1. America is Not Broke: Michael Moore vs the Forbes 400

    Michael Moore hits on some salient points regarding whether or not we should screw the working class to eke out some money to fill budget gaps. In short, he’s against it. Watch the whole thing, though. It’s better than whatever else you could spend a half hour watching on E! or whatever.

    Moore was also kind enough to post the text of his speech on his site, if you’re in a hurry.

    What resonated with me was the statistic Moore cites about 400 Americans having more wealth than 50% of the rest of the country. Just so you don’t have to do that math, that’s .000001% versus 50%.

    If you’re into analogies, that’s one guy getting half the pizza, and 50,000,000 people splitting the rest.

    And it’s not like this is secret knowledge. These 400 people aren’t hiding underground in caverns filled with jewels and gold coins, drinking platinum smoothies. No, they are the mediocre gods we’ve made for ourselves and there are plenty of magazines all about how much we want to be them.We hear a lot about how great they are.

    Forbes, for interest. If you want to know exactly who those 400 are, how old they are, where they live, and get a hint at the source of most/some of their wealth, Forbes publishes a neat little list right here. It’s even got pictures so if you see them, you can ask them “Hey, why do you have more money than the cumulative worth of every one of my ancestors?”

    Good luck catching them on the street.

    The part we don’t talk about is this: their wealth comes from the difference between what we spend and what something is worth added to the difference between how much our labor is worth and what we get paid for it. By virtue of owning the right to take in profits and then distribute them back out to the little people, they get to keep whatever amount they want. And that amount (see the percentages above) is a very, very large amount.

    Not very hard math, just depressing. Now how about a raise, eh?

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