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OfflinePHARMAKOS
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Registered: 09/13/02
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capitalism at its finest
    #2370325 - 02/23/04 01:44 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

i was researching for a paper and came across the following statistic:
the combined wealth of the world's 3 richest people is equal to the wealth of the worlds 45 poorest COUNTRIES.

its true

would it not be ethically justifieable to tax these multibillionairs 4% of their wealth to go to humanitarian aid? that money could raise millions of people above the starvation line, set up food for work programs, supply medicine, sex education, housing, schools ...

how can we justify a single person having more money than several countries? how can one person have 20 billion dollars while millions of people subsist on less than a dollar a day?

so , what do you think? should government tax the worlds most affluent to help the worlds most destitute, or do multi billionaries deserve what they earned?


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InvisibleJared
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: PHARMAKOS]
    #2370371 - 02/23/04 02:03 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

capitalism needs caps.


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Anonymous

Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: PHARMAKOS]
    #2370400 - 02/23/04 02:10 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

No, it is not ethically feasible to steal 4% of their wealth to give to 3rd world countries, no matter how harsh that seems. Free will, remember?


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InvisibleJared
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: ]
    #2370423 - 02/23/04 02:15 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Free will? Who the fuck has free will?

Also, imagine there is a buisnessman who is so good at making money, that NO ONE can outdo him.. he just absorbs more and more money from the world, until everyone is poor, and he is the only person with wealth.

Is this a fair scenario? Does this man deserve a better life because he is able to manipulate the system in place better than anyone else..?

I think no one should be allowed to earn more than 1000%(or some other set percentage) what the lowest current wages paid are.. if someone wants more money, they have to lobby for higher international minimum wage.

Inheritance is bunk.

My brain is being fueled by chocolate and koolaid.. Please ignore me.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: PHARMAKOS]
    #2370467 - 02/23/04 02:24 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Maybe you should look at the liquid assets of these kabillionaires. Most of their money is probably tied up in their own businesses. If they sold off their stock, they'd have money to give these poor countries, but 1) their businesses could suffer and 2) they might lose control of the business they own.

This also doesn't necessarily mean their monetary contributions will even help those 45 countries. Let's say they each pledge 1 billion dollars. That's about 67 million dollars per country. The money wouldn't go straight to each person... it would have to build infrastructure (roads, schools, hospitals, etc.). One large hospital probably costs at least 10 million bucks a year to run. Roads cost an assload. And schools cost even more. If that doesn't waste it all, there would be very little to distribute to the people themselves. But okay, let's assume that 67 million buys roads, schools, and hospitals for 10 years... what is this country going to produce for export (in order to HAVE an economy)?

Giving away money isn't always the best solution.


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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Offlineteen
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Registered: 02/13/04
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: Sclorch]
    #2370542 - 02/23/04 02:42 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Giving out money often can make things worse.
Altruism isn't always good.
Teach a man to fish, etc...


--------------------
Don't give me that load of bunk~!


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Offlinenemesis
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: teen]
    #2370699 - 02/23/04 05:10 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

A rich man is expected to give in charity.
A poor man to give in charity of how much he can is more righteous.


--------------------
May Peace and fellicity smile on those who seek it.


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Invisiblepsyka
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: Jared]
    #2370756 - 02/23/04 05:51 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Removing yourself from greed and desire makes money's value null. Capitalism or not; it doesnt really matter because I will live and enjoy my life. If you want the world to change, the seed of revolution must first germinate within. Lead by example, treat others how you would like to see them react with others. You'd be extremely surprised how far this goes. Most humans have a bad case of monkey see, monkey do....its just not immediately apparent.


--------------------
As the life of a candle,
my wick will burn out.
But, the fire of my mind
shall beam into infinite.



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InvisibleEvolving
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Registered: 10/01/02
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: Jared]
    #2371067 - 02/23/04 10:25 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Jared said:
Free will? Who the fuck has free will?



Anyone willing to exercise it.

Quote:

Also, imagine there is a buisnessman who is so good at making money, that NO ONE can outdo him.. he just absorbs more and more money from the world, until everyone is poor, and he is the only person with wealth.



This is not how economics works. It is not a zero-sum game, people create wealth. A division of labor allows each person to do what he is good at, he is then able to trade his goods or services with others who are more adept at what they do. By using money as a medium of exchange, people are able to bypass the cumbersome process of bartering their goods or services directly with others. Also, when two people engage in a transaction, each is getting something that they want more than what they give up. It's in a business man's interest that he have as many customers with as much disposable income as possible. It's a helluva lot easier to get wealthy by dealing with the wealthy than it is to get wealthy by dealing with the poor.

Quote:

I think no one should be allowed to earn more than 1000%(or some other set percentage) what the lowest current wages paid are.. if someone wants more money, they have to lobby for higher international minimum wage.



I think no one sould be allowed to take from others by force or threat of force.

Quote:

Inheritance is bunk.



Any parent worth anything wants their children to have a better life than themselves. If a person has spent their life building up a little nest egg without defrauding or stealing from others and has not worked for an organization that does (like a government), why shouldn't he be able to bequeath his hard earned wealth to those he cares about?

Quote:

My brain is being fueled by chocolate and koolaid.. Please ignore me.



Okay.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflinePed
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: PHARMAKOS]
    #2371755 - 02/23/04 01:54 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I know very little of the finer points of economics, as my main study is philosophy. Therefore, my understanding of this issue is viewed through a purely philosophical lens. This should be taken into consideration when reading the below contribution to this discussion.


If we examine the philosophy of the capitalist dictum, we discover that it is a self-centred engine designed to gradually condense wealth into fewer and fewer hands. It is not the perrogative of the government to distribute wealth evenly throughout the globe, because it is the essential unspoken duty of wealthy governments to protect the capitalist social order. So long as a nation is capital driven, it must act to protect the cache of capital it has amassed for itself. Seeking to fairly distribute capital internationally with the intent to level the playing field runs against the grain of the entire capitalist philosophy, and threatens the dominant position of the world's superpowers and their leaders.

The more we study the situation, the more we realize that the problems of international debt, poverty, famine and disease, are problems which have their roots in one single crisis, a crisis of perception. Most of us, our large social insititutions especially, subscribe to an outated arrangement of values which function poorly in shaping our world view. Among them is the view of life as a competitive struggle for existence, the belief in unlimited material progress to be achieved through economic and technological growth and conquest, and the belief that a society in which the female is everywhere subsumed under the male is one that is natural. All of these assumptions are the result of a fundamentally self-oriented world view.

It's this self-oriented worldview which has dominated our culture for several hundred years, and it's this same worldview which has shaped Western society in it's entirety, carrying it's influence across all nations. When a society is founded upon such self-centred and ignorant economic principles, it is natural that it's most successful and highly venerated citizens would be those who best resonate with self-centredness and willful ignorance, or the clever masking of these as a means of procuring even further wealth. A nation which functions in this way cannot be prompted to take action for the benefit of less fortunate nations, neither would any such action be supported by the most successful and highly venerated citizens of that nation.

It is a self-centred worldview which allows for the formation of civil classes and competitive hierarchy. Civil classes and competitive hierarchy are directly responsible for the problems of both large and small scale armed conflicts, war and crime. It is a self-centred worldview which allows for the famine of so many millions to remain distant from our minds. It is the famine and poverty covering huge portions of the globe which is directly responsible for the overpopulation of the planet and the perpetuation of plauge and disease. It is a self-centred worldview which allows for the industrial sector to continue ignoring the worsening environmental crisis. It is this ignorance which is directly responsible for the severity of the human impact on this earth, the by-the-second extinction rate, and the essential discord between humankind and nature.

Since it is the self-centred worldview which serves as the root of all these problems, a reversal of the self-centred worldview would naturally result in the reversal of these problems. The opponent to self-centredness is, of course, other-centredness. A society built upon compassionate, other-centred economic principles would naturally function to distribute the productivity of each labourer among other labrouers, thus improving the standard of living for all citizens equally. The equal distribution of wealth would consequently eliminate the mistake of civil classes and competitive hierarchy, thereby bringing a halt to the sufferings of both war and crime.

We can immediately see the benefits this type of arrangement. The most successful and venerated members of this type of society would be those who've brought the most benefit to those who most need it. There would be a sense of wealth across the globe, and not one mouth would go unfed. The problems of overpopulaton would slow to a halt. The spreading of disease would therefore decline and eventually disappear. Environmental pollutants and waste would come under control simply because the propagators of industry would be willing to observe restrictions, even if that meant reduced productivity. Humanity would be driven by the pursuit of an authentic and attainable happiness, rather than the pursuit of wealth and dominance, neither of which are happiness.

Truly, the transition between a chaotic society to a utopian society depends upon the transition between a self-centred worldview and an other-centred worldview. These two aspects of modern living swing on the same pivot. The extent to which we can reorient this view for ourselves is the extent to which humanity can reorient this view for itself.

This of course begs the question: "But will it happen?"

I would answer optimistically. One of the age old traits of humanity, as a whole and as individuals, has been that under pressure and faced with no other option, bare necessity makes our decisions for us. In fact, this is the course of biology, of evolution. I believe that the same momentum which ushered us out of the jungle canopy will also usher us out of this cacophonic and dejected arrangment. It might demand an enormous degree of suffering, hardship and disaster, but it will be followed with an era of peace unimagined by us, the ordinary self-oriented human being.


--------------------


:poison: Dark Triangles - New Psychedelic Techno Single - Listen on Soundcloud :poison:
Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: Ped]
    #2371826 - 02/23/04 02:15 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Ped said:
I know very little of the finer points of economics




--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Registered: 02/11/04
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: Evolving]
    #2372667 - 02/23/04 05:36 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I cannot think of any technological advance which has come about without some form of self-interest. Maybe a few but they could not have occured without prior self-interested acts. I consider advancement of one's tribe to be in one's own interest. I understand that there seems to be too much wealth concentrated in the hands of too few, but I think the greatest force for poverty in the world is overpopulation caused by some insane drive to have more and more babies. The poorest countries have the highest birth rate. Granted, many babies die but the response is to have more babies. Our sheer numbers guarantee poverty and disproportianate wealth. Name one other system besides capitalism which has succeeded in bringing about technological advances. This forum wouldn't exist and we wouldn't have time to ponder these matters, we'd be to busy trying to get food and shelter. We have so much and even the poorest areas are better than they were. We are too successful.


--------------------


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Invisibletekramrepus
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: zappaisgod]
    #2373754 - 02/23/04 11:38 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

"I cannot think of any technological advance which has come about without some form of self-interest."



Could this be why much of the world's technology is damaging to both ourselves and our planet? Hmm....


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Offlinelostsuitcase
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: PHARMAKOS]
    #2374620 - 02/24/04 04:23 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

PHARMAKOS said:
i was researching for a paper and came across the following statistic:
the combined wealth of the world's 3 richest people is equal to the wealth of the worlds 45 poorest COUNTRIES.

its true

would it not be ethically justifieable to tax these multibillionairs 4% of their wealth to go to humanitarian aid? that money could raise millions of people above the starvation line, set up food for work programs, supply medicine, sex education, housing, schools ...

how can we justify a single person having more money than several countries? how can one person have 20 billion dollars while millions of people subsist on less than a dollar a day?

so , what do you think? should government tax the worlds most affluent to help the worlds most destitute, or do multi billionaries deserve what they earned?




correct me if Im wrong, but Bill Gates has allready donated billions to organizations who help the africa crisis and Ted turner donated a billion dollars to the UN.

mmmmmmm.


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OfflinePed
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: zappaisgod]
    #2375797 - 02/25/04 12:37 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

While self-interest has had it's value, and has propelled us quite far technologically and sociologically, we are reaching a point at which the volume of our accomplishments and the interconnectedness of our world commands us to start considering the benefit of others. It is in our own best interest for this to become first in our minds.


--------------------


:poison: Dark Triangles - New Psychedelic Techno Single - Listen on Soundcloud :poison:
Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


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OfflineSpokesman
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: PHARMAKOS]
    #2376391 - 02/25/04 04:32 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Free Will?? What does that have to do with it, the poor gets almost half they check taken away in taxes and court fees anyway. F*&%k that. These rich motherf*&^%$ers make to much god damn money not to be obligated to give something more. We dont alllow monopolies! I say once you make as much money as Trump, Bill Gates or Oprah the goverment should tax the shit out of your ass and put some of that in educational systems and Social Security and Medicare!


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Anonymous

Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: Jared]
    #2376426 - 02/25/04 04:42 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)


Also, imagine there is a buisnessman who is so good at making money, that NO ONE can outdo him.. he just absorbs more and more money from the world, until everyone is poor, and he is the only person with wealth.

Is this a fair scenario?


1. the amount of wealth in the world is not static. there is not a large pie sitting somewhere from which everyone gets a peice, and which the rich take more than their fair share.

2. everything of economic value has been produced, discovered, or invented by productive human efforts. more and more continues to be produced every day.

3. if a person has acquired everything they own through honest means, then they must have produced something of at least equal value in their lifetime as everything they own. the only way to acquire things other than force or fraud is to produce them oneself or to produce something else of equal value to offer in exchange with others.

the rich who became so by honest means did not do so by simply "manipulating the system".

I think no one should be allowed to earn more than 1000%(or some other set percentage) what the lowest current wages paid are.. if someone wants more money, they have to lobby for higher international minimum wage.

why shouldn't someone be able to produce more than that if they want to? why put a cap on a person's productiveness simply because they are more productive than others?


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: PHARMAKOS]
    #2376925 - 02/25/04 08:28 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

would it not be ethically justifieable to tax these multibillionairs 4% of their wealth to go to humanitarian aid?




NO!  ITS NEVER ETHICAL TO TAX ANYONE.  TAXES WERE CREATED BY THE DEVIL.

/dogma


As far as the whole "creating wealth" vs. "slices of a finite pie" arguement goes, I think the truth lies somewhere in between these two positions.  Strict adherance to either side is an indicator of fanaticism.  :smirk:


--------------------
peace, pot, and microdot!


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OfflineFrog
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: PHARMAKOS]
    #2376952 - 02/25/04 08:38 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Or, instead of "giving" it to them, what is the expression?

"Give a man a fish..."

I can't remember how it goes. But I could see helping countries to help themselves, but not "giving" it to them.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineFrankieJustTrypt
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Registered: 01/27/04
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Re: capitalism at its finest [Re: PHARMAKOS]
    #2377371 - 02/25/04 11:54 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I think the problem is not so much the obscene amount of wealth that these few people have, its the control over others that it yields them.

With the amount of power that money yeilds in the world today and with the high concentration of wealth in a few hands I say we let go of this charade of democracy and just start calling it what it really is: Plutocracy: A state controlled by the wealthy.

We'll always have rich people. They are not the problem. Its the power we allow money to have, especially in politics.

And the fact that you can always pay half the poor to kill the other half.


--------------------
If you want a free lunch, you need to learn how to eat good advice.


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