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Mitt Romney and the myth of self-created millionaires

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posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 04:54 PM
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I'm not sure wher to put this - althuogh teh headline is about Romney the subject matter is more than just US politicians, and it isn't really "news" as such, so "Social issues" looked like a good compromise.

The punchline:


We could call it Romnesia: the ability of the very rich to forget the context in which they made their money.


and the commentary:


Rich lists are stuffed with people who either inherited their money or who made it through rent-seeking activities: by means other than innovation and productive effort. They're a catalogue of speculators, property barons, dukes, IT monopolists, loan sharks, bank chiefs, oil sheikhs, mining magnates, oligarchs and chief executives paid out of all proportion to any value they generate. Looters, in short. The richest mining barons are those to whom governments sold natural resources for a song. Russian, Mexican and British oligarchs acquired underpriced public assets through privatisation, and now run a toll-booth economy. Bankers use incomprehensible instruments to fleece their clients and the taxpayer. But as rentiers capture the economy, the opposite story must be told.


Basically monbiot is pointing out that no-one gets to be filthy rich without a whole lot of other people maing at least some contribution. Even if you find the world's largest diamond in your back yard it means nothing unless there is a socialstructure that gives it value, laws that say it belongs to you, security to enable you to keep it, and everything else that goes with having a society organised enough to actually make you rich and enable you to spend all that dosh on something else.

A lot of people seem to think that these things do not add to the value - but in fact they are the ESSENTIAL infrastructure and support that creates value in the first place.

The old quote is "no man is an island" is appropriate.




posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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Mitt Romney is a parasite



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


Hmm.. in every wealth breakdown report I've ever seen regarding wealth transfers and cycles in the United States outlines how 90%+ of millionaires are in fact first generation. And that there is a prevailing cycle of wealth that causes up to 40% of millionaire and above wealthy individuals to fall out of the millionaire status and new ones to replace their position every 10 years. Those who inherit are a very small minority of the wealthy, they often the most publicized simply because their parents are usually connected .. doesn't mean they are the majority.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


Hmm.. in every wealth breakdown report I've ever seen regarding wealth transfers and cycles in the United States outlines how 90%+ of millionaires are in fact first generation.


I think you completely missed the point.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


Hmm.. in every wealth breakdown report I've ever seen regarding wealth transfers and cycles in the United States outlines how 90%+ of millionaires are in fact first generation. And that there is a prevailing cycle of wealth that causes up to 40% of millionaire and above wealthy individuals to fall out of the millionaire status and new ones to replace their position every 10 years. Those who inherit are a very small minority of the wealthy, they often the most publicized simply because their parents are usually connected .. doesn't mean they are the majority.


You words are falling on deaf ears, my friend. This does not fit his "the rich only became rich because they cheated" worldview.

I think it makes some people feel better to BELIEVE that the rich are crooked and evil... And that's got to be the ONLY reason they themselves aren't rich.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by GeorgiaGirl
 


You missed the point too.

The point is not that these people aer 1st generation or not - it is that their wealth was NOT generated in isolation - they could not have done it without the efforts of a lot of other people, and claims that they did it "all by themselves" are nonsense.
edit on 25-9-2012 by Aloysius the Gaul because: (no reason given)

edit on 25-9-2012 by Aloysius the Gaul because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 05:55 PM
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I think what he means is that society is what gives things wealth.

If I live on a deserted island and found a large rough diamond, I still don't have wealth.
I can't eat it so I am just as well to toss it into the ocean.
If a millionaire moved to a deserted island, overnight, he would be worthless, because that paper money
is only good to burn, since there is noone there to give it value.
Also, if someone like Romney started out on a deserted island, by himself, he would never be rich, because
again, it is other people that make you rich.

Society is what gives things wealth because it has value to others.


Originally posted by Rockpuck
reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


Hmm.. in every wealth breakdown report I've ever seen regarding wealth transfers and cycles in the United States outlines how 90%+ of millionaires are in fact first generation. And that there is a prevailing cycle of wealth that causes up to 40% of millionaire and above wealthy individuals to fall out of the millionaire status and new ones to replace their position every 10 years. Those who inherit are a very small minority of the wealthy, they often the most publicized simply because their parents are usually connected .. doesn't mean they are the majority.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 05:56 PM
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The only thing I now is that the people that claim to have built everything themselves are quick to blame others when things go badly.

The business is growing? "I built this".

Business profit is shrinking due to bad business decisions? "it's the minimum wage peon employees fault or the governments fault"
edit on 25-9-2012 by Kaploink because: meh



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 05:56 PM
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reply to post by jacobe001
 


Spot on - nice to see someone does read and comprehend


Star



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 06:02 PM
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They sum it up well in Texas: "Born on third and thinks he hit a triple." I believe this is the sentiment of the OP, not that there are no self-made millionaires in the US, that's bollox. Of course there are, but generational wealth has advantages that most of us serfs cannot enjoy. To deny this is just blind. If you apply a value judgment. "rich are evil, poor are lazy" etc, then you are just revealing a bias that is more about you than reality. It's a mixed bag, some rich are generous and care for others while some are not. Some poor are resentful and lazy and some aren't.

The system is corrupt. It needs to change and those changes will occur when people stop worshiping money. Too many people are willing to believe that to have lots of money makes you better off. It's not true at all, the well being of an individual is determined by his or her state of mind, period.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 06:07 PM
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reply to post by Pilot
 


Not really - obviously inheriting wealth is handy, but the point is that outside society your money means nothing - see Jacobe001's post above - www.abovetopsecret.com...

So the fact that you are wealthy means you owe quite a lot to all the elements of society that enable wealth to exist.

Even if you DO work 20 hours a day at a donut stand, invest the small profits brilliantly and become filthy rich solely from that, you could not have done it without whoever built your donut stand, the farmers who grew the wheat to make flour, the millers who ground it, the city council workers who built the pavement so you could have a good place to put your stand, and so on and so forth.
edit on 25-9-2012 by Aloysius the Gaul because: just my usual crappy typing



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 06:12 PM
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I think the biggest misconception is that the lower classes are automatically attacking the "success" of millionaires, when in fact it's not the success between the two, but the growing disparity since the 1970's between the two. A common tactic is to break down the population into quin-tiles so there is a top 20%. This allows the ability to pit large portions of the population against each other.When I think of the wealthy, I think of billionaires and multi multi millionaires. You can be a small business owner and through hard work and effective business management become a millionaire, but just because you have two million dollars doesn't mean you are really wealthy and don't risk losing it all through poor decisions or external forces beyond your control.It is not the top 20%. Furthermore it is not even the top 1%, but rather a fraction of that top 1% who live in obscene luxury and use their extreme wealth to dominate the political and social landscape of this planet. It is my belief that the general population has been far too lenient for far too long in regards to the perception of these very few causing the problems we all face economically, socially, and politically.Then again the most wealthy people of this planet don't work in collusion to secure their own interests to the plight of the majority of humans. The most wealthy are not only better in regards to wealth, but also in regards to a moral superiority, and they always hold the best interest of the general population at the forefront of their influence. This is proven scientific fact and not even debatable.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


Yes Gaul, forgive my slightly off-topic rant, I get you.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 08:26 PM
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reply to post by GD21D
 




The most wealthy are not only better in regards to wealth, but also in regards to a moral superiority, and they always hold the best interest of the general population at the forefront of their influence. This is proven scientific fact and not even debatable.


What ?!? Are you being cynically humorous ? I strongly object to the notion that they always hold the best interest of the general population, one does not need a better example that the state of US politics that is governed by wealth above all else... (Very similar to Roman society, the proof of the pudding was made by the factors that lead to the French revolution)

Care to share those studies that prove it as a scientific fact ?


edit on 25-9-2012 by Panic2k11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 08:31 PM
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Originally posted by GD21D
IThe most wealthy are not only better in regards to wealth, but also in regards to a moral superiority, and they always hold the best interest of the general population at the forefront of their influence. This is proven scientific fact and not even debatable.


I think you forgot the sarcasm tag??



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 08:39 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


OK? .... so why don't one of these other people that "make it happen" run things? Some people are leaders. Some people are followers. Some people are coasters.

Not everyone is made to be the Boss, and not everyone wants to be the Boss. And most importantly, not everyone would succeed even if they became the Boss.

I might have lost something in translation from reading your OP because from my perspective it looked rather pathetic.. I don't know, perhaps I just cannot fathom the way you think.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 08:55 PM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


Who said anything about anyone "running things"??


again you have completely missed the point, which I will repeat again, and try to make even simpler:

You cannot get rich unless a whole lot of people do stuff to enable you to get rich, so saying you got rich "by your own efforts" is nonsense.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 09:27 PM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


This is a very good point but I find the dichotomy erroneous...



Some people are leaders. Some people are followers. Some people are coasters.


You had a third path to the normal two followers or leaders, but even so it fails to relate to reality. I'm a bit hunted by an event that happened at University, in a class that if I can translate correctly was something like "Strategic Planning" the professor asked how we identified ourself as followers or leader, while the others never replies I alone after a small calculation replied that I was a follower, then the professor argumented against my decision (to what I in character to my mental realization did not counter, as the professor is the leader, I learned in University that rarely a leader opinion should be contested, even if that means that you can silent disagree with their view, it ultimately benefits you to adopt it as valid while under that type of leadership).

My realization and considerations that lead to the response was simple (even if I was allying it to me at that moment it translated to most people, in my view). Most leaders take risks and I make decisions that make them responsible to others, in general terms very few leaders are successful or long lasting on their positions of leadership. A leader is also a pyramidal structure of control something that has proven to be a failed model of power, that almost always seals the leader in a path of self destruction. In my own life if have always avoided risks and unnecessary responsibility, it always have been a calculated choice, even if I at times have acted as a leader or a small scale hero (low relevance, short duration and in very small structures), I tend to actively avoid leadership roles because they are unsafe physically and morally, but that does not mean that I couldn't rise to the position if forced to do so (by urgency and denoted incompetence of others).

This view of the power structures seems to best fit my view of reality, I think that the best power structures available is when power is shared in a decentralized way. If we look at the Romans they almost fallowed that path (even of for political reasons, for some time power was shared between two Caesars). We can even look anecdotally to the show "Survivor" and see how the basis of the pyramid most of the times survives those that step up to leadership. So I view the dichotomy as false, people rarely take the roles as permanent, and those that think they should be permanent leaders are more often than not more dangerous to themselves and others...

So event if a coaster should be defined as a follower, I get you point that it is a follower that acts in self interest not in blind obedience. My view is that most of us are and will always be coasters and that has served humanity well and ensured the survival of the species even if at times it delays necessary changes it also prevents negative radicalisms and chaos. Too many leaders lead to conflict...


edit on 25-9-2012 by Panic2k11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 09:31 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 




You cannot get rich unless a whole lot of people do stuff to enable you to get rich, so saying you got rich "by your own efforts" is nonsense.


.....And?



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 09:44 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

Money = human labor (and resources to a point).
This is economics 101, IMHO. Of course no one gets rich on their own, because there is no wealth without the labor to base wealth on. When you own money, you basically own a symbol that represents hours of human labor. You can cash that in for actual human labor, or goods that are made with both resources and human labor. Everyone gripes that our fiat money has nothing to back it, but that is not entirely true, its backed by the human labor that this country produces.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



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