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Income inequality impairs the American Dream of upward mobility

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posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 01:46 PM
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originally posted by: crayzeed
Imo successful economic mobility demands that the more people that use the economy the more successful the economy will be. In more plain terms, the more people you have spending money the more vibrant the economy is therefore when the majority of the countries wealth is concentrated in a few individuals that seriously want to hoard and keep that wealth, like you have in the US at this moment in time, then the economy will go into a decline. If these rich individuals do not allow the majority of people have a significant amount of disposable money(by that I don't mean debts) then eventually the economy will collapse. This collapse can and has been artificially propped up by governments spending in public ventures but this is an illusion. The ONLY way to have economic mobility is to have a vibrant economy through a vibrant populations spending disposable income.


Well said. Wealth concentration is bad we should all be agreeing on this principle. No I know your not calling for socialism your calling for less selfishness. I get it it's a bad cycle,




posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 01:53 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

Economic inequality and the issues for upward mobility are, oddly enough, one of the subject matters that was frequently touched on in my School of Business. In Business Ethics, the concepts were heavily discussed and the question of "what leads to success?" was hashed out in terms of defining "what is fair?". Although we're taught, culturally, that success can come to you if you just work hard and have skills, the reality tends to tilt actual success as being a matter of "luck".

An example of that would be Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos. Bezos worked his butt off at school and had the skills to do so. He ended up attending Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude. There is that element of "hard work and skill" as being a vehicle for success. However, acceptance into Princeton, based on the number of excellent applicants, is also a factor of luck. Bezos worked several jobs after graduation and eventually became a vice president of Bankers Trust (now no longer extant). He also worked for a hedge fund which probably put him into contact with venture capitalists. That still would most likely represent hard work and effort paying off with a heavy dash of luck. However, when he quit his job and traveled to Seattle to build Amazon.com, he'd already made friends with Nick Hanauer--a venture capitalist willing to invest in Bezos' idea. That's pure luck and here's the question--would Bezos have been able to make Amazon.com if he hadn't made friends with Hanauer? The image of Bezos making Amazon.com in his garage, which is a story often told about the most successful and upwardly mobile as being an example of hard work and ingenuity leading to great success, takes a bit of a different tilt when the full story is examined.

How many hard working, skilled students don't make it into Princeton? A whole lot. How many of them don't get those opportunities to rub elbows with just the right people? A whole lot. How many might have some great thing built in their garage that will never see the light of day because they didn't happen to know a venture capitalist? A whole lot. That is all luck.

In a society that rewards hard work and ingenuity with an increased potential for success, one would expect that, if you have a great idea and are willing to work hard to put it into being, you can do it. The reality is that luck plays an enormous role in actually making dreams possible and if you're that guy that ended up having to go to a state college as that's all your parents could afford after being rejected at Princeton, well, tough luck. All those elbow rubbing possibilities go bye bye along with that Princeton rejection.

And Hanauer? He's pure luck. He describes himself as a "mediocre student" who went to a state university to get a degree in...philosophy. What made him successful? He was born in a family that had a successful business and got lucky in meeting smart guys and taking some risks on them. He was born lucky and he knows it.

For an example of the less lucky Bezos of the world, all one has to do is look at Nicola Tesla. He was mighty unlucky though he worked hard and god knows he was smart with some amazing ideas. He died impoverished iirc trying to bring his ideas into being.

Thinking about these three examples of that American Dream of upward mobility, one can see a few possible truths. First, that upward mobility is easier when you're already a bit up there. Second, that becoming upwardly mobile is not just a matter of hard work and skill but holds heavy doses of luck being involved and that luck aspect reduces that chance of having the American Dream for many hard working and skilled Americans. Lastly, if your American Dream opposes someone who has already reached the top and they don't want it to happen, expect to be crushed no matter how much hard work, ingenuity and skill you put into your endeavors.

That's the American Dream in reality.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 02:11 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

'INCOME INEQUALITY IMPAIRS THE AMERICAN DREAM OF UPWARD MOBILITY'
Is it a separate entity that sets the topic for the debate? Or was that the title chosen by those who debated 'For' the premise. It seems to be very singular in the way it is worded.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

Sorry about the double..no page transit yet again.

edit on 2-11-2014 by smurfy because: Text.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: smurfy

No idea.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 02:15 PM
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a reply to: WhiteAlice

Best response I've read thanks for the time and effort.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 02:34 PM
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originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: WhiteAlice

Best response I've read thanks for the time and effort.


You're welcome. One thing that I came to see and many of my professors saw as well is that, because luck was growing to be increasingly emphasized in today's world, the emphasis on luck components to upward mobility is getting more solidified to the point where American society has grown more rigidly stratified. Nowadays, particularly with a still strong employers' market, you can have two individuals with the same amount of skill applying for a single job and the factor that differentiates them is simply a matter of luck. Attractiveness becomes the winning point of difference. Lots of studies have been done on the whole "luck" factor in success. It's pretty depressing.

I was pronouncing the American Dream as being effectively dead for the mass majority of Americans about 3 years ago due to increased luck emphasis (born with it), stratification, increased barriers to entry, and decreased competition. This was going to become an eventuality for our society and that was one of the reasons why we had such significant estate taxes and limited life corporations. Those things were attempts to allow more opportunity for upward mobility. One has been effectively nullified and the other is gone. We're just a few steps away from having the sort of stratification that a feudal society would have according to my Business Ethics professor. I kind of agree with her. Sure, every once in a while a Hop O' My Thumb or Cinderella is going to make it to the top with their luck and ingenuity but for most, there are prolific barriers.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 02:36 PM
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a reply to: smurfy

That's the way a formal debate works. A proposition is presented. One side argues for the proposition and the other against. Here are others.
intelligencesquaredus.org...
edit on 11/2/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 03:56 PM
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The best way to illustrate the problem is to look at failure.

When an individual or small business fails they end up in near permanent debt. Bankruptcy has been all but removed as an option for individuals. Student debt for example can never be erased. A person who fails like this is forced to go on welfare and food stamps and such. This safety net is paid for by the hard work of the middle class since the wealthiest people and corporations get tax breaks.

When a rich person or huge corporation fails they are able to manipulate the system and jump right back up. We all remember the bank bailout right? The major banks were utterly irresponsibile and failed completely due to their greed and ineptitude. Instead of actually failing they were propped up to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars from our taxes. So again the middle class pays for this.

If you want a nice microcosm just look at Trump. He's failed his shareholders many times. He's screwed over investors many times. In fact he's battery ever been profitable at all. His only real skill is in gaming the system so that everyone pays for his failure except him.

www.legalzoom.com...

Long story short, the system is entirely rigged so that the people at the top never pay for their failures. Usually the middle class pays through their taxes. They never get the same treatment.

If you open a restaurant with your hard earned savings and it fails well congratulations on being in debt forever. I've seen it happen over and over again in my area. The only winner in this situation is the property owner who gets their rent no matter what.

The American dream is filled with a slow moving but deadly cancer. It's in hospice now. Hopefully someone comes up with a miracle cure. The landed/moneyed aristocracy are poised to enslave us all. The best part is the slaves have no chains and require no maintenance. They are self policing and self maintaining. If they do die, there's always more. At least the southern slavery system had the guts to do it openly.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 04:02 PM
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originally posted by: WhiteAlice
a reply to: onequestion

Economic inequality and the issues for upward mobility are, oddly enough, one of the subject matters that was frequently touched on in my School of Business. In Business Ethics, the concepts were heavily discussed and the question of "what leads to success?" was hashed out in terms of defining "what is fair?". Although we're taught, culturally, that success can come to you if you just work hard and have skills, the reality tends to tilt actual success as being a matter of "luck".


Interesting you say that. I went the school of business studies, ethics were not part of the curriculum there. It does lead me on to a character like Sir Richard Branson though, who in his youth was caught dodging...trying to dodge, a 33% sales tax on his mail order records, (he did pay any other tax or taxes required at the time) and spent a night in the clink, and was afterwards £60,000 out of pocket. Since that, or shortly after,
he pays all taxes due anywhere for all 400 companies he owns. None of those are UK registered companies..that's not to say that there are no dues to pay in the UK though, but if there are he pays them. Sir Rchard Branson was both a bit of a dick at times, and also a hard worker, and he made it. So yes, luck is a big part, but hard work is also a factor, it's just that the two put together can also be seen as a concept, success, American dream whatever. And that's the thing here, the topic in question is so far removed from today's circumstances, because it is not one topic for discussion, in reality it is separate issues rolled into one topic as if, and is false. Put it another way, how many big banks were, 'propped up' and by definition, made money out of being, 'Too big to fail' in the banking 'crisis' Who paid for all that, and where does it figure, and how does it figure?



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 04:31 PM
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a reply to: smurfy

Yep, not all Schools of Business Administration choose to have business ethics as a mandatory part of their curriculum. Without identifying my university in deference to privacy, my university, after the series of scandals that rocked the accounting and business world (Enron and Arthur Anderson, WorldCom, and the myriad controversies surrounding the Financial Crisis of 2007/8), worked in conjunction with major global businesses in the area to build an industry corrective (hopefully) curriculum. The partnership between those industries and my university was/is an attempt to essentially "save capitalism from itself" in that many of those scandals both had a lasting affect on both the professionals and the industries in terms of public confidence. In other words, both the university and those companies felt a vested interest in doing the unusual for a SBA and that includes things like Business Ethics as part of the required curriculum.

The determination was to maintain the standard curriculum (ie finance and regular forms of cost accounting are still taught) but in conjunction with social emphasis including examination of all externalities. It's called sustainability accounting and, like I said it's what they determined must be done to correct what has occurred. Because the curriculum was developed in conjunction with those global businesses within the area, it's likely to have some effect locally, if not nationally. So, kind of weird, I suppose but the same university also is building LEEDS gold buildings so what can one expect? lol Our professors were a mix of Harvard grad ivory tower types and individuals coming from excellent careers. I'm sure we're all a bunch of weirdos to many other SBA's, lol.

This little graphic from the wiki link actually sums up where sustainability accounting aims: upload.wikimedia.org...





edit on 2/11/14 by WhiteAlice because: english, i do speak!

edit on 2/11/14 by WhiteAlice because: added second link



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 04:47 PM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: smurfy

That's the way a formal debate works. A proposition is presented. One side argues for the proposition and the other against. Here are others.
intelligencesquaredus.org...

I know how a formal debate works, That's not what I was asking. The proposition is full of noise..for me, and I would want to know from where it came.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 05:20 PM
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a reply to: WhiteAlice

Ethics at business school isn't that the same as a bible in a whorehouse.(and yes I have an business administration degree)



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 06:06 PM
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originally posted by: WhiteAlice
a reply to: smurfy



The determination was to maintain the standard curriculum (ie finance and regular forms of cost accounting are still taught) but in conjunction with social emphasis including examination of all externalities. It's called sustainability accounting and, like I said it's what they determined must be done to correct what has occurred.

Yup the banks do that big time now here, everything goes into the assets portfolio though, (which includes their now trading liabilities, aka/covering reserves) and including property repossessed, currently they are cheeky enough to want to sell that to someone else..and it's not just domestic property, it's all over the world, and could still tell a tale. Thing is, for this thread, and at this time the proposition for the debate is contrived because, on the one hand it is NOW a trueism, because there is so much going on unresolved over which we have no power over, as against what USED to be the normal aspirations of people. Still, the debate was an American forum and does not yet equate to the rest of the world as far as the comfort zone is concerned. Okay, Dr Feelgood won the debate..I think? The real world, look around you.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 06:14 PM
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If no one knew poverty, why would anyone want to do anything to become better? Income equality would be technological and educational stagnation. I want to quit my job and slack off and find an easier job. I really do. But, I know what is waiting for me if I chose to do that. Poverty. Poverty motivates me to keep going. To keep trying. To keep benefiting the country through my work.

If I knew that it didn't matter, that I would make the same as everyone else regardless of what I do, I would take the path of least resistance. But, since it does matter. The path of least resistance, for me, is trying to do good. It should be logical to understand that income equality is a bad idea.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 06:16 PM
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a reply to: smithjustinb

This does not justify poverty sorry.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 06:24 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

This does not justify poverty sorry.

I didn't see any attempt at such justification.

I thought the topic was income inequality, not poverty. Just because people make more money than I do, does not mean I live in poverty. You seem to be doing the same thing Elise did in the debate, deflecting.






edit on 11/2/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 06:25 PM
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a reply to: smithjustinb

Look your taking it to far we don't want to impose a perfect system we want to close the gap so no one is living in poverty it's really simple.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 06:26 PM
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a reply to: Phage

I misread his statement. I respond in the above post.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 06:29 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

The gap has been smaller, quite a bit smaller. Guess what? There were still poor people.
Income inequality does not create poverty.



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