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Recently Bernie Sanders made the claim in the subject. But under our current capitalist society and government, there is nothing really wrong with billionaires, it may even be a positive thing. Something 'working as intended'.
Do you agree with the statement "billionaires should not exist"?
If not, are you concerned with the current tread of a widening wealth gap? Is it something that needs to be fixed? If so, how? If not, where do you expect it to lead to and is that the right place to take our society?
If you agree that billionaires should not exist, what should we do about it? Is it 'fair' to target and try to reduce the wealth of billionaires? What about multimillionaires? How much is wealth is too much wealth? And might trying to prevent anyone acquiring or holding too much wealth be damaging in some way to our society and economic system?
Also, this isn't a thread to talk about Bernie, the presidential election, or anything to do with partisan politics. I'm looking for how you feel about the ultra rich, the wealth gap, and how you would approach the issue (if at all).
No, billionaires are fine. Seems like a silly thing to say. The problem would be how they make their money, not if they make a lot. >If not, are you concerned with the current tread of a widening wealth gap?
In some ways, yes. In some, not really.
I do not consider money, economics, or wealth to be a 'zero sum game' as it were.
I don't think some people making a lot means that's money other people don't get.
That said, a rising gap could suggest a flawed or unfair system.
It should probably be looked in to carefully. It might lead to things that ought to be fixed. I don't think on its own it's necessarily a problem, though.
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>>3656>Do you agree with the statement "billionaires should not exist"?
No.>If not, are you concerned with the current tread of a widening wealth gap?
No.>Is it something that needs to be fixed?
No.>If not, where do you expect it to lead to and is that the right place to take our society?
I'm not sure.
The problem isn't that wealthy people have too much wealth. The problem is that poor people have too little wealth. And the increasing amount of automation is partially responsible for driving it. The solution probably involves increasing the amount of taxation on the wealthy, but the purpose is not to decrease the wealth of the wealthy but to increase the wealth of the poor. It is important to keep that in mind, because some taxes can have effect of decreasing the total amount of wealth in the country and leaving in the poor in a worse shape than they were before.
See also http://www.paulgraham.com/ineq.html
>>3657>Seems like a silly thing to say.
Why do you think, when so many people are in such dire need, is it silly to say that one person shouldn't possess so much? The converse, that it's okay that wealth be concentrated on so few individuals seems "silly" to me. Billionaires do not put in enough more than the poor to merit having so much proportionally more. Do you disagree? I'm not saying their shouldn't be rich people, just questioning if people should be that incredibly rich. What's even the point of obtaining so much wealth? >I don't think some people making a lot means that's money other people don't get.
Yes and no. I agree it isn't a zero sum game, but when wealth is generated, it would seem that it's going disproportionately to the top. And, that wealth is generally generated disproportionately by the efforts of the lower and middle class worker. So no, the rich aren't stealing from the poor, but that are using the power they have to take more than would seem fair. And that does have an effect where they are richer at the expense of the poorer. Do you disagree? >It should probably be looked in to carefully. It might lead to things that ought to be fixed.
I know you aren't a professional economist, but we're here to give our layman's insights into the topic. So what do you think needs doing to fix it?>>3658
That seems like a roundabout way of saying the same thing. But I get what you are saying, that your goal is to increase the wealth of the lower class, not decrease the wealth of the upper class.
So how do you plan to do that?
I want your input on another point. Let's take Amazon for instance. Is Amazon a good thing? Sure, it employs lots of workers and generates wealth that is split amongst them and share holders. But the way it distributes that wealth is a problem if you ask me. It's taking too much of the share that should belong to the worker and giving it to the people at the top. Unlike the economy as a whole, looking at just Amazon I can view their net income as a pie chart where the rich are in fact taking from what should be allocated to the rest. The people who run Amazon have all the say in how compensation is divided. And of course they take as much as they can for themselves. Do you see it a problem that the richest man on the planet gets to effectively choose how much he is compensated by one of the largest corporations on the planet? Is there a problem where Bezos is taking too much compensation that should more rightfully belong to his workers? Mind you, in an ideal world we'd just have Amazon workers leave for places that pay more. But, there is no where to really go up for these people.
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>>3659>So how do you plan to do that?
I think Yang's UBI proposal makes a lot of sense, especially going forward in the future.>>3659> Is Amazon a good thing?
I think Amazon should be criminally prosecuted for selling counterfeit goods. And their commingling practices should be made illegal per se
.>>3659> Do you see it a problem that the richest man on the planet gets to effectively choose how much he is compensated by one of the largest corporations on the planet?
He doesn't. Bezos has only a minority of the voting rights for Amazon. Bezos doesn't set his own salary and other compensation; the board of directors does.>>3659>Is there a problem where Bezos is taking too much compensation that should more rightfully belong to his workers?
In what sense do the workers have a right to greater compensation? I don't think it makes sense to say that someone's labor "deserves" a certain pre-determined amount of compensation; it is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Now, perhaps Amazon deceived its workers or otherwise engaged in unfair practices to distort what a market wage would be. But that's a different claim.
>>3659>Why do you think, when so many people are in such dire need, is it silly to say that one person shouldn't possess so much?
Because how much they have is irrelevant to other people's struggles.
Essentially the premise of your question is wrong. Or perhaps I should say it's leading.
I do not believe it matters how much someone else has compared to you.>Billionaires do not put in enough more than the poor to merit having so much proportionally more. Do you disagree?
If you had read my post, you would notice I addressed specifically that.>>3657>"The problem would be how they make their money, not if they make a lot."
It wasn't a very long post. I'm not sure how you missed it.
How they got it would be the issue not how much they have.
If you want to complain about how they got what they have, I'm happy to. But that they have what they have is irrelevant to my consideration.>What's even the point of obtaining so much wealth?
I imagine at that point it's about the "score".
People spend a lot of time and effort playing games. What's the point? Often, it's the score or accomplishment. Some just find it fun. Not everyone is purely logical in their reasons for doing things.>Do you disagree?
I would say what would be the problem is how they acquire that wealth. You'd have to demonstrate that they are doing it through corrupt methods, rather than pointing simply to how much they get.
I do not agree that simply saying something thanks for the case, however. Nor do I think that a larger amount being earned by some means that it is acquired unjustly.
Personally I think a large amount of work needs to be done in regards to how stocks work. I'd like to Nuke the whole system, personally. Though I can't say I am completely informed on the particular set of that field, it doesn't seem justified to me. It also, I believe, develop some rather bad habits and companies that are traded that way.
I would also look into how intellectual property laws facilitate monopolies. Developing wealth due to a lack of competition isn't right, I believe, and making it so that you are the only fish in town in order to acquire your wealth does not seem right to me.> So what do you think needs doing to fix it?
I think you had missed what I had said it. I believe I rather specifically said I do not think it needs to be fixed. Rather, I think it might lead to things that could be fixed.
I am also not sure where the layman it comes into play, here. I don't think it's quite related to anything I said. Anytime I do mention that I am a layman, in regards to this, is just to say I might be mistaken, not to say I won't give my position on it based on what little I know.
that said, in what you quoted, I can't really find any relevance in that regard. And, like I said, and was quoted there, I am not talking about fixing wealth distribution in equality. I am saying you could use it to find possible problems. I do not believe it is a problem on its own. I think I had said this, a couple of times in that post.
The only problem I have with a UBI is that I think it would lead to a lot of people just not bothering working.
In this regard, I would use myself as an example of that. I wouldn't be working if I didn't have to. I don't require that much money to live off of, either. I would probably work the bare minimum, if I had the option, and just hone my hobbies
The answer is relatively straightforward, I guess. The American economy is supported by the state (theft is a crime), a state is the highest moral authority for humans, so if humans are to be trusted generally, states are just, therefore billionaires are just, so of course, they, and all other (state-aligned) economic privileges and deprivations are exactly what's needed.
Is wealth inequality a threat to democratic principles? Yes. (Fortunately, America is a republic, they will say.) Does it make community more difficult? Yes, the gap of experience widens. (But nobody wants the kind of community implied by the word 'communism' -- the best ought not live like the common, and people are to be given hope they might aspire toward success, not be forced into uniformity.)
The solutions, if we hypothetically saw issues, would be taxation -- hard to enforce against billionaires unless it was really global but something you'd have to pursue. Economic frontiers can allow the not-so-rich to get rich. Although the rich are usually better positioned to move into economic frontiers since they have, by definition, more resources, at least who is rich can shift. Suppose you could argue 'new money' doesn't necessarily change inequity itself, although when common people can make money on the frontier, I think it works. War might be a solution -- it can certainly dampen income inequality and destroy some wealth, although there are fortunes to be made in war for the properly positioned, and I think it would be hard to use as a strategy against wealth inequality in general, although perhaps against a particular set of wealthy.
(Personally, I hope not to be in poverty, so where respectful I support policies that make that unlikely. As someone said, economics is (I'll add somewhat) a zero-sum game. At least in the short term.)
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>>3662>The only problem I have with a UBI is that I think it would lead to a lot of people just not bothering working.
Is this necessarily a problem though, if robots do most of the work in the country, so that there aren't enough jobs for everybody?
I'm a little skeptical of the effects of automation, but, sure, if we reach that point, it doesn't seem too unreasonable.
I'd like to hit it first, though, personally. Besides that, I think we're already getting some of the effects, just from China's manufacturing. I doubt automation will end up being much cheaper than barely-above-nothing factories oversees that way.
I think we're still a ways away from a lot of the development required to get the jobs left over. The most you get at the moment is the automation in ordering, near as I can see.
Still, I would rather people became craftsman, selling more skillful works, or developing new Fields entirely, than sitting around doing absolutely nothing.
I do not think that will be healthy for a society, overall. Then again, I guess that's a problem with any post-scarcity society. I would make the argument even now has that issue.
I need society lacking danger or hardship is liable to produce softer people oh, I suppose. So perhaps it's a bit of a moot point
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We have some reported posts in the thread. i am responding to them. >>3661
Debaters, please avoid using passive aggressive statements.
"...If you had read my post"
If you must do this, do it like you're sending a professional e-mail.
"As per my previous post..." etc.
Thank you. >>3657
Likewise here. "Seems like a silly thing to say" is a silly thing to say. Please watch your candor while participating in debate.
Thank you everyone.
>Do you agree with the statement "billionaires should not exist"?
I don't think so, that's a pretty strong statement. I wouldn't go so far as to say we need them, I wouldn't agree with an Ayn Rand take that the billionaires are what makes the country function. But I don't think their existence is dangerous. I feel similarly about the wealth gap, which has been a major talking point lately. There definitely is a wealth gap, and it's great at being a shocking statistic, but more important than the fact that some people are incredibly wealthy is how the poor fare in society.
Now, that said, if the poor are not well off and we are encountering serious issues because of the rich hoarding resources, then I think it would be very reasonable to increase taxes on the very wealthy. An additional tax bracket for money earned beyond $1million seems reasonable. Or, since income is an odd thing that can be manipulated and its taxes avoided, we could look at things like the wealth tax or value added tax, both things that people have suggested recently as more effective and fair alternatives to simply raising income tax.
Should I instead assume he's trying to strawman me, and report that, instead?
It was not intended to be passive aggressive. I believe I was stating a fact.
if the standard is so stringent that even this is not allowed, surely blatantly misrepresenting people as was done here shouldn't be allowed, either, right?
If I were in a professional email, I would likely respond with much the same. It's not impolite by my standards, and makes it clear the claimed position is inaccurate.
Then again I understand a lot of people in modern culture are perfectly willing to be stepped all over for their corporate overlords. I'm afraid I am not, and so am rather unfamiliar with such a standard.
>>3666>Likewise here. "Seems like a silly thing to say" is a silly thing to say. Please watch your candor while participating in debate
At that point no debate was engaged with. It was in response to something a politician said, and the OP brought up.
Am I to assume any instance of anyone calling any position, at all, regardless of if it's to someone completely unrelated to the site or anyone here, "some" or any equivalent is against the rules?
If so, I have a lot of stuff I evidently need to report, so I would like to know.
Potentially, but the way technology goes, I think it will start slow enough to spot first.
I doubt personally that we'd see a sudden shift that way.
Of course, politics can also be very slow. So perhaps there's room to say even there the reaction would take too long.
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>>3668>Should I instead assume he's trying to strawman me, and report that, instead?
Nah, better just to assume that he accidentally misread your post or experienced some other temporary failure mode. Then you can refer to your earlier post as Moony indicated >>3666
:>"As per my previous post..." etc.
The thing is, "Seems like a silly thing to say" is completely extraneous; it's just surplus verbiage. You can leave it out and have a better, more concise post. Instead of saying>No, billionaires are fine. Seems like a silly thing to say. The problem would be how they make their money, not if they make a lot.
you can say:>No, billionaires are fine. The problem would be how they make their money, not if they make a lot.
That's what I did, though. And I pointed it out.
I do not believe what had been said in that post was unnecessarily harsh in any capacity. It was rather laid back, I have to say.
The thing is, it's really frustrating, when evidently incredibly minor slips if you could even call them that are punished, but it's not at all in this you to continually misrepresent and misunderstand people in this way.
What's the point of a debate if people don't listen to you, after all.
You can hardly expect to make rational contradictions to what somebody else is saying if you cannot spare the effort to actually pay attention to what has been said. And to the thing is, I didn't even say that much directly.
I didn't even voice major displeasure in that regard.
If the standard we are going to use is it supposed professional email, surely repeatedly misunderstanding what is in a post, or in this case and email from your boss, and responding to something not at all said, he's incredibly unprofessional, is it not?
Should I not bother reading other people's posts, and should they ever end up getting uppity at me, just immediately report them? Is that something that is productive towards a healthy dialogue? Does that contribute to a respectful debate?>>3674
if you want to call it surplus verbage, fine. I don't think it's particularly extreme, but I can accept that.
But like I said, if this is the standard that is going to be I've helped here, I would like to know, as I have a awful large amount of posts to go through and report.
There has been quite a few people who have done as much. Certainly, plenty of instances which were far worse than this, too, at that.>>3672
I'm not against preparing for the worst, so long as the consequences aren't severe for that preparation. The problem is, universal basic income would be incredibly expensive, as I understand it, a potentially do damage in regards to societal, frankly, laziness.
It's why I would like to see what would happen first, before I take such a risk and expense. I'm not against taking the risk and cost, if it is necessary, though.
I think I had patience, and didn't rub his nose in it. Overall, I was quite light, I believe, with my statements.
Especially since he evidently misunderstood me twice in a single post.
It strikes me as such a minor thing, definitely far lesser when it comes to disruptive or unproductive actions in discussion compared to just flat-out not bothering to read what somebody said.
I just don't get why I'm expected to put in the effort, if it's not reciprocated.
maybe I should stop doing that. Maybe I shouldn't bother reading long posts, or double-checking before I reply. Maybe I should just respond to what I think they're saying after a quick skim, instead.
Really don't understand where you get the idea I didn't read or understand your post. I inserted statements such as "do you disagree" because it was intended not to force claims on you, but get you to clarify your stance.
There was no misunderstandings nor strawmans on my part.
This is all besides the point of the thread. If you want please continue discussing the OP, but I'd rather you didn't derail this further.
You would not have to clarify my position if you read my post, as it was clearly stated.>>3657>No, billionaires are fine. Seems like a silly thing to say. The problem would be how they make their money, not if they make a lot.
There was also the bit towards the bottom of your reply, <>It should probably be looked in to carefully. It might lead to things that ought to be fixed.>I know you aren't a professional economist, but we're here to give our layman's insights into the topic. So what do you think needs doing to fix it?
Which appears to ignore the thing you've even quoted.
The idea essentially comes from your post seeming to ignore these two statements I've made in the original reply, which you ended up replying with, in the first case, a question already answered, and in the second, what seems to be an assumption of my position despite it seeming to contradict what you yourself quoted.
It's not my intention to debate it. You said you didn't understand, so, I had attempted to explain it to you.
If you'd like to return to discussing the topic's original premise, I am more than happy to.
I am rather interested in why you seem to assume any acquisition of it significant wealth is inherently unjust, or exploitative.
There are, after all, a lot of ways to get wealth of these days. I would have to see exactly how the individuals who are billionaires acquired their wealth, before I presume that it's on exploitation of others.
>>3681>I am rather interested in why you seem to assume any acquisition of it significant wealth is inherently unjust, or exploitative.
I cannot say whether billionaires have done anything unjust or exploitative to acquire that wealth. I could probably make that argument, but I'd rather skip over it. Instead, let's say it matters not to me how they got it. Just that, it is far too excessive to permit. If they worked the system well, they deserve an enormous amount of money, but not an incomprehensible amount. Yes, the system allowed them to become this rich, and I am not saying that they should be punished for playing the game well. I would just make the argument that the game should be changed so that a billionaire can't exist. We all built this society to serve certain purposes, and I do not personally believe one of those purposes is for the rich to endlessly expand their wealth.>There are, after all, a lot of ways to get wealth of these days. I would have to see exactly how the individuals who are billionaires acquired their wealth, before I presume that it's an exploitation of others.
See, as I'm saying, it's irrelevant to me how they acquired their wealth, just that they have that much
is a problem in and of itself. IMO, of course.
>>3682>Just that, it is far too excessive to permit.
Why, exactly, though?
And how much is too much, anyway?
Is it by actual assets, or just net worth, as well.>I would just make the argument that the game should be changed so that a billionaire can't exist.
I would say I wouldn't care if, in fixing problems of methods, it meant people couldn't. But I would say, in that regard, I think you might be approaching the problem backwards.
I don't think there's necessarily anything harmed by the extremely wealthy being extremely wealthy, essentially. Though perhaps that's because how I tend to look at laws and their purposes is to prevent direct harm, rather than creating some sort of ideal society.
So in that regard, the disagreement might just be around what exactly the "purpose", as you said it, is exactly.
Let's say money has utility, and more money provides some more utility. But, there are diminishing returns on that. How much value does the billionaire get if I give them 1000 dollars? How much value does someone on food stamps get if I give them 1000 dollars? This is the calculus I play in my head. I accept that both the lower class and upper class can gain wealth at the same time, but I we are past the point where adding wealth to the upper class gains anything. So how I see it, we need to ensure that wealth gains are primarily going towards the lower and middle class.
Yeah, I know that many have argued about this not being a zero sum game, but in a lot of ways it is. The government chooses not to tax the ultra wealthy a higher percentage, and so, the government has less money to operate on and they end up cutting social services and education. Whoever is in charge of determining compensation at a company allocates more compensation to the higher ups than the average worker. And thus the worker has a harder time getting ahead while the billionaire gets further ahead. In these ways, indeed the billionaire through no unjust means, has gained at the expense of the less wealthy worker. I think that is a problem that we must address through some sort of policy change.>And how much is too much, anyway?
I don't think there is an exact number, but let me ballpark it at 100 million. That's a rough spot I would say is where it goes from "you're excessively rich and can afford anything a person could reasonably need" to "now you're just trying to make a number go higher for no other reason than to see it go higher".>Is it by actual assets, or just net worth, as well.
For the purposes of this thread, I don't think I need that much precision, unless you think it necessary to make a point.
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>>3684>>And how much is too much, anyway?>I don't think there is an exact number, but let me ballpark it at 100 million. That's a rough spot I would say is where it goes from "you're excessively rich and can afford anything a person could reasonably need" to "now you're just trying to make a number go higher for no other reason than to see it go higher".
For lots of billionaires, their wealth is tied up in stocks of their companies. Zuckerberg owns Facebook stock worth billions of dollars. He can't give up that wealth without giving up control of his company.
I can understand that, however I don't think it's for that purpose, essentially.
that is to say, it's not about whether or not somebody gain something from having money, as much as it is, if they earned it.
Like I said, at that point, I think the reason they make it is more about the score, the accomplishment, more than anything.
As I said, though, I think this would be a disagreement on what the purpose of society is, at that point.>The government chooses not to tax the ultra wealthy a higher percentage, and so, the government has less money to operate on and they end up cutting social services and education.
That sounds more like an issue of poor budgeting, rather than anything specific to the rich. Though it isn't really like a lack of tax money has actually stopped the government from spending at this point, anyway, of course.
Still I don't think I would describe it as the government having to cut things because the rich don't want to pay. If we cannot afford something, we should not have placed it in the first place.
And of course, I think this ignores largely how percentages work. If I take 10% of a million dollars, that's quite a large sum more than 10% of $10,000. it is why, as I understand it, we use a tax system in the first place, as opposed to merely a set amount.
This sad, I'm not necessarily against taxing the rich at a higher rate. I think you should do it as cleanly as possible, so as to avoid them avoiding the taxes, and make sure there is enough opportunities for them that they don't end up choosing to instead leave the country. But the concept of taxing anyone more dependent on how much they are seems relatively reasonable to me. that's not necessarily anything to do with the threat, though, I feel, as that's just good budget balancing for a government.
In any case, this is not the fault of the wealthy. The wealthy have nothing to do with this. this is purely the budgeting of a government. Kind of course, some don't even agree that a large welfare state actually helps anyone. Especially when you get into how it's paid for, in regards to taxation. You wouldn't want the system in which only the rich and powerful are ever able to open up shop, I would say, even if that meant the working class had a higher quality of life.
Maybe that's my own perspective, though. I do prefer Independence to security or comfort.>For the purposes of this thread, I don't think I need that much precision, unless you think it necessary to make a point.
Assets can cause complications. For example, I might own my family's old home, setting me up rather highly on the wealth scale due to its worth, and so be limited in what I can purchase beyond that.
Some properties can be very pricey.
There's also the question of artworks, or artifacts.
>>3685>He can't give up that wealth without giving up control of his company.
I can see how most people would think "he built this company, he made it into the billions of dollars it is worth, therefor it is his to have". Call me what you will, but I think once the company becomes a certain size, he's just gonna have to sell or give up his stake to stay under my arbitrary 100 million dollar wealth cap. He can rent an apartment and have more room to own shares of facebook if it is that important to him. If you believe there are consequences I should be aware of with this attitude, let me know and I'll think on them.>>3686>Still I don't think I would describe it as the government having to cut things because the rich don't want to pay. If we cannot afford something, we should not have placed it in the first place.
The government only really affords anything through taxation, right? Our ability to afford something we want to afford can be accomplished through taxes targeting the rich. I mean I agree that we should not be paying for things we can't afford. But, I see a way to afford them which doesn't actually truly hurt anyone (I am of the belief that taking billions of dollars from the richest people and leaving them with a mere hundred million causes no actual harm to them, there can be an argument for how the process of taxation can cause harm to others if you know a way to make it).>Kind of course, some don't even agree that a large welfare state actually helps anyone.
I don't really support a welfare state either. I don't think this is the thread to get into my taxation policy, but I would try to set a policy where the rich can't get richer without also raising the underclasses that much more. For instance, a law that says total compensation for any employee cannot be more than 20x (random ballpark number, don't hold me to doing math or defending it) that of the lowest compensated employee or contractor. Let's not fuss about how that will be dodged (put low wage employees on the payroll of a different company or some shit), I'm sure there will have to be a lot of things done to ensure that it isn't bypassed. But, you can see how this ensures that if the top want more money, they gotta bring the rest up with them. That is the kind of policy I would want to enact. Because I don't
want the money in the hands of the government. I want the money in the hands of the workers.>I might own my family's old home, setting me up rather highly on the wealth scale due to its worth, and so be limited in what I can purchase beyond that.
I believe that nobody needs a home worth tens of millions of dollars. Like, letting someone have 100 million
dollars in assets seems pretty dang charitable, from my perspective. If they want a 99 million dollar mansion, okay, well they have to drive a Toyota or something.>There's also the question of artworks, or artifacts
Belongs in a museum. If the piece of art is that valuable, it shouldn't be able to be monopolized though individual ownership.
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>>3656>Do you agree with the statement "billionaires should not exist"?
I think it's a little broad, but I can get behind the general idea. I think Ocasio-Cortez put the idea in better terms.
Yes, that's how taxes work, but, it doesn't mean it's their fault if we haven't taxed them that much, any more than it's you and I's fault.
As too taxing billionaires down to a hundred million, I think you'll find they all flee your country rather quickly.
unless you want to lock down the borders preventing people from leaving, which I don't think would really be morally acceptable, it's inevitable that they would take their money and leave to avoid such taxes.
You also would convince them never to bother. I mean, if you're always going to be taxed down to a hundred million, and net worth at that, it's hardly worth the effort. >But, you can see how this ensures that if the top want more money, they gotta bring the rest up with them.
doesn't seem like too much of a bad idea. I only contention would be that it seems like it would encourage people to develop monopolies. I mean, why would I work at Mom and Pop grocery store, when Walmart's paying me a much higher rates work as a cashier, right?
so outside of the execution and potential consequences in regards to monopolies, I don't have too many complaints. Sounds like an interesting concept. Though of course, that wouldn't require taxation, as you had suggested earlier. I think this might be preferable because of that, myself.>I believe that nobody needs a home worth tens of millions of dollars. Like, letting someone have 100 million dollars in assets seems pretty dang charitable, from my perspective.
Strikes me as a bit dangerous, honestly. People don't always really have that much control over what they own. Who is going to buy it, after all, if it means they lose so much? Unless the government is going to offer to pay for their expensive nonsense, which isn't anywhere near ideal, they're stuck.
Add to that, when talking net worth including company value, 100m isn't that much. I think you'd put a lot of people in a fearful state with such a policy. >Belongs in a museum. If the piece of art is that valuable, it shouldn't be able to be monopolized though individual ownership.
My experience with artifacts and historical objects is that private owners, as a general rule, take care of things far better than museums most of the time. As I understand it, a lot of what is in many museums are either donations or loans from private collectors without whom those works with me completely lost.
Even in instances where that is not the case, however, it's usually just stored away worthlessly in some warehouse, as there is simply not enough room practically speaking for any proper museum to display.
It also leaves the trouble of duplicates. One of the 100 odd revolvers made by a renowned Craftsman might be worth a large amount of money, yet not be displayed in the museum as they already have a couple of them.
There's also the issue of laws requiring damage to those artifacts, as happens often enough with firearms.
Personally I'm quite fine with them being left in the hands of collectors who appreciate them.
>>3695>Call me what you will, but I think once the company becomes a certain size, he's just gonna have to sell or give up his stake to stay under my arbitrary 100 million dollar wealth cap.
Like, this is what I mean. Who does he sell it to? Everyone else would have that trouble. Do we make him sell to the government? Do we tax him on the money he earned selling his company?
Is it right for us to forcefully kick him out of his company like that? Should he intentionally cripple his own business, laying off countless workers, to make sure it stays below level?
>>3705>I think you'll find they all flee your country rather quickly.
They can leave, but their wealth is here so they will have trouble taking it with them. Can't just pack your mansion or the money in your portfolio into your carry on. I would shed no tears seeing them gone. >You also would convince them never to bother. I mean, if you're always going to be taxed down to a hundred million, and net worth at that, it's hardly worth the effort.
I don't think there's that much they are doing to bother that other's couldn't do as good as them if they decent to vacate their positions. I do not subscribe to the idea that these people are irreplaceable. Let them reach 100 million, then retire. Better for everyone.> I mean, why would I work at Mom and Pop grocery store, when Walmart's paying me a much higher rates work as a cashier, right?
Mom and pop already can't compete with walmart's prices and we don't do much to prevent that, if they have a better employee compensation, so be it. > Though of course, that wouldn't require taxation, as you had suggested earlier. I think this might be preferable because of that, myself.
I have a few ideas on how to make it work. We could go the taxation route and do something like UBI, which I think is complicated and messy compared to this alternative. I think we are in agreement, there are probably better solutions than trying to get the government to play robin hood through welfare. If I ran a government, I would hope to enact policy as best I could to eliminate welfare entirely, and not just by leaving people in the lurch. But by making it not needed.>Strikes me as a bit dangerous, honestly. People don't always really have that much control over what they own. Who is going to buy it, after all, if it means they lose so much? Unless the government is going to offer to pay for their expensive nonsense, which isn't anywhere near ideal, they're stuck.>Add to that, when talking net worth including company value, 100m isn't that much. I think you'd put a lot of people in a fearful state with such a policy.
I am spitballing a little, making things up as I go. So I'm sure there will be many holes that need to be plugged such as this. I mean, there already exists mansions and other extremely expensive crap, what happens with them? Who would buy them if nobody could have them? Perhaps the only way to make it work is for some things to be grandfathered in. I'm okay with, I don't want to just run in and force anyone to suddenly shed billions of dollars of assets. I don't think I really want a 'hard cap' actually. I would want some kind of policy or tax to make it extraordinarily difficult to hold on to more wealth or gain wealth above a certain point. Over time, the new policy would trend people downward, and if they need to, they can sell the mansion to someone who has greater ability to fight whatever atrophy the policy creates. Make sense?>Personally I'm quite fine with them being left in the hands of collectors who appreciate them.
I don't really know that much about artifacts to speak about it honestly. I don't even find stuff like that to be of much value anyway. I remember going to the British Museum and they had a replica rosetta stone, and seeing that was as good as seeing the real deal to me. If you ask me, toss the Mona Lisa in the fire. We got plenty of replicas out there already.>>3708
Hopefully the statements above address some of that. I'm not saying everything I got here is airtight, but hopefully you get the idea of where I would want to go with things.
As to "kick him out of his company", ownership of his company doesn't actually matter much. That is literally just an asset, cash in a different form. If he is good for the company, he can be CEO or any other position and still drive the company as he wishes. If he is the best man for the job, the board of directors will keep him there, he doesn't need to be able to force himself into a position of power in the company through ownership. What does he lose, besides wealth, from having to not own as much of his company? Not having dictator like power is all, which, doesn't sound great for a company anyway.
And, trying to cripple ones own business to keep ownership would be the act of madman. I mean, if he is that crazy, he can destroy his own business, investors will jump ship and he can own 100% of nothing if it's that important to him. I don't think anyone is that insane. And if they are, well, someone else will fill the gap where facebook or whatever once was, hopefully a more sane human with any luck.
If you can't exactly sell your mansion, given how anybody who could afford it doesn't want to increase their net worth, it hardly makes that much of a difference. Though it is still easy enough to write that off as an unfortunate cost to maintain what you have beyond that.
It seems really on to me that you would spend this time preaching about how much that money could help, while being perfectly okay with them fleeing, and you getting absolutely none of their wealth whatsoever.
It's not like they don't pay any taxes. It seems your solution, in this case, would end up worse than what we already have.
At least as far as this tax solution goes.
Unless you are suggesting you to not let them take any of their money, at all. Which also seems incredibly dangerous to me.>I don't think there's that much they are doing to bother that other's couldn't do as good as them if they decent to vacate their positions.
Well, like I said, I don't think it's a zero-sum game. So, I don't think there's a position that they're vacating. Rather, it seems to me, they just wouldn't produce the wealth that they did. No point in it after all.>Mom and pop already can't compete with walmart's prices and we don't do much to prevent that, if they have a better employee compensation, so be it.
If that were true there wouldn't be several mom and pop stores in my town, not to mention countless ones around the country.
They are certainly at a disadvantage, overall, but they do exist, so we can hardly see it so severe that they can't anyway.>Over time, the new policy would trend people downward, and if they need to, they can sell the mansion to someone who has greater ability to fight whatever atrophy the policy creates. Make sense?
definitely strikes me as a better way to go, I'm flatly taxing it. I think you would still get the problem of the rich fleeing your country, meaning you lose a massive chunk of revenue, but, at least this way it would be a bit slower of a process, rather than suddenly throwing everything into chaos for a bit. >I remember going to the British Museum and they had a replica rosetta stone, and seeing that was as good as seeing the real deal to me.
I can understand that argument with hard, but, artifacts are a little bit different.
It's hard to really describe. There's soul to old things.
They hold a deep meaning for the people who know that history, as well.
I recall watching a video where are young army soldier managed to come out at just the right time, as a documentary on some of the firearms general Patton used to own and carry through his life. The expression he had I see hell to this piece of history isn't something I'd want to take away from people.
Maybe this is stretching into a bit more of a spiritual territory, but, I think there's something of a piece of us left and everything we touch. Everything we have a hand in building. There is a deep comfort I find in these items from ages past. It's something of a reassuring comfort, in a way, knowing who came before, what they accomplished, as they carved this world before us.
>>3717>As to "kick him out of his company", ownership of his company doesn't actually matter much. That is literally just an asset, cash in a different form. If he is good for the company, he can be CEO or any other position and still drive the company as he wishes.
Unless the company decides that morals, standards, quality, and honest business practices aren't profitable, and that they'd rather get rid of the guy keeping the company from becoming EA to appease, say, Chinese markets and stock traders.
Not everyone has good intentions, after all. It's my experience that most the absolute worst companies are publicly traded or otherwise run by committee who are sure to vote out anyone with a conscience.
I rather prefer single owners to that sort of thing.>And, trying to cripple ones own business to keep ownership would be the act of madman
No; it would be completely logical and rational and something I am certain many would do, in order to retain control of their company.
Hell, I'd do it.
Investors don't really matter when we are talking about companies of the scale, anyway. Let alone when we account for the 100 million dollar maximum limit.
It's hardly a problem if someone who invested in a company that is now successful doesn't want to invest further in to it, if further investment means the company shatters anyway.
I don't think we're gonna find much more common ground honestly. I'm basically done here.
One question, are you actually serious about objecting to raising the wealth of the lower classes by increasing compensation to workers because it will hurt small business? That's not really the kind of argument I would expect anyone to make.
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>>3717>I would shed no tears seeing them gone.
On the contrary, I expect you will, but maybe a decade too late. Look at what happened to the Soviet Union. If a country severely restricts the right of private property, then innovation, efficiency, and quality plummet.
And while taxes are generally necessary for funding the government, I'd say that confiscatory taxes really are theft.
I think I rolled back a bit on that anyway. My stance evolved a bit over the course of the discussion.
Though, the sentiment is still the same towards individuals that want to leave because the way policies are laid out makes it hard to accumulate infinite wealth. It should become exponentially harder to earn your next dollar after some ludicrously high number, that is a stance I think I can hold firm to.
Obviously not, because that's a dishonest strawman of my position
Of course, as per usual, nothing's done. Then again, it was Zecora again.
Its not a strawman if I'm asking you for clarity. It's me seeing something and thinking "no way that's what he means right, let me ask him".
I don't think communicating is working been us right now. Respectfully, I'm disengaging from our conversation. Feel free to respond to anyone else though.
Then do me a favor and do it in a less accusatory way.
I do not sit here and say to you "Do you really want to sacrifice freedom in order to prevent people from succeeding?", do I?
Should I start replying to every one of your posts with something like "Are you serious about wanting to forcibly take people's property because they've earned it?", or say "That's not the kind of argument I would expect anyone to make", with an argument behind it that you've never so much as suggested or claimed?
>>3734> It should become exponentially harder
Why exponentially as opposed to quadratically or O(n
Billionaires shouldn't exist because this level of unimaginable wealth is only made possible by faux value and economic manipulation.
Someone who works minimum wage full time makes about $15,000 over the course of a year. If a billionaire makes, for example, $150,000,000 over the course of a year, that's the equivalent of 10,000 minimum wage workers. There isn't a job in the world legitimately valued at 10,000X minimum wage jobs. You don't create 10,000 hours worth of personal value over the course of an hour, regardless of who you are or what kinds of decisions you are making. These vast incomes and asset accruals stem from skimmed profits and stock manipulations, and not from anything that could be considered honest labor, yet these profits pay back into the system to buy the time of those who do in fact work for peanuts.
This is not the fault of the billionaires themselves, as they are simply taking advantage of the system laid in front of them, though it is true that the ultra-rich in many cases further rig the system in their favor by buying politicians after they've accumulated wealth.
The only way to remedy the problem which has allowed for the rise of billionaires would be a complete economic collapse. I don't see this as a bad thing, as our current economic policy (at least in the US) is itself unsustainable. In my estimation, the quicker it falls apart, the better.
I do think there are different ideas about working that separate the commoners from the elite. Billionaires are probably not punching a time clock. >>3803
Appears to be basically saying the market rewards their rare talent appropriately, but you see subterfuge somewhere. I'm aware of claims that companies can profit because environmental harm is not economically deducted. Some say that while employment in voluntary, the barriers to living a moderately healthy life without working for whatever big company are sufficiently high that people are said to be slaves to this labor.. I think some who make a lot of money manage funds, and decisions of people like that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, so you might argue about the market valuation of their work.
I can't actually speak for Affectionate Beaver or Gifted Sparrow, but the way I read it is as such:
If you had to fire people and you had two options, one was the CEO making $150m annually, and the other option was 10,000 people that work for him all making $15k annually, who would you choose? Who actually provides more benefit to the company?
To me, I think the answer is clear, it's the 10,000 workers. 10,000 people are much more valuable than the one person currently at its head. There would be no question of my choice.
Berkshire Hathaway has about 390,000 employees. They could easily lose an entire division with 10,000 employees and it could hurt their stock price less than if Warren Buffet dies.>>3808>It is hard to imagine one person doing the work of 10,000 no mater how gifted.
With the advantage of modern technology, it is very possible. If you could replace every employee of NASA with 10,000 employees but with the caveat that all the new employees have an IQ of 85, would NASA be able to get to a manned flight to Mars faster? I don't think so.
>>3810>Berkshire Hathaway has about 390,000 employees. They could easily lose an entire division with 10,000 employees and it could hurt their stock price less than if Warren Buffet dies.
That's kind of an interesting example to bring up, because a lot of people would say it speaks to how warped our perceptions are. Warren Buffet's value to the company is entirely based on people's belief in him as a person, which isn't actually to say that other people couldn't do his job equally well. Meanwhile, the value of the 10,000 employees ignores who they are as people and stems from their ability to produce product.
Stock prices, much like Buffet's value, are ephemeral and largely invented, part of the vast web of trust investment from which any piece removed could cause dangerous ripples across the entire economy. Something that has happened before, crippling us as a country until a freak boom caused by a war pushed us to the front of everyone.
The ability to produce product can just kind of be measured and counted in numbers. How many people has Dairy Queen served? How much ketchup does Heinz produce? 10,000 people produce a very large amount of ketchup that holds significant monetary value, and yet if that much ketchup was removed from the market it would have no effect on its surroundings. There would be less profit coming in, some people might go without ketchup, but otherwise things would simply continue as they were.
In a sense the two things are unable to be compared, but people do so anyway, each from their own camps with their own values. Some people see a lot of value in the stock market and investments, and they're not necessarily wrong, as the ability to invest using nothing but the trust that you'll have money some day has sort of convinced people to organize, almost like a religion, where our society is structured entirely around belief. But the other camp just wants ketchup, and they're pretty confident that they could continue making ketchup without Warren Buffet making a shitload of money somewhere, and I don't think they're actualy wrong, either.
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Nominally, there shouldn't be any limit on wealth or wealth generation. In our system wealth is a reward, and it has been a rather practical solution to a lot of problems.
However. This is not 20 years ago. Clever investment strategies are not what has been generating all of these new billionaires. Wealth generation lately has been limited to two groups: clever entrepreneurs, and the guy at the company who decides how much people are paid (including himself). I actually see these two as being closely related. Entrepreneurs make wealth by abusing inefficiencies in the system. This is good! Critical inefficiencies should be addressed. However I do believe we've fallen into a wishful thinking type of mindset about them. There are so many wealthy entrepreneurs because there is a lot of inefficiency. This is largely because the major capital holding class has ways of making money besides being successful, and being successful is hard. How many Fortune 500 companies have been teetering on bankruptcy and irrelevance while their leadership awards themselves billions? Once upon the time the justification for that wealth was "success", but as of late the justification is that it is simply what an executive is worth! Do you really want to risk not having wealthy executives? Typically they pay themselves in stocks, options, bonds, and so on. In the short term where decisions are being made these represent nothing. They are clever financial instruments to get around paying. In the long run they are everything, they are not just the company itself but it's lifeblood. Such massive payouts amount to looting the company, ravaging it's assets to take as much cash as can be carried out quickly. It is wroth noting that local capital has been almost entirely eradicated in places where such institutions are endemic, which these days is everywhere, so it is virtually impossible for smaller entities to replace the niche they once occupied.
Essentially there are five entities worth considering. Consumers (everybody), businesses (small companies serving a limited locale), corporations (massive organizations of incorporated businesses operating like a franchise), entrepreneurs (large high capital and very young businesses generally far larger than traditional businesses but without the organizational structure of corporations), and capital (the money holding caste, banks, retirement funds, entities focused on accumulating capital for themselves and their clients via investments). Generally when we think of "billionaires" and mention people like warren buffet we are thinking about capital. This comes from an era when wealth was predominantly located withing businesses and capital. We conflate the common memory with the current situation when wealth and success were synonymous. A clever investor invested brilliantly, and a clever business owner while individually of limited wealth collectively made up a massive caste that represented a large share of wealth. Income growth has been limited to a very, very small group of dubious success. Since businesses have been almost completely displaced by corporations they no longer represent a success metric usable by investors, so over the past 10 years they have depended on corporations for their wealth. Since corporations have been looting themselves to enrich their boards this has been a severely limited and clearly short term solution, as has become obvious in the past 5 years. Now, wealth generation is limited to entrepreneurs who generally do not see a profit or any meaningful success but are capable of providing a product which is used, their companies siphoning vast fortunes off of the capital markets in doing so, and corporations which still have the inertia of the vast amount of "stuff" they own, which they are now selling off to continue to pay off their boards. The star investor billionaires of the past like Buffet tend to be old wealth as well, as there is really no clear metric of how to make money investing these days. Since the great recession value investing has seen very mediocre returns. I need to stress that point. Warren Buffet is not as successful as he used to be. His method is not successful anymore. His method is finding successful companies that need capital and investing in them. That no longer works. I believe that summarizes our current economic predicament excellently. Ever since the recession, besides the random noise of the casino that is the stock market, investors have not been becoming particularly wealthy.
Should billionaires exist? I find that to be a pointless and loaded question. Why are there so many billionaires when nobody seems to be particularly successful? I think that's a more interesting question.
On a more related note than this text diarrhea, I do not think a wealth tax is a particularly effective way of fixing this problem. We've struck an institutional crisis and adjusting the parameters of extreme wealth won't really fix it. A wealth tax would use the side effects of the brokenness of our system to generate capital, which is always nice, but the underlying core problems wouldn't only remain unfixed but we would think that they have been addressed.
>>3810>have an IQ of 85, would NASA be able to get to a manned flight to Mars faster?
The connection between IQ and productivity is sufficiently unpopular that I will say those masses may fly to Mars as fast as they choose.>>3812
Interesting observations. Stars command high value because they are difficult to replace satisfactorily, not so much because their labor can not be replaced (although maybe it can't), but because the sparkle and trustworthiness they give to a firm/product.
Research and testing could very well be crowdsourced, though, as they do involve labor rather than simply thinking really hard in a lab. If they were literally alone, it could take more than a lifetime to have figured out rocketry without people to produce and maintain equipment and mock-up rockets to test.
Given that, I'm willing to place my money on the 10,000 people just trying things repeatedly until something works. They might only have an IQ of 85, but the amount of experience they'd gain by testing so many things would rapidly make up for it.
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It's true that not every position requires a high IQ. For some positions, a person with IQ=130 might not be any faster than a person with IQ=85. But other positions really do require a high level of intelligence. If high-IQ individuals cost many times a low-IQ individual, then the right solution for a research-and-engineering-and-manufacturing organization will probably be a mix of people. But if you eliminate ALL the high-IQ individuals, you can't really replace them even with 10,000 low-IQ individuals.>Given that, I'm willing to place my money on the 10,000 people just trying things repeatedly until something works.
Not all tasks are parallelizable like that. You might have hundreds of subsystems that need to function together. And if you look at all the major advances in physics, none have been from people with below-average intelligence.>>3918> I try to minimize unpopular opinions.
You should instead try to minimize false beliefs, and only let evidence of truth be the deciding factor of what to believe.>I defer to the mainstream view of no association between IQ and much else in life
That's not the mainstream view. Hardly anyone with an IQ < 85 even graduates from college.