To be honest, I was ready to attack this article. However, there is indeed truth to your argument, and you seem keenly aware of the difficulty inherent in solving such a problem.
That’s where I don’t push for this same goal, at this point I believe that the pathway to a functioning world that abolishes billionaires is too high risk. However, I do think it is a reachable end-state, but I don’t think it’s worth the risks.
Kudos for an article that, as far as I can tell, is aware of the difficulty and necessary care to create such an end result. I think it is unrealistic to do quickly, like you said, and that is in part due to the fact that billionaires and their wealth are not tied to the U.S.
They can leave, and probably would if their wealth was truly in threat of being reduced from any number of billions to any number of not billions, especially when the force in charge of this is the gov.
And I think that is the point at which I, and others, are wary. Someone has to facilitate the redistribution of that wealth, but I don’t personally like the idea of direct redistribution by the hands of the government. The more money is being handled, the more power they have, and the more power they have, the more likely they can turn afoul, and replicate the deep dark terrible problems of the soviet union and other countries with far greater problems than ours despite an ideology of government concerned with equality of outcome.
However, one of the supreme beauties of the United States is that we’ve solved many difficult problems by being indirect, rather than direct, and creating artificial checks and balances to handle difficult and powerful problems, rather than having people do it.
I’m not necessarily anti-billionaire, but I would love to promote and brainstorm for ways the government can facilitate a more accessible middle-class, and an education system that promotes the turning of ideas into profitable ventures.
Then, see the ways in which billionaires hinder this process, and lay out infrastructure to address that. If you set up a system that prevented people from becoming billionaires, I think it would have significant negative impact on inovation. No, billionaires don’t need the money, but being able to become a billionaire is a reflection often of a personality and set of skills with intense drive to achieve, and for one reason or another, measured in money. As someone reaches higher levels of wealth, they also create opportunity for others.
Your point about AI is a good argument against that here, but my point is, these people have affected the world in deeply powerful ways, often for the better. Not by them having wealth, but by the creation and works of their companies, etc.
However, it definitely isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I’m less concerned with billionaires, so much as I’m concerned with multi-billion dollar companies that hinder, attack, and prevent competition.
Of course, we could and should look to address both sides: The opportunity of the middle class, as well as the necessary limits on the upper-wealth class.
I also think that our politicians are in many ways members of this upper class, and it is a deeply negative corrupting effect. I would love to adopt some of the military’s elements into the political system, namely lower salaries (with provided government housing) and a view of political service as, well, as public service.
But, alas, I am just a man. I have faith and hope in the future, and I endeavor to do the best I can.
My ideas may be little more than hope, may be deeply at odds with human nature, and may be naive in the extreme. I just find it to be a deeply more empowering mindset to think we can create more opportunity for those closer to the middle and the bottom, than to believe the faults of society lay at the feet of the few extremely successful.
It just doesn’t ring true to me. it’s too Cliche. Every many in history has blamed his problems on the wealthy aristocracy, many of those problems being little more than the harsh truths of life itself. I mean, we have it pretty good overall.
And I cannot stand people who see themselves as victims. Who are you to say you are not capable? No one knows so much about themselves as to be certain their problems are the fault of everyone but themselves.
I don’t know, maybe I find the idea of a lack of personal responsibility far more dangerous than Bill Gates’ incomprehensible personal wealth.
No one, as yet, has been so wealthy as to be immortal, and as insane as it sounds, some of the happiest peoples on earth live in tribes, hookworm and all.
But true, nationwide suffering has occurred in many a society too eagerly and passionately chasing utopia. They’ve created worse hells than you can imagine, in the pursuit of creating eden.
We will never have heaven on earth, and there will always be problems big enough to incite some to believe the whole world is already hell.
It must be this way, for without the perspective of darkness, light cannot be defined.
As they say, hard times create hard men, who create good times, that create soft men, who create hard times, so on and so forth. Western society has been experiencing good times compared all but the most insanely recent periods of humanity.
And I worry that movement along the left towards a socialist path will lead to the horrors of the soviet union, and that regardless, we may experience a bigger collapse than ever known due to environmental reasons. I don’t like the political right, either. I just think there is more historical proof of the problems if the left gets its way, and it is scary to me. If the right gets it way, it could be bad too, for sure, but so far, capitalism has been in general a far better and more reliable system than socialism or communism.
We need something better adapted to the times though. I won’t be surprised if in 100 years, the U.S. ceases to exist, and somewhere in the world, either the splinters of the U.S. or another emerging power, a new system of government is created entirely, and similarly to the ways that the enlightenment era created our system of government that would go on to change the world, this new country will make a government better adapted to the way the world works and it will influence the entire world too.
Either way, regardless of the life you and I experience, short of experiencing nuclear war, we will not likely experience anything particularly more difficult than the experiences of the majority of humanity.
Basically, everything is fine. Why? Because nothing has ever been fine, and therefore it has also always been fine. Life is a paradox, and the side of the paradox you find yourself on is largely a matter of experience and perspective.
TLDR: Deep philosophical musing that is at best vague, but may hopefully be helpful to some. I will not argue with anyone because, frankly, I don’t myself have a deep or strong opinion, and I think it likely any arguments that come of this writing will not fully understand what I said in the first place, which is doubly true considering I myself don’t even fully comprehend my own words.