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It's Who You Know, And Who You Blow

Updated on August 22, 2010

Carolina Muscle said a mouthful

For the past month or so I've been on a bandwagon about money, elitism, thieving corporate boards of directors, wayward politicians, and the just plain teeming arrogance from the top looking down at the rest of the population as bottom-feeding, low-life, underperforming, unskilled, and just plain worthless piles with their hands out, to put it very bluntly. I've tried to make my point this way and that way, and every way but Sunday. And really, in all I've only probably served to overcomplicate the matter at hand.

I've written hubs like, "Corporate Boards Are Glorified Thieves," and yes, I know that the word "theifs" is misspelled (hey, even an unskilled political non-elite opinion guy like me can be a sucker for a little keyword stuff). Another one I called, "The Jobless Are Not Lazy," and another one is titled, "Another Example Of An Overpaid CEO," which is on point about the whole concept of CEO pay, and severence packages which are akin to winning the lottery, but focuses on the exorbitant severence package former HP CEO Mark Hurd enjoyed after resigning his post due to the discovery of falsified expense reports to cover up an affair he had supposedly with a female contractor, and an accusation of sexual harassment.

Speaking of mouthfuls, but I digress.

The point of that last hub was basically that here was a guy who got a lot of money for doing a lot of crap he wasn't supposed to do. And he's by far the only one.

See, that's what gotten under my skin so darned bad. My panties (I actually wear Made in the USA Fruit of the Looms) are really in a terrible bunch because we're at this place that we've gotten to where everyone at the bottom is simply an underachiever and should simply be someone thankful that a few scraps fall his way now and again thanks to all of the genious, and hard work of the guys at the top who, according to all accounts, are the ones who really make it all happen.

After all, all of these guys are educated. They've gone to college to learn their valuable stuff to make the world go round. These are men of ideas, and damnit all, they deserve to have everything and then some...You guys at the bottom need simply take notes, and take notice.

But there was that word that got it all done for me. Deserve. It was the one word that I was trying to get at all along. It just never made it past my tongue, and certainly never made it past my keyboard and onto the screen in any of my hubs. In reality, looking back, I kind of feel like an idiot actually. God, it's so simple. And I didn't think of it. Carolina Muscle did. Another hubber. Not me. In a word he got it done. In a word he had summed up everything I had been trying to get across. After I read it, I thought—with some exaggeration of course—that I had quite literally found the Holy Grail in all of Its glory.

I'm still pounding my head into the wall over it, so thank you very much Mr. Muscle. Whatever company makes Tylenol, invest in it. I'm taking it by the truckload with all this head-banging. Oh yes, and drywall. Invest in that too.

It's tough for a conservative such as myself

When you're a conservative such as I am, it's really tough to stand up and be for the little guy. Really tough. Because the fact of the matter is, as soon as you start to say, "Hey, the guy on the bottom needs a little recognition for his contribution too," all of sudden the accusations begin to fly.

Socialist! Redistributor of wealth! Robin Hood!

Man, let me tell you something. That cannot be farther from the truth. First off, I don't have anything whatsoever against the rich. I like the rich. I want to be rich, and certainly should I ever become rich, I certainly don't ever want to be against myself.

I'll even tell you this; when I see a guy drive past me on the highway in a BMW or a Mercedes (which I don't find all that impressive actually, I personally like Lincolns) I don't get mad. I want to know what it is that got the guy behind the wheel of such an expensive machine.

Because here's what I generally think. Hard work pays. That's the motto I try to live my life by. Work hard, make a contribution, and it will pay off one way or another. Nothing in life should be a cakewalk. Nothing should be handed down on a silver platter. Everything should be hard. Everything should be a challenge, and if you get somewhere and you achieve something, by God you should have a trail of blood, sweat, and tears in a long path behind you...

And accolades and fortunes ahead of you.

Hard work. Yes. That's exactly what success is supposed to be made of. Grit and conviction. And I'm thinking, some of those guys who are driving those BMW's and Mercedes just have to be one of those guys. One of those guys who worked hard, who busted his ass, who got it all done, and who took on the challenge like a matador takes on a bull—with grit, conviction, and a bit of risk.

If not, then well...busting my ass is for moot. If not, any of us busting our asses is for moot. If not, then the idea that hard work pays is a great big lie, and I simply don't want to believe that. I need to not believe that.

A little bit of reality

I'm not going to sit here and say that anyone who is at the top, or who has a fancy degree on their wall, is lazy. I won't say that at all. I will say, though, that too often many of these guys simply put themselves on a pedestal that really has no business being beneath their feet. They all think, regardless of how they arrived where they are, that they have earned their position. They have earned their right to the big prize. They believe wholeheartedly that they deserve every bit of what they have, and that everyman deserves virtually nothing except to be thankful for what the top trickles down.

It was something that a doctor had said to Carolina Muscle at a gym, as they worked out alongside one another, that got him rolling things around in his head. As Carolina put it, "He was explaining his viewpoint that he pays too much in taxes.... and that the poor and indigent belong that way, they deserve no help from society—or more importantly, him. He says he worked hard to get where he is, and that " they should too.""

Hard work. He worked hard to get where he is, and they should too.

I think that statement could be more correctly read another way. "It's who you know, and who you blow that got me where I am, and the fact is that the poor and indigent simply don't know anyone important enough to blow."

I'm not suggesting that's always the case. But how many times have I run into guys in the factories I've worked, whose daddy was a supervisor in one department, who was quickly moved up the ranks? One guy's daddy happened to be a vice president of the company, and his son in a few very short years went from an hourly employee to one making six figures at the corporate headquarters. I know of one guy who runs a software consulting firm whose son is very young, who drives nice cars and lives in a huge house. He, of course, works for daddy. And while he thinks he's an achiever, the reality is that he is nor more than a receiver. A recipient of his father's earned success. A benefactor of his father's hard work.

In his own eyes, and in his view of the world, however. He deserves his place in the world. He deserves his position, and his accolades, and all of the goodies that come with that.

The reality is that he, and those guys I ran into in those factories never knew the reality of hard work a day of their lives. They perceive their efforts as hard work. They perceive their successes as having been as a result of proving themselves to their daddy's to get the accolades—but had their daddy's not been who they were, they'd likely have been down in the trenches with the rest of us, really busting tail and going at things the hard way.

No fancy cars. No fancy houses. No fancy degrees. At least, not until they had performed the hard work to get them to those ends on their own.

The bottom line

I think that at the end of the day if everyone has an equal opportunity, then we should all be like runners on a track. We all start at the same exact place before the gun goes off and the fastest runners come in first, second, and third, based on their real speed and their real ability. If some runners are too slow they come in last. But if they do come in last, they work hard to become faster, and they want to, because they know what the value of the prize is. They know what the effort will bring. And they want to be like the guy with the trophy because they know he got it for real effort, and real acheivement, and real hard work—and that makes their hard work worthwhile. It makes the concept of hard work the real basis for success. It makes the faster runner's reality ever being the slower runner's reality something tangible.

That's the gist of what I'm talking about. I'm not getting down on the rich. I'm just asking some of them, if had they not known someone, or had a three or four pace start on the track when the gun went off, would they be rich at the finish line before me? How much of what you have achieved is as a result of hard work, and how much was as a result of who you know and who you blow?

And as for us down here? I wonder how much more respect we would have for the guys at the top if we knew that they started on the bottom just like we did? And how much more respect and appreciation would the guys at the top have for the enormous hard work and effort that goes into every day of everyman if they weren't immediately thrust upward into their positioning?

The bottom line is that not everyone deserves everything they have, or do not have. Some of the rich do not deserve to have their money, and certainly if that's true, then neither do some of the poor deserve not to have it. What everyone does deserve, is the real opportunity. I'm not so sure we are exactly there, and the opportunities are getting much harder to truly get at.


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    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you and thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

    • funmontrealgirl profile image


      7 years ago from Montreal

      Worthy reading. Cool hub.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Neil, I'm not sure I go as far as to say that we should govern riches, nor that we should cap riches, but rather I am saying that as a society, we should collectively encourage actions that CAUSE the rich to be more apt to put the money where its needed. People make decisions, and that includes to buy cheaper, foreign made goods even when there is an alternative US made item on the shelf. That hurts America. It hurts American labor. It hurts us because we have lost good paying jobs and replaced them with mediocre ones. It hurts us because in the trade off we've lost many of the benefits we used to enjoy, including pensions (by the way, CEOs ALL get, what's that argument again about legacy costs?) It satisfies the status quo for the companies who make the products we buy that cheap is more important than where something is made—even if it costs us wages and jobs. The markets will allow what the markets will bear. That includes wages and jobs. If people are allowing of companies to pay lower wages, reduce benefits, and allowing of those same companies tom, at the same time, line their execs pockets with exorbitant and unreasonable paychecks, retirement, and severence packages, then that's what they'll do. It doesn't mean its right. But it also doesn't mean I want the government doing anything directly about it. Let the people (you and I) decide through our actions, our wallets, and let the companies do what they have to in order to be profitable and competitive. If they HAVE to have good wages, pensions, and other things to accomplish that, of COURSE they will, or they'll go out of business. I say it so often, but it truly stands as the truth for me; every dollar we spend casts a vote for the kind of world we want. I say we cast our vote in the interest of American commerce, American labor, and in the interest of balance. The companies will do what they have to. Right now they are just doing what they can, and we have to change that. Again, that's not a job for the government. That's a job for us.

      Dark, not a day goes by something new isn't stashed somewhere into the nether regions of my brain. Ah, the joys. :) Glad you found something here worth stashing.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Peggy, I've always viewed sports stars a little bit differently. I grant you, I am NOT suggesting that sports stars are not overpaid. I think they most certainly are. Still, I think there is a more direct link between the draw of an athlete in terms of revenue than of a company executive. If Billy Quarterback performs in a stellar way, he will personally draw fans to the stands, and that means money for the team, money for the league and so on and so forth. Everyone wins. The brand is the quarterback, if you want to put it that way. Not the CEO. Hunt's tomato sauce makes billions of dollars as a brand, and everyone who has a role in putting it on the shelf benefits from the revenue draw of the brand. In companies the execution is more a rounded effort thing, than something that occurs from one man. Even in the world of sports it is widely known that the players make FAR MORE money than the boss does, and rightly so IMO IF we are assuming that THEY are the brand. Sure, players also make a large percentage of their money through endorsements rather from payroll alone from the team, but IMO the balance is more correct, even if I think in the business world higher pay goes to the boss—so long as it's not disproportionate. 400 times the guy on the front lines is aggregiously disproportionate and simply not justified for any reason as far as I am concerned. The CEO is not more important than the brand, and certainly not more important than the execution of production and sales of the brand.

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image


      8 years ago from NewYork

      Great hubs.... and very informative, we learn something new everyday.....

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 

      8 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      I've written a couple hubs re: Saving the middle class and corruption that are in line with your rant. You summed up all the points and certainly express your rage at the way things are. The solution is two fold in my opinion. 1-Governments have to get back to Governing.(and that would include Governing Greed and Power tripping) 2- There needs to be a ceiling on how much any one individual can be worth. (something crazy like max 100 Million. That would mean no more Billionaires)

      Good Rant!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      It is so true that often the connections in life (who you know) amount to more than just plain hard work. Guess that will always be the case. Some of those CEO salaries are beyond belief. But then the money that celebrities and athletes make can also be sky high. It is nice to see when they do something good with the money. I'm thinking of what Paul Newman did with his. Created a line of foodstuffs of which all of the proceeds go to charitable causes. Now, even after his death, this continues on to help others. Money can be used wisely and compassionately!

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      At the end of the day, I suppose all we can hope for, is that whenever it may happen that WE may find ourselves at the top—having earned our way there of course—that we never forget our own personal struggles, and we strive to always treat the bottom with the respect and appreciation they truly do deserve.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Great hub. I really can't add to what has been said it. So true and unfortunate that the world is this way.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you, and thanks for stopping by. :)

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      8 years ago from Great Britain

      Fascinating hub. So, so, true!!!! Thank you.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      It's the elites who get the elitism without having done the hard work and risk taking that affords it who really get under my skin. It would be interesting to see where THOSE types might actually be today without the money they got from the hard work of their parents, or someone else rich in the family who gave them the leg up in life. My guess would be not nearly as far as they are.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi, it's the same over here. it makes me so mad, recently there was a TV programme about housing, the fat rich stuck up snobby people were sitting there glaring at people who lived in council houses, saying in a very sarcastic manner, 'why don't you get a better paid job and then you can buy your own house' it never dawned on them that not everybody had the rich mummy and daddy they did! do they honestly think they would have got where they are today on their own? yeah right! got me going now! lol cheers nell

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      DeAd, the thing that gets you down deep some days is you are brought up with great values. Work hard. Succeed. It's not really all that true. Concessions are always made on the workers back. Hard work in this day and age really doesn't account for much. When a company is done with you, they don't look at how hard you work. They look at how much you cost. Thanks for stopping by.

      Evvy, ramble away. :)

      J.Dizzle, and unfortunately the world is full of guys just like him, who don't earn their way up, and who certainly look down at the bottom. They suddenly believe that they are people of great influence and intellect. I can't respect people like that.

      Chaotic Chica, they get it mixed up a little bit too often at the top too. If a guy really believes he's worth more than 400 times the guy cleaning the toilets, he's feeling pretty entitled. I'm not saying the guy cleaning the toilets deserves a million dollar salary. But I AM saying a CEO does NOT deserve a multi-million dollar one. Where I come from you don't underestimate the work or the effort of anyone. Everyone in a company has a role to play, and each role is an important one heedless of the task. If it's a task it must be done, and someone must be there to do it, and therefore it is important and should not be undermined, belittled, or treated as less deserving to make a living.

    • Chaotic Chica profile image

      Chaotic Chica 

      8 years ago

      Great hub!! There is definitely a difference between being deserving and being entitled and too many people at the bottom get them mixed up a little bit too often!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is so true! I had an experience with a guy that was the brother-in-law of the VP. We started at the same time and passed right on by me up the ladder and never looked back. In fact one of our bosses said I got the guy promoted because he had me doing his work. I busted my tail to move up to equal with him but ended up two steps behind him. He drives a BMW now and I do agree with Springboard on not getting mad at people that have nice things I will be mad at this guy. When people work hard and have nice things it doesn't make me mad. It's the people that have nice things by knowing, blowing, or screwing. Many of those people would be more like the people they look down on if didn't "bride" their way in.

    • evvy_09 profile image


      8 years ago from Athens, AL

      All your points are so true. But the world is funny about stuff sometimes. People could become celebrities simply by making a fool of themselves on the news (run and tell that!) lol. My point is a shortcut to being well is really just to get enough people to know who you are and make your opportunities from there. This is my rambly way of agreeing with you.

    • DeAd Dolls Inc profile image

      DeAd Dolls Inc 

      8 years ago

      ... "Sigh Of Relief" Thank God someone who actually has a good point for once. So True "Who you know and who you blow". I've worked in companies where people who bust their ass get nothing for it and the ones who are lazy and weave in and out of doing work and absolutely do nothing, kiss ass, suck up, and suck Di*k basically are the ones who climb any company ladder, get the raises and walk home happy at the end of the day.

      If I had a dollar for every time I saw this situation. Awesome Hub I love it, wish to see many more from you.


    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      "He spent more time making sure his mike was working and his teleprompter was working than he did on addressing the failing economy of this country -- it was all excellent finger-pointing tomfoolery." Or, in other words, more of the same. Kind of par for the course for this guy, no?

      As to your suspicions, I hope you're wrong lest we all be doomed.

    • KFlippin profile image


      8 years ago from Amazon

      I really do think that the economic growing gap between the nuevo Rockefeller and the working average American, blue or white collar, is the culmination of someone's goal somewhere, and I just hate to be paranoid, but there it is, I think the Oz of our world wants two classes only, the have and have it alls, and the rest of us. . . that will need old Uncle Sam -- whether well educated or not, whether they bleed hard work for their dreams or not, and I do hate to be that distrustful, don't wish to live so distrustful. But . . .

      But today, President Obama, fairly well shot the bird at all of us. The entire business world waited with baited breath for his words for quite a while. They were worthless. He spent more time making sure his mike was working and his teleprompter was working than he did on addressing the failing economy of this country -- it was all excellent finger-pointing tomfoolery, IMO, and shame on him, just shame on him.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      I sure hope so. So long as I stay rich in mind and can be rich in money as well. One can only hope. :)

    • stars439 profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      God Bless You. God willing you will reach a ripe old age someday. When you do,not too much will matter anymore, just getting your messages across. Nice hub, and I hope you become comfortably well off someday. You sure nuff deserve it, and so do a lot of other folks.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Bill, more small business would be a great thing. Keep in mind, though, that right now small business makes up the majority of all business.

      NS22, I'd certainly be in the camp of folks who, if I were in a position to decide, would take less and pay more. I think the team is everything. I think as well, that while traditionally most people tend to say that the CEO has no responsibility to his employees, but rather to the shareholders, I think the PEOPLE are as much a part of the whole investment as are the machines, the products, the research and development, and the very building where the work gets done. Every element is important to take care of or else the collective machine eventually fails. If you take good care of your people, they will work harder, they will produce more, and more efficiently, and they will produce more quality, and be more involved in the entire process because they KNOW that the company's success will translate into their success as well.

      Cheeky Girl, so true. Waste, fraud and abuse is not something limited to government. There's a gargantuan ton of it going on in our corporate board rooms across America, and probably the world over. Glad to see you here, BTW. Always a pleasure.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Hy Springboard, you really have put a great hub right here and the comments prove it. There is a lot to be said for the way the system is so unfair and too much money and bonuses end up in the pockets of the rich and undeserving. The way money gets wasted is sheer lunacy. There are so many ways the money could be put to good use. Great hub! Thanks!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great article. It really boils down to value systems. Massive amounts of data are thrust upon us daily telling us what is valuable... a nice house, car, a pretty face, how we perform in bed, etc... We the People mentality has evolved into Me vs The World as we try to accumulate or maintain our valuable stuff. This is a time tested tactic, separate and conquer, keep them pacified dealing with petty, self indulgences while the upper 1% accumulates all the wealth through taxes and over pricing. Evolution is a very slow process and as "bill yon" said the sleeping giants will emerge. Thanks to the internet folks are getting informed and beginning to see the big picture... and that elephant in the room. When new sources of energy become affordable what will the oil giants do, when technology becomes available to the little guy and he can create the same thing the giant company does but at a lower cost... Knowledge is valuable and soon everyone will have access. Not sure if that would create a global We the People mentality... perhaps if we were attacked by aliens...

    • bill yon profile image

      bill yon 

      8 years ago from sourcewall

      There are people at the bottom that have unlimited potential... like me.Sometimes it takes something completey crazy and unjust to wake up certain people....All this bullcrap that is going on has awakened a lot of sleeping giants mark my words there is a wave of pissed off entrepeneurs coming that is going to change the financial landscape from the bottom up I know because I am one of them and I have met plenty of them standing in the unemployment line alliances are forming and people are pissed and have lost faith in the economy as well as all of washington especially the Republicans the political and financial landscape is ripping the country in half it is also uniting and creating teams of new business men and women that are hellbent on absolute success.In the next ten years you are about to witness a tsunami of small businesses sweeping the united states...know this as a certain truth.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Sweets, at least the guy finally had the gumption to fire his son. Still, it would have been better to have told his son early on, "You'll start here and work your way up just like everyone else has to. You may not like it. But when you finally make it to my desk, son, you'll know exactly why it was important for you to go through the natural process."

      If his son ever gets there now, he'll do so with a chip on his shoulders.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Joni, exactly. If it is something we tend to believe in this country today is necessary, then it is AS important as public primary education, and everyone should have access to it.

      Steve, actually I do have a slightly more optimistic view than what I've alluded to in this article. I think PEOPLE are better than the system, and at some point we'll get some very wise, very good businessmen who will right the situation and consider the hard work of everyone.

      Carolina, it was a great hub. Plus, I love throwing a curveball every now and then. By the way, whatever happened to your "Size Matters" hub?

      Katie, ooh, that REALLY irks me.

      Bill Yon, very poignant and mostly true comments. I don't agree with your assessment of the republicans, however. I still hold that looking out for the top helps us at the bottom, because poor people don't create jobs, provide benefits and wages, and don't contribute to the economy in a grandiose way. That all said, I absolutely agree with the divide and conquer statement. And I do think the divide is getting wider and wider every day. I get tired of hearing about how we're paying the line worker too much, but in the same breath say CEO's are paid just fine. It doesn't add up for me.

      I'm keeping my fingers crossed things will get better. I'm hoping that the world is bearing children today who will stand up tomorrow and set things on a better path than where we've come to. Perhaps one day a CEO will walk into a parking lot and look out at his employees rusting cars and say, "We can do better than this. And we will."

    • bill yon profile image

      bill yon 

      8 years ago from sourcewall

      Its not how fast you move but how quick you think.I have nothing against the rich because my mother was rich and I was raised to be rich if you can understand that.But anyway my parents died young and I really do not know what happened to the money that they had,all I know is I didn't get it.My grand parents ended up raising me and they wasn't rich but they wasn't poor either I geuss you can say they was middle class.The life you live is really all abouty what you really want in life,a lot of people say they want this and that but they really don't because if you want something you will get it.Take me for example I was raised as a rich kid I know how it feels to be a rich kid and yes I enjoyed it,but as a young man (I'm 40 now) I really was not to concerned about being rich.I was satisfied with having a good paying nine to five and I was looking forward to paying my dues and working until I was sixty five and then retiring playing with my grand kids and going fishing or watching matlock everyday.I was OK with that.Then around 2004 or 2005 everything changed my line of work (textiles) begin to vanish mills closing down and all that I moved on to other light industrial jobs and they too was vanishing left and right.Enter the end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007 I am on unemployment and the only jobs that I can get are temporary.I have been on and off unemployment for nearly five years the jobs that I run across are temporary and usually last from six months to a year and it is over and back on unemployment I go I have lost everything behind this recession working harder for no benefits and less pay and no job security standing in line with half of my city trying to get a job but there are none.All this drama that has been going on in washington and all over the news with this tea party crap and all the damn lies that these so called republicans are feeding to the american public makes me sick to my stomach and what is even worse is the people that believe them.It is a smoke screen keep the masses running around like chickens with their heads cut off and keep them at each other throats by race baiting and what ever else works while they carve up the american pie and and hand bigger and bigger slices to their rich sugar daddies.It is called DIVIDE AND CONQUER it is the oldest trick in the book and all of us average everyday people are caught up in this bullcrap.All of this has set me on a path of self employment,because to be totally honest if you are working for someone else it will not last forever you can believe that.Unless you work for the government or in the health field,anything else and you are really playing craps with your financial future and that is the truth,with nafta,globalisation and the market (which is really stock brokers and Bankers) running our economy from behind the scenes like puppet masters it is a dog eat dog world right now and for here on out.If you have any ideas running around your head on how you can generate your on cashflow it will be in your best interest to run with it.The republicans have sold us out (along with their souls) to corporate america.Think I'm lying? watch the news and watch C-Span and see exactly what the republicans are fighting for,not me and damn for sure not you it does not matter if you are conservative are democrat the Republicans are out to help only the rich,if you can't see that then god help us all because our land of oppurtunity it turning into a cast system pretty soon the oppurtunity will be gone and we only have to classes in america the very rich and powerful and the very poor and desperate.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Cari, it is obvious your father is an honorable man. I think he counts his riches exactly appropriately. :) I hope his land produces many more riches of another kind.

      Reddog, the ones who get rich by hook or by crook are the ones who irk me the most. The CEOs who stand before their employees and talk about sacrifice while they stop by the bank on their way home to cash their multi-million dollar paychecks. "You guys want this company to make it, you're going to have to sacrifice."

      The little guy will feel it. Will the CEO? Perhaps when it comes down to such sacrifice a guy like that can say, "I have $100 million in the bank. My company is suffering. My workers are struggling. Should I take the paycheck this year? Or can I give something back?"

      Compassion. Human understanding. I'm not talking about wealth redistribution. I'm not talking about handouts. I'm talking about frigging humility (pardon my French) and understanding. When do you stop and say we're in this TOGETHER? When we do we call out the top who preach teamwork, who steal from the very team they work with and for?

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      Yea oh I heard that and what about the boss who takes credit for everyone elses great ideas, hard work and problem solving. The who you know group are working way up the money ladder off the sweat of the good old common smart sense of others. I tell ya!

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      LRC, I actually disagree with Warren Buffet, believe it or not, because if you tied compensation directly to share price, the incentive to inflate the share price and make short term decisions to influence short term price hikes would be too great I think. Your numbers, on the CEO compensation BTW, are pretty accurate. In the case of Hurd at HP and Skinner at McDonald's, their pay is around 440 times the regular worker. So 364 times is not innaccurate to say the least.

      I think a CEO should be paid as an employee of the company, because that's what he is. He should have the same benefits package he offers his other employees. He should receive bonuses for performance ONLY IF he offers the same to his employees. And ALL employees should have a portion of their pay in shares so that everyone has an added incentive to do well, and for the company to do well.

      So, who should get all the profits? Well. Here's a thought. The guy who owns the company of course. And that would be the shareholders. Not the CEOs. If the CEO happens to own a lot of shares through compensation and bonuses under my plan, or through his own purchases in the open market...dandy. But as CEO of MY company, you won't simply be handed keys to the company vault such as is all too often the case right now.

      Wesman, those would be interesting hubs. You should write them. Thanks for the great accolades, BTW.

      Kpr, for the most part I agree. Still, there are just too many examples of those who have, who did nothing to have it, who fall into controlling the lower end. Insodoing, they have no appreciation, understanding, nor respect for how hard the struggle really is, including the struggle that afforded their father's or their mother's, or their grandfather's their successes. So, in their eyes the worker bee is to be in the elite's debt...

      It should be the other way around. The elites could never be elites and enjoy their lifestyles if the worker bees didn't do the hard part.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Sheri, no I don't have any sympathy either for those who makes choices which are at the root of their limitations. I think the odds are defiable. I also think I'm slowly defying them. It IS possible. But there's just a ton of folks at the top running companies, for example, who have no idea what hard work is all about, complaining about people wanting more the hard work they do, and wanting a better life for their families. Not the people asking for handouts. People truly busting tail, making an effort, who are underpaid, underappreciated, and in the eyes of the top, expendable. There's something wrong with that.

      Amillar...did a meritocracy ever exist? Hmmm. Something to ponder to be sure.

      Sous, we are definitely in exactly the right place if we want any hope at all that opportunities might exist for ANYONE. If there are any to be had, certainly the U.S. offers them most completely, despite the many obvious hurdles. At least I think so.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image


      8 years ago from Michigan

      Hear - hear... I am with you all the way.

      My hubby works for a man/company that has his sons working for him, for 1 solid year, one of the the sons who felt some entitlement to his fathers position, just about run the company into the ground. He caused people to quit and go elsewhere, he was called in a couple of times and given a 'good' talking to, but nothing else. FINALLY after the 30th 'senior' person quit (my husband is also a senior person, and was on the verge of looking for other employment)he was supposedly fired, in actuality he was transferred to a menial position where he could do no more damage, but still receives his same pay.

      This is just 1 instance of knowing the right people in the working world. There are countless others. Great Hub!

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      hahaha... you caught me off guard here...

      you are right on the money about opportunity!!!

      .... and thanks for the mention! :-)

    • SteveoMc profile image


      8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Food for thought. I have a more optimistic point of view but respect what you are saying.

    • Joni Douglas profile image

      Joni Douglas 

      8 years ago

      Wow, excellent rant Springboard. A college education for everyone would be a giant step toward an even starting point in the race.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Springboard, there is nothing wrong with a little compassion for those who are struggling to just make it in this world. Nor is there anything wrong with being angry at those at the top who got there by hook or by crook.

      Remember Jesus did say; that the poor will be with us always,what ever we do for the least we do for him, that we should love our neighbors as ourselves and that it was easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than to get into heaven. They were right on then and they are right on now.

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 

      8 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      It stinks that those who work the hardest don't make the most money. My dad has worked his butt off for years in the oilfield and we barely scraped by. Growing up, I saw him work and work and work and never seemed to get that much ahead - all he got was older. But as luck would have it or maybe it's God's provision, they are now drilling oil on some of my dad's land. Someone told him that he might strike it rich. Dad's response - after watching his kids all get married and having 8 grandchildren - I already am rich. I highly doubt some of these millionaire CEOs would have the same attitude.

    • kprimeaux profile image

      Kirt Primeaux 

      8 years ago from Tyler Texas

      It boils down to lack of character, not money.

      We cannot change where we start, only where we end up.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      8 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I ranked you "awesome" on this one. I rarely give anyone an "awesome" rank.

      I thought this whole thing read well, and I couldn't agree any more with the content.

      The "working for Dad" theme reminded me of the million and one stories that I should be writing about my days at the Dallas Independent School District-where my Dad wound up as being my ultimate boss, for a while.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Drchris, I agree. But when you know wealth from the start, you tend to have a different view of the rest of the world. The word 'entitlement' comes to mind very easily when I think of it.

      POP, on that I agree. I do believe that while it may be harder to "catch up" so to speak, it's not impossible if you put your mind to it, figure things out, and take ACTION instead of only wonder about how it all works. Defy the odds. Take the risk. Go the extra mile. It may take longer, there may be more bumps, but it's not an impossible goal. I believe, for myself, I'm experiencing proof of that.

      Dahoglund, and nothing wrong with wealth so long as it is earned through hard work, risk, innovation, and by people who respect the bottom that gets all the real work done for the top. When you start to think of the bottom as a burden, or an inconvenience, that's where you lose me.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      HappyHer, an interesting statistic. Though I'm not for redistribution of any kind (not that you were necessarily suggesting it). Only for a level playing field when it comes to opportunity. In Carolina's hub he mentioned making college available to everyone. And I agree. If college is the norm, the end all to be all, then not only certain people should have access to it. That makes the playing field uneven as ever.

      Hello, it's like that the world over. Not to say one can't still defy the odds, I'd like to think I am, but for some people I'm sure the level of difficulty can be very great indeed.

      Randy, very true. The best thing the affluent can do is like I responded to Tom above. Have the rich give their kids the wisdom, but keep the money to themselves. Let them figure it out on their own. In many ways they'd be better for it, and so would society frankly.

    • LRCBlogger profile image


      8 years ago

      Great thoughts springboard. What you are alluding to (whether you realize it or not) is the increasing divide between the wealthy working and the poor working.

      I have some date from 2007 but it says that the average CEO makes 364 times the amount their average worker makes.

      Are they worth that much? Most of the CEO's on wall street bankrupted their companies and would have crashed out of business if it wasn't for Bush's Financial bailout. Now they rewarded themselves with huge bonuses...

      Can we legislate our way out of the problem? Probably not, but we do need a few rules to allow shareholders again to vote directly on executive compensation.

      Pop is right, this is the land of opportunity but allowing corporations to essentially write their own regs over the last 10 years this has led to a further increase in the great divide.

      Ask yourself this, how can BP have 760+ OSHA fines and still be allowed to operate? This number becomes even more alarming when you realize the next closest company in their industry has 8 violations.

      Warren Buffet has called for CEO compensation to be tied to share price. If that were the case, Carly Fiorina would not be running in the senate as she wouldn't have received the hundreds of millions of dollars she did running HP into the ground.

    • profile image


      8 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      strong article Springboard! yes some thing has gone wrong with the basic decency which was there in democratic set up.

      Top guys in politics, corporate sector and main stream news and media have now nexus and strong ties. There seems to be a feeling yes we do this but we can get away with it. A small dent in our image about integrity, decency does not matter. We are smarter than others because we do not worry about such minor irritants.

      But at the same time I agree with breakfastpop also. I also have confidence in countries, I live in generally (USA and India). There are ways to correct it. I hope it happens soon.

    • amillar profile image


      8 years ago from Scotland, UK

      “Power corrupts, and absolute power, corrupts absolutely.” There never was a guarantee for meritocracy always to remain so.

    • SheriSapp profile image


      8 years ago from West Virginia

      This is a very thoughtful and thought-provoking hub. For myself, I am a teacher because of choices I made, and decisions I made in order to assure I would/could complete college. Since I teach Spanish---I know, strange from me!!--I am in demand in my profession. My brothers are both doctors, but they decided to pursue this a bit later than most, and they will be paying back student loans until they are into their 70's. Now, as for those at the bottom. As I said, I am a public school teacher, and many of the folks with few prospects are there because their parents do not parent and they personally know NOBODY---other than teachers, and we don't count in their minds--who has gone to college and WORKED to achieve. All the students in my classes have the very same opportunity to learn and excel, but not too many of them are willing to do the actual WORK in order to achieve. God forbid they decide the class is "hard" because that is just the excuse they need to stop trying and say they are just no smart enough. I am very resentful of able-bodied folks of sound mind who are penniless and hopeless because they freely CHOOSE to not work. As an educator, I make enough to help support my family, but I am not well-enough off to help the whole world. After I graduated from college, I had to pay back my student loans for five or so years before I was finished with them!!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      We are sort of ambiguous about wealth.The president lectures about fat cats, but he himself is wealth. We loved the Kennedys, we vote rich politicians into office time after time.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      No matter what America is still the land of opportunity. I believe the opportunities are shrinking but I don't think it's a fatal condition. Regardless of the inequities I still wouldn't have it any other way.

    • drcrischasse profile image

      Cristopher Chasse 

      8 years ago from Boston

      Aperson is a person bo matter what their wealth. Its the heart of that person and his/her actions that count.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      8 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Many of us know children of the wealthy who will never contribute to our society in any way other than putting some of their parents money back into circulation. but even then it goes to other wealthy people for expensive items sold by other wealthy folks. Just saying!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      It is not only the case in the USA but in England too. I will be writing a hub about the same principle but about England. It does makes my blood boil too.

    • HappyHer profile image

      Tracy Morrow 

      8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      They say 20% of the population has 80% of the wealth, and even if we distributed evenly among all people, it would only be a short time before the 20% had regained the 80%.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Holle, unfortunately not.

      Tom, true. But Mr. Rockefeller Sr. CAN look down at Jr. and say, "Junior, this here money is mine. This here acheivement is through my effort. My smarts. My guts. I will not give you the fruits of my efforts and you should not expect that I offer them to you. You CAN be a witness to my acheivement, and you CAN be inspired by the knowledge that we live in a world where IF you work as hard as I did, and do your very best as I did, that while you still may not achieve to the exact level that I did, that you will have at least had the exact opportunity that I did."

      Conceptually, if you succeed, you succeed on your own because you are meant to. And if you fail, you do that on your own as well for the same reason.

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      I feel your pain. It's too bad we all can't be born Rockerfellers, but we can't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      In the South, oftentimes it ain't WHAT you know, but WHO you know. Still, hard work should be rewarded, but that doesn't always happen in the US. Thumbs up!


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