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Sat Feb 1, 2014, 10:16 PM

Kevin O’Leary Against the World. (You Say you Want a Revolution.)

Oxfam released a report on January 20, 2014 highlighting the income inequality gap and its associated problems. One fact from the report stands out as especially glaring. “The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.” This put some perspective on a problem that doesn’t get a lot attention in the main stream media. The full report can be read here.

While there was mostly outrage to this particular statistic, in some of the more callus corners of the planet the reaction was a little more surprising. While Ben Stein and Bill O’Reilly of Fox News agreed this was a moral issue and implied it may be wrong in some sense, they refused to say there was any connection to so much wealth being controlled by so few, and the destitution of so many. A problem with no obvious cause, and no ready solution. This take allows for a conscience to be soothed, while blocking the most obvious forms of correction, such as reversing the policies that made this inequality gap so vast in the first place. But so far, the prize for, as Keith Olbermann used to say, “The Worst Person in the World” would go to Kevin O’Leary, billionaire and horrible person. His reaction - “This is fantastic news. Of course, I applaud it. What could be wrong with this?... It inspires everybody to get some motivation to look up to the 1 per cent and say I want to become one of those people, I’m going to fight hard to get up to the top.” As if billions would stop starving and being lazy if they only knew they could be rich instead. That would be much better.

Society has a history of rallying around their heroes and rallying against their villains. Well, there is a villain ready-made to represent the worst of the incredibly wealthy, and his name is Kevin O’Leary. Greed, stupidity, cruelty, selfishness, you name it, and if it’s a bad quality representative of the worst of the powerful, Mr. O’Leary possesses it. If he had the power, he once said, he would throw union members in jail. This is a very bad thing for the wealthy if someone as easily detestable as Kevin O’Leary becomes the face the 1%. Because eventually something’s going to break and the scales will readjust. What form that readjustment will take is up to the powerful. Will it be peaceful or violent? Slow or abrupt? Sooner rather than later? We don’t know yet. But if the trends continue in the future as they have for the past few decades, it doesn’t bode well for those who have rigged the game in their favor.

When the economy gets bad enough and income inequality is obvious to those who are suffering, the people eventually demand action. In the United States during the Progressive Era and the 1930s, the action was relatively peaceful and political in nature. (With of course a smattering of strikers being killed and beaten by Pinkertons, National Guard and police in both eras, such as a 1902 coal strike in Pana, Illinois where 14 miners were killed and the 1937 Little Steel strike where police killed 10.) This of course is not always the case. The economy in Russia in the early 20th century was dismal and led (with other causes also playing a part) to revolutions in 1905 and 1917, which were much bloodier than what happened in the United States during the same time period. And the French Revolution is infamous for its bloodiness, also brought about by the many living without.


Hopefully the economy will become fairer in a peaceful, calm manner because people have woken up to the reality of what’s been happening. They will organize and demand political changes that brought about the emergence of the middle class during the 1930s and 1940s. We already know what to do; it’s just a matter of political will. That is by far the most preferred and likely outcome.

But if greed overtakes sense, (like it often does ) and the few keep taking from the many the system will break violently. I really hope we’re smarter than that. But if we’re not, at least Kevin O’Leary will make us feel better about it.

18 replies, 1654 views

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Kevin O’Leary Against the World. (You Say you Want a Revolution.) (Original post)
20score Feb 2014 OP
punkin87 Feb 2014 #1
20score Feb 2014 #8
Dark n Stormy Knight Feb 2014 #16
punkin87 Feb 2014 #17
Dark n Stormy Knight Feb 2014 #18
suede1 Feb 2014 #2
20score Feb 2014 #9
marym625 Feb 2014 #3
20score Feb 2014 #5
rhett o rick Feb 2014 #4
20score Feb 2014 #10
laundry_queen Feb 2014 #6
20score Feb 2014 #7
suede1 Feb 2014 #11
20score Feb 2014 #14
punkin87 Feb 2014 #12
20score Feb 2014 #13
frankowen7 Feb 2014 #15

Response to 20score (Original post)

Sat Feb 1, 2014, 10:45 PM

1. Very well done! K & R!

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Response to punkin87 (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 08:24 AM

8. Thank you!

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Response to punkin87 (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 08:29 PM

16. Just curious--why are you and the others replying to this as if it were a writing

assignment that you were to judge? Seriously, I'm not busting on you, it just strikes me as odd.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 10:32 PM

17. Saying something nice about an article is not strange.

But your comment is. At least it strikes me that way.

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Response to punkin87 (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 01:54 PM

18. You seem to have misinterpreted my question, in which I did not ask why people were

saying something nice about the article. I specifically asked why many of the responses seemed to be about the piece as opposed to the ideas therein. Look at any DU OP and compare the responses to of those to these. I can't find any other OP that has replies that seem to be evaluating the post as a post, as opposed to what it says.

The OP is talking about wealth inequality, specifically noting that “The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.” It goes on to say that in the past citizens have eventually responded to such inequality, sometimes in peaceful and other times in violent ways.

What is "This is very good" saying? That wealth inequality is good or that the fact that sometimes people respond violently and sometimes they don't is "good"? What is the "this" that the reply is calling good?

What exactly were you referring to as "Very well done?" in your reply? Or The way Kevin O'Leary's responded to the fact of wealth inequality?

Your "Very well done" reply, the "This is very good" reply, and even the "Well said", reply don't even go on to discuss any of the ideas, so the only thing they seem to comment on is the OP itself, as opposed to what it discusses.

Again, I can't find another DU OP with a preponderance of such responses that seem to refer to the post as opposed to what the post discusses.

As I said, I was curious. Ten days ago when I asked the question. Not a big deal, just something that piqued my curiosity on that day.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sat Feb 1, 2014, 11:13 PM

2. This is very good!

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Response to suede1 (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 11:31 AM

9. Thanks much!

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 12:03 AM

3. Perfect

K&R
I don't believe we will get out of this without major violence. I think it has gone too far already. I also think that the only way it will end is the wealthiest turning on each other. Corporations fighting for a larger piece of the pie and those that run it not accepting taking the second largest piece.

Regardless of how the scales level out, nothing will happen without ridding the world of Citizens United and other such groups. Without taking the power from the wealthy by having fair elections, public funding, etc.

However it ends, I hope O'Leary loses. Better yet, is lost.

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Response to marym625 (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 02:07 AM

5. Exactly. Public financing of campaigns.

Last edited Sun Feb 2, 2014, 06:56 AM - Edit history (1)

And thanks!

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 12:31 AM

4. Well said. nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 12:43 PM

10. Thanks!

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 02:58 AM

6. Good post. O'Leary is a psychopath

and if he becomes the face of the 1% - good. He IS detestable, cruel, selfish, greedy and stupid. In fact, he's so stupid, he doesn't even understand that economically, he'd do better long term if there was more wealth equality. But his selfish side wants it all for himself. He'd rather have a million dollars an hour if someone else is making $10/hr than to have 8 million dollars an hour if someone else is making $800,000/hr. It's all about feeling better, more powerful, smarter...because he isn't any of those things. He's a miserable whiny turd and so, he must put himself on a pedestal to make himself feel better. Like a 5 year old bragging about having all the chocolate chip cookies.

Luckily for the US, this asshole is Canadian so he won't be influencing any of your elections soon. Sadly, his show influences far too many people here. He's the only person that can make me change the channel off of CBC.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 06:55 AM

7. Thanks! Well said.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 01:54 PM

11. Kick!

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Response to suede1 (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 05:14 PM

14. Appreciated.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 02:22 PM

12. Kick. Too well done to sink.

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Response to punkin87 (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 02:56 PM

13. Thanks. Maybe it should of had a different title.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Feb 2, 2014, 05:52 PM

15. K&R

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