How to distribute wealth equally?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Saint, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    UBI could allow the freedom of choice to the poorest of the people.
    Freedom to choose the education and job for which you are best suited could then increase productivity, and encourage an equable remuneration system.

    It's a guess, but what we got ain't working out very well.
    So what needs to be changed, and how to accomplish that change?
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  3. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Very good points, and questions.

    I certainly don't want a return to serfdom, but that seems to be where we're going if the far left gets its way.

    Nor do I want what the far left claims the right is doing.

    Do you have some thoughts on it? I sure as hell can't rely on the media, because Russia! And Trump!

    (Sorry, a little bit, if I have to be..)
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  5. river

    Breakup the oligarchs , by law .
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  7. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    But the law protects the oligarchy. They have the money to influence the law.

    Restart? Total anarchy?

    Both seem to be bad ideas, if you've read history.
  8. CptBork Valued Senior Member

    The more you punish wealth creation by seizing and redistributing it, the more you discourage wealth creation, as has been seen not only in socialist paradises such as Venezuela, but in the USSR itself; as the old Soviet joke went, the government pretends to pay and the people pretend to work. If you want to get back at the wealthy there are a few perfectly valid approaches which don't punish successful innovation, investment, asset mobilization and risk-taking.

    For starters, people can freely choose to boycott businesses which they feel charge an unfair price for a poor product or pay unfair salaries for difficult working conditions. If enough people truly feel strongly about such an issue, boycotts can easily work; if people as individuals want to be selfish and ignore such boycotts, then they deserve to be screwed by the same selfishness and freedom of choice among the wealthy. Labour unions have extensive powers to disrupt (possibly too many, IMO); I don't know how much they're currently allowed to get away with in the US, but in Canada they are already far too often able to hold businesses and government itself as hostages and cause vital services to shut down, so that should be plenty of bargaining power to negotiate a more than equitable salary for the work performed. Likewise, there are few barriers to new competition when a company attempts to exploit a monopoly or collude with others, and any existing barriers ought to perhaps be removed altogether.

    What I think would be most fair from a government intervention standpoint is to raise the prices and taxes on natural resources and land which technically belong to the people as a whole. Every farmer, landlord, business and homeowner in North America owns their land on a renewable short-term lease, which is implicitly recognized when the rental fee is paid in the form of annual taxes. If oil companies are making a killing while the people are starving, why not raise prices on the oil they drill? You can do that with any other publicly-owned resource (i.e. anything that sits in the ground which hasn't already been sold), and there wouldn't be any reason for companies to complain about fairness when it comes to setting the people's price for the people's own goods, although they'd still be free to move somewhere with more favourable terms.

    Ultimately the American people will have to decide on some sort of functional welfare system like every other developed country has, or else leave people to starve in the streets. Many traditional skills are becoming less and less useful in the age of robotics and artificial intelligence, but there's no point in making CEO's out of high school dropouts who can't even understand pie charts, no point in hiring untrained cleaning staff to write software. Ideally, quality education should be available and affordable (or outright free) in any subject, for anyone who demonstrates sufficient aptitude in the subject of their choice, but that's still not going to protect most people from being kicked to the bottom of the food pyramid.
  9. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    For once, I almost agree with you.

    Don't take it to heart.

    The federal government, as the Constitution originally defined it, was for the welfare and protection of the states, not the imposition of laws that penalize everyone for holding an opinion that isn't popular to some.
  10. river

    To distribute wealth is obvious to me , the more people have to spend the more they buy things . Therefore the more businesses make in profit .

    It is a fundamental economic truth .
  11. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    How would you do that? Taxes that you trust the government to take from the wealthy and give to the poor?

    How has that worked out?

    That should be rhetorical, but somehow should be understood in context. Socialism is a broken idea. I'm not saying we should be like China, Venezulea or France, but we sure as hell need to pull our collective heads out bfore that crap happens here.
  12. river

    All political philosophies waste money .

    Oh come on Dr Toad there is no need to panic and think socialism is going take hold because the government taxes wealthy corps .

    Spread the wealth , it does us all good .
  13. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Why would you say I'm panicking? Are you projecting an opinion as fact?

    All I did was express my opinion, just as you have. Wealth is spread, not by government, but by free enterprise.

    I agree that unchecked enterprise can be a detriment to the country, but the government shouldn't have the power to take from someone else to "pay" me for nothing.

    I know people who grew up on flour tortillas, wild chilis and tomatoes, and very little meat. I'm sure they'd back up at the thought of Sevruga and sashimi, Baklava and Bolshoi. For that matter, cannoli and

    The way to universal wealth is education, not force, not intervention or war, and Von Clauswitz and Sun Tzu be damned. Unless you understand what they were saying, of course. Ayn Rand didn't...
  14. river

    It seems though , in the last ten , fifteen yrs corps. Don't want to share the wealth .
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The United State managed to curb the accumulation of wealth by the wealthy corporate capitalist class for fifty years: 1933 - 1983. We could do it again.
    They don't have to give anything to the poor, if that offends you. They could get a lot of the benefit simply by destroying it.
    Or they could rebuild and maintain bridges, put in a bunch of modern sewage handling setups, clean up and rehab clinics and public schools and libraries, that kind of thing.
    The Republican Party is the major current advocate for arranging legal and political serfdom in the US.
    Not most people's traditional idea of the "far left".
    Corporate capitalism concentrates wealth over time, unless prevented by law and taxation and so forth. This is established fact.
    And the way to universal education is by taxing rich people to pay for it.
    That's not true.
    As all corporate capitalist market economies (that allow compound interest on money, anyway) will concentrate wealth over time, and concentration of wealth past a certain point discourages wealth creation in general: past that point seizing and redistributing wealth can encourage wealth creation. Even random redistribution would help - anything to reduce the concentration.

    An economy with too much wealth and income inequality stagnates - that's not just theoretically the case, but a common historical observation. The mechanisms are myriad, but it comes down to inefficient allocation of resources.

    Example: Most brand new small businesses in the US get important startup funding from sale of, or loans made on the collateral of, a resident owned house. That's how MacDonalds got started - both the original and Kroc's franchise expansion. If the current trend of transfer from personal to capital ownership in US housing continues (as it inevitably will under current wealth inequality levels), that source of funding will dry up. There is no market mechanism or other laissez faire way of preventing that - a large inequality of wealth will have its effect, unless prevented.

    Example: the enormous accumulations of money in a small number of US hedge funds and banks in the the late 90s and early 00s - after the sharp reductions of taxation on such accumulations - cost the US between 1% and 2% of its GDP each year until the Crash. And then they caused the Crash.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  16. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Do you read and understand anything I say here? I admit I have a real problem with what you say on your part: Even though I read the words, they just don't fit into a sane world.

    I must be a racist, homophobe, gun-toting NAZI, eh? I use capital letters because it isn't a pejorative that the poor oppressed, violently radical, and frankly insane radically left wing bullshit that I hear every day from sources like CNN, if I watch the talking heads at all, it's under duress. From any source, Fox, whoever. I don't need shouting halfwits abusing the facts for their "target audience" any more than I need commercials for the latest greatest cheap-assed grill, or denture adhesive, or anything else. Fuck a TV.

    If I choose turn on an idiot box, that is. I guess you've watched an inordinate amount of idiot box BS, and buy into all of it that suits you. Good luck with that.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Same basic shit Rush Limbaugh was spouting on the radio in 1992, - not hard to follow then, familiar now.
    Way too familiar now.
    You have never - not once - heard anything radical and leftwing from a CNN talking head.

    Which is a major obstacle to correcting the wealth and income inequality in the US - there's very little left presence in the major media, and mostly authoritarian.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Iceaura, do you have any kind of formal education past the high school level?
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Enough to correct your various errors in post #7. Obviously.
    Why do you ask?
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    No errors were made, that's why.
  21. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Back to the point, if you please.

    Why do you think that redistribution of wealth is a viable, long-term correction to the way we tend to do things now?
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That's not the "why" of the query quoted.
    And your post seven was little but errors - of fact and reason both. My reply was apparently too brief?
    The following, from post 7, are essentially false statements - more detail:
    House prices are up (still far above trendline) due to hangover of the bubble before the latest crash. Supply is not limited below need - at any given moment in the US there are more empty buildings than people without homes, and more houses that their owners want to sell than buyers with the money to reasonably and prudently buy. "Demand" and "supply" now is dominated by capital, not persons. etc. This is an example of a problem - an inefficiency, a market distortion, a stagnation of investment, an impoverishment of an entire economy - caused by too high a level of wealth and income inequality. The US is choking on it.
    That's very ignorant. Many poor people work hard and long hours.
    The ones getting paid to work create wealth. the ones who raise competent children create wealth. The ones who build, create works of art and craft, establish and contribute to community institutions, create wealth.
    They can, if not curbed, in situations of great inequality. They have reaped almost all the net extra wealth created by the growth of productivity in the US since about 1982, for example.
    And, true to form, that growth in productivity has slowed - for reasons mysterious to those who ignore the effects of inequality. It's not labor, it's not capital, it's "total factor productivity" - somehow the inputs of labor and capital are not getting the results of the past. It's almost as if Americans have forgotten or lost their former ability to run businesses - but that cannot be, since top executives are getting paid much more, which would indicate greater rather than lesser competence,
    say those ignoring the effects of inequality.
    Because it worked in the US for fifty years, has worked everywhere else it has been well tried, and helps to fix a very serious and immediately critical US problem that will result in disaster if not addressed.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    No, you are very ignorant (and a broken record). All you have to say is that before Reagan's tax cuts and in the 50's just after WWII things were great and now all we have to do is to go back to those days and all will be fine.

    As I recall you also have a problem with "compound interest". You don't have a grasp of economics.

    Regarding housing, no one is having a problem selling their house unless they live in Detroit or somewhere with no jobs.

    In general the economy is doing well. My comment about people doing the "dirty" jobs was not that everyone who is poor is lazy or not working hard. That's your slant. My point was that "dirty" jobs such as construction and plumbing pay pretty well.

    It's mainly just those who rely on retail jobs that aren't going to easily afford a house in an area with a vibrant economy.

    It can be done but it takes some effort and creativity. There is a widening gap between those who are doing OK and those who aren't. That's true enough. They rest of your comments are just ignorant.

    You can't easily make a living washing dishes and buy a house and live in Seattle (for instance). If washing dishes is your permanent and life long job you don't need to live in Seattle. You can, if you can make things work out but it's not an economically rational decision.

    The problem in Detroit, on the other hand, isn't capital. It's a bad economy. Your description of a tight real estate market as "hangover" is ridiculous.

    Again, no one is going to be saving money and put it in the bank if there is no "compound interest". It's not good for the economy for people to have no savings, people aren't going to save via mutual funds with your ideas in charge, buying real estate probably isn't going to be a good idea with your ideas implemented either.

    A lot has changed in the world since the 50's. Manufacturing isn't coming back to the U.S. Raising taxes on "the wealthy" isn't going to do anything positive for the economy over the long term either if done in a heavy handed manner.

    "Fair taxation", sure. Would that mean that upper bracket taxes should go up, yes. Would I like to see an economy with your ideas in charge, no.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018

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