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Burn-the-Wealth Bernie and His Partial Enslavement System
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“The top one-tenth of 1 percent in this country own almost 90 percent … as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent,” roared the independent senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, at the first Democratic primary debate of 2015, in Las Vegas.

Standing for president, Sanders implies, somehow, that there exists in nature a delimited income pie from which a disproportionate amount of wealth is handed over to, or seized, by a class of evil doers: “the rich.”

Clueless Sanders omits the process by which that wealth magically materializes.

Wealth doesn’t exist pristine in nature, until individuals—deserving as much, if not more, of the pope’s love as the poor—apply their smarts, labor and savings to transform raw materials into marketable things that satisfy human desire and need.

But not if one listens to the socialist from Vermont as, sadly, too many Americans did.

You ask, why was it not just as discouraging when even more Americans tuned in to watch the first and second Republican Primary Debates, 24 and 23 million respectively?

For this reason: While Republicans are never to be equated with freedom, smaller government, or anything remotely libertarian; the voting public equates a vote for a Republican with a vote for less government and more freedom from the state.

Therefore, an interest in and a support for a Democrat is often a reliable proxy for the measure of statism in the land.

Over fifteen million viewers tuned in to watch two washed-out, walking clichés of the hard left (Hillary Clinton and Mr. Sanders) join two other political phantoms no one had heard of before (Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee), to malign and bring down their betters: the “highly productive and provident one percent that provides the standard of living of a largely ignorant and ungrateful ninety-nine percent,” in the words of professor George Reisman, author of the seminal “Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics.”

Countering Sanders’ pie-in-the-sky economics, Reisman notes that, “The wealth of the 1 percent is the overwhelming source of the supply of goods that people buy and of the demand for labor that people sell.” The wealth of the rich is not to be found in a huge pile of goods from which only capitalists benefit, but in the means of production that benefit us all.

When Hillary Clinton “cogitates” about capitalism, she “thinks,” by her own admission at the same forum, “about small businesses.”

How does this cunning—never clever—woman imagine big, “bad” business began? In a free market, small and “medium-sized businesses” grow to become bigger and bigger through the only pure, fair democracy in existence: the consumer’s vote of confidence; his hard-earned dollar.

By logical extension, self-made rich people were once less rich, even poor. Why make them the object of derision once they get wealthier, create more enterprises, employ more people, and provide a good life for their own families and workers—a standard of living these parties were without until Evil Rich Man In-The-Making arrived on the scene?

Here’s why: Since left-liberals struggle to think logically, they treat “The Rich” as a reified, rigid state-of-being. Liberals, the true evildoers, are unable to understand that “rich” is a process, a work in progress.

Wealth creation is a righteous process, at that, provided it is achieved in voluntary cooperation: by offering people consumer goods they want, buildings to live in, resorts to visit, all sans subsidies or special grants of government privilege.

Jews like Sanders have forgotten that riches are a reward for work well done. In the Jewish faith’s infinite wisdom, wealth justly acquired is a sign of God’s blessing.

Democratic socialism, under which we already labor today in the USA, turns on Karl Marx’s maxim, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

Sanders’ idea, shared by others on stage, is the unnatural notion that the government is entitled to seize a portion of your income; that it has a lien on your life and on what you acquire in the course of sustaining that life.

Be it Hillary or burn-the-wealth Bernie—both agree that it is up to them, the all-knowing central planners, to determine how much of your life ought to be theirs to squander.

Capitalism, conversely, is not a system! It is the uniquely human actions that flow from a moral right to make a living freely and peacefully, absent coercion; by relying on the sanctity of private property upheld by the rule of law.

The voluntary free market is a sacred extension of life itself. Its logic is based on the sanctity of private property rights, beginning with the individual‘s title in his or her own body. Capitalism’s starting point is with the most important liberty of all: individual self-ownership.

The free market—it has not been unfettered for a very long time, courtesy of the political class—is really a spontaneously synchronized order, comprising trillions upon trillions of voluntary acts performed by individuals to sustain life.

So which is the philosophy of a free people? Capitalism, “the unknown ideal” (for nowhere is it practiced), or democratic socialism, that partial enslavement of a “system” espoused by Sanders and Clinton?

Tell me, too, how is it that Bernie Sanders is not laughed off the podium in 21st century America? Why are he and the harridan Hillary able to porcelainize and romanticize an ideology, democratic socialism, that’ll lead to further nationalization of a good deal of the means of production? How is it that, as a Gallup poll revealed, only “half the country would not put a socialist in the White House”?

This puzzle was explained succinctly and profoundly by another great economist.

In the introduction to F.A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom,” Milton Friedman put his finger on the backdrop to the growth of collectivism:

“The argument for collectivism is simple if false; it is an immediate emotional argument. The argument for individualism is subtle and sophisticated; it is an indirect rational argument.”

Marxism, socialism and its offshoot democratic socialism engage the gut, or the uterus, in the case of Hillary Clinton. Free-market capitalism engages the rational mind.

To his brilliantly stated aphorism, Dr. Friedman forgot to add this: Individualism and the economy of freedom is also the philosophy of justice.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2016 Election, Bernie Sanders, Inequality 
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  1. smarts my fucking ass. when billionaires and companies start to pay their share of the tax, I might just agree with you.

    the current system is rigged to hell and back.

    know the expression death and taxes? the taxes part doesn’t apply to the super rich.

    • Replies: @eah
    , @Wally
    , @follyofwar
  2. This sounds great – freedom! But it’s the standard Libertarian avoidance of the facts. Most wealth in the world is inherited, over 80%, and it’s getting worse. Most of these billionaires have never really worked at all. We are returning to a feudal state with kings and queens and royalty who own the political process through bribery call “contributions.” This is why the billionaires fund freedom think tanks like CATO, to keep the masses away from their unearned income.

    I’m all for equality and free markets, but then when someone dies 100% of what he has left should be returned to the government for basic services so the rest of us can live tax free and compete fairly. Yet the spinmasters created the death tax myth so they get unearned billions mostly tax free with scams like life insurance swaps and trusts, while they live overseas in luxury and fly about in private jets.

    Meanwhile, Joe Smo at MacDonald’s slaves away and pays SS tax and maybe income tax plus sales taxes, and pays inflated rent to the idle rich in Belize. The nation also pays massive sums for “interest” on the national debt, money that goes to billionaires who inherited these bonds. Read about some our nation’s richest people, billionaires who never really worked a day in their life, like the Walton (Walmart) kids. Good luck, that info is hard to find, but Mr. Unz knows of whom I write.

  3. Truth says:

    Wealth doesn’t exist pristine in nature, until individuals—deserving as much, if not more, of the pope’s love as the poor—apply their smarts, labor and savings to transform raw materials into marketable things that satisfy human desire and need.


    Yeah, but then their snot-nosed, useless, libertine kids inherit it.

    • Agree: Vendetta
    • Replies: @Wally
  4. Bliss says:

    Wealth doesn’t exist pristine in nature, until individuals—deserving as much, if not more, of the pope’s love as the poor—apply their smarts, labor and savings to transform raw materials into marketable things that satisfy human desire and need.

    Mercer is out of touch with reality. What raw materials are the hedge fund billionaires, for example, transforming into marketable things? Maybe she should listen to the candidate she is ostensibly supporting:

    Donald Trump wants to raise taxes on Wall Street’s hedge funders, who he claims are “getting away with murder.”

    “The hedge fund guys didn’t build this nation. These are guys who shift paper around and they get lucky,” Trump told CBS’ Face The Nation on Sunday. “They’re paying nothing and it’s ridiculous,”

    Efforts to raise taxes on this class of Wall Streeters, many of whom are billionaires, gained traction following the financial crisis and concerns of growing income inequality. President Barack Obama included a line item about it in his 2008 budget blueprint. But no proposal has yet succeeded in changing the law amid protests by industry advocates that such a change could hinder entrepreneurial risk taking.

    Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have also cried foul over this favorable tax structure in their campaigning.

  5. This article is nonsense.

    Much of the wealth that has trickled up to the 1% in recent years is not wealth based on productive activity. It’s wealth based on the fraud of fractional reserve banking – lending out what you don’t have and getting the suckers to pay it back with interest. Gambling with huge sums of money (derivatives) also plays a part as well as Forex fraud, Libor rate fraud and laundering money of drug cartels by big banks at the cost of a modest fine while users go to jail for life.

    • Replies: @advancedatheist
  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The 1% controlling 90% of the wealth are rarely self made businessmen in productive or service industries. They are FIRE sector rent seekers.

  7. Any manifestation of genuine Jeffersonian ideals of liberty gets buried under a mountain of Randroid bull shit. What Republicans and Libertarians have in common is social Darwinism. Only the Randroids exhibit this slavish worship of the rich. It’s disgusting. When the heroic and superior .01% have everything the stupid lazy 99.9% will have nothing. Thus will perfect justice be achieved in the Randroid free market paradise.

  8. eah says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    All the data you presented in your comment convinced me you are right in everything you said.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  9. The problem isn’t the lack of Wealth. It is the lac of money and the lack of policies to protect wealth formation in the middle class. This author should read Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson and other folk for a more informed opinion.

    We have lots of problems, here is a big one:

  10. @Carlton Meyer

    I’m all for equality and free markets, but then when someone dies 100% of what he has left should be returned to the government for basic services so the rest of us can live tax free and compete fairly.

    Gee, why wait until death? Why not take everything from Soros and Adelson now, liquidate it, and put them on welfare, or in prison, which is the same thing? Also, force them, at gunpoint, to retract their stated political beliefs on camera for public consumption.

    And not being able to pass your house on to one of your children… Yeah, that’s a recipe for stability.

    Your plan at best just takes from one of our enemies and gives it to another, more powerful one. A where’s the net gain?

    • Replies: @Realist
  11. SteveM says:

    Re: “The wealth of the 1 percent is the overwhelming source of the supply of goods that people buy and of the demand for labor that people sell.”

    Oh that’s rich. As if the 1% actually make stuff and deliver services that are value added to anyone but themselves.

    The American economy has been partitioned into its classic components, (which have been and are being off-shored and out-sourced away) and the huge and opaque “financial services” sector in which the only products are electron churn. With the Crony 1% skimming off a chunk with every turn of the crank. Not a big market from the 99% for electron churn in a bottle.

    OBTW, add in the Cronies’ symbiotic relationships with the enabling Political-Parasites in Washington DC that grease their skids through wired laws and regulation to more, no-risk no-value profits taxed at gamed rates.

    When I read naive trash like this it causes me to question the intelligence of the writer in every dimension. I.e., How can Ilana Mercer not see the obvious?

    Oh well, looks like I gotta chalk up Ilana Mercer as another intellectual mediocrity to ignore…

  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Mercer needs a serious dose of Gergory Clark.

  13. Sherman says:

    One thing I find so interesting about Bernie’s campaign is that virtually everyone at his rallies is white.

    Bernie himself represents a state – Vermont – that is over 90% white.

    This seems to prove that it’s very easy to be liberal and progressive and open-minded about the world – just as long as you exist in an all white bubble.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @anowow
    , @Truth
  14. JustJeff says:

    I think the fact that a human beings worth is decided by how much money they make is what I most about this country. I can understand that socialism can be bad but treating poor people like animals is worse. Seriously, dogs get better treatment in this country than a poor human that works 50 hours a week for chicken scratch. Go back to Israel, Ilana.

    • Replies: @Ivan
    , @Newdist
  15. Leftist conservative [AKA "radical_centrist"] says: • Website

    what a load of nonsense…this column represents perhaps some of the worst of the dissident right….the dissident right attracts white readers (and especially white males) because the establishment is putting out anti-white, anti-male propaganda.

    And then you get whites and white male readers looking for someone or some outlet to stand up for them.

    Voila, the Dissident Right.

    But then instead of helping to solve the problems, the Dissident Right instead starts putting out this weird nonsensical propaganda that rails against socialism, arguing that the anti-white, anti-male propaganda that is being directed at its white male readers is socialism. Wow. You think the establishment is socialist?? LOL. …wow…just wow…
    And it is not just this Ilana Mercer that is generating this sort of nonsense…the entire dissident right is generating propaganda against economic leftism, saying that anti-white, anti-male propaganda from the establishment is all about socialism. It has nothing to DO with socialism. This anti-white, anti-male propaganda is about CAPITALISM.

    All this anti-white, anti-male propaganda that is being generated by the establishment has to do with MONEY. The establishment is NOT socialist. FAR from it. Oh, so far from it.

    The establishment represents Capital. Big Money.

    Let me clue you in–Big Money is not socialist. Big Money is capitalist. Socialism versus capitalism–it is important to understand the differences between these two systems. Lucky for you, I am here to help you do that:

    Capitalism is about profits, private property. Goods and services are sold for a profit. Private property is used to turn a profit.

    Socialism is about property held in common, no profits. The government owns everything. It’s illegal to make a profit. No private property.

    Are we clear on that?

    The establishment generates anti-white, anti-male propaganda because that propaganda helps Big Money generate MORE profits. Big Money controls the establishment. In america, Big Money controls the government, the entertainment industry, academia, the educational system. All these powerful american institutions generate propaganda to help Big Money get more profits. What sort of propaganda?
    Anti-white, anti-male propaganda.

    That anti-white, anti-male propaganda helps expand the supply of workers and consumers. More workers increases the supply of labor, which helps suppress wage growth. And how does wage growth suppression help to increase Big Money profits? I leave that as an exercise for the reader.

    Anti-white, anti-male propaganda also helps increase the supply of consumers. More consumers means more sales. And how does higher sales increase Big Money profits? Another exercise for the reader.

    And that’s the lesson for today, kids!

    • Agree: iffen
    • Replies: @iffen
  16. Sam Shama says:

    This is a cynical post.

    Bernie never implied “burn the wealth”, nor did he speak of destroying the initiative of the individual, innovation etc. Notice he spoke of the 0.1%, the section of society that has cornered through regulatory capture (the dividend and capital gains preferential taxation) a level of wealth, previously not witnessed in history by such a small group. We are talking roughly about 400 families in the U.S.

    Perhaps you ought to consider toning down the John Galt theory of economics a wee bit? When societies become this unbalanced, they are typically ripe for upheaval, something not to look forward to.

  17. Vendetta says:

    “You are SO beautiful, my Baron. Your skin, love to me. Your diseases lovingly cared for, for all eternity.”

  18. What you say, Ilana, would possibly be true given one major condition and that is that your so-called rich share the same general conditions of life with the common people. In other words, no absenteeism. The rich would really and metaphorically drive on the same roads as the common person. They would not fly to work in jets or helicopters far above the drudgery and fray of daily life. They could not evade the consequences of their policies.

    They must share the conditions which their decisions created. This means also that they cannot rend the social contract by importing outsiders to put a thumb on the scales of labor justice. They will not, in a phrase, be absentee landlords ruling over tenants who have no rights. They must be co-equal with their fellow citizens and as fellow citizens they would have a stake in the outcome of every decision they made. They could not avoid consequences.

    They could not have dual loyalties or dual citizenship. They could not bring in outsiders and thereby undermine the position of those citizens to whom they are bound by the oath of citizenship. They would not be free to pick and choose which laws they would obey and those they would ignore by e.g. keeping foreign bank accounts. They must be 100% invested in the nation they live in and 100% committed to their fellow citizens. All else is treasonous.

    In any scenario of divided loyalties wealth brings opportunities for arbitrage, pitting one helpless group of peoples against another to the advantage of the more powerful. This is inimical to the sustenance of a stable and Just State. Capitalism was originally conceived in this spirit of national loyalty and outside of that context, it has no moral sanction. A more comprehensive Law trumps Hayek or Friedman, and that is that the more the wealthy share in the conditions of the common citizen, as is the case with Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland etc., then–disparities in wealth notwithstanding–the more agreeable the living conditions of that society.

  19. “In the Jewish faith’s infinite wisdom, wealth justly acquired is a sign of God’s blessing.”

    Presbyterians believe this nonsense as well. In fact, this sort of belief system is one of the causes of a great deal of neurosis among religious people who NEVER achieve economic success. Sad stuff.

  20. @Carlton Meyer

    “when someone dies 100% of what he has left should be returned to the government for basic services so the rest of us can live tax free and compete fairly. ”

    Returned to the Government?

    You are a moron. The govenment did not create the wealth nor give it, Fuck off back to Salon or Huffington.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  21. David says:

    This is a good article for imparting the true faith. It was reading like a sermon even before it started quoting Milton Friedman. The problem is that society does have some claim to the productive labor of its members because if it didn’t, all sorts of essential institutions would fail. The political question is how much. Just saying we all get to keep what we come by honestly assumes we all agree on what honestly means.

    If you’re not talking about trade-offs, you’re not addressing the public good.

  22. Wally says: • Website
    @Astuteobservor II

    Why should the government steal peoples money (and corporations are people, all retirement funds for people are deeply invested in corporations) to give to those who will not work?

    aka: the makers robbed to pay the takers

    And then your basic premise is embarrassingly wrong, see:

    You are also ignorant of the fact that ca. 50% of those working paid zero federal income tax, that’s a big ZERO.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    , @Biff
  23. Marais says:

    When an American presidential candidate makes $21,600,000/year ($59,178/day) and pays the same tax rate (13.9%) as a $35,000/year AGI wage earner, it’s oligarchy, not capitalism.

    When six Waltons, part of a select group most dependent on expensive American global hegemony to ensure overseas outsource venues, can pay a lower tax rate than a simple laborer and amass $175,000,000,000 in wealth it’s hereditary oligarchy, not capitalism

    When GE, despite multiple government contracts and reliance on US global dominance, pays no Federal tax and $250 in CT state tax , it’s corporate feudalism, not capitalism.

    And when Senator Judd Gregg can author TARP to rescue financial institutions holding his own multi-million dollar investments, then retire as a highly paid adviser to Goldman Sachs (also rescued), it’s corruption, not capitalism.

  24. Wally says: • Website
    @Carlton Meyer

    Sir, you are woefully indoctrinated / uninformed.

    Most Millionaires Self-Made, Study Says–study-says-14565.html

    ” Most Americans with $1 million or more in assets made their money on their own, according to a study by BMO Private Bank released today.

    Sixty-seven percent of high-net-worth Americans are self-made millionaires, according to the survey. Only 8 percent inherited their wealth. One third of the millionaires surveyed were women and half of them made their own fortunes.”


    Most billionaires are self-made, not heirs

    Most individuals on the Forbes 400 list did not inherit the family business but rather made their own fortune. Kaplan and Rauh found that 69 percent of those on the list in 2011 started their own business, compared with only 40 percent in 1982. In other words, there are fewer people on the Forbes 400 list who came from an affluent background and eventually took over the family business, such as brothers David and Charles Koch (Koch Industries) and the Walton siblings (Wal-Mart), and more self-made people such as Bill Gates (Microsoft), Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway), Philip Knight (Nike), and Stephen Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), who had an upper middle-class upbringing and eventually built their own successful companies.”

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    , @Realist
    , @Anonymous
  25. Wally says:

    “Yeah, but then their snot-nosed, useless, libertine kids inherit it.”

    Not true, see my reply to Carlton Meyer.

    You are just spouting more neo-Marxist nonsense.

    • Replies: @Truth
  26. There is nothing morally wrong with massive wealth earned in either the free market or inherited from our ancestors.

    The problem we have is our markets are not really free – we exist in a sort of corporate/fascist state where massive wealth is gained through political favour. Too much wealth held in the hands of the so called 1% is the result of political corruption if not outright theft. Until this changes neither Ilana nor Mr. Sanders has a leg to stand on.

  27. Wally says: • Website

    Yes, and in almost all cases phony white leftists live about as far away from blacks as is possible.

    Go ahead and ask them why they don’t move to Compton, CA.

    When their incomes are further degraded by the Bernie Sanders types they will change their tune in heartbeat. That’s assuming most of them aren’t on the dole already.

    also see:
    Wealth, Poverty and Politics

  28. advancedatheist [AKA "RedneckCryonicist"] says:
    @Tsar Nicholas

    the fraud of fractional reserve banking

    What stupid libertarian propaganda. People knowingly consent to their banks’ practice of fractional reserve banking when they deposit money into these institutions, and they have done so literally for centuries. You can’t possibly call the practice “fraud” when people understand and agree to what banks do with their money – and in other contexts libertarians respect voluntary contracts in the market .

  29. AndrewR says:

    Isnt it 2015 or am I missing something. People keep talking about millionaires as if a million dollars was still an astronomical sum of money. Google “inflation.”

    As for billionaires, yes most are self-made but statistically their descendents will live like royalty for generations without doing anything.

    Personally I’m in favor of a progressive estate tax. If you leave a million dollars to your kids they should get the vast majority of it. If you leave a billion dollars to your kids, the vast majority should end up in state coffers.

    • Replies: @Wally
  30. AndrewR says:
    @Bill Jones

    Mature adults by definition engage in civil conversation. Telling someone to fuck off is not winning the argument, despite what your middle school colleagues may tell you.

    • Agree: geokat62
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  31. Lupa says:

    Once again another terrible piece of text from Ilana Mercer. Not because I completely disagree – but because it has the intellectual depth of a college freshman. I asked before: why is this author being featured on this otherwise high-quality website?

    Unless one believes in religious dogmas, statements like: “wealth creation is a righteous process” has no practical bearing. There is no way for anyone to opt-out of a country’s laws, all laws are arbitrary ideas so what’s righteous means nothing – because righteous has no clear definition.

    One can either be an idealist, and draw very vague principles out of which laws are then materialized. Or one can be pragmatic, set out a goal, and adapt laws accordingly.
    If the goal in the latter case is a stable, peaceful society for the highest amount of citizens – obviously this current crony capitalism is not the optimum, since it in many ways thrives on insecure working conditions for people, over-consumtion and low social cohesion among the citizenry.

    Simple as that. There really isn’t any way to argue about this without applying subjetive values at some point. This inability to deal with anything but black/white argumentation is just childish – even with increased taxation would corporations and individuals be wealthy, it’s just a matter of balance.

    As far as I’m concerned Bernie Sanders is the guy I’d vote for given the chance. Him or Trump, though I’m not entirely convinced by the latter. Ideally a combination of the former’s integrity and reason, with Trump’s businessy way of dealing with things, and stance on migration.
    Anyway, I’m happy to read the comments here. Once again they confirm my high expectations of the conservative readership at UNZ.

    • Agree: Vendetta
  32. AndrewR says:

    This is by far the worst, most unnuanced, juvenile, plutocratic sycophancy I have read on this site and probably any other. Congratulations on alienating 90% of the population using your ignorant Randian clichés. How dare people expect their income and wealth to increase at a double digit rate like billionaires instead of near zero?

    • Replies: @Wally
  33. advancedatheist [AKA "RedneckCryonicist"] says:

    So why don’t we change incentive structures in the U.S. to make it easier for families to build and sustain family fortunes? This current nonsense called “retirement planning” basically encourages people during their working lives to accumulate assets that they turn around and deplete during their last years, and then their children inherit the leftovers, if any, after they die. In a system of family fortunes more widely established, generations could live off the income of invested capital and enjoy a better quality of life and freedom from dependency on the state. With all the talk about “sustainability” these days, you’d think more people would see the advantages of the family fortune as a platform for sustainable human life support.

  34. Lupa says:

    A free market is a working animal. Democratic government is a farmer.
    The latter has a mind, a purpose, but is terribly ineffective at plowing on its own. The former however is just a wild beast without directions from the farmer. As long as the latter stays in command, while appreciating and nurturing the former – the plowing will be very effective and the farm (society) will thrive.
    However empowering the former on behalf of the latter, serves no purpose for the farm, only the animal itself.
    That’s my favorite analogy on government and market.

  35. anowow says:

    It proves that, wittingly or not, willingly or not, people of color have been the rich white man’s best economic and political friends. And they will go for Hillary, I suspect, who is truly a friend of [aggressive professional] women [with salaries starting at around 100k and assets], black people [of US or Subsaharan elite circles] and [rich] white men.

    She is the strong horse, particularly after Sanders rolled over and exposed his belly in submissive fashion at that debate, verbally licking ……

    Ethnic or social outsiders like slaves (as laborers, soldiers or bureaucrats) have benefited centralizing elites and dynasties and at other times they have benefited economic elites intent on keeping the indigenous proto-middle classes- the sturdy peasants, tribesmen and petty gentry- out of competition with their offspring.

    This can be seen in Roman, Anglo and Latin American, South Asian and Ancient and Medieval Middle Eastern history. Are there parallels to slave bureaucrats, slave labor or ghulams in East Asia or the pre-Columbian Americas?

  36. Realist says:

    Ilana, you paint a pretty picture. But it is just a pipe dream. If free market capitalism ever existed in this country, it has been dead for decades. I sure as hell am not a collectivist or socialist. But your suggestion that the rich 1% are smarter and make life so wonderful for the less smart is just bullshit. There is no chance that the rich are a million times smarter than anyone else. There is so much corruption and crony capitalism in our system it is completely useless to the vast majority.
    Explain Adelson, what does he do for people to make their life better? Or as someone else said hedge fund managers. Or how about Elon Musk, one of your country men. He is living off government subsidies. The electric auto will never out perform the internal combustion engine. The internal combustion engine has 37 times the energy density of the best battery.
    The rich continue to whine about how much tax they pay, but they continue to consolidate their wealth.

    • Replies: @Karl
  37. Realist says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    “Gee, why wait until death? Why not take everything from Soros and Adelson now, liquidate it, and put them on welfare, or in prison, which is the same thing?”

    That is an excellent idea. Neither one does anything worth a shit.

    • Agree: Vendetta
  38. Realist says:

    Bill Gates was not the brains behind the software at Microsoft, but he was a beneficiary of a monopoly.

    • Replies: @Wally
  39. @advancedatheist

    Moat people don’t understand fractional reserve banking, so their connsent is impossible.

    In any event nobody consented to pure criminality in teh form of forex and interest rate fiddling etc.

    • Agree: Vendetta
  40. Realist says:

    ” People knowingly consent to their banks’ practice of fractional reserve banking when they deposit money into these institutions, and they have done so literally for centuries.”

    That is silly bullshit. Probably 99% of the people don’t know what fractional reserve banking means. And if they did what choice do they have?

  41. @eah

    all the data you and the author brought forth has also convinced me.

    • Replies: @eah
  42. @Wally

    Did I comment about wealth distribution? did I? ????????????????????????

    please link to the article in question on pew. I would love to read it in it’s entirety.

    and I paid my 33% tax every fucking year.

  43. The Zionists bankers including Rothschild family accumulate their wealth, NOT by working hard, but by deception, colonial robbery and stealing. To understand how capitalism, slavery, works, please read “Jews and Modern Capitalism” by Werner Sombart. It should be on the net.

    I never seen such a BS commentary in my life. Go back to Israel, as other said.

    • Replies: @Karl
  44. Wally says: • Website

    “As for billionaires, yes most are self-made but statistically their descendents will live like royalty for generations without doing anything.

    Personally I’m in favor of a progressive estate tax. If you leave a million dollars to your kids they should get the vast majority of it. If you leave a billion dollars to your kids, the vast majority should end up in state coffers.”

    So what? Don’t parents have the right to provide for their families? They made the money, not the ever expanding ‘government’.

    Of course inherited money is then taxable each year to the benefit of the corrupt state. So in reality the corrupt state gains more by not seizing the money.
    That money is invested by its rightful owners into endless numbers of ventures which creates jobs and those jobs generate more taxes. That money spend for lifestyles which in themselves require high expenditures, thus pumping cash into the economy.

    Yes, the government is clueless about long term reality.

    Why should the state have more money for their wars, bailouts of poorly run banks, their bridges to nowhere, their rights infringing ‘regulatory’ agencies, and the grotesquely high wages paid to government employees; all known as vote buying.

    You are advocating killing the goose who laid the golden egg.

    Think past your naval.

    • Replies: @siberiancat
  45. jtgw says: • Website

    You can’t deny the problem, which is that wealth is being increasingly concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite. The issue is how to identify the cause of the problem. Bernie thinks it’s the fault of the unregulated free market, and Ilana is right to ridicule that notion. But for a long time Ron Paul has argued that the Federal Reserve system, whereby the central bank just creates new money out of nothing, benefits the elite and the politically connected. It’s CEOs who reap the windfall benefits of all the new money pumped into the economy by the Fed, while the middle class only get the rising prices and devaluation of their savings that comes afterwards.

  46. Spoken like a true, ignorant Randroid. If one looks at the Global Entrepreneurship & Development Index, the US is indeed #1. Most of the rest of the top ten are Scandinavian and other North European social democracies. All of them have much broader distribution of wealth, better health care, better old-age benefits and better educational systems than the US. There are a lot of the top 1% who inherited their money or who engaged in dubious vulture-capitalist ventures.

    • Replies: @Karl
    , @jtgw
  47. Wally says: • Website

    Right, a “monopoly” where the price of Microsoft goods & service dropped & dropped.

    Some “monopoly”.

    Bill Gates employs thousands, who, hellooo, pay taxes.

    • Replies: @Realist
  48. Wally says: • Website

    And why do people’s income & wealth generally not increase?

    Because their savings no longer earn interests because the corrupt Federal Reserve is giving trillions to banks interest free. Why should the banks pay interest to savers when the Fed gives them money to invest interest free?

    As for billionaires who you say earn “double digit rate”. Please cite examples of such, and most likely it because of a big government action.

    The big government you think should steal everyone’s money is the same big government engaged in deciding the winners & losers.

    Where do you think all the casino money for playing the stock market is coming from?
    Janet Yellen (head of The Federal Reserve), that’s who

    You’re just making stuff up.

  49. Realist says:

    “Right, a “monopoly” where the price of Microsoft goods & service dropped & dropped.”
    As did the quality. When you have a monopoly you don’t have to raise prices.
    The Republicans thought Microsoft had a monopoly.

    “Bill Gates employs thousands, who, hellooo, pay taxes.”
    Sadly the ‘workers’ pay a higher per cent in taxes than Billy Boy.

    Bill lucked out. He did not make his money by ability or brains. He was in the right place at the right time.

    • Replies: @Wally
  50. eah says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    I did not make any specific claims.

    Are you really that dumb? Don’t answer that! It’s a rhetorical question. If you don’t know what that is — see question above — go look it up.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  51. @advancedatheist

    Heavens! What you’re saying is that, because I use a bank which forms part of the fractional reserve monopoly created by state law (1913, if I am not mistaken)—I am complicit in inflating the money supply!!!!

    By the same illogic, yours, every individual who has no option but to work for government to feed his family is guilty of theft (from taxpayers) because the state has left him no other option. Government, through regulation, taxation, nationalization of parts of the economy (schools), etc., limits employment and banking opportunities.

    My friend professor Walter Block: He was forced to work for a state university for so long, not b/c he liked it, but to feed his family. Walter was a victim of state aggression, not a perp; a victim being held hostage by the state.

    I know of brave individuals who go off the grid to avoid FR banking. I’m not brave like that. Does that makes me complicit in state crime????? Besides, most people do not even understand fractional reserve banking.

    • Agree: jtgw
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @Junior
  52. Biff says:

    The voluntary free market is a sacred extension of life itself.

    If there is anything that scares the bejesus out of the oligarchs, it is a real dyed in the wool free market system , and it is why the United States will never, ever see a decent health care system, or a decent education system, and if you think I’m full of it – ask a farmer. Your food and booze is one of the most monopolized and cornered markets in the U.S.

    Free Trade Acts – are always the opposite of the title – just like anything with the word “free” in any title.

    Banks – creating wealth out of thin air to keep you in debt – that’s the plan, and what’s wrong with it if it keeps people happy?

  53. Biff says:

    Income tax is only about 22% of what the Federal government takes in, in the form of taxes. Everybody pays, and like the casino, the collectors quip: “In the end we get it all”

    What you have is a political ‘talking point’ that has been worn out ten years ago.

    • Replies: @Wally
  54. nickels says:

    Some form of socialism might be of interest, but only if is of the right wing variety which still recognizes personal distinction and talent.

    And as long as I don’t have to live in it….

  55. TheJester says:

    Ilana, you are among the first bloggers in the Unz Review to be so far off the mark as to be an embarrassment.

    There has never been a “market economy” (as understood by economists at the University of Chicago) in the history of Western Civilization nor in any other civilization/era. Markets are and always have been manipulated by those with wealth and power … cartels; monopolies; taxes breaks; insider trading; laws governing inheritance; immigration policies and feminism to funnel workers into the system keep wages down; or, most important, deciding who are charged with the crimes they commit and who exempt from prosecution.

    The “Chicago School” deals in abstract economic theory. Historians deal with historical facts … what has actually happened in the human condition.

    If you need a reference from a accomplish historian, I recommend Carroll Quigley’s “Tragedy and Hope”, which catalogs the history of the Industrial Revolution (a.k.a. capitalism), from the 18th Century through the 1960s. This is the story about what really happened as wealth, power, and greed took its toll on the human race.

  56. @eah

    all I did was employ the same tactic you used in your comment :/

    get it? simple enough?

  57. “Wealth doesn’t exist pristine in nature, until individuals apply their smarts, labor and savings to transform raw materials into marketable things that satisfy human desire and need”

    give me a fucking break, i’m sure this isn’t the guy/gal he’s referring to. It’s the moneyed class that certainly isn’t working or the CEO with the golden parachute (like the failed VW CEO with what??? $70,000,000 gift for failure…..and yes i know that isn’t an american company dumb dumb it’s just the latest example of the reality) that drives his country into the ground and then walks away with millions.

    and don’t get me started on the banker class busy doing gods work.

    that is who the American people are pissed at, pointing out some guy who hires 20 people and makes a good living WORKING is not the issue. You making that person the issue makes you look like a fool,

    p.s. i would never vote for either party as they are both in on it AND make no mistake, if this asshole was to win NOTHING WOULD CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    p.p.s. edit: I’ve read several replies in the comments section and i’m glad to see others “get it”

  58. Sam Shama says:
    @ilana mercer

    My friend professor Walter Block: He was forced to work for a state university for so long, not b/c he liked it, but to feed his family. Walter was a victim of state aggression, not a perp; a victim being held hostage by the state.

    Why do characterise his choice to teach at his current institution as forced? I would say that he is gainfully employed. The multitude of “disciplines” that find succour these days in academia, might lead some to observe that even alchemy ought to find a home somewhere: after all they might employ chrysopoeia to perfectly control the Money Supply!

  59. @Wally

    Do you realize that you effectively argue in favor of aristocracy?

    • Replies: @Wally
  60. iffen says:
    @Leftist conservative

    It could be a good thing if the HBD realist group is big enough to split into left and right.

  61. MJB says:

    I love Ilana on foreign policy but she’s living in the 20th century on economics and finance.
    The .1% has seen a spectacular increase in unearned income thanks to the Fed and ZIRP.
    Meanwhile the “capitalists” replace American labor with foreign labor and use their lobbyists to rig markets. Call it crony capitalism.

    • Agree: Realist
  62. Karl says:
    @No Second Israel

    >> Jews like Sanders have forgotten that riches are a reward for work well done

    So what’s Hillary’s excuse for having forgotten?

  63. Karl says:
    @Adolf Verloc

    >>> or who engaged in dubious vulture-capitalist ventures

    ah, the notorious complaint against “speculators”.

    You know why you are even ABLE to buy fire insurance on your home?

    Because there is someone out there, who is SPECULATING that your house will ==not== burn down this year.

    • Replies: @Adolf Verloc
  64. jtgw says: • Website
    @Adolf Verloc

    Many of these Nordic alleged socialist paradises are in fact better at the free market than the US in many ways, which may have something to do with why they are more prosperous.

    • Replies: @Adolf Verloc
  65. Renoman says:

    Well I’m certainly not against people making money but the kind of money these guys are making is waaay too much like stealing for me to stomach. I’d send em all to Sea in a leaky boat.

  66. Karl says:

    >> Explain Adelson, what does he do for people to make their life better?

    Ask his customers. His loyal, paying customers.

    How many do ==you== have?

  67. @jtgw

    I agree wholeheartedly, jtgw. Most of these countries are great places for entrepreneurs and start-ups. I do technology assessment, and I am always amazed at the number of new, small, high-tech companies sprouting up there.

  68. @Karl

    There are speculators, and then there are vultures. Firms like Elliot Management bought up defaulted sovereign debt of countries such as Peru and Argentina and sued to get paid ahead of investors who had agreed to restructure terms. These vermin should be riding in tumbrels, not Rolls-Royces.

    • Replies: @Karl
  69. Wally says: • Website

    And what argument are you referring to? Please be specific.

    That families cannot provide for their family members?

    Here’s more for your antiquated neo-Marxist arguments:

    ‘Top 20% of Earners Pay 84% of Income Tax
    And the bottom 20%? They get paid by Uncle Sam.

    “The three million people in the top 1% of earners pay nearly half the income tax.”

    Hurts don’t it?

  70. Everybody knows that rich people are hard workers. All those people in Bangladesh are just lazy.

  71. Wally says: • Website

    Biff, you are embarrassing yourself.

    “The individual income tax remains the most important levy in the U.S., providing nearly half of federal revenue.”
    “The three million people in the top 1% of earners pay nearly half the income tax.”
    Top 20% of Earners Pay 84% of Income Tax
    And the bottom 20%? They get paid by Uncle Sam.


    • Replies: @Biff
    , @Biff
  72. Odysseus says: • Website

    I am not one of the would-be socialists who want to redistribute the wealth. However, the idea that the wealthiest in this country “earned ” their way to the top is naive and absurd. Their speculation does not create a high standard of living.

    Don’t get me wrong, certainly there are many people who have built businesses and made life better for all of us while getting fabulously rich. Kudos to them and may they pass a significant portion (but not all) of their wealth on to their children.

    But I am not going to sit by quietly while someone trumpets bullshit about the nobility of all those bastards who have fucked this country in the ass since 2007.

  73. […] Source: Burn-the-Wealth Bernie and His Partial Enslavement System – The Unz Review […]

  74. OutWest says:

    There’s an unhealthy symbiotic relationship with government be it populism or crony capitalism. In either case the politicians win as the public toggles from side to side. Each of us has to reexamine what’s actually happening.

    For instance we’d all like to be at least somewhat wealthy. To do so we need to accumulate some seed wealth which can only be realized through earning more income than outgo, i.e. income is the rate of change of wealth, not itself wealth. The politicians say tax wealth but they tax income. Buffett doesn’t need income since he has already taxed wealth that grows tax free.
    Assuming our republic is predicated on protection of life, liberty and property as advertised, capitalism, as opposed to socialism, is a de facto economic system. We’re all free to form a coop or commune as long as we respect the right of others not to join. Socialism seriously compromises liberty and property. Left unchecked, it can morph into fascism –government control of property while title remains private- or even feudalism where our betters look after us. And Fabian socialism sneaks up without notice.

    Individual economic freedom, which is necessary for capitalism as an individual choice, is not easy and has many campaigning to defeat it. But it’s done more than society as a whole than any other known system.

    Of course there are also wars and other various emergencies that require submission to government edicts. But that’s another subject.

  75. Junior [AKA "Jr."] says:

    Over fifteen million viewers tuned in to watch two washed-out, walking clichés of the hard left (Hillary Clinton and Mr. Sanders)

    Be it Hillary or burn-the-wealth Bernie—both agree that it is up to them, the all-knowing central planners, to determine how much of your life ought to be theirs to squander.

    The WHOLE purpose of this god-awful article is to try and make people equate the Bankster controlled Hillary with populism. The author doesn’t believe ANY of this drivel that she wrote. It’s an attempt to change Hillary’s narrative to one of populism so that when she gets the nomination, which Bernie handed to her during the debate, people will think that her pandering lies of how she will go after the banks are true.

    Don’t fall for this bullshit. The author is trying to divert our attention to a different argument while subconciously her real intent is being done of pouring water on the planted seeds of the “Hillary is for the People” lie. Hillary is neither hard left nor is she a populist and the author KNOWS it.

    • Replies: @Junior
  76. Realist says:

    “Ask his customers. His loyal, paying customers.”

    I was asking people like you who support his lack of integrity.

    He makes his money from weak people. He is a scumbag.

  77. Wally says: • Website

    “Sadly the ‘workers’ pay a higher per cent in taxes than Billy Boy.”

    I thought not.

    And BTW, Gates pays his 10,000 employees salaries who themselves are then ripped off by big gov.

    “Bill lucked out. He did not make his money by ability or brains. He was in the right place at the right time.”
    He was smart enough to form a business, hire thousands and make products people buy in droves.
    That’s not “luck”, it’s effort, get some.

    I noticed you dropped your silly ‘monopoly’ nonsense.

    I see your envy.

    • Replies: @Realist
  78. Junior [AKA "Jr."] says:


    Subconsciously NOT subconciously.

  79. Art says:

    Choosing between Big Money Capitalism and Big Government is a false choice. There is nothing written in stone that says we must have either. It is unquestionably true that neither serve mankind in the long run. They both end up in catastrophic events for all us average folks – big crashes and big wars. We human folk must agree to only an economic system that serves us – PERIOD. Currently our system serves big government people and big money people. We can do better.

    No question, volitional private enterprise is a wonderful thing (i.e., the delivery of goods and services in a free market) – big money banking and big paper capital in the hands of a few is a bad thing (Wall Street) – who can disagree with that?

    There is something very wrong when the Walton family has more disposable wealth than the combined disposable wealth of all those folks who ever worked at Wal-Mart. Did Bill Walton really contribute 100% of the effort that built Wal-Mart, or did the hundreds of thousands of employees also contribute to the capital wealth of Wal-Mart? If they did, then why do they not share in Wal-Mart’s capital wealth? Why are they not Wal-Mart owners?

    We need a system of local ownership and local control of enterprise – not a system where all the economic decisions and all the long term disposable wealth flows to a few in Wall Street.

  80. Biff says:

    Citing a Rupert Murdoch rag is somehow credible these days. Anything from NPR while you’re at it?

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    , @Wally
  81. Biff says:
    @Bill Jones

    From your link:

    Do average Republicans and conservatives agree with Ron Paul? Do most registered Republicans really advocate eliminating income taxes, abolishing entire federal agencies, repealing the Federal Reserve Act, ending all foreign interventions, and drastically downsizing the US military? Are most conservatives, in their hearts, radically anti-state? The answer is no. Most conservatives are only nominally less statist, often more corporatist, and almost invariably more militarist than progressives.

    This is why I always have and will continue to look at the right with a huge element of uncertainty. Are they actually conservative or hoodwinked right wingers? BIG DIFFERENCE!

  82. Biff says:

    And the bottom 20%? They get paid by Uncle Sam.

    And chances are they work for Wal-mart or McDonalds, and receive welfare as a form of a corporate subsidy for their employer.

    Corporate America: “Can’t live on our wages? Get the government to pay for what we don’t want to.”

    • Replies: @Wally
  83. @AndrewR

    I largely agree but I’m done with the State owns everything idiots.

  84. @Biff

    But the numbers are about right.

  85. Wally says: • Website

    Prove it wrong, little Marxist.
    I know, you cannot.

    And do note that they cite IRS numbers. Oops.

    • Replies: @Biff
  86. Wally says: • Website

    Wal- Mart pays above minimum wage.

    And anyone working at MacDonalds deserves to work at MacDonalds, what else could they do with such low IQs. They should be thankful.

    “Chances are”?
    Is that your best shot?

    When in a hole, stop digging, silly boy.

    • Replies: @Vendetta
  87. Junior [AKA "Jr."] says:
    @ilana mercer

    Ms. Mercer, would you care to explain on what basis you have come up with the notion that Hillary is not the epitome of a crony-capitalist?

    Hillary who does NOT want to break up the “too big to fail” banks, does NOT want the Glass-Steagall Act re-imposed, who’s top contributors are: Morgan Stanley $636,564, Lehman Brothers $362,853, JPMorgan Chase $696,456, Goldman Sachs $760,740, Credit Suisse $318,120, Citigroup Inc $824,402, and who’s speaking fees from Wall Street have made her a MULTI-millionaire, is NOT a crony-capitalist?!

    Are you TRYING to propagate the false narrative of her being a Born-Again-Populist that she has been pandering about in her speeches lately? Why did you include her in this article?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @ilana mercer
  88. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Warren Buffet was himself a third or forth generation Harvard Alumni, his predecessors had been Congressmen. Bill Gates’ parents were both Corporate Lawyers, at least minor VIPs themsleves in the State of Washington, and also multi-gen Ivy League alumni themselves – their phone calls got Billy in the door of the Big Companies to sell DOS (most 19-year olds asking to meet with the CEO would be laughed at, or given an internship application and never get past the gatekeepers, even if they had the secret to Cold Fusion in their hands – but when mommy or daddy says “Hey, Buddy, great golf game last week. Listen, can you give my kid 10 minutes next thursday?”, door open).

    See also Holmes of Theranos, she is at least 4th or 5th Gen ultra-wealthy, her father is the “Water Czar” and rotates in and out of Government and Infrastructure Companies. Her great grandma was a famous actress married to her great grandfather who was a wealthy heir. She shares with the Clintons in that they were both connected to Yeast and Lace fortunes.

  89. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Hillary Clinton is an heir to a great family fortune, also. Her father was a NY State Senator and a textile magnate. Her grandfather was an investor in Scranton Lace, a big textiles company.

    The only person on the top 10 list that didn’t start life as a member a 1%er family was Larry Ellison. His fortune is from being in the right place at the right time – Intelligence Industry when Databases and Computers were being introduced.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  90. Truth says:

    One thing I find so interesting about Bernie’s campaign is that virtually everyone at his rallies is white.

    So is everyone at Rand Paul’s rallies, Socrates.

    • Replies: @Deduction
    , @Father O'Hara
  91. Truth says:

    Oh, so what happens to all of those billions when they die?

    For your own sake, my friend, don’t believe this nonsense. Although, it is your inalienable right to vote against your middle class interests if you so desire.

  92. Vendetta says:

    If you ever happen to find yourself in a hole, my advice to you would be to shut your mouth and cover your face. You sound like the kind of person who’d be everyone’s first choice for a shovel to the teeth.

  93. Realist says:

    “And BTW, Gates pays his 10,000 employees salaries who themselves are then ripped off by big gov.”
    I am not a fan of big government.

    “He was smart enough to form a business, hire thousands and make products people buy in droves.”
    Paul Allen was the brains behind Microsoft’s creation.

    “I noticed you dropped your silly ‘monopoly’ nonsense.”
    Not at all. Since Microsoft had a copyright on the operating system chosen by IBM PC’s (and therefore PC compatibles) they had a de facto monopoly. Those who wrote application software for the PC were not going to write a second application program for another operating system.

    “I see your envy.”
    Your problem is you see nothing.

  94. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Carlton Meyer

    You talk about inheritance as if it were a bad thing? It is not only a good thing it is what keeps things flowing. Confiscate people’s inheritance, their birthright, and you would doom us all to repeated poverty every new generation. Also the fact that someone else inherits more then I might bothers me not in the least. If they have a right to their large inheritance then I know I have a right to mine, whatever that may be. I don’t envy anyone for having more then me so long as what is mine is not taken.

    And another thing McDonald’s workers do not “slave away” last I checked they applied for their jobs and accepted them willingly. Your hyperbole is disgustingly foul. The “idle rich” you are full of crap. How is it that the rich are “idle” and yet they have built and provide goods and services to everyone else? They are “idle” and yet they build condos so people can live in them. They build restaurants for people to eat in. They manufacture goods that people want and use. Yet they are “idle” Their vacations may last longer and be more extravagant then mine, but they are hardly idle, they are in fact more productive then I am, and which is why they make so much more money then I do, and most likely you as well.

    • Replies: @Adolf Verloc
  95. Hibernian says:

    Hugh Rodham was a textile salesman who eventually had a small hotel drapery business in Chicago. I’m familiar with Park Ridge, the suburb where the Rodhams lived, and it’s nice but not super affluent. Where do you get the NY State Senator bit? He was from PA. Some people here seem to be pushing the notion that you have to grow up in the ghetto to qualify as self made. The ratios of net worth to parents’ net worth for Gates and Buffet both easily exceed 1000 to 1.

  96. Bliss says:

    In the Jewish faith’s infinite wisdom, wealth justly acquired is a sign of God’s blessing.

    In stark contrast the New Testament teaches:

    Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God……..But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. (Luke 6:20-24)

    Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)

    Which is further proof that christianity perverted the Gospel of Jesus by lumping it with the Torah.

    Btw Ms Mercer, do you really think all wealth is justly acquired as your post clearly implies? Are you frickin nuts or what?

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  97. Hibernian says:

    Jesus also said that He came to fulfill the Law, not abolish it. I think the Koch Brothers are better candidates for the camel who passes through the eye of the needle than the State worshipping, bootlegging, stock market manipulating Kennedys. Private citizens on average are better, which is to say less bad, stewards of worldly wealth than is the Leviathan State.

    • Agree: SolontoCroesus
    • Replies: @Bliss
  98. Deduction says:

    Surely that supports his point?

    • Replies: @Truth
  99. joe webb says:

    the economy is placed in the hands of not so much the owners of Capital, but the managers of same. The test is whether the managers as well as the owners can do a good job.

    What seems to escape the critics of the present system is that while owning billions in Capital, the amount skimmed off for personal enjoyment by the rich is minimal, as in who cares?.

    The financialization of the economy is generally understood to be true. The good old days of local Capital and local investors who knew the people they entrusted their capital to …are gone.

    This said, the test then is how well does the thing perform? It is clear to myself that the economy is not performing very well.

    The conservative (truly so) position on an economy is productivist…get things made and get services servicing.

    And, no economy does well today without strong consumer demand. We do not have strong consumer demand. Strong consumer demand drives any economy. For strong consumer demand a well-paid workforce is necessary. We do not have such.

    The usual arguments adduced for explaining this is globalization with its attendant withering of working and middle class wages and salaries. Mexican cheap labor is a large part of it. Etc.

    The issue is not wealth ownership, but general strength of an economy…growth, investment in both private and public sectors, and social solidarity which globalization is savaging. Capital loves race equality cuz it sells products.

    It also demoralizes everybody…see Robt. Putnam’s study Diversity and Community in the 21st century. Harvard.

    Every society is based on Trust, social/racial trust. When that evaporates, economies shrink, and tyranny replaces consent.

    Joe Webb

  100. How many commies read this site.

    • Replies: @Truth
    , @iffen
  101. Greg says:

    Thank goodness Hudson’s article on how economics actually works appears one link away. The libertarian world view is so obviously false, one stands amazed that it persists. But like creationism, holocaust denial and other bizarre views on the right, it is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

  102. @Astuteobservor II

    I thought I was reading directly from the pages of Ayn Rand. Then, when Ilana highlighted the phrase “the unknown ideal,” I knew I was reading a recitation of Rand’s naïve gibberish. Yet Rand’s name was not mentioned. Plagiarism much, Ilana?

    • Replies: @ilana mercer
  103. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    this is a facile, stupid article.

    Really – the top 0.1% work hard for their money and that’s it?

    This is nonsense.

    The rich get richer because they have more capital in the first place. Those with tens of millions of dollars get taxed at a lower effective rate than I do as a wage slave making under 100k.

    Sanders may go too far, for sure, but this sort of criticism belongs in an Ayn Rand chat group – not a serious alternative news site.

  104. Truth says:

    That both the right, and left wing are almost soley comprised of white people? If HBD is your guiding force in life, as it is for so many people here, what’s the point of a left and right wing, then?

    • Replies: @Adolf Verloc
  105. Truth says:

    With all the knee pads that get pulled out on the Vlad Putin threads, I’d say an awful lot.

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
  106. Truth says:

    Were you all aware that Ayn Rand went on welfare as an old woman?

    • Replies: @Realist
  107. Karl says:
    @Adolf Verloc

    >> There are speculators, and then there are vultures.

    Scavengers keep the playing field clean and healthy.

    By the way, in real life, eagles only hunt if they’re desperate. They prefer to scavenge.

    Look…. I feel sorry for the desperatos who accepted the Argentian bonds-negotiated-haircut-offer. But only as sorry as I am for those who lost their homes because they purchased/mortgaged, bigger than could ==truly== afford.

    When I see ==you== refusing to buy marked-down, “on sale” goods at department store, because you’re ethically concerned with those who had previously paid full price – then i’ll sympathize with your SJW agenda.

    • Replies: @Adolf Verloc
  108. Biff says:

    Point is Waldo, that the U.S. not a free market utopian your ilk thinks it is. It is highly regulated to the point of socialized economy, and every candidate across the board is on ‘board’ with it. Fantasy Football is too much of a free market for the regulators.
    Get it? A “Fantasy” can’t even be a free market enterprize…

  109. Hilarious.
    Bill works 2 jobs, saves all his excess (which is a lot since he has a modest lifestyle) and accumulates plenty of wealth.
    Carl barely works 1 job and spends every dime on boats, vacations, hookers and blow.

    The Bernie Sanders enthusiasts want Bill to pay progressively more taxes, have his wealth “returned” at his death to the control of Bernie and his successors and otherwise have Bill pay for Bill and Carl (when Carl falls on hard times in old age because he lived high on the hog and cared nothing for the future.)

    Pointing with envy at a few filthy rich con artists who amassed their money gaming the political system (like Buffett, the Clintons, or all their campaign contributors on Wall St) is a poor excuse to support political robbery orders of magnitude worse than the morass that got us to this sorry state.

  110. Realist says:

    It was social security. And the money was forcibly taken from her pay checks. She was against SS but why should she just give up the money?

    • Replies: @Adolf Verloc
    , @Truth
  111. @Truth

    And at the Donald’s! What does it take to get da brothers to turn out? I k n o w black ladies love JEB! “Girl ah Jess wanna climb up that tall glass o milk and just sit there all day!”

  112. @Karl

    Maggots are useful creatures, but few of us admire them or would like to be one. It’s not clear to me how buying on-sale goods is the same as starving the poor in Peru to pour money into a rich maggot’s pockets. But, that may be due to the massive brain damage caused by my years as a libertoonian. I’m in recovery, but it’s a long, slow battle to re-enter the real world.

  113. Why do I need a benevolent master to supply me with a job? If there was no income tax most people would be very involved with buying low and selling high, and we have the history of this country to prove it.
    Big Money buys all the coercive government it can. They can afford the tax attorney and the legislator, the rest of us can’t. This is all part and parcel of the federal reserve system fraud that has already been addressed by previous posters

  114. @Truth

    Actually, I believe it was Social Security and Medicare. But your essential point is correct: she loathed SS and Medicare just as much. I believe she applied for Medicare using her married name, O’Connor, to keep her disciples from finding out.

    I also recall that Karl Hess, a libertoonian par excellence, applied for Medicaid when he found he was terminally ill.

    Of course, both of them were entitled to do so under law, and both had no doubt paid in enough to the systems. (Actually, maybe not Hess. He worked for years bartering his services to avoid paying taxes.) But still, it is amazing how those fascist statist programs take on a whole new glow when the cheese gets binding.

  115. @Realist

    Social Security and Medicare. I am sure she stopped taking both of them as soon as she had received as much as she paid in 🙂

    • Replies: @Realist
  116. @Anonymous

    “I regard large inherited wealth as a misfortune, which merely serves to dull men’s faculties. A man who possesses great wealth should, therefore, allow only a small portion to descend to his relatives. Even if he has children, I consider it a mistake to hand over to them considerable sums of money beyond what is necessary for their education. To do so merely encourages laziness and impedes the healthy development of the individual’s capacity to make an independent position for himself.” (Alfred Nobel)

    “Why should men leave great fortunes to their children? If this is done from affection, is it not misguided affection? Observation teaches that, generally speaking, it is not well for the children that they should be so burdened.” (Andrew Carnegie)

    • Replies: @Bliss
    , @Hibernian
  117. @Truth

    Guys like Putin because he is anti OUR commies.We were on the wrong side of WWII,now it looks like we were on the wrong side of the Cold War! Thank God we have the infinite wisdom of the Jewish faith to guide us! Where would we be w/o the Jews??? Don’t ask!

  118. Bliss says:

    Jesus also said that He came to fulfill the Law, not abolish it

    How do you “fulfill” the Law by breaking it as Jesus did, and by preaching against it as he also did?

    You do know that the upholders of the Law found Jesus guilty of blasphemy, right?

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  119. Bliss says:
    @Adolf Verloc

    Bill Gates and Warren Buffett agree with Alfred Nobel and Andrew Carnegie. Their givingpledge initiative has so far gotten over a hundred billionaires to join them in pledging to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy:

  120. RobRich says: • Website

    Ilana, Bravo! I’ll add Libertarians are taking us to a world where capitalism and communism are just voluntary tools that serve Libertarianism, and money as we understand it will be irrelevant.

    The anti-Libertarian ignoramus commenters here attack everything as Libertarianism but Libertarianism. Why? The Libertarians are winning and their proposals are the wisest and best. Sanders meanwhile has tapped into those still pining for totalitarian communism and a society where their greed and envy rules. Anyone supporting him has the blood of the millions the Communists murdered on their hands.

    Why the sudden rise of egalitarian rhetoric? The statists and the extreme left are terrified that the Libertarians are showing us the way to a robot-based economy of leisure and guaranteed income, and where making money that buys more is easier than ever. They want to stop this Star Trek universe.

    Thus, thanks to libertarians we’re all enjoying in the US a nation where 1 in 10 families are millionaires, we have once billion dollar computers in our hip pockets, while the quasi-deregulated Einstein level IQ –who yes, are as bright to the average person as the average person is to the mentally retarded–can produce new marvels. The Libertarians want every family a millionaire that wishes to be. Sanders wants a world where the mentally retarded get paid the same as brain surgeons and get free college to become them. It’s not because he wants to bring better brain surgery. His world stinks, so no surprise he wants to ban deodorant choice!

    Michael Gilson, the head of the Libertarians, is right: coercive taxation is obsolete and immoral and if you want to be an egalitarian, why be free to start a Libertarian kibbutz, The Farm libertarianist intentional community, or Mondragon co-op. Only problem there is it’s so self-organizing the poor get rich. See:

    Meanwhile a lot of these figures like the 1% own 90% of the wealth are sheer BS that ignore a lot. Wake up, people! Don’t let totalitarians set the terms of debate as you tap away at the PC and web Libertarians made happen to say how out-of-touch Libertarianism is.

    Ilana, keep at it!

    • Replies: @Bliss
  121. Bliss says:

    Libertarians are winning

    You are as out of touch with reality as Ilana Mercer.

    Libertarians are showing us the way to a robot-based economy of leisure and guaranteed income

    Guaranteed income is a safety net that requires a government and taxes to implement. All of which are anathema to libertarian purists.

  122. Hibernian says:
    @Adolf Verloc

    Ford Motor was healthier than GM and Chrysler and it just so happens that the Ford family has never relinquished control of Ford Motor. Family owned businesses have a focus that bureaucratic Wall Street owned organizations do not.

  123. PJ says:

    While Ilana is right as far as she goes with this, she neglected to mention that a significant fraction of the well off got that way as much by creating and milking a government-supported scam, as by creating products for consumers. Even an ordinary paving company has insider access to those who award the contracts, never mind the entirely parasitic club of bastards running the financial markets.

    On the other hand, it’s amazing how many commenters here believe that the very same government implicated in all these scams, are somehow going to save us from the scammers. Now that is faith. Unfortunately, as the meme goes, “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it!”

  124. Ivan says:

    As if things are any better in Israel. This phenomenon of the rich getting richer with the poor on a Dutch auction for their labour is a worldwide plague. You will of course find some latecomers to the game, Indian software bums in the main it seems, who will declaim otherwise but that is because its not the turn of the imbeciles at the meat grinder yet.

  125. Truth says:

    So I’m guessing she gallantly stopped accepting free medical care for lung cancer, after being re-paid the ceiling-capped, %6 of her income, plus let’s say, a small amount of interest, that she paid into the system in the 1940s and 1950s.

  126. Realist says:
    @Adolf Verloc

    So you are a fan of SS and Medicare?

  127. Lyov Myshkin [AKA "Nicholas White"] says:

    As the atheists like to – somewhat smugly – say of their faith “It’s not a belief but a lack of one” I think we should say of capitalism the next time some buffoon criticizes it: capitalism is simply the lack of belief in the ability of central planning of an economy.

    Nothing more. Not an assertion but a lack of faith in the collectivist God the other side prays to?

  128. Newdist says:

    “I can understand that socialism can be bad but treating poor people like animals is worse.”

    They get treated like animals and worse under socialism, too.

    (Not defending Mercer here)

  129. @Junior

    Most of the comments under this column, which is anything but “juvenile” or “stupid,” amount to ad hominen attacks.

    I have not come across a single, rigorous, well-reasoned argument so far.

    It’s puzzling, because the atavism and statism of the comments to this column are nowhere mirrored in the traditional American Old Right, intellects such as Felix Morley, Frank Chodorov, Garet Garrett, John T. Flynn. The comments in this thread are a disgrace to these hard right free thinkers. So nobody on this thread should be calling himself a member of the Right.

    Pat Buchanan, a protectionist paleoconservative, writes movingly about aspects of free-market capitalism.

    Jr.: Where do I even address Hillary? I said nothing about her so called “crony capitalism.” You are simply off your rocker. A column is not a treatise. The structure of your question:

    * ilana does not mention Hillary [except once, I think. But she and Bernie are pimps in a pod]
    * therefore ilana has claimed Hillary is not … blah… blah…

    Deeply silly.

    Our good, and brilliant editor might have to start thinning the herd under Comments, if we are to keep up our good name as a place for smart debate.

    • Replies: @Junior
    , @Junior
  130. @follyofwar

    “Capitalism, ‘the unknown ideal’” is the title of the great Ayn Rand’s book. Mine is not a recitation of Rand’s words, but a use of the title of her book in a sentence.

    This title, which should be well-known, was placed in the context of a sentence, in quotation marks and hyperlinked to the book.

    Even Justin Trudeau would have detected the allusion to a Rand title and the apt use of the title as a phrase in a sentence. And Trudeau is borderline retarded.

    Dr. Unz: Cant ‘t we screen for basic competency at Comments?

  131. Junior [AKA "Jr."] says:
    @ilana mercer

    Well, La-Di-Da! The Queen has decided to grace us all with her presence everyone. And Her Majesty has decided to give her royal decrees on who is a disgrace, who is on the “Right”, who is worthy of commenting on her drivel, and also wants to restrict the “open clash of conflicting ideas” that Mr. Unz states is his mission with this site. With all due respect Your Grace, you’re full of it.

    You know PERFECTLY well that throughout the entire second half of your article you tried to paint Hillary as being like Bernie with your “democratic-socialist” remarks and your “hard left” remark at the beginning. Don’t get mad because someone called you out on your obvious falsehoods.

    Your disingenuous post above in which you claim to only mention Hillary once as being against capitalism when it’s obvious that you implied it throughout the entire article, along with your broad-stroke generalities of the commenters shows me that you are nothing more than a person attempting to be a provocateur. You’re an Ann Coulter wanna-be (minus the comedy of Coulter although I must admit that your “uterus” line was funny) that will say whatever outrageous thing (“deserving as much, if not more, of the pope’s love as the poor”) that comes to your mind in the desperate hopes of getting attention. It’s pathetic that you think of yourself as an intellectual journalist. You’re an entertainer. Nothing more.

    You’re trying to be Coulter but falling far short. Coulter is a Media-Jezebel that has sold her soul down the river in the search for a buck. She is not a person to try to emulate Ms. Mercer. But, hey, we all gotta eat right? I guess that some people are just more willing to sink to lower depths for it than others.

    I suggest that you try to write serious articles instead of trying to be a Shock-Jock and trying to divide people into camps along “Left” and “Right” lines. Who knows, you just might make some kind of a positive difference in people’s lives. One can hope… but I’m not holding my breath.

  132. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Why do folks refer Bernie Sanders as a Socialist? To be a believer of socialism you must renounce capitalism. No where have I read a renunciation of capitalism by Mr. Sanders. He is merely a capitalist “lite”. Just a thought , why is it considered a normal way to live when you have an economic system that is based on fear and greed and a bible thumping government that encourages the uninformed masses to fight the corporate wars that wars have always been fought for…………stokes McGee

  133. Junior [AKA "Jr."] says:
    @ilana mercer

    Hey Ilana, just out of curiosity, I have a question.

    Is the Peter and Irwin Schiff that you write about in your blog from the link above, from the family of and related to the man who financed Trotsky and Lenin and also financed the Russian Revolution that birthed Communism into the world, Jacob Schiff?

    It sounds like Irwin did some TRULY GREAT things with revealing the corruptness in our government and stood by his principles which WITHOUT A DOUBT should be commended, but IS he related to Jacob Schiff? Not that it condemns or judges Irwin AT ALL if they are related, just curious.

    Had to ask because it’s been nagging me ever since I clicked on your link and read your blog.

  134. Hibernian says:

    He fulfilled the Law by dwelling among us and being crucified, suffering, dying, and being buried. He did not preach against the Law, he preached against the Pharisees. False “upholders” of the Law handed him over to Pontius Pilate.

    • Replies: @Bliss
  135. Bliss says:

    He fulfilled the Law by dwelling among us and being crucified, suffering, dying, and being buried.

    None of the 613 laws of Moses mentions anything remotely like that

    Besides, Jesus was not the only jew who was crucified, suffered, died and buried….

    He did not preach against the Law, he preached against the Pharisees.

    Only you are without sin can cast the first stone (John 8:7)

    That negates the many Laws of Moses which order death by stoning. The Pharisees did not make the Mosaic Laws, did they?

    Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the ii jmjmm m j m i mouth, this defileth a man. (Matthew 15:11)r j

    That negates all the dietary restrictions of Mosaic Law, doesn’t it?

    You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. (Matthew 5:38-39)

    That repudiates the Mosaic Law as well.

    Jesus preached that God is within you, that the poor are more blessed than the rich, that pride in descent from Abraham is nonsense etc. All of that contradicts the Torah/Old Testament. If Jesus was following the Torah he wouldn’t have been condemned for blasphemy by the Temple Priest and the Sanhedrin.

  136. RR says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    “I’m all for equality and free markets, but then when someone dies 100% of what he has left should be returned to the government ”


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