Monday, 13 July 2020

Wealth, shown to scale

quote [ Wealth inequality in the United States is out of control. Here we visualize the issue in a unique way. ]

Remember when Bill Gates was hated for stifling innovation in computing by using unfair and immoral business tactics to attack and undermine Microsoft's competition? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Episode 45: The Not-So-Benevolent Billionaire (Part I) ā€” Bill Gates and Western Media | by Citations Needed

Episode 46: The Not-So-Benevolent Billionaire (Part II) ā€” Bill Gates in Africa | by Citations Needed
[SFW] [politics] [+8]
[by steele@6:01pmGMT]


conception said @ 10:58pm GMT on 13th Jul [Score:5 Underrated]
I love when family is like, "Bill Gates is doing so much good!" and I have to be like, "Yeah, remember all the people with dreams in tech in the 90s he viciously put out of business with his monopoly? Wouldn't it be cool if he faced some sort of justice for that and the NIH had better funding so we could compete globally instead of taking the handouts from billionaires?" But usually nicer because... they just don't know.

Paracetamol said @ 6:21am GMT on 14th Jul [Score:1 laz0r]
No matter how well-meaning, spending huge sums of money for anything shouldn't be decided on the opinion of very few people.
hellboy said @ 12:02pm GMT on 14th Jul
Particularly unelected, unaccountable people.
cb361 said @ 9:33pm GMT on 14th Jul
Yep. We all hated him in the 90s. Still, his behaviour seems relatively benign now, compared to our modern day tech-bros.
steele said @ 2:17am GMT on 15th Jul
Like financing anti-public school and anti-union propaganda? He's just working at a higher financial level, he's still a tech-bro.
cb361 said @ 8:20am GMT on 15th Jul [Score:1 Sad]
I did say 'relatively'.
steele said[1] @ 11:13am GMT on 15th Jul
Yeah, but I'm not sure the teachers being forced back to work during a pandemic would agree with the word choice. Stripping people's rights away can have unexpected repercussions. Oh wait, no. Looking at my history notes, it seems taking people's rights to organize and then putting them in life threatening situations is pretty par for the course.

Edit: it should also probably be noted for our readers at home noticing a social media backlash to Betsy Devos, she's his work too. His push for private charter schools opened up the pandora's box which resulted in public school money being pushed towards private religious schools.
cb361 said @ 3:14pm GMT on 15th Jul [Score:1 Informative]
Sorry - I meant that his behaviour in the 90s seems relatively benign compared to what big-tech gets up to today. Building your web-browser into the OS doesn't seem all that bad compared to what Amazon does today.
steele said @ 4:34pm GMT on 15th Jul
Oh! Gotcha. If that's most of what you remember from those days i could see why you'd think that, but as someone who was a big fan of the free/open source software movement, Microsoft was a fucking monster. I think it was them and Sun/Solaris? Basically destroyed a massive chunk of free software projects through bullshit IP Lawsuits. A lot of the time there wasn't even any relation between the project and what microsoft was working on. But being before the days of GoFundMe and PayPal, it meant if the handful of individuals involved in the project couldn't afford lawyers and a long drawn out suit the project was killed. Knowing what he's doing now, it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of the negative media linux got back in the day was paid for by Microsoft as well.
Paracetamol said @ 7:13am GMT on 15th Jul
Concerning justice: the whole DOS boycott episode had Microsoft pay 280 million to the later rights holders. Don't know, if this directly benefited former Digital Research employees.
jbhalper said @ 8:17pm GMT on 13th Jul [Score:1 Underrated]
Really nice rendition of portraying this information. At some point upvoting these kinds of things makes me think there should be a +1 Sad Porn category.
mechanical contrivance said @ 8:49pm GMT on 13th Jul
Sad porn may be someone's kink, but I would find it too much of a bummer.
mechanical contrivance said @ 6:46pm GMT on 13th Jul
the circus said @ 7:55pm GMT on 13th Jul
Well, there's one million seconds is 11.5 days, one billion seconds is 31.75 years, and then 171 billion seconds is 5,422 years.
quaint said @ 9:14pm GMT on 13th Jul [Score:-1 Repost]
filtered comment under your threshold
lilmookieesquire said @ 3:34pm GMT on 14th Jul [Score:2 Underrated]
Iā€™m not sure why, in my experience, Americans fetishize billionaires.
There is no such thing as an ethical billionaire.
mechanical contrivance said @ 9:27pm GMT on 15th Jul
Unethical people admire other unethical people.
steele said[1] @ 9:45pm GMT on 13th Jul
Oh wow, a common misconception directly addressed in my post. How nifty.
mechanical contrivance said @ 9:48pm GMT on 13th Jul [Score:1 Funsightful]
How quaint.
steele said @ 9:49pm GMT on 13th Jul
These are the people telling you it's basic economics.
conception said @ 10:56pm GMT on 13th Jul [Score:3]
It's amazing that people are still so confident at misunderstanding this stuff.

Not that you need the education but for anyone else reading -

1) Bezos' can't get to his money.

1a) - that's 1.8B in cash people. You can do just about -anything- legal or illegal on the planet with that much cash. The options you are limited to are a tiny fraction of human activity.

But let's say you need EVEN MORE money, and hey, let's make it tax free!

2) Bezos' can borrow against his shares, tax free.

2a) Let's say Bezos wants to build a new business, or any very wealthy person, let's say he needs 25B, an unfathomable amount of money. He goes to JP Chase and is like, "Hey, leverage my 50B in stock for .01% over 50 years and give me 25B in cash." or some other insanely good deal. He gets a check and can do even more, tax-free!

3) Bezos' can't sell without losing money.

3a) Giant stock sells like this are planned and executed well in advance, with the price factored in. Bezos can simply say, "I'm going to retire and diversify in 12 months." and plan to sell whatever and the price might, but probably wouldn't, drop much. But let's say it drops a lot, 10%, he's back at 90B! He then can put it in his own charity that pays him to manage it! Whoo!

And these are just the basic ways I know about.

quaint said[2] @ 6:09am GMT on 14th Jul [Score:1 Underrated]
1) Bezos can get to a portion of his wealth. Yep. "He has more money than you or I will ever have" - 100% agreed.

That is his his liquid assets of $1.8bn, or approximately 1% of his "wealth".

2) Of course Bezos can borrow against his shares. That $25bn that JP Chase lend him is also imaginary money - it's just someone else's imaginary money now. It's a fiat currency, and JP Chase are asking people to give them money now on the basis that they'll pay it back Real Soon Now. Behind the smoke and mirrors are....more smoke and mirrors.

3) Again, agree 100% completely.

My argument is not "pro-inequality". I acknowledge and accept the existence of the mega-rich is problematic. My basic argument is that it can't just be "eat the rich" because no matter how attractive that argument is, what'll actually end up happening is that some other dude gets fatter than the first dude from the eating that he does.

What we need is a system of legislation which enforces corporate social responsibility, that ensures that environmental and social costs are not the price everyone else pays for the success of a few. We cannot exist in a system where people become mega-wealthy, then sacrifice these cows on the altar of society. We need to ensure that mega-wealth doesn't begin to start with, using progressive taxation policies.

But, fuck it,. The people have spoken so I'll take some more -ve karma, thanks.
hellboy said @ 11:59am GMT on 14th Jul
Re: (1) I think you're missing the point. The relevant point is not how much of his wealth is liquid, the relevant point is that his non-liquid wealth is so enormous that he can easily acquire liquid assets far in excess of what any human being should ever have.
lilmookieesquire said @ 12:31pm GMT on 14th Jul [Score:1 Underrated]
Also, you can totally eat the ultra rich, but you need to watch out for stomach parasites.
Headlessfriar said @ 10:31pm GMT on 14th Jul
And here I'd been thinking that they're the Wagyu beef of cannibalism.
steele said @ 3:27pm GMT on 14th Jul
They're not missing the point, they're arguing in bad faith.
donnie said @ 12:58pm GMT on 15th Jul [Score:-1 Boring]
filtered comment under your threshold
quaint said @ 5:56am GMT on 14th Jul
No, it's a misconception I directly address in my own post. A "better" way of this is by enforcing corporate social responsibility so that runaway profiting and illusionary wealth doesn't become a thing in the first place. But whatevs. I'll take my repost licks.
steele said[3] @ 11:38am GMT on 14th Jul
The post directly addressed it, and your bullshit about the money not being accessible is just that. And just to be clear, this is not the first time you've come along with some "uh actually" misrepresenting bullshit in defense of the rich and the current system, so if you're coming to me expecting the benefit of the doubt you're barking up the wrong tree.

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