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Thu Feb 20, 2020, 09:42 AM

Billionaires did not use to be so common.

In my opinion, the technology revolution of the 1990's created a lot of wealth that went directly to the top. It was not equally distributed. But that was the way capitalism had always worked.

But when one person has as much wealth as the bottom 125,000,000 million Americans, something is awry. It is out of kilter. But that is the way capitalism works, we are told.

This massive transfer was happening at the same time as wages were stagnating and workers saw little or nothing of the great fortunes being made by a few lucky individuals. They were not geniuses. They were business-minded, lucky individuals.

However, as this wealth accumulated to a few at the top, our infrastructure and our society seemed to decline.

People asked, how much money does one person need? They were looked at as wild-eyed "socialists" for even asking such a question. Is wealth creation about individual freedom or the betterment of society? What should be the purpose of a capitalist system?

In my opinion, these are questions that should be asked. What responsibility does capitalism have to our society?

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Reply Billionaires did not use to be so common. (Original post)
kentuck Feb 2020 OP
dubyadiprecession Feb 2020 #1
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #2
LiberalArkie Feb 2020 #3
dumbcat Feb 2020 #7
LiberalArkie Feb 2020 #8
ehrnst Feb 2020 #4
kentuck Feb 2020 #5
ehrnst Feb 2020 #6

Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 09:51 AM

1. We have two billionaires and one fake billionaire with a coughed up, Orange fur ball on his head.

That are running for President.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 09:56 AM

2. It depends...

It depends to me on how we define capitalism. There are various forms of it. The kind you are describing is, to me, more of a gaming of the system via capitalism. There is crony capitalism, vulture capitalism, shock and awe, etc.

However, the profit model also demands that corporations be beholden to their share holders first and foremost, everything else is secondary. The thing is, if you look at the distribution of stocks and who are the major shareholders, you see how individuals, families and CEOs become the major recipients of the wealth produced. What a corporation does is create a veil that is rarely pierced and protects those entities from liability, loss, bankruptcy, etc.

My point-of-view is that we have a commons that is the collective version of society and a total, shared set of resources that are essential to the functioning of said society. That includes our infrastructure, government, public services, etc. That could even be said to be an essential component of a democracy and vital to its sustenance and growth. When vested interests exploit it to their sole advantage, that becomes a threat to our democracy and we are seeing that.

In a sense, the people are democracy. We are the ones who provide the infrastructure, services, legal system and other factors that allow corporations to exist, compete, prosper and grow. In that sense they do have an obligation to abide by it, respect it and contribute to it, (which is an issue concerning taxes now). That is not in the corporate charter which I think is becoming more and more obsolete for many reasons. We have huge corporations now with enough assets to dwarf the budgets of some countries and that has changed the dynamic. This is creating a huge imbalance and corporations in general should not be allowed to become parasitic in nature, especially the kind that kills its host.



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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 09:59 AM

3. When I grew up millionaires were very rare.

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 10:17 AM

7. For me, too

But now I are one. Just barely. And it took almost 70 years. But still ...

Times and standards change. Adjusting back for inflation, today's millionaires aren't really that well off.

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Response to dumbcat (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 10:59 AM

8. Probably are who used to be called middle class.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 10:00 AM

4. Sweden has nearly twice the billionaires per capita than the United States

 

https://slate.com/business/2013/11/swedens-billionaires-they-have-more-per-capita-than-the-united-states.html

and Denmark has a substantially larger number per capita as the United States.

https://www.piie.com/research/piie-charts/which-places-have-highest-concentration-billionaires

Both are socialist democracies.

I'm not a fan of Billionaires, but it seems that the presence of them doesn't seem to be the demise of democratic socialism. They are an easy scapegoat/dragon to slay, but clearly progressive welfare states do not inherently threaten the existence of billionaires in their borders.

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 10:07 AM

5. Interesting!

Thanks for that info!

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Response to kentuck (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 10:09 AM

6. You're welcome!

 

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