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Republicans - Big government is bad, but big business is good - why? (1 Viewer)

adonis

Footballguy
Today, a handful of companies control huge portions of our lives.  The decisions made by these companies often affect us more than those made by our government.

It's undeniable that GOP policies, free market, de-regulation, tax cuts, low business/corporate/capital gains tax rates, have lead to this concentration of power/wealth/influence.

Yet the same GOP seems to have principles/philosophies that tell them that power is best organized in a distributed manner, which leads them to distrust a powerful central government and prefer power to be in the hands of the states, more at the local level. 

I'm curious to hear from conservatives on why it's OK to support political priorities that strip power from the federal government, but help create a centralization of power in the markets where a handful of companies yield incredible levels of power over citizens that dwarf the power the government has over its people.

 

belljr

Footballguy
Because they want to be able to make as much money as they want, without having to follow any rules

 

parasaurolophus

Footballguy
Today, a handful of companies control huge portions of our lives.  The decisions made by these companies often affect us more than those made by our government.

It's undeniable that GOP policies, free market, de-regulation, tax cuts, low business/corporate/capital gains tax rates, have lead to this concentration of power/wealth/influence.

Yet the same GOP seems to have principles/philosophies that tell them that power is best organized in a distributed manner, which leads them to distrust a powerful central government and prefer power to be in the hands of the states, more at the local level. 

I'm curious to hear from conservatives on why it's OK to support political priorities that strip power from the federal government, but help create a centralization of power in the markets where a handful of companies yield incredible levels of power over citizens that dwarf the power the government has over its people.
Could you give an example? 

 

adonis

Footballguy
Could you give an example? 
Amazon.

Benefitted hugely from lack of enforcement of sales tax in states, uses their size to push competitors in various market segments out of business by selling items in their markets at a loss, then buys them or produces goods previously sold by others themselves, and has had a huge impact on the publishing world.

Currently amazon is one of the most powerful, dominant, and embedded companies in the world.  And much of it is due to the regulatory structure which allowed them to grow, expand, Consolidate power and grow some more.

i think 1/3 of all websites are AWS hosted. They’re getting pentagon contracts to manage all data. States bend over backwards to get their HQ, etc etc etc.

Their reach in the lives of the average American is just insane.

 

parasaurolophus

Footballguy
Amazon.

Benefitted hugely from lack of enforcement of sales tax in states, uses their size to push competitors in various market segments out of business by selling items in their markets at a loss, then buys them or produces goods previously sold by others themselves, and has had a huge impact on the publishing world.

Currently amazon is one of the most powerful, dominant, and embedded companies in the world.  And much of it is due to the regulatory structure which allowed them to grow, expand, Consolidate power and grow some more.

i think 1/3 of all websites are AWS hosted. They’re getting pentagon contracts to manage all data. States bend over backwards to get their HQ, etc etc etc.

Their reach in the lives of the average American is just insane.
You don't actually believe amazon is more powerful than the government do you? 

 

adonis

Footballguy
You don't actually believe amazon is more powerful than the government do you? 
Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix, Google.

Decisions made by leaders of those companies, in terms of real life impact on American lives, compares favorably in impact to those made in Washington.

 

djmich

Footballguy
I disagree on the FANG impact vs Government.  Netflix...really?

I don't think a regulatory structure that allows companies to grow and expand is bad, I think it is good.  Are you saying FANG has been bad for American lives?

Is Best Buy a "big business"?  I dont have a problem with Best Buy.  Yah...Amazon might be too big.

I do think there is a limit to how much a company should be able to monopolize or dominate an industry, from recent memory so does the Trump Admin in this case:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/20/565476244/justice-department-sues-to-block-at-ts-merger-with-time-warner

 

jonessed

Footballguy
Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix, Google.

Decisions made by leaders of those companies, in terms of real life impact on American lives, compares favorably in impact to those made in Washington.
You have lost your mind.

 

mr roboto

Footballguy
You have lost your mind.
Not really. Data on consumer trends and demographic/psychographic/targeting capabilities are more intrusive than most govt programs. 

Yes. Ultimate power lies in the federal govt. But the power to shape and manipulate and track public opinion and behavior - private companies are far more influential. 

I can, for $.05 per record, buy a mailing list which includes the residents’ income. I can target teachers who owns cats on FB. I can run a list of likely gun owners and push ads or political propaganda to them. These are private databases. 

 

parasaurolophus

Footballguy
Joe Summer said:
Conservatives believe in free markets except when they need the government to help squash the competition.
Been trying to think of situations where this is applicable. I cant think of many. Big pharma. Utilities? Where else?

 

IvanKaramazov

Footballguy
Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix, Google.

Decisions made by leaders of those companies, in terms of real life impact on American lives, compares favorably in impact to those made in Washington.
I think it's probably that most conservatives (and an overwhelming majority of people in general) don't view most of these firms as "problems" to be solved, with the possible exception of Facebook.

Thanks to Amazon, I can pretty much any product I want delivered to my doorstep without having to leave the house.  That's a huge quality of life improvement, especially for people who live in rural areas.  Also, Amazon and Netflix give me the option to watch tens? of thousands of movies and television shows whenever I want.  That was science fiction as recently as 20 or so years ago.  Google makes it easy to navigate just about the sum total of human knowledge using the little piece of glass you carry around manufactured by Apple.

The fact that you see those as bad things, well, I don't know what to tell you.

 

jon_mx

Footballguy
I think it's probably that most conservatives (and an overwhelming majority of people in general) don't view most of these firms as "problems" to be solved, with the possible exception of Facebook.

Thanks to Amazon, I can pretty much any product I want delivered to my doorstep without having to leave the house.  That's a huge quality of life improvement, especially for people who live in rural areas.  Also, Amazon and Netflix give me the option to watch tens? of thousands of movies and television shows whenever I want.  That was science fiction as recently as 20 or so years ago.  Google makes it easy to navigate just about the sum total of human knowledge using the little piece of glass you carry around manufactured by Apple.

The fact that you see those as bad things, well, I don't know what to tell you.
I think Google has ruined internet search.  What was once an awesome tool, is now a nothing but a way to try to sell you something and peddle advertisement.  Google maps is awesome though.  

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
I think the real problem is the people on both sides who think that big anything is bad. 
Because i actually respect your search for sense and effect in the ways the human race conducts itself, i will not label your assertion ridiculous. But i will ask you to "unpack" it a little more so i can.

 

IvanKaramazov

Footballguy
if i only had a brain......

i dont get the point you were trying to make
You're calling out "conservatives" for supporting rigged markets and cartels without showing your receipts.  I honestly don't know anybody who supports either of those things on principle.  

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
You're calling out "conservatives" for supporting rigged markets and cartels without showing your receipts.  I honestly don't know anybody who supports either of those things on principle.  
i don't know what a free market of any size looks like. i don't believe i have ever seen one. it is to capitalism what equality is to communism, a fata morgana. now you do  know someone who supports that viewpoint on principle

 

timschochet

Footballguy
Because i actually respect your search for sense and effect in the ways the human race conducts itself, i will not label your assertion ridiculous. But i will ask you to "unpack" it a little more so i can.
I think there is a natural resentment and fear among human beings of big anything. But especially in this society with its long term image of the American as a free rugged individual. If you study our history that image is largely a myth, but it’s a powerful, enduring myth, and we tend to resent large entities that increase controls over our lives, even as they generally make our lives much easier. 

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
I think there is a natural resentment and fear among human beings of big anything. But especially in this society with its long term image of the American as a free rugged individual. If you study our history that image is largely a myth, but it’s a powerful, enduring myth, and we tend to resent large entities that increase controls over our lives, even as they generally make our lives much easier. 
I agree, but that doesn't negate the effect of Big Money in the last generation. Reagan-era mergerism, control and manipulation of media by conglomerates, lobbyism overtaking government and the combination of commercial and investment banking has virtually removed America from the hands of the citizenry.

My proof is no proof at all, frankly, but the fact that there is a great amount of science involved in calculating & manipulating public opinion, creation of financial instruments, weaponizing corruption in oh so many ways but virtually NO science in optimum thresholds of taxation, public impact of corporate actions, true financial impact of regulation, the math of public good or indeed the optimum corporate size convinces me to my capacity & satisfaction that it is all a canard, a hoax, a swindle which has taken our nation farther past salvation than the polar caps

 
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adonis

Footballguy
Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix, Google.

Decisions made by leaders of those companies, in terms of real life impact on American lives, compares favorably in impact to those made in Washington.
I think it's probably that most conservatives (and an overwhelming majority of people in general) don't view most of these firms as "problems" to be solved, with the possible exception of Facebook.

Thanks to Amazon, I can pretty much any product I want delivered to my doorstep without having to leave the house.  That's a huge quality of life improvement, especially for people who live in rural areas.  Also, Amazon and Netflix give me the option to watch tens? of thousands of movies and television shows whenever I want.  That was science fiction as recently as 20 or so years ago.  Google makes it easy to navigate just about the sum total of human knowledge using the little piece of glass you carry around manufactured by Apple.

The fact that you see those as bad things, well, I don't know what to tell you.
I didn't start the thread because I see those companies as being "bad" necessarily, but I do think that a lot of the ideals conservative folks promote in government doesn't seem to carry over to business.  

Take a distrust of centralized federal power at the expense of more powerful local governments.  It's a pretty solid conservative value, believing that the more power is localized, the better things are.  Big businesses like Amazon have been taking advantage of tax structures and other loopholes, resulting in local businesses not being able to compete.  They'll sell products at a loss in one industry to drive businesses out, while going to china to make products themselves that others were selling through their marketplace.  While things are convenient now, our reliance on a centralized power in the form of business is very risky as a society, and puts a lot of power in the hands of very few.

Additionally, these companies gather incredible amounts of information about us.  These businesses alone know more about us than any government has ever known about their people, and they're using this information to grow bigger, to run other smaller competitors out of business, and become a near sole provider of some goods and/or services.

We turn a blind eye to Amazon and all the ways they've infiltrated and changed our society largely because we like the benefits.  But the risks are huge.

 

Dedfin

Footballguy
wikkidpissah said:
Where'd everybody go?
Their instinct is to blame any sort of failure of their economic model on market inefficiencies and ignore that their idea of free markets just don't happen outside of a model. When you can't answer a comment using the theoretical "frictionless" economy, there really isn't much else to say.

 

adonis

Footballguy
I think Google has ruined internet search.  What was once an awesome tool, is now a nothing but a way to try to sell you something and peddle advertisement.  Google maps is awesome though.  
Google is awesome in that I can search for anything, and their engine reliably returns what I"m looking for.

The downstream impacts of all the facets of their business, however, is having major impacts on our society.

One example is the way Google and Facebook have adversely affected news outlets, essentially gobbling up all the space where folks can sell ads, and leaving publishers with fewer and fewer options.

There are absolutely incredibly consequences to these companies growing as large and as powerful as they are.  It's just odd to me that those folks who are skeptical of a powerful, centralized government seem oblivious, and also obsequious, to the power and consequences of large corporations.  I think the average consumer has no idea the risks, the downstream impacts, of these big businesses.  Amazon, Google, and Facebook are literally changing the world, changing our democracy, changing what power resides in local communities and gobbling it all up and centralizing it in the hands of an incredibly small group of people, completely outside of a democratic representation model.

 
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wikkidpissah

Footballguy
Their instinct is to blame any sort of failure of their economic model on market inefficiencies and ignore that their idea of free markets just don't happen outside of a model. When you can't answer a comment using the theoretical "frictionless" economy, there really isn't much else to say.
When "they" are shills or trolls, yeah. But the two others who've quoted me in this thread are good Americans who appear to care that our nation be & receive the best. Even though one is a li'l caught in patrician ways (so am i, for that matter) and the other has the logic train of a Taylor Swift fan (and who aint been there, gf) - in the name of  the uglynice ethic of this website, i wont identify which is which - we would all gain from knocking this around with either/both

 

Dedfin

Footballguy
When "they" are shills or trolls, yeah. But the two others who've quoted me in this thread are good Americans who appear to care that our nation be & receive the best. Even though one is a li'l caught in patrician ways (so am i, for that matter) and the other has the logic train of a Taylor Swift fan (and who aint been there, gf) - in the name of  the uglynice ethic of this website, i wont identify which is which - we would all gain from knocking this around with either/both
I don't think either are shills, but any true believer in the idea that free markets are attainable in this society will react the way I think they do. I could be wrong, and am often wrong about stuff.

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
I don't think either are shills, but any true believer in the idea that free markets are attainable in this society will react the way I think they do. I could be wrong, and am often wrong about stuff.
and that is why i keep stressing the importance of finding equilibriums, instead of exploitation points, within our present system and why non-trolls in this forum should be defining terms for what we can agree upon, especially since how we disagree is more the product of marketing than reality.

ETA: there is not a doubt in my mind that free & competitive markets find the best consensus answers for products, service, policy. i just havent seen an actual free market outside of a poker table (which is why i spent a quarter of a century making my living at one)

 
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IvanKaramazov

Footballguy
I didn't start the thread because I see those companies as being "bad" necessarily, but I do think that a lot of the ideals conservative folks promote in government doesn't seem to carry over to business.  

Take a distrust of centralized federal power at the expense of more powerful local governments.  It's a pretty solid conservative value, believing that the more power is localized, the better things are.  Big businesses like Amazon have been taking advantage of tax structures and other loopholes, resulting in local businesses not being able to compete.  They'll sell products at a loss in one industry to drive businesses out, while going to china to make products themselves that others were selling through their marketplace.  While things are convenient now, our reliance on a centralized power in the form of business is very risky as a society, and puts a lot of power in the hands of very few.

Additionally, these companies gather incredible amounts of information about us.  These businesses alone know more about us than any government has ever known about their people, and they're using this information to grow bigger, to run other smaller competitors out of business, and become a near sole provider of some goods and/or services.

We turn a blind eye to Amazon and all the ways they've infiltrated and changed our society largely because we like the benefits.  But the risks are huge.
You're right that we should all have some skepticism of centralized power, whether it's the government or somebody in the private sector.  You and I agree on that.

I think the last couple of sentences of your post is where we mostly disagree.  People like me look at Amazon as a company that essentially solved a massive logistics problem, changing the world greatly for the better.  The average person has a measurably higher living standard thanks to Amazon, significantly so in many cases.  The "victims" of Amazon are mostly other businesses, but Amazon itself generates substantial benefits for consumers as well as its stockholders.  That's the sort of thing that we should generally celebrate.  If firms are going to succeed and generate a boatload of profit for their owners, we should want them to be firms that produce value for consumers too.  Nobody seriously disputes that Amazon fits that profile.  So people like me put more weight on the "benefit" side of the ledger than you do.

On the "risk" side, what's the risk?  That Amazon will somehow monopolize retail industries?  People were making literally the exact same argument about Wal-Mart 20 years ago, and then Amazon came along and started eating their lunch.  Big, network-intensive firms like Amazon have some clear competitive advantages in terms of economies of scale and scope, but they're not invincible and they can be overtaken if somebody offers consumers something better.  So the other difference is that people like me worry less about the "risk" side.

Probably a more succinct way to put it is that much of what a person might do to mitigate the risk of Amazon is going to do more harm to consumers than good, at least in my view.

 

adonis

Footballguy
You're right that we should all have some skepticism of centralized power, whether it's the government or somebody in the private sector.  You and I agree on that.

I think the last couple of sentences of your post is where we mostly disagree.  People like me look at Amazon as a company that essentially solved a massive logistics problem, changing the world greatly for the better.  The average person has a measurably higher living standard thanks to Amazon, significantly so in many cases.  The "victims" of Amazon are mostly other businesses, but Amazon itself generates substantial benefits for consumers as well as its stockholders.  That's the sort of thing that we should generally celebrate.  If firms are going to succeed and generate a boatload of profit for their owners, we should want them to be firms that produce value for consumers too.  Nobody seriously disputes that Amazon fits that profile.  So people like me put more weight on the "benefit" side of the ledger than you do.

On the "risk" side, what's the risk?  That Amazon will somehow monopolize retail industries?  People were making literally the exact same argument about Wal-Mart 20 years ago, and then Amazon came along and started eating their lunch.  Big, network-intensive firms like Amazon have some clear competitive advantages in terms of economies of scale and scope, but they're not invincible and they can be overtaken if somebody offers consumers something better.  So the other difference is that people like me worry less about the "risk" side.

Probably a more succinct way to put it is that much of what a person might do to mitigate the risk of Amazon is going to do more harm to consumers than good, at least in my view.
I'm not sure we disagree on the benefit side of the ledger really.  We may disagree a little bit around how ethically they got as big as they are, and their practices in undercutting competition.  But I think the main area of disagreement seems to be how significant the risks of a company the size and breadth of Amazon are..

A core free market principle is competition and choice.  Amazon is shutting down competition on a far larger scale than the Walmarts of the world.  Amazon hosts through its AWS platform a third of the internet (roughly).  They're partnering with the federal government and local governments on incredibly huge data hosting and analytics projects.  They gather unbelievable amounts of data on customers, and are continually expanding ways to use data to drive behavior to sell more products and grow larger.

It's my view that there will come a time very soon, if we're not there already, where a handful of companies like the ones listed here, will have unrivaled access to consumer data, to demographic information, and will be experts in using the data to drive and control human behavior in ways we've never seen before.  Google, Facebook, and Amazon come to mind in this conversation.  With the improvements being made to AI, to analytics, and increasing amounts of information being transmitted, stored, and analyzed by a small handful of companies, the ability for other companies to come in and disrupt this marketplace becomes almost impossible.

So to attempt to be more concise, I think the risks are vastly underrated that these companies pose by controlling information and distribution in the modern age.  They have their fingers in the pulse of the digital economy, have near monopolies on data, and they're cutting out competitors.  While we may be experiencing some conveniences now due to efficiencies they offer, they're rapidly grabbing all the available oxygen in the room in a way that new entrants will find it impossible to breath unless they wear a "big company" branded oxygen mask and play their game.  

The era we're entering is one of data and digital monopolies, and the world is generally only prepared to worry about the older types of monopolies.  So right now, so long as stock prices are increasing, market caps are growing, everyone seems happy.  But to me, those who hold conservative views especially about the risks of centralization of power in government, should be increasingly worried about that happening in the business world.

 

Jackstraw

Footballguy
You have lost your mind.
JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Bears Stearn, Citigroup.

Member that time when they were too big to fail? They were running casino games with people's mortgages and came up craps? So the entire economy had to bail them out and they regrouped just fine and the citizens had an eight year economic hangover and untold human suffering and they got huge bonus's and nobody went to jail? 

That was awesome. 

 

IvanKaramazov

Footballguy
Yeah, I will admit that I just don't care that Amazon tracks my purchases and throws an occasional targeted ad my way.  I'm not convinced that that's even a bad thing, and if it is, it's a tiny price to pay for the service Amazon provides.  To be fair, though, it would be easy to find other libertarians who disagree with me on this one -- this is an area of disagreement among people like me.

 
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jonessed

Footballguy
JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Bears Stearn, Citigroup.

Member that time when they were too big to fail? They were running casino games with people's mortgages and came up craps? So the entire economy had to bail them out and they regrouped just fine and the citizens had an eight year economic hangover and untold human suffering and they got huge bonus's and nobody went to jail? 

That was awesome. 
That’s not a company.  That’s an entire industry.  And they still don’t have the power of the federal government.  If they did, they could have bailed themselves out.

 

Jackstraw

Footballguy
That’s not a company.  That’s an entire industry.  And they still don’t have the power of the federal government.  If they did, they could have bailed themselves out.
They absolutely had the power to force the government to do what they wanted. Just splitting hairs in my opinion. Policy was the same. Consequences were the same. 

 

IC FBGCav

Footballguy
Today, a handful of companies control huge portions of our lives.  The decisions made by these companies often affect us more than those made by our government.

It's undeniable that GOP policies, free market, de-regulation, tax cuts, low business/corporate/capital gains tax rates, have lead to this concentration of power/wealth/influence.

Yet the same GOP seems to have principles/philosophies that tell them that power is best organized in a distributed manner, which leads them to distrust a powerful central government and prefer power to be in the hands of the states, more at the local level. 

I'm curious to hear from conservatives on why it's OK to support political priorities that strip power from the federal government, but help create a centralization of power in the markets where a handful of companies yield incredible levels of power over citizens that dwarf the power the government has over its people.
Big government doesn't donate or pay you millions after you leave office.

 

Stealthycat

Footballguy
capitalism has worked - it has allowed people in the United States to go from little of nothing to millionaires

we have more wealthy people than any other country for a reason - and companies and wealthy people create things-  businesses, jobs, growth etc

Govt doesn't create - they take money from working people and spend it, they create laws to restrict people and business

 

IC FBGCav

Footballguy
capitalism has worked - it has allowed people in the United States to go from little of nothing to millionaires

we have more wealthy people than any other country for a reason - and companies and wealthy people create things-  businesses, jobs, growth etc

Govt doesn't create - they take money from working people and spend it, they create laws to restrict people and business
First we don't have capitalism.  Second, other countries allow for better upward mobility than the US.  Third much of the wealth comes from constant war.  HTH.

 
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Stealthycat

Footballguy
First we don't have capitalism.  Second, other countries allow for better upward mobility than the US.  Third much of the wealth comes from contant war.  HTH.
cap·i·tal·ism      an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

first - we got that

second - we have the highest ammt of millionaires in the world, by far and the poorest people in the US are wealthy compared to the poorest people in African nations. Very few places can you go from nothing to millions by the time you're 30.

Third - link to prove that? because I read that "Over the last two centuries, about 90 percent of the world’s millionaires have been created by investing in real estate."

 

IC FBGCav

Footballguy
cap·i·tal·ism      an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

first - we got that

second - we have the highest ammt of millionaires in the world, by far and the poorest people in the US are wealthy compared to the poorest people in African nations. Very few places can you go from nothing to millions by the time you're 30.

Third - link to prove that? because I read that "Over the last two centuries, about 90 percent of the world’s millionaires have been created by investing in real estate."
So you think government controls big business?

 

TobiasFunke

Footballguy
cap·i·tal·ism      an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

first - we got that

second - we have the highest ammt of millionaires in the world, by far and the poorest people in the US are wealthy compared to the poorest people in African nations. Very few places can you go from nothing to millions by the time you're 30.

Third - link to prove that? because I read that "Over the last two centuries, about 90 percent of the world’s millionaires have been created by investing in real estate."
Imagine having to shift your argument from comparing the US to the rest of the world when it comes to millionaires, and then restricting the comparison only to nations wrecked by centuries of colonialism when it comes to poverty in the same sentence and still not being able to recognize the obvious fundamental flaw in your argument.

 

IC FBGCav

Footballguy
cap·i·tal·ism      an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

first - we got that

second - we have the highest ammt of millionaires in the world, by far and the poorest people in the US are wealthy compared to the poorest people in African nations. Very few places can you go from nothing to millions by the time you're 30.

Third - link to prove that? because I read that "Over the last two centuries, about 90 percent of the world’s millionaires have been created by investing in real estate."
Real Estate.  Lol.  Boomers kids will never be able to own the property they did because they made so much money.  It's not because they were great investors, it was because where the economy was when they were working.  Just facts.  

 

Jackstraw

Footballguy
cap·i·tal·ism      an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

first - we got that

second - we have the highest ammt of millionaires in the world, by far and the poorest people in the US are wealthy compared to the poorest people in African nations. Very few places can you go from nothing to millions by the time you're 30.

Third - link to prove that? because I read that "Over the last two centuries, about 90 percent of the world’s millionaires have been created by investing in real estate."
40% of the country can't afford an unexpected $400 expense. I'll inform them of how good they have it. America actually has lower class mobility than many supposedlly socialist countries. 

I'm really shocked that wealth inequality isn't a thing arguments are still being made. 

 

IC FBGCav

Footballguy
We are also the only first world country that let's their citizens go bankrupt on medical bills, while bucking capitalism and not letting other countries import prescription drugs that US citizens routinely pay 3x more for, go America.

 

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