Education

Oprah, Marilyn, Break Through Public-School Industrial Complex

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This escaped my attention at the time, but through the L.A. Times' Tim Cavanaugh-tastic Opinion L.A. blog I see that USA Today recently asked high schoolers across these 50 United States to name the "most famous" non-president Americans since the time of the original illegal immigrant, and here's what they came up with:

1. Martin Luther King
2. Rosa Parks
3. Harriet Tubman
4. Susan B. Anthony
5. Benjamin Franklin
6. Amelia Earhardt
7. Oprah Winfrey
8. Marilyn Monroe
9. Thomas Edison
10. Albert Einstein

Sounds like the exact list I would have made in 5th grade, if you subbed out Parks/Oprah/Marilyn with maybe Pete Rose, Farrah Fawcett and Peter Frampton. Harriet Tubman in particular was someone I idolized at age 9 (due to Runaway Slave being both required reading and totally awesome … what 9-year-old wouldn't dig an Underground Railroad?), and then never heard about again in the three decades since. Ditto for Susan B. Anthony, minus actually knowing anything about her in the first place.

Though the list probably says far more about the public school system than anything else, it was largely spun as what survey-leader Sam Wineburg of Stanford called "a revolution in the people who we come to think about to represent the American story." My favorite part of the USA Today explainer:

"There's a kind of shift going on, from the narrative of the founders, which is the national mythic narrative, to the narrative of expanding rights," he says.

Yes, but how does he explain No. 7: Oprah Winfrey?

She has "a kind of symbolic status similar to Benjamin Franklin," Wineburg says.

Who would you have included at 17

NEXT: The Al Franken Decade Begins

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  1. Wow, no Elvis? Michael Jackson? Norman Borlaug? What’s wrong with these kids?

  2. 4/10 are African American
    6/10 are Women

    That’s really interesting to me, because the old dead white guys (the founders) have always been the most interesting guys to me when studying history, with everyone else being mostly filler.

  3. It’s intriguing that Thomas Edison holds up so well after all these years. I never would have guessed Amelia Earhardt would make the list. Right-wingers will no doubt have a field day with this, as further evidence (as if any more were needed!) of the chickifying of Western Civilization. Oy!

  4. Seer — “Most interesting” and “most famous” are, to be fair, two different things….

  5. What, no sainted FDR? Maybe the kids are beginnning to see through his liberal facism?

  6. And Marilyn Monroe’s fuck buddy brothers are not on the list?

  7. At 17, the only American I was aware of was Ronald Reagan. And for most people in my country he was seen as less important and less of a threat than Viktor Tikhonov, the coach of the Soviet national hockey team…

  8. this I lifted from the blog link

    “An extraordinary showing by women and African Americans that quite possibly points to a new awareness caused by changes in the curriculum. But of course, you’re wondering, as I did, these kids think Harriet Tubman is more famous than Abraham Lincoln? George Washington? Turns out they were told to leave presidents out of their lists. Further, they were asked in a separate list to name the five most famous women, and those numbers were added to whatever names game up on the first list, giving a huge boost to women.”

  9. and I suppose if the poll was done during black history month that would show as well.

  10. How was Christopher Columbus the original “illegal immigrant” when the people he met had no immigration laws and greeted his party warmly?

    Also, hasn’t it been established that the Vikings had been to the hemisphere, and abandoned it, more than 50 years before Columbus?

    Lastly, wouldn’t all those descendants of Asian immigrants that he met be considered “illegal” by your standard if they did not have an invitation from the first Asian immigrants?

    Perhaps I take your statement too seriously ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. What, no sainted FDR? Maybe the kids are beginnning to see through his liberal facism?

    Ummm, actually they just read the question.

    …name the “most famous” non-president Americans…

    (my emphasis)

  12. Perhaps I take your statement too seriously

    I think so. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Nice to see that gender studies have had the intended effect. However, I see this more as a bullshit list that somebody made up rather than a real look at how America’s yoot think.

    OTOH, I know for sure than my elementary school kids have actually heard of and studied each of the people on the list (maybe not Rosa Parks).

    the chickifying of Western Civilization.

    Don’t agree with Alan about the right wingers take on Amelia Earhart. She’s a full blown, larger than life American hero and even back on the Dark Ages, when women were under the boot of the patriarchy she was seen that way as well.

  14. brotherben,

    Ahh, so right-wingers need not worry that the schools are indoctrinating the kids with womynist and multiculturalist propaganda; in fact, they are merely trying to make us think they are doing it!

  15. “Starting from Columbus to the present day, jot down the names of the most famous Americans in history.”

    First of all it’s an uniprtant question.
    Ask instead “Starting from Columbus to the present day, jot down the names of the most famous influential Americans in history.” and you might get more insoght into the thopughts and education of today’s youth.

    Who would you have included at 17?

    I’m sure I’d be embaarrassed by my responses at 17. I do know I’d have put Babe Ruth and Ben Franklin on the list.

    It’s a stupid question.

  16. einstein? swiss-german. he emigrated here long after his glory days.

    now feynman… he’s not there because our schools suck so badly. ditto james watson, norman borlaug, philo farnsworth, milton friedman, william thomas green morton, john brown…

    oprah fucking winfrey. jesus.

  17. Wow, no Elvis? Michael Jackson? Norman Borlaug? What’s wrong with these kids?

    I would suspect that, by specifically using the phrase “non-president,” the questioner framed the question in a political context, hence no Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, etc. Personally, but when I hear “non-president” the first person I think of is Ben Franklin. Of course, the 17-year-olds surveyed could very well be far less nerdy than I am (and for their sake I hope that’s the case).

  18. at 17? j. ian of course.

  19. At 17 I would have included the following:

    The 1957 Chevy
    Sheryl Tiegs
    Babe Ruth
    Sandy Koufax
    Don Drysdale
    Albie Pearson
    Jim Morrison
    Eric Clapton
    BB King
    The Zig Zag Man (not ours, the other one)

    Heavy on males, light on substance.

  20. Oh, but they butchered Janis’ song so badly….

  21. mitch, I was simply suggesting why the results were, in my little mind, strange.
    fwiw I prefer my wife to draw assinine conclusions about the intent of my words.

  22. William F. Buckley, Jr.
    Isaac Azimov
    Arthur C. Clark
    Marlow Thomas
    Donna Reed
    Maria Osmand
    Farrah Fawcett

    Basically, anybody I read or any woman I liked on TV/posters/movies.

  23. OMG, I forgot Yvonne Craig!

  24. Was there some kind of law against Columbus immigrating to America?

  25. Lists are meaningless.
    Cultural masturbation.
    Precious time wasted.

  26. JD,

    Yea, that’s what I was asking but you got it done in a lot fewer words.

  27. Famous is a rather stupid measuring stick. Influential would be a much more interesting list though the results would not give them the Demographics they want.

    But Oprah? I still think Jackie Robinson would be much better, he has his number retired in every ballpark in the land, and took more crap than the vast majority. Maybe they didn’t like his politics.

  28. Columbus was more of an ego tourist than an immigrant in my opinion. He came, he saw, he left.

  29. What an exquisitely stupid question.

    Considering the state of public schools I am amazed the list doesn’t include Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

  30. Yeah and if we are going to have a typical public school textbook list, put me down for Squanto.

  31. I think sometimes there is too much political subtext read into these things. (Warning, blatant contradiction coming up). These lists often seem to be, ‘list the group of generic famous Americans’. That’s why Abe and Washington have to be excluded; regardless of what little knowledge one my or may not have about them, they would always be included. Same for MLK, Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison. Oprah is the next generation of ‘generic famous American’. I’m disappointed bill Gates wasn’t listed as well.

    Also, isn’t Einstein a bit of a stretch. He was originally German and did much of his influential work in Europe. If we use that logic, I’m voting for David Bowie.

  32. Poor Alexander Hamilton rolls around in his grave. He may have been a tool, but damn it, he co-authored the Federalist papers.

  33. And for most people in my country he was seen as less important and less of a threat than Viktor Tikhonov, the coach of the Soviet national hockey team…

    Hey Jozef, Tikhonov was a hero to me, too… for benching Tretiak in the second period for Myshkin.

  34. Poor Alexander Hamilton rolls around in his grave. He may have been a tool, but damn it, he co-authored the Federalist papers.

    Remember, the poll asked for non-presidents, and I’m guessing if the same pollster asked “Was Alexander Hamilton a president of the U.S.?” the vast majority of 17-year-olds would answer “yes.” How else would he end up on paper currency?

    Not that he would make the list anyway, but still…

  35. I was gonna say Sam Adams, but then I saw this was based on high school, not college students.

  36. What many people don’t remember about Hamilton is another example of the founding fathers precedents not being followed. When he was pressured by his political opponents with rumors of a sex scandal, instead of denying or giving some half hearted apology, he told his opponents all the details of it to the point that they didn’t want to hear about it anymore.

  37. Guy Montag inquires: How was Christopher Columbus the original “illegal immigrant” when the people he met had no immigration laws and greeted his party warmly? …Perhaps I take your statement too seriously ๐Ÿ™‚

    Perhaps you take this whole site too seriously, as actually thinking things through isn’t their strong suit. In fact, when it comes to corporate welfare, their “reason” is replaced with reflexive tics.

    Those looking for a real analysis of how lists like this come about should find some other site that discusses leading indicators like this.

  38. Why isn’t Rosa Parks a great Libertarian folk-hero? Isn’t the Montgomery bus boycott a seminal example of the free market at work?

  39. Benjamin Franklin: The only President of the United States who was never President of the United States.

  40. Why isn’t Rosa Parks a great Libertarian folk-hero? Isn’t the Montgomery bus boycott a seminal example of the free market at work?

    She isn’t? I am sure that plenty of Ls have her as a personal heroine. They just don’t demand the government commission a statue of her.

  41. My hunch at my incomplete list at 17 (in 1988):

    Ben Franklin
    Stephen King
    Babe Ruth
    Muhammad Ali
    Bruce Springsteen
    Tom Cruise
    Eddy Murphy
    Shannon Tweed (personal infatuation of the time)

  42. TWC, I’m with you on the light substance at 17. Here’s my list at 17

    Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Tom Landry
    Michael Jordan
    Maggie Thatcher
    Boris Becker
    Bill Cosby
    Michael J. Fox
    Tom Curren
    Harrison Ford
    Demi Moore

  43. I probably would’ve chosen from people famous from TV (Jackie Gleason, Lucille Ball), a busybody (Eleanor Roosevelt, maybe Fiorello LaGuardia or Ralph Nader), an astronaut (John Glenn), musicians (Frank Sinatra; Liberace held over from the TV category), pioneers (Daniel Boone & Davy Crockett), outlaws (John Dillinger, Billy the Kid, maybe Al Capone), J. Edgar Hoover. The only agreement I’d’ve had with the above list would be Edison, Einstein, and Franklin. King, just maybe.

  44. at 17,
    David Letterman
    Larry Bird
    Magic Johnson
    Bob Guccione ( for Omni)
    Daisy Duke
    Pat Benatar
    J. Bronowski
    Alvin Toffler
    Neil Young
    Gallagher

  45. I never would have guessed Amelia Earhardt would make the list.

    You know it’s funny, thinking back on it, when I was in elementary school, Amelia Earhardt was mentioned and studied ad nauseam.

    It wasn’t until many years later that I learned that Amelia was, despite her boundless energy and drive, a poor pilot and lousy navigator.

  46. My incomplete list:

    Steve McQueen (Bullitt version figuring prominently)
    Clint Eastwood
    Sophia Loren

  47. Wow, how could I forget Jordan?

  48. No Neil Armstrong, John Glenn or Chuck Yeager? What about the Wright Brothers, John Rockefeller or Henry Ford?

  49. I want to know where Frederick Douglass is. Hes infinitely more interesting than Rosa Parks.

  50. OJ Simpson ought to make that list.

  51. No Neil Armstrong, John Glenn or Chuck Yeager? What about the Wright Brothers, John Rockefeller or Henry Ford?

    Because in public schools they aren’t mentioned as much as Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King.

  52. optimus prime
    smurfette
    urkle
    hal9000
    michael jackson
    The Hamburglar
    dennis rodman
    jennifer lopez’s ass
    johnny5
    billy ray cyrus

  53. What’s easy to lose sight of is that this is a requested list of “most famous” Americans, not “most influential” or “most interesting.” It’s really just, “Who are the best-known (non-presidential) Americans?”

    So it’s not really surprising that Oprah Winfrey and Marilyn Monroe are there. I’m a bit skeptical that Harriet Tubman or, especially, Susan B. Anthony are on there rather than, say, Donald Trump, Clark Gable, Michael Jordan (what, no sports figures?), the Wright brothers,Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Kelly Clarkson, Pamela Anderson, HILLARY CLINTON (or is she disqualfied by being married to a president?), Rush Limbaugh, George Clooney, etc.

  54. 1) Richard Feynman
    2) Sherwood Anderson
    3) Stephen Weinberg
    4) Albert Einstein
    5) Jonas Salk
    6) Robert Oppenheimer
    7) Alex Grey
    8) Jackson Pollock
    9) Brian Greene (same birthday as me whoo-hoo!)
    10) Carmine Appice

    In no particular order. It hasn’t been too long since I was 17.

  55. since the time of the original illegal immigrant

    Thought libertarians were for open borders……

  56. And my list is, obviously, only important to me, because while those people are well-known, they’re certainly not famous in the Britney Spears sense of the word.

  57. Anybody find it ironic that Columbus doesn’t make the list?

  58. TWC,

    Shouldn’t it have been undocumented immigrant, just like that undocumented business the Gov. of NY was paying?

  59. Oh, and at age 17 my own list would be something like:

    Sting
    Journey
    Kansas
    Styx
    Rush
    The Beatles
    Madonna
    Johnny Carson
    Michael Jackson
    Joe Piscopo

  60. twc,
    like my neil young entry, Columbus wasn,t american.

  61. MMMMM, Daisy Duke. MMMMM, Demi Moore.

    Hear in a Homer Simpson drooling-over-donuts voice.

  62. Andrew Carnegie
    William Seward
    Aaron Burr
    Samuel Langhorne Clemens
    Kurt Vonnegut
    Jonas Salk

  63. like my neil young entry, Columbus wasn,t american….

    Try telling that to the Knights of Columbus in NYC!

    Actually, it’s a good thing that wasn’t a Smarter Than a Fifth Grader question worth twenty grand, cuz I’d be getting the hook.

  64. Whaddya mean Old Neil ain’t American. I mean, I know he’s a commie and all but Jesus Chrysler—-Buffalo Springfield?

    Whaaaa? Is he Canuck or something?

  65. Wow, no Elvis? … What’s wrong with these kids?

    Elvis was a hero to most
    But he never meant shit to me
    Straight up racist that sucker was simple and plain
    Motherfuck him and John Wayne

  66. Taktix, I am IMPRESSED.

    Does it count that I knew Tom Palmer when I was 17? He wasn’t famous yet but he sure was smarter than hell. I believe he was the only kid I knew that had two entire encyclopedias, one in German and one in English.

    Our encyclopedia’s came from the grocery store, one volume a week (buck apiece with a minimum purchase) and for some reason the set ended at “G”.

  67. Henry Mancini should be up there someplace, for all of us who enjoyed television show theme songs.

  68. I hadn’t heard that Elvis was racist. BTW, his mom is not going to be happy with your suggestion.

    And whaddya got against John Wayne? You don’t like that airport in Irvine?

  69. TWC, at least Irvine did not name their airport after a guy who died in a plane crash, like those Okies did!

  70. TWC,

    Oh, I was supposed to answer that as if I was 17? I thought it meant that “if the list was 17-items long” or something. I guess I didn’t RTFA!

  71. Peter Frampton is British

  72. twc,
    old neil is canadian. I like to think of him more as an egalitarian leaning libertarian. Cortez the Killer is my personal fave right now.

  73. brotherben,

    Canada is in North America, so it works in that context.

  74. Guy Montag,
    in that case, I have to add Bob and Doug McKenzie to my list.

    I don’t know where she is from

    but Emmylou Harris is to me the sexiest woman ever.

    except mrs. brotherben of course.

  75. brotherben,

    I would have had them on mine too, but I was a good bit over 17 when they came along.

  76. but Emmylou Harris is to me the sexiest woman ever.

    No-Star will drink to that. Actually, hard fault Emmy Lou on looks or songs. She’s still pretty hot.

  77. Mr. Obvious | March 11, 2008, 11:27am | #

    What, no sainted FDR? Maybe the kids are beginnning to see through his liberal facism?
    | March 11, 2008, 11:28am | #

    And Marilyn Monroe’s fuck buddy brothers are not on the list?
    Jozef | March 11, 2008, 11:28am | #

    At 17, the only American I was aware of was Ronald Reagan. And for most people in my country he was seen as less important and less of a threat than Viktor Tikhonov, the coach of the Soviet national hockey team…

    That’s three posts in a row by people who didn’t read the fucking article.

    Let’s quote the sentence in question:

    This escaped my attention at the time, but through the L.A. Times’ Tim Cavanaugh-tastic Opinion L.A. blog I see that USA Today recently asked high schoolers across these 50 United States to name the “most famous” non-president Americans since the time of the original illegal immigrant, and here’s what they came up with

    Tons of fail here.

  78. Geotpf,

    Granted, this is a forum of few traditions, but the ones that we have are sacred! DNRTFA being the first.

  79. Stevo,

    What, no Dalai Lama, Rolling Stones, Ghandi or any other non-Americans on your list? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Disclaimer: I’d love to say that, at age 17, I knew that Rush (one of my favorite bands) was made up of Canadians, but I’m quite sure I didn’t.

  80. TWC,

    cgee is quoting Public Enemy, whose list of racists is probably larger than yours or mine. Whether Elvis qualifies, I don’t know or care. Just sayin’.

  81. My list at 17 (1971):

    Ayn Rand
    Sandy Koufax
    Don Drysdale
    Michael Nesmith
    George Carlin

    I didn’t discover Gram Parson until after he died, otherwise both he and Emmy Lou Harris would have made my list that year.

  82. Brett, thanks. I’m just so clueless about these things anymore.

  83. NoStar, Rand didn’t even make my list at 17 even though I had read some of her stuff and loved it.

  84. salvius, bless you, you’ve dated yourself.

    would ahnuld schwarzenegger be considered american for the purpose of a list? i need an opinion from the judges.

  85. 1) We’re talking about American people, not bands or groups or other fictional entities

    2) Is there any proof Elvis was actually a racist? I was under the well-documented impression that he did a lot of good for black people in Memphis and elsewhere.

  86. Well, edna, that gets to the heart of the immigration thing. Half of these people’s lists would be disqualified if you discounted immigrants. ๐Ÿ™‚

  87. JFC! How could I forget the top of my list then is the top of my list now (but left the list for a long time inbetween)!!!!????

    THE KING Richard Petty

  88. damn it — I missed the line of discussion about Elvis.

    Anyway, Guy Montag, for the record we named TWO airports after BOTH of the guys who crashed. There is the Will Rogers “World” Airport and the lesser known Wiley Post Airport.

  89. Elvis was a hero to most
    But he never meant shit to me
    Straight up racist that sucker was simple and plain
    Motherfuck him and John Wayne

    Pay Attention Cgee, this is the proper way to do a drive by post. That way the infirm, like TWC, will “Get It”.

  90. WTF is that flashing billboard that blinded me when I logged onto H&R just now?

    I have NOT won anything except a virus or top billet on the latest spam list when I click. Jesus Chrysler, that is pretty lame.

  91. TWC,

    I missed the MOPAR ad, what was it?

  92. You missed the biggest mistake of all in this list: no Nicola Tesla, and Edison gets all the credit.

    Dammit, Edison, your underhanded tactics worked! Tesla is destined to remain in obscurity despite giving us so much.

  93. LG,

    Is that band from Canada too?

  94. At 17 I was enough of a nerd to know that “famous” has something to do with other people, and perhaps with the rest of the world. Here’s what my list may have been:

    Michael Jordan
    Michael Jackson
    Noam Chomsky
    Milton Friedman
    Ben Franklin
    Henry Ford
    Alexander Hamilton
    Barry Goldwater
    Al Capone
    Oprah

    FWIW: 8 years of public school, 4 years of private school, and 1/2 a year at a private university by the time I was no longer 17.

  95. Louis Armstrong wouldn’t have been on the list only because I didn’t know better at the time.

  96. Edna – Dated myself? But that would mean I would have to be in two places at once…

    Actually, not that I don’t have any grey hairs, but I haven’t been around quite as long as that reference would seem to indicate. Blame my older brother.

  97. Okay, technically I had several non-Americans on my list. I just interpreted “American” in the broaders sense, to include Canadians and the British.

    That way there is no confusion about whether I could include Americans who have British accents, such as Styx and Madonna.

  98. Hey, LG, nice slide show.

    Kudos on getting the LG domain name.

  99. Stevo and Guy, I’m smiling at your comments. Well, LOL, really.

  100. In a line of business in which racism was commonplace, Elvis Presley was notable for his lack of racism.

  101. I want to see the list of presidents and non-Americans that made the list of non-presidents and Americans. Surely there were quite a few, if we are to believe in even a fraction of all the “kids can’t find the United States on the globe” stories.

  102. So I’m curious: Do you consider my Viking ancestors to have been legal immigrants or are you just afraid to offend the Italians?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leif_Ericson

  103. In 1968

    Ben Franklin
    Isaac Asimov
    Edgar Allan Poe
    Mark Twain
    Ray Charles
    Thomas Edison
    Jill Kinmont
    John C. Fremont
    John Glenn
    Jonathan Kozol

  104. What in the hell does most famous mean? I mean, I read a lot of Twain at seventeen and I was also steeped in the civil rights movement of King. How would I decide who was more famous?

    Anyway,
    My 17 shot:
    Twain, Washington, King, Cassius Clay (“His momma named him Cassius, I’ma call him Cassius”), Woody Allen, John Revolta, Monroe (Marilyn), Lincoln, Jesus (I heard somewhere he immigrated), Roosevelt

  105. After scanning this thread, here’s basically the most famous for Reason Libertarians at 17, not necessarily in the right order:

    1. Mark Twain
    2. Muhammad Ali
    3. Jonas Salk
    4. Ben Franklin
    5. Oprah
    6. Michael Jordan
    7. Martin Luther King
    8. Thomas Edison
    9. Sandy Koufax
    10. Don Drysdale

  106. Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST 1% HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy….. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars. Transfered FROM US TO THEM. Over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They will never settle for a reasonable share of ANYTHING. They will do whatever it takes to get even richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any ‘humanitarian’ progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. So don’t fall for all of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah, Ellen, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool.. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China.. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit.. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea… Prozac, Zanex, Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, love-sick, couch potatoe, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of the above shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP.. In many cases, the ‘charitable’ contribution is almost entirely offset.. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and ‘good will’ all at once. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to ‘tax revenue’. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH. ITS THEIR OWN DAMN FAULT. If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax reveue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havok on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid.. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a dominoe effect to consider. So when people forgive the rich for all of the above and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. If these filthy pigs want to be over-paid, then they should be over-taxed as well. Remember: The richest 1% STILL own 1/2 of all United States wealth EVEN AFTER taxes, charity, and PR CRAP. A similar rule applies worldwide. There is nothing anyone can say to justify that. Anyway, there is usually a higher state and local burden on the middle class. They get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Otherwise, the red inks flows like a waterfall. Service cuts and lay-offs follow. Again, because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in this country. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. Afterall, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, free and clear assets, lower deficit, ect. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA. Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home forclosure epidemic, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED. I really don’t blame the 2nd -5th percentiles. No economy could ever function without some reasonable scale of personal wealth and income. But it can’t be allowed to run wild like a mad dog. GREED KILLS. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, Drew, and Bill are not part of the solution.. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH HAS MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

    By the way. Save the jealousy, envy, socialist, communist crap. My God people. Look a little deeper. I didn’t even write this. I just happen to agree with most of it.

  107. Trish, next time, write something yourself or post a link. Gaaah!

  108. Dilute! Dilute! Ok! Ok!

  109. Is there any clearer way to declare yourself a raging loon than to weave ALL CAPS throughout your post?

  110. when I was an undergrad, I’d cherish an experience like that.

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