Ultra-rich man's letter: "To My Fellow Filthy Rich Americans: The Pitchforks Are Coming"

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posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:00 PM
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A message from a member not of "the one percent" but "the zero-point-zero-one percent" -- the top one percent of the top one percent.



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.

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...

...But let’s speak frankly to each other... Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.



Source: Politico Magazine

In a frank and honest letter, an extremely wealthy American lays out the case for doom of the kind all of ATS is familar with. This article is significant because he's not some ranting hillbilly in a trailor park somewhere... this man was the first non-family investor in Amazon.com, and a founder of many successful companies. What he has to say is not "sour grapes."

And he sees ruin on the horizon.

"...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.

Here’s what I say to you: You’re living in a dream world.


Sobering indeed, right from the horses's mouth. I wonder if his buddies will be paying attention. I know I will be.


.
edit on 6/28/2014 by KarensHoliday because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:05 PM
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a reply to: KarensHoliday

I read this earlier and he brings up a great point. The stats for the growth are staggering as well. My question is how can we avoid it, how can we sway the ultra rich to willing reduce their accumulated wealth and accept a smaller percentage of their profits.


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posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:09 PM
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originally posted by: ParanoidAmerican
a reply to: KarensHoliday

I read this earlier and he brings up a great point. The stats for the growth are staggering as well. My question is how can we avoid it, how can we sway the ultra rich to willing reduce their accumulated wealth and accept a smaller percentage of their profits.


The majority won't be swayed by anything other than their self-interest. So it is important to somehow get these people to realize that their own personal interests, and the preservation of their wealth, demands a less brittle system.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:10 PM
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Wow very interesting article... lot to digest in what he says..


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posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:11 PM
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a reply to: ParanoidAmerican

The ultra rich won't relinquish anything, the richer you get the more you want. Its the same at all levels, minimum wage all the way to CEO salaries.


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posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:15 PM
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originally posted by: ParanoidAmerican
a reply to: KarensHoliday

I read this earlier and he brings up a great point. The stats for the growth are staggering as well. My question is how can we avoid it, how can we sway the ultra rich to willing reduce their accumulated wealth and accept a smaller percentage of their profits.


I think you are asking the wrong question.

The question is, how do they reduce their greed. Greed is a state of mind. To these people the money is not made to be spent, it is made to add to the score card, the one that says look how much better I am then you.

Society has two major problems, greed and sloth.

The slothful are the ones who won't work because they can't see a reason to support the society while it provides for them with massive handouts. These two groups when combined will bring society to its knees.

Revolution will come from the vast majority who are between these two extremes.

P


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posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:18 PM
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Valuable perspective.

I believe the key to this "Great Divide" is the necessity for the middle class to become relevant again. Media, economic growth, politics, and more are becoming polarized due to the "Lawyer-ing of America". At the end of the day, we need the "silent majority" to stand up and be reckoned with - liberal, conservative, libertarian, constitutional, green, etc... We have become slaves to our own ignorance and complacency. Taking sides is not only juvenile, but exactly what the camps want - albeit an ulterior motive - to divide the country in a vain attempt to acquire wealth, power, independence, security, etc. There is money in competition. We have become the pawns of a larger game we call life. Every day our employers posture themselves to be profitable - at our own expense!

Capitalism is good and healthy. Socialism is necessary to help the unfortunate. There is a middle ground!

"Democratic self-government does not work, according to Plato, because ordinary people have not learned how to run the ship of state. They are not familiar enough with such things as economics, military strategy, conditions in other countries, or the confusing intricacies of law and ethics. They are also not inclined to acquire such knowledge. The effort and self-discipline required for serious study is not something most people enjoy. In their ignorance they tend to vote for politicians who beguile them with appearances and nebulous talk, and they inevitably find themselves at the mercy of administrations and conditions over which they have no control because they do not understand what is happening around them."

- Plato's Democracy, Frostburg University


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posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:18 PM
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Im going to use my 100$/month and buy shares in companies selling pitchforks


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posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:23 PM
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Well I think most of us know it isn't if, it's when just as he said. His peers think he is bonkers from my perspective he is just being realistic.


Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
edit on 28-6-2014 by Grimpachi because: dur


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posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:43 PM
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How much of his wealth is he willing to give up to make things more equal? Put up or shut up is what I say.
edit on 28-6-2014 by alienjuggalo because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:44 PM
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a reply to: KarensHoliday
Wow, that was a pretty good article, I encourage everyone to read the entire piece, it's 4 pages but it's quite inspiring. The writer, Nick Hanauer, is one of the really, really rich guys who don't bother having their wealth estimated. He obviously has a firm grasp of his concepts he's trying to lay out, he wrote a book about it, that I'm sure most here would absolutely agree with.

I kinda thought it was gonna be a joke, but I'm gonna look into it more. It's encouraging at least. Thanks for the thread.





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posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:48 PM
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Pitchforks?

Soon there will be private armies guarding the gated communities and places like the Hamptons.
Restricted access on public roads, checkpoints, searches and lots of private prisons for the malcontents.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:51 PM
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I hear the echoes of Ayn Rand's, "Atlas Shrugged" in this conversation.

While I don't necessarily agree completely with her, the book captures some valuable perspectives.

I can only say the following: Read it. Then pass your own judgment.

There is a gray area in between. Can we ALL find it, or are we doomed to fight over nonsensical issues the media wants us to believe?



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 12:08 AM
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a reply to: jrflipjr

What is the nonsensical issue here?
This man speaks of a very real possibility and the cause leading up to it IMO



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 12:16 AM
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a reply to: Sremmos80

Please read my question. I believe you may have misunderstood what I am trying to say. The "nonsensical" issue I refer to is the media's exploitation of issues, polarization of opinions and sensationalism of political objectives.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 12:22 AM
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You don't need much more than a passing familiarity with history to recognize the repeating pattern.

EDIT:

Not everyone gets it though. Remember these pictures?



edit on 2014-6-29 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)


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posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 12:26 AM
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Reply to Karen's Holiday

Fantastic article; rarely have I read so much good sense so cogently expressed.

Tea-Party types and other right-wing extremists on ATS would do well to heed his words:


The only way to slash government for real is to go back to basic economic principles: You have to reduce the demand for government. If people are getting $15 an hour or more, they don’t need food stamps. They don’t need rent assistance. They don’t need you and me to pay for their medical care. If the consumer middle class is back, buying and shopping, then it stands to reason you won’t need as large a welfare state. And at the same time, revenues from payroll and sales taxes would rise, reducing the deficit.

*


Reply to: alienjuggalo

Read the article. The answer to your question is in there.

edit on 29/6/14 by Astyanax because: of the usual.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 12:31 AM
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I've always been one to argue the whole, "We need to go back to [fill in the blank]", but I've realized the next generation is changing who we are - for better or worse.

So, the argument that we need to "return to better days" is obsolete.

The cycle will eventually return us to where we were, but under different circumstances.

I'm willing to work with the idea of where we should go, BUT, I want a clear understanding of where we've been.

I'm not getting that from the current generation...so we repeat the same ol' s*** we've done before.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 12:34 AM
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Nice find.

He's right.

Too bad he doesn't know the date of the ball. I'm just about ready to dance.


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posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 12:37 AM
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originally posted by: alienjuggalo
How much of his wealth is he willing to give up to make things more equal?


You oversee the main problem.

A system which would require those very few who became super-rich to donate or "give up" some of their wealth for the others to survive....is already a failed system. The fact that he, as an individual, got lucky and got 6 billions by MS (just one example) is NOT proof that the system works. It's proof that this system is a big failure, that this system is absurd.

This was a remarkable post, I also recommend people to read the entire piece.





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