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Here’s how money is destroying the world and the people living in it

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In a widely cited confessional in the New York Times in 2014, former Wall Street trader Sam Polk outed himself as a recovering wealth addict.

He intimated a toxic childhood and an abusive parent (a common theme in the biographies of addicts).

He revealed the exhilaration (a well-known symptom of dopamine release) at the power that money provided him.

He admitted that he abused money like he abused alcohol and cocaine — to feel better about himself.

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In the powerful throes of his deep addiction, his “fixes,” including cash bonuses, were never big enough. Like the “users” on Wall Street who fly into addiction-fueled rages, he would do anything, including bringing harm to others, to amass more cash. A typical addict, he didn’t care as long as he could have more.

Scientists are beginning to see the addictive link between dopamine and money, but we don’t have to wait for them to catch up. We know this is a problem. As I argue in this video, money is the most highly addictive substance on the planet:

It is a powerful addiction, unrivalled in its ability to trigger good feelings, and what’s most frightening about it is that you can’t ever physically overdose.

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Cocaine, heroin and crack will kill you if you do too much, but not money. Money won’t harm you, physically anyway. The cash addict can madly mainline moolah from the trading floor, the Senate floor or, with smart phone in hand, the bathroom floor without ever risking a deadly OD. It would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic, yet it is very tragic indeed, for the addict, their families and society at large.

Money addiction as tragic as any other

Make no mistake about this. Like all addiction stories, wealth addiction is tragic. Like all junkies, cash junkies will do anything to service their need. They will certainly neglect their own families while they work long hours to make more.

To the outside world, everything will seem fine. They will “keep it in the family” as they dissemble, distract and confuse. They will buy nannies and ponies and cars. They will snort cocaine and go shopping and jet off to exclusive resorts to hobnob with other wealthy people. They will present their wealth fashionably, but as Sam Polk one day realized, the pain and anguish are real.

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And it’s not just the neglected family that suffers. There are no boundaries. Like a fentanyl addiction, it takes over and distorts everything. Cash addicts in the U.S. government (in any government, really), their campaigns funded by the wealthy, will steal from the poordestroy the environmentrip off sick children, engage in colonial exploitationstart wars and even sacrifice kids in yet another school shootingif it means they can make some more bucks.

And that’s not even the worst of it.

The addicts will hijack human spiritualityexploit hatredbrainwash the masses, derail democratic politics and tinker with fascism in their desire to have more.

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So what to do?

Possible cures

Well, as strange as this is going to sound, there might be a pill for all this. In a remarkable experiment in the journal Current Biology, tolcapone, a drug that prolongs dopamine feelings, made participants who took it rather than a placebo become more egalitarian about money. A magical cure seems all right to me. But even if you can’t get access to tolcapone, there are immediate things you can do.

  1. Stop neglecting and abusing children. The research is coming in on this one: Abuse and neglect in childhood cause copious mental and emotional problems, and lead, via damage to neurochemical systems, to addictions in adult life. If we don’t want to raise another generation of addicts, speak up when you see children being mistreated by their parents, teacherspriests or anyone else given access.
  2. As cliched as this may sound, do something about the addict in your life. Stop avoiding the situation. Quit enabling the addiction. Stop suffering in silence. Don’t lie to yourself. We all have experiences with addiction and we all know, if we don’t do something, it only gets worse. So do something.
  3. To make sure we don’t fall victim to a money addiction, get out and get active. Educate. Prognosticate. Most important, get involved politically. At the very least, get out and vote. Democracy may be under global attack and fascism may soon come a knocking, but we still have the power to vote. Sure, they’d like you to believe it is a “good versus evil”, left versus right, Darth versus Luke sort of thing, but there are addicts on both sides, and even the princesses struggle with addiction.

See this problem for what it is: A loosely organized group of global addicts getting together to figure out ways to enrich each other financially. If you think this is about “draining the swamp” and jobs for the people, you are gravely mistaken. It is about sidling up to the troughand gobbling as much as they can, no matter how obscene it gets. It is about the “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” service of globalized addiction. It is a serious problem, and we should all be concerned, because to the enabling addicts, everything, even a holocaust, is merely an “opportunity” for amassing more wealth.

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Like any addict in the throes of their addiction, there’s no limit to how far this can go.

While there is still time, gently, carefully, take their big sticks and red buttons away. Don’t hurt them and punish them, because that’s what made these people sick to begin with. Instead, remind them of the illness that binds them, and get them the help that they need.

Don’t let yourself or the ones you love become like Sam Polk, “a giant fireball of greed.”

See the truth. Take some action. If you need it, get help.

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Kanye ripped for latest Trump defense: Always someone willing to write a check to ‘a black person defending white supremacy’

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Kanye West hugging Trump

A panel discussion on recent concerts put on by Kanye West in Salt Lake City and Howard University turned to his new recent comments he made defending his support for Donald Trump -- with one panelist saying the rapper is getting paid on the side for siding with the president.

Speaking with host Kendis Gibson, guests Danielle Moodie-Mills and Clay Cane were harshly critical of West trying to drum up black support for the president as well as his recent comments on slavery.

"What is going on here?" Gibson began. "So you saw the pictures of Kanye West in the middle of Salt Lake City. He drew about 10,000 people here at Howard University, it was a smaller crowd because they didn't get the e-mail about it until 6:00 a.m. on homecoming weekend. Largely, a lot of people who are going to these shows are black folks. These are some of the scenes in Salt Lake City, so people are wondering: is he sort of like Trump's secret weapon, a secret outreach to the black community? "

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Here are 3 moves a desperate Trump will likely attempt in order to cling to power

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In a column for the Daily Beast, political observer Micheal Tomasky speculated -- and not without good reason -- that a frantic Donald Trump will do anything to remain in office and thereby avoid being slammed with criminal indictments once he departs the Oval Office for good..

As the columnist explained, impeachment seems inevitable and the president will likely take desperate measures and that he has already given hints about three paths he may take -- if not all of them.

Tomasky wrote, "It’s foolish to say that Trump thinks ahead about anything. The late journalist Wayne Barrett said many true things about Trump, but the truest ever was when he observed that Trump says whatever will get him through the next 10 minutes," before adding, "People around him of course are more strategic and are thinking ahead. And they’re all saying and doing and writing things right now that will, if the opportunity presents itself, pave the way for Trump to burn the Constitution."

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Pentagon says up to 1,000 US troops to withdraw from northern Syria

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The Pentagon said Sunday President Donald Trump had ordered the withdrawal of up to 1,000 troops from northern Syria -- almost the entire ground force in war-torn country -- amid an intensifying Turkish assault on Kurdish forces.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the move came after the US learned that Turkey was pressing further into Syria than had been expected.

And the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are seeking a deal with the Syrian regime and Russia to counter-attack against the Turks in the north, Esper added.

"We find ourselves as we have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies and it's a very untenable situation," Esper told CBS's Face the Nation.

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