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View Diary: Warren Buffett's latest op-ed will bring mutters of 'class traitor.' But he doesn't go far enough (117 comments)

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  •  The problem of oligarchy, continued (2+ / 0-)
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    Eric Nelson, howd

    In fact, certain economic statistics show the effect of the transformation, since the Reagan regime, from a republic to an oligarchy. As Paul Buchheit reported last week,

    According to both Marketwatch and economist Edward Wolff, over 90 percent of the assets owned by millionaires are held in a combination of low-risk investments (bonds and cash), personal business accounts, the stock market, and real estate. Only 3.6 percent of taxpayers in the top .1% were classified as entrepreneurs based on 2004 tax returns. A 2009 Kauffman Foundation study found that the great majority of entrepreneurs come from middle-class backgrounds, with less than 1 percent of all entrepreneurs coming from very rich or very poor backgrounds.
    Now, we began this by talking about the problem of a large inequality of wealth. We were using the word "wealth" incorrectly, because, if my argument is correct, money, stocks, bonds, and other investments are really not wealth. Well, then, what are they?

    They are legal fictions that society provides a structure for the creation of. That structure is a banking and financial system, with a legal system to provide some semblance of order. These legal fictions simply make it easier to make the real wealth of human ingenuity, of technology, less abstract, and allow it to be traded and exchanged more readily. So, what we really have is a vast inequality in the legal fictions that we usually fall into thinking of wealth. So, when someone agglomerates too much of those legal fictions, and are using them in ways that don't actually help society create real wealth, society, in its own interest of self-preservation, MUST take those legal fictions away, somehow, someway. Voila! Taxes!  

    This, then, is what statesmanship is all about. Political leaders must be knowledgeable enough about the frontier of science, and the present state of technology, to be able to judge when the inherent conservatism of accumulated, concentrated wealth, becomes a danger to, or drag on, the most important economic activity society engages in - science.

    And just look at the dismal record of America since the emergence of the new American oligarchy. Moon colonization mission canceled. Manned space exploration curtailed. Space station "down-sized" to fit "budget constraints." Complete lack of replacement for the space shuttle. The decision not to build the large particle collider. Human stem cell research banned on specious moral grounds. I'm sure there's more such indicators of which way the wind blows, and I invite you add them in comments.  

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:23:22 PM PST

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    •  More.... (0+ / 0-)

      Let the rich flee. We would be better off without them. They are not entrepreneurs or wealth creators or job creators. According to both Marketwatch and economist Edward Wolff, over 90 percent of the assets owned by millionaires are held in a combination of low-risk investments (bonds and cash), personal business accounts, the stock market, and real estate. Only 3.6 percent of taxpayers in the top .1% were classified as entrepreneurs based on 2004 tax returns. A 2009 Kauffman Foundation study found that the great majority of entrepreneurs come from middle-class backgrounds, with less than 1 percent of all entrepreneurs coming from very rich backgrounds.

      This is fully in accord with the Patriots' belief at the time of the American Revolution that most rich people were merely royal courtiers, who rose because of their brown nosing of the British oligarchy, and not through actual business or commercial acumen. The problem with most rich people is that they become more interested in preserving the value of the investments they have already made, and oppose new economic potentials and capabilities that might supplant those investments. Thus, "old money" actually very rarely assists in economic growth and job creation. Economists have a term for this behavior of old money - rent seeking.

      So, the U.S. financial sector does not generate new wealth for the nation, but only monetizes and extracts already existing wealth. This is what Romney, Bain, and private equity in general do under what they call "restructuring" a company. This is why after the past four decades of tax cuts by Reagan and Bush Jr., the U.S. economy and industrial sector especially is even less competitive than ever, with many countries having surpassed the U.S. in technological capabilities. The U.S. does not even rank in the top 20 worldwide for internet broadband deployment and access. We no longer have the capacity to do cutting edge research in particle physics - U.S. scientists go to CERN in Europe for that. We have allowed the Space Shuttle to become obsolete with coming up with a replacement. Advances in jet propulsion applied to space research are coming out of Europe, not the U.S.

      Get rid of the stupid rich people that are funding groups like American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation, and fighting to preserve the fossil fuel economy, and we'll start moving forward as a nation again!

      A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

      by NBBooks on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 09:35:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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