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Income Inequality Is At An All-Time High: STUDY

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posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 03:05 PM
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Income Inequality Is At An All-Time High: STUDY


www.huffingtonpost.com

Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression, according to a recently updated paper by University of California, Berkeley Professor Emmanuel Saez. The paper, which covers data through 2007, points to a staggering, unprecedented disparity in American incomes. On his blog, Nobel prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called the numbers "truly amazing."

Though income inequality has been growing for some time, the paper paints a stark, disturbing portrait of wealth distribution in America. Saez calculates that in 2007 the top .01 percent of American earners took home 6 percent of total U.S. wages, a figure that has nearly doubled since 2000.

As of 2007, the top decile of American earners, Saez writes, pulled in 49.7 percent of total wages, a level that's "higher than any other year since 1917 and even surpasses 1928, the peak of stock market bubble in the 'roaring" 1920s.'
(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 14-8-2009 by grover]




posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 03:05 PM
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AND still there are those...most often those who don't even see a pittance of what the top wage earners make supporting policies that contribute to their poverty and the rape and pillaging of the nation by the most wealthy.

AND more often than not their argument is the tired old trickle down economics lie.

With every tax cut that goes to the wealthiest more and more of the nation's wealth moves upwards out of the economy instead of spread outward to all of the people,

And what is the end result of all this....simple.

It is the crushing of the middle class and the functional impoverishment of the nation.

Better than a trickle down economics is one where the wealth is most broadly spread and rises from there.

This is not an economy of merit...it is the establishment of an aristocracy.

www.huffingtonpost.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 14-8-2009 by grover]



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 03:17 PM
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The biggest issue seems to me to be that the Service Industry pays next to nothing and our jobs are increasingly service oriented...

For Labor we Had Unions when Labor was the backbone of the American worker...

Waiters make 3.00 an hr mostly... (because they get tips lol) fast food a huge percentile of jobs get's you 7.50 an hr

Worse the big chains... have eliminated as many employees as possible...

and also pay near minimum...

when was the last time you went into a super market and saw more than 2 line open?

Maximizing profits at the hardship of labor is an American past time nowadays

Take Telemarketing... you never actually get paid if you don't make a quota your gone in 2 weeks... no guarantees, pure profit for owners...

Maniacal DUI laws have cut night life in half... to heck with bartenders and waitresses...

This also effects taxi cab drivers at night, the kind of 2nd jopb people used to count on...

now... work at home jobs...

Companies take mad advantage, ever hear of Cha Cha the online search engine, they got away with paying around 2.50 an hr

Store front businesses pay minimum wage even ones that actually are chains and make billions and have 1,000 outlets nation wide.... they pay 5-10 G a month rent and insurance and take that day per register, but the employees get completely stiffed.

The minimum wage needs a boost of around 3.00 or perhaps more... it's the only answer I see...



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 03:18 PM
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People who associate tax cuts with income inequality have zero credibility, and are just partisan shills. There is no basis in economics that says this is true. Your money does not cause my poverty...refusal to believe that is at the bottom of bad economic thinking. The opposite is true, the more money you make the LESS money you save, and the more money you INVEST. Where do you think that money goes? Do you think the rich eat it? The same can be said of China, do you think they eat our dollars? It recirculates through the system. In the past 20 years more people have been lifted out of poverty than at any other time in human history. American wages remained flat, sure, but think of all the people who used to live in mud huts that now have apartments in India and China, etc. And people say they support the "poor?" Give me a break.

[edit on 14-8-2009 by yellowcard]



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 03:34 PM
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reply to post by yellowcard
 

That is the most convoluted and backward argument I have ever read...

You are totally wrong on this and no one is being a shill...

In 2004 after the bush minor tax cuts we went into deficit spending...and the GAO stated baldly that even with the invasion of Iraq we would be still running a surplus if it weren't for the tax cuts...the money was not reinvested in the economy like the trickle down economic theory suggested...it was and is hoarded.

When your wages are stagnate and the wealthiest incomes rise....where do you think that money is coming from?



[edit on 14-8-2009 by grover]



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by grover
With every tax cut that goes to the wealthiest more and more of the nation's wealth moves upwards out of the economy instead of spread outward to all of the people


What a terrible arguement. Do you really believe tax cuts move money out of the economy? Have you ever taken economics?


Originally posted by grover
Better than a trickle down economics is one where the wealth is most broadly spread and rises from there.


Karl Marx... Nuff said

-E-

P.S. Before you continue to villify the top wage EARNers, do realize the top 1% pays more in taxes then the bottom 90%. Who is going to pay for for all of these social programs when the top earners get fed up with being over taxed and leave the country. Don't think it will happen? Ask New York
NYC remains top city in millionaire population loss
Millionaires MIA as N.Y. mulls special tax for them

[edit on 14-8-2009 by MysterE]



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 04:32 PM
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reply to post by MysterE
 

In the 50's before JFK's tax cuts the tax rate was at 80% and the wealthy did not flee in mass...sorry to tell you that but its true...

As for being Marxism...hardly. When everyone has a chance to advance then the whole nation prospers...it just makes sense.

Also if the tax cuts the wealthiest get are not being hoarded then where are they?

Where is the rising tide of wealth trickle down economics predicts?

When wages are stagnate who is zooming whom?



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 04:48 PM
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reply to post by grover
 


It's real simple to fix though. After you earn more than 5 million dollars, it is illegal for you to donate or contribute to anything politically. That way, you can't create any special interests, but you're still wealthy. I think it would work very well.



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 04:52 PM
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Originally posted by Gorman91
reply to post by grover
 


It's real simple to fix though. After you earn more than 5 million dollars, it is illegal for you to donate or contribute to anything politically. That way, you can't create any special interests, but you're still wealthy. I think it would work very well.



That word work great, but then again the gravy train would fall apart so no politician in their right mind will ever enact that into law.

Remember when Obama used to rag on the lobbyists? Then he got into office, and he shut up real quick about it. Kind of telling, if you ask me.



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 04:53 PM
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You guys can bicker about economic ideology all you want i.e. Marx vs. Smith whatever. Bottomline is America hasn't had a truly free market for a long time, maybe if ever. We have state corporatism. Socialize the losses and privatize the profits. The bottomline is America used to be a VERY middle class country. The middle class is what embraces and preserves democracy and freedom. Our country is dissolving into the haves and have nots. This is scary and is an affront on our freedoms. The rich which are a very small minority but own a huge vast amount of wealth are becoming more powerful. Corporations are becoming more powerful.

To your point..........yes Indians and Chinese are emigrating from mud huts to apartments.............but the elite are emigrating from houses to mansions. The number of billionaires and millionaires has grown tremendously in the last decade. Yes some of it is imploding but lets be honest the rich know how to hold on to their money. Wealth distribution is about power and control. Yes poor Americans live better than the poor in the third world. So what? Just because you have a DVD player in America while the elite live in multimillion dollar mansions makes it justifiable? LOL.


Also wealth is very covert and rich people do EVERYTHING to hide just how wealthy they really are. I live in Orange County, CA. If the average American saw how some people live in this area it would boggle their mind. And these are not even the top 1% of the American rich. These are more corporate business owners, Hollywood celebs etc. You'll NEVER get a glimpse of the lifestyle of the truly rich. They live in another world.



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 04:58 PM
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Good thread, starred and flagged.


The inequality of pay is a sympton of the middle class being destroyed by the system, which our fearless leader George Bush was hell bent on doing during his time in office. The destruction of our economy through slowly chipping away at our infrastructure and lack and corruption of government oversight is why things are so caustic today.

The destruction of the middle class through sub-par education (there is a direct correlation between the rise of university tutition and the fall of this country) and through the removal of finanical independence for the middle class is what we're seeing now and what will be the down fall of this country.



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 05:01 PM
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reply to post by drwizardphd
 


your concerns are going to be addressed in a very (I think) controversial thing I'm writing.

to put it briefly, sometimes a dictator is needed to save a republic.



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 05:01 PM
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reply to post by grover
 



As of 2007, the top decile of American earners, Saez writes, pulled in 49.7 percent of total wages, a level that's "higher than any other year since 1917 and even surpasses 1928, the peak of stock market bubble in the 'roaring" 1920s.'


For those who don't know, the "top decile" is the top 10%. So, this is referring to the top 10% of American earners.

Just an FYI. I personally don't support 'Robin Hood' monetary redistribution like the OP does. I believe people only value what they earn, not what they are given.



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by Gorman91
reply to post by drwizardphd
 


your concerns are going to be addressed in a very (I think) controversial thing I'm writing.

to put it briefly, sometimes a dictator is needed to save a republic.


Did you just advocate an American dictator?



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by grover
reply to post by yellowcard
 

That is the most convoluted and backward argument I have ever read...

You are totally wrong on this and no one is being a shill...

In 2004 after the bush minor tax cuts we went into deficit spending...and the GAO stated baldly that even with the invasion of Iraq we would be still running a surplus if it weren't for the tax cuts...the money was not reinvested in the economy like the trickle down economic theory suggested...it was and is hoarded.

When your wages are stagnate and the wealthiest incomes rise....where do you think that money is coming from?


[edit on 14-8-2009 by grover]


The money was NOT hoarded, I just told you about China and India, etc...Christ, they have a higher rate of return, of course the money is going to flow into those countries. I am not wrong, I'm telling you the truth, you just won't listen...because you're being a shill. Most of all wealth is held in assets, not banks, your idea of hording has 0 proof, and I could show you investment inflows and outflows that would put your theory to shame. We would not have ran a surplus without the tax cuts, the "surplus" you speak of was not a surplus at all. It was achieved by borrowing from social security, which is not counted as debt...it's off balance sheet (Enron style). Your theory would suggest that YOUR investments (it does not matter if you are rich or poor) are hurting the poor because you are "hording" money and thus you should spend unequivocally. According to you, we should be protectionist, and only invest in America, unionize the U.S. and keep the world poor...as I said more wealth has been created in the past 20 years than during any time during history, and that's worldwide.

As for your argument on tax rates in the 1950s, that was a different world before the globalized economy, because electronic bank transfers. Steve Balmer has already made it clear that Microsoft could easily jump ship to a different country if tax rates were to climb in a way that makes the U.S. less competitive. Do you think other companies would not do the same? Your level of economic intellect skates on the edge of naive, and uneducated.

[edit on 14-8-2009 by yellowcard]



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 05:09 PM
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reply to post by CuriousSkeptic
 


I really don't know anymore. The more and more I think about it, the more and more I can't see any other way to fix the country peacefully.

Not a dictator, but more like a person who supports the republic form of government and is very intelligent to be hired to fix the government. Only he's held hostage by the army and should a counsel of generals see him even attempt to take power for himself, he we will be dismissed. He would have no wealth, stripped of all power, and basically just be hired to find a way to return to the way we once were under a republic. He would, of course, be elected by the people in a direct election, rather than a elective college. He would also not be selected unless he had at least 80% approval.

I'm going to go real in depth with this, but basically I don't want a violent revolution to fix this country. But I don't want a continuation of the now.

[edit on 14-8-2009 by Gorman91]

[edit on 14-8-2009 by Gorman91]

[edit on 14-8-2009 by Gorman91]



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 05:17 PM
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reply to post by grover
 





In the 50's before JFK's tax cuts the tax rate was at 80% and the wealthy did not flee in mass...sorry to tell you that but its true... As for being Marxism...hardly. When everyone has a chance to advance then the whole nation prospers...it just makes sense. Also if the tax cuts the wealthiest get are not being hoarded then where are they? Where is the rising tide of wealth trickle down economics predicts? When wages are stagnate who is zooming whom?


Our big problem is the off shoring of industry caused by the "free trade agreements" Since signing WTO and NAFTA the USA is now competing on a flat playing field with countries like India and China. If those countries have low wages, little or no regulations like OSHA and EPA and reasonably low taxes then the wealthy live in the USA and move their businesses (and wealth) to other countries. THAT is where the wealth went.

If you want to see the jobs come back we either have to get out of WTO and NAFTA (set up by those same wealthy businessman) and impose tarriffs and border restrictions OR make the USA competitive with other countries by cutting regulations, cutting social programs and cutting business taxes.

If we do not wake up to that reality then Maurice Strong's prediction will come true. China will replace the USA as the super power and the USA will follow Iceland and the former USSR into bankruptcy and second world status.

I remember the 60's and the 70's there was no OSHA there was no EPA, you could easily live on minimum wage and my taxes were 10% instead of 65.4% Welfare was certainly not the big deal it is now, you did not see street people, they had their "rights violated" by being taken to the county home instead of left on the streets to freeze and starve. It was easy to start and run a business you didn't have reams of paperwork and regulations and licences like now.

Do you realize that for me to let a child hold my bottle lamb and take a polaroid picture for the parents, I now have to have a sales tax number, a business license, photographers license and be inspected and licensed by the USDA which includes two five foot dog proof fences around my entire 100 ac of pine forest and an animal health plan by my vet?



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by crimvelvet
reply to post by grover
 
Our big problem is the off shoring of industry caused by the "free trade agreements" Since signing WTO and NAFTA the USA is now competing on a flat playing field with countries like India and China. If those countries have low wages, little or no regulations like OSHA and EPA and reasonably low taxes then the wealthy live in the USA and move their businesses (and wealth) to other countries. THAT is where the wealth went.

If you want to see the jobs come back we either have to get out of WTO and NAFTA (set up by those same wealthy businessman) and impose tarriffs and border restrictions OR make the USA competitive with other countries by cutting regulations, cutting social programs and cutting business taxes.

If we do not wake up to that reality then Maurice Strong's prediction will come true. China will replace the USA as the super power and the USA will follow Iceland and the former USSR into bankruptcy and second world status.

I remember the 60's and the 70's there was no OSHA there was no EPA, you could easily live on minimum wage and my taxes were 10% instead of 65.4% Welfare was certainly not the big deal it is now, you did not see street people, they had their "rights violated" by being taken to the county home instead of left on the streets to freeze and starve. It was easy to start and run a business you didn't have reams of paperwork and regulations and licences like now.

Do you realize that for me to let a child hold my bottle lamb and take a polaroid picture for the parents, I now have to have a sales tax number, a business license, photographers license and be inspected and licensed by the USDA which includes two five foot dog proof fences around my entire 100 ac of pine forest and an animal health plan by my vet?


Tariffs are a horrible idea, no economist advocates tariffs because they are detrimental to free trade. There is nothing wrong with the U.S. competing on a level playing field...except the WTO doesn't do that. The WTO puts the U.S. on a lower level, because no one enforces China to float their currency freely, etc etc. The WTO is hurting the U.S....but not because it "levels the playing field" quite the contrary.



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 05:47 PM
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reply to post by yellowcard
 





Tariffs are a horrible idea, no economist advocates tariffs because they are detrimental to free trade. There is nothing wrong with the U.S. competing on a level playing field...except the WTO doesn't do that. The WTO puts the U.S. on a lower level, because no one enforces China to float their currency freely, etc etc. The WTO is hurting the U.S....but not because it "levels the playing field" quite the contrary.


I am not advocating tariffs there is no way we can stuff that genie back into the bottle. As you indicated the lack has certainly helped people in other countries. However the leveling of the playing field has to be done. I am not an economist by any stretch of the imagination but I can see we can not keep borrowing to support US social program AND export jobs to other countries.

Protection/exemptions for our small businesses (less than thirty employees) would be a very big help. As someone mentioned small businesses account for 80% of US business. However the mega corporations want to stamp them out because they help hold wages up and prices down.

For example Tyson, Con Agra, Smithfield and JB Swift own the meat slaughter market - ALL of it. They now set the prices that beef cattle sell at and farmers often sell at break even or sell at a loss. The profits for the slaughter houses have gone up and the dollar price the cows sell for hasn't really increase since the 70's. This type of situation is true other places. Walmart and Sears do something similar. You get a contract to produce a widget at $X. You get a bank loan, build new lines to gear up to produce the widget and the next contract is for less money than the contract before. You are over a barrel because you have to pay that bank loan or lose your business so you cut benefits do not give raises and cut as much fat from you company as you can.

I would really really like to see the antitrust laws and Stock and Packers Act enforced.



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by Ferris.Bueller.II
I personally don't support 'Robin Hood' monetary redistribution like the OP does. I believe people only value what they earn, not what they are given.


First off despite what yellowcard claims I am not a shill for anybody...no one tells me what to think...

second of all his argument proves the fallacy of the whole trickle down economics argument...since the rich according to it invest and create jobs...here for Americans. And he is arguing that trickle down works...elsewhere...but why bother giving tax breaks to those who do not invest in their country?

Finally....I am not nor have I argued for a "robin hood" monetary redistribution...the fact remains when an economy is broadly based...when the wealth is more evenly distributed as opposed to stacked up at the top...the nation as a whole benefits.



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