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Thread: Billionaires Blast off

  1. Top | #351
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    I don't know about Untermesche,
    He's a communist.
    Big, big, communist.

    but the argument is not against creativity, innovation and reward.....just a question of pay scales in terms of those who have great wealth, power and position, therefore tremendous leverage, and those who have none. One end of the spectrum getting the lions share, the other left with bare bones.
    I do not think the others (the 99.9999%) are left with "bare bones". The truth is, most people in this country are able to lead a pretty good life economically speaking.

    We can debate what are the proper tax rates, brackets, things that are taxable, of course, and I am not saying out present system is perfect.
    But I am glad people like Musk and Bezos have the wherewithal to create companies that go into space, because I think while the public sector is great for basic research, private sector is best at implementing it.

    Trickle down economics is a joke.
    Depends of what you mean by it I guess. Bezos' Blue Origin employs over 3000 people last I checked. Many if not most well paid positions such as engineers.

    Even more frivolous spending still benefits people. The $500M Bezos spent on a superyacht did not just go "poof" without benefiting anybody but Bezos. It went to the company building the boat, and they had to hire people and procure parts from other companies that also employ people, and so on all the way back to raw materials. And then Bezos has to hire people to run the boat and maintain it, plus the dock fees and the like. And of course, the government is taking its share at every stage.

  2. Top | #352
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derec View Post
    He's a communist.
    Big, big, communist.


    I do not think the others (the 99.9999%) are left with "bare bones". The truth is, most people in this country are able to lead a pretty good life economically speaking.

    We can debate what are the proper tax rates, brackets, things that are taxable, of course, and I am not saying out present system is perfect.
    But I am glad people like Musk and Bezos have the wherewithal to create companies that go into space, because I think while the public sector is great for basic research, private sector is best at implementing it.

    Trickle down economics is a joke.
    Depends of what you mean by it I guess. Bezos' Blue Origin employs over 3000 people last I checked. Many if not most well paid positions such as engineers.

    Even more frivolous spending still benefits people. The $500M Bezos spent on a superyacht did not just go "poof" without benefiting anybody but Bezos. It went to the company building the boat, and they had to hire people and procure parts from other companies that also employ people, and so on all the way back to raw materials. And then Bezos has to hire people to run the boat and maintain it, plus the dock fees and the like. And of course, the government is taking its share at every stage.
    A lot of people do well, and a lot of people don't. The issue here being those who are struggling in spite of working full time in productive work, contributing to society and the economy, yet not getting a fair market share of the wealth they help to create.

    Isn't the fundamental purpose of forming a society to benefit all its members, not just to enrich the top tiers? Which appears to be the case, even to the point of suppressing wage rises for those at the bottom.

    Nobody does as well as the top 1%.

  3. Top | #353
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    A lot of people do well, and a lot of people don't.
    Most people are doing well, and vast majority are doing at least ok.
    Even those that are classified as poor tend to have cars, smart phones etc.

    The issue here being those who are struggling in spite of working full time in productive work,
    A lot of people struggle not because of their pay, but because they live beyond their means - lease fancy cars, buy designer clothes and accessories, go on vacations they can't afford etc. But that does not mean we need to take more from the rich to give to them.

    contributing to society and the economy, yet not getting a fair market share of the wealth they help to create.
    How do you define "fair share" and how would you calculate it?

    Isn't the fundamental purpose of forming a society to benefit all its members, not just to enrich the top tiers? Which appears to be the case, even to the point of suppressing wage rises for those at the bottom.
    US has a lot of government programs benefiting those in the bottom half of the incomes. Especially if you have (many) children and now more than ever with Covid spending (especially the enhanced unemployment that pays more than many actual jobs) and profligacy of the Biden administration (see the $3.5T bill for things like free childcare).

    Nobody does as well as the top 1%.
    Well, duh! That's why they are called the "top 1%".

  4. Top | #354
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post


    You may have missed the point. In fact you have.
    No, you have missed the implications of your position. You take away the wealth, you take away what that wealth produces.
    Nonsense - many innovators are not motivated by wealth. I believe when Orville Wright died, he was worth about 10 million in today's dollars, hardly a lot for the inventor of manned flight.

  5. Top | #355
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derec View Post
    Most people are doing well, and vast majority are doing at least ok.
    Even those that are classified as poor tend to have cars, smart phones etc.



    A lot of people struggle not because of their pay, but because they live beyond their means - lease fancy cars, buy designer clothes and accessories, go on vacations they can't afford etc. But that does not mean we need to take more from the rich to give to them.

    contributing to society and the economy, yet not getting a fair market share of the wealth they help to create.
    How do you define "fair share" and how would you calculate it?

    Isn't the fundamental purpose of forming a society to benefit all its members, not just to enrich the top tiers? Which appears to be the case, even to the point of suppressing wage rises for those at the bottom.
    US has a lot of government programs benefiting those in the bottom half of the incomes. Especially if you have (many) children and now more than ever with Covid spending (especially the enhanced unemployment that pays more than many actual jobs) and profligacy of the Biden administration (see the $3.5T bill for things like free childcare).

    Nobody does as well as the top 1%.
    Well, duh! That's why they are called the "top 1%".
    As their pay rates are poor, a lot of people on low incomes have no choice but to live beyond their means. The bills pile up but their income remains low and stagnant.


    This issue is not about those who get a reasonable income but are poor at managing their money, even some rich people may be in that situation. The issue here is poor pay rates. Poor pay rates, not because more cannot be paid, but because individual workers lack leverage.

    They lack leverage because the balance of power is weighed heavily in favour of the management. The worker can simply take what's offered - which may be a ridiculously low pay rate - on the basis of: that is our rate.

  6. Top | #356
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    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Nonsense - many innovators are not motivated by wealth. I believe when Orville Wright died, he was worth about 10 million in today's dollars, hardly a lot for the inventor of manned flight.
    You mean heavier-than-air flight?
    Anyway, that does not prove anything about motivation. This article suggests that they "blew it" business-wise.
    How The Wright Brothers Blew It
    Given all this, 10 million ain't bad.

    And even if they didn't screw up, patents last only 25 years and so any patents on their early tech would have expired by the end of the 1920s/early 1930s. Note that passenger air travel did not really take off until after WWII and especially with jet aircraft and planes for military use came into their own only in WWII.

  7. Top | #357
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    As their pay rates are poor, a lot of people on low incomes have no choice but to live beyond their means. The bills pile up but their income remains low and stagnant.
    Of course they have a choice. Many years ago I knew a young woman at work who bought a Mercedes but then was evicted from her apartment. She should have chosen a Corolla or something.
    Or take this article.
    Rental America: Why the poor pay $4,150 for a $1,500 sofa

    These idiots just had to have a $1,500 sofa set right away, and they entered a very disadvantageous agreement. They should have saved their money and bought the furniture outright a few months later, but they were the kinds of kids who ate their marshmallow right away I guess. They keep compounding the mistake by buying stuff every time they come to the store to pay their bill and by smoking, which is both expensive and unhealthy.

    This issue is not about those who get a reasonable income but are poor at managing their money, even some rich people may be in that situation. The issue here is poor pay rates. Poor pay rates, not because more cannot be paid, but because individual workers lack leverage.
    There are also those not making very much who make their situation much worse with poor money decisions.
    Also, Amazon for example pays their warehouse staff more than comparable warehouse jobs elsewhere. How much should warehouse workers be paid in your opinion?

    They lack leverage because the balance of power is weighed heavily in favour of the management. The worker can simply take what's offered - which may be a ridiculously low pay rate - on the basis of: that is our rate.
    Employers compete for labor with other employers. These days, they also compete with ridiculously high unemployment benefits. Hopefully Congress doesn't extend this past September. It was not a bad idea early in the pandemic when everything shut down, but as soon as everything was reopened again, enhanced unemployment should have ended.

    I know Dems love the idea of unions, but unions, at least the US implementation, are seriously flawed. Dragging businesses down with too expensive contracts, of course, but then comes high organized crime involvement in unions (remember Jimmy Hoffa?) as well as far left political advocacy unrelated to collective bargaining.

  8. Top | #358
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derec View Post
    Of course they have a choice. Many years ago I knew a young woman at work who bought a Mercedes but then was evicted from her apartment. She should have chosen a Corolla or something.
    Or take this article.
    Rental America: Why the poor pay $4,150 for a $1,500 sofa

    These idiots just had to have a $1,500 sofa right away set that they entered a very disadvantageous agreement. They should have saved their money and bought the furniture outright a few months later, but they were the kinds of kids who ate their marshmallow right away I guess. They keep compounding the mistake by buying stuff every time they come to the store to pay their bill and by smoking, which is both expensive and unhealthy.



    There are also those not making very much who make their situation much worse with poor money decisions.
    Also, Amazon for example pays their warehouse staff more than comparable warehouse jobs elsewhere. How much should warehouse workers be paid in your opinion?

    They lack leverage because the balance of power is weighed heavily in favour of the management. The worker can simply take what's offered - which may be a ridiculously low pay rate - on the basis of: that is our rate.
    Employers compete for labor with other employers. These days, they also compete with ridiculously high unemployment benefits. Hopefully Congress doesn't extend this past September. It was not a bad idea early in the pandemic when everything shut down, but as soon as everything was reopened again, enhanced unemployment should have ended.

    I know Dems love the idea of unions, but unions, at least the US implementation, are seriously flawed. Dragging businesses down with too generous contracts, of course, but then comes high organized crime involvement in unions (remember Jimmy Hoffa?) as well as far left political advocacy unrelated to collective bargaining.
    Once again, the issue is not the ability or inability to manage one's income - which may effect both rich and poor for whatever reason (personal problems), but wealth and income distribution due to a generic power imbalance between individual workers and management....where individuals simply cannot secure a better deal because they lack leverage.

    How they are able to manage their income has no bearing on the problem.

    Someone with a high income may blow their pay as quickly as they get it, saving nothing, or someone on a low income may foolishly blow their meagre pay on poker machines....these are personal failings, addictions, character, addictive personality, aberrations or whatever, it doesn't matter. The problem of excessive wealth concentration is systemic, power based and entrenched.

    Basically, those at the top of the pile look after their own interests first and foremost .

  9. Top | #359
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post

    What kind of a bullshit question is that?
    How do you know you're winning at your game of life?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    This is a meaning of life question. I'm a socialist, because too great income differences leads to social and political instability. But I'm NOT socialist because I'm jealous of rich people. Rich people pushing the boundaries of the possible has historically been a great engine for progress and innovation. As is practical thingy's making life easier for the poor. We don't have to chose. We can, with today's technology, make everybody prosperous. It's within our means. But if we just take from the rich and give to the poor, then everybody ends up poor. It's not a viable option.
    Prove it. You seem to think it's a zero sum game.
    I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    And you live in Denmark. It makes me wonder if you know what life is like for the working class in the US.
    I think I have a fairly good idea. There's a lot of Americans who have emigrated to Scandinavia because they think USA sucks. I have one such person renting the flat I still have in Stockholm. I prefer living in Denmark over USA. I have an education that allows me to move wherever I wanted to. When I decided to leave Stockholm and live elsewhere (just for a change of scenery) I could have moved anywhere on the planet. If I'd moved to USA my salary would have gone up dramatically. But I'd have worked more. I just didn't think it was worth it. I almost did move to Sydney, Australia. But after giving it a lot of thought my list of top cities to move to (in the whole world) was Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen. I picked Copenhagen.

    But I am very middle-class. If I did my homework correctly the American working class work long hours and have little money to show for it. Is that correct? And was one of the reasons I'd rather not live there.

    BTW, Jeff Bezos going to space doesn't automatically mean American workers get less money. That's not how the Internet economy works. IT economy is not exploitative. IT is about shifting workload from people to robots. Bill Gates didn't become rich by taking anybody's money. Google really did get rich purely by helping people. Computer technology, after it's introduction, added value, where previously there was none.

  10. Top | #360
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derec View Post
    Of course they have a choice. Many years ago I knew a young woman at work who bought a Mercedes but then was evicted from her apartment. She should have chosen a Corolla or something.
    Or take this article.
    Rental America: Why the poor pay $4,150 for a $1,500 sofa

    These idiots just had to have a $1,500 sofa set right away, and they entered a very disadvantageous agreement. They should have saved their money and bought the furniture outright a few months later, but they were the kinds of kids who ate their marshmallow right away I guess. They keep compounding the mistake by buying stuff every time they come to the store to pay their bill and by smoking, which is both expensive and unhealthy.



    There are also those not making very much who make their situation much worse with poor money decisions.
    Also, Amazon for example pays their warehouse staff more than comparable warehouse jobs elsewhere. How much should warehouse workers be paid in your opinion?

    They lack leverage because the balance of power is weighed heavily in favour of the management. The worker can simply take what's offered - which may be a ridiculously low pay rate - on the basis of: that is our rate.
    Employers compete for labor with other employers. These days, they also compete with ridiculously high unemployment benefits. Hopefully Congress doesn't extend this past September. It was not a bad idea early in the pandemic when everything shut down, but as soon as everything was reopened again, enhanced unemployment should have ended.

    I know Dems love the idea of unions, but unions, at least the US implementation, are seriously flawed. Dragging businesses down with too expensive contracts, of course, but then comes high organized crime involvement in unions (remember Jimmy Hoffa?) as well as far left political advocacy unrelated to collective bargaining.
    Well over $250 billion is spent annually on advertising in the US alone. Who do you think they are targeting? Just because you didn't run out and buy a Mercedes after seeing a Mercedes ad doesn't mean the ad did not influence you.

    "They should have saved their money and bought the furniture outright a few months later"

    They had $1500 saved. $1000 went for a new fuel pump. Unexpected expenses are constantly coming up. You're old enough to know this. And as much as you, a person I'm assuming with the means to replace things before they break, may realize how often these unexpected expenses come up, imagine how it must be for people with out the means to do so, who have to wait until it breaks. But see, they had the cash in the bank and knew enough to get it replaced before they ended up paying for a tow on top of the repair costs.
    Poor people are not necessarily foolish with their money. Hell, from attending the school of hard knocks, they might even be better at money management than you.
    But no one is going to write a story about your financial fuck ups and you're not going to tell.

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