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U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

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7 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Government’s abandon exploration efforts.  See, the Apollo program.  Individuals have dreams.  Elected governments move on when the public gets bored.  
 

I have always thought we needed Private enterprise to get to space and stay there.

Lots of governments want to abandon efforts to fight climate change too. That's not an argument that fighting climate change should be handled by private enterprise. It's an argument that we need to push harder to get the government to stop being stupid.

Edited by TrueMetis

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45 minutes ago, SerTarod said:

As a matter of interest, how many of the current billionaires (or the "1%") are indeed the original founder / innovator / original job provider / original economy saviour (type A for ease of reference)? and how many are simply finance people like hedge fund and investment types (type B etc)?

So my question to Free Northman Reborn (and possible Ran): do you feel the same love for hedge fund guys and investment types like the senior management at Goldman Sacks (who got a free ride out of the 2008 crash) that you appear to have for Gates and Musk et al?

That is an excellent question/argument.

I only realized a few months ago that the attention given to self-made billionaires like Musk, Bezos, Gates in the media... was an extremely efficient way of having people forget that most rich fucks inherit their wealth.
Someone like Gates is the exception, not the rule. And then, even Gates certainly doesn't deserve to be as rich as entire countries.

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If we can't make life on this planet sustainable and comfortable for everybody and stop poisoning it we don't deserve to get a foothold in space.

Lol "but what about the billionaires dreams" exactly fuck em.

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1 hour ago, Rippounet said:

That is an excellent question/argument.

There is a great difference between entrepreneurs and finance guys. I'd be for a wealth tax if it excluded business-related assets provided that a) the business creates tangible goods (rather than new and ever more exotic financial instruments)  and b) provided one is a founder or major shareholder, with said asset being first on the chopping block when the founder/shareholder passed and it became part of an inheritable estate that can be heavily taxed. This would protect people who actually do innovate and create valuable companies, allowing them to keep their ownership stake in their creation, while making sure the next generation doesn't just inherit that stake which they had no real part in creating.

Now Saez and Zucman will say that that's a bad exemption because businessmen will shift their assets into their own business to protect it from the wealth tax, but I can't see how that's a problem unless the target of this all is punishing people for doing something well. 

1 hour ago, Rippounet said:

I only realized a few months ago that the attention given to self-made billionaires like Musk, Bezos, Gates in the media... was an extremely efficient way of having people forget that most rich fucks inherit their wealth.

15% of the wealth of the top 1% in the U.S. is inherited wealth (Wolff and Gittleman, seemingly hosted by Piketty, or at least a server named for him...), and this has been a declining figure over time. "New money" is where it's at.

1 hour ago, Rippounet said:


Someone like Gates is the exception, not the rule. And then, even Gates certainly doesn't deserve to be as rich as entire countries.

He would agree with you, I think. This doesn't mean the wealth tax is an equitable means of handling the situation.

 

@sologdin

Pogo is such a classic.

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2 hours ago, DMC said:

I don't need to see any polling data.  Bloomberg has zero chance of winning the Democratic nomination.  Still hoping this is just him wanting attention.  Howard Wolfson is his main political advisor, and that guy is a major league piece of shit.  So..that kinda worries me.  Those types of people tend to fuck things up.

I wouldn't say zero, it's just very low. But I think there is a path there. If Biden totally collapses, his voters need to go somewhere and there's not a great natural fit for some of them right now. I don't think Bloomberg is that great fit either, he seems likely he'll probably be in the same niche as Buttigeig, but he has enough money that maybe he's hoping he can overcome that. If he hadn't defended "stop and frisk" when he was still mayor, I think he'd be in a better position. Personally, I'd vote for Bloomberg over Warren or Sanders, but I wouldn't be thrilled about it. I just think both Warren and Sanders would lose to Trump (and I think Sanders would be a bad President).

I'm much more interested in the rumor that Eric Holder is considering jumping into the race. Because I don't think he'd do that unless he has some pretty high up party leaders privately suggesting he should, maybe even Obama, which would mean that they are also not thrilled with how the primary race is shaking out. And I think Holder is a more natural fit for Biden's supporters than Bloomberg by far.

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2 minutes ago, Ran said:

Now Saez and Zucman will say that that's a bad exemption because businessmen will shift their assets into their own business to protect it from the wealth tax, but I can't see how that's a problem unless the target of this all is punishing people for doing something well.

I don't think it's about punishing people for doing something well. It's about limiting how much power that one person can hold over other people. For someone to hold sole ownership (or a controlling stake) in a large business, is to give that person an incredible degree of power of every single one of their employees, secondarily over the people who depend on those employees, tertiarily over larger society as a whole through how their wealth can be applied to warp politics and the media. I have no interest in punishing anyone. It bothers me not at all if Bezos and Gates and Musk and Buffet all live extraordinarily luxurious, comfortable lives. But I don't want them to hold power over others, especially power without oversight or democratic accountability.

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2 hours ago, TrueMetis said:

Lots of governments want to abandon efforts to fight climate change too. That not an argument that fighting climate change should be handled by private enterprise. It's an argument that we need to push harder to get the government to stop being stupid.

I’m not sure I understand your point.  Private enterprises can and should take a hand in curbing human impacts on Climate Change even if Governments are unwilling to take such actions.  Is the fact that some private actors will act responsibly even without coercion from the State a bad thing?

The State is not the only mechanism by with things can change.

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Scientific American, in their November issue has an interesting article on the mathematics of wealth accumulation. Even with people starting out as equals in terms of wealth, chance plays the most important part in who ends up rich and who ends up poor.  There is no 'superior business acumen' that separates the winners from the losers in a fair game. In probability theory what is known as a Markov chain shows the inevitability of anyone who has more wealth than average, needs no more than average competence to accumulate more wealth strictly due to chance. 

Casinos rely on this to know how much money to have on hand to guarantee that if you play the house long enough you will walk away with empty pockets. Wealth accumulation follows the same mathematical rules. That being said, redistribution of wealth does tend to happen, either through taxes to fund social programs or through hanging the oligarchs from lamp posts and then redistributing the wealth. 

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7 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I’m not sure I understand your point.  Private enterprises can and should take a hand in curbing human impacts on Climate Change even if Governments are unwilling to take such actions.  Is the fact that some private actors will act responsibly even without coercion from the State a bad thing? 

The State is not the only mechanism by with things can change.

It shouldn't hinge on the goodwill of private actors, that they may or may not act.

Let's take the energy market as an example.

Renewables are the way to go (to combat climate change). The private sector will not go there (fast enough or in sufficient numbers) as long as fossils outprice the competition. So there the state has to act. Either by subsidies for renewables, or by taxing fossils (or a combination of both).

We can go thru some other businesses. Airlines. People fly too much, in huge part because it's become too effing cheap.

Add an emission tax on SUVs and they become a lot less attractive to drive (or just increase taxes on fuel, which makes smaller less thirsty models more attractive).

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private actors might perfectly reasonably in a smithian sense build gated neighborhoods that are internally ecologically sound, but which excrete significant externalities.

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3 hours ago, SerTarod said:

As a matter of interest, how many of the current billionaires (or the "1%")

Common mistake here. You don’t even have to make a million dollars a year to be in the 1%. I have a cousin who is in the .1% and he’s not even close to a billionaire. That’s how concentrated our wealth is, so spare me these sob stories of what might happen if someone goes from being worth $25b to $20b. They wouldn’t even know it happened except for when they got into their feelings that they fell on the Forbes top 400 list. The horror, I know.

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3 hours ago, DMC said:

I don't need to see any polling data.  Bloomberg has zero chance of winning the Democratic nomination.  Still hoping this is just him wanting attention.  Howard Wolfson is his main political advisor, and that guy is a major league piece of shit.  So..that kinda worries me.  Those types of people tend to fuck things up.

Thank you for reminding people that numerous major corporations pay nothing in taxes, and in some cases, get hundreds of millions of dollars back in tax returns.

As to Bloomberg, what is he thinking. I’d be shocked if he even gets a percentage point in polling. Like literally nobody wants him. I have no idea what the play is here other than a narcissistic vanity stunt.

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50 minutes ago, Ran said:

There is a great difference between entrepreneurs and finance guys.

I'm not sure this is true considering all entrepreneurs employ finance guys.

51 minutes ago, Fez said:

I wouldn't say zero, it's just very low. But I think there is a path there. If Biden totally collapses, his voters need to go somewhere and there's not a great natural fit for some of them right now. I don't think Bloomberg is that great fit either, he seems likely he'll probably be in the same niche as Buttigeig, but he has enough money that maybe he's hoping he can overcome that. If he hadn't defended "stop and frisk" when he was still mayor, I think he'd be in a better position. Personally, I'd vote for Bloomberg over Warren or Sanders, but I wouldn't be thrilled about it. I just think both Warren and Sanders would lose to Trump (and I think Sanders would be a bad President).

Well, yeah, me saying zero was being flippant to emphasize a point.  Nobody ever has zero percent.  Point is he has less of a chance than Buttigeig, whose chances I'd put at very very low.  It's important to note that many Biden supporters have Warren as their second choice.  Sanders too.  The ideologically-driven assumption Biden supporters will run to the next most moderate candidate is fool's gold.

57 minutes ago, Fez said:

I'm much more interested in the rumor that Eric Holder is considering jumping into the race.

I respect and admire Eric Holder, but I've also seen him on television.  Trump would destroy him in the media game.

37 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

This thread is so exasperating, it reminds me why I take periodic breaks from this forum. It’s a socialist “twilight zone” pocket universe. 

Yeah these threads are sometimes exasperating when posters spout absolute bullshit, then when confronted with logic and facts they cowardly deflect to broad criticisms.

31 minutes ago, sologdin said:

the forum looks tepidly conservative to me, laden with bourgeois liberals from both major US parties, plus a few bona fide illiberal rightwingers.

Hey now!  My background may be decidedly bourgeois but my bank statement is decidedly not.

31 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Private enterprises can and should take a hand in curbing human impacts on Climate Change even if Governments are unwilling to take such actions.

What examples are there of private companies trying to curb their impact on climate change without government pressure?

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1 minute ago, Tywin et al. said:

As to Bloomberg, what is he thinking. I’d be shocked if he even gets a percentage point in polling. Like literally nobody wants him. I have no idea what the play is here other than a narcissistic vanity stunt.

He's much more qualified than Steyer.  NY mayor is enough to make him amongst the 1,000 or so people you'd consider "conventionally qualified" to be the Democratic nominee. 

Not that I think he has a chance to win the nomination - he doesn't.  But if Steyer can poll 2-3% by throwing enough money around, I don't see any reason why Bloomberg couldn't meet or exceed that. 

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13 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Common mistake here. You don’t even have to make a million dollars a year to be in the 1%. I have a cousin who is in the .1% and he’s not even close to a billionaire. That’s how concentrated our wealth is, so spare me these sob stories of what might happen if someone goes from being worth $25b to $20b. They wouldn’t even know it happened except for when they got into their feelings that they fell on the Forbes top 400 list. The horror, I know.

Surely everyone around them would fall too?  

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7 minutes ago, DMC said:

Well, yeah, me saying zero was being flippant to emphasize a point.  Nobody ever has zero percent.  Point is he has less of a chance than Buttigeig, whose chances I'd put at very very low.  It's important to note that many Biden supporters have Warren as their second choice.  Sanders too.  The ideologically-driven assumption Biden supporters will run to the next most moderate candidate is fool's gold.

I get it. And my somewhat flippant point is that we probably shouldn't underestimate billionaires from New York City running for President until we have a larger sample size.

It's not an ideological assumption either that he might have support. A lot of Biden's supporters are African Americans, and Buttigeig, Warren, and Sanders are all having varying levels of trouble at getting AA support. Bloomberg won three elections in a row as NYC mayor running against Democratic candidates; he has some experience getting AA and other minority support (sure he wouldn't have won any of the races without racking up margins in Staten Island, but he kept the other boroughs close). Though as I said, his problem is his embracing of stop-and-frisk in his last term, which he can get clobbered with over and over by his primary opponents.

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