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Income inequality impairs the American Dream of upward mobility

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posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 05:27 AM
a reply to: WhiteAlice
It is not actually luck that makes people rich but a hidden dynamic that some people possess. This includes abilities such as the ability to influence ( this includes manipulation) other people, the ability to cultivate relationships with the right people, the ability to understand and show empathy for other people, the ability to market oneself in a way that shows consistency of image Eg computers - smart nerdy - bill gates -king smart nerd , the ability to get away with things or be forgiven for things , the ability to manipulate peoples perceptions ( the way people understand situations and things and the way people react to them ) the ability to understand the concepts and apply them behind getting wealthy such as delayed gratification and the assessment of opportunities.

It is often asked whether influence comes because of wealth or was wealth made because of a persons ability to influence others The way that a person is brought up can have a huge influence on whether or not they will be poor , middle class or wealthy. A person that is brought up in a poor household with parents that have a poor persons mentality needs to change the way that they think . This makes it almost impossible for a person that has been brought up with a poor persons mentality to become rich as they virtually have to reprogram themselves. This is why so very few poor people will ever become wealthy as the way we are programmed is very hard to change.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 06:10 AM
I am retired and have given our economy much thought. I know what the schools and media teach what the economy is. I think the economy is US, WE THE PEOPLE. Workers, laborers, spenders of every penny earned. Think about that for awhile and the power if workers and laborers could unite like Wall Street does. Then they would not be looking DOWN at us, they would be looking UP because of the numbers pushing against their Greed. The one way workers had, unions, have been destroyed. But boy, you try to go after their 501c's and other tax cheating ways, look out, Issa will investigate to protect the rich man.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 12:10 PM
a reply to: Qspeedyrock

I'm sorry but I'm going to trust my philosophy professor and the discussion our class had in determining what leads to success. We thoroughly hashed it out. Even with all those traits that you list off, it still is a matter of luck in that the individuals possessing those traits still need that chance of exposure to the right people. That doesn't come easy and is that factor of luck. It's not to say that those traits, once they are there, don't work to get the individual's way. It's just that getting there in the first place that plays a huge role. Ultimately, the class that you're born into is a matter of luck. If babies had a choice of to whom they were going to be born to, then we'd have no children living in poverty.

While I understand what you are trying to say in terms of "reprogramming oneself" from thinking with a "poor mentality", I disagree that that is what prevents someone from actually improving their situation or generating that wealth as it's ignoring additional factors such as capital, opportunity, and education. Those things are frequently difficult to obtain for the poorest of classes. The education aspect is more likely to be the one that is more influenced by any mental programming as obtaining an education may result in being viewed negatively by one's family and peers. That's the only one I'll agree with. Many of those who developed wealth already had a base of it to begin with and again, that's luck. Luck of birth. A child born to a merchant class is luckier and is going to have more opportunity, training and etc in all the skills you listed because of what family gave birth to them.

That IS luck and in a land of "equal opportunity", that poses a question as to whether we do actually have "equal opportunity". And when I say "equal opportunity", I'm not saying for women or people who are a minority. I mean actual equal opportunity and everything we've done over the years has actually diminished it overall for everyone.

posted on Nov, 5 2014 @ 01:27 AM
a reply to: WeAreAWAKE

I read this entire thread. Good imo and the reason i come to ATS is this kind of stuff.

Anyways.. Dude, i dont think anyones saying everyone should have absolutely equal income. It's just not really a good thing that some people eat 1,000 dollar pizzas or ice cream with gold shavings on it while down the street a couple of miles children are eating out of garbage cans while their families live on the street.

If you have never been through or seen actual poverty it's very difficult to get a grasp on it. I totally understand this. It's hard to imagine waking up as a child and instead of smelling your mothers cooking, you wonder if you're going to get to eat at all today and have no idea whether your mother's even there. Your entire life is basically survival, and chances are you don't have any role model worth pissing on much less looking up to.

I do not think that a CEO of a corporation should make the same as an employee who flips burgers at mcdonalds. I also do not think that an employee at mcdonalds should be so underpaid that they can't afford to eat at #ing mcdonalds. There has to be some middle-ground here.

Maybe we haven't waited long enough for the wealth to come trickling down yet. Maybe I just shouldnt fret and the time is near?

posted on Nov, 5 2014 @ 01:40 AM
a reply to: Bundy

Trickle down will work. It's only been what, 20 or 30 years. Just be patient. Reagan wouldn't lie to us. He's an actor. Actors never lie or fake do they?

posted on Nov, 5 2014 @ 02:10 AM
I am hesitant to post in this thread, rather than just stick to reading it- I am not a professor in economics, nor a sociologist.

I just observe the world from the point of view of a person who came from poverty, and has ended up in a much different state of abundance later. This voyage brought to light many things within myself that I was not aware of before that were holding me back before.

The poor mentality is one. When you grow up poor, you form coping techniques of thought. Like ideas about moral or ethical strength to gain self confidence. "I may be poor, but at least I am good person- unlike those who sold their integrity in order to have money."

Ideas on what being a "good" person is, then, become mostly ones that don't involve attaining wealth or social status. That almost becomes a determining factor- if I see either of those might be a product of a potential choice, I will assume it is "bad" to choose.

That is not necessarily true, I have found. But it was hard to break out of that. I would say the extreme gap between us "poor" kids and those "rich" kids (with none in between) increased that tendency to be highly dualistic in thought, seeing no bridges or gray areas.

I realized that all my life I believed I was not materialistic, I couldn't care less to have objects, and certainly not ones that were expensive, it made no difference to me. But that was because other basic needs were not fulfilled yet, and I needed to focus on those- love, security, sense of belonging, being part of a clan, having the necessities to survive, like food and shelter. I had to have those fulfilled for probably ten years before I could accept that it was okay, I can look beyond those now. Growing up poor, your scope of focus is severely limited, and hard to widen.

On the subject of "luck"- I learned something through the relationship I have with my husband, who as everyone says, just has great luck. It sure seems like it! He runs into just the right people, just the right timing, amazing coincidences and synchronicities. It just looks like he has a guardian angel or something!

But he explains it thus- it is all in the social skills. It is in going to places you know influencial people might pass you by and you can strike up a conversation. You don't have to go to the same university, you could be hanging out in a nearby cafe. It is in spreading the word subtly, to all your friends and aquaintances- I am looking for this ____. and letting that go. Someone will know someone who knows someone, and they will remember what you said and get you in touch with that thing.

It is boldly sharing with others your wildest ideas, even when many people scoff at them, because that will get to an investor that doesn't scoff- that gets high on your creative passion and wants in.

I sometimes feel repulsed by his manipulative ways- he reads people, he senses what will make them feel good and knows that is what will make them remember him. He brings aquaintances gifts that are carefully selected for their individual passions and hobbies- he remembers if he saw a picture of that person on a golf course, or with a motorcycle, in their office and uses that knowledge. There is no end to his memory of phone numbers (that is amazing to me).

These clash against my ideals of authenticity and honesty, I cannot allow myself to do that. I get caught up in my poor mentality which calls that ass kissing instead of networking.

But his view of humanity, and even the physical world as a whole, is slightly mystic- he sees himself as sending out his intents to the world, which travels through people and even things, to hook him up with his visions. He even kind of believes the objects he has came together with him for a reason, because they too, had a matching "desire"- to be with someone that would appreciate them and care for them.

Anyway, what I am trying to say is, luck seems like magic to the observer, who is unaware of the many calculations the lucky one is making inside. It seems like luck to the person who is hell bent on "doing it all by myself" and not taking into account the value of EQ and relationships.

Part of why this works, however, is because he doesn't see a big gap between himself and those influencial people- though he comes from humble beginnings. He doesn't feel intimidated to strike up conversation with them as if he was equal. He comes from a country where there is a much larger middle class, less of a chasm between the two.

If you grow up seeing such a big gaping valley between the two, it becomes much harder to see that invisible potential network of connections between us- and use them!

posted on Nov, 5 2014 @ 02:41 AM
a reply to: Bluesma

These clash against my ideals of authenticity and honesty, I cannot allow myself to do that. I get caught up in my poor mentality which calls that ass kissing instead of networking.

Does he harm anyone? Does he, perhaps, actually help those who end up helping him? There is a term for that; enlightened self-interest.

There are inequalities which are unfair but not all are. Should everyone have the same compensation no matter what they contribute? That doesn't even work on paper much less in the world. So, how much income inequality is too much? Who decides? Those at the bottom? Isn't there always someone at the bottom?

Without a ladder to climb, where is there to go?
edit on 11/5/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 5 2014 @ 03:45 AM

originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: Bluesma

Does he harm anyone? Does he, perhaps, actually help those who end up helping him? There is a term for that; enlightened self-interest.

There are inequalities which are unfair but not all are. Should everyone have the same compensation no matter what they contribute? That doesn't even work on paper much less in the world. So, how much income inequality is too much? Who decides? Those at the bottom? Isn't there always someone at the bottom?

Without a ladder to climb, where is there to go?

No he harms no one. He also works twice as hard as many of the people around us who have much less. I cannot place our situation within the context of the US- that isn't fair or accurate. This is a much more socialized country. There is a minimum of living essentials that these people consider a "right" of all people (which I have trouble digesting as such).

But food, shelter, and medical care are considered a right for all members. That is what they consider the fair exchange they get by being loyal to their nation, and working jobs which keep it going.

So these people aren't hungry, they aren't worried about if they will get sick tomorrow, or sleep in the street. I think that eliminates some of the extreme fear really poor people get caught up in, which limits them from moving up, even when the ladder is there. Fear for survival blinds you to the existence of that ladder.

I also observe that it is true, a large part of the population has less ambition- they are fine working the same job all their life, with the same little house, small car, and less than exciting vacations (in my view). So our ideas that without fear for survival, motivation and ambition is lowered has some truth to it.

But it seems to me, some personalities just have an ambition to rise, whether they NEED to (to survive) or not. They just have a bigger appetite for life experience, and without being fettered by coping methods like poor mentality, they can perceive the ladder rungs and step on them.

What I experienced young, in the poor environment was people with desperate desire to rise, and all these internal obstacles that blocked it, and a whole lot of frustration.... blaming others for their inability to perceive the ladder.

posted on Nov, 5 2014 @ 04:13 AM
This is just another stupid anecdote, but it is illustrative of how damaging the poor mentality can be and how it can be an obstacle!

The first year we had of being wealthy, it was incomprehensible how we spent all our income, without having much to show for it! We hadn't done anything to our house, we were wearing the same worn out clothes we had for years, we were driving the same cars. No evidence of our change in financial situation could be seen (except the taxes we had to pay at the end of the year!).

I looked carefully at we were doing and figured out we were spending most of it on food. Groceries, restaurants.... for some reason I was afraid to pay 50 euros on a sweater, but didn't even question spending twice that much on a dinner at a restaurant.

Because my mind was still running on the principle that food was necessary, it was what I needed money for.

I wasn't even noticing my needs were met there now, and I didn't have to keep that focus!

It took some effort to consciously change that habit and stop buying so much food I didn't need. I found I could afford to join a gym (to work off the excess i was developing...), and even buy myself a BMW with all that I saved from eating out less!

I think it is easy for us to put down psychological habits and conditionings as "not real" obstacles, but I feel that isn't fair. It isn't easy once they've been inscribed in us. Someone starts their life out being hungry, they might keep that focus for their whole life, no matter what is in front of them.

posted on Nov, 5 2014 @ 02:10 PM
Of course we have to have a little doom porn here. That's kind of my thing...

NASA sponsored a study by the Socio Economic Synthesis Center that indicates that the current levels of wealth disparity could lead to a collapse of civilization. This study is based on a computer model that extends the predator/prey model to include socioeconomic attributes.

The independent research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The HANDY model was created using a minor Nasa grant, but the study based on it was conducted independently.

A quick overview: NASA-Sponsore d Study Warns Of Possible Collapse Of Civilization

A more detailed analysis: NASA Models Predict Total Societal Collapse: “Irreversible”

The Elite population starts growing significantly… hence depleting the Wealth and causing the system to collapse.

Under this scenario, the system collapses due to worker scarcity even though natural resources are still abundant, but because the depletion rate is optimal, it takes more than 400 years after the Wealth reaches a maximum for the society to collapse.

In this example, Commoners die out first and Elites disappear later. This scenario shows that in a society that is otherwise sustainable, the highly unequal consumption of elites will still cause a collapse. This scenario is an example of a Type-L collapse in which both Population and Wealth collapse but Nature recovers.

The Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society. It is important to note that this Type-L collapse is due to an inequality-induced famine that causes a loss of workers, rather than a collapse of Nature. Despite appearing initially to be the same as the sustainable optimal solution obtained in the absence of Elites, economic strati cation changes the fi nal result: Elites’ consumption keeps growing until the society collapses. The Mayan collapse in which population never recovered even though nature did recover is an example of a Type-L collapse

It goes on to say that Elites are oblivious to the plight of the lower economic classes until it is too late to do anything about it.

Here's the actual published paper: Human and nature dynamics (HANDY): Modeling inequality and use of resources in the collapse or sustainability of societies


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