[PODCAST Waypoints 41] Billionaire Proves Once Again That You Should Never Trust Billionaires

Feels like you can't go a week without some billionaire making it abundantly clear how deeply ingrained their greed truly is. Turns out that's what happens when you hold onto enough money to live off of without working for the rest of your life 10,000 times over. At a time when the working class in U.S. is working way more than they should be, it's particularly egregious to stand up and say "Not my billions!" It's also disappointing when some of the solutions proposed aim at treating symptoms of our capitalist society, instead of chipping away at the core issue. We discuss all of this and more on this week's Waypoints. You can listen to the full episode and read an excerpt below.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43kmjj/billionaire-proves-once-again-that-you-should-never-trust-billionaires

I’ve always wondered what kind of person I’d be if I won the lottery or something, because it seems like once you become a millionaire/billionaire your brain just starts becoming infested with worms.

Look at Notch for example.

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I will argue that Notch has always had worms in his brain.

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When did he start wearing that hat? That is probably when the brain worms took up residence.

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I don’t think you can really catch brain worms from the lottery. Mainly because it’s so much harder to delude yourself into thinking you “earned” that money by starting from “nothing” (i.e. a mere ten million dollar interest-free loan from your dad) to start a successful business or whatever. You’ll always know, somewhere deep down, that it was purely the luck of the draw. The real insidiousness of dipshits like Gates is that they think they actually did something to get where they are instead of just riding a wave of other people’s labour.

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I compare Notch to this because that’s kind of how it happened.

Dude stole a game idea, it went super viral, made him a millionaire, and then brain works surfaced.

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No, he was shit before. I’ve heard rumblings from before his minecraft days.

We just didn’t realize it because he didn’t have the huge platform he does now.

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“Huge platform” aka “Large bathroom in mansion to sit on the toilet and shitpost from”

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Listening to Patrick’s child care costs…I mean, I know it’s expensive, but how the fuck does anyone afford a kid, let alone more than one? His daycare cost alone is just shy of what my rent is. I can’t imagine paying both. I would need to make 2 or 3 times what I make now and I don’t even know how I’d get there.

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My philosophy for the past 5 years at least has been “you should not be able to make more than $400k a year in gross income”, and even that’s pushing it. There’s no reason for an individual to have more than that amount of money.

This might be me speaking from my Twitter bubble, but one thing that’s reassuring is how—despite the lush abundance of bread and circus in western society—we’ve started to see more unification around recognizing that the existence of billionaires begets countless amounts of human misery.

That does mean we’ll see those ultra-wealthy figures funnel even more money and power into right-wing reactionary voices on TV and online, unfortunately. Wealth and authoritarianism are codependent forces.

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Shoutouts to Miguel from Glixel, Wikia, etc. I dunno where he’s working anymore. :frowning:

As someone with a 10 week old baby, I can tell you that’s even worse when they’re younger, moreso if you have any interest in taking them somewhere that feels like they’re going to do more than just stick them in a high chair and let them sit all day.

It’s unbelievable especially when you consider how terrible the US is at taking care of parents, too, compared to the rest of the world. Absolutely no guaranteed paid leave and very little in the way of meaningful support (at least not without paying for it) once you walk out of the hospital. Daycares are overbooked and too expensive for what typically ends up being suspect moment-to-moment childcare. This is why conservative arguments against abortion are especially hollow and hypocritical; you claim to want to protect innocent life, but once that life actually enters the world you have zero interest in supporting it in any meaningful way. (And in fact, are likely to start, in the next breath, complaining about mythological welfare queens, when it’s no wonder plenty of parents need state assistance given what they’re up against.)

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Because Germany came up:

Parental leave here can be up to the time the kid is 3 years old but you are eligible for parental pay only 14 months of that and it’s 65% of your initial paycheck (or 28 months but it’s 32,5% of the paycheck … :€ ) so that’s blargh.

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Anyone who has a billion dollars either got up to some shady business or they got it from someone who did. No one should have a billion dollars, let alone $106 billion.

Bill Gates somehow got richer after leaving Microsoft as the richest man on the planet and giving money to charity. Clearly that didn’t take.

If you listen to the billionaires complaining about a wealth tax (which I don’t recommend - I’ll take that blow to my mental health for you), you notice something: it’s not the number that concerns them. They frequently have the numbers entirely wrong. It’s the idea that someone would tax them in particular that really gets their goat.

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To be honest that sounds like a dream. I’m trying to figure which of some not great options my son will have to attend at about four months old.

Just wanted to second Austin’s recommendation for David Harvey’s Reading Capital lecture series. I’ve taken social theory courses in college where we had to read the book’s first chapter, and despite my professor’s best efforts – someone who runs a Marxist sociology journal – he had so much trouble getting us to engage with never-ending descriptions on the exchange value of linen versus iron. Harvey, though, is far and away the best I’ve seen at explaining why these passages are there, how to go about reading them, and why it’s so necessary to internalize them before continuing on with the text. If you’re ever planning on attempting to tackle Capital for yourself, I highly recommend doing so alongside these lectures.

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My workplace has “unlimited” vacation time, and it very much works out like Patrick was saying. One of my coworkers, in fact, asked me whether I was planning to work on Monday, which is a federal holiday. He suggested he might end up working from home for a little bit.

(Even my boss, who was not present for that conversation, simply said, “See you Tuesday,” on his way out of the office.)

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The weirdest part about US (and to a large extent, Canadian) presenteeism is that tons of people work for multinational corporations that have employees in countries with stronger labor laws. Like, I have colleagues in Germany who do the same work as me for comparable pay, but they get 6 weeks off a year, plus another week for Christmas. I on the other hand get 3 weeks off a year. And guess what? We’re all about equally productive. It’s such a stupid double standard that I don’t know how anyone can justify it.

Also, when I was interviewing for my job, the company was more than happy to negotiate salary. But if I brought up time off, even if I was willing to give up pay, it was a nonstarter. 3 weeks off, another at 10 years’ service, non-negotiable. Even my bosses boss is subject to this and it baffles me how everyone is ok with this madness.

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Austin keeps saying he’s not running but I dunno, Austin underscore Walker 2024 has a ring to it…

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It’s the weirdest thing! My employer throws money at me like it’s free, but more vacation time is virtually non-negotiable.

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