Redistribution of Wealth: Why Rich Get Richer

While arguing with a complete stranger about the validity of “Redistribution of Wealth” I wrote this brief:

We live in a society that is more free then in days past, yet remnants of the old Feudalism system still remain today. A very small percent of the population still owns a disproportionate amount of both wealth and power, and their children inherit a disproportionate amount of that wealth and power.

The facts of the matter are this: poor people become poorer over time, because the cost of their lifestyle is greater then their value, or the potential of their earnings. In other words, this Feudalism derived system makes it hard for poor people to create wealth because they are constantly in debt to their own survival. These are the class of people who must first WORK TO SURVIVE and who have little or nothing left over to invest afterward. It’s not just the poor, most middle class in this country are victims to this trap as well, they don’t realize it but generation after generation they are becoming poorer.

The problem is not that some have more then others. The problem is the de-stabilizing effect of an ever increasing debt of existence.

What happens when poor people suffer a hardship, like being fired? They struggle to get back into the position they were in before (all work until death, no gain in wealth) or are forced to go without food, clothing, shelter and access to medical care; as a result, their value in society only remains stagnant or goes down (hungry/injured/tired workers are less productive) until the debt/survival ratio becomes un-sustainable. At which point, any number of bad things tends happens, both to the individual and to the rest of society.

What happens when rich people suffer a similar hardship? Very very few will drop down a rung in society; most will stimulate the economy with increased consumption of expensive luxuries to get over it, OR they make relationships with other rich people as part of the recovery process and get access to even more opportunities. This stimulates the economy in the short term, and effectively amounts to no net loss of personal wealth and sometimes acts as a catalyst for net gain of personal wealth.

Do you see the difference wealth creates? Wealth is a buffer, a stabilizer, that affords greater wealth.

100% access to little things, like electricity, housing, food, clothing, and medicine, is what allows rich people the time to make investments in themselves, and thus become richer. Poor people struggle to meet these basic necessities, and where they fall short they loose access to opportunity and thus can never become rich as long as they are vulnerable to the very things rich people are immune.

The point of “redistribution” is to create opportunities for the majority that are otherwise only available to the rich; feudal lords kept their peasants poor and ignorant, much as the rich of today keep the middle and lower classes in ignorance of even their own value in the jobs they work and the economy as a whole.

The truth is, there is enough wealth in this country that everyone can be rich, no one needs to be in poverty. Poverty serves no purpose in society, neither for the rich nor for the majority.

When all the basic needs of survival are met only then can individuals evolve, and by doing so they naturally tend to create wealth for themselves; they educate themselves, start businesses, invest in retirement plans. By virtue of creating opportunity through wealth redistribution, a significantly larger portion of the population can lift themselves out of serfdom (lower/middle class) by creating wealth for themselves as individuals. This has a profoundly positive effect on the economy not only because of reduced crime and more individuals have access to more wealth and thus spend more, but because whole industries can be created practically over night as more valued workers enter the market place.

The point is not to pay for poor peoples existence outright generation after generation, the point is to extend the same leverage of existence the rich have so poor people can rise out of serfdom. No one benefits by allowing poor people to continue to fall victim to helplessness, addiction and crime, the same as it’s been for thousands of years. However, even the already rich can benefit from a flood of educated workers, workers who can afford to invest in themselves by making themselves more valuable rather then be criticized for failing to meet the basic needs of survival.

Four Tet

Spawned from the urge to do something apart from his post-rock band Fridge, Kieran Hebden‘s Four Tet project balances organic and programmed sounds. Hebden formed Fridge with Sam Jeffers and Adam Ilhan while still in high school. When Fridge went on temporary hiatus for Jeffers and Ilhan to attend college, Hebden spent time playing with ideas gained from hip-hop and electronica that he hadn’t had time for while concentrating on the band. Eager to experiment, Hebden bought a computer and began collecting drum and sound samples. Though his tracks sounded contrary, Hebden produced them all in his flat using only his computer to loop, slice, and paste downloaded samples and rhythms. His first full-length was 1999′s Dialogue, which was noticed by experimental dub pioneer Pole (Stefan Betke). The two eventually collaborated for a 12″, Four Tet vs. Pole, which included an original song by each and a remix of the track done by the other artist. Around the same time, Fridge was signed to the label Go! Beat, owned by Polydor. Hebden retained Four Tet as a side project, however, and released subsequent records Pause (2001) and Rounds (2003) through Domino. The No More Mosquitoes EP and the “My Angel Rocks Back and Forth” single preceded the 2005 release of Everything Ecstatic.

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Populous is the nom de musique of Lecce, Italy’s Andrea Mangia, a multi-instrumentalist/programmer whose work ranges from cerebral pieces to shoegaze-tinged pop. His 2002 debut, Quipo, introduced his meticulous approach to layering sounds and his fondness for vintage electronics and pioneering electronic music figures such as Raymond Scott, elements that he embellished with soul and jazz influences on 2005′s Queue for Love. The following year, Mangia played guitar on Pillow’s Flowing Seasons album. Released in 2007, A Number of Small Things reflected Mangia’s growing pop sensibilities; that year, one of his Queue for Love songs was used in a JC Penney commercial. His most accessible work yet, 2008′s dream pop-influenced Drawn in Basic featured the vocals of New York-based MC Short Stories. ~ Heather Phares, All Music Guide

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Amon Tobin

Drum’n'bass deviant Amon Tobin fuses hip-hop and jazz compositional ideas with the bustling rhythms of hip-hop and jungle and the bent sonic mayhem of ambient and dub. Unlike rolling junglists such as Alex Reece and Wax Doctor, however, who draw from a softer, “cooler” brand of jazz, Tobin aims to maintain the heat of bop and free jazz, pairing spry, galloping basslines with complex trapset orchestration and shrill, screaming horns.

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Wassup 2008

I found this on my favorite forum, thought it too good not to save for later:

It feels like a fair synopsis of the past 8 years.

Aphex Twin

Exploring the experimental possibilities inherent in acid and ambience, the two major influences on home-listening techno during the late ’80s, Richard D. James’ recordings as Aphex Twin brought him more critical praise than any other electronic artist during the 1990s. Though his first major single, “Didgeridoo,” was a piece of acid thrash designed to tire dancers during his DJ sets, ambient stylists and critics later took him under their wing for Selected Ambient Works 85-92, a sublime touchstone in the field of ambient techno. James’ reaction to the exposure portrayed an artist unwilling to become either pigeonholed or categorizable. His second Aphex Twin album, Selected Ambient Works, Vol. 2, was so minimal as to be barely conscious — in what appeared to be an elaborate joke on the electronic community. Follow-ups showed James gradually returning to his hardcore and acid roots, even while his stated desire to crash the British Top Ten (and perform on Top of the Pops) resulted in a series of cartoonish pop songs whose twisted genius was near-masked by their many absurdities. His iconoclastic behavior surprisingly aligned with MTV audiences turned on to end-of-the-millennium nihilist pop along the lines of Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails.

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Thomas Fehlmann

An important man in the German electronic scene, Zurich-born musician and producer Thomas Fehlmann has brought several diverse acts to Germany to record and collaborate. Beginning in the early ’80s, his group Palais Schaumburg fused dance rhythms to the experimentalist flair of ’70s German rock. A Detroit-Berlin cultural exchange through the Tresor label originally brought Underground Resistance to Germany, and Fehlmann did his part by recording separately with Blake Baxter, Eddie Flashin’ Fowlkes, and Juan Atkins (as 3MB). A longtime association with another electronica institution, the Orb, gave him a chance to record and produce the group in Berlin. While managing the band Fisherman’s Friend, he convinced two of the members to form Sun Electric and produced their Kitchen album.

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Prefuse 73

Prefuse 73 is the alias of Scott Herren, an experimental hip-hop producer whose material often features MCs buried in the mix to become more a part of the sonic texture than a focal point. Herren began his career working in commercial studios in Atlanta, but later went on to more experimental work. His first record under the Prefuse name, Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives, not only buried but cut up and spliced raps as well as allowing some more straightforward vocals from several MCs. The 2003 follow-up, One Word Extinguisher, carried on in a similar vein. That same year, Warp released Extinguished: Outtakes — a fascinating EP of beats and samples that ran through 23 tracks in about 35 minutes.

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The heavily computerized music of Loscil is courtesy of a single man — Scott Morgan. Influenced by the likes of Cluster, Henry Mancini, and Gavin Bryars, the Vancouver-based musician uses samplers, synthesizers, computer programming, and other effects to create a highly original sound. A self-released album, A New Demonstration of Thermodynamic Tendencies, caught the ear of the Chicago independent label Kranky, who in turn signed Morgan’s project and issued Triple Point in October of 2001. The album featured six tracks previously issued on Thermodynamic Tendencies, as well as four new tracks. Submers, Morgan’s second official Loscil album, followed the next year. In addition to his Loscil duties, Morgan also drums for Vancouver alt-rockers Destroyer, has designed music for films, DVDs, CD-ROMs, and websites, and wrote music to accompany films at the Barcelona Off-Line Flash Film Festival in May 2001. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide

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While debating the merits of analog vs. digital recording in a Seattle pub, guitarist Chris Martin and bassist Lucy Atkinson were interrupted by the bartender, drummer Dave Weeks. He said, definitively, that analog was superior; thus Kinski came into being. This same spontaneity would come to define their multi-layered noise-rock, reminiscent of Sonic Youth at their most experimental. Kinski began playing live in 1998. By the summer of 1999, the trio had released its first record, Space Launch for Frenchie. With six songs clocking in at 45 minutes, it inevitably sparked some debate of its own: EP or LP? Later that year, the band explored newer textures in their live set, and friend Matthew Reid Schwartz (guitar, keyboards) was added to the lineup. Kinski has toured with Mainliner (Japan), Hovercraft, and Silkworm. In 2001, their follow-up, Be Gentle with the Warm Turtle, arrived. Two years later, the group returned with their Sub Pop debut, Airs Above Your Station. A split release with Acid Mothers Temple was also issued in 2003. A West Coast tour supporting Mission of Burma coincided with Kinski’s fourth album, Don’t Climb on and Take the Holy Water, in spring 2004. Alpine Static followed in 2005. 2007′s Down Below It’s Chaos added a ’70s hard rock vibe and vocals to their intense drones. ~ Eric J. Iannelli, All Music Guide

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