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29 15

Should billionaires give everyone $8200 cash?

The US has about 630 billionaires with a combined wealth around 3.3 TRILLION. What if AOC and the far Left got their of wiping out billionaires with caps on wealth at $999,999,999. The remaining $2.7 trillion then gets divided among all 330 million Americans so that each get $8200. Would this make progressives happy? How long would the spending bump last? Would a buying spree simply lead to increase prices and more CO2 emissions and people buy more stuff? With more CO2 and global warming, maybe AOC wouldn't be happy?

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14

And then what? The problem with socialists is they eventually run out of other people’s money.

The problem with capitalists is they eventually run out of other people’s labor.

@KanjaG
My point is they’re no more likely to run out of money than labor. It’s a clever Thatcherism, but not a reflection of economic reality. Truth is, some kind of mixed economy is probably always going to be more workable in reality than any purist ideology.

@BlurtReynolds
Is that so?
Please name capitalist country that run out of labour....

And then I will name the Weimar Republic, the USSR, Venezuela etc who all ran out of other peoples money...

Ignorant comment of the week.

@BlurtReynolds Venezuela belies your position.....it is possible run out of money - no matter how much you print...

14

what an absurd idea! no one has any moral or legal claim to property or money that belongs to someone else - rich or not rich.
even if all the billionaires agreed to give that amount of money away 90% of that money (or greater) would be frittered away in silly ways. People would buy cars, go to casinos, spend on clothes and after about 2 months would have nothing to show for it.

iThink Level 9 Oct 7, 2020
12

America was about freedom to pursue happiness. Now more and more people want it delivered to their doorstep.

How many trillions have been wasted on the "war on poverty" and only increased it. "War on drugs" is the same thing. One does not need to be a genius to understand that if you pay people not to work, they don't work. And they use drugs to try to escape the responsibility in other areas of their lives. You don't give people anything. You trade with them. If they have something of value to offer in exchange for money, more power to them. If they don't, you find someone who does.

Liberal Democracy

A political system that is based on the equality of all citizens and that has free elections, multiple political parties, political decisions that are made through a democratically elected legislature, and legal decisions that are made by an independent judiciary.

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) was a classical Liberalist who wrote essay “On Liberty” during the Industrial Revolution. Dubbed "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century", Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control. A member of the Liberal Party, he was also the second Member of Parliament to call for women's suffrage after Henry Hunt in 1832.

Role of government was to do only three things:

  • Preserve the rule of law,
  • Protect private property,
  • Ensure the security of the individual.

Rule of Law

Not based on what might happen, but rather what will happen. Based on the rationality that humans innately make wrong choices. However, he does not say that humans should not be allowed to make these wrong choices. Therefore, the government persuades society, it does not force. The idea of individual liberty is essential to the idea of liberalism.

He also warned governments of the idea of the “mass mind” approach to society, or the dangers of forcing people to think one particular way. He believed it was dangerous to silence the individual, therefore societies should embrace free speech.

Beginnings of Modern Liberalism

Developed over time to address the concerns about inequalities created by laissez-faire capitalism. An economic system in which transactions between private parties are absent of any form of government intervention such as regulation, privileges, imperialism, tariffs and subsidies. This creates inequality, naturally. Some are more capable, more ambitious, more hard working, more fortunate than others etc.

And so with inequality growing Marxism is never far behind. Except in America it has to hide itself under other names, like socialism and to advance its cause it has to expand ever more elastic definition of "human rights".

Classical vs. Modern Liberalism

Classical Liberalism: Interested in protecting the freedoms of individuals in economic affairs. Maximum rights and freedoms for certain individuals (entrepreneurs). Government rules, regulations, and social programs, are kept to a minimum, with every person acting on his or her own behalf.

Modern Liberalism: Interested in creating equality of opportunity for all individuals. Freedoms and rights favour the individual, with more individuals in society receiving rights. Government intervenes to ensure that the most vulnerable people are cared for.

“Modern liberalism suffers unresolved contradictions. It exalts individualism and freedom and, on its radical wing, condemns social orders as oppressive. On the other hand, it expects government to provide materially for all, a feat manageable only by an expansion of authority and a swollen bureaucracy. In other words, liberalism defines government as tyrant father but demands it behave as nurturant mother.” ― Camille Paglia, Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism

America was about freedom to pursue happiness. Now more and more people want it delivered to their doorstep.

That — in a nutshell — is the cause of much of today’s unrest. Brilliant!

10

Should every welfare recipient be required to work? Maybe they could mow the yards of the billionaires? Or dig ditches in the desert, and plant cacti along the sides of the ditches? I mean, give me a freaking break from the liberal BS of getting something for nothing.

10

State seizure of private property for “redistribution” is called communism and it killed 100-million people, mostly Chinese and Soviets, in the 20th century. In addition to genocide, communism also causes poverty and economic collapse.

AOC is an expert at getting attention, but completely ignorant of economics and history. God help us all.

GeeMac Level 8 Oct 7, 2020
8

How do you teach each generation that the only way to do well in life is to work hard for it?
Way to go Leftists, yet another fool proof system to teach the young they don't have to do a dam thing to get given some thing.
What an amazing way to drive the wealthy out of America, you know, the very peoples who's wealth creates business that in turn creates jobs that in turn takes people off welfare.
Talk about the blind leading the blind, God saves us from do gooders and socialists.

The scary thing is that the Warren plan starts by locking the borders from our rich! It's a reversed "Atlas Shrugged"... in which, the female protagonist Daphne's nickname is... "Slug" 🙂

The plot shows that wealthy people are moving out of states with high debt and high tax, and moving to better states. Atlas Shrugged is happening. www.jaymaron.com/civilwar.html

@Admin Indeed. Because Warren knows there is no place freer for the entrepreneur to take their wealth. it's just an American version of the Iron Curtain.

7

Frankly, I don't care what AOC wants, and I'm tired of hearing about her. Giving people money leads to a sense of entitlement, drains peoples motivation, and fosters laziness. I think we have enough of that going on right now.

Just try taking it away 😮

Term limits are wealth distribution. AOC made money off of her office and now why not let someone
else have that prosperity?

Can anyone think of a Democrat politician that isn't upper class?

7

Emphatically NO! The world beats a path to America & the west to get away from socialist theft they call wealth redistribution. And that's most certainly what this is. 1914wizard OUT

5

Remember Prohibition? The government tried to make us do “what is right.” Everything went underground creating a fertile environment for the Mafia to become an American phenomenon. Now imagine what billionaires with lots of resources will do when they see this coming. And they will. Long before it happens. The people they will fire if they don’t set contingencies in place will get done whatever is necessary, and it will all be on the backs of the people.

Many bankers are predicting Biden to win and suggest that their big clients sell holdings to lock in profit this year prior to tax changes. A few have passports ready but are subject to an exit tax if denounce citizenship. Bezos/Zuck have most of their wealth in US stock so they're limited on ways to protect themselves from (currently unconstitutional) wealth tax. It's a reason why Democrats want to pack the Supreme Court.

5
5

Not a good idea, and besides given enough time gone by that wouldn't be enough for the progressives, they would want even more and move to eliminate the millionaires then. More taxes is not the answer to combat perceived issues such as climate change/going green, more free market innovation is the solution.

@dd54 I've no qualms with being mindful about our impact on the environment, but being mindful of such is not the same as being an activist on the matter. You raise a valid point when it comes to Monsanto and similar organizations.

4

If only we had a recent example of a time when people were given free money, and its effects on the supply chain, inflation, and over all psyche of the recipients.

RobD1 Level 7 Oct 8, 2020

Haha!
We just had the Finland experiment that ended in a bit of a draw.
Then we have the Namibian experiment that worked really well, however they are still scratching their heads how to make it work on a large scale.
However both was cleverly designed and well controlled in a small area.

We also have larger poorly designed experiments such as the USSR and other socialist / communist countries and we all know how that ended...

The devil is in the details.

Stop making sense. You’re confusing the communists.

@Hanno I was alluding more to the $24.75 and up (oregon min wage plus cares act) money that we payed 75% of Americans to stay home on and low and behold now because we produced very little during that time we have very little to purchase and 25% inflation in the wholesale sector.

good job america how do you like your trial run on socialism

@RobD1
Oh yes that... we had the same in NZ...
we are gonna play dearly for that.
However everybody is happy Now and going to vote labour and then be angry why everything is so expensive later and their “free” money is worth nothing.

UBI is a good concept, however how you apply it is crucial and it only “works” in a radical flat tax system.

@RobD1 > good job america how do you like your trial run on #socialism

Needs more #Nationalism. 👌

4

Anything you get for "FREE", has little or no value!!!!
If you gave "the average Joe" a half a million dollars, in five years all he would have is the maintenance bills that go along with the SH-T he bought, and no way to pay those bills!!!!
If you gave "the average Joe" a free college education, it would have no more value than a high school education, because everyone would have one!!!
There is a reason that things of value have value!!!! You EARN them!!!!!

Serg97 Level 8 Oct 8, 2020

In the late 1970’s the South African government decided everyone who cannot afford it should be given free state dentures.
The loss of dentures rate due to people misplacing them, breaking them or just not using them was very high.

My father who was head state dentist at the time, instated a small fee for the free dentures... dentures at the time was about R2000 per set, and he charged R15. A tiny fraction of the cost, however everyone had to pay and suddenly it had value.

The lost rate dropped to negligible levels. Even though it was still relatively inexpensive and affordable, people attached value to it, and there attitudes changed.

Lotta truth there.

4

The framers of the constitution were mostly wealthy, and they created a constitution of minimalist government, balance of powers, and protection of wealth.

Modern wealthy people tend to fund the Democratic party, a party of maximalist government, unilateral power, and redistribution of wealth. It will bite them in the ass.

Baffling that we haven't seen defections among the wealthy to the Republican party.

It tells you that the Democratic Party does not actually stand for what you think it does. The people who fund them and are in the “know”, know exactly what this is all about.
And that is why they hate Trump so much.
He must be in the “know” and refuses to play the game.

The Uber rich never gets bitten in the ass... us middle class folk do.

4

An unsustainable system of dependence, with no real incentives and competition, dragging the economy to a downwards spiral of more such policies and totalitarian rule? No thank you (whether for the US, Egypt or any other country!) You want to be like Venezuela (that has the largest oil reserve in the world), that's how you become like Venezuela.. and Cuba, Greece, Egypt (in the Nasser era and we're still suffering from its disastrous outcome), ..., and the USSR. Where did that ever work?!

Capitalism and free market: Opportunity to create wealth. And it's been successfully reducing the number of the poor moving them above poverty line and increasing the quality of life overall and scientific/technological progress.
Socialism: Less money for everyone, starting with the rich, and less value of money over time. Everybody gets poor (except perhaps the parasitic ruling socialist/communist party leadership!)

4
2

Since we're talking about something unconstitutional, how about we turn it around? Every American, in order to maintain citizenship must give $1,000 to a billionaire. In return, that billionaire promises to invest that money into his company and make it an even better company than before, thereby making our lives even better. To sweeten the pot, perhaps we could also task them with cleaning up DC. The death toll might be high, but its for the good of the country. I know, this idea is "almost" as dumb as AOC.

Liberal media works hard to make people believe that every American is doing that already. 😟

@Admin People that choose liberal media have chosen to be lied to.

@RobBlair And when you point out that FACT, the LIBS, always revert to name calling!!!!!!!

2

A country should aspire to create millionaires but not overdo it and create billionaires.
The plot shows which countries are "billionaire heavy", these being India, China, Finland, and Hong Kong.
Countries with a large millionaire ratio and a small billionaire ratio include Japan, New Zealand, Hungary, and Poland.

That being said, a country should aspire to poach other country's billionaires.

The existence of billionaires is partly the fault of consumers. Consumers should reward small companies
with their patronage.

Billionaires tend to cluster in cities. Rural areas should attract billionaires. Encourage them to
build an estate and sponsor a sports team.Encourage them to donate philanthropically and reward them with political office.

www.jaymaron.com/wealth.html

Would you prefer to live in countries that have lots of billionaires or ones with few?

2

Who would they sell their assets to to raise the money? That would kill the value and eliminate the wealth, assets, businesses and jobs....

2

There is a difference between numbers in a bank ledger or stock holdings and wealth. What that difference is is obscure and complex. It would be nice if it was as simple as wealth is tangible and money abstract but the concept of value is also abstract. Things can be valued because they are rare, entertaining, necessary or because society has collectively chosen them.

There is no simple answer to what is an equitable distribution of wealth. Anyone who has seriously considered the question will soon become bewildered by it's complexity. One of the appeals of communism is it makes the complex simple. So simple in fact that it has repeatedly proven impractical. The truth is that working hard doesn't produce wealth. Without innovation and intelligent management an economy will revert to subsistence and instability. This is so well understood that agriculture is conveniently omitted from most Marxist theory. Yet agriculture is the cause of civilization. Pointing to how unsophisticated a theory it is. So what is a sophisticated economic theory?

If economists understood the economy more of them would be super rich or at least their predictions would be more accurate.

It's helpful to think of the economy as an organism. It's helpful because organisms and economies are complex chaotic systems. For the most part they operate as expected but when they are ill diagnosising the cause is often as much an art as a science. What has been proposed here is that the extreme unequal distribution of wealth is an illness. It is purported to be analogous to a cancer where the super rich are a tumor. Regardless of whether that analogy is apt the question that remains to be determined Is if inequitable distribution is a benign or malignant tumor. There is no simple answer.

One positive aspect of extreme wealth inequality is that the super rich are not proportionately consumptive. Numbers in bank accounts don't pollute, they don't create urban or suburban sprawl or drive inflation. At least on the surface extreme wealth inequality seems to be more of a sociological than an economic problem. The super rich are not drinking all the water, eating all the food, occupying all the shelter or consuming a significant proportion of any resource. In other words the super rich are not directly responsible for a shortage of tangible wealth. When there is a shortage of money to keep exchange going we just "print" more.

The problem to the extent that there is one must come down to what the super rich control. Until Trump they seem to have been on a path to control politics, environmental regulation, health care, entertainment, global markets, war and peace, immigration, news, and literature. The irony is that the peoples party as represented by Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton seems to be in League with the super rich with allies in the Republican Party. They also seem to be in an unhealthy relationship with the Chinese Communist Party. If these things are good then the existence of extreme wealth inequality must be good. Certainly an argument can be made that there is a relationship between having wealth and being "wise". The Bible makes that case by presenting Solomon as not only the wisest but extremely wealthy. Of course it's not that simple. We also have to examine who gave the wealthy their power in a democratic society.

To understand what went wrong you have to understand the difference between a productivity and prestige hierarchy.  Neither exists in a pure form but they are useful analogies.  The question becomes who besides the extremely rich benefit from a prestige culture.  Politicians, academics, entertainers, professionals immediately come to mind.  Who doesn't benefit or more importantly would benefit from a productivity hierarchy.  Small business owners, laborers, farmers, industrialists.  There was a brief period of time, from the end of WWII to the 1970s when productivity seemed to be balanced with prestige but we seem to be returning to the historical norm.  The delusional post industrial economic paradigm ended this period.

Other than post WWII the most significant surge in the status of the productive class came after the black death ravished the lower classes in England.  Downward mobility created a new class of merchants, artisans, traders, inventors and professionals who demanded and received larger economic freedom and prosperity.   One take away is that following terrible events social stress devalues prestige and inflates productivity.

​​​​​​​There are so many other complexities to explore that can't be covered here but as some have pointed out AI and automation are posed to transform the economic world.  Not only labor but professionals are likely to be replaced by machines.  Who needs a physicist or chemist if a machine "thinks" more "creatively"?   The meaning of productivity will also be transformed but that appears to be a half century away.  Labor will be more immediately effected.  As the proliferation of service industries has already begun the assumption that something like a universal basic income may not be needed.  What does seem likely is that from the perspective of the ultra rich most of the population will seem redundant or unnecessary.  Allowing political power to become firmly in their grip is unlikely to be beneficial to the rest of the population.  Those strange alliances they have made with socialists just a means to an end.

@Wolfhnd, Brilliant. You have encapsulated the thinking behind the economy of the last 50 years. Your last few sentences, dealing with might be ahead, will depend on what sort of rethink Trump can engender. Peter Thiel is thinking the Tech caused productivity will produce the balancing trick, the economy needs. (The whole notion of "intelligent machines" has been WAY oversold. Too many take their science knowledge from "Star Trek", and the movies!) I try to keep up with the subject. A few admit the very real limits Big Data, and Intelligent Computing really has. I am very optimistic. Loosing faith in those who have led the last 50 years, will help!

@Machiavelliwar

Your right AI today is smoke and mirrors. I expect a breakthrough but it isn't a given.

2

Wealth always bubble up!
Never trickle down.

That $8200 will all end up in baldy and his friends pockets again with a few weeks.

What you need is a long term slower wealth taxation system coupled a sensible UBI-FIT.
Very nice on paper however extremely difficult to put in practice.

Hanno Level 8 Oct 7, 2020

@dd54
Thanks, you just helped me explain why it is so difficult to put in practice.

1

Kim Klacic is running for office in Baltimore as a Republican, and she's showing what Baltimore really looks
like, and pointing out that it's under Democrat leadership.

What does Trump's district look like? Lots of Trump towers, golf courses, and hotels, stuff that attracts
rich people. Everything Trump touches prospers. Manhattan is great partly because of Trump's real
estate development, and Manhattan doesn't appreciate.

1

When I feed geese I feel like a billionaire. A small fraction of my wealth
spent on food supports a vast flock of geese. Good deal. And geese appreciate.
Give geese food and they treat you like a celebrity.

I'm distributing wealth to individuals, not institutions. I'm hand feeding the
geese. If you leave food out indiscriminately then swamprats take it.
Make eye contact with the geese while you feed them. Build individual connections.

Geese appreciate food but they don't know the science of nutrients.
Humans can help. God put humans on the Earth to solve the science of nutrients and
bring it to the animals. Textbook on nutrients: www.jaymaron.com/ecology.html

Billionaires should find ways to help society in ways that only a billionaire can.

1

I hate Andrew Yang but AOC is AOK.

I hate AOC, but Andrew Yang is almost tolerable...

1

“Would this make progressives happy?”

You don’t find out what would make progressives happy by asking a houseful of conservatives. What you find out is what conservatives think progressives are motivated by.

They don’t want your money for themselves. They want our republic to be governed by its citizens; not by its oligarchs.

I don’t keep up with AOC, but I seriously doubt she wants to give billionaire cash away to people to spend as they please. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

I believe in science over political partisanship. You can’t fool Mother Nature for long. The biologically conservative position is egalitarianism, formed by (at least) two million years of evolution. We are a social species, newly experimenting with individualism. Tamper carefully.

@KanjaG
To death? She said that? Or is that another exaggeration?

Egalitarianism. It's just another "ism" and it gives a bad name and a false identity to equality. Egalitarianism is a precursor notion to other ism's- communism, and socialism. What has evolved for at least two million years is the ability and liberty to survive as unequals. Being social creatures, before agriculture, the hunters and gatherers shared equally with those of the tribe who did not hunt or gather...and in certain primitive cultures today that still stands. This equal sharing is what is fondly remembered in our racial or genetic memories. What egalitarians conveniently forget is the abject poverty. Inequality is what has produced wealth and true social progress.

@Geofrank
“ What has evolved for at least two million years is the ability and liberty to survive as unequals.”

If this is true I haven’t seen the evidence for it, but would happily look at it if you can supply it. From what I have read, we survived as equals for the great majority of our time on earth. I’m not opposed to progress, but material wealth is definitely not the only measure of it.

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