Skip to main content

View Diary: Why the rich act the way they do (203 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Do you actually know any "rich" people? (0+ / 0-)

    I know a few. They are nothing like you describe. Stereotype much?

    •  It seems to depend on how they made (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      their money?

      "Since when did obeying corporate power become patriotic." Going the Distance

      by Going the Distance on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:35:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A few is anecdotal, not data. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Jester, mrkvica, sidnora

      The system, the history, the results; that is data.

      Many participants can be kind & decent individuals, whose careers nonetheless involve the perpetuation of what is described here.  There is no purity in either direction.

      Sometimes I can't believe it; I'm movin' past the feelin'...

      by Leftcandid on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:16:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like I said (0+ / 0-)

        Do you actually know any rich people? You seem to think they wake each day eager to destroy people's lives, including those in their own families. Or they are too stupid to realize that is what they are doing. Ridiculous.

        •  Are you saying *none* do? #actuallyridiculous (4+ / 0-)

          What, did the plantation owner mentality vanish from humanity after the Civil War?  

          Hooray for your friends, but don't let them blind you.  I have a very wealthy relative who is a good person, a moderate Republican who has done a lot of good.  And I've heard from him about his fellow board members, who I will not hesitate to describe as terrifyingly shitty people.

          You put forward a ridiculous, straw version of the actual argument; of course the point of the activities of the wealthy is not to deliberately & solely destroy people's lives.  And certainly the point is to improve life for their familes.  But you have to admit that those who seek maximize profit for themselves & their own familes--without regard for the cost to their employees and THEIR families--are making the world worse rather than better.

          And yes, they can be too stupid to realize that that is what they are doing.  The corporate mentality is MAXIMIZE QUARTERLY PROFITS.  Individuals can dissent from this on their own time, but do they dare do so when it counts, at executive board meetings?  Not if they want to keep their highpaying positions, they don't.  The Koch brothers are probably intelligent men, but they clearly don't give a damn about worsening the growing climate crisis, something that will worsen the lives of most families on Earth.  

          Why do you believe your wealthy friends are more representative of all rich people than the Republicans?


          Sometimes I can't believe it; I'm movin' past the feelin'...

          by Leftcandid on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:59:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you saying they all do? (0+ / 0-)

            Of course I am not saying none do- but I dare say the diarist said they all do "the rich" with nothing more than his/her take on today's political and economic landscape- woven together with junior college psychology and a polished with idealogical rhetoric.

            I am sure there are some really crappy people who are rich. Just as there some really crappy people who are poor, tall, Mets fans etc.

            Of course a business wants to (usually) maximize profit. That usually translates to higher stick returns for stock holders, a more robust business, which employs people and pays taxes. Many business also try to create a better work environment to attract better workers. It isn't a zero sum game. you have just admitted that you know a wealthy person who isn;t at all what the diarist described. I know about 5 or 6 like that. I seriously doubt they are the only 7 in existence. The "hate the rich" diaries (guaranteed to get noticed) around here can be quite annoying as well as intellectually lazy, especially when they typically mean is "hate the conservative rich but not the liberal rich".

            I mean of Bill Gates doesn't care about his employees and their families and the country (even though he gives aways billions to charity) show it. But just saying "the rich" suck is infantile.

            •  The actions of the rich, as a group, suck. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mrkvica, sidnora, bigjacbigjacbigjac

              The problem is that the damage done by the "bad" rich is surpassing any good done by the good ones.  Political corruption, corporate personhood, ecological damage, opposition to single payer healthcare, that's all the doing of the wealthy.  Poverty is their decision; without their opposition, we wouldn't have it.  This is the framework within which this diary has meaning.

              Bill Gates is not innocent; he's responsible for job losses for Americans, by pushing the H-1B program to lower his labor cost & raise his profits.  He's also into busting teachers' unions.

              You remind me: I (kind of) know another decent rich person, my former Congressman Jared Polis.  Great liberal.  Even HE, though, balked at the idea of a surcharge on millionaires to help fund the ACA.  I let him have it.  

              I can't tell if you're deliberately missing the point here; there's no problem with rich people who aren't the problem, so it should be obvious those individuals aren't the topic.  We're not complaining about Redford, Turner, Soros, etc.   You have to know that.  But in case you're really sincerely making that argument, I agree with that point (although a bad rich person does much more damage than a bad poor person)(personally I'd like to see wealth as an aggravating factor in sentencing, rather than the ability to lawyer one's way out of any crime).

              Sometimes I can't believe it; I'm movin' past the feelin'...

              by Leftcandid on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:23:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is simply (0+ / 0-)

                denying reality:

                Poverty is their decision; without their opposition, we wouldn't have it
                Poverty is, alas, a human condition. Working to minimize it is nobel. Denying it's permanence is naive.
                Political corruption
                Blame the politicians who are corrupted.
                corporate personhood
                Supreme Court decision.
                ecological damage
                Caused by the rich?
                opposition to single payer healthcare
                A LOT of people, like over half the country, oppose that.

                People can be rich and incorrect without being evil. You have a problem with certain rich people's politics and personal decisions. Fine. But "rich people" do not suck anymore than the rest of us.

                •  You really don't understand what has happened (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  and how it happened, who chose it.  Everything on your list above is true ONLY BECAUSE the solutions are vigorously opposed by the rich.  

                  Poverty is a human condition... that could now be solved if only the wealthy approved.  Instead they cry, "Socialism!"  Sure, some don't, but too many do.

                  The reason the Supreme Court has ruled for corporate personhood for 150 years is a corrupt sympathy with the rich in each case.   Corporate entities sought equal protection under the 14th Amendment, and the SCOTUS clerk who inserted a pro-personhood clause into the Santa Clara County Vs. Southern Pacific Railroad decision was previously a railroad executive.

                  The definition of corruption is the profit motive at work in government: the desire to get rich by serving the rich instead of the public.  This is the motive behind everything the Republicans do.

                  People oppose single payer only because of wealth-funded propaganda.  Once they understand you're talking about Medicare, they support it.

                  I see you left out environmental destruction.  This is something actually perpetrated by humanity at all wealth levels, but the worst of it--the most efficient, largest scale--is done by corporations, aka the rich.

                  Not all rich people are bad, but all the people who are causing our worst problems--and who are aware of and capable of implementing solutions instead--are rich.  All of them.  And it ought to be obvious that, morally, it is much worse to be a greedy rich person than a greedy poor person.

                  Sometimes I can't believe it; I'm movin' past the feelin'...

                  by Leftcandid on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:23:59 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  one question (0+ / 0-)

                    at a time.

                    How could the wealthy (although they are not some collective of single minded lockstep thinking auto bots) alleviate poverty " if only the wealthy approved."?

                    Names and solutions?

                    •  Alright, what alleviates poverty? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      In the US and other industrialized nations:
                      * livable Social Security benefits
                      * National health insurance
                      * Properly funded, properly run public assistance safety nets for all life circumstances, including unemployment, addiction, domestic violence
                      * Living wage + abolition of free trade to protect domestic labor from a surplus condition
                      * Rehabilitation-focused penal system
                      * Minimally corrupt political & legal system that distributes justice fairly & safely regulates the marketplace
                      * Tax code that provides proper government funding while reducing the wealth gap between top & bottom
                      * Education system focused on development of citizens capable of pull participation in economic & political life

                      In the developing world:
                      * Stabilized access to safe water, food, & medicine
                      * Minimally corrupt, democratically elected governments that are responsive to the electorate & create a stable regulatory environment for the conduct of a funtional marketplace
                      * Investment in the local development of, and ownership by, sustainable resources, agriculture, & industry
                      * Abolition of free trade for fair trade to protect domestic farming & labor
                      * Properly funded social safety net, and an education system geared toward a national recognition of long term challenges previously ignored by a population too focused on day to day survival (environmental concerns)
                      * Tax code to fund the above
                      * Where necessary, a public program to reconcile tribalism & similar corrosive cultural problems that threaten the stabilizing structures, if not a descent into outright civil war.

                      I'm sure I forgot a few elements.  But these problems all trace to imbalance of power, aka financial resources.

                      Sometimes I can't believe it; I'm movin' past the feelin'...

                      by Leftcandid on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:55:02 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Now that is the stuff of which (0+ / 0-)

                        great diaries are made.

                        And every last one of these line items have been opposed by wealthy interests since time immemorial. The same wealthy interests have also financed propaganda to pull the wool over the eyes of those who would stand to benefit from implementing poverty-alleviating measures.

                        liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

                        by RockyMtnLib on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:39:50 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Just to take one of your points (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  shaharazade, bigjacbigjacbigjac

                  Because I don't have time to deal with all of them:

                  Are you aware that when Obama originally outlined his health care reform program, something like 80% of the country was in favor of single payer healthcare?  It took the (oligarch-funded) Tea Party screaming for a year and the (oligarch-owned) media covering it like it was the second coming to change enough of their minds to allow the insurance companies to get the version they wanted.

                  I, too know some moderately rich people. Some of them are very decent people, and some of them are stupid, crass and selfish. But none of them are billionaires. Do you know any billionaires?

                  "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                  by sidnora on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:13:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Perhaps (0+ / 0-)

                    you can provide me with evidence of that 80% figure? I knew health reform, in various forms has hovered around 50 60 for a quite a while.

                    I would hardly blame the media for shifts in opinions.

                    I do not any billionaires. Do you?

    •  I was wondering when this would come up (6+ / 0-)

      Generally, when I use the term "rich" I'm not thinking of people that have one or two million bucks. I'm thinking of people with hundreds of millions of dollars, even billions. The super-rich, so to speak. People who don't know or care what it's like to go through airport security, or sit in a traffic jam downtown, because they have their own jets and helicopters.

      And, see my comment on noblesse oblige and the Kennedys.

      And don't forget the real problem of the political muscle the rich can deploy and direct in the form of tens of millions of misguided and fearful wrong-wingers who believe Obama is a Kenyan socialist muslim anti-christ.

      A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

      by NBBooks on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:29:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

        you take such a dim view of people you do not know. And if you look at the Forbes 400 you'll quite a few Democrats who send a lot of their money for their party along with the Kochs and Waltons.

        I would also add that all first generation 'rich" earned their money. And I suspect that most impart their work ethic to their kids.

        I don't think being rich is any more an indicator of poor character than being poor is an indicator of good character.

        •  Being rich is an indicator of the nature of money (5+ / 0-)

          An increase in money is an increase in power, which can be used to get further increases in money more easily. In mathematical sciences (and in physiology) this is known as a positive feedback loop. The result of this monetary positive feedback loop, unless it is regulated by negative feedbacks, is to concentrate all money in a few hands. But that situation is unstable and leads to collapse of the society.

          Progressive taxation and redistribution through welfare was the main negative feedback intended to regulate monetary positive feedback. But in practice, money corrupts regulation, and the result is that the regulation merely slows down the concentration of money for a while. Eventually, regulation is removed through corruption, money concentrates, and society collapses. This has been the basic cycle of Empire throughout history.

        •  My dear Mister T, I am writing this, not for you, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          since I have little confidence you will think about it,
          with an open mind.

          I'm considering writing a diary on this,
          but I only get a handful of readers for my diaries,
          so maybe this comment in a popular thread
          will get just as many readers.

          No one earns anything.

          We humans are wild animals,
          we have no free will.

          Every event is an accident.

          Every human with great wealth,
          got it by accident.

          By accident,
          the wealthy,
          as a group,
          have been doing what this diary points out;
          it's in the historic record,
          it's not a debatable opinion.

          Some thinkers,
          by accident,
          are certain to write things like this diary,
          urging others to take action,
          to counter the harm to the working class.

          It's all accidents.

          There is no such thing as
          this or that wild human animal
          who has earned this or that pile of wealth.

          The nicest person on Earth
          should never get a penny of rent
          from any other human.

          Rent makes no sense.

          Seems to me.

          I reached this conclusion by accident.

          Thanks for reading.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site