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Thread: Billionaires Blast off

  1. Top | #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SLD View Post
    Does anyone else find themselves secretly hoping that one of them explodes?

    That’s wrong I know, but what’s the point of these trips? They aren’t advancing science. They’re just going a multi million dollar thrill ride.
    I don't. This is how technological progress is made.

    How much progress is being hindered by most of the country being poorly paid and only a few billionaires making progress for their own ends? There are smart people in all walks of life that could make technological progress if they had the means and the time.
    Oh please… if those people only had two jobs instead of three you know they would just spend that extra time with their families and not be out inventing new technologies.

  2. Top | #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    I am pointing out that excessive accumulation of wealth in the hands of a small percentage of the population is not good for society or the economy, and I have given the reasons why.....which you just ignore or brush aside.
    You take this as an assertion but you refuse to consider the costs of your approach. That's the hallmark of religion.
    Not true, higher pay rates for workers stimulates the economy, more money to spend on goods and services, luxuries, etc. The rich don't get poor, everyone benefits. What we have now is greed. Those at the top are not willing to pay, not that they cannot afford to.
    Preaching in response to a statement that your position is a religion isn't a very good rebuttal.

  3. Top | #313
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    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.
    That doesn't refute his argument.
    Maybe not in an authoritarian State, but in a representative democracy, it does should.
    It doesn't change the fact that you're playing tax-the-outgroup.

  4. Top | #314
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLD View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Swammerdami View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    I am pointing out that excessive accumulation of wealth in the hands of a small percentage of the population is not good for society or the economy, and I have given the reasons why.....which you just ignore or brush aside.
    I agree that wealth inequality is an increasing problem, and that limiting giga-fortunes with a wealth tax may be a good idea. And I'd like to see a return of labor union power in the U.S. And I agree that Amazon and Walmart have generated wealth off the sweat of their workers.

    BUT, it is oversimplified to attribute all corporate wealth to worker exploitation. Do Apple, Microsoft or Pfizer underpay their workers?
    I agree. It’s not one thing or another only. Either libertarian economics or communism. We had a capitalistic economy in the 50’s but 91% marginal tax rates. I don’t think we need to go that high. And ther were a variety of ways to reduce that. But I do think we should go back to 70% rates for any amounts over $1,000,000.

    We also need to consider a revenue tax vs. a profits tax. Amazon has trillions of dollars in sales a year. Through accounting gimmicks, it makes no profit usually so it pays no taxes. A 5% revenue tax would bring in significant revenue. Probably enough to balance the budget.
    We had "91%" with loopholes you could drive a 18 wheeler through. We didn't really have 91%, don't pretend the 50s are evidence that the economy works with a tax rate that high.

  5. Top | #315
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Somebody constructs the wheels, the struts, the engine, wings, seats, propeller so the 'rich guy' can realize their dream. Where they all working for a fair wage, or the bare minimum?
    So you want to live in a world without powered flight, not merely a world without reusable spacecraft.

  6. Top | #316
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    Say what you will about the government but it is much more a meritocracy than Amazon or Tesla or Virgin Airlines...
    Backwards, you have it.

    In private enterprise you get power by making good decisions.

    Getting elected to public office has very little to do with ability to lead well. It's about charisma and doing things the rich want, whether or not that's good for society.

  7. Top | #317
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    I get the impression that some believe that it's only the super rich who make discoveries and get things done, that without them the whole population would sit around and gaze at their navels until everyone starved.
    It's not about discoveries. It's about large, expensive research projects. Nobody makes a reusable spacecraft in their garage. SpaceX has released a video of landing mishaps before they got good at catching the boosters. That video shows something in the ballpark of half a billion dollars worth of hardware being destroyed in spectacular fashion. If you don't have a lot of billions of dollars you're not going to engage in research like that. And look at the Super-Heavy. Just the engines alone on that thing run into the 9 figures--and the first planned test flight is going to dump all of that in the drink. You're not doing a test like that unless you have a lot of billions of dollars.

  8. Top | #318
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Somebody constructs the wheels, the struts, the engine, wings, seats, propeller so the 'rich guy' can realize their dream. Where they all working for a fair wage, or the bare minimum?
    So you want to live in a world without powered flight, not merely a world without reusable spacecraft.

    You may have missed the point. In fact you have.

  9. Top | #319
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    I get the impression that some believe that it's only the super rich who make discoveries and get things done, that without them the whole population would sit around and gaze at their navels until everyone starved.
    It's not about discoveries. It's about large, expensive research projects. Nobody makes a reusable spacecraft in their garage. SpaceX has released a video of landing mishaps before they got good at catching the boosters. That video shows something in the ballpark of half a billion dollars worth of hardware being destroyed in spectacular fashion. If you don't have a lot of billions of dollars you're not going to engage in research like that. And look at the Super-Heavy. Just the engines alone on that thing run into the 9 figures--and the first planned test flight is going to dump all of that in the drink. You're not doing a test like that unless you have a lot of billions of dollars.
    What has that to do with a fair market share for all who contribute to production, the miners, drivers, tradesmen, factory workers, cleaners, etc, etc?

    As pointed out too many times, in recent times, the ratio between the top and bottom earners was not always as great as now.

    Why do you ignore this.

    ''The U.S. income divide has not always been as vast as it is today. In response to the staggering inequality of the Gilded Age in the early 1900s, social movements and progressive policymakers fought successfully to level down the top through fair taxation and level up the bottom through increased unionization and other reforms. But beginning in the 1970s, these levelers started to erode and the country returned to extreme levels of inequality. According to data analyzed by UC Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, the ratio between the top 0.1 percent and the bottom 90 percent reached Gilded Age levels in the years preceding the 2008 financial crisis.''

    ''Over the past five decades, the top 1 percent of American earners have nearly doubled their share of national income, according to Saez’s analysis. Meanwhile, the official poverty rate for all U.S. families from the Census Bureau has merely inched up and down. The official poverty rate understates the number of people in the world’s richest country who have trouble making ends meet. An estimated 40 percent of the total U.S. population (140 million people) are either poor or low-income.''

  10. Top | #320
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    Say what you will about the government but it is much more a meritocracy than Amazon or Tesla or Virgin Airlines...
    Backwards, you have it.

    In private enterprise you get power by making good decisions.

    Getting elected to public office has very little to do with ability to lead well. It's about charisma and doing things the rich want, whether or not that's good for society.
    In private enterprise, those 'good business decisions' involve underpaying employees and letting the US tax payer pick up the tab for health care, food stamps, extra funding to schools for children in poverty, subsidized rents, etc. You use unfair business practices (i.e. blackmail) to screw over your business partners (i.e. vendors/suppliers) At least that's what happens if your business is Walmart or Amazon or other large employers. Small employers, as well. Heck, I have friends who run small businesses and who cannot afford health insurance for employees or themselves but that ain't Walmart.

    Private enterprises involve jettisoning divisions and then hiring them back as subcontractors, paying them a fraction of what they did before--and zero benefits. Happened to one of my siblings.

    Getting elected to public office has little or nothing to do with being a public employee. Ever hear of the civil service?

    You know who those rich people are that politicians want/need to serve? The same big business people who are screwing over their employees and contractors.

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