No Courtesy Farts: Obama Effect Gives US Diplomatic Face-lift

Barack Obama silhouette isolated on a white Had enough of the Tea Party tirades against Barack Obama?  For some perspective, take a look at what the rest of the world thinks about the United States since Obama took office:

“People around the world today view the United States more positively than at any time since the second Iraq war,” says international polling firm GlobeScan’s chair Doug Miller, after a study conducted in partnership with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (Pipa) at the University of Maryland.  The BBC notes that there can be little confusion as to the cause for this surge in popularity as the uptick in approval ratings coincided (roughly) with Barack Obama becoming president.  The improvement has been drastic and unquestionable: “America’s influence in the world is now seen as more positive than negative,” (Click here for a look at the graph) says the BBC of the results of the survey of 30,000 people in 28 countries.

There are of course going to be the isolationist, deadbeat, know-nothing boobs who shrug at this and claim that world opinion and active diplomacy do not matter.  To a chump of this breed, “us and them” thinking dominates and the outside world is willed away.  Whether they are attention whores waving their home-made signs of xenophobic desperation at anti-immigration rallies or whether they indulge in Rush/Beck/Hannity bulimia – force feeding themselves with ultra-right propaganda and then projectile vomiting, booty grazing style, across their sturdy white picket fences – the viability of their shortsighted thinking is quickly fading.

“They’ll just say that this is further proof that Obama is selling America to his wicked, socialist brethren in the empire of Europe,” said a commenter on the Rachel Maddow Blog.  These antediluvian, paranoid wrecks are as quick to fire off the “s” word as a high school sophomore is to boyfriend drop in every hallway conversation.  Newsflash: Working for better quality of life at home and reaching out diplomatically abroad is not socialism.  It is common sense.

“The idea that a better reputation abroad is meaningless uplift is foolish. It helps the US leverage its power to greater ends. The more popular the US is, the likelier it is to have a positive impact on other countries’ leaders. ” (Andrews Sullivan, The Atlantic)

Sullivan makes the point that the American face-lift began in 2007 , “when Cheneyism was in retreat, when Rice and Gates were beginning to reorient the US away from militarist adventurism, when the surge was beginning to tamp down violence in Iraq, and when the Supreme Court had begun to push back on the presidential power to torture at will. But it’s also worth noting that the gain in respect endures and strengthens as Obama holds office, at a time when every other country’s reputation is declining.”

No courtesy fart was needed after the last administration’s train wreck of a foreign policy.  We needed change.  The massive work of diplomatic reparation was before us.  And in place of cowboyish black and white rhetoric came a more nuanced approach to international collaboration:

“We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.  The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history. … Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America. … As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. … America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more. … To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”   – President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address.



Bjorn Karlman

33 thoughts on “No Courtesy Farts: Obama Effect Gives US Diplomatic Face-lift”

  1. Bjorn,

    I have a couple simple questions for you, because I think you completely misunderstand Isolationism.

    1) Who is more financially prudent… a person who works and saves, or a person that borrows and spends?

    2) Based on #1 one, which countries would be more prosperous and more financially stable?

    3) Which person is better off… the one who owns his own means of production, or the one who outsources it and does not have any production base? Let’s say.. who is better off, a farmer who grows food, or people who depend on farmers in order not to starve?

    4) Which country is better off, the ones that have their own industry base, or the ones that borrow money to hire external industry and buy external products?

    The myth of Globalism is that it benefits any ordinary person, while in reality it is run by and for corporations who don’t see people, but only see statistics of workforce, buying and selling. The corporate culture is as diverse as the business attire for men. It kills diversity and culture. It expects everyone to speak English, and dress, eat, and live like West. It’s absurd on any meaningful level.

    So, while you here think that Globalism “is the future” you pour dirt on the very thing that you claim to represent :). The idea of Isolationism is not the same as the idea of “separationism”.

    Isolationism = Self-sufficiency
    Isolationism = Friendly relationships with other countries
    Isolationism = Preservation of cultural values and identity

    Isolationism != World ruled by corporate interests
    Isolationism != Meddling with other countries for political gain
    Isolationism != Military imposition of your will
    Isolationism != Letting the countries who run on borrowed money manipulate you into lowering wages, and flooding your markets with crap that they can’t legally sell in their own nations, or something that will ensure moral decay and collapse

    But, you don’t argue against any particular theses of Isolationism… you simply make it out to be a cuss word, by equating it to the ideology of the “deadbeats”, and uneducated :)

    While I do appreciate the humor. I think that the underlying arrogance that supports it will be short lived… as it was in THIS CASE:

  2. I think the writer above confuses two possibly related though not synonymous concepts. George Bush was in one sense an “isolationist” insofar as he pursued unilateral policies with more or less complete disregard if not disdain for other nations. At the same time, his administration was deeply committed to the project of American empire, both economically and militarily. He was hardly isolationist in the sense that word was used by William Jennings Bryan and others at the turn of the century when the U.S. invaded the Philippines. We might call this a policy of ideological isolationism coupled with a global crusading/imperial agenda.

    In the process of pursuing this brand of unilateralism/imperialism, Bush increased America’s debt by $4 trillion–the most of any president in history, most of it borrowed from the Chinese and Japanese governments to finance the war in Iraq even as he slashed taxes on America’s wealthiest by $1.35 trillion dollars and declared this a victory for “spending restraint.” We will be paying the interest fees on Bush’s borrowing and on the war (now estimated by Stiglitz and Bilmes to conservatively cost $3 trillion once hidden costs are factored in) for many decades to come…a tax on the unborn if ever there was one.

    It is true that Obama too is committed to preserving America’s military and economic hegemony (and despite massive deficit spending, the U.S. GDP remains triple its closest rivals, China and Japan, with Americans spending more annually on pet supplies–$45 billion–than the entire economies of 103 countries). World opinion of Obama could easily begin to sour with policies like drone warfare in Afghanistan (Obama’s tactic of choice, which is estimated to be killing about 1/3 civilians). But the best line of critique is not going to be one couched in the language of isolationism, it seems to me, but rather in terms of what we might call “enlightened cosmopolitanism.” Obama exhibits some of these virtues, which is positive for America and for the world. At the same time, he presides over institutions of power that ultimately rest upon principles of violence. The project of American empire continues in (one hopes) a more benign but still deeply troubling form.

  3. You are definitely confusing the term isolationism (at least in terms of the connotations that come with American isolationism). True isolationism does not really exist in the United States today(with the possible exception of Ron Paul).

    It absolutely annoys me when people say Bush acted unilaterally. How many countries need to send troops to Iraq for it to not be unilateral? Whatever the answer, it apparently needs to be above 40. Isn’t that like saying I am not married despite having 40 wives? I don’t understand the intellectual argument. Of course, I understand the political reason for the argument. What better way to demonize someone you oppose by calling him an imperialist who disdain for the entire world?

    I also disagree with the concept of an American Empire. I wish. The leaders of both parties are dedicated to a foreign policy of international altruism. It completely benefits the countries where we intervene and does not in any way benefit us. In fact, it almost always hurts us.

    There is no doubt in my mind that how bad the Bush foreign policy is hyped up by the Left. It is just not true. Clinton’s foreign policy undeniably killed more people and there have been plenty of terrorist attacks on American interests under Clinton, Bush, and Obama. The perception of a bunch of know-nothing foreigners means as much to me as the perception of a bunch of insects. I do not care. Why should I? Let me be more specific…why should I put their perceptions over our own interests? No other country does that, and I don’t want America to do that. Switzerland won’t even extradite a child rapist to us, so f their Geneva Conventions.

    And Bjorn, seriously, you always ignore that? Clinton’s foreign policy killed more people than Bush’s. Fact. Your perceptions, and the perceptions of these people polled are based on a false reality…right?

  4. David,

    Are you really that naive? The whole idea of CIA covert ops overthrowing the governments of other countries because US corporations are threatened is by far not an “unselfish intervention”.

    No matter how you twist it… these are not interventionism altruis by any stretch of imagination:

    1953: Iran
    CIA overthrows the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh in a military coup, after he threatened to nationalize British oil. The CIA replaces him with a dictator, the Shah of Iran, whose secret police, SAVAK, is as brutal as the Gestapo.

    I guess it was for the good of Iranian people, right?

    1954: Guatemala
    CIA overthrows the democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in a military coup. Arbenz has threatened to nationalize the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company, in which CIA Director Allen Dulles also owns stock. Arbenz is replaced with a series of right-wing dictators whose bloodthirsty policies will kill over 100,000 Guatemalans in the next 40 years.

    Heck… why won’t I just provide you with the link.

    How you can see it as “Altruistic intervention” that does not benefit US is quite beyond me.

  5. Any website that has 2001 WTC on a list of atrocities perpetuated by the CIA is completely unreliable in my opinion. There is no doubt we have done things we probably shouldn’t have done. We could debate each one of these situations in detail and there are definitely two sides to each coin. So to act like all US/CIA intervention was/is inherently bad is not true and very simplistic.

    That said, I consider myself an isolationist…or as close to an isolationist as a person can be. I believe that because we are damed if we do, damned if we don’t. So I say let’s save the money and let the world sort out their own problems.

  6. I appreciate the rhetorical, fiscally conservative opening questions. They tie in well with the youtube clip… pretty prophetic dialogue. Globalization and its pros and cons is a very complex issue. Of course there are drawbacks. But quite apart from its merits or faults, it is reality and just as we have to engage the rest of the world economically, we have to do the same politically and culturally. That is why I am enthusiastic about Obama’s direction for America. He engages the rest of the world in a completely different way. Rather than thinking of the world and international relationships in terms of good and evil, this administration seems to be more nuanced in its approach. Obama’s successful outreach to the Muslim world; actually providing some leadership in climate change issues; making nuclear nonproliferation an important priority – these initiatives are admirable and don’t go unnoticed. The world is impressed.
    As for my use of the term isolationism, I have given some thought to it and I stand by it. There genuinely is a large slab of America that does not care what other countries have to say. They see the global village as an “us and them” situation and they enjoy nothing more than sticking their heads in the sand and willing apple pie to appear. Their narrow perspective is not only boring, it is dangerous because it leads to irresponsible decision making that ignores the larger international context.

  7. Ideological isolationism is, to me, one of the greatest threats to the US. World policing and multinationals aside, the US is still a country where large parts of society (including important leadership) ignore the larger international context and therefore act very irresponsibly in creating foreign policy. Bush’s legacy is too good an example of this.

    “Enlightened cosmopolitanism” – I love it. A hard path to tread for a superpower but certainly a more effective one given the shrinking international landscape. Isolationism – however attractive it may seem – is denial. We cannot ignore the world community or the ideas that differ from our own. Enlightened engagement rooted in smart diplomacy is the ticket.

  8. Let’s start with isolationism. I am not addressing some kind of Platonic form of it. By isolationism I am addressing a general ideology that is overly insular and naively navel-gazing.

    As for Iraq, let’s not confuse the eventual international deployment of troops with the initial arrogance of Bush and Blair in ignoring the UN and acting fairly unilaterally by invading.

    As for the American Empire/altruism, I’ll let you and Andrey fight that one out. I’m siding with him though. I WILL point out that your perception of foreigners is exactly what is wrong with isolationist Americans. That approach to foreign affairs will always end in failure. Smart diplomacy does not mean giving up on national priorities. If anything, it gives America a better chance of global success.

    And what’s your point with the stats on which president killed more people? What is it I am ignoring? In terms of international relations, Clinton was by far, the master. He was well-liked in the Middle East, the Europeans loved him, he made great strides in Africa and, notwithstanding the Asian financial crisis of ’97, Asia had a good run with him too. Bush had pockets of approval globally but he was violently hated, I mean PASSIONATELY despised. It was palpable. I lived abroad for 2-3 years of his presidency and the very mention of his name pissed people off. I was living in Buenos Aires in 2005 when he came to visit Argentina for some meetings. I remember having to stay indoors as gas bombs were blowing up outside with rioters going crazy… I could hear it outside and I was watching it on CNN inside – ridiculous. He was not a popular man. No hype, that is fact.

  9. But surely you believe that as much as there is self-interest, much of American foreign policy is both generous and compassionate, right? No country does more in humanitarian aid, disaster relief, education, etc.

  10. David, I had a friend who sounded just like you on his first trip to Europe. He pissed me off to no end:) A few years later I met him in London and he was a different person… definitely not an isolationist. How do you approach travel… or does your isolationism keep you landlocked?

  11. Bjorn,

    Actually this is merely a perception… and one of those things that is quite debatable on multiple levels.

    From the true and genuine compassion and humanitarian perspective that people in the US do posses, I do admire and I do encourage what they are doing. Yet I would really let you consider the big picture that both of us are striving to understand.

    This is the case of giving people a fish, instead of making sure that they have enough fish to catch on their own. On one hand, US charity does help people, on the other hand, the structure of the world economy which was created by US in Bretton Woods is actually to blame for such disparity in the world.

    The problem is that instead of revolving around resources (which labor is apart of), the world economies were made to revolve around empty promises represented by a piece of paper. So, any country that lacked paper had to borrow more to insure both domestic and international growth. The borrowing and most of the transactions are done in USD, which makes Americans insanely rich, because they can create USD at will through bank borrowing and spend it on cheap labor (which turns into cheap imported products) and enjoy a service economy for quite extensive periods of time.

    So, while you think that US is the most charitable nation in the world, there’s a context to the government and IMF-lead charity.

    1) It encourages dollar consumption around the world, while at the same time exports US inflation abroad, so that USD can enjoy relative stability domestically. If certain amounts of money would not be pumped out of the economy, the US inflation numbers would be much higher.

    2) You must not forget that US is the largest debtor nation in the world in all history of the world when it comes to both domestic and international debt. Such credit imbalances were made possible by taking the dollar off the Gold standard, but the naive world bought the idea and followed, and US consequently turned into money creator and money borrower.

    3) While it’s a great thing that individuals in the US do give to international charities as in recent case of Haiti… in the end when you look back far enough, the US international policies are directly responsible for Haitian deep poverty:

    And all of this goes unnoticed because locally such US policies are peddled as moments of charity, and as good for the local people, while the RESULTS are there to speak for themselves.

    4) Much of the US/IMF national (not individual) “donations” and charity is as much charity as people “donate” to prostitutes for their services. These donations come with some kind of condition, which many times involves paying these back… in cheap labor, unfair trading policies, or national resources for pennies on the dollar. (just crack open “Confessions of Economic Hit Man” , it’s a good read)

    So, many individual charities are very admirable, it would be akin to given a couple dollars to a homeless man which I’ve made homeless through manipulative international economics.

    I do admire and encourage international charity, but consider the reasons why foreigners are flocking to the US… such as economic disparity to the point of being able to live for months on one day of US salary (if it’s shipped back home). Such conditions are encouraged and maintained by the corporate powers that run IMF and that run US of A. It may be a bleak view, but after years of “making sure”, I can tell you that I’m not just laying it out as some kind of fable.

  12. David,

    I love when people outright dismiss things as “unreliable”. Well, in the very least I’m glad that you turn away from your original premise of:

    “It completely benefits the countries where we intervene and does not in any way benefit us. In fact, it almost always hurts us.”

    You can check each of these individual FACTS in any encyclopedia of your choice and you’ll be surprised that these do add up.

    While I’m sure there are “good intentions” that were used to justify whatever was done, the RESULTS speak for themselves in EACH AND EVERY CASE. If indeed you think that these interventions benefited the people of these countries, then why were these people not better off in almost every case? Usually they end up being repressed by a corrupt dictator that borrows and spends a boatload of cash in IMF debts… with people being asked to repay in impossible taxes, national resources, and policy compromise.

    If you take the “whatever we do is right” hat off, and open your mind a bit… you’ll see that what US does is a means of covert empire that runs near a trillion bucks yearly in maintenance (almost a half of all tax receipts). I hardly think this is an isolationist mindset. No country needs a trillion yearly to maintain domestic security.

    20th century is the century of rise of US corporate power by means of covert ops. It’s a simple as I can put it.

  13. Bjorn,

    You have laid out many valid points here. I think I understand where you come from and the basic premise here of no man/country is an island, and that we have to live and deal as international community instead of “that guy in the cave” that comes out for food and light once in a while.

    The problem with Bush era is precisely the division of the “evil” and “good”, in which he named himself the lucifer (i.e. the light bearer… lol) of freedom and justice :).

    I’m glad that Obama is considerate in terms of diplomacy and rejects the idea of “we don’t talk with terrorists and dictators” idea like Bush did. Yet, the American diplomacy can’t begin with politeness in other people’s countries. It has to begin with rejecting the idea of “selfless” interventionism and “easy credit creation”. The world disliked Bush not because he attacked Iraq, but because of his “with us or against us” ideals. I don’t think people really understand the idiocy of that statement.

    Isolationism does not necessarily meaning withdrawing from the world and becoming Amish country. It’s impossible to do so, considering that America is the country of immigrants and which was built and still being built on their (our) ingenuity and hope for some break in life.

    Yet the other side of it is that in order to be a benefit to the world, we have to be able to offer something more than an IOU in form of a dollar, or Treasury/Fed security. We hardly have anything left that world would want outside of paper and guns. We need to rebuild local production in order to maintain some economic stability, instead of just borrowing and buying.

    When the next crash happens, which would be “bigger and better, and uncut” , do you think that foreigners will run to our rescue? I highly doubt that. China already bailed us out enough, so did virtually everyone else. When things really start tumbling down, the world will not come to our rescue… as we still owe them truckloads of cash. Banks don’t bail out foreclosures, so why should they?

    Without local industry, and local production economy US is doomed to global economic failure. And that’s precisely why I think that re-building the production sector in US should be of paramount importance, because national security hangs on it.

    But that can’t come about, unless we abandon the idea of cheap credit money created out of nothing by the banks and loaned at interest.

    I don’t think people realize that almost every dollar in existence is a debt dollar that has to be repaid with interest by someone somewhere … money created out of debt (I know, hard to believe, doesn’t it?). That’s not a sustainable financial model.

  14. My idea of isolation is no military aid, military intervention, and not entangling alliances. I don’t mind international travel, trade, or legal/relevant immigration.

  15. I would say without a doubt in my mind, most countries are better off with American intervention. Why do you think so many countries ask us for help all the time? The cases where people are not better off, it is because we left before the job was done. The whole western hemisphere is much better off than average when compared to the rest of the world. There is only one reason for that.

  16. “And what’s your point with the stats on which president killed more people? What is it I am ignoring? In terms of international relations, Clinton was by far, the master. He was well-liked in the Middle East, the Europeans loved him, he made great strides in Africa…”

    Clinton sanctions on North Korea and Iraq undeniably killed millions. Well liked in the middle east? Is that why Osama bin Laden issued his fatwa while Clinton was president? Bush did more for Africa than Clinton. Not even debatable.

  17. By the way, that is what isolationism means. It doesn’t and never has meant ‘naval gazing’ anywhere but on this blog.

  18. Just looking as US intervention is Asia and Europe, I would say both have been overwhelmingly positive (with the exception of Vietnam). What we did for Europe and Japan post WWII is enough to tip the scale in favor of America intervention being good in my opinion. But that is also a classic example of the war really not benefiting US and only benefiting the cowards/weaklings we were fighting for.

  19. Need to say one last thing. I totally agree a $1 trillion or whatever it is we spend on defense/national security is way too much. I think we should probably spend $300 billion. I think our disagreement is on the nature of American foreign policy. I think it’s too selfless. We don’t benefit enough from spreading freedom/democracy to warrant the expenditure in my opinion. It is nobel sure, which is why I don’t oppose our intervention on moral grounds…just economic grounds.

  20. Hahah! I agree that the “naval gazing” comment was my own feelings on the matter slipping through. I find isolationism self-absorbed, narrow and doomed to fail. I can’t think of any country success stories.

  21. Agreed that other countries often benefit from and welcome American intervention.

    The part about the whole western hemisphere being better off compared to the rest of the world is a bit rich, especially when you put it down to one factor (presumably US policy?). Bigger thinking needed on that one. There are different ways to be human and it’s fruitless to make arbitrary comparisons.

  22. We are the number one trade partner with most the major countries in the western hemisphere. If the richest country in the history of the world is next door to you and trades with you, and you are also wealthier the many other countries around the world, I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

    On a side note, I always hear Filipinos (I am half Filipino) say that kicking America out of their country was a big mistake.

  23. I don’t really know if I would consider it quasi, but that is probably the right way to put it. As neutral as we could be anyway. Of course, we are not Switzerland or Sweden so we will not be left alone the way they are.

  24. Andrey, you are right to critique the IMF, it really does seem to have a strangle hold on its debtors. The conditionality seem to keep the poor poor. And its mandates can ruin even model recipients like Argentina which set a stellar example in terms of its IMF compliance and then completely tanked almost 10 years ago and is still struggling to recover.
    As for purely American assistance, of course it comes with conditions. And yes, part of the reason for the financial need is exploitative American policy. I don’t want to ignore this.
    My question is what to do now. I feel strongly that American generosity is a defining feature of this country. I have experienced it myself and am grateful. I think it should continue on national and individual levels. We do need to work on a policy level as well. In the meantime there is limited mileage in a critique of generosity/aid.

  25. Andrey, I completely agree that we have to work for stronger fiscal responsibility so that American strength, leadership and generosity is built on a solid foundation. I think that part of getting there has to involve investments now. Health care was an obvious savings move but investments in green technology and innovation, investments in education and research, all these moves will help move us towards better efficiency and conservation. On top of this, wasteful spending cannot continue. The wars we are currently involved in must end and an overall shift of the American psyche has to happen. the credit crisis was helpful in that it helped individual Americans become more fiscally careful. The American checks and balances on a legislative level, along with American idealism and can-do-it-ness, reinforced by a more fiscally careful culture, will hopefully nudge us in the right direction.

  26. Bush was a hero in parts of Africa and even I was proud of him there. Your point with the sanctions is that bombing is better, correct? I find that really short-sighted. I agree that sanctions often hurt the innocent. Clinton’s policies in Iraq are a good example of this.

    I do think that there is a place for more targeted sanctions – freezing the assets of powerful individuals for example. The above link shows how this probably worked with North Korea.

    All this said, sanctions fail more than they succeed. I would rather get smarter about this than cause an international crisis by invading or bombing countries. It is vital for the US to carry a moral credibility in the world. Obama’s foreign policy so far has started to win back some of that long-lost equity.

  27. Bjorn,

    And here lies the problem that are economically undereducated on.

    The confusion lies with what money is and where it comes from. Most of the people think that the governments simply print money into existence. In reality this is about 5% true.

    We are not taught in schools, colleges or universities that all money in circulation is debt money. It means that it was borrowed into existence, either by government or by individuals and has to be paid back with interest.

    What does it mean in terms of our current situation?

    – Originally only principal money is created by borrowing, and spent into economy. Where would the interest come from unless more money is borrowed? Thus you have theoretically exponential growth in both money supply and in debt… which we see happening now. It wall all good when the economy was growing to balance the growth in money supply and debt. But now we are facing the real problem as we begin to hit the limits of the system.

    There is no painless solution to this problem because the Fed is in a way became a symbiotic parasite. Removing it will kill the system and inflict a lot of economic damage.

    The solution would start with the government, but it would have to be carried out by a man with giant bronze cojones. It would go something along the following lines:

    US government would create 12 trillion in new currency. We’ll call it US Greens. It will buy back all of the existing dollars with US greens, and demand tax re-payments only in US Greens. It will take the dollars that it bought by means of new money, and paid the Fed back. It would not have to abolish the Fed. They could still try to bank if they wanted to. It just would not be as profitable to be a banker.

    The fractional reserve banking would have to go. So every bank would have to go back to contractual means of lending by means of CDs that would be inaccessible to people for certain length of time.

    If there’s a need for economic expansion, the government would simply print the new money and spend it on infrastructure. This new money would balance the expansion of the economy. If there’s too much money, the government can siphon these back by means of raising taxes temporarily to stabilize the money supply.

    The point is that government once again would be in charge of money that would serve people… and not private banking corporations that create money as debt out of nothing and then collect enormous amounts in interest.

    Unless we have some kind of fairness and honesty in the financial system… we won’t have any kind of prosperous future for most of the population on this planet.

    The financial polarization of society will keep on keeping on mainly due to the system favoring the rich people who can simply keep collecting the interest. With such system you’ll eventually have people who own everything, and people who own nothing at all. It’s just a matter of time.

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