[–] teslabox link

From the article:

> Rockefeller upheld the family’s philanthropic tradition, giving away more than $900 million during his lifetime. In 1940, he joined the board of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, established in 1901 by his grandfather, and a decade later succeeded his father as board chairman, serving for 25 years.

Rich people don't give money away no-strings-attached, they channel it for their purposes. This "institute for medical research" - now Rockefeller University - was their way of guiding the development of medicine into a profitable industry for "investors".

"The first director of laboratories was Simon Flexner" [1] [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockefeller_University

Simon Flexner's younger brother was Abraham Flexner, who helped the medical guild reduce the number of medical schools [2], thereby making sure that there's always been a shortage of doctors.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexner_Report

The Osteopathic profession was the only group that was organized enough to survive the Medical Guild's purge of non-Rockefeller-approved approaches to medicine. Today D.O.s are more likely to take up Primary Care, where doctors take time to get to know their patients and figure out what's actually causing their complaints. See The Heroism of Incremental Care, [3] for example.

[3] http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/23/the-heroism-of-...

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[–] reckoner2 link

I finished "Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller" a few nights ago. It's a mammoth of a book and I believe the undisputed most accurate and comprehensive look at his life.

I think that what you've written here is incredibly misleading when talking about John D. Rockefeller's philanthropy in particular. It is wrong to imply the Rockefeller's secretly controlled strings in order to make profits from their donations. Time and time again he gave away vast sums of money and did everything in his power to separate himself completely from the donation. His largest fear about donating was that the public would label his donation as tainted money. He wanted no influence over, and never visited with most of the receivers of his donations. His only concern was that institutions should not be wholly dependent on his philanthropy, and work to raise money from other sources as well.

The Rockefeller institute for Medical Research is one of the most successful examples of philanthropy ever. And Rockefeller may only be eclipsed by Bill Gates as the greatest philanthropist ever.

You can absolutely (and should) criticize his business practices, but Rockefeller literally created the model of what a successful philanthropist should do.

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[–] curun1r link

> And Rockefeller may only be eclipsed by Bill Gates as the greatest philanthropist ever.

This statement reeks of hero worship and seems myopic to me. For one, both of these billionaires became rich through what most view as morally dubious monopolistic practices that had a high degree of collateral damage. The amount that both men are giving back/gave is/was a percentage of what they took. And when that percentage is under 100%, they're taking more than they're giving. That is assuming a zero-sum game, which isn't always true. When someone creates new value, either by invention or work, they can take wealth out of the system and still leave the rest of the system in a net positive state. But I'm strongly of the opinion that both Gates and Rockefeller left the system in a significantly net-negative state, even with all their philanthropy. There's a reason the cohort that Rockefeller was a part of wasn't termed "Donor Barons" despite the legacy of significant charitable contributions from that massive wealth. I don't think it's out of line to include Gates in that group since the tactics he used to achieve his wealth are very similar.

This, to me, puts both of them significantly behind average people who create more value than they take and donate small sums to charity. The man who gives his one and only dollar to charity is far more philanthropic than the man who gives $99b of his $100b. The people who devote their lives to helping others are the ones we should respect, not the people giving billions while still holding billions in reserve for themselves.

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[–] xd360 link

You really need to learn about Bill Gates before you judge him and publicly express your misguided views. Bill Gates has committed to give all of his wealth to philanthropy over his lifetime, leaving only $10 million for each of his 3 children after his demise. That means $30 million of his (current) $80 billion networth is all that will be left for his family whereas the rest goes to charity. That's philanthropy of over 99.999% personal wealth donation. I think by this he satisfies your 100% donation criteria.

You say that a person who gives 100% of his wealth to charity is bigger than one who gives 99%. The amount matters, not percentage. If Bill Gates had your mentality, then at which point do you think he should've given away 100% of his wealth? When he made $100 million or when he made $1 billion? Be reminded, if he had given up 100% of his wealth at those figures, he would never have had any significant money left to increase his wealth, so all those charities and research efforts of his that have received $30 billion+ of his wealth so far wouldn't have existed (the figure was $28 billion in 2013, don't know what it is now).

Bill Gates knows the value of creating value. He knows its better to teach fishing than to give fish. He invests money in research instead of just giving it away blindly because he knows that the outcome of that research will save/improve more lives than giving that money away directly. Again, he also knows that giving away all the money now isn't a better idea since as science progresses, better research will come along that'll need his funding, so he's keeping enough wealth to support those venture if and when they come along. If they don't come along during his lifetime, all of his wealth will anyway go to charity after his death (except $30 million for his children).

His business practices were cutthroat, but that was back when he was younger and not an active philanthropist. As a philanthropist, I think he's the greatest person of all time. Numbers matter, his billions have done more for mankind than misinformed people like you will ever care to admit. So go do some research before you bad mouth him ever again.

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[–] curun1r link

> You really need to learn about Bill Gates before you judge him and publicly express your misguided views

I don't care about any of his philanthropic deeds. As far as I'm concerned, they're all "fruit of the poisoned tree." Without his misdeeds, he'd never be in position to be the philanthropist he's become. If you want to talk misguided, you seem to think that he can atone for his past misdeeds. You're wrong. He set back computing at least a decade, killed off several competitors that were genuinely making the computing landscape better and cost businesses billions that they didn't need to spend. As far as I'm concerned, every bit of good that he's doing now could have been done by the others who would have have the money that's now his. It's the broken window fallacy to assume otherwise.

Perhaps you should learn more about his bad behavior before you accuse others of being misguided.

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[–] piva00 link

Your kind of world view is too black or white, you are lacking the continuum spectrum of gray that permeates all of human existence.

I'm not the one to defend Bill Gates, I think his business practices were atrocious for a lot of industries and we are going to feel the wake of it for a while. With that said, I still think you have too much of a romanticized view of how the world "should be", the world isn't that and it has already happened, that ship has sailed and now Bill Gates tries to pay back to society with the value he created (or siphoned if that's your view), it is what it is.

It's impossible to tell whatever would happen if there was no Bill Gates business practices in the world, you can't say "every bit of good that he's doing could have been done by others", that's an impossible statement to assert.

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[–] Chris2048 link

Isn't is inconsistent to say a

> world view is too black or white

yet also say:

> that ship has sailed

It is impossible to tell whatever would happen if there was no Bill Gates business practices in the world; Maybe if I burn down your house you'd find hidden gold coins in the ashes? You should still oppose me burning down your house.

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[–] reckoner2 link

He's be no means a hero to me, but you do raise interesting points.

I'm really not sure if Rockefeller gave more than he took. That's a tough question to answer. Is a world without Standard Oil, but also without his incredibly vast and important array of philanthropic works a better one? I don't think I can make this argument. Many aspects of modern medicine, public sanitation, public health, and public education are all in debt to his charitable work. Did those not improve the world more than his anti-competitive business practices hurt it?

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[–] ravitation link

A question out of pure ignorance: the parent comment was speaking on David Rockefeller, did he (David Rockefeller) treat philanthropy in the same way (not just superficially) as his grandfather?

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[–] reckoner2 link

I'm ignorant about David Rockefeller as well. And it may be right to criticize David. But the parent comment was actually talking about events related to John D. Rockefeller's philanthropy, not David's. John D. Rockefeller did not pass on his wealth to his Son, let alone his grandson until after the events mentioned.

edit: for example: David was not even born when the Flexner report was released.

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[–] ravitation link

I'm not actually sure what the overall point of the parent comment actually is, since he start's with David's timeline and then cites the reduction in medical schools related to Simon and Abraham Flexner, but doesn't actually delve into why Osteopathic medicine survived the medical education reform, or into John D. Rockefeller's support for Osteopathic medicine in general.

So, while I see the implication, the parent never actually makes that implication explicit.

Either way, I think it's important to separate the actions of the grandson and grandfather.

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[–] intended link

>When Flexner researched his report, many American medical schools were "proprietary", namely small trade schools owned by one or more doctors, unaffiliated with a college or university, and run to make a profit. A degree was typically awarded after only two years of study. Laboratory work and dissection were not necessarily required. Many of the instructors were local doctors teaching part-time, whose own training left something to be desired. The regulation of the medical profession by state governments was minimal or nonexistent. American doctors varied enormously in their scientific understanding of human physiology, and the word "quack" flourished.

Interesting Wikipedia article.

And as I recall, the issue with medical colleges is more the residency, than the exams isn't it? I mean, that's why we trust doctors, because the bar is that high.

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[–] rosser link

> I mean, that's why we trust doctors, because the bar is that high.

Two thoughts:

1. The old joke, "What do you call the person who graduated from medical school at the bottom of their class?" "Doctor."

2. The ordeal of residency isn't about setting the bar "high", nearly so much as it's about, "well, I went through this shit, so you have to, too". (Source: I have several doctor friends. All of them think it's bullshit. All of them have been explicitly told that, in some form or fashion, by their colleagues, superiors, teachers, or otherwise.)

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[–] kbenson link

1. What do you call the the person who graduated from SEAL training at the bottom of their class? A SEAL. I get the joke, but part of the point is that top and bottom of the class are only relevant for those who actually graduate, and who is capable of graduating can be entirely different based on the goals of the institution. From "everyone can, with work" as in High School, to "only those who are good enough" as (hopefully) in medical school.

2. Humanity, where we've institutionalized pettiness, and not just once, but throughout history. :/

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[–] rosser link

There's a pretty staggering breadth of admissions requirements for the various accredited medical schools in the US, and plenty of offshore schools that effectively will take anyone — basically MD mills. The Dominican Republic, in particular, is well-known for this.

(Yes, many of the offshore medical schools are LCME-accredited and legit, and have trained some fantastic physicians, but broadly speaking, they're taking people who couldn't get into an on-shore school.)

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[–] kbenson link

Sure, I'm not really arguing that all medical schools have sterling reputations or high standards, just that the joke, as a way to illustrate the problem, unfortunately obscures the real problem. It's pithy and punchy, which makes it good joke and easy to repeat. It's sort of a peeve of mine when I see well intentioned but slightly misleading memes propagate. They're hard to fight for the same reason they are memes.

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[–] gaius link

I see you've read DH Xavier too

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[–] Lordarminius link

> Two thoughts...

"What do you call the person who graduated from medical school at the bottom of their class?"

What do you call an engineer who graduated from the bottom of their class?

The ordeal of residency isn't about setting the bar "high", nearly so much as it's about, "well, I went through this shit, so you have to, too". (Source: I have several doctor friends.

Medical doctors are trained to exhibit a level of competence. The 'bootcamp' approach is what we know at the present time to work best. Is it easy? No. Is it pretty? No. Do you have a better suggestion? ___

All of them think it's bullshit

All of them is still a small percentage of doctors.

(Frankly this argument is old and stale. Anyone who has a better plan for training doctors should speak up instead of rehashing it)

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[–] rosser link

> The 'bootcamp' approach is what we know at the present time to work best.

What other approaches have even been tried? I don't think, in the absence of meaningfully tried alternatives that have been shown to be lacking, that a proclamation of "best-ness" is particularly warranted. ("It's the best!" "Oh? What else have you tried?" "It's the best." cycles aren't responsive.)

I note you're a physician, as well. How much of your perspective on the matter is a result of your having been through a similar process?

I'm not. But I take the word of my physician friends — one of whom, a perinatologist, recently accepted a position at a prestigious teaching university — very seriously. They aren't just speaking from their experience. They're, if their explicit statements are to be believed, relating the experience of nearly every other physician they know.

Sure, that's still a vanishingly small fraction of the total physician population. At what point, then, does this chorus of, "This is not the best way to do this" become worth listening to, and not merely writing off as griping by the uninformed, or a minority of slackers with sour grapes?

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[–] theseatoms link

Regarding the second point, this is room for improvement for reducing healthcare costs by increasing the supply of doctors.

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[–] nojvek link

Is the bar really high though? I find doctors in US for common procedures use outdated methods and charge astronomical fees.

My experience of going to Australian hospitals was 10x better.

In US it feels like doctors want to get as much money as they can from you while proving the lowest level of service possible. A very capitalist view to human life.

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[–] kbenson link

You might be interested in a Freakonomics episode[1] that covers this to some degree. There's a wide range in care based on many factors, but unless you have quite a bit of experience in the healthcare industry in both countries, for similar ailments, I'm not sure what you experienced falls outside the normal variation for the field.

The TL;DL is that the medical field changes quite a bit in the years since Docters graduate, and depending on the types of work they are doing, it seems to be fairly easy for them to get behind with the latest consensus unless they make a concerted effort. To that effect, relatively new doctors often have better patient health outcomes than doctors that have been out of school for longer. This is, to some degree, obvious after stated, as any field that sees rapid change will have some percentage of practitioners that are out of date.

1: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/bad-medicine-part-3-death-di...

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[–] Chris2048 link

I feel there is also a big difference in motivation: reducing harm versus reducing personal blame.

No doctor can be sued for a patient who doesn't see them, so raising prices high, and using it for insurance has the benefit of insuring patients who see you, while those who can't pay aren't your patients, so if they come to harm because they can't afford to see you, not your problem.

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[–] hkmurakami link

In charitable work, we often say that you either give your time or your money. The younger tend to give their time; the older tend to give their money.

Similarly, people have visions for how the world should be. The young and of-less-means tend to give their time, engaging in grassroots efforts or marches. The old and rich tend to give their money. Both use their resources to shape the world towards what they believe in.

Whether one believes this is morally right is one thing (whether the rich should have a louder voice though their resources), but I do think the intent of the rich is less sinister than we often frame it.

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[–] reckoner2 link

In addition to this, there really is an almost fetish-like following behind the ideas that the Rockefeller's in particular secretly 'rule' or 'ruin' the world.

John D. Rockefeller Sr. stated many times that he believed that it was God's plan for him to: (paraphrasing)

1) Acquire as mush wealth as he could through business. 2) Donate this money to help humanity in the best ways possible.

And he did exactly that. And he did better than anyone else ever has. He didn't do much else. The Rockefeller's are fascinating people, but I think most of us would be surprised as to how little of the 'world-dominating' stuff is true.

It's been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, but "Titan: The Life Of John D. Rockefeller" goes into incredible detail on the family. You may not leave with a nice picture of the family, but definitely a different one than some of the comments in this thread. A lot of the private journals and business documents have actually been released to the public and it makes for a fascinating read.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] kingmanaz link

>Whether one believes this is morally right is one thing (whether the rich should have a louder voice though their resources), but I do think the intent of the rich is less sinister than we often frame it.

People by default seem to put their faith in a works-based salvation, and this may explain why so many religions also tend in that direction (Judaism, Catholicism, many-Protestant bodies, ad infinitum). The end-product of this mindset, especially in cases of magnificently wealthy benefactors or societies, is more often than not a meddling--and ultimately misanthropic--Pharisaism tending toward vainglory.

Lurking somewhere behind the Puritans' stocks and gallows, the Jacobin Club's guillotines, and the Abolitionists' fiery marches-to-the-sea was a prospering, yet militant, charity directed anywhere but inward. Likewise, the works-based religion of today's Soroses, Rothschilds, and Rockefellers, while on the surface resembling the myopically raceless utopia of Star Trek, will likely violently unravel as has most movements led by uncritical men convinced of their own ability to earn salvation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sola_fide

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[–] johansch link

> Rockefeller upheld the family’s philanthropic tradition, giving away more than $900 million during his lifetime.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlodonnell/2014/07/11/the-roc...

"That young man was John Davison Rockefeller in 1855, who in 25 years would become the wealthiest man of his time, and arguably the wealthiest in history, reigning over a monopoly that refined as much as 90 percent of America’s oil. His flagship company, Standard Oil, was broken up in 1911 by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, but Rockefeller’s greatest legacy – his family – lives on, spanning more than 200 surviving individuals and possessing a collective net worth of about $10 billion"

$900M out of $10B is 9%.

Myself, living in Europe, I'm quite convinced I have paid a much higher percentage of my income than this towards state-governed philantrophy. Where's my trophy?

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[–] habitue link

> spanning more than 200 surviving individuals

> collective net worth of about $10 billion

You are taking his individual contribution as a percentage of the combined net worth of 200 individuals.

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[–] dsacco link

They're talking about net worth. You're talking about income.

Kind of silly either way though - why don't you just come out and say that you think he should have donated more?

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[–] johansch link

No, I prefer just to point out the hypocrisy surrounding getting acclaims for "philantrophy" in the US.

Seems like even those who have the most give out back less to others than they would have done just by the regular taxation laws, living in a typical European country.

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[–] kelnos link

Depending on tax law throughout his life, and his ability to find loopholes, that $900M was _on top of_ what he paid in tax. So unless you have evidence that he paid no or very low taxes, what you're saying just doesn't hold water.

Not to mention that you're comparing the donations of a single person to the collective net worth of 200 people. More fair would be to compare that $900M to David Rockefeller's net worth, not that and all his very-extended family.

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[–] johansch link

Anyone in the US is paying very low taxes compared to what "high-income" tax payers pay in e.g. Scandinavian countries like Sweden. The treshold for "high income" is (simplified) at about $80k per year.

Stock option profits are taxed as income as well. (In Sweden we also have to pay social security fees on our stock option profits - the end result typically being at least a 62% taxation level on that income.).

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[–] kelnos link

Gotcha. I still don't see any evidence for what you're saying, though. What was David Rockefeller's income during the period he worked and gave money to charitable causes? If you want to look at it mathematically:

income * (tax rate + giving rate) = "total given"

Obviously you have two important variables there that determine what the total percent of income ends up being. I don't see any evidence that the parenthetical totals above are less or greater than each other when you consider your average European vs. Rockefeller, so you can't really say anything about how much he gave out of his income in comparison to your average European. Maybe it's more, maybe it's less, but you automatically assuming it's less is a bit disingenuous.

There's also the question of required vs. optional. If your average European had a tax rate similar to an American, would they then (on average) give the "savings" away as philanthropy? My guess would be it'd end up somewhere in the middle. Philanthropy is only philanthropy if it's voluntary and isn't forced by your government. That's pretty much its definition.

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[–] geezerjay link

> Seems like even those who have the most give out back less to others than they would have done just by the regular taxation laws, living in a typical European country.

You're somehow confusing money that someone intentionally gave away to philanthropic causes with money that a state takes away forcefully from anyone's income, as if everyone would wilfully give it away to charitable causes even if the state didn't took it from them, and also somehow assuming that Americans don't pay taxes as well.

Tell me, when was the last time you gave away over 10% of your income to philanthropic causes?

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[–] evgen link

Then you should make yourself aware of the regular taxation laws in force at the time those fortunes were amassed.

The difference I guess is that in the US the rich give away most of their money (often for favorable tax treatment on the remainder of their estate) and in Europe they just pass it along to their children to maintain the nominal level of Eurotrash the world seems to require. </s>

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[–] johansch link

I wasn't claiming rich Europeans are any better. :)

I'm simply claiming that this insanely rich american guy

a) percentage-wise gave away quite a bit less of his fortune than e.g. myself has given away in taxes/wealth-distribution in Sweden.

b) get's to be called a "philantrophist".

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[–] brandonmenc link

The difference is that the money was given away willingly, was personally directed to beneficial causes, and was orders of magnitude more than you have "donated."

You're not doing the same thing - and, while we can debate how the meaning of the word "philanthropist" has changed, this is the widely understood modern definition.

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[–] johansch link

> They're talking about net worth. You're talking about income.

For people who create our the net worth by means of income (that is the most of us) the end result is pretty much the same.

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[–] geezerjay link

That's a stupid statement. Net worth is not income. Surely you understand the difference between the money you deposit in a checking account and the interest the bank pays on your deposit. Furthermore, net worth are just estimates of the monetary worth of all property belonging to someone.

Just admit you were wrong.

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[–] toyg link

To be fair, in Europe we pay more exactly because we recognise that, if left to their own benevolence, the rich will never pay enough.

(And, the guy donated in addition to paying his fair share of taxes, one would hope. At one point, pre-Reagan, US taxes on wealth were as high as in Europe, possibly even higher).

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[–] bzbarsky link

In Europe, you don't leave the rich to their own benevolence. It's much worse. By and large, European countries have laws forbidding the rich from donating too much of their money to charity, especially upon their deaths. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_heirship for a pretty bare-bones description of the setup. https://www.cesifo-group.de/ifoHome/facts/DICE/Public-Sector... has more details by country; see the "Restrictions on the freedom to dispose of one’s succession by will" section.

Under these laws, heirs have been able to claw back donations made before death (including many years before death), in addition to ones made in the will. Note that if you accept the premise of the forced heirship laws, this is an obvious consequence; otherwise people will just structure their finances to make most of the donations they want before they die.

Anyway, the upshot is that the European legal system takes great pains to make sure that currently wealthy families stay wealthy instead of managing to give the money away. It's just not talked about much, and I suspect many people don't really know about it.

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[–] bzbarsky link

> $900M out of $10B is 9%.

The $10B is spread across 200 people.

His personal net worth at the time of his death was about $3.3 billion according to <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rockefeller>. But it's hard to compare that to the $900 million number because that number adds dollars from different time periods, which are worth different amounts. This is especially important if any of it happened in the 60s or early 70s, given the subsequent high inflation.

Also, that $900 million number doesn't seem to include the bequests in his will.

And I suspect he did in fact pay taxes too.

Now, I agree that it's easier to give money away when you have so much you don't really need it for anything. So I'm not sure about giving out trophies for doing so.

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[–] melling link

"Rich people don't give money away no-strings-attached, they channel it for their purposes"

This is really just a troll comment where you put everyone in a group group under one umbrella. Now others will need to waste their timé feeding the troll.

This really is not a constructive or educational way for people to spend their afternoon.

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[–] teslabox link

> This is really just a troll comment where you put everyone in a group group under one umbrella.

There is criticism of the Gates Foundation too: http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Gates_Foundation_Critiq...

David Rockefeller certainly did some good things with his influence. But he was also a globalist, which has had the effect of allowing 1st world companies to replace expensive workers through offshoring.

Some people do good work with their foundations. But a lot of it is cover for tax planning.

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[–] vithlani link

Exactly. But try and get a mainstream journalist to write this. Or heck, even research deeply into the tax structures.

A tiger does not change its stripes -- it is naive in the extreme to believe that somebody like Gates or Zuckerberg suddenly decided to give all this money away.

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[–] valarauca1 link

     thereby making sure that there's always been a shortage
     of doctors [2] 
     [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexner_Report
I'm sorry but I prefer the people operating one me are part of a well regulated profession guided by scientific research.

     The Osteopathic profession was the only group that was organized 
     enough to survive the Medical Guild's purge of non-Rockefeller-approved 
     approaches to medicine.
Yeah because Blood Letting, Leaches, Heroin, Electro-Shock, and Drinking Mercury were _so good_ for your health. Turn of the last century Osteopathy is the stuff of Nightmares.

     Today D.O.s are more likely to take up Primary Care, where doctors
     take time to get to know their patients and figure out what's
     actually causing their complaints
Modern D.O.'s aren't _exactly_ descended from Osteopathic of the 1870-1900's. Really in philosophy only. The only real relation is that the "Philosphy" of Osteopathy is the body will try to heal itself, and medicine should compliment this... Not be the only process by-which the body can.

Modern D.O.'s following the training and principles laid out in the Flexner Report. Their decisions are still based on research.

There are _non-approved_ Osteopathic """Doctors""", but we commonly refer to them as faith healers.

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[–] da02 link

There's also the Rockefellar medical drug connection: https://www.google.com/search?num=20&q=rockefeller+drugs+med...

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[–] kolanos link

Relevant video on the influence the Rockefeller family has on modern first-world healthcare systems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6J_7PvWoMw

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[–] macspoofing link

>Rich people don't give money away no-strings-attached..

Why not?

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[–] thrillgore link

Greed is a response to insecurity and doubt. They don't want to fear the idea of a life where their exceeds needs aren't met by wealth, so they retain it.

This isn't meant to be calling out the "bourgeoisie" to put at best, but there is an emotional response to uncertainty here.

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[–] macspoofing link

You're talking out of your ass, aren't you.

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[–] thrillgore link

This is Hacker News, we all are.

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[–] teslaberry link

501c3 were a set of laws lobbied for so that wealthy people coudl give away their money tax free without government taxation of their income or property , thus creating permanent tax haven trusts on domestic shores.

these tax havens dwarf anything offshore . they are now a systemically risky part of the economy , at least in so far as the private education industry is tax subsidized and regarded as 'public interest' even though there is nothign public whatsover about the fortunes of the ivy league educational institutions.

the 501c3 scheme is about burden shifting taxes to working people, off the shoulders of the ultra wealthy so that they may create tax free institutions for funneling their profits into their projects.

501c3 should be entirely eliminated and churces and other institutions should be required to pay property taxes of all types and be subject to corporate taxes , while income taxes themselves have gotten out of control.

for the ultra wealthy, tax simplification means they don't get to burden shift their taxes. it also means they, and everyone else in the workding classes would pay less taxes overall.

it also means a whole lot of institutions would go bankrupt and in the wake of their collapse, one would see what social activity would be supported by the 'natural' amount of social organzing and donation.

as it is-----the middle classes are being forced to support these instutions via the burden of their taxation. social security taxation itself a payroll tax is capped at 100k dollars of income. and this accounts for nearly a third of all taxes collected by the federal taxes. these taxes are not a form of pension, they are a form of working labor tax that raisies the cost of labor to employers while scalping a significant marginal fraction of food from the mouths of the working and even professional classes.

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[–] iliketosleep link

What's frightening is that he was actually proud of it - he really believed in it. I wonder how many other powerful families are working towards the "more integrated global political and economic structure", consolidating the power of the global elite. Good luck to everybody else...

Edit to clarify: in an ideal world what he stands for is right. but we're not in an idea world. where there's power there's often corruption. therefore, sooner or later the power ends up in the wrong hands. the problem is that if the world is too "integrated" and power does inevitably end up in the wrong hands at some point, there is absolutely no recourse.

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[–] Florin_Andrei link

I don't see why globalization must necessarily mean total domination by the "elites". Yes, it's a significant risk factor in that scenario, but the two don't come in a package, bound together with epoxy. It would only happen if we continue to refuse to address the issue of inequality - this time on a global scale.

Some form of globalization is actually the best case scenario, the golden path for this world. It must include some form of control mechanisms against inequality spiraling out of control - and that's just one factor among many.

A united world is the only way to significantly reduce the risk of global conflict. It's also the only way to ensure that a large fraction of the world is not dying of starvation while another fraction goes swimming in champaign-filled pools. It would also mean pooling up resources on a global scale. It would make large parts of military budgets redundant, freeing that money for other purposes.

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[–] iliketosleep link

i don't think inequality can be solved by globalization. if you look at the poor countries, you'll find a multitude of structural problems. until these structural problems are dealt with, globalization is likely to feed corruption.

i agree that globalization would reduce the risk of global conflict - there would only be one side. thus, if the wrong people were in power there would be no way to fight them. that's scary.

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[–] kelnos link

No one (including the post you're replying to) is suggesting that globalization can solve inequality. It solves a bunch of other things, presents some new challenges, and makes the consequences of inequality worse.

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[–] hwillis link

>i agree that globalization would reduce the risk of global conflict - there would only be one side. thus, if the wrong people were in power there would be no way to fight them. that's scary.

That's not scary, that's the US. The Federal government functions more successfully than state governments in every way. In the Fed we have Trump vs. in states we have literal coups and gerrymandering. The US is better as a federation than individual states in every way. A state is not more able to fight "the wrong people being in charge", but they are significantly more vulnerable to it.

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[–] Florin_Andrei link

This is single-cell bugs vs multicellular organisms all over again.

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[–] Florin_Andrei link

> i don't think inequality can be solved by globalization.

No, it's the other way'round.

On the way to globalization, we need to make sure inequality stays within reasonable levels, otherwise the whole thing will fail.

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[–] TheAdamAndChe link

Globalization is the exploitation of the lower standard of living in other areas. The reason corporations ship jobs overseas is because it's cheap. This in no way controls inequality, and in fact makes it worse.

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[–] henrikschroder link

Globalization has caused the largest transfer of wealth from rich countries to poor countries in the history of mankind, reducing inequality between countries on an unprecedented scale.

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[–] TheAdamAndChe link

This is true, but it has also strengthened inequality significantly within countries: https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2007/02/pdf/c4.pdf

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[–] Florin_Andrei link

> Globalization is the exploitation of the lower standard of living in other areas.

Yes, I am aware that some people define it that way.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] gdubs link

Take something like Climate Change. Pretty good example if any that global cooperation is needed to solve. Also ultimately the biggest inequality issue looming as it will disproportionately hurt the world's poorest.

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[–] Chris2048 link

Incidental, this is the main reason I voted for Brexit.

I see things like the hunt for Assange, (or Snowden) and am of the opinion that the more collected various governments are, the easier it is for them to prey on the divided populace.

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[–] gph link

But you're describing some kind of theoretical ideal world. We don't live in that world. No one has found a good mechanism for controlling inequality within their own borders and/or ethnic group that scales to anything beyond the size of a village.

Yea domination by elites and globalization don't theoretically have to occur together. But looking at history and the current state of the world... what do you think is more likely?

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[–] Florin_Andrei link

> But you're describing some kind of theoretical ideal world. We don't live in that world.

Everything is "theoretical" and "ideal" and "impossible" before it actually happens. Electronic computers were an impossibility to James Watt era engineers. Steam engines were an impossibility to the architects of the Parthenon. Raising large stone edifices was an impossibility to hunter-gatherers roaming the savanna. Yet all these things happened in due course of time.

> But looking at history and the current state of the world... what do you think is more likely?

I see a generally ascending arc, with local dips and bumps. The trends look good in the long run, although the short run is always difficult to predict.

Of course, that is not an absolute guarantee of success. Nothing is. The best case scenario is not going to happen without a lot of effort, some substantial amount of time, and likely some sacrifices along the way.

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[–] gph link

So you're telling me I should support TPP, globalization efforts, and the subsequent concentration of economic and political power because you have a good feeling that humanity is heading in the right direction and we can invent some effective control on inequality because nothing is impossible the same way we invented the electronic computer?

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[–] kelnos link

Oh c'mon, principle of charity, please. That is not at all what the parent said or even implied. It is fact that humanity is heading in the right direction over the long term (based on tracking standard of living and the standard deviation of such). It is also fact that there are bumps and regressions along the way. We shouldn't support the TPP; it sucks (the only good thing Trump has done so far is pull out of it). We shouldn't support the concentration of economic and political power.

We should support things that make sense and promote the reduction of income inequality. That need not be at odds with globalization, though many businesspeople tend to push it that way since it's cheaper and good for them.

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[–] gph link

>We should support things that make sense and promote the reduction of income inequality. That need not be at odds with globalization, though many businesspeople tend to push it that way since it's cheaper and good for them.

Doesn't need to be at odds with globalization, and yet all the evidence so far seems to point that way. Society is a nebulous construct of many actors. Some will try to build a more equitable future, others will not. The others are undoubtedly those who can figure out how to rise to the top. They are the ones controlling globalization efforts.

The neo-liberal dream is just that, a dream. When push comes to shove most people aren't actually for equality, they just say they are.

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[–] Florin_Andrei link

> principle of charity, please

Exactly, thank you. The exchange felt like the opposite of it.

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[–] Florin_Andrei link

It seems like the meaning of the word "globalization" has been hijacked. It really seems, in the minds of some people at least, to indicate a bundle of very negative outcomes - which in no way I would support.

Shifting the center of this discussion would take too long. I'm not here to write a dissertation about the evolution of human society. I think I've hinted at how things could possibly unfold, if we make a consistent effort to better the future of the Earth. Read what I've said and that should provide some indication - unless your mind is set on "winning" a contest of punditry, in which case I wish you good luck.

TLDR: I think the best of all possible futures could be achieved through some measure of unity on a global scale, at a higher order of magnitude compared to what we have now. Inequality is one of the many obstacles on the way there. Narrow-minded nationalism is another. It would require massive changes on multiple levels, and it will not happen in a day or two. Call the end result whatever you like. But anything that could bring that future closer is a good cause to support.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] skyhust link

It doesn't have to but globalization is defined as a 7 stage process which ends with-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_economic_integration

And you can see how that grows from NAFTA, GATT etc-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_integration#Stages

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[–] unityByFreedom link

Encouraging international cooperation isn't consolidating power. It's learning to live together on the same planet.

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[–] aylmao link

"a more integrated global political and economic structure" doesn't mean "international cooperation" though, it just means more free trade policies, and international political regulation instead of national.

International cooperation can be achieved without an integrated political and economic structure. My country doesn't need to have the same economic policies and regulations as your country to live in harmony with you, or to take on international projects together like sending aid to some natural disaster, or doctors to communities that need them, or to agree in standards, or to foster academic research.

"a more integrated global political and economic structure" means 1. bodies that have political power over national governments, which would make the implementation of standard regulations easier and 2. open borders for trade. Of course a billionaire involved in a number of translational companies wants this.

As far as consolidating power goes, the US and China have some pretty big fish because their economies have been on steroids for a while. But other countries rely on national regulation to keep their national companies and local economies from being overrun by these big players. Least you know monopolies wouldn't exist only on the national level, but internationally, and then what do you do? National monopolies are a pain to get rid of, those would only be worse.

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[–] endisukaj link

What is wrong with more free trade policies?

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[–] sintaxi link

To name a few reasons...

- It creates tax havens by allowing corps to claim profits in the country of their choosing. (see Apple Inc.)

- It forces workers in developed countries to compete with workers in countries that don't have adequate human rights/pay. (see Walmart)

- It wreaks havoc on the environment by overproduction and shipping.

- People in underdeveloped countries pay the price for pollution created in developed countries.

- Corporations become huge very quickly and end up having massive influence in politics of several countries.

- Countries ultimately lose their sovereignty to the shareholders of these mega-corps.

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[–] rayiner link

> Encouraging international cooperation isn't consolidating power. It's learning to live together on the same planet.

Globalization is a big tent with lots of different people in it with different motivations and priorities. The effect is mixed. It undoubtedly has accelerated growth and encouraged stability in the developing world. At the same time, it normalizes non-Western social/economic models and tends to undermine welfare states.

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[–] unityByFreedom link

> tends to undermine welfare states.

Not if we realize we share this planet and ought to be collectively interested in its health.

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[–] rayiner link

The modern European welfare state - until robots take over - is all about carving out a local optimum in a sea of scarcity. How do you propose to have cradle-to-grave welfare within a system that encourages labor in developed countries to bitterly compete with desparate people in developing countries?

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[–] unityByFreedom link

Well that was the Westphalian agreement. We're sovereign states and can operate as we see fit. If international policy has some impact on our domestic policy -- so be it. Much the same as we have free will and are also impacted by our environment.

There are people in places who are happy with the way things are, and people in other places who wouldn't like it that way.

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[–] rayiner link

I don't think I understand your point at all. How do you preserve modern European welfare states in the face of globalization?

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] digi_owl link

Reminds me of debating the whole EU mess.

Yes, it is good for moving tangible products around as you have a predictable base of regulations around them.

Moving services around gets iffy. Seen way too many companies use that to pack away profits in low tax nations while maintaining a persistent loss in "high" tax nations. This by spinning up a service company that bills for unspecified services.

And moving workers around only really work when dealing with non-industrial jobs, or all that comes out of it is "social dumping".

But try to explain that to 20-something with freshly minted degrees, laptops and credit cards.

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[–] elastic_church link

The high tax nations should figure out how to fund themselves more competitively. Many low tax countries have democratically elected representatives that looked at their budget and realized "no we dont need to fund roads and schools by taking a piece of other peoples productivity". Despite any pressure from high tax nations they simply realized they dont need it.

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[–] lovich link

For my own curiosity could you point out a single low tax country that has well maintained infrastructure?

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[–] Strom link

Estonia may be a decent example here. Not every tax is low, but corporate income tax is 0% and personal income tax is a flat 20%. However lots of infrastructure upgrades have been done with EU money. So the tax is still there, just not being paid by the locals.

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[–] lovich link

That definitely doesn't fit the criteria of not taking pieces of other people's productivity to fund roads and schools that the parent post mentioned. I'd be interested in hearing of an alternative model to taxes that's actually worked out. Every other example I've seen has fallen to the tragedy of the Commons rather than businesses stepping up and handling common goods well

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[–] elastic_church link

Well I am more so talking about income taxes, although I didn't specify that is what this thread was about beforehand. Many places have a passive tax on some aspect, such as tourism, have high fees for certain businesses such as incorporation and licensing fees, and have also nationalized a particular industry.

In any case, Cayman's infrastructure was decent compared to other neighboring islands and countries. Since you asked.

Indeed many countries are selling incorporation services to stuff government coffers.

The point is that where there is a will there is a way for a governing institution to fund itself, and it by no means offers any solution for countries that are overbudget and uncompetitive in this front.

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[–] paulpauper link

what's wrong with having conviction to want to make the world better, provided the means ones uses to attain such a goal are ethical.

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[–] aylmao link

"a more integrated global political and economic structure" and a "better world" are independent goals. Billionaires and owners of huge corporations have always preached for weaker borders not in the sense of John Lennon's Imagine, but in the sense of free-trade agreements that allows them to expand their market at the expense of local economies.

Take China. China is incredibly protectionist but it has one of the world's biggest markets; its population is huge and lately their purchasing power has been steadily increasing (aka. more disposable income to buy stuff). It's no wonder Apple, for example, has made so many strides to hit the Chinese market, but it has had to go through hoops and I bet unbelievable amounts of red tape. "a more integrated global political and economic structure" would mean less protectionist policy and less friction for overseas expansion.

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[–] rubicon33 link

I don't think anyone disagrees with the idealized notion of making the world better. But there's tons of room for disagreement in how to do so.

I've even heard some argue that prosperity is a limited resource, and that "globalists" naively believe there's enough of it to spread around the entire planet. Obviously if you're already well off (U.S.) then there's only one direction for you to go when the spreading happens: down.

FWIW, I don't believe in this line of thinking. But, I think there are some interesting theoretical considerations that I don't fully understand. The idea of prosperity being a limited resource is, at least, interesting to think about.

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[–] Exofunctor link

Obviously no one disagrees with "making the world better". The "ethical" qualifier is the tricky part.

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[–] kingkawn link

global elites or local elites, its still the same ol' pointless domination

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[–] mythrwy link

Except local elites have less real power.

Corruption or "real motives" of a global elite aside, I look at it as the difference between monolithic code bases and well designed separation of concerns. One is less prone to catastrophic failure and easier to repair when failure does occur.

Joseph Tainter I think hits the troubles with centralization right on the head.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0R09YzyuCI

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[–] elastic_church link

Oh no deeply liquid markets that span borders, the horror

Lets bring back a Europe with 27 different bond and stock markets in 27 different volatile currencies

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[–] stanfordkid link

It's more complex than that...

Debt is denominated in currencies ... so with the current system bad borrowing behavior by one member of the currency union (Greece) would lead to devaluation of the currency to other members of the union (Germany).

Having multiple currencies is okay as long as there is liquidity between them.

That being said, centralizing currency leads to economic growth as long as the money is well spent (investment) rather than evaporated (excessive social benefits)

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[–] elastic_church link

> Having multiple currencies is okay as long as there is liquidity between them.

The bond market in that entire economic region was comparatively underdeveloped and has attracted massive liquidity improvements since 1999 stretch far out down the yield and risk curve

But yes we can write a whole dissertation on various aspects of the monetary union

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[–] mythrwy link

Sure. Lets tie everything together instead so it can all go down together.

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[–] mbateman link

The still-timely passage continues:

"The anti-Rockefeller focus of these otherwise incompatible political positions owes much to Populism. 'Populists' believe in conspiracies and one of the most enduring is that a secret group of international bankers and capitalists, and their minions, control the world's economy. ... Populists and isolationists ignore the tangible benefits that have resulted in our active international role during the past half-century."

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[–] tinus_hn link

The Bilderberg Group does exist, has economically powerful members and acts in private. So it's hardly a stretch to believe that not a secret group but a known group is exerting some level of control over the world economy.

What else would they be doing?

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[–] notsofastmister link

Be the bankers of dictators, soviets and chinese officials?

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/20/books/review/david-rockefe...

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[–] prolly_a_moron link

>The Bilderberg Group does exist, has economically powerful members and acts in private.

A bunch of wealthy and influential people assemble to discuss policy and other strategy. I'm not sure why this is unexpected, bad, or why it should be frowned upon or disallowed.

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[–] DarkKomunalec link

Because when the super-wealthy collaborate, it's usually on stuff that benefits them, to the expense of everyone else, e.g. software patents, copyright extensions, and trade agreements with all sorts of fun stuff hidden inside: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership_inte...

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[–] rfrank link

When money is equivalent to speech, it's very easy to shout people down.

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[–] ryandrake link

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."

-Adam Smith

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[–] oh_sigh link

Well, considering the wealth and power concentrated in those rooms during the meeting, these people would have a good shot at foisting whatever system they want over the world. I'm not arguing it should be disallowed, but it is disconcerting when every billionaire in the world might agree on the same set of policies.

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[–] thr0waway1239 link

Not endorsing the guy in this video and don't know much about him personally. With that disclaimer, if you watch this video his lampooning of these meetings as an insider is quite hilarious. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbfBi-O8ijg#t=11m45s

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] TeMPOraL link

After spending some time around people from various anti-science/government/vaccination circles I realized that if the New World Order is what they describe it is, then I'd love to join it. At least those NWO conspirators seem to have a clue.

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[–] mikeash link

I've seen a lot of people argue that this is ultimately what makes conspiracy theories so attractive in the first place. It's much more comforting to believe that everything is under control and part of a deliberate plan, even if controlled by people you don't like as part of a plan that works against you, than it is to believe it's all just a bunch of random stuff happening.

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[–] MawNicker link

It can't be both? Isn't that the least comforting? Not that it proves anything; People often believe what they fear is true. All you need to know is that MKUltra existed. The people responsible were never brought to justice. Maybe some of you have loose morals but I could never join this shit.

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[–] Florin_Andrei link

> It can't be both?

But that introduces complexity in your thought process. Most people are far too lazy for that.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] kelvin0 link

This reminds me the vilains in the older (60s-70s) Bond movies. I always found them to be visionaries and were simply a step removed from great leaders (if not for their penchant for killing remorselessly).

Not trying to compare David R. to such monsters, but I can see how some people can cast him as such, even with the best intentions on his part (I can only assume).

Regularly most of us step on others peoples toes (knowingly and unknowingly in more mundane settings). It just happens that some people have very, very, very big shoes.

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[–] smileysteve link

Not dissimilarly from Kingpin in Daredevil...

The line between good and evil is not defined by intentions.

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[–] rfrank link

Yeah, lets take autonomy from people who don't think like us! They don't deserve it anyway!

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[–] faceyspacey link

It's about how they go about it, putting the Middle East into so much turmoil for example, hurting people over there in an ends justifies the means manner. It's the wrong way to go about it and therefore at its core its rotten and therefore the sought outcome will never be positive in terms of the biggest picture for all. It's a dangerous track they now have us on and the people aren't happy. I'm not sure we could suffer another false flag attack like 911 without a violent revolution following it. The true path towards global integration is a slower patient one--one where the powers that be might not live long enough to selfishly bare the fruits of it. So they rush it. There's no doubt what's gone on in he Middle East is about oil. We don't need to be directly stealing it through a pipeline for the conspiracy to be true. It's about oil price stabilization, which is crucial to the steadily ticking "integrated" world that is good for business. And since it is about that, and this guy was head of Chase for 33 years, guess who likely was one of the biggest cosigners of and conspirators in these plans.

Just read the Wikipedia article on the Gulf War. It's clear GH Bush pursued it to keep the oil price stable. It's clear the US developed some enemies in despots that don't listen to us. It's clear America has a mandate to not allow harm to its image of ultimate strength on earth. It's clear that George W came to finish the job in his first year in office nearly 10 years later. The idea being it would secure oil prices once and for all while letting the world know America won't tolerate despots. It's way easier to control a democratic country than despots adamant on doing things their way. There are more ways to manipulate said country/government. It makes for a more "integrated" world for the ruling elite.

I believe they have good intentions. With outdated thinking. Narrowly constrained by personal self-interest. And as a result their intentions are not in fact good for all. I don't believe in James Bond style villains. Everyone is doing what they think is best. It's just unfortunate that the cabal's big picture is severely small and doesn't include all.

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[–] jcranmer link

> Just read the Wikipedia article on the Gulf War. It's clear GH Bush pursued it to keep the oil price stable.

... Have you made any effort to try to learn foreign policy? Or are you relying only on piecemeal reading of events and your predisposed biases to determine your worldview?

Most politicians read a lot (Trump is an exception, and he's terrifying for it), and much of what they read is public policy theory books, things like Why Nations Fail or On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace. From these books, they tend to formulate their views on policy (including foreign policy) based on certain schools of thought, and you can often tell who influences these thoughts based on how they frame arguments and defenses.

The Gulf War was principally caused by Saddam Hussein reckoning he could invade Kuwait quickly enough that no one would care to try to stop him (this is what Russia more or less successfully did in Crimea). The other principal Arab states who did not like Iraq--notably Saudi Arabia and Egypt--were never particularly likely to accede to these demands. (Iraq did try to link Kuwait to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but that was more of a stalling tactic than an actual honest effort to further that peace process, although it did incidentally do so). When Iraq began making noises about invading Saudi Arabia, that's when the US launched Desert Shield and subsequently Desert Storm.

And yet, when you listen to the testimonies of the officials who planned the war, it's clear that they hewed to a definitive Clausewitzian view of war: the planning of war needs to be shaped around the political objectives it is meant to achieve. And the political objectives they gave as their design for war was to a) remove Iraq from Kuwait and b) prevent Iraq from being able to exert regional power for 20 years. Note that oil isn't a primary objective. Of course, the Middle East being what it was, any planning of major operations in there is going to take into account near- and long-term impact on oil supplies, and it's not exactly a secret that the State Department's general grand strategy for the Middle East is "keep the oil flowing." But that doesn't mean that the only goal is keeping oil--if it were, the US would not have invaded but instead pressured Saudi Arabia to just deal with the Iraqi annexation of Kuwait (note that oil didn't stop flowing until Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait).

You also have to keep in mind that you can't stick your head in the sand, ignore the world, and expect to suffer no consequences. The current migrant crisis in Europe is entirely caused by European unwillingness to deal with the issue in Syria.

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[–] faceyspacey link

You're going to have to rely on A) "piecemeal reading of events" and B) the lens that someone is pulling the strings to see anything other than what the powers that be put out through the media and foreign policy authors. So no, I'm no master of foreign policy, but I've done plenty of my own research, and reading between the lines I've determined there is a high likelihood that there are hidden actors doing major things, and therefore that the conspiracies are the bread crumb trail to something big, specifically within the United States Intelligence Community and the Military Industrial Complex. The school of thought you seem to be representing likely never acknowledges such--so it's like: who cares how much foreign policy knowledge you have when it's all geared away from so called "conspiracy theories."

All you need to do is use personal logic. Take JFK as an example: a man killed JFK. Then he was killed. And then within 3 years that guy was dead too. Is that not extremely fishy. Gun to my head and I have to make a split second decision whether that was a plot or not--the logical answer, for me at least, is that it's a plot. There are too many things like that. And all those events will never be proven until they are, at which point we'll be living in a very different world. That was their whole point--to hide and obscure what really happened and true intents. All these so called conspiracies were carried out by extremely powerful and formidable people with the sole aim of keeping them secret--do you think it will easily come out. Of course not. But with too many discrepancies it's become increasingly difficult to believe anymore.

All you really need to do is watch this short interview of General Wesley Clark on his shock about our pre-planned strategy to invade a bunch of Middle Eastern countries and--provided this guy is real--you know something is up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojcoKnTGf4s&feature=share

Anyway brother, just remember one's true intent is extremely easy to conceal if that is your goal. Do you think all the true intents of all the politicians and heads of states are really out out there worn as a pin on their breast? No, it's not. If they are smart they will always find ways to make it seem like the enemy's fault, e.g. Saddam Hussein invading kuwait because what he claims was them lending Iraq money to fight Iran and benefiting from it and therefore should mean the debt is wiped clean. I'm not saying whatever nonsense he had in his head wasn't "nonsense" or that he wasn't working is way through Kuwait to Saudi Arabia. What I'm saying is a power as powerful as the United States can dodge and weave and use any circumstances to its advantage. That's part of the advantage of being the top dog--you can counter punch anything and still come out unscathed. But it doesn't make it right when the powerful intentionally blow things out of proportion to attain an aim the public would otherwise not support. And it's definitely not right if they fabricate lies to do so. I do believe everything is a matter of degree, and do I believe the US is far on the evil side? No. Do I believe they've taken it too far and tipped the see-saw to a very dangerous side. This I know to be true, even if they have been wrongly pegged by conspiracy theorists--their handling of conspiracy theories alone has been egregious in its inability to allow for any perspective other than a hyper patriotic one; no perspective is allowed other than one that thinks America can do no evil. I think it can, and I don't think the thought needs to be the end of us, but rather the beginning of a conversation and hopefully a new era. Either way, it's going to take something big to reverse the dangerous course we're on.

So no I'm not convinced America is a benevolent force operating for the broadest picture of the greater good, and I'm not going to be intimidated by anyone who's read tomb after tomb of perspectives biased toward the anglo-saxon tradition/hierarchy of the west or whatever you wanna call it. The west has been dominating the world in the open for Millenia. With the advent of media and various news networks, it now needs to do so in the shadows. I highly doubt the agenda has changed. I highly doubt those with lots to gain are able to see how ends-justify-the-means-mentality is not in interest of the biggest picture for humanity when they stand to benefit in the immediate short term by such actions. I do believe they think they are doing good. I dont believe in James Bond villains. I believe their perspective is outdated, skewed by self-interest and will not ultimately create a cooperative more integrated world as they hope. We have gun-to-your-head peace in the world now, thanks to the US. History has told us that never lasts. Somebody will creep up behind us and eat our lunch, and use our same aggressive tactics against us, and at this point in history with so much technological progress, it might be catastrophic. In short, America needs to lead by not muscling around so much. Our time will come unless we start to back down. It's as simple as that. We're dealing with people who have the thought process that you can only stay on top by ruling through strength. And I disagree. My opinion is it lasts for a time, but always comes to an end, and that what has far more longevity is a cooperative attitude that sometimes requires backing down, specifically when ur wrong. But America won't back down even when they're wrong--hence we never apologized for Vietnam, hence our approaching 20 years in the middle east that didn't need to happen. I firmly believe we should 100% get out today, and that THAT would be the best decision for humanity, even if it leaves things in a disarray. Most people believe we now have to pick up the pieces for the mess we made. Well, that's about to lead to us in Syria, etc, and all the other countries General Wesley Clark says has been on our list since 2001. Yea, we need to get out immediately. The world doesn't want this. It's only a matter of time before it results in a major conflict. In addition, it's just wrong. It's not the right way to go about it. You can't make a cooperative world through the lack of it. What goes around will eventually come around. America is the Roman Empire and it doesn't need to go down in flames--rather it can be a stepping stone to a more conscious cooperative planet. But our invasions will lead to us going down in flames, regardless of what good intents we can get the media and foreign policy authors to claim it was about.

So unless you're a foreign policy expert trying to see everything through the lens of "who's really pulling the strings," I don't value much what such a writer says. The reality is all the writers that are looking for whose pulling the strings are cast off as conspiracy theorists. So you're basically saying: if you don't trust the consensus the powers that be and the media put out, your point of view is a conspiracy theory or that of a dilettante. That's unfair and nonsense. The good thing is that times are changing--most educated people in their 20s and 30s, that i meet at least, believe the conspiracies or strongly entertain them. The world is changing, and though we may not have proof, we aren't stupid and it's not going to last much longer. Trump is a reflection of that. He may be egregious, but it's a step toward unraveling the powers that be within the Intelligence/Military Industrial Complex.

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[–] unityByFreedom link

Are you trying to say that people who encourage international trade caused the situation in the middle east? Or trying to pin that on one political party? I don't think that's accurate or fair.

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[–] faceyspacey link

Well that's not what I'm trying to say all. I'm saying specifically the war on Iraq and Afghanistan was manufactured by the powers that be. They either made the attack themselves on the twin towers, knew about it, or capitalized on it nevertheless as soon as they were fortunate enough for such thing to happen. They are willing to make sacrifices that the rest of the world might not agree with in order to create how THEY envision a utopian earth. And because they are going about it in such an uncooperative manner they are destroying the likelihood of the cooperative/integrated outcome they are aiming for. They are rushing it so they can see it and benefit from it during their lifetimes. They are shortsighted and dangerous to all.

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[–] unityByFreedom link

And what is your solution to this dilemma? As soon as you become leader, you are the establishment. Trump is the establishment now, and he's certainly elite.

There have always been leaders in society. We have parents, bosses, and presidents. It's just the way things are. You can still work to change your own situation.

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[–] faceyspacey link

There's a difference between leaders and leaders willing to go to any means to achieve their ends.

What I'm doing is sharing info in a more balanced less conspiracy-laden way than many would. And believe me I am--what I'm saying is tame relative to what many others would say and how they would say it. The problem is too many people still believe 911 wasn't manufactured just as the weapons of mass destruction Iraq never had was.

But this is changing. Alternative media networks like hacker news itself are growing in influence. Sharing this info in a balanced way and seeing what people think is what I'm doing. Our media is getting displaced just like every sector of society is fragmenting and decentralizing (think music industry, what Netflix and Amazon are now doing to film, etc). We need to form our own concensus to destroy the grip western media has on people. For example, without sharing a bit of proof and providing a bogus motive-centric report, the DNI told the media that Russia hacked the DNC and the media repeated it without question. That's a problem. It's a problem when we are all just supposed to believe our intelligence agencies without question. It's a bigger problem that the media actually did it. Russia likely didn't hack us, yet we'll never know--yet most people believe it without question!

The real problem is the journalists and politicians have no choice but to believe it in order to not appear anti-establishment. Basically our leaders can't go against a corrupt worsening country because it hurts their careers by making them appear anti-establishment. Some--Trump--have made a political career out of being anti-establishment, but he's an outlier. However as egregious as he is, he might be the impetus to many more taking stronger stances against our hidden government.

The only thing we CAN do my friend is achieve concenus in a grass roots manner amongst the people. That's the only thing that will stop this train. Do you think 911 was likely a false flag attack to spur action or not? That is the question.

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[–] unityByFreedom link

Comrade, I think you spend too much time on the internet. Get some fresh air and exercise. I wish you well.

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[–] amyjess link

I've come to this same conclusion as well. If the global elite is, as the populist crowd claims, trying to enforce LGBT rights, pro-science public policy, representation of minorities, etc., then I enthusiastically give my full support to the global elite.

As time goes on, the anti-elite movement comes off more and more as a pack of vandals.

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[–] notsofastmister link

He also praised the genocidal policies of Mao Ze Dong in 1973. In the NYTimes, no less:

"The social experiment in China under. Chairman Mao's leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history. How extensively China opens up and how the world interprets and reacts to the social innovations and life styles she has developed is certain to have a profound impact on the future of many nations."

http://www.nytimes.com/1973/08/10/archives/from-a-china-trav...

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[–] unityByFreedom link

Fake news. Nowhere there does he advocate genocide.

In 1973, most people probably weren't aware of the humanitarian crises that happened in China since the Communists took over.

That's right when Nixon visited and was re-establishing friendly relations there. Most people were unaware of the happenings inside China. They were hoping to establish better ties in order to promote cultural exchange. Thus, praising Mao at that time is not out of the ordinary.

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[–] notsofastmister link

Mao Ze Dong was working with the Yale-China association in the 1920s. So China wasn't as closed as it may seem. And a banker working with all the dictators in the world (and Kissinger!) isn't "most people". [0]

Can you find any other example of someone praising China at the same time? Mass killings had already been a part of life in China since 1911. [1]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yale-China_Association [1] https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/CHINA.CHAP1.HTM

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[–] unityByFreedom link

More fake news.

China was closed from roughly 1950 - 1972. In 1920 they'd just overthrown the last dynasty and were trying to establish a democracy, so, it makes sense they'd be in contact with the US at that time. Unfortunately there were some assassinations and their multi-party system never got off the ground.

There are probably tons of optimistic articles about US-Chinese relationships in the mid-1970s, as well as critical ones.

As it turns out, trade helped boost the economies of both Taiwan and China, and people don't call them the third world anymore. Is it perfect? No. But we still talk to them and do trade.

Rockefeller never advocated genocide. Doing business with or speaking positively of a certain leader doesn't mean you approve of everything they do, nor does speaking negatively mean you disagree with everything they do. What you said above is fake news.

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[–] notsofastmister link

Ok, I finally found a good reference:

"In the 1960s and 1970s, David Rockefeller, then-chairman of Chase Manhattan, frequently visited Hong Kong and opened more branch offices there. In 1973, the bank became the Bank of China's first American correspondent bank." [0]

The guy who wrote the book in 2016 has an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard, works for the Congressional Research Service and is an affiliate faculty member at the economics department of George Mason University.

Is this still fake news? Or was David Rockefeller the first American Banker to open a branch in China after numerous trips in Hong Kong?

[0] https://books.google.ch/books?id=Qaa7DAAAQBAJ&pg=PT116&lpg=P...

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[–] unityByFreedom link

No, that is not fake news. The title of the book is loaded but the facts you cited are unbiased.

There is a big difference between this and saying that Rockefeller advocated genocide, or that there's something wrong with the US and China having trade relations.

I don't think it's any secret or part of a conspiracy that Rockefeller worked to establish economic ties with China. It was part of his job. Bankers, hate them or love them, are part of the economy.

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[–] coldtea link

>and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure -- One World, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

As if this is some benevolent plan towards harmony and peace, and not merely a way to build an empire where corporatists and moguls have increased control on an even more defenseless populace without shared historical and cultural resistances (like the role the Constitution, for example plays in the US).

In other words, the exact feudal states and empires that nation states were invented to rid us of.

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[–] battlebot link

Very well said. I see no upside to globalism, only the exertion of control over our way of life by people whom we utterly despise. Why should, for example, some leader of a failed state such as Robert Mugabe, or even the head of a contemporary such as Angela Merkel, have any right to decide anything about our lives? They don't.

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[–] skyhust link

Here's a clip of Rockefeller laughing in response to an interviewer's introduction saying "and conspiring to enslave the nation to the machinations of the Trilateral Commission"-

https://streamable.com/video/v0cdr

And this is a longer compilation which covers his background and has some interesting parts-

https://vid.me/wde9#75s

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[–] icelancer link

Rich people like to hang out with other rich people. People enjoy shared backgrounds. That explains 95%+ of the "conspiracies," as David alludes to.

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[–] amha link

Rockefeller's MEMOIRS is surprisingly good. I picked it up figuring it would be typical celebrity schlock––but it's very thoughtful, comprehensive, and well-written. May we all lead such interesting lives, and write so well about them!

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[–] TempOSfan link

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/927

"My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders"

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[–] kolanos link

"Some even believe we [Rockefeller family] are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure -- One World, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it."

- David Rockefeller, Memoirs, page 405

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[–] pdxandi link

Just wondering if you've read Confessions of an Economic Hitman. You may feel better knowing that not all of these conspiracies are crazy. Though reading about economic hit men may make you more paranoid; it's a dark, ugly world.

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[–] notsofastmister link

I am a bit more on the pro-conspiracy side of the spectrum but good sources are important.

According to the New York Times in 2002, David Rockefeller was the banker of the worst leaders of the world while expanding internationally the Chase Manhattan Bank.

"He spent much of his career at Chase doing business with tyrants -- paying homage to oil-rich dictators, sitting through long meetings with the Chinese perpetrators of the Cultural Revolution (an associate once handed over a suitcase with $50,000 in cash to the Chinese so Rockefeller could have a meeting with their ambassador), holding court with Soviet party bosses. The contacts often led to profitable deals for Chase. They benefited the ruling cliques in those countries. But in ways he is oblivious of even now, Rockefeller was soiled by his close embraces with these thugs. While the forces of democracy squared off with the forces of authoritarianism, Rockefeller was perpetually in the room with whoever happened to be in power."

That's enough for me to think he's a horrible monster, but what do I know, I'm just into conspiracy theories...

Between him and kissinger, it would be tough to figure out who knew more war criminals.

[0] http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/20/books/review/david-rockefe...

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[–] reckoner2 link

I finished this a few nights ago. What a book. It took about 4 times as long to read as Steve Jobs, but it was absolutely worth it. Someone like John D. Rockefeller really is one in a billion. Highly Recommended.

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[–] selimthegrim link

I think the History Channel had a good show about the lives of Rockefeller, Carnegie, et al. and how they intersected

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[–] sml0820 link

Yes, "The Men Who Built America". Great show.

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[–] prodikl link

highly recommended. its nice to know the history behind some of the biggest names you hear everyday

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] charia link

Obligatory mention of Titan, in mine and many other people's opinion, the best and most comprehensive biography of the original John D. Rockefeller. (The grandfather of the David Rockefeller who passed away today.) An extremely well put together balanced analysis of John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil and general history of the Gilded Age.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16121.Titan

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[–] reckoner2 link

All of the Rockefeller money was distributed by John D. Rockefeller Sr. directly to his children and grandchildren. While progressive in some aspects, he held the common at the time view that business matters were best left to men. This resulted in the men of the family receiving sizable ($billions) gifts, while the women mainly lived on allowances, and much smaller gifts. I'm sure this is part of it.

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[–] bostonpete link

> All the brothers have their contributions listed, but she doesn't?

Maybe related to this detail (also from Wikipedia)...?

  "Unlike her famous brothers, she always remained out of the public eye"

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[–] AnimalMuppet link

That doesn't mean that she didn't do anything. It doesn't even mean she didn't do anything worthy of note.

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[–] sokoloff link

But it may mean that what she did do isn't well documented enough publicly for inclusion in Wikipedia.

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[–] markwaldron link

"Their sister, Abby Rockefeller Mauze, known as “Babs,” died in 1976." All the brothers have their contributions listed, but she doesn't? According to Wikipedia, Abby Rockefeller Mauze preferred to stay out of the spotlight, but was still a benefactor of the MOMA, YWCA, NY Hospital, NY Zoological Society, and the Asia Society.

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[–] GFischer link

My father met a top exec (later president) of Toyota in the 80s, he came to my house and met our dog. Some time later we saw him writing on a little black notebook.

A decade later, the exec invited my father, and during the dinner conversation he asked about his children and dog by name... that was pretty impressive, and an example of how to manage relationships.

LinkedIn doesn't (yet) give you that kind of information (I guess some good CRMs do?)

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[–] GCA10 link

I may be alone on this one, but I'm enchanted by David Rockefeller's long-ago crusade to create an "electronic Rolodex" of the 150,000 people he met in the course of his business career.

The dude nearly invented LinkedIn! Of course, he forgot to allow access to anyone else, which limited the value of his efforts. And boasting about 150,000 isn't quite what it used to be. (More like an Ozymandias claim, in fact.) Anyway, some more thoughts about it are here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2017/03/20/he-knew...

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] notsofastmister link

He probably wasn't too far from the disgusting coup against Salvador Allende on the 9/11/1973, organized by the CIA.

From the guardian :

"But the very name of Allende was anathema to the extreme Right in Chile, to certain powerful corporations (notably ITT, Pepsi Cola and the Chase Manhattan Bank) which did business in Chile and the United States, and to the CIA." [0]

"He [David Rockerfeller] was both chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan from 1969 to 1980 and remained chairman until 1981." [1]

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/feb/24/pinochet.booke... [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rockefeller

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[–] Sabinus link

Did Rockefeller talk at all about how much his huge income was taxed? While I'm sure his philanthropic giving was researched and generous, I'm wondering what the benefits of those billions would have been if part of the Medicare program. Did he support the rich giving more to the state? It is the institution tasked with looking the citizens, after all.

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[–] agentgt link

I have to agree. That amount of money could have greatly helped a majority of the black historic colleges that so badly need the money. Of course if you think that is bad someone recently just gave $400 million (more covered here: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/06/05/400-million-g...).

Even Gates gave $15 million circa 1996. This is was of course before he went into full philanthropy mode [1]. I'm sure he wouldn't do that now.

[1]: http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/30/us/gates-of-microsoft-give...

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[–] reckoner2 link

I agree that the $400 million seems ridiculous. But it's interesting that you mention black colleges, because David Rockefeller's grandfather started the General Education Board [0] - one of the first and most important factors in developing black education in the United States.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Education_Board

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[–] kevando link

>In 2008 Rockefeller gave $100 million to his alma mater, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I have to agree with Malcom Gladwell on this... Of all the ways to donate $100M, OF ALL THE WAYS

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[–] Dowwie link

My family (incl german wirehaired pointer) got to enjoy Little Long Pond in Seal Harbor because of David Rockefeller. The Rockefellers own a tremendous estate in Mount Desert Island.

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[–] manojr link

RIP, Condolences to his Family and Friends

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[–] beegeezuz link

Congratulations to every one, let's drink to that!

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[–] selimthegrim link

Every resident of New York should thank him and Nelson Rockefeller for tag teaming to take down Robert Moses.

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[–] paulpauper link

barons of a century ago weren't as good at managing money as today's tech elite are...the Rockefeller fortune was split up too much

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[–] peter303 link

The third generation made the biggest impact in public affairs with governors and philanthropists. The first made all the money, the second was too small. Webrarely hear ofblater Rockefellers.

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[–] dang link

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13915838 and marked it off-topic.

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[–] kolanos link

John D. Rockefeller's father was literally a snake oil salesman [1].

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Rockefeller_Sr.

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[–] liber8 link

It's not that osteopaths were so well organized. It's that John D. was a devoted Osteopath for most of his life.

If you haven't read Titan, it's a fascinating bio.

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[–] CriticalSection link

> John D. was a devoted Osteopath for most of his life. If you haven't read Titan, it's a fascinating bio.

That's interesting, I didn't know that.

More than osteopathy, the similar yet different practice of chiropractic is a better example of a legally and politically well-organized "alternative medicine". Through legal ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilk_v._American_Medical_Ass'n ) and political pressure from the 1970s to the 1990s, they got the American Medical Association to dissolve their committee on quackery, rewrite their medical ethics rules and so forth.

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[–] lqdc13 link

I would like to point out that chiropractic medicine is not necessarily quackery. There are certainly some elements that may not always work, but there are also many things that do.

The classes in the schools are certainly not a joke - they take real anatomy and real body mechanics, real radiology and real biochemistry - and the requirements for graduation are not trivial.

Additionally, although scientific method has been successful in medicine, a lot is still not well understood from the bottom up. That's why some alternative medicine solutions sometimes work as well and even better than modern medicine. It was arrived at through centuries of trial and error.

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[–] cholantesh link

Chiropractic largely works because it has purged so much of its foundational ideas and is almost congruous to physiotherapy (albeit with more focus on manipulative therapy than exercise).

>That's why some alternative medicine solutions sometimes work as well and even better than modern medicine.

I can see some forms of alternative medicine being complementary (hence the name), such as meditation or yoga, but better? Could you point to some examples? Genuinely curious about this.

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[–] lqdc13 link

Well, the problem is that a lot of times there is no research into them and by the time there is research, the useful properties are extracted so that a better modern solution is available.

Basically, the only way to prove that it works is by showing that modern medicine adopted the approach after systematic evaluation and at that point it is part of modern medicine.

For example, Artemisinin wasn't known to be useful until 1979 but was a traditional Chinese medicine in plant form for a very long time.

Another example that still isn't fully accepted is cupping. Wikipedia page on it suggests that it is not useful beyond placebo. But here [1] is a recent study that says it's effective. Let's imagine that it is very effective for some kinds of pain. A modern medicine alternative might be to take some kind of painkiller that might damage the liver in large doses.

For sore throat, someone might take NiQuil. Some doctors would prescribe antibiotics just in case it's a bacterial or might have a bacterial follow-up. Alternative medicine solution is to grind up garlic and eat cabbage soup. Garlic h as Allicin which kills strep throat. This, I think, is less intrusive. But I don't know if anyone did a large-scale study where they compared the two common solutions head to head.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4814666/

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[–] cholantesh link

>Basically, the only way to prove that it works is by showing that modern medicine adopted the approach after systematic evaluation and at that point it is part of modern medicine.

I don't think that's true. That study you linked to indicates that it is possible to do clinical research on many alternative modalities. Indeed, I see plenty of papers coming out that make the attempt, and lots of reviews and meta-analyses thereof. They tend to conclude one of two things:

- the methodology of the stud[y|ies] is poor

- the research is positive but too small in scale/particular in conditions to base decisions on

- they don't demonstrate a strong correlation between the application of the treatment and the desired outcome

If some of those studies from the second block were repeated with larger, more diverse samples, I'd be less wary of alt med in general, I think.

>Another example that still isn't fully accepted is cupping. Wikipedia page on it suggests that it is not useful beyond placebo. But here [1] is a recent study that says it's effective.

The Wiki page seems to suggest that cupping, when recommended for chronic neck/shoulder pain, is treated with cautious optimism by most scientists, for the reasons noted above. The study you mentioned is strong methodologically, but the sample size is tiny, and composed primarily of women.

>A modern medicine alternative might be to take some kind of painkiller that might damage the liver in large doses.

I think this is a pretty unfair stereotype; certainly painkillers are over-prescribed, but that doesn't mean that all of modern medicine is wrapped up in the use of pharmaceuticals. Lifestyle changes, physical therapy, massage, etc. are all things that conventional physicians will recommend.

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[–] jimmyjohnson1 link

But the purging hasn't gone far enough. You have the likes of Life College, Sherman and even Cleveland who still hold to the debunked foundational ideas. Those who graduate from these schools are taught to be high visibility charlatans who are the ones seen by the decisionmakers (legislators, etc.) and keep the majority of chiropractors (evidenced based) from moving forward in the healthcare world.

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[–] jimmyjohnson1 link

No it hasn't--not as far as the decision makers (legislators) are concerned. Graduates of the schools who espouse the debunked foundational ideas (Life, Sherman and Cleveland) are generally high visibility charlatans who are seen by the legislators and those who work in mainstream healthcare. They also speak out against any progression by evidenced based chiropractors.

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[–] cholantesh link

The first sentence in my reply ought to have been prefaced with a 'when'. I'm not aware of how prevalent evidence-based chiropractic is, or the politics associated with the original practice, but regardless my point is that it can hardly be called chiropractic and is probably redundant since physio exists.

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[–] kingkawn link

they failed to make it be guided by scientific method, but rather taught the quacks that the only way forward was to use scientific terminology, and if they could do so propery would even be admitted deeper into medicine than they ever could've hoped before

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[–] kbenson link

Just think of them as the random mutation in the genetic algorithm. Keeping the progress facing forward is the job of the scientific method, but occasionally you get a big leap as some of the more outlandish claims are finally tested and found to have some merit. It's a fine line, and one we don't always walk all that well.

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[–] kingkawn link

The ultimate groundless hubris that what is called the scientific method is an attempt to lay claim to being the only legitimate form of trial and error

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[–] teslabox link

The Medical Guild didn't have much to offer in the early part of the 20th century. The Osteopaths [possibly] had much better results at their hospitals during the Great Flu of 1918, for example.

Science started to make some progress figuring things out, but then the snake oil salesmen regrouped and used the cloak of 'science' to sell their 'prescriptions'. For example, Statin drugs might prevent a few heart attacks, but just cause side effects for 90+% of the patients who take them.

Pfizer, et al, are trying to restore estrogen/Premarin (a prescription derived from PREgnant MARes' urIN [1]) to its former glory, even though estrogen treatment was always known by actual scientists to be harmful [2].

Robert Whitaker has provided an indictment of conventional psychiatry's use of 'snake oil' [3], and a science writer recently voted to indict [4].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premarin [2] http://web.archive.org/web/20110719210324/http://leda.law.ha... [3] https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/are-psychia... [4] https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/psychiatris...

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[–] CriticalSection link

> The Osteopathic profession was the only group that was organized enough to survive the Medical Guild's purge of non-Rockefeller-approved approaches to medicine.

What? The Medical Guild purged (almost) all of the quacks and snake oil salesman out of medicine, and aimed American medicine to be directed by the scientific method and biology. This was a good thing.

You're right, most of the quacks, snake handlers, anti-vaccine charlatans and witch doctors were purged, thankfully. But the osteopathic so-called "alternative" medicine practitioners were well-organized enough, and legally and politically savvy enough to survive.

People on this web site tend to look favorably upon reason, the scientific method and so forth. Thus, I think they will look favorably upon this work of Rockefeller, and shed few tears for the faith healers, quacks, acupuncturists etc. which people are still free to go to, but which my tax and health plan dollars are (mostly) not going to, thankfully.

Then you mix in that primary care doctors don't spend enough time with their patients nowadays. This may be true, in fact, it probably is. It has absolutely nothing to do however with whether people are getting rational, scientific treatment tested through medical trials, or whether they're going into some voodoo ritual with some quack.

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[–] dang link

Generic ideological tangents are not interesting in HN's sense. They don't gratify intellectual curiosity. They merely retread the well-trodden, and a few people get hot and bothered while the rest of us yawn. This site is not for the hot and bothered to hijack; therefore we don't want generic ideological tangents on HN.

I was going to ask you to stop, but since you went into full-out ideological flamewar later, I'm banning your account instead. Please don't create accounts to do this with.

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13915801 and marked it off-topic.

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[–] hwillis link

>forced immigration, cultural erasure, and overburdening of welfare states, which are conducive to increased conflict rather than increased cooperation.

We have had all of those things for over a century in the US. You don't even have to be a citizen to be able to immigrate to any state in the union from any other state. "Cultural erasure" is even more nonsensical than "cultural appropriation". Overburdening of welfare states has been fine for the entire history of the US. These things made the US the most powerful nation in the world.

The EU is less than half the size of the US. The problems you are describing are ridiculous and irrelevant.

edit: not to mention, the EU takes in even fewer legal immigrants than the US does, per capita. "Cultural erasure" doesn't mean tearing down maypoles and shit, it just means a kebab place opens up down the street. Who could possibly give a shit about that? NOBODY. except racists, obviously.

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[–] ericd link

The US has never had a welfare state remotely comparable to that of the western European majors. It's one of the reasons we're able to take in immigrants without caring historically, and the more recent increases in our welfare system, which I think are directionally a good thing, have the unfortunate side effect of making it necessary to be more careful about who you let in and how long before they can become a full citizen, with all the entitlements that come with it. The European countries also have much more uniform cultures than the US has ever had, and a vastly longer history and tradition. It's nowhere near as simple as "Who doesn't want more kebabs? Clearly, racists." Europe is not currently well set up structurally or culturally to take in large numbers of people of different cultures.

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[–] hwillis link

You're conflating two completely different things with welfare. In the US they are the same- poor states get immense amounts of Federal assistance to help poor citizens. In Europe individual states may have welfare systems, but EU "welfare" is economic assistance to members eg Italy. It has nothing to do with refugees and immigrants and is just a base factor in the difficulty of holding together the difficulty of a state, and in that way the member states of the EU are FAR closer together in economic power than states in the US are. ie the EU would be much, much easier to run, but as it turns out it takes more than 25 years for a country to find its feet.

It is as simple as "who doesn't want kebabs", because the number of immigrants is stupid low. One in 300 does not cultural destruction make, unless your culture is "no brownies". These cultures have coexisted and coimmigrated for the better part of a thousand years. The ottomans aren't new. Europeans are used to muslims. Having a stronger and longer culture makes you MORE resilient to outside change, not less.

Edit: the us has ten times the number of immigrants in Mexicans alone. The effect they have had is well described as adding a few ethnic restaurants. Maybe a few places have chosen to put up bilingual signs. If you consider that "cultural Erasure", the BASE STATE of Europe is to have a half dozen languages being spoken in one place. Muslims are simply "the wrong kind", which is ridiculous as they are just the next country over and always have been. If anything has contributed to "cultural Erasure" it has been the US, which has helped impose a monoculture on every nation in Europe.

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[–] dracht link

You're arguing from the arrogant point of view that the USA is the pinnacle of civilization and other nations should strive to emulate it.

European countries, and most other nations in the world, have/had native populations that enjoy cohesion through a common culture, history and ethnicity. Being American is a loose concept that a newcomer can easily adopt. Being Japanese or German carries with it more than just having the appropriate passport, and for that reason the integration of immigrants in Europe has failed completely. Turks in Germany identify as Turks despite being born on German soil. Who is to blame - the Turks, for sticking to their tribe, the Germans for sticking to theirs, or the people who forced this idea of multiculturalism on them both?

A quarter of the population in the Netherlands is of non-Dutch origin and that number will grow significantly in the foreseeable future. That change happened in a mere 30 years or so. To say the Dutch people (and Belgians, Swedes, etc) should not worry about being displaced and made a minority in their own country is to tell them to stick their heads in the sand.

Reducing peoples' thoughts and emotions to "they don't want immigration because they're racist proletarians" is inflammatory, intended to silence opposition to failed social experiments. Keeping immigration at a level that doesn't cause unnecessary friction does not mean you want to shove people into ovens. This whole debate is a battle between ideology and pragmatism.

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[–] hwillis link

I'm arguing that it is incredibly hypocritical to criticise the EU without calling for the immediate dissolution of the US, just based on the arguments people use. The EU is a similar system that doesn't go nearly as far and has many things that make it more likely to be successful.

>A quarter of the population in the Netherlands is of non-Dutch origin and that number will grow significantly in the foreseeable future. That change happened in a mere 30 years or so. To say the Dutch people (and Belgians, Swedes, etc) should not worry about being displaced and made a minority in their own country is to tell them to stick their heads in the sand.

Has the EU forced this on them, or did they and their leaders want this? In Germany and Sweden it was their choice. The problem of immigration in the EU as a whole is a nonissue- that's what I'm saying. The problem of immigration in specific places is a direct result of choices made in those places.

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[–] 24gttghh link

>The EU is less than half the size of the US. The problems you are describing are ridiculous and irrelevant.

By what metric?

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[–] hwillis link

By land, obviously. Meaning that immigration is much easier to control if they want to, culture is much more concentrated and therefor much harder to "erase", and that there aren't giant empty rural unprofitable flyover states like there are in the US. Inequality in the US is much greater and has always been much greater than in the EU. The only difference is that in the US nobody gives a shit.

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[–] Exofunctor link

Are you familiar with https://medium.com/incerto/the-most-intolerant-wins-the-dict... ?

This is a good example of how relatively small populations can have huge cultural effects.

Another example is how migrants from Islamic countries can carry out terrorist attacks and completely change European and American culture for the worse. The loss of American travel culture post 9/11 is tragic, and I can't think of a better word to describe it than "erasure".

Paris is now building a wall around the Eiffel Tower, thanks entirely to recent massacres committed by strongly religious immigrants for religious reasons.

Heavily Muslim neighborhoods in the U.K. have volunteer "sharia police" that harass women for dressing "immodestly".

Swedish officials removed traditional Christmas displays from Muslim areas, and then blamed the structural integrity of lamp posts (yes, really) when asked why.

Cultural erasure doesn't take a huge influx of people; it just takes a small population with aggressively viral cultural memes and a host culture with insufficient memetic defenses.

But, of course, I must be a racist for preferring European culture over throwing gays off buildings, women being unable to drive or show their faces, etc. etc.

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[–] hwillis link

>But, of course, I must be a racist for preferring European culture over throwing gays off buildings, women being unable to drive or show their faces, etc. etc.

Racist is exactly what that is. That's not who Syrian refugees are, or who muslims are. This is who they are: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/female-soldier-dubbe...

Muslims are people, not culture-destroying machines. Bowing to them and throwing away a much larger group of people is wrong WHOEVER they are. It's wrong to destroy tradition, its wrong to allow vigilantes, and its wrong to turn away refugees. You're defining a huge group of people by the worst of them. If you're calling for a halt or reduction to immigration, you're denying the rest of them even a chance. That is certainly racist.

But... shops carrying halal/kosher food? Living with different cultures and religions? There's nothing wrong with that. The author is unconvincing.

>Another example is how migrants from Islamic countries can carry out terrorist attacks and completely change European and American culture for the worse. The loss of American travel culture post 9/11 is tragic, and I can't think of a better word to describe it than "erasure".

That is an alarming distortion of facts. Instability in the middle east is not the same as muslim immigration into the US. The attacks were carried out by men on visas, not immigrants. Immigration is never easier than getting a visa, and halting immigration doesn't make it harder to attack a country.

>Cultural erasure doesn't take a huge influx of people; it just takes a small population with aggressively viral cultural memes and a host culture with insufficient memetic defenses.

Tripe. The existence of other cultures does not destroy culture. This assertion is insane. When a store chooses to carry kosher meat, they make that choice. When a mexican store opens, they buy the land and their customers choose to shop there.

>Swedish officials removed traditional Christmas displays from Muslim areas, and then blamed the structural integrity of lamp posts (yes, really) when asked why.

Do you not see how the middle ground is disireable...? Muslims should not force Swedes to wear hijabs, but muslims in sweden should at least be free enough to choose to wear one. Likewise they cannot force the government to act secularly, but maybe muslim-majority areas also shouldn't be forcibly decorated for christmas. It's a small kindness, and not an extreme one. Do you get mad if your jewish neighbors don't put up stockings?

>Heavily Muslim neighborhoods in the U.K. have volunteer "sharia police" that harass women for dressing "immodestly".

Had. From 2013-2014. Those men were arrested and imprisoned. The Muslim community condemned them as "utterly unacceptable". "Christian patrol"s sprang up in response and are just as morally disgusting. You're taking an incident that everybody hated and blaming it on some mysterious them. This is the exact propaganda technique used by the KKK and pretty much every racist hate group. In short- you're being racist as fuck.

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[–] unityByFreedom link

I get that. There's some give and take, and people view things differently. Previously, we've agreed that having a stable economy is something that's in everyone's best interest. I'm not sure whether or not people still find agreement about that.

People on all sides are asking what their country can do for them, not what they can do for their country.

During the next economic crisis, will we allow another TARP, or will we vote to do nothing and sink into a depression for a few years until we decide to dig ourselves out, possibly allowing an aggressive international power to gain a military edge?

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[–] oh_sigh link

If 100M people from Africa/ME showed up in Europe, you think this would be a good thing for the world?

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[–] unityByFreedom link

Over a long period of time? Why not. America is nearly 100% immigrants.

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[–] bordercases link

Most of them were White Christians for the longest time. Are people of that even temperament that you can't see differences between them?

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[–] unityByFreedom link

Certainly I see differences in people's culture. I don't damn them for it.

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[–] bordercases link

One can move for economic opportunities or cultural opportunities. The two can co-occur but they are different needs. If we're talking about integration of Muslims, the ones who aren't soft on their own beliefs, i.e. not raised in the cosmopolitan West, are likely moving simply for economic opportunity or to avoid danger, not necessarily because they like the West.

Given that in most countries that are purely Muslim have reason to resent the West and see their struggle as being in part ideological, as Western materialist culture is antithetical to Islamic theocracy, should we not be a little bit wary?

I don't think culture is the only variable, but even if it was, there is still cause for concern.

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[–] Exofunctor link

> Why not.

Because Europe is liberal, secular, literate, and (consequently) scientifically, technologically, and economically advanced. Africa is none of those things. Whatever your ideals about equality are, you cannot deny that there is something about Africans, whether it's their cultures or their religions or their DNA or some other factor. (In case you reflexively want to accuse me of racism for that last possible cause, if you'd like I can break out the list of high-quality scientific publications demonstrating that intelligence and certain measurable behaviors have been demonstrated to be strongly heritable and that those genes differ substantially across geographically separated populations.)

No matter the cause, Europe can not hope to sustain its preeminence in these matters if it gets blasted full of people who are culturally antithetical to them. You can't hope to have a functioning scientific community if certain ascientific beliefs are legally mandated, for example.

The simplest explanation for why America is successful in the exact same way as Europe is that all the people who colonized North America come from Europe, and share whatever European je ne sais quoi is conducive to that success, whether it's cultural, religious, genetic, or any other heritable condition.

I'm fairly sure this post will be shocking to you and you'll react angrily to it, but I ask you to just take a moment to consider where you think my argument falls apart factually rather than just automatically labelling it as "colonialist" or "xenophobic" or something and then completely ignoring its contents. The fact of the matter is that Africa really sucks and is really backwards, whereas Europe doesn't and isn't, and when people move somewhere they take a little bit of where they came from with them. Do you really think America would be the same, in any respect, as it is today if it was never settled by Europeans?

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[–] tptacek link

One wonders what it could be about Africans that enabled Europeans to progress so far past them in the 19th and 20th centuries. Perhaps it's their cultures, or their religions, or their DNA, but something sure painted a bulls-eye on the backs of all those people. The French, the British, the Germans, even --- christ, especially --- the Belgians.

We in the US have little trouble acknowledging the legacy of slavery in our country. That happened over a century ago. Rwanda didn't gain independence from Belgium, which engineered the sectarian divisions that produced the Rwandan genocide, until 1961. Apartheid didn't end in South Africa until the nineteen nineties.

It takes some kind of --something--- to suggest that the Europeans have something to fear from the Africans.

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[–] pvg link

The simplest explanation for why America is successful [...] where you think my argument falls apart factually

It doesn't even come together factually, let alone fall apart. The same exact things were said of the Italians, Jews, Poles, Irish and many others that poured into the US. Far worse of immigrants from East Asia. Entirely inexplicably, the country thrived and continues to do so.

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[–] aptwebapps link

"The same exact things were said of the Italians, Jews, Poles, Irish and many others that poured into the US."

This bears repeating. Exactly the same arguments were advanced by (otherwise) fairly intelligent people about whichever was the latest group. Those arguments were wrong, and this argument is wrong.

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[–] Exofunctor link

Do you think Italian Catholics are as violent or as memetically aggressive as Muslims from the ME?

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[–] Exofunctor link

> The same exact things were said of the Italians, Jews, Poles, Irish and many others that poured into the US.

First off, they were right about all these groups in one way or another. Italians were responsible for a huge and disproportionate fraction of east coast crime for decades, Jews are represented in politics at around an order of magnitude higher than their fraction of the population, polish communities (just like Poland) have huge problems with crime and drug abuse, and Irish communities are still getting over problems with poverty, alcoholism, and church abuses. The complaints levied against these groups were entirely correct, and these groups did culturally subsume large areas, as predicted. I say this as a descendent of 3 of those 4 groups.

Second off, you can't really compare hyper-indoctrinated muslims to the Italians. Catholicism is positively benign compared to any of the popular Islamic sects. Just because something vaguely similar happened before doesn't mean it's going to happen exactly the same way again.

> Entirely inexplicably, the country thrived and continues to do so.

Compared to what? I suspect if the Irish hadn't shitted up the east coast for decades America could be a lot farther ahead. (Again, saying this as someone who is substantially Irish.) Yes, we turned out OK, and the shitty culture that Irish and Polish people brought over with them has mostly been diluted to impotency, but who knows what the damage was, or how it's going to go down with an even shittier and more viral culture. At least the Irish didn't make a habit of stoning people to death.

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[–] chinathrow link

Of course it is. We have plenty of space here in Europe.

Also, why should borders really matter? Protectionism?

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[–] Exofunctor link

No, which is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about. "Free movement", to me, means that you are free to travel wherever you'd like on your own dime. It doesn't mean that you get to show up somewhere and demand citizenship, housing, medical care, or other free stuff. But obviously some people conflate these things.

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[–] battlebot link

What you describe is nice, but free movement has to be bi-directional, not just into the west. Thus far, the only side that is living up to those ideals are western nations, to their obvious and ongoing harm.

Also, are you aware that globalism eliminates the individual franchise? In other words, there is a very large downside to having an unelected body ruling the world, isn't there? In other words, the end of democracy as we know it.

I was once a libertarian and bought into the typical libertarian political positions. Unfortunately, based on observation, I have to revert to the idea that the only way to preserve the unique (and fading) way of life we have in the US is to righteously enforce our political borders and bolster internal democratic representation as opposed to remove that control to a further higher entity.

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[–] Exofunctor link

I am, by most metrics, an ardent globalist; I advocate absolute free trade and absolute free movement. However, it's not very hard to recognize that many people's definition of globalism effectively includes such things as forced immigration, cultural erasure, and overburdening of welfare states, which are conducive to increased conflict rather than increased cooperation.

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[–] dang link

Of all the circles of internet hell, religious flamewars are particularly to be avoided. Please don't do this on HN.

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13915801 and marked it off-topic.

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[–] unityByFreedom link

(1) Not all Muslims believe that everyone needs to follow Sharia. I imagine you know this.

(2) Christianity is dogmatic too in the sense that it doesn't accept other religions. If you're not Christian, you're not saved.

> Thus, "learning to live together on the same planet" is a fool's errand if not everyone can agree that that is an allowable first principle. Islam clearly does not allow it as a first principle.

I'm sure you don't mean this as literally as you write it. Obviously we've already advanced to learn to live together quite well over thousands of years. How we continue to do that is perhaps where we disagree slightly, but I think you would agree that, while there are still tigers in the forest, they need not all be killed simply since one will kill you if he sees you.

Please stop acting like all Muslims are a threat. It's simply not true, and you only help ISIS' recruiting when you make Muslims feel unwelcome. America isn't going to deport all Muslims and you're going to have to learn to interact with them whether you like it or not.

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[–] vcryan link

Sharia is the codification of the laws of Islam to make it easier for Muslims who want to live according to those laws to follow the laws. Without such a codification it is difficult to know what is a religious law and what is a tradition (for example). It is an absurd notion that Muslims want non-Muslims to live according to Sharia... it doesn't make sense. If you are not Muslim... why would you live according to such laws?

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[–] laichzeit0 link

The primary goal of Islam, according to its doctrine, is to bring the law of Allah (known as Sharia) to all people on earth. Sharia is the right way to live, and all people should be subject to it.

Please explain how you plan to "live together" when there are people who are actively pursuing an ideology that in no way, shape or form can be altered because it is the actual, literal, word of God himself and it must be implemented. It's not even up for debate, because it does not follow reason. It is a dogmatic prime directive to be carried out.

Thus, "learning to live together on the same planet" is a fool's errand if not everyone can agree that that is an allowable first principle. Islam clearly does not allow it as a first principle.

I mean this isn't like some kind of subculture and you have people minding their own business and saying "that's cool bro I'm just gonna practice my religion here in peace and we can mutually coexist". That is not the will of Allah.

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[–] sparkling link

There is not a single credible source for these heart transplant stories. In fact, not even 1 transplant is document anywhere except on various fake news outlets.

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[–] mikeyouse link

Lol, the linked article above you about the 7th heart transplant claims that Snopes can't be trusted to debunk the story since they aren't 9/11 truthers. Too good.

Edit, aww, it's deleted, but their argument refuting Snopes was that Snopes also doesn't believe the consensus that a missile hit the Pentagon on 9/11 so you shouldn't trust them.

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[–] kolbe link

You're right. It was from a satirical article a while ago that some fake outlets ran with.

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[–] raverbashing link

Fake news are propelled by the ignorance of those replicating it

Namely: the fact that people barely survive one heart transplant, let alone 7

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[–] kolbe link

Fair point, though it's not that unreasonable to think bring a billionaire will greatly increase your chance of survival.

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[–] bhouston link

That isn't a reliable website.

But if true that is incredibly wasteful, and wrong.

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[–] kolbe link

Fake news. I remembered it as real from last year.

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[–] jlebrech link

Fake news has no trouble convincing people a rich guy is evil.

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[–] kolbe link

They prey on prejudices. In my case, all I remember is seeing it on reddit a long time ago. I don't think I even read the article, but I remembered the headline. Then, when I saw he died, I just googled it real quick, picked out the closest link, and reposted AQAP.

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[–] jlebrech link

people hate the 1% as much as anyone else. i'm he's had plenty of time to do evil tho.

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[–] kolbe link

[fake news article deleted]

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[–] reckoner2 link

Globalresearch also publishes 9/11 truther articles and chem-trail articles. They are not a valid source.

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[–] mrtri link

rockefeller is one of the families that created,control, own the federal reserve

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-federal-reserve-cartel-the-...

this cartel is behind many wars, false flags to make the government need more money for weapons, so they would borrow it from the federal reserve.

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