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Discussion Starter #1

Interestingly, none of Canada's top 20 richest lost wealth during the pandemic.

There are some big companies struggling but the richest seems to be invincible and continues to make money while millions of people lost their jobs.

These situations increase the difference between the rich and the poor. That's pathetic.

A few days ago, our private driver from when we went to Indonesia in 2018 contacted us. There are no more tourists so he lost his job, there's no government help, he lost his rented car and after 6 months of pandemic he exhausted his emergency fund. There's no job so he's trying to start a new business, but he has no capital to start with... That guy was so friendly and resourceful, he would drive us all around Indonesia 16h/day, he would pick us up at 4 AM in the morning as he would drop us at 2 AM in the night.

Meanwhile, some people who have not even lost their job are currently complaining that they don't have a nice chair and nice desk to work from home?

Meanwhile, the richest are making billions in a few months... during a crash... during a pandemic...?!
 

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The billionaire case is the extreme example, but it also applies to moderately wealthy people. Central bank stimulus has been amazingly good for investment portfolios. I doubt they are doing this deliberately, but the central banks (especially the Federal Reserve) are contributing to the rich/poor wealth gap and therefore contributing to the instability in society.

For example, someone who is rich and has $10 million invested might have enjoyed a 5% gain year-to-date thanks to financial market stimulus ... and is $500,000 richer. Compare that to someone poor, who likely works in a non professional job, who probably had a decline in pay (if they are lucky) or total job loss. The poor person is undeniably poorer after COVID.

And that's how the gap keeps widening.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes, exactly.

As I could work from home at full pay and I could make investments which are profitable at the moment, I'm lucky to be part of the "rich" side even though I'm definitely not rich.

But then someone in a non-professional job who could not work from home and lost his job, well that one was on the "poor" side, even if his salary was maybe just 20% below mine.

There's a thing. The richest got much richer and the poorest got much poorer (exception made for those who collected the 2000$ CERB which was higher than their usual salary). In the middle class, some got richer, some got poorer. The extremes between the richest and the poorest got much wider and the line splitting the middle class thickened a bit.
 

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Central bank stimulus has been amazingly good for investment portfolios. I doubt they are doing this deliberately, but the central banks (especially the Federal Reserve) are contributing to the rich/poor wealth gap and therefore contributing to the instability in society.
The poor person is undeniably poorer after COVID.
The Fed goal is to own everything they are players in the great reset. Destroy the middle class is part of the plan. Covid is not destroying peoples lives it is government
 

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Ray Dalio, a billionaire, has been making this criticism frequently of late. He says capitalism is great for creating wealth, but not so good at distributing it.

Here's his latest analysis, from today.
Yes he's been quite vocal about this. I really like how sensible and honest Dalio is. He argues that capitalism needs to be reformed. Not abandoned, but reformed to be more fair.

He says that "trickle-down" does not work. The idea that wealth for the elites naturally trickles down to workers, is not working.

 

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Yes he's been quite vocal about this. I really like how sensible and honest Dalio is. He argues that capitalism needs to be reformed. Not abandoned, but reformed to be more fair.

He says that "trickle-down" does not work. The idea that wealth for the elites naturally trickles down to workers, is not working.

Sorry "trickle down" does work.
Just not to the extent some people want it to.

It's very easy to see how, without the super wealthy, we wouldn't have smartphones today.
I'm all for figuring out a system where it is is more of a torrent than a trickle, but I don't want to kill the golden goose.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's very easy to see how, without the super wealthy, we wouldn't have smartphones today.
I've never heard of anyone who contributed to the invention of the semiconductor who became super wealthy.
 

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I've never heard of anyone who contributed to the invention of the semiconductor who became super wealthy.
Well I don't think they're starving, plus a Nobel prize is kinda nice.
Also the guys who actually brought it to the people got rich, so that's nice.

The thing is we can all agree the current system isn't perfect, but they also aren't proposing better systems.
Often they're proposing far worse solutions.
 

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I've never heard of anyone who contributed to the invention of the semiconductor who became super wealthy.
... and with the smartphones we all (almost) have, the super-wealthy becomes the perpetually-super-ultra-wealthy, for the next century(s) (if it still exists).
 

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I've never heard of anyone who contributed to the invention of the semiconductor who became super wealthy.
That's true, but...

The wealthy people who bought the first few very expensive smartphones helped fund development and research which eventually reduces the cost of that smartphone so more people can afford it.
 

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Oddly, it was conservatives who pushed the drive for global free trade and now it is conservatives who espouse protectionism.

I guess it didn't work out like they thought it would.
 

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Oddly, it was conservatives who pushed the drive for global free trade and now it is conservatives who espouse protectionism.

I guess it didn't work out like they thought it would.
I was for free trade, still for free trade. It isn't like the Liberals flipped to Free trade either, Trudeau was working hard to sabotage NAFTA with his social justice and discriminatory quota crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The wealthy people who bought the first few very expensive smartphones helped fund development and research which eventually reduces the cost of that smartphone so more people can afford it.
Meanwhile other research topics far more important than smartphones are struggling to get help funding their researches. I don't call this a fair distribution of the collective effort for a better society.
 

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Meanwhile other research topics far more important than smartphones are struggling to get help funding their researches. I don't call this a fair distribution of the collective effort for a better society.
Propose a better solution.

The thing is, who is better able to decide what will work out and be valuable in the future.
1. The people who have been able to figure out what is valuable in the past.
2. Some other group.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Propose a better solution.
Unfortunately, that's not my field. I only know it's not optimal and we must work towards a better solution.
 

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Meanwhile other research topics far more important than smartphones are struggling to get help funding their researches. I don't call this a fair distribution of the collective effort for a better society.
You're missing the point. Smartphones were a small silly example.

People often complain about the wealthy and fail to realize that they do play an important role in our society and that role generally increases the society's average wealth.

Yes, the widening wealth gap is problematic but that does NOT mean we should burn down the whole system and build it up again with perfectly equal wealth distribution.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
People often complain about the wealthy and fail to realize that they do play an important role in our society
As the non-wealthy also play a very important role in our society.

Yes, the widening wealth gap is problematic but that does NOT mean we should burn down the whole system and build it up again with perfectly equal wealth distribution.
I've never said we should burn down the whole system. I've never said we need equal wealth.

I just said the widening wealth gap is problematic, as you agreed.

The consumer society is also problematic. All that people spending their savings just to buy the latest iPhone... all that people spending so much money on Amazon because it's now so easy to purchase something with one click... the middle class contributing to the wealth of the richest. I don't have an iPhone and I've bought less than 10 things on Amazon in my whole life.
 

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As the non-wealthy also play a very important role in our society.



I've never said we should burn down the whole system. I've never said we need equal wealth.

I just said the widening wealth gap is problematic, as you agreed.
I think we agree on all 3 points.
The issue I have is all these people complaining about it, but not doing anything to deal with the issue.

Sure, you're 'raising awareness' of something we all know about, but you're not proposing any actions. Or the actions you propose only make things objectively worse.

Thomas Sowell writes about this extensively, his interviews from the 80's are outstanding.
 
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