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Aug 16, 2011           
                               Crisis: Warren Buffett agrees: More taxes on the US rich

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As I said yesterday
I had promised myself two weeks of holiday with Nederlog, but the economic crisis interfered.

In fact, I still have not decided whether I want to go on with Nederlog as I have done the past 20 months, writing in English most days, and mostly on ME/CFS, but then this will resolve itself somehow, and for the moment I turn to the subject of my title, and start with a quotation of the last part of my Crisis: "What happened to Obama?" from August 10 last:

  • a few hundreds or thousands of the rich control and have far more than 300 million of their fellow Americans
  • middle class incomes stagnate or fall since decades in which the rich few only have gotten much richer
  • social benefits are cut or slashed to pay off the damages bank manager wrought without cutting or slashing bank managers
  • trade unions are being forbidden in some US states
  • almost 10% of the adult Americans is without a job and without any decent income
  • very many have lost their houses

What's the way out?

I don't know, and maybe it's too late, but a good start would be: Other economical advisors; other political advisors; other leaders of the economy than Geithner and Bernanke; and better social services, and no tax cuts nor subsidies for the rich.

The last may not help to save a sinking economy, but it certainly helps not to offend or demoralize the middle and lower classes, which makes political sense. (And see the present riots in England: If people get the feeling they get abused and defrauded to help the rich, they will revolt, and probably destroy much, and achieve little, except more repression, and more misery.)

The extremely rich US speculator/investor Warren Buffett seems to think likewise - and presumably he saw the English riots on TV - and indeed wrote an interesting article that he got published in the New York Times: Here are his first two paragraphs:

OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

And here are his last two paragraphs:

But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

Quite so - and while I suppose it is rather likely Mr. Buffett is an American patriot, since he has very good cause to be, with his personal riches (*), I also suppose his motive for writing like this is mostly self-interest, indeed along the lines I sketched above about riots and populations with the right to bear guns (which I am strongly in favour of), and also outlined in "O for a muse of fire!": `

One of the great things about the US Constitution is that its citizens are allowed to bear arms, and so there is at least some hope that at some point they can stop being abused by their governing elites, corporate rich, and bureaucrats, since they need not fight with bare hands against the degenerates who rule and abuse them - as it is in nearly all of Europe, where the civilian populations, as in Hitler's and Mussolini's time, do not have a ghost of a chance against the rotters that rule them, and have taken their means of personal defense from them, only in order to be certainly free to be able to abuse and repress them.

Finally, since you may ask it:

No, I am personally not in favour of any revolution or rebellion, not because I am in principle against violence (I am not), and also not because I believe people have no right to rebel or revolt (I think they do or at least should have such a right - an idea I share with the US founding fathers), but because in all likelihood, as with Lenin and Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler, Mao and Castro, it will only provide the means for yet another class of criminal rotters to make a grab for absolute power, and succeed.

Then again, the more people loose their jobs, are evicted from their houses, or have to live for years on a miserable pittance of dole, the higher the chances for revolts and violence in the street, which very probably will fail to achieve anything but destruction and make the economy yet worse, even if they don't help in usher aspiring dictators at that point in time.

(*) While I do not know whether Mr Buffett belongs to the self-gratifying, self-admiring kind Rush Limbaugh and the Koch-brothers belong to - and I suspect Mr Buffett is simply too smart for that, but don't know that either - that is, the class of succesful "entrepreneurs" who love to tell audiences that they, and they alone, are to be considered responsible for being mega-rich, and became so by their personal excellencies and hard work, I like to remark something on that type:

These are liars. While it is likely a succesful businessman is a bit smarter than most of those he employs, I am aware of very few succesful businessmen having anything in the way of genius or great talent - except perhaps for getting other people's money into their pockets, by any means, which is a talent they share with con men and swindlers, and that seems mainly due to a weakness of character that allows them to defraud others without feeling shame or guilt. Indeed, I am aware of a great many deceivers, swindlers, and totally immoral careerists in places of power of any kind, and of very few leaders of business, politics or religion with any evident great intellectual, moral or artistic talent.

The riches of entrepreneurs are for the most part due to the work of their employees and to laws that promote the interests of (formal) owners and managers, rather than of people who really do the hard work.

And speaking for myself: While I am an opponent of socialism and communism, mostly because these are virtually bound to become dictatorships given what men are, morally and intellectually speaking, on average, I also think it is socially and morally fair to divide part of the profits firms make to their employees, indeed as if these were shareholders, for factually they are, and factually they did nearly all the hard work.

Also, this still would leave more than sufficient room for private enterprise and for people of proven economic talents to profit personally from their talents: I do not propose any form of socialist ownership, nor any system of social or economical leveling: I propose fair sharing of profits, between owners and shareholders on the one hand, and employees on the other.

Then again, I also think it rather obscene to see that the very few real intellectual geniuses there are tend to work for a pittance in some university (usually in mathematics, physics, bio-chemistry or computing: never in psychiatry or lit.crit.), while rather evident bastards prepared to advance themselves over the dead bodies of others are legally paid tens of millions a year, merely because they manage Goldman-Sachs or some other socially totally irresponsible firm.

And no: These are not the whizz-kids or wizards the media make them out to be, often for pay, I suppose: If you are really gifted, you are in a university or you are an artist of some kind, and thus it has always been, for any great talent strongly inclines the one who has it to seek to exercise it.

(**) By the way: The muse of fire I speak of is the muse of satire.

I say so, because professor Wessely is capable of accusing anyone of anything, and loves doing so, and is eagerly listened to by a race of whorenalists willing to peddle lies of shrinks and government bosses, for pay, or as naturally spineless eager servants of - pretended or real - authorities of any kind.

So no... while it would make my day to read that professor Wessely is dead, as it made the day of many Americans to hear Bin Laden was dead, I propose leaving the hanging or shooting or threatening of him (and my guess is he lies about being threatened, but that is by the way, and par for the course for his abject type of personality: a fraudulent shrink) to days of social revolution, and meanwhile to merely despise him as a sick sadist: He is, in his own words, one of those "charlatans who give [ill people] bogus explanations".

And yes, Virginia, Stephanie, Nigel, Fiona: I do have the age (61), the degrees (M.A. psychology, B.A. psychology) and the experiences (32 years of ME/CFS, gotten as a first-year student on a study loan, with no chance of any financial gain by being ill, and a realized promise of great financial losses) with my illness to know this:

and to know the fraud Wessely has personally succeeded in personally making my life much more difficult than it would have been if he had not existed.

Professor Wessely - much like professor Bastiaans, a Dutch psychiatrist - is a creep and a moral rotter, and I have the right to say so, indeed because I believe in the end this is a moral question, relating to abuse of trust, abuse of power, and false pretenses about science, and he may go to court to find out whether I am mistaken.

My assumption is he will not, in my case and that of professor Hooper - which is one reason to write it out, in case he tries to exercise his perversions on ill English persons who are less capable than professor Hooper is, or than I am, to explain in rational terms why professor Wessely is a scientific fraud who abuses the priviliges medical doctors have to spread quackery.

(%) In the style of the DSM-5: If you are a journalist and have not read at least 7 of the books listed or all volumes of the last two:

you are not really capable of judging the depths of abuse and lying and fraudulence professor Wessely operates on as a matter of course, as a psychiatrist.

Indeed, the same applies to the pretentious blatherers of the BMJ: LEARN SOME METHODOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE, before you - who are also totally lacking in experience of decades of personal ME/CFS as I unfortunately do have, also - to utter forth on the moral or intellectual qualities of professor Wessely's prose or person: You pretend to be scientists - learn to think like scientists, instead of laying claim to the title, without having done the work!

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P.S. Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1.  Anthony Komaroff Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
3.  Hillary Johnson The Why
4.  Consensus of M.D.s Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5.   Eleanor Stein Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)
6.  William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7.  Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8.  Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:

7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

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