How much money should one person have?
Do you think that individuals should be able to hoard basic resources like money at the expense of others?
People like Jeff Bezos to me are the absolute height of obscenity. His person net worth is more than the GDP of half the world's nations. One person. Why?
Through a law or through simple self-choice, shouldn't there be some cap on how much money a person or a family should be allowed to hoard?
|by Anonymous||reply 47||Last Saturday at 10:53 AM|
[quote]People like Jeff Bezos to me are the absolute height of obscenity. His person net worth is more than the GDP of half the world's nations. One person. Why?
I struggle to believe someone like that can earn all that money legitimately or honestly or ethically. That's kind of the point reached where I no longer believe "well if a person works hard for it, they are entitled to it". It's obscene, you're right.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||05/04/2021|
Like do you really need a $400 million Dollar yacht?
|by Anonymous||reply 2||05/04/2021|
Isn't there also a point where goods can't really get any better too? Or at least there are diminishing returns the more expensive you get? I often think that when I look at even everyday products you might buy.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||05/04/2021|
One of Jenny Holzer's truisms is "People who don't work with their hands are parasites."
I feel people like this describes Bezos and his ilk. You cannot get that rich without exploiting a large number of people.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||05/04/2021|
Exactly, R4! I can't see how it could be any other way.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||05/04/2021|
R3 Yes, that's an unstated part of my question. It's selfish at so many other people's expenses—but it's also utterly pointless except for ego building. There's zero practical reason to have or want as much money as Bezos has. There's no good reason for any single human being or family to have more than, I don't know, $25 million in net assets. Even that is way too much in my opinion, but it seems like a fair limit for people who might argue about living in expensive cities, etc.
Bezos, Bloomberg, everyone of their ilk disgusts me.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||05/04/2021|
We should tax the super rich until they are only mildy rich and if they choose to move elsewhere, they can take the exploitation services with them.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||05/04/2021|
At what point does someone cross the 'American dream' line and deserve to be resented for their assets instead of admired for them?
People seem to universally admire Oprah for being a multibillionaire and Madonna for her worth. But isn't a billion also WAY too much, just super-excessive personal greed, despite people having worked hard to make money from humble beginnings?
|by Anonymous||reply 8||05/04/2021|
I came from a broken home and as a youngster had to wear the same jeans to school every day for awhile. I remember them being damp from hand washing them the day before because we didn’t have a dryer.
For me in my 20’s, the height of wealth was finding store tags on clothing in thrift stores. Clothing that wealthy people never ever bothered to wear even once.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||05/04/2021|
Don't you think if one squirrel took all the nuts except just the minimum necessary for the other squirrels to barely survive the winter, the other squirrels would eventually retaliate en masse and redistribute the community's resources?
Why are we dumber than that?
|by Anonymous||reply 10||05/04/2021|
[quote] Madonna for her worth
Madonna is not a billionaire.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||05/04/2021|
Which is why I wrote "for her worth" and not "for her billions," R11.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||05/04/2021|
You didn’t need to mention her at all, as she is not a billionaire. Your Vadgestanism is showing.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||05/04/2021|
R13 I started this thread and this thread is not dedicated to billionaires. It's about people who have more money than any one person should have.
What is your problem?
|by Anonymous||reply 14||05/04/2021|
There surely has to be a point where you don't need any more money? What do the super-rich actually need it for? They're going to end up dead just like everyone else, so why not use it to do good?
I was going to suggest establishing charitable funds but if these people paid their due taxes there would probably be no need for charity in the first place, at least in the first world.
I have no idea where you'd set the level though. I've never been especially driven or greedy. As long as I've got a roof over my head, food on the table, enough to have holidays and buy what I need I don't need any more.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||05/04/2021|
It's mind boggling to think there is absolutely **nothing** beyond your financial reach.
Everything except immortality.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||05/04/2021|
Give me 10 mill and I’m good.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||05/04/2021|
Fundamentally flawed logic.
Difference between income and wealth.
Difference between cash and asset.
Difference between work with your hands and work with your brain.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||05/04/2021|
[quote] I was going to suggest establishing charitable funds but if these people paid their due taxes there would probably be no need for charity in the first place, at least in the first world.
I've learned working at nonprofits that foundations can help and foundations can hurt, even with good intentions. The Gates Foundation had good intentions moving into education, and then their leaders unilaterally changed education for the worse by their own design, and schools followed the money. The foundation's work did a lot of damage to public education, destabilized it and then bailed out when it couldn't fix the problems it caused. Meanwhile, schools became dependent on Gates money and were left to suffer.
And then there are people like Kochs who set up foundations specifically to make rich people richer and to make society less equitable.
No one should have enough money to supplant a federal government's investments in things like education and political systems. Yet we are all conditioned to believe that philanthropists are great people who do great things because they give money away. In reality, they are people who have too much money, who must give some away for tax breaks, and they wield the power to change systems that work pretty well for the worse just by writing checks to people who want their money.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||05/04/2021|
Calvin and Hobbes from 1987
When 20 million was a lot.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||05/04/2021|
[quote]It's mind boggling to think there is absolutely **nothing** beyond your financial reach...Everything except immortality.
I know we all have to go sometime but before we do, let's try one more time to figure out a way to take it with us.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||05/04/2021|
People who want to regulate the amount of money/success that others obtain legally and ethically should spend more time figuring out why they are underachievers.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||05/04/2021|
R22 Our worldviews are too mismatched to debate one another.
My question relates to individual hoarding of assets that adversely affects a community, a nation or a world.
Your answer presumes that the answer to this problem is that the person who identifies inequity as a problem should hoard a greater share of limited resources.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||05/04/2021|
The bigger issue for me is that the government fails to properly tax these people and enforce it. Facebook, Amazon, Trump and so on - they get away with tax avoidance, fancy schemes to avoid tax, and it's blatantly unfair.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||05/04/2021|
Anti-competition laws are BS when they allow people like Bezos and Zuckerberg to become corporate overlords.
If the feds taxed at increasingly higher rates, up to, say, 95 percent at a billion dollars, that would certainly temper ambitions and encourage capitalistic competitiveness, since the super rich would find something else to do once they reached their compensation ceiling, allowing room for others with other ideas to move in and keep progress going.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||05/04/2021|
[quote]As long as I've got a roof over my head, food on the table, enough to have holidays and buy what I need I don't need any more.
Absolutely agreed, I've always felt like this too.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||05/04/2021|
Humans are a stupid species sometimes.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||05/04/2021|
Physically, you can only be in one place at a time, interacting with a limited amount of things. Why accumulate so much property and stuff?
|by Anonymous||reply 28||05/04/2021|
[quote]My question relates to individual hoarding of assets that adversely affects a community, a nation or a world.
The majority of Bezos's wealth is Amazon stock which - he owns 53.2 million shares.
The value of Amazon stock comes from its operations. For years Amazon operated at a loss or barely breakeven. It took years for Amazon to have sufficient reach and scale for it to dominate - just as it took Walmart decades to have the scope and scale it does today.
Scale and so-called economies of scale are widely misunderstood concepts. People complain about Walmart, but continue to shop there because of its lower prices for goods. That lower price is a function of being able to leverage everything from purchasing power to efficient warehouse and distribution hubs to sales and market - and yes, paying its employees garbage. However, even if Walmart didn't exist, retail employees working for smaller chains or mom and pop shops are not going to be paid meaningfully higher wages while at the same time would likely be paying more for the goods they'd previously bought from Walmart.
Scale is a stair step function where the height and length of each step are shorter and higher earlier while becoming lower and longer later as scale increases. Smaller margins over higher volumes enables companies like Amazon and Walmart to spread its fixed costs over many more units. This is true for its suppliers. If you can sell enough of your toilet paper or Tide detergent to cover your fixed costs, it benefits your business - that's why companies are willing to make concessions to their purchasing power.
Summary: Bezos's wealth is mostly derived from Amazon stock (which isn't really as liquid as folks might believe for him). Amazon's value has increased as a function of improved operations over the years and better margins as its reach, and thus scale, have increased. Without companies like Amazon and Walmart, its likely that consumer prices would go up because manufacturers would no longer achieve their own scale and cover their fixed costs as quickly.
It's one of the reasons that there has been an inversion if prices over the years between manufactured goods vs. labor. It used to be that stuff was expensive and people were cheap. Now, people are expensive and stuff itself is cheap.
Thank you for attending my TED talk.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||05/04/2021|
I think people should be able to have and save as much money as they can earn. However, a basic [italic]LIVING[/italic] wage (i.e., at least $12 per hour, though many suggest $15 per hour, while others have noted, if wages had kept up with current productivity levels, $22 per hour would be the minimum wage today) should be signed into law to match inflation and protect those who are vulnerable to parasitic business practices.
The idea that this or that job is “not worth” a living wage is both preposterous and Machiavellian in its attempts to maintain not just profits but basic - and some might say excess - comfort at the very top of the economic pyramid. The argument that “businesses will suffer” is also a distortion of the truth: Businesses will have to adjust and no longer be seen as a way to become wealthy on the backs of others and the dime of the customer. Running a business through which one can earn and maintain a healthy income may not seem as desirable as “getting rich quick,” but, then again, that’s no one else’s problem but those who are interested in or already actively running a business.
Furthermore, a minimum wage should take into account not just what a particular job entails, but the time and physicality - the [italic]life[/italic] - of the person fulfilling said job. A human life is not nor should be cheap. Regardless of a person’s education or duties, when fulfilling job requirements, a human being is committing their time, energy, and life to do so. Some businesspeople argue, “Get an education if you want to earn more!” I say, lower your standards just a notch beneath wealthy or truly run your own business and do the work yourself!
|by Anonymous||reply 30||05/04/2021|
As long as it's earned honestly one should have as much money as one wants, and can make.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||05/04/2021|
The reality is - after having a certain amount of money, money doesn't mean anything and it's just a way to flex power that no individual should have the right to have.
There's a meme that says anyone who makes a billion should then be forced to opt-out of any future endeavors, the person gets an "I won Capitalism" trophy and a dog park names after them.
I agree with that - but I would even put that number at much lower. Having more than 250 million just makes you weird, and not in a good way.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||05/04/2021|
Cap wealth and extract it from the hoarders. We foo it at the other end of the wealth spectrum, time to do it at the top.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||05/04/2021|
Either you are a failure in life or you’re not.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||05/06/2021|
Only I should be allowed to have anything.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||05/06/2021|
R14 - funny, Hitler kind of went with that as well as Stalin. Leaves out all people who work with their brain like analysts, accountants and other intellectuals. Obviously, extremist regimes lumped them in with assholes like Bezos. It's how Eastern Europe got to where it is...once Stalinism hit, the intellectuals were either killed or silenced. The results are obvious.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||05/06/2021|
I don't care, really, about any material possession other than my books. I have spent a significant amount of money across my life to build my personal library. Perhaps I am a hoarder of books, and I own far more than I will ever realistically read. But I feel a large personal library gives one a feeling of immortality: there is not a single book on my shelf, no matter now dry or impractical or technical, that I don't have at least some small desire to engage with one day. I cannot die before I read everything on my shelf, right?
I think, however, that the hoarding of knowledge -- even in the material form of books -- is far less odious than the hoarding of wealth.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||05/06/2021|
Can you imagine the good that could be done if one would spread the money around? Vaccinations for many common diseases, fresh water, decent homes, playgrounds, sports-fields......only the actions of the just smell sweet and blossom in their dust.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||05/06/2021|
I’m always surprised at how many of these billionaires emerge from the United States. I thought the Us system was set up to prevent the emergence of an oligarchy/aristocracy, and yet Koch/Gates/Bezos/Zuckerberg/Musk/etc. certainly have a level of wealth and influence which exceeds almost anyone in history. Indeed the Us systems seems a real abominaion because of the level of influence these people can buy.
I’m growing more radical as I get older, I think. I see nothing really admirable in a billionaire’s philanthropy. It seems to me that they are returning a mere fraction of the unearned wealth they have hoarded at the expense of a more economically just society. And when it comes to their interest in environmental/charitable causes, I am incredibly cynical. When I see Bill Gates becoming the largest owner of US farmland, I don’t think he’s doing it to benefit others. I just wonder how he intends to exploit his position to make even more profit and gain even more power.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||05/06/2021|
As long as it is earned legally and they are paying their fair share of taxes, a person should be able to have as much money as they can they earn.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||05/06/2021|
[quote] How much money should one person have?
It depends on the person, OP. I’m certain were it you with all the money, you’d have a different tune.
When you invent or create the next big thing that everyone wants to buy (like Microsoft), see how you feel about anyone saying “you can only earn so much money before we confiscate the rest.”
If you invent a better mousetrap and the entire world wants to buy it from you, should you decline the sales because, after all, oh that’s just too much money for me to have?
|by Anonymous||reply 41||05/06/2021|
They don't pay their fair share of taxes. They get out of paying taxes legally because they give money to politicians who set up the legal and justice systems to be unfair in rich people's favor, and we all now know it.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||05/06/2021|
A lot of people in this thread clearly have no background in economics, supply chains, finance, accounting, or human nature for that matter. Just coming up with arbitrary numbers of what's "fair" or supporting the seizure of property because that helps you believe you're a good person is childish at best and authoritarian at worst. A utopia will not just magically bloom with everyone living their eudaimonic moment. There are a lot of problems with this thinking, not the least of which is that everyone is going to have a different idea of what's fair, and when of course it's their property being seized, the system becomes a problem.
Capitalism is FAR from perfect but it has raised billions of people out of poverty over the last two centuries.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||05/06/2021|
[quote] [R3] Yes, that's an unstated part of my question. It's selfish at so many other people's expenses—but it's also utterly pointless except for ego building. There's zero practical reason to have or want as much money as Bezos has. There's no good reason for any single human being or family to have more than, I don't know, $25 million in net assets. Even that is way too much in my opinion, but it seems like a fair limit for people who might argue about living in expensive cities, etc.
I don't begrudge the wealth but I think they should be taxed accordingly. You should not be able to exploit others to accumulate wealth AND avoid paying back into the capitalist democracy that enables your prosperity.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||05/06/2021|
R43 I like your post. And it sent me to the dictionary
[quote] Psychologists conceive of happiness in two different ways: hedonic happiness, or pleasure and enjoyment, and eudaimonic happiness, or meaning and purpose. Some psychologists champion either a hedonic or an eudaimonic idea of happiness. Most agree, however, that people require both hedonia and eudaimonia to flourish.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||05/06/2021|
[quote] everyone living their eudaimonic moment.
I did that once and almost got arrested.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||Last Saturday at 10:53 AM|