Archive for June 28th, 2012
Bernie Sanders continues his fight for ordinary Americans, and this is a dramatic speech in which he makes many important points. At 4:17 for example, he talks of the backdoor bailout, in which the Federal Reserve made $16 trillion in almost no-interest loans, in secret, to big financial enterprises worldwide. If they can do this, why can’t the banks make loans to legitimate small businesses who are in desperate need of loans? In the meantime, the middle class is collapsing and those who are wealthy are doing better than ever. “What is going on in America?” he asks. What it seems to be is that we are “moving toward an oligarchic form of government where a handful of billionaires control the economic and political life of this nation.” The economic disparity is so incredibly pronounced that the 400 wealthiest individuals in America own more wealth than the bottom half of America–150,000,000 people. The top 1% of Americans own 40% of the wealth of America, whereas the bottom 60% of Americans own less than 2% of the wealth of America (min 7:33). Between 2009 and 2010, 93% of all new income created went to the top 1%.
Sanders reminds us that the people at the top no longer need to settle for owning private businesses. Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, those people can now own the entire United States government. (min 11:00). The six largest banks own the equivalent of 2/3 of the GDP of America, and they write half of the mortgages and underwrite 2/3 of the credit cards.
The working families of America want Congress to start working for them, and not merely for those who make campaign contributions. Sanders characterizes this as a “radical idea.” (min 13).
What can we do? Rebuild the crumbling infrastructure, including roads, bridges, schools, railroads and many other aspects of the infrastructure. We spend $300M per year importing oil, but we need to move to energy independence, away from fossil fuels and toward wind, solar and other sustainable technologies. We shouldn’t be laying off teachers, but should be hiring them.
The debt is a big problem, but it was caused by unpaid wars and unwarranted tax cuts to the wealthiest people in the country. Then, the greed and recklessness of Wall Street exacerbated the problem. Now, a “solution” is suggested to be “social security reform,” with is a code-word for “hold onto your wallet.” At min 20, Sanders also discusses the “solution” being considered to cut Medicare.
At Min 22, Sanders mentions some of America’s billionaires who are threatening to leave the U.S. so that they won’t pay taxes. He also mentions the 18,000 American corporations located in the Cayman Islands.
Sanders urges that Americans are now saying “Enough is enough.”
I’m not convinced that most rich kids hate their parents, but there are presumably some who do. I also know many non-rich kids who don’t get along with their parents. Franco Lombardo says many rich kids hate their parents in his new book, “The Great White Elephant: Why Rich Kids Hate Their Parents.” Lombardo bases his claim on the failure of 70% of rich families to pass their wealth-making ability onto the next generation intact. This reminds me of a proverb:
The first generation in a family makes money (goes from rags to riches); the second generation holds or keeps the money; and the third generation squanders or loses the money (and so goes back to rags).
In this report by CNBC, he gives three reasons:
First, wealthy parents don’t say “no” enough. “A child grows up with a sense that they get whatever they want,” Lombardo says. “When they go out into the world and the world tells them ‘no,” they’re angry. And they resent their parents.” The second cause is time. Wealthy parents are often absent parents, and the kids feel abandoned. . . . The third reason is society , , , makes fun of rich kids. So parents tell their kids at an early age to hide their wealth. When the kids grow up, they feel that a big part of their identity has to remain hidden – and they blame their parents.
These reasons make some sense to me, but I like to see some numbers quantifying this supposed hate. I’d like to know who we “know” that rich kids hate the parents any more than non-rich kids hate their parents.