When do you consider someone "wealthy" or "rich"?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Seattle, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed. In the the US and to some degree in the modern UK we seem to have lost that realisation that are all interdependent.

    In the US especially there is a mythology of individual independence that denies the reliance of all citizens on basic communal services, provided through taxation. I've a suspicion it may have something to do with the popularity of ghastly people like Ayn Rand, promoting a false (but highly convenient - if you are comfortably off) narrative of the primacy of the individual, but I'm not sure. In continental Europe, while people of course still moan about taxes, there does seem to be far more of a recognition of citizenship being a two-way street, with rights and responsibilities.
     
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    And this has to do something with savings, or personal responsibility in the US -- how, exactly?
    The poverty line is arbitrary, usually outdated and calculated independently by each government, so the same income level may be above the line in one country and below in another. AFIK, none of them take regional standard of living into consideration. Needs salt.
    Factor in the huge discrepancy in social services, unemployment and disability insurance, federal pension and supplements, rent control and subsidies, the cost of drugs, education and housing, but most particularly health care, which is what typically swallows Americans' savings in one gulp - and the comparison becomes moot, even if it had some significance in the first place. Did it?
     
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  5. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    Yep, and in the U.S. the poverty level is defined as below $ 25,750--for a family of four!
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    That suggests an easy way for a politician to solve poverty - just reduce that number. It would be a most Trumpian success.
     
  8. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    I kinda feel like they already have, in that the "poverty line" is adjusted annually solely on the basis of inflation--haven't the costs for essentials (education, medicine) risen more dramatically than costs for non-essentials (consumer tech, etc., seems to get cheaper and cheaper, relatively), rendering inflation a somewhat deceptive gauge? (Not a rhetorical question--I'm not well-versed in these matters.)
     
  9. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Whrn they have the capacity to be considerate of others.
     
  10. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Almost every conservative government does move the line downward, even as they cut back spending on public access to sport and recreation, special education and youth programs, public transit and homeless shelters.
    And bike lanes. That's not about poverty so much as a vendetta against anything green - fawk, they may be going to ban broccoli - but it sure affects low-income young people's employment prospects: If you can't afford a car, it's difficult or prohibitively expensive to get to most newly-created jobs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    What do we get from that article? The world's biggest companies are worth more than the world's smallest companies. The world's biggest companies are worth a lot more than the average person?

    General Motors is worth a lot more than I am? The companies that became extremely successful are few and most companies or ideas failed?

    Who would expect it to be otherwise.

    Is the idea that if the Walton family ran the business as a charity for the employees the employees would now be wealthy? They employ 1.4 million people and their profit margin (last figure I could get) was 1.62 percent.
     
  13. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    A definition of wealthy/rich.

    Well, see, there's that definition of "worth". In what sense is a company worth more than a person?

    I bet you never cost your fellow taxpayers 17 billion dollars. So, in order to enhance your self-worth, all you have to do is grow very big and then fail.

    The idea is that nobody in the known universe needs that much wealth.
    There is quite a wide territory between predatory business practice and running a charity.
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    A good example of someone who is wealthy and rich (see subject of the thread.)
    More like the US's wealthiest person makes a lot more than the average person.
    ?? No. The idea is that they make $4 million an hour, which is about 360,000 times what many of their employees make.
     
  15. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Should it make any difference to you (or anyone) if a company is owned by 20 people or 2 million shareholders?
     
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Is a hydroelectric power plant "worth" more than a person? No, in the sense that we aren't going to kill a person to save a power plant. Yes, in the sense that something that provides power to millions of people is worth more than the skills of one person.

    You cost your fellow taxpayers when you drive on a road. Even companies that we bailed out paid a lot of taxes before they were bailed out and the reason they were bailed out is that they will continue to provide more to the economy than the bail out cost or they wouldn't be bailed out.

    If you have 100 guitars, no one "needs" that many but if you have that many I'm not going to worry myself about it.

    If you like the results on an economic system, in general, if you like what it does as compared to whatever the other options are (not saying you do) then you don't need to focus so much on whatever the side effects are.

    We like nice weather in the summer, allergies are a side-effect, we don't get one without the other. Who cares whether 20 people own a company or 2 million people own a company?
     
  18. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    That's why so many people are suffering and the planet is dying.

    Anybody who understands the implications.
    82 people got stupefyingly rich, but that's all right, because they're worth that much more than the rest of us.
     
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    They're not worth that much more than the rest of us. That's just the price of our economic system. If you don't like the system, it's not worth it. If you do, it is.

    If someone else owns a jet, why would I care? People aren't suffering because of capitalism if you are comparing it to the other choices. Is being a serf better? More people were poorer before capitalism. You're taking your eye off the ball.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Does it? Not really. Should it? Not sure how to answer that.
    Agreed. But if the US economy ran on guitars, and guitars were needed by our highway system to maintain roads, and guitars were needed by the military to defend the US, it would make more sense to take 50 guitars from this guy (because then he'd still have 50) than to take two guitars from me (because I don't have any.)
     
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    If we have highways and schools and a pretty good economy and the way the economy works is that some people get a lot more than others but the overall system is better than any other system...you don't worry about it too much.

    I wouldn't like it if an apple fell on my head but if that's party of the "gravity system"

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    I can live with it and I'm not going to try to readjust gravity just because an apple might fall on my head. One comes with the other.
     
  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly!! And you don't give a damn how everyone downstream pays it.

    Because it's giving you cancer, even if you don't care about the other kinds of pollution, and may crash into your house.

    What other choices?
    I guess it's better than being a Kurd, but not a lot better.
    According to capitalists.
    Which ball?
     
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    ??? Violent crime has gone down significantly since 1990. Does that mean we shouldn't worry about crime too much?
    I suspect you would not be OK with crime if you were paralyzed after a mass shooting. You'd want to work to reduce the odds of that.

    Same thing with the economy. It works OK. It could work better. We should work on making it better.
     

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