Sunday, August 15, 2010

A simple Tweet from Business Guru, Tom Peters

No politcommentary. Just a fact: top one- tenth of one percent's wealth USA = "bottom" 120,000,000. (JSurowiecki reccs > 3 tax brackets.)


Anonymous said...

I really don't care. And neither should you.

Larry James said...

Anon, 5:09, you clearly haven't read much history. Yes, I should care and so should you. Ever heard of justice? Is it your assumption that poor are poor and growing poorer only because they are stupid, lazy, etc? Middle class is shrinking as well. I shouldn't care? Ever read the Hebrew Bible?

Here's why Tom Peters says that he cares: "I'm all for wealthy people! But worry growing inequal. Eventually unpredictable backlash. Esp since people not move up ladder much anymore."

Read history of US fro 1900 to 1920s.

Anonymous said...

History according to Howard Zinn? No. But yes, I've read some history. Will you bother to read the above link?

Now, lets talk about your inability to apply reason. Do you think I've never heard of justice? I think when a person invests in their skills, exchanges them in a free market for a fair wage, they get to keep a significant portion of that wage. That's justice. I'll give you a moment to collect your thoughts.

Who said anything about stupid, lazy, etc? (OK, I do say "etc." sometimes, but not in my post. You can check.) I think you read your much of your false beliefs about conservatives into my statement. You should be much less concerned about how much money the top .1 pc of people keep in their bank accounts and more about helping people enter the marketplace. Does CDM have a work prep program of any sort? Never heard about it, if it exists.

The Hebrew Bible. Yes. It says something about those who don't work, don't eat. Ever hear of work? Work was around before Adam. Adam was created for work. A natural expression of God's image in human is his or her capacity to produce. Work is a meaningful basis for human identity. Eve was needed to complete Adam because of the complexity of work, even under ideal conditions. It takes the whole range of male/female human capacity to work in a representative manner. Now, if you take the Adam and Eve story as a myth, but somehow attribute divine principles to the narrative, you still have reason to agree that work is integrated into human existence, before and after the human failure in the plotline.

Poverty is a problem; but the solution may be one zip away. The Heartland Institute says:

"Children born out of wedlock to never-married women live in poverty 51 percent of the time. By contrast, children born within a marriage that remains intact are poor 7 percent of the time. Thus, the absence of marriage increases the frequency of child poverty 700 percent. However, marriage after an illegitimate birth is effective, cutting the child poverty rate in half." (

Oh, sorry. I'll bet you found the words "lazy" and "stupid" in that quote. I'd better get you to a more progressive resource. On the NPR website you'll find this:

"America is rapidly becoming a two-caste society, with marriage and education at the dividing line. Children born to married couples with a college education are mostly in the top half of the population; children born to single mothers with high-school degrees or less are mostly in the bottom half." (

Can we agree that one doesn't need to be mega rich to be OK in this world? Stoking jealousy and manufacturing guilt gets us nowhere. In fact, it causes problems, moves us backwards. CDM, and many other liberal charity organizations operate on guilt. The middle class will grow when the rich discover a growing number of people with relevant skills. They will invest their wealth into ventures that easily capitalize on intelligent human resources. People make great money when they demonstrate ability to think and solve problems.

The current public education system can not produce what is needed, but that's another argument. But you should be very disappointed with the behavior of teachers and administrators in DISD and other similar systems. Of course, you voted with them, so maybe you like what they are doing.

I don't really care about the amount of money the uber-rich have. I don't think you should, either.

And, Larry, try some fiber. It might improve your disposition.

Larry James said...

Anon 9:32, here's one key work in your post: "fair wage." We work on that there via a robust job training program that has been in place in one form or another since 1990. Among our training "products" is a hard skills construction training course that is a hit and that leads to jobs, in most cases better paying jobs. This is a grwoth area at CDM and we will continue to work hard, very hard at work.

Again, you misread my concern and Perers'--it is not the middle class or even the upper class; it is the disparity of the range, the gap that is growing and that affects everything. Even the founding fathers had comething to say about oligarchy; even many of the megawealthy share this concern.

And, we are working in public schools, not only with children, but also with leaders to develop accountability to parents with whom we work. And yes, we aren't happy with the schools.

rcorum said...

Larry, not one word about what seemed to me to be his main point? Out of wedlock births are adding flames to the fires of poverty. These children who are born into multigenerational single family households don't seem to have much of a chance. I wish this Anon. would let us know who he/she is because he is at your intellectual level, and I find his/her comments very interesting. But, please let us know what CDM is doing to deal with the issue of children born into single parent families. Is there at least some kind of birth control taught?

Steve said...

I'm pissed.

Anonymous, you'd never say these things to Larry's face. That's why you hide behind anonymous comments. Grow a pair and take your mask off. For once, be willing to face up to the things you are saying.

CDM and Larry don't need me to defend them, but they're out there doing their part to make the world a little better -- what are you doing? Investing in the free market? How's that working out for ya?

Take off the mask of anonymity, Anon 5:09. Coward.

Anonymous said...

"misread" - hmmm. I reread your post and your response to me. Nothing to misread. You accused me of saying things I didn't say and you implied I didn't consider Scripture in my analysis.

Apparently, you did not read the link I provided at the top of my post. The St. Louis Fed explains why the pay gap between the poor and the rich is not a big deal in real terms. The Fed has some authority. You don't have to buy my arguments. But at least recognize I am using reliable sources. You're not engaging the issue.

The liberally controlled education system is failing to educate and the steadfast liberal commitment to irresonsible and seemingly unaccountable sexual freedom is condemning women and their children to poverty.

Zip it and quit asking me for money.

belinda said...

"The middle class will grow when the rich discover a growing number of people with relevant skills. They will invest their wealth into ventures that easily capitalize on intelligent human resources. People make great money when they demonstrate ability to think and solve problems."


Larry James said...

rc, thanks for the post. Yes, we teach our children and youth personal responsibility and birth control. I could go on and on about this. I could tell stories about young women who've confided in me after they became pregnant and decided to keep their babies. I know this won't matter to many, but you have to be here to experience the pain of the poor, esp the youth who are extremely poor. There is a culture of despair and resignation. One 15-yr-old girl in our church who was pregnant told me with tears in her eyes, "Mr. Larry, now I'll have someone to love and to love me." Heartbreaking.

Those who judge the poor women who bear children "out of wedlock" should seek to understand what's going on in the gheto communities of the US in terms of hope and hopelessness. It is a package deal. We do a good job of helping most all of our kids make it thru w/o this added burden. But when they fail we don't blame them or cast them off with a hate-filled attitude. Blaming the victim approaches aren't the way we come at this problem. We work via our Parent Academy, our workforce training programs and our after school academy.

Those who judge the harshest here understand the least about the problem.

rcorum said...

Larry, as always, thanks for your response. Where I preach we have had a number of unwed pregnant teens. They are God's children and we do not throw them away. I just hurt for them because of the added burdens that they will have to bear. Many of these young ladies are in a near hopeless situation to begin with and a child is the last thing they need, at least in the long run. But, this is not just an issue associated with poverty. My wife taught in a middle class middle school and a pregnant eighth grader told her the same thing as you heard. "I want someone to love and I want someone to love me." When you at CDM help keep a young lady away from teenage motherhood that act alone puts her miles ahead of her pregnant friends.

rcorum said...

Steve, it's kind of funny or it might be my lack of computer knowledge, but when I clicked your name all I got was "profile not available." So you are getting all over this guy and all I know about you is your first name. To me, as long as Larry doesn't care about including your name then I don't care. I am more interested in ideas and I happen to think that the Anon of this discussion is on pretty equal footing with Larry and that is helpful to me as I try to sort things out. Steve, you might want to further reveal yourself because right now you seem just as anonymous as the guy you just blasted for being anonymous. One more thing. Why do people have to use the term "pissed off?" Isn't there a host of better and less crass expressions?

Larry James said...

Anon, I read with interest the report published by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank on income inequality and written by Thomas A. Garrett. He makes interesting points about income mobility and the manner in which the data is collected and cut--individuals in the various quintiles move up and down, though in very small increments.

He also notes, what I guess most of us realized who look at this sort of material, that the data is always "point in time" and frozen in time. The impression you'd get from reading this is that folks are moving dynamically up and down the income scale. Of course, that is not the case and changes are very small when compared to the whole. The essay brought to mind the studies I read a few years back about decreasing income mobility in our ecnonomy as compared to previous generations. Overall, folks are basically stuck in their spot on the continuum and those nearer the bottom have the most difficult time moving up. There is an interesting interactive chart on this reality at:

The heart of his assumptions seem to be wound up in this comment: "It is important to understand that income inequality is a byproduct of a well-functioning capitalist economy. Individuals’ earnings are directly related to their productivity. Wealthy people are not wealthy because they have more money; it is because they have greater productivity. Different incomes reflect different productivity levels."

Productivity, even taking his apparent definition, is the result of opportunity presented and taken advantage of in many csses. Of course, this doesn't take into account privileges and advantages of one's inherited life circumstance which drives so much of the wealth at the extreme upper tiers of the economy and so much of the poverty at the bottom. And, to be clear, my intention here is not to attack or criticize those who enjoy this advantage or head start in life. My concern is to see simple opportunity spread to more people in a systemic manner.

Garrett is concerned that we not do anything to curtail/decrease wealth at the top--his supply side theory contends that growing wealth at the top benefits us all and benefits us the most. We'll leave that argument aside.

Where I can agree with him is when he says, "Sound economic policy to reduce poverty would lift people out of poverty (increase their productivity) while not reducing the well-being of wealthier individuals. Tools to implement such a policy include investments in education and job training."

We are certainly doing more of both where I work every day.

Anonymous said...

I left a comment and you didn't post it.

Larry James said...

Anon 7:41, one of my tasks here is to moderate comments. I seldom omit any. I never omit a comment becuase someone offers an opinion in opposition to me. I do reserve the right to omit comments that I consider offensive.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is this: your entire business plan at CDM is to "solve problems" whose only solution at base is tax dollars and donations. If the problems go away, so does CDM and all the personal meaning its staff members derive from being the face of help. Saviors need sinners.

The assumptions, methods, processes, and outcome measures of your programs are fundamentally opposed to personal responsiblity and accountability. Personal accountability and responsibility are always the foundation for social stability and prosperity. Any other approach runs counter to social stability and prosperity.

I also made some suggestions in my unposted comment. Too bad your site visitors won't be able to compare your approach and mine. Instead, they will assume my feeling were hurt, or that was not bright enough to hang with the big boys and girls in the thick of a debate. But we know my arguments were avoided, not addressed. Just like when the news editors filter the news that makes their man look bad and when legislative democrats manipulate procedure to shape debate.

Anonymous, still.

Larry James said...

Anon, every effort we undertake is filled with an emphasis on personal responsibility and integrity. We actually would love to "go out of business." But people are in tough situaitons and need a pathway to better lives. Certainly, those who achieve this objective demonstrate lots of responsibility. Compassion, equity and personal responsibility are not mutually exclusive requirements, are they?

Anonymous said...

Is this a problem?

"In an absolutely outrageous move last Christmas Eve, President Obama signed off on $42 million in bonuses for the top 12 Fannie and Freddie executives, including $6 million apiece for the two CEOs. (Hat tip to attorney Stephen B. Meister.)"

eirenetheou said...

i see that we still have those who are "rubbing resentments raw" and holding other folk hostage to their resentments.

Larry, bless his ornery heart, is trying to be a part of the solution to some difficult, grievous afflictions in American society. Other folk are content to be a part of the problem and even try to make it worse. We see them all here, if only we wait a while.

May God have mercy.