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mklsgl

On 'Sharing'

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Why do so many find it foreign to human nature to share? Where does greed come from? How is it that we have to 'fight' for equality?

Please discuss and feel free to add your own questions that are of similar ilk.

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Well, the more I give to you the less I have for myself.

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The concept of limited resourses keeps just about everyone focused on self and family. It is the insecure nature of the human to be concerned for their survival or well being.

As some point we will as a culture realize that we are all connected. The suffering of others from lack will eventually effect the self, as I see it.

John

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Well, the more I give to you the less I have for myself.

Then I ask: Is it for the better good of all that you have more and others have less?

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The concept of limited resourses keeps just about everyone focused on self and family. It is the insecure nature of the human to be concerned for their survival or well being.

As some point we will as a culture realize that we are all connected. The suffering of others from lack will eventually effect the self, as I see it.

John

Agreed, John. And to further, besides effecting the self, do you see the suffering of others from lack eventually effecting all?

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I think people find it hard to share because the majority who give and give and give receive nothing back in return. Some people hoarde things. If one is a giver then they may feel taken advantage of and stop giving to the hoarder. I think it's a learned behavior.

Greed is just greed. The urge to have it all; every last bit and never share. Oh and the greedy will TAKE from the giver's and never return the favor.

Fighting for equality? Hmmm, you mean materialistically???

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I think people find it hard to share because the majority who give and give and give receive nothing back in return. Some people hoarde things. If one is a giver then they may feel taken advantage of and stop giving to the hoarder. I think it's a learned behavior.

Greed is just greed. The urge to have it all; every last bit and never share. Oh and the greedy will TAKE from the giver's and never return the favor.

Fighting for equality? Hmmm, you mean materialistically???

A 'learned behavior' in what way? From society? The way in which you're socialized? Please expand on 'learned behavior'!!!

What do you think about those who give and expect something in return?

Fighting for equality in terms of Rights, as in Civil Rights/Women's Rights and Gay Marriage Rights and Universal Healthcare... breaking the cycle of poverty, et cetera (those "socialist"/"marxist" positions/Rights that Obama was falsely accused of).

Greed, the 'urge'... Where does it come from?

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Why do so many find it foreign to human nature to share? Where does greed come from? How is it that we have to 'fight' for equality?

Interesting set of questions.

Although I'm not sure what fighting for equality has to do with greed.

First of all, I am not sure that it is foreign to human nature to share.

While greed most certainly exists, on balance, I have abserved alot more giving and sharing than overt greed.

You will always have both, but I think that on balance, more people are inherently giving than greedy.

As to the fighting for equality question, I think I am perceiving a basis for that in one of your responses:

Then I ask: Is it for the better good of all that you have more and others have less?

This seems to be rooted in the concept that everyone should have equally, regardless of their effort, their quality of work, or their capabilities.

This in my opinion is unrelated to the ideas of greed or giving. Observationally, I have found that there are many who have means who give lots. I have also observed some who don't have much giving as well. Greed, on the other hand, can exist in both groups as well.

But the concept of the good of all, being provided by those who have is unrelated. That seems to be where your response above is coming from.

I think it's better to ask why some have lots, and some have less.

The good of all lies solely in the opportunity provided to all to work, to learn, to apply themselves, and to achieve.

Some do all these things, are driven, and succeed. Some do less, and don't achieve as much, and some do very little, and achieve very little.

They all have opportunities. It's what one does with them that makes the difference in results.

The implication is that somehow, those who have should be required to give to those who have not, in order to accomplish equality.

But the problem with that is, that equality is provided inherently by opportunity. Some utilize opportunity more than others, and thus attain more than others. Are those who attain to be required to give of their fruits in order to make everyone equal...despite the lack of utilization of some?

Think about it.

You work hard and apply yourself. You take on jobs, you work your butt off, you pay your way through school, and obtain a degree in mechanical engineering. You go to work for an engineering firm and you work your rear off, paying your school loans, making ends meet, and excelling at your job. Management notices you and you get assigned to a major project. You succeed, and some years down the road, you are making $100,000 a year as a manager. You keep trying and applying yourself. You take courses, you study, you do your job well, and you find your self 15 years later Vice-President of Development at $400,000 per year.

You've got a home, and a nice car or two, and half a million in the bank and all kinds of good stuff.

Your buddy John, who just eeked his way through school, never applied himself the way you did. He had wealthy parents who paid his way through school. He's been partying his butt off for years. He got hired by a firm and got himself fired five years later for lack of performance, and has been holding down a 9 to 5 for some other company as a clerk at $35,000 a year. His parents gave up, after giving him money for too long and watching him blow it. He's got an east side apartment, got some girl pregnant some years back and is paying child support, and he's driving a hooptie around with bad tires, and is in tough times.

Now, what do we do about John?

1. For the good of John, should you be required to give to him so he can have equality? Yea sure, John's probably screaming about the inequity of you being a 400K VP while he's using food stamps and trying to figure out how to pay next months suport payment and his rent. But---what's the reason for that?

:huh:

2. You, being possessed of much, decide to give John $50,000 to get him on his feet again. You're a nice guy, compassionate, etc...

Number 1. is socialism...a requirement that those who have give to those who haven't earned it.

Number 2. is charity.

But neither one provides equality in any sense.

You know what would be best for John?

You sit him down, and tell him he's a god damned slouch and tell him you've got a job for him. After all, you're VP of Development.

"John, you've blown every opportunity you've had. Here's what I'm gonna do: I have an entry level position in the R&D Department that pays $50,000. Full benefits, vacation time, etc...You've got the qualifications, albeit minimal, by your own choosing, but this position will allow you to grow in a successful firm.

"You want it, you got it...but you'll have to clean up your act, and apply yourself to succeed. You dog it, you're out. You work, you're in.

"Because of my success, I make you another opportunity. It's yours to take."

Equality exists inherently. Charity is an individual's choice.

Equality for all comes from personal effort and drive...not through forcing charity.

You see, you, by your efforts, provide further opportunity to others.

Being forced to provide equality removes the incentive provided to succeed, since if you do...you're gonna wind up paying support to those that don't!

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Interesting set of questions.

Although I'm not sure what fighting for equality has to do with greed.

First of all, I am not sure that it is foreign to human nature to share.

While greed most certainly exists, on balance, I have abserved alot more giving and sharing than overt greed.

You will always have both, but I think that on balance, more people are inherently giving than greedy.

As to the fighting for equality question, I think I am perceiving a basis for that in one of your responses:

This seems to be rooted in the concept that everyone should have equally, regardless of their effort, their quality of work, or their capabilities.

This in my opinion is unrelated to the ideas of greed or giving. Observationally, I have found that there are many who have means who give lots. I have also observed some who don't have much giving as well. Greed, on the other hand, can exist in both groups as well.

But the concept of the good of all, being provided by those who have is unrelated. That seems to be where your response above is coming from.

I think it's better to ask why some have lots, and some have less.

The good of all lies solely in the opportunity provided to all to work, to learn, to apply themselves, and to achieve.

Some do all these things, are driven, and succeed. Some do less, and don't achieve as much, and some do very little, and achieve very little.

They all have opportunities. It's what one does with them that makes the difference in results.

The implication is that somehow, those who have should be required to give to those who have not, in order to accomplish equality.

But the problem with that is, that equality is provided inherently by opportunity. Some utilize opportunity more than others, and thus attain more than others. Are those who attain to be required to give of their fruits in order to make everyone equal...despite the lack of utilization of some?

Think about it.

You work hard and apply yourself. You take on jobs, you work your butt off, you pay your way through school, and obtain a degree in mechanical engineering. You go to work for an engineering firm and you work your rear off, paying your school loans, making ends meet, and excelling at your job. Management notices you and you get assigned to a major project. You succeed, and some years down the road, you are making $100,000 a year as a manager. You keep trying and applying yourself. You take courses, you study, you do your job well, and you find your self 15 years later Vice-President of Development at $400,000 per year.

You've got a home, and a nice car or two, and half a million in the bank and all kinds of good stuff.

Your buddy John, who just eeked his way through school, never applied himself the way you did. He had wealthy parents who paid his way through school. He's been partying his butt off for years. He got hired by a firm and got himself fired five years later for lack of performance, and has been holding down a 9 to 5 for some other company as a clerk at $35,000 a year. His parents gave up, after giving him money for too long and watching him blow it. He's got an east side apartment, got some girl pregnant some years back and is paying child support, and he's driving a hooptie around with bad tires, and is in tough times.

Now, what do we do about John?

1. For the good of John, should you be required to give to him so he can have equality? Yea sure, John's probably screaming about the inequity of you being a 400K VP while he's using food stamps and trying to figure out how to pay next months suport payment and his rent. But---what's the reason for that?

:huh:

2. You, being possessed of much, decide to give John $50,000 to get him on his feet again. You're a nice guy, compassionate, etc...

Number 1. is socialism...a requirement that those who have give to those who haven't earned it.

Number 2. is charity.

But neither one provides equality in any sense.

You know what would be best for John?

You sit him down, and tell him he's a god damned slouch and tell him you've got a job for him. After all, you're VP of Development.

"John, you've blown every opportunity you've had. Here's what I'm gonna do: I have an entry level position in the R&D Department that pays $50,000. Full benefits, vacation time, etc...You've got the qualifications, albeit minimal, by your own choosing, but this position will allow you to grow in a successful firm.

"You want it, you got it...but you'll have to clean up your act, and apply yourself to succeed. You dog it, you're out. You work, you're in.

"Because of my success, I make you another opportunity. It's yours to take."

Equality exists inherently. Charity is an individual's choice.

Equality for all comes from personal effort and drive...not through forcing charity.

You see, you, by your efforts, provide further opportunity to others.

Being forced to provide equality removes the incentive provided to succeed, since if you do...you're gonna wind up paying support to those that don't!

Thanks, MID. I truly enjoy your POV.

I'm asserting equality in terms of opportunity, and I don't see how that is inherent. In the context of equal opportunity, there is a tremendous disparity between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' in this country.

As for "John": you granted him opportunity in your example. What about those without any affluence? Don't they have a right to opportunity?--at the very least, a solid educational system in their community? The right to higher education?

If I (the 'haves') have pay higher taxes in order for the better good of all, then I will/ought to pay more. I don't see it as forced charity. I see it as empowering our 'have-not' communities towards a minimal degree of affluence: access to a functional education and, thus, to opportunity. That's my personal view.

Your reply is loaded and juicy. I couldn't address everything that I wanted to at this time. I'll try to pick up where I left off, tomorrow.

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I think greed is a learned behavior... usually from an early perceived "lack" of something. When I come across greedy people and get to know them better it's often clear to me within a short period of time what they lacked as a youngster... whether it was love, material things, support, affection... whatever.

I agree with John A Spera... we will all suffer at the lack of those around us, because we are universally connected.

I've found as I've gotten older that when I feel I'm not 'getting what(ever) I want' then I need to start giving it away whether it be love, money, happiness, laughter, compassion.... it's an amazing concept, and it works. For example, if I feel that I don't have enough money in my life then I find a charity or a person that I really have a heart for and give money to it/them... If I feel lonely, then I figure out who could benefit from a visit from me and thus I give away some of myself and my time to someone else who is lonely. Then guess what - I'm not lonely anymore and neither are they... and the list goes on... give away what you feel you're needing !

But the idea is that when you give something away never do it expecting to get something back. Because, after all, then it's not truly giving... it's trading. It becomes a barter.. and that's a whole different thing... which is Not giving at all.

In my experience I've seen where (initially) greedy people have come to be a little more giving by being around someone who has been able to teach them by example how to be more giving. It begins to dawn on them "hey, this giving thing feels pretty good, it even feels better than receiving".

Yeah, I think greed is something that is self-taught or learned behavior. Look at little babies when you play with them when they have a cookie... they stick that little gooey thing in your face coz' inherently they want to share with you because they somehow know that will bring you joy which brings them joy.

That's my 5-cents anyway.

Edited by Magikal

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I share with those i care about.

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Thanks, MID. I truly enjoy your POV.

You're welcome, and thank you.

I'm asserting equality in terms of opportunity, and I don't see how that is inherent. In the context of equal opportunity, there is a tremendous disparity between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' in this country.

Well, we can discuss it in terms of America.

The land of opportunity, as-it-were.

People flocked to this country, not because they were going to be handed someone elses money or goods or what-have-you, but because this is a place where anyone could work, develop themselves, compete, establish a business, work with someone else establishing a business, and succeed if they worked hard, and applied themselves according to their desires and drives.

People came here on equal footing, to a country who's government was limited, and did not interfere or limit anyone from applying themselves. The government left the people to do what they wanted, and innovation, energy, and productivity was rewarded.

That system was inherently a matter of equal opportunity.

What one does with that opportunity results in disaparity, but it does not vilify the system; rather, it illustrates the differences in people.

Today, we have a somewhat different paradigm in this country, a paradigm put in place by entitlements, which have created a welfare state in many respects and which has produced a mindset of entitlement, and inherent laziness. Now, an analysis of this is exceeding complex, but once it is fleshed out, it basically boils down to that.

As for "John": you granted him opportunity in your example. What about those without any affluence? Don't they have a right to opportunity?--at the very least, a solid educational system in their community? The right to higher education?

I think you missed it. In my example, you, in one illustration gave John opportunity. John was the "have-not", and, as you saw, he was such because of himself. He already received equal opportunity in relation to you. In fact, he had more than equal opportunity because he was provided an education while you had to pay for your own.

You gave him another chance...because you wanted to, not because you had to.

If I (the 'haves') have pay higher taxes in order for the better good of all, then I will/ought to pay more. I don't see it as forced charity. I see it as empowering our 'have-not' communities towards a minimal degree of affluence: access to a functional education and, thus, to opportunity. That's my personal view.

Again, one must realize why the "have-nots" have not. If a government taxes you to provide for those who haven't attained what you have, the only thing that does is promote a further deepening of a welfare state. It is also counterproductive in respect to providing real opportunity for people to advance, or even want to advance.

Affluence is earned. If we revert to a country where those who earn must provide for those who have not, we are sunk. Granted, there are certain programs which have become necessary in a society where a large number of people have been trapped by reliance on someone other than themselves, but what is actually necessary is that we need to provide the opportunity and the incentive for those who are not affluent to attain to a level of that affluence through their own efforts. Handing out welfare is not the way to do that, and taxing those who have to provide for those who don't limits that possibility greatly and merely grows the problem.

Nothing in the recent past has been more clearly illustrative than the nationally aired comments of a girl who was overtly excited about voting for Obama, where in she excitedly excalaimed that she never thought the day would come, a day where she wouldn't have to worry about putting gas in her car or paying her mortgage anymore!

An almost unbelievable naivete. She's in for a very rude awakening, I think.

The mindset which produces a comment like this is the very mindset that has to be eliminated in order to make this country stronger, and which has produced the welfare state that we have, and which will only make it worse in the future should plans go forth as they have been stated.

The people who have, and who stand to be taxed further, are the very people who provide opportunity through the creation of jobs, and investment in their operations to produce better products, and increase sales, thereby requiring more people to work and to manage their businesses.

If you tax them to provide for those who have not, their businesses are thereby limited, and they cannot advance as they might wish. They will therefore not produce the opportunity for those who need jobs. They may have to cut back, in fact, because with higher taxes, people don't spend as much, and the effect jumps all across the economic spectrum.

And, as those who have not get, the impetus for them not to seek jobs remains. They'll get more, for doing nothing. And as this paradigm increases in intrensity, those who accomplish, and produce have less incentive, and ability to keep doing so.

None of this has anything to do with real charity, nor with greed.

As pertains to those aspects, I think Magical's post:

Well worth repeating...

I think greed is a learned behavior... usually from an early perceived "lack" of something. When I come across greedy people and get to know them better it's often clear to me within a short period of time what they lacked as a youngster... whether it was love, material things, support, affection... whatever.

I agree with John A Spera... we will all suffer at the lack of those around us, because we are universally connected.

I've found as I've gotten older that when I feel I'm not 'getting what(ever) I want' then I need to start giving it away whether it be love, money, happiness, laughter, compassion.... it's an amazing concept, and it works. For example, if I feel that I don't have enough money in my life then I find a charity or a person that I really have a heart for and give money to it/them... If I feel lonely, then I figure out who could benefit from a visit from me and thus I give away some of myself and my time to someone else who is lonely. Then guess what - I'm not lonely anymore and neither are they... and the list goes on... give away what you feel you're needing !

But the idea is that when you give something away never do it expecting to get something back. Because, after all, then it's not truly giving... it's trading. It becomes a barter.. and that's a whole different thing... which is Not giving at all.

In my experience I've seen where (initially) greedy people have come to be a little more giving by being around someone who has been able to teach them by example how to be more giving. It begins to dawn on them "hey, this giving thing feels pretty good, it even feels better than receiving".

Yeah, I think greed is something that is self-taught or learned behavior. Look at little babies when you play with them when they have a cookie... they stick that little gooey thing in your face coz' inherently they want to share with you because they somehow know that will bring you joy which brings them joy.

That's my 5-cents anyway.

..is worth alot more than 5 cents !

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A lot more than 5-cents, indeed!

MID, I actually agree with you more than you probably think. I want to see the extremes at both ends of the socio-economic scale closer together, the disparity between 'have' and 'have-not' not so enormous, and the such (I am certain you know where I'm going with this). John Spera hit it spot-on when he said "we are all connected" and that we, as a culture, need to "realize this," because, in my opinion, it is for the better good of all if those extremes, that disparity, are not so enormous. How do we, as a global society, allow (or, better stated, reconcile) Exxon/Mobil, et al, to repeatedly earn record-setting profits while millions die of starvation?

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Excellent thread. Thank you for your posts MID :wub:, John and Magikal. Nice reading :tu:

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History has shown that people used to share a lot more. When I was growing up, a neighbor used to bring us fruits from his orchard and vegetables from his garden. My mother used to give away some of the vegetables she canned. Way back in those sixties and seventies, I didn't have much, but I was taught to share- that meant when I was playing with something, I had to let my brothers and/or my friends play with what I had too.

In my adult life, I choose not to have a lot of possessions like my friends do. By this, I mean I don't have to have oogles of clothes, or shoes, or knick-knacks, or just stuff. I just don't have a lot of "toys," so to speak. I could probably afford more, but I would rather my money go into places where it needs to be. For the most part, most of my possessions hold sentimental value or are something that I need.

I think greed has always been around, but I also think it has gotten worse. In my opinion, greed is about fear- False Evidence Appearing Real- fear of not having enough. I think as the economy gets worse, people become more fearful of losing what they have, thus they want to keep everything to themselves.

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I didn't have time to read the other posts but it could be that since humans were, like most animals, at one point somewhat rationed on supplies. Now that over-consumtion is such an issue although we have more than we need, due to either greed or simple insticts we want to keep it. It's a trait found in many animals, when there is little no one wants to share, but since people have gone from "barely getting along" to "swimming in posessions" in a very short time we find it is still naturally difficult to share.

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Then I ask: Is it for the better good of all that you have more and others have less?

The thing is , nobody pretty much cares about the greater good.

I do feel good sharing though .

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The thing is , nobody pretty much cares about the greater good.

I do feel good sharing though .

Is that the actual problem--that nobody cares about the greater good?

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Why do so many find it foreign to human nature to share? Where does greed come from? How is it that we have to 'fight' for equality?

Please discuss and feel free to add your own questions that are of similar ilk.

Interesting set of questions.

Although I'm not sure what fighting for equality has to do with greed.

First of all, I am not sure that it is foreign to human nature to share.

While greed most certainly exists, on balance, I have abserved alot more giving and sharing than overt greed.

You will always have both, but I think that on balance, more people are inherently giving than greedy.

Good OP, mklsgl, and good response MID.

I agree with MID that sharing is in our nature, however, I would argue that even that is part of our selfishness.

Generally imo, although there are exceptions, people will share when they expect a quid pro quo. Now, I'm not necessarily talking of sharing out chocolates at work when it's your birthday, although that does carry the implication that, when it is others' birthdays, they will share something (like chocolates) as well.

I am probably talking more the 'doing a favour' form of sharing. Even greedy people share - they simply often share with those who have as much, or more, to offer as they do. In this way they hope to attain some sort of 'alpha' position by 'sharing' (trading favours etc) their way to the top of some perceived heirarchy. There might not be any overt sign of this selfishness, such sharing/trading can take place in a very convivial environment, but it is there.

We are social, but we are selfishly social. Unless driven by some external, and common, threat to give unselfishly, we generally operate in selfish mode.

My apologies if this all sounds rather bleak. We are funny creatures, and very simple really, although we hide that simplicity in very complex and ritualised behaviour and it is all part of the Great Game called survival - not just our survival, but that of our heredity.

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Excellent thread. Thank you for your posts MID :wub:, John and Magikal. Nice reading :tu:

You're welcome Sweetie!

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A lot more than 5-cents, indeed!

MID, I actually agree with you more than you probably think.

Yes, I think so....

I want to see the extremes at both ends of the socio-economic scale closer together, the disparity between 'have' and 'have-not' not so enormous, and the such (I am certain you know where I'm going with this). John Spera hit it spot-on when he said "we are all connected" and that we, as a culture, need to "realize this," because, in my opinion, it is for the better good of all if those extremes, that disparity, are not so enormous. How do we, as a global society, allow (or, better stated, reconcile) Exxon/Mobil, et al, to repeatedly earn record-setting profits while millions die of starvation?

I think , mklsgl, that it is better for all if the disparity is mitigated. However, the difference perhaps between you and I is that we see the causality of that disparity differently, and perhaps the solutions to it. I think that we do not reconcile the disparity between ExxonMobil and those in poverty in terms of one end making "record profits" and the other living in poverty.

A company is in business to do what?

Make profit.

That's not evil, that's important. If a company doesn't succeed, the economy doesn't succeed. If a company doesn't succeed, they do not expand, invest in their business, improve products and services, and increase sales, all of which provide more jobs for people, and provide opportunity for them to succeed.

82,000 people are employed by ExxonMobil Corporation. If they don't succeed, that number falls. If they succeed, those people succeed, and more jobs are available for others.

Allowing business to succeed, and not encumbering them with high taxes and overt restrictions (which we do encumber companies like ExxonMobil with, by the way), is the road to eliminating poverty. Taxing them (he rich) to provide equiity promotes a welfare state and reduces opportunity.

Additionally, we tend to vilify profitable companies like ExxonMobil, by making statements like they are earning obscene profits (or something to that effect).

Are they?

Consider this:

Exxon Mobil produced record earnings from operations in the third quarter of 2008.

What's that mean?

It means they earned 13.38 billion dollars, on revenues of 137.7 billion dollars.

That also means that they earned...let's say "pocketed" 9.7 cents for every dollar they took in, or, stated otherwise--they have to spend 90.3 cents of every dollar they make to function.

They're operating at 90.3%. In business, we call that, pretty darn good...especialy given the restrictions placed on the company, which are more ridiculous than in any other industry.

Think of it this way...if you make $45,000 per year, and at the end of everything, you have banked $4400.00, you've done OK (actually, that's probably really good in that income bracket).

Exxon Mobil is doing that...save that their investing more than 25 billion dollars in capital and exploration expense (growing the capabilities of the business). This company is operating very well given the environment their forced to work in, and for the 82,000 employees of that firm, and their shareholders, that's a good thing.

Add to that the almost 200 million dollars the company invests in charitable contributions, and you have a pretty good company out there...one of the many, who, if pernmitted to operate in the free market without overt government interference, provides the opportunity for people to obtain success in their own lives.

That's the key to mitigating the observed disparity.

But to tax the "rich" serves only to increase the mindset that promotes the entitlement mentality, and thus, the poverty we see. When you do that, not only do those who live off of welfare have little incentive to accomplish, but those who do accomplish have less and less incentive to provide products and services which create the opportunities for those who need them. It's a vicious circle of regression in society.

Please don't vilify the oil companies. They power the economy.

You think they make a huge profit?

Think of this:

For every gallon of gas you buy to put in your car, the gas companies are netting about 8 cents or so.

They have to pay the government about 25 cents on that gallon.

In addition to that, you're paying your governments (state, local, and federal) between 50 and 75 cents per gallon you buy!).

The government makes 3 time the profit on gasoline that the oil companies do....for doing ...NOTHING!

What are THEY doing with that money to alleviate poverty?

Nothing. Not a thing.

Now, they want more from the oil companies...?

They'll further reduce their operating capabilities, and of course, we'll all pay for that ultimately at the pump. So, the oil companies won't be providing any more jobs, and they, as well as we, shall pay the government more money, and there will still be lower income people and indeed poverty...

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