[ExI] the formerly rich and their larvae

ablainey at aol.com ablainey at aol.com
Fri Feb 15 02:57:27 UTC 2008

Time to dip my toe in.
Apologies for not quoting all the posts and posters, but I just wanted to apply my scatter gun to a few issues. Also I am rusty at this, its been a while.

Money is just a tool used for creation, be it a dream, a better life, more happiness etc. The bigger the tool, the more you can do with it.
When you are not using a tool, you can lock it away to protect it or you can lend it to someone that doesn't have one. Most people would emphatically say that the rich lock their tools up good and tight. Somewhere in a big bank vault with armed guards, but this is wrong.
The material assets acquired with their money 'tool' Are locked up, but the money itself is mostly lent to the nation.
This is done by investment in the market. Stocks, bonds, etc. and all this money is then available to those who are not rich. This money is used to pay salaries, improve companies, do research, create jobs, provide money for loans. The list is endless, it is the grease that moves the wheels.
In reality, apart from the material assets enjoyed and hogged by the rich. The vast majority of their wealth is used for the gains of everyone. This becomes more pronounced the richer or more correctly 'Wealthier' individuals get. So Mr Gates contributes more to society than someone who is still on the up and buying up Rembrandts. But even these assets can provide some gain to the poor. Security guards, gardeners, maids all earn a living.
If all the rich were to cash in their investments and put their money under the mattress, the economy would instantly crash and the country would dissolve overnight.
It doesn't need to be said that this 'national lending' is not intentional on the part of the rich as their main reason for investment is to increase or protect the wealth, but the effect of this greed (if you want to call it that) is undeniably positive to the nation and everyone's jobs, wealth and happiness depend on it.

Next up is tax. We talk about inequality of wealth yet we very easily forget that the rich pay more tax not just in volume but in percentage. Of course this is not universally true as their are numerous ways around income tax which become more accessible as wealth grows. However the fundamental point is that the band of up and coming rich people (those accumulating Rembrandts) are the most heavy tax payer proportionately. They are contributing least to the economy in terms of investment vs Assets. As such the tax system balances out fairly well. The mega rich pass through this band and keep the country alive as already stated.
As for the poor. Tax is just a nasty little thorn in their sides to bitch and moan about and they don't see why they have to pay it. Well simply put, you pay because you use. You have the right to move!. Granted, Maybe not the ability. 
I won't quote figures as I don't know them, but a reasonable guess is that the poor use up more tax dollars than they ever contribute as a group. Is it equality that the rich have to support them?

Regarding Mr gates and his philanthropy. Yes on a global scale giving away wealth is arguably good, but at a national level it can be disastrous. How many poor Americans have lost their jobs to improve the life of others in the world? It is not Mr Gates that has lost out by giving it away, it is the everyday folk that would have gained from that investment.

One quick point. I object to the subject line of this thread. 'larvae' seems a bit derogatory to me. Especially on a list such as this.

Regarding health systems, I can see merit in both a free national health system and a health insurance system. Really they are not very different except a national system doesn't give you the choice whether to pay or not. In the UK roughly 10% of earnings are deducted for national insurance in addition to tax. Then employers also pay a % on top of that.



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