Archive | 11:57 pm

Adopt A State! (Or more Math Fun)

10 Sep

So…The wealthiest 400 Americans have 1.37 trillion dollars between them. And according to the most recent survey by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the 50 United States and the District of Columbia spent a little more than $1 trillion in state revenues in fiscal year 2010.

That means that the 400 wealthiest Americans have more money between them than the 50 United States (plus the District of Columbia) do! They have 370 billion dollars more! And when you consider that the 50 United States (plus the District of Columbia) are facing a 350 billion dollar shortfall this year…well then the 400 wealthiest Americans really have 720 billion dollars more than the rest of us poor folks have to spend on the things that we need (and maybe some things that we don’t need…just sayin’)

But don’t despair because here’s some advice from the wealthiest woman in the world (not an American….the nerve!) Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart: “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain, Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working. There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire, Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.”     

     Now if we apply Ms. Rinehart’s theory and if the 400 wealthiest Americans have 1.37 trillion dollars between them then why not have them “Adopt a State!” We can divide 400 by 50 and have 8 billionaires adopt one state apiece. Then we can ask them to “HELP” By paying off some of our debts for us. After all they have most of the money! In fact they have more money then all of the states combined…and that’s just 400 people out of over 300 million people. Wow! We can call them “Super American Patriots” and we could show them our love by letting them change the states names or erecting statues and plaques to honor them or whatever they’d like. After all they have MOST OF THE MONEY! And since they would be adopting us we’d be like millions of Little Orphan Annies and they would be like 8 Daddy Warbucks and we could all sing and dance and rejoice in their patriotism and love for us. And one of them could get to be president. Why not? After all they do have most of the money and with their aggregate wealth increasing every year and the states going further into debt every year…well, it seems like a no brainer to me…

      But maybe I’m wrong and the answer lies in not why people are rich but rather in why people are poor? Ms. Rinehart blamed what she described as “socialist,” anti-business government policies, and urged Australian officials to lower the minimum wage and cut taxes. She said: “The millionaires and billionaires who choose to invest in Australia are actually those who most help the poor and our young, She added: “This secret needs to be spread widely.”

So now that it’s out there. Let’s go America’s Billionaires! Adopt a state!

Isn’t Math fun? (and you wondered why you were forced to study it in school)

 

Adopt A State! (Or more Math Fun)

10 Sep

So…The wealthiest 400 Americans have 1.37 trillion dollars between them. And according to the most recent survey by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the 50 United States and the District of Columbia spent a little more than $1 trillion in state revenues in fiscal year 2010.

That means that the 400 wealthiest Americans have more money between them than the 50 United States (plus the District of Columbia) do! They have 370 billion dollars more! And when you consider that the 50 United States (plus the District of Columbia) are facing a 350 billion dollar shortfall this year…well then the 400 wealthiest Americans really have 720 billion dollars more than the rest of us poor folks have to spend on the things that we need (and maybe some things that we don’t need…just sayin’)

But don’t despair because here’s some advice from the wealthiest woman in the world (not an American….the nerve!) Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart: “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain, Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working. There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire, Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.”

Now if we apply Ms. Rinehart’s theory and if the 400 wealthiest Americans have 1.37 trillion dollars between them then why not have them “Adopt a State!” We can divide 400 by 50 and have 8 billionaires adopt one state apiece. Then we can ask them to “HELP” By paying off some of our debts for us. After all they have most of the money! In fact they have more money then all of the states combined…and that’s just 400 people out of over 300 million people. Wow! We can call them “Super American Patriots” and we could show them our love by letting them change the states names or erecting statues and plaques to honor them or whatever they’d like. After all they have MOST OF THE MONEY! And since they would be adopting us we’d be like millions of Little Orphan Annies and they would be like 8 Daddy Warbucks and we could all sing and dance and rejoice in their patriotism and love for us. And one of them could get to be president. Why not? After all they do have most of the money and with their aggregate wealth increasing every year and the states going further into debt every year…well, it seems like a no brainer to me…

But maybe I’m wrong and the answer lies in not why people are rich but rather in why people are poor? Ms. Rinehart blamed what she described as “socialist,” anti-business government policies, and urged Australian officials to lower the minimum wage and cut taxes. She said: “The millionaires and billionaires who choose to invest in Australia are actually those who most help the poor and our young, She added: “This secret needs to be spread widely.”

So now that it’s out there. Let’s go America’s Billionaires! We already know that you’re the ones who help us the most with your largess, kindness  and generosity so please Adopt a state!

Oh and by the way, Ms. Rinehart made her money the old-fashioned way. While you and I were sitting around drinking and smoking and socializing and complaining (instead of working hard)… She inherited it. Her family iron ore prospecting fortune of $30.1 billion makes her  the richest woman on the planet. Can you guess who the richest woman in New Jersey is?

Isn’t Math fun? (and you wondered why you were forced to study it in school)

How Much Is Much?

10 Sep

(More math fun!)

The wealthiest 400 Americans have 1.37 trillion dollars between them.

According to the 2010 census 15.7% of all Americans live in poverty.

304 million Americans X 15.7% = 47.8 million Americans in poverty.

If all 47.8 million of America’s poor people went to McDonald’s 3 times a day and each ordered one item from the dollar menu each time they were there for breakfast lunch and dinner and then if McDonalds sent the bill to the 400 wealthiest Americans to be shared among them they would have to pay a bill of 143.4 million dollars just for that one day! (Not including tax of course) Then if the poorest 47.8 million Americans continued to dine each day at the Golden Arches on the wealthiest American’s dime, the total bill for one year would be 143.4 million dollars times 365 days for a grand total of $52,341,000,000.00 or in words, 52 billion, and 341 million dollars! Wow!

That means that those poor billionaires would have shelled out a whopper of their fortune equaling a grand total of 3.8% of their aggregate wealth! Yes, that’s right! After feeding 47.8 million poor Americans 3 times a day for an entire year, (albeit on McDonald’s dollar menu…but who doesn’t like McDonald’s?) the 400 wealthiest Americans would still have $1,317,659,000,000.00 left, or in words, 1 trillion, 317 billion, 659 million dollars!

But wait it gets better! According to Forbes magazine the richest 400 Americans increased their overall wealth by 8% in 2010 so even after feeding America’s poor for an entire year; (albeit on McDonald’s dollar menu…but who doesn’t like McDonald’s?) they would still be richer than when the year began! How cool, or sick, is that?! And by the way, let’s just forget about how rich McDonald’s would be! (My apologies to Burger King…maybe next year?)

Of course, the richest 400 Americans would never do this and we wouldn’t ask them to nor would we expect them to. In fact it would be silly to even think of such a thing and it would be un-American too because the rich people earned their money and the poor people didn’t. And besides if we gave money to the poor people then they would have money and then they wouldn’t be poor and how would that make people who already had money that they earned feel? They would feel bad wouldn’t they and cheated somehow too so we wouldn’t even consider such a thing. There are rich and there are poor and that’s the way of things because after all fair is fair. Right? The rich eat in grand style and the poor go hungry and that’s the way it is and always has been and dare I say always should be? Is this what we teach our children? That because of hunger and poverty our food tastes more delicious?

But consider this. In the history of the world there have been many great and prosperous civilizations and they have all failed. And usually at the time of the failing some few folks had all of the money and most other folks had none. They were either Kings or Queens or Popes or Emperors or Czars or Caesars or Pharaohs or whatever and they always invoked the divine right of the gods as the reason for concentrating all of that wealth in the hands of one man or one small circle of family and friends. Eventually the disenfranchised, poor populace grows disinterested and disaffected and the empire succumbs to a force of outsiders who invade and plunder. While the wealthy few run away or hide or are murdered or all 3! Then the new conquerors share in the plunder and even rejoice while sharing, and then the cycle begins anew as the new leaders emerge and invariably begin indulging in their own grandeur until…

Fortunately we no longer have empires such as those in the world today but we still have world leaders who rule with concentrated power and wealth. In the United States however, our president is not among the wealthiest men in the nation and we have no all powerful despot who rules with an iron hand under the divine rights of either religion or lineage but we still have concentrated wealth in the hands of a few and those few are now the business and corporate leaders of the world. Where we once had popes and kings we now have CEOs and corporations (The latter which ironically enough have recently been declared to be persons by our Supreme Court composed of actually real people!) and they have quite a large amount of wealth at their disposal which is growing while the wealth of the common population is shrinking. This is the historical recipe for national disaster. No matter how vast and distant the empire may reach, when the interior rots the empire always withers and dies.

Our public schools represent that interior. They are the nucleus which fuels the fire of freedom and free enterprise. We have built our greatness from the inside out and we look to replenish our strengths and our greatness through the rebirth and reaffirmation of our ideals in our children. We have never expanded our influence by conquering other nations and bending their citizens to our will. Instead we have spread our influence through the free trade and free movement of our citizens and by setting an example of economic wealth that can be earned and shared and experienced by all and not concentrated within a few.

Our public schools must be fortified and not abandoned. They must be embraced and enhanced and empowered in terms of anticipating and responding to technological, social, political, economic, and competitive change. Healthy cultures must always be willing to rethink their most basic assumptions about themselves in order to improve and grow and repair their societies and we must be willing to accept that what our schools need now more than ever is not a cut in spending but rather a renewed effort to spend more on the future and the future generations who will lead us.

Today’s students are willing to work hard but what makes us think that they are going to be willing to work hard for low wages that would suffice a life in China or India or some other-where where they don’t live? America’s corporate leaders and great men of wealth need to stop hoarding and start spreading the wealth. They can begin by first embracing the public schools of this country with largess and generosity and then by raising wages across the middle and poorer classes of society so that the term “working poor” is eradicated from our vocabulary.

Today’s students of the 21st century in America are beginning to notice that it is getting harder and harder to bring the American dream, a dream of studying hard then working hard, and then achieving affluence, into focus and for most of our poorest students that dream is nothing more than a taunting apparition of their hopelessness: a happy meal that they will never be able to afford

GRACEFIFTEENTEN

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