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 Hero of the American Dream 
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Post Re: Hero of the American Dream
Seems my original post sounds a lot like politics. That puts me in violation of one of my own personal guidelines which is not to discuss politics online. However it seems the cat is out of the bag. So I will elaborate a bit.

According to what I have recently researched, one only needs to earn about $250,000/year to be one of the top 1.5%. I would hope that Emmett and family earn that by this time. Maybe I'm wrong. Still I admire those that can be successful leaders like Emmett and Yuta. It is not easy.

It seems to me that it is popular sport to demonize the successful. I do believe that there are many folks like the Chapmans who have spent there lives working hard and risking all to achieve success. Then when they they do, there are those who want to tear them down and call them greedy and complain that they take unfair advantage of others just by doing their business. One does not even have to leave this forum to see examples of what I'm talking about.

BTW I did not mean to imply that the Chapmans live in opulence, nor that they are fantastically rich. I do think it is probable that living modestly may be one of the keys to their success. Additionaly, I am pretty sure their income is well above average and that is enough for some people to classify them as part of the evil rich.

Honestly you do not even have to be very successful to be demonized as one of the greedy rich. For example, many years ago my business (a school of music) teetered on the verge of bankruptcy. I was borrowing money and selling personal property to pay instructors. One day I went to see the band of one of the instructors. Another member of that band was telling me (without knowing he was actually talking about me) how his buddy (the instructor) was doing all the work and the guy that owned the music school (me) was taking all the money and getting rich.

Somethings to think about;
The top 1% of income earners pay 37% of all collected income tax, the bottom 50% pay virtually zero, so the middle 49% pay about 63%.

Of the top 1% about 70% earn less that $1,000,000/year.

In 2009, 72 people earned more that $50,000,000 per year, down from over 150 the previous year.

For whatever it is worth, I understand Warren Buffett lives modestly too. I think he (and the others at the top .00000024%, the ones that have the REALLY BIG money) should go spend some of his $47 billion, that would do some economic stimulus. Gee if Mr. Buffett would just spend 1% ($470,000,000) frivolously and locally he could really get the Omaha economy going.

80% of business fail within 5 years. 80% of those that make it through the 1st 5 years fail within the next 5 years. I think that adds up to about 95% of all businesses fail with in 10 years. Like I said, it is not easy.

Folks like the Chapmans IMO are what makes the US (and other free market places) tick. They should be celebrated, not demonized. NOTE this does not mean I am in favor of Bankers getting fat bonuses with federal bail out money. It just means I appreciate those that take risks, follow their dream(s), work hard and make it all come together.

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Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:07 am
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Post Re: Hero of the American Dream
Personally, I would rather keep politics out of the forum.

I am really disgusted with and ashamed of American politics. Please don't ask me to elaborate, it sickens me. It's your right to say what you will, but I will exercise my write to ignore.

Ps I will not be viewing this thread again.

Brett


Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:05 am
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Post Re: Hero of the American Dream
greg wrote:
jeffcomas wrote:
I think it is highly likely that Emmett Chapman is now one of the currently much maligned 1% (or at least he is pretty close). I certainly do not hate him for it, on the contrary I love and admire him for it.

He has joined their ranks, in my opinion, by living the American Dream. That being that a man (short for human, so it includes women too) is free to follow his or her own path; to succeed or fail according to his or her own actions and efforts (or lack thereof).

I know that everyone likely to read this knows this already, but Mr. Chapman has succeeded by taking an idea and turning it into reality, molding his vision into a thriving business. Winning against long odds by determination, hard (and smart) work, and continuing belief in himself and his product.

So, I salute you Mr. Chapman. You are a hero of mine. I hope you enjoy your success. I am confident that you have earned it.

Cheers,
Hi Jeff,

I'm not sure about (some elements of) your premise. Perhaps they wouldn't want me to say this, but Emmett and Yuta live pretty modestly, as anyone who's been to their shop can tell you, with a houseful of workers around them all day long (not exactly the lifestyle of the 1% you might think of as portrayed in the stereotype-driven media). I've never met anyone who works harder than Emmett does in my whole life. ever.

He's a craftsman, designer, engineer, artist and visionary, and his ability to bring all of these elements together has led him to make something tangible that works really well, in a virtual age dominated by profit margins and mass consumption.

Still, I agree with you about the man. As Tony put it in Dan's film, he's "created something that will outlive him". And that's very uncommon these days, I think.

He's fun to hang around with as well. Very interested in people, language, science and culture. And he seems never to put himself first. Perhaps that's the secret of his success.


Greg this is kind of what I'm talking about, That there many people lumped in with the uber elite who are just regular folk that have had success.
But... my main point is I admire Emmett and Yuta & crew for what they have accomplished.

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Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:04 am
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Post Re: Hero of the American Dream
Quote:
I am really disgusted with and ashamed of American politics.


Brett, this is the reason we should ALL become very involved in politics. The reason it has become this way is that we have left politics to the politicians. I don't like them, either. Believe it or not. It sickens me as well, and I empathize with you. With respect, I disagree with your decision to avoid it.

Jeff, I like your post and agree with your premise. It doesn't matter what Emmett makes or doesn't make, it's irrelevant to the thrust of your post. If Emmett makes a meager living it could be perceived that he's rich simply because he's well-known, just as I'm sometimes perceived as rich because I have a lot of property in Virginia Beach (I ain't got a penny).

Emmett encapsulated and responded to your last post before you had even made it. Prioritizing money, and giving energy to those who envy the perception of wealth, complicate life. Many people go to great lengths to avoid going into a higher tax bracket so their lives are not complicated by confiscatory taxes and the need for CPAs and lawyers to arbitrate/figure details, etc.

What really matters in the end, as Jeff implied, is that Emmett has brought something culturally important to the table, has an enviable work ethic, a fierce loyalty to his creations, and lives an extraordinary life.

It's not shameful to be either rich or poor, as long as you comport yourself with honor and dignity, and your means of acquisition is legitimate. It shouldn't be an issue for us, or for the OWS movement.

k

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Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:31 am
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Post Re: Hero of the American Dream
jeffcomas wrote:
But... my main point is I admire Emmett and Yuta & crew for what they have accomplished.


Couldn´t agree more. :)

//J


Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:04 pm
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Post Re: Hero of the American Dream
EMMETT 1% ?

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for posting this. It comes at a good time. You are missing a very important point here. Emmett isn't anywhere near the 1%. If he was, I'm sure it would be a lot easier for me to get my documentary funded. :D

Maybe it's easy to demonize rich people because some of the super-rich are vulture capitalists who strip mine our culture. We're so used to hearing platitudes from hypocrite business and political leaders, especially in this American election year that it colors just about everything in our culture.

Emmett's main motivation to bring us a new way of playing music is true and purely authentic. No b.s. It's not about the profit motive. Almost hard to believe in this economic climate.

And sure Emmett is a great example of the American Dream, because he has proven that hard work and one-pointed dedication can lead to success beyond yourself. But this dream is hardly exclusive to the USA. In fact, my admiration for Emmett is for his universal awareness. I've thought of him as being a citizen of the world. ever since he was a very young man.

Emmett is definitely my hero and has been my role model as far back as I am able to remember.

My research notes:

The Tax Policy Center in Washington, D.C., a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, runs an economic simulation model that shows the top 1 percent of earners in 2009 made $503,086. TPC projects $516,633 as the cutoff for the top earners in 2010 and $532,613 for 2011.

Suzy Khimm notes in the Washington Post, the income cut-off for those households in the top 1 percent was $516,633 last year (2010), down from $646,195 before the crash. But that's the floor — the average income for those in the top 1 percent this year (2011) is $1,530,773.


For background on the 1%, please read this historic Vanity Fair article that preceded the Occupy movement by many months:
http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105

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Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:37 am
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