Wealth Gap

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CocoCincinnati

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#1
I wanted to comment on the pic posted by @steross but didn't want to clutter up the picture thread. So here it is with comments to follow.
1-WealthPerceptionVsReality.jpg


The problem with this is that the middle graph can only be accomplished by massive centralized control and planning...and the problem with that is every time it has been tried in history, it has ended up in authoritarianism, which ultimately gets you right back at the bottom graph or worse. The difference between a wealth gap in capitalism and a wealth gap in a communist dictatorship is that in the former, you can actually move between the different groups while, in the latter it is practically impossible.

I know some (townie) people will argue that its the same in the US right now, but they will only be proving my point because what we have is not capitalism but crony capitalism. I would be willing to bet without even looking it up that the so called wealth gap has gotten bigger over time as the federal government has been given more control. With that in mind, the worst thing we could do to address the wealth gap is to let the government fix it. If you truly want to do something about it, then vote for candidates who want LESS government (libertarian and fiscal conservatives), but whatever you do don't vote for candidates that want to put government control of the economy into overdrive (Pretty much most of the DNC, but particularly the Bernie/AOC wing).

In truth, graphs like these distract from what should be the real issue......the size of the individual slices are not near as important as the size of the entire pie and nothing will ever come close to growing the entire pie like Capitalism can, has and will. We should be discussing how to grow the economy.....everybody wins when the pie gets bigger, no matter how small their starting slice is. But when the pie is constricted by a government pie tin that comes in one size, the people at the bottom will never see their lot improve.

Kind of along these same lines, I've noticed several Dem candidates who are throwing their hat into the Dem race are pushing a basic income ($12,000 a year is a number I've heard several times) in addition to the free college tuition they've already been offering. Now all of a sudden, it makes sense why the Dems want to lower the voting age to 16, they are planning to literally buy those votes....which is the death knell for liberty.
 

CaliforniaCowboy

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#2
another problem with it, is the overall deceptive intent... they post crap like this intentionally trying to make it look bad.... without any context.

that last bar graph shows that 40% of the people have 0% of the wealth (on a relative basis), but we know that 40% of the people do not have zero wealth.

The facts are not presented, but I'm gonna guess that most of that 40% have more wealth than 3/4ths of the people in most nations.

There is no effort to place the number in context.

So what if our rich people are really rich... so are our poor people, comparatively.
 

steross

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#4
I wanted to comment on the pic posted by @steross but didn't want to clutter up the picture thread. So here it is with comments to follow.
View attachment 69051

The problem with this is that the middle graph can only be accomplished by massive centralized control and planning...and the problem with that is every time it has been tried in history, it has ended up in authoritarianism, which ultimately gets you right back at the bottom graph or worse. The difference between a wealth gap in capitalism and a wealth gap in a communist dictatorship is that in the former, you can actually move between the different groups while, in the latter it is practically impossible.

I know some (townie) people will argue that its the same in the US right now, but they will only be proving my point because what we have is not capitalism but crony capitalism. I would be willing to bet without even looking it up that the so called wealth gap has gotten bigger over time as the federal government has been given more control. With that in mind, the worst thing we could do to address the wealth gap is to let the government fix it. If you truly want to do something about it, then vote for candidates who want LESS government (libertarian and fiscal conservatives), but whatever you do don't vote for candidates that want to put government control of the economy into overdrive (Pretty much most of the DNC, but particularly the Bernie/AOC wing).

In truth, graphs like these distract from what should be the real issue......the size of the individual slices are not near as important as the size of the entire pie and nothing will ever come close to growing the entire pie like Capitalism can, has and will. We should be discussing how to grow the economy.....everybody wins when the pie gets bigger, no matter how small their starting slice is. But when the pie is constricted by a government pie tin that comes in one size, the people at the bottom will never see their lot improve.

Kind of along these same lines, I've noticed several Dem candidates who are throwing their hat into the Dem race are pushing a basic income ($12,000 a year is a number I've heard several times) in addition to the free college tuition they've already been offering. Now all of a sudden, it makes sense why the Dems want to lower the voting age to 16, they are planning to literally buy those votes....which is the death knell for liberty.
My response to each paragraph:
1. The middle graph is the what people chose as ideal, not a goal of government. My ideal is when I was 200 lbs and 8% body fat. That is the best I have been in my life. I don't go to the gym expecting to get there now at my age nor would it be a healthy life for me to try. But, I still go to the gym.
2. This could be true other than the fact that there are no fiscal conservative that are not bought and paid for by the same corporate interests that have joined with government to create this mess. There is no way to vote against crony capitalism.
3. I would argue that was true in years past but is becoming less and less true. Big manufacturing companies in the past hired the middle class with decent paying jobs and it was good for all. Now, the huge companies hire low wage workers and manufacturing is automated or overseas. This trend has hugely added to this gap and it is doubtful that it will abate. Look at income mobility, income distribution etc compared to our past. IT is all getting worse. Claiming we are still the best when we aren't isn't going to fix things.
4. You are confusing your democrats. Many have embraced Democratic Socialism and are for free college. The one that is for a UBI is a capitalist entrepreneur who believes in capitalism (but not free college). He feels that automation and the rise of tech have changed the game significantly from the past. He feels that the ability of companies (mostly tech like he came from) to automate away jobs and avoid taxation through shifting of international corps (see Amazon's zero tax rate) have taking advantage of the economic might of the country while not addressing what the country gives. So, the "Freedom Dividend" is the $1000 a month UBI that every citizen would receive, not socialism. Capitalism that doesn't start at zero. IT replaces many means tested programs that keep people poor. It empowers workers without raising min wage. There are many advantages.
Friedman, Hayek, Cato institute have all favored some sort of UBI. It is not socialism, unless we are going to call many of the most renown classical liberal thinkers as socialist.

If interested, this is him on Joe Rogan:
 
Last edited:
Oct 30, 2007
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#5
I don't have a problem with the wealth gap. The wealthy grow their wealth through compound interest on investments. Anyone has the opportunity to do this. But most people live beyond their means and run up debt. They lose money to interest instead of using it to build wealth.

The average household income worldwide is under $10K per year. Our impoverished make more than that from welfare programs. The top 1% of income worldwide starts at $32K. The average high school graduate in our country makes more than that. There's a reason why we have so many people trying to get into our country. The system is far from broken.

1553654321072.png
 

steross

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#6
I don't have a problem with the wealth gap.
Virtually nobody has a problem with a wealth gap in principle. Equal incomes are an unrealistic notion except in the fantasy of communist philosophers The question is do you have a problem with the fact that the gap has been getting significantly larger? Would it concern you if in 20 year the numbers showed that the wealthy in the US were far more wealthy than they are now but the poor in the US had dropped to below the world averages that you are talking about?

And, this isn''t envy. It is a population demographics and politics. I'm well within the red on those graphs. But, I like to see a functional society. Look at the preamble to our constitution. Establish justice, insure Domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare. There is a strong correlation between civil unrest/civil war and extreme inequality. We have been trending toward that for decades. I have no reason for envy as I am quite comfortable. But, I have reason to bring this up as a concern as I would like to stay that way.
 
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#7
I don't have a problem with the wealth gap.
Virtually nobody has a problem with a wealth gap in principle. Equal incomes are an unrealistic notion except in the fantasy of communist philosophers The question is do you have a problem with the fact that the gap has been getting significantly larger? Would it concern you if in 20 year the numbers showed that the wealthy in the US were far more wealthy than they are now but the poor in the US had dropped to below the world averages that you are talking about?

And, this isn''t envy. It is a population demographics and politics. I'm well within the red on those graphs. But, I like to see a functional society. Look at the preamble to our constitution. Establish justice, insure Domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare. There is a strong correlation between civil unrest/civil war and extreme inequality. We have been trending toward that for decades. I have no reason for envy as I am quite comfortable. But, I have reason to bring this up as a concern as I would like to stay that way.
I’ll worry when earning a wage that allows you to live comfortably is no longer reasonably achievable.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

RxCowboy

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#8
The problem with this is that the middle graph can only be accomplished by massive centralized control and planning...and the problem with that is every time it has been tried in history, it has ended up in authoritarianism, which ultimately gets you right back at the bottom graph or worse. The difference between a wealth gap in capitalism and a wealth gap in a communist dictatorship is that in the former, you can actually move between the different groups while, in the latter it is practically impossible.
 

CocoCincinnati

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#9
The question is do you have a problem with the fact that the gap has been getting significantly larger?
It's like you and I are pointing at the same problem and agreeing that it is a problem, but if your solution is more of the very thing that IMO exacerbated the problem in the first place, then I'm not sure where that leaves us.

Would it concern you if in 20 year the numbers showed that the wealthy in the US were far more wealthy than they are now but the poor in the US had dropped to below the world averages that you are talking about?
The first part wouldn't bother me at all because for that to happen would mean the economy growing by a large amount, meaning everybody was better off. But the second part, hell yeah, it would concern me which again is why I so strongly advocate for capitalism, under which that won't happen.
 
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#11
My comments--

1) People can and do move between these groups--especially as they age. When I first got married, at age 19, as a couple we had negative wealth. We bought a house with a borrowed down payment and had student loan debt. Over the last 30 or so years, we have probably moved into the top quintile. Why? Building up an emergency fund, contributing to retirement plans and home equity. No big inheritances or lottery winnings, just middle class values.

2) Younger people are burdened by what they think are necessities. If you are in an entry level job and paying $300 / month for phone, cable, etc. and leasing a new car every three years, it is hard to accumulate wealth.
 

steross

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#12
It's like you and I are pointing at the same problem and agreeing that it is a problem, but if your solution is more of the very thing that IMO exacerbated the problem in the first place, then I'm not sure where that leaves us.



The first part wouldn't bother me at all because for that to happen would mean the economy growing by a large amount, meaning everybody was better off. But the second part, hell yeah, it would concern me which again is why I so strongly advocate for capitalism, under which that won't happen.
Where have I offered a solution that is more of the same thing that exacerbated the problem?

And, where have you shown that your solution (more conservative politicians) has improved the problem? We have had quite a bit of conservative governance over the time that this issue has progressed. Rmember we had democratically controlled congresses for 26 straight years ending in the early 1980s. Since then we have had a mix with more republican control than democratic control. And, that is the time frame during which this issue has been exacerbated. Where is the evidence of what you are claiming?
 

CaliforniaCowboy

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#13
Virtually nobody has a problem with a wealth gap in principle. Equal incomes are an unrealistic notion except in the fantasy of communist philosophers The question is do you have a problem with the fact that the gap has been getting significantly larger? Would it concern you if in 20 year the numbers showed that the wealthy in the US were far more wealthy than they are now but the poor in the US had dropped to below the world averages that you are talking about?

And, this isn''t envy. It is a population demographics and politics. I'm well within the red on those graphs. But, I like to see a functional society. Look at the preamble to our constitution. Establish justice, insure Domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare. There is a strong correlation between civil unrest/civil war and extreme inequality. We have been trending toward that for decades. I have no reason for envy as I am quite comfortable. But, I have reason to bring this up as a concern as I would like to stay that way.
that is just a bunch of crap nonsense.

We're talking about wealth, your fist sentence you say wealth... then you go off on some tangent about income. FOCUS man, FOCUS.

the wealth of the poor in the US is never ever going to drop as you suggest. Never ever. King Barack already assured that by changing the formula for measuring poverty. It's simply a silly statement by you, and intentionally misleading.

the preamble of the Constitution does not say GUARANTEE GENERAL WELFARE... it says "promote".

That mean OPPORTUNITY.... and your war example.... "inequality" ... IN OPPORTUNITY. Revolts happen when there is no opportunity, not because somebody has more than them.

utter nonesense
 
Jul 22, 2011
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#14
Ways to fix the wealth gap:

-Stop illegal immigration and punish those who hire illegally. Wages increase.

-Deregulate businesses and lower corporate taxes to promote job creation. Wages increase.

Ways to worsen the wealth gap:

-Give out free money. Increased demand for basic necessities drives up costs. This goes largely unnoticed by the super-wealthy, but hits the middle class and poor very hard.

-Free college for everyone. Everyone gets a college degree, flooding the job market with mostly unqualified workers. The super-wealthy won't be affected. They went to Ivy-league and expensive private schools.
 

steross

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that is just a bunch of crap nonsense.

We're talking about wealth, your fist sentence you say wealth... then you go off on some tangent about income. FOCUS man, FOCUS.

the wealth of the poor in the US is never ever going to drop as you suggest. Never ever. King Barack already assured that by changing the formula for measuring poverty. It's simply a silly statement by you, and intentionally misleading.

the preamble of the Constitution does not say GUARANTEE GENERAL WELFARE... it says "promote".

That mean OPPORTUNITY.... and your war example.... "inequality" ... IN OPPORTUNITY. Revolts happen when there is no opportunity, not because somebody has more than them.

utter nonesense
The only focus I have right now is the sheer fascination with the fact that you are so stupid as to not understand the correlation of wealth and income. If someone is talking about fever and mentions infectious disease I don't yell at them to focus because I have the intelligence to synthesize those related points.

Here is my response to this, and every thing you write in response to my posts on this board in the future.

I don't believe you are a good thinker. I think you are basically the Russian bot of this board. You are never anything but abrasive, condescending and rude. You cannot accept any opinion other than your own as even valid. And, the holes in your opinions are always so huge that an imbecile could drive a Mac truck through them but you can't even comprehend when you are being shown up.

So, if you ever chose to respond to my posts, realize that I will skim the first few lines, and if it starts with the typical condescending YELLING BS that your robotic posts always start with, then YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT YOUR POSTS DO NOTHING BUT GIVE ME MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY POSITION. That is it. Others make me question. You simply give me fuel to have confidence.
 
Oct 30, 2007
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#16
Virtually nobody has a problem with a wealth gap in principle. Equal incomes are an unrealistic notion except in the fantasy of communist philosophers The question is do you have a problem with the fact that the gap has been getting significantly larger? Would it concern you if in 20 year the numbers showed that the wealthy in the US were far more wealthy than they are now but the poor in the US had dropped to below the world averages that you are talking about?

And, this isn''t envy. It is a population demographics and politics. I'm well within the red on those graphs. But, I like to see a functional society. Look at the preamble to our constitution. Establish justice, insure Domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare. There is a strong correlation between civil unrest/civil war and extreme inequality. We have been trending toward that for decades. I have no reason for envy as I am quite comfortable. But, I have reason to bring this up as a concern as I would like to stay that way.
I don't have a problem with the wealth gap getting bigger. The wealthy grow their wealth through compounded gains on their investments. But over 50% of our population don't have $1K in savings for emergencies. So over half of our population have little or no wealth to grow. It's inevitable that the gap would grow given this model.

I would be very concerned if the lower level of income started to diminish significantly over the next couple of decades. Our wage growth this past year was the highest it's been in a decade, and most of the wage growth went towards blue color jobs at the bottom end. So hopefully we're headed in the right direction.

I think there are a lot of people that take exception to the wealth gap due to envy. Our average household is better off than 99% of the world, and our impoverished are better off than 75% of the world. The reason you see so many people calling for things like 70% income tax & 2-3% annual wealth tax is because they see others that have more, and they don't think it's fair.

The inequality in our justice system due to wealth is a problem. Take Jussie Smollett for example. Do you really think that the average Joe could get off with a fine and community service when there is strong evidence that he's committed 16 felonies? I have no clue how to fix this problem.
 

steross

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#17
Ways to fix the wealth gap:

-Stop illegal immigration and punish those who hire illegally. Wages increase.

-Deregulate businesses and lower corporate taxes to promote job creation. Wages increase.

Ways to worsen the wealth gap:

-Give out free money. Increased demand for basic necessities drives up costs. This goes largely unnoticed by the super-wealthy, but hits the middle class and poor very hard.

-Free college for everyone. Everyone gets a college degree, flooding the job market with mostly unqualified workers. The super-wealthy won't be affected. They went to Ivy-league and expensive private schools.
You ignore the effects of automation and outsourcing overseas. Immigration is not the primary issue and if it is someone who need to explain why this is getting worse while illegal immigration occurring less frequently.

Amazon is the largest cap company ran by the wealthiest man. They paid no corporate tax. Look at the falling tax rates of the largest companies and show me how taxation is the issue. Rates have been drastically falling while this trend has worsened. You can't go below zero (Well, through subsidy we sometimes simple give corporations money but I can't actually see it helping the issue.)
 

steross

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#18
I don't have a problem with the wealth gap getting bigger. The wealthy grow their wealth through compounded gains on their investments. But over 50% of our population don't have $1K in savings for emergencies. So over half of our population have little or no wealth to grow. It's inevitable that the gap would grow given this model.

I would be very concerned if the lower level of income started to diminish significantly over the next couple of decades. Our wage growth this past year was the highest it's been in a decade, and most of the wage growth went towards blue color jobs at the bottom end. So hopefully we're headed in the right direction.

I think there are a lot of people that take exception to the wealth gap due to envy. Our average household is better off than 99% of the world, and our impoverished are better off than 75% of the world. The reason you see so many people calling for things like 70% income tax & 2-3% annual wealth tax is because they see others that have more, and they don't think it's fair.

The inequality in our justice system due to wealth is a problem. Take Jussie Smollett for example. Do you really think that the average Joe could get off with a fine and community service when there is strong evidence that he's committed 16 felonies? I have no clue how to fix this problem.
I have travelled much of the world and i'm not sure that our impoverished are better off. They have more income, but also more stress and difficult making it in the society they are in (I'm not talking about refugee camps, etc, Just typical people in Asia, for example.) I don't know how much you travel but I think Americans have a skewed concept of what goes on in the rest of the world.

I hope you are right about the slight wage growth. And, again, I am not looking at this from the standpoint of envy. Sure there are some but I do not think that is the majority. Nor does the fact that I see this as an issue that could affect my life (war/strife) mean that I want draconian socialist solutions.
 
Oct 30, 2007
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#20
I have travelled much of the world and i'm not sure that our impoverished are better off. They have more income, but also more stress and difficult making it in the society they are in (I'm not talking about refugee camps, etc, Just typical people in Asia, for example.) I don't know how much you travel but I think Americans have a skewed concept of what goes on in the rest of the world.

I hope you are right about the slight wage growth. And, again, I am not looking at this from the standpoint of envy. Sure there are some but I do not think that is the majority. Nor does the fact that I see this as an issue that could affect my life (war/strife) mean that I want draconian socialist solutions.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapo...-minimum-wage-work-in-35-states/#6b5ee1f54c33
I haven't traveled much, so I haven't seen with my own eyes what poverty looks like in other countries. But minimum wage pays about $15K per year in the US. Most states have welfare programs that pay more than minimum wage. That alone will put a roof over your head and food in your stomach. Do most countries have safety nets like this in place for their citizens?