Tag Archives | Money

Alice Walton (Heir to the Walmart Fortune) and Her DUIs

Alice Walton in attendance at the 2011 Walmart Shareholders Meeting.

Alice Walton in attendance at the 2011 Walmart Shareholders Meeting.

Having money really can get you out of anything.

via Policy.Mic:

It was a routine arrest, the kind Texas Public Safety officers like Trooper Jeffrey Davis make every day. But little did Davis know that the woman he had just booked for driving while intoxicated possessed a superhuman power. She wasn’t able to walk heel to toe. She couldn’t put her index finger to her nose if her eyes were shut. She even had a hard time keeping her head up. In other words, she failed the Standardized Roadside Sobriety Test that Davis administered the evening of Oct. 7, 2011 and was arrested.

Yet, she was Alice Walton, heiress to the Walmart fortune, a woman with a superhuman power at her disposal. The power to swipe-up artistic masterpieces prized around the world and horde them in backwater Bentonville, Ark. The power to keep an international payroll of three million people doing your bidding, under the boot of poverty.

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Surviving the Underground Art World: A New Class Featuring Android Jones Tackles the “M” Word

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Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.

-Andy Warhol

We all know an artist who has amazing vision and the skills necessary to bring it to life. This person creates works of profound beauty that evoke strong, and at times complicated, emotional responses that effect our being in the world. We might feel a little dizzy as we realize our heads and hearts have been blown open by something that’s at once incomprehensible yet strangely familiar–like visiting our childhood home and seeing it painted a different color, with new trees planted where old ones once stood.

This is what great art does–it’s not something that, despite the best efforts of critics, can easily be explained with words. Perhaps that’s the entire point–the realness of the work must be experienced, up close, in real life. Unfortunately, many of the best artists we know never seem to get the chance to show their work beyond the cluttered confines of their studio space.… Read the rest

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Billionaire S.C. Johnson Heir Gets Four Months In Jail For Sexually Assaulting Stepdaughter

PIC: totally unrelated picture of pond scum. Ahem. (NARA-PD)

PIC: totally unrelated picture of pond scum. (NARA-PD)

Does this sound familiar? You might be thinking of this totally different child molesting corporate heir escaping the consequences of his actions.

A Wisconsin billionaire pled guilty to sexual assault of his stepdaughter, but was only sentenced to four months in jail on Friday. Samuel Curtis Johnson III, heir to the SC Johnson cleaning supplies empire, will have to serve at least 60 days of his sentence and pay a fine up to $6,000.

Originally, Johnson was charged with felony sexual assault of a child for repeatedly targeting his stepdaughter for three years. His stepdaughter initially told police Johnson was “a sex addict” and touched her inappropriately 15 to 20 times starting when she was 12 years old. She told her mother about the abuse in order to protect her younger sister, and Johnson confessed when the mother confronted him.

The felony charge carries up to 40 years in prison.

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On the Origins of Money: Darwin and the Evolution of Cryptocurrency

Source: CoinDesk.com

Source: CoinDesk.com

Who knew Bitcoin and other varieties of so-called cryptocurrency could be so interesting? Writing for CoinDesk, Ryan Walker, an independent consultant and cryptocurrency enthusiast based out of Denver, Colorado, joins the dots between Darwin’s theory of evolution, fiat money and the rise of cryptocurrencies:

Charles Darwin first published his theory of natural selection in his book On the Origin of Species in 1859. The result of over 30 years of research, Darwin delivered to the world a new understanding of how modern species came to be, evolving over generations.

The son of a wealthy English family, Darwin was not a man in need of money. Nonetheless, for On the Origin of Species and his other publications, Darwin received royalties that were most likely paid in British Sterling.

Still in existence, the British Pound has origins dating back as far as 750 A.D. making it the world’s longest-surviving active currency.

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Du Pont Heir Given Probation For Raping Daughter in Hush-Hush Case; Judge Said He Wouldn’t Fare Well In Prison

Pic: State of Delaware (PD)

Pic: State of Delaware (PD)

Du Pont Family heir (and son of a very powerful retired attorney) Robert H. Richards IV received a slap on the wrist in 2008 after he pleaded guilty to raping his three-year old daughter: Eight years probation. The offense is normally punishable by up to 15 years in prison, but Delaware Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden‘s rationale for the extremely lenient sentence was that the 6’4″ 264 lb. millionaire “[would] not fare well” in prison.

Richards’ arrest and subsequent trial was not disclosed by the District Attorney’s office and received no media coverage, locally or nationally. The details of Richards’ case only came to the attention of the public this month after his ex-wife filed a civil suit against him on behalf of their two children. The suit alleges that Richards also molested their son numerous times over the course of two years, beginning when the boy was 19 months-old.… Read the rest

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Ending Currency Manipulation—Just Follow the Money

Dollar billsRobert Scott of the Economic Policy Institute has some ideas about how to end currency manipulation, posted at TradeReform.org:

Growing trade deficits have cost US workers millions of jobs over the past two decades, (these were good jobs in manufacturing industries).  Currency manipulation by more than 20 countries, of which China is by far the largest, is the single most important reason why U.S. trade deficits have not decisively reversed.  Currency manipulation lowers the value of foreign currencies, relative to the U.S. dollar, which acts like a subsidy to their exports, and a tax on U.S. exports to China and every other country where the U.S. competes with the exports of currency manipulators.

In an era of fiscal austerity, ending global currency manipulation is the best way to reduce trade deficits, create jobs, and rebuild the U.S. economy, as shown in Stop Currency Manipulation and Create Millions of Jobs.   Eliminating currency manipulation would reduce the U.S.

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85 Wealthy Elites Have As Much Wealth As Half The World’s Population

rich peopleA group that could easily fit on a single subway car. Via the Guardian:

The extent to which so much global wealth has become corralled by a virtual handful of the so-called ‘global elite’ is exposed in a new report from Oxfam on Monday. It warned that those richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.

The development charity fears this concentration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions.

The report found that over the past few decades, the rich have successfully wielded political influence to skew policies in their favor on issues ranging from financial deregulation, tax havens, to lower tax rates on high incomes and cuts in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, said the report.

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A Majority Of Congress Members Are Now Millionaires

contractsAre we on our way to a point at which being a millionaire will become virtually a prerequisite for pursuing any important political position? Via CNN:

For the first time ever, more than half of current members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new report from the non-profit Center for Responsive Politics.

Among the 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more for 2012, the CRP said, citing disclosure forms filed last year.

CRP executive director Sheila Krumholz said the data reflect the reality that “in our electoral system, candidates need access to wealth to run financially viable campaigns, and the most successful fundraisers are politicians who swim in those circles to begin with.”

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The Fantasy Of Apolitical Money

moneyYanis Varoufakis on Bitcoin and the fruitless dream of a de-politicised currency:

The Crash of 2008 has infused our societies with enormous scepticism on the role of the authorities, both government and Central Banks. It is quite natural that many dream of a currency that politicians, bankers and central bankers cannot manipulate; a currency of the people by the people for the people. While it is true that local communities have, in the past, generated successful communitarian currencies (that enabled them to improve welfare in their midst, especially at a time of acute economic crises), there can be no de-politicised currency capable of ‘powering’ an advanced, industrial society.

Since the second industrial revolution made possible the emergence of large, networked oligopolistic companies (the Edisons and Fords of the 1900s, and the Googles or Apples of today), capitalism became dependent on large credit spurts for the purposes of financing these capital corporations’ needs.

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