Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, January 20, 2014

A report from Oxfam indicates that 85 individual's wealth is nearly equal to the bottom half of the world's population. Tax rates, reduced in 24 of 26 countries, regressive tax strategies and political power have benefited the wealthiest over the poorest, the report postulates. The report estimates 21 trillion is held "unrecorded and off-shore."

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"one percent of people in the world now amounts to $110 trillion, or 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world's population"

www.nbcnews.com

#1 | Posted by YAV at 2014-01-20 09:27 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Time to bring back the guillotines.

#2 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2014-01-20 09:34 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Capitalism is a great wealth generator but what good is it if so much of the wealth goes to so few? The world needs to regulate capitalism so that more of the benefits flow to the majority. I sure as hell could not see myself asking my grandson to go and fight for the rights of the few to hold the majority of the wealth. Americans did that in the 50's, 60's and 70's but now that Communism has collapsed the greedy few at the top don't need the support of the working classes any more and can just be as greedy and power hungry as they want with impunity. During the Cold War they had to at least make a pretense of sharing the wealth with the rest of us.

#3 | Posted by danni at 2014-01-20 09:54 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 4

only a idiot savant still hasn't learned that wealth is NOT a zero sum game.

#4 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-01-20 10:15 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

only a idiot savant still hasn't learned that wealth is NOT a zero sum game.

#4 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-01-20 10:15 AM | Reply | Flag:

Reality remains indifferent to whatever world view causes you the say the above. Truth is that resources are finite.

#5 | Posted by Sully at 2014-01-20 10:35 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

It might as well be with that kind of gap.

#6 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-01-20 10:41 AM | Reply | Flag:

"wealth is NOT a zero sum game." True, but some less informed argue that it is not.

#7 | Posted by sames1 at 2014-01-20 10:46 AM | Reply | Flag:

This is why we had 90 percent tax rates until the 1950's, even with some deductions, and why the Republican sycophants for the wealthy are always trying to drive those rates lower.

Unfettered capitalism is designed to flow money upwards, stagnate worker's wages, and protect the 1 percent.

It werks just great.

#8 | Posted by Corky at 2014-01-20 10:53 AM | Reply | Flag:

well, if they list those 85 individuals/families, where they are from and where their wealth sources, I think some here might learn that our tax rates in the USA don't have anything to do with why those folks have such wealth.

#9 | Posted by eberly at 2014-01-20 10:55 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Before capitalism we never saw such wealth concentration. Is Fidel Castro among the list of 85? He's a billionaire and a communist.

#10 | Posted by visitor_ at 2014-01-20 11:46 AM | Reply | Flag:

They own 1/2 the wealth and 100% of the government.

#11 | Posted by 726 at 2014-01-20 04:08 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Another NW post from 726

#12 | Posted by Corky at 2014-01-20 04:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

If they own 100% of the government, then a smaller government would reduce their power. Now we're getting somewhere.

#13 | Posted by visitor_ at 2014-01-20 05:34 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Well what do you expect with the current unfair tax system. Why would anyone keep his money here when he is being threatened with the Buffett rule. A tax that would tax money saved in the bank that tax had already been paid on.

Want to free up the money then you need to lower taxes and make them the same rate for everyone.

#14 | Posted by tmaster at 2014-01-20 05:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

And we're supposed to believe the rich are being taxed to death?

#15 | Posted by Tor at 2014-01-20 05:48 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

If they own 100% of the government, then a smaller military would reduce their power.

FTFY!

Now we're getting somewhere.

Indeed.

#16 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-01-20 05:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

#15

you'd have to be crazy to believe that. And if that much if offshored, then what can we do about it?

if this really concerns some of you that much, then what do you suggest as a course of action?

I mean...most of those folks are Saudis, Asians, Russians, Europeans that control natural resources (oil, minerals, etc) and completely control their respective governments.

#17 | Posted by eberly at 2014-01-20 05:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Want to free up the money then you need to lower taxes and make them the same rate for everyone."

lower them how much? most folks have no estate tax liability so what are you talking about? the article points out taxes have been decreased in most of the countries.

they need to reduce more? how much, then?

there's more to the "offshoring" thing than just tax rates and avoiding taxes....some of it is to avoid public scrutiny, maintain privacy and making it less possible for a govt entity, domestic or foreign to confiscate those funds. Some of that wealth was generated illegally, perhaps in violation of national treaties, embargos, etc....

it's not just about taxes..

#18 | Posted by eberly at 2014-01-20 05:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

#14 The 1% thank you for doing their bidding.

#19 | Posted by 726 at 2014-01-20 06:02 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#9 What are the names of these 85, other than Powers That Be? It sounds like we are regressing as a population offering global opportunity. What is their cultural, ethnic and religious background? How does that relate to worldwide population demographic distribution? What universities did they attend? Are they in a secret club - Skull and Bones? Are they dominated by one religious sect or background which can ultimately serve as a tribal bond and club? Who exactly are the fractional one percenters and how did they get there? Are they winning by discriminating against providing opportunities to others not in their club?

A sociological study on this might reveal that the ultra rich are not really so brilliant and competent, which is a factor that could benefit society, but instead that that they've rigged the system against society.

#20 | Posted by Robson at 2014-01-20 06:05 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

This is how Capitalism works. Those people don't pay taxes either. It is guaranteed that that level of wealth is inherited. Gates's, often touted as the world's richest man, owns much less than the Rockefeller Group, who owns much less then the Rothschilds.

The miracle of compound interest guarantees that the greatest wealth is the oldest wealth. This is why most wealth is inherited. One of the ways the mass media conspires to promote the benefits of Capitalism is to put Gates, a self made man, on the top of the heap. At $60 billion or so, we're talking real money, but nothing compared to the Rothschilds, estimated between $175 to $500 trillion. The Rothschilds are leaches more than anyone on welfare.

#21 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-01-20 06:23 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

only a idiot savant still hasn't learned that wealth is NOT a zero sum game.

#4 | POSTED BY PANEOCON AT 2014-01-20 10:15 AM | FLAG:

What happens at the end of the game?

#22 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-01-20 06:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

only a idiot savant still hasn't learned that wealth is NOT a zero sum game.

#4 | POSTED BY PANEOCON

I don't think EITHER of those terms mean what you think they mean.

#23 | Posted by Sycophant at 2014-01-20 06:31 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Investment in Wall Street is a dangerous rigged zero sum game. So is all domestic and international trade, as is insurance. Farming, manufacturing, including construction and mining are not zero sum games.

#24 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-01-20 06:36 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Farming?

Sorry but we NEED farming and it requires manufacturing which in turn requires construction.

Wall Street on the other hand seems to be dated (same with stock brokers).

#25 | Posted by Tor at 2014-01-20 06:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

Obviously their are people without fabulous wealth for which our armed forces fight. The filthy rich, some famous, ride along on the benefit provided the general population. No, neither your grandson nor mine would be fighting to protect only the rich. They fight for the right of all American's to become as rich as they choose. The Constitution provide for equal opportunity, NOT equal outcome. At your age you should know that. You want equality move to China's suburbs and share their misery.
Consider that much of the wealth of these 85 rich people is invested in material assists which provide jobs and products in demand by the ordinary.

#26 | Posted by lel2007 at 2014-01-20 07:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

Maybe you should get off your dead assets and create your own wealth.

#27 | Posted by lel2007 at 2014-01-20 07:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

America's Constitution provides for Equality under the Law and Equal Opportunity to accumulate wealth. Nothing promises you equality of outcome. Both the rich, the poor, and the envious will always be among us.

#28 | Posted by lel2007 at 2014-01-20 07:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

At $60 billion or so, we're talking real money, but nothing compared to the Rothschilds, estimated between $175 to $500 trillion. The Rothschilds are leaches more than anyone on welfare.

#21 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-01-20 06:23 PM

But are the "Rothschilds" even bigger leaches than those evil Evangelical Christians? The MSM MSNBC puppets of the Rothschilds are constantly proclaiming that these working folks as the root cause of everything wrong. When the real root cause is the DNA of greed and political re-distribution of everything to the special rich.

#29 | Posted by Robson at 2014-01-20 08:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

Lel2007 is that the year you graduated from elementary school?

It is not envy to see that the super wealthy have gamed the system in their favor. I have no envy I don't want the headaches that come with that kind of wealth. However just because I don't envy them their wealth doesn't mean I can't look at the media ownership, the political class and see that the game is rigged.

You can get very wealthy but you will never reach the level of the current players because they work to keep you out of the club.

#30 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-01-20 08:36 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

only a idiot savant still hasn't learned that wealth is NOT a zero sum game.

#4 | POSTED BY PANEOCON

I don't think EITHER of those terms mean what you think they mean.

#23 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT

Inconceivable!

#31 | Posted by JuicyJMillions at 2014-01-20 09:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

"85 People Hold Half of World's Wealth"

That's called "capitalism".

#32 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-01-20 09:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

That's called "wealth".

FTFY

#33 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-20 09:42 PM | Reply | Flag:

Questions, Nulli.

Is wealth in of itself bad?
Is capitalism in of itself bad?
Is socialism in of itself bad?

#34 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-20 09:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

It's actually called greed and hoarding.

It's a bit of a mental illness.

The only reason it's not classified as such is due to the notion that we should all want to be the same as the rich.

I don't understand the point of hoarding money. I'm not talking about saving money for a rainy day, or for a trip to Europe, or for retirement...

I'm talking about hoarding. I'm talking about having billions and trillions and not using it for anything. Putting it into off shore accounts.

It serves them no more purpose than the lady that can't live in her house anymore because she's saved every newspaper ever printed.

#35 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-01-20 09:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

It's actually called greed and hoarding.

Who cares.

I'd be interested if they got wealthy by creating things people were willing to pay for. Or were they political insiders.

#36 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-20 10:06 PM | Reply | Flag:

There is no such thing as capitalism. It is a term used because the fascisti had to spin because of exactly what the above article is about.

The idea that a small cliche can basically own a nation and simultaneously there can be any government that isn't fascist is a fantasy.

Unscientific Aspect #3: Economists assume that "money" is only a "medium of exchange":

"MONEY: Anything which is widely acceptable in exchange for goods, or in settling debts, not for itself but because it can be similarly passed on, has the character of money since it serves the primary function of money, i.e. a means of payment. As a means of payment money is an entity which is transferred when a payment is made; as such it acts as a medium of exchange, a function essential to any economy other than the most primitive." [p. 285, THE MIT DICTIONARY OF ECONOMICS]

But even the casual observer can see that money is social power because it "empowers" people to buy and do the things they want -- including buying and doing other people: politics.

If employers have the freedom to pay workers less "political power," then they will retain more political power for themselves. Money is, in a word, "political," and "economic efficiency" is correctly seen as a political concept designed to conserve political power for those who have it -- to make the politically powerful, even more powerful, and the politically weak, even weaker.

Our national currency provided the means for moneyed interests to capture our formal political system.

#37 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-01-20 10:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

#23 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT

a person who is highly knowledgeable about one subject but knows little about anything else

www.merriam-webster.com

Well maybe just a idiot.

#38 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-01-20 10:13 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

It's actually called greed and hoarding.
It's a bit of a mental illness.
#35 | POSTED BY CLOWNSHACK

Yes that greed and hording gave us electric, automobiles, railroads, petroleum, steel, medical cures, universities and a life style that was the envy of the world. Driven people really suck

#39 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-01-20 10:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

The Constitution might espouse equal opportunity but that doesn't guarantee anything. Nor do we operate in any way vaguely intended by our founding fathers. The system is rigged by criminals who reap rewards and are exempt from prosecution because they're so rich. The fundamental mechanism driving this wealth concentration is time, every compound interest rate has a doubling period. The doubling period of 6% annual interest rate is about 6 years.

The only way to prevent this policy (paying interest) from enslaving almost everybody to a few is to restrict the amounts which can be inherited. Things like the Eccles, Ford, Gates and Rockefeller Foundations must be nationalized. This is only one problem ,created by the 1% for their own benefit. Its probably more immediately important to lock up Wall Street criminals.

#40 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-01-20 10:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

#39

gave us .

Gave us! You give credit to the people that sold it to you.

Your hero is the guy that put a price on it.

In most cases, the person or people that discovered/created: electricity, automobiles, railroads, petroleum, steel, medical cures, universities... weren't always the people that got to put a price on it and sell it.

#41 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-01-20 10:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

Things like the Eccles, Ford, Gates and Rockefeller Foundations must be nationalized.
#40 | POSTED BY NUTCASE

You were doing so well until that one. Prey tell who will build a business if state forfeiture is the final solution?

#42 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-01-20 10:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

#41 | POSTED BY CLOWNSHACK

What ever are you talking about? These discoveries were either based on venture capital, banking capital or family investment.

#43 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-01-20 10:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Yes that greed and hording gave us electric, automobiles, railroads, petroleum, steel, medical cures, universities and a life style that was the envy of the world. Driven people really suck"

It gave us all of those things and good paying jobs too, back then they didn't send all the jobs overseas. The fools on the right can defend the uber wealthy all they want but if they think that those 85 will stop at 50% of all the wealth in the world they haven't been paying attention. At what percentage do the righties who aren't part of that 85 realize that we are on a course headed towards serfdom. In the middle ages the few owned all the land and the workers were virtual slaves to the landowners, what makes you think that isn't going to happen again. REalize how much property, in many countries, changed hands in just this last financial disaster. A few more like that and few of us will own property and those few who do can easily be taxed off of it. They have the media, the government, the money, they have all the power and some here still applaud them for it and pretend it is all "earned."

#44 | Posted by danni at 2014-01-20 11:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

Only those who do not have the tenacity nor will to get out there and earn and make wealth, had rather sit on their lazy duff and complain about those who do...you can rant all you want, but you only go deeper to confirm your own laziness and lack of ability to earn and accumulate wealth...your argument is really shallow and transparent..

#45 | Posted by drsoul at 2014-01-20 11:34 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

"I have no envy I don't want the headaches that come with that kind of wealth"

Amen, Tao. Very well said.

"However just because I don't envy them their wealth doesn't mean I can't look at the media ownership, the political class and see that the game is rigged."

It was rigged heavily in favor of Caesar, Nero, Hitler, Stalin and Mao and many others. Don't worry. They lose all.

#46 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-01-20 11:57 PM | Reply | Flag:

45 | Posted by drsoul a

What a simpleton you are.
And it is your argument that is shallow, and lacks intelligent of the complexity of society and real life.

#47 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2014-01-21 12:03 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

"I have no envy I don't want the headaches that come with that kind of wealth"

I have to agree to an extent.

If I was one of them I'd end up dividing my time between managing my wealth, trying to keep it moral, and trying to give away as much currency as I could survive without.

Not much time left for fun or sanity.

#48 | Posted by Tor at 2014-01-21 12:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

Show me a millionaire and i will show you a person who either was born with advantages, or was allowed to use the social system in a way not available to the masses for one political reason or another.

The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done. -- balzac

#49 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-01-21 01:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

A Liberal Paradise would be a place where everybody has guaranteed employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free education, free food, free housing, free clothing, free utilities; and only Law Enforcement has guns.

Such a place does exist.

It's called prison.

#50 | Posted by Greatamerican at 2014-01-21 05:12 AM | Reply | Flag:

#50. When you make idiotic broad brush comments such as that you expose just how stupid you really are.

#51 | Posted by 726 at 2014-01-21 05:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

And it is your argument that is shallow, and lacks intelligent of the complexity of society and real life.
#47 | POSTED BY PUNCHYPOSSUM

Sot to paraphrase, that's too close to home for me?

#52 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-01-21 07:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

Does anyone but me have some questions about the data itself?

1. If OXFAM is adding the estimated value of hidden offshored assets, how accurate is their estimate?

2. Where ARE these 85 people (or is it 85 families)? What countries do they live in? How many are American (a valid question, given that so many posters on this thread focus only on the US tax code)?

Here's a peek at the wealthiest individuals:

www.forbes.com

3. How come none of these people are named Rothschild?

#53 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-01-21 08:12 AM | Reply | Flag:

That is just so wrong and damaging to society.

#54 | Posted by drewl at 2014-01-21 08:15 AM | Reply | Flag:

The problem in the US is the tax code, but don't blame the rich for it. The tax code belongs to Congress: it's their problem and only they can fix it. Everyone here is fixated on the money, but money was just a conduit by which politicians could get what they really want: POWER. If you fix the tax code, you take away their power...that's why it won't get fixed.

#55 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-01-21 08:38 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#55 - you and OXFAM agree.

BTW - Nat Rothschild was 1153 on last year's list. Not sure what happened to him this year. Probably got bumped.

#56 | Posted by YAV at 2014-01-21 09:23 AM | Reply | Flag:

PUNCHYPOSSUM....'punchy' sure defines your state of mind... those who do not make something of themselves have thousands of excuses not to do so, the most prominent to criticize those that can and do what you cannot.. the opportunity has always been there for ANYONE who wants to make the REAL effort to make and accumulate wealth... you can look at all of the people with wealth (not only the top 85), many who have originated from every kind of personal situation, not fostered by inheritance or special help who have made a lot of money... those of you who keep excusing yourself off only serve to show a lack of willingness to work hard for anything..

#57 | Posted by drsoul at 2014-01-21 09:29 AM | Reply | Flag:

DrSoul, Some do in fact work their butts of to become super wealthy. Bill Gates worked 7 days a week 12+ hour days good for him. Yeah there was some shady stuff done but that is not his main legacy. The Walton's however barely work at all. To try and say that all wealth is the result of effort is silly. There are family fortunes that are passed down and there are those like Larry Ellison and Bill Gates that build the fortunes up.

The blind love of wealth no matter how obtained is harmful to society. To hold up the Walton's as an example is simply a way to hold down the rest. I respect what Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Sam Walton achieved. That doesn't mean I respect their kids for being born a Gates, Ellison or Walton.

Joaquín Guzmán Loera is estimated to be one of the top 1200 richest on the planet and Forbes has him as the 67th most powerful man should we look up to him as someone we want to be or want our kids to grow up to be?

You really need to get past the blind love of money it is not healthy.

#58 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-01-21 09:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

Take away all the wealth from rich people, give everyone including the poor $100 and come back 10 years later. You'll find that the same people will be rich again and the poor people will still be poor.

Ye cannae change the laws of physics!. -Montgomery Scott, Chief Engineer, USS Enterprise

#59 | Posted by sames1 at 2014-01-21 10:16 AM | Reply | Flag:

"To try and say that all wealth is the result of effort is silly."

It's true, it just doesn't have to be the effort of the person getting the wealth.

#60 | Posted by sames1 at 2014-01-21 10:19 AM | Reply | Flag:

You'll find that the same people will be rich again and the poor people will still be poor.

Yep the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, and the Walton kids will all be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps just like their daddies did.

Sames1 you make the same mistake as all the others worshiping wealth because it is wealth ignoring how it was acquired. I have no doubt that Bill Gates and Larry Ellison if they so chose in your scenario could regain their wealth, while the guy I know who in the last 10 years longest job was 4 months would be poor still. However there are plenty of folks who might be rich in your scenario and plenty of currently rich who would be poor.

#61 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-01-21 10:27 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Yep the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, and the Walton kids will all be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps just like their daddies did."

No, they won't. I agree with that. Especially Paris Hilton who couldn't even flip burgers at McDonalds. So I stand corrected, the builders will be able to regain their wealth. Those that just fell into it will not.

#62 | Posted by sames1 at 2014-01-21 10:31 AM | Reply | Flag:

guillotines

#63 | Posted by klifferd at 2014-01-21 10:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

TAOWARRIOR....if you REALLY read my statement, especially the part that reads 'many who have originated from every kind of personal situation, not fostered by inheritance or special help'...you might understand that my point is the ability to WORK and accumulate wealth is available to ones from all walks of society...there are MANY people with money who did not inherit or get it by special means.. if you want to foolishly call working and accumulating wealth as a 'blind love of money', then you definitely fall into the category of whiners who cannot achieve that..

#64 | Posted by drsoul at 2014-01-21 10:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

Take away all the wealth from rich people, give everyone including the poor $100 and come back 10 years later. You'll find that the same people will be rich again and the poor people will still be poor.

This is only correct as long as those same people had the same preferred access to the social system. i.e. a wall st. bankster has a license to steal much more than a plumber.

#65 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-01-21 11:02 AM | Reply | Flag:

See there you go attacking anyone who dares criticize. I may have missed your part about excluding inheritance but you missed the part where I praised Gates, Ellison and Sam Walton.

I have no issue with those who work hard to earn their money. It is especially hard to criticize Bill Gates who has a net worth of 72 billion but has given 28 billion to charity.

My issue is with people who think that being wealthy makes you special. It doesn't.

#66 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-01-21 11:13 AM | Reply | Flag:

"PUNCHYPOSSUM....'punchy' sure defines your state of mind... those who do not make something of themselves have thousands of excuses not to do so, the most prominent to criticize those that can and do what you cannot.."

Comments like that have no place in a discussion about macro economics. You should take your nonsense to Redstate of some place where bashing hard working people is expected and approved of.

#67 | Posted by danni at 2014-01-21 11:15 AM | Reply | Flag:

there are MANY people with money who did not inherit or get it by special means..

#64 | Posted by drsoul

As Shawn eludes to in the post that follows yours, MANY of the wealthy were simply in the right place at the right time..

#68 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2014-01-21 11:21 AM | Reply | Flag:

Whatsleft,

MANY of the wealthy were simply in the right place at the right time.

Yes, but back to Gates, if he had not been right at the forefront of the computer revolution would he be worth 72 billion probably not. However the kind of person who spots the future and capitalizes on it working 70+ hours a week will most likely do pretty darn well financially even if it is not the perfect storm of right place right time.

#69 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-01-21 11:30 AM | Reply | Flag:

#67...your lack of comprehension as to facts is completely laughable..

#70 | Posted by drsoul at 2014-01-21 11:44 AM | Reply | Flag:

"This is only correct as long as those same people had the same preferred access to the social system. i.e. a wall st. bankster has a license to steal much more than a plumber."

No way... it's a personality trait. 5% in any field are at the top. That's the way it is. 5% of scientists are brilliant like Einstein, 5% of pilots are Top Gun material, etc.

Put up a roadblock to wealth and those 5% will find a way around it. They work hard, they never give up.

#71 | Posted by sames1 at 2014-01-21 11:44 AM | Reply | Flag:

"#67...your lack of comprehension as to facts is completely laughable.."

You bring work ethics into a discussion about economics sort of makes you the one who is laughable. This tread is about 85 people owning half of the world's wealth, the question is will we allow them to take the other half too and can the world really function well with such a massive imbalance that it gives those 85 people and probably a few hundred others the power to run the entire planet to their own advantage and it is quite unlikely that what benefits them will benefit the rest of the planet. Meanwhile you make snide remarks about other's, who you don't even know, work habits as if since they aren't billionaires they're just lazy. Too bad that would also include you in that ridiculous prejudice.

#72 | Posted by danni at 2014-01-21 12:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

it's a personality trait. 5% in any field are at the top. That's the way it is. 5% of scientists are brilliant like Einstein, 5% of pilots are Top Gun material, etc.

Put up a roadblock to wealth and those 5% will find a way around it. They work hard, they never give up.

#71 | Posted by sames1

Then you make the perfect case that even the least talented or intelligent among us still deserve to make a living for their effort, simply because many of them are still doing the best they can. And yes, I am making a distinction between simply making a living and getting rich.

I've seen people try to make the argument that anyone who works hard enough can be extremely successful. It's an obvious fallacy. You've just made a point that some people may have a distinct advantage. While I don't blame them for using said advantage to their benefit, the disadvantaged do not deserve to suffer, and the advantaged are in a distinct position to make their lives better.

#73 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2014-01-21 12:24 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Danni, Try responding to things that I actually said instead of making up statements and putting your spin on something not credible.. Try reading and understanding the real points I made instead of your FABRICATIONS of what I stated...why twist things???

#74 | Posted by drsoul at 2014-01-21 01:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

There are a lot of very admirable and prideful people in this society who work hard to provide a security for their family who has no desire to accumulate a lot of wealth and that is a personal choice and never to be criticized...it is a fact that the opportunity to actually accumulate wealth through perseverance and hard work is available to all...to not make that choice is not putting anyone down, as we all have our goals...those that I spoke of first here do not usually whine about those that do work to accumulate wealth.

#75 | Posted by drsoul at 2014-01-21 01:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

#21....How rich is the Rothschild family?

"Renowned also for their philanthropic efforts, the Rothschilds have donated vast amounts of money to Jewish charities, helping develop areas throughout Israel and establishing the Open University in Israel.

"Today, the family empire is divided between direct descendants and outside shareholders, which is why – according to the Financial Times – it's difficult to tell how wealthy the actual family is. The Rothschild core global banking and private equity businesses are held by Concordia BV. First owned in equal shares by the English and French families, the company is now controlled by Paris Orléans.

"As for specific members of the modern family, Sir Evelyn De Rothschild the British financier has a net worth of $20 billion. Jacob Rothschild another British investment banker has a net worth of $50 billion. As a modern day an empire, the family's total net worth and assets combined have been pegged in the $300 – $400 billion range."

#76 | Posted by Visitor2 at 2014-01-21 02:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

I have found that rich people are not one bit happier than the average Joe is.. With a lot more worries too..
Jealousy and envy with someone else's lot in life is a gut eater.. It hurts the whiner - not the rich person.

#77 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2014-01-21 02:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

#76 how come none of those names show up on the Forbes link I posted?

#78 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-01-21 03:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

only a idiot savant still hasn't learned that wealth is NOT a zero sum game.

#4 | Posted by paneocon

That's always the straw man dragged out by the defenders of the rich elites.

No one says it's a zero sum game. But if you think the wealthy sucking up and hoarding trillions of dollars is unrelated to the decline of the middle class you lack basic logic processing abilities.

#79 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-01-21 05:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

#78....I guess it depends on who's doing the counting.

#80 | Posted by Visitor2 at 2014-01-21 05:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

"wealth is NOT a zero sum game." True, but some less informed argue that it is not.

#7 | Posted by sames1

Let the poor chew on that!

#81 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-01-21 05:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

Whoa whoa whoa, headline fail (to be fair, the linked article started it). The data does not state that 85 of the wealthiest folks own half the world's wealth. It actually states "...the 85 richest people own the wealth of half of the world's population..."

So in essence, the top, say .00001%'s wealth = the bottom 50% wealth. In other words, the top 85 people have the same wealth as the bottom 3.5B people. A shame, to be sure, but completely different than saying they own 1/2 the world's wealth. The article is forgetting about all folks #86 through 3.499 billion.

OK, now that that's off my chest, it's a dang shame that so few control so much, often at the expense of those much less fortunate.

The Atlantic has a better article on this:

www.theatlantic.com

It states that one reason some countries are experiencing a reduction in the inequality gap is "thanks to a combination of...high taxation and public spending." Not exactly what the people in the US want the hear (especially regarding taxes), but if they were interested in reducing the income gap (which has grown the fastest in the US over the last several years), then they should seriously revisit these issues. I for one could imagine a higher federal income tax. I made almost 6 figures last year and am paying...wait for it...a 3.6% federal income tax rate. This increases to 11.3% when I consider SS and MC. I feel that a higher rate (on most people, not just these 85 people) would not only reduce the deficit but decrease the income gap as well.

#82 | Posted by bartimus at 2014-01-21 06:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

#82 | POSTED BY BARTIMUS

"Redistribute the wealth! Redistribute the WEALTH!" -- Pinko Commies

;-)

#83 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-01-21 06:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

LOL, you can't tell from #82 but I lean slightly...SLIGHTLY...to the right on a lot of issues. But to tell me I'm overtaxed at paying 3.7%? Even this "rightie" knows that's a tiny amount to pay when considering the deficit issues we're facing.

#84 | Posted by bartimus at 2014-01-21 06:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Redistribute the wealth! Redistribute the WEALTH!" -- Pinko Commies

#83 | Posted by rstybeach11

The wealth has already been redistributed from main street to wall street for 30 years. It's time to go the other way.

#85 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-01-21 06:57 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#84 | POSTED BY BARTIMUS
#85 | POSTED BY SPEAKSOFTLY

Fair enough.

:-/

#86 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-01-21 07:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

The wealth has already been redistributed from main street to wall street for 30 years. It's time to go the other way.
#85 | POSTED BY SPEAKSOFTLY

You left out the middle man - Washington.

I wonder why the left always does that?

#87 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-21 07:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

They need to consume 21 trillion in goods and services in order to free up that cash.

#88 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-01-21 07:08 PM | Reply | Flag:

You left out the middle man - Washington.

I wonder why the left always does that?

#87 | Posted by Ray

Washington is just another tool that wall street uses to enrich themselves. As I have to keep telling you - government is not the problem. Government captured by the rich is the problem.

I suspect if someone ran you over, you'd blame the car.

#89 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-01-21 07:13 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

I suspect if someone ran you over, you'd blame the car.

#89 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-01-21 07:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

Or if someone shoots up a school you'd blame the weapon. Idiot.

#90 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-01-21 07:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

Washington is just another tool that wall street uses to enrich themselves. As I have to keep telling you - government is not the problem. Government captured by the rich is the problem.

It doesn't occur that politicians are obsessed with power? They'll lie, cheat, do anything, say anything for power? They have no moral principles and no conscience? These are the people who make promises they don't intend to keep? They depend on a gullible public to believe them?

Are you trying to tell me they can't help what they do? That the money made them do it? Are you THAT dumb? I guess you are.

#91 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-21 07:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

It doesn't occur that politicians are obsessed with power?

#91 | Posted by Ray

The REAL sociopaths are the ones that aspire to control the politicians. Politicians are not on top. The psychos who want to dominate the world know that. They go after wall street jobs where they can use politicians as puppets.

But by all means - don't let me interrupt your fantasy that government is evil and wall street isn't raping you.

#92 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-01-21 08:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

The REAL sociopaths are the ones that aspire to control the politicians. Politicians are not on top.

#92 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-01-21 08:14 PM | Reply | Flag: Flag:

That's why power needs to be taken away from politicians. If you believe what you say then why do you want politicians (government) to have more and more power?

#93 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-01-21 08:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

That's why power needs to be taken away from politicians. If you believe what you say then why do you want politicians (government) to have more and more power?

#93 | Posted by Huguenot

Because government is the only force that can potentially protect the weak from the strong. Right now, the strong have stolen it, but the solution is to take it back, not to abandon it. Public election financing would go a long way to cut the strings of the puppeteers.

To use another car analogy -
If your car wasn't working right, would you say that proves cars are no good? Or would you try to diagnose and fix the problem?

#94 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-01-21 08:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

The REAL sociopaths are the ones that aspire to control the politicians. Politicians are not on top. The psychos who want to dominate the world know that. They go after wall street jobs where they can use politicians as puppets.
#92 | POSTED BY SPEAKSOFTLY

Holy ----! You ARE stupid!

Because government is the only force that can potentially protect the weak from the strong.

That hasn't been working out too well. Has it?

#95 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-21 09:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

That hasn't been working out too well. Has it?

Its because the strong bought the government and used it to crush the weak.

All Hail Reagan.

#96 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-01-21 09:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

Yaaaa, Nutcase knows where wealth comes from. Jewels, art and most stocks have no real value. One EMP burst and Microsoft and Apple are worthless.

#97 | Posted by jdmeth at 2014-01-21 10:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

Nationalizing GM and firing the greedy clowns in charge worked better than bailing out Wall Street and letting those criminals keep their jobs.

#98 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-01-21 10:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

One EMP burst and Microsoft and Apple are worthless.

#97 | POSTED BY JDMETH

Wouldn't work, especially since MS and Apple are on different sides of the country.

Besides, the important data is backed up and stored in protected bunkers for that reason.

Hell, with the redundancy now built into the system, you couldn't even cause the the internet to have a hiccup.

#99 | Posted by Lohocla at 2014-01-21 10:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

If this were true I wonder how many are in the USA?

#100 | Posted by MSgt at 2014-01-21 11:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

"If this were true I wonder how many are in the USA?"

About 30, according to Forbes.

#101 | Posted by REDIAL at 2014-01-22 12:11 AM | Reply | Flag:

#89 SpeakSoftly - I agree and would add. Government isn't the problem; corrupt government is the problem. Corruption doesn't start from the working class; it starts at the connected class and the wealthier the more effective they are at corrupting it.

We Americans need to become a lot less partisan and a lot more interested in ferreting out corruption in government.

#102 | Posted by Robson at 2014-01-22 01:10 AM | Reply | Flag:

In other breaking news, the average American makes more per year than 180 citizens of Congo. The average car payment for an American is more than someone in Congo makes in a year. We should take their money, the greedy jerks.

#103 | Posted by gavaster at 2014-01-22 09:52 AM | Reply | Flag:

It would take monumental cooperation but the only way to stop this train wreck is for everyone to just stop working and buying things for a week. Stock up then just stop. It'll send ripples of discourse throughout the financial universe. Maybe enough to make a difference but I doubt it- We are too deep into the herd mentality.

After being on this plant for a few decades, which is a unversially accepted finite existence, I realize that Good Times trumps money any time. Work to live not live to work.

#104 | Posted by mutant at 2014-01-22 09:54 AM | Reply | Flag:

"That hasn't been working out too well. Has it?"

Actually it has worked out better for us, the average American lives much better than when government wasn't used as an instrument to improve our living standard. YOur "small government" days were pretty damn miserable for the average person, never allow the New Deal or any of our other social improvements be eliminated. We should remember FDR as the most important figure of the 20th century and the man most responsible for the good lives we live today. That Republicans still try to trash him speaks more about them than it does him.

#105 | Posted by danni at 2014-01-22 10:02 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Actually it has worked out better for us, the average American lives much better than when government wasn't used as an instrument to improve our living standard. YOur "small government" days were pretty damn miserable for the average person, never allow the New Deal or any of our other social improvements be eliminated. We should remember FDR as the most important figure of the 20th century and the man most responsible for the good lives we live today. That Republicans still try to trash him speaks more about them than it does him."

Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, they actually accomplished many of the same things FDR did. In fact they exceeded his accomplishments in many cases. What a lot of folks dislike about FDR is his authoritarianism. Because it's either justified or it's not. And once you decide that it is, for whatever reason, you've effectively abandoned the notion or beleif that personal freedom matters.

There are a lot of merits to fascism. It may be the most effective way to rule in an environment where a lot of voters are of the low infomration pursuasion. And there is no shame in supporting it. But if you are willing to sacrifice one freedom, you'd better be willing to sacrifice them all.

#106 | Posted by madbomber at 2014-01-22 11:27 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Redistribute the wealth! Redistribute the WEALTH!" -- Pinko Commies

We take peoples homes or land for the good of the populace, we should be taking a large share of these gains for the good of mankind.

Call it Communism, Socialism, or outright theft, whatever - but all this wealth concentrated in the hands of a small minority is doing our planet alot of damage.

They can let it go peacefully and still be set for several generations/forever or have it taken by bloody revolution, but it will be taken eventually.

#107 | Posted by drewl at 2014-01-22 01:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

and THEN we get the very rich telling how they know all about income equality..

pathetic...

newsbusters.org

#108 | Posted by afkabl2 at 2014-01-22 01:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

#107

While i disagree wholeheartedly i have to give you props. Most people the whine about it are to afraid to admit what it is they are asking for. They call it fairness to take they think they deserve it. I can respect someone that is willing to actually say what it is they are talking about.

#109 | Posted by salamandagator at 2014-01-22 02:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

"They can let it go peacefully and still be set for several generations/forever or have it taken by bloody revolution, but it will be taken eventually."

The worst thing that could ever happen to the poor would be for the rich to disappear. One doesn't get rich in a vacuum. One gets rich by providing goods or services that society deems more valuable than the money they pay in return.

If they were to disappear, or even to stop doing whatever it is they do, there would be no one to replace them.

Globally, living conditions are better than they have ever been, for rich or poor. Remove the rich, and you can watch as the plight of the poor declines. Those countries that would be most immune would be those that were never affected by globalization. The US would simply fall apart, as a tax burden that was previously shouldered by a small number of high income earners is now carried by people who earn far, far less.

#110 | Posted by madbomber at 2014-01-22 03:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

"pathetic..."

Many wealth progressives tend to view themselves as Shepherds amongst Sheep. The Sheep don't deserve to be rich, but for their efforts in providing wise and benevolent guidance, the Shepherds most certainly do.

This dude could be part of the solution if he chose to be, as could the "wealth addict" referenced in another post. You're good at making money. Not everyone else is. So you keep mkaing money, but give it away to those who can't make it. Think about Jamie Johnson, hier to the Johnson and Johnson fortune. He's worth hundred of millions of dollars, but spends much of his time complaining about people such as himself.

Is there something stopping him from giving it all away?

#111 | Posted by madbomber at 2014-01-22 03:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

Capitalism is a great wealth generator but what good is it if so much of the wealth goes to so few? The world needs to regulate capitalism so that more of the benefits flow to the majority.
#3 | Posted by danni

We've had about a hundred years of escalating regulations and it's still not enough? Maybe it's going in the wrong direction.

They feared unfettered capitalism. What happened instead is that all their fears about capitalism came true with unfettered statism.

Just thinking out loud. To a socialist, that possibility is unthinkable.

#112 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-22 03:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

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