Wealth Gap?

My son sent me this link – Mashable:

The issue of wealth inequality across the United States is well known, but this video shows you the extent of that imbalance in dramatic and graphic fashion.

The video, which started going viral on Friday and whose traffic continues to climb on YouTube — reflects the facts as seen from many different sources. We present it without comment, letting you, our readers, be the judge.

That video is misleading because it measures comparative net worth. But lots of people with middle class incomes have little or no net worth. Add up everything you own (house, cars, savings, retirement) and subtract everything you owe (including mortgage, consumer debt and student loans) and that’s your net worth.

If you are upside down on your mortgage and don’t have a lot of savings you can easily have a negative net worth, even if you are making $50,000 year and living in a big house. This is especially true if you are younger and haven’t had a chance to accumulate equity and retirement savings.

Does it really matter how much money Bill Gates has? What claim do we have on his wealth? Did he steal it from the rest of us? Appeals of this nature are designed to provoke feelings of unfairness – “He’s got so much more than me, that’s not fair!

Bill Gates amassed a huge fortune, but he did it playing by the rules as they existed then. So now he’s a billionaire. What do we do about it? We already taxed the money when he earned it, and now we tax the considerable interest he earns on his wealth each year. So what’s next? Do we levy a tax on assets? Unless we do he’s just gonna keep getting richer, even if we took half his interest income in taxes.

Here’s an alternative point of view:

The wealthy accumulate wealth by appropriating the wealth created by those who sell their wealth creating power to the wealthy. Everyone who receives a paycheck enhances the wealth of the wealthy by being paid less than the amount of wealth they produce. If you do not produce excess wealth for the wealthy, or otherwise contribute to the profit of the wealthy, your employment will be terminated.

The wealthy distribute that which they appropriate in a manner that in their judgment best insures their continued accumulation of wealth. Those who best serve the wealthy are best compensated for their successful efforts at accumulation of wealth from the producers of wealth for appropriation by the wealthy.

People commonly understand the wealthy as creators of wealth rather than appropriators of wealth. People desire to serve those whom they see as the the source of wealth for a share of the wealth, misunderstanding that in serving the wealthy they are serving the distributors of wealth, those who are also the appropriators of wealth, but not the producers of wealth.

Shorter version: “The rich get wealthy by stealing it.” So did Bill Gates steal the wealth of all those Microsoft employees who have worked for him over the years? Or was he stealing from the people who bought his products? Both? When Microsoft stock goes up in value, who is he stealing that from?

There is a political issue involving the inequality of wealth, but it’s not one of fairness. It has to do with the fact that wealth translates into political power, giving the wealthy relatively more power than those less fortunate. That’s certainly anti-democratic, but the only thing we can really do is minimize the effect that individual wealth has on government.

Here’s a cold, hard historical fact – the only societies with no income or wealth inequality are those where everybody is poor. This includes feudal societies, capitalist nations, socialist countries and third-world states.

There are a lot of ways you can compare the top and bottom levels of society including relative wealth and income. The real measure of wealth is standard of living. And the comparison should be between the poorest people here and the poorest people in other countries. That’s where the critical disparity is.

Even the poorest nations around the world have a wealthy 1% – the rich upper crust that controls the government. But where is the standard of living of the bottom levels of society the highest?

Right here in the good ol’ U.S of A.

Not only are our poor people fat, but we have to import the poor people of Mexico and other poorer-than-us nations do do the work our own poor people won’t deign to do themselves. You pretty much have to be mentally ill or drug addicted to be homeless in this country, and even then they have sleeping bags and tents to shelter them from the elements.

Capitalism isn’t perfect but it works. We can analyze and theorize why it works, but it works. Until we find something that works even better we need to hang on to the only economic system with a proven record of creating wealth for everyone involved.

That does not mean we should return to laissez-faire capitalism of the 19th Century. Capitalism needs to be regulated – but not strangled. There also need to be safety nets to protect workers from the short-term effects of free market competition.

The proper role of government is not to control the outcome, it is to provide a level playing field where capitalism can flourish, maintain the safety nets and to act as a referee. Government has no business picking winners and losers or determining how to “fairly” distribute profits.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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110 Responses to Wealth Gap?

    • Interesting. I do like his writing. And have often been annoyed with the Church and its insistence that everyone “Go forth and multiply”- unless you are a priest.
      Have to disagree on one level with him

      But while the ban on clerical marriage didn’t necessarily make the clergy more moral, it helped assure the independence of the Church and kept its property and offices from falling completely and irrevocably into the hands of church dynasties. –

      To my mind- the Curia is its own little dynasty- and they continue to pass on the power to their select little club. Maybe not by way of inheritance by children- but surely they maintain a stranglehold on all that wealth and power.

      • myiq2xu says:

        There was a time when the leaders of the Church were all members of royal families. The reason that Pope Clement VII would not give Henry the VIII an annulment from his first wife was that he was a first cousin of Ferdinand of Aragon, Catherine’s father.

        • wmcb says:

          The church is a bit like the Left. They tried to solve a problem (property and title inheritance creating conflict of interest, corrupting the church leaders) with a shiny new rule. And when the rule inevitably caused more problems than it solved, they were too damn stubborn to go back and dismantle their new sacred cow.

          Sound familiar?

        • votermom says:

          Eh, I see where it would be a problem in past centuries when the Church had a virtual monopoly on religion and exercised political power.
          But today no one is forcing men into the priesthood, or into celibacy. They are free to choose that life, and free to leave.
          Unlike, say, women who become subject to sharia law. Or minorities who try to leave the Church of Hope & Change.

    • votermom says:

      This reminds me of this scifi short I read once, where in the future everyone is required to have a certain number of orgasms a week for their health. If you don’t have a partner you have to go to a clinic where you have mechanically induced orgasms. It was written from the pov of a woman who didn’t want it but had no choice. Iirc she went crazy.

  1. elliesmom says:

    When Elliesdad and I prepared to retire, we met with our financial planners to make sure we were reasonably able to this at this point in our lives without running out of money and becoming a burden on our kids or the state. The planner put all of our financial resources in front of us – assets, liabilities, sources of income in the future and said, “You’ve done well. This is the result of your life’s work.” My husband said,”No, this is the result of my life’s work”, as he opened his tablet computer and shared his array of family photos. Which was very sweet of him. But the facts are that the end of the day, not enough people have acquired enough wealth to be that “sweet”. And taxing people’s “wealth” will only make it harder for people to accumulate enough of it to take care of themselves. If the day our house became an above water asset, we had to start paying a tax on the portion of it that was producing wealth, it wouldn’t be nearly as productive an asset as it’s been. We don’t do a good enough job of teaching finances to our kids. We don’t teach them a dollar saved at 25 is worth a hell of a lot more than a dollar saved at 55., and we certainly shouldn’t tax the kids who figure it out more.

  2. yttik says:

    Don’t be silly, the wealthy only get wealthy by stealing it from the poor. That’s why we now have to steal it back. Wealth creates poverty. The rich hog all the money which creates a shortage. If you’re poor, it’s obviously the fault of somebody wealthy, just like if you’re ill, it’s obviously the fault of somebody healthy. Healthy people make others sick by taking all the health.

    Seriously, you can’t get poor enough to help the poor, sick enough to help the sick, crazy enough to help the crazy, but this is standard thinking these days. People genuinely seem to believe that when other people have good things, wealth, health, a positive attitude, they are hogging all the resources.

    There’s another way of thinking where the pie is big enough for everybody and there’s enough to go around. Fishes and loaves. Unfortunately the more we focus on scarcity and limited resources, the more we’re going to create just that.

    • votermom says:

      Yttik is right, wealth is not a zero-sum game.

      But power IS a zero-sum game. There is always only a total of 100% power in any relationship.
      In words that an occupier might understand: here in the government – citizen relationship, who is looking at how much power the government is stealing from the citizen?

    • votermom says:


      There is a political issue involving the inequality of wealth, but it’s not one of fairness. It has to do with the fact that wealth translates into political power, giving the wealthy relatively more power than those less fortunate. That’s certainly anti-democratic, but the only thing we can really do is minimize the effect that individual wealth has on government.

      The advantage of free market capitalism is that people can start out poor and rise to wealth, and therefore power.
      In the big govt socialist utopia the left is striving towards, this is not true. Born poor, you may strive to stay alive at the government’s whim. You will never rise to wealth, and what power you may rise too is strictly within govt bureaucracy.

      • Rangoon78 says:

        You’ve got the free market upward mobity thingie bass ackwards my friend:
        Prosperity & Upward Mobility by Country
        “It turns out that compared to the equivalent set of parent-offspring pairs in Scandinavian countries, sons whose Fathers are in the bottom 20% are much less2 upwardly mobile in the US.”
        The got studies:

        • Rangoon78 says:

          Which brings me to this Must see Video:
          Richard Wolff Discusses the Failure of Capitalism with Bill Moyers

          Wolff mentions that he was a student of Paul Sweezy, who co-authored (with Paul Baran) ‘Monopoly Capitalism: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order’.
          Video here:

        • votermom says:

          I’m not surprised, given the Dem policies of keeping urban populations uneducated and dependent.

        • votermom says:

          It’s the “let’s be Sweden!” fallacy, when we are nothing like Sweden.

        • votermom says:

          I mean, it’s great if people like Sweden, or Canada, or frickin North Korea. So move there.
          But don’t try to change the USA and destroy the constitution in the process all the while claiming it’s to make us more like Sweden.

          I immigrated to America because I believe in freedom and it kills me that so many people born here are pissing that freedom away.
          I’m seriously so pissed off at the world this morning. Need more coffee.

        • wmcb says:

          Tell you what – turn the United States into a small, relatively culturally and racially homogenous country with strictly controlled borders, then we’ll start being more like Sweden. Oh, and we’ll need some other country that is more free-wheeling capitalist to pick up the slack and invent shit for us to buy and invest in and all.

          Because the dirty little secret is that a lot of socialism in Europe only “works” so long as the big bad capitalists are out there doing their evil thing, as sometimes-serendipitous chaotic input into the otherwise closed and stagnant system.

        • Rangoon78 says:

          ” it’s great if people like Sweden, or Canada, or frickin North Korea. So move there.”

          I am reminded of that line From Blazing
          You are the ‘salt of the earth.’
          But I’m a glutton for punishment. I can get my fill here.

        • votermom says:

          If we’re quoting Mel Brooks movies, here’s Obama vs Romney last year:
          So it’s come to this, has it? A fight to the death, mano a mano, man to man, just you and me and my *GUARDS*!

        • myiq2xu says:

          Last time I checked Sweden had become a dictatorial American puppet government that was only extraditing Julian Assange so our government could snatch him up and take him to Gitmo.

          They have a really shitty record on rape convictions too.

        • swanspirit says:

          There are states in the United States that have more diversity at every level , than many European countries have. What passes for thinking these days? And these are the same people who will scream about indigenous people losing their cultures all over the world .
          I think some people on the left throw their brains into the blender of what is cool at the moment , and what comes out is some horrible concoction of conformity .
          I am thinking at this moment of a woman who has devoted her life to the history of women , and vociferously defends every tiny indigenous group all over the world , thinks the United States should have open borders ; but then support the “Palestinians” and berates the “Jews” every chance she gets.
          Such convoluted thinking has to hurt .

  3. I’m going to play devil’s advocate here and suggest that we have, in fact, returned to this:

    That does not mean we should return to laissez-faire capitalism of the 19th Century.

    And that’s the problem. I don’t like this talk of “wealth distribution” or demonizing those, like Bill Gates, who have made honest bucks selling useful products in our capitalist system, which I agree is the best we’ve managed to find so far. However, something accounts for the increased disparity, and there are actual events that be pointed to as the cause. For examples, the repeal of the Glass Steagall act of the Clinton years, which led directly to the housing bust for which we are paying with this current recession, or the squeezing of a fair tax rate on capital gains. Add to that the corruption of our government bailing these bad actors out. This is the problem and this is why our current times do, in some ways, mirror those of the late 19th century and early 20th.

    So I think there is a middle area of analysis. While Occupy Wall Street is a fake movement populated largely by the children of the well-advantaged, they do have a point. Likewise do advocates of capitalism who suggest that we should guard against reactionary actions that completely change the system. But here’s the thing: last time we were here it took a middle man like FDR to mediate between outright revolution among the masses and complete thievery among the very rich.

    Sadly for us, there is no such middle man on the horizon, and he or she would have to be ten times more honest that FDR anyway.

    • votermom says:

      The focus of the regulation is mis-aimed (on purpose).

      Regulation should be focused on keeping the markets free, so that competition can thrive. No player should have an unfair advantage, because that skews the market.

      Instead today the government uses regulation to keep a thumb on the scale, favoring their cronies. The govt issues so many rules, so much regulation, and imposes so many fees, in the name of “looking out for x, y, z causes” that no one can can compete UNLESS this same govt grants them special waivers & exemptions.
      This is a classic set-up for corruption.

      • Yes, it’s a matter of regulatory capture. Add to it the fact that so many of these so-called regulators are conditioning their regulees in order to acquire lucrative gainful employment at the ends of their tenure, and there is so much cross-over from the corporate ranks to government offices, it’s a recipe for disaster.

        I think we will continue to find ourselves oscillating between extreme corruption and just-barely-fair for some time, because this is the nature of people. The rich will always find ways to exploit for more wealth, and the middle and poor will never give up their right to agitate for more fairness. These factions must keep each other in balance, in fact, if capitalism is to persevere.

        • wmcb says:

          I agree. Sometimes progressives identify the problem well enough, but they err in thinking that being punitive to the rich and railing against profit is the solution. It isn’t. It’s all in the structure – in setting things up so that their profit lies in investing in jobs and growth here.

    • yttik says:

      Something else that has contributed to the wealth gap, is government borrowing and the nat’l debt. Ironically the Gov claims to be spending and borrowing all this money to help the poor, when in fact what they’re doing is raising the cost of goods and services. The poor are actually earning more money than any other time in our history, ten times what our grandparents earned, it’s just that everything now costs so damned much.

      • Well there is that, too. Also, we so often hear that the safety net (excluding SS & medicaid/medicare) is only about 3% of our budget, but people never stop to consider that the poor are being bought off for pennies so that the elite can make off with a significant portion of the rest.

    • Somebody says:

      I agree with you Lola I think although slightly different we are pretty close those times.

  4. elliesmom says:

    Ellie and I are off to the groomers this morning. Shampoo, cut, blow dry, manicure and pedicure for me – $65. Shampoo, haircut, blow dry, manicure, and pedicure for Ellie – $75. In all fairness, when we get home, she will look better than I do.

  5. driguana says:

    Good post. Well articulated…and that seems to be one of the biggest problems facing our country right now…..too much fighting about points of view and not enough elucidation about actual choices.

  6. wmcb says:

    Another thing that the wealth disparity wailers fail to mention: That top 5%? It’s not the same people from year to year. They always speak of it as some static group of the same old evil white men hogging all the wealth. Our version of permanent nobility. The forever rich.

    Nope. That’s a lie. I’ll have to dig it up, but I believe I read that less than 25% of the people who are in the million-dollar bracket in any given year are still there 5 years later. The bracket is still the same size or larger, but its made up mostly of entirely different people than previously. Because income is fluid in this country. Fortunes are both made and lost, all the time. The same is true for the “lazy poor”. In five years time, a hefty chunk of those in that bracket are OUT of it, and others moved in. The 12% poverty rate may remain steady, but it’s not the same people in it all the time. Same for the wealthy.

    That’s what the importers of European socialism never seemed to get. It came from a place where class WAS a rigid thing. For centuries in Europe and Asia, if you were born rich you stayed rich, if you were born poor you were fucked. The rush to collectivism at least halfway made a little sense for them. But it didn’t, and never has, for us. No, we are not a Horatio Alger story every minute, and there is a small percentage who get down and stay down, a tiny few who hang on to their wealth. But we have the most income mobility of any society ever in history. Astoundingly so.

    If I have a beef with The Evil Rich, it’s not that they are wealthy. I could give a shit about that. It’s that they have lately taken to using their wealth not in productive creation of value, but in chasing paper profits that produce nothing. But the longer I study that, the more I suspect that it’s our govt, not their evil hearts, at fault. A govt that has structured the economy such that gambling on bubbles and gaming pols for favors is the avenue to profit. There’s no money anymore in opening a factory. Pols that can cut you a regulatory deal give a better return on investment.

    Wealth will flow to where it can make more wealth. Period. Law of the universe. Quit bitching and moralizing about what they ought to do and figure out how to structure things to make it profitable for the rich to make stuff and provide jobs. Because if it’s profitable, then they will get their fat asses up off their hoards of gold and DO that shit.

    • Falstaff says:

      I doubt that this can be true of the US. The US and UK have significantly lower levels of intergenerational social mobility than other industrialized countries, at least from studies I recall from a few years back.

      • wmcb says:

        Yes, it’s true. Our poor generally do better than their parents did.

        • Falstaff says:

          I didn’t say that there was no income mobility here, but the statistics show that the US does fairly poorly on that score compared to other industrialized countries. We simply do not have “the most income mobility of any society ever in history.” We don’t bring up the rear on this score, but the US and the UK show significantly less intergenerational income mobility than many other countries.

        • myiq2xu says:

          I’d like to see those stats. I’m sure some of the newly-emerging industrial powers like China and SK look pretty good statistically right now. The US and GB had their capitalism-fueled industrial revolutions a lot earlier.

        • Falstaff says:

          Google “income mobility by country” and you should get plenty of data. The stuff I recall was from the OECD back in about 2010, where US, UK, and ITA were the laggards.

          • myiq2xu says:

            I generally rely on the people who make assertions to do their own research.

            But . . .

            Skeptics caution that the studies measure “relative mobility” — how likely children are to move from their parents’ place in the income distribution. That is different from asking whether they have more money. Most Americans have higher incomes than their parents because the country has grown richer.

            Some conservatives say this measure, called absolute mobility, is a better gauge of opportunity. A Pew study found that 81 percent of Americans have higher incomes than their parents (after accounting for family size). There is no comparable data on other countries.

            Since they require two generations of data, the studies also omit immigrants, whose upward movement has long been considered an American strength. “If America is so poor in economic mobility, maybe someone should tell all these people who still want to come to the U.S.,” said Stuart M. Butler, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

        • wmcb says:

          Most of the studies that show more mobility in *some* (not all) European countries are looking at overall social mobility, not merely income. Many of them include education (more educated than your parents), etc as part of their data set. A boon, to be sure, but it muddies the water when arguing pure income differences.

          Most of the southern european countries such as Italy and even France did not score well, despite similar redistributionist economies. The tiny Nordic countries did best of all. Which again comes back to cultural and size factors that may perhaps be a bigger player in the successes than anything else.

          Which, when you think about it, might be an argument for a return to more Federalism here. Evidently, it is much easier to be successful when governance is smaller and more localized.

          Wanna be like Sweden? States Rights!! Oh, and education vouchers w/ complete school choice, too. Sweden has that.

      • Comparing “industrialized societies” is tricky. Like comparing melons. Watermelons have much redder meat than cantaloupes. So what? Statistics can be made to say many things.

  7. yttik says:

    Besides the nat’l debt and gov borrowing driving up the cost of goods and services, I don’t think people realize how much the Gov regulates the poor. We talk about “regulating capitalism” as if that means putting limits on giant corporations, but what it actually means is trickling down more regulations onto the poor. For example, the amount of regulations, taxes, and hoops that a small business must jump through are staggering. It now takes thousands of dollars just to start a small business and meet all those regulations. But big corporations, government donors, they are often given waivers, exemptions, tax breaks. Everybody feels good, politicians, advocates for social change, when a new regulation is passed, but what they don’t understand is how that regulation is going to be applied and who it will impact. We regulate the poor right into poverty in this country.

    Obamacare is another regulation on the poor. Now the poor are mandated to either buy insurance or go on medicaid, another program full of regulations and restrictions on the poor. You can’t earn too much money, you’ll lose your medicaid and actually face a fine. But if you’re on medicaid the state has the right to pay themselves back out of your assets, wages. Obamacare for poor people is like mandated poverty.

    • wmcb says:

      HONK! I am constantly beating that drum that a lot of our “regulation”, no matter what they tell you it is intended to do, has the demonstrable effect of making it impossible for anyone but a mega-corporation to do business. Small businesses get squeezed and squeezed off the “competitive” playing field.

      But all the pols have to do to get the stupid progs on board with any new set of rules is to stand up and yell “This is REGULATION, and is gonna put a HURT on those rich fatcats!” And the lemmings cheer and demand that it be done. Morons.

      They lie. They lie like they breathe.

    • votermom says:

  8. votermom says:

    Not so OT

  9. votermom says:

  10. Constance says:

    But you can’t leave the Gates foundation out of this discussion of what is good for humankind. Gates and Warren Buffet have both funneled huge portions of their wealth into this foundation to benefit societies around the world. I think they have also signed up the Facebook founder. The foundation has an endowment of 36.2 billion. So essentially the super-wealthy have taxed them selves after already paying taxes, only the endowment money is not run through the government and it’s corruption before it reaches the poor and programs that don’t work are not continued. Plus the money is granted to explore new ideas rather than continue hungry but ineffective bureaucracies. I have to believe The People are better off with these wealthy folks directing the way this money is spent than if the government seized their money and dithered it away.

    • wmcb says:

      That’s an often overlooked point. The question really isn’t “Are these wealthy people doing everything they *ought* to do with their money?” Some are, some aren’t, it varies. Some are assholes, some are philanthropists and dream builders.

      The more important question is: “Not in theory, but in reality and based on its track record, is the federal govt going to do an exponentially better job at allocating those resources?”

      And based on the degree to which they waste, abuse, and play political games with the money they already have, my answer is: Likely not. The mistake the Left often makes is comparing “what is” to an imaginary utopia that plays out like they imagine, instead of comparing “what” is to what’s most likely to happen in the real world if we do X.

      • wmcb says:

        And BTW, I feel the same way about strict pure libertarians and their utopian dreams. Nice in concept. Never works out that way.

      • votermom says:

        Once you start pointing out the charity from the wealthy; the left counters with a) it’s just a tax avoidance strategy (as if that makes it less helpful to the recipients) b) it’s often trhough eviiil religious charities like that horrible Catholic Church or evangelical churches etc.

        (So let’s use tax money to give F16s to the Musim Brotherhood instead.)

      • wmcb says:

        I really think it all goes back to having a realistic view of human nature, which our founders had in spades. Human beings are capable of incredible kindness and social good. We are also base, venal, fearful, advantage-seeking, self-interested fucks.

        The anarcho-libertarians are full of crap, because they *assume* that human beings in a largely unfettered state are not going to band together in gangs of bullies and oppress the weak. Bullshit. They most certainly will. I don’t know whatever gave you the impression that they won’t, because it surely wasn’t observation of real live human beings.

        The Statists are full of crap because they *assume* that in giving the State massive power, the State is not going to be composed of the same venal, selfish, corrupt men that compose the rest of humanity, who are all too likely to become law-wielding robber barons in their own right. Bullshit. They most certainly will. Even cursory observation of governmental authorities over time could have told you that.

        It’s a balancing act. There is no perfect world, ever. The trick lies in just enough structure to fend off too much chaos, but not so much that the Structure itself, and those in charge of its levers, become the threat to free and unfettered existence. It’s called the United States Constitution. Damn fine document, in its time. Pity we forgot everything the founding fathers knew about the realities of human nature.

  11. swanspirit says:

    BUT BUT , didn’t you know we are ALL “welfare queens”?

    TIME Executive Editor: “We’re All Socialists From The Day We’re Born… We’re All Welfare Queens”…

    “We’re all socialists from the day we’re born. You know, you don’t have to be poor or unemployed to be on Welfare. We’re all at the trough. We’re all Welfare queens.”

    Wait, we’re what?


    • votermom says:

      What an idiot.

    • votermom says:

    • yttik says:

      Okay, so since we’re all born socialists in the the US, that would explain the huge gap between the rich and the poor!That is exactly what happens under socialism. Only a select few are allowed to have any wealth. The rest of us get to stand in bread lines.

      This is the fundamental debate going on in our country right now. Some people believe we are sending ourselves right to the poorhouse with all the subsidies and Gov spending, which looks a whole lot like too much socialism. Others believe we need to spend more and create more socialism to fix the problem.

  12. votermom says:


  13. HELENK says:

    Used to be that Horatio Alger was a hero. Now it is you work and earn and you owe me because you worked and earned.
    crazy world we live in now

  14. HELENK says:


    this story might explain some of the problem. wouldn’t be nice if all states did this.

  15. wmcb says:

    You know, we’d solve a lot of the problems if we would agressively enforce our existing Anti-Trust legislation, instead of continuing to pile on “regulations” that cripple small and mid-sized businesses.

    I am old enough to remember the breakup of Ma Bell. Best damn thing to happen in a long time, economically speaking. There was an explosion of telecommunications startups that went on to employ millions, once the Big Dawg hogging the market and preventing competition got cut down to a judicious size.

    That’s the kind of “interference” in the market that I favor. Because it’s not directing industry and planning what they can and can’t do, and hovering over them like a nervous schoolmarm. It’s simply recognizing that monopolies stagnate market competion and eliminating them.

    Small and mid-sized banks are disappearing in this country, at an alarming rate, almost entirely due to the Dodd-Frank regulation. It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad. They got that turd passed because people were so pissed off at the mega banks, yet it hasn’t hurt them one iota. On the contrary, it has cleared the field of competion for them. If ALL we had done was break the fuckers up, and not written a single regulation more, we’d have been better off.

    It’s been YEARS since I heard politicians talk seriously about the problems of monopolies. From either side. Maybe Kucinich or Paul once or twice, but nobody mainstream.

  16. HELENK says:

    off topic


    aside from billions of bullets now DHS is buying light tanks.

    between that and backtrack’s policies wondering if the present government is looking forward to starting a civil war

    • votermom says:

      I keep seeing these reports of DHS buying ammo, now tanks, and inferences that they are training officers to shoot on pregnant women & kids, and I just block it out. I can’t deal with the implications.

      • votermom says:

        Then there’s reports like this, where political opposition is painted as terrorism

        Democrats and the media have accused Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) of “McCarthyism” merely for posing tough questions to and about Chuck Hagel during the latter’s confirmation as Secretary of Defense. Yet a recent column by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich reveals who the real McCarthyites are in U.S. politics today, as Reich likens the Tea Party to a conspiracy “to undermine the government of the United States.”
        Reich, who has steadfastly supported President Barack Obama’s big-government, tax-and-spend agenda, wrote that the Tea Party had “infiltrated” the government at every level, and had used the budget cuts in the sequester to begin “dismantling pieces of it.” He outlined the rest of his conspiracy theory at the left-wing Salon.com:

    • myiq2xu says:

      The only logical conclusion is that our government is expecting (or at least anticipating) some major civil unrest in the near future. That is, of course, totally at-odds with what they say publicly.

  17. HELENK says:

    Iowa Hawk

    Harvard students are financial illiterates, finds the least-necessary study of all time http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/03/03/even-harvard-students-need-help-learning-about-finances/ojerRhSoZU2NhEpdQOIisK/story.html

    • wmcb says:

      Agreed, but ?? What’s he said now?

    • wmcb says:

      Sheesh, that’s just painful. It was very telling that Matt kept coming back to demanding what Davis’ *policy* stance was re: Amtrak. Who says Davis even *has* a preferred policy? And why the fuck should it matter whether he does or not? What does that have to do with an accounting error? But Matt was almost painfully anxious to find out this central all-important truth of where Davis’ loyalties lay.

      It’s a Lefty tic. It’s a remarkable tell.

      “I can’t argue any facts with you until you tell me what side you are on, because that’s going to determine what I do with the objective data you are giving me.”

  18. votermom says:

    School to offer counseling to students traumatized by 2nd grader’s pastry gun

    • wmcb says:

      Love this from the article:

      Pretty sure that if your children are “troubled” by another kid biting a pastry into something that looks sort of like a gun and waving said pastry around, you have already failed as a parent.

      • Lulu says:

        The wienie-fication of children. If you say “boo” to them they cry at age 8. It is also to make sure they never fight back and just dutifully cringe.

        • votermom says:

          It’s cult-like. Guns are now sinful, and must be shunned and reviled.

        • Lulu says:

          The problem is that they still have aggressive tendencies as all human beings do. It changes their aggression into things like misogyny, bullying, class hatred, elitism, intolerance, stuff like that. Normal childhood behavior such as playing with food that they don’t really want to eat or throwing pine cones and pretending they are hand grenades is viewed as harmful and aberrant but sexualizing children is fine. They are projecting their own neurosis onto children.

    • Wonders out loud if similar ostracization happened to Adam Lanza. Notice how it’s all the other kids who need counseling, but this kid is a monster is a monster to be removed from the premises. $1,000 says the principal is a gun control nut furthering a political agenda.

      • wmcb says:

        I swear, for all the abuses of the church (and there were many), I wonder if there is something in the human psyche that just *needs* original sin and shunning and a guilt-system and sinners.

        Because from what I can see, from the race and PC crap to guns to the environment, the Left threw off one social-norm religion only to embrace another. “Beat me, authority figure. Or beat that guy over there. I NEED to feel either guilty or morally superior in turns.”

        It’s really sick.

        • votermom says:

          Humans are always re-inevnting religion. It fills some kind of group need.

        • yttik says:

          I know! It’s like some people can leave the church, but only the positive parts get left behind. They take all the guilt and shame with them. They don’t see the hypocrisy in complaining about those who condemn others to hell, while they themselves are condemning everyone else to global warming hell! It’s like the darn Inquisition around here if you forget your reusable grocery bags. Heaven forbid you don’t recycle.

    • myiq2xu says:

      My grandma had a pastry gun. If we were good while she was baking a cake she would “shoot” the last of the frosting into our mouths.

  19. HELENK says:


    interesting article on what happened to Detroit

  20. HELENK says:

    new ad

  21. HELENK says:


    the answer to why insurance premiums are rising

  22. yttik says:

    Maybe we could become like China?Their Gov is building giant cities that sit empty like ghost towns, mostly because the majority of the population lives off of less than two dollars a day and can’t afford the fancy housing.

    It reminds me a lot of Obamacare. The Gov is allegedly so kind and compassionate, they’re going to make sure everybody has healthcare. The problem is, they didn’t take into account the fact that if we could afford it, we’d already have it.

    This is the real problem with putting Gov in charge of taking care of people. They’re totally out of touch with what people need and most of the time, they’re so tainted by corruption, they don’t even care anymore.

  23. HELENK says:


    WOW this article says what many have thought since 2008

  24. Rangoon78 says:

    Dear twice as smart: uax4stats:
    I got ur stats right here:

    Prosperity & Upward Mobility by Country

    Seriously though, if Bill Gates can do it so can you.

  25. John Denney says:

    “Everyone who receives a paycheck enhances the wealth of the wealthy by being paid less than the amount of wealth they produce.”

    True. But it’s a mutually beneficial two-way street. An idea guy can’t do his thing all alone, he needs workers, and so pays them part of the value of his idea. Why would he pay them the entire value? And without him, the workers would have done what?

  26. Pingback: I Wanna Hate a Billionaire So Fricking Bad - GEEKKENYA

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