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Thread: Here’s how much America’s billionaires give to charity, in one chart

  1. Top | #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Yes, but the point at hand was about something else.

    And on what you say is DBT’s general point, is Ziprhead’s example not one valid answer?
    Generally, on this forum, some forms of derail are allowed. The title of this thread is "Here’s how much America’s billionaires give to charity, in one chart". If no side discussions were allowed, this thread would have been about five posts!

  2. Top | #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    No, not Bill gates. Rich pharmaceutical magnates buying influence in congress through lobbying groups cetainly affect people's ability to afford insulin.
    Well, let's fix this by electing better politicians with the balls to stand up to Big Pharma. But how does forcing Bill Gates to sell some Microsoft stock help this effort?
    You think Bill Gates is innocent?

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    First off, not all wealthy people lobby. Secondly, is it your view that all lobbying is bad? What about the lobbyists who are fighting the Trump administration trying to protect our parks? What about lobbyists fighting for our environment? Women's rights? Separation of church and state? I contribute cash to a lobby that fights for Native American rights at the federal and state level.

  3. Top | #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Yes, but the point at hand was about something else.

    And on what you say is DBT’s general point, is Ziprhead’s example not one valid answer?
    Generally, on this forum, some forms of derail are allowed. The title of this thread is "Here’s how much America’s billionaires give to charity, in one chart". If no side discussions were allowed, this thread would have been about five posts!
    Sure. But at the same time, what I see a lot of, on this forum, is, someone makes a point or asks a question, someone else answers it, the person who asked it fails to properly acknowledge that the answer is valid and worthy of continued exploration, and immediately brings up something slightly different instead.

    And now, for example, we (or at least you and ZiprHead) are talking about Bill Gates (in fact now it's moved on to lobbying) rather than the question or claim that had come up, and indeed rather than the general concern, which DBT has articulated.

    I may be accusing you of something you didn't do. You did not deny ZiprHead's point, in fact you had a suggested remedy. So I may be being hard on you.

    But I guess I don't think we should pass so easily and quickly over something as arguably regrettable as sick people not being able to afford a commonly-available medicine, in the 21st century, in the developed west, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

    On your suggested remedy, it seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong) to be asking for better regulation. Which of course all of us (you, me, ZiprHead and DBT, and some others) would probably be in favour of.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 12-08-2019 at 07:38 PM.

  4. Top | #74
    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post

    You think Bill Gates is innocent?

    Open Secrets - Client Profile: Microsoft Corp
    First off, not all wealthy people lobby. Secondly, is it your view that all lobbying is bad? What about the lobbyists who are fighting the Trump administration trying to protect our parks? What about lobbyists fighting for our environment? Women's rights? Separation of church and state? I contribute cash to a lobby that fights for Native American rights at the federal and state level.
    Wuttabout, wuttabout, wuttabout. Your obtuseness is again on display.

    Did that native American lobbying group get anywhere near 8 million dollars?
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  5. Top | #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Yes, but the point at hand was about something else.

    And on what you say is DBT’s general point, is Ziprhead’s example not one valid answer?
    Generally, on this forum, some forms of derail are allowed. The title of this thread is "Here’s how much America’s billionaires give to charity, in one chart". If no side discussions were allowed, this thread would have been about five posts!
    Sure. But at the same time, what I see a lot of, on this forum, is, someone makes a point or asks a question, someone else answers it, the person who asked it fails to properly acknowledge that the answer is valid and worthy of continued exploration, and immediately brings up something slightly different instead.

    And now, for example, we (or at least you and ZiprHead) are talking about Bill Gates (in fact now it's moved on to lobbying) rather than the question or claim that had come up, and indeed rather than the general concern, which DBT has articulated.

    I may be accusing you of something you didn't do. You did not deny ZiprHead's point, in fact you had a suggested remedy. So I may be being hard on you.

    But I guess I don't think we should pass so easily and quickly over something as arguably regrettable as sick people not being able to afford a commonly-available medicine, in the 21st century, in the developed west, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

    On your suggested remedy, it seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong) to be asking for better regulation. Which of course all of us (you, me, ZiprHead and DBT, and some others) would probably be in favour of.
    Yea, I don't think that you and I are far off from each other. We both want people at the lower ends to have better access, fewer barriers, greater safety net, and etc. My only point is that I think that we should be seeking ways to help people up. But I just don't see taxing wealth as being helpful for this.

  6. Top | #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    [Yea, I don't think that you and I are far off from each other. We both want people at the lower ends to have better access, fewer barriers, greater safety net, and etc. My only point is that I think that we should be seeking ways to help people up. But I just don't see taxing wealth as being helpful for this.
    I definitely don't see you as being unreasonable. Quite the opposite. I was, in fact, surprised to see it was you asking the follow-up question to Loren's (imo untenable) claim.

    As to economics, I'm way out of my depth. I wish I could offer a knowledgeable opinion as to whether higher taxes are/were beneficial or not, but I can't, especially when it comes to a country I am not a citizen of and not familiar with all the variables and factors that pertain. I recognise the possibility that they may not.

    But, I don't mind admitting this. I instinctively lean towards progressive, higher taxes as a way of paying for a better, more civilised society, and would not mind paying more myself (as I think you yourself said also) and I broadly agree with the suggestion that the largest social burden should fall on the broadest shoulders. That of course does not make me a socialist or anything like it. Nor you either. I think we are both of us capitalists.

    What I just described seems to have worked very, very well indeed in North Western Europe and Scandinavia, at least for about 50 years, and created what were, and to a lesser extent still are (as far as this layman knows) arguably the most enviable and desirable and equitable societies that have ever existed, but I do realise that they are not the USA and that apples aren't oranges.

    In my heart, I would have loved to see the USA embrace those sorts of hybrid capitalist/socialist politics during my lifetime. As the world's most powerful 20th century superpower, it could have had an enormous, and different, global influence. But that is probably pie in the sky and simplistic, and maybe flawed wishful thinking.

    I'm afraid that instead, I strongly associate the USA with toxic capitalism (and obscene wealth inequalities) and with exporting it around the world.

    But hey, it was probably just the USA's turn. Britain was no better when it was top dog, or should I say top ape. Whoever is next (China? India?) may have to be different, if planetary damage limitation becomes the urgent priority instead of increasing material wealth. I think it's very possible the latter model is past its sell-by date, and profoundly, maybe urgently so.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 12-08-2019 at 09:41 PM.

  7. Top | #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    [Yea, I don't think that you and I are far off from each other. We both want people at the lower ends to have better access, fewer barriers, greater safety net, and etc. My only point is that I think that we should be seeking ways to help people up. But I just don't see taxing wealth as being helpful for this.
    I definitely don't see you as being unreasonable. Quote the opposite. I was, in fact, surprised to see it was you asking the follow-up question to Loren's (imo untenable) claim.

    As to economics, I'm way out of my depth. I wish I could offer a knowledgeable opinion as to whether higher taxes are/were beneficial or not, but I can't, especially when it comes to a country I am not a citizen of and not familiar with all the variables and factors that pertain.

    But, I don't mind admitting this. I instinctively lean towards progressive, higher taxes as a way of paying for a civilised society, and would not mind paying more myself (as I think you yourself said also) and I broadly agree with the suggestion that the largest social burden should fall on the broadest shoulders. That of course does not make me a socialist or anything like it. Nor you either. I think we are both of us capitalists.

    What I just described seems to have worked very, very well indeed in North Western Europe and Scandinavia, at least for about 50 years, and created what were, and to a lesser extent still are (as far as this layman knows) arguably the most enviable and desirable and equitable societies that have ever existed, but I do realise that they are not the USA and that apples aren't oranges.

    In my heart, I would have loved to see the USA embrace those sorts of hybrid capitalist/socialist politics during my lifetime. As the world's most powerful 20th century superpower, it could have had an enormous, and different, global influence. But that is probably pie in the sky and simplistic, and maybe flawed wishful thinking.

    I'm afraid that instead, I strongly associate the USA with toxic capitalism (and obscene wealth inequalities) and with exporting it around the world.

    But hey, it was probably just the USA's turn. Britain was no better when it was top dog, or should I say top ape. Whoever is next (China? India?) may have to be different, if planetary damage limitation becomes the urgent priority instead of increasing material wealth. I think it's very possible the latter model is past its sell-by date.
    Ruby: I'm not against raising taxes. I think that our safety net is a little small today in the US. I'm more for wanting taxes to be based on taxable income. The federal government doesn't have the authority to tax wealth. A tax on wealth would hurt the stock market. It also takes from the future (wealth gets taxed at some point). Wealth taxes should be the domain of the states to tax, not the feds.

  8. Top | #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    Ruby: I'm not against raising taxes. I think that our safety net is a little small today in the US. I'm more for wanting taxes to be based on taxable income. The federal government doesn't have the authority to tax wealth. A tax on wealth would hurt the stock market. It also takes from the future (wealth gets taxed at some point). Wealth taxes should be the domain of the states to tax, not the feds.
    Well, that is the point at which I get rather lost in the detail. My economics is weak, especially my American economics, not to mention politics.

    I will only say this, even if it's not the remit of this or that authority to raise this or that tax, the general question of whether it should be like that or not is still open.

    And on the effect on stock markets, I simply can't form a strong opinion on whether a wealth tax (or perhaps more specifically a certain level of wealth tax) would hurt the stock market, or how much it would hurt the stock market, or indeed whether not hurting the stock market is always and necessarily a bad thing, long term. It seems to me the stock markets may have, over time, acquired undue primacy in the lives of human populations.

    The same argument in outline is made here in Britain. Some say it's a scare story deployed by the 'Right'. I do wonder if it is, at least to some extent.

  9. Top | #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post

    Except they haven't. They're just moving faster, they're not slowing us down. That oft-posted chart is an example of lying with statistics.
    It's the power imbalance, a practically insurmountable barrier. The only way that the poor can 'chop down' the super rich is to gather up their pitchforks.

    History tells us how that option ends.
    What does this lack of power prevent you from doing?
    Negotiating a fair and reasonable income in terms of living cost and overall wealth being generated, a larger slice of the national pie, so that wealth is spread more reasonably than what we see now, so that everybody in society who works, benefits from their labour and is not just eking out a living, struggling with the basics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post

    Except they haven't. They're just moving faster, they're not slowing us down. That oft-posted chart is an example of lying with statistics.
    It's the power imbalance, a practically insurmountable barrier. The only way that the poor can 'chop down' the super rich is to gather up their pitchforks.

    History tells us how that option ends.
    Yup--the French Revolution set their nation back at least 30 years.

    The pitchfork route would reduce us to third world levels.

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