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EssKay

Increasing Concentration Of Wealth

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This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone on HPC, but here's a good rant from the Guardian today on the increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of the elite:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/19/davos-super-rich-wealth-inequality

Some startling numbers in there- in 2000, 388 billionaires owned as much as half the planet. By 2011 it had been concentrated in the hands of 117 billionaires and in 2015 it had fallen to just 62.

Can we ever hope for a return to normality and affordable housing etc for the masses whilst this concentration continues?

Also picking up on the citizens income thread - this just shows that the game plan clearly is NOT to share the bounty created by technological advancement.

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I know it sounds like an incredibly simplistic explanation for the global economic woes, but I think this does have a far bigger impact than many people appreciate... the hyper wealthy are sucking huge volumes of cash out of the economy and just hoarding it away.

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I know it sounds like an incredibly simplistic explanation for the global economic woes, but I think this does have a far bigger impact than many people appreciate... the hyper wealthy are sucking huge volumes of cash out of the economy and just hoarding it away.

That is the problem..........they are sucking money out of the economy, the only way the rest can get it is via borrowing it....because they are no longer able to earn it.

The poor will spoil it for the rich......can't pay won't pay......don't have can't spend......

.....what fun is it for the rich eating steak every night..... ;)

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I know it sounds like an incredibly simplistic explanation for the global economic woes, but I think this does have a far bigger impact than many people appreciate... the hyper wealthy are sucking huge volumes of cash out of the economy and just hoarding it away.

If it only it was just cash... Unfortunately they are also hoarding land, natural resources, property and increasingly the means of production. It is no coincidence that during the same time period living standards across the developed world have been steadily declining.

The ultimate end game seems to be a neo-feudal technocracy, with a tiny elite at the top and increasingly impoverished serfs servicing them. The golden question is what (if anything) can be done about it?

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The poor will spoil it for the rich......can't pay won't pay......don't have can't spend......

That may impact a few of the players lower down the food chain, but how dependent do you think the genuine elite (billionaires) are on the poor paying?

Also, in a world of increasing automation, the potential non-participation of the poor in the system will become increasingly irrelevant

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The ultimate end game seems to be a neo-feudal technocracy, with a tiny elite at the top and increasingly impoverished serfs servicing them. The golden question is what (if anything) can be done about it?

On an individual basis, my way is to opt the f**k out of this debt laden, pointless consumption based world 'economy' as much as possible - especially as I'm single and have no dependents. Buy things second hand, barter as much as poss and enjoy the free stuff, family and friends until they start taxing the air we breathe.

I'm down to spending less than a grand a month on living expenses inc rent, car and motorbike in the SE now, and I've bought everything I could possibly need for the next 10 years entertainment wise at least, barring stuff dying in that time. Which I'll fix no worries anyway. Not for everyone but I feel like I'm living the life I want to rather than chasing a false dream.

Much, much happier than I was when I measured myself against the normalized 'dream' life (relationship/work promitions/house/two cars/two weeks skiing holiday per annum and kids) we are pushed towards 'aspiring' to

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The game of Monopoly makes it clear that once most of the money is controlled by a single player the game is over because the other players no longer have the means to participate.

This quote is from a guy called Marriner Eccles, chairman of the Federal Reserve under FDR and Truman from 1934-1948;

It is utterly impossible, as this country has demonstrated again and again, for the rich to save as much as they have been trying to save, and save anything that is worth saving. They can save idle factories and useless railroad coaches; they can save empty office buildings and closed banks; they can save paper evidences of foreign loans; but as a class they cannot save anything that is worth saving, above and beyond the amount that is made profitable by the increase of consumer buying.

It is for the interests of the well to do – to protect them from the results of their own folly – that we should take from them a sufficient amount of their surplus to enable consumers to consume and business to operate at a profit. This is not “soaking the rich”; it is saving the rich. Incidentally, it is the only way to assure them the serenity and security which they do not have at the present moment.

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On an individual basis, my way is to opt the f**k out of this debt laden, pointless consumption based world 'economy' as much as possible - especially as I'm single and have no dependents. Buy things second hand, barter as much as poss and enjoy the free stuff, family and friends until they start taxing the air we breathe.

I'm down to spending less than a grand a month on living expenses inc rent, car and motorbike in the SE now, and I've bought everything I could possibly need for the next 10 years entertainment wise at least, barring stuff dying in that time. Which I'll fix no worries anyway. Not for everyone but I feel like I'm living the life I want to rather than chasing a false dream.

Much, much happier than I was when I measured myself against the normalized 'dream' life (relationship/work promitions/house/two cars/two weeks skiing holiday per annum and kids) we are pushed towards 'aspiring' to

That's a very principled stance to take and I admire you for taking it.

Personally, I'm still on the hamster wheel (although I at least have an exit plan)

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The game of Monopoly makes it clear that once most of the money is controlled by a single player the game is over because the other players no longer have the means to participate.

This quote is from a guy called Marriner Eccles, chairman of the Federal Reserve under FDR and Truman from 1934-1948;

Great quote but evidently they've forgotten (or are wilfully ignoring) that common sense advice. Perhaps they think "this time is different"?

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On an individual basis, my way is to opt the f**k out of this debt laden, pointless consumption based world 'economy' as much as possible - especially as I'm single and have no dependents. Buy things second hand, barter as much as poss and enjoy the free stuff, family and friends until they start taxing the air we breathe.

I'm down to spending less than a grand a month on living expenses inc rent, car and motorbike in the SE now, and I've bought everything I could possibly need for the next 10 years entertainment wise at least, barring stuff dying in that time. Which I'll fix no worries anyway. Not for everyone but I feel like I'm living the life I want to rather than chasing a false dream.

Much, much happier than I was when I measured myself against the normalized 'dream' life (relationship/work promitions/house/two cars/two weeks skiing holiday per annum and kids) we are pushed towards 'aspiring' to

Same here,and i spend roughly the same as you if i take off the fact i own outright,i spend £500 a month on living expenses.Much much happier than when i worked for a top 5 FTSE 100 company.I buy most things second hand so as not to feed VAT to the government.The free stuff like you say just keeps giving.No amount of money would tempt me back into feeding the system we have.Im lucky in my partner is the same.She enjoys the free things as well.

I think this is the only way to bring the system down.Everyone to opt for a frugal lifestyle where they only spend what they need to sustain themselves.

People sell their hours far too cheap when considering they live once.

I understand people are all different though and what others do is their business.Im out though,and staying out forever.

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That's a very principled stance to take and I admire you for taking it.

Personally, I'm still on the hamster wheel (although I at least have an exit plan)

Thanks - yup it took me a *long* time to get (mentally) here but I'm glad I did. I was never happy when I was driving myself endlessly towards goals without ever considering whether they were mine anyway.

Interestingly, I've found that I also feel more sociable and am more, for want of a better word, popular than I was before, despite living a life that's the antithesis of what many would define as sucessful, in a stereotypical modern sense at least. Though not with everyone...some people really don't 'get' people who have different ideals - which can be career limiting if you've a tendency to be an open book like me! Fortunately that doesn't matter to me any more.

Good luck with your plan too!

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Same here,and i spend roughly the same as you if i take off the fact i own outright,i spend £500 a month on living expenses.Much much happier than when i worked for a top 5 FTSE 100 company.I buy most things second hand so as not to feed VAT to the government.The free stuff like you say just keeps giving.No amount of money would tempt me back into feeding the system we have.Im lucky in my partner is the same.She enjoys the free things as well.

I think this is the only way to bring the system down.Everyone to opt for a frugal lifestyle where they only spend what they need to sustain themselves.

People sell their hours far too cheap when considering they live once.

I understand people are all different though and what others do is their business.Im out though,and staying out forever.

Well done on finding someone *truly* with the same core values! That is rare indeed.

I completely agree with the selling hours too cheap. You cannot buy free time, so why people continue to sell their's (above and beyond the amount they require to live and save for the future) for such marginal extra is a mystery.

Especially when one considers they don't have the time or the inclination to appreciate the spoils purchased from the fruits of their labour anyway.

I always like to think about going round to my bosses years ago, and him proudly showing off his enormous 16:9 flatscreen. He demonstrated it with the picture set to 4:3, and using the SD channels rather than the HD versions - which he was after all paying extra for at the time. When I showed him how it was intended to be used he thanked me and said he didn't have a clue he could do that....erm I'm not sure where I'm going with this but it definitely demonstrated to me how people just buy stuff to impress rather than use.

Edited by Frugal Git

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H

On an individual basis, my way is to opt the f**k out of this debt laden, pointless consumption based world 'economy' as much as possible - especially as I'm single and have no dependents. Buy things second hand, barter as much as poss and enjoy the free stuff, family and friends until they start taxing the air we breathe.

I'm down to spending less than a grand a month on living expenses inc rent, car and motorbike in the SE now, and I've bought everything I could possibly need for the next 10 years entertainment wise at least, barring stuff dying in that time. Which I'll fix no worries anyway. Not for everyone but I feel like I'm living the life I want to rather than chasing a false dream.

Much, much happier than I was when I measured myself against the normalized 'dream' life (relationship/work promitions/house/two cars/two weeks skiing holiday per annum and kids) we are pushed towards 'aspiring' to

I'm down to just under 800 myself, like yourself, if nothing breaks. But it must feel good to not have worries like the norm.. I can't help but miss holidays in another country but maybe that's because grass is always greener especially compared to boring Briton. I have acquired so many skills from doing different free hobbies or hobbys that just save a bit so it's not like frugality isn't rewarding. Kids are a 'meh' until this mess is sorted and Ms Frugality also shares a similar mindset. Luckily I can and know what to priotise for the life I'm after.

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I think this is the only way to bring the system down.Everyone to opt for a frugal lifestyle where they only spend what they need to sustain themselves.

Exactly.. Unfortunately human nature is to worship and follow.. I.E Celebrity culture Everyone just wants to be someone.

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On an individual basis, my way is to opt the f**k out of this debt laden, pointless consumption based world 'economy' as much as possible - especially as I'm single and have no dependents. Buy things second hand, barter as much as poss and enjoy the free stuff, family and friends until they start taxing the air we breathe.

I'm down to spending less than a grand a month on living expenses inc rent, car and motorbike in the SE now, and I've bought everything I could possibly need for the next 10 years entertainment wise at least, barring stuff dying in that time. Which I'll fix no worries anyway. Not for everyone but I feel like I'm living the life I want to rather than chasing a false dream.

Much, much happier than I was when I measured myself against the normalized 'dream' life (relationship/work promitions/house/two cars/two weeks skiing holiday per annum and kids) we are pushed towards 'aspiring' to

You could go to Davos, if your ski-ing budget runs that high. 'Davos is the highest town in Europe and also one of its largest winter sports areas.'

I'm just wary of redirecting blame to the super-rich. Some of them are causing me no harm. Others have money which should really be state wealth. And yes plenty of others do pure nicely out of QE.

Yet I'm not going to pass blame on them for masses of 'innocent' greedsters who do directly affect me, with rentierism.

I agree with this - however the greedy and stupid average btl landlord might not have the stomach, and they will cling on.

I know a bloke who has 'worked up to' 12 btls (avg 200k) in addition to main house. He's been buying right uptil now - 25% down on each, interest only. Remortgaging older ones and main home (also io, also about 25% equity) *constantly*.

Right now this chap has an approx paper value of 700k equity, 2.1 mil debt. 2.8 mil exposure.

If he sells now, he can clear his main house, keep a rental outright and have change for a porsche. He has absolute faith though. Of course a 25% drop wipes him out entirely. Main home gone too. And we will get that and more. His greed was unbelieveable, so if he goes to the wall, cry me a river.

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That's a very principled stance to take and I admire you for taking it.

Personally, I'm still on the hamster wheel (although I at least have an exit plan)

Car and motorbike? Fine, your choice, but utter hypocrisy when set alongside claims of frugality or opting out of the rat race.

When you're down to blaming 62 people, you can start enumerating them and asking "what if" questions. What if we lived in a world where no Gates or Buffett could've got so stinking rich? Might that be something like Blighty, where taxes limit getting rich and limit ambition, and a bloated public sector of appointed bureaucrats squanders wealth and the opportunity to make it? A society where the rich list is topped by people who made their fortunes far away either in space (e.g. Indian billionaires) or in time (top Aristocracy including Royalty). Frankly I'd rather live in a world where you could make your fortune than one where you're born to it.

Edited by porca misèria

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Car and motorbike? Fine, your choice, but utter hypocrisy when set alongside claims of frugality or opting out of the rat race.

When did I claim frugality? I do have aspirations to quit the rat race for a simpler life one day but what's hypocritical about that?

What if we lived in a world where no Gates or Buffett could've got so stinking rich? Might that be something like Blighty, where taxes limit getting rich and limit ambition, and a bloated public sector of appointed bureaucrats squanders wealth and the opportunity to make it? A society where the rich list is topped by people who made their fortunes far away either in space (e.g. Indian billionaires) or in time (top Aristocracy including Royalty). Frankly I'd rather live in a world where you could make your fortune than one where you're born to it.

So would I - but don't you have any concerns at all about the general global trend of wealth being concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people? At what point (if any) does that become a problem?

Edited by EssKay

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That may impact a few of the players lower down the food chain, but how dependent do you think the genuine elite (billionaires) are on the poor paying?

Also, in a world of increasing automation, the potential non-participation of the poor in the system will become increasingly irrelevant

As others have said, try and do as much as you can yourself, doing your own automation, and having a network of friends/family where you can swap skills and talents.....that is what the elite do after all....try and see you do not need to pay for extras because you should not need or want extras.....keep things simple. ;)

7-Deadly-Sins-Signpost-300x199.jpg

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It's popular to bash the rich. But it's not wealth but poverty that's a problem. And here's a graph for that:

20120303_WOC674.gif

For all the Guardian's whinging about wealth, this is a great good news story.

What harm does being rich inherently do? OK, being rich leverages one's ability to do both good and bad - but just being rich is morally neutral. What happens to the money if I have a billion quid? Either I invest it in businesses - which seems socially good. Or I squander it on whores - which at least provides employment! Or I give it away as per Bill Gates. But the wealth itself is neutral - one poor person with bad intent can be more socially and environmentally damaging than a rich person with a lot of shares.

Poverty, OTOH, is damaging for the individual and for society.

Instead of celebrating the success of the graph above, the Guardian is just doing its usual populist bashing the rich.

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Nothing wrong with the rich per se..........it is how some of them come by their money as well as what they do with it.......some of the wealthiest people in the world do more good for the greater good and humanity than anyone else because they are in a position where they can.......nobody is saying all wealthy are bad and all poor good. ;)

Edit: being very wealthy, brings with it huge responsibilities.....

Edited by winkie

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Being rich is bad when you use that wealth to extract ever more from the poor. And that's inevitably the case, because how else will you stay rich?

Someone having £1 billion pounds in a bank account doesn't affect me. Someone buying half the world's supply of potatoes or houses or water pipes and asking me to pay them rent for the privilege - then we have a problem.

'Wealth' isn't just money. It's land. And in a world where 62 people own half the planet the rest of us are finding it more and more difficult to find even a scrap of space to ourselves.

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Being rich is bad when you use that wealth to extract ever more from the poor. And that's inevitably the case, because how else will you stay rich?

Someone having £1 billion pounds in a bank account doesn't affect me. Someone buying half the world's supply of potatoes or houses or water pipes and asking me to pay them rent for the privilege - then we have a problem.

'Wealth' isn't just money. It's land. And in a world where 62 people own half the planet the rest of us are finding it more and more difficult to find even a scrap of space to ourselves.

I agree to some extent. Particularly about land. Until recently "squatting" was not a criminal offence. Deliberately so, I think, as it worked against land-hoarders which used to be seen as socially detrimental. If you weren't *using* the land/property you owned to produce food (socially good) or accommodate people then you faced a high cost to keep it secured from people re-appropriating it legally to produce food (socially good) or accommodate people.

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