Sunday, August 7, 2016

#0 Ultra-rich man’s letter: “To My Fellow Filthy Rich Americans: The Pitchforks Are Coming”

Source 

This article appeared recently and begged for a response and some comments. Per usual, Hanauer's article appears in blue, my remarks in black:

By NICK HANAUER

You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist.

By our definition a capitalist must be rich enough to begin with to make money on money without actually working for it in terms of time spent to produce a good or service. If you aren't rich to begin with, you are not capable by our definition of being a capitalist. Contrary to very misleading propaganda to the contrary, poor entrepreneurs are NOT capitalists, they are free enterprisers, turning their innate wealth to making an income to live on; bartering for their existence. No capitalist needs to worry about bartering for his existence. He has acquired from whatever means, sufficient split barter, accumulated enough “claims against existing stores of goods and services” to enable him to risk his money to make more, with or without actual work.

I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first non family investor.

Please notice that these are listed as accomplishments when in fact the chances of being able to do what Hanauer has done is not available to any that aren't far enough up the wealth pyramid to begin with. Some capitalists are in families, and this is often the case. It seems to have played a part here.  If the capitalist has the resources of his family to use, he is already one step ahead of those that do not.

Then I founded aQuantive, an Internet advertising company that was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion. In cash. My friends and I own a bank.

Notice here what we have said before; many entrepreneurs have in mind building some business with the intention to appeal to bigger capitalists (sharks) to buy out the company and pay the founders cash in a buy out. This is certainly part of capitalism.

I tell you all this to demonstrate that in many ways I’m no different from you. Like you, I have a broad perspective on business and capitalism. And also like you, I have been rewarded obscenely for my success, with a life that the other 99.99 percent of Americans can’t even imagine. Multiple homes, my own plane, etc., etc.

To most of you out there, all this man's stuff you would regard as wealth, even though in all probability, very little of it could be sold at today's market and produce a gain. On the contrary, as we have said, mere stuff is not wealth and in fact a lot of stuff is incapable of being sold for what it was paid for, therefore all that money has died, never to return. All their stuff accomplishes little or nothing as far as the general economy is concerned. Hanauer himself explains this.  

You know what I’m talking about. In 1992, I was selling pillows made by my family’s business, Pacific Coast Feather Co., to retail stores across the country, and the Internet was a clunky novelty to which one hooked up with a loud squawk at 300 baud. But I saw pretty quickly, even back then, that many of my customers, the big department store chains, were already doomed. I knew that as soon as the Internet became fast and trustworthy enough—and that time wasn’t far off—people were going to shop online like crazy. Goodbye, Caldor. And Filene’s. And Borders. And on and on.

Realizing that, seeing over the horizon a little faster than the next guy, was the strategic part of my success. The lucky part was that I had two friends, both immensely talented, who also saw a lot of potential in the web. One was a guy you’ve probably never heard of named Jeff Tauber, and the other was a fellow named Jeff Bezos. I was so excited by the potential of the web that I told both Jeffs that I wanted to invest in whatever they launched, big time. It just happened that the second Jeff—Bezos—called me back first to take up my investment offer. So I helped underwrite his tiny start-up bookseller. The other Jeff started a web department store called Cybershop, but at a time when trust in Internet sales was still low, it was too early for his high-end online idea; people just weren’t yet ready to buy expensive goods without personally checking them out (unlike a basic commodity like books, which don’t vary in quality—Bezos’ great insight). Cybershop didn’t make it, just another dot-com bust. Amazon did somewhat better. Now I own a very large yacht.

What is he leaving out of all this? He mentions a technical shift from the big department store chains to the internet. The department store chains represented wealth because they provided an income to their owners (who could be anonymous investors) and their employees. The investors could sell out and perhaps retain or make their money but those employed by these businesses are on their own.. The internet also represents wealth in that it is capable of generating an income from its commercial (.com) websites. But in the technical shifts, as happens whenever one occurs, wealth is actually destroyed, which may or may not reappear somewhere else with enough income to support as many as were provided an adequate means to split barter for necessities for their existence. A technical replacement has occurred which has destroyed wealth as it has accumulated it in fewer hands elsewhere; enabling Hanauer and his kind to buy yachts.  

But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.

At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.

It's actually worse than that, as we have shown here.

But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution. 

Notice how startlingly Hanauer says, some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The one inequality that matters is one amounting to access to money, pure and simple. Hanauer would like for you to imagine that just about anyone could become as rich as he is, but that's not actually so. He rode to his success on other people's money and they certainly had a say in what he has accomplished, or they wouldn't have lent him more. Nevertheless, he'd like to imagine that the illusion of political equality is still worth preserving, when it isn't. That goes for the other two falsehoods too, liberty and brotherhood. They certainly can't be enFORCED by any state without some toxic social deformations as have certainly occurred.

And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

I don't know about all that. History shows that people pretty much put up with anything rather than anything that looks to be headed for lives which are “nasty, brutish and short.” People in the past have fallen quite low with surprisingly little protest. But we are awake to a great extent now, and this is the 21st century. We may see a huge upheaval, something quite unprecidented.

Many of us think we’re special because “this is America.” We think we’re immune to the same forces that started the Arab Spring—or the French and Russian revolutions, for that matter. I know you fellow .01%ers tend to dismiss this kind of argument; I’ve had many of you tell me to my face I’m completely bonkers. And yes, I know there are many of you who are convinced that because you saw a poor kid with an iPhone that one time, inequality is a fiction.

Amazing that he's saying that among his kind, they would still want to believe in the idealism represented by social or any other kind of enFORCED equality. What he, and a lot of people completely fail to see, is that inequality is natural and the lack of respect for people's differences lies at the root of many social problems.

The model for us rich guys here should be Henry Ford, who realized that all his autoworkers in Michigan weren’t only cheap labor to be exploited; they were consumers, too. Ford figured that if he raised their wages, to a then-exorbitant $5 a day, they’d be able to afford his Model Ts.

What a great idea. My suggestion to you is: Let’s do it all over again. We’ve got to try something. These idiotic trickle-down policies are destroying my customer base. And yours too.

He's right. What was one of Riegel's motivations? We've hit on it a few times; he believed that all common labor was grossly underpaid. But listen to what this guy next says,

It’s when I realized this that I decided I had to leave my insulated world of the super-rich and get involved in politics. Not directly, by running for office or becoming one of the big-money billionaires who back candidates in an election. Instead, I wanted to try to change the conversation with ideas—by advancing what my co-author, Eric Liu, and I call “middle-out” economics. It’s the long-overdue rebuttal to the trickle-down economics worldview that has become economic orthodoxy across party lines—and has so screwed the American middle class and our economy generally. Middle-out economics rejects the old misconception that an economy is a perfectly efficient, mechanistic system and embraces the much more accurate idea of an economy as a complex ecosystem made up of real people who are dependent on one another.

All emphasis mine. OK, a few points:

Political activism is a waste of time and irrelevant since the state is the problem in that it is engaged in doing what actually causes the problem to begin with, in league with the Federal Reserve and the banks that really run things. My father had this to say,

TRYING is for lawyers and PRACTICING for doctors. DOING is for leaders.”

There is nothing to fix in the existing system. It is inept and at bottom illegitimate since it has usurped the natural fiat of everyman. Specifically it has done this through issuance of fraudulent money. We all use it because it functions as money, but because the system itself is built on frauds, it will eventually fail and those at the top of it shall certainly suffer the worst at its fall. There is no possible economics conversation change that can happen as trust has been lost. Too many lies have been told and exposure is certain and inevitable. Nevertheless he'll try.

Which is why the fundamental law of capitalism must be: If workers have more money, businesses have more customers. Which makes middle-class consumers, not rich businesspeople like us, the true job creators. Which means a thriving middle class is the source of American prosperity, not a consequence of it. The middle class creates us rich people, not the other way around.

At least he understands that much. We would also say that a strong middle class that understands SANITY when it sees it in normal daily life and would prefer living lives with the REASONABLE EXPECTATION of continuing peace tends to promote most of the social justice most people say they would like, or think they would like. It's difficult to know these days because there is such a welter of propaganda afoot about everything. Fabrications and outright lies are told every day in an effort to sway public opinion one way or another. It is one thing to be aware of the makers of public opinion, it is quite another to be able to lift the curtains and see what they intend on doing, much of it obviously INSANE and not promoting anything like a REASONABLE EXPECTATION of continuing peace, especially if you happen to be where some other people do not want you to be. Without a middle class, there wont be any civilization. Though the rich might be able to stand above a feudal system ruled by brute FORCE, all the benefits of civilized life will fade away and a vast barbarism will eventually present itself all around their private domains – unless they figure out a way to kill 90% of us while remaining alive themselves. Don't laugh. They have written about such scenarios for a long time. I merged the following 2 paragraphs,

On June 19, 2013, Bloomberg published an article I wrote called “The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage.” Forbes labeled it “Nick Hanauer’s near insane” proposal. And yet, just weeks after it was published, my friend David Rolf, a Service Employees International Union organizer, roused fast-food workers to go on strike around the country for a $15 living wage. Nearly a year later, the city of Seattle passed a $15 minimum wage. And just 350 days after my article was published, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed that ordinance into law. How could this happen, you ask? It happened because we reminded the masses that they are the source of growth and prosperity, not us rich guys. We reminded them that when workers have more money, businesses have more customers—and need more employees. We reminded them that if businesses paid workers a living wage rather than poverty wages, taxpayers wouldn’t have to make up the difference. And when we got done, 74 percent of likely Seattle voters in a recent poll agreed that a $15 minimum wage was a swell idea.

"The masses," are what the Hanauers of this world call the rest of us, as if we are ants not people. He's strongly advised to drop this from his common usage and spread it among his class as we highly resent it. OK, here's the problem: the smaller businesses do not have the extra money to pay because they must borrow it form a bank at interest. This presents all sorts of problems. Those with better credit ratings or more exposure to debt that the bankers want repaid get more money to buy higher pay for more workers than a small start up. It's another obvious way the big eat up the small because all capitalism eventually eats its own since it is based on usury, the asking back of that which was never created. Hanauer knows nothing of our self financing of labour proposals and how that affects a real change, a death blow to the present monetary order. If you can't pay us with our own money, you're just aiding the fraud that leaves you vulnerable to inevitable retribution. A book wont do it. All the soft soap sappy histrionics imaginable wont do it either.  Since George Carlin, more people are onto the essential dishonesty of the system that only benefits those who "own" the money.. 

The standard response in the minimum-wage debate, made by Republicans and their business backers and plenty of Democrats as well, is that raising the minimum wage costs jobs. Businesses will have to lay off workers. This argument reflects the orthodox economics that most people had in college. If you took Econ 101, then you literally were taught that if wages go up, employment must go down. The law of supply and demand and all that. That’s why you’ve got John Boehner and other Republicans in Congress insisting that if you price employment higher, you get less of it. Really

If you do not allow labour to price itself and pay itself in its own money, then you will have solved nothing. NOTHING! The problem is the price of money (because it is a commodity) not the price of labour in the present order. Under the present rules relating to money, the standard economics explanation suffices because there is a built in scarcity to all money built into the present order that influences how much labour can be paid and how its costs fit into the costs of goods or services sold, etc. ALSO and this is an important factor, there are plenty of instances where investments are made and facilities built BEFORE any genuine need is perceived and a few months or years later, these places are abandoned.

The thing about us businesspeople is that we love our customers rich and our employees poor.

You're right, it's incredibly dumb! But you wont fix it using their system, never! It isn't designed for it.

Because here’s an odd thing. During the past three decades, compensation for CEOs grew 127 times faster than it did for workers. Since 1950, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio has increased 1,000 percent, and that is not a typo. CEOs used to earn 30 times the median wage; now they rake in 500 times. Yet no company I know of has eliminated its senior managers, or outsourced them to China or automated their jobs. Instead, we now have more CEOs and senior executives than ever before. So, too, for financial services workers and technology workers. These folks earn multiples of the median wage, yet we somehow have more and more of them.

The thing about us businesspeople is that we love our customers rich and our employees poor. So for as long as there has been capitalism, capitalists have said the same thing about any effort to raise wages. We’ve had 75 years of complaints from big business—when the minimum wage was instituted, when women had to be paid equitable amounts, when child labor laws were created. Every time the capitalists said exactly the same thing in the same way: We’re all going to go bankrupt. I’ll have to close. I’ll have to lay everyone off. It hasn’t happened. In fact, the data show that when workers are better treated, business gets better. The naysayers are just wrong.

They would prefer NOT having to borrow more or pay more interest. Most businesses are very aware of taxes and other fees too. All of these expenses come from states and affect their bottom lines. If it isn't worth it for them, they'd rather not compete. Their inability to compete makes society far less interesting, vibrant or exciting and usually leads to general malaise and apathy followed by violence as so much has been taken from them that they have nothing left. Most economics never considers the importance of depreciation on the money supply, never considers how the wrong decisions of the rich make many of our lives farther down the line more miserable. There is only one antidote to trickle down and that's trickle up. Please read the rest of this blog thoughtfully and thoroughly.

Most of you probably think that the $15 minimum wage in Seattle is an insane departure from rational policy that puts our economy at great risk. But in Seattle, our current minimum wage of $9.32 is already nearly 30 percent higher than the federal minimum wage. And has it ruined our economy yet? Well, trickle-downers, look at the data here: The two cities in the nation with the highest rate of job growth by small businesses are San Francisco and Seattle. Guess which cities have the highest minimum wage? San Francisco and Seattle. The fastest-growing big city in America? Seattle. Fifteen dollars isn’t a risky untried policy for us. It’s doubling down on the strategy that’s already allowing our city to kick your city’s ass.

The same will happen in New York City too where the same has happened. But it's still THEIR money not yours or mine, and I might add, since the money inflates anyway, how long before people demand $30 an hour because prices have doubled? They don't double because wages rise, they double because more money is out there chasing whatever inventories are available but especially because the government is spending what it can't tax back. As the debt level rises, prices rise. This is a deadly cycle. The basis of the money itself is the ultimate cause. You can't solve it your way. I was in Seattle and San Francisco last year. Everything in both places is expensive. I felt they had become as expensive as New York.

It makes perfect sense if you think about it: If a worker earns $7.25 an hour, which is now the national minimum wage, what proportion of that person’s income do you think ends up in the cash registers of local small businesses? Hardly any. That person is paying rent, ideally going out to get subsistence groceries at Safeway, and, if really lucky, has a bus pass. But she’s not going out to eat at restaurants. Not browsing for new clothes. Not buying flowers on Mother’s Day.

All right Nick. Just where is average businessperson going to get more money to pay employees more? They have to borrow it. They increasingly wont bother. More businesses will fail, more people will fall into poverty and pressure will mount.

Is this issue more complicated than I’m making out? Of course. Are there many factors at play determining the dynamics of employment? Yup. But please, please stop insisting that if we pay low-wage workers more, unemployment will skyrocket and it will destroy the economy. It’s utter nonsense.

It isn't Nick. Small businesses can't and wont borrow more money. Forget it. Raise wages everywhere without changing the money and you accomplish absolutely nothing. It's the money itself, stupid! It isn't yours and it isn't mine. It says on all of it to whom it belongs. We want our own and until we get it, things will get bad and go to worse.


The most insidious thing about trickle-down economics isn’t believing that if the rich get richer, it’s good for the economy. It’s believing that if the poor get richer, it’s bad for the economy.

Are you following me? It makes your statements irrelevant! Hear the pitchforks? We have the only solution right here on this blog.

I know that virtually all of you feel that compelling our businesses to pay workers more is somehow unfair, or is too much government interference. Most of you think that we should just let good examples like Costco or Gap lead the way. Or let the market set the price. But here’s the thing. When those who set bad examples, like the owners of Wal-Mart or McDonald’s, pay their workers close to the minimum wage, what they’re really saying is that they’d pay even less if it weren’t illegal. (Thankfully both companies have recently said they would not oppose a hike in the minimum wage.) In any large group, some people absolutely will not do the right thing. That’s why our economy can only be safe and effective if it is governed by the same kinds of rules as, say, the transportation system, with its speed limits and stop signs.

I don't believe it! What a tyrant he sounds! Wal-Mart pays by having more of its stores close. They have already many times over exceeded the diminishing returns to scale rule. Probably so have you.

Wal-Mart is our nation’s largest employer with some 1.4 million employees in the United States and more than $25 billion in pre-tax profit. So why are Wal-Mart employees the largest group of Medicaid recipients in many states? Wal-Mart could, say, pay each of its 1 million lowest-paid workers an extra $10,000 per year, raise them all out of poverty and enable them to, of all things, afford to shop at Wal-Mart. Not only would this also save us all the expense of the food stamps, Medicaid and rent assistance that they currently require, but Wal-Mart would still earn more than $15 billion pre-tax per year. Wal-Mart won’t (and shouldn’t) volunteer to pay its workers more than their competitors. In order for us to have an economy that works for everyone, we should compel all retailers to pay living wages—not just ask politely.

Only those who can will under such a tyranny and anyone smaller will simply go out of business. The state has decided in favour of the rich, again! No Nick, our way is better, in fact it is the only way out.

We rich people have been falsely persuaded by our schooling and the affirmation of society, and have convinced ourselves, that we are the main job creators. It’s simply not true. There can never be enough super-rich Americans to power a great economy. I earn about 1,000 times the median American annually, but I don’t buy thousands of times more stuff. My family purchased three cars over the past few years, not 3,000. I buy a few pairs of pants and a few shirts a year, just like most American men. I bought two pairs of the fancy wool pants I am wearing as I write, what my partner Mike calls my “manager pants.” I guess I could have bought 1,000 pairs. But why would I? Instead, I sock my extra money away in savings, where it doesn’t do the country much good.

But it sure does you some good, Nick. After all, capitalism is an ism with capital as socialism is an ism about society, an itch, an irritation. Making money on money without doing any work allows you and yours to steal from everyone else and in order to keep “the masses” quiet, the state as your biggest protector, buys them off with socialism. Capitalism is as surely a form of parasitism as is socialism; they are evil twin sisters spawned by the same class and ilk. Become rich enough and most people would prefer not even knowing you.

So forget all that rhetoric about how America is great because of people like you and me and Steve Jobs. You know the truth even if you won’t admit it: If any of us had been born in Somalia or the Congo, all we’d be is some guy standing barefoot next to a dirt road selling fruit. It’s not that Somalia and Congo don’t have good entrepreneurs. It’s just that the best ones are selling their wares off crates by the side of the road because that’s all their customers can afford.

Because they can't adequately price their own labour in their own money. They have to borrow it and that inevitably leads to theft.

So why not talk about a different kind of New Deal for the American people, one that could appeal to the right as well as left—to libertarians as well as liberals? First, I’d ask my Republican friends to get real about reducing the size of government. Yes, yes and yes, you guys are all correct: The federal government is too big in some ways. But no way can you cut government substantially, not the way things are now. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush each had eight years to do it, and they failed miserably.

They didn't even try. They were both spokesmen. I met them both. They took orders from people behind the curtains. Expecting any political “fronts” not to do the bidding of those who pay them is … ridiculous.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress can’t shrink government with wishful thinking. The only way to slash government for real is to go back to basic economic principles: You have to reduce the demand for government. If people are getting $15 an hour or more, they don’t need food stamps. They don’t need rent assistance. They don’t need you and me to pay for their medical care. If the consumer middle class is back, buying and shopping, then it stands to reason you won’t need as large a welfare state. And at the same time, revenues from payroll and sales taxes would rise, reducing the deficit.

Wishful thinking and not possible using their money or their system. Forget it. Read this blog and think seriously about our proposal.

This is, in other words, an economic approach that can unite left and right. Perhaps that’s one reason the right is beginning, inexorably, to wake up to this reality as well. Even Republicans as diverse as Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum recently came out in favor of raising the minimum wage, in defiance of the Republicans in Congress.

He says this as if politics and state action is the answer, and then says,

One thing we can agree on—I’m sure of this—is that the change isn’t going to start in Washington. Thinking is stale, arguments even more so. On both sides.

But the way I see it, that’s all right. Most major social movements have seen their earliest victories at the state and municipal levels. The fight over the eight-hour workday, which ended in Washington, D.C., in 1938, began in places like Illinois and Massachusetts in the late 1800s. The movement for social security began in California in the 1930s. Even the Affordable Health Care Act—Obamacare—would have been hard to imagine without Mitt Romney’s model in Massachusetts to lead the way.

Sadly, no Republicans and few Democrats get this. President Obama doesn’t seem to either, though his heart is in the right place. In his State of the Union speech this year, he mentioned the need for a higher minimum wage but failed to make the case that less inequality and a renewed middle class would promote faster economic growth. Instead, the arguments we hear from most Democrats are the same old social-justice claims. The only reason to help workers is because we feel sorry for them. These fairness arguments feed right into every stereotype of Obama and the Democrats as bleeding hearts. Republicans say growth. Democrats say fairness—and lose every time.

But just because the two parties in Washington haven’t figured it out yet doesn’t mean we rich folks can just keep going. The conversation is already changing, even if the billionaires aren’t onto it. I know what you think: You think that Occupy Wall Street and all the other capitalism-is-the-problem protesters disappeared without a trace. But that’s not true. Of course, it’s hard to get people to sleep in a park in the cause of social justice. But the protests we had in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis really did help to change the debate in this country from death panels and debt ceilings to inequality.

It’s just that so many of you plutocrats didn’t get the message.

Listen Nick, I doubt they'll get it either. I let him rant on as if what happened in the past was so great that all we need do is do more of it. No no no, it wont work again because it's already been tried many times before. What's even worse is most people are terribly miseducated. Where to cut the Federal government? Start by privatizing education. Dump the Dept. of Education, end UN involvement, kill the UN, etc. But none of that will happen of course because most people are on a bus heading right over a cliff including you, Nick. You have so much that you can't let any of it go so it will consume you. For everyone it helps, hundreds or thousands are dispossessed. I'm disgusted by more lies, Nick. Capitalism enabled you and your pals to grow rich at the expense of everyone else. Retribution is a bitch, Nick.

Dear 1%ers, many of our fellow citizens are starting to believe that capitalism itself is the problem. I disagree, and I’m sure you do too. Capitalism, when well managed, is the greatest social technology ever invented to create prosperity in human societies.

But capitalism left unchecked tends toward concentration and collapse. It can be managed either to benefit the few in the near term or the many in the long term.  

No Nick, it can't. Capitalism is fundamentally incorrect and unsound. It can't be fixed. It will ensnare you just as it has all the rich people I have ever known. F. Scott Fitzgerald was essentially correct. When the rich get a conscience, which doesn't last long, they get out there and try and do as much good as they can, until they get bored and dive right back into their money … which as we say isn't even theirs.

The work of democracies is to bend it to the latter. That is why investments in the middle class work. And tax breaks for rich people like us don’t. Balancing the power of workers and billionaires by raising the minimum wage isn’t bad for capitalism. It’s an indispensable tool smart capitalists use to make capitalism stable and sustainable. And no one has a bigger stake in that than zillionaires like us.

My emphasis: is democracy really democratic? Is everyman truly represented? Of course not.  Democracy is a SCAM Nick!  

The oldest and most important conflict in human societies is the battle over the concentration of wealth and power. The folks like us at the top have always told those at the bottom that our respective positions are righteous and good for all. Historically, we called that divine right. Today we have trickle-down economics.

Emphasis mine and yes we agree. Want to end this? Read this blog thoroughly and thoughtfully.

What nonsense this is. Am I really such a superior person? Do I belong at the center of the moral as well as economic universe? Do you?

No one has to, Nick. If the money was really ours things would be very different and better for everyone, not just those who have had adequate access to either their credit or their gold.

My family, the Hanauers, started in Germany selling feathers and pillows. They got chased out of Germany by Hitler and ended up in Seattle owning another pillow company. Three generations later, I benefited from that. Then I got as lucky as a person could possibly get in the Internet age by having a buddy in Seattle named Bezos. I look at the average Joe on the street, and I say, “There but for the grace of Jeff go I.” Even the best of us, in the worst of circumstances, are barefoot, standing by a dirt road, selling fruit. We should never forget that, or forget that the United States of America and its middle class made us, rather than the other way around.

Or we could sit back, do nothing, enjoy our yachts. And wait for the pitchforks.

Or, some of you could get together with us and we could literally change the world and the course of history. It might just be up to you.

David Burton
venlead2013@aol.com

Current Hypothetical Value of a Hypothetical Value Unit

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