Bill Bonner

What did you give thanks for, Dear Reader?

Our thoughts turned to house, hearth, family, friends…

…and to rich people.

Yes, dear reader, we gave thanks for the wretched 1% of the population that has made such spectacular financial progress over the last 10 to 20 years. They are reviled. They are hated. They are criticized and blamed. Poor things! What have they done to deserve it?

The typical working stiff earns less real money today than he did 40 years ago.

And as for the poor…their lot in life is even worse. When we drove down to Woodbine, Virginia…on our way to a family gathering…we were surprised to find a corner where there were dozens of Latin Americans, all hoping for work. They sat under a tree. They stood on the sidewalk. There were groups of them. Even though it was raining, lightly, they kept their vigil…a few raised their hands as we drove by in a pick-up truck.

What a life! These poor fellows must turn out every day…hoping that someone will pick them up…put them to work…and pay them in cash. No health care insurance. No pension. No paid holidays. No nothing.

And then…what about the middle classes? Even high-earning two-income professional couples find it hard to make ends meet. Taxes take a big chunk of their income. And then transportation takes out another bite. Send a child or two to college…have an accident…get divorced…fall ill — it doesn’t take much of a set-back to tilt a middle-class family back below the poverty line.

And even when things go well, the middle classes have a rough time of it. They earn enough to live well…but they struggle to keep up with it. Two cars…two jobs…two children…sometimes two mortgages — and only 24 hours in a day.

The poor…the middle class…the proletariat in all its forms…is barely staying even. Can it invest money to build more wealth in the future? Can it power the economy to greater output with more demand for services and stuff? Can it take the time to discover new things…to explore new ideas…to follow up on its artistic, philosophic, religious or scientific hunches?

Nope. The lower and middle classes are spent out. Used up. Exhausted. Their houses have lost value. Their real incomes are falling. They’re out of luck.

But what about the 1%?

Thank God for the rich! They may be greedy…or not. They may be conniving, underhanded and manipulative…or not. They may be zombie insiders who have worked the system for their own benefit…or not.

But they’ve surely made it big. And now the nation turns its tired eyes to them. It is up to them now. They must invest in new factories and new businesses; who else has the money? They must spend…spend…spend to keep the wheels of commerce turning; who else can afford to? And they must also pay the taxes necessary to keep the zombies going. They already pay more than the bottom 95% of taxpayers combined. They already pay 40% of all the taxes collected by the feds. Each one of the 1% already carries 10 to 20 zombies on his back.

Yes, dear reader, yesterday, we did not curse the 1%. We gave thanks for them. Long may they live!

And we hope the b*****ds will remember this if we need to borrow money from them.


Bill Bonner,
for The Daily Reckoning

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success in numerous industries. His unique writing style, philanthropic undertakings and preservationist activities have been recognized by some of America's most respected authorities. With his friend and colleague Addison Wiggin, he co-founded The Daily Reckoning in 1999, and together they co-wrote the New York Times best-selling books Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. His other works include Mobs, Messiahs and Markets (with Lila Rajiva), Dice Have No Memory, and most recently, Hormegeddon: How Too Much of a Good Thing Leads to Disaster. His most recent project is The Bill Bonner Letter.

  • Marie Antoinette

    Wow. They still have Mexican workers in Virginia. I was wondering where they all went to after the Midwest crashed and burned 3 years back.

  • Grung_e_Gene

    Absolutely horrible. Allow me to heap praise on Mr. Hedge Fund Manager for raiding companies, closing factories, off-shoring jobs and bitching that if his tax rate on his capital gains goes up above 15% it’s like hitler.

    So thanks “job- creator” for creatin’ jobs in Indonesia!

  • Tim

    Actually its now the 2% according to Obama that need to pay more, but as Mr. Bonner points out they already pay a huge amount. taxing them more is not the answer, it is only rhetoric that distracts the public.
    Hooray for the Rich!

  • The InvestorsPal

    Voters Look for a 3-Way:

    To understand why the moment may be ripe for a 3rd-party candidate, consider that when Perot first ran, 39% of Americans said they were dissatisfied with how the nation was being governed; today it’s 81%.

  • phelps

    I gave thanks for lots of things. First and foremost, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And, you too Bill. You gave me the best financial advice I ever received. “…you want more $, spend less…” Best advice ever.

  • joenobody

    The implied definition of the1% versus the 99% is not based on wealth, rather it is based on how one accumulate that wealth. Me think there is more than 1% of the US population who got their wealth by bending the law. Congressmen, bankers and public union members who rip off the community to retire with a fat pension at the ripe old age of 50.

  • mamdouh

    I wounder why most of religions prohibit interests taking on money lending.

    I guess such financial systems that depend on interests has created the hurricanes from just a butterfly.

    I remember Nassim Taleb said in Fooled by Randomness : Religions keep things simple.

    Such systems expand economies till it’s torn apart of being stretched out.

  • Tim

    Blaming the 1% or 2% for our economic woes is a total absurdity. As if we, the 99%, were helpless and all we can do is whine. We have the power to change everything yet election after election we re-elect the same self serving politicians who proceed to enrich themselves with insider trading and graft of various types. If we want to know who is to blame, then we should go look in the mirror. We need to start doing our homework and kill a few sacred cows.

  • Jim Hunt

    Hello again Bill,

    Since you asked, over here in not so Sunny South West England we gave more than three cheers and profuse thanks to Mid Devon’s Modwardian Troubadours, The Fabulous Thorvertones

    Happy Christmas in advance,


  • CT

    Killing sacred cows are a start. These cows are getting really worried about now. It is time.

  • J.R. Wirth

    “And we hope the b*****ds will remember this if we need to borrow money from them.”

    Sadly most loans, nearly all consumer credit, and even most student loans are the reason for middle class decay. Even now, people line up at 3AM to fight over a discounted waffle iron. The poorer the neighborhood the bigger the line on black Friday.

    Don’t hate the rich because they’re smart, hate the middle class and poor for being dumb, and they, by the way elect the monsters running the country, not the rich. The rich just know how to side step the mess. So once again, don’t hate on the rich.

  • ckdkmo

    Killing sacred cows?

    I doubt the Pentagon is worried.

  • Marie Antoinette

    Canceling the Bush Tax Cuts would be a good place to start.

    But that would be like asking the sacred cows to kill themselves. Never going to happen.

  • Tim

    Instead of just killing the Bush Tax Cuts we need to kill the entire scared cow of the federal tax code. Your first thought will be “but what about my exemption, exclusion, loophole…” But we really need to kill this cow and we will all be better off if we did because most of us can not afford the legal staff needed to take full advantage of its bloated volumes. For example GE filled a 57,000 page tax return and paid 0 taxes, while making huge profits. This cow must die!

  • Bernie Madoff with your money

    I give thanks for all the Free Market Zombies out there.

    Thank you.

    Thank you.

    Thank you.

  • Norma Jean Jumping Bean

    I am thankful that the USA is finally going to pull it’s troops out of I-rack.

  • Chris

    Blaming the 1% or 2% for our economic woes is NOT a total absurdity at all. Rather it is sensible as we the 99% or 98% have to play the game following the rules and laws that the 1% or 2% have put in place that tip the system in their favor.

    Just take exchange rate gambling, based upon the rates set by the central banks. At a Casino table the odds are against you, but even there, the Casino owners will not be sure what number the dice will show when rolled. Where as those in the 1% with the right connections KNOW what the next role of the interest rate dice will bring, unlike us the whom 99% do not.

  • Tim

    Congress makes the rules and we still have the power to change the Congress.

    Not all of the 1or2% made their money crookedly. Many of them worked hard, showed the initiative and determination to succeed. They enriched themselves and their employees and communities. Hooray for them!

  • et2cetera

    Can’t stop smiling reading your last line. Yup, let’s hope they remember us.

  • http://ReverseMultiplierGuy George Blackburne

    My son saw a bumper sticker in the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend, “Kill the Rich!” That’s a scary statement. Shades of the French Revolution?

  • Tim

    You hope they “remember us”?
    Are they Santa Claus? Are they your Dad or Mom? They’ve made their money and as I said, enriched their employees and communities. Does that make them forever on the hook to take care of us. I say no, they are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Taking care of us probably doesn’t fit into that I’m guessing. We are yon *entitled* to dictate how they use their money or live their lives.

  • Scott

    Its probably not as interesting to point out, but everyone I know including myself, have a much higher standard of living today compared to 40, 30, even 20 years ago. A lot higher. Obviously alot could be improved upon to take us all higher, but come on. We are much better off standard of living wise than we were in the past.

  • Jean Wormser

    What did you give thanks for, Dear Reader?

    I for one am thankful that Obama won the Presidency in 2008, and not the guy who was born in Panama.

  • mike

    …it would be the top 1% who bear 99% of the discomfort associated with mortality…

  • *Sparkie*

    We could’t change our own minds,let alone chang our country with our votes. U just don’t get it. Do u? The Zombies will not let u change this country 4 the better! Its all vanity! Kill the rich,and feed the poor,and how Civil is war? Anyway! Did u ever get a job fr a poor person? B4 i go,i almost 4got 2 thank a “Concept,” 4 all that i have!

  • Effy

    The 1% believe that medical care for the poor should be “charity.” Just imagine
    how far anyone could get with that.
    As it is, Republican health care bankrupts 85% of us during our lives.

  • Stuart

    Healthcare and government have provided 47% of new job growth during the past 20 years.

    Republican Capitalism has destroyed the consumer, which has destroyed small business income. Consumers create jobs.
    Small business folk vote Republican and destroy consumers, their wages, their
    benefits and their recycled income into local businesses.

  • ABB

    I don’t think the Teleprompter Moron in the White House would agree.

  • Brian Chadwick


  • j

    Every rational person wants to have more

    even if its just one more blanket to stay warm

    or one more meal

    some bend the law
    some dont

    you cant judge a person by their cover ( kind of a liberal saying)

    yet the liberal ( while , too, collecting their millions) is the first to judge the other by their cover

    the truth might hurt
    but its the only thing that will lead to true wealth

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