The Cycle Of Societal Wealth

A recent article in Al Jazeera’s English website discussed what it called the “cash hoarding crisis” that plagues the American economic scene today.  Wealthy corporations have amassed, and continue to withhold from circulation, huge amounts of capital that might otherwise be used to help the economy.  According to the article, corporations now possess liquid assets equivalent to all the money the federal government spent in 2012, 2013, and part of 2011.  A related and frequent topic of discussion is the widening and apparently unbridgeable gap that now exists between the rich and poor in America; income inequalities are the largest they have even been, and continue to grow.  Even worse, this hoarded wealth buys unprecedented influence over the American political system.  With this background, it is useful to reflect on how such lopsided situations have been resolved historically.  It is a decidedly mixed picture.

With all due respect to the America’s Declaration of Independence and the French Revolution’s “Declaration of the Rights of Man”, man is everywhere born unfree and unequal.  Heredity, environment, and innate ability all combine to create disparities in achievement among men.  Some men, by virtue of superior ability, heredity, luck, social position, or inheritance, will always be able to amass more money and influence than others.  Nature is aristocratic or oligarchic, not communistic.

The increasing concentration of capital at the top of society is an inevitable trend in social development.  To an extent, it is also a favorable one.  The labors of the rich banker or businessman does fulfill a creative function in history:  he finances the free flow of goods and services, awakens the creativity of artists and scholars he supports, and contributes to the abundance of consumer goods valued by all.  Without the rich banking families of Renaissance Italy (e.g., the Medici) there would have been no Michelangelo or Da Vinci; and without the J.P. Morgans of America there would have been none of the large endowments for libraries, museums, or artistic grants that have made America the envy of the world in this respect. Business is the lifeblood of a healthy society.


Solon, newly appointed archon of Athens, argues for reform before the Athenian nobles

But this concentration of wealth at the top comes with a price.  Left unchecked, wealth and the power it readily buys can act as an obstacle to social change.  The rich, left secure in their mansions and gated communities, become increasingly isolated from, and unsympathetic towards, the plight of the poor and dispossessed.  Gross inequality destabilizes society. Resentments simmer, social injustice grows, and meaningful reforms are blocked at every turn by the forces of privilege and influence.  Many historical examples illustrate this.  I realize that historical examples are always hazardous, since history is so rich in detail that almost any example can be used to prove any point; and the historian, even by his choice of adjectives, can betray his secret prejudices.  Yet we proceed.

According to Plutarch, in Athens in 594 B.C. the income disparity between rich and poor was so great that social stability began to be threatened.  The poor, weighed down with debt and taxes, began to talk openly of revolt and violence.  Corrupt courts and oligarchs used every ruse of legal legerdemain and statutory slight-of-hand to keep them down, and to prevent meaningful social reforms from being implemented.  By good fortune, a rich businessman named Solon was elected to the archonship of Athens.  He was the Franklin D. Roosevelt of his time: although of aristocratic lineage, he recognized that violence and chaos would engulf the state if the abuses of the rich were not checked.

Solon gave debt relief by devaluing the currency, abolishing debtors’ prison, and reforming the loan system.  He reformed the income tax structure by making the rich pay at a rate twelve times that of the poor, made the courts more fair and open, and provided that the sons of men who had died in Athenian wars would be educated at government expense.  Although the rich wanted his head, and screamed bloody murder at Solon’s confiscatory policies, he held firm.  It is generally conceded today that his reforms averted social violence in Athens.  He was the type of man who only comes along once in a century.

The ancient Roman Republic took a different course, and the result was two generations of violence and civil war. Although the Romans have never been equaled in the art of government, they failed in the task of reforming their republic to meet the challenge of economic expansion.  In Rome, the expansion of the republic’s power around the Mediterranean brought fantastic riches and influence to the ruling classes.  Italy’s great landed estates—the latifundia—had generated a class of super-rich oligarchs that owned the Senate and treated it as their private playground.  The concentration of wealth, and the misery of the lower classes, grew unchecked year by year, until finally a brave tribune named Tiberius Gracchus determined to confront to oligarchs and save the republic from revolution.

Tiberius submitted legislation that would have capped land ownership to 333 acres per person; he proposed to reform the corrupt courts; and like Solon he would have provided debt relief in the form of debt cancellation or modification.


Tiberius Gracchus appeals for reforms before the Roman Senate

The Senate refused.  Tiberius appealed directly to the people in a series of masterful speeches, but the rich incited violence against him, and he was killed in a riot while campaigning for reelection in 133 B.C.  His brother Caius tried to continue his legacy, but he too was thwarted by the Senate, and died by his own hand in 121 B.C.  In the wake of his death, thousands of Roman supporters of the Gracchus brothers were slain by Senatorial proscription.  The Roman Republic was engulfed in a generation of civil violence, with competing strongmen—Catiline, Marius, and finally Julius Caesar—vying for control of the reins of power.  In the end, the republic as a viable institution was destroyed, and in its place was an absolute monarchy as the only alternative.

One of the themes of economic history is the alternating concentration and dispersion of wealth in a society.  As time progresses, inequalities among men multiply; the wealthy sectors of society aggregate more and more wealth in their hands.  This upward concentration of money brings with it a resistance to reform, an unresponsive political system, and a rigged judiciary and legislature.  Eventually, this concentrated wealth is redistributed downwards, either by peaceful means (as in America in the 1930s and the 1960s), or by violent means, as in France in 1789, in Germany during the Reformation (when German princes confiscated Church holdings), or in Russia after 1917.  The warning is clear.


The martyred Gracchus brothers, Tiberius and Caius

In contemporary America, fabulous wealth has been concentrated in the hands of a few.  The public has waited for meaningful reforms to take place from Congress on a number of social issues (health care, defense spending, infrastructure improvement, education, etc.), yet nothing meaningful has happened.  Congress is now the plaything of the rich and powerful, a tool of venal special interest groups.  The chief executive has been reduced to being a mouthpiece of the moneyed sectors, whose job is only to read platitudes and inanities from the teleprompter.

The student of history watches all this from the sidelines, with a mixture of frustration, apprehension, and fear.  People cannot be marginalized, ignored, and kept down forever.  Permanent gridlock is not a condition that can exist indefinitely.  Unless major changes are made, democracy may become a relic of America’s past, to be replaced by social unrest, violence, or demagogic strongmen promising reform.  The outcome is still in doubt.

Read More:  How Edward Snowden Will Humble America

317 thoughts on “The Cycle Of Societal Wealth”

  1. Meh. Redistribution of wealth doesn’t have to happen.
    In a free market (such as the one we’ve up until lately), the middle class makes up for the wealth inequality.
    Ancient Rome and Athens had no middle class, which is why the gap between the rich and poor was so stark. They hardly had free economies.
    The 1930’s and 1960’s marked the beginning of social programs that not only were due to women getting the vote, but will eventually bankrupt the federal budget.
    FDR and the Democrats are your heroes? Fine. But don’t pretend that embraces more government handouts is red pill. It isn’t. It just makes you a blue pill beta.

    1. I don’t think that history supports these assertions. The free market (if such a thing really exists, which I think is debatable) does not automatically make everything turn our right. Wealth continues to become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. This is what happened in America in the 1920s, and what has already happened today. Free market? Freedom is a matter of degree.
      The system is rigged in favor of the rich and powerful. It has always been so, since the days of Sumer and Akkad. Those who believe big-business propaganda or who are living in Ayn Rand’s fantasy world are usually those who have never actually experienced these things first-hand.

      1. You can achieve balance without redistributing the wealth. Simply give companies incentives to remain here rather than take jobs overseas, and refuse to bail out those who make mistakes–at both ends of the spectrum.
        Do that, and you’ll have a healthy middle class. No Dem Party policies needed.

        1. Yes, but rich monolithic corporations themselves are those who bail themselves with money of citizens – with trillions of citizens dollars. How to tell them to stop ?

        2. Corporations are also a government construct.
          It’s not Corp vs. Gov.
          It’s GovCorp, unlimited.

        3. Corporations are actively working on deconstruction of state, which is basically a repeat of 18. century scenario when feudal aristocracy was unwilling to let society be governed by universal law and citizens, but instead relied completely on the will of aristocracy (as it does on the will and internal deals of cronies nowadays)
          So, are those guillotines still in museums ?

        4. I don’t think you can achieve balance without redistributing the wealth. I actually think higher inequality reduces the prospect of full time wage earning jobs available (I can get into the reason why if someone wants to know, but it’s techinical). However, the wealth can be redistributed in a “free market” way though. It can be done via debt destruction and bankruptcy rather than government handouts. By the way, I agree with you that governments can be extremely large drivers of inequality.

        5. Ciceronian political cycle would put the next stage of history as aristocratic rule. It could easily be argued that we’re already there.
          Without government creation of corporations… and the propping up of the big ones via legislation that destroys true competition, consolidation into larger and larger entities seems inevitable.
          Redistribution should take place, certainly, but it should be via the free market’s constant churning. Government is incapable of solving the problem. It is the problem.
          And yeah. Guillotines. Go long on popcorn futures, too. Heh.

        6. I really always refrain from observing government as some extraterrestrial phenomena that abducted human kind.
          Government was invented by people for certain reasons, and to serve their interests.
          Of course, every kind of idea gets watered down and diluted when applied in real life, and so did government, and so did free market.
          But i think that none should be allowed to reach extremes in dysfunction. Neither free market or government.

        7. ” i think that none should be allowed to reach extremes in dysfunction. Neither free market or government.”
          Certainly. Government didn’t drop from outer space, even though the increasingly ridiculous BLS numbers may make you wonder sometimes.
          The free market, however, is an organic thing that arises from basic human interaction across the board. Supply and demand, need for goods and services, trade between individuals. Its distortion takes place when the “between individuals” part is subverted by the brute force of government.
          For instance… there are three shoe companies. One of them makes good shoes at a good price, one makes crummy shoes at a low price and one makes crummy shoes at a high price.
          In a free market, company #1 and company #2 would continue to exist whereas company #3 would go out of business since no one would want poor quality at a high price.
          But then… the owner of company #3 has an idea. He gets Mayor Ima Bureau-rat to pass a few laws that cut into his competitor’s cash flow… and puts them out of business… and all feet suffer.
          That’s often what we see. The free market is a pretty good gatekeeper until it gets distorted by government intervention on behalf of certain interests.
          I see the free market as gravity. It pulls everything down to earth and can only be defied be applying some serious force.
          What we have now isn’t capitalism or the free market… it’s straight up corporate fascism.

        8. Until I keep hearing hordes of people sitting around whining “it sucks man. I’m just too darned free. Someone should bully me around some more and take my stuff and chain me up. It sucks being so free man….”, I’ll choose to remain skeptical of the existence of dysfunctional amounts of freedom.

        9. And that would be precisely where you would be wrong. Those who suffer from “freedom” are at the opposite side. Because people had freedom to create monopoly and absorb state apparatus thanks to wealth they acquired, is for example the reason why majority of American towns and cities has poor public transportation, and depend heavily on bus and car traffic. And that’s the reason why American cities are designed the way they are (with sprawling suburban blocks and townhouses and never-ending sea of low rise property). That’s something that affects you directly. Reason your state plundered trillions from citizens and gave it to banks is the reason why tax money was not invested in better purpose.
          And so on and so on. So I’m not talking about ethical concept of freedom (freedom of movement, speech, etc), i’m talking about absolutist concept of freedom which libertarians manipulate , which has no foot in reality, like for example “economic freedoms”.
          After all, i admit that might be subjective. I do not want to live in a society where everyone can do whatever he wants, particularly if he has enough cash. If that’s someone’s cup of tea, ok.

      2. I agree. The free market would be free if it where a level playing field, it’s actually a slope with the rich as archers on the top and us plebs at the bottom.
        When 2008 happened, 80% of americuns where opposed to bail outs which are intrinsically un-capitalistic.
        The walfare programme has also been twisted to give free handouts to all sorts of groups (vote purchasing).
        In the UK you can get handouts from 18 till you die for housing and food.
        The rich and companies create loopholes to be able to evade tax (vodafone uk) this in turn accelerates the problem.
        Even with a level playing field, nature always roots out the weak.

      3. another superb article quintus. a question: have you ever visited Scandinavian countries? although i generally detest the socialist ethos, i have to admit that their countries are quite ideal in many ways…and largely because of their socialist policies. i agree with everyone on RoK that their policies towards men are repugnant… no debate there.
        but when i visit sweden or denmark, i see highly functioning, peaceful, quasi-socialist states. i’m not suggesting that those models would work in the US – or in most countries for that matter (look at greece, where they lack the admirable fiscal and tax-paying responsibility of the northern Europeans).
        but if it can work so well in SOME countries, then don’t the socialists have a point?

        1. I have not visited any Scandinavian countries. They do have a high level of social cohesiveness, compared with other nations, and that has been their tradition for a long time. There is much to be learned from their systems, but I am afraid that the rest of the world is not interested in learning.

        2. The rest of the world is also not Scandinavian. There’s a coherence there created by shared ethnic history. The US is a sprawling multicultural mess that has reached incoherence.

        3. I’m yet to find such an efficient system as in Germany. No surprise their government and it’s policies enjoy so much support and trust lately

        4. Scandinavia has a lot of natural resources and a history of strong social cohesion. I’d be hesitant to give TOO much primacy to their socialistic policies. They have a strong market combined with those policies. The best of both worlds, essentially.
          It’s going to be interesting to see how they deal with their immigrant populations going forward because that will be a problem.
          Interesting stuff back and forth on this. This is what I like to see on ROK.

        5. Scandinavia is a testament to the fact that National Socialism works well in a homogeneous ethnic society with high social cohesion. USA proves that multiculturalism is the path to poverty, misery, and debt.
          The Scandis will not boast such high-functioning societies much longer. They made the fatal mistake of giving their women power, who in turn couldn’t wait to flood the country with feral, savage africans and hordes of muslims, all with their hands out for gibsmedats. These countries are on the fast track to ruin ever since they embraced social liberalism.

        6. The issue is that the socialist aspects were adapted after the countries were already rich. Sweden and Denmark for example were both in the top 5 richest countries in the world in 1950. They got there over the prior 150 years with free economies. In the 1930s, like in most places, leftist economics started to gain traction in response to the Great Depression. By the mid 50s, they had taken over and started implementing most of the programs they still have today.
          From the 1950s-1970s the government expanded exponentially, and from the 70s onward their economies were in slow decline. In the early 90s there was an economic crisis in Sweden, after which they started to roll back some of the socialist aspects. Today they still have what seems like huge government, but it is much reduced from the 90s, and the political wave suggests that will continue.
          It’s easy to look at the Scandinavian countries on the surface and note their social democracies and claim that they are well of because of that. The reality is that they got extremely wealthy first, then decided to squander some of that wealth on socialist policies, and are seemingly turning around once again, albeit with the turning circle of an oil tanker. If we are looking for genuine economic progress, the Scandinavians aren’t the place to emulate.

        7. Race would be less of an issue if we didn’t have a left-wing epidemic of self-segregation. We’re encouraged to break off into our own little groups and whine about how we’re disadvantaged and the government needs to do something about it. Feminism is the worst example of this, and the elimination of male-only space isn’t helping either. I’ve never had an issue dealing with men of a different race when I can meet them on an even level without having to posture for groups.

        8. yes but lots of countries are closer to free market and have more resources and are doing much worse. How is the free market working for mexico. They’ve had alot of right wing governments. You can’t get a welfare check in mexico.
          On the immigration front, immigrants are required to prevent total collapse of those countries. NO one wants to be a janitor or similar low level menial jobs. But a society cannot function without them. Then most europeans do ot have alot of kids because anythign more than 2 kids will basically equal being poor. Which means you have a lack of workers now to support the old. Old people dying slowly of cancer need PSW or someone to help them out of bed and perform basic functions. And most middle upper class whites like myself do not aspire to do that. How do you feel about wiping ms johanssens ass? If you are like me utterly repulsed. But it needs to be done. So of course there is a need for immigrants.

        9. Segregation isn’t left-wing. It’s a universal tendency. We sort by similarities in appearance, IQ, interests, shared experiences, etc.
          You’re right, though; interacting with individuals is a lot easier without the group dynamic.

        10. Some people’s ancestors were brought over to the Americas against their will and tortured to death by savages.

        11. difficult to use Scandinavian countries as an example, the population is homogenous and culturally the expectations are similar among the population. In contrast, the US is diverse, divided populations with each group having different expectations from one another.

        12. I was referring to segregating in order to whine to the government. Of course we seek out like-individuals, but the places where men can engage other men beyond a superficial level are evaporating. Ironically, we need the one kind of segregation we’re denied in order to make a cohesive group. Men are generally loyal to other men they know well.

        13. Are you insane? Mexico is and has been a communist state since the 20s. They wisely chose not to openly state that reality since there was no reason to piss off their powerful neighbor to the north. Look what good it did Cuba to openly go communist.

        14. Communist mexico a signatory to nafta with 2 capitalist countries? Mexico is basically what the wild west was. You have your robber barrons and king pins and drug lords who own the whole town. And a capitalist central government.
          Actually alot of good came from cuban communism as the soviets dumped a bunch of money and weapons there. Had they not been communist and armed with nuclear weapons usa would have wiped them off the map a long time ago.
          That being said cuba would look like haiti if it wasn’t communist. Without a strong central leader the cia would just overthrow any democratically elected capitalist to ensure american hegemony over the place.

        15. Some forms of government only work when the avg IQ is over 90. IQ is at least 85% genetic. There is a reason every advancement of civilization happened with Asians and Europeans who evolved under similar conditions.

        16. Do you mean the criminals & defeated rival tribes sold by blacks in Africa where you can still buy slaves today, while living on welfare is better than being in the top 1% of natives of black nations? Or do you mean indentured servants who had a much higher mortality rate than black slaves?

        17. I hope this site doesn’t become inundated with white nationalists who have to go on and on about how inferior black people are. Though there is a lot of dysfunction among blacks, there are also those of us who are so far removed from that environment that we have almost nothing in common. I’m not in favor of forced multiculturalism, egalitarianism and most of all feminism.

        18. You mean the difference between an elite full bred designer kennel vs mutts in a big compound?
          It’s like comparing Harlem to the Hamptons or Compton to Cabassas as dad as the difference between the Viking Idlands and Walmart tract hood Murica.

      4. Absolute spot on. Some wealth inequality is actually good because it provides an incentive for people to improve themselves and to move upward in society. But too much inequality will result in social instability leading to violence, riots and other crazed mob actions.
        The reality of the matter IMO, is that neither capitalism nor socialism, in their pure forms, was meant to benefit the average person. The extremities of both economic systems turn people into wage slaves while concentrating wealth in the hands of a few. The best solution is still to have a mix economic system that balances the private and public sectors.

      5. I fail to see the distinction between the danger of power amassed in the hands of a few businessmen as opposed to the few politicians that you promote.
        Additionally, the US hasn’t had a free market since it’s inception. The gov has enacted laws that prop up favored industries from the get go. It’s no surprise that the 20’s were so bad due to the federal reserve putting the final nail in the coffin that was the American free market.

      6. >>The free market (if such a thing really exists, which I think is
        debatable) does not automatically make everything turn out right. <>Wealth continues to become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. This is what happened in America in the 1920s, and what has already happened today. <>In the end, like so much else, balance is the key. You need rough
        equality of opportunity for all, while recognizing that men are
        inherently unequal. And wise, enlightened leadership will recognize
        that too much power and money in the hands of a few is a serious danger for a healthy society.<<
        No Quintus.You are seduced by the idea that there is such a thing as enlightened leadership.That there exist some class of Men who know what a healthy society is and how it should be achieved.THIS very notion is why we are so fucked up today.Our societies are being engineered according to the utopias of the Anointed.But no matter how wise or intelligent a Man may be to you,unless he is truly omniscient he can never correctly decide what is good for everyone in society or what the greatest good is.
        The greatest Blue pill is to subscribe to the notion that there is such a thing as a Good Government and a healthy society that results from it.

        1. “There is no such thing as good government or bad government. It;s all bad. Hence the question becomes, given that government is inevitably bad, do you want it to be large or small” -Stuki, if noone else.

        2. While you talk about how many billionaires are out there, keep in mind Ron Paul is still alive and was able to support his family earning $3 and hour as a doctor, and could be paid in $20 gold coins that have a smelt value of over 800 today. 5 quarters from before 1964 have a smelt value of over$25 in silver.

      7. Get rid of cronyism. We have crony capitalism now. We don’t have a 100% free market but it could be alot freer

      8. The system will inevitably be rigged in favor of the rich and powerful. Even in theory it cannot be any other way, since maintaining power costs resources, and resources is wealth; hence there will always, even in pure theory, be an unholy nexus between government and money.
        Of course, this suggests the only way out: Make the system smaller. And smaller. And smaller. Ideally until there is no system left at all.
        Which is actually simpler to do than it sounds, since all it really requires in practice, is pure nihilistic destruction of all system sustaining structure around you.
        And going by the sheer resilience of unusually egalitarian places like Afghanistan, whose basically unaltered culture has outlived anything from Athens to Rome to Pax Britannia to the Soviets and now the West; that shit actually seems to work. Unlike any of the alternatives.
        No matter how strongly the talking heads on TV, and previously on Soviet national TV, and British Newspapers, and Roman Senators and Athenian philosophers may have insisted their own “it’s diiiiferent theeeees tiiiiime” systems are somehow superior. Before they inevitably collapse and get sacked by Afghan like cultures, of course.

      9. You and McQueen are the best writers in Rooshs brotation.
        Write one for Virgin men in their early 30s (due to social isolation boring town OCD and panic attacks) should do to feel sexual and value as a social entity? They have so much stigma and are viewed as a freak. Hookers are nasty. What to do? Teach English in EE maybe?

    2. There are other ways of reducing income inequality than simply giving government handouts. One of the reasons of rising inequality was because of the massive increase in (primarily private) debt over the past 30 years since Reagan really. If you prefer smaller government, then the solution to fix income inequality should be bankruptcy. In bankruptcy, a portion of the debt servicing cost is just transferred from the debtor to the creditor.
      Income inequality can be fixed by “free market” methods.

      1. One of the few areas where the US is ahead of the rest of the world, is in the ease of which people can claim personal bankruptcy. Or, for example, jingle mail house keys. In the older (hence better during a fall) days, one could even just move across state lines and get away from “obligations.” Unlike in many parts of the world, where they have “debtors prisons” and all kinds of nonsense.
        Of course, things are getting worse in the US as well; with more and more wage garnishments, etc. But that’s to be expected as America becomes more and more dysfunctionally totalitarian.

    3. Concentrating of wealth in a few hands is like the snowball effect!
      At that point it’s got nothing to do with alpha or beta, as someone who’s worked for a number to extremely wealthy people, I can tell you right now they won’t ever share a penny with anyone, and to be rich in the first place you generally hVe to be a penny snatcher

      1. Money for the sake of money itself is something that should be despised, not heralded. The fact that it’s seen as desirable for people to just want money for the sake of money says something horrible about our society.

      2. So take what’s yours through any means necessary, if you’re man enough. That’s what the wealthy have been doing.

        1. Its unrestricted capitolism which becomes destructive! You have no idea what your talkig about, if you did you would know about America turning into a fascist and plutocratic state filled with oligarchs who have enough concentrated wealth achieved not by merit but by hereditary who can manipulate the political system. Learn your history and stop trying to be a hyper alpha male to cover up your own insecurities concerning your man hood!

        2. Nope–it’s government approved fascism, global MNC favored of US companies (my company pays 37-38% in fed & state income taxes while GE, etc pay 0-5% WTF), insane tariff and immigration laws, coupled with ridiculous red tape that stifles small businesses.

        3. Along with excessive IP protections.
          All problems that would be definitionally solved by simply getting rid of all government. Whether by vote or nuke or revolution; or over time by popular awakening to reality and subsequent spread of devil may care nihilism.

    4. Again, you have to be willing to look at both sides to find a real solution (a real balance).
      There usually is some type of balancing or redistribution that will happen (either through policies or war). Politicians on both sides know this and they cater to certain groups of the populace to appeal to them (for votes, power, etc…).
      I don’t believe in government handouts (for citizens or corporations).

  2. I earn money from a job, it’s taxed at ~%30 by the feds.
    The state takes out another ~8%
    Social Security and other social programs take out another 4-5%
    Then, when I want to invest what’s left, I get taxed on what I earn from investing it, at a rate of around 15%, higher depending on how much return I have.
    When I try to use those earnings (from investment or a job) to buy things I need or want, I get taxed ~10% on the sale.
    This is, of course, after the company I am buying from has raised their prices because they pass on their corporate taxes to the consumer in the form of inflated prices.
    If I want to own property, even if it’s not land, I get taxed for owning that. That tax rate isn’t very high, but when based on property values can break the bank.
    All this money taken out of my hands, and they (feds and local) still overspend their budgets year after year, handing manufactured government debt into the hands of cronies at the expense of the unborn.
    The elites know the bed they’ve made this time, and they’re prepared to avoid sleeping in it.

    1. Absolutely well said.
      Enough with these parasites. Taxation is theft and this parasitic exploitation must end.

      1. The United States of America used to have no income tax whatsoever. Income tax was enshrined in law so that the prohibitionists could get the 18th amendment passed, the worst law in history of mankind. Before the 16th Amendment (income tax), The U.S. government taxed luxury goods, like beer. In fact, at one point, the saloon industry was paying for most of the U.S. government budget. So the feminists/female-whiners/early-white-knights are the original social democrat one-issue-bullshit-artists that imposed income taxes on everyone. Before that, the drunks of the U.S. were supporting the government. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to fund politicians than through the stupidity of gamblers/drinkers/drug-users by taxing their preferred poison.
        We could abolish all these ridiculous taxes, and return to specific taxes on specific luxury goods that many want, but don’t need. I haven’t done the math, but I would guess the politicians would still outspend their income. In doing so, you would actually eliminate both the costly and retarded drug war, and restore the middle-class with the passage of a single constitutional amendment.

        1. Actually, the 19th amendment was the one that guaranteed universal suffrage, so that doesn’t quite work. However, the spirit of what you say is accurate since it was the same political organizations.

        1. Still theft. Any funds taken away from you by force is theft, hence taxation is theft.

        2. Bill the people who use those services instead of the public at large. If you are an idiot smoker who burns your house down, you pay the bill for the Fire Dept. response. If you are robbed and you want the police to track down the robber, you pay for their time. Or, better still, man the fuck up and take care of your own problems. A gun and a water hose are not that expensive.

        3. 40% of my municipal taxes go to emergency services. I could pay the mafia less for protection.

        4. And they’d be more effective at making sure your neighborhood stays nice and wouldn’t be interested in spying on you constantly.

        5. And they’d show up if I actually needed them.
          One of the areas I lived in in Japan was, unknown to me at the time, a neighborhood occupied by burakumin, and with them yakuza. The local boss loved around then corner. I used to drink beer with his guys. I never locked my door and never once feared for my safety
          Just…never owe them money, that’s all.

        6. The mafia would spy on you if they could make a buck doing so, and Google would gladly pay them to.

        7. Why did we get rid of volunteer fire and police? Seems like part of the pussification process of our society. ‘Only the professionals can protect from the criminals’ while they rob us blind.
          Taxation should be based up one’s potential need for these services. If your property is a big fire trap, your fire protection services are subsidized by the rest of society, many of whom own no property and have no fire risk. Hardly seems fair to me.

        8. Yeah, only difference is if you pay the Mafia 20% they won’t shoot your dog or kill you in your own bed.

        9. Over 60% of firefighters in the USA are voluntary, and they could be funded by home owner’s insurance in the absence of taxation. Police too could be funded as neighborhood security. Half the police funding goes to fight victimless crime (drug use/possession/incarceration), so we’re being charged double what we should through taxation. Civil asset forfeiture allows police to literally (yes, literally) steal your possessions or cash, if they suspect (no evidence needed) that it is involved with drug use or payment for drugs.

        10. And if you question this the firefighters , cops and EMS all come out and say your are “against the cops” and then tell you how dangerous their jobs are…

        11. It’ll get a lot more dangerous for them when everyone paying their salary has less take-home pay than they do.

        12. Firefighters should be funded by fire insurance providers … which was why Ben Franklin formed the first firefighter company in the US … to protect customers that bought his insurance.
          You can also sell a subscription to 911 services. Use one without a subscription, and get a whopping bill. Use your paid for 911 call, and you need to buy another one.

        13. several suburbs of Atlanta had to incorporate to get those benefits, as all their taxes had been thrown away in the inner city.

    2. I work my butt off and get taxed roughly 45% on my income. The heirs of Rockefeller or Bill Gates live off dividends, and tax free bonds. They get taxed at 15% or less. They never work a day in their life.
      PLUS the Republicans have worked tirelessly to revoke the estate tax, therefore creating a class of aristocrats that never work and pay less tax then everyone else.
      Might as well start handing them titles.

      1. So start a company that sells very expensive hand-made products to wealthy heirs. Problem solved.

        1. Better still….start your own company and cheat as much as you can on your taxes….when you become rich you can then move (and move your accumulated capital) to a place like the Isle of Man and pay virtually no tax (No capital Gains Tax….No inheritance tax).

        2. That’s what the West currently does. All potentially productive capacity is tied up making up stories about so called “investment returns”, and on building utterly useless, ostentatious mansions and yachts for the twenty odd guys on the Fed’s “shall receive billions of newly printed dollars” list.
          Instead of anyone doing anything productive at all.

        3. The scum will still come after you, unless you change sides and become one of them. But if you can get away with it, withholding oney from the scum is always a moral imperative.

      2. That’s because Republicans rely on empirical data, not emotions.
        Studies have shown that family wealth dissipates in just a few generations (like three or four, I can’t remember). The estate tax is idiotic and waylays thousands of normal middle class people in order to gore a handful of rich oxen. You think Gates or Buffett are going to pay estate taxes? They’re too rich and too smart for that snare.
        The stupid death tax has middle class family business selling off assets and capital because their Dad died. (think the Millionaire Next Door – not the monopoly man) So yeah, if you want folks selling off the family farm because Pops kicked the bucket, knock yourself out with an estate tax.

        1. QC, I formed my opinion after years of reading arguments. You can hit up Google and see the arguments from the left and the right. Let me leave you with two brief arguments.
          1) Its already been taxed when it was made and it’ll be taxed again when it is spent, you greedy fucks
          2) Rich folks (and even not so rich folks) don’t shove money in their mattress. It’s invested. It is now capital – and capital makes more money, whether it’s a tractor or a stock.
          If you have two geese that lay golden eggs, why should Uncle Sugar kill off one of them when you die? Because it’s “not fair”? What kind of short-sighted Zimbabwe logic is that? Making money is hard, especially in business where margins can be very small.
          I said two arguments, but I can’t resist pointing out a third. Why can a man not work his whole life and leave it all to his wife and kids? What kind of gangster government gets to take half, just because you died? Anyone with an IQ above 120 is going to put their assets in a trust, in insurance, or some other kind of legal contraption to protect it.
          Who gets boned? Regular Joes. Who is the law intended to help? Regular Joes.

        2. I can’t cite the article I read years ago about the dissipation of wealth. But, imagine you’re Conrad Hilton. You have Paris and Nicky (leave out the wife for simplicity). Those two split up your money when you die. Then they have two kids each, then those four kids have eight kids and so on. all of them are dividing up the money and consming it as they go. It dissipates in a few generations, or at least degrades from super wealthy to “a leg up”.
          But let’s say that I’m wrong. Let’s say that they all invest wisely, make way more than they spent (ha!) and get richer. Well, capital grows the whole pie, it doesn’t steal other people’s pieces. So even if it didn’t dissipate, so what? There’s more rich people now. That’s a good thing! A humongous economy is a sign of a nation that is winning.

      3. I also forgot to mention that capital gains are taxed at a lower rate because… wait for it… that money has already been taxed. This is Uncle Sugar’s second bite, the corporate tax was his first.
        And if you one of those folks that thinks Clinton was some sort of super leader, thank Gingrich and the Republicans for lowering the capital gains tax and kicking off the tech boom. Its true, people actually manage risk and venture more of their hard earned money when they get to keep more of the return. Low capital gains rates are GREAT for the country.

        1. Capital gains tax explained….
          The tax on capital gains is especially egregious because the market price of any capital asset just reflects the present discounted value of the future income stream to be produced by that asset, which will be taxed when it is earned. Progressives claim that they can’t understand all that math, but it means the capital gains tax itself is inherently a double tax. It is like taxing an orchard not only by taking some of the apples it produces, but also taking some of the trees in taxes as well.
          Moreover, it is worse, because some of the gain taxed is just inflation and not real. It is like assessing a tax on some imaginary apples as well. These are all reasons why there should not be any tax on capital gains at all. It is enough to take some of the apples. Taking some of the trees as well is just abusive, multiple, overtaxation. That means not just unfair tax piracy, but the squelching of the capital investment at the root of jobs and rising wages and incomes for working people and the poor.

        2. yes. Capital gains tax and land tax are the two most obvious forms of theft by government.
          it needs to stop

        3. The “gains” were never taxed before; only the original principal……
          What “kickstarted” the tech boom was a combination of inflation and Moore’s law finally making processing power cheap enough to be universally useful.
          Trying to credit some tax feeding leech of a politician for any of it, is pure folly.
          And just like people are willing to risk more money if they can keep more of it; they also work more if they can keep more of their earnings.
          IOW, there is no a priori justification for cap gains to be taxed lower than gains by work. The two reasons for it being done, is because the political class derives an unusually large share of income fro capital appreciation; and capital is easier to shift to lower tax jurisdictions than labor; due to immigration laws etc.

        4. Land tax is one of the very, very few taxes levied that can possibly be called “justifiable.” As long as you expect the government to bother helping you protect your land, you really ought to pay them for it.
          This is distinctly different from any tax on “activity”, whether that be income or sales or value add, or even ephemeral capital valuation. In none of these cases do the government have any business knowing which activity took place; i.e no government has any business knowing how much I paid you for a blow job or a pack of gum; rendering those kind of taxes impossible absent an overly intrusive government.
          So, tax land; and very little else. Or; if someone don’t feel like paying the land tax, let them defend their own land. No point forcing them to use the government as their protector.

        5. Depends. Around here land tax always rises whenever the value of the property does. To me that is theft.

        6. Don’t worry. The apple trees that are chopped down will be used wisely by grinding them into pulp and converted it into “social justice”.

        7. Two major points where I disagree with you.
          Cap gains should be lower because they encourage SAVING. I wish every American was an investor.
          I credit “tax feeding leeches” when they make it their business to use fewer tax dollars and to keep their leave more of them in our wallets. Tax policy matters. Government involvement and mismanagement/inefficient use matters. See the “Chicago Boys” and how they straightened out Chile and made them a regional powerhouse. The approach matters indeed!!
          Look at Hong Kong. They have squat for natural resources. What they have is business friendly climate. I want wealthy people and big business (like Google and Apple) to keep their money here – not in the Bahamas or the UK.

        8. Maybe I wasn’t clear. The corporate profits were taxed. You bought a tiny bit of that company – win, lose or draw. Your dividend and the company’s bottom line – has already had a bite taken. If a company’s stock went up for no reason, then I’d buy your argument.

      4. Envy is the hallmark of a blue-pill loser.
        You should use your envy and class-warfare bullshit to better yourself and become a Rockfeller or Bill Gates.

        1. The reality is that 99.99% of people are not going to be wealthy.
          Feeding people these lies is part of the rich man’s game of keeping everyone beholden to debt slavery.

        2. Disagree…wealth is there for anyone that can earn it. It is not finite. Because Gates has billions doesn’t mean he takes it from someone else. Gates is giving away billions currently. Gates foundation is trying to eradicate polio. Gates funds Khan Academy and countless startups. Between the robber barons and the Feds hoarding money I’ll take the robber barons every time.

        3. I agree. You should always look to better yourself and your situation.
          But, always keep one ear to the ground as well. If and when the time comes, then I think many who thought they were part of that top will find out that they were really part of the bottom.
          You should always have ambition, always look to achieve more (admire don’t be envious)…but never become so delusional that you miss it. Look for balance.

      5. Not the right view there. Bill Gates and Rockefeller gained their money through voluntary trade, enriching people equivalent to the money they received as compensation. Bill Gates wealth did not come at our expense. Who he gives his compensation to does not affect us because the trade is completed. If you give me a dozen eggs for $4, and then do it a million times to other buyers, and live off the dividends of your company, it’s dishonest if I said you should have to give back some of your money, when the trade was voluntary and completed. Unless you can prove theft or fraud, their money is theirs. The estate tax says that people other than the hand-picked recipients of a person’s estate should have a say in where their estate goes. Batshit crazy. Say you want to give your money to your kids. Too bad, say I. I think you should have to give it to Washington DC politicians so they can spend it on wars and welfare! Why should YOU, the owner of the money you want to give away, have ANY say in where YOUR money goes? Do you now see how crazy an estate tax is?

        1. Carnegie got rich by lowering the price of steel from $7 a pound to 3 cents for 2 pounds. Rockefeller reduced the price of gas to less than 1/3 it was by finding a use for every drop that came out of the refinement process.

      6. This is NOT a republican/democrat issue! Estate taxes are a joke regardless of the exemption and they should NOT exist. I think we need to look at taxes & government from a Libertarian / Randian “Objectivist” point of view. The current 2 party system has gotten us exactly to this point. We need real, dramatic change. Sadly, I don’t think it’s coming to America. We are clearly witnessing the decline of the west.

    3. The term “real estate tax” comes from royal estate, which means you never really “own” your land, you lease it from the Government.
      When our country was created and our Constitution was finalized, the sole purpose of Government at that time was the protection of private property in the presence of disputes. 238 years later, look what they have?

      1. Whiskey rebellions?
        Taxing is fundamental to a functioning state, and it has nothing to do with theft or even raising revenue. It’s about establishing sovereignty. Which is why refusal to pay taxes is a serious crime.

        1. And a functioning state is the bane of mankind. Which is why refusal to pay taxes is imperative for all principled, moral men

        2. I’m going to give a quick lesson on ethics and politics. If your particular grand new rule or ideal would condemn nearly all human societies larger than a tribal group of maybe 200 people (Dunbar’s Number), then you’re detached from reality.
          Without a functioning state, mankind was a beast. You may have a fetish for such fantasy, but no one will support you and you’ll never be able to resist more advanced societies who decide to cut your throat merely for the fun of it.

    4. You need a better accountant. No really, you do. I make a reasonably good income, enough to be taxed at the higher rate. Such is the vagaries of owning your own business. I have 4 S Corps, one for my primary business, two others for acreage, and one final that holds the plane. I pay, on average, less than 24% total. The best part is that get to deduct many bills (Internet, Cell, Hangar, et al.) from my taxes as legitimate business expenses. I wouldn’t even have thought to do some of these things if it wasn’t for having a good accountant.
      One thing that’s always puzzled me is why people venerate Wall Street at all since 1980. They haven’t actually been about anything but paper shuffling for decades, not the efficient distribution of capital. I could see most banks and investment houses vaporized and the world wouldn’t be any worse off.
      The primary thing I would like to see returned is separation of banking and investment house money. The crisis we had was because the banking system might have vaporized. Had it just been investment house money, we’d never had needed the bailout. So can I get a hearty eff you to the Clinton, Gingrich, et al., who were in charge in the 1990’s and repealed Glass-Steagal? Who gives a fark if Bear Stearns or Goldman Sachs is vaporized if they can’t really damage the savings of everyday people.
      We have a system that I know well enough to be extremely careful investing in today. The libs were right about wariness regarding Wall Street managers. Of course, the revolving door (and this happens in all sectors, not just Wall Street) between government service and private companies leads to a way too cozy relationship.
      The ‘rich’ aren’t completely stupid in most cases. They know that if you don’t keep people from having to worry about feeding their kids, you’ll end up with far less, and might end up dead. There’s a tiny percentage that are interested in seeing how far they can push it, but they usually inherited their wealth. People that grew up working for it, especially if they had to compete in hard manual labor (raises hand) when younger, know the value of a hard day’s labor. People that inherit it, when they aren’t forced by their parents to work for it, often devalue work.

      1. This! All day long.
        I’m a supply side guy but the free market isn’t free when banks get dirt cheap money from the Fed and can leverage their ass off – all while deposits are backed by Uncle Sugar. That’s a raw deal for the taxpayer.
        People may carp about the super-rich, but they need to focus on how they got there. 1) leverage other people’s money and transfer the risk to a GSE or other stooge 2) loophole laws that favor certain industries (like Buffett’s insurance racket) 3) they make a better mousetrap (Gates)
        I’m not savvy enough to know if resurrecting Glass-Steagal is the right answer, but I know a racket when I see one.

        1. Yes, resurrecting the GS act is one step…but things have changed quite a bit since 2000 (with China involved).
          It will take more than one simple step to ever fix some of our problems. Plus, another bad trade deal (TPP) is not in this country’s best interest (we’ve seen that from NAFTA and CAFTA). It’s in the best interest of corporations but not the best interest of workers-consumers in this country.

    5. The shit WILL hit the fan. You can feel prices creeping up the last few years. Not just gas but everything. Haircut, $17.00, loaf of bread $4.00, tiny snickers bar $1.29, etc.
      We are once again creeping towards raising the debt limit (AGAIN), and these crooks continue to just kick the can down the road. Here is what I predict in the coming years…
      -more and faster inflation of the american dollar
      -lower standard of living
      -chronic unemployment the new norm as if it isn’t already
      -entitlements will have to be canned (this is a good thing)
      -massive de-funding of military
      -think your son Johnny will have it better than you? Pfffft
      It’s clear Obama doesn’t have the stomach to stop the continued rise in debt, but someone will eventually, hopefully the next president.

      1. Both parties are the same (if you’ve been around for some time).
        One spends out in the open, the other one will run up the credit (kick the can down the road). You’ll pay for it at some point….the only question is when do you pay for it.
        Don’t be fooled by either party…the are both serving at the best interest of lobbyists (corporations).

        1. New economies go straight for the most effective and cheapest means of taxation. The flat tax.
          Latvia isn’t run by crooks. Taiwan isn’t run by crooks. They want to attract investment. Russia’s a red herring.

        2. No, it’s not that different, but it’s a matter of degree. Institutions are weak here, but they’re even weaker over there, where gangsterism has taken place of governmental control.

        3. “New economies go straight for the most effective and cheapest means of taxation.”
          or possibly, the cheapest form of labor.

  3. Well written article. In terms of politics, history goes back and forth between large government and small government in virtually every form. Each view has its own advantages and disadvantages. Political choice is simply a matter of preference.

  4. “Even worse, this hoarded wealth buys unprecedented influence over the American political system.”
    Much of the hoarded wealth that’s cited is situated overseas. Regardless, it’s really not the hoarded wealth that buys political influence. It’s the unhoarded wealth that buys influence and the ability to hoard. And it’s the tax laws that prevent overseas money from returning to the US.
    Of course, it won’t be the inequality of wealth that will bring about major changes in America. Our poor may be struggling to get by, but with the comforts they can afford (cable TV, smartphones, etc.), and the generous government benefits they receive, who knows if they’ll be so restive as to start a worthwhile revolution. The demise or turning point will eventually come when we reap what we have sown with our reckless monetary and economic policies. They can’t continue forever.

    1. Lol you literally just typed what I did. The taxes are absurd beyond measure.
      But as you say, the mastery of modern capitalism is that it makes creature comforts so inexpensive that few people give a shit. This will continue onward unless abundant and cheap fossil fuels suddenly run out. And they are, but for now it will continue.

      1. What’s your reason for not raising taxes on the rich? Because from the looks of it why not give the rich more of a free ride? They’re only reckon the environment and society as a whole! Lower taxes on the you say? Why not, that’s all we need, more parasites sucking up the money and life force of nations!

        1. Whys that then? Can’t formulate a constructive argument? Probably eating Cheetos and watching Seinfeld

        2. The fact that you immediately jump to conclusions (notice I said absolutely nothing about raising or lowering taxes off the bat), combined with snark sarcasm (the lowest form of wit) tells me that you aren’t worth any serious consideration. You are indeed, a left-wing hysteric.
          The 9th law of power was tailored especially with regards to people such as yourself.

        3. You called me a left-wing hysteric in a pejorative and elites manner! From your attitude and the way you present yourself, rightly or wrongly I’m going to assume that your a prep school, arrogant upper middle class brat who’s out of touch with reality! What’s more your response has validated me! (Thanks for the consideration)!
          Since we are not in the same social setting the 9th law does not apply!

        4. Lowering taxes on the rich would actually trigger an economic renaissance, and a rising tide lifts all boats. But, you’d have to be knowledgeable about economics to understand that, rather than a screeching libtard calling for redistribution of the other guys’ wealth.

        5. He called you a left-wing hysteric. You earned that, chief, based on your comment.
          I’m one of those awful 1%ers. I paid more in taxes last year than I earned in my first 3 years out of college. I grew up in a 3-family house in an urban area and my father was a school janitor. Mom was a stay-at-home.
          My ‘fair share’ is about 65%, when you add self-employment tax, payroll and the myriad other little taxes that take a bite out of me. I am NOT investing in new assets or replacing employees that trickle out. Too much instability. I will have a business to hand over to my kids if they should want it, 20 years from now, and there are far too many people who want a piece of what I have earned over 15 years of 90 hour weeks, missed holidays, celebrations, etc. I could hire 5 more tradesmen tomorrow if I could predict what health care costs would be for them… but I can’t, and so I will just offer OT to my existing crews. If I could reduce my tax burden by 15%
          I always am astonished at how brazenly lesser men will attempt to lecture me on how others deserve my money more than I do. The 24 guys who work for me aren’t among those, however. They seem to like being paid to work. The phrase ‘Molon Labe’ comes to mind. for everyone else.
          Go Occupy something, hippy. Luckily for you, ignorance has a cure. Open an economics text.

        6. Technically you may be a 1%er although I very much doubt you hold any real social or cultural capitol from what you just described to me to affect a societal change in society which is what this article is about.
          The reality is the American dream is nigh impossible these days and ‘hard work’ just can’t compete anymore. Gone are those days you talk about (Que sob story about days gone past). The reality is this recessions becoming a depression and people like you gene really feel the brunt of the financial collapse.
          The big boys at the top who often inherited more and status based not on merit need taxing to curtail there power over society. Once again, which is what this article was about. If you consider restricting oligarchs and plutocrats to be a sign of lesser men, I look forward to seeing you up there with Bernanke and the rest of the banksters!

        7. Raising taxes on the rich just makes the rich look for avenues to avoid paying taxes. If we’re all paying lower taxes, you remove the incentive for them to hide their money out of the country.

        8. Great article from a biased publication! What grows companies in economies is a number of factors, carefully applied incentives are just one of them!

        9. The US had a no federal income tax until 1913, during that time it went from literally nothing to the biggest economic and military power on the planet, usurping the UK, and would prove it over the next 35 years in two World Wars. On top of that it was only 50 years after the bloodiest war in its history on its own soil, which wiped out a huge portion of the very generation men who could have built so much more. According to you the US should have been in collapse, but somehow those policies accelerated the US to the head of the class. We’ve long since rid ourselves of those policies and you can argue we’ve just been in a slow, relative decline in the last century.

        10. The US was already accelerating well before 1913. The fact that we survived unscathed from 2 massive world wars while everyone else in the modern world was flattened was a huge reason we accelerated. We were also still free until the 1960s. You do realize the income tax was 1% when it first passed, right?

        11. My whole point was that the US before 1913 was booming, with zero federal income tax, which invalidates the idea that lowering taxes is harmful.

        12. I miss-read your post that we accelerated after the income tax..I agree with you. I’d also note that JFK lowered taxes as well for the top and kicked off an enormous boom (Reagan as well…only he kept spending more and more on fed govt)

        13. I notice that ascended proles love to brag about all the hours they worked, celebrations they missed while looking down on everyone else as lower creatures for not doing the same.
          Through years of brutal labor they got themselves a house in their protestant work ethic City-On-A-Hill heaven.
          If this path in life was so wonderful, why the simmering resentment towards everyone else?
          Real aristocrats aren’t proud of work and sacrifice but of power and privilege.
          Aristocrats love pleasure and ease; working class pretenders are masochists.
          The well-to-do upper prole who owns a successful woodshop just doesn’t understand how his attitudes remain those of the worker caste destined to be ruled(and used) by those with greater imagination.
          If anything, Paul’s attitude and life story shows us that even the best case scenario of working hard the old fashioned way is still pretty grim.
          Years of struggling for every stray scrap have brought him wealth yet enslaved him more deeply than ever to a fearful zero sum scarcity mentality.
          Real aristocrats are not scared and resentful.
          They are secure and detached.

        14. The problem is, that many are confused about who the so-called “Rich” even are. They call them the 1%, but that is just a construct by the Ultra-Rich who use class warfare to use divide and conquer. The real “Rich” aren’t the 1%… No, they are the 0.00000000000348% who remain in the shadows. And they… Well unlike 1% Paul who pays 65% taxes, the guys I’m talking about pay NOTHING. They don’t have millions nor do they have billions. They have QUADRILLIONS. It’s basically pointless to attempt counting it all. It’s virtually limitless money to the point where it no longer matters to them. They don’t need any more money, but they do want to take all of ours. Yours AND Paul’s. So I think your barking up the wrong tree here, as most Libs do. Your hunting the wrong enemy, just as the Ultra-Rich want you to. This is done by design to not only divide and conquer, but also destroy the middle-class and make everyone poor. A poor population on Government benefits is ideal because they are easy to control. This is the goal and people that aren’t in the know better wake up to it. Fast.

        15. You leftists scream for all of our hard work, then sneer at us when we take a dislike to your avarice. Sophistry 101.
          Spare us all the ivory tower, if you’d be so kind.

        16. You like to assume I am some kind of “leftist” professor.
          Truth is I’ve worked for guys running small businesses who have the same attitude Paul has.
          My goal is to point out how Paul describes himself as one of the 1% aristocrats and seems to sympathize with them.
          But the truth is he’s not and can never be one of them.
          His sympathies for the upper crust and contempt for most everyone else make him a useful tool for the rulers.

    2. When the EBT cards stop working it will be about 48 hours tops — before chaos erupts.

      1. I grew up poor (hand me down clothes, food from others at church, 1 car family, no cable, 1 small tv, barely over poverty line fam of 4, etc). I now make 4x what my father does at the age of 32 (and he’s now middle class). I didn’t need 1 damn bit of assistance. I paid ~50k in taxes last year. How much did you pay? I’m pretty sure I’ve more than paid my fair share.

    3. The so called “capital” being held by the richest is different from earlier epochs in that it is mainly made up fiat currency which is worth nothing.
      So it is not that the corporations are not willing to spend(though that is also true due to fickle government and predatory judiciary), they are actually being paid by the government not to spend as if that happens then that will lead to hyperinflation due to all the money that enters the system.
      Think of it like the dam that is keeping the floodwater away(futile in the end as the original sin of printing money, living beyond means and buying votes)has already been committed.

  5. Then to make matters worse you have demogagues like my city’s current awful mayor who campaigned for overall meaningless reforms that will make you FEEL like something is being done, when nothing is in actuality. To this I would attribute the stable nature of modern industrialized political systems.
    This is always going to be a tedious question because this discussion always tends to deviate to either extreme which is not helpful, as talked about above.
    Realistically, you would need to do reforms from both angles.
    Undoubtedly the tax structure in the U.S. is ridiculous and in many ways
    discourages the wealthy from putting that money to use here.
    On the other hand lobbying really needs to be banned outright. It is nothing but legal bribery.
    Campaign finance reform is a hot topic in New York State, and one I’ve worked on personally. Currently there is a movement to get public financing of state campaigns modeled on the City’s system, which has generally worked. But limiting the influence of the wealthy through campaign finance reform is a different matter entirely, backed up by 35 years of Supreme Court precedent.
    I don’t know the answers, but those three might help, which is why you won’t see many people talking about them beyond passing.
    Good article, brings much-needed debate and questioning. Unfortunately you won’t find a whole lot of this stuff on ROK anymore.

  6. In recent times, income inequality has been at its lowest when the government was small and laissez-faire economics was the policy.
    Look at Sweden, for instance. Most people believe Sweden is wealthy because it’s a socialistic state, but it’s wealth came from before the big government and welfare state. In the 19th century, the Swedish government instituted free market policies, going from a very poor, agricultural country to being one of the richest in the world, and at this time, they saw the highest amount of income equality, even higher than today, with the welfare state.
    Ever since the growth of the welfare state, their economy hasn’t really gone anywhere, and the main private employers are businesses from a hundred years ago.

    1. Has nothing to do with the welfare state, it’s has a large manufacturing industries and oil supplies! A welfare state allows for people to take more risks in terms of setting up a business as they have a safety net!

      1. Wrong. There is no safety net for independent white men. Women and minorities are the only ones deemed worthy of receiving handouts in this country. The entrepreneur is completely on his own.

      2. ” A welfare state allows for people to take more risks in terms of setting up a business as they have a safety net!”
        Examples please.

      3. Since the welfare state has become dominant in Swedish society, there has been little to no innovation. Over the course of several decades in the latter half of the 20th century, there was literally zero growth in private sector jobs.
        Sweden has begun cutting their taxes in order to encourage business growth.
        Also, it’s Norway that has the oil.

  7. Good article, Mr. Curtius, but I’ll take a stab at the opening you left with your (correct) comment that “historical examples are always hazardous”. Have you read R. E. Smith’s The Failure of the Roman Republic. It’s a short and older book, published I believe in the late 50’s – it’s been some two decades since I rwad it – which I think you’ll enjoy even if you come to disagree with its argument.
    To summarize very, very much, Smith faults the Gracchi for the means they chose, which precipitated a moral crisis which was the first and fundamental cause of the fall of the Republic. He gives some good arguments to the effect that the Roman Senate was amenable to reform and that the Gracchi’s mistake was to push for too much too soon and, when that way was (apparently and in the short-term) blocked, they appealed directly to the people, with the result that the political system, inter-class trust and within-elite trust all broke down irreparably. He also makes a very interesting comparison of this series of events with the trajectory of the calls for reform in the United Kingdom from the mid-eighteenth century that culminated in the parliamentary reform of 1832.
    To sum up, if you’re interested in studying the fall of the Roman Republic, do not miss Smith’s old book.

    1. Yes, you do make a very good point. Even the ancient historians make this clear. The Gracchi could have been a bit more diplomatic, and a reading of Livy and Plutarch leaves little doubt that some major tactical mistakes were made. But of course, hindsight in history is always 20/20.
      The Roman Sentate at that time was not known for its protection of the rights of the plebs. It was just as corrupt, venal, and cunning as the US Congress is today. I am not so certain, as you are, that things would have turned out much differently had the Gracchi been more diplomatic. It is likely that the Senate would have found other ways to stonewall their reforms. But you do have a valid point.
      Even after them, Italy was plagued by fratricidal civil wars for many years. This is clear evidence that meaningful reforms had not been undertaken on any level, by anyone. In the end, it took Julius Caesar to rule by decree for problems to be solved. And in the end, the patricians got him too.

  8. > The labors of the rich banker or businessman does fulfill a creative function in history: he finances the free flow of goods and services, awakens the creativity of artists and scholars he supports, and contributes to the abundance of consumer goods valued by all.
    First off, remember that these people AREN’T there to do good for society. They are there to satisfy their own greed. That said, we would do the exact same thing in their place. And even if you line up all bankers and have them executed, a new line of oligarchs will simply rise up to take their place. That was the main mistake of communism. They killed the ‘ruling party’ but all it did was replace it with another ruling party that was less effective and more brutal than the one before, and controlled even MORE of the wealth (in fact, controlled all of it, by definition). So yeah, these people controlling a huge fraction of society’s wealth are bad, but it could be worse. Remember that.

    1. What are you advocating then? Your point, taken to its logical conclusion, is to just kill off all of humanity so the world is free of greed. But before doing that, we must rid kill off the rest of the living species on this earth because they too exhibit individual greed by attempting to live as long as they possibly can, using up the earths resources in the process.

  9. “Congress is now the plaything of the rich and powerful, a tool of venal special interest groups.”
    It’s always been like that. It’s just that as the scope of government grows, the effects of crony capitalism become more obvious.

    1. Yes, to a great extent, Congress has always favored such groups. But it is a matter of degree. The abuses are now far greater than they ever have been. The rise of the private lobbying group has ensured a permanent captivity of the legislative branch to the forces of big money. History knows the rest of the story, and where this will eventually lead.

      1. I don’t know if the abuses are worse now than they ever were. In order to pass the First Bank of the United States, Alexander Hamilton had to make half of Congress shareholders in the bank. Politics is politics; it’s just a dirty game of petty bullshit. There’s always a price to passing bills.

        1. well put. “a dirty game of petty bullshit” is a perfect description, from DC to moscow to abuja. ’twas ever thus…

      2. Private lobbying only arose because government had grown powerful enough to be worth lobbying. There are many fewer laws restricting private lobbying of the Mogadishu government than the DC one; yet noone seem to bother much. Simply because the Mogadishu one is much more limited, they way it ought to be.

  10. Quintus, is it true that legacy of Gracchus brothers influenced Julian-Caesarean branch, including Marius himself, and his spiritual successor, the young Caesar ?
    I read a novel, much based on historical facts on late Roman republic, and it seems that legacy of Gracchus brothers lasted quite some time after their deaths.
    Anyway, a beautiful and probably most intense and turbulent part of Roman history was late republic ! A proper battlefield of thoughts, powerful individuals, armies, doctrines, ideas. Nothing could have stopped triumph of Caesarean autocratic faction over reactionary aristocracy, but how quickly it decayed into decadent Julio-Claudian dynasty.

    1. The legacy of the Gracchi hung over Roman politics like a toxic cloud for years. Their failure to reform the system peacefully inspired ambitious men like Catiline and others to plot to seize power by extrajudicial means. The gridlock fostered contempt for the law, and a bitter class conflict that became hardened with time.
      Whether Caesar took any of his ideas (and he was a great reformer himself) from the Gracchi is not entirely certain. He probably would not have admitted such influence, had he been asked directly. He was far to canny a politician to link himself to a failed reform experiment.

      1. It’s interesting how Marius pushed probably more controversial moves and measures, by simply bypassing roman political system completely. Of course, he used the impeding invasion and threat of Cimbrii as a pretext, but definitely paved way for Roman legions to become a dominant weight in roman politics.

  11. Very good article. Relevant, well researched and well argued. We all know that the increasing inequality in the US and the rest of not only the West, but the world is a great social injustice and that whilst the elites continue to brainwash the populace and prevent change, that eventually something must give one way or another.

  12. Income inequality is as old as human society. It goes up and down. Sometimes to extremes. Sometimes those extremes are dealt with in a way that calms tensions, other times the opposite happens. As cited in this article, there are plenty of examples across the spectrum of outcomes that can be analyzed from history.
    To me, this is not really a topic of interest on ROK. That is because we are living through something that is entirely (as far as I know) unprecedented in human history. In brief, the force of government has been turned against men in order to satisfy the whims of women.
    In my mind, what we are seeing today is far, far more dangerous than income inequality. Yet, it is willfully ignored by almost everyone. The few people that are willing to describe reality in this regard are to be found in the manosphere.
    Since there is no historical precedent, it really is hard to predict the outcome. Still, my gut tells me that something drastic will eventually occur. And probably within this generation. Family structures have been demolished, often willfully by government; generally through “unintended consequences.” The frustrations of men – the stronger sex – are becoming increasing obvious. Homosexuals get more attention than the average heterosexual man or woman. I could go on, but you get the point.
    This is a toxic mix, in my view. Already, I deliberately do what I can to undermine the current social order. I do this through the choices I make. I do what I can to reduce the taxes I pay (for example, owning a house much smaller than I can actually afford). I spend as much time out of the US as I possibly can, and I therefore spend money outside the US often. I only involve myself with foreign women. I am quite deliberately rude to any woman younger than about 70 years old (I still respect my elders). If any man seems willingly part of the current social order (or disorder, perhaps I should say), I dismiss that man and I do not take him seriously. I do not want any dealings with him at all.
    These things I do are minor. Collectively, they are huge. Notice the “marriage strike,” which the media and academics stubbornly insist is due to women choosing to marry later in life, when it reality it is a result of men simply choosing not to marry at all. Notice how the government is forever starved of enough money to meet the demand for “free stuff” from citizens.
    I think this edifice will come crumbling down. People may misread the revolution and think it is due to income inequality. But I think the real reasons will run much deeper. They reasons for the coming revolution will be primal in nature.
    Oh well. In the meantime, enjoy the decline.

    1. “I only involve myself with foreign women. I am quite deliberately rude to any woman younger than about 70 years old (I still respect my elders).” (March 24)
      “I have been out on some dates with 40-ish women just for kicks. I enjoy the banter for awhile …” (March 19)
      Which is it, dude?

    2. Scary to hear what is happening with you guys down south. Not that it is that much better up here but at least for the time being people appear to be more or less civil and relatively content with their lot in life.

    3. The problem is not inequality but the last of noblisse oblige that ensures that those with the best ends up blessing the entire society. We must make it that the quest for power can only be achieved and kept provided that this position ends up lifting society along with them.

    4. “Notice the “marriage strike,” which the media and academics stubbornly
      insist is due to women choosing to marry later in life, when in reality
      it is a result of men simply choosing not to marry at all.”
      I’m not sure anyone really knows what’s going on. From what I can tell, there are plenty of dumb young guys still willing to get married. Pre-wall women, however, apparently aren’t interested, as they are intent on sampling from the carousel until the last possible moment.
      Surprisingly, I do know quite a few older dudes burned by previous marriages who refuse to remarry. The 40 – 60’s set has an astounding number of players and guys with long-term menopausal/post-menopausal “girlfriend”/companions.

  13. Caesar was opportunistic, but the way he navigated the sentare floor was via the monetary backing & bribery particularly from Crassus allowing him to continue on victory parading and although there was the triumvirate (between himself, Pompeii and Crassus) lets not forget all the political opponents that were removed…Cato, Pompeii and their sons, not to mention the forces of africanus scipii…the point is the “reforms” were based on Caesars experience of Pro-Consuls and Quaestors positions (entertainment and admin/military finance)….not tailored to governing a growing economic power

  14. Before the formation of the Fed (1913) and the attempted ratification of Federal income tax laws, the USA was the greatest country on Earth (I’m Canadian, BTW) and virtually debt free. Now, it’s the epitome of everything wrong in the world and likely the cause of most things wrong. And this was by design, plain and simple. Those who literally print and control $$$ want it to be considered the most important thing in life so they maintain their power and control over us. Modern money lending (banking) was carefully crafted and implemented back in ancient Babylon for purposes of domination and enslavement — their progeny are still using the exact same tactics because they work so very well.

  15. Fucking brilliant piece. Love it.
    I agree with this. And it’s not socialism. Taking care of a basic set of services and constitutional mandates in order to keep a country going is called looking after your country.

  16. Big Evil Corporations don’t threaten my family and me.
    Big Evil Corporations don’t rob my friends.
    Big Evil Corporations don’t assault my friends.
    Big Evil Corporations don’t rape my neighbors.
    Big Evil Corporations don’t murder my friends and teachers in front of their homes.
    The feral sons of feral black entitled hypergamous thug loving fat single mom women with attitude which the Good Benevolent Government With Its Holy Welfare State That If I Question I am Worse Than Hitter used my tax dollars for which I worked to pay for … do.
    Why should I hate Big Evil Corporations again? It would seem the policies that make them keep their money and not invest it are enthusiastically voted for by Non-Asian-Minorities and Women who wish to kill me and those I love.

    1. Plenty of reasons, lobbying being one of them.
      Look at all this misplaced hate you have. You’d think these feral moms actually had agency (they really don’t.)

  17. If you want to reduce income inequality, cut out all the fucking regulations that make it difficult to start your own business and maintain it. Reduce their tax burdens.
    More state intervention in the economy and more welfare = less jobs and prosperity.

    1. Though I will stump for Quintus as one of the best writers on this site and possibly on his way to being one of the best Classicist for contemporary audiences,his dearth of economic perspective is his Achilles heel.
      First of all,the notion of income inequality is a pervasive red herring of the Left and the economic illiterate. The question to ask is not if there is difference of wealth among individuals in a society (which there always will be and SHOULD BE) but whether an individual has the freedom to improve his current financial worth.The real injustice is a State that impedes this ability through taxation,red-tapism,license mandates,pervasive incentives brought about by subsidies,inflation,etc.
      Oprah has a net worth of about 3 Billion.Compare that with Roosh’s income.Oprah has about 2.999 Billion more than Roosh.Bill Gates has a net worth of 77 Billion,which is 74 Billion MORE than Oprah and 76.999 billion more than Roosh.The disparity in income between Gates and Oprah is far higher than between Oprah and Roosh.By the Leftist absurd criteria Gates is the evil rich taking from the poverty stricken victim Oprah,and Oprah’s plight is nearly similar to Roosh.
      One has to compare the standards of living of the ‘poor’ of today with ‘poor’ of yesteryear and see if their condition has improved.Also you need to see if the same individuals of the poor of yesteryear are the same ones languishing in the ‘poor’ category of today.
      Second,the utterly erroneous idea that there is a fixed amount of wealth and it happens to be only concentrated in hands of the current wealthy.
      Wealth is generated as long as society remains productive and can counter the effects of natural or State imposed wealth destruction(the former being earthquakes,droughts etc,the latter being high taxes,regulation etc).
      The majority of today’s richest got wealthy on goods and services that were created only in the later part of the 1950’s .Internet,telecommunication,e-commerce,sports commercialization,music commercialization,retail,the hospitality industry.
      Warren Buffet did not get rich by other people becoming poorer.Indeed his genius was to make society collectively richer with prudent investing.Despite my distaste for her music,Madonna never made me or any of her fans poorer with her product.This blame the rich is abject bullshit with one major and clear exception: theft. And that includes those who use political power to get wealthy,which is what ambition in Government inevitably leads to,
      Third:this’ Tax the rich more’ nonsense.How about tax no one and get rid of the great Human Parasite which is the State?Forcing money from the rich and giving it to the less rich (while filling your own pockets along the way) is not distribution of wealth but distribution of poverty.

      1. Some good points (I agree with some and disagree with others).
        You have to be honest and object if you are trying to truly solve a problem. I believe that many in this country (who benefit) will side with one side of the argument or the other. It only makes sense.
        People (or corporations) in power do not want less power (or less money). They like things how they are; they are not going to advocate for change. People (or corporations) receiving benefits from a government (i.e. welfare, corporate welfare, etc…) are the same…they will not advocate for change because they are getting something out of it.
        We know in this country we worship one thing above all….money. Both political parties are the same (just different players).

    2. +googolplex.
      How supposedly can be so dense as to believe a government, obviously influenced by money and lobbyists, are somehow going to work improve the lot of those who do NOT pay them, vis a vis those who do, is truly beyond me.
      If you just get rid f government altogether, on every level; do people really think there will be any kind of enormous disparities in wealth?
      But I guess the (no doubt wealthy) Man on TV told them that the reason the wealthy are wealthy, is because “the modern economy” means that those who are [good/great/talented/hard working/anything else that the wealthy like to flatter themselves by pretending to be] will be “winners”. Which no doubt sound more flattering than the truth; which is that those closest to the Fed’s spigot of money, those with the best connections, get wealthy; no matter how devoid of talent they may otherwise be.

    3. If you want to reduce income inequality seal the borders and don’t let 3rdworld refugees in. Even 4th generation (non Cuban)Hispanics are not fully assimilated into the US, so letting the poorest low IQ people in only furthers inequality.

  18. Alexis de Tocqueville, in his analysis of the French Revolution noted that the people only became enraged when the aristocrats had amassed all of this wealth, but no longer exercised power. If the aristocrats were using their wealth, even if they were brutal in their application, the people didn’t seem to mind, only when the rich became idle and hoarded far more than they could ever use did it incite people’s wrath.
    Billionaires of our current age should take note, because it seems we are nearing similar circumstances. It won’t be me up against the wall…

    1. Last check, billionaires are financing basically all of the charities, are buying politicians by the gross and are so active that I pray for them to sit down and shut up some days. Not sure what planet you’re inhabiting, brother.

      1. Vast amounts of wealth are still kept on the sidelines. I’ve read that the British aristocracy has $11 trillion sitting off shore.

  19. Bring on the riots, we vastly outnumber the 1%.
    Plenty of individuals with blocked opportunities who would love to have a rich cats severed head on a stake.
    The only hope of the extremely rich is if America becomes a police/prison state. If that doesn’t happen, the rich who don’t promptly relocate will be in for a big, shitty surprise.
    Excellent blog.

    1. “blocked opportunities”
      Yeah, sitting at home drinking beer and watching football instead of applying yourself fully to economic betterment is a “blocked opportunity”.
      I’m afraid that your class warfare rhetoric only works on the naive and gullible.

  20. Why are corporations hoarding cash?
    They’re not doing it to be evil. They’re doing it because Obama et al have made it pointless to invest. There are no ventures one can invest in right now which would give better returns than just collecting interest on your bank deposit. The economy is stagnating because innovation and growth have been made effectively illegal.
    The other reason is that they’re stockpiling cash to tide them through bad times ahead. Everyone knows a smash is coming.

    1. You made this one a layup for me.
      What of their trust forming behavior?
      As far as I’m concerned, Obama has only broken up one major merger.
      When corporates collude as cartels, or worse, merge as monopolists, EVERYONE loses. Even the low-mid level corporate employees of that same corporation.
      An economist would LOVE to tell you the stark inefficiencies of this sort of business, and how its not at all a free market.
      And this is why Teddy Roosevelt was known as a trust-buster. Now, TR fucked the economy with regard to the fiat system he supported, but trust busting almost makes up for it …. almost.

        1. Are you being serious right now? A simple google search is all you need. It looks to me like you are just arguing for the sake of arguing. I even mentioned it in my first comment, between Time Warner and Comcast:

          This is the type of trust I am referring to:

          Its a very short read, I recommend it. Heres a good one too, on presidents actually USING their veto power to prevent this plague on American business:

        2. When a trust is formed, in modern times, often times a Management Consulting Company (think Bain, McKinsey) is hired from the outside to basically do all the firing of ‘excess personnel’ or basically, people doing redundant jobs from each of the initial companies *before* the merger.
          Very little consideration is placed on your performance in this case, especially given the MC company will set in stone the areas in which firing needs to happen.
          And this is just the negative of a trust WITHIN the business.

        3. You are playing in fantasy land. This is not an example of a trust.
          People do not take healthy companies apart, the price is too high. Only weak companies are refurbished. there are exceptions: Radio Shack.

        4. Sirius/XM holds a monopoly on the satellite radio market.
          Cable company service areas (Comcast) also behave via monopoly.
          And I mentioned cartel behavior in my FIRST post. You were the one who strawmanned it to only the single-price monopolist.
          Nice try splitting hairs, but I’ll parry you all day.

        5. Ill just repeat my first comment:
          “When corporates collude as cartels, or worse, merge as monopolists,
          EVERYONE loses. Even the low-mid level corporate employees of that same
          You’re the one who singled out the word “monopoly” in this comment and tried to prove me wrong via a RED HERRING. Sad, really.

        6. uhhh……… the excess burden that guy was talking about also shows up in duopoly, cartels(like the other guy said), and basically any situation where a company has considerable market power and has the ability to exert it to force out competitors. Its bad for innovation, the free market, and a number of other things.

        7. And one Red Herring ruined your entire case.
          Had a nice lift at the gym earlier today, thanks.

        8. “And one Red Herring ruined your entire case.”
          Voting for yourself doesn’t count.

        9. This is now a man who lost, clutching at straws, trying to bring up whatever he can to establish some dignity. I’d just walk away.
          I upvoted one of my comments to see if you noticed, and you played true to form. What comes next, the snarky grammatical corrections?

      1. technically, there aren’t really any monopolies in the USA due to the Sherman Anti Trust Act,but I still think you right.

        1. Monopolies come in a new form, which isn’t really a monopoly, but the idea of controlling the “game board” so that others don’t have a chance still applies. Take a huge amount of wealth, spread it out so that their is no risk (and therefore little innovation), and sit on the gains. It’s when a corporation is so diversified, that it can synergistically out compete anyone, or even take a loss in one area while it kills all competition in another said area. ie. I’ll make my money in oil, while I sell my morning cereal at a loss until I push all the cereal competitors out. Microsoft didn’t make the best operating systems, it just used it’s size to dominate the playing field. Walmart uses it’s size in a related way. I’m not sure you can prevent this “size” beats service or quality paradigm however, but awareness of it matters for consumer choice. We always say at our local game/comicbook store, “Support your local store.” even though everything is cheaper on Ebay, but it’s about paying the extra cost to maintain a physical environment with a benefit you can’t put a monetary sum on. I still haven’t figure out how to not shop at Wal-Mart or not use Microsoft however…..

  21. “The poor, weighed down with debt and taxes, ”
    The debt is self-imposed. The poor do not pay income taxes and also receive massive government assistance.
    “the wealthy sectors of society aggregate more and more wealth in their hands.”
    Wrong the so-called “wealthy” generate wealth. Do you think it appears out of thin air and then “aggregated”? There is an exchange of value. People voluntarily bought Apple products and made Steve Jobs a billionaire.
    “The public has waited for meaningful reforms to take place from Congress on a number of social issues (health care, defense spending, infrastructure improvement, education, etc.), yet nothing meaningful has happened.”
    This is the usual way these so-called “inequality” diatribes end – no meaningful detailed suggestions just hand-wringing. The “poor” today live far better than my middle-class grandparents did in the 40’s and 50’s. I grew-up in Norcal in the 1960’s before air-conditioning was prevalent. Summer temperatures regularly went over 100 degrees, we did not know we were poor. Studies show that the poor live like the rich – just 40 years delayed.
    “In 2005, the typical poor household, as defined by the government, had air conditioning and a car.[41] For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR. In the kitchen, it had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave. Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker. The family was able to obtain medical care when needed. Their home was not overcrowded and was in good repair. By its own report, the family was not hungry and had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs.”

    1. It actually does mostly come from thin air these days- asset appreciation caused by low interest rates and credit expansion.

        1. Yes I have, and almost every time it happens the rich get bailed out by the state.

        2. Really, I’m rich. I did not get bailed out. So all the rich but me got bailed out. Shit I lost half my assets.

        3. None the less it is a fact that in general whenever there is economic trouble, central banks intervene to lower rates, governments hand out “stimulus” money to favoured lobbies, and in some cases major banks get direct recapitalization. There is nothing free market about it at all. As for assets, I assume you have been watching global stock markets for the last couple of years and seen the massive appreciation based on printed money. You will no doubt also have noticed the bond bubble and recovering property prices. All based on state intervention in an allegedly capitalist economy.

        4. Your last comment was a good one. I generally agree with it except:
          The “rich” include small business owners, farmers, doctors and other entrepreneurs. They vastly out number the vermin that has been the focus of your ire.
          We need a different rhetoric.

        5. Not All Assets Are Like That. Given your responses to other people I think Singleminded is a better moniker.

        6. I won’t counter with an insult. Did you watch the video of Milton Friedman below? It is from the 1970’s and still holds true today. I will ask you:
          “Just tell where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us.”

        7. I get your point. There are those who get rich by better serving people and then there are those who get rich by political means or some form of favoured status. I have no problem with the former category- entrepreneurs and inventors are the true heroes of society.

        8. Good discussion, gentlemen. Often in these debates crony capitalism and genuine free market entrepreneurship get put in the same hat. While the former certainly exists, the latter is the engine of any free economy. It’s a vital distinction to make.

        9. And you got those assets back I assume, unless they were invested too narrowly. Do you still own stocks? Than you got bailed out. Do you still own assets? Than you got bailed out. Yes, rich people generate goods and services, but they can and do also use the power of size to squelch competition, write the rules and tax code in their favor, and otherwise create systems that often prevent growth and innovation. I’m not saying plenty of wealthy people don’t do good for the economy, but I know, have seen, and understand many wealthy families sit on their wealth, pay others to invest it for them, and live off of the interest it makes with out even understanding how to run or start a business. Did the landowners of feudal Europe create wealth by renting out their land to desperate serfs or were they simply vampiring off of real wealth production. They weren’t sitting in their castles coming up with new industries or faster forms of production to ease the lives of their servants, that’s for sure. Why care, when the serfs had little choice but to work their lives away for you?

        10. I’m always generally refering to the super rich, captains of industry types. Doctors, farmers, and small and even medium business owners I see as more upper middle class in context of current wealth disparity. In fact, I’d argue they are probably over taxed.

        11. Jab:
          “And you got those assets back I assume, unless they were invested too narrowly. Do you still own stocks? Than you got bailed out. Do you still own assets? Than you got bailed out.”
          You are too ignorant regarding capital markets for a legit response. I also bought assets clear through the wreckage, so according to your logic, I bailed myself out.
          “Do you still own assets?” Hell yes. Unless you are running around naked and homeless you have assets.

  22. “You know, I think you are taking a lot of things for granted. Just tell where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us.”
    “I don’t even trust you to do that”
    The finest defense of capitalism in 2:25. Uncle Milty was the best.

  23. I don’t blame the rich as much as I blame the government. Extreme low interest rates, mortgage crisis, student loans, most of this was government created. Zuckerberg can make another 6 billion and it won’t affect me, but when my cash is getting 0.01 percent interest I feel it.

    1. Add corporate bailouts, red tape to discourage small businesses, wrist slap fines for large corporate banks, allowing Madoff, etc to run rampant. In the savings and loan crises, thousands of people went to jail. How many went to jail over 2007-2010? A small handful like Madoff?

    2. And who controls the government. The rich on one side (repubs) and the ignorant mob (dems) on the other. Our government needs to care about the middle class. Poor people will be poor, and rich people can take care of themselves. If the center doesn’t hold, it all falls apart. We need a third party called the “Middle Class Party”.

      1. Two fallacies in that argument.
        1: that any possible government dependent on resources to remain in power will work for someone other than the ones with the most resources (the rich).
        2: Falling apart is a bad thing.

      1. This vast inequality is the result of corporatism. Red Tape, Income taxes, Federal reserve fiat currency,minimum wage laws all result in contributing to this inequality.
        Open their businesses to competition, lowering entry requirements cutting taxes and ending corporate subsidies will increase the distribution of wealth.
        Likewise the biblical notion of a jubilee year where all debts are de facto cancelled every 49 years.
        Its because government choose winners and losers that there are such oligopolies that ensure such a vast wealth gap.

  24. Gotta say, with the exception of a few nuts, this is one of the best discussions on current economic affairs that I’ve read in a while. Minimal vitriol. Amazing what happens when women are excluded.

  25. Lot of things not mentioned in this article
    1) A lot of corporations have record cash but there is also record corporate debt.
    2) Many companies haven’t forgotten how tough it was to pay their debt when it matured in 2007-2010 and are storing appropriates amount of cash in case of another severe recession/depression
    3) A huge amount of that cash is actually overseas. For companies to bring it back, they would have to pay 35% taxes (which are the highest in the industrialized world). If you offered a 1 year pass to bring the cash back to the states you’d be surprised how much was returned to the US and spent in the next couple of years
    4) The climate to invest cash currently into capital is not that great and many companies (especially large ones) are generating cash larger than they can actually spend (huge reason for increased buybacks and dividends)
    5) The stock market going up over 100% is strongly related to the companies have much better balance sheets. This has benefited nearly everyone in the US, especially anyone smart enough to invest and save
    6) The vast majority of people are poor because they choose to be there. They didn’t study in school, they didn’t work hard at work (or work OT, take extra responsibilities, etc), they spend all their money on stuff they don’t need (iphones with $100/month bills, cable tv, ritzy cars, going out to bars multiple times a week, going out to eat all the time, etc), they do drugs, smoke cigs, they drink too much booze, have kids out of wedlock, etc
    7) The vast majority of the poor already get enormous subsidies which isn’t included in their income and nearly none of these studies ever adjust for taxes.
    It has been said before that if you were to take the entire wealth of the nation and divide it equally, even with just laws, that within 10 years the rich would be rich again, and the poor would be poor again. I very strongly believe that to be true.

    1. The poor and the rich are subsidized. I worry about the middle class. Fuck the poor. Fuck the rich. I fight for my own, the people actually shoveling the gravel. How much money do the millineals have invested in the stock market? As long as the baby boomers retire comfortably, screw the future generations I guess. To me, it’s not about what corporations do or don’t do with their money, that is out of anyone’s control, but the tax code is complex to hide all the handouts it gives to corporate agriculture, big-energy, international corporations, the investment class, and yes, poor single moms. It’s the middle class getting squeezed by both sides.

      1. Corporations paying less taxes isn’t really subsidizing since all corp taxes are ultimately born by workers (hire less people, pay less), consumers (pay more, less choices), or investors (less returns). There ARE corp subsidies like the federal reserve ZIRP policy, TARP, GM bailout, AIG bailout, etc. And yes those should be eliminated and yes we need major corp tax reform. The middle class is getting predominantly squeezed by the lower class and the top .1% and 1% who use the lower class to get power at the ballot. Most of the middle class is fine if they actually just lived within your means. You don’t need 2-3 new cars, nice vacations every year, cable tv with 250 channels, 4 iphones with 70/month plans, 3000 sq ft mcmansion, etc.

  26. Tiberius Gracchus was no would be savior of the Roman Republic. When his fellow tribune, Marcus Octavius, opposed one of his bills Tiberius had him removed from the Assembly area in violation of his rights as a tribune. When the king of Pergamum bequeathed vast wealth to the Roman state, Tiberius passed a bill that used that wealth to fund his social welfare bills. This was a direct attack on the Senate’s powers to oversee the treasury and foreign affairs. In addition this wealth would be effective in securing support from the poorer parts of the electorate, useful to any potential demagogue.
    To gain immunity from prosecution for his illegal actions against Octavius, Tiberius sought re-election as tribune. During the course of the election, under uncertain circumstances, Tiberius and his armed supporters seized control of the assembly area.
    Hearing of this, senators urged the available consul at the time to take action against this newest illegality. He refused, saying that he could only do so after the election in a court of law. This could be too late. This was when I, Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica, Pontifex Maximus (chief priest), girded my toga about my head and leaving the Senate House spoke thus, “Let all those who wish for the Republic to be preserved follow me.” I, and those Senators who followed, then went to the assembly and beat Tiberius and his supporters to death with anything we could find.
    My actions may have been rash but Tiberius Gracchus was a man who placed his own political fortunes and dignitas above the traditions of the Roman constitution. Change must come by legitimate means, and those who incite the public against the the constraints of the Constitution are dangerous.

  27. The “poor” in this country are fat, have a/c, a car and cell phones. People today don’t know what poor is. If you would’ve tried to redistribute a nickel my family’s way, you would’ve been frog marched out of their dirt-floor farmhouse.
    Let’s say I make $100k a year and you make $200k a year. Then both of our salaries double. We’re both richer but there’s greater disparity. So… f-ing… what? The pie gets bigger. The economy is not a zero sum game.
    I’m surprised this claptrap passed muster and was published.

    1. Adjusted for inflation, most salaries and wages have not risen sine the early 80’s and the cost of consumer goods had risen. It is only the wide availability of credit that causes some folks not to notice.
      Also, the poor are fat because more fattening foods are cheaper and more convinient.

      1. Fat, yes. But people weren’t fat in my parents or their parents generation. Food was more scarce and more expensive – without a doubt.
        Let me ask you a serious, non-snarky question. Would you rather earn that 80s salary (in whatever that is in today’s dollars) and only be able to buy 80s things, or would you trade that in a heartbeat for the deal you’ve got today? You could buy a K-car in the 80s for WAY cheaper than you buy a car now, but they were garbage. Modern cars make old ones look like unreliable death traps.
        Another serious question. What were the inflation adjusted wages BEFORE the 80s? Were they dogshit? Do 80s wages represent about the best we can expect for an economy that grows at 2-3%? Wages are labor costs, they can’t go up forever. There must be a sweet spot. Are we in it? Are we close? Is this as good as things get with automation and competition from poor countries with cheap labor?
        None of those things has anything to do with some rich cabal bogarting all the money.

        1. No one said anything about a rich cabal. You’re making that up.
          How much of a blessing is cheap food if it makes those who live on it sick and fat?
          Better than starving to death, I guess, but not exactly anything a society ought to put on its resume.
          American junk food is actually very expensive compared to base staples like potatoes, rice, and wheat. Part of the high cost of living in America is limited access to the cheaper, higher quality food sources.
          Not to mention scarce leisure time makes it difficult to prepare higher quality meals.
          Does it matter if a car is any safer if it’s way more expensive to be on the road?
          Because then they have to spend more time on the road risking an accident to spend more hours at work to afford the additional safety.
          Why not find a way to balance the best of both? They would if they could, but the price of consumer goods has risen.
          You’re just making excuses now.
          Let’s say this really is the best possible world as you suggest. Do you really expect to persuade anyone not to try to get the best possible deal for themselves?

        2. Inequality is a racket. But, its sells, oh boy does it sell. It’s just a political scheme to come to power. Take a hard look at Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain, even France… highly re-distributive, sky high taxes on “the rich” and the end result is massive unemployment.
          My opinion, when you hear a politician going on about inequality, he is trying to draw attention away from their own failures and more or less play smear the queer with his opponent.
          Tell that guy to go jump in a lake. He’s selling snake oil.

        3. The title of the article is “the Cycle of Society Wealth” the thesis is about concentrating too much money in too few hands. Or did I make that up?
          I’m not making excuses, you seem to think that wages go up forever (hurray!). I’m not sure how you haven’t noticed that things that were enormous purchases (like TVs) are taken for granted now and, yes, even owned by the poor.
          I never said this was the best possible world. I was making the point that dimwits think rich people are holding them down or making things worse for them.
          But I have good news for you. If you want to the 80s quality of life and prices, move to Europe. You’ll enjoy the smaller homes, walk to get your bread, own a shitty car and have plenty of vacation time – assuming you can find a job. Plus there will be far fewer rich people, so you can sleep better at night.

    2. I find it bizarre, this common view that microwave ovens and twinkies ought to invalidate all thought of discontent amongst the poor.
      Sometimes I wonder if “Modern Conveniences” is the name of a God with a temple somewhere.
      Why do so many try to rationalize what isn’t even in their interests to rationalize?

      1. It doesn’t invalidate discontent amongst the poor; but it does invalidate the idea that the discontent stems from actual poverty, or lack of material resources.
        Instead, what sucks about being poor nowadays, is not the poverty itself, but rather the powerlessness. In dystopian hellholes like America anno now; the government is big enough to have huge effect on peoples lives. And the wealthy who pays the guys in government, are, due to the power of the government, able to use it to make life hell for those who cannot afford to bid as high as they can.
        Therefore, you get zoning laws preventing the poor from moving to where their kids can get good educations. Gun control and criminal laws that prevent the poor from cleaning up their neighborhoods. Fed debasement and subsequent enriching of the wealthy, allowing them to bid up the price of real property to the pint where the poor can no longer afford a home. etc. etc.
        Now, in the late stages of going to hell, we have even gotten to the point where the rich get to use the poor as playthings or social experiments; taking their autonomy away as pertains to how they raise their own kids (for example not allowing them to send their children to gay free boyscouts; not allowing them to teach their kids how to shoot; preventing them from making a few bucks running a liquor store; forcing the only cars they can afford to be stuck in traffic while the wealthy get t buy new cars with “special features” allowing them access to fast lanes etc.)
        But none of that has to do with lack of overall material resources; instead being a symptom of a too large government; that has too much influence over people’s lives.

      2. That’s because you missed the point about economics not being a zero sum game. You don’t seem to realize the unbelievable gift US citizenship is. Fortunately, immigrants do.
        But please, do go on smugly pooh-poohing the tremendous wealth and quality of life we enjoy in this country. The poor here are TREMENDOUSLY wealthy compared to other countries or even this country 50 or 60 years ago.
        Maybe we could cut every man woman and child a six figure check each year, like in the UAE. Then they wouldn’t have to struggle or work – then they’d be happy. Or, like the people in UAE, they’d still lack contentment. Even if you have six figures, it sucks when some darned prince blows by in a Ferrari. We should pity those poor hundred-thousand-aires.

        1. Being poor in America may seem relatively good on paper, but the cost of living is also very high. 7.50 an hour might go further in Mexico, but in the US, that barely covers the rent even working full time. Immigrants aren’t magical people who “appreciate” America. They’re just smarter about sharing living space and responsibilities. Unlike Americans, they’re actually able to work together.
          Honestly, the poor I see in America are the same as the poor anywhere else.
          You can smell the sourness and despair on them.
          Give them a microwave oven or jolly rancher candies and it doesn’t change the fact they’re struggling just to get by and wake up every day knowing they’re stuck and powerless, that most people they meet look down on them as scum.
          Would you be appeased by the existence of Lays potato chips if you were trapped working multiple jobs for slave wages just to stay alive and treated with contempt wherever you went?

        2. If being poor here was merely “good on paper”, we wouldn’t be inundated with immigrants. They come here to stop being poor, they come here for opportunity.
          Immigrants aren’t somehow clever about living arrangements. They maximize the money the make, minimize what they spend and support family members still abroad.
          The poor here that you speak of – the poor like you see abroad… to me, you just described dependent people. Exactly the same here or Russia or the UK. Welfare is extremely dangerous for human beings. It can get people through dire straits, but it can also ruin them – and their progeny.
          As far as Lay’s potato chips. Since my family didn’t go for handouts, I’m pretty sure I’d work hard like everyone else, spend wisely, save and make a better future for my kids. This isn’t theoretical, my family made there own food, clothes and implements. And they sure as shit didn’t consider themselves poor or downtrodden.
          Dependency destroys people in a way that poverty never can.

    3. The point is that too much disparity triggers a situation that IS a zero sum game. Do you free market-Darwinian-capitalist not know how the board game Monopoly works?

      1. I’d like to know exactly how disparity past certain point suddenly turns the entire economy into a zero sum game. So, no amount of technological improvement results in ANY systemic improvement at all? Just because some guys are rich and some poor?

      2. Explain this trigger and the situation you describe? Free trade has done more for mankind than any other scheme. Why? Because it’s based on voluntary exchanges. When you buy something, you say, “thank you”. The merchant also says, “thank you”. It’s win-win.
        I had family that grew up with a dirt floor. I don’t see anybody living in dirt floor houses these days. I think your zero sum game assertion is horseshit. If I’m wrong, show me. Read my the first paragraph in my orignal post and explain to me how I’m wrong.

    4. It is a zero sum game. A company has one job opening, 100 people apply, only one gets hired. That one person getting hired deprives the 99 other applicants of that position. Just because more people need jobs does not mean that more jobs magically appear.
      Further, there is a fixed amount of raw resources that can be converted into capital. The more oil David Koch owns, the less oil someone else owns. The amount of oil does not increase simply because more people need/want it.
      The entire study of economics can be summarized as “how people make decisions in the face of limited resources.”
      The people you speak of — the fat ones with cars and cell phones — may in fact be receiving welfare or some other form of income assistance even though they don’t need it. I’m not saying abuse of government hand outs is not a problem. But there are legitimately poor people, millions of them, in this “great” country.

      1. If the economy is a zero sum game, how does it keep growing 2-3% year after year?
        If Apple stock grows 1%, did someone get poorer somewhere? Or did they voluntarily exchange money for something that was worth to them than the money was?
        I contribute quite a bit to charity. But I’ve been around the world and know what real poverty looks like – I don’t see families here scrounging in garbage dumps for food.
        I can’t recommend a book called “Life at the Bottom” highly enough. I commend your good nature and noble spirit when it comes to those less fortunate, but there are dynamics at work that redistribution will never fix. Why is someone poor? Why do they remain poor? Can you ever give them enough that they won’t be poor (lottery winners)? Some people remain fouled up, no matter how much money you give them. It isn’t pretty, it just is.

  28. Nice piece. Douglas Rushkoff discussed this in his book “Life, Inc.” He says there are essentially two economics and two places money is circulated: amongst the people and amongst the super-rich, the latter of whom hoard it.

  29. So what is the answer then, tax wealth instead of income? I don’t think the rich hoarding cash is a huge problem. The Fed can print money and loan it to banks whenever it wants to make up for any cash hoarding.
    America’s problem both socially and economically is the country’s sacred regard for female choice. Basically women are told they can have a baby whenever and with whoever they please. The state will provide for their choice through generous welfare handout. Parents especially fathers have no more influence over the daughter choices.
    The net result is a lot of low quality people that have little influence from masculine men. The hoarding by the rich is just a natural reaction to all the welfare queens and others just looking for a handout.

  30. Jeez, there’s enough economic doom and gloom gibberish on ROK lately that I’m thinking I may need to take a huge long position on tin futures. You guys are going to need some for your hats pretty soon.

  31. Inheritance tax aka the “Death Tax” is completely ghoulish. You pay taxes all your life and then when you die get taxed AGAIN.

    1. It prevents families from becoming economic aristocracies which would band together to form permanent oligarchies. They would become robber barons in perpetuity. Imagine a game of Monopoly that never ended. “Ghoulish”? Poetic yet meaningless.

      1. “It ” prevents nothing. There are still rich families. The rich hide or shelter their money thru trusts or overseas. The estate tax is just make work for nerd accountants and satanic tax attorneys who thrive on tax code complexity. The estate tax does hurt asset rich, cash poor folk like farmers who have to sell their land when owners die. I’m for taxes just not this one.

  32. “Businesses and corporations are hording their cash. ” Can you blame them? Wouldn’t you in these uncertain times? Businesses are terrified of the next “shoe to drop” eg. ObamaCare. What thrilling new regulation the feds will dream up? Mandatory transgender bathrooms?

    1. Aye, precisely. And to be frank, it is THEIR cash to withhold as they choose. How dare anybody presume to tell anybody else how they must dispose of their resources.
      This article is borderline socialist in my view, despite the weak admission that nature is not communistic. It is rather difficult to take an article seriously which discusses how only a few have wealth, when I read it on a machine that has more computing power than the entire agency of NASA had in the 1960’s while eating a finely prepared breakfast that would have made kings of old envious, in a heated space and in a comfortable chair.
      Articles like this make me laugh. You want to see real wealth disparity and poverty, go to Cuba, Haiti or Venezuela, or most of sub-Saharan Africa and then get back to me here in the States.

      1. Absolute wealth is different from relative wealth. A bunch of billionaires can still be under the yoke of a few trillionaires. If you don’t have freedom, what does it matter what magical gadgets and endless feasts you have. Would you sit in a jail cell with an Ipod an steak for every meal and not bitch either. You have a house-slave mentality.

  33. The only viable solution that most ordinary people can implement to fight back against corporations is to stop spending money. Or at least spend as little as possible with the biggest perpetrators. Eventually these corporations would be forced to spend money via advertising, r&d, and employees to attract new business.

  34. “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Winston Churchill

  35. There no men left in the west, so all you do here is moan and bitch … like women!

  36. The reality is that you people in america still have you guns and yet you submit to state control without any resistance whatsoever. How many red pills do you need to swallow before you amass to courage to stand up and fight?
    In the mean just pay you taxes and shut up!

    1. That is a very fair and accurate, if hard to digest, spot of truth, sir. As an ardent gun owner with military experience, I too am left dumbfounded by the absolute apathy of those on our side to do anything real about this problem. Unfortunately some on our side, like Glen Beck, beat the Peace At All Costs drums every time there is a flare up, and far too many are instantly soothed.

  37. I encourage all to visit:
    Provides the Austrian school of economics analysis of capitalism and socialism.

  38. Caesar himself implemented policies to help out the poor and marginalized. I believe it was debt relief, but I can’t quite remember. He also was big on public works I think, which obviously are job creators and improved social moral. I can’t remember the details, but he himself was embroiled in debt his entire rise to power, being from a “poor” aristocratic family, and so felt sympathy for those economically marginalized.

    1. Are you talking about Julius Caesar? The guy who made himself the 2nd richest man in the world by selling captured Gauls into slavery?

  39. This is an excellent, excellent piece. I so tired of the libertarian economic stupidity of this anti-liberal movement.

    1. “What matters the most is taking all the wealth from the rich”
      all of it? mm that sounds familiar

      1. Except the rich are spectacularly good at avoiding just that. Warren Buffet has teams of lawyers and accountants to minimize his tax exposure while he recommends I pay more. The Kennedy Family stashed their fortune in Fiji long ago and pay next to nothing in estate taxes.
        So all the taking gets done to the upper middle-class.

        1. I agree the super-rich are fleecing all of us, and are probably at the root of the kind of restructuring of the labour and consumer markets that seems to promote gender neutrality etc.
          Still taxing them at 70% + (or revolutionary expropriation) a la socialist France doesn’t seem to me to be the solution

  40. SON: Dad, how do I become rich and powerful?
    DAD: Well son, its actually very simple;
    In order to become rich you need to take a LITTLE money from a LOT of
    people.(taxes) And to become powerful, you need to take MANY votes,
    from MANY people. (buy them)
    SON: Okay, but how do I do that?
    DAD: Easy! Simply create millions of non-essential (government) jobs, with other
    peoples money. (taxpayers). They then vote you into power.
    SON: Okay cool! Then I pass laws to help those workers. Right?
    DAD: (Chuckling) Ah, NO. Those simpletons have already been bought and paid
    for, they will never leave you. Your job now, is to pass laws for the super
    rich, the billion dollar corporations, the banks, the insurance companies,
    your friends, and don’t forget the media.
    They will in turn, fund you, your campaigns, your family and your
    friends. You will never have to live among the simpletons again!
    SON: Gee thanks Dad! Your the best!

  41. The rich have something special planned alright-
    FEMA Camps
    Soft Kill (chemtrails gmo food)
    Martial Law
    More BS Wars to kill the young for the Illuminati bankers
    Feeling patriotic Murica?

  42. Roosh and Quintus-
    Read Boston T Party’s book Hologram of Liberty to see that the Constitution is a sham for bankers and lawyers.
    The gov is a corporation and the illuminati central bankers trade a citizens birth certificates in a private futures market- google Jordan Maxwell UCC.
    We’re all traded as commodities since birth. The corporation/gov owns us that’s why your name is in all caps on your drivers license. Look on you tube for admiralty law and international postal union drivers licenses in court. It’s pretty wild. I’ve heard rumors too of people filing for sovereignty from the federal reserve and getting the money the central bankers trade their birth certificate on back. It’s all a game for the elite. Free markets sound good in theory but in reality the rich always take over andnyse the gov as a tool to keep the common man in perpetual submission to the elites.

  43. Nothing is better at breaking up wealth concentrations than truly free markets. Unlike Senators, free markets can’t be bribed into gaming the system.
    Want a strong and growing nation? Protect the Middle Class. Like the Romans, our current leaders are destroying it. The Roman Emperors eventually answered Gracchus’ question by taxing the Middle Class completely out of existence.
    Taxes on the Middle Class got so bad that farmers and artisans (the Middle Class) were actually selling themselves into slavery to the local aristocrats (who were tax-exempt) in order to escape the crushing tax burden. Big government spenders hate to lose their income, so Emperor Valens made it illegal to sell oneself into slavery. Other laws made it illegal for small farmers to leave their land – in other words big government created the Medieval Serf.
    Every damn time I hear some redistribution crap in the name of “fairness”, I know that it’s really just a play to take more of my money. The money won’t make the lives of the needy better. It will be used for shithead politicians to buy votes in the next election.

  44. Why the strong must share the power with the weak? Why?
    Sounds like some beta’s whining.
    “I want my share of beautiful 10/10 women!”
    Why? You deserve that?

  45. There is a minor point that needs to be noted here, when the author says that corporations are withholding capital from the system, what he really means is that they are withholding MONEY from the system. Because of the laws of supply and demand, this means that they have ADDED capital to the system, in effect loaning the means of production to the general populace. What they have said is that they no longer know how to best use capital, so they will withhold from extracting their share of resources from the system, and prefer to wait until the rest of us can improve the economy. How they are doing this within a regime of inflation is beyond me, but the fact remains that it is not an inequality of wealth, as in the historical examples, but an inequality of money.
    tl;dr they are doing the opposite of what the article says, and they’re actually GIVING us stuff.

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