Author Topic: The Loser's Dream  (Read 5683 times)

deadfong

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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2013, 03:42:06 pm »
The sad thing is, there's more than enough wealth for every single one of us to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, and enough left over for some people to be rich. Just not SUPER-rich. But who actually needs to be super-rich? What's the benefit?

I wouldn't mind the super-rich if they actually did something useful or interesting with their money, even if all they did was become stereotypical James Bond villains with death rays and secret bases in extinct volcanos.  Or maybe especially if that's what they did.  But another mansion, another yacht... it's all very boring and pointless.

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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2013, 04:26:57 pm »
The sad thing is, there's more than enough wealth for every single one of us to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, and enough left over for some people to be rich. Just not SUPER-rich. But who actually needs to be super-rich? What's the benefit?

I wouldn't mind the super-rich if they actually did something useful or interesting with their money, even if all they did was become stereotypical James Bond villains with death rays and secret bases in extinct volcanos.  Or maybe especially if that's what they did.  But another mansion, another yacht... it's all very boring and pointless.

This. It'd be cool if they acted like they did in the pulps. A world crawling with Batman and Doc Samson clones would be a hell of a lot more interesting than the one we live in now. That, and they probably wouldn't be able to keep it up for long, since they'd probably burn through their wealth on all the gadgets. If adventuring and villainy were some sort of bizarre custom among the rich, it'd probably result in a pretty high turnover rate for billionaires, which in turn could create a world where upward mobility is actually a thing in capitalism. Even if it didn't, at least all that money would be going somewhere. At least there'd be a point to all the concentration of wealth.
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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2013, 07:03:40 pm »
The sad thing is, there's more than enough wealth for every single one of us to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, and enough left over for some people to be rich. Just not SUPER-rich. But who actually needs to be super-rich? What's the benefit?

I wouldn't mind the super-rich if they actually did something useful or interesting with their money, even if all they did was become stereotypical James Bond villains with death rays and secret bases in extinct volcanos.  Or maybe especially if that's what they did.  But another mansion, another yacht... it's all very boring and pointless.

I would still mind them, because resources are finite and every person who is super-rich is keeping thousands (if not millions) of others in poverty.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2013, 07:24:47 pm »
The sad thing is, there's more than enough wealth for every single one of us to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, and enough left over for some people to be rich. Just not SUPER-rich. But who actually needs to be super-rich? What's the benefit?

I wouldn't mind the super-rich if they actually did something useful or interesting with their money, even if all they did was become stereotypical James Bond villains with death rays and secret bases in extinct volcanos.  Or maybe especially if that's what they did.  But another mansion, another yacht... it's all very boring and pointless.

I would still mind them, because resources are finite and every person who is super-rich is keeping thousands (if not millions) of others in poverty.

Troof! Know what makes not give a passing fuck when Ozzy's mansion gets robbed? "I worked hard for my millions". It's misdirection. how hard they worked is irrelevant. It does not justify the fact that every penny they collect comes from the mouth of some poor starving fuck, with barely a couple of degrees of separation most of the time.

It's a global picture - X resources divided by Y population. Do I eat 99% of the pizza cos I worked the hardest? No, my family get a slice each. Multiply by 7 billion. Draw a line in the sand. Call it a hundred grand? Anyone holding onto more than that, straight to jail, assets in the pot, share it out globally at the end.

You think jail's a bit harsh? How many people starved to death for want of a slice of their pizza? I call it "indirect manslaughter" others refer to it as "Capitalism". Not Capitalism in theory - I mean actual capitalism in practice.
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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2013, 07:50:49 pm »
The sad thing is, there's more than enough wealth for every single one of us to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, and enough left over for some people to be rich. Just not SUPER-rich. But who actually needs to be super-rich? What's the benefit?

I wouldn't mind the super-rich if they actually did something useful or interesting with their money, even if all they did was become stereotypical James Bond villains with death rays and secret bases in extinct volcanos.  Or maybe especially if that's what they did.  But another mansion, another yacht... it's all very boring and pointless.

I would still mind them, because resources are finite and every person who is super-rich is keeping thousands (if not millions) of others in poverty.

Troof! Know what makes not give a passing fuck when Ozzy's mansion gets robbed? "I worked hard for my millions". It's misdirection. how hard they worked is irrelevant. It does not justify the fact that every penny they collect comes from the mouth of some poor starving fuck, with barely a couple of degrees of separation most of the time.

It's a global picture - X resources divided by Y population. Do I eat 99% of the pizza cos I worked the hardest? No, my family get a slice each. Multiply by 7 billion. Draw a line in the sand. Call it a hundred grand? Anyone holding onto more than that, straight to jail, assets in the pot, share it out globally at the end.

You think jail's a bit harsh? How many people starved to death for want of a slice of their pizza? I call it "indirect manslaughter" others refer to it as "Capitalism". Not Capitalism in theory - I mean actual capitalism in practice.

A hundred grand isn't that much these days, in terms of assets. You'd be throwing every granny in the US with a paid-off house into jail and taking her house.

My thoughts are much more along the lines of steep taxes for the rich; the richer you are, the steeper the taxes.
 
I  think that being wealthy should be attainable. I think that people with money to just throw around are, in a sense, an asset to everyone. People who can afford to waste a couple hundred k here and there make good investors in new and questionable ventures. However, people with billions of dollars... those make no sense. At that level, their accumulated individual wealth becomes a liability to society. People with HUNDREDS of billions of dollars, even more so.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2013, 08:13:35 pm »
Stealing from the rich is no different, ethically speaking, from being rich.

It is! Stealing from the rich is morally superior.

Contrary to popular programming belief, stealing from rich people or large corporations is actually a victimless crime. The two wrongs cancel each other out.

The way your thinking is going is just plain common sense. But actually, stealing from the rich (provided it is done by the poor) is actually not a crime at all. It is a valorous act.
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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2013, 08:58:22 pm »
There's a certain type of person who, while residing at the bottom of the shit heap, will support the worst depredations of those on the top, even when those depredations directly fuck him/her over.  They do this because they have been sold on the idea that they are "pre-rich", that anyone can get wealthy in America™, and they don't want to fuck things up for when THEY somehow get wealthy.

They won't ever get rich, of course (and their idea of HOW to get rich is pretty nebulous, and can be summed up by the word "innovation", by people who have never had an original idea in their lives.), but that isn't what makes them losers.  What makes them losers is that they want to be rich OR poor in a system in which the rich needlessly fuck the poor.

This is Pinkdom, and all Pinks are losers by definition.

The people I want around me are the people who want to help those further down the shit heap than they are, that sometimes DO help those less fortunate than themselves.  I can even tolerate people that don't even do THAT, but at least don't deliberately piss down the heap, though I don't really consider such people "friends".

Humans are a pack-oriented species, and thus we built society.  But society has, over the last few thousand years, fallen into the hands of primates that believe that having enough bananas isn't good enough.  No, they must have ALL the bananas...And they must see the other primates starve, or the bananas just don't taste as good.

And while they may be losers on a certain scale, they aren't stupid.  No, they have managed to sell a great number of less successful losers on the "free market", the idea that if they abolish what rules DO exist to protect the poor, then the poor will all get rich...Or at least THEY will.  They all consider themselves The Survivor Type.

If they WERE The Survivor Type, of course, they'd already be rich.  The system is rigged in such a manner that there has NEVER been a better time to get rich, and it must be noted that some people DO go from poverty to wealth.  But the losers braying about the free market aren't rich, because they believe in a free market, while the people that DO get rich do so because they see the market for what it really is and deal with it accordingly.  Under no circumstances will the former group ever be rich because, in addition to being losers, they are schmucks.  Suckers.  Marks.

And while they may dream great dreams of getting rich and fucking the little guy, that's all they'll do...Dream.  Oh, and they'll do so while they're being fucked by people who actually ARE what they think they are.

Or Kill Me.

(editing)

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This reminded me of a passage from Kurt Vonnegut:

Quote
I think it's terrible the way people don't share things in this country. The least a government could do, it seems to me, is to divide things up fairly among the babies. There's plenty for everybody in this country, if we'd only share more.

"And just what do you think that would do to incentive?"

You mean fright about not getting enough to eat, about not being able to pay the doctor, about not being able to give your family nice clothes, a safe, cheerful, comfortable place to live, a decent education, and a few good times? You mean shame about not knowing where the Money River is?

"The what?"

The Money River, where the wealth of the nation flows. We were born on the banks of it. We can slurp from that mighty river to our hearts' content. And we even take slurping lessons, so we can slurp more efficiently.

"Slurping lessons?"

From lawyers! From tax consultants! We're born close enough to the river to drown ourselves and the next ten generations in wealth, simply using dippers and buckets. But we still hire the experts to teach us the use of aqueducts, dams, reservoirs, siphons, bucket brigades, and the Archimedes' screw. And our teachers in turn become rich, and their children become buyers of lessons in slurping.

"It's still possible for an American to make a fortune on his own."

Sure—provided somebody tells him when he's young enough that there is a Money River, that there's nothing fair about it, that he had damn well better forget about hard work and the merit system and honesty and all that crap, and get to where the river is. 'Go where the rich and powerful are,' I'd tell him, 'and learn their ways. They can be flattered and they can be scared. Please them enormously or scare them enormously, and one moonless night they will put their fingers to their lips, warning you not to make a sound. And they will lead you through the dark to the widest, deepest river of wealth ever known to man. You'll be shown your place on the riverbank, and handed a bucket all your own. Slurp as much as you want, but try to keep the racket of your slurping down. A poor man might hear.'

From "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater," by Kurt Vonnegut

Fuck the status quo!

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure & the intelligent are full of doubt.
-Bertrand Russell

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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2013, 09:10:14 pm »

... The sad thing is, there's more than enough wealth for every single one of us to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, and enough left over for some people to be rich. Just not SUPER-rich. But who actually needs to be super-rich? What's the benefit?

Hi Nigel,  I agree with much of what you've written here.  Did you ever do any kind of work in sales?  The reason why I ask is that there is a certain type of mind that is only happy when they feel they are screwing someone else.  If you are trying to sell something to a person of this mind, negotiations will most likely consist of trying to convince the person that you are not getting anything out of the deal - it's really sad.

We're just monkeys.  We haven't evolved in important ways - or maybe we have but not in self-sustaining ways although it does appear to be self-perpetuating. 
Fuck the status quo!

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure & the intelligent are full of doubt.
-Bertrand Russell

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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2013, 09:25:57 pm »
I love this, and I want you to post it on Facebook in a format I can "share", so as to piss a multitude of people off.

I would add that if you weren't BORN with money, you'll never have money. Rags-to-riches happens occasionally, but rarely enough that it has to be considered a freak phenomenon and the result not so much of hard work and intelligence, but of incredible good luck. Consider this: If you just look at the numbers, your odds of starting working-class and EVER having a net worth over two million dollars are higher if you play the lottery than if you work hard and have a genius IQ. Yes, if you work hard and have a genius IQ, you may very well go to a good school, get a PhD, and a job that nets maybe $70-$140k/year. But in order to make much more than that, you have to work in business or finance, and have connections. Most such "connections" aren't just college connections (and if you're a poor kid, you probably won't get into a college where you'll make wealth-making connections, no matter how smart and skilled you are, because you don't already have connections, and if you do, you might make friends from rich families, but remember... you aren't "from a good family", so you aren't anyone the people who are care about "making connections" with), they're family connections. So you, poor kid, will not very likely make any great strides in making a fortune in the financial sector.
 
Where poor kids can really get ahead, and even become famous after a fashion, in the way that nerds contemplate fame, is in science research. In science, and in academia in general, you can be nobody and excel through hard work and brilliance. If you are a truly remarkable engineer or biochemist you might eventually top $200k/year. That's a LOT of money to a poor kid, but guess what... it doesn't put you in the ranks of the rich. Not even close. You will have enough, in a very real sense... and if the market is in an uptick, you may even invest enough to reap fat dividends from rich people screwing poor people, and leave a sizable inheritance to your kids. It might... MIGHT... even be enough to launch them from upper-middle-class to rich, if they know people and invest it well... but that's incredibly unlikely. They might put it into a retirement fund, and hopefully they followed your lead and have good degrees, and you will have elevated generations of your descendants into the middle class. But that's it.
 
The sad thing is, there's more than enough wealth for every single one of us to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, and enough left over for some people to be rich. Just not SUPER-rich. But who actually needs to be super-rich? What's the benefit?

I thing one of the main advantages of being born rich is that, from day one, you are conditioned with that sense of "entitlement" which is really just a nice way of saying "no qualms about exploiting the poor". It's almost a kind of selective sociopathy. To see most of society as servants or somehow less than human.

In the case of a poor or working class person this would be a pathology.

Again I think of Mr. Vonnegut.  I think he's a Discordian Saint?

Quote
"Samaritrophia,” which he said meant, “hysterical indifference to the troubles of those less fortunate than oneself.”
from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
Fuck the status quo!

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure & the intelligent are full of doubt.
-Bertrand Russell

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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2013, 09:43:18 pm »
The sad thing is, there's more than enough wealth for every single one of us to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, and enough left over for some people to be rich. Just not SUPER-rich. But who actually needs to be super-rich? What's the benefit?

I wouldn't mind the super-rich if they actually did something useful or interesting with their money, even if all they did was become stereotypical James Bond villains with death rays and secret bases in extinct volcanos.  Or maybe especially if that's what they did.  But another mansion, another yacht... it's all very boring and pointless.

I would still mind them, because resources are finite and every person who is super-rich is keeping thousands (if not millions) of others in poverty.

Troof! Know what makes not give a passing fuck when Ozzy's mansion gets robbed? "I worked hard for my millions". It's misdirection. how hard they worked is irrelevant. It does not justify the fact that every penny they collect comes from the mouth of some poor starving fuck, with barely a couple of degrees of separation most of the time.

It's a global picture - X resources divided by Y population. Do I eat 99% of the pizza cos I worked the hardest? No, my family get a slice each. Multiply by 7 billion. Draw a line in the sand. Call it a hundred grand? Anyone holding onto more than that, straight to jail, assets in the pot, share it out globally at the end.

You think jail's a bit harsh? How many people starved to death for want of a slice of their pizza? I call it "indirect manslaughter" others refer to it as "Capitalism". Not Capitalism in theory - I mean actual capitalism in practice.

Part of the problem is that the type of Capitalism practiced does not increase the 'pie' - it only succeeds in ensuring that those who already have the largest 'slices' will get more & more slices.  Joseph Stiglitz calls this rent-seeking:

Quote
...Even supply-side economists, who emphasize the importance of increasing productivity, should understand the benefits of attacking inequality. America's inequality does not come solely from market forces; those are at play in all advanced countries. Rather, much of the growth of income and wealth at the top in recent decades has come from what economists call rent-seeking — activities directed more at increasing the share of the pie they get rather than increasing the size of the pie itself.

Some examples: ...
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/22/opinion/la-oe-stiglitz-inequality-20120722

I think we've reached some sortof endpoint in economic theory - between rent-seeking activities, the legal fiction 'corporation' being mistaken for individuals, lobbyists directed at increasing the share of the pie rather than the pie itself, et cetera.
Fuck the status quo!

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure & the intelligent are full of doubt.
-Bertrand Russell

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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2013, 02:17:01 pm »
The sad thing is, there's more than enough wealth for every single one of us to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, and enough left over for some people to be rich. Just not SUPER-rich. But who actually needs to be super-rich? What's the benefit?

I wouldn't mind the super-rich if they actually did something useful or interesting with their money, even if all they did was become stereotypical James Bond villains with death rays and secret bases in extinct volcanos.  Or maybe especially if that's what they did.  But another mansion, another yacht... it's all very boring and pointless.

I would still mind them, because resources are finite and every person who is super-rich is keeping thousands (if not millions) of others in poverty.

First, stop the bleeding.  Make sure that people have enough to eat, medical care, etc.

The way things are going, either the social safety net gets fixed, or maybe some other shit gets broken.
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deadfong

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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2013, 02:34:10 pm »
The sad thing is, there's more than enough wealth for every single one of us to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, and enough left over for some people to be rich. Just not SUPER-rich. But who actually needs to be super-rich? What's the benefit?

I wouldn't mind the super-rich if they actually did something useful or interesting with their money, even if all they did was become stereotypical James Bond villains with death rays and secret bases in extinct volcanos.  Or maybe especially if that's what they did.  But another mansion, another yacht... it's all very boring and pointless.

I would still mind them, because resources are finite and every person who is super-rich is keeping thousands (if not millions) of others in poverty.

But if the super-rich become super-villains, they will finally be the job creators they claim to be!  They'll need minions, loads and loads of minions, and the need to supply those minions with uniforms and equipment and such will stimulate any number of related industries!

I jest, I jest.  I just can't wrap my head around the hoarding of money when someone already has more than they could ever spend.  What's the point?

Troof! Know what makes not give a passing fuck when Ozzy's mansion gets robbed? "I worked hard for my millions". It's misdirection. how hard they worked is irrelevant. It does not justify the fact that every penny they collect comes from the mouth of some poor starving fuck, with barely a couple of degrees of separation most of the time.

It's a global picture - X resources divided by Y population. Do I eat 99% of the pizza cos I worked the hardest? No, my family get a slice each. Multiply by 7 billion. Draw a line in the sand. Call it a hundred grand? Anyone holding onto more than that, straight to jail, assets in the pot, share it out globally at the end.

You think jail's a bit harsh? How many people starved to death for want of a slice of their pizza? I call it "indirect manslaughter" others refer to it as "Capitalism". Not Capitalism in theory - I mean actual capitalism in practice.

I've sometimes wondered if there ought to be a maximum wage to complement the minimum wage.  I'm not certain such a proposal is actually practical, or even desirable.  It's just a thought experiment, another way to ask, how much does someone really need?

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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2013, 02:48:22 pm »
So, I think I'm one of the few on the board who, through no effort of my own, was born into a relatively wealthy family. I wouldn't say super-rich, but my grandfather owned a chain of supermarkets in california, and invested well.  I do agree that it's incredibly easy for a kid in those situations not to notice their own privilege, and it does set up a different type of expectation regarding their future. 

I'm not sure I was condtioned to fuck the poor, but I would say that I didn't have the same stresses growing up, and it did take some time in my teens/twenties before I could really relate to people who didn't have my background.

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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2013, 03:02:21 pm »
So, I think I'm one of the few on the board who, through no effort of my own, was born into a relatively wealthy family. I wouldn't say super-rich, but my grandfather owned a chain of supermarkets in california, and invested well.  I do agree that it's incredibly easy for a kid in those situations not to notice their own privilege, and it does set up a different type of expectation regarding their future. 

I'm not sure I was condtioned to fuck the poor, but I would say that I didn't have the same stresses growing up, and it did take some time in my teens/twenties before I could really relate to people who didn't have my background.

I spent a while dirt poor, and the biggest problem with it is the non-stop grinding stress.  It wears you down to the point where spending money you can't afford on booze seems like a reasonable idea.  This, needless to say, creates more stress, and a rather vicious cycle ensues.
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 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

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Re: The Loser's Dream
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2013, 04:38:12 pm »
So, I think I'm one of the few on the board who, through no effort of my own, was born into a relatively wealthy family. I wouldn't say super-rich, but my grandfather owned a chain of supermarkets in california, and invested well.  I do agree that it's incredibly easy for a kid in those situations not to notice their own privilege, and it does set up a different type of expectation regarding their future. 

I'm not sure I was condtioned to fuck the poor, but I would say that I didn't have the same stresses growing up, and it did take some time in my teens/twenties before I could really relate to people who didn't have my background.

Yes.

One of my friends grew up very privileged, and despite the incredibly obvious evidence (he still talks about how his poor mom got fucked over in the divorce... never mind that she got a million dollar house - paid - and still doesn't have to work 20 years later because she's STILL living on alimony) he always insisted that he wasn't rich. He is simply blind to his own privilege because his entire frame of reference is shifted. The kids he grew up with and went to school with had even more money, so in his own mind he's had hardships, too, like wearing his brother's hand-me-downs. Never mind that was by choice and not by necessity, it still felt like a hardship to him. He has no idea what it's like to go hungry, or to even worry about having the electricity or gas shut off. These things just don't register for him, and so he has no concept of the constant, grinding stress of being poor.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”