We all use the term 1% knowing that this entails a high degree of poetic license.
I had also always gone by my own ‘guesstimated’ rule of thumb, being that only 50% of the 1% are really the public enemy. Now I have decided to dig a little deeper, not so much into the the top 1%, but more like the top .0001%. At the end of the day the real threat to democracy lies with the top 0.0001%—as there are just too many “losers” in the top 1%. The below graphic shows that just 158 families provided about 50% of the money spent to capture the White House in 2012. Yes, people like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers really want to have a President as their personal valet. So let’s, for the sake of mathematical simplicity, say that these 158 families (usually dominated by one person) represent about 300 people. These 300 hundred people represent about 0.0001% of the US population.
But these 300 people can’t all be bad.
Perhaps we should analyze who these people are before making broad generalizations. Let’s occupy the facts. I have decided to look at the top 40—these 40 people have a disproportionately large impact. Take Bill Gates, alone at #1, who has a similar amount of wealth as #130-150 on the list. Bill Gates is not a force for bad, he is not trying to employ his only personal president —he has set up the world’s largest charity focusing on helping mankind, not on helping Bill Gates and friends.
One should also note that everyone on the list below are described as philanthropists. Consider the Japanese (?) saying—if all women were beautiful, then there would be no beautiful women. Thus we can start by saying that none of these top .0001 percent are philanthropists, that is a title that has to be earned. Are you beautiful examples of mankind? You would have to be a pretty odd person to have more than $10b in assets, and not want to set up some sort of legacy. So there are beautiful philanthropists and ugly philanthropists, because I think we can all agree that you can not buy your way into heaven, and that you can not take your money with you. So how does my 50% “good guy” benchmark hold up. Well it’s not so easy to be black and white on that issue—sometimes one has to make judgement calls.
I have heard it said that “Inherited Wealth” is not so good for the soul. I tend to believe this, the notion that being self made (as a general rule) is preferable. Today with the rapidly moving pace of technology, world beating companies popping out of the woodwork in years, not decades—most billionaires are self made. Clearly, if you are going to have a ton of billionaires, it is better for society if they are self made. Inheritance tax without loopholes any one? Here are the statistics, using the top 40 billionaires:
- I will be generally ignoring Jeff Bezos, since I am unable label him
- 27 out of 40 are self made Billionaires (this includes Bezos)—67%
- 12 of the 13 inherited Billionaires are Regressive.*—92%
- 16 of the 26 self made Billionaires are Progressive.—61%
- 16 of the 21 self made Billionaires, excluding the Israel centric* ones, are progressive.—76%
- 5 out of the 10 self made regressive Billionaires are Israel centric*—50%
Here is the table, comments and disclaimers are below the table:
Notes about the above:
- Mark Zuckerberg: Yes I know that he likes Chris Christie’s education program
- Steve Ballmer: grew up in an elitist environment—private schools etc. He owns a major league team—this will be discussed below
- Phil Knight: gives huge sums to sport and Cancer research—am amazed he has not bought a major league team
- Ray Dalio: is listed Blue despite having given very modestly to Stupidparty—he gets a pass since he has pledged half his wealth to Gates foundation
- Don Bren: has given to Republicans but gets a pass because a) Californian Republicans can be relatively progressive, b) he is a conservationist, backs solar energy, etc.
- Any one who gave money to Romney would be automatically regressive—this based upon his proposed economic policies that were irrefutable garbage. A similar rule would apply to Trump, Cruz etc.—but more latitude is provided regarding more local races.
I should explain why this is such an important issue. It boils down to Netanyahu and his policies towards Palestine, Iran and US political corruption. This is not complicated: Israel under Netanyahu has only one real ally on the whole planet—Stupidparty. Even this alliance is based upon mutual contempt. StupidParty is a party based upon bigotry and antisemitism traditionally resides in far right parties. Until very recently StupidParty’s most prominent Jew, Eric Cantor, had considered that his own party was anti-semitic.
So what gives?
Well bigotry and money rule. Bigotry: The Republican base loathes Muslims more than it dislikes Jews, the evangelicals see the end of times in Israel—with all Jews having served their role as the buffer and fair weather ally in the battle against Islam—all heading to hell in their “End Times” scenario. Money: So how did Netanyahu turn 47 StupidParty Senators into traitors? One needs to look no further than the massive funds being sunk into the StupidParty in order to usurp that party into being just one big propaganda machine for Netanyahu’s Middle Eastern agenda—an agenda that even (an independently wealthy) Trump is not willing to buy into. Discussing the Palestinian issue objectively has never been possible in the US because the Israeli lobby also has a huge amount of power in the Democratic party—Chuck Schumer being an example of a person who seems to forget which Country he is a citizen of. He is not fit to be the next leader of the Senate.
Much of this staggering political power to corrupt comes from a few aging Jewish billionaires, casino operators, hedge fund Wall Street guys (occupations that have a natural tendency to lure its beneficiaries to the dark side.) Now the Jewish community has historically been progressive, but Israeli policies, specifically against the Palestinians and often specifically illegal, have been a wedge issue. Now, this is not to say that one should be “pro Palestinian” that is not the point. Netanyahu, Adelson’s even more extreme views, the buying up of the Stupidparty, institutionalized elitist bigotry against Arabs—these are the points.
Yes often Arab actions against Israel can be reprehensible, but you can not be the good guy by acting just like the bad guys, by cheating, stealing, lying and careless killing.
Massive giving to Sports:
As mentioned above, certain occupations tend to be more corrupting to the soul than others. Traders, Hedge fund types, Fossil fuels, Asset strippers—in order to be successful one might find it necessary to put their humanity, the future of humanity, aside—at least during working hours. But there is one activity—one business that is the most corrupting (although not odious as oil and coal) of all—owning a major league sporting franchise.
I say this because once you become an owner you actually have no choice but to take advantage of the obvious means of ripping off the taxpayer, of increasing the commercialization of sport at the expense of the integrity of the sport.
I have explained this phenomena is some detail already in “The Big Con.“
Now many of these Owners understandably work pretty hard to keep a low profile—especially their political views, but every now and then they get to reveal their true stripes, i.e. not many people have labeled Robert Kraft, owner of the New England patriots as StupidParty, but sorry, once you endorse Donald Trump, you are so labeled. The same can be said about his quarterback Tom Brady. That is the beauty of the Trump “Klandidacy”—we get to see everyone’s true stripes. So let us look at a bunch more Billionaires (only Paul Allen is on both lists):
Notes: Being the fact that this “hobby” is now set up to mooch off the taxpayers and to brain drain the spectators, one would hope that such beneficiaries would go the extra mile to give back—but on the whole, this is simply not the case. By way of example I am calling out those indicated in light brown as regressive, even if they occasionally do not appear to be StupidParty:
10. Tisch: Inherited, includes oil wealth
11. Bisciotti: Devout Catholic (i.e. abstinence only sex ed?)
14. Jim Irsay: Concussion issue attitude
16 Ford Family: Inherited. Fossil cars
22 Jed York: Inherited, nothing redeeming that I could find
29 Carol and Mark Davis: Inherited. Nothing note worthy
87% of Major league owners can be considered regressive. One is not born regressive, it is an environmental dynamic. To remain an enlightened human being becomes more difficult as more easy money is thrown at you, as the tribal homogeneity of such people you hang out with and the more time such corrupting influence has to rule over your soul.
Now this percentage only reaches this high under the combination of certain special conditions:
- Inherited wealth
- Corrupting nature of one’s occupation—Sports Owner, Wall Street , Fossil energy, egocentric political activism
- Being in the top .0001
- Strong tribal affiliations.
- Home address—places like Texas, Palm Beach
Next Up: a comparison between two polar opposite Billionaires, one a StupidParty Superhero the other the StupidParty bêtes noire.
To be continued Soros v. Adelson…