“Give Back,” so Everyone Gets a “Fair Share”

 Forbes: ‘Give Back’ Is One of the World’s Most Impoverishing Commands

“Give back.” That’s the message sent to successful businessmen. You built a company? You made a lot of money? Fine. Now it’s time for you to use the money you’ve made to do some real good in the world.

Apparently, creating our modern standard of living and our modern lifespan doesn’t count. …

It started with energy, namely, James Watt’s steam engine. This invention, created and brought to market as part of a profit-making endeavor, was a game changer. As historian John Steele Gordon notes, “Until the coming of the steam engine, only human beings, draft animals, falling water, and windmills were available to do work.” But with the arrival of “the steam engine, many tasks that had been difficult (and therefore expensive) became easy (and therefore cheap). Many more tasks that had been impossible were within reach.” …

John D. Rockefeller, for instance, revolutionized the refining of crude oil into kerosene, enabling Americans to cheaply and safely light their homes at night. …

John Deere improved farming machinery. Cyrus McCormick improved it even more with the mechanical harvester. According to Gordon, “With McCormick’s reaper, one man could harvest eight acres a day, not one, and the American Middle West could become the bread basket of the world.” …

The results are impossible to overstate. Businessmen seeking profits industrialized America. In the process they increased average incomes, raised the average American’s standard of living, decreased the number of hours he had to spend working, extended the average lifespan from 38 in 1850 to 66 a century later, and generally made life far safer and more pleasant. …

What makes the achievements of business all the more astonishing is that they did not require the sacrifice of anyone to anyone. Contrary to what we’re often taught—and to what’s implied by the notion that businessmen must “give back”—the fortunes of history’s great profit-seekers were not made by “taking” but by trade. American businessmen didn’t become rich at the expense of their customers or employees. Their fortunes were earned by raising their fellow traders’ standard of living. Rockefeller, for instance, became perhaps the richest man in history, but his fortune pales in comparison to the beneficent effects of his achievements. …

To point to the businessmen who continue to improve our lives and demand that they “give back” is a grave injustice. They haven’t taken anything in the first place. …

The mystery is why profit-seekers receive so little admiration for their achievements—and virtually no moral credit.

Go check out the whole thing. And then, if you vote, just answer the question.

What’s your “fair share?”

For a short read but an in-depth look at some of the business magnets who changed the lives of Americans in terms of safety, comfort and wealth, I highly recommend Burt Folsom’s The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America. He covers the histories of about 13 of America’s chief “Robber Barons;” like Vanderbilt. He got his start by busting the monopoly New York State had granted a single company for ferry transportation, by illegally running people across the various waterways around NYC at prices lower by orders of magnitude. He eventually ran people for free, the transportation a loss-leader for selling food on the boats.

James J. Hill is another great history. He built the Great Northern Railway mile by mile over time, with cash—moving in settlers and giving them free livestock along the way—while the US Government was pissing your ancestor’s money away building a hugely subsidized trans-continental railway that was never profitable, and with construction so shoddy that much of it had to be replaced.

And so on.

…Alright, this Mythbuster is now going to get back to my draft about the book that calls itself a fantasy, and it’s right!

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 12:26

    “The mystery is why profit-seekers receive so little admiration for their achievements—and virtually no moral credit.”

    Why do the authors think men like Rockefeller receive “so little admiration for their achievements?” He certainly was celebrated in his lifetime. Is Bill Gates not celebrated today? The is an entire cult built around Steve Jobs. “Moral credit?” Yeah, the authors may have a point there.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 13:58

      “T.R. not a great president?”

      My God but you have never had an original thought in your entire life, have you? You’ve never questioned the politically-serving myths and dogmas. You just believe what you were told by those regurgitating what they were told, perpetuating the endless cycle of blind acceptance of dogma, catechism and “good German” comportment.

      Here, spoon feed yourself.

      Jesus. How about do some independent research with a bit of a critical mind before wasting people’s time with your regurgitated “wisdoms.”

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 14:15

      Let me guess. Everything you know about Lincoln was under the “Honest Abe” schtick. Yea, perpetuate a “civil” war that kills over 600,000 of your own citizens. You probably teared up during that Spielberg propaganda film too, didn’t you.

      “I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.”

      Letter to Horrace Greeley, editor of The New York Post


    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 12:36

      “so little admiration for their achievements?”

      Two words: Robber Barrons.

    • Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 13:02

      I think these industrialists got saddled with that moniker because they acted with impunity (until President Theodore Roosevelt showed up and cleaned house). Not to take away from their considerable achievements which even today still benefits us all …

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 13:35

      “until President Theodore Roosevelt showed up”

      You know nothing about the flamboyant NYC slick born with a silver spoon in his mouth that recrafted his image as an outdoorsman that even fooled my real outdoorsman grandfather.

    • Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 13:48

      T.R. not a great president?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 13:59

      “I believe in power…I did greatly broaden the use of executive power…The biggest matters I managed without consultation with anyone, for when a matter is of capital importance, it is well to have it handled by one man only …I don’t think that any harm comes from the concentration of power in one man’s hands.”

      Guess who?

    • Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 14:01

      Let’s see, next you will be arguing about Abraham Lincoln and using quotes to prove you have an axe to grind. So we disagree. Is that so bad?

    • Lute Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 16:21

      “until President Theodore Roosevelt showed up”

      He’s also the original Progressive, he started it all.

    • Anthony on March 15, 2013 at 18:03

      Lincoln was a murderous tyrant. He even out performs FDR as the worst president in American history.

      No single person has ever had a greater negative effect on this country than good ole’ honest Abe.

      The books Richard linked are well worth reading.

    • Kayumochi on March 18, 2013 at 06:28

      ““It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

      Guess who?

    • Kayumochi on March 18, 2013 at 06:29

      Oligarchy works for you?

    • Kayumochi on March 18, 2013 at 06:36

      How predictable.

    • Joshua on March 18, 2013 at 09:08

      I’m not a big fan of Lincoln, though I do think it’s cool that he was our first gay president.

      Whatever Lincoln did, I think that the fact that it resulted in the ending of slavery is a net positive. Slavery was such a monumental evil that it outweighs the evil of 600,000 dead. It doesn’t matter that the end of slavery was not Lincoln’s goal.

      There were 4 million people still enslaved at the beginning of the civil war. I would not have paid the price of 600,000 dead to free them, but taken in total I can’t say that price was too high.

      As to the impingements on American liberty by Lincoln’s administration, government will take any opportunity it can to grow. I don’t think that absent the civil war we would have somehow been blessed by a freedom-loving government in the north, and the confederacy was at least as tyrannical as the north.

      Lincoln wasn’t our best president, not by a long shot, but I don’t think he belongs all the way at the bottom either.

    • Kayumochi on March 18, 2013 at 09:40

      Lincoln’s predecessor, Buchanan, was almost certainly gay. So like Richard’s Great Northern railroad wasn’t a first at all, neither is Lincoln.

    • Kayumochi on March 18, 2013 at 09:43

      Then there are those rumors of George Washington and his young protege Hamilton … maybe Richard can supply a quote from the Ayn Rand Center that *proves* Washington was a tyrant like T.R. and A. Lincoln …

  2. Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 12:32

    The Transcontinental Railroad wouldn’t have been completed without government money, just like man wouldn’t have landed on the moon without the government doing its part. There is a long history of the American government building the infrastructure and private enterprise moving in later.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 12:36

      “The Transcontinental Railroad wouldn’t have been completed without government money”

      You aren’t paying attention. It was done with zero government money. It’s called the Great Northern, it’s transcontinental all the way to Seattle and was responsible for opening trade with on large scale Japan for the first time. To get things going, Hill shipped steel and textiles over with the message, “if you don’t like it, keep it and don’t pay.” Instead, he was shipping tons of steel, lumber and textiles back in the 1800s.

      Not a penny of government money.

      Do some research.

    • Anthony on March 15, 2013 at 18:06

      “wouldn’t have been completed without government money, just like man wouldn’t have landed on the moon without the government doing its part.”

      This is illogical circle-jerk nonsense. This is like saying because the government builds roads, no one else can build roads. See? The government did it, therefore no one else can, cuz I saiiid soooo.

    • Kayumochi on March 18, 2013 at 09:49

      “This is like saying because the government builds roads, no one else can build roads. See? The government did it, therefore no one else can, cuz I saiiid soooo.

      Did not say that nor imply that at all Anthony. Richard confused the First TransContinental Railroad with the Great Northern, much like he confuses “homeopathy” with “holistic”.

  3. Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 12:39

    We must be speaking of two different railroads then. I am speaking of the Transcontinental, not the Great Northern.

  4. Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 12:42

    Rather, I am speaking of the First Transcontinental Railroad. Quite an achievement for mankind. A 19-century moon landing.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 13:28

      “Quite an achievement for mankind.”

      Fuck that. That was no achievement, it was the State taxing people and giving it to businessmen too lame to do things the right way and who built purposely circuitous routes and went over the steepest, longest parts of mountains because they were being paid by the mile. As such Hill’s operating costs and transit time beat the shit out of those rent-seeking fucks.

      The Great Northern is a real accomplishment and it’s one man’s accomplishment.

    • Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 13:37

      Saying the First Transcontinental Railroad was not an achievement for Mankind is like saying the moon landing was not an achievement for Mankind.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 13:40

      “like saying the moon landing was not an achievement for Mankind.”

      It wasn’t. It was the achievement of a specific, definable, finite group of people financed by a State that took money away from people to do it that they might have chosen to do otherwise with.

    • Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 13:46

      Do you realize that the technology that NASA developed for the Apollo missions was used by private industry? ‘That’s one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind.” Not an achievement for mankind? Okay, a giant leap for mankind.

  5. Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 12:45

    The Great Northern Railroad is more like Richard Branson going to the moon in 2025 after the US government got us there in 1969.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 13:31

      “like Richard Branson”

      My God you are a pretty stupid person, but then, who wouldn’t be who posts about homeopathy. The technology in use at the time was precisely the same.

      You ARE a statist bootlicker. I was just joking, before.

    • Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 13:35

      You know I was not defending homeopathy. Why be intentionally cruel?

    • Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 13:42

      I don’t understand why you object to the Richard Branson analogy … you understand he has his sights set on space travel, right? And if he makes it to the moon, he won’t have been the first, just like the Great Northern was not the first transcontinental railroad.

  6. Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 12:49

    I understand that the Great Northern was built with no government money just like when Richard Branson gets to the moon it will be on his own dime. Quite an accomplishment and I am sure he will acknowledge the shoulders upon which he stands.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 13:21

      Uh, Transcontinental isn’t a railroad name, it’s a description that applies to to both. The name of that other transcontinental was a conglomeration of a bunch of different RR companies.

      “The First Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the “Pacific Railroad” and later as the “Overland Route”) was a 1,776 miles (2,858 km) railroad line built across the western half of the United States of America between 1863 and May, 1869 by the original Western Pacific Railroad (Oakland, California to Sacramento, California), the capital of California, Central Pacific Railroad of California (Sacramento to Ogden, Utah), and the Union Pacific Railroad from Ogden to the road’s statutory Eastern terminus at Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska on the east and west banks of the Missouri River.” …

      “The Republican dominated Congress supported the construction of the transcontinental railroad across the “central” route at about the 42 parallel. Two independent companies, the Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad, were chosen and supported by 30-year U.S. guaranteed government bonds (at 6% interest). The bonds were to be issued at $16,000/mile for track laid at level grade, $32,000/mile for track laid in foothills and $48,000/mile for track laid in mountains. In addition, besides a 200 feet (61 m) right-of-way grant for the railroad track, extensive land grants of alternate sections of government-owned land along the tracks for 10 miles (16 km) on both sides of the track–6,400 acres (2,600 ha) per mile (1.6 km) of track were granted. … Some of this land was potentially had exploitable minerals, was good farm or forest land and quite valuable.” …

      “Despite the transcontinental success and millions in government subsidies, the Union Pacific faced bankruptcy less than three years after the golden spike as details surfaced about overcharges Crédit Mobilier had billed Union Pacific for the formal building of the railroad. The scandal hit epic proportions in the United States presidential election, 1872 which saw the re-election of Ulysses S. Grant and became the biggest scandal of the Gilded Age. It would not be resolved until the death of the congressman who was supposed to have reined in its excesses but instead wound up profiting from it.

      “Durant had initially come up with the scheme to have Crédit Mobilier subcontract to do the actual track work. Durant gained control of the company after buying out employee Herbert Hoxie for $10,000. Under Durant’s guidance the company was charging Union Pacific often twice or more the customary cost for track work (thus in effect paying himself to build the railroad). The process was to mire down Union Pacific work.

      In stark contrast:


      “The Great Northern Railway (reporting mark GN), running from Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Seattle, Washington—more than 1,700 miles (2,736 km)—was the creation of the 19th century railroad tycoon James J. Hill and was developed from the Saint Paul and Pacific Railroad. The Great Northern’s route was the northernmost transcontinental railroad route in the United States. It was completed on January 6, 1893, at Scenic, Washington.

      “The Great Northern was the only privately funded, and successfully built, transcontinental railroad in United States history. No federal land grants were used during its construction, unlike every other transcontinental railroad; according to Hill, his railway was built “without any government aid, even the right of way, through hundreds of miles of public lands, being paid for in cash”.[1] Consequently, it was one of the few transcontinental railroads to avoid receivership following the Panic of 1893.” …

      “The Great Northern was built in stages, slowly to create profitable lines, before extending the road further into the undeveloped Western territories. In a series of the earliest public relations campaigns, contests were held to promote interest in the railroad and the ranchlands along its route. Fred J. Adams used promotional incentives such as feed and seed donations to farmers getting started along the line. Contests were all-inclusive, from largest farm animals to largest freight carload capacity and were promoted heavily to immigrants & newcomers from the East.”

      Now there, put all that in your boot licking statist pipe and smoke it. 🙂

      And there’s far, far, far more to the whole story, much of it in Folsom’s book I linked.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 13:32

      “I understand that the Great Northern was built with no government money just like when Richard Branson gets to the moon it will be on his own dime. ”

      Well, I’m done casting pearls before swine.

    • Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 13:39

      You can call the First Transcontinental Railroad whatever you want but it was built using government money and it was an achievement. Just like the first moon landing.

    • Kayumochi on March 15, 2013 at 13:40

      You can call the First Transcontinental Railroad whatever you want but it was built using government money and it was an achievement. Just like the first moon landing.

  7. Andrew Ryan on March 15, 2013 at 13:47

    What is the difference between a man and a parasite? A man builds. A parasite asks “Where is my share?” A man creates. A parasite says, “What will the neighbors think?” A man invents. A parasite says, “Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God…”

    Lacking its own ingenuity, the parasite fears the visionary. What it cannot plagiarize, it seeks to censor. What it cannot regulate, it seeks to ban.

    The parasite makes nothing for itself. Its only tools are taxes and tithes meant to trick you into offering what it has not earned.

    A man is, and always will be entitled to the sweat of his own brow. Anyone who tells you differently has either got a hand down your pocket or a gat to your head.

    • chris on March 17, 2013 at 18:52

      Except that this “parasite” exists mostly in your imagination… and you have a binary vision of the
      And a good portion of men don’t build that much either.
      The actual revolutionary inventions are few, we mainly provide services to others. Some create wealth, some don’t. And the successfull entrepreneurs create wealth mainly via proxy, because they don’t have a hundred of hands to build a big building for example.

    • chris on March 17, 2013 at 19:05

      I certainly don’t think it’s fair saying “x person made the industrial revolution”.
      It’s more like “x person made the industrial revolution possible”. And a lot of people actually made the industrial revolution after that.

    • Joshua on March 18, 2013 at 06:14

      Wealth by proxy is still wealth, and that wealth would not have existed without that entrepreneur.

      I agree that Andrew Ryan’s view leaves out a lot of different subclasses. For instance there’s the Parasite Chief who feels like it is his right and obligation to take from the haves and give to the have nots and then proclaim himself generous above all others. And don’t forget the parasites in entrepreneur’s clothing who similarly feel like it is their right and obligation to take from everybody and then give to the most powerful.

      The binary nature of parasitism is that it’s a point of view, not an entity. Do you feel like you have the right to come over to my house and take something of mine and then give it to somebody else? Do you feel like you have the right to hire (vote for) somebody (politicians) to do that for you? If so, why? If not, why not?

    • chris on March 18, 2013 at 06:33

      Of course not.
      Your personal belongings are yours, and i think every person on the planet agrees on that.
      But nobody but thiefs will do that, so…

      My point is that there are people who are leaders, and others who are excelent managers, and people who are visionary in business and science. But there are also people who do, the majority, and we depend in the genius of these people. But they also depend on us.

      A romantic view of the entrepreneur is fine. But there is also the not so romantic view of the employee.

      PD: a person who don’t create wealth is possibly a kind of parasite. But no always.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 18, 2013 at 07:01

      “Wealth by proxy is still wealth, and that wealth would not have existed without that entrepreneur.”

      Or another entrepreneur.

      The real point is that some people gravitate towards being an employee and others, employers. Takes both, but someone is always trying to drive a wedge for the sake of keeping people pitted against one-another.

      So just like this blog, there’s a writer and readers. When things aren’t aligned between the two, then rather than have a bunch of drama, the writer can evolve his approach over time to better appeal to the diversity, or say no, this is what I do, in which case the reader considers going to someplace more to his liking.

      In today’s society however, there’s this notion that once one gets employment that there are certain requirements the employer must meet, rather than the healthier notion of: hey, wouldn’t it be better over time if the employer gradually sifted for employees so that eventually, everyone was generally happy on everyone’s individual terms?

      From my own perspective, there’s a real joy in creating something and building it so that eventually, you’ve got 30 people and families that’s you’re supporting, not only with the $200K in paychecks you sign every month, but the medical insurance, 401K, vacation pay and so on.

      I know a lot of entrepreneurs and I don’t know a single one that begrudges the compensation they provide employees and in fact quite the contrary, it’s a source of great pride. I can’t ever imagine thinking that I would want to compensate anyone less than they are really worth in terms of doing their part in an organization. The problem is, unfortunately, that because of this continual wedge driving, there seem to be increasing number of employees who grossly overestimate the value of their time and contribution.

      They simply don’t understand the business realities: If I pay you $25 per hour, it can ONLY be because your function to the organization generates more than that.

  8. James on March 15, 2013 at 14:40

    Richard, how do you see businessmen like Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein in the context of your post?

    I can agree with what you say about Rockefeller and McCormick, who developed actual useful products to make their fortunes.

    But what about these modern businessmen/bankers/insurance giants that create vast fortunes (with the public’s money the government takes from them) through computer programs and, essentially, gambling? Are they worthy of placement in the same sentence as Rockefeller? I don’t think so. But I’m curious what you think

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 14:49


      On balance—and I don’t know much because I don’t follow that stuff much, anymore—they are what I call “political entrepreneurs,” as contrasted from “market entrepreneurs.” The former are rent-seekers who use their influence, connections, pull, political donations and so on to curry favor from government both in the form of direct subsidy and indirect via legislation that gives them a competitive edge or sets up barriers to entry.

      The latter is a guy like JJ Hill, mentioned extensively in previous comments. The latter is very, very rare and the lion’s share of them are small time entrepreneurs who not only don’t get any favors from government, but in fact are able to produce goods and services in spite of it and often under a great regulatory, compliance, licensing burden.

      Does that answer the question?

  9. Cathy on March 15, 2013 at 16:37

    Your Thomas Sowell quote reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw during the last “campain” — “Obama, because everyone else deserves what you’ve worked so hard for”.

  10. nullAndVoid on March 15, 2013 at 18:09

    And when will you give back to the millions who have bought your book? Surely you owe them more than what they agreed to pay for? 🙂 (sarcasm alert…)

  11. J .Stanton on March 15, 2013 at 19:52

    I think it’s important to distinguish between those who create wealth, as in the examples you gave, and those who make their money entirely through arbitrage and other rent-seeking, who are parasitical on those who create wealth.

    Interestingly, our tax code gives rent-seeking a privileged exemption (“capital gains”), thereby penalizing the creation of actual value, which is taxed at the much higher rate of regular income.

    Result: a dysfunctional economy crippled by a huge dead weight of arbitrage and rent-seeking.


  12. Preston on March 18, 2013 at 06:04

    The really infuriating part of the James Hill saga, was that he was forced to give up his steamship line by the anti-trust laws passed in reaction to the Union Pacific debacle. Those laws were congress solving a problem created by congress.

    Hill was shipping steel and cotton to Japan and China, aiding both in industrialization. Imagine! An industrial China at the turn of the 20th century. That trade stopped when Hill was prohibited from owning a steamship line and a railroad. And China did not industrialize and remained agrarian. Then fell to communism a few decades later with the death of millions.

    Since few if any industrialized countries have ever fallen to communism, I can infer that had Hill been allowed to continue trading with China, they would not have fallen prey to the commies. Talk about unintended consequences.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 18, 2013 at 06:43

      Good dot-connecting, Preston. And one must also wonder, since trade with Japan fell very sharply after this debacle if there would have been a war in the Pacific theater had that trade kept chugging along and grown.

  13. Richard Nikoley on March 18, 2013 at 21:13

    “Whatever Lincoln did, I think that the fact that it resulted in the ending of slavery is a net positive. Slavery was such a monumental evil that it outweighs the evil of 600,000 dead. It doesn’t matter that the end of slavery was not Lincoln’s goal.”

    Joshua. 600,000 dead to free less than 200,000 slaves in an era where slavery was dying anyway because of industrialization? Slaves work in an agrarian setting (well, until modern machinery) but they were no good as factory workers. Of course, that’s just the practical economic side. My point is that slavery was on the way out because of that.

    Moreover, it might interest you to know some numbers to keep all this in perspective.

    Here’s Henry Louis Gates Jr:

    “The most comprehensive analysis of shipping records over the course of the slave trade is the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, edited by professors David Eltis and David Richardson. (While the editors are careful to say that all of their figures are estimates, I believe that they are the best estimates that we have, the proverbial “gold standard” in the field of the study of the slave trade.) Between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America.

    “And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That’s right: a tiny percentage.

    “In fact, the overwhelming percentage of the African slaves were shipped directly to the Caribbean and South America; Brazil received 4.86 million Africans alone! Some scholars estimate that another 60,000 to 70,000 Africans ended up in the United States after touching down in the Caribbean first, so that would bring the total to approximately 450,000 Africans who arrived in the United States over the course of the slave trade.”


    How often do you hear about those awful South American slave holders? That by no means excuses North American ones, but it also goes to show that the primary use for slaves was in agriculture, which is why most went to more heavily agricultural states than burgeoning industrial ones.

  14. Joshua on March 19, 2013 at 05:49

    Richard, if there had been only 200,000 slaves, I would probably agree with you, but it was way more than that. Per wiki “By the 1860 United States Census, the slave population in the United States had grown to four million.”

    I would like to believe that you are right about the inevitable death of slavery, but I’m not as confident as you are.

    This is a cold/brutal/dirty calculation, but if the average age of the people who died during the civil war was 18 and the average life expectancy was 42, 600000 persons*24 years lost per person=14,400,000 person years lost.

    14,400,000 person years / 4,000,000 enslaved persons = 3.6 years. If the civil war ended slavery just 3.6 years earlier than would have happened “naturally”, then I think I have to call it a wash. As I said, it’s not a price I would have paid for an uncertain result, but I can not say that I would undo it if given the choice.

    200,000 slaves makes that a 72 year payback, in which case I would agree that slavery in the US probably would not have lasted until 1936.

    Now this does place a subjective value of 1 year in slavery = 1 year of life lost, but I don’t think that’s a crazy assumption. I think that a lot of people, if given the choice between slavery and death, would choose death.

  15. Preston on March 19, 2013 at 06:43

    Hey Richard,

    Thanks for the compliment but it wasn’t an original thought of mine. I read it in one of the Neo Tech publications a while ago.

    As for the comments on whether is particular president is good or bad, they are all politicians first and foremost. And hence vile. Some are just less vile but vile nevertheless.

  16. Richard Nikoley on March 19, 2013 at 07:37


    Yea, I first read the whole saga in NT myself. But then I went to the source, professor Burt Folsom (who’s on Twitter, BTW) and has a website. The original book was Entrepreneurs vs The State. He has a later one, The Myth of the Bobber Barons. He covers all the guys back then, not just Hill.

  17. noah on March 20, 2013 at 17:21

    “The mystery is why profit-seekers receive so little admiration for their achievements—and virtually no moral credit.”

    Because they have a tendency to loose touch with reality and start to believe that it was nothing but skill that got them where they are therefore, they should rule. They adopt an attitude of looking at people over the bridge of their noses. They have the moral decay in which they have no problem paying people pennies to the dollar of their actual worth to the project, because there are some other poorer than you sod out there willing to work for bare survival. And while they have a ferrari for each day of the week in each color, drink the best wines, eat the bst food, fuck the best women, the guys who lift are barely making ends meet, some needs 2 shit jobs, for asshole bosses to make ends meet.

    They are trying that shit over here once more and were not having it., they can fuck off the greedy filth. No idea gets off ground without hands to carry it and only a totally depraved asshole pay people what he can legally (or illegally) get away with, and not what the people around him are actually worth to his project. I think thats why.

    They tend to forget what HUGE part luck actually plays in successfull business. Honest entrepreneurs will tell you this without blinking. yeah,…he was a great guy that one. Shame he bit it,.

  18. noah on March 20, 2013 at 17:23

    “American businessmen didn’t become rich at the expense of their customers or employees. ”

    Hogshit. No sale.

  19. noah on March 20, 2013 at 18:02

    I dont know what I was expecting from following the link. I am usually seen as so rightwing people suspect I shit hagenkreutzes. That does not mean I think fucking people over, just because I have the capacity, is ever justified. Ever.

    What do I get. A bunch of Ryandroids. Those guys are lame and she was an old nasty bat with ideas created in a mind that went through bonedry communism. An extreme situation gives room for extreme ideas and one of the first links they provide me with was “The Process That Made Steve Jobs Great”. Spoken like a true Ryandroid program.

    Steve Jobs was not a great man. He had good ideas about tech but he was a bonafide, grade A, asshole mother fucking cunt. He had no moral quarrels sending off production to a place that use de facto slave labor under conditions so bad they have to put nets on the building so people are not lining up to use the roof as a springboard to their death. (Because making more humane and reasonable conditions obviously was never on the table, and nets are a lot cheaper).

    People around him hated his fucking guts except a few close ones. Not because of envy, because of his behavior. He looked at everyone like ants, with contempt for his fellow man. And personally I think it sucks that his illness wasnt more long drawn and painful. If it hadnt been apple, he would have ended up a cult leader….oh shit….

    All i can say is. Show me your friends and those you admire and I know whether I want to shake your fist or spit in it. Also. enjoy your iPhones and ladypads you heartless cunts. …businessmen didn’t become rich at the expense of their customers or employees…..riiiiiiiiiiiight. Pure altruism.

    GOddamit I hate Ryandroids and I even belong to the same side.

  20. Richard Nikoley on March 20, 2013 at 19:59

    “Because they have a tendency…”

    And goes quickly downhill.

    Noah. Start a business. Hope you’re marvelously successful. May take 2 or 3 tries with all lost before success (3 in my case, 50-60K “tuition” and down to 200bucks before things got real and I made the 3rd time a charm) ….Sincerely. Because not a soul in the entire Universe is out to stop you. Not even a bacteria, not consciously.

    You have almost infinitely more choices at your disposal than the vast majority of h Sapiens who have ever lived in history and yet, you choose to chew sour grapes and seek to commiserate with others who might comment “yeametoo.”

    C’mon, man.

  21. Richard Nikoley on March 20, 2013 at 20:07

    “Hogshit. No sale.”

    At the height of my company (I’m attriting things, because the reg/legal burden has become too onerous and it’s no fun, anymore), we did 3-3.5 mil per year. 30 Employees, about 200K payroll per month. matching 401K. full family healthcare with a pittance co-pay.

    Let me guess: you have never, ever in your life created anything that required you to even sign one single paycheck for one single person for one single pay period.

    Am I right?

    And yet, you laughably stand in judgment of real men and women who sign paychecks for literally about a couple of hundred million people per pay period, likely including yourself.

    Start a business and create a job for just one person, noah, or resolve to just shut your mouth on the issue for the rest of you life, resisting the urge to bite the hand that keeps your pathetic ass from starving to death.

  22. Richard Nikoley on March 20, 2013 at 20:12

    “I dont know what I was expecting”

    Me either.

    Start a fucking business for shit’s sake.

  23. noah on March 21, 2013 at 10:40

    Friend. I already have one, is part of another. And on top of that I am a recording artist. Nothing to brag about these day, it doesnt make me Michael Jackson, but its a fine thing. I had a really bad day and I still think a huge part of the problems we face is in what I wrote above. The fact that we think ideas somehow give us the right to fuck others over, simply for having them. I sincerely hate slaveowners. Even if we dont call it like that anymore. thats what it is and it needs to go away. All the best.

  24. noah on March 21, 2013 at 10:42

    And why do you feel hit by what I wrote? Clearly you want to treat those who life for you, well. Compare that to how most of the products we use on a daily basis are made and by whom. Thats the problem. not someone who pays fairly. Which unfortunately, is the few.

  25. noah on March 21, 2013 at 11:03

    Right now I am enjoying my miserable peasant in the field coffee, with a drop of tortured bovine juice in it. I write to you from my slave build, and very expensive, computer as I sit here in my misery produced slippers. The only “honest” thing on my body is my pants. I got those from a tailor and he was really happy about the deal. We both left the deal smiling and in friendship. There is something wrong with the current picture and its not simple envy at the success of others. I very much enjoy the success of others when it is earned in fairness.

    When I need new gear for the studio. I tend to buy American or European. I pay more than twice what I would pay for a bamboo product of nearly similar quality. But I wont. Because I know that by buying the other 2, I support small business that give people a fair share. Often they give people stock options (and thusly lower the amount of days in a year people are sick…as if it was magic) etc. Its all proper. I adopt this line of thinking where it is possible to do so,and in this, I believe I am doing the best I can. I wish I could do more, but sometimes there are no options.

  26. Richard Nikoley on March 21, 2013 at 11:08

    “I pay more than twice what I would pay for a bamboo product of nearly similar quality. ”

    I’m sure that makes up for your pathetic moralistic non-support of people who literally have no options other than to work in a less than ideal factory.

    Good thing there were far less people like you around at the advent of the industrial revolution, those who had some sense of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  27. noah on March 21, 2013 at 11:49

    Who owns that less than ideal factory and why is it less than ideal? The owner have his own comfort in mind before anything else while he wants to climb a high horse as altruistic benefactor of society at the same time, is that it?.

    “yeah man i write checks, albeit very small checks, and that makes me a real man who care for others yada yada yackedismackedy.”

    I’d rather have standards than your double standards. This is one of those places where less genuinely is more and if you cannot own up to that without squirming and whining like a little bitch, so be it. I could not really care less for fuckers who speak out of both sides of the mouth you nasty piece of shit!

  28. noah on March 21, 2013 at 12:04

    Your line of thought is what get government involved in the first place but you are to goddamn stupid and selfish to understand that. If the smart treat the less gifted, in fairness by themselves, government would not have a leg to stand on. That went right over your bloated head didnt it?

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