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Old 5th March 2018, 02:21 PM   #1
Bob001
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The problem is too many billionaires....

The writer sees the proliferation of billionaires as evidence of a deeply flawed social compact:
Quote:
We love and defend our billionaires and multimillionaires; after all, we have more of them than any society in the world. The result is that our political system has been corrupted to third-world levels, our middle class has been reduced to servility and deep indebtedness, and a UN representative who recently visited the American South was shocked to find infant mortality, lifespans and hookworm infestations as bad as in some of the world's poorest nations.
https://www.salon.com/2018/03/04/how...ening_partner/
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Old 5th March 2018, 02:36 PM   #2
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The only problem with billionaires is I'm not one.
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Old 5th March 2018, 02:37 PM   #3
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If the billionaires went bankrupt the poor people would live longer and the worms would go away.
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Old 5th March 2018, 02:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
The only problem with billionaires is I'm not one.
That's literally everybody's problem with billionaires.

That's why the writer of this article (who I'm going to be very conservative and assume makes... middle class level income at worst) doesn't feel bad that the millions of people in the world living at a median per capita income of less than 3 grand a year. I'll eat my hat if this guy doesn't make that in a month.

"X is too much money" is always an arbitrary line drawn above what you make, never below. Funny that how that works.
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Old 5th March 2018, 03:19 PM   #5
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as automation takes more and more jobs there is going to be more billionaires, and more people who are struggling to put food on their plates as they lose work

something needs to change at the very least to find a middle ground
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Old 5th March 2018, 03:24 PM   #6
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I don't love and defend billionaires, so the writer is wrong to start with. On the general point, though, too much of the world's wealth is concentrated in the hands of too few.
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Old 5th March 2018, 04:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's literally everybody's problem with billionaires.

That's why the writer of this article (who I'm going to be very conservative and assume makes... middle class level income at worst) doesn't feel bad that the millions of people in the world living at a median per capita income of less than 3 grand a year. I'll eat my hat if this guy doesn't make that in a month.

"X is too much money" is always an arbitrary line drawn above what you make, never below. Funny that how that works.
I kinda cap it around here, at far higher than what I make. Also, because, like, science!

https://www.cnbc.com/id/50027184

I do admit to being something of a hypocrite, tho, in that while I fancy myself a social democrat-style "socialist", if I were given the ability to redistribute the world's wealth perfectly equally at the push of a button, I'd at least hesitate.

I can't help but imagine everyone in the world suddenly living in apartments that look like this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/v3ga/8087495577/

Or, as described in this satirical article about why Chip and Joanna Gaines quit Fixer Upper on HDTV:

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/...pean-brutalism

Quote:

So, no more shiplap. No more driving around in a pickup truck. No more lies.

Now we can say to the Smiths and the Prestons and all the other good families we’ve been blessed to work with: you are meaningless specks in the face of mechanization and the worker-state. Here is your concrete cube. We don’t care if you like it. It is functional enough for your purposes. Get over yourselves.
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Last edited by kellyb; 5th March 2018 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 5th March 2018, 09:18 PM   #8
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If we took all the assets from all the billionaires, and divided it equally, how much would YOUR share be? A week's pay?
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Old 5th March 2018, 09:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
If we took all the assets from all the billionaires, and divided it equally, how much would YOUR share be? A week's pay?
I looked it up. Around 1000 dollars. (Billionaires control 7.7 trillion dollars. There are 7.6 billion people.)
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Old 5th March 2018, 09:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
The writer sees the proliferation of billionaires as evidence of a deeply flawed social compact:

https://www.salon.com/2018/03/04/how...ening_partner/
Thom Hartman. I wouldn't trust him to water my lawn.
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Old 5th March 2018, 11:27 PM   #11
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Starts off with offensively bad history and continues from there. It is interesting to see a leftist try to shroud themselves in the American flag.

Otherwise it is the usual US left narrative lionizing FDR, Bernie, and Warren. It focuses on a few speeches or writings from historical figures to the exclusion of what they actually did (historically, FDR, the Democrats, and union leaders are probably what prevented the US from forming a Labor Party, and FDR saw himself as "the best friend the profit system ever had"). It offers no alternative system. It scapegoats the "morbidly rich" and ignores the system that they are bound by to "grow or die" as well.

Does inequality cause societal problems? Political problems? I would say there is research to support these claims, though this article doesn't go into it, but that inequality is itself a symptom.
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Old 5th March 2018, 11:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
If we took all the assets from all the billionaires, and divided it equally, how much would YOUR share be? A week's pay?
That's the wrong question. Why would you excluded multi-millionaires from the question?

1% of the world has as much money as the other 99% of the population.

Quote:
The richest 1% now has as much wealth as the rest of the world combined, according to Oxfam.

It uses data from Credit Suisse from October for the report, which urges leaders meeting in Davos this week to take action on inequality.

Oxfam also calculated that the richest 62 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.
That's an inequitable and unsustainable model.
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Old 5th March 2018, 11:48 PM   #13
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Billionaires have the ability to give their children optimal starting conditions in terms of health, nutrition, education and access to interesting people.
They don't have to leave them their billions, too.
From an economic and meritocratic perspective, there is no better tax than an inheritance tax, since it doesn't impact economic behaviour at all: no one dies later in order to spite the IRS.
We should set this tax at a low bar (maybe $1million) and make it very progressive: offspring skilled through nature and nurture will prosper anyway and those who aren't skilled shouldn't be able to get richer by doing nothing anyway.
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Old 6th March 2018, 12:04 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
The only problem with billionaires is I'm not one.
Beat me to it.
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Old 6th March 2018, 01:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
That's the wrong question. Why would you excluded multi-millionaires from the question?

1% of the world has as much money as the other 99% of the population.



That's an inequitable and unsustainable model.
There are plenty of reason why the current system is unsustainable, but scare statistics about the top one percent doesn't seem to be one of them.
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Old 6th March 2018, 02:08 AM   #16
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Why is it a "scare statistic", rather than an interesting illustration of the portion of the world's wealth held by the rich?
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Old 6th March 2018, 02:59 AM   #17
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No coincidence democracy arose lockstep with mercantilism, colonialism, land and resource grabs, and the early industrial revolution. Wealth spread beyond the landed gentry, and created a need for a new political system to handle so many competing and well-heeled interests without force: democracy. With rights, votes, and divine "manifest destiny" initially restricted to the new colonial masters, naturally, only becoming more universal under the weight of the logic of democratic postulates (political equality). Similarly, no coincidence democracy is gradually perishing under an intense new concentration of wealth in a winner-take-all, and increasingly labor-free, post-capitalist economy.

The reverse process is obvious, which is why democratic argument and its foundational postulate, equality, are today under constant withering attack by a ragtag band of sycophants to oligarchy, avidly lapping up the self-serving new "freedom" philosophies that are inimical to equality, spurred on by a sense there is more money available when dogs can freely eat other dogs. Political democracy is, in the end, the brainchild of an educated elite to fairly mitigate social and economic conflict, and therein lies its Achilles heel. And so we witness the greedy and violent men who, claiming to speak for democracy, today champion their freedom, their greatness, their greater right to spoils, as if these were not the same, age-old pursuits of oligarchs.
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Old 6th March 2018, 03:04 AM   #18
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For an economy to work, capital must flow between market participants: in fact, only people with the ability to spend or receive capital are active market participants.
On its own, capital will always flow from those with little capital towards those with a lot.
Only active redistribution or constant influx of new capital can keep the system going.
That is why Monopoly is the most destructive propaganda tool imaginable, since it trains people to keep up the obvious inequality in ability to make money by providing the players each round with more money to give to those with already too much.
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Old 6th March 2018, 05:34 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post

The reverse process is obvious, which is why democratic argument and its foundational postulate, equality, are today under constant withering attack by a ragtag band of sycophants to oligarchy, avidly lapping up the self-serving new "freedom" philosophies that are inimical to equality, spurred on by a sense there is more money available when dogs can freely eat other dogs. Political democracy is, in the end, the brainchild of an educated elite to fairly mitigate social and economic conflict, and therein lies its Achilles heel. And so we witness the greedy and violent men who, claiming to speak for democracy, today champion their freedom, their greatness, their greater right to spoils, as if these were not the same, age-old pursuits of oligarchs.
Very well put. Nominating!
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Old 6th March 2018, 05:46 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Billionaires have the ability to give their children optimal starting conditions in terms of health, nutrition, education and access to interesting people.
They don't have to leave them their billions, too.
From an economic and meritocratic perspective, there is no better tax than an inheritance tax, since it doesn't impact economic behaviour at all: no one dies later in order to spite the IRS.
We should set this tax at a low bar (maybe $1million) and make it very progressive: offspring skilled through nature and nurture will prosper anyway and those who aren't skilled shouldn't be able to get richer by doing nothing anyway.
If it is so great, why not set it to 100% for everybody?
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Old 6th March 2018, 05:59 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
That's the wrong question. Why would you excluded multi-millionaires from the question?

1% of the world has as much money as the other 99% of the population.
So then $2,000? The po' folks would blow it on Chinese consumer crap.



Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
That's an inequitable and unsustainable model.
Proof? Or more Soviet divisiveness subterfuge ?
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Old 6th March 2018, 06:03 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If it is so great, why not set it to 100% for everybody?
What are your moral objections to the inheritance tax? After all, it wasn't the heirs who earned the money, so you are not taking what's theirs.
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Old 6th March 2018, 06:06 AM   #23
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Old 6th March 2018, 06:11 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
What are your moral objections to the inheritance tax? After all, it wasn't the heirs who earned the money, so you are not taking what's theirs.
I didn't say I objected. Obviously, I do object because I find both taxes and grave robbing are theft. But it sounds like you are asking me to derail something when my question presumed none of this.
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Old 6th March 2018, 06:18 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
That's the wrong question. Why would you excluded multi-millionaires from the question?

1% of the world has as much money as the other 99% of the population.



That's an inequitable and unsustainable model.
I think all models are unsustainable. Also, rich people always pop up, and inequality tends to increase with time. I don't see a solution to that, and there are benefits to having well-off people. It's not an easy question or problem.
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Old 6th March 2018, 06:18 AM   #26
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How is the issue of wealth re-distribution a derail of a topic about having too many billionaires?

And, for the record, it would be 100% ok with me if the wealth of millionaires was burned with them on a viking burial or something - that should be ok with you, too, right?
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Old 6th March 2018, 06:21 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
How is the issue of wealth re-distribution a derail of a topic about having too many billionaires?

And, for the record, it would be 100% ok with me if the wealth of millionaires was burned with them on a viking burial or something - that should be ok with you, too, right?
Im not okay with it.
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Old 6th March 2018, 06:22 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
How is the issue of wealth re-distribution a derail of a topic about having too many billionaires?

And, for the record, it would be 100% ok with me if the wealth of millionaires was burned with them on a viking burial or something - that should be ok with you, too, right?
Please don't let the thread be Bobbed.
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Old 6th March 2018, 06:45 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker
Originally Posted by casebro View Post
If we took all the assets from all the billionaires, and divided it equally, how much would YOUR share be? A week's pay?
I looked it up. Around 1000 dollars. (Billionaires control 7.7 trillion dollars. There are 7.6 billion people.)
That is a nonsensical argument that keeps being repeated. Billionaires billions are mostly invested in production means, the very same pension funds have trillions invested in, so being good capitalists makes them a profit and makes profits for almost everybody else. Those production means aren't consumable by the public.

The problem is in the States, where taxes are centred in incomes instead of being centred in consumption. In that way you only can favour capital formation by damaging the governmental income structure, what is the essence of Trump's tax cuts. Other countries have their taxation system centred in consumption. Let's tax the companies benefits 20% or less and luxury expenditures 50% or more. Let's tax luxury property but let the companies that made the money that bought those to have more money to reinvest and create new jobs.

This is another topic with the USA going against the worldwide stream.
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Old 6th March 2018, 06:56 AM   #30
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The world doesn't work if one person has all the money.

The world doesn't work if everyone has, by mandate, exactly the same amount of money.

Between these two points, somewhere, there's an acceptable band and probably one or more optimum points. I don't know that there's any calculation that could tell you what it is. I'm fairly sure it's not where the world is now.
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Old 6th March 2018, 06:57 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
That is why Monopoly is the most destructive propaganda tool imaginable, since it trains people to keep up the obvious inequality in ability to make money by providing the players each round with more money to give to those with already too much.
The only thing that Monopoly trains people to do is to not play Monopoly. It's a terrible propaganda tool, on account of being a terrible game that nobody plays more than once.
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Old 6th March 2018, 07:04 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
......Proof? Or more Soviet divisiveness subterfuge ?
Proof? Proof that it's inequitable? That doesn't need proving: it's in the very definition of the word inequitable.

As to whatever your second sentence is supposed to mean, I haven't got a clue.
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Old 6th March 2018, 07:14 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Proof? Proof that it's inequitable? That doesn't need proving: it's in the very definition of the word inequitable.

.....
Your origianal statement was "inequitable", it was "unsustainable". I asked for proof of unsustainability.
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Old 6th March 2018, 07:19 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Your origianal statement was "inequitable", it was "unsustainable".
Huh?

Quote:
I asked for proof of unsustainability.
No you didn't. You might have thought you did, but you didn't.

It is a prediction, not a statement of fact. A prediction based on the fact that no system of economics has ever lasted ad infinitum.
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Old 6th March 2018, 07:25 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Huh?



No you didn't. You might have thought you did, but you didn't.

It is a prediction, not a statement of fact. A prediction based on the fact that no system of economics has ever lasted ad infinitum.
If no system lasts forever, why bother pointing it out? It's not like you're going to replace capitalism with something sustainable anyway.

Though, historically, capitalism seems to last longer than anything else that's been tried. And the people who try something else always seem to come back to capitalism in the end.
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Old 6th March 2018, 07:33 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
The world doesn't work if one person has all the money.

The world doesn't work if everyone has, by mandate, exactly the same amount of money.

Between these two points, somewhere, there's an acceptable band and probably one or more optimum points. I don't know that there's any calculation that could tell you what it is. I'm fairly sure it's not where the world is now.
Well said, but how do we know that it isn't where the world is now? I couldn't tell you.
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Old 6th March 2018, 07:33 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Starts off with offensively bad history and continues from there. It is interesting to see a leftist try to shroud themselves in the American flag.

Otherwise it is the usual US left narrative lionizing FDR, Bernie, and Warren. It focuses on a few speeches or writings from historical figures to the exclusion of what they actually did (historically, FDR, the Democrats, and union leaders are probably what prevented the US from forming a Labor Party, and FDR saw himself as "the best friend the profit system ever had"). It offers no alternative system. It scapegoats the "morbidly rich" and ignores the system that they are bound by to "grow or die" as well.

Does inequality cause societal problems? Political problems? I would say there is research to support these claims, though this article doesn't go into it, but that inequality is itself a symptom.
I do find in interesting that there are social problems that correlate pretty well with inequality but progressives almost never make the point. Generally just assume that inequality is self evidently bad. Anecdotal evidence to support the notion that liberals and conservatives can't really convince each other of anything because they just don't understand one another well enough.

There's also a question about what inequality is important. Inequality within cultures and nations is getting worst but inequality across cultures and nations seems to have lessened. In other words people in poorer countries are less poor relative to people in richer countries on average than in the past.

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Old 6th March 2018, 07:35 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Huh?
Your origianal statement was not that it is "inequitable", it was that it is "unsustainable".

There, fixed.
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Old 6th March 2018, 07:36 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Though, historically, capitalism seems to last longer than anything else that's been tried.
I don't know. Monarchy lasted quite a bit of time, in some places. Sometimes even without any periods of anarchy.
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Old 6th March 2018, 07:38 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I don't know. Monarchy lasted quite a bit of time, in some places. Sometimes even without any periods of anarchy.
Unlike Capitalism, Monarchies didn't expect 2% annual growth at infinitum.
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