Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream

Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream

2012, Society  -   94 Comments
Ratings: 8.21/10 from 244 users.

In America, the rich are getting richer. Isn't that great? Doesn't that mean there's lots more wealth to go round? Or is it good news for the rich but very bad news for the poor?

740 Park Avenue, Manhattan, is one of the most exclusive addresses in the world, home to some of the richest Americans, the 1% of the 1%. Ten minutes to the north, across the Harlem River, is the other Park Avenue, in the South Bronx. Here, unemployment runs at 19% and half the population need food stamps.

The American Dream of equal opportunities and hard work says you can be born in the Bronx and end up at 740. But is that dream still true? The film argues the super-rich haven't just bought the exclusive addresses – they've bought the whole system and they're running it for themselves.

The U.S. became the world's largest economy because it invented products and then manufactured them with new processes and technology.

It is essential that the U.S. rebuild its manufacturing capabilities - not the assembly-line jobs of yesterday but the high-tech advanced manufacturing of the future - to restart the cycle of invention and production. It's the only way to address the horrendous debt and put Americans back to work.

The problems are compounded by an undereducated, entitled population, a permanently unemployed underclass, lack of universal healthcare, fighting asinine wars and ludicrous government spending however, if the political will is there, the U.S. can emulate Germany, Scandinavia and Japan by paying high wages and running surpluses in manufactured goods.

To accomplish this, the U.S. must make what it invents. However, couple the blatant ignorance of much of the electorate, whose brains are bound by cult-like devotion to some mythical god, with the gross incompetence of their elected officials and the future does not bode well for the American dream.

The foundation of any strong democracy is an educated and healthy population.

The documentary does a fine job of pointing out how the U.S. has dropped the ball on both counts and allowed greedy oligarchs and corrupt professional self-centered politicians to mismanage its priorities beyond belief.

Directed by: Alex Gibney

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94 Comments / User Reviews

  1. bram

    I was wearing headphones when watching, and as the movie starts, it hammered my eardrums. Seriously... use some normal audio levels please.

  2. Travis Thoeming

    All this mention of the Koch Brothers, and yet no mention of their equivalent on the left: George Soros. It goes both ways, and both parties are to blame for this mess.

  3. Maria

    I hope people realise that Sctoo Walker wasn't set up by the owner of a pizza shop around the corner...he was set up by people who are far worse than he was. So when you think that justice prevailed...think again...he was nothing but a pawn to the higher up.

  4. Paul Rainwater

    Great film, especially relevant with the latest news about a Scott Walker criminal investigation, this film exposes the hypocrisy and political conspiracy of the ultra rich and corrupt politicians, the evil Koch brothers and their ilk. Now Prosecutors are going after the hypocrite and corrupt Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) who is at the center of a criminal conspiracy to illegally coordinate the activities of independent conservative groups during recall elections in his state in 2011 and 2012, according to documents released Thursday and first reported on by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  5. JJay

    Come on, we can all talk and talk and chat and chat about these things, but when do we bring it into practice? Its like developing a theory without ever testing it!

    I propose to just start to share these documentaries, simply to create more consciousness among the general population. Just do it, really.

    You know why? I want my kids to grow up in a free world, I'm still young and live in west-europe, where it is still not as crazy as in the U.S. It will be if these guys are not going to be stopped.

    I'm sending to Obama all day about how he is supposed to protect the Americans, and care for them. How can he, and not only Mr. President, but also the whole senate let this happen? How can you be so low that you don't want to throw the facts on the table and let people know what is going on? Why are we still learning things on school which creates a false image of the world?

    Somebody has to let you know that this happens, or you have to come across these things by coincidence, otherwise you'll simply never know about the kind of things that happen in this unequal world!

    I still have faith in humanity that this will be resolved! The psychopaths have to be kicked of their thrones!!

    1. Bryant Hill

      A am a Conservative

      There are a lot of people who share what you wrote here. The people (representatives) are in the drivers seat to make these changes in our country at the top, but don't. WHY?
      Because they ARE profiting from a lot of what the left and big business are doing to build their own portfolio. Look how many books Conservatives have written and the profits off of them.
      Conservatives are cashing in on the system, then blaming it on the left. The left is working diligently to gain control over the Conservatives so they can keep lining their pocket and staying in power.

      The middle class is in the middle. Hard working American's, entrepreneurs, who are paying absorbent taxes and being crushed under the weight of the almighty rich.

      As I see it, a flat tax would bring the rich down a notch. They could no longer depend on loopholes in the tax system to pay nothing each year. Think of what just 12% of annual profits in the amount of $ 47.5 Billion dollars would put into the United States Treasury from only one corporation.

      Boy, would the rich really hate this. That is why they spend millions to lobby against the flat tax. It's a lot cheaper for them to do that than actually have to pay 12% on what they bring into their businesses.
      Me? 12% of $ 81K per year
      Someone else 12% of $ 35K
      Someone else 12% of $ 134K

      See how easy that it?

    2. Bryant Hill


  6. Lisa

    Let's also talk about George Soros and his open checkbook to Democrats, shall we?

    1. Brian Smith

      Didn't even watch the film huh? If Atlas would shrug, do you really think those rich people you love are going to take you with them?

    2. Bryant Hill

      He should be hung by the neck right alongside all the other people in cohorts against this country.

  7. Lisa

    Talk about one sided propaganda! They're allowing this to be shown in schools? Really? In all fairness, they should also show "2016- Obama's America" to these kids too.

  8. DReview

    I think on the next election, we need to focus on who is funding whom.

    I'm voting against anyone the Koch Brothers are Funding. And I believe anyone with a good sense in mind should do to. These guys are the puppet masters of everything that has been going wrong in this country for the last decade and a half. Including their relationships with ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Commission), their Involvent in CCA (Private Prisons), and their Lobbying Against finding resolutions in immigration (to keep illegal immigrants in the country to fill up prisons for profit is wrong!!!)

    1. kaz

      Are you also going to voice your opposition to the Trans-Pacific-Partnership trade agreement that President Obama is trying to fast track (with Dem Senator Max Baucus and a couple of GOP Republicans)?
      It is called NAFTA on steroids, kept secret. Gives favored multi-national corporations unbelievable protections and privileges.
      People around the world who know of it are protesting along with some in congress like Bernie Saunders and Rand Paul (a libertarian).
      Tea Party is composed of many groups.

  9. milsma

    This was fantastic but the Ayn Rand slant was excessive and unnecessary. The wealthy do a great job of convincing the masses to turn their anger against each other and the lower classes - a classic diversion tactic for pick pockets. They cry against the concept of income re-distribution but fail to recognize that it's happening in reverse right now. The top are taking from the middle and have been 30 years.

  10. ross

    The documentary didn't actually make an opinion of Ayn Rand's novel. For me it highlighted how desperate the 1%ers are to take an outdated idea and twist it as a doctrine for an outdated system that was tried and has left some pretty dazzling and unquantifiable results. Especially on the environment.

    It is a doctrine that was radical back in the day, and it is possibly meant for the lower classes and not the upper classes.

    It gets spun out, as lots of things do, to pluck on the heartstrings of American society, as an outrage. To spread fear that something has been taken away from them, to induce fear and soak up all those tax breaks and re-invest in new ways to ruin the planet.

    Taxes were always only meant for the poor. It's only when the rich get taxed do we have really big global problems, because they have rigged the system with these in mind. Change it too quickly and we have chaos. It really needs to be a global change and that will never work because every country is fighting against every country over the power of their currency.

  11. Erika

    Their opinion of Ayn Rand's novel makes no difference to me and to focus on it would be to miss the point. Make no mistake, the deep pockets of the 1% are influencing BOTH conservative and liberal parties. This is a biased, but accurate documentary. But to replace this system with socialism makes no sense either, trading one evil for another. So what now?

    1. Craig White

      I dont think anyone is suggesting we replace anything with socialism, I think this is meant to bring awerness so that discussions can begin about what can be done to change this, if we as a society believe change should come about.

    2. TheThinker1958

      Capitalism working for the 1% is an evil thing. As is Socialism controlled by the 1%. They both are good. The problem is the people in charge. For Capitalism to work you have to increase taxes when taking the money out of each Corporation. CEOs hate paying taxes. If the system rewards keeping the money inside the company the only path forward is to expand or branch out creating more work for more people.

    3. mike m

      no nation is all of one thing that I am aware of. Replace this with that is what an ignorant one would say. Ignorant means, not yet taught or informed.
      socialism is a style or type of governing. Capitalistic is a type or style. democratic is a style or type.
      nations have pieces one or the other.
      public schools, medicare, interstate highways are socialistic programs. we have many other ones also.
      we have some socialistic stuff. we have a little bit of democracy and a whole lot of unnecessary capitalisim in our country.
      less of some and more of the others would be jess' fine with me.
      I doubt you do, nor ever will understand what I just wrote.

  12. Justin Tanner

    This documentary is garbage, i just watched it on Netflix, the way it portrays the issues is obviously slanted towards a socialist view. The worst part was how it completely misrepresented Atlas Shrugged and objectivism. In Atlas Shrugged the largest "moochers" are not the "poor", they are the entitled rich, their lobbyists, and the government power brokers that this documentary is railing against. If anything AS should have been lauded, but no you demeaned it (and lied) because Ayn Rand is anti-socialist and doesn't fit your narrative.

    This documentary is biased and it's not advocating anything except replacing a broken system with a different, equally broken system where nothing will change except who controls it. The film makers should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. DML

      First, you're way off--the "portrayal" of being critical of the current 'ruling' economic mechanisms in the USA is NOT, as you claim, "obviously slanted towards a socialist view." The documentary just lays out facts w/o any slant.

      Second, you need to reread Atlas Shrugged, as your memory of the facts in the novel are flat out wrong.

      Third, you ought to update your history on Ayn Rand. When she wrote the novel she may have claimed to be been "anti-socialist", anti-government and pro-privatization, but in the end she 'happily' embraced (availed herself of) government assistance.

      Finally, this documentary does NOT advocate replacing the current "broken" system with an, as you claim, "equally broken system where nothing will change except who controls it." In fact, the film provides FACTS and leaves it up to the viewer re what to do.

    2. Ray Petronko

      RIGHT ON! Justin didn't get the point of the movie!

    3. Bryant Hill

      One day you will meet this so-called mythical god and you will be squiring out both ends.
      Terror will fill your face at that time. Go ahead for now, talk your trash against Jesus Christ. He/We win in the end. Revelation 19-20

  13. Al Rodriguez

    Now I understand why US is going down the way it goes.Americans just can not handle their greed.

  14. Dan Brady

    I watched the first half, enjoying the exploration of the shift in wealth concentration over the last several years, and the expose of how the ultra-rich get what they want out of Congress.

    They lost me when they misrepresented Ayn Rand's work so miserably, though. It called everything I'd seen up to that point into question.

    1. Paul Rainwater

      how can they misrepresent Ayn Rand, they used her exact words as she spoke them on video, are you far right tea party people deaf and blind?

    2. Dan Brady

      1. I do not consider myself far right - frankly, I don't subscribe to the right-left paradigm at all. The world is more complex than that.

      2. I am not a member of the Tea Party - the last political party I was a member of was the Independence Party - the folks that got Jesse Ventura elected Governor.

      3. It's always fun to discuss things with people who insult me. It just raises the tone of the dialogue *so* much.

      4. I wrote this a year ago - I don't recall the details of how they misrepresented Ayn Rand's work. Nor am I willing to re-watch the vid to refresh my memory so I can explain anything to you.

      Have a wonderful life, but please - have it away from me.

  15. Aplaz Payroll

    Just remember there is only "ONE" pie! Therefore although, 1% of 1% have so much wealth... That leaves 99.999999999% that must continue to work so that all the goods and services sold by the 1% of 1% can continue to live the lavish lifestyle!

    Imagine that tomorrow gasoline becomes obsolete and hydrogen becomes the fuel of the future! The Koch's would have to go on welfare... Poetic justice...

    One day you'll see the pendulum of life strike hard and when it does come not even our elected officials will be able to stop it.

    If you imagine for a moment that the 99.99% can not pay for the goods and services the 1% of 1% will suffer greatly! Until then, let them enjoy the wealth that they have accumulated! They earned it the old fashioned way.... Rob, cheat and steal... Rob from by not paying their fair share of taxes... Cheat because they have paid, the lawmakers to make them wealthier... and Steal because there is no law that will put them in jail... Look at the global economy's demise over the last half decade! Did the rich get richer? YES! did the poor lose, YES...

    Understand that it is what it is and no human on this earth can stop them.


    That's a wrap for now... God Bless us all, One Nation with liberty and freedom for all.

    1. Bryant Hill

      But God STILL says; YOU have lived a life of wanton pleasure. NOW, the judgment!
      So sorry, but lights OUT for those (mostly wealthy people) who gained the whole world and lost their very souls..

  16. Todd Morrow

    So billionaires live in that old crappy ugly building?!? AHAHAHAAHAAAHAHAAAA!!!!! love it.

  17. Nothing_Is_Real

    Every thing we see in this doc. that balances the books for the rich is made possible by Privatized Banking, when we printed our own intrest free money without privatized banks everyone made money. That was taken care of by Privatized Banking assasination of every president that apposed Privatized Banking, virtually every President that has ever been assasinsted. Privatized Banking keeps the people in a constant stae of debt that will never be paid off.

    1. Bryant Hill

      Well then, someone was doing us a favor by assassinating these Presidents.

  18. Nothing_Is_Real

    How come the planes of 911 didn't hit 740 Park Avenue, Manhattan, oh yeh, because they helped plan and funded the False Flag 911.

  19. Nothing_Is_Real

    We are only born equal, after that the books are stacked one way or the other depending on how much money your parents had whenyou were born and how much of that was stolen by the privatized banking industry of the ne wworld order. The ignorance of the American people still amazes me still choosing one party over another party thinking that they are making a difference. There is only one party the "Privatized Banking Party" it is a government 'Of the rich, by the rich, for the rich' controling the media,( what we see on tv is bulls**t), education, ( what we were taught as our history is bulls**t ) Industry, ( control production to keep prices high) competition, (there is none, companies meet secretly to set prices nation wide, availablities of utilities cannot cross borders just like mafia territories resulting in no competition between utility companies). We are so busy hording our little bundle of cash we can't see that we are just like the people we put in office. Money makes you mean and uncaring. All of these rich self centered, disgusting individual have to say is GOD BLESS AMERICA and the ignorant blind sheep wiil kiss their *ss. Oh, by the way God Bless America.

    1. Mary Kulesza Shields

      well said.

    2. Bryant Hill

      Nothing_ is_ Real_ for_ people_ who_ know_ nothing.

    3. Bryant Hill

      You mean, God created YOU will a purpose in His plan, but He was rejected for your own plan more like it.

  20. Ricky Philizaire

    Really Good Documentary!!

  21. manfruss

    The US has become one of the worlds least socially mobile countries.

  22. Glen Dooer

    If you don't like living in USSA or any other "free" country get out while you still can because it is all downhill from here.

    USSA is facing another civil war this its the fed's versus the people.

  23. Naomi Cas

    If money is your priority in life, fine, go for it. But what some of us have a problem with is the clear widespread fraud that can clearly be observed. Rewards normally require risk, in a free market that is. But we have now a system where people expect to collect rewards without any of the risks: making highly leveraged risky bets and blackmailing the rest of society into bailing out the losses when they fail miserably. We no longer have a free market. Money is being used to buy tools to rig the game. It is a monopoly where some players are not allowed to loose. If they start loosing (bad luck or stupidity) all the other players have to give them money so they can continue to play, and if there is not enough money they can jump to the position “print” and make sure the game continues. Of course it is no longer a game is it? It is an aimless and unsustainable spiral, “players” aimlessly going around the board with increasingly worthless piles of money.

    I am not sure these people ever think and ask themselves: what is the point? For me money is just a tool to have more freedom. But these people are not free. They are bound to their treadmill just like a minimum wage worker. Being able to buy stuff does not make you free or happy or cultured or smart or healthy.
    Some of us have taken their chips, gone home and are no longer playing the game.

    1. Bryant Hill

      YOU are right....$ 18 Trillion dollars, RIGHT.

  24. Adrian Larsson

    1: KIll the rich.
    2: Government take over the businesses.
    3: More unions.
    4: ???
    5: Profit!!

    1. Tom

      Thoughtful reaction to the case made in this video does not call for the "killing" of the rich but does reason the need to stop demonizing the poor and redirecting the wealth that takes an entire nation to create. Read American history about the gilded age and the subsequent re calibration. The wealthy have nothing to fear except the mistaken belief that they have unlimited entitlement to wealth. Their best ally is a thriving (and growing) middle class.

  25. seamus watson

    I literally felt sick watching this. The land of opportunity? Ayn Rand has a lot to answer for.

  26. KsDevil

    740 Park Avenue? Hmmm. Seems like putting all your eggs in one basket might be dangerous.

  27. Scott Baker

    Food stamps are a subsidy for the rich too. Walmart gave classes to its employees to train them in how to apply for Food Stamps & other gov't programs, to offset their Always Low Wages.

  28. BillH

    now compare the life of the average American poor person living on food stamps to someone in say, Somalia or Ethiopia, or western comparison they are rich rich rich,these politically connected Americans who dring clean water and get to go to sleep well fed everynight! imagine!

    I have met and "hung out" with a lot of very rich people....I don't envy them, they are not that happy as a rule, only 10% or so are real human beings who look in your eyes and truly relate to you. Largely they are inflated by the idea of all this money they have, which gets in the way of letting them be able to afford to be human. They are isolated by their wealth into a rarified society of other a--holes,(of whom they are deeply envious) who have even many more millions or billions than they have. They don't understand "content" only perma- ambition

  29. rockguitardude

    Just looking at this as objectively a I can, I think this was a very well done documentary. I enjoyed the frame story of the 740 Park Ave. address to tackle the standard rich-people-getting-their-fingers-in-government story with a little twist.

    I also applaud this documentary for not going after the people making more than just $250,000 per year. I know this seems like a lot of money to some but these people are mostly your dual income professional households. In New York, a teacher married to an engineer will bring home this sum with ease.

    These people have money for "nice" cars and homes but no money for real political influence beyond maybe going to a dinner for a county executive or something like that. Not the kind of clout a billionaire has obviously.

    The real problem is these hedge fund guys who really don't "make" anything. They move paper and monopoly money around to make billions. These people didn't earn the money the same way others do in my mind. This may be a personal prejudice of mine against bankers but it is what it is. I find the fortune that Bill Gates made with Microsoft, and others like him, to be much more respectable in this regard.

    In my opinion the dividing line of $250,000 per year income is a red herring. A billionaire could make zero and just draw down on principal and never run out of money. The real dividing line is those who need to work to achieve sustenance vs those who don't. This is measured by net worth, not income. If you have $10,000,000 in the bank, at a rate of return of 5%, you make $500,000 per year. This, to me, appears to be the real dividing line.

    1. Derrick Boyes

      Investing where your money will go next and collecting profits is the farthest thing from working that I can imagine. Thats like saying picking what tv show your going to watch next is some form of work

  30. Yamaan Farhat

    In times like this its best to rob the rich and feed the poor.

  31. Odd Sigve Tendenes Tengesdal

    We need a Bane (Dark Knight Rises), tho with less violence.

    1. Pablo Martin Podhorzer

      Go back to Germany 1920s, they got one of those, things didn´t go so well for them. Can I suggest a Ghandi, a Peron or somebody else for your purchase?

  32. silkop

    Just like Republicans like to misrepresent Democrats as "socialists" (an insult?), this film misrepresents Rand as a some sort of "bloodsucking capitalist". In other words, it is another crappy, biased film which starts with a predetermined agenda and then presents only what fits.

    Viewers are advised to read Rand's book for themselves to see whom she really criticized and glorified (and possibly where she got it wrong).

    1. Pablo Martin Podhorzer

      You are right, she was not a bloodsucking capitalist, she was worst than that, a lot worse.

  33. Sertsis

    I've always believed that in order to take government(s) away from big biz, and give it back to the people is to kick all of the special interests out of Washington, and strictly enforce greatly reduced limits to political contributions and spending. Maybe you'll get some politicians and policies that favor the true shareholders of your country, the voters. And not just in America, this needs to happen globally.

    1. Derrick Boyes

      none of it makes sense that it's been made so flawed that some wealthy people can buy up the government. Who ever keeps inforcing this bs system should be shot.

  34. Brent Kingi

    Most of the people in the 1% earned their wealth over decades, some were businesses handed down through the family etc. I have no issue with those who got rich because they had great ideas and brought them to the market for the people to enjoy.

    It's those who get rich through political association. It's the cronyism in this corporatist system that is the problem. Not the rich. We have too big a government sticking its filthy hands all over the economy, manipulating it in favor of a few at the expense of the many. Hate the politicians and the political system, not the rich who earned their wealth.

  35. CarimboHanky

    sometimes i think its easier for people to blame the rich for their poverty that blame themselves... welfare wont make you rich, get up your lazy and work... thats how you get out of poverty. the so called "1%" got there because they work for it...

    1. Brandon Robinson

      Or.....they were born into it....This society f--kin sucks no matter how many excuses you make for it....The "so called 1%" worked to get where they are? More like lied, cheated and manipulated the system...But not only the system has been manipulated but also the minds of many, like you.

    2. Derrick Boyes

      hahahaha ya ok. most of them were born into it. your the laziest Fer here.. It's people like you that deserve the worst

    3. CarimboHanky

      so i deserve the worst... why because i didnt waited for the government to pick me up? i deserve the worst because i didnt waited for my foodstamps to arrive? or because i dont need to wait 'til next month to get minutes in my obamaphone?

      yes, some rich people are born rich but why is that? because someone in their family actually worked to earn their wealth, which was later inherit.

      i dont consider my self rich but if i die right now my wife and 2 kids wont have to worry about nothing for many long years, why? because i when out everyday and worked.

      like i said before, welfair wont make you rich, if you want to go out of poverty you have to work...

    4. Pablo Martin Podhorzer

      So you don´t actually know how capitalism works, isn´t?

    5. CarimboHanky

      because i know how capitalism work is that im not dependent on the government...

  36. Peter Wilson

    A poor person seeks to be a richer person. How is it done? He seeks to own more assets---real estate, money, valuable goods etc. The true freedom to negotiate with others and to offer services in exchange for money and goods serves the cause. Only "government" can use force to impede and even block the poor person's efforts, force the use of an "official" currency (Federal Reserve notes), and it is "government" that claims ownership control of the poor person's home and earnings, so that he cannot truly own anything. What do you have to negotiate in a power struggle if you don't truly own anything? The "government" can take his home away if he doesn't pay the "rent" (property taxes) and the "government" will lock him up if he doesn't give up whatever earnings they demand (payroll, property, sales, income taxes). Rich people learn to use "government" control to get more and more phoney federal reserve notes which gives them more assets to negotiate with. It is "government's" invalid claim to ownership control of honest hardworking people's earnings and property along with it's coercive controls of how an honest person does business and what currencies they choose to utilize that obstructs a poor person's attempts to become richer. This doc actually proposes MORE government control and ownership claims as the solution!? When that is exactly how the established rich ensure further domination. Not a good call. And by the way; the Koch brothers are in no way libertarians---they love big and domineering government; that's where all the control is. Watch what they do, not what they say. These doc makers fell for their trick (calling what they do "free market" when it is the very opposite) all the way.

    1. Pablo Martin Podhorzer

      It seems that you fail to understand the very basic concept of fiat money, that you need to control possible (and very probable) shortages of aggregated demand in a capitalist economy. Read Keynes and get back on Monday.

    2. Peter Wilson

      First, I think my post makes it obvious I'm no fan of the Federal Reserve or government-enforced fiat currency, taxation ("legalized" theft) or government spending (your beloved solution for low aggregate demand I'm sure). All of the above are immoral. They are violations of hard-working folks' basic human rights. So why would I care to read up more than I have on the official apologist for the world's greatest scam of history---central banking? I know; you would have to perform actual valued services or produce and sell real goods that people value to make honest commodity-backed money, gold or silver, but hey, you would actually be a plus to humanity unlike Wall Street speculators, financiers, government leeches, corporate/government profiteers and other worthless trash propped up by the Federal Reserve shenanigans and its partner the Federal Government. Just as I am going to pass on reading "Mein Kampf" because I'm not interested in supporting Nazi Fascism, I'll pass on further reading of Keynes. I have read up on Keynes, though. Have you read up on rational economic thinkers such as Mises or Rothbard?

    3. Pablo Martin Podhorzer

      Well, forget about it. I was going to quote Lange, or Veblen, or even the big Das K guy itself, but it is no use, go read your Rand now.

    4. Peter Wilson

      I'm no fan of Ayn Rand, but I do get your point. Is it that respecting the basic human rights of hardworking people is boring compared to the intriguing realm of ever-powerful government?

    5. jip

      how is my mother working 60 hrs a week on minimum wage and still not making enough to care for her family while paying a 25% payroll tax a reflection of a just society while these CEOs make millions and still fight for taxes lower than 15% on their investments? and when corporate power controls the government, in what delusional world do you think its government that's the problem and not the money pushers controlling the actual outcomes? instead of a democracy, why don't we just shut up and let corporations run our society? they've already persuaded us its big government that's the real problem - not big money. brilliant. just brilliant. just explain this to me - if money controls politics, which is the greater evil? politicians or financiers? the answer always will be - follow the money.

    6. Peter Wilson

      have no problem with government---make it as big as you like. Give it
      all the "jobs", tasks and challenges you like. My ONLY objection is that
      most of us allow that clowns in government costumes who have no more
      wisdom or moral character than you or me (or your Mother I'm sure)
      ---that those government folks are granted special "privilege" to
      violate our most basic human rights. I explain in my original
      post why that is such a serious problem. Business owners are not
      allowed by the population as a whole to use force or violate our basic
      rights---they partner with government to do so and call themselves
      corporations. Government force can regulate/tax/make illegal/zone out of
      business honest competitors. Government bombs and murders uncooperative
      people throughout the world---to open up markets, attain cheap
      desperate labor and resources for their partners, the corporations. You
      have got to learn what the Federal Reserve is, and why it is enforced by
      the government. I wash people's feet and provide foot massages for a
      living. My Wife and I live in a 400 square foot home/business property
      and we are absolutely happy to have it. You ask me to choose between
      culprits---money or political power. They are both interlinked so
      thoroughly, I suggest you join me and follow both trails.

  37. Bogdan Gherghel

    what if a group of "domestic terrorists" would come up with a plan and assassinate all these super-rich in a week or so, regardless of receiving the death penalty afterwards?

    1. Sieben Stern

      better yet, take the wealth and make them live like the homeless.

    2. ctdfalconer

      Sounds a bit like a revolution, French style.

  38. Mike Porter

    Many politicians and business tycoons seem to be afflicted by psychopathy. It's an understatement to say they don't play by the rules. These are extremely intelligent people that experience impunity with every destructive action they take. They are protected by laws they design. Psychopathy is a brain/personality disorder of a parasitic nature. There is no cure.

  39. Nakor4Twunny

    I've been poor my whole life. My life has honestly been terrible. I'm 33, and I can honestly say, when I see these people, I don't get mad at them, because I know that most people with their access are going to be that way. It sucks but it's true. That doesn't change the fact that if I had the ability, I would live that lifestyle too.

    1. wald0

      Personally I have no issue with them living the rich life, if they can afford it let them have it. If I could afford it I would have it, at least a lot of it. The problem comes in when they rig the system to protect and expand what they have at the direct cost of others and even have the nerve to point their grubby fingers at the poor and say they are to blame after we just bailed them out of a crisis they created with their needless greed and reckless behavior. The problem comes in when they sit around moaning about uncertainty in the economy, refusing to hire anyone, even though they just recorded record breaking profits. The problem comes in when big oil is receiving subsidy from our tax dollar while accusing medicare and food stamps of "making people dependent on the government". Who cares if someone is rich or if they live an extravagant life style, just don't try and play the victim while doing so and make sure you return what you can to those less fortunate. There is nothing wrong with being successful.

    2. Derrick Boyes

      It's that they do it at the expence of others such as you and I...Are you really not getting it? We make them there money by consuming from there buinesses .. Did you fall alseep during the video?

  40. Sharon Hutchinson

    I could never understand--just how much money does one person need? After a certain point, the accumulation of wealth becomes an absurdity.

    "A man should not be known by how much he has, but by how much he can give away."

    1. ctdfalconer

      Once you have more than you could ever spend in your life, it's just a way to keep score. The value of a dollar ceases to have real meaning. And you start to look for ways to flex the power of your money like the oligarchs who run the US.

  41. Trevis Robotie

    hell's just across the river from heaven,always has been and always will be

  42. kaitse8

    Greed is good, greed works, LOL

    1. Trevis Robotie

      yeah,for greedy ppl!greed is dangerous, i watch the movie.greedily!

  43. oQ

    Saw this one a few days ago on Films For Actions...interesting!
    Eddie Murphy's... Trading Places comes to mind..might as well laugh about it all.
    The best place to live in that building would be in the basement with a photo darkroom and a wood stove.

  44. a_no_n

    The American Dream was the single greatest hoax ever purported by an organization outside of organized religion.

    "if you work hard enough, you'll one day be rich"...It's almost as good as "Be good or you'll go to hell"
    It's a wonderful device to coerce people into towing the party line, and if you can get people to actually believe it and indoctrinate this naivety into their children, then you're set for life...Mix both lines together, get a major news network to constantly define what you think people ought to consider "right" and "hard work" and who needs slaves?

    Personally i don't think it was ever possible for your average person to get from the Bronx to 740.

    1. ZarathustraSpeaks

      What would be the name of the "organization" that created this hoax? If it was a hoax we knowingly or unknowingly, created it ourselves and infected our children with it. Once again trying to blame some "other" entity for our own creations is pointless and only propagates the myth. We believe what we choose to believe because want to believe in something real or unreal. Organized or not, religion only fills a void that exist with or without your acceptance or rejection of faith. "Truth is Truth" no matter how we "feel" about it.

    2. a_no_n

      that's a very fair point, i am wandering down conspiracy alley with comments like that, for clarity i don't believe in a big 'They' controlling everything, and I wasn't intending to indicate a dedicated syndicate of specific evil...In fact your explaination of the situation is exactly what i was driving at. Just pointing out plenty of grasping individuals and groups of people, sometimes working together, and quite often against one another too abusing an abusive system for ever changing individual self interests.
      Dunno much about beliefs...and care even less for them.

    3. Derrick Boyes

      The system doesn't have to be evil to be doing what it is doing. It's designed to monopolize of everything and anything. So obviously it's like a swarm of locusts eating and destroying all systems along the way. It's just a bad design. Once you have almost all the wealth who is going to take it from you??? They can never take enough to be wealthy them selves. From generation to generation the wealth travels up the trunk of the family tree and feeds the newly formed branches of the tree..The American dream is exactly what it says it is a dream never to become a reality.

    4. Dean Edgington

      I think you under estimate the power and influence of the people at the top.

    5. Derrick Boyes

      The only void I need to fill is in my wallet... Oh this world needs a head shake

    6. Kateye70

      Hmmm I believe the "american dream" you referenced could be traced back to the earliest settlers in New England, wealth being the just earthly reward for the hard-working, godly, virtuous ones. ("Work hard, worship [insert sect here]'s god, live virtously, earthly reward is gold, heavenly reward to follow.")

      I think the whole thing is just a pernicious idea that has persisted and permeated our culture from the day the Brits first kicked out their religious crazies and sent them over here.

    7. Cricket Cole

      Sometimes my dyslexia is rather amusing, if startling - I read this "Worship the Insect God here."

      Makes as much sense as worshiping a lot of the others, I guess. ;)

    8. Derrick Boyes

      Ya not only that but were slaves beating down other slaves to get on the slave masters good side. You can imagine it like a kid in scool trying to be the teachers pet only this is much worse obviously. How can you have any chance at all of getting to the top when the top just keeps soaring higher and higher with every year that passes.People making more money of a month worth of bank interest then any of us will ever make in our life time..We all see that they think because we didn't strike oil or whatever the case that we must be some kind of second rate human being. I never had an equal chance and nobody does. They have turned this whole planet into some kind of sick casino where high rollars always stay being a high rollar and the people below them don't even get to play for a chance to take some of that high rollars money. It's financial prejudice just another type of racism basicly. If your not rich then you never deserve to be rich. It's time to put the monopoly game back in the box because it's just ruining humanity worse then the worst cancers and polutants known to man.
      Compatition is not benificial unless it's creating higher standards of living. We should be competing with the real true problems and challenges that face all of humanity not competing with eachother.
      What will they do when it's only super rich people alive on this world? War? Would they start some there can only be one mind set?
      Uhhh it's just madning.
      This wolrd is so nuts and crazy. Heres what my parents always said to me when I was a young kid about money and having to be a slave. "Well it's never going to change so just do as your told keep your nose clean and maybe you'll get somewhere in life."
      pfft what a joke!!!

    9. Randeroid

      Slaves beating down other slaves can be called 'house slaves' or immigrants.