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Do We Really Need Billionaires?


#1

Do We Really Need Billionaires?

Lawrence Wittner

In March 2018, Forbes reported that it had identified 2,208 billionaires from 72 countries and territories. Collectively, this group was worth $9.1 trillion, an increase in wealth of 18 percent since the preceding year. Americans led the way with a record 585 billionaires, followed by mainland China which, despite its professed commitment to Communism, had a record 373. According to a Yahoo Finance report in late November 2018, the


#2

Funny how he calls out the Kochs and Adelson, but nary a word about Soros or Steyer…


#3

You can buy politicians even if you have a net worth nowhere near a billion dollars. The only difference is that billionaires can buy way more politicians and are the reason that the money in politics problem has continued to accelerate ever since Saint Ron ascended the throne nearly four decades ago. Trump is just the most recent symptom of that problem, and post-Trump symptoms will likely be even worse.

Prior to Ron’s revolution when top tax rates were near 90% and New Deal regulations had not yet been decriminalized under the guise of deregulation, the 1% had no trouble affording a luxurious lifestyle. The only difference then was that the 1% could not afford to buy as many politicians.

By the end of the 20th century billionaires owned enough US politicians to get whatever they want and were astonished at the handsome return on investment (ROI) that owning politicians produced. The 21st century has therefore seen those billionaires buying politicians in other nations.

Conclusion: we not only don’t need billionaires, the longer we have them the faster we descend into neofeudalism wherein they own everything and we own nothing.

Its like billionaire Oracle founder Larry Ellison noted “Its not enough for me to win, YOU must lose”.


#4

The question should be, “does anyone really need billions?”


#5

How can you find a solution when you do not know what you are talking about? Billionaires are not wealthy, they just have stock that is valued at over a billion dollars. Unless they can sell it it is mostly worthless. They can sell some for millions and most stock does pay a dividend but it is doubtful that any one of them could come up with a billion dollars cash.

A high income tax rate would bring in little more money than we get now. You would have to create a net worth tax get any money. While this would work for stock wealth it would be disastrous for many businesses and farms that can not be sold piecemeal.


#6

I’d be happy to tax the crap out of the rich, INCLUDING Soros and Steyer. All super-wealthy people are a threat to democracy.


#7

I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating in response to this post: It’s simply a game. They accummulate more numbers . . . and that’s really all they are, as articulated nicely by Professor Wittner . . . just because they can.

And, as for this kind of money having an impact on American politics, remember boys and girls, the Russians did it. They gave us Trump. Pooh, hooh!


#8

As the economy grows and inflation gradually increases prices then more and more millionaires become billionaires, I can’t see there is an issue this is how capitalism works.


#9

then scrap capitalism

it only works for the 1% privileged few


#10

millionaires and billionaires should be happy to pay more tax. they are living in a country where they were able to amass that much money.


#11

There’s a lot to be said for the incentive to work in order to reap the rewards.

But there have to be a few qualifiers.

  1. Everything over $X gets taxed at virtually 100%–a functional maximum income–representing the limit any human being is permitted to reward themselves instead of investing in the Commons. Why? Because investments in the Commons in the past are what enable us to produce wealth now.

  2. Anyone who makes a profit from nonrenewable natural resources is not only subject to this income tax, but their operations will be shut down by regulators if they deplete the Commons over a short period of time.

  3. All inheritance over a value of a couple of million–or whatever amount is determined to be reasonable–will be taxed at 90 - 99.9%.

  4. Federal and state elected officials will have special taxes and scrutiny of their income, and conform to a higher standard of serving the public interest through taxation and financial regulation.

5 ) A period of time will be regularly designated, after which all commercial and noncommercial debt owed in any form will be forgiven, and X% of the country’s wealth (including all forms of capital, such as land, or other property) will be collected and redistributed evenly among the entire population.

Just sayin’


#12

And why would a billionaire choose to remain somewhere that their income and wealth is going to be confiscated?

Look for example at Eduardo Saverin, who moved to Singapore to avoid US taxes on Facebook. You’re assuming that the billionaires will compliantly remain in place while these laws are passed.


#13

No. I think we’d be better off if they move. But then they would be subject to more stringent dispersion of their assets. And they would be disenfranchised from this market and our political system. Besides, if somebody wants to be 1,000,000 times richer than everybody else, they wouldn’t fit in with a democracy.


#14

How do we get rid of tax havens?


#15

How do you plan on replacing the lost tax revenue? Currently, the top 1% receive roughly 23% of the income and pay 40% of the taxes. You will lose a significant portion of the income and all of the taxes. Where will the replacement come from?


#16

Um, let me see… NO!


#17

Millionaires are only slightly less disgusting.


#18

Simple: tax the tens of millions of real workers who would now have the income and wealth they deserve.


#19

You’re assuming the billionaires don’t take a majority of that income with them. Remember, a large percentage of it is investment income, and those investments will move with the billionaire.


#20

Easy to fix.Tax the shit out of anything over 999,000,000 M. No loopholes either, or any other bullshit tax dodge or shelter.