News:

Departing the Vacuousness

Main Menu

Accidents and Obligations

Started by Ecurb Noselrub, September 19, 2022, 08:57:50 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Asmodean

Billy, I'll long-form a reply when on a computer.

Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on September 22, 2022, 06:40:05 PMI am more focused on the mega-wealthy, the billionaires. If someone is worth 100 billion, and their wealth increases by 5 percent year (a lot less than the increase they got during the pandemic), a 2-3% tax on their net worth each year should not be a problem. This, in addition to any applicable income tax. At 100 billion, that's 2-3 billion in wealth tax, and their net worth increased by 5. Net gain for them, benefit for the rest of society. Their income is a separate issue, but it would be 40% or so, so they still come out ahead. If they have income of 3 billion, they are taxed 1.2 billion in income tax. Net gain for them, benefit for society. Taxes on the wealthy should be earmarked for things like education, health care, poverty reduction, infrastructure, etc. Things that benefit society as a whole.
You own a house worth one billion dollars. The housing bubble be a-bubbling, and the value of your house increases by 5% a year. 5% of a billion is five million. Let us assume a ten percent "income" tax. You now owe the government 500000. Yes, you have a billion dollar house. Do you have 500000 without needing to "plunder" said house for it?

Yes, if you make monetary income, taxes are good and well. Taxes on "locked" funds, however... Distasteful at best. Like, those 2-3% of your house's whole value every year. Tax the property income - fine. Not it's value. That one does not generate money by itself.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

billy rubin

Quote from: Asmodean on September 22, 2022, 08:04:02 PMBilly, I'll long-form a reply when on a computer.

sure.

its an academic point. i have no plan and dont expect anything to change.


more people have been to berlin than i have

Asmodean

Quote from: billy rubin on September 22, 2022, 03:12:38 PMasmo, think about what youve written.  you describe a CEO whose job isnt making anchor chain, its pushing papers across a desk, holding meetings, and making telephone calls, and processing intangible tokens.
The CEO's job is that of the executive. Much of the company-wide decision-making power rests there. Yes, it's what you may call a mostly paper-pushing job. (Actually, most of it is spent in meetings) However, without it, in our example, you would have a company with no resources to make anchor chain from, nor any way of consistently selling it beyond filing pre-existing contracts. Further, and this applies more to the owner than a hired exec, it is also your job to keep up with the market and make adjustments. For example, when to expand and when not are major decisions - as is how many people to hire, and of what kind. That not even mentioning "this product's getting cold. Now what?" The executive offices have the birds eye view required to make such decisions.

Quoteyou discuss tasks such voting on your share of the capital, deciding who to merge with, choosing which competitor to buy . . .

your focus is on skills relating to  ownership, not on maneuvering a crucible of molten steel, or forging a red hot link under a stamping mill.
As a mill owner, I suspect I may want to hire someone who is willing to sell his crucible knowledge and practical hands-on skill for money. They have the skills - I have the machinery, access to raw materials and a market for the product. It is quite possible that I myself am perfectly capable of working the mill - in our example, it's not beyond reason that the owner of our anchor chain business started out in life making anchor chain with his own hands. That is particularly common in food industry and retail. The rest is a matter of scope.

Quotebusiness ownership is the least important part of an anchor company.
And yet without it, the anchor chain company does not exist. It never even started, in fact. Companies don't grow on trees. Every single one with a modicum of success started with someone doing his own thing. Making a buck, as it were. It's his thing, no matter how many people he hires and fires over the years. It's his until he dies, sells it (therein goes public/partly sells it) or goes bust. In either of those cases, it then belongs to whoever bought it - be it a worker's union or a hedge fund.

Quotethe owner is the individual most easily replaced. you acknowledge this yourself by emphasizing mergers and buyouts, which are just changes of owners.
Wow..! I demand a quote where I said anything like the owner being the most easily replaced. If I did, I cannot believe the garbage what came out of my mouth. The most easily replaced in any company is any position, for which suitably qualified labour is in greater supply than it is in demand. Company owners are very - very rarely that, with the possible exception of "vulture funds," which also require a skill set no lesser than that of any self-respecting professional to do well.

A merger is not a simple process - nor an easy one. Nor is a buyout. They also often happen precisely because the owners of the company are way over their head, and it's get bought, merge or bust. There are a ton of interests to consider - shareholders, if either party sells shares, employees, supply chains, existing contracts and other obligations, government meddling, shifting markets...

It must be mentioned that sometimes, companies will buy each other or merge to strengthen their position in the market, open up new avenues of generating profit, gain access to patents or technology, new geography and so on.

Quoteif the ownership is derived by buying stock, the owners dont need to know anything at all about anchors-- all they need is credit to buy into the system and harvest the profits of other people's work.
Who do you think sells the stock in the first place? Sure, eventually, it's shareholders selling to each other in an attempt to make money off each other, but initially, one hundred percent of the stock come from the owners (If a bank or a friend loans you money to start a company for, say, 30% stake - then they too are among those initial owners)

Quotemaking decisions regarding the direction of a company through an economy that emphasizes and rewards ownership of tokens rather than productivity is a limited skill. it certainly is needed to perform in the current system. but does it demonstrate a skill set hundreds of millions of times more important than those of the mill worker actually forging the anchor chain? because thats how it is currently compensated.
And yet, strangely, the companies that don't make product or can't sell it go bust. Oh, there is the occasional Tesla, who do make and sell product, but are not worth nearly as much as people are willing to pay for them - but then their CEO is the master of hype. Point is, in a market economy, if you focus on productivity to the exclusion of following the market, you'll go belly-up very quickly. When a company does, sure, our good old chain smith still has his skills in smithing chain. How shall he now convert it into money? Assuming there is a demand, there are two ways; become a business owner himself, potentially even Bezos or Gates of anchor chain - barely ever even touching the stuff anymore, or... Get hired by someone else.

Quoteregarding taxes, ive never used the word in this conversation until <<<here. its not part of any plan i have considered, so i dont have any viable solution that uses it.

see, im not interested in taking elon musk or jeff bezos hostage, taxing more of their hard-earned profits out of them, then coming back for more, like using them as a cash crop to harvest.

i want them to cease to exist.
Kill them? What will that accomplish? Let us assume just for a second that any-one who manages to amass, say, fifty million dollars in assets falls over dead the second they do. Then what? Say you now have potential 50 million in stock floating in ether. What would you do with it? How would you convert it into, say, soup for the hungry? I mean, I suppose you could use the CEOs private jet to carry illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities, but beyond that... I mean, you could sell it, though it's not yours to sell, but wealthy people falling over dead everywhere, who would even want to buy? Why would they want to buy?

Or are you saying that you wish they never existed in the first place? In which case, what would that world look like? Soviet Union, only worse?

Quotewhatever system takes what we have now and turns it into one in which more people do better with more health, shelter, and security is what i am in favour of, asmo. the system in my country is broken. i dont want to tweak it. i want to replace it.
Capitalism. bringing smart phones and soft drinks to the poor everywhere since... The invention of smart phones and soft drinks.

Quotesorry this post is so long. ill try to focus.
No need to ever apologize to me for being long in the proverbial wind. I live for this shit  8)
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

Tom62

I love this thread, please keep the arguments going...
The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
Robert A. Heinlein

No one

billy suggests getting rid of the very poor, and very rich.
I commend this idea.

I would like to add an amendment though. I suggest, we also include everyone  that fits in between the very poor, and very rich.

Tom62

Well, getting rid of everyone is rather drastic (I suppose).

I've got nothing again people who are poor or filthy rich.

There are three simple laws for staying out of poverty in America that applies to all races and ethnical groups.

1. Graduating from high school.
2. Waiting to get married until after 21 and do not have children till after being married.
3. Having a full-time job.

Regarding the superrich, I frankly don't give a damn as long as they pay their taxes. I read somewhere that the top 10 percent of earners in the US paid over 71 percent of all income taxes and the top 25 percent paid 87 percent of all income taxes. That sounds fair and square to me
The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
Robert A. Heinlein

Anne D.

Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on September 19, 2022, 08:57:50 PMThe Queen's death has raised the issue again of whether that monarchy, or any monarchy, has a place in the modern world. It is fairly simple to argue that an accident of birth should not give anyone the privileges of royalty. But how far are we willing to take that argument? It is an accident of birth that I was born a white male to a stable middle-class family in the United States. Without any question, I have privileges that others do not have. Had I been born a poor black female in Haiti or born a female into a Taliban household, clearly my life would have been a lot worse. My privilege is no more justified than the privilege of the Prince of Wales. Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos would not have accomplished what they did had they been born in worse circumstances.

We generally apply a stricter standard of judgment when critiquing people above our class than we do for ourselves. King Charles has pledged to continue his mother's commitment to serving his nation. Is that sufficient to justify the continuation of the House of Windsor? Not for me to decide, but what justifies my own continued privileged position (albeit not as privileged as royalty) when there are people all around me who are significantly worse off than I am?

We may not have as much to justify as the Windsors, but does the accidental inequality from which many of us benefit create an obligation to do more? If so, is some process of involuntary levelling called for? If not, how can we complain about royalty? Just food for thought. 

I don't feel like I have to justify my definitely privileged position of having been born white and middle class in a wealthy country. But I do feel a personal moral obligation to my fellow man to do what I can with what I've been given to make sure everyone's got a fair shot at a good life. I feel like that's what we all owe each other. And yes, of course, the devil's in the details, and we all have different ideas about the best way to accomplish that goal.

As for "some process of involuntary leveling" being "called for." Yes, of course. We've already collectively agreed to some things--e.g., a progressive tax system, taxes going toward social programs. Again, it's the devil of the details. How progressive should that tax system be, how big should the social programs be? If you're hinting at much larger-scale leveling, like redistribution of real property, then I think most people, me included, would say the cure would be worse than the disease.

WRT "accidents," yes, I have no control over having been born white into a middle class family, and I have no control over what people in the past did. But--to take the small, limited example of homeownership--my parents, and my parents' parents' were able to buy homes and accumulate equity in those homes and pass that wealth down to their kids and eventually to me. And all sorts of economic benefits accrued to them and to me just by virtue of the security and stability of homeownership. Up to nearly the present day (and even still) African Americans have been denied homeownership through all sorts of nefarious means (redlining, discriminatory denial of credit, denial of participation in federal programs). I, today, am benefiting from all the racist housing policies of the past, and African Americans are still suffering the consequences of those policies. I may not have been personally responsible for the creation of unjust policies of the past, but those policies were no accident. And to the degree that they continue to exist, it is on me and my fellow citizens to eliminate them and figure out how to move forward fairly--what "process of involuntary leveling" is fair.

billy rubin

#22
hey asmo

Quote from: Asmodean on September 23, 2022, 03:56:11 PMThe CEO's job is that of the executive.

i would eliminate the role of an executive as parasitic, asmo. CEOs occupy a niche i consider unnecessary for the common welfare.

QuoteAs a mill owner, I suspect I may want to hire someone who is willing to sell his crucible knowledge and practical hands-on skill for money.

i would eliminate mill owners. the techn ical people have all the necessary skills even in the absence of a mill owner.

QuoteAnd yet without it, the anchor chain company does not exist. It never even started, in fact. Companies don't grow on trees. Every single one with a modicum of success started with someone doing his own thing. Making a buck, as it were. It's his thing, no matter how many people he hires and fires over the years. It's his until he dies, sells it (therein goes public/partly sells it) or goes bust. In either of those cases, it then belongs to whoever bought it - be it a worker's union or a hedge fund.

i would skip the individual ownership stage and go right to worker's ownership. without an owner to protect against, there isnt even a need to have a union.

Quote
Quotethe owner is the individual most easily replaced. you acknowledge this yourself by emphasizing mergers and buyouts, which are just changes of owners.
Wow..! I demand a quote where I said anything like the owner being the most easily replaced.

you didnt say it. i pointed it out because you havent perceived it.

QuoteWho do you think sells the stock in the first place?

i would eliminate the buying and selling of stock. that system is not particularly old, and hasnt proven to be an improvement over what came before, or to be something that benefits the people that create the value. as a petroleum geologist, i owned stock in exxon corporation the day the company laid me off to benefit stockholders who owned more stock than i did.

QuotePoint is, in a market economy . . .

i would eliminate a market economy.

QuoteKill them?

i would offer them a job in the warehouse, asmo. but as for killing them, i'm afraid we're headed in that direction.

at some point in economic exploitation, the masses of the exploited always end up executing their exploiters. i would like to move beyond that point without killing anybody, but as i see it we are in late-stage capitalism, where the masses are slowly discovering that they are not actually benefitting from the system that they are making possible. if you strip the CEO of a corporation naked, he is indistinguishable from the poorest of his employees. all his advantages accrue from things written on pieces of paper. eliminate the paper, and you can assess his true contribution.

my former president, the real estate billionaire, is a good example. what abilities does donald trump have in real estate, beyond skills in deceit, in fnancial trickery, in navigating serial bankruptcies, and in persuading banks to make loans that he then defaults on, to his advantage?  what contribution does donald make based on his own genuine abilities? he demonstrates how the system can make you rich without actually creating value.

at any rate, sooner or later revolutions happen. the uber-rich are already beginning to worry:

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/sep/04/super-rich-prepper-bunkers-apocalypse-survival-richest-rushkoff

https://www.newframe.com/survivalism-rich/

https://www.businessinsider.in/Rich-Survivalists-Can-Pick-Up-One-Of-These-3-Million-Luxury-Condos-In-A-Former-Nuclear-Missile-Silo/articleshow/45198420.cms

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2020/03/27/billionaire-bunker-owners-are-preparing-for-the-ultimate-underground-escape/

while my opinions on how to solve our problems are pretty nebulous,  i dont see the current system as sustainable. i also dont have any faith that it will be successfully replaced, asmo. in my opinion, we're circling the drain right now. while i dont see the world disappearing in a puff of smoke (unless putin finally decides to cash in his chips,) i dont see anything in the next century that i wouldn't describe as apocalyptic.

just my opinion. i'll be dead in a just few more years, so it won't be my problem. and in the long run, it doesn't matter to anybody. but my kids will have to make decisions that i would have preferred them not to have had to face.









more people have been to berlin than i have

Ecurb Noselrub

Quote from: Asmodean on September 22, 2022, 08:04:02 PMYou own a house worth one billion dollars. The housing bubble be a-bubbling, and the value of your house increases by 5% a year. 5% of a billion is five million. Let us assume a ten percent "income" tax. You now owe the government 500000. Yes, you have a billion dollar house. Do you have 500000 without needing to "plunder" said house for it?


But the reality is that the mega-rich own stock in companies. It is relatively easy for them to sell a few shares to pay taxes. Elon Musk did that recently. One billion dollar houses are not the norm.

Anne D.

Quote from: billy rubin on September 24, 2022, 09:02:20 PM
QuoteAnd yet without it, the anchor chain company does not exist. It never even started, in fact. Companies don't grow on trees. Every single one with a modicum of success started with someone doing his own thing. Making a buck, as it were. It's his thing, no matter how many people he hires and fires over the years. It's his until he dies, sells it (therein goes public/partly sells it) or goes bust. In either of those cases, it then belongs to whoever bought it - be it a worker's union or a hedge fund.

i would skip the individual ownership stage and go right to worker's ownership. without an owner to protect against, there isnt even a need to have a union.

QuotePoint is, in a market economy . . .

i would eliminate a market economy.

QuoteKill them?

i would offer them a job in the warehouse, asmo. but as for killing them, i'm afraid we're headed in that direction.

at some point in economic exploitation, the masses of the exploited always end up executing their exploiters. i would like to move beyond that point without killing anybody, but as i see it we are in late-stage capitalism, where the masses are slowly discovering that they are not actually benefitting from the system that they are making possible. if you strip the CEO of a corporation naked, he is indistinguishable from the poorest of his employees. all his advantages accrue from things written on pieces of paper. eliminate the paper, and you can assess his true contribution.
. . .

at any rate, sooner or later revolutions happen.

Not sure how we'd get to this "ideal" society where no companies were privately owned and all were somehow collectively run by workers without a whole lot of bloodletting and much more human misery than we have now. It also sounds completely unworkable. I have worked in a large institution where most decisions were made by committee--in reality, that meant no decisions were made. And as Asmo points out (God--that is so painful to type, pigs are flying and hell is freezing over), companies don't grow on trees. What incentive would there be for anyone to create anything new?

What governmental structure are you envisioning? It's sounding like Soviet-style "communism," which is just a flavor of autocracy. Institutions don't run themselves, and neither do nations. In the absence of strong democratic processes and traditions to prevent it, a "strong man" always steps in.

I agree with you, billy rubin, that the U.S. is in dire straits right now, but I think there are a lot of options for fixing it short of blowing up the entire democratic experiment--which I don't think fixes anything. Let's not throw up our hands just yet.

billy rubin

Quote from: Anne D. on September 25, 2022, 08:39:41 PMNot sure how we'd get to this "ideal" society where no companies were privately owned and all were somehow collectively run by workers without a whole lot of bloodletting and much more human misery than we have now. It also sounds completely unworkable. I have worked in a large institution where most decisions were made by committee--in reality, that meant no decisions were made. And as Asmo points out (God--that is so painful to type, pigs are flying and hell is freezing over), companies don't grow on trees. What incentive would there be for anyone to create anything new?

What governmental structure are you envisioning? It's sounding like Soviet-style "communism," which is just a flavor of autocracy. Institutions don't run themselves, and neither do nations. In the absence of strong democratic processes and traditions to prevent it, a "strong man" always steps in.

I agree with you, billy rubin, that the U.S. is in dire straits right now, but I think there are a lot of options for fixing it short of blowing up the entire democratic experiment--which I don't think fixes anything. Let's not throw up our hands just yet.

i think we're in for the bloodletting, anne. there was a strong stable government in france right up to the day they stormed the bastille.

that doesn't mean i recommend it. i just think we're headed in that direction.

regardiing committees, there are lots of companies that are run as collectives. sioux honey corporation, various trucking companies, and so on. the differences are that the employees are the owners, and they have a stake in the organizaation larger than whatever an owner considers appropriate to trickle down to them.

i dont have any plans. i dont see my point of view as likely either. i just think it would be an improvement over what we have now.


more people have been to berlin than i have

Asmodean

#26
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on September 25, 2022, 01:04:09 PMBut the reality is that the mega-rich own stock in companies. It is relatively easy for them to sell a few shares to pay taxes. Elon Musk did that recently. One billion dollar houses are not the norm.
Ah, but here is the catch, falling share prices due to major insider sales notwithstanding; you can only sell so much before you lose your controlling interest. Long before that approaches, you are increasingly more likely to take resources (Profit, if you're lucky) out of the company in order to pay that tax. Resources that would otherwise not have been taken out. thereby, you practically plunder the company - or rather, pass on the cost down the line, usually all the way to the consumer. My house analogy is not a bad one. Let us revisit it;

You have houses worth that billion dollars we discussed. You rent them out. The government comes along and wants 20 million from you because you just own too damned much. Every year they want it. You pay the twenty mil, but now you are kinda' out of pocket - in debt, likely as not - so... You adjust the rent to bring it back in.

Again, I'll long-form a other response when I'm in a position to do so. There is a lot to respond to, though I think we are approaching the agree-to-disagree point.

P.S; just because The Asmo is an impatient Asmo and cannot resist;
Quote from: Tom62 on September 24, 2022, 04:44:08 PM2. Waiting to get married until after 21 and do not have children till after being married.
The most important part here is; don't have children until you can be reasonably assured of your capability to support them - even if "shit" "happens." Things like life insurance can go a long way, so can pre-made agreements in case of a breakup.

I think this point can be summed up in the wise words of every flight attendant like... Ever; "Put your own mask on before you try to help someone else." That is, make sure that you can take care of yourself before you try to take care of someone else. If you can't - you simply. Will. Not. Do. It. Well - be it a child or a spouse or a pet hamster.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.