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Are people getting tired of all the billionaires and their billionairing?

  • 12-11-2022 5:16am
    Registered Users Posts: 81,988 ✭✭✭✭

    Not to start a total cap-marx civil war or anything but this seems like a good time to ask. Not so long ago the Gamestonks thing put the spotlight back on Wall Street again. Twitter was bought by Elon, some troll paid $8 to impersonate an insulin company, now the company has lost billions (And Tesla went from a high of $1.2 T to under $ 600 Bn in value)

    Meta went from a $1T company to $300 Bn company for a VR game that doesn't even have legs.

    Confidence in Amazon has slumped too - it is the first company now to lost $1T in market cap; Amazon has no new ideas, Bezos just sunk over a $ Billion into a LOTR TV Show that critics and fans of the actual canon of LOTR, hated (He couldn't buy the correct rights and trudged forward anyway), and you also have people salty at Bezos owning the Washington Post (they might blame him for how the election went), and his phallic rocket which caused quite a LOT of stir for being really on the nose as to the point of this thread.

    Speaking of the LOTR show, the billionaire who bought Warner Bros./HBO is pissing a lot of film industry people off, even shelved a basically complete Batgirl movie co-starring Brendan Fraser, killed off the animation department(s) and basically is treating the company like he's flipping a home to sell. Probably killing off a bunch of writer and actor/supporting dreams for a slightly higher ROI in some spreadsheet. But they're keeping House of Dragons? It's ****. /rant

    Just in the last 24 hours this Crypto thing I've never heard of FTX, and was apparently hot ****, and there were even FTX Stadiums in the US apparently like you'd have the NY Giants Pepsi-dome or something. Their brash young CEO tweeted out basically a twitter thread explaining, 'welp, filing for bankruptcy, lol'

    It just seems like these folks are **** around with a lot of gross domestic product (GDP) and lighting it on fire, things that actual people worked on, created and built. I had assurances that being a billionaire and in charge of a company with much money was some kind of evidence of that rich person's own transferable skills.

    Bonus shoutout to Theranos scammer trying to butter up the judge for an 18 month sentence after a jury gave her 80 years for a $10 Bn miracle-pharma scam.



  • Registered Users Posts: 81,700 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn

    As someone who was impacted by the original dot com bubble I think now is even more of a laugh where you have people saying their company is worth eleventeen trillion despite it not making a profit since it was created and little hope of it in the next 5 years.

    My main hate on 'billionaires' is a well known in the media Irish lad who buys a $70m private jet and registers it in the Isle Of Man but decides to place a tricolour on the tail fin to think people who see it will assume it's registered in Ireland by some proud Irish man, it's the same as someone putting S4 Halfords tack badges on a 105bhp A4 diesel shed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 81,988 ✭✭✭✭Overheal

    There's a ton of flag sailing misapplication across the world, and so much wealth ends up as (or on) yachts and such. Like the ones seized by the Russian oligarchs/kleptos that are the same topic here basically. Bezos' yacht in the UK/Scotland of course (just for being a twat about the bridge - can I say that?), and also the McConnells, ie. Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao, who are a right pair of American kleptos themselves who basically shell company all their wealth across freighters and such that don't fly under US flags. Betsy Devos got in a fair amount of heat about her own private Yacht not flying under a US flag (and she was the education secretary - another spectacular moment where people thought being rich = they must be smart, big fix education)

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,070 ✭✭✭✭smurfjed

    Isn’t there a rule that to sail under the US Flag, the ship had to be built in the USA? Or does this only apply to cruise liners.

  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 75,722 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Beasty

    It's the country of registration that determines which flag a ship sails under

    Speaking of which, there has been a recent reduction in Russian billionaires....

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    To answer the question in the title of this thread, no.

    Billionaires have provided, and continue to provide, enormous opportunities to society - the entrepreneurial kind I mean. Amazon, to take one example, employs 1.1 million people alone in the United States, and let's not forget the supply chain offshoots from this company, too. I'm sure those employees are not tired of the billionaire providing that opportunity.

    To answer the OP itself, it seems to me that you're just describing business - some people take risks, some of these thrive, some of these fail. It's up to the billionaire to make whatever decisions he so chooses. We don't have to like it. It's none of our business, it's their business. Their choices, their risks, their opportunities.

    You hand-picked your own examples of recent failures or flops (conveniently ignoring any success stories, I might add) to justify a wider excuse to batter the billionaires, the 1%, and all the usual...

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    every billionaire is a failure of policy

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,099 ✭✭✭✭RobbingBandit

    Rupert Murdoch the billionaire tyrant was being hated when these new money trouble makers were wetting their beds.

    Musk will burn the world though he is a different level of crazy

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,197 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    Every billionaire is proof that if you have the right idea and are smart enough, you can become extremely rich. Why should there be a policy against being rich?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Personally invested in the eircom shares.

    Took hit, got out before they really started to slide and changed shares to vodaphone.

    Must Stop watching all those Doomer Wojak videos on YouTube!

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Ultimately, it's about envy.

    I'm an atheist, but the Tenth Commandment springs to mind:

    You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor.

    There's actual value in this commandment - namely, that you shouldn't spend your time coveting or being envious of the possessions of another. It's sage advice.

    When people say that billionaires shouldn't exist, what they're really saying is that they want to lift themselves up by putting another person down. They couldn't invest the time or hard work to come up with an inventive, creative idea. So rather than doing the hard work, they'd rather put those people down - to say that they should never exist. Or even worse, to say that all their wealth should be redistributed.

    In the US, the Powerball jackpot is currently set at $1.6 billion.

    If the same people complaining about billionaires actually won this jackpot, you can be damn sure they'd be over the moon - would keep almost all of it, and would change their mind in an instant about whether a billionaire should exist.

    Of course, they'd deny that but we all know it would be a lie.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    astonishing projection and, predictably, missing the important part of the point.

    also the powerball was won last week, keep up. good luck to the fortunate individual, i dont envy anyone anything they have. what a strange diversion to pull up.

    but billions are very rarely made such that the long term societal costs are aligned correctly alongside the direction of the short term wealth.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,011 ✭✭✭joseywhales

    In fairness, capitalism can hardly be described meritocratic. There are billions of unique combinations of genetics out there and we do not come close to maximizing the potential pool. Billionaires tend to have above average intelligence(but not exactly the creme) and more importantly inheritance of capital and network. There's no doubt that we could vastly improve performance of human industry by allocating resources and opportunity better among our human capital pool.

    Not that I blame billionaires for anything, humans gonna human after all. I also find it laughable that people could complain about a crypto crash, like yeah go out and buy your magic coins that are completely valued by confidence (yes like fiat currency but they are secured by entire countries and their central banks) . Like if you have a diversified portfolio both sector and regional and not concentrated on a handful of stocks, you have fixed income and equity and you beat inflation most years by 3-4%, well done, don't push it. If you take high risks don't cry when you get burned.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,702 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    Ultimately, it's about envy.

    For some people, perhaps that is the reason but for many others it's about fairness and what is best for the whole of society.

    When a tiny portion of society horde wealth and power that leaves larger and larger numbers of people poor and powerless.

    An extreme example of this is what happened in Russia after the Soviet Union collapsed. A small group of men, who later became known as the oligarchs, managed to get their hands on formerly state-owned assets for a fraction of what they were worth. They then used their new wealth to steal even more of the countries wealth. All of that happened at a time when the average citizen was literally going unpaid for months and resorting to foreign aid to prevent from starving.

    That's the extreme example. Billionaires in the west typically don't outright steal their assets but they do put their thumb on the scales in all manner of ways in order to maintain and increase their wealth. Whether it be lobbying politicians, keeping an army of lawyers on hand to sue people where necessary, funding government think tanks, buying media outlets. Their companies are often the beneficiaries of corporate welfare in the forms of tax-breaks, grants and preferential planning. I could go on and on.

    Conservatives in places like American like to hark back to halcyon days of the past. "Make American Great Again" never really says the era that they want to go back to but since it was Trump's (recycled) slogan presumably it's to the time of his youth and heyday - so the 1950s or 1960s. Well have a look at this:

    The top marginal tax rate in 1960 was 91%, which applied to income over $200,000 (for single filers) or $400,000 (for married filers) – thresholds which correspond to approximately $1.5 million and $3 million, respectively, in today’s dollars. Approximately 0.00235% of households had income taxed at the top rate.


    I can't imagine too many of those super wealthy want to really go back to that era!

    Basically a "winner takes" all society is not in the best interest of the majority of society but those who it does benefit can often use their wealth and power to perpetuate it and convince enough people that it really is in their best interests.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,624 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Just in case anyone is in any doubt about the quality of jobs provided by Amazon

    They didn’t create new jobs, they stole the jobs from other retailers and supply chain providers with their race to the bottom conditions for staff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,197 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    Meh, they are mostly low skilled jobs so as long as they are above minimum wage, no law is broken and the employees are not prevented from taking better paid jobs elsewhere. Let’s be fair, these are mostly shelf stacking and packaging jobs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,949 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    many wealthy are actually highly narcissistic, and behave as so, i.e. their egos's are generally very fragile, yet they still persist with incredible idiotic ideas, a lot of the time theyre well insulted from their fcuk ups, yet they destroy many peoples lives and livelihoods, but dont worry, they rarely face consequences....

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,252 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    I find people crying about billionaires to be rather naïve.

    Its all made up, all just numbers on a page, but they act as if those billionaires have stolen money from their own mouths. Do they think Musk and Bezos are swimming around in Scrooge McDuck style silos of coins?

    Yesterdays millionaires are todays billionaires because some lads pressed buttons on a computer and zeros appeared. And if they wiped half those zeros from Musks account its not as if the money would transfer to somebody else. It just disappears, because it is all made up.

    It certainly doesn't make a blind bit of difference to me.

  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 75,722 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Beasty

    Where do you draw the line?

    Is a Rupee billionaire as much of a failure as a USD or EUR billionaire?

    If a billionaire provides jobs for a million people is that a failure of policy?

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,624 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    The reason they can’t get better paid jobs elsewhere is that Amazon have destroyed those jobs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,197 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    The inter web destroyed their jobs, you can’t turn back the clock.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,782 ✭✭✭Northernlily

    It's concerning how much wealth has increased amongst a small cohort in the past 3 years alone. Property and real estate value have increased hugely across the globe as wages remain largely stagnant.

    At the same time, a lot of the attributed wealth doesn't physically translate to their bank accounts as most people seem to believe. It's tied up in assets and investments which if there was a downturn big enough would be upended overnight. The real value of accumulated wealth is usually much lower than stated.

  • Registered Users Posts: 81,988 ✭✭✭✭Overheal

    This is what happened with the expansion of walmart over the past 30 years. Thousands of small mom and pops and intermediary sized stores around the country that all went belly up because the Waltons rolled into town and used their amassed wealth to push their competitors out of the market. They may now be one of the countries largest employers but they also eat up $6 Bn/yr in welfare for these employees.

    Because of their ability to both pressure and capture lawmakers and their ability to pressure and capture low income Americans ('where else are you going to work' syndrome) the Waltons command this giant revolving-consumerism business that is subsidized by the taxpayer and in which they themselves are tax-sheltered, effectively creating a big machine for pulling wealth out of the US economy and parking it off the coast of Gibraltar and ****.

    Alice Walton was the 20th-largest individual contributor to 527 committees in the U.S. presidential election 2004, donating US$2.6 million to the conservative Progress for America group.[25] As of January 2012, Walton had contributed $200,000 to Restore Our Future, the super PAC associated with Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.[26] Alice donated $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee supporting Clinton and other Democrats, in 2016.[27] In 2016, Walton and other Walmart heirs donated $407 million in Walmart shares to a Family Trust which finances its philanthropy.[28]

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,745 ✭✭✭Greyfox

    HOTD is actually the best written tv series this year. Most billionaires put lots of other people out of business to get where they are and also pay a lot of their staff crap money so yeah most of them are not good people. Musk is a bit of a tool but you don't get rich from been nice. Sadly the gulf between rich and poor will continue to grow, billionaires are not going anywhere unfortunately

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Completely agree re: HOTD. Top stuff right there.

    I'm not concerned with a tiny number of billionaires being creative, being inventive, establishing jobs, and boosting the economy. Multibillionaires could live on a paradise island, but instead choose to work and better society in the long run.

    I'm far more concerned with the people at the bottom who refuse to work and instead rely on the state for handouts. They are many times in number, and contribute very little to society compared to the billionaires.

    Perhaps a little perspective is in order.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,837 ✭✭✭fly_agaric

    I think the US (which OP mostly relates to) has developed a dangerous problem with an over concentration of wealth. The sometimes daft and destructive behaviour of billionaires (e.g. Musk) and large companies in the US is just a symptom. Just too much resources concetrated in too few private/unaccountable hands, bad decisions about applying it + waste.

    I believe there were similar issues in the past in the US - the late 19th early 20th century period (giant companies that were a law unto themselves and a "Robber Baron" class with an excess of power and wealth).

    The US needs some traditional social democracy remedies applied to correct this.

    Big wealth taxes on these people/companies.

    Much more enforcement of regulation of the economy by the state, the govt. really getting up in the business of large companies owned/run by the billionaire class vs laying down meekly + often writing laws to suit as directed by lobbyists (as happens now).

    Redistribution of the "windfall" (from taxes, and maybe from penalties levied against some of these companies) through provision of public services and the building/renewal of infrastructure etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,005 ✭✭✭✭AlekSmart

    At this juncture I believe it appropriate to tip our caps towards our own home grown success stories...Ladies & Gentlemen I give you Ryanair and it's host...Micheal O Leary !! 🤑

    Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

    Charles Mackay (1812-1889)

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Wealth taxes achieve the opposite of what they are set up to achieve.

    Many countries ran the wealth tax experiment, and ended up raising less revenue in the long-term as wealthy people left the country.

    France is a notable example:

    In 1982, Francois Mitterand, the first left-wing president of France’s Fifth Republic, introduced a wealth tax that was swiftly abolished by Jacques Chirac in 1986, but reinstated two years later when Mr Mitterand was voted back in. The tax – called the ISF (impôt sur la fortune) – stayed in place until 2017 when it was abolished by current president Emmanuel Macron.

    The rate was charged on individuals with a net worth over €1.3m (£1.14m), with the rate ranging from 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent (on assets over €10m). While it might have helped social solidarity in France, the revenue it raised was paltry. In 2015, a total of 343,000 households paid €5.22bn, an average of about €15,200 per household, according to the Financial Times. It accounted for less than 2 per cent of France’s tax receipts.

    What’s more, it led to an exodus of France’s richest. More than 12,000 millionaires left France in 2016, according to research group New World Wealth. In total, they say the country experienced a net outflow of more than 60,000 millionaires between 2000 and 2016. When these people left, France lost not only the revenue generated from the wealth tax, but all the others too, including income tax and VAT.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,078 ✭✭✭salonfire

    That's because people vote with their wallet and buy from Amazon because it is the cheapest and most convenient.

    And knowing how obsessed you are with money, salaries, costs and so on, that includes you.

    First in the door to Penny's, Aldi and so on where staff as well as the labour in the supply chain are treated like crap. Don't be speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,197 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    Consumers want convenience and lower prices, benefits not always associated with mom & pop stores. It’s all good and well to lament their demise, but Americans want the low prices Walmart provide.

    If I had her money, I’d have a yacht too.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,837 ✭✭✭fly_agaric

    My post was about the US right now, not France in the 80s or indeed France today.

    There is definitely a big concentration of resources (or funnelling of the countries' wealth upwards) going on in the US, that is borne out by economic statistics over last few decades. Is it a problem? Yes I think so.

    One way of reducing this is govt. taking a bigger hand and redistributing some of it (my calling that general idea a "wealth tax" specifically in my post was probably a mistake).

    Another common way it has happened in history of course is through economic crises, revolutions and political uphevals + wars (bringing everyone down, but also wiping out alot of the assets and wealth of classes of people like OPs billionaires) but that is never good.