Originally posted by rwingett
The richest 400 Americans have a greater combined wealth than the bottom 50% of the country. Depending on what statistics you use, the top 400 Americans have a net worth of $1.27 trillion compared to a net worth of $1.22 trillion for the bottom 155 million Americans. Does anyone really think that 400 individuals having roughly the same net worth as the bott consin/statements/2011/mar/10/michael-moore/michael-moore-says-400-americans-have-more-wealth-/
Ugh, more of this.
Just stop for a moment and look around you. Look at that thingy you're typing on. Look at the screen in front of you. Think of all the inventions, technology, labour and industry that it has taken so that you and I can have this discussion on this (fantastic) website. You know it hasn't always been like this, right?
Lots and lots of people got rich dreaming those things up, producing them, and selling them in the market. Countless others have been employed in the process. Much wealth has come from it, and though your life has been improved by all this prosperity, no wealth was stolen from you. This wealth was created from people's ideas and labour, which have value to others because they improve people's lives.
That is where wealth comes from, ideas and labour. Not from any government, and certainly not by bitching about the rich while you are sitting there typing on the now very affordable device one of them invented long ago.
Here's a case in point. I bought my daughter her first cell phone today. Nothing fancy. No camera, bells or whistles. Just something she can call home and text her cousins with. It's a sleek, shiny, tiny little thing though. Fits right in your pocket, good long battery life. It cost $14.95.
You know how much the first cell phone cost back in 1980 or so? About $4000, and it was about as portable as a bowling ball. You know who could afford that cell phone back then? Not you or I, pal. Just those evil rich bastards you like to hate on.
Now, dwell on that for a moment. In 1980, no way was any middle class Amehrikun laying out a cool 4 grand for the convenience of a cell phone. Today, $14.95. No problem.
Or, let's put it another way - the best cell phone on the market costs what, about $400? That means that middle class Amerikhuns AND Bill Gates can afford the best cell phone on the market. You and I have shared in the prosperity bud, even in the unfortunate event that it leaves us with no one to be mad at.
So who got stolen from? Sure, a lot of people got very rich off of inventing, designing, manufacturing, and selling cell phones. Many more got jobs off the industries it created. Other schlubs like me just got these amazingly affordable, portable, telecommunication devices. But who got stolen from?
The way I see it today's transaction was a win-win. I won because I would rather have the cell phone than the $14.95, and AT&T won because they would rather have the $14.95 than the cell phone. Who got ripped off?