Seamus: Man, the government really has to get spending under control. Bob: HOW can you be concerned about something like GOVERNMENT SPENDING when rich fat cats like Jeff Bezos get to have 159 billion dollars when the rest of us are so poor? If anything, we NEED the government to confiscate their wealth and spread it around! Seamus: AAAAAAAAAKSHULLY Bob: GAHHHH!!!!! Seamus: That might be a bit short sighted, Bob. Bob: How so? Seamus: Well, first of all, to take the example of Jeff Bezos- that 159 billion has has isn’t liquid wealth. Bob: Not liquid wealth? You mean he can’t dive into his safe and swim in it? Seamus: No… liquid wealth is the amount of cash you have. Whereas your net worth is the value of everything you own, including assets. So if you have a house which is worth $100,000 dollars, own a business which is worth $50,000 dollars, and have a quarter in your pocket, your liquid wealth is 25 cents, and your net worth is $150,000 dollars and 25 cents. Bob: Oh... Seamus: Jeff Bezos is doing incredibly well- but it’s not as if he has 159 billion in the bank. He owns shares in a COMPANY which are worth about that much. So in order to seize his wealth, you would basically have to sell off Amazon. But selling all of his shares at once would lead to a massive devaluing of the company, so you would end up bankrupting him only to get a fraction of his initial wealth. And it would also result in massive layoffs, and in all likelihood kill the company along with all of the value it’s adding to the economy. Bob: I don’t care! Being a billionaire is a CRIME! They only make their money by exploiting others! Can’t you see that we could fix our economy if we rounded them up and confiscated their wealth? Seamus: Well, there are about 550 billionaires in the US. If we lived in a magical world where we could liquidate ALL of their assets WITHOUT devaluing any of them, we would shut down virtually all of the most profitable companies in the world for a one time lump sum of 2.5 trillion. Bob: 2.5 TRILLION!? WHOOOWEEE! Imagine what we could do with that! Seamus: Run the federal government for under 8 months. Bob… Man, the government really has to get spending under control.

Common Sense Soapbox


About this show

Short videos with a punchy, comedic tone and entertaining Socratic characters taking on trending issues and important concepts from a classical liberal perspective, written & animated by Seamus Coughlin.

Jeff Bezos Isn't as Rich as You Think

August 13, 2019

Bob thinks we should just confiscate all the wealth from all the billionaires in America to pay for government programs. But even if that were possible... would it even work?

Written by Seamus Coughlin & Jennifer Maffessanti
Animated by Seamus Coughlin
Produced by Sean W. Malone


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