Friday, June 27, 2014

You Can Lead a Plutocrat to Wisdom, But You Can't Make Him Think . . . . .

Nick Hanauer is a self-made billionaire entrepreneur and venture capitalist.

Nick Hanauer listens to and converses with his fellow Americans and actually gives a shit about them and their economic plight.

Nick Hanauer is sending a stark warning in an op-ed in Politico Magazine to his fellow billionaire plutocrats -- stop trying to destroy the middle class and stop hoarding the wealth.

Nick Hanauer is a pretty fucking astute guy for recognizing the root cause of the disease that is rotting America's soul to it's core and having the balls to write about it in a national media outlet.

Observe Hanauer's note to his fellow tycoons:

But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?
I see pitchforks.
At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.
But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.
And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.
If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

Go to the link and read the whole thing, you'll be infinitely better informed for doing so.

Many of you longtime readers of The Gadfly's shitty little blog will instantly recognize Nick Hanauer's warning to the plutocrats.  It's because it is the very same warning that, not only The Gadfly, but many other dirty hippies have been attempting to get people to pay attention to in the years since the 2008 economic collapse.

And it's not because The Gadfly, as Hanauer denotes about his self, is smarter -- it's because The Gadfly can recognize fundamental unfairness when it's staring him straight in the goddamn face.  The Gadfly can decipher fairly uncomplicated economic statistics which show a frighteningly and rapidly increasing imbalance of wealth taking place across the country.  And The Gadfly knows just enough about the history of human economic development along with the causes that have motivated peoples from varied parts of the planet to rise up and throw off the shackles of oligarchic oppression on occasion, which form his limited, but pretty accurate knowledge base of the subject.

Billionaire venture capitalist Nick Hanauer clearly sees the writing on the wall, .  But with the way that the Koch Brother's subsidiary, the Tea Dummies, and their wholly retrogressive and intransigent economic policies have captured control of the GOP and their platform, The Gadfly cannot fathom how Hanauer's dark vision does not come to pass at some point in the not too distant future.

At this point, you might expect The Gadfly to make a joke about investing in pitchfork manufacturing stocks, but honestly, there isn't much that The Gadfly finds humorous about the prospect of  his nation coming apart at the socio-economic seams and devolving in to just another failed empire that encounters historical doom upon the petard of it's own greed and hubris.

Better start paying attention to what's going on out there sports fanz, for if Hanauer's vision has any semblance of prescience to it, and his warning to his fellow plutocrats goes unheeded --- well, let's just say that your dream of your own contented version of the American way of life and the promise it once held, will be but a long forgotten memory to your children's children some day.


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