[ExI] The Great Gatsby Curve

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Fri Mar 1 18:29:23 UTC 2019



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of John Clark



>…The only reason there hasn't already been blood in the streets is probably because the poor are unrealistically optimistic about getting rich… John K Clark



“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
― Ronald Wright,  <https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/321797> A Short History of Progress



Damn that optimism!  Sal Khan and his ilk are contributing to it.  The poor have the opportunity to get way ahead of their richer but less motivated peers academically, so the path upward is clearly visible.


Another take on it is this.  In America, it doesn’t hurt all that much to be poor.  There are plenty of ways poor people can still have adequate food, shelter and clothing.  It isn’t top shelf, but it is generally available to the non-stoned poor.  Then they have free time to play on the internet (free bandwidth is available if you can tolerate that most porno is blocked) or play video games on the Nintendo.


Another take on it is this.  We have local billionehhhs, plenty of them in Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga, a few up the hill from here.  But the super rich billionehhhs can’t really have that different a life from the ordinary Joe Millionehhhs.  Beyond a certain point, their lifestyles aren’t all that different.  Another order of magnitude doesn’t make that much difference.


John where you and I diverge wildly is that I just don’t see the resentment of the super rich.  I certainly don’t feel it.  I can see the homes of the super rich from down here: their places and big spawling mansions up on the hill up there.  OK no worries, I don’t resent that a bit.  More power to them.  I look out my window and see a big place built by a rapper, MC Hammer.  He has (or had) a pile of money, well OK, fine with me.  He built that, now the value of that property brings in a pile of real estate tax into this community.  I don’t feel a bit of envy for that place up there or any of the others: they are nice houses, but it would be too inconvenient to get down off that hill every time you would go anywhere.  Rap on, Mr. Hammer!







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