At what point does economic disparity undermine democracy?

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Should drastic policy and tax regulation policies be implemented to offset income concentration?

Poll ended at Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:56 pm

Yes
2
50%
No
2
50%
 
Total votes: 4

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Russ
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At what point does economic disparity undermine democracy?

Postby Russ » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:56 pm

the top 1% captured 121% of the income gains in the first two years of the recovery. From 2009 to 2010, top 1% grew fast and then stagnated from 2010 to 2011. Bottom 99% stagnated both from 2009 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2011. In 2012, top 1% income will likely surge, due to booming stock-prices, as well as re-timing of income to avoid the higher 2013 top tax rates. Bottom 99% will likely grow much more modestly than top 1% incomes from 2011 to 2012.

and...

Looking further ahead, based on the US historical record, falls in income
concentration due to economic downturns are temporary unless drastic
regulation and tax policy changes are implemented and prevent income concentration from bouncing back. Such policy changes took place after the Great Depression during the New Deal and permanently reduced income concentration until the 1970s (Figures 2, 3). In contrast, recent
downturns, such as the 2001 recession, lead to only very temporary drops in income concentration (Figures 2, 3).

The policy changes that are taking place coming out of the Great
recession (financial regulation and top tax rate increase in 2013) are
not negligible but they are modest relative to the policy changes that took place coming out of the Great depression. Therefore, it seems unlikely that US income concentration will fall much in the coming years.

Here's the paper:
http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2011.pdf



and... a graph



Image



http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph[/url]


Are we witnessing the birth of America's Plutocracy?

nvandyk
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Re: At what point does economic disparity undermine democrac

Postby nvandyk » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:33 pm

This is silly.

Life is not a zero sum game.

There is more income mobility in the US than in other countries.

You shouldn't be worried about the top x%. Worry about your own work and productivity and income.

For that matter, even if you COULD draw a connection between wealth concentration and something bad happening, the US is far from the worst according to just about any metric you can come up with.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... e_equality

And then, even if you COULD say that the US was the worst...

A big fat SO WHAT comes to mind.

So what?

Please identify the specific impact that Bill Gates' wealth accumulation has on you as a person.

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Stevie WOnder
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Postby Stevie WOnder » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:11 pm

The problem with your assumption is that policies that distribute from the rich to the poor create poor states. We have in Quebec the most socialist of the provinces in Canada and we're slowly but surely becoming the poorest of them all.

Entrepreneurs tend to leave here because they can make more elsewhere and lazy bastards tend to do nothing about their situation since Mommy the Government is supplying more than enough to live a decent life.

I think we need a minimal social net and force the lazy bastards back to work. There, I feel better!! :wink:
"Manowar rules!!!" - Larry D

nvandyk
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Postby nvandyk » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:34 pm

Stevie WOnder wrote:The problem with your assumption is that policies that distribute from the rich to the poor create poor states. We have in Quebec the most socialist of the provinces in Canada and we're slowly but surely becoming the poorest of them all.

Entrepreneurs tend to leave here because they can make more elsewhere and lazy bastards tend to do nothing about their situation since Mommy the Government is supplying more than enough to live a decent life.

I think we need a minimal social net and force the lazy bastards back to work. There, I feel better!! :wink:


Yes -- this, too, is true.

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Russ
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Postby Russ » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:56 pm

Out of 141 countries, the U.S. has the 4th-highest degree of  wealth inequality in the world, trailing only Russia, Ukraine, and Lebanon.

It's well known that the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch are bankrolling the Tea Party, and the influence they have had is undeniable.


http://www.alternet.org/economy/five-ug ... chin-floor

Between the economic growth period 1993-2000 incomes of the bottom 99% grew by over 20%, while the top 1% enjoyed an increase of almost 99%. During the 2002-2007 growth period, incomes for the top 1% grew by almost 70%, while the incomes of the bottom 99% grew by less than 7%.

Hard work and dedication will not be enough to prevent most Americans from living paycheck to paycheck, and fighting to keep their heads above water.

The American Dream is dying...

You say, "So What"? Well... for some of us this is a big deal - not so much for ourselves, but for our children, and our children's children. It's like an outspoken libertarian that heavily relied on government assistance to pay for their education, yet now decries the government doing this very thing for others. I'm not worried about us, I'm worried about what we're leaving for future generations. We're rapidly becoming a two class society, and it's reflected in the income disparity.


What impact does this disparity have on me? The plutocrats are influencing legislation, which affect a myriad of things. The Koch brothers meddling with renewable energy legislation has impacted thousands to tens of thousands of jobs, utility costs, pollution (and the long-term effects of said pollution), among other things...

Yet the Keystone pipeline will give us upwards of 50 jobs. I guess that's something. :)

http://ecowatch.com/2013/koch-brothers- ... le-energy/

nvandyk
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Postby nvandyk » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:09 am

Russ wrote:Out of 141 countries, the U.S. has the 4th-highest degree of  wealth inequality in the world, trailing only Russia, Ukraine, and Lebanon.

It's well known that the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch are bankrolling the Tea Party, and the influence they have had is undeniable.


http://www.alternet.org/economy/five-ug ... chin-floor

Between the economic growth period 1993-2000 incomes of the bottom 99% grew by over 20%, while the top 1% enjoyed an increase of almost 99%. During the 2002-2007 growth period, incomes for the top 1% grew by almost 70%, while the incomes of the bottom 99% grew by less than 7%.

Hard work and dedication will not be enough to prevent most Americans from living paycheck to paycheck, and fighting to keep their heads above water. The American Dream is dying...

You say, "So What"? Well... for some of us this is a big deal - not so much for ourselves, but for our children, and our children's children. It's like an outspoken libertarian that heavily relied on government assistance to pay for their education, yet now decries the government doing this very thing for others. I'm not worried about us, I'm worried about what we're leaving for future generations. We're rapidly becoming a two class society, and it's reflected by the income disparity.


What impact does this disparity have on me? The plutocrats are influencing legislation, which affect a myriad of things. The Koch brothers meddling with renewable energy legislation has impactedjobs, utility costs, pollution (and the long-term effects of said pollution), among other things...


http://ecowatch.com/2013/koch-brothers- ... le-energy/



I will respond comprehensively tomorrow, but:

1. The first statistic you quote is at best cherry picked and more likely wrong. Ever been to China? And if Europe isn't captured as worse than the US it's because wealth is concentrated in even fewer hands. You are either born into generations of wealth there or you are hosed.

2. You still miss the point that mobility in the US is vastly superior to Europe, among other places, and if you were really concerned about your kids you would want them to have a chance to rise above their station.

3. All these statistics are fear-mongering BS. I asked "So what?" and I haven't been answered. Do you think taxing the Koch's of the world (or George Soros on the other side) at 70 percent is going to make a difference? How about reduce the amount of control that government has so it's less able to be corrupt?

4. Even if everything you said is true, income redistribution isn't going to do anything except make society's laziest less inclined to do anything and reduce incentives for people to create jobs. What percent of jobs, I wonder, are provided by people in the 1 percent?

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Judas
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Postby Judas » Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:59 am

nvandyk wrote: What percent of jobs, I wonder, are provided by people in the 1 percent?


No matter the country,
it is much much (much much much) less then the money financed by the "job provide people" (among others) to that 1 percent.


Judas

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Russ
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Postby Russ » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:42 am

Judas wrote:
nvandyk wrote: What percent of jobs, I wonder, are provided by people in the 1 percent?


No matter the country,
it is much much (much much much) less then the money financed by the "job provide people" (among others) to that 1 percent.


Judas


Trickle down down economics is a sham. Over 50 years of data should be enough to debunk this myth. :)

However, the question on how to deal with income disparity remains....

Raising the minimum wage is an obvious starting point. Increasing it to around $22/hr would put it in line with the rates from the 60's.

nvandyk
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Postby nvandyk » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:46 am

I give up. I can't argue with somebody who argues the way you do, Russ.

Have fun storming the castle.

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Stevie WOnder
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Postby Stevie WOnder » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:42 am

Russ wrote:
Judas wrote:
nvandyk wrote: What percent of jobs, I wonder, are provided by people in the 1 percent?


No matter the country,
it is much much (much much much) less then the money financed by the "job provide people" (among others) to that 1 percent.


Judas


Trickle down down economics is a sham. Over 50 years of data should be enough to debunk this myth. :)

However, the question on how to deal with income disparity remains....

Raising the minimum wage is an obvious starting point. Increasing it to around $22/hr would put it in line with the rates from the 60's.


22$/hr???? I'll bet with you on the following: No matter what amount you will give to the lazy bastards, they'll still quit the job because it demands too much of them. Here in Quebec, we have a huge social net and lots of people on welfare. Jobs you say? We keep importing Mexicans to work the crops in the fields because... guess what... the lazy bastards don't want to do it! :shock:

Why do you think the communist system went down?

I'll agree with Nick, send us pics of that dragon you just slayed...
"Manowar rules!!!" - Larry D

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Russ
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Postby Russ » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:50 am

Image

Had the minimum wage of 1968 ($1.60/hr) been adjusted for inflation, it would be $10.74/hr in 2013.

Had the minimum wage been tied to productivity... from 1960 through today it would have risen to $22/hr.


Slaying dragons? No.... However, I'm not interested in shafting the poor, either.


As I clearly stated in the subject At what point does economic disparity undermine democracy? We're seeing the influence the Tea Party is having on congress, and we know they're being bankrolled by the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch...

Now that money is the driver behind free speech (i.e. Super PACs), the voice of the poor has been nearly silenced.



.....While the charade of moral hypocrisy carries on.....

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introclaus
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Postby introclaus » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:24 pm

Russ wrote:Had the minimum wage of 1968 ($1.60/hr) been adjusted for inflation, it would be $10.74/hr in 2013.

Had the minimum wage been tied to productivity... from 1960 through today it would have risen to $22/hr.


Productivity? As in "how much stuff I get accomplished in an hour"? I'd like to see how you would measure that. I'm assuming that's not what you meant, but what on earth do you mean then by productivity that you would be able to divide out on the individuals that make up the low paying jobs?
Claus Jensen
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Russ
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Postby Russ » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:30 am

introclaus wrote:
Russ wrote:Had the minimum wage of 1968 ($1.60/hr) been adjusted for inflation, it would be $10.74/hr in 2013.

Had the minimum wage been tied to productivity... from 1960 through today it would have risen to $22/hr.


Productivity? As in "how much stuff I get accomplished in an hour"? I'd like to see how you would measure that. I'm assuming that's not what you meant, but what on earth do you mean then by productivity that you would be able to divide out on the individuals that make up the low paying jobs?


Not how much stuff you get accomplished in an hour, but how much money your work generates for the company. But... there's a lot more to it than this oversimplification...

Some argue that the total employee compensation offsets the apparent decrease/stagnation in wages. I would agree with this through 2000 (see link below)

http://www.heritage.org/~/media/Images/Reports/2013/07/BG%202825/BGproductivityandcompensationchart2600.ashx

but from 2000 through today I strongly disagree. There's no denying that workers pay a higher percentage of their own health insurance today than they did 20 years ago. There's no denying that retirement packages are few and far between, though an employee may opt to place some of their wages into a 401K (or something similar)... most employers do not contribute....

So, the overall compensation has dropped while wages have decreased, when adjusted for inflation. Had the minimum wage of 1968 ($1.60/hr) been adjusted for inflation, it would currently be near $10.74/hr.


That means, for most workers, their wages have dropped by around 33%.


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