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Wed Jul 7, 2021, 07:11 PM

The reality now is that we are living in an oligarchic society.






“Twenty million Americans lost their job in the pandemic,” Joe Biden remarked in his Wednesday night address to Congress. “At the same time, roughly 650 billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 trillion . . . and they’re now worth more than $4 trillion.”

That’s true, according to Forbes’ data—but the numbers are actually a bit richer. Total American billionaire wealth stands at $4.6 trillion as of the stock market close on April 28, by our count. That’s up 35% from $3.4 trillion when markets opened on January 1, 2020, just as Covid-19 was beginning to take the world by storm.

In other words, U.S. billionaires have gotten about $1.2 trillion richer during the pandemic.

Markets are surging, despite more than a year of lockdowns and a spike in unemployment, leading to a boost in the value of 401(k)s, IRAs and other investment accounts for Americans everywhere. The S&P 500 is up 29% since January 1, 2020, even with the March 2020 Covid crash; the Dow Jones Industrial Average is likewise up 19%. But many billionaires—who often have much of their wealth tied up in individual companies, or portfolios of investments in things like private equity and hedge funds that are not available to average Americans—are faring much better. Three quarters of America’s 722 billionaires are as rich, or richer, than they were before the pandemic—some by billions, tens of billions, or even more than one hundred billion dollars.

(snip)


https://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2021/04/30/american-billionaires-have-gotten-12-trillion-richer-during-the-pandemic/?sh=8ca6ddff557e


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Reply The reality now is that we are living in an oligarchic society. (Original post)
Uncle Joe Jul 7 OP
Journeyman Jul 7 #1
ansible Jul 7 #2
brooklynite Jul 7 #3
lostnfound Jul 8 #21
jalan48 Jul 7 #4
Blue_true Jul 7 #10
Mr.Bill Jul 7 #13
Blue_true Jul 7 #15
jalan48 Jul 7 #20
JoeOtterbein Jul 7 #5
ChubbyStar Jul 7 #6
luckone Jul 7 #7
Blue_true Jul 7 #9
Blue_true Jul 7 #8
FakeNoose Jul 7 #11
Blue_true Jul 7 #14
flying_wahini Jul 7 #12
obnoxiousdrunk Jul 7 #17
monkeyman1 Jul 7 #16
malaise Jul 7 #18
Crunchy Frog Jul 7 #19

Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 07:24 PM

1. First time I heard that was in an interview of CSNY on KROQ Los Angeles in the early '70s . . .

Graham Nash expressed the opinion. Or maybe it was David Crosby. All I know for certain is I've never thought differently about this land in all the decades since.

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Response to Journeyman (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 07:35 PM

2. And that was back in the 70s when houses were still affordable

Now it's much much worse today.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 07:38 PM

3. OLIGARCHY (noun).....

a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.


Economic distribution does not automatically equal politicsl control.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 8, 2021, 10:14 AM

21. Yes but money in politics especially with recent SC ruling makes political equality a joke

The impact of any of those billionaires on US politics - and indeed, on geopolitics when IS power has shrunk - is several orders of magnitude higher than the average citizen.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 07:38 PM

4. That's who owns the political system. Depressing.

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Response to jalan48 (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 08:32 PM

10. You are wrong.

There are super rich people popping up that are almost apolitical. They simply care about building their businesses and don’t even get involved with politics outside of attending zoning meetings when their business have business with those boards.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #10)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 08:50 PM

13. Yes, but even they know

that chaos is not good for business. Instability is their enemy.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #13)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 08:55 PM

15. Yes. That is a very good point.

I have been clear to make the point that super rich people, even comfortably rich people have a vested interest in making sure that society stays out of instability, the only way to effectively do that is share a good part of their gains with employees and society at large.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #10)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 10:31 PM

20. LOL. And they tell their accountants, "Don't worry about taxes. We love paying them. "

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 07:55 PM

5. K n R

Thanks for posting!

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 08:00 PM

6. Same! n/t

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 08:16 PM

7. Yes too many are satisfied with the inequality. I don't get it and it will not stop accelerating

in that direction the next 30 years either unless more people change and wake up and lose fear of change

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Response to luckone (Reply #7)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 08:28 PM

9. Automation, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet are simply going to create more inequity.

That is a fact, whether a person like it or not. The question is how should public policy be adapted to take that trend into account.

I personally believe that it is in the best interests of anyone who becomes super rich or is already super rich to share as much of their money with society as possible, in the long run that will save their ass or their children’s asses.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 08:18 PM

8. The fact is the Internet can make people that come up with a unique idea

very rich fast. That is a dynamic that has not existed before. So we will continue to see people pop up out of nowhere and become supper rich (in terms of assets).

The Wall Street Journal profiled a couple of fairly young women in Alabama (of all places) that set up a QVC style marketing site online. Their company now has third party sales of around $1 billion, so, they are likely both book billionaires now. They likely came from families that had at least some money or connections, but if you look at most of today’s billionaires (except for Bezos and Bloomberg, who came from middleclass backgrounds), all came from families that could afford to send to places like Harvard and Stanford. Even the two stuffy towers that were lampooned in the movie “The Social Network” are both billionaires now, they built a start up that they started into a $3 billion dollar company that does Bitcoin ratings and advising clients like big banks and financial services companies, of course their well connected daddy likely helped, but both are now far richer than he ever was (the surprising thing is that both seem down to earth and are looking ahead to growing their company and don’t seem to be interested in the fact that doing so successfully will likely make them Zuckerberg level rich on paper).

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #8)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 08:41 PM

11. Yes BUT ... the internet also gives evil libertarians access

... to a lot of stupid under-educated voters who love getting angry over nothing.

Are the evil libertarians going to use that access to educate those voters?

I don't think so. Keep 'em stupid and keep 'em sending in their hard-earned money.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #11)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 08:51 PM

14. My point was that it is easier than ever to start up a company today and have a chance at

having it grow, all due to the Internet. Before a person had to go through the loop of convincing distributors and other middle-people, today a person can bypass such people and market direct to targeted consumers.


Unfortunately, every new media, from radio to the Internet has historically been used by shady operators to fleece the naive, so there is nothing new going on in that regard.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 08:42 PM

12. The revolution will not be televised.

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Response to flying_wahini (Reply #12)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 09:43 PM

17. It will be on the

Intertubes.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)


Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 09:53 PM

18. The truth

Rec

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jul 7, 2021, 09:59 PM

19. We have been for a long time. I fear that soon we'll be living in an outright autocracy.

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