January 19, 2013

"The 100 richest people in the world earned enough last year to end extreme poverty suffered by the poorest on the planet four times over..."

"Extreme wealth was 'economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive,' the report said."

298 comments:

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rhhardin said...

If you distribute the seed corn as food, people can eat more.

Palladian said...

For how long would would that extreme poverty be ended? And when it returned, where would the money to "end" it again come from?

As a wise man once said "for ye have the poor always with you..."

madAsHell said...

It's naive to think that you can flatten a bell curve.

Paddy O said...

The 100 richest people earned enough money to make the corrupt leaders in poverty stricken nations whose policies create and sustain extreme poverty even richer.

Ralph L said...

Since welfare worked so well in Western countries, let's make it worldwide.

I'd like to know how many of those 100 already run one of those poor countries.

Shouting Thomas said...

The ultimate answer to this kind of hand wringing shit is the Stones' new song Doom and Gloom.

Absolutely hilarious song. Best thing the Stones have done in decades.

The story line is an old fart (Jagger) giving advice to a young girl who's hiding under the covers in her room because the world is in such an unbearably awful state. Jagger keeps trying to drag her out of the misery to have a good time.

Funny as hell. Jagger even gets in a few shots at fracking. I was playing the tune the other night with the Old Dawgz. We were laughing our asses off!

Levi Starks said...

Here's a great Idea,
Take that 1.25 a day and double it to 2.50 a day and then extreme poverty will be defined as 2.50 a day.
The mistake made by those who hate the rich is that they think poverty is caused by a lack of money. Lack of money is symptom of poverty.
The reason the Left hates having to look at the poor in this world, and seeks ways to end the "suffering" of the poor, is that poverty shows the true nature of man's fallen condition. In their dreamland world ending poverty is less about helping the poor, but assuaging the guilt they have about having done so well themselves.

Freder Frederson said...

I'd like to know how many of those 100 already run one of those poor countries.

Uh, none of them.

You really didn't want to know, did you? Because if you did it would have been very easy for you to look it up yourself.

Pogo said...

The requisite Heinlein quote:
"Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as "bad luck."
"

rehajm said...

The available options are:

Some people are poor.

Everyone is poor.

Try as you might, everyone is middle class is not an available option.

Bob_R said...

There is one tried and true method of ending equality: make everyone poor. Unfortunately, even that doesn't work because the most talented poor people tend to live better...unequally. Of course, the ultimate answer is to make all humans dead. The greenies are working on that - perfect equality.

Bob_R said...

I should have included the last paragraph of The Big Sleep in my comments - the ultimate equality.

Michael Haz said...

I call bullshit. Utter nonsense. Poverty would not be ended, it would be worsened as soon as the redistributed money was spent. And people would be in worse circumstances than before.

What ends poverty has been proved: Education and opportunity for work. Along with that, a stable and fair government that doesn't use poverty and starvation to punish it's domestic enemies, and deferral of pregnancy until completion of one's education.

If a mere redistribution of wealth could end poverty, the War on Poverty that began under President Johnson would have made America into a poverty-free paradise. It didn't. The trillions of dollars spent fighting poverty in America has done little more than enlarge the number of people living in poverty, and provide a level of support sufficient to remove all initiative for success.

ErnieG said...

Ah, the dream of redistribution. "...when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody."

Also: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

KLDAVIS said...

Based solely on the results of this study, I can be relatively certain that Oxfam is, "economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive."

AJ Lynch said...

Palladian asked:
"For how long would would that extreme poverty be ended? "

Scary isn't it how these dim bulbs and their media stenographers never ask the important questions like Palladian's or Rrhardin's.

Fr Martin Fox said...

So delivering billions of dollars to, say, Haiti would solve their problems and it would become a paradise?

Freder Frederson said...

The requisite Heinlein quote:

Look at the list. Few of them can be called "creative". A lot of them were just lucky enough to be born rich (e.g., the Waltons, Kochs, Mars) or are involved in retail, mining or investment.

Freder Frederson said...

So delivering billions of dollars to, say, Haiti would solve their problems and it would become a paradise?

Are you really a Catholic priest? If so I hope you are not typical. You have zero empathy.

Bob_R said...

@madAsHell - Flattening the bell curve is the opposite of the direction they are fantasizing about.

Levi Starks said...

There are 2 kinds of poverty in this world, a poverty of material things, and a poverty of the heart.
When you can figure out how to fix the heart, the material side will fix itself.
But remember in you quest, you can't use guns. It's been tried.

Shouting Thomas said...

Are you really a Catholic priest? If so I hope you are not typical. You have zero empathy.

Empathy is favoring feel good solutions that don't work!

Intentions are everything!

SGT Ted said...

What would redistributionists know about economic efficiency?

It is only socially divisive when used by the neo-Commies to foment class war. It is politically corrosive only because politicians are corrupt and part of the problem. Seizing their money to give to someone else is just more corruption.

The money has nothing to do with what they claim. They need to look at their own greed, envy and flawed political creed that brings about "economic inefficiency, political corrosion and social division" and even counts on it to thrive.

The redistributionists loot many times the same amount of wealth from the rich every year to fund their bullshit and somehow thats never any sign of "economic inefficiency, political corrosion and social division".

Marxists and their sub-sects of fascists and socialists are worse than the "problems" they purport to be able to solve.

kentuckyliz said...

Take all the wealth from the top 10% and spread it around.

People will still be poor, and you'll have no more wealth to go after.

Scheme collapses.

So, politicians support the interests of their wealthy donors. Third world politicians reappropriate international aid into their own Swiss bank accounts.

Oxfam is a British Fabian Socialist Empire Guilt organization.

William said...

I live a few blocks from the Carnegie Mansion in New York. At the time he built it, he was the richest man in the world. It's across the street from Cental Park and quite a nice place.....I can't help thinking though that I live a great deal better than Andrew Carnegie. He had organ music piped into every room. My Bose sound system and extensive collection of Justin Bieber CD's has that beat by a mile. He had more space, but I've got air conditioning. He had a private chef, but I've got a microwave and fresh fruit vegatables in the winter. He had access to the best physicians of the world. I have access to antiobiotics.....You could make quite a long less of how I, a lower middle class schlub, live a better life than the richest man in the world..... I would suggest a new metric. How long will it take for the average citizen to live better than the richest man in the world. Right now the time frame is about one hundred years, but I think that with a little luck we can narrow that time frame to fifty years. But that's only if we allow the Steve Jobs of the world the latitude to build yachts and explore wacky cures for cancer......Carnegie supplied cheap steel to the world and was vilified by the Oxfam types for the Homestead Strike. Mao launched the Great Leap Forward to increase steel production in China. Millions starved and he was lauded by the Oxfam types for the egalitarian society he created.....Has anyone figured out how much higher the world's standard of living would be if the 100 biggest left wing assholes never existed.

ErnieG said...

There might be some practical problems with such a scheme. Imagine a village of subsistence farmers in central Africa, or the upper Amazon, or a tribe of desert nomads. Give each of the inhabitants a share of Microsoft, or of Apple, or a brand new $100 bill. What would that accomplish other than transferring wealth and power to the nomenklatura handling the distribution?

Sorun said...

Jeez, let's just print more money.

SGT Ted said...

Recognizing that redistributionism doesn't work as sold doesn't mean one lacks empathy, but, rather, than one has a brain that works.

Freder has to rely on trying to guilt and shame people into compliance with his politics, because reason and logic and actual results of the neo-Commies policies lead one in the opposite direction.

kentuckyliz said...

There is something distinct about the British Charity Nag. I have fine tuned antennae for this sort of thing, being an Anglo Murkan.

Shouting Thomas said...

Freder, are you aware that Catholic priests take a vow of poverty?

There's a reason for this. Christ, you might remember, taught that a person should divest himself of all his possessions and follow the Lord.

Catholic theology doesn't teach that money is the answer. Are you aware of this?

kentuckyliz said...

William, beautifully posited. Huzzah.

Maguro said...

Yeah, big news, an NGO favors funneling huge amounts of money through NGOs. Stop the presses!

Bob Ellison said...

Well, everybody's poor
Everybody cries
Everybody's poor sometimes

SGT Ted said...

.....Has anyone figured out how much higher the world's standard of living would be if the 100 biggest left wing assholes never existed.

How about how many people wouldn't have been rounded up and put into camps, gassed or starved to death for the crime of not being a good COmmunist?

kentuckyliz said...

Footnote to Thomas:
Only religious order priests take a vow of poverty.

Secular clergy (diocesan priests) do not.

I don't know if Fr. Fox is religious order or secular.

Rusty said...

Ahead of next week's World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the charity urged world leaders to tackle inequality.

Extreme wealth was "economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive", the report said.


Funny as hell!

Rusty said...

Freder Frederson said...
So delivering billions of dollars to, say, Haiti would solve their problems and it would become a paradise?

Are you really a Catholic priest? If so I hope you are not typical. You have zero empathy.


No. It means he didn't leave his brains by the curb for trash pickup like you did.

SGT Ted said...

I rejected the shame/guilt emotionalist coersions of the religious decades ago.

Why would I even consider it as a political argument to excuse Marxist failures?

Ipso Fatso said...

Well I guess it depends on whose Oxfam is being gored!!!!

Rusty said...

Freder Frederson said...
The requisite Heinlein quote:

Look at the list. Few of them can be called "creative". A lot of them were just lucky enough to be born rich (e.g., the Waltons, Kochs, Mars) or are involved in retail, mining or investment.


So?

Bob_R said...

What the world's poorest people lack are things that can't be given to them by the world's hundred richest people: the rule of law, free markets, private property. You can build someone in Haiti a house (our church has built some) but no one has a clear title to the property that will be enforced by courts. Everyone is essentially squatting. (Take a look at the difference between Haiti and the Dominican Republic and see what a difference just a few of those basics make.)

SGT Ted said...

Its like reading an article about how people would be better off if we just implemented the National Socialists platform.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

We have a trillion dollar economy and we can't win our own war on poverty. How are the 100 richest people supposed to solve the worlds problems.
The hundred richest people couldn't solve just this countries problems for a year, even if you didn't just take all their taxes but all their assets as well.

ErnieG said...

Fr Martin Fox said...

So delivering billions of dollars to, say, Haiti would solve their problems and it would become a paradise?


Don't fault Fr. Fox for saying that. It's been tried many times, perhaps not in Haiti. The results have included palaces, Mercedes limousines, bogus national airlines, Zurich bank accounts, and starving peasants.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

DADvocate said...

Let's take their money NOW.

Freder Frederson said...

So?
Pogo's Heinlen quote implies that people are rich because they are creative. The list of the 100 richest people in the world provides very little evidence of this thesis. If Sam Walton had spread his entire estate equally among all his Walmart employees, rather than to his children, that would have been much better for the economy than building art museums in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And of course, those 100 people hoarded every penny of their "EARNED" wealth. Like Scrooge McDuck, they have a basement vault full of gold coins and money that they can wallow in, all the while laughing at the poorest.....Bwahahahahaha.

And they never spend any of that money or buy things. If they did spend the money...greedy bastards.....they might be creating jobs elsewhere and encouraging manufacturing. What? They DO spend money???? Oh. Nevermind (Emily Litella)

The Godfather said...

Extreme wealth was "economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive", the report said.

What evidence is there that it's economically inefficient? Most of the people on the list got rich by providing goods or services that other people were willing to pay for, or their parents or grandparents did so. Not all (granted, there's the occasional oil sheik and stock manipulator), but most.

Prove that the world would be wealthier if these hundred people were poorer, and I'll believe that "extreme wealth is economically inefficient".

bpm4532 said...

Okay, appropriate the income of the 100 wealthiest people and it solves the problem for 1 year. Next year, those same 100 people won't earn anywhere near the same amount of money. It will likely be close to zero as they will choose to live off their wealth and not grow it.

The next 100 people won't make nearly enough to solve the problem for the next year, and you'll have to "enlist" an another 400. This 500 will quickly learn the lesson the original 100 learned.

During the second year, Oxfam will learn their lesson and decide to start appropriating the WEALTH of the 100 richest people to pay for the poor. It will take a few year of making the former richest people homeless and penniless for Oxfam to perhaps notice a trend.

Maguro said...

Pogo's Heinlen quote implies that people are rich because they are creative. The list of the 100 richest people in the world provides very little evidence of this thesis. If Sam Walton had spread his entire estate equally among all his Walmart employees, rather than to his children, that would have been much better for the economy than building art museums in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Ah, is that why the Soviet Union had such a dynamic economy? Because they had a bunch of wise central planners spreadin' the wealth around?

Phil 3:14 said...

After looking at the list I'm struck by two things:
1) Several info tech folks (Microsoft, Google). Undoubtedly wealthy due to the massive and continued success of their tech innovations which have made economies worldwide more efficient and provided opportunity for the poorest and the wealthiest. A net positive for the world in my book
2) Walton wealth based on a retail innovator who brought quality consumer goods to the middle and working class. That's good, right?

Rusty said...

Freder Frederson said...
So?
Pogo's Heinlen quote implies that people are rich because they are creative. The list of the 100 richest people in the world provides very little evidence of this thesis. If Sam Walton had spread his entire estate equally among all his Walmart employees, rather than to his children, that would have been much better for the economy than building art museums in Bentonville, Arkansas.

No it wouldn't.

Care to try again?

ErnieG said...

The problem of the economic inefficiency of the concentration of wealth has been studied for many years. The most notable attempt to deal with this inefficiency in a scientific way is the work of Karl Marx. Implementation of Scientific Socialism has resulted in over 100 million deaths.

Dusty said...

jr565 said...

"We have a trillion dollar economy and we can't win our own war on poverty."

Well, one can never win the war on poverty, but, if you are referring to the USA, we've been kicking it's ass up and down the road so successfully that we're now defining the threshold for entitlement to entitlements at three to four times the poverty line.

And that ass kicking doesn't even take into account private charity to help the poor.

Freder Frederson said...

Okay, appropriate the income of the 100 wealthiest people and it solves the problem for 1 year.

Actually four years. Or didn't you even bother to read the quote, let alone the article.

And Oxfam is not suggesting that the 100 wealthiest people be stripped of their wealth, just that that is the amount of money that would alleviate poverty in much of the world.

And of course Oxfam is more interested in building lasting solutions (water and sanitation projects, agricultural reform, etc.) than simply giving money to poor people.

Rusty said...

ErnieG said...
The problem of the economic inefficiency of the concentration of wealth has been studied for many years.

It isn't a problem because it isn't inefficient.

Rusty said...

I'll take that as a "no" then.

edutcher said...

The assumption is that government can spread it around properly.

Three words:

War.

On.

Poverty.

NGOs do no better. Oxfam's been doing its beg-a-thon since at least the 80s when Randall Robinson ran it.

edutcher said...

PS Liz, define diocesan priests.

Fernandinande said...

""We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many - too often the reverse is true," said Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking."

I'm curious as to how much she makes, and if she gives most of it to poor people.

"It reported that while the world's 100 richest people enjoyed a net income of $240bn (£150bn) last year, people in "extreme poverty" lived on less than $1.25 (78p) a day."

"More than one billion people--one-sixth of the world's population--live in extreme poverty on less than $1 a day."

So they spend about $365 billion/year, about 50% more than the income of the people with "too much money".

Of course, without western capitalism and civilization, everyone except tyrants would be in extreme poverty, and $1/day would seem like wealth.


DCS said...

The fallacy of wealth as a zero sum game and the corollary that by re-distributing wealth poverty will end. Pathetic fools.

ErnieG said...

Rusty said...

ErnieG said...
The problem of the economic inefficiency of the concentration of wealth has been studied for many years.

It isn't a problem because it isn't inefficient.


You're absolutely right. I wrote in haste and should have said something like "so-called problem." That was the point of my last sentence.

Sam L. said...

The worst part of redistribution is the amount that sticks to the redistributors. For them, it's a feature, not a bug.

Astro said...

While were at it, can we please redistribute the vaginas of the sexiest women of the world?

tmitsss said...

But what half of those Walmart employees spent their extra wealth on video games strip clubs and porn (thats art)

virgil xenophon said...

FF@9:28/

I guess when Michelangelo was flat on his back painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel you would have said that his time would have been better spent white-washing the muddy walls of the slums of Rome. (for the good "of the little people.")Of course after the first hard rain the walls would have reverted to their original mud-stained state while the Sistine Chapel still yet remains to this day an inspiration to all forever. Besides which, Michelangelo would have told you to fuck off--he was doing what was pleasing to him and his God, thank you very much..

Renee said...

When you look into the issue, the push for population control came from the rich. They are the first to subsidize birth control/sterilization over economic stability and investment in the developing nations. In fact, the goal is that they're not fully free to develop and have sovereignty when they accept aid from these groups.

It is commonly said, that there are too many mouths to feed. Their mouths can be fed, and with proper ethical investment by the richer individuals. The lower classes can not revolt, there soon be too few of them. The rich just need enough poor to serve them. To the rich, the rest are waste. So be rid of them.

Paco Wové said...

"involved in retail, mining or investment."

Oh noes! Icky!

Hagar said...

@Freder,

Ever hear of the old saying: "Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations"?

Lack of creativity in succeeding generations tends to take care of that kind of problem.

Colonel Angus said...

Actually four years. Or didn't you even bother to read the quote, let alone the article.

Then what?

And Oxfam is not suggesting that the 100 wealthiest people be stripped of their wealth, just that that is the amount of money that would alleviate poverty in much of the world.

Hasn't this been tried before? The West has poured money into poverty stricken hellholes for decades and they're still poverty stricken hellholes.

Look at countries with extreme poverty and likely you'll find an oppressive, anti capitalist government.

Robert Cook said...

The Parable of the Frogs

Colonel Angus said...

If Sam Walton had spread his entire estate equally among all his Walmart employees, rather than to his children, that would have been much better for the economy than building art museums in Bentonville, Arkansas.

This has to be the dumbest thing I have read on this forum and that is saying something.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

It's good to know that the conservative consensus is debased enough to believe that Paris Hilton's inheritance of her family's wealth has provided more social benefit than using any of that to provide health care for the uninsured or nutritious food for the hungry.

It helps everyone else put into perspective their perverted understanding of the world.

Dusty said...

Renee said @ 1/19/13, 10:33 AM

Bah, you don't know what you're talking about.

Sure, it may have come from the rich, but in you haste to denigrate the rich you mistake the source of the desire for population control, which are varied.

I'd suggest the more desire more central to that want for population control is the want for power and even then the reasons are varied.

It seems to me Mao instituted the most massive scheme for population control the world has ever seen, yet he wasn't rich, nor did he live in a manner normally ascribed to being rich.

Margaret Sanger, wasn't rich, yet she popularized the idea of birth control here in the US and she started her first birth control clinic here in the economically stable and already well developed nation of the USA in 1912, decades before any rich people thought "to subsidize birth control/sterilization over economic stability and investment in the developing nations".

O Ritmo Segundo said...

It's great that kkkonservatives have decided that giving anything from the rich to the poor is worthless.
But what we really need to do is to find better ways to take from the poor so that we can contribute to and subsidize the lives of the rich.

Colonel Angus said...

It's good to know that the conservative consensus is debased enough to believe that Paris Hilton's inheritance of her family's wealth has provided more social benefit than using any of that to provide health care for the uninsured or nutritious food for the hungry.

Actually, if you actually read any of the comments, no one is making such an assertion. The position of intelligent people is that you can't end poverty by merely throwing money at it.

I can give a poor inner city family $250k and they are no longer poor. Then what happens when the $250k is spent? Seems the leftwing answer is to keep giving them $250k rather than address why they are poor in the first place.

Chip S. said...

And of course Oxfam is more interested in building lasting solutions (water and sanitation projects, agricultural reform, etc.) than simply giving money to poor people.

I can believe that Frederson is completely unaware of agencies like the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank, the World Food Program, the World Health Organization, and others.

But I have a hard time believing that the fine, educated leaders of Oxfam are equally ignorant.

Anyone interested in the realities of international aid should start with a couple of books by William Easterly.

And as for Frederson's pathetic attack on Fr. Fox, I for one am grateful to hear at least one priest who doesn't spout ignorant nonsense when discussing economic policy.

Oh, and BTW--how many starving urchins could be fed with the money being spent by Oxfam on a 4-day confab in Davos?

bagoh20 said...

If you believe this crap, and you have anything more than the closest homeless person near you, and you don't split it all with them today, then you are simply a greedy bastard, and by your own definition you are you stingy SOB.

Hagar said...

@Robert Cook,

It struck me this morning; are you now or have you ever been a member of The Weatherman?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Actually, if you actually read any of the comments, no one is making such an assertion. The position of intelligent people is that you can't end poverty by merely throwing money at it.

Actually, if you use the word "actually" twice in one sentence, it might distract you from the obvious truth that there is a significant difference between "ending" something and decreasing or improving it.

But you use words like "throwing money at it", so that reveals your bias toward seeing any assistance as evil.

Lovernios said...

Fernandinande said...

I'm curious as to how much she [Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking] makes, and if she gives most of it to poor people.


£119,000 ($188,775.65). She's worked there for 12 years for a total of £1,428,000.

She's a 1%er! Take her money NOW!

Colonel Angus said...

A good example of why simply redistributing wealth doesn't end poverty is to look at instances of lottry winners who became instant millionaires and a few years later are filing Chapter 7.

Robert Cook said...

"It struck me this morning; are you now or have you ever been a member of The Weatherman?"

No.

And no other protest or political group, either.

Bruce Hayden said...

Freder seemingly argues that the descendants of the makers of those large fortunes aren't creative, and therefore creation of wealth is not driven by creativity, since many of those currently very rich inherited their wealth.

The first problem though with that is that he ignores the creation of the wealth in the first place, and that wealth was often the result of adding great wealth to the world. That the descendants did not add significantly to the world through their own creativity does not mean that the money was not the result of such creativity. Because, in most cases, including the cited Waltons, it was.

Which gets to his second implied point, which is that if they didn't create the wealth, then they don't deserve to keep it. There is a saying that you can't take it with you, but the natural instinct of man is to make his children and grandchildren better off. Many of us do so by making sure that they get a good education. But, most of us would also like to pass something of value on to them to make their lives easier and more secure. Thus, enriching their children is one of the incentives for taking the chances required to create much wealth, and Freder would seemingly wish to eliminate this.

The other thing that is missed by Freder, Oxfam, and, yes, Barack Obama, is that these descendants of the wealth creators are likely to be much better at creating wealth than the government (or private charities in the case of Oxfam) are. Not all investments are equal, and governments investing are exceedingly poor at the job. We are into the fifth year of the Obama recession, and one of the big reasons for that is his insistence (and that of his party) that they can invest their way out of it, to the tune of most of a trillion dollars a year, which would have done much more good in the private sector. Governments are extraordinarily bad at investing because their criteria inevitably have little to do with the economic value and viabilities of their investments, and everything to do with politics and favoritism.

And, in the end, that is what Oxfam is pushing, that much of the wealth of the richest people on the planet be appropriated so that they, and other like minded progressives and socialists can squander the money on their own pet causes, skimming off, of course, large parts of it for their own for their efforts and their demonstrated concern for the less fortunate.

Amy said...

Wouldn't a few trillion dollar coins solve this problem quickly and easily?

jr565 said...

It's great that kkkonservatives have decided that giving anything from the rich to the poor is worthless.

Mistating what conservatives are saying and calling them racist in your second post. I suppose we should be happy that you didn't go al out on your first.

Robert Cook said...

"Seems the leftwing answer is to keep giving them $250k rather than address why they are poor in the first place."

Well...why are they poor in the first place?

bagoh20 said...

Imagine you had all the tax money you ever paid returned to you. It would probably be a huge sum of money for many.

You can do whatever you want with it, except keep it. Would you give it to the government to help the poor? What would you do with it?

Renee said...

@ Dusty

Who funded/funds it?


Look there.

I know what I'm talking about.

Renee said...

So what, the Communist Party and eugenic bigots like Sanger get to do the dirty work, while the rich distant their connection from it.

Colonel Angus said...

But you use words like "throwing money at it", so that reveals your bias toward seeing any assistance as evil.

Not evil, just wasteful and non-productive. When you can provide an instance were spending billions will actually bring a nation out of poverty permanently, then you'll have an argument. All you are proposing is instituting a global welfare state. Then again, that's what leftists want.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

A good example of why simply redistributing wealth doesn't end poverty is to look at instances of lottry winners who became instant millionaires and a few years later are filing Chapter 7.

Interesting that you would make such a flimsy comparison. I doubt that anyone receiving assistance likens their situation to winning a lottery.

OTOH, we could look at lottery winners and compare those who used their winnings responsibly versus those who used them irresponsibly by prior income.

I would venture that the post-lottery loonies might be more likely to have come from more means than less.

jr565 said...

"It's great that kkkonservatives have decided that giving anything from the rich to the poor is worthless."


The point being addressed is that trying to fund your utopia on the backs of the rich simply does not work. It will not work, it cannot work. The rich already pay the lion share of the taxes> Now, could they pay more or less is debatable. However, even if you took ALL their income and ALL their net worth, it wouldn't solve the issues. So, I wont say that giving anything to the poor is worthless. We already give plenty to the poor, more than we can actually afford, and its' done bubkus.

jr565 said...



Because of The Man? The Sytem?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Not evil, just wasteful and non-productive.

So you believe providing assistance that a hungry person could use for food is AS wasteful and unproductive as the tax "relief" given to those making a six-figure salary. Thanks for your clarification on that.

Chip S. said...

Robert Cook said...

Well...why are they poor in the first place?

There's a pretty big literature on this. You might try reading some of it instead of Counterpunch.

Sadly for your worldview, you won't find that the consensus answer is that the world has a fixed amount of wealth and the poor get to consume whatever the rich decide to leave for them.

bagoh20 said...

"Well...why are they poor in the first place?"

Cultural values.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

When you can provide an instance were spending billions will actually bring a nation out of poverty permanently, then you'll have an argument.

Plundering the resources, peoples and nations of the Mediterranean, the North American interior and other "possessions" was precisely how Rome, the U.S. and other powerful nations and empires got rich. Don't believe for a second that billions weren't spent on these projects.

Colonel Angus said...

Well...why are they poor in the first place?

Could be a number of things. For starters, dropping out of school, getting knocked up at 16, going to jail.

I grew up pretty poor, one of 4 kids, no dad but I finished high school and worked landscaping to Dave money for college then started my own company. 25 years later I'm not poor but my dumbass sister still is soley due to being a dumbass.


jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
OTOH, we could look at lottery winners and compare those who used their winnings responsibly versus those who used them irresponsibly by prior income.

I would venture that the post-lottery loonies might be more likely to have come from more means than less.

Suppose we take a lottery winner and he loses all his money by irresponsibly spending it. Should we give him another lottery payout? What if he spend it irresponsibly again?
And why not just give everyone a lottery payout? And What if they mishandle the money?
What if we give them lottery payouts every year and they still are poor at the end of it?

Colonel Angus said...

Plundering the resources, peoples and nations of the Mediterranean, the North American interior and other "possessions" was precisely how Rome, the U.S. and other powerful nations and empires got rich.

Ok Noam.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

"Well...why are they poor in the first place?"

Cultural values.


Well, maybe in your family's case.

Not in mine.

Good to see your type is progressing from social "Darwinism" to slightly less harsh and demeaning talk on "cultural values".

Let's see how detailed you can get with this.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Ok Noam.

Not an argument. More like a concession.

Unpaid labor and stolen resources pay. Do you disagree? Or do you only think that it only pays when poor people do it?

Hagar said...

So, a scientist and a disinterested observer of the immutable laws of history a la Mr. Marx of the British Museum Library.

Colonel Angus said...

So you believe providing assistance that a hungry person could use for food is AS wasteful and unproductive as the tax "relief" given to those making a six-figure salary.

No I said pouring money into a country in hopes it is no longer impoverished is wasteful.

You clearly are incapable of engaging in an honest discussion on the topic.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Thanks for entertaining a cogent argument, jr. I've got a great story about a successful business owner who went drunk and destitute upon winning the largest lottery pay-out.

Which is soooo like getting money for food. It's like, exactly the same. Eating, not starving, swimming pool construction and strip club patronage... All the same thing! Distinctions are meaningless! Long live the Soundbite War!

O Ritmo Segundo said...

No I said pouring money into a country in hopes it is no longer impoverished is wasteful.

You clearly are incapable of engaging in an honest discussion on the topic.


So says the person who never wastes an opportunity to hyperbolically refer to every transaction between a wealthy actor and a poor one with terms like"pouring".

Also, "throwing".

Very honest, engaging frames of reference there. No agenda behind it at all.

jr565 said...

Also, Ritmo the reason that most people getting assistance don't liken it to the lottery is because they seem to receive so little. And yet look at the trillions funding said programs. When you spend so much but are required to spend it on so many people you are going to have the payouts be so dluted as to be minimal. Certainly you can't expect the safety net to provide the equivalent of "a living Wage" can you?
If not, then where else do you expect people to get their money? Doesn't that require, oh i don't know, working and saving, not dropping out of school,not spending your money on things you don't need or can't afford?
A safety net is never going to make people rich, nor even give them living wages. So then we have to go back to personal responsibility and life choices dictating where you end up in life to a large part.

Robert Cook said...

"There's a pretty big literature on this."

If there is, as you say, no consensus opinion, the implication is that there is no one answer.

So, such idiocies as "cultural values," "being a dumbass," "being lazy and selfish," etc. cannot be assumed to answer the question.

If you have read any fraction of the big literature on this, what would you sum up the as being seen as among the chief causes of poverty?

bagoh20 said...

There are places in the world where the standard of living is rising rapidly out of poverty. China, South Asia, Central Europe, South America. These are places where the rich have been given relative freedom to come in and do it their way, which includes enriching themselves.

Places like Sub-Saharan Africa, which has also received a huge input of cash over decades with no improvement, stick to a model of sending the money as charity, not enterprise.

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:

So says the person who never wastes an opportunity to hyperbolically refer to every transaction between a wealthy actor and a poor one with terms like"pouring".

So says the guy calling conservatives KKKonservatives. You're such a twat.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I think this is the story on Jack Whittaker I was referring to. Pretty interesting.

I'm wondering how many unsuccessful, non-business owners wasted as much money as quickly.

It's all about people not appreciating what they have. And only the poor do that, or so Team Althouse wants to argue.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

A safety net is never going to make people rich, nor even give them living wages.

No one said it would or should, you silly gnat.

/biggest straw man argument in the history of the internets fail.

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
"Well...why are they poor in the first place?"

Cultural values.

"Well, maybe in your family's case.

Not in mine."


So why is your family poor Ritmo?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

You're such a twat.

Stick to your own conversations, twat-hater.

Chip S. said...

One of many examples of what the literature says:

[international] aid has a positive impact on growth in developing countries with good fiscal, monetary, and trade policies. In the presence of poor policies, aid has no positive effect on growth.

Given how easy it is to find this stuff online, I infer that people who claim to be interested in the subject and yet are ignorant of the facts are willfully ignorant.

Hagar said...


Plundering the resources, peoples and nations of the Mediterranean, the North American interior and other "possessions" was precisely how Rome, the U.S. and other powerful nations and empires got rich. Don't believe for a second that billions weren't spent on these projects.


O Ritmo, where did those billions come from? It seems to me that the citizens of those empires you mention were the imperialists who generated the billions that made the empires.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Junior,

Why are you making fun of the cultural and material impoverishment that Bag grew up with and that I did not?

Chip S. said...

Robert Cook said...

If there is, as you say, no consensus opinion...

You don't read so good.

jr565 said...

The 100 richest people in the world earned enough last year to end extreme poverty suffered by the poorest on the planet four times over, Oxfam has said.

Well Ritmo, the assertion seems to be that the 100 richest people earn enought to end world poverty 4x over. Which suggests that spending all that money could end world poverty (4x over!!!). We spend a ton of money every year. Have we ended US poverty?

And having spent that money, considering you agree with me that it would be diluted so that the people needing it would not even get the equivalent of a living wage.(Imagine the rich 100 paying for billions of people) how are you expecting them to "end poverty".
That's the strawman, you gnat. I'm just responding to it, you swine.

bagoh20 said...

Most of what anyone reading this blog has is really "extra" that you don't need. So people who believe in this charity solution need to explain why they still have extra. Greed is the only explanation they offer, so I'll accept your opinion that you keep yours purely out of greed.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

O Ritmo, where did those billions come from? It seems to me that the citizens of those empires you mention were the imperialists who generated the billions that made the empires.

This shows a basic ignorance of history. There wasn't much technological advancement after civilization started us with the admittedly wonderful innovations known as farming, urban life and the wheel. (Or even a pulley or two). So wealth acquisition was generally measured by how successful a state fared in war. It took the booty and treasure of the defeated state, sold its citizens as slaves, and felt good and satisfied about that, and repeated the process. In what way is this understanding even controversial?

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
Why are you making fun of the cultural and material impoverishment that Bag grew up with and that I did not?


Are you poor or not?
I'm not making fun of anyones cultural and material impoverishment. And, (not that I was the one making the initial point) saying that cultural values plays a great role in determining social poverty is not the same as "making fun of" someone's cultural or material impoverishment.

Maguro said...

Number of countries that escaped poverty due to the selfless efforts of do-gooder NGOs: Zero.

Number of countries that escaped poverty due to the selfish efforts of eeeeeeeeeeeeervil capitalsts: Lots of them. Every single rich country, as a matter of fact.

Chip S. said...

Ritmo said...

There wasn't much technological advancement after civilization started us with the admittedly wonderful innovations known as farming, urban life and the wheel.

I think we can now award the prize for most absurd assertion of the day.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Which suggests that spending all that money could end world poverty (4x over!!!).

YOu don't have to "spend" all of it, you swine-herder. You just have to make resources and the infrastructure available. You can do micro-lending, even. Food stamps are meant to be spend on food. You can spend on education. You can prevent catastrophic health expenditures from bankrupting a family and limiting their employment choices. All things that minimize "hoarding"/wasting and that conservatives yet find ways to obsessively demonize so as to just perpetuate the problem.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, not until the 15th century anyway, Chip.

I guess the Scientific Revolution just never occurred, in your book.

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
YOu don't have to "spend" all of it, you swine-herder. You just have to make resources and the infrastructure available. You can do micro-lending, even. Food stamps are meant to be spend on food. You can spend on education

You CAN spend on educatoin? So, currently we DON'T Spend on education? Currently we don't spend on food stamps?! You're offering suggestions as if those are things we don't already do.
Has it stamped out poverty in this country?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I really don't see Julius Caesar admiring William the Conquerer's access to technology over and above what weapons of war were made available to Harry Truman. But maybe Chip does. I don't know.

Shouting Thomas said...

The usual stupidity and vicious nonsense from Ritmo.

Ritmo, you are just plain stupid. I've been trying to tell you this for a while.

You're too fucking stupid to post here. And, you're a vile, worthless SOB on top of it.

Can you stop this exhibit of your utter worthlessness now?

You are one of the most seriously stupid people on the earth.

bagoh20 said...

There must be an economic stupidity gene in the pool, because this stupid argument keeps being sent up the pole even after being destroyed by historical fact over and over every single day.

Chip S. said...

Ritmo, see if you can find the Industrial Revolution in this chart.

A handy red arrow has been inserted to help you out.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So, currently we DON'T Spend on education?

Not as much after the age of 16, which is what the Republicans are really having a bang-up time gutting and what really matters when it comes to finding a way to make oneself self-sufficient (even if not as AWESOME as Baggo) in life.

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
YOu don't have to "spend" all of it, you swine-herder. You just have to make resources and the infrastructure available. You can do micro-lending, even. Food stamps are meant to be spend on food. You can spend on education.

By the way, if you spend money on food and people eat the food that only helps them until the next time they are hungry. Which will be in about 4 hours.
And you can spend on education, but if someone drops out of highschool by choice, thus determing, most likely the course of the rest of his/her life, what has your spending gotten?
Not to say that the solution then is to not spend on education. But spending on education doesn't mean that you are solving poverty.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Chip, when you read, it helps you sound less jealous and stupid than Shouting Turkey. See that part of mine about the scientific revolution which led to the industrial revolution as the time period when the fallow millenia of innovation and progress started to turn around.

Let me know when you're done deliberately misreading, ok?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

By the way, if you spend money on food and people eat the food that only helps them until the next time they are hungry. Which will be in about 4 hours.

Which is an AWESOME argument for starvation and malnutrition as economy catalysts.

Junior, try one point at a time. It keeps you from being spread so thin.

Shouting Thomas said...

Ritmo, go away.

You're just a stupid fuck.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

The second 12:05 comment really just screams self-importance and indignant defeat in a louder way than I've ever seen it done before.

Shouting Thomas said...

Ritmo, do everybody who enjoys this blog a favor.

Go away.

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
You can do micro-lending, even.

IF you are MICRO Lending you are loaing a tiny amount of money. Which will only help someone for a tiny amount of time. Say it's 5000 dollars. What are they doing with that 5000 dollars. Solving all their lives problems? What do you propose when they go through that 5000 dolllars? Give them another 5000 dollars? And you mention loans. IF you are loaning something, the presumption is you will get that 5000 dollars back.So, the loan then would have to cover both the need of the lendee plus the ability of the lendee to give it back. Otherwise, it's not a loan, but just giving money away.
I think you'll find that fixing Poveryt would require more than a one time micro loan. HOw much would it cost to rent an apartment for a year. How much would it cost to feed your family for a year? etc etc. That will not be fixed by a micro loan. A micro loan would help someone who can't pay THIS MONTH'S rent. Well fine, only that doesn't solve their ability to pay NEXT MONTH'S rent does it?

Chip S. said...

See that part of mine about the scientific revolution which led to the industrial revolution as the time period when the fallow millenia of innovation and progress started to turn around.

You are, of course, referring to the correction of your howler that you posted while I was typing my comment.

But let's be clear about what the chart I linked to shows.

The economic system that prevailed during humanity's long period of stagnation was one in which it was the responsibility of the local rich guy to take care of the poor people who worked his land.

The period of phenomenal increase in production (and, therefore, consumption) coincided w/ the spread of industrialization thru capitalism.

Concern for those left behind by economic development is fine. But none of the world's poor are helped one iota by mindless redistribution of the sort advocated by Oxfam.

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
Which is an AWESOME argument for starvation and malnutrition as economy catalysts.

No, Ritmo, it's an awesome example of why your proposed solutions are simply you talking out of your ass.

bagoh20 said...

Ritmo, If you believed your own crap, you would have already sold all your possession including that computer and spread it around the poor. Surely there is a homeless person in your area who could use that money you waste on internet access. You don't really think what your doing right now is more valuable than feeding some guy under a bridge do you?

You're just an evil, greedy one percenter without the competence, skills or ability.

EMD said...

I'd rather build an empire and EMPLOY thousands.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Chip - try being honest. There was only a "howler" if you take out of context my reply to Angus about how wealth was conventionally acquired among states. I was talking about history and reality, the part about what happened subsequent to the writings of a man in 1776 (who favored progressive taxation, BTW), as a part of a liberal, intellectual, scientific revolution that started two centuries or more prior to that are trivial. Technological progress makes for greater economic growth than anything else. Freedom is important and related to it (they feed off each other), but to compare America's freedom with Sweden's and take the latter as the USSR incarnate is a grossly stupid exaggeration. Your better comparison is to totalitarian China, which can't innovate (probably because it can't freely think) but can still grow leaps and bounds due to its access to technology.

EMD said...

Ritmo mistakenly believes that the wealthy are somehow morally inferior to those who govern us.

Every society operates on greed. The Soviet Union operated on greed, too.

Millions died of starvation in a nation dedicated to "economic equality" — isn't that absurd?

As Milton Friedman would ask "Where are you going to find these angels?"

Robert Cook said...

"The economic system that prevailed during humanity's long period of stagnation was one in which it was the responsibility of the local rich guy to take care of the poor people who worked his land."

You mean that period when individuals appropriated land for themselves and the majority who were not landowners had no choice but to work the land for the landowner's profit, from which they could keep but leavings?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

You're just an evil, greedy one percenter without the competence, skills or ability.

Either that or I can just tell the difference between such concepts such as "more", "some", "none" and "all".

I take it this is difficult for you?

Chef Mojo said...

Ritmo posits that governments are immoral for pillaging the wealth and resources of other lands and cultures, and yet he finds a moral imperative for government to pillage the wealth and resources of its own people.

So, which is it, Ritmo? Is the US government immoral or moral? By your reasoning, it can't be both. If my government is immoral, then how can you expect me to trust it with the very thing you say makes it immoral?

Ritmo would rather a corrupt and immoral government levy the wealth of its people in order to right a perceived wrong caused by its very immorality.

It would appear that Ritmo's moral sensibilities are as corrupt and phony as his vaunted intellect.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Ritmo mistakenly believes that the wealthy are somehow morally inferior to those who govern us.

Every society operates on greed. The Soviet Union operated on greed, too.


Greed is the essence of immorality. You can't eliminate it, but you can discourage it.

Greed causes someone to think that their passionate hatred of or disregard for someone justifies killing or maiming him.

Not all wealthy people are greedy. That's what's so funny about Republicans. The higher up the income scale you go, the more liberals you find.

Greed and Republicans congregate at the "bottom" of the upper-income bracket, where you find tasteless nouveaux riches who can't distinguish between being driven to acquire more and more of something and being driven to see any natural limitation on that as a means to your destruction.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Positronium, or your typical troll here, are interesting for their thereness.

Michael said...

Actually I believe Garage makes a lot more money than Ritmo so I think the giving and levelling should begin there. The gap is just too wide and without justification. Justice!

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Positronium (Ps) is a system consisting of an electron and its anti-particle, a positron, bound together into an "exotic atom". The system is unstable: the two particles annihilate each other to produce two gamma ray photons after an average lifetime of 125 picoseconds or three gamma ray photons after 142 nanoseconds in vacuum, depending on the relative spin states of the positron and electron. The orbit of the two particles and the set of energy levels is similar to that of the hydrogen atom (electron and proton). However, because of the reduced mass, the frequencies associated with the spectral lines are less than half of those of the corresponding hydrogen lines.

From wikipedia

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
Greed causes someone to think that their passionate hatred of or disregard for someone justifies killing or maiming him.

Not all wealthy people are greedy. That's what's so funny about Republicans. The higher up the income scale you go, the more liberals you find.

Is spending other peoples money not an example of greed?

EMD said...

Greed and Republicans congregate at the "bottom" of the upper-income bracket, where you find tasteless nouveaux riches who can't distinguish between being driven to acquire more and more of something and being driven to see any natural limitation on that as a means to your destruction.

Thanks for the link on that assertion.

Let me guess, High School Debate Club Champion?

bagoh20 said...

C'mon Ritmo, just power it down, and carry it to the Goodwill store. This isn't helping anyone. Some guy is sitting on the street with wet socks and you're in here playing poverty warrior on a blog. How dare you. It's freaking evil, dude!

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Is spending other peoples money not an example of greed?

If you're so opposed to spending the legal tender of that other person or entity known as "The U.S. Government", then you can print your own fucking currency, and see where that gets you.

EMD said...

Oh, and I'm not a Republican, so your reliance on the R-word is oh-so-damaging to me.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Geez Bag. Did a collector come for your laptop or tablet or something? Why the grousing?

EMD said...

the legal tender of that other person or entity known as "The U.S. Government",

I see .. it IS the government's money. They printed it, after all.

Big Mike said...

The higher up the income scale you go, the more liberals you find.

Unless, of course, their liberalism amounts to trying to pull the ladder up behind them so no one else can make it on their own. Not to mention the upper-income liberals who merely inherited their wealth and have spent a lifetime in school being made to feel somehow guilty for being rich.

The "tasteless nouveau riche" that Ritmo views contemptuously generally are people who made it to the "bottom of the upper income bracket" tend, in my experience, to be people who got into the upper income bracket through hard work. Any economic system that fails to reward hard work is an economic system doomed to fail.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Most trolls are bobbing turds in the teapot hoping to be noticed.

I know that describes me at least.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Oh, and I'm not a Republican, so your reliance on the R-word is oh-so-damaging to me.

It's good to know you're one of those conservatarians (or whatever) who now complains about how the Republicans never asked for your permission before deciding to screw up the country. Political impotence and irrelevance is just so persuasive, ya know?

jr565 said...

EMD wrote:
"Let me guess, High School Debate Club Champion?"

Do you think Ritmo actually won any high school debates with his arguments? The only way he got a trophy is if they gave one out to everyone who showed up.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I guess they'll just have to work a little harder then, Big Mike, if they want to become as rich and liberal as you would have me believe that Paris Hilton is.

Come on. Let's stop decreasing the value of hard work by deflating its value. You're just going to have to work a little harder. Didn't your parents ever teach you the value of a dollar?

Get cracking.

Dusty said...

Renee said @ 1/19/13, 11:28 AM

"I know what I'm talking about."

You may know what you are talking about, but life is too short to cajole you into providing any evidence of it, much less explain what you know clearly.

EMD said...


Do you think Ritmo actually won any high school debates with his arguments? The only way he got a trophy is if they gave one out to everyone who showed up.


Unless he went to Irony High in Paradox, Idaho ... I would say no.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So EMD,

You're one of those conservative "Not in my name" types, right?

That's funny when you realize that that crowd's answer is "EVEN MORE OF THE SAME! DOUBLE-DOWN MORE EXTREMELY!"

Lulz and shits and giggles you guyz endlessly provide.

EMD said...

It's good to know you're one of those conservatarians (or whatever) who now complains about how the Republicans never asked for your permission before deciding to screw up the country. Political impotence and irrelevance is just so persuasive, ya know?

You would certainly know impotence and irrelevance.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So EMD,

You're one of those conservative "Not in my name" types, right?

That's funny when you realize that that crowd's answer is "EVEN MORE OF THE SAME! DOUBLE-DOWN MORE EXTREMELY!"

Such lulz and shits and giggles you guyz endlessly provide.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

You would certainly know...

Lame. Point concession.

For someone who never cared much for high-school debate I'm certainly kicking your ass at it.

EMD said...

You're one of those conservative "Not in my name" types, right?

Wow. You got me. Your keen powers of perception are no match for me.

You probably know what kind of car I drive, and what kind of house I live in, too.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

EMD,

Where are you even trying to go with this?

Speaking of cars, anyway.

Do you even know?

EMD said...

For someone who never cared much for high-school debate I'm certainly kicking your ass at it.

Do they give out points for conjecture?

bagoh20 said...

"Geez Bag. Did a collector come for your laptop or tablet or something? Why the grousing?"

I recently was forced to change my occupation on my profile from "job creator" to "tax payer" since a majority of my effort and success now goes into that.

I'm disappointed. I know I could do much better with those resources, but people like you won't let me. You seem to think that despite blowing every cent we ever gave you, and still going deep into debt, that somehow you can help people better by giving away money rather than having me train them, employ them and making them self sufficient.

You're winning the politics, but look in the mirror. Do you want that guy running things? Really? Does he have good record?

Big Mike said...

@Frederson, thank you for the link to the list of the wealthiest individuals. A number of the people on the list got there by creating wealth, and I'm thinking of Larry Ellison (who is, by all accounts a gold-plated a**hole but unquestionably a person whose software company has made life better) and the "Microsofties" and Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page.

I can picture a world that doesn't have Google or Microsoft or Apple or Oracle. I can picture it because that's the world of only 30 years ago. And, take it from me, you youngsters, it wasn't as nice.

The Oxfam Barbara Stocking argues that "we can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many." But is she even close to being right? In the case of people who make money through investments or hedge funds or basically by playing with money itself, perhaps the answer is affirmative. Or do we have to accept the likes of Warren Buffet and George Soros as a sort of penalty we pay so that we can even get wealth creation through hard work and creativity in the first place.

EMD said...

Where are you even trying to go with this?

You seem to know exactly who every one is here and their deepest motivations.

Are you The Shadow? He could see into men's hearts, you know.

Big Mike said...

You're just going to have to work a little harder. Didn't your parents ever teach you the value of a dollar?

Get cracking.


I should work harder so you don't have to work at all? I don't think so. I'm not interested in living in poverty so that the slackers can live in luxury.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I'm disappointed. I know I could do much better with those resources, but people like you won't let me.

Fine. We'll give you a second chance after the 2008 crash that you somehow had nothing to do with. Here's the proposal:

Decrease unemployment by 0.1% right now! Come on, Bag. You're up to the challenge, aren't you? Now be the all-powerful job creator you say you are, and do it. We're just talking about a tenth of a percentage point, the lowest increment available in the commonly published stats. You wouldn't want to be seen as a greedy pussy, would you?

Do you want that guy running things? Really? Does he have good record?

Oh, that's right. Just like how you blame your shitty performance with the economy on the government, you blame Congress's performance on the president. I see how this works. Congress doesn't exist, it's all the president's fault.

But when it comes to the economy, Bag and his buddies can't do a thing to improve it. The government is so powerful that it can stop his fragile sense of innovation and creative forces just by saying mean things.

Stop being a wimp who talks out of both sides of your mouth. You are not even making sense with all your contradictions. They never end.

Chip S. said...

Ritmo, I read your comments @11:36 and 11:54 as arguing that the worldwide distribution of wealth today was determined wholly by events of the pre-industrial era.

What clues did I miss indicating that this was not in fact your argument?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I should work harder so you don't have to work at all?

Not for me (although if you'd like to volunteer some extra on top of that, that's fine) - but for the poor.

I'm like the Lorax. I speak for the trees, and for the poor.

Someone has to, given how much you and your friends trash them here.

Bruce Hayden said...

Greed is the essence of immorality. You can't eliminate it, but you can discourage it.

Well, I think that Adam Smith and a lot of economic theory would disagree. Rather, I would suggest that greed, in one guise or another, drives most human endeavors. Of course, there is the greed that drives wealth creation, and greed that drives wealth appropriation (and, yes, redistribution). Many here would prefer the former, but you and the other libs here seem to prefer the latter, despite its inevitable negative consequences.

Not all wealthy people are greedy. That's what's so funny about Republicans. The higher up the income scale you go, the more liberals you find.

Greed and Republicans congregate at the "bottom" of the upper-income bracket, where you find tasteless nouveaux riches who can't distinguish between being driven to acquire more and more of something and being driven to see any natural limitation on that as a means to your destruction.


In other words, the harder your work for your money, the more you appreciate it, and the less you work for it, the more you feel guilty about having it.

Besides, what must be remembered is that in many of these cases of the rich being liberal, what they propose is taxing those on the way up, and continuing to protect a lot of what they already have. That is one of the key differences between an income tax and a wealth tax - on whether the up and coming bear the brunt, or the already wealthy do.

bagoh20 said...

Do people really believe that the rich have their money piled up in the basement or stuffed in thousands of mattresses?

The money you bought your house with, or your car, or your education is probably theirs, and they love when you use it, enjoy it and build with it, but if you prefer they give it away, you'll have to return those things, but of course you have yours now, so too bad for everyone else from now on.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

What clues did I miss indicating that this was not in fact your argument?

The fact that I just told you it wasn't.

It was only an argument for, as Ferris' dad said, the fact that you have to spend a little to make a little.

The governments that won resources in war also spent in war.

You must spend something to have enough demand in an economy to overcome a recession.

Pretty basic point, really. It's not about spending to the point of fixing entirely (the basic conservative straw man argument), but just spending enough to incentivize, catalyze, keep things dynamic enough to not degrade entirely.

That's it.

Chip S. said...

Robert Cook said...

You mean that period when individuals appropriated land for themselves and the majority who were not landowners had no choice but to work the land for the landowner's profit, from which they could keep but leavings?

Why, yes.

Now focus on how this differs from capitalism. That seems to be the part that eludes you.

Seeing Red said...

Define poor.

Big Mike said...

Not for me - but for the poor

I grew up with the poor. My kids went to minority majority schools (i.e., caucasians and asians were in the minority). I know all about the poor. If I gave one of them $10,000 today he'd be broke in a week. There are lots of things the poor need, but money and misplaced sympathy aren't among them.

Chip S. said...

"What clues did I miss indicating that this was not in fact your argument?"

The fact that I just told you it wasn't.

So, IOW, there were no clues.

Good. I'd hate to think I'd misrepresented your argument as you made it before "clarifying" it.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Where, Mr Hayden, in Theory of Moral Sentiments or any other work does Adam Smith say that greed is essential to anything?

There is a difference between self-interest and greed. Different people can work in their own mutual self-interest. Whereas with greed, there is no such modifier as "mutual".

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Chip - if what I say is inconsequential to how you wish to interpret it, just let me know now. It will save me a lot of time explaining things.

Although, it would be a pain in the ass to type a disclaimer with every comment cautioning the reader that Chip will decide to misinterpret what preceded as he sees fit.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So, is this the issue now? Have we hit upon the crux of the problem? Conservatives don't know how to distinguish between "greed" and "self interest"?

By Jove, I think we've struck it!

Chip S. said...

Jeez, Ritmo, let it go.

I'm perfectly happy to accept your clarification, but I'm not happy to be called a willful distorter of what you initially said.

ByGollyMark said...

Giving a hungry man food does not end hunger, it only delays it. Likewise giving money only delays poverty.

Chip S. said...

Conservatives don't know how to distinguish between "greed" and "self interest"?

Change "conservatives" to "objectivists" and I'll agree w/you.

Bruce Hayden said...

""The 100 richest people in the world earned enough last year to end extreme poverty suffered by the poorest on the planet four times over...""

Idiotic comment on many fronts. For one, "richest" doesn't translates into "earned enough" to do whatever they wish to do with the appropriation of that income. The 100 richest people in this country, for example, are likely not the 100 highest earners. The richest already have their money, and much of it is shielded, shipped offshore, etc., and without a wealth tax, that money is unlikely to be available to be appropriated by Oxfam and its progressive and socialist sympathizers.

But, let us assume for one minute that they are accurate. What happens after 4 years? The highest earners will be working less, and the wealth stolen from the richest will be squandered. And, the "poorest" will still be poor, uneducated, in poor health, etc. The only positive thing to come out of it is that the progressives pushing this redistribution would feel better about themselves.

Finally note how malleable the definitions are here. "Poorest"? If you used the U.S. definition of poverty, that would require many times the incomes of the 100 richest people. So, I suspect that someone calculated how much these richest 100 earned, divided by four, and and then calculated how many people could be fed, clothed, and housed with that money. They could have used 1, 2, 10, or 20 as the divisor, but 4 seemed to have a nice ring to it, and would advance the narrative without them being laughed at too much.

bagoh20 said...

Ritmo, Your rants read like random cut and paste. They aren't even coherent now. At least they've gotten shorter lately. It's kind of like a work of art, that each viewer can interpret in his own way. I see it as flailing.

Seeing Red said...

Ahhh, a king in his own mind once again trying to tell the little people we don't understand our self-interest.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I'll let it go, Chip. I've always been perfectly happy to embrace the fact that you've been a lot more open-minded, smarter and more detailed a commenter here than most.

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