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Superrich and us

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Archtronics, 15 Jan 2015.

  1. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Pointing fingers at the 1% also makes for a high impact, attention getting headline that sparks debate about the rights or wrongs of wealth accumulation.

    And so do i, but it's not a matter of saying people can't have more money or that having more money makes them inherently bad people, it's about governments policies often favoring the wealthy and ignoring the poorest in societies.
     
  2. d_stilgar

    d_stilgar Old School Modder

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    I believe you are saying this, but this is precisely what Bill Gates is doing with his wealth. He's done a ton of research so he can most effectively bring people out of poverty. Throwing money at the problem (alone) doesn't solve the underlying issues. He looks at issues like disease, energy, education, nutrition and chooses the ones that will have the biggest actual effect on the quality of people's lives and then invests in those solutions.

    It's why he hasn't put a ton of money into climate change. It isn't that climate change isn't real or that it won't have a real effect on the economy, it's just that there are about 20 other world issues that will have a bigger impact.

    And I think it's dumb to say "well, they have a few million to spare, just do something good with it." Again, I'd say that #1, creating thousands of jobs does more for the economy than artificially raising the lowest common denominator. #2, if they earned the money, and deserve it, then who are you to say what is righteous about what to do with the money? It's their money. If I have an orange, I could eat the whole thing and save the peel for zest. Or I could eat it all and throw away the peel, or give the peel away, or eat one slice and give the other 7 away, or make orange juice or whatever. It's dumb to say, "other people want oranges too" and use that as an excuse to judge someone for the way they used their own orange. The same goes for wealth. You can wish that they used their wealth differently, but judge them for it? Only if they gained their wealth through illegal/immoral means.

    Also, in a world where everyone wishes they could just do what they want, we have billionaires who allow those who wish to build crazy supercars for a living funding their dream job. Good thing they can afford 100s of them. More jobs for the dreamers. Just sayin'.
     
  3. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Now you are assuming that I suggest that they just throw money at charitable causes indiscriminately. As you yourself say: Bill Gates really considers how he can spend the money for the greatest good. And charitable works create jobs too --and can create health care, education, industry and other means by which the poor can lift themselves out of poverty.

    If someone has a boat load full of oranges --more oranges than he can possibly eat himself in a lifetime-- and there are other people in need of oranges, wouldn't it make sense to give them some? Or perhaps to use some of those oranges to help those people plant an orchard so they can grow their own? Or do you say: "No, they're his oranges; he worked for them, he deserves them, he has the right to decide what to do with them, even if they lie there going to waste because he couldn't possibly eat all of them"?

    I say: someone who has privilege also has duty. Someone who has power also has responsibility. If you are superrich, no matter how hard you worked for it and how much you earned it, you have a social duty to use some of that wealth and power to benefit society. It's what society means.

    Yeah, never mind the millions of people in menial serf labour or abject deprivation (who, I'm sure, also have some modest dreams), because some engineers can build supercars for the elite few. The world is a good place. :rolleyes:
     
  4. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    I think Nexxo is talking about people who, in your orange example, have millions of oranges and every day they get a few million more. If they loose one thousand oranges in one day they would not notice it. On the other hand if you lost one thousand oranges you would clearly notice it.
    Of course this is not a good comparison, if an orange rich man looses one thousand oranges from one million oranges per day it would be more or less the same as you loosing 1/1000 of the single orange you own. Would you give a f*** about it?
    Would you mind giving 1/1000 of that orange to feed an entire African school for a year?

    Yes the orange is yours and you can do what ever you want, but seriously, at what point do you say: "F*** them dumb African kids, I am entitled to every single bit of my orange and I would never give 1/1000 of it to any one!" and still say that you are a human being?

    There is also that aspect of the orange rich man using his excess oranges to influence the law and take away parts of your orange. Think Koch brothers, chevron, Exxon, etc... who, to earn their next billion oranges (money/influence) take away bits of your orange (freedom of speech, freedom of knowledge, property, property value, government help, health, health care cost, etc...).

    I am not exaggerating, if these guys want to build a pipeline that will net them their next billion they will pass it next to your house, f*** the cost of your property, destroy your water supply, get state and government levies on taxes and subsidies at the expense of the tax payer, try to pass laws preventing you from speaking about it, etc...

    edit: I did not see your post there Nexxo.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2015
  5. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    This is the trickle down concept which is seems to be common in America. Helping the rich guy out means jobs all round. The reality is more like, help small and medium sized business owners and its jobs all round. 1 super rich person certainly makes jobs, but the super rich can't compete with the SME sector in terms of job numbers created. SMEs probably have a a fairer distriubtion of wealth as well. Your SME boss will be somewhat rich. Just not a ferrari for every day of the month rich.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2015
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Indeed. "Trickle down" has been proved not to work because the rich consolidate their wealth; they don't put it to good use. In any case it is just a nice way of saying that we get to fight over the scraps that fall off their table. It is not a viable way of running a society.
     
  7. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    So the general jist of this thread is 'money isn't evil, but philanthropy is basically dead...'
     
  8. Ending Credits

    Ending Credits Bunned

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    Strangely enough, the one I tend to hear is a dutch version "Clogs to clogs in three generations". It seems to pop up in almost every culture.

    It's worth pointing out that there are plenty of exceptions to this rule though: you are actually talking to a 6th generation family business member. Indeed, Kikkoman soy Sauce has good claim to having been a family business since 1603 - that's a lot of generations (and until very recently there was one family-owned business dating back to 1060).

    The three-generations thing is seen very much as a hurdle that many family businesses have to overcome rather than an ultimatum, and there's a huge decline in how many family businesses fail after the fourth generation.
     
  9. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I would say it's more 'money isn't evil' but governments and societies are geared towards favoring the super rich.
     
  10. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    Could anyone provide one credible economist or elected official that has advocated, promoted or proposed "trickle down"? This has been a rhetorical straw man that has been existence since the late 19th century. The closest thing to it is the "supply-side" policies. Trickle down doesn't exist outside any class-warfare vacuums.
     
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  11. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I understood supply-side economics as the actual policies that carried out the trickle-down theory. When people talk about trickle-down economics, I've always figured they were using a short hand term that encapsulates everything to do with supply-side economics and Reaganomics. That is unless I'm just terribly mistaken.

    Note that I'm not advocating one way or the other here - I'm just taking a stab at explaining the terminology used here.
     
    Last edited: 21 Jan 2015
  12. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    Fair enough, I'm just taking umbrage that this term has been around for literally a century and used to derail any conversation about genuine economic principals that, by now, have had a wide range of variety and don't have much to do with each other. When you say "trickle down" you mean "Reaganomics" When Galbraith used it, Reagan wasn't even born yet. Hence my red-flag reaction to it's use since - in my experience - it means this is now a point-scoring conversation and not an economic policy conversation. Probably an unrealistic pet peeve of mine.
     
  13. megamale

    megamale Member

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    The issue with that metaphor is that that rich people don't have boatloads of oranges. Instead they have lots of Orange IOUs and all these oranges are lent to all sorts of people that wouldn't achieve very much if they had to wait to collect enough of them to start a business. In other words, money, in general, is reused.

    There is and always has been a trickle down. The issue is that today technology is making things so much more productive. So a single very well-paid employee can do the same work as 20 people 20 years ago (just illustrating here). It used to be counter-balanced by growth, but this has slowed. Hence the widening.

    I am stanch capitalist and I would love to see an alternative economic system that distributes wealth in a way that the best and most hard working are rewarded and incentivised, whilst the rest are not discouraged into being in the dole. We are not there yet, and modern capitalism depite all its downsides is still the best system we have.
     
  14. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    No there hasn't.
    TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS' DOESN'T EXIST
    http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/trickle_down_economics_doesn_t_exist
    ...
    There isn't an alternative economic system, but there is plenty of policy changes that could go a long way to creating a more equal society.
     
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    They have both --vast heaps of oranges they can indulge in personally, and orange IOUs that are lent to people --against interest. These people have to work hard to maximise the return so rich people can have even more oranges they don't need while they only get to keep a few wedges for themselves.

    Nope. That shiny iPhone takes a few well-paid engineers to design, a bunch of poorly paid factory workers to assemble, and an army of practical slave labour to mine the raw resources for. And who makes most of the profit? Why, the CEOs who run Apple. Whether it is the East India Tea Company or Apple, the market principles remain the same.

    A fair wage would help --the dole would be less attractive in comparison. The CEO would have to earn less, and the customer would have to pay a little more, but in the end everybody would be better off.

    Example: I buy Feral Trade coffee. Not Fairtrade; Feral Trade. A small business in Birmingham buys coffee beans directly from the farmer in South America. It recruits travellers and small transport companies who for a small fee use their spare luggage/cargo capacity to get the beans over to the UK. The beans are then roasted at a local small roaster's, and sold at the local food co-operative. On the back of the coffee bag is a breakdown of expenses: from the price per Kg paid to the farmer to transport costs, import duty, roasting, packing and the profit margin for the business, which adds up to the price I, the customer, pay. So I can make see for myself whether the farmer is getting a fair deal or not, and whether the company is making a reasonable profit or exploting both the farmer and customer.

    I pay probably twice what I'd pay for coffee in the supermarket (then again, it comes down to less than a pack of cigarettes per 500gr pack). I do this knowing a farmer somewhere is getting a fair deal for his hard work. And it is damn good coffee.

    That's how capitalism is supposed to work.
     
  16. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    wouldn't it be interesting to force companies to provide profit margin as part of their packaging. As does your coffee suppliers.
     
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    It would be very interesting. :D The free market economy has always relied on asymmetry of information --the buyer not knowing as much as the seller. Which suggests to me that it is a free market for a given value of "free".
     
  18. mucgoo

    mucgoo Well-Known Member

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    You'd almost certainly be able to have larger positive effect buying "normal" coffee and giving the savings to charity. And that's without considering the 20% VAT and gift aid benefits.
     
  19. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I disagree for the following reasons:

    • There are overheads to running a charity, and I have no idea how conscientiously and efficiently they are run. So I don't know how much of my donation actually benefits the recipient. This way the extra money I spend goes straight to the farmer and I know exactly how much.

    • Charities are a last resort for needs that should have been met through normal societal channels. Giving a farmer a decent wage for his work is always preferable to giving him charitable hand-outs to compensate for being economically exploited by the same society that gives him the handouts. Giving people dignity, self-respect and self-sufficiency is as important as giving them some money.
     
  20. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    [​IMG]

    Jedward disagree.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2015

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