Wealth, Greed, Envy and Shame

The title sounds a bit like a shady law firm, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s meant to convey the emotions of this post’s topic. A topic I’ve thought a lot about recently, and one that another blogger covered in a recent post, The Guilt of Wealth. It deals with the emotions of money – from the shame of being poor, to the shame of being rich, and the greed and envy we feel in between those emotions.


Photo by ItzaFineDay

Are the rich really wrecking the planet? Or are we all guilty? Or is it just a select group who have taken advantage of our financial system to maximize personal gain? First of all, I don’t hate the rich. Wealthy people open businesses that create new jobs. They invest in new technologies that keep our economy humming along (or at least sputtering along, as it’s been here lately). Wealthy people are also often the greatest philanthropists. Bill Gates comes to mind. Think of the good that he and his wife, Melinda, have done for others through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

I recognize that some wealthy people are not quite as giving. They often stomp on the little guy on their way to the top. They are shrewd. They take no prisoners. They lay off employees to save the company’s bottom line, and fatten their wallets. It’s safe to say there are plenty of examples on both sides of the argument.

The Evolution of Shame

Just a decade or so ago being poor was a great source of shame for many families. Most subscribed to the upward mobility theory that all of us should be striving to improve our economic lot in life. Those who didn’t were deemed lazy, unintelligent, or simply not properly motivated.

Slowly but surely things began to shift. A number of corporate scandals from Enron to Bernie Madoff left a permanent black eye on corporate America. No longer was it cool to be a member of the executive level. And then the government started bailing out many of these same corporate types who bailed out with their own golden parachutes, leaving behind a mess for someone else to clean up. The American public became fed up with the corner office. But has the pendulum swung too far?

With the help of the current administration and their unprecedented use of a pay czar responsible for oversight of executive compensation, we now have much more to say about the workings of corporate America than ever before. Is that a good thing? Well, that remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, it has definitely put a freeze on the spread of capitalism.

Jealousy vs. Envy

We have all felt that little twinge when a friend brags about their new home, or their recent promotion. But I believe there are two fundamental types of jealous people. The first group of people is happy for their friend, and even if they are a little jealous, they recognize their friend has worked hard and with the same hard work they can aspire to similar accomplishments.

The second group of people are green with envy. They can’t be happy for their friend because they are not happy with themselves. If they can’t have something, then no one should have it. There have always been members of both groups, but in the last several years it seems the population of the latter group is growing.

How Does this Affect the Act of Building Personal Wealth?

There are many people out there dealing with shame because of their success. How can they be happy with the wealth they’ve accumulated when there are so many others out there in poverty? How can they be happy living in a beautiful new home when there are others out there homeless? It’s an interesting dilemma. But what’s lost in the worry over perception is the two factors that led to your success: hard work and luck. Yes, both are required for success.

Sherry left a comment on the post I mentioned in the opening that provided a pretty good analogy for this very dilemma:

Unless you amassed your wealth by stealing it from others, I do not understand why anyone would feel guilty. Don’t accept guilt you don’t earn. If you value something (like a charity) then give to support it. I am not wealthy (yet), but am certainly doing better than some of my siblings. However, I don’t feel guilty because of that. Why would I? It’s like feeling guilty that you [make] an A on a test because you studied, but your best friend only got a C.

Some work hard all their lives, but never get that break that separates those living paycheck to paycheck from those with a seven-figure nest egg. Some acquire wealth through inheritance, through lottery winnings, or some other windfall that didn’t require a great deal of hard work.

For every Paris Hilton in the world there are fifty entrepreneurs working 14-hour days for years to become an overnight success. They invest their life savings, give up their social life, and pour 100% of their energy into building a business month after month. Occasionally, someone hits it big and they can finally breathe. They are finally able to enjoy some of their wealth – buy a new home, a newer car, take a vacation or two, etc. Should we resent them for this success? Or should we hold these people in high regard and say to ourselves, “One day I’d like to be just like that guy!”


  1. Nobody becomes filthy rich without exploiting people. Think about it. Minimum wage is exploitation. If these people paid their workers a decent salary, they wouldn’t be able to take home half a million.

    I am not jealous of people who work hard and are frugal and save their money. I do resent people who are born into money or have it fall in their lap and then they walk around acting superior as if they “earned” it, or if they express disdain for people poorer than they. That’s what I don’t like.

  2. I take a middle-ground position.

    I love capitalism. It has produced great wealth. Millions of people live more fulfilled lives as a result.

    However, I think it is a tragic mistake to turn one’s love for capitalism into a fetish. Capitalism is not God. It is not perfection. It is a flawed system that needs to be regularly reformed.

    The sad thing is that the political system seems to force lawmakers to line up as pro-capitalism or anti-capitalism and the approach needed (in my view) is to be pro capitalism while retaining some skepticism about it and remaining open to fixing it when it fails.

    It is certainly not the case that all who are wealthy “earned” their wealth. That’s pure baloney, in my assessment. However, I certainly believe that as a general rule we should respect the accomplishments of those who have been more successful than us. Our system is generally equitable but certainly not perfectly so.


  3. In the end, I think part of the problem is contentment, and whether or not we recognize what we DO have. It’s easy to become envious when we are focused on what we DON’T have, rather than looking at what we DO have. Of course, the flaws in our system do result in a situation, in some cases, in which those who work hard are barely able to eke out a subsistence. In those cases, it is clear that something ought to be done. Perhaps some of those reforms that Rob refers to that help to keep the system in check.

  4. Enjoyed the first three comments. To Rob and Miranda’s point regarding the need for reforms/oversight – there is a fine line between providing oversight and actually inserting control over the free markets. For instance, I believe much of the housing crisis was originally brought about because of government intervention (Community Reinvestment Act, etc.), not in spite of it. However, I agree there must be some level of protection for consumers in the form of certain regulation, anti-monopolistic laws, etc.

    I agree with Gen Y – I’ll take capitalism over other forms of economic systems any day…blemishes and all.

  5. I WILL be like the entrepreneurs I follow today and some of the great’s in the past. I have always thought of myself as different when it comes to saving money and constantly thinking about ways of saving it.

    I don’t see a lot of the rich as rich, but more like me in the sense that they are frugal and work hard for everything they want. Of course there are the one’s that make everyone look bad by doing nothing for their money, but there is bad in everything. So I say don’t blame the rich or poor for the way the world is, go out and make a difference!

  6. I think the idea behind “the rich are wrecking the planet” stems from the idea that wealthier nations consume far more in terms of resources than do poor ones as well as rely on the resources of the poorer nations to achieve their standard of living.

    We all bear some responsibility for sustainability. Consuming less (and thus spending less) is one way to do this; spending a little more, where appropriate, for a better quality product that won’t end up in the landfill six months later — and require you to shell out money to buy it again is another.

  7. For me, while you are still greedy and envy people, you are still poor and not having the true wealth. Considered rich people who earn money out of their selfishness will never achieve fulfillment. People who work for money for the sake of other people,and for the sake of saving and helping people, are the ones who are considered truly wealthy people, who never become ashamed of theirselves.

  8. It seems to me that there is a good amount of luck involved in becoming wealthy, and the fact that one got lucky and their neighbor didn’t would cause me some guilt. The luck that I’m most aware of is how those born with certain personality types and an inclination for work which brings sizeable financial compensation will have an easier time building wealth through a lifetime of hard work.

    I’ve worked as a librarian for some years now and have seen how in this profession the main way to advance is to become a manager or administrator, a role that requires a different personality and mindset possessed by few who are drawn to the profession. And since I’m not one of them, there seems to be a choice to be made between being satisfied with one’s work and earning a good living. And I’d imagine it is similar for those drawn to fields like teaching, social work, church work, and many other fields.

    So yes, I’m envious of those for whom passion and good money line up in the same job.

  9. Capitalism has become rotten to the core. Just as Communism has often been exploited by a few for personal profits and power over the masses, the American economy has been pirated by corporations and individuals who care more about their stock ratings than the fate of the United States. Greed is destroying our society, but we shy away from criticizing capitalism because we’re conditioned to equate it with freedom. The right to amass endless wealth is not synonymous with Democracy and may prove to be its downfall.

    I was rich but didn’t know it because in America we are always extolled to make more money and seldom feel financially secure. Making $30K per year I may not have seemed rich to many in my community, but I could afford all my basic needs and more than a few wants. I went into credit card debt anyway chasing entertainment and many possessions I definitely didn’t need. What a waste, though on a small scale.

    Then I lost my career to bipolar disorder and became what many would consider poor on a less than $15K annual disability income. I can still make my house payment, but I no longer drive a new car. I haven’t missed any meals, but I can’t eat out every day or buy too many grocery rip-offs like convenience, organic or so-called health foods. I’m lucky to get Medicare, but it doesn’t cover everything, and doctors who accept it are few and far between (or not worth finding). I’m not uncomfortable, but I guess I will always fear the wolf at my door, even with a frugal lifestyle and decent emergency fund.

    I don’t begrudge anyone who has money as long as they don’t prey on the poor and do make some kind of contribution toward charity or improving the world. I consider the tax-dodging of the upper class to be tantamount to theft from society. It is stupid to hoard money when the people and institutions around you are in need. The diseases, crime and disrest of the poor will affect you on some level sooner or later. A crumbling society is unpleasant for everyone, even those who can hide behind gated drives and security systems.

  10. Frugal Dad,

    To answer your question – no, we should not resent hard working individuals for their success.

    Why shouldn’t those who work hard to serve others be rewarded? Of course there a bad apples out there. But I find it incredibly hard to believe or relate to Marcy’s comment:

    “Nobody becomes filthy rich without exploiting people. Think about it. Minimum wage is exploitation. If these people paid their workers a decent salary, they wouldn’t be able to take home half a million.”

    “These People” are the ones who provide jobs for you and your families. They are usually taking extraordinary risks to do so, and as Frugal Dad mentioned, have been working 14-15 hour days for years to become an overnight success. If you aren’t happy being exploited (Marcie’s words, not mine) making minimum wage, then you have the ability to improve your situation. That’s the true beauty of capitalism.

    Again, there are bad people everywhere you look. And as many have stated, there are problems with this system. But for the most part, I think those that continually exploit others will have a much tougher time becoming extremely successful than those who are honest caring individuals.

  11. I am very grateful that you bring this up.

    Just yesterday, my freshman daughter (who got back from college for a visit) told me how “bad” the rich fat cats at Walmart are for putting the small business owners out on the street.

    I tried to re-frame the question to one of “system”. If you have a system that allows for rich and poor you get certain benefits and certain problems. We’ll also have pros and cons for a system that restricts success and failure. Let’s not pretend that any one system is perfect and let’s not hold any system up to perfection as a criteria.

    Terrible things happen in a capitalist system – and much worse things happen to us (as a group) in competing systems.

    This isn’t to say that we should have an unfettered capitalist society. We do need some checks and balances. I just think it’s important to recognize that if you want to be a creative society, you must allow people to benefit by their contributions and you must allow others to fail if they do not contribute – even if it isn’t their fault.

    Do I suggest we throw them out in the streets and starve? No. But I think the closer we stay to the results of our contributions, the better we are as a society.

  12. Poor or rich, what turns me off is when people flaunt their possessions. Over the top cars, $600 purses, they are a waste to me. How many people could you feed with that money?

    Maybe the ostentatious people I judge are actually very charitable. I am making assumptions by judging them, which I am not proud of.

    This post begs the question, to what extent should the wealthy enjoy their money? Do we have an obligation to help others? There is no clear cut answer, but morally I believe we do.

  13. I can only speak to what I have seen. I have friends on both ends of the scale. I have seen a wealthy friend do some amazing things for others and on the same day I have seen him complain about how the stress of adding a 4500sf addition to his 3800sf house has him depressed.

    I have seen my poor friend sob in his hands for his inability to provide better for his famil. I have seen his family gather around him and sob with him to try to lift the burden of guilt.

    I have often seen my rich friend struggle with his wealth. He came from very humble roots and built his business from the ground up. Another 20 year overnight sensation. His struggle comes from his desire to help others who have nothing and he is constantly torn between providing the fish or teaching them how to fish. Most of the time he does both but so many just want the fish.

    Of the things I see in my friends, these they have in common but are polar opposites to each other: 1:Drive or self motivation. 2:Vision 3: Common Sense. All three of these things played a huge part in getting both of my friends where they are today.

    I spend a great deal of time with my friends, I learn from one and teach to the other. It’s hard to teach humility to someone that has everthing just as it is hard to teach patience to someone that has nothing. Those of us in the middle are there for a reason. We can learn from both and we can teach to both. We get the benefit from both ends.

    This is my first post to your blog. I hope I didn’t stray too much off topic. Thanks for your time and effort. I have enjoyed reading your views.

  14. The Acton Institute, an educational nonprofit organization, produced an excellent video documentary called “The Call of the Entrepreneur.” You can learn more at their website: http://www.acton.org. They also do a lot of writing on the moral basis for the free market economy.

    Sadly, what we call “capitalism” today isn’t really the free market economy. It should be called “Davos Capitalism”, which is capitalism run by elites. An article at Real Clear Politics explains it pretty good: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/03/davos_capitalism_adam_smiths_n.html.

  15. Hat’s off to the rich in my opinion. Especially those that have earned it in one generation.

    While I’m not living paycheck-to-paycheck, I’m closer to that strata of wealth, than those in the millionaire camp.

    Why Hat’s off to the rich? Because they are the ones that start businesses, they are the ones that buy things while the costs are 10 times more than what I can afford. After they buy the expensive products, manufacturers start lowering the price so I can buy and enjoy it too.

    Most very rich people are generous to boot.

    Benjamin Franklin was rich, think of what our country would be like without him…

  16. I think Socialism is taking form, and will only recede once the bull market comes back for at least 2 years. Everybody needs to get rich, otherwise, the masses will want everybody to suffer and bring them down.

    It’s just life. Socialism unites.

  17. I just finished reading: Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture
    by Ellen Ruppel Shell

    It may open your eyes to what we as a nation do and how we have driven our economy into the sewer.

  18. Don’t forget there are a lot of “poor” people that “stomp on the little guy” and the big guy. They steal from the public roles, manipulate the system and take advantage of the kindness of willing wealthy.

    There is a lack of ethics and personal responsibility in both the rich and poor populations.

    Behavior needs to be separated from wealth.

  19. the rich are not the problem. all the people that criticize rich people should try and build their own businesses and get a taste of the challenges and rewards that come with this. if some corporations makes it big, thats that owners benefit and he probably deserves it after all the sweat blood and tears put into it. i think that anyone who really wants to be rich can be, given time and the right instruction. as ted turner said, the world is awash with money

  20. “Poor or rich, what turns me off is when people flaunt their possessions. Over the top cars”

    Is there anyone who can give me a clear definition of “over the top” cars? Like… What? BMW’s? Mercedes’? Just any sports car?

    Last night when I was working, I had a customer come in for a battery. I noticed the Porsche crest on one of his keys, looked up and saw a Cayenne parked outside. So I asked if it was his. He replied that it was his wife’s, so I told him that she had very good taste in cars. He replied back that he had a 911 himself! Very nice guy, very unassuming; looked to be retired and wearing just plain old clothes. Now, I can’t guess as to the price of the 911, because that requires more specifics, but the Cayenne is a ~$95k SUV new. Obviously very well off, but extremely nice.

    Over the top though? Hardly. From the brief conversation we had he loves his 911 and understands that Porsche built that to be a driver’s car — they’re meant to be driven and enjoyed. I can’t wait to get my own Porsche 911. 😛 I’ll be ready for all the envy with that, people already give us a bunch of flak for our 8 year old Honda. (Many seem to think she’s brand new, but she’s been out for ten years.)

    This is just something weird I struggle with when it comes to money — people hating on cars because they don’t understand the attraction for some of us to them. Heaven forbid you drive something nice, because then you’re “flaunting money.” Even if you really love the car and bought it to enjoy yourself. (Because you can afford to do so.)

  21. Greg, #20 writes:
    Behavior needs to be separated from wealth.

    Indeed. this is the issue. How you earned your money, for example–how you choose to use it to better the world which allowed you to earn it. If it is via exploitation or outright fraud, or theft, not so good. The suspicion is often that people do make money off the blood/sweat/more of others because it IS the case–white collar fraud and theft are rampant. It’s one thing when someone creates a company and then compensates those who actually “build” and maintain it…but that is often not the case. It isn’t just the owners who struggle for years to build a company. One person, no matter how great, cannot build a huge company. It takes LOTS of people.

    Ethical behavior is an issue for people at any point on the soci-economic scale.

    Unfortunately, we live in a world where you are penalized for your lack of wealth (small businesses can’t get discounts that big businesses get, therefore they can’t compete and they can’t make money) daily, no matter how hard you try. The less you have, the less you can get and the more it will cost you.

    Inherent skill, talent, etc. only go so far. Capitalism is great in theory. Not so great in reality as we’ve seen.

    Lots of great people never make it in business while some real frauds do get ahead. So being “rich” or “poor” financially is no real barometer of anything.

    IMHO, so much of the anger and envy comes from the differences in how people with/without money are treated. If you have money, you getthe opportunities, the goodies, etc. that are just shoved at the well-off. While much of that is often subsidized by the poor.

    I have to laugh when you see these celebrities given all the free gifts and swag at events for companies who basically sell their stuff to the middle-class and poor. Pathetic.

    These people, who have money, rarely want to pay for stuff. That’s why people get upset and angry.
    (Mr. Big Shot Actor. You make money cause we go to your movies. When we stop going, see how much you’ll have.)

    Same with the heads of companies who run them into the ground, put workers out of jobs and keep selling companies to make profits for themselves, while dumping pension fund obligations on the taxpayers and paying themselves off with incredible contracts, even when they lose money. (Can you say major airlines? Meanwhile, the pilots and other employees are deprived of pensions, benefits and have their salaries reduced. Hello. THESE people ARE the airlines. Not the suits in an office with software plotting prices.)

    The world is unfair. Unfortunately, the literal price of that unfairness, in jobs, opportunities, healthcare, housing, has become so challenging (and the gap so wide) that hard-working people have become resentful, with cause.

    Millions of people do their jobs, and more. Work hard and smart. Never get raises or advancement (always some excuse) even as the heads of a company manage to get more perks. You wonder why people are upset and jealous?

    how would you feel if all you did each day was make someone else wealthy? Cause that is what millions do every day with no benefits, including healthcare.

    All work has meaning. All people have value. Money is not the measure of a man or woman.

    People talk this talk, but they don’t walk it.

    No wonder people are depressed and frustrated.

    There’s nothing wrong with having nice stuff. But flaunting it, as so many do, or assuming YOU are better than others, as many do, is where the problems come in.

    People with money judge those without and find them lacking. It’s been interesting to watch the “victims” of the Madoff scandal. Especially the most vocal ones, who want the government to pay them for what they lost. THIS is why regular people go crazy: If you’re STUPID and greedy (no, it doesn’t apply to everyone who invested, but it applies to a lot of them) and you lose money, why is it suddenly the taxpayers’ problem–you don’t need to be a wharton grad to know you NEVER put all your money into a single investment? It’s not YOUR problem when working people can’t get healthcare or affordable housing, is it. Now, all of a sudden, you know what doing without and loss is all about. Welcome to the real world.

  22. #22 Foxie – a $95,000 SUV might seem a bit little over the top for me, as that is what I paid for my house. It does not matter to me what a person drives. I would admire a car like that, but not care to have one as cars are not my Thing. Also more power to the person who enjoys a vehicle such as that and is as nice as you say.

    Some folks, however, might assume this man is flaunting his money because they are struggling to make money to pay for a place to live. They might think it is just incredible that what they have paid for their homes is what this man has paid for a vehicle just to take him back & forth to work and to the grocery store. Might seem a bit much to them.

    That’s just my thought on how someone might think/feel when watching a luxury type vehicle like that go by.

  23. To the comment “most rich people are generous”: statistically, the lower middle class gives the largest percentage of their income to charitable causes.

    I teach the children of the uber-wealthy. And I am not jealous at all. I drive a 10 year old ford, my students drive new BMWs. My house could fit in their living rooms, and they have seen places I can only dream to go.

    Yes, some hard-working parents are gone sometimes 12-14 hours a day. And it shows. I have a closeness with my kids, after quitting an amazing job and going part time, that money cannot buy.

    The one and only thing that I find mildly irksome is the built in opportunities that these kids get. It’s great that they do, but many do not appreciate their place of privilege. I have heard many of them say that if you are poor, you are either lazy or stupid, or made poor choices. I ask myself- what choices did a middle schooler make to end up in a world class public school, or a lousy school? None. And their opportunities in life will likely follow accordingly, no matter how hard they work, or smart they are. No “entre”.

    What bothers me is how people give anecdotes about those who rise above as evidence. I would not want “outstanding achiever” to be the standard by which we are all measured. If it were, then why aren’t all the privileged kids out there being Bill Gates and changing the world? Out of the self-made wealthy – the money is typically gone 3 generations down.

    And to the Prada handbag comment-I think mild indulgence is normal, but immersing oneself in indulgences is vulgar. When I lived in Brooklyn, it always bothered me that the local Bishop had a heated driveway, but people went hungry on the same block.

  24. May I flesh out the “grades” analogy from a parable I was told?

    A young, earnest college student was very involved in local liberal politics, aghast at the gap in income and lifesyle between the poor she saw in public housing near her Ivy League campus, and the grand homes on the “other side of the tracks”. She felt strongly that redistributing this wealth through taxation was the only fair solution.

    At home over Thanksgivng break, she was sharing her new enlightenment with her family (who paid for her tuition and car) as well as discussing her concerns about her roomate, who was in damger of flunking out. The roomate had a fondness for late night frat parties, Jack Daniels at 10 am, and rarely went to class.

    Her father suggested: “Why don’t you go to the Dean and offer to give one of your Grade Points to your friend. The she would have a 2.0 and you would still have a 3.0”?

    The daughter replied, “That isn’t fair. I never miss class, I only go out on Saturday nights, and study all the time!! Why should I give up my hard-earned 4.0 average to her because she doesn’t study?!?”

    “Exactely” replied her father with a smile.

  25. Why should anyone be ashamed of what they have as long as they earned it fair and square? The best thing a young person can do is find a successful, honest role model to emulate who exudes integrity.

  26. I keep seeing this phrase thrown around “the rich start businesses and hire people.” I would like to know whether that’s true. Are more businesses (and the related hiring) in the US started by the rich or by mom and pop’s around the country?

    I used to work at a company where I was paid a lot of money, probably considered “rich” by many people’s standards. I never started a business and hired people. What percentage of people that have lots of money (rich) have actually started businesses and hired people.

    I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I would like to know whether all the people that generally throw that statement around really know either.

  27. Nice post. I remember when we bought a house in a country club/resort community, I went through a period of feeling like we didn’t “deserve” to be there although we could afford it. Money and shame are part of our American Puritan heritage.

    Your comments also dovetail with a recent article in the NYT (that I blogged about at http://tinyurl.com/yz6wgey) reagarding the growing animosity toward the rich and the soak-the-rich tax trend.

    One of the fears noted in the Times piece is that this anti-rich attitude is affecting young people and stifling their desire to be creative and make money.

    My philosophy, despite my emotional conflict mentioned earlier, is that money or having a lot of it is not inherently nor automatically bad. But we do need to be cognizant of using our money well, regardless of how much or little we have.

  28. We can’t blame “the rich” and a capitalistic society possibly allowed a system that was once much more fair. The problem is that is should have been reigned in around 100 years ago. I realize that hindsight is easy, but with the global population at the level that it is, it would be a mistake to continue with the system as it is. Both the consumers and the manufactures of the products and resources we consume are not necessarily to blame, but we are guilty of preferring to put our heads in the sand and deny what we are doing.

    It’s obvious consumers have a hard time being able to purchase only the products produced by responsible companies the same as it is hard for business owners to not manufacture in the most sustainable manner because it is harder to make a profit.

    Who would choose to make their day to day life or business any more complicated or harder?

    We need to be willing to devise a plan where the businesses (or countries) that need the biggest overhauls and in some cases of some businesses, to be shut down, but the plan must include not hanging them out to dry simply because they got caught up in our mess that should have been tidied up fifty years ago. We need a plan, a more detailed plan that economists adjusting interest rates. The plan needs to be devised with more than the US, EU, and PRC at the discussion table because the economies that require tinkering will require cooperation and commitments of every Country desiring to envision a future that extends past the next few generations.

    There will always be classes, and let’s face it, those who had the power and were in control both by having control of industry, resources, and other power politically are well aware that the lower classes most be kept satisfied although in their eyes the term is closer to complacent.

    Too many sectors of all economies are already completely bust and done, they are just in a state of extreme denial and many just haven’t publicly announced their dire straits and probably won’t until forced to by authorities.

    After that carnage of the business failures is no longer hidden, in hindsight the foolishness of maintaining military expenditures will be ludacris because nearly every country was bluffing or maintained composure up to and past their collapse. But waiting to after “the market” forces the truth or the people revolt, the time for cooperation in ways that includes and takes care of everyone is typically past, as when tables are turned not too many have the forgiveness or compassion for the mercy they were not afforded before the situations reversed.

    And if the truth behind all the industries true subsidies and real dollar amounts were all made public, or just made known to all industries, and all the behind the scenes agreements that amount to global and industry wide racketeering and blackmailing, it would be the industries who revolt or tried to secede.

    We are maintaining business as usual, which translates to obscene amounts of unnecessary wasted costs that are all based on a facade, or a previous “understanding” between industry empire off the books agreements.

    Financial industries were left to gouge the public with all but free reign for the last 45 years. With the freedom to raises interest rates from 10% to 29% on a whim all due to the fineprint on for a late payment. A families monthly bill for a credit card could legally go from $156 to over $300 and many families got hit with the hidden punch when they needed the most help financially.

    Anyone who believes it was the misc. $35 dollar charges and other frivolous and should have been illegal fees are what bought the entire world to it’s knees, is just spreading the varnished story to keep complacency. Those fees gouged consumers bought they were not what delivered the final blow.

    The financial system’s schemes were just the tip of the iceberg. And before all hell breaks loose it would really be wise to take real measures, to repair the real and lesser known “system” before all of the failure that has already happened can no longer be hidden.