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2 MIN READ - Of all the reasons why the “X billionaires hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of Americans” argument for more tax-and-redistribution policies is fallacious, the Cautious Optimism Correspondent for Economic Affairs and Other Egghead Stuff admits to having missed this one.
Mathematically, just who makes up the victimized "bottom 50%” of asset-owning Americans?
(From FEE.org, article attached)
“Maybe the factoid is true. Maybe Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet have more wealth than all of the infants, children, students, disabled, prisoners, and postgrads combined. But you don’t need a PhD to figure out that’s not useful knowledge. Even if the factoid is true, it's deceitful. Whoever created it was obviously trying to manipulate people. And we uncovered this deception with nothing but some simple knowledge of the US population.”
“Next time you encounter an economic factoid, remember that it might be pitting a bunch of newborns against Jeff Bezos, and that hardly seems fair.”
-The Irrelevance of That “3 Billionaires Have More Wealth Than Half of America” Factoid
Faulting actual free market capitalism—not our current system of crony capitalism with a central bank pumping out trillions of freshly printed dollars to inflate stock and other asset prices—for a handful of the richest industrialists holding more assets than America’s children, mentally disabled, convicted felons, and professional university students doesn’t make a lot of sense if you think about it for a minute, which is one minute longer than the tax-and-redistribute crowd wants you thinking.
ps. Bezos, Gates, and Buffett’s current combined net worth of about $420 billion doesn’t really mean they “control” that much of America’s wealth. The vast majority of Bezos and Buffett’s net worth is held in Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway stock, with Gates owning Microsoft stock as well as shares in other companies via his Cascade Investments, LLC holdings. To come up with the cash needed to start "controlling" $420 billion of America's wealth the billionaires would have to sell huge blocks of shares of their own own companies’ stock.
But barely after they left the opening gate the selling would send their respective stock prices plunging, made worse by widespread news that they were conducting an insider garage sale (5%+ owners and insiders are required to file their stock sales with the SEC). Thus simply the act of exercising “control” of America’s wealth alone would send their paper net worth plunging.
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