billionaires

a very trendy topic in the 2020 US political campaign is centered around billionaires, wealth taxing, and how to fix ‘capitalism’

I don’t think any country is only ‘capitalist.’ Sure, the United States is more capitalist-ish, but still sprinkled with a little government intervention, anti-trust policies, and socialist social security cherry on top.

Should billionaires exist though?

They have incomparable power to the middle class – in the form of monetary power, political influence, and status.

Those with money can do great things in the form of business, philanthropy, and advancing the economy and generating wealth.

On the other hand, they can also use it in corrupt ways to forward their own agendas. Of course, we all are selfish and will look out for ourselves, but it is the wealthy that can have a significant impact on their actions. Take for example the college scandals where famous people paid upwards of $500K to get their children into universities like USC. But seriously, if you’re going to pay that much money anyway, shouldn’t it be Harvard or Princeton? Political campaigns are also dependent on funds, and lobbying is a big way for the wealth to push their political agendas.

My fellow business colleagues probably share my ideals – either consciously or subconsciously – and that is we wish to be wealthy. The billionaires club is an admirable position – one that holds a lot of power for the 1% of the 1%.

Jeff Bezos is worth over $100+B (likely less after his divorce settlement), but a lot of his wealth is held up in stock, or non-cash. No one has billions dollars sitting in one bank account, because 1) that’s too much cash to hold 2) you’d probably want several banks accounts for insurance and 3) cash does not generate more wealth – investments do.

Income taxes then don’t really work on those super-wealthy especially if you are one of those big-tech CEO’s that claim a salary of $1, or Warren Buffett who has an income of $100,000 while being worth over $80B.

US politics is all very interesting and I get to watch it in a detached way without legitimate pressure to influence politics. So we’ll see where these wealth-tax plans come into play and whether or not they’ll be a favorite in the 2020 campaigns. I for one am watching Andrew Yang because I like his economics and business background, interesting take on capitalism and socialism mix through UBI, and his slogan – MATH : Make America Think Harder. He’s also the opposite of President Trump – an Asian man who loves math.

 

slow and steady, sustainability, and space travel

It’s been over a month since my last post and I wanted to just get back into the game after my hiatus

The latest topic I’ve found interesting is space colonization and environmental sustainability on Earth

Of course, climate change and sustainability is a top issue for humanity and is perhaps the greatest challenge of the 21st century. I say perhaps because depending on where you live, climate change is on different degrees of importance. Even in America, climate change and global warming will vary in importance depending on the economic cycle. In a recession, society is more worried about the economy, job stability, and standard of living. While when America is in economic growth, there is more worry about the future, thus global warming and climate change become more of an important social issue (as it is now).

For developing countries, trying to survive the next day / few years, and getting out of poverty and maintaining economic stability is more important than climate change. We see this with China, which for decades sacrificed the environment to grow their economy. China is still the largest user of coal, but are now in we see a massive transition phase in China — they are now the largest producers and users of electric vehicles and green energy sources.

If we don’t make massive sustainability changes, we will eventually pass the point of no return in terms of destroying Earth’s environment and resources.

However, economists and social science predictors cannot factor in the growth of technology, and that is another aspect of potentially fixing the environment problem: space travel.

Perhaps we can find solutions for resources through space investigation. And of course, space colonization may prove a potential solution in the future. Keep an eye on Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

 

being satisfied

Economics teaches me to have unlimited desires

These desires drive me to be more productive, to be more efficient, to never settle

Philosophy teaches me to be more satisfied with what I have

Not a complacency, but an understanding

I am at a constant tension between wanting to do more, have more, give more, and with my inner self that simply wants to be happy and satisfied.

Does balance exist?

weekends

I have a love-hate relationship with weekends

I love them because it’s a time for me to rest

But I hate them because I am extremely unproductive when I don’t have obligations

I find it hard to efficiently do anything without some sort of order or commitment

Finding a balance will be key to future success

trying to do too much

I often feel like I am trying to do too much

  1. Teaching assistant for microeconomics
  2. Trying to write a book
  3. running two blogs
  4. a podcast
  5. 19 credits semester
  6. one independent study class
  7. side research for Upenn Wharton conference

Today I added two more things:

I am now trying to start a Pan-Asian Chapter at Villanova, and I am also now signed up to tutor the executive MBA class in introductory economics.

Other days, when I am sitting on the couch watching Netflix, I feel like I am not doing enough.

It’s a weird balance. Does balance exist for me?