I mean it’s trivial to float a scheme in which Jeff Bezos’ max net worth taps out at $100 million and then you have to commit to the idea that no, not only this dude but no one will bother starting a new venture if they can only earn 10% of a billion from it; then since essentially nobody earns that much why the hell does everyone else still go to work.
It’s not that nobody would start ventures.
It’s that when those ventures have produced $100 million of value to the world, they’d stop.
I don’t know when Bezos crossed the $100 million mark, but I do know that I’ve used Amazon this week, so I’d be rather cross with any scheme that killed it in 2007 because somebody was annoyed that a company that produced enormous value was incentivized to provide even more value.
That’s a just-so story that doesn’t sound remotely believable to me. I’ve met people who were motivated basically mostly by money, and they were basically all bankers of some kind. People who “start ventures” seem more motivated by fame or pride or megalomania of some kind in combination with money, and putting a very high cap on the amount of money wouldn’t make that go away.
(1) They start ventures with money provided by bankers. (2) You don’t accidentally make $150 bil by being unable to do an ROI investment.
1. True. We can talk about whether the venture capital system is at all a good way of funding ventures and whatever, but even if you wanted to preserve the world exactly as is, most of those bankers are not billionaires, are not going to be billionaires, and their totally pedestrian fascination with obscenely large but still totally pedestrian amounts of money wouldn’t in fact be changed at all.
2. I’m not suggesting Bezos like doesn’t know what money is or something. What are you arguing against exactly? And either way, there’s lots of people who have done both successful and unsuccessful things. And you hire people to take care of financial management anyway.
Like the claim that the only amount of money that will satisfy some people is an infinite amount of money and that this is what is necessary for human progress is one that is so strong and so counterintuitive that it would require a huge amount of evidence to get me to believe that. The fact that a bunch of people use it as a starting point to figure out their political beliefs seems crazy to me.
I’d do a lot of things for a hundred million dollars.
I wouldn’t risk my 75 million dollar company on a 60% chance to double the value.