50% Inheritance Tax on Billionaires (Should we have one?)

Recently I heard on the news that Samsung heirs are paying a massive amount(11 Billion USD) in inheritance tax. Do we have one? Is it implemented properly? If we have one, will it be a part of reducing income inequalities in capitalist countries? Did Gina Rinehart and James Packer pay any inheritance tax? Please vote yes if you want an inherent tax on Billionaires in Australia

Poll Options

  • 310
    Yes
  • 372
    No

Comments

    • +2

      Similar to paying tax on your savings in an Australian bank account. The money you save from income is already taxed as income tax. Then any interest you earn is taxed again by the ATO.

      • +3

        Or when you buy something and have to pay GST on it. The whole 'it's been taxed once it can't get taxed again' is a pretty flimsy argument

    • Yes.

      A tax on the money that has already been taxed.

    • +2

      Are you a billionaire? What are you doing in Ozbargain?

      • +2

        he is looking for bargains for his pets

      • +2

        lols, must be a lot of people here on government handouts?

        Anyway, no, not a billionaire or even a lowly millionaire but when it comes to politicians they don't mind stealing from anyone. The poorer the better as the rich guys might be able to fight back or evade it in some way. So as I said, the Greens would just love to steal your parents house and cash when they pass on, why should YOU get it? After all you are only their children.

        https://greens.org.au/vic/news/media-release/speech-national...

        "I had the honour of meeting recently with Thomas Picketty and he was shocked that Australia doesn’t have an inheritance tax.
        I believe the time has come for our Party to debate this issue, and consider once again adopting inheritance taxes as part of our efforts to tackle inequality. "

        https://greens.org.au/magazine/greens-centre

        "In particular, folks interested in addressing Australia's growing wealth inequality will enjoy sessions exploring a Robin Hood Tax to curb international speculation and questions of land tax and inheritance tax are on the agenda too."

        lols, 'of course' it's will only apply to the 'billionaires' and will never creep down to ordinary working people, at least if there any left after their scamdemic has done it's damage.

        • I wish countries could economically divide between socialist and capitalist people. Let people choose the system they want and let them do their best under it to see which works better.

          • +2

            @Scrooge McDuck: Why are we limited to just those two 'systems'?

            Besides, I wasn't commenting on Ford V Holden, regardless of how you (honestly) get your money and other assets they are YOURS and you should be able to pass them onto whoever you want when you die with ZERO government theft at all.

    • +2

      The Greens have 9 seats in the Senate, they're irrelevant

      • +1

        In the house, they got 10% of the vote but 0.5% of the seats. Australian democracy!

        • +4

          What part of this is undemocratic?
          Lower houses across the world are based on defined electorates. Every party that does not achieve a pluraity in each specific seat is going to not win that seat.
          I am sure there are plenty of parties who achieve a much larger share of the vote and no more seats - because that is the nature of a winner take all seat contest.
          In fact, it is not unknown for parties to win a majority of votes across a country and not win the election - because massive majorities in a relatively small number of seats does not entitle them to anything in other seats!
          The Upper House, on the other hand, has a partial proportionate representation (within the boundaries of the States). Some people claim that is the less democratic chamber - but here you are complaining about the lower house.

          • @Almost Banned: It can be changed to three ways while having electorates:

            • Leftover votes go into a national pool. Aka NZ MMP.

            • Leftover votes could go to electing a true electorate opposition representative who scrutinises the winner's performance in government.

            • Proportionate vote in parliament. Scott Morrison gets 60% vote? 60% vote power. Labor candidate gets 30%. Greens canditate get 10%.

            But, incumbents hate this, especially as the majors are losing votes to minor parties lately.

            • +1

              @orangetrain: Well, the system can be changed in a million ways - none of which are necessarily more democratic.
              Your first proposal would fundamentally change the representative nature of the lower house - with some politicians accountable to their local electorate and others in the same chamber but not responsible to any specific electorate. There seems little need for this given the bicameral nature of our parliament already.
              Your second would double the size of our political class - which is already bloated by three tiers of government.
              The third is fundamentally flawed and reflects a complete misunderstanding of our political system. Scott Morrison does not get any percent of the vote outside his electorate. His party does not get any percent of the vote in the Lower House anywhere. Individual candidates get votes in individual seats, and if the majority caucus with the Liberal party - that is the party that is invited to form government.

              • @Almost Banned: 1) NZ MMP, yes. Its basically 50/50 electorate/national. It is one option to have the government being more representative of the votes.

                2) Not sure if it was unclear but I was talking about MPs that can't vote. They ensure that the winner MP is representing the electorate. After all, what do the other 50% of the losing electorate of 2PP get? Zilch representation in government? Of course, its not proportional and favours top two parties preferred.

                3) How is it flawed? He gets 60% of the electorate vote, he gets 60% of the voting power. Labor candidate got 30% of the electorate vote, 30% power. So say, in parliament. Both represent same electorate but their vote is based on electorate votes. Ie 60% Aye 30% Nay instead of just 100% Aye.

                It's a messy option to begin with, however, you would get true proportional representation from the electorate in the government.

  • +21

    Currently Australia taxes earnings on hard yakka far more than money you didn't work for. Capital gains are a combination of insight and good luck, they don't depend on hard work, so they should be taxed more than wages you had to toil for. Heirs do nothing to earn their money (pace Rose Hancock), so inheritance should be taxed, and at a higher rate than wages.
    If there's anything that we should lower taxes on, it's labour.

    • +6

      Also, taxes should be more applied to wealth rather than income.

      • +2

        That will send an awful lot of farmers bust.

    • +3

      Heirs do nothing to earn their money (pace Rose Hancock), so inheritance should be taxed

      Agree, their parents do, and they do it ( and pay hefty taxes on it ) because they know their kids will not be fleeced when they get the inheritance

      When it comes to tax the rich, most of the comment are short sighted: The more rich people there are in Australia, the more tax money comes in, the more can be spent.

      Isn't it better having 1 rich households, that pays 100K in taxes, gets no subsidy, no job keeper, no Family assitance
      than 5 families paying each 6K ( totall 30K ) in taxes and receiving 6K or more in child subsidy, family assistance, ecc ecc ecc

      "The Treasurer’s statement that the top 10% of incomes from working age persons pay 50% of personal income tax is correct."
      [https://theconversation.com/factcheck-is-50-of-all-income-tax-in-australia-paid-by-10-of-the-working-population-45229]

      You remove those 10% and all of a sudden the government has 50% less to spend, or 90% end up having to pay double the taxes.

      A canton is Switzerland ( kind like a state ) decided to tax the rich more "fair". Before this decision the average tax rate was around 22%. They increased the taxes on the rich, the rich moved out, and the state had to increase the tax to about 25% because of the lack of the tax from the rich. Who is the winner here ?

      If you are really after tax evasion, why not check all the "Cash-in-hand" work done.

      • +14

        This is so appallingly naive you could get a job at the IPA.
        The “rich” will undoubtedly move to Somalia or some other failed state to avoid an extra 3 percent of tax.
        Pause just for a moment and consider that the “rich” also value the benefits of taxation, like a populace not hoping to torture them if given the chance.
        There will absolutely be some tax leakage on the margin as wingnuts flee, but with effective global tax treaties (as are currently being discussed) there is zero reason to believe tax take will reduce.

        And for the record, I would prefer zero billionaires and billionaires children and a much more egalitarian society, even if it means a handful of them move elsewhere.

      • +5

        The rich are not going to leave Australia. They have properties, businesses, family, etc.

        Can Gina Rinehart take her iron ore mines to Switzerland?

        Can Rupert Murdoch take his media empire to Switzerland? Well, maybe he can. But somehow I don't think it'll do well.

        Can Gerry Norman take his stores to Switzerland?

        Can a famous actor move to Switzerland? Well, yes but they're not a billionaire.

        Even if tax over 1 billion is 50%, they're still going to stay.

        • +2

          Just to mention a few: Tina Turner, Phil Collins, Michael Schumacher, and Lewis Hamilton

          So, Gina Reinhard, Rupert Murdcoch and Co. could easily leave Australia with ALL their CAPITAL ( not the mines ) and leave Australia.

        • Gina Rinehart give billions away she rich she loves swim Aus Another thing Get your sports club to apply to her. keep ROSE out of it.

          • @nikey2k27:

            Gina Rinehart give billions away

            billions she should never have recieved

      • +1

        The Treasurer’s statement that the top 10% of incomes from working age persons pay 50% of personal income tax is correct.

        Billionaires are not 10% of Australia, they aren't 1, they aren't even 0.01% (I think that's obvious)

        https://www.michaelwest.com.au/ranking-australias-billionair...

        Fact Check they pay (profanity) all.

        • Fact Check they pay (profanity) all.

          Again, seems like you should be upset at the politicians and bureaucrats who allow this. Nothing stopping them being taxed appropriately, apart from our corrupt pollies.

          • +1

            @brendanm: I am, and I support an inheritance tax and a wealth tax.

            • @deme: I am curious on how you even tax wealth? Most of the rich people have corporate structure to manage their wealth. I havent heard a reasonable proposal on taxing all these. Taxing on wealth meaning you tax on paper gain in investment etc.

    • +3

      So I have an asset that increases in value due to inflation and you think it should be taxed more, not less? I think this is pretty poor policy. Not only has your asset not increased in value in real terms, but now I am poorer because of a perceived gain.

  • +2

    No. If people work hard to become successful, good for them. They get taxed all their lives (assuming they aren't dodgers like some corporations and individuals) so the money they leave behind has already had the tax taken from it, then it gets taxed again when their relatives / loved ones inherit the money, that is stupid, I hate the idea of inheritances being taxed and I think it's unethical, but governments love to get their greedy little mitts into everything.

    It just encourages people to find out ways to pay less tax through dodgy means and dodge the inheritance tax through trusts or some other means, it's an unfair system so why should anyone play fair?

    • +7

      It's true that trusts are often used to dodge inheritance taxes (the dukes of Westminster famously use a family business to dodge the UK inheritance taxes). But that's not a reason to give up trying to tax anyone!

      It's not taxed again when heirs receive the money; the heirs are taxed for the first time. You wouldn't say that my plumber is taxed "again" because I already paid taxes on my salary before paying him out of that money. The difference is, the plumber worked for his money (actually improved my living situation), so he has to pay taxes. Whereas heirs do nothing for their money, so they don't have to pay any taxes!

      • +3

        That wasn't my point. I was just saying that you're more likely to get rule breakers if the rules are unfair, but the main point is that the money has already been earned, and if it's being given as a gift (inheritance), it should not be taxed a second time.

        Inheritance is just transferring between close family / friends, essentially a gift, what you're describing with a plumber is a business transaction; you pay someone to provide a service for you. It's apples and oranges.

        It's irrelevant, for whatever reason, the person who dies decided they should get the money, so they get it. It doesn't matter if they didn't "earn" it. The original person already earned that money by doing whatever made them rich, the money is not being used in a business transaction.

        If this information is still accurate, you can't get taxed for a gift of cash, so you should not get taxed if you inherit a gift of cash.

        https://alignfinancial.com.au/2018/06/06/are-gifts-taxable/

        • +2

          Under current Australian law neither inheritances nor gifts are taxed, correct.

          I'm saying both should be if they're big enough sums.
          The tax man shouldn't care whether you receive the money from a client or from a family member - for the recipient they're both income. If we're going to make a distinction, we should tax money that's worked for less than money that's unearned.

      • Whereas heirs do nothing for their money

        They do, but not the way you see it: Their parent work hard to scratch the money together, maybe both parents are working, to buy a house for the family, to accrue money. All this time they work, can't be spent with the kids.

        In contrast to a lazy ass bum, living off the dole and welfare, which has nothing better to do than impregnate his wife, pop out more kids, get more subsidy, overload the school system and screaming "Tax the rich ! Tax the Rich !"

        • -3

          The lazy ass bum living off dole means they have been working unless they managed to somehow convince a business AND centrelink to give them money for nothing. If it's bribery, but with what money? The dole pays shit.

          Having more kids also helps the economy to grow. Otherwise why would the government pay for it?

          Overload the school system? How? Sounds like investment is needed here. Would a billionaire invest in schools? No? Maybe from an inheritance tax on the billionaires then?

        • Who are you talking about? You have a stereotype in your head, a cartoon character, and you want to build societal policy around it.

        • +2

          The school system isn't overloaded because of a small percentage of people on the dole. It's because money constantly gets taken out of education to fund tax cuts rather than put in to keep up with the growth of the country.

    • You're right, by your logic, we shouldn't tax anything because its unfair.

      The reality is that the ATO is not stupid. They can track down people hiding assets, cash, etc. So, if you try to hide your billions and die, you're setting your children up for lifelong surveillance.

  • +3

    Unless some one becomes billionaire by fraud and bad means I believe it's discriminatory. Why would they simply part with their hard earned money? After all no one is stopping me or you from doing similar things and get rich. But some of us do not want to take any risk and be conservative and we should not punish some one for taking risks.

    • +6

      'I believe it's discriminatory'
      That word, I don't think it means what you think it means.

      • Then please tell what you think it means

        If you punish the rich for being rich by good means, would you suggest punishing the poor for remaining poor ?

        • +1

          Why look at things in terms of punishment?

          The government is not your father. It does not exist to praise you when you're good, or scold you when your bad.

          It's a system of management. Its function is to create policy that will make society stronger. Punishment doesn't really enter into the equation.
          What matters is that concentration of wealth is causing damage to our society, and it's weakening us. The cracks are already starting to show

          • @outlander: So what do you suggest to avoid concentration of wealth ? Take the wealth from the rich by taxing them more ?

            • @treekangagaroo: Not necessarily. Humans get emotional when they feel your 'taking' something from them, even if its something they shouldn't have and would be better off without. When emotions get involved people through tantrums and do stupid, wasteful things.

              I would suggest either correcting the tilt of the gameboard, so that it naturally got harder to accumulate wealth as you went on. Like pushing a rock up a a hill, where the gradient got increasingly steeper.

              Another way is to give everyone else a push forward. That way billionaires keep their billions, but inflation makes that billion worth less. Of course billionaires don't keep their wealth in dollars, so you'd have to be creative about how you did it.

          • @outlander: And you are taking my sentence literally with out thinking what I mean

        • +2

          punishing the poor for remaining poor ?

          That's been Liberal policy for a while, now.

    • +17

      . Why would they simply part with their hard earned money?

      Lol. I find it hard to believe that billionaires work much harder than the rest of us.

      People work their butts off day in day out for 0.00000001% of Jeff B's income.

      Billionaires shouldn't be a thing, and there's no way that someone gets to that level without hiding taxes or doing other dodgy things in their lives. Look at how much Tax amazon pays, or Google. Those "savings" go to the founders, the company. Tax the shit out of them.

      • +4

        Why don't you be bezos then?

        • -2

          Why don't you?

          • +3

            @dchurch1: I don't have the ability or desire. That's the point. If it's so easy, you do it?

            • @brendanm: Where does the ability come from? Was he born with it?

              • @Autonomic: Who knows? I'm not his psychologist.

                • @brendanm: Are you born with or does it come from hard work?

                  • @Autonomic: I honestly don't know if you are being facetious or not. It's likely a combination of many things. Tenacity, a good idea, the right time etc etc.

                    • +1

                      @brendanm: Why would you think I'm being facetious? It seems you're suggesting that hard work guarantees success. The reality is it's mostly luck (personally I'd argue it's 100% luck).

                      • @Autonomic: No, it's not 100% luck.

                        • +1

                          @brendanm: What part isn't luck? It's not like you choose what country your born in, how your parents raise you or how good your teachers are in your formative years. You don't choose your intelligence. You don't choose what inspires you or what doesn't. That's 90%+ of what determines your success in life right there.

        • Satire or stupid?

          • @deme: Could be either I suppose. The point is that to get to that point is not "easy", otherwise everyone would do it. Most people who get to that point have taken a tonne of risk, and put in a lot of effort. Most people who try it fail and end up with nothing.

      • +8

        doing other dodgy things

        More specifically called exploiting the working class.

        • +1

          who then for some reason, still love you and vote conservative

      • Some people only complain the rich have all. Some go out of the way and do things and make them rich
        Do you accept it or not is up to you

        Note : I am not rich nor a Bezos or any rich guys fan. Just being realistic which a lot of people are afraid of

        Also have you though why rich is allowed to legally pay less tax. It's because the govt which you and I elect allow it. They will also let you and me to pay less tax if you and I are willing to take risk. Do you have that in you is the question . if you don't stop complaining.

      • Lol. I find it hard to believe that billionaires work much harder than the rest of us.

        Yeah, you work harder than Elon Musk mate, sure you do.

        • +2

          I didn't say I did.

          Do you really think the obscene wealth of billionaires is proportiante to what they do?

          The hard ons that some of you have in this thread to protect the uber rich is pretty weird, they aren't going to save the world, or you.

      • It's ridiculous how much money they have but the anger should be placed at legislators allowing/not closing the loopholes.

        Bezos did take big risks setting up Amazon and has been rewarded many times over. Personally, I'm glad he's got screwing around money, he saved The Expanse.

      • +1

        The whole "eat the rich" thing.
        Some people get really angry there are smarter and more successful people out there than them.
        Cut down the tallest poppy to make themselves feel bigger.

      • +1

        They freely earned that money from their own endeavours.
        No one forced all of us to buy things from Amazon, but we do!

        Not to mention, it isn't "income", it's largely paper money based on a very small volume of shares traded that artificially increases the value of the founder's larger portion of shares retained - mostly they rarely are able to actually sell it in whole for the paper value, it'd flood the market and crash the price then they actually wouldn't have that much!

    • +3

      because the wealth was generated from the systems/resources of the Australian government and people I don't really see billionaires earning their wealth by themselves. Let them try become a billionaire in Somalia. And which of us hasn't worked hard for our money? But we still pay tax (sometimes more than these "billionaires")

      • +2

        We all work hard but some work smart and nothing is stopping us from working smart .Only caveat is it comes with big risk and some hard times before things get green (or it may never turn green). How many people including you and me are willing to take that risk and struggle initially to get rich ?

        We look for cashflow (And as you said work hard) for a regular paycheck . Are you happy to risk your property to start a business ? A lot of people will say no without even a need to think

        • +1

          you are assuming these rich billionaires took on that level of personal risk. why? most of them come from wealthy families. Especially Australian billionaires

          have a look at the rich list. Most of them got stupid rich from mining or property. We aren't talking about the small time business owners who might be millionaires. An inheritance tax wouldn't affect them.

          But when you have all these billionaires who are rich due to mining and property? Tax the (profanity) out of them I say.

    • Why would they simply part with their hard earned money?

      Death parts everyone from all of their money 100% of the time as well as parting them from their friends family and everything else they value in this world.

      When I'm dead, I simply won't care how much the government taxes my estate.

      • Even if they do 100% ?

        • When I'm dead my share will be 0% whatever the tax rate is.

          From a practical perspective, I think a rate of around 20% would be a good starting point. We could use it to improve the lives of disabled people by funding a new version of the NDIS which works properly.

  • +6

    Money that's already been taxed shouldn't be taxed again.

    • +11

      It's not taxed again when heirs receive the money; the heirs are taxed for the first time. You wouldn't say that my plumber is taxed "again" because I already paid taxes on my salary before paying him out of that money. The difference is, the plumber worked for his money (actually improved my living situation), so he has to pay taxes. Whereas heirs do nothing for their money, so they don't have to pay any taxes!

      • +5

        It's not taxed again when heirs receive the money; the heirs are taxed for the first time.

        The heirs are usually family. Should your wife/husband pay tax when you give them money? Should your kids pay tax when you give them money?

        • Well there's no gift tax in Australia either but in some countries there is, e.g. France limits the amount you can give otherwise it'd be a way to get around inheritance tax.

        • +3

          My point is the taxation system should not take from hard work as much as it takes from luck.
          Your point seems to be that because you love your family more than you love your plumber, the tax man should treat your family's windfall more favourably than the hardworking plumber.
          Currently, the tax man does see it your way but I think he shouldn't care how much you love the recipient of your largesse.

          • +1

            @Elwes: My point is, in the eyes of the law, partner and kids are classed as financial dependants. Money should be able to be passed around between them how they like. Plumbers are not classed as dependants.

            In the event of a divorce, the husband and wife theoretically gets half the assets. If there's a 50% inheritance tax when the husband dies, the government is literally taking everything the husband owned and the wife is left with her own 50%.

            • @bobbified: Like… no? if the wife owned 50% of it then it was hers to begin with why would it go to the deceased estate?

              So say a husband and wife owned a house in in both their names and the husband dies, the house does not go to the estate and the wife automatically gets full ownership, I think it is called "right of survivorship" same applies to any jointly held assets.

              • @Bjingo: If most of the couple's money is in the husband's bank account and he dies, then the wife will inherit that money. Whether it's an automatic right or not is irrelevant - it's still an 'inheritance'.

                • @bobbified: Yeah, but my question is why would they not have most of the money/assets in joint accounts, they are married after all.

                  • @Bjingo: aaah… there's lots of reasons why the funds might be mostly in one account. There's been a few threads in the past where lots of people say that they are married but keep still keep separate accounts and go halves in expenses etc. It's not something I would do, but hey, each to their own. I guess for things like real estate, it's possible that either partner could have a few properties under their name, etc before getting married. There isn't much point in going out of one's way to add a name to the titles because the other spouse can stake a claim in those assets during a divorce anyway.

                    Have a look at this comment with a link to France's "Gift Tax" that someone posted earlier. Pretty crazy that tax has to be paid if the husband or wife give each other money (if I'm understanding it correctly!).

                    • @bobbified: Thats fair, though an inheritance tax may open some funny relationship dialogue,

                      "Why wouldn't you put my name on the house too? If god forbid you passed, wouldn't it be better to not have it taxed?"

                      "ahh…….. lets… put a pin in it?"

                      Regarding gift tax I had a read into it and it is pretty much just to avoid people giving their money away to avoid inheritance tax which is why the rates match that of the inheritance tax.
                      Regarding husband and wife, it sort of depends on the purpose, so for example if the husband decides to just gift the wife 50,000 euros for no real purpose that would be taxed. On the other hand if her bought her a car, it likely would not be taxed as arguably it is subsistence support which is a family obligation.

                      this is from the linked website;

                      "The definition of 'subsistence support' is very broad, as was demonstrated in a case before the French Supreme Court in 2017, when the judges ruled that a mother who had supported her unemployed, divorced daughter and child for 18 years, during which she paid her a regular monthly sum of €800 in addition to the rent for the property, paid direct to the landlord, was considered subsistence support, without implications on gift or inheritance tax. The amount transferred was over €600K during the period in question"

                      Edit: I think essentially normal family spending is fine but like why would you gift your wife that amount of money rather than again just having joint spending account.

        • Should your wife/husband pay tax when you give them money? Should your kids pay tax when you give them money?

          For maintenance? No.

          To hoard or transfer wealth? Yes.

          • +1

            @afoveht:

            For maintenance? No.

            How would you define "maintenance"?
            Go to family court and they'll tell you that the pool of assets is owned by both husband and wife regardless of who directly earned it.

            • @bobbified: Then that nullifies your original question.

              • @afoveht: I was asking how you would define "maintenance" since you're saying that wealth transfers should be subject to tax but maintenance payments should not.

                The family court theoretically sees each person as already having an equal share. How would tax apply if money was transferred between each other?

                • @bobbified: Exactly how it reads - maintenance. I expect reasonable people will include day-to-day requirements, and considered and reasonable continuation of an assumed lifestyle.

                  • +1

                    @afoveht: So you would be for Dr Dre's estranged wife to receive US$ $300,000 in spousal support per month for the foreseeable future, I presume? Let's face it, one person's maintenance is another person's hoarding of wealth.

                    • @valleyrain:

                      considered and reasonable continuation of an assumed lifestyle.

                      Considered. And reasonable. So that's up to argument.

                      In any case, if she's spending that on her lifestyle then it's not hoarding wealth, it's spending.

                      • @afoveht: Well, if all the billionaire's kids think it is 'considered and reasonable' to get an inheritance from their parents as they 'spend it on their lifestyle', they shouldn't be taxed. Case closed.

                        • @valleyrain: Me:

                          So that's up to argument.

                          You:

                          Case closed.

                          You really don't see the difference between spending and hoarding? You really don't think that "considered and reasonable" has an interpretation beyond what the billionaire's kids think? What "case" are you even talking about?

                          Spending can be seen as a social good, distributing money through society, keeping people employed - the thing that trickle down economists always speak of but in reality wealthy people hardly do. The second is removing money from society and creating scarcity. They are completely different things and should require completely different policy.

                          • +1

                            @afoveht: Shouldn't people be able to do what they like with their own money? Whether they spend it, put it under their bed, give it all to a homeless guy, or set fire to it, surely it's up to then to choose?

                            If you won $100million Powerball, you'd be happy for someone else to tell you what you had to do with it?

                            • -1

                              @brendanm:

                              Shouldn't people be able to do what they like with their own money?

                              In a situation where money is fairly and equitably obtained, sure.

                              Most people who have a lot of money have got it through the skimming off of value from others. Is it legal? Sure. Is it fair? No. Just because something's legal has no essential bearing on whether it's fair or good or anything else.

                              You really think Bezos has earned $150billion? Yes he's played the game right, but who's to say the game is right in the first place? If people want to change the rules of the game that's no less fair than someone exploiting the current rules. Even better if people realise the current game is harmful to many and not really a "game."

                              • @afoveht: What is considered fair and equitable to you and is not fair and equitable to another person. It is not fair and equitable for you to have an account in ozbargain and have the privilege to comment when others in some underdeveloped countries don't have it. Shall we take away your account now please?

                                • +3

                                  @valleyrain: No, because I am not taking anything away from that person without an account. Nor am I "forcing" them to have or not have an account due to my or their relative socioeconomic or other standing.

                                  More to something analogous to reality:

                                  People need ozbargain accounts to live.There are a limited number of ozbargain accounts and John somehow ended up with 80% of them - maybe he got to the site first by sheer fluke, or maybe his dad transferred them to him, who knows - even though he can only properly use one or two, and therefore inhibits others from getting one. This is because Scotty sets the rules: people can have multiple accounts, maybe for payment or kickbacks. He could of course limit it to something more equitable, like one account each, maybe even two accounts for someone who he really favours or thinks is good for ozbargain, whatever - but he doesn't. Maybe one day Scotty will get a larger SSD and he can offer more accounts, but more likely he might just use it for tighter encryption to keep out those without accounts. If people really need ozbargain then they will either flex to John's whims and kiss his arse, or John might let them use on of his, but only while being tracked and getting more ozbargain points to get even more accounts. Alternatively the people may revolt and either start their own ozbargain or take hold of Scotty's server and make the appropriate adjustments. Jack, who has 3 accounts, always sticks up for John because he realises his 3 accounts are better than most others who can't get one and so he doesn't care. Jack thinks he's like a little John; John knows Jack will never be like him but he's happy to take his support and makes sure Scotty's in his ear with all sorts of promises to keep him on side, like the allure of another account. And regardless of what else happens, by virtue of Scotty's rules the more accounts you have the more you automatically accumulate, unless you do something drastic like tell Scotty something he doesn't want to hear.

                                  In the above scenario Ozbargain accounts are money, Scotty is the state, his rules are capitalism, the SSD is technology, arse kissing is doing jobs you don't like doing for money, the revolt is either incremental change through existing process or more sudden change through new process depending on Scotty's reaction, John is the wealthy class, Jack is the middle class (fast disappearing because John always wants more accounts) and the others are the working class.

                                  Sure, there are also other possible / alternative sh!tty rules, such as Scotty says everyone must have an account and everyone is expected to make one comment per day and is automatically given 1 upvote per day, regardless of the quality of the comment and whether they want to do it in the first case, and it leads to a bloated server good for little - but at least everyone gets a pathetically tiny whiff of ozbargain, except Scotty and his mates of course who get all the upvotes they want without any comments. That's authoritarian communism, something that many people think is the only alternative to capitalism, even though it's not.

                                  Maybe if you can come up with better rules for this ozbargain game you can then translate it to a socio-political model.

                                  • @afoveht: The biggest problem with your little model here, is that there is a limited amount of "accounts", and there is no way to get the accounts from John.

                                    In the real world, you can be more successful than John, and get more "accounts".

                                    That's authoritarian communism, something that many people think is the only alternative to capitalism, even though it's not.

                                    What do you think would be better than the socialist capitalism we have at the moment?

                                    There is nothing stopping you creating the next Amazon, and then handing out the profits to the underprivileged. Except then, when they are getting money for nothing, they'll continue to do nothing, you won't have anyone to work in your new Amazon, and then your income stream will stop. The income stream of the underprivileged will then also stop.

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