I decided to write this thread after reading "The Shock Doctrine"
by Naomi Klein. For anyone who
hasn't read it yet, I highly recommend it. Although it is somewhat outdated having been published in 2007, it is a very sober look at "free market
economics". Specifically, it tackles the ideas (and consequences) of the Chicago School
, which is a neo-liberal (or neo-con depending on your outlook) school of economic thought which advocates pure laissez faire
economic reform, with a very globalist approach. Klein highlights the disastrous effects these policies have had starting in South America during the
military Junta's of the 70's, and follows up by highlighting how key players and proponents of this system imposed the same misery on people around
the world throughout the next 3 decades. Klein's book is chillingly prescient given the economic collapse which was to follow the publication of her
book by one year (and subsequently the banker bailouts).
The recurring theme that I noticed when reading about these economic principles and the people who benefited most from them was a certain
ruthlessness. I have at various times in my life questioned the moral character of the ultra rich and the power brokers among the elite, but I hadn't
quite had it put into perspective the way Klein exposed it. What was revealed for me, was a very greedy and indifferent class of people who built
their fortunes on the misery and death of others. From war profiteers to surveillance corporations, the entire thing appeared to be a giant ponzy
scheme built on the premise of a free economic structure that isn't very free at all. It's designed to benefit one class of people only, and that is
the elite which have constructed it. It robs working people of jobs and prosperity (and in some cases their lives), drives inflation, and creates a
system that is so unstable that when the entire house of cards comes down, the people who constructed it will be the only ones to escape the coming
horrors unscathed, while the average joe and his children are left footing the bill.
So in this thread, we will attempt to look at the mindset of some of these people, and analyse their lifestyles in an effort to understand not only
how they view themselves, but consequently how they must view us.
If there are any doubts about a system of class warfare being in place, I hope to dispel them with this thread.
Carlos Slim Helu
Pictured above, Carlos Slim Helu
is a mexican business giant who made his fortune in the
construction, real estate and mining industries. He then used his wealth to buyout other businesses and made a fortune on investments in other
sectors. He eventually bought up entire swaths of the telecommunications industry in mexico, and currently enjoys a virtual monopoly in that sector.
Recently, it was estimated that he has acquired enough wealth and holdings to be worth an estimated 73 billion dollars.
To put that into perspective, Carlos is currently 73 years of age. He could buy a
home and a
car, every day of his life, for the rest of his life for the next 60 years
(assuming he lived to be 133 years old) and still die with well over 60 billion dollars.
Essentially, Carlos has so much money that there is no possible way he could spend it all in his own lifetime, or even the lifetime of his children.
Now I have used Carlos as an example here since he is currently listed as one of the worlds richest people (if not THE richest), but there are many
examples of such people in the world today, who possess such astronomical wealth that it is beyond the scope of understanding for most common people
in the west (nevermind common people in 3rd world countries).
So what do people with that sort of wealth do with their money? Lets take a look.
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud
Listed by forbes at #26 on the billionaires list, Prince Alwaleed has the bulk of his money invested in the hotel industry (to say nothing of the
wealth he was born into). What does the good prince spend his money on?
a fleet of private jets with thrones.
Pictured above is the throne room in his personal 747, one of many jets the prince owns. One can only surmise that the bathrooms must be furnished
with solid gold toilets
. If you think the
toilet linked above is simply a novelty item,
Celebrities, business magnates, and oligarchs are all known to furnish their houses with gold plated (or even solid gold)
fixtures. These people think so highly of themselves, that they feel they must take a $*!# on gold plated toilets.
So where do these people live?
and his 1 billion dollar house.
No, that is not a business highrise renting out office space to various corporations. That is Mukesh Ambani's
The 570 foot tall monster of a “house” features a whopping 400,000 square feet of living space. It has 27 habitable floors, including six
parking floors for capacity of up to 168 cars. Other features include numerous terraces, 9 elevators, a lobby, 50-seat home theater on the 8th floor,
a ballroom with 80% of the ceiling covered in crystal chandeliers, ice room infused with artificial snow flurries, dance studio, three floors of
hanging gardens, swimming pool, 3 helipads, air traffic control facility and the worlds largest collection of antique sewing machines. A staff of 600
maintain the home.
Why one person would need 400,000 square feet of living space and a personal staff of 600 people to maintain his home, is beyond me. One can only
guess at what drives people who have so much money that they seem to have gone completely mad.
When we compare this extravagance with the squalor that most of the worlds population lives in, can we really continue to make excuses for unfettered
capitalism? I'm all for people having the ability to live wealthy lifestyles and to generate wealth for themselves and their families. But at what
point does this become a morbidly obscene portrayal of wealth obesity? Can proponents of completely unregulated free market economics really excuse
such disparity between the few elites (and their ridiculous lifestyles) and the unwashed masses?
As always ATS, you decide.
edit on 21-10-2013 by DeadSeraph because: (no reason given)