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Article: Why Income Inequality Matters

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Lotus49, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. Lotus49

    Lotus49 Emperor

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    http://finance.yahoo.com/columnist/article/economist/19750


    I found this article interesting, relevant to discussions usually seen around this forum, plus it actually changed my point of view a bit. Still, this is not an issue in which it's easy to find a perfect solution. Hmmm, perhaps America is still running at just slightly too high a gear (like an emerging economy) and needs to downshift a gear towards 'the left' and take it's place among the developed Western economic powers. -And that's incredibly difficult for me to say (I tend towards balls-to-the-wall capitalism, where growth is paramount). But, like a mature int'l corporation that gets so big it simply can't grow anywhere near the rate it used to, perhaps it's time to hike up the dividend, and return some wealth to all the shareholders rather than keep scratching for modest growth while neglecting the little guys. -To use an analogy.
     
  2. blackheart

    blackheart unenlightened

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    I'm going to write that I agree before someone calls us both socialists or communists.
     
  3. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    That's a big if.
     
  4. blackheart

    blackheart unenlightened

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    Many poor people are disillusioned, self-loathing, hopeless, etc. That's why they don't have the foresight to stay in school.
     
  5. skadistic

    skadistic Caomhanach

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    Commies!!!!!!!

    Rich people are rich so what.

    Tell me how many millions have Bill Gates and Warren buffet given away?

    How many trillions have rich people spent on products the not so rich have a job making?


    Seeing as the gap is getting wider but thats only between to two extreams. For the most part average joe is moving up too. I those at the bottom realy feel they can't too be successful it has to do with their own self worth outlook and not the reality they live in. Rags to riches stories happen all the time. I don't feel sorry for these people, they feel sorry for them selves enough already.
     
  6. Irish Caesar

    Irish Caesar Yellow Jacket

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    I don't think the article addressed income inequality at all, it addressed how absolute poverty was bad, and that people want to be richer than others rather than having others richer than them.
     
  7. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    The shareholders and employees at Goldman Sachs were extremely well rewarded (~$130 Dec. 2005 to ~$212 today) and is far from a mature business. Paying a higher dividend means capital out of the company and is lazy. If your business is people (IE Goldman Sachs) then want to keep the best and brightest you pay them ridiculously well. It's the carrot that makes that investment banker work an 18 hour days and get up 2 hours later to catch a flight from New York to San Fran and do it all over again.
     
  8. Stylesjl

    Stylesjl SOS Brigade Member

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    Well i don't know how anybody could truly justify income inequality except for that tired old argument that somehow the majority of rich people "Earned it" when the circumstances in life, and luck usually play the biggest role (mind you working hard is a great virtue too, it's just that many do work hard but never go from rags to riches)

    But once again, capitalism , love it and hate it is so far the best thing we have
     
  9. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    Warren Buffet? He's giving his money away to the only person on the planet richer than him - Bill Gates.:lol:
     
  10. Hayek

    Hayek Old Whig

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    I have heard of that before. The greatest difficulty I have with that argument is that it makes envy a legitimate basis for social policy. What if people were generally suspicious of some racial minority and felt that they would be happier as long as their incomes were higher than those of the racial minority? It need not be race, of course. It could be gender, occupation, people of other countries or whatever.

    As for the recent rise in income inequality in the U.S.A., it may be beneficial. It all depends on how it came about. If technological progress carrying with it higher returns on capital is a good thing, then why should not better education leading to higher returns on human capital be desirable? If this is the reason behind the 'widening gap' in the U.S., increased inequality may be a good thing. Of course, the American educational system is not perfect by a long shot. Rather than more redistribution, it may be worthwile to focus on reform of the educational system to lower income inequality.

    I don't know how most studies of inequality are carried out, but in case the GINI coefficient does not take into account non-monetary compensation (such as employer-provided insurance) and redistributive measures like the EITC, the results may not be wholly accurate. I personally prefer measuring consumption, rather than income, as consumption is likely to remain fairly stable when individuals are between jobs (because individuals know that future income will cover temporarily unsustainable consumption). I think consumption is a better proxy for measuring hardship than is income.
     
  11. Sidhe

    Sidhe Deity

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    I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that you are incorrigably and unapologetically middle class. Ok we get it already, poor people are just lazy, Rich people worked hard to get where they are with no breaks whatsoever. Poor people should be rounded up and put into death camps, blah,blah,blah.

    Enough with the trite homilies already, we get it:p :)

    And by the way the poor are moving down or stagnating while the rich get richer. So if an avergae schmo happens to be poor, he's having a tougher time than he used to, of course because he's lazy and shiftless, but that goes without saying ;)
     
  12. skadistic

    skadistic Caomhanach

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    And what did they do with the money? How much have you given?

    Your conclusion is wrong. I'm part of the upper class that worked his way up from being dead broke. And your mischaracterasation of what I did say is pathetic. You clearly haven't read any thing I posted on the ecomonic and income classes in America. By the way how long have you lived and worked in America?

    No you don't get it. If you did I wouldn't need to repeate my "trite homilies".

    The average joe is moving up in America. And they aren't lazy and shiftless they just don't try hard enough to improve their lot in life. I don't expect the likes of you to understand how that works since you failed so miserably at understanding what I posted....or you porpusly misrepresented my words in with case it's just dishonest.
     
  13. JerichoHill

    JerichoHill Bedrock of Knowledge

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    Education, Education, Education.

    If you want to prattle against income inequality, you should be ashamed of our primary educational system, as its very much responsible for the economic situation of lower-income families.

    Capitalism works well in creating wealth. No one said or claims it creates income equality (just equality of opportunity). It is on the educational system, and your politicians, to ensure that the state and local authorities provide the KSA's necessary for people to rise through the ranks.

    80% of American households are class-mobile (they move from one class to another many times, and normally its from lower-mid and mid-high (except in recessions, reverse it))

    Before you all prattle on a subject you know nothing about save reading a yahoo article (sigh), why don't you spend 20 bucks, and buy Sudhir Venkatesh's "Off the Books" It's all about the poor and the underground economy and what's going on amongst the poorest people in Chicago.

    Read that, and then let me know what you think.
     
  14. Sidhe

    Sidhe Deity

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    You sound like the sort of person who just because you made it thinks it's easy to do. And you sound like you've forgotten what it was like at the bottom how much harder you had to work to keep your head above water, how few breaks you were given and what a tough old world it is being poor.

    Because now you seem to have no sympathy for anything a poverty stricken individual has to go through. So yes I mock you, because from what you say, you sound quite arrogant, and blinkered, which for someone who came up through the slime to stand at the top of slime heap, is pretty unusual.

    And did you read the economist article, it clearly shows that the poor are either stagnating or getting poorer, you can argue with that if you like but I'd need a link.
     
  15. skadistic

    skadistic Caomhanach

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    So you've lived and worked for how many years in America? You've been poor in America for how long? You were educated for how many years in America? You've been middle class for how many years in America? You took how many of the oppertunities to get ahead in America?

    Mock me all you want what you can't do is tell me what its like to be poor in America or to better you stake in America.
     
  16. Desmond Hawkins

    Desmond Hawkins Deity

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    @JerichoHill: And that is why you should be president. :goodjob:
     
  17. Sidhe

    Sidhe Deity

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    Ok I will then, I got my ideas from talking to Americans about it, so sorry if it's not enough. Never mind, I still think your quite a callous and selfish person for mocking the poor, and yes you did call them lazy on another thread, I find your attitude to be quite bigotted frankly and thus the posts.
     
  18. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    Great book and this week was a great example of that community when a alderman was raided by the FBI...aggressively. Her position gave her immense underground power. Shady real estate deals, guns, drugs, bribes...


    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/208740,trout12_raid.article

    I saw it firsthand last night when the store in my building caught a guy trying to nab multiple bottles of Absolut. When the police arrived they found all kinds of goodies he stole that day.

    Holly lives it everyday with her students...the good news is her class has raised their reading grade level one grade. Since it's a charter school she stands to make a nice bonus.
     
  19. skadistic

    skadistic Caomhanach

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    I'm sorry are you going to answer my questions? How many poor Americans have you talked to? Selfish? I've given out plenty to help others not just money but oppertunity too. Callous? I call it tough love. How exactly am I a biggot?

    But you're the expert having lived and worked and been poor in America for how long?
     
  20. Sidhe

    Sidhe Deity

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    That's a logical fallacy, claiming someone cannot argue about something unless they have experienced it first hand. Come now I can argue about Stalins Russia if I like, all you need to argue about something is to have some evidence of that which your trying to advocate.

    As far as I'm concerned the economist article is right in that it takes 3 seperate reports and concludes that the poor are getting poorer or stagnating and the rich richer, and that social mobility is also going down. Now I suggest you keep away from logical fallacy and read that article, and then present a counter argument to it's assertions. Or you can resort to the argument from authority logical fallacy it's up to you.

    I'm not going to answer your questions because I have already given them the attention they deserve.
     

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