HomeArticleWealth Identity Politics: Billionaires Acting Like A Persecuted Minority Is Peak Capitalism

Wealth Identity Politics: Billionaires Acting Like A Persecuted Minority Is Peak Capitalism

“I guess maybe Bernie Sanders shouldn’t exist,” said billionaire Steve Schwarzman while seated in a library building named after billionaire Steve Schwarzman and promoting a book with billionaire Steve Schwarzman’s face on it.

According to Bloomberg this humble response from the always modest billionaire Steve Schwarzman came in response to a question posed by an audience member about a Sanders tweet in which the Vermont Senator said that billionaires should not exist. The comment was reportedly met with enthusiastic applause.

Blackstone CEO Schwarzman, who has previously compared tax increases on the wealthy to the Nazi invasion of Poland, is an oligarch by any reasonable definition. As one of America’s top individual campaign donors he is immensely influential; his plutocratic power is so deeply interwoven with the highest levels of government that his book’s 14 pages of acknowledgements describe cuddly relationships with a who’s-who of top US officials, including the last five presidents. According to a recent report by The Intercept, two Brazilian firms owned by Schwarzman “are significantly responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, carnage that has developed into raging fires that have captivated global attention.”

It is very telling that this oligarch sees an equivalence between (A) saying that an elite class should not control such vast amounts of wealth and (B) saying actual people should not exist. What this tells us is that Schwarzman sees being a billionaire as a fundamental part of his identity, making the idea that he shouldn’t control billions of dollars indistinguishable from saying that he himself should not exist. From his point of view he’s just doing the same thing that Sanders is doing: Bernie’s saying the thing that Schwarzman is shouldn’t exist, and Schwarzman is saying that Bernie himself shouldn’t exist. To him they’re the same.

This statement gives us a bit of insight into the way billionaires see themselves as fundamentally different than the rest of us, forming an egoic identity construct out of being a billionaire in the same way a medieval king would form an egoic identity construct out of that position. This anti-billionaire rhetoric is perceived as an attack on their very identity, which is why they are spinning it as though Sanders is calling for the elimination of actual people.

Predictably, Fox News is now trotting out billionaires to defend themselves from this outrageous billionairephobic bigotry, with Home Depot founder and major Republican Party donor Ken Langone receiving a warmly sycophantic reception from Fox’s Mornings with Maria.

“What the hell has he done for the little people?” Langone asked his host Maria Bartiromo. “What jobs has he created?”

Langone went on to detail all the many jobs he’s “created” (read: how many people he’s needed to hire to help him reap lucrative profits from an already existing demand) without bothering to explain what hoarding billions of dollars in offshore accounts has to do with job creation. Exponents of the “billionaires create jobs” argument always avoid this glaring plot hole like the plague.

Again, we see in Langone’s emotional response two things: that he sees ordinary citizens as “the little people” innately different from himself, and that he perceives the push toward greater economic equality as an existential threat.

“If you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany,” Langone has said of the rising pushback against wealth and income inequality. “You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.”

These outbursts are reminiscent of one we saw a couple of years ago on an MSNBC interview with resort tycoon Stephen Cloobeck, who expressed outrage at the way progressives are using “the millionaire or billionaire word” to discuss issues with class and economic justice, saying he’d instructed Democratic Party leaders to bring a stop to this rhetoric or lose plutocratic funding.

“It is very, very disturbing when I hear the millionaire or billionaire word,” Cloobeck said, as though he was uttering an ethnic slur for an oppressed minority and not a conventional label for a class that effectively owns the US government. “And I’ve told them to stop it. Knock it off.”

We’re seeing this hilarious conflation of economic justice with the persecution of minorities and the elimination of actual human beings more and more often, so we should probably come up with a name for it. I’d like to propose that we label this phenomenon “wealth identity politics”, and it is capitalism’s dumbest turn yet.

It’s especially dumb because the billionaire class has already proven with its actions that it cannot exist without actively working to manipulate governments in a way that undeniably subverts democracy and the will of the people. The debate over whether or not billionaires should exist is long settled. They should not.

A few million dollars will buy you a nice car, a nice house and some nice clothes. A few billion dollars will buy you the ability to control public narratives using media ownership, lobbyists and think tanks, thereby manipulating entire governments and international affairs. Believing that it makes sense to have an elite class which controls this much wealth and power is exactly as stupid as believing it makes sense to have a total monarchy.

Billionaires should not exist, for the same reason that kings and pharaohs should not exist. The leadership of our world should not belong to a class of highly mediocre people who have nothing noteworthy between their ears apart from a knack for accumulating dollars. The ability to amass wealth is not a valid basis upon which to determine who leads us. Our fate as a species should be in all our hands.

_______________________

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Latest comments

  • I must admit that this is a very good, intelligently written, perspicacious and truthful piece. Preaching such stuff to an audience that is, to a great extent, libertarian or otherwise alt-right, is a noble, if ungrateful, endeavour.

  • A tribute to an ” icon ” in the battle against ” the deep state monster ” that is the United States government:
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/john-lennon-deep-state/5691314

  • I disagree with a few things. Whether billionaires deserve to be wealthy or not is an absurd question. It cannot be resolved, as it casts a net simply based upon wealth. Nor can capitalism, as a principle not an effect, be analyzed so as to give it a moral quality. We seek to morally qualify great swaths of categories that do not deserve the assignment of moral values.
    The great wealth of the Kennedy family or the Clinton Foundation is not evil. The wealth of Bill Gates is not evil. The wealth of Ross Perot was not evil. Even the wealth of the Waltons of Wal-Mart was merely a symptom, not a cause.
    The root cause is that wealth can allow one to seize a visibility in a liberal democracy that the common people cannot achieve. The absurdity of fame resembles the absurdity of wealth as a measure of worthiness.
    In most liberal democracies, the people are invisible. they are like water molecules which beat about endlessly in the ocean, invisibly. Perhaps in great masses, individuals can create a mindless behemoth called a crowd, like MAGA, which is an artificial construct far more ugly than the invisible individuals who comprise it. MAGA and the NRA are no different than the Soviet Workers’ Councils, comprising many but controlled by few. These sort of things lead to great wickedness, for they are artificial constructs, not human minds.
    Such things are inimical to intelligent human individuals. As Eisenhower said, Instead, just one thing matters. What have we got to offer the world?” The past fifty years exist as an indictment of America for failing to answer the question.

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

    We have instead become the Masters of War, as Bob Dylan described.

    • NO ONE can accumulate millions, never mind billions, without exploiting and/or defrauding other human beings, period. by definition, millionaires and billionaires are parasitic criminals against humanity. there’s no room for disagreement or even discussion.

  • When a society is decadent, as it is the case in Western societies, the decadence always begins at the top, i.e. the billionaires ruling elites.

    Decadence is easy to spot. When people are like “everything for me, nothing for others” and everything is good to keep things this way, lies in particular.

    No doubt, we are there.

    It is similar to the days of Noah as it was written it was going to be just before the Second Coming of Jesus. And I pray the Rosary to hasten His Glorious return because I have really seen enough bullshit.

  • Hi. Hope everything is well in the Land Down Under? 🙂 Just noticed you hadn’t posted in a few days. That is not a complaint. In fact, I usually think you work too hard and should take a few days off. 🙂

  • There’s an uninteresting “buzz” about the new Joker movie as modern social commentary. Someone should reboot Taxi Driver. The choice between watching Jim-From-The-Office portray a “noble” CIA spook and Robert DeNiro play war criminal Robert Mueller is like cholera v. gonorrhea. Imagine: Travis Bickle is a War-On-A-Feeling PTSD veteran who struggles in the gig economy, urinates in a bottle to save time, and sleeps in his car. “I gotta get in shape now. Too much sitting has ruined my body. Too much abuse has gone on for too long. From now on, it’ll be fifty push-ups each morning; fifty pull-ups. There’ll be no more pills, there’ll be no more bad food, no more destroyers of my body. From now on, it’ll be total organization, every muscle must be tight. The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: true force. All the king’s men cannot put it back together again.”

  • When President Kennedy was killed almost the whole staff at Boston ” carbon paper factory ” I worked at surmised that the either the Mafia or the CIA or both had killed him. It is called ” Regime Change ” and it is done quite often by our rogue government. President Donald Trump is now going through his own ” regime change ” operation being carried out in Washington,D.C. President Trump and our ” Deep State ” deserve each other. If Mr. Pence becomes president we will probably end up with World War III soon after that. Some thoughts to think about:
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/10/06/dont-bet-on-republicans-saving-trump/
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/10/06/how-most-americans-favor-corruption/
    Have a nice day.

    • Mr. Rob Urie at counterpunch has a good article about Impeachment, Brought to you by the CIA here:
      https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/10/04/impeachment-brought-to-you-by-the-cia/

    • Turns out it was the Mafia working alongside the CIA. Or at least that seems to be the highly likely case.
      ————–
      Read a book called “The Plot To Kill King” by William Pepper. It only touches slightly on the JFK assassination, but its a chilling look into the Deep State of the 1960’s.
      Pepper was asked by King’s associates in the civil rights movement to represent James Earl Ray who was the patsy arrested and quickly convicted for the murder. Ray repented any confessions that were extorted from him, and spent the rest of his life trying to win a new trial, and Pepper was his attorney. Pepper also represented the King family in a Wrongful Death civil suit that claimed the government was involved in the plot to kill king …. and he WON that case in court. The book is the result of a lifetime’s work and study into the case.

  • Perhaps if we voters took our role a lot more seriously and made sure our representatives understood conflicted interests and the existential danger that ignoring it poses to democracy before we gave them any power the billionaire problem might not arise.

    We could make a huge move in that direction by not voting for any political party candidate. Independents only, thanks.

    Unfortunately I suspect the influence mongers have already done so much damage via their ruining of western education systems and their control of our minds via programmed mass media that any action will never be adopted on the scale that will bring about real change.

    Regardless I thank Caitlin for her effort and erudite presentation of a different perspective. It is always a pleasure to read your work.

    • I have voted often for members of the Green Party, and I will often vote Libertarian if that’s the only other choice on restricted ballots in the American Two Party System. So, I suppose when you say not to vote for ‘any political party’, you mean the Dems and Repubs?
      The American system is very strange. Voters are required to form their coaltions before the elections. In most multi-party parliamentary systems, voters can vote close to their beliefs, and then the politicians negotiated coaltions after the election. The antiquated American system forces voters to think about which can get a majority and to do that when the voters have little power. So, I’ve voted Green many times, and I’ve also seen that I voted for a candidate who got 1% of the vote and thus I had zero effect on the actual election.
      —————-
      One of the most important trends of the last 40 years has indeed been the constant and unrelenting attacks on Public Education. America invented public schools because back then Americans knew that a democracy required an educated public. Now, apparently democracy has been destroyed by de-educating the public.
      ————-
      I hereby join my esteemed colleagues in saluting the excellent work of Ms. Caitlin. (and yes, I’ve probably watched too much UK Parliament laughing at Brexit.)

  • Ah, the internet is a great place to learn about what is going on. It is my contention and belief that Donald Trump is crossing a line looking back at the previous administration. That is a political no-no. Donald Trump has been abased by ” Russiagate ” and he is justified in exposing just how it went down. However the ” plotters ” are intent on stopping him with this ” new scandal “. This is going to be very messy for the politicians and for the United States public. Please peruse this:
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/10/05/the-campaign-to-stop-william-barr/

    • Thanks for the link. It is an interesting read which presents a few very interesting possibilities about who is up who and who is paying for the privilege.

      • Hopefully, the voting public of these United States will be woken up by the depth of the corruption of our government at every level. Our ” Evil Empire ” has to be dealt with. There is nothing to like or admire about what our government engages in; here or abroad.

    • Trump has crossed a few other lines as well. Trump’s tweets can cause massive moves in the markets. And for rich people who aren’t clued in to this in advance, that can mean they can lose lots of money. To me it looks like Trump is manipulating the markets for personal gain. Ie, bet that stocks will drop before sending a tweet that causes stocks to drop. But that’s costing others some big bucks, and I can’t imagine those types putting up with that for very long.
      Trump also wants low interest rates, like any real estate developer. But, bankers make more money with higher rates, and when rate go down the bank’s stocks go down. The Fed represents the bankers, so when Trump takes on the Fed, he’s taking on some big power.
      The magic number is 20. That’s how many Republican senators have to vote against Trump to send him packing. So far 3 have been publicly questioning Trump’s actions. And that’s a large number for this early in the process. Interestingly, one was a farm state Republican, and the farmers keep taking collateral damage in Trump’s trade wars. Big money can move senators, and some others may already be looking for cover before the next elections. None will want to go down with Trump’s ship.
      Trump could indeed be booted out if he’s pissed off enough powerful people.

  • Ramzy Baroud (counterpunch, oct 4, 2019): Israel has been encroaching upon West African economies, trying to pit the rapacious local “elites” against the 99% and rule Africa, and South Africa must lead against the zionist re-colonization of Africa as well as for justice and peace in Palestine. BDS everyday!

    • Libya was destroyed due to Western leaders’ lust to continue exploiting Africa’s riches – Moussa Ibrahim, Gaddafi spokesman (RT, oct 6, 2019)

      remember Sakorzy, who bombed Lybia, and Syd Blumenthal, a long time Clintons handler who afterwards transported US weapons in Libya to ISIS in Iraq/Syria, triggering the atack on the US embassy in Libya?

  • I can not Tweet you, or Sext u, But Brothers and Sisters, ( Pets included). Imagine Four Years of Bernie Changing the World, …Ą Trurh and Change is good. ( no cell phone)

    • Spell Well , Agitate often , and Keep on Organizing.

      • “Don’t Get Mad, Organize!”
        — attributed to Joe Hill

  • After reading this article about Donald Trump I came to realize that poor and middle class people have entirely different ways of raising their children as compare to well off and rich people. I guess well off children are always expecting ” the red carpet treatment ” where ever they happen to be. My parents and grandparents died many moons ago but I still feel them on my shoulders with their rules of proper manners and behavior.
    ” Trumpworld ” is alien to me:
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-real-reason-for-trumps-meltdowns-2019-10-04

  • ​Historical transitions are completely insecure. No assurances exist. No comfort zone. Root hog or die.
    How much daily insecurity are we used to?
    One of our main goals in life is to be more secure, to save resources for times of need, to be well liked socially, to have good clothes, a good roof over our heads, and a warm hearth, surrounded by loving family.​
    Nonetheless, economic resets must periodically be worked out by all the economic participants, in all of the critical classes: Production and Transport, Management/Organization, Politics, Resource-Allocation and Enforcement. (That’s just my own quick division of economic segments. I’d lump religion with politics, for instance.)
    All of us could be more conversant with production, especially kitchen-gardening, the intimate scale.
    Below is a picture of me before work, October 1, at one end of the long break-patio at People’s Community Clinic, It shows about half of the vegetable garden I grow there for my coworkers.
    http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/10/what-future-history.html
    My purpose growing vegetables at work, is to create familiarity with that core human activity, to provide a chance to get some vegetables in season, and to understand how a garden progresses through the seasons and years.
    Vegetable gardening provides the kind of security that comes from knowing the context intimately. It’s well aware of all of the limitations and weaknesses that inherently exist. It is not like the blind faith that “we” can transition to “completely renewable energy” by 2050, for instance.
    One of the classes of people which is still being supported by global financial capitalism is the managerial class, that I include second in the list, those who provide structure and order to the fundamental processes of our economy, roughly the top 10% of wealth, minus the 1-2% at the tip.
    I’m in that demographic, as you likely are. We can’t feel too easy; at least I do not. I’m in the business of understanding humans, their problems, diagnosing what is wrong, and finding inroads to improve and heal what is failing.
    I believe that American and global economies broke away from the paradigm of sustainable economy in the early 1980s, started lying about the future, which was well-received, and started a Ponzi scheme for all forms of retirement plans, keeping up payments from current receipts, while gutting the productive assets, and protecting them from the future claims of society, under private ownership.
    The problems inherent in that are myriad. “Ownership” exists within the context of a pervasive social-contract. The “owners” assume this will always exist for them, despite their covert embezzlement of all the cookies from the jar.
    They pay the enforcers and managers and transport people, don’t they?
    They are the masters of resource-allocation, are they not?
    They have lots of product saved up for bad times, and protected in bunkers, right?
    The problem is that the economy still needs productive workers, even though automation is so vast and pervasive. Workers and managers who are directly engaged in production have a working bond, that does not extend to bankers.
    Which side do the police and army take?
    Historically, they side with the bankers until they change sides and the revolution succeeds.
    They are never the banker’s kids, after all…
    At this point, we are forced to accept that there is actually an important societal role for Politicians. (Consider a writhing mass of earthworms in a manure bucket, which we don’t really want to reach in and grab with both hands.)
    All of our lives, the main paid-job of politicians has been to deliver the workers, managers and enforcers to the resource-allocators.
    That’s ending. It’s entering transition.
    The successful politicians in the next decade will convince the resource-allocators to allocate a lot less to themselves, in trade for some security, which will be gained from creating a new societal contract.
    The new social contract will be viable under conditions of more expensive and scarce energy and natural resources, and the fouling of our nest, which we finally have to address

    2020 is for all the marbles. The global capitalist ruling classes either crush this ongoing populist insurgency or … God knows where we go from here. Try to see it through their eyes for a moment. Picture four more years of Trump … second-term Trump … Trump unleashed. Do you really believe they’re going to let that happen, that they are going to permit this populist insurgency to continue for another four years?
    ​ ​They are not. What they are going to do is use all their power to destroy the monster … not Trump the man, but Trump the symbol. They are going to drown us in impeachment minutiae, drip, drip, drip, for the next twelve months. The liberal corporate media are going to go full-Goebbels. They are going to whip up so much mass hysteria that people won’t be able to think. They are going to pit us one against the other, and force us onto one or the other side of a simulated conflict (Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis) to keep us from perceiving the actual conflict (Global Capitalism versus Populism). They are going to bring us to the brink of civil war in order to prevent civil war. And, if that doesn’t work, and Trump gets reelected (or if it looks like he’s going to get reelected), they’ll probably have to just go ahead and kill him.
    ​ ​One way or another, this is it. This is the part where the global capitalist ruling classes teach us all a lesson. The lesson they intend to teach us is the same old lesson that masters have been teaching slaves since the dawn of slavery. The lesson is, “abandon hope.” The lesson is, “resistance is futile.” The lesson is, “shut up, eat your tofu, get back to work at your three gig jobs, service your school loans and your credit card debt, vote for who and what we tell you, and be grateful we don’t fucking kill you.
    http://www.unz.com/chopkins/trumpenstein-must-be-destroyed/

    Former Israeli Intel Official Claims Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell Worked for Israel
    ​ ​A recent interview given by a former high-ranking official in Israeli military intelligence has claimed that Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual blackmail enterprise was an Israel intelligence operation run for the purpose of entrapping powerful individuals and politicians in the United States and abroad.​ ​by Whitney Webb​ (Thanks for the link, Cat)​
    https://www.mintpressnews.com/ari-ben-menashe-jeffrey-epstein-ghislaine-maxwell-israel-intelligence/262162/

  • Millionaire Sanders is an elite. But he still presumes to lecture us about rapacious capitalism. Tuned him out about 2 houses ago.

    • he may not practice what he preaches but what he preaches is true. thus, he’s a very ineffective messenger, and therefore he’s allowed to be still around as a useful controlled opposition. remember paul wellstone, the senator from Minnesota? too effective and thus too dangerious because he was genuine, and promptly “eliminated.”

      • Jose just want Biden or Trump to win.

        • there definitely is the silverlining in making a mess out of the criminal status quo. Trump suits better for that job.

  • Seven skinny cows eating seven FAT cows …… is Anyone CONSERVATIVE left in America?
    This year the BANKSTERS take $523 billion from you as “interest” on just the National Debt. Here is the Debt Clock – http://www.usdebtclock.org/ — you can watch it real time. This is at a time of historically low rates ….. what happens when rates go up? Trump is INCREASING the debt, and thus the interest payments at a time of increasing interest rates. You pay your debts off when times are good ….. remember the 7 skinny cows eating the 7 fat cows???
    Keep digging — http://investmentwatchblog.com/credit-card-payments-and-subprime-auto-defaults-are-soaring-holiday-spending-set-to-hit-12-year-high-thanks-to-debt/
    Get some FACTS straight …. the DOW, NASDAQ, & S&P are hitting all time highs. Unemployment is supposed to be at all time LOWS. We are supposedly having a glorious upsurge in the economy, If we do not pay off the debt NOW when will we? All this glorious economic news and we still have DEFICITS?! Why do you have to “cut taxes for the already rich” so they will supposedly be inspired to create more jobs …… when everybody is supposedly employed???!! And the true job creation is proven to be by Small Business and financed by Middle Class spending, NOT by millionaires.
    “the tax cut is an exercise in willful blindness. The same no doubt could be said for the 1981 Reagan tax cuts, which predictably led to unprecedented deficits when Republicans as well as Democrats balked at making offsetting budget cuts. Yet at the time a whole band of officials in the White House and the Congress clamored, in some cases desperately, for such reductions. They accepted a realm of objective reality that existed separately from their own wishes. But in 2017, when the Congressional Budget Office and other neutral arbiters concluded that the tax cuts would not begin to pay for themselves, the White House and congressional leaders simply dismissed the forecasts as too gloomy.” http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-25/us-has-reached-last-stage-collapse
    “Alas, all you suckers out there are , like this writer, a few paychecks away from financial uncertainty. The less than one thousand dollars extra per year that this bill will throw you is nothing compared to the mega millions the super rich and the large corporations will see added to their spreadsheets. https://www.globalresearch.ca/must-be-the-season-of-the-rich/5623913
    Whilst the elite owns most of the assets, ordinary people own the debt. Not just their own debt but also the public debt burden which irresponsible governments have built up, including unfunded liabilities such as pension and medical care. And when the financial system fails, ordinary people will suffer the most.
    “USA is ‘out of whack’ with the rest of the world” ???? USA is fighting and PAYING for most of the WARS. Make those other countries pay for the wars and watch their tax rates rise. Better yet …. STOP the wars we are in. We are losing them anyway ……………
    We should be raising taxes. If these Billionaires had to pay a proportionate amount equal to the benefit they derive from Us protecting Their money, property, LIVES …….. they would take an interest in getting a GOOD government not just one that serves their immediate interests …. They would insist on ending corruption and waste and balancing the books. People whine there is no such thing as “fair” taxes ,,,,, but there is . The Workers pay with blood & money for ONE house with a mortgage to the BANKSTERS ….. counting all they pay for state, local, sales, federal taxes 1/3 of their gross. The Billionaires whine they need tax cuts “to create jobs” and NEVER SERVE in uniform so they never get PTSD, amputations, maimed or die.
    TAKE 90% of their gross because they own multiple homes with NO mortgages.
    It is past time these Billionaires & mega-corporations PAY for the wars from which they profit and which protect them. Either PAY for the wars, or we put your Boards of Directors in the Front Lines to BLEED with us working stiffs. You want to move your corporation, OUR JOBS, to another country to dodge taxes here? So WE have to pay for your wars? Over YOUR DEAD BODIES. The U.S. has intervened militarily and covertly in so many nations it is impossible to recount them all but in every case the American military is protecting some investments of value to American corporations, or a strategic position or both.
    Those who benefit the most should contribute a proportionate share.
    Amazing that all these leftwing tech billionaires do not want to share THEIR wealth. They always talk left wing “communalism” but they clutch their money like it is life itself ….Even when they “give” charity it is through THEIR trusts &foundations that THEY control and reapTAX BENEFITS FROM. Even though They are always eager to spread YOUR money around……
    Time for the 1% to contribute PROPORTIONALLY to the War Efforts. Much is expected from those to whom much is given.
    Some of our Troops give ALL, or are maimed for life,and the 1% balks at giving MONEY when they have so much?!
    Cut taxes for the “Rich” so they will invest their money in creating more jobs? By that logic giving ALL your money to the Rich would make Everyone rich. Humanity already tried that. It was called FEUDALISM, a primitive form of COMMUNISM.
    LISTEN to what these neocon PSEUDO-capitalists are saying:
    “TAKE from the POOR and GIVE to the RICH”
    “FROM each according to their ABILITY, TO each according to their NEED. The POOR have the ABILITY to be squeezed for more taxes …….. and the Rich NEED more money …… to create jobs”???????.
    This is INSANITY, this is C-O-M-M-U-N-I-S-M by a different name.
    ZUCKerberg and these other Billionaires want to flood the labor pool and drive down YOUR wages with cheap illegals & invaders ….. . As it is, YOU pay to bring in and train YOUR replacements.
    The rich “Nobles” paid NO taxes and they created LOTS of jobs for the SERFS and PEASANTS………building CASTLES and making life better for the RICH-NOBILITY. Work and Taxes was all the Serfs knew. Where do the heroic figures of Robin Hood and William Tell spring from if not resistance to this inane idea? Seing this extremist idea dragged out of the muck of history proves to me that our Nation has truly been DUMBED DOWN and Public Schools need to be upgraded and intensified.
    Quit living in Never-Never Land where Wars are not paid for. The Founding Fathers of America didn’t. The Founding Fathers were rich, but they knew it was their CIVIC DUTY to contribute. It was called LEADERSHIP. They personally “raised” entire companies of men for the war. That means THEY PAID FOR THEM. Not like today when the YELLOW-BELLIED-DRAFT-DODGING Neocan WAR PROFITEERS beat the drums for endless war, and insist that YOU pay for it, while they reap profit off Defense Stocks. It is REALITY CHECK time America. Make those who pound the War Drums, GO TO THE WAR.

  • When THEY interfere with Your Right to Freedom of Association, Speech, Privacy, They relinquish Their Property Rights.
    The Billionaires think they have a right to use their wealth to interfere in Our lives with their “social engineering programs”
    We have the SAME right to interfere in their wealth.
    “Funny” how these BILLIONAIRE Leftwingers believe in Socialism and Sharing (YOUR) property……….
    but Their’s is THEIR’S ….. no WAY are they gonna share. Look how jealously they squeeze every PENNY of revenue with patents and lawyers, while preaching sharing and “inclusiveness”.
    These SCUMionaires do not GIVE to charity. They establish tax free “trusts & foundations” where THEY control the money and get paid to do so and you actually subsidize them because you pay higher taxes to replace what they avoid. “The more money communists accumulate, the more they preach morality to others”
    Socialism is a con-game to get the workers to think they should work for free.
    Quit drinking the Kool Aid You,,your children, are being programmed to be docile SERVANTS.
    “In a free society, only actions are crimes. In a slave society, thoughts and words are crimes.” — Michael Rivero
    —– Do not “question authority” ….. be AFRAID to “offend” anybody at all……grovel & bow. Tolerate those who DO NOT Tolerate you or your culture. You are ordered to not be judgemental …. but They are judgemental as all get out about you and everything you do or think.
    Paying it forward,Giving back, spend your vacation “helping others” spend 9/11 GIVING …….
    All pushed by RICH people & politicians who sacrifice NOTHING. The Rich write off their time, the politicians are getting you to fix THEIR problems and take pressure off them.
    parting thought …. how have Americans been seduced into training their own children to be SERVANTS. “pay it forward/back” work for others on your vacation, give this, donate that, yield YOUR culture and beliefs to any failed trash that comes along becuse for some unexplained reason You are “inferior” ………….. ”
    It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.” Ayn Rand

    Who is funding all these Socialist Groups that hate Our Freedoms and Our beliefs? The Rothschild’s, Rockefeller’s, Mellon’s, Kuhn’s, Vanderbilt’s, and the CRIMINAL BANKING FAMILIES, Kochs, Buffett, Soros, Bezos, Gates, not happy with their riches they wish to OWN you.
    When they decide to step across Our threshold/line with Their wealth to interfere in OUR lives, it is the same as trespassing into Your house and we have the Right to TAKE their wealth.

  • You make make many good points, but these things, rich or poor all share the same illness of having their minds controlled by a parasite with its own agenda; parasites that often can only be detected by running a numbers game, mathematical analysis, to determine if our behaviour is actually rational for our own sake, or if in fact our behaviour is due to a parasite’s best interest as it modifies our minds for its best interest. It is estimated that at least 50% of the human population is infected with such parasites, possibly even 100%; wouldn’t it be nice to know if we all kill ourselves that it’s because that’s what we wanted and not because of some infectious disease control our every move?

    • Perfect reply! keep up the good work you do! you are not alone!

  • Relax, folks. We will ALL be billionaires. Maybe soon! As a matter of fact, I am already a billionaire … two thousand times over! I am actually a trillionaire. But I don’t feel rich because all those 200 trillions of mine are Zimbabwe dollars. I have two bank notes, each one for 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollars. Anyone can become a Zimbabwe trillionaire, as these banknotes are available at many coin shops or on eBay for about $50 each. I paid $11 each several years ago. What a deal!
    If the socialists take over (or cheat and steal our 2020 elections) it will take them only a few ‘democratic administrations’ to completely destroy our economy and trash what is left of our currency. We will all be millionaires, then billionaires or even trillionaires. But we will be STARVING trillionaires, like those poor, unfortunate Venezuelans. Look what socialism has done to them. We should be so ‘lucky’!
    Relax, we’re next. Count on it, our voters are economic and constitutional illiterates and our corrupt politicians have decided to buy elections by offering endless ‘free stuff’ And who can resist ‘free stuff’? Not the majority of our dim witted voters. But nothing is free and we will all pay for that ‘free stuff’ through hyperinflation, price controls, shortages, mass unemployment and eventually, mass starvation.
    Don’t try to prevent this from happening, as socialists are unwilling and incapable of learning from their failure and will instead double down and double down again and again until nothing is left of our republic. Count on this! Plan your dismal future around this. It is inevitable!
    And the above is my ‘best case scenario’. You don’t want to hear my worst case scenario …

  • Were any of you “exploited” into using and/or enjoying Apple, Microsoft, Disney, Google, InBev, Seagrams, Amazon , etc., etc.? Did the billionaires who created and/or earning operate these apparent boons to mankind twist your collectivist arms? Look at everything in the way of goods and services available to most people today which are certainly not limited to the wealthy and ask how such things ever became possible. It came by and large as the creation of new wealth by the initiative of individuals spurred onward through both success and failures to realize their own dreams of success with their ventures. Do we recognize that success by punishing it out of some apparent sense of “injustice” because hard work and fortune should not be allowed to succeed beyond some arbitrary level? Meanwhile we still wish to enjoy their successful products, successful because everyone buys them? This and we expect ever more new products while complaining all the while how wealthy the originators continue to get? You people are pitiful, IMHO. Go make your own “stuff” and see how well your lifestyles get along.

    • An extremely well written comment with which I totally agree. I wish I had your way with words.

    • An extremely naive comment that projects a (sadly very common) very superficial and self-absorbed view of the world and its fundamental function(s) and capacity. But that is what materialism does to peoples’ consciousness. Extreme materialism, indeed terminal materialism, does it extremely and, quite likely, terminally.

      • ditto!

    • The very fact that gargantuan businesses like Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft EVEN EXIST AT ALL is due to the fact that billions of people HAVE and continue to be systematically and unceasingly EXPLOITED, not the other way around! I repeat, big business exploits people first and then, with the huge fortunes extracted from the people, they entice the now impoverished masses to think that they are being offered something unique and special. Don’t overlook the fact that it is THESE types of monopoly think-tanks that strategically set about to put Mom & Pop shops out of business in the first place, and in so doing, effectively FORCED us to “ENJOY ” their latest innovations. Essentially, they have not only severely limited our choices of whom we wish to buy from, but our ability to go and make our own stuff, as you suggest. I, for one, am not “enjoying”. Anyone who believes this set-up is something to take pleasure in is simply NOT seeing the bigger picture.

      • Well said….

    • Bigger lover!

    • Most stole what everyone thinks they created and such is the world… What is pitiful is the cudos you give these parasites without any knowledge how they got what they got. Yes, what about the hard work of the people that made them successful??? why aren’t they sharing in the billions made by there hard work. Even the bible was stolen from earlier religions and the story goes on…..

    • Oh please! Let’s get a few things straight here:

      First, there are fundamental differences between discovery, invention, R&D, and innovation. They are NOT all the same. What this class of “productive” people has done is to severely curtail (if not shut down) discovery and invention because they are not profitable. Most of that work is done through the “public sector. In the US, much of this is funded by the NSF, NIH etc. They wanted their taxes slashed and people who had spent years in graduate and post-doctoral training found themselves making lattes at Starbucks.

      Aside from this being a shameful waste of our best and brightest, we now have another problem. The seed corn for R&D and other innovation is based on discovery and invention. We have been chewing through that seedcorn without planting more seeds for about 15-20 years. The result is we are doing more and more based on existing technology without breaking new ground. Where is the 21st-century equivalent to the internet? It doesn’t exist. Most of the “unicorns” going live on Wall Street today are variations on existing technology and it is really getting old.

      So, by slashing taxes on millionaires and billionaires, and by having the money pour back to shareholders we have been killing the goose that lays the golden egg. You are correct in calling what these people make “stuff”. Because almost none of it is truly groundbreaking or of any real value at this time.

      Second – My grandfather was president of cigar company. He ran a successful business in the United States during a period when top marginal tax rates ranged from 65-90%. Did he quit in a huff and stamp his feet because the tax structure ensured that he would “only” obtain a high six-figure to low seven-figure wealth? NO!!!! Because he still had the capacity to make good money and live a great life. He wanted for nothing because owning a private jet, 10 homes and a dozen yachts was not on his radar. Meanwhile, he contracted severe type-1 diabetes and the medical DISCOVERY and INVENTiON allowed him to live a long and productive life, instead of dying young. It’s a fair trade-off and he saw it that way.

  • I hate to stereotype anyone, but at some point, you just have to face facts. Biggers are dumb, lazy, shiftless parasites that that think the world owes them a living. Most of ’em never worked a day in their lives, unless you count con games, drug dealing, gun running, and your garden variety grand theft; and if their goons and guns can’t intimidate their victims, they can always count on extortion, bribery, and shyster lawyers to keep ’em out of jail. They get tax breaks, subsidies, no-bid contracts, bailouts, and golden parachutes, and all they can do is bitch and moan that they’re not getting any respect. Send ’em all back to Delaware, or whatever backwater tax haven they claim on their IRS returns.

    • “Biggers” – all they want is comfy shoes and a warm place to dump on the rest of us.

  • Can it be that chasing money and amassing money does things to the human mind? I am old and poor so I do not know for sure; but it sure seems plausible. It does seem that ” lots of money changes people into monsters “!

    • The stories we repeatedly tell ourselves, and that we hear from those around us we recognise as important to us, become reified as our believed reality. Thence they forge our self-identity in accord with that constructed reality. If the story(s) affirm that money (AKA power and privilege) is more important that EVERYTHING else, then that becomes our reality, our morality and our persona at the deepest and most unshakeable level.

      Making and keeping lots of money is not overly difficult once one has this warped world view. It is near to impossible without it. Too many more REAL, genuinely more significant things get in the way of the accumulation and retention. When Schwarzman alludes to ‘The Pursuit of Success’ in fact he means the development and intensification of psychosis.

      Thus billionaire status is most certainly clear evidence of an addled mind and a malign spirit.

  • Bernie,
    the millionaires and billionaires will NEVER become socialist voluntarily, no matter how cleverly you state the obvious. just making your own political color clear is the best you can do.

  • Billionaires have perfected the art of hiding their wealth off shore, so it’s difficult to understand why they whine about initiatives to tax it when they know full well that most of their wealth is off limits, or could be made off limits on short notice. Can you imagine how much better our lives could be if the wealthy spent more time and effort doing productive things for society?

  • Interestingly, Founder Sam Adams once proposed a cap on individual wealth. In a 1743 newspaper article he wrote, “As Liberty can never subsist without Equality, nor Equality be long preserved without an Agrarian law, or something like it [limiting the amount of property an individual can own], so when Men’s Riches are become immeasurably and surprisingly great, a People who regard their own Security ought to make strict Enquiry how they came by them, and oblige them to take down their own Size, for fear of TERRIFYING THE COMMUNITY, OR MASTERING IT.” (emphasis in the original)

    Needless to say, this didn’t fly at the Constitutional Convention with America’s new aristocracy, who had made their fortunes in the slave trade and selling land taken from the Indians.

    And when he was Massachusetts governor 44 years later, Adams issued a proclamation for the suppression of Shays’ Rebellion which eerily echoed the arrogant language of King George’s 1775 proclamation against the American rebels. The pursuit of wealth and power is like any other addiction, an obsession that steals its victim’s humanity.

  • Read Propaganda by Philosopher and Sociologist Jacques Ellul, you may, for the first time, realize why your intellectual and emotional life is controlled by others.

  • “Man will never be free until the last billionaire is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” — Denis Diderot

  • “Stephen A. Schwartzman, What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence

    “Excellence” is an awfully euphemistic and self-exculpatory way of putting it.

    “These outbursts are reminiscent of one we saw a couple of years ago on an MSNBC interview with resort tycoon Stephen Cloobeck, who expressed outrage at the way progressives are using “the millionaire or billionaire word” to discuss issues with class and economic justice, saying he’d instructed Democratic Party leaders to bring a stop to this rhetoric or lose plutocratic funding.”

    Say what you will about about Stephen Cloobeck, he has a much better understanding of Democratic Party leadership priorities than most Democratic voters do.

    Obviously, what the United States and other plutocratic oligarchies masquerading as democracies need is an annual progressive tax on “excess” wealth, with a threshold that’s high enough to avoid stifling greed-driven hard work, innovation, and risk-taking, and low enough to curtail outsize political and economic power. Given that we do live in a plutocratic oligarchy masquerading as a democracy, where elected officials are proxies for the oligarchs, the question is: how do we get such a tax?

  • Some believe in making things better; more believe in whatever lies get them the biggest power rush, and the most useless stuff.
    Some of us believe in patiently making things more beautiful, more fertile, kinder to all; others believe that the first kind are suckers fit only for self-serving lies, fraud, and abuse.

    To me Humanity is an act of imagination that requires a good heart and a kind hand to make progress fruitful. Imagination is the reason why the arts are so important, even though they ‘merely’ build compassion, community, and a greater understanding of humanity.

    This is why hate, bigotry, and sociopaths are so damaging. People with these characteristics lack the means to imagine other people’s lives, or a kinder, more beautiful future. So they brutally impose their nightmares on the rest of us.
    It has been decades since the electorate has been referred to as ‘citizens’.
    We are now only referred to as ‘consumers’, with the implication that we are useless mouths better off dying in ditches. As an example, watch any foolish auto ad. I’ve noticed they often feature a ‘white’ family fleeing nature portrayed as a frightening monster. Fools buy this crap and wonder why they don’t feel like heroes behind the wheel. Instead they get stuck in suburban traffic jams without even the pretence of nature at home, and wonder where the money went, and why they are so powerless, so angry. They sold their humanity for worthless toys and a life of cynical ease instead of reaching for a life of beauty, meaning, and consequence.

    This is the problem with human ‘civilization’ these days: our choices are limited to various flavours of self-serving stupidity manufactured by corporate sociopaths for coprophiliacs. What we need is a nutritious diet of honesty and all the flavours of a diverse, healthy environment.
    We are in an age where it is necessary to FIGHT for the truth so that we might build lasting beautiful communities. Or pack our bags for the concentration camps.

    Robert Mitchum was making a movie in Trinidad with John Huston. Mitchum walked around a lobby corner and found Huston masturbating the hotel’s pet monkey. Mitchum asked, ‘Why? Why do you do this, John?’ ‘The monkey likes it’, said Huston, ‘He really likes it!’

    Guess who the monkeys are, and who is jerking us off.

  • Here’s an idea:
    Have a wealth tax of 95% of anyone or married couple with more than $15 million in assets, which includes stock options and trust funds of which both should be made reportable. Then, have a flat tax on incomes of 18% across the board with no deductions. Make the penalties severe for those who hide income and wealth. Take money out of politics period. Have the state pay for campaign advertising – make TV stations and newspapers provide equal time/space free to state campaign agendas four weeks before paper ballet elections. Please add to this and/or make suggestion so we can come up with a definitive party platform. 250,000 signatures would be required to start a political party with a maximum of five parties. Get rid of the 15 secret agencies, including patriot act, NDAA, Homeland Security, Cut military spending by 20% first year then 5% per year for the next 10 years. Brings all our troops home. Close down the 800 bases we have abroad. Break-up the news media monopolies and the giant mega corporations. Instate free healthcare for all people residing in the USA. Do away with the Federal Reserve and base currency on Gold reserves. Do away with Fractional Reserve Banking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=99&v=JobaR9LLcfA
    Outlaw AIPAC and have the people chose who they would want to lobby on their behalf. I could go on but I think you get the gist of it! WE NEED INTEGRITY BACK IN GOVERNMENT AND THE BOARD ROOM – with it, we may as well pack our bags and switch out the lights.

    • Oops! That’s “without it”

  • Exactly why the US has a war-based economy that is poltically unstoppable, all nicely spelled out:
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/10/03/military-keynesianism-marches-on/

  • Those without always want what others possess. Those who follow always complain about those who lead. It is always easier to criticize than to do. Be happy with what you have. Change the world in some small way instead of complaining and criticizing.

    • Codswallop! then things will remain the same…..

    • no one’s jealous of your predicament of being hated universally because of your inhumanity.

  • Quote:
    //
    Home Depot founder and major Republican Party donor Ken Langone receiving a warmly sycophantic reception from Fox’s Mornings with Maria.
    “What the hell has he done for the little people?” Langone asked his host Maria Bartiromo. “What jobs has he created?”
    //
    “Little people” shows the mindset of the rich, as in Leona Helmsley’s “Only the little people pay taxes.”

  • If you understand billionaires, you understand why they had to organize the 9/11 event to save the System which at the time was threatened by huge anti-globalization protests.

    It is a violent society as it was in the days of Noah. Indeed, we are in the repetition of the days of Noah that will precede the Return of Jesus, which return according to prophecies is very near.

    And I pray the Rosary to hasten His Glorious Return because I really do have seen enough bullshit.

    • Someone who never existed is not returning. No evidence EVER for the existence of “jesus”. Open up you mind to reality.

      • You are right,

        And there were also wreckages of airplanes into the Pentagone and into a field in Pennsylvania on 9/11 for all to be seen. And the poor billionaires have been the first victims of this sad event in 2001.

        Keeping my Rosary close.

  • NO ONE can accumulate millions, never mind, billions, without exploiting and/or defrauding others.
    thus, all millionaires and billionaires are criminals against humanity, period. simple.

  • What is sorely lacking in the lexicon of wealth-based identity politics is a term that identifies the billionaire class not merely by the amount of money that they have accumulated, but by the underlying premise that their fortunes are “the gold standard” by which their worth as individuals should be calculated. There are dozens, probably hundreds of words in vernacular speech that denigrate individuals according to their race, ethnicity, nationality, physical characteristics, and social position, but none that reasonably and appropriately deprecates the colossal arrogance of the super-rich and the “bigger is better” mindset that engenders their pathological, omnicidal plutocracy. My choice for an appropriate epithet that appropriately both identifies and mocks such individuals and their autocratic class pride is “bigger”, which I look forward to being referenced as ‘the “b” word.’

    • the word i like to use for the plutocrat class is simple: “Food”.
      Rich folks, the other white meat.
      let things trundle along as they are, and it just might come to that.

  • first, as Bernie said, the concept and the existence of a billionaire is a crime against humanity, and thus should NOT exist, period.

    second, the existing billionaires existentially should NOT exist, period.

    let’s start with Schwartzman.

    • At very, very least they should not be listened to, and certainly not be exalted, which would be like death to them.

  • Fascinating how an article about Billioinaires brings out all of the pro-Billionaire faithful who just have to tell us all how wonderful Billionaires are and how they have honestly earned their money and how we should all honor them for their service to humankind.

    • this is Bernie’s greatest contribution: make everyone show their true colors.

  • The need to state and restate the obvious is an index of how brainwashed the American public is. Will they ever become able to hear the simple truth?

  • That guy who founded Home Depot was actually a job ‘destroyer’. I had an aunt who years ago married into the family that owned a local, family owned hardware store. That store no longer exists. It, and so many other like them, are now out of business, unable to compete with the big national chains like True Value or Ace or Home Depot or Lowe’s.
    There used to be a time when going to the hardware store meant talking to friendly helpful people who knew all about what you were trying to accomplish. So, you went into the store to get some plumbing supplies, and you were talking to a person who knew plumbing and what was needed and what you needed to buy and could thus help you get your project off the ground my making sure you came home with exactly what you needed.
    Instead, in a modern Home Depot, those jobs have been eliminated. If you are very lucky there might be some high school kid stocking the plumbing section in the big box store, who if you manage to find them and ask them for help, will tell you nicely that they are too busy to talk because the company has a metric that says they have only a certain time to finish restocking before they have to go help unload the truck that arrives in 10 minutes.
    So, our dear job creator destroyed the jobs of people who actually knew the trades, and who knew the local people, and who provided conversation with a friend while helping with knowledge about the task you were embarking on. In return, they hired a few teenagers who don’t know nothing but who work for minimum wage (when they pay it and don’t demand off the books overtime) and who probably won’t be working there in three months because they treat their employees like dirt and expect them to leave in a few months.
    That’s what our dear Job Creator created. He created a way to extract more profits for himself by destroying other businesses and other jobs.

    • All true, acutely pertinent and starkly evident, yet none of it is interrogated in the Fox ‘news’ item. Funny that.

  • Excellent Article. Billionaires should not exist, but they are too proud of themselves to see it.
    They think having a pile of money in the bank is an accomplishment, when what it is really represents is destruction of our planet’s environment, and slavery of we the people.

    All Capitalism does is destroy the Environment, and ruin the lives of the poor.
    What we need is a Environment First System, and the Billionaires hate this, and so they hate Bernie, and blame the poor for being poor.

    “The Environment must become our Priority”
    Bernie Sanders

  • Free Assange ( a BillionTruthteller)

    • Yes. free Assange.

  • I too can see nothing wrong with someone making 100 bucks an hour, working 100 hours a week and piling up.
    Half a million per year (two weeks vacation), no tax paid, no expenses for anything.
    Fill in different numbers (only honest ones). See where you get.

    • My dad was a multi-millionaire when he retired, he came from West Virginia, second generation out of the mines, worked 80 to 100 hours a week for UPS, for forty years, and did his best to actually be around for musicals in our schools, plays, and teaching we three children morals, principles, and the value of freedom, along with our Mom, also out of West Virginia, coal country.
      He was the best Corporate real estate manager UPS had, in his last years, he managed five districts, four other managers, having been fired, and he retired specifically because he was worn out.
      His greatest income came from UPS stock he bought, was given as bonuses, when corporate rules didn’t allow any more bonus money, and he was extended stock options, financed by UPS, solely because of his value to the company.
      He was a “millionaire” when I left for boot camp, to become a Marine at 18, but our lifestyle hadn’t changed a whit, since we lived in half a duplex, in New Jersey, or the apartments, overseas.
      He passed on small portions of stock to we three children, our mom being completely involved, the two totally bound to each other till she died, at 82, he dying three or four years later, at 87.
      I and my sisters are now millionaires, not because of influence, or favors, but simply because we never stopped working, we all three worked every hour we could get, I often worked three jobs, to raise two kids, and keep a wife, and we invested savings. My parents passed on maybe five percent of their wealth, and established a charitable foundation, based on education, literacy, and music, with the vast majority of it, and none of we three would have it any other way.
      I was born dyslexic to the extreme, barely graduated high school, but have been a mechanical engineer, electronic engineer, for over three decades, having taught myself, from the library I’ve accumulated. At 61, I don’t expect to retire any time soon, I work for my health, and my sanity, we could easily live in a condo, do nothing, and die of boredom.
      My wife and I both have multiple sclerosis, she’s quit working, her health was never as good as my own, and I’ve fought this a decade longer, but from enormously better physical condition, and work keeps my body fighting the disease.
      “Billionaires” come out of odd incidents, where something enormous and new, is cornered by one, or a small coterie of “experts” who lay claim to all permutations of the discovery, and we are enticed into massively entering it, as a new cult icon. “We, The People”, allowing ourselves be herded into a social notion, made our current set of billionaires, both my sisters wrote millions of lines of code, far more important and complex than facebook or twitter, however, they were contracted engineers, earning a salary, and not owning the code they wrote, but well sharing in the profits generated, by improvement of efficiency, the sole value in constantly upgrading software, as in major hospitals and such institutions. No, “billionaires shouldn’t get to get there, but we shouldn’t have liars, thieves, cheaters, murders, lawyers and hosts of others”.
      We are fallen Creatures, we can be good, some of us will always choose to be evil, it is recorded throughout history, today is little different than King Henry the VIII, in his own time. When we choose to form a community, it is based on trust, and the broader we can do so, the higher up we control our leadership.
      At the same time, those engaged “higher up” have temptation to either “do the right thing”, or to join in the crime. There will always be some who choose to join. I have worked on a work with hundreds all doing the same nasty job, in concert, no problems, and I’ve worked with a group of three or four, who had to be put under the thumb, just to not bicker, and waste time. Life is not about where one ends up at, but in how one lives, to get there. I still turn wrenches, by hand, six days a week, for anyone with a broken tractor, truck, hay bailer, or even just cracked steel railing, needing welding.
      “Millionaires” tend to grow, expand, because nothing less than an epiphany, or simply hard, long work, all invested, was necessary to get there. Millionaires leave their children a head start, but as many go down each year, as new ones arise.
      Billionaires must make political connections, to keep control of their wealth, and they must control where it is invested, to ensure its growth, because they live with the certain knowledge, they ride the crest and all waves crash into the shore eventually.
      They know “printing money won’t work forever”, as do all who keep their own books. Each have their own way for security, I invest in ever more capability, because hard times will require more repair work.
      They manipulate markets, and ultimately own control, to have the ability to leave a country, when it goes into foreclosure. No, there shouldn’t be billionaires, but there are, and rapists, murderers and thieves, cut-purses and ponzi-schemers.
      Semper Fidelis,
      John McClain
      GySgt, USMC, ret.
      Vanceboro, NC, USA

      • Thanks for that wall of text.

        • That ‘wall of text’ was very interesting. Thanks for your oblique comment.

      • Thanks for all that, John, your sincerity shines through clearly! Indeed, life is to be engaged at every level, at all times, and with integrity. In so doing, we expand our individual capacities and discover what grand stuff we are made of. Still, I’d like to point out something about your success story that may not be so obvious.

        Your dad’s greatest income, you said, came from stock he bought and therefore plays a big part in the monetary success that followed for you and your family. I’m not saying that your personal efforts and input weren’t critical to the ongoing and overall success you’ve enjoyed since then but without that initial stock income, the odds are that you may have struggled along through life much like many others have and do. Essentially, what I mean is that the stock market is nothing more than a big global casino where one can benefit at someone else’s expense because, after all, in order to come out ahead in the Market, someone else has to lose, and isn’t this what the whole billionaire philosophy is all about?

        In any case, my intent is not to minimize your input but simply to point out that what may appear on the surface to be a benign way of “growing” money is sometimes just another billionaire’s win/lose tactic rather than a human interest enterprise that aims for a win/win with the capacity to carry all the participants along for the prosperous ride.

  • The billionaire, made possible by government. How is it that government, the promised land of sociopaths, is going to solve this problem? It does not matter what kind of government you start with, it will eventually become tyrannical, saturated with sociopaths. Any government position, elected or otherwise, is the ideal employment of said sociopath. It provides for unlimited ego massage, undeserved wealth, and the subservience of the governed. Capitalism is not the culprit, government is. I will no longer participate. I will not in anyway validate government by voting for any candidate. Having reduced my footprint on the world, I am surprised how little it costs to live, which starves the beast.

    • The one thing the 1% desperately wants is for you not to vote.
      —————-
      Think about it. If there was an honest election, the 1% loses 99 to 1. Well, maybe 90 to 10 as the managers who work for the 1% also vote for the 1%. But the biggest task that faces the 1% even in a mostly fake form of democracy is how not to lose massively in any election. One part of their solution to that problem is to convince people not to vote.
      ————–
      In a year where the left has its best chance to win the Presidency since FDR, expect to see a lot of internet messages telling people not to vote. When you don’t vote, the Billionaires automatically win.

  • And there is nothing imagined about socialism? Jesus H. Christ on Crutches.

    • A very significant proportion of everything humans ‘think’ and do is imagined. We just imagine it is real. The serious problems arise when we, individually and collectively, imagine things in ways that seriously hurt other people and serve to dismantle the natural functions upon which our existence fundamentally depends.

      Why does the concept of ‘billionaires bad’ trigger a response of ‘ah, but socialism!”? Patterned imagination?

      • Thumbs up!

  • Based on the way things have always worked out since we humans started doing food production instead of hunting & gathering, and thereby created the conditions that breed concentrations of wealth (power)…

    See Diamond’s essay http://discovermagazine.com/1987/may/02-the-worst-mistake-in-the-history-of-the-human-race

    Food production means hierarchies in power. Do we want to go back to H&G? (Yes, we might be headed there anyway if we don’t transition to earth-resource-sustainable economics.)

    I conclude that we will always, as long as we don’t go back to H&G, have power gradients, unevenness, inequality, that we call “injustice” when they are perceived as excessive.

    Even under socialism we see power gradients that lead to corruption and environmental destruction. Look at China’s extreme efforts against corruption and look at its environmental record. Look at the history, political and environmental, of the Soviet Union.

    The deja-vu-all-over-again problem in our current time then seems to me to be over-concentration, excessive gradients of power and de-humanization between classes which have created social stresses that are de-stabilizing and now may even be on the brink of becoming civilizationally-destructive, as they have so often been throughout history.

    For the good of all, the whole, including the billionaires, it sure looks like we do need policies that put caps on power.

    Truly, billionaires are humans too, and if not for a myriad of accidental factors that guided our own lives, any one of us might have become a billionaire instead of the few folks who are now in that bracket. Most of us would sure like to be in their place, maybe at least until you think a little more carefully about wearing the other person’s mocassins and walking a mile or two.

    Compassion must go both ways or everything breaks down. I know it may seem crazy, even repugnant for some of us, to feel compassion for a billionaire, but we’d sure like for them to feel compassion for the rest of us mortal humans too, right?

    I’m not defending their bad behaviors and attitudes, but only reminding, “Hate the sin. Love the sinner.”

    So, how can we stop the sin?… get the badly needed power-gradient-reducing policies enacted for the good of all?

    For the lower classes it’s a very easy sell, but for the upper classes who, as all of us humans, sure don’t want to lose their power positions, will we have to fire-up some mobs and pull out the guillotine? That never gets us anywhere but back to the same old cycle.

    What kinds of policies would work, and be sellable-actualizable-maintainable?

    As to capping-type taxation or income limiting, I do think that a billionaire (at today’s value of money) is a bit too much power for anyone’s good…Where then should the limit be set? What’s the maximum allowable power-gradient to maintain social stability? Do we have any good science for deciding that? Socio-political science isn’t physical science…It’s way more complex and uncertain. Best we can do is try for a common-ground guess.

    Or, if we can’t get a capping policy set, can’t agree on where to put the cap, could we at least have other policies that would shackle the billionare’s ability to control and manipulate? Election reform to totally remove money influence? Media reform to keep billionaires from controlling public information flow? Moratorium on all forms of lobbying?

    I think we’re gonna have to do all of the above, and pray that the guillotine won’t be pulled-out. I wonder what Gandhi would say?

    Read some Gandhi, and remember that Gandhi depended on members of the billionaire class of his day to stay alive and fighting…
    https://www.positivityblog.com/gandhis-top-10-fundamentals-for-changing-the-world/

    One first step is to limit our own dependence on the stuff the billionaire-class is selling. Simplify our material lives a bit. Accept living a lower-class life and appreciate its upsides. Don’t go along when you’re called to fight a billionaire-class’s war. Minimize the taxes you pay to maintain the billionaire-class’s deep state and MIC. Resist and de-cooperate nonviolently, and do speak up for needed policies too.

    Above all: Maintain compassion.

  • The politicians are the prostitutes peddling their influence, the billionaires are only their Johns.

    Dear Customers, The socialist Home Depot will only be open during the Christmas season in order that we do not exceed our profit limit.

    Sanders is an economic imbecile.

  • There is NO difference between communism, fascism, marxism, nazism, progressivism or socialism….they are all REBRANDED FEUDALISM. Feudalists have been at war with humanity for an eternity and form a largely heritage based, psychopath plutocracy. There are only two forms of social order….either you have Free Speech, Private Property and rule by informed consent….or you DO NOT. The mega wealthy have been predisposed to undermine honest democracy, honest capitalism, honest reality.
    Their stated goal of reducing humanity to a 600 million feudalist controlled hive serfs, shows their arrogance and contempt for humanity. During a previous French revolution, fresh chopped heads of elitists were loaded into cannons and fired over the cheering masses. It is past time to end all forms of feudalism, including the Bernie brand.

    • Clearly you don’t understand capitalism. You simply have intensely favourable feelings for some imagined aspect of it.

  • I enjoyed this keeper of an article.

  • Boy, no one remembers Starbucks billionaire and failed presidential candidate Howard Schultz’s identity politics plea: Don’t call us “billionaires.” Refer to us as “people of means.”

  • Six years ago, I was wondering why we didn’t put a cap on income based on some multiple of the minimum wage, as in “no one is allowed to be paid more than 100 times the minimum wage”. It still seems like a workable solution.
    http://hm.dinofly.com/UP/forum/viewtopic.php?p=13479#p13479

    • NO ONE is worth millions, never mind billions.
      by definition, they are parasites.

  • I see nothing wrong with billionaires who have earned their money honestly. It appears to me the problem is that governments have assumed way too much power over every aspect of its citizens lives. That gives politicians something to sell that the very rich can buy leading to the outcomes that neither you nor I like.

    • “I see nothing wrong with billionaires who have earned their money honestly.”

      How do you feel about dry water, clean coal or promiscuous chastity? All as equally fatuous notions as your lead premise.

    • I agree with you, FC Bock. And now Ms. Johnstone would like to give the government more power by having it tell me how much money I can have.

      • Are you a billionaire Jim, or do you have that delusional US syndrome whereby you ardently think that just because they are, then you can be also be one day. And then because you aren’t, you blame all the scapegoats the plutocrats project to you as being why you can’t ‘get ahead’.

        In fact it is them stopping you. It is them stealing your very life from you, as they systematically bubble it up from all the burgeoning hordes of ‘little people’ at the bottom, whilst convincing you to protect them whilst they do it. A highly advanced host/parasite relationship.

        And yes indeed, the Govt. is telling you how much money you can have – effectively F’all!. That’s because the govt’s main function is in protecting the relentless usurpation of it by the plutocrats.

        • Nope. No billionaire does their own work. But they have lots of money to pay people $10 an hour to sit in front of computers saying only what makes the billionaire into a trillionaire.

    • Governments are essentially glorified police forces – for corporations. Revisit the original manifestos and papers put out by the newly formed Trilateral Commission. (And search The Powell Memorandum online.) They set out to restructure governments so that their hand would be strenthened vis a vis the people within a weaker democratic framework, so that governments would be more responsible to transnational capital and less encumbered by the demands of citizens and citizens’ movements. Boy have they succeeded in that endeavor.

      I see nothing wrong with ‘no’ money. Zero. Nada.

    • When honesty and ethics are genuinely factored in, I don’t see how billions can even be accumulated by any one person. You see, when honesty is the primary motive in any business, EVERYone is benefiting from it’s success. Hence, the billions that a company generates don’t just accumulate into the hands of one person or family, but into the hands of the many, MANY who make such a success possible.Ultimately, billionaire status is only possible when honesty and ethics are tossed out the window. The many who labor for the company are a means to an end and the huge income generated is generally amassed and hoarded by one.

    • I too can see nothing wrong with someone making 100 bucks an hour, working 100 hours a week and piling up.
      Half a million per year (two weeks vacation), no tax paid, no expenses for anything.
      Fill in different numbers (only honest ones). See where you get.

  • No More War

  • The leadership of our world should not belong to a class of highly mediocre people who have nothing noteworthy between their ears apart from a knack for accumulating dollars.
    The ability to amass wealth is not a valid basis upon which to determine who leads us.
    Our fate as a species should be in all our hands._Ms Caitlin Johnstone

    Our ” Owners and Masters ” are of the belief that only money matters; not people! If you are not rich; then you do not matter; be quiet and obey us!

  • This billionaire arrogance is just the arrogance of sociopaths. Great wealth is a tool to wield great power and control, so sociopaths will be drawn to this like moths to a flame. Those who are best at deception and manipulation will acquire the most wealth and win the “power and control” game. They will then look down on “the little people” with disdain and arrogance, because those little people are cheap to buy, and even cheaper to discard.

  • http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/10/two-borders.html
    Maybe that billionaire curse is what gave Bernie that heart attack last night.

    Helen of DesTroy, writing for RT, tells of a war that has already made many of us POWs.
    Humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish, according to a study from 2015 – meaning the 8 seconds found among those study subjects has probably shortened still further in the intervening years. In that study, 77 percent of 18-to-24 year olds answered “yes” to whether they reached for their phone if nothing was occupying their attention. This is perhaps the most ominous accomplishment of technology – it has rendered us incapable of being alone with ourselves..
    ​ ​The internet began as a surveillance technology, and it’s important to remember this whenever we cede control of some aspect of our lives to it. A government looking to implement a technological control grid would be wise to convince those who are to be controlled that they need it, want it, can’t live without it – and this process is even easier if they truly can’t live without it. The unquestioning embrace of technology will ultimately rob us of our humanity – a feature, not a bug, according to those AI evangelists eager to “merge” with the machines. Is this a tradeoff we want to make?
    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/469540-technology-takeover-eclipses-skills-survival/

  • Yes, I believe there should be a wealth cap–the more money you have–the more money you can make–while the risk–for some–is non-existent. Money is a public tool which can have great efficacy if used in productive hands–Money in the hands of billionaires simply changes the nature of the game. It is a mutantancy– not a great achievement–and we had better get the power out of the hands of these anal sadistics [in the 3rd dimension–the shit floats to the top] before they take us all under with their war games–that kill and maim real people–right before our eyes!

    Bye the way: Trump is an Agent of Change [you heard it hear first]–and change produces suicide and insanity [Earnest Becker, “The Birth and Death of Reason”]. That is why he is hated–most people would rather die, than change!

    • the system should NEVER ALLOW anyone, ANYONE, to exploit others to the extent of accumulating millions, never mind billions. an income cap AFTER the fact is still inadequate in principle.

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