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Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want. Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
MTC
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 10:51:14 AM
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Romney being a case on point.
nw3bk3y
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 11:08:51 AM

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The question is: as a president, how would Romney understand what the 47% have to go through to survive in this economy? The hardest thing for him to conceive is that these unprivileged can't start their own business, can't become VP of a company where they are hired to clean the offices, can't save 10% of their paycheck if they are making minimum wage. Infinite tax breaks to the wealthy and deregulation will not fix this.

jcbarros
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:06:00 PM

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That´s inherent to human nature.
excaelis
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 1:08:10 PM

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To be fair, Obama's not exactly a welfare case either.
GabhSigenod
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 1:19:43 PM

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I have agreement with jcbarros, local politics aside.
MTC
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 1:30:40 PM
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The net worth of Barak Obama is 11.8 million dollars. The net worth of Mitt Romney is 230 million dollars.

(http://yobucko.com/politics/net-worth-of-congress-romney-obama-infographic)

Romney's policies favor the rich, Obama's the middle class and the poor.



Verbatim
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 4:02:53 PM
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Daemon wrote:
Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)



Excellent quote, though a bit outdated. Those who abound in riches nowadays understand how others can be in want.
They have also conceived, for the most part, the wrong reasons for most of the others being in want.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 10:22:43 PM

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I wasn’t going to post anything on this topic as I considered it unworthy of such, but MTC’s comments have piqued my curiosity.

Exactly how many millions of dollars must an individual accumulate before losing the ability to understand the want of money in others? It would appear to be somewhere between 11.8 million and 230 million. Does anyone know the break-over point? MTC? I ask because, from your posts, you seem to be an expert on this subject.

Does anyone know? Furthermore, it would appear to be axiomatic that all wealthy people were born rich because if there were wealthy people who were once poor, it negates the axiom, and the comments on Romney would then be false on the face of it.

So how great is the danger for Obama at his current financial level? Is he running the risk of losing his poor folks perspective?

Inquiring minds want to know.
MTC
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 9:01:07 AM
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In reply to Foundit, remember it was Swift who wrote A Modest Proposal in which he satirized the cold attitude of the Rich toward the Poor by mockingly suggesting that to solve their economic difficulties poor families in Ireland carve up their babies and sell them as delicaries to their Rich English landlords. Swift's quotation suggests the Rich do not understand the Poor because they have never been poor themselves. The Rich lack empathy. In Swift's day when most wealth was inherited, when very few poor became rich, this must have been especially true.

In modern day America, the land of economic opportunity, there are many more self-made men and women who understand what is was like to be poor, or at least middle class. Some of these newly rich develop empathy for the poor and underprivileged while others take an "I've got mine, now you get yours" attitude. As for the balance with inherited wealth, some have noblesse oblige while others lack empathy, the same way they did in Swift's time. I wish I could tell you why. Doubtless it has something to do with inculcated values, something to do with psychological makeup.

But to answer your question I believe there is no bright financial line or even a fuzzy one which separates the "ability to understand the want of money in others." Some of our presidents who inherited wealth like Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy have demonstrated great empathy for the poor and underprivileged. Others have not. Some fabulously wealthy self-made men like Andrew Carnegie gave away all they had to charity. Look at Bill Gates today. He seems to be on the same track. Other self-made men and women today hoard what they have.

As for Romney, he was born into wealth and privilege which he used to obtain a top-drawer education, but earned not inherited the bulk of his wealth. Obama, if I understand his situation correctly, also benefitted from his family (nowhere near as wealthy as the Romneys) to obtain an elite education, but still earned not inherited what he has. Both men are rich, Romney twenty times richer than Obama. Why did Romney in a candid moment reveal a remarkable lack of empathy for 47% of Americans with limited means much as the Rich showed no empathy for the poor in Swift's time? Why does Obama, another rich man, embrace the poor? To this question I can only say nothing is so hard to fathom as the mystery of the human soul. But one thing is certain, wealth by itself is no litmus test for empathy and compassion.
excaelis
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 1:25:14 PM

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Rather nouveau than never.
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