Would a wealth cap save the global economy?

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posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 06:30 PM
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The wealth distribution system, such as it is, is dangerously broken. Severe imbalances of wealth distribution are acknowledged to be socially destabilizing. In the past, severe imbalances have been localized in their effects due to the limitations of time, geography, distance and technology that tended to damp out the global economic effects of arrogant misjudgments by the super-wealthy. Historically the usual natural corrective mechanism has been revolution or conquest, locally disastrous, but merely an annoyance at most to the global economy.

Additionally, the relatively insignificant effects of the concurrent past medical technology limited the effects of super-wealth upon differences in longevity between the rich and poor. Prior to antibiotics, gene therapy, transplants, etc., super-wealth could do little more than buy a more comfortable death. In the twenty-first century, however, allowing massive wealth imbalances to continue to grow will have vastly more significant effects: a much longer-lived ruling class will eventually, inevitably, emerge with foreseeable and grim consequences: a medically deprived lower class with lifespans one quarter to one-third less than the superwealthy. In three generations of such disparity a permanent short-lived underclass will emerge, even without any corporate class intent or unscrupulous genetic manipulation, slaves in practice if not in name. Modern technology and globalization have negated prior limitations that kept economic disasters local, amplifying the disastrous consequences of the hubris generated by excessive wealth chasing to global proportions. As we have recently seen, what had been a local fiscal wildfire becomes a global economic firestorm.

What is required is a wealth limit to curtail addictive wealth-building. Where in the Constitution is the article that guarantees an American citizen the right to unlimited wealth? Every American lives in a world of limits: speed limits, catch limits, smoking limits, drinking limits, choice limits, and salary caps, to name but a few, and all these limitations are in accordance with the law. Each of those limits measure individual rights to take a share of the collective resource against the common good and recognize that unlimited taking has negative social consequences. It is time to place and enforce similar limits upon the amount of wealth Americans can control, for the same reasons we place and enforce speed limits, drinking limits, and all the others: for our collective safety and national well-being. Set the limit at one billion dollars, adjusting once a decade or so, allowing those currently over cap four years to draw down their wealth to the limit by allowing them to transfer their excess wealth in an orderly manner, redirecting their competitive zeal into constructive paths. Allow them to donate up to $50 million taxfree to any nonprofit, nonpolitical organization while limiting organizations to accepting four gifts total; pay any amount to reduce the national debt; use $100 million to establish a new nonprofit; gift family and friends up to $10 and $5 million respectively. Such a course would result in a strong vibrant internal economy that would dramatically transform lives worldwide, and restore some international respect to the United States.




posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 07:04 PM
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So if I reach the wealth cap in 3 months....does that mean I can take a 9 month vacation?

When you punish productivity...productivity will decrease.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 07:08 PM
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OHHHH your talking about lifetime net worth....OH in that case I guess when someone hits a Billion, they just call it quits...whether they or 75 years old or 25 years old?

Same principle....once you hit the magic number, you will see no effort to excede that number.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 07:10 PM
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Am I incorrect or do they not have a word for when government takes control of one persons income (or potential income) and re-distributes it amongst the rest of the populace?

Isnt that what communism is? Are you suggesting a world wide income reduction based on equal distribution of wealth?

The problem is that man, when left to his own devices, always finds a way to corrupt things, to cheat the system. It is human nature to want more, to horde money as you say.

If someone is making that money fairly and legally and they happen to make more money than you, does this mean they do not deserve to keep what they have earned?

There would be no incentive for anyone to try harder, to learn more, to develop and research more. It would create a stagnant society of under achievers, IMO.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 07:12 PM
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We don't need a cap on wealth, we just need more equitable tax laws that don't allow the superwealthy to avoid paying their fair share thru off shore accounts, loopholes and outright fraud.

Either a consumption tax or a flat tax.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by RRconservative
So if I reach the wealth cap in 3 months....does that mean I can take a 9 month vacation?

When you punish productivity...productivity will decrease.



Are you making the argument that only billionaires are productive?

Or are you trying to say that without billionaires to lead them, middle class and poor people wouldn't think for themselves or be able be productive?

Or are you saying that a billion dollar limit would so discourage everyone that they'd stop trying?

Just trying to figure out what you argument is.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 07:23 PM
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Originally posted by apacheman

Originally posted by RRconservative
So if I reach the wealth cap in 3 months....does that mean I can take a 9 month vacation?

When you punish productivity...productivity will decrease.



Are you making the argument that only billionaires are productive?

Or are you trying to say that without billionaires to lead them, middle class and poor people wouldn't think for themselves or be able be productive?

Or are you saying that a billion dollar limit would so discourage everyone that they'd stop trying?

Just trying to figure out what you argument is.
I agree people would be discouraged. It would hurt technoligical advances as well. Imagine if bill gates stopped working after his first billion. How about the founders of google, steve jobs, etc. There would probably be no iphone or ipod or all the other great products that apple has come up with. Not to mention all the other entrepreneur's out there. This would be a major blow to any kind of advances and is probably the most rediculous idea I have ever heard. I for one would quit working in a sec if I made a billion then couldnt make any more money. And it isnt about productivity. It is about advances in technology and products. Read Atlas Shrugged. Kind of a different idea but the same results would happen.

[edit on 22-1-2009 by tide88]

[edit on 22-1-2009 by tide88]



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 07:29 PM
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reply to post by BlackOps719
 


I'm not talking about income, I'm talking about wealth. There's a huge difference.

I'm also not talking about communism: I'm talking about, well, ethical capitalism, or perhaps mature-stage capitalism. A reasonable limit on wealth would allow "trickle-down" to actually function: a living wage for workers could easily be accomodated while harming billionaires not a bit, save for ego pain, perhaps: they certainly wouldn't miss any meals or be lacking for healthcare.

There are other, greater, motivating factors than more profits and greater wealth accumulation: lots of folks aren't motivated by money. Only selfish and greedy people would stagnate, science and such would leap.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 07:57 PM
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Originally posted by tide88
I agree people would be discouraged. It would hurt technoligical advances as well. Imagine if bill gates stopped working after his first billion. How about the founders of google, steve jobs, etc. There would probably be no iphone or ipod or all the other great products that apple has come up with. Not to mention all the other entrepreneur's out there. This would be a major blow to any kind of advances and is probably the most rediculous idea I have ever heard. I for one would quit working in a sec if I made a billion then couldnt make any more money. And it isnt about productivity. It is about advances in technology and products. Read Atlas Shrugged. Kind of a different idea but the same results would happen.

[edit on 22-1-2009 by tide88]

[edit on 22-1-2009 by tide88]


If Bill Gates had retired when he hit a billion, about the only difference it would have made is that Microsoft wouldn't have stifled so many good competitive products. Gates never was so much of an engineer as a ruthless businessman. The ideas came from the people he employed.

And if you quit working after hitting a billion, that just opens a position for someone who hasn't reached that yet. And you wouldn't be missed, more than likely. Absolutely no one is indispensable to the economy, there's always someone talented to pick up the slack.

Most of the world's innovations come from people who are simply curious or are challenged by solving the problem itself, not by how much money they can make off of it. Stagnation comes when the business class, itself bereft of ideas, refuses to invest in anything that threatens to change things from the way they are, for fear of losing their position from not understanding the new things.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 08:49 PM
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reply to post by apacheman
 


I disagree. When bill gates made his first billion Microsoft was in its infintile stage. I agree years ago he could of left and maybe they would be better off, but to say if he left after make 1 billions is rediculous and completely false. And how about steve jobs. Look how valuable he is to apple. These are just a few examples. There are countless others in every industry that exists. You dont find many people with the genuis of bill gates (1590) 170 iq. You act like someone like that is a dime a dozen. These are pioneers in their industry and without them would be a disaster to technological advances. So I completely disagree with someone could just come in and pick up where Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc... left off.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 04:00 PM
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reply to post by tide88
 


Bill Gates is much more of a ruthless businessman than a good engineer, his ruthlessness stifled many good products that Microsoft would otherwise have had to compete with to the betterment of both (isn't that a capitalist truism?). It also got him sued multiple times for unfair business practices. Microsoft's products really suck because of him, they've retarded better software development and adoption. Have you ever used an Amiga or Atari?

To say that Microsoft was in an "infantile stage" when he made his first billion is simply preposterous, please try to make your arguments rationally supportable by facts.

In a population of some 350 million people, high IQs are, in fact, a dime a dozen: ask any corporate recruiter. And as history has shown uncountable times, "irreplaceable" people have been and are replaced on a daily basis throughout the country.

Both Gates and Jobs didn't do their thing all by themselves: each had an army of talented people behind them who were more directly responsible for the innovations, ideas, development and production than they were. And each was and is replaceable.

[edit on 24-1-2009 by apacheman]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 04:19 PM
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The wealth distribution system, such as it is, is dangerously broken. Severe imbalances of wealth distribution are acknowledged to be socially destabilizing.


the scenario to take into consideration is not a readjustment of wealth between the billionaires and those of us in the first world but rather a readjustment of the gap between the first world and the third.

you make this statement "grim consequences: a medically deprived lower class with lifespans one quarter to one-third less than the superwealthy."
here lies the difficulty, the expected lifespan of a man born in somalia right now is 47 years and change while in the US it is 74, the disparity you describe already exists.

if we are going to discuss the wealth gap on a global basis we really must consider ourselves the super wealthy.


[edit on 24/1/09 by pieman]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 04:25 PM
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Of course there needs to be a cap.
But not in total, more in hour or day rates. So you fix the glitch, where some people say they only have to work a few weeks to reach that cap.

And to solve the problem of productivity, if you work a lot more you may have the privilege of reaching 1.5 or 2 times that cap, not more. Every extra penny should be invested in countries that really need it!

People don't need millions if there are so many poor people in this world. Justifying something like that says a lot about you as a person.

[edit on 24-1-2009 by mortje]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by apacheman

I'm not talking about income, I'm talking about wealth. There's a huge difference.


Please specify how you consider income not to be a form of wealth.


I'm also not talking about communism:


Oh yes you are albeit a limited form of it. People should stop making money "for the good of the community" is your suggestion. Tell me how many jobs and products would we have available to us were it not for the Henry Ford's, General Electrics, Steve Jobs, Standard Oil, Bill Gates etc.. The only way these companies remain successful is by making profit and using that profit to continue to invest and innovate better products. With out people voluntarily buying their products they would not earn a single dime.


I'm talking about, well, ethical capitalism, or perhaps mature-stage capitalism.


What is unethical with capitalism? I create a product, if people want it, I and the consumer of that product both benefit otherwise the transaction would not happen.


A reasonable limit on wealth would allow "trickle-down" to actually function:


What would be a "reasonable" limit? There is a reason why these people are successful. They have the ability to turn their vision into reality benefitting all of us within reality. If it doesn't benefit us, we don't buy it.


a living wage for workers could easily be accomodated


What is a living wage? How are wages determined in the first place? Wages are determined by ability and skill and the supply and demand of that skill. A cashier is not going to be paid as much as an engineer because one requires much more skill than the other and their are much fewer people who have the knowledge on how to be an engineer than on how to be a cashier. If a business owner sees that one of his workers ability to get things done, they will give him a raise or a promotion because they recognize the workers skill and ability. If a worker does not complete the task that the employer is paying the employee to do, he has a right to fire him.


There are other, greater, motivating factors than more profits and greater wealth accumulation: lots of folks aren't motivated by money. Only selfish and greedy people would stagnate, science and such would leap.


I'll tell you what, the next time you go to work, tell your employer that you will work for free because money does not motivate you. Then come back to ATS and tell us how much further you have moved in your life to gaining what you want.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 04:48 PM
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Well, interesting thought except every-one reaching the "limit" would move overseas and take their wealth with them.

That is the problem we are having today, those that are wealthy move that wealth overseas to avoid taxation and there is nothing that can be done about that as there will always be countries with open arms waiting for ultra-wealthy investors to spend their money there.

Think Mexico, China or Russia would go along with this.. LOL

Say "the world" went along with this (and it won't but let's think utopia here) and there were no countries to flee to with your ultra-wealth... well then we would see "trusts", non-profits, political and other organizations come into existence to stash the money in and they would be run by these people who dictate how the money is spent.

Won't work.... want a jet.. it is a "company" jet paid for by the company / organization, whatever....

I worked at a place where the CEO & primary board member "leased" his yacht and jet to the company and it was paid for out of company funds and not "his". This kind of crap happens everyday. The Wealth would still be theirs, the power would still be theirs, just the "ownership" of the "stuff" on paper would reside with a company, political organization, charity, non-profit, etc.

Those with the money have the power and when people get to this level of "wealth" it always seems that "power tripping" comes next.

"Do You Know Who I Am!!!" kind of attitude. The types that like to threaten and have the monetary means to pretty much devastate any normal person with legal actions or downright hiring "corporate security firms" and "private investigators" that can bring down anyone. Plant drugs in your car or house, get you arrested and thrown away in prison.

I am sure this happens everyday. The one defense we have against this in the US is the 2nd amendment and they know this and it is the one element of American life they cannot control.



[edit on 24-1-2009 by infolurker]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 04:51 PM
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reply to post by pieman
 


You are absolutely right: this must be applied globally, and in comparison to most others in the world, average Americans might be considered relatively super-wealthy. But that's a far cry from real super-wealth.

The age disparity certainly exists, but it hasn't yet been formalized into a permanent policy, it's still changeable.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by mortje

And to solve the problem of productivity, if you work a lot more you may have the privilege of reaching 1.5 or 2 times that cap, not more. Every extra penny should be invested in countries that really need it!


Why? What have they done to deserve my money? Why can't they create something of value of their own to trade with my value?


People don't need millions if there are so many poor people in this world. Justifying something like that says a lot about you as a person.


They don't need anything except for their ability to think to bring them out of poverty. Something that, unfortunately, money cannot buy.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 04:54 PM
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reply to post by infolurker
 


Trusts, etc are still forms of wealth and thus would be covered, just as stocks, bonds, dollars, and gems are. The usual corporate dodges wouldn't work under this system, because someone has to own the stock of the corporation and that stock is a form of wealth and thus under regulation. The corporate leases and perks are a form of compensation in most places must be reported as income.

That's why I target wealth, not income.

[edit on 24-1-2009 by apacheman]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by apacheman
reply to post by infolurker
 


Trusts, etc are still forms of wealth and thus would be covered, just as stocks, bonds, dollars, and gems are. The usual corporate dodges wouldn't work under this system, because someone has to own the stock of the corporation and that stock is a form of wealth and thus under regulation. The corporate leases and perks are a form of compensation in most places must be reported as income.

That's why I target wealth, not income.

[edit on 24-1-2009 by apacheman]



Your wrong. A private company, non-profits, political organizations, religious organizations, etc. does not have stock not to mention are you going to tell every company & organization that they can't have company vehicles (cars, jets, yachts, buildings, corporate housing, etc.) under incorporation. Not feasible.

Hey.... we are now the Church of Luna... we have 70 billion in our coffers and nobody owns it.. it is looked after (controlled) by the congregation that votes how to use it.. of course they will always vote MY WAY because I am the leader. Just an example but this can happen exactly like this in any organization.



[edit on 24-1-2009 by infolurker]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by Cool Hand Luke
They don't need anything except for their ability to think to bring them out of poverty. Something that, unfortunately, money cannot buy.


there is a finite amount of resources in the world at any given time, the only way for the present poor to gain more is to either make it and keep it or take the resources already in existence. which do you prefer?

thinking does not make yu rich, exploitation of the abilities of others makes you rich.


Originally posted by apacheman
The age disparity certainly exists, but it hasn't yet been formalized into a permanent policy, it's still changeable.


how much do drugs cost? who stops drugs being copied and sold at discounted rates?

why do the countries with the most mineral wealth have the lowest level of real wealth?

almost every 1st world country operates trade restrictions, these restrictions amount to a formalised policy to restrict the wealth and welfare of the third world.





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