• @shalafi
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    2 months ago

    If we took that wealth and magically allocated it to 700 million people, inflation would explode. Had this argument back in the day with a friend.

    Mike finds out that the US government shreds worn out paper currency. Mike is outraged, wants to know why that money can’t be given out, wants to know why the government can’t just give us $1,000,000 each. Tried to explain it like this:

    “Of course they can! You know I have a little lawn business? I charge $20 to mow your lawn. If I suddenly had $1,000,000, fuck do I care about $20? Now I’m charging $10,000 to mow your lawn or it isn’t worth my time.”

    Mike did not get it.

    I’m not so concerned with billionaire’s dollar value. At that level of wealth, we’re not talking about liquid assets we can take and spread around. Also, money is not a zero-sum game. Wealth is created and destroyed constantly, mostly created. People often imagine wealth like water molecules, i.e., they think there is a finite number. Both things are created and destroyed. As to wealth, fuck me, wealth creation exploded over the last century, for the whole planet. There are fewer people living in poverty than ever, and there’s more of us.

    The concerning thing is the outsized influence these few people have, your 21 people. Classic reddit post on that:

    https://old.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/2s9u0s/what_do_insanely_wealthy_people_buy_that_ordinary/cnnmca8/

    That’s scary as hell if you think on it.

    EDIT: My 8th grade teacher told us (early 80s), as an example of corruption, that 20% of Mexicans owned 80% of the wealth. LMFAO! I wish America was only that corrupt.