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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 10:48 AM
Original message
Nine Pictures Of The Extreme Income/Wealth Gap

400 people have as much wealth as half of our population. The combined net worth of the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans in 2007: $1.5 trillion. The combined net worth of the poorest 50% of American households: $1.6 trillion.

the other 8 pics:
http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2011020612/understa...
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. it's an obscene travesty.
and unsupportable.
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dotymed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
38. Our "Wealth Distribution" is much worse than Egypt's.
Yet they had the fortitude and the good sense to PEACEFULLY REVOLT against the massive inequality. A wealthy person's life is not worth more than an average (poor) person's life.
Yet after 9-11, surviving spouses, etc...were paid according to the "earning potential" of their lost loved one!!!!!!!
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #38
48. Reminds me of what I read once about retrieving bodies after the Titanic sunk.
...and the deceased's rank in society:

At 8.15 p.m. on the first day of the body retrieval, burial services were held on the 'Mackay-Bennett's' forecastle deck as thirty bodies wrapped in canvas and weighted down with iron weights were recommitted to the sea. The remainder, (all First-Class passengers no matter what the condition of the body, were embalmed) placed in a coffin for the return to Halifax.

http://home.wanadoo.nl/john.vanderree/dead.htm
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #38
56. As relatively bad off as Americans are, all but the very poorest...
...are still far better off (in absolute terms) than the truely poor elsewhere in the world.

Americans aren't protesting because they still have "Days of Our Lives" and a big arsed TV on which to watch it.

It helps not that those Americans ripest for revolt are the black, the dark and the merely swarthy. Right now, White America is still sufficiently "comfortable" that they would most likely actively work against any such uprising in order to protect what they do have, since they know without knowing, that any fair redistribution to the poor will not be coming out of the 71.5% held by the top 10%.

When the fearmongers say "The Blacks and the Hispanics are after YOUR money." they ARE speaking truth, because those at the top have a sufficiently secure hold on their assets and more importantly The System, to ensure that almost all "redistribution of wealth" would occur in the bottom 90th percentile.
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. And yet they say they do not have enough
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bikebloke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. It's never enough with them.
The culture of greed and selfishness ueber alles.
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. Tax em - they can afford it!
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
6. the link isn't working for me
:shrug:
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Never mind. Just a burp in the intertubes. n/t
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
8. This paragraph really jumps out at you.
How Much Is A Billion?

Some Wall Street types (and others) make over a billion dollars a year each year. How much is a billion dollars? How can you visualize an amount of money so high? Here is one way to think about it: The median income in the US is around $50,000, meaning half of us make less and half of us make more. If you make $50,000 a year, and dont spend a single penny of it, it will take you 20,000 years to save a billion dollars. . . . (Please come back and read the rest of this after you have recovered.)



Thanks for the thread, kpete.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 05:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
29. That's an eye opener right there.
20,000 years, huh? Well we better get to workin' harder.
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Southerner Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
9. To be fair, here is the rest of the picture...
http://www.apatheticvoter.com/Newsletter_Articles/WhoPa...

Interesting that the percentage the upper 1% pay of the total federal income taxes is almost exactly equal to the percentage of the country's wealth they have. Not true for any other group.
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Sinistrous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Merely an artifact of the mildly progressive tax rates
in place and the fact that the few tax credits and deductions that are available have a larger impact on those with lower incomes.

The distribution of wealth in the US is obscene.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. Taxes ought to be progressive to the point...
... that it is impossible to accumulate the kind of wealth and political power the top 1% now hold.

Minimum wages must be raised and "maximum wages" established by a steeply progressive tax system.

If the very wealthy want to leave, good riddance.
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. To be fair?
Have a nice stay.
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. To be fairer still, if a man works two jobs and just as hard
as the billionaire, he should be able to afford a decent life and retirement for a family.

When we say "distribution" of wealth, we mean pay a living wage in exchange for a persons time and labor, or get the fuck out of business. Pretty much.
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #9
23. Stats from 2003? And it gets better every day for the wealthy. Besides,
this only deals with income tax on EARNED income. The wealthiest individuals are not dealing with earned income as much as the rest of us.

Statistics can say anything you want them to say if you pick and choose what information you use.
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dotymed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #23
51. Is there still NO taxes
on dividend income?
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #51
53. There is tax on dividend income. It is at the same rate as
regular income. The only thing I know of that is non-taxable would be government bonds. The capital gains, however, at still taxes at a lower rate than other income (I think it is 15% unless you are lower income---and then what chance do you have of much investment).

You could be thinking of this from a corporate level instead of an individual level. In that case, the corporation does write off the dividends paid as expenses. So they do not pay taxes on that amount. The person who receives the dividend is the one who pays the tax (at least they are only taxing it once.)
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dotymed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. Thank You
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
24. Interesting that the top 1% makes the same income as the bottom 50%.
There are some major questions about that graph.
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ck4829 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 05:19 AM
Response to Reply #9
32. Tax Foundation, this was the same group that included people under 18 as the people who pay no taxes
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tomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #9
36. you're talking about people making $50,000 or less....
....and you're suggesting that they don't pay enough? in taxes. fair? i don't think so. those people don't pay more because any attempt to make them pay more would drive them into outright poverty and probably trigger revolution.

people making several times that much or even more are nothing compared to the people making thousands of times that much.

fair? get real.
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Cal Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #9
43. LOLOL
Yes, it's 'fair' that people working 2 or 3 difficult, manual labor jobs still can't keep food on their tables, a roof over their heads, and (god forbid) health care for their children while those 400 families can sit on their asses in luxury living off the profit from the working people's labor.

Yeah, that's fucking fair.

ROFL.

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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #9
49. Fair? FAIR???
What a disgusting post. Their share of total federal income taxes should be much, MUCH higher. The amount of money they have LEFT OVER after paying taxes is what we're talking about here, bud.

Enjoy your (hopefully brief) stay.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
11. The numbers get worse daily,
and neither political party is interested in changing the equation.

When the Working Class & The Poor realize we have more in common with each other
than we have in common with the rich, ruling elite of BOTH political parties,
we can demand "change".
Until then,
BOHICA.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. Why do you hate 'merica?
:sarcasm:

K&R
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 05:08 AM
Response to Reply #12
30. Yeah! Don't you like free dum? nt
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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
13. K & R
:kick:
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
14. K&R
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
15. Can I get a T-shirt??
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OffWithTheirHeads Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Me too!
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Xolodno Donating Member (310 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
19. Thats 2007....
....I hate to see what the measurements are for 2008-2010.

The real problem is there is no mechanism in the economy currently to redistribute wealth...if fact, just the opposite.

Too many people are under the influence of false pretenses...thinking the wealthy want to invest/hire more but are confined due to taxes. The reality is, taxes are on "profits"...after the fact that money has been made. If there is money to be made, a company will find a way to raise the capital, otherwise they are content to sit on what they have. Taxes don't confine business ventures.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
20. Here's a graph:
Edited on Mon Feb-14-11 05:43 PM by tabasco



lcurve.org
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2Design Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
22. This is why the economy sucks - there is a blood clot at the top and nothing moving
the bottom doesn't have it to spend
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Capitalocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 05:26 AM
Response to Reply #22
34. It makes me wonder
Is there a real mechanism for money supply to circulate among the majority of society other than social programs like SS and welfare, and debt-funded business?
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
25. As intended by Reagan


You can see right when it kicks in and the bottom 99% starts getting fucked.
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Atypical Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #25
44. I think this graph is more symptomatic of global economics.
I think this graph is more symptomatic of global economics than Reaganomics.

People in the bottom 99% start taking a hit around 1972. I'd say that was right about the start of globalization. I remember as a kid in the 70's that even then Japanese cars were considered junk. But that changed rapidly. So did communications.

It looks to me like things were on a more equitable course up until globalization started coming on line. Of course by the time the 80's roll around and start the era of "Greed is Good", the rich's incomes do skyrocket.
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pa28 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
26. I've read that about half of us are just a few paychecks from being flat broke.
Edited on Tue Feb-15-11 12:18 AM by pa28
Hardly the picture of a thriving middle class.

Your graph seems to paint a picture of new feudalism; the tiny minority of the very wealthy taking most everything, the well heeled merchant and professional classes living a "middle class" life and those leftover who have fight every day in order to maintain a subsistence lifestyle. That's half of Americans left fighting for crumbs.

Not exactly the american dream as I understood it.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
27. k&r
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Capitalocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 02:01 AM
Response to Original message
28. 400 people. That is just sickening.
I'm sorry, I thought this experiment called the United States was supposed to get rid of monarchy. Oh well, guess that's not true.
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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 05:10 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. Oligarcy is worse then monarchy.
But monarchy should only exist to eradicate its own flawed system, and set up democracies. For the people by the people.
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Capitalocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. You spelled it wrong.
It's spelled "oligarhy".
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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 05:27 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. that is funny isn't it :D
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 06:47 AM
Response to Original message
37. recommend
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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
39. K&R
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dangin Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
40. I'm evil
As part of the top 2% of american family incomes (the very bottom of the top 2%) you know we do feel a bit evil about things like this. But this is so inflated. 25 gulfstreams? Actually your billion doesn't get anywhere near 25. You have to park those things. Hangar space ain't cheap. And then there is staffing them? Only two pilots. or two pilots for each? And since two pilots have to be at the controls at all time, if you are flying across an ocean, you have to have two more pilots at least because damn human pilots have to rest and stuff.

Seriously, if you need a private jet. Just get a little 10 seater. Much more economical. Or better yet. Get a fractional ownership through a charter company. Then you don't have to deal with pilots, maintenance, or parking. That's really the deal. Seriously. Taking off and landing within 250 feet of where your car is parked. No security, no lines, the pilots carry your bags for you. It's the deal.

So, you know. It's not just Soros. The wealthy are progressive liberals too, and we aren't completely evil. .
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Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
41. k and r
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DirkGently Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
42. Bears repeating and illustration.
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Maineman Donating Member (411 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
45. Severe imbalance in favor of a few people indicates corruption
Corporate money in government (elections) is called corruption.
Government support of wealthy corporations and industries indicates corruption.
Supreme Court Justices participating in political campaigns indicates corruption.
Choice of news items being influenced by corporate sponsors supports corruption.
Do you think maybe we have a problem?
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Atypical Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
46. Serious danger of plutocracy and oligarchy.
It seems to me there is a serious danger of plutocracy and oligarchy.

When 400 people have as much wealth as half the nation, one has to wonder if these people can't use that wealth to influence congress, and of course the answer is yes, they can.

And how will they influence it? For good, or to protect their fortunes? I'm skeptical of altruism winning out.
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florida08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
47. yes and if you work hard
get your MBA and get a job at Goldman Sucks you too can wreak havoc on the US economy and leach the wealth of the nation then get your lobbyists to weaken if not destroy any regs that might stop you from doing it again. USA! USA!

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olegramps Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
50. Degeneration of governments.
Aristotle listed three basic forms of government; Monarchy, Aristocracy, Constitutional. He asserted that at worst the Monarchy can degenerate into Tyranny, the Aristocracy to a Oligarchy and the Constitutional government into a Democracy. The latter he associated as a case of chaos without a constitution and the rule of law giving rise to demagoguery.

It is generally thought today the our nation has degenerated into Oligarchy with power and money concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer citizens. I would contend that in reality the situation has deteriorated into a situation of an actual Tyranny by the wealthy. The situation is in reality no different in its results than the virtual dictatorship that was overthrown in Egypt. Is it reasonable that an analogous situation offering little hope for justice for the average citizen justifies a revolt by the masses to reclaim a fair share of the wealth that they generate and to confiscate the ill gotten billions that have been stolen from the working class?
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delightfulstar Donating Member (402 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
52. Very eye-opening article.
Why does it not surprise me that Limpballs, who makes his money off his sycophants and leechers, would have SIX Maybachs? (I see them out here...there is a nice core of money up by Scottsdale/P.V., which isn't all that far away from here. Lots of "cheap" Beemers and Benzes, too.)

The thing I thought of is, what if each of these obscenely wealthy individuals was forced to give up $50,000? It would be chump change to them (and they'd still complain like hell at giving it up), but that sum of money could support a typical family of four for a year, in many parts of the country.
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-11 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #52
58. "Losing" $50,000 dollars is a better deal than losing ones head.
But our society is too confused at the present time for any such street demonstrations and strikes that might cause serious concern among the high-end feeders.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
55. ttt
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zackvs Donating Member (19 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-11 08:23 AM
Response to Original message
57. but but
but but but if the rich dont get richer how we supposed to grow :rolleyes:
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