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Extreme wealth costs the Earth


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1 hour ago, plonkster said:

So wanneer braai ons by jou huisie in Kayelitsha? :-P

Pas klaar gebraai. Die swannie braai werk goed vir wors met al die koerante wat so rondwaai. 

EDIT: Die braai in my kaya in Kayelitsha nou praat ek van. 

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That article is typical of the brain-damaged nonsense that one expects from the bleeding hearts that has never demonstrated the slightest understanding of sound economics. For that you have to study the Austrian School economics, not the delusional fairy tales of Keynes and Marx with which the universities polute the minds of their fee paying students. If the bleeding hearts are concerned about how much fuel a private jet uses, why not object to the world wide practice that requires airlines to fly via their home port. The same is not required of ships which is at least rational and sensible. That gives cause to burning immense amounts of fuel quite unnecessarily and is only implemented because governments regards airlines as status symbols. Well SAA is a dismal failure in this regard. Also how many jobs did Bill Gates and Paul Allen create and continue to do by investing in new businesses. I would bet on tens of millions. Besides the super rich's assets are primarily in shareholdings in their companies, the price of which would drop like a lead Zeppelin should they sell it. Even if it was cash, it would be in a bank account and the banks will lend it out to businesses and others which will create more jobs. It may also be in government bonds in which case the government will squander the money and burden future generations with the obligation to pay it back.  If a. rich person owns a superyacht, building it provided jobs for many. Besides the rich are always the first to buy new technology thereby encouraging more production enabling us mere mortals to buy the same stuff later at prices we can afford. Let us see how President Trump fares with his plans for the USA. He can certainly not be counted amongst the bleeding heart brigade but may in all probability succeed in improving the standard of living of all US citizens, at least those who are prepared to work instead of living like leeches on the incomes of others with the government stealing it from working people and then dishing it out in the form of dole payments to the lazy. Enough said.

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@ebrsa I agree with your sentiments to a point, but I have to stir. :D

The point I got from that article, if you are rich, it comes with a responsibility. All resources are finite so don't waste just because you have the cash to burn on a yacht or plane, they both are luxury items consuming a lot of resources that could have been used more wisely elsewhere, without the loss of jobs.

Ecomomics as we have it today is geared towards generating the need for the consumer to buy buy buy for if they stop buying, a lot of businesses will go under. On top of this business is done with maximum profits in mind, profits made at all costs, damned be the consequences. (no, not everyone but majority of the large corps, definitely.)

Employment. Today in this world a LOT of good solid hardworking men and woman lost their jobs due to the very rich wanting to make even more profits, so they close local businesses and export the production of the product/s overseas, capitalizing on cheap questionable labour, importing the finished product back which is then sold to their loyal consumers at even bigger profits, damned be the workers who are able and willing. 

Another example. I have money, a lot. I can afford to pay say my water bill (and fines) to keep my tropical imported garden green for I spent 100's of thousands to put it in, my pool is huge and I do not cover it either. I really don't care there is a drought and I am not going to spend one cent on getting my own water, munisipal drinking water is cheaper to keep my garden green and pool filled, I can pay for it. And if the dams run dry and there is no more water, I can afford to move. Actually met such a family this past weekend - we did not stay long.

So as much as what you say is true, there is a flip side.

There is X amount of resources in this world. Hard workers will get more but there comes a point where it gets obscene coupled with wastage with no care in the world, for they can afford it. That is the problem. Wastage. And that was the crux of the article I believe.

Now there are some things you create that just makes you just sommer extremely very rich like what Billy and Co did. They saw a need and it just made them really rich, created a lot of jobs. But that did not come at a cost to anyone else, did it? But it does not give Billy and Co the right to waste. There are most definitely good success stories yes.

Ps. the planes that have to fly via their home port ... if the rich can influence politics and everything else, why could they not alter this rule? Maybe because the extremely rich fuel barons are blocking them, for then it is less profits. So maybe the rich also has the same battle as the lesser mortals. ;-)

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@The Terrible Triplett Firstly I have to tell you the views I expressed in my post are not mere sentiments but what I believe to be irrefutable facts.  So on to a reply to your views and beliefs.

Rich people have no obligations and responsibilities other to any of the rest of people. To put it in a nutshell, we do not have the right to initiate physical force against others, irrespective of whether we are rich or poor. You call luxury items such as private planes and yachts a form of waste but go ask the working men and women who designed and built those goods whether they would rather not have their jobs. It is a myth that resources are finite and utterly misleading. All we do with the natural resources is to extract them and change their state and shape to useful articles and of course the location. The exception is a nuclear explosion where matter is turned into energy. Granted, if you burn oil and coal, it would be difficult to return them to their original state but the elements of which they are made up are still with us. Besides we have only literally scratched the earth with mining with depth of mines counted in meters and only rarely in kilometers. Mining on the ocean bed is the proverbial drop in a bucket with oceans covering most of the earth. Much is already done about recycling and as technology advances, more will be.

The purpose of business, in their quest to generate shareholder value, is to produce goods and services that the consumer will buy so every business on earth is totally dependent on their clients. Produce goods they find desirable and you will be richly rewarded. If you create say a great deal of pollution in the process, you are transgressing the basic law of initiating force against others and it becomes the function of the government to react with force to stop you. Problem today is that most governments are the criminals that initiate force against their people with our country as a prime example. So the real bosses of any business is the consumer.  You should also remember Say's Law which states that production creates its own demand. A prime example happened on the day that the late Steve Jobs, in a world awash with mobile phones, decided that what the world needed was another mobile. The rest is history and made Apple the most valuable company on earth for a long time.

As to employment, people do not lose their jobs because the rich want to make more profits, they lose them because the trades unions to which they belong demand unrealistic wages and benefits thereby pricing themselves out of the market. Study the history of General Motors and you will see how the unions turned that company into something which has the sole purpose of meeting the demands of the unions, shareholders, the owners of the company, be damned. Also remember that productive capacity of a country is where your pension funds and investment trusts invest your savings. So when unions come with their insane demands, it is to the detriment of the widows, pensioners and orphans who are dependent on income from the investments in the very same companies as well as the responsible people who are saving for their retirement.

As to your comments on wastage, there is a limit to people's willingness to transgress legislation. You mention an example of water waste by people who do not care about the fine. They sure would if the fine was say 20% of you municipal valuation or R2m on a R10m valuation property. I am told by one of our local municipal officials that the new fines for driving your car on the beach is R500,000. I don't see many being so arrogant as to drive on the beach now. We have a case in our village where a wooden deck was erected on a dune next to the beach and is allegedly a contravention of law. According to documentation received from the Provincial Administration the fine applicable is R2,000,000 or 10 years imprisonment or both. So we will see what happens in this instance.

Wastage is not a problem. If an affluent person decides to buy the most up to date new TV set, someone will get the old one at a good price. No-one that is not certifiably insane just dumps things of value and if they do some less affluent person will probably get hold of it and benefit.

As to Bill Gates and Paul Allen, of course they harmed hordes of clerks, who used to do all the stuff done by computers, by hand. This is particularly true of small business which uses desktop computers. But the result was lower cost of production with lower prices and jobs in other industries. Let's not kid ourselves about the rich wanting more profits. It is an economic fact that in a truly free market, profits trend towards zero. One can only compete on quality and price but if quality remains the same for goods, only price level is left to compete. So what we need is less government and more freedom. The governments do not know how to run a business in any event. Eskom, Transnet and SAA are prime examples but so are most, if not all all, other SOCs.

As to airlines being forced to fly via their home port, why do you expect the rich to change this. The rich are too few to do so. They did not put Donald Trump in the White House, ordinary thinking citizens did. The support of the rich and famous went overwhelming to Hilary Clinton and how did it work out for them. It is people like you and I that have to start something like the French Revolution to bring this about, just like the many oppressed French citizens did. All it needs is for someone to start questioning why the climate change fanatics do not object to his insane waste of people's time and money, particularly if they are really concerned about carbon dioxide emissions. Or perhaps they are just capable of making a nuisance of themselves with marches and shouting slogans.

So for those who are younger than me and have longer to put up with the ever increasing insanity of governments, they are already incompetent, go read up on some Austrian economics and change the world to a better place for your hopefully many remaining years and your children. You can start by visiting www.mises.org which is the bastion of promoting individual freedom in the world today.

This post is so long I should consider writing a book. Hope everyone who reads it finds a few bits to think about.

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@ebrsa - I cannot stir at all with these facts. Respect.

Forgot about the trade unions. USA and SA are prime example for me.

Need more votes for me to be President ... water fines will be 20% of property valuation. Amen. Will fund the desalination plants I will put up.

Write that book.


15 hours ago, plonkster said:

Stirring? Change nick to TTSS? :-P

See, there we learn some more.

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I think what amuses me most is what I sometimes call "Secular moralists". That's the people who hold to metaphysical naturalism (matter and energy is all there is), but at the same time think that when matter and energy acts in certain ways it is "wrong".

By a purely naturalistic outlook, getting rich is just something that some members of the mammalian Homo Sapiens species do... :-)

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