The 1%: A group of people who control nearly half the wealth of the US

Warning:  If I seem a little perturbed in this blog, its because I am.

This documentary is available on Netflix instant streaming, and is worth the time to watch.  It was created in 2006 by Jamie Johnson, the grandson and heir of the wealthy Johnson and Johnson company.  I am appalled with the greed and love for money in this country.  The idea that a man not being satisfied with $40 million dollars is outrageous to me.

One is the percent of Americans who control half of all the wealth within the United States.  In fact, the net worth of this one percent is more than the combined net worth of  ninety percent of Americans. (This information comes from the documentary and based off of 2001)  These are the families who own companies including, but not limited to Johnson and Johnson, Florida Crystals Corporation and even Microsoft.  These companies have the capitol it takes to get themselves into the pockets of politicians.  Take for instance Alfie and Pepe Fanjul who own Florida Crystals Corporation.  In the 1996 presidential election, Alfie was the biggest contributor to President Clinton’s campaign and his brother Pepe, well he was the biggest contributor to Bob Dole’s campaign.  They figured that no matter which way the election went they were going to be in the president’s pocket.  As you can see by this example, and there are many more like it, ‘he who has the gold, makes the rules!’

The idea of these people living in their big fancy homes, while others like myself struggle to pay utilities and even scrape money for toilet paper deeply saddens me.  How did we get here as a society?  To hire “family advisors” to make sure the wealth stays in the family.  When did we stop looking at other humans as family, when did the need to protect one’s riches become more valuable than fellow man?

From a political perspective, I do not know where I stand about the government regulating these extremely wealthy families.  But I do believe we need to stop monopolies and allow regular citizens to actually have a chance.  Also from a religious perspective I think about where the Church is!?  Do you know that there are over 2000 references of poverty and injustice in the Bible?   Too many times do I see large church facilities with their coffee shops and luxuries inside, listen to sermons about materialism- and yet we seem to care about the lost and poor?  James 1:27 says, “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.”  I would say that a way the world is corrupting us as the Church is to willingly turn our eyes from others troubles, to focus on our own gain.

The hardest part of the documentary was watching Roy Martin, President of the Martin Lumber Co.  Now I do believe that the Bible is a guideline that you run your life by, but in no means does it help you “succeed” in this world.  God is not our blueprint for getting rich.  I do not have a problem with rich people.  I think that riches are not inherently evil, it is the love of it that can lead to trouble.  I grew up surrounded by money, and in no way am I the judge of these people.  What Roy Martin said in the documentary is very true, “God will sit and watch what you do with it.”  Even in my family, the ways we spend money I ask the Lord if this would bring Him pleasure.

I am guilty of this way of thinking:  What can I do to make lots of money?  Instead of what can I do to help my brothers and sisters? Or like earlier today when I went on a Pity Party with myself.  Ultimately with the idea of thinking of “Me, Myself, and I,” it will lead us down a path of destruction and a deficit of love.


6 thoughts on “The 1%: A group of people who control nearly half the wealth of the US

  1. It was this thinking that always cause cofusion for me in the parable of the talens. I believe the original text of biblical writings uses the word “lust” in place of love- because their is a difference. I will watch the video tonight. It may help (or not) to remember that these now big corporations were once penniless people from families who were also penniless. It was their resolve not to starve, nor have their children starve that drove them to create empires and ensure the well being of their families future generations. The bible does talk about injustice where wealth is concerned, but it also teaches us to be shrewed(not a popular word but in the day it meant wisdom in practice).

    Another one that always had me thinking was “you will always have the poor among you, now come and follow me”- Jesus. What does that mean exactly? Not to care for the poor? Care for the poor to the extent it does not inhibit your walk?
    And to get back to the Talen thing the one most blesses was the guy who was shrewed with the money, not the person who was cautious with it.
    Proverbs 31 is another excellent example. This is a woman of great “shrewdness”. She doesn’t just care for her family, she in business, creating wealth, planning for the financial future for her family. This is no idle woman who prays that God will rain manna so they may eat another night.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to say we must act on our own and rely on ourselves. And I dont mean to say the bible is a textbook for wealth.

    But God did give us everything we need to know to live lives as he intended “exceedingly and abundantly”. If we do things in his way, his time, in his order of operations, with him, then exceeding and abundant will be our lives. Perhaps not every season of it, but even winters have their blessings.

    I don’t blame the one percent, I never have. I’ve been poor, rich, poor, rich, and poor again. I’ve built wealth and I’ve had it stolen from me. I’ve built wealth and I have given it away. I will build more wealth, and I will give more away. Because to everthing there is a season.

    But what I will NEVER do, is build my wealth by steping on, mistreating, and ignoring others. And that is what the “lust” for money does.

    I look forward to watching this documentary(I’m a doc buff anyway- I’d watch doc’s all day, everyday, if possible).

    Hope you feel less perturbed soon 🙂

    • Tish, I love your heart to be shrewd and conscious of others. And also your appreciation for documentaries 🙂 This love of documentaries we share! I think this scripture sums up what you are saying (and let me know if I am wrong), Phil 4:11-13 “For I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of eating well or going hungry–of facing either plenty or poverty. I am ready for anything through the strength of the One who lives within me.”
      I have been thinking about what you said that God gave us everything to live “exceedingly and abundantly.” I am not for sure if what He was referring to was financial security. In the westernized church I have heard many sermons giving an outline on how God will lead you to riches and security, but I am not really sold on this way of thinking. Part of Jesus’ mission was to glorify His father, save the poor and the lost, and ultimately self sacrifice. I found these scriptures about the love of money (which you are right about the lust of money, it is basically having a covetous heart)
      1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
      Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
      Heb 13:5 “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.”
      Prov 23:4-5 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
      Mat 6:19-21 “Do not save riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, save riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. For your heart will always be where your riches are.”

      This is my favorite part of the verse, and I think it can be applied to different areas of life, “for you heart will always be where your riches are.” What I found to be so saddening in the documentary, was that the people seem to believe their value in this life is how much money they have. Our identity is not comparable to our social status…this has been a hard reality for me as a person and as a mother. Like you I have experienced different sides of the money game, I believe the Lord is taking me on a journey of stripping away any value or security that I find in this world- to see myself as His Daughter and that He is the one who brings security. From my own experience, I find that living abundantly and exceedingly is realizing my identity before the Father and seeing others in this light. This has not been a easy road, and I am daily shaken by the seas of doubt. Am I providing a good life for my children? Am I showing sharp powers of judgement? (The definition of shrewd) Many questions come up in my mind about how this world may see me and my family…Now I do not have a problem with money, or those who have money. I believe God does bless people with prosperity, and in no means do I think that someone can sit idle and expect God to bless laziness. Proverbs 31 is a scripture that I read to myself daily, I long to be a woman who is not eager for the day to end, and determined to help her families’ situation. I am glad that He is loving and so full of grace to mold me into this kind of woman.
      A.W. Tozer: “Never Own Anything–Get Rid Of The Sense Of Possessing!” This is a great quote, and it sums up my thinking. If I focus on Myself, Me, and I” then I am bound to get hurt. My sense of possessing will eventually possess me. Luke 14:33 “Only the man who says goodbye to all his possessions can be my disciple.” and Luke 3:11 (NIV) John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”
      And in response to “you will always have the poor among you, now come and follow me” I could not find this exact wording but I did find these scriptures…
      Matthew 26:11 “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.”
      Mark 14:7 “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.” I will have to study these out 🙂 and I will.
      But for now motherhood is calling.
      Blessings to you sister

  2. Consequently , in the interest of future world order, peace , and tranquility , it was decided to privately wage a quiet war against the American public with and ultimate objective of permanently shifting the natural and social energy (wealth) of the undisciplined, and irresponsible many into the hands of the self-disciplined, responsible, and wothy few. In order to implement this objective, it was necessary to create ,secure, and apply new weapons which, as it turned out, were a class of weapons so subtle and sophisticated in their principle of operation and public appearance as to earn for themselves the name Silent Weapons.In conclusion, the objective of economic research, as conducted by the magnets of capital (banking) and the industries of commodities (goods) and services, is the establishment of an economy which is totally predictable and manipulatible.In order to achieve a totally predictable economy , the low-class elements of society must be brought under total control, i.e. must be housebroken, trained , and assigned a yoke and long-term social duties from a very early age , before they have and opportunity to question the propriety of the matter.In order to achieve such conformity , the lower-class family unit must be disintergrated by a process of increasing preoccupation of the parent. The quality of education given to the lower-class must be of the poorest sort , so that the moat of ignorance isolating the inferior class from superior class is and remains incomprehensible to the inferior class. With such an initial handicap, even bright lower class individuals have little if any hope of extricating themselves from their assigned lot in life. This form of slavery is essential to maintaining some measure of social order, peace, and tranquility for the ruling upper class. So your heart is in the right place , its just that what your seeing and exsposed to is a long time thought out plan to make our situations what they are struggling. Thank you for your interesting comments and insight , I think like you, yet Ive searched beyond the stars to know what you speak of and it hurts because its not so simple as we would think it is , its so powerful it has been known to take lives. But we must continue to go on fighting for the freedom of the common man and woment throughout the world and in our own comfort zones.

    • I am sorry for the delayed response, all three of my children have been sick, so I have been occupied keeping them comfortable….
      I completely agree with you that this is long thought out plan, and that is why it is so damaging to me. Honestly, the concept of corruption in the name of helping society and humanity makes me sick. Sadly when people shift their view from the welfare and happiness of others to themselves it is bound to create disorder in this world. This quiet war and the use of the silent weapons has been so sneaky that people, like myself (until recently)don’t even notice it as we continue on with our merry lives.
      What is interesting to me is who determined these people to be disciplined and worthy of such a responsibility? Collectively are they doing a good job? From the injustice that I can see going on in the world around me I would say no. For example, I just read an article today on yahoo news about these “responsible and disciplined” people… who supposedly are covering up the truth regarding the oil spill.Our society and the need to consume, consume, consume and the top people who feed this need seem to be doing more harm than good.
      In regards to keeping the lower class uninformed, house broken, and the parents occupied in order to keep this world order….this is sadly true too. Speaking as a low income class, this life can be looked at as having no hope of becoming self sufficient. I will not allow my children to be put into this pre thought of plan that they are unworthy and useless in this world just because of their parents financial status. It is my responsibility to make sure they are educated, and conscious of their worth. This is a powerful and risky fight, but I will stand with you and with the hearts of others to keep our freedom alive. Thank you for your thoughts and I pray that we all are driven by truth, love, and compassion for our fellow man.

  3. Pingback: Monday Motivation « Indigo Moods

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