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Wealth & Economics > Here is the money

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments There are different estimates and sometimes precise data about all the money in the world. I've no idea, how accurate this chart is, but it's pretty informative and easily comprehensible:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this...
Unless you are a billionaire (which is necessarily an alpha-male these days), who still looks solid on the chart, for most of us, even the microscope won't help to see our personal wealth presented on the chart.

If you take 'broad money', estimated at roughly 80 trillion USD and divide it between the population of this planet + few astronauts/cosmonauts, hiding somewhere on the orbit, it would give roughly 10K bucks to each.

Along the millennia, the rules of the game changed few times. Once the strongest took what s/he wanted, then it was trade/barter and then money invented. Say the game is reset and each starts with 10K in his/her pocket, how soon do you think we'll end up with polarized classes of super-rich and extermely poor? Will there be a solid middle-class?

I know Ian explored a similar game, which simulated the above, based on logical assumptions for the game rules and mathematical calculations.

But what do you think?


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) (t_k_elliott) I think what distribution you end up with will depend on what social set-up you have.

Looking historically, you need a fairly complex society to support a middle class: look at the Romans, for instance. In England, we didn't really have a middle class (not counting the Romans) until the late fifteenth century. Before that, it was pretty much noble/peasant. You didn't get the rise of the middle class until cities, with merchants, started to gain traction.

It's often said, though, that it's easier to turn £1 million into £2 million than £1 into £2. So I think there's a "break-point", beyond which it's a lot easier to get richer. Apart from anything else, given that there's a limited about of stuff a sensible person can buy, after you reach a certain point, your money is just going to keep earning interest faster than you can spend it.

But getting to that break point... I think personality counts for a lot. Setting aside inherited wealth, to go from ordinary to super-wealthy, you have to have that combination of luck, hard work, and imagination. How many people have a bright idea, but don't have the courage (or foolhardiness!) to put it into action? It's much safer to stick with what you know, and jog along in your boring - safe - job, rather than strike out on your own and risk crash and burn. In some businesses, too, your connections help - if you have a large family who can all chip in to your startup costs, you also have a better chance. But you still need to take that risk yourself.

So I think, yes, we would end up with a similar distribution of money - it would take a while, though, because many of the current wealthy set inherited their money. So we'll get fewer super-rich, but more middle-class, in the first few generations.


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Sounds like a plausible scenario. Sure, entrepreuners are a pretty rare species. Maybe one out of ten open businesses and out of these most remain 'small' and basically rest upon proprietor's own labor with maybe just a few employees. Those who make it really big time are probably as rare as authors earning more than 100K a year -:)


message 4: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2281 comments It might be worth noting that Jeff Bezos just passed Warren Buffet to become the third richest person...


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments J.J. wrote: "It might be worth noting that Jeff Bezos just passed Warren Buffet to become the third richest person..."

That's probably because of my never- to- become -payable royalties, sitting in Netherlands and German markets -:)


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11515 comments Nik, not just your royalties.

The game that Nik mentioned was clearly oversimplified, but basically the principle is that you have to have money to make money. While you are down amongst the ordinary, the tendency is to spend, after all, what is the point of the long game when "long" tends to mean you get to die before you get to spend?

The entrepreneur who is trying to create something new may get rich, but very few do, and most who do make quite a bit get bought out by the existing big corporations. The chances of someone new making it into those heights are just about zero. The idea is that the big corporation spreads it to its shareholders, but is that enough?


message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Ian wrote: "The idea is that the big corporation spreads it to its shareholders, but is that enough?.."

My personal opinion - it's not. If we believe in competition as a major driver of progress and economy, we might as well ensure it's presence everywhere, especially at the top, because at lower levels it's more vibrant. Equality is unattainable, but give an -quasi-equal chance to become - super-rich -:) I fancy more a system where a few best teams from the lower league exchange with the worst of the superior one, than NBA or NHL principle (both awesome leagues btw), for example, where a close pool remains unchanged...


message 8: by Mehreen (last edited Jul 24, 2016 11:27PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Making big money in a pond of royalties is an anomaly if people are writing what their telltale heart motivates them to write. Am I mistaken?


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11515 comments Mehreen wrote: "Making big money in a pond of royalties is an anomaly if people are writing what their telltale heart motivates them to write. Am I mistaken?"

Not in my case! I write what I believe, and while I sell, I would hardly describe it as making me rich!


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11515 comments Nik wrote: "Ian wrote: "The idea is that the big corporation spreads it to its shareholders, but is that enough?.."

My personal opinion - it's not. If we believe in competition as a major driver of progress a..."


I don't mind inequality. Those who do more work, or create more sales, etc, should be rewarded. What I object to is the managerial class voting themselves huge amounts of dollars, frequently for a barely adequate performance. But I do believe everyone should have the opportunity to develop what they can. The young should not be damned simply because their parents are poor.


message 11: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Ian That's exactly what I meant. Why are we even discussing big money in our little pond of telltale writing hearts? That is the anomaly, isn't it?


message 12: by Mehreen (last edited Jul 25, 2016 12:15AM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Ian wrote: "Mehreen wrote: "Making big money in a pond of royalties is an anomaly if people are writing what their telltale heart motivates them to write. Am I mistaken?"

Ian wrote Not in my case! I write what I believ..."



That's exactly what I meant. Talking about big money, corporate issues, shares in our telltale little pond of writing.


message 13: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments When I conceived the group, I was guided by my narrow/broad selfish interests-:) Therefore, it's not just writing here, but other themes as well.
As it's a lit site, it's natural that people mostly participate and take interest in writing part, but I'm still happy to find those who share opinions and insight into the 'wealth' and 'world' folders.

Hey, if anyone wants - knitting or curling too, I've no objection-:)

A lot of people avoid politics and economics as something complex beyond their interest and understanding, while I think awareness is already half a solution for distortions we have in our systems. I'm no professor in any of the above, but I'm a keen observer, who enjoy sharing opinions and learn a lot from those of others..
Not sure, we can influence Clinton/Trump showdown outcome or reverse/promote Brexit, but I see no much harm in discussing these and many other issues -:)


message 14: by Mehreen (last edited Jul 25, 2016 12:40AM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments All's fair in love and war. This group of ours which I have come to like.


message 15: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2281 comments I could say a lot about our election, but I'm not sure I have an opinion on Brexit. I'm not British so I have no interest or real knowledge of the issues the British people had to grasp with. I guess like a lot of issue here in the States, a lot of Brits had an interest in staying with the EU while a lot more had reasons for taking the break. Whatever happens, I'm sure this will eventually work out in a way that's right for the country...


message 16: by Al "Tank" (new)

Al "Tank" (alkalar) | 54 comments Nik wrote: "There are different estimates and sometimes precise data about all the money in the world. I've no idea, how accurate this chart is, but it's pretty informative and easily comprehensible:
http://ww..."


Okay, everyone has $10 grand. But most will spend it on something (give it to someone else) and others will receive that money and spend it again, and so forth. It's the MOVEMENT of money that counts. If everyone spends their $10 grand EACH MONTH and receives another 10 from others in return for goods or services, then everyone would have an annual income of $120,000.

Of course, it doesn't work that way since there's unequal distribution (some people sell more goods and services than they take in). Also, credit creates a shadow currency as well (borrowing for a home or setting up a business) since there's some "float" involved in that system.

The faster money moves, the higher the average income. BUT whenever money is hidden away (instead of investing), the game gets set back some (think of a Mexican drug lord with $100 million in cash hidden in the walls of his house).

When you talk about money, nothing is simple.


message 17: by M.L. (last edited Jul 26, 2016 06:24PM) (new)

M.L. Why would anyone want to be super rich in the first place?

PS - I finally heard someone use "oligarch" in a modern context - Bernie Sanders re Trump! :-)


message 18: by Al "Tank" (new)

Al "Tank" (alkalar) | 54 comments Trump may very well be an oligarch (what about it, Nik?). Soros definitely is?

Money is POWER! Some people are hungry for power. No, I can't understand it, but then they probably can't understand me. Humans come in many different flavors; that's why it's so much fun to write about them.


message 19: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11515 comments In some of my futuristic novels, I take Al's point further. Because there are resource shortages there is a limit to what is available to purchase, so power now become the goal. It wa probably a bit like that in the old USSR.


message 20: by Al "Tank" (new)

Al "Tank" (alkalar) | 54 comments Robert Heinlein used to say that writing science fiction was about "what if". You get to invent a motivating event or technology, then add people to react to or use it.

Al's rule: Good fiction is about people, not things. No matter what the genre.


message 21: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11515 comments Al "Tank" wrote: "Robert Heinlein used to say that writing science fiction was about "what if". You get to invent a motivating event or technology, then add people to react to or use it.

Al's rule: Good fiction is ..."


Agreed. Good rule. Things are for the background.


message 22: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments M.L. wrote: "Why would anyone want to be super rich in the first place?

PS - I finally heard someone use "oligarch" in a modern context - Bernie Sanders re Trump! :-)"


Very few want to be super rich, but lots want to be rich, and then as they say the appetite comes with eating -:)
Silly me, when naming a book I thought it was a pretty well known word, but it turns out some folks don't even know what it means offhandedly and probably never heard it -:(


message 23: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Ian wrote: " there is a limit to what is available to purchase, so power now become the goal. It wa probably a bit like that in the old USSR...."

Yeah, shortages... It was an idiotic approach that there were super advanced rockets, but primitive shoes and scarce t-shirts..
Not sure about the power. Power - more on a geopolitical level, like for centuries, there is a competition of ideologies and struggle for domination on global arena, between super-powers, (relatively) recently between US and USSR. It's the echo of imperialistic ideology dominating many cultures for millennia.
Internally, USSR was about community. Individuals didn't matter much, the community did. The cometition for material goods was limited to having or not having video-tape recorder and primitive things like that. The natural (for some) desire to compete and stand out could have been realized in art, sports, productivity, not - enrichment...


message 24: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Nik wrote: "M.L. wrote: "Why would anyone want to be super rich in the first place?

PS - I finally heard someone use "oligarch" in a modern context - Bernie Sanders re Trump! :-)"

Very few want to be super r..."


The word 'oligarch' is known, I think, it's just not used much.


message 25: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Al "Tank" wrote: "Trump may very well be an oligarch (what about it, Nik?). Soros definitely is?

Money is POWER! Some people are hungry for power. No, I can't understand it, but then they probably can't understand ..."


That's another thing - power - most people when they have it don't know what to do with it - except want more of it. Kind of like money, I guess.


message 26: by M.L. (new)

M.L. In general, the 'what if' of 10K for each person is not an apples to apples comparison.


message 27: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11515 comments Nik wrote: "Ian wrote: " there is a limit to what is available to purchase, so power now become the goal. It wa probably a bit like that in the old USSR...."

Yeah, shortages... It was an idiotic approach that..."


My view on the power issue was that people wanted position in whatever they were working in - or at least some did - which meant control over minions. But maybe that was not common. I recall once going into a "supermarket" that was a bit like the warehouse-type stores here - except that here the bin-like shelves are stacked with stuff -there they were essentially empty. There was very little to buy. I was accompanied by a young "Intourist guide", nominally to help me, but more likely to keep an eye on me, (I did shake her off sometimes) and she was obviously more important than most because she walked up to the counter, said something, the guy behind was somewhat subservient, he bent down to some secret stash and came up with a bottle of Ponds Shampoo!! That was not generally available.


message 28: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Yeah, promotion at work, party ranks, wherever was still an ambition.
Supermarket - you mean in ussr?
Yeah, empty shelves were frequent. You could always buy bread and milk and stuff that no one buys, other than that you needed to 'procure' or wait in lines, if the rumor that something arrived spread b4 u made it to the store.
People were particularly monitoring vodka supplies-:). But it's not that u were hungry, u rather needed to put that extra effort to procure things. Silly.
Books too - you needed to procure.
I remember 1989 or 90 - computer exhibition - people waited half a day in line to get a free plastic bag and have a glimpse at computer mouse freshly developed.
Or first McDonald - huge lines just to try French fries.. Double silly, but that's a culture of deficits as opposed to the culture of abundance -:)


message 29: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2281 comments The term oligarch has been popping up in our news as the media explores the Democrat's accusations that Trump is linked to the Russians and the Wikileaks release of DNC emails.


message 30: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Hope then that people will start googling and amazoning 'oligarch' -:)


message 31: by Al "Tank" (last edited Jul 28, 2016 09:03AM) (new)

Al "Tank" (alkalar) | 54 comments J.J. wrote: "The term oligarch has been popping up in our news as the media explores the Democrat's accusations that Trump is linked to the Russians and the Wikileaks release of DNC emails."

Hilarious! Trump set a trap and the Dems fell right into it. I saw Trump's press conference where he said that. He was talking about Hillary's illegally deleted emails and opining that perhaps more than one country had copies of them. Then he said, with tongue in cheek, that Russia might be persuaded to release them if they had copies.

BTW, no one (except the DNC) assumes that Russia is behind the recent DNC email leaks, although it's a remote possibility.

BTW, this set-up is another piece of subtle chicanery that you should keep in mind when writing your own stuff. Something similar would make a good "gotcha" sub-plot if your story lends itself to such things.


message 32: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Al "Tank" wrote: "BTW, no one (except the DNC) assumes that Russia is behind the recent DNC email leaks, although it's a remote possibility..."

Re Demoleaks, I thought this article mentioned some sound arguments:
http://debka.com/article/25570/The-DN...


message 33: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11515 comments Nik, I used "Supermarket" in the USSR because I could not think of what else to write. Nominally, it was supposed to sell all sorts of things, but I could not think of a word for a shop that was essentially selling nothing because it had basically nothing to sell. There may well be a word for it, but in my life, that was the only example I saw, so the word would be uncommon, and beyond my vocab.


message 34: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2281 comments Al "Tank" wrote: "J.J. wrote: "The term oligarch has been popping up in our news as the media explores the Democrat's accusations that Trump is linked to the Russians and the Wikileaks release of DNC emails."

Hilar..."


I frankly don't care who hacked it. This kind of thing has become a problem and the government doesn't seem interested in tackling it as a problem. As someone said though, the Russians didn't write the emails.

Lost in the discussion of those emails, is the fact that they have exposed the personal info of every DNC donor if you want to take the time to pour through and collect it.

My brother said there is a pattern of racism toward African Americans in the emails. He said there was one exchange where they make fun of one person for their "African American name." And I found the incident he mentioned where someone with a @hillaryclinton address accuses a Clinton critic of playing the "race card." It might be questionable if it is racism, but there is another exchange where they are trying to vet a BLM activist and they discuss how he plays fast and loose with facts.

And as for Trump's comments about Russia finding Hillary's missing emails, I agree it might have been a little tasteless, but I honestly thought it was a joke before he had to clarify it. When he said they would probably be rewarded by the press didn't sound to me like he was making a legitimate offer - it sounded more like he was making a comment on her private server and the ease with which it might have been hacked.


message 35: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Ian wrote: "Nik, I used "Supermarket" in the USSR because I could not think of what else to write. Nominally, it was supposed to sell all sorts of things, but I could not think of a word for a shop that was es..."

Kinda prevents people from spending, best free remedy and all, don't you find? -:)


message 36: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11515 comments Yep, Nik, you would not get into debt at those stores. Interestingly, in Uzbekistan, anyway, everybody bought their fruit and vegetables etc from farmers' markets - huge crowds on Saturday mornings. (OK, I don't know "everybody" but it looked like it.) The farmers all had little small private lots, and what you found was that these were little oases of production, while the vast communal fields were essentially barren.


message 37: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Ian wrote: "The farmers all had little small private lots, and what you found was that these were little oases of production, while the vast communal fields were essentially barren. ."

Very precise observation.
The absurd is and I'm describing it in the Rise, that kolkhoz members were very enthusiastic about personal lots and much less so about communal. Students were regularly sent to the fields each year for a couple of weeks to collect communal beets, potatos and so on. Seeing kolkhozniks drunk from the morning doing nothing, students mostly followed suit... Hence - empty shelves. The principle that was pretty characterizing for the USSR: communal means nobody's and no one cared.


message 38: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11515 comments Yes, there is no doubt whatsoever that pay/reward/income should be proportional to what you do. I don't think any economic system can work unless that occurs, except perhaps the military.


message 39: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) Ian & Nik wrote: "STUFF I TOTES AGREE WITH"


message 40: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Ian wrote: " pay/reward/income should be proportional to what you do..."

In reality, I think, this rarely happens though


message 41: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Any fresh take, guys?


message 42: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments Why are we dreaming such dreams. It's not going to happen like that. The way things are going, there will be no money. Everything will be based on "talent" and what you can do. Talent will be the value system. All classes will either die or survive depending on talent. There will be no rich, only the talented. Talent will turn into "power" and power will reign. Society will be communal. At first the structure will be lateral, and it will break down again into vertical structure. Sound familiar.


message 43: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Scrutinizing the chart in the opening post, there is a lot of money, commodities & real estate and even more derivatives.. With giant corporations merging and acquiring each other on the way to concentration and monopolization, can we eventually have a single winner getting all of it?


message 44: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6035 comments Jeff Bezos is up there, as is AT&T, which is gobbling up communications and media companies and is on its way to becoming a monopoly - if not already there.


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