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The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S.

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  • Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - 09:51pm

    #21
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    Re: The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S.

 rhare, I agree we need to be careful about the regulation/deregulation issue.  In truth I think this is another false split setup by the media to distract everyone from the reality of the situation–the regulation is coming from the very people who should be regulated.  So people who trumpet deregulation simply empower Wall St, and those who trumpet regulation likewise empower Wall St because they’re the regulators.  It is a dangerous game to deregulate within the current regulatory framework that’s been created by Wall St.  It’s also a dangerous game to further regulate while Wall St serves as the regulator (Rubin, Paulson, Bernanke, Geithner, and all the ex-Goldman folks staffing our Treasury and other regulatory agencies). For example giving the Fed its desired role as systemic regulator would only be handing over more power to Wall St.  Real regulation can only happen if the regulators truly represent the people.  I think that can only happen if it originates at the state level.  Anything that comes out of the current DC establishment (GOP or Dem) will serve Wall St.  

  • Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - 10:29pm

    #22
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    Re: The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S.

Rickets

"There is good reason for their pay, and if you ever try to compete with them you may learn why.  Its extremely competitve at the top, and to get there requires extremely hard work, study, and yes – connections which take a ton of time to develop as well."

Very true,

Bbut if it turns out that those CEO’s had acted in a way that destroyed the company,while feathering their own nest, a reasonable expectation would be that they would be terminated without bonuses, because their "financial acumen" has been revealed to be lacking.

But it now appears that because of their "connections" they will get billions of taxpayers dollars to backstop their mistakes, and keep getting bonuses.

Cheers Hamish

  • Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - 10:59pm

    #23
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    Re: The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S.

[quote=gyrogearloose]

Bbut if it turns out that those CEO’s had acted in a way that destroyed the company,while feathering their own nest, a reasonable expectation would be that they would be terminated without bonuses, because their "financial acumen" has been revealed to be lacking.

But it now appears that because of their "connections" they will get billions of taxpayers dollars to backstop their mistakes, and keep getting bonuses.

 

[/quote]

Hamish,

Hau kola.  I have been away and return to a site that is much changed.

This was a heavily traveled thread and caught my eye.  What of the CEOs who performed honorably?

 

  • Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - 11:01pm

    #24
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    Re: The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S.

I want to address something else in this article.  It discusses the "Robber Barons" of the late 19th and early 20th century and describes them as "greedy and ruthless businessmen and bankers".  Hmm, doesn’t that sound a bit like the descriptions we are hearing today.  However, the article below discusses the difference between market and political entrepreneurs.  The problem is with the "political entrepreneurs" that use political power and the government to enact legislation that favors them over their competitors rather than creating a better product.  It’s an interesting read and you discover we are just repeating history.

Here is the article: The Truth About the "Robber Barons"

Somewhat related is a very interesting article that talks about generational cycles.  I may have got this link from the CM website in the past, not sure: Boomers – Winter is Coming

— Rob

 

 

  • Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - 11:07pm

    #25
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    Re: The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S.

Lakhota –

Welcome back!!  We certainly have missed you.

It’s an understatement to say that the site has changed – unfortunately a few of the veteran posters are no longer with us.  Lots of new people following Dr. M’s post last week about the Fed buying back Treasury notes.  It looks like the message is getting out.

If you don’t mind my prying, how was your time on Pine Ridge?

  • Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - 11:15pm

    #26
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    Re: The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S.

Hi, Rickets;

I gotta say that I took your initial post much the same way Strabes did . . . It came across as arrogant, condescending, and self-congratulatory, by implication . . .  frankly, everything I don’t like about self-described "successful" Americans.  (Your broad categorization of "lazy" unsuccessful Americans lends me license to paint thus broadly).  Your subsequent post qualifies the temper of your initial remarks, but I am left wondering which post more accurately represents your more candid viewpoint.  I know Dogs from his many posts, and so, I have context within which I can judge the intent of his posts.  Not having that advantage, in your case, I will accept your expanded explanation of your position, but am waiting for more context to draw my conclusions.

— C1oudfire

  • Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - 11:35pm

    #27
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    Re: The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S.

Hello Mr. Dogs,

For your welcome back, pilamaya yelo.

My journey back to Pine Ridge was very sobering.  There is so much despair among many of the members of Lakota Nation on Pine Ridge it is as thick as smoke in the air.  I did accomplish much concerning my effort to personally reconnect with my heritage so despite the sadness there was cause for much celebration.

I must respectfully disagree with your response post to Mr. Rickets.  I believe you have fired an entire quiver of arrows when a single one was called for.  It is not so easy to categorize people as you have and I believe you greatly oversimplified both the problem and the solution.  I do  not say these words with intent to insult, but instead offer this observation made from my time among my people.

Despair is a horribly crippling affliction and I would offer that some number of the people you have broadly labelled are in this place.  For them, their situation has deteriorated to such an extent that they see no way out, despite what opportunities may exist, and they have simply given up and await their final days.  Do you not understand that they would embrace the easy way out, even if it is on the shoulders of others? 

As I said, it is not my intent to cause insult.  I have enjoyed our past conversations both here on Dr. Martenson’s site and privately and look forward to more such conversation.  I think that a less sterile view of things from both sides might be in order in this thread.

 

  • Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - 11:56pm

    #28
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    Re: The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S.

rhare, thank you for the link to the "Robber Barons" article — fascinating read!  I will be looking for the author’s book in my local bookstore.

I, too was a bit put off by some of Rickets initial comments.  I’m not going to deny that there are plenty of lazy people out there and that "good times" make it easier to be that way.  But, it’s just really irksome to me to have generations of people in this country (1800 to 1929) be lumped together into a big pile of laziness.  I think that more than 5% of the population were hard-working during that century. 

And, as for the past two decades, perhaps complacent is a better way to describe many.  I know that up until a couple of years ago I was quite complacent. I was never motivated by fame, fortune, fancy this and that.  I just wanted to do a good job at whatever I did and live an honorable life.  That seemed possible.  Leave the big money to somebody else.  If that makes me "lazy", well, I don’t think so,  but I sure wasn’t lazy in the "give me a handout while I sit on the couch" kind of way.  But, I didn’t realize that I needed to be way more aware of what was going on in the world.  I was like a child wandering through the woods.  Well, at least these days I’m paying a lot more attention to every little twig snap sound in those woods!

becky

  • Wed, Aug 12, 2009 - 12:22am

    #29
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    Re: The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S.

Hau kola Ms. Becky,

You have far more clearly than I stated what I believe is the challenge in this conversation.  There is no winnowing rake that can be applied to society to separate people into the correct category. 

For all people, their lives are a constant journey.  At different ponts in their lives they are paddling with the current, at other times against it and at some times on a difficult and challenging portage.  It is easy to get complacent when going with the current, who would not want to stop and enjoy the ride.  It is when we are against the current that it quickly becomes evident who is working and who is not.  Most realize that the journey will not end without effort so they keep paddling and compensate for those who don’t without complaint.  Some are willing to let others do the work because they know they can get away with it.

It is the difficult portage that will separate the two.  I believe we are approaching unnavigable rapids and our portage is going to test us to our very souls.  It will then become clear who belongs in what group.  I strongly believe that the vast majority of us will realize the need for working through things together and I take hope in the belief that many previously labelled as lazy will rise to the challenge and surprise all of us.

Ms. Becky, for your post, pila maya, thank you.  Your call for reason and calm approach is greatly appreciated and you conveyed my intent better than I did.

 

  • Wed, Aug 12, 2009 - 01:17am

    #30
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    Re: The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S.

 on the robber barons, true the difference is massive between political entrepreneurs and market entrepreneurs, but it’s a mistake to claim Rockefeller et al were purely market entrepreneurs.  I used to be a disciple.  The book "Titan" was my bible on the issue.  Ida Tarbell was indeed a yellow journalist from a competitive interest.  But it’s FAR more complex to claim somebody is purely one side or the other.  Note most of the sources for the posted article are from "Entrepreneurs vs. the State."  It’s a book with an agenda, just like any book.  Mises.org is an org with an agenda (and I’m a big fan of their agenda) so it’s prudent to read sources from organizations with equal/opposite agendas to ensure balance is reached.  The Mises article covers well the disciplined business practices Rockefeller instituted.  But it ignores the well-known activity Standard Oil engaged in that went far beyond good microeconomic discipline.  They infiltrated competitive companies with their own people, they indeed worked with government interests, they built a spook network, they strong-armed government and competitors to enact their acquisition strategies, etc.  

The eventual breakup of Standard came from government interests that gained power who were not under Standard’s influence.  Standard had their share of government support.  By the time the breakup happened, Standard and JD Rock’s private wealth was so-well protected with help from the government types and lawyers that did their bidding, that all the breakup ended up doing was empowering them more because it forced them into hiding and it kept future competitors at bay…Rockefellers still have controlling interest in Exxon and their multiple foundations and other institutional power-wielding continues to this day to dominate the US.  Much of what JD did to build Standard was good, but once built, as the need for exponential growth (which we all at CM understand well) took over, the people around him and his descendants engaged in empire-building…they’re still doing it today.  

A perfect analogy to today:  JPM Chase.  It seems Mises.org would trumpet Chase as an exemplar of free-market capitalism as well and paint Jamie Dimon as an amazing business leader.  One could easily write a paper about their scrupulous business practices, intense internal management processes, etc. and it would be true.  But it would be ignoring the bigger picture.  They are where they are because of government. Jamie Dimon is a smooth-harvard-tongued empty suit.  Chase is controlled by the same Rockefeller interests, and they’ve demonstrated they still control our government.  It’s the bank with the biggest derivatives position, i.e. it’s the most insolvent, but government just made it the most powerful commercial bank in the country…not an accidental result of market competition…neither was Standard Oil’s position 100% pure.  

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