Allan's Perspective is not recommended for the politically correct, or the overly religious! (Some people have opinions, and some have convictions ..., what we offer is Perspective!)

My wife is right, I am anal retentive...., so now I keep a can of WD-40 next to the toilet! (Sometimes I feel like I'm just a bobble-head on the highway of life!)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saturday Morning Confusion About the 1%


Dear Readers: One of our readers sent in this article from Quora Digest, and I think you might be interested!!!! (Especially the last response)

I am in the one-percent. Can you explain why it would be in my interest to cast my vote for Bernie Sanders?

Suppose you're a 16th century Emperor. So you're not only in the one-percent, you're the one and the only. I mean the entire army/police force of millions of men is under you command, you may kill anyone you hate, get any girl you like, you determine how much to be collected in taxes and how to spend the taxes revenues ... In other word, you're the President, Congress and Supreme Court at the same time - just about as much power as one can get. What can possibly go wrong for you?

Things start to go wrong when the mass of people say "Enough is enough, we don't want to be oppressed by this vicious tyrant any more, we don't want to pay sky-high taxes so that he can freely indulge himself with luxuries while our children go hungry, we don't want a rigged system in which the tyrant and a few other guys on top control anything and everything about our life ...."

At first, people would kill off one Emperor and set up a new one. This happened over and over again until people were sick and tired of all this bullsh!t and eliminated feudalism altogether.

Then came capitalism.

So here you are, living in the so-called "free world" with the so-called "democratic election system". No more "I am King because my father was King", the leaders must be democratically elected, one person - one vote (more or less).
But if the system turns out to be undemocratic and rigged (which it apparently is) you can be damn sure that a revolution is just around the corner.

And when that happens (and it will), people won't haggle over the puny 40% tax rate or 75% tax rate. Remember what happened to King Louis XVI? People separated his head from the rest of his body!

Just imagine: if the rich keep getting richer, the poor keep getting poorer (like what's been happening for the last five decades) and eventually have nothing else to pay taxes, to buy goods to make profit for business executives, to enable the 1% to become richer, where will things go?

What will happen? A revolution, people rise up in arms - that's what has always happened and it certainly will.

If you're aware of Bernie Sanders's political agenda, you realize that voting for Bernie Sanders is the best way to mitigate social tension and reduce the currently extreme wealth and income inequalities.


OR
Andrew Weill
If you are so silly as to think only in terms of short-term profit maximization without regard for any other issues, then maybe I can't explain it.

If you care about long term stability of the economy (and you should if you are in the wealthy elite), then you recognize that the level of wealth inequity in this country is unhealthy and ultimately will be quite bad for business.

If you care about the health of the planet (and you should; markets disrupted by environmental catastrophes are not good for business), then you'd be interested in a candidate who will take leadership on science-based policies on global warming, etc.

If you care about public health (and you should; dead people are terrible customers, and epidemics tend to be bad for business), then you want leadership that will address public health from a science-based perspective.

If you care about a vital middle class (and you should; it correlates to general prosperity and economic health), then you want leadership that will strengthen the middle class.

If you are concerned about the rise of theocratic politics (and you should be; theocracies have a habit of disrupting business by the imposition of moral judgments that can materially interfere with business), then you want a leader who is not beholden to hardline religious groups.


OR

Josh DiGiorgio
If your only concern is continuing to amass wealth then it's not in your interest to cast your vote for Bernie Sanders.  His ideas about a progressive tax scale won't likely result in you getting a tax break.  In fact, your taxes will probably go up.  Let's face it, though.  If you're actually a part of the one-percent, a tax hike is not going to bankrupt you.  After everything's said and done, even if Bernie is elected, you and your family will still be very, very rich long after he leaves office.

There are a lot of good answers here, but I want to touch on a subject that is less than comfortable.  Since your question revolves around your particular interests, I don't suppose that I can appeal to your empathy or your compassion for people who have been less fortunate than you.  That's fine.  We'll go another route.

The nature of human beings is that we desire to be equal to one another.  This equality does not have to be exact.  The notion of exact equality is an idealist one.  It will never happen.  This egalitarian nature permeates every facet of our society, from our childhood to the very last day that we live.  When you were a child can you remember being treated unfairly? Can you remember another child being shown preferential treatment? We've all been there and we all remember how it felt to be treated unequally.

This constant striving toward better heights, toward equality with one's peers never really goes away.  We compare ourselves to other people all the time and other people do the exact same thing.  As the gap between those who have and those who have not widens (as it is doing this very moment), this innate nature within all of us will begin to flame up. 

Indeed, this phenomena has already started.  We see it through the rise of hacker organizations like Anonymous.  We saw it with the Occupy Wall Street movement.  We saw it in Ferguson, Missouri.  We're seeing it again with the recent protests all across American university campuses.  And this phenomena is not going away.  Slowly, it gains traction. 

Right now, this push towards equality is peaceful.  Aside from a few hurt feelings on both sides, there haven't been any casualties of war.  But if we want to see what a violent uprising might entail, we need only to look at our own history:
In 1789, the flames of inequality fueled a fire that would eventually become the French Revolution.  It lasted almost a decade and when the fog finally cleared, those who enjoyed true privilege, the aristocracy, the royalty, the rich, many of them were dead, executed by guillotine at the hands of angry revolutionaries. 

Though France eventually recovered, they did not do so before a military dictator by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte seized power and plunged much of europe into a costly war.  Things were pretty ugly for a while.  Land and wealth was seized and redistributed.  Many people lost their lives.  It was not a joyous time for France...or at least for certain people who once called that country their dominion.

My point is that many people in the United States, especially those who have much more than the rest of us, know of this story and sort of laugh it off as if it's incapable of happening here.  And yet, the United States of America is not immune to civil unrest. 

We fought a war with each other only a little over 150 years ago.  This...persistent idealism that is the belief that everything will be fine in the United States is a similar idealism that King Louis surely enjoyed during the last few years of his reign.

As long as inequality begins to grow, so do the flames of revolution.  We've know this for a long time now.  We've seen this principle in action over the thousands of years.  Humans will tolerate inequality to a certain degree, but there is eventually a breaking point.  When a human no longer has much of anything to preserve, no hope of a better future, violent thoughts settle on the mind.

We're not there yet.

But more of this same old merry-go-round and we'll be there soon enough.  Perhaps in your lifetime, perhaps not. 

You don't have to be totally on board with Bernie.  I'm sure as hell not.  He has a few ideas that I don't particularly care for at all.  At times, he's incredibly and unrealistically idealistic.  At other times, in a culture of growing inequality, him or someone like him is exactly who we need to help steer the ship back into calm waters.

Bernie's heart is in the right place and that's a step in the right direction.  A step in another direction may or may not have any noticeable effect...at first.  The future is untold after all, but the rhetoric and the financial backing of other candidates has convinced me that they don't have us in mind.  They might have you in mind or you might even be funding them. 

The mob, however, is not pleased with the current direction of this country.  At some point, if things continue to get worse, the mob will intervene and no one wants that.  The mob is a destructive and indiscriminate force.  Where it goes it leaves nothing but a mess and tragedy behind.

A vote for Bernie is an investment in an attempt to help everyone be as prosperous as they are willing to be with equal opportunities.  It's worth getting on board with that, but if you're only concerned with your own interests then why not cast your vote for someone else and wait for the pitchforks to arrive, hm?

If you really are a part of the one-percent then my opinion really doesn't mean much of anything to you, so here's a video of someone's opinion that you might be more willing to listen to:

(I URGE YOU TO WATCH THIS. ED!)

Nick Hanauer: Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming  

Nick Hanauer: Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming