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Excellent Commentary on American Wealth Gap.

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posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 10:02 PM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


I never said that environment does not play a factor because it most certainly does, however, that is irrelevant to the fact that some do manage to escape those environmental factors which means it is possible for those that want to.

On top of that, it is no fault of those who have wealth and they should not be blamed for it.

Some people are not given the advantages of others but that is the way the world works. As long as an opportunity exists than any disparity between classes is irrelevant.




posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 10:04 PM
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buster2010
reply to post by Spookybelle
 




How exactly are people being forced into poverty?

Wealthy people moving jobs overseas and cutting jobs to increase profit forces people into poverty. These poor wealthy people that are already making record profits are screwing over America just for more money. Greed should be viewed as a mental illness.





So what you are telling me is that because some company moved their jobs overseas that there is absolutely nothing people can do to get out of poverty.

Nothing at all, that's it, game over, there is no chance for them ever to escape poverty?



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 11:05 PM
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Spookybelle
reply to post by Cabin
 


I never said that environment does not play a factor because it most certainly does, however, that is irrelevant to the fact that some do manage to escape those environmental factors which means it is possible for those that want to.

On top of that, it is no fault of those who have wealth and they should not be blamed for it.

Some people are not given the advantages of others but that is the way the world works. As long as an opportunity exists than any disparity between classes is irrelevant.


Certainly some people do. Overwhelmingly, people improve their economic situation through increased income from employment. The number of good paying jobs has been in decline since the 70's and so more people are competing for less good paying jobs which means there is less opportunity overall. As the economic disparity grows, environmental factors become more pronounced which contributes to a decrease in economic elasticity. This is summed up in what is becoming a common expression: as the rungs grow further apart, it's harder to climb the ladder.

This isn't a good situation for anyone.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 11:15 PM
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reply to post by theantediluvian
 


I certainly agree that it is becoming harder but that does not equate to impossible. Many on the left have a utopian belief that things should always remain easy and that everyone has a right to the exact same circumstances but that is not realistic.

Does a young man born into poverty in an inner city, who experiences crime and drug use on a daily basis, have the same chances at success as someone born to a wealthy family and given all the best of everything?

Of course not.

They poor young man must work much harder and that is simply a fact of life. Unfair but realistic. As long as we keep the avenues open for people who desire to get out of poverty then that is the best that we as a society can do.

We can compare gaps in wealth to historic trends all day and it does not come close to addressing the issue. I could have easily fallen into poverty but I chose a different route by going to school and sometimes working 3 part-time jobs to save my money.

I have friends who were in my exact situation who chose a different path and today exist off of government help because they were not determined enough to make the necessary changes. Nobody forced them into poverty and I didn't escape it because of some privileged status.

It was a personal decision.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 11:18 PM
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Please forgive the question of a simpleton. Assume, for a moment, that there is a significant wealth gap in the US. (not an income gap, a wealth gap) Assume further that for some reason you don't care for that gap. (The most common reason for disapproval is that it isn't "fair," whatever that means.)

What are the possible solutions? Take things from people who have them and give them to people who don't? We're doing that now. Approximately $2 trillion dollars a year is taken from the 40% highest earning Americans and given to the lowest 60% of the income earners.

You may certainly call for the creation of a state where everybody owns the same amount of everything, but the results are catastrophic. We know that it doesn't work. Are there any other ideas besides making the wealthy poorer to reduce the gap? Yes. How about making the poor, richer?

I'm sure you've read enough to know how that is done. Provide real education for the children, not the government system we have now. Make it easier for business to create jobs better than the low skill service jobs we're creating now.

So the question is, is it better to hurt the rich, or help the poor? Are you looking to assuage your envy, or to help those in need? Be assured that a more drastic wealth redistribution program will not accomplish both.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 11:24 PM
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Cabin
These six people did not work together more than these 100,000,000 people. They inherited it. They are growing their capital, making their income largely off some of these 100,000,000.


So inheriting wealth is now disgusting? Repugnant? They are moving capital; I am unsure why you are so focused upon this unless you are envious.



Do you think there is a choice in current economy, where finding a job is tough enough. When you are starving you would rather take an 8 dollars an hour job than not do anything at all. Many companies are simply using the desperation of people to pay less and their owners who did nothing at that time increase their wealth simply from having the shares, while others have to work 2 jobs and still starve.


Yep there is, and I have seen it. Not every story will be a bed-o-roses or a happy ending; this isn't Hollywood, Star-Trek or some Utopian dream. It is real life. There are winners and there are losers. The best that society -- via Government -- can do, is to establish and maintain a level playing field in which we can all engage in. Sadly, our Government hasn't really kept that side of the bargain for over a century.



I am talking about similar opportunities. When one person has to nearly work himself to death and other was simply born in the right family, these are not equal opportunities by any standard.


So punish that whom you envy; am I getting this right?!



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 11:30 PM
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theantediluvian
The frequency of your exposure to anecdotes of personal success carries little substantive value. The reality is that since the 1970s, economic disparity has increased and with it social mobility has stagnated. There are several reasons, but one of the single biggest has to be the loss of good paying jobs in manufacturing. It was these jobs that supported our large middle class from the 50s-70s.


That is a good point -- even if you had to make it in slight. While I was speaking anecdotal, you gave a pass to the extreme anecdotes that is presented by the OP; in which we should lament the "silver-spoons" and "Gatsby" society because they were "born" into "it" and it isn't "fair" and "unequal".

Instead, I spoke to the ideal and proven fact that there have been a multitude of those who have risen from the mail-rooms, the janitorial positions, the 8-5pm and 10-2am grind; but they are just anecdotes I suppose.

You however brought up the disease to the symptom that the OP has eschewed about. To that, I agree. When you push out jobs; may it be manufacturing or service, the bottom line will suffer. When you make it easier for businesses to conduct affairs overseas, regardless of transportation costs, to sell items here, there is seriously wrong with policy.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 11:44 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


That is the real debate. I tried raising that very question in my own thread but it just descended into hard liners sticking to their guns. There has to be a better way going forward, and I think you've touched on that with your comments on education.

I don't believe that re-distributing wealth is a viable solution. It's a terrible idea and history indicates it doesn't work the way people anticipate it to. Instead we need to figure out a way to level the playing field itself, so that people who come from poor backgrounds DO have the ability to work their way to the top. That would ultimately include socialist measures that I'm sure the right would oppose vehemently.

Education is one area where the U.S could stand to improve substantially. There is a reason that graduates of Ivy league institutions are statistically more successful, and a reason why only the rich tend to find themselves enrolled in those institutions. If we can improve the education that everyone receives starting at the earliest levels, that can certainly go a long way towards helping the situation.

But there are so many other factors as well (mental health, physical health, and healthcare in general). The only real solution is to improve the socioeconomic infrastructure at the poorest levels. But that's only one side of the problem. The other problem is the relationship between profits and labor. The global economy has changed the way the business world works. It's not like it was even 50 years ago where 1 man could devote his life to a company and earn enough money to keep his family living a middle class life while mom stayed home and took care of other things. Corporations now outsource labor to 3rd world countries wherever it is possible in order to cut costs and maximize profits, so until we take a serious look at those practices from a global market perspective, nothing will improve.

The only way I could see it changing is if the global market diversified to such an extent that workers all over the world were commanding higher and higher wages, and there was no where dirt cheap to outsource labor to. But the nature of inflation and fractional reserve banking makes such an outcome an impossibility. The boom and bust cycles are designed to inhibit such an outcome.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 12:01 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 


Remove the incentives for corporations to move jobs overseas than.

Decrease regulation and forced wages, remove unionized labor and you will see jobs remain.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 12:09 AM
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reply to post by Spookybelle
 


That is not a viable solution. You're honestly going to tell me that companies operating in the U.S should be allowed to pay their workers as little as they please? How does that work when people can't scrape by on minimum wage as it is? Cost of living is already high because people who own housing charge others through the nose for rent, and the same could be said for just about everything else we consider necessities in modern society (utilities, etc).

If the rich want to pay people less for their labor, maybe they should charge them less for their food/shelter/utilities/education. But it doesn't work that way does it? Why? Because the rich want more.

Unions and workers movements became a reality precisely because history has proven that corporations and the elite will exploit the poor and abuse their laborers to turn a profit if they are left unchecked. Just look at history. There is nothing altruistic about greed. It will always operate to serve itself and never address the needs or rights of others.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 12:14 AM
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DeadSeraph
That is not a viable solution. You're honestly going to tell me that companies operating in the U.S should be allowed to pay their workers as little as they please? How does that work when people can't scrape by on minimum wage as it is?


A question about your thoughts on minimum wage: A Government deciding your worth via force is better than you fighting for your own worth?

Lateral movement is stifled because of minimum wage laws and the People cannot effectively, nor aggressively, vie in the market because there is a minimum set. A minimum that businesses will go to, regardless if you could bargain and negotiate for more.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 12:20 AM
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ownbestenemy

DeadSeraph
That is not a viable solution. You're honestly going to tell me that companies operating in the U.S should be allowed to pay their workers as little as they please? How does that work when people can't scrape by on minimum wage as it is?


A question about your thoughts on minimum wage: A Government deciding your worth via force is better than you fighting for your own worth?

Lateral movement is stifled because of minimum wage laws and the People cannot effectively, nor aggressively, vie in the market because there is a minimum set. A minimum that businesses will go to, regardless if you could bargain and negotiate for more.


Is that not the entire purpose of a democratically elected government? To protect your rights?

Look at China where workers rights and regulations are practically non-existent. That's where many multinational corporations outsource to. Yet they have nets surrounding their factories to prevent workers from committing suicide, atrociously high worker fatality rates, brutal working conditions and hours, and extremely low wages.

Is that what you would like to see happen in America? Because by the logic of the poster I am replying to, that is what is required to keep jobs in the U.S, so the American worker should just be ok with it and be thankful he has a job at all...



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 12:31 AM
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DeadSeraph
Is that not the entire purpose of a democratically elected government? To protect your rights?


Depends on what you believe to be the extent of the Government and their powers. Constitutionally, the United States Government has no power to decide what the limits of a private contract are (though this has been expanded via the Commerce Clause).

Here is an example: If I have a job, that pays $10/hour and my buddy has a job for $12/hour and the Government steps in and decrees that the minimum wage shall be $11/hour; what happens when my buddy leaves and the business needs to fill his spot?

That job that used to be $12/hour, is now $11/hour; without negotiation.


Look at China where workers rights and regulations are practically non-existent. That's where many multinational corporations outsource to. Yet they have nets surrounding their factories to prevent workers from committing suicide, atrociously high worker fatality rates, brutal working conditions and hours, and extremely low wages.


Non-sequitur! Look at WHY multinationals are outsourcing there; hint, it is because of their own home Governments' policies that have driven them there. Trying to equate my point to the that of Chinese factories and "death nets" and such, doesn't quite work.


Is that what you would like to see happen in America? Because by the logic of the poster I am replying to, that is what is required to keep jobs in the U.S, so the American worker should just be ok with it and be thankful he has a job at all...



Spare the emotional argument. What is required is for Government to get back into the role of ensuring a leveling playing field for all; not their friends (as nearly they have all done for over 100 years). It is their job to NOT pick winners and losers; as they have done again, for a 100 years.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 12:38 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 


I am not proposing anything nor advocating for any particular thing to happen.

My only point was that if jobs being shipped overseas were the only problem than keeping them here would fix it.

The availability of jobs is not the issue as I've often found jobs whenever I've needed them. Good paying, career oriented jobs are more difficult to get and take longer and usually require a greater skill set but there is plenty of work available for those who are willing to take it.

The problem is that many people consider some work to be beneath them. I was laid off from a job where I made 19.86 an hour and I found a job that same week selling popcorn at a movie theatre. Because I had some savings that and one other part-time job sustained me as I went to college to increase my marketability.

I did not skip a beat because I was willing to do what was necessary. If I can do it than anyone else can.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 06:43 AM
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Spookybelle
Lovely graph and I would have no problem believing in your theory if someone could actually ever show how people are limited from increasing their earning capacity by an outside force.

Wow, your head is well and truly deep in the ideological right wing sand isn't it......



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 06:53 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


It's unsustainable. The real rub here that the hardliners aren't seeing is that other 1st world nations and nations rising to 1st world status or trying to, are looking at the US, increasingly the UK and Canada as lessons on how not to run your economy... that wealth inequality eventually leads to civil unrest or civil war. I'm just as tired of these apologists as you are but have faith, they are a rapidly diminishing population. As more people slide out of middle class and into poverty, though it is sad that it is having to happen by experience rather than compassion or just by common sense.

Lack of regulation is such a sorry excuse, it's like a child complaining that he/she didn't get to start a Monopoly game with all the 500's and cried about having to own all of one color in order to build houses or hotels and then said well I know someone who is so desperate to play with someone they will let me do whatever I want, so I'm going to play with them instead.

There are rules in life and in societies and it used to be that a Corporation, in order to exist had to be beneficial not just for it's shareholders and executives but to it's employees and the communities in which they exist.

Societies collapse when authority is placed on the people/labor force and not the bankers or the manufacturers. The owners become feudal lords and gain control of government. It always stuns me that people cry about regulations being too heavy. Indeed they are on small business (actual small business, not what Mitt Romney claims is a small business), and not enforced on the "big guys".

When manufacturing left the US and we switched from a manufacturing economy to a consumer economy, nothing replaced that stable middle class manufacturing job... retail is deemed not worth that income bracket, even though not every employee can be a manager.

Switzerland is considering passing a law that limits CEO pay to 12 times that of their lowest income employee... now before people go screaming and crying about it, it's really not a limit on how much you can earn, it just limits how much you can exploit your employees.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 08:50 AM
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So what happens after we have eaten the rich, and spread the wealth around?

Will there finally be utopia?

No!

Utopia, does not, and cannot exist. It is an impossibility.

What is possible is equal misery. Like every other hell hole on earth where the "wealth gap" has been "addressed".

What is the answer to the "wealth gap"?
Government?
It seems the wealth gap is growing larger, as the size,and power of government grows larger.
Is it not?

There will always be rich people. Always.
There will always be poor people. Always.

And there will always be jackwagons who think they are smarter than everyone else.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by bjax9er
 


There will always be people who want to uphold the status quo.

You're a joke. Do you have any idea how differently things worked in the U.S in the 18th and 19th centuries? Do you understand what globalism is? Apparently not.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 09:08 AM
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DeadSeraph
reply to post by bjax9er
 


There will always be people who want to uphold the status quo.

You're a joke. Do you have any idea how differently things worked in the U.S in the 18th and 19th centuries? Do you understand what globalism is? Apparently not.


Wow, your one of those smartie smart smarts huh?

Who facilitates this globalism?
Is it the top down, iron fisted, authoritarian government?



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 09:20 AM
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bjax9er

DeadSeraph
reply to post by bjax9er
 


There will always be people who want to uphold the status quo.

You're a joke. Do you have any idea how differently things worked in the U.S in the 18th and 19th centuries? Do you understand what globalism is? Apparently not.


Wow, your one of those smartie smart smarts huh?

Who facilitates this globalism?
Is it the top down, iron fisted, authoritarian government?


Why don't you tell me?

"Don't tread on me" has a lot different a connotation in the 18th century than it does now. You can't even begin to discuss economic equality within the last 300 years seriously without acknowledging how economics have changed since then.

If you think wealth equality works now like it did even in the last 200 years you are fooling yourself.




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