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March 5, 2014

One Step to De-Billionairize America-- Prevent Inheritance of Billions

By Rob Kall

Why would a 24 year old woman deserve the power and influence of being a billionaire? There is no good reason... though there's no reason any billionaire should wield such power.

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From http://www.flickr.com/photos/60513726@N03/7751205588/: billionaire

USA Today has a short video on young billionaires. Specifically, it reports that among billionaires under 30, about half or more are billionaires because they inherited money or shares in a company. The youngest is the 24 year old daughter of a real estate mogul. 

I've said it before-- the US should not support the creation, maintenance or continuation of dynasties. That's exactly what happens when billions are passed along to the next generation. 

We've seen the kinds of people who inherit massive amounts of money-- the Waltons, the Kochs, for starters. 

Why would a 24 year old woman deserve the power and influence of being a billionaire? There is no good reason... though there's no reason any billionaire should wield such power. 

While it may be difficult to eliminate existing billionaires, eventually, these freak cases of economic giantism, these abnormal, by their nature dangerous threats to humanity will drop dead at least until immortality technologies are perfected, which will be in an estimated 25- 50 years. After immortality or even massive life extension is achieved (think of Dick Cheney, what he's been through) then it will be much harder to de-billionairize. Scenarios like we've seen in recent movies, where the wealthy despoil the planet and move into outer space will seem much more realistic. 

One thing that we can do to stop new billionaires is to refuse to allow dynasties to be created. Create inheritance laws, with every conceivable loophole covered, that allow inheritors to receive a maximum amount of money and power-- say $20 million. 

There are a handful of billionaires who say they are going to give all their wealth away-- Bill Gates, Warren Buffett-- for example. Well, seeing is believing. But if I tiny few can do it voluntarily, then perhaps they can point the way or ways to make the process something that is the law-- that every living billionaire MUST set up programs, arrangements, etc. that give almost all of it away, and that would include stucks and trusts and foundations. 

Give them the chance to set up authorized programs and if they don't take every penny from them. Put the money back into the communities they profited from. Share the money with the workers and the environments they exploited. Put a portion of it into funding advocacy organizations that protect the aspects of the environment, the culture and the system that they took advantage of. 

Hold truth and reconciliation hearings for billionaires where they are given an opportunity to apologize. Let them pass on a bit more to their descendants if they tell the truth and admit to their crimes, exploitations and abuses. 

We still need to do a lot more to eliminate existing billionaires and prevent new ones from ever existing. This is a very big, complex project. As Noam Chomsky told me when I asked him about the billionaire problem,
"... I mean you're right, there shouldn't be multi-billionaires while the United States has the worst poverty level in the developed world outside of Turkey, which is just a total scandal. That shouldn't be happening, but the reasons are institutional structures and specific decisions that have been made all along the line which create these situations and those can be reversed, in fact I think we can go well beyond that to much more just and free institutions in the first place."
 

There are a lot of existing institutional structures which must be changed or eliminated and new structures and approaches must be created. But ending dynasties and new, "child billionaires" is one simple start. 

Frankly, the idea of dynasties has been around since the beginning of civilization. That doesn't make it right. It makes it another kind of long surviving cockroach. It's time to fix that aspect o f civilization, before civilization destroys humanity. I say humanity because the planet will survive. I'm not sure humans will. And yes, I believe that extremely wealthy individuals are a big, major part of the problem. I'm not saying hurt them in any way, physically. But I am saying stop them from continuing to do what only comes naturally to billionaires-- extreme, excessive influence over the course of government and functions of culture. 

This is one of the biggest problems that humanity faces. We need to be talking about it a lot more. We need to be getting the idea out there, getting people thinking about it. Billionaires will fight back the way they know how, legally in public and illegally in secret. They will resort to murder and bribery and blackmail-- maybe not all of them, at least directly. They will hire second and third parties and organizations to do the dirty work. They will try to frame the people leading the efforts to fight the billionaire plague as negatively as they can-- as nazis, as communists, as crazies. But this cause is not any of those things. It is a response to a malignant aspect of capitalism that is bad for humanity and bad for capitalism. 




Submitters Bio:

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 published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 


To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.


Follow Rob on Twitter & Facebook. His quotes are here

Rob's articles express his personal opinion, not the opinion of this website.


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