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Is any amount of money 'too much' or is everyone entitled to what they earn?

AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
I see a lot of convos about billionaires and millionaires and donating to charity and things like that online and I think it's really important to think about what money actually means, especially given that having little-no money can literally be a killer. What are everyone's thoughts? <3 xx
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SpaceOtterJustV

Comments

  • SpaceOtterSpaceOtter Community Champion Posts: 701 Part of The Mix Family
    Thanks for posting this! It definitely made me think about things.

    I understand completely that people deserve what they earned.

    But i think its a bit different when talking about reaches really big sums of money, especialy billions.

    Because firstly no one needs that much money in life, they can still live the life of luxury they desire and still donate a large portion of money to others. Keeping so much money just sitting there when others are struggling doesnt seem right.

    Secondly it could be argued in certain cases if they truly earned that money. When you cut corners or take advantage of those in desperate situations, i don't believe you have really earnt that money.

    Theres some billionares and millionares out there that i dont think should just donate money but also adapt the ways they earn it. Whether that means paying those who work for them more, improving the working conditions for their workers, or making their buisnesses more sustainable.

    Sorry about my rant, i got a little carried away. Hope you have a happy saturday!
    You're awesome!
    AislingDMJustV
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    Such amazing and insightful points @SpaceOtter , honestly I really agree with you, especially the point about 'did you really earn it, if exploitation was involved?' and I think it brings about a wider conversation about how 'exploitation' does not necessarily look only the way we are taught about it in schools (for example, earning pennies an hour, which is of course a terrible injustice and abuse). Exploitation can really be anything that prevents a person from at bare minimum being able to live a life where their necessities are met!

    I'm so glad for reading each point as it's made me think about lots of the nuances to do with this sort of stuff, very important, so thank you <3 Hope you have a fab week also!! xx
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    SpaceOtter
  • JustVJustV Community Manager Posts: 5,217 Part of The Furniture
    edited April 2022
    I was watching a video the other day where someone talked about the idea of a maximum wage. The idea being rather than 40% or 70% tax rates, there could be a 100% tax rate once you earn above a certain threshold. Not saying that's necessarily a good idea, but it really got me thinking outside the box about the way our financial systems work in this country.

    I've been getting into personal finance stuff recently too, and I've realised it's a lot easier to make money once you have it. So building on @SpaceOtter's point, there comes a point where some of your money isn't really 'earned' in the same way. If you leave a million in the stock market and it earns 100K a year without you doing anything, did you really earn that money?

    I also agree with what you said @AislingDM that having little to no money literally kills people, either through a life of financial stress or not having a place to live. We know that when people's lives improve, it reduces the likelihood of 'diseases of despair' (alcoholism, drug addiction, depression etc), and money is a huge part of that for most people. It might not buy you infinite happiness, but it does buy you freedom and less stress (up to a point), which is key.

    So money is also more impactful to those who don't have it or have very little, and for me that's enough reason to redistribute wealth more evenly than we currently do.

    Anyway, trying not to let the socialist goblin in me takeover too much. :lol:
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
    AislingDM
  • AzzimanAzziman Moderator, Community Champion Posts: 1,798 Extreme Poster
    edited April 2022
    To keep a long story short, I think everyone's entitled to what they earn. Everyone has the freedom to decide how they use their wealth, that's not really for anyone else to decide even if they think that they can use that money 'better'. Same goes for wealthy business owners - if they want to keep profits, increase staff wages, donate etc, that's their choice and right to do so.

    It's true, wealth does beget wealth, and that's because you do put your capital at risk when you invest. Investing in the stock market can earn you a healthy profit, but you can also lose a lot of money too. Starting a business can make you wealthy, but businesses often fail. You shoulder the risk, you get the reward or take the loss. Very easy to see the success stories and think it's 'undeserved' earnings, but then if they lost that money, we wouldn't say that's undeserved. On the whole, I think everyone is entitled to what they earn - the idea of someone having 'too much' is subjective and not really that helpful in my opinion :)

    That being said, having too little money to survive is definitely a problem. That's why redistribution channels such as tax-funded welfare systems are really important in most developed regions of the world. By international comparison, it's not terrible here, but I think we have quite a bit of room to do better in supporting the most vulnerable in the UK.
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    AislingDM
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    I think that is such an interesting idea, really. Especially because then, you would hope, that if a tax rate like that existed, we would be able to provide better schools, nutrition, disability support, jobs, welfare etc... I wonder how that would work in practice, maybe a science experiment could show us!! Couldn't agree more though @Mike about how wealth of course doesn't solve everything, but it can certainly prevent financially-induced stresses which can cause and/or worsen mental ill-health ! If people don't even have enough to survive then it feels like something is going wrong, right?

    Such interesting points @Azziman , I think it's very important, as you say, that we think of it from the point of view of the most vulnerable, so rather than it being about giving everyone the 'same' wage, it's about ensuring people have enough to survive and thrive, no matter what. And this should also be the case for anyone who works hard too! xxx
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  • sinead276sinead276 Posts: 957 Part of The Mix Family
    On a similar note to the others, I do think people are entitled to what they earn. However I do think a lot more needs to be done to support those on the lower side of the pay scale so that we can all live as 'comfortably' as possible :)
    AislingDM
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    Yeah it's very true, I find it quite warming to think that we're all in agreement that no one should be suffering in this life due to financial issues, as long as that is sorted hopefully we can also address other issues that are happening at the same time for people @sinead276 ! xx
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  • tkdogtkdog Posts: 281 The Mix Regular
    One thing I would say about millionaires donating is that for many its isn't necessarily generosity but a publicity stunt.
    Or a way to spread business. Or to keep more money in the company avoid taxes even.. I would say that in the case of fb its publicity or buisness often. Also I don't agree with a lot of the stuff Bill Gates he is doing. Im not a conspiracy theorist who goes on about that stuff but he isnt doing nice things to countries like India at least from my perspective and even the stuff that is supposedly so at the end end of the day i feel it still has this.. air of business to it.
    Though the government itself is questionable too I suppose.

    But it is good that they are donating in many cases. Jeff Bezos barely does donate in terms of percentage of wealth. He isn't the head of amazon anymore but yeah his company underpays many of its employees.. so in this case he is for sure overpaid, he could use just a fraction of it to pay ppl better. Some ppl say don't criticize amazon so much they are doing a good service that everyone wants. I think they do have good services but they are also driving out small business. It would be nice to have a system where ppl could get what they entitled to while still have good fast delivery.. etc. And also they are very much data driven in this cold way.. its like the human has been removed.
    Although i guess we all want the cheapest stuff at the end of the day.. its not always selfish but yer.
    AislingDM
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    These are such important points you raise @tkdog , I think being sceptical of the motivations of 'benevolent' billionaires is important because we do not want to idolise people who are simply not acting out of moral decency I suppose? I figure another difficulty lies in whether the government is trustworthy enough to feel safe in how they work around billionaires and other wealthy people through tax. Objectively, it seems a good idea that someone can be a mediator who ensures that everyone has their needs fulfilled (e.g., water, food, healthcare) but will this actually be done by each government of the day?

    Plus, your point about Amazon's labour exploitation is very true and very sad, especially given how popular this company is in the consumer market! So, in some ways your final statement encourages us to look in at ourselves and consider how much are we, as individuals, aiding, abetting and co-signing these injustices?

    I really appreciate you adding to this dialogue! =)
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    tkdog
  • AbandonedTrolleyAbandonedTrolley Posts: 24 Boards Initiate
    I think that merchant bankers are paid way too much for what they do. And even during the international banking crisis of 2007 and 2008 bankers got paid massive bonuses despite their failures which nearly destroyed the entire world economy! I think that more bankers should be held responsible for their failures as well and sacked and prosecuted if they cause a huge financial crisis like what happened in 2007 when they had to be bailed out by tax payers!
    AislingDM
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    That is a really insightful point @AbandonedTrolley ! I think we need to deeply think about the role each person plays in leading us to recessions and rising inflation. We should want to prevent these things and deter those in power from allowing it to happen again, yet it seems that the richest are being prioritised over everyone else, which is so upsetting! Do you reckon prosecution would solve things?
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  • AbandonedTrolleyAbandonedTrolley Posts: 24 Boards Initiate
    edited November 2022
    Yes I think that bankers who cause economic collapses should be prosecuted just like they are in many other countries. Read this: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/magazine/only-one-top-banker-jail-financial-crisis.html
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