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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:55 pm 
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JW wrote:
I can't help but feel sickened by the obscene amounts of money being paid to athletes and actors. But this too brings up another issue.... If it were me receiving this amont of money..... would it change my viewpoint?
At this point of my life, I would say no. An enormous percentage of it would go to charity, but....... when I was younger (at the age of many of these athletes and actors) it would probably be different.
* How much is too much?
* Should there be an obligation to share your wealth with those less fortunate?
* Do we need that enormous SUV or would a lesser priced more fuel efficient used vehicle do?
* Do we need a 4000 Sq Ft home?
* Do we need 4 TV's in our homes?

Seems to me that greed & consumerism is a major obstacle to the evolution of humanity and the environment.

Okay ...I'm through rambling (at least for now) :wink:


I agree, the amount of money paid to actors and athletes is obscene. Part of the problem is in the sad work-a-day existence of most in North America. So many people are living vicariously through their favorite celebrities. They all chip in their little bit to the cable tv provider, the movie theatre, the sports arena etc. to keep 'the dream' alive. It gets worse in poor neighborhoods, where 'the dream' is seen as the only way out. I think happier and more fulfilled people would care less about sports and movies and more about their own lives. I could be wrong, but a more fulfilling life wouldn't hurt. We could start with a european style 6-8 weeks paid vacation, unlike the average american's one week! Okay, now I'm rambling. :)

I'm not sure how much is too much, but we are almost all forced to share with those less fortunate through taxes. Unfortunately, in the US at least, it is the super-rich who pay the least percentage of their income in taxes. :twisted:

But, then again maybe even average Joes like myself have too much? With a new two-income household, something I hadn't had in almost a decade, I am now affording a much more comfortable standard of living. That for me is simple luxuries like organic fresh fruit and veggies, high-speed internet, eating out and weekend trips. I still see people at the gas pump getting $5 in gas, people at the grocery store adding up their purchases to make sure they have enough money, trying to decide on bananas or diapers etc. Wow, it was only a few years ago that I was there. It's a pretty sick feeling and leaves one feeling completely alienated from this culture.

I don't know what the answer is, but surely at some point there will have to be a more even distribution of wealth. :?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:46 pm 
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michaelhobson,

I'm enjoying reading your perspectives on a number of things lately. I rarely "read" the forum, I just post news, welcome people and skim threads to catch up with what is new. But lately I've been reading a bit and I like a lot of the things you have to say. I think we agree on a lot. Not everything of course, but ideas in general for how to have a happy life and enjoying people and opportunities, and thoughts on global issues.

JW and MH,

My Dad is Canadian and is really turned off by American sports celebrities and athletes. He is bothered by the fact that hockey teams left Canada and now reside in Arizona, Nashville and Florida and places like that.

I understand the idea of "living vicariously through favorite celebrities" whether they are musicians, athletes, etc. I've been guilty of that myself. But now I'm turning away from TV, "news", celebrity athletes and I'm involved in my own life, my own projects, my own grassroots movements, etc.

Anyway, good stuff guys.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:08 am 
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Robert!!! You have Canadian blood!!!!!! :shock: :D
Let it flow proudly!!!!! (within your body of course :wink: )

I can relate to what your Father says about hockey. In Winnipeg, people are still very upset about losing our NHL franchise to Phoenix.
There is much frustration in that Winnipeg used to draw more fans than many existing franchises. Being in a limited television market however, means less revenues and more difficulties in making a profit.
Some people were just devastated at the loss, I personally was disappointed but also disgusted at the level of greed out there (owners and players).
I also found it sad how some people reacted to the loss of the team. You would think that loss of life was involved!
In a world where human lives are lost in Africa exceeding the losses in the 911 terrorist attack EACH AND EVERY DAY, how can people be shattered over something so trivial as the loss of a sports team?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:06 am 
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michaelhobson wrote:
JW wrote:
I can't help but feel sickened by the obscene amounts of money being paid to athletes and actors. But this too brings up another issue.... If it were me receiving this amont of money..... would it change my viewpoint?
At this point of my life, I would say no. An enormous percentage of it would go to charity, but....... when I was younger (at the age of many of these athletes and actors) it would probably be different.
* How much is too much?
* Should there be an obligation to share your wealth with those less fortunate?
* Do we need that enormous SUV or would a lesser priced more fuel efficient used vehicle do?
* Do we need a 4000 Sq Ft home?
* Do we need 4 TV's in our homes?

Seems to me that greed & consumerism is a major obstacle to the evolution of humanity and the environment.

Okay ...I'm through rambling (at least for now) :wink:


I agree, the amount of money paid to actors and athletes is obscene. Part of the problem is in the sad work-a-day existence of most in North America. So many people are living vicariously through their favorite celebrities. They all chip in their little bit to the cable tv provider, the movie theatre, the sports arena etc. to keep 'the dream' alive. It gets worse in poor neighborhoods, where 'the dream' is seen as the only way out. I think happier and more fulfilled people would care less about sports and movies and more about their own lives. I could be wrong, but a more fulfilling life wouldn't hurt. We could start with a european style 6-8 weeks paid vacation, unlike the average american's one week! Okay, now I'm rambling. :)

I'm not sure how much is too much, but we are almost all forced to share with those less fortunate through taxes. Unfortunately, in the US at least, it is the super-rich who pay the least percentage of their income in taxes. :twisted:

But, then again maybe even average Joes like myself have too much? With a new two-income household, something I hadn't had in almost a decade, I am now affording a much more comfortable standard of living. That for me is simple luxuries like organic fresh fruit and veggies, high-speed internet, eating out and weekend trips. I still see people at the gas pump getting $5 in gas, people at the grocery store adding up their purchases to make sure they have enough money, trying to decide on bananas or diapers etc. Wow, it was only a few years ago that I was there. It's a pretty sick feeling and leaves one feeling completely alienated from this culture.

I don't know what the answer is, but surely at some point there will have to be a more even distribution of wealth. :?


So true mh.....
My wife has recently returned to working outside the home on a part time basis. Our disposable income has increased and the temptation is great to spend it on material goods.
We find that it is very important to step back and look at things in terms of needs and wants.
We don't need a plasma TV
we don't need a bigger house
we don't need a luxury vehicle.

At the same time, we don't need to deprive ourselves of all comforts.

We do find that as our income increases, our charitable donations increase as well. (I wish it could be more)

I just really have difficulties when I drive by some mammoth home being constructed or a brand new Hummer ...... If something even slightly less extravagant was chosen........ that money could do an awful lot of good in this world.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:34 am 
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* If just 25% of U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we would save over 2.5 BILLION bags a year.
* On the average, the 140 million cars in America are estimated to travel almost 4 billion miles in a day, and according to the Department of Transportation, they use over 200 million gallons of gasoline doing it.
* Every year we throw away 24 million tons of leaves and grass. Leaves alone account for 75% of our solid waste in the fall.
* Over 100 pesticide ingredients are suspected to cause birth defects, cancer, and gene mutations.
* Every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil.
About 1% of U.S. landfill space is full of disposable diapers, which take 500 years to decompose.
* Energy saved from one recycled aluminum can will operate a TV set for 3 hours, and is the equivalent to half a can of gasoline.
* Glass produced from recycled glass instead of raw materials reduces related air pollution by 20%, and water pollution by 50%.
* Americans use 50 million tons of paper annually -- consuming more than 850 million trees.
* Homeowners use up to 10 times more toxic chemicals per acre than farmers.
* By turning down your central heating thermostat one degree, fuel consumption is cut by as much as 10%.
* Insulating your attic reduces the amount of energy loss in most houses by up to 20%.
* Enough glass was thrown away in 1990 to fill the Twin Towers (1,350 feet high) of New York's World Trade Center every two weeks.
* One ton of carbon dioxide that is released in the air can be prevented by replacing every 75 watt light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs.
* Many banks lent large sums of money to developing nations. In order to pay those debts plus interest many nations have turned to the mining of their natural resources as a source of financial aid.
* Every day 40,000 children die from preventable diseases.
* The human population of the world is expected to be nearly tripled by the year 2100.
* A three percent annual growth rate will result in the doubling of consumption and production of food and other products in 25 short years.
* The amount of motor vehicles that are expected to be operated will increase 15 million a year until at least 2010.
* The world's per capita grain production has been on the downfall since 1985 despite the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
* The uncontrolled fishing that is allowed has reduced the amount of commercial species. Some species, up to one-tenth of their original population.
* Every day 50 to 100 species of plants and animals become extinct as their habitat and human influences destroy them.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:12 am 
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Here's an interesting dilemma....

One of my dreams is to start a charitable foundation to raise money for worthy environmental and humanitarian causes.

Now to do this properly, it would need to be full time. Since I am not independently wealthy, I would need to draw a salary.
Here is the dilemma!

What is fair?
I know some organizations cap their salaries at a certain percentage of revenues.
I have such mixed feelings on this subject.
On one hand, if I were to do this.... monies would be raised which may not have been raised in other areas thus justifying a salary.

On the other hand, how much is too much?
It would seem distasteful to me if too much of the revenues were taken in salary.

Many organizations hire fundraisers and event coordinators so would it be wrong to take a salary?
I think that a cap might be the right thing to do.
I can't imagine how bad it would be to be attacked for taking an excessive salary when you are devoting your life to a cause.

There are alternatives of course.... I could continue trying to donate as much as possible to various causes. I could try to raise funds through 5K runs etc...

It would be soooo much easier if I was independently wealthy :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:22 pm 
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Location: Cape Cod
That is a tough dilemma, but as long as you don't feel it's excessive (and I suspect you'll err on the side of frugality), I think one way to look at it is as a percentage of overall income and expenses. Starting out, you'd probably want to look at it on a monthly basis, with an eye towards rolling it into a yearly figure. So if you are able to raise $2000 in the month and you take $1000 for salary and non-campaign related expenses, that would be 50% going towards general management of the org. The Better Business Bureau recommends at least 50% of an org's revenue go towards campaign work, but most non-profits try to surpass that.

It's tricky starting out, though, because in the first few months you'll be working to raise funds and the org's profile, so you'll likely end up needing to spend more than you want on management (and thus less on campaign work) -- the old "need money to make money" principle. Eventually (hopefully) you'll get to a point where campaign work is a very high percentage of expenses, and yet you're still pulling in enough salary to be comfortable enough to be able to function in the job.

Good luck. Have fun.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:01 pm 
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Thanks finbarrio!!! :D
That's some good info!

I think I might try to speak with some people who have started an organization too.

btw, we did the Boston trip last summer and spent a few days on the Cape. We stayed at a condo in Woodshole. Also spent some time at Provincetown, the Vinyard, Falmouth....
Great trip!
I can certainly see why someone would want to live there :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:59 pm 
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Maybe the median salary for your area? I think it is only reasonable that you collect as much as an averge worker in your area for your efforts. Now, if you end up spending 70 hours per week more may be justified.

My friends at www.iscowp.org give 100% of they money they collect to maintaining their cow sanctuary. They do live on the farm, but their house was built with funds from their own personal jobs unrelated to the organization. With the farm paid for, they are now abled to survive by working only 2-3 months per year for their personal income, devoting the rest of the year to full-time animal protection efforts and educating the public.

You seem like a pretty level-headed guy. I can't imagine you going nuts and soaking up all the money in salary. I have a feeling you will know what is right and do that. 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:16 pm 
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michaelhobson wrote:
Maybe the median salary for your area? I think it is only reasonable that you collect as much as an averge worker in your area for your efforts. Now, if you end up spending 70 hours per week more may be justified.

My friends at www.iscowp.org give 100% of they money they collect to maintaining their cow sanctuary. They do live on the farm, but their house was built with funds from their own personal jobs unrelated to the organization. With the farm paid for, they are now abled to survive by working only 2-3 months per year for their personal income, devoting the rest of the year to full-time animal protection efforts and educating the public.

You seem like a pretty level-headed guy. I can't imagine you going nuts and soaking up all the money in salary. I have a feeling you will know what is right and do that. 8)



Thanks michaelhobson! :D
The ideal situation would be having the ability to put 100% of revenues to the cause. It would be a great thing to do in retirement, but I still have a mortgage to pay.
Another option may be to start on a small scale and set the foundation for later years when I can devote more time to it.
(soooo much to think about)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:19 pm 
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My faith in young soccer players has been restored!
Played on Saturday and it was a pleasure playing against a young team who is talented, fair and are good sports.
I actually went over to their bench after the game to tell them how much we appreciated playing against them.

The game was fun and I even scored a couple goals (made it even better)
We still lost of course, but it was FUN! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:54 pm 
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Bill Gates Dollars
Another way to examine this sort of wealth is to compare it to yours. Consider an average American of modest wealth. Perhaps she has a net worth of $70,000. Mr. Gates' worth is 800,000 times larger. Which means that if something costs $100,000 to her, to Bill it's as though it costs 12 cents. You can work out the right multiplier for your own net worth.


So for example, you might think a new Lambourghini Diablo would cost $250,000, but in Bill Gates dollars that's 31 cents.

That fully loaded, multimedia active matrix 233 MHZ laptop with the 1024x768 screen you've been drooling after? Half a penny.

A nice home in a rich town like Palo Alto, California? Two dollars. That nice mansion he's building? A more reasonable $63 to him.

You might spend $50 on tickets, food and parking to take your date to see an NHL hockey game. Bill, on the other hand could buy the team for 50 Bill-bills.

You might buy a plane ticket on a Boeing 747 for $1200 at full-fare coach. In Bill-bills, Mr. Gates could buy six 747s (Not tickets, the planes themselves). Two for him, two for Melinda and two for young Jennifer Katherine.

Yet More
Evan Marcus, a Systems Engineer from Fair Lawn, New Jersey who maintains a Bill Gates Net Worth Page on his web site, notes that Bill could buy every single major league team in Baseball, Football, Basketball and Hockey for only about 35% of his net worth -- plenty left over to buy a European sport.

Of course then he wouldn't have around $150 for every person in the USA as he does now. Nor could he still give $6.70 to every person on the planet.

Marcus suggests that Bill could pay Michael Jordan's 1997 salary only 1300 times, but that he could buy 902 million subscriptions to TV guide. He's also fascinated by how much much all this money would be if put into dollar bills. Laid end to end, the Bills would stretch 3.8 million miles -- to the moon and back over 8 times. They could paper over all of Manhatten 7 times, or be stacked 2,690 miles high -- watch out for satellites. They would weigh 40,000 tons -- 100 times the weight of one of those 747s he bought above.

But one thing Marcus says Bill can't do is even dent the national debt. Should he selflessly donate his stock to the U.S. treasury, he would reduce the $5.37 trillion national debt by well under 1%. It's nice to put things in perspective.

Hey, Bill, if you just spent 3 minutes reading this article, do you realize you could have made $50,000 in that time? Back to work. And like I said, no hard feelings.



Well, at least he gives a lot to charity...........

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:00 pm 
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More Bill Gates wealth tidbits.....


Laying Dollar Bills End to End
NOTE: The next sections discuss the conversion of Bill's wealth to $1 bills. Of course, according to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, since 1986, when Microsoft was founded (and through 2005), 75,836,800,000 $1 bills have been printed. Bill's $24,522,864,691.20 comprise 32.33% of that total. (Thanks to Larry Moy for the suggestion.)


If you had 24,522,864,691 one dollar bills, and laid them end to end, you would have a line of bills that runs 2,376,423.4 miles.

Rand McNally says that it's 2912 miles from New York City to Seattle. Laying bills end to end, you could make that round trip 408.0 times.

The average distance to the moon is 238,855 miles. You could make that round trip 4.9 times.

If you spent 24 hours a day laying these bills end to end, and were able to sustain a rate of 2 bills per second, it would take you 388.80 years to complete the job.

Stacking Bills
If you took 24,522,864,691 one dollar bills, and could actually balance them in a stack, that stack would be 8,770,695.5 feet or 1,661 miles high.

By comparison, it's 200 miles from New York to Baltimore. If you took that stack and lay it down on the ground, it could make that trip between New York and Baltimore 8.3 times.

It's 2565 miles from New York to San Francisco. The stack of bills would cover 64.76% of the trip.

What if Bill decided to keep all his cash under his mattress? Let us assume that Bill and Melinda sleep on a King Size mattress. According to the folks at Slumberland Furniture, an American King Sized bed is 78 by 80 inches, or 6240 square inches, or 43 1/3 square feet in area. It takes 397.57 bills to cover a king-sized mattress. Using all of Bill's money (as $1 bills), you could cover the king-sized mattress with bills 61,681,739.47 bills deep. That means Bill would have a jump of 264,728.49 inches or 4.17 miles to get from the bed to the floor each morning, not counting the thickness of the bed itself. Thanks to Jeffery Lay for the suggestion.

The stack of 24,522,864,691 one dollar bills would weigh 54,015,120.4 pounds or 25,023.3 tons.

By comparison, a Boeing 747-400 weighs 800,000 pounds, or 400 tons. The money weighs 62.55 times more.


Remember my agonizing over "how much is too much?" :roll:

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What's the difference between boogers and broccoli ?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:11 pm 
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michaelhobson wrote:
I don't know what the answer is, but surely at some point there will have to be a more even distribution of wealth. :?


What he said. :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:37 am 
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Great avatar michaelhobson!! :lol:

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