Valentine: Giving It Up for the Rich Folks Among Us

R. Crosby Kemper Jr. by Mark Valentine

R. Crosby Kemper Jr. by Mark Valentine

When R. Crosby Kemper, Jr. died, it seemed personal to me even though I didn’t personally know him…

After some thought, I decided maybe it was the many concerts or American Royal events I’d been to at the venue with his name on it.

On a broader level, it is interesting how rich people can add identity to a city.

kauffman11-1Our newest source of pride is The Kauffman Center for The Performing Arts. It’s a world class gift from some rich folks. The Nelson-Atkins Museum is a similar shining example.ย  The Hall Familyย to the extent that they can makes sure that Crown Center helps define us in part.ย  The history of these kinds of contributions has continued uninterrupted.



Even Swope Park was a gift.

So when a Kemper or a Kauffman dies, it seems like a good time to rethink the current class warfare politicians in Washington are waging. Kansas City has many problems, but I personally donโ€™t think that having rich people among us is such a bad thing.
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25 Responses to Valentine: Giving It Up for the Rich Folks Among Us

  1. harley says:

    mark…nice article….having rich people is not the question or the problem.
    But when they control the government and the rules they play with are
    different than what the 98% of americans play with are very very different
    that’s the problem.
    Chase knew what was going on in the housing market and in the Madoff cases…
    they had to know…many people know and they’ve come forward. Prosecutors
    know who was involved…but when a youong black kid robs a conveneinece
    store for $100 and gets 10 years prison and the bankster gets a fine and no
    jail time …that’s the problem!!!!
    When 75000 pagesof the tax book give special tax breaks to people who paid
    to get those breaks…and 98% of the taxpayers have maybe 2 pages of the
    75,000 with breaks for them….that’s the problem.
    Remember mr. kaufman got a special irs statement on his inheritance program…
    I can’;t get one…youcan’t get one….and that’s where that money came from.
    The banksters got the lawschanged on fees and the services they could offer
    and look what happened…the world came to its knees when they combined
    that….all because the banksters had the money to pay for the politicial help.
    We’re giving million dollar tax breaks to millionaires not to grow crops on
    land in iowa? they neversaw the land…but bought into an investment that
    gives them millions in tax breaks…thatsthe problem.
    The corporations rape the irs/government with laws they paid for
    that let them take American profits offshore and pay no taxes…I cant
    get that…you can’t get that….and they argue over whether to give a family
    of 4 $90 or $120 a month to buy fucking groceries which creates 200,000
    jobs and turns dollars in the economy.
    Kaufman and Hunt get special tax breaks for owning pro teams…while the
    teams steal and use public money to finance their homesand pay their
    bills and we’re arguing over whether we can afford health care for kids
    under athe age of 6????
    the irs gave the kaufmans a very favorable deal….and yes its nice
    that they give to build a pervforming arts center for the suit and tux
    crowd….but what tif money went to that inplace of fixing the sewers
    and the streets and the schools and rebuilding the infrastructure
    of the city?
    Hunt uses tax payer funded money to pay his gas bills at arrowhead?
    even while he personallyspend s $400,000 on landscaping his lawn.?
    do you think all these great places would have been built without
    some type of reward financially and tax wise to these “rich people”….
    f*ck no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    do youthink their accountants had it planned out and put together to
    show the rich people (who made their money on the backs of the
    middle class) how building a park or a concert hall would save them
    millions in taxes…of course they did.
    Or when ge or other corporations paid off the politicians to get
    those tax breaks for buying more properties that it was fair.
    Or how about the small time people giving $5 or $10 to a red cross
    or a heart to heart….they didn’t get the tax breaks.
    The laws have been bagged….we’re getting choked every day….oil companies
    with enough oil spewing out to make this nation energy independent TODAY…
    they all looked at how they could skate taxes with their actions…that’s why
    they do it….they get city money/fed money/tax breaks to do these things…
    its not just from the kindness of their hearts
    that comes from the hundred of so people outside wal mart who gave nickels
    ..dimes and quarters into the red kettle I rang a bell for at 143 and state line….that’s giving dude!!!!
    we should never look down on those who successfully and fairly have become
    successful in our economic system. That’s what this country is based on.
    But the thieves andliar and cheats who have ruined this nation…brought it
    to its knees for over 6 years now and continuing…the banksters and wall street
    shysters who phonied up those mortgages selling them at AAA ratings….
    they all need time in jail!!!!! not tomorrow…today.
    We idolize the rich…but they’ve taken advantage of every possible angle
    and scheme they could get thru the crooked politicians and now its
    strangling America.
    All those people you mentioned…probably nice generous people…but their
    hearts were in their wallets…not in their belief in helping people.
    There are a few in this town who didn’t act that way…Barnett/block/ etc….
    they are the true givers and saints.
    as kemper said “I don’t give money to widows or orphans”…he should have
    added I don’t give money away unless I get a return on it for me and my company.
    nice article…but you’re off base.
    your ffiend

    • Stomper says:

      Great comments Harley. Guess Hearne was checking it over because this wasn’t posted when I wrote my comment below.

    • chuck says:

      I, for the most part, agree with most of the points Harley makes.

      I have to go lay down now.

      Here is a url to QE and how it hurts Americans.

    • chuck says:

      I have no problem with rich folks and have worked for them all of my life. In general, they pay their bills and are polite to a fault. Generous and honest to a fault with few exceptions. In addition, I think “Class Warfare” is counterproductive and will at best, be a pyrrhic victory. That said, I also think Lloyd Blankfein and company should be lined up agains the wall and shot. They knew and knew well in advance the devastation that manipulating mortgaged backed securities would wreak on the economy, continued to trade them, lied to their customers, bailed when everyone else took a fall and destroyed much of our economy. (I realize there is plenty of culpable DNA on both sides of the political aisle with reference to Fanny Mae et al. At least with Fannie Mae, Clinton Dems and Bush Reps were both trying to make a positive difference.) But the fact that years later, few if any have done jail time for the damage caused by not just a lack of fiduciary responsibility, but criminal intent is astonishing to me.

      This brush, in no way, paints the entirety of those folks, pecuniarily insouciant by way of blood or sweat, who live lives of ease. Still, Harley makes good points with respect to economic disparity and the manifestations now apparent at street level. The actual aquisition of wealth, I realize is not a zero sum game, however, the available wealth at any given point in the day, week or year, is a zero sum game, if you are out of work and hungry, right now, at this moment.

      The difference in philosophies on how effect change with respect to economic disparity will be as dramiatic in the future as they have been in the past. Handing out free cash, increasing entitlements and creating more government make work jobs will not work.

      The creation of wealth, must come from the private sector.

      Here is an article to day, that is exactly what I am talking about.

      Those oil companies that Harley correctly calls out, are needed to promote esaclty this type of venture. The trick, is finding the middle ground, between voracious winner take all capitalism and innovative strategies that include workers and customers as long term partners vis a vis Wolf Of Wall Street suckers.

      Sorry about typos and spelling, I cnat see.

      • Stomper says:

        Haven’t read the American Thinker piece yet but I do agree with almost everything you wrote and the only two things I might take issue with, may not really be contrary to what you are saying.

        1. Government make work jobs – I agree that the government should not necessarily create jobs but, would you consider an expenditure by the government to improve the interstate highway system and our ports as a government make work program? I think even Libertarians would agree that maintaining the interstate highway system is a job of the federal government. That’s a bill that Congress should enact asap. Money goes to the states to bid out and fix the highways in their individual states. We need to substantially improve our ports to accomodate the huge ships using them. It’s work that needs to be done, it’s the job of the federal government to do, and it puts $ into the economy. This is where we probably disagree. When our economy is operating as it should, it is roughly 70% generated by the private sector and 30% by the public sector. When the meltdown occurred as a result of the mortgage fraud ( you nailed it , Chuck !!) much of the private sector spending shutdown and the horizon looked like a depression was upon us. In a situation like that, leftists like me think the federal goverment has a responsibility to try to replace some of that $ expenditure to make up for the loss from the private sector. Without an influx of $ into the economy, the recession we had would have been an all-out depression, imo. I know many think FDR had it wrong but that’s exactly what he did to try to do. While some thing the stimulus was terrible, guys like me think it wasn’t big enough. To me, that’s economics 101.

        2. I agree that creation of wealth should come from the private sector. However, people that say the government doesn’t create jobs, haven’t studied economics. When the public sector is responsible for 30% of the economy, how can anyone say government doesn’t create jobs. I agree that government shouldn’t just make up jobs but policemen spend money, firemen spend money, mailmen spend money, teachers spend money, etc. These people work for the government along with lots of other government workers and perform necessary functions. My biggest complaint is people who will take the broad position that the government is always evil, and should always get the hell out of the way of the private sector. WTF ??? The government is, and should be, a partner to the private sector. Private sector should always have the first shot in my opinion but…….

        Anyway, Chuck, good comments. Sorry to hear about you eye issues. You have mentioned that at least twice recently and I hope it’s an issue that can be and will be resolved.

  2. Stomper says:

    Great topic and great start. Did Hearne edit out the rest of it? Just seemed like it ended just as it got started.

    Not really complaining because it is an important point you make. Hopefully it will generate some response.

    Thanks Mark.

  3. mike t. says:

    well, we can bemoan our station in life and begrudge the rich theirs, but philanthropy is, i believe, part of an unwritten pact with the very wealthy and the community that helped them get that way.

    when you look at all the Kauffmans and Kempers have done in kansas city (and, Mark, to your point, Swope Park and the Nelson among others), you’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg, alebit a pretty big one.

    if you haven’t before, take time to look at some of the displays in the major hospitals, WW1 museum, KCPT, and other buildings, and read the list of names of those who have contributed at major levels. you’ll see not only the Kempers and Kauffmans and Helzbergs, but others whose last name is synonamous with Kansas City.

    We’re lucky to have them. I wish I could be among their ranks. And to that point, for us who aren’t so well off, volunteerism is readily available with plenty of operations glad to have us.

  4. admin says:

    mike t. has a point, talking about – what was her name? – Marie Something.

    Because if the One Percent continue to selfishly play things out like they did leading up to 2007-2008, Mitt Romney’s 47 Percent may start dusting off the guillotines.

    • Paracelsus says:

      Actually no. We’re far too loaded with panem et circenses to raise anything but our hand to grab the remote. The obese generally do not revolt.

      Also, the Autrichienne probably never said that, and died principally because she pushed her tone-deaf and introverted husband to attempt to flee the country.

      But a revolution? Here? Snicker.

      • admin says:

        Yeah, I knew that quote was incorrectly attached to her – allegedly – but for the sake of expediency and making the point…

  5. chuck says:

    Speaking of rich guys, money and investments, here is a brilliant article by teh great man, Thomas J. DiLorenzo–“The Myth Of The Robber Barrons”.

    It is really top notch and explains with the usual 20/20 Hindsight what really happened in the 18th and 19th century with references to today’s economy.


    • Stomper says:

      This was a good piece, Chuck. Pretty even handed and straight up. Certainly more balanced than American Thinker.


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