The Monday Barrage: Do We Need Billionaires? | National Inventors Day

“Power concedes nothing without a demand.” – Frederick Douglass

We are all familiar with the racial inequalities we face in our nation – and the systemic policies used over the centuries to further the belief in the superiority of one race over another.

Economic inequality however, is a tragedy that effects all races in every nation and is arguably the greatest concern human-beings face globally!

Economic inequality is broken down into three main types by

1.  Income inequality

2. Pay inequality

3. Wealth inequality

Wealth inequality is far more insidious because it means that a tiny fraction of society possesses most of the countries pile of riches.  And this stockpile of resources is one most of us will never be able to simply work hard enough to earn a piece of.

Check out this video on How Wealth Inequality is Dangerous for America (and the entire world), by Vox.

It’s hard for a guy like me to understand why the Uber rich, feel the need to hoard vast fortunes, while poverty, famine, and deprivation is so well-known and widespread.  It’s so pervasive that we witness aspects of it on an almost daily basis.  Why does our society encourage the aspirations of those individuals who wish to own more than millions of families world-wide? It’s a mind-state that I simply don’t possess.

It’s obviously a mentality that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., doesn’t possess either!

Ocasio-Cortez, is popularizing the idea of a 70% top marginal tax rate on the wealthiest Americans.  In an article in New York, she said that,“I do think that a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health is wrong.”

Click this link to watch the video of her chat with Ta-Nehisi Coates:  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Explains Why it’s Immoral to be a Billionaire in Our System

She went on to tell that, “it’s wild that some people are more scared of a marginal tax rate than the fact that 40% of Americans struggle to pay for at least one basic need, like food or rent,” she stated. “Imagine if we focused positively, away from fear of the former toward solving the latter.”

I completely agree with her radical stance however, I don’t think that this is an issue that will be resolved in my lifetime, my children’s or my grand-children’s lifetime.  Not as long as we live in a system that is set up to reward the “haves” and squeeze the “have-nots.”  And not when the richest 1% control the majority of the wealth, and influences the systems we would use to combat them.  There is little reason to believe that the billionaires will not continue to boom while the average worker will continue to tread water in an unjust, raging sea of economic inequality.

What do you think?

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” – Frederick Douglass

Other readings on this topic:  Don’t Listen to the Rich:  Inequality is Bad for Everyone

Billionaires Hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 70% Tax on the Rich

Walmart is Paying Poverty Wages

Low Wages at Amazon forced strikes and public pressure to raise them



 It’s National Inventors Day!

I would guess that many of us have heard plenty of times by now that agricultural chemist George Washington Carver, invented peanut butter.  But I would wager a bet that most of us are in the dark about all the everyday devices and products that have been invented by African American inventors.

Today is National Inventors Day, and in honor of this designation, I’ve listed just a few of the things folks of color have creatively contributed to society.

Henry Sampson

A prolific inventor, whose pioneering work in engineering led to the technology that is used in the modern day cell phone.



Lewis Howard Latimer

A member of Thomas Edison’s development team and eventually head draftsman for GE.  It was actually Lewis Latimer who drafted the patent for the lightbulb and, while working with Alexander Graham Bell, also drafted the patent for the telephone.  Latimer invented the carbon filament used in light bulbs that helped them last longer than Edison’s original design.


Marie Van Brittan Brown

Marie Van Brittan Brown patented a home security system that utilized television surveillance. “Brown’s device had 4 peepholes at different levels (because home invaders can be children, too), and a camera that would move between them connected to monitor in the bedroom. You could use a remote control to communicate with the person outside via microphone, remotely unlock the door if you wanted to let them in, or sound an alarm to call for help.”

Alice H. Parker

African American inventor, Alice H. Parker, whose patented design for the gas heating furnace, provides central heating for millions of people around the world!



Other African American contributions include:

These pictures where taken of a display at our daughters’ school, highlighting African American inventors.



This Weeks Pics

Thumbs up for the new website! Pictured here with my friend, author Amy Lee-Tai

Ice cream break.

Marley’s school project.

Feb. 7th author visit in Richmond, VA.



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Comments (4)

Very Enlightening.

Thank you very much! There’s a lot to think about with regard to wealth inequality.

As a cardiac bypass recipient, one of my personal favorite African American contributions was that of Dr. Vivien Thomas, a cardiac surgery pioneer documented in the film, Something the Lord Made.

Yeah Mike, that’s a great one, Dr. Vivien Thomas is an excellent example. Thank you for mentioning his contribution!

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