The Evil of Being Wealthy

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Bill Mattocks

Bill Mattocks

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Not true, unless the government is rapidly printing money - which ours is not. Spent money has a multiplier effect, which fuels most of our economy. Money taken out of the system represents a loss of aggregate demand. Granted, the corporations are not keeping their money in shoe boxes, and there is a multiplier effect from even very conservative investments, but it can't match capital investment and expenditures. It especially can't match using that money for new hiring, which is what our economy needs the most right now.

Of course, I don't blame the corporations for holding onto cash reserves. Demand is down, and those left in the work force have improved productivity, new hiring is not justified. That is where the government should be stepping in to solve this collective action problem and stimulate demand. Government can't, however, because half of the country has made the ideological decision that government cannot be allowed to intervene in the economy in any meaningful way. So here we languish.

My point here was a little less systemic and more literal. If I have a billion dollars in a box and refuse to spend any of it, I'll starve to death, the same as someone with no money at all. You have to spend money for it to have any value; otherwise, it is meaningless paper.
 

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My point here was a little less systemic and more literal. If I have a billion dollars in a box and refuse to spend any of it, I'll starve to death, the same as someone with no money at all. You have to spend money for it to have any value; otherwise, it is meaningless paper.
The irony is that the more money you have, the less you have to spend. Truth is, if you were ultra rich, you'd be comped at most restaurants. They would make more money off of your patronage than from your dinner. At some point, you become a brand, and at that point you get lots of free stuff.

And because your salary comprises a relatively small portion of your overall income, you pay a relatively small amount of income tax.

Wealth isn't just about money. It's about power and influence, and these are currencies that are inaccessible to most of us.
 

Bob Hubbard

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I wish I was comped at restaurants. I can't even get a free tee shirt at karate camps anymore. :(
 
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Bill Mattocks

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The irony is that the more money you have, the less you have to spend. Truth is, if you were ultra rich, you'd be comped at most restaurants. They would make more money off of your patronage than from your dinner. At some point, you become a brand, and at that point you get lots of free stuff.

Reminds me of the Mark Twain short story (made into several bad movies), "The 瞿1,000,000 Bank-Note":

http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/MilPou.shtml

However, I think you may be confusing wealth with fame here. While the two often go hand in hand, many very wealthy people are utterly unknown. Honestly, I have no data to prove it, but I suspect that they do not get too much in the way of 'free stuff'.

And because your salary comprises a relatively small portion of your overall income, you pay a relatively small amount of income tax.

Quite true. The tax on Capital Gains was an attempt to fix that issue.

Wealth isn't just about money. It's about power and influence, and these are currencies that are inaccessible to most of us.

I don't know how to change that, do you? And it's not entirely true in any case.

On an individual basis, I am more afraid of a big dog than a small one. More afraid of a man with a gun then a man with a stick. Countries are more afraid of enemies with nuclear weapons that those without any. In a financial world, money and power are often interchangeable.

On the other hand, I'm more afraid of every Chinese citizen in the world with a rock his hand coming after me than every citizen of Luxembourg coming after me with machine guns. Numbers also bring power. There are certainly more poor than rich, more middle class than rich. But the problem is, they don't seem to all pull the oars at the same time, or want to go in the same direction. Power they have if they choose to use it. So far, it seems not.
 

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As to some of the comments about society and being told that if you do X you will get a good job.

Ben Franklin one time wrote, "We have the right to pursue happiness, but not everyone will catch it".

I used to want to be rich and then I met several people I would consider wealthy. All of them worked really long hours and never really got to spend free time with their family. I realized that I would rather be comfortable than wealthy if that was the trade off.

As to people who can't find a job, what you really mean is that you can't find a job that you want. The two are VERY different. My dad had a very good paying job and when the union voted to go on strike and he wasn't getting paid he took a job cleaning out the city bus garage to put food on our table and make sure that we were taken care of. I'm sure all of us know people or have had family that did what it took working more than one job or cutting back on luxuries to take care of things.

We have this odd standard that we expect things to be given to us because it's owed to us, and then badmouth the people that built up their wealth as well. Reminds me of the biblical parable of the talents. One guy takes the money and works hard at investing it and is praised for what he did with the money and then there is the guy who does nothing with it except bury it in the ground and is taken to task for mismanaging the money, but then people will misquote the bible and say that money is the root of all evil.
 

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Nationally, there are about 3-4 people looking for work for every job opening.

True.

But I know people who have found 2nd and in a couple cases 3rd jobs, while others can't find 1. So, they are out there, if you look hard enough and widen your parameters enough.

Comments I've heard include "its too far", "I don't want to do that", "its boring", and such.
Hell, I'm bored a lot of the time, and part of my job is a 'dream' for some.
Sometimes it's a combination of things. No transportation, local area is bone dry, and even trying to cut grass isn't worth the bother. I do get that, and understand it. But, when there are tens of thousands of jobs currently going unfilled because candidates aren't showing up, it's hard to say there are 'no jobs'.

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    Jul 29, 2011 – Software maker wants Congress to raise cap on green cards so it can import more hi-tech help.
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    Aug 21, 2011 – DAYTON — For many area residents, finding jobs right now is tough. But for Rob Baker, manager of the local Behr Thermal Products plant, ...
 

Big Don

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Rhetorically I would posit the contrary position that there is inherent nobility in (excessive) wealth? What would be your thoughts?
Money, lots of it or very little of it has little effect on the character of an individual. Paris Hilton has lots of money, but, I wouldn't call her behavior noble...
I know several people with very little money, fixed income, in fact who donate time and a fair portion of their retirement savings and pension payments to charities.
 

Big Don

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Nothing at all wrong with being ultra-wealthy. While they say money can't buy love, I'd like to try it for myself to make sure.
You can rent a reasonable facsimile, although that may not be 100% legal...
We should create laws that make sense and hold everyone accountable to these laws. I don't blame anyone for working within the current tax structure. I think we should change that structure to make it more equitable. But when it all shakes out, the richest and most powerful among us are doing better than ever, and there's no incentive for them as a block to push for equitable change.
Before we go writing new laws, lets get rid of some, shall we? Bad laws weaken necessary laws.
 

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The job market is tough, there is a large pool of educated, hirable, qualified, experienced people who how have been dumped into that pool. This is great for many companies. Companies can be very choosey shopping to get the most out of their money, "the right fit." Also, as a result of the economy going south has dumped people in that pool as well. The Real Estate business, and related industries, and institutions, for some examples.

Now on the other hand, there are people out there who don't want to work for their living and just be given it. While the rest of us poor slobs have to pick up the tab. People who manipulate the system. Some of those people become rich, most don't. Those who don't for what ever reason should get off their asses and get a job. But, they don't, whether there is or isn't opportunity, the condition of the economy, etc. The number of these people are less than the qualified ones put out of work.

With that said my comment, people are not happy clearly with Wall Street. It is or has become have vs. have nots. If don't know your history, or are aware of what is happening globally, you are bound to be experiencing what you fear the most. People taking your money, everything, away from you.
 

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Why stop with the tax code?
Why are you putting words in my mouth, Don? We're talking about wealth and taxes. Where have I ever, in this thread or any other, suggested we "stop with the tax code?"
 

JohnEdward

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The job market is tough, there is a large pool of educated, hirable, qualified, experienced people who how have been dumped into that pool. This is great for many companies. Companies can be very choosey shopping to get the most out of their money, "the right fit." Also, as a result of the economy going south has dumped people in that pool as well. The Real Estate business, and related industries, and institutions, for some examples.

Now on the other hand, there are people out there who don't want to work for their living and just be given it. While the rest of us poor slobs have to pick up the tab. People who manipulate the system. Some of those people become rich, most don't. Those who don't for what ever reason should get off their asses and get a job. But, they don't, whether there is or isn't opportunity, the condition of the economy, etc. The number of these people are less than the qualified ones put out of work.

With that said my comment, people are not happy clearly with Wall Street. It is or has become have vs. have nots. If don't know your history, or are aware of what is happening globally, you are bound to be experiencing what you fear the most. People taking your money, everything, away from you.

* by "haves" I mean those who can and want a job and are tired of being thrown back into the pool. Not those who don't want to work.
 

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In the Victorian times here it was considered your civic duty if you were rich to be philanthropic. Schools, hospitals,orphanages, libraries and many public buildings were raised and maintained by rich men. Charity was also considered to be a duty. Now, whether this was a way of showing off your wealth instead of the conspicous consumption we have now I don't know, certainly these Victorian ladies and gentlemen seemed very serious about the amount of good works they did.I doubt they paid much tax either personally or through their properties/businesses but perhaps they gave to the country more than if they had paid? However times change and we are living in what to me seems a much more selfish age in many ways.
An interesting article on 'philanthrocapitalism'. I've not tried pronouncing that!

http://www.philanthrocapitalism.net/bonus-chapters/victorian-giving/
Republican contribute far more to charity than Democrats do. But to be fair if you break it down my religious vs non-religious religious democrats give more than non-religious Republicans. It is just that the religious tend to be Republican.
 

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Republican contribute far more to charity than Democrats do. But to be fair if you break it down my religious vs non-religious religious democrats give more than non-religious Republicans. It is just that the religious tend to be Republican.
I'd say the truly religious tend to be conservative, the fake religious, the Clintons, Obamas, Kennedy's...
 

Tez3

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Republican contribute far more to charity than Democrats do. But to be fair if you break it down my religious vs non-religious religious democrats give more than non-religious Republicans. It is just that the religious tend to be Republican.

It shouldn't be about charity though, as I said charity is cold, it should be about civic duty, wanting to benefit others, helping others to help themselves and that perpetuating. It's about community spirit and if that means paying your taxes if not with a smile as least with understanding then so be it.
 

shinbushi

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It shouldn't be about charity though, as I said charity is cold, it should be about civic duty, wanting to benefit others, helping others to help themselves and that perpetuating. It's about community spirit and if that means paying your taxes if not with a smile as least with understanding then so be it.
When we get our Federal (Actually we really no longer have a Federal Government it has become a National Government) down to within Constitutional parameters then maybe. Now we are paying for a lot that OUR Federal Government was not supposed to have.
 

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I think "religious" is code for Christian in this context and it's presumed by some here to be inherently good. The last couple of posts are all kinds of fail.
 

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