[ExI] I see pitchforks.

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sun Jul 7 21:51:40 UTC 2019

People in the USA are unhappy. Today the US suicide rate is the highest it's
been since 1942, it has gone up 33% just since 1999.  And white middle aged
men are much more unhappy than the general population, their suicide rate
went up 71% since 1999. I don't think it's a coincidence they are the heart of
Trump's demographic and would vote for somebody who would radically change
things, but unfortunatly Trump changed things in precisely the wrong

Adjusted for inflation the top 1% saw their total net worth INCREASE by $21
trillion but the bottom 50% saw their net worth DECREASE by $900 billion.
And thanks to technological improvements this trend is
accelerating.  Sooner or later all these unhappy voters, even white middle
age men, will realize that Trump's new tax laws will not resolve their
discontent because that resulted in the richest 0.1% paying 3.2% of their
net worth on taxes each year while the poorest 99.9% pay 7.2%. When Joe
Sixpack figures this out there will be hell to pay and become vulnerable to
a demagogue who goes too far in the oposite direction like a luddite or a

Even the super rich, or at least the smart ones, realize this is situation
is dangerous and one way or another simply will not continue indefinitely,
so they propose a wealth tax be imposed on the richest 10% of the richest
1%  so they could still have some control over how this trend stops. 18
billionaires have signed a petition calling for exactly that:


And they are far from the only ones, Warren Buffett has long advocated the
same thing:

WARREN  BUFFETT on coddling the super-rich

And so has Bill Gates:

Bill Gates wants higher taxes on the rich

And Nick Hanauer, a member of the top 0.01%, also thinks the hyper rich
should pay more and wrote a letter about it to his rich peers. I found this
passage to be particularly illuminating:

*"I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a
mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code.
What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about
what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the
essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?*

*I see pitchforks."*

*My Fellow Zillionaires

 John K Clark
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20190707/e64f5135/attachment.htm>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list