Author Topic: Is it unethical to be a billionaire?  (Read 1047 times)

Offline DeathWish

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Re: Is it unethical to be a billionaire?
« Reply #15 on: 14 02, 2021, 12:01:41 pm »
You are forgetting the bigger picture here though. I agree world hunger is a serious and huge issue that needs to be dealt with asap not only because of the 800 million people that don't have enough to eat but also this could really be beneficial but the question remains is to who? the billionaire isn't the ones benefitting from this so why would they spend the money they worked from scratch for to end a cause when maybe 30 40 or even 50 years ago they were in the same situation? Also, how about us regular citizens? you say EVERY SINGLE PERSON that lives in a first world country needs to pay 33$ a year to end world hunger. Now, why would we do that? we already pay billions in taxes each year (if not more) so our governments can spend this in a week of military equipment?
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What about a government too then? Perfect example is the US, which if they saved 1 week of their military expenditure, could end world hunger
According to this if the US government didn't fund the military for a single day every month they can end world hunger in 7 months now Imagine this at a much bigger scale that includes other countries that spend so much on the Army like Israel.

You are here blaming billionaires for not donating their money and shaming them while the governments of the first world countries could end world hunger in a day if they dedicated a week worth of military funding to other causes and they can possibly end much much more than the world hunger and who knows how much money we are talking about here and the sad part is those same governments can earn their money back in no time if they get those 3rd world countries on their feet and trust it won't cause a dent in their banks

Offline Floki

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Re: Is it unethical to be a billionaire?
« Reply #16 on: 14 02, 2021, 07:26:30 pm »
the main point that you're missing here is that being jeff bezos ur voice will be heard.  nobodys asking a single person to donate quarter of their money, nobodys asking only jeff bezos to make things right. Its not an obligation to donate once you get rich but being a genuine dude means making sure that you affect once you're able to affect. therefore it comes down to those who have enough wealth to encourage the goverments and the other billionaires to together make the world a better place.
« Last Edit: 14 02, 2021, 07:28:37 pm by Floki »

Offline domi

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Re: Is it unethical to be a billionaire?
« Reply #17 on: 15 02, 2021, 05:32:53 am »
No one knows poverty in this thread better than me. The place where I live  has low average salaries after taxes, it has suffered wars and one of the biggest economic catastrophes in recent human history.

Privileged kids from rich countries can't tell me that billionaires  made me poor when I was younger.

It was governments that made me poor, not billionaires who sell me legit stuff, or who give me extremely valuable stuff for free in exchange for marketing information (e.g. Google)

The US military-industrial complex was heavily involved in causing my former poverty, but these guys are criminals, not market-based, they are extended hand of the US government, and I already talked shit about them.

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They give low wages

Some of these low-wage workers can't start their own thing because of expensive regulations and  taxes. That's why they are forced to work low wages. And whose to blame for taxes and regulations?

Other workers prefer financial security provided by these wages.

They have other choices in their life,  and yet they choose the low-skilled job. That job was obviously the best choice for them because the alternatives were worse.

No one's forcing anyone to take up the low-skilled job. It's just an offer. If they don't want it, fine.

Should we shame the billionaire for providing  people “the best deal” out of all the available choices? Without the billionaire's offer, the worker would have worse options for his life.

Lastly, these low-skilled jobs may lead into better opportunities, if the worker is loyal and smart. Many people have climbed the ladder that way. Also, if they don't have mental issues, some people can study and work to eventually land themselves a better opportunity. These jobs don't have to be for life.


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Automation

No one knows how automation will play out, but we should be  more optimistic.

It's  likely that it will improve our living standards. People thought machines and automation would destroy the livelihoods of low-skilled agricultural workers in the  19th  century, but in the end they got better economic opportunities thanks to technological improvement.

Many decided to pursue other careers made possible by 19th century and 20th century technology instead of agriculture, and today  agricultural workers are better paid now than before  the machines.

History of technological progress shows we shouldn't be so skeptical
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Offline OhhKarim

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Re: Is it unethical to be a billionaire?
« Reply #18 on: 15 02, 2021, 10:44:36 am »
Nobody said that billionaires are the ones that made you poor, I don't know how you came to that conclusion and neither do I see how you even ended up talking about that statement considering it has nothing to do with my debate question; "Is it unethical to be a billionaire". Furthermore, just because you've had a rough past doesn't mean everyone here is "a privileged kid from a rich country". You don't know either of our histories, neither our parent's.

Now to your second part, yes we cannot guarantee that any of the predictions regarding job loss numbers are accurate or not. What we do know, is that it will happen, it's literally already happening, Amazon currently has around 200,000 robots in their warehouse. The only reason I mentioned the job loss statement due to automatization, is because it is a perfect example of showing that billionaires do not care about you, hence why I said you shouldn't glorify them.

You can mention the US military all you want, it doesn't mean that the other statement can't go hand-in-hand with it. That both the US military and billionaires are unethical. I mean, the first part isn't even debatable considering the amount of stuff the US military has done to its citizens and to foreigners, way outside the military funding issue.

Offline domi

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Re: Is it unethical to be a billionaire?
« Reply #19 on: 15 02, 2021, 01:22:25 pm »
lol

Just wanted to establish some background. In the past I've had privileged leftists lecture me about poverty in developing countries, and yet they never personally experienced it and they don't really understand the challenges poor people face. For them taxation and regulation represent the holy grail for fixing poverty, while in fact it's usually the cause of poverty.


Amazon is actually a good example providing evidence that automation may actually increase employment levels. Their workforce has almost doubled since 2018!

https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/AMZN/amazon/number-of-employees

The same company provides salaries in excess of $130.000 a year for IT specialists, some of whom come from poorer backgrounds. You won't see leftist journalists reporting on  that.

Amazon pay their warehouse workers more than engineers are paid in my country. I understand there are differences in living costs, but generally speaking, warehouse workers can have pretty good lifestyles working for Amazon compared to global standards but not necessarily American standards.

Also, you didn't reply to my point concerning billionaires giving the "best deal" to low-skilled workers. Such workers have worse alternatives, so they choose to work low-skilled jobs for a billionaire owner. They're giving them the "best deal," even if it's not ideal. Why hate them for that? Work contracts are voluntary in nature.

 
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Offline OhhKarim

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Re: Is it unethical to be a billionaire?
« Reply #20 on: 15 02, 2021, 09:30:00 pm »
Just wanted to establish some background. In the past I've had privileged leftists lecture me about poverty in developing countries, and yet they never personally experienced it and they don't really understand the challenges poor people face. For them taxation and regulation represent the holy grail for fixing poverty, while in fact it's usually the cause of poverty.

Alright no problem, I may have sounded a bit too harsh, I didn't mean it in a disrespectful way. I'm not a leftist, I personally don't like putting myself under any "group" but my views mostly align with right wingers. I do consider myself privileged, but my parents certainly were not privileged whatsoever, that's why they made sure not to put any of their children in their same circumstances, which I highly appreciate.

Amazon is actually a good example providing evidence that automation may actually increase employment levels. Their workforce has almost doubled since 2018!
https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/AMZN/amazon/number-of-employees

Correlation doesn't mean causation. Amazon has grown a lot over the years, hence why a larger amount of workers are required at the moment. However in the future, robots will take the place of many of those workers, and the number of workers at Amazon (and any other big company) will probably go down. We can already see that happening, with Amazon already owning around 200,000 robots in their warehouse.

The same company provides salaries in excess of $130.000 a year for IT specialists, some of whom come from poorer backgrounds. You won't see leftist journalists reporting on  that.

Amazon pay their warehouse workers more than engineers are paid in my country. I understand there are differences in living costs, but generally speaking, warehouse workers can have pretty good lifestyles working for Amazon compared to global standards but not necessarily American standards.



Also, you didn't reply to my point concerning billionaires giving the "best deal" to low-skilled workers. Such workers have worse alternatives, so they choose to work low-skilled jobs for a billionaire owner. They're giving them the "best deal," even if it's not ideal. Why hate them for that? Work contracts are voluntary in nature.

Worse alternatives, or do you mean no other alternatives? If I really need a car, and there's only one being sold near me, with its worth being $5000, and the seller asks me $15,000 for it, does that mean I should appreciate that the seller is giving me the option to sell the car for triple the price, just because I have no other option? No, that makes them even worse.
« Last Edit: 15 02, 2021, 09:34:11 pm by OhhKarim »

Offline remaked

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Re: Is it unethical to be a billionaire?
« Reply #21 on: 15 02, 2021, 10:06:21 pm »
Worse alternatives, or do you mean no other alternatives? If I really need a car, and there's only one being sold near me, with its worth being $5000, and the seller asks me $15,000 for it, does that mean I should appreciate that the seller is giving me the option to sell the car for triple the price, just because I have no other option? No, that makes them even worse.
Well that's called catching an opportunity and everyone will do that, literally everyone including you.

Rich people(as in extremely rich) may have worked legally to gain their money or illegally, and in both cases they have no obligation to donate even $1 of their money. Yes, it may seem inhuman, selfish and even evil because we see another part of the world who basically can't afford to eat. But it's not their fault, and I think most of the people in this topic realise this. Over the years a trend was introduced which states that poor people are generally kind and rich people evil, which is understandable because of hmm, envy and/or jealousy? When a guy with a decent income(not rich not poor) refuses to donate a portion of his money we say it's his choice and it doesn't make him evil, but when a rich guy only donates 1% of his money then he's evil, you see what's happening?
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Offline domi

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Re: Is it unethical to be a billionaire?
« Reply #22 on: 15 02, 2021, 11:26:36 pm »
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Worse alternatives, or do you mean no other alternatives? If I really need a car, and there's only one being sold near me, with its worth being $5000, and the seller asks me $15,000 for it, does that mean I should appreciate that the seller is giving me the option to sell the car for triple the price, just because I have no other option? No, that makes them even worse.


To clarify...

Worse alternatives as in debt slavery, food uncertainty, practicing prostitution in a very unsafe environment,  lower paid job than the one offered by the billionaire, or no job at all while there are kids who must be fed.

All of these are realities in many developing nations. For many people, having a factory job for an international corporation is the “best deal” they can get. Without it, they'd be worse off.

I understand the factory job is far from ideal, but the alternatives are worse for many people. Makes no sense to shut down such jobs just so we can “stick it to the billionaires”. I know you didn't say it, but I'm just putting it out there.

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Hmm, I still think they are extremely well paid compared to global standards.

So let's say the warehouse guy works 3.5 weeks to earn $2800 a month. He can even work overtime if he wants to get more money. That's a great opportunity from many people's perspective.

In my country, engineers get paid $500 monthly after taxes...  my acquaintance who's an entry-level architect gets paid $380 a month.

Yet here we have the warehouse guy who gets $2800 doing low-skilled labor at AMAZON.

There are differences in cost of living between my place and other places, but they are usually not super drastic if people lead a similar middle-class lifestyle.

The warehouse guy has it made. Seriously.

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Alright no problem, I may have sounded a bit too harsh, I didn't mean it in a disrespectful way.

I didn't take it personally.

As for automation,  there are other examples, as in banks getting more automated and as a result they open up at more locations, paradoxically resulting in more work opportunities than before.

I agree that automation is not solely responsible for the factors driving the workforce growth at Amazon, but so far there's no evidence that automation may hurt -- so far there's only speculation that it may hurt, as there was in the 19th century.

iI also want to comment one more thing. Sure, billionaires don't give a fuck about me, but poor people also don't give a fuck about me. Nonetheless I can still voice my opinion concerning the topics at hand.
« Last Edit: 18 02, 2021, 10:40:45 am by domi »
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Offline OhhKarim

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Re: Is it unethical to be a billionaire?
« Reply #23 on: 16 02, 2021, 04:40:23 pm »
Well that's called catching an opportunity and everyone will do that, literally everyone including you.

Sure, doesn't mean we should appreciate such 'offers' or 'opportunities' which is what domi kept capitalizing on.

Rich people(as in extremely rich) may have worked legally to gain their money or illegally, and in both cases they have no obligation to donate even $1 of their money.

Which I've agreed with several times in this topic.

Yes, it may seem inhuman, selfish and even evil because we see another part of the world who basically can't afford to eat.

This is where the debate comes in, knowing you could help people (on a way larger scale than the average person can), but deciding not to do so, is unethical in my view. Whether you agree or not, is your own opinion, and that's why I opened the debate. To see if people share the same view as me, and if not, learn about their opinion as to why they do not think it is unethical, while we both give our arguments.

But it's not their fault, and I think most of the people in this topic realise this. Over the years a trend was introduced which states that poor people are generally kind and rich people evil, which is understandable because of hmm, envy and/or jealousy? When a guy with a decent income(not rich not poor) refuses to donate a portion of his money we say it's his choice and it doesn't make him evil, but when a rich guy only donates 1% of his money then he's evil, you see what's happening?

I am not jealous of any rich person, I know a lot of rich people who have very spoiled children who are never happy regardless of how much things they receive. I am grateful for my own life, and I am happy with what I have. I have personally donated several times, and my parents have done way more, but donations should be done in private, it's not to show off. It's part of one of the 5 pillars in Islam, my religion, to do charity (zakat). But even while excluding religion, I believe that every good human is a philanthropist by nature hence why anyone who refuses to donate, regardless if he is from the middle class or extremely rich, is considered a bad person to me. I've seen homeless people sharing their own food with stray animals, so if even homeless people can do their bits, anyone can donate something. If you're so rich to the point of being a billionaire, in my opinion you should donate, but I am not forcing anyone to do so.