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Debunking Billionaire Claims of Heroic Capitalism

#1

Debunking Billionaire Claims of Heroic Capitalism

Linda McQuaig

In the future, people will probably continue to marvel at how creatures with tiny brains once stalked the Earth unchallenged.

For now, however, billionaires reign supreme, with only a small stirring of dissent, led by the impressive U.S. congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC.

Still, that small stirring is noteworthy. It could catch on.

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#2

As Bill Maher said on his show the other night, in response to the college admissions scandal: “Rich people lie, cheat, and steal, and their children are stupid. What a surprise.” What he left out is the stupidity of the rest of us for allowing this wealth disparity to continue.

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#3

And population growth has greatly compounded the problem. The formerly available ‘Commons’ has lost much over the last few industrial centuries; there is less to go around, and their natural elasticity has also been severely compromised. But the current distribution system is glaringly unjust on the face of it, and our apparent trajectory does not look promising. Any project (still unagreed upon) to reclaim things is off to a very late start.

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#4

Linux - the open source system actually outperforms, offers a variety of levels from the super-simple PC system (Mint) to a variety of flavors of Ubuntu AND additional software apps accessible to ALL. Pay what you can, if you can’t, then download it for free. Its not just for geeks anymore!

We can criticize and complain and we can render abusers irrelevant by our daily practices.

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#5

The Billionaire class has no class, only a sense of elitist entitlement.

They must be taxed into submitting they’re no longer entitled to any special privileges.

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#6

casts billionaires in a more sympathetic light, as mere byproducts of an economic system that has significantly helped the world’s people, lifting most of humanity out of poverty.

Keep this in mind and listen for variations on it as the 2020 elections get closer. It is THE basis for the new Democrat scheme. They want us to believe that wealth has nothing to do with the problem of poverty.

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#7

For those interested, Amy Goodman has a two-part interview on DemocracyNow! with Anand Giridharadas, author of “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.” The interview and the book (which I started but didn’t finish before it became due) take the subject matter of this op-ed piece to much greater depth. The second part of the interview provides an overview of the book.


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#8

One of my favorite books on this topic is, “The Trouble With Billionaires” by Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks. It was published in the U.S. as “Billionaires’ Ball”. Super-wealthy people pose a direct threat to democracy because their excessive wealth enables them to buy politicians, who then lower taxes on the rich. The super-rich also didn’t get 1000 times as much money as we have by working 1000 times as hard as we do. Bill Gates, for example, came from a wealthy family, got lucky, and benefitted from the development of the internet, paid for by the government.

Another book on this topic is “Born on Third Base” by Chuck Collins (an heir to the Oscar Meyer fortune, who gave his wealth away).

Sam Pizzigati’s new book, “The Case For a Maximum Wage” proposes limiting income at the top to, say, 100 times the minimum wage. This gives the rich an incentive to advocate for a higher minimum wage.

The bottom line is, we should tax the crap out of the super-rich. They didn’t “earn” their money, and society needs the money these people have taken from their employees and from society.

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#9

Worse. We don’t allow it to continue. We actively vote for it. Offer the average Anglo-American the dream of becoming a billionaire plus a tax cut, at the price of slashing welfare and public services for him or herself and family, and they will snatch at it and be grateful.

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#10

When the likes of a Bill Gates realized God had no intention of making him share his wealth, he didn’t. To be fair though, how many people would share their portion of say, $100,000 if the rich peoples money was shared out evenly? Some might donate, many wouldn’t.

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#11

Would you like to know how the ‘rich’ keep their power and money?
My answer: The ‘rich’ control the creation of almost all of any new money that is created. And they have the first use of the new money that is created, by the private banks that the rich control, a considerable advantage in an unstable monetary environment. You would expect the top guys in the car companies to have the advantage in motor racing would you not?
We can massage the problem for a lifetime, without solution. Let us concentrate on the solution.
Who controls the money supply? Not just the printed money supply Mo or M1, or M2. That is still the chicken- feed in the system. What about M3 which is 30 or 40 times larger than the printed money produced by the Central Bank. The private banking system produces over 95% of the money supply as we all know but which is ignored by writers because the Orthodox bankers would rather grow rich while the world rides a rocket to destruction.

No body ever responds to my posts. Is it because you are all more smart and knowledgeable than I am, or because I do not make my point clear? I know that Linda McCuaig is knowledgeable about reform of the monetary system. Why do you not get Richard D. Wolff tp describe what should be done.
We all can see a severe problem. Let us discuss some solutions. What is your answer?

I think that a WELL CONTROLLED, FIAT MONEY, SYSTEM is the answer to the chronic problems that are speeding nus to the cliff-of-no-return.

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#12

If Gates kept 8 billion dollars of his 98 billion, he could give 360 million people $250,000 each.
Population is 330 million.
That’s just one billionaires share. Add another from Buffet and the Koch’s and we are all millionaires.
Shucks, now I could afford to take the wife to a full priced movie when it opens.

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#13

Its not rocket science for some folks to have more and more and even more ,others will have to have less and less .
Humans do not believe there’s enough to go around so they strive to grab all they can as quick as they can hoarding and claiming ownership of the stuff off life that rightly belongs to all off humanity.

Help stop the madness…Please read the book
Awaken The Species

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#14

‘The consequences of the Companies Act 1862 completed the divorce between the Christian conscience and the economic practice of everyday life. Legally speaking it paganised the financial and commercial community. Henceforward an astute man by adherence to legal rules which had nothing to do with morality could grow rich by virtue of shuffling off his most elementary obligations to his fellows.’

Sir Arthur Bryant

‘Limited liability is contrary to biblical teaching because, exceptionally in the law of contract, it allows that certain debts may be left unpaid. As a result shareholders, who retain rights of ownership, are excused responsibilities of ownership, while directors bear some of the responsibilities of ownership, and share some of the rewards, but carry few of the risks. This flaw at the heart of corporate structure leads to problems in corporate governance, absence of corporate social accountability, and an unhealthy trend towards corporate giantism. Solutions lie, it is argued, in policies that restore shareholder liability, and incentives for business not to incorporate.’

Source:
http//www.jubilee-centre.org/risk-reward-and-responsibility-limited-liability-and-company-reform-by-michael-schluter/

‘It’s time to recognize limited liability for what it is: a subsidy for corporations paid by those hurt by malfeasance’

Source:
https//www.thenation.com/article/reforming-limited-liability-law/

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#15

“Although corporations are an entrenched force in our civilization that probably aren’t going anywhere soon, it’s not obvious that corporations are morally justified or supported by any system of justice. Libertarian justice don’t necessarily support limited liability considering that it allows companies to disrespect human rights and refuse to pay the full damages done. Utilitarian justice doesn’t necessarily support corporations because it’s not clear that limited liability is really best for the “greater good.” Rawls’s theory of justice doesn’t necessarily support corporations because limited liability can give the wealthy more rights and less responsibilities than are enjoyed by the poor, and it’s not clear that the poor will benefit from it.”

Source:

“the very purpose of limited liability was to liberate business from the constraints of ethical scruples”

Source:
https://www.vhi.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/resources-folder/papers-files/paper-WS-rona

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#16

Thank you for this piece, Linda.

This stunning finding, developed by economist Max Roser of Our World in Data, certainly casts billionaires in a more sympathetic light, as mere byproducts of an economic system that has significantly helped the world’s people, lifting most of humanity out of poverty. - Linda McQuaig

Ironically, efforts that are purportedly aimed at promoting ‘evidence based reasoning’ are lending support to Trump’s demonization of socialism. This is true even among many Ph.D.'s in the sciences, engineering, economics, business. political science, and other disciplines. Roser’s work, Hans Rosling’s work (see: ‘Factfulness - : Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think’ ), Steven Piker’s work (https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_is_the_world_getting_better_or_worse_a_look_at_the_numbers?language=en) , and the work of others who purport to present ‘objective’ ‘unbiased’ facts, either explicitly or implicitly trash Piketty’s analysis on the grounds that capitalism has improved the lives of the majority of the people in the world. As Ryan Young, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute puts it:

In fact, the current rate of human betterment for the poor is unprecedented in all of human history, from the invention of fire to the Agricultural Revolution to the Industrial Revolution to the present day. Piketty, Saez, Zucman, and other conventional scholars focus instead on the top one percent’s income ratio compared the middle and bottom percentiles of income distribution—which, again, isn’t actually distributed by anybody. Why not focus instead on how to make the worst off better off? https://cei.org/blog/ratios-not-people-wrong-approach-inequality

Yes, the quality of life has improved for more people on earth over the last several hundred years. But the improvements in health, agriculture, technology, are purely the results of capitalism. And, while fewer proportions of people live in abject poverty, about half of the world live with unacceptably poor conditions - health care, sanitation, energy, work, etc… It is also important to point out false assumptions of the data on poverty (such as use of fixed income levels over time, the use of logarithmic income scales, and denial of the anti-democratic nature of wealth).

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#17

Math wasn’t your subject.

90,000,000,000 / 330,000,000 = 273

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#18

Typo. This should read:

But the improvements in health, agriculture, technology, are not purely the results of capitalism.

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#19

Taxation helped for a while until political bribes did their work. The system is rigged.

Direct Democracy

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#20

How is it that this author can say without hesitation that the struggle against income/wealth inequality is led by AOC? Bernie has been fighting this battle since AOC was in diapers. Give me a break, Ms. McQuaig.

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