This post originally ran October 17, 2017.
Many, many times I have said since starting Copiosis that the 1% isn’t to blame for our current reality. I have said they are wanting solutions as badly as the rest of us. I have said WE (the 99 percent) are just as much responsible for our situation as they are. I have said there will be times in the future (speaking from six years ago) when the wealthy will fund great ideas that can solve our problems.
That prediction has come true.
Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg has said he and people like him should pay for Basic Income as a solution to our wealth inequality problem. Another one percenter has offered five million dollars to the best idea that can solve our most pressing problems. Foundations of the wealthy are offering funding to good ideas as well. I suspect we’ll see more examples of this as time goes by.
Bloomberg recently reported that Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, gave away $4.5 billion of her massive fortune.
In short: if any blame must be thrown around for what we are experiencing, we all own a portion of it. Including the one percent.
But to place all the blame on them, as though you don’t own any, is just plain wrong.
Luckily, no one needs to be blamed because there is nothing going wrong on this planet. Although your eyes and ears and friends and family and the TV and Facebook will tell you otherwise, the world is happening exactly as it should, and you are playing your role in that perfection.
How can I write that in the midst of a pandemic, when so many are broke, unemployed, hungry and so many business are bust? I can explain, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about why I know the 1% aren’t solely to blame, aren’t evil, and, in fact are more like you and me.
How do I know? Because I’ve spent time with them.
A few questions:
- Is every black person a gang member, murderer, thief, on welfare or an athlete?
- Is every white person racist, ignorant of minorities’ situations, colonizers, war-mongers or evil Christian fundamentalists?
- Is every immigrant in your country (Muslim’s for example) in your country illegally, taking your jobs, creating social problems, planning terrorist plots or bringing your property values down by living in your neighborhoods?
- Is every human being raping the planet, oblivious of the environmental problems you see, blind to problems such as poverty, wealth disparity, or how corrupt our political systems are?
If you’re black or other minority, white, or human, and you said “yes” to any of these questions, you are woefully uninformed. For no matter how you divide humanity, you will always find a diversity of opinions and behaviors within that division.
Examine people in your divided group. You will find very good reasons for their beliefs, beliefs which are forming opinions and driving behaviors. You may not agree with the reasons, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good reasons for the people who have them.
That’s why, for example, when people claim the 1% are the problem, I shake my head. For one, people making that claim don’t realize the 1% is a very broad group of people. And that group is not belief-homogenous nor action-homogenous.
Secondly, more often than not, the person claiming the one percent are evil likely doesn’t even know any one-percenters personally. So they’re speaking out of pure ignorance, or hearsay.
Conspiracy theories are not information.
So, just like a racist who has never met a black person and yet claims to know for a fact that all blacks are no-good, dirty, sex-mongering, inferior humans, people who claim the 1% are “evil” without having occasion to interact with any over a period of time, are IGNORANT.
So, if you claim moral superiority over white supremacists, but at the same time point fingers at the 1% for our supposed troubles, you have no morally superior claim. You are just as ignorant as a racist is about minorities.
* * *
When was the last time you spent any time with a person whose net worth was in the multiple millions of dollars?
In October 2017, I spent an entire weekend with more than two-dozen. Not only did I dine with some, have coffee with others and hear them tell their stories, I got to know them, ask them questions, and hear how they became wealthy.
These people are some of the most caring, giving, honest, devoted people I’ve met. They are loving of humanity and are striving to not only help people become the best they can be, they are helping anyone, ANYONE willing to put in the self-improvement work, to become millionaires.
I think that is FAR MORE generous and effective than those who sit in their rooms complaining about life via the internet, believing in conspiracies and pointing fingers at rich people while doing hardly anything to change the situation they complain about.
Take Terry for example, pictured above (in the middle) with me and my brother. Like me, Terry served in the military. He was an Air Force pilot flying C-5 aircraft all over the world. His wife, since early on in her life, has served children. When they met and fell in love, both were serving others in their respective lives. Neither one comes from a wealthy background.
Terry as you can see has brown skin. His wife is light brown. When they got together, his wife’s parents weren’t too keen on the idea. But they stayed together nonetheless.
Terry and his wife have three kids. Over the last twenty years they have been working on the side as entrepreneurs to build an asset they could pass on to their children. They are devoted parents, givers, mentors and now friends. They care about many of the same things I do. Especially social justice.
This past weekend they passed a milestone: they grew their asset large enough to qualify them as one percent members. Terry and his wife were celebrated over the weekend for this massive achievement.
I mean, how many people do you know who have done the work to go from a wage slave to a multi-millionaire?
Terry and his wife and kids aren’t some evil family, hell-bent on enslaving humanity and raping the planet. Instead of doing that, they spend ALL their time showing others how to build companies that can make them as wealthy as Terry and his wife have become. And they aren’t charging anyone a dime for the coaching.
All the one-percenters I met over the weekend were just like Terry and his wife. More than 24 of the wealthy class. If you’re claiming the one percent is the problem. You don’t understand the problem. You certainly don’t understand wealthy people. And you don’t understand your role in the problem.
Are there bad people who also happen to be rich? Of course. Just as there are bad people who happen to be white, black or some other minority (Muslim, for example). That doesn’t mean they are all that way in any case.
But more importantly, You get to choose what you see in the world. No one is forcing you to observe what you observe. The problem is, what you put your focus on, is shaping your life experience. So keep pointing fingers at the one percent. But don’t think that’s going to make any fundamental change.
Because it won’t.