The One Percent


December 19, 2011 by John-Charles Duffy

I have a nagging fear I may be running behind the rest of the pack on this one, but I just saw the documentary “The One Percent.” Trailer here. Not a very well-made film; but the director, a younger member of the “Johnson & Johnson” family, provides fascinating, and infuriating, glimpses into how the very wealthy in the U.S. talk about their wealth. Includes interviews with Ralph Nader, Steve Forbes, Bill Gates Sr., and Milton Friedman (who, if D&C 104:18 is accurate, has since retired to a place considerably warmer than Florida).

3 thoughts on “The One Percent

  1. Brooks W. Wilson says:

    For those not familiar with Doctrine and Covenants, this is the cited scripture:

    18 Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the blaw of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.

    Appropriate. Not only did he not impart of his, he encouraged others not to and helped change laws so governments couldn’t have fiscal and monetary policies which redistributed wealth or even help the poor.

  2. lrwhitney says:

    Oddly enough the scripture describes the individual voluntarily giving to the poor. Nothing there about the government confiscating money from the citizenry and giving it away as it sees fit.

    • Brooks W. Wilson says:

      Actually not. The scripture is in D&C Section 104 which describes the United Order; a system commanded of God, putting all property in the hands of the Church and members being assigned stewardship. What we have in our bank account is NOT ours with or without the United Order. Giving to the poor is voluntary only in the sense that tithing is voluntary. You have to pay if you want to be endowed. Conservative LDS need to understand that taking care of the poor is not slipping a five dollar bill to a homeless guy at an intersection. The strongest words admonishing us of our obligations and the consequences of not meeting them are in Mosiah 4.The scriptures are rife with the commandment that we take care of the poor. It’s not, nor can it be, a personal thing. There are too many poor and we are not in their proximity. Private charity has obviously not taken care of it. Our church tries to do it with fast offering but that only takes care of LDS and not even all of them.

      Our scriptures tell us that government has an obligation to act as the intermediary in our sharing with the poor. Government, contrary to what some LDS and most evangelicals want to believe is a servant not an evil entity. The 12th Article of Faith:

      “12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

      If the law tells us to share our wealth with the less fortunate through the fiscal policy, we are bound to honor it. Section 134 of the Doctrine and Covenants tell us that it is there for us and admonishes us to ensure that government serves us: Verse 1 of Section 134:

      “1 We believe that agovernments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.”

      If I vote for a government representative that promises to cut benefits to the poor, I am violating a commandment.

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