« "Many in Homs, Syria, feel as if the civil war has ended" LA Times | Main | I have never been in a VA hospital - WP Lang »

14 May 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Wonderful, accurate and horribly sad article. The rich should fear that one day Americans may put down their cell phones, turn off their TV, get off of Facebook and begin looking at what has happened to their country and to their lives. I imagine the rich in France in 1789 were not too worried either. Thank you for this article, and thank you colonel Lang for posting it.
Not that I think the guillotine should ever come back nor do I agree with the mindless chatter of the tea party, that seems to have monetary backing from the rich. But I hope for a time when we take back our country, when a corporation is not considered a person, and when a few rich individuals can not buy elections in every state. It embarrasses me that many if not most of our elected politicians, on both sides, are whores, and in saying this I feel I must apologize to whores.


Bravo! Well done Mr. Sale.


Sen Elizabeth Warren could have written that. Or Judge Luuis Brandeis.

Warren speaks Brandeis’s language. “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own,” Warren said at a campaign stop in 2011, in remarks that defined her candidacy. “Nobody. You built a factory out there, good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.” You used other people’s money. “You built a factory, and it turned into something terrific or a great idea—God bless! Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.” It’s the Brandeis in Warren that got her elected.


"Sic semper tyrannis". Amen

Dr. K

I agree. When God told Lot he would spare Sodom and Gemmorah if there was one honorable person he could find none. Leaders like Elizabeth Warren may help spare us.


At least Harvard knows what to do:




Well said.

USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96


The only thing certain about the 1% is that there are 99% that would take their place anyday and would make them look like nuns if they got there.

Isn't America the country where someone who benefited from affirmative action, a form of cheating, became president? Doesn't that mean that a majority of the electorate believes that it is fine for someone to make use of artificial advantages to put himself in the very top? But if that has become your social contract there is absolutely no need for the 1% to have any obligation to the 99%, because cheating is accepted, and if there is in this world anything open to all that is the choice of cheating, which, when properly exercised, turns the humblest of man into a lord.

What you can be proud at least is that nobody in your country has to cheat alone anymore.

Now don't go telling the newer generations that they should have virtues, qualities, determination, grit or wathever to succeed. Tell them instead that they should rather find the form of cheating that suits most their personal color, gender, tribe...

This is the legacy. Your country took the wrong turn and into the embrace of the bear. "Yup, sometimes you eat the bear," but when the bear eats you it is once and for all.


Well done Richard.

I had a version of this post just this morning,over coffee with the former CEO of a major agricultural conglomerate, you would all recognize its brand name. The former CEO pretty much agrees with you Richard..

We are not talking the top 1% here, we are talking the top1/10 of a percent of the 1 per cent. The other .9 0f a per cent of the top one per cent think, they are also in the club. But in reality they aren't. Like the rest of us, they are just useful idiots for the time being.

The elites in Washington are also useful bit players on a temporary basis.The two major political parties are shams. As for the MSM, any rational analysis of their actions, says they are now totally under control of elements, who could care less about their being successes as economic enterprises. In reality the MSM now only serves a short to medium term purpose of producing a contrived narrative for the masses, which helps keep the lid on for the time being. While we are all being slowly impoverished.( in more ways than just materialism).

My observation of the younger generation, is they have now been successfully dumbed down by the educational system to the point, where they can not even begin to analyze what their own long term economic and social self interest are.

Strap in tightly folks, it's going to be a rough ride.

Pretty grim little scenario isn't it?



"Doesn't that mean that a majority of the electorate believes that it is fine for someone to make use of artificial advantages to put himself in the very top?"

No, it simply means he was a better choice than the other guy, who was born to money rather than bought by it. I wouldn't gloat too much. The bears may be feasting but there are still 10,000 or so nuclear weapons here that are rather hard for even the a 1% to sell off and still live long enough to enjoy the "profit".


it is this way to some degree in all countries: capitalist, socialist, communist, monarchies, dictatorships, democracies, etc.

"The original observation was in connection with population and wealth. Pareto noticed that 80% of Italy's land was owned by 20% of the population.[4] He then carried out surveys on a variety of other countries and found to his surprise that a similar distribution applied.
A chart that gave the inequality a very visible and comprehensible form, the so-called 'champagne glass' effect,[5] was contained in the 1992 United Nations Development Program Report, which showed the distribution of global income to be very uneven, with the richest 20% of the world's population controlling 82.7% of the world's income."


Of course, the 1%:99% is an extreme Pareto distribution.

A democracy is dependent on a strong middle class. Without an equitable distribution, the middle class dies out.

"According to Polybius, who has the most fully developed version of the cycle, it rotates through the three basic forms of government, democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy and the three degenerate forms of each of these governments ochlocracy, oligarchy, and tyranny."

we are used to cycle with a soft c, b/ in the original Greek it's Kyklos.

i like the following analysis

"The diffusion of political power tends to follow the diffusion of wealth. Throughout history, people have generally needed to obtain some wealth before attaining much influence. The emergence of a middle class thus precedes the emergence of democracy in the natural sequence of human events. In antiquity, the first middle classes were mainly agrarian. They can be found in the qualifications of Greek and Roman military service. Today the middle classes are generally not farmers, although the English and American yeomanry attests to an ancient agrarian strain.Whatever their occupations, as time passed both the middle classes and the needs of government expanded. The contributions made by the middle classes to their communities became indispensable. This gave justification and force to the claims of greater numbers of people to participate in the governance of those communities. Gradually, enough people attained enough political rights that democracy emerged. This pattern is found in varying degrees of clarity in history. The development of a middle class anticipates the establishment of democracy."


Now what happens when the 20% or 1% is a different religion, color, or race, then the majority population?



I saw advertisement on a New York City train for a storage company that caught my attention. It said "The French Aristocracy Never Saw It Coming Either". Since advertising people want a lot of time figuring out what people are thinking, it suggests that they are finding that there is more anger amongst the public than generally realized so maybe people may "put down their cell phones" sooner rather than later.

Thank you Mr Sale.

Bill H

I think the likes of BHO are happy to have the focus kept on the evils of the 1% at least until "after the next election." It keeps the attention of the voters directed away from what they themselves have been doing against the interest of the voters and helps assure their reelection or, in the case of those termed out, the maintenance of their party in power.

As long as we are talking about how badly we are being screwed by the 1% we are not talking about how badly we are being screwed by our own elected legislators. We will, therefor, reelect 85% of them come November. The 1% are not up for reelection, so they don't care how much we hate them.

We are playing their game, and we are losing.

nick b

Just a little clarification on scripture here: God told Abraham, not Lot, he would spare Sodom and Gomorrah if there were 10, down from 50, righteous people dwelling there, not just one. See Genesis 18:16-33


Bill, the 1% may not be up for reelection, but you can bet they are giving huge amounts of money to those politicians up for reelection and those same politicians when elected because of the massive influx of monies, will be beholden to the 1% not you the voter.
Do you really believe that President Obama is not also controlled? How many bankers, who nearly brought our country to ruin are in jail?
Our legislators are not representing us, they are doing the bidding of those who can finance their campaigns.

Dr. K

I appreciate your fat-checking. Are there 10 in Washington DC?


Apologies, Fred, I wasn't clear. I wasn't thinking about the russians or any other military threat to americans. The bear I was thinking about was any wrong choice made or embraced by a people that results in an unrecoverable failure. Being a third worlder I have seen my share of such choices, and the wasted generations they produce.

Bill H

Yes, that is all true. And the question remains, why do we keep reelecting them? Because we are not paying attention to what they are doing. We are too busy complaining about the 1% and the misbehavior of the media. If we paid attention to what they were doing to us, and talked about what they were doing to us, we would not be reelecting them.


I just started Brezinski's Grand Chessboard, and very early he mentioned that, as of 1997, he saw US straegy as one of America co-opting Russia and thus making it a subordinate unit of the American empire.

This co-optation functions through making political and economic alliances with a country's economic and political elites.

At home, American oligarchs go through the motions of a democratic process, which, in light of a presidential capaign costing approx a billion dollars, produces results with a tad more decorum and deniability.

But the simple truth is that anyone with political ambitions either has to be rich in America and use his own money, or needs donors.

The more overt, or rather blatant, scenario is taking place in Ukraine, where Oligarch Rinat Akhmetov - Ukraine's richest man, and owner of Metinvest and DTEK - has sent out his employees, 20.000 steel workers to seize the city of Mariopol and drive out the separatists.

In Russia, Putin ended stuff like that. By jailing Chodorkovsky and responding to his most excesses, Putin ended the practice of Oligarchs directly using their financial leverage in politics. Putin also ended US attempts to 'co-opt' i.e. subordinate Russia to the US.

Ukraine never asserted its state power in any comparable way. Ukrainian elites simply consisted of a cotery of Russian-leaning or west-Ukrainian Oligarchs who competed for power and the related privilege to loot Ukraine.

Alas, considering the spectacle of Republican candidates groveling before Sheldon Adelson, cravenly begging for campaign contributions. With Citizens United, the US finally got there.

It's the dawn of another Gilded Age.

Laura Wilson

Isn's America the country where a "legacy" admission sent soldiers into Iraq because of (poorly researched) certainty of WMD's???


"Do you hear the people sing?

Singing a song of angry men...?"


RE: "I am not writing in a spirit of envy. My grandfather was extremely wealthy, and my father, who didn’t graduate from college earned $1.5 million in 1959"

I salute you, Mr. Sale.


strange that President Obama’ name is coming up here. Thoughts about significance of racial preferences, or ‘legacies’, seem off topic in context of Mr. Sale’s article, IMHO. President Obama is a very smart man, he speaks well and so far has been maneuvering between the sharks without being assassinated. Mr. Sale is talking about the super-rich oligarchs, and African originated (Blacks, Negroes, African Americans) minorities are not responsible for the troubles the native US oligarchs have created. I appreciate Mr. Sale’s article and the comments.


Laura Wilson, you mention another face of the same coin. In the upper crust, legacy becomes the lucky path when merit is put aside, otherwise, for example, there wouldn't be even a fifth of the number of jewish undergraduate students there are now in the Ivy League.


Fanto, Mr. Sale's brilliant post carries ideals of a healthy society incompatible with the society where Frank Ricci had to fight till the supreme court to secure his promotion. It is that simple.

Besides, Obama only escapes the voracity of the sharks because he is meatless thin.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad