Lion of the Blogosphere

Billionaire warns about robots and wealth inequality

I read this at Bloomberg.com:

Johann Rupert, the South African who has made billions peddling Cartier jewelry and Chloe fashion, said tension between the rich and poor is set to escalate as robots and artificial intelligence fuel mass unemployment.

“We cannot have 0.1 percent of 0.1 percent taking all the spoils,” said Rupert, who has a fortune worth $7.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “It’s unfair and it is not sustainable.”

. . .

“How is society going to cope with structural unemployment and the envy, hatred and the social warfare?” he said. “We are destroying the middle classes at this stage and it will affect us. It’s unfair. So that’s what keeps me awake at night.”

This story demonstrates two points:

1. I’ve been writing about robots for a long time, but because I’m not a billionaire no one pays attention to me.

2. Here’s another billionaire who seems to want to have his wealth redistributed in some manner. Of course he’s not an American billionaire, but here in the United States we have Republicans doing everything possible to ensure that the ultra-rich have the lowest possible taxes, but the majority of the ultra-rich don’t even want that.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 8, 2015 at 11:54 AM

Posted in Economics, Robots

121 Responses

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  1. Lion, all the ultra-rich are advocating a higher *income* tax, but they never advocate for a *wealth* tax. For all the complaint about inequality, the wealthy as well as the media advocates soaking the W2 earner with high salaries, yet leaves alone the capital gains, and of course never touch the actual wealth already accumulated.

    臭老九

    June 8, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    • I don’t see it that way.

      In fact, Warren Buffett is on the record for wanting a higher estate tax, which is a wealth tax. And Warren Buffett has also asked fo rhigher capital gains taxes.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterjreilly/2012/12/11/warren-buffett-and-george-soros-want-higher-estate-tax-than-obama-proposes/

      • That’s a limp wristed effort from Buffet.

        There are enough ways to hide/protect wealth from estate taxes that any efforts here are marginal. Plus, there is not a whole lot of estate wealth anyway to address income inequality on a society wide basis.

        bomag

        June 8, 2015 at 12:55 PM

      • Lion,

        “In fact, Warren Buffett is on the record for wanting a higher estate tax, which is a wealth tax. And Warren Buffett has also asked fo rhigher capital gains taxes.”

        All meaningless. Estate taxes can be avoided by creating charitable trusts. Higher taxes on capital gains are meaningless unless those capital gains are realized by selling stock.

        The wealthier people are, the less they are affected by taxes because of all of the loopholes created as wealth increases. Buffet can easily monetize his wealth with selling a single share of stock and easily protect it through whatever bs charity he creates.

        These taxes will simply attack everyone who tries to get ahead while leaving the really rich untouched.

        The Republicans are doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

        map

        June 8, 2015 at 10:01 PM

      • Taxing charitable trusts might be a good idea since they seem to be prone to abuse. If memory serves, Buffett himself has sent his hoard to the Gates Foundation*, which furthermore prefers exporting its resources. So, you know … screw’em.

        * Implies the assets owned by Berkshire Hathaway, a substantial part of US industry, will in a decade or so work for the eradication of AIDS in Africa and suchlike. What a worthy goal!

        Glengarry

        June 9, 2015 at 3:19 AM

    • Lion is pretty dense about this point.

      It perfectly rational for the existing entrenched wealthy to ask for punitive taxes on their would be competition. It’s self-serving for these billionaires to ask the near wealthy to pay for society’s bills while they skate by on untaxed wealth and foreign assets.

      It’s triple bonus. Not only is society protecting your wealth for you, but the other guy is paying the bills & that same other guy is your biggest potential competition.

      Rotten

      June 8, 2015 at 12:48 PM

      • Rich people who support higher estate taxes which is a wealth tax and not an income tax:

        http://faireconomy.org/enews/estate-tax-quotes

      • That’s exactly right

        Zack

        June 8, 2015 at 1:00 PM

      • Will have no effect at all on the billionaire’s wealth.

        They are setting up a system where people the middle class will get soaked.

        map

        June 8, 2015 at 10:04 PM

      • You just keep repeating over and over again that the rich say they want higher taxes because they believe they won’t have to pay them. I don’t buy it. The rich want higher taxes because of noblesse oblige, and I am sure that we can write a tax code that shuts out loopholes if only Republicans and Democrats would get together and do it.

      • http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

        you can fool all of the proles all of the time.

        but you can’t fool billionaires http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterjreilly/2012/12/11/warren-buffett-and-george-soros-want-higher-estate-tax-than-obama-proposes/.

        the problem in america is dygenics especially that of the white south population. the problem is proles. proposal: give texas back to mexico. give the confederacy to mexico too. give its current indigenes mexico.

        selecao

        June 8, 2015 at 10:12 PM

      • Lion,

        “I don’t buy it. The rich want higher taxes because of noblesse oblige, and I am sure that we can write a tax code that shuts out loopholes if only Republicans and Democrats would get together and do it.”

        We can, but we won’t. Such a thing has not been done and never will be done. It’s not the way to bet. After all, do you honestly think Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House to raise taxes on herself? Hardly.

        These rich advocating for higher taxes are like leftists who love diversity. They want it for everyone else but not themselves.

        The whole point here is not to be conned by reasoning from connotation.

        map

        June 8, 2015 at 10:57 PM

      • Selecao,

        Yes, they pledge to tax other people’s money.

        map

        June 8, 2015 at 11:01 PM

  2. 2. Here’s another billionaire who seems to want to have his wealth redistributed in some manner. Of course he’s not an American billionaire, but here in the United States we have Republicans doing everything possible to ensure that the ultra-rich have the lowest possible taxes, but the majority of the ultra-rich don’t even want that.

    Billionaires are smart enough to know not to push their luck. They’re willing to give up a little money to keep the peace. They know that too much inequality will create a backlash causing them to lose much more. The rich depend on the non-rich for a stable functional society without which their money is useless.

    pumpkinperson

    June 8, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    • “The rich depend on the non-rich for a stable functional society without which their money is useless.”

      That’s correct, and why Atlas Shrugged makes no sense, because being rich is meaningless when you have no servants or employees to boss around.

      • I think a society full of Hank Reardens would get along fine. They could not all be the CEO, but even the lower level workers would get more done than the typical worker. The poor need the rich a lot more than the rich need the poor.

        If a rich guy wants to help the middle class, I have some ideas:

        Donate lots of money to Numbers USA.
        Fund scholarships to students based only on grades and test scores.
        Lobby for an end to housing restrictions and zoning laws that prevent suburban growth.
        Lobby for the reduction of red tape for small businesses.

        BehindTheLines

        June 8, 2015 at 1:59 PM

      • “The poor need the rich a lot more than the rich need the poor.”

        The poor need value creation workers like engineers and technical people who keep things running.

        They don’t need the rich.

        On other hand, the rich need poor people to maintain their huge estates, otherwise they would be overgrown with weed and the interiors would get all dirty without poor people to clean them.

      • hank roerdan and rand’s other atlases weren’t and aren’t the economic and power elite in the real world only in rand’s exceedingly uninformed female fantasy world.

        selecao

        June 8, 2015 at 10:13 PM

  3. The truth to the matter is, we as a society, have gone past the 20th century industrial scarcity model. I would say it’s a post materialism world. Diamonds? Only proles would fret about diamonds.

    The problem is that the average man (especially the primitive Prolecan) is still stuck in his neanderthal think. Meriproles are circle jerking about petty manufacturing jobs and a 40+ hr work week; meanwhile, Canadians are in the process of creating a self actualization-make work culture.

    JS

    June 8, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    • Also, Rupert, represents what the Anglo-Prole-Sphere culminates into. Dysfunctional multiculturalism, money junkie-ism and wealth inequality. The other being, a low sex drive or less frequent sexual activity, when comparing to other spheres in the world.

      JS

      June 8, 2015 at 12:54 PM

    • have gone past the 20th century industrial scarcity model

      You need to specify “non-capitalist scarcity model.” The libertarian scarcity model and assumption is impossible to move past: human wants, under that assumption, are infinite.

      swank

      June 8, 2015 at 1:50 PM

      • Human wants are related to status, and status is always limited because only 1% of the people can have top 1% status.

        Unless we can create the illusion that everyone has status. Like in World of Warcraft where, if you play the game long enough, eventually you will get to Level 90.

      • While human wants are related to status, there are infinite ways to gain status. Human wants are related to the ways. Today it’s having this shirt, tomorrow it’s having that shirt, and so on and so on and so on.

        Unless we can create the illusion that everyone has status.

        If everyone knows that everyone else can do it, there is no more status derived from the activity.

        swank

        June 8, 2015 at 2:39 PM

      • Swank,

        No, status is very limited.

        map

        June 8, 2015 at 10:06 PM

      • I didn’t say status was unlimited.

        Swank

        June 8, 2015 at 11:12 PM

      • World of Warcraft ultimately seems to be about the illusion that grinding (Conscientiousness) conquers all. A good lesson for the working class, hey?

        Glengarry

        June 9, 2015 at 3:22 AM

      • swank,

        My point is that there are not infinite ways to gain status.

        map

        June 9, 2015 at 10:32 AM

      • My point is that there are not infinite ways to gain status.

        Yes there are. If I can dream up some signal of status and make you believe it is so, then the only limit on the number of status signals is my capacity to dream them up. Do you not notice fashion trends changing? Tech trends? Automobile trends?

        swank

        June 9, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    • meanwhile, Canadians are in the process of creating a self actualization-make work culture.

      No we fucking aren’t; Jesus-Christ on a fucking pogo stick knock it off with this retarded Canadian fantasia.

      Samson J.

      June 8, 2015 at 3:06 PM

    • “Diamonds? Only proles would fret about diamonds.”

      I have never been able to understand the appeal of jewelry, especially to women. I like a nice pair of earrings and all, but basically it’s like the fashion equivalent of cotton candy. Although I’ve never been obsessed with clothes (I tend to like a simple tailored suit look which requires about 5-10 good suits, doable even on an average person’s salary) I understand the clothing obsession a bit more. My big fix is information – books, DVDs, essays ,internet websites. It’s a cliché, I know. But knowledge really is power.

      Maryk

      June 8, 2015 at 9:28 PM

      • Well, here’s some knowledge is power, for you:

        Remember Dr. Cerami, the Guidette Professora, whose main interest was this guy, who is depicted as one of the philosophers in Raphael’s painting,The School of Athens, where Plato and Aristotle are walking side by side, and in the periphery, are these countless intellectuals doing their own thing:

        His full name was Abu Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd, better known as Averroes in the West, who was a Muslim Polymath and lived in Islamic Spain during the Middle Ages. He was a prolific commentator of Aristotle’s work, and whose own writings were to influence the greatest Catholic Guido of all time, St. Thomas Aquinas. Averroes was also a character in Dante’s Inferno, also another famous Guido. I never read the Inferno, but Dante depicts many characters in his work, a lot of them are philosophers. It appears all these guido intellectuals were/are fascinated by him. Averroes managed to read nearly all of Aristotle’s works, and wrote long winded commentaries about them, while also writing hardcore Islamic law, things like Sharia, where people’s hands are being chopped off for stealing. Just an all around badass guy, with a range and immense talent of interests and abilities.

        Here’s the full painting of the famous Guido, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (Rafael), The School of Athens. Just an amazing piece of artwork from the Italian Renaissance.

        JS

        June 9, 2015 at 8:57 PM

  4. Bullshit… yet another Luddite. The reality is that the robots will create more jobs. There’s a lot more stuff to be done. Also, the current impact of the robots is greatly overestimated.

    Also, this does not prove what you say. He’s just looking for a scape goat for income inequality. If he’s the kind of guy who made money taking competitive advantage thru government interventions, aka crony capitalist, then it makes sense for him to blame somebody else.

    Moreover, he doesn’t want high taxes on him, but on the middle class. Every time people talk about taxes, they end up increasing the income tax, ie, tax on work. He already has massive wealth off-shore and he can invest tax free from there globally.

    Zack

    June 8, 2015 at 12:39 PM

    • No one is stopping Republicans from creating higher wealth taxes, and I am sure the Democrats will go along with it.

      • “No one is stopping Republicans from creating higher wealth taxes, and I am sure the Democrats will go along with it.”

        One of the best ways to tax wealth is through inflation, yet, the Fed is instructed explicitly to keep the inflation low. And this comes from both sides of the isle.

        Zack

        June 8, 2015 at 12:59 PM

      • Not really. Most wealth is stored in assets that increase with inflation.

      • “Not really. Most wealth is stored in assets that increase with inflation.”

        Not true. Say you own a stock for 100M and then the inflation halves the value of money. Say the stock goes nowhere, and it’s worth now 200M because of inflation. If you were to sell the stock, you’d have the extra 100M in profit, so you’ll have to pay taxes on that. Ofc, it’s even more complex than that. For large sums, trading costs add up, so you’ll have to pay for that. And then there’s the risk of holding that financial instrument long term, so you’ll have to discount for that too. My point is, that inflation will hit your investment in assets. With other assets it’s even worse, because government may tax them directly, like real estate for example. Commodities have the same problem. With futures, you’ll have to roll, and to hold hard commodities is expensive. Plus, the tax on profits driven by inflation will always be there.

        Zack

        June 8, 2015 at 2:02 PM

    • “Bullshit… yet another Luddite. The reality is that the robots will create more jobs. There’s a lot more stuff to be done. Also, the current impact of the robots is greatly overestimated.”

      Hehehe, one who doesn’t know jackshit about HBD. Not anyone can be an engineer.

      Thomas

      June 8, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    • The whole “Robotics Revolution” is a ruse. If any of it were true, then why do we have all of these immigrants? Truth of the matter is that immigration is a hedge against technology, a way for companies to negate any technical disadvantages they may have by importing a cheap labor force. This guarantees that the return to technology will be low.

      There will be no robot revolution other than the one designed to blame all of the problems on.

      map

      June 8, 2015 at 10:12 PM

      • We have immigrants because Democrats like their votes and it alleviates their white guilt by making America less white. Corporations like immigrants because of cheap labor. Republicans like immigrants because Republicans are stupid.

        None of that means that we have much less need for human labor than we did in the past. Most labor is value transference and positional goods.

      • Then we agree that robots and artificial intelligence are just a smokescreen.

        map

        June 8, 2015 at 10:38 PM

      • Perhaps we can solve this once and for all by giving robots the vote?

        Glengarry

        June 9, 2015 at 3:23 AM

  5. Agree with point 2.

    Disagree with point 1. You have to be willing to work and work hard. Never saw an idle Chinese in Brooklyn Chinatown. Any hassidic jew that wants a job has one. The ones too lazy to work should be allowed to die and be cremated by robots. Remember: forced labor, flogging and sterilization is the solution.

    Incidentally, just today spoke to a manager of an HVAC company and he was looking for six service techs. There ain’t no good techs to hire. There is and always will be work for good hard working people. The rest should go the way of the dodo.

    Yakov

    June 8, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    • Yet, Hasidic Jews are on average are wealthier than the Chinese. How so? Simple, it has to do with their social dynamics. I see it as a religious value transference at work, combined with their inner world of Jewish socialism, all done at the expense of hardworking taxpayers. These guys get free vouchers for job training and job placement, yet most of them do not take advantage of these resources. This goes to show you, that hard work need not apply in their community. Don’t believe in the lie that Hasidics suffer from poverty. They are no “poor” Hasidics, if push comes to shove, these guys would have busted their asses for money, but they don’t need to. If anything, those Chinese grinds are foolish. Only chumps work hard so others can profit from them, which is exactly why they are being exploited as H1Bs, when it comes to the tech industry.

      JS

      June 8, 2015 at 1:12 PM

      • JS, every mention of Hassidic Jews doesn’t need to provoke a visceral reaction. The point here is that they and the Chinese are industrious prole societies with full employment.

        Yakov

        June 8, 2015 at 3:17 PM

      • I use to be in a school full of Hasidic students on job training vouchers in an IT learning center. Not only were most of these guys a nuisance to the non-Hasidics, their attrition rate of dropping out of the program before completing it, was very high, almost like 80%, basically taking up space and causing uneasiness for the non-Hasidic students who wanted to learn at the school. Their reason for dropping out is very obvious, they viewed the program as a trial process, and most of them weren’t motivated to learn the nuts and bolts, because they felt getting a IT job was not a necessity. They and the blacks were the poorest of all the students, when it came to certification completion and job placements. Hispanics, non-Hasidic proles and Asians didn’t have these kind of problems.

        JS

        June 8, 2015 at 3:45 PM

      • You’ve said it before and I don’t dispute this, it’s just not what we are discussing here.

        Yakov

        June 8, 2015 at 4:31 PM

      • Hasidic Jews get privileges under the Minority Disadvantaged Business Act.

        map

        June 8, 2015 at 10:15 PM

    • The ones too lazy to work should be allowed to die and be cremated by robots.

      You mean like the truly rich, who let their assets “work” for them?

      There ain’t no good techs to hire.

      …for a price that undervalues their services.

      There is and always will be work for good hard working people.

      …who undercut their value in the market.

      Do you enjoy living in a just world?

      swank

      June 8, 2015 at 1:53 PM

      • I enjoy living in the world of opportunity and freedom that this country still provides in comparison to other places on earth. Not many prefer Greece or Zimbabwe.  

        Yakov

        June 8, 2015 at 3:11 PM

      • Yakov, I appreciate your blue-collar point of view. It reminds me of the work ethic of my grandparents. Unfortunately, their attitudes towards work doesn’t help people get ahead into white-collar career tracks, and I am pessimistic about the future of blue-collar jobs.

      • Also, the rich are not a problem – they have their own money and don’t have to work. It’s not something that anybody needs to be concerned with.

        Yakov

        June 8, 2015 at 3:13 PM

      • Greece’s gini-coef is lower than the US’s, last I checked. And the US is closer to Zimbabwe than it is to Greece.

        Also, the rich are not a problem – they have their own money and don’t have to work. It’s not something that anybody needs to be concerned with.

        Income inequality and wealth disparity are issues to be concerned with, as a matter of historical fact.

        swank

        June 8, 2015 at 4:10 PM

      • I dunno. I’ve worked 20 as a programmer in the brokerage industry and 8 years in the HVAC trade and everywhere the hard work and dedication paid. Now, obviously it doesn’t pay at every job and you have to move to find the right one, but on the whole it does. O’Reilly said it w

        Yakov

        June 8, 2015 at 4:43 PM

      • Your 20 years of hard work as a programmer led to an HVAC job? Not an endorsement for hard work. You should have made so much money as a programmer that you should be retired.

      • Now, obviously it doesn’t pay at every job and you have to move to find the right one, but on the whole it does

        The reason you can repeat these myths is because you view the world of income as existing between 0-100k. In that small universe, yes ability and hard work and whatever are important. However, that is not the complete universe of income.

        Hard work, ability, and dedication will ensure you are not poor. No one disagrees. However, the rewards you reap will not correspond well to your ability and hard work. AINEC.

        swank

        June 8, 2015 at 4:55 PM

      • Lion, paying 4 private school tuitions, weddings and supporting married kids costs a pretty penny, divorce cost money too, plus bad investment decisions. Lol. Otherwise you are right – a person with a different lifestyle could have retired.

        Don’t dis HVAC or trades in general. I took my mother for an eye-exam and the bill was $137 paid for by insurance. I’ve changed a timer on a commercial refrigerator and billed $250 for a two hours with travel time. Listen to O’Reilly carefully.

        Yakov

        June 8, 2015 at 6:06 PM

      • To compare Greece on the same level with Zooblackway, is an insult to a nation that has brought you Plato, Aristotle, Olives and Feta Cheese, which the sub-saharan dump has nothing comparable to offer.

        JS

        June 8, 2015 at 6:27 PM

      • @swank

        ‘However, the rewards you reap will not correspond well to your ability and hard work.’

        And why is that? What’s unfair? I think I make a fair profit on my own jobs and earn a fair salary. How much do you think a plumber or an electrician should be earning?

        I know how much my company charges and what is the overhead, so based on my contribution my salary is fair. As I become more productive I earn more. This is very fair. I like it this way. For example, this Sunday I made $300 cash for a 5 hour job. The guy had a bunch of kids so I gave him a big discount the job was worth about double that. I think that even with the discount it’s an OK compensation for my labor and knowledge. What’s unfair? In fact, it’s more than fair, IMO.

        Yakov

        June 8, 2015 at 9:07 PM

      • swank,

        “Greece’s gini-coef is lower than the US’s, last I checked. And the US is closer to Zimbabwe than it is to Greece.”

        This gini-coef stuff is a meaningless non-starter. The main point is that the rich are waging war on people in this country.

        map

        June 8, 2015 at 10:23 PM

      • “Not many prefer Greece or Zimbabwe.”

        Greece offers plenty of freedom and opportunity. It is the Greeks that are the problem. The same is true in other “basket cases” of Europe like Spain and Italy. These are countries full of spoiled kids who don’t want to work hard. For some reason every Romanian or Pole who shows up in these countries has a job within a few days. There is probably more opportunity for a hard working ambitious person to move up the social ladder in Greece than there is in the US. The barrier to entry in Greece of course is that few outsiders know or want to learn modern Greek.

        Peter Akuleyev

        June 9, 2015 at 2:48 AM

      • This gini-coef stuff is a meaningless non-starter.

        Only if you believe that an index of general income inequality can’t tell us anything about just how much “opportunity” actually exists in a given country.

        swank

        June 9, 2015 at 12:57 PM

      • @JS and Peter Akulev

        The Greeks evolved since the ancient times. What has been their contribution to civilization in the last thousand years? It’s not the same people.

        With an average salary of $700 euros a month, huge beuracracy, and dysfunctional political system it’s hard to see it as a land of opportunity unless you are coming from an even worse place.

        Incidentally, all the Greeks I’ve known were good guys and pretty smart. As one of my Greek friends explained the situation – Greece, like Israel, has too many wolves that need sheep to feed themselves. This is why they do so well abroad because that’s where the sheep are. Wolves can’t feed on each other.

        http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/city_result.jsp?country=Greece&city=Athens

        Yakov

        June 11, 2015 at 7:18 AM

      • For anyone to put Greece with mugabe’s garbage dump, as both equally undesirable countries, is unjustifiable. To even include Israel into the discussion, hinting on the same level with that of zooblackway, well, that’s beyond insanity.

        You’re telling me that these 2nd world nations (Greece and Israel are comparable with similarities), are like that of the 3rd sub-saharan, hell hole.

        Do you want to stay in a Greek or Israeli neighborhood with their cafes and bakery shops, or a black ghetto with its miscreants? Because this essentially what you are trying to say.

        JS

        June 11, 2015 at 8:55 AM

    • it’s not hard work if you love it. and if you don’t love it, you’re going to suck at it. buffett calls it “tap dancing to work”.

      hard work, per se, irrespective of what one is working at or for, and especially if one is only working for money is….

      PROLE!

      it’s the slave mentality.

      no one working at AAPL can be said to be lazy however slow and disinclined to exertion he may be, because AAPL creates nothing of value at all.

      being lazy at doing stupid things is a great virtue.

      “lazy” and “hard-working” are 100% ideological terms. they have no meaning in themseleves. they’re mere verbal acts. if “hard-working” means anything it means “obedient and ideologically conformist”.

      selecao

      June 8, 2015 at 6:10 PM

      • What verbal acts, mate? Lazy layabouts sit around on the dole, hard-working people improve their situation by actively hustling. What verbal acts?

        Yakov

        June 9, 2015 at 12:37 AM

    • “Incidentally, just today spoke to a manager of an HVAC company and he was looking for six service techs. There ain’t no good techs to hire.”

      Funny enough just today I saw a craigslist ad in my area looking for HVAC techs. They wanted techs who had graduated from HVAC trade schools and were offering 12.50 an hour. Seems they can’t be scarce.

      *NO EMPLOYER IN THE COUNTRY* has actual trouble finding workers just as good as they need. There is no work anymore, the days of people supporting themselves with jobs are over. Not in any sector, not in any city or town are there employers who REALLY can’t find the workers they need. Any employer who would be willing to pay modest wages and train people who don’t have 100% the EXACT credentials they want could attract more totally adequate workers than they could possibly handle.

      chairman

      June 9, 2015 at 3:05 AM

      • $12.50 for a trade school graduate isn’t bad. What’s the location?

        ‘There is no work anymore, the days of people supporting themselves with jobs are over. ‘

        What is this supposed to mean?

        Yakov

        June 9, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    • hvac isn’t alpha or self actualizing like IB or teaching queer studies

      GM

      June 10, 2015 at 7:52 PM

  6. I’m interested in the wider picture of how the so-called Singularity will play out.

    If modern elites are really sincere about all their altruism and humanism (and I think they are, for the most part), I guess this is the moment we’ll find out.

    Thomas

    June 8, 2015 at 1:23 PM

    • They are not

      map

      June 8, 2015 at 10:24 PM

      • You should go out more.

        Thomas

        June 9, 2015 at 7:12 AM

  7. And for my compatriot Jorge Videla: The research findings here, have shown that income inequality has increased a double fold in Anglo Prole Canada from 1992-2000, when comparing to the Francophone province of the Quebecois, and the inequality rate is also 2x as much for the English speaking, Canuckiproles. Quite interesting!

    Click to access saez-veallAER05canada.pdf

    JS

    June 8, 2015 at 1:31 PM

    • * 1982-2000

      JS

      June 8, 2015 at 1:38 PM

    • And this goes to show you that the Anglo Proles are all about prole binging (i.e. excessive shopping and voracious consumption) and prole drifting in the OECDsphere – The lowest savings rate, the highest inequality in wealth distribution, the dumbest in higher education, and the worse in moral reflection.

      JS

      June 8, 2015 at 2:40 PM

      • indeed!

        if no one believed yours or my invective against the anglo-prole sphere they have some ‘splainin’ to do when it comes to savings rates and especially savings rates compared to median household income.

        healthcare and education’s absurd anglo-prole expense are only part of it.

        selecao

        June 8, 2015 at 6:13 PM

  8. The Lion & his readers might find Bill O’reilly’s recent analysis of income inequality interesting:

    pumpkinperson

    June 8, 2015 at 2:21 PM

    • This is such B.S. about globalization. I really can’t stand it when mainstream commentators talk about globalism as if it’s some naturally occurring event like the tides or seasons that is immune to human intervention. We’ve had a tariff protected economy before. We’ve had immigration restrictions before. Many other countries do it currently. It’s really not too difficult. Why are our elites so bad???

      JerseyGuy

      June 8, 2015 at 2:31 PM

      • that’s a good point, but you can’t have economic protectionism in today’s PC world because it’s racist.

        Bar_Back

        June 8, 2015 at 6:57 PM

    • the lion and his readers find bill o’reilly to be a gross prole.

      he’s probably canadian.

      selecao

      June 8, 2015 at 2:34 PM

      • All the Fox Proles on their TV are just little lemmings, better known as vole proles. They are no different than the underclass who submit to the Demogods.

        JS

        June 8, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    • of course people are fat and gross, including o’reilly himself, but yet they score higher on IQ tests than they did 40 years ago.

      the south african luxury goods merchant has no idea how to build or program a robot, and neither does bill o’reilly. what does o’reilly list as his skill? bloviation? confusing “the fed” with “the federal government”? how are skills acquired? through school? dear God what a prole POS. they are overwhelmingly acquired on the job. if you don’t get the job, you don’t get the skill.

      i create nothing. i own.

      it’s the stupidity stupid.

      proles are their own worst enemy, and everyone else’s, and now almost all americans are proles like o’reilly.

      selecao

      June 8, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    • This is the truth!

      Yakov

      June 8, 2015 at 4:07 PM

    • O’Reilly is right.

      Yakov

      June 8, 2015 at 4:07 PM

    • O’reilly can be annoying but he’s right. People don’t want to admit it because it’s easier to curse the darkness than light a candle. But ask yourself — Are you more likely to succeed if you try or if you don’t? People who believe it’s possible to succeed are more likely to do the things they need to succeed. I would never shoot myself or my family in the foot by telling them success is out o their reach.

      destructure

      June 9, 2015 at 1:36 AM

      • destructure is probably quite right as usual. I suspect people with an internal locus of control (i.e. I control my own destiny) are more successful on average than people with an external locus of control (i.e. My destiny is controlled by luck, society & factors out of my control). Some minority communities have been absolutely devastated by the belief that the system is so stacked against them that they shouldn’t even bother trying & while that might be true for some, spreading that narrative does a great deal of harm.

        pumpkinperson

        June 9, 2015 at 10:17 AM

      • Two different propositions. The first is that the system, as/is, is unjust or needlessly unfair (true, by the way). The second is that, to succeed within this system or any system, the more useful belief to hold is that one can succeed if one tries.

        The idea here is just some warble in the key of fixed versus growth mindset.

        And if HBDers believe fixed mindsets are so detrimental, why institutionalize more fixed mindset policies? Several children are already given up on every day in the US. Poor children are placed on remedial tracks and can’t escape those remedial tracks, regardless of achievement scores, because bureaucrats are convinced that previous aptitude tests are their actual destiny, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        Lion thinks this “track” business starts after high school…but it starts much earlier.

        swank

        June 9, 2015 at 1:04 PM

      • O’Reilly is only right if one ignores the myriad of free trade agreements that his oh-so-hated government has enacted over the past 30 years, which in turn destroyed American manufacturing employment rolls. Ross Perot understood this and was quite forthright about it during his 1992 campaign, but Americans were too stupid to vote their own interests, as seems to be customary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAHM9rXjdUo

        Negro of the Bongosphere

        June 9, 2015 at 1:37 PM

      • Also, in regards destructure’s comment, it is worth noting that one is more likely to succeed if one’s government is not actively engaged in the destruction of one’s social class. I have always been consistently shocked at the total lack of stewardship toward the lower classes that the American rich demonstrate, relative to their western European counterparts, as well as how self-perpetuating morally and rationally untenable magical beliefs surrounding “success”, “self-reliance”, and “personal responsibility” can be used to manipulate the American public. I rather think destructure is indeed shooting his family in the foot by validating and perpetuating their individualist beliefs, but that’s his purview rather than my own.

        Negro of the Bongosphere

        June 9, 2015 at 1:51 PM

  9. Another limo lib sob story. Booh hooh. The oldest trick in the champagne socialist playbook is to raise income taxes on the would be rich. It eliminates the competition. If guys like Rupert and Buffet really cared they would be pushing for a net worth tax. Hint: don’t hold your breath!

    B.T.D.T.

    June 8, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    • Buffett is on the record asking for higher capital gains taxes and a higher estate tax.

      And Donald Trump, who is supposedly a Repuglican, has suggested an annual tax on assets.

      • Taxes in America don’t benefit the middle class. It is used to subsidize the lower class, and empower the upper class (it would be a form of redundancy, if they were taxed more).

        JS

        June 8, 2015 at 3:04 PM

      • Mr. Buffet can get out his checkbook and write one out to I.R.S. for any amount anytime he wants. So can Trump. These are not men that ask permission for anything. If they loved paying taxes so much surely they would do so voluntarily.

        B.T.D.T.

        June 8, 2015 at 7:52 PM

      • Talk about a tax on assets, I would like to see a tax on these super wealthy university endowments. Harvard is sitting on $36 billion, and Yale and some of the others also have $10s of billions. No way should any institution be allowed to command this much capital and not be taxed on it. Harvard and their ilk will tell you that they are doing God’s work since there is no more God, and they are a beacon to the benighted, but that’s the same argument wealthy monasteries were giving before they were all expropirated during the French revolution. Expropriate excessive endowments now.

        Daniel

        June 8, 2015 at 8:15 PM

      • The actual historical pattern of calling for taxes on the rich has in practice resulted in massive taxes on the middle class. That is just a bare empirical fact.

        I’ve been hearing about taxing the rich since Roosevelt and the rich have done nothing but get richer and the middle crash has shrunk.

        How is that possible if all of this “tax the rich” rhetoric has any teeth? Or, are we really wrong to assume that these are not the “arguments against interest” we make them out to be?

        map

        June 8, 2015 at 10:34 PM

      • And Donald Trump, who is supposedly a Repuglican, has suggested an annual tax on assets.

        And I have suggested it’s nonprofits, not billionaires and corporations, who need to be wiped out financially.

        Liberals aren’t even rich; overwhelmingly they are college professors, government workers, starving artists, journalists, environmental activists, regulators, social engineers, and non-profit workers who have modest incomes. They can coerce and bribe the foolish and cowardly rich, but are not themselves that wealthy.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        June 8, 2015 at 10:54 PM

      • Harvard and their ilk will tell you that they are doing God’s work since there is no more God, and they are a beacon to the benighted,

        Crush every university department not dedicate to science, medicine, or business and watch as the wealthy revert back to responding to normal capitalistic incentives instead of the perverse ones the left has erected with their countless pet projects.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        June 8, 2015 at 10:56 PM

      • Undiscovered Jew,

        Have you heard that Scott Walker is ending tenure in the University of Wisconsin system?

        map

        June 8, 2015 at 11:13 PM

      • Have you heard that Scott Walker is ending tenure in the University of Wisconsin system?

        Just now, from you.

        It’s all in keeping with the direction I’ve laid out: Republican governors and Republican controlled state houses using their full legislative power over the affairs of state universities to ruin progressive academics; legislation that should be hidden under the guise of making college affordable.

        I’m still waiting for a GOP state to allow any full time public-U student to substitute the entire introductory freshman and sophomore courses – which are the principal source of money for the liberal arts – with cheap online courses and competency testing.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        June 9, 2015 at 10:52 PM

      • Eliminating the Humanities and Social Sciences from the universities signify 2 things: The steep decline of the White student demographic. And the East Asian majority, which means, the schools are intensely focused only on vocational-grinding endeavors, where they no longer serve as intellectual centers of learning.

        It’s quite interesting how a school administrator whom I know, told me that the sheer number of Chinese students enrolled at the universities, has generated a less sense of community and integration throughout the college campuses. My prediction, is that the naturally, self segregating, Whites will stop attending them in the near future, and their families will find other outlets of learning for their children. Universities are becoming an obsolescence anyway. They neither serve as a catalyst for vibrancy in less burgeoning neighborhoods/cities, nor are a source of influence in their surrounding environs, except for the Ivy Leagues.

        JS

        June 10, 2015 at 9:37 AM

      • Eliminating the Humanities and Social Sciences from the universities signify 2 things: The steep decline of the White student demographic.

        Eliminating humanities and social sciences, specifically eliminating the jobs of the professors who teach them, will be a crippling defeat for the American left. Without those departments, Democrats would consistently lose 70% of the white vote nationwide.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        June 10, 2015 at 11:17 PM

    • An estate tax has no effect on Buffet since he’ll be dead at that point. He probably just doesn’t care much about his children. I don’t see him pushing for a wealth tax NOW while he is alive.

      CamelCaseRob

      June 8, 2015 at 4:46 PM

  10. He’s worried because Luxury goods sales are down this year. And NAM’s and strivers certainly sink money into ‘luxury goods’.

    Luxury goods are prole unless they assist in self-actualization.

    uatu

    June 8, 2015 at 4:39 PM

    • “Luxury goods are prole unless they assist in self-actualization.”

      Excellent comment.

      • Luxury is definitely prole unless accessible on a daily basis.

        Thomas

        June 9, 2015 at 7:13 AM

      • “Luxury is definitely prole unless accessible on a daily basis.”

        Yes, that was the point of what Paul Fussell said about proles and their vacations.

      • Luxury goods are also now prole unless they are regularly replaced with the latest model, top-end cars being probably the best example of this as they are now mostly leased and only rarely built to be reliable once the warranty period expires. The driver of, say, a ten-year-old Bentley Continental, at least in my observation, is more likely to be a drug dealer than anything else.

        Negro of the Bongosphere

        June 9, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    • I can’t possibly think of any luxury good that serves as a catalyst for self actualization. And if it does, it is not a luxury good in the conventional sense. Most people don’t think of owning an exquisite musical instrument or an expensive book.

      JS

      June 8, 2015 at 6:10 PM

  11. The wealthy, including religious establishments, avoid quite a bit of taxation (and create and fund lucrative employment for favored beneficiaries) via non-profit foundations and “charitable” tax deductions.

    E. Rekshun

    June 8, 2015 at 6:14 PM

  12. Rupert, a university dropout whose father made a fortune setting up Rembrandt Tobacco Corp. and selling it off, has in the past made other social critiques.

    so not only was he born to it, but his dad made his pile as a criminal in the same trade as Aristotle Onassis before the shipping btw.

    the 65-year-old refers to himself as a “reformed prostitute,” having spent a decade as an investment banker.

    proles are the problem. not even the rich who exploit them, because those same rich are themselves proles like the pornographer rupert murdoch.

    selecao

    June 8, 2015 at 8:03 PM

  13. “it’s unfair…”

    so detsructure will say this guy is some kind of sissy who can’t grasp how much good he and his dad did for the world by selling tobacco and luxury crap.

    no proles, no problem. it’s the stupidity stupid.

    selecao

    June 8, 2015 at 8:11 PM

  14. When I hear Warren Buffet demanding 50% tax rates on unrealized capital gains for fortunes over $1 billion, then I will regard him as serious.

    map

    June 8, 2015 at 10:36 PM

    • you didn’t read the article lion posted then i posted again.

      buffet is proposing taxes on estates of over 4m to start at 45%. then to go up from there. how much is not mentioned, but it would have to be at least 50% for estates in excess of 1b.

      and how is it that the rich give their money to themselves in a trust? that isn’t possible. and a trust for the kids is not a charitable trust. how are the rich going to avoid the estate tax? and why are douche bags like mellon-scaife so worried about it?

      the waltons avoided taxes largely by sam walton’s giving his fortune away before it was ever that big in shares to wife and children at the very beginning.

      selecao

      June 9, 2015 at 12:13 AM

      • “and how is it that the rich give their money to themselves in a trust? that isn’t possible. and a trust for the kids is not a charitable trust. how are the rich going to avoid the estate tax? and why are douche bags like mellon-scaife so worried about it?”

        Proposing taxes on estates of some x % is as meaningless as the push for higher income taxes because what matters is what portion of the income is actually subject to taxation. Likewise, estate taxes only matter if you have an estate that is taxable. There is a US tax code that runs tens of thousands of pages that allows all kinds of exemptions that define what portion of that estate is taxable. The more money people have the greater the level of sophistication available to avoid these tax plays.

        Basically, any charity or foundation acts as a charitable trust. This is not a trust fund for the kids, although if trust funds are set up before the death of the parent then the money is not subject to any estate tax at all. Therefore, if I set up a $10 million dollar trust fund for my kids that they can’t access until their mid-20’s or some other condition that I specify, then that money will never be subject to an estate tax at all. If I have a $500 million fortune, then I can set up a charity that only needs to pay out in charitable giving at a low single-digit percentage on an annual basis. Meanwhile, the rest of the charity can accrue money due to normal investments while compounding tax-free. I then put on kids on salary as administrators of the charity. This is the Harvard University model, where a $36 billion hedge fund claims a university on its taxes and therefore becomes a “non-profit” that pays no taxes on its compounded returns. The rich duplicate this Harvard model everywhere to protect their wealth. As you can see, the estate tax has no effect on inter-generational wealth transfer.

        Who gets hurt? Well, let’s say you own a small business composed of a farm, a farm-supply company and a restaurant, like Dennis Hastert’s family. This is the kind of business that can easily generate an “estate” value of $4 million and would thus be subject to Buffet’s estate tax. Businesses like these, however, do not generate $4 million in cash to pay taxes. They would have to be sold off or go deep into debt to cover such a tax bill, effectively destroying the estate and ruining a family. This is exactly the kind of dynamic that Buffet is proposing, essentially a forced fire-sale of assets of “men of inferior wealth” that happen to be the true business base of the Republican Party. This is true for auto repair centers, machine shops, small retailers, pretty much a broad landscape of businesses that will be ruined all because idiots think that such a tax will get at Warren Buffet’s wealth.

        As for the Walton’s? Yeah, you’ve proven my point. Their wealth is protected from the policies that they push.

        That’s why I keep talking about taxing unrealized capital gains. If Buffet were truly serious about taxation of the rich, then he would call for taxes on unrealized capital gains. A 45% tax on unrealized capital gains means Warren Buffet would have to sell $25-35 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock to cover his tax burden…in the first year alone. Such a move would bleed the truly wealthy and lead to massive transfers of wealth out of financial assets to government coffers.

        Yet, Buffet does not support this. Instead, he counts on people reasoning by connotation: “Estate tax? He’s taxing Wayne Manor. Wayne Manor is an eyesore. We need fewer Wayne Manors.”

        Personally, I support a 45% unrealized capital gains tax on all personal wealth over $100 million and 60% asset taxes on all non-profits.

        map

        June 9, 2015 at 11:39 AM

      • map just saved me from having to write the above post. Warren Buffett is a shrewd man who most definitely does not have mainstream American interests in mind – and this is exactly why there will be no meaningful tax reform in this country.

        Negro of the Bongosphere

        June 9, 2015 at 1:59 PM

  15. For the most advanced economy in the world, the USA has actually very little diversity of the type that offers incentives.
    If you’ve seen one square mile, you have seen the entire country, replicated everywhere.
    That should make it easier to mass-produce wealth through automation and robotics, but a large minority has no personal stake in this arrangement, and thus stays antisocial and poor.
    The only diversity is in the Third World languages spoken and shades of brownness of the new populations.

    outsider

    June 9, 2015 at 4:18 AM

    • Correct, Meriprolestan is just a brain dead nation of happy go merry proles. Bread and circuses, the occasional lay, and then it’s time to be celebratory. What separates those who live in the expensive liberal playgrounds from the prole parks, are more food options and a different set of games.

      JS

      June 9, 2015 at 1:32 PM

      • i feel like the food options of large cities versus small towns really isnt that great to begin with. been to one thai restaurant you’ve been to them all. i’ve had chinese food in restaurants in rural australian towns (population 2000) that was as good if not better than what ive had at places in nyc.

        james n.s.w

        June 10, 2015 at 3:28 AM

      • I believe you are correct. Not only that, NYC has poor shopping options for the self actualizing types, especially artists and scholars. The independent bookshops in NYC, are mediocre at best, and many will close shop in a few years from now. The reasons are poor selections of esoteric titles, and most of the shops have failed to capture a niche. They all sell the same stuff, no different from the bricks & mortar, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

        JS

        June 10, 2015 at 3:58 PM

  16. Lion must feel good that a younger female, who happens to have a Hispanic/Portuguese surname from Bend, Oregon, is surfing his site.

    JS

    June 11, 2015 at 10:56 AM

  17. Anybody who believes that the Rich are paying taxes might want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn. The owner is really sick and even though its worth millions he needs to sell and will take anything you have in your wallet. Seriously? Noblesse oblige? Where do you live the Middle Ages? Warren Buffet and Zuckerberg Facebook have about as much nobility as the scullery maid that gave Henry the 8th syphilis. They may be Rich, but Class is something that comes from breeding not from investments in Heroin from Afghanistan. Seriously, where do you think these scumbags get the money they invest? Trust funds? Nope. Heroin from Indochina and Afghanistan. We’re in Afghanistan for their poppy, since we lost the supply in Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh’s Asian gang. Those terrorists are a really useful boogeyman for the Government to use while the CIA runs dope to your kids in school. Wise up boys..

    Joshua Sinistar

    June 12, 2015 at 10:03 PM

    • wat

      james n.s.w

      June 13, 2015 at 4:29 AM


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