Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:22 PM
Redfairen (1,276 posts)
The Case Against Billionaires
So if it were true that the worldís economies rely on their super-rich to do well, as todayís oligarch-inspired, right-wing economics argues, then why are world's "austerity" economies doing so poorly?
Itís because billionaires are not job creators, they are somewhere between symbiotes and parasites. Thatís not meant as a personal insult against billionaires, many of whom are decent people. But itís meant as a statement of common sense. If vast fortunes are being hoarded in the hands of very few people who canít possibly spend that much money in their lifetime or their kidís lifetime or even their kidís, kidís, kidís, kidís, lifetime, then itís essentially being wasted.
This is the point billionaire Nick Hanauer was making in his recent TED talk explaining why rich people arenít job creators (He also said the same thing on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann). As he said, ďThere can never be enough super-rich Americans to power a great economy. The annual earnings of people like me are hundreds, if not thousands, of times greater than those of the median American, but we don't buy hundreds or thousands of times more stuff.Ē
If the 400 richest billionaires in America could generate just as much economy activity alone as the rest of us can, then maybe there'd be an argument for such vast wealth. But they canít. The typical billionaire doesnít buy thousands of more pairs of pants, or dine out thousands of more times, or buy thousands of more cars typical working class American.
Hanauer concludes, ďI can't buy enough of anything to make up for the fact that millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans can't buy any new clothes or cars or enjoy any meals out. Or to make up for the decreasing consumption of the vast majority of American families that are barely squeaking by, buried by spiraling costs and trapped by stagnant or declining wages.Ē
7 replies, 1184 views
The Case Against Billionaires (Original post)
Response to Redfairen (Original post)
Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:20 AM
longship (30,349 posts)
3. I'd like to see somebody try to put this idea forth in Congress.
They would be immediately pillaried, or tarred and feathered. Certainly they would be labelled communist.
This is one of those dangerous ideas that highlights just how out of whack things are.
Response to Sirveri (Reply #5)
Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:11 AM
Amonester (11,406 posts)
6. Yes, but finding and implementing means to control that could also boost the economy.
But a few subsidized Big-Oil billionaires stand in the way.
Response to Amonester (Reply #6)
Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:31 AM
Sirveri (4,517 posts)
7. But the ways to quickly and cheaply implement those would also spike our carbon footprint
At the end of the day our transportation networks are based on the car and fossil fuel consumption, not around walking or bicycle. So if we were to expand our production of solar cells and wind generators enough to have an impact on unemployment this would spike domestic fuel oil consumption (powerplants, manufacturing lubrication, transit), pollution due to raw materials mining, pollution due to freight/personnel shipping shipping to install sites. Then we run into the upper bound of peak oil (which we hit in 2008), which causes a massive oil price spike (not helped by the Koch brothers buying up oil futures and parking them in freighters off shore), which then crashes the economy again and would likely lead to a reactionary takeover which would proceed to undo all of the work that was just done.
Or too long; didn't read, we're screwed.