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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » (Not) an Optimist

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Author Topic: (Not) an Optimist
Star Pilot 111
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Hello there. I’m new to this site I hope I don’t ruffle any feathers, or maybe it’s good to ruffle some feathers. Sometimes it’s good to be challenged to look at things from another perspective. When I first was thinking about joining this site I read this article ( I think it was an article ) titled
“I’m an Optimist”. Since I have some differing points of view on some of the statements made in the article I’d like to express them and see if anyone out there might have similar thoughts. First let me say , I’m not a journalist, and have not had any schooling in writing.
The writer of the article was asking if anyone was sick of people saying this was no longer the land of opportunity., that the country is divided, that the top 50% wage earners pay 95% of the taxes.
Well I read from a well documented book that the top 2% wage earners make more money than all of the bottom 95%. It seems to me as far as equality goes, if I make more that 95% of all the income in the USA, I should , proportionally, pay that amount in taxes. You see the basic truths of the Constitution are, we are all equal. For the privilege of living here, and being able to do whatever I do to make 95% of all the personal income in the USA, I’d be glad to pay my fair share. I’d still be living better that those financially uneducated 95%. Some of the 2% were born into wealth, if they never had a job in their life, they shouldn’t even count, but I guess they do, because they’re protected by the Constitution.
In the article the author asked if you’re tired of people saying “America sucks and I’ll make it better” Well I don’t think anyone likes to be told they’re not doing something right. But if we are honest with ourselves, we could all use some improvement, and this country would not be the great nation it is if we weren’t allowed to express our opinions for fear of execution. This country would be kind of like Iraq.
Then the article implied that all Americans love John Wayne, the Cowboy/Marine. I don’t love John Wayne. The fixation with John Wayne as the example of how Americans should approach the rest of the world is foolish. John Wayne was an actor, just like Arnold the Gubenator of Caleefornia. The characters they played were pretend. HELLO ! No one knows how they really are except a, close, few. Most of their roles, that people (mostly men) identify with, were male chauvinist, Neanderthal type, thugs, going into battle without a second thought. Hmmm, that kind of reminds me of something that happened recently.
The article implied that the campaign opposing Bush for president is pessimistic. Well there are optimists, pessimists, and realists. A realist is able to have an opinion on a situation, and as the characteristics of the situation changes, so can the opinion. Or is that considered, flip-flopping ? It would be foolish to be stubborn and find out later, you could have done better if only you had listened to other honest, expert opinions.
I am very concerned about this election. My biggest concern is that the voters, myself included aren’t deceived by flim flam TV campaign ads, from both sides, and that the media who reports information, isn‘t deceptively swayed into favoring one side. Every election I’ve voted in it’s been a choice between the lesser of two evils. This election is no different.
I don’t have bad feelings towards the person who wrote that article. I just wanted to show that there are other facts and opinions that don’t necessarily agree. It’s called honest dissent. It’s protected by the constitution.

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Richard Dey
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I have an idea: let's eliminate the top 2% of wage earners, and then we'll only have half the money to complain about. Better yet, let's eliminate the top 50% of wage earners, and then we'd only have only 5% of the money to fight over.

The phrase is "created equal"; that doesn't mean the Republic has a right to repress achievers just so that underachievers won't feel like what they are.

Remember too that it is the top 2% that constitutes the primary investors in American corporations (including cities and towns). Occasionally a greedy green apple gets into the top, takes his winnings, and blows them abroad; it's rare.

We complain that the top 2% don't give enough to charity, but the sad fact remains that charity is not much of an investment in the country; that is why charity should be left to the churches: they aren't much of an investment either.

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aupton15
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Richard, sounds like you're not much of an optimist either. I appreciate the role that investors play in our country. I also notice that the gap between the top and bottom is growing larger. If that trend continues forever, unchecked, then serious problems could develop. I'm not in favor of punishing achievement, but all of the richest did not achieve anything to get there, just like all of the poorest aren't lazy. It would be lovely if we could treat each case individually, but that doesn't seem likely. That said, I think as the wealthiest nation in the world it is important that everyone be fed, clothed and cared for to some extent. I'm not asking for everyone to be equal, but there is no way that one life is worth billions of dollars more than any other.
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Zyne
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SP111 writes:

quote:
Well I read from a well documented book that the top 2% wage earners make more money than all of the bottom 95%.
That sounds about right to me.

RD claims:

quote:
Remember too that it is the top 2% that constitutes the primary investors in American corporations (including cities and towns). Occasionally a greedy green apple gets into the top, takes his winnings, and blows them abroad; it's rare.
Show me a widely-invested-in company that doesn't have extra-American operations and I'll show you a unicorn.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Well I read from a well documented book that the top 2% wage earners make more money than all of the bottom 95%.
Sounds a little steeper than the figures I've heard. I'm curious: what percentage of taxes do they pay?
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Star Pilot 111
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In no other country in the world, could these "achievers" make what their making in the USA. Some people are more talanted at making money that other's. That doesn't mean they should have more freedoms than others. But that seems to be the way some people view it. Kneel down before the money makers. What about the people busting their backs to make the products these investors invest in? What if they quit? The point is, in this economy we all need each other.
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Paulie
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Star Pilot,

It should be celebrated that these achievers make what they are making in the US. It should be celebrated that we are the Land of Opportunity. It is depressing when I hear John Edwards speak of "Two Americas," when even the least of Americans is rich beyond the dreams of my immigrant grandparents. There's no other way to look at it.

When I hear folks telling us that we're evil, that we're greedy, that the "tax cuts for the rich" hurt America, I just boil a bit, because it's patently false.

When men like Kerry - who inherited and married wealth, and never held a job in the private sector - and Edwards, who rose from his own Second America to the First America - tell us that things are miserable when they clearly are not, I get just a bit of a boil, because their words are respected by a large percentage of Americans.

Here are just two economic statistics: under the Bush tax cuts, all taxpayers received a reduction in their tax rate, while the percentage of overall taxes paid by the most wealthy increased. Yep, everyone got to keep a little more of their own money instead of having the government take it from them, yet the most able to afford to redistribute their wealth paid a larger percentage share.

That's a very good thing.

Secondly, when one looks at inherited wealth, one must understand that today's Mega Mart or Super Factory most likely started out as a Mom & Pop outfit that plugged away, and plugged away. There's a lot of sweat equity built up in companies making it. The inherited wealth usually represents the cumulative work of many people over decades of work - the phrase we use is "Life's Savings," frequently over generations.

Inherited wealth is earned by the family.

Okay, enough. We should be singing the praises of our country, and the opportunity it affords, instead of perpetuating rich versus poor. In our country, all can be rich. Even you and I, if we're able and willing.

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Star Pilot 111
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I wasn't trying to say it was bad to make a lot of money.Even though everyone has the right to do what they want with their money.It's the misuse of the wealth that is the problem. The country isn't unfair. This country is the best by far. The principles upon which it was founded are the best by far. But when greed comes into the mix, and when people work to take unfair advantage of other's, that's when we fall short.

I work for a utility in California. Deregulation of the Power industry was initiated by greedy companies like Enron. Everyone I worked with knew it was just opening the door for price gouging and manipulation.

It was no surprise, to me and the people I work with, what Enron did, and other companies yet to be named, did. And it was no surprise to the California legislature either. Freedom in business is great. But not that kind of freedom. Most of the people guilty will get off free with millions, because the whole system is to complicated to find out who all the crooks were. The type of corporate crime goes on quit often, but is just as hard to prove.

Two good well documented books to read are "Reason" by former secretary of labor robert reich, and " All the Presidents Spin" by the creators of Spinsanity.com

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OrneryMod
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See thread in World Watch.

OrneryMod

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