is that you believe in only negative rights - those things for which other people may not do to you (such as incarceration without due process) whereas I believe in those things as well as positive rights - things that human beings must have done for them (they must have access to clean drinking water).

    The funny thing about positive rights is that it really doesn't matter if you believe they are rights or not, they affect you. Many Mexicans do not have access to fundamental positive rights, such as freedom from fear of violence, adequate food water and shelter to provide for the bear minimum of human comfort and security. It doesn't matter how illegal it is to cross our border (one of the largest borders in the world). So long as they do not have access to those rights in their home country they will come, they are COMPELLED to come, as necessary for there own survival.

    The only way to get Mexicans to stop illegally emigrating to our country is to make it more miserable to be here than in Mexico - we'd have to probably have to resort to large scale torture and murder on an industrial level to get there.

    First paragraph: Yes, I know the difference between positive and negative rights. If you're such a fan of positive rights, than let me ask you again, why aren't you in favor of taxing all Americans to provide the positive rights of the poor in the third world?

    Second/third paragraph: Immigration is a separate issue. If it were up to me, anybody could come here. Especially if we focused more on negative rights. As long as they're not forcing me and you to pay for their food, water, shelter, etc., then why should I have the right to keep them out?

    When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators. If there were a way around this problem I would advocate it. I would start with raising the standard of living in this country though, as that's a challenging enough problem as it is.

    The immigration issue was aimed at ANT.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    econ's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    Then I presume you advocate not taxing people based on their ability to pay? How much do you feel the poor should pay more as a percentage of their income than billionaires?

    Not necessarily. If the government stuck to a limited number of functions, required tax revenues would be extremely low. We could easily fund them with a small tax burden imposed on everyone. In such a society, I think the rich would be much more willing to pay a disproportionate amount of the taxes, but I digress...

  • In reply to econ
    monkeysama's picture

    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    I'm pretty much convinced I'm unemployable at this point. I'm tired of humiliating myself over and over for no gain.

    Did your empathy for billionaires develop before or after you figured this out? By the way, that is 100% tongue-in-cheek, so don't take it personal. I'm unemployed too, so don't feel too bad. Not to mention, I guarantee you'll have a solid job within the next 5 years, so keep your head up...

    After.

    Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent. It's a common psychological problem - 70 percent of people believe they are above average drivers, after people make a bad purchase they rationalize the bad decision. People do this to preserve their self identity of assumed superiority. Pure ego protection. With ones' own sense of self worth wrapped up in how much you make in this country people need to believe that they can be rich and famous one day, even if it's a false pretense.

    Eventually the country will get so bad that people will start making sensible choices in the voting booth, but that's a long ways away.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    econ's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

    I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

  • In reply to econ
    monkeysama's picture

    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

    I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

    Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

  • In reply to econ
    UFOinsider's picture

    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    I'm pretty much convinced I'm unemployable at this point. I'm tired of humiliating myself over and over for no gain.

    Did your empathy for billionaires develop before or after you figured this out? By the way, that is 100% tongue-in-cheek, so don't take it personal. I'm unemployed too, so don't feel too bad. Not to mention, I guarantee you'll have a solid job within the next 5 years, so keep your head up...


    Yeah dude, just keep at it. I understand your frustration, but you're better off going for a jog or to the gym and blowing off steam that way. Personally, I drink, but that's another story.

    Get busy living

  • In reply to monkeysama
    txjustin's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    I'm pretty much convinced I'm unemployable at this point. I'm tired of humiliating myself over and over for no gain.

    Did your empathy for billionaires develop before or after you figured this out? By the way, that is 100% tongue-in-cheek, so don't take it personal. I'm unemployed too, so don't feel too bad. Not to mention, I guarantee you'll have a solid job within the next 5 years, so keep your head up...

    After.

    Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent. It's a common psychological problem - 70 percent of people believe they are above average drivers, after people make a bad purchase they rationalize the bad decision. People do this to preserve their self identity of assumed superiority. Pure ego protection. With ones' own sense of self worth wrapped up in how much you make in this country people need to believe that they can be rich and famous one day, even if it's a false pretense.

    Eventually the country will get so bad that people will start making sensible choices in the voting booth, but that's a long ways away.

    I am so so so curious as to what these "sensible choices in the voting booth" are.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    econ's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent. It's a common psychological problem - 70 percent of people believe they are above average drivers, after people make a bad purchase they rationalize the bad decision. People do this to preserve their self identity of assumed superiority. Pure ego protection. With ones' own sense of self worth wrapped up in how much you make in this country people need to believe that they can be rich and famous one day, even if it's a false pretense.

    Not necessarily. It's possible that a lot of people can have much more than $30K (wealth is not a zero sum game). Also, it might not be in their best interest if attempts to redistribute income decreases output and opportunities, and thus making them poorer than before. Keep in mind, there is a huge difference between intentions and outcomes. Lastly, many people do not stand for economic policies just because they're in their best economic self-interest, since principles are an important component of human psychology, as well.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    txjustin's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

    I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

    Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

    Your reasoning is what is holding you and everyone like you back. Even if you make the slightest difference, you still made a difference. The only conclusion you are making is you want to punish the productive to help the unproductive because that's what YOU believe.

  • rebelcross's picture

    I just want to butt in and address an annoying comment monkeysama made about abortion saying that it "might as well be legal because women will just shove clothes hangers [where the sun don't shine]." I addressed this last night and you dodged it, but then you just tried to sneak it again...I don't want to argue the legality of abortion, but I'm annoyed that you tried to sneak that bullshit argument. You know for a fact that that's an argument that doesn't work...and I won't reiterate why, I already addressed it previously. But you have to do much better than that.

    Also, monkeysama, you already lost this debate in the other thread that went to 300 or so comments, where your argument failed on the same basic premise of coercion and the fact that you with your opinion had no right to force that opinion on others. There is really no ethical way to overcome that problem for the liberal, and in the end, that's all it boils down to. So, I don't know what you are doing trying to reiterate this failed argument here. If you want the answer to what you are saying, just go back to the other thread. It's all been addressed here before.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    econ's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

    I'm not assuming you can change society. I'm just asking you again, why do you feel so strongly that you should be able to take money that you did not earn and spend it how you see fit?

    P.S. Why do you assume you can do so much good politically? Again, there is a difference between intentions and results. Lots of policies have great intentions, but terrible results. But, let's leave that for some other thread/discussion...

  • In reply to monkeysama
    rebelcross's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent.

    Fail. You assume everybody votes based on greed. That's true, I do vote based on greed, but to me the liberty is more valuable than the money, so I'm greedy for the maximum amount of individual liberty and self-determination. More Republicans vote on the idea of living in a free society than the idea of what is economically convenient. Some people just don't believe in systematic robbery, even if it is "for their own benefit," as many people feel maintaining a free country is an even greater benefit. Though this is hard for you to understand as you have shown time and again that you have no value for the concept of individual liberty. People where I'm from talked / talk about this all the time. I can tell you from where I grew up, in rural America, people voted Republican on an ideal of freedom, some had a saying in jest at times when joking with friends and family: "At least one thing held true from when I was born till when I die, I was always...po' (poor)."

  • In reply to econ
    monkeysama's picture

    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent. It's a common psychological problem - 70 percent of people believe they are above average drivers, after people make a bad purchase they rationalize the bad decision. People do this to preserve their self identity of assumed superiority. Pure ego protection. With ones' own sense of self worth wrapped up in how much you make in this country people need to believe that they can be rich and famous one day, even if it's a false pretense.

    Not necessarily. It's possible that a lot of people can have much more than $30K (wealth is not a zero sum game). Also, it might not be in their best interest if attempts to redistribute income decreases output and opportunities, and thus making them poorer than before. Keep in mind, there is a huge difference between intentions and outcomes. Lastly, many people do not stand for economic policies just because they're in their best economic self-interest, since principles are an important component of human psychology, as well.

    I never assumed people couldn't have more than 30k. It is in their best interest to make income distribution flatter - they would make more money and the opportunity you are talking about is illusory. Lastly, people vote against their economic wellbeing all the time I never denied that.

  • In reply to rebelcross
    monkeysama's picture

    rebelcross wrote:
    I just want to butt in and address an annoying comment monkeysama made about abortion saying that it "might as well be legal because women will just shove clothes hangers [where the sun don't shine]." I addressed this last night and you dodged it, but then you just tried to sneak it again...I don't want to argue the legality of abortion, but I'm annoyed that you tried to sneak that bullshit argument. You know for a fact that that's an argument that doesn't work...and I won't reiterate why, I already addressed it previously. But you have to do much better than that.

    Also, monkeysama, you already lost this debate in the other thread that went to 300 or so comments, where your argument failed on the same basic premise of coercion and the fact that you with your opinion had no right to force that opinion on others. There is really no ethical way to overcome that problem for the liberal, and in the end, that's all it boils down to. So, I don't know what you are doing trying to reiterate this failed argument here. If you want the answer to what you are saying, just go back to the other thread. It's all been addressed here before.

    So I'm wrong and it's all been addressed before. Ok, so why did you bother posting?

  • In reply to rebelcross
    monkeysama's picture

    rebelcross wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent.

    Fail. You assume everybody votes based on greed.

    No I don't. In fact I very explicitly did not state that. What I said was that a vote for a Republican is typically a vote against ones' own economic self interest. You could vote on religious, philosophical, or other issues all you like, but in the end Republican policies generally benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else. If you want to vote on principals and become poorer for it be my guest.

  • In reply to txjustin
    monkeysama's picture

    txjustin wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

    I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

    Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

    Your reasoning is what is holding you and everyone like you back. Even if you make the slightest difference, you still made a difference. The only conclusion you are making is you want to punish the productive to help the unproductive because that's what YOU believe.

    It's like a bleeding man coming in to the ER with multiple gunshot wounds. Two surgeons are sitting around shooting the shit, while me and 4 of my friends who have no medical training are given a box of bandaids. The point is the man is going to die, so I'd rather not get my clothes dirty.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    rebelcross's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    rebelcross wrote:
    I just want to butt in and address an annoying comment monkeysama made about abortion saying that it "might as well be legal because women will just shove clothes hangers [where the sun don't shine]." I addressed this last night and you dodged it, but then you just tried to sneak it again...I don't want to argue the legality of abortion, but I'm annoyed that you tried to sneak that bullshit argument. You know for a fact that that's an argument that doesn't work...and I won't reiterate why, I already addressed it previously. But you have to do much better than that.

    Also, monkeysama, you already lost this debate in the other thread that went to 300 or so comments, where your argument failed on the same basic premise of coercion and the fact that you with your opinion had no right to force that opinion on others. There is really no ethical way to overcome that problem for the liberal, and in the end, that's all it boils down to. So, I don't know what you are doing trying to reiterate this failed argument here. If you want the answer to what you are saying, just go back to the other thread. It's all been addressed here before.

    So I'm wrong and it's all been addressed before. Ok, so why did you bother posting?

    So that's like what I'm wondering, why do you keep bothering with this argument? It's been addressed...nothing's changed since then.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    rebelcross's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    rebelcross wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent.

    Fail. You assume everybody votes based on greed.

    No I don't. In fact I very explicitly did not state that. What I said was that a vote for a Republican is typically a vote against ones' own economic self interest. You could vote on religious, philosophical, or other issues all you like, but in the end Republican policies generally benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else. If you want to vote on principals and become poorer for it be my guest.

    Your idea of "benefit" and "economic self interest" is confused. By "benefit the rich" you are suggesting that they help the economic interests of the rich. However, again, the benefit of a free society is also valuable to the poor voter as well. In fact, everybody benefits. Don't so readily confuse the idea of "economic self interest" and "benefit." They are not one in the same.

  • In reply to rebelcross
    monkeysama's picture

    rebelcross wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    rebelcross wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent.

    Fail. You assume everybody votes based on greed.

    No I don't. In fact I very explicitly did not state that. What I said was that a vote for a Republican is typically a vote against ones' own economic self interest. You could vote on religious, philosophical, or other issues all you like, but in the end Republican policies generally benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else. If you want to vote on principals and become poorer for it be my guest.

    Your idea of "benefit" and "economic self interest" is confused. By "benefit the rich" you are suggesting that they help the economic interests of the rich. However, again, the benefit of a free society is also valuable to the poor voter as well. In fact, everybody benefits. Don't so readily confuse the idea of "economic self interest" and "benefit." They are not one in the same.

    Don't so readily confuse "free society" with a society in which the tax burden falls inequitably upon the poor.

  • TNA's picture

    Yawn. Liberal want to tax based on feelings and thoughts.

    I fail to see why the poor would have any basis to revolt. They have free schooling, low cost college, plenty of government aid programs. People come here from worse countries and succeed. You know why? Because they take advantage of the benefits of this country.

    If your waiting for help your wasting your time. Take control of your life, you are an adult.

    Also, I am sick of hypocrite in this thread. You advocate punitive taxation to helpthe poor, but don't lift a finger to help yourself. Go fucking mentor a kid instead of bitching how unfair life is.

    I used to work full time and volunteer 3 days a week. Looks like the evil republican walked the talk more than the liberals in this thread.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    txjustin's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    txjustin wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

    I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

    Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

    Your reasoning is what is holding you and everyone like you back. Even if you make the slightest difference, you still made a difference. The only conclusion you are making is you want to punish the productive to help the unproductive because that's what YOU believe.

    It's like a bleeding man coming in to the ER with multiple gunshot wounds. Two surgeons are sitting around shooting the shit, while me and 4 of my friends who have no medical training are given a box of bandaids. The point is the man is going to die, so I'd rather not get my clothes dirty.

    What the hell are you talking about!?? Dude, go freaking volunteer somewhere, give money to charities when you get a job, etc. Anyone can make a difference with a little effort.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    rebelcross's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    rebelcross wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    rebelcross wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent.

    Fail. You assume everybody votes based on greed.

    No I don't. In fact I very explicitly did not state that. What I said was that a vote for a Republican is typically a vote against ones' own economic self interest. You could vote on religious, philosophical, or other issues all you like, but in the end Republican policies generally benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else. If you want to vote on principals and become poorer for it be my guest.

    Your idea of "benefit" and "economic self interest" is confused. By "benefit the rich" you are suggesting that they help the economic interests of the rich. However, again, the benefit of a free society is also valuable to the poor voter as well. In fact, everybody benefits. Don't so readily confuse the idea of "economic self interest" and "benefit." They are not one in the same.

    Don't so readily confuse "free society" with a society in which the tax burden falls inequitably upon the poor.

    Complete disconnect between what you are trying to say and what you are saying. People voting to maximize their level of freedom and minimize government interference in all lives (hence a move towards greater freedom) has nothing to do with whether the system originally was fair or not, it's simply a move a step closer to the ideal of freedom and is the consideration when voting. And then you're talking about a fine line as well as "equality" and "freedom" are not one in the same either. A free society is not necessarily economically "equal," due to free actions preceding that created inequalities, a free society is only equal in the level of self-determinism that people have (whether physical, psychological or financial.)

  • In reply to monkeysama
    bfin's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    txjustin wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    econ wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

    I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

    Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

    Your reasoning is what is holding you and everyone like you back. Even if you make the slightest difference, you still made a difference. The only conclusion you are making is you want to punish the productive to help the unproductive because that's what YOU believe.

    It's like a bleeding man coming in to the ER with multiple gunshot wounds. Two surgeons are sitting around shooting the shit, while me and 4 of my friends who have no medical training are given a box of bandaids. The point is the man is going to die, so I'd rather not get my clothes dirty.

    This is such a retarded way to think and a big reason as to why poor people want help from everyone else... and when they don't get it they say people don't care about them. If you want to help someone go volunteer you aren't going to change the world for everyone BUT for the people you do help YOU will change the world for them. You are stuck on the stupid notion that if you can't help everyone you shouldn't help anyone this is your problem sama. If you can get this idea out of your head you would think so much differently. You don't have to be a billionaire and have so much disposable income to help people. Instead of watching 4 hours of tv watch 2 and spend the other 2 at a soup kitchen or something. For those 2 hours your there, you have help the people that were there. You aren't going to help everyone but you won't help anyone if you do nothing. Understand this and you will think differently...

    The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

    WSO is not your personal search function.

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