Why Billionaires???

What does a person do with a billion dollars?  I’ve been pondering this for a while now, ever since Trump took office and began making decisions and policies that largely benefit only those who already have more money than they know what to do with.  I have a rather socialistic way of looking at the world, believing that it is wrong for one man to live a posh, hedonistic lifestyle while others are starving.  As such, I am aghast at the current administration’s constant pandering to those who already have too much at the expense of those who are barely getting by.

It seems somehow criminal to give tax cuts to the wealthy, while the rest of us are paying about the same or even more than before.  The latest news is that Trump is attempting to force the Tennessee Valley Authority to keep open a power plant that is no longer viable, simply because they buy coal from his uber-wealthy pal and supporter, Robert Murray, owner of Murray Energy of whom I’ve written before.  It seems criminal that Trump is rolling back efficiency standards on light bulbs, which is estimated to carry a high cost to consumers (us).

And those are only the most recent examples.  All of these decisions are made with an eye toward putting more money in the pockets of billionaires.  And what do they do with it?  I don’t know, but I will tell you what they don’t do with it.  They don’t pay a fair portion of taxes on it – taxes that might go toward such things as taking care of people less fortunate.  They don’t donate the bulk of it to worthy causes.  They hoard it.  It seems criminal to me, for any person to have so much money sitting around for bragging purposes while the vast majority of people in the world are truly struggling to stay alive.

I was in that frame of mind a few days ago when I stumbled upon an article by journalist Tom Scocca.  The title of the piece, No Billionaires, caught my eye.  Take a look for yourself …

No Billionaires by Tom Scocca

Tom-ScoccaSome ideas about how to make the world better require careful, nuanced thinking about how best to balance competing interests. Others don’t: Billionaires are bad. We should presumptively get rid of billionaires. All of them.

Does this sound like an incitement to the most dreaded kind of revolution, when people are struck down by the mob simply on the basis of some crude simple standard? It is not. The people who have a billion dollars are fine; they may go on living. It is just that, for the sake of everyone else (and, honestly, for their own sake) they must not be allowed to possess a billion dollars.

No one needs a billion dollars. No one deserves a billion dollars. There is a widespread moral and conceptual error, in a society saturated in the ideology of competition and monetary success, that the property a person has gotten does not simply belong to that person but is, somehow, itself an embodiment of their personhood—that to separate a person from property is to attack their human existence.

This is true to an extent—to the extent that property secures a person food, and shelter, and physical security, and health and futurity. Even, despite the inequities and injustices that have emerged by this level, a person’s opportunities to have leisure, to make art, etc.

None of this comes anywhere near adding up to a billion dollars.

Another error is the belief that billionaires have made their money by adding value to society, of which they take a minor share. One pictures some great industrialist inventing and manufacturing a useful item, which makes every single person’s life better, and in return receiving a small share of the price of the item.

A kindergarten teacher, teaching 25 new people a year not to bite each other and to work in occasional harmony with strangers, produces far more social good in a lifetime than an industrialist does. Even to picture the billionaire as a productive industrialist is too optimistic—read up and down the Forbes list, larded with monopolists, retailers, retail monopolists, the heirs of retail monopolies, real estate magnates, Mark Zuckerberg.

What do they do with all their extra money? They buy atrocious houses. They shut down publications. They buy politicians, over and under the table. Now a whole batch of them have moved directly into government—and we have the most corrupt and incompetent executive branch in memory to show for it.

When we speak of the better billionaires, we simply mean the ones who are not actively malignant. There are no good billionaires. There may be some relatively good people who are attached to a pile of money that stacks one billion dollars high, but the money does not improve them. It makes them worse. Their good points would be no less good if they held only, say, 500 million dollars. And their bad points would be that much less of a problem for anyone else.

109 thoughts on “Why Billionaires???

  1. Money creates power and power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Three areas billionaires and even well off people should contribute proportionally would be, to me..

    Poor people, which would include medical, natural disaster areas, poor countries along with the US poor, food assistance and things like that.

    Provide education to help people have a better standard of living and to teach various trades that would differ by country and to try to teach enough ethics to enlighten their mindset.

    And third would be environmental concerns like programs to clean up areas and new clean energies, better farming programs with so much pesticides etc.

    A fourth would probably go along with education, but it would be tricky in some countries (if not all) would be a focus on a more humanist less religious ideological world to help eliminate, prejudice, racism, homophobia, and the ever “my religion is better than yours” mentality.

    Billionaires and millionaires money could go a long way towards these ends. Even a few hundred here and there from the rest of us can help. Humanity has to realize this someday, are we are doomed. Trump and his cult have definitely set things back and opened untold dark places that may prove very difficult to turn around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with your three areas, and would add medical care. In many third world countries diseases lower life expectancy to a small fraction of what it is in the Western world. Even here, many go without medical care for lack of money. Too mad you and I aren’t the ones with billions, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Greed and the illusion of power it gives them… Happy Valentines Day!.. hope the day, and every day, is all that you wish for it to be!.. 🙂

    “Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, absolute power attracts the corruptible.” ― Frank Herbert

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  3. Dear Jill,

    Have you noticed that the right are already demonizing the concepts of ‘Medicare for All’ and the AOC’s Green New Deal, describing these policies as =to socialism? Yet these same right wingers are the same ones who are not offering alternatives. The Green New Deal and Medicare for All or health insurance for all are visions of the future. Most businesses start out with a vision but then take incremental steps to get there. This is no different.

    Personally I welcome business folks to be part of the solution instead of many of them being GOP ‘dark money’ donors who crack the whip when it comes to the GOP president, his administration and the sycophant GOP lawmakers in the US Congress. I’ve been arguing lately that they backed Donald Trump’s presidency over more qualified conservative candidates because they knew he has no conscience to where he wouldn’t care if he screwed most Americans as long as his base of voters were kept happy. They got their wish list which included major tax cuts, deregulation measures, the killing of Obamacare, and the placement of conservative justices on the US Supreme Court and other federal courts, as they would tend to rule in favor of corporate interests while backing Evangelicals’ objectives of limiting women’s access to legal abortions and LGBTQ rights. Just think about this. They were shy just one senate vote from killing Obamacare, otherwise, they hit the jackpot.

    These billionaires need to be required to pay their fare share in taxes. We can’t afford the corporate welfare program in the form of the GOP 2017 Jobs and Tax Cuts bill.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well said. Republicans lost the mid terms in part because of trying to sabatoge the ACA and not stabilizing it. Medicare for All is a good debate to have, but let’s see ideas to stabilize the ACA. 36 states and the DC have expanded Medicaid, the GOP has purposefully reneged on financial commitments to insurers causing premiums to increase even more, so it would be great to see those commitments honored, Medicaid expanded along with a few other changes.

      As for climate change, addressing this issue is long overdue and is a winner for Dems. Push it unabashedly. I would do the same with debt reduction. Those three issues with job retraining should dominate the Dems’ themes. Keith

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    • Yes, I have noticed. Anything that stands a chance of costing them a few more dollars in taxes in order to help someone less fortunate than they is sure to be contested. I am sick of it. As you said, i would welcome them to be a part of the solution rather than continuing to be the major part of the problem in this nation. The average taxpayer is starting to awaken to the fact that he got shafted in the 2017 tax cut bill, while those who have no need of more money gained millions. Perhaps Trump’s base will finally open their eyes and see what is right in front of them? And because of it, our national debt just hit an all-time high of $22 trillion. This will have consequences for us all.
      Hugs!!!

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  4. I have a question for the Buffets and Gates and Soros of this world: If you are giving away billions of dollars a year, to whom is it going? Billions a year cannot just disappear into the economy without making a change somewhere, yet I see no higher standards of living anywhere among the poor of this world.
    A Canafian family just today gave $200 million (about $150 million USD) to a scholarship fund at McGill University in Montreal. This money will provide about 75 scholarships a year, including living expenses, to deserving students all over the world. Pardon the language, but BIG EF’ing DEAL! That kind of money could help tens of thousands of people live better lives right now, and each year for a century, just on the interest alone. I am glad that they made the scholarships available to students from everywhere–that was a decent gesture. But if that’s is how the other billionaires are controlling their donations, it’s a drop in a bucket some poor person has to use to try and catch the water going over Niagra Falls. It is more than senseless.
    These wastrels want to make a difference, let them set up emergency disaster response teams that can be at the sites of humanitarian disasters in hours, not days or weeks, with proper personnel and proper tools, water, food, medications, shelter, etc etc etc. I have been touting this for 15 years now, but no one listens. This would be meaningful, and this would be visible. Whatever they are doing right now is not visible, and therefore probably not meaningful but to a few.
    75 people a year! I spit on their generosity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now, I might argue with you on the donation to University for scholarships BECAUSE … better educating our young is the biggest part of the solution to bringing about change in the future. Yes, I know … people go hungry every day, people are dying of curable diseases for they don’t have access to medical care. But, until we ensure that every young person can get an education, nothing will change in the future. Say I had enough billions to feed every hungry person in the world for 10 years, and I did just that. Okay, but what happens in the 11th year? People will be starving again. It’s a short-term solution, whereas education is the long-term solution.

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      • Most people who are not starving or trying to find good shelter are able to make better advances in their lives. They will probably not fall back where they were unless there is some limiting factor, or they cannot find a way to improve their lot. Plus, their children would be 10 years older, and not such a burden, barring disabilities. Putting 75 students through 5 years of higher education will probably help 75 new families, let’s say. No comparison.
        On top all the things that could go wrong would probably go wrong, and 75 might go down to 50 through attrition. If 33% of say 10,000 were lost that would be a big number, but it would still leave 6,700 people better off than they were. I mean, no one can really predict which way is better, one of the students might cure cancer. But I would still go with helping as many as I could, even if in the end nothing improved. I think back to the way I was raised, in North America’s version of poverty, and I would have gladly taken the support. My family would not be as dysfunctional as they are today. How much better we would be, I could not even guess. But any amount would have been better.

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        • In truth, it takes both … direct and immediate humanitarian aid, and education. Remember that those young people seeking an education are our future leaders. They are the ones who, at some point, will be making the decisions about how government spends its money, making laws about corruption and social services. We cannot afford to overlook or ignore either one, so I still applaud those who help young people get an education, but also applaud those who provide aid that keeps people alive and hopefully helps them to ultimately create a better life.

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          • Make all education free, and there will be no need of scholarship funds. Guarantee a minimum income above the poverty line, and charities will not be as necessary. Yeah, there are all kinds of ways to help, but not everyone is willing to do that. I give up for tonight. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel better…

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              • Well, I have enough snow in my front yard to build a giant snowdevil with orange hair and a fake-tan complexion, but the snow is too cold for it to stick together. If you have a spare orange-haired skin hanging around, I will gladly buy it and fill it up with snow, which is about what such an fake-tan-skinned being is filled with right now, with ice flowing through his heart and veins.

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                  • Awwweeeee.. How sweet. But I don’t think I have enough room for two snowpeople, and I thought I would do you a favour by sitting him down in my yard instead of yours.
                    Of course, if I do this in my back yard, I have enough room to put el dumpo in front of a firing squad. Would you prefer before or after the bullets fly?

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                    • Now just send me some heat, to warm the snow up to the proper temperature. But not D.C. heat, that would turn the snow directly into water, then back into ice. I’m too old for back yard skating rinks…

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                    • I’ve got no heat to send you! Well, perhaps my 20 degrees would be considered heat compared to your temperatures. But the person you need to ask for heat is Gronda, for she’s down in Florida where it’s in the 70s!

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                    • It does make a huge difference! I have asthma (and yes, I still smoke 3 packs a day) and when the humidity rises, breathing becomes much more difficult. Many years ago I went to Las Vegas on business. Being in the desert, it is hot, but there is no humidity. Even though the temps at that time reached 100 (F) every day, it just didn’t feel at all uncomfortable.

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                    • I’ve only been to Akron once for a job interview. Frankly, of all the places I’ve lived, Ohio is my 2nd least favourite. I loved living in New York and in San Francisco, and loved some things about living in Tennessee, though I wouldn’t want to live there now. Just out of curiosity, what is your Masters in?

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                    • actually out of all the places that I’ve lived, I liked Ohio the best. I never did finish my master’s degree but it was in counselling. I got bored after the first year and there was really only one class that I did really well in, a course called human and spiritual integration. The personality theory and all that other sht bored the hell out of me.

                      I live in Texas now and went to school in North Carolina.

                      hugs

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                    • You’ve lived in a lot of places, as have I. I think it gives us a perspective that people who have lived in the same place all their lives may lack. I can somehow picture you as a professor of history, or political science! I have a question, but please feel free to ignore it or tell me to mind my own business if you wish. When did you become blind? Hugs to you, my friend! We may not always agree, but I do consider you a friend and you often make me stop and think!

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                    • Hi Jill.

                      I also consider you a friend and you can ask anything you’d like.

                      I was born blind due to being 3 months premature. I weighed 2 pounds 9 ounces and my optic nerves were damaged because of too much oxygen since my lungs weren’t fully developed. The doctors, optimists that they were, told my parents that if I survived, I would be severely mentally handicapped and they took me away from my mother right after I was born because they didn’t want her to get attached to a child who might not live.

                      I have a undergraduate degree as a double major in English and Psychology and both majors have come in hand, especially the psychology since I’m a stay-at-home dad who writes music that could easily be used in horror movies.

                      In fact, one of my pieces is going to be used in a documentary about transgenderism called “Why can’t I be me’ around you” I don’t know when it’s going to be released but it was an honor to have my work in the film.

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                    • The breathe left my body at reading your story, for mine is similar. I was born with a heart condition and those same optimistic doctors advised my parents to have me institutionalized, for there was little chance I would survive until my 1st birthday. I was luckier, though, for my father said “No, we will take her home and love her and see what happens.” And, as I am now 67 years old, obviously the docs were wrong! Sure, I’ve had health problems all my life, but I’m a fighter. A year ago, I was nearly blind, but a series of eye surgeries restored my sight to a large degree, and I am eternally grateful.

                      The reason I thought you might have lost your sight rather than being born blind was your mention of ice skating! You amaze me, my friend, with all you are able to do.

                      I, too, have a double-major undergrad degree … Accounting (which was how I earned a living for many years) and Political Science, which is obviously my love, as music is obviously yours. And yes, with children in the house, a psychology degree would surely be helpful! I remember a few times I wished I had one. Or a crystal ball!

                      And speaking of music, CONGRATULATIONS on having your music included in a film! That is definitely an honour!

                      Thanks for sharing your story with me. Hugs, my friend!

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                    • Ouch! I did not know that. That does not bode well for Chris or esp. Miss Goose, not to mention you. Canada has a vast northern area that is mostly pollution-free, though of course has other issues, such as weather, and a sparse population (if you like being around other people). But really, it is mostly very inviting…

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                    • I am not afraid of either bears or wolves … I am pretty sure wolves are a part of my once-upon-a-time ancestry, and bears … well, you just have to know how to talk to them. Frankly, people scare me more.

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                    • Which is why I mentioned the wolves and bears. You could possibly see them in their true hanitats–as changed by humans. But really, Jill, this part of the world still has Trump’s footprint on it too. There is no escaping it anywhere.

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                    • Ahhh … when you put it that way, I suppose I would get lonely. And we both know that, much as I complain, I would go nuts wondering what was going on in the world. Sigh. I’m hopeless.

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  5. Hello Jill. I love your post. We do have to do something about the inequality gap and how the country is deteriorating around us as more and more public moneys are syphoned off to the top wealthiest in our countries. This morning first thing I read where Bloomberg was promising to give at least 500,000,000 ( yes 500 million ) to defeat trump even if he doesn’t use it to run himself. Plus he said that was the start of what he was willing to spend not the total. But what sank me was when they added the information that that huge starting amount was only 1% of his worth. That is stunning. He can throw around 500 million and not even really think about it and sure won’t miss it. It won’t change his standard of living at all. I can not even conceive of that life style. Today for just the information I looked into the White house, thinking of tRump’s new 50,000 golf game toy. The whole house plus the private residence. Remember the president and family can use the whole thing. I was stunned at the size and splendor. Not to mention the amount of rooms that simply have no real reason but are duplicates or called sitting rooms. I had no idea and then the pictures of these things were mind blowing. I would love a home with a bowling alley and a theater set up, and get paid to live there. Hugs

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    • I know, Scottie … it shocks and disgusts me to hear somebody think no more of $500 million than you or I might think of a single dollar. Heck, I think I’m more frugal with a single dollar than some billionaires are with a million! I cannot conceive of that lifestyle either, and frankly … I don’t want to. It isn’t the way I would like to live. I’m a fairly simple person, I like my autonomy, my privacy, and can’t imagine spending my days worrying about billions of dollars. I don’t desire a mansion or a Mercedes-Benz, am quite content owning only 2 pair of shoes. I am pleased, however, that Bloomberg is using some of his money to help a candidate fight against Trump. Fingers crossed. Hugs!

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      • Hello Jill. I agree with you. When I was a young man in my twenties I thought the American dream was a huge home on ten or more acres of land. Ron and I worked hard for that dream. Now after Ron and I are older and have less desire to do yard work and cleaning our small home is more than enough work for us. We are happy we downsized. We really wouldn’t use any more home than we have, it would only be more work to clean and take care of. I do think there should be adequate housing for everyone. It is not the same for everyone. We have friends that live in RV’s and love it. We did it for almost two years but while I was happy with it Ron wanted a home again. Some people need help and so assisted living facilities are a great thing. Sadly where I live they are only for the wealthy, if you are poor you are out of luck so better hope you have family. I have seen some great living facilities, small apartments with communal dining, healthcare, laundry, and cleaning services. They have recreational facilities and it is a real community. Oh well, some day we will be an advanced nation also. Hugs

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        • I’ve never been so lucky, but I’ve always thought that if I were lucky enough to live with a person I cherished and who loved me in return, I could be content to live in a pup tent. That said, yes, everyone deserves a decent home, a place to call their own, a place to feel safe and secure. Those who live in mansions will never understand how just a small house can make so much difference. You and Ron are very lucky to have the most important thing, love, and everything else comes in second. Will we ever become an advanced nation … one that puts the needs of humans ahead of the greed of a small few? I wonder.

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  6. We are one screwed up world. Systems loaded in such a way that you get the typical billionaire profile. On what rational planet are the likes of trump rewarded to such an extent, surely Kate from a couple of posts back should be the type of beautiful human we should be rewarding. I’m guessing she would share, just like Trump……..

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    • Much of this world care more about their own personal wealth than they care about humanity. Therein lies the problem, and I don’t think it’s one that is ever going to go away. You’re right about Ruby Kate … I’m betting she would give most every bit of it away if she somehow came into a billion dollars.

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      • I’m thinking that’s what the media wants us to believe. May I suggest doing your own research and forego the paid “opinions” of establishment media. Follow the money, ask yourself Cui Bono? These power players have very specific agendas, and there not in the business of helping we the ppl. Cheers 🙂

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        • Ah, right! I keep forgetting I’m an uneducated arse who blindly listens to the media and people I don’t know online in order to form my opinions! Thanks, stranger on the internet, for reminding me, a damn fool without the ability to think for himself, that I simply MUST do independent research to form my opinions. Damn! You’ve saved me!!! Now hold on for a minute. Let me run off and do some “independent research” on the Koch’s, and I’ll get right back to you with a new and improved opinion of them.

          (19 hours later) OK, I’ve done some independent research and here’s my new and fresh opinion on the Koch’s: Not only are they unfettered evil, they’re anti-American, anti-democratic, oligarchical, rampant, despicable, right-wing, a-holes! Thanks for suggesting the research! One NEVER knows what one can learn with a tad bit of effort and by turning a blind eye to Fox News and other anti-democratic media outlets! I suggest you do the same. Have a great day, and remember what Mother Teresa once said to her shoe cobbler, Benny Buttpain, about the Koch Bros, “The Koch Bros?! The Koch Bros?! I’ll tell ya about the Koch Bros, Mr. Buttpain! They SUCK!!”

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      • OBVIOUSLY, Jill, you’re biased!!! Just do some friggin’ research and you’ll see the truth. Open you’re eyes to the reality the it is YOU who are wrong! OK? Have a nice day, and, please, do research, because I’m certain, since you don’t have the same opinion that others do, that you don’t. Hope this helps you become smarter. 🙂

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        • You are so right!!! I am no better than Alex Jones with his conspiracy theories! You’re on to me. I don’t know that I can become smarter … I’m just, in the words of Donald Trump, a LOSER! 🤥

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      • An interesting tidbit: “George Soros GETS BANNED from Hungary FOR LIFE!”, his birthplace and homeland. Also: “Canada Under Pressure To Ban George Soros From Country”, “George Soros Booted from Another Country: POLAND”, and “George Soros banned from entering England?”
        “George Soros foundation leaves Hungary amid government crackdown”
        Hmmm, what do these headlines have in common, i’ma sensing a trend here. Why is this particular financier
        banned from entering 9 different countries?? His citizenship revoked from his country of birth, Hungary?
        Interesting…..

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  7. so much money sitting around for bragging purposes — You nailed it!

    Who do you think tRumpsky spends his time talking to on the phone … and what do you think is the primary subject of those conversations? How to MAGA? HA! Surely you jest.

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    • MAGA = how much more money can I squeeze from this racket as President without my supporters finding out the truth! Being a billionaire mean hoarding potential resources and capital that could be developed for the benefit of all. Greed is a sickness, and becomes all consuming.

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      • a good point. I think people who inherit their millions and billions don’t appreciate the true value of their worth and how that can be used to benefit others. The love of money is the root of all evil not the money itself so I don’t care how much money someone makes. If someone works hard for years and years, sacrificing for their future, then more power to them to increase their earning potential.

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    • That’s a no-brainer … if you aren’t worth at least a half-billion or your name isn’t Sean Hannity, you won’t so much as get the time of day! “Maga” is the biggest joke of the 21st century. It should be MANA … Make America Nothing Again.

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  8. And how wrong is it that the House will pass agreement for well over a Billion dollars to be granted for the start of this wall. Is this not the biggest waste of the most useful amount of money that could do such good, as you’ve ever heard. Trump should be granted nothing., nada, zip.
    Cwtch

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    • It is a big waste, but the reality is that they needed to give him something, else he would surely have either shut the government down again or declared a state of emergency. I wish it had been possible to offer him nothing. But now, you want to hear about a really big waste? This one came up today and has me spitting bullets. He has had a ‘room-sized golf-simulator’ installed in the White House for his pleasure on those days when he can’t make it to his golf course … at taxpayer expense, of course! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Sigh.
      Cwtch

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      • I understood he’s paid for the golf simulator and for it’s fitting himself. I was shocked he’d opened his wallet in the sun, all the President’s blinked in the bright light. It’s still a waste of course but it will keep him away from work So it’s OK. I cannot fathom how such a man can be offered so much to waste unless it all goes on new staff and electronics for existing border posts. He’ll never do that though when there are 55 miles of fencing he can put up that mean nothing.
        The threat of shutting the Government down again may have cost him too much of his base to risk it and a state of emergency may still have refused him money, he would have had a hard time proving his case.
        If I’m wrong about the simulator I apologise.
        Cwtch

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        • You are right … I missed that initially, but frankly, given that most everything that comes out of this administration is a lie, I don’t believe that he paid for it himself. If I see a canceled check as proof, then I might believe it … might.

          It appears at the moment as if there will be an agreement to avert another shutdown, but with Trump, one can never be sure. Last time, he was prepared to sign the bill, had said he would sign the bill, but then Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter mocked him and called him a coward, so at the last minute he changed his mind and wouldn’t sign. I don’t trust that he will keep his word this time, either. Funny … I never used to be such a cynic!

          Cwtch

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    • Buffett, Soros and Gates are the three most notable exceptions, but as I said to Scott, why do they still have billions? Of what possible use are those billions to them. Yes, they have been generous, but there is so much more good that could be done with that money that they don’t need, that they couldn’t spend in a lifetime if they tried.

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      • Actually…Warren Buffet and Bill Gates plan to give away all of their money to charity before they die, or at the times of their deaths. That’s more than I’ll be giving away, percent-wise. Again, they give away BILLIONS every year. They donate more in dollars than there are people in the United States. (Right now, there are over 328 million, not BILLION, people in the United States.) I’m not saying I’m in agreement with what’s happening with President Cheetos and his crew, but I’m not going to fault every wealthy individual either, not when they’re trying to do some good. Lumping everyone together this way only tears us further apart as a people, but that’s just my opinion. Kindness matters, so do intentions.

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  9. I grow so weary of people demonizing the rich as if they are all corrupt and immoral simply because they have more than someone else. Though I totally agree that billionaires have undo influence in political matters and undoubtedly, some of them buy politicians, what proof do you have that a lot of them don’t donate to charity, don’t do the community in which they reside some good and actually give back? The absence of a public record of charitable giving is not evidence that such acts of charity do not exist within those communities.
    I notice that you single out trump while conveniently forgetting or refusing to mention Hungarian billionaire George Soros. Should he not be demonized because of his ilgotten billions as well? After all, let’s be fair about the issue and not leave anyone out.

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    • EVERY billionaire and a lot of super millionaires should be forced to give anything they make over a certain amount NOT to the charity OF THEIR CHOICE, but to charities or government funds that actually raise up the living standards of those living below or on the poverty line. They have no need of such stockpiles of money that just sit and earn them more money while doing nothing for those less rich than they, and I do not think Jill is only talking about the conservative rich. Nor am I only talking about American poor, or Canadian poor, or European poor. I am talking about poor people across the world. Give them the chance to rise above their poverty instead of forcing them to wallow in squalor. SOCIALISM is not a swear word, it means working together for the benefit of all. Millionaires and billionaires work mainly for the benefit of themselves and their families. And their descendents until one of them turns out to be an addicted gambler.

      Liked by 3 people

      • There was a grand social experiment called communism. It wasn’t perfect b/c ppl are not, and mismanagement, corruption was rampant. However for a brief time in history, there was a home for every family, free education and health care, no one was starving, and everyone who wanted to work had a job! Because of ideological differences, the West did everything in it’s power to squash this Soviet form of governance. Now that the West remains supreme by exploiting Capitalism, have we all benefited as a result? Can we really say that we won? The divide between haves and have nots is now the widest in human history, economically and politically it seems.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Actually, Scott, I know that several of the billionaires DO give back, most notably George Soros, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. I have tremendous respect for what they do for the good of humankind. But … why do they still have billions of dollars? What are they waiting for? What can they possibly need or want it for, other than a status symbol? There are serious questions … I am not demonizing anybody, but I cannot understand how and why somebody keeps billions of dollars in their own possession when all over the world there are people going to bed hungry, starving to death, unable to seek medical care, homeless. Now, you’re probably not much closer to being a billionaire than I am, so let me ask you this: what would you do if you suddenly gained a billion dollars? Would you bank it and gloat over it, or would you use it to try to make the world a little bit better place? Think about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jill, good post. Several comments:
    – it is hard to drain the swamp when the boss appoints Yertle the Turtles. It should be noted one more Trumpet resigned today over issues relating to padding expense accounts.
    – When Trump tried to cut funding for career retraining of laid off coal workers in 2017, it was said of Trump; he is for coal owners not coal workers, there is a big difference.
    – our friend Gronda has done a yeoman’s job on dark money funding for coal interests. This Murray example is just one more benefit. Yet, she also reported on The New York Times story of last month that notes coal mines are be shuttered far more in Trump’s two years than in all of Obama’s first term.
    – the above is unfair in part in that this demise cannot be stopped, nor should it. Coal demise is passed the tipping point. What is not unfair is Trump was untruthful to workers. The only Presidential candidate who stood up in front of coal miners and told them the truth was Senator Bernie Sanders; he also shared what he was going to do to help them learn a new career.

    Here is what frustrates me most. This is not a surprise. The leaders of coak mining states have known longer than I have of this demise. Instead of greasing the skids for new energy – wind and solar would do well there – they tried to stop the leaks on the dyke. To me, they were derelict in their duties. There is still time, especially with the lower cost of renewables.
    Keith

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks Keith!

      Ah yes … Brock Long of FEMA joins the ranks of Pruitt, Zinke and others. Nothing to see here, folks. Your Yertle the Turtle reference is spot on! That was the book I sent him when he first took office, with a suggestion that if some of the words were too big, perhaps Kellyanne could read it to him. Funny, he never did send me a thank-you note for that.

      His stance on coal is among the most destructive things he’s attempted to do, at least domestically. There is no justification for continuing to promote and de-regulate the coal industry over renewables, especially in light of the most recent reports on climate change. To re-train the workers while looking toward increasing our investment in solar and wind energy would have been the conscionable action, but … this is Trump we’re talking about. And he has ended up hurting the very ones he promised to protect, for as you say, he is for the coal owners, the guys with the money, not the coal miners.

      I share your frustration, and it seems that some are coming around, but when we have a leader screaming “No, keep mining that coal!!! I won’t support renewables … I want coal!!!”, then it makes it a bit difficult. And what frustrates me is those who applaud his moves to de-regulate the fossil fuel industries … can they not see what is happening???

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jill, as we have discussed, while the President discuss his base issues, the big issues are not getting resolved and/ or made worse. To do otherwise is beyond poor stewardship. I am reminded of the book and movie “The Dead Zone,” where the protagonist could see the future, but could change it. He told a father and ice hockey coach for kids to not have ice hockey practice that day. When he hem and hawed, “He said, the ice is going to break.” His son listened and did not go, but the father did not and several boys drowned.

        If we don’t address climate change, US debt, healthcare and job- retraining, the ice is going to break and we are going to drown. The Dems should not back away from these four issues. They are a foundation of issues that need to be discussed and the GOP is belittling them for bringing them up. AOC is being ridiculed for her Green New Deal, but I would rather debate that than Senator Marco Rubio ignoring the fact his largest city in Florida is seeing far more sunny day flooding and the city at most risk on the planet to climate change. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

        • I didn’t see the movie, but read the book by Stephen King on which the movie was based, many decades ago. It is an apt comparison, for sure. We are on the outside looking in, pounding on the glass trying to wake up those people who cannot see what is happening, but to no avail. The democrats, independents and others who see the dangers in the path ahead cannot stop warning the people, but I fear it will take a catastrophe to waken the masses, to get people to start listening to each other rather than reveling in the sounds of their own voices.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Last night, CNN gave their precious prime time slot for a townhall— not for a presidential candidate, but for one who’s just considering a run, doesn’t have any policy positions figured out yet, has the charisma of a potato, and who is polling with 4% approval rating across all political parties. Why? Because he’s a billionaire.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Great post, Jill. The world does not yet know it, but the only way our species will survive is to embrace socialism, eliminate capitalism, and live in communal societies where the wealth is evenly distributed and each creature of creation is valued. OK. OK, you may say I’m smoking whacky weed, but how wrong am I?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Larry! I almost didn’t post it for I felt some might think it too harsh, but after I thought about it … well, it’s honest! No, I don’t think you are wrong at all, and I would be happy in such a world. I have no aspirations of wealth, and cannot imagine hoarding money while knowing that some people are going to bed hungry. I guess we’re both smoking the wacky week, eh? 😊

      Liked by 2 people

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