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Thread: Wealth distribution

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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Wealth distribution

    It seems that the phrase "the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer" has never been more true than today. A British institute, Oxfam, published a report that 85 (yes, eighty five) richest people in the world hold as much wealth as 3.5 billions poorest people. The number of people that can fit on a single bus holds as much wealth as half of mankind. Those 3.5 billions hold only 0.7% of the world's wealth. Almost half of the world's wealth is currently in the hands of the richest 1%.

    We've known for a very long time that the gap between rich and poor is getting bigger, and with money, comes power and influence. In almost all western countries, despite the rich having immense increase in profits, they managed to lower the amount of taxes they pay. This is especially true in USA. Since 1980, the amount of wealth held by 1% of richest Americans increased 150%. Practically all wealth increase since 2009, 95% of it, went to the richest, while the bottom 90% of Americans have become poorer.

    Simply put, the difference in wealth is so huge that it dwarfs the difference in wealth in middle ages between aristocracy and peasants.

    I'm pretty sure that concentration of so much money, and by extension power and influence, is a very serious threat to democracy. Sure, we get to pick our leaders, but we pick from a few offered to us who are funded by those 1% and who appear in the media owned by those 1%.

    What do you guys think of this? Can the trend be stopped? Will it lead to instability and be a threat to democracy in the long run?

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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    I think that's a big bus you got there.

    In all seriousness. The problem is that Western society has implicitly accepted the idea that the supremacy of the individual must not be violated and that expenditures are simply a form of expression. Thus things we can choose to be (and used to declare) off limits are instead increasingly shoved onto the free market to be bought and sold by a select few who want to accumulate such wealth in order to buy these new "products".

    The truth is that there will always be a select few that simply have lots of money in disproportionate amount, this is capitalism. But the wave of neo-conservatism in the 1970s and 1980s has convinced people to award the wealthy with status in recognition of their wealth when really the wealth and its accompanying standard of living should be its own reward. By catering to the idea that there should be another option if you have the money, you only encourage a society where the vultures are rewarded for their shenanigans.

    If you don't get what I am talking about, I am talking about things like box seats at sports stadiums and privately owned toll roads/lanes, which allow the rich to seclude themselves from the rest of society and ignore/ be ignorant of the infrastructure issues that only they have the clout to deal with.
    Last edited by a completely inoffensive name; 01-21-2014 at 10:50.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    I don't give a crap that some people are filthy rich, good for them. If they get a nasty disease they are just as dead. Of course they have influence but I don't expect that to be a threat.

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    Liar and Trickster Senior Member Andres's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    I don't give a crap that some people are filthy rich, good for them. If they get a nasty disease they are just as dead. Of course they have influence but I don't expect that to be a threat.

    If you don't consider it a threat, then you are incredibly naive.

    You only become that rich at the expense of many other people.

    It's simply disgusting.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    If you don't consider it a threat, then you are incredibly naive.

    You only become that rich at the expense of many other people.

    It's simply disgusting.
    It hink the EU is a much bigger threat to democracy. I don't find it disgusting that they have so much more than I have. If human rights are respected I am all ok with that. That's what should be kept in check, when violated acted upon. But what does it matter that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I don't find it an unjustice.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    It hink the EU is a much bigger threat to democracy. I don't find it disgusting that they have so much more than I have. If human rights are respected I am all ok with that. That's what should be kept in check, when violated acted upon. But what does it matter that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I don't find it an unjustice.

    Wealth alone is not the issue. It is the power they weald. It does not make all equal before the law. Their influence means the laws end up suiting what they want and the rest be damned.

    The have the best government money can buy. That is the point.


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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    Simply put, the difference in wealth is so huge that it dwarfs the difference in wealth in middle ages between aristocracy and peasants.
    No need to go that far back in time. The wage difference between CEO wage and employee wage has increased massively just from the 80's. Pointing out that there's no proper reason why a CEO of today should make so many times more than a CEO of the 80's(there's no reason to believe that we are working harder or smarter now than in the 80's) of course leads certain people to whine about communism and Stalin and mass-murder and all that rubbish.

    One of the fundamental flaws of capitalism is the lack of a corrective mechanism to wealth accumulation. Having capital makes it easier to gain more capital, having more capital makes it even easier to gain much more capital and so on. The threat of going back to square one is minimal.

    The end result is that the the level of wealth owned is increasingly becoming detached from the work put in. I will have roughly the same amount of wealth no matter what I do in life, and I will never sink to the level of wealth of Joe Indianslum. Joe Indianslum, on the other hand, can work as hard as he wants, but he will never be able to attain the level of wealth I have even if I choose to sit on my couch watching TV all my life.

    The idea that we live in a meritocracy is false, we are living in a hereditary system. Our birth determines our lives just as much as the birth of a crown prince affects his chance of becoming king.
    Last edited by HoreTore; 01-21-2014 at 11:21.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    It hink the EU is a much bigger threat to democracy. I don't find it disgusting that they have so much more than I have. If human rights are respected I am all ok with that. That's what should be kept in check, when violated acted upon. But what does it matter that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I don't find it an unjustice.
    Ever heard about the labor conditions of the poorest who work for the rich in Asia and Africa? Are their human rights respected in the quest for ever-increasing profits?


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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Ever heard about the labor conditions of the poorest who work for the rich in Asia and Africa? Are their human rights respected in the quest for ever-increasing profits?
    Who make the stuff you buy? That is wrong of course, but you still support it with your wallet.

  10. #10
    Liar and Trickster Senior Member Andres's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    No need to go that far back in time. The wage difference between CEO wage and employee wage has increased massively just from the 80's. Pointing out that there's no proper reason why a CEO of today should make so many times more than a CEO of the 80's(there's no reason to believe that we are working harder or smarter now than in the 80's) of course leads certain people to whine about communism and Stalin and mass-murder and all that rubbish.

    One of the fundamental flaws of capitalism is the lack of a corrective mechanism to wealth accumulation. Having capital makes it easier to gain more capital, having more capital makes it even easier to gain much more capital and so on. The threat of going back to square one is minimal.

    The end result is that the the level of wealth owned is increasingly becoming detached from the work put in. I will have roughly the same amount of wealth no matter what I do in life, and I will never sink to the level of wealth of Joe Indianslum. Joe Indianslum, on the other hand, can work as hard as he wants, but he will never be able to attain the level of wealth I have even if I choose to sit on my couch watching TV all my life.

    The idea that we live in a meritocracy is false, we are living in a hereditary system. Our birth determines our lives just as much as the birth of a crown prince affects his chance of becoming king.

    Giving us the idea that we live in a meritocracy must be one of the biggest scams in the Western world from the last few decades.

    Sure, you'll have exceptions and everybody always refers to exceptions when you say we do not live in a meritocracy, forgetting that it are, well, exceptions and not the rule.

    I don't think accumulating wealth in itself is bad. After all, we are humans and most of us need some selfish incentive to try our best to make ourselves useful for society. You are absolutely right that it's the limitless and uncontrolled accumulation of wealth that is problematic.
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    Liar and Trickster Senior Member Andres's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Who make the stuff you buy? That is wrong of course, but you still support it with your wallet.
    Meh. As if we have much of a real choice?
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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    I don't think accumulating wealth in itself is bad. After all, we are humans and most of us need some selfish incentive to try our best to make ourselves useful for society. You are absolutely right that it's the limitless and uncontrolled accumulation of wealth that is problematic.
    I consider accumulation of wealth to be a glorious thing. The problem isn't a person accumulating wealth, but rather the accumulation of wealth by wealth itself reaching the point where nearly all the accumulation occuring is due to wealth and not the efforts of a person.

    The basic premise of the carrot and stick-feature of capitalism is that a persons effort determines that persons piece of the pie. The problem is that the persons effort is largely irrelevant, and all that matters is the persons existing piece of the pie.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    Meh. As if we have much of a real choice?
    Sure you do, not with everything, but you could buy more responsible. If you buy something fron H&M you should know why it's cheap. Most of my clothes come from Italy or Denmark. I buy fair-trade products when I can. I avoid products from Asia and India. Kinda hypocrite to claim because I am posting this with an ipad, but I avoid it as much as I can.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Who make the stuff you buy? That is wrong of course, but you still support it with your wallet.
    How do you know?
    I only buy fair food clothes.


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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    How do you know?
    I only buy fair food clothes.
    Mock it all you want, but the scumbags who let people work in poor conditions have a poor consumer in me. I am a humanist at heart, just a uncompromising one when it comes to other issues. Pay a little bit more, people should be payed properly for their labour. It's up to yourself what you buy, or don't buy. Pretty simple I'd say.

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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    I think that's a big bus you got there.
    The rich can afford mega-buses. It is truly a different lifestyle.
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    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Sure you do, not with everything, but you could buy more responsible. If you buy something fron H&M you should know why it's cheap. Most of my clothes come from Italy or Denmark. I buy fair-trade products when I can. I avoid products from Asia and India. Kinda hypocrite to claim because I am posting this with an ipad, but I avoid it as much as I can.
    Mafia supporter then? Italy got some significant issues with mafia (well technically Camorra) infiltration in the cloth industry. And the following mistreatment in the name of money.
    We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism?

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironside View Post
    Mafia supporter then? Italy got some significant issues with mafia (well technically Camorra) infiltration in the cloth industry. And the following mistreatment in the name of money.
    And here we have the penoza which is pretty much the same thing. What else can I do, I just avoid their stuff when I can. There is no meta-explanation to morality, I keep my own. Everybody is a hypocrite if they don't really give a shit about something, but are just having a cause. What's their cause really, being able to congratulate themselves on being oh so good. What else, they get a mental breakdown if they can't get their kids on a 99% white school (mandatory negroe) I am not going to jerk them off. I dispise them, all they want for themselves is what others should do. Company's make money. You don't have buy what they make. I don't buy it if I don't like what's behind it.

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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    If the world's wealth is being held by less people as time goes by, that just means fewer people to put up against the wall when the revolution comes. We are saving lives with our current economic system!
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    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    And here we have the penoza which is pretty much the same thing. What else can I do, I just avoid their stuff when I can. There is no meta-explanation to morality, I keep my own. Everybody is a hypocrite if they don't really give a shit about something, but are just having a cause. What's their cause really, being able to congratulate themselves on being oh so good. What else, they get a mental breakdown if they can't get their kids on a 99% white school (mandatory negroe) I am not going to jerk them off. I dispise them, all they want for themselves is what others should do. Company's make money. You don't have buy what they make. I don't buy it if I don't like what's behind it.
    I should've pointed it out in my original post. It had more to do with the problems of identifying that kind of crap when you're so isolated from the source, than any hypocracy accusation against you.

    Voting with your vallet is very limited in many cases. And even doing your best contains traps.
    We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism?

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironside View Post
    I should've pointed it out in my original post. It had more to do with the problems of identifying that kind of crap when you're so isolated from the source, than any hypocracy accusation against you.

    Voting with your vallet is very limited in many cases. And even doing your best contains traps.
    If there is any hypocracy flown against me that's ok, I allready know that I am a hypocrite. Do I really care, no I don't, it is not my power to change anything. I would if I could but I can't. So I am just flowing with the currents just like everybody else and I'll just have to see where I wash up. It could be at the riviera of Monaco or something less extraordinary. I am doing the best I can, what more is to be expected from me. I don't have all that much, even if I am pretty well off. You should be glad with what you have, what others have shouldn't matter.

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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Sure you do, not with everything, but you could buy more responsible. If you buy something fron H&M you should know why it's cheap. Most of my clothes come from Italy or Denmark. I buy fair-trade products when I can. I avoid products from Asia and India. Kinda hypocrite to claim because I am posting this with an ipad, but I avoid it as much as I can.
    Denmark doesn't have a textile industry anymore. Danish clothes are designed in Denmark, but produced in Bangladesh.

    Italian textiles are made by illegal immigrants(you know, those you want out) in sweatshops organized by the mob.

    Have fun.

    Oh, and:

    I would if I could but I can't.
    This is the exact statement you objected to 10 posts earlier. Try to read a little more carefully next time.
    Last edited by HoreTore; 01-21-2014 at 18:37.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

  23. #23
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    I see no ambiguity, sorry. I am not responsible for the behaviour of other people, and in thus I don't need to defend anything. I wouldn't treat people as badly as some do but that some do that isn't my doing. I am just not buying their products, I wouldn't feel comfortable in these clothes so I don't buy them. Some of you must want me to be a bad person, trying to corner me in some immorality, but I got what I think is moral perfectly outlined for myself. Going to blame me for the existance of the gammora or the panoza, how exactly.
    Last edited by Fragony; 01-21-2014 at 19:13.

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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    I see no ambiguity, sorry. I am not responsible for the behaviour of other people, and in thus I don't need to defend anything. I wouldn't treat people as badly as some do but that some do that isn't my doing. I am just not buying their products, I wouldn't feel comfortable in these clothes so I don't buy them. Some of you must want me to be a bad person, trying to corner me in some immorality, but I got what I think is moral perfectly outlined for myself. Going to blame me for the existance of the gammora or the panoza, how exactly.
    I see no posts by others between your last post and this one, so I must assume it is directed at my post. So, my question to you, Frags, is simple:

    .....how is your rant in any way relevant to what I wrote....?
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Mob mob mob

    that's a whole lot of answer for a single point.
    Last edited by Fragony; 01-21-2014 at 20:14.

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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Mob mob mob

    that's a whole lot of answer for a single point.
    What's the mob got to do with you....? And what has my post to do with you personally...?

    (except for the suggestion to read posts more carefully in the future, that is)
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Andres:

    Wealth need not be acquired "at the expense" of others. The problem with a large wealth gap is not that some are filthy rich, but that it tends to stultify the "have-nots" ability to become "haves." Absent a credible -- if difficult -- means for changing your status, you get the kind of class rigidification that yields bloody revolution -- during which the "have-nots" victimize their own more than the "haves."
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Wealth need not be acquired "at the expense" of others.
    That belief can be traced back to the early, trade-centered economic theories from the early free market thinkers(especially Ricardo).

    This belief assumes that economic wealth is finite. Contrary to that, wealth is dynamic and expansive. One man accumulating wealth will enable others to accumulate wealth as well.

    But the inverse is true as well. Raising the wealth of the poor is not done at the expense of the wealthy. On the contrary, raising the level of the poor also raises the rich. We re of course talking about absolute levels of wealth here, ie. your actual number of stuff, not relative levels, ie. how much stuff you have in comparison to that other guy.

    Henry Ford knew this well. It's a sad thing he also believed jews hoarded gold to to finance world wars...
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

  29. #29
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    What's the mob got to do with you....? And what has my post to do with you personally...?

    (except for the suggestion to read posts more carefully in the future, that is)
    Nothing. But a good look at the mirror should be a good place to position yourselve. If you buy the stuff you should be able to get a good look at it no? Scumbags aren't getting rich on my account, so there's your answer.

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    Default Re: Wealth distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Nothing. But a good look at the mirror should be a good place to position yourselve. If you buy the stuff you should be able to get a good look at it no? Scumbags aren't getting rich on my account, so there's your answer.
    I have no idea what the relevance or meaning of this is supposed to be.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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