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Jon8503 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 07:17 PM
Original message
A Look at the Numbers: How the Rich Get Richer
By Clara Jeffery

IN 1985, THE FORBES 400 were worth $221 billion combined. Today, theyre worth $1.13 trillionmore than the GDP of Canada.

THEREVE BEEN FEW new additions to the Forbes 400. The median household income has also stagnatedat around $44,000.

AMONG THE FORBES 400 who gave to a 2004 presidential campaign, 72% gave to Bush.

IN 2005, there were 9 million American millionaires, a 62% increase since 2002.

IN 2005, 25.7 million Americans received food stamps, a 49% increase since 2000.

ONLY ESTATES worth more than $1.5 million are taxed. Thats less than 1% of all estates. Still, repealing the estate tax will cost the government at least $55 billion a year.

ONLY 3% OF STUDENTS at the top 146 colleges come from families in the bottom income quartile; only 10% come from the bottom half.

BUSHS TAX CUTS GIVE a 2-child family earning $1 million an extra $86,722or Harvard tuition, room, board, and an iMac G5 for both kids.

A 2-CHILD family earning $50,000 gets $2,050or 1/5 the cost of public college for one kid.

THIS YEAR, Donald Trump will earn $1.5 million an hour to speak at Learning Annex seminars.

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION, the federal minimum wage has fallen 42% since its peak in 1968.

IF THE $5.15 HOURLY minimum wage had risen at the same rate as CEO compensation since 1990, it would now stand at $23.03.

A MINIMUM WAGE employee who works 40 hours a week for 51 weeks a year goes home with $10,506 before taxes.

SUCH A WORKER would take 7,000 years to earn Oracle CEO Larry Ellisons yearly compensation.

ELLISON RECENTLY posed in Vanity Fair with his $300 million, 454-foot yacht, which he noted is really only the size of a very large house.


ONLY THE WEALTHIEST 20% of Americans spend more on entertainment than on health care.

THE $17,530 EARNED by the average Wal-Mart employee last year was $1,820 below the poverty line for a family of 4.

5 OF AMERICAS 10 richest people are Wal-Mart heirs.

PUBLIC COMPANIES spend 10% of their earnings compensating their top 5 executives.

1,730 BOARD MEMBERS of the nations 1,000 leading companies sit on the boards of 4 or more other corporationsincluding half of Coca-Colas 14-person board.

THE BIDDER who won a round of golf with Tiger Woods for $30,100 at a 2004 Buick charity auction could deduct all but about $200.

TIGER MADE $87 million in 2005, all but $12 million from endorsements and appearance fees.

THE 5TH LEADING philanthropist last year was Boone Pickens, in part due to his $165 million gift to Oklahoma State Universitys golf program.

WITHIN AN HOUR, OSU invested it in a hedge fund Pickens controls. Thanks to a Katrina relief provision, his gift was also 100% deductible.

LAST YEAR 250 COMPANIES gave top execs between $50,000 and $1 million worth of wholly personal flights on corporate jets.

THIS PERK is 66% more costly to companies whose CEO belongs to out-of-state golf clubs.


THE U.S. GOVERNMENT spends $500,000 on 8 security screeners who speed execs from a Wall Street helipad to Americans JFK terminal.

UNITED HAS CUT the pensions and salaries of most employees but promised 400 top executives 8% of the shares it expects to issue upon emerging from bankruptcy.

UNITEDS TOP 8 execs will also get a bonus of between 55% and 100% of their salaries.

IN 2002, turnaround artist Robert Miller dumped Bethlehem Steels pension obligation, allowing vulture investor Wilbur L. Ross to buy steel stock and sell it at a 1,000% profit.

IN 2005, DELPHI HIRED Miller for $4.5 million. After Ross said he might buy Delphi if its labor costs fell, Miller demanded wage cuts of up to 63% and dumped the pension obligation.

10 FORMER ENRON directors agreed to pay shareholders a $13 million settlementwhich is 10% of what they made by dumping stock while lying about the companys health.

POOR AMERICANS spend 1/4 of their income on residential energy costs.

EXXONS 2005 PROFIT of $36.13 billion is more than the GDP of 2/3 of the worlds nations.

CEO PAY AMONG military contractors has tripled since 2001. For David Brooks, the CEO of bulletproof vest maker DHB, its risen 13,233%.

AT THE $10 MILLION bat mitzvah party Brooks threw his daughter last year, guests got $1,000 gift bags and listened to Aerosmith, Kenny G., Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, and 50 Centwho reportedly sang, Go shorty, its your bat mitzvah, we gonna party like its your bat mitzvah.

FOR PERFORMING IN the Live 8 concerts to make poverty history, musicians each got gift bags worth up to $12,000.

OSCAR PERFORMERS and presenters collectively owe the IRS $1,250,000 on the gift bags they got at the 2006 Academy Awards ceremony.

A DOG FOOD COMPANY provided pawdicures and other spa treatments to pets of celebrities attending the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

ONE OF MADONNAS recent freebies: $10,000 mink and diamond-tipped false eyelashes.

PARIS HILTON, who charges clubs $200,000 to appear for 20 minutes, stiffed Elton Johns AIDS benefit the $2,500-per-plate fee she owed.

ACCORDING TO Radar magazine, Owen Wilson was paid $100,000 to attend a Mercedes-Benz-sponsored Hamptons polo match. When other guests tried to speak with him, he reportedly said, Thats not my job.

http://www.motherjones.com/news/exhibit/2006/05/perks_o...

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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. A big 'R'. Truly astonishing...
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. lets get this nominated.. done
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. This isn't rocket science
It is no different than the casinos or "Flip This House." If you have lots of money in the first place, you'll get a shitload more, unless you do something incredibly stupid (like bet your last $1000 on one number on the roulette wheel). That is what makes the Bush tax cuts so reprehensible and down right morally wrong. Not a single one the people who received those tax cuts did anything with 'em except have the cash written into their wills. Not a one of them.

They're the guys at the roulette wheel with the stack of $100 chips as big as the average Joe's $1 chips. Big Guy can put $50 on a dozen numbers, and if just one of them hits, he's up $1150. If none of them do, he's only down $600. Average Joe is absolutely stoked if just ONE of his crummy one dollar chips hits, and his 35-1 payoff nets him a couple of bucks so he can keep playing, and get the free hooch from the drink ladies. If none of his bets hit, he's fucked.

Of course, at the casino, Average Joe shouldn't be there in the first place. In real life, you virtually ALWAYS will come out ahead if you can afford to bet big and lose big, too. That's why Bush's tax cuts are so morally -- MORALLY -- wrong. They help no one. The people that get them don't need them. The people that need them don't get them. It's like comping a millionaire a room and meals. He's the LAST person who needs comps, since he can afford to pay ten times the rack rate if anyone would actually CHARGE HIM FOR IT!

It's time for the BushCo casino to stop comping the brazillionaires. Of course, they won't, for the same reason the casinos won't...the brazillionaires CONTRIBUTE LOTS TO THE (BUSH) HOUSE.
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SlavesandBulldozers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. well put. n/t
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Ellis Wyatt Donating Member (328 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
26. don't get the argument
Casinos give those things away because if they don't, someone else will. They can't collude together to all agree not to give rich people comps because they don't need them - it's illegal.

And regardless of the absolute dollar of how much a rich person can make gambling, the fact still remains that they are going to lose, on average 10% of what they wager.

So by comping a big roller a thousand dollar room and meals and shows, etc, gets them to gamble $50,000, the casino is still going to stay well ahead.

There's economic sense for everyone to comp the rich. So I don't get your analogy, unless you are making the point, that while the rich get huge absolute dollar tax cuts, they are also paying the vast vast majority of taxes in this country.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
34. I think it was J.D. Rockefeller that said, "For a man to turn $1 into $10
is a feat, but to turn $1,000,000 into $10,000,000 is inevitable". Things will only hurt less while continuing to worsen until this is no longer true.
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. K&R!
:kick:
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imouttahere Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. The celebs should pay their fair share too, but.....
let's not focus on them too much, theirs is minor compared to the Delphi's and Enron's of the world, and it seems far too easy to let repukes try to put the spotlight on them.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
6. 
So they can afford to pay a professional to wash their balls now ?
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The Anti-Neo Con Donating Member (402 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Yeah I have a bit of a problem with that one too.
Just think of how many low-income students that money would help.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 07:18 AM
Response to Original message
8. k&r
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
9. THIS is exactly the kind of thing we should be banging on every single
day. This is not a Re :puke: nor Democratic Party issue, this is why we are so fucked up and nothing ever seems to get better. The ruling class truly could not care less about the country, its citizens, or their future.

This type of indescribable greed has been SOP forever, and the sheep don't know how it works, they hear T. Boone gave 1/4 billion to charity and think, "what a great man, he's helping so many people", when in fact it is simply laundering money through a charity and taking a tax deduction for it.

It should also be noted these examples are not exceptional in any way, this is how they operate. It's nice when you own the game. :grr: :banghead:
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
10. The class war is alive and kicking in the U.S.A.
:puke:
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
12. In 1958 the top personal tax rate was 92%, now its um ..about 38%
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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. You have Ronald Dickhead Reagan to thank for that.
In fact, you have Ronald Dickhead Reagan to thank for most of the above opulence.

Yeah, let's give all the money to one class. It will revisit the poor and middle classes. You just have to BELIEVE it will.

Bullshit.

Unbridled corporatism and plutocracy enabling is reprehensible bullshit to the core.

For more tales of tax cut/government gladhanding of the rich/two-class society outrage, read Perfectly Legal by David Cay Johnston. You'll be sick within 5 chapters.
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Reagan did his share, SS tax was doubled. 7 to 14%
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Ellis Wyatt Donating Member (328 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #16
29. but
Didn't he also institute a cap up to how much income you were taxes Social Security taxes?
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #29
39. Um, wasn't that cap always there? I am not sure.
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Ellis Wyatt Donating Member (328 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #12
27. seriously, though
There was an economic explosion starting in the 60s when Kennedy (yes, Kennedy) lowered the highest marginal tax rate.

I just can't believe that knowing that on the next $1 Billion of income that Bill Gates made, he'd only see $90 million of it. I just think that without that incentive, a lot of the technological, and therefore economic gains that existed in the last 60 years, wouldn't have been as big if the super super super rich didn't at least have SOME incentive to continue to expand their companies, create jobs, and make billions of dollars.

I can see arguing that the marginal rate should be 40% or higher, but 90%? That's just insanity.
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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
13. and the poor get poorer. n/t
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
15. Still, Dumbass Republicans Gaze Upwards Toward the Heavens...
Edited on Thu Oct-26-06 11:40 AM by stepnw1f
...waiting for the wealthy to trickle down on them.... duh!
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Throwing Stones Donating Member (730 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. but I thought if you repeated it enough
it would become true.
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #20
37. Evidently for Some It Works
Is it the "power of belief" or just wishful thinking. You'd think people would learn after trying a few times to only find themselves being pissed on by these wealthy "conservatives" who pay folks to spread the lie far and wide.
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Sammy Pepys Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
17. A couple of things I found interesting
IN 1985, THE FORBES 400 were worth $221 billion combined. Today, theyre worth $1.13 trillionmore than the GDP of Canada.

That's just crazy.

ONLY THE WEALTHIEST 20% of Americans spend more on entertainment than on health care.

This shouldn't be a surprise, but I have a question. Does anyone have any figures on what the cutoff is for the top 20% dollar figure-wise?


ACCORDING TO Radar magazine, Owen Wilson was paid $100,000 to attend a Mercedes-Benz-sponsored Hamptons polo match. When other guests tried to speak with him, he reportedly said, Thats not my job.

I gotta admit, this one's kind of funny.


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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
18. you commies are just jealous
these people work 1000 times harder than you so they deserve the rewards. stop complaining & pull youreself up by the bootstraps!

you, too, iraq!

:sarcasm:, 'natch.

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plcdude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
19. one correction
Pickens gave that money to the athletic department as a whole not just to the golf program but the rest of the story is offensively true. Take this from one who teaches there.
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Downtown Hound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
21. This info needs to be distributed far and wide
It drives a stake right through the heart of the Republican economic lie. Think about it, 400 people have enough wealth to solve a huge amount of the social problems in the United States. Yet many of our schools go without text books. It's an outrage, and it's a crime. This list should be the rallying cry for the New American Revolution. I'm not kidding.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
22. This is so depressing to read.
Edited on Thu Oct-26-06 01:05 PM by progressoid
It's hard enough to keep up spirits every day, hoping there is a light at the end of the tunnel. One wonders if we will ever get out of this regression. I guess I'll be volunteering a couple extra hours this weekend to get some progressives elected. Hope it helps.


Not sure if I want to read the next issue: Why the poor stay poor

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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
23. k and r
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
24. Turn this into a CHAIN LETTER and FORWARD ALL
Tell your friends who get the email to forward it, too, and so on and so forth.
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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. Already forwarded it to 7 people.
One of whom is a union representative.
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AllegroRondo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
25. The top 100 make in one year
as much as the bottom 50% of all wage earners COMBINED.
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Ellis Wyatt Donating Member (328 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. and they probably
the top 100 probably pay less taxes than the bottom 50%. I bet it's A LOT LESS.

I wanna check this.
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AllegroRondo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. If you include payroll taxes like SS, you're probably right
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
32. that is an awesome article
really lays it out

This, however, is not accurate:
"ONLY THE WEALTHIEST 20% of Americans spend more on entertainment than on health care."

I am pretty sure I spend more on entertainment than on health care, at least in the last two years since I have had insurance. My employer pays something like $400 or $500 a month for my insurance. You could say that I am spending that $5-6,000 since it could goto me as wages instead of paying for health insurance, but it does not show up in my household budget as an expense.
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civildisoBDence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
33. The average CEO earns more in a day than the average worker earns in a year
Meanwhile, wages are stagnant and so is the minimum wage, and the wealthy get huge tax cuts.

You don't have to be a leftist to see the injustice in that, or the fact how such disproportionate distribution of wealth can damage society.

Newsprism
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CBHagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
35. WP article: Affordable housing and middle/working class.
The following article, which ran this week in The Washington Post, really sickened me. Note how local residents view affordable housing as undesirable. I should note that Gaitherburg, MD, is a suburb of Washington, D.C., and even people who make $80,000 a year can have trouble purchasing a modest home in the area. I personally can testify to how housing prices have skyrocketed just in the past five years.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...


These opposing views underscore the culture clash dividing Gaithersburg, a city of about 60,000 residents whose suburban comforts have given way to the urban challenges of an economically and racially diverse community. As the City Council considers a proposal to require developers to set aside affordable housing for moderate-income and middle-class families, it is also struggling to find a location for an employment center for day laborers, many of them immigrants.

"It's not this little city anymore," said Grace Rivera-Oven, who has a local cable show and has been a vocal supporter of the day-laborer center. "I think a socioeconomic division, and you add . . . different people from different places, and I guess it's kind of a little bit of a 'not in my back yard' kind of thing. People are threatened by it."

Many residents think that the city has gone too far to accommodate recently arrived immigrants, legal or illegal, who are attracted to Gaithersburg's abundance of rental apartments. The city's population is at least 20 percent Latino. At a council meeting this month, some of the people who spoke in opposition to the center also voiced objections to the proposed affordable housing policy.

If approved, the policy would require developers to set aside 7.5 percent of owner-occupied units for moderate-income households -- those earning 60 to 80 percent of the area median income of $90,300. Another 7.5 percent would be so-called "workforce housing" -- for those making 80 to 120 percent of the median income. For rental units, developers would have to make 15 percent of the units moderately priced.


"Moderate income" is 60 to 80 percent of $90,300. :puke:
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Last Stand Donating Member (379 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
36. I once saw a chart on DU that compared Unemployment in Repuke
Admin's to Dem's, showing that the lowest Unemp rate in the best Repuke Admin was higher than the highest Unemp rate of a Dem Administration. There were other startling myth-busters just like this.

Anyone know where to get those charts?
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
38. Yeah... "Poor Folk are just Jealous"
dumb
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