How the Richest Earthian Humans got Richer and the Poorest got Poorer after 1980


By Richard John Stapleton

A man with white hair and plaid shirt looking to his left.


I was dismayed and depressed when the USian movie star president, Ronald Reagan, lowered the top federal income tax rate on USian incomes down to 28 percent in the 1980’s; but nobody I knew around here seemed to care.

What I thought would happen did happen: morbid inequality.

I also worried about the incipient income inequality caused by lowering the tax rates of the rich being exacerbated by the computer revolution.

It seemed obvious to me that copyrights on computer software, giving lucky Earthian humans like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg monopoly rights on software packages demanded by millions of Earthian humans would also lead to income inequality.

It costs almost nothing to copy, paste, and sell more copyrighted copies of demanded computer code to almost unlimited numbers of Earthian human consumers using personal entertainment and communication devices, and to corporate profit-making organizations in all countries operating agricultural, financial, insurance, health care, mining, manufacturing and distribution systems who use copyrighted software to cut their costs of production by employing simulated and real robots in menu talking systems, management information storage systems, and in manual labor systems rather than use expensive Earthian human robots.

Rather than say to hungry Earthian humans demanding bread “Let them eat cake” as Marie Antoinette did during the French revolution, the Earthian billionaire elite since 1980 has said the equivalent of “Let them eat information” as the Earthian computer revolution happened, and their net worth grew exponentially larger, automatically, with little work on their part, thanks to computer software and income tax cuts, among other things, as the poorest Earthian humans got poorer.

So far hordes of hungry Earthian humans have not brandished their pitchforks, or guillotines.


“The Gilded Age Then, the Gilded Age Now,” by Sam Pizzigati, COUNTERPUNCH, March 11, 2024,

How it Happened

Everything that happens is an inevitable accident; it was not planned using free will, but it was caused by inexorably-progressing cause-effect chains. It behooves Earthian humans to tie loose ends together in comprehensive whole pictures trying to let Earthian humans know what is really going on around Earth, regardless of the problems, given the robot-like programmed beliefs and behaviors of most Earthian humans, ensconced in their worm hole tunnels of existence, shut off from relevant outside information inputs, caused by concatenations of inexorably progressing infinitely-regressive cause-effect chains all around Spaceship Earth.


Establishing democracy chapters around Spaceship Earth as described and recommended in As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases might develop consensual answers regarding existential matters from the bottom up that might help save Spaceship Earth. These ideas would filter up to randomly-selected humans who would count the consensual answers to make necessary changes. Consensual tactics, strategies, and policies would then be developed around Earth for dealing with the computerized Spaceship Earth management system, operated and controlled using artificial intelligence programming and supercomputers.

Randomly-selected groups of Earthian humans of high intelligence with impeccable moral and ethical character and credentials would control codes for changing the Earthian Magnum Computer System programming to implement bottom-up recommendations of millions of members in discussions in democracy chapters around Spaceship Earth. Each member of the group in charge of the codes for the magnum computer system would serve limited terms. These members would not vote or decide what to do. They would see to it that the computer system implemented the consensual answers of millions of Earthian humans from all walks of life, as determined by honest, free, fair, and frank democratic GAME-free discussions in democracy chapters all around Spaceship Earth, as explained and shown in As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases. The overall objective would be to manage the system in such a way as to maximize the lifetime satisfactions of all Earthian humans, as well as all other species of life aboard Spaceship Earth, while insuring the indefinite functioning of all Spaceship Earth ecosystems.

Necessary moral and ethical requirements and constraints could be programmed in the Magnum Management System that Earthian humans at the top would be obliged to obey. If changes should be made in the moral and ethical codes in the overall program they would be sent back to the Earthian democracy chapters for discussion and then tabulated and analyzed before algorithms programmed in the system would create changes in the magnum operating system.  

This computerized management system would require a strict system of security controls like the current codes of nations possessing nuclear weapons, hopefully providing security several magnitudes more secure than current nuclear codes, to make sure a madman could not get in control of any aspect of the system

A management system such as this would significantly improve previous systems used around Spaceship Earth that have historically empowered fickle, egotistical, greedy, power mad, grandiose, poorly educated, not-very-bright individual Earthian humans to make existential decisions affecting the OKness of thousands, millions, and billions of humans around Earth, that have been used over and over again for millennia, resulting in incredible losses and suffering at various moments of history caused by the unfair and indiscriminate inexorable tunneling out of bad, ok, or good luck for hundreds, thousands, millions, or billions of Earthian humans around Spaceship Earth, resulting from the cosmic evolution commencing with a big bang some fourteen billion years ago. Humans thus far in Earthian human history have not been caused to develop knowledge and decisions that prevents them from empowering greedy, selfish, power mad, narcissistic, not very bright leaders in their largest management systems over and over again.

A tough lesson for Earthian humans to accept propositioned in Effective Learning Publications books is that everything that happens in human states of affairs is either predetermined or accidental and therefore individuals are not to blame or praise for what happens in human states of affairs. This is easier to swallow after accepting that believing and acting otherwise will support and perpetuate the I’m OK—You”re Not OK life position that has bedeviled, sabotaged, and undermined Earthian humans since time immemorial, causing wars and other disasters.

The best way significant numbers of Earthian humans can be caused to be significantly changed psychologically and socially by others is through democratic face to face discussions in honest serious and rigorous dialectical, dialogical, analogical arguing about facts using reasoning of all kinds, dealing with Earthian human existential states of affairs over a relatively long period of time. Yet, this rarely happens.

What is considered natural, unnatural; normal, abnormal; right, wrong; ethical, unethical; righteous, sinful; worthy, unworthy; or sane or insane by a particular Earthian human is caused by information lodged in her/his brain caused to be lodged there by the concatenation of infinite cause-effect chains causing her/him to exist and slowly inch through the Earthian worm hole of existence inexorably tunneled out for her or him by her/his specific unbroken infinitely-regressing cause-effect chains inexorably-progressing throughout his/her infinitesimally short cosmic life, regardless of how bad, ok, or good that luck or fate might be as judged by any Earthian human; and all Earthian humans must keep on inching forward in their worm holes as best they can dealing with inevitable problems and opportunities caused to exist at stages in their unique tunnels, as they are knocked around like balls in a pin-ball machine, as events inevitably and/or accidentally happen externally and in their subconscious and conscious minds, however bad, ok, or good their inherited luck might have absolutely been, which cannot be proved, however easy it might be to relatively estimate.

Changing the life scripts of Earthian humans for the better requires changing the course of unique tunnels of existence in which individual humans accidentally and inevitably live, a tall order indeed. Some biological constructivists would consider this notion a pipe dream, while considering the whole process a meaningless drift in the infinity of time and space.

What is God? Whatever it was that caused the universe to exist.

For more information on the use of Transactional Analysis  to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using transactional analysis read Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds

Read  The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc. for some management science ideas on how Earthian humans might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop an I’m OK–You’re OK life position. 

Read As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases.

This novel shows how to conduct a new kind of seminar invented and coordinated by Rout Logger, the protagonist, that might reduce the probability of Earthian human extinction if widely implemented that requires participants in a seminar to speak up when randomly selected by a Truther rooster positioned in the center of a randomly-selected group of forty humans sitting in a circle.

The Truther rooster resembles a spinning weather vane. The rooster is programmed to bob its head up and down and crow after being twirled by a randomly-selected seminar participant, as it spins round and round winding down, letting group members know it’s time to wake up and get to work, before it’s too late. When the Truther rooster stops spinning whoever is at the end of a line of imaginary fire extending from the rooster’s beak to her or him sitting in the circle is automatically selected as the Leader of the Moment for the group.

The Leader of the Moment then leads the group into a democratic discussion of what s/he considers the most serious existential problem around Spaceship Earth.  Forty participants from all walks of life were paid $5000 monthly for participating in weekend seminars conducted in central city hotels in various cities randomly selected around the US. If randomly selected as the Leader of the Moment the participant would define what s/he thought was the most important problem facing Spaceship Earth, present alternatives, and make a recommendation for change. What s/he said was discussed by members of the group on a free-flow first come-first serve basis. It was against the law of the seminar to interrupt speakers or raise hands to get permission to speak. Discussions lasted until they ran out of steam. The results of the discussions were published to wealthy donors who financed the process.

Rout Logger was convinced most Earthian humans would not volunteer to participate in this sort of seminar to merely help save Spaceship Earth from GWCC (Global Warming and Climate Change) and/or MNWP (Militarization and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation) using their Nurturing Parent, Adult, and Free Child Ego States, given the reality that their life time and energy was already programmed and consumed with various forms of withdrawal, rituals, pastimes, psychological games, activities, and intimacy in their unique tunnels of reality, as they acted out their inherited life scripts; so they were paid $5000 per month to participate in a game-free, Adult-Adult democratic seminar that would require them to honestly discuss existential problems with forty other participants from disparate walks of life, if they were randomly selected by the spinning Truther Rooster as the Leader of the Moment.

Achieving Earthian human sustainability entails such things as Earthian humans peacefully reducing through natural attrition (natural deaths exceeding births) the human population aboard Spaceship Earth, never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers, assuming sufficient quantities of non-human clean energy can be discovered and developed using mind grants.

This general algorithmic matrix algebra form can help bring this state of affairs about,

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj <, =, or >Bi,

explained in The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.

This mathematical formulation could help develop power in economics loosely analogous to the power of E=mc2 in physics. This formulation, Max CjXj, subject to AijXj <, =, or >Bi, is a general form of the linear programming model, which has been around for many years in management science, operations research, and linear algebra courses.

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj <, =, or >Bi symbolizes knowledge that gives the Earthian human species about as much potential power to perpetuate itself as Albert Einstein’s formulation E=mc2 symbolizes knowledge that gives the Earthian human species the power to exterminate itself.

Riding aboard an airliner about to land at night traveling at four hundred miles an hour at thirty-five thousand feet with clouds, rain, wind, and lightning below, what would you rather have figuring out the path, speed, and angle of descent of the aircraft for touch-down, the plane’s auto-pilot, radar, and computer system or the pilot and co-pilot, seeing nothing out their windows below but clouds and lightning?

The main reason why delegating the scheduling, production, and distribution of the necessities of life to AI programs and magnum computers would be a good idea is that magnum computers and algorithmic AI programs do not get greedy and power hungry or play psychological GAMES. Thus far in Earthian human history most leaders and rulers atop large organizations such as nations have become corrupt one way or another playing psychological GAMES, acting out selfish greedy ego trips, hogging all the power, money, strokes, stimulation, and recognition they could get their hands on for themselves and their cronies, leaving the hindmost to their underlings. Whatever their limitations and possible threats, algorithmic computer programs and super computers are not egotistical, greedy, and power-hungry.

Thanks to Buckminster Fuller for providing the above airplane-landing metaphor in his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, first published in 1969, and for planting seeds for other ideas in the essay “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” published in the Effective Learning Report, such as computers being the best hope for mankind and humans not doing work machines can do better, being paid to think instead with what Fuller called mind grants. Fuller said unemployment all around Spaceship Earth could be eliminated overnight with mind grants. He was the inventor of the appellations Earthian and Spaceship Earth.   

Many Earthian humans like to win BALANCE SHEET psychological GAMES, to feel superior and lord it over others, regardless if Spaceship Earth is going to hell in a handbasket around them because of global warming and climate change (GWCC) and militarization and nuclear weapons proliferation (MNWP), regardless of how much they have failed in other areas of their lives, and regardless of how heinous were crimes and misdemeanors they may have gotten away with in the process of amassing their riches, since they were saved, as it were, by taking in and controlling more almighty monetary units than other lesser mortals.

If you want to learn more about transactional analysis, such as Ego States, Scripts, and psychological GAMES, read Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.

Most Earthian humans know what it is to be egotistical, but they have little understanding of how specific human egotistical manifestations, such as Parent, Adult, and Child ego states, can be used to control and manipulate human behavior for nefarious ends.

Most likely it would take several generations using learning processes such as the process described above including millions of Earthian humans all around Earth to change Earthian human behavior enough to cause the evolution of an Earthian management system such as described above that would be able to produce loving and cooperative Earthian humans and Earthian peace and sustainability, gradually rendering obsolete the greedy and selfish slash and burn competitive systems that have been caused to exist around Spaceship Earth.

For short run policies and strategies for dealing with USian economic and political problems see the platform of the FreeFairProgressParty .


Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA would spin the spinner of his Classroom De-Gamer™ in his classes to randomly select a student at the beginning of each class session to lead a discussion of the case assigned for the day, a case taken from a planned or operating business prepared by case writers at Georgia Southern University, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Alabama. He taught management systems, researched, published, and conducted a small business institute at Georgia Southern University thirty-five years, 1970-2005.

All case analyses entail considering three existential questions:


A man sitting at a table in front of a computer.


Whomever the spinner of the “Classroom De-Gamer” selected when it wound down after spinning by an imaginary line of fire extending from the point of the spinner to a class member sitting in the circle classroom layout would become the “Leader of the Moment” required to answer the three existential questions shown above laying out the case to all class members.

The overall purpose of the Game-free I’m OK—You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic teaching and learning process is to produce comprehension of the relevant facts and focal points of the case among class members in order to create rational policies and strategies for successfully managing the states of affairs of the case. All humans have Adult ego states that can be cathected, even children at young ages.

Cathecting an ego state is turning on energy, cognition and emotion in the human psyche for transacting with fellow humans. There are three basic types of ego states that can be cathected: Parent, Adult, and Child.

A soft drink bottle as in playing the childhood game Spin the Bottle works about as well as a Classroom De-Gamer to randomly select the Leader of the Moment to answer the Three Existential Questions. No one can interrupt anyone once someone has the floor. Communicating overtly or covertly with individuals in the room for the whole session is not allowed. Anyone can respond to any speaker once the speaker has finished, disagreeing or agreeing with what was said, and may bring up another problem if appropriate in the context of the discussion.

How long should a discussion last? Long enough for group members to comprehend the system under consideration, a system including interrelations between relevant focal point entities of the system, relevant facts and issues comprising the problem, alternatives and recommendations.

According to R. Buckminster Fuller in his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) comprehension of a system entails separating the relevant points from the irrelevant points in the system under consideration. It takes time to do this. According to Fuller, Comprehension = (N2-N) / 2, where N = Number of total focal point entities in the system, counting the number of focal point facts or issues and all the inter-relationships between the focal point entities.

Comprehension required and produced expands exponentially as the size of the system increases. One has to wonder if most Earthian systems today are ever fully comprehended by Earthian humans. Rather than most Earthian human systems being managed today based on comprehension in general they are managed based on dogmas, doctrines, rules, algorithms, scripts, and the like, many of which are irrelevant. As matters now stand about the best Earthian humans can hope for is that somehow the smartest, wisest, most knowledgeable, most ethical, and most empathetic Earthian humans somehow manage to become top leaders in major systems.

When most members of the discussion group seem to generally comprehend the system it is time to stop. Most paper cases in Stapleton’s classes of about 30 students took about one hour. Real cases and systems in your organizations and groups may take more or less time, perhaps several hourly sessions for one system. Stick with the discussion until most members have comprehended the relevant problems, alternatives, and recommendations of the system under consideration as best they can. In most cases this will produce a solution considered the most rational of alternatives for most members of the group, about the best that can be hoped for at present. Perhaps at some future date supercomputers will be able to comprehend large systems well enough to develop answers that are provably true.

Since all members of the group will not have been caused to develop the same pictures in their heads about what should be done in the case before the discussion starts, a high percentage of the discussants will learn in the discussion as they comprehend what is really going on that their initial conceptions were wrong, causing both unlearning and learning. Sometimes unlearning is more important than learning for creating better Earthian human states of affairs. Unlearning, in fact, might be what is now needed most in order for Earthian humans to develop peaceful and sustainable systems around Spaceship Earth.

Most discussants will not leave the discussions with the same mental pictures they started out with caused by the greater comprehension caused by the back and forth dialectical arguing caused by the Game-free I’m OK-You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic discussion process, proving both unlearning and learning happened.

Stapleton’s De-Gaming process insured that everyone would be relatively GAME-free transacting in class discussions. They all agreed to a learning contract at the outset of the course that they would read assigned cases and would be graded on the quantity and quality of ideas sold in the class market. Anyone caught obviously unprepared by the spinning De-GAMER would lose a whole letter grade from the course grade. No one could feel or think that s/he was being persecuted or rescued if selected to start the class discussion of the day by the Classroom De-GAMER. The psychological GAME Drama Triangle roles of Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim were largely banished from the course learning process. The actual grades received—A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s—were relative grades, not absolute grades, Excellent, Good, Average, Poor, and Failing relative to the class. There were no numbers ostensibly proving what percentage of the course €œcontent€ was retained in memory for so-called objective exams.

Stapleton sat in the same circle in the same kind of chair as students, and the De-GAMING rules also applied to him. If the Classroom De-GAMER landed on him he had to lay out the case just like any other student and discuss what was the problem, what were the alternatives, and what he recommended.

Grades were based eighty percent on class participation in dialectical discussions about what to do about problems and opportunities found in cases; the rest of the final grade was based on two case write-ups. One write-up was about what the student observed, researched, analyzed, and wrote about an existing business in the local environment or a business plan the student created. The other write-up was an analysis of a case researched and written by professors about a business assigned as the final exam. Cases used in his courses contained processes, problems, opportunities, and data occurring in all functional areas of business such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations management, control, management information systems, and business policy and strategy.

Published refereed journal articles and books explaining how his democratic GAME-free Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK case method system works, by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims playing psychological GAMES from the teaching and learning process, first documented in an article titled the Classroom De-GAMER he published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal. He has published seven books and over one hundred articles in various media containing cases, research data, and essays on teaching and learning and management systems, policies, and practices.

Learned and trained using transactional analysis with Martin Groder, MD; Graham Barnes, PhD; Vann Joines, PhD; and many others at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1975-1978).

Learned how the Harvard case method works teaching with Bernard Bienvenu, DBA and Rexford Hauser, DBA, Harvard Business School doctorates, at the University of Louisiana—Lafayette in 1969-70.

Has a BS in economics (1962), an MBA in organizational behavior (1966), and a PhD in management science (1969) from Texas Tech University, and an organizational and educational certification in transactional analysis (CTA) from the International Transactional Analysis Association (1978).

Taught his own case method track at the undergraduate level in the management department in the business school at Georgia Southern University offering four or five different elective case method courses each academic year during 1970-2005 in which he led, coordinated, and graded about twenty-five or so students each year who took all or most of those case method courses in their junior and senior years, of about two hundred students who signed up for all his courses each year. He used a democratic circle or amphitheater classroom layout in all his classes. He also taught most semesters two sections of a capstone integrative business policy course he added to the business school curriculum in 1970 that was required for all undergraduate business majors that could be elected by any student in any major.  He was the only professor in the business school to use the case method in any course.

Class members agreed to a course learning contract that stipulated they would read the facts of the case before class and would lose a whole letter grade from the course final grade if the De-GAMER randomly caught them obviously not having read the case before class, if they had not slipped a note under his office door before class telling him they had not read the case, which they could do twice during the course without penalty.

About ten percent of his students made A’s and about five percent made D’s. Most made C’s, which is about right, since C = Average. There were few F’s in his courses. The main criterion for course grades was the quantity and quality of ideas sold by students in case method discussions. He used peer ratings to give students feedback showing what their fellow students thought about the quantity and quality of their ideas sold in class, having made it clear the final decision about final grades was his. He did not believe in Lake Wobegon grading.

No student was ever forced to take one of his courses to graduate, and the most hardened GAME-players in the school did not sign up for his courses after he issued his Edict of 1972 in which he clearly spelled out in his syllabi the penalty for getting caught unprepared. His Classroom De-Gamer was roundly discussed by students in bull sessions across campus every year and was labeled various things, such as The Wheel of Fate and The Death Wheel. Most students near the end of his career simply called it The Spinner.

Appreciated Georgia Southern honoring his academic freedom by allowing him control of his teaching methods, classroom layouts, grading procedures, and course books, cases, and materials, some of which he researched, wrote, and published. He was promoted to full professor with tenure at age thirty-six and was the senior professor of the university when he retired in 2005.

Solicited anonymous longitudinal research data using questionnaires in 1992 showing his case method students during 1972-1982 reported higher yearly incomes in 1992 than students electing the same courses in 1972-1982 taught by professors using the authoritarian lecture method and the militaristic row and column classroom layout, who graded students based on memorizing or calculating “right answers” for tests, indicating learners learning in Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK GAME-free democratic learning processes graded subjectively became more successful in the real world of business than learners lectured to and graded using Parent-Child transactions, row and column classroom layouts, and so-called objective tests.  

Only former students who had worked in the real world of business ten or more years after graduating from the Georgia Southern business school were included in the study. The data are shown, analyzed, and discussed in full in “Evidence the Case Method Works” published in his book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, 2008, pg. 475. The data were also used in several refereed articles.

See also Stapleton, R.J. (1989-1990). “Academic entrepreneurship: Using the case method to simulate competitive business markets.” Organizational Behavior Teaching Review. Vol. XIV, No. IV, pp. 88-104; Stapleton, R.J., Murkison, G., and Stapleton, D.C. (1993). “Feedback regarding a game-free case method process used to educate general management and entrepreneurship students.” Proceedings of the 1993 Annual Meeting of the Southeast CHAPTER of the Institute for Management Science. Myrtle Beach, SC, October, 1993; and Stapleton, R. J. and Stapleton, D.C. (1998), Teaching Business Using the Case Method and Transactional Analysis: A Constructivist Approach”Transactional Analysis Journal, 28, no. 2: 157€“167

Ancient Greeks used a similar random-selection democratic process in the Third Century BCE to select leaders of political discussions, learning, and policy formulation in their halls of government. Such a process is called sortition.

For more information on related classroom management ethical issues in universities see Stapleton, R.J. and Murkison, G. (2001), “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades,” in the Journal of Management Education, 25(3), 269-292.

Had one of the lowest student grade point averages among professors in the business school and was one of the lowest-ranked professors as an instructor on computerized campus-wide student evaluations that weighted only instructor excellence scores up to 2000; but he was one of the highest-ranked professors in a computerized student evaluation system he designed that generated data also showing and weighting study production, learning production, and expected grades scores for each professor, published in “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations.

To read the Optimizing Fairness article in full, go to . After this research was published, Georgia Southern in 2001 added study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide.

“Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” has by now (December 30, 2023) been cited as a reference in 89 refereed journal articles concerned about the ethics and fairness of student evaluations in several academic disciplines, including 21 new citations since April 2021, proving the article is still being read and used.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “The case is all there is.

If so, everything else said about Earthian human states of affairs is a rendition of what was or might be.

His latest book is As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases.

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