@Enco remind me: Why do we need multi-billionaires?

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 2 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #39427

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    Sorry it’s been so long.  I had to take some much-needed rest from working in the stead of the get-paid-to-exist crowd.

    Fret not.   If Sleepy, Creepy, Crazy, Cranky, Tankie, Corn-Pop, Lunch-Bucket, Basement-Bunker, Pudding-Cup, Shotgun Joe Biden (Fuck Be Unto Him) keeps spending $Trillions every time he changes his Depends, we will all be multi-Billionaires…

    It’s just that the currency will be worthless, as it was during the decline of Ancient Rome and Weimar Germany and modern-day Zimbabwe.

    Now, as far as currency that retains purchasing power, we can always use more of that and those who can produce goods and services to earn it and accumulate it on all levels.  And numbers, in principle, can go into infinity.

    Your notion that the wealthy just sit on their wealth (evidently in their mattress) is probably one of the oldest myths there is in the realm of economics.  This notion is as mythical as elves, although this cartoon elf can explain why eloquently:

    “Yankee Dood It” (Fast forward to 4:33 to get to the real meat of the cartoon.)

    Wealth that, as you put it, “sits in stocks” is what funds and drives all the innovations and technology that we enjoy today.

    Just 25 years ago, taxi cab companies with city government-granted monopolies had a stranglehold on transportation in many cities and offered filthy cabs, rude drivers, and expensive, limited service.  It took getting expensive licenses to get into the taxi cab business.  (New York City limited the number of cab medallions and medallions bid for $millions at auction.)

    Now, with capital funding companies like Uber and Lyft, rides are much more plentiful, friendlier, less expensive, guided precisely via GPS, and with easier entry into the business and city cab monopolies up-ended more and more every day.

    25 years ago, only the rich got their groceries home delivered, usually by above-retail-priced outfits like Schwan’s.  And about the only restaurants that delivered were pizzarias and expensive caterers.  Now, thanks to capital invested in companies like UberEats, Doordash, and Grubhub, anyone and everyone can have this luxury of the rich, from any store or restaurant, at all levels of pricepoints.

    And that’s just a few of countless examples of innovations we all can enjoy.  It all comes from the ability to accumulate and invest capital.  And it only exists to the extent we all have the freedom to do so and awful things happen when we don’t have that freedom:

    “Make Mine Freedom” (You can add “Or not” at :50 and 1:43, as I did)

    #39428

    Unseen
    Participant

    @Enco

    My point about wealth that “sits in stocks” wasn’t that it sits there doing nothing. It’s that it sits there sheltering them from taxes. If we taxed their wealth (“the wealth tax”) that money could still be out in the economy funding innovation and research, but benefitting the middle class as well and boosting the economy as that money ends up in grocery stores, car dealerships, and other retail establishments.

    We don’t need them for innovation. Their “innovation” often ends up raising our cost of living. An example is that the government will fund medical research but (no doubt due to billionaire lobbying efforts) the government then claims no intellectual rights to the “innovation” that could bring the drug to the market at an affordable price.

    “Now, with capital funding companies like Uber and Lyft, rides are much more plentiful, friendlier, less expensive, guided precisely via GPS, and with easier entry into the business and city cab monopolies up-ended more and more every day.” I suppose they are friendlier if you’re a woman who doesn’t get assaulted or raped or even murdered by her driver.

    A Criminologist Says Uber’s Crime Report Is ‘Highly Alarming’

    I’m not sure what Uber and Lyft have to do with this discussion. Did they make some people billionaires? Why not have them pay taxes?

    In fact, your entire overly drawn-out response dodges the question of why shouldn’t they pay taxes like the rest of us?

    Also, what is your justification for the concentration of wealth in ever-fewer hands while the middle class is slowly sinking into the impoverished class? Is it because the middle class (the most productive workforce on the planet) is just shiftless and lazy?

    #39429

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen: Also, what is your justification for the concentration of wealth in ever-fewer hands while the middle class is slowly sinking into the impoverished class? Is it because the middle class (the most productive workforce on the planet) is just shiftless and lazy?

    Well said. The concentration of wealth and disparity is sickening. The system sucks. It is res ipsa. There is no justification for it.

    #39430

    _Robert_
    Participant

    The average American is too dense to vote for who will actually help them. They vote against themselves. All you have to do is have a picture of an eagle, a flag and bible and talk about freedom and that you are against goddamn commies and socialists. The empire is too stupid to live.

    #39431

    Here is an opinion piece from the NYT I just read on how the wealthiest maintain their wealth that “sits in stocks”.

    #39432

    jakelafort
    Participant

    I did not do trusts and estates but i recall a seminar in which stepped up basis was a big topic. That reference to perpetuities is known as Gray’s rule against perpetuities. I am not sure i ever understood it completely.

    Any concentration of wealth is tantamount to a concentration of power. Capitalism is exploitation. See the big fish swallow the small fish. See the big fish leave crumbs for the small fish. See the big fish change the swimming pool for the benefit of the big fish. See the small fish adopt the propaganda that unfettered capitalism is primo. No good comes from concentration of wealth and power. Speaking of which…equality for the races will never occur without economic equality or something approximating it.

    #39433

    Unseen
    Participant

    The megawealthy may be digging their own grave. Even billionaire Nick Hanauer says so:

     

    He is a unapologetic capitalist, but he says that the rising inequality is feeding on itself, destroying wealth in the marketplace that businesses need to grow.

    Sorry Folks, Rich People Don’t Actually “Create Jobs”

    Entrepreneurs don’t create jobs, the public does, by deciding whether the entrepreneur’s product is worth buying. Most of the time, they say “No,” but when they say “Yes,” people get jobs.

    The article refers to Hanauer’s premises. And states…

    First, America’s companies are currently being managed to share the least possible amount of their income with the employees who help create it. Corporate profit margins are at all-time highs, while wages are at an all-time low.

    Second, as Hanauer observes, America’s richest entrepreneurs, investors, and companies now have so much money that they can’t possibly spend it all. So instead of getting pumped back into the economy, thus creating revenue and wages, this cash just remains in investment accounts. Hanauer explains why. Hanauer takes home more than $10 million a year of income. On this income, he says, he pays an 11 percent tax rate. (Presumably, most of the income is dividends and long-term capital gains, which carry a tax rate of about 20 percent. And then he probably has some tax shelters that knock the rate down the rest of the way).

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    #39436

    Unseen
    Participant

    BTW, while in America there is this idea that somehow the ultrawealthy deserve their wealth because it represents their business acumen and tolerance for risk-taking. This is part truth but party myth. Once you have enough wealth, you can pay accountants and PR folks and lobbyists to help you accumulate even more wealth and power.

    Just look around you.

    The huge fact that this analysis leaves out is that many of the ultrawealthy inherited their wealth and largely live off interest that they can lay no similar claim to. They are idle wealthy. They aren’t wealthy because they are especially smart or risk-tolerant. They just won the genetic lottery.

    The fact is, we could tax this wealth fairly steeply and they’d still be ultrawealthy.

    I understand that we can’t pay for what we need by taxing the wealthy instead of the rest of us. I’m arguing that they participate in supporting the country through paying taxes like the rest of us, and taxes they can easily afford to pay, while the money you and I pay in taxes comes dearly and means giving up things that could make our lives better, richer, and more meaningful.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    #39438

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen that was a good vid.

    #39439

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen that was a good vid.

    Yeah. I wonder what @Enco’s take on it might be, though I don’t detect that he’s very game for this fight.

    #39440

    Unseen
    Participant

    @Enco

    Something I forgot to mention: Maybe we wouldn’t have to print more money (or we could print less) if the rich paid their fair share of taxes. That’s the other way the Feds can have money to spend on things like a social safety net for the people sleeping on the sidewalks, for infrastructure, and all the other needs that are going unattended.

    #39441

    Unseen
    Participant

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the billionaire class would stop getting rich off our backs and instead pitched in to help bring the kind of healthcare to Americans that’s actually kind of normal in Europe?

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by  Unseen.
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