Above are some links to the math that has brought our world to its knees. And to think I used to fall asleep in junior high school algebra.
Perhaps you, like me, heard reference to this formula on NPR or various other news outlets. After looking at it, I wonder if any of the bankers had even the slightest clue about it, let alone applying it to anything tangible.
So here’s my lame math formula. All based on the simple geometry:
The one guy gets more than a third (33.4 %) of the whole pie while the 9 people share almost a third (28%). So lets be clear here, 10% of wealthy Americans control 61.4% of all the wealth. And just 1% of the wealthy control more than a third. while 40% of Americans make it sharing just over a third of the wealth at 38.6 %. And the rest, half of the country, 50% of us live in abject poverty.
This was before the market crash. I’m sure there are more people who have fallen into the abject poverty pile since then.
I have a simple question to ask to those who subscribe to unbridled free market capitalism and the notion of those who work hardest are rewarded with the most money. Firstly, that one guy controlling more than a third of the pie, does he really work harder than the equivalent of 150,000,000 Americans put together. Because man if he does, he’d have to be God as working that many hours would mean he not only never slept, but also had an army of clones.
And if one wants to make the argument that somehow that guy has provided some service or great work that entitles him/her to more pie than they could ever eat in one lifetime while half the people around them starve, I ask, did that person cure cancer, Aids and save our planet from a deluge of asteroids? Because there is nothing that anyone who has such ungodly amounts of money has done that warrants the pie being that lopsided.
Take for example Bill Gates. He stole the idea for Windows from two inventors who stole the idea for the operating system from the way Macs worked. Gates literally bought their program for something like 500 bucks and then turned around and sold it to IBM for millions or billions, whatever. Did (or does) he deserve to control that much of the world’s resources because he was an unethical opportunist? Or even someone like Jim Carey, does he deserve 20 million dollars to make fart jokes in some lame half-baked movie? Does anyone really deserve to hog more resources than they can actually make use of?
And what does it say about people who choose this for themselves. I’m not saying people don’t have a right to be wealthy, be comfortable, and even be decadent and live uxorious ridiculously comfortable lives. But one doesn’t have to control that much of the wealth to do so. As a matter of fact if the pie was at least a little more evenly distributed, more people would have more and be more productive.
For example if everyone had enough money, to at least make their own pie, then there would be a constant flow of money, goods, services and new wealth for everyone to partake in. It would be exponential rather than a closed, fixed system where the poorest 50 percent cannot participate in the economy because they can barely afford the basic necessities of life.
Historically, our country has always done best financially when there was a strong, healthy middle class, like in the 1950s when a guy could work at a gas station as an attendant, buy his own home and support a wife and two kids. Or during the Clinton era when there was a huge boom in the middle class and new service orientated and luxury businesses sprung up due to the increased flow of money being funneled into the economy.
So why is it that Republicans hang onto this bizarre Ann Ryand philosophy of unhinged free market capitalism without restraint or regulation and the idea of the individual as purely and solely responsible for him/herself?
Well, let’s take a look at Ann Ryand. First off she was from Russia and had a knee jerk reaction to having grown up there. She was also a screenwriter and no offense here, but part of being a Hollywood screenwriter is being able to boil things down to very simple black and white arguments and ideas. There is no room for subtlety, complexity, and depth of character and layers of meaning in a 90-minute screenplay. The best one can hope for with a great movie is a clear well defined argument that makes you think about a situation in a new way.
Anyone who has read the Fountainhead can attest to the ridiculous modernist notion of special treatment for the super human, great genius who stands outside of normal human expectations (such as decency, compassion, human kindness, caring, being interested in things other than yourself) because of his great talent. She literally makes the case that some people should be above the law, above human decency and be lavished with an endless fountain of praise and support no matter how socially retarded, because they are intrinsically better than everyone else.
Hmmm, what does this sound like?
Oh, yeah, Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Funny she lived here in the land of NPD (Hollywood). And there in lies the key. There seems to be a fundamental personality dysfunction which is attracted to this (conservative often Republican) model. One that feels the need to be better than everyone else, to be treated specially and has to have other people suffering so they can feel good about themselves. Upon closer inspection the conservative movement seems to be less motivated by an ideology than a mental illness – what I used to deem “Mad Squirrel disease” where an individual can never have enough and constantly seeks out more and more nuts to add to their storehouse despite the fact that they will never be able to physically use all of what they have acquired.
After studying psychology I realized this was a character trait of Narcissism. Our culture has promoted it. Wall Street was immersed in the darkest part of this mental illness. I wish these people would spend their money getting therapy and get out of the way of change. They spin empathy and humanitarianism into socialism and communism. They turn the notion of helping people who are losing their homes into something akin to a welfare state, but yet, for them, the special few, they not only have their hands out, but their pockets, their buckets, their private jets and anything else they can cram taxpayer dollars into under the guise of “saving jobs.” When they say that I think they mean, saving the jobs of the captains of their private jets, not the 10,000 jobs they are shipping to India because they don’t want to pay a living wage or give their employees healthcare.
I had a friend one time who drove an old green VW Bug. She happened to be driving it around the Silicon Valley in a very wealthy area. This guy in a Mercedes was offended by how carefully and slowly she was going, not and yelled at her, “Peasant!” I think that says it all.
When it comes to how these people feel about themselves and the way they see everyone else. They appear to be living in feudal Europe during the dark ages. Sad for us they are not actually living back then, but are just imposing these unconscionable notions on the rest of us.
Best wishes and many blessings to all you good people,
P.S. I will announce the winners soon. And have you noticed on the Myers Briggs poll almost no extraverts. I’m guessing this is because extraverts are not very interested in taking personality tests.
Don’t forget to vote in the poll if you know your Myers Briggs type or your Enneagram type.