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Forum Post: Bill Gates has more wealth that the bottom 45% - Linux anyone?

Posted 11 years ago on July 23, 2012, 3:01 a.m. EST by jaktober (286) from Sonoma, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

A little "did you know" on: http://www.globalrichlist.com/

"Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has more wealth than the bottom 45 percent of American households combined."

Who else rocks Linux?




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[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

Buy used, buy local, buy in bulk, make your own, but especially don't buy new if at all possible. That large corporation grew so large because you traded more of your wealth than the product was worth.

If you continue to buy high and sell low you will become impoverished.

Buying products at too high a price.

Selling your labor at too low a price.

[-] 1 points by jaktober (286) from Sonoma, CA 11 years ago

You are a damn genius!!!

I love how you just phrased that. Perfect!

[-] 1 points by know1 (210) 11 years ago

Wouldnt he have more than that. The bottom 45% has nothing

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

let's see: x amount divided by zero = infinity. Hmmm, that means Bill Gates has infinitely more money than the bottom 45%!

[-] 1 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

How is making Torvalds, or whoever holds the rights to Linux, richer then Gates going to help anyone?

[-] 1 points by jaktober (286) from Sonoma, CA 11 years ago

No one person or group gets paid for every computer that is shipped with Linux.

Microsoft get $100 (could be wrong) and, at least used to, require distributors to sign exclusive use (of Windows as the pre-installed OS) contract to get Windows. "With us or against us."

This has nothing to do with Gates personally, but simply his specific position in society.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Didn't give away the rights to linux and open up the code for all to improve.

I hope Torvald did get rich but I don't think it's the same as the monopolistic tactics of Gates/wintel.

[-] 1 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

Still a mystery to me how taking from Gates actually helps anyone.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

All the wealthiest must give more! They are the only segment of society that hasn't suffered as a result of the economic crash (that wealthy created, and benefit from still).

90% tax rate on income over $1million.

Thats fair.

[-] 1 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

I don't see the point in just making someone suffer because they haven't. I do favor a change in the tax codes. Unfortunately I don't believe there are enough rich people to pay for what we do as a nation.

I think we need to understand it's a process of several steps, In general we need to cut spending, the military is probably the bast place to start, but everything has to be looked at. Tax the rich, and then tax everyone else more to make up any difference.

The average American pays something like 25 to 28% in taxes in all forms. In nations like Sweden the average per person is closer to 45%. If we want European style government and care we all have to pay European style tax rates.

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 11 years ago

There aren't enough rich people to pay for what THEY MADE US do as a nation. Don't forget they own Congress so the own what Congress has done.

We need to get he economy working so that we can cut spending and of course the military is the best place to start. The next is to repatriate the $21 trillion that is invested here through tax cheating shells in the Caymans, Switzerland, Bermuda, Lichtenstein etc.and tax it from the time the shell was set up. Break up the banks and auction off the stock we hold in them, then sue them for the $trillions they have ripped off from the Federal Gov't, State Gov'ts, Improvement Districts and schools by rigging LIBOR and Bond bids. Then cancel all of the sweet heart contracts that were obtained by bribing Congress. Return to competitive bidding for 90% of what the gov't buys rather than 10% (the rest are no bid contracts and earmarks). By then we will be awash in money. Then we can save 20% off the top, getting rid of private health insurance companies' administrative and obscene profits costs with Medicare for all. There is $400 billion per year that can be saved in Medicare and more in Medicaid fraud (which will help state budgets) according to Reuters. That will get us started.

European total costs for services actually delivered, is far cheaper than ours, but we shouldn't go shopping until we have done the above. Then we can look at the piggy bank and go shopping. By the way, the DOD budget should be about $200-250 billion inclusive of Intelligence and without Iraq and Afghanistan, (you are on your own guys, just like our poor and middle classes. Good luck.) Spending as much as Russia and China combined is plenty.

[-] -1 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

There is a problem with that repatriate idea, it isn't all going to help the US as much as you might think. The money isn't just hidden by US citizens. It's estimated to be only $280 billion in tax revenues, but that's world wide, not just the US.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 11 years ago

Well, the either $21 trillion, or the $32 trillion, must be somewhere. And the whole point is to avoid taxation or in some cases it was embezzled from countries treasuries. If that were all transparent it would stimulate a lot of activity, increase tax revenues for many countries and make decisions better informed. It is a place to start.

[-] 0 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

I'm not saying it isn't somewhere where it could be gotten to, I'm saying a major portion of it does not belong to US citizens or residents, therefore the US government has no claim to it.

The articles about this money are about the superrich world wide, not just Americans. One of the articles I read a day of two ago makes the claim that the rich of China and other rapidly growing economies are the owners of most of this wealth. Their governments don't have the experience with tax law that Europe and the US have. So there are more loopholes.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 11 years ago

I understand that. But it is what it is. The European countries, most notable Germany, are after their tax avoiders. And my point is, if countries are generally successful, the dynamics of what follows is going to impact the economic picture going forward. There with be a short term impact. And longer term, where investments are made, what investments are in, and where they are, is all going to be different. You can make your own judgement how much will be positive or negative and for whom. BTW, the Chinese seem to learn disturbingly fast.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

But we can get it anyway right? You're not sayin we should let the 1% plutocrats hide their money from us in order to avoid paying taxes, right?

ONLY $280 billion? Could do a lot with that. And I bet it's a lot more than the estimates. And maybe we could levy massive penalties on it and take 90%. we might push that up to trillions.

HA!. Imagine that shit. That'll learn 'em. Greedy selfish bastards.


[-] -1 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

I'm saying the bulk of the money hidden away by the superrich belongs to other nations. It's being hidden, in large part, by the rich from emerging economies where the home nation doesn't have the experience with tax laws that the US and European nations have.

In other words it's money that isn't in US banks and doesn't belong to US citizens or residents. The US has no legal claim to it.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

and maybe we could take a couple of trillion from the non Americans! Why not? WTF are they gonna do.? Attack us?. LMFAO. Sue us? Please we could drag that out for decades. Meanwhile we could make money on the 2 trillion we took from those sorry non american plutocrats.

They probably made their money off Americans anyway.


[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I think you are mistaken. We have more millionaire/Billionaires than anyone. We have a well evolved sense of skirting tax laws. I think in fact lotsa that $21 trillion is American.

Whatever the amount lets take it. Lets take 90% of it. it could be trillions.

Even if is just 3 -4 trillion. We could do a whole lot with that.

[-] 0 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

I've found quite a few articles written in the past few days. Other then saying it is a global problem I haven't been able to get a nation by nation breakdown. The number is certainly large, some articles say $21 trillion, some say $32 trillion. The tax due on that money though is rather small, compared to the amount hidden. If you found all the money belonged to US individuals we're only talking about $280 billion to maybe $450 billion in taxes.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Add a 90% penalty. get that number up to a few trillion.

That's fair. And that'll do it.

And lets grab some non American trillions. "Oops was that yours? Just fill out this form we'll get back to you"

That'll learn 'em!

[-] -1 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

You can do anything you want with the tax laws. There are already penalties, you just have to find the money and tie it to an individual. I don't know how much is subject to US taxes anyhow and remember it's not in US banks, it's all on foreign soil.

As long as you're daydreaming about taking the money you might as well talk about putting together a seal team to go rob foreign banks.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

We run the whole goddam planet we could do anything we want.

Some kinda hack xfer, Drone those banks if they don't turn over the cash. Of course I don't know the 1st thing about how to get he money. but I not gonna look for reasons not to.

Our govt won't do a whole lot anyway. But they could & should.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

I'LL bet a lot of that hidden money was money that our government sent out as humanitarian aid to other countries - aid that never made it to the people of those countries.

[-] 0 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

We can speculate forever. Even if what you say is correct, when you give something away you give up your rights to it. It's not ours now and there is no way legal way to claim what belongs to foreign nationals that don't live here.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

What I am after is the stopping of abuse - the abuse of money by the greedy is one of those abuses that needs to end. Any money as can be traced should be traced and proper taxes applied. We have to end this culture of screwing society so that the individual can be obscenely wealthy.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

We should cut taxes on lower/middle income people. Raise taxes on the wealthiest. They ain't gotta suffer. And they won't. They just gotta pay their fair share.

Look, the 1% are hoarding trillions of dollars after the largest redistribution of wealth from the 99% to the 1% over the last 30 years. We did everything they wanted (cut their taxes, cut their regulations) with the promise that they would be the job creators. Instead they took our money and sent our jobs overseas. They bust our unions, they raise our health care costs, steal our pensions, keep our wages low. They crashed the world economy and lost 40% of our home value.

They have breached the agreement. We want our money back. With interest! 29.99% interest thank you very much.

Help the real job creators (the middle class) cut their taxes and forgive their cr card, student debt, and mtg. Then the economy will take off.

It's simple. Oh and certainly cut out all govt waste, and fraud, corp welfare, eliminate all tax loopholes/deductions for corps/people who make over a $million. And cut the military in half! (We will still be more powerful than all our adversaries combined)

You disagree?

[-] 0 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

I simply used the word suffer because your did, obviously the rich won't suffer. Unfortunately nothing is simple when it involves money and legislation. It may be simple to say but not simple to do. A unified national movement for tax reform needs to develop, one that stresses no loopholes, no deductions.

I see a real problem getting support though if you tie forgiving debts to this. Simple small steps might be better. Focus on taxes, or cutting waste and corporate welfare first. Debt forgiveness might not even be necessary. If you try to get a law through that does too many things at once you'll have too many different interest groups against you.

Placing aside the arguments for such action for a moment. While these problems may be serious, they are still the problems facing a minority. If I bought a home and could afford and pay my mortgage, don't have or paid off my student loan, don't have credit card debt. I'd likely work against a law that essentially rewards poor decisions.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Well it ain't poor decisions creating the problem. that is the conservative talking points used to prevent help for the middle class financial victims of the 1% plutocrats.

You are correct that my suggestions are probably not doable. I submit though that it would work. The debt forgiveness in fact should not be presented as forgiveness. It should be the appropriate justice that banks refund the lost home value if they are found to have create the loss.

There are ways to do this. Very difficult if not impossible I know. The repeal of loopholes, deductions must be applied to the wealthy not the working/middle class. We've already sacrificed during this great recession.

[-] 1 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

I haven't conducted any kind of survey, but in reading some of the worst cases of student debt, it looks more like poor decisions then someone in black top hat and cape forcing a student into a bad college loan. My father worked an extra job for years and both my brother and I worked to put ourselves through State schools. Giving someone loan forgiveness, that borrowed to go to a private school or take unmarketable majors, makes me feel like it's punishing my efforts.

I don't have a mortgage, but I imagine I'd feel the same way if I bought a home I could afford and made the payments. If you want to go case by case to ensure that it was actual bad behavior on the part of the bank and not some fool over borrowing to take vacations or buy a home he couldn't afford in the first place. Then I could support that.

Hard to see how you can fault anyone for credit card debt other then the borrower. But again I'd support a case by case review. If it can be demonstrated that the bank is at fault then fine.

The working man doesn't qualify for many deductions, even the home mortgage deduction doesn't always do much more then the standard deduction would. Most other deductions don't come close to beating the standard deduction.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

If borrowers have a bad mortgage it is likely the bank is responsible, since they were "the smartest guys in the room" and are supposed to know better. It is pretty well documented that they gave many borrowers subprime loans when they qualified for better terms.

I think we need to stop blaming the victims. I think we need to stop measuring help for others against ourselves. How can we say we shouldn't help that guy 'cause it doesn't help me. We gotta get beyond selfishness.

If you have been the victim of a crime you should be made whole. Even if it doesn't help your neighbor who wasn't a victim. If your neighbor was a victim he should also have justice.


[-] 1 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

I don't see it as a benefit to society to reward bad behavior. I don't believe all those in trouble with their mortgage are victims. There were many speculators and also people that refinanced based on rising values, just to get extra money. Those people were every bit as greedy as the banks.

As I said, go through it one by one and determine who was foolish, they are on their own, and who was a victim of fraud, they get some help at the bank's expense. There isn't a one size fits all answer.

Same with student loans, someone that just had to go to Columbia or some other high priced school and then majored in something like comparative religion is on their own. They are not a victim.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I also don't see iy as a benefit to society to reward bad behavior. I blame the conartist bamkers. You appear to lookin for blame with the people who lost everything.

I can't blame the victims of the financial scam. It is a simple matter of seeing who got away with the loot. The people you are blaming have lost their homes and their life savings. The banks scammed us for years took our bail outs and increased their profits, pay, bonuses.

They should be made to pay because they exhibited the "bad behavior" as you suggest. Reckless, and irresponsible with our money.

We just disagree on who's to blame. I blame the banks, you blame the good, honest, hard working, American homeowners.

[-] 1 points by MichaelB (128) 11 years ago

What I'm saying is it's not a case of everyone in the group that is facing foreclosure was a victim of a scam. Those that were should be helped, but there were some that simply were greedy and they should be held to the conditions of their loan.

We don't punish everyone in a group when several members commit a crime. Identify the individual crime and establish a remedy one case at a time.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

And I'm not sayin every banker scammed us. just most. I'll find the corrupt bankers. heh heh heh!

You go after the good, honest, hard working, American homeowners who lost everything.

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 11 years ago

No, what is simple is using any one of the hundreds of online mortgage calculators to figure out what one's mortgage payment will be. The banks are in the business of selling you something, just like a car salesman. It is up to the consumer to know whether or not you can afford something. If someone making $18K a year walks into a BMW dealership and drives out in a new 5-series do you really think it is the salesman that is responsible for that foolish purchase?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

The bank is absolutely responsible. I had to be pre approved for all my real estate purchases. It ain't buyin a car we're talkin about. Have you bought real estate.?

In any event, I'll go after the corrupt bankers (who got away with the loot) and you go after the good, honest, hard working American homeowners who had their homes foreclosed on and lost their life savings.

Use your head. Follow the money. Banks are still livin phat and large off our bailouts. Their still giving themselves millions in raises and bonuses. Are you kiddin?

Where've you been?

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 11 years ago

The bailouts were a travesty. The banks should not have been bailed out any more than those who lost their homes were bailed out, which was none. I am not going after anyone, I am just for people dealing with their bad decisions, whether they be homeowners or a huge bank.

And yes, I own a home and a few rental properties. For each one I checked around for the best rate I could be approved for and then obviously knew what my monthly payments would be, and how that would work into my budget. Unfortunately their are a lot of people who fail to take these steps. I think people fail to appreciate that banks are essentially selling the consumer a product in the form of the mortgage.

I feel for people who lost their jobs due to the economy but a lot of the foreclosures were due to people just living beyond their means. Those foreclosed homes become cheap homes or investment opportunities for others though.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

You did say "approved", so you do realize the banks are responsible for verifying that the borrower has the right numbers. Banks were reckless and irresponsible. Not the borrower. vast majority of borrowers were honest responsible people.

As you point out many homeowners lost there jobs, well I submit banks poor behavior created the economic crash and so are culpable in those foreclosures as well.

I'll go after the criminal banks, I'll let others focus on the good, honest, hard working American homeowners who were victimized by the reckless banks who crashed the world economy, lost 40% of home value, and created an unemployment crises going on 4 years.

Good luck


[-] 0 points by BPF53 (-3) 11 years ago

Get a friggen life!!! So what Gates started with nothing but an ideal and made billions...100's of millions he gives to charity!!! Maybe if you didn't go to college for basket weaving and took a trade worth something you could start a business! And Tax the rich 90% what idiots, get a life, grow up and make your own millions then give 90% of what you make to some bum who dropped out of school, what a bunch of "Useful Idiots"!! You are all probably using Windows, etc to complain about the very application you use to rant about.

[-] 1 points by jaktober (286) from Sonoma, CA 11 years ago

I love it! I've been basically saying the same thing but not the "idiots" part.

Check out my other posts here:


I do use Linux; Ubuntu to be exact. I want to get rid of the income tax, not increase it. I make money from my website, farm, volunteer on political campaigns (not protests) and paid for college (English and Political Science) in cash by working full time (and attending a State School).


[-] -1 points by Porkie (-255) 11 years ago

Bill Gates has the wealth and we have all joyously contributed to that wealth; we have, and do, glorify and aid in that celebration of an American success: Long Live the King (as long as he does not impede innovation).

[-] 0 points by jaktober (286) from Sonoma, CA 11 years ago

I kicked a bit back in college when I bought a Dell. However, I never bought an X-Box (though I worked on some games for it) and currently run Linux.

You got to at least agree we should be hooking poor countries up with free open-source (and computers) and not getting them locked into Windows: http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/46808/

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 11 years ago

I think poor countries are probably more concerned with things like, you know, food and medicine, rather than getting computers with Linux.

[-] 1 points by jaktober (286) from Sonoma, CA 11 years ago

No doubt they'll want to have some computers to help facilitate their government and medical infrastructure to help get said food and medicine...

One does not sacrifice the other.

[-] -1 points by Porkie (-255) 11 years ago

I don't know; I do a lot of history, you know? And if I look around at most of agri-rural America, at the small towns and communities, what I often see are rather large 19th century Victorians; on the coast, we see the homes of sea captains. All of these homes were constructed entirely by hand; everything was the product of human labor, which due to demand in a world without mass transport and the competitive product, commanded a rather high price. I think in terms of an overall average, that opportunity for lifestyle comfort was far greater in the 19th century.

I don't think that technology is necessarily a good thing; while it has served wealth well, is has also served to exasperate the divide; in effect, doomed us to an eventual industrial demise because so many who buy their way to comfort through labor are denied.

We approach the subject of the world's poor in the very same manner we've approached the primitivism of the Native America; but the truth is we are worlds apart, their thoughts are not as our thoughts, and they do not even remotely share our vision. Your desire to wire the world is your desire to impart your vision.

The world we created was the product of intellect, ambition, and determination, applied to a world of abundance; many regions of the world do not have this abundance and I don't think technology is the answer; in fact, I don't think there IS an answer, nor do I believe there should be - evolution guides all, including the supposed benevolence of our imparted vision.

I don't fault Gates for being a self-made-in-America businessman; rather I glorify his success. (But yea, Linux is gaining - so what?)

[-] 0 points by jaktober (286) from Sonoma, CA 11 years ago

"Your desire to wire the world is your desire to impart your vision. "


This is my vision: http://freeindependentsun.com/zen/2012-enlightenment-theory-appendix/

I farm and work with my hands. Having a tractor is a huge help! I use power tools all the time to build stuff. Sometimes I just use a hammer.

Without technology there is no Occupy.

I'm curious about your view on Anti-Trust laws: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft

[-] -1 points by Porkie (-255) 11 years ago

Well, I followed that story, too. The truth is the wired world that all sought demanded the tool that MS developed; an OS without improved Internet capability was useless to us, and it was only natural that they should be "bundled"; how else to achieve this?

I felt that the court had overstepped itself in ruling a breakup; MS was responsible for all - Bill Gates created both the product AND the market. I think, in agreeing to make its source code available to competing developers, that all was settled rather nicely. I think the world owes a debt of gratitude to Bill Gates and the best of it is yet to come. Simultaneously, I fear it may have exponentially hastened our demise.

Linux is cool but it hasn't really kept up in the user friendly department; likewise better browsers are now available.

No blood, no foul, and all's well that ends well.

It's hard to explain my view of the Internet but as I have stated in the past I see it is the physical manifestation of mass mind; more it is the "hardware," we are the "software," and in this case, it is an intelligent software completely capable of directing the self-creation of its own destiny.