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View Diary: Wow - David Brooks pretty much understands the huge problem Republicans have (141 comments)

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  •  This speaks to something I truly believe (24+ / 0-)

    There are two kinds of rich people:

    People like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bert Rutan, and Bill Gates; people who create and innovate and make the world a better place. And get rich doing it.

    And people like Mitt Romney, The Koch brothers, and the like who make their money by gaming the system, rigging the rules, leeching off other people's accomplishments; by making nothing, while taking everything.

    The problem is when society cannot understand the distinction and treat the latter as thought they are the former. I am reminded of a recent Forbes article praising the richest 400 people in the world, six of whom were drug cartel leaders. The fact that Forbes could not see that praising such men was morally corrupt boggles the mind. Simply having money is not a moral accomplishment, indeed, all too often it is evidence of the opposite.

    Until America understands that money is not the be-all and end-all of human existence, we will continue to be a morally and socially bankrupt nation.

    So gratz to Gates for his commitment to more than just having money, but doing right with it.

    •  Uhhhh, I'd put Bill Gates in the latter group (5+ / 0-)

      I see him as gaming the system so that Microsoft can maintain their monopoly.  I can't really think of anything they've innovated.  Windows - Apple, Xbox - Playstation, Zune - iPod, Word - WordPerfect, ... .  He reminds me more of Carnegie.  Makes all his money on something questionable then tries to cloak himself in philanthropy.

      ... like tears in rain

      by bladerunner on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:44:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ya caught me (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mistral Wind, DawnN, mmacdDE, KayCeSF, madhaus

        I agree with your assessment, but I thought it ill-mannered to put Gates in the latter class when I was responding to a comment about his philanthropy.

        Microsoft has never really innovated anything, true and they do game the system to maintain their near-monopoly. But I would put Gates sort of between the two groups (thus abrogating my original argument, I know). He's not great, but he's not all bad, either. I sort of see him as a wannabee Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was not so much an innovator as a person who could see the big picture and had exceptional taste and insight into the marketplace. He gave people what they didn't even know they wanted... yet. He made things so cool, people wanted them instantly and passionately. That's the definition of a leader: not the power to dictate, but the ability to make people want what you want as deeply as you want it yourself. Microsoft has always gone the dictator route: You vill haff ziss! Unt luff it!

        But Gates isn't evil. And I think he really tries.

        •  I kinda see it both ways (0+ / 0-)

          Jobs was Tiffany, Gates is Kay Jewelers.

          One is much more a luxury, and priced that way. The other is not quite such a luxury, emulates the high end stuff but cheaper, and is aiming at the masses.

          That's why Apple didn't have the market share Microsoft did, and still doesn't. There are more cheap smart phones than iPhones. More Windows PCs than Macs, more Android tablets than iPads.

          But Apple is the trendsetters, the leading edge, the innovators. I give them that. They see a different way to do something, and make it happen.

          And their stuff is usually pretty intuitive, with an interface that's way more consistent than the other hodgepodge of systems. That's why I got an iPad for my husband, and an iPhone when it was time for a new phone. He's not very computer savvy, and he can figure them out.

          I've been working with computers and various OS since the 80s, I can usually figure out most things. So it's not as much of an issue for me as it is for him.


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