There’s Equality, Then There’s Greater Equality

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/Rockefeller_Center_%282006%29.JPG/640px-Rockefeller_Center_%282006%29.JPG

photo: Wikipedia

Budget cuts?  It would seem they’re “deep and damaging.”  Taking $6 million from Kid Rock(efeller) and only giving them $4 million, now that’s “responsible wealth.”

According to some very rich folks, there’s wealth and then there’s responsible wealth.  There’s scarcity and then there’s “A Fair” scarcity.  What does the estate tax have to do with that?  Plenty, if you check out the list of 37 wealthy individuals signed up over at the United For A Fair Economy requesting that you tax their kids.  Where do you draw the line between Greater Equality and Responsible Wealth in the “please tax me bro” ( just don’t take away my crony power) so the government can keep the punch bowl filled and the grandkids of Wall Street can keep dancing until the music stops.  It seems that $10 million was the fair number, but now $4 million is the new number that’s uniting the super-rich in their inter-generational financial tasering of future offspring and their spending habits.

It seems that these folks are willing to hand over a larger portion of their estate tax to the government.  That’s assuming that they actually have estates and that all of their wealth has not already been transferred into trusts with their heirs as the primary beneficiaries.  What do these people “believe?”  Here you go…

We believe… the $10 million estate tax exemption that expires this year (2012) should be lowered to $4 million.

We believe… “As individuals and families that have benefited most significantly from public investments and a strong society, we are proud to have the opportunity to contribute back to the country that helped to make our success possible.”  (Dave interpretation: We didn’t build that, but if you let us keep our hands on the reins of the gravy train, we’ll pay you for it.  In many cases their claim of “We didn’t build that” is actually true… their grandpappy built it.).

 

Bill Gates, Sr.
Warren Buffett
Jimmy Carter
George Soros
Robert Rubin
John Bogle
Garrett Gruener
Arnold Hiatt
Anne H. Hess
Craig Kaplan
Katharine Myers
Michael A. Loeb
Ann Ross Loeb
Abigail Disney
Richard Rockefeller
Amy Domini
Martin Rothenberg
Bill Foster
Frank Butler
Gun Denhart.
Norman Lear
John Russell
Eric Schoenberg
Judy Pigott
Robert Crandall
Leo Hindery, Jr.
Arthur Cornfeld
Philippe Villers
Drummond Pike
Guy Saperstein
Jeanine Saperstein
John O’Brien
Robin O’Brienand
Dal LaMagna
Nick Hanauer
Robert Reich
John Podesta

 

Bill Gates, Sr. as reported in The Examiner:

“It seems to me that a wealthy person’s death is a particularly reasonable time to levy such a tax – a person who makes such wealth does not do so independently – business enterprises boosted by government efforts to create a stable and secure business environment. I’ve seen my son’s business, how this country’s publicly supported infrastructure, tax laws, government-funded research, patent protection helped it grow.  Estate taxes makes all the sense to me.”

No doubt Mr. Gates, Sr.’s suggestion will be embraced by the Obamacare death panels as equally and particularly reasonable in their interpretation of the fact you didn’t build your own body, so what business of yours (or your recently discounted via tax hike family members) is it when they hit the kill switch in the “wealthy person’s death” as an individual version of the euthanasia fiscal cliff.  At the time of this report, it was still unclear how “non-wealthy person’s deaths” will be affected.

Do you remember when George Bush and Newt Gingrich promoted Marvin O’Lasky’s The Tragedy of American Compassion in 1992?  This was the origin of the concept of “compassionate conservative” and Gingrich distributed the book to every incoming Republican member of Congress.  Well, it would seem that President Obama has found his Marvin O’Lasky in Brian Miller, author of The Self Made Myth and the apparent originator of the “You didn’t build that” concept.  This was possibly the defining meme of President Obama’s victorious 2012 campaign as explained in the video below by one of the most successful fundraisers and newly elected Senators, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

For all the entrepreneurs out there who started their own companies from scratch (count me for at least a half-dozen) and while we’re at it, all the mom’s who delivered babies at the hospital, if it wasn’t for the roads that were built by the state and the police to hand out the speeding tickets to panicking fathers-to-be, you wouldn’t have built that company or delivered that baby at the county supported hospital.  You would have had the baby at home and kept your money.  As far as building that business, well watch Senator-elect Warren’s hand gestures and then… well, fughedaboutit.  She built it and so did her forefather’s who built this Cherokee nation.  Yes, she’s the first-ever-Harvard-educated-blond-haired-Cherokee… google it.

United For A Fair Economy

Do you feel like the USA is on the right track?  Do you feel like there is a group that is supporting and helping to build social movements for greater equality?  Did you even know that there was an equality that was greater than just a regular equality?  You know… a greater equality.  If you’re excited about how well all this support and building is happening, then you need to let the folks who are claiming responsibility for doing the supporting and the the building know how you feel about it.

Here’s the list of folks that actually do the “building” of fair economies over at www.faireconomy.org.

Brian Miller bmiller@faireconomy.org  (Brian’s hiring more folks)
Ruth Orme-Johnson rormejohnson@faireconomy.org
Christelle Adrien cadrien@faireconomy.org
Suzanna Schelle sschell@faireconomy.org
Maz Ali mali@faireconomy.org
Steve Schnapp sschnapp@faireconomy.org
Jeannette Huezo jhuezo@faireconomy.org
Tim Sullivan tsullivan@faireconomy.org
Mike Lapham mlapham@responsiblewealth.org  (Mike directs something called “Responsible Wealth” aka cat herding)
De’en Tarkpor deen@faireconomy.org
Jessica Morneault jmourneault@responsiblewealth.org
Michael Young myoung@faireconomy.org

 

When I read down the list of folks that do the “supporting”  (i.e. the board of directors list), I wasn’t coming up with many of the same folks who had signed the “We believe” rich person’s pledge at the top of the page, but here’s the Co-Chair’s bio:

Bill Creighton started his activism during the ’60’s marching in Washington against the Vietnam War and for civil rights.  Raised in two households with diametrically opposing political and social perspectives he has striven to find a balance between the blessing of being born into economic security and wealth, and the curse of living in a society where injustice and inequality reign.  Finding a balanced path has been his life’s work.  Bill’s occupational resume includes boat building, firefighter, EMT, Registered Nurse (ICU, ER, and Home health), carpenter, heavy equipment operator, captain, teacher, small business owner, diver, electrician, plumber, ocean voyager, commercial fisherman. He is a founding Board member of Maine Initiatives, a fund for change and has been engaged with UFE and Responsible Wealth for many years as a donor and collaborator.  Bill’s personal resume includes father (two grown daughters), musician, dancer, singer, sailor, brother, son. He presently lives in Freeport, Maine with Nina the cat.

If you ask Dave, Bill sounds like a real working man and a pet owner.  Whether he was building boats or coming to people’s home as a registered nurse, Bill’s literally a hands-on co-chair.  I just can’t see that he has that much in common with George Soros and Warren Buffett, but they do all have kids and maybe Bill’s kids stand to inherit $4 million.  Hard to say for sure.  Either way, Bill’s a supporter of fair economies just like President Carter.  I can see them working it out on a peanut farm.  Bill can drive a tractor according to his resume’.

Here’s the official pledge of estate tax allegiance and its signatories: http://faireconomy.org/sites/default/files/2012%20Estate%20Tax%20Sign%20On%20Statement%202_0.pdf

Here’s their press release.  If you have a comment you may want to send it to Jessica, or better yet, give her a call at (617) 423-2148 x 113.  jmorneault@responsiblewealth.org

http://faireconomy.org/sites/default/files/pdf/Responsible%20Estate%20Tax%20Release%2012_11_12%20Final.pdf

One other thing for those of you out there who are Rockefeller grandchildren.  You might want to think about cracking a book.  Here’s what your benefactor and future ancestor Dr. Richard Rockefeller had to say about your share of the family fortune as reported by The Examiner.

“I am baffled people don’t get it: passing along $4 million is not trivial…. We will in course of our lifetime be able to pass significant amounts to our family. And it is a good idea for them to know they will not be inheriting huge fortune, so they should attend to their studies,” Rockefeller said.  To summarize his point and put it in reduced baffling terms, please allow Dave to simplify.  Doc Rock got the dough flow.  You ain’t gettin’ it.  Capiche?

I guess that’s about it, but I wanted to get this post out before the holidays.  When you gather your grandkids around the Christmas Tree or maybe you take them skating at Rockefeller Center, whatever tradition your family has for celebrating make sure to let them know where you stand on their inheritance.  Maybe they thought they were going to be receiving $10 million and you’re pledging to only give them $4 million.  It’s only right for them to know.  They may not be as studious as they should be or they may be planning to coast on grandpa’s cash.  Remind them that they didn’t build that…. even if they are going to Med school like Dr. Rockefeller.  They didn’t build the Med school either… Rockefeller probably did.

If you’re a lucky heir and you find yourself a bit short in the wallet, it may help to remember how proud your ancestors were… of their country… not so much their grandkids.  Don’t forget that economics is defined as the efficient distribution of scarce resources.  If you’re one of the “wealthy persons” who are pleading with government to be “reasonably” taxed more at the time of your “particular” death, make sure that it’s not just equal and fair for all your heirs.  Be responsible.  Use George Soros’ new economic thinking.  Make it greater than equal… a greater equality.

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