Wealth Gap

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steross

Bookface/Instagran legend
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Mar 31, 2004
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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 wealth of the population (except for the top 1%(?)) general reflects the combined talent-capability-willingness-motivation curve of the population.


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You want to take all that data and try to turn it into some theoretical chicken-egg argument. Your claims of cause nor symptom are blatantly wrong and, of course, not backed by data, so it will just be my (Dalio's) data saying you are not right and you saying you are.

OK, I am out of here. If that is your best response to hard data this just isn't a convo worth the time. You guys enjoy yourselves.
 
Sep 29, 2011
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Breckenridge, CO
You want to take all that data and try to turn it into some theoretical chicken-egg argument. Your claims of cause nor symptom are blatantly wrong and, of course, not backed by data, so it will just be my (Dalio's) data saying you are not right and you saying you are.

OK, I am out of here. If that is your best response to hard data this just isn't a convo worth the time. You guys enjoy yourselves.
Chicken-Egg? What are you talking about?
Here's the problem. I don't think you understand the chart data in the first post. To recap the data:

Actual wealth distribution (supposedly):
- top 1% = $34t
- next 9% = $34t
- next 10% = $10t
- next 20% = $6t
- next 20% = $3t
- next 40% - $0 ($0 wealth does not equal $0 earning capacity)
If the top 10% of wealth vanished, the distribution would be:
- Top 11% = $10t
- next 22% = $6t
- next 22% = $3t
- next 44% = $0
The massive 'Wealth Gap" would disappear. Yet the poor would have $0 wealth and that will never change no matter what happens. And every "problem" you identified above would still exist. There is no chicken-egg argument.

Ideal (and not only unrealistic, but unachievable in a free enterprise economy) wealth distribution per survey:
- top 20% = $29t
- next 20% = $18t
- next 20% = $18t
- next 20% = $12t
- next 20% = $10t (how could it ever be possible for the bottom 20% of the population to control over 10% of the wealth when the earning capacity of the lowest wage earners (which will always be a significant % of the workforce) in a free enterprise economy almost by definition will be incapable of accumulating meaningful wealth?)
 

llcoolw

Territorial Marshal
Feb 7, 2005
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Sammamish, Washington.Dallas, Texas.Maui, Hawaii
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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More money = more responsibility. You can't just set the cruise control and tell your finance guy to reload your checking account. If that's all there was to it then the finance guy would be calling his finance guy and load his checking account with your cash.

At a certain point you'll have to set up a charitable trust fund. You can't let it run itself. You have to investigate where the money goes. Have to make sure the money got there. Have to make sure it was distributed as per the giving plan.

The funds you decide to get into have to be on the up and up. You have to read the actual prospectus. You have to read the actual history and trends.

The commodities you buy have to be checked in on daily as well as breaking news that can affect them.

Investments have to be checked on multiple times a day depending on your goals. If you're a day trader you're just looking for a 1% move in a fraction of a second.

Real estate has to be checked on weekly. At least.

Bank account has to be checked daily as identity fraud is a real and fast threat. The account has to be balanced weekly so as not to get swamped by a months worth of buying and selling.

Even 401k and IRAs have to be checked in on biweekly at least. I've caught mistakes more than once. At least that's what the administrators call them.

The best part is checking on assets that are tangible. Still takes time though. Coin collections, art, precious metals, meteorites (my case) and any other fun intrinsic things that are owned need to be cared for and valued for insurance twice a year.

Someday I'm going to buy the crap that's not an asset but major liabilities. Still don't have a boat or RV but I really want to. Just need more time to take care of them. Sigh. Someday.
 
Jul 25, 2018
1,241
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48
Boulder, CO
More money = more responsibility. You can't just set the cruise control and tell your finance guy to reload your checking account. If that's all there was to it then the finance guy would be calling his finance guy and load his checking account with your cash.

At a certain point you'll have to set up a charitable trust fund. You can't let it run itself. You have to investigate where the money goes. Have to make sure the money got there. Have to make sure it was distributed as per the giving plan.

The funds you decide to get into have to be on the up and up. You have to read the actual prospectus. You have to read the actual history and trends.

The commodities you buy have to be checked in on daily as well as breaking news that can affect them.

Investments have to be checked on multiple times a day depending on your goals. If you're a day trader you're just looking for a 1% move in a fraction of a second.

Real estate has to be checked on weekly. At least.

Bank account has to be checked daily as identity fraud is a real and fast threat. The account has to be balanced weekly so as not to get swamped by a months worth of buying and selling.

Even 401k and IRAs have to be checked in on biweekly at least. I've caught mistakes more than once. At least that's what the administrators call them.

The best part is checking on assets that are tangible. Still takes time though. Coin collections, art, precious metals, meteorites (my case) and any other fun intrinsic things that are owned need to be cared for and valued for insurance twice a year.

Someday I'm going to buy the crap that's not an asset but major liabilities. Still don't have a boat or RV but I really want to. Just need more time to take care of them. Sigh. Someday.



Best boat I ever had was the one my brother-in-law owned. Just brought beer & gas, & voila!, I had a boat!
 
Oct 30, 2007
3,228
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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.
Income Mobility
I'm not surprised by this statistic. In the past, you could move up by getting a high school education and working hard. But the world has evolved, and it's very difficult now to move up without some sort of post-secondary education. I don't think this is a problem that can be fixed with political policy. The decision to place importance on education has to come from the individual.

Income Growth by Quintile
It's important to understand that those charts are adjusted for inflation. The average median household income was under $10K in 1970. We've seen inflation adjusted wage growth at all income levels over the past 50 years. So every income level is better off now than in 1970.

It's troubling that the bottom 2 quintiles have seen a drop since 2000. It looks like they were following a path of natural ebb & flow until the financial crisis. We had an excellent year for wage growth in 2018. Hopefully we'll see a large spike to get the lower quintiles back on track.

Income Mobility
I think these statistics may be misleading. The odds of someone going from welfare to $200K+ per year might not be very high, but what are the odds that someone can go from welfare to $50-100K per year? Plus we have we have the most overall wealth of any country in the world. There's a big distance between our top & bottom quartile. I'm sure advancement is easier in other countries where there isn't as much of a gap.

K-12 Education
This is the primary place I find common ground with Dalio. Adults can choose to take on student loans for post-secondary education, but children are restricted to the school districts their parents live in. Public schools are largely locally funded, so there isn't really equal opportunity in our K-12 educational system.

I'm not sure where the money comes from unless you reduce military spending, but I wold love to see more federal dollars poured into our K-12 educational system. I would especially like to see it go towards increasing teacher salaries & per pupil spending in lower income areas. This may qualify as redistribution of wealth, but I think the end justify the means because of the importance of education.
 
Sep 29, 2011
355
63
578
59
Breckenridge, CO
You want to take all that data and try to turn it into some theoretical chicken-egg argument. Your claims of cause nor symptom are blatantly wrong and, of course, not backed by data, so it will just be my (Dalio's) data saying you are not right and you saying you are.

OK, I am out of here. If that is your best response to hard data this just isn't a convo worth the time. You guys enjoy yourselves.
I'd hate for you to chicken out on further discussion. Since my last two posts didn't seem to hit home, let me try a different approach.

Do you think the lack of income mobility for the poor is because of, a result of, created by, a symptom of or exacerbated by the wealthy or the existence of their wealth? I sure don't.

Do you think the regression over time in the relative wealth of the poor is because of, a result of, created by, a symptom of or exacerbated by the wealthy or the existence of their wealth? I sure don't.

Do you think the lack of income mobility for the poor versus other countries is because of, a result of, created by, a symptom of or exacerbated by the wealthy or the existence of their wealth? I sure don't.

Do you think the state of public education is because of, a result of, created by, a symptom of or exacerbated by the wealthy or the existence of their wealth? I sure don't.

Do you think the bad behavior of the poor is because of, a result of, created by, a symptom of or exacerbated by the wealthy or the existence of their wealth? I sure don't.

It occurs to me every argument about the Wealth Gap revolves around the problems that present some sort of societal or economic barrier for the poor to join the ranks of the wealthy, with no real problem in and of itself for the wealthy to own or control their wealth. What am I missing?
 
Sep 29, 2011
355
63
578
59
Breckenridge, CO
More money = more responsibility. You can't just set the cruise control and tell your finance guy to reload your checking account. If that's all there was to it then the finance guy would be calling his finance guy and load his checking account with your cash.

At a certain point you'll have to set up a charitable trust fund. You can't let it run itself. You have to investigate where the money goes. Have to make sure the money got there. Have to make sure it was distributed as per the giving plan.

The funds you decide to get into have to be on the up and up. You have to read the actual prospectus. You have to read the actual history and trends.

The commodities you buy have to be checked in on daily as well as breaking news that can affect them.

Investments have to be checked on multiple times a day depending on your goals. If you're a day trader you're just looking for a 1% move in a fraction of a second.

Real estate has to be checked on weekly. At least.

Bank account has to be checked daily as identity fraud is a real and fast threat. The account has to be balanced weekly so as not to get swamped by a months worth of buying and selling.

Even 401k and IRAs have to be checked in on biweekly at least. I've caught mistakes more than once. At least that's what the administrators call them.

The best part is checking on assets that are tangible. Still takes time though. Coin collections, art, precious metals, meteorites (my case) and any other fun intrinsic things that are owned need to be cared for and valued for insurance twice a year.

Someday I'm going to buy the crap that's not an asset but major liabilities. Still don't have a boat or RV but I really want to. Just need more time to take care of them. Sigh. Someday.
All true, especially the bit about checking on tangible assets. My classic car collection is time intensive and a load of work - but lots of fun.
 

CaliforniaCowboy

Federal Marshal
Oct 15, 2003
15,564
2,438
1,743
So Cal
...read it and decide that the detailed data he provided isn't a problem to you does not make it not a problem.

.
but it DOES make it NOT a federal problem. IF it is a problem, it is only a moral issue, but since the left are opposed to morals and religion, then it's not really a problem at all, is it?

The Constitution prevents this from being a "problem".
 

CaliforniaCowboy

Federal Marshal
Oct 15, 2003
15,564
2,438
1,743
So Cal
Now, class mobility is definitely trending down. This ruins the spirit of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness that our country was founded on.
that is an absolutely outrageous statement. There is absolutely no truth what so ever in that statement.

Class mobility is a Marxist concept, which has absolutely nothing to do with liberty, freedom or the pursuit of anything.

that statement is flat out fraudulent.
 

CaliforniaCowboy

Federal Marshal
Oct 15, 2003
15,564
2,438
1,743
So Cal
You want to take all that data and try to turn it into some theoretical chicken-egg argument. Your claims of cause nor symptom are blatantly wrong and, of course, not backed by data, so it will just be my (Dalio's) data saying you are not right and you saying you are.

OK, I am out of here. If that is your best response to hard data this just isn't a convo worth the time. You guys enjoy yourselves.
I looked at the data and passed commenting on it because it was all mischaracterized bogus nonsense.

definitely NOT cause and effect, even though it was portrayed as such.
 

CaliforniaCowboy

Federal Marshal
Oct 15, 2003
15,564
2,438
1,743
So Cal
I'm not sure where the money comes from unless you reduce military spending, but I wold love to see more federal dollars poured into our K-12 educational system. I would especially like to see it go towards increasing teacher salaries & per pupil spending in lower income areas. This may qualify as redistribution of wealth, but I think the end justify the means because of the importance of education.
There is no evidence that any of those things actually work as you are suggesting.

Paying a teacher more does not have any correlation on outcome of the student.

more money per student in lower income areas has no evidence of increasing learning. almost all of the problems in inner-city and lower income areas are lack of a solid home environment and support.

vouchers and school choice seems to be the one idea with the most promise, especially for inner-city kids and low income areas.
 
Oct 30, 2007
3,228
2,867
1,743
There is no evidence that any of those things actually work as you are suggesting.

Paying a teacher more does not have any correlation on outcome of the student.

more money per student in lower income areas has no evidence of increasing learning. almost all of the problems in inner-city and lower income areas are lack of a solid home environment and support.

vouchers and school choice seems to be the one idea with the most promise, especially for inner-city kids and low income areas.
Throwing money at education won't necessarily make it better. There are a lot of reasons why kids from lower income areas struggle, and most of them have nothing to do with educational funding.

I heard a local school administrator talking about how his school district had switched to the 4 day work week over the past few years. He said that the teachers really like the 4 day school week, and they received a lot more applications whenever they had a job opening. He said he felt like it allowed them to hire better teachers. The school's test scores improved noticeably.

The main reason I would like to see higher salaries & more per pupil spending in lower income areas is because it would allow them to attract better teachers whenever they have a job opening. I think this would lead to higher levels of success and better test scores. It wouldn't solve the problem, but I think it would help.
 
Jul 25, 2018
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Boulder, CO
Throwing money at education won't necessarily make it better. There are a lot of reasons why kids from lower income areas struggle, and most of them have nothing to do with educational funding.

I heard a local school administrator talking about how his school district had switched to the 4 day work week over the past few years. He said that the teachers really like the 4 day school week, and they received a lot more applications whenever they had a job opening. He said he felt like it allowed them to hire better teachers. The school's test scores improved noticeably.

The main reason I would like to see higher salaries & more per pupil spending in lower income areas is because it would allow them to attract better teachers whenever they have a job opening. I think this would lead to higher levels of success and better test scores. It wouldn't solve the problem, but I think it would help.
Yeah, the "just throw more $$ at it" solution's not really born out the results promised.

Beyond that, unless we're actually going to be honest & talk about total compensation for teachers & in OK, specifically, the ridiculous costs of administration, then we're not really having a genuine discussion on fixing things. This drove me crazy last year during the strikes.
 

llcoolw

Territorial Marshal
Feb 7, 2005
5,469
3,149
1,743
Sammamish, Washington.Dallas, Texas.Maui, Hawaii
Yeah, the "just throw more $$ at it" solution's not really born out the results promised.

Beyond that, unless we're actually going to be honest & talk about total compensation for teachers & in OK, specifically, the ridiculous costs of administration, then we're not really having a genuine discussion on fixing things. This drove me crazy last year during the strikes.
There are sure a lot ISDs in Oklahoma. Like over 500 or some crazy number. Seems like a gimmick. A real good one if you can land administrative jobs.
 

CaliforniaCowboy

Federal Marshal
Oct 15, 2003
15,564
2,438
1,743
So Cal
The main reason I would like to see higher salaries & more per pupil spending in lower income areas is because it would allow them to attract better teachers whenever they have a job opening. I think this would lead to higher levels of success and better test scores. It wouldn't solve the problem, but I think it would help.
but it is simply not true, is it?
The link between per-pupil spending and educational quality is much debated in research. Skeptics of greater spending have pointed to lackluster results from the U.S.’s titanic annual expenditures on education, but a series of recent research studies have documented learning gains and increased college attendance for students in school districts where spending had surged.

I don't know about 4-day work week, because that can create problems for the parents who have no child-care on the 5th day.

Schools Start Too Early

Learn how starting school later can help adolescents get enough sleep and improve their health, academic performance, and quality of life.
Not getting enough sleep is common among high school students and is associated with several health risks including being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and using drugs, as well as poor academic performance. One of the reasons adolescents do not get enough sleep is early school start times. The American Academy of PediatricsExternal has recommended that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later to give students the opportunity to get the amount of sleep they need, but most American adolescents start school too early.
https://www.cdc.gov/features/school-start-times/index.html
 
Jul 25, 2018
1,241
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Boulder, CO
There are sure a lot ISDs in Oklahoma. Like over 500 or some crazy number. Seems like a gimmick. A real good one if you can land administrative jobs.
I looked last year & there are something like 540 districts. Over 300 of have less than 600 kids K-12.

I'm not saying bus kids for hours both ways, but when you've got 3 districts within 20 miles of each other, at least consolidate the administration. An admin making $100k in Glencoe, Pawnee & Morrison is a little ridiculous.
 
Sep 29, 2011
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Breckenridge, CO
Wicked cool. Any orange ones in there?
Currently own:
Orange/White 1969 Camaro Crossram RS Z/28
Orange/Black 1971 Olds 442 W-30 Convertible
Black/White 1967 Corvette 427 Coupe
Black/White 1954 Chevy 5-Window Pickup

Previously owned:
Orange/White 1970 Camaro RS Z/28
Orange/Black 1970 Cougar Eliminator
White/Orange 1969 Camaro RS/SS 396 Indy Pace Car
 
Oct 30, 2007
3,228
2,867
1,743
Currently own:
Orange/White 1969 Camaro Crossram RS Z/28
Orange/Black 1971 Olds 442 W-30 Convertible
Black/White 1967 Corvette 427 Coupe
Black/White 1954 Chevy 5-Window Pickup

Previously owned:
Orange/White 1970 Camaro RS Z/28
Orange/Black 1970 Cougar Eliminator
White/Orange 1969 Camaro RS/SS 396 Indy Pace Car
You clearly have too much classic muscle car wealth. Some of it needs to be redistributed. :D
 
Sep 29, 2011
355
63
578
59
Breckenridge, CO
Currently own:
Orange/White 1969 Camaro Crossram RS Z/28
Orange/Black 1971 Olds 442 W-30 Convertible
Black/White 1967 Corvette 427 Coupe
Black/White 1954 Chevy 5-Window Pickup

Previously owned:
Orange/White 1970 Camaro RS Z/28
Orange/Black 1970 Cougar Eliminator
White/Orange 1969 Camaro RS/SS 396 Indy Pace Car
You clearly have too much classic muscle car wealth. Some of it needs to be redistributed. :D
Don’t tell anyone, but that’s just the orange/black/white units.


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