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Sun Nov 10, 2019, 09:26 AM

5 Ways to become a billionaire and none of them honorable (Robert Reich)

1) The first way is to exploit a monopoly.

2) A second way to make a billion is to get insider information unavailable to other investors.

3) A third way to make a billion is to buy off politicians.

4) The fourth way to make a billion is to extort big investors.

5) The fifth way to be a billionaire is to get the money from rich parents or relatives.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/10/billionaires-warren-sanders-wealth-tax-bezos-dimon-cohen#img-1

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I pulled out the 5 points from this opinion piece. The article title would be something for the primaries threads, but I am pointing out the way they make their billions.

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Reply 5 Ways to become a billionaire and none of them honorable (Robert Reich) (Original post)
mysteryowl Nov 10 OP
ritapria Nov 10 #1
DBoon Nov 10 #2
Bettie Nov 10 #3
PatrickforO Nov 10 #11
highplainsdem Nov 10 #4
Ferrets are Cool Nov 10 #5
wryter2000 Nov 10 #6
Ferrets are Cool Nov 10 #8
Rural_Progressive Nov 10 #27
highplainsdem Nov 10 #9
Bettie Nov 10 #12
FakeNoose Nov 10 #16
PatrickforO Nov 10 #22
Yavin4 Nov 10 #29
PatrickforO Nov 10 #7
tblue37 Nov 10 #10
Bernardo de La Paz Nov 10 #13
dalton99a Nov 10 #15
DFW Nov 10 #14
highplainsdem Nov 10 #17
ronnie624 Nov 10 #20
DFW Nov 10 #21
dlk Nov 10 #18
DFW Nov 10 #23
dlk Nov 10 #26
DFW Nov 10 #30
kag Nov 10 #19
DFW Nov 10 #25
dlk Nov 10 #28
DFW Nov 10 #31
Cartaphelius Nov 10 #24
NCjack Nov 10 #32

Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 09:30 AM

1. 6th way to become a billionaire : Money Laundering

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Response to ritapria (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 09:47 AM

2. Generalize this observation - "be successful at a large scale criminal activity"

Think of the billionaires in the cocaine trade

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 10:11 AM

3. This week's talking point is "stop being mean to billionaires!"

apparently, they are just like us.

Except they aren't.

And Robert Reich is correct...but he usually is.

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Response to Bettie (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:23 AM

11. Yeah, honestly I do not understand that whole thing at all.

Truth is that billionaires have been mean to us for decades. They have waged class warfare since the inception of the New Deal, and they have nearly won.

The jury is still out for our republic, but my belief is that Trump was part of a coup attempted by billionaire Russian oligarchs that was sprung too soon, before we could be sufficiently rotted from within so that our institutions would not hold. They ARE holding but barely.

If history moves as we hope, this coup will fail, and we will recapture our republic.

If not.....................well, we don't want to think about that.

Best do everything humanly possible to prevent that.

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 10:19 AM

4. Paul McCartney's a billionaire. Does that make him dishonorable or a crook?

Reich ignore the fact that one way to become a billionaire is to create and/or produce something other people value so much that the income from that makes the creator/producer a billionaire.

I don't hate billionaires per se.

If they've done something illegal, go after them for that.

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Response to highplainsdem (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:09 AM

5. This is true, but it does seem to be the least of possible reasons.

If you look up "millionaires in sports", all you get are OWNERS, not players. I think Jordan is one and Lebron may be one, but they are few in number.

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Response to Ferrets are Cool (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:15 AM

6. As someone once said

Shaq is rich. The guy who signs his check is wealthy.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:19 AM

8. Yeah, rich people have big homes...

wealthy people have butlers who answer the front door in their big homes.

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Response to Ferrets are Cool (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 01:21 PM

27. They also hire firms that do nothing but keep their names out of the news

and keep people from taking pictures of them or writing stories about them.

The truly wealthy really don't want us knowing anymore about them than possible.

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Response to Ferrets are Cool (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:20 AM

9. I agree, but again -- the focus should be on whether anything illegal was done.

And we definitely need an estate tax.

As well as much higher, much more progressive, income and capital gains taxes.

But we need to recognize philanthropy by billionaires, too.

I don't think it helps the Democratic Party to sound as if we hate all billionaires and want to tax them out of existence.

Most people will support an estate tax that keeps most of an estate from being passed on to heirs, as long as we can correct the GOP messaging that it's a death tax that steals the family house/farm/business.

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Response to highplainsdem (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:36 AM

12. See, the problem is that these billionaires

see any suggestion that they pay taxes to be "taxing them out of existence".

The fact is that even if they paid the actual top marginal tax rate on their billions, they'd still be billionaires.

IF they paid their workers a good wage (not a basic living wage, a good wage), they would still be billionaires.

But, their overwhelming greed keeps them from doing that.

How much is enough? Answer: for most of them, there isn't enough.

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Response to Ferrets are Cool (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:49 AM

16. Mario Lemieux, who became the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins

... only when the previous owners went into bankruptcy and still owed him a lot of money on his playing contract. Mario found great partners and took over management of the team - to everyone's benefit including the Penguins fans.

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Response to highplainsdem (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 01:05 PM

22. No, but he is an anomaly. A rock star who became a billionaire.

In the case of the billionaire parasites, we would want to assign the variables Reich does to each billionaire, as to how they amassed such huge amounts. Using this approach, we could then determine what the most common causes of the disease actually are. One of the things another poster has pointed out is the additional variable we ought to add to account for the Russian billionaires, and some others, who gained their billions through illegal activities - drugs, gambling, extortion, blackmail, human trafficking and so on. And, of course, we would add in McCartney's variable - gained billions through artistic genius as well as astute investments.

What we would then come up with is the probability that any given billionaire became that way through the freakish and feverish amassing of wealth through each of the variables. Or, conversely, you could express the same thing in a table with each variable moving in an upward trend from baby billionaires like McCartney, to the REAL big guys, like Jeff Bezos, who this year is worth a whopping $111 billion.

An aside: Bezos, of course, is the CEO and founder of Amazon. Now, I am an Amazon Prime member because it is amazingly convenient. However, look at the working conditions in Amazon's warehouses. We began hearing about those in 2009, and very little has changed since then, except the slavish fast, fast, fast tending the humans have to do of those robots. The most recent story I heard was that the warehouses are so big that some employees carry bottles to urinate in because they literally do not have time to go to the restroom.

And, I have also noticed that some of the products I get from Amazon aren't of the same quality I would get if I bought them elsewhere. Batteries, for instance. And clumping cat litter. So, you know, culture flows from the top down and the little nickel and dime ripoffs of people like you and I are standard operating procedure in our capitalist utopia - you pay as dearly as they can force you to for as little as they can give you. That's how it is. And Bezos isn't alone.

Consider Microsoft's Bill Gates. He created a monopoly with Microsoft. I pay them about $120 a year, I think, for Office 365, a platform I'm using right now.

So are we hypocrites, using these products? Should I be boycotting Amazon? Should I be boycotting Walmart (I do, because I have Amazon, and Costco memberships).

See what I mean? It is insidious. There's no real way to avoid padding these peoples' pockets because that is how our system is set up.

I'm all for some truly confiscatory taxation to eliminate billionaires, cap CEO salaries, and expand the fiduciary responsibility of C-suite people in publicly held corporations beyond mere shareholder earnings (like Warren wants to do, which is why I'm for her), to include all stakeholders - the consumers, the community where the company is based, the environment and so on. Not just shareholders.

Bottom line, we don't need billionaires. No one should be a billionaire. Not when there 25,000 people a day on this earth who starve to death, and 45 million Americans who die every year because they cannot afford healthcare, and millions of working people who work more than one job just to make ends meet.

A little redistribution of wealth is definitely called for around here.

One last thought: These parasites have waged class warfare on all of us for decades, centuries. And they have been winning. All you need to do is look at the rise in wealth inequality and you can see that.

They win when we are divided. When we hate and mistrust one another. When we focus on things like racism or homophobia or anti-abortion hysteria to the extent we don't feel their hands in our pockets.

They win when we have giant tax cuts for billionaires and corporations even when those we elect knew goddamn well it would break the budget.

They win when our government does not serve as our central bank, and we end up paying back money we owe to ourselves (the national debt) to bankers and 'investors' instead of to ourselves.

They win when it is legal to pour money secretly into electing politicians, and then use that as a lever to make them enact policies that help them, not us. This is why we are even having the debate about Medicare for all - millions in dark money from big pharma and for profit healthcare is pouring into DC and to the media to make the idea seem untenable, impossible, radical, SOCIALIST!!!

And Trump has nearly singlehandedly gutted the EPA - lessened water purity standards, loosened up fracking regulations, tried to get rid of the endangered species act, pulled us formally out of the Paris agreements.

Indeed, human caused climate change is the apotheosis of the capitalist system. And, if we don't do something to change our whole concept of how we organize ourselves economically, the very earth we live on will be rendered uninhabitable by the greed of a few.

I firmly believe we cannot even begin to solve these problems without first getting rid of the billionaires and reforming the whole system so it becomes impossible to amass that much wealth. Why should a dirtbag like Trump have billions when there are millions of people who don't have enough?

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Response to highplainsdem (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 01:24 PM

29. The Beatles culturally appropriated African American R&B music

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:17 AM

7. Which is why, like AOC, I view billionaires as little more than parasites.

To me it is a very true statement that every billionaire is a failure in policy.

We do not need billionaires.

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:21 AM

10. Honore Balzac said that behind every great fortune there lies a great crime. nt

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:44 AM

13. 6) Borrow a billion from Putin's pet oligarchs. . . . nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:45 AM

15. +1

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:45 AM

14. When there are all these threads about "I hate billionaires" instead of "I hate Trump"

I have to wonder just who's setting the agenda here.

Lose focus, and we get chaotic campaigns and lost elections.

When we are more obsessed with Bill Gates than with Mitch MConnell, we have lost sight of who the enemy is.
Gates doesn't care and McConnell loves it. Let's not do this to ourselves until AFTER the election.

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Response to DFW (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 12:09 PM

17. +1,000,000

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Response to DFW (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 12:54 PM

20. There are overarching issues

like healthcare, an educated population, equitable distribution of the benefits from human labor and dwindling resources and mitigating (perhaps arresting, if we're lucky) a collapsing global ecology, that cannot be addressed with an economic ideology that promotes as a moral imperative, the accumulation of more 'wealth' than anyone would need in a thousand lifetimes. Worshipping wealth is illogical, primative, barbaric and ultimately destructive to our biosphere and our society. This lunacy has to stop.

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #20)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 01:00 PM

21. So does the obsession with money

NOTHING changes until our national leadership changes. Until that happens, we will have to content ourselves with waving signs at protest marches, and patting ourselves on the back for how many attended.

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 12:14 PM

18. There is a saying, "Behind every great fortune is a great crime"

Words to remember.

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Response to dlk (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 01:08 PM

23. Tyler Perry had better watch it

He is on his way to becoming a great criminal.

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Response to DFW (Reply #23)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 01:19 PM

26. There are exceptions to every rule...

Then there is the Sackler family.

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Response to dlk (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 01:45 PM

30. Some rules shouldn't be rules.

Individual cases make it easier not to include your friends in firing squads by accident.

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 12:22 PM

19. I have been saying for many years that...

becoming a millionaire isn't that hard. All have to do is...NOT HAVE A CONSCIENCE.

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Response to kag (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 01:11 PM

25. I know of at least one DU member whose net worth almost certainly puts (them) in that evil category

I also know that person has a bigger conscience than anyone on this board.

So much for absolutes.

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Response to DFW (Reply #25)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 01:21 PM

28. Please read post #26

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Response to dlk (Reply #28)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 01:46 PM

31. Please read post #30 n/t

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 01:11 PM

24. 7) Human Trafficking of Immigrant Children


seeking asylum at our southern borders as many on the right have done
while republican politicians provide cover in D.C. and elsewhere.

Someone said on D.U., that the impeachment isn't about Trump but more
about those that support his criminality. If they can provide enough cover
or justification for Trump's crimes, they will get even fatter running their
scams against America.

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:11 PM

32. There is also lie, cheat, and steal. nt

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