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How rich is too rich?
Posted: 26 August 2011 08:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 05:05 AM

Consider the following Model.
A Universe in which the only occupants are two people, and the only things in existence a food machine, a road, and a truck. Oh, and each person has a house. One a one room home, with simply a bed and a table at which to eat. One of the men lives here. In the other house lives the other man. He is a wealthy man who owns the Food Machine and the Truck (roughly 50% of the wealth in this universe). His house is a massive four roomed mansion. In one room is the food machine, in another room (the Garage) is the truck, and the other two rooms are living rooms.
Every day, the Wealthy man must send the truck (it drives itself), on the PUBLIC road, in order to deliver food to the other man. And he drives on it a second time every day just for the run of it. The other man’s only job is to make trinkets that operate the food machine. In other words, he has to work for a living. He doesn’t do anything at all except wait for the food truck to show up, and watch the rich man drive by on the road on his joyride.
The Food thus is “Bought” by the “Working Man.” He is poor. But, every year he gets to go on vacation to the rich man’s second room, and thus uses the road that one time.
Here we have a situation where there is public infrastructure that is being used.
Obviously, it is in the best interest of BOTH parties for this road to be maintained.
It is the PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE.
But, we can see from the situation that the Rich Man is using the road incommensurately more than is the poor man.
Thus, if it came to a question of Taxes, he should pay more for the maintenance of this road.
This situation is no different than the world in which we live now save for the existence of another (approximately) 5,999,998 people. We have a situation where many people work for a living to support themselves, while others consume most of the infrastructure via the wealth they both have and create.
Of course, this universe is grossly imbalanced, as there should probably be 99 other working people for this one rich person (I am actually working on such a computational model. It also has a more advanced infrastructure with actual food production, a highway and five roads, in three towns and one city, and an elected government, and a public servant.), but it still depicts basically the same situation we are in.
And, if that rich man should ever find that he wants to not pay the taxes to maintain the road so that the worker can live (by having food delivered to him) then he will find that he will have to learn to make the trinkets that operate the food system himself… And he will also have to find a way to protect himself (and the food machine) from the worker, who might just do what happened in France in the 1790s and in Russia in 1914-1918… Or… What is happening RIGHT NOW in the Middle East in the Arab World where a great many people have grown tired of the inequality in their systems.
Sam is right.
The cost of NOT supporting and raising people out of poverty PALES in comparison to what it would cost to raise people out of poverty.
All it would take would be a single well educated and capable person (who was a bit saner in their methodology) such as Theodore Kaczynski or Timothy McVeigh to create a situation where the Wealthy would suffer losses that would make their wealth meaningless.
If society collapses, so does the wealth that it is based upon.
And… I happen to be the same sort of Libertarian that Sam claims to be.
Only most people are not ready for a Libertarian Society.


Have you ever worked for a poor person?
“Capitalism is the worst form of government…..until you compare it to all the others.”
There will always be the poor but they are much better off in a free enterprise society which can function only when bureaucrats are curtailed.
The rich drive the machinery of any economy.
The poor are poor for a reason.
If the wealth were evenly distributed….....society would collapse.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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It is the utmost foolishness to think that poverty will always exist.

There WILL always be people who have LESS than others.

But… There NEEDN’T always be poor.

If it is the case that there will always be poor, then I will immediately redirect all my efforts to the extinction of humanity for its utter failure to recognize the right that a person has to a decent life regardless of the situation of their birth.

If I have ever worked for a poor person is a completely irrelevant question.

And, it just goes to further illustrate the point that you OBVIOUSLY MISSED:

That it is the wealthy who are the consumers of the Infrastructure, and thus are most responsible for its maintenance.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 12:57 PM

It is the utmost foolishness to think that poverty will always exist.

There WILL always be people who have LESS than others.

But… There NEEDN’T always be poor.


(t)
If they have less, they will become the new poor.
Most “poor” people in the US have televisions.
The do-gooders who want to equalize all wealth can destroy society and the poor will be much worse off than they are now.

 

If it is the case that there will always be poor, then I will immediately redirect all my efforts to the extinction of humanity for its utter failure to recognize the right that a person has to a decent life regardless of the situation of their birth.

 


(t)
In a free society most can work their way out of poverty.
I am wealthy.
I didn’t start out that way.
I have never taken welfare.
I give to the poor.
I donate to Kiva.
What you propose will not work.


If I have ever worked for a poor person is a completely irrelevant question.

And, it just goes to further illustrate the point that you OBVIOUSLY MISSED:

That it is the wealthy who are the consumers of the Infrastructure, and thus are most responsible for its maintenance.

 

 


(t)
You sound like a poor person.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 12:57 PM

It is the utmost foolishness to think that poverty will always exist.

There WILL always be people who have LESS than others.

But… There NEEDN’T always be poor.

If it is the case that there will always be poor, then I will immediately redirect all my efforts to the extinction of humanity for its utter failure to recognize the right that a person has to a decent life regardless of the situation of their birth.

If I have ever worked for a poor person is a completely irrelevant question.

And, it just goes to further illustrate the point that you OBVIOUSLY MISSED:

That it is the wealthy who are the consumers of the Infrastructure, and thus are most responsible for its maintenance.

If you truly believe what you say, there is nothing keeping you from sharing what you have with those who have less.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 12:57 PM

It is the utmost foolishness to think that poverty will always exist.

There WILL always be people who have LESS than others.

But… There NEEDN’T always be poor.

If it is the case that there will always be poor, then I will immediately redirect all my efforts to the extinction of humanity for its utter failure to recognize the right that a person has to a decent life regardless of the situation of their birth.

If I have ever worked for a poor person is a completely irrelevant question.

And, it just goes to further illustrate the point that you OBVIOUSLY MISSED:

That it is the wealthy who are the consumers of the Infrastructure, and thus are most responsible for its maintenance.

 

I own the factory.
I pay for the livelihood of hundreds of people.
Should I make the same amount of money as an eighteen year old who consistently shows up late?

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Posted: 26 August 2011 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 12:57 PM

It is the utmost foolishness to think that poverty will always exist.

There WILL always be people who have LESS than others.

But… There NEEDN’T always be poor.

If it is the case that there will always be poor, then I will immediately redirect all my efforts to the extinction of humanity for its utter failure to recognize the right that a person has to a decent life regardless of the situation of their birth.

If I have ever worked for a poor person is a completely irrelevant question.

And, it just goes to further illustrate the point that you OBVIOUSLY MISSED:

That it is the wealthy who are the consumers of the Infrastructure, and thus are most responsible for its maintenance.

The mind equates wealth with security.
It is wealth or the hope of wealth that drives the machinery of society.
You may not like that, but that’s the way it is.
Look at Europe to see the results of entitlement and dispersal of wealth.
What you propose would destroy society.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Wow - the vitriol is flying.  You have touched a nerve - one that controls the knee-jerk reflex.

As some more reasonable replies have noted, the problem of “too rich” is a problem of who really creates value.  We all want ownership of value that we create, but what is forgotten is that value requires a society to provide the context of that value.  In other words, without society much of what we call value would evaporate, for two reasons.  First, society provides the infrastructure necessary to create many things of value.  It is of no value to create media content if the media isn’t accessible by people.  Second, it is societal preferences that provide the value.  This aspect is what I think of as the bridge-builder issue.  If I build a bridge over a river its value depends on the degree to which people want to go to the other side.  But this also illustrates the other problem with value - yes the bridge is of value because of demand, but the demand is in part a matter of scarcity.  It is one thing to agree to allow people across for a fee and think of this as a reward for my work in building the bridge.  But what if suddenly it becomes VERY important to cross (other bridges fall down, there is famine on one side, etc)  Is it now OK to charge 1000 times as much to cross?  Do we want to reward people for either the luck (or the foresight) to control a limited resource first?  Is this really desirable aspect of our economic system?  Since society creates the demand that creates the value, is it wrong for society to put limits on the wealth that society gives to an individual, especially if the process of wealth accumulation is harming society?

I think that rational reflection will admit that much as everyone dreams that they will be the bridge builder who profits, the reality is that most are not, and since we all as individual members of society are contributing to the wealth of the bridge builder, we all ought to have some say in how much we allow the bridge builder to profit.  How we do this is important - we do not want a society in which no one builds bridges.  But we also don’t want one that allows the bridge builder to profit without limit, regardless of what that does to everyone else.

Note that this doesn’t bring in the whole other argument of whether we all have an equal chance at becoming a bridge builder.  But that is an argument for another day.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Nice to see some many people idiotically reading things that were not said or even implied into my statements, and into those of Sam Harris.

Both he and I addressed all of the points raised thus far.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 12:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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YouSirName - 26 August 2011 03:20 PM

Wow - the vitriol is flying.  You have touched a nerve - one that controls the knee-jerk reflex.

As some more reasonable replies have noted, the problem of “too rich” is a problem of who really creates value.  We all want ownership of value that we create, but what is forgotten is that value requires a society to provide the context of that value.  In other words, without society much of what we call value would evaporate, for two reasons.  First, society provides the infrastructure necessary to create many things of value.  It is of no value to create media content if the media isn’t accessible by people.  Second, it is societal preferences that provide the value.  This aspect is what I think of as the bridge-builder issue.  If I build a bridge over a river its value depends on the degree to which people want to go to the other side.  But this also illustrates the other problem with value - yes the bridge is of value because of demand, but the demand is in part a matter of scarcity.  It is one thing to agree to allow people across for a fee and think of this as a reward for my work in building the bridge.  But what if suddenly it becomes VERY important to cross (other bridges fall down, there is famine on one side, etc)  Is it now OK to charge 1000 times as much to cross?  Do we want to reward people for either the luck (or the foresight) to control a limited resource first?  Is this really desirable aspect of our economic system?  Since society creates the demand that creates the value, is it wrong for society to put limits on the wealth that society gives to an individual, especially if the process of wealth accumulation is harming society?

I think that rational reflection will admit that much as everyone dreams that they will be the bridge builder who profits, the reality is that most are not, and since we all as individual members of society are contributing to the wealth of the bridge builder, we all ought to have some say in how much we allow the bridge builder to profit.  How we do this is important - we do not want a society in which no one builds bridges.  But we also don’t want one that allows the bridge builder to profit without limit, regardless of what that does to everyone else.

Note that this doesn’t bring in the whole other argument of whether we all have an equal chance at becoming a bridge builder.  But that is an argument for another day.


There is no vitriol here.
There is amazement concerning the naivety of people who want the wealthy to give their money to people who prefer not to work.
No individual, or group of individuals, have the ability to make the decisions on how to equalize the wealth.
I assume that by now you have given your personal accumulation of money and property away.
Perhaps your holdings are meager; but you have far more than the average person in the third world.
I imagine that you have a computer and the time to sit in front of it.
Perhaps we could start with that.
Do you have shoes?
I understand that there are some who do not.
Is there food in your refrigerator?
There are hungry children less then a mile from where you sit.
You can actually put your money where your mouth is.
If you address this, I would be happy to continue the conversation.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 04:15 PM

Nice to see some many people idiotically reading things that were not said or even implied into my statements, and into those of Sam Harris.

Both he and I addressed all of the points raised thus far.


Can I assume that you have given your own possessions away?
Or is it just the money of others that you wish to confiscate and redistribute?


And while we’re at it:
Domestic pets seem to be a lot better off than the wild beasts and those raised for food.
Perhaps when you get all the humans equalized, you could start on the other animals.
Who knows….....maybe we could get a large greenhouse for the plants that are exposed to the whims of nature.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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toombaru - 26 August 2011 04:50 PM
BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 04:15 PM

Nice to see some many people idiotically reading things that were not said or even implied into my statements, and into those of Sam Harris.

Both he and I addressed all of the points raised thus far.


Can I assume that you have given your own possessions away?
Or is it just the money of others that you wish to confiscate and redistribute?


And while we’re at it:
Domestic pets seem to be a lot better off than the wild beasts and those raised for food.
Perhaps when you get all the humans equalized, you could start on the other animals.
Who knows….....maybe we could get a large greenhouse for the plants that are exposed to the whims of nature.

Again, Sam Harris addressed this in his response.

No need to repeat it here.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 05:15 PM
toombaru - 26 August 2011 04:50 PM
BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 04:15 PM

Nice to see some many people idiotically reading things that were not said or even implied into my statements, and into those of Sam Harris.

Both he and I addressed all of the points raised thus far.


Can I assume that you have given your own possessions away?
Or is it just the money of others that you wish to confiscate and redistribute?


And while we’re at it:
Domestic pets seem to be a lot better off than the wild beasts and those raised for food.
Perhaps when you get all the humans equalized, you could start on the other animals.
Who knows….....maybe we could get a large greenhouse for the plants that are exposed to the whims of nature.

Again, Sam Harris addressed this in his response.

No need to repeat it here.

 

Again…........Do you intend to give away your personal possessions in order to accomplish your Utopian ideal?
I can understand why you prefer not to answer the question yourself.
It is easy to redistribute the wealth of others as is now being done by our progressive President.
But you will notice, Obama’s bank account is still quite substantial and his generosity with the money of others has had only harmful effects on the country.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 05:15 PM
toombaru - 26 August 2011 04:50 PM
BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 04:15 PM

Nice to see some many people idiotically reading things that were not said or even implied into my statements, and into those of Sam Harris.

Both he and I addressed all of the points raised thus far.


Can I assume that you have given your own possessions away?
Or is it just the money of others that you wish to confiscate and redistribute?


And while we’re at it:
Domestic pets seem to be a lot better off than the wild beasts and those raised for food.
Perhaps when you get all the humans equalized, you could start on the other animals.
Who knows….....maybe we could get a large greenhouse for the plants that are exposed to the whims of nature.

Again, Sam Harris addressed this in his response.

No need to repeat it here.

 


When the IRS tried to redistribute the profits of Google…...........they moved to Ireland.
What does that tell you?

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Posted: 26 August 2011 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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toombaru - 26 August 2011 05:25 PM
BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 05:15 PM
toombaru - 26 August 2011 04:50 PM
BeAfraid - 26 August 2011 04:15 PM

Nice to see some many people idiotically reading things that were not said or even implied into my statements, and into those of Sam Harris.

Both he and I addressed all of the points raised thus far.


Can I assume that you have given your own possessions away?
Or is it just the money of others that you wish to confiscate and redistribute?


And while we’re at it:
Domestic pets seem to be a lot better off than the wild beasts and those raised for food.
Perhaps when you get all the humans equalized, you could start on the other animals.
Who knows….....maybe we could get a large greenhouse for the plants that are exposed to the whims of nature.

Again, Sam Harris addressed this in his response.

No need to repeat it here.

 

Again…........Do you intend to give away your personal possessions in order to accomplish your Utopian ideal?
I can understand why you prefer not to answer the question yourself.
It is easy to redistribute the wealth of others as is now being done by our progressive President.
But you will notice, Obama’s bank account is still quite substantial and his generosity with the money of others has had only harmful effects on the country.

And, Again, Sam Harris answered this, and I agree with his answer.

No, I don’t. As that is not necessary, nor a wise means of accomplishing the goals. He gives the reasons behind it in his response.

What I will do is pay my fair share of taxes, and lobby that the tax rates on the Rich should revert to their pre-1995-97 rates, when the economy was booming, and a mountain of wealth was created. This is all that is needed to accomplish these goals.

But… Seeing as you are wholly ignorant of Sam Harris’ response to these specific points, I expect that you are also wholly ignorant of this point as well.

And, the goal is NOT Utopian, it is Humanitarian.

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Posted: 26 August 2011 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Google’s Headquarters are in Mountain View, California about seven miles from where I live.

I have been there often, and have even spoken many times with Sergie Brin.

They do have offices in Ireland, but these offices only control Google Ireland:

http://www.google.com/about/corporate/company/address.html

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