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Quote of the day

Thursday, Feb 6, 2014

* Billionaire investor Sam Zell talks to Crain’s

Zell also said venture capital pioneer Tom Perkins was right in claims made last month that wealthy Americans are being unfairly targeted by critics. Perkins, who drew controversy for comparing treatment of the very rich to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, has apologized for that analogy, though he stood by his message about income inequality.

While Zell said “persecution” isn’t the right way to describe treatment of the top 1 percent of earners, he sees envy of the rich and class warfare as growing problems in America, blaming government regulations for a widening income gap.

“The 1 percent are getting pummeled because it’s politically convenient to do so,” Zell said. People “should not talk about envy of the 1 percent, they should talk about emulating the 1 percent. The 1 percent work harder, the 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


76 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    Silly man. Work harder? Give me a break.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    What is you are in the “1%” and it’s inherited?

    Hmm.

    Winning the “geneitic lottery” kinda puts the kabosh on that theory, doesn’t it?


  3. - Draznnl - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Yup, that’s why the 1% have to retire so young - their bodies are just worn out from the all the hard work.


  4. - The Captain - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    By far the most difficult, stressful experience in my life has been the times I had to barely get by living paycheck to paycheck. The margin for error is so small and it’s constant, it’s a pressure that’s with you 24 hours a day and impacts every single decision you make.

    So when these 1 percenters start talking about how they work harder than the rest of us I immediately don’t see any value in their argument.


  5. - Wensicia - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    We of the lazy hoi polloi just don’t understand.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    If they think that policies that help middle class workers and poor people is bullying the 1%, that’s their problem. This is what they say when people want to protect collective bargaining, raise the minimum wage, raise taxes on the wealthy a little to help with deficits and expand health insurance to help more poor and middle class people.

    They can spend millions if not billions to attack unions and social safety net programs, but boy, when the fire is returned, they cry just like the thin-skinned bullies they are. It’s their MO, attack their adversaries and then cry when the fire is returned.

    Plus, we know how people like Perkins are really suffering right now. Give me a break. There ain’t a cross big enough for this guy to get on.


  7. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    Being a roofer is a lot harder than buying and selling real estate.

    Some of the 1% take on more risk. They don’t necessarily work harder.


  8. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    Oh yes. Sam Zell worked so hard to achieve his fortune. He worked so hard at avoiding paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.

    http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2013/06/18/irs-tribune-sam-zell/


  9. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    “The 1 percent work harder”

    What bull….


  10. - Buster - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    The least the 1% could do for the rest of us is just SHUT UP, especially about how unfair we peons are in talking about their privileged selves.
    Just count your money but do it QUIETLY please. Don’t rub it in. Don’t confound us with the question of how someone that stupid and insensitive could get richer than rich.


  11. - Boone's is Back - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Let’s break this down for a minute shall we..?

    ===blaming government regulations for a widening income gap.=== Really? Exactly what overly burdensome regulations caused this income gap? I would love to hear.

    ===The 1 percent work harder, the 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society=== That’s uncharted waters Sam. Tell that to the guy holding down multiple minimum wage jobs scrubbing toilets to support his family. I’m sure his work ethic is truly lacking.

    These guys just don’t get it, and their over-the-top, self-absorbed rhetoric ain’t making it any easier on themselves.


  12. - Norseman - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    I really feel sorry for these folks who have to worry about maintaining multiple homes, say nine for our 1% for Gov., and trying to figure out where your next tax shelter is coming from. I’m crying a river for them.

    Float me some money and I’ll be happy to experience your persecution.


  13. - Not Rich - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    As a Cubs fan I have 2 words for MR one percent Zell.. and it ain’t Merry Christmas…


  14. - Bulldog58 - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    He who lives in a glass mansion shouldn’t throw stones.
    Poor misunderstood one-percenter…


  15. - Glenn - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    The poor must pay for everything they get;the wealthy buy things that pay them.


  16. - Aldyth - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    “Let them eat cake.”

    That sort of attitude tends to result in torches and pitchforks.


  17. - No Peotone Airport - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Zell is at least correct in attributing the widening income gap to the government, although some copy editor seems to have mistakenly missed the prefix “de” on the word “regulations.”


  18. - Stones - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    What an arrogant thing to say. I’ve never met Sam Zell but he must be a tremendous jerk.


  19. - circularfiringsquad - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    Zell and the other 1%ers should be persecuted — unless someone wants to prosecute. Most of Zell activities involve borrowing huge amounts of other people money for various schemes. Banks, pension funds, etc rub shoulders with Zell like hustlers. They get the money and the 99% get beat like a drum with credit ratings massive applications and get told no.
    When Zell and 1%ers lose (ala Tribies ESOP scheme) they just wiggle their nose and borrow more.
    No one does time
    Steal with mask and gun and you get a trip to Stateville.


  20. - Judgment Day (Road Trip) - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Ok….

    So, all the different varieties of “QE” (so-called “Quantitative Easing”) which have been pumping Many $10’s of billions of dollars every month into Wall Street and the TBTF (”To Big To Fail”) banks are ‘deserved’, and that helped ’save’ the economy.

    Maybe for the 1%, but for Main Street America, it’s been an unmitigated disaster. “Class warfare”, it’s coming….

    And then people like Sam Zell wonder why…

    Well, how about (for starters) - there’s the 15% tax rate applied to ‘carried interest’, which is what all the venture capitalists feed on (Thanks, Chuckie S.). And now, we also find out that’s what also is applied to the so-called management fees charged by venture capitalists to the companies they invest in. And that’s serious money, and our toothless, always asleep SEC does NOTHING about it.

    “The 1 percent are getting pummeled because it’s politically convenient to do so,”

    No, Not really. The 1% is getting beaten up because they rigged the System for their benefit at the expense of everybody else. But they did that extremely well.

    Zell can whine all he wants, but the class warfare is getting worse. not better. Everyday folks are getting increasingly dispirited and bitter.


  21. - PublicServant - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Dear Sam,

    If you’re getting pummeled because it’s convenient to do so now, then why has the pummeling taken so long to become convenient? And if this current pummeling you’re taking is affecting you in any way other than your feelings being hurt, can you let me know how that is? One last thing; What regulations are causing the widening income gap, and if we get rid of them, when can I expect you and your other 1% buddies to send me a check?

    Thanks,

    A member of the struggling middle class whose increased productivity (read hard work) has been benefiting you a lot, and me not so much.


  22. - Secret Square - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    Other than total trust fund babies, most of the 1% probably DO work hard and put in long hours to get where they are — as do most of the 99%. The difference is that the 1% happen to be good at working in fields that, for various reasons, generate a lot of income (banking/investments, IT, etc.). They also, in many cases, happen to be in the right place at the right time. Others who work equally hard and are just as talented, may be in fields that aren’t as lucrative (social work, teaching, health care, skilled trades) or may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time (opening up a business that fails). To state categorically that 1 percenters all “work harder” than everyone else is an oversimplification at best and a deliberate distortion at worst.


  23. - chad - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    When people like Zell say these things, it just ends up hurting the 25%, who end up paying the popular tax increases on the “rich”.


  24. - Capitol View - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    After the Civil War, there was the federal “Teapot Dome” scandal when it was noticed that the rich Robber Barons of that 1880s era were donating big sums to political campaigns and then getting all kinds of favorable treatment from Congress on their business interests.

    Today, we have the same problem. Today’s Robber Barons are doing everything they politically can to protect themselves from government taxation and having to pay their employees a living wage.

    I find it ironic that the word “Tea” repeats itself in both eras - TeaPot Dome in the 1880s and Tea Party over the past five years.


  25. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    I got my first real jobs delivering newspapers and mowing lawns when I was 10 or 11 years old. I’ve been employed every year since then. I’ve still got a bit more than 20 years before I can retire.

    According to Zell, I’m a lazy slacker. Somebody ought to ask him how hard it is to raise the rent on the trailer parks he owns throughout the country. Is that work?


  26. - Glenn - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Should have read:
    The poor must pay for everything they buy; the wealthy buy things that pay them.


  27. - Roadiepig - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    Sounds like Zell has been hanging out in the .1%-ers echo chamber a bit too much. I was disgusted by Tom Perkins for comparing the deaths of 6 million innocent Jews to the very rich not getting the love from the “unwashed”, but Zell has to double down and talk about how hard he has to “work” to amass his wealth, like everyone else could start making leveraged buyouts today, striping the companies they bought of their businesses out there , waiting to be destroyed by a venture capitalist. Not enough of that kind of “hard work” left to make all 310+ million of the rest of us wealthy.


  28. - ZC - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    Part of the toxic effects of inequality is, as Susan Fiske puts it, “Envy Up, Scorn Down” (Aristotle set forth essentially the same thesis thousands of years ago, in his Politics).

    Look, there’s no question Zell has a slight point: envy of the super-rich is real, it’s not always justified, and it can be counter-productive. Most of the super-rich are not rentiers or “old money”; I recommend here Chrystia Freeland’s book _Plutocrats_ for more insights into their psychology, and how a lot of them worked damn hard (Zell included) to get where they are.

    But as Freeland points out, and as Zell (and Romney, and Rauner, and so on) suggests, scorn of everyday or working-class Americans is equally a toxic problem - probably more so, in my opinion, which is why I’m a Democrat.

    You do have these super-rich dudes (and they are mostly dudes) who are astoundingly clueless about how people outside of their jet-class circle live, and remarkably content to blame the poor or see lower-class Americans (or 47% of Americans) as their moral inferiors. Or to be stunningly out-of-touch about the possibilities for social mobility. My favorite anecdote is still Mitt Romney’s advice for college students in 2012 to follow in the footsteps of Jimmy John, and to borrow $47,000 (in inflation-adjusted dollars) from their parents, if they want to run a risk and to start a business.

    But it’s not good on either side, this build-up of resentment and scorn. In the long run though, it’s -really- not good for Sam Zell. He is aware, he’s only .01% of the population?


  29. - wondering in Lake County - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    secret square - Please give me your definition of “hard work”? They may do “long work”, but it is not hard. Now, to get to their lofty position in life, they may have studied more in school. They have made better choices. But it is a slap in the face to the folks that labor hard every day for their wages.


  30. - veritas - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    Zell’s got a point: Do you know how much work it took for his buddy Rauner to write that $300,000 check to Ed Rendell so he could get millions in return. Poor guy probable has carpal tunnel form writing all of those checks!!


  31. - Endangered Moderate Species - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    I was listening until he said, “The 1 percent work harder.”

    Class warfare goes both ways.


  32. - Joan P. - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    “the 1 percent work harder, the 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society.”

    Tell that to the folks who are working three jobs and who still unable to make ends meet.

    Do these people ever actually LISTEN to themselves?


  33. - Montrose - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    Comments like this remind me a of a story I read a few years back about an elite marathon runner who always thought less of slower runners. They annoyed him. They did not try as hard as the elites. Then this runner was injured. He could never run as an elite again. He found himself running with the folks he previously dismissed, and he realized that the folks at the back of the pack are trying just as hard, if not harder, than the elites. They don’t have the same supports or opportunities the elites do, yet are putting the work in to run as fast as their bodies will allow.

    Sam Zell needs to spend a little time at the back of the pack.


  34. - Secret Square - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    By “hard” I mean “involving tasks that are difficult or demanding either physically OR mentally.” Running a successful multi-million dollar business may not leave you physically exhausted or give you callused hands, hernias, backaches, sprains, etc. but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy or undemanding.


  35. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    What is the current yearly income to be a 1%er?


  36. - Bluefish - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    I would take Zell and most of the other one-percenters seriously if they actually created something (like a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs) instead of making their money taking a rather hefty cut on various financial transactions or breaking apart existing companies and selling off the pieces just to increase shareholder value(and leaving a great many of the 99% out of work as a result).


  37. - Joe M - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    Sounds like another Republican presidential candidate in the making.


  38. - PublicServant - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    So, the 1% make much of their money through investments, but the actual ROI on those investments hasn’t keep up with the expected ROI. All that idle money, and not enough good financial investments…what’s a plutocrat to do? I know! Invest in politicians. The ROI there, while indirect, has been paying very handsomely these last 30 years or so.


  39. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    In 2007, Zell bought 160-year-old Tribune Co. for $8.3 billion.

    Fifteen months later, it was bankrupt and $13 billion in debt.

    You gotta admit — that took some work.


  40. - Lazy Parasite - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Sure, they work harder….

    http://www.ift-aft.org/news/dailynews/14-02-05/Why_you_re_under_attack.aspx


  41. - walker - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    Delusional.

    As are those who try to give his comments any credence.

    Regulations are holding back the top 1%? When did that happen?

    Laissez-faire policies helped create extreme income inequality, by allowing unfair leverage and practices, which made the market less (not more) free. Proper regulations ensure a free market.

    The 1% work harder? Than who? Not harder than the next 90%, certainly.

    Do they work smarter? In a few cases maybe, provided they didn’t start with an inherited financial edge to hire smarter people to work for them.


  42. - PoolGuy - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    and Sam wonders why the 1% are so misunderstood. what a dope.


  43. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    I do know Zell slightly, but this was years ago. My big take-away then was a guy who was sure he was smart because he was rich. That was before the Trib debacle. If I had to speculate about his thinking on that it was along the lines of this whole newspaper in print business is in a death spiral, the employees are going to get screwed anyway, so someone might as well make some money on it. I found that whole deal pretty despicable


  44. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    “The 1% work harder”

    Here is a graph showing productivity has increased dramatically while wages have remained flat, over the years.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/17/higher-productivity-used-to-mean-higher-wages-has-that-broken-down/

    It appears that workers are not adequately compensated. Now some of these 1%ers and their political reps are crying over the latest CBO study, which shows that labor force participation may decrease over time because of the ACA and people’s choices to work less because they’ll have affordable health insurance. They don’t want to give poor and middle class workers any breaks. I think that affordable health insurance is good compensation for workers who are being squeezed more and more financially.


  45. - olddog - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    In the Bloomberg TV interview, Zell was sounding off about William Jennings Bryan and “class warfare.”

    http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2014/02/05/sam-zell-tom-perkins/

    You ever notice how the only guys who talk about “class warfare” are the ones who are winning it?


  46. - George Bailey - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    Ahhhhh, just so we’re all, ummm, real clear on what uhhh, Old Man Potter is really sayin’, I will translate it real simple for y’all:

    “What are you but a warped, frustrated young man? A miserable little clerk crawling in here on your hands and knees and begging for help. No securities, no stocks, no bonds, nothin’ but a miserable little $500 equity in a life insurance policy. You’re worth more dead than alive! Why don’t you go to the riffraff you love so much and ask them to let you have $8,000?”


  47. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    Maybe some people have envy for the 1%. I don’t envy them, I resent that they will do anything/everything to cheat or weasel out of any responsibility to anyone or anything that isn’t of their own personal benefit. I think many people hate them because they laugh at people who actually DO work hard and struggle, not being able to write off large amounts of their income to avoid having to pay their rightful taxes. Yes, our system allows that, but who owns the system? It’s not envy, it’s resentment toward greedy selfishness and lack of any social consciousness.


  48. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    Schnorf, they don’t call him The Grave Dancer for nothing.

    With the tax dodge he engineered by using the ESOP to finance taking Tribune Co. private, I’m sure Zell came out ahead, even with bankruptcy. He was gambling with other people’s money.

    The Tribbie employees who were counting on that ESOP for their retirement, not so much. I’ve always thought the fact their money got wiped out was behind the Tribbies virulent antipathy to public pensions.


  49. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    We might ask Warren Buffet his views of the Zell/Perkins versions of the the 1%


  50. - paddyrollingstone - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    Speaking of the unfairly maligned 1 %, Mother Jones has a report of Koch Brothers recent meeting with fellow plutocrats. Our own Ken Griffin met with them.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/koch-brothers-palm-springs-donor-list


  51. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    “We’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money, but you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or you’re providing a good service.” - President Obama

    To some, this means there are good rich people and bad rich people and we should be suspicious to determine which kind of rich people we want in our society.

    There has been a lot of this kind of talk since 2007 and that is what is being complained about.

    And it looks like a lot of you guys have no problem with it. That is a problem.


  52. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    This is true, because, like the Baron, they use their money to get their way & force their views on everybody.

    “the 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society.”


  53. - paddyrollingstone - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    Couldn’t resist this one:

    Carla LeBec: Yoh, Becs. What’s this thing you have against rich people? I mean, you’re dating a rich guy. You want to be rich yourself, right?

    Rebecca Howe: Yes. And when I am rich, I will stop hating rich people, and start hating poor people. It’s the American way.


  54. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    “Tom Perkins was right in claims made last month that wealthy Americans are being unfairly targeted by critics”

    Unfairly or fairly ? Who caused the great recession we are still mired in ? Who created the schemes that nearly caused a complete collapse of the economy ? We thought up Credit Default Swaps ? Who is responsible for the devasting loss of property values for homeowners ? Who raided people’s retirement accounts ? Enron, Global Crossing, AIG, etc. Except for an isolated few individuals, most evaded any responsibility, and many reaped huge gains while the rest of us suffered. The poor 1%, who own 50% of the wealth of the entire world. They sure have it tough.


  55. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    That should read

    Who thought up Credit Default Swaps ?


  56. - Just Observing - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    There are those in the “one percent” that do indeed work very hard, and there are those in the “99 percent” that also work very hard; there are those in the “one percent” that had everything handed to them and don’t work hard, and there are those in the “99 percent” that are very lazy.

    There are some really great, nice people in the “one percent”, and there are some not-so-nice “one percenters”; there are some really great, nice people in the “99 percent”, and some that are not so nice.


  57. - kimocat - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    People like Zell richly deserve the scorn and contempt they receive. He and his ilk have figured out how to rig the system so they can in fact enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary Americans — whether they are stealing jobs, pensions or tax expenditures — they are parasites. Their cluelessness is just one symptom of their total immorality — they don’t seem to understand that you can be rich and also be a very bad person.


  58. - Just Observing - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    === There are those in the “one percent” that do indeed work very hard, and there are those in the “99 percent” that also work very hard ==

    The second part of that sentence was supposed to read “that also DON’T work very hard.”


  59. - Samurai - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.


  60. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    It’s amazing that anyone of the 1% variety would whine about being picked on. Maybe they should show their American spirit by volunteering to donate a fraction of their income to ease the Illinois budget. When they (some)aggressively attack retired people who are living on micro fractions of what they live on and successfully whack their income, why would one feel kindly toward that behavior? I can’t think of a better reason for resentment than haves grabbing more from those with less. And by the way, hurting public pensioners by reducing their living income in retirement was also politically convenient, so I guess we’ve even.


  61. - Just Observing - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    === === === === There are those in the “one percent” that do indeed work very hard, and there are those in the “99 percent” that also work very hard === ===

    === The second part of that sentence was supposed to read “that also DON’T work very hard.” ===

    Wait.. my original post was correct. I’m brain dead. Off to get more coffee.


  62. - Wensicia - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    Whenever someone from the 1% complain about this they bring up class warfare. Are they saying they’re a separate, entitled class compared to everyone else? Seems like it…


  63. - Andrew Szakmary - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    I have nothing against the 1%, at least not those among them who got where they are through some combination of hard work, talent and luck rather than primarily through inheritance. But when a great many of these folks pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than typical middle class and upper-middle class taxpayers, something is seriously wrong. Sorry, Sam, I mean you no harm, but it is long past time to end the dividend exclusion, the special treatment of capital gains and carried interest and other tax provisions that basically benefit only those (mostly high income) folks who save outside of retirement accounts.


  64. - Buster - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    The NY Times just posted the Zell quote.

    http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/06/no-comment-necessary-pity-the-one-percent/?emc=edit_tnt_20140206&tntemail0=y


  65. - sal-says - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    ===“The 1 percent are getting pummeled because it’s politically convenient to do so,” Zell said.===

    OR…replace the ‘1 percent’with ‘public workers’ or ‘unions’ or …..


  66. - Left Leaner - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    Shows just how out of touch the 1% truly are with the vast majority of Americans.

    I begrudge them nothing for their success and the wealth that comes with it. But what kind of America are they helping build if they’re leaving 99% in the dust?


  67. - Demoralized - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    ==And it looks like a lot of you guys have no problem with it. That is a problem.==

    I have a problem with it. I also have a problem with those that pick on the “takers” (their word not mine). Everybody needs a boogeyman. For some it’s the rich. For some it’s the poor. Take your pick.

    While I think this disdain for the rich is mostly misguided, I do have a hard time feeling sorry for some rich guy feeling like he’s getting picked on.


  68. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    I always feel torn about all the 1% conversations and my thoughts I suppose align with what demoralized said in his first paragraph.

    Having said that, the general “blame regs” discussion is starting to get old. Especially when you’re familiar with an industry, applicable regs, and history of job loss/creation within that particular industry.


  69. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    I’m really surprised that these guys are shocked that people who have very little envy people who have a great deal


  70. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    =Especially when you’re familiar with an industry, applicable regs, and history of job loss/creation within that particular industry.=

    And I should have added increased risk/harm associated with really, really bad short-term “bean counter” decisions that affect our privacy, quality of services and products (especially *critical* services and products) and therefore increase the risk of litigation, settlements, and payouts over the long-term.

    Not mention brand and reputation.

    Where, oh, where have our true Captains of Industry gone?


  71. - Juvenal - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 5:02 pm:

    ZC -

    With all due respect, you, Freeland, Zell and the uber-wealthy incorrectly attribute feelings of “envy” to those who raise concerns over income distribution.

    I dont know many people who wish they made $53 million a year. Or owned their own baseball team.

    That is not the “American Dream” as most people understand and embrace it, nor does it reflect the values of most Americans.

    Most Americans just want to own their own home, not nine, including two condos in Chicago.

    Most Americans just want their kids to go to a good school, not have schools named after them.

    Most Americans just want to be able to retire with as few worries as possible for themselves, their spouse and kids…not amass enough wealth to ensure the next four generations can live comfortably off of trust funds.

    Most people wouldnt even care about the uber-rich (a little honest here, Zell and Rauner aint One Percenters, they are .0001% ers).

    Except the uber rich have figured out the best way to get even richer is to rig the system so that their wealth makes them wealthier even faster to the detriment of everybody else.

    Its called Cheating, and nobody likes a
    rigged game.

    And I believe the great mass of Americans are far too honest, far too caring, to be “envious” of the ability to rig the game in your favor and stick it to the guy down the block in the process.

    Envy? Nope.

    Angry is more like it. But for good reason.


  72. - Tippecanoe - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 5:04 pm:

    Induct this one into the Ken Griffin Hall of Fame. This echos what Rauner’ biggest donor not named Rauner said back in 2012:

    “Melissa Harris: I’m going to come back to this. But I want to touch on two more areas first. What do you think in general about the influence of people with your means on the political process? You said shame on the politicians for listening to the CEOs. Do you think the ultrawealthy have an inordinate or inappropriate amount of influence on the political process?

    Ken Griffin: “I think they actually have an insufficient influence. Those who have enjoyed the benefits of our system more than ever now owe a duty to protect the system that has created the greatest nation on this planet. And so I hope that other individuals who have really enjoyed growing up in a country that believes in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – and economic freedom is part of the pursuit of happiness – (I hope they realize) they have a duty now to step up and protect that. Not for themselves, but for their kids and for their grandchildren and for the person down the street that they don’t even know …

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-11/business/ct-biz-0311-confidential-griffin-web-version-20120311_1_american-crossroads-politics-republicans-and-democrats/4


  73. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 5:05 pm:

    ===I dont know many people who wish they made $53 million a year. Or owned their own baseball team.===

    Apparently, we’ve never met.

    Just sayin…


  74. - A. Nonymous - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 5:12 pm:

    I’m sorry. What’d he say about working harder?

    I’d read the rest but I need to clip out a bunch of these cereal box tops because my kids’ public school gets a dime from Cheerios for each one we clip. The school is planning to end its gifted students program, y’know.


  75. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 5:34 pm:

    Juvenal said it best. Don’t you think that folks who aspired to conquer the world (control it) with their wealth would have made different choices to make it happen? These guys need to be happy in their achievements and leave others alone instead of picking pockets of people who don’t have nearly their wealth. What is their problem anyway? They need mine too?


  76. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Feb 6, 14 @ 7:08 pm:

    Oh, please–just stop your pontificating already, Sam. I alREADY had to take a couple of Extra-Strength TUMS to deal with an upset stomach thrust upon me earlier today…please, not for the end of the day, too, now!!

    I will add, though, that with the WindChill Factor at -4 below Zero outside, if they broadcast your condescending words to the Public enough outside with a bunch of Bull Horns right now, there might be enough HOT AIR generated to get that Factor number up to 0 or so…!!!


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