Some quick back of napkin economics here fellow junior, deputy, official, aspiring, or otherwise economists!
So I was on another hike, enjoying the decline, like I do, and got to kicking around a couple questions about wealth. Specifically,
"How long could "the poor" live off of "the rich" if we finally decided just to confiscate and redistribute the wealth like so many of our democrat and socialist friends would like?"
First understand a couple statistics and facts.
One, there is an estimated $62 trillion of wealth in the US currently.
Two, the "rich" defined as the top 20% own 85% of it, so $52.7 trillion.
Three, of the $3.6 trillion federal budget, $2.2 trillion or 60% of that is spent on wealth transfers.
Four, the states spend roughly the same amount as the feds and have roughly the same percentage going to wealth redistribution (again, this is "back of napkin" economics, not "break out the Cray super computer and run complex models that will fail anyway" economics). So add another $2.2 trillion for a total of wealth transfers of $4.4 trillion.
Now, if we decided to "stick it to the rich" and "solve everybody's problems" and confiscated all $52.7 trillion of those hated rich people and divide it by the $4.4 trillion in resources the "poor" consumes, that wealth transfer will last them a whopping:
Now I'm being INCREDIBLY optimistic because I'm ignoring a couple things.
First, this assumes you can just confiscate the wealth of rich people without it having a direct impact on the market value of that wealth. If you decided that 80% of the wealth was to be communal, the stock market would tank, immediately driving the wealth that could be confiscated well below $52.7 trillion.
Second, this also assumes the economy would even continue to function so the parasitic classes could spend their stolen-gains on said goods and services. With 80% of the wealth taken out, I doubt grocery store owners, energy producers, engineers, doctors, and all the people that produce the actual STUFF that gives your $52.7 trillion in cash value would bother showing up for work. So this essentially ignores the fact that the grocery stores and car dealerships would be empty and very optimistically assumes the dollar would still be accepted as a medium of exchange.
Third, it also assumes the "rich" sit idly by and don't ship their money offshore. That all those lawyers and accountants are on vacation at the same time so as the legislation slowly moves through congress, rich people are completely unaware of the handgrab coming their way.
Of course, real economists such as you, me, our lieutenants and agents in the field know the economy would collapse immediately, but I still like to argue with the mental handicap of an envious and lazy liberal who deems themselves entitled to other people's money. It proves, even with their rosy assumptions about how the real world works, that their ideology is impossible.
Enjoy the 12 years!