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(Forbes)   To fully understand why rich people are rich and poor people poor, all you need to do is put Scrooge McDuck and Donald on an island and drop them some corn   (forbes.com) divider line 296
    More: Stupid, Scrooge McDucks, Scrooges, wealths, Thomas Piketty, corn, Statistical survey, wealth inequality, wealth distribution  
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11133 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 May 2014 at 11:56 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



296 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-05-16 10:08:17 AM  
But I was told there would be coconuts!
 
2014-05-16 10:09:52 AM  
i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com
 
2014-05-16 10:13:19 AM  
Oh, good farking god. This is almost as good as coconuts.

I'm not surprised, though. Stupid people write stupid blogs. Water carriers carry water and the right wing is potato.
 
2014-05-16 10:13:51 AM  
Remember an episode of Duck Tales where Scrooge McDuck tried to teach the kids that it wasn't a choice to work harder or smarter when you could work harder and smarter.

Now that's educational tv right there.
 
2014-05-16 10:15:24 AM  

dr_blasto: Oh, good farking god. This is almost as good as coconuts.

I'm not surprised, though. Stupid people write stupid blogs. Water carriers carry water and the right wing is potato.


QFT
 
2014-05-16 10:24:06 AM  
As I recall, Scrooge would force Donald to waste his time polishing coins to "pay off" his debts.
 
2014-05-16 10:40:32 AM  
Donald eats his corn as it lands.  Scrooge eats nothing.

Scrooge would be dead of malnutrition before his crops grew enough to be able to feed him.

/assuming the corn didn't come from Monsanto.
 
2014-05-16 11:51:01 AM  
reads TFA "Piketty".  Oh joy.

Let's just get this abomination out of the way:

Mr Piketty's third contribution is to offer policy proposals that assume this growing concentration of wealth is not only inevitable, but the thing that matters most. He prescribes a progressive global tax on capital (an annual levy that could start at 0.1% and hits a maximum of perhaps 10% on the greatest fortunes). He also suggests a punitive 80% tax rate on incomes above $500,000 or so.

Here "Capital" drifts to the left and loses credibility. Mr Piketty asserts rather than explains why tempering wealth concentration should be the priority (as opposed to, say, boosting growth). He barely acknowledges any trade-offs or costs to his redistributionist agenda. Most economists, common sense and a lot of French businesspeople would argue that higher taxes on income and wealth put off entrepreneurs and risk taking; he blithely dismisses that. And his to-do list is oddly blinkered in its focus on taxing the rich. He ignores ways to broaden the ownership of capital, from "baby bonds" to government top-ups of private saving accounts. Some capital taxes could sit nicely in a sensible 21st-century policy toolkit (inheritance taxes, in particular), but they are not the only, or even the main, way to ensure broad-based prosperity.

Mr Piketty's focus on soaking the rich smacks of socialist ideology, not scholarship. That may explain why "Capital" is a bestseller. But it is a poor blueprint for action.
 
2014-05-16 11:57:30 AM  
You find a number one dime?
 
2014-05-16 11:58:48 AM  
The author is saying, then, that the duck with a cane will prosper because he will be able to open all of the inexplicably placed treasure chests to retrieve the diamonds within?
 
2014-05-16 11:59:00 AM  
"The real world is much different from this caricature."

[you don't say.jpg]
 
2014-05-16 12:00:09 PM  
There are two kinds of people. People who do whatever it takes, legally, ethically or otherwise, to get what they want.
Then there's everyone else.
 
2014-05-16 12:00:31 PM  
Forbes absolutely trounces in Piketty in this article, actually.  Well done, boys.

The math here isn't that tough and takes us a long way.  So does a glance at Forbes' list of the 400 wealthiest Americans.  Sixty percent of the people listed in 2001 weren't on the list in 1989.  And nearly a quarter of those listed in 2001 weren't listed in 1998.  This is the future devouring the past, not "the past devouring the future" - Piketty's version of "the rich getting richer."

It's not the same people.  There is turnover!

Moreover, Piketty's supposed law of growing private wealth inequality is refuted by U.S. data, which shows, if anything, higher wealth inequality in the early part of the last Century than prevails today.  Piketty says shocks - the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II - temporarily interrupted the force of r > g.  But g > r events aren't all that rare.  Remember 2008? Proclaiming a "law" and then saying it hasn't worked for over a Century because it only works when it works isn't serious scholarship.

I'm sure there will be no more wars or economic depressions in our future.  Everything from now on has all been figured out and fixed and sublime from here on out.

Moreover, all reasonable economic models in which wealth keeps rising relative to the supply of labor will produce an ever-smaller value of r as capital becomes ever more abundant compared to labor.  Thus, were Piketty right, he'd be wrong.  Past wealth accumulation would devour future wealth accumulation.

And when all those baby boomers retire, stop accumulating wealth, but still live long lives, they will be spending all that wealth they have accumulated - on their retirements.  and as they spend like drunken sailors, that wealth disparity gap is going to close.  With The Quickness.
 
2014-05-16 12:00:48 PM  
I'm really glad forbes has that popup letting me know that I can scroll down if I'd like to read the rest of the text that doesn't fit on my screen.  I don't think I would have figured it out on my own.

The text behind the big "new feature! scroll down!" box isn't very readable though.  I think they need a second "CLICK HERE TO CLOSE THIS TOOLTIP" instead of just that little unintuitive X in the top right corner....
 
2014-05-16 12:01:17 PM  
The secret to getting rich is paying someone a modest wage to make you rich.
 
2014-05-16 12:02:16 PM  
you employ launchpad mcquack?
 
2014-05-16 12:02:52 PM  
The ducks on an island part was basically a shiatty restatement of the Sam Vimes boot theory of economic unfairness

"The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness."
 
2014-05-16 12:03:14 PM  
yes, yes, right wing shills tell us all why we can't have a tax structure that benefits anyone but rich people.
 
2014-05-16 12:04:17 PM  
Good to know Scrooge McDuck doesn't need to eat.  And that Donald is a glutton that wouldn't wise up to what Scrooge did to get his "money".
 
2014-05-16 12:04:34 PM  
too poor; didn't read.
 
2014-05-16 12:05:04 PM  

pacified: You find a number one dime?


Rich people got that way through magical artifacts....got it.


m.memegen.com
 
2014-05-16 12:05:27 PM  

pacified: you employ launchpad mcquack?


He worked hard and got his own show, thereby proving that the poor are poor because they are unmotivated.
 
2014-05-16 12:05:41 PM  
Wealth inequality isn't a foregone conclusion, and you can't keep knocking the legs out from the working class and then throw up your hands like it was a naturally occurring phenomena.
 
2014-05-16 12:05:54 PM  

serial_crusher: I'm really glad forbes has that popup letting me know that I can scroll down if I'd like to read the rest of the text that doesn't fit on my screen.  I don't think I would have figured it out on my own.

The text behind the big "new feature! scroll down!" box isn't very readable though.  I think they need a second "CLICK HERE TO CLOSE THIS TOOLTIP" instead of just that little unintuitive X in the top right corner....


While we're at it, does everyone else get the obnoxious "Forbes Thought of the Day" screen before the actual article, or did I opt in to some "Please Show Me Additional Annoying Content" service?
 
2014-05-16 12:07:05 PM  
Peter: I just bought a giant room full of gold coins; I'm gonna dive into it like Scrooge McDuck.
Peter: Aaaaagghh! It's not a liquid! It's a great many pieces of solid matter that form a hard floor-like surface! Aaaaaaagh!

i1.ytimg.com
 
2014-05-16 12:07:53 PM  
boingboing.net
 
2014-05-16 12:08:21 PM  
Forbes.com is the Huffington Post of the financial world.  Any idiot can be a contributor and write an article there.  Case in point - this article doesn't even appear to be copy edited much less fact checked.
 
2014-05-16 12:09:03 PM  
What an absolute load of shiat.  The more wealth I build, the more I realize the truth of the simple statement "you have to have money to make money".  This guy is pretending that there's no such thing as old money, or that coming from wealth gives you a titanic leg up on someone who grows up in poverty.
 
2014-05-16 12:09:45 PM  

TheDirtyNacho: Forbes.com is the Huffington Post of the financial world.  Any idiot can be a contributor and write an article there.  Case in point - this article doesn't even appear to be copy edited much less fact checked.


Donald actually planted some corn?
 
2014-05-16 12:10:06 PM  
As much as Thomas Piketty's theories lack a certain level of nuance, Laurence Kotlikoff's characterization of them is totally inaccurate and more than a little silly. "But, but, but.....Warren Buffet wasn't born rich so that automatically means that if you're not making $10 million a year you're just lazy..."

And Kotlikoff's falling inequality assertion is a bald-faced lie.
 
2014-05-16 12:10:08 PM  
People being rich is no problem, because it'll all trickle down when they get children, and they loose it all on Blackjack.

So there you go, thanks article.
 
2014-05-16 12:10:11 PM  
Rich people are rich because they are just better with money. That's simply the way the world works. That's why the wealthiest 1% have tripled their wealth over the last ten years. Because they got three times better at having money. We should really be congratulating them for their revolutionary breakthroughs in their ability to have money. Not scolding them for using that money to influence politicians to lower taxes for themselves and pay for it by cutting benefits to others.
 
2014-05-16 12:10:55 PM  

Egoy3k: "The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness."


Also the Ramkin never buy anything, because they never throw away anything that could be useful in the future. Couple with that that they are old money and feel no need to show off. When talking about her dragon keeping protective outfit (paraphrasing) "Only someone so rich could dress so poorly"


Sam has come up with a few interesting theories and observations
 
2014-05-16 12:12:18 PM  
Things that might help:

1. Tax capital gains as income
2. Reduce government subsidies to industry unless it is for research/development
3. Get rid of the stupid idea of "job creators".  Industry creates jobs when it needs labor, not because it's feeling kind.
 
2014-05-16 12:13:10 PM  
Forbes thought of the day?

Go fark yourself.  How's that?
 
2014-05-16 12:13:13 PM  
Or you could allow a system of central banks to flourish and before anyone really realizes what's going on they have a global network of central banks set up that have made possible the control you and all of your everything.
 
2014-05-16 12:14:05 PM  
I don't mind wealth. What I object to is avarice. If the only way you can make money is by denying it to those who create wealth for you, then your not an entrepreneur or successful businessman. You're a felon. Or should be.

Raise wages, break up oligarchies that can respond to wage increases by raising prices, take monopolies public and tax the money and other assets that concentrate in the hands of greedy bums.
 
2014-05-16 12:14:10 PM  
should've used watermelons instead of corn.
 
2014-05-16 12:14:18 PM  
Clearly the solution is to cut taxes on the rich, abolish the minimum wage and destroy social security.
 
2014-05-16 12:14:42 PM  
When trying to argue against an entire book, or really argue anything for that matter, it's best to not reduce you're side of the argument to some sort of cherry picked straw man that relies entirely on your characterization of all of humanity as 2 fictional ducks dropped on a fictional island where you get to decide exactly how and why one would do one thing and the other would do another.
 
2014-05-16 12:14:56 PM  

dr_blasto: Oh, good farking god. This is almost as good as coconuts.

I'm not surprised, though. Stupid people write stupid blogs. Water carriers carry water and the right wing is potato.


And if you give an industrious person a bushel of potatoes, and a McDonalds fry cook a bushel of potatoes...

Oh, great, now I want french fries. BRB.
 
2014-05-16 12:15:09 PM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: serial_crusher: I'm really glad forbes has that popup letting me know that I can scroll down if I'd like to read the rest of the text that doesn't fit on my screen.  I don't think I would have figured it out on my own.

The text behind the big "new feature! scroll down!" box isn't very readable though.  I think they need a second "CLICK HERE TO CLOSE THIS TOOLTIP" instead of just that little unintuitive X in the top right corner....

While we're at it, does everyone else get the obnoxious "Forbes Thought of the Day" screen before the actual article, or did I opt in to some "Please Show Me Additional Annoying Content" service?


not while using Firefox and NoScript.
 
2014-05-16 12:15:14 PM  

Carn: coming from wealth gives you a titanic leg up on someone who grows up in poverty.


Something as simple as being adequately nourished through the first 2 years of your life can have a HUGE effect on performance in school. Healthier food is more expensive (time or money - or both) though, so you poors will just have to start eating heirloom bootstraps.
 
2014-05-16 12:15:45 PM  

Plant Rights Activist: should've used watermelons instead of corn.


I see what you did there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-KfouZ4je4
 
2014-05-16 12:16:18 PM  

odinsposse: Rich people are rich because they are just better with money.


uh...no.
 
2014-05-16 12:17:20 PM  
Voiceofreason01:

 "But, but, but.....Warren Buffet wasn't born rich so that automatically means that if you're not making $10 million a year you're just lazy..."

That's what you got out of the article?  Wow.

Heres what I got, that the wealth is staying in the same hands and you dont have to be born rich to become rich and legacy wealth isn't as big as some would lead you to belive.

Ok. so the rich of 20 years ago aren't the same. Money is changing hands, new wealth is being created.  The issue is 10%  hold 90% of the wealth.  How do these percentages compare through out the US's  economic development?
 
2014-05-16 12:17:39 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Also the Ramkin never buy anything, because they never throw away anything that could be useful in the future. Couple with that that they are old money and feel no need to show off. When talking about her dragon keeping protective outfit (paraphrasing) "Only someone so rich could dress so poorly"


Sam has come up with a few interesting theories and observations


This one quote from Jingo helped make me into the liberal that I am today:

"It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things."
 
2014-05-16 12:18:29 PM  
Well they are ducks. I think they'd be fine on an island.

maybe it'd be like lord of the flies
 
2014-05-16 12:18:41 PM  
TFA: "Proclaiming a "law" and then saying it hasn't worked for over a Century because it only works when it works isn't serious scholarship."

Like tax-cuts for the rich stimulating growth? Or trickle-down in general? Or reducing the deficit leading to confidence leading to growth? Or austerity leading to growth? Or social programs increasing poverty? Or privatizing government services leading to quality and efficiency gains at lower costs? Or tougher sentencing reducing crime? Or outlawing behavior leading to a drop in said behavior? Or spreading democracy via Shock and Awe?

I've got to hand it to him with this particular line of reasoning -- he's on to something.
It's a shame he doesn't seem to bring this critical mind to bear on the things *his tribe* proclaims as fact or scholarship.
 
2014-05-16 12:20:19 PM  

Rincewind53: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Also the Ramkin never buy anything, because they never throw away anything that could be useful in the future. Couple with that that they are old money and feel no need to show off. When talking about her dragon keeping protective outfit (paraphrasing) "Only someone so rich could dress so poorly"


Sam has come up with a few interesting theories and observations

This one quote from Jingo helped make me into the liberal that I am today:

"It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things."


Actually, here's the full passage, which is much better than just the thing I posted all on its own.

"It was much better to imagine men in some smokey room somewhere, made mad and cynical by privilege and power, plotting over brandy. You had to cling to this sort of image, because if you didn't then you might have to face the fact that bad things happened because ordinary people, the kind who brushed the dog and told the children bed time stories, were capable of then going out and doing horrible things to other ordinary people. It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was Us, then what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things."
 
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