Quick bites – the £1.7 trillion question

Question:

Is it fair the richest 85 people are as wealthy as the poorest 3.5 billion?

Answer:

Nothing whatever to do with fairness, in the sense it’s nobody’s business to try to dispossess people of what they legitimately hold.

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12 responses to “Quick bites – the £1.7 trillion question

  1. One does have to ponder if some of those folks have gained their wealth legitimately…

  2. Yes but that’s the central political question – who determines legitimately? You? Me? Who are we?

    • So does that mean we should put up with for example the banks (as they have been set up) stealing from us?

      Why are we so annoyed about that?

      Did they get into that position by fairness?

  3. The ligit point is a furphy. The ‘fairness’ point being irrelevant is fair.

  4. My direction is about appropriating other people’s property because we disagree they should have it. Who decides this? Who is the judge and jury? Who signs the order? And on what hard evidence? Even if the banksters are crims, even if it can be sheeted home [which I for one have tried to do] then does their guilt extend to ALL people with some money put away?

    And where is the cutoff point? Appropriate Dimon’s assets – maybe. But what of the owner of a chain of five shops? He’s worth a few million. Do we appropriate his money? What of the footballer on millions? Has he been criminal?

  5. Interesting – for a blog that’s usually so black and white, when it comes to immoral behavior, particularly that of women (including their sexual behavior and dress, marital behavior and abortion), you suddenly become all subjective/gray-area when it comes to possible privately ill-gotten gain and greed 😉

    Also, I could just as well ask who determines what is “”legitimate” and “fair” regarding the status and morality of women?

    I couldn’t help but notice you took a similar stance on the subject of the film “Catch Me If You Can”, last week, regarding if what he did was ‘wrong’ – or did I misread that?

    Anticipating that you’ll refer us again to the bible again, as the “go to” manual for morality, remember, deception and greed are just as much sins as sexual immorality, according to both Christ and Paul – however, Christ’s pet peeve sins were greed, deception, hypocrisy, moral arrogance/judgmentalism and injustice.

  6. Yes. By way of reply, I’d say there is a difference between opinion on morality and dispossessing someone. If I say this person is immoral, they can say up yours. If I dispossess them, I’ve taken away their livelihood.

    To me, the argument is this – you might be earning or having coming in far more than I have. So I can say there is a gap between the haves and the have-nots here and under the socialist equalization policy, therefore part of your money must now come to me. Fair?

    Also, why, if one topic is black and white, must all topics be black and white and vice-versa?

  7. I wasn’t sure if that black/white question was for me or for you 😉

    Because I thought that you already knew that I think most things in life aren’t as simple as black/white, either/or and always/never.

    For example, I believe that conservatives aren’t all narrow-minded fascists. I believe that all liberals aren’t always overly-tolerant socialists. I believe that abortions are morally wrong, but there is a gray area in the question of rape, and there are sometimes gray areas on rape itself.

    I don’t believe attractive women are always deceptive and manipulative and out for your money, nor that an unattractive woman aren’t. I don’t believe that women managers are always Femnazis wanting to take over the world, homosexuals are always pedophile, or that Muslims aren’t always terrorists.

    And it’s those gray areas that should keep us from making huge leaps in logic and sweeping laws restricting their personal freedoms – and it doesn’t make anyone a “socialist” for seeing these people as individuals first rather than labeled boxes we’ve put them in to make us feel more in control of our world – seeing people as individuals first makes us libertarian to the core, in its very definition – protecting the individual civil liberties of others.

    However, it’s when we move past the protection of those civil liberties into promotion of them, and further still, actually imposing them on everyone equally, through law, that it becomes anti-libertarian – which is actually neither a “leftist” nor “rightist” thing to do, but it does become a socialist or fascist thing to do, when at their most extremes:)

    Back to the original question – I don’t want to misquote Cherie, but I believe the question on the table was not whether the haves should keep what they have, of course they should do with it what they like – the question was wondering what percentage, out the percentage you quoted, actually earned that wealth legitimately, through fair means?

  8. Yes, I’m well aware that’s what Cherie is pointing to but my emphasis in the post was different – should we dispossess people? Because if not, why discuss it?

  9. Hm, well, I think we already do “dispossess” people of ill-gotten gain, through our current criminal and civil justice systems, don’t we?

    However, there is an inherent problem in our current justice system. Though still better than in other countries, U.S./U.K. justice systems are still flawed in that people will receive the best justice money can buy (or pay lawyers to get out of justice) – case in point, OJ Simpson and possibly Amanda Knox 😉

    And let’s not forget that at most, the Michael Milkens of the world who took 3-year vacations to federal spas for junk bond selling and insider trading, or that Goldman-Sachs got nothing more than a slap on the wrist 😉

    But if you’re asking me if we should “equalize the playing field” tax wise, my answer is no – but I do think the taxes could be more proportionate and representative than they currently are.

    Btw, I wrote the above hurriedly, I hope my point was still able to be followed with typos et al.

    Thank you for allowing the discussion 🙂

  10. “Interesting – for a blog that’s usually so black and white, when it comes to immoral behavior, particularly that of women (including their sexual behavior and dress, marital behavior and abortion), you suddenly become all subjective/gray-area when it comes to possible privately ill-gotten gain and greed”

    Exactly. Morality on the Higham forum can be subjective.

    On topic.

    Income distribution is a tricky topic, I don’t really see the value of comparing the poorest to the wealthiest. If we are to measure the moral health of the world we should be looking more at the middle ground distribution. It could be argued that the very poorest should not really have been born as clearly there are not sufficient resources where they live and the very richest having such unimaginable wealth for so little quantifiable contribution to their fellow man seem to be essentially corrupt. So both are a travesty in their own way and indicate a frightening trajectory for the planet.