Idiot is idiot

We do need to tax the wealthy more, around the globe. The economic impact of excess wealth in the hands of a very few is deeply destabilising for society as a whole.

It is also straightforwardly economically undesirable: the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few does reduce the capacity of billions of people to affordable spend to meet their needs. The gross wealth inequality the world is witnessing is a profound cause of injustice.

Bezos is also a rare case of a US multi-billionaire who has not made commitments to divest himself of wealth e.g. to charitable foundations.

Specifically using the example of Bezos is idiocy. His wealth comes from entrepreneurial activity. One effect of which has been the “Amazon Effect”. Which is that the inflation rate has been lower in every country that Amazon operates than it would have been without Amazon.

That is, each and every year billions have been better able to spend to meet their needs as a result of Bezos’ activities.

That’s before we even start to look at things like the consumer surplus and so on.

The European Central Bank…(…)…According to the bank, Amazon and its peers have pushed down inflation by about 0.1 to 0.2 percent.

Per year that is. Of course, the effect is larger on some items than others but that’s averaged out across the whole economy. The US plus EU economy is about $40 trillion a year. Just between friends, you understand. 0.1% of that saved by consumers as against their incomes is $40 billion a year for a decades. $400 billion then. At minimum, before the consumer surplus and all that.

Heff Bezos gets less than we do. This is a problem because?

7 thoughts on “Idiot is idiot”

  1. Later on, I will ask:

    Alexa, what is your opinion of Richard Murphy, the tax justice campaigner?

    And then refine iteratively eg

    Alexa, did you know that Richard Murphy the tax justice campaigner doesn’t understand basic economics?

    Alexa, did you know that Richard Murphy the tax justice campaigner plays with model train sets?

    Alexa learns, so maybe the more people who provide her with info…

  2. Ducky McDuckface

    On that link to the DW article – anyone seen the BoJ report? Couldn’t find it on their site last year.

  3. Dear Mr Worstall

    “The economic impact of excess wealth in the hands of a very few is deeply destabilising for society as a whole.”

    That’s governments for you.

    Didn’t almost all of the industrial revolution happen at a time of generally falling prices of around 2%pa?

    I didn’t notice a lack of investment in computer development and manufacturing while prices fell from about £2.5 million for a roomful of IBM360 to a hundred quid or so for a pocket half full of something 100,000 times more powerful that you can use to make phone calls and take pictures of cats.

    DP

  4. The economic impact of excess wealth in the hands of a very few is deeply destabilising for society as a whole.

    How does he explain human history then? Full of societies stable on the order of hundreds of years but the majority of the existing wealth concentrated into the hands of a few – ie, the rulers?

  5. Doesn’t he now say that tax is just a way of suppressing inflation? But, the same day as his demand for higher taxes, he says “is there inflation risk at present? I still do not think so”.

    It is, of course, just a demand for moar taxes, whatever the excuse. Tuesday was presumably not MMT day.

  6. Maybe he loves them Agammamon, and wishes that they covered the entire world. With of course him as the ruler.

  7. The ability of the masses to buy stuff to meet their needs is principally dependent upon the supply of such stuff. The amount of money sitting idly in bank accounts or Scrooge McDuck’s cellar is – to any measurable degree – irrelevant.

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