Home > Uncategorized > 26 billionaires had as much as the world’s bottom 50%

26 billionaires had as much as the world’s bottom 50%

Global Inequality - Inequality.org

  1. metaecongary
    October 27, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Big debate here in the US right now on whether (and how) to tax the US billionaires to help pay for the public goods. More intriguing question is, from a Behavioral (Meta)Economics frame of reference, how can the wider-community better nudge the billionaires to invest in the public goods? As Metaeconomics (try it, you might like it: see https://tinyurl.com/buy-Metaeconomics ) makes clear, economic efficiency is only possible under conditions of good balance in the private&public-goods. So, it is about a nudge to better ensure economic efficiency, which it seems billionaires would want?

  2. metaecongary
    October 27, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    This is to say: The billionaires made the money producing, selling private goods, with said production interdependent, intertwined, nonseparable and joint with the public goods — like TeslaAutos&Public-Roads. So, Tesla, invest in the Public-Roads.

  3. metaecongary
    October 27, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    And, Tesla, it is then appropriate to not pay taxes T as long as the price P of the Public-Roads is paid. Makes economic (efficiency) sense, right (or, is that left)?

  4. metaecongary
    October 27, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Metaeconomics sees the essential need for balance in right&left, market&government with the primal tendency to excess tempered in both domains.

  5. October 30, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    sry, Gary, but you haven’t quite got the picture. Tesla gets no benefit whatever from public roads, because anyone who wants to use the roads has to pay landowners full market value for permission to access them. No one else benefits (Google “Henry George Theorem” and start reading). That is why landowners get rich without lifting a productive finger. Tesla at least produces cars. The landowner qua landowner by definition produces and contributes nothing whatever. He just takes.

    Billionaires don’t get rich by commensurate contributions to production. They get rich by PRIVILEGE: legal entitlements to benefit from the abrogation of others’ rights without making just compensation. The benefit the privilege owner takes from society is economic rent. The most important privilege, by far, is private titles of ownership to land. Proof: its astronomical unimproved value. Other important ones are bank licenses, IP monopolies, oil and mineral rights, and broadcast spectrum allocations.

    There are three crucial differences between privilege and production:
    1. The producer gets rich by making others richer while the privilege owner gets rich by making others poorer.
    2. The producer does not violate anyone’s rights, and can only offer them access to economic opportunity they would not otherwise have; the privilege owner (legally) violates others’ rights, and can only DEPRIVE them of access to economic opportunity they WOULD otherwise have.
    3. The producer’s return tends to be competed away, so his wealth tends to decline through negative feedback; the privilege owner’s return CANNOT be competed away (he has a legal monopoly), so his wealth grows through positive feedback: the more privilege he owns, the more economic rent he gets in return for nothing, and the more privilege he can buy.

    • October 30, 2021 at 6:17 pm

      Am familiar with the Henry George framing, and, sure, it has substantive content, just like your comment. It is fundamentally a question about the best mix in private&public-property, and, the claims to the flow of income from same.

      The point I was making about Tesla_electric_vehicles&Public_roads is subtly different, albeit related to who owns the property. The “&” is carrying a heavy load, pointing to how one is not possible without the other, that low to the ground vehicles running on electricity are possible only because of public investments in high quality smooth roads and public utilities producing electricity (especially distribution lines, often in the same public corridors as are the roads). So, Tesla&Public, Market&Government work best together, jointly. Each needs the other. Musk does it again with SpaceX&NASA … going to the space station again right now. And, one little understood, but something we see the effectiveness of every
      time we go to a supermarket: Private_Food_Production&Public_Funded_Research (as well as the US Dept of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration). And, that full super market has also benefited from privately owned farmland, as well as public land (the Land Grants were assigned land to help fund ownself, way back in 1862). My point is about jointness, nonseparability, interdependence between the private&public, market&government. And, sure, tax T on the surplus of private land, ala Henry George, has some sense to it (as long is does not reduce the incentive to develop the land: Again thinking how Homesteading agricultural land made it extremely productive of things that now fill supermarkets).

    • metaecongary
      October 31, 2021 at 12:14 am

      Hmm… replied to the Comment, and, it vanished. Not sure what is going on, with Akismet! In any case, Henry George had a good idea, about focusing on taxing the surplus after all other factors of production had been paid (labor, management, capital brought to bear on the land). And, it is productive idea as long as it does not take away the incentive to make said land productive. Am thinking of farmland, as I write the comment here: Farmers often think of land as their retirement wealth, and, some want an estate. In fact, it is often said that farmers “die wealthy” while never having much along the way, except a life-style that pays enough to so get by. So, sure, Henry George had some good ideas, as long as we think carefully about what it does to economic choice.

  6. Mustang Gary
    October 30, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    So, given the jointness in Tesla_electrics&Public_roads, and SpaceX&NASA, why not nudge E. Musk to invest in Public_Roads and NASA (public funded space research)

  7. November 1, 2021 at 9:28 am

    This is from 2018. The world’s billionaires got much richer in the last year, since Covid “relief” went mainly to them. It is likely that just 20 billionaires now have more wealth than 50% of the world’s poorest people. Elon Musk recently topped $300b, though market wobbles could change that day to day. Those “wobbles” add up to a lifetime income for most people!
    Musk has been considered eligible to become the world’s first Trillionaire, in which case he will most likely have more wealth alone than 50% of the world’s poor.

    It boggles the mind and beggers belief.

  8. Ken Zimmerman
    November 7, 2021 at 1:37 am

    Just one of the many supposedly unexpected (wink, wink) results of capitalism. Like the degradation of non-commercial (non-theft) morality, wage slavery, depressions and recessions (both meaning bad times for anyone who isn’t wealthy), dwindling public control, investment, and services, growing environmental pollution and forcing the consequences of this pollution on the poor and other ‘out’ groups, and, if pushed far enough the dissolution of society. Justice cannot happen within a capitalist society.

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