The problem with extreme wealth inequality

This was my epiphany a few days ago walking back from the gym.

Obviously extreme wealth inequality is bad, but I think one of the worst things is that with extreme wealth inequality, you can start purchasing people (in the mercenary sense, not human trafficking).

Back in the Silk Road days, there’s like a whole mercenary/hitman category that you can pay someone to off someone.

But you need two conditions for this transaction to make sense:

  1. Someone that deems the money worth the risk
  2. Your status in society remains the same

Imagine two societies with 10 people with different wealth distributions

Society 1 distribution: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100
Society 2 distribution: 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 505

In society 1, the guy with 100 can probably pay the guy with 10 to do something risky, but the incentive for the guy with 10 is very low, because even if he gets paid 30, his status in society doesn’t really elevate by much, and the guy with 100 can’t offer more because he would drop his status in society.

Whereas in society 2, the guy with 505 can literally bring someone to be the second richest person while remaining as the top dawg. In this case, you’re very likely to get someone to do bad things for you, because afterwards they will become the top 1% with you.

That’s pretty dangerous.

Rich ppl would buy up all them gpuz

How does one “change their status”? Are we talking about a closed system here?

Yeah. Loosely defined.

I would posit that in Society 2, the “505” would essentially be the gov’t.

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I think the problem with your example is that in real life, you only have to pay someone as little as a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to do something risky. The entry cost for getting someone to do something risky/illegal is remarkably cheap.

Is it that cheap? You’d think presidents would get assassinated more often, if not every single election, if that’s the case, given how polarized our society is and how everyone wishes every political candidate dead on every forum.

According to true crime TV shows it’s like a few thousand dollars

Maybe you can say Trump got pretty close to making that happen with the whole capitol riot thing

I think one problem with this is that with our checks and balances you would have to kill a large number of people to effect political change in the direction you want and that would take the resources of a nation state to make that happen in what would basically be an act of war. So very few normal or even very rich people have the incentive to carry that out.

One reason why I think Trump managed to survive his term was that Pence would be his direct replacement.

That being said, according to Wikipedia there have been at least seven attempts on Obama’s life.

As mentioned by AC/DC

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Presidential assassination is difficult because significant resources are expended to ensure that an assassination does not occur. It would be very easy for some to assassinate me because almost no resources are used to protect me. However, there are precious few people who would benefit from my death. At the end of the day, it is a question of ROI. Does the gain exceed the cost and for the people who have the resources to expend, it does not.

Wasn’t necessarily thinking of presidents so much as people who annoy you.

I’ve heard that the average street corner dealer is making around minimum wage while working a job that could send them to prison for years. A number of around $10k frequently gets thrown out for how much some of the gangs in/around Vancouver are paying to off people who are targeted for death for getting on the wrong side of one gang or another. You often hear of people hiring a gunman to kill off a spouse or an ex for mid-hundreds to low thousands of dollars.

Almost 10% of our presidents have been assassinated. A couple more wounded. Almost a third have had attempts made against them.

There’s a reason why every member of the immediate family of the sitting President has a SS agent assigned to them 24/7.

I wonder if they play boardgames together or something. Might be weird to just have a silent guy standing there all the time.

He or she is not “silent” when they’re talking into their cuff links.

Well then I’d have to ask if he’s talking about me. I have a right to know!