David Koch's Death Reminds Us That Billionaires Are the Black Holes of Society



This 2014 study, finding that government policy is driven by the wealthy, not by citizens, is worth bringing up again:

Short version:

Long version:


@3 No. It's driven into failure by "the best people" — otherwise known as an oligarchy.


Trillions of dollars are stashed in off shore accounts by the very wealthy.

IT IS MORAL when immense poverty is caused by these people. The oligarchy. When people go hungry, destitute, desperate, unsheltered because of this incredible greed and selfishness. When ignorance and lies are used to delude people. To keep us off the track about who is causing this misery. When being poor is criminalized by this system. I give you the Trump regime as an example of the ruthless con job going down as well as all the corrupt politicians who lie to us. We must unite. Stand up and fight back.


@1, @3, & @5: Just remember all that when the current Err of Trump regime takes your healthcare away when you lose your job to machines (i.e.: no labor costs = more tax exempt corporate profits--WA-HOOO!). Oh, and you're homeless because you can't afford forever rising housing costs, either (i.e.: kill the middle class and kick out the working locals to make way for all those Trump Tower luxury penthouses at a cool $25 million a pop). Take off that ridiculous MAGA cap, Kokonut Kenny, before your head caves in. Luckily idiots like you are Making America Think Again.
@2 Urgutha Forka, @4 Professor History, and @6 Ivy R. Nightscales: Thank you and bless you.


David Koch is dead? Good riddance. Hopefully Charles is next. One down, so many more in the Err of Trump to go.


I hope you feel better now, Charles. But something tells me your next dyspeptic episode is only moments away.


You are making progress, Charles, but you are still making fundamental category errors, too.

Capitalism is an apologia, not a culture. A culture, in turn, is not a political economy. A large culture might contain several political economies, and a large political economy often encompasses many different cultures.

There is a data-driven field of study in addition to political economy (or "economics") that does not ask questions about morality or politics, but simply observes the state of a given political economy in whole or in part, directly measuring the position of resources as if they were protons or neutrons, noting where they are created, where they go, how long they last. This is variously called "econometrics," "microeconomics," or "accounting," depending largely on who is doing the measurement and why.

Using these observations as a basis, one can attempt to construct a mathematical model of the generation and movement of all resources through a particular political economy. This attempt is called "macroeconomics," and the models it generates are best referred to as "macroeconomic models."

There have been many macroeconomic models proposed, most of which have been shown to be incorrect-- the political economies do not behave the way the models say they should.

The first macroeconomic model which seemed to get a lot of things right was developed at the end of WWII, and attempted to describe a number of industrialized, western, non-Communist, war-mobilized political economies. It was relatively simple-- it involved relatively few formulae, each formula contained no more than two or three variables, and each variable was meant to describe a fairly straightforward, measurable aspect of a political economy.

This macroeconomic model is still the basis of every Macroeconomics 101 course, even though it is no longer used much by governments, firms, or academic researchers. It is called the "Neo-Keynsian" model or sometimes just "Keynesian," though Keynes himself never expressed his ideas as a single mathematical framework. It is very much "orthodox economics"-- Keynes' moral and political ideas fell out of favor, but the abstract mathematical model derived from his work never did-- it just came to be regarded as too simple for "serious" work, a sort of "nice start" suitable for undergraduates.

Piketty's inequality "r>g" is not a law, and Piketty does not call it a law. It is a description of one possible condition within the Neo-Keynesian mathematical model. Piketty shows that when this condition holds, by simple algebraic transformation of the model*, inequality will increase within this macroeconomic model.

Piketty's own work is in measurement, rather than model-building. His achievement in "Capital in the 21st Century" is the compilation of data for the US and several European political economies. When this data is plugged into the Neo-Keynesian framework, Piketty shows that r < g held for a portion of the 20th century, and that this changed around 1980, roughly, and every since then the data combined with the model show r > g.

Capitalism is an apologia, not a culture. "r>g" is a condition, not a law. And leave Hawking radiation out of this-- physicists still don't even have any workable ideas about how to design an experiment that might prove or disprove the theory.

(*) Piketty does refer to components of the Neo-Keynesian framework as "laws of capitalism", e.g. "α=r×β" and "β=s/g". This is both unconventional and unfortunate.


@8: To clarify, I mean Charles Koch, not Charles Mudede
@9: TeeHee, you're not fooling anyone. Quit snorting nitrous oxide and get a nap.


@12 I know, I know, our Bumbling Mudede's refusal to engage with numerical reasoning can get pretty tiresome. But he does not need to learn differential equations here, he just needs to recognize the difference between models and the phenomena they attempt to describe, to remember that "the map is not the territory."


how much money has Charles given to cancer research?


@14...less than the annual Koch bro hooker bill. Also less than David K. (Billionaires and cultists apparently) gave to the coal industry on a monthly basis.


Sorry, Ijeoma, but dancing on his grave is something he would likely welcome:



Monsters come in all Classes.


"the ownership of even a billion dollars exerts great downward pressure on the workers in the middle and bottom of a class-structured society"
I understand in the future, Socialism based on barter will rule humanity throughout the cosmos. But for now, Capitalism AKA I will give you X fossil fuels to heat your home this winter in exchange for Y number of dollars, reigns Supreme. Maybe you are willing to trade heating oil for back massages, I don't know.
Would the world be better off without Billionaires? That's like asking would the world be better off without the free market, the ability to open new businesses, the ability to take a loan $245,000 loan from your parents that may never be repaid and start a business in a garage to try and change the world. Then 1 day that $245,000 investment by your parents becomes worth $30 Billion dollars. But Jeff Bezos parents are evil incarnate for owning $30 Billion of Amazon stock and should sell immediately to buy the Amazon rainforest because if they did, then the people who actually live in Brazil would stop torching it for farming land to feed their families.


@19 I think you might be slightly overestimating the number of American parents who have a quarter million dollars available to lend to each of their children.