Posts Tagged ‘Tax Free’

Gates Of Hell

November 18, 2013
Here they were, on the magazine“60 Minutes” of CBS News, a magazine once made famous for courageously revealing serious data about the Vietnam War. Here were our lords. Our Lords. On the left Warren Buffet, who made a fortune from health “care”, on the right Bill Gates, who made a fortune from technology he didn’t so much invent as exploited.
In the middle, domineering psychologically and physically, in a striking mix of self appreciating virgin Mary, and ramrod straight Marie Antoinette, Melinda Gates, Bill’s spouse.
The subject? The tremendous good plutocrats make, as governments flounder, and the billionaires come to save us, by displacing and replacing  it (say by replacing public schools by charter schools, with the benediction of Obama).
Gates Tax Free Palace, Seattle Behind

Gates Tax Free Palace, Seattle Behind

The propaganda piece told us how the billionaires were a “silver lining” in lieu of government for education, research, health, etc. Hey, the Gates, we were told, nearly eradicated polio. Things sure have changed since the Vietnam War.

The 60 Minutes interviewer was Charlie Rose (himself family connected to plutocracy). Here is his introduction:
Today, the wealthiest 400 Americans are worth over $2 trillion… they own as much wealth as the bottom half of American households combined.
 
While resentment towards the super rich grows, there may be a silver lining taking shape. It turns out a lot of those rich people are giving staggering sums of money away, in what is being called a golden age of philanthropy.
 
And this surge in generosity is not by accident…. it was started by an influential trio: Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett… Learn more about their new club for billionaires. Membership comes with just two requirements: be worth at least a billion dollars and be willing to give half of that away.”
The report did not define what “giving” means. As we will see, it’s not “giving” at all. It’s more like the difference between leasing and owning. Or more like the difference between having capital, and having a rent. Rich people, in the Nineteenth Century, were called “rentiers”. Because they had a rent. This is what Buffet advocates. A rent. Tax free. Instead how going to the Buffet once, go there everyday. For free. Forever.
 
Nor did the report insist that money is all about controlling power. If one has power control, one does need money. It alluded to that problem, just to refute it. How? Hell, the Gates “nearly eradicated” polio. (They did not eradicate Monsanto, though…)
“60Minutes”:”Buffett and the Gates invite pledgers once a year to exclusive resorts like Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Here billionaires attend sessions on how to give money away more effectively. Our cameras were not allowed in.”
[Nothing like “exclusivity”; camera pans out on incredibly luxurious accomodations, gigantic resort, gold plated everything, cashmere carpets, crystal chandeliers, etc…]
“60 Minutes”: “This day’s agenda: it included lessons on how tools like technology can be used to transform failing schools and, with the government cutting funding on medical research, how can philanthropists step in and help spur new medical breakthroughs. But we wondered, what else goes on behind closed doors?
Randall Lane [Forbes Magazine editor; interviewed by “60 Minutes”, as part of the segment]:
The public has a right to know who owns the world. Government is showing, you know, over the past couple decades that it can no longer solve the great problems of the day. Now these philanthropists who have incredible wealth, the problem-solving brainpower, and also the name and the influence to be able to open doors are uniquely qualified right now to solve the huge problems.
60 Minutes: But that does raise the question: do these billionaires have too much power?
Charlie Rose: There’s some people who say big philanthropy is not such a good idea, meaning that somehow you have enormous power and you’re not elected and, and that that may not be such a good idea to have people with enormous wealth to have so much influence.
 
Warren Buffett: Well, would they prefer dynastic wealth? Pass it on. Or would they prefer, you know, obscenely high living?
 
Bill Gates: …We do think we’re all gonna be smarter and do it better learning from each other. But there is no pooling of money. We celebrate the diversity of philanthropy.
Charlie Rose: “OK, so there’s no instance in which somebody could say, “Look, I mean, we got too many people of huge wealth who are having too much influence.”
 
Jean Case [plastic surgery billionairess]: “Well, Charlie. Think about Bill and polio, for instance. Bill and Melinda’s work in polio. I mean, they’re coming close to eradicating polio on the face of the Earth. I think when we have a couple of examples like that, people will see, that’s not power being used for personal purposes. That’s really leveraging everything you have to change the world to make it better.”
 
What is all this giving all about? Creating “Foundations” upon which the relatives of the hyper wealthy can get a rent, tax free, forever. It all started with Rockefeller, a century ago, and was initially blocked by all, ferociously. But times have changed. A lot.
For plutocrats, wrong is right. So when they are wrong, they feel right. By definition of what “Pluto” means.
The mythical Jesus Christ discovered this 2,000 years ago, and was very clear on the subject:“A rich man will find it more difficult to go to heavens than a camel through the eye of a needle”. It is curious that Christians are not making more noise about this.
Krugman is coming to the same conclusion as Jesus. Me too.
The true aim of economics ought to be work and energy (same thing). Instead it has evolved into theories about money, something private bankers create on behalf of the government, and give to their friends and clients.
A whole generation of economists has become rich by serving the rich with theories that help the rich. Why would they stop? They would endanger their income, power and reputation by doing so.
Now we are being told that money ought to govern, not just economics, but society itself. Directly.
The Foundation Law allows plutocrats to exert power, basically tax free, forever (there is 2% tax on “investment income”). Foundations just have to spend 5% of their capital a year, but the beauty of it, is that they can spend it on themselves. And they do.
Example: Gates’s palatial headquarters in Seattle.
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Patrice Ayme