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Author Topic: Why has the political class demonized the working class?  (Read 4867 times)
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« on: June 07, 2008, 03:43:40 am »
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I apologize in advance for the preachy, soapbox tone of this post. If there are flaws in this post, please understand that it was composed hastily and that the thrust of the argument I will make could be made much better.

It seems that lately a narrative has emerged among the (relative) elite that they themselves are the compassionate ones. Educated and wealthy, "high information voters" as well as the "liberal media" is supposedly above such things as ignorance, or racism (but not sexism). Those things are the province of the 'white working class', the West Virginia hick.

What the elites do not understand is how their view is influenced by the culture they come from. Obama didn't lose West Virginia by 41 points because of racism. They equate West Virginia 2008 with Mississippi 1956 (and by implication, themselves in the role of the Warren Court) and do not see how this insinuation could possibly be insulting. They call Clinton supporters 'low-information voters' when what they really mean is 'low-infotainment voters' (too low infotainment to see that Obama is the 'cool' one), and do not see how that could possibly be insulting or that they would ever be called on it.

They created Lou Dobbs to pander to nativists and all the scare stories about immigration and foreign buyouts/imports without a shadow of remorse. Yet they separate themselves from it, considering themselves 'superior' even while they pander to it. Dailykos goes berzerk over supposed racial slights to Obama but when a wave of anti-immigrant nativism was sweeping the country in 2006, the Kos position was 'it's not a big issue for us'.

While some of West Virginia was due to racism, most of it was due to the fact that his speeches are clouds in the sky that voters are supposed to believe despite his complete lack of experience and record of accomplishment or courage. He may have 'Obamapalooza', as my radio DJ referred to Obama's Nissan pavilion rally, but what did Obamapalooza do except create a traffic headache? What American problem did his rally solve?

I received a funny fundraising letter the other day from a Congressional candidate. The letter began with something like 'for just $80 per capita, we can ensure that everyone has the health care they need' and about 2 pages later concluded, 'will you donate $50, $100, or $250 to my campaign?'

Hillary Clinton has rallies and raises money but one never gets the sense that her campaign is about rallies or how much money she has raised.

She talks about the worker on the night shift, the waitress on her feet, those who feel 'invisible', but no matter how often she includes it in her speeches and how many times she wins primaries, it has never occured to the media or the chattering classes that, that is a message that actually resonates with night workers and waitresses. Nor has it occured to the liberal wing of the party that these are the people who are the core of the Democratic party, and who, along with the black working class, they are the people the party is supposed to be standing up for first and foremost. It is not Markos and his band of activists, or even those for whom politics is professional entertainment, who are 'outside the gate' trying to crash in. The ones who are truly outside the gate are those who do not have the inclination or time to go online and make comments on politics, and who therefore do not add much to the bottom line of 'new media', whether that means the Huffington Post, FoxNews, or WashingtonPost.com.

It would behoove the Obama campaign to understand all this.
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 03:58:49 am »
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I received a funny fundraising letter the other day from a Congressional candidate. The letter began with something like 'for just $80 per capita, we can ensure that everyone has the health care they need' and about 2 pages later concluded, 'will you donate $50, $100, or $250 to my campaign?'

Hillary Clinton has rallies and raises money but one never gets the sense that her campaign is about rallies or how much money she has raised.

'make sure you log in to hillaryclinton.com!!!'

I hope you understand that the effort of her campaign to seem to be 'more than just about rallies' was every bit as much an electoral strategy as anything Obama's campaign did.
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 04:00:57 am »
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And, by the way, there is no greater example of Political Correctness today than efforts by republicans and hillaryites to 'find offense' at any description of white working-class Appalachian Americans as anything other than 'real' Americans.
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2008, 04:04:47 am »
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'make sure you log in to hillaryclinton.com!!!'

Her campaign is $30 million debt. Of course she is going to make that appeal every chance she gets. The point is that fundraising in and of itself has never been a selling point of her campaign, while it has for Obama since the beginning.

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And, by the way, there is no greater example of Political Correctness today than efforts by republicans and hillaryites to 'find offense' at any description of white working-class Appalachian Americans as anything other than 'real' Americans.

Honestly, Obama supporters have no right to be complaining about 'political correctness'. Oh, I'm sorry, Political Correctness. Or perhaps you meant POLITICAL CORRECTNESS?

Btw, RFK was assassinated in 1968. That makes me a racist who wants to kill Obama right?
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2008, 04:43:54 am »
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No side has a monopoly on political correctness.

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Her campaign is $30 million debt. Of course she is going to make that appeal every chance she gets. The point is that fundraising in and of itself has never been a selling point of her campaign, while it has for Obama since the beginning.

This makes no sense. All campaigns need to make fundraising appeals otherwise they can't campaign. Are you saying it's only okay to ask for funds when you're in debt?
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 09:27:50 am »
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I'd say it's the reverse. The interests, culture and ideals of heartland suburban/trailor park white protestants have been elevated by both parties for decades. Look at all the Republican fundamentalist moves plus the democrats trying to appease the far right white working class by moving ever right on social/foreign policy issues.
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 09:56:14 am »
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I think the tone was purposeful on both sides based on each campaign's strategy. What was so striking to me was how successful Obama was at taking one of the legs of the traditional Democratic triad (labor, the poor, minorities) so completely away from Hillary (minorities--specifically blacks) without really moving into the other two.

I'm also sort of surprised that the "experience" card didn't work better for her, given his total lack of any. I think it speaks to the depth of her baggage the the "liberal elite" turned on her so quickly in favor of this newcomer.

As for racism, I think it would be foolish to think that it didn't play a part. But, I think it was more important in the numbers of blacks flocking to Obama rather than the numbers of non-blacks refusing to support him.
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2008, 10:32:20 am »
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America will vote for center-leftists but not leftists. The mistake the democrats make is running leftists and trying to govern as a left party.
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2008, 10:32:40 am »
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This is my understanding of what has been going on through the Democratic primary cycle.

On the one hand, downscale and lower educated primary voters have gravitated towards Hillary Clinton because she has offered them 'substance'; but, on the other hand, upscale and higher educated voters have gravitated towards Barack Obama because he has offered them a compelling 'vision'. This has led to me to term Clinton's base the 'substantialists' and Obama's base the 'visionaries'

Either way you look at it, Obama as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, moving forward, needs both to coalesce around his candidacy and to do that Obama must as much, of not more, the 'substantialist' on the stump as he has proven the 'visionary'

Lets be clear about one thing; very few of those Clinton primary voters have any real investment in a McCain presidency given the closeness between the two Democrats on the issues

Vision is all well and good but this election will be decided on the issues. Obama's task moving forward is to flesh-out the policy substance that will realise his vision. He must prove to leaners and undecideds that he, and not John McCain, is more in command on the leading issues, and problems, of the day and that it is he who has the best solutions. If Obama he can accomplish that he will be the next president of the United States

Racism, of course, is the great unknown; even if there has been some evidence of it among Democratic primary voters

Although America is a center-right country in that there are more conservatives than there are liberals among the electorate, it is not inconceivable that a center-left progressive majority cannot be forged given the extent to which the right has failed under George W Bush.

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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2008, 10:53:31 am »
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Look no further then Obama's response to McCain's town hall challenge for proof that his campaign is all about rallies and stump speeches. Rather than a town hall where he talks with voters, he wanted to do long, interupted speeches to avoid having to actually talk with the voters.
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2008, 10:56:40 am »
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The political class has demonized the working class because the political class no longer represents the working class.  Neither Republicans or Democrats.  Hillary was, of course, merely using it for political purposes in the campaigns.
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2008, 11:02:53 am »
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America will vote for center-leftists but not leftists. The mistake the democrats make is running leftists and trying to govern as a left party.

Obama is, if anything, a PRAGMATIC progressive and will govern that way; and that, in my opinion, is surely preferable to the idiologically-driven cackhanded incompetence of the conservative Republican incumbent. When the right screws up, the pragmatically progressive center-left deserves its fair shot

He's a realist (pragmatists are); so any one expecting radical leftism, be they supportive of or opposed to Obama is going to be disappointed. Obama would use the best, and most effective, means possible to achieve his political goals. This is just an opinion, of course, and it remains to be seen whether it holds true should he be elected

Right now I'm minded to say that either Obama or McCain would be an improvement on Bush; but I'm not reassured that McCain, who is keen to tell us all that he's a "conservative Republican" would mark a significant enough change of direction

Besides we are feeling the effects of the "credit crunch" this side of the Pond, the fault line of which orginated in a loss of confidence in the US sub-prime mortgage market; so understandably, I'm pretty cold on Bush, a conservative Republican. Nor am I fond of the extent to which America's moral standing has declined and see Obama as being the better bet to raise that standing back to where it belongs. Although this might sound a bit fawning, I can see a President Obama being the best US export since coca-cola Tongue. Forward through the 21st century I say Smiley

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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2008, 11:09:27 am »
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America will vote for center-leftists but not leftists. The mistake the democrats make is running leftists and trying to govern as a left party.

Obama is, if anything, a PRAGMATIC progressive and will govern that way; and that, in my opinion, is surely preferable to the idiologically-driven cackhanded incompetence of the conservative Republican incumbent. When the right screws up, the pragmatically progressive center-left deserves its fair shot

He's a realist (pragmatists are); so any one expecting radical leftism, be they supportive of or opposed to Obama is going to be disappointed. Obama would use the best, and most effective, means possible to achieve his political goals. This is just an opinion, of course, and it remains to be seen whether it holds true should he be elected

Right now I'm minded to say that either Obama or McCain would be an improvement on Bush; but I'm not reassured that McCain, who is keen to tell us all that he's a "conservative Republican" would mark a significant enough change of direction

Besides we are feeling the effects of the "credit crunch" this side of the Pond, the fault line of which orginated in a loss of confidence in the US sub-prime mortgage market; so understandably, I'm pretty cold on Bush, a conservative Republican. Nor am I fond of the extent to which America's moral standing has declined and see Obama as being the better bet to raise that standing back to where it belongs. Although this might sound a bit fawning, I can see a President Obama being the best US export since coca-cola Tongue. Forward through the 21st century I say Smiley

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I invite anyone here to prove that Obama is some radical leftist and not a pragmatic liberal. He is left of center but he is not immersed in ideology. This is where it helps that he is not from Washington,DC. Hopefully he reaches out to republicans and conservatives or else his presidency will become a failure like Bush's.
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2008, 11:12:36 am »
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They are required to do so by those they actually represent, who live from sucking the life-blood of said working-class.  And who fear them ever getting a little revenge.
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2008, 11:31:15 am »
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They are required to do so by those they actually represent, who live from sucking the life-blood of said working-class.  And who fear them ever getting a little revenge.
Why do you confuse the US with Tsarist Russia?
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2008, 12:47:33 pm »
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'Cause the poors don't give them money.
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2008, 12:50:18 pm »
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'Cause the poors don't give them money.
This. Finance Capital/the moneyed classes hold all the power in this current phase of the west's history. However, things change...
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"I will kill 120,000 people" ~ Barack Obama
The United States is not only the world's first suburban nation, but it will also be its last. The world cannot sustain any more economies like ours. - Kenneth T. Jackson
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2008, 01:51:48 pm »
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I think the tone was purposeful on both sides based on each campaign's strategy. What was so striking to me was how successful Obama was at taking one of the legs of the traditional Democratic triad (labor, the poor, minorities) so completely away from Hillary (minorities--specifically blacks) without really moving into the other two.

I'm also sort of surprised that the "experience" card didn't work better for her, given his total lack of any. I think it speaks to the depth of her baggage the the "liberal elite" turned on her so quickly in favor of this newcomer.

As for racism, I think it would be foolish to think that it didn't play a part. But, I think it was more important in the numbers of blacks flocking to Obama rather than the numbers of non-blacks refusing to support him.

I generally agree, but I do see a major disconnect between the white working class and Obama, hence is "God and guns" comment.  I had hoped that someone representing a large diverse state wouldn't fall into that trap.  He did.
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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2008, 02:44:22 pm »
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I think the tone was purposeful on both sides based on each campaign's strategy. What was so striking to me was how successful Obama was at taking one of the legs of the traditional Democratic triad (labor, the poor, minorities) so completely away from Hillary (minorities--specifically blacks) without really moving into the other two.

I'm also sort of surprised that the "experience" card didn't work better for her, given his total lack of any. I think it speaks to the depth of her baggage the the "liberal elite" turned on her so quickly in favor of this newcomer.

As for racism, I think it would be foolish to think that it didn't play a part. But, I think it was more important in the numbers of blacks flocking to Obama rather than the numbers of non-blacks refusing to support him.

I generally agree, but I do see a major disconnect between the white working class and Obama, hence is "God and guns" comment.  I had hoped that someone representing a large diverse state wouldn't fall into that trap.  He did.

Agreed. But, as a path to the nomination, it worked for him. While there is a disconnect, it will not affect his having their support to a large extent in November. McCain will not be able to resurrect the Reagan coalition.
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2008, 03:44:17 pm »
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I generally agree, but I do see a major disconnect between the white working class and Obama, hence is "God and guns" comment.  I had hoped that someone representing a large diverse state wouldn't fall into that trap.  He did.

Agreed. But, as a path to the nomination, it worked for him. While there is a disconnect, it will not affect his having their support to a large extent in November. McCain will not be able to resurrect the Reagan coalition.

I think it helped prolong the nomination fight and has probably weakened Obama in the Fall (especially on top of Wright).
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2008, 04:38:31 pm »
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I apologize in advance for the preachy, soapbox tone of this post. If there are flaws in this post, please understand that it was composed hastily and that the thrust of the argument I will make could be made much better.

It seems that lately a narrative has emerged among the (relative) elite that they themselves are the compassionate ones. Educated and wealthy, "high information voters" as well as the "liberal media" is supposedly above such things as ignorance, or racism (but not sexism). Those things are the province of the 'white working class', the West Virginia hick.

What the elites do not understand is how their view is influenced by the culture they come from. Obama didn't lose West Virginia by 41 points because of racism. They equate West Virginia 2008 with Mississippi 1956 (and by implication, themselves in the role of the Warren Court) and do not see how this insinuation could possibly be insulting. They call Clinton supporters 'low-information voters' when what they really mean is 'low-infotainment voters' (too low infotainment to see that Obama is the 'cool' one), and do not see how that could possibly be insulting or that they would ever be called on it.

They created Lou Dobbs to pander to nativists and all the scare stories about immigration and foreign buyouts/imports without a shadow of remorse. Yet they separate themselves from it, considering themselves 'superior' even while they pander to it. Dailykos goes berzerk over supposed racial slights to Obama but when a wave of anti-immigrant nativism was sweeping the country in 2006, the Kos position was 'it's not a big issue for us'.

While some of West Virginia was due to racism, most of it was due to the fact that his speeches are clouds in the sky that voters are supposed to believe despite his complete lack of experience and record of accomplishment or courage. He may have 'Obamapalooza', as my radio DJ referred to Obama's Nissan pavilion rally, but what did Obamapalooza do except create a traffic headache? What American problem did his rally solve?

I received a funny fundraising letter the other day from a Congressional candidate. The letter began with something like 'for just $80 per capita, we can ensure that everyone has the health care they need' and about 2 pages later concluded, 'will you donate $50, $100, or $250 to my campaign?'

Hillary Clinton has rallies and raises money but one never gets the sense that her campaign is about rallies or how much money she has raised.

She talks about the worker on the night shift, the waitress on her feet, those who feel 'invisible', but no matter how often she includes it in her speeches and how many times she wins primaries, it has never occured to the media or the chattering classes that, that is a message that actually resonates with night workers and waitresses. Nor has it occured to the liberal wing of the party that these are the people who are the core of the Democratic party, and who, along with the black working class, they are the people the party is supposed to be standing up for first and foremost. It is not Markos and his band of activists, or even those for whom politics is professional entertainment, who are 'outside the gate' trying to crash in. The ones who are truly outside the gate are those who do not have the inclination or time to go online and make comments on politics, and who therefore do not add much to the bottom line of 'new media', whether that means the Huffington Post, FoxNews, or WashingtonPost.com.

It would behoove the Obama campaign to understand all this.

1) A big chunk of the working-class IS voting on ignorance whether you like it or not, and it's not necessarily their fault.  Obama's message of ending corporate influence and propping up the middle class is very much in their economic interests and does show that he's "in touch" (i.e. understanding the problem)... yet they would rather dissect a statement about "bitterness" and "guns and religion".  That's probably because the media has duped the average American into thinking that "in touch" means that you go to NASCAR events, grew up in Hicksville, USA and shoot animals (an over-simplification but you know what I'm saying).  How?  The constant coverage of how out-of-touch Obama is, IS the only reason he has that reputation.  The media constantly hijacks popular opinion. 

2) I'm sick of hearing that upper-income, affluent Americans should inherently bear some sort of guilt.  A lot of people in the upper-class have the interests of the lower to middle class in mind.  Most "elitism" is simply an excuse for jealousy when a fully capable working class person throws that potential away and winds up doing a blue-collar job that they hate, so they direct that hate at people who did use their potential to get higher income jobs.  (I am NOT saying this is the norm, but I believe this type of person is prevalent enough to somewhat define what "elite" has come to mean)

3) Clinton only became that candidate of the people when she realized it was a good political move.  Had it been Edwards-Clinton, she might have been the type of candidate Obama was viewed as. 
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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2008, 05:17:46 pm »
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lol@some of the responses to this thread. Tragically I don't have much in the way of internets access at the moment so will have yell at thee all later!

The answer to the question is pretty much self-evident, btw. But more on that that later also, anyways.

2) I'm sick of hearing that upper-income, affluent Americans should inherently bear some sort of guilt.  A lot of people in the upper-class have the interests of the lower to middle class in mind.  Most "elitism" is simply an excuse for jealousy when a fully capable working class person throws that potential away and winds up doing a blue-collar job that they hate, so they direct that hate at people who did use their potential to get higher income jobs.  (I am NOT saying this is the norm, but I believe this type of person is prevalent enough to somewhat define what "elite" has come to mean)

Puffed up idiot. Go back to the 19th century.
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2008, 06:57:02 pm »
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lol@some of the responses to this thread. Tragically I don't have much in the way of internets access at the moment so will have yell at thee all later!

The answer to the question is pretty much self-evident, btw. But more on that that later also, anyways.

2) I'm sick of hearing that upper-income, affluent Americans should inherently bear some sort of guilt.  A lot of people in the upper-class have the interests of the lower to middle class in mind.  Most "elitism" is simply an excuse for jealousy when a fully capable working class person throws that potential away and winds up doing a blue-collar job that they hate, so they direct that hate at people who did use their potential to get higher income jobs.  (I am NOT saying this is the norm, but I believe this type of person is prevalent enough to somewhat define what "elite" has come to mean)

Puffed up idiot. Go back to the 19th century.

what is your problem with me?  jesus.  What I said is compeltely true in America because I see it every f*in day. 
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« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2008, 09:04:57 am »
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Little rich boy has a lot to learn!
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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2008, 12:01:55 pm »
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Little rich boy has a lot to learn!

I'm not rich. 
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If it comes to that, yes, but there is no reason to be that pessimistic.
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