[Politics]How long until we eat the rich?

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Silentpony:
We never will because thanks to our new 'Always be happy, embrace your best self' age, poor people don't view themselves as poor, but as temporarily inconvenienced rich. So we can't eat the rich because BillyBob is one scratch off away from being rich.

Indeed. Wealth inequality is politically supportable for two reasons: firstly, that enough of the middle classes feel closer to the rich than the poor such that they'll align with the former, and secondly the perception that anyone can "make it".

If the lower middle sink towards the working classes, and if people start to realise social mobility isn't what it should be, there will be ructions.

So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

Specter Von Baren:
So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

What solution? How is any solution even remotely possible as long as the wealthy hold all of the power and resources? $= voice. When the wealthy have all the $, only their voice is heard. When we have people electing the worst of the worst such as trump, why would anyone think it a remote possibility to actually be able to change this anytime soon? Sure we can fanaticize about having a congress full of Bernie Sanders, but in reality we can't even gain a majority of moderates let alone people who will actually change this.

Specter Von Baren:
So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

What solution is there beyond increased redistribution, thing which will never be enough considering the amount of incrementalists we have on the "progressive" side, and the complete disdain for anything redistribution-related among conservatives?

Unless you can come up with a valid solution, we'll have to eat the rich

Uh oh

image

Keep in mind that when we talk about the people with insane net worths, their wealth often isn't kept in a readily accessible form. Jeff Bezos for example doesn't literally have a bank account with $161 billion dollars in it. Most of his wealth is in Amazon shares, which are valued based on the assets and liabilities of the company, and also its projected future revenue. The latter is key, as not only does Bezos not have the cash in hand, but Amazon doesn't either. Not yet.

Just taking apart Amazon and dividing up its assets among everyone would be the equivalent of slaying the golden goose, in that they wouldn't yield anywhere close to its near-trillion dollar value. Either more effective taxation of large, international corporations, or spreading shareholding more widely among the general population, would be more effective ways for everyone to share in that wealth.

Lil devils x:

Specter Von Baren:
So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

What solution? How is any solution even remotely possible as long as the wealthy hold all of the power and resources? $= voice. When the wealthy have all the $, only their voice is heard. When we have people electing the worst of the worst such as trump, why would anyone think it a remote possibility to actually be able to change this anytime soon? Sure we can fanaticize about having a congress full of Bernie Sanders, but in reality we can't even gain a majority of moderates let alone people who will actually change this.

Warren proposed a 2% over $50m,3% over $1b Wealth Tax (i.e. individual wealth in excess of $50 million dollars would be subject to a 2% annual tax on that amount above $50m; that amount would increase to 3% above $1b) as part of a suite of policies (chief among them an income-based college debt forgiveness program that I will likely only partially benefit from as it is capped at $50k of benefit and I'm in the $170k of debt range).

It would be highly dependent on marketing the policy and, quite frankly, taking the Senate and eliminating the filibuster, but it's one of the few actual plans that seems thought-out enough to potentially make it into policy. Wealth taxes area already very common at the state level (i.e. property taxes), although it is rare to exceed 1% of assess home value for those (Seattle, which has some of the highest levies in the nation, is a little less than 1.1%). 2% is well within the range to gain just on interest for higher wealth individuals, so it would likely only diminish their overall annual wealth if they literally had it in a low-interest baring savings account. Sell it as "you pay property taxes on your biggest wealth generator, why should they be able to escape that duty?" and you may have a chance. Still a small one, but a chance nonetheless.

Silvanus:

Kwak:
Never. We all get just enough compensation being part of their system to survive in relative comfort so we go along with it.
So presumably when that stops being the case.

Do we? Last I checked there was a global poverty epidemic.

We have relative comfort and benefits in our western lifestyle compared to everywhere else.
And when that does start to break down the rich just use politics to convince those losing out that the source of their problem is some easily hateable outside threat, and any moves to improve the situation are socialism.

Specter Von Baren:
So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

Humour has long been a way for the powerless to make themselves feel better. We don't need that taken away too, thanks.

generals3:

Seanchaidh:

Amazon and Microsoft do useful things. They also pay their workers less than the value those workers produce, which is why they make a profit. (Amazon also pays the US postal service less than the value that the USPS produces for it, which is similar.)

Well, it depends, how do you determine how much value a worker produces? Because in that equation you're forgeting the value of capital.

Capital was produced by labor. It is maintained by labor. It is not produced by ownership.

generals3:
A worker using solely his own brain and hands will produce less value than one who has access to machinery, IT, ... Capital has become increasingly important and valuable and therefor also deserves its remuneration (which is done using profits). Maybe Capital is currently being overpaid, and based on dividend rates which tend to increase that may be a good point. But pretending that making a profit de-facto means that workers are underpaid is wrong and assumes only labor created value.

And who or what made that capital? Capital can make labor more efficient, what it does not do is produce value by itself. It does no one any favors to own existing capital. Capitalists are a parasitic middleman in the process of social production. Capitalism simply gives those parasites a way to control that process and turn it to their near exclusive benefit. (Much like slavery gives masters that sort of control and serfdom gives lords that sort of control.)

Instead of tools and machinery being bought in order to hold it to ransom against laborers, we could organize the economy such that laborers democratically control their businesses and have the resources to buy those labor-saving devices from the other laborers who produced them rather than from one wealthy boss to another. We could finally deliver on the promise of liberty, equality, and brotherhood rather than serving an empty capitalism which reproduced the same sort of hierarchical structures it sought in its idealistic (and very short) youth to tear down.

Specter Von Baren:
So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

Do you have any actual solution in mind, Mr. all-wise? Or you came here just to masturbate on the discussion?

Specter Von Baren:
So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

We already have a solution.

Eat the rich. It's in the title

Seanchaidh:

Instead of tools and machinery being bought in order to hold it to ransom against laborers, we could organize the economy such that laborers democratically control their businesses and have the resources to buy those labor-saving devices from the other laborers who produced them rather than from one wealthy boss to another. We could finally deliver on the promise of liberty, equality, and brotherhood rather than serving an empty capitalism which reproduced the same sort of hierarchical structures it sought in its idealistic (and very short) youth to tear down.

That is an old fashioned ideology and the times they tried it it ended in tears and brutal oppression. I don't think anyone would seriously argue we'd adopt a system like that of Venezuela or N-Korea. I don't think capitalism is the problem here, but rather cronie capitalism. That marriage between the corporate lobby and Congress. Not that I don't understand it though politicians want jobs in their district and corporations want laws in their favor but their interests have become so entangled that there is hardly a distinction anymore.

Corporations are dependent on capital but that capital is so amorphous that national laws hardly have any grasp on it. Politicians know this and why this is so often used as leverage by corporations. They will simply move production elsewhere if they are inconvenienced or if labor costs become too high, which is exactly what happened when Detroit bankrupted when GM outsourced it's production to China. You could say 'capitalism is bad' but there is no alternative. Cars, pharmaceutical R&D, microprocessors etc they all require large amounts of capital that only a corporation has the organizational framework for. And they deliver: cheap cars, cheap TVs, cheap phones, pharmaceuticals that enable people in the west to become the oldest population in the world etc. Without a corporation you wouldn't even have the computer you're using now.

I don't even think the '2%' is the problem, they are mostly symbolic as they stand for everything most people are not. The real problem is corporate excess: a lobby that is way too powerful, shareholder culture focused on short term revenue and on the employee side unreasonably low wages and poor job security. Sad thing is all these things could be fixed at marginal expense for the shareholder but society is too divided to make any kind of statement, so it becomes a political argument that never really goes anywhere.

stroopwafel:

Seanchaidh:

Instead of tools and machinery being bought in order to hold it to ransom against laborers, we could organize the economy such that laborers democratically control their businesses and have the resources to buy those labor-saving devices from the other laborers who produced them rather than from one wealthy boss to another. We could finally deliver on the promise of liberty, equality, and brotherhood rather than serving an empty capitalism which reproduced the same sort of hierarchical structures it sought in its idealistic (and very short) youth to tear down.

That is an old fashioned ideology and the times they tried it it ended in tears and brutal oppression. I don't think anyone would seriously argue we'd adopt a system like that of Venezuela or N-Korea. I don't think capitalism is the problem here, but rather cronie capitalism. That marriage between the corporate lobby and Congress. Not that I don't understand it though politicians want jobs in their district and corporations want laws in their favor but their interests have become so entangled that there is hardly a distinction anymore.

Corporations are dependent on capital but that capital is so amorphous that national laws hardly have any grasp on it. Politicians know this and why this is so often used as leverage by corporations. They will simply move production elsewhere if they are inconvenienced or if labor costs become too high, which is exactly what happened when Detroit bankrupted when GM outsourced it's production to China. You could say 'capitalism is bad' but there is no alternative. Cars, pharmaceutical R&D, microprocessors etc they all require large amounts of capital that only a corporation has the organizational framework for. And they deliver: cheap cars, cheap TVs, cheap phones, pharmaceuticals that enable people in the west to become the oldest population in the world etc. Without a corporation you wouldn't even have the computer you're using now.

I don't even think the '2%' is the problem, they are mostly symbolic as they stand for everything most people are not. The real problem is corporate excess: a lobby that is way too powerful, shareholder culture focused on short term revenue and on the employee side unreasonably low wages and poor job security. Sad thing is all these things could be fixed at marginal expense for the shareholder but society is too divided to make any kind of statement, so it becomes a political argument that never really goes anywhere.

Pretty dead on.

Color me surprised, nobody has out this up yet.

You could try Armstrong's soultion, but most sane people would not want that.

Agema:

Silentpony:
We never will because thanks to our new 'Always be happy, embrace your best self' age, poor people don't view themselves as poor, but as temporarily inconvenienced rich. So we can't eat the rich because BillyBob is one scratch off away from being rich.

Indeed. Wealth inequality is politically supportable for two reasons: firstly, that enough of the middle classes feel closer to the rich than the poor such that they'll align with the former, and secondly the perception that anyone can "make it".

If the lower middle sink towards the working classes, and if people start to realise social mobility isn't what it should be, there will be ructions.

To be fair I think part of that is willful ignorance. Love him or hate him, Trump promised coal country folk the mines would be opened again and steel workers were promised the plants reopening. Now in their world view that's all that matters. A steady job in the mines or whatever.
and they can't accept the world is changing. Coal is no longer desirable, and unfortunately these workers are either too old or stubborn or simply under-educated to retrain in the green fields. They grew up in the factory life and that's the life they want back.
Its just that...that life is no longer viable.
The profit isn't there, so the investment won't be either.

And I mean how do you tell someone, let alone entire towns/states worth of people who have generations of livelihoods built around 1 or 2 industries that those industries are going away, time to move on? It'd be like telling Hollywood acting is going away, ya'll need to move on. It'll take equal number of generations to move on as it did to build up.
and while I can't fault those folk their dreams, I'm not sure I can support them either. Its a tough call...

Specter Von Baren:
So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

Take the best of Socialism and Capitalism.

Silentpony:
and while I can't fault those folk their dreams, I'm not sure I can support them either. Its a tough call...

I can't fault them so much for wanting coal mining to be viable, no. Supporting Trump is not the same thing, however,

Thaluikhain:

Silentpony:
and while I can't fault those folk their dreams, I'm not sure I can support them either. Its a tough call...

I can't fault them so much for wanting coal mining to be viable, no. Supporting Trump is not the same thing, however,

Well I mean Trump promised to support Coal mining. So its like one degree of separation. He lied for sure, but he said the words they wanted to hear. Hard to fault them on that, even if they're naive.

I wouldn't mind eating you fine first world people.

Silentpony:

Thaluikhain:

Silentpony:
and while I can't fault those folk their dreams, I'm not sure I can support them either. Its a tough call...

I can't fault them so much for wanting coal mining to be viable, no. Supporting Trump is not the same thing, however,

Well I mean Trump promised to support Coal mining. So its like one degree of separation. He lied for sure, but he said the words they wanted to hear. Hard to fault them on that, even if they're naive.

Donald Trump said it. Not some random politician. He has a history of being bad at business. We can 100% fault them for being stupid and racist and selfish.

Specter Von Baren:
So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

Pretty much the best solution at this time is vote in the democratic primary and vote for someone like Berney or Elizabeth Warren. Just do all you can so the left most democrate gets nominated then help stump for them and make sure the republicans can't just lie about their positions.

Things need to get a lot worse before revolution would happen and those have a tendency to end badly with the worst people ending up in charge.

Saelune:

Silentpony:

Thaluikhain:

I can't fault them so much for wanting coal mining to be viable, no. Supporting Trump is not the same thing, however,

Well I mean Trump promised to support Coal mining. So its like one degree of separation. He lied for sure, but he said the words they wanted to hear. Hard to fault them on that, even if they're naive.

Donald Trump said it. Not some random politician. He has a history of being bad at business. We can 100% fault them for being stupid and racist and selfish.

Kinda? His bad business practices are only now coming to light. In the 90s he was considered one of the best, albeit because of backroom illegal dealings. But they didn't know that, so for 30+ years he's been Tony Stark without ever having to prove he has an Iron Man suit, or paying people off to say he does.
I'm not saying he was right, but he spent decades creating an empire that said he was, and that does change votes.

Worgen:

Specter Von Baren:
So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

Pretty much the best solution at this time is vote in the democratic primary and vote for someone like Berney or Elizabeth Warren. Just do all you can so the left most democrate gets nominated then help stump for them and make sure the republicans can't just lie about their positions.

Things need to get a lot worse before revolution would happen and those have a tendency to end badly with the worst people ending up in charge.

It's cute that you think the democratic process will help at all. Or that politicians will do anything in the interests of the people.

Here Comes Tomorrow:

Worgen:

Specter Von Baren:
So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

Pretty much the best solution at this time is vote in the democratic primary and vote for someone like Berney or Elizabeth Warren. Just do all you can so the left most democrate gets nominated then help stump for them and make sure the republicans can't just lie about their positions.

Things need to get a lot worse before revolution would happen and those have a tendency to end badly with the worst people ending up in charge.

It's cute that you think the democratic process will help at all. Or that politicians will do anything in the interests of the people.

There are Politicians that do things in the interests of the people, we just need people to stop voting for one's who do not. Actually paying attention to what politicians vote for and against is important, understanding the issues and how these things will affect the people and that is why we need more people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in office as they have a long record of actually trying to help the people.

The biggest issue is people believing nonsense and spreading nonsense instead of focusing on the facts and what is important. People like Trump and most of the GOP constantly spread disinformation to divert people from addressing the core of the problems. They want people to turn against one another so they will not turn on them. As long as they have people fighting amongst themselves, blaming the poor, the immigrants, the minorities for their problems they are not turning their efforts on the ones actually creating the problems and the ones hoarding all the resources retain their ability to do more harm.

Silentpony:

Saelune:

Silentpony:
Well I mean Trump promised to support Coal mining. So its like one degree of separation. He lied for sure, but he said the words they wanted to hear. Hard to fault them on that, even if they're naive.

Donald Trump said it. Not some random politician. He has a history of being bad at business. We can 100% fault them for being stupid and racist and selfish.

Kinda? His bad business practices are only now coming to light. In the 90s he was considered one of the best, albeit because of backroom illegal dealings. But they didn't know that, so for 30+ years he's been Tony Stark without ever having to prove he has an Iron Man suit, or paying people off to say he does.
I'm not saying he was right, but he spent decades creating an empire that said he was, and that does change votes.

Him being a fraud and a con was well known in the 90's, people just chose to ignore it. Hell even in 1988 he was villainized on Sesame Street of all places due to how well known his malignant actions were. He just managed to con people into not believing the truth.

Drathnoxis:
The system is broken. The ways to become rich are the exact opposite of the ways to be a productive member of society.

Yeah, I get that this thread is a nice cathartic exercise in spitting the taste of sour grapes out of our mouths, but that's just incorrect. Advancing technology, providing entertainment and easing communication, reducing physical labour, creating jobs, generating tax revenue - if these aren't being "productive members of society", then what would qualify?

You are all just envious that they are rich and you are not.

I am sorry I just had to say it.

Lil devils x:
Him being a fraud and a con was well known in the 90's, people just chose to ignore it. Hell even in 1988 he was villainized on Sesame Street of all places due to how well known his malignant actions were. He just managed to con people into not believing the truth.

Of course, the NYT has just managed to get hold of Trump's tax returns 1985-1994. And they are apparently atrocious: losses of $1.17 billion across the period.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/07/us/politics/donald-trump-taxes.html

It's kind of fascinating that a business loses money, and this can be subtracted from taxation of the owners' personal income. I understand this isn't an LLC but a partnership, and they're probably taking a hit to their wealth with bankruptcies and write-downs, but even still, this seems to me dodgy: it's really getting the state to subsidise failure. Or the depreciation that article notes, where real estate holders can depreciate the value of their holdings and claim it back. Fuck that shit: make them deal with it. That's like you or me arguing our car is worth ?1000 less this year than last, so we deserve a ?1000 tax break. What a scam.

What's also objectionable is that this tax deduction seems to roll on year after year. So Trump lost a loads... and then didn't have to pay taxes for many years thereafter. Not exactly like welfare, is it? Lose your job, the state won't cover your losses, nor indefinitely into the future.

Then there's his hilarious tactic of buying shares in a company, publicly suggesting a full takeover to induce share prices to rise, and then quickly flogging them. In a way, this is of course very smart, until everyone eventually wised up. But it's also basically a scam.

Trump may or may not have conflicts of interest. But what is certainly interesting is to shine a light on the arcane fiddles that people with his kind of money have somehow managed to squeeze into the tax code. Trump of course made hay pointing out how easily abused the tax system was when he was up for election. Now in power, of course he's done nothing to deal with it. He got your votes, now he'll carry on taking your money.

Batou667:
If these aren't being "productive members of society", then what would qualify?

Being a productive member of society implies being rewarded for the producing one does for society. Yet look up the figures and they fairly clearly show that changes in remuneration do not equate to increased productivity. Workers are creating more and more wealth per unit hour worked... and not seeing anything like that increase in their salaries.

Meanwhile, certain members of the rich certainly seem also seem to have their earnings de-coupled from productivity. Lord Adair Turner, one time head of the Financial Services Authority in the UK noted that a great deal of financial trading was of no societal benefit. Plenty of it is glorified gambling: it doesn't help our societies make anything, it's just various rich people being paid large sums to trick each other out of money. Corporate board members pay themselves ever increasing sums with no real justification whether they're worth it, and if they gloriously screw up have to be bought out with a "golden parachute"; you or I just get fired. Lots of the rich, of course, are so just because mummy and daddy (or some earlier ancestor) happened to be successful. Most of them aren't even running their wealth themselves, the real productivity is done by professional managers deciding where to invest it for maximal return.

So whilst you are right that a large number of the rich earn their money mostly fairly and usefully, equally we accept that a substantial number of them are doing precious little of benefit to wider society.

Samtemdo8:
You are all just envious that they are rich and you are not.

I am sorry I just had to say it.

I don't think that is true. I could choose to hoard my wealth, but I choose to keep the free clinic open instead. I work with many physicians that choose to use their wealth to save lives instead of hoard it for personal gain. Where do you think the vast majority of funding for medical charities comes from? It comes from the doctors themselves. There are plenty of people out there that choose to use their money to help others rather than hoard it and do not "wish to be rich" because that would just mean that they are part of the problem, not the solution. The wealthy that want to tax themselves more, that spend their money helping others and agree to donate their money when they pass are a part of the solution, people like Trump however, are why this is as bad as it is. He did not pay his bills and stole their money instead and bought himself tacky gold and diamond encrusted doors. His diamond and gold encrusted doors made people lose their jobs, took their children's college fund away and made people suffer. His house does not even look good, it looks horrible because he seems to think that putting gold everywhere means he is somehow " better" than others, when all it does is make it look grotesque and repulsive. That is not something to be " envious" of, If I am envious of anyone it would be those that spent their life finding cures for diseases, building hospitals and making this world a better place for everyone in it, not some scum bag who screwed people over to feed his own gluttonous greed. With Trump, there is nothing to be "jealous of" only pity tbh. Who would want to be the person who has caused so much grief and despair? Who would want to be the person who stole from a cancer charity to hoard more for themselves? It is not "jealousy" people feel, it is disgust and nausea thinking about how gross his life's actions have really been and how sad that his entire life has been a waste and the world would have been better if he had never been born.

Silentpony:
Well I mean Trump promised to support Coal mining. So its like one degree of separation. He lied for sure, but he said the words they wanted to hear. Hard to fault them on that, even if they're naive.

The world is full of people promising you things, you shouldn't believe all of them.

Also, Trump was simultaneously promising to destroy the lives of a great many people. People have no excuse for hearing (and believing) only the former, and somehow missing the latter.

Silentpony:

Saelune:

Silentpony:
Well I mean Trump promised to support Coal mining. So its like one degree of separation. He lied for sure, but he said the words they wanted to hear. Hard to fault them on that, even if they're naive.

Donald Trump said it. Not some random politician. He has a history of being bad at business. We can 100% fault them for being stupid and racist and selfish.

Kinda? His bad business practices are only now coming to light. In the 90s he was considered one of the best, albeit because of backroom illegal dealings. But they didn't know that, so for 30+ years he's been Tony Stark without ever having to prove he has an Iron Man suit, or paying people off to say he does.
I'm not saying he was right, but he spent decades creating an empire that said he was, and that does change votes.

It was no secret that he used other people's money to make businesses that usually failed and bankrupt. Trump was 100% known as a shitty sleezeball businessman. It was actually ALL he was known for! It would be like if you suddenly were surprised that Kim Kardashian had a fat ass.

Samtemdo8:
You are all just envious that they are rich and you are not.

I am sorry I just had to say it.

"When I was poor and complained about inequality they said I was bitter; now that I'm rich and I complain about inequality they say I'm a hypocrite. I'm beginning to think they just don't want to talk about inequality."

- Russell Brand

Here Comes Tomorrow:

Worgen:

Specter Von Baren:
So are you guys going to actually discuss an actual solution or is this just a masturbation thread?

Pretty much the best solution at this time is vote in the democratic primary and vote for someone like Berney or Elizabeth Warren. Just do all you can so the left most democrate gets nominated then help stump for them and make sure the republicans can't just lie about their positions.

Things need to get a lot worse before revolution would happen and those have a tendency to end badly with the worst people ending up in charge.

It's cute that you think the democratic process will help at all. Or that politicians will do anything in the interests of the people.

Sounds like someones been exposed to the lies the right likes to tell us. Its one of their tactics, to try and make all politicians look just as bad as they are. Cause when everyone is bad, then there's no point to trying and they win.

Samtemdo8:
You are all just envious that they are rich and you are not.

I am sorry I just had to say it.

Eh, while there may be an element of that, most people don't want to eat all rich people equally, or even proportionately to their wealth. Or proportionate to how much meat they have on them.

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