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10 richest Americans

by Monique
Tags: americans, richest
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RageSk8
#19
Nov5-03, 04:50 AM
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Sharing wealth as in communism was a massive failure impoverishing millions. What system has worked better than capitalism?
Sharing wealth is also at the heart of every first-world capitalist country (though, due to the Republicans in power, this is becoming less and less so). Why do you see things in such a black and white manner? From what I can tell no one here has proposed communism, nor can communism be derived from the view that the super rich do not deserve all of their wealth. Saint said that billionaires deserve their wealth because it was a product of hard work and intelligence. Even ignoring the obvious exceptions to this rule do to inheritance this view is more than wanting. As Nommos noted, many people whose wealth is be far surpassed (far doesn't even capture the difference) by the super rich have a good work ethic and intelligence. There is no mapping of degree of merit to degree of wealth! The wealth of the super rich is made possible by the hard work of the middle and lower classes. In closing I am going to put forth my own view, a view that I think many people here share.

Disparity in wealth is perfectly fine. The notion that people are motivated to work harder and be more creative is spurred by the desire to amass more wealth is true. What is not ok is allowing people to have exorbitant amounts of wealth at the expense of education, health care, and most of all hope for the future for the poor. In other words, just because people's place in life is determined by what choices they have does not mean that we should not try to give them better choices. Redistribution of wealth does not imply making everyone equal, it is simply a means towards social justice.
Adrian Baker
#20
Nov5-03, 06:33 AM
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Originally posted by RageSk8


Disparity in wealth is perfectly fine. The notion that people are motivated to work harder and be more creative is spurred by the desire to amass more wealth is true. What is not ok is allowing people to have exorbitant amounts of wealth at the expense of education, health care, and most of all hope for the future for the poor. In other words, just because people's place in life is determined by what choices they have does not mean that we should not try to give them better choices. Redistribution of wealth does not imply making everyone equal, it is simply a means towards social justice.
I totally agree, but it is the degree to which redistrubution happens that taxes (no pun intended) the politicians and populations of most decently run countries. We can all disagree about exactly how much redistribution takes place (that's politics) but calling the Rich Filthy, or impling that they are somehow corrupting society is just unnecessary and misguided.
Shall we call all the poor people, dirty snivelling wasters, who are too feckless to care for themselves? No - because it is totally unnecessary, narrow minded, bigoted rubbish!
dduardo
#21
Nov5-03, 07:13 AM
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You have to understand that billionaires don't realy have all this money. Most of it is trapped in investments such as stocks. If you look at Bill Gate's fortune, most of his money is derived from owning 1,163,708,636 shares of Microsoft's stock. These stocks alone are worth $30,337,884,141 or about $30.3 Billion. Even if he could take out all his money from the stocks, that would have serious economic consequences on Mircosoft.

I really think Bill Gates has been a very generous giver with the Milinda-Gates Foundation. Recently he donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Africa for vacinations.

<cynical>
For those who think rich people should give more to 3rd world countries, just be glad that they donated at all. If it wasn't for their generosity, many more people would be dead in those countries. Just imagine how much more room there would be in a less overpopulated world . The percentage in the world making over 40k would dramatically increase and less resources will be used up.
</cynical>
Monique
#22
Nov5-03, 03:43 PM
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I said filthy rich by the lack of a better word, lets call it rich beyond any rational concept in the future.

Dduardo: [?]

Are you serious!! Who are the big spenders with the resources, the somalian living on dried up mudd as a diet or the millionair who has to heat its 60 acre (?) mansion? Gee.
Robert Zaleski
#23
Nov5-03, 07:58 PM
P: 74
I believe the wealthiest 2 or 3 percent of Americans pay 60 percent of all taxes in the United States. Most of these people are small business owners that provide most of the jobs in this country.
Nommos Prime (Dogon)
#24
Nov5-03, 08:25 PM
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I do not know about the US Tax System but I do know a lot about the Australian Tax system.
Last year I paid some $12000 Australian in tax. A certain man named Kerry Packer (a media mogul like Rupert Murdoch) paid LESS TAX THAN ME! He earnt over 5 billion dollars PROFIT (conservative estimate)!
The super-rich DO NOT contribute any measure of worth in tax dollars to the Australian economy. Nothing. Zip. Zilch.
Now, how do they avoid paying tax? Quite easily. First, privatise all public industries, manipulate taxation laws through political donations to the parties in power, cyphen off the wealth to an off-shore place (the Canary Islands used to be pretty popular), then launder the money by creating false subsidaries. Then, if you still have any assessable tax-income, you can invest in films, disguise tax-breaks by masquerading them as Foreign Aid etc.
Now, you can take things further by playing the stock exchange. Create a non-existent company, get illegal credit from the banks, get the government to act as surety for your loan (so it doesn't matter if you go bankrupt). Then, when poor Mr & Mrs Joe Blow invest in your "phantom" company, announce a company-merge (making sure to make inside tip-offs to the BIG investors), that way ONLY the little guy loses. Then buy yhe stock at a pittance of the price, put the company in the hands of the regulators, become a predator and strip all assests in the form of the illegal credit. And Hocus-Pocus, the jokers make billions out of NOTHING!
Nommos Prime (Dogon)
#25
Nov5-03, 08:34 PM
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Oh yeh, Foreign Aid (9 times out of 10) is used to blackmail the poorer nations into letting richer nations have access to their mineral resources, and so they can gain access to their markets. It can also be used to "buy" votes in the UN (even though the US doesn't need them, because it has power of VETO). Foreign Aid is also useful when you want to install a "puppet dictator".
Foreign Aid and the IMF are illusions. We do not help poorer nations (which usually were wrecked by us in the first place) with these "hand-outs", or as I like to call it, "pimp money". The IMF keeps international interest rates at just the right level so that those poorer nations can NEVER pay off their IMF debt. This is reality. Go ask a Mexican, ask a Panamanian, Bolivian etc.
The only people blind to this reality are us Westerners.
Adrian Baker
#26
Nov6-03, 03:38 AM
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Your problem seems to be with politicians, not Rich people. Perhaps you should aim your anger at them, not at the Rich? If rich Australians don't pay Tax, then your Government is at fault. They after all set up the tax system, and should be enforcing it.


Your comments on Foreign Aid do have some truth about them, but why should we keep suppling aid to nations Like N. Korea and Zimbabwe when it just helps maintain a corrupt government? Aid rarely gets to the people that it is supposed to help. This is a real problem. Disliking the world's rich people won't solve it.
Raven
#27
Nov11-03, 07:58 PM
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I have nothing against Rich People. In fact I wish more people were financially rich. By "Financially Rich" I mean living well and able to meet their means and above it. However, living in EXTREME excess of one's means...

I believe there are those who horde and I tend to think of these people to live overly extravagant lives wasting (yes "wasting" in my opinion) money on extravagant comodotities such as owning 5 yachts when only one is needed, owning several mansions when truly one is enough, and in general spending extravagant amounts of money on things they don't really need and later find in storage not even remembering how it got there or how it came to their possession. Sure there's an argument that by spending large sums they are helping the economy, etc., but truly, some of those expenditures would be far more useful to a society in other ways. Let's take charities for instance.

Yes, I know. The rich do give to charities and I think that's great. But in my opinion a lot of the extremely wealthy (those who horde) do not give enough. It's not an evil or a bad thing that greater donations aren't given it's just that humans tend to hold on to large sums. It's difficult to part with money for nothing in return.

For example $400 or $500 donated to some charity a year would most likely be considered a small sum by average individuals. People or even whole families who earn $40,000 to $50,000 a year may be willing to part with such a sum quite easily -- no big deal. After all it is only 1% of their annual income. On the other hand, ask a Billionaire to part with 1% of his annual income (10 million dollars for each billion their worth) and I know most will find it difficult to do. For instance let's say an individual is worth approximately 30 Billion dollars, then the equivalent of 1% of his/her worth would be 300 million dollars. Will he/she donate that much a year? Or will they be more likely to donate less and horde the rest.

I mean do they really need all that money? What the hell for? There are people in need who could use it.

Let's not forget GREED, after all, is considered to be one of the 7 deadliest sins. Why do you suppose that is?
Shadow
#28
Nov11-03, 09:52 PM
P: 120
Like Monique stated these people weren't just handed their money...well waltons perhaps but their father worked extremely hard and they are leading the company now so it isnt exactly free. They are brilliant people and although donating (as said before) 5% of what they make would be extrememly nice, they have a right to decide what they do.

as for the what do they eat?

they 1,000 dollar bills on golden plates. They use 100's for toilet paper.
Zantra
#29
Nov11-03, 11:13 PM
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If they were given the money, and the waste it, I agree that it's a waste. But if someone earns thier own money, works hard for it, and suceeds, then who are we to tell them how they should spend it? What if lower class people were able to decide how the middle class should spend thier money? Should they have the right to tell you that you don't deserve to own a car because it hurts the environment and taking public transportation is more cost effective? I think no one would agree to that. It's the same way with wealthy people. They made it, they decide how to spend it. We may see it as wasteful, but that's not for us to decide.
Peter Pan
#30
Nov12-03, 01:39 PM
P: 44
Any one here, except government workers, should be kissing every rich person's filthy butt for providing them with a means of income.

enough said
Monique
#31
Nov12-03, 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by Peter Pan
Any one here, except government workers, should be kissing every rich person's filthy butt for providing them with a means of income.

enough said
That goes the other way around too, ever heard of exploitation?? Why do you think rich people get rich? They produce their stuff in poor countries against rediculously low wages. They say that they are providing those people with work, but in fact those people and resources are being exploited.
Njorl
#32
Nov12-03, 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by Peter Pan
Any one here, except government workers, should be kissing every rich person's filthy butt for providing them with a means of income.

enough said
There are two types of entrepreneurs.

One sees a problem in the marketplace and arranges for a solution. He profits from increased productivity he siphons from the overall more productive situation. Had he not acted, the market would be worse off.

The other sees an improved situation growing in the marketplace and appropriates it. He either suppresses it to keep his existing investments profitable, or siphons off profit from the new venture, making it less productive than it was. Either way, his actions make the market worse off.

The vast majority of the extremely wealthy fall into the second catagory. Small business owners, people who really create jobs and wealth fall into the first catagory.

You should read some Thorstein Veblen.

Njorl
Peter Pan
#33
Nov12-03, 03:15 PM
P: 44
That goes the other way around too, ever heard of exploitation?? Why do you think rich people get rich? They produce their stuff in poor countries against rediculously low wages. They say that they are providing those people with work, but in fact those people and resources are being exploited.
It does not go the other way around. A person of average intellegance, excluding celeberty, will not become rich. They depend on people of intellegence and foresight to provide them with jobs. I argue that a rich person will servive without out the masses. I also believe that the opposite of that statement is false.

People in poor countries are happy to have those jobs. Without the "big and mean" companys "exploiting" the poor worker, those poor workers wouldn't have jobs. If all those workers are being exploited, let them go work somewhere else. Or even better, let them start thier own business so we can be angry with them>
Monique
#34
Nov12-03, 03:36 PM
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Originally posted by Peter Pan
People in poor countries are happy to have those jobs. Without the "big and mean" companys "exploiting" the poor worker, those poor workers wouldn't have jobs. If all those workers are being exploited, let them go work somewhere else. Or even better, let them start thier own business so we can be angry with them>
You went and asked them? I recall some issues that the US had with an African country and labor exploitation.. I can't remember the details.. :S

I have very clearly seen exploitation of large firms with immigrant employees, working from 6 to 6, monday to monday, without the pay of overtime. If the worker doesn't agree, he will get fired and sent out of the country. That is the power that causes exploitation.

But remember, I am not against rich people in general.


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