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Thread: Billionaires Blast off

  1. Top | #431
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post

    You talk as if mega-billionaires were half the population. In fact, they're an "outgroup" for 99.9999% of us.
    You appear not to have grasped the whole ingroup/outgroup concept. You might as well call people with AB- blood "outgroup for 99% of us". That's not how it works. AB- people aren't outgroup for the rest of us because we aren't biased for or against people based on their blood type.

    No, it's not like that. It's like 10 muslims suppressing the standard of living for 10 million dhimmis.
    Reciting your premise isn't the same as arguing for it.

    Of course they would -- just people outside your own monkeysphere.
    Again, YOU are part of "my monkeyshpere", as is virtually every other American.
    You appear not to have grasped the whole monkeysphere concept either. "The Monkeysphere is the group of people who each of us, using our monkeyish brains, are able to conceptualize as people. If the monkey scientists are monkey right, it's physically impossible for this to be a number much larger than 150." I doubt if "virtually every other American" is an accurate way to characterize those you can conceptualize as people.

    You don't have a reason to believe that; it's your faith in zero-sum-game economics talking.
    Bull... I have been a businessperson and an entrepreneur all my life. I KNOW about productivity, first hand. I know about growth algorithms, barriers to market entries and all kinds of things that bear on the success of enterprises. It is you who are harboring a fantasy that the physical and fiscal mechanics that apply to my productivity and that of my companies are the same as those that apply to generating tens of billions of dollars per year of personal profits for a single mega-billionaire.
    You were productive and traded with others, who voluntarily traded with you because you found a win-win solution to a problem you had and a problem somebody else had, so you made money without being an economic black hole who sucked up wealth from your vicinity, but by being a wealth source who enriched his own life and others' lives at the same time. But somehow, you know that a mega-billionaire doesn't do the same thing on a larger scale. Instead, he makes the preexisting wealth of those he deals with go away into his black-hole pocket, impoverishing them rather than making them better off with some win-win solution of his own.

    How do you know this? Because reasons? Because mega-billionaires are celestial beings rather than earthlings and the celestial spheres follow their own laws of physical and fiscal mechanics? Whatever, let's suppose you're right. Then please explain why the mega-billionaire's customers and suppliers don't just walk away. Why do they keep buying from him and selling to him when it's making them worse off?

    I take it you're referring to your local property taxes and the increased value as judged by your local assessor. In the first place, that means the tax is something like $12,000, not the $200,000ish tax we'd be talking about if how much other people want your house determined how much income you have.
    Now you're back to trying to apply the same principles to you and me at our income and wealth levels, that I would apply to the 1,000,000,001th dollar of annual increased wealth of a mega billionaire. Surely you can see the difference?
    "Now you're back to applying the same principles to the Jews that I would apply to Christians like you and me. Surely you can see the difference?", said any number of medieval religious thinkers. So yes, I can see the difference: I can see that I don't have a double standard for how other people should behave, and you do.

  2. Top | #432
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Yep: the balance of power is weighted in favor of the common man, and against the rich. What a surprise. We live in democracies.
    You still miss the point.

    To summarize: in terms of pay rate, the 'common man' as in the average worker has very little negotiating power on his own.
    Well sure; but he's not on his own. He has the power of numbers.

    Without protections in place, awards (often too low), he is presented with the pay rate and conditions, take it or leave it.

    Workers don't get to set the rules. Politicians promise the world at election time, then take care of those at the top, the business leaders. Workers are left to languish, wages stagnate for decades while the upper crust enjoy gains.

    Collective bargaining and good representation at the table is often the only way to for workers to improve their lot.

    Which does not mean 'eating the rich' or making them poor, just getting a fairer share of the wealth they help to build.

    So what's the problem?
    Well, you're making it look like the problem is you know perfectly well that expecting politicians to solve the workers' grievances is a losing proposition, and self-help by collective bargaining is the actual way for workers to improve their lot, and yet you keep arguing for political solutions!

    When people who think like you get their way, and the government brings private employers to heel, and wages are set by government edict instead of across the bargaining table, wages stagnate for decades. When you in effect turn government itself into the employer, what else would you expect but that government policymakers will take up thinking like employers? All the workers accomplish that way is to be facing a monopoly across that table, instead of multiple companies competing for workers' services. Why would you expect them to get a better deal from a monopoly?

  3. Top | #433
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Well sure; but he's not on his own. He has the power of numbers.

    Without protections in place, awards (often too low), he is presented with the pay rate and conditions, take it or leave it.

    Workers don't get to set the rules. Politicians promise the world at election time, then take care of those at the top, the business leaders. Workers are left to languish, wages stagnate for decades while the upper crust enjoy gains.

    Collective bargaining and good representation at the table is often the only way to for workers to improve their lot.

    Which does not mean 'eating the rich' or making them poor, just getting a fairer share of the wealth they help to build.

    So what's the problem?
    Well, you're making it look like the problem is you know perfectly well that expecting politicians to solve the workers' grievances is a losing proposition, and self-help by collective bargaining is the actual way for workers to improve their lot, and yet you keep arguing for political solutions!
    Collective bargaining is a political solution. In the USA, given the difficulty in starting a union ( a political problem), or even going on strike (another political problem - the gov't can and has called strikes against the national interest), a political solution is a reasonable expectation. What form that political solution takes is another matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20
    When people who think like you get their way, and the government brings private employers to heel, and wages are set by government edict instead of across the bargaining table, wages stagnate for decades. When you in effect turn government itself into the employer, what else would you expect but that government policymakers will take up thinking like employers? All the workers accomplish that way is to be facing a monopoly across that table, instead of multiple companies competing for workers' services. Why would you expect them to get a better deal from a monopoly?
    Can you point to a basis the above? I don't see DBT advocating making the gov't the employer and setting wages by edict. Which makes the above appear more like a straw man to me.

  4. Top | #434
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Well, you're making it look like the problem is you know perfectly well that expecting politicians to solve the workers' grievances is a losing proposition, and self-help by collective bargaining is the actual way for workers to improve their lot, and yet you keep arguing for political solutions!
    It's a multifaceted problem. Not all workers are able to join unions, casual, part time, short term contracts, etc, so it's not always possible for workers to organize themselves in order to benefit from collective bargaining.

    Which is why governments in western nations tend to legislate a minimum wage as protection from outright, untrammeled exploitation of vulnerable workers. Something that ideally should not be necessary.

    As for exploitation, there are no shortage of examples throughout history, right up to the present day.

  5. Top | #435
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    Elixir: THAT IS NOT ABOUT ANYONE TO WHOM A WEALTH TAX WOULD APPLY.

    Bomb#20: Yes, we get all that. We all understand that the discriminatory tax you have in mind for your outgroup is a tax you want only on your outgroup.

    Elixir: You talk as if mega-billionaires were half the population. In fact, they're an "outgroup" for 99.9999% of us.

    Loren Pechtel: That doesn't refute his argument.

    Elixir: Maybe not in an authoritarian State, but in a representative democracy, it should.

    Derec: So, dictatorship of the majority?

    Elixir: When the majority is 99.9999%, yeah. You disagree. So dictatorship of the .0001%?

    Derec: That's a false dichotomy.

    Elixir: That’s an ignorant quip, not an argument.
    Think of it as a shorthand pointer to an argument. We all can figure out what argument is meant; I suspect you all can too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    When the majority is 99.9999%, yeah.
    You disagree. So dictatorship of the .0001%?
    Hey, here's an idea. How about if we have no dictatorship at all? How about if instead we have rule of law, with the law the same for everybody?

    I encourage you to think real hard about whose welfare is more important- the 99.9999 percent or the billionaires. Then think about which group a government should serve.
    How about if the government serves neither group? How about if it doesn't divide people into groups? How about if it doesn't assume its job is to decide which groups to serve and which groups to serve them to? How about if the government is a government for all the people and treats all the people with equal justice?

    Yeah, I know, liberalism went out of fashion in the 1920s and the above line of argument has little appeal to progressives. Doesn't change the fact that you made a false dichotomy.

  6. Top | #436
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    Ants are smarter than Republicans.

    That's a water drop those ants found, not a water drop any ants made. Leftist ethics in a nutshell: a demand that farmers live according to hunter-gatherers' morality.

  7. Top | #437
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    No, you have missed the implications of your position. You take away the wealth, you take away what that wealth produces.
    Nobody is proposing taking away all their wealth. Why do you keep trotting out that stupid straw man?
    It's not a strawman. Plenty of people are proposing taking away over 99% of their wealth -- Bilby, for instance -- and LP's point remains whether it's 99% or 100%.

  8. Top | #438
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derec View Post
    Basically they want to create a new tax - afaik unprecedented in the history of modern taxation - where unrealized capital gains are taxed.
    Not unprecedented. Australia taxes unrealized capital gains on foreign stocks; the discrimination is supposed to incentivize Australians to invest in Australian companies instead of doing the rational thing and diversifying.

  9. Top | #439
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    No, you have missed the implications of your position. You take away the wealth, you take away what that wealth produces.
    Nobody is proposing taking away all their wealth. Why do you keep trotting out that stupid straw man?
    It's not a strawman. Plenty of people are proposing taking away over 99% of their wealth -- Bilby, for instance -- and LP's point remains whether it's 99% or 100%.
    99% of a billion dollars taken in tax leaves them with only $10,000,000.

    I can see how that's an awful impost that leaves someone at genuine risk of starvation, homelessness, and destitution.

    Oh, wait.

    Fuck off.

  10. Top | #440
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    Ants are smarter than Republicans.

    That's a water drop those ants found, not a water drop any ants made. Leftist ethics in a nutshell: a demand that farmers live according to hunter-gatherers' morality.
    Our environment is the foundation of our existence.

    Whatever we do with the resources available to us, someone has do the actual work.

    Ideas and planning alone doesn't put bread on the table, clothes on our backs, houses with cars in the garage.....that takes workers.

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