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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    13 Aug '09 19:23
    Pondering the fact that half of the personal wealth in the USA is inherited and that all ten of the top ten Forbes richest people is a white male who was jump-started with family funds has changed me from a Libertarian to a Liberal.

    Do you agree that the passage of wealth from one generation to the next prevents capitalism from being a meritocracy and helps keep the poor poor and the rich rich?
  2. 13 Aug '09 19:28
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung

    Do you agree that the passage of wealth from one generation to the next prevents capitalism from being a meritocracy and helps keep the poor poor and the rich rich?
    Yes.
  3. 13 Aug '09 19:34
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Pondering the fact that half of the personal wealth in the USA is inherited and that all ten of the top ten Forbes richest people is a white male who was jump-started with family funds has changed me from a Libertarian to a Liberal.

    Do you agree that the passage of wealth from one generation to the next prevents capitalism from being a meritocracy and helps keep the poor poor and the rich rich?
    Well, it doesn't keep the poor poor. They are still free to work their way up, aren't they.

    How is it fair to take someone's money because they die? SHould they not be able to give their money to their kids?
  4. 13 Aug '09 19:37
    Originally posted by NimzovichLarsen
    Well, it doesn't keep the poor poor. They are still free to work their way up, aren't they.

    How is it fair to take someone's money because they die? SHould they not be able to give their money to their kids?
    So you think that not having the same access to education does not harm ones ability to "work their way up"?
  5. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    13 Aug '09 19:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by NimzovichLarsen
    Well, it doesn't keep the poor poor. They are still free to work their way up, aren't they.

    How is it fair to take someone's money because they die? SHould they not be able to give their money to their kids?
    Well, it doesn't keep the poor poor. They are still free to work their way up, aren't they.

    It's very difficult. "It takes money to make money". There's a lot of truth in that old phrase. Social mobility in the United States is pretty low actually. One's social status in adult life is closely correlated with the social status of one's parents.

    How is it fair to take someone's money because they die?

    Because that money was very likely earned on the backs of slaves, on the land of the Amerinds, through robber barony, and other immoral ways that are no longer legal. Inheritance is a way that people continue to profit from legal evils we got rid of long ago.

    Anyway, dead people aren't people any more.

    Ownership only really makes sense when the individual has to earn his stuff himself. Ownership + inheritance is a very bad combination I think. Unfortunately I don't think we're going to ever be able to get rid of it, so being a Liberal and taxing the wealthy (especially estate tax - or "Death Tax" if you want to use the right wing buzzword) is the most practical way of partially balancing out the effect of inherited wealth.
  6. 13 Aug '09 19:40
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    So you think that not having the same access to education does not harm ones ability to "work their way up"?
    how do they not have access to education? You might not be able to afford to go to Harvard, but that doesnt mean you can't go to college. Becoming successful is about hard work. You might not be rich, but you can still be successful.
  7. 13 Aug '09 19:45
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    [b]Well, it doesn't keep the poor poor. They are still free to work their way up, aren't they.

    It's very difficult. "It takes money to make money". There's a lot of truth in that old phrase. Social mobility in the United States is pretty low actually. One's social status in adult life is closely correlated with the social status of one's p ...[text shortened]... rom legal evils we got rid of long ago.

    Anyway, dead people aren't people any more.[/b]
    ok, so since they are dead it's ok to steal their money...Because you don't think they earned it appropriatley? wtf

    Yes, and people learn habits from their parents. If their parents are satisfied with doing the minimum than they will to, and they will be about as successful as their parents. More successful people will demand more out of their kids and their kids will learn a different work ethic.
    There are plenty of examples of immigrants who came here with nothing, not a dime, and became very successful--albeit that is the extreme. You can't blame the rich for everything.
  8. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    13 Aug '09 19:45
    Originally posted by NimzovichLarsen
    how do they not have access to education? You might not be able to afford to go to Harvard, but that doesnt mean you can't go to college. Becoming successful is about hard work. You might not be rich, but you can still be successful.
    Well, one example: private universities are known for giving better grades than public ones, and one's ability to get into graduate school depends on grades.

    Then there are legacy students...
  9. 13 Aug '09 19:46
    Did Bill Gates inherit his money?
  10. 13 Aug '09 19:48
    Originally posted by NimzovichLarsen
    how do they not have access to education? You might not be able to afford to go to Harvard, but that doesnt mean you can't go to college. Becoming successful is about hard work. You might not be rich, but you can still be successful.
    Well, then the access is not the same, is it?
  11. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    13 Aug '09 19:49
    Originally posted by NimzovichLarsen
    ok, so since they are dead it's ok to steal their money...Because you don't think they earned it appropriatley? wtf

    Yes, and people learn habits from their parents. If their parents are satisfied with doing the minimum than they will to, and they will be about as successful as their parents. More successful people will demand more out of their ...[text shortened]... became very successful--albeit that is the extreme. You can't blame the rich for everything.
    It's not "their" money once they are dead. Dead people cannot own stuff.

    More successful people will demand more out of their kids and their kids will learn a different work ethic.

    I think instead that more WEALTHY (not "successful" people will be able to buy things like the top of the line computers that Bill Gates and Paul Allen got started on at their exclusive prep school. They'll also be able to get their kids into expensive schools where the grades are easy to come by, the laboratories have all the latest equipment helping the students get jobs later, etc.

    There are plenty of examples of immigrants who came here with nothing, not a dime, and became very successful--albeit that is the extreme.

    That is primarily because we're such a huge country. As a percentage of the population, there are very, very few such examples.
  12. 13 Aug '09 19:49
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Well, one example: private universities are known for giving better grades than public ones, and one's ability to get into graduate school depends on grades.

    Then there are legacy students...
    One doesn't have to go to graduate school to be successful, but again its about hard work. If you work hard you can get good grades, right? You don't have to go to a private school to be smart. Sure, at a younger age kids need parental help at home, not just school, and if their parents are off working they might not get that extra attention. But, I'm a big fan of self-reliance and not blaming others. Kids can stay late at school, work hard, study, etc and get good grades. They can get accepted into college, work hard, get good grades and get into graduate school based off their college gpa. It can be done, and done all the time. It's done by college students that work 30+ hours a week and pay their own way.
  13. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    13 Aug '09 19:50
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    Did Bill Gates inherit his money?
    No, but he did inherit the money spent on his education.
  14. 13 Aug '09 19:50
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    Did Bill Gates inherit his money?
    Looking for the land of opportunity

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8162616.stm
  15. 13 Aug '09 19:51
    Originally posted by NimzovichLarsen
    One doesn't have to go to graduate school to be successful, but again its about hard work. If you work hard you can get good grades, right? You don't have to go to a private school to be smart. Sure, at a younger age kids need parental help at home, not just school, and if their parents are off working they might not get that extra attention. But ...[text shortened]... l the time. It's done by college students that work 30+ hours a week and pay their own way.
    So how do you explain that for example in Canada, poor people tend to "make it" more often? Are Americans lazier than Canadians?