Wealth Gap

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StillwaterTownie

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And his solution is... wait for it... MOAR GOVERNMENT!

The death spiral gets faster...

View attachment 69288
At least he seems to believe it's a myth that money can't buy happiness. Money does buy happiness. He wrote that capitalism "is an effective motivator of people because it rewards people for their productive activities with money that can be used to get all that money can buy."

But the truth is getting rich under capitalism requires a lot of ambition and intuition. Characteristics many people lack. You can lead a horse to water, but you can not make him drink.
 
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Sep 29, 2011
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At least he seems to believe it's a myth that money can't buy happiness. Money does buy happiness. He wrote that capitalism "is an effective motivator of people because it rewards people for their productive activities with money that can be used to get all that money can buy."

But the truth is getting rich under capitalism requires a lot of ambition and intuition. Characteristics many people lack. You can lead a horse to water, but you can not make him drink.
I agree. Some people don't have the tools or wherewithal to "get rich" as you say. That being the case, what's your problem with the "wealth gap"?
 

llcoolw

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At least he seems to believe it's a myth that money can't buy happiness. Money does buy happiness. He wrote that capitalism "is an effective motivator of people because it rewards people for their productive activities with money that can be used to get all that money can buy."

But the truth is getting rich under capitalism requires a lot of ambition and intuition. Characteristics many people lack. You can lead a horse to water, but you can not make him drink.
That last sentence is dead on. Exactly why where we are. The US government has spent trillions in the war in poverty. There are millions up for grabs for those willing to be an entrepreneur. Especially if you're a minority, from a impoverished region, female or downtrodden. Thanks to the Internet, there's complete plans in how to treat money, how to make money and how to learn any trade. There's no reason beyond health to keep someone from improving their lot in the US. Bad choices are the number one obstacle most are facing on making the climb to financial independence insurmountable.
 

CaliforniaCowboy

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At least he seems to believe it's a myth that money can't buy happiness. Money does buy happiness. He wrote that capitalism "is an effective motivator of people because it rewards people for their productive activities with money that can be used to get all that money can buy."

But the truth is getting rich under capitalism requires a lot of ambition and intuition. Characteristics many people lack. You can lead a horse to water, but you can not make him drink.
what is with the tired cliches?

"all that money can buy" obviously does not include happiness. Money cannot buy happiness, but it can be used for the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, which is what I'm supposed to be guaranteed. I'm not real good at some of my pursuits, so I'm going to need a whole lot more money than others to ensure that my pursuit can end in success .... so don't go taking my money away from me, I"m going to need it in my pursuit of happiness.

Money cannot buy happiness, but neither can poverty. I'd rather be rich and unhappy, than poor and unhappy.

and.... you can't make the horse drink... the trick is to make him thirsty. I can't make people rich, but I can make them want to be rich so that they go and pursue such.... if being rich makes them happy, then neither you nor anybody else should be able to take richness (i.e., his happiness) away from him.
 
Sep 29, 2011
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Money beyond the amount you need to live in basic comfort doesn’t really buy happiness. For some, having a gozillion dollars can relieve the stress of debt, working, or whether there will be enough funds for a worry-free retirement - all of which can allow you to be happy if you’re a happy person. But for others, having a gozillion dollars just brings on the unwanted (and often unrecognized) stress of managing a portfolio, tax matters, estate planning, less fortunate relatives, or just simply keeping or growing their fortune, thus not allowing a person to free their mind and enjoy life. Of course many of these types are generally unhappy regardless and no amount of money, or lack of it, can turn them into happy people.
FWIW, I’ve never really seen money itself turn an unhappy person into a happy person. I suppose it happens, but I think it’s pretty unusual.

My $0.02


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OSUCowboy787

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Money beyond the amount you need to live in basic comfort doesn’t really buy happiness. For some, having a gozillion dollars can relieve the stress of debt, working, or whether there will be enough funds for a worry-free retirement - all of which can allow you to be happy if you’re a happy person. But for others, having a gozillion dollars just brings on the unwanted (and often unrecognized) stress of managing a portfolio, tax matters, estate planning, less fortunate relatives, or just simply keeping or growing their fortune, thus not allowing a person to free their mind and enjoy life. Of course many of these types are generally unhappy regardless and no amount of money, or lack of it, can turn them into happy people.
FWIW, I’ve never really seen money itself turn an unhappy person into a happy person. I suppose it happens, but I think it’s pretty unusual.

My $0.02


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I'd love to be a miserable billionaire. If anyone is too burdened by their wealth i'll gladly accept it and carry that load for them. :runaway::runaway::runaway::runaway:
 
Sep 29, 2011
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Yes, there is a wealth gap and it's huge, but, of course, conservatives quite strongly believe it's wrong and immoral to raise the minimum wage as a small way to do something about it.
Wall Street bonuses were 3x the earnings of all full-time workers making federal minimum wage
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/02/ana...X6D7CU9Y7z9ADfqX3j7H3_xkMmOfVozdd6DmLcpoeQbrc
Would the “Wealth Gap” PROBLEM still exist if magically $50 trillion disappeared from the 10,000 wealthiest people without reappearing in the 50 million poorest people?


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bleedinorange

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Yes, there is a wealth gap and it's huge, but, of course, conservatives quite strongly believe it's wrong and immoral to raise the minimum wage as a small way to do something about it.
Wall Street bonuses were 3x the earnings of all full-time workers making federal minimum wage
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/02/ana...X6D7CU9Y7z9ADfqX3j7H3_xkMmOfVozdd6DmLcpoeQbrc
They aren't some group of small town rubes who chose not to get a post secondary education. I love the envy of the destitute masses. Their mantra is little more than "I want the same as all the people who are better educated and worked harder/smarter than I did".
 

StillwaterTownie

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Would the “Wealth Gap” PROBLEM still exist if magically $50 trillion disappeared from the 10,000 wealthiest people without reappearing in the 50 million poorest people?


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In other words, what you're trying to say is poor people are the scum of the earth, because they are too damned lazy and stupid to get rich. So it's irrelevant to worry about however many trillions and trillions the rich have.
 
Sep 29, 2011
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Would the “Wealth Gap” PROBLEM still exist if magically $50 trillion disappeared from the 10,000 wealthiest people without reappearing in the 50 million poorest people?


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In other words, what you're trying to say is poor people are the scum of the earth, because they are too damned lazy and stupid to get rich. So it's irrelevant to worry about however many trillions the rich have.
No. I’m trying understand precisely what you think the “problem” is, since heretofore you’ve been unable to define such problem despite my requests. I figured perhaps if you could direct your focus to one side of the gap you could then begin to see clearly enough to accurately define what the problem is.


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steross

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No. I’m trying understand precisely what you think the “problem” is, since heretofore you’ve been unable to define such problem despite my requests. I figured perhaps if you could direct your focus to one side of the gap you could then begin to see clearly enough to accurately define what the problem is.


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The problem was very clearly laid out in the link above from Mr Dalio. The fact that you chose to either not read it or read it and decide that the detailed data he provided isn't a problem to you does not make it not a problem.

I get it. Those of us who are wealthy certainly benefit from the idea that this was a race and we were just better at running it and sorry that the others weren't as good but that is how life is. But, that nice story isn't reality based on data.

If you have data to show that is true and not just opinion I would be happy to look at it.
 
Sep 29, 2011
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No. I’m trying understand precisely what you think the “problem” is, since heretofore you’ve been unable to define such problem despite my requests. I figured perhaps if you could direct your focus to one side of the gap you could then begin to see clearly enough to accurately define what the problem is.


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The problem was very clearly laid out in the link above from Mr Dalio. The fact that you chose to either not read it or read it and decide that the detailed data he provided isn't a problem to you does not make it not a problem.

I get it. Those of us who are wealthy certainly benefit from the idea that this was a race and we were just better at running it and sorry that the others weren't as good but that is how life is. But, that nice story isn't reality based on data.

If you have data to show that is true and not just opinion I would be happy to look at it.
Seems to me he explained how the wealth gap occurred along with what he thinks needs to change. What he didn’t explain, or at least I couldn’t decipher, is what exactly is the problem with a large wealth gap. What problem does a wealth gap create? Who if anyone is hurt as a result of the wealth gap? Please explain, or summarize what Dalio thinks is a problem.


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OSUCowboy787

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Seems to me he explained how the wealth gap occurred along with what he thinks needs to change. What he didn’t explain, or at least I couldn’t decipher, is what exactly is the problem with a large wealth gap. What problem does a wealth gap create? Who if anyone is hurt as a result of the wealth gap? Please explain, or summarize what Dalio thinks is a problem.


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The problem is it creates envy with those who choose not to better themselves and or aren't as lucky in their endeavors. Think Participation trophies.:thumbdown::thumbdown::thumbdown:
 

steross

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Seems to me he explained how the wealth gap occurred along with what he thinks needs to change. What he didn’t explain, or at least I couldn’t decipher, is what exactly is the problem with a large wealth gap. What problem does a wealth gap create? Who if anyone is hurt as a result of the wealth gap? Please explain, or summarize what Dalio thinks is a problem.


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I believe these are some important points. He has more:

1. We are losing income mobility. In the past, it was easier to go from poor or lower middle class into higher incomes. Now, class mobility is definitely trending down. This ruins the spirit of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness that our country was founded on.


2. Those people stuck being poor, are relatively poorer. The wealthy are becoming fabulously wealthy. The upper middle class is hanging in there. The lower ends are poorer than they were in the 1970s on a relative basis. It is similar to a stock market rally with great breadth vs a stock market rally led by a few high fliers where the rest of the market lags. I suspect that you have enough market knowledge to know which of those is more likely to maintain.


3. We are falling behind globally in the ability of the poor to move up:
Growing up we were taught in social studies that one of the great parts of the American experiment was lack of a royal or even an aristocratic class. An American through hard work/ingenuity/luck had a chance to be very successful. In other countries, a class system prevented that. Well, other countries have dismantled much of their class system while we have sort of created one. Not purposeful, but, that American dream is much more common elsewhere than here. Doesn't mean it can't happen here, but the data shows we have lost the lead.



4. Our free education system doesn't work very well. My kids are in private school. I would have to move out of the city to a wealthier area to get them in a public school that I would find acceptable. But, that example (me) is part of the wealth gap. I can afford tuition that is almost half of the median income to get my kids better educated. If you can't, your kid falls behind, whether his fault or not. The way we fund schools gives distinct advantages to kids that won the birth lottery and were born to wealthy parents. Public education should be a much more level playing field. As the wealth gap increases, so does this issue.

5. And this section is the consequence we see from this:
Bad childcare and bad education lead to badly behaved adults hence higher crime rates that inflict terrible costs on the society:

The United States’ incarceration rate is nearly five times the average of other developed countries and three times that of emerging countries.[xlii] The direct cost of keeping people incarcerated is staggering and has grown rapidly: state correctional costs quadrupled over the past two decades and now top $50 billion a year, consuming 1 in every 15 general fund dollars.[xliii]
This bad cycle perpetuates itself as criminal/arrest records make it much more difficult to find a job, which depresses earnings. Serving time, even relatively brief periods, reduces hourly wages for men by approximately 11%, the time employed by 9 weeks per year, and annual earnings by 40%.[xliv]


As I have stated, this isn't an envy issue, as I am just fine. On the selfish side, I am a decade or so from retirement and want to enjoy retirement and would like to avoid any issues that could lead to strife/unrest at a point in my life when I could not deal with it very well. I am not a SJW. I am not a socialist. I just do not like the trends that are pervasive in all this type of data. I do not like that we are starting to get third world diseases and issues back in certain areas of the US that we had defeated. I have lived overseas for the past nine years and on return, it is much more apparent to me than when I left. I'm not a Bernie-style alarmist saying that we must dismantle corporations immediately etc. I'm just saying that the data is clear and to act like it isn't an issue on the horizon if we continue as we are is head in the sand, IMHO.
 
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Sep 29, 2011
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Breckenridge, CO
Seems to me he explained how the wealth gap occurred along with what he thinks needs to change. What he didn’t explain, or at least I couldn’t decipher, is what exactly is the problem with a large wealth gap. What problem does a wealth gap create? Who if anyone is hurt as a result of the wealth gap? Please explain, or summarize what Dalio thinks is a problem.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I believe these are some important points. He has more:

1. We are losing income mobility. In the past, it was easier to go from poor or lower middle class into higher incomes. Now, class mobility is definitely trending down. This ruins the spirit of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness that our country was founded on.


2. Those people stuck being poor, are relatively poorer. The wealthy are becoming fabulously wealthy. The upper middle class is hanging in there. The lower ends are poorer than they were in the 1970s on a relative basis. It is similar to a stock market rally with great breadth vs a stock market rally led by a few high fliers where the rest of the market lags. I suspect that you have enough market knowledge to know which of those is more likely to maintain.


3. We are falling behind globally in the ability of the poor to move up:
Growing up we were taught in social studies that one of the great parts of the American experiment was lack of a royal or even an aristocratic class. And American through hard work/ingenuity/luck had a chance to be very successful. In other countries, a class system prevented that. Well, other countries have dismantled much of their class system while we have sort of created one. Not purposeful, but, that American dream is much more common elsewhere than here. Doesn't mean it can't happen here, but the data shows we have lost the lead.



4. Our free education system doesn't work very well. My kids are in private school. I would have to move out of the city to a wealthier area to get them in a public school that I would find acceptable. But, that example (me) is part of the wealth gap. I can afford tuition that is almost half of the median income to get my kids better educated. If you can't, your kid falls behind, whether his fault or not. The way we fund schools gives distinct advantages to kids that won the birth lottery and were born to wealthy parents. Public education should be a much more level playing field. As the wealth gap increases, so does this issue.

5. And this section is the consequence we see from this:
Bad childcare and bad education lead to badly behaved adults hence higher crime rates that inflict terrible costs on the society:

The United States’ incarceration rate is nearly five times the average of other developed countries and three times that of emerging countries.[xlii] The direct cost of keeping people incarcerated is staggering and has grown rapidly: state correctional costs quadrupled over the past two decades and now top $50 billion a year, consuming 1 in every 15 general fund dollars.[xliii]
This bad cycle perpetuates itself as criminal/arrest records make it much more difficult to find a job, which depresses earnings. Serving time, even relatively brief periods, reduces hourly wages for men by approximately 11%, the time employed by 9 weeks per year, and annual earnings by 40%.[xliv]


As I have stated, this isn't an envy issue, as I am just fine. On the selfish side, I am a decade or so from retirement and want to enjoy retirement and would like to avoid any issues that could lead to strife/unrest at a point in my life when I could not deal with it very well. I am not a SJW. I am not a socialist. I just do not like the trends that are pervasive in all this type of data. I do not like that we are starting to get third world diseases and issues back in certain areas of the US that we had defeated. I have lived overseas for the past nine years and on return, it is much more apparent to me than when I left. I'm not a Bernie-style alarmist saying that we must dismantle corporations immediately etc. I'm just saying that the data is clear and to act like it isn't an issue on the horizon if we continue as we are is head in the sand, IMHO.
Okay, let’s put each of those 5 situations as they relate to the wealth gap to a test. Let’s assume that magically $50 trillion (or $40t, or $30t) disappeared from the 10,000 (or 100,000) wealthiest people without reappearing in the 50 million poorest people thus eliminating the Wealth Gap. To be clear, nothing changes for anyone except the wealth of the top 10,000. Again, this scenario eliminates the mathematical Wealth Gap and thus the (false) narrative that surrounds it.

1. Whatever problem there is with income mobility would still exist without the Wealth Gap. So this is neither a cause nor a symptom of the Wealth Gap.
2. Whatever problem with the current relative wealth of the poor vs past relative wealth of the poor would still exist without the Wealth Gap. So this is neither a cause nor a symptom of the wealth gap.
3. This is just a different spin on no. 1 above. Whatever problem there is with the poor to move up vs other countries would still exist without the Wealth Gap. So this is neither a cause nor a symptom of the wealth gap.
4. Whatever problem there is with public education would still exist without the Wealth Gap. So this is neither a cause nor a symptom of the wealth gap.
5. Whatever problem there is with the adult behavior of the poor would still exist without a Wealth Gap. So this is neither a cause nor a symptom of the wealth gap.

To be sure, everything you listed is either a problem, or creates a problem for the US society. But none of the issues you listed are either a cause or symptom of the mathematical Wealth Gap as first presented in this thread.

Seems to me the author is by and large pointing to the economic conditions facing the poor as the general cause for the poor’s behavior and thus why they are stuck in their economic condition. Kinda circular, huh?

IMO, the relative earning capacity of the population generally reflects the combined talent-capability-willingness-motivation curve of the population.


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Stillwater, OK
Let's see, what has happened in U.S. society since 1985?

Increase in dual income couples (these charts are on household level data) in the upper income groups--especially an increase in females with high incomes, often out-earning their partners.

Continuing increase of single parent homes at the lower end of the spectrum.

Rise of "rap" and "gang" culture that discourages educational achievement and glorifies a life of crime.

Increase of reliance on schools / government to do everything. Parents have abdicated the responsibility of being parents and expecting others to raise their children.

My daughter in law teaches pre-K in public schools. Four year olds show up not potty trained because it's the school's job to potty train them. Kids don't have appropriate clothes or clean clothes. They have a washer and dryer at the school. Backpacks with food for the weekend. Clothes closets. The schools have become a social service agency that MAY have time to actually educate the kids.

I don't know what the answer is, but it is crazy what schools are expected to do, and crazy what parents are NOT expected to do any more.