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The Lives Of The Super Wealthy

The secret fears of the super rich, on money, anxiety, and isolation.

With 11,500 horsepower and a top speed of 73 mph, Gentry Eagle is one of the world's fastest, most luxurious mega yachts. (AP)

With 11,500 horsepower and a top speed of 73 mph, Gentry Eagle is one of the world's fastest, most luxurious mega yachts. (AP)

It’s the new Gilded Age in America — we all know it.

A hundred-thousand-plus households with fortunes of $25 million or more. Often much, much more, into billions. What’s it like to live with all that dough?

A big new survey gives some surprising answers. Yes, the rich and super-rich have sweet freedom from crushing concerns about jobs and making ends meet. But many still worry – obsess – about money. And about alienation, isolation, purpose in life… when they don’t have to do anything.

This hour On Point: the real lives and fears of the rich and super-rich in America.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Paul Schervish, professor of sociology and director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College. For four years he has been working on a study on the meaning of money in the lives of the super-rich. The research was supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation and Wells Fargo.

Robert Kenny, partner, North Bridge Advisory Group, which provides psychological counseling to wealthy clients working through money-related issues. He is associate director and visiting scholar at Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.

More:

  • Graeme Wood highlighted Paul Schervish and Robert Kenny’s work in an April article in “The Atlantic” titled “Secret Fears of the Super-Rich.”
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  • ThePope

    Excessive wealth in itself makes humans evil. And I can prove this scientifically.

    (The above statement uses the definition of evil as given by Jan Cox: evil is the domination of those who do not wish to be dominated.)

    It also creates extreme ugliness, as evidenced by the psyche of the sycophants and yes-men that inevitably attach themselves to the wealthy, and further distort their already aggrandized self-image and internal modeling of reality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2iCo645eZk&feature=related

    Death to the plutocrates, and death to the tyrants that will attempt to take their place.

    • at

      And, I assume, “Long live the Folk?”

      • ThePope

        Bless you my son. All your sins are absolved and you get a key to the backroom. (Similar to heaven but scarier, more fun, and ultimately of similar significance, not to mention half the calories.

        • Grady Lee Howard

          Thanks you lover of children who reject your loving.

    • TheManForYou

      Make no mistake and have no doubt, the super wealthy have no shortage of guys lining up with mirror shades who will blow you to hell for a pitenence, just for the fun of using their state of the art weapons and the heat splash you will make when hit with a depleted uranium 20mm round. Ready up with your primitive second amendment pop guns.

      • Ellen Dibble

        “The people” might be “troublesome,” I believe the Republican talking heads were saying on Sunday. Certain countries regard their people as potentially troublesome. Certainly disposable. I guess if your income is $300 a year, you aren’t providing much tax base, and the government really isn’t about You. It’s about those who DO provide the tax base. “Culture” is an attempt by the $300-a-year sorts to demonstrate that the way of life at the toe of society is just as real as the vaunted way of life at the top. You go and weep, then purged of your association with the world’s undefended, you go home and sleep soundly. There but for the grace of god go I.

    • RRodrick

      Maybe true, but just because someone is evil doesn’t mean that they aren’t a nice guy. Your definition of evil is so broad that almost anything could be considered evil. On the other hand, I have to admit that I know what you mean and feel somewhat sympatico. Their are a myriad of factors that come into play. One of my personal favorites is the socialogical evidence that indicates that with increased stratification of wealth the focus of both the haves and have-nots comes to fixated on status objects. As such society as a whole becomes exponentially more superficial – always a bad thing, in that it quickly becomes boring for anyone with half a brain and tedious for those who dislike wearing ties.

      • Pericles3

        thanks for the laugh

  • at, Santa Cruz

    Suggested documentaries: Inside Job, Born Rich, The Century of the Self

    • HonastAbe

      I am watching The 1% on Netflicks instant, right now. It is by the same Johnson kid who did Born Rich. It seems like it will be good and right on point of this topic.

  • Yar

    Building pyramids out of stone didn’t have near the environmental impact of all the oil our world’s privileged are consuming today. If you are currently living on less than 2 dollars per day, who do you see as the super rich? The larger problem with wasting resources is what it models to the rest of the world. As we point our finger at those who have more wealth, we should be careful to see who is using the most resources. Money in the bank doesn’t have near the environmental impact as flying across the globe each week. George W. Bush said, we are addicted to oil, this will not lead to peace and harmony with those who have been exploited to carve out our privilege. If you are reading this post and listening to this show you are among the world’s privileged.

    • ConnerD3

      There’s privileged and there’s Privileged. There is much more of a difference between these two poles of privilege than the truly poor and the privileged in the sense that you are referring to.
      Also, as you imply, in their-pig-at-the-trough approach to the use of resources.

    • Ellen Dibble

      We also live two or three times longer than is the mean in many places. If we consume 24% of the world’s oil, are we pulling our weight? Our much heavier (environmental) weight? What are those who have more choices (more income, America’s top earners, not talking globally here), what are they doing to make sure the planet stays abundant for the planet’s human progeny? Where it the standard for global collaboration? Or is the mode of the uber-rich exploitation and self-inflicted blindness?

  • LinP

    “The secret fears of the super rich, on money, anxiety, and isolation.”

    Fear, anxiety and isolation. Gee, who would have thought the the super rich and the super poor have so much in common.

    Allow me to not much care about the how the 1% work through the pressures inflicted by their money-related issues.

    • Amused

      I would find it sort of amusing if they were really fearful.

    • Jim in Omaha

      Maybe we can find their weak spot and use it to our benefit.

  • Gregg

    Thank the Lord for the rich. I love rich people. Poor people don’t hire me.

    I also realize 2 things: 1) My life will not be improved one iota by the government confiscating more of their wealth, and 2) I am not entitled to their money.

    I’m not jealous at all. God bless them.

    • Gene

      And rich people don’t provide the labor that generates wealth.

      God bless them. Really? What about Jesus and what he said about rich people getting into heaven? You know, that ‘camel through the eye of a needle’ thing? I don’t think Jesus was hanging out with the rich. He was disrupting the money changers.

      I understand that most of us have to work for someone, but those who defend the wealthy at the expense of themselves and everyone else are all suckers.

      • Gregg

        Funny, I think those demonize the rich the suckers.

        • Gene

          What a noble act it is to defend the most powerful and wealthy people in the world. You should be proud of your courage, Gregg. Way to stand up for those who really don’t need standing up for, sucker.

          • Gregg

            I’ve got news Gene, It’s much easier to demonize the rich than defend them. Have you seen the arrows I’ve taken? Envy is easy.

          • FireFromHeaven

            There is a good reason it is easier to demonize them — all of human history shows us why this is the case. However it pays much better to defend or ever offend on their behalf. Just ask Lymbach and his toady ilk.

          • Grady Lee Howard

            Some commentators get paid to post falsehoods they know are untrue. Now they are paid by agents of the wealthy.

        • Cory

          Wha?

    • Gary2

      Gregg-your reply is typical of non thinking right wingers. 1. Poor people hire people every time they purchase things. 2. Many peoples lives will be greatly improved if we tax the rich more and spread the wealth by having a more robust safety net similar to Scandinavia.

      I have to assume your post was in jest as no one can be that dumb.

      • Gregg

        The sad thing is you think you’re answer is intelligent and I’m the dumb one. There may be sympathy for your view but It’s the craziest thing I’ve read lately.

        • Cory

          Greggg using the classic argument “I am rubber and you are glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you”. Well played, sir.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VDH4GYJMIUFU373W3XUQVD2V4E Patrick

            Gregg is a troll :)

          • Gregg

            Now I’m sorry I clicked “like” on your last comment.

          • Gregg

            I can make a better case that hiring someone to preform a service is different than going to the beer store. Or that punishing success is not a means to a productive society. I guess it’s just my shortsightedness.

      • twenty-niner

        Most public money is spent on the safety net, roughly 57% for the federal government. State governments have similar percentages.

        http://grassrootsne.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Entitlement-Pie-Chart-Annotated.jpg

    • paj

      Good bless what ever helps You (individually) out. Where is there a sense of communitarianism these days. Not much if you are feathering your stock portfolio and cursing unions.

    • Jim in Omaha

      Gregg must be correct. 80% of the gain created by our country’s economy in the last three decades went to the top 1%. So they must deserve it.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        Yeah, and recent GDP gains (growth) comes mostly from higher gas prices. What a bubble!

    • Shemash

      Your arguments are fundamentally unsound. It is obviously the capitalist interests’ co-opting the government for their own purposes that have caused almost all the problems with the government that you complain about. Your arguments are trite reactionary small-minded crap, and discount all of human history. I bet one of your hero’s is Milton Friedman. Why don’t you check out the interview with him on the doc that was mentioned earlier. The One Percent. He is every bit as small minded as you on would expect by the tripe that is spewed by his admirerers. The earlier government practically invented the middle class through it’s own enlightened programs, most of which are being dismantled by the corporate controlled government we now have. Why are you using so much bandwidth? Everyone already knows you line. It’s what billionares would like the serfs to believe.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Wow! It is an untalented slob poorer people wouldn’t pool their money to hire.

  • Stillin

    The superrich to me are the grossest with the mostest…I cannot fathom why anybody would desire that. Real happiness comes from work that has meaning, and family. I am glad I do not, and never will, aspire to be super rich. Also, the Amish live where I live and I have learned a LOT from being around them and observing them..it’s a gift to live simple and free. I hope my children learn that from me.

    • Gregg

      Who affected positively more lives, Mother Teresa or Bill Gates?

      • Michael

        Time Frame? You may have forgotten Bill Gates engaged and violated anti-trust law here in the U.S. and esp in Europe.

        It’s nice that’s he throwing money out but look deeper into his foundation .

        The foundation was at the same time criticized because it invests assets that it has not yet distributed with the “”exclusive goal”” of “”maximizing return on investment””. As a result, its investments include companies that have been charged with worsening poverty in the same developing countries where the Foundation is attempting to relieve poverty. These include companies that pollute heavily, and pharmaceutical companies that do not sell into the developing world.

        • Gregg

          So… Mother Teresa?

          • Michael

            Would seem to be the logical answer

          • Ellen Dibble

            But Mother Teresa was not rich (though the Catholic Church may be, of which she was a part). I say pit Donald Trump against Bill Gates. That’s a fairer match.
            If you’re not rich, then what you contribute is not dollars. They say instead you give time. But there are plenty of us with no time either. So we just plain don’t contribute at all. Well, as long as I’m not a burden…

          • Gregg

            I guess that’s my point Ms. Dibble. The rich are in a much better position to be charitable. I said “affected positively” not spent more money.

          • Alan Shulman, NH

            You’re sounding a little like a doctor reciting the Hippocratic oath; first, do no harm. But isn’t how we treat others the best measure of what we contribute? And there is my question for the wealthy; in acquiring their wealth – how have you treated others?

          • Gregg

            No, just the politically correct and demonstrably false one.

        • Alan Shulman, NH

          Michael: Thanks for this perspective.

      • Alan Shulman, NH

        I suspect you’re putting your money on Gates…just a guess. I don’t know about Mother Teresa but I’d put mine on Gandhi or Martin Luther King any day over Gates.

        I have no problem with legitimately gotten gains. But too often I think it’s the old story of the mine owner and miner; who really takes the risks? And who really gets the rewards for those risks taken? For that reason, I’m a little less worshipful of the rich; too often, exploitation appears to be their modus operandi.

      • Ellen Dibble

        So if I’m rich, then my quandary is not how to stretch this 30 grand to repair the roof and fix my teeth; the quandary is how can I use these 3 million to better the world, more so than the government with its tax-and-spend? What can I do that they can’t? Do it better? (Lots of us challenge them: Show us.)

      • Grady Lee Howard

        Ask Christopher Hitchens about that old mother. The verdict is still out on microsofty Bill Gates Junior, but he is way down in the polling. Many of his foundation schemes ultimately reinforce his business interests.

        • Gregg

          I know of a man from Dallas who hit the jackpot at Goldman Sacs. He proceeded to do much good with his money and made the world a better place. He’s a good man.

          • at

            Like most anecdotal evidence this is meaningless and misleading. On average the higher a persons wealth the less percentage of their income goes to charity of any kind. Look it up.

          • Gregg

            Okay then, say I make $10,000/year and give $100 to charity. Further, consider the person who makes $10 million a year and gives $100,000 to charity. Same percentage but who benefits society most?

          • BHA in Vermont

            Given that the person making $10M a year is getting that money FROM society, I would say the answer is less clear than you think.

            They are (pick one or many):
            - massively over paid. Which means we all pay more for ‘products’ made by their company.
            - making a lot of money buying and selling stocks/bonds/real estate which benefits no one, it is all speculation.
            - making a lot in dividends and interest from investments.

            I don’t know what ‘the’ number is, but at some point too much money is too much to spend. If you are ‘making’ $10M a year, you can give away $9M a year and still live WAY beyond the average person in any country.

          • Gregg

            So the country would be better off if the rich man kept his 9 million?

          • Solomon379

            Allow me to quote ancient Jewish wisdom in this regard:
            “Every time somebody make something for nothing, somebody else makes nothing for something.”

            Perhaps the reason that the person isn’t making more than 10k is because of the mechanism of a coercive economic system that was put in place by the guys making the big bucks. Who by the way mainly got their billions from — wait for it — the poor (relatively speaking.)

            The problem with the type of economic model perpetrated by the elitist owned systems of gov, and media is that they do not apply to the world that they created. A world were public opinion and justice as well as experts can and are bought and paid for.

          • Dave in CT
          • Pericles3

            By hit the jackpot you actually mean ruined peoples retirement funds.

          • Grady Lee Howard

            Are you talking about me? I’m flattered. Actually I was born in San Luis Obispo, CA and have resided primarily in Edison, NJ for 6 years. I sold my property in Dallas, the buyer defaulted and it is now owned by Wells Fargo. I made more working at Morgan than at Goldman, and more trading commodities recently than at Morgan. I give away 80% of my net income, and the rest supports my wife in a theater career and our modest home.

      • Anonymous

        Bill Gates. Mother Teresa was a fraud. Her hospital was just a place for poor people to die. She went to the best hospitals herself. She kept donations of money from Charles Keating.

        • anonymous

          If you have never been to Calcutta, you don’t know what you are talking about. People – millions of them – live in cardboard boxes on the side of the road. To die in any hospital was considered an incredible privilege. So don’t go bashing on Mother Teresa, seriously..

  • Gene

    Really Tom? Come on now. I can’t believe you would do a show on this topic. The poor rich. The rich have it so bad that they are, well, rich. Maybe the reason they are so stressed is because perhaps they have a guilty conscience about having a low tax burden while teachers and public sector workers are being pummeled by wealthy politicians as being ‘too greedy’ with those 50k per year salaries.

    I woke up this morning thinking, man am I glad I am not rich. I would much rather work until the age of 70. This is the life. Please.

    • Michael

      Rob from NY asked Onpoint to do one to explain how hard it is for these folks, and how were being screwed not be greedy self center people but troubled greedy self-center people.

      • Michael

        Rob from NY asked Onpoint to do one to explain how hard it is for these folks, and how were being screwed not by greedy self-center people but troubled greedy self-center people

    • Gary2

      Thanks Gene-you are 100% correct. Maybe the rich can come to the food pantry with me and try to convince the folks in line that they need more tax cuts…

  • Michael

    The Owner of the Maxim Magazine did a interview explaining how he became rich and how others (if they were truthful do)

    In the interview He explain how he squeezed the output of workers to benefit himself and paid as little as he could while hand picking one to do his work paying the guy a little more than the others. While giving all his workers the impression that they will all become rich if they just worked a little harder.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Wow! I didn’t know Mister Big Britches owned Maxim.

  • Yar

    It is interesting that the super rich segment has ten to one more comments than women and Walmart.

    The super-rich are not directly doing as much damage as the moderately wealthy. Lifestyle emulation is causing the most harm. All wealth comes at the sweat of many. Humility is undervalued trait in our world, the child who hand picked the cotton in our blue jeans is the source of much of our privilege.

    You can be too poor to find happiness just as you can be too wealthy to enjoy life. Al Gore spoke at a conference I attended in 1992, he said as introductory humor that a billion poor citizens are sad, where as a billion wealthy who consume like Americans are an environmental catastrophe. We want to point to the super-rich and say, look we are not that bad, but there are so many more like us that it is the us who must take the lead in changing our behavior.
    How do we get off our consumption driven economic system? It is killing our world. We need to value education, the arts, energy efficiency, over buying more and more things.

    • twenty-niner

      How about a billion people that consume like Al Gore – 4 mansions and counting? My favorite pass-time is being lectured to about consumption by didactic, hypocritical, limousine liberals like Al Gore, George Soros, and Rockefeller. I would rather attend a talk by Osama Bib Laden. At least he practices what he preaches.

      • Yar

        We love to hate those who we see as hypocrites, is that because they remind us we are also hypocrites? Change doesn’t come from the top, it comes from the bottom, when we shift what we are willing to do then the leaders will follow. Why does Al Gore make people so angry?

        • Gregg

          Because he’s a fraud.

        • twenty-niner

          Disagree. Leadership is not about the self but about showing the way, by example and then by rhetoric.

          “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

          - Mahatma Gandhi

          • Dave in CT

            It is “rich” to have traditional liberals who decry wealth and consumption (rightly so) not be able to call a spade a spade, let alone being wealthy and consumptive themselves as they wag their finger at everyone else who doesn’t share their particular master plan.

            I think everyone who wishes we were more socialistic or communistic should be required to operate their own self-sufficient homestead for 5-10 years, to come to terms exactly with the concept of “no free lunch”, keeping what you earn, and to understand the link between work and productivity, wants and needs, and the fact that like it or not, we live in a world of scarcity that is only held at bay by work, not handouts.

        • twenty-niner

          “A zebra does not change its spots.”

          -Al Gore

          I won’t be attending any lectures to hear this imbecile anytime soon.

      • Dave in CT

        Can’t we all have it all?

        We love to hate the Kochs, but everyone loves the billionare socialist who made his $ in the financial vampire world, but expects us all to submit to a centrally-planned system of coercion for our own good.

    • nj

      Yar posted: “Al Gore spoke at a conference I attended in 1992, he said as introductory humor that a billion poor citizens are sad, where as a billion wealthy who consume like Americans are an environmental catastrophe.”

      Now that is funny, coming from multi-millionaire Al-$1,500-per-month-electric-bill-Gore.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Current safety net: jails and prisons. Very costly. Paid for by we the tax payers. Just now, as I hear, actually looking for more convicts to keep the profits flowing. Oh, wait, I guess there are privately run prisons.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I just read that airline travel is 3 to 4 % of global warming, with one jet flight equivalent to a year’s use of a car in the UK (Rough Guide is my source).
    If the rich are to live the way we can consider desirable, what exactly would that be?

    • Gregg

      I don’t know if it’s desirable to be super rich. I don’t aspire to be. If I did I would have become a brain surgeon. I choose to drop out of college and smoke pot instead. The money wasn’t as good. I don’t feel entitled to the money of those who toughed it out.

      What do you think of Algore’s use of private jets and his mega mansion?

    • nj

      How many jet flights do we suppose Al Gore has taken in his life? Oh, but it’s so he can tell audiences that they should cut their carbon emissions, so he gets a pass.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I’ve been thinking a lot about this actually. I feel a little amused at his
        four houses, thinking what kind of obsession does he have; I can spend
        acquisitive hours trying to plan out how to acquire this or that which will
        make me more secure this way or that, give me more time to work, more time
        better spent, etc., and it is my great achievement that I have a society
        that allows me the wherewithal to select and the possibilities for purchase
        to help me in that enterprise. So I try to imagine Al Gore, zeroing in on
        house number four, to somehow enhance the ability to live out his life in
        the best possible way. I don’t doubt his objectives, but whoever said he
        seems to get hooked on food, maybe he’s hooked on house-hunting — I try to
        imagine it. The jet flights to promote his understanding of climate science
        are another thing. I am supposing there are people who take jet flights not
        realizing it is like another car’s worth of CO2, just thinking my family
        lives out yonder, what do you expect me to do; or my job requires this, what
        do you expect me to do. Who designed this country for jet-set people?

  • Ellen Dibble

    But if I needed a moment of being treated humanely (which I actually do, frequently), would I look for that from Bill Gates? Nope. I would walk down the street. Zillions of humane people, waiting for a chance to test out their interactivity. If I met someone with an outsized bank account, I’m not sure I would extend them the same opportunity. I would fake it though.

  • Ellen Dibble

    America is mostly about underdogs, about transcending difficulties and solving problems.
    Our superrich, many of them, have done just that. But there are ways of transcending difficulties and solving problems that get you no wealth whatsoever, or just enough to get by.
    Someone must have seen a big advantage to blowing up the idea that it’s not enough for an underdog to get on top. One has to be fabulously wealthy to be truly successful. Wealthy to have your own lobbyist.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VDH4GYJMIUFU373W3XUQVD2V4E Patrick

    As long as Tom does his best Robin Leach

  • Alan Shulman, NH

    Perhaps Al Gore is a little like the person who knows he/she shouldn’t drink/eat so much or smoke at all but can’t seem to stop. The message is still valid, even if the messenger can’t seem to follow the advice of the message

    • Gregg

      A “valid” message built on lies that has made him millions.

  • Alan Shulman, NH

    I’m guessing some of that anxiety and isolation the super rich are said to be experiencing is due to how their wealth was acquired; perhaps a version of the tell-tale heart in operation here.

  • Bruce Guindon

    This may prove to be a bad time to be rich or to be conceived to be rich the power of the world is shifting it has the feel of global revolution, the poor have seen that it is better to die in the pursuit of freedom than beg for enough to feed their children. every time the cost of oil rises and food costs become harder to maintain there is a chance that another fighter joins the ranks against the established hierarchies and lets not forget that we are also in the midst of a potable water shortage and ask yourself if you were thirsty all the time would you not act to change that situation in a less than hospitable manner

  • Cory

    1. Aah yes, Al Gore… Ultimate scapegoat strawman for conservatives. If he flips a lightswitch, he is a hypocrite. He must live in Ted Kaczyinski’s cabin or all his arguments are invalid. Brilliant.

    2. Mother Theresa/ Catholic bashing on a show about the super rich. Brilliant.

    3. The posts by conservatives seem to be more insufferable with each passing day. Are my sensibilities changing, or are they just getting more callous and ignorant?

  • Peter Harris

    My two cents, I think W.E.B. DuBois said it best: “There is something radically wrong with an industrial system that turns out simultaneously paupers and millionaires and sets a world starving because it has too much food.”

    • Tina

      Long-live the Social-Democracies of the Scandinavian countries! May we FINALLY use that same form of government/capitalism instead of our own!!

  • twenty-niner

    In my view the growing disparity in wealth is primarily attributable to two factors:

    One, global labor arbitrage – the ability to employ cheap labor off shore at a significant discount to prevailing US wages, which also get pressured downward.

    And two, financial capitalism where finance is no longer used as a means to some productive end, it becomes the end itself. The actions taken in recent years by the fed and our government to save the financial system instead of transforming it will only re-enforce this trend.

    Taxes, in my view, also factor into this disparity but only secondarily to the first two trends.

  • David

    The criminal rich are preparing for the meltdown their crimes are causing:
    Sales of luxe doomsday bunkers up 1,000%
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) March 26, 2011
    http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/22/real_estate/doomsday_bunkers/index.htm
    are you?

  • g, Buffalo, NY

    Whats interesting is that there are 10 times more comments on this thread than on the one preceding it, about women filing class action suit against Wall Mart.

    • David

      That’s because it was not a strong case which is why it probably got as far as it did. So it could be settled law that women are paid less.

      The bought and paid for government does not want to see any kind of gender pay parity as witnessed when they stopped a law from being passed last year that would require that.

  • Geri

    Why are you wasting time on the WalMart issue – there is no way the Court will allow this to proceed as reinforced by your 1st commentator. Let’s get on to some relevant issues! STOP WASTING OUR TIME!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I predict the Court will rule in favor of Walmart based on the Lilly Ledbetter decision.

  • Dave in CT

    This should be quite an hour.

    Maybe there is irony here, but I almost can’t believe On Point is running a show that seems to drum up sympathy for the wealthy, at a time when we are so disgusted with the corruption of our economy by many of the wealthy, be they CEOs, hedge fund vampires, or well-rewarded public employees getting time and a half retirement packages.

    Too often they are standing in the way of leveling the playing field via the rule of law and enforced accountability and unlocking the wealth from our State Capitalism cronies of all stripes, for the rest of us to engage with in a truly organic, free and fair market.

    • g, Buffalo, NY

      I don’t think that onpoint has taken a positive position in regards tot he wealthy. Tom didn’t say “lets talk about the poor wealthy people”.

      Maybe he wants to show the rest of us, the “poor” folk, that just because someone has more money, it doesn’t make them any happier than the rest of us, and that with more money comes more headaches and more issues. :)

      I don’t feel bad or good about the wealthy. I just don’t feel anything about them. They just ARE and so am I.

      • Dave in CT

        If people get wealthy through good ideas and/or hard work, great, they just “are”. If they do it through corrupting our government and gaming the system, leeching off the honest work and good effort intentions of the majority, they are ignored at our own peril.

        • g, Buffalo, NY

          I doubt that Tom would go into HOW the rich got RICH.
          I think he will be talking about their current lives – while already rich.

          Well, maybe we should put you in charge of determining who should get wealthy and how.
          As long as there is only 15% and 5% tax on investments and 25% and 35% tax on INCOME … nothing is bound the change.
          That’s how the rich keep getting richer and poor keep getting poorer.

          I would like to hear a show about the 250K split that now separates the “rich” from the “rest of us” and why it is 250K and not 300K or 150K or 1M…

          • Dave in CT

            “Well, maybe we should put you in charge of determining who should get wealthy and how.”

            It shouldn’t be up to me or any other individual. We should have legal framework that we are all equally bound by, to protect us from our worst human aggressions and tendencies, but that otherwise leaves us free to pursue honest wealth and happiness.

            I’m not going to argue about your tax comments.

            I support a flat tax for most of us up to some obviously large wealth level, followed after that by a progressive rate. I would prefer the revenues, after funding a limited government that enforces the rule of law, “recycles” the money directly back to the majority of the population, for them to decide how to use in a free economy.

  • Dave in CT

    A large, one-time, claw-back tax covering the corrupt financial sector era of the recent bubble build-up years, refunding billions back to the “regular” people who suffer for the corruption and ponzi schemes and bloated salaries of non-productive finanical sector, should help to assuage their guilt and self-loathing.

    Glad to be of service.

    • Jim in Omaha

      And the Market will do that, right? Or do you have some other mechanism in mind?

      • Dave in CT

        In all my writings I never say that the market is the only force at play. Preceding the market is the Rule of Law. Laws are proposed by us, via our representatives, and passed, and then need to be enforced. Of course I call for laws that simply create a level playing field for all, not picking winners and losers, trying to engineer outcomes. I prefer individuals to vote with their $ and their actions, to create outcomes organically, not via central planning and coercion.

        As the Rule of Law with regards to financial sector shennanigans and political enablers has been so poor, I am open to the people using their power to push for legislation, to punish the malefactors, hence the clawback notion.

        Of course WE, through self-government, create the laws that form the Rule of Law. I just think those laws normally should establish basic protections to our lives and property from harm or fraud, and simply establish the boundaries within which we can otherwise make free choices and live with the consequences.

        Free Markets do not and have never meant Lawless markets to honest libertarians, perhaps anarchists, but not Rule of Law libertarians. Classic Red Herring.

        Mainly its about keeping decision making at the local and individual level, where people have the best judgement about what is right for them, not a top-down centrally directed society where elites know what is best for us all, and coerce us into following their plan, using collusion between big government and Corporate cronyism and corporate welfare to engineer it.

      • Dave in CT

        In all my writings I never say that the market is the only force at play. Preceding the market is the Rule of Law. Laws are proposed by us, via our representatives, and passed, and then need to be enforced. Of course I call for laws that simply create a level playing field for all, not picking winners and losers, trying to engineer outcomes. I prefer individuals to vote with their $ and their actions, to create outcomes organically, not via central planning and coercion.

        As the Rule of Law with regards to financial sector shennanigans and political enablers has been so poor, I am open to the people using their power to push for legislation, to punish the malefactors, hence the clawback notion.

        Of course WE, through self-government, create the laws that form the Rule of Law. I just think those laws normally should establish basic protections to our lives and property from harm or fraud, and simply establish the boundaries within which we can otherwise make free choices and live with the consequences.

        Free Markets do not and have never meant Lawless markets to honest libertarians, perhaps anarchists, but not Rule of Law libertarians. Classic Red Herring.

        Mainly its about keeping decision making at the local and individual level, where people have the best judgement about what is right for them, not a top-down centrally directed society where elites know what is best for us all, and coerce us into following their plan, using collusion between big government and Corporate cronyism and corporate welfare to engineer it.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

    “But many still worry – obsess – about money. And about alienation, isolation, purpose in life… when they don’t have to do anything. ”

    Tears streaming, body shaking … sniffle…sniffle … I reaching …sniffle … sniffle for the sniffle … box of Kleenex.

    • g, Buffalo, NY

      Well, I think you are rich, if you can afford a brand name box of tissues, unlike some us, have to resort to Target brand box of tissues. :)
      Joking.

      • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

        … from Walmart. Now you shop at Target. ;-)

  • Henry

    I always found it telling that in traditional tellings of his life story, the Buddha came from a world of wealth and luxury, one which did not make him happy in the end. Fortunately for the rest of us, there are many other paths to follow and, perhaps, many ways to get there.
    In purely material terms, most of us are rich when compared to someone else in this world. Ask anyone who makes a comfortable living in the USA and they will tell you that they don’t think of themselves as wealthy. Perhaps this is because there is always someone richer than us (like these billionaires), or because wherever we are in our lives, we somehow manage to get bills and costs that seem commensurate with our incomes, if not moreso.

  • BHA in Vermont

    If having too much money is stressful, I can’t feel too sorry. Aren’t these the same people who think paying another few percent in taxes is unfair?

    The only reason they are living in isolation (with the other isolated super rich) and lacking a purpose in life is because they put themselves there. Whether they inherited it or worked for it, they don’t HAVE to keep up with the other rich people in terms of houses, toys, parties. They CHOOSE to do that. Go find a regular size house, hang out in the parks or at the library or the beach. Volunteer somewhere, leave the $1,000 clothes at home (don’t even buy them!).
    Money can’t buy happiness, no matter how much stuff you buy trying.

    If no one you interact with knows you are super rich, because you don’t act like you can buy anyone you like, you will be neither alienated nor isolated. I don’t know any super-rich (at least I don’t think I do) but I do know that the average person worth $1 million or more live a WHOLE lot more like the ‘guy/gal next door’ than the people we are talking about here.

  • Constance

    Your show is just coming on so the discussion hasn’t happened yet BUT as a recently retired teacher struggling to be a self employed consultant this is a discussion that makes me crazy. They may have issues but they don’t have to worry about mortage payments, car payments, necessary improvements of the house and TAXES (property and income). There are just too many of us worrying daily to be concerned about the super rich. I watch “mega mansions being build in my area and want to ask, “Who are these people?”
    Connie in Vermont

  • TerryTreeTree

    LET US ALL CRY FOR THE POOR RICH!! Everybody that works for wages, that has helped them become rich, and then had them turn on the wage-earners in vicious ways, where’s your sympathy and empathy. Having wealth, and whining about no sense of value, shows that they have no sense. There is so much that they could do in a positive manner. WHERE ARE THE JOBS? The rich got ten years of tax cuts “to create JOBS” WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

  • g, Buffalo, NY

    Darn it! he just killed MY interest.
    Rich AND philanthropic!

  • BHA in Vermont

    With regard to Tom’s comment about people buying lottery tickets. I suspect that most of them aren’t hoping to be super rich, just have the means to no longer worry about paying the rent/mortgage, putting food on the table or how to get the kids through college.

    • Dave in CT

      “just have the means to no longer worry about paying the rent/mortgage, putting food on the table or how to get the kids through college.”

      Isn’t this precisely our collective problem? We think we shouldn’t/don’t have to worry about those things? I’m all for holding the rich accountable if they game the system, and I do think much of our economy is a corrupt ponzi scheme, on the back of colonial exploitation and environmental pillage for short term gain, but that doesn’t mean I think we are all entitled to a free lunch, or that we are not still all animals that need to work to find food and build shelters, and that in fact it is in our very nature to derive deep satisfaction from that effort.

      Precisely the effort that is likely lacking in the wealthy under discussion, hence the Kleenex moments.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Who thinks “we shouldn’t have to worry about those things” (rent/mortgage, food, education — health care)?
        Worrying about those things is the tie that binds us all together. My opinion.

        • Dave in CT

          was a reply to BHA, not that he necessarily thinks that…

          “With regard to Tom’s comment about people buying lottery tickets. I suspect that most of them aren’t hoping to be super rich, just have the means to no longer worry about paying the rent/mortgage, putting food on the table or how to get the kids through college.”

          I agree about the satisfaction, likely instinctual and rewarded by brain reward pathways, about working elementally or tangibly, as I mentioned, toward the security of ones self and family.

      • BHA in Vermont

        Certainly but the average lottery winner isn’t going to end up with $25M. I’m not saying most lottery players hope to sit on a yacht with servants the rest of their life.

        If you look at the last unexpected medical bill and have to try to figure out to pay it and all the other bills, a winning lottery ticket looks pretty good. I could very well be wrong, but I think the impetus to buy the lottery ticket is to take the worry off the day to day money concerns, not to live like the super rich.

        • Dave in CT

          I certainly sympathize with that….

    • Stanclauss

      If that’s what the most want, they should buy GE stock rather than lottery tickets. They would be far likelier to achieve their goal.

  • Anonymous

    Allow me to propose a solution to the problems of the wealthy: Give the money away. If you have so much that you can afford to hire a counselor to talk about why your life is meaningless, you have far more money than sense.

    At this point, I have to take a break from writing, so as to avoid using language that would get me banned.

    Greg Camp
    Springdale, AR
    http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/

  • Anonymous

    “The research was supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation and Wells Fargo.” — I’m sure this will be objective.

  • Catherine

    As a non-for-profit scientist, we are doing research that is HEAVILY dependent upon charitable donations by the super rich to uncover therapies for patients with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder, often because they have family members with the disease. Companies won’t do it because it’s too expensive. I for one am very thankful for the generosity of many of the “super rich” in helping areas of society which would otherwise go undeveloped.

  • Anonymous

    The problem isn’t that the rich aren’t good parents. The problem is that they have taken much much more than their fair share of resources.

  • g, Buffalo, NY

    33M net worth – is simply unimaginable to me.

    If I had that much money, I would share.

    Making only a tiniest percentage of that amount, I still share. I donate and volunteer, just not as much as they can.

  • Ellen Dibble

    How does “choice” offer me more for my children if I have 25 million as opposed to 1 million?
    It seems to me if wealth of 25 million offers the benefit of choice, in re offspring, then those choices can also be offered at far less.

  • g, Buffalo, NY

    Why is there still hunger in the world?
    When so many super rich are so philanthropic?
    Why are there still inequality in the world?
    Why won’t they just BUY our government officials and enforce their philanthropic believes through them?! :)

    • BHA in Vermont

      They do buy the government officials, so they can get even more breaks because they are over taxed.

  • Love of Money

    Poor rich folks.

    MATTHEW
    http://bible.cc/matthew/19-24.htm

    Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone has problems. What set of problems would you like to have? Struggles to get healthcare, good food, sufficient housing, etc. or worrying whether your date likes you or just your money?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Is he dating me because my family has $45 million?
    Wouldn’t the same issue come up if my family has $2 million?
    I mean, if it’s isolating to be rejecting people because they are attracted to money, not to me; isn’t it isolating just the verso, that my family has $20 thousand and everybody knows it?

  • Dubado

    The more I hear about this study the less it seems it will actually give us any truth. The first problem is taking what people say as being a true indicator of what they will do or have done. The more successful a person is, the more likely it is that they are a genius of self-deception. This has been indicated by the psychology of self-deception, and is truly counter-intuitive. When tested, the most successful people were always the most deluded as to their real motivations. Google it or find the Radio Lab program about lying and listen to the last fifteen minutes. The rich are the most out of touch with reality. Just Fact

    • Squggle3

      Important point. Thanks for reminding me of this. I heard that program years ago and found it so opposed to what I believed that I actually found a copy of the test that was used and gave it to about twenty of my friends. It was true. The more successful in their field the more the deceived themselves. In some instances to an incredible degree. So of all the groups you could have chosen, this one represents those people who are the most self-deceived.

  • Merryj89

    Wealth of money is a wonderful tool that can answer many things. I believe you can become focused on money that your whole life will be consumed by the money. All of the relationships of the rich are limited because they do not have a great deal of liberty. These people live in a type of bubble.

  • Boston mom

    When did it become in vogue to say, what’s mine is mine, I shouldn’t have to care about social issues or tragedy, and then have the nerve to call welfare for people born into a life of poverty “entitlement,” even though they have a fraction of the choices of someone with money?

    My feeling is, if many of them (but not all) shared instead of hoarded, they’d feel better. Acting with a social conscious might really help them feel less isolated.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I’ve learned that “conservative” means something like hoarding, a turn toward the past, backward (leftward on your screen), and is the result, to my mind, of fear. It results from the idea that if I weren’t here already, me and mine might not get a fair shot at it again. To that extent, the rich are least likely to guide with assurance into the future.
      I don’t look to them for that.

  • g, Buffalo, NY

    I for one, applaud the responsible super rich and them teaching their children to be responsible with their wealth and resources.
    I think it’s a good thing.

    I would be so happy if my child could choose a career that helped others and he could do that without having to worry to provide for himself and worry about the basic needs.

    Once the basic needs are taken care of, people tend to concentrate on their spiritual and emotional needs and their minds.
    And if you were raised right, you would worry about how much GOOD you can do in the world and other’s lives.

    • Dave in CT

      “I would be so happy if my child could choose a career that helped others and he could do that without having to worry to provide for himself and worry about the basic needs.”

      I think alot of those careers are not sustainable. Its nice to imagine we could get paid to do good, but I really doubt it is based on real productivity.

      I think we have a huge problem of the level of wealth and ease we think we are all entitled to.

      If we were honest about the external costs, the inflation, the financial sector chicanery, we would realize so much of our standard of living we have come to expect is a sham. And I think alot of traditional liberals are very hypocritical about it.

      I return to the homestead concept for keeping it real…..

      I think everyone who wishes we were more socialistic or communistic or entitled to jobs that pay you to “do good” should be required to operate their own self-sufficient homestead for 5-10 years, to come to terms exactly with the concept of “no free lunch”, keeping what you earn, and to understand the link between work and productivity, wants and needs, and the fact that like it or not, we live in a world of scarcity that is only held at bay by work, not handouts.

      • Ellen Dibble

        The American lifestyle may not be sustainable for reasons of climate-provoked disasters, coupled with ensuing wars, migrations, economic national-debt related dislocations.
        At some point, a realistic unhollow lifestyle will visit most of us, and I don’t think we should run away from that.

      • Adele

        The Amish and Mennonites work their own homesteads–but they realize the importance of the community to help out. They raise each others’ barns, look after each others’ children, etc. They also uphold a fairly conservative, line-in-the-sand attitude toward technology. But they are not against “handouts,” when it’s neighbor helping neighbor. If you live in a city or suburb, do you even know all the people on your own block? And where would that homestead land come from these days?

        • Dave in CT

          I am not at all against neighbor helping neighbor and local community efforts. Do they do it because they want to and enjoy helping their neighbors and being helped, or do they do it by coercion?

          That example makes the liberty point, IMO. Humans do want to help their neighbors, and live an honest life. We don’t need big governments and big corporate cronies to convince us we need all the levels of ponzi schemes and bureaucratic jobs they offer up as a complicated central scheme for us to accept in order to have access to a decent life.

          Where the land comes from to live within our means, or issues of rational population level education are important issues, complicated by our subsidized lifestyles and expectations, but thats not a reason not to examine our basic values and vision for a free and decent future.

  • Tina

    The wealthy people in a nearby town, people who live in 8,000 square foot houses, with extra buildings on the property, right on the water (several beautiful water sources) just sued their town to lower their real estate tax bases. They bullied town employees at public meetings about this matter, swearing swear words at public meetings, while wearing their tassled loafers, if they were men, or tossing their plastic surgeried heads if they were female. It was quite something.

    • Curious

      Where was this? Greenwich, CT?

    • Adele

      But they let everybody use “their” beach, right?

  • Owen

    Fitzgerald: The rich are different than you and me.
    Hemingway: Yes, they have more money.

  • Disgusted With Human

    Proportional Philanthropy.

    Most average people give proportionally more of themselves than a rich person.

    Example:
    $100K in the bank, gives away $1000 dollars. Nobody gives you a medal.

    $100 millionaire gives away $1Mil, and they get a banquet, a press conference, and people kissing their asses. Their kids are garaunteed entrance to their alma mater, and a building is built in their honor.

    Proportionally, they are the same. Subjectively however, each dollar is actually “worth more” to the poorer person.

    • Cory

      I love the name you’ve posted under!

  • Gregg

    I just think it odd that the conventional wisdom seems to be all rich people got their money nefariously, do no good to society, prey on the poor, don’t “need” what they’ve earned and are not entitled to it. Why all the hate?

    • Dave in CT

      A good point. All the more reason to thoroughly punish those who do game the system. If we all knew that people were accountable to corruption and fraud and evasion, there would be much less vitriol against wealth in general. We aren’t there yet.

      • Boston mom

        Even worse, as Tom’s show on GE taxes reiterated yesterday, the powerfully wealthy have been able to influence laws to make what they do legal. I agree, Dave in CT, and take it one step further to say we would have to restructure our lobbying system and campaign finance structure to preserve actual democracy instead of both parties caving to pressure from the wealthy. But if anybody mentions regulation — or actual fear over abolishing laws formed after the Great Depression to prevent another one from occurring — or someone even mentions more equitable distribution, we hear cries of socialism, fear-mongoring over revocation of liberty.

        I think the point of this program, or at least what I’m taking from it, is that more equity doesn’t ONLY behoove the people who have less, it also benefits people who have the most.

    • Boston mom

      Because of what happened in Tina’s nearby town, Gregg.

      A lot of money is being made by people lobbying for laws to keep all their money, deregulate so they can keep growing (thus, becoming too big to fail), and disassemble the middle class. Wasn’t it the CEO of JP Morgan who was reported saying and laughing (second hand) to regulators: “We can’t control our greed. You should regulate us more.”

      You’re right, it’s not fair to extend this stereotype to all wealthy people. But there is inequity in distribution now, and we are living in a plutocratic system at this point. When people are struggling, and unable to affect democratic change, it is frustrating.

  • Anonymous

    Not hate. We just can’t feel sorry for the rich.

    • g, Buffalo, NY

      Elizabeth Edwards had cancer and lost a child.
      She was significantly more wealthy than me, or you I would guess.

      Did you not feel sad for her struggles?
      I did.

      Just an example.

      • A.H.

        Her struggles were common struggles, thus are readily empathized by all, especially those who have suffered from debilitating illness and the loss of a child.
        However, her wealth provided options that were not available to poor or middle class people; such as lack or diminished stress about the mortgage, paying for gasoline to and from work, paying for groceries, paying for medicine, paying for clothing for her children, etc. She was very aware of her wealthy status and made a conscious effort not to let it diminish her own wonderful empathy and understanding of others, regardless of their income.

        People find issue with wealthy people who do feel superior due, at least, to their purchases and income, and have disregarded the contributions of others to their financial success. The pain and suffering of these people is more difficult to empathize with because they consistently deny our shared and equal humanity.

  • Jacob Stanish

    We are trying to equate the brevity of human life and the fairness of that existence. These two objects, while related, are irreconcilable. It is reasonable that the super-rich will care about their children just as it is the poor will theirs. The caring and desire of the wealthy cannot mask their purposeful over consumption and general desire to maintain their lifestyle. If quality of life is in essence a large pie, we can only each get so much of it. The wealthy would like you to have a little pie(empathy) but that giant blueberry or strawberry(the yacht or BMW) is theirs. Period.

  • patk

    I have jusy heard the topic for today’s show and I am appalled that On Point would consider airing this show. My local NPR station is doing a fundraiser this week and I just got out my credit card to contribute to the cause. Tom, you just changed my mind….If you want my money or my ear you had better start talking to people who matter to me: those with no healthcare, the unemployed, the homeless. Has anyone written a book about those people? If NPR doesn’t broadcast their plight, who will? I have turned the show off. I am heartened however, by the emails that I have read so far. The compassion and common sense of the listeners show a sensitivity far above that of the On Point producers.

    • Boston mom

      It seems the tacit point might be: there is a more equitable distribution than the system we currently are experiencing in America, PatK, and it would actually benefit both the extremely wealthy as well as people who are unemployed, living below the poverty level and the homeless, to see more equity. Perhaps it is even a call on the very wealthy to feel more responsibility to help distribute the wealth that we are always hearing they are amassing and keeping.

  • Ellen Dibble

    People can get very nervous about being less rich even with what I consider enough reserves for a few generations. Ask the divorce lawyers. People can feel helpless with “piles of money.” The threats are there. Somebody could break their neck and require a lifetime of nursing care. Somebody could end up being treated like a common person, whereas I’ve been acting like the Queen of Sheba for the last decade. How can I do that?

  • TerryTreeTree

    THEY COULD DO SO MUCH GOOD FOR THE WORLD, and choose to do so much BAD. NO, I’m not advocating giving it away to those that won’t work!! There are many ways that people with money and other power could IMPROVE THE WORLD. Instead, they WHINE about poor little them. If they really need direction on how to do this, I’ll gladly teach them, FOR NO PAY!! They have the money, they can find me, if they really want. They would have to keep in mind that I work for a living, am a Volunteer Fire Fighter, Volunteer Rescue Squad member, have donated TEN GALLONS of my blood, and have helped a lot of people, without wealth, and cannot dedicate all of my time to helping one or two poor rich people.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, please. Money provides the basic needs of life. Beyond that, any excess just magnifies who each person is. If you’re a good person, you’ll be so on a higher level. If you’re mean, selfish, or wicked, that will show.

  • Anonymous

    My point is that I don’t feel sorry for the rich being rich. Her suffering wasn’t caused by her wealth. Yes, I do feel for a mother who loses her child and a woman who is dying of cancer. I don’t feel any sorrow for a rich person who claims to have an empty life.

    • g, Buffalo, NY

      Thank you, I just thought you should clarify. :)

      So Tom, are there any rich in this study who claim to have an empty life and say that they are suffering (from their wealth)?

  • ORIGINAL NAME 37

    I’ve heard the complaint “Do they really like me for ME or for my MONEY?” before. If you’re so worried about that, why does everyone know how rich you are? Why can’t you keep your mouth shut, buy a NORMAL house and a NORMAL car and be secretly rich?

  • Ellen Dibble

    “When you have that much choice,” the guest says there it makes a difference. He suggests it is a positive benefit.
    I doubt it. I think there is such a thing as too much choice. The world is too complicated. You think you made a choice that is good for you, for your children, your world, and lo and behold, you’d need 35,000 highly educated advisors to get you to where you make the choice you would have made had you known better.

  • Andrew

    I’m two paychecks away from living on the street. If I didn’t have to worry about money, I could take the time to work at getting a job I want and love, instead of struggling to make ends meet at a job I hate but NEED.

  • Calden3

    I am not super-wealthy, but have never had to worry about the bigger picture and the future. I wish I had had to strive and persevere more – the times in my life I have were much more rewarding and focused and clear. Having money does not necessarily solve anything, and it can be a curse.

    • TheRealOne(really)

      That’s because you don’t know what human life is for, or its real potential, and you don’t think that anyone else does either. If you had once in your life had an experience of a higher-dimension of consciousness you could never make such a statement again. So obviously, real enlightenment is not for sale for love or money, and it is the most feared thing by the power-elite, because it casts them with their real inner significance.

    • Adele

      Go find a food bank or soup kitchen. They need you NOW.

    • Irene

      I’d like to experience that “curse” and so would many others.

  • Wondering Out Loud

    It seems to me whenever the subject of wealth comes up the sorest of topics is the perception of “fairness.” Most people believe that the super wealthy cheated to get their and continue to cheat to hold onto their wealth. To me this is the real heart of the discussion.

    • FatalJoy

      Yep, that is certainly true in my case. If I had loads of money almost nothing would change in my life. I find the rich thing superficial in the extreme. They like to think they are hated because of envy, but I think it is more because of a disdain for what they have made of being human. And of course their sycophantic entourages suck all the air out of a room, which suckus in extremeus. The only manner in which I actually do feel sorry for them is because of the people they are surrounded by.

  • Ellen Dibble

    If we could persuade Joe the Plumber that it is NOT the objective of every American’s life, and dream of all the voting public, to be super rich, we would have a much better nation. If he were a millionaire, would he be a better American? A happier American?
    Statistics show that happiness levels off about $60,000.

    • Adele

      If you have good health insurance for your family. And a roof over your head.

  • Anonymous

    I’d be glad to help you with that problem. Send me your money, and then you’ll have to strive more.

    Seriously, you can’t see how having money solves problems?

  • Shellburnet

    I have an idea…why don’t the super rich lobby to pay more taxes and take some of the burden off the middle and working classes??????

    • LevelHearted

      There is no need to lobby. They can pay as much extra taxes as they want to. I don’t see any lines of them waiting to throw in with us; rather the subversion of Congress and the Court to further their own ends, which do not include paying a fair share let alone more.

  • Tina

    They are not paying their fair share! They are also privileged to take advantage of the advantages of corporate unfairness. Regular people pay far more. For instance, a Big Box store gets a tax break to come into your town. It puts the little stores out of business; while the shareholders of the company get a profit from the Big Box store that is based on the town’s generous tax break. This country is in real, real, moral trouble! Almost EVERYTHING is on BACKWARDS!

  • Anonymous

    A few rich people throwing crumbs to the inner city doesn’t make up for decades of stealing the wealth of America’s middle class.

  • Malcolm

    Cry me a river. I’d take rich man’s problems every time over the problems I face with my lot in life. Figuring out how to make ends meet, trying to get a full time job (I’ve been marginally employed almost 2 years now), scrimping and saving to ensure I can afford a place to live. This discussion makes me feel like my head is going to explode.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Have you ever tried a totally empty life? The walls might as well be a prison. Who creates this? You did. So they say. But it still feels like a dizzying nothingness, inexplicable, exploding with disorganized confusion. I think I know what can happen when the emotional drivers that evolution has given us get short-circuited. Where is the Freudian counterpart for ego, id, and superego when you get to $25 million? It doesn’t exist.

  • Ellen Dibble

    A strategic inheritance of $30,000 can totally redeem certain lives, relaunch them, recover health seriously compromised by the kinds of environmental sufferings the poor have no choices about.
    So how come those who could best benefit usually don’t get that inheritance?

  • Anonymous

    Oh let us all cry for the wealthy. Has no one been divorced while in poverty? Have no poor people ever had to worry about what will happen to their families?

    • Donna

      I am one who had to use a legal clinic lawyer in divorce. I have paid for it in the long run with a greatly reduced retirement benefit, single mothering two children with a pittance for support, etc. I have a hard time feeling sorry for someone who has had to pay out $40,000.month in alimony. It is still only a percentage of what that spouse can afford to pay.

  • Anonymous

    Oh let us all cry for the wealthy. Has no one been divorced while in poverty? Have no poor people ever had to worry about what will happen to their families?

  • Adele

    I’m sure sudden huge wealth can throw you for a loop. I’ll never know. But for thoughs who want to do good with their windfalls, here’s a good article, by the founders of “More than Money” newsletter from The Impact Project. http://www.socialfunds.com/education/article.cgi?sfArticleId=8

    • Adele

      sorry for the auditory spelling. For THOSE who want to do good . . .

  • Mary

    I’m upset by inequality in healthcare, emergency care, long term care. If you are rich or famous, you will be sure to have coverage. If an “average” person is shot in America, does he/she get treated the same way?

  • Sam

    I’m sure most of the very wealthy are hard-working, prudent, and have made many sacrifices to enjoy their rewards.

    What’s a bit bizarre in this conversation, are that pressing issues — the disparities in wages, job security, and opportunity between those at the top and bottom of the wealth ladder — are not being addressed.

    It’s great that the wealthy are ‘just like us.’ It’s a pity, however, that their concern, perhaps ‘just like us’, doesn’t extend to the social ills which they, by and large, are unaffected by.

  • Mary

    One way to have the rich keep those family values in line is through a reality check-in our society. For example, have the children help in a local food bank, soup kitchen or thrift store. Sing up for mission work – no better way to connect with the lives of everyone else.

  • Anonymous

    I hereby volunteer to endure the problems of the rich.

  • Ed Walker

    I’m sure the richest 15000 Americans are perfectly delightful individuals, good conversationalists at parties and at high end resort restaurants and beaches. What else would you expect from people who have nothing to fear.

    As a group, they refuse to pay taxes, either directly or through the corporations they control. They give massively to politicians who will support their efforts to avoid taxes. As revenues decline, the quality of government declines. The result is a coarse and ugly society.

    Who cares if they are nice to their servants?

    • Anonymous

      Some call their ilk the “builderbergers” or historical financiers of Europe who now include self-made billionaires here in the USA and all over the world. They are the “oligarchy” that owns our politicians and dictate every thing the Presidents have said and done since the Kennedy assassination (Eisenhower said beware of the corporate industrial-military complex, meaning the oligarchy that murdered JFK and took over Washington through Johnson and all subsequent Presidents). OK, Ed, I did a little reading between the lines but i think we’re on the same page; i just gave more detail about how we got here.

      • Dave in CT

        Enjoy!

        http://www.endgamethemovie.com/

        Perhaps, perhaps too conspiratorial, but many ideas and situations worthy of contemplation.

        • Dave in CT

          Again, dump the birther nonsense, but some bigger ideas in there perhaps….

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

          Starts with images of Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, as those opposing the trajectory.

          Sure have a grain of salt ready, but some issues to think about.

  • Omeomy

    Just wondering if there was any ethnicity taken into account on the survey? As an African American growing up in predominantly white social, education, and employment circumstances I would say that racial biases cannot hold a candle to the virulence and vitriol I have witnessed within the white community commonly expressed towards rich whites from whites who are not.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I traveled to Berlin in August 1989, just before the Wall came down, and I read in the papers that so-and-so had just won the lottery, and also, so-and-so had turned up murdered in such-and-such a city nearby. Attitudes to those whose wealth is not obviously connected to actually proportionally earning it? Hmm.

  • FreeFillBill

    Where is Pancake Rankin when we need her? Oh, I forgot, she doesn’t post here anymore because of the repeated censure of her excellent posts.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I’ve been wondering too. She definitely tested the limits the way a 2-year-old does, and thus went over them from time to time. But Pancake might have had specific objectives here. I can’t tell. When someone goes missing, sometimes I think they got what they needed and moved on, fortified. Hopefully, she’s arguing our cases for us somewhere.

      • Fredlinskip

        Seen her comments on recent DR shows (Diane Rheem)

  • bbartel-Providence

    As a friend of mine once told me, “Money can’t buy happiness, but you can park your yacht right up against it!”

    Who cares about the “super-rich” other than the 10,000 super-rich?

    Tom, Move on to something we care about.

  • Anonymous

    And how much wealth do the top three percent possess?

  • Anonymous

    So their tax deductible and publicized philanthropy to Katrina relief makes up for their advocacy for tax cuts which underfunded infrastructure and emergency preparedness.

  • Adele

    I’ve worked as a fundraiser for charities, too. Studies show (see the Chronicle of Philanthropy studies, via Independent Sector) that the super wealthy tend to fund the fancy museums, symphony orchestras, and private colleges and hospitals that they and their families and friends enjoy using. They are FAR less likely to fund social service organizations (drug rehab programs). Lots want that plaque on the wall or that name on the building that shows off how great they are.

  • Webb Nichols

    Consider providing balance and a program on the Poor and those who are at the bottom and what they need to do to survive.

  • Cris

    When you see the extravagant purchases of the super-wealthy, like how much they spend on parties or their pets, and you think about poverty and desperation existing in the world, it is hard to understand why they don’t just cancel their party and spend the money saved on building a school or feeding pregnant women in Sub-Saharan Africa. In order to justify extravagant lifestyles, I think the super-rich wear serious blinders to the conditions of the rest of humanity.

    • David

      Recently an Indian billionaire, Lakshmi Mittal, spent $60 million dollars on his daughter’s wedding in Paris.

      http://www.myjourneytobillionaireclub.com/2010/01/lakshmi-mittal-daughter-wedding.html

      I want to throw up hearing that.

      • Anonymous

        And here i was thinking a $6,000 wedding was extravagant. Now, i need to go find some teeth, shoes, and clothes without holes. I guess i really am a hillbilly. Oh, wait, i forgot i haven’t had a full time job since 2001 cause the corporate oligarchy shipped our jobs overseas to comply with the papal decree of wealth distribution in Vatican II’s social and economic justice project.

    • Tina

      Cris, altho I agree with you absolutely, I have a friend who is a brilliant artist — I’ll protect his/her identity by not even revealing his/her gender. This artist was trained as an architect, has the license; physically created a brilliant space for a retail store that thrived for years until hints of an Economic downturn suggested, ‘Close the Store’. SO, the artist put together a fabulously creative business, a physical, celebratory business — perfect for parties, which is in fact one end of the marketing scheme. Artists, musicians, theater people, all those talents can suffer when everything is cut to the bare bone or to DIY because of the economy. Again, a safe, balanced social-democratic economic/governmental structure might allow everyone to plan to buy those “extras”; but as it is in the USA, art & music are so often dependent on boom times and booming families with high incomes — we don’t have a steady state environment for our artists, sadly, and they carry talents that a society does need. So, because jobs are so scarce, and because where this artist lives, jobs go to family members first, & this artist is not from the area, all that talent, planning, brilliance & hard work may result in a kind of poverty we don’t talk about in the USA until recently — the well educated person who cannot get hired, in spite of willingness to work at anything. I KNOW that this kind of poverty IS different than entrenched poverty which so often also includes lack of access to good education, etc., so I only bring this up to point out another situation here on the ground; whereas, I hear that the Wall Street firms that got bailed out are doing better than before!

  • Rickbobbi

    we live in a sh_t society where the minimum bonds that have kept the worst depredations of the wealthy/powerful at bay, are gone. This eternal fight has been won unequivocally in the US by the wealthy, for now. The gini index in this society is the worst in the developed world. Jesus, I really can’t believe I’ve spent so much time in this flee bitten crude country

    • Tina

      If it weren’t for loving my family, I would have moved to Scandinavia in the 1970′s, but I loved my family.

  • Matthew, Nashville

    Oh Please. Of course rich people give out lots of money. But If a person earns two million dollars a year…them giving a half million dollars is nice, but not enough. The point is that that person could give away 75% of their money and still live in absolute luxury compared to most of the people on the planet. If they DONT do that, then they have failed in their basic human responsibility.

  • Anonymous

    Those who say that money doesn’t buy happiness usually have plenty of both.

  • Tina

    My brother, who had a high-level spinal cord injury went to work every weekday since he was medically stabilized at a professional job that was, nevertheless, not well paying. He did get health insurance and was extremely grateful for it, as he was for EVERYTHING, including for Being Alive. He tithed 10% of his salary every year that he was alive. He expected me to give a similar amount from his estate once taxes were taken out. I willingly complied & have tried to live up to his standard myself in my donations. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF HIS/HER INCOME DOES THE AVERAGE WEALTHY PERSON DONATE — this is a question; I have no pre-conceived sense of it.

    In the 1980′s, I saw many wealthy people donate money & time to the non-profits where I worked. I don’t know if I would see the same thing today, or would I? I don’t know? WHAT ARE THE STATISTICS FROM THE NON-PROFITS? WHO IS GIVING TO THEM?

    THANKS!

  • Ellen Dibble

    Someone is saying the rich should cut into capital, not just their tax deductible offsets, I suppose. Tom is calling it the dividends.
    Well, the rich use philanthropy to avoid taxes.
    And you know what? If we did not have a national debt threatening our ability to grow our infrastructure into this century, then I would say yes, find your tax deductions.
    But I actually think the government is a pretty good place to give your charity in order to help lots of people — to help us lay claim to a future.
    Or do these families mean to leave for Switzerland or Bali Hai.

  • David

    We DON’T WANT THE LARGESS OF THE CRIMINAL RICH.

    WE WANT ECONOMIC JUSTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • PBear

      Right on Bro,
      It’s like a very wealthy friend of mine said, I think he was quoting someone, “The poor seek justice, but the rich wrote the laws.”

  • BHA in Vermont

    “committed to giving 50% of their wealth to charity”
    Yes, but most of them will give it AFTER they die. I guess they know you can’t take it with you. And the other 50%? What WILL the poor kids do with ONLY 10 or 20 BILLION dollars?

  • Mark

    What does your host make of the increasing concentration of wealth among fewer people of wealth while more people are sliding downwards from the middle class? WHy is it happening now?

    • Grady Lee Howard

      It doesn’t “pay” to ask those sorts of questions.

  • Adele

    The foundations that the super wealthy create are tax shelters. They are required to give away only 5 % of the interest the foundation funds earn. JUST FIVE PERCENT! The rest of the funds are sheltered from taxes. We had a case here in boston where a guy used his foundation to fund his daughter’s fancy wedding. TIghten up these foundation laws!! Require better reporting and monitoring.

    • Anonymous

      Adele, there’s another wedding remark below – a different story. So weddings are pretty important for the upper class – i guess they’re marrying more money!

      • g, Buffalo, NY

        Think about the florists that got paid, the DJ that got a pretty penny for his services, maybe a caterer, the hall rental must have cost a fortune. I mean, 1 wedding probably fed like … maybe 10 rich kids?! Or maybe the wedding coordinator’s kid was finally able to get that BMW he always wanted, instead of some crappy Corolla?! :)

        • Anonymous

          I hope he only got the BMW if he earned it by getting good grades.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Yep, foundations provide employment to “useful idiots.”

  • Dave in CT

    Great point cutting into the capital and driving a Corolla….

    Not gonna happen….

    % of what they have is the truth.

    Easy to give big raw numbers when you have huge raw numbers. Giving in terms of %, and to levels that impact any semblance of “feeling it” are what matters.

    Big progressive taxation at a large wealth level, after a flat tax for the mere mortal levels. Give proceeds directly back to the rest of the people. Financial Recycling. No big government required, no utopian government plans to “fix” whats wrong. Basic fairness and composting if you will within a closed system of free choices and consequences.

    • Anonymous

      Touche’ Dave. That caller who said they should dig into capital instead of just annual growth income and have the son drive a Corolla was right on, dog. The wealthy corporate boards give their members and directors exorbitant incomes, holding back the wages of the employees by fraud (remember Enron?).

  • g, Buffalo, NY

    I wish I could give away 50% of my net worth, but if I did that, I would be living on the street.

    How much would Bill Gates have to give away, for him to live on the street?
    90%? 95%?
    Would he be willing to do that? NOOOOO!!!!…
    I think that’s the point that the caller – Paul, was trying to make.

    • BHA in Vermont

      If Bill gave away 95% he would still be far, FAR from the street. His net worth would be about $2.8 billion. He could give away 99% and still be really REALLY rich with ‘only’ $560 MILLION.

    • at

      You are not even close. As of today, if Bill gave away 99.9% of his wealth he would still have over six million dollars and would probably even be able to afford the rents in Santa Cruz.

      • Freefillbill

        Wait a minute my math is so bad that that may be a low estimate I think it is actually that if he gave away 99.99% of his over 60 billion he would still have over 6 million. Somebody help me out here.

        • g, Buffalo, NY

          There you go, it’s our crappy educational system that made us not smart and all. Like, unable to do simple math. :)
          Lets just call it … a really large number?!

  • TerryTreeTree

    How many of the ‘charitable foundations’ are really positive good, versus a form of lobbying, or perpetuating the position of the wealthy? The Gates challenge to donate half of the wealth of a person upon their death, is a farce. DO SOMETHING GOOD NOW!!! Create jobs, so the people you would give charity to, so far into the future, won’t need it. GET REAL.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Never really do anything, just pay your buddy to study about it.

  • Dana FRanchitto

    THe “inner lives” of the rich? Are you kidding?What a slap in the face to the population of the US many of whom are unemployed or losing their homes.Where’s their “psychological counseling”? Not to mention those who have to compete with rats for a bed along the Charles River at night. So what’s the point of this program?Who paid for it, the Kaufman Foundation? Is this WBUR’s idea of “independent” journalism?Since when should “public” radio be pandering to priviliged classes? forget “on Point” why not just call your program”lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”?

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Robbin Leech

  • JuniorMissA

    Why am I not shocked that both of these philanthropic scholars emanate from Boston College, one of the premiere elitist, socially-exclusive, and old-boys’-club institutions in New England? This story is not about social/economic/cultural research, it’s a bloody PR bid for the wealthy and it leaves a foul, greasy taste in my mouth; I’ll consider the rich as philanthropists when they’re subjected to the same tax laws as the rest of us.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      They should take speech lessons from Thurston Howell III.

    • Anonymous

      JuniorMissA, do you know that Boston College has raised over MILLIONS of dollars a YEAR for low income communities in Boston, Arrupe International trips, Jamaica, Appalachia, Palestine, and more countries all over the world. And you say it’s an elitist, socially exclusive old boys institutions? Then how did people like Earl Edwards and Bryan Leyva get in? It’s professors like Schervish who EDUCATE students on the ills of capitalism. It is professors like him who motivate students like me to march with the unions in WI. But you wouldn’t know that because you are too busy bashing Schervish and BC to actually find out what Boston College has done for the world. I don’t expect you to have learned anything from my comment but just know that because of Professor Schervish students from ALL INCOME LEVELS stand together AGAINST corporate malfeasance.

      P.S He used to be a Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to helping the poor.

  • Donna

    One caller mentioned that he had a “challenging time” getting money out of the very rich. What I find even more disconcerting is that the uber rich seem to want so much to hang on to every dollar that they are willing to put the country’s economy at risk and wipe out the middle class. The latest case of this is the Republican insistence of maintaining the Bush tax cuts that did nothing for the economy and tying it to unemployment benefits. There is no way to excuse this thinking.

    • Mfcarr

      Well said.

      The country tried cutting taxes on the wealthy, and easing up on regulations for corporations throughout the Bush II’s presidency, and the job creation record during that period was anemic.

      And yet Republicans keep insisting that this is exactly what we need to keep doing? Why? Can they explain why what didn’t work under Bush is all of a sudden going to work now?

      Where are the jobs, Boehner?

      • Stanclauss

        We read lots of comments on this post about how the wealthy go about looting the rest of us and by their elite power have made laws to do it legally. What about laws that say “tax the rich and give it here.” I can’t think of a more blatant form of legalized robbery than direct taxes. What do you think?

  • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

    I bought a couple of lottery tickets today. If I win I come back and post my whimpers and frets.

    • BHA in Vermont

      What is the potential pay off?
      Remember that you will pay a lot in taxes.

    • Ellen Dibble

      If my only skill is sycophancy, then I can seek you out and offer my services.

  • a CT listener

    We all want to live in a country where we as individuals have the opportunity to “make it” — to become wealthy through a combination of effort, smarts and risk-taking. But then we vilify those who “make it”, with cries of “tax the rich more” even though they pay most of the taxes already, and we resent them. Sounds hypocritical to me.

    • Adele

      If you’ve got $50K versus $50M, even if the rich person pays 35% vs 28% in taxes, try supporting a family on what’s left after taxes. That’s why the tax structure is unfair. The rich pay more in terms of dollars, but they have way more left to live on, while the poorer person can’t afford the BASICS.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I believe the tax on capital gains (versus income) favors the rich who actually have capital to enjoy gains upon.

        Also there is no FICA (Social Security/Medicare) tax on income from capital gains.

        Also there is income from money loaned out (from savings/investments) for those at the top who have money to do that with, as opposed to those on the other side of the equation, those starting businesses or going to school, who are actually PAYING to borrow the money to do that. Cool. Cool that we have a banking system to enable that. Very cool. But it does mean that those at the top are profiting from their profits, while the scramble up the ladder to doubly tough.

        So it’s not just the difference between the 35% versus 28% tax rate. All sorts of things favor the rich. And if they want to reduce their taxes, they probably use Schedule A, and they can find a way to produce tax deductions. My issue is whether the deductions they find (for an alma mater, for their church, etc.) are really equally as vital to a needy nation as what the federal government can find to put that money towards.

    • Fredlinskip

      Many studies have shown that average American hads much lower chance of moving upwardly out of his parents income bracket.
      This isn’t you’re Daddy’s America.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        So don’t spend your last $25 bucks on “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.”

    • Fredlinskip

      What’s hypocritical is “trickle-down” economics- like maybe some loose change will fall out of their pockets and support us.
      How’bout instead of them hopefully giving to a nice charity, How bout asking them to pay just a little more taxes (or at least eliminate some loopholes)- they’ll still be wealthy. It’s not socialism.
      Upper bracket taxation under Johnson- 77%, Nixon 70%. Eisenhower- 90%.
      Hypocritical is complaining of deficits, then extending tax breaks for wealthy and corps when it’s common knowledge that these folks are already sitting on unprecedented capital- somehow claiming this will increase jobs and “revenue” (even though CBO determined this the least effective way to promote job growth). And then turning around and cutting programs to do with infrastructure (currently ours ranks 27th in world), education, alternative energy, and research: while other countries are making large investments in these same areas; and then wonder, “gee, why do we seem to be losing ground to other nations?”

    • BHA in Vermont

      They pay most of the taxes and they have MORE than most of the money.

      2007 Net worth / Financial wealth
      Top 1% – 34.6% / 42.7%
      Next 19% – 50.5% / 50.3%
      The other 80% – 15.0% / 7.0%

      I think I am safe in saying that the top 20%, who make 59.1% of the money, don’t work all that much harder than the other 80%.

      an analysis of 2008 tax returns for the top 0.2% — that is, those whose income tax returns reported $1,000,000 or more in income — it was found that they received 13% of all income

      Keep in mind that the wealthy make a large percentage of their money from non wage sources. Since the top rate for capital gains is 15%, the top 400 had a tax rate of 20% or less in 2007.

      And you mention risk taking. I offer this related to CEOs vs the average worker:
      “Since the median worker’s pay is about $36,000, then you can quickly calculate that CEOs in general make 100 times as much as the workers, that CEO’s of S&P 500 firms make almost 300 times as much, and that CEOs at the Dow-Jones companies make 550 times as much.”

      And there is NO risk for the CEO, other than maybe the embarrassment of being tossed.
      - They get paid big money if the company does well: due to their ‘leadership’ even if it there is a booming economy when even the most poorly run companies make a lot of money.
      - They get paid less, but still a lot of, big money when the company does poorly: due to their ‘leadership’. The argument being that things would have been MUCH worse if they weren’t such ‘good leaders’ and the problems were due to things outside their control.

      I can argue against this case. I work for one of these big companies but fairly close to the trenches. I have seen more money spent due to the top brass’ bad guess at timing in laying people off then rehiring new people 6 months later and paying OT for training than if they had just paid the people they laid off to read a book instead of work while sales were down.
      - They get paid big money if they get tossed because they refused to take the job without a golden parachute in their contract.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Making it in a crap shoot, or by crime and corner cutting produces a corrupt value system. No one makes it alone and rewards should reflect that truth. If you keep a jackpot attitude you’ll always be unhappy. Recently I made back $1500 on a documentary that cost me $5000 to make. I was happy as Hell. I had finally been rewarded a little for doing a good thing. You need a similar experience in order to see what I mean.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Congratulations.
        If Wall Street is not boosting a fictitious GLH stock, then your success does not rate a blip on the econometer.
        The econometer is due for a re-set.
        It’s great for you to be able to afford to do “a good thing,” but many of us spend our lives trying to get into a position where we can pull our community, however you define it, rather than just try to keep up. A ex-con walks down the street, wife-beater ablaze, bulging biceps flexing, and huge gold bling on the chest. Tries to pick me up. Tells me in my town people don’t understand about getting money without having to work for it.
        Next time I see him, he is on a work detail in an orange jumpsuit. There is such a thing as taking the “grab-what-you-can” attitude too far.

      • at

        I know very well what you mean Grady. By far the vast majority of my time and effort in life went into unpaid volunteer work, that was organized either by myself or others. There were only ever really negative financial returns, except sometimes it allowed us to maintain a meeting place and sometimes a theater. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Tisbea

    Aren’t we talking about trickle down eceonomy when we expect the rich to redistribute their money? Isn’t it trickle down economy that was supposed to work miracles along with the tax breaks? Why then do we fuss if they don’t let enought trickle down?

    • Grady Lee Howard

      A living wage, health care and a safety net works much better than hand-outs. You teach baby birds to flay and forage, you don’t keep regurgitating into big babies. If the government should do anything it should provide a reasonable way to earn a living. The cult of wealth worship stands in the way.

  • Boston mom

    Of course there’s always the obvious point: If money is making these people miserable, they can always just give it all away. A little easier solution than those who don’t have jobs, money, health care.

  • Mfcarr

    And what if the wealthy use their largesse to further their own political beliefs (e.g. the libertarian Koch brothers using their fortune to undercut health care reform via “Americans for Prosperity” and unions via their errand boy Scott Walker) at the expense of the middle and lower classes. Does Paul Schervish have an opinion about that? Is that what he would consider “philanthropy”, or is it self-interest masquerading as philanthropy?

  • TerryTreeTree

    THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO IMPROVE THE WORLD, which gives you a sense of self-worth. QUIT WHINING, look around, research the options of what actually does GOOD, (in terms of Through-put) , then HELP. There are services that rate Through-put of charitable organizations, use them.

  • Hello

    This story is making me ill, lol. Give me a break! You can crunch stats until Sunday and try to feed us, (the regular folk) some nonsense that “the wealthy” are extremely sympathetic to the poor and giving all their wealth away. But let’s just face the facts. You don’t get extreme wealth without greed. It’s simply an impossibility. You cannot maintain one’s status as “wealthy” without keeping your wealth. You wouldn’t BE wealthy if you were so philanthropic. I feel like this story is an INSULT to the rest of us. We know what reality is. Just look around you. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and the middle class is dying. Are we really supposed to believe there is going to be some “renaissance” in the near future where these fat cats are going to change the system and start spreading the wealth? Gimme a break. No one is buying what these surveyors are ‘sellin. Not to mention, surveys, are hardly unbiased. Do we really expect people to be objective about themselves!?!? Isn’t that something of an impossibility? Who’s going to say “well…now that I think about it, I’m a greedy, money-hungry individual.” No. They’re gonna say they care about people and “giving.” *Rolls eyes* Look. I worked at one of the largest firms in the U.S. in the Securities Dept. Ya know what we did every day? Every day? We helped those millionaires funnel their cash overseas. Yep. That’s what we did. We helped them to avoid paying taxes…legally. Finding loopholes. There are ALWAYS loopholes in the law, and some attorneys’ jobs are simply to find those loopholes and use them. And people pay BIG money to have someone do that for them. And we all knew what we were doing – heck, even the attorneys said they were “selling their souls” for their jobs. So please…spare us the insult of claiming the rich are “altruistic.” No one gets rich without throwing people under the bus.

    • anotherBob

      Well generally bravo, but I think there may be some who did get rich without throwing somebody under the bus. They are a rare breed though

  • Weston-roberts

    If the super wealthy are interested in better public education, why are they not giving back 80% of their income in federal and state income taxes? That’s where education funding happens in this country. Once again, it is terribly obvious that they do not want to lose the power, influence and security they currently enjoy. If they want their children to learn empathy, they can easily return to the middle class, or even upper middle class, by giving away the difference between those income levels. Terribly, tragically simple.

  • Anonymous

    The point to point piece is a very interesting study. I applaud Bill & Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet for donating 50% of their resources to charitable causes of the Gates Foundation. As to the remainder of their “reference group” as Bill calls his fellow billionaires (on Charlie Rose’s show) they symbolize the fulfillment of James chapter 5 verse 3 which says treasure will be heaped up in the last days.

  • Irene Schaefer

    This was a program that was insulting to the millions of average people in our nation who struggle daily to make ends meet. Are we supposed to feel sorry for those who don’t know what to do with all of their wealth when so many are suffering. Perhaps if the super-rich cared a little more about others rather than their own immediate families and wealth, they would be happier. I, for one, don’t feel sorry for their problems at all! Irene Schaefer

  • g, Buffalo, NY

    Look at yourselves people!
    You are ready to rip the “super-rich” apart just for them having MORE! You assume and generalize and project your feelings of ‘not having enough’.

    You have no empathy or sympathy for them, just because of their money!

    It just shows the kind of people YOU ARE.

    If I sat down with Bill Gates and he told me he worries about the kind of person his child grew up, I would tell him that I sympathized with him, because that is my concern also. Yes, we have different situations and resources at our disposal, but we are both human and have the same worries and concerns.

    This kind of reaction from onpoint listeners makes me sad.

    • David

      We are being decimated by the actions of these people.

      We are just waking up to fight back for our very survival.

      • g, Buffalo, NY

        Decimated?
        HOW?

        Waking up to fight for your survival?

        Are you serious?
        What drugs are you on?

        If you get seriously sick and there is an experimental drugs that you can take to cure you, most likely that drug was developed with the help and wealth of the super rich.
        There are numerous benefits to the “poor” people from the foundations they set up and contribute to.
        You’re just delusional.
        Good luck on the fight! :)

        • Dfitts

          “There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

          http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmoney/26every.html

        • David

          You’re the delusional one

          30 years of class war by the rich against the populace of this country is destroying the middle class and further impoverishing the poor.

          When 1/3 of the kids in this country are living in poverty that is a failed state.

          When 22+ million people are unemployed or underemployed that is a failed state.

          When the top 2% own 80% of the wealth that is a failed state.

          When 50 million people, 1/6 or the population, have no health insurance, that is a failed state.

          When 40 million people are on food stamps and more everyday that is a failed state.

          I blame it all the criminal rich who have bought the government to write the laws and give them handouts in the trillions.

          • Mfcarr

            Well said.

          • g, Buffalo, NY

            And what CAN and WILL do about that?

          • g, Buffalo, NY

            I am sorry I meant to say, what CAN and WILL YOU do about that?

            Maybe I am delusional. Ignorance is bliss. :)

            Maybe there is a class war, and I just don’t know about it.
            Thank you for opening my eyes. I am forever grateful.

            Maybe the rich DO control our lives and things are the way that they are because that’s how THEY want them to be.

            (Someone told me it was GOD who was controlling things, but apparently it’s the super rich. Or is it Matrix? My bad.)

          • LowlyLewly in Hummelswarf PA

            Ignorance can only seem blissful to those who have neither experience bliss or an actual state beyond their own ignorance.

        • TerryTreeTree

          Which experimental drugs that cure real problems, have the super-rich developed? Did they do it out of the goodness of their heart, or did they profit financially, or reputationally? Don’t ascribe altruism to self-serving, please

        • Grady Lee Howard

          “Have you never been mel-low.
          Have you never tried?”

          Look, people who have a parasitic economic metabolism don’t just turn around and start feeding baby birds on their puke.

        • Grady Lee Howard

          “Have you never been mel-low.
          Have you never tried?”

          Look, people who have a parasitic economic metabolism don’t just turn around and start feeding baby birds on their puke.

    • Mfcarr

      People like the Koch Bros. use their wealth (via foundations of various sorts, astroturf organizations like Americans for Prosperity, and political contributions to union busting politicians like Scott Walker) to further their own economic gain

      On a related note: I’d be curious to hear what you think in general about the distribution of wealth in this country.

      Do you think that it’s a good thing that the top 1% of this country pulls in over 23% of all income (when in the past they pulled in 8% of income)? If so, please explain why this is a positive developmen­t.
      Also, do you think that it’s a positive thing that the wealthiest have benefited so much from increases in productivi­ty in this country while the middle class’s wages have remained stagnant (when compared against the cost of living) over the last 20 years. Is that healthy in your opinion? If you think it is, please explain why.

      • g, Buffalo, NY

        Dear Mfcarr,

        I don’t think that the wealth distribution in this country, or any other, is good or bad. I don’t qualify it. It’s just IS to me.

        But I do believe there is nothing I can do about it, and so I choose to allocate my limited resources (time, money, thinking capacity (although questionable sometimes), etc … :) ) on other things.
        I do vote.
        But I don’t think it’s a REAL choice, when you have to pick one ‘bad’ candidate over the ‘worse’ one.

        Rich are getting richer. I don’t think it’s positive or negative change. It’s just is. It’s logical to me. They have more money to invest and thus increase their wealth. Ok.
        If they choose to buy 20 thousands cars instead of donate that money. OK.
        It’s not my choice, it’s theirs. And who am I to judge?
        I certainly don’t want to be judged for my choices.

        I am just saying … it’s easy to get angry at the rich and say that they could be and should be doing more.
        But what I think is more productive, to oneself and one’s family and community, is to do what we can to make this world a better place.

        And I know I can’t do anything about Bill Gates’s percentage of charitable donations or to the amount of real estate that someone owns.

        Yes, there could be more regulation and taxation. But it is a stick with two ends. Everything has “bad” and “good” sides to it.

        Yes, the middle class is getting squeezed. Ok. I am part of that middle class. I feel the squeeze. But I am the kind of person who would look at my situation and say “What CAN I DO” to make MY situation better, and come up with a plan, instead of worry about what can others can and should do for my sorry state of affairs.

        I’d like to think that it is a responsible choice. To take care of oneself, his/her family, the community and expand that reach when possible. Taking care of others, when you can.

        • g, Buffalo, NY

          And I’d like to think that there are some super rich who have similar attitude – taking responsibility for themselves, their families, communities, companies and others.

          But I also know that there are some like that, and then there are some who are not like that.

          But it doesn’t depend on how much money you have.
          I am sure there are people who make 20k/year who won’t donate $5. But that’s just the kind of people that they are.
          And they may say that they can’t afford to. But they will also not donate their time, or help anyone.

        • Anonymous

          Societal problems can’t be solved by mere individuals. You can help yourself and your family by not focusing on the larger injustices and working to improve your own economic station and perhaps even a small part of the community but that isn’t going to restore prosperity to the middle class as a whole.

        • AnnTheHun

          They will flee like the rats they are when guys like you actually do figure out what they can do.

        • Ginhelm

          Now let me understand this. Things happen that adversely affect the ‘middle class’, and your answer is ,’…what can I do to better my situation?’ The top 1% take 23% of the $ income each year, the Fed. is printing money like the Weimar Republic of Germany in 1920, and when the hyperinflation hits, and the cost of basic food-stuff increases exponentially overnight, your precious middle class will be destroyed. Then someone who has the answer will appear. It won’t be an Austrian Grunt from WWl, bur someone slick from the 21st century who’ll take us down the same road. Hedgesand Reich have both written the middle class is dead.
          We have no voice; elections are a sham. The real owners of this country: banks, defense, pharma, agriculture have taken care of that. We do not count.
          WA

          • g, Buffalo, NY

            I knew it was going to be taken out of context.

            When you look at what I said in the context that I said it in …
            it means, what can I do to make my situation better, thus making sure that no one else has to make it better. I.E. no one else has to pay for my living expenses, my health insurance, my food, etc.
            What I was trying to say is, that I am making sure I take care of myself, by working, and providing for myself and my family, not sitting on other taxpayer’s necks.

            Did that somehow not transfer?!

            And what is the brilliant self doing to make the lives of others better? You have a solution? That doesn’t require slaughtering the upper class?!

          • Ginhelm

            Jesus, can’t we just tax them appropriately? Say 77%.
            WA

          • Grady Lee Howard

            Damnit. Just get a David Cassidy poster and worship that!

          • Grady Lee Howard

            Damnit. Just get a David Cassidy poster and worship that!

          • Gman77

            Seems to me that it is the super wealthy who are sitting on the necks of the taxpayers. In a BIG way. A way that is so oceanic and ambient that apparently you missed it–Again. I think you work for them.

        • Mfcarr

          G:

          Re: “I don’t think that the wealth distribution in this country, or any other, is good or bad. I don’t qualify it. It’s just IS to me.”

          The situation IS that now, but it wasn’t always thus. In the thirty years since Reagan took office the distribution of wealth has changed for the worse, with more and more of the wealth concentrated into the hands of the few. With the increased wealth gained during this time, many menbers of the financial elite have successfully used their fortune to influence political decisionmaking in Washington, and steered legislation in directions that benefitted their personal financial interests. Meanwhile the Middle Class’s wages have remained stagnant.

          The dire economic situation that IS right now didn’t just happen for no reason. It was the result of policies and decisions enacted by Reagan and continued by every President since (including Clinton and Obama). These policies and decisions have aided the richest of our society in an incredibly disproportionate way.

          For a recent example, compare how the government dealt with Wall Street in the wake of the Mortgage Meltdown (bailout of banks via TARP – some banks got 100 cents on the dollar for their bad bets) vs. the anemic steps they took to help ordinary homeowners on Main Street (the complete and utter failure known as HAMP)

          I don’t blame Republicans exclusively. There are many Democrats who kowtow (sp?) to big business and the wealthy elite at the expense of the Middle and lower classes. The Democrats have a few members that have the courage of their convictions, but not nearly enough to make meaningful change in Washington.

          This country needs either a viable third party to the left of the Democratic party, or sweeping campaign finance reform (or both).

          • Stanclauss

            Mfcarr-
            Did you eat today? Do you have a warm place to sleep tonight? Which is better, do you think: to have basic needs met and the possibility of doing better yet, and the wealthiest to have what you have a million times over; or to have most of your needs unmet, your children sick, cold, and starving, and the wealthiest getting by on ten times what you have?

          • RJRenn

            Are those my only choices?

          • Stanclauss

            No, I’m asking which of those two you like better.

          • AnotherBob

            Wow, you are so blind. There are millions of people in this the richest (for some) of nations who have none of the needs that you mention met. I could take you to a bridge under which families sleep and try to maintain some semblance of security in the face of the elements and gangs of privileged youths who find it sporting to slug them with baseball bats, and refer to them as racoons. They don’t seem to be living in the trickle-down caring society that abides in your fantasies.

          • Stanclauss

            I’m not blind. I’ve seen things like that too. Are you angry about the plight of those unfortunate folks? Or about not having enough trickling down on yourself? All I’m saying is that greed and mean-spiritedness is not confined to the super rich, as comments on this column amply show.

        • Grady Lee Howard

          So “what is, is good” : maybe ordained by God? Ha-ha-ha.
          “God loves little Quaddafi and I do too.
          God loves Bill Gates and I do too.
          He made them happy and gave them a smile.
          God loves all the war criminals and dictators and I do too.”

        • Grady Lee Howard

          So “what is, is good” : maybe ordained by God? Ha-ha-ha.
          “God loves little Quaddafi and I do too.
          God loves Bill Gates and I do too.
          He made them happy and gave them a smile.
          God loves all the war criminals and dictators and I do too.”

    • JerryBiel

      Let me explain something very simple. Really wealthy people got there money from other people who actually produce something for a living, like farmers and miners and workers of all sorts who then add value to the products of the mines, farms, and seas. Even purely intellectual products depend on an infra structure that somebody built. When a few people become really wealthy it is because they have somehow by hook or crook or just luck, got in a position to take an unfair percent of the pie that is produced by the workers of these resources. Through buying legislation they set up everything for their increased profit, which mean increased living expenses for everyone else. So it is only logical and real for people who are struggling because of the gaming of the system by the few — to hate and intermittently kill them. As someone else wrote here, “The rich are the most self-deceived group of people on earth.” If you believe anything that they say, especially about themselves as in this study, you are a fool.

      • g, Buffalo, NY

        I can’t believe that you just called to kill the rich.
        What’s more astounding is that people liked your comment.

        I am speechless.

        Way to be more kind, and generous, loving and caring, compassionate, and giving.
        I am sure your parents would be proud of you. To hear you speak like this.
        Those are some good values they taught you. Way to go!
        Lets build a better world by hating and killing. Maiming and raping.
        It’s only fair!
        They got their wealth by stealing and lying, so why not kill them.
        Who said it won’t be fair?

        And after you kill them, redistribute their wealth amongst the poor.
        Real life Robin Hood! The people would love you.

        And while you’re doing this, I applaud you for ensuring that you have your own medical insurance to take care of yourself when you retired. Oh wait, you don’t. You are on Medicaid. And it’s paid for by those who work. Through taxes, that those who work pay. Taxes I pay, so that you can afford to go see a doctor.
        You’re welcome.

        And as a taxpayer I want to say thanks for postponing to collect your Social Security. Thank you for not setting up your own retirement plan and saving for your own retirement. I am very happy to pay for that as well.
        As I am sure those rich folks who you wish to kill.

        • Grady Lee Howard

          Somebody gotta feed the guillotine. France is a better country today because it was decapitated in 1789.

          • Marat

            The Guillotine didn’t really get in full swing until 1792.

            We need a Robespierre and St Just in this country

          • CommanderX

            And in my opinion the entire world would be better off if the same thing had happened in the United Kingdom. But then it would not be called a kingdom would it? They burned Washington to the ground and are responsible for almost all the problems in the middle east. The British Empire was one of the most murderous phenomenon to strut its stuff on the world stage, and they gave us the problems they created. Yet they have never forgotten that they are our enemy, as we have. Our natural friends are France and the Germany (except of the nazi abberation) and Ireland. We should not have supported the British in WW1 as it was all about keeping Germany from acquiring access to middle east oil. The Brits were the first to use poison gas against primitive native populations and they screwed up everything they touched.

        • RJRenn

          I guess you have a reading comprehension problem because I don’t see any of the sour grapes or call to violence that you do in that post, merely a statement of facts. The rich do from time to time get themselves slaughter in wholesale fashion because of their inability to rein in their actions of greed and corruption. The typical cycle is the plutocrats take advantage of their position to degrade the existence of the less fortunate, they revolt and slaughter them and a tyrant takes over, they revolt and kill the tyrant, and the seeping corruption of the plutocrats or aristocracy comes back and so on. Ancient Greece offers many examples of this cycle, as do the present uprisings in the Arab world.

          • CommanderX

            Please correct me if I am wrong. If my memory serves; it was a tyrant who seized power in Athens (Setorius or something like that) who incited the Spartans to attack Athens and get rid of him. This set the stage for the first democracy (If you were a male Athenian land owner) but did not really rid them of the aristocracy. It did however establish the first and, at the time, only place on earth that had citizens as apposed to mere subjects. This was an anomaly on earth, and in reality it still is, as there are only a handful of states that are actually ruled by the citizens and not some central cabal of powerful individuals. And it seems obvious that ours is no longer one of them. I think the big issue we are dealing with here is that more and more of the powers that should reside in the citizenry of our nation has been co-opted the big boys. And this is happening at a time when it is possible for more and more of the little guys to become aware of this rigged system. I think that bitterness is inevitable as the populace awakens to the aggressive and hostile acts that have been committed against them, perfectly legally of course, since the perpetrators engineered the legal framework wherein this could take place. It would be nice if this small percentage of the population that own most of everything realized the inevitable outcome of their actions and reformed themselves. But I don’t believe that is going to happen in any meaningful way.

        • JerryBiel

          Haven’t the power elite been the real slaughterers? I mean over history? How much more clear could it be that the wholesale slaughter of millions has gone on for thousands of years almost always at the direction of the power elite, for their own purposes, which don’t really benefit anyone but themselves. They are predatory and live off of other people, and frequently off the destruction of other people. Yet it is those who call for a sudden end to this evil that are the violent ones. Well I guess you can see that as all in the natural order of things if you buy into it. I think it is in the natural order of things for mankind to transcend this exploitation of the week and powerless by the most fortunate.

          And by the way I am not retired. You must be thinking of that other Jerry Biel. The one you think you know so well. Oh, and I am not calling for anyones death as you have so dramatically misunderstood. I am simply saying that at a certain point such violence becomes the only real alternative by which the downtrodden can actually change anything because of the incredible vigor with which those who are shearing them operate in their own interests. And it is understandable why this happens. The elite have contrived the system so as they have no other recourse. If you are poor or otherwise disadvantaged the only time a politician will pay any attention at all to you and your situation is when they periodically lie to you for your vote.

        • Shemash

          Wow this dude must have really struck a nerve with you in a way that only a plain pronouncement of the truth can. So much so that I went back and reread his post. I think there is nothing in it that you would stand a chance arguing against so instead you resorted to personal attacks. I also agree with RJ. This person did not call for any killing as you say, he simply said it is understandable, or logical as he put it, that people would periodically rise up and rid themselves of their oppressors when given no other real recourse to change things. This is just a series of red herrings on your part as is all of your post. If you actually know this person and he is retired and using medicaid, so what? I’m sure he is thankful if such is the case. In the best Rush fashion you blame the powerless for the sins of the powerful. All this nonsense you made up about his post is like an example of how someone who is powerful and hysterical deals with someone they find threatening, sort of like the communist witch hunt tactics. You are probably some paid for neocon groupy. This post is so beneath the quality of some of your others that it is hard to believe that it is the same person writing. All this killing and raping and maiming that you mention relates in no way to what he wrote.
          And you insulted his parents because of you perceived fantasies? What a friggin jerk you turned out to be. Any you are the one who repeatedly blamed everyone else of “projecting.” I assume you know him personally or else you actually work for NPR and somehow determined who he is by his ip address. I smell law suit there. If he cares. But it seems you know all about him so you must know him, and if such is the case I would not want to be you when next you meet. Actually I think you made everything in you post up, as you did the “call to kill the rich” part. Do you think that you are so slick that what you did is not apparent to anybody who can read even though its right there before their eyes? I think you are the one who should be ashamed.

      • Stanclauss

        The fact that 19 readers liked this rant speaks volumes about the sad state of our society, and “On Point” respondents in particular.

    • TerryTreeTree

      I, for one am not ripping the rich apart because they have more money. I am stating that I have a hard time dredging up sympathy, or empathy for someone WHINING about having a lot of money, and no sense of self-worth, or trust in their fellow human beings. I HAVE talked with people far richer than me, about their problems with children, etc… When they have valid problems, I listen, and offer suggestions, just as I do with the homeless I encounter. Although I would like to be richer myself, I get disgusted with a rich person acting like I’m only trying to separate them from their money, then crying because no one sees their problems. They, however seem only to offer me solutions that require their income level, instead of something I can use. If you’re rich, do something positive to improve the world, not just your net riches. Single, I would date a $Billionaire, as I would date a lady survining on minimum wage, but I wouldn’t be able to take her to places she can afford, but I cannot. If that is her terms, I wouldn’t date her. She misses out on a date that would treat her as I would expect to be treated, if I were a woman, and I miss out on not being treated as low-life poor. Both win either way.

  • g, Buffalo, NY

    And again, nobody is asking you to FEEL SORRY for the super rich.

    YOU ARE PROJECTING!

  • Jack Bliek

    The program today about the super wealthy and the one yesterday about corporations moving money overseas to avoid taxes are part of the long term trend to increase wealth disparity. Yes the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and the Republicans are aggravasting the trend.
    I was pleased a year ago when health care reform passed and now asee the strong opposition for the same people who want to do morre to harm those not to well off.
    This year I turned 65 and have gooten Medicare. I have chosen to delay taking Social Security as I am convinced that Medicare costs will be increased and Social Security will not.
    Jack Bliek

    • g, Buffalo, NY

      Then why those who are ‘not well off’ keep voting for people who would make them LESS ‘well off’?

      Why is the “poor” Walmart greeter would choose to vote for a Republican, who is going to make his or her life worse off?

      EDUCATION! Access to information. Critical thinking perhaps? Ability to think for oneself and ability to logically disseminate facts.

      I dunno .. they didn’t teach me that in school!

      • Grady Lee Howard

        You can vote for tweedle-dee or tweedle-dumb but they both answer to the top dog. People never see a candidate reflecting their interests because the media is dominated by wealth and wealthy interests.

        This feelin’ sorry for your oppressor is no new thang.
        Richard Cory went home and put a bullet through his head.

  • g, Buffalo, NY

    This program is not asking you or making you feel any which way about the wealthy, or their problems, or the authors of the study.

    You, yourself, make yourself feel whichever way you feel, about what you just heard.

    And I think if you feel unhappy about your life, you would feel angry about someone who has more (money in this case), because you would think that you would be so much more happier if you also had more (money).

    IMHO

  • Stillin

    I was driving, when I heard someone say ” they only give a bmw to their kid when they get straight A’s…I turned it off, it was that or puke. Get real.

  • Stillin

    I was driving, when I heard someone say ” they only give a bmw to their kid when they get straight A’s…I turned it off, it was that or puke. Get real.

  • Fredlinskip

    In reply to CT listener-
    Many studies have shown that average American has much lower chance of moving upwardly out of his parents income bracket.
    This isn’t you’re Daddy’s America.
    What’s hypocritical is “trickle-down” economics- like maybe some loose change will fall out of their pockets and support us.
    How ’bout instead of them hopefully giving to a nice charity, asking them to pay just a little more taxes (or at least eliminate some loopholes)- they’ll still be wealthy.
    It’s not socialism.
    Upper bracket taxation under Johnson- 77%, Nixon 70%.
    Eisenhower- 90%.

    (sorry bout repeat post).

  • twenty-niner

    Is that Al Gore’s boat?

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Nope. That’s a Bush boat up Walker’s Point ferrying cheap Indian Rez cigarettes from Canada. See Barbara and Jenna (the Twins) sunning on the quarter deck. Uncle Osama bin Laden is at the controls. Anything within a half mile is liable to get fried with a dime bomb.

      • twenty-niner

        I doubt it. If that were Bush’s boat, it would likely have a hole in the side, taking on water fast.

  • Themostecles

    How much is a man’s time worth?

    If Bill Gates had worked 12 hours a day,
    365 days a year,
    for forty years.
    He would have made
    $348,538.59 dollars per hour for his labor.

    If he gave away 99.99% of his fortune he would still have over six million
    dollars to live on. Giving away half of his wealth is just a way of being the king. He should have 90% of his wealth taken by the government upon his death and used to develop the infrastructure and culture necessary to advance our culture which made his wealth possible.

    • CarlwithaK

      Some say that money represents labor and as such the above is just theft from the vast number of laborers.

      I say that money actually represents LIFE and a few people are only able to garner so much life by stealing the lives of others as is evidenced by the two and three benefitless jobs that a common worker must hold just to live. Their highness is directly a result of making us low in income by a system that we really have no say in at all.

    • g, Buffalo, NY

      I don’t think culture is something that advances.
      But I am sure it could try, if you give it some gazzilion of dollars.

      • Jcwc

        Then I guess you are not communicating via one of the most recent expansions and advances of our culture—mass use of internet connectivity and communications. Easy for you to miss I guess, being as it and the obvious advancement and decline of various human cultures is such a hidden thing, if you are able to disregard what is right in your face.

  • Bianka

    Education is IT, many politicians say these days! At the time when vanishing education dollars keep lowering our country’s competitiveness in the world and hijack our kids’ future, the conscienscious self made millionaires have a chance to change the world and make a lasting impact. If you live in CT, maybe you’d like to help spearhead a campaign which we call “to mine the neglected potential of our country’s future in the global economy of innovation?” i.e. provide world-class education to the undiscovered gems, our high-ability students, our “minds in crisis” hiding in inner-city schools? ours is an exciting project, many ways to get involved. ctgifted.org

    • Themostecles

      There is no such thing as a self-made millionaire. Take one of them and drop them on a desert island and see what they make. That is just neurolinguistic programming. Without the labor of all who went before them and the millions of little people who built the country they would have nothing.

      • g, Buffalo, NY

        Then why aren’t you a millionaire? Sounds like you have it figured out.
        Or is it when offered a bigger slice of the pie, you said no thanks?

        • amused

          Do you assume this guy/gal isn’t a millionaire because they don’t believe in the implications of the term self-made man? Because to be a millionaire is not that rare a thing.

          • Daryl Venable, Nashville, TN

            I assume some posters to be so unsure of their opinions as to refuse signing their own names.

            Any “millionaire” who truly wants to give will just do so; and good for them. If they are looking for sympathy it is most readily accessed in the dictionary somewhere between “shit” and “syphilis”.

            If you care to rebut a point made, please do so. If you merely need me to regurgitate the corporate state mantra, you’re going to be sadly disappointed.

          • Grady Lee Howard

            Daryl, research indicates that some people are paid to post a certain line on commentaries. It’s piece rate work like creating buzz on Facebook. New software has been developed that allows the same operator to comment using 10 or more plausible avatar personalities. The government is buying this software for issue campaigns, to shape public opinion. (see Democracy Now, last headline, March 18th broadcast) So the Internet ain’t democratic anymore. Surprise, surprise, surprise! Net clonality. On Point periodically bans me but embraces these agents. Nowadays moderators have it rough. Boo-hoo!

          • Grady Lee Howard

            P.S. Grady Lee Howard is my real name and identity, for almost 55 years now. Birthday comes April 1st.

          • Ellen Dibble

            If this piecework creates buzz, it seems to create buzz saw effects. One benefit to the avatar-operator: They can see where there is support, and how much. Most of the buzzing comes from the rebound. We sharpen our “teeth.”

          • RJRenn

            Grady Lee then the government are fools because you can do the same thing with freely available software that you can get as a firefox plugin. Anyone who knows how to set up a proxy or uses an advanced VPN, or connects to sites through a TOR net, can to that. It is no big deal. Witness how in days past the poster HereWeGoAgain, was able to make posts with the same name even though he/she was banned, and said he was banned and bragged about them not being able to prevent him from posting unless they physically removed his posts. I would say that says it all. And I like it like that.

          • RJRenn

            I don’t see how you comment applies to amused’s comment. He is obviously of the same sympathies as yourself. Perhaps a kneejerk reaction on your part?

          • Daryl Venable, Nashville, TN

            Yes, you’re correct and I apologize. First time poster and didn’t catch that his response was to another post entirely.

        • amused

          Do you assume this guy/gal isn’t a millionaire because they don’t believe in the implications of the term self-made man? Because to be a millionaire is not that rare a thing.

      • A.H.

        Exactly. Rich people often assume that they earned every penny of their hundred thousand+ dollar salaries, because every penny resulted from only what they themselves did.
        For people to become rich, they must use the sweat and ingenuity and sacrifice of others; either those that picked the oranges, transported the oranges, or stocked the oranges at the grocers, etcetera. If all those that the rich relied upon actually received good wages and benefits, the number (and salaries) of rich people would decrease in relation to the number of poor that moved up in the world.
        And much of the ills of the world would also decrease.

  • JesusLouise

    Prison planet still spouts the company line as to why WW1 started. This analysis of wealth and oil gives an entertaining and thought provoking alternative explanation. Your welcome.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQhhrzHKMhI

    • WarrenDibs

      Another video that was mentioned is The One Percent. I watched it on Netflicks streaming. God that kid has access. Interviews with both Friedman and Nader among others.

      Everything talks, but most people only hear money.

  • Carolle

    If education is important to the RICH, each family could support one failing school and compete to make the best school they can. Competition with others in their wealth bracket, could be great for all.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Just make sure those are the PUBLIC schools, not the alma alma matri.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe all you paupers are so jealous. Not knowing if my butler really likes me is a matter of great stress to me. My gout is acting up. My donation to my child’s university is larger than it needed to have been had I heard this morning’s outstanding advice about only buying my son the BMW after he got his grades.

    • Ellen Dibble

      ROTFL
      After a certain point I own the whole union of concerned butlers.

    • Cherry_blossom_dog

      Hilarious!

  • Edward

    With all social classes in this world there are good, honest, hard working people and there are people who are not. The people discussed in this program who, despite their vast fortunes, question there purpose fall into the latter category. Personally, I have been blessed enough to have parents who were able to send me fine college and to have met and married an independently wealthy young woman who I got to know while at that college.

    What have I done with these great fortunes? I left my job, went back to school and now teach Social Studies in an inner city school; where over 90 percent of our school’s population qualifies for federal free and reduced lunch. Since starting this job, I have created several seminars that specifically look at the roots of inequality and poverty within the United States and the world. The central questions of these seminars is, “Why does geography, more often or not, determine the how a person will end up living there life?” What zip code or country you are born in shouldn’t determine the type of education you will receive or the opportunities that are made available to you in life, but unfortunately often it does. Hopefully, these questions can build those critical thinking skills, that g, Buffalo, NY referenced in one post; and with those skills I hope and pray that the young men and women that I have had the honor of teach will work to build a better, more equitable future.

    I guess that overarching point is that not all the wealthy are self-centered, whinny, and spoiled. There are some who realize the blind luck and sacrifice that created their fortune and work to change the systemic problems in our society that only exacerbate inequality. One only needs to look at the policies and political philosophy of FDR to see that. Are those who do such a minority among the wealthy, I do not know.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Are you talking “independently wealthy” in the general range of the era of FDR? That is so different from the $25 million plus that we have under discussion now. The political clout of the independently wealthy of the F. Scott Fitzgerald era was not the kind that could tilt the planet. Presently we’re getting to the kind of elections that are bought and paid for, and individuals who are richer than whole countries. Noblesse oblige is passe (passay), and instead we have plutocrats planning on behalf of the rest of us. I think the “choices” that the panelists think are the special benefit of having over $25 million reduces to not having to make choices in many cases; someone else can figure out what is best. That kind of super wealth warps whole countries, both by its influence and by its values. It seems to me to make democracy (of the people by the people for the people) a farce.
      But I keep pretending anyway.

      • Edward

        Ellen, excellent points! This is why I teach my students that nothing will change – in fact the economic gap between rich and poor will only grow – unless some sort of meaningful campaign finance reform is made. Especially in the post Citizen’s United world.

        • at

          Such an excellent thread. You are bothl correct and Edward is to be encouraged. Ellen has reached her succincty-most here, and Edward has the lynch pin pegged. I could add nothing but action in daily living and public display, but I am getting old and I have a feeling that a lot of my kindred spirits are too. Step-up rich bros. Do your best. I will applaud and weep with joy, if you add one iota of equality back into our legislative or judicial process, or even stem the tide of the bleeding. Money talks. But like the man said, “Everything talks, but most people only hear money, and sex, and social pressures and like that.”

          • TerryTreeTree

            at, If you are rich, or uber-rich, you can make a difference by telling your rich brethern personally, as often, and as publicly, as you can. If you are old, it’s even more imperative that you do what you can, while you can, to convince them.

          • TerryTreeTree

            at, If you are rich, or uber-rich, you can make a difference by telling your rich brethern personally, as often, and as publicly, as you can. If you are old, it’s even more imperative that you do what you can, while you can, to convince them.

    • TerryTreeTree

      Edward, do you teach these seminars to those directionless uber-rich? Your post seems like you are doing something positive, to improve the world, and reap the reward of self-respect, that should come with it. Teach those that need this lesson, please. Greed is NOT a respectable end to justify.

  • Daryl Venable, Nashville, TN

    Kenny and Schervish will just have to forgive me for not joining in their lament of the plight of the poor downtrodden uber-rich and their widely suffered difficulties in deciding upon how to give back to society. They will also have to find it in their hearts to forgive me for not buying into the notion that a survey answers anything. Asking anyone or any group of people to express their feelings doesn’t reveal anything but the feelings of those who chose to respond publicly, recognizing it in this case to be an opportunity for damage control, misrepresentation and manipulation. To represent these “findings” as data is ridiculous. To dismiss the caller who disagreed with their points, he having worked in fundraising for 25 years with the oligarchy, so cavalierly, revealed the inclinations and views of those who have palled around too long with the privileged class.

    The unavoidable fact is that there is no true free market in America, no level playing field, and that America is a plutocracy serving the oligarchy. Those sans the financial means to secure a lobby effort have no voice, period. There has been in this society a sustained effort to redistribute wealth over the past 5 decades or so, and it has not been in the direction the screeching heads are always blathering on about on your televisions and radios. When 400 hundred individuals in this nation hold more wealth and assets than half of all Americans combined, something is very, very wrong and unsustainable. See Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Libya, et.al. This is what happens when wealth and power become too concentrated in the hands of too few, and frankly we’re overdue, but alas thus far, Americans have shown themselves to be too easily distracted by access to shiny objects, gadgetry, and Dancing With The Stars.

    Anything anyone does to get over on his neighbor anymore is justifiable provided no weaponry is used, and for obvious reasons to those in power and in maintaining the status quo. To allow weapon usage to become justifiable as well would open up theft, graft, dishonesty, and corruption as truly democratic; everyone would be able to participate. As it stands, only those able to push through the legislation allowing their specific brand of robberies are sanctioned institutionally. America is still a colonial enterprise and we function in the role of sharecroppers. These people live in gated communities to isolate themselves from the rest of society, to distance their lives from the rest of society.

    If our uber-wealthy plutocrat brothers and sisters are truly lying awake nights in angst over how to engage in all this wild philanthropy they’re dying to impart upon society might I suggest they cast their collective gaze toward the concentration camps this society refers to as reservations. Perhaps they could start by throwing a bone or two to an entire race of people this wealth worshiping society genocided out of functional existence simply because it didn’t want to pay the fair market value for their real estate.

  • Montserb71

    What a waste of air time. With all the hardship that so many working families are suffering, it is almost insulting spend so much time talking about this faulty study (bad sampling, poor questioning, irrelevant conclusions) paid by the Gates Foundation. Shame on ‘On the point’ producers.

  • roymerritt19@gmail.com

    I am writing this comment early in the program and I have yet to hear whether any of these gentleman asked these wealthy people why the vast majority of the rich donate money to political campaigns and politicians who have gone out of their way to legislate the inequity that has been growing in this nation for the last forty years. I seldom hear about any rich people who are tortured by the consequence of having a great deal of wealth. On the contrary I read and hear about rich people who feel entitled, who flout their wealth and feel that laws don’t apply to them. I will grant you that their are many wealthy people who have a sense of community and have a streak of patriotism in them, but my observation about most rich people in this country is that they are abject hedonist who are loyal to nothing but the bottom line. How can they know what ordinary people think of them considering the circles they run in? Our society glamorizes them and celebrates a great wealth as if being rich somehow makes one better than the rest of us. They don’t to pay any taxes whatsoever and think shouldn’t. One of the most galling things I ever heard was when Mitt Romney was asked what sacrifice his many sons were making for the war effort as the middle class and poor kids that make up the bulk of the warriors in our military were making in Iraq and Afghanistan and he said that their sacrifice was that they were out on the hustings working for his campaign. Comparing such with warfare is beyond the pale and he should have known that. We hear them calling Inheritance Tax a Death Tax, we see them making those aforementioned political donations in an effort to strangle the rest of us monetarily. If I was in charge I’d limit the amount of money they could make in a given year. Money makes them no better than any of us. In my mine it makes them worse human beings for the most part. In the end we all die and will have to meet our Maker if he exists. I can’t help but remember Christ said that a camel could pass through the eye of a needle before a rich man could enter the kingdom of heaven. What I would caution the rich were I offered the opportunity would be that they should remember what often happens to societies that have taken the course ours has taken for for four decades now. Those of us in the middle class and the working poor usually come to the point that we refuse to accept this type of status quo any longer and most times rectify the situation in a manner that would cause much more consternation them than the trivial burdens of being obscenely rich.

    • Carolyn

      Unfortunately, it is always the middle class and working class that fight wars that are started by the wealthy. The merchants of war inevitably benefit from wars, and the middle and lower classes suffer the consequences of wars.

  • Lmberinger

    What is the racial make up of this “super rich” group? I am guessing it is predominantly white. If so, then how do they interpret white privilege and class privilegde?

    • twenty-niner

      And let’s not forget Asian privilege. Asians who constitute 5% of the population represent 20% of the enrollment at Ivy League schools. I’m pretty sure that the only explanation for success in life is the hidden hand of privilege.

      • opp

        Asians that immigrated to the U.S. are a *different* group than the Asians that still live in Asia.

    • bose3

      Funny, Lmberinger, that you should mention it — I was just thinking somthing similar. Being a woman and having experienced blatant sexism over and over again, the most recent of which is the direct cause of my current financial hardship, I suspect that those who suddenly find that — “oops! I’ve got more money than I know what to do with! I must have just been in the right place at the right time…!” — I suspect that such “lucky” millionaires are all men. I know that black folks face similar prejudice as women.

      That thought led to this next one: if rich folks and their foundations really want to help the “poor” then their money would be best spent on helping to re-educate Americans who intentionally or inadvertently place a higher value on all things that originate from the “hard work” of white males. I’m really tired of having to work twice as hard to get half the credit (and less than half the remuneration)!

  • Stanclauss

    That guy who raises funds from the rich and complains that they are not giving away the capital itself illustrates a very grave illness in our economy and society. Yes, greed is a deadly sin. But so is envy. And since most of us are not wealthy, there is more envy here than greed. It is the fond desire of the non wealthy to bring down the wealthy. Also known as the demand for equality. It has been said that if all wealth were equally distributed, it would be back to its original distribution within a generation.

    As to giving away the capital, that’s a dumb idea from the interest of the needy. Once gone, where will the money come from then?

    • GranpaGrumbles

      Somebody hit it on the head in the early comments. The hatred of the super-rich does not flow from envy, it flows from the perception of unfairness that the power elite have managed to arrange within our political and economic systems. You must still be laboring under the delusion that you have been programmed with—that you live in a meritocracy.

      • Stanclauss

        It’s envy all the way. I may not live in a meritocracy but it doesn’t matter much. I have no need to be king of the mountain. I live in a country secure enough that with what little merit I have I can prosper enough. I acknowledge that many of my fellow citizens have a harder time, and that some live very high on the hog. I wish life could be better for both classes. For me, it’s good enough.

  • Saturnguy2

    I feel so sorry for them with all their problems, NOT! Bunch of Greedy #@%&.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I have to say I’m glad this target group seems to be populated by every race, religion, and ethnicity. How do I know? Because if it were not so, someone would be profiling. White men with red hair, something like that. People whom the police know can pay their way out of any crisis. Or charm their way out of any crisis. Who knows. None of these are to be found among my buddies.

      • Adele

        Well, the profile for the longest time was the WASP male. I don’t know if Andrew Carnegie counts, as a Scot. And thank God for him, because he used his money to put a public library branch in just about every neighborhood in the country.

        But the Mellons, the Scaifes, the Roosevelts, the Astors, the Cabots, the Forbes, the Harrimans, etc. And lest we forget: John D. Rockefeller, of Standard Oil, his huge monopoly for which the Sherman Anti-trust Act was put to good use.

  • Kweskin

    Shall we define our terms on the basis of reality: “Oligarchs” Shall we establish a paradigm for their vision of their world (soon to be ours): Louis XVI France. Shall we reference appropriate case studies: Leopold’s Congo, Mississippi, and the world as the Koch Brothers would have it (with the help of the Supreme Court of the United States). Read it and weep, pilgrims. Nonetheless–On Wisconsin!

  • Smart_ass

    Oh, boo-hoo. Bite me. Die

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1671108459 Phil Chartrand

    I love OnPoint, I’ve enjoyed it (and expect to continue to enjoy it for many years to come.) I’d like to think I’m very open minded but after the pilfering of our national treasury and the outright robbery that has plagued this nation, well, I just think this is an insult. I’ve seen too many people lose their homes, their jobs and have their lives destroyed through the lack of social conscience that is so prevalent in our culture. I’m a very big admirer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but I wish their board decided to spend the money they used to fund Mr. Schervish’s study in saving more children in Africa.

    In short, my questions are: Why are the super rich funding studies to help people develop more compassion and empathy for their troubles??? Do they want more? Should we absolve them of more of their social responsibility? How about a tax cut, do they need another tax cut?? Would that make them happy?

    • Ellen Dibble

      It’s not whether favorable tax treatment will make them happy. It’s whether tax treatment will incline our super rich to move elsewhere in the world. More and more nations can compete to be destination magnets for those who can afford to outsource their residency. First attract the tourists. Then attract the expatriates. I won’t call them expatriots. Hemingway and Ezra Pound had their version of idealism. But I heard a piece with Mayor Bloomberg voicing the idea that a vast amount of city resources depend on the residency of the very wealthy, and he worried about losing them without competing for their presence with tax preferences. But if gated communities seem confining, try the Swiss Alps.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1671108459 Phil Chartrand

        So, we’re talking about the “Super Wealthy” here, not the wealthy. I would think individuals in that level of wealth don’t really have to be concerned at all about national boundaries, if they don’t like having dinner in New York, they can be in Europe in a matter of hours having dinner in one of their many homes overlooking a different sea-coast. I’m confused about your response Ellen, do you mean that we should have more incentives for them to spend more of their time in the US, vs. <> better? What do you mean exactly by ‘move’ do individuals at this level of wealth have anything (laws, travel restrictions, citizenship issues that can’t be overcome etc. etc.) tying them to a particular location anywhere in the globe? My guess is they don’t.

        What exactly is a ‘residency’ for individuals of this level of wealth, would it be when they’re ‘in-residence’ in NYC vs. Switzerland for dinner? Is residency just owning a property, and paying the necessary taxes etc. to the city?

        I think Mr. Bloomberg in making that statement was just worried that a few of his key dinner guests wouldn’t be back in time from skiing in Zermatt to spend some quality time with him.

        • Ellen Dibble

          I think the issue of residency has to do with where the superrich pay their taxes. And I am not an accountant or lawyer, but it seems to me that could be as complex as the issue of where the profits are earned. Where any deductions might apply. (“I apply as a deduction off my USA taxes the taxes I pay to Sierra Leone” seems to be what one panelist was saying was one tax situation. But if I have ten residences, and they are in different countries, with different laws, then I don’t know how that goes. But I know that my city likes to have more property taxes, which are to be gleaned from residences appraised higher, that sort of thing. If the middle class left, there would be empty streets and vacant houses inviting crime, but if the upper crust left, there would be a huge dent in the city budget. At least that seems to be the theory. Let the line workers go elsewhere. But I’m not talking about the super-rich. (Or am I?)

  • Stricklandladawn

    good topic. rich discussion. so do the rich assess their aspirations of improving education? Did it work? What was the goal? The new pipeline is prison. it is cheaper to educate the incarcerated.

    • MyName33

      It costs about 50k to lock-up someone who got caught with a little weed for a year. A strange act when you consider that the last three Presidents smoked pot, and Bush snorted cocaine (an evil drug for an evil man.) I understand that the Feds have recently renewed their assault on the California medical clinic growers, despite Obama’s promise.

  • NH

    The rich should be able to enjoy benefit from the money they earn. What I don’t understand is why they promote tax and political policies that help them to retain and increase wealth, and decrease the income and benefits that people who have less depend on to keep from being destitute. When you cut taxes for the wealthy and then allow them to get away with paying very little tax, there isn’t enough money to pay for public services such as police, fire fighting, road repair, and other government services as well as health insurance, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, social security, medicare. These are things that people that are just a month or two of income away from being destitute (including the upper middle class) depend on and help to pay for in taxes. In addition, a large proportion of our taxes are paying for wars that protect US economic interests, and my guess is that the rich benefit disproportionately from this as well. ‘Trickle down economics’ has not helped people on the lower end of the income scale; it has managed to concentrate wealth at the upper end.

    If the wealthy truly have compassion and want to do the right thing with their money, they should have a social conscience and act appropriately in the political sphere. There are a few that do this, but not many.

    • Carolyn

      How could people who are a month or two of income away from being destitute be called upper middle class? Working class seems like a more accurate term.

  • Fredlinskip

    It’s not just a matter of growing the economy so as to supposedly create more jobs, it’s a matter of creating policies that encourage an economy that works better for all. We can’t continue same policies and expect situation to improve- that’s definition of insanity. Must we enter a 2nd Great Depression before people wake up to fact that (sorry Reagan fans) “trickle down” doesn’t work. Get over it. If it did, judging by gap between rich and middle class over past 10 years, our economy would be in heaven.

  • Withinreason

    It’s easy to dish on the wealthy, and to judge them their position. But I think many people–Tom Ashbrook included–missed the real point of this story. I don’t think either one of the panelists was arguing that the psychological and sociological plight of the wealthy compared at all with the plight of a family struggling to save their house or put food on the table. What I heard was two men–neither of them wealthy–discussing a very interesting phenomenon: essentially, money can’t buy happiness. Sure, it can keep a roof over your head and your basic needs are covered. But beyond that, money can bring trouble, misfortune, and disharmony. Just look at the Kennedy family and we know it to be true.

    I wish Ashbrook had taken the time to go beyond the bumper sticker ad-hominem attacks and explore this rich vein, if you’ll pardon the pun. Sure, the wealth gap is enormous and growing in this country. But so is it around the world. And the gentleman fundraiser who laments that his targets don’t “give til it hurts” better not look too closely in the mirror lest he find someone who, relatively speaking, is as wealthy compared to billions of people in 3rd world countries as many of the uber-rich are to him.

    • WithinTruth

      Not true, you should read the other comments, you points have already been addressed early this morning. The gap between the average American and the third-world poor is not comparable at all, not in the least, to the gap between that of that American and one of the one percent. Also everything else you wrote has been demythized and deconstructed in detail.

  • Anonymous

    I know I should try to be more open minded and kindly toward the billionaire who is feeling “unfulfilled” and adrift in a sea of wealth. Unfortunately, I’m more worried about the rising numbers of homeless and hungry families, the fact our schools are cutting back on class time, that our infrastructures are beyond aging out, and that we have yet to face the realities of what two wars (and now perhaps a third?) will bring.

    Now add into the mix news that corporations like General Electric who merrily make their mega billions did not pay ANY taxes — I certainly did and I sure didn’t make anywhere near a billion — and received a 3 BILLION DOLLAR REFUND. It only reinforces the feeling that super rich anything is driven by some ungodly greed and see nothing wrong with getting (not earning) money any way they can.

    As for the wealthy soul searchers dealing with their “malaise?” I’m afraid they’re going to have to do what the rest of us poor folks had to do — snap out of it!

  • FireFromHeaven

    Watch Inside Job, it has a whole section on how the power elite have systematically subverted scientific research, and academic studies. This whole conversation is a farce based on the self-assessment of a group that is the least likely to have an objective opinion about their own motives and actions—the extremely wealthy. Read the comments.

  • mediasun

    I am more interested in how wealth related self-transcendence. indeed, everybody expereences different ups and downs, highs and lows, enjoyments and plights. one common issue, to both rich and poor, is how external things help selves grow, and transcend the ‘present’ selves. without that sort of transcendence, one’s view of life is just too contrained.

  • Sunshinebk4

    I’m really interested in the idea of the rich and their self esteem. The question of “do they hang out with me because of me or my money?” is one that i’ve never had to consider since i grew up poor. And i’d like to add that i never hung out with anyone just because they had money.

    • Adele

      And I’d like to add that wealthy kids never hung out with me just because I was lower middle class. In fact, they never hung out with me (or my friends) at all. If they had, they might feel more secure in their own self-worth when they meet lower-income people now, since no doubt most ealthy people are quite likable.

  • AfghaniGirl

    Watched Gates and Hillary during Sunday Morning Shows.

    They are both pulling things out of their buttocks to justify “the regime change”.

    Condi Rice and Rumsfeld all over again.
    Hillary/Gates/AIPAC/Tel-Aviv …. their original decision was the Overthrow + Punish Ghadafi – he has said terrible things against Israel in the past … just Google.

    Why would Libyan soldiers kill their own people/civillians?

    Why would USA support a bunch of tribal primitively armed fundementalis guys to overthrow a government that is stable and recognized by United Nations and is supported by 95% of the secular, western oriented and educated (by American Teachers)?

    Look at the pictures of downtown Grosny in Chechnia when it was being bombed by Russian jets … oh my God … not a single apartment building without a hit … what the hell United Nations done when Russian were killing their own Civillian People?

    The armed rebels with machines guns on Toyota trucks getting close to Tripoli … the Libyan military is torn to pieces with American Tax Payer paid Bombs …. will they not kill civilians?

    Believe it or not they will supply weapons to the religious opposition; because Tel-Aviv favors Arabs killing Arabs, asap.

  • Holly Thibodeaux

    Do the Super-Rich feel ‘rich’? If you don’t feel you have enough, you probably don’t feel you can give any away. Maybe being super-wealthy doesn’t always make you feel ‘rich’? If you can’t feel the abundance – if you never feel satisfaction – I guess life could be pretty miserable no matter how much you have.

    • Brennn511

      It’s not “HOW” to feel rich… but “WHERE” you feel rich, sane, normal.
      Money is nothing, but children are less and they want to believe their Parents even if both are 1st gen [f.o.b. inner-nat] with no cultural GEOGRAPHIC regional heritage/respect …vs local poverty/geo-culture. NCLB transformed into NCLB-ET [E.T.] is the feeling… children recieve from “good parents” georaphically, not simple [obscure] “oppertunity”[good or bad], but location “X” talent = skillfeeling

  • Bmadmad23

    I think the majority if not all except a few comments are the most bigoted, subjective and down right spiteful responses I have ever seen. These responses honestly makes our racial divide with African Americans in early America look like long game of red rover. Are all of you any better than the Evil brothers and sister you claim to paint as “greedy”. Do any of you think just for one second that because you lack resources to use you are less of a human being or vice versa?

    I got to say I am ashamed of my humanity that we are capable of just falling to ever greater depths in their own selfdestruction all because they think they need some sort of magic item to make the world better.

    I believe humans are also capable of doing great works, if they have a lot of money or not.

    But what is the point of bothering working together when most of you would actually find it below your humanity to work with each other just because one of you has more Magic items or not? Or even at the least, Sympathize?

    Think about that. Please. Do humanity a favor and think about it.

    • Fredlinskip

      There is a lot to be said about money isn’t everything and isn’t any near the top as far as bringing true “spiritual” happiness.
      There is also much to be said that Plutocracy is NOT the best form of government- we can and should do better. How our country presently operates is a great perversion of what founding fathers intended.

    • Adele

      I am more than willing to work together with the very wealthy. Here’s what I’d like their help with: forging legislation to create universal health insurance (single payer), substantially increasing taxes on those earning more than $500,000, revising the tax code to make it simple for all: all income (earned or unearned) taxed as income; improving the public schools we have by not siphoning off students for unproven “charter” pseudo-private schools; improved and less costly care for our elderly citizens as they approach life’s end; support for social services like rape crisis center, expanded rehab services for substance abusers; exanded services for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled; improving the cleanliness of our air and water. I’d really like on-the-ground help, not just their (relatively meager for the scope of the problems) checks. I’d really like their working here, as well as on medical and education problems in sub-Sahara Africa. I’d really like their pitching in at the soup kitchens and finding the people who live under the bridges to bring them to shelters. I’d really like their working with me and others at Habitat for Humanity building sites. I hope they all line up to work together with me soon. I wish they would use their clout to publicly testify before Congress on the inequities and unfairness they see affecting the poor and middle class and work on legislation that would address those.

  • Tibetan Yak

    It clearly tells that money is not the genuine source of happiness.

  • Michaellong103

    Working together? I would love to see super wealthy people if they did what they claim they do – Make great products that we want to buy. Thank god for businessmen like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

    The problem as I see it is that so many of the modern super wealthy make their money by something that would have been called fraud in any other age. America has become a country where you can become extremely wealthy by bankrupting companies in the private equity industry. Look at the companies that Mitt Romney has run. Credit card companies use a business plan that is just a mix of tricks and traps. Wall Street doesn’t invest as much as they bet in the derivatives market. When they lose we all pay the price.

    Everyone talks about wealth as if these people earned it. I have all the respect for those that do. However, a lot of the people I know did it through stock fraud, pump and dump companies, and simple theft. You can make a billion dollars through a great product. You can make a billion dollars by simply stealing it. Since legitimate regulation is always termed
    “communism” in America it has become a lot easier to take your money out of people’s pockets.

    Insurance company executives make Billions by denying claims.
    Wall Street traders make billions on bailouts
    Banks make billions through bought politicians.

    And the rest of us struggle to get by.

    • Markus

      Interesting examples.

      Many, and I happen to be one, think that Microsoft killed off more innovations than just about any other company. I know of at least 30 companies with products much more innovative than MS who died because MS could add something like their functionality to Windows while making it difficult for their competitors to integrate. They used their monopoly power to eliminate competition. However, now that Gates is giving billions to good causes, he’s looked upon as close to a saint.

      Course, Romney is a conservative so he must be bad – at least to most NPR listeners. Romney made companies that were inefficient, efficient. He could easily have gone the route of Wang or Digital and ignored economic reality. He didn’t have a monopoly and what he did was unpopular in a predominately liberal state.

      Oh, but no disagreement on Jobs.

      • Adele

        “Romney make inefficient companies efficient”? He made companies extinct and thousands of people lost jobs. “Efficient” as in lower wages for the same amount (or more) work. “Efficient” as in bankrupting pensions, reducing benefits (like health insurance and vacation time). That’s one way to define what he did. Another way is “slash and burn.”

  • CommanderX

    From an old disabled worker who is obviously unworthy of the pittance that he receives even though it is about a fifth of what it costs to hold a criminal in prison.

    Please correct me if I am wrong. If my memory serves; it was a tyrant who seized power in Athens (Setorius or something like that) who incited the Spartans to attack Athens and get rid of him. This set the stage for the first democracy (If you were a male Athenian land owner) but did not really rid them of the aristocracy. It did however establish the first and, at the time, only place on earth that had citizens as apposed to mere subjects. This was an anomaly on earth, and in reality it still is, as there are only a handful of states that are actually ruled by the citizens and not some central cabal of powerful individuals. And it seems obvious that ours is no longer one of them. I think the big issue we are dealing with here is that more and more of the powers that should reside in the citizenry of our nation has been co-opted by the big boys. And this is happening at a time when it is possible for more and more of the little guys to become aware of this rigged system. I think that bitterness is inevitable as the populace awakens to the aggressive and hostile acts that have been committed against them, perfectly legally of course, since the perpetrators engineered the legal framework wherein this could take place. It would be nice if this small percentage of the population that own most of everything realized the inevitable outcome of their actions and reformed themselves. But I don’t believe that is going to happen in any meaningful way.

    • Gman77

      Your are right, they are not going to reform themselves. They are going to downgrade everyone else. Their sycophants that they have made rich (hate-radio hosts and academic apologists alike) have them, and a lot of their victims convinced that they are the engines of our economy. And as such look were they have driven us: to our general ruin and their ever increasing arch-veinglorious god-like existence. After all, it is only just that the very people who ruined our economy and subverted the government should be rewarded with riches and status.

    • at

      This is kind of an interesting post. But remember, in Germany, the industrialists thought they were going to own the state, and it ended up going pretty much the other way. This whole idea of a cycle of increasing plutocratic encrouchment, and its attendant corruption, leading to a popular revolt, that ends in tyranny, which in turn leads to a revolt that begins another cycle of plutocratic growth, because of the advantages of concentrated wealth, may fit in here. It seems to happen over and over doesn’t it?

  • Joan

    I got something completely different out of the interview with Schervish and Kenny from BC.

    I felt that Ashbrook was digging for ‘sound bites’ on the ugly, whiny, rich Americans. I don’t buy into the notion that rich is evil. I know there are many decent, hardworking, compassionate wealthy people out there – hopefully more in numbers than the greedy, Romney-like characters pillaging the business world.) They sometimes do things that you and I of modest means don’t – make big contributions to the local boys and girls club, fund college scholarships, or bring awareness to the general public of genocides in other countries.

    I’m not saying I feel bad for the super-rich or that I wish I were them but I think we all could be better humans.

    • A.H.

      Very respectively, I believe that you actually hope, as opposed to actually know, there are many decent rich people out there. One of the ways business people become wealthy is by suppressing the wages and benefits of their employees, often enough by 100% to 500% of their own benefits.
      It is the poor people and the middle class who give a far higher proportion of their income to local small charities than rich people, despite having much less disposable income. Charitable rich people typically give to large institutions, universities, museums, art institutions, where a large portion of the money is taken up by administrative salaries and expenses, and the rich people get their names on a plaque.
      Rich people rarely bring awareness of atrocities around the world or in their home town. It is the poor who fight pollution from the big businesses because industries are predominantly located in poor districts. And it is small town lawyers or the ACLU who fight on their behalf. It is non-profit organizations and reporters on the ground who provide awareness of atrocities;rich people, such as Princess Diana, come late to the scene for photo-ops or to heighten the media, but they don’t do any of the work.
      That is why rich people giving to charities is such a big news scoop, because it is generally rare and surprising.

  • guest

    Since you have (ok, allegedly) downtrodden women suing Walmart the first hour, and the very rich the second hour, no one in hour 2 pointed out that the Waltons made their money by having most of their employees in a low wage, no-benefit situation and effectively forcing their suppliers to move production to China or whatever other country wins the race to the bottom.

  • Brennan511

    Being [very] wealthy is like being Royalty… A Capitalist society accepts and promotes this system & reality for “human reasons” [not "super human"/gods but leaders and heros] such as solving crucial problems of statistical relavance -, or lending a bar-fly $$$ because they treat YOU so nice… [the ROOT of Evil].
    There is often obviousnotisable yet fundamentally “left ObscurED Origination” [contrasting the "RIGHT of our Manifest Destiny"] that relates GEOGRAPHY TO SCHITZOFRENIA, a place where iether YOU don’t belong [$$$ can buy evil...] or where “your hero”[a Child Left Behind] is imprisoned! where [geographically] Injustice is siezed by poverty, and “psy-opps” used against you, because YOU were confused about RESPONCIBILITY, about wielding power in a virtual lazer beam of solving crucial stat facets of Historical social justice ….Obscured! like a “friendly” loan $outh of the border,,,
    The Mission [you must choose] is an “X-FILES” statistical mission to SAVE SOULS, not making “friendly loans” in “feel good scams” but CRACKING THE CODE and making “adjustments /social-policy” that benefits YOU… and us [U.S.] in the long run [investment in {YOUR} society] finding the long term “T.Y.N. zombies” [TranplantABLE Youth Normative -NCLB-E.T. phone home] and tilting the tables of soc ECOLOGY so that the socially invisible E.T. gets on the ship’plane and GOES HOME/geo-history teen-EXP, because big wealth let alone sanity [Howard Hughs 1st gen Texas? schitzo GW...
    But Hey... send in the clowns... [drink this magic potion of immortality, and spot me a loan [the devil Loves YOUR money, God is waiting for leaderSHIP.]
    $ = “you have an oppertunity” is a quantifiable GEOGRAPHIC, HISTORIC [fam geo hist] and NORMATIVE EQUATION. “They knew” because their Parents!!! MADE SURE! that the Howard Hughs feasibility/sanity exp by [b-YOU-y] sending GW to liberal Mass [N.E. usa] for High School. Because WE KNOW that west America [Hollywood's f.o.b.] makes “strong Americans” CRAZY! [NCLB sweet conspiracy] Bill Gates is 3rd generation, that fam-geo-hist is what floats… or sinks! {H.H. vs GW} YOU… & us.

  • A.H.

    Neither the study performed by Dr. Schervish nor the counseling provided by Mr. Kenny, provides a random sample of wealthy people. Both groups are composed of selected rich people who are interested in studying the meaning of money in their lives, or those who are undergoing crises due to or influenced by their wealthy lifestyles.

    Dr. Schervish’s study would be similar to a study on masochistic/sadistic sex games in couples…which couples do you think would be interested in participating in that study? The complete lack of randomness in the wealthy people participating in Schervish’s study strongly limits the conclusions supported by the study.

    Mr. Kenny’s case is similarly biased as he is not counseling wealthy people who do not have wealth-induced problems, or those that don’t categorize their problems as wealth-induced. He is counseling those who are sensitive to their wealth and already aware of negative issues stemming from the wealth.
    Mr. Kenny’s bias was seen in his strong objection to the passing comment that the wealthy buy yachts. Sorry, but only the wealthy buy yachts, even if his clients rent or purchase private jets instead.

  • Stevetheteacher

    I’d like to see the mainstream media (NPR included) take the time and energy to present the lives of the other half of the world. The half that are treated as “throw away” human beings by many in the West.

    How about letting some of the 2 billion who have no water, inadequate sanitation, no electricity explain what their lives are like. How about letting a mom, living in a country with an overwhelming <5 yr old child mortality explain how its like to loose child after child just because she is too poor to provide a healthy living environment or pay for adequate health care. How about some analysis into how much wealth the developed world takes from such people (through their labor and/or resources) and the extent to which today's socio-economic structures perpetuate these conditions.

  • Dana Franchitto

    THis would have been unheard of back when NPR/WBUR lived up to the name “public” Radio. NPR is a sellout.

  • at

    Here’s the link to the radio show that was mentioned by–I forgot by who–but it is pretty darn amusing. The pertinent part starts around 51:50 into the show. It’s the part about the discovery that there may be a link between success and the ability to deceive one’s self. Or I guess believe in yourself, depending on how you look at it. Great show.

    http://www.radiolab.org/2008/mar/10/

  • Anonymous

    At least if your wealthy you can afford the expense and time for therapy.
    This show was kind of funny in some ways. I’m not sure who to take it.
    I don’t envy the uber rich or people who are wealthy. What I despise is how some of them have this sense of entitlement.

    That said this nation does have some serious problems with wealth and how it is going to the top 5%. If history teaches us anything it’s that when this balance gets to distorted the nation can suffer from civil unrest or even revolution.

  • FatalJoy

    Our system seems to have gone insane. Yet this is now the norm. Too bad the younger generations are not naive idealists who become disillusioned activists, instead of starting out in life as they now do, already jaded by the pervasive corruption of the political system by the economic system, not that they are two distinct things. Dead George said, “The Nazi’s lost the war but fascism won.” Considering the extreme convergence of the economic system with the political system we now have, sometimes in the guise of economic expediency, sometimes in that of deregulation of markets, I would say he is right. Strange as it seems, I can only conclude that both Communist China and the United States of America are now fascist states. We are going to all end up with some strange brew of fascism and an endemic oriental level of corruption. But we may be competitive, in a general systemic sense if not in the sense that will benefit the average person. I still await the arrest of the first person who actually subverted our economy for their own profit by their slice and dice CDOs and casino style insurance/default swap scams. You want to know why the entitlement programs are a problem now? There it is, they have been plundered by the trusted leaders of our banking and economic systems. Uber rich to the man. No?

  • Longfeather

    How about how angry they are that their city can’t cater to their needs. At a recent budget hearing in Norfolk Virginia I was nauseated when someone from “Freemason” felt that the city should cut out school lunches because she saw some food thrown away. That would pay to prevent the tide from rising on her street. Another said that the police and firemen should not be able to drive their vehicles home. These people don’t have any idea what it is to be on duty 24/7, called out at any hour. They are only interested in nitpicking so they don’t have to see or hear about the problems of the rest of us. We spoil their view. Why did they have to build a hospital and medical school in their neighborhood. Nobody wants to go near them or overhear them. They only want sales taxes to cover their needs. Forget about the plain old able-bodied seaman and his or her family. We are below the decks and don’t need access to amenities. Why spending anything on us would be ‘pearls before swine.’ They are too good for us.

  • Tvmc98

    It’s quite simple. Here is the question they face:

    1) I have a gazillion dollars in my bank account.
    2) There is a poor man/woman/family that needs to be fed.
    3) I consider myself a moral person.

    What should I do?

    Duh!

    This is why it will be “harder for a rich man to go to heaven than a…”

    • Gregg

      When you see a fat man standing next to a skinny man do you assume the fat guy stole the skinny guy’s food?

      • Adele

        The question is: should the fat man share his food, no matter how he managed to get it. IF he stole, that’s worse, of course. IF he rigged the system so he always gets more, that’s a problem, too. There’s “stealing” and there’s constructing a system than ensures you’ll always get more than you’ll ever need and that the skinny man will never get enough.

        • Tvmc98

          Thanks Adele. Gregg doesn’t seem to get it. Context always matters. When I see a man with a billion dollars I can bet you the same amount he did not work hard enough to earn that amount…or is worth that much.

          The beauty of this wonderful country is in democracy and freedom – not GREED.

          • Stanclauss

            Tvmc98, I’m the one who doesn’t get it. Are you pro-greed, as indicated in your first paragraph? Or against it, as indicated in your 2nd?

    • http://nicholas.moolala.com/ 4607668

      Such a hypocritical statement, wealth is a relative thing.

      America: GDP – per capita $47,400
      Haiti, Mali, Uganda, Nepal: GDP – per capita $1,200
      Burma, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda: GDP per capita $1,100
      Zimbabwe: GDP – per capita $400

      Americas typically have health risks due to obesity while billions of people face health risks due to malnutrition.

      Get the plank out of your eye before you make such a smug statement.

  • Kittens

    I have never had the impetuous to comment on ON POINT’s site. But this show was a total sham. Usually the show tackles interesting and pertinent topics. I am sorry, but the pretense of this “study” was nothing more than a white wash of something America is going to have to come to terms with sooner or later: there is a danger of the super wealthy continuing their march unchecked. For my own sake, I hope people in the lower and middle class will see the evil this super-class entails. No longer content to amuse themselves with the luck of lottery tickets and belief in the American dream, they will stand up and fight for what they have lost. Equality. And a shot at a better life. Wake up people!

  • Jan Roth

    Have never been so bothered by a show. These two men seemed like a marketing tool for the wealthy, working to convince the rest of us, that the rich are doing their part. As one caller who works to get the rich to committ more of their wealth to the cause, they are a DIFFICULT group to get money from. What bothered me was the these two very biased men, clearly had an agenda.

    Is NPR bought as well!

  • ee

    who cares

    • DavidSauvil

      You get my vote for the proper attitude. But I would add that we should still attempt to fix it before it comes to it’s inevitable conclusion. I agree with some of the positions here about this cycles thing. With this caveat or addendum: I think that the plutocracy phase of the cycle is more democratic in nature than the tyrannic phase. While I think that the tyrannic phase CAN, — that’s “can” with a capital “can”– be better for the whole of humanity if the tyrant is the right person, but of course it can be much much worse. Enough worse that it scares most people into going along with the corruption and plutocracy. I would like to also point out that these are not the only choices we have. With todays technology we could have a technocracy/plutocracy which in a sense we already have. We could also have a society that is a kind of retro-neo-confusian kind of thing that would use the most objective tests we could devise, in the most open forum of test development and experimental studies, then test any and all applicants and chose our government from the best entries. We could have severe restrictions on future employment and financial gain on any representatives or executive or judges (and their families) and let those who would truly serve out of the love of humanity and human potential serve. Of course only the most qualified by way of intelligence morals and vigor would be chosen to serve because the tests would be objective and able to evolve as our experience grew. An then the bussiness community could grow freely and not have to spend all that money on value bribes and the hugh political industry that they now support. In short we could get rid of the millionaire glamour boy politicians that have so ill served us in the past, and keep any that tested and were able to accept severe restrictions on their mundane possibilities for a purpose that transcends them as individuals and which they are intelligent enough to be in touch with. And of course there would be term limits.

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  • Johnkryten

    We need this story to keep the funding flowing remember two weeks ago?). We need an alert for this kind of necessary evil like: [explicit] or something.

  • Jesse

    Really I never knew the rich had it so rough. I feel much better now, thanks.

  • WendyRobin

    Just catching up on this show via podcast. I generally love On Point, but this show about the Super Wealthy was pretty bad. I can’t figure out what we are supposed to take from it. Who cares about the super-rich? There were no revelations in this story of relevance to anyone, rich or not. With so many other interesting subjects why would you have picked this one?

  • TimStasnek

    Seriously — who cares! What I really care about is WBURs slander on ‘REAL STATISTICs’ — as in today’s Terry Gross segment on Moring Edition when she said ‘OBAMA’s APPROVAL RATING IS OVER 50 PERCENT’ — come one, who is responsible for checking the facts. This is a blatant lie and an embarrassment for WBUR (yes I am a member and listen every day) — but when Rasmussen Reports show only 26 approval and WBUR is reporting over 50 percent – WBUR is twisting the numbers for a president who has shown ZERO leadership skills with any of the recent national issues, RENEGED on his commitment to get our military out of IRAG and AFGAN, done ZERO for the economy, and spends more time playing golf than Bush did. WHY IS WBUR NOT REPORTING ON ANY OF THESE ISSUES – they are giving him a free pass on the middle east, unemployment rates, etc. I want my membership donation back! WAKE UP PEOPLE and realize our current president is not who we voted for.!!!

    • Slipstream66

      I think your comments are inappropriate, considering that they have nothing to do with what the show was about. Re the president’s poll numbers – I am sure there are a lot of different polls out there, but the ones I have seen show Obama’s approval rating around 45-50%. So you are not happy with Obama. I am not totally satisfied with him either, but I don’t agree with your statements. Who would you like to see in the White House? Ralph Nader? John McCain? Ron Paul? Some Tea Party wacko?

  • Farzana haq

    Tom i love to listen to your show evenrea when i was in the US and now your podcasts when i have moved to middle east . The show is thought inspiring and i really am hooked to your articulation, am a muslim woman but thoroughly appreceiate and try comprehending your point of views culturally too.

  • Slipstream

    Somewhat disappointing show – not because of Tom, but because of the guests. I read the article in The Atlantic also, btw. I think that what they are doing COULD BE a very valuable project, one with great importance to our society, but instead we have… a couple of guys who provide only modest insight into the lives, mores, and motivations of the very rich. If anything, they seem to feel themselves to have been quite privileged to rub shoulders (in a sense) with that crowd, and to have developed an approach of being apologists for those who take a lot (and create a lot) and in many cases give back very little. It is not shocking – and it is a bit comforting – to hear that yes, the rich love their families and have worries and stresses just like anyone else. So we are all human after all. But where is the good gossip here?

    I am reminded of something a good friend, a fundraiser, once said to me – that people who work in fundraising and talk with rich people every day often begin acting and dressing like their wealthy benefactors, and seem to start believing that they have joined this elite club themselves. Is that what happened to Shervish and Kenny?

  • Kerry P.

    I’m doing psycho-social research on wealthy, retired CEO’s who coped positively with divorce. I’m having struggles finding quality search strings, listings or articles. Any suggestions? Thank you kindly.

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