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News & Politics News & Politics

The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats(Written by a very astute billionaire))

Posted by on Jun. 28, 2014 at 12:21 AM
Kat
  • 24 Replies
1 mom liked this

I am not going to post it all, because the article is 4 pages long. This guy sees what I see in the future if something doesn't change. Probably most of you Conservative ladies will disagree with what this man is saying, but please, just do ONE thing:

THINK ABOUT IT! What happened on Bastille Day? 

peeking

Memo: From Nick Hanauer
To: My Fellow Zillionaires

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

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, just12 percent.

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.

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.

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.

The most ironic thing about rising inequality is how completely unnecessary and self-defeating it is. If we do something about it, if we adjust our policies in the way that, say, Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression—so that we help the 99 percent and preempt the revolutionaries and crazies, the ones with the pitchforks—that will be the best thing possible for us rich folks, too. It’s not just that we’ll escape with our lives; it’s that we’ll most certainly get even richer.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014.html#ixzz35u6dLbBo


by on Jun. 28, 2014 at 12:21 AM
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Replies (1-10):
joyfree
by Kat on Jun. 28, 2014 at 12:22 AM

BUMP!

joyfree
by Kat on Jun. 28, 2014 at 12:22 AM

BUMP!

joyfree
by Kat on Jun. 28, 2014 at 1:20 AM

Anyone???

Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Jun. 28, 2014 at 1:56 AM

BUMP!

Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Jun. 28, 2014 at 1:58 AM
3 moms liked this

Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Jun. 28, 2014 at 2:00 AM
3 moms liked this

joyfree
by Kat on Jun. 28, 2014 at 2:03 AM

BUMP!

Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Jun. 28, 2014 at 2:05 AM
1 mom liked this


The Gini coefficient (also known as the Gini index or Gini ratio) (/ini/) is ameasure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income distribution of a nation's residents. 

The Gini coefficient was proposed by Gini as a measure of inequality of income or wealth.[5] For OECD countries, in the late 2000s, considering the effect of taxes and transfer payments, the income Gini coefficient ranged between 0.24 to 0.49, with Slovenia the lowest and Chile the highest.[6] 

The Gini coefficient is usually defined mathematically based on the Lorenz curve, which plots the proportion of the total income of the population (y axis) that is cumulatively earned by the bottom x% of the population

The line at 45 degrees thus represents perfect equality of incomes. The Gini coefficient can then be thought of as the ratio of the area that lies between the line of equality and the Lorenz curve (marked A in the diagram) over the total area under the line of equality (marked A and B in the diagram); i.e., G = A / (A + B).

If all people have non-negative income (or wealth, as the case may be), the Gini coefficient can theoretically range from 0 (complete equality) to 1 (complete inequality); it is sometimes expressed as a percentage ranging between 0 and 100. In practice, both extreme values are not quite reached.

A low Gini coefficient indicates a more equal distribution, with 0 corresponding to complete equality, while higher Gini coefficients indicate more unequal distribution, with 1 corresponding to complete inequality. When used as a measure of income inequality, the most unequal society (assuming no negative incomes) will be one in which a single person receives 100% of the total income and the remaining people receive none (G = 1−1/N); and the most equal society will be one in which every person receives the same income (G = 0).


Here is how the Gini coefficient has varied in America over the last 50 years:

Note how close it now is to .49 - the highest of any country in the world.

29again
by Gold Member on Jun. 28, 2014 at 2:05 AM
1 mom liked this

I read only what you provided.  And....... for the most part, I agree with him.  He does see things coming, that a lot of people don't see.  Well, I don't know how well the plutocrats see into the future, how well they can read the writing on the wall, and all that... I am guessing about as well as most of us. 

He is most likely correct.

Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Jun. 28, 2014 at 2:13 AM
3 moms liked this


Quoting 29again:

He is most likely correct.

Societies can get less unequal without pitchforks and revolutions.

When a majority of the electorate see not only inequality but unfair and harmful inequality, they're likely to pass laws intended to correct it a bit.

That may be delayed if the minority are able to use their greater wealth to buy a larger say in the political process.   But, when the inequality gets large enough, and the use of money in the political process obvious enough, it can only be delayed so long.

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