On Profit: Some Questions


This piece of writing has not been pre-planned. I decided to write it when I noticed a comment left by a blogger in response to a comment of mine which asked if there is a possibility for people to move past the economic system which relies on profit. I asked that question because I was curious if people can simply imagine themselves moving into a new socioeconomic system.

The blogger Breakfastpop wrote that: “Wow, what an interesting comment one of your followers made...moving past profit.. I think that perhaps thy have much in common with those people sleeping all over Wall Street.”

I am glad that my comment was at least noticed, even though it seems that it was viewed as a pretty ridiculous suggestion. At least we can discuss things – I do appreciate that.

Another blogger whom I respect but I do not fully agree with is Mr. Wayne. He claimed that:

“As bad as it sounds to some, profit motive is the magic which stimulates the creative of the American mind in such a manner as to provide us with goods and service of a superior nature and allow us, the consuming public, the opportunity for choice in our selection process. That is the beauty of a system awash in capitalism and democracy.”

There is no democracy Mr. Wayne, when only those who are either wealthy or tie themselves in with the wealthy (like President Obama) can get in office. Lobbyists control politicians. As you can see, that is why politicians are giving away bail-outs even though most people are against hand-outs to big corporations. The politicians have been bought-out - what democracy?

I do realize that my thoughts and ideas are very often quite unorthodox. This makes me think of a one-liner I heard not too long ago: “If nobody challenged the status-quo, people would still think the world was flat.” I do think it is important to ask questions. I do not pretend to have the perfect answers or perhaps any answers but I cannot stop myself from asking if there is not indeed another way we can do things.

Humans have been around for thousands and thousands of years. I do not think profit has been around for that long. Thus, we have lived without profit. Logic tells me that if we lived without profit, we can live again without profit. That does not mean we go back to climbing trees. No, in my mind if we lived without profit at one time that means we can create a new system perhaps which does not rely on profit.

I for one do very little work for profit. Most of my meaningful work is for free. The endless hours I put towards writing is done out of love and not for profit. I also work with a volunteer group which helps at risk children. It is also done for free. I only work for profit because I was born in a society which literally forces me to use money. Yet, I do not like money. In my opinion these pieces of paper are not worth the ink on them.

Yes, I am searching for new ideas, for a new system. Why? Because I see a problem in the way business happens. All that matters for many is to make the most amount of profit with the least amount of risk. There is no mention of ethics, morals, or anything of that sort. Profit comes before anything in a capitalistic society. Everyone chases profit at any cost. Everything has a price. In reality though, nothing has a price – things are really price-less.

What is money really good for? Can you eat twenty dollars if you’re hungry? Can you drink a twenty dollar bill if you’re thirsty? Can you put it in your gas-tank to make the car go? Why do people put money first?

Money and thus profit are just symbols. Yet, people kill each other for these symbols. Is that not insanity? To me that is a sign of moral decay. Many of us have no morals left although pretending is still in fashion.

Take banks for example. Banks exist because people chose to deposit money. Now, the money deposited by people in a bank, is used by the bank as lending material in order to make profit. In simple terms, we give money to a bank, sort of like lending until we ask for it back, and they use it as they wish. Yet, we do not get much interest on the money we give to the bank – our savings accounts do not really make us more money but when the tables turn and the bank has to give/lend us money, they rape us with interest fees.

How is that fair? I give the bank my money and I don’t get much back but when they give me money they want a lot more back than what I got to begin with. That is the problem with profit and capitalism: there are no morals, no fairness, and no justice. It is like the law of the jungle: the strongest wins – in business the bully wins ... So, in business being ferocious, cold-hearted and greedy is good, profitable … but what does that do to our societies, to our character? Has anyone asked themselves those questions?

When we are willing to kill the last blue whale for profit; when we are willing to cut-down the whole tropical forest in Brazil and we are willing to invade the land where other people live to take their oil, for profit … what kind of world are we creating? Is this a good path? Do we feel good or righteous?

These are some of my questions and frustrations and they are not only mine. Many people share my feelings and that is why we have begun taking our words to the street. Italy, Greece, Spain, Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Chile, Puerto Rico … and many, many more countries are showing signs that people are beginning to awaken.

We stand united against unfairness, injustice and corruption. We say enough is enough to corporate greed, to profit at any and all costs and we are looking for a new way forward. We are looking for a socioeconomic system where people and this planet are put first, before money and profit. We are peaceful and are open for discussion.

“Occupy Toronto” start this weekend. We will be on the street – join us!

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Comments 147 comments

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I think we can narrow the problem down like this: The problem is Usury, and usurers.

If I am steadily loaning out hundred dollar bills - but I expect $110 in return for each of those - where is all of that additional money going to come from?

We've a finite planet - and money is debt.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

The American system of free trade capitalism has resulted in the world's largest economy and prosperity for anyone willing to do the work and take the risks. Even America's 'poor' would be considered fabulously wealthy in most of the rest of the Earth.

What do you have that can produce wealth the way capitalism has produced it?


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr. Wesman, I agree with you. Profit defeats itself when you do think about it because profit really means "new money" created out of thin air.

If I lend one hundred dollars and ask for one hundred and ten dollars back, the person who owes it to me has to take the extra ten dollars from somewhere else thus, creating a deficiency somewhere else. Either way profit indeed creates debt and debt can never be paid off in any real sense because it is something abstract: money which does not exist.

I really do think most people do not understand this and that is why they still think profit can work when in fact it cannot work - it's self-destructive.

Thank you for the great comment left Mr. Wesman. Cheers!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

I acknowledge some of your points Mr. Happy as having validity. Money per se is a creation of government which allows the government the flexibility to take a portion for itself and apply it in a flexible manner. Before there was money, man used the barter system. I trade some of my corn for some of your hay. As a result we both fulfill our needs and are happy. Many people today would perfer a barter system but I doubt the government would find it practical in getting their cut for the infrastructure aspect. I do believe the "intent" of the capitalist philosphy is anchored in good intention employing moral and ethical principles. At the same time, as long as there is a profit to be made, greed will drive some to ignore those aspects or break the law to achieve their purposes over the system. Overall, I think the system still works more than it fails but situations such as those we have seen in the last couple of years have totally overshadowed the good in the system. The Fair Housing Act changes under Clinton allowed the home mortgage industry to run wild and a portion of it did. Members of the Bush Administration warned Congress to no avail that the latitudes in place were bad. Congress ignored the warnings and we ended up with a mess. Now, those in Congress want to blame the entire banking and financial system for the abuses by only a small portion of that industry while they sit there acting lily pure white. A good example of why government needs to leave some things alone. One only needs to look at a foreclosure map of the USA to see where the pockets of abuse occurred. Here in Texas, we saw very little of it due in part to some of our state level laws. I think you point is well taken in asking is there something beyond the profit-motive system that we could embrace which would serve us as well or better. At this time, I cannot think of anything as such. Certainly I do not see a government which redistributes wealth as the answer to that issue because sooner or later the wealth will eventually disappear or be in the hands of the most corrupt of the government. The system in America is formed on the basis of checks and balances with the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government exercising some level of power to keep the other two in check. All three have at one time or other in the recent past lost sight of their role in the process and in the end the American people have been penalized for it. We learn from those things; make adjustments and try to move the model back on the center of the track where it is supposed to be. When it is functioning at that level, opportunity abounds for the vast majority of people...especially those who really want it. The will of the people must rise to the moment and sustain the basic structure of our system. If we do not care, then we cannot expect the thieves in our system to heed our warnings. Thanks much for allowing me to comment. WB


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hello Mr. Will, thank you for dropping by.

To begin with, I would like to say that there is no free trade - there never has been, that is just a myth that has been popularized for some reason or other. You do know that there are such things as government subsidies, right?

And you stated that this capitalistic system has created the "largest economy and prosperity for anyone willing to take the risks" - I think we have reached a point in time when many people are no longer happy with the risks. Having banks tell you: "Oops, sorry your balance disappeared because the markets were upset today", is no longer an acceptable risk.

At what cost have our economies grown? That is the question many are asking. When little children are used as labor to make our running shoes in South-east Asia, should we brag about our prosperity?

And in regard to America's poor ... they're only getting poorer. I predict inflation to keep on raising until more or less everyone will be poor. As I have said countless times, when the pendulum swing heavily on one side then, it will also swing far to the other side.

When you asked: "What do you have that can produce wealth the way capitalism has produced it", I immediately realized that you and I understand "wealth" differently.

"Wealth" for me is not important in the same way it is for you. It is not a goal; I do not chase financial or material wealth. I view myself already wealthy because I was born on a great planet, I have countless opportunities, I think that although I have a lot to learn, I have been lucky to have learned a lot already ... that is why I am wealthy ... not because my Prada sunglasses cost $450.

I guess our view on what matters in life is different ...

Thank you for the input though, much to think about ... all the best!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"I think we have reached a point in time when many people are no longer happy with the risks. Having banks tell you: "Oops, sorry your balance disappeared because the markets were upset today", is no longer an acceptable risk."

That's not the risk I'm talking about. I'm talking about risking capital on a new product. I'm talking about mortgaging the house for start-up money on a new business. Without the profit incentive, why would anyone take the risk, and who then, would hire people?

Again, until you have a replacement system that will work better than profit-making capitalism, you have no case.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Mr. Brown - I surely wish you would use some paragraph breaks so that your comment would be more easily read.

Will Star - who cares? Our lives are more than material wealth via the USA and Capitalism. Our lives are also the poor suffering in other places so that you and I can enjoy this material wealth.

Are we enjoying it so much? I don't think that we are - because material wealth is an addiction. Valuing what you have is happiness - Capitalism is always about wanting MORE - and produces huge amounts of misery for the wealthy capitalist, and the wage slave making Levis in Haiti.

Ever heard of the Socioeconomic Health Gradient?

Have a look - that our material wealth in America is a good thing for our collective health is an idiotic notion that is easily disproved.

http://www.wcfia.harvard.edu/node/2708


PETER LUMETTA profile image

PETER LUMETTA 4 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

When 15% of the popultion lives below the poverty line, 15% an incredible number, the incentive is not to get rich but to eat and pay the rent. I am kind of addicted to eating and so are the rest of us. So how do we wein ourselves off this "profit at any cost" treadmill? It seems to me that all we need to look at is who is benefitting most from this system. Number one in the world is "The Banks", and number two is the "Wall Street" crowd. With proper regulation and controls as well as limits on size these could be controled and the system would still function. As a matter of fact the elimination of most banks, particularly "Central" and international banks would stop most of the greed in the world from ever manifesting itself. With the current system of profit at any cost there are winners and losers. Why can't we all be winners?

It would be a start on the road to a utopian society with no wars, no rent, no worries for food and completely free education. With the basic needs covered there is no limit to what humankind could do.

It is "Socio-Capitalistic-Marxism", the best of the bunches tenets to form a fair and just society.

That's my opinion anyway, Thanks,

Peter


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Our lives are also the poor suffering in other places so that you and I can enjoy this material wealth."

Hogwash. The capitalistic success of the US does not require that others suffer! What nonsense!


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I doubt you wear Levis - but kindly take a gander at what United States capitalism is to the people of Haiti.

http://www.thenation.com/article/161354/wikileaks-...


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Wesman Todd Shaw,

"The Nation" is a far left, Marxist rag, and not to be believed about anything.

Get a reliable source, and then we'll talk.

BTW, Levi is also leftist, so I guess the left is now eating their own?

^_*


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Will - the world is not "right" vs "left" - that is a mass media paradigm of divide and conquer - and you've apparently bought into it.

Are you discrediting or not believing Wiki Leaks data? They're only the world's best hackers - and trusting them is far more advisable than trusting any American Corporation's statements about anything.

Marxist? Do you think that there is something "righteous" about Capitalism? There's nothing righteous or holy about Capitalism at all.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Do you think that there is something "righteous" about Capitalism? There's nothing righteous or holy about Capitalism at all."

Without capitalism, you would be unable to criticize capitalism here because there would be no internet and no computers.

The touchy-feely left wing Marxists have no sense of history and no logic. The anti-capitalists like Castro, Stalin, and Moo have all had their day (murdering 100,000,000 in the process), and they were all total failures.

Take away profit, and you take away incentive. Then you have to resort to force, and the purges of Stalin and Mao. Why is that so hard to understand?


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Because innovation and invention existed long before capitalism did - it's common sense.

My computer is important to me, sure - but it's hardly what life is about, and I never had one till five years ago. It's safe to say that I'd be just as happy now without a computer. People in sweatshops would be much happier without capitalism!

You act like the Soviets didn't have anything themselves! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

And where are the soviets today?


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

This is a great point for me to jump in this conversation again. Before that though, I really want to thank everyone for the conversation - it would not be able to take place, if we did not put-in our time and effort. I am grateful for that.

In respect to capitalism and communism, I think they both failed. I was still living in Eastern Europe when Gorbachev dismantled the USSR. I basically saw the Soviet Empire unravel in front of my eyes (or all around me, to be specific). As it was, the dictatorial regimes which falsely camouflaged themselves under the veil of communism, failed for many reasons. We can go through the reasons if anyone wants ... that is not something I am necessarily interested in though.

On the other hand, we can see now that this capitalistic system which pretends to be democratic and pretends to have a free-market-system, has also failed.

That is why, I initially asked, if we can see ourselves move past the system we are in now, and create a better, more fair and just system, which would benefit everyone.

I am not suggesting that we need to scrap our whole society and build one from scratch. What I am suggesting are certain adjustments. For example, getting rid of lobbyists would be a great beginning. Also, now that I am thinking of Mr. Will, I do think that having a more effective welfare system, which would not be taken advantage of, could be another tweak, so to speak.

Thus, this was the point of me writing this. To try to see if there are any common grounds on which we, the 99% could act on.

Thank you again for all the comments left - it is us who will change the system - it is indeed all up to us. Cheers!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"On the other hand, we can see now that this capitalistic system which pretends to be democratic and pretends to have a free-market-system, has also failed."

Those are straw man arguments. You've been watching too much Obama!

Capitalism is the most successful economic system in the history of the world. As long as government stays out of the market, it thrives.

Socialism/Marxism/communism never works and always fails.

Take the profit motive away, and there's no incentive to strive or to succeed.

Again, until you have a system that works better that capitalism, you have no case! All you have is talk.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

Mr. Happy...you certainly created a topic for discussion here. Congrats on the traffic!

I think we have to get past the "wealth" as a limited factor issue thinking that only so many people can possess it. If a person attains wealth in America, it does not mean that someone else moves to the poor house. Success in ventures brings the potential for wealth if they product or service one has to market is attractive to the consumer. Those marketing these good and services have risk all they possess in many cases for the potential of success. If they achieve that, I am proud for them.

My goal is to not necessarily achieve wealth but to be comfortable, eat regularly, and have a roof over my head. If I achieve those things, I have had a level of relative success and I did not cheat or steal from anyone to attain it. I worked and earned a paycheck. That is relative wealth and there are some who would berate me for it.

I totally do not understand that perspective. Even if we do away with the monetary system, people will always have differences in their living quality. I might live in a tree while you have a warm cave. Am I suppose to envy and despise you and assume that you are a thief because you have acquired a cave to live in. Societies will always have the crooks and those who would steal from others to acquire assets and avoid work. That is the reason we have laws and courts. Hopefully we can deter that desire.

There are far too many in elected office today who have sold out and are not representing those who voted for them. We have the ability as a voting public to remove these people but that system does not work as long as people continue to vote for the Harry Reids and Barney Franks convinced that they are there to help them. We have a responsibility to gather informaton and decide the facts rather than letting the politician spoon feed us on what he is serving up.

Class envy and warfare will never solve America's problems. The issues are not based on who is getting taxed what, they originate from a continuous process of spending far more money than we take in. You can double the amount of money the government takes it and there will still be too much excess spending. As the old saying goes, "put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert and within three months there will be a shortage of sand."

As long as we let politicians frame our issues on the basis of wealth and wealth distribution, they can circumvent answering the hard question about spending and making the hard decisions to cut some of it. The focus needs to be there or we cannot expect any progress in the area of debt control nor can we expect any reasonable opportunity for our individual success as the economy will continue to be stymied. WB


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Wayne,

"If a person attains wealth in America, it does not mean that someone else moves to the poor house."

Believe it or not, that is the leftist position. I was recently told that wealth is finite and there is no new wealth; therefore, any wealth gained by one person, deprives another person.

That of course defies logic. All wealth is the product of labor, so if I build a house, I have created wealth. Subtract the cost of materials from the value of the house, and the result is created wealth, which came from my own labor, and was obviously taken from no one.

New wealth is created every day. Paper money represents wealth, but it is not wealth. It is a medium of exchange.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

I can agree with your position there, Will. WB


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Thanks Wayne.

Most of us view capitalism with logic. We view it as an economic system that rewards hard work, risk taking, and investments with profits and wealth.

The left takes the emotional approach, and views capitalism as an evil system that takes from the poor and rewards the rich, although they don't explain how non-existent wealth can be gleaned from the poor.

But since they have no viable system to replace capitalism, their arguments have no resolutions.


amillar profile image

amillar 4 years ago from Scotland, UK

Hi Mr Happy. Check out this lot:

"If this mischievous financial policy, which has its origin in North America, shall become indurated down to a fixture, then that Government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous without precedent in the history of the world. The brains, and wealth of all countries will go to North America. That country must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe."

http://www.michaeljournal.org/plenty49.htm

http://www.trosch.org/law/fed-paper-money.html

http://www.webofdebt.com/excerpts/foreword.php

http://www.rense.com/general78/brudt.htm


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

I would like to thank everyone who has continued this conversation, I do think it is important for as many people as possible to express their thoughts and opinions as a change in our socioeconomic system is creeping-up and it will matter to us all.

Mr. Will, I also view capitalism with logic and thinking about our situation right now, not only in your country but in many countries around the world, we can see that we have a bit of a problem.

Capitalism does not always reward hard work. Sitting in an office on Wall St. and gambling with people's debts (derivatives and such), mortgages, etc. is not hard work. If I am born into wealth and then, I just sit and lend the money I inherited at interest and live off that interest then, I would not really be working - let's be honest!

As a banker, to give loans to people who do not qualify for such loans and then, take everything they own away from them because they fell behind their payments, that is predatory lending, immoral, unjust, detrimental to our society and as such - it should be illegal. Those people who gave money at ridiculous interest do not work hard - let's be serious! They sit in their comfortable offices and gamble - that's what Wall St. is: a bunch of gamblers who gambled our future, stole bail-out money from us and now want to shove austerity measures down our throats. It will not work! We want fairness and justice! Not people who can fool us into taking loans we cannot afford. Such people will have to pay for what they have done, one way or another.

Of course people take an emotional approach when there are tent cities all around and entire families have been kicked on the street. Wouldn't you if you were in their shoes?

So, what I am proposing between other things are: zero lobbyists (so the politicians can start listening to voters again and not who send them cash), a tightening of spending obviously (welfare programs, defense spending, etc.), perhaps limits on the terms of senators, congressmen and/or members of parliament (so they don't get too comfortable in their positions of power) ... I would also think that severe penalties should be put in place for politicians who dishonor their office.

So you see, I am not necessarily against all that is now. I just think things need to be improved because as it stands now capitalism means bail-outs, capitalism means millions of people unemployed ... all while politicians and bankers are enjoying margaritas while riding their private planes ... Ohh ya, during all this the majority of the people are expected to have to pay their bail-outs. Are you Mr. Will really telling me that capitalism is working right now?

P.S. I will return to respond to the other comments left soon. I am in a bit of a shortage of time - my apology.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"If I am born into wealth and then, I just sit and lend the money I inherited at interest and live off that interest then, I would not really be working - let's be honest!"

Most millionaires are NEW millionaires, and they worked hard for their money.

http://www.indous.org/most-millionaires-are-self-m...

Your view of inherited wealth is a myth. I'm surprised that you didn't know that. The same is true in Canada:

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/04/19/most-m...

This is why liberals are so easily led...they simply do not know what they are talking about.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hello again Mr. Wayne,

thank you again for stopping by. I would like to respond to a few things which you mentioned because you pointed-out some interesting issues I think. You wrote that:

"If a person attains wealth in America, it does not mean that someone else moves to the poor house."

That is true. If I make ten billion dollars, that does not mean that you Mr. Wayne, are hitting a shelter. Yet, let's look at this from a different perspective. If I make ten billion dollars and start buying land like Ted Turner, who probably owns almost the entire state of Montana then, there is less land for everyone else to live on. That is my problem with one owning too much - everyone else is left with a lot less. If things continue like this, a few (and literally a few) corporate moguls will own the world and we'll all have to pay them rent.

Look at it like like you are having dinner with your family. Would you allow one member of your family to take half the stakes on the table? Or would you limit each person to a piece or two for example?

In respect to politicians you wrote:

"We have the ability as a voting public to remove these people" - yes, but whoever we vote in gets bought-out by lobbyists and when in office they do what they want and no longer care about what the public wants. That is why the bail-outs happened. If you remember George Bush the Second started them and Obama continued them - this in my mind proves how both parties, the Democrats and Republicans are slaves to bankers and corporations. Both presidents gave-in to bail-outs. Neither party is to be trusted!

This is not class envy Mr. Wayne, I am not upset at hard-working people or at Herman Cain's pizza chain. I am talking about those bankers who got bailed-out and then pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses. I would like to see the likes of Greenspan and Bernanke with chains around their ankles doing hard labor. I have nothing against hard working people who are prosperous. It's these leaches on Wall St. and the Federal Reserve Bank that I personally am going after (and I think many people feel the way I do). Thus, this is the 99% going after the 1%. It isn;t even about classes, these 1% aren't a class, they're a group of crooks, puppeteers and hyenas who rigged the system, made it roll over on its belly and now want us to pay for the repairs.

I agree with you Mr. Wayne, we need to make politicians accountable. Any ideas/suggestions are welcomed. Cheers!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr. Amillar, thank you for those links. Very interesting! Much appreciated - all the best!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 4 years ago from Whitstable, UK

Profit is privatised tax. It's amazing that the people who most object to paying tax to an elected government to pay for public services, nevertheless support the idea of profit taking by private corporations to enrich themselves.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Profit is privatised tax."

Nonsense. Profit is earnings. Why does the far left expect the other guy to work for nothing? They sure as hell would not work without pay!

Why would anyone work hard to build a business if there was no reward? No businesses = no jobs!


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

CJ,

Could you elaborate on this: "Profit is privatised tax. It's amazing that the people who most object to paying tax to an elected government to pay for public services, nevertheless support the idea of profit taking by private corporations to enrich themselves."

First of all, WHOM are you exactly referring too that is against paying taxes?

Second, what exactly is wrong with a private business making a profit?

Help me out on these two questions....


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Chris,

I meant to address CJ's "the people who most object to paying tax" straw man, so thanks for reminding me.

We do not object to paying taxes for constitutionally mandated responsibilities, like defense and protecting our borders. We do, however, object to supporting $1,000 toilet seats and $14 muffins! We do object to massive government waste. We do object to supporting companies and executives of failing 'green' businesses, because the donated to politicians. And we do object to supporting those who refuse to support themselves. I worked with those people back when I was a liberal, and that opened my eyes forever!


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

So far as "where are the soviets now" is concerned, Mr. Starr - it's common knowledge that they were bankrupted in Afghanistan - just like we have become bankrupted in Afghanistan.

It's funny how nobody pays any attention around here to History - while the media has them stuck on stupid - with their Left vs. Right paradigm.

It's all by design - and only a fool clings to nonsense and ignores history.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"So far as "where are the soviets now" is concerned, Mr. Starr - it's common knowledge that they were bankrupted in Afghanistan - just like we have become bankrupted in Afghanistan."

They were bankrupted because they embraced a non-productive, Marxist economy model that could not support such ventures.

BTW, our military consumes less than 25% of spending:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fy2010_spending_...

American capitalism is the most productive system in history. Even Nikita Khrushchev could not contain his awe at the abundance of the American capitalist economy, with our full shelves in grocery stores, and streets filled with cars. Marxism/socialism has always been a dismal failure, wherever it was tried.


BusinessTime profile image

BusinessTime 4 years ago from Twin Cities

This is a fascinating discussion. I don't pretend to have any answers, so I'm not going to muddy the waters by joining in -- but I wanted to thank you for giving me a lot to think about, as well as providing a valuable forum for discussion.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hello Mr. Will,

"Most millionaires are NEW millionaires, and they worked hard for their money." - And you are kidding who?

Ted Turner's daddy was filthy rich. What about Rockefeller or the Bushes? Hahaha ... you make stuff-up as you go?

The whole point here is that 1% control too much power and wealth. I was not talking about millionaires. Where did I mention millionaires? Find me that word please before you start thinking I said things which I did not.

Of course, you did not mention anything about the bankers which I'm going after. You mentioned nothing about their gambling problems (with derivatives and such) ... you did not comment on my statement that lobbyists have turned a democracy into a fascist state, etc. ...

Are you a banker, Mr. Will? Why do you not see the great harm they have caused?

I see that you do like the government to interfere in our lives: "We do not object to paying taxes for constitutionally mandated responsibilities, like defense and protecting our borders".

There are more things that just borders and bombs that we need a government for, in my opinion.

I honestly think that because you met some lazy people in your life, that has made you think that everyone who opposes your political views, is lazy ... I did mention that most of my meaningful work is for free. I volunteer my time in many ways ... yet, you continue to feed people this myth that without profit nobody would work.

I do! And so, you can stop that myth now - it is not true. Really - it's a myth invented. I work out of passion, love, compassion, etc. Since I focus on those things, money comes anyway. You see?


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr. CJ - thank you very much for dropping-by. I never thought about profit that way but indeed, it is a tax. Before money, we bartered and that in my mind is free trade.

When you add profit on top of the value of an item then, it is no longer free trade because we add things to the trading ... taxes or profit.

Great comment! Cheers.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank you for stopping by again Mr. Wesman. It is really mind-boggling how many super-powers got stuck in Afghanistan throughout history and none of them seem to learn.

Alexander the Great had problems there. I think Napoleon simply went around Afghanistan and never bothered with it. Then, the Russians ... now the whole Western Alliance ...

That's what happens when you skip History class or you're too full of yourself I guess, you disregard the past. Maybe we'll learn, eventually ...

All the best!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr. CMerritt, thank you for your time as well. I do not think people are really against the idea of profit so much as they are opposed to immoral profit and/or profit at any and all costs.

That's what I'm thinking anyway ... we need some sort of parameters in which we can work, otherwise with no rules it's like the King of the Jungle. Whoever can take advantage of the others best, profits ...

Thank you for reading and commenting. It's important to discuss things, in my opinion. Cheers!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Hahaha ... you make stuff-up as you go?"

I gave you the links, but I can't make you read them.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Yes, Mr. Will - you gave me a website (one of them: http://www.indous.org/most-millionaires-are-self-m... which I checked-out yesterday and that left me speechless).

In an above comment of yours, you told Mr. Wesman that the link he gave you was biased and thus, no good. Yet, look at the link you gave me ... some website that supposedly teaches people to make a greater profit and become better businessmen. Not very convincing but this is all beside the point anyway.

Again you failed to comment on most of my arguments: Rockefeller, Turner, Bushes ... and I don't have to stick to Americans. The aristocracy in England has to go. The caste system in India must be abolished. King Abdulla's time is also coming soon ...

People world-wide have had enough at this point. In terms of having a hand-full of people control the amount of wealth, power and influence that they do control. That is the point and for some reason, you keep missing it.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 4 years ago from New York

It's pretty plain (and I am sure I WILL be mocked for this)but everyone worships something, for far too many it is the sham of Capitalism and for way too many more, it is money and material goods above ALL else, including fellow humans. Sad but true. Great hub. But to open blind minds is quite difficult.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

Hi Bobbi,

I need some clarification as to the "the sham of Capitalism"...what exactly is a "sham" regarding capitalism?

Mr. Happy glad to be here, but you say immoral profit, but I could use some specifics regarding what the liberals consider immoral. THAT is where we will be splitting hairs and just HOW and WHO gets to decide what is and is not immoral. It sets up MORE government control over things they should NOT be involved in....


Majadez profile image

Majadez 4 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

Mr. Happy, have you heard about the Venus Project and ideas of a resource-based economy?

There is much I can say here but I've been planning to put it all in a hub of my own. It's interesting I should run into yours first.

I think that capitalism has worked off it's purpose (please, nobody stone me) and that we are slowly progressing towards change. Money is just an exchange medium. It is a process between giving value for value, that is expressed in figures. That is the way I see it for now. When somebody lends you $100, they don't just give you $100. You may be hungry at the time. That $100 may stand between you and starvation. $10 interest on the amount covers the value that you were given - you were saved from hunger in that given situation. You got more than $100 worth of food from the exchange. I know that it is not just - no pure-hearted human being would want you to pay them back for saving them, however it is the way it is. That is how I justify it, and I can't think of a better example right now...

Unfortunately people look to money as the end rather than the means. We've forgotten to look to what we want out of life rather than asking "how much?" The latter is secondary only because of the system we are a part of. Based on what I said above, I think the key is creation. One must create something of value and exchange it for value. For example, an artist sells his work, receives money for the value in joy given to the buyer and is able to sustain himself and continue his work from it.

Like the banks you mention, it is the ones making money off of the system itself that makes no sense. The exchange of money creates more money. Where is the value? How is it even possible?

I don't know if this makes sense... I will clear my thoughts later. Right now I'm tired and on my 4th cup of tea. I just thought that I should add my tid-bits here because I think you have a very good and relevant, albeit controversial point, here.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 4 years ago from New York

The 'sham' is the illusion it presents, like other fairy tales,such as middle class, or the American dream,which we ALL know is for the very few.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hello Majadez, I think you stated the problem with bankers quite clearly:

"it is the ones making money off of the system itself that makes no sense. The exchange of money creates more money. Where is the value? How is it even possible?"

Some people think that because one is making money one is working hard and that is simply a myth. One can sit on the sofa and charge interest on money lent - such a person would be making money but he/she would not really be considered as a worker; never-mind a hard worker.

Thank you for your great comment - cheers!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mrs. BobbiRant, there are many myths about capitalism and it seems that some people really believe in them.

I certainly enjoyed all the wealth which "trickled down" after all the bankers pulled-in their massive bonuses. There is so much wealth around, that as of today I will be sleeping in a park with the rest of the "Occupy Toronto" movement.

Thank you for stopping by again. All the best!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Mrs. BobbiRant, there are many myths about capitalism and it seems that some people really believe in them."

Easy to say. Let's see your list of 'myths'.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings again Mr. Will,

sorry for not responding sooner, I've been sleeping in downtown as part of the "Occupy Toronto" movement and I have no laptop ... perhaps some wealth can trickle from Ted Turner into my pocket and I can purchase a laptop because as one of the myths capitalism promotes, "wealth trickles down" ... what a joke! So, there's one myth.

What about the myth that hard work results in wealth? Take a miner for example: that's hard work! Can you say it is not? And let's take a Wall St. CEO, who plays around with numbers on his computer and gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses. Who sweats more? Who works harder and who earns more? The guy who's breaking his back daily or the guy who speculates and plays with other people's money?

Hard work does not guarantee wealth. Geez ... right now hard work doesn't even guarantee people their basic needs.

Let's go for myth number three: "that we have a democratic political system". How is it democratic when the majority of people opposed the bail-outs but the politicians gave bail-outs to corporations anyway - in direct opposition to what the people who voted them in wanted!

There is no democratic system when lobbying/bribing takes place! When politicians are fed money from interest groups, how is the system democratic? Who is lobbying for us, the 99%?

Three quick myths which you are more than welcomed to comment on.

Cheers!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"What about the myth that hard work results in wealth?"

Who said that? Your claim was that wealth is inherited, but in most cases, it is the result of hard work, risk taking, and a good idea. There are no guarantees.

Your jealousy is showing.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr. Will, you choose and pick sentences and/or ideas to comment on ... so, please do understand that I am having a little bit of a difficulty trying to respond to your comments. You disregard many, many of my points and arguments.

Yes, I claimed that inherited wealth is something that is not fair and just. President Roosevelt asked for it (an inheritance tax) too - was he also jealous?

"I hold that while man exists it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind."

""Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

"There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done." (http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.a...

What's wrong with these points?

And you seem to have missed my comment about:

"There is no democratic system when lobbying/bribing takes place! When politicians are fed money from interest groups, how is the system democratic? Who is lobbying for us, the 99%?"

And the other one myth I mentioned regarding that: "wealth trickles down", was also somehow missed. After these corporations got all their bail-outs, the CEOs got their hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses and the 99% of us get "Austerity Measures". Wow! Look how that wealth is trickling down! rofl ...

Thanks for stopping by again Mr. Will. Let's have some constructive criticism please.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Your Hub premise is that capitalism and profits are bad. Let's cut to the chase...tell what plan you have that is better.

You've avoided answering that question, so out with it...what would you replace capitalism with?


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Nobody needs another plan to come to the realization that the current American system is abusive to persons that we never see - and even to fellow Americans.

There's a movement going on, perhaps you've heard of it - it's called "Occupy Wall Street" - and it's focus is rampant greed and the absolute corruption of the current system that is neither "right" nor "left" but is the truth of the mass media paradigm that Mr. Starr embraces - corruption and greed are king, and everyone loses except the few at the top.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

The question:

"Your Hub premise is that capitalism and profits are bad. Let's cut to the chase...tell what plan you have that is better.

You've avoided answering that question, so out with it...what would you replace capitalism with?"

The non-answer:

"Nobody needs another plan to come to the realization that the current American system is abusive to persons that we never see - and even to fellow Americans."

There is no economic plan that even comes close to the prosperity produced by capitalism, but they don't want to admit it.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hello again Mr. Will,

sorry I could not answer sooner - I've been sleeping in my tent downtown as one of the many people who are part of the "Occupy Toronto" movement. I only leave there on Monday and Thursday when I have volunteer work with "Youth Assisting Youth" and these are the days I swing-by home and check email and such.

Before I answer your question about how we should better our societies, I want to try to eliminate another myth you firmly believe in. That myth is, that without profit there is no incentive for work, innovation, etc.

I have mentioned before that I do volunteer work. That gives me no profit. I also put many, many hours in writing here - also no profit - I never hooked-up my ad-sense account, or whatever it's called. If you ever took the time to read my series about the lack of public school buildings for children in Native communities here in Canada, you would have learned that earlier this year (January) I began researching that issue. I traveled to a northern aboriginal community, called Attawapiskat where children lack a public school building. That trip cost me close to two grand because that is a fly-in community, there are no roads that go there. I went there, spoke to teachers, kids, the Chief, etc. I took photographs, notes and so on then, I came back and wrote to politicians, met politicians, wrote several blogs, letters to the Ministry of Health, Education ... All this was done for no money or profit. I don't care about being rewarded - all I want is to see every kid be able to attend school in a decent, safe and healthy environment. I work for zero profit every day, one way or another.

I know how to live off the land too - that's why I don't really care about money: those colourful pieces of paper which people kill each other for ... rofl - if that's not insanity, I don't know what is ...

Thus, please stop going around saying that without profit people would not work ... maybe that's true about yourself but I work for no profit quite often (daily basis lol)!

Now, I will try to answer your question about capitalism.

You asked me what I would replace it with. I would like to say that I don't care about names much, or labels. I just see things which are terribly wrong with our system now and I think we need significant change(s). So let's number-off a few changes and after you read my options for "changes" to this capitalistic system, you can call it whatever you want. I'm not good with names anyway, I forget them pretty fast usually.

1. Making lobbying illegal because that's bribery.

2. Donations to political parties would be limited to a set amount per person - I don't know how much but nowhere-over, say ... twenty bucks per person.

3. Banks would only be allowed to perform services - no derivatives, gambling with people's money and so on ...

4. Banks would be nationalized and would not work for profit. Workers at banks would be like any other government worker.

5. Lending at interest would be illegal and punishable with life imprisonment and hard labor ... or maybe impaling.

6. Politicians would have the same salaries like teachers for example. They would all have the same salaries too - all across the board from president to senator to congressman and so on. These people call themselves "public servants" - from what I remember, servants don't make much ... that's why they're servants rofl ...

7. We need the inheritance tax which President Roosevelt spoke about too!

8. Taxation would be heavy (70-80%) on people making say over a few million a year ... there would be no Warren Buffets clearing fifty mill a year ...

9. In terms of profit, I would certainly like to see limits. So maybe, we can say that no product could be sold for more than double the price of its production.

I don't have specifics here really ... I'm just saying: no more Nike shoes made for two dollars in Cambodia by little ten year old kids and sold here in North America for two hundred dollars ...

I think if you really want to know what I want, I'll put it plainly: I would like to see an end to greed and I would like to see greed punishable ... severely. Thus, I welcome any changes which would focus on eliminating greed.

I am sure you will be able to find many wrong things with my points but do remember I am just putting-out some ideas ... since you asked. I welcome criticism. I think that we all need to put-in our ideas, discuss them and perhaps eventually come to a consensus.

I do believe that at this moment we are all quite unhappy with many things: from bail-outs to the people ripping-off the system through welfare or corruption, to government over-spending and so on ...

I don't know what you want to call a system where compassion, fairness and justice are put before profit and greed. You are more than welcome to give it a name.

Please do remember that I just threw out some ideas lol - Don't chew-me-up too much.

Thank you for the conversation Mr. Will - cheers!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

I forgot another really important change that needs to be done Mr. Will: we need proportional representation in terms of our electoral system - or something along those lines. Voting in North America is a joke ...


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Hey Mr.Happy, we meet again, on a topic very close to my heart, so close I hardly know where to start but people will work for nothing, you are one example and I am another but lets be honest, when we do get paid, it might as well be for nothing, if you compere it to say Warren Buffet.

I bought shares last September for a small sum because everybody was running scared, "when the greedy get fearful its time for the fearful to get greedy", Warren Buffet. Those shares are worth 5 times what I paid for them now but if I had been Warren, they would be worth the same, except I would have bought considerably more than I did. I must say it was really hard work, all I had to do was put my hand in my pocket and hand out a bunch of promises. They where only promises, nothing more and now I have five times as many promises in return, if I ever take them.

Warren Buffet is not as wealthy as you might think in reality because the banks don't have enough of those promises to give him, if he wants to collect them all. The sum total wealth of the whole world is just numbers inside machines and only 5% of that wealth actually exists in real paper promises. If Warren wanted to collect them, he couldn't because they don't have enough of them to be able to pay him, he would have to wait while they got their act together, now that's a fantasy of sum magnitude. Even Warren is not as rich as we might think he is because not only dose he only own promises, they don't have enough of them in circulation to honor their promises, ha, ha.

And that my friend Mr.Happy is only the tip of a very big iceberg.

Yes there is a better way, take away incentive, honestly, the one thing that we do weather we like it or not is learn, we don't need incentive because we can't stop ourselves, that's why we can't sleep because we can't stop thinking, even when we do sleep, it still happen's, so there is part of the real answer, education, education, education.

Make abuse visible.

Something I am happy to see you are doing, thank you, BoGareth.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr. Pritchard,

I think your idea is great: we should take away all profit and incentive. I think, that way we can see who really is lazy and useless. People who love their work and want to be helpful to our world, will work for nothing. I do, You do ... there are many, many others who do so.

Yet, those who never seem to have enough, have made-up this lie about how if there was not profit nobody would work. That is pretty upsetting. I am not a fond of liers and these people lie like newspapers ...

Thanks so much for your thoughtfull words here. This is certainly a topic close to my heart as well.

Have a wonderful week-end! : )


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Guess what Mr. Happy? There is a distinct difference between being a mooch and working. The OWC movement is now no more than a gang of people who think that those of us who do work for a living need to support everyone else's laziness. Life doesn't work that way and never will. There must always be the producers and then there are the bottom feeders. The feeders can wait for the crumbs of life.

The Frog


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"...we should take away all profit and incentive..."

What arrogance! Who are you to make such decisions and force them on others?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

BTW, Mr Happy, if you, as you claim, have no income, who does pay your way? We all have to eat, we all need shelter, and we must wear clothes.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Hey WillStarr, the only arrogance I can see is from you and here on this page in all its Technicolor Glory, for anyone else to see clearly, you don't clarify anything in the remarks you make, even when asked politely, you just make blustering one line attacks.

You really need to take a good look at how silly you make yourself look and The Frog needs to take a good look at who the moochers really are " I must say it was really hard work, all I had to do was put my hand in my pocket and hand out a bunch of promises." I didn't even have to do the deal, just get some other to do it for me, if that's not mooching what is?

Just do your feeble best to undermine anything.

Thanks!!! BoGareth.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Long dark days and cold grey sky's

Mean old ways of greed filled eyes

War on war and we tell lies

Ticks became bloated as the child host cries

Hey is this the life we chose, the day that love dies


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Use of words such as "moochers" seems to indicate Ayn Rand brain damage. It is common....oh so common...


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"...you don't clarify anything in the remarks you make..."

What is not clear to you? Be specific.


Bog 4 years ago

No you be specifc?


Bog 4 years ago

Hey WillStrr, in fact, don't even bother to be specific because just like I have already said, you have been in full Technicolor.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

No response. Didn't think so.


Bog 4 years ago

Cool


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Mr. Will,

good to see You again. I suppose what I meant by "we", is: You, I, Mr. Pritchard ... everyone: "we", the people.

And by "we should", I meant to put-up an opinion/ an offer, in order to debunk who really does not want to work because like I said in my many previous comment, I do a lot of work for free; work and profit are not forever intertwined in my mind and they can certainly work independently, one from another.

Forget about myself though. I have a great example of great work done for free and if you give me a couple of minutes I can tell You about it.

Several days ago, I came across Mr. Pritchard's articles. The ones which I have read, focused on drawing. I personally like drawings, paintings and such but I cannot draw if my life depended on it.

I would perhaps like to learn more about the topic. Thus, I read some of Mr. Pritchard's articles and I can say I learned many things since that is one of the things which he knows how to do (quite well in my opinion), draw.

Mr. Pritchard did not charge me anything to read his work and learn from it. More so, he took the time for free to respond to my comments in depth - regarding drawing that is.

So, all that work Mr. Pritchard did was all for free. I don't see him complaining and getting flustered over profit ... I think and if I am wrong he may correct me, that Mr. Richard loves to draw and he loves his work therefore, profit is really non-important. Once one does work with love, everything else follows.

So, ya ... I was not imposing anything on anyone. I just made a suggestion, a proposition. After all, we have chased profit for thousands of years, perhaps we can give chance to another way.

All the best Sir!


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Hi Mr.Happy, I won't be joining the hippy colony today but I have just received my profit in full, without even asking, now how cool is that?

Thank you kindly, BoGareth.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

This white wolf is not part of any colony Mr. Pritchard ... nevermind about a hippy colony lol

I like to dance but there's a limit to dancing too. I don't mind working. : )

Cheers!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

OK, go ahead work for free with my blessings.

The rest of us will work to better ourselves, so I assume we have your blessings too.

Right?


Ghost32 4 years ago

We already had a system in this country--once--where great numbers of people worked for free. It was called slavery.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Whoa! Great point, Fred, and how is that any different from what is proposed here?


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Well the slavery model pre supposes a large number of things that communal economics does NOT pre suppose.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Well the slavery model pre supposes a large number of things that communal economics does NOT pre suppose."

If profit and capitalism were outlawed, and we were forced to work for the plantation of the state, it would be a distinction without much of a difference


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

You are relying upon past models of economics to describe possible future models - sort of like comparing an ox cart to a jet air plane.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"...sort of like comparing an ox cart to a jet air plane."

I agree, with socialism being the ox cart.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Will Starr - that is fine, but still - humanity and society are evolving. Before there were libraries and books - those ideas seemed preposterous too.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Since when has helping someone been slavery?

Since when has helping someone for no financial payment been slavery?

Define slavery?

Show me where it says that that helping somebody is slavery?

Show me please?


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Gareth - I believe that helping someone equates to slavery in either Atlas Shrugged (depicted as reality) - or in 1984 - but of course I'm more making a statement than a statement of fact


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Since when has helping someone for no financial payment been slavery?"

When you do it at the point of a sword. That's the difference between charity and socialism. Charity is of our own free will. Socialism is forced.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

The problem here is, Will, that when there is great economic disparity - there is also a ton of social violence.

In fact, the economic disparity in the USA right now in most historical cases has resulted in violent revolution - the reason why this is not so at present here is the (hideously) high number of able bodied men either in prison (world's highest incarceration rate) and at war.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Education, what you say effects the way I think, the way I think informs what I say, what I say influences the way you think and what you think informs what you say and on, and on, and on,,,,,,,

"Gareth - I believe that helping someone equates to slavery in either Atlas Shrugged (depicted as reality) - or in 1984 - but of course I'm more making a statement than a statement of fact". Wesman Todd Shaw (today).

That's interesting I will need to understand that before I can make comment but it will be an education. Empowerment that's good stuff, thanks.

I got a big problem with socialism for two reasons, its never been practiced and so cannot be evaluated. As for helping, that is being practiced now, if somebody is holding a gun/sword to my head then that is bulling, not slavery.

Slavery is when I am owned by some one else to do with as they wish or at least, that's my interpretation of it.

Charity is not something of my own free will, its when I can do something of my own free will but its not that either because that's free will, free WillStarr, perhaps? Ha, Ha!

"The problem here is", that is an interesting point, more empowerment, education, education, education, I accept it of my own free will, even though it is something I cannot, not do and so I am a slave to it, I am not at all because no education is neutral, it is tainted with me.

Education is a hard task master, here's my tainted twist on reality, I have to breath, eat, sleep, keep warm, interact with other human beings, weather I like it or not and nothing is free. When I do not help others but do for them, I enslave them by making them dependent on me, whether I do it intentionally or not, so that is not education, with all the free will in the world, I can only offer education to empower people. They educate themselves or not, all I can do is offer it or even better, when they ask for it, because they take ownership, becoming involved in there own learning.

Empowerment is about being able to make educated decisions for yourself perhaps?

Hey, guys, thanks for the help much appreciated, BoGareth.

Hey is this the day that love dies?

Long dark days and cold grey sky's.

Mean old ways of greed filled eyes.

Hey is this the day, that love dies?

Hey is this the day, that love dies?

War on war and we tell lies.

Ticks became bloated, as the child host cries.

Hey is this the day, that love dies?

Hey is this the day, that love dies?

125,000 years ago we walked out of Africa but of course that's only an opinion based on evidence. A substantial amount of evidence potentially but still only an opinion. Its purely based circumstantial evidence, with no eye witnesses. Does it matter where we come from because for that same amount of time, we haven't moved on very far and we sure as hell ain't doing any of it by ourselves. We are moving in colony's with others, so that means we are all going together. If you are going for that survival of the fittest crap, please remember we have been doing that for the past 125,000 years and its not getting us anywhere.

Nobody wants to do it on there own but worse than that we aren't able to, we need stimulation, which is what we get externally, we don't know its learning unless we try it out and get it evaluated, as well as evaluate it, which means we need others.

Why are you still reading this?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

You wrote this and I answered it:

"Since when has helping someone for no financial payment been slavery?"

"When you do it at the point of a sword. That's the difference between charity and socialism. Charity is of our own free will. Socialism is forced."

So why did you then quickly change the subject?

Hm?


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings everyone,

sorry for not returning quicker, been a busy week-end.

I am happy Mr. Ghostrider has come by to visit as well. : )

This conversation is very important. Even though it takes place on the net, in between a low number of people, this conversation is happening between many, many people now (world-wide) because the System as it stands is no longer acceptable. That, I think we can all agree on.

From your above question Mr WillStar, I am inclined to think that at some point in life you were traumatized by having to help people. You are fully right in saying that charity comes from our "free will". So, do You not have that free will to help?

I am struggling to understand why You do not like charity? I am willing to help anyone who needs help and to whom I can be of help. Nobody has to get charity from me "at the point of the sword" ... geez, that's not helping if You are doing it because of fear ...

I help out of love and I wish You can do the same too Mr. WillStar. All the best!

(Sorry for being rather brief but I gotta run - I will return later.)


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Wise words Mr. Pritchard: "When I do not help others but do for them, I enslave them by making them dependent on me, whether I do it intentionally or not, so that is not education, with all the free will in the world, I can only offer education to empower people. They educate themselves or not, all I can do is offer it or even better, when they ask for it, because they take ownership, becoming involved in there own learning."

Thank You.

P.S. And You're funny too: "Why are you still reading this?" lol


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Hey WillStarr,

"So why did you then quickly change the subject?"

I didn't.

"I got a big problem with socialism for two reasons, its never been practiced and so cannot be evaluated. As for helping, that is being practiced now, if somebody is holding a gun/sword to my head then that is bulling, not slavery.

Slavery is when I am owned by some one else to do with as they wish or at least, that's my interpretation of it.

Charity is not something of my own free will, its when I can do something of my own free will but its not that either because that's free will, free WillStarr, perhaps? Ha, Ha!"

Sarcasm is the lowest form of whit, so I apologize for that but... The oppressed take on the ways of the oppressor and me/we are oppressed.

Thank you, kindly.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

"The oppressed take on the ways of the oppressor and me/we are oppressed." - In my opinion, we are all mirrors for each other Mr. Pritchard. This wolf could have easily shown fangs but I am trying to find a way to work with others in respect to how we run our societies. We are in a bit of trouble at the moment and I am trying to avoid excessive bloodshed. We either All work with one another, or be ready to fight a very ugly fight. That is the way this White Wolf sees the future. And I do see It.

All the best! May Wakan Tanka guide All our paths. I apollogize to the Universe for our mistakes. Hoka-hey!


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Hey Mr.Happy, you are welcome and thanks to you too for completing the process.

"P.S. And You're funny too: "Why are you still reading this?" lol"

"Nobody wants to do it on there own but worse than that we aren't able to, we need stimulation, which is what we get externally, we don't know its learning unless we try it out and get it evaluated, as well as evaluate it, which means we need others."

Now I can change that statement to this.

Nobody wants to do it on their own but better than that, we aren't able to, we need stimulation, which is what we get externally, we don't know its learning unless we try it out and get it evaluated, as well as evaluate it, which means we need others.

Interdependence, marked by 125,000 years of observational evidence.

No man is an island.

Empowerment to us all.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

""So why did you then quickly change the subject?"

I didn't."

Mistaken identity on my part. I was addressing W T Shaw.


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

I say we just overthrow the governments that we have and start over from scratch. It might be easier.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Humans have been around for thousands and thousands of years. I do not think profit has been around for that long."

It has been around ever since man first decided to better his life, and it will be around no matter how hard anyone tries to eliminate it. It is human nature to work hard and succeed in gaining wealth.

Without the natural self interest we all have, we would have ceased to survive as a species centuries ago.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Mikeydcarrol67,

we can overthrow all the governments we want, that's not the hard part. The difficulty we are having here is to come to an agreement on how our socio-political system would look like after. Sometimes revolutions come full circle and that's no good in my opinion.

I appreciate your comment. All the best! : )


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

Yep I can agree on that!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hello Mr. WillStarr,

your claim that profit "has been around ever since man first decided to better his life", implies that man did not want to imrove his/her life before profit. I think that is absurd. Every animal on this planet tries to improve its life. They take care of each other/help each other (that thing You seem to be so against), they build homes, stash food for winter ... That claim of yours made me laugh ...

And nothing last forever Mr. WillStar. Have You ever heard that saying? Everything is in motion and if one does not adapt, there is always the choice of failure/extinction.

Self interest is fine but first of all greed is no longer self-interest. Greed is cancerous and it eats away at its host. And secondly, we are All connected and when one suffers - we All suffer. Happiness is for All or for none and happiness does not depend on profit. We should All learn to understand that.

Cheers!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"your claim that profit "has been around ever since man first decided to better his life", implies that man did not want to imrove his/her life before profit. I think that is absurd. Every animal on this planet tries to improve its life. They take care of each other/help each other (that thing You seem to be so against), they build homes, stash food for winter ... That claim of yours made me laugh ..."

Then you miss the point.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Please help me understand the point then Mr. WillStar because even subconciously we have the will to live and with that in mind, we strive to live good lives (most of us for the most part). A good life does not revolve around profit ... there is more to life than that - in my mind anyway. Volunteer work is good work and there's no profit there, the work here is for no profit either ... I mentioned this already though. I am starting to feel like a broken record ...

This chase for profit at any and all cost is ending-up costing us a lot ...


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

You're making my argument for me. We all strive to do better, and PROFIT from our labor. Most of us also voluntarily perform charitable acts, because that too is part of our nature.

Perhaps you should define 'profit' so we all know why you think it's so evil.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Yes, very good point Mr. WillStar: I think we need to discuss the meaning of profit. I am in no rush and because I do care about this matter, I am going to take a little time before I answer that last question. I will return as soon as possible.

`The truth is rarely pure and never simple.` Oscar Wilde

All the best.


aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 4 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

As i read each hub you have written, I only wish in my heart that more people can think this way - expansively with love. My master told me,

"Money comes and goes. Morality comes and grows."

The emphasis is always on building a harmonious world through love. Even when it comes to education, He says,

"Education must be given free. Does the eagle charge its fledgling for teaching it to fly? Education must be for life and not for a living."

Beautiful hub... Enjoyed reading it so much... Recommended it to many too...

Thank you for this...


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

I agree Mr. Aravind: "Education must be given for free."

I can say many things which were not so nice about growing-up in a dictatorship but the education was very good and free, all the way to the post secondary level (university). So, no matter how poor one was, education was still available.

I am happy You enjoyed the read. Just some thoughts I had about the way we do business ... there will be another article on profit soon (hopefully lol) ... I have been thinking about it for a while. There are questions to be answered. I owe a couple of answers to Mr. WillStar too.

Thank You for the visit.

All the very best!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

White Wolf - Excellent hub and conversation. I cannot begin to discuss the specifics of this debate nearly as well as you and many others have already done. And it is heartening to see so many reasonable voices calling for much needed changes, incremental and progressive, to protect and benefit the 99% and benefit and stabilize our nation.

But it is disheartening to see individuals whose opinions never change, who are rabid in their convictions, who never directly answer simple questions and repeatedly spout the same tired rhetoric and slogans, although reality has proved those sound-bite slogans and principles either ineffective, or in many cases downright destructive.

There are guidelines for proper debate and discussion (and I know you know them and practice tham). When someone ignores questions or statement, tries to change the subject or shift the focus, repeatedly refers others to partisan websites, and makes broad and wild accusations and denunciations..... it is because they have no satisfactory answers or explanations.

Jumping topics, throwing out red herrings and straw men does not constitute rational thought. Jumping up and down about topic "RST" does not adequately explain the topic under discussion "DEF." These are basic and well-understood principles for people truly interested in reasoned debate and fair discussion. Many of us are interested and abide by these guidelines, and some of us are not, which is a great loss, because we need as many good minds as possible working on the problems we face in North America.

Problems do not go away by themselves, they get worse, or they multiply and extend into new areas. Admittedly, dictatorial communist regimes in Europe had many problems --- unresolved and unaddressed, they led to great suffering for the populations and eventual regime collapse.

However, capitalism also has problems which have not been addressed, but rather swept under the rug by those with power and wealth. And we make a huge and fundamental mistake when we equate capitalism with democracy. The two are absolutely not coterminous, one is not equal to the other, one does not produce or guarantee the inviolability of the other.

In fact the United States is not, never have been a pure democracy, at best America is a democratic republic, where over time, more and more political power has passed into the hands of the financial elite. Our capitalism is not "pure and undiluted" as some would have us believe, either.

I am always amazed at those who complain about government programs for the poor and scream "socialism," but who express no outrage at welfare for the richest of the rich. How can some who uses Capitalism, as the starting point for all their positions and arguments not be outraged by the enormous “redistribution of wealth” (a wicked socialist/communist concept) our government makes through subsidies to farmers, oil companies, bailouts of banks and a variety of financial institutions, etc.

I am speechless, well almost…. So benefits to assist working class people are “socialism,” but benefits for the wealthy top 5% are shining examples of “Capitalism.” I think I finally get it (apparently they did not explain capitalism properly to me when I was in school…and I was in school for a very long time).

CAPITALISM is the system where governments provide enormous benefits and subsidies (money from individual working citizens) to the extremely rich and their businesses and corporations -- so they can make wise decisions, strengthen the American economy, and as the economic tide rises, even the little boats with the not-rich average folks in them will rise as well.

Such a great story, such a comforting fairy tale. But since the 1960’s “real income” adjusted for inflation, has declined for the great majority of us while corporate profits and the wealth of the top 5% has risen substantially. Permissive, unregulated Capitalism is not our savior, probably not even our friend. Theory can be debated endlessly, but the economic reality is incontrovertible. White Wolf, thank you for this conversation and for the opportunity to participate.


bmcoll3278 profile image

bmcoll3278 4 years ago from Longmont, Colorado

The whole wallstreet movment has made me sick, I can however see that your view comes from a good place,and a good heart. I only wish I new the answer.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr. Bmcoll3278,

may I ask why the Occupy Movement made You sick? As one of the many Occupiers world-wide, I would honestly like to include even those who disagree with the movement, in the conversation about how we can create a better, more efficient and fairer socio-political and economic system. Hence, I asked about your griefs and/or concerns.

I do think it is important to engage as many people as possible in this discussion.

I apreciate your comment. Thank You.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Mrs. Theresa,

I certainly agree with your statement that: "Many of us are interested and abide by these guidelines, and some of us are not, which is a great loss, because we need as many good minds as possible working on the problems we face in North America." Hence, I am trying to get as many people as possible involved in this conversation.

I have hardly any patience for many things but when it comes to issues which concern all of us (and I really mean All of Us, world-wide), I have all the time needed and I am willing to wait and go through whatever discussions are necessary. It would greatly help if everyone was well informed on the subject of history and politics as You are but either way, we have to move forward.

"Admittedly, dictatorial communist regimes in Europe had many problems --- unresolved and unaddressed, they led to great suffering for the populations and eventual regime collapse." - You made a great point here and I cannot stress this enough. I lived in one of those pretend-to-be communist regimes in Eastern Europe and I saw its collapse. Now I am living in a pretend-to-be capitalistic system and I am watching the beginning of its end ... Lovely ... sort of like a deja-vu in many ways.

As You well mentioned, many people are under the fake impression that in America there is a capitalist system in place. Yet, there isn't. There is welfare for the wealthiest people, in form of grants, subsidies and bail-outs. No, there is no true capitalism in the United States but the myth would have us believe there is.

And one of the greatest problems is the distribution of wealth and profit. There is no trickling down of wealth - that is yet another myth. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. Now, the middle class has been hit hard and so we are soon back to the system of lords and serfs - no in-between ... no middle class.

What is encouraging though, besides all the people in the streeets world-wide, is that some of the 1% are also waking up. If You have time, take a look at this documentary made by Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune. It is titled "The One Percent". An amazing documentary in my opinion, made by the one percent about the one percent. He's a smart cookie!

Here is the link, if You somehow end-up having an hour for such things: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmlX3fLQrEc&feature...

Thank You so much for the visit and for a most insightful comment.

All the best! : )


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Our president agrees with you...he recently proclaimed:

“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

That's a big surprise to those who spent all that time, money, energy, and risk building a business (the means of production). Marx said the means of production belongs to the masses, and it looks like Obama agrees with Marx...again.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr. WillStar, the following quote may sound out of place but it really is not: "It takes two to climb the bed." So, for a business to work it is the same. We need the entrepreneur, the capital (for the buisiness to get off the ground) then, we need the workers to make the business roll and then, we need the consumers (general public) who buy the products and/or services. If any of these parts are disregarded, there is no business.

So, as much as I do not like Mr. Obama, there is some truth in that statement: someone else needs to be involved to make the business work - not just the entrepreneur. Without the workers, the consumers and so on, the entrepeneur can have all the capital in the world and the best ideas ever and nothing will happen.

With this in mind, that is why I am of the opinion that the sharing of profits has to be distributed in a more fairer way. How we can find a more just system of distributing wealth, remains to be seen but I am so happy that more and more people are joining this conversation.

Mrs. Theresa (Phdast7) made some very good points and I just linked a documentary made by the 1% about the one percent. It's by the wealthy about the wealthy - do give it a chance if You have some time. The "kid" who made it is the heir to the pharmaceutical corporation Johnson & Johnson, a billionaire himself.

This is a great documentary in terms of seeingthings from a different perspective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmlX3fLQrEc&feature...

I gotta run for now, I got guests but thanks for stoppping by again. Cheers!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"So, as much as I do not like Mr. Obama, there is some truth in that statement: someone else needs to be involved to make the business work - not just the entrepreneur."

Except that's not at all what he said:

“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Why do you feel the need to 'interpret' his words? They are clear enough, and they mean that he is in full agreement with Karl Marx.


Rilos 4 years ago

WillStarr Stated this 3 months ago.

"You're making my argument for me. We all strive to do better, and PROFIT from our labor. Most of us also voluntarily perform charitable acts, because that too is part of our nature.

Perhaps you should define 'profit' so we all know why you think it's so evil."

Mr. Happy stated this in reply 3 months ago.

"Yes, very good point Mr. WillStar: I think we need to discuss the meaning of profit. I am in no rush and because I do care about this matter, I am going to take a little time before I answer that last question. I will return as soon as possible.

`The truth is rarely pure and never simple.` Oscar Wilde

All the best."

Now who looks like they are avoiding the subject?

Just an observation.

The middle classes enable/enabled this whole situation and the working classes told them to not get too comfortable because what goes around comes around, so whose sorry now?

Obama is an Alinskyite and one thing you can guarantee from these types of people is nothing will get sorted. They just shift the problem somewhere else and in doing so create more problems, whilst perpetuating the illusion of having resolutions.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

"Why do you feel the need to 'interpret' his words?" - Well, do we not all interpret everything in this Life, Mr. WillStar? I would say, that is human nature; we interpret things through our perception. And I think that is actually the problem in terms of coming to an understanding on how profit should work or if it is even necessary in our socio-economic system: we all perceive things differently.

I certainly do not think Obama is anywhere close to Karl Marx. Obama takes all sorts of money from banks, pharmaceutical industry, etc. I talked about this issue of who's paying his bills before. He is paid-off by lobbyists to do as he is told - he's a puppet. A puppet of bankers though, not of some communists, from who knows where ... Look at the money trail and tell me how he would be considered a communist: http://hubpages.com/business/Fii-pregatit-Be-ready...

You give him way too much credit ... in my opinion.

And yes, I am still thinking about how we can discuss profit on terms we can all understand.

All the best!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Mr. Rilos,

I am not sure who You perceive to be avoiding something but that is fine.

I am actually quite interested in your statement about: "The middle classes enable/enabled this whole situation and the working classes told them to not get too comfortable because what goes around comes around, so whose sorry now?" - Can You please explain what "situation" exactly did the middle class create and how (reasons)?

I always welcome new ideas and this idea seems rather new to me.

Thank You for taking the time to read and comment. Cheers!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Well, do we not all interpret everything in this Life, Mr. WillStar?"

That's a dodge. Why did you, Mr. Happy, feel compelled to tell me what Obama meant? Did you think he was not clear? Or did you think I was incapable of understanding simple English?

Obama has demonstrated time and again that he grew up with Marxists, sought out Marxists, went to a Marxist 'church' with a Marxist preacher, and married a Marxist, so why are we in any way surprised that he would utter a Marxist position on creating a business?


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Will -

I find many of the terms and comments being used in this discussion confusing. I am not sure we are on the same page. Sometimes defiing terms can be helpful.

Would you please define what you mean when you use the word Marxist? Thank you.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"I find many of the terms and comments being used in this discussion confusing."

Oh, I'm sure you do, Professor!

^_*

A Marxist, for our purposes, is an adherent of Karl Marx and his theories.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Will - You are reading things into statement when no "intention" was there. It was an honest question that deserved an honest answer.

Yes, I am a professor and I am aware of the "scholarly Book" definitions of Marxism. But that definition is seldom understood or used in the "scholarly book" manner by anyone outside of a political think tank or academic conference.

So I would like to know what it means to you, to Mr. Happy, to others when they describe someone as Marxist, socialist, fascist, etc. If our terms are not clear and exact then we are not debating any substantive issues in the real world. We just circle the issues emotionally using terms that are not defined, much less equivalent.

No progress can be made and progress does not mean agreement, it simply means fully understanding the other person's position. Clearly defined terms would help advance the conversation toward that goal. I know what Marx wrote about, but there are several varieties of socialism.

What beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, actions, policy changes do you see that indicate that President Obama is a Marxist?


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

No, that was not a dodge - I'm not playing dodge ball here Mr. WillStar.

Let's re-read my statement because You clearly misunderstood what I wrote and at this point I will also tell You why You misunderstood what I wrote.

I wrote that: "So, as much as I do not like Mr. Obama, there is some truth in that statement". The key words here ARE (this is what You missed because You are so terribly stuck in your line of thought and your fear of the boogie-man, Marx): "there is some truth".

That is what I wrote about your quote from Obama, which by the way I have not cross-referenced but I trust You, in it being correct. So, I did not say that the quote was superb or divinely righteous or anything - I said that there was some truth in it, from my perspective - we only say things from our perspective, always. Then, I explained the partial truth which I saw reflect from that quote and I gave my reasoning behind it.

Again, I am not sure if You read any works of Karl Marx but I am of the opinion that if You did, You would refrain from making such silly comments about Obama being comparable to Marx, in terms of how he is running the country or the political and economic system.

I gave You a link to an article I wrote, in which I did research and found a lot of links between Obama's campaign contributions and Wall St ... or the other corporations. It is laughable to argue that a communist would take money from bankers or the pharmaceutical industry's corporations, as campaign funding. Come on .. do the math ... it does not add-up ...

Stop giving a bad name to socialists and communists by comparing them to Obama. He's a corporate puppet. Haha!! : )

Research helps. Cheers!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Definition of Marxism is: "n. 1 the theory that human and political motives are at root economic, and that class struggle explains the events of history and will inevitably lead to the overthrow of capitalism".


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"But that definition is seldom understood or used in the "scholarly book" manner by anyone outside of a political think tank or academic conference."

Nevertheless, it's what I mean when I use the term. Perhaps you should ask Obama what he meant, since he said he often sought out "Marxist' professors.

Mr. Happy

I understand perfectly well, despite your tendency to infer that your opponents are not up to snuff on topics like this one.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

BTW, Professor, I've written Hubs on both liberty and our Constitution. Perhaps you should read them, so you know who I am.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Well, Mr. WillStar You asked me why I felt compelled to tell You what Obama said ... and that was incorrect. I wrote about what I perceived as partially true from the statement You quoted and I did not try to explain what Obama meant. It is clear You did not understand that part, otherwise You would not have claimed that I was trying to regurgitate Obama's words. Your statement missed the point.

I am still waiting (and perhaps Mrs. Theresa is as well) for an answer to her question (and mine as well to You) about: "What beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, actions, policy changes do you see that indicate that President Obama is a Marxist?"

To have a constructive discussion, I am of the opinion that we should be specific with our arguments and comments.

All the best!


Rilos 4 years ago

Soldiers! In the name of democracy: let us all unite!

Come, come, Mr Happy, I have read all your stuff on here and Mr Will Stars and I know how intelligent you both aren’t, so don't try to slash on my back and tell me it's rain.

3 months is long enough to answer anyone, do you not think, because I do?

Who runs the capitalist machine, the education system, the American Dream?

It's not the working classes, they are too busy struggling to have their lives and it's not the upper classes because the have a little bit, want bit more people, do all the work for them, keeping the whole system working for the one percent.

The middle classes pander to their own needs and the greed of the upper classes, the middle classes make and keep that situation as it is for a little bit more than the poor.

Hey guess what, they are not needed any more because we have digital dependency and virtual reality.

If you know anything about Carl Marx you will know that he developed the conflict theory and worked his whole life trying to create a blue print to resolve conflict, for people to live together in harmony.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Hey Pro, alias ( phdast7 ), ha, ha ©

"So I would like to know what it means to you, to Mr. Happy, to others when they describe someone as Marxist, socialist, fascist, etc."

On this subject I would like to say something as one of the others.

I rarely use the terms, Marxist or socialist nowadays, they are naughty words aren't they? The word fascist I use all the time because that's what we are, self interested dictators, always putting ourselves first, we can't help it because we take on the values of our culture, which is a capital dictatorship, so we are all potential dictators through our cultural values.

Capitalism the appliance of greed not need, the appliance of excess and anti economics.

"Carl Marx developed the conflict theory and worked his whole life trying to create a blue print to resolve conflict, for people to live together in harmony." I thinks this as well, Rilos.

"No progress can be made and progress does not mean agreement, it simply means fully understanding the other person's position. Clearly defined terms would help advance the conversation toward that goal." I couldn't say this any better, thanks professor.

"What beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, actions, policy changes do you see that indicate that President Obama is a Marxist?" Well if he helps poor people too much it might be a sign.

Thanks, Gareth.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Gareth - Nice to meet you and I love your comments-responses...but I am just finishing up six hours at the computer - three hours writing a class lecture and three hours reading and writing on HP and I can hardly see the screen in front of me. I will try for a better response tomorrow. :)


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings again Mr. Rilos,

I disagree with your statement that: "3 months is long enough to answer anyone, do you not think, because I do?"

Comments on this piece of writing go back nine months and the debate about how to develop a fair, just and harmonious society for everyone has been going on for much, much longer. Therefore, three months is nothing ... a year is really nothing. I am looking for some ideas that would bring people together and thus, I am in no hurry to start rushing with some egocentric nonsense. Hence, I try to engage people in conversations, whether I agree with them at the beginning or not.

Now, I want to make sure I understand You properly. Your opinion is that the middle class controls in some way the capitalist system? I am under the impression that the middle class is actually being wiped out. This is happening in Europe as well as in North America. So, the middle class is wiping itself out? ... I am honestly confused.

On a different note, I agree with what You wrote about Karl Marx.

Thank You for the conversation. All the best!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank You for stopping by again Mr. Gareth.

It is incredible how scary certain terms such as socialism or names such as Karl Marx can be for some people ... I was thinking today that maybe the Red Scare from the 50s has had a serious traumatic effect on many people ... such terms should be just forbidden, I guess ... lol

"Well if he helps poor people too much it might be a sign." - Haha!! Yes ... feeding bread-crumbs to pigeons in the park might be considered as a socialist act, nowadays.

All the best! : )


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Of course socialism/Marxism/whatever has accounted for the deaths of well over 100,000,000 people, but let's ignore all that and pretend that it's all harmless and good fun...until someone orders you to stand in front of a ditch and you hear the rifles being cocked.

I'll leave you to your 'scholarly' debate. I have life to attend to, and have no time to spare for fools.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Hey Pro, phdast7, the feelings mutual I am sure and I will let you go with a fondness for more.

Thanks, Gareth.


bmcoll3278 profile image

bmcoll3278 4 years ago from Longmont, Colorado

Mr.happy.

It makes me sick because I was on site and seen with my own eyes in denver. Many of the people were just plain lazy spoiled kids who want every thing for free , I think in any system you have to work for what you want. When I see someone complaining about a broken system and big business , wile wearing $200 jeans , talking on a iphone , and not working for what they want it bothers me. I work hard at anything I do be it for money or just to accomplish something. Evan a wild bird has to work to survive and they don't use money. If the system can be improved on then great. But everything free jsut won't work , soneone has to be doing the work to earn it.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr. WillStar, I was born and lived under the Soviet Iron Curtain, of Eastern Europe. You really do not have tell me about people dying or just simply vanishing without a trace. That is because of the lunatic and murderous dictators though.

And see, this is the main problem. Many people are under the wrong impression about the socio-political system in which they live in. There is no true capitalism here in North America and there was no true socialism or communism in Eastern Europe (or anywhere else for that matter).

As Mrs. Theresa well pointed-out, corporations in the United States get subsidies - welfare for the rich. So, the United States is certainly not a capitalist country, although some people would like to think it is, or it was ... myths ...

"I have life to attend to" - Indeed You do and we all do but when the bullets start flying and the tanks rolling down the street, You may think that having a discussion before hand would have been more fruitfull. I already lived through that once and I see what is coming again. It's almost like a deja-vu, in a weird and distorted way.

Without scholarly debates, we woun't get far in life ... We should listen to the ones who are learned and take notice of past mistakes (history).

Have a gread day! I am by no means upset, nor do I indulge in Fear because I am of the opinion that it does not help.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hello again Mr. Bmcoll3278,

thank You for explaining what You meant.

I fully agree with your statement about: "I think in any system you have to work for what you want". Of course, as my grandmother used to say: "If You don't work - You don't eat". Well, that may sound a little harsh but life was itself harsh in the dictatorial system we lived in.

With that in mind, we can see how many people lost their life's savings in the last few years. People lost homes or much of the value of their homes ... jobs have vanished and people who went to university and studied are now unemployed with debts which they cannot pay for.

I have many examples of the unfairness of the system but I am writing a new article about profit and how people view profit, so for now I will just give one example.

Why is it that a person who is profiting from dividents and capital gains (sitting in a nice comfortable chair in an air-conditioned office, playing with numbers on the computer) is taxed at fifteen percent and a soldier fighting in Afghanistan can get taxed up to thirty or fourty percent? Well, in my opinion it is because the crooks from Wall St. have hijacked much of the political system.

Whether one is a conservative, democrat, Ron Paul supporter or an independant, I am more or less sure that we can all see that the system is broken and needs fixing.

At this point, we have to somehow come to an understanding on how fixing should be done.

I honestly thank You for joining the conversation and I am not all that happy that You got the feel that all Occupiers are lazy kids who want free stuff. I do not personally fit in that category and I lived in my tent downtown for over a month last fall/winter.

All the best!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Hey Gareth (I am glad you are one of “the others.”) –

~~“I rarely use the terms, Marxist or socialist nowadays, they are naughty words aren't they?”

I end up using them in my history classes, but most of my time is spent trying to overcome the inaccurate Radio and TV sound bite explanations the students have heard and replace them with (1) a theoretical definitions -- what Marx and Engels actually wrote, (2) a real life definition -- what Lenin and the Bolsheviks put into practice, (3) another real-life definition – the ways in which corrupt, brilliant and paranoid Stalin shaped Soviet communism, and (4) Communism as it was implemented in numerous other countries – China, Cambodia, Cuba, Viet Nam, North Korea, and so forth. It’s a lot of work, for me and for the students.

~~“Capitalism the appliance of greed not need, the appliance of excess and anti economics.”

An interesting and brief encapsulation of what often goes wrong in a capitalist system.

~~ "No progress can be made and progress does not mean agreement, it simply means fully understanding the other person's position. Clearly defined terms would help advance the conversation toward that goal." ‘I couldn't say this any better, thanks professor.’

Glad you liked this. I was pretty pleased with the two sentences myself. ?

Something I have invested a lot of time on is producing a variety of schematics, frameworks, visuals, not sure what to call them…to help students make sense of the numerous and complicated political systems and governments on the planet.

They hear the words authoritarianism, fascism, oligarchy, dictatorship, democratic socialism, communism, capitalism, and socialism tossed around and they have no mental framework to help them sort out and understand these terms and systems. Most of them are extremely confused.

Of course there are numerous ways to evaluate systems, governments, and political parties from “far left” to the “moderate center” to the “far right” --- depending on whether you are looking at ideology, the economic system, the political system, the ruling class, or religion, etc.

Religion is a great, although complicated example. Catholicism can be found supporting both “rightist” and “leftist” political systems. The hierarchy of the Catholic Chursch – arch-bishops, cardinals, the Pope often align themselves politically with “conservative, right-wing monarchies, regimes.” However, a substantial percentage of rank and file priests support “liberal, left-wing movements and governments (South America) because they identify with and hope to protect the common worker or laborer.

Both extremes exist within the Catholic Church. There is a great film that documents these two antithetical halves of the Catholic Church. “The Mission” is set in early 1700’s South America and illustrates the power conflicts and negotiations between Colonial Capitalism, the Catholic Church, and the Democratic Socialist society and economy of the native people, the Guarani. It’s also a great film if one knows nothing about politics at all. ?

I shall have to think about how to transfer the hand-drawn conceptual frameworks “left to right” that I use in the classroom into a format that I could upload to HP. It would make an interesting hub, I think. Thank you for the conversation (WhiteWolf has influenced me), but as I am sure you have noticed, I have been mostly thinking out loud. ? I would enjoy any and all comments.

Pro - phdast7 - Theresa


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

I would bow down to You right now, if You were here Mrs. Theresa (or as the saying goes: "Hats down!). I love knowledgeable and analytical minds!! Your comment is great food for thought.

I will have to look for "The Mission" film, sounds interesting (and I love historical films anyway).

You are so very right about terminology being used lightly and perhaps at times just to instill fear or ridicule. I have had to sit and talk to many people myself and explain how America is not a pure capitalist system to begin with ... then, the fireworks go off!! lol

I just wish the educational system can be improved - that way, people can start thinking for themselves a little more and listen less to political pundits and corporate controlled media ...

For now, I have decided to take the idea of profit and discuss it in smaller articles. Or maybe not smaller but at least I will try to keep the focus on specific issues relating to profit.

It will be fun for sure (if nothing else)!

Thank You greatly for stopping by. All the very best! : )


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

White Wolf - Thank you, you have made my day! :) But no bowing or scraping - that sort of thing would go to my head far too quickly. :)

Analytical minds are the best, because then you can discuss without anger or pettiness, and clarity as opposed to murkiness emerges, Even when there is no actual agreement on all the issues, all parties to the discussion feel that progress has been made at clearly articulating both the issues and their respective positions.

I neglected to mention that, but unfortunately, and all too ofter words, language is specifically being used to create fear and confusion or to ridicule and humiliate others so they withdraw from the conversation.

And on that point, my hat is off to you; you have a phenomenal ability, determination to hang in there, even when some of the discussants are incredibly and deliberately hateful, obtuse, and frustrating. You have more patience than I do and I know that patience is not an accidental gift from the gods, but something that one must commit to and work at.

The educational system needs to be improved and I do my part as best I can, but I believe that substantive changes must be made at the secondary level. So let us hope. Do find a copy of The Mission. I think you will appreciate it on all sorts of levels. And I will be watching for the future "shorter, focused" essays on profit.

I just published "The Journey - A Look at Aging - Chapter 12" It has some great music and some great photographs of nature. The writing is not half bad either. :) Although, I only wrote the intro, conclusion, and one mini essay (12). My real responsibility was to compile all the answers into one hub. See what you think. Have a great week and take care until we talk again. :) Theresa


Nick Hanlon profile image

Nick Hanlon 4 years ago from Chiang Mai

Of course all this commenting is generating profit btw.I love it when anti-capitalists like Noam Chomsky,Michael Moore and Rage Against the Machine make bundles of cash and then parade their socialist leanings.I should write about a true socialist called Lane who set up a socialist colony in Paraguay in the 1890's.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Hi Nick Hanlon,

"Of course all this commenting is generating profit btw."

Even this page and

"I should write about a true socialist called Lane who set up a socialist colony in Paraguay in the 1890's."

I sure think you should, it sounds very interesting.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

For whom is this page generating profit though? I am not making a penny here ... LOL So, that is one of the questions: who profits from all this profit floating around ...? Not the common man, in my opinion.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

At the very least Hubpages, Google, and nobody insinuated that you where making a profit, just in case you think I was, I wasn't and I considered that you declared that you don't make anything from these pages, before saying it, not that it makes any difference, only to you.

On another note you are still making a profit but not for yourself, in which case what is the point, it serves no purpose because profit is still being made, only you choose not to take anything from it.

In which case put my code into your pages I will take it and at least Hubpages are not getting it, not that their is anything wrong with Hubpages but they have already worked out their cut.

Indeed, who does profit from all this profit floating around, Will he step in now and say nobody, it is an insult to say that profit is floating around when people work hard to make their profit. Also discounting the guy in the (The One Percent, Video) who stated that God chose him to be rich.

Thinking a little bit deeper, I am making profit from this page as well because at least one person has visited my pages generating some income through their visit.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Mr. Gareth,

if You saw the "One Percent" documentary then, You can recall the Italian Baron, Cody Franchetti who said: "Ahh ... no, I don't do anything ... I'm just a rich dude ... I don't do shit". If You want to see that part again, fast-forward to minute 44:50.

Not everyone is working hard for their profit. : )

I may have misunderstood your comment. My apology if I did.

"On another note you are still making a profit but not for yourself, in which case what is the point, it serves no purpose because profit is still being made, only you choose not to take anything from it." - The point is to show that I write out of Love and not for money. The point is also to show that even without the money incentive, work can still be done.

It is difficult to eliminate the myth that without profit there is no incentive for work ...

You make a good point though, even though I make no profit here, Hub-pages makes a profit. That is fine though - they created the platform on which I write so, if they want to make money - I will not stop them. At the same time, I get the freedom to write exactly as I wish and what I wish to write about.

Cheers!


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Yes you did miss the point but I think it was so cryptic it was not difficult to miss, I won't hold it against you.

I did see the "I don't do shit" the problem is he doesn't know shit and needed to be served plus hated the fact that in America he was nobody so promoted himself so he could be somebody, which is questionable, because what he really wanted to be was common, without realizing, like I said doesn't know shit...

"Hub-pages makes a profit. That is fine though - they created the platform on which I write so, if they want to make money - I will not stop them."

But you will help them and they have already worked out their cut.

Now if you took that money you could build your own site with it and not be dependent on them or their platform, plus use the money to fund something of more benefit like, for a school in the back of beyond.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Yes, it did feel like I somehow missed your point, Mr. Gareth. Thank You for letting me know. : )

"I did see the "I don't do shit" the problem is he doesn't know shit" - And the other problem is, that he is not the only one in that situation. Also, such people are often the ones in positions of power and influence. Therefore, what can we really expect in regard to how our societies are set-up and run? Mr. Franchetti would make a great President, wouldn't he? Sort of like Bush the Second, getting the Presidential office because of daddy's connections and money. Lovely.

In respect to the fact that I refuse to make money from my writing on Hub-pages, I do agree with You that perhaps the money that I could make, can be used in a beneficial manner. I have been thinking about this: what if the people who have not set-up their add-sense accounts, would so so and have all their profits shifted to a non-for-profit organization (i.e. Greenpeace - I like Greenpeace and I donate money to them monthly)? That may work in my mind.

I apreciate the conversation. Much to think about. Thank You.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

I have worked for more than one so called, not for profit organisation and those at the top get paid far too much money, whilst those at the bottom volunteer. I have done more than my fair share of voluntary work also and it's like I said earlier, we live in a capital dictatorship, meaning money rules with an iron fist, it dictates everything.

Hubpages could also do the same or similar to Squidoo and offer the opportunity for those who don't want to take the money to donate to a charity, which I think says something about Hubpages.

I have also been involved with Greenpeace but I won't say anything because you like them, ha, ha, I had a good time at Glastonbury.

Not for profit organisations should only pay the highest paid worker no more than 3 times the wage of the lowest paid worker and treat their volunteers with respect and dignity.

Instead they pay some of their top employees in excess of a 100 thousand pounds, give them free cars every year, send them on jolly's around the world and don't even consider that they need a volunteer budget for training.

Then tell me that I need to get a grip on reality because I tell them a truth they don't want to hear.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Maybe we need to start our own non-for-profit organization then, Mr. Gareth. The concerns You have written about, are not yours alone. I have heard many people say that non-for-profit organizations pay their top executives (for lack of a better word) too much money. I appreciate your opinion regarding pay: "Not for profit organisations should only pay the highest paid worker no more than 3 times the wage of the lowest paid worker". I think that sounds rather fair ...

I do not know how much people at Greenpeace are paid so, I cannot comment on this but I do know that they have ships on oceans, they have many good-hearted people working for them (I met some myself) and I must admit that they helped the Occupy Movement as well. They supported us in many ways here in Toronto, when we most needed help.

"Then tell me that I need to get a grip on reality because I tell them a truth they don't want to hear." - That is not the way a conversation should take place. Your concerns should have been responded to in a constructive and transparent manner.

I have a name too for my future non-for-profit organization ... I am not sure why I created a corporation a couple of years ago ... haha!!! (Maybe so I can say that I am a CEO now - LOL - "The truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde)

Cheers!


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Greenpeace as you say are a large international organisation and manifest themselves in many different forms all over the world. I cannot condemn or condone Greenpeace because of this reason and only know what I know which is not much from 10 years ago.

Much of my experience is from the behavior of individuals within organisations, perhaps not the organisations themselves but...

Some housing associations in the UK have profits of over £90 million, pay their top executives between £196,000 and £327,000 at the top end. The salary of the UK prime minister is £142,000 (including £65,000 MP's salary) 2011, who manage the whole country with a turn over of billions.

Governments and housing associations are public bodies, housing associations are not for profit organisations, who pay no tax as charities. They are also often, if not always funded by public money for many salaries of the workers they employ, who are often care workers being paid some of the lowest wages in the country.

Care work is difficult, stressful, carried out in unsociable hours and brings a great deal of responsibility with it, yet in the UK these are some of the lowest paid workers. Top housing associations executives are being paid a massive 17.5 times more than a care work getting £18.750 if they are lucky.

(The truth is all that exists, otherwise it's not true.) - Gareth Pritchard.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

"Maybe we need to start our own non-for-profit organization then, Mr. Gareth."

Maybe we do?

Maybe we are?


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales

Hi phdast7,

Apologies for not getting back to this sooner, I have read through your piece a number of times and to be honest I am not really able to reach a conclusion or maybe I have but I just don't realize?

Anyway, all of those systems, theories and explanations, all have great merit, even if I don't completely agree or like them all. The one element that is of interest is that there is a dialogue and that is always important to me.

Another point of great interest is "the hand-drawn conceptual frameworks “left to right” that I use in the classroom".

Perhaps I envisage something that doesn't exist but I see a pictorial diagram/s, that enable comprehension of the chaos but perhaps that's just my self interest as a visual artist.

" It would make an interesting hub" I hope this happens because I'm interested but I also understand how busy life can be. Especially when having the responsibility for the education of others, on such important complicated subjects.

All good stuff in my book, thanks to all, Gareth.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 4 years ago from Fontana

I find it interesting that you mention "people with money" and Obama. When I think of rich, I don't think of Obama. I think of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, etc. Of course I would be happy to have Obama's money.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

You are very right, Mrs. Diane Trotter. Obama is by no means "wealthy". The very wealthy are the ones who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars or billions of dollars. These are people who hold great influence over international affairs.

Thank You for taking the time to read and comment.

All the best!

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