This visualization of the ultra-rich's wealth blew my mind

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I was scrolling, and scrolling, through Bezo’s wealth, thinking, “My gods, will this ever end?”, when I noticed that the scroll bar at the lower left had not yet moved noticeably.


FDR proposed a 100% income tax bracket because there was no justification for an individual to make over ~$1 million a year.
To me the one issue that intersects all of the political problems in the U.S. is campaign finance. As long as getting elected depends on how much money one raises, then we will be a nation designed for and owned by the wealthiest few


Yeah, the visualization of data makes it really, really, really hard to argue that the upper tier people are paying their fair share in taxes.

They clearly are not being over taxed. And if you compare the wages of everyone, all but the rich are stagnant. I’ve listened to youtube channels about rise and falls of famous businesses and so may of them started with “They worked a job and saved up money and opened up their own place.” Not like a fancy job, a regular job in a grocery store or something. My dad put himself through college working in a cafeteria. It used to be standard jobs paid at least enough to safe up and advance. Not anymore.

I got work to do, otherwise I’d bitch some more.


The rich have cornered the market on self made fortune. You can’t do it without 99.98% luck now.

If your net worth is over a million dollars these days it is almost certainly because you were given a massive unfair advantage in some way.


Yeah, but where is this wealth? Aside from whatever house or yacht or tiny bit of it he actually spends, where’s the rest? Sitting in a bank account (meaning it’s available for someone else to borrow)? Or in the form of stock in other companies (in which case it was transferred to someone else when he bought the stock)? Or in gold bricks? I’m trying to pull apart what it means for someone to “own” wealth, and “have” that wealth. The money I have in the bank is not just sitting in a pile - the bank has (or is supposed to have) loaned it out for someone to do something with it.

I don’t think anyone can tell the difference between having a billion and having 100 billion. Can I tell the difference between someone else having a billion and someone having 100 billion? If not, why do I care?

Sure, J.B. in theory “has” enough wealth to cure malaria. But if the US government had the political will, they (we) have the resources to do the same.


And yet if one suggests there be an upper limit to income, you get pigpiled by temporarily embarrassed millionaires who don’t want anyone standing between them and all those hypothetical millions they’ll never actually obtain.


The Aristocrats!

Ahem, excuse me. The American Dream!


The scale is astronomical (“If the Moon were only 1 pixel”).


Owning wealth might be better described as controling wealth. The wealthiest individuals amassed their fortunes through selfish acts; prioritizing their wealth over public good. Yes the government/country could do great things for public health. The biggest issue is that it is a government beholden to and controled by those that view the purpose of money not as a resource to improve the quality of life for people but as the means to amass greater personal wealth/power.


and yet as rich as Bezos is there is one person who has even MORE money. Putin.


Trying to compute the value of the assets of the very wealthy is problematic because sales of their assets would affect the market. For example, the value of holdings of stocks are usually computed at the market value. But the market value is only the value of the last 100 shares of that particular stock sold. Selling a large amount of that stock would yield far less than the market price.


OK, commie, you bitch about it now, but how will you feel when YOU become one of the world’s richest people, huh, huh?

Awright, then.

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We’re supposed to take satisfaction in the fact that if a few hundred million of us really band together we might have as much power to influence world events as Jeff Bezos?


Of course, the moment a few hundred million of us banded together to do anything, the billionaire’s club would do their best to block it, because the next thing we would do is tax the shit out of them…


I think you’ve answered your own implied question. That is a symptom of a rotten economy.


It’s the shares of Amazon that he owns. Amazon is worth more than a trillion dollars right now, and Bezos still owns more than 10% of it.


I assume that Bezos’ wealth is almost all Amazon stock.

Say we introduce a major wealth tax (say 50% over $1M), probably most of it is in assets such as stock, real estate, etc. The question becomes how does the government liquidate it into cash?

Obviously the wealthy aren’t going to be buying anything. The only thing I can think of is selling it to foreigners, who are probably going to insist on heavy duty protections or even extra-territoriality for those businesses so that we can’t harm their business or real estate after the fact now that it’s foreign-owned.

Obviously this must have been thought through before. What was the solution?

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Wait, what? Bezos will be paying his wealth tax in stock? I figured the US Treasury would be accepting only US dollars, not equities.


50% of everything over $1 million is severe. Warren’s supposedly radical plan is 2% over $50 million and 3% over a $1 billion. In the extreme case you describe, it obviously wouldn’t be liquidated. The government would be the majority owner of all large corporations. In Warren’s very modest plan, the money would come from cash assets and ownership would be completely unaffected.

edit: this obviously wasn’t meant as a reply to duke; not sure what happened there