[ExI] I see pitchforks.

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Mon Jul 8 19:36:26 UTC 2019



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of John Clark
Subject: Re: [ExI] I see pitchforks.


On Mon, Jul 8, 2019 at 9:38 AM <spike at rainier66.com <mailto:spike at rainier66.com> > wrote:





>…I have little difficulty in figuring out that I am not a billionaire, if its hard for you to determine if you are that rich or not then I envy you…


Sure.  But we are not talking about either of us.  Yet.  Once that number is set to a billion dollars in assets, we recall that currency value is arbitrary.  They set the number, then the government has the option of printing money based on nothing.  Its value goes down by an order of magnitude every two years.  After a decade of that… are you now a billioneh?




> Couldn’t those who are in the billion dollar range just claim to be an average taxpayer?


Certainly you could claim that you have few assets just as you could claim your income is less than $10,000 a year, but if you have a private jet and a 200 foot yacht the IRS might start getting suspicious…


No worries, sell the jet to a foreign company, lease it back.  Now you don’t own that jet.  Or the yacht.  The money is in gold or BitCoin, government has no way to track it.  




>>… How would they get to be identified as not average taxpayers? 


>…Everything of value has a document associated with it declaring ownership and somebody's name is on that document…


No worries, yet another industry is spawned: foreign investment companies that own all the luxury stuff American billionehs sell them, then lease it back to the people who sold it.


>> those average taxpayers who think they might be approaching non-average status would dump their wealth into gold, BitCoin, things which cannot be declared 


>…If you ever plan to use the gold or Bitcoins to actually buy something then you'd better declare them or the IRS will put you in jail…


I see, so spending one’s own money is illegal now?  The IRS has the right to know what I own now?


John do you see that you have been advocating for dictatorship?  Do you really want the government having arbitrary power to appraise your property at any value they wish, then tax you on it?  Neither do I.


There is a good reason why the 16th amendment is written the way it is, specifying income, and nothing else.  Fortunately I see little risk that ¾ of the US states would sign on because of mobs with pitchforks, when the militias and the army have rifles.



>…And then watch out for those pitchforks because even today billionaires who cheat on their taxes …


Ja and this is why we don’t want to change the tax law.  


As it turns out, it would be easy to defeat.  All you need to do is explain to the voters that the pitchfork people will come for the ultra rich first.  Once they are in prison and the government seizes their assets, what a surprise!  There is a new top 1%.  When they are gone, there is a new 1%!  When does your number come up, John?  Is it sooner?  Or is it later?


Bad idea.


> or whose value is arbitrary.


>…The assessed value of property is somewhat arbitrary but we do it anyway, that's how property taxes work;  just expand the idea to cover stocks, bonds, yachts, private jets, gold, Bitcoins etc.


Property tax doesn’t apply at the federal level.  If we make it to where it does… then other things of value will follow.  Then… will your number come up sooner?  Or later?



>…It's well known that the Winklevoss twins have about a billion dollars worth of bitcoins…


We can theorize that anyone has BitCoin.  But we really don’t know.  That’s why BitCoin is the way it is.




>…and I haven't heard of their children being stolen; I don't quite understand why wealth in that form is more dangerous than wealth in some other form, but if it is then it would be wise not to hold bitcoins….John K Clark


Holding wealth in that form damn sure is more dangerous.  It’s what stopped me from investing in it.  I have a family.  


This is something we haven’t really dealt with: BitCoin does enable certain types of crime.  It would enable kidnapping, we are already seeing ransomware attacks, we can easily imagine politicians using it to pay off girlfriends and such.  I don’t have the answers to that.


That being said, I question the premise entirely.  I don’t see that wealth disparity creates the kind of animosity you describe at all.  The wealth disparity I have seen is typically in places like Palo Alto, where everyone there is a multimillioneh, but they have serious heartburn with the local billioneh who wants to buy up several houses and create a fortress.







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