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Eight billionaires 'as rich as world's poorest half' Watch

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    (Original post by NI30241834)
    Yes i do think it's moral especially as they're less likely to use services such as state education and healthcare.
    The corporations they run are big consumers of public services of all kinds.

    Do you think that rich people don't drive on the roads we pay for, use the airports that our taxes subsidised for generations, drink the water laid down by publicly funded infrastructure projects or reap the benefits of publicly-funded science?

    I would be fine with them not paying taxes if they were removed to Mars and stopped ruining our environment with their bloated yachts, private jets and bad driving.
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    Not saying the gap should be closed, however I hate the argument that the poor people complaining are just lazy and could be rich if they worked hard. It's just such a naive look at things, this world needs factory workers and other low skill jobs, not saying that they should be paid as much as a CEO however they shouldn't be exploited and underpaid for their work because their input is necessary. If everyone decided to work hard and become a businessman it wouldn't work.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    They pay a very different tax rate to you and me. We have to pay taxes. For them, it's entirely voluntary.

    Do you regard that as moral?
    When I read or hear lefties pointing the moral finger of blame at others I always wonder what they actually do themselves.

    I am not saying that is the case with you, Fullof, I don't know you, but having worked in the charity sector myself, for a number of years, I am no longer surprised at the disconnect between virtual signalling words and actual deeds. I expect it.

    It is almost as if the louder people posture the less they do, and the more they do, the less they posture.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    I read the article, although it was at 6am this morning. For clarification I don't have any real concerns about what the BBC wrote. That said many people will read the headline and jump to conclusions. The article itself doesn't offer much in the way of concrete information, nor does it try to take a side. The issue is that most people see "Eight Billionaires as rich as the world's poorest half" and immediatley jump to the entirely wrong conclusion. Like I said in my previous post, the Facebook comments on this were incredibly derogatory towards the rich and were getting enough likes to sit at the top. People see money and jump to conclusions. This article encourages that because it's building on the established that rich people are bad, money is evil and so on.

    My entire point though is that highlighting it doesn't do a damn thing. Oxfam is wasting time and money finding out that 8 people have money equal to 3.6 billion people. It doesn't actually change the fact, nor does it help the 3.6 billion in poverty. If anything all it does is discourage public opinion of the rich, get people to talk about it and maybe allow Oxfam to make a few sales from people that feel bad. What the article says is irrelevant, the very fact anyone (on Facebook or TSR) has an issue with the the numbers or thinks they are somehow related is the problem.
    I'm not being flippant, just other things to do and never even meant to get dragged onto this thread. The article I read was on the homepage. I doubt it involved that much research tbh and it has raised the issue, so getting people to talk about it is a success.

    I think it raises an interesting point. to question how the economic system works.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    The corporations they run are big consumers of public services of all kinds.

    Do you think that rich people don't drive on the roads we pay for, use the airports that our taxes subsidised for generations, drink the water laid down by publicly funded infrastructure projects or reap the benefits of publicly-funded science?

    I would be fine with them not paying taxes if they were removed to Mars and stopped ruining our environment with their bloated yachts, private jets and bad driving.
    There really isn't a problem with this they still pay more than the average person and use less services. If they avoid taxes then that's not necessarily bad because rather than giving money in taxes they tend to re-invest it into the economy creating cheaper products and employment for more people leading to greater tax revenue.
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    (Original post by Sakisaka)
    Not saying the gap should be closed, however I hate the argument that the poor people complaining are just lazy and could be rich if they worked hard. It's just such a naive look at things, this world needs factory workers and other low skill jobs, not saying that they should be paid as much as a CEO however they shouldn't be exploited and underpaid for their work because their input is necessary. If everyone decided to work hard and become a businessman it wouldn't work.
    There will very likely always be pay differences and the way the labour markets work, there are going to be wide variations in pay for jobs that have skill shortages, bear heavy responsibilities or require long periods of training to enter compared to jobs that don't.

    That said, it's clear that senior managerial pay in many sectors, including across the public sector and in places like universities is now wildly out of kilter with labour market realities or with the skills being applied. The reason is that the pay rates for these roles are not fixed in a free market - they are fixed via a sort of elite club of pay rate determiners who ensure that their colleagues get the same high salaries as themselves and who have a vested interest in constantly ramping them up.

    This is particularly true in big corporations, but you see it also in things like local government - the Chief Executives of local authorities pay themselves ludicrously large salaries at a time when they are engaged in mass redundancy programmes and austerity cuts.
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    (Original post by NI30241834)
    Yes i do think it's moral especially as they're less likely to use services such as state education and healthcare.
    So the rich don't benefit from the healthcare system providing them with a healthy supply of workers? Or from the school system pumping out droves of educated future employees? Or from the roads they use to transport their goods and products? Or from the police force that protects their property and their businesses?

    edit: awww beaten to the punch by Fullofsurprises
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    We don't have to go to a Soviet system to have more fairness and a better, more productive, more growthful economy. The United States and Europe managed it quite happily for 50 years in the postwar consensus until neoliberalism took hold and the rich stopped paying their taxes. .
    I m not even going to go into all this here, it is clearly nonsense, but I can't be @rsed. Let's accept your premise.

    What are you and the left going to do about it? Isn't it time you won a few elections?

    Or are you advocating revolution? How do you think that will go, based on past experience?
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    The standard defense of this situation is circular - they're rich because they deserve it, and they must deserve it because look! They're rich! Simply put they exist within a system that's rigged to benefit them. It's a system where capital accumulates toward the top, and money begets more money. The crucial point being, there's nothing remotely 'natural' or inherently correct or moral about such a system. You can't tell me they deserve their obscene fortunes simply because capitalism allows these circumstances to exist.
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    (Original post by Captain Haddock)
    The standard defense of this situation is circular - they're rich because they deserve it, and they must deserve it because look! They're rich! Simply put they exist within a system that's rigged to benefit them. It's a system where capital accumulates toward the top, and money begets more money. The crucial point being, there's nothing remotely 'natural' or inherently correct about such a system. You can't tell me they deserve their obscene fortunes simply because capitalism allows these circumstances to exist.
    It is not that they deserve these fortunes but that all of the alternative systems that have been tried, bring greater evils.

    Captalism and liberal democracy are indefensible except that every other system (communism, islamism) is even worse.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    I'm not being flippant, just other things to do and never even meant to get dragged onto this thread. The article I read was on the homepage. I doubt it involved that much research tbh and it has raised the issue, so getting people to talk about it is a success.

    I think it raises an interesting point. to question how the economic system works.
    When I saw this on Facebook this morning I was adamant I wouldn't post, knowing full well it'd turn into a full blown discussion that would take up too much time.

    Has it raised the issue though? Maybe you can consider it successful here but Facebook (which I'd argue is a bigger talking point) did not come to the same conclusion. The top comments there were little more than people blaming the rich. I didn't see an awful lot of discussion about the economy. People were just running with the cake analogy from the article (people in poverty only have a few grams of flour, etc.). Since then the top comments have changed and are now more in line with this thread, supporting the wealthy for what they do rather than trying to blame them for making others poor. Maybe that says something about the people who were posting on the original Facebook link early this morning
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Yes that equates to every two weeks. ......

    Not as though the objectives of Oxfam would be anything to do with tackling wold poverty or showing that wealth inequality on this scale highlights the issue.... Guess you are only allowed to talk about it once and now the issue has all been resolved.
    I didn't say 'two weeks'. You said 'two weeks'. I said 'few weeks'. You would have more credibility if you could accurately quote a piece of text which is literally centimetres away from where you are typing. And yes, they talk about it constantly. They had a video out on facebook about the tax affairs of 'the rich' just last week.

    It is a non-issue. Even so, you are permitted to talk about it to your heart's content. That doesn't, however, make it news, which was my point.
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    (Original post by NI30241834)
    There really isn't a problem with this they still pay more than the average person and use less services. If they avoid taxes then that's not necessarily bad because rather than giving money in taxes they tend to re-invest it into the economy creating cheaper products and employment for more people leading to greater tax revenue.
    It doesn't work like that in practise. The economy distorts into providing luxury services for a few at high prices. These sectors do not generate many well paid jobs. There is a marked contraction in the widespread well paid jobs in other sectors that used to mass produce quality goods and services for the mass of well paid people. The very rich are taking a larger and larger share of incomes and with low growth and zero or declining real wages, the ability of ordinary wage earners to buy goods and services goes down.

    Neoliberalism 'fixed' this gap over the last 20 years via a wave of easy credit - they basically pushed the ordinary wage earners into massive debt. This bubble crashed in 2008 and since then it has become incredibly clear that we can no longer have a viable system when most of the benefits of the economic growth goes to less than a thousand people globally because they have rigged the tax system and purchased the politicians.
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    (Original post by Captain Haddock)
    The standard defense of this situation is circular - they're rich because they deserve it, and they must deserve it because look! They're rich! Simply put they exist within a system that's rigged to benefit them. It's a system where capital accumulates toward the top, and money begets more money. The crucial point being, there's nothing remotely 'natural' or inherently correct or moral about such a system. You can't tell me they deserve their obscene fortunes simply because capitalism allows these circumstances to exist.
    The justification for the billionaire class is identical to the justifications the corrupt cardinals of the Roman church used to circulate in medieval times, which was that as God had appointed them, they must be virtuous above other men, therefore it must be right that the wealth be controlled by them and not only that, their spectacular consumption, lavish palaces and indulgent lifestyles were all proof that God loved them especially.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    It doesn't work like that in practise. The economy distorts into providing luxury services for a few at high prices. These sectors do not generate many well paid jobs. There is a marked contraction in the widespread well paid jobs in other sectors that used to mass produce quality goods and services for the mass of well paid people. The very rich are taking a larger and larger share of incomes and with low growth and zero or declining real wages, the ability of ordinary wage earners to buy goods and services goes down.

    Neoliberalism 'fixed' this gap over the last 20 years via a wave of easy credit - they basically pushed the ordinary wage earners into massive debt. This bubble crashed in 2008 and since then it has become incredibly clear that we can no longer have a viable system when most of the benefits of the economic growth goes to less than a thousand people globally because they have rigged the tax system and purchased the politicians.
    Id have to disagree on that im afraid. If luxury services are provided it does create a great many reasonable paying jobs. For example i'm from Crewe where Bently motor cars are produced i know loads of people who work in the factory providing a luxury service to the rich and themselves earning a reasonable wage.

    The way i see it wealth inequality is irrelevant so long as everyone has the right under law and equal opportunity to obtain it for themselves.
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    (Original post by NI30241834)
    Id have to disagree on that im afraid. If luxury services are provided it does create a great many reasonable paying jobs. For example i'm from Crewe where Bently motor cars are produced i know loads of people who work in the factory providing a luxury service to the rich and themselves earning a reasonable wage.

    The way i see it wealth inequality is irrelevant so long as everyone has the right under law and equal opportunity to obtain it for themselves.
    You obtain a benefit from Bentleys in Crewe. But across the world, several million people who could have bought a Corsa are not doing so because their money is now firmly in the hands of the few thousand people who buy Bentleys.
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    The report is 47 pages long. Some of it good (the stuff on crony capitalism), some of it terrible. Mostly, terrible.

    Has anyone actually read it?
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    You obtain a benefit from Bentleys in Crewe. But across the world, several million people who could have bought a Corsa are not doing so because their money is now firmly in the hands of the few thousand people who buy Bentleys.
    Sorry i don't understand what your getting at. It's not as if the rich are stealing from the poor, the poor are just of capable of making themselves better off if they have the drive, effort and intelligence to do so (at least in a well functioning nation such as most of Europe and the US).
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    Why is that arbitrarily the problem point though? If a CEO puts in 15 hour days to build a company that provides a service for people it's fair that they earn more.
    Because people on minimum wage doing multiple jobs don't work hard?

    I seriously wonder how people think such equality is "deserved" because those at the top obviously "work hard".
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    This is why I love this site. Thank you for bringing this up! This made me do further research into the topic. I heard about this quite a while back very briefly but didn't necessarily think too much about anything relating to the topic then. Now I'm like really? What?
    The thing is, I respect both Gates and Zuckerberg for their humanitarian perspective on life and deeds which have tremulously helped others however I do wish globally poverty wasn't an issue. Maybe only in a utopian society would this be possible. But whatever the solution is, I'm for it and open to it.
 
 
 
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