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A rare survey of the one percent

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posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 02:56 PM
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A rare survey of the one percent


www.physorg.com

(PhysOrg.com) -- Though little reliable survey research exists about the nation’s wealthiest one percent, public discourse is rife with claims about their opinions and attitudes. Now a Northwestern University pilot study sheds light on philanthropic and other behaviors of the so-called one percent.

(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 02:56 PM
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“Our goal is to replace the rhetoric with facts,” said Fay Lomax Cook, co-author of “Wealthy Americans, Philanthropy and the Common Good” and professor in Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. “The best surveys on wealthy Americans typically examine the top 20 to 30 percent of the nation’s income earners. As a result, they contain too small a sample to generalize about the one percent."


Hang on to your caffeine, my friends, because I'm taking this one slowly. Too often we slam out some generalized article and fail to take a moment to smell the dung from which it sprang. You see, my OP is not about the repugnance of greed, the naivette, or misplaced youthful optimism of protesters, nor is it about the sensationalized calamity or anger or the hyperbiolic rhetoric, demagoguery, and pontification of those who disagree with each other...

I will, however, openly postulate that this poll will be warmly received by some who must deal with the splinter of regret that their fellow man hasn't prospered as well as they have (while harboring the smallest fear that they could make things better... if they really wanted to take the chance.) I think we know, at least in theory, who they are... although the matter is muddled from the onset - by the presumption of identity these ivory-tower types have assumed. This key objection will be offered up further on, for those patient enough to endure my verbosity.

First, just as when you are about to address a group of people, it is important to get a firm grasp on to whom you are speaking (know your audience); the clever audience makes it a point to know the speaker.

This gem of a report is brought to us via Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research.

I will spare you the diatribe I could spout over the creation of "Institutes" by universities and quasi-non-governmental-semi-for-profit-ostensibly-unaligned-non-political-academic "institutions" and how they are used to tell their audiences what it is they are supposed to believe and say.... while providing resume fodder and credentials to those politically relevant enough to merit them.

The study's chief architect, according to reports, is Fay Lomax Cook, Professor of Human Development & Social Policy and Political Science - Former Director and Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research Northwestern University. (www.ipr.northwestern.edu...) Among her many notable contributions is a rather interestingly poised book.. "Talking Together: Public Deliberation and Political Participation in America" in which she and her colleagues are said to have "conducted the first-ever nationally representative survey of the extent to which and the ways in which Americans come together to discuss policy issues—what the authors call "discursive participation." (Clearly she has never been to ATS. I am among those who wager that if we could somehow entice our so-called intelligentsia elite to at least lurk here, the world might actually be a better place.)

Another named researcher is lawyer and Professor Benjamin I. Page, Gordon S. Fulcher Professor of Decision Making, Faculty Associate, Institute for Policy Research. www.polisci.northwestern.edu... His bio characterizes him as "engaged in a large collaborative project to study Economically Successful Americans and the Common Good." I will call your attention to this characterization later.

The last named researcher is Rachel Moskowitz in the article is a Political Science major at Northwestern who is advised by Fay Lomax Cook.

Moving right along ...

... here it is, the "large-collaborative-effort. "the first representative, systematic effort to survey the political and social opinions of the one percent."

104 Chicago households with a median wealth of $7.5 million.

THAT is the sample by which the so-called "one percent" will be evaluated using this aptly-named survey "Economically Successful Americans and the Common Good" which surely can't be indicative of any pandering bias to the respondents, right?

Well... it's time to fall back to the authors to get a re-evaluation of what I perceive as the genesis of the survey and this subsequent report in the OP.

Evidently, this survey was conducted via a second academic institution, namely, the National Opinion Research Center, NORC. And in its presentation of the survey we see something a touch different.... (I'm going to hack it up a bit to discuss the things that matter to me.... the full description is here: www.norc.org...

Note: My bolding of certain terms and phrases is part of the commentary, not their presentation.


Economically successful Americans have views about national problems that can be of great value to scholars and policy makers. But little is known about the views of the most successful Americans which leads to these views being ignored and sometimes distorted by the media. The Survey of Economically Successful Americans and the Common Good (SESA) gives this select group a rare opportunity to make their voice heard by academics and policy makers engaged in matters of national importance. This pilot study conducted by NORC in 2010/2011, is sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation...


The pilot study collects data from 100 successful individuals living in four selected neighborhoods in the Chicago area. In addition to testing the survey instrument, the pilot is designed to test the creation of a list sample from multiple sources that will include sufficient numbers of people whose wealth is greater than 40 million so as to yield 50 interviews.


The study examines what sorts of problems successful Americans see as facing the country, and how these problems should be addressed. In addition, the survey instrument collects data about successful people’s positions for or against a number of different government policies, from taxes to spending and economic regulation, as well as market-based and philanthropic solutions to social problems. These views are important to the decisions of officials and policy makers.


The SESA is the first, and so far only, scientific study designed to capture data of this kind from this elite group of Americans. The project is unique in that because there is no reliable, publically available list of very wealthy people, the research team created a specialized list from multiple sources.



Oh brother, my eyes are rolling.....

- First of all notice the enticement to participate handed to the would-be elite members of society.... "views about national problems that can be of great value to scholars and policy makers." Which clearly distinguishes their opinions from those of the non-"successful" whose opinions clearly don't matter... by inference.

- Poor 1%.... their opinions are "distorted by the media".... I wonder how that assertion comes about. No. there is no evidence to this effect any more so than distortion by the media of ANY "view." But I suppose this makes the would-be participant eager to make sure "they are heard."

- About the "Russell Sage Foundation" whose primary focus is on economics - if you check the Wiki on the organization you will see their 'concerns' listed quite concisely.

- "...gives this select group a rare opportunity to make their voice heard..." Oh really, a rare opportunity, eh? According to this very study that rarity is not so rare after all.

- "...These views are important to the decisions of officials and policy makers..." Of course they are. How could they not be? My sarcastic side wants to elaborate on the throngs of wealthy people clamoring to be heard by the political and cultural elite.... eyes rolling again.

- "...only, scientific study designed to capture data of this kind from this elite group of Americans..." There is nothing quite so refreshing as calling a spade a spade! If you were handed a survey which identified you as a subject of interest because you are smarter, more beautiful, or... let's say.. "Elite,” do you think it would affect your cooperation with the exercise?

Here's the NORC "media" piece.... blogs.wsj.com...

It is another gem which could merit its own dissection; but for now we'll stick with the original OP....


OK .... Can we get to the article now? Yes!

Among the survey findings:


Members of the one percent are far more likely to initiate contact with a federal official than is the general public.
About half of the survey’s 104 respondents reported initiating contact with a member of Congress, White House official or federal regulatory agency official at least once in the last six months.

In contrast, a 2008 public opinion survey by American National Election Studies found that only 25 percent of the general public had contacted any elected official in the past 12 months.



Let's see.... 50% of the wealthy deal directly with the political decision makers and elite.... how much would you like to bet the dealings of the 25% of 99%ers are more limited to the handshake at the rally, or 30 seconds at a town hall meeting... and that would be half as frequently (over 12 months vs. 6)

Who do you think the establishment listens to?



Members of the one percent tend to emphasize relying on free markets or private philanthropy to produce good outcomes. More than other citizens, they tend to think in terms of “getting government out of the way” to solve public problems. Many tilt toward cutting, rather than expanding, popular entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare. Most favor charter schools, merit pay and other market-oriented education reforms. More than two-thirds say the federal government “has gone too far in regulating business and free enterprise.”


"..Many tilt toward cutting, rather than expanding, popular entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare..." they forgot to add the phrase "which they dont need, let alone rely upon" which I think would have made a more genuine assertion. Well, at least the recognize the ham-handed political theater driving government to be part of the problem.


More members of the one percent point to the federal budget deficit as the country’s most pressing problem than to any other problem facing the nation. A much smaller group mentions unemployment and jobs. In contrast, members of the general public (57%) think the economy and jobs are the nation’s most pressing problem and only five percent of the general public thinks it is the deficit.


Of course the less affluent care more about jobs, they can't afford to survive without them... whereas the wealthy... well... there you go.


Members of the one percent are more active in politics than less affluent Americans. Nearly all respondents said they voted in the 2008 presidential election; 84% reported paying attention to politics most of the time; 64 percent contributed money to a political candidate within the last four years; and one in five said they helped solicit or bundle contributions from other people to a political party, cause or candidate. On average, they reported giving $4,633 to political campaigns and organizations in the past 12 months.


They are rather stingy when compared to the ratio of wealth to contribution... maybe those of us who contribute politically should offer an equivalent proportion of our income... and watch the politician's cry out in wealth-starved pain.


Members of the one percent volunteer much more of their time, effort and money to charitable causes than do members of the general public. Nine in ten respondents report participating in at least one volunteer activity and a majority volunteered in four different volunteer areas. Respondents are particularly likely to volunteer for education (65%), poverty and the needy (60 percent), private and community foundations (54 percent), youth development (52 percent), arts, culture and the humanities (46 percent) and religious organizations (46 percent).


One might wonder if this "altruism" has anything to do with having more money than you can spend on yourself without seeming a profligate libertine.


A typical (median) member of the one percent donates about four percent of his or her income to charitable causes. Those who have inherited substantial wealth tend to give not only more total dollars but also a higher proportion of their income to charity than non-inheritors. Fully one in five have established a philanthropic family foundation.


What are the tax benefits of such philanthropy? 4% of one's income from what? Interest earnings, trust fund dividends?

The kicker in this newspeak effort:

"To the surprise of some members of the research team, our study suggests that most members of the one percent are concerned about the common good, not just about their own narrow self-interests"

Um... no, your study SHOWS that most of the one percent SAY they are more concerned about the common good. This seems like a natural assertion for those who don’t know hunger, or the grief and anxiety of not knowing what the future holds for you at your currently diminishing ability to provide for yourself or your family.

In summation, this is a survey done by people who either are now, or are on their way to the 1%. They deal with the 1% frequently, and are members of the 1% social-circle. Is it really that surprising? Have we really learned anything? Not really. At best we learned that the intelligentsia elite serve the one percent dutifully. Sort of the same way the economists of the higher education system serve the banks. At worst we learned how the politicians and the cultural elite will posture themselves and what numbers they will use to "prove" they are better, more altruistic, and more noble people.

Thank you for enduring my OP-turned-rant. If I offended anyone; sorry.


I must also thank XPLodER for his parallel treatment of this same survey in the Science & Technology Forum: www.abovetopsecret.com...


www.physorg.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 6-12-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 03:26 PM
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Those evil 1% that you describe employ you and your children. When they have less money for them and to put into their businesses, they likely make the decision to cut back a bit.
Tax evasion and loophole-jumping happens in this group of people, but don't tell me that many welfare recipients aren't screwing the system either...because they are. The difference is, if you jump onto the 1% too hard, they start laying off.
That's bad for everyone.
It sounds like a horrible thing to do on their part, but they didn't get to the point they're at by trying to privide sunshine and rainbows for everybody they do business with and employ. They've had and will have to make tough business decisions and sacrifices. That's what getting ahead is all about. Nobody ever said it was easy. In fact, it takes quite a bit of savvy and intelligence to achieve that level.

My point of view doesn't include those who inherited their money, of course...



posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 03:39 PM
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I say let them leave. They will not because they would not be able to get away with the same stuff in any other country.



posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by googooflexy
 


no the 1% dont employ many people at all,
they move money around and purcahce whole companies,
some of them but companies and sell off the assets and lay off the workers,
some of them ship your jobs to china,
none of the people in this "cough" servey "cough" science presented article are at all in the 1%.

this is not about small to medium business owners,
this is about the super national billion airs,
who move money around for a living.

the tactic here is to provide cover for the REAL 1% by trying to insinuate they are just average (sucsessful) americans, when nothing can be further from the truth.

the fact this is published in scientific websights and with the help of the letters PHD gice the air of ligitamicy,

but is in fact a bought and paid for study that is not peer reveiwed and the paid for by people who wish to confuse the public as to who the REAL 1% is

IMHO
the real 1% could not give a toss if they create jobs,
and when they donate money, it is to political campains, not to charity

they move money around and their number oine rule
DONT let money trickle down THOSES ARE LOST PROFITS

this is clearly a hit piece to confuse people as to who the real bastards are,
and to draw sympathy for them as they try to pretend to be "just like us"

i am not fooled
this is not sciecne,
it is political advertising on behalf of the 1%

to max
star and flag for all the valuable information

thanks



xploder
edit on 6-12-2011 by XPLodER because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by googooflexy
Those evil 1% that you describe employ you and your children. .....


I find it amazingly "knee-jerk" to assume that I was callng anyone evil (especially considering the fact that the word "evil" or the concept of a moral judgement is no where to be found n my op; until you mentioned it.)

I suggest you actually research, as I did, to ascertain what I was speaking about.

"Evil" and "good" are nicely vague and pointless assertions to make about people. They hardly describe any single factor that can be discussed rationally.

And, for the sake of the record. They do not employ me or my children. in fact, few rarely employ anyone other than lawn care personel and house cleaners.... they may own companies that employ many people... but those companies are not what you were referring to were they? And there are regualtions and standards of professional behavior governing their conduct in the business arena... not that enforcement of those rules is making much of a difference to the unemployed - who by definition don't owe the wealthy anything.
edit on 14-12-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by googooflexy
Those evil 1% that you describe employ you and your children. When they have less money for them and to put into their businesses, they likely make the decision to cut back a bit.


They also prevent very relevant information from being propagated. They use our money and efforts to design weapons and advanced knowledge for their use...not ours. I for one will not be grateful for strudels that they allot in pursuit of the above stated.

I am not one to be so arrogant as to think a thank you from me is worth anything...but I thank you Max...Keep on rocking the truth like I wish I could...



posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by googooflexy
 


Oh let them lay off everyone, in fact let them stop doing all the crap they do. You will be shocked how quickly people adapt and even thrive in that new model. The 1% will discover just how useless they were.

Regarding the OP, I am interested in the past Socio-economic background of the respondents did they come from relatively poor backgrounds or have they always been comfortable? I doubt most of these people have ever had to cry tears on their pillow because they couldn't afford Christmas presents or looked their child in the eye after it they say "I'm hungry" knowing there was nothing they can do.



posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 



I say let them leave. They will not because they would not be able to get away with the same stuff in any other country.


Really?

How many other countries have you been to, boy?

I'll start the list with countries that are worse than our own (in terms of government-corporation mutual corruption):

China
India
Philippines
Anywhere in Africa
Mexico
Anywhere in Central America
Anywhere in South America

Those are, hands-down, worse - no debate could really exist over it. For many of those nations - the government -is- whomever has the money and/or firepower. Argentina went through governments like popcorn not all that long ago. Other places play musical dictators (war lords... IE - people who can afford to pay, in some manner, people to go around shooting).

Debate could be had over nations like Korea and Russia, as well as several European nations.

I'll be honest with you. If I were to ever win the lottery, I would begin prospecting to set up manufacturing in areas of South America, not here in the U.S. I don't believe in running sweat-shops or irresponsible businesses - but the hassle of setting up a business down there is much less of a hassle than it is, here. Those people think it's cool as # that another country would be willing to buy something they make (and now they can afford a house with insulation -and- running water!). Here, it's a Greek Tragedy when an employee is assigned a task, and the end of the world when their pay check will not allow them to live in a mansion.

People are too fixated, here, on what other people have and then decide to feel as though it is being kept from them. It's a toxic mentality, and it breaks my heart to see it taking root in America.

The reason America is dying is because a lot of the wealth -has- already left. It has gone where people are willing to create it. While we sit here and bicker about how high the taxes should be on a minority group, Japan and Russia are attempting to bring a Mammoth back to life... why, I have no idea. Will it make them rich? Maybe - it will mark a massive step forward in genetics technology that will define the future.

reply to post by Maxmars
 



Um... no, your study SHOWS that most of the one percent SAY they are more concerned about the common good. This seems like a natural assertion for those who don’t know hunger, or the grief and anxiety of not knowing what the future holds for you at your currently diminishing ability to provide for yourself or your family.


Maxmars, I've come to expect better of you, honestly.

While your criticisms of the study are pretty well spot-on, I have to point out that you are using your criticism of the study as an opportunity to attack a particular demographic.

You should also realize that your own line of logic is... silly. "Someone has more money, therefor, it is logical to conclude that they must be anti-human."

My major criticism of the study is that they target only those in the Chicago area (I realize this is where a lot of wealthy people from around the world have homes... for whatever odd reason - why anyone would want to live in a place that ranges from 100 degrees in the summer to -10 and below in the winter with 4 foot snowfalls is beyond me...).

Though it mentions that this is a pilot study - so I suppose that is reasonable with the idea being that they are planning a larger study in the future.



posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 05:21 PM
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Excellent and spot on Analysis of this bias report Maxmars!

as you so eloquently pointed out these small donations by the 1% to the public or less fortunate are only a ruse (like a racists black friend) in comparison to their wealth.

the trickle down of their wealth will not happen and this is proven by their political contributions and support for a Gov, who overlook shady business practices allowing these 1% to get away with paying less taxes while bringing home more paper.



posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by Aim64C
reply to post by Maxmars
 



Um... no, your study SHOWS that most of the one percent SAY they are more concerned about the common good......


Maxmars, I've come to expect better of you, honestly.

While your criticisms of the study are pretty well spot-on, I have to point out that you are using your criticism of the study as an opportunity to attack a particular demographic.

You should also realize that your own line of logic is... silly. "Someone has more money, therefor, it is logical to conclude that they must be anti-human."

.......


I am feeling distinctly argumentative at the moment so allow me to respond.

First, and most importantly, coming from you the disappointment you express cuts me. I had to reevaluate my presentation to ensure I hadn't fallen prey to my own prejudices. Frankly, while I may have waxed hypercritical, I cannot find a way to accept that:


You should also realize that your own line of logic is... silly. "Someone has more money, therefor, it is logical to conclude that they must be anti-human."


I have to make some allowances for my own pride, which is naturally in play here, but it is, in part, mustered because I know what you have pointed out is an inference outside what I had intended to imply. I recognize that you, being among the more sentient demographic, are likely to be pointing out something others may also see, or infer.

I can't be certain if you're inference comes solely from the comment I made:


Um... no, your study SHOWS that most of the one percent SAY they are more concerned about the common good. This seems like a natural assertion for those who don’t know hunger, or the grief and anxiety of not knowing what the future holds for you at your currently diminishing ability to provide for yourself or your family.


If you will indulge me, I think there is a solid basis for that comment.

The results of this survey are the responses of people. People respond to any survey in the manner which best suits them. I find no reason to believe that the hyper wealthy are especially different from that norm.

As an example, if you ask a person if they are prejudiced, most will respond in the negative. If you ask them if they have good will towards their fellow man, you will be hard pressed to find any who would admit to wishing ill on their fellow man. And if you ask if they care about the common good, I suspect you can guess what the answer will be.

How much more so those who are affluent, need not work, and include among their leisure time the effort required to write a check to UNICEF, or serve soup bowls at a homeless shelter, before retiring to their otherwise extraordinary lives? And yes there are those who exceed that generalization... but surveys are not designed to expound the exceptions, they are supposed to give us an impression of the generally 'real.'

This in no way implies the rich are evil or anti-human; quite the contrary; in keeping with human nature - they are ultimately normal. Which is precisely the cause of my exasperation with survey reports like these which insist on "confirming" that rich people are good, as in "better," and more "concerned" than those who are not. I reject that premise. I find this to be a "hit piece" for social engineering which teeters precariously on the brink of propaganda.

Perhaps my disdain for this disingenuous "academic" endeavor has spilled over onto the subject of the survey. But that is not the intent.

To get to the root of my potentially offensive comment: Surveys never SHOW or indicate anything other than what the statisticians and interpreters care to convey in their analytical summaries. By telling us that "there was surprise" at the alleged caring nature and presumed more civic responsibilities of the wealthy I can only say, emphatically, this is an interpretation that seems to fall very short of what is made evident reality in our world today. I submit that if you ask people if they are "good" they will respond in the affirmative, regardless of the truth. So this survey of people of means; people who never have to be 'anxious' about their status or survival (such as it is) in the world today... and for many tomorrows to come... are "better" and their "opinions" of more value.

On the reverse side of the coin, you have us, the consumers of information who look at this glorious list of celebrated academics and specialists, and must accept that their estimation of these 'elites' as of more value and importance to our society's 'deciders' than those who actually labor and produce. It is something which offends me, that the poor, lacking the means, time, and opportunities to contribute as the wealthy do, are somehow considered inert members of society - as if they were "lesser" for their misfortune.

At any rate, thanks for the honest feedback. I truly appreciate it.

edit on 6-12-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 09:08 PM
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Originally posted by googooflexy
Those evil 1% that you describe employ you and your children. When they have less money for them and to put into their businesses, they likely make the decision to cut back a bit.


I say bunk on that well-worn talking point. If you take 90% of someone's heroin, they'll have to put in 10 times as much effort to meet their requirements. Letting them get as much as they can as quickly as they can with as little effort as possible is incentive to cut back, not the other way.



posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 09:11 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


That was a crappy survey...not very impressed with the results.



posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 12:34 AM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 





et's see.... 50% of the wealthy deal directly with the political decision makers and elite.... how much would you like to bet the dealings of the 25% of 99%ers are more limited to the handshake at the rally, or 30 seconds at a town hall meeting... and that would be half as frequently (over 12 months vs. 6)


I too also used to think my vote counted...hello reality...I used to preach Capitalism then I realized my last name didnt come from a small middle eastern country that isnt Arab.

Is it that people are waking up? Right now I dont see any answers or have any...except "Need what I have"



posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 05:09 AM
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"104 Chicago households with a median wealth of $7.5 million"

I did not read the full write-up. Not sure I even want to.
The study is inherently flawed. It is not a study of any kind.
They are all from Chicago area. There are not enough of them. There is no sampling involved. The sample is not representative of any population - national/natural/local...none. Plus it stipulates a presumable overquota of the "highly affluent" (50 at least must weight 40m USD or more??) Makes no sense...scientifically speaking. No point in reading further than that...Obviously the intent is to support some pre-concieved notion rather than evaluate natural dynamics/tendencies etc. The resulting stats say nothing exactly because the sample is flawed as described above.



posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 06:05 AM
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evil people allow their ego to take over their consciousness .
they're so obsessed with their ego's (materialism , power , all that bs you knowamean) they don't recognize mistakes they make anymore which hinders them from learning something new everyday . this might be one of the reasons why the benevolent powers are stronger than the evil ones imo . peace out



posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 06:29 PM
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Another diatribe on the disingenious rich. This sort of discussion unnerves me, because it reeks of classism and invites conservatives to start quoting Rush Limbaugh.

Nonetheless, I think it's important to balance your arguments with some counter thoughts:

We all know that the One Percenters keep the lights on in this country. "The top 1% pay a greater dollar amount in Income Taxes to the Federal Government than the bottom 90%" This is a proven fact, although you can dig up research that argues differently. These days you can dig up research to prove any argument. Still, this fact is pretty well documented.

And whether or not they're happy charity volunteers, they are certainly keeping the lights on in our nation's charity offices. The rich often give generously-to the tune of $295 billion dollars a year. I personally would like to thank Bill Gates for donating so generously to Cystic Fibrosis. It is a largely overlooked genetic disease that two of my young family members have. Gates brings a lot of hope to the field of research.

A great number of One Percenters came from middle class homes and started their businesses in basements and garages. As an American, I applaud their imagination, hard work and dedication. I thank them for inspiring others. I thank god for the Internet every single day. And for my Ipod. And for the geniuses who have changed our lives.

Those who attack the One Percenters fail to include their favorite movie stars, singers and sport heroes in the mix. As of 2003, George Clooney makes 15 million dollars a movie for 8 weeks of work. Half of these Hollywood types are only famous for being famous. The name Kim Kardashian comes to mind.
Compare their vulgar lifestyles, their myriad marriages and bouts in prison to someone like Steve Jobs. Jobs lived in a nice but moderate house, never had a cache of cars in his driveway and shunned the luxurious lifestyle for a toned down version of life. There are many corporate owners who set good examples and change the world with their ideas and imaginations.

Although he certainly makes nowhere near 7.5 million a year, I have a brother who is a One Percenter. He gives away more in taxes than I make a year. In fact, he hands over almost half of his pay to state and local governments every two weeks. And since half the population of our country works for the government these days, I can promise you that he's paying two or three salaries for a state or federal worker every year. Please thank him when you go into renew your license or to mail a letter. He's part of the reason there are employees there to wait on you.

At least some of the mega-rich must be decent people. They, too, must love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy.

I want to live in a country where you are encouraged to work hard, to use your imagination, and to fairly make your way to a comfortable--even wealthy--lifestyle if that's what you so choose. I don't want to live in a country where jealousy is just an excuse for laziness. I believe that all people have the ability to excel, but we must believe this first ourselves. Thinking that the Government is a fairy god mother who is going to solve all your problems and make you happy is a dangerous line of thought. You must take responsibility for your own life. It's not the government's job to feed you, to clothe you and put a roof over your head and buy your Bandaids. Self care and self responsibility are up to us.






edit on 7-12-2011 by MRuss because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-12-2011 by MRuss because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 08:13 AM
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Atlas Shrugged is now available on Netflix. The 1% attitude is demonstrated by everyone remaining behind those who went missing. Who is John Galt?

The point is - yea the 1% often exhibit the wrong attitude - and even get into regulation to oppose their competition rather than producing widgets and creating successes. The 2nd handers are the problem and sadly the 1st handers are the 1st to get robbed to death (the world crapping all over itself and sliding off of atlas even if atlas never did shrug).



posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 02:59 PM
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reply to post by MRuss
 



We all know that the One Percenters keep the lights on in this country. "The top 1% pay a greater dollar amount in Income Taxes to the Federal Government than the bottom 90%" This is a proven fact, although you can dig up research that argues differently. These days you can dig up research to prove any argument. Still, this fact is pretty well documented.


I am afraid I am among those who disagree and have failed to discover any indication that the 1% (at least most of them) are anything but beneficiaries in a systemic construct which monopolizes opportunity and access. While I share you sentiment that research can be 'used' according to one's whim, I fail to see how this particular study is not exemplary of that very principle - especially since it pertains to what you assert is "common" knowledge. If you know of a place where I can go to see this "proven fact" please do tell.


And whether or not they're happy charity volunteers, they are certainly keeping the lights on in our nation's charity offices. The rich often give generously-to the tune of $295 billion dollars a year.


That number seems to be vacuous since we can't identify whether that generosity is unique to the one percent.... although I know they quickly proclaim it to be true... of course, once again... if we measure their generosity against their (so-called) "worth" are they really making a 'sacrifice" at the same level as the rest who donate their time and money... such as those who aren't rich? Or is it just a matter of math, the rich give more so they can claim more importance, more relevance, or that perhaps they are better people? Perhaps not, but the comparison begs acknowledgement of the illusion of "giving" versus true "charity."

I sincerely hope those who suffer from diseases as you mention are granted the peace, comfort, and eventual cure everyone should have access to.


A great number of One Percenters came from middle class homes and started their businesses in basements and garages. As an American, I applaud their imagination, hard work and dedication. I thank them for inspiring others. I thank god for the Internet every single day. And for my Ipod. And for the geniuses who have changed our lives.


I must confess some reservation here. Do you really believe that a significant portion of "One Percenters" actually EARNED their wealth by their own labor or productivity? When we speak of the 1% aren't we referring to an extremely extraordinary class of citizen that has more wealth than any one person could have earned alone? Is it not true that once you have reached a certain level of wealth, surely as the one percenters have, that it is no longer a matter of production and invention, but of financial management? Are we now to believe that the One Percent are all geniuses?


Those who attack the One Percenters fail to include their favorite movie stars, singers and sport heroes in the mix. As of 2003, George Clooney makes 15 million dollars a movie for 8 weeks of work. Half of these Hollywood types are only famous for being famous. The name Kim Kardashian comes to mind.
Compare their vulgar lifestyles, their myriad marriages and bouts in prison to someone like Steve Jobs. Jobs lived in a nice but moderate house, never had a cache of cars in his driveway and shunned the luxurious lifestyle for a toned down version of life. There are many corporate owners who set good examples and change the world with their ideas and imaginations.


At no point have the One Percent been attacked. The image portrayed in this so-called study is. But please, are we to include super-stars manufactured by the media and other celebrity puppets in this discussion? Many of whom exemplify the adage that they think their poop doesn't stink because they act, or throw a ball, or do something else the media tells us is "just amazing." In effect, they matter because they are popular? The media builds them up, and knocks them down. It's all part of the bread and circuses to which we are subject. As for Jobs... and what of Wozniak, or will he not be considered a heroic one-percenter until he is dead? As for Gates... what of the collaborative creators of CP/M which he opportunistically seized and made a fortune... good on him right? Does that make him smart.... or lucky? No one get's rich on their own.... for every incredibly rich person you know there are dozens if not hundreds whose contributions go unrecognized (per chance unrewarded?). being "rich" does not automatically mean you are a leader, or a good person.... although that seems to be the message I am meant to infer.


Although he certainly makes nowhere near 7.5 million a year, I have a brother who is a One Percenter. He gives away more in taxes than I make a year. In fact, he hands over almost half of his pay to state and local governments every two weeks. And since half the population of our country works for the government these days, I can promise you that he's paying two or three salaries for a state or federal worker every year. Please thank him when you go into renew your license or to mail a letter. He's part of the reason there are employees there to wait on you.


Do you honestly believe that? Do you really feel that his prosperity is the reason people can get a job? And by the way... his Federal taxes, like everyone's in this country goes to service the interest on the national debt. As for State taxes I wouldn't presume to say, but judging from the 'investment industry' games played at the state-level; I wouldn't expect they go to anything as practical as a salary, or a public service.



At least some of the mega-rich must be decent people. They, too, must love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy.


I absolutely agree. There are genuinely exemplary human beings out there. But I disagree that their wealth has ANYTHING to do with their character, their sensitivity, their loyalty, or their value as a person. And frankly, i wish more of them would take a few minutes to consider this:

Were you to die this day, without warning; how many would not get paid at the end of the week, how many need not report to work the next day? THAT's how many people you "employ". Not "I own 20% of general Mills therefore I employ thousands" .... no you don't.

The illusion that I want to break is that wealth is a measure of hard work. It is not. Wealth is a measure of opportunity and access.

Many people work harder than any rich person you can think of and are dirt poor. I reject the notion that if you are not wealthy - you must be lazy, or somehow feeble. Some of the sleaziest wastes of human flesh are parading around with wealth that could literally feed thousands languishing in their coffers.... but they are to lazy to care... although they sure are willing to discuss the matter as if they could somehow relate to the plight of those who can only struggle to survive, rather than live

edit on 8-12-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 10:58 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


Let them leave? So they can be in another country anally raping the citizens of America? Just because they are not residing in your country does not mean they do not control the agenda in your country. They would start a civil war if it come down to leaving anyway.



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