The way forward in our country causing income inequality

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steross

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#1
I know many of you hate the term "income inequality" because it conjures up thoughts of liberals like Bernie Sanders and their attempts to use the government to "solve" the problem. I have debated with many of you the very idea that it is a problem at all.

This video from Stossel gets to the heart of the issue. Now, this appears on face not to be an issue of income inequality as presumably, this is a fight between a wealthy guy and another wealthy guy who also has the government on his side. But, when we are talking about income inequality, you have many, many more smaller people and businesses that do not have the money/means to fight this behavior at all levels of government. And, the issues for an individual or small business are not going to generate attention from someone like Stossel.
This to me shows the problem. And shows that the fix is not going to be through the tax code but instead will require a solidification of the wall (right now is a velvet rope not a wall) between business and government.

 

CaliforniaCowboy

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#2
Huh?

There has always been a process where the rich buy their justice, regardless of the times or the economy or the incomes.

That is not a representation of income inequality, it has nothing really to do with income at all.

Isn't that about "wealth inequality"?

actually, it's about city government corruption - which, again, has nothing to do with "income inequality".
 
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steross

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#3
Huh?

There has always been a process where the rich buy their justice, regardless of the times or the economy or the incomes.

That is not a representation of income inequality, it has nothing really to do with income at all.

Isn't that about "wealth inequality"?
Sure, if you want to create a new term that isn't in the vernacular and call it "wealth inequality" not income inequality when it makes absolutely no difference at all to the point then I'm fine with that. Wealth and income are intertwined. It doesn't matter. There are no wealthy without income.

There is no process it is the abuse of process. And this abuse has become much more stark as the power of government grows.
 

CaliforniaCowboy

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#4
but... it has nothing to do with "income". Nothing in the report was about income. It was about city corruption.

For the record, doesn't "income inequality" mean this?

Income inequality refers to the extent to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among a population.
 

CaliforniaCowboy

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#5
It doesn't matter. There are no wealthy without income.

.
I'm simply trying to understand the point, but some of these statements just seem bizarre to me.

No wealth without income? Someone cannot inherit wealth?

How about all the stories of secretaries and common folks that bought Standard Oil stock, or Microsoft or Google, and got rich off of it?

There are many ways to obtain wealth without income.
 

steross

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#6
I'm simply trying to understand the point, but some of these statements just seem bizarre to me.

No wealth without income? Someone cannot inherit wealth?

How about all the stories of secretaries and common folks that bought Standard Oil stock, or Microsoft or Google, and got rich off of it?

There are many ways to obtain wealth without income.
Can you show me a single person that has significant wealth through inheritance who has no income?
If you buy a stock and it increases in value, that is income, unearned income.
You can obtain wealth occasionally without income, but, I have never seen or heard of a person that was wealthy and had zero income. Why be pedantic about this silliness?

You are doing a brilliant job taking this as far off the actual point at possible for no reason.

Do you think the developer was developing that out of the kindness of his heart because he wanted to provide city parks for free and give people a nice place to live? No, he wanted income, which is the primary driver of wealth. The reason he was prevented from what appears to be a very reasonable plan is another person wanted to protect his wealth/income (who really care for which!) and used government to stop him. Take that example, multiply it times the thousands of governments and millions of people using those governments to stop others (usually of lower income) and that creates more inequality.

And, yes your definition is correct and the inequality is increasing which historically has not been a good thing in societies. I am trying to show a reason why.
 
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#7
Here's a few quick numbers that seem pretty striking to me.

A long-running study by the AFL-CIO shows leaders of S&P 500 companies made about 347 times more than their average employees in 2016, up from 41-to-1 in 1983.

CEO pay has grown 997% since 1978, up from $1.5 million to $16.3 million in 2014. During that same time period the average worker's wage grew 10.9%- from $48,000 in 1978 to $53,000 in 2014. (ugh, that hurts to type)

https://www.epi.org/publication/ceo...es-faster-than-typical-worker-pay-since-1978/
 

Bowers2

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#8
Here's a few quick numbers that seem pretty striking to me.

A long-running study by the AFL-CIO shows leaders of S&P 500 companies made about 347 times more than their average employees in 2016, up from 41-to-1 in 1983.

CEO pay has grown 997% since 1978, up from $1.5 million to $16.3 million in 2014. During that same time period the average worker's wage grew 10.9%- from $48,000 in 1978 to $53,000 in 2014. (ugh, that hurts to type)

https://www.epi.org/publication/ceo...es-faster-than-typical-worker-pay-since-1978/
Yep.
 

Cimarron

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#9
Can you show me a single person that has significant wealth through inheritance who has no income?
If you buy a stock and it increases in value, that is income, unearned income.
You can obtain wealth occasionally without income, but, I have never seen or heard of a person that was wealthy and had zero income. Why be pedantic about this silliness?

You are doing a brilliant job taking this as far off the actual point at possible for no reason.

Do you think the developer was developing that out of the kindness of his heart because he wanted to provide city parks for free and give people a nice place to live? No, he wanted income, which is the primary driver of wealth. The reason he was prevented from what appears to be a very reasonable plan is another person wanted to protect his wealth/income (who really care for which!) and used government to stop him. Take that example, multiply it times the thousands of governments and millions of people using those governments to stop others (usually of lower income) and that creates more inequality.

And, yes your definition is correct and the inequality is increasing which historically has not been a good thing in societies. I am trying to show a reason why.
So too much government, through rules and regulations, is the problem?
 
Mar 11, 2006
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#11
It hurts even more when you look up what the equivalent of $53,000 was in 1978... $14,122. So the average worker today is making the 1978 equivalent of less than $15k. No wonder we can't afford homes.
I guess I don’t understand the point you are trying to make. Basically you are saying that average Americans workers have slightly better buying power than in 1978.

But the average American worker now has many more conveniences that many CEO of 1978 would say was pure luxury.
Almost all homes have AC and heat.
All cars now have AC.
Gone are the days of one small TV, now most homes have several big screens.
A strong majority of American workers have incredible computing and communication power at their fingertips with smart phones.
Washer and dryers are now affordable by most households.
 

CaliforniaCowboy

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#12
Can you show me a single person that has significant wealth through inheritance who has no income?
If you buy a stock and it increases in value, that is income, unearned income.
You can obtain wealth occasionally without income, but, I have never seen or heard of a person that was wealthy and had zero income. Why be pedantic about this silliness?

You are doing a brilliant job taking this as far off the actual point at possible for no reason.

Do you think the developer was developing that out of the kindness of his heart because he wanted to provide city parks for free and give people a nice place to live? No, he wanted income, which is the primary driver of wealth. The reason he was prevented from what appears to be a very reasonable plan is another person wanted to protect his wealth/income (who really care for which!) and used government to stop him. Take that example, multiply it times the thousands of governments and millions of people using those governments to stop others (usually of lower income) and that creates more inequality.

And, yes your definition is correct and the inequality is increasing which historically has not been a good thing in societies. I am trying to show a reason why.
increased stock values are not "income" by any standard that I've seen... it's called capital gains. It is taxed as capital gains, not at income. Even the government doesn't follow you definitions.

Capital improvements are not income. If I build an apartment project or simply add a room onto my house that is capital improvement, not income. If I get more for my sale, that is capital gains, not income.

Income is a specific thing, with a specific definition.

Income inequality has nothing to do with city government corruption. You did not list if the two companies had any difference in "income" or anything else. All you pointed out is that the city council was not treating the projects fairly. I get that.

The example you listed has absolutely nothing to do with income nor income inequality.

Others did post examples of income inequality, but corruption is not that.

I do not have any problem with so called "income inequality", but what you posted has nothing to do with the subject.

Income inequality deals with equal outcome, rather than the American principle of equal opportunity.

You posted an example of lack of equal opportunity, not income equality.
 

steross

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#13
increased stock values are not "income" by any standard that I've seen... it's called capital gains. It is taxed as capital gains, not at income. Even the government doesn't follow you definitions.

Capital improvements are not income. If I build an apartment project or simply add a room onto my house that is capital improvement, not income. If I get more for my sale, that is capital gains, not income.

Income is a specific thing, with a specific definition.
Good lord. You never give up, even when obviously wrong and making yourself look silly. Seriously, stop. If you want to keep nitpicking something that takes three seconds on the IRS site to refute, you are just embarrassing yourself. And, I don't get it. Othe than dislike for me and your constant desire to one-up me (and others). It is just muddling a thread that was otherwise pretty good. You don't like/ can't comprehend the way I think about this. Nobody cares.

From https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc400
The following TYPES OF INCOME:

Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 15.30.38.png
 
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Jonkr06

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#14
Here's a few quick numbers that seem pretty striking to me.

A long-running study by the AFL-CIO shows leaders of S&P 500 companies made about 347 times more than their average employees in 2016, up from 41-to-1 in 1983.

CEO pay has grown 997% since 1978, up from $1.5 million to $16.3 million in 2014. During that same time period the average worker's wage grew 10.9%- from $48,000 in 1978 to $53,000 in 2014. (ugh, that hurts to type)

https://www.epi.org/publication/ceo...es-faster-than-typical-worker-pay-since-1978/
Seems fair to me! Now get back to work and produce more widgets! Those CEOs have yachts and vacation homes to purchase.
 

steross

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#15
Seems fair to me! Now get back to work and produce more widgets! Those CEOs have yachts and vacation homes to purchase.
Here is the thing. I could not care less what a CEO makes if there was a good argument that CEO pay has gone astronomically higher because the CEOs are way better. And if the workers were previously very productive, but now aren't, then tough on the additional pay. But, it doesn't appear that way.



It would appear that worker compensation quit being tied to productivity and executive compensation quit being tied to profits (or, is rising by a larger factor than profits).

I'm not on board with "fixing" this with tax code. I'm not on board with fixing this by legislation limiting pay or ratio or whatever.

What I want to know is why did it change? I am proposing that maybe the collusion of government and business creates the situation where the worker is stuck working at less than his productivity should be paid. Prior to that break if you were a widget designer at a widget company and they were not paying you for your productivity, you quit and started designing your own widgets. But now, to do that you have to:
- Get a widget design license
- Submit your widget plans to the widget plan control board
- prove your widgets to be environmentally safe (even of obviously so)
- either be so much better than Widget INC that people will pay more for your widget or try to figure out some way to make them cheaply

The barriers are too high. So, people keep widgeting away and execs get the compensation gains.
-
 

Cimarron

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#16
But now, to do that you have to:
- Get a widget design license
- Submit your widget plans to the widget plan control board
- prove your widgets to be environmentally safe (even of obviously so)
- either be so much better than Widget INC that people will pay more for your widget or try to figure out some way to make them cheaply

The barriers are too high. So, people keep widgeting away and execs get the compensation gains.
-
All done supposedly to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
 

oks10

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#17
Here is the thing. I could not care less what a CEO makes if there was a good argument that CEO pay has gone astronomically higher because the CEOs are way better. And if the workers were previously very productive, but now aren't, then tough on the additional pay. But, it doesn't appear that way.



It would appear that worker compensation quit being tied to productivity and executive compensation quit being tied to profits (or, is rising by a larger factor than profits).

I'm not on board with "fixing" this with tax code. I'm not on board with fixing this by legislation limiting pay or ratio or whatever.

What I want to know is why did it change? I am proposing that maybe the collusion of government and business creates the situation where the worker is stuck working at less than his productivity should be paid. Prior to that break if you were a widget designer at a widget company and they were not paying you for your productivity, you quit and started designing your own widgets. But now, to do that you have to:
- Get a widget design license
- Submit your widget plans to the widget plan control board
- prove your widgets to be environmentally safe (even of obviously so)
- either be so much better than Widget INC that people will pay more for your widget or try to figure out some way to make them cheaply

The barriers are too high. So, people keep widgeting away and execs get the compensation gains.
-
Both these charts seem to ignore the non-human factors of productivity. Someone's pay shouldn't increase because they're given a machine that speeds the job up IMO. Take machining for example. Modern CNC (and 3D printing) has basically advanced to a stage where the "machinist" hits a "GO" button. Should that machinist be paid more because he's operating a machine that can churn out a product faster than he could have done manually?
 
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#18
Both these charts seem to ignore the non-human factors of productivity. Someone's pay shouldn't increase because they're given a machine that speeds the job up IMO. Take machining for example. Modern CNC (and 3D printing) has basically advanced to a stage where the "machinist" hits a "GO" button. Should that machinist be paid more because he's operating a machine that can churn out a product faster than he could have done manually?
There are definitely other factors like this to take into account. My position would be that average worker's wages needs to keep up with inflation. Which it definitely hasn't over the last 40 years.

Interestingly enough, minimum wage has kept a pretty steady pace with inflation over that same time period. But that certainly doesn't seem to be boosting the average worker's pay at all.
 
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#19
Here is the thing. I could not care less what a CEO makes if there was a good argument that CEO pay has gone astronomically higher because the CEOs are way better. And if the workers were previously very productive, but now aren't, then tough on the additional pay. But, it doesn't appear that way.



It would appear that worker compensation quit being tied to productivity and executive compensation quit being tied to profits (or, is rising by a larger factor than profits).

I'm not on board with "fixing" this with tax code. I'm not on board with fixing this by legislation limiting pay or ratio or whatever.

What I want to know is why did it change? I am proposing that maybe the collusion of government and business creates the situation where the worker is stuck working at less than his productivity should be paid. Prior to that break if you were a widget designer at a widget company and they were not paying you for your productivity, you quit and started designing your own widgets. But now, to do that you have to:
- Get a widget design license
- Submit your widget plans to the widget plan control board
- prove your widgets to be environmentally safe (even of obviously so)
- either be so much better than Widget INC that people will pay more for your widget or try to figure out some way to make them cheaply

The barriers are too high. So, people keep widgeting away and execs get the compensation gains.
-
CEOs seem to be rewarded equally for incompetency and competency alike quite a bit.
 

OSUCowboy787

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#20
I don't see this as about income at all. Yes the winner would get income but the Stossel story is about corruption based on cheaper rentals and loans for politicians businesses. The 2 parties involved in the bid have nothing to do with income but instead with building their business, yes it in turn provides income but thats not the point. This is more about breaking of rules and corruption. If found guilty in a court of law I assume the project will move forward and the leaders will be recalled.