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The Rise of the New Global Elite
January 16, 2011 4:49 PM   Subscribe

The Rise of the New Global Elite The new global elite are fabulously wealthy, cosmopolitan, philanthrocapitalist, entrepreneurial, highly driven, frequently self-made, and confident they deserve their success. They are also often unsympathetic to the middle classes of the developed world. Said one senior executive: "...if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty [and] one American drops out of the middle class...that's not such a bad trade."
posted by shivohum (70 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
That Wikipedia link references Givewell. Hilarious.
posted by sciurus at 4:51 PM on January 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


here're some responses...
posted by kliuless at 5:00 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh hey I've looking for people to put against the wall.
posted by The Whelk at 5:03 PM on January 16, 2011 [26 favorites]


Is this really anything we didn't already know?

Anyone not owning their own weight in Gold will be poor within 10 years.
posted by MikeWarot at 5:07 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which is why I'm slimming down to a lean 4 oz.
posted by The Whelk at 5:16 PM on January 16, 2011 [22 favorites]


There's about seven times as many people in China and India as there are in the US. They have hopes and dreams too.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:17 PM on January 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Some brave people are striving to make a difference.
posted by CynicalKnight at 5:19 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


We are all Gangsters now.
posted by clavdivs at 5:23 PM on January 16, 2011


I remember when "Rise of the New Global Elite" opened for "Bourgeois Tagg" at the Mabuhay Gardens
posted by zippy at 5:42 PM on January 16, 2011


I didn't make myself clear earlier...

Anyone not currently owning their own weight in gold, will...through loss of their jobs, and inflation eating away at their remaining savings and investments, have NOTHING of value in 10 years... we'll ALL be the working poor.
posted by MikeWarot at 5:43 PM on January 16, 2011


from the sound of it no one will be "working" anything.
posted by The Whelk at 5:45 PM on January 16, 2011


MikeWarot

Did you look for a hyperbole tag before posting that?
posted by Keith Talent at 5:47 PM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


For all its global reach, Pimco is still based in the United States

An odd comment, given that Pimco's parent is the German/global giant Allianz.
posted by Slothrup at 5:48 PM on January 16, 2011


Oh sure large segments of the American middle class have chosen to raise their kids on a high fat diet, supplemented with high fructose corn syrup and lots of television; but you'd like to blame a few rich guys like Zuckerberg for their problems. After they turned on Fox news, cut the funding for PBS, the libraries, the arts, the art teachers and forced the science teachers to teach religion and call it science. After they cut funding for their public universities and public health systems. 40 years ago we funded libraries and the arts and we also put men on the moon and had the largest middle class in the world. You want to know why the middle class is in trouble don't blame the rich, blame the American middle class.
posted by humanfont at 5:51 PM on January 16, 2011 [45 favorites]


oh, 'baby doc' is back in town

How many governments overthrown this/last week?

You cannot eat gold.
posted by clavdivs at 5:51 PM on January 16, 2011


So about...let's see...$2.5 million then. I knew being skinny would pay off one day.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:54 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rather simple. American wealth will go down for middle class. China and India will grow wealthier.
Corporations don't give a hoot about Am and the middle class because much much bigger markets in China and India as more and more get wealthy there. Corporations do not any longer owe loyalty to any nation but rather to stock holders and the global market. Get over the notion that this or that company is American or German etc. They are global and care only about profit.
posted by Postroad at 5:56 PM on January 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


The only cultural center in The United States built from private (corporate) money is here in Flint Mi.

That was when wealth did build something lasting...
posted by clavdivs at 6:02 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh...PBS masterpiece is on...check it out.
posted by clavdivs at 6:04 PM on January 16, 2011


Anyone not owning their own weight in Gold will be poor within 10 years.
Alternately, everyone who has enough to eat will be rich! I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy.
posted by verb at 6:20 PM on January 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Another just-so story that cherrypicks a few examples to weave a narrative about the "global elite." Meh. I've worked for some really rich folks, and while some of them are genuinely kind and generous (and very philanthropic), and equal number are elitist assholes that have no remorse about grinding workers under their boot heels.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:28 PM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's about seven times as many people in China and India as there are in the US. They have hopes and dreams too.

Yeah. That's what it's all about. Fulfilling the hopes and dreams of the people of China and India. It's not in the slightest bit about a new generation of capitalist Robber Barron doing a shuck and jive around the last century's labor movements, gutting labor standards and profiting while being able to plausibly rationalize away their seething contempt for the middle class as a form of philanthropy.

These same enlightened types will argue with you until they're blue in the face on the one hand that economy is not a zero-sum game, while in nearly the same breath, fatalistically noting that some of us will just have to accept being economic losers. It's no different than any other expansion of capitalism. It takes shamefaced lying and the exploitation of class resentment to sell it.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:35 PM on January 16, 2011 [56 favorites]


Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
              Everybody Knows
              Leonard Cohen
              1988
posted by dancestoblue at 6:50 PM on January 16, 2011 [17 favorites]


When I got to the line about how the new global elite was meritocratic and somehow all different because it was first- and second-generation rich, I closed my browser window because it was a pretty solid indicator the rest was bullshit. I suppose, for example, that during the Gilded Age all those folks whose names are all over the libraries and universities and public buildings of industrial cities of the north all came into their money as third-generation wastrels somehow. But really, these philanthropists are different from every other bunch of self-made men that came before!
posted by immlass at 7:03 PM on January 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


In the sixties, my dad was complaining about the US multinational that he worked for here in the UK shipping all the production to Taiwan because labour costs were cheaper there.

He's laughing his ass off now as he watches Americans complaining about the same thing.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:05 PM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone not owning their own weight in Gold will be poor within 10 years.

The New Global Elite don't invest in gold, and they have no interest in buying yours, so in 10 years, "your own weight in Gold" will be worth less than your own weight in rice. However, if The New Global Elite is overthrown, it MIGHT be by those who have the gold - they may have the firepower (because anybody with their own weight in gold HAS to also have their own weight in guns), but I seriously don't think they'll have the smarts to pull it off.

There's about seven times as many people in China and India as there are in the US. They have hopes and dreams too.

And most of them will be satisfied with much less than what it takes to satisfy an average American. So lifting seven of them out of poverty will cost The New Global Elite less than keeping one American in the middle class, and the NGE gets to keep more money and have a much larger, much more 'grateful' workforce. If you had your eyes open, you could have seen it thirty-plus years ago when the word "Globalization" first came into use. Everybody thought the dire predictions back then turned out wrong... they just took a lot longer to come true (and are still In Process). It is only now beginning to get hot enough for the frog in the soup pot to notice.

And just because the New Global Elite allows in a new member every once in a while does not mean The American Dream where Anybody can become rich if they work hard enough isn't bullshit.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:06 PM on January 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


"...if the transformation of the world economy lifts four 10,000 people in China and India out of poverty [and] one American drops out of the ultra-wealthy join the middle class...that's not such a bad trade."
posted by sourwookie at 7:14 PM on January 16, 2011 [15 favorites]


Oh, and isn't New Global Elite the name of Prince's 4th band iteration?
posted by sourwookie at 7:15 PM on January 16, 2011


I don't see how there's anything 'elite' about them. Are the bankers rolling in millions in bonuses for screwing us 'elite'? Was the 'president' of Tunisia elite?

There are other words for them. Two of the more polite ones are 'greedy' and 'dinosaur'. I'm guessing it's not too long before people worldwide realize the price that we have, in general, paid for supporting these vampire squids for most of recorded history.
posted by Twang at 7:28 PM on January 16, 2011


Consider the history of this 'Ghost City of 1001 Churches' and then consider how the people tried and tried to live their lives, rising up and rebuilding and being brought down, again and again.

For WHOSE ambitions? And how many of the people who repeatedly brought them ruination were enthralled, rather than at home and living their own peaceful lives?

Masters of War indeed.
posted by Twang at 7:37 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I read this a week or so ago and don't particularly see the problem. Isn't this the liberalizing (classical sense) dream of egalitarian social equality? It's as though robin hood is a massive wealthy oligarch stealing from the relatively rich and giving to the poor. Re-distribution is re-distribution and from a utilitarian standpoint this would seem to make those who want for better lives worldwide happy.

NIMBP (Not In My Back Pocket) apparently...
posted by AndrewKemendo at 7:46 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh hey I've looking for people to put against the wall.

Wasn't everyone on Metafilter complaining about violent right-wing rhetoric a week ago?
posted by downing street memo at 7:50 PM on January 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Oh is it after 4:00 already? Time again for the internet Marxists to set up their laptops in Starbucks so they can whine about Capitalism again.
posted by happyroach at 7:55 PM on January 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


I own my own weight in water, protein, minerals, fat, and trace metals. Well, it's really on loan.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:00 PM on January 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


In the wake of the recession... high-income individuals, large banks, and major corporations had experienced a “significant recovery”; the rest of the economy—including small businesses and “a very significant amount of the labor force”—was stuck and still struggling. What we were seeing...was not a single economy at all, but rather “fundamentally two separate types of economy,” increasingly distinct and divergent.

No, what we're actually seeing is a temporary blip upwards for those rich individuals and corporations. There is only one economy, and the longer housing prices stay down, and the ranks of the unemployed remain undiminished, the "recovery" will be short.
posted by storybored at 8:23 PM on January 16, 2011


At current prices, 160 lbs of gold is about $3.5 million. That's not chump change but it ain't über-rich by a long shot.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:39 PM on January 16, 2011


Its all about just compensation for many people (me included), and its a topic very avoided by nouveau rich as the gladly pay themselves exactly what they think they deserve (a lot of fucking money, apparently) when everyone else at their company merely gets what only what is needed to keep them there/working.
posted by tmthyrss at 8:41 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"These same enlightened types will argue with you on the one hand that economy is not a zero-sum game, while in nearly the same breath, fatalistically noting that some of us will just have to accept being economic losers."

That's not actually a contradiction. A zero-sum game means that the gains completely balance the losses. The world economy (over the past few centuries) has been a positive sum game. This is clear from the n-fold rise in global GNP. So the gains have far outweighed the losses. However, there were never any promises that there would be *no* losers.
posted by storybored at 8:55 PM on January 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Anyone not currently owning their own weight in gold, will...through loss of their jobs, and inflation eating away at their remaining savings and investments, have NOTHING of value in 10 years...

Sometimes it is so hard to tell if someone is crazy and/or ignorant or just pretending to be crazy and/or ignorant.
posted by Justinian at 9:00 PM on January 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


No need to differentiate!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:01 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


At current prices, 160 lbs of gold is about $3.5 million. That's not chump change but it ain't über-rich by a long shot.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:39 PM on January 16 [+] [!]


Speak for yourself -- after I finish my crash Dr Nick diet, my gold will be worth 10 million dollars!
posted by jb at 9:27 PM on January 16, 2011


That was a really long article with just about nothing to say, other than the eons-old fact that some people are super-rich compared with regular folk, don't care about Joe Public very much, and have more in common with each other than with you or I.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:43 PM on January 16, 2011


GOOGLE RON PAUL, SHEEPLE.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:44 PM on January 16, 2011


not so much "shamefaced" as "baldfaced lies" or maybe "shameless" ones

Sure, but typically the reason they point out it's not a zero-sum game is only to imply that we don't really have to worry about increasing social injustice or lowering our own standard of living. It's often used as a smarmy way of hand waving away the negative consequences of certain dominant patterns of globalization. I still stand by my position. There is nothing altruistic or noble about these latest cynical attempts at labor exploitation dressed up as paternalism. Nor anything particularly novel about them.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:06 PM on January 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


In other news, gravity is cruelly keeping the working man down.

No one decided to do this, it just happened. White collar jobs can be replaced by a PHP script. The programmers who write PHP scripts can be replaced by a Python script. And so on.

What do you want, make-work? A nation of slaves and not enough masters to go around. Oh boo hoo. Find something worthwhile to do with your time. And stop electing people who's only promise is to beat you harder.
posted by pfh at 11:04 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you have enough money to buy your own weight in gold, you're probably well enough connected to have ways around the various confiscatory mechanisms that are slowly eating away at the middle class. You'll have access to political and other levers that the rest of us don't have. Properly used, those will be more than sufficient to keep your wealth growing with little to no active management on your part.

While the rest of us work for a living.

Yes... I'm prone to hyperbole, and perhaps not good enough to support it at 1:50 AM.

No, I'm not crazy.
posted by MikeWarot at 11:49 PM on January 16, 2011


And most of them will be satisfied with much less than what it takes to satisfy an average American.

Not for long.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:54 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone not currently owning their own weight in gold, will...through loss of their jobs, and inflation eating away at their remaining savings and investments, have NOTHING of value in 10 years... we'll ALL be the working poor.

Gold is currently at $1,362/ounce. Thats $21,792 per pound. I weigh about 165. I definitely do not have $3,595,680.

Where do I sign up for your wackiness? Is it at the makeshift "sell your gold here" kiosk at the mall every second wednesday night?

Also, how do you carry all that gold?
posted by hal_c_on at 12:12 AM on January 17, 2011


Stories like these increase my concern that were the U.S.'s debt situation to worsen, many of our richest individuals, and largest businesses, will feel no compunction about leaving for Luxembourg or Australia or wherever they can get a better tax deal. Making America's budget situation even harder to deal with, and precipitating a positive feedback loop. It won't end in default or anarchy, but I do think that there's an equilibrium of business investment we've benefited from for decades, and we could easily be tipping towards a suckier one. Europe has a lot of the same problems, but doesn't seem to be as dependent on taxes from elite businesses and individuals as the U.S. is.
posted by gsteff at 12:36 AM on January 17, 2011


The New Global Elite don't invest in gold, and they have no interest in buying yours, so in 10 years, "your own weight in Gold" will be worth less than your own weight in rice.

Buddy, I got some rice futures to sell ya...or we can trade so I can take all that worthless gold off your hands.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:49 AM on January 17, 2011


Oh sure large segments of the American middle class have chosen to raise their kids on a high fat diet, supplemented with high fructose corn syrup and lots of television
yes, all our economic problems are caused by High Fructose Corn Syrup. If only we'd switch to sucrose we would have a thriving middle class!

---

Anyway the question I would ask isn't what these rich guys want to do with their money, but why the laws should be structured in a way that makes it easy for them to soak up wealth in this way. I think in the future there will be a ton of material wealth, but actually a shortage of jobs. That is to say, we won't really have that much stuff to do. Why not? Simple: Robots. People talk about how U.S. Manufacturing collapsed, but that's not true at all. We manufacture more stuff then ever something like 3 times as much as in the 1970s. What happened is that so much of the work was automated that the number of manufacturing jobs went away.

But that's just one example. The more immediate problem I see is all the rent seeking that people are able to do. They pay lobbyists to bribe politicians to change regulatory structures to make it easier for them to make money: Healthcare is a big example -- Healthcare companies actually got the legal right to force you to pay them, and keep up to 20% of the money for themselves. Another example would be banking regulations, and how terrible they are.
posted by delmoi at 1:47 AM on January 17, 2011


many of our richest individuals, and largest businesses, will feel no compunction about leaving for Luxembourg or Australia or wherever they can get a better tax deal.
They still have to pay taxes, so long as they remain citizens.
posted by delmoi at 1:49 AM on January 17, 2011


This article lays out the main mechanism corporations and some individuals get around paying for the infrastructure they use here in the States with offshore registrations. Actually, I think the numbers here are low, as apparently they don't know about the Marshall Islands (which is the "new" Caymans).

And yes, HuffPo has plenty 'o axes to grind, but I look at the counterparty risk associated with these kinds of companies for a living, and if anything in the article is technically inaccurate, it isn't by much.
posted by digitalprimate at 4:14 AM on January 17, 2011


Anyway the question I would ask isn't what these rich guys want to do with their money, but why the laws should be structured in a way that makes it easy for them to soak up wealth in this way.

It isn't so much that the laws are structured to make it easy to do as it is that they aren't structured so that it's hard.

As it is, there are very few legal restrictions on what you can do with property. While there's significant functional inequality on a lot of civil rights issues, e.g. I'm not that worried about getting pulled over by a cop, because I'm a clean-cut white professional, while the black guy two doors down really needs to be careful there, there are surprisingly few functional legal barriers to property acquisition. The Fifth Amendment has a lot to do with that: aside from taxation, it is difficult and expensive for the government to interfere with property rights, and taxation doesn't actually work very well as a brake on wealth acquisition.

Anti-trust laws can work to keep a single corporation or entity from exerting too much influence in a given market, but they don't stop individuals from simply owning both companies.

So the question becomes "What law do you propose which would make becoming super-rich difficult?" Because I'm having trouble coming up with any that would work without violating the Fifth Amendment.
posted by valkyryn at 4:42 AM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Newsflash: crazy rich, post-national billionaires don't care about middle America, and philanthropists are eager to get the most social good for their dollar.
posted by LiteOpera at 5:23 AM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


"What law do you propose which would make becoming super-rich difficult?

I'm not sure the goal is to prevent people or corporations from becoming super rich; some corporations need to be super-rich to do what they do to the benefit of the public.

I think, rather, the goal is to insure that corporations and HNWIs pay their fair share into the system that allows them to be (super)rich rather than making that very system poorer for everyone else.

Many EU countries (obviously not all) manage this quite well, so it's not impossible.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:49 AM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Glenn Beck talks a lot about this, and he also mentioned something called "Goldline". I would encourage you all to check it out before the global elites gut the middle class and destroy our wealth.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:28 AM on January 17, 2011


"...if the transformation of the world economy lifts forty thousand people in China and India out of poverty [and] one selfish asshole drops out of the ruling class...that's not such a bad trade."
posted by Enron Hubbard at 7:42 AM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


taxation doesn't actually work very well as a brake on wealth acquisition.

Then there's no problem with setting up new tax brackets at a 50-90% marginal rate. Sounds good to me.
posted by jedicus at 8:06 AM on January 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think in the future there will be a ton of material wealth, but actually a shortage of jobs. That is to say, we won't really have that much stuff to do. Why not? Simple: Robots.

Isaac Asimov wrote this story in the 1950s: The Caves of Steel is set on an overcrowded Earth where everyone has a bare minimum but jobs are precious commodities which can gain you privacy and diginity - robots do most of the work, but are hated. Meanwhile, on the Spacer worlds, the citizens own the robots and thus benefit from the product of their labour.

I read this book when I was a kid, and it got me wondering: why are all the robots owned by the capitalists? Obviously, I've figured it out since (because they are the ones with money to buy/build them). But I still think about how the benefits of the tremendous growth in our ability to make stuff -- which is based partly on advances in technology but also relies heaviliy on a more intensive consumption of our planets resources, which by right should belong to every creature on the planet -- have been very unevenly distributed around our planet. They go to the robot-owners.
posted by jb at 10:01 AM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


valkyryn - inheritance and property taxes, as well as a very high income tax for the richest, went a long way to reducing income and wealth inequality in Britain after WW2. The aristocracy is still there, but a fraction of the size and wealth that it was in 1920.

In North America, income inequality steadily declined c1945-1970. What happened after 1970? Well, there was a major recession -- but by the time of the boom again, policy had changed to favour the rich. Since 1970, income inequality has increased.
posted by jb at 10:05 AM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


inheritance and property taxes, as well as a very high income tax for the richest, went a long way to reducing income and wealth inequality in Britain after WW2.

Right, but they were dealing with landed aristocracy. We aren't: the vast majority of American billionaires own relatively little real property. Property taxes aren't going to affect them much.

And inheritance taxes? Don't kid yourself. The really, really wealthy don't pay those, they use trusts, insurance, and inter vivos transfers to avoid them almost entirely. Inheritance taxes really only hurt those people with estates in the $5-10 million range. Which is a lot of money, but at that point we're mostly talking about small business owners and highly-educated processionals (doctors and lawyers), not fat cat bankers, businessmen, or celebrities. Tax avoidance stuff really only starts to get interesting in the eight and nine figure range.

policy had changed to favour the rich

Really? What, policies, specifically?
posted by valkyryn at 10:39 AM on January 17, 2011


You want to know why the middle class is in trouble don't blame the rich, blame the American middle class.

The reason businesses spend so much on advertising is that it works. Ditto for Rupert M., the Koch brothers, Mellon Scaife, et al. and their population of "think tanks" and media outlets to advertise their political philosophy. It was not a majority of the middle class that voted for the pols who canted the laws the way they now favor the wealthy over the interests of the middle class. And many of those pols were wolves in sheep's clothing. Blaming the middle class is a bit facile, in my opinion.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:17 AM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Status Anxiety - worth re-watching on occasion.
posted by stbalbach at 11:25 AM on January 17, 2011


I don't like this author much...
posted by stbalbach at 11:19 AM on June 22, 2004


Why the change of heart, stbalbach? It would be interesting to know. I've only read How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Consolations of Philosophy, but found them both intriguing, while accepting that they might seem shallow to Proust scholars and philosophers. They clearly weren't written for them, any more than Fodor's Guide to New York is written for Brooklynites.
posted by rory at 1:33 PM on January 17, 2011


Really? What, policies, specifically?

The steady decline in the highest marginal tax rate. The decline in the capital gains tax rate. The elimination of the inheritance tax (you may view its effect as small, but it did have an effect). The decline of union power. A regulatory environment that has allowed an enormous number of mergers. The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act. The failure of governments to address various tax evasion schemes. The refusal to reform immigration, which maintains a permanent underclass that works for what would otherwise be below-market rates. The growth in government subsidies and expenditures for businesses that do not need them. The failure to control costs (or, if you like market solutions, improve competition) in areas like healthcare. That kind of thing.
posted by jedicus at 1:44 PM on January 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Here's a few more: Aggressive gerrymandering that marginalizes the poor. Attempts to disenfranchise the poor through things like voter ID card requirements. The drug war and its regressive effects. The failure to control the cost of higher education, so that while more people than ever have access to higher education, only the wealthy can afford to attend college without incurring crippling debt that inhibits class mobility. Policies that contribute to urban, suburban, and exurban sprawl, while at the same time working against affordable, effective public transit, which ensures that a large chunk of the working class paycheck goes to a car and its attendant costs. Penal policies that focus on punishment and retribution rather than rehabilitation and education. Opposing access to contraceptives and abortion, which disproportionately impacts the poor (the rich have always been able to procure both).
posted by jedicus at 2:01 PM on January 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


And inheritance taxes? Don't kid yourself. The really, really wealthy don't pay those, they use trusts, insurance, and inter vivos transfers to avoid them almost entirely. Inheritance taxes really only hurt those people with estates in the $5-10 million range. Which is a lot of money, but at that point we're mostly talking about small business owners and highly-educated processionals (doctors and lawyers), not fat cat bankers, businessmen, or celebrities. Tax avoidance stuff really only starts to get interesting in the eight and nine figure range.

policy had changed to favour the rich

Really? What, policies, specifically?

Is your argument that the rich will avoid taxes, so why bother, or that they will game the system to allow themselves to avoid taxes? Cause you can't do something about the first, and the second is what he was talking about.

Should the rich pay higher tax rates? If not, should income all be taxed equally? Including capital gains? How about the salaries that hedge fund managers receive that are taxed at the flat 15% of capital gains?

I pay about twice that in income tax on the last half of my taxable income. And some hedge fund managers have incomes that are higher than $1 billion that they are paying 15% on.

Why? I'm a self-employed entrepreneur, haven't had a job in 25 years, employed dozens over the years, contract with dozens more.

I am operating under the principles of the capitalist purists, and their PR people are telling me I am supposed to resent my employees and customers because they are parasites, and billionaires are put upon, and people in far off lands will be screwed out of their opportunities if I don't eat my vegetables and eliminate the inheritance tax, and frankly, it all sounds like a racket. And that's OK, I can make up my own mind, but I worry about a society where educated people who sound like they are forced to suck a dick then tell me that it's better this way.

Sorry, since I don't have to, it looks abusive to me.
posted by dglynn at 7:31 PM on January 17, 2011


what jedicus said.

also monetary policy which favours lenders (some older people, but also all rich people) and savers over borrowers and workers (by rising interest rates to stop inflation).

and allowing for-profit banks to create money, in Canada at least, instead of the bank of Canada which created money without seeking (much) profit.
posted by jb at 5:02 AM on January 18, 2011


but mostly the income tax changes -- which have led to gutting of social programs and education. What's really interesting is how higher ed was gutted right after the baby boomers were done with it. In Britain, baby boomers had free university. now the baby boomer filled gov't raises tuition yet again.
posted by jb at 5:04 AM on January 18, 2011


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