The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent
IN the early 14th century, Venice was one of the richest cities in Europe. At the heart of its economy was the colleganza, a basic form of joint-stock company created to finance a single trade expedition.
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Since: May 11
#1 Oct 16, 2012
We have no paupers, Thomas Jefferson boasted in an 1814 letter.
This, in itself, demonstrates the oblivious nature of the wealthy to the world around them. Thomas Jefferson, the son of a planter (far different from a farmer) got the opportunity to go to school and on to college. Such opportunities were rare at the time and certainly weren't bestowed on anyone but white men.
Paupers abounded, even in the early years of America. People eeking out a living doing whatever job was available to them. Families surviving on the hopes of a garden and whatever game could be killed. Children who never knew shoes until they were 12 years old. Never saw the inside of a school. Never traveled more than a mile or two from where they were born. Paupers, every last one of them.
Jefferson, on the other hand, had very little knowledge of the world outside the bubble he lived in. He was insulated from real life. He didnt have to tend his own garden, plow his own fields, build his own house, or raise his own children. He had plenty of time to go into politics because he had other people taking care of him for free.
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