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Rich get richer
  • Fun to watch:

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    You know how I define the economic and social classes in this country? The upper class keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there... just to scare the shit out of the middle class. Keep 'em showing up at those jobs. (c)




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    And, overall, interesting read:

    http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2007.pdf

    The two big mistakes were the belief in a sky god -- that there's a man in the sky with ten things he doesn't want you to do and you'll burn for a long time if you do them -- and private property, which I think is at the core of our failure as a species. (c)
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  • 53 Replies sorted by
  • I like that quote about the economic and social classes!
  • >I like that quote about the economic and social classes!
    (c) George Carlin, again.
    Best dead fuck in the world :-)

    For a long time, my stand-up material has drawn from three sources. The first is the English language: words, phrases, sayings, and the way we speak. The second source, as with most comedians, has been what I think of as the "little world," those things we all experience every day: driving, food, pets, relationships, and idle thoughts. The third area is what I call the"big world": war, politics, race, death, and social issues. Without having actually measured, I would say this book reflects the balance very closely. The first two areas will speak for themselves, but concerning the "big world," let me say a few things. I'm happy to tell you there is very little in this world that I believe in. Listening to the comedians who comment on political, social, and cultural issues, I notice most of their material reflects an underlying belief that somehow things were better once and that with just a little effort we could set them right again. They're looking for solutions, and rooting for particular results, and I think that necessarily limits the tone and substance of what they say. They're talented and funny people, but they're nothing more than cheerleaders attached to a specific, wished-for outcome. I don't feel so confined. I frankly don't give a fuck how it all turns out in this country - or anywhere else, for that matter. I think the human game was up a long time ago (when the high priests and traders took over), and now we're just playing out the string. And that is, of course, precisely what I find so amusing: the slow circling of the drain by a once promising species, and the sappy, ever-more-desperate belief in this country that there is actually some sort of "American Dream," which has merely been misplaced. The decay and disintegration of this culture is astonishingly amusing if you are emotionally detached from it. I have always viewed it from a safe distance, knowing I don't belong; it doesn't include me, and it never has. No matter how you care to define it, I do not identify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood, improvement committee; I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to. So, if you read something in this book that sounds like advocacy of a particular political point of view, please reject the notion. My interest in "issues" is merely to point out how badly we're doing, not to suggest a way we might do better. Don't confuse me with those who cling to hope. I enjoy describing how things are, I have no interest in how they "ought to be." And I certainly have no interest in fixing them. I sincerely believe that if you think there's a solution, you're part of the problem. My motto: Fuck Hope! P.S. Lest you wonder, personally, I am a joyful individual with a long, happy marriage and a close and loving family. My career has turned out better than I ever dreamed, and continues to expand. I am a personal optimist but skeptic about all else. What may sound to some like anger is really nothing more than sympathetic contempt. I view my species with a combination of wonder and pity, and I root for it's destruction. And please don't confuse my point of view with cynicism; the real cynics are the ones who tell you everything's gonna be all right. P.P.S. By the way, if, by chance, you folks do manage to straighten things out and make everything better, I still don't wish to be included.
  • Best Carlin i've seen on youtube.

    This is the reason the system will collapse. It will (as it always has in the past) over time become impossible for such a small minority of the population to amass so much wealth while larger parts of the population begin starving. :)
  • Some points worth noting though:
    1) the charts end in 2007, before the stock market crashed, so the information is dated and possibly reflect a stock market/real estate bubble.
    2) In tax year 2008, the top 10% of U.S. incomes paid 69.94% of the personal income tax in the U.S.; the bottom 50% paid 2.7%. Source: http://ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html

    So, there are charts and then there are facts.
  • >So, there are charts and then there are facts.

    I don't see how your facts do not correspont to this charts.
    Charts show total income disribution and you stated the same thing that we can see on the charts.
    Also your data combined with this charts actually show that top 10% (and especially top 1%) paid less and less taxes (as their percentage remained on similar levels).
    Quote that you see under chart is not logical consequence of the chart, it is part of George Carlin performance :-)
  • >>I don't see how your facts do not correspont to this charts.

    Only that showing share of income without showing what they have to pay back into the system doesn't tell the whole story; the rich may not in fact be getting richer or they could be getting richer. It would also be good to know how the economic crash affected the highest income earners--was it more or less than others, since higher income earners are more likely to be involved in real estate and the stock market.

    Great George Carlin quotes--he was an amazing performer and observer of human nature.
  • >Only that showing share of income without showing what they have to pay back into the system doesn't tell the whole story

    Strange. If we can see on chart (and in rest fo the paper) that they become richer, it do not matter how much they return in the system (and in fact, they returned less and less). And talking about US statistics that is full of falsified data today, we can have many hidden things here.
  • Also recommend to look at
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/20-facts-about-us-inequality-everyone-should-know

    Many fancy charts and graphs on the topic.
  • ...and some interesting comments too, at the bottom of the article.
  • >and some interesting comments too, at the bottom of the article.

    Yeah.
    Just remember that this is community with slight shifted perception of reality - they love gold too much :-)
  • Vitaly, which part of the world are you located in? I mean if you are in Russia, damn, it's time to launch a political movement!
  • >it's time to launch a political movement!

    :-) No way.

    I think the human game was up a long time ago (when the high priests and traders took over), and now we're just playing out the string. And that is, of course, precisely what I find so amusing: the slow circling of the drain by a once promising species, and the sappy, ever-more-desperate belief in this country that there is actually some sort of "American Dream," which has merely been misplaced. The decay and disintegration of this culture is astonishingly amusing if you are emotionally detached from it. I have always viewed it from a safe distance, knowing I don't belong; it doesn't include me, and it never has. No matter how you care to define it, I do not identify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood, improvement committee; I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to. So, if you read something in this book that sounds like advocacy of a particular political point of view, please reject the notion. My interest in "issues" is merely to point out how badly we're doing, not to suggest a way we might do better. Don't confuse me with those who cling to hope. I enjoy describing how things are, I have no interest in how they "ought to be." And I certainly have no interest in fixing them. I sincerely believe that if you think there's a solution, you're part of the problem. My motto: Fuck Hope!
    (part of the citation above :-) )
  • Please don't confuse my point of view with cynicism; the real cynics are the ones who tell you everything's gonna be all right.

    This quote was my .signature for years. Love it!

  • It's not politics, economics, or whatever. The influence has gone already too far. We've become a virus, soon to overcome its host. That's all we seem to be moving to. Change of minds? Oh fuck, whose gonna do that when we have public education controled by politicians controled by private corporations who also control private education. Egoism put appart.

    It's a never-ending chain to not get out of the path, until its too late. Or until things get so fucked up, few survive and humanity becomes a whole other thing, who cares. What's sure is that our growth (already 7k million people around the globe, 10k million for 2050 expected, growth will continue until at least 2075 some experts say) will have to stop at some point. Then nature will probably put us to place. Or ourselves, by doing what we do best, but probably not doing anything better afterwards neither (if there is an afterwards, 'cause, who the fuck knows).

    Love Carlin's quote and the vid. Specially love the last part of the quote, talking about family. That's all there is to be joyful, for sure.

  • This is still not addressing wealth as a non-zero sum game. Nobody can "have" all the wealth. There was not a "distribution" of it at one point or another. No wonder nobody can find a solution... people just can't get past the idea of wealth (and life in general) being non-zero sum.

    Monkey-logic at it's finest... "Hey those people have allot! They must have taken it from someone else!"

    I would agree that there are groups and close circles that have "all the connections" and access to "all the jobs". This is nepotism though. It is a problem. But wealth re-distribution is not the answer. It doesn't even make logical sense.

    Wealth does not simply "exist" all on it's own. You CAN destroy it. We could all just go back to the stone-age, there would be no wealth inequality then, right?

  • US is not much better. I worked in San Francisco for a while, and the homelessness was just as bad as anything I've seen in Russia.

    I don't know how the US can call itself a first world economy with the social failings that it has.

  • I think the thing that jealous people miss when they are too busy looking at charts and trying to blame people for having money, is that the well-off get "rich" not because they can but because they want to and have the drive to do so. They also study money and know how to avoid the common pitfalls that most people fall into, like debt from buying blinged out cars and clothes and jewelry and all that materialistic shit that sucks people down into the debt abyss (monkey-brains at work!). They instead use that saved money to make more money through building businesses instead of pissing it away on lifestyle and blaming their plight on "The Man" or "Whitey" or "Big Government" or whoever or whatever the common scapegoats are.

    Just remember the "golden rule".. He who has the gold, makes the rules!

    So either you can make money and not worry about your life and end up just like others who have money, or you can be poor and whine about those who have money, probably because of jealousy. :)

  • @svart I just shit my pants off with that. What a wide view, as if anyone could study, as if everybody had the same rights, way of thinking, personal life (mind is weak), moral, ethics, and so on. It's not a discussion on wether you can be rich or not, it is about wealth and money distribution, letting it be or not (and as if that was the biggest challenge of humanity, was my personal view), etc.

    Holly molly man...and BTW anyone who doesn't have the money, is jelous about the one who does? Isn't getting money related to moral options too? For example, today you CAN'T be rich having production in your country, you must take production elsewhere, and have childrens make stuff for example. The reason is costs. Less costs make things cheaper, or price can be kept, any way, more profit. Apple via Foxconn for example.

    Also an engineer can chose not to work for Apple for that shit. Some people do chose after a bit of thinking. So...his problem would be jelousy? Or human decadence? Or...whatever you might think of?

    Should we not think about moral because others don't? Yeah that makes us weak - sure. Some people don't like where humans are headed...it's not jelousy, is it?

    What a funny comment. For real, it was to me. But I guess that's pretty harming for human kind, and even more, alarming for society.

    That's why Chomsky insists so much on education (against adoctrination), otherwise we keep our view so so limited...and that's where jelousy of the american dream harms a lot society. Either you have some kind of ethics and moral, or you're rich, both at the same time are pretty much impossible, nowadays more than ever due to agressive capitalism.

  • @svart - Moneys not everything.

    I'm glad I live in a country where there is a strong sense of social responsibility rather than selfishness and greed. Even if we currently have a prick for a PM.

  • About George Carlin in relation to quotes in this thread - he sure made good use of groups and culture he belonged to, as evident from his professional success ;)

    @svart, @bwhitz I assume you've never been really poor (e.g. subsistence farming out of necessity, forced into factory work for little compensation etc.) or in a situation where what you want in life cannot be bought or monetized, for one reason or another. You should look up stories about those people who are not as lucky as you, those who value different things in life, and if possible, take the chance to experience their side of the coin, preferably without whatever financial and psychological safety nets you have right now.

    As far as zero-sum games go, there is finite amount of resources on this planet that humans can use efficiently enough to live off them. Economic systems are abstractions for managing those finite resources by humanly possible means (usually, at some stage, as money). Failures in economic systems prove those means are still far from perfect in practice, and pyramid scheme-like distribution of wealth suggests that those in control tend to look mostly after their own interests, despite having the means to enact major changes for greater benefit (including, in the long run, their own). Hundreds of millions of people suffer while some thousands command extraordinary economic power but do not help, at least as much as they could.

    If you really think that "He who has the gold, makes the rules!" is a good system, well, better hope that the ones who rule over your life are benevolent.

  • @disordinary And what's that country if I shall ask? I live in Spain and I'm looking to emigrate ASAP. Here it's the complete opposite, even elites say "yeah, we have the power, the money, and are greedy, and so what? Change it with laws, that's what you let us do", and well...everything's going to shit. I don't know if it's happening abroad that you don't really see what happens here, just as we never saw what happened to Greece, falling UE countries are kept in the shadows.

    Really interested...been looking GB, Sweden, Finland and Norway this far, though none of them are very pro-foreigners, and GB isn't even doing really well per say. Also South America, though corruption there is above the charts (per to per with Spain). Russia is way too cold (and corrupt) for me, though Vodka can do the trick haha.

    @neokoo +1 . Problem is that (at least, currently) democracy is nothing like a perfect system. Politics being something you study (yei, I'm pro "phylosopher king"), is a bad place to start with. Then there's campaigns supported by corporations, that's really bad shit. We are completely stuck, it's as if none could be changed.

    I wonder what would svart say if he was born in Saudi Arabia to put an example. Or Africa. Or even in a not-that-bad-country such as Spain.

    He who has the gold makes the rules for his own, while taking all resources from less developed countries were they also produce the stuff, then sold to the ones in his rich country who just get poorer (that's what's happening nowadays thanks to production chain relocation). Lets remember Africa is key to this capitalist world for lots of resources. Just as Asia. What's stupid is that the lands that offer more resources, are the less developed ones. It's not logical...without corruption, and our own human nature.

  • I said what I said to get a rise out of certain folks and to prove a point. It's quite interesting to see that folks seriously get upset over what someone else thinks, even when those thoughts really don't have anything to do with their own lifestyle. You think you know best? Isn't that the same belief system which you rally against, someone telling you what to think or do when you don't agree? How incredibly hypocritical... I mean come on, you all rally against my point but then turn around and point out that the everyone has choices and can think independently.. Yet you aren't..

    Rich or poor, it's not the wealth that really ends up hurting people in this world, it's those people who think they know better than others and seek to impose those thoughts on others. Money is just the tool they use to do it.

    Some folks in this world just aren't happy unless they are complaining about something that they can't help. Why? Stress relief, I suppose.

    And PS: I grew up poor, I know exactly how it feels to grow your own vegetables in the back yard because you can't afford to buy them. That's what made me choose to work harder and be wise with money, so that I don't have to worry when the economy goes to shit. I save my money, I invest wisely, and I have no debt at all. I also worked through school and now have a good job which I am good at and enjoy. I have drive. I don't care to be rich, but I do care that I don't have to worry about the next paycheck. That may not be how life should be to some, but that is how life IS. I got over it long ago, and now I do what I have to do to live how I want to live.

    PPS: Those of you who claim the USA is a "democracy" are only showing your lack of knowledge. The USA is NOT and has never been a "democracy". It is a Constitutional Republic. A democracy is where every citizen's opinion is counted. A constitutional republic is where the citizens elect people to have opinion for them. You know, the first step to change, is actually understanding what you are trying to change...

  • @svart

    Please be calm.

    People are always upset if they see point of view thta is not as their own, even if they say otherwise. This is why it is best to have numbers, charts and other things backing your positions, so talk will be about them and not about how long is your dick.

    Rich or poor, it's not the wealth that really ends up hurting people in this world, it's those people who think they know better than others and seek to impose those thoughts on others. Money is just the tool they use to do it.

    Have you tried to impose your thought being homeless guy without money? How it worked?

  • @svart

    I obviously got upset, yet life goes on. A LOT of people think what you said. Am I impressed? Nope. Been there, done that, then tried to educate myself and still try. Sure I'll look back in a few years and say "how stupid was I", and still, be fucking stupid. No problem!

    We all try to impose our point of views, some points of view are less limited than others, take more things into account. It's not the same reading Noam Chomsky than a press columnist. Is Chomsky better or worse? I don't really care, I care for arguments that get as far possible as they can from the main matter, so as to get to the root of the problem. I still prefer reading some phylosphy over Chomsky who I prefer to press columnists, yet read all of them. Now, am I just trying to look smart? 'Cause I believe it's stupid to compare, yet it's good to acknowledge some things.

    Meh...it's stupid. Thought we were here to share then we got to lying so fast...

    And BTW being so eskeptic as to think none's got the reason, won't help us neither. Someone may have the truth of what's best for the human somewhere hidden in their mind. Yet, if they share it, they are imposing. So, you better not try to impose it, even though anybody thought that way before. It all gets so dark... look at propaganda or marketing. They impose and they work. The thing is, imposing can be done for good or bad. But there's no other fucking way to organize, some minds are weaker, some are smarter, some people are dumb. Cruel nature.

    Anyway, the funniest thing is that the only one here I can see trying to instruct others, is you. Oh hipocrisy, how much I love you.

    Bad thing, I didn't wanna have fun with this discussion, it's always the same thing once and again, I think we can get to a point (personally, not like "The Truth", just like sharing for good), then it all gets distorted. Reminds me Far Cry 3. A hell of a scene by the way.