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  1. Mar 31, 2008 #1
    Billionaire !!!

    I think that pleasure is the aim of life, and it is the basic motivation that produces societies, economies, humanities, technologies …

    So what is the aim of being billionaire?

    Since having a billion dollars, will give you a similar pleasure of having 20 million dollars. Having billions or hundreds of millions just prevent others from having pleasure. I think that communism is wrong, bust having no limits on ownership may be also wrong.

    Why is it wrong (or not) to put a law that prevent people from owning (for example) more than 20 million dollars …..
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2008 #2
    Well, 20 million may not seem like a lot to others. Who can say how much money is enough to be happy?
  4. Mar 31, 2008 #3


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    You've missed the point entirely. People try to make lots of money because they enjoy making money.

    That, and games like Warcraft would suck ass if we decided that it was ok to control only half of the world. Think about it.
  5. Mar 31, 2008 #4
    Past a certain amount it becomes pointless. At that point you'd think they'd give some of it away and start all over again, if it was indeed really just about making money for the enjoyment of it, but sadly it's also about selfishness and greed with most people. People actually determine their self worth by how much money they have or by their assets as if they work in the same currency, their bank balance being a sort of score. I'm not against people making money, it's just what it turns some people into that bothers me. That said I don't think life is about pleasure, it's a big part but not everything.
  6. Mar 31, 2008 #5
    Should we break the fingers of the really good piano players?
  7. Mar 31, 2008 #6
  8. Mar 31, 2008 #7


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    You're looking at the issue very simplistically.

    Being a billionaire doesn't normally mean having a bank vault with stacks of money in it. If a billionaire did that he'd be bled dry from taxes. This is by design.

    Being a billionaire usually means you're worth a billion dollars in assets. Almost all their money is sunk into investments. They get tax breaks for this. This too is by design.

    In fact, one of the things that this tax and tax shelter system does is strongly encourage people to keep their money flowing through the economy.

    People with lots of money create and support businesses, businesses that employ lots of people and promote a strong economy.

    Rich people are desirable in a capitalistic society and are a sign of a healthy economy.

    Capitalism has its flaws, but it's much better than many, many sytems out there, not the least of which because it is closely tied to a democratic form of government.

    Both regimes (capitalistic economy and democratic government) promote the ability of anyone - even the poorest member of society - an solid chance of climbimng to success through hard work. Many regimes simply do not allow people to climb above their station, no matter how hard they work.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  9. Mar 31, 2008 #8


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    I'm pretty much happy no matter how much money I have - so I don't needs millions or billions of $. If I had that kind of money, I'd give most of it away.

    And a gold plated interior of any vehicle is just ridiculous and a waste of a limited resource.

    Except when there is significant economic disparity, and some people don't have a home or enough food to eat as is the case in the US and other nations. Right near my office is a temporary shelter for homeless folks. It's always full.

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  10. Mar 31, 2008 #9
    Depends how much money is in the hands of how few. It's possible to have a strong economy without having most of the money in the hands of an absolutely minuscule number of people. If you ask me all that wealth and business could be just as easily spread over a hundred people and do more good, than in the hands of one person. Capitalism is good only when it doesn't go too far, then it becomes good for too few people to be considered good any more. And of course, the disparity between haves and have nots is self sustaining, because people who have, tend to care less than people who don't. In fact the middle classes give less per person to charity in general than the lower classes.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  11. Mar 31, 2008 #10
    I dont see that as being 100% true though. Were it not for the mega rich, many great things today would not be around thanks to their opulence. No great buildings with magnificent artwork, no howard huges spruce goose, etc. There will always be people in hard times. So although its a problem, it does not mean opulence is a bad thing.

    You can kiss any good car maker goodbye. Cya ferrari, aston martin, porsche, mercedes. No more private jets, no nice architecture, no more expensive paintings, etc.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  12. Mar 31, 2008 #11
    While gold is a limited resource, it is not a useful one. Every year more and more is stockpiled as the mines produce more than anyone can find a use for. Imagine bars of aluminum kept under lock and key for 80 years and never even looked at. But that describes the gold in Fort Knox. OSHA should create a regulation that helicopters are not safe unless their interiors are plated with gold.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  13. Mar 31, 2008 #12


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    I'm with Astronuc on this one. When my wife and I moved in together, she was in debt to the landlady because the mill we worked at was shut down and she had not worked long enough to accumulate Unemployment Benefits. My benefits were not great, but we managed to get caught up with the landlady in a reasonable time, and still have simple nutritious meals, until Spring rolled around and I was able to get construction work on a year-round project. We were just as happy when we had nothing, and we are very happy today with a very modest house, a nice garden spot, and no debt. The notion that money makes one happy is foreign to me. The times when I had the most money coming in were when I was working the most demanding jobs, and giving up time with my wife to keep clients happy. That didn't make me happy.
  14. Mar 31, 2008 #13
    Poor people have to work their way up like anyone else. The rich are not obligated to give away their money to the poor, and if I were a billionaire I would NOT give away my money to the poor. Not one cent.

    I would make a fund for low interest loans. If they want a loan to dig themselves out of the hole, then they can. But they have to PAY it back. No hand outs for the poor, thats insulting to human dignity.

    The only people I would give money to are those that cant help themselves. I.e the retarded, autism, etc.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  15. Mar 31, 2008 #14
    Well obviously, throwing money at something never works. I think incentive programs are the best way to go. Things like offering extra tax breaks to those who work and support children and free child care if you are willing to work. Make it harder to claim for welfare and bum around, force people to make a serious effort to look for work to get their checks. Harsher penalties for people trying to cheat the system, even prison terms. As you said loans, but at reasonable rates of interest. Urban redevelopment incentives for businesses. More training, apprenticeships etc, so you are not limiting your roles to only the most highly qualified. In fact you could go on for ages.

    I'd never become rich, I just don't have the urge to acquire money, and if I did by some miracle become obscenely wealthy I'd probably end up giving most of it away. Enough money is all I want, any more is probably going to be a waste. Can't be arsed wearing myself out trying to build up a huge fortune, when I could be enjoying other things that mean about a million times more. Comfortable would be nice, enough to do what I want to do.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  16. Mar 31, 2008 #15


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    Really! An evening fly-fishing on a remote pond during a heavy hatch of mayflies using flies that I tied myself is Heaven!! One night, my buddy and I were fishing a remote pond full of wild brookies during a Hexagena hatch and we had only brought one landing net - an oversight, since we had "doubles" over and over again and had to pass the net from end-to-end along the canoe to land them. The next night, some guys at the put-in recognized our voices and said "Hey you're the guys who were whooping it up last night!" "What were you catching them on?" Blaine and I showed them the huge fluorescent green flies made with green elk-hair bodies and wings and tails of green calf-tail hair, and they called us liars - as if we were trying to pull a trick on them. If they had been gentlemen about it, I might have given them one or two of my flies, but I let them suffer instead.
  17. Mar 31, 2008 #16


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    Capitalism tends to move toward areas that have very little freedom, where people don't have the ability to vote for things in their best interest. This is why riot-happy France, and other places with labor unions, have more socialist economies, and why dictator-lead China can build sweatshops at record speed. USA is an interesting case because lobbying has turned it into a pseudo-democracy where a significant portion of laws and bills are decided by bribery (lobbying).

    Lobbying from capitalists is also why the USA isn't in The Economist's list of top 15 most democratic nations. It doesn't matter who you vote for, because they all get bribed by the same people anyway.
  18. Mar 31, 2008 #17


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    Countries that purport to have freedom shouldn't be making arbitrary laws like that. There is no good reason to prevent people from making more money than that.
  19. Mar 31, 2008 #18
    See I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, beyond fly fishing on a pond. But it sounds great. :smile:

    I think taxation is enough, no reason to stop people making money if they want to, even billions. On the other hand, it'd be nice if they actually gave something worthwhile to help the abject poor, but there you go. At least some uber rich people are decent human beings, makes up for the rest. Who will no doubt die on an obscene pile of money/assets, without actually spreading it around a little. It's hard to really care much about one less obscenely rich billionaire in the world. :smile:
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  20. Mar 31, 2008 #19
    Why do you think rich people have to give anything to others SD? Is there some law that says there supposed to?

    You just said throwing money does not solve a problem, and yet your wanting the mega rich to give something worthwhile. You are a hypocrite.

    There is a prince, sultan, something like that in dubai that has an entire rolls royce thats silver. Watch it be part of a museum collection one day. And when people go to see this car in the museum, it will be only because some mega rich guy wanted something outrageous. How about we go to the smithsonian down the road from me and look at all the crazy jewlery from kings and queens of the past? Same thing there.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  21. Mar 31, 2008 #20


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    He didn't say they HAVE to, he said it would be nice if they did.

    I think DaveC explained it well. These people aren't literally sitting on piles of cash, it's invested in things like the buildings their companies are housed in that give people a place to go to work every day, equipment used for those jobs, etc. And when they do spend on lavish indulgences for themselves, someone is getting paid to provide those services or products. If someone is going to coat the interior of their helicopter with gold leaf, they're paying someone to do that job for them (and for a job like that, they're probably paying pretty generously too).

    By giving the money to their employees who help them earn more money, they keep the cycle of benefits going much longer than if they just earned a lot and handed it all back out to the homeless, in which case, it's one-time help and then they're out of cash.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
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