Thread: The Sin of Wealth

There's been much discussion recently about millionaires like @berniesanders and @rbreich, who live relatively luxurious lives, attacking billionaires like @elonmusk for their recent paper gains.

The "sin of wealth" is not that "there's some high...
nominal asset value on paper". It's that the world has a finite capacity to produce goods and services. Money is an IOU on goods and services. When you use this IOU to direct a wasteful amount of goods and services towards yourself, it's unavailable to other people.
Contrarily, money that's invested is not doing harm - just the opposite. It's not consuming goods and services, but rather, it's helping create more capacity for goods and services. Let me reiterate: *money that's invested is a good thing*.
The question comes as to what's done when these paper gains are transformed into a real gains - something that has to be done slowly and methodologically over long periods of time, or the supposed gains vanish. Do you use the real assets to flood yourself with goods and services?
Or do you dedicate them to good causes?

This is the point of the Giving Pledge (to which Musk is a signatory): that the overwhelming majority of your assets will not be directed toward yourself, but towards good causes over the course of your life.
There is of course some nuance. "Overwhelming majority" != all, and billionaires - and yes, millionaires like Sanders and Reich - should be judged by how much of their assets they spend on themselves vs. how much they donate to charitable causes.
It's also certainly fair to judge the perceived value of said charitable causes to society, as reasonable people will always differ on this front - just like reasonable politicians disagree on the very same issue in terms of how to allocate tax money.
What's not fair is to insist that all paper gains be treated as instantly liquidatable real gains (they're not, and cannot be short-term liquidated for even a fraction of their value), or that it's even a good idea. Not simply because money invested in the market does good...
(creating goods and services), but because "charity dumps" are an inefficient way to spend money.

Let's say that your main goal was fighting rainforest destruction. Which would be more effective - spending $20B all in one year, or $1,6B per year *indefinitely*?
Just like with realizing paper gains, maximum benefits to good causes are achieved with a long-term planned disbursement. This should be *encouraged*, not *scorned*. Indeed, where charitable goals consume goods and services, rapid spending is highly inefficient.
So by all means, support - as do I - more equitable wealth distribution. Support higher capitals gains taxes (e.g. on realizing paper gains). But don't be stupid about it. The sin of wealth is about *wasting resources on yourself* - not about some nominal dollar figure.

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More from @enn_nafnlaus

23 Sep
Thread: Looking At Tesla's New Raw Materials

While most media coverage seems focused on Plaid, this was a battery event, and among the flood of fundamental rethinks about the way batteries are made are the changes in raw materials.
Anodes: traditionally these are milled graphite (natural or synthetic) optionally alongside a *small* amount of silicon. Tesla appears to be using *no* graphite. All of those graphite resources people have been trying to secure? Worthless. It's metallurgical silicon instead. Image
I've discussed how much of a step-up silicon is previously - ~3600mAh/g vs 372mAh/g for graphite, and nearly as good as Li metal (3860mAh/g, albeit at a slightly higher voltage). Note that Tesla won't *actually* be in the ~3600 range, as the polymer encapsulant adds mass. Image
Read 24 tweets
22 Sep
23 minutes to the event - hope you have your charity Battery Day Bingo cards in!

I'll be calling out things as they come in replies to this post, but you don't have to wait for me; they just need *official* confirmation in the event.
Things that happen at the shareholder meeting count, so long as they're specifically battery related! "Delayed start" will be relative to when the livestream starts, vs. the nominal start time. Stock prices relative to the price at 1:30.

Have fun!
Well, that's "Delayed start to the event" checked off!
Read 28 tweets
22 Sep
1/7 Love this:…

The government is trying to throw out an Egyptian political refugee family, but they went into hiding. So the police asked for tips. As a result, people are flooding the tip line with fake tips, sending the police on a wild goose chase.
2/7 This person told them that he saw them every day at the swimming pool in Eskifjörður. Which is a tiny town that's a nine hour drive away from the capital.
3/7 This person offered them a tip... that Sweet Chili PopCorners are a delicious, healthy snack, and offers a long list of reasons why one should choose them.
Read 8 tweets
21 Sep
As a reminder, tomorrow is our charity Battery Day Bingo, so if you haven't posted a card yet, make sure you do so before 1:30 PST tomorrow! Jackpot is $300 for the charity of your choice.

Generate a card here:

Rules here:
(Right before the Battery Bay event, I'll post a new thread, and call off card entries as they happen. Any card entries related to the stock price will be relative to the price at 1:30 PM PST. Anything more than 5 minutes will be interpreted as "Delated start to the event" :) )
** Delayed
Read 4 tweets
20 Sep

Tesla's Roadruner cells are said to be using new additives (any bets that NaPO2F2 is among them) and "the amount of DMC in the solvent will be greatly increased". This means "greatly decreasing" the amount of EC - a chemical that provides for the formation of.. Image
an excellent SEI (solid-electrolyte interphase, which protects the electrodes, particularly the anode), but has recently been indicted in various failure modes, including dendrite formation. EC also causes cell problems at low temperatures, as it has a high melting point. Image
EC freezing out of solution decreases the solvation ability of the remaining electrolyte, which causes lithium salts to precipitate out of solution - not only consuming them, but also covering the electrodes (increasing impedance) and potentially damaging the separator membrane.
Read 8 tweets
17 Sep
It's time for...

Winner gets a donation to the charity of their choice! Generate your own card here. Examples below!

Rules follow.
1. You can generate as many cards as you want (just re-click the link; there's 52 different possible squares), but you can only choose one. Post it below to enter the game. Only one card per person. "Second" twitter accounts can't play! ;)

2. Bookmark your card (recommended)
If you lose your bookmark, it's okay, you can mark it manually.

3. If you catch an entry called off during the presentation, mark it. I'll be the judge of what counts. This is not a democracy. ;) I'll start a new thread for the game when the presentation begins.
Read 6 tweets

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