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Are the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor?

Posted 9 years.

50 Comments

  • jamesofthecommons - 6 years ago

    Absent poverty,wealth is not possible.

    I have noticed that a good many Americans equate succsess with financial wealth and vocational acheivment;particularly when that achievment leads to fiscal gain.As for me,I will continue to define sucsess as being able to enjoy life,my natural rights,having concern and good will towards others and having the ability to choose on most days,how I will spend my time.To be honest,at this point in my life I am not very succsesfull .However,I do feel that I have been blessed with the good judgement to understand and recognize that it is not possible to know succsess, if ones life is characterized by sacrifice,constant struggle,forced socioeconomic compitition, and the need to surrender the healthier years of ones life, to the so called free market.
    Without freedom,''and if your time is not your own on most days, you are not free,''succsess is not possible;just as without human equality,fredom is not possible.

    An animal who has the choice of chewing a limb off in order to escape a trap,can not be said to be free, simply because that animal can choose to sacrifice a limbto escape the trap.

    A slave provided the oppourtunity to earn his or her freedom is still a slave.

  • youtubetomp4converter - 8 years ago

    After trying several places for breakfast (my favorite meal) we settled on Blue Plate. Wow, what a wonderful meal and never-ending coffee, fast service, lots of staff to serve you.

  • itsmemn - 8 years ago

    I'm horrified by the inane comments of the "worked hard and pulled myself up by my own bootstraps" mentality being preached here. The last twenty-five years has seen the largest transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich.
    It's fact.

    And to the sutupidity of "we make the pie bigger" that makes much sense as eating the tablecloth and table after you're finished the pie. THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH, PEOPLE! There IS no more than "all of it".

    GOD!

  • Mark - 8 years ago

    Just one question.

    Have you ever been offered a job by a poor person?

  • Susanne Shaw - 8 years ago

    If wealth was a truly a measure of how hard someone worked, then a short order cook at a busy restaurant or a logger in British Columbia would be billionaires and the Walton family (WalMart) would be in the poorhouse. Most of those who get to go to university to become doctors had daddy help pay for their university, or they lucked out with having great health and were able to work their way through. Everyone works really hard--but the rich? Not any I've seen! 'Meetings' may be a pain, but they are not 'work'. "hammering out a deal" is not work. Operating on a patient demands concentration--not work. Now paramedics work, and they don't get a small portion of what doctors in their clean, stable environments get. Unlike doctors, paramedics have to keep on learning, taking courses and are rigourously examined along the way. Doctors don't have to, once they get through their internship and degree, that's it. Cops work. Childcare workers work. Firemen work. Soldiers work. Chamber maids work. Righands work. Waitresses work. No, the rich did not generally work for their money. Someone else did the work for them. Most inherited some kind of legacy to start with. Do you think Donald Trump made it on his own? Does he look like a guy who actually worked for a living? He, Conrad Black, Madoff and Lee Iococca are the true face of the idle rich. You'll note that the taxpayers paid for Iococca's mistakes in car sizes, which Japan filled in, at the loss of North American jobs. He was no hero. The minute someone becomes an entrepreneur and starts raking in some serious cash, he starts denigrating and under-appreciating his staff. Greed has set in, and he can't take more of the profits without someone paying--the customers, by increased prices and less serivce and product quality; and/or the workers' wages not keeping up with even the cost of living.

    Greed should be made a crime and all resources in every country should be managed entirely by the people who live in the vicinity, with total regard for the wildlife and environment preservation--not merely for the sake of private "entrepreneurs". The rich sedom do good things with their money anyway. They don't even reinvest in their own operations, in many cases, but invest in "offshore" sweatshops. We cannot afford the rich.

  • Art vos Savant - 8 years ago

    @Dave the Doctor

    A doctor's income is upper middle class, but it's hardly rich. The difference Dave, is that when you get greedy or bet on the wrong horse, you lose.
    The rich are never allowed to fail. Their father's and friends will never allow it. It's part of the deal you get when you're born in the right house.
    In this country we talk about the importance of buying the "best and brightest' leadership with $30 million per year compensation packages. Then when their decisions show up to be unsubstantiated stupidity, we free them of the consequences by giving them tax dollars so they can continue. That's how the continue to be the best and the brightest, free to screw up again and again, and pass on their blessings to the next generation of plutocrats.

  • Open Minded Capitalist - 8 years ago

    Capitalism is not an economic system. It is the lack of one. It is essentially the freedom to do with one's property and possessions as one wishes. Those who are smart with their money, and save and work hard end up in a better position than those who spend their money partying and buying nicer cars and 42 inch plasma screens.

    The idea that a business owner is somehow taking from his or her employees is based in the labor theory of value, which is the theory that Marx used to create the ideas of communism. If the labor theory of value is believed, communism and socialism make sense. If instead, one realizes that the majority of economic thinkers have shown the labor theory of value to be completely wrong, then socialism and communism cease to make sense. Research that more, and see if I'm wrong. If I am, then let me know, otherwise, stop trying to attack capitalism (liberty).

  • TedEbear - 8 years ago

    Upcoming is about the only one of all these "should be bloggers" who, by filling inches and inches of senseless drivel, infringe on the space of the few of us who are really able to see through the fairy tales about Horatio Alger and all the other "self-made" billionaires who made it by working their butts off but don't know the difference between "there" and "their." Either they really don't know there is a difference or they let spelchek proofread their documents and when the computer suggests a change they automatically go for it. As Professor Higgins said "They should all be taken out and shot for the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue."

  • Valerie Durham - 8 years ago

    Anyone who voted "Yes" on this poll (that the rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor) do not understand capitalism. When the rich get richer in capitalism, they elevate the standard of living for ALL. Even people who don't work! It is only government increases in power that happens at the expense of the poor. Just look at the African-American community in this country. Dems have been trying to provide for these people since the 60s -- they are still suffering! Capitalism (and the "rich") would have easily had African Americans thriving by now.

    If you don't understand this, you need to come to FreedomFest, July 9-11, in Las Vegas, and get educated in a totally non-partisan, dynamic conference that covers liberty in a way that you won't hear anywhere else.

  • UpComing - 8 years ago

    It is a statistical fact that the percentage of wealth owned by the top 3% has grown compared to the wealth of bottom 70%. Everybody works. Some work harder than others in all ranges of wealth. Dave at the top of the comments is a whiner. There are lots of people who have worked two jobs since high school who never had a shot at college much less medical school. Sure, medical school is hard but the health care system amply rewards doctors. Their debts are paid off in short, secure, order, then they go on to live the life of the wealthy. Without judgment and broadly speaking that is the fact. There is no system that rewards the waitress, house cleaner, gardener, teller, receptionist, who have had to work two jobs to help their families survive. They work as hard as Dave, or harder, while still knowing that they will not ever have the chance to go to medical school.

    It is simply not true or plausible that everyone can be rich. Not everyone can be the high level executive, the lawyer or doctor. Our society requires "low level" workers to function. Some individuals can move up in economic class, but it is absurd to suggest anyone can become rich. The implication is that everyone can become rich. Since everyone can't become rich, it is not accurate to suggest that anyone can become rich. What is true is that there is the potential for mobility for a few people. The vast majority have no shot at becoming wealthy. It is important to acknowledge that. Yet Dave will probably use the services of the waitress, the house cleaner, the gardener, the teller, and the receptionist to support his wealthy lifestyle. If they all work equally hard, why does Dave get to be wealthy and the others do not? Dave can't be a doctor if he is housecleaning, gardening, working on his car, cleaning his clothes, cooking all his own food, etc.

    In this regard the game is in fact a zero sum game. Even if the pie grows, it can't grow enough for everyone to be wealthy. In the last twenty five years the pie has grown and all of that growth has gone to the top 3-5% wealthiest Americans. That is simply the fact; you can verify it yourself.

    It is utterly baffling that so many Americans vote as though they are both wealthy and greedy. That is to say, Republican. Republican policy is about rewarding big business. If you look at who gets real money under republican policy, it is the really wealthy. Ignore the rhetoric, always look at who gets the money. It is a fact that Democrats are only marginally better for the common man. If you look at the actual policies, Democrats have effectively been pro big business for many many years. Another thing people don't seem to get is that after a certain point a person really doesn't need more money to live very very well. High taxes on the excess money simply won't affect their lifestyle. Yet so many people have the attitude that since they "earned" it they shouldn't have to pay taxes. Folks, when you are wealthy, you don't even notice that 50% tax rate on your very high income. If you make $5,000,000 per year, living on $2,500,000 is still absurdly high living.

    The other aspect of Wealth that is inherently unfair is that when someone is wealthy, they make money simply by owning money. They don't have to produce anything. So you can suggest that the really wealthy just really outworked everybody else but you would be incorrect. They simply out owned everybody else. They have millions beyond what they need to live on. Those extra millions beget even more extra millions with no particular effort or productivity from the owner. The lower 60% do not have money beyond what they need to live. Everything they earn is needed for daily existence. At best, they may be able to retire and live the same low level lifestyle they already live. The point is that is a structure that favors the wealthy.

    That is why PROGRESSIVE is the key, not party. Work should be rewarded, not wealth.

  • Whit - 8 years ago

    "Conservatives want everyone to be equally wealthy, liberals want everyone to be equally poor". I am not sure who said that first, it wasn't me.

    I am struck by the small number of people who took the time to write in favor of the proposition; it speaks volumes as to who produces and who is along for the ride.

  • Odysseus - 8 years ago

    I won't say that the rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor, but the non-productive are definitely getting more at the expense of the productive.

  • cajuncocoa - 8 years ago

    How in the hell is that even possible? Stop the class envy, and try to make sense!

  • robert j dow - 8 years ago

    We who wish to save America must understand that the Dems and Repubs are playing a see-saw game where the govt. and the bankers run a big scam on the voters. BOTH Parties are useless sluts. Diversions from a worthless press and and PolS enriching themselves must stop... GO find and read these words "We pledge our lives ,fortunes, and sacred honor" . OH by the way did Rep Waxman really stop Lord Monckton from testifying before his commitee with Al Gore on Global Warming?? Fear raises doubts AL

  • DoninGeorgia - 8 years ago

    The "rich" become rich by industry in some fashion and certainly you might
    say they become "rich" by working, investing, and being successful in what
    they are doing in our system. "At the expense" of the poor?" No! Everyone
    has an opportunity to wealth. Even uneducated people can do it. No all educated people are "successful" making wealth. Our system is all over the
    place in opportunity. But, there is no "majic formula" per sec. What works
    for some does not work for all. I will say that in my experience of life of
    76 plus years I've seen people who are driven to succeed and they do. Those
    who have "lesser" goals also achieve them. It's the mind-set folks!

  • Langalibalele - 8 years ago

    Capitalism, based upon concentration of wealth at the top, cannot exist without poor people. A class system, by its very character, determines that the poor must coexist alongside the exorbitantly rich. This happens because the wealthy and powerful classes have systematic accumulation of resources that draws all forms of wealth (and power) into their control. The State exists to maintain the status quo, to defend the interests of those wealthy persons, and to control the producing classes.

    The wealthy do not produce anything except ideas and schemes which will make them wealthier. In the current situation, wages have not kept pace with inflation over the last thirty years, while the cost of living has risen. As a tool for wealth accumulation the finance sector, not having access to liquidity thru "normal" banking methods, implemented a very broad credit regime so that people could afford the things they wanted in life: an automobile, a home, a (stock-based) retirement plan, education, televisions, furniture, etc. However, the falling wages meant that eventually the working class would not be able to keep pace with the interest rates, which were bound to rise. The adjustable rate mortgage, the new "redline", destroyed the housing bubble.

    The old adage goes something like "When creditors enforce collections, that results in market corrections."

    Now, we have a regime where the State is rapidly merging with finance capitalism, which defines the primary feature of fascism. Anybody who does not think this country cannot become fascist knows nothing about COINTELPRO, McCarthyism, the Wobblies (IWW), and slavery. As the govt gives massive amounts of cash to the rich financiers, who continue stuffing their pockets, as new laws are passed giving up right of posse comitatus for bloodsucking robber barons to have their own powerful security, people better wake up. This is no conspiracy theory. It is a dialectical analysis of this period.

  • Silly Liberal - 8 years ago

    The Democrats have been in charge of spending for the last four years running both houses of congress. Yet enough idiots out there think the "republicans were in charge". Fortunately we had the whitehouse, but all spending begins in congress, and the Democrat congress had a veto proof majority.

    Idiots think banks were greedy and caused this mess. Ignoring the greedy and irresponsible people who took out loans they couldn't afford, and liberal Democrat laws from the Clinton days that forced banks to loan to people with bad credit -look it up. Liberals forced banks to make loans to bad risks in order to get permission to do business. Once people burned through all their credit they stopped buying, then stopped paying -and here we are.

    Democrat loan brokers did the paperwork on bad loans and then bundled them and screwed the big banks. Same brokers that supported Clinton and Barack. When Republicans tried to reign in the bad practices at Fannie Mae the Democrats pulled the race card.

    Naive liberal above says the war in Iraq was unnecessary with it's extreme death toll. Iraq is now a Democracy with over 67% of the population voting for their constitution. We invaded a country, allowed them to create and elect a new government among three competing factions, crippled Al Qaida to where is is less than 1/10 what it was and had less than 1% casualties. Yet naive liberals swallow the media propaganda that we "lost" the war.

    Now we have a man with no governing, military, financial, or business experience setting us up for ten years of trillion dollar deficits. What could have been a two or three year recovery will now be a new great depression.
    he is attacking the very people and companies who create wealth. Where does the money come from when those people are destroyed? Are people so stupid that to think when the economy is down we should all pay higher taxes to get things going? Sadly, yes.

    We have too many stupid, greedy, lazy people who can't stay married, hold a job or raise their kids who think the world owes them something.

  • drsuperhero - 9 years ago

    You you working professionals, physicians. You think your rich? Hahahahahaha. Your not richjust because you have a high income, relative to the poor schlubbs that live near you. Actually if you have to go to work for a living to pay your bills your not even close to being rich. Hahahahaha suckers. Your rich if you do not need to work. Having a high income is hardly rich. As a physician you are also considered working class, now upper middle income working class. This is exactly what the rich want you to think.

  • gregbirddizelec - 9 years ago

    As for Dave the doctor, he should know that the AMA has for over fifty years fought against equal health care being provided to poor people, thus forcing most among them be remain poor by ill-health alone. The average *drug addict, among the ones who are white, gets treatment at the Betty Ford clinic and such, while the blacks and browns go to jail where they work for pennies an hour.

    The ranks of doctors has also been kept artificially low to insure a shortage of qualified doctors, insuring them thus a higher wage by the laws of supply and demand over their monopoly on health care, their governmental-supplied licensed powers.

    Doctor's perpetual fight against alternative medicines, and their lust for money over the well-being of their patients, to satisfy the greed of their friends in the phony middle-men insurance companies, drug conglomerates, and multinational chemical agricultural farms, the oil-banking cliques, etc. almost all having interlocking directorates to ensure dictatorial control over "free" enterprise and "competition," (for example, their pro-conservative politics, always hurting and even killing, especially the poor), shows a continuing disrespect for the Hippocratic oath.

    These forces of feudalism are the same "den of thieves," metaphorically, that Jesus Christ was referring to when he overturned the money-changer tables at the temple, back in the day. That's why he died a criminal's death on the cross for "blasphemy" and "revolution."

    Jehovah God opposed the Mammon-worshipping Jude-an church of Jerusalem, and the Mars-Mammon worshipping state of Rome then, and equally opposes the fundamentalist Christians and Jews today, including the states of the US and Israel, whose father is as Christ described them in the Holy Bible, "...Satan the devil."

    *aren't the most dangerous illegal drugs coming into the US now coming from the very nations the US is most involved in, like Columbia and Afghanistan? Gee just a coincidence I guess. The GDP is a-popping, overground and underground, thanks to these drugs being illegal, the money-laundering banks in the US, especially, the greatest beneficiary.

  • Lulu - 9 years ago

    I'm tired of hearing this cliche...please give folks some credit for gaining wealth through the world's most egalitarian economy - that's the U.S.'s in case you don't get it.

  • Carolfrances - 9 years ago

    Thank you to Aimeovaldi for not considering "a physician in the same vein as those that have 'gotten rich at the expense of the poor.' " Compared to the upper 10% of the population - whom we might refer to as "the rich" - I would imagine Dave to be just another worker - albeit, one who is wealthier than others of the working class. We're not talking about doctors, but the CEOs who own the hospitals and HMOs, not the movie stars but those who own the studios, not these skilled workers but those who own the oil companies, banks, supermarket chains, newspaper chains, t.v. networks, etc. And by "the poor" we're talking about the working poor who may work two jobs to feed their families but lose their homes because of a medical expense, or about veterans who struggle to hold onto any job while suffering post-traumatic shock disorder from one or another war. And, check the stats, the answer is "YES!" - as all of us would know were the "news information" not brought to us by the beneficiaries of this system. Try kpfk.org instead.

  • Bolivar Shagnasty - 9 years ago

    Dear Aimeovaldi; I am 74 and still have to work full time. No one can pay someone else (bureaucrat) to do your charity!!! There is a great metaphor for life in the safety instructions on a commercial airline; "in the unlikely event that we should lose cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop down from the overhead bin in front of you, PLEASE PUT YOUR OWN MASK ON FIRST, and then help those around you.

    Please get your family secure and then help those around you. The bureaucrat that your taxes go to is trying to do exactly that.

    From my perspective, Liberalism is evil, because it is used to justify not doing your charity.

  • Oh Jesus - 9 years ago

    I love right-wing idiots like John Fawcett who toss around words like "socialism" without having any actual clue as to what they actually mean. Please, do yourself a favor and read a fucking book.

  • John Fawcett - 9 years ago

    Our liberal media and educational institutions has perpetuated horrific stupidity in our general population as to our free enterprise system.

    We had to have Obama at any cost, and our cost is Socialism and the loss of our sovereign United States of America. The plan of the Elites (Council on Foreign Relations and other such one-world organizations, George Soros and his evil ilk) is to combine Canada and Mexico to the USA and have a North American Union, fashioned after the European Union. After this happens, only a few other regions such as the Middle East and the Orient and Africa will be combined into "Unions" and the takeover will be complete.

    Our elected officials are not standing up against world domination but are greedily content to trade their pork projects and earmarks for Socialist subjugation. The Republican, at least, are showing more strength than the Democrats on the phony Stimulus Bill. There will be no stimulus. It is smoke and mirrors and will result in socialized medicine and Executive Branch population estimates of the next census figures. This will make it nearly impossible for non-Democrats to win any election. What else is in this huge bill which nobody has had time to read, let alone undestand with all the cross references. Certainly a new "Fairness Doctrine" will be voted on soon to stop the conservative views of those who listen to Talk Radio.

    The Elites who have captured the Democrat Party wil stop at nothing to bring about the collapse of the USA. The Talk Radio crowd has an opportunity to stand up against the TREASON of the Executive and Legislative branches. If it fails, I see no other course than a bloody revolution.

    God Bless America.

  • Glen Risley - 9 years ago

    Modern political dialogue is skewed toward the defense of our nanny state. The US government has been buying votes against the wishes of the Founders aggressively since the New Deal. God only asks for one tenth of our income. How dare the IRS demand one cent more! How can we have equality before the law if the government knows everyone's income?
    Provider government is a breech of the First Amendment Establishment Clause because it purchases the hearts of citizens at the expense of free market, Godly charity. Now Democrats want to make me fund abortions all over the world! There is a price to be paid for such reckless use of resources due for genuine good works.

  • Perry Logan - 9 years ago

    It all goes back to the Republican Revolution.

    The poverty level dropped from around 50% to around 20% as a result of the New Deal. Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty further reduced the poverty level in the United States to its lowest level ever 11.1 percent in 1973.

    Then the Repubs started whittling away at the new Deal. Lo and behold, the poverty level started to go up. Under Reagan, the number of people living beneath the federal poverty line rose from 24.5 million in 1978 to 32.5 million in 1988.

    Under Clinton, it mysteriously turned around again. The poverty rate fell from 15.1 percent in 1993 to 12.7 percent in 1998. That was the lowest poverty rate since 1979 and the largest five-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years.

    Needless to say, the poverty level shot back up under Bush II. A child can see the pattern here.

    I think we have a chance to recover under Obama's leadership. But he'll do best if he gets more liberal fast.

  • Phil Kraker - 9 years ago

    I am still left wondering how (why) it became patriotic to simply rail against your own country and its citizens and military and offer no better solutions to these alleged horrific and oppressive laws our government (supposedly) forces on us? The only laws forced on us were those socialist ideas that totally extended a downturn in the economy into a depression that lasted a decade until our citizens got together and overrode the socialist practices of FDR who saddled us with this horrible economy based on socialist practices. (Yes, this economy can be traced back to four liberal presidents - FDR with social security, LBJ with the "great society" (unlimited welfare) & Carter and Clinton with "affordable housing" (free houses to poor blacks). Capitalism doesn't fail. It only gets screwed up when you try to run socialist practices along with it - like the biggest flops - social security and medicare. Of course, 45 million abortions DID take that many taxpayers off the system and now we don't have enough people paying in anymore - while our Senators and Congressman are stealing the funds out of those same programs in order to win votes by starting other socialist programs and buying vote after vote after vote in just this way.
    Watching our "teachers" in all their ignorance teaching socialism because they think, "its fair" makes me sad for a country that was great enough to support every other country with money and aide - even when they are our enemies. We'll never have that kind of surplus again if we keep holding onto socialist practices like, "bailouts" of favorite companies who give lots of campaign cash to the criminals running housing in America.
    Possibly, that is why our founders figured we'd go socialist in about 250 years after our founding. My God they were smart! Listening to these pretenders teaching our children about how evil our founders were just disgusts me that they even get paid for simply handing out and teaching kids to be ignorant of their own history. Why? What is the payoff for them? They are simply trying to copy an era that has been romanticized in this country by the left when it is really the era of our country's undoing and has led us into abject ignorance and soon poverty, as we quit being a producing country and became a country of greedy consumers demanding our next handouts from - who? - the people that actually work and pay taxes - the upper 50%. I am a CPA and we now have "the useless and illegal" voting to steal money from those American citizens who actually contribute to this country to the point that half the country doesn't even pay taxes. These are the same people who seem to have unlimited time to "demonstrate" against the same country that feeds, houses, and clothes them. We should be throwing things at them when they form in the streets and drive this evil out of this country and get back to being the great country we once were.

  • Phil Kraker - 9 years ago

    Chad: When I used to go to the democrat caucuses with my father as a child in the 50's and early 60's we had a civilized competition with the Republicans. You barely heard about it though. We didn't sit in there and scheme as to how to beat those evil Republicans. We barely mentioned them except for some friendly banter when meeting each other in passing or in speaking about them, "Well. John is a Republican - but he's an Okay guy. Did you know that he was responsible for the food drive for the poor in North Mpls last year? Yep, that was him that got that together!" -a comment I had heard as a boy.
    We didn't hate each other in order to disagree. Oh, we might get hot over an issue for a minute but we didn't wish for each others demise, as I see now. Those Republicans were our neighbors and fellow parishioners. We grew up together and went to school with each other. How could we see our friends as evil? We didn't. We simply saw them as misguided and in need of information to help them make a better decision. They felt the same way. Ours was a suburb of Mpls. A town of 25,000 residents, split mainly into two public high schools and two or three parochial schools. We at least had heard about most of the other kids and most of us attended church or synagogue. We had a diverse but cohesive society back then.
    Then the hippie thing started. Socialists from all over Europe came here to try to stop us "capitalist pigs" here in America. They kept hammering and hammering away at our American government - first in comics and "underground" papers like the LA Free Press (The Freep, we called it) Rolling Stone and the Furry Freak Brothers comics in them and many others all trying to tear the fabric of traditional America. But you expect that from other countries who "love to hate America" back then. It was when our own children started taking up THEIR cause to socialize this country and stamp out the evil capitalists! (who sent hundreds of millions of dollars and aide every year to these same countries! - we still do!) Then, these mis-educated morons in our colleges, who somehow thought of themselves as patriotic while attacking their own country with the socialists from European colleges, started to get too old to play on campus and form these "demonstrations against, 'the man'" (which was the term given to our government and legal system and its enforcers we hire and train that we used to call the police. So, they decided to become professional students who we now call, "Professors," even when they're not - like Obama - who was never a professor but got a little teaching job so he could put that on his resume while running for office in Chicago. That's how politics work in Chicago. Blagojavich did nothing different than what goes on in Chicago all the time. I have relatives in political positions there and am quite familiar with how they run things there. There would never have been a JFK without Chicago politics. These positions in schools were simply springboards to something else - hopefully something political - where all the money comes from. Or the reverse is true. Like Bill Ayers, the terrorist who was handed a "professorship" for what - his education in bombing our government facilities? That is what the democrat party I used to champion has become. A bunch of malcontents who hate their traditional country and want it to go socialist just because they think it is "fair." Of course, they really know very little about socialism other than their idea that it allows everyone the same outcome no matter their ability or desire to contribute. That is why we got rid of the idea at Plymouth Rock where we tried it and because the young ones could produce more and the old ones less, the young ones rebelled and just quit working. So once they were told they could keep and trade their surplus crops etc. progress started to happen. Its called capitalism and that is why we went that route.

  • Chad - 9 years ago

    "...when the government tells you, you are depressed, lay down and be depressed! We have so many people who can't see a fat man standing next to a thin one without coming to the conclusion that he could not have gotten that way without taking advantage of the thin one... it's not that our well intentioned liberal friends don't know much it's just that much of what they know, just isn't so..." - nit picked from Ronald Reagan 1964 speech.

    "A liberal will ask first and foremost, 'is it fair?!' A conservative will ask first and foremost, 'will it work?!" -Dennis Prager

    Long gone are my hopes that despite our different paths as conservatives and liberals, we still wanted to get to the same destination. I just can't seem to maintain that hope any longer.
    I pray for us ALL!

  • Phil Kraker - 9 years ago

    I am amazed at how uneducated most Americans are when it comes to the economy and money in general. If "the rich" (the successful) became that way at the expense of others, our country would have less revenue than it did when the country started. But that isn't what happens. Instead, people, under capitalism, have the incentive to create more than they can use in order to trade for things they don't have. Instead of the barter (trade) system used at Plymouth Rock (where we proved socialism didn't work well at all) a system of money was used to make trading much easier and far less bulky.
    Because one American does NOT make money at the expense of anyone (unless they steal it) our economy has grown and grown until it became the biggest economy in the world. If you look it up on the web (Damn, I had to use books gotten from the library miles away!) you will find that, in fact, the rich are now paying more taxes under Bush than Clinton and the poor are paying almost nothing! So who is getting rich at the expense of others? The poor. They contribute nothing and yet get to live with the same infrastucture paid for by those darn successful people.
    If you don't have enough money, get off your butt and earn some! I am a CPA and I worked two jobs at McDonald's to support my kids when i couldn't find work while in college. I have gone to college for nine years and then studied for another year and a half just to pass the CPA exam. I didn't want my father to pay for my education so i joined the Marines to get college money. Being a white kid from a middle-class family entitled me to nothing in the way of free education so I did what i had to in order to be more than a high school graduate. I was born in 1950, when we all knew we could be anything we wanted to if we just earned it because we were Americans! We were the best. When I hear about this, "jobs Americans won't take" crap I just go crazy. Who are these little princes that will only work particular jobs before they will feed themselves? And who pays for them in the meantime? ME! They go on welfare or social security and then complain about the rich.
    Cut off the welfare and we'll see if there are any jobs ANYONE won't take. I have found personally that hunger and crying children are really big motivators. But we had better moral codes than the new Political Correctness somewhat "immoral" code - judging from the outcome.
    I have found in life that people pretty much are responsible for their position in life - especially in this country. If you can't make it here, you're just pitiful and useless. Hell, I lost an eye while studying for the exam and was in treatment for Hep C. So, You tell me why it is you aren't doing better. I bet it is because you didn't do anything to improve your own lot in life. Hell, I also had just gotten custody of my son at the time and had to raise him in the meantime. My only complaint is that I couldn't spend more time with him.
    My family just got to this country a few generations ago so all I heard growing up was how lucky I was that I wasn't born in Yugoslavia because my grandfather was willing to work in the mines in MN.
    You want more - go get it. You're an American for heaven's sake!

  • haha - 9 years ago

    The whole "hard work" rhetoric is endlessly funny. Yes, the rich earned every penny through blood, sweat and tears. Or is that fairy tale? Yes, yes it is.

    You can't say riches are the product of hard work and savings. Capital-monopoly is a recent development and how this situation developed is usually ignored.

    If not glossed over as irrelevant, some fairy tale is spun in which a few bright people saved and worked hard to accumulate capital and the lazy majority flocked to be employed by these near-superhuman geniuses.

    In reality, the initial capital for investing in industry came from wealth plundered from overseas or from the proceeds of feudal and landlord exploitation. Also, extensive state intervention was required to create a class of wage workers and ensure that capital was in the best position to exploit them.

    This explicit state intervention was scaled down once the capital-monopoly found its own feet, and now they pretend to be "by the bootstraps" rugged individualists.

    It's a fairy tale straight out of Mother Goose.

  • darren - 9 years ago

    FACT.
    This site made me even less left. Typical liberals using 'selective data'.
    Last year the middle class shrank by 11% but the upper class grew by 11% and the lower class remained exactly the same. in other words....the middle class became the upper class. Since when is success something to be ashamed of and to be made to feel guilty? WORK HARD and anybody can be successful. Using an excuse like "I'm poor, I don't have the same oportunities as the rich" is BS. I'm far from being rich, but far from being poor. I used to scrape by on minimum wage at a dead end job but I worked my butt off to make the comfortable living I make today doing a job that pays great and doing something I love. AND I did it without gov't help or hand-outs. No way will I ever feel guilty for my success. Liberals are nothing but elitist poverty pimps. As long as people are poor, liberals will have a cause.

  • Bil Weidner - 9 years ago

    Yes it is true. The rich get richer off the backs of the poor. Like rich people with maids and stuff. The rich people also own businesses but take all the money and give the people that do all the work nothing but minimum wage. And the real poor people...they can't even get a job from the rich people because they don't have any soap or they couldn't go to college...and that too makes the rich richer because they don't have to worry about the price of gas or anything. Yes, this is as stupid an argument as all the others that think capitalism is evil.

  • tom - 9 years ago

    Even before I opened a business years ago I had NEVER received a paycheck from an individual who was poor, nor have I ever benefited from someone who is worse of then I.
    The rich (except the inherited ones)achieved wealth by spending countless hours dedicated to there businesses, gave up on the enjoyment of life until they had achieved success that would allow them to afford the finer things in life. many of the scoundrels that you read about ripping off the not so well off are our educated management types that have never had to work there way up from the bottom.
    Had we not been a one income family out in CA during the 90's(this was to allow for home schooling the kids)I'm quite sure we would have many material things, however our kids were our priority not a jet ski, new cars, a house we couldn't afford, an a vacation home in Tahoe. Now that we have achieved a mediocre success we can send our kids through school to get there degrees so they can continue to excel no matter what it is that they may want to do.

  • Marty McGowan - 9 years ago

    This needn't be debated, as such. Pick your metric: CEO salary:Lowest Wage in company; Percent (or number) without health insurance; poverty salary relative to median income; median income vs average income.

    These needn't be the whole list. Suggesting taxes are the road to marxist nihilism is about as anti-pragmatic as it gets. Taxes, to me are the cement. Bricks alone don't make the building. every year, we hear about "donor states" vs those who manage to collect more than they send to the feds. Tell me, do you live in a donor or receiver state, and if you're not happy with that arrangement, why would you change. and if it's a good deal for a state to be a net contributor, where on the economic scale from the many to the one, does your philosophic sense of value reverse?

    No folks, to me, the "rich" are those who have too much, and the "poor" are those who have too little. Don't tell me that either set is too small to ignore. That being the case, which set has the greater responsibility to the other

  • Churchill Q. Washington - 9 years ago

    Hey Steve, I'm all for getting rid of the IMF and the World Bank as these institututions are anathema to capital markets. In fact, they simply artificially prop up those petty dictatorial regimes at the expense of their poor. As for the rest of your hyperbole, it's difficult to decipher. Are you for or against capital markets? Regards.

  • Steve - 9 years ago

    Obviously above comments lack knowledge of how US capitalism has kept itself from declining from keeping the economy thriving on a actual war economy since WWII. Taking that aside the enslavement of poorer contries with World bank and IMF policies that in them self make slaves of those economies to the economies of the US and europe. The high standard of the American life style and what ever rewards we think we have coming has been at the expense of suppression and domination of others not just the poor at home but around the world. What ever I have and think I have earned I have to ask, but at what expense from others have I been able to achieve this. Learn how the world bank and IMF policies work it will open your eyes to the achievments of the great divide, and why we as a nation are on top and our top 1% continue to be ever more so. The compexity of the military industrial complex another to get a grasp on. While you worked, your taxes and profits, went to being used as paracitism on poorer countries and thier people. We could get into the genocide numbers of the currrent history (false war on terror) and past history (cold war manipulations). Those at the top are counting on the mentality base as expressed in many above statements to camoflauge that they are the ones now stripping you of your work endevors that you think you have earned, for world market expansion by driving wages down to expand THIER markets to other countries directly and more military expansion (creating conflicts) under the guise of terrorism and spreading propt up democracys to serve mainly that top 1%. They need a profit to do all this, this profit has been having trouble showing itself for some time. To show and obtain profit they are driving take home pay down. But this this is the cycle of the market system that culminatee in the creation of the last two world wars. Done at our expense and the poor here and in other countries. New administration will be even better at camoflaging all this. The real politic of it all. Always follow the money as to who stands to gain and loose and who profits, but go past the goverment lackeys to follow the money.

  • Churchill Q. Washington - 9 years ago

    "Meanwhile, everybody who works for a wage is working for less than their labor is actually worth."

    This popular misconception ignores the reality that worth is entirely subjective. Suppose a job is offered at $10/hr. Is that "worth" it? Only the parties directly involved can say with certainty. Where there is an offer and acceptance of terms the answer must be yes.

  • Andrew - 9 years ago

    Yes. All workers are entitled to keep what they earn. The way I understand the question, we're not talking about workers being "rich". Doctors are workers. Most members of the "upper middle-class" are workers. Such workers do their work honorably and should be compensated for their investment in time and energy accordingly.

    The true "rich" are those who own the factories, hospitals, universities, farms, railways, ships, etc. They are in position to get rich at the expense of not just the "poor," but all workers. They will squeeze profit out of every possible piece of the economy they can get their hands in - and that comes in the form of higher prices/fees, lower wages, fewer benefits, environmental degradation, and all the rest.

    Meanwhile, everybody who works for a wage is working for less than their labor is actually worth. The market economy couldn't function without this arrangement. Workers only get hired because its a good deal for the employer (i.e. they're able to be exploited), and they are laid off when it becomes a good deal no longer (i.e. when the amount of exploitation taking place shrinks or disappears). That is how the market economy works, that is how it treats individuals. You can dress it up any way you want, but this is always true regardless.

    The tax-code hits everyone regardless of their true class. There are plenty of working families who earn enough money to be considered in the top tiers of the tax-bracket, and the Democrats tend to drive these families out of the ranks of their fellow workers and into the league with the owners via their tax policy. In no way am I suggesting that social spending is bad - I'm saying that the tax code is bad: it punishes workers of all stripes, and helps the owners and rulers of our society shift some of the responsibility for maintaining their state from them to us. Make no mistake, the modern state exists to make owners secure and allow them to thrive in the face of workers' opposition - why, therefore, should workers be forced to support it? Why should workers pay for the wars declared by owners? Or for that matter, why should workers fight and die in them?

    Think about it.

  • Churchill Q. Washington - 9 years ago

    The question should read:
    "Why don't people thank a "rich" person for their jobs"? Of course rich and poor are subjective to begin with and quite frankly the "poor" in this country are no such thing relative to other societies. Until we get rid of onerous taxation of income, repeal withholding and remove corporate taxation we will continue to spiral down the Marxist hole of nihilism. The answer to the new question however, is because everyone is a socialist. To pose the original question shows a deep misunderstanding and ignorance of the concepts of private property, freedom and the fact that one person's rights end where the next person's begins.

    Merry Christmas!

  • jim Kelly - 9 years ago

    I put the blame on us old farts that won ww2 We came home and went to work,didn't pay atention to what our elected were doing, they just took over as though we didn't exist,Instead of giving tax payers back the money for the war, They just spent it . like taking candy from a baby,Not one word from WE THE PEOPLE,They hear from every Tom,Dick and harry,That want money ,But nothing from US that pay taxes,So while we ignore them they have raised a whole generation of our great grands,That think that the goverment is their lord and savior So sad,Too bad.
    Jim Kelly Pinehurst,N.C.

  • Tom - 9 years ago

    I think it somewhat depends on who you call poor. If we're talking about the ones of us who, because of disabilities, can't work and the ones of us who WON'T work and live off welfare, then, there's a pretty good likely hood that the "Rich getting richer" are not causing harm to these people. The one's of US that have worked at the level of success WE have chosen, are not being harmed, either, as I see it. Thus, my answer was "NO". One would think that, if we take responsibility for our own "fortunes", this might be the correct outlook.

  • aimeovaldi - 9 years ago

    One can hardly consider a physician in the same vein as those that have "gotten rich at the expence of the poor." They have dedicated longer hours and less time foir themselves at a rate greater than most other professions. Having said that, I am extremely liberal, leftist. I am college educated, successful and retired at age 50. I am most definitely upper middle class and feel that I have worked long and hard for my possessions.
    I feel that to whom much has been given, much is required, in words from the Bible.
    I do not resent paying taxes if it promotes justice and equality, if a hand up is provided to assist less fortunate individuals than I. I can afford to pay a greater percentage without it affecting my lifestyle. I don't believe that he who dies with the most toys wins.

  • Gail - 9 years ago

    Obama is a "bread and circus" leader. Haven't we seen enough of those in the not so free world.

  • Richard - 9 years ago

    I think the "spread the wealth" comment that Obama has said is being misunderstood. I think it means to share the burden of taxes as opposed to granting special tax exemptions for corporations and individuals who already can and will survive from any recession or the like. When the poor struggle to make their wages last for the week, that is, living from paycheck to paycheck without the possibility of being able to save, hence, to have investments that grow, they see no end to their struggles. The costs of food, energy, clothes, utilities, medical care, and whatever that can rise much quicker than one's wages does create the "paycheck to paycheck" situation and despair very real for the poor. Today, this includes much of the middle class.

    Those with more wealth obviously don't feel the burden. Of course, they have less money to play around with, but for the basics of survival, the added burden is not as critical.

    There are "those who CAN'T help themselves", and "those who WON'T help themselves". I know this Kathie and I don't think its fair to generalize by saying that the "liberals" want to give a carte blanche to those who WON'T help themselves. I believe the majority of people in this country do want to be self-sufficient and have pride in their ability for to do so. Yet it is hard for many people to do so. As for Dave's comments, I agree with you. If you do make over 250k a year, you will still live much better than many of the people who will never reach that level of income in their lives.

    It's the Leona Helmsley types of people who practice what she was quoted as saying, "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes ...." And we know this type of loophole practice happens. Rich people have many more loopholes to use to get out of paying much of their taxes. What about the corporations that will layoff thousands of workers in order to increase profits to their investors? Greed? Trickle down theory in practice?

    I grew up in a small Maine city. In the sixties when I was a kid, the city had Scott paper company, Keyes Fiber paper company, Diamond Match, a woolen mill, and the Hathaway shirt company (If you saw the movie, "Empire Falls," this is the deserted building where a fistfight occurred in the parking lot between Miles Roby and Jimmy Minty while Mrs. Whiting watched.) In the sixties, Waterville had a population of about 35k. Today, all of the above companies have moved for more lucrative locations or have fallen out of business. The city now has a population of about 15k. The city is depressed and this is just one city of thousands where middle class, blue collars workers no longer have the prosperity that existed in the past.

    I agree with Margret's thoughts. If you have income that places you in the top 3 per cent of the country, I wouldn't worry too much. If you have very greedy tastes, then of course you'd be upset. I feel sooo bad for you.

  • Kathie - 9 years ago

    While my husband and I both vote Republican most often, I'd say we're both functionally conservatives (and if there was a party that reflected those values even more closely, that is where our affinities would lie). We both worked to put ourselves through college; he spent 20+ years in the Air Force; we started saving when our children were born and put both our daughers through college ourselves; we bought a house we could afford the payments on; we've been maxing out the 401-K and Roth IRAs for the last years. We had hoped to retire soon but it now looks like that may be a few more years in the offing.
    We believe in the concept of helping others and practice that in actuality rather than just verbally. Where we differ from the liberals is that we believe in helping those who CAN'T help themselves, rather than those who WON'T help themselves. We already pay for education for all - it's not our fault if some choose not to go or learn anything. We waited to have children until we were on our feet financially and then had a number that we could afford monetarily and practically. I hate the thought of now being punished for the bad and/or stupid choices of others. I'm all for helping those who get stuck in a hard place through no fault of their own. When they consciously made decisions that landed them in that place, I really feel little sympathy or desire to ease their plight. Who's going to help those of us who do pay taxes now when we're paupered through confiscatory tax policies. I don't think we really need to be punished for making smart decisions. We're not rich, but we are confortable. We got where we are through our own efforts. I honestly think we deserve to keep a bit of what we've worked for!!

  • mark - 9 years ago

    You silly libs.....You act like the pie can only be one size, and that the only way the people who get smaller slices can get bigger slices is by taking from some of the slices that the people who already get bigger slices get. That is a zero-sum game, and you use it to perpetuate class warfare. Conservatives want to make the pie bigger so that everyone's slice gets bigger too. That is a much more fun game to play.

  • Margret - 9 years ago

    Ambition is deemed honorable, greed, despicable. The Democrats want to "spread the wealth". This, it seems to me, would be unfair to someone like Dave who has worked his way to wealth. The Republicans, tho, walk a different walk than they talk. They claim that a person who puts in the time and sweat is entitled to keep the rewards of his labors. This seems entirely reasonable to me.
    Yet we have to look at who's been in "power" the last several years, and what they've done... The GOP (Greedy Old Party) has stolen from the taxpayer to give to the Corporations by running up the National Debt. Most of this was done by creating a war that was totally unnecessary, resulting in an appalling
    death count. Maybe I'm naive, but this looks like greed at its ugliest. Then, as a parting shot, ran the Debt up even more for a so-called "bail-out" to the profiteers, as if they hadn't already reamed the taxpayers enough.
    If this is not "greed" defined, what is?
    My advice to Jenn would be to not JOIN any party but to be an independent. Then, watch... keep a very close eye and an open (but not naive) mind on these crooked politicians (are there any other kind?) of all parties, including the little don't-stand-a-chance-'cause-they're-not popular-enough parties. Try not to be chained to the PARTY LINE. It has a habit of becoming too narrow.

  • Jenn - 9 years ago

    Seeing as I am currently a college senior, I might not be as aware of the meaning of the question asked. I have yet to start a career and experience the challenges of climbing the ladder of "success" (these days it seems more like survival). On the other hand I have tried to educate myself with an open mind. What Dave has said is completely true and I would fully support that statement, especially since my parents didn't even go to college but managed to work themselves up to upper middle class stature. But I also could say that in some situations that the rich ARE taking advantage of the poor. It was stated that the conservatives believe its the house buyers fault for borrowing money they can't pay back, liberals believe its the lenders fault for tempting people into situations they can't handle. So the finger is either pointed right or left? Is our government really that black and white? Of course there are plenty of people that borrowed money that they couldn't pay back. Some borrowed it because it was necessary and some for luxury, some for reasons unknown. And of course the lenders are greedy...they're a business, but weren't they also pressured by liberals to reduce their requirements to obtain a loan so that EVERYONE could have access to money? I guess I'm saying that as a young adult, trying to decide which party to join is impossible. It seems as though one side wants to believe that we live in a dream utopian society where everyone can live simple satisfactory lives. Where the other side seems to be almost radically logical (is that possible?) and convinced that things can't get better so we shouldn't go out of our way to help. Could we ever find a happy medium? Just as a last note, I fully admit that my opinion is at a beginners level, but I am looking to expand my understanding. I appreciate any response but forwardly specifically thank any response originated not from politics but respect.

  • Dave - 9 years ago

    Except for the some of the recent big wigs you hear about in the press recently, the large majority of us who do well off have put in countless hours and sacrificed alot to get where we are today. I am a physician and was in school until I was 29 years of age. Is that not enough sacrifice? How is that at the "expense of the poor?"

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