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Life Among the Plutocrats -- What Unimaginable Wealth Does to a Person

Society & Culture  (tags: americans, wealth, plutocrats, society, ethics, education, corruption, celebrity, politics, culture, abuse, rights, government )

- 1987 days ago -
Last year the Occupy movement brought the subject of inequality into public debate, and especially the inequality between those of us in the 99 per cent and the happy few in the one per cent.But Chrystia Freeland has been studying the happy few for years.

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Elizabeth M (65)
Sunday January 6, 2013, 2:33 pm
Thanks Carrie, this was very interesting. Here in Canada, all you have to be is a super Hockey player to make
60.5 million over a 5 year period. I know they have to work very hard at it and be talented, but really I feel in sports particularly that the players and coaches are pricing the games out of reach for a lot of sports fans. I am on this band wagon because the NHL (National Hockey League), just announced that they have come to agreement with the players and finally there will be Hockey again! Actually I feel like boycotting the games, due to the fact that the people working at the arenas haven't made any money for the past three to four months.

Arlene Mary Baladi (40)
Sunday January 6, 2013, 3:27 pm
Thanks so much for posting this Carrie...hope you are well!

Jason S (50)
Sunday January 6, 2013, 7:44 pm
Good posting, thanks

mar l ene dinkins (264)
Monday January 7, 2013, 10:02 am

Maggie Kearns (7)
Monday January 7, 2013, 12:02 pm

Robert O (12)
Monday January 7, 2013, 12:14 pm
Thanks Carrie.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Monday January 7, 2013, 12:38 pm
I saw Alex Gibney's documentary, 'Park Avenue,' on TV here in France about two months ago. I thought it was really great & it is right on the same subject as your post, Carrie.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) presents his take on the gap between rich and poor Americans in "Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream", which could also be called Park Avenue’s Billionaires: How They Stay That Way. (It is based on Michael Gross’s book “740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building”) Gibney contends that America’s richest citizens have “rigged the game in their favor,” and created unprecedented inequality in the United States.

Nowhere, Gibney asserts, is this more evident than on Park Avenue in New York. 740 Park in Manhattan is currently home to the highest concentration of billionaires in the country, including David Koch. Across the river, less than five miles away, Park Avenue runs through the South Bronx, home to the poorest congressional district in the United States.

In Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream, Gibney states that while income disparity has always existed in the U.S., it has accelerated sharply over the last 40 years. As of 2010, the 400 richest Americans controlled more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the populace — 150 million people. In the film, Gibney explains why he believes upward mobility is increasingly out of reach for the poor.

PBS interviews Alex Gibney about what motivated him to make this film.

The reason why I was able to see the film is that "Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream" is part of an international project called 'WHY POVERTY?', a groundbreaking cross-media event reaching more than 500 million people around the world via over 60 international television broadcasters as well as radio, Internet, and live events in November 2012. There are 8 WHY POVERTY? documentaries, broadcast around the world in 2012 & viewable on line from 2013 on the 'WHY POVERTY?' site here:

Teresa W (782)
Monday January 7, 2013, 12:46 pm
noted, thank you

Carrie B (306)
Monday January 7, 2013, 1:04 pm
You need to check out Dave C's story The No Billionaires Campaign

Lois Jordan (63)
Monday January 7, 2013, 1:33 pm
Very thorough article. Thanks, Carrie. These selfish, greedy, inhuman and inhumane people only know one word, "MORE." Time to tax them MORE.
Thanks for the link to Dave's article as well.

Ann Breeden (65)
Monday January 7, 2013, 3:18 pm
Thanks for the article. I figure that I could never be one of the plutocrats because I'd end up giving all my money to worthwhile organizations that would make both peoples and the environment better. I mean, how many jets and yachts can you own when you know that animals and children are being abused and destroyed?

Past Member (0)
Monday January 7, 2013, 4:26 pm
Thank you.

Heidi Aubrey (16)
Monday January 7, 2013, 10:07 pm
She forgot to mention almost ALL of today's plutocrats are merely the children of real deal in innovation. They have digressed into,dismissive, mean, arrogant beyond words(Mitt), and have little common decency or manners.

David C (129)
Tuesday January 8, 2013, 10:30 am
great post....I think we should send our Plutocrats to Pluto even if it has been downgraded and is not a full planet....
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