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by spocko

Making the Fears of the 1% Come True

7:21 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

I was angry today.

I’m tired of hearing crap from austrians who have decided a bright future in America just isn’t possible, unless you are already rich. Screw you and your, “Raise retirement age,” “Cut Social Security” and “Stay in your crappy job for health care” viewpoints.  A bright future for the older worker? Nah, just hope you die before your money runs out. That’s their idea of us winning.
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I’m also angry from listening to great stupid audio from Tom “Kristallnacht” Perkins. He spoke at the Commonwealth Club in SF last week. Audio link.

Sorry, no transcript, but listen to it and it won’t take long to hear factually incorrect statements backed by BS statistics. Plus, asshole opinions galore! The journalist from Fortune sometimes challenges him but often lets him repeat lies. Perkins did squirm when asked to prove that the richest 1% are the nations’ most creative. “They create the most jobs.” he finally said, weaseling out of the real answer which was, “I’m wrong and you busted me, but I won’t admit it because I’m rich and powerful and you are an annoying lowly journalist”

Here are two choice lines from the talk:

 ”Medicare will go bankrupt, it’s inevitable.”

“Entitlements need to be cut because that is the bulk of the budget.”

Reuter’s did a story on the talk. 

“The extreme progressivity of taxation is a form of persecution,” he said. “I think if you’ve paid 75 percent of your life’s earnings to the government, you are being persecuted.”
—Tom Perkins

I’ve dealt with VCs in Silicon Valley. I’ve worked with the people who work for them. Perkins can spout crap because people know where the money flows from. Nobody tells him he doesn’t know what he is talking about when it comes to social policy, monetary policy or politics. You want the money? Shut up.

He’s a perfect spokesperson for the 1%. He’s 82, doesn’t need to answer to anyone, he earned the, no-way-in-hell-he-paid-75%-in-taxes money he made and yes, he did create 20-30 billionaires. Bully for him. But his story gives cover to all the 1% hedge fund managers and WS bankers who make money by manipulating numbers and markets.  He whined that the firm that bears his name, “threw him under the bus.” after his ridiculously insensitive letter. Boo fraking hoo. They did that because they actual have to answer to real people, not to strawmen carrying pitchforks and torches.

He said the 1% are afraid of taxes. Not jail, not violence, not public shaming–taxes. I think he was being honest. Thanks for the tip! So fellow 99%ers, how can we make those fears come true?

He did say he got only positive feedback from people via email, but mean comments on Twitter. I’ll bet if he was getting death threats via email he’d tell us. But he can’t delete the nasty Twitter comments like he could if he got them via emails.  That is something important we need to remember about social media. It’s a two-way communications channel they can’t control.

I’m surprised he didn’t manufacturer some email death threats to better play the victim card. (The smart PR move would be to hire a false flag team to break his own windows. Then he could really sell the Kristallnacht parallel. But I guess Karl Rove isn’t working for him, so he won’t attack himself then blame others.)

I despise violent rhetoric directed toward anyone, in whatever medium it is conveyed. I don’t condone it and I don’t do it. As an intelligent group of people, we can do better. And for someone who already thinks being taxed is persecution we don’t have to go there, it’s overkill (no pun intended.)

I’m going to end with my favorite line from Trading Places.

“It occurs to me that the best way to hurt rich people is to turn them into poor people.”

(Trading Places video link)

I think we know what to do.
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by spocko

What To Do When the Rich Win

1:36 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

Can I buy your vote? This week Darcy Burner, a candidate I supported got beat by a rich candidate. Recently, some groups I supported, SF Ocean Edge, The Sierra Club and The Audubon Society lost an appeal to stop seven acres of natural grass from being ripped out of the west end of Golden Gate Park  and replaced with artificial turf and 150,000 watts of stadium lights for soccer fields. The project is funded by a rich family, the Fishers, whose father founded the Gap.

It’s rough when the rich beat us, not just because we lost, but because it can be used as an encouragement for the idea that being rich should be your first and main goal — since it seems to prove that everything you want flows from that. “Want to win an election?” be rich. Then buy what you need to win. “What to break the law?” be rich, then pay the lawyers to make it a civil case so you just pay the fine. “Want to not break the law? Buy the lobbyist, who pays the lawmakers to fix the law so you don’t break them–it’s cheaper than the fine and then you are a “law abiding citizen.”

Money can’t buy you love? Yeah, but plenty of rich people find people to love them. It isn’t always a “if you are rich you can’t get love” equation. Poor people can’t find people to love them either. And being poor can get in the way of way of love just like being rich supposedly does.

I know I have a bad attitude toward how some rich people use their money. (Note I didn’t say toward all rich or all money. I’m directing my ire at behaviors.) This is one of the reasons that I designed the Spocko Method program to go after the right wing media. It was designed to take away their money. Because, like Eddie Murphy said in the movie Trading Places, “You know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people. ” And there are certain kind of rich people I wanted to hurt by making them less rich. They were the ones who believed in violence directed toward Muslims, journalists, Democrats and liberals. Race-baiters, bigots, racists and homophobes all care as much about money as most Americans. If I know I’m not going to change their mind and I don’t want to censor their views then I want to ensure they don’t get rich espousing those views. They have a right to say what they want, they don’t have a right to get rich doing it.

Now if I was smarter I could have figured out a way to not just cost the disgusting rich money, but get their ill gotten gains to flow to me. Why? Because as we have learned in America, being rich should be your first and main goal since everything you want flows from that. I could then use this money to keep costing the disgusting rich money.

In my life I’ve helped people create millions and I’ve helped people lose millions. I’ve enjoyed helping people create millions more, partly because the people I helped were creating good things and they valued my help. When I’ve cost people money, there is satisfaction because I hurt people who were creating bad things, but my work wasn’t valued beyond, “Atta boys.” I think that I, like a lot of, people in America are still locked in to the idea that, “First get rich. If you can’t get rich then there is something wrong with you.  Being a “good man” doesn’t get you much beyond an occasional warm feeling while shaving.

I think of all the students who will have huge debt coming out of college. Their mandate will need to be, “First get rich.” Will they have the ability to see beyond that need? I don’t think I could. It’s hard enough to get a job, let alone one that will make you rich.

But maybe it is a fallacy that everything you want flows from being rich.   How do you prove it? How many people, after hearing the stories of how money doesn’t buy lottery winners’ happiness, say, “Let me try it and win the lottery and then we’ll see. I’ll be different. Money WILL make me happy. I can buy what I want and be happy.”

Should I be just as delusional (and have the same poor understanding of math) as other Americans and buy lottery tickets? Should I “buy” into the “first get rich” attitude? I’m already been part of the “first be poor” attitude and its been pretty crummy.

I’m very frustrated right now. Pointing to the defeat of Meg Whitman who spent millions doesn’t help much right now. The shortcut of buying elections is appealing. But it’s not just that they are buying ads, they are cashing in on the attitudes that someone spent 40 years inculcating.

Here is what 40 years of buying smart communicators, the media, regulators and legislators seem to prove:

  • ♦  Money CAN buy you your election (even if that isn’t true all the time- “Let me show you a bunch of stories where it happened, ignore the times it didn’t.”).

 

  • ♦ Guns CAN protect you (even if that isn’t true all the time – “Let me tell you a bunch of stories where guns protected people, ignore the times they didn’t, besides if more people had guns there would be more protection!”)

 

  • ♦ Wall Street CAN fix the problems they created (even if that isn’t true most the time – “Read about a bunch of Very Serious People ™ who believe self regulation works, even though they have been wrong almost 100 percent of the time”.)

So in the face of this ‘evidence’ we should be going out and buying elections, getting guns and letting Wall Street regulate themselves.

But I’m not buying their evidence. I’m going to work to show the failure of their evidence, to change attitudes and prove them wrong. Or maybe I’ll grow back my goatee and accept that I can’t be that one man with a vision.

Very Serious People is a ™ of Duncan Black, Atrios