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Crazy For Change-- Debillionairizing America, Eliminating Dynasties

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I've had some interesting responses to my ideas about de-billionairizing the USA, about aggressively ending dynasties in the US using massive taxes on inheritances. I've been called insane, threatened with death if my plan takes money away from one reader. 

 Here's one comment, from one of our regular naysayers, Doc "Old Codger" McCoy, on my article,  Don't Celebrate Obama's Deal Too Soon-- and Let's Start talking about the Next Fiscal Cliff Coming 60 Days from Now:

Reply to Rob Kall:  Dynastys exist in America
and have since the country was founded.  That is a natural progression.  Kennedy.  Bush.  Rothschild.  Rockefeller.  Walton - a very recent dynasty.  The list can go on and on - and of course will include lesser monied people as well.  Dynasties do exist in America - from small town dynasties to big city dynasties to nationwide and world wide dynasties.  That is a fact of life. You are not going to change that.
You do seem to hate the rich, especially the heirs of the rich.  Some people were just fortunate or lucky enough to be born into money and do not have to do anything to "earn" that money today.  Right or wrong - that is the way it is the world over.  You are not going to change it.
It is good to be willing to fight for what you believe in - but what you believe in must also be realistic.  Making billionaires illegal and taxing the hell out of millionaires is not a realistic goal.  They will simply leave the country and take everything with them.  The economy would collapse.  There are many countries around the world that will welcome them because of their ability to create jobs.  
Just as an example, I was welcomed into both Thailand and China because of my ability to create jobs.  I settled on China because, in part, the government is more stable than that of Thailand.  I am not, nor was I "super rich."  I consider myself comfortable.  The point is, that if I, with a relatively small amount of money can be welcomed into other countries based on the premise that I can create jobs and add to the economy, think of the opportunities that will be available to those who are even richer.  When I left the States, many people lost their jobs.  When millionaires and billionaires leave the States, many, many more people will lose their jobs and nothing will be there to replace those jobs.
In short, you dreams of outlawing billionaires will never see the light of day.  Essentially, that is un-American.  The social justice that you so passionately fight for and write about is ultimately not much more than a dream that will not be achieved in your lifetime, nor anyone else's.  The world is evolving to one of "every man for himself" and until world attitudes change, nothing else will change.

I started to reply as a comment and decided it was worth making into an article. So here goes.

Good points, but not insurmountable. I do not hate the rich. I see ultra wealth as dangerous. As Byron said, Power corrupts and absolute... well, you know the drill.   There are laws in many countries that foreigners cannot own property. And there are laws that people can't take money out of the country. Even now, in the US, people can't take more than $10,000 in cash. Laws could be established here that limit amounts of money or assets removed (actually, the idea of requiring that for every dollar taken out for an investment in another country, a dollar or two dollars must be invested in the US..) And if there were laws that captured money as it was earned, with taxes, or within the US investments, that would stop the money from leaving. I also believe that the same opportunities to make money do not exist in many places outside the US-- maybe none. 


Imploding a building-- You can take down
the largest edifices-- billionaires too.
flickr image by M J M


You say, "Right or wrong - that is the way it is the world over.  You are not going to change it." That is the mentality of a victim. I am an activist and my goal is to take action and educate and engage victims willing to wake up and become activists to free themselves from oppressive systems-- and dynasties are parts of the economic and cultural systems currently oppressing humanity. When  you look at the starvation, the lost opportunities to educate promising children, the ecological destruction produced by megacorporations (I also want to get rid of them) and their dynastic owners, it is an obscene abomination, a monstrous mutation of humanity at work. 

There are endless ways to make things work that you say are impossible. I'm a big believer in making the impossible happen. That's what inventors and innovators have always faced and always done-- made what others said was impossible possible. As Ghandi is purported to have said, " First they  ignore you,  then  they ridicule you,  then  they fight you, and  then  you win." 

I agree that there are dynasties in the US. I don't think there should be and I think they are bad for America. They may be consistent with top down histories, but certainly not with the history of the US as Zinn wrote it in People's History of the United States. If the United States is still an organic, living, democratic entity, then its evolution should be away from hierarchy and concentrated power like dynasties produce. There is no natural reason why the children of the wealthy should be wealthy. It wasn't that way for the first million years of human and pre-human history. And it is not something that will lead to evolution of better humans. That's for sure. 

Rather, dynasties can lead to inbred stupid, lazy, greedy, sociopaths. I've met my share of next generation wealthy-- people worth $10 million or $200 million. Some are good people, most well educated. But few are innovators. They enjoy the free car keys for the rich ride they are given. Some give back to their communities, often religious orgs. But they all use the money to buy luxuries, luxury travel, etc. that are just not necessary to be a happy, thriving, contributing human. I've literally flown in private jets because of my interactions with the very wealthy. It was cool, but I could have lived without it and so could they. Better to feed hungry children and educate every kid who wants to go to college.

I don't believe anyone should be so rich they can afford to pay $100 million for a painting, or a yacht, or ten or fifty million for a home.  I also believe that consumption culture we now have is relatively new-- literally created in the 1920s We don't have to stay with the idea that it is better to consume and continually increase production. That is non-sustainable and part of the billionaire fantasy people who will never be rich engage in, when they support billionaires. 

Let's talk about the impossible. There's a great book, by Paul Loeb The Impossible Will Take a Little While that every activist should read, especially ones who are losing hope. There are countless examples of people who have been told that something can't be done-- and it hasn't stopped them from doing it, and succeeding.

If you went back in time 100 years ago and told people that blacks and women would be running billion dollar companies, or the US, they would have said you were out of your mind. If you told people that they wouldn't be able to smoke cigarettes in a saloon, they would have laughed at you. Things change. We make them change. Sometimes it happens in big leaps. Sometimes it happens in tiny steps, nibbling away at the status quo. 

The truth is, billionaires are not the best job creators. They might have been on the way up, if they were entrepreneurs, but once they have the billions, they take the money and bank it, move it overseas, put it into finance, offshore business and keep minimum wage jobs at home-- like the Walton family. Losing them is not such a big loss if they go-- and we'd lose their toxic influence on politics, so good riddance. 

De-billionairization should be a world-wide process. I am confident it WILL happen. The last billionaires  (because  you are right-- they will try to run with their money like Depardeau) will end up in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and other rogue states. Another way to deal with billionaires moving is to re-write global trade agreements so nations do not harbor billionaires. 

Go ahead. Call me crazy. If we don't think big and envision far we will get nowhere. We possess the technologies we have now because people refused to listen to naysayers like you-- and instead of giving up, took the criticism and used it to fine-tune the vision, as you're helping me to do. 

I've been studying early human anthropology and archaelogy lately. At one point, the weather reduced the human population drastically, so they were limited to living in a very small region of Africa, near the sea. People adapted, recovered, then spread out and voila, here we are. 

We may go through some serious adversity to get to a better place. But that place will not tolerate billionaires. They are as unnatural as ten foot tall humans. 

For related articles check Billionaires.


 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)
 

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I think when one individual has greater liquid cas... by Steven G. Erickson on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 1:49:19 PM
I agree Rob, you are so on the right track, and wi... by Tommy Wright on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 2:01:47 PM
We live in a relative world, everything is relativ... by Tommy Wright on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 2:02:26 PM
Thanks for expanding on your reply, Rob.The narrat... by Philip Zack on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 2:13:56 PM
Probably most of the money billionaires DO spend i... by Kim Cassidy on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 11:34:28 PM
(or something similar) to withstand the rigors of ... by molly cruz on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 3:38:01 PM
right wingers typically use the "you're jealous of... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 4:06:59 PM
Is a fable, promoted constantly BY the rich. I nev... by Kim Cassidy on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 5:33:50 PM
It is not envy of the rich that makes me feel disg... by Kristine Hoggatt on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 9:08:28 AM
I used to sell expensive white powder that could b... by Adam Smith on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 5:08:58 PM
This God complex  is sooooo  well- known... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 5:24:30 PM
but people like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch broth... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 6:16:50 PM
The billionaire sociopaths can run, but they can't... by intotheabyss on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 5:26:35 PM
"Government run by organized money is the same as ... by Lance Thruster on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 6:03:30 PM
You seem to not like America and the freedoms that... by Dylan on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 6:52:13 PM
and in fact, the poorer is the population, the ric... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 7:05:02 PM
Exactly!!!!... by Dylan on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 7:08:31 PM
 I meant  that  the excess of billi... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 7:20:03 PM
Freedom IS America. Not exactly sure what you're t... by Dylan on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 8:48:15 PM
You will be confronted with the realization that y... by Kim Cassidy on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 11:47:29 PM
Freedom does not mean that a person can do exactly... by Kristine Hoggatt on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 9:29:17 AM
I welcome and support "Good Freedom:" and "endeavo... by Daniel Penisten on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 1:04:24 PM
A doctrine in which we have been inculcated for fo... by Richard Girard on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 4:01:27 PM
I just saw Django. Samuel L. Jackson played a role... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 11:40:22 PM
If that's what you got out of it then, you're righ... by Dylan on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 7:26:07 AM
You are wrong to assume a radical idea is not alre... by Andrew Ess on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 9:00:55 PM
This is a great article Rob. The US may still be a... by Frank Legge on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 11:06:14 PM
Vote for the candidates that are NOT touted by the... by Daniel Penisten on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 1:13:10 PM
There's certainly some appeal for a billionaire ba... by dan hitt on Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 at 11:34:13 PM
Billionares will, with Climate Change, murder huma... by Sekhmetnakt Frost on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 12:20:33 AM
We need to take back the media! There is a decisio... by Kim Cassidy on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 12:28:49 AM
The more money you have, the more "free" you are. ... by Shankari Kali on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 12:49:16 AM
no course of action is being presented.  Ho... by Doc McCoy on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 2:34:44 AM
for every 1000 or 10,000 can't doers like you ther... by Rob Kall on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 8:45:31 AM
finding people to get out and do the work is alway... by Doc McCoy on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 9:34:09 AM
So stop talkingCodger, to defend the status - quo ... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 11:25:41 AM
but then I do not expect you to. Personally, I am ... by Doc McCoy on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 10:30:52 PM
I made an opinion based  on the experience wi... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 at 8:33:39 AM
Codger's contributions are certainly valid and use... by Adam Smith on Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 at 10:45:42 AM
And if was on the conservative side I would say th... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 at 11:50:55 AM
Yes. I see the entrenched reality that you are see... by Daniel Penisten on Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 at 11:45:58 PM
Almost total dedication to "self". An over focus a... by Daniel Penisten on Sunday, Jan 6, 2013 at 12:48:42 AM
Feeling somewhat secure in their power over others... by Daniel Penisten on Sunday, Jan 6, 2013 at 12:57:12 AM
Very few people expected Christianity to sweep the... by Adam Smith on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 5:51:50 PM
I like to remember how the massive dinosaurs were ... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 at 1:42:33 PM
with the rest of us, we'd perhaps have something w... by Daniel Geery on Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 at 12:51:51 PM
I agree with Old Codger (which probably comes as n... by Dylan on Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 at 2:33:55 PM
click here=7096. This is a very good chance to mak... by Kim Cassidy on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 3:31:17 AM
The above did not seem to include the petition (it... by Kim Cassidy on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 3:40:35 AM
... click here to grab Rupert by his curly dynasty... by Michael Rose on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 4:56:18 AM
I don't know about you, but petitions that give th... by Kim Cassidy on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 10:30:08 PM
I'm happy to share on FB :)Mad Angel on FB... by MadAngel on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 10:06:30 AM
1. There were few if any great, dynastic wealthy ... by Poor old Dirt farmer on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 10:33:52 AM
8. Climate Change and nuclear power are 2 example... by Poor old Dirt farmer on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 10:34:53 AM
but you are a worthy sccessor to the followers of ... by Richard Girard on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 4:09:24 PM
The Corporations and their owners just went intern... by Bob Stuart on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 10:37:11 AM
First. I have never thought it was a good thing to... by Daniel Penisten on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 12:51:41 PM
British did a similar thing to their wealthy and t... by Archie on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 1:53:10 PM
I'd really like to see more about it. ... by Rob Kall on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 9:16:50 PM
CONGRESS.From Open Secrets on the Senate (the Hous... by Mike Kimball on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 5:57:04 PM
Just look at who they really represent.... by Mike Kimball on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 6:13:13 PM
I'm currently reading C. Wright Mills' 1956 book, ... by Derryl Hermanutz on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 7:56:05 PM
1-there's something wrong with our flagging system... by Rob Kall on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 8:22:39 PM
Right on, Rob. Your system flagged my use of an u... by Derryl Hermanutz on Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at 9:13:53 PM
Interesting thoughts Derryl Hermanutz. But I have ... by Daniel Penisten on Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 at 10:10:06 PM
Good point. Before and during England's industria... by Derryl Hermanutz on Sunday, Jan 6, 2013 at 12:43:07 PM
 If it was for me I would have just  tol... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 at 10:33:21 AM
"All the Property that is necessary to a man, for ... by @ZaRdOz420WPN on Sunday, Jan 6, 2013 at 8:31:33 PM
The Way to Wealth in 1758?  Is this not the s... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Jan 6, 2013 at 10:29:41 PM
Doc Old Codger McCoy wrote just above: "Franklin d... by Daniel Penisten on Monday, Jan 7, 2013 at 1:05:05 PM