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  1. #81
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I disagree. I've known too many of these folks... people who have a knack for selling real estate, people who got involved in high-tech and saw a market niche nobody else could see, people who worked their way up from flipping burgers to being night-shift manager at the fast-food joint and eventually was offered a franchise of his own... I can't help but notice a common theme in all these stories, and that's that not a single one of these people got ahead by sitting behind a keyboard and bitching on the internet. That immediately knocks me out of the running.

    I know a guy who, back in the 1970s, put together a business plan and took it to his bank, to propose a venture capital loan to buy a small hotel. He got into the hotel business and prospered... but in those early years he didn't sleep much. Now he owns several hotels, some of them emphatically not small. He can't keep all the books himself... it's too much for one person... but he still audits them regularly, because it's his business. If he doesn't work it it'll fall apart on him. This guy who can vacation anywhere he wants to in the world still works his business, because that's how he got where he is. That's how it's done.
    I hold no ill will for the type of people you describe here. These people deserve to be praised. My angst is directed more at Wall Street (billionaires) which has diverged far from its original purpose, which was a place for "real" businesses (ones that actually produce wealth...finance does not produce wealth, it only transfers wealth) to acquire capital. Wall Street no longer serves the interests of society as a whole, it serves its own interests and has rigged the game where it wins regardless of the outcome for everyone else.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  2. #82
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    Compairing genetic traits to greed and opportunity and circumstance and choice is one hell of a strawman argument, and is almost as weak as the crack about the Irish.
    So you don't think that has shaped Lark's outlook at all then?

  3. #83
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Everybody can't be a millionaire because we use the word millionaire as an exclusive title, a description for the wealthy, rather than a concrete numerical value of dollars and cents. If everyone COULD be millionaires, we would redefine wealthy by increasing the threshold for wealth by one or more orders of magnitude. If everyone was millionaire, it wouldn't be special. Instead, the millionaires would come together to be outraged over the billionaires.

  4. #84
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    P.S. Saying Megan Fox is prettier than Reese Witherspoon is a subjective opinion.

  5. #85
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Can't. Definitely can't. It's not structurally possible for everyone to be rich and that should be obvious.
    Hmmm. Then what does the term "standard of living" mean, Magic, and why is the one in Switzerland higher than the one in Mali?

  6. #86
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Oh alright. I see why you've responsed to what you may perceive as personal criticism of these people who are no doubt important to you.
    More along the lines of wanting the critical to act in a way that's being suggested to those who are in a different socio-economic strata. Be what you claim to hold up as the standard for others or you're nothing but a hypocrite.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    So you don't think that has shaped Lark's outlook at all then?
    Yeah, all black people must hate the wealthy, too.

    My family is Irish on one side.

    You know Bono is Irish right? He's a millionaire.

  8. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Do you think that millionaires pile up all that money just for the purpose of being richer than their neighbors? That probably happens from time to time, but when it does, it's absurd... as the very idea is absurd. Wealthy people often get wealthy as a side-effect of being really good or really persistent at doing something, in addition to which they have to be smart with their money. A lot of family farmers are millionaires, truth be told... but hardly any of their capital is liquid. It's all tied up in land, physical plant, equipment, and sometimes livestock. These guys didn't get "rich" to get rich; rather, they got rich in total assets because that's what it took to keep the family farm running.

    With regard to "everybody can't be a millionaire," I guess that's true, though I disagree that "logic alone" suggests it. It's logical to me that most people aren't going to become wealthy; but it does not follow that because Person A is wealthy, Person B can't be. If I have a dollar more than you have, it does not follow that I gained that dollar at your expense. The economy is not a zero-sum game, and won't be until the whole planet is operating at its carrying capacity for people.
    Oberon its structurally impossible for everyone to be a millionaire, as I said waht would the point be of being a millionaire if everyone were a millionaire? Understand?

    It unarguable that you paint a pretty picture Oberon, its the appeal of capitalism which has allowed it to live so long and outlive its rational appraisal, the fantasy's just too good and its the same reason casinos are so fun or there's appeal in gambling.

    Wealth could well be the dividend or reward paid for business accumin and fiscal liberacy, well and good if it is, more often I would suggest that it is a consequence of class struggles or similar factors, if you need a reference for that I'd suggest that you read, not Marx but books like McMafia, although I'll understand if you'd rather dismiss that as so much sociology in favour of your own anecdotal evidence. The discussion's pretty much at an end at that point though, when you're not prepared to consider sources or evidence as credible.

  9. #89
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    My family is Irish on one side.
    Then I apologize to you and to your family, and to Lark as well. It was uncalled-for.

  10. #90
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Do you think that millionaires pile up all that money just for the purpose of being richer than their neighbors? That probably happens from time to time, but when it does, it's absurd... as the very idea is absurd.
    They don't solely pile it up, but the wealthy do save a larger percentage of their money than other classes. The more the system's money is concentrated, the larger a percentage of it is just sitting around, probably being eaten by the inflation monster.

    [QUOTE=oberon;1515735]
    Wealthy people often get wealthy as a side-effect of being really good or really persistent at doing something, in addition to which they have to be smart with their money.

    Or having rich parents. Or getting lucky like oh so many so-called artists.

    Additionally, some of them are no doubt skilled and smart with their money, but not in ways I'd call meritorious. Being good at lying and cheating will help you get rich, for example. Ever read those studies that indicate personality disorders are highly over-represented among business executives? In the real world, there are some traits that help you get ahead without really helping anybody else. That includes pretty innocuous ones, like charisma.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    With regard to "everybody can't be a millionaire," I guess that's true, though I disagree that "logic alone" suggests it. It's logical to me that most people aren't going to become wealthy; but it does not follow that because Person A is wealthy, Person B can't be.
    There are really simply several reasons we can't all be wealthy. For example, how would supply and demand create such a situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    If I have a dollar more than you have, it does not follow that I gained that dollar at your expense. The economy is not a zero-sum game, and won't be until the whole planet is operating at its carrying capacity for people.
    Actually I think it is zero-sum. It may have been more like variable-sum when we mostly did bartering, but society became far too complex for that, and we needed currency. Currency played the pivotal role in making it zero-sum. Now your wealthy is basically proportional. Your power comes from how much money you have compared to others.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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