# When do you consider someone "wealthy" or "rich"?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Seattle, Aug 8, 2019.

1. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Agreed. In the the US and to some degree in the modern UK we seem to have lost that realisation that are all interdependent.

In the US especially there is a mythology of individual independence that denies the reliance of all citizens on basic communal services, provided through taxation. I've a suspicion it may have something to do with the popularity of ghastly people like Ayn Rand, promoting a false (but highly convenient - if you are comfortably off) narrative of the primacy of the individual, but I'm not sure. In continental Europe, while people of course still moan about taxes, there does seem to be far more of a recognition of citizenship being a two-way street, with rights and responsibilities.

Seattle likes this.

3. ### JeevesValued Senior Member

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And this has to do something with savings, or personal responsibility in the US -- how, exactly?
The poverty line is arbitrary, usually outdated and calculated independently by each government, so the same income level may be above the line in one country and below in another. AFIK, none of them take regional standard of living into consideration. Needs salt.
Factor in the huge discrepancy in social services, unemployment and disability insurance, federal pension and supplements, rent control and subsidies, the cost of drugs, education and housing, but most particularly health care, which is what typically swallows Americans' savings in one gulp - and the comparison becomes moot, even if it had some significance in the first place. Did it?

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16. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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Should it make any difference to you (or anyone) if a company is owned by 20 people or 2 million shareholders?

17. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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Is a hydroelectric power plant "worth" more than a person? No, in the sense that we aren't going to kill a person to save a power plant. Yes, in the sense that something that provides power to millions of people is worth more than the skills of one person.

You cost your fellow taxpayers when you drive on a road. Even companies that we bailed out paid a lot of taxes before they were bailed out and the reason they were bailed out is that they will continue to provide more to the economy than the bail out cost or they wouldn't be bailed out.

If you have 100 guitars, no one "needs" that many but if you have that many I'm not going to worry myself about it.

If you like the results on an economic system, in general, if you like what it does as compared to whatever the other options are (not saying you do) then you don't need to focus so much on whatever the side effects are.

We like nice weather in the summer, allergies are a side-effect, we don't get one without the other. Who cares whether 20 people own a company or 2 million people own a company?

18. ### JeevesValued Senior Member

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That's why so many people are suffering and the planet is dying.

Anybody who understands the implications.
82 people got stupefyingly rich, but that's all right, because they're worth that much more than the rest of us.

19. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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They're not worth that much more than the rest of us. That's just the price of our economic system. If you don't like the system, it's not worth it. If you do, it is.

If someone else owns a jet, why would I care? People aren't suffering because of capitalism if you are comparing it to the other choices. Is being a serf better? More people were poorer before capitalism. You're taking your eye off the ball.

Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
20. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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Does it? Not really. Should it? Not sure how to answer that.
Agreed. But if the US economy ran on guitars, and guitars were needed by our highway system to maintain roads, and guitars were needed by the military to defend the US, it would make more sense to take 50 guitars from this guy (because then he'd still have 50) than to take two guitars from me (because I don't have any.)

21. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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If we have highways and schools and a pretty good economy and the way the economy works is that some people get a lot more than others but the overall system is better than any other system...you don't worry about it too much.

I wouldn't like it if an apple fell on my head but if that's party of the "gravity system"

I can live with it and I'm not going to try to readjust gravity just because an apple might fall on my head. One comes with the other.

22. ### JeevesValued Senior Member

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Exactly!! And you don't give a damn how everyone downstream pays it.

Because it's giving you cancer, even if you don't care about the other kinds of pollution, and may crash into your house.

What other choices?
I guess it's better than being a Kurd, but not a lot better.
According to capitalists.
Which ball?

23. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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??? Violent crime has gone down significantly since 1990. Does that mean we shouldn't worry about crime too much?
I suspect you would not be OK with crime if you were paralyzed after a mass shooting. You'd want to work to reduce the odds of that.

Same thing with the economy. It works OK. It could work better. We should work on making it better.