What Made Admin Grumpy Today

Observatory

I watched this short video, which shocked me and made me feel bad, and I’m not even an American! It seems I spent the first half of my life going on marches to try and halt this kind of thing, but the sense of powerless is now all-pervasive…

17 comments on “What Made Admin Grumpy Today”

  1. Paco says:

    My mind is boggling and I’m now thoroughly pissed off…..

  2. keith page says:

    So the USA is rapidly turning into pre-revolutionary France? Give it a while and it’ll be the same here, it’s certainly heading in that direction

  3. Dan Terrell says:

    That’s unfortunately right, Admin. 40% held by 1%!
    I spent 30 years working both overseas and from the U.S. to help develop the lesser developed countries. All the while the U.S. itself was falling behind its potential, fighting at least one cash-eating, unneeded war, allowing “the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.” Amazing. Back to the days of the cotton, sugar, rail, coal and oil Barons.
    This is why I voted for the Presidental candidate who spoke up for the poor, the less educated, the ill and uninsured, the ignored or the unwanted. Let’s hope he, and our system, let his administration achieve something.
    Glad to hear you marched, I did, too. It’s not always the case that you can come out for something right, something that needs to be righted, and get healthy exercise, too. (Although in the past in the South some marches proved for some extremely unhealthy.)
    Thank you for your anger and outrage. As an American, I live with a constant undercurrent of both. Watching tv, I am known for yelling O,BS! at every second news story.
    Get well soon and thanks for the get find.

  4. andrea yang says:

    Saw that yesterday and it made me cranky too. Money begets money. The US designation of corporations as people with free speech rights to “buy elections” does not bode well for the future. What about in Britain are corporations people? My friends and I like the motto going around Facebook which says ” I will believe corporatons are people when Texas executes one.”

  5. Philip says:

    I watched this and my reaction was a decided, meh… and that is coming from someone who is most certainly way closer to the left side of that graph than the right. The people behind this video act like there is a money fairy passing out money and that that fairy has all of a sudden been doing it inequitably. Obviously that’s not the case. The forces behind how individuals accumulate wealth are varied and complex.

    What scares me the most is that the people behind this video seem to be of the opinion that there SHOULD be a money fairy (i.e., the government) to take money away from those on the right side of the graph and give more of it to those on the left side of the graph. It’s not my place to have an opinion on how much money George Clooney makes for acting in his next film, nor is it my place to have an opinion on what he does with that money once he earns it. Nor is it anyone else’s place to have an opinion about how much money I earn and what I do with it once I get it.

  6. David Read says:

    Taxation is rarely the best way to distribute wealth, but when low paid workers are lucky to see a 1% increase and directors see a 15% increase on the salary, which is likely 20 times higher than the lowest paid, things are just going to continue to get more unequal.

    I am not sure what the answer is, but I am not convinced the Corporation culture is it. As long as corporations are purely driven by the bottom line, wages, welfare, the environment and safety will always suffer. For all the faults we pile on our politicians, they are accountable, if we don’t like them, out they go. These corporations are like small sovereign states driven by accumulating wealth for wealth’s sake, Corporate Social Responsibility for some is a PR exercise and given the choice they would do it cheaper and dirtier.

    I run a business, I want to make a profit and pay my employees, but when you run a small business you are so in touch with everything, all your decisions are personal so morality has to come in to it. For a lot of Corporates, they can absolve responsibility as they are ‘only trying to hit targets’, only ‘doing their jobs’.

    We all live in our society together and we need to start measuring and valuing companies not just on their profits (which of course they need to make) buton they way they operate in their home town, city and country.

    Now where’s the coffee…

  7. admin says:

    Philip, I always thought the government was ‘the money fairy’. The UK government certainly decides what to do with most of my hard-earned dosh. The problem is more that they are a giant, inefficient Money Fairy Collective. The accumulation of wealth needs to have an equitable element, otherwise you end up with what has happened in Russia. According to the US documentary ‘A Place at the Table’, one in four US children is malnourished, which should set alarm bells ringing.

  8. Pheeny says:

    The problem is that the society we presently live in (which is not some inescapable state of nature but entirely of our own creation) operates to ensure that rich people get richer and poor people get poorer. It is actually more expensive to be poor than it is to be rich.

    And contrary to current propaganda most wealthy people are not hard working “wealth creators”, many are not even wealthy as a result of their peculiar (if relatively umimportant) talents like George Clooney or David Beckham, no, they are wealthy because (like British billionaires the Duke of Westminster and Lord Cadogan) their ancestors were wealthy and over generations were not only able to pass their wealth down to their offspring but also to ensure that their descendants got opportunities to advance unavailable to the ordinary man and woman – can anyone seriously believe that David Cameron would be PM if he had been born on a sink council estate, or that George Osborne would have been allowed to run anything more complex than a whelk stall if he had not been in line for a baronetcy ?

  9. snowy says:

    I’m not that shocked if I’m honest.

    Firstly if you torture data long enough it’ll tell you exactly what you want to hear.

    The distribution follows very closely to the ‘Pareto Principle’ or 80/20 ‘rule’. It’s not explicitly stated in the clip but it is there if one looks carefully. And while not equitable it is a fairly common distribution found all over the world.

    The 380 times average wage of CEOs is a very small distortion, and a bit of a red herring. Brought about by the way top company officials effectively decide their own wages.

    No CEO ever does a lower than average job, so always gets a rise so that his pay is X% above the market average. The next year they recalcualate the market average and it has shot up, because everybody is now getting paid above the old market average.

    A quick back of the envelope calcualtion, a 20% annual uplift means a CEOs wage doubles after 3-4 years, has trebled after 7-8 etc. Given this idea goes back 30 years the 380 figure is not that surprising. (after 30 cycles 100k becomes 23000K).

    Malnourished, hmm…. alarm bells ring, but not in that way. I think that number might be a little bit suspect, I don’t think it represents those UNDERnourished by dint of poverty. I think there might be shenanagans going on there.

    More likely it is a combination, of the poor, those in the ‘muslei belt’ being fed a wacky diet by parents, and all those others that make Jabba the Hut look a bit anorexic.

    [That’s a bit deep for me, I think I’d better stick to thinly veiled knob gags. A staple of English humour since Chaucer was a lad.]

  10. Jon Anderson says:

    I find this whole topic extremely frustrating. First of all, I have to live with it. Second, all the talk about ‘wealth’ and ‘money’ is really talking about influence and access to resources. In a very real sense, the wealthiest members of american society have the greatest influence over realpolitik and the greatest access to resources. And I don’t mean resources like a hot meal and a warm bed. I mean actual resources – coal, natural gas, oil, precious metals, lumber – all the things that people keep worrying that we’re going to run out of. When you are able to control the legislative process in order to get laws passed that treat your exploitation of resources favourably, it makes it that much easier to become richer and richer. Clearcutting and deforestation, drilling for oil in nature preserves, frakking and stripmining; these aren’t things that the middle class or the working class are enabling. The wealthy use money as a tool to get more resources with, which makes them more money. The bottom line here is that the wealthiest americans don’t want anything but more wealth. Accumulation and protection are the only values they hold dear. A greedy bastard is a greedy bastard no matter what his stated politics are. Socialism won’t change that, free market laissez-faire capitalism only encourages it, any other solution is immediately shot down by the folks at either end of the political spectrum as too much or too little. The only thing that can possibly alter the situation is for the wealthy, as a class, to develop a social conscious. But since that would inevitably mean parting with a certain amount of influence and access to resources, it will never happen. On the bright side….well, there’s always emigration, I suppose.

  11. Jon Anderson says:

    Social conscience, I meant to say. Or social consciousness. Either would help.

  12. Dan Terrell says:

    Well said, Jon. But emigration isn’t the answer, really.
    In 1998 – mostly in the last months of that year – the Leipzig Peace Protesters, each Monday evening, went to one of its many churches, listened to speaches and discussions of democracy, freedom and the right to self-determination, and then they spilled out of the churches and into the center of the old city, lit short candles, and in the thousands marched counter-clockwise their town, walking the Ringstrasse, and going cautiously by the gloomy Stazi headquarters. Soon marches were happening in Dresden and divided Berlin and elsewhere. Every week they marches no matter how tough the DDR goverment had threatened them, how many had been arrested, how many police dogs were used to inspire fear, they marched. And then one evening, the border guards in Berlin let some people through to the Western side – hoping the “bad element” would disappear, but it didn’t. Many of them soon came back and the round-robin marches continued – thousands of small candles and chants going around the city in the dark. But now the chants were altered to include: “Hell no! We won’t go! Hell no! We won’t go! We’re here to stay!”
    And not long after the Berlin Wall fell down; the brick and wire containment fences around the entire country were breached; and the government of the DDR came tumbling down.”
    Emigration is something to toy with, but better yet, I for one think, is “Hell no. We won’t go. It’s our country, too!” Cheers.

  13. Ken Murray says:

    This what you get when you try to run the world to a ‘business model’. Economics in ethics out. The good news is that society behaves like a rubber band. You can stretch it quite out of shape but then it has a nasty habit of snapping back into place.

  14. Nina says:

    Chris,

    I am a chemist, with only a bachelor’s degree, mind but, my supervisor…when I have one, will attest that I am a credible source for information and a really hard-working person. There are only one or two others who outwork me. At any rate, I am just saying this to let you know I work in the state of Washington for the Public Health Laboratories and I make less money than my eighth grade educated, factory working, father. He was a single earner and had 7 children…he didn’t do anything for any of us but, we did have good meals, thanks to my mom. He, on the other hand, had two cars, a pickup truck, a motorcycle and was a member of a flight club (not fight club…he preferred to beat my tiny mom…who wasn’t more than 5’0″ and 100lbs)…I have a mortgage over $275K, a car I can’t even change the oil in and a motorcycle I have to work on myself…which usually means Matt ends up working on it because I lack the patience. I would defect to some other place but, they are all corrupt.

    Nina

  15. Steve says:

    There’s some well known principle (I forget who said it and can’t be bothered to look it up) which states that the people rebel when you take away something that they’ve had. Well, the socio-economic-political machine in this country has taken away the entire middle class.
    I used to think people who mumbled darkly about “the coming revolution” were mere alarmists. I’m no longer so sure of that.

  16. admin says:

    Nina – I found when I lived in the USA that Americans were the hardest working people I had ever met in my life – I’ll come back to this topic.

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