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Jeff Bezos tops the Forbes Rich List 2018

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https://www.forbes.com/billionaires/#1071f979251c

Thanks to all you FBAers out there, he has overtaken Bill Gates.

Americans lead the way with a record 585 billionaires, followed by mainland China with 373. Centi-billionaire Jeff Bezos secures the list’s top spot for the first time, becoming the only person to appear in the Forbes ranks with a 12-figure fortune. Bezos’s fortune leapt more than $39 billion, the list’s biggest one-year gain ever. He moves ahead of Bill Gates, who is now number 2. It is the biggest gap between no. 1 and 2 since 2001.

Edited by Val-E

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https://www.forbes.com/billionaires/#1071f979251c
Thanks to all you FBAers out there, he has overtaken Bill Gates.
Americans lead the way with a record 585 billionaires, followed by mainland China with 373. Centi-billionaire Jeff Bezos secures the list’s top spot for the first time, becoming the only person to appear in the Forbes ranks with a 12-figure fortune. Bezos’s fortune leapt more than $39 billion, the list’s biggest one-year gain ever. He moves ahead of Bill Gates, who is now number 2. It is the biggest gap between no. 1 and 2 since 2001.

That’s because Gates gives away billions of his fortune every year.
Bezos literally only gives millions.
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1 hour ago, donbee said:


That’s because Gates gives away billions of his fortune every year.
Bezos literally only gives millions.

Amazon does offer the "Smile" program though.

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It will all come crumbling down when interest rates move up.  He has an almost zero profit business, built on cheap borrowing, with a stupidly priced stock that ignores all fundamentals.  It will all change.  I predict he won't be on any list, a nation can last a long time on massive debt, but when rates,move up, companies go bankrupt.

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People, don't believe the lies.  Income taxes are paid on income, capital gains on capital gains.  Tax planning is what everyone does if they are paying attention.  Do you think the gates foundation is all about philanthropy?  No it is both deductible and "estate tax free", same goes for buffet.  They all are the biggest hypocrites.  The top 15% in the USA, which starts at 250k pay 85% off all taxes, with the top 1% paying the majority.  You go thorough half of the us working population, before one dollar of tax is paid. That is astounding.

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People, don't believe the lies.  Income taxes are paid on income, capital gains on capital gains.  Tax planning is what everyone does if they are paying attention.  Do you think the gates foundation is all about philanthropy?  No it is both deductible and "estate tax free", same goes for buffet.  They all are the biggest hypocrites.  The top 15% in the USA, which starts at 250k pay 85% off all taxes, with the top 1% paying the majority.  You go thorough half of the us working population, before one dollar of tax is paid. That is astounding.

What % of $ does the top 15% have?
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What is astounding is that so many of the working population (Amazon and Walmart, etc employees) earn hardly subsistence wages such that they require negative taxes just to exist. The percentages quoted above are nothing more than the result of astounding income inequality.

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What is astounding is that so many of the working population (Amazon and Walmart, etc employees) earn hardly subsistence wages such that they require negative taxes just to exist. The percentages quoted above are nothing more than the result of astounding income inequality.

And how many full time employees require public assistance.

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11 minutes ago, Migration said:


What % of $ does the top 15% have?

A good chunk of it.  Tons of small business owners who took the rest.  Those people pay there fair share or more than that.  The American dream doesn't mean give half of what you risked to the government that does need taxes anyway.  The government just prints fake money out of nothing, thus 22 trillion printed from nothing.  Taxes are s sham.  Makes the earners, all earners glorified slaves.  I'm all for business owners risking it to make there mark.  Small business owners are the majority of owners, mostly all flow through entities.

Risk not rest

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A good chunk of it.  Tons of small business owners who took the rest.  Those people pay there fair share or more than that.  The American dream doesn't mean give half of what you risked to the government that does need taxes anyway.  The government just prints fake money out of nothing, thus 22 trillion printed from nothing.  Taxes are s sham.  Makes the earners, all earners glorified slaves.  I'm all for business owners risking it to make there mark.  Small business owners are the majority of owners, mostly all flow through entities.

Risk not rest

No they don’t. Taxes have been at historic lows for decades. They need to be raised to bring the deficits under control and payoff the long term debt. Any other answer is just kicking the can.

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16 years of practicing financial planning for small business owners says otherwise.  Real life nuts and bolts and job creation.  Inherited and dynastic wealth not included.  

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16 years of practicing financial planning for small business owners says otherwise.  Real life nuts and bolts and job creation.  Inherited and dynastic wealth not included.  

If taxes are the deciding factor of your business, then your business sucks.

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NO they don't pay enough taxes. Without a hugely progressive tax structure the only mathematical end game in a finite universe is huge corporations and a few controlling individuals with all and a serf class of workers unable to afford basic necessities. Income inequality hurts democracy. 

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Farmers, ranchers, dairy men, doctors, engineers, contractors, miners, oilmen, manufacturers, consultants, attorneys.  Don't think those suck and all small business owners making it happen. But back to bezos, when the 30 year is 6 percent I project he's toast or Amazon as we know it.

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5 minutes ago, waddamon said:

Farmers, ranchers, dairy men, doctors, engineers, contractors, miners, oilmen, manufacturers, consultants, attorneys.  Don't think those suck and all small business owners making it happen. But back to bezos, when the 30 year is 6 percent I project he's toast or Amazon as we know it.

Amazon and Walmart have destroyed local business and local micro economies, they pay wages such that their employees require government assistance, surreptitiously increase consumers carbon footprint and facilitate grossly negligent income inequality which is then used to lobby government for further scale tipping and environmental degradation rather than supporting small owner run businesses and cleaning this dump of a planet up. Good riddance. 

Edited by junkrigger
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Farmers, ranchers, dairy men, doctors, engineers, contractors, miners, oilmen, manufacturers, consultants, attorneys.  Don't think those suck and all small business owners making it happen. But back to bezos, when the 30 year is 6 percent I project he's toast or Amazon as we know it.

Ah. So they were all able to be successful and still pay their taxes. Having worked with many of the same, it’s not like they’re going to higher more employees or give existing ones raises if you cut their taxes. Likewise they will not fire employees if taxes are raised so long as they can still profit from said employees work. Point is they get the lions share of the benefits, it stands to reason that they pay the lions share of taxes.

And both bezos and amazon will be just fine so long as Americans continue to spend like drunken sailors on leave.

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Amazon hardly makes a profit, despite paying almost no taxes (at least not in the US), and yet he’s making billions? If I were an Amazon stock holder, I’d be getting pissed. When/if Amazon crashes, he’s not gonna go down with the ship. He’ll be the guy in the helicopter waving to his loyal crew as they sink to the bottom of the abyss.

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Amazon is global and continues expanding so even if US demand goes belly up, they still have Japan, India, Europe and eventually China and Russia to prop it up.

Plus the failure of businesses like TRU is likely to strengthen their hand until a proper rival emerges or governments get involved to break their monopoly.

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If i’m reading @waddamon posts correctly (big “if”) , i think i’m in agreement with him.   Plus tax planning is big business for the rich to keep as much as possible since they are paying the vast majority of everything Uncle Sam collects .

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14 minutes ago, jaisonline said:

If i’m reading @waddamon posts correctly (big “if”) , i think i’m in agreement with him.   Plus tax planning is big business for the rich to keep as much as possible since they are paying the vast majority of everything Uncle Sam collects .

Well overall he's just quoting facts from one side of the equation ... the top 1% in the US do pay higher average tax rates (in fact, it's quite a bit higher - 27% vs 8% to 15% depending on where you sit in the middle class bucket), but how much of their earnings are "hidden" in capital gains which have a lower overall tax rate than even those middle class people? Or what other legal means can they afford/use to shelter themselves from even more taxes owing? 

In the US in 2014 there was just under 1.4 million people who filed taxes as "top 1% earners" which accounted for roughly 2 trillion dollars of income. As a whole, the US paid approx 9.7 trillion dollars to workers... so 1% of the people earn 20% of the income. Seems fair to me that they pay more than the rest, they earn more than the rest by quite a large margin. The next batch (2-5%) earn 15% and the 5-10 bracket earns 10%. So the top 10% earn 45% of the money paid to employees in the US. Doesn't leave a whole pile for the rest of you...

And this doesn't even begin the topic of how they use the tax laws of other more favorable countries to shelter corporate earnings. So they play nice and pay their personal income taxes, big deal. The companies they own and run are stealing from you left, right and center. Those unpaid corporate taxes would lower the tax burden for everyone.

I'm all for making a good living .. by all accounts my partner and I are probably in that 10% here in Canada (albeit towards the bottom of that) but I don't mind paying my fair share. I never have complained about my tax rate (don't confuse that with being happy about how it's spent) which was 26.4% last year. 

 

** edit.. I also realize this a gross simplification of the problem, but the reality is that every year those at the top are making more money and the middle class is shrinking. The people leaving the middle class are not moving up, they're moving down. If you don't think that's a problem with long term consequences for all of us, then you're living in a dream world. **

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So Medicaid recipients can get discounted Prime, I believe they already offer a similar discount for SNAP recipients.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-healthcare/amazon-offers-discount-prime-membership-to-medicaid-recipients-idUSKCN1GJ1ZZ

Is Bezos being philanthropic or self serving?

6 hours ago, gregpj said:

** edit.. I also realize this a gross simplification of the problem, but the reality is that every year those at the top are making more money and the middle class is shrinking. The people leaving the middle class are not moving up, they're moving down. If you don't think that's a problem with long term consequences for all of us, then you're living in a dream world. **

Do you have a source for this, I'm not saying your wrong, I'm just interested in reading more on this.

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This is transparent in education, housing and income inequality numbers. Income inequality has gone up, housing prices have gone up wages have remained stagnant and decreased.  Good quality middle class jobs have been outsourced or outteched replaced by mostly service industry or retail part time serfdom in the aim of maximizing profits for a few wealthy owners.  Graduate school attendance by US nationals is at all time lows especially in the most important fields of science, math and engineering; driving insane competition for the last good jobs. Unfortunately only the very brilliant or incredibly hard working few can compete with the global society of students who's parents know eduction is their last hope for prosperity. We glorify mafia, drugs, and theft as the way to prosperity, a prosperity so out of reach that achieving it at all costs is considered good business. It doesn't matter how many contractors or poor students you grift and cheat, how many times you go bankrupt or evade taxes and launder money, as long as you make that money for you it's the american dream baby. 

Edited by junkrigger

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23 hours ago, fuzzy_bricks said:

Do you have a source for this, I'm not saying your wrong, I'm just interested in reading more on this.

Finding a good source to explain it is very hard ... the lefty material focuses on income inequality and the righty material focuses on how the average income of the middle class is on the rise. You really need to put multiple sources together to get to the truth which nobody really likes.

<I live with someone who teaches/researches sociology ... now, the middle class isn't her specific area of expertise, but much of the research she does touches on how income affects our behaviors and patterns. I'm a techie, but we have great conversations about what she's teaching / researching.>

There are some very basic facts that help set the stage:

  • Since approx 1990 the middle class has been shrinking.
  • About 60% of those who left middle class went into the "upper class" income category.
  • About 40% went into "lower class" income category.
  • The average salary of those who are considered middle class has gone up.
  • The average salary of those who are in the upper and lower classes has also gone up.

This is where it gets tricky... if you stop there, looks good right? Well, you have to look into those facts to see why this isn't so rosy.

  • By most accounts, middle class is defined as those who make 60% to 200% of the average salary. It also depends on how many people are in your household (two adults vs 1 adult, 1 child have the same salary requirement to sit there because it's two people to house, feed, clothe, etc).

Ok, so middle class is really determined by the average salary of the entire working population? So what?

  • In the US, the top 10% make 45% of the personal income.
  • People are making more money - those top 10% are earning a larger chunk of the overall income than they did in 1990.

Wait, you've still lost me, this makes no sense.

  • This is where income inequality comes into play...
    • The purchasing power of the upper class has gone up.
    • The purchasing power of the middle class has gone down (same purchasing power, but less people in it).
    • The purchasing power of the lower class has gone down even further.

Hmmmm.... so?

  • Well the lower class has grown, but there is less money to go around to each individual family.
  • But wait, above you said the salaries went up?
    • Yes people make more money, but when you look at how the cost of living has increased, wages in the lower class have not kept pace.
    • And technically poverty has gone down, but the number of people on the verge of poverty is going up.
    • And those who are poor are "more poor" than before.
      • Even in lower class, there are two designations .. working poor and underclass.
      • The US outpaces most first world countries in "working poor" .. you guys work, you just get paid diddly squat for your efforts.

AHA!

  • "The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer."

I would also be negligent if I didn't mention skin color / privilege. Much of the above can also be broken down further. White people are moving up more than non-whites. It's a fact, deal with it. White privilege is real when it comes to income.

The reality is that more people in middle class sit closer to that bottom 60% threshold to be considered middle class than ever before (i.e instead of a nice distribution through the 60-200 range, people are moving up and down with fewer in the middle). That's what I mean by more people are moving down. People in lower class and lower-middle class are having more trouble than ever in purchasing the necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter). In fairness, many of them are blowing too much money on perks like cell phones but are we really that petty? Everyone one wants nice shiny things and cell phones and internet access are becoming as normal as fruit of the loom underwear. We as a society promote it, require it, and look down on people who don't have a nice new cell phone.

Sorry I don't have any great sources for you, I can try and get some if you're really interested. It may not seem like it, but I'm trying to be considerate of both sides ... many people are better off than they were 20 years ago or are doing better than their parents (I'm one of those .. my old man worked 70-80 hours a week as a landscaper when I was really young just to pay rent and put food on the table. He worked his ass off .. but I'm white and going to university was always in my future). It's a problem that can be solved, but it takes the desire to solve it from the people in the middle class and upper class. At the moment, in the US and Canada there is very little desire from that part of the population.

That's why I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes and I have no qualms about requiring those who make good money to pay either. They're not suffering because of an extra $500 in taxes, but those in the lower class are. Besides, almost 100% of the money they're (lower class) spending on cell phones, food and rent are going right back into the economy. How much of the money Bezos earned in the US is going back into the US economy? You can bet it's a lot less than 100%.

 

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