How America is rigged for the rich
This is kind of a ‘retweet’. I think this is important for the health and welfare of our nation, though I figure the rich have such a lock on things their hold is unbreakable. I would love to be wrong (I would love to be rich also), but I don’t have a lot of faith in my fellow sheeple. A couple of key paragraphs to encourage my regular reader(s) to take a look:
Contrary to myth, most of today’s plutocrats are not the kind of Steve Jobsian visionary risk-taking entrepreneurs or superstar celebrities. The .01%, for instance, tend overwhelmingly to be high-end corporate managers and executives, particularly on Wall Street, operating in interlocking networks that inflate the standard of what an executive is “worth.” Or they are the heirs of the great entrepreneurs (4 of the 10 richest Americans are children of Sam Walton), inheritors of fortunes of which it can truly be said, “someone else built that.”
Today, as it was during the last Gilded Age, the concentration of wealth gives the rich the political clout to further concentrate their wealth. (And now, as then, the Supreme Court greases the skids in the name of “liberty”). This clout is wielded in plain sight now, without any pretense of civic equality. And it calls to mind the warning attributed to Justice Louis Brandeis: “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
This isn’t to suggest that all super-wealthy people are “welfare kings” (they’re not) or to imply that they have a monopoly on selfishness or sociopathic attitudes (they don’t). Yet if it’s unfair to paint everyone in the 1% with the same unflattering brush of “dysfunctional culture,” isn’t it far worse to do the same to the poorest 20%?
If you have noticed a problem with my blog recently, let me apologize. It seems somehow people (or bots) were using my defunct forum (http://sol-biotech.com/cgi-bin/waxology/YaBB.cgi) to send spam and that was triggering some zombie processes which sucked up the available processes (my web servers are on a shared resource) which lead to defective presentations. I killed the zombies and disabled any ability to mail from the forum (at least I hope so), so ideally this won’t be an issue going forward.
Regarding my job search, it continues… I have some positive leads (I had a good interview yesterday at a company that promises an ACID compliant cloud database) and have another one tomorrow for an IC job. A couple of other things percolating: a wee bit of part-time work that might look good on my resume (one is for helping a guy with his stock trading platform and another to provide some expert opinions regarding computer architecture and performance) and a couple of promising contacts from recruiters. I have been working on my blubber reduction by going for walk/jogs most days (did 7 miles on Tuesday, didn’t even stop the whole time (which just shows how out of shape I have been in)), but still haven’t got my ass programming the game. Though I really have been busy with the job search, it generally is taking me anywhere from 2-6 hours a day (highly variable) and I have a couple of hours dedicated to too-ing and fro-ing the boy to school.
On my walk the other day I actually failed to notice most of the unfolding nature because I was deep in my noggin doing feasibility calculations for some osmotic energy ideas I have been thinking about the last couple of years. I think it might be possible to get a decent (20%+) return on capital building such a system, at least I am sure enough I believe I will start up a spreadsheet and start doing some in-depth economic research to get better information.
We primed the walls/ceiling of the pavilion last weekend, but it was so cool (around 50 F) that it didn’t dry fast enough for us to put the paint on. That is our goal for this Sat, then lay the floor, then things will really start to take shape when we put the cabinets in. It is finally getting exciting to go out each weekend, though sometimes a bit depressing when we only get half the stuff done we were hoping to. At least I can see the end…