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    What Don’t You Understand About Growing The Pie?

    What Don’t You Understand About Growing The Pie?

    The 400 wealthiest people control more wealth than that controlled by bottom economic half the population. Michael Moore said it, and PolitiFact checked it, so it must be true.

    So what?

    There is no limit to wealth in a free-market, capitalist society, unlike a socialist society where government controls the means of production and decides who gets what from the finite pie.

    No one is stopping you from starting and building the next Microsoft, or Google, or Facebook, and joining that list.

    The creation of wealth is very dynamic.  Look at the Forbes 400 list and you will find some old-line families, but they are shrinking in prominence. 

    But look towards the top of that list, and you will find families or individuals that built great businesses which created hundreds of thousands of jobs and lowered the cost of living for hundreds of millions of people (the Waltons, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Michael Dell), and entrepreneurs who invented or developed the technology which is the foundation of our economy (Jeff Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft, Larry Ellison of Oracle ).

    Interestingly, politics doesn’t control.  You find the Koch brothers and George Soros near the top as well.  So industrialists and currency speculators all have a shot.

    There is nothing holding you back, except your own talents and imagination, and stifling government regulations, taxes and mandates which make it increasingly difficult to grow a business.

    Growing the pie is a concept the Democratic Party doesn’t understand.  Instead, it is focused on slicing the pie we have.  Which is why the Democratic Party and the Michael Moores of the world hold no promise for our future, they dwell on the past.

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    The Donut Shop. One owner's effort to reduce inequality of earnings.

    Customer: Where are the donuts?
    Clerk: We ran out at about 1 o'clock.

    Customer: But, I love your donuts!
    Clerk: Sorry, the owner didn't want to be selfish.

    Customer: That doesn't make sense.
    Clerk: The shop is very successful, and he is feeling guilty about that. So, he is only making as many donuts as he needs to, to get by comfortably. He is allowing other donut shops to have their piece of the pie.

    Customer: But, I love your donuts!
    Clerk: It is selfish attitudes like yours that keep our society from being good.

    The best part of this article was the "So what?"

    I don't resent what the 400 wealthiest Americans have, why should I? And I'm content.

    In contrast, Michael Moore has millions more than I'll ever have, a palatial home on an expensive estate and is he happy? No. He's still frosted that somebody's got more than he's got. And he's miserable.

    Well, think of it this way: the rationale for separation of powers was that the US Founding Fathers didn't trust power concentrated in too few hands. Yet, there is no corresponding check upon the power of concentrated wealth.

    In the 1950's, it used to be that extremely high tax rates on the wealthy(around 90% on income over the equivalent of 2 million) aligned the interests of the wealthy and the rest of the country.

    See Malcolm Gladwell:

    However, this outcome seems unlikely given that the mainstream media is controlled by both the wealthy and the stupid (non-mutually exclusive).

    So, if the wealthy will see to it that they won't be taxed even at Clintonian levels, the legal system prevents accountability for wealthy bankers who can afford the best lawyers, and Obama cannot take on Big Money by himself (while he does take poor people's guns to preserve stability and the status quo), what is the check upon the power/greed/oligarchy of the wealthy?

    Or, think of it this way — money is a vote. Money is a direct, legally backed claim upon the allocation of scarce social resources. That's what a vote is. Voting is merely an indirect claim upon scarce social resources, and voting fails due to both a principal-agent tension and the speed/relative strength of money.

    This is why we live in oligarchies and not democracies – the rich simply have more say as to the allocation of scarce social resources, and the poor have almost no say. A positive feedback loop makes the rich richer, and because the poor cannot financially compensate those who help them, altruism toward the poor is punished in our society…yet, each of us WANTS to be altruistic. That is human nature.

    Therefore, Money is a Law, because it governs how we must live. We have created a society in which capital = fitness, and thus we are socially selecting at the upper echelons of power psychopaths who will do anything for money. There is no cost to their fitness if they exploit people or pollute or waste money or hoard money, and so their insane behavior continues.

    The legal system (1) protects the wealthy, who can afford the best attorneys, buy politicians, and manipulate the tax code, and (2) takes violence off the table so the poor can't retaliate, when the rich commit daily acts of violence against the poor. Yet, game theory suggests that both punishment and reward are necessary for cooperation to exist.

    So, as an example, can we redesign money to create "digital financial karma" to capture the "externalities" of people's behavior? Could we each digitally destroy money, at the same rate (we could have the option to pay $1 per day to destroy $2 of someone's ill-gotten money, depending on how much deflation we want)

    Could we decentralize the Federal Reserve's creation of money (votes) so that it is no longer created for central banks and lent back to the public? Could we digitally give everyone, say, $3 (votes) per day to buy FOOD so they can have healthy brains? Why not?

    To Michael Jeffcott,

    What exactly are you proposing? Do you want to destroy money earned by people you don't like, that is, take it from them?

    Is this the usual leftiest idea that profits should be illegal, and only the salaries of the leftists in government should be legal?

    Or, what exactly?

    You're not listening – the government is bought and paid for, because money is a vote. Unless you're wealthy enough to influence an election or buy a politician, you have no vote. Taxpayer money is doled out to the highest bidder.

    I'll ask the question again this way: We have a separation of powers in the government of this country, because the founding fathers mistrusted human nature when it has a concentration of power. What is the corresponding check upon the power of the wealth oligarchy? Answer me that question.

    Like the founding fathers, we should mistrust human nature when it has concentrated power.

    So I have two proposals:

    (1) During the most prosperous periods in American history, we had top marginal tax rates of over 90%, meaning that no one really made more than the equivalent of 2 million dollars per year.

    Again, see Malcolm Gladwell:

    It was a beautiful system, because (a) no one needs more than 2 million to survive, and (b) it aligns the interests of the wealthy and the interests of everyone else, because the rich were just a hop skip and a jump away from being just like everyone else, so their incentive was to improve the wellbeing of the average person – i.e., by improving the social safety net, improving social wellbeing, etc.

    Until a similar check, like the checks within the government, are placed upon wealthy individuals, we will continue to live in an idiotic oligarchy, where the divergent interests of the super-wealthy and the poor lead to class warfare. There really are "Two Americas." Yet, a great man once said that a house divided cannot stand. This is turning out to be the case. The interests of both Americas should be aligned. This every man for himself nonsense can't last.

    (2) The Federal Reserve should not digitally create money for the banking cartel, with money lent back to the public at interest. (at 10 mins)

    Instead, money should be created at the same rate ($3 per day, or something) in every individual (because money IS a vote), so people can buy necessities, like food. Money should also be destroyed when it is ill-gotten, to prevent inflation and to keep the honor of the currency intact.

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