Jared Diamond must have seen the Esrati Priceless video

Jared Diamond won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction for “Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” and tonight he spoke at Wright State.

In the middle of his presentation, he talked about his worries of a growing economic divide in this country- and how the wealthy have insulated themselves from the common people. I was immediately thinking of my “Priceless video” that I posted a few weeks back. This same issue has brought previous societies to their knees, just as it is beginning to undermine our country.

Here is a quote from another site, that recounted his position:

t r u t h o u t – Jared Diamond | The Ends of the World as We Know Them
Why weren’t these problems obvious to the Maya kings, who could surely see their forests vanishing and their hills becoming eroded? Part of the reason was that the kings were able to insulate themselves from problems afflicting the rest of society. By extracting wealth from commoners, they could remain well fed while everyone else was slowly starving.

What’s more, the kings were preoccupied with their own power struggles. They had to concentrate on fighting one another and keeping up their images through ostentatious displays of wealth. By insulating themselves in the short run from the problems of society, the elite merely bought themselves the privilege of being among the last to starve.

I had the honor of asking the first question. It related to my current poll on the sidebar on the right of this page. When presented with many issues to solve, how do we find the correct root issue, and how do we get leaders that will prioritize them correctly? His answer was simple, we vote. I didn’t want to rebuke him, but, it seems voting in the last two presidential elections is part of what got us into the predicament we’re in.

I have strong feelings that my “magic wand” poll isn’t going to give us the right “root issue” as a priority, but I hope to be proved wrong. I look forward to the debate once we have enough answers to be statistically more significant.

I’m looking forward to reading my autographed copy of “Guns, Germs and Steel”- but it probably won’t be until after the primary.

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48 Responses

  1. J.R. Locke January 29, 2008 / 4:43 am
    In America we do not talk about how rich we are because very few are educated on the issue. Think about how many people consider themselves just middle class when they are far and away sitting on top of the world and likely sitting much higher in income than they think, especially when regional costs are factored in. The old Temptations song “Don’t Let the Joneses get you down” comes to mind when I think of this issue.

    But outside of the personal issue the political climate is rip with this old question. The whole tax reform/capitalist/conservative rhetoric is all about keeping wealth in the hands who have it now. However they obtained their wealth they fight to keep it. Even at the detriment of their own potential wealth happiness and strength of the ole U.S.A.

    Mr. Esrati where do you think the lines of poor, middle and the “weathly” classes are drawn.

    Oh and education, emphasis on not brainwashing, is the magic wand.

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  2. Juan January 29, 2008 / 7:56 am
    JR, you are correct that most Americans are not educated regarding how rich they are. In what other country could the “poor” have cars, air conditioning in their homes, color TV’s, cell phones, etc.? And you are also correct that regionalization has a lot to do with it as well. In the greater Dayton region you can have a pretty decent lifesytle on $50-75k of household income whereas that amount on the west coast won’t buy crap when you factor in housing costs.

    But, your comment of “The whole tax reform/capitalist/conservative rhetoric is all about keeping wealth in the hands who have it now.” is a load of crap! Where did you come up with that? The whole capitalist/conservative “rhetoric” is about working hard to better yourself and your economic position. It’s about not worrying about minimum wage because most adults should be past working minimum wage jobs (they’re called “entry level jobs” for a reason). It’s about being smart and learning from your mistakes so you don’t repeat them. It’s about not letting the little stuff get you down and continuing to work and be productive. As you’re bettering yourself, you’re bettering society as well by not being a burden on it.

    “However they obtained their wealth they fight to keep it. ” – DAMN STRAIGHT I want to keep it! Why shouldn’t I? I earned it! And you should be able to keep yours as well, if you earned it! Why do you think that people are entitled to the fruits of other’s labor? It’s the entitlement mentality of the left that is going to be the ultimate downfall of the country and the economy. The entitlement mentality that leads to the whole notion of “haves” and “have nots” and the only way to become a “have” is to take what the “haves” already have and give it to the “have nots.”

    Remember, the “rich” are responsible for a lot of the job creation that goes on in this country. That’s because the “rich” will take risks with what they have in order to keep advancing themselves. When is the last time a poor person gave you a job? David and I are the only poor guys I know of that have provided jobs!

    “The rich keep getting richer because they keep doing the things that make them rich. Ditto for the poor.” – Neal Boortz

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  3. Greg Hunter January 29, 2008 / 9:54 am
    Juan forget buying the Wall Street Journal; just go to the editorial page and cut and paste. Err it is obvious that is what you do. Try to open your mind to the free market BS postulated by the high priests of Capitalism – Economists. They should be in divinity school, not business school.

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  4. Juan January 29, 2008 / 11:18 am
    Oh, Greg – You crack me up! Thanks for making my day!

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  5. gene January 29, 2008 / 12:14 pm
    Keep beating down the rich and they shall keep moving their businesses and families to other countries bc they are sick of the complaining – which most of you may support – but remember they do provide jobs and they do pay taxes, so if you want to live with less of these things keep beating them down. Let’s give our country back to the people, the poor people, those who have produced so much, those who have been so giving.

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  6. Jim Crotty January 29, 2008 / 2:35 pm
    Gene – I’m curious, what is your definition of being rich ? Being rich in spirit, self-respect, honor and integrity, or simply being rich by the monetary value of your portfolio, status at the club, number of homes and collector automobiles ?

    How are the so called rich in Dayton stepping-up and investing in the local economy, other than serving as walking targets for extortionist lawyers, when they’re buying homes in other states, playing roulette with the stock market and reliving their long lost youth with Viagra and the latest in baby-boomer toys ?

    If stabbing your fellow shareholders in the back, cooking the company books, railroading others into humiliation and failure and paying-off cronies to do your dirty work is how one becomes “rich” in today’s society (and I have strong evidence to suspect that for the most part it is), then we have a much more serious problem on our hands than simply placating the assumption that all wealthy people will by their very presence lift-up those less fortunate who are their neighbors.

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  7. S.Zell January 29, 2008 / 3:02 pm
    (When presented with many issues to solve, how do we find the correct root issue, and how do we get leaders that will prioritize them correctly? His answer was simple, we vote. I didn’t want to rebuke him, but, it seems voting in the last two presidential elections is part of what got us into the predicament we’re in.)

    Voting:
    Let’s talk about that, Should everyone have the right to vote? If so, why don’t we vote on Saturdays so more workers can get out and vote. But this begs the next question; do those we vote for stand for us? By cutting money out of politics would help that, but that is a pipe dream. David’s idea about voting at the lottery sites sounds great, that would increase voting and accuracy of those votes.

    Education:
    About education, our schools teach us nothing about economics, finance and obtaining wealth and keeping it. On one side of the scale of rich vs. poor, kids and young adults have role models that make more money than one can dream, sports stars, dot com millionaires, Hollywood stars, on the other side, the “poor” have cell phones, eat at McDonalds & drink Pepsi by the cases! Maybe one of David’s laptops and a good economics class for the parents and children would help!

    (local) Hunger:
    Are not the churches to take care of the poor? If everyone tithed as they are suppose to, I believe this could happen again. Look at how many “Mega” Churches are in the Dayton area.

    I think too many people have an entitlement mentality and instant gratification addition.

    Dayton needs to educate its youth towards Entrepreneurship not entitlement.

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  8. S.Zell January 29, 2008 / 3:11 pm
    Correction
    . . . mentality and instant gratification “addiction”.

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  9. gene January 29, 2008 / 3:23 pm
    Jim: all of these thing may be true, but in a very small %. There are plenty of rich people who do nothing wrong, invest and create jobs, donate to charities while guiding others to become successful, etc. All of you EsratiHeads just want to lump them into the same group. Grow up.

    BTW – Jim – you are the one that comes from money – Crotty? – ahhh …. are you bitter you did not get your cut or something? Please – I am sure you have it better than I do.

    Define rich how you want – but if done in terms of MONEY – then THEY PAY THE MOST FRICKIN TAXES AND EMPLOY THE MOST PEOPLE – get off their collective backs and worry about buttering them up to tax them more and make sure they donate more. You guys just have not figured out this GAME yet. To ALL: Thank for paying your taxes.

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  10. Jim Crotty January 29, 2008 / 3:28 pm
    “BTW – Jim – you are the one that comes from money – Crotty? – ahhh …. are you bitter you did not get your cut or something? Please – I am sure you have it better than I do.”

    I knew Gene wouldn’t let me down.

    And that, my friend David, is why I’m leaving.

    What law firm do you work for Gene ?

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  11. gene January 29, 2008 / 3:45 pm
    A bit sensitive there Jim – I don’t work for any law firm, but I have been in jail and have hired a couple of attorneys in my time.

    I am not a member of any private club, unless you consider the one from high school that really is not all that private and is really not a club, but we do have a name and talk about politics and football and wine and other stuff.

    I live in East Dayton, so unless you are my neighbor (Dayton resident) I assume that most suburbanites have more money than me – I know it is not always the case but such is life.

    So you then would know some richer people in Dayton – do they meet at the country club to scheme the poor out of cash or do they work and employ people? I am sure you have a couple a MF’s who do the first, but they are just like poor people who frickin kill and scheme themselves – MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT LIKE EITHER – meaning most rich people are not assholes and most poor people are not criminals – but you guys never want to play it both ways, just your way.

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  12. PhotoJim January 29, 2008 / 3:58 pm
    Okay now I’m beginning to understand where you’re coming from Gene and where you’re getting your info.

    You are correct, most people are not like either. It’s just that the break-down here in Dayton may be a bit more out of balance as compared to most other areas in the U.S.

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  13. gene January 29, 2008 / 4:34 pm
    Out of balance? I am not sure what you are talking about but if it is the fact that the country club crowd gets under your skin bc of your name then I suggest stop hanging out with that crowd.

    I hang out with a bunch a BC boyz and girlz, drinking beer, and sometimes I say screw it and go into the country club world on occasion and find out each and every time that they spend too much money (is that not a good thing for the rest of Dayton) and bitch about their kids and jobs. Now a few of the SUPER DAYTON RICH may not be like that, rather have a sense of accomplishment and seem to want to help others, believe it or not. But the regular rich in Dayton have the same complaints as low middle class – just with more money – but often have pressures at work that many of us would be glad never to have. I really do not find that much difference in a typical married couple making $32,000/year with a couple of kids compared to a married couple making $175,000/year with a couple of kids.

    They have similar problems and concerns, but the people with more money may have it easier financially but they too are often over extend themselves in terms of mortgage and car payments and trips to Chicago – so in the end all they have is a bigger headache.

    I live and drink the High Life tm , which I can afford, and stash a bunch away in case I need to get the hell out of Dodge bc the world is coming to an end – and if that is the case I will have no need for my stash of cash – rather just found memories of rubbing elbows with the Esrati crowd at the local Country Club.

    I really want to know how generous people really who read this site? They say they are but statistics say otherwise……..

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  14. Ameya January 29, 2008 / 4:54 pm
    Ha! I figured you’d be there. I was there too, and will be getting extra credit in my Urban Affairs class for writing a reflection paper of his talk (score, I was going anyway).

    I was sitting on the side, on the floor, with two rows of people standing in front of me. It was exciting to see so many people there.

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  15. J.R. Locke January 29, 2008 / 6:58 pm
    Ameya a fellow Wright Stater? What major?

    Gene you make the point that the couple with $32,000 and the couple with $175,000 have the same question and concerns as each other. Which I believe to be true but from my experience neither of these two couples would consider themselves rich they would just consider themselves middle class. Yet they both strive for some kind of better day ahead when they are living the dream that 95% of the worlds population will not come close to seeing.

    Juan in my opinion you completely under estimate the unlevel playing field that a family’s wealth plays in bettering ones own economic situation. Its not hard to understand that a family that can invest $100,000 compared to a family that can invest $1,000 on a 5% growth will benefit more. With conservative tax/fiscal policy there is as little redistribution of wealth as possible which in effect just widens the haves and have nots. In my opinion governments role in the U.S. should be to keep social inequality from stratifying groups of people. I believe the only way to do that is to tax the hell out of the rich and provide programs to the poor. Conservative rhetoric is against this.

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  16. Juan January 29, 2008 / 8:50 pm
    Wow, JR, you certainly have learned the socialist rhetoric that they must be spewing at WSU these days. Thankfully, I got out of there before it got that leftist. Or, maybe because I worked at blue collar jobs for several years when I got out of high school while going to college part time, at night, I just didn’t pay attention to those professors who claimed that there must be wealth redistribution because I had already been in the real world!! Have you been in the real world yet JR? Have you bought a house and paid a mortgage? Or better yet, have you started a business on a shoestring, hired people, fired the unproductive ones, worried about how you were going to have enough money by the 15th of the month so you could pay your employees before you paid yourself? I kind of doubt it!

    I think that you underestimate one thing – and that’s yourself! You have obviously bought into the mindset that only the lucky ones can make it (or as one lib said “they’ve hit life’s lottery”). You make your own luck, my friend. And, you can make good luck while still treating people (customers and employees) the right way and being honest.

    I don’t have any family wealth either. My dad was career Air Force (enlisted) back when the military paid poverty wages. When I was small, my folks had 4 kids and a mortgage on a small three bedroom house. My dad worked his military job full time (on call, as all military are, 24/7) and also worked part time at a grocery store stocking shelves and also part time in a theater at a concession stand. Once I was in kindergarten, my mom took on a part time secretarial job to help makes ends meet. I wore hand-me-downs and my dad cut my hair on the back porch. We ate spaghetti every Saturday night and had a special treat of popcorn and homemade pizza on Sundays while we watched Bonanza. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that these special “traditions” were because we couldn’t afford anything else. But my folks taught me that hard work can get you ahead. And, at the age of 45 (28 years ago), my dad finally got his degree. I got mine only 8 years after that.

    You have an interesting opinion of what government’s role is in the US. Nowhere in that pesky little thing called the CONSTITUTION does it say that government should keep social inequality from stratifying groups of people. Where does it say that the government should be in the wealth distribution business? But, tell me – in your little utopia, what would a “fair” tax rate be on a “rich person’s” income? 50%? 75%? 100% Yeah, 100% because it’s all the government’s money anyway – they’re just nice enough to let you keep a bit of it.

    And, what programs should the poor be provided with? Should they just be handed money? Should everyone have the same amount of money to spend? Hmmm, I think that was the idea in the Soviet Union, but it didn’t work out so well for them, did it?

    You know what the difference is between conservatives and liberals, JR? It’s that conservatives believe in themselves and others. They believe that, left to their own devices, most people will want to work hard to better their station in life, whatever that may be. But, liberals believe that people aren’t able to do for themselves and must be given handouts. You say it yourself in your little diatribe above.

    By the way, what’s your major at WSU?

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  17. Pedro January 29, 2008 / 9:50 pm
    I’m sure that J.R., Ameya, Dave, Greg Hunter, et al; will respond that the pesky Constituton you cited was simply another conservative talking point. Along with the ‘right-wing rhetoric’ that people left to their own devices will chose to work hard and better their station in life and the life of their children.

    So you want an uneven playing field J.R.? One percent of earners pay more in taxes than another 90% of earners. Is this balanced? What would be a fair amount in the liberal wonderland that wish for the United States?

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  18. Greg Hunter January 29, 2008 / 10:05 pm
    Juan, very interesting story and I understand how you have come to your beliefs. Once you have invested everything in playing the game;’ achieving success beyond your parents; getting a wife; mortgage and kids, it becomes hard to remove the scales from your eyes. I have no problem with anything that you said and it is up to those of us posting about our community to explain where are belief set comes from and why we think the way we do. I too was born a poor white boy and educated in Kettering Schools and graduated from WSU in 1986. I worked my ass off, but it was easy as I could do it with one half of my brain tied behind my back, and became by all measures successful.

    I can only discern that the reason that you or gene do not understand the rich and how they operate is that you expect to be one someday (HA) or you have a mental block (You believe your work is special and makes a difference) that is in place so that you continue to sweat it out for the man to make them rich. Probably you knocked up the wife, love your kids and cannot bear to think that “all this” will not be theirs someday.

    Well in my estimation of Diamond’s data and his presentation is that he knows it’s bad, but he chooses to speak to the positive aspects of the human condition. His positive demeanor has a potential positive outcome. I admire that he can do it, but realistically I think he discounts some of the things going against the great capitalist empire. Mr. Diamond glossed over what energy consumption means to a society or how societies under pressure react to collapse.

    To put it in a mode you may understand Juan, let’s use an old favorite

    Your Family – It’s what’s for Dinner!

    Juan are you a Scientist or a Business Major or do you have big blinders Accounting & Engineering?

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  19. Greg Hunter January 29, 2008 / 10:10 pm
    Pedro – The golden age of the middle class, when Dad could go to work and take care of the Children without the wife going to work was when Union Membership was the highest along with the marginal tax rate. The hardworking Cox sisters have you brainwashed. Yeah like their offspring deserve to run a media empire.

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  20. Juan January 29, 2008 / 10:37 pm
    Greg,

    I didn’t “knock up” the wife, but yes, I love my kids. Maybe if you had kids, you’d know what it’s like to love someone. And, no, I don’t necessarily think that my work is special or makes a difference. It pays the bills and allows me to have fun in my spare time. My job is what I do, it’s not what I am.

    I don’t doubt that you, in your words, became by all measures sucessful. I’ve read what you’ve posted on this and other blogs and there is no doubt that you are a highly intelligent guy. But I’m still trying to figure out what makes you so bitter about so many things! Were you bitter when you had this sucessful job that (according to one of your earlier posts) you had to scream and shout at? Or did you scream and shout too much and the firing made you bitter? It’s that old chicken and egg question.

    I’ve also figured that you’re passionate about many things including excessive energy consumption and water conservation. Why don’t you take your passion and intelligence and do something positive that makes a difference? It is possible that you could change the world for the better but you’re not going to do it by keeping this attitude you have.

    Anyway, this conversation could go back and forth for a long time. The only end result would be that my fingers will get tired and you’ll still be bitter.

    Have a happy day!
    Juan.

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  21. Pedro January 29, 2008 / 10:56 pm
    Greg I cite that the Constitution has no ‘social equality’ clause and all you can tell me is that I was brainwashed?
    Juan cites that hard work in America provides upward mobility and you tell him he has blinders.
    What is your solution to taxes? Go back to 91% of 1960? Would you accompany it with 60’s-esque Great Society type entitlement programs?

    P.S. Who are the Cox sisters?

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  22. Juan January 30, 2008 / 7:46 am
    Buenos dias mi amigo Pedro,

    The “Cox Sisters” are the daughters of James M. Cox – former governer of the great State of Ohio and founder of the Dayton Daily News which evolved into Cox Enterprises. Cox Enterprises encompasses many major newspapers including the Atlanta Journal Constitution as well as many broadcast outlets such as our own WHIO-TV and the affiliated radio stations. The Cox Sisters are usually listed in the top richest people in the country. I think the last time I saw a listing they were ranked around the 12th or 13th richest. They are huge liberals and Democrats. One of the sisters, Barbara Cox Anthony, did last May in Hawaii. I find it ironic that they claim to hate the rich but are among the richest and most of what makes them a huge amount of money is their chain of radio stations, many of which broadcast conservative talk radio! Is this a great country, or what!? :)

    Also interesting was Greg’s comment about their offspring not “deserving” to run a broadcast empire. Typical liberal crap – someone is doing something they don’t “deserve” to do.

    Re: your question to Greg about his solution to taxes…Forget it. Greg has no solutions, only criticisms. I’ve figured out that he’s just a perpetually unhappy guy who’s apparently pissed off all of those around him. Just let him sit by himself at his computer and let him rant. Maybe that brings a little sunshine into his dark, little world. I’m just going to ignore him from now on.

    Adios,
    Juan.

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  23. Greg Hunter January 30, 2008 / 8:55 am
    :) Pinched that nerve did I Juan. Yes I am pissed, for many reasons. Pete Forster started it. I am apologize that my brain has the time and the inclination to “connect the dots” but proves unable to present a positive spin. I am a needler with the best intentions. As to solutions, man I have a great deal, but again, the long view and the willingness for people to understand the need….?

    Solutions.

    Do not invest in sprawl.
    Electrification of Rail
    Wind to Ammonia, so that we can make Ammonia Fuel Cells as well as Fertilizer.
    Algae to Biodiesel.

    These are the things, along with others I am working on. If you would like to participate let me know.

    Greg Hunter
    WSU 1986 Geological Sciences.

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  24. Greg Hunter January 30, 2008 / 8:56 am
    I am apologize…. idiot!

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  25. Greg Hunter January 30, 2008 / 8:59 am
    Firing other people is a contributing factor. The inability to tell someone that they are overpaid, take a pay cut and deal with the wife tugging the kids in the door, going into foreclosure. Sure it takes a toll on a gentle soul like myself.

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  26. Juan January 30, 2008 / 9:26 am
    You didn’t pinch any nerves, Greg. I don’t let people like you get to me.

    Glad to see you’re finally offering some solutions. And some interesting ones at that! Can you point me in a direction where I can find some reliable information about the Amonia Fuel Cells?

    Not sure what you mean in Post 24.

    Thanks,
    Juan
    WSU 1987, Skirt Chasing.

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  27. David Esrati January 30, 2008 / 9:35 am

    BTW: I now know who “Juan” is- he has the right to say whatever he pleases on this site. However, Gene, you can attack me all you want- but, lay off the personal attacks on others, you can disagree with them, but suggestions that you know someone based on their name as you did to PhotoJim are unacceptable. I was in meetings all day yesterday- so I didn’t have a chance to moderate- but, take one more personal stab- and I’m going to start moderating everything you say- maybe on-time, maybe a week later….
    Please apologize to PhotoJim- he can’t be blamed for who gave birth to him- he’s done right by me, it’s not many silver spoon types that join the Marines as an enlisted man and serve their country. He is a class act- learn from him.

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  28. gene January 30, 2008 / 9:49 am
    David – in another post you were the one that pointed out the relationship to his family, thank you. I was not being mean, trying to be a bit funny but you must of missed that. My point is that he might know rich people, like you. I don’t know very many, so I was trying to get his perspective.

    Sorry Jim and PhotoJim – same peeps? – I was just trying to figure out what the mind set was with people he may or may not have come in contact with.

    David – I think that you like to pick on me. I can take it though. my Daddy gave me some thick skin.

    “In my opinion governments role in the U.S. should be to keep social inequality from stratifying groups of people. I believe the only way to do that is to tax the hell out of the rich and provide programs to the poor.” Love this quote from JR. This should be your rallying cry David – I am sure it will get you elected!

    Nothing like biting the hand that feeds you.

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  29. J.R. Locke January 30, 2008 / 3:11 pm
    Well I worked in factories from the age of 15 until I was 21 (Morrisey Eggs, Fort Loramie Cast stone, Precision Strip, Midmark Corp.) I really had no intention of going to college until my girlfriend at the time convinced me. I have been in and out of college for 8 years working at Menlo-UPS in Vandalia until that was moved to Louisville and through various other temp agencies. Brainwashed please….just like the mega dittos and Rush Limbaugh?

    Now the reason I believe in income redistribution and taking care of social inequality is because I worked these jobs and spent 55 hours a week coming home dripping in sweat and a bad back at 20 years old wondering why I am making $8.65 an hour while my manager walked around feeling up female workers and acting like a narcassistic $%&^ and was on salary for $80,000. Who’s working harder? Then when economic times got tough they didn’t cut middle and upper management they laid off ground level workers and consolidated lines. Five years later they are hiring ground level workers through a temp agency with no benefits. Rich get richer.

    So Juan please don’t patronize me on hard work. The fact is the vast majority of Americans work hard. Those that don’t fine you can’t rant and rave about the inner city parasites who work the system and screw over the rest of us but I know just as many trust fund kids, kids who failed college, failed at everything in life and came back home to a cushy job with ma and pa or in pa’s network of friends.

    Constitution holds no water with me. Any document that compromises on counting a human being as 3/5ths a person, not the document I want my government founded on. If people want to change the problems like crime and the blight of the inner city, well the wealth can’t move away from it. As Mr Esrati has shown the wealthiest classes of America are carving out these suburbs and gated communities, stratifying themselves away from society as a whole. I believe governments role is to help us use our space wisely and our wealth.

    Pedro liberal wonderland? I just want a strong middle class, a true middle class. Sorry but unfettered capitalism doesn’t yield that. Ask David Brooks about that. Things are a changing even in the conservative fiscal paradigm.

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  30. J.R. Locke January 30, 2008 / 3:24 pm
    Oh and I am not bitter at the world in the least. I have set up my life so when I make $25,000 as a high school teacher I will be living the dream. I wish others could see that wealth, money and all the other trappings of material consumer society doesn’t yield happiness. I have no hostility either, which is why I cannot understand some peoples angst on here. I don’t really care about socialism or handouts or any of that stuff but if we want to create a society in which we want to worry less about physical crime, racism, sexual assault etc….. It helps to educate and provide for the kids who get lost in the cracks.

    The only thing I want to do in this life is make enough money for my Dad to buy some land so he can “retire” as a farmer. Yup I grew up on farm. My Grandpa fought cancer for 20 years and died when I was 16, his insurance cut him off year before that and my family had to sell the cows and now out of the three barns we had only one is standing. The wealth they had gone. I guess my grandpa should have worked harder to provide?????

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  31. Pedro January 30, 2008 / 9:13 pm
    J.R. I admire your devotion to family. I hope that you have the same enthusiasm to teach in government schools after you have done it for a few years, I truly do. Most teenagers had shitty jobs and bosses that they thought were worthless or evil and always over-paid. But listening to a teenagers gripes about entry level work is like getting your investment advice from a late night infomercial. And if that is the basis for your belief in the inherent unfairness of our economic system, than you need to do better making your case. It is terrible that your family had to lose what was worked for, did your family get hit with the Estate Tax?

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  32. gene January 31, 2008 / 8:32 am
    We have all had jobs where Management has worked too little for a larger paycheck, but the reality of it all is that most of these folks also put in their time – that is kind of how it works – not always – but often it works this way, or well it used to.

    I like late night infomercial – they are a fun way to kill and buzz and dare to dream making billions with NO money down.

    I think the goal of our government is to also make sure we all have the same size TV’s and the same number of shoes – we want to keep a level playing field by taking from the rich and giving to the poor bc, well, the poor have shown to be such trust worthy and hard working group of people. We should get it from the Death Tax, and also handout pats on the back, hand holding, and free cell phones.

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  33. gene January 31, 2008 / 4:06 pm
    I had lunch with a really rich person today, and he told me that he has donated over 2 Million dollars to many foundations/charities in re: to the homeless, kids, and abused woman (among others.) He says he wants to give more but they often drop the ball with donations, according to him, and he feels the people in charge have other agendas besides the actual “helping” part. He said he will not be discouraged from donating his money, but as he said it……”I actually go to these places, a couple a times a years, and the same people….. they know me by name now.” You can read into this what you want, but he feels they are not getting helped all that much.

    He employs a lot of people, locally and in 4 or 5 other states. Imagine this……….. a person providing jobs, even in this town.

    See, there are sympathetic rich white people – and yes, he is a Republican, and no he will not be voting for Esrati, sorry. BTW he made his fortune himself, not by the all too over exaggerated Daddy’s money shit – that happens in the south and rarely in Dayton, mostly bc if you were to get Daddy’s money in Dayton you would move the hell out of town and nobody would know the difference. BTW, he feels he pays too much in taxes, and would gladly donate the difference, because he also thinks the Government can’t spend money right – Republicans or Democrats. So I gots me a rich guy view – ain’t life grand.

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  34. Greg Hunter January 31, 2008 / 5:06 pm
    Geez what a story Gene. It does not appear to have a slant at all. I would contend that if he paid his employees a little more instead of spreading largess too make himself feel good, it would actually be money better spent/investment. I would love to know the individuals “real story” as it appears atypical.

    Not that I probably need to say this, but still. The rich didn’t actually have to ‘fight’ their way or ‘make it to the top’, in a brutal, psuedo-Darwinian, struggle of the fittest melee. They were, by and large, born at the top, and have remained there, enjoying the advantages that massive inherited wealth and priviledge confers in class-based society, where wealth and power are so badly and unfairly distributed.

    The amount of social mobility in American society has always been greatly exajurated, and over the last thirty years it’s virtually stopped and even been reversed. Middle-class incomes have remained almost static over the last few decades in real terms, despite the changes that have occured in their lifestyles; longer working weeks, women entering the labour market, the accumulation of debt…

    In contrast, the rich in the United States have become strikingly more wealthy over the same period, their share of the national pie just keeps getting bigger and bigger. American has become one of the most unequal societies in the whole world. What’s a paradox and a mystery is why and how the masses were ever convinced to support and vote for politicians promoting economic and social policies that were so obviously not in their own interests!

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  35. Greg Hunter January 31, 2008 / 5:12 pm
    gene, Pedro, Juan another quote for you.

    Ordinary Americans live two lives. They sleepwalk through their real life, their ordinary problems, their unfulfilling jobs. The life they really savor is when they watch TV. Their real life is full of other boring working people, who are likely as fat and ugly as they are. In their TV life, all their neighbors are beautiful millionaires. Awful as it sounds, TV is set up to be a surrogate neighborhood, to replace your real one. The kinds of shows we watch replace obsolete social functions: news shows, talk shows, reality shows, and of course commercials.

    Now why should people like this vote against the rich? They know Paris Hilton better than their own children. Their friends are Coca-Cola and even Monsanto. Why should people like this join unions? They no longer consider the working-class people on their street to be neighbors, united by a common grievance. Why should they mind wealth polarization? The commercials tell them that they are bound to become successful in America, by wit or lotto, and then they will finally move their real bodies into their fantasy TV neighborhood. They’re voting based on the incomes they’re sure they will have any day now.

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  36. Jeff January 31, 2008 / 5:39 pm
    “…government schools…”

    More right wing bafflegab.

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  37. Jeff January 31, 2008 / 5:46 pm
    “The life they really savor is when they watch TV. “

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  38. gene January 31, 2008 / 7:16 pm
    Sorry he donates HIS FRICKIN MONEY – Not your money, Not the governments money, but HIS MONEY – this is fun.

    Also Greg – paying a line cook $45 doesn’t make sense, bc we need an incentive to move up in life – kinda like your last name – Are you or any of your family members still Hunters? and are the ladies of your clan gatherers? He pays fair/above average wage – but who are you to determine what one man pays another when he started his business from scratch and he employees well over 1900+ in 5/6 state plus contractors. GREG IS A WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Keep holding your hand out, keep expecting handouts, while the rest of society engages in business and employees people – sorry, you are the loser on this one.

    This guy has done more good for charities and working families than you will ever do, DS. Please, move to Europia.

    Greg – he was born on a farm BTW – with 4 brother and 3 sister, if I am remembering correct, thanks for thinking he was well to do Good luck with further assumptions! – signed by AH-DS-BP -the three smartest people I know““““`

    We are lucky to have people who employ other people – and donate to charities – but this is not good enough for Greg or the SUPER DUPER LIBBSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!

    Go Libby Go…..Change this world, kill the rich!!!!!!!

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  39. Greg Hunter February 1, 2008 / 1:04 am
    Are you or any of your family members still Hunters? and are the ladies of your clan gatherers?

    Gene finally brings up Jared Diamond. I knew you would finally understand Jared. Victory is mine!

    Jared Diamond: The Worst Mistake
    in the History of the Human Race

    Now archaeology is demolishing another sacred belief: that human history over the past million years has been a long tale of progress. In particular, recent discoveries suggest that the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered. With agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism, that curse our existence.

    Gene – Do you really think it stupid or a waste of time to question different models and what makes them successful? I mean I think it would be interesting to discuss what the world would be like if Carnegie paid his workers more instead of investing in a Library. Would some people have made more of their lives? Or would they have had more children? C’mon Gene, it is just a grinder, if you think it is a perfect world or your model would work, I do not see any evidence that you are correct. Gene I have higher expectations of our elite.

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  40. gene February 1, 2008 / 9:30 am
    The difference here is that my new found friend is helping the poor and kids, not building a library, along with employing people with above average wages. Thanks for attacking him.

    The world is not perfect, nor meant to be. It is what it is, and all he is trying to do is help out others. And you think he is a jerk for this. Go play in traffic.

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  41. Greg Hunter February 1, 2008 / 10:26 am
    And you think he is a jerk for this

    Sorry gene, sometimes I say things and I do not understand I am being offensive. Where did I specifically chastise this individual?

    Go play in traffic.

    I swear those worthless liberals did not put salt on the sidewalk and I almost slipped into traffic :)

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  42. gene February 1, 2008 / 12:06 pm
    It is your smug attitude with the “what I would do if I had a lot of money” crap.
    like……pay his employees more (which he pays above average) instead of help the poor to”make himself feel good” – comparing him to Carnegie/Libraries when I am talking about helping poor people. Greg, you just don’t get it – you were being a __________ (is that better DE)

    Traffic is best on I-75 Northbound at the Rt4 split.

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  43. Greg Hunter February 1, 2008 / 12:29 pm
    Traffic is best on I-75 Northbound at the Rt4 split.

    Too effective Gene. Us liberals are trying to bleed the beast as well, so I need to slip on a sidewalk, sue the owner, get runover by a City truck and live so that I can bleed the City and Medicare, hopefully bankrupting it so we can start all over with a Conservative New World Order, with YOU as our Enlightened Despot. Just trying to do my part to help! :)

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  44. gene February 1, 2008 / 3:23 pm
    I do not recommend bleeding the system.

    This is a bad idea. You would be hurting everyone. Do you not care anymore? What has gotten into you? Just last night you sat there and told me that you were looking into a new apartment, but now this! I can’t believe this. Is the job not going well again – are you spending too much time on the computer? These things have to stop in order for you to succeed. You have always had good ideas, but now I just think you are being silly. You are not doing drugs I hope? bc once you start down this road it becomes very difficult to be productive – and it is hard to sleep at night. Sometimes you wonder if any of the ideas really will go down, and then there is always the phrase ” the hell with it I am going to get pizza and beer.” Which, in my opinion, is always a good idea. So we must go for the pizza, but not stay out too late, bc we have to vote tomorrow. Even though it isn’t until March.

    I wish WSU and UD would play in basketball.

    Esrati 2008 – You Have No Other Choice

    Or, per the hunter, we need to go back to a society that is might makes right, the strong and the smart and the rich win, we just kill for power. That is what is needed.

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  45. gene February 1, 2008 / 3:24 pm
    Or we can meet at the rocks?

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  46. gene II February 1, 2008 / 11:47 pm
    Jared Diamond will definately be the only Jared on Esratis site as we will never see anything about the “Jared” from Subway due to the penchant Esrati has for gelato. What a shame the location on Brown isnt a go theres a Subway right across the street.

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  47. J.R. Locke February 4, 2008 / 7:22 am
    Pedro and Gene one thing that you forget is that this “entry level” job was the single income for workers with families….they weren’t going anywhere. They weren’t getting any richer, they weren’t moving up, that was/is their American dream.

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