How to distribute wealth equally?

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

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I did not claim you excluded the US from consideration.

    Are you OK?
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You assumed that in Post 319.
    It's the only way to get any kind of contradiction or conflict with my argument out of Gates's contributions to African charities - which you did, explicitly, here:
    It does not noticeably reduce the wealth inequality in the US, and its effect on the power inequality anywhere is complex and food for another thread.

    Gates is a US citizen. The US has an economy, currently burdened by the existence of great wealth inequality. His disproportionate wealth exemplifies the wealth inequality in the US. It does not exemplify (in this argument) the wealth inequality in an African country (that level of abstraction not on the table, and nothing relevant from it anyway). My simple, tangential, and fairly obvious point was that Gates is a pretty good example of wealth inequality in the US - regardless of his fine character and worthy contributions to charity (even in the US, let alone Africa) - in fact, because of his fine character and worthy contributions to charity.

    Or, briefly: that damage to some is not undone by aid to others.

    Is this confusing, really?
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Lets see if on Jan 1 2021 McConnell will do justice to his nickname of "The Grim Reaper" when tens of millions of people are being evicted and will be homeless, making the US very much like what Trump calls the African shit-hole countries.

    He used to brag about being nicknamed the "grim reaper." The proud killer of left-wing legislation. “The guy who is going to make sure that socialism doesn't land on the president's desk.”
    It’s time to consider that there is, in fact, a politician willing to inflict more pain and suffering on Americans than President Donald Trump. And his name is Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr.

    Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as 'shithole' countries

    Make America Great again, indeed!

    p.s. @ Republicans, when you lose your home you also lose your right to vote. Only landowners will be eligible according to the original Constitution. Neat huh...?

    The Founders and the Vote
    In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed."

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    James Madison, President of the United States
    But how would Americans consent to be governed? Who should vote? How should they vote? The founders wrestled with these questions. They wondered about the rights of minorities. In their day, that meant worrying if the rights of property owners would be overrun by the votes of those who did not own land. James Madison described the problem this way:

    The right of suffrage is a fundamental Article in Republican Constitutions. The regulation of it is, at the same time, a task of peculiar delicacy. Allow the right [to vote] exclusively to property [owners], and the rights of persons may be oppressed... . Extend it equally to all, and the rights of property [owners] ...may be overruled by a majority without property....

    Eventually, the framers of the Constitution left details of voting to the states. In Article I Section 4, the Constitution says:

    The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations.

    Unfortunately, leaving election control to individual states led to unfair voting practices in the U.S. At first, white men with property were the only Americans routinely permitted to vote.

    President Andrew Jackson, champion of frontiersmen, helped advance the political rights of those who did not own property. By about 1860, most white men without property were enfranchised. But African Americans, women, Native Americans, non-English speakers, and citizens between the ages of 18 and 21 had to fight for the right to vote in this country.

    Sounds like a familiar theme today. A very bleak prospect, IMHO
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
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  7. river


    To your last statement ; how many hours do you spend on the company after hours ? The Owner Spends most hours of the day thinking about their business . It is time consuming . And tiring.

    True . But can afford to do , and buy things that that the majority of people can't . And a breadth of life experience .

    So I can build a Star Ship . Think of the Billion Ares that are doing just that .
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    You cannot distribute wealth equally.
    Try distributing it fairly.
    Hah - I dare you! Just try!
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    It should not be "distribution" of the wealth, it should be "sharing" in the wealth.
  10. elte Valued Senior Member

  11. river

    Write4U ; your post#326


    But not to the point that the Investor made nothing .

    The Car supplier Magna ; had no problem with his employees making money from their ideas . Applied to improvements in any aspect of manufacture or design .
  12. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Who is this?
  13. river

    Whom ever they are .
  14. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Why are you concerned about what they get?
    OK You don't know, or care, who they are.
    Do you know what they do?
    Do you know what their role is in the distribution of wealth?
    Can you explain why "the investor" should get "something"?
  15. river

    I do actually .



    Because of time , resources ; both in money and Human resources ( research ) .
  16. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    [The Investor. Whomever they are.]

    So, It's a secret?
    [Do you know what they do?]
    [Do you know what their role is in the distribution of wealth?]
    [Can you explain why "the investor" should get "something"?]
    Time passes whether anyone invests or not. Why should any particular person be paid for 'time'?
    Resources occur naturally; nobody put them on or in the earth. Why should anyone be paid for them?
    Money is a medium of exchange. What is being exchanged?
    Human resources? Do you mean people working?
    Okay, being rewarded for one's work makes sense.
    Being rewarded other people's work doesn't make sense.
    What is an investor researching, and why is it worth rewarding?
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    It does if your efforts allow that work to happen. For example - taking a person and employing them as a worker, providing them with the tools, space and support they need to do the work.
    It varies.

    Five years ago a friend of mine came to me and asked for money as an investment in his project - a brewery. He was a brilliant brewer, and I had zero doubt that he could run a brewery and make fantastic beer, but could not do much more than homebrew without money. So me and a handful of other people supported him through investment. He now has a brewery that employs eight people and makes some great beer.

    I have yet to see a dime from my investment. But someday, perhaps a few years from now, I will start to see money coming back from his work. In the meantime, eight more people have jobs that otherwise would be out of work, and he is able to pursue a lifelong ambition. None of that would have happened without my investment.

    I see that as a win/win. Don't you?
  18. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Thank you, Billvon. Do you think River will now be able to explain it?
  19. scorpius a realist Valued Senior Member

    Maybe this is the solution
  20. pluto2 Banned Valued Senior Member

    People these days are very greedy and very self-absorbed.

    Capitalism is an economic system based on greed but greed kills. Excessive greed is also mentioned in the Bible as one of the 7 deadly sins. This means that many of the very rich multi-billionaires will probably go to Hell.

    I can't wait until society collapses because of excessive greed just like the Roman Empire and Nazi Germany callapsed.
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

    People these days are the same as they ever were. Technology, policy and the inherent nature of capitalism have amplified a lot of the financial inequities in our society. However, financial inequities does not equal "greedy and self-absorbed."

    A while back I worked with the CEO of Qualcomm, one of the many billionaires there. He was one of the nicer people I've met, the opposite of greedy and self absorbed. We were flying together one day; I was testing out a new satellite data system, a precursor to onboard wifi. (This was back around 2000.) The system went down, as it did a lot, and I went to work fixing it. While I was working he made me dinner and served it. When he brought it back he said "we have broccoli or green beans. Which do you want?" "Uh . . . green beans, thanks" I said. He went back up to the galley and got them.

    I got the system working and he went back to work on his laptop. I never forgot that incident, though, and I think about it whenever anyone assumes that rich people are greedy and self-absorbed.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You also focus on it whenever your stereotype requires that other people be assuming all the rich are greedy and self-absorbed.

    As a matter of statistical fact, corporate execs and other people who acquire power become more self-absorbed and "greedy" in the sense of narrowly motivated by personal short-term gain and less empathetic as they hold that power - 'Atlantic' magazine recently published an overview of the research and data: the title included the words "brain damage", which is visible on scans of brain activity taken immediately and long after the power acquisition.

    The odd aspect is that unusually high degrees of empathy and generosity and long term vision are often the abilities that got them power in the first place - they tend to lose the very capabilities that earned them the loyalty and support and promotion. Sometimes, apparently, if they are too long in power, the loss is irrecoverable - the condition involves physical, measurable, irreparable damage to specific areas of their brains. That seems to be the reality underlying the common observation that CEOs and similarly powerful corporate jobholders lose their edge faster than they age, sometimes growing past idiosyncrasy to mental illness; or to paraphrase Robert Townsend (in his fine and flashy little 1960s book "Up The Organization"), the sole real job of the Board Of Directors - to replace the recently erratic and increasingly misfiring CEO - is critically important and worth every nickel of their time.

    The pattern is so common it is taken for granted, accepted as a norm in historical accounts. One can argue that the foundation of the United States governing structure was its provision for frequent replacement of the CEO. The most famous more recent example of failure to do that, planet scale, is probably the rotting of Mao Tse Tung. His wise and benevolent and truly courageous initial vision was destroyed by one failure - he failed to provide for his own replacement at need, failed to step down anyway, and over time his absolute power corrupted absolutely - it probably damaged his brain (he displayed the standard symptoms).

    At any rate, those who become wealthy often become powerful - and those who become powerful often (usually) lose empathy and related abilities. They become more greedy and self-absorbed than they were. So the assumption that the rich are greedy and self-absorbed has a solid basis in observation, is far from foolish. It will be mistaken, frequently - but it's a decent rule of thumb, the way to bet if you have no other information.
  23. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member


    For one thing.......
    it is economic suicide to attempt to take the idea of ninety five percent economic equality as being possible. It isn't because about ten to fifteen percent of the population perform about ninety percent of the most valuable work done in every modern economy.

    I did begin a discussion here though that is the best opening gambit toward 'relative economic equality" that could lead to the prevention of abject poverty at least in Canada and America.

    "Would a significant BMI cause the minimum wage to increase over fifteen per hour?"

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