Why Small Business and Bloggers Can NOT Ignore Economic Decline and Occupy Wall Street

We’re all in this together.

This post is what I wish everyone could grasp about the status of the world we live in. Start by reading the post this sentence links to and really looking at the graphs that clearly show why we have a failing economy, what caused it, and how to fix it.

I can't afford a lobbyist so I made this sign

THIS is the bottom line – that the money of the wealthy and their corruption has bought and paid for our lives, our economies, and our governments ~ so now we must take them back.

WHO are the 1% and
How Much Do They Earn?

I finally have data on that thanks to Ron Bischof @rjbischof

The average income of the top 1% in 2009 was $1,324, 572 -
There is a HUGE difference between $1.3+ Million in earnings and the
$343,927 income split point many are using to define the 1%

What we need are additional breakdowns on the 1% for earnings,
net worth and income taxes paid including capital gains taxes.

If you look at the graphs Brian Rogel shares about the
Distribution of Wealth and how the Capital Gains Tax
changes
affect our economy and income distribution
you will see what the protests are about.

It should really be the .05% – not the 1%
If you believe you can get into the top .05%

you need to understand that like so many other things
in life you are in a conditioned state!

While you may believe the world revolves around you – it just doesn’t.

You are decidedly NOT one of the bankers and wealthy
elite who are destroying our economy.

(See part of their Table below and click the image to see the full table and many more stats from the Summary of Latest Federal Individual Income Tax Data at TaxFoundation.org.)

Top 1% AGI according to TaxFoundation.org

Image Credit TaxFoundation.org ~ Click image for more stats

We know from this table that this does NOT tell the whole story because it indicates the average tax rate paid by the 1% is 24.01% and the wealthiest pay nowhere near that much in taxes.

Clearly, not all of the 1% are part of the wealthy elite.
WHY 400 Richest Americans Only Pay An 18% Tax Rate
Who the 400 Wealthiest Americans Are
CNNMoney: How the Rich became the über Rich

Whether, as one blogger told me, you think the Occupy Movement is lame, or crazy, or brilliant – whether you think that only hippies, or only the right wing – or left, or only the lazy or unemployed – no matter WHAT you currently believe this movement is about, I ask you to please read this entire post.

The economic problems in the U.S. and around the
world are not because some people earn too much.

They are because some people use their influence and connections
to take what they do NOT earn and avoid paying a fair share of taxes.

Now the greedy, wealthy elite have taken so much that enormous numbers of people will go hungry, homeless and jobless with no hope of turning their lives around as the economy will continue to decline because printing money must inevitably lead to loss of buying power.

Those who can not see where this is going today because they are still living comfortably will be the most surprised when it affects them. Today they believe anyone no matter their circumstances can join the 1%. They are wrong.

And even if they weren’t, there are many people now
who realize they don’t need to be wealthy -
especially if it means others will suffer and die.

Who needs huge houses, new cars every year (or even every three years) or all that STUFF? I don’t. If you think you do, I pity you because for people like that there is never “enough” to make them happy.

This ABC News Interview of History Professor Mark Naison of Fordham University about Occupy Wall Street is a good primer for understanding this protest.

For myself, IMHO, this movement is THE most important thing to have every happened in my lifetime. While many do not realize it, the outcome of this movement will change all of our lives – either for the better – or worse.

A remarkable wealth distribution study (Norton & Ariely, 2010) reveals that Americans have no idea that the wealth distribution (defined for them in terms of “net worth”) is as concentrated as it is.

motherjones wealth distribution feb 2011

Don’t be mislead by attempts to claim wealthy are being over-taxed because the wealthiest pay very little tax.

Lowering tax rates on capital gains, which is how the rich receive a large portion of their income, has given the wealthiest Americans close to a free ride.

Monopolies and near monopolies have always been a source of economic power—from John D. Rockefeller at the beginning of the last century to Bill Gates at the end.

We need to find statistics showing who is paying and who is eluding taxes through offshore investments and other book-cooking strategies.

  • Top 10 Percent of Earners Paid 70 Percent of Federal Income Taxes – if they control most of the wealth shouldn’t they? Using percentages in this way is highly misleading. A huge percentage of the bottom who are paying few taxes today because they aren’t able to find a job or are underemployed and making little would pay more taxes if they could.


WORTH A LISTEN: Occupy Wall Street Song Official “Smile” By Jay Samel

WHY DO AMERICANS NOT WANT TO KNOW?

Many people aren’t interested in knowing what is going on, but we MUST know, and we MUST change what we’re doing while we still can.

David Nichols tweeted:

DavNic4 Tweets

The thing is, we can not separate what is happening in the economy from business because we are headed off a cliff and the only way to not go crashing into the ground is to realize what caused this economic downturn – and more importantly – what we can do to change things.

Occupy Wall Street
is the most important thing to happen in my lifetime.

No one would be happier to ignore politics and what everyone else is doing than me. I would gladly just focus on supporting small businesses and encouraging people to buy locally and share why it would benefit local businesses to SOURCE locally, too.

There have always been laws (permits, DBAs, inspections, ect.) whose primary purpose it to keep new businesses from competing with established businesses that make successfully starting and running a small business less likely for those with less money.

This is the final straw for many of us.
We are willing to be poor by American standards
because we have other priorities.

We don’t choose to make chasing money
and jumping through hoops what is important to us.

The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.
~ Lily Tomlin ~

We want to raise our own food so we don’t go hungry.
No matter what happens to the value of the dollar.

But now lawmakers pushed by Big Ag and the
wealthy elite want to deny us even that?

The reason we can’t ignore those and many other laws any more is that the legal system will not allow us to simply live and let live. Here’s why:

LAWS TO MAKE US HUNGRY:

New laws impose outrageous penalties for sharing food you raise or grow or even consuming it yourself!

See my comprehensive post on threats to our Food Rights.

Many have finally figured out that we have been born into a system of illusion that sold us the fantasy “American Dream” – but that dream is unattainable for the larger percentage of all Americans. As George Carlin says,

“The game is rigged…It’s called The American Dream
because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

All the people born into poverty, or the wrong color, or who have no connections have known this for a long time. Many – like my Father who wanted so badly to believe we were middle class – learned the truth when first their benefits, and then their pensions, and then their careers went away.

Huge numbers of Americans want to claim they are middle class.

Even those like my Father who in spite of being an Air Force lifer with the second highest rank in his unit – qualified (but would not accept) food stamps.

I attended college on a scholarship “primarily intended
for underprivileged minorities”
even though I’m white.

I was the ONLY person from my high school to ever
come from a family that qualified for that particular
scholarship based on economic need AND SAT scores.

The SAT is a pretty accurate gauge of accumulated advantage.”

I managed to score higher than our low income predicted
Which I attribute to a love of reading and writing
And refusing to believe that “girls are no good at math”.

AND just as importantly – because I was born white,
to a literate Father whose American born 100% German parents
instilled in him and he passed to me: high moral standards,
a strong work ethic, and a love of continually learning.

I left home with a couple brown bags of clothes, my college scholarship, a part time job, and a boyfriend who loved me enough to marry me.  He won my heart in college by buying me lunch every day.

It was the first time I consistently had all I wanted to eat.
Before that I ate on $0.54 a day – a Jack in the Box burger and water.

It was the mid-70s and he was just back from Viet Nam. It took me seven years to find out what happened to him over there. They had low draft numbers, so he and his best friend joined the Army and volunteered for tank duty – because the tanks were all in Germany.

The next year they were shipped to the front lines. He was the gunner. His tank was destroyed and he was the sole survivor. The Army took out the shrapnel and put him on another tank. It was destroyed and again he was the sole survivor – twice.

The guilt ate at him all the time.
Why did HE survive and no one else?

Every time he almost graduated he changed his major. After he graduated with a Computer Science degree he declared he didn’t want a computer job. He got a job at Thrifty Drug as assistant manager. He got a glowing review and was about to be made manager. He claimed they were going to fire him so he quit.

He became a landscaping laborer making a fraction of what he had been making. That would have been fine with me if he was happy, but he wasn’t.

For seven years he was fine as long as we were struggling, but the minute things got a little better he would do something to make sure we were back in the hole again.

Then he went through a second childhood, hanging out with the youngest brother or his best friend. Drinking. Partying. Not talking to me any more.

I made the mistake of saying if he didn’t want to talk to me any more I might as well leave. He said, “ok, leave”.

I was shocked and didn’t know how to fix it. I gave him the house and everything in it because he could afford the payments. A young woman and her Mother – being poor – thought he was a catch because he had a house and a car.

She moved in, changed the locks and phone number, and cut off communications between us. I found out later she left him after only a few months when she realized he wasn’t as well off as she thought. Or perhaps she traded up.

I got a call from an IBM Manager at work about a year later telling me over the phone:

He had committed suicide by shotgun.

His Mother had found his body in the back yard of that house. Another guilt-ridden casualty of the Viet Nam “conflict”.

How long will we naively believe the reasons
we are given for attacking other countries?

Every one of us should watch War is a Racket by Smedley Butler.

War is ALWAYS about money: the military industrial complex making
piles of it – while the innocent on both sides are killed and maimed.

US military suicide rate EXCEEDS combat fatalities!

What does war have to do with our economy and small business and Veterans? THAT is where all the money is going that could feed not just America but the world! The exceptional video I originally shared was removed. This one is almost as compelling:

I know people of every class all over the world. I understand how different those who are upper middle class or upper class in the U.S. live from where I came from and how that differs from where those born into true poverty.

We Americans like to think there are no classes.
There are – we just don’t call them that or talk about them.

Those born into comfort to families who have family lawyers and family accountants and family business owners have no idea how much those connections benefit them – just the connections and knowledge – to say nothing of the money.

I know it isn’t that they are heartless – it is that they honestly don’t understand why other Americans lives can’t be like their own.

When Nicole Fende, who we know from the Small Business Finance Forum, published this post Debunking the Myths of Occupy Wall Street on fellow Social Media Marketer Marjorie Clayman’s blog I knew I had to help them see.

The text below is partly from my comment in that blog and partly edited. Here is what I want them and others who are currently less affected by the economic decline to know:

Oh, Nicole,

I am very disappointed in this post which clearly reflects the fact that those born into comfort have absolutely no idea how their lives differ from the lives of those born into the lower middle class or poverty.

Poor people who attend horrendous public schools are not taught anything about finance or banking or interest or debt and have no friends, relatives or co-workers who have taught them even basic things like how to write a check and how compound interest works. Still you blame them for not realizing that the payments on the mortgage they just took out may DOUBLE or there is a balloon payment – oh and by the way with their credit they will NEVER qualify to refinance.

As Almost60Really points out, many FORMERLY comfortable ALMOST middle class (they thought they were – but they were really only a paycheck or two from homeless) still own brand name clothes.

Even the actually poor have cell phones (cheaper than land lines now and needed to call to get a ride or find a job) and computers (many cost under $50 used and you can often get one free) and buy designer clothes at the local good will.

(The cheap clothes sold at places like dollar stores, Wal-mart and Target don’t last long enough to end up at second hand stores – the clothes there are donated primarily by people who buy the latest fashions each season and sell for a few dollars per shirt, dress, or slacks.)

This post proves you have no idea how the other more than half lives. I hope you read the comments, actually go out and MEET some ordinary Americans who weren’t born into the comfort you were, find some empathy and realize how inaccurate your judgments are.

I know many people from all walks of life in almost every country in the world and there is one thing that consistently jumps out at me.

People who are born into families who have connections and money just don’t get it.

When THEY say they have no money they mean they don’t have much in the way of LIQUID assets available without penalty of early withdrawal.

When regular people say they have no money they mean they literally have NO money:

  • Nothing in checking or savings
  • No investments
  • And not a penny in their pockets

And before you blame them and say they SHOULD have savings and investments put a pencil to paper:

Figure out how someone who makes minimum wage or earns less now from working two or even three jobs than they did when they had a career can possibly keep a roof over their head and eat and have ANYTHING left over to save.

Don’t forget out of their meager pay they have to have money to commute, maintain a vehicle (many places in America there is NO public transportation) and pay for MANDATORY liability insurance (that benefits the INSURANCE COMPANY – not them because it doesn’t even COVER their car!).

Most have lost their benefits and their REAL pensions thanks to CASH PENSIONS which – by the way – were ILLEGAL when over 200 corporations used them to steal retirements from their employees so their CEOs could earn increased incomes from cooking the books.

Here’s a little experiment for you:

Go somewhere where you know no one and have NOTHING and see how well YOU get on at figuring out where you can live and finding a job and saving money when you don’t have ANY RESOURCES to fall back on and NO CONNECTIONS who can help you out.

Before you respond that even poor people have friends, family, peers and co-workers remember that YES they do – but they’re all poor, too. They can’t help each other much when they can barely feed themselves.

Those in the upper classes do not realize
how their connections have created their success.

I know one Texan who is so clueless about the business he is in that back when I knew him he is on his FOURTH Thoroughbred Farm. The first three went bankrupt, but no problem because he has wealthy friends willing to invest in yet another one and buy horses from him.

Meanwhile, the most brilliant breeders can barely give horses away because they don’t move in the circles where people have that level of disposable income.
When everyone you know has money it is far easier to succeed in business than when no one you know has money.

The key to solving the economic challenges facing us all is to better understand the people who aren’t like you.

While the decline has already affected the poor and the formerly middle class, it IS going to affect those who are comfortable today.

They are going to be SHOCKED. It wasn’t poor people who jumped out of windows during the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

The comfortable are the least prepared to deal with surviving the crash – and I assure you there IS going to be a crash unless major changes are made.

We are ALL in this together. The solution is creating strong local economies. Search on Twitter for #BuyLocal #ShopLocal #EatLocal #SmallBusiness and for the various hashtags related to Occupy Wall Street especially #ows to learn more – or ask me.

I'm a Human Being Not A Commodity Sign at Occupy Wall Street

Click Image for Best 50 Signs from Occupy Wall Street on BuzzFeed.com

Occupy Wall Street Information:

OCCUPY WALL STREET VIDEOS:

There are tons of Occupy Wall Street videos on YouTube and elsewhere. These are some of the best I’ve seen. If you have particular favorites please leave a short description and a link in the comments of this post. I will move those links into the post for greater visibility.

Whenever I write a post like this the silence is deafening. This is so very important I hope people will ask questions and discuss what we can do.

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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of GrowMap.com, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.

Comments

  1. Does anyone know of any recent issues (2014-15) that Occupy is taking on (protesting, raising awareness, fundraising, etc) w/ regard to the 4th 5th 6th and 8th Amendments– particularly the ongoing problem in this country with police department policy (at the state level)?

  2. Actually the Economical condition of every country depends upon the latest happenings int he country. Actually the government must make good policies to make the economical condition better and better.
    Zareen would love you to read ..Sacred Heart College Active Citizens Scholarship FundingMy Profile

  3. Hi enjoyed your post
    This subject always provokes high emotions. The problem is with capitalism doesn’t just involve the financial district. It is part of every part of everyday life. Schools you have head teachers running schools you need these people in charge earning a much higher salary than the average teacher. The head of the health service earns huge amounts and gets bonuses for productivity etc. but you need the right person in charge to make things run smoothly. The question is how much reward financially should they receive.

    Every aspect of life is the same som you can’t just denounce capitalism. But by raising the question raises more questions. So hopefully we can eventually create a system that works much fairer for many more people of society.

    Very thought provoking thanks.

  4. Here’s an interesting resource that’s been blowing me away again and again over the years.

    This is the manifesto of the Unabomber. While I don’t condone his overall actions, you HAVE to read this.

    The thinking is solid.
    Adam Withrow would love you to read ..Ron Paul on the BP Oil SpillMy Profile

  5. Man, I like the way you’ve continued to curate this post. This is a great example of a living entry that has grown into a useful forum, and it’s really cool to see the SEO community weighing in.

    I really hate to see the way some people are falling into the mental pit that’s being held in front of them. Keeping even half an eye on the Republican primary process and the way it is being conducted is terrible.

    The symptoms of this disease are spread all over society.

    People would rather see a news report about a youtube preview of a super bowl ad than see that people are ripping our chances of a decent life to shreds. It sucks when you consider that our grandparents had at least a dream of a future, even though they still had american apartheid.

    Still in search of a remedy. I’ll be voting to try and hold the Constitution together, but the way that people are so completely bamboozled has me a bit worried.

    You can see that the modern rich are attempting to live like mesopotamian kings.
    Adam Withrow would love you to read ..Ron Paul on the BP Oil SpillMy Profile

    • Hi Adam,

      Thank you for noticing. I don’t see blogs as serial diaries – I see them as valuable reference resources. Many of my posts are like this one which I strive to continually add to and update and encourage discussions in the comments and elsewhere.

      Sports, entertainment, media, video games, Facebook – these are all conditioning devices to keep people so busy they don’t pay any attention to what it truly important in life or ever listen to their hearts.

      The problem with voting is almost every politician is bought and paid for and the elections are fixed – often times even at the local level. The same elite have stacked the judicial system, too, so the only recourse left is to leave the system or protest against it – or both.
      growmap would love you to read ..SOPA Blackout Strike Already Started; Why Major Sites and Blogs Went Dark in SupportMy Profile

  6. War is terrible! There are really no winners in wars only losers. Sad…..

    • Hi Shine,

      I agree. It is simply horrendous and if people were not conditioned from birth to believe in the necessity of war and children were not given toys and video games making violence seem like “fun” they would refuse to go.

      Worse even than the wars and conflicts they are too cowardly to call war are what is left behind: a legacy of death that maims children for years and even decades later.

      America should be ASHAMED…ASHAMED… that we refuse to outlaw land mines (because we are the largest manufacturer and exporter) and we refuse to prohibit cluster bombs (same reason).

      America is the largest purveyor of death and justifies what is truly the terrorism of other countries and peoples by claiming to be “protecting” them. What a load of you know what.
      growmap would love you to read ..HUGE Mistakes Most CEOs, Small Business Owners & Managers Are Making – What to Do InsteadMy Profile

  7. I pains me to watch america spend trillions on the war and yet let its own people starve and stay unemployed while the fat cats keep getting fatter and not contributing enough tax’s. It will effect everyone one day soon.
    Daniel would love you to read ..Landlords Boiler Cover Can Help In Boiler EmergenciesMy Profile

    • Hi Daniel,

      I agree – it WILL affect everyone and it already affects far more people than we know. Many are in danger of losing everything, or have been laid off, or had their pay cut – but they are too embarrassed to admit it to even their closest friends or family.

      What percentage are hanging on by a thread but those around them don’t know? It is the people who can not see themselves in the shoes of others who are in the biggest surprise.
      growmap would love you to read ..Traditional Versus Collaborative World ViewsMy Profile

  8. I don’t think it’s about taxes and I don’t think wealthiness is wrong BUT I definitely think that greed and corruption are the evils that should be fixed as soon as possible. The current economy situation IMO is caused by greed and lack of responsibility by bankers and government.

    Bankers that gave loans without doing due diligence of loaners’ capability to pay back and governments that allowed tools like mortgage backed securities.
    Assaf would love you to read ..Provacyl™ Hormonal Treatment for MenMy Profile

    • Hello Assaf,

      We must guard against believing media spin. Corporations today pay less tax than they ever have before. They are making massive profits but they are not reinvesting those profits where they are earned much less creating jobs with them.

      Bankers create booms by pushing cash into society – even when that means making loans to people they KNOW can never repay them – and busts by sucking cash flow out of economies.

      A popularly-alleged quote by Mayer Amschel Rothschild explains, “Give me control of a nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes its laws.”
      growmap would love you to read ..Why Having a Brand Evangelist Increases Conversions, Customer Satisfaction and ProfitsMy Profile

  9. I think it’s a massive uprising of people who are victims of the recession and who are deeply impacted by the lack of jobs and cut benefits..i support Occupy Wall street all the way

  10. Rich people, small business owner and private individuals— we are all affected by the failing economy. So, we must act now, seek for the solution and do not wait until the financial crisis to directly affect our lives.
    Noel Addison would love you to read ..5 Things to Look for in a Web Dev CompanyMy Profile

    • Hi Noel,

      The solution is local communities supporting local businesses. There is an excellent documentary on PBS with many ways we can create thriving economies in spite of what is going on titled Fixing the Future.

      That video shows how communities are using the concepts of #BuyLocal, coops, community banking, and time banks to create pockets of better living.

      Even if the dollar crashes those communities will survive through already having the ideas of time banking and supporting each other as alternatives to business as usual.
      growmap would love you to read ..Small Business Internet Marketing: Where to StartMy Profile

  11. I like the new information. It’s good to see that this thing has made it this far. The conversation is out in the open now, and the fact is, this movement is on the right track. People who disagree are either sheltered or willfully ignorant, but the sentiment has been around for a long time. I don’t know about you, but me and my friends were talking about this ten years ago. People who say that there’s no message are so completely bamboozled by propaganda that they really don’t know what’s going on. Oh, well. The ball is rolling, and it’s about to get snowy. Yay!

    It’s gonna be interesting to see what direction we go from here.
    Adam Withrow would love you to read ..10 Best Practices When Bending PVC Pipe and ConduitMy Profile

    • Hi Adam,

      Thank you. I do update my most important posts regularly, adding the best new links I come across and editing and deleting content that becomes dated or is no longer available.

      There are many who are naive about what is going on and recently there is yet more spin about the “coming spring” as though the economy was getting better. Those people are in denial.

      This has been going on for a very long time – as George Carlin says in his most popular stand-up about The American Dream – “a system that threw them overboard 30 years ago”.
      growmap would love you to read ..Why Having a Brand Evangelist Increases Conversions, Customer Satisfaction and ProfitsMy Profile

  12. Ron Bischof says:

    While I did provide a link to actual data in response to your challenge that the threshold for being in the top 1% of USA resident income earners wasn’t ~$350k, that does not imply that I concur with any of the assertions in this post. I’d classify it as an ideological screed that can’t be supported by fact nor does it’s “remedies” comply with Constitutional rights that all citizens are entitled to.

    An example of the many non sequiturs in your post:

    “We know from this table that this does NOT tell the whole story because it indicates the average tax rate paid by the 1% is 24.01% and the wealthiest pay nowhere near that much in taxes.”

    Really? I cited the IRS tax filing data from 2009. What’s your source?

    As far as your “Eat the Rich” recommendations, without entitlement reform, programs such as Social Security and Medicare are demographically and fiscally unsustainable not matter how much you confiscate via state proxy from your fellow citizens.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=661pi6K-8WQ

    • Hi Ron,

      You asked:

      Q: “We know from this table that this does NOT tell the whole story because it indicates the average tax rate paid by the 1% is 24.01% and the wealthiest pay nowhere near that much in taxes.”

      Really? I cited the IRS tax filing data from 2009. What’s your source?

      A: Forbes: See 400 Richest Americans Only Pay An 18% Tax Rate.

      Note that I have yet to find any statistics breaking down the actual distribution of the 1% but that would be extremely interesting reading. If you come across a source I’d love to have the link.

      The only reason that Social Security is broke is because instead of investing the social security payments baby boomers (and everyone else) paid in they put them into the general fund and used them to hide deficits that have been growing much longer than most realize. See Why is Social Security Going Broke?

      IF they had invested that money instead there would be plenty to pay those benefits out that people earned but they apparently never had any intention of making good on in exactly the same way corporations illegally converted REAL pensions to cash pensions. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to know there are far more baby boomers than any generation since. So that is just plain ignorant or intentional – I vote intentional.

      You still just can’t see it, can you? That this is all intentional? Did you read the links about the New American Oligarchy? What is in that Enron Video is business as usual for multi-national corporations. They BRAG about it. We are “useless eaters” to them. You ARE NOT in their “club” and never will be no matter how much money you make.

      You have swallowed the media spin and conditioning hook line and sinker. For your sake I hope you realize that while you still have time to do something about it. The stock market is the biggest shell game in history – how the wealthy elite relieve the wanna-be rich of their hard-earned money. Better to gamble in Vegas – at least there you (theoretically anyway) know what the take-out is.

      The best investments today are anything the mega-wealthy will still buy when they are the only ones who CAN still buy anything (like fine art, restored original classic cars, real estate, etc.) or things everyone else will need like food, toilet paper, batteries – REAL necessities.

      I only share what I know. What others do with it is totally up to them. I have no need to convince them I am correct or tell them they aren’t. It is up to each person to decide where the truth lies and make choices about what is important in this life.
      growmap would love you to read ..What TO Tweet on Twitter: How to Write Better Tweets to Get More Followers, Retweets and TrafficMy Profile

      • Ron Bischof says:

        You’re conflating income tax rates and capital gains taxation. The very wealthy derive the majority of the income from the latter and thus LEGALLY pay a lower rate on that income. Congress passed legislation to that effect to encourage investment. But first the equities had to be purchased with income that was taxed at the highest rate.

        SS has been raided but ultimately is demographically unsustainable (note European Social Democracies). I note you avoided Medicare.

        B

        • LOL…very interesting way of looking at that…so if you have enough money to buy a law that makes anything legal that you want – that is ok by you?

          You don’t mind them hoarding most of the money in the world. What’s next? If they pass a law that molesting little children is LEGAL then by your reasoning that would be ok – because after all it was LEGAL.

          You aren’t getting this. When IBM and 200+ other multi-national corporations ILLEGALLY converted REAL pensions promised to their employees IN WRITING nothing happened to them. After a judge RULED they were illegal – still nothing happened because they have enough money to keep delaying and appealing until you die of old age. And all the while they were trying to retroactively make them legal – not that it matters since the laws don’t apply to them because HE WHO HAS THE GOLD MAKES THE RULES.

          Do you realize that you are are defending corruption? You are defending what they have done to the U.S. economy – more than once I might add – and to economies around the world.

          You admit SS has been raided – that is ok with you, too? I ignore Medicare because so called “modern medicine” is insanity. Create some phony disease, give it a name, create a dangerous “treatment” far worse than the so-called “disease” and then use the media to convince all the gullible people in the world they “NEED” it.

          If your mechanic was a doctor when the oil light came on in your car instead of checking the oil pump and the oil level and oil filter he would UNPLUG THE LIGHT. You know what happens when you do that? The engine seizes up! Treating symptoms is what doctors do – and they treat them with poisons. Have you ever wondered why their emblem is two snakes? Perfect symbolism.

          “To encourage investment” you say? Well how is that working out? Has the economy improved? Have jobs been created? Is the standard of living for the majority been improved.

          As my friend Vernessa points out, I often ask and answer my own questions so here’s the answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT! Things are getting worse and that IS THEIR PLAN. You like that plan? Good. Because IF the protests don’t stop it you’re going to find out how wonderful it is – when YOU end up homeless and hungry.

          These subjects are far too complicated for those who can only focus on one tree at a time to ever see the forest much less the planet. I’ve shared as much as I have in case you or some others might start to allow a little glimmer of the truth to seep into your awareness. Now it is up to you. Figure it out or don’t – your choice.
          growmap would love you to read ..What NOT to Tweet on TwitterMy Profile

          • Ron Bischof says:

            I know it’s convenient but I decline to be cast as a caricature in your little drama play. What I’ve done is challenge your assertions and ask that you support them with data, as I have. Implying that I’d support pedphilia if it was legislated is but an example of your emotion based rhetoric.

            Contrary to your hyperbole, understanding reality and cogent argument/analysis are some of of my core competencies. This is but one reason why I don’t resort to ad hominem arguments to explain my observations. I don’t support crony capitalism, rent seeking and the sale of votes by politician. As voting citizens, we’ve enabled, actively or passively, the centralization of power to Federal politicians, unelected statist technocrats who favor central planning and their corporate buddies looking for snout space in the public trough.

            The way to eliminate corruption is to vote out those that engage in it and reverse the centralization of power to national and state capitals. Politicians and their cronies need local sunlight to keep them accountable. To illustrate it succinctly, I support the American Revolutionary model of active citizen participation in civic life vs. enthusiasm for the French Revolution Reign of Terror mob rule. The demonization of fellow citizens who engage in legal activities and enjoy the fruits of their labor is simple minded, wrong and dangerous. It is proper and beneficial to exercise natural rights that encompass Constitutional protections for life, freedom and property.

            The original intent of my post was to disabuse anyone of the notion that I support the logic challenged content on this site due to the attribution of the reference I provided to correct an error you made. Having done that and noting that I’ve burned time in a likely unproductive way, this is my final post. Here’s why:

            http://www.simoleonsense.com/infographic-how-to-have-a-rational-discussion/

            Happy flailing!

          • Hello again Ron,

            I am surprised to hear from you again. I have grown accustomed to one tree folks’ inability to see where pieces of the puzzle fit. That makes it extremely challenging to get cohesive points across. It is difficult to have productive discussions with people who ignore specific points and prefer their own obfuscatory rambling.

            You emphasized legal and I merely pointed out that passing laws that make the unethical “legal” does not make them ethical.

            You’ve been entertaining and I enjoyed the infographic you shared. If you prefer to continue to live in the illusion that elections can change anything I’ll leave you to your delusions. Happy Dreaming.
            growmap would love you to read ..What NOT to Tweet on TwitterMy Profile

  13. That graph is eye-opening. Occupy definitely fits in with your agenda to support small businesses. It’s hard to have insights without agenda, since agendas are really values and beliefs–especially in this case!

    • Hi Annie,

      The cause and the solution have been very clear to me for a long time now – the protests came later but as you noticed they fit right in. The so-called “Food SAFETY Law” was the last straw for me – and researching supporting links for that post made me realize how much the search engine results are already being sanitized from alternative viewpoints.

      Even if they don’t pass SOPA (another bad law) they will have already hidden most of what I find valuable from the masses. When I am searching for links I already know both the question AND the answer. Someone who only knows the question will NEVER find what I find.
      growmap would love you to read ..Buddy Can You Spare a Dime to Help My Friends?My Profile

  14. I like the way you present the naked truth here. No doubt, you have done extensive research on the facts presented. I totally agree with everything you wrote. Sometimes, we turn a blind eye to things that don’t directly affect us, but unknown to us, these have adverse effects on us in the long run. I am interested on the strategic outcome of the Occupy Wall Street movement. I believe this will alter our lives, for better or worse. We just have to keep our eyes open and be keen in our observations.
    Amy Turner would love you to read ..Emergency Fund: Are You Prepared for the Unexpected?My Profile

  15. “While many do not realize it, the outcome of this movement will change all of our lives – either for the better – or worse. ”
    I think you are so right Gail, the outcome will depend, I think, on whether politicians value peoples’ votes more or lobbyists’ and supporters’ money. Can they ignore the protests and get enough money in from people who need to keep the current system that they can run enough ad campaigns, organise enough rallies etc to drown out the protests and stay in a postion of authority or can the movement for change get so big that it can’t be drowned out simply by throwing money at it. Will come down to education and dissemination of information, getting enough people to realise and care enough that the system needs cleaning up. We live in a meritocracy, if people are good at something they are rewarded. The problem comes when they get so wealthy they are able to buy politicians and change the system to make it easier for them to do well. This was illustrated really vividly recently with Rupert Murdoch. The media seemed to be saying it was Murdoch’s fault for being so wealthy he could buy politicians and the police. What rot. The problem is not that some people can do too well, more that politicians, police etc. are completely corrupt. A system of rewarding people for doing well is not the problem, the problem is allowing the system to be changed at will to benefit individuals or individual groups. And that responsibility lies with politicians. They are supposed to be representatives of the people but are in fact self serving, self promoting, selfish and short sighted.

    • Hi Tom,

      It should be obvious by now that politicians value the wealthy elite’s money and not what the public wants. They don’t have to worry about us when money is what puts them into office – and it isn’t OUR money (except those who believe it matters and donate theirs anyway).

      I do not believe we live in a meritocracy. We PRETEND we do – that is the illusion we are sold. But we actually – and in this case “we” is probably everyone just about everywhere – live in a plutocracy – or as the commonly used slang phrase goes, “he who has the gold makes the rules”.

      Politicians will not ever fix anything. The only thing that will work is for the people to wake up in sufficient numbers that we will not allow them to control us any more.

      The way that is currently done is by making a few very visible targets to scare the rest into submission. The solution is for the many to keep the few from being mistreated instead of hiding under a rock and thanking our lucky stars that WE weren’t the target this time.

      Something Ann Landers or Dear Abby published when I was a child always comes to mind:

      First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
      Because I was not a Socialist.

      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
      Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
      Because I was not a Jew.

      ~ Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) ~
      Gail Gardner would love you to read ..Food Safety Law – Already Passed – Imposes Up to $1 MILLION Fines for Growing or Sharing FoodMy Profile

      • “It should be obvious by now that politicians value the wealthy elite’s money and not what the public wants.”
        - Absolutely, they don’t care what we want but they do NEED our votes, so they have to convince people that they care and for that they need even more money to go around the country shaking hands, giving speaches etc. That’s what I mean by “it will come down to education and dissemination of information, getting enough people to realise and care enough that the system needs cleaning up.” So it won’t matter how much money they throw at campaigning, how many TV ads they show or schools they open enough people will know the truth and be actively trying to make a change. I think we need to move away from career politicians, no one should be allowed to be a politician if a) they want to be a politician, b) they’ve never done anything else. There is no way you can balance wanting to be a politician – ie for your own gain, for your own advancement – and wanting to represent and serve the people – ie not being motivated solely by your own gains. There needs to be a sea change in the way people become politicians, stay in power and are rewarded/remunerated.

  16. Impressive informative post, lots and lots of info, just inspired me this article….
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  17. As long as the few elite reign in the modern society there will be no equality. Apparently, rich gets richer and the unfortunate people gets poorer.
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    • One interesting thought on the matter–

      KRS One said – “If the rich keep getting richer, visualize wealth and put yourself in the picture.”

      By creating a new concept of wealth having to do with love and joy, we can turn the tables and admit to ourselves that the so-called wealthy live in the most pitiful of squalor. We can see that their lives are impoverished by callousness towards their fellow man and paranoia that is only related to their possessions.

      If we work toward self-sufficiency, mainly in the category of growing our own food, we can eventually laugh at the poor people who think that they’re rich because they shit on marble toilets.

      We can define the new poverty, truly see these idiots as poor, and eventually reality will catch up and echo this truth in the circumstances of their lives.

      • ?? “new concept of wealth having to do with love and joy” you can’t eat love or joy, or use it to get to work / allotment / market / garden etc.

        changing the meaning of the word ‘rich’ to include something you do have doesn’t then mean you also have or no longer need what it used to mean.

        “If we work toward self-sufficiency, mainly in the category of growing our own food” how do you grow your own food if you don’t live in a big house with a garden? Many people don’t have access to private gardens or allotments or community gardens or any green space at all. You can’t grow enough food to support a family in a window box, nor can most people grown cotton and make clothes. People need money, that is not going to change. What needs to change is the corruption of the system which enables some people to work the system to their own benefit.

  18. This is simply a brilliant post. It must’ve taken you a while to write it. Good job! It really worries me how some people choose ignorance over knowledge on these matters. I mean, sure the truth is scary but not knowing won’t help us one bit.

  19. I wish I had even an inkling of how this could all be fixed. Frankly, it seems as though our system is so completely broken that there’s not enough solutions in the world to even fix the tiniest problems, much less the overwhelming ones. I’m so overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems that I almost have to squeeze my eyes shut, shove it all under a rug, and hope that by ignoring it, it will all go away.

    I know how utterly terrible that is, but that’s how helpless I feel. Right now, I’m overwhelmed just by my own personal circumstances (breakup that is leading to total loss of any tiny comforts I might have managed to acquire), and I don’t know how to fix such a small thing – my own issues – much less how the enormous issues we all face can possibly be fixed.

    So, based on my own experience, I have to assume that there’s at least a percentage of people who care – but have no clue how to fix things. Heck, I don’t even understand the problems, and I assume many others don’t either. Not for lack of “smarts” but just because it’s not the kinds of things we know.

    I do believe our political system is 100% broken at every level and in every single way – but danged if I know if there’s anything at all that could fix it. I feel helpless and hopeless. I bet many others do too. At this point, all I can do is focus on surviving, and that’s getting harder each day.

    I hope that explains a little of how at least some of us are dealing with this – even if “dealing with it” means hiding from it. Because frankly, some of us might be too overwhelmed to do much else. But it doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t care.
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  20. Jason Homes says:

    It is so sad to know that the inequality in the distribution of wealth and income among Americans is this great but only few care about it. The wealthy are aware of how this economic decline will affect their lives and businesses and they are prepared for it because they have the necessary knowledge in economics, banking, and finance to understand the situation. But the poor and middle class people, who roughly have an idea on what is going on and what will happen in the future, won’t realize the effects of it. Thank you for this very informative article. It will be a great help for the Americans to understand the crisis they are facing.

    • Hi Jason,

      Few care now but they will care when it affects them. I believe those who think they’re wealthy are going to be affected far worse than the poor. The poor know what it is like to go hungry or live many to a small room. They know how to cook staples like tortillas, beans, rice, soups and stews.

      The wealthy who have never done for themselves are the ones that will be lost. It wasn’t the poor who committed suicide because of the 1929 Wall Street Crash – it was the people who loved money more than life.

      Wealth doesn’t matter much when the value of money collapses. When that happens, toilet paper, ammunition and food are worth far more than colored pieces of paper or luxuries that have high overheads.
      growmap would love you to read ..Food Safety Law – Already Passed – Imposes Up to $1 MILLION Fines for Growing or Sharing FoodMy Profile

      • I saw that food law coming in late 2010 and was one of the people rabidly pushing petitions around to try to stop it. I love to grow my own food, and my ultimate goal, which is coming into realization now, is to set up a self-sustaining community that doesn’t need the global economy to survive. Unfortunately, that law was passed to prevent people from starting that sort of community.

  21. You are totally right about everything that you write here. I come from a country where all this has already happened in a scarily similar scenario. Once the economy crashed, everything else followed.

    Be aware America, don’t slip like we have! I wish you luck.
    Ana would love you to read ..Días Fértiles De La Mujer Para Quedar EmbarazadaMy Profile

    • Hello Ana,

      Thank you for commenting and for your good wishes. Many will not believe this can happen in America until it does. Americans have been more strongly conditioned than almost any other people to think that we are somehow different or more special than everyone everywhere else.

      I hope people in other countries do not judge us too harshly. Media and educational system conditioning is very powerful, but Americans ARE starting to become aware of the rest of the world.

      I would love to hear more about what happened in your country. It could help us know how to better prepare for what is going to happen here. Also, do read today’s post about Food Safety Laws and watch out for something similar to happen where you are.
      growmap would love you to read ..Food Safety Law – Already Passed – Imposes Up to $1 MILLION Fines for Growing or Sharing FoodMy Profile

  22. Best would be to better understand the people who are not like us or to just know deeply. Economic decline cannot be neglected by every business man. infact we need to find solutions on showing who is paying and who is eluding taxes through offshore investments and other book-cooking strategies.

    • Yes, I agree that by understanding people whose circumstances are different from our own we gain empathy. We can improve economic conditions by supporting local businesses, NOT supporting multi-national corporations (by choosing independent alternatives – they DO usually exist but are a challenge to locate), and by switching from major banks to community banks and credit unions.

      I find it hard to believe there isn’t more outrage over Corporations paying next to nothing in taxes. There certainly should be.
      growmap would love you to read ..Blogging Ethics: Time to ChooseMy Profile

  23. For me, it all comes down to government willingness. Government have the power or authority to control nation – along what inside it – and government have to act if government feel there’s something wrong with this nation or if the people get restless with some of the issue.
    james would love you to read ..What to Take to Build Muscle: Third Tips to Make An amazing muscleMy Profile

  24. the distribution is not fair, as far as I’m concern we Americans have the right to have equal distributions among others. It doesn’t matter on how our way of living goes that is just for my own opinion guys.

    • Hi Peter,

      There will always be differences in wealth, possessions and standards of living, but when the greedy take so much that people are going to be homeless and starving THEN we must speak out.

      Th0se who do not have empathy for people less fortunate than themselves are going to be really surprised when they find themselves among the homeless and hungry.
      growmap would love you to read ..Small Business Economy: How to Beat the RecessionMy Profile

  25. Gail,

    I started to comment yesterday and then I started following some of your links and never made it back. First of all, I’d like to commend you on such a gutsy, well-written, in-depth blog post.

    I live in a very small town in Kentucky now, but I’ve lived in some very large cities, too. The corruption in government here is glaringly apparent to me – from the Big Box store and the way it’s taken over business to the fact that every cop in town has his own cruiser. City council meeting dates and times are mysteriously changed at the last minute and we’re actually about to vote on a Fairness Ordinance ?!?! to make it illegal to discriminate against a certain segment of the population.

    Anyway, I mention all of this to help open some eyes. Sometimes, when you live in a big city, there’s so much going on in the news that you miss the little things. Little things that, if you did see them, you’d know that we’re all slowly losing control and just letting corrupt officials quietly take over.

    So kudos to you for having the courage to use your awesome blog as a platform for change.
    Donna Anderson would love you to read ..Screw The Pandas, Send In The Lions!My Profile

    • Do you think the way to deal with this is through voter registration drives among socially conscious people, or do you think it’s already gone too far?

      I’d suppose the problem would be raising revolutionary candidates.

      “Kennedy stretched and smiled and got double-crossed by low-life goons and agents,” -Allen Ginsberg – Had to Be Playin on the Jukebox

      • Hi Adam,

        No for two reasons:

        1) It doesn’t matter who wins because they are all bought and paid for before they even get elected.

        2) Elections are being fixed:

        Report: Diebold Voting System Has ‘Delete’ Button for Erasing Audit Logs

        Diebold Admits Audit Logs in ALL Versions of Their Software Fail to Record Ballot Deletions

        The easiest way to see how elections can be fixed is to watch the movie Hacking Democracy.

        We all need to remember this bit of wisdom: watch what people DO not what they SAY.
        growmap would love you to read ..Small Business Internet Marketing: Where to StartMy Profile

        • Marla Hughes says:

          Gail, Love your business sense and, as a Tea Partier who helped start the discussion after ‘Too Big To Fail’ came out of Obama’s mouth and I thought……….. no business should be too big to fail, I have to honor your attempt to help wake people up. But alienating half the voting population by on the one hand castigating both parties but the other posting a video that’s full of inaccuracies and very partisan in nature isn’t a good way to go about it.

          I’m a Floridian and of course followed the voting controversy closely.

          Regarding the video I’ll just address a few points, especially one point, right at the beginning, of the video that puts the lie/misunderstanding to the whole video:

          They discuss the Diebold machine’s counting. That machine didn’t even MATTER when the hand counts were done. Each vote, gone over carefully by individuals. Any Diebold issues immediately became irrelevant as hand counting takes precedence over machine votes. Yeah, I know not all districts were recounted by hand (Gore’s choice, btw), but the ones that were in question sure were. Every ballot, every vote.

          In addition, there’s no mention of the fact that it was the left who DEMANDED Diebold machines in Florida (I can cite court case(s)) and wanted them to be state/nationwide like ATM kiosks in the mall. Apparently we were all racists who opposed using them until they could be properly checked out. (yawn…..)

          I get SEVERELY ticked when others keep using Election 2000 as a vehicle for accusations as Floridians suffered through butterfly ballots (set up by a Democrat Supervisor of Elections), buses of homeless people signed up to vote on the way to the polls, coached on which hole to punch (which was the wrong one since the out of town operatives (D.C. ) didn’t see the ballot changes published in the local papers beforehand) who had never voted before and didn’t care except who was handing out the booze and cigarettes.

          Then you have the ‘disenfranchised voters’ in Duval (?) county supposedly kept from voting by a black sheriff who voted for Gore. lol Yeah, like that happened. (It’s been a long time, I don’t recall the exact county, but sure do remember looking up that sheriff’s pic online and his opinion of what he was being accused of. )

          Of course we can’t leave out the over 38,000 people in Florida who who were found to have voted for Gore both in Florida AND their home states (mostly Pennsylvania and NY, I think). Or the college students bragging about voting twice and even more, sometimes getting paid for the extra votes.

          None of those links even address those salient facts regarding the 2000 election so therefore are unreliable and openly partisan in nature.

          Gail, normally you do your research well and that’s a major reason I follow you. You’re dependable as a source of information. PLEASE don’t let politics ruin your reliability/trust we have in you.

          • How interesting that you find that “video partisan in nature”. Why? Because they showed more Republican Presidents? You realize that divide and conquer is THE favorite strategy of the wealthy elite.

            As long as they can keep people polarized and arguing whether ‘Democrats are this’ or ‘Republicans are that’ they can keep us from seeing that it does not matter which party is in the White House or controls Congress.

            All the same things happen and their plans keep moving us closer to the brink. The only difference is what kind of spin the media puts on the stories and how they plan to take our money. If they want to give tax breaks to the rich they put in a Republican – if they want to make a killing off of socializing health care for that they need a Democrat.

            Honestly, I do not follow politics because I see no purpose in doing so because our entire political system has been co-opted by corruption. They all do whatever the wealthy elite want them to do and those who don’t end up dead.

            So you really think Bush won, do you? Not that it matters any. And you don’t find anything strange in having voting machines that can’t be audited made by a company that makes MONEY machines?

            Before we discuss voter fraud, have you seen the documentary Hacking Democracy about voting machines and voting fraud?

            There is enormous election fraud going on. Have you seen the contention that people who happened to have the same common name as a convicted felon were dropped from the roles? Here is the problem that we have.

            Credible sources refuse to report what they don’t want us to know OR if they end up having to cover a story they then delete it as soon as they think no one will care enough to scream about it. I’ve almost given up linking to the New York Times because I’m tired of having to edit my posts because they deleted their coverage.

            That leaves us with only sources that may or may not be credible as the major media continually rewrites history to suit those in power. There was a lot of coverage about deleting people from the voter roles who have never been arrested much less convicted of a felony back when that happened. Good luck finding many sources now.

            This Florida’s flawed “voter-cleansing” program is the best I can do right now because to tell you the truth I am burnt out from researching the post I published today.

            Normally I could pull together a post like that in one day – maybe two – but this time it took FOUR DAYS – and next time it may not be possible to find any links in search engines at all. When that happens only sites we will have to go directly to sites we already know have specific content.
            growmap would love you to read ..Food Safety Law – Already Passed – Imposes Up to $1 MILLION Fines for Growing or Sharing FoodMy Profile

    • Hi Donna,

      Thank you for being willing to comment in this post, which no doubt some will find too controversial and others will just close their eyes and pretend they never saw it.

      Corruption is rampant everywhere. In one tiny town I lived near they paid their officers less than $10 an hour. One asked “which way are you going – I’m going to follow you and give you a ticket” and I replied “you don’t want to do that…I’ll just have Shorty file it” to which he replied, “you, too!”.

      Shorty was the Mayor and I didn’t know him well enough to have that actually done – but I was wise enough to keep my ears open and knew that is how it worked in that town.

      That same town once had a busy main street with two famous western wear stores – and a well-deserved reputation for being a speed trap. When you give the people who drive almost two hours to shop in your tiny town tickets they didn’t deserve they don’t come back. Both stores closed long ago but years later people were still driving all the way from Dallas and Houston – that’s how famous the stores had been.

      I played racquetball with a really intelligent man who was a fire fighter and happened to be black. When he found out I lived near that town he told me this story.

      He knew it was a speed trap so he was driving under the speed limit after dark – not a car on the road but him. Just as he passed the city limit sign he got pulled over and asked for license and registration. Before he could even get his wallet out the cop wrote no license, no registration, following too close on the ticket.

      When he said I handed you my license and registration the cop said, too late. He said, “there weren’t any cars in front of me” and the cop growled, “FOLLOWING TOO CLOSE.”

      Being a very WISE black man in rural Texas that was his cue to he just sign the ticket. He planned to contest it. He called and found out if he wanted to contest the ticket he had to put up $75 per charge or $225 and if the judge ruled against him he would forfeit that AND pay the fine OR he could just pay the ticket. I think it was $110 (it was years ago – I don’t remember the exact amount). Knowing the odds of having the judge rule in his favor in a town that still has segregated churches and neighborhoods divided by a railroad track (I kid you not) he paid the ticket.

      I can top that story in that county though. I bought a used van and got pulled over for speeding by the Texas DPS (Highway Patrol). I knew the speedometer said I was under the spreed limit so I was surprised. When I handed him my license he looked at it and asked where I lived. I told him (within that county) and he said, watch your speed and let me go.

      I thought “that’s weird”. They almost never let anyone go. I had the speedometer tested and the mechanic said it was fine, but a week later I got stopped by a different Texas DPS officer and the exact same thing happened. (Later found out the speedometer cable had some strange intermittent problem.)

      I asked around and found out why they let me go. The story goes like this: The County Sheriff had drawn his weapon on a Texas trooper and ordered him to “get out of his county or else”. After that, if a state trooper wrote a county resident a ticket the judges would through it out, so DPS didn’t bother to write tickets to county residents any more. (Apparently they don’t throw out tickets for non-residents of the county.)

      That Sheriff was eventually prosecuted for skimming money that was supposed to go to the county prison food program. I don’t know if DPS writes residents tickets there now or not.

      It gets worse. I met a woman who was divorcing her abusive husband. She got a restraining order, but a piece of paper rarely stops a violent person and it didn’t stop him. He put her in the hospital – almost killed her – TEN YEARS before I met her. There was an outstanding arrest warrant for him for assault all those years but they never served it or arrested him.

      When her family or she would complain they were told “we can’t find him” – even though he lived and worked in town and they just waved at him – even if he was sitting across the room in the cafe.

      What was the name of that movie about the local cops setting up a detour and stealing big rigs and when his brother and the truck he is driving goes missing the hero comes and takes the town back? Something Texas or Texas something? Sounds about right for Texas.

      Texas prisons are full of women who finally killed their abusers. If there is ANY record of domestic violence apparently self-defense isn’t an option and they’re convicted of premeditated murder. Violent male prisoners were being released due to overcrowding, but even though there was a law passed specifically to get them released, they’re still locked up.

      The first time a friend of mine’s husband beat her up she told him if you ever do this again don’t go to sleep. When he came home drunk and did it again she waited until he passed out, backed her car up and loaded it, left it running, climbed onto the bed with a cast iron skillet and hit him with it. Then she got in her car, left the state and drove to Vegas.

      He filed an assault complaint and it wasn’t long before the police showed up to arrest her. She said, “you see this broken arm (pointing at her cast, and this black eye?” He told me if I ever tried to leave him he’d hunt me down and kill me – and I believed him. So I wanted to give him something to think about and be a long way away.

      Fortunately for her they let her go. Women can rarely escape truly abusive partners because before they get physical first they get all the other people (family, friends) out of their lives and convince them no one else would want them and they couldn’t survive.

      The lesson to be learned from this is don’t get a restraining order. (What fool thinks that a piece of paper will prevent violence? It rarely does.) If there is no record of domestic violence, you might be able to prove self-defense (which it is), but the real solution – and few have the guts to do it – is to disappear completely and not leave a trace anywhere. That means no contact with ANYONE – especially not family – EVER.

      P.S. Anyone who thinks you can lock a violent person out can turn on the TV and watch cops kicking in doors. If you install steel doors and bars on the windows they can get in one way or another.

      When people ask me why I am so opposed to society’s acceptance of what would have only been available in seedy peep shows when I was young it is because treating others like sex objects leads to disrespect and then violence – violence that is accepted by a huge percentage of people including – actually ESPECIALLY many macho men in law enforcement.

      If you don’t believe me, drop by the Dr Pepper Facebook page and read the horrendous comments their new sexist ads are generating.

      The next time someone says, “I don’t understand why women don’t just leave” – that’s why. I was sincerely (and pleasantly surprised) when an officer helped a woman escape whose husband had boarded up and padlocked her into their house. Good to know there are still some who realize women aren’t possessions.
      growmap would love you to read ..Blogging Ethics: Time to ChooseMy Profile

  26. American also don,t wants to know many more things but those are not apart of that topic. anyhow your information is stunning and you really work hard to collect all data.

  27. Just have to put this question out there:

    What do you think we should do?

    I am in favor of arresting all of those who engineered the economic downfall, as well as those who push us into wars for their own profit, and locking them up in prison. Real prison, not yuppie country club time out. Let them sit next to murderers for the rest of their lives.

    I am in favor of arresting George Bush and Dick Cheney and putting them before the International Court.

    I am in favor of compensation caps for all people. Allow wealth, no question, but limit one person’s total worth to something that is less than that of a nation-state, which is the amount of wealth that some of these people have accumulated.

    I am in favor of limiting the executive/average worker compensation ratio.

    I am in favor of dramatically limiting the power of the police to commit violence. In the town that I live in, the police are guilty of more violent crime than anyone.

    There’s more, but you get the idea where I stand. What do you think?

    • Hi Adam,

      I think that sounds like a good start. The only one I had to think about was compensation caps for all people. That isn’t a bad idea and it would be good for them because MAYBE – just MAYBE people who live to count the money they hoard might realize that is an awful life’s purpose. (But probably not.)

      One of the major reasons law enforcement is more dangerous to us now is that there are so many of them. Thirty years ago you could drive the length of California and only see three Highway Patrol cars. Today in Texas in some areas there is a cop every mile or less.

      People who are power-happy tend to be controlling and violent and they are attracted to positions where they can be worse than the criminals and get away with it.

      I’d rather take my chances with street criminals than law enforcement because people in authority can ruin your life in so many more ways than the “bad guys” they’re supposedly protecting us from.

      Everyone should read The Law Enforcement Growth Industry by George Gordon so they know why we must greatly REDUCE the number of agencies and people “protecting” us.

      What we can personally do is spend our time and money wisely which means with locally owned and operated small businesses or small online businesses and NOT in big brands stores owned by multi-national corporations. (See the post I’ll put in CommentLuv in this reply for research on how doing that benefits local economies.)

      Personally, I am in favor of revoking the corporate charter of every evil multi-national entity. Yes, it would cause some major problems in the short run, but sharp individuals would step in and replace their corrupt practices with small businesses. THAT would generate jobs and take our country back faster than almost anything else we could do.

      The only way to fix politics is to get money totally out of the equation. There is also the issue of corruption in vote counting. Anyone who believes there is any reason a voting machine that can’t be audited doesn’t know much about computers. Diebold makes ATMs (automatic teller machines / banking machines). You can bet THOSE can be audited!

      Why in the world would anyone bother to vote when the corruption is so obvious? Look at all the instances of there being more votes for a candidate than the total number of registered voters in the precinct. Anyone who can ignore THAT kind of evidence has their head firmly in the sand.

      growmap would love you to read ..CommentLuv Your Way to Business ProsperityMy Profile

      • don’t mean to be a pest, but the shout out to deoxy.org speaks volumes. i love that place.

        • Hi Adam,

          Unlike some sites, I LOVE people who participate in the discussions in my comments. Your short comment may encourage some who did not click on that link to now go and read it – and it is so very important.

          Also unlike most blogs I encourage my readers to leave related links when they comment. That IS the original purpose of links: to make it easy to share additional information.
          growmap would love you to read ..Blogging Ethics: Time to ChooseMy Profile

  28. Thank you for this post. It is comforting to see that you’ve taken space on your blog to write about this. Keep up the good work.

    Oh yeah, the rest of your content is great, too.

    [Hi Adam, I added anchor text to benefit your site and approved this comment in spite of how generic it is because it doesn’t appear on any other sites. Some tips about commenting:

    • Every comment should include wording that makes it VERY obvious that you did indeed read the post. Don’t say “write about this” – be specific. Any comment that would fit in any blog post will usually be deleted as spam.
    • Pay attention to whether a blog uses KeywordLuv or the new CommentLuv Premium keywords feature (as this blog does) and use that when offered. See How to Use KeywordLuv for details.

    There is a fine line between commenting and spamming and no one really knows where it is; however, what I wrote in my post about How to Use CommentLuv can be beneficial to bloggers, commenters and businesses seeking to raise their visibility online.

    There is additional information in CommentLuv Your Way to Business Prosperity that explains why supporting small businesses is the solution to economic decline.

  29. Quite an amazing post! Thumbs up! I bet you spent hours doing it, as it is very detailed and catches many angles of the question regarding wealth distribution. I agree that most of the Americans do not know what is going on with the crisis and business. Everyone believes it is something to easily get over, but things are not as simple as they seem to be.
    Honestly, I think banks are the rulers of wealth distribution-they are the ones leading the money and heading the state. The governments are just “small potatoes” hiding behind law regulations and making a show for the people.
    Kristina L. would love you to read ..Swift Sterling Coupon CodeMy Profile

    • Hi Kristina,

      Thank you. Yes, I spend hours and sometimes days on some of my posts and many of the links I already have saved in my 1000s of notes. I also regularly add more new links and update existing posts here so they stay current.

      The wealthy elite control every country and all the governments – most people just don’t know it yet. Oh – there is one link I forgot that you may find very interesting: How Iceland Took Back Their Country.

      Maybe that is one country they don’t control any more – and maybe that would work here.
      growmap would love you to read ..Why Your Geographic Location IS a NicheMy Profile

  30. Very informative. thank you. I liked the part “many people don’t want to know, but we must know”. People must be definitely more involved in society problems. It is the easiest way to observe..
    Girly would love you to read ..Fashion Autumn tipsMy Profile

  31. None of this would be such an issue if everyone played on a level field. The loop holes that corporate America and the richest Americans control and manipulate are what makes it unfair. The argument that we keep hearing about ‘job creators’ is utter nonsense. Taxpayers give Billions in the form of tax breaks and even subsidies to businesses that have taken their production overseas, lowered American wages, stripped benefits and cut hours. It makes you wonder who will be left that can actually buy the very products we’re subsidizing.
    Brian D. Hawkins would love you to read ..Tracking Trends For Blog Posts & Niche BlogsMy Profile

  32. This is a very nice article. Informative, with a very nice video too! Thanks a lot!
    Andrew Walker would love you to read ..Five Great Cities to watch hockeyMy Profile

  33. I enjoy reading your blog, and it is relevant to the daily life of the people now. I am looking forward to read more thoughts and ideas here in your site.

  34. Commodity Tips says:

    The key to solving the economic challenges facing all of is to better understand the people who are not like us. Economic decline cannot be avoided by every business man. infact we need to find statistics showing who is paying and who is eluding taxes through offshore investments and other book-cooking strategies.

    • Yes, that would be a good start. I added a section to refute the claims that the wealthy are paying too much in taxes. The largest multi-national corporations pay almost NO tax including Google.

      GE has had a reputation for being the corporation that pays the least tax for as long as I can remember – from before I left IBM in 2000. We need to find a list of tax evaders.

      The challenge to that is there are so many ways to cook the books and make it LOOK like you’re doing one thing while you do another. Becoming a “non-profit” is one of them.
      growmap would love you to read ..CommentLuv Your Way to Business ProsperityMy Profile

  35. Jesica Wills says:

    This is really a good article with full of information. Actually, the currencies’ difference can create problems. Lots of things in this article. Thanks.
    Jesica Wills would love you to read ..iPhone App Development – Interesting, Appealing and ValuableMy Profile

  36. IvanWalsh says:

    The value of the US dollar compared to other currencies is a real problem for overseas trade.

    Ivan
    IvanWalsh would love you to read ..How to increase your Facebook EdgeRankMy Profile

    • Hi Ivan,

      The disparity between currencies is how globalists have always exploited some and benefited others. Your comment reminds me I need to go finish a comment in your post about outsourcing.

      Outsourcing does not equal slavery and is not “bad”. Every person in every country deserves respect and to make a living wage and have a decent standard of living.

      The real benefit to outsourcing comes from the differences in the value of the money in each country. The last time I checked (and it has been some time now so the amounts will have changed), $2 USD equaled about 84 Indian rupees.

      If a blogger or small business can find someone qualified who can be paid $2 USD per hour and that amount is paying that other person well that is not slavery.

      It does not necessarily take the work away from someone in America because many small businesses could not afford to pay even $10 an hour so if they hire someone for $2 they could grow their business and THEN they could afford to hire more Americans, too.

      The problem isn’t outsourcing – the problem is greed. There ARE people who outsource to take advantage of workers in poor countries or to get rid of employees.

      Used correctly, we could outsource some work and use the increased income that can generate to create more jobs here.
      growmap would love you to read ..Blogging Ethics: Time to ChooseMy Profile

  37. Liane Markus says:

    Economic decline cannot really be avoided by every business whether through online or not. However, we can do something about this. Alternative is very important if we want to keep our business going. However, we should not consider this as a big problem because this is just challenges that will help every business grow.
    Liane Markus would love you to read ..Small Business Security SystemsMy Profile

  38. Amen Gail.

    I am extremely pissed hearing the “conservative” Politicians defend the bail out of millionaires. One of them said that Occupy Wall Street was against successful people! No, it’s against bailing out failed businesses because they donate money.

    • Actually, no. It is about corruption and the wealthy elite who take more than their fair share and don’t care if that leads to mass starvation and deprivation.

      Politicians are irrelevant because they’re all bought and paid for and do their master’s bidding. Even if they weren’t, only a fool believes a voting machine can’t have a way to audit it. Voting is obviously fixed when there are more votes for a candidate than the total number of voters in a precinct.
      growmap would love you to read ..Blogging Ethics: Time to ChooseMy Profile

  39. austin seo says:

    A ton of information here! And that is one thing I enjoy the most about this blog is you typically give us heaps and heaps of information and then we make our own conclusions. It will take me a while to go through all of the info here but just wanted to say, thanks for the post and making us aware.

    • Welcome back Austin SEO,

      Thank you. I believe every person needs to think for themselves and make their own decisions. No one should blindly follow anyone or let someone else tell them what to do.

      I thoroughly research and find all the information available before I decide where the truth lies and then I share that information so that others can decide for themselves.

      If someone shares additional information I will consider that and if it turns out I was incorrect I will publicly change my position. While the people who just want to say what they think people want to hear do tend to waffle, it is important to remember that not changing your mind when new credible evidence surfaces is unwise.
      growmap would love you to read ..Why Your Geographic Location IS a NicheMy Profile

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