How much money is too much money?

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Re: How much money is too much money?

Postby Egaladeist » Fri May 15, 2009 10:23 pm

I really don't think the options/choices are realistic...eg. someone living in an apartment building in the Bronx does not have the option of growing his/her own food.

You can never do anything you do not wish to do. Even with a gun held to your skull, you make a choice.


True, but again it doesn't apply in practice...it is a philosophical argument...Epictetus was one to suggest that it's all in the way you let it affect you..eg. if you chain my leg you cannot chain my spirit so go ahead chain my leg if that is what you want to do but it will not change anything.

Sure no one has to take a job they don't want, they can choose to be homeless and eat out of restaurant garbage cans...they have that choice...there's no gun to their head...but most would rather have any job, even a job they can't stand, than take that option.

A friend of mine worked for 4 years as a mall janitor and he had a political science degree..did he like it, no...but he had to pay the bills...eventually he won an election and became an alderman on City council...but he did what he had to do to support himself in the meantime.

Sorry Harb but as Utopian an ideal as you suggest it just doesn't fly in the real world...sometimes a person makes choices not because they want to but because the alternative is worse. ;)
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Re: How much money is too much money?

Postby Harbinger » Sat May 16, 2009 6:06 am

People have roof-top gardens in New York city. They are quite common--particularly in the poor sections of the city. Chicago has HUGE urban farms that are very successful. Same goes toward Detroit. Or perhaps you could move out of the city. Perhaps to the Mid-west where land the cost of living is cheap, and low-skill physical labor is in demand. You may need to save up for several months to move, but ultimately you do a service to yourself. If you choose not to move, then living in urban poverty must not be so bad after all. The choice is yours.

The point is, government welfare/wealth redistrobution is wrong. It is coherced theft and robbery under threat of violence and imprisonment.

Sorry Harb but as Utopian an ideal as you suggest it just doesn't fly in the real world


Sorry, but that's exactly how it works. That is the natural order of things. There is nothing natural or moral about some oppressive body punishing success and rewarding failure. Find me one example where this occurs outside of government.

Your (former) janitor friend is a shinning example of what I'm talking about. He willingly chose a major that would not likely grant him economic success. He accepted the consequence and worked as a janitor whilst trying to put his major to application. He willingly chose a more difficult path of his own free will to pursue his dream. He accepted the consequences, suffered, but persevered. He succeeded under his own means without harming, robbing, or inhibiting another through cohersion.

He sounds like a perfect example of what I'm talking about here.

You don't seem to understand moral reciprocity.

Charity is moral, back-alley muggings are immoral.
Consentual sex is moral, rape is immoral.
Murder is immoral.
Hired labor is moral, slavery is immoral.
Volunteering is moral, The Draft is not.

Need I go on? It doesn't matter how pervassive Socialism is today in Western culture. It is WRONG. Alot of Germans didn't like the minority Jews. Alot of Soviets didn't like dissenters or Gypsies. Alot of Sudanese don't like Darfurinians.

Alot of lower income people resent the successful. Who is more greedy, the successful person who wishes to keep what is his, or the less successful person who demands the possession of another out of avarice and self-entitlement?
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Re: How much money is too much money?

Postby Egaladeist » Sat May 16, 2009 11:51 am

I think we've reached the point where we must agree to disagree...

You seem to believe that success is just choices...anyone not successful has just made bad choices...that everyone can be successful, rich, an owner, etc...

as much as I agree that the ' potential ' is there I do not agree that that potential can always, or even mostly, be realized in a pyramid structure where the further up the ladder you go the fewer positions become available.
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Re: How much money is too much money?

Postby Harbinger » Sat May 16, 2009 3:03 pm

I don't believe everyone can be equally successful. We are not created equal. We all have different talents and deficits. Since there is no way a society can accomdate for all types of individuals fairly, the only fair and moral thing is to allow maximal personal freedom to achieve whatever you can without cohercing another.

There will be more janitors than doctors. There will be more waitress than presidents. That is natural, because the greater the requirement for the position, the smaller the amount of people that qualify. Everyone does not deserve to be rich. The best and brightest of the human species do not deserve to be rich and successful.

Only those who make the necessary sacrifices through valuable work required by others, or can provide a service/product needed by the market where people trade freely deserve to be successful.

Not everyone has what it takes to reach their ideal. Sometimes it's by a lack of ambition, other times it is by lack of ability. That's simply how life is. It's one thing for life to be inherently unfair, but it's an entirely different story to make it even more unfair by violating the natural rights of others through government plunder. That is our key disagreement.
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Re: How much money is too much money?

Postby Egaladeist » Sat May 16, 2009 4:48 pm

Again we must agree to disagree...

because most of the people who are wealthy today got there by the initiatives of others...granted some came by their wealth honestly...but most haven't...you're assuming that the wealthy deserve to be wealthy...I see a fundamental difference between ' deserving ' to be wealthy and ' having wealth '...

and I'm not saying that the government should regulate anything...I don't think I ever said that...all I asked was what is reasonable compensation for one's investment. At what point in time should those who create the profit begin to share in it.

Many companies already have in place profit-sharing plans that are not under government control...they exist because of the owners willingness to share with those who create the profit by offering incentive to create even more profit.

It is a fact that profit-sharing plants are far more productive with fewer lay-offs and employee turn-arounds than similar companies that do not profit share. When you have a stake in the company you work for you will work harder, be more productive, and be more loyal to that company.

Nor do I think I mentioned anything about the unreasonable distribution of wealth...I am not talking about distributing wealth across the board...that someone on welfare should have a cut in the labor of someone else...or that some lazy person should benefit from the work others do...etc...

I've been talking about those who invest and those who create the profits...and what is reasonable compensation.
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Re: How much money is too much money?

Postby Harbinger » Sat May 16, 2009 5:37 pm

What is reasonable is negotiated by individuals with the company. The individual decides for themselves what is a reasonable compensation for whatever labor they agree to provide at the time of hire.

You seem to have the disposition that wealth is derived primarily from the laborer. That is false. Evaluate it in this regard.

Laborer has no product to sell.
Laborer has no service to provide.
Therefore, Laborer cannot be productive or acquire wealth.

Owner has a product to sell.
Owner has a service to provide.
Therefore, Owner is productive and aquires wealth.
However, Owner wishes to expand his/her operation and requires help.
Thus, Owner negotiates a working contract with Laborer.

Laborer is now productive and can aquire wealth.


People do not deserve wealth. Productive People deserve wealth. Productivity is defined by providing a product or service useful to others through willful negotiation of exchange. If you don't like working for others, work for yourself. If you are incapable of being self-sufficient in employement, then it is because you are incapable of being useful to the market (assuming you're not a subsistence farmer).

The person without something to offer another under their own meritts can only then earn through collaberation with another. The Laborer's wealth is a direct function of the Owner's wealth. Both would be lesser off without the other, but ultimately it is the Owner who is the source of wealth. This is true for both organizations as monolithic as Walmart and business minute as local coffee shops. This cannot be refuted.

What is fair collaberation between the two is decided through free will by the parties involved. To decide that the Laborer is cheated despite his/her choice is a denial of their right of Free Will and Self-Ownership. You can offer a wage of $1/hour to the Laborer and it will be declined for it is not equitable to the Laborer. You can then offer a wage of $6/hour and the Laborer will accept. It may be less than ideal to the Laborer, but it is also less than ideal to the Owner. This is called negotiation and compromise. It is of free will and is just.

It may not be a sunshine vacation where everyone gets free ice-cream form of philosophy or economics, but it's the only one proven to fair, moral, free, responsive to needs, encourages progress, and does not coherce another. The only recourse is to ensure maximal personal liberty and then aiming for the moon. Some succeed, others do not. That is life. It is the natural order.
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Re: How much money is too much money?

Postby Egaladeist » Sat May 16, 2009 10:30 pm

Sorry Harb, but I would not say :

only one proven to fair, moral, free, responsive to needs, encourages progress, and does not coherce another


because it has in many cases been proven to be just the opposite, the system has evolved over the ages to reflect the fact it has not been fair, not been moral, not been free, not been responsive to needs, has not encouraged progress, and has in fact been involved in coercion
This is why labor laws were introduced over the years and have been evolving to make it so that it is fair, etc...

it is an imperfect system that has on many occasions throughout history been shown to be anything but fair. ;)
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Re: How much money is too much money?

Postby Harbinger » Sat May 16, 2009 11:45 pm

Even at its worst, Capitalism pales in comparison to the injustices and destruction of liberty the other socioeconimic systems possess. Even when the "Progressives" seized hold of the USA, economically it was at the height of power. Lifespans increased by over 40%, people were accomplishing more than ever. Cohersion that happens in the private sector is not part of the economic system. Murder and threats of violence are simply threats of violence. Those are always illegal and hence are prosecuted criminally. Government wealth redistrubution and market interference is sanctioned and lawful, but still wrong. I don't even want to hear anything about politicians or judges getting payed off in anarchocapitalism, because that happens in all manners of government. If anything, it happens even more when government is involved in markets--it's just legal.

The USA has declined rapidly in both terms of real wealth and liberty with every inception of every welfare program in the last 100 years. Europe has stagnated since WWI. Japan has had a zombie financial sector for nearly 2 decades. China was nothing until it started granting people economic liberties which eventually became more free-market and capitalistic than the USA. Look at the paradigm shift today.

I was looking for a quote but couldn't remember how it went exactly. This however, illustrates my point very eloquently.

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the
unequal sharing of blessings; the
inherent virtue of socialism is
the equal sharing of miseries."

~Winston Churchill
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Re: How much money is too much money?

Postby Opus » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:46 pm

nice post, whoa, you have links in your signature, maybe I'll click on them, NOT!

:moderation:[edit by |ce] Heya Opus. Just to avoid confusion and to let you know you're not completely insane, I deleted our spammer's post entirely. Hopefully the Admins will notice soon and pull out the banning shovel.

As far as the topic goes - well, I'm quite the firm believer in Capitalism. You can NEVER have too much money. I will agree that at a certain point (the point where you cannot spend your money to the point of becoming broke) it becomes no longer a fight for survival but a means of 'keeping score' against other capitalists, but you can never have enough. The fact of the matter is that even though the work of others oftentimes causes one to become wealthy, it is the initiative, ambition, and ideas of the wealthy individual that caused the work of others to take place to begin with. Put that one in your pipe and toke it awhile Egg.. - |ce[/edit] :moderation:
There are two rules for success in life:
Rule 1: Don't tell people everything you know.
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