When do you consider someone "wealthy" or "rich"?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Seattle, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Why all the drama? In the 1950's were there a lot of serfs, galley slaves, people in debtor prisons?
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Only insofar as the government is a fully-owned subsidiary of megabusiness.
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Let's be honest, you are arguing against capitalism everywhere. It's not for you. Right?
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nope. Credit cards make it easy to rack up debt. It's harder with mortgages, car loans, local store tabs, bar bills and personal loans. People still did it.
    I assume you are joking. You are smart enough to have heard the term debt slavery. In fact, sharecropping was the primary system of labor in the South until World War II, which is just before credit cards appeared. In that system, you worked someone else's land, and they supplied you with seeds, farming implements, livestock etc at a price. Then you could sell a portion of your harvest. In bad years, you owed more than you made - and thus went into (usually permanent) debt. It was a form of slavery that neatly replaced actual slavery at a time when landowners needed cheap labor.

    This has been going on since people had money.
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    That was a post-war boom... in some parts of the world. Not so much in others.
    We can probably find a dozen decades, between 5000 BC and 2000 AD during which some populations were prosperous - usually after a massacre that their side won.
    This doesn't make it the case that "before credit cards" - ie 5000 BC through 1960 AD - very few people were in debt.
    In fact, very many people were in debt very much of the time in very many places.
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    It is an economic mechanism which runs entirely on debt. Money-lending is its engine.
    No, I'm not mad keen on it.
    Even less keen am I on people who cover for its crimes.
  10. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Incidentally, I only recently learned that Winston Churchill actually forbade public distribution of the Beveridge Report <<< during WWII. Kinda shocking.
  11. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    And all posited on the absurd notion of limitless growth. Capitalism is intrinsically unstable and untenable--I think even it's strongest proponents are keenly aware of this, they simply don't care.
  12. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    to be fair, i am guessing you probably take your meds & have a whisky prior to jumping on the net in the evening.

    i was wondering in 2008 how a meth-jockey in a cheap suit could turn the modern world back into the stone age collapsing entire citys ecconomys...
    so i decided to start reading.
    im guessing you gave up on reading well before then.

    Lenders selling and leveraging toxic debt
    VLR value to loan ratios
    poor loan equity in a market that could not sustain the risk of small losses
    large multi billion dollar corporations being run like loan sharks by borderline incel meth-jockeys looking for the next big fix...

  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    We should already be open to embracing better systems, that's true. Before capitalism around the world most people were poor and that was the just the state of things. It was capitalism that managed to produce surpluses and create wealth for the average person.

    It works best with regulation. What system do you prefer and where has it resulted in a better outcome for the average person?
  14. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I'm not speaking literally of course. The degree to which debt is available now is greater than ever before.

    I'm the first one in my family to ever use a credit card. My parents and grandparents had no debt. Yes, of course, I'm aware of the various ways that people have managed to get into debt historically speaking.

    Do you consider that we are experiencing particularly bad economic times now, historically speaking?
  15. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    no !
    wrong !

    basic economics lesson #1
    the creation of currency created surpluses to create wealth
    without creating a currency there would be no capitalism

    are you deliberately trying to mislead people ?
    no ! you are wrong !

    wrong again !
    without regulation there would be no currency
    regulation is the act of accepting a currency
    thus regulation comes before currency which comes before capitalism

    are you deliberately attempting to fool people ?

    a "market" can exist without a currency
    but regulation is the act of accepting the market be created to become a living thing.
    like new life being created.
    regulation is the act of sex/copulation

    surplus only happens where there is no loss which is where currency has allowed fruit to be converted into currency(cash, credit or non perishables of an agreed value) so it doesn't become worthless in a few months.

    your grasp of economics is childish or deliberately miss representing to fool people
    pick one

    plush troll ?

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    comparative macro-standard of living as a quality of life ?

    people talk so much shit about economics
    it gets me fired up

    what a great speech
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Do you shout at lot in person?
    I said nothing about currency, one way or the other. Of course moving from a barter economy (if there ever really was one) is the most important step but since that is pretty much universal most people pretty much take that as an assumption.
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Sometimes I forget who I'm dealing with here.
  18. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    thats ok

    borderline incel methamphetamine-jockeys playing chicken with global markets...
    2008 credit collapse...

    it was all penises and cocaine and strip clubs for the boys club as the world burnt..
    the burning civilians got a bit upset though as their entire citys financial systems burnt to the ground
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    (Untrue, btw, in implication - a large number of investors in housing lost homes purchased on commercial loans or other jiggerings of "mortgage" lending).
    And this is presented as if it were the weather - some kind of phenomenon of nature rather than the governance and structuring of an economy by man.
    Meanwhile: Wage earners always have surplus money they can save, in wingnut world. Just like all the badly paid jobs are reserved by some "market" for "transients", because nobody else can afford to take them. The thing to notice is that this bubbleworld is comprehensive - it replaces physical reality, in their politics. And they use it to make moral judgments, to found assumptions about other people befitting their presumptions about the real world.

    Back to the quote: Some do, of course. A smaller percentage than in the more prosperous, pre-Reagan past. And a shrinking percentage - health care costs have kept rising, breaking the 20% warning level and approaching 30% for some demographics (lower middle class families with young children). Only the rich are going to have much left over to "save" after covering that nut.
    But that saving does not end the matter - since Reagan's governance trashed the Savings & Loans and crippled the retail banking industry's footing in small customers, money merely "saved" has become money gradually lost - so instead of exemplifying prudence and moderation, saving perforce must become "investment in capital" by people who don't know what they are doing. Recall that payoff to investment goes to risk, in general. And over time, in an environment of risk, the smaller stakes - most people - eventually lose. The House wins, in Las Vegas and in New York alike. The net result of that is a steady accumulation of the many losers's savings in the hands of the fewer wealthy , marking the erosion of net wealth in the middle and lower classes.
    And so we arrive at the current reality, a structural inequality of wealth so topheavy that it threatens to wreck the entire American social and political system.
    Your imagination is not data.
    The most successful people I have followed in my life - in terms of getting rich by their own efforts - were (and still are) borderline obsessed with what other people had, and how they got it. That is a small and uniquely biased sample, unfit for extrapolation, of course. But even if it were adequate for extrapolation, I would not regard such an assessment of personality as explaining large scale structural features of the US economy - the other way around would seem more plausible to me. Rapacious and materialistic self absorption does not spread and take over unless it is rewarded, lavishly and consistently: its penalties and costs are too heavy.
    That is the obvious direction of the current trends, sure. It's not rocket science - not too long ago we were building the bridges we can no longer afford to maintain, for example. And the debt from the last few wars is still on the books, rolling over every budget cycle, accumulating interest - we had WWII paid off much faster than that.

    Historically speaking, we are setting the US up for a continuation of the bubble and bust workings of Reaganomics (including severe crashes every couple of decades at least), consequent continuing economic stagnation in the middle and lower classes, consequent continuing growth and influence of banana republic politics, and the already impinging loss of general prosperity inevitable upon the concentration of wealth in a few hands.
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It sounds like the sky is falling. We had better run.
    I assume you weren't crazy about the 1930's. Liked the post WWII years, didn't like the Reagan years or any years since then.

    I think you would generally have been unhappy no matter when you were born or where. Is that fair to say?
  21. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Why not simply address the content of a post? I'm not seeing anyone "whining" or expressing "envy" here.

    Anyways, crap article--apart from this "50/30/20 rule" (which I had never heard of), I don't know what the hell they mean by "live comfortably." But, there are some numbers, at least:

    Notice the pattern? The "income needed" is like 30 to 70 thousand dollars per annum higher than the median incomes for all cities listed. Of course, perhaps the income needed to "live uncomfortably" is much lower... And, sure, I've actually managed to live in several of the cities listed on a a four-figure salary (ha!), but I was simply skating by on my Bruce Chatwin-esque charm (or something like that). Anyhow, point being: what's the likelihood for setting aside money for "savings" for most people?
  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Oh, they care, all right. Hence the current feeding-frenzy. They're determined to eat everything before the X-event.
  23. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    News flash! They still are. Just a lot more of them. And a quarter of those poor are already on the move - fleeing drought, flood, fire, war, crime, persecution, tyranny and famine. They're coming to a border-wall near you. Just looking for their share of all that prosperity.
    What produces surpluses is people working longer and harder and more dangerously than would be required to keep their families fed, sheltered and clothed. They have to work longer and harder and more dangerously in order to produce the surplus that lets a Kock brother buy $30,000 bottles of wine and the Wyoming senate. The average person gets the odd slop-over when things are going well. That same average person gets shafted when things are fucked up. The average person has no control over when either of those situation obtain, so he's self-medicating and puts all his emotional energy into idiotic professional sports.

    It's less destructive when regulated, yes. Thus: the Republican Party - financed and manipulated for the express purpose of preventing regulation of anything that makes money - including weapons of mass destruction.
    Average Argentine person? Indonesian person? Mexican person? Pretty much any economic system they had before the IMF screwed them to a wall. The average recipient of US military intervention - pretty much anything else.
    My preference is hunting-gathering. I see it's about to make a come-back.
    'Course, we need a 90% reduction in population... but hey, no omelette, etc
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019

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