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#306864 - 05/31/18 01:49 PM The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy
NW Ponderer Online   content
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16097
I read this article from the Atlantic, The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy, with a mixture of recognition, horror, and sadness - almost like the stages of grief. I recognize myself and my life experiences throughout. It's about me. That's where the horror comes in.

I've railed here about the unfairness of economic inequality, and its corollary, racial disparity, and yet... I am a willing product of that system. I think American aspirations are universal - to "get ahead" in life, to do better than our parents, economically, and pass that on to our kids. I never really considered that I am part of the problem. Worse, I have no intention of beggering myself and depriving my kids of my life's efforts as an act of principle. What kind of monster am I?

Read it and weep with me.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#306866 - 05/31/18 11:26 PM Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy [Re: NW Ponderer]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8841
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Life's a bitch, and then you die.

I don't have any children, but I have often wondered what my attitude would be about "providing more for them than I had", if I had that to worry about. I do have a grandson, by way of marriage, whose life I believe is being corrupted by a mother and a grandmother who give him pretty much everything that he wants, which deprives him of all that goes along with the experience of getting it oneself.

I happen to have an awful lot of stuff (tools, equipment, vehicles, etc.) which I find at times to be horrifically burdensome. But it is cool stuff! And my grandson wants all of it. The problem I see, in the wisdom of my rapidly elding age, is that he could easily find himself beneath all of the burdens of my piles of stuff, but sans any of the excellent experiences that I have had in piling it up. What sort of a life is that?

At this point in my life (not quite of the 9.9% class) my mainest desire is to pass along what I have come to know, to the service of a saner mankind (not looking promising there) and for a regenerative ecology for the planet.

In my humble opinion, the 9.9% needs to eschew coasting (the American Dream, right?) and get into a life's mission of regeneration.
_________________________
"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#306876 - 06/01/18 07:12 AM Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7745
Loc: North San Diego County
We did something very interesting in my senior year of High School. In my World Affairs class (sort of AP History of Western Philosophy) we put articles cut from the local paper up on a bulletin board for a couple of months. Every article favorable to Democrats we put on the left half. Every article favorable to Republicans we put up on the right half. By the end of the two months we had a very clear picture of the right-leaning local Union Tribune. This was 1967.

Looking back over the last 50 years it's obvious that Republicans have created a monster. It's totally out of their control now, and we shall see how many of us it destroys. And by "us" I mean all of us. Resentment can turn on a dime. The loose cannon that elects Trump just to screw with "the elites" can blow up the 1% just to screw with the 1%. They just have to figure out that the most elite of the elites ARE the 1%.

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#306878 - 06/01/18 01:22 PM Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy [Re: NW Ponderer]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 911
WOW! NWP got 'woke'. I find it ironic that it had to come from the conservative 'Atlantic'.
What the h#ll do you think Thomas Frank has been writing about for nearly a decade?
Noam Chomsky?
Untill recently, Gore Vidal?
Howard Zinn?
Adam Curtis?

The largest labor movements have been occurring since the dreadful 80's and 90's and not one peep from this forum.

The two defining characteristics of centrists democrats are:
1. No social Solidarity. Society gets atomized and stratified in the cardinal rule: 'In life, each man gets as each man deserves' only dressed up in professional credentialing.

2. A marked ego and regard for one's self. Not recognizing the benefits that they've accrued came largely on the backs of those willing to fight for those gains thru our bloody labor history (that is no longer taught). They are almost always anti-union.

They have turned the country into cul-de-sac neighborhoods, surrounded by strip malls and armed with nuclear warheads and a 'police' force to protect their stash.

Oh yeah, they get all the tax breaks too.

The burghers are back baby and the Clinton's are their champions!



Edited by chunkstyle (06/01/18 01:27 PM)

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#306934 - 06/06/18 11:29 PM Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy [Re: NW Ponderer]
matthew Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 353
'
The world's aristocracy are those with some hundreds of millions of dollars in assets.

All those below them are their slaves, supporters or go-fers.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

It is far easier to deceive folks than to convince them they are deceived

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#306935 - 06/07/18 02:58 AM Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy [Re: matthew]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7745
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
The world's aristocracy

But the issue here is who exactly ARE the aristocracy?

Are they the top 10%? Or the top 1%? or the top 0.1%?

The book in question argues that "the 1%" is too narrow, and the top 10% have most of the goodies, while the bottom 90% is screwed. If you look at the rest of humanity, our top 90% is better off than most of the human race! Even collecting aluminum cans or begging with a cardboard sign gets you more than the median income in some third world countries. You can draw those "us vrs them" lines anywhere you like, to make your argument. The simple truth is that wealth is a continuum, and the more you have the greater your opportunities.

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#306937 - 06/07/18 02:55 PM Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy [Re: NW Ponderer]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 911
Top 10% PIA. Follow the money and policy centrist democrats have been pursuig over the last 30 yrs. Who benefited? top 10%. Clinton country. High grade resumes and credentials. The technocratic class with comfortable 401's. They will go nazi in the coming years if the left can't reconstitute itself and form a coherent alternative to the ultra right. The 10% will back the status quo. They will be on the other side of the police line with the nazi's and ultra nationalists. Gotta protect that stash...

I'll remember to tell the next homeless person to buck up!, they're doing better than the rest of the third world.

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#306938 - 06/08/18 01:28 AM Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7745
Loc: North San Diego County
I think you may be preaching on the behave of people who actually voted for Trump. People in the top 10% include a LOT of liberal well-educated people with the money and political power to create change that benefits the bottom 90%. And a lot of us DO vote that way, write influential articles and books, contribute to liberal causes, march in protests, etc. The bottom 90%, on the other hand, is perfectly happy to go home, watch TV, and have a beer. They are not interested in listening to you.

As soon as the TV stops working, or the stores run out of beer, then they might be moved to act. But only until the power comes back on and the beer is resupplied.

I'm not putting them down. I have a lot of such friends and relatives. They just have different interests than I do, and that's fine. But basically, you (and the author of this book) are wasting your time if you think the proletariat are going to arise. Oh sure, a few will be aware of the true situation and rise into the political activist class. But just a few, ever.

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#306974 - 06/12/18 11:12 PM Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy [Re: pondering_it_all]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 911
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
I think you may be preaching on the behave of people who actually voted for Trump. People in the top 10% include a LOT of liberal well-educated people with the money and political power to create change that benefits the bottom 90%. And a lot of us DO vote that way, write influential articles and books, contribute to liberal causes, march in protests, etc. The bottom 90%, on the other hand, is perfectly happy to go home, watch TV, and have a beer. They are not interested in listening to you.

As soon as the TV stops working, or the stores run out of beer, then they might be moved to act. But only until the power comes back on and the beer is resupplied.

I'm not putting them down. I have a lot of such friends and relatives. They just have different interests than I do, and that's fine. But basically, you (and the author of this book) are wasting your time if you think the proletariat are going to arise. Oh sure, a few will be aware of the true situation and rise into the political activist class. But just a few, ever.


Dang OCD wins again! Knowing there's no profit in arguing with Hillary diehards, I'll at least challenge your claim of beer guzzling, pizza engorged racists running out of the woods and into the voting booths by prodding Russian operatives, etc...

Plenty of analysis that white suburban Fox News watching racist boomer paw paws and their wives had the biggest impact on the presidents victory. Average salary was 70k if I remember it right.

Inconvenient analysis

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#306977 - 06/13/18 03:37 AM Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy [Re: chunkstyle]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7745
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
white suburban Fox News watching racist boomer paw paws and their wives
70K average salary


Around here those are the same people.

Seriously, though, I wonder how the income distribution on those voters works. I know a lot if rich people voted for him with huge salaries because they thought he's their guy and would save them a lot of taxes. Then a bunch of lower wage hicks voted for him, bringing the salary average of the two groups to a meaningless 70K. Though very few people making 60-80K voted for him.

Actually, the article said those white middle-class folks with their jobs and assets and such had no reason to vote for Trump. Was it because they were big reality TV fans? Maybe reality TV damages your brain so much you do stupid things like vote for Trump? I bet some of them watched WWE wrestling, too: Deadly to watch that non-ironically.

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