Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst ... 23
Results 71 to 77 of 77

Thread: B.Sanders & R. Reich Don't Just Want to Tax the Rich, They Want to Abolish Billionair

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    My view is that the sentiments expressed in your C&P are largely a collection of rationalizations.

    Just as criticism of Israel does NOT equate to anti-semitism, neither does criticism of extreme wealth and income inequality equate to communism, socialism, or any other 'ism'.

    We in the US (more so than in any other developed country) are experiencing rising economic inequality, at levels not seen since the robber baron era. We know what history teaches us about this sort of thing: eventually, when the level gets intolerable, we get 'instability'.... historically, in the form of revolution, pitchforks and torches, and so on.

    Are we 'there' yet? Of course not... but there is hardly any question that our economic structure encourages rising levels of economic inequality....

    ...and we have to ask ourselves: what mechanisms are there to limit it? If it continues to increase, unabated, what sort of 'democracy' will we have?

    I could quote the statistics you've all heard before, about what tiny fraction of Americans hold what huge percentage of wealth in this country... but it wouldn't make any difference.

    Instead, let me ask a different question: what happens when 0.01% own 99.9% of the wealth in this county? Can we still be a democratic republic?

    'Preposterous', you say?

    Tell me what is there to prevent that from happening, and I'll shut up.


    Wealth is not a zero sum game. The fact that a few people are extremely wealthy does not limit anyone else’s ability to accumulate wealth. We have people with a political agenda, e.g. Robert Reich, besting thr drum about this stuff to create an issue where none exists. The people who digest it don’t know any better. Robert Reich knows better, but he’s got a political axe to grind that he seems to value above his personal integrity.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Why? What good does it accomplish when any individual has that large a share of the pie?

    A thought experiment: What if taxes were changed so that Oprah Winfrey was left with only, say, $500 million in accumulated wealth? What harm would that do, even to her?

    What is this with Von Mises and Austrian School economics all of a sudden? They're a bunch of cranks, to be blunt.


    What benefit would it do to take away her wealth? The Federal government would piss away Oprah’s entire net worth in minutes, with no benefit to anyone. Most billionaires (Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Jeff Bezos et al) have their wealth tied up in shares of companies they built. To take away their wealth they’d have to sell off their stakes. Any thought about the economic chit storm that would result from that?

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    here
    Posts
    18,291

    Default Re: B.Sanders & R. Reich Don't Just Want to Tax the Rich, They Want to Abolish Billio

    Quote Originally Posted by Fonzoga View Post
    Wealth is not a zero sum game. The fact that a few people are extremely wealthy does not limit anyone else’s ability to accumulate wealth.
    You're correct in theory, but not in practice.

    It's theoretically possible that extremely wealthy people would not limit other people's ability to accumulate wealth....

    ...but as we have seen in practice over and over again, it turns out extremely wealthy people do use their wealth and power to oppress the less fortunate.

    History if full of examples: exploitation of the serfs, slavery by wealthy land-owners, union-busting by the robber barons, labor practices at Wal*Mart, business practices at Amazon.. the way professional sports teams get cities to build stadiums for them, etc.

    It's not just that these people get really rich... it's that more often than not, as soon as they get really rich, they insert themselves into civics and politics and seize the levers of power and start using them not only for their own advantage, but to the detriment of most everyone else.

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    here
    Posts
    18,291

    Default Re: B.Sanders & R. Reich Don't Just Want to Tax the Rich, They Want to Abolish Billio

    Quote Originally Posted by Fonzoga View Post
    What benefit would it do to take away her wealth? The Federal government would piss away Oprah’s entire net worth in minutes, with no benefit to anyone.
    By that logic, none of us should have to pay taxes. The measly $100,000 or so that I dutifully paid last year kept the government operating for about 1.05 seconds. They could have let me skate and no one would have noticed.

    Most billionaires (Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Jeff Bezos et al) have their wealth tied up in shares of companies they built. To take away their wealth they’d have to sell off their stakes. Any thought about the economic chit storm that would result from that?
    What, you don't think the rest of us have our money tied up in assets too?

    No company has ever had qualms about diluting my ownership stake when they need to grant their CEO another few million in stock.

    We've seen companies go out of business, lay off tens of thousands of people, raid their employee's retirement accounts, etc, etc, etc. Now we're supposed to be concerned that the CEO might have to sell some stock on the open market to pay some bills? I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

    I'm not saying I take any joy in seeing CEOs get screwed. I'm just saying that, if it turns out they get screwed, they are invited to get at the back of a very long line of people who have been screwed over. They have no right to expect that we should care more about their misfortune than they have cared about others.... and we've already seen how much they care about others.
    Last edited by ljb5; 12-21-2019 at 06:14 PM.

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Modesto, CA
    Posts
    3,562

    Default Re: B.Sanders & R. Reich Don't Just Want to Tax the Rich, They Want to Abolish Billio

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    I would like to think we have always made my money by being smart. I don't think we have ever overcharged anyone.
    I certainly would not want to challenge your intelligence, or your ability to manage your business in an intelligent manner. I would, however, suggest that in comparing the distribution of intelligence to the wealth distribution curves modeled in the Scientific American article in their November issue, it would appear that pure chance has had a greater role in your position on the curve than you might wish to accept. And, should our free market continue unchanged, the oligarch spike could, again by random chance, pass you by as it has many others. The model indicates that unchecked, the market will result in a single oligarch. Do you feel lucky?
    “Aren’t you supposed to be the gentlemen who lie for the good of their country?”
    “That’s diplomats. We’re not gentlemen.”
    “So you lie to save your hides.”
    That’s politicians. Different game entirely.”

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Kitty Hawk, NC
    Posts
    12,127

    Default Re: B.Sanders & R. Reich Don't Just Want to Tax the Rich, They Want to Abolish Billio

    Quote Originally Posted by webishop14 View Post
    I certainly would not want to challenge your intelligence, or your ability to manage your business in an intelligent manner. I would, however, suggest that in comparing the distribution of intelligence to the wealth distribution curves modeled in the Scientific American article in their November issue, it would appear that pure chance has had a greater role in your position on the curve than you might wish to accept. And, should our free market continue unchanged, the oligarch spike could, again by random chance, pass you by as it has many others. The model indicates that unchecked, the market will result in a single oligarch. Do you feel lucky?
    You take being smart in a very narrow sense. I use a broader meaning. In particular, I look at my economic condition, determine how I want it to change, and I make a plan to get there. I think that differs from most smart people who do little to change their economic condition.

    I don't think the issue is chance, but rather choice. One needs to make a choice to save for the future and the choice to invest. And of course, realize that mistakes will be made and they need to be rectified.
    Life is complex.

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    39,168

    Default Re: B.Sanders & R. Reich Don't Just Want to Tax the Rich, They Want to Abolish Billio

    OK!

    Let this be a lesson to Rumpy.

    As I have heard no reasonable objections to my assertion that 'Billionaires are people, too', I think it may be useful to take another look.

    Before we continue, I want to make it very clear that there are examples of the billionaire strain who whole-heartedly deserve to be imprisoned or worse for the crimes they have committed on their way toward self-actualization/pursuit of happiness.

    In my view, this does not indicate that the entire billionaire strain are inherently criminal, and does nothing to impugn the idea that they are at least as useful to the human species as are poets or engineers.

    -----------------------------------------

    My theory-of-the-moment concerning the rise of billionairism and the attendant oligarchy/kleptocracy/authoritarianism is that the billionaires have the self-same fears and anxieties as anyone else, and they are mounting this assault because they don't want to be left behind.

    Weird, I know, but consider that if the whole billionaire narrative falls apart and society gets a good look at the man behind the curtain, then the billionaires are back to square one.

    A) The Bs don't trust the rest of us to recognize their real value to society, so they become more and more invested in controlling the narrative as well as the economy.

    B) Because the Bs don't trust us, they fear us. There are only a small handful of them after all, and a global population of, well, billions.

    C) We need to learn how to de-escalate this confrontation, or everybody loses.


    -------------------------------------------

    Thoughts?




Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •