The combined wealth of America's top 400 billionaires in 2017 was 2.7 trillion.
If the social democrats got their dream and took all of their money we could fund the government for only about seven months. When will D.C. and the American people realize that tax rates aren't the problem?! It's the spending stupid!
Edit: Yep, keep downvoting facts people. That will surely save us.
I think the line of reasoning is something like this:
> "The rich" are bad, we need the government to save us from them. The government is underfunded, so when it takes money from the rich, it'll be funded enough to become competent.
The federal debt is $20 trillion. The 400 billionaires and their 2.7 trillion is about 15% of the debt we're in.
Why does the government always get a free pass in... everything?
Isn't the argument that extreme wealth disparity is bad, and that government is one of the best and/or only vectors for affecting societal problems on such a massive scale? Your version sounds mangled on purpose to make half of the people in the discussion look bad.
Bottom up does not have enough direct power. Billionaires won't banish themselves.
The problem of government is that many members are rich to filthy rich themselves.
Legislation is government too.
About the only other force that could enact it is a widely accepted religion and there is none anymore.
I don’t think people suggesting the billionaire tax care that much about the first point.
Why 400? Why Billionaires?
And think about it, with the wealth of 400 people a 331,194,000 person country's gov't programs, including a massive defense program, can be paid for for 7 months! That's a long time for .00012% of the population. The numbers are so big that the human brain just casually slides the scale logarithmically to ignore the sheer magnitude of wealth those 400 people hold!
Theory: We should tax the rich.
Straw-man: If we took the 400 richest people it would only fund the gov't for 7 months!
Accept Fallacy: Oh, then taxing the rich won't work!
Reject Fallacy: Ok, but there are more than 400 rich people, and no one is saying abolish taxes on everyone else. So perhaps there is a better balance, where those with incomes a certain multiple of local medians pay a higher progressive tax rate.
What I pointed out above was just the weird cutoff of 400 to arrive at 7 months. Why not a base 10? 100,1000,10000 richest. Or something like "The richest 674 people in America could fund it for 1 year" (made up numbers). When an arbitrary number is selected, I just get skeptical. Especially when it anchors to nothing else. What metric/group/club is there that top 400 American billionaires make up. Why do I care about 7 months?
History has many examples of people changing the world for the better and getting filthy rich doing so. If we start wealth taxing these people to limit their resources you are limiting their ability to push boundaries and hopefully advance society.
Where I feel the issue sits is with dynastic wealth. Just because grandpa did something, great grandchildren 10 generations on shouldnt be expected it's their right to be sitting on massive trusts of assets.
And I think this limits society if we let capital accumulate for a bunch of reasons but mainly 1) we become a divided society with little social mobility, 2)we lose innovation as people sit on assets and industries reduce competition. And poor people don't have the access to time or resource to innovate themself and 3) most importantly if we let small groups of elites run the country they stop caring about services that matter to most people. Things like schools and hospitals become cost lines to be reduced because they or their kids will never use the public system so that increasing teacher ratio, or longer waiting lists become less meaningful.
To target all the rich is to loot and destroy your society. To target the wealthy parasitic class would be a revolution frankly.
"Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes."
- Terry Pratchett, Night Watch
That is one of of the few small changes of course the country made that if reversed would probably be to the benefit of most. To revoke the 17th would be senators literally voting themselves out of work, hence it would never happen. A soviet style collapse is a revolution too, just forced and likely crummy.
Also are billionaires going to allow people to vote who owns their wealth and allocates their spending every 4 years?
The Jesuits are a very serious bunch of guys - many have died for their beliefs. And just because they are Catholic doesn't mean that they agree with Catholic policy - though they recognize that it has the weight of established policy (as Pope Francis has said more than once as he defended things I know he disagrees with.)
It is in line with the commandments "Thou shalt not murder/steal", which would be in effect even (especially?) if you think you are making the world a better place through wealth distribution.
There is zero chance of this ever happening. It is not worth the time to read about it.
Edit: Seriously, this is populist clickbait drivel the Times is running so the broke millennial demographic can drool over revenge fantasies of smashing the bourgeoisie while the Times and their cadre of surveillance partners figure out how to get them to buy a Lexus. Ignore it.
There are real discussions to be had about how to best redistribute wealth to benefit society. This isn't it. Thy picked an arbitrary number and declared people with more money than that "bad" and "immoral". There is zero mention of what mechanism would be implemented to stop people from attaining more money than the arbitrary "bad person" number, so there is nothing to discuss in terms of whether this would be helpful.
How is the government going to be suddenly better at managing money? What leadership controls this new spending? What makes them so much better? This is the day 2 stuff that never gets any thought, and yet is the critical piece of this theory.
The only viable stable long-term solution is focusing on uplifting the masses from the bottom up such that, even the poorest classes of people can have a basic standard of living. This of course entails some kind of universal basic income, which will definitely be difficult to achieve, but it is far more realistically achievable than just "abolishing billionaires". Violent and angry rhetoric like that may feel good and be great for garnering support, but is a road that leads ultimately to ruin.
You don’t need to eliminate wealthy people or raise everyone into the middle class, you just need policies that constrain the extremes within reasonable limits — for the sake of societal stability if not of basic fairness.
>the man who dies leaving behind many millions of available wealth, which was his to administer during life, will pass away " unwept, unhonored, and unsung," no matter to what uses he leaves the dross which he cannot take with him. Of such as these the public verdict will then be : "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced."
At least that is what their most prominent pols say.
You may not agree with that, but that's what's going around.
The democrats are on the whole not against billionaires, there is simply an increase in popularity to make billionaire pay more tax. Something closer to historical levels no less.
Then people make comments like this and try and things into a storm in a teacup....I wonder if this is how they truly see the policy or its just cheap internet comments.
"Coates followed up: "I hate to personalize this, but do you think it is moral for individuals to, for instance—do we live in a moral world that allows for billionaires? Is that a moral outcome?"
The answer from the congresswoman [AOC] was emphatic and came without any hesitation. "No, it's not. It's not. It's not. And I think it's important to say that."
"Technology executives and venture capitalist have also expressed increasing concern in the past few weeks about Democrats’ denigration of business leaders, said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), whose district includes Silicon Valley."
“It should come as no surprise that a few billionaires want to continue to hoard as much wealth as possible, increasing their corrupting influence over our political system,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)."
edit: added [AOC} to make it clear which congress member was speaking to Coates.
He's not asking if billionaires are moral people. That's not the same question.
Anyone can twist an arguement to any POV like this. Its cheap debate method and seems typically fanatics trying to avoid reality of a reasonable conversation on a topic.
If you knew for a fact that you would never make more than $100million no matter how successful it was would you still try to start a business?
When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton answered: "Because that's where the money is."
Tax profits and capital gains as much as we tax income. If there are 3 dominant companies dont allow 2 of them to merge. U know, the basic stuff.
Taking things out by force (from anyone and anything) is never a solution, because everything is relative in this world, including your wealth.
When you ban the rich(or for that matter tax them so heavily they are no longer billionaires) and also raise minimum wage. Everyone ends up in the middle class. That's called communism.
When you have equality of outcome, the 180 IQ software developer who is extremely successful gets the same pay as a 80 IQ. What's the incentive to work or do anything more than that 80 IQ person? ~10% of the population has an IQ below 80. If I don't get my Mclaren and private jet, why bust my ass?
The problem with communism that you lose your purpose. Then you must have work camps; where you are forced to work. It's the only way for communism to work.
Also straw man. It's a cheap form of debate... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
Good to know that millionaires are safe from your wrath.