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Wealth of Japan's richest surges nearly 50% during pandemic

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Usual tale. Rich gets richer, the poor poorer. The rich are also responsible for greater pollutions.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Of course, it did! That’s what all the government stalling and indecision was about. - “How can We get paid First? We’ll worry about the consequences, later”

12 ( +14 / -2 )

simple. tax them more and help those that are in dire need

10 ( +12 / -2 )

How about we start taxing THEM in order to deal with the government's ludicrous debt level instead of raising taxes on everyone else for a change?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

the country's 50 richest people rose 48 percent to $249 billion 

For an average of 5 billion each huh.

“Thank” the central planners for their “stimulus” spending and easy money.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Disgusting.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Dreaming of the day when my wealth increases by 50% during this pandemic. Only dreaming.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"... tax them more and help those that are in dire need."

That's what Biden is working on right now with his capital gains tax hike proposal.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Essentially this is what naked capitalism naturally does. It sucks money from the poor at the bottom of the wide pyramid base to the top few.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Asset inflation,such as real estate and stock market prices, is directly correlated with stimulus actions by Central banks. Quantitative Easing is the term. It doesn't matter if it happens during a crisis or not. If you lend money to powerful organizations at a 0% rate they have to park it somewhere. Obvious place is stock market and real estate. Upper middle class realize this and jump on the bandwagon pushing it up further. The problem is that when assets increase in value, the purchasing power of the poor (who tend to only have cash) decreases. Another way to state it is that actually asset values haven't inflated; the dollar just got weaker. How can the value of an unchanged house increase anyway? Excessively taxing the rich will do nothing positive. They will find other ways to park their money or transfer it their kin. We need to stop free money to the elite. Stop quantitative easing. No such thing as too big to fail! How about never too small to succeed? Return the power of the dollar! That will benefit the poor more than a high-tax scheme.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

and how to talk about effect of 100.000jpy "help" and abenomask "help" for everyday hardworking taxpayers?

let me say no effects at all...no help at all...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The "tax them" mantra is beguiling but likely not helpful. 

It is both beguiling and helpful.

They already pay a huge percentage of the overall income tax take.

Well, if a guy makes 10,000,000$ a year and pays 20% of that in taxes then yes he will pay more than a guy who makes 50,000$ a year and pays the same rate, but that is hardly an equitable way of assessing the contribution of each.

Past experience shows that ultra high taxes on rich people do not lead to a closing of the poverty gap.

Actually no, the exact opposite of that is true. We used to have high tax rates on the wealthy in most developed countries until the 1970s and under that system in fact had a much much smaller gap in both income and wealth inequality (which, not coincidentally, rose when those tax rates on the wealthy were lowered).

5 ( +7 / -2 )

You really have to wonder how much more the system can prop up the obscenely wealthy, whilst kicking the rest of us (again and again) when we're down?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Stocks, stocks, stocks. Imaginary value in pieces of paper.

Thanks to Central Banking purchases of bonds, infinitely.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The worldwide trend during covid, are we missing something here? What if it wasn't the bat?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Time for a revolution.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If the rich Japanese shares their wealth, the government does not need to panic.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Rainy day Top rates of income tax are not 20%. 

I was just using round numbers for simplicity. I'm not sure in Japan but the effective tax rate (which is the actual percentage of income paid in taxes when all loopholes, deductions, etc are made) is estimated at 24.7% for the top income tier in the US, which is almost the same effective rate as that paid by the middle class.

And most of these excessively wealthy people's wealth is not traditional income but capital gains. 

Yes. And capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than employment or business income, so its another way the wealthy avoid taxes.

 Or they pay themselves dividends or other income that they can more easily shelter from local revenue enforcement. 

Dividends are taxed the same way as regular income. This is why wealthy shareholders prefer corporate surpluses be invested in share buy backs (which lead to capital gains) rather than income - they pay less tax on it.

Your second point is disingenuous. It wasn't redistribution that kept the wealth gap narrower in the past. It was the existence of proper jobs (secure, well paying) coupled with more restraint at the top echelon of many public companies around what execs got paid. 

You are partly right there. You are correct that it wasn't higher taxes on the wealthy alone that caused a narrower wealth gap and yes, those two factors (security of regular jobs and lower executive income) played a role too (as have others, like globalization and technological development de-valuing labor in the developed world). But higher taxes at the top rate were also a contributing factor. For example, research demonstrates that the rise in executive incomes is partly explainable by the lowering of top tier tax rates. Previously corporate executives had little incentive to abuse corporate governance practices to obtain higher pay since most of it would be taxed away anyway. Lowering the tax rate gave that incentive and helps explain the dramatic rise of their incomes.

ITs not the only factor, you are right. But its equally disingenuous to suggest that lowering of the top tax rate has not contributed to the increase in economic inequality - pretty much all researchers on the topic agree it has played a role (alongside other factors).

Truth is that taxation as a means of redistributing a nation's "wealth" is a not particularly effective mechanism. Ask people living on the dole or foodstamps or other state handouts how that's working out for them.

Well, you are conflating two factors there - taxes (raising government revenue) and welfare programs (spending government revenue). That paints too simple and misleading a picture. Yup, if all the revenue governments raise from taxes go to paying people to sit on their butts collecting unemployment, that isn't going to work. But that isn't how most government money is spent, nor should be spent, nor does it mean that tax policy can't be used to lower the income gap. If the money is spent on productive purposes - education, infrastucture development, etc - that lead to greater employment and income prospects for the middle class then it can have an extremely beneficial impact. That is a question of spending however, not of revenue generation.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

When they say Japanese people are hoarding their savings and household savings is increasing, this is the real group that moves the needle. The lower half has everything moving in the opposite direction.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This part has to be utterly disingenuous:

“Bucking the trend were Japanese tycoons whose companies operate pachinko parlors. Their businesses were badly hit by the pandemic.” -

Money continued to be ‘legally-laundered’ at an exponential rate while the pachinko businesses obviously “surged” before, during AND after any SOE’s, measures, etc. Have to call “B$” on this one!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why do you think it's lasted so long?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Well said!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Rainy day Top rates of income tax are not 20%. And most of these excessively wealthy people's wealth is not traditional income but capital gains. Or they pay themselves dividends or other income that they can more easily shelter from local revenue enforcement. Your second point is disingenuous. It wasn't redistribution that kept the wealth gap narrower in the past. It was the existence of proper jobs (secure, well paying) coupled with more restraint at the top echelon of many public companies around what execs got paid. The former have largely been outsourced, the latter has indeed fallen by the wayside as top management get greedier. Truth is that taxation as a means of redistributing a nation's "wealth" is a not particularly effective mechanism. Ask people living on the dole or foodstamps or other state handouts how that's working out for them.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Logical, as my one halved. lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ah. Following the worldwide trend of the inequality of wealth. 21st century version. Wealth should be taxed and billionaires should be kicked to the curb thru the use of a tax system that allows a modicum of wealth, but not billionaires.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If you haven't got anything, then how can you get any poorer ? Unless... the Government is withdrawing the basic support from you.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Note: I speak from the perspective of being in Japan. Not elsewhere within the World!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The list also had some new faces, such as...

A good news.

Hopefully, more and more people get richer.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

An asset bubble has formed due to the easy money policies of the Central Banks. The only thing shocking here is the low level of increases among these super-rich, compared with the super rich of other countries. Relatively speaking, the average $5B gain is stale bread compared to the rich pastries of uber rich in Europe and USA.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We used to have high tax rates on the wealthy in most developed countries until the 1970s and under that system in fact had a much much smaller gap in both income and wealth inequality 

In the 1970’s people were more equally poor. Woohoo

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The problem is that when assets increase in value, the purchasing power of the poor (who tend to only have cash) decreases.

Nope.

If my assets rise it price, it doesn’t mean that the price of bread necessarily rises.

If people want to see the poor became less poor, then the thinking that we have a fixed pie and it must be divided up evenly should end. Good intentions don’t ensure good outcomes.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

He who dies rich dies poor.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In the 1970’s people were more equally poor. Woohoo

No, today people are poor, in the 70s they had this thing called the middle class that most working people could belong to and be able to do things like buy a house.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Same worldwide. Largely due to asset price inflation caused by the ridiculous stimuli. Little of which reached those who have really been hurt by all of the restrictions. The "tax them" mantra is beguiling but likely not helpful. They already pay a huge percentage of the overall income tax take. Past experience shows that ultra high taxes on rich people do not lead to a closing of the poverty gap.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

With the way wealth disparity is heading we may urgently need some form of universal basic income.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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