Did Our New Billionaires Earn Their Wealth, or Were They Merely Lucky?

Short post here, on my part. Hopefully, it will lead to open discussion from a well-informed group of people who are smarter than I am.
I had a conversation with a “Person A” this weekend who was resentful of several specific Silicon Valley billionaires and their overnight wealth. “Person B” brought up the Carnegies and Vanderbilts of old, but there was no resentment for the older wealthy families. I wondered why there was hatred for the nouveau riche but not the blue-bloods.
I thought, maybe, the passage of time has softened the images of the Carnegies, Vanderbilt’s and others, but “Person A” was quick to disagree. Person A said (paraphrasing), “No, that’s not it at all. The new billionaires earn their money quickly, either by stealing an idea or by taking a good idea public, and overnight – poof – they’re rich. They then think they can rule our country and buy respect. The older families acquired wealth over decades, generations, and improved their communities along the way. They also saved their wealth for the next generation. They had a sense of responsibility. Perhaps, they did ‘rule’ the country or influence politics, but they understood their position in society”.
Hmmm, I thought. My mind ran through examples of poor work conditions under Carnegies, etc., but also to universities and hospitals named in their honor. Likewise, we can point to a Bill Gates, who does benevolent work overseas and domestically.
To bolster the perception of Person A, we can also point to “lucky” billionaires, or the thieves, as they are perceived. We all remember the movie about Zuckerberg stealing the idea of Facebook from the Harvard twins. Jack Dorsey floundered and failed as a human being and sort of fell into the idea of Twitter. One could make the argument the ideas were stolen, just ask a dead Steve Jobs.
OR, is it that our world has experience a tech revolution and some people were on the inside, and we are resentful because we were not in the right place at the right time. OR are we resentful at all? Or are we merely disgusted with nouveau riche behavior? Like the Kardashians?
Interesting note: Person A was a liberal. Yet, Person A was not resentful of the wealth of Donald Trump or a man like Carl Icahn. In the view of Person A, even Donald Trump EARNED his money over a lifetime, “He worked for it and he deserves it – he built buildings all over the world”. Yet, there was still resentment for billionaires like Zuckerberg, Bezos, and Dorsey… and the Kardashians. The resentment went beyond personal politics. Interesting, eh?
Soooooo, here’s the question. Is the resentment of newly rich billionaires a broad feeling in America, AND is this ‘feeling’ feeding the push towards higher taxes on the wealthy and a general call for socialism. Are the new billionaires acting responsibly with their wealth? Do we believe the new billionaires are so irresponsible, we (or some Americans) think we should take their money away? Are the new billionaires cheaters (thieves) or did they just cheat the idea of “a lifetime of hard word is our reward”. Do we, as Americans, resent the Chinese billionaires because they cheated America…. because our politicians allowed it to happen?
Is the feeling of unfairness a call for socialism, or is it a BIGGER call for a return to fairness? It’s a big question. If the masses are being sold “socialism” as a society which is more fair (and that’s definitely what Dem presidential candidates are selling = resentment of the rich and a return to normalcy)………. then, all we have to do is sell “fairness”, with a return to justice, crime does not pay (Facebook is fined for stealing data – or China is penalized – or Hillary is indicted), and ethical hard work is rewarded.
What do you think?
 

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Wolf Moon

My resentment would only be toward those who cut a deal with SOCIALISM to destroy the middle class and FEED on the extracted wealth together with them. Those who helped BUILD the middle class in America, and became RICH on the process, are not a problem to me.

Alison

As my pastor reminds us, NONE of our worldly goods, including financial wealth, belong permanently to us. Assets are ours only to use while we inhabit our earthly bodies. You cannot take any of it with you when you die.
I agree with Wolfie’s statement above. It is hard to wrap all of the wealthy into one judgement, either on acquisition or utilization. Good and evil know no financial boundaries. I take comfort that a day of reckoning awaits every mortal being.

thetinfoilhatsociety

The Carnegies and Vanderbilts were the slimy Bezos of their day, screwing smaller competitors by underselling them, destroying their ability to make a living in their chosen field, and destroying the cohesion of communities by becoming the only work game in town – and could therefore pay whatever pittance they deigned to confer on the poor decimated workers.

Jan Phillips

Daughn, I grew up in Texas and everyone I knew was proud of our wealthy citizens. Stanley Marcus, H.L. Hunt, Ross Perot come to mind. I’m drawing a blank right now, but there are many more. Most of us in Dallas were conservative when I was growing up, and didn’t want any part of socialism.
Great article, as usual!

Wolf Moon

Oh, those Hunt boys were something!
I don’t remember resenting them, though.

rayzorbak

Wealth does NOT equal “Socialism” per se……
I have always (and still do) want to be “wealthy”.
(maybe someday)
I have worked HARD all of my life.
And if it weren’t for Bad “luck”…..
I would have NO “luck” at all 🙂
I guess the question boils down to:
How do you acquire your wealth?
What do you do with your wealth?

Wolf Moon

For instance, one of the Kardashian girls is age 21. She has a relabeled brand of makeup which is very popular. She will be a billionaire shortly. Is what she did, worth half of Donald Trump’s lifetime of building?
It seems unequitable.
Did the new billionaires get too rich, too easily?
AND, is our uneasiness contributing to the call for socialism?

rayzorbak

Seems inequitable to me too….
Yet maybe she just found an easier way to “Get there” (Billionaire)
I do not begrudge anyone their wealth as long as they acquired it HONESTLY.
I wish I was smart enough to do it 🙂
I think working “Smarter” is way better than working “Harder”

drillerelite

Wish I knew how to do that, work smarter not harder 😐

rayzorbak

Measure TWICE…… Cut ONCE
(Damn… Cut it TWICE….
and it’s still too short!)

drillerelite

Even after two times, wth! Hah!

scott467

“AND, is our uneasiness contributing to the call for socialism?”
________________
‘They’ don’t care about our ‘uneasiness’, they CAUSE it.
We don’t even exist to them, we’re ‘ants’, when they think of us at all.
The only people calling for socialism are the same people causing all the problems. There is nothing ‘organic’, no ‘grass roots’ movement toward socialism, and there never has been.
It’s agenda, propaganda, manipulation, psychological warfare.
It used to be that psychological warfare was only practiced against the enemy during war. Then they got good at it, improved it to levels never dreamed of during war, monetized it, and deployed it against their own populations.
That’s the world we live in right now.
We can hardly even perceive it, because we’re immersed in it.

scott467

“How do you acquire your wealth?
What do you do with your wealth?”
___________________
I don’t have an answer, I just know the first one is a lot harder than the second. 😉

rayzorbak

Ain’t that the TRUTH

rayzorbak

In my younger days…
I always looked up to “Rich” people….
And wanted to be like them,
(So I always worked hard)
I had assumed they worked Hard (or Smart) to acquire their wealth.
As I got older….
I realized that most “Rich” people were either:
1) Born that way
2) Worked very Hard
3) Hit some good Luck (Lottery etc)
4) Committed some CRIME
Now I realize Money does not a man make…..
(It just helps in choosing what to do now)
That is the question about “Wealth”…..
Answer: What do you do with it?

drillerelite

No doubt. I had a couple “opportunities” but they involved some sort of embezzlement or corruption. I’m ok working till my white privilege kicks in, gotta be any day now, right? 😄

rayzorbak

Actually….. I think I invented the snowboard….
We were not well off when I was young…..
My brother and I found a narrow piece of showerboard
(That slick on one side piece of plywood)
We stood on it and rode it down the snow covered hill (Like a sled)
It was cool standing up down the hill.
Too bad we didn’t patent it.
(we didn’t even know what a patent was)
could have made a LOT of $$$$$$
Anyway…. no straps… no boots…
Just stand on it and down the hill we went.
Man that was fun!

drillerelite

I didn’t know how to patent so many things I thought of, oh to be young and imaginative again

rayzorbak

Meme MASTER…….
Make a meme contrasting the TRUMP Train…..
and the CRAZY Train….
Showing the “riders” sticking their heads out the windows?

drillerelite

Ruh? Me?comment image

rayzorbak

Yep YOU 🙂

drillerelite

Still trying to fulfill this order. Please accept this placeholder as I search:comment image

drillerelite

Doh! I meant:comment image

Plain Jane

I had two knock out ideas that someone else took to fruition and to the bank. Both losses were my own doing. I didn’t have the time to pursue making prototypes. Within seven years, they were on the market – big.

Wolf Moon

I was 10 years old, and even drew up, on graph paper, what would later become the VCR.
I wanted to watch Gilligan’s Island.
The show came on at 3:00 and I never got home from school until about 3:10pm, so I always missed the first part.
I talked to my dad about it (electrical engineer).
He rigged up a timing switch that turned the tv on at 3:00 and then 8mm film to record (set on a bartop). I had to move the film to the game room, another projector, to show the entire program.
But, by then I was hungry and had to go find some Fruit Loops.
When the VCR came out, I was MAD.
They stole my idea.

Plain Jane

Oh my goodness that was clever of you and your father.

Wolf Moon

To be honest, I was the selfish kid, looking to solve my problem. Dad was the creative one.
I never did buy a VCR though.
Still mad about it.
Grrrrr!

Plain Jane

I would have a difficult time buying one also under the circumstances.
My ideas might not have been able to be patented. Years before any were on the market I wanted to produce artificial pre-lit Christmas trees. Also fiber-optic ornaments such as a lightburst treetop angel.

Wolf Moon

We have ideas like this in our family, born from nothing. My son has patents.
He was the smarter one.

Plain Jane

The last brilliant 🙂 idea was artificial fish for swimming pools. They are on the market, but not because of me.

Wolf Moon

Ohhh, that would be cool. We have a pool and my kids would have loved it.

Wolf Moon

I have a great story about temptation to commit a crime.

drillerelite

I’d love to hear it

Wolf Moon

Maybe tomorrow. My selling price was 600 million – to go bad.

drillerelite

600 million, is that all? 😆 I never gave any thought to my selling price but I’m sure it’s far, far less than that. Can’t wait for another story.

Wolf Moon

up after midnight

Linda

Daugn, you may want to read some of Q’s older posts for more information on some of these tech billionaires. It seems that the CIA stole ideas and put these people in place and their reward is their wealth. They didn’t exactly “earn” it. Maybe we should resent that. The CIA had no business setting up these tech fiefdoms to exploit for themselves. The CIA is an evil empire that answers to nobody but their globalist masters. They certainly don’t work for us.

Wolf Moon

Yeah, like Facebook. Good reference, Linda. I recall Facebook being ‘invented’ the day after, ‘something’ with CIA. Great snag.

Wolf Moon

The tech people being C_A was something I was going to bring up, actually. In my journey, I spent time with the IT crowd and the business incubators here. It’s a group effort to get IT startups launched. And what would Zuckerburg and his friends know about the psychology involved in developing an addictive social media platform.
Those who have done extensive research on the human brain and behavior might, but a few kids in college, particularly Harvard where being a legacy is more important than grades?
Thinking logically leads to a rabbit hole, that’s for sure.

Plain Jane

Bingo!

scott467

“What do you think?”
___________________
Well, what is the source of the many manufactured ‘problems’ being imposed on societies around the world?
The source is billionaires, regardless of how they obtained their money, who use their wealth to upend whole nations, after the Soros model.
They don’t have any ‘right’ to do that, they have no ‘right’ to violate MY rights, or YOUR rights, or anyone else’s.
But they do, because their money buys whoever or whatever they need, lawful or otherwise.
Due to technology, communications, international banking and global travel, there are billionaires with more wealth and power and influence than the leaders of many countries.
And as far as I can discern, they only ever use their wealth for evil.
They can call it whatever they want, like Gates and his so-called ‘charitable foundations’, but as far as I can tell (and as Q has pointed out), the Gates foundation is like all of the other ‘foundations’, they are a ‘vehicle’, after the Clinton model, and used for the same purposes as the Clintons use them.
It would take a team of psychiatrists to explain what it is that happens to people who become billionaires, and the associated detachment from regular society, and the ensuing megalomania.
I don’t have to understand the clinical diagnosis for these people in order to recognize the harm they do to entire nations of peoples.
The love of money is the root of all evil.
………………………..
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10, KJV)
………………………..
.
…………………………….
https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/absolute-power-corrupts-absolutely.html
John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902). The historian and moralist, who was otherwise known simply as Lord Acton, expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887:
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
……………………………
So what do we have?
1) the love of money is the root of all evil
2) money is power
3) power corrupts
4) absolute power corrupts absolutely
5) billionaires effectively have ‘absolute power’
Most people cannot even comprehend what a billionaire is, because they have no personal connection with such vast numbers. It’s like saying the national debt is $22 trillion dollars. The numbers don’t mean anything to most people.
What is a millionaire?
It is $100,000 times ten.
Most people can grasp that without too much difficulty.
But what is a billionaire?
It is a thousand times a million.
Or $100,000 times ten thousand.
Effectively, it is so much money that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, because there is always someone who will supply your slightest whim or fancy for money, and a billionaire (effectively) has limitless money. The return on the principle alone (e.g., 10% of a billion is $100 million, annually) is enough to solicit and receive whatever his heart desires.
And the heart is wicked.
……………………
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
……………………
So what is the answer?
[Yes, DJT is a billionaire, and it appears that he is the exception, not the rule].
The only defense We the People (of the world) have — against the absolute corruption and power brought about by unimaginable wealth — is our numbers.
There are a lot more of us than there are of them.
I don’t like the idea of limiting what someone else can acquire, anymore than I like the idea of telling someone what they can do with their money.
But the simple and undeniable fact is that the people who obtain vast wealth nearly always use it for evil, and that evil is always expressed through the suppression and violation of SOMEONE’S rights, and that means OUR rights.
And as much as I don’t like the idea of limiting what someone else can acquire, I dislike the idea of any such person violating my Rights (and subverting my country) a whole lot more.
In an age when someone with unlimited wealth can buy (bribe) a human being to do absolutely anything (treason, murder, facilitate human trafficking and slavery, rig elections, facilitate massive illicit drug activity, subvert entire nations, change global demographics by facilitating mass migration, you name it), and that bribe is effectively untraceable (crypto currencies, Swiss bank account deposits, etc.), if we do nothing, “we” won’t last much longer.
We almost didn’t last until 2016.
The ‘billionaire-class’ is out of control. Not just a little ‘eccentric’, but ‘Girls Gone Wild’ at a fraternity bachelor party.
If they insist on making it ‘them or us’, I choose us.

Wolf Moon

Great post.
I was really wondering why the masses are feeling resentment and if that was pushing the masses towards socialism.
Sorry if I didn’t phrase it properly.
For instance,
there seemed to be respect for those who earned billions over the course of a lifetime. Respect and admiration, in fact.
The resentment came for those who earned billions quickly.
We also see a breakdown in ethics. Cheating the system. Stealing secrets. Stealing ideas for tech. Politicians taking advantage of the system.
I’m wondering, if the sense of ‘people cheating everywhere’, leads to a call for socialism.
Or more properly defined (by a Republican) would be a call for law and order = fairness.

scott467

“I was really wondering why the masses are feeling resentment and if that was pushing the masses towards socialism.”
__________________
Are the masses feeling resentment or wanting socialism? Or is that the Left’s narrative, and people (NPCs) are just parroting back what they’ve ingested? I suspect most people couldn’t define socialism if their lives depended on it.
I don’t resent anyone’s success if they have worked hard for it, and I can’t resent someone’s success if they just got lucky either, because sometimes that’s how it goes. Better to be lucky than good, isn’t that how the saying goes? 🙂
I never really understood resenting what others have, I always just wanted to make my own way.
I think what many people resent is someone who has success and then looks down on others, or worse, someone who has success and instead of helping others achieve success also, sabotages or makes things harder for others. The ‘billionaire-class’ is certainly doing that on steroids today. With the exception of DJT (a ‘small’ billionaire, compared to many), it seems like the ‘billionaire-class’ is doing everything in their power to exterminate us and our country.
Another thing that many younger people resent is being told by baby-boomers to just pull yourself up by your boot-straps, and we’ll be successful just like they were.
Except we don’t live in the world they lived in, and there’s no way to solve for that variable. A perfect example is what happened to our country after NAFTA. It wiped out the opportunity for an entire generation (or two) of Americans. If the baby-boomers had grown up after NAFTA, their lives would be very different today.
There is a lot of BS that I’ve been taught by my parents’ generation. I don’t think it was malicious, I think it was mostly myopic or unexamined beliefs that were taken for granted, or mistakenly linked cause and effect, and didn’t take into account the unbelievable growth and opportunity of the post-war era.
“All you need to do is work HARD and you will succeed” is one of my favorite big lies. You can work hard until the cows come home, but if you don’t get a break, if you’re not in the right place at the right time, if you don’t have an opportunity, your hard work is just going to be hard work.
That was my personal experience, and a lot of it.
But people who were already successful tended to believe it was all their own doing, that chance had nothing to do with it. It’s understandable, but then they turned around and scolded those are working hard but haven’t been lucky or as fortunate as they were.
People don’t like to believe that chance plays a part in their success. I understand that. But their argument is with Solomon, not with me. And Solomon was speaking by inspiration of God:
……………………………..
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. [11] I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10, KJV, boldface emphasis mine)
……………………………..
Puts a whole different perspective on material success, doesn’t it.
I don’t recall resenting others’ success, I hope everyone succeeds. But when people who were already comfortable financially told me to just work harder — as if that was the only variable — it did piss me off. My thought was always this:
Take away your wealth and your connections, your support structure, and start over from zero today, and see if all of your BS has the same result today as it did back in the golden days of yore.
But of course, no one will do that.
That is the stuff of which movies are made, not of life 🙂
.

scott467

Or maybe it wasn’t so much BS, maybe the world just changed, so the things I was taught no longer applied. I don’t know.
I remember talking with my 9th grade English teacher, a very kind woman, after class one day. We were studying Shakespeare and had just finished Beowulf, even memorizing a lengthy portion in old English, and I was becoming increasingly frustrated.
I couldn’t see how the things we were being taught in school would ever be applicable to anything.
So after class I talked with my teacher. I said I realize it’s good to have a broad exposure to all these things, but what I don’t understand is, how is any of this ever going to put a dollar in my pocket?
She had such a pained look on her face when I asked her, that I felt bad about it afterwards. She just said “I wish I knew what to tell you, I really just don’t know”.
That’s what everybody I asked told me. Nobody had any answers, just cogs in a machine, but whatever the machine was doing, it didn’t appear to be spitting out useful parts anymore.
I could see the problem then, at the age of 14 or 15. How were we supposed to ever earn a living based on what we were being taught?
And I went to a good school. It’s still in the top 3 in the state. 99% of the kids graduated (actually graduated, not passed on because the school didn’t know what else to do with them), and 95% went on to college. So apparently they were preparing us for college, not the real world.
When I went to college, it was the same problem, only worse. My freshman year of college was about as tough as my sophomore year of high school. I was over prepared, so classes were easy, it was a joke really, but there wasn’t any more focus on how to earn money in college than there was in high school.
It simply wasn’t part of the curriculum.

scott467

I had a follow up, but when I clicked “post comment”, it just refreshed the page and took me to the top of the page.
I’m too depressed now to retype it, which is probably for the best anyway 😁
I was adding that maybe what my parents’ generation taught me wasn’t BS, it’s just that the world changed.
I don’t know.
Doesn’t matter now.

Wolf Moon

Oh yes, it matters. Lack of ethics is where the real problem is.

scott467

“I’m wondering, if the sense of ‘people cheating everywhere’, leads to a call for socialism.
Or more properly defined (by a Republican) would be a call for law and order = fairness.”
________________
I can only speak for myself of course, but I don’t see any possible upside to socialism, or how socialism would solve the rampant corruption, instead of exacerbate it.
Socialism fails everywhere it has ever been tried, and when socialism fails, usually millions die.
One thing we can be sure of is that the people who broke the system will never fix it. It’s not broken from their perspective, they’re doing very well. And there’s no reason to think they’re competent enough to fix it, even if they tried — which they won’t.
For me, we’re way past ‘fairness’. Fairness can never restore opportunities lost, or a life that might have been. That’s all gone.
Only punishment remains, i.e., the hope for justice.
And they will steal that too, if they can.
………………….
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” – Declaration of Independence
………………….

drillerelite

scott, wanna let you know that I really appreciate your posts.
“All you need to do is work HARD and you will succeed” is one of my favorite big lies. You can work hard until the cows come home, but if you don’t get a break, if you’re not in the right place at the right time, if you don’t have an opportunity, your hard work is just going to be hard work.’
Certainly seems that way! I don’t know anything but working so this is the kind of thing helping me to try and focus more on God’s plan than mine, which wasn’t really much of a plan to begin with apparently. Nice to find out at this age 😐 …😆

scott467

Thank you for your kind words, drillerelite, I appreciate it.
I’ll try to be a little more upbeat tomorrow 🙂

Wolf Moon

Scotty!!!!!!

scott467

My Grandma always called me Scotty. Both of them actually, at least when I was little. 🙂

Wolf Moon

Big Scotty!!!!!!!!!!!

Roberta

You mention Lord Acton.
Father Robert Sirico: Founder, Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. Grand Rapids.
Worthy of our attention, both the man and the institute. Robert Sirico, president of the institute he founded, is a political, religious, and cultural commentator and author and speaker. He is also the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish.
When the “media” bashes Pope Francis, I always go to Robert Sirico for sensible perspective and to learn things I wouldn’t otherwise know.
The name of the institute was not lightly chosen, I assure you.

Sadie Slays

I believe most of these Silicon Valley “billionaires” are merely the public faces for the CIA/cabal and didn’t actually do a damn thing building their companies. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg, especially. Read the Miles Mathis papers on them sometime. Their backstories seem as concocted as Hussein’s.
http://mileswmathis.com/musk.pdf

Wolf Moon

The Gates Foundation is pretty much a front for some pretty evil things.
That being said, the billionaires of times past were more than just the Carnegies and Rockefellers. They are not the only ones who were ruthless about accumulating wealth. Rockefeller Senior wanted power, too. So did J.P Morgan and Gould and a few of the other “robber barons” of their day. And a lot of times it happened pretty quickly, too.
However, there other names like Edgar Queeny (Monsanto, original product was saccharine) and Mallinckrodt (he invented some process that synthesized ammonia) Emerson, etc., who made their money with industrial products who gave some of their wealth for cultural pursuits and institutions. The wealthier gentlemen like Ben Edwards who was the owner of a brokerage house – those guys were worth looking up to. He and senior level staff would go a year without a salary so their people could have a paycheck during lean times.
There’s no hard and fast rule for how it happens.

Wolf Moon

I will admit, my view of the Gates Foundation was pretty dim. Yet, they gave a crapton of scholarships to my son’s class.
I was surprised, needless to say.
You’re right though, at different times in our history, we’ve had some wild swings.

andrew1979

if you look at where gates invests his money you will see all the evil they promote.
you can almost just look at where they put their money and 100% figure something sketchy is going on there.

Cuppa Covfefe

Have a look at what Bill Gates did to Gary Kildall (of Digital Research and Dr. DOS) as well as many other software companies which he either bought (and “vanished” their products) or copied and fought and eventually drove out of business. His innocent looks (at least early on) belied his predatory nature and behavior.
M$ isn’t called “The BEAST of Redmond” for nothing. [flameproof suit := ON] But at least they provide(d) an alternate for that malware known as Linux and UN*X… [flameproof suite := OK, I’ll leave it one for a while… If only people knew more about Kernighan and Ritchie, their beliefs, and how some of that is buried in the OS itself, but that’s been cleansed from the net and the archives – only exists in print now]…

Cuppa Covfefe

Being both a product and critic of the “Silly Cone” valley, there are a few issues which help separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.
First, the OLD GUARD, Bill Hewlett, Dave Packard, Gene Amdahl, Noyce, Shockley, Moore, Grove, Fairchild, McNealy, and others, created HARDWARE devices, systems, and components, and their businesses grew over time, depending on (usually) physical or technical advances. Without the rapid progress of semiconductor miniaturization (hence “Moore’s Law”), Silicon Valley might never have formed, or at least grown as large as quickly as it did. All of these founders gave back generously, and, early on, at least, had the bulk of their manufacturing (as it was mostly hardware) in the USA. They usually were great places to work (I can attest to that personally, having worked or contracted at a number of them). As an example, “The HP Way” was truly a wonder to behold, and to “live”. Carly killed it (and I think she was brought in for just that reason).
Another influence on the silicon valley was the emergence of the folks “from back east”. This occurred in the mid to late 1970s, where the influence of “big money” from “back there” tended to put marketing and margins ahead of technical progress. In short, the labbies were told to shut up by the marketing departments (you can see many, MANY illustrations of this in various Dilbert cartoons, which often hit so close to home that manglement would request or demand their being taken down from cubicles, etc.).
This “perception is reality” theme appeared just in the timeframe that the big software companies appeared and grew: ‘Orrible, Informix, PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards, and many smaller (THOUSANDS of them) companies which sprang up like mushrooms overnight, only to be harvested in the morning by their larger competitors. BUT, the difference was that there was not physical product, and, other than the code and output listings (and mag tapes, etc.), virtually NO MANUFACTURING was done, hence the feeling of (at least to us old-timers) an evanescent product, that was difficult to justify from a financial standpoint (been there, too). Oddly enough, these software companies grew at a much faster pace than their hardware predecessors, and generated enormous profits, often pushed ahead by the equally enormous egos of their leaders/founders (I’m looking at YOU, Larry).
At the same time, computer hardware, in obeisance to Moore’s law, grew ever smaller and faster, and the gigantic mainframes of yore were replaced by mini-computers (and Super-minis), and eventually Micro computers. Going the other direction at the same time, the personal computers grew to multiple users and then servers, usurping the tasks and “space” formerly occupied by mini-computers and eventually mainframes.
Heady times, those were, and for those of us responsible for either buying, selling, or configuring kit, (or all three), there was an enormous amount of money flying around (“The Soul Of A New Machine”, by Tracy Kidder, gives a wonderful view of that time – well worth the read).
With this miniaturization, and the availability of lower-cost computing power for the masses, even more software became available, and in-house programming staff became an expensive luxury for all but the most well-heeled companies. Everyone else bought software packages from the likes of Oracle, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and even HP (anyone remember MM3000???) during one of its forays into the software world. These packages made the likes of Larry Ellison filthy rich, in much less time than it took Bill and Dave to grow their companies, and their Billions. And, as opposed to the old guard, these newer billionaires did not seem to feel the need to give back to the people and communities that had given them money, progress, and no small amount of fame.
Finally (and again from those “east coast folk”) came Google (which rose out of nowhere to push CompuServe, Yahoo, and many other search engines into oblivion), then MySpace, other primitive social applications (e.g. Classmates.com), LinkedIn, Xing, and others, followed by FaceBook, and Dorkey Park Twitter.
The last two had suspiciously explosive growth, a product with no substance commanding all-but-infinite revenue (and margins) while convincing its users to “bare all” to the internet, and, in many cases, do it for them should they not agree (cf “blind” facebook profiles, and Amazon and Google’s massive hyper-data farms).
Someone said, “be careful when you get something for free; because then it’s YOU that’s being sold”…
The meteoric rise of these latter companies, I think, is what bothers people the most, along with the fact that they own a huge amount of data about us (look at the EULAs/Terms of Use if you don’t believe me), and, by extension, they own us. And they don’t give us, or our communities, a plugged nickel, unless if benefits them somehow. Someone termed this faux generosity, “an edifice complex”…
I think the speed with which these latter companies grew, coupled with the lack of a tangible product (other than US, of course), could be considered a major cause of resentment against these companies and their founders. The malevolent foundations and behaviour, indeed contempt for their customers, is also reason to question their morals, principles, and indeed value to their communities and us.
Sorry for the “wall of text”. “The Valley” is near and dear to me, and it troubles me to see what happened to it. The golden days of the valley were a wonder to behold, and a joy to work in…

Cuppa Covfefe

Just thinking about this, Daughn, Tracy Kidder wrote another (OK, many others) book called “House”, in which he describes a custom house being built in New England, from the site selection clear through to move in and beyond.
It reads like a great historical novel, yet is a true story. It’s well worth a read, too…

Wolf Moon

You guys are the best!
I’m coming back to this comment in our morning.
Thank you, Cuppa. Thank you very much.

Roberta

Thank you for this short history!

A Fortiori

Whenever income inequality increases, the “what do you think of rich people” question arises. We have been seeing rising income inequality in the US for decades now, and middle class jobs have been badly damaged by bad trade policy, overzealous environmental regulations, and the general trend toward constantly changing rules governing businesses. And while this is turning around, we have a massive cloud on the horizon. History has shown that profligate government spending almost always results in massive inflation and losses in asset values that disproportionately hurt middle class people with modest savings and those living on fixed incomes. Politicians and bankers and others who have encouraged spendthrift America have created this problem, and therefore want to initiate this conversation so they can virtue signal and convince people that (other) rich people should be blamed when things go south.
I hope and pray that PDJT can navigate us around the looming debt crisis and into sound money.

wheatietoo

The Big Tech Billionaires tried to shut down the ability of anyone else doing what they did…by pushing ‘Net Neutrality’.
For this they deserve our resentment.
That term, ‘Net Neutrality’ is another one of those Orwellian obfuscations of the truth.
Just like the ‘Affordable Care Act’…which made our healthcare costs skyrocket.
It’s nothing new to see rich people try to launder their image by ‘donating’ to charitable causes.
Brothel owners in ancient times used to donate to the poor, to feign a semblance of righteousness.
The main reason that most millionaires and billionaires donate to ‘charities’…is tax evasion.
They can either pay the money to the IRS, or they can donate it to ‘charities’ and pay no taxes.
It’s a no-brainer.
When a billionaire creates their own charitable organization…then they can launder their money through that and pay for things through that charity.
The Baldwin Brothers even set up their own ‘Breast Cancer Charity!
I don’t know if they still have it…but there was an article in Forbes years ago, that listed celebrity ‘charities’.
And the Baldwin Bros only paid a tiny percentage to actual Breast Cancer Research…the rest went to pay for their lifestyles.
Instead of Socialism…what we need to do is crack down on what qualifies as a ‘charitable foundation’.
It was funny to watch HusseinO talk about doing this…and then go to Hollywood for his own fundraiser.
Talk about a shakedown!
😆
As soon as Hollywood coughed up cash for his own OFA organization…all talk of “charity reform” went away.
The only billionaires/millionaires that I resent, are the ones who use their wealth to elect politicians who do things to hurt the rest of us.

Cuppa Covfefe

I wrote this a while ago in regard to the massive amount of data being hoovered up on each and every one of us, usually without either our knowledge or permission. Google’s treasure trove of information makes them an ideal partner/source for the deep state and the DEMONcRATs, as we’re seeing now:
Notice the deep links between Google and Hill-the-BEAST, and later, her campaign…
Google is a major player in this, if not THE major player. With their treasure-trove of information, both of data to be searched, and queries against it (which can often be MORE revealing than the data itself), they, along with Farcebørk, Amazon, Twitter, Credit Reporting Agencies and the Medical and Insurance Industries know more about each and every one of us. Vance Packard, in 1964, penned “The Naked Society”, warning us that ever-increasing computing power, coupled with total surveillance, could take us down a road of ruin: no freedom, no free will, in short, no hope. It seems Google, et. al., are doing their best to further that nightmare.
From the article “Google Is Not What It Seems” ( https://wikileaks.org/google-is-not-what-it-seems/ )
[begin excerpt]
In this extract from his new book “When Google Met Wikileaks”, WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange describes the special relationship between Google, Hillary Clinton and the State Department — and what that means for the future of the internet.
The first couple of paragraphs are quite revealing, especially considering the article and book cover the period from 2011 to 2014.
Eric Schmidt is an influential figure, even among the parade of powerful characters with whom I have had to cross paths since I founded WikiLeaks. In mid-May 2011 I was under house arrest in rural Norfolk, about three hours’ drive northeast of London. The crackdown against our work was in full swing and every wasted moment seemed like an eternity. It was hard to get my attention. But when my colleague Joseph Farrell told me the executive chairman of Google wanted to make an appointment with me, I was listening.
In some ways the higher echelons of Google seemed more distant and obscure to me than the halls of Washington. We had been locking horns with senior US officials for years by that point. The mystique had worn off. But the power centers growing up in Silicon Valley were still opaque and I was suddenly conscious of an opportunity to understand and influence what was becoming the most influential company on earth. Schmidt had taken over as CEO of Google in 2001 and built it into an empire.
I was intrigued that the mountain would come to Muhammad. But it was not until well after Schmidt and his companions had been and gone that I came to understand who had really visited me.
* * *
The stated reason for the visit was a book. Schmidt was penning a treatise with Jared Cohen, the director of Google Ideas, an outfit that describes itself as Google’s in-house “think/do tank.” I knew little else about Cohen at the time. In fact, Cohen had moved to Google from the US State Department in 2010. He had been a fast-talking “Generation Y” ideas man at State under two US administrations, a courtier from the world of policy think tanks and institutes, poached in his early twenties. He became a senior advisor for Secretaries of State Rice and Clinton. At State, on the Policy Planning Staff, Cohen was soon christened “Condi’s party-starter,” channeling buzzwords from Silicon Valley into US policy circles and producing delightful rhetorical concoctions such as “Public Diplomacy 2.0.” On his Council on Foreign Relations adjunct staff page he listed his expertise as “terrorism; radicalization; impact of connection technologies on 21st century statecraft; Iran.”
[end excerpt]
The article is stunning, even though somewhat dated. It reveals the evil relationships between the high-tech and social-media world with the swamp in Washington D.C: and elsewhere. Data demons, one might say.
Even the footnotes have a wealth of information, and are well worth the read.
“Do No Evil”.
Bah, Humbug, Eric. And that’s “not a feature”…
If you use ANY Google product (search engine, gmail, whatever their social media thing is/was), or Twitter, or Farcebørk, or (probably) What’s App, or Amazon (!), they have your data, collated and indexed whether you have a FB, Twitter, or other profile or NOT!
FB generates blank profiles, and gathers information to fill these out, eventually producing YOUR profile without your having even logged in. And Google is even worse.
THAT is how they get their information. And their money. For YOU are the product which THEY are selling. And you don’t get a plugged nickel for that!

drillerelite

Dear Daughn, your posts are so enjoyable and most thought provoking. Tis a shame I must spend the day at labor and now the rally is to begin shortly and drillerwife will soon appear, thus I fear missing the interaction with and comments of your thread. Thank you for sharing your talents with us!
***speed reads what I can 😆

Wolf Moon

Big hug to Mrs. Driller and extra treats for my favorite dog!