[Politics]How long until we eat the rich?

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stroopwafel:
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.

It should also be noted that the US actually had a pretty good relationship to capitalism right up until the 1970s/80s when that shareholder-maximization ideology went mainstream thanks to Milton Freedman (arguably one of the most damaging economists to the modern economy) and the ascendance of the conservative movement within the Republican Party that promoted a "hands-off" approach to regulations, taxation, and social services that allowed this form of capitalism to get turbo-charged with all but the government's explicit blessing. That's when wages start to stagnate, unionization begins to fall, and both executive salary and wealth inequality really take off (though inequality has been an issue since before the Gilded Age).

I like to use the analogy of a garden to describe capitalism. Some gardens can do well with minimal oversight, but that tends to be under very narrow circumstances that are unique to the time and place (ex. Desert Gardens/Hong Kong). Most gardens require substantial maintenance and observation to insure that they are not overgrown or killing off themselves. Sometimes that's giving it the proper food and nutrients to insure some smaller ones grow, other times it's pruning the larger ones and pulling up weeds to make sure they don't choke out the rest of them and prevent other plants from growing, and occasionally removing dead or rotten plants so that something can grow in their place. The plants cannot do this themselves, so it is up to the gardener (i.e. the government) to do it themselves.

Tireseas:

I like to use the analogy of a garden to describe capitalism. Some gardens can do well with minimal oversight, but that tends to be under very narrow circumstances that are unique to the time and place (ex. Desert Gardens/Hong Kong). Most gardens require substantial maintenance and observation to insure that they are not overgrown or killing off themselves. Sometimes that's giving it the proper food and nutrients to insure some smaller ones grow, other times it's pruning the larger ones and pulling up weeds to make sure they don't choke out the rest of them and prevent other plants from growing, and occasionally removing dead or rotten plants so that something can grow in their place. The plants cannot do this themselves, so it is up to the gardener (i.e. the government) to do it themselves.

I think that's a pretty good description.

I feel that a lot of capitalism has become extremely ideological rather than pragmatic. There's this huge drive to free markets, deregulation and non-interference on the assumption it must be the best thing, without really identifying whether it truly is or not. In particular, I feel ideological capitalism seems to take the stance that the point of society is to enact capitalism, not that capitalism is to be enacted for the benefit of society. A lot of these pour over narrow and reductionist measures of economic success (e.g. GDP growth), and seem to be blind to forms of rot developing elsewhere.

Saelune:

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

Coincidentally, I was thinking yesterday about why I chose not to be rich. Years ago I was going to real state seminars and everything. But when the strategies shown involved taking advantage of people in financial trouble (i.e. house-owners without enough money to pay their mortgage), I realized I didn't want to be that heartless. I couldn't dehumanize such situations to see them just as business.

Seanchaidh:

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

Correct, capital is not produced by ownership, capital was at some point earned. If I work very hard and am rewarded a lot of money for my labor that's my earned capital. At that point I can decide to invest that capital to help companies or people produce more value. I believe it's normal the money i invested is remunerated because without my earned capital that company would have not been able to produce as much 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.

See above.

And nobody is preventing employees to buy shares and be part of the democratic decision making process during shareholder's assemblies.

generals3:

And nobody is preventing employees to buy shares and be part of the democratic decision making process during shareholder's assemblies.

Actually, yes they kind of are: by depressing the wages of workers, who therefore have less spare money to invest in buying shares.

Although even then, in practice, employees are extremely limited in power because of the tiny number of shares they own. They tend to invest via managed funds... and of course it's the fund manager who gets the vote, not the employees signed up to the fund. Even were employee shareholders a substantial percentage of the shares (say, 50%), chances are a few major institutional investors would run the show anyway because of the difficulty getting all those minor shareholders to vote the same way (or even at all).

stroopwafel:

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.

How d'you propose to take the "cronie" out of "capitalism"? To be honest, the "cronie" element has been so overwhelmingly dominant in every significant form of capitalism that I'm starting to think it's a feature, not a bug. I'm not sure how you can have one without the other.

Batou667:

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?

Is your list supposed to be ways of becoming rich or how the rich are productive members of society? Either way these aren't things the rich do. Because of how the copyright works, the people who advance technology are often not the ones who benefit from it, the company does. Games industry is notorious for having lower wages and worse working conditions than many other software development fields. Layoffs and cutbacks are all the rich seem to want to do. And rich people pay lower taxes than anyone else. You can apparently pay for your fancy cars and other expenses through a corporation with before tax dollars and then funnel whatever's left into an overseas tax haven for lower rates.

And since you brought up entertainment, there's far too much focus on it in our society. Imagine if all the money and effort that went into making all the movies, music, and games out there went into something like space exploration. We'd have colonies on Mars by now.

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

I am sorry I just had to say it.

You say that like its a bad thing. Why shouldn't we envy those who have quite often just been born into wealth and continue to hoard more of it for themselves?

The only positive thing capitalism ever brings to the table is market forces regulating investment and production. Which is, as proven multiple times, way better than people regulating investment and production.

Every single other aspect of capitalism is bad. It is a system built on competition, on being invested in the failure of your competitors, on making bargains to your benefit and detriment of others, on abusing any power you can get. It is inherently confrontational and wasteful.

As soon as we can have algorithms decide where to invest, how much to produce and how to distribute it, we can ditch capitalism.
That is kinda already how a big part of stock trading works. And ressource trading. Next it will hit banking and insurance because a computer can do risk and reward calculations already better than any human. Then B2B trading between established partners will be automated.

And soon all the big market decisions are automated. And then you don't need money as motivation for people as decision makers anymore, because algorithms don't need to get rich. Then you can get rid of money beyond household expenses and people buying stuff for themself and earning money by work.

Palindromemordnilap:

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

I am sorry I just had to say it.

You say that like its a bad thing. Why shouldn't we envy those who have quite often just been born into wealth and continue to hoard more of it for themselves?

Well isn't Envy considered a Deadly Sin in Western Christian Culture?

Samtemdo8:

Palindromemordnilap:

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

I am sorry I just had to say it.

You say that like its a bad thing. Why shouldn't we envy those who have quite often just been born into wealth and continue to hoard more of it for themselves?

Well isn't Envy considered a Deadly Sin in Western Christian Culture?

So's lust and we have whole industries that run on it. What's your point?

Samtemdo8:

Palindromemordnilap:

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

I am sorry I just had to say it.

You say that like its a bad thing. Why shouldn't we envy those who have quite often just been born into wealth and continue to hoard more of it for themselves?

Well isn't Envy considered a Deadly Sin in Western Christian Culture?

Not everyone is a Christian. And not all Christians believe in deadly sins. If we were to ignore those for the initial blanket assumption, greed and hubris are also deadly sins. When hard working families can't afford to pay for their food and healthcare in tragic situations, why shouldn't they be afforded a little envy in the face of others who have had the privilege of needing to do nothing but hit the biological lottery of birth into a family of wealthy psychopaths? It is cruel to expect repression of natural human emotion when survival is at stake.

Samtemdo8:

Palindromemordnilap:

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

I am sorry I just had to say it.

You say that like its a bad thing. Why shouldn't we envy those who have quite often just been born into wealth and continue to hoard more of it for themselves?

Well isn't Envy considered a Deadly Sin in Western Christian Culture?

I don't think that thinking they are a Pathetic waste of life counts as envy though.

Lil devils x:

Samtemdo8:

Palindromemordnilap:

You say that like its a bad thing. Why shouldn't we envy those who have quite often just been born into wealth and continue to hoard more of it for themselves?

Well isn't Envy considered a Deadly Sin in Western Christian Culture?

I don't think that thinking they are a Pathetic waste of life counts as envy though.

''Pathetic waste of life'' really? Way of showing your true colors there. What about your own sense of entitlement? Just b/c someone is richer doesn't make them worse than someone who is smarter or better looking than someone else. Life is full of unfair advantages.

stroopwafel:
''Pathetic waste of life'' really? Way of showing your true colors there. What about your own sense of entitlement? Just b/c someone is richer doesn't make them worse than someone who is smarter or better looking than someone else. Life is full of unfair advantages.

Again, I think it depends on which rich people. And any number of people who aren't rich, but who thus don't have the power to do anything lots of people want to eat them for.

Drathnoxis:
Is your list supposed to be ways of becoming rich or how the rich are productive members of society? Either way these aren't things the rich do. Because of how the copyright works, the people who advance technology are often not the ones who benefit from it, the company does. Games industry is notorious for having lower wages and worse working conditions than many other software development fields. Layoffs and cutbacks are all the rich seem to want to do. And rich people pay lower taxes than anyone else. You can apparently pay for your fancy cars and other expenses through a corporation with before tax dollars and then funnel whatever's left into an overseas tax haven for lower rates.

And since you brought up entertainment, there's far too much focus on it in our society. Imagine if all the money and effort that went into making all the movies, music, and games out there went into something like space exploration. We'd have colonies on Mars by now.

That (incomplete) list was a set of examples of the ways capitalism, and by extension rich CEOs, benefit everyone. A competitive marketplace is almost always a good thing - it goes without saying that corrupt or illegal applications of capitalism is bad, same as Socialism can be corrupted into a tool of the corrupt and tyrannical, so let's not waste our time talking about the extreme fringe examples of when the system goes wrong. And yes, these are things the rich do - not all rich people, and not only rich people, but if you want to enact societal change, get a revolutionary new product or invention in peoples hands, advance the applications of science, be a philanthropist; you'll find it considerably easier to achieve these goals if you've got wealth behind you.

It's a real, tiresome fallacy that the rich are continually taking and the poor are always giving. The welfare system and marginal tax rates simply disprove that. Yes, it's possible to legally reduce your tax bill. Yes, some people cheat the system on both ends of the scale. But in general, corporations and rich individuals consistently put more into the pot than they take out - in the UK, for example, the continually-bashed top 1% contribute over a quarter of total income tax revenue. A quick and lazy Google search shows that in 2009, the top 50% of earners paid 89% of income tax (more recent figures can surely be found, but this statistic is accurate and I believe still relevant). Don't tell me the upper middle class, high earners and super rich are contributing nothing.

I'm not an advocate of completely unregulated markets though - one example of this is environmentalism. Profits-led corporations combined with an apathetic or uninformed public leads to short-term thinking. Sometimes government needs to take a firm hand and pass down new regulation, and businesses will have to adapt. Recent levies and/or bans on single use plastic are a good example. It may not be what either business or the public asked for, but in hindsight it's absolutely the right thing to do. Going forward there will have to be a transition toward 100% renewable energy too.

And I agree, it's sometimes depressing where the market forces decide to allocate their resources. We don't *need* all these incrementally slightly better consumer electronics. We don't *need* such large defence budgets, even if we get the occasional silver lining trickling down. But who's to say capitalism is the enemy here? At the current trajectory, it's most likely that Elon Musk will put the first human on Mars. Private aerospace companies have stepped in recently to fill the vacuum left by the discontinued Shuttle programme. All profit driven, but with a benefit to humanity (proof that what people want isn't always bad for them!). Also, don't get too nostalgic for the past - the Space Race and Apollo missions were driven by the Cold War, remember.

stroopwafel:

Lil devils x:

Samtemdo8:

Well isn't Envy considered a Deadly Sin in Western Christian Culture?

I don't think that thinking they are a Pathetic waste of life counts as envy though.

''Pathetic waste of life'' really? Way of showing your true colors there. What about your own sense of entitlement? Just b/c someone is richer doesn't make them worse than someone who is smarter or better looking than someone else. Life is full of unfair advantages.

I thought I was pretty clear in my earlier post in this thread. It isn't about "Someone being richer", it is about hoarding wealth vs using it to make the world a better place. Many can choose to hoard their wealth, yes that makes them a waste of life when they could have used it to save lives. Their actions are malignant to society and cannot be sustained. Wealth=resource. People literally die because of resource hoarding. Of course being " rich" doesn't make them better than anyone else, it makes them WORSE. Many people earn enough to be considered " rich" they just choose to use that wealth to fund medical charities, build hospitals, cure disease, feed the hungry and house the homeless. Yes, I do think that those who choose to stockpile needed resources and use it on themselves instead are a waste of life and the world would be a better place without them in it. If they did not exist, the resources they drained from communities would be used to save live's and help create a better world for everyone else in it.

My sense of " entitlement" is that I think that people born onto this world are "entitled" to have equal access to it's resources. People have no say on where they are born and what they have made available to them. Allowing a few people to hoard the earth's resources by force and make the masses suffer is not sustainable and yes should be considered malignant behavior that should be eliminated for the betterment of society. Just as we do not allow people to suffocate one another with their pillows, we should not allow them to kill others by taking away what they need to survive. Hoarding resources is no different than locking people into a room and removing all the oxygen and then wanting to sell it to the highest bidder to survive. The current system allows the wealthy to pick and chose who lives and who dies.

Lil devils x:

I thought I was pretty clear in my earlier post in this thread. It isn't about "Someone being richer", it is about hoarding wealth vs using it to make the world a better place. Many can choose to hoard their wealth, yes that makes them a waste of life when they could have used it to save lives. Their actions are malignant to society and cannot be sustained. Wealth=resource. People literally die because of resource hoarding. Of course being " rich" doesn't make them better than anyone else, it makes them WORSE. Many people earn enough to be considered " rich" they just choose to use that wealth to fund medical charities, build hospitals, cure disease, feed the hungry and house the homeless. Yes, I do think that those who choose to stockpile needed resources and use it on themselves instead are a waste of life and the world would be a better place without them in it. If they did not exist, the resources they drained from communities would be used to save live's and help create a better world for everyone else in it.

You sound like Joseph Stalin there. You seem to forget it is still their money. How much tax have you paid in the previous years? According to a quick google search in 2016 the 1% paid USD 538 billion in taxes that is more than the bottom 90% combined. How is that not contributing? Never mind that not everyone in the 1% was born rich, many struggled to get there.

Like I said it's the same thing with some people being smarter or better looking. You might say 'not fair' but that's just the way life is.

My sense of " entitlement" is that I think that people born onto this world are "entitled" to have equal access to it's resources. People have no say on where they are born and what they have made available to them. Allowing a few people to hoard the earth's resources by force and make the masses suffer is not sustainable and yes should be considered malignant behavior that should be eliminated for the betterment of society.

They also create jobs, products, services and gigantic amounts of tax revenue. Your post is like something Maduro would say and just look how Venezuela ended up.

stroopwafel:

Lil devils x:

I thought I was pretty clear in my earlier post in this thread. It isn't about "Someone being richer", it is about hoarding wealth vs using it to make the world a better place. Many can choose to hoard their wealth, yes that makes them a waste of life when they could have used it to save lives. Their actions are malignant to society and cannot be sustained. Wealth=resource. People literally die because of resource hoarding. Of course being " rich" doesn't make them better than anyone else, it makes them WORSE. Many people earn enough to be considered " rich" they just choose to use that wealth to fund medical charities, build hospitals, cure disease, feed the hungry and house the homeless. Yes, I do think that those who choose to stockpile needed resources and use it on themselves instead are a waste of life and the world would be a better place without them in it. If they did not exist, the resources they drained from communities would be used to save live's and help create a better world for everyone else in it.

You sound like Joseph Stalin there. You seem to forget it is still their money. How much tax have you paid in the previous years? According to a quick google search in 2016 the 1% paid USD 538 billion in taxes that is more than the bottom 90% combined. How is that not contributing? Never mind that not everyone in the 1% was born rich, many struggled to get there.

Like I said it's the same thing with some people being smarter or better looking. You might say 'not fair' but that's just the way life is.

My sense of " entitlement" is that I think that people born onto this world are "entitled" to have equal access to it's resources. People have no say on where they are born and what they have made available to them. Allowing a few people to hoard the earth's resources by force and make the masses suffer is not sustainable and yes should be considered malignant behavior that should be eliminated for the betterment of society.

They also create jobs, products, services and gigantic amounts of tax revenue. Your post is like something Maduro would say and just look how Venezuela ended up.

Oh please, don't give me this " buuu.. look at Venezuela" nonsense. You act as if people would make nothing and do nothing if it weren't for the wealthy. Yes, people are naturally inventors, artists, builders and creators and have never needed the wealthy to do these things. Instead, those who become most wealthy from them are not the actual creators, it is those that prey upon them and use them to profit from their works instead. Hell they now have tried to take it so far to think they have a right to the "thoughts" of creators even when they are no longer working for them For example, when Zenimax sued for John Carmack's brain claiming he thought things while working for them. Seriously it has gotten that bad to take away the work of creators and profit from it.

http://rampantgames.com/blog/?p=7299

You left out the rest of the quote above:

My sense of " entitlement" is that I think that people born onto this world are "entitled" to have equal access to it's resources. People have no say on where they are born and what they have made available to them. Allowing a few people to hoard the earth's resources by force and make the masses suffer is not sustainable and yes should be considered malignant behavior that should be eliminated for the betterment of society. Just as we do not allow people to suffocate one another with their pillows, we should not allow them to kill others by taking away what they need to survive. Hoarding resources is no different than locking people into a room and removing all the oxygen and then wanting to sell it to the highest bidder to survive. The current system allows the wealthy to pick and chose who lives and who dies.

No, we should not be entitled to hoard resources and force others to die. That is not only inhumane and unethical, that should be illegal.

You do realize that the ONLY reason the top 1% pays more in taxes is because they are hoarding all of the resources?

image
You see, the problem here is that the people on the left do the work, and the people on the right here take everything everyone else should have earned. Them paying more taxes due to doing that isn't even solving the problem, they need to give that lost earned wealth back to all of the people who did the work already for it. They are not paying more because they earned more, they are paying more because they took what others should have earned away from them leaving them with nothing to show for their work.

The majority of the people have nothing left to pay in because the hoarders have already taken it all. You see, we are already locked in the room and the wealthy own everything. Our ability to have shelter for ourselves is already going to the highest bidder. Our ability to have access to medicine is going to the highest bidder. Our ability to have access to clean water is going to the highest bidder. Our ability to have food is going to the highest bidder. All that is left now is clean air right?

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/jan/21/fresh-air-for-sale
( yes that is in jest btw)

I am not saying that it is " unfair" I am saying that has been proven to be unduly harmful to the existence to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and should be illegal and will ultimately lead civilization to collapse as it is unsustainable.

A new study partly-sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists

Just as murder has been deemed illegal for the betterment of society, so should wealth and resource hoarding, as both result in deaths.

generals3:
Correct, capital is not produced by ownership, capital was at some point earned. If I work very hard and am rewarded a lot of money for my labor that's my earned capital. At that point I can decide to invest that capital to help companies or people produce more value. I believe it's normal the money i invested is remunerated because without my earned capital that company would have not been able to produce as much value.

"If I work very hard and am rewarded a lot of money"..?

image

Why would an employer reward you a lot of money just because you worked hard? Better to just fire those who don't work hard.

And as for capital "at some point" having been "earned", even were that an appropriate description of the primitive accumulation of capital-- even if the primitive accumulation that happened in reality was not a matter of mostly violent theft of land and labor; even if the fortunes of the original capitalists were not founded on colonialism, serfdom, imperialism, or slavery, but instead some idyllic fairy story in which some people were responsible and diligent while others were slothful and indolent and the former became rich while the latter had no recourse but to sell their labor; even if overseas expropriation did not remain a necessary component of capitalism to forestall collapse-- it still wouldn't justify the existence of a process by which one gains more and more of the output of society by doing virtually nothing at all.

The problem with a system in which having lots of resources means you get lots and lots more resources should be pretty obvious; shills for capitalism have done a pretty incredible job of confusing people otherwise. Maybe, instead of expecting that gaining a certain amount of wealth should mean neither oneself nor one's descendants should ever have to work again, we could organize the economy such that workers decide what to do with their surplus rather than some other guy who might come from a family in which someone "worked hard" at some point.

Seanchaidh:

"If I work very hard and am rewarded a lot of money"..?

image

Why would an employer reward you a lot of money just because you worked hard? Better to just fire those who don't work hard.

If you don't think there are employees who earn a lot of money through/thanks to hard work you really need to broaden your horizon.

it still wouldn't justify the existence of a process by which one gains more and more of the output of society by doing virtually nothing at all.

The problem with a system in which having lots of resources means you get lots and lots more resources should be pretty obvious; shills for capitalism have done a pretty incredible job of confusing people otherwise. Maybe, instead of expecting that gaining a certain amount of wealth should mean neither oneself nor one's descendants should ever have to work again, we could organize the economy such that workers decide what to do with their surplus rather than some other guy who might come from a family in which someone "worked hard" at some point.

Ok, so let's say you have a manufacturing company. The customers are happy, so the product is good. Unfortunately the machinery and software are outdated, as such productivity is low. Consequently margins are negative and the company is going to go bankrupt if things continue like that. Why should a potential investor, who potentially has earned a lot of money through hard work and limiting spending try to help that company by giving them the capital needed to upgrade their machinery and IT if he won't be rewarded for it? Even worse, he won't even be able to have any say in the company. This is pretty much how charities work. But how often do you hear about people wanting to donate money to companies?
Clearly what will happen is that the company will fail due to a lack of investments. The only way to bypass that is for a government to force banks to borrow money to companies regardless of the risks (which is likely to lead to a credit crisis) and/or to take sufficient money away from people so that they can act as the ultimate capitalist investor. And as history has shown the latter just creates a new class of rich capitalists (the party and their cronies) and less efficient economy.

So no, your proposal doesn't work, it can only work if the government takes over the role of the capitalist class and I don't see how that can end any better than the current situation.

generals3:

Ok, so let's say you have a manufacturing company. The customers are happy, so the product is good. Unfortunately the machinery and software are outdated, as such productivity is low. Consequently margins are negative and the company is going to go bankrupt if things continue like that. Why should a potential investor, who potentially has earned a lot of money through hard work and limiting spending try to help that company by giving them the capital needed to upgrade their machinery and IT if he won't be rewarded for it? Even worse, he won't even be able to have any say in the company. This is pretty much how charities work. But how often do you hear about people wanting to donate money to companies?

Yes, that is how capitalism works. People who have money are rewarded for investment decisions. And the reward is proportional to the investment, not proportional to the time needed to research good investment opportunities.

Which means the investor gets rewarded way beyond what he should get for his effort. And because this reward has to come out of company profits, the people paying for this are the workers and customers.

Clearly what will happen is that the company will fail due to a lack of investments. The only way to bypass that is for a government to force banks to borrow money to companies regardless of the risks (which is likely to lead to a credit crisis) and/or to take sufficient money away from people so that they can act as the ultimate capitalist investor.

Basically yes. Note that a planned economy tends to have no private ownership of means of production (and investment) anyway so it can invest without actually taking away money from anyone. All this "take away things" has aleady happened when capitalism was abolished. The gouvernment owns all industry production and can invest or distribute it as it sees fit.

And as history has shown the latter just creates a new class of rich capitalists (the party and their cronies) and less efficient economy.

Yes. Those tend to be less corrupt and there is no expectation or legal of getting rich just with investment decisions. The result is a more equal society - which is also true for nearly very single failed communist experiment.

The less efficient economy is the problem. It is hard to correct mistakes if you don't have sales numbers and quaterly losses telling you. It is also hard to produce what people want if you don't have free floating prices and sales numbers
telling you. Planned economies had always problems with plans based on guessing, wishful thinking and ideology (some of them produced not what people wanted, but what an ideal socialist model citizen was supposed to want). Oh and most importantly, missing or ignored feedback. That is where freedom of speech comes into play.

So no, your proposal doesn't work, it can only work if the government takes over the role of the capitalist class and I don't see how that can end any better than the current situation.

Nowadays you can track every single sale in real time. You can plan production perfectly fitting demand which is how just-in-time-manufacturing works. You can even do custom jobs automatically. And you can easily make and even evaluate customer surveys electronically.

The benefits of the market over planned economy are dwindling by the day through technological progress.

Samtemdo8:

Palindromemordnilap:

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

I am sorry I just had to say it.

You say that like its a bad thing. Why shouldn't we envy those who have quite often just been born into wealth and continue to hoard more of it for themselves?

Well isn't Envy considered a Deadly Sin in Western Christian Culture?

So is Greed and yet we have the rich in the first place

Post Error. Trying Again.

Palindromemordnilap:

Samtemdo8:

Palindromemordnilap:

You say that like its a bad thing. Why shouldn't we envy those who have quite often just been born into wealth and continue to hoard more of it for themselves?

Well isn't Envy considered a Deadly Sin in Western Christian Culture?

So is Greed and yet we have the rich in the first place

And people are envious of the rich enough to eat the rich and enrich themselves with their wealth. Who is the real Greedy ones here?

Samtemdo8:

Palindromemordnilap:

Samtemdo8:

Well isn't Envy considered a Deadly Sin in Western Christian Culture?

So is Greed and yet we have the rich in the first place

And people are envious of the rich enough to eat the rich and enrich themselves with their wealth. Who is the real Greedy ones here?

The rich, for hoarding all the cash in the first place. As opposed to the people who are envious of that wealth because they would like to buy groceries this week. That was a real easy question

Palindromemordnilap:

Samtemdo8:

Palindromemordnilap:

So is Greed and yet we have the rich in the first place

And people are envious of the rich enough to eat the rich and enrich themselves with their wealth. Who is the real Greedy ones here?

The rich, for hoarding all the cah in the first place. As opposed to the people who are envious of that wealth because they would like to buy groceries this week

Groceries or Ferraris?

Samtemdo8:

And people are envious of the rich enough to eat the rich and enrich themselves with their wealth. Who is the real Greedy ones here?

Wanting equality is not greed.

It is still envy. But that is a natural instinct that humans developed to get rid of asocial individuals, often violently and terminally. You can find similar behavior in other animals that live in groups.

Now it is not always the best idea to follow your instincts.

stroopwafel:

You sound like Joseph Stalin there. You seem to forget it is still their money. How much tax have you paid in the previous years? According to a quick google search in 2016 the 1% paid USD 538 billion in taxes that is more than the bottom 90% combined. How is that not contributing? Never mind that not everyone in the 1% was born rich, many struggled to get there.

No, the top 1% paid $538 billion in income tax, more than the bottom 90% paid in income tax. But there are a lot of other taxes: payroll tax, sales taxes tend to hit the poorer more, as do most local government taxes.

In fact, the top 1% pay about as much in tax as a proportion of total tax intake as they earn as a proportion of national income; i.e. they earn about 20% of the income and pay about 20% of the taxes.

You seem to forget it is still their money.

Yes, it is their money. But WHY is it their money?

It's not their money just because they are super-awesome. It's their money because of an entire societal, political and economic structure that allows them to have it. A system where for instance 10 brilliant engineers design an amazing gizmo which sells zillions, for which they get the same $100,000 a year salary as they got last year, and the CEO hands himself a bonus of $100 million and the shareholders get billions of dollars in share appreciation and dividends. Or the city which decides to build a new local transit system, and a property developer sees his shitty land massively increase in value because the taxpayers gave it a good transport connection to the city centre. Top corporate salaries used to be about 10 times the average pay of their workers. It's now ~200 times. Why? Are they truly worth it? They did it because they could, and why not stuff your pockets when nothing and no-one says otherwise? The rich pour huge sums into lobbying to make it easier and easier to earn lots of money.

None of it HAS to be this way. It's this way because society as a whole has decided it can be. There's nothing "natural" about modern capitalism. It's a deliberate, societal construction formed by our laws, with no inherent reason or cosmic justice why the top 1% earn 20% of the income. We could still have a highly profitable and functional capitalist economy with things substantially different from now. At any rate, if the amount the super-rich can and do earn is a construction of our society... then there's no earthly reason the society that allows them to make it can't reasonably tax a big chunk of it back, either. It's all just rules we make up for own satisfaction.

Samtemdo8:

Palindromemordnilap:

Samtemdo8:

And people are envious of the rich enough to eat the rich and enrich themselves with their wealth. Who is the real Greedy ones here?

The rich, for hoarding all the cash in the first place. As opposed to the people who are envious of that wealth because they would like to buy groceries this week. That was a real easy question

Groceries or Ferraris?

You're avoiding the point. Having wealth and yet demanding and hoarding more wealth is the textbook definition of avarice. Comparing that to people who have nothing but would like some is like looking at a guy dying of dehydration in a desert and a guy swimming in his own reservoir and saying "but who's really the thirsty one?"

Palindromemordnilap:

Samtemdo8:

Palindromemordnilap:

The rich, for hoarding all the cash in the first place. As opposed to the people who are envious of that wealth because they would like to buy groceries this week. That was a real easy question

Groceries or Ferraris?

You're avoiding the point. Having wealth and yet demanding and hoarding more wealth is the textbook definition of avarice. Comparing that to people who have nothing but would like some is like looking at a guy dying of dehydration in a desert and a guy swimming in his own reservoir and saying "but who's really the thirsty one?"

I was just playing Devil's Advocate. Just to see the wisdom in your responses. And I have been agreeing with your responses so far.

Agema:

It's not their money just because they are super-awesome. It's their money because of an entire societal, political and economic structure that allows them to have it. A system where for instance 10 brilliant engineers design an amazing gizmo which sells zillions, for which they get the same $100,000 a year salary as they got last year, and the CEO hands himself a bonus of $100 million and the shareholders get billions of dollars in share appreciation and dividends. Or the city which decides to build a new local transit system, and a property developer sees his shitty land massively increase in value because the taxpayers gave it a good transport connection to the city centre. Top corporate salaries used to be about 10 times the average pay of their workers. It's now ~200 times. Why? Are they truly worth it? They did it because they could, and why not stuff your pockets when nothing and no-one says otherwise? The rich pour huge sums into lobbying to make it easier and easier to earn lots of money.

The corporate lobby is definitely too powerful no disagreement there. I also think they receive way too many tax benefits compared to smaller businesses. But that is not the issue here. Without companies taking financial risks none of the products they put out would be made in the first place. Profit goes to the shareholders since they also take the brunt of the risk and if they are OK with the CEO earning a ''100 billion'' bonus it can only mean he delivered in increasing the value of their stock. And what if a privately owned company started out by investing personal savings and the founder became rich should that money be taken away as well? Way too ruin entrepeneurial spirit and destroy an economy.

generals3:
If you don't think there are employees who earn a lot of money through/thanks to hard work you really need to broaden your horizon.

"Working hard" is neither necessary nor sufficient to "be rewarded lots of money." It's mostly unrelated; if hard work is involved, there are other factors which are more explanatory. Hard work leading to wealth is as much of an exception for wage and salaried laborers as it is for slaves and serfs.

generals3:
Ok, so let's say you have a manufacturing company. The customers are happy, so the product is good. Unfortunately the machinery and software are outdated, as such productivity is low. Consequently margins are negative and the company is going to go bankrupt if things continue like that. Why should a potential investor, who potentially has earned a lot of money through hard work and limiting spending try to help that company by giving them the capital needed to upgrade their machinery and IT if he won't be rewarded for it?

Why should we rely on the decision of someone like that to determine who gets the means of production in the first place?

stroopwafel:

Agema:

It's not their money just because they are super-awesome. It's their money because of an entire societal, political and economic structure that allows them to have it. A system where for instance 10 brilliant engineers design an amazing gizmo which sells zillions, for which they get the same $100,000 a year salary as they got last year, and the CEO hands himself a bonus of $100 million and the shareholders get billions of dollars in share appreciation and dividends. Or the city which decides to build a new local transit system, and a property developer sees his shitty land massively increase in value because the taxpayers gave it a good transport connection to the city centre. Top corporate salaries used to be about 10 times the average pay of their workers. It's now ~200 times. Why? Are they truly worth it? They did it because they could, and why not stuff your pockets when nothing and no-one says otherwise? The rich pour huge sums into lobbying to make it easier and easier to earn lots of money.

The corporate lobby is definitely too powerful no disagreement there. I also think they receive way too many tax benefits compared to smaller businesses. But that is not the issue here. Without companies taking financial risks none of the products they put out would be made in the first place. Profit goes to the shareholders since they also take the brunt of the risk and if they are OK with the CEO earning a ''100 billion'' bonus it can only mean he delivered in increasing the value of their stock. And what if a privately owned company started out by investing personal savings and the founder became rich should that money be taken away as well? Way too ruin entrepeneurial spirit and destroy an economy.

Bullshit. Anytime a big enough company loses out on a "risk", the holding company and shareholders get paid out and customers and labor gets shafted. And that's before the company calls in a favor and gets a government bailout. How the fuck do you think venture capitalism works? Long story short, the capitalists make a boat load of cash by transferring the debt of buying a company directly to the company they bought, then file for bankruptcy when, surprise, it's unsustainable. At no point is the capitalist risking losing money
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/9/30/1702985/-How-Private-Equity-Destroyed-Toys-R-Us
https://abc7news.com/business/pg-e-bankruptcy-heres-how-itll-affect-customers-employees-shareholders/5076360/

Satinavian:

Yes, that is how capitalism works. People who have money are rewarded for investment decisions. And the reward is proportional to the investment, not proportional to the time needed to research good investment opportunities.

Which means the investor gets rewarded way beyond what he should get for his effort. And because this reward has to come out of company profits, the people paying for this are the workers and customers.

In this case the reward is indeed not for effort but rather risk and blocking of wealth you can no longer use for something else.
Many security guards are paid for doing nothing almost all of their time, they're basically paid for blocking their time and not their effort either. I don't see the problem?

Yes. Those tend to be less corrupt and there is no expectation or legal of getting rich just with investment decisions. The result is a more equal society - which is also true for nearly very single failed communist experiment.

Is this meant to be ironic? I don't think North Korea is even remotely equal, while Kim Jong Un lives like a depraved billionaire millions are malnourished and there is a risk of famine. This idea communist societies were more equal is a myth caused by the destruction of the upper middle class. There was less wealth dispersion but there have always been rich elites and a vast majority of poor/lower middle class citizens. All that happened was the impoverishment of the higher middle class and the transfer of wealth from rich capitalists to rich party associates/leaders. Even in Venezuela this can be observed, where the military top brass was given responsibility over key sectors and consequently also key income sources for themselves.

The less efficient economy is the problem. It is hard to correct mistakes if you don't have sales numbers and quaterly losses telling you. It is also hard to produce what people want if you don't have free floating prices and sales numbers
telling you. Planned economies had always problems with plans based on guessing, wishful thinking and ideology (some of them produced not what people wanted, but what an ideal socialist model citizen was supposed to want). Oh and most importantly, missing or ignored feedback. That is where freedom of speech comes into play.

The benefits of the market over planned economy are dwindling by the day through technological progress.

I don't really think technological progress will help solve the fundamental flaws of planned economies. Namely that planned economies tend to be the worst kind of monopolies. Where the state holds the monopoly over production, distribution, sales and legislation of its own industry. When I see how hard it is for politicians to setup good governance rules of the para-public sector over here and how it is (ab)used to enrich members of parties I have no faith whatsoever they'll do any better if they owned the entire economy.
At least now you can hold companies (somewhat) accountable by being able to go to their competition or file lawsuits or vote for politicians who want to increase regulation. In a planned economy there is no competition, and the political classes' interests do not merely converge (due to lobbying and corruption) with that of the "companies" they have become one.

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