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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    19 Jan '15 07:35
    How fair is the US economy?

    Very informative and graphic video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk5OJBry2ss
  2. 19 Jan '15 12:54 / 1 edit
    Since the US now has open borders and borders no longer have any substantive meaning, the US should now focus on distributing its wealth abroad. Therefore, all Americans should be stripped of their wealth and send it over seas to those in need.

    It's the only logical conclusion. After all, the poorest of the poor in the US is rich compared to many areas in the world today.
  3. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    19 Jan '15 14:33
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    How fair is the US economy?

    Very informative and graphic video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk5OJBry2ss
    Those number are pre-redistribution. If you re-did the chart after accounting for social programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, Section 8, Title IV, TANF, SSI, SSD, WIC, etc. and put those benefits in the income of the poor, the chart would probably look closer to the "think." In fact, with all of the benefits, there's probably very little of a curve between the poor and lower middle class.

    Still, all that said, even correcting for post-redistribution, I agree that the super high earners make more than would be ideal. I'd be perfectly okay soaking the super rich for an extra 10-20% on their federal income taxes, with the caveat that this money should be used to close the budget deficit. Enormous new welfare programs should be taken from budget surpluses, when and if we ever actually create them.
  4. 19 Jan '15 19:07
    The chart is a bit misleading because one's standard of living is connected to income, not wealth. If you chart the same graph using income distribution rather than wealth distribution it will look a lot less skewed.
  5. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    19 Jan '15 21:24
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    The chart is a bit misleading because one's standard of living is connected to income, not wealth. If you chart the same graph using income distribution rather than wealth distribution it will look a lot less skewed.
    I agree wealth and income are not necessarily linked.
    But the graphs give a good "snap-shot" of where the money is.
  6. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    19 Jan '15 21:26
    Originally posted by sh76
    Those number are pre-redistribution. If you re-did the chart after accounting for social programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, Section 8, Title IV, TANF, SSI, SSD, WIC, etc. and put those benefits in the income of the poor, the chart would probably look closer to the "think."
    Medicaid and food stamps add to your wealth?
    Even if you count that it is not going to make much
    difference and no difference at all for the top (80%?)

    Remember it is wealth not income.
  7. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    19 Jan '15 22:35
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    The chart is a bit misleading because one's standard of living is connected to income, not wealth. If you chart the same graph using income distribution rather than wealth distribution it will look a lot less skewed.
    How can you say a chart of the distribution of wealth is misleading because it is not a chart of income distribution? A weather chart is not a chart of income distribution but that is not the reason it is misleading! As to the claim that wealth is not a determinant of one's standard of living, again that is absurd. Wealthy people have a far higher savings ratio and sacrifice "income" in exchange for capital gain (with tax benefits to boot!) for the simple reason that there is a limit to even their ability to spend money on stuff. Wealth anyway is cumulative so the uneven distribution of income adds each year to the uneven distribution of wealth. They interact.
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    19 Jan '15 23:48 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Medicaid and food stamps add to your wealth?
    Even if you count that it is not going to make much
    difference and no difference at all for the top (80%?)

    Remember it is wealth not income.
    The chart is based on income also, not just accumulated wealth. If it were accumulated wealth, half the chart would be negative.

    If you watch the video, starting at about 3:30 it starts to become clear he's referring to income as well.

    Medicaid and food stamps do all to income as, otherwise, those services would have to be paid for by other income.
  9. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    20 Jan '15 10:23
    Originally posted by sh76
    The chart is based on income also, not just accumulated wealth. If it were accumulated wealth, half the chart would be negative.

    If you watch the video, starting at about 3:30 it starts to become clear he's referring to income as well.

    Medicaid and food stamps do all to income as, otherwise, those services would have to be paid for by other income.
    At about 4:40 to 5:00, after noting that the top 1% owned 40% of wealth while the poorest own almost nothing, beyond "loose change," the video goes on to note that the distribution of wealth has been getting seriously more distorted over time since 1976, as the top 1% take home 24% of income compared to only 9% in 1976. In other words the video makes my point exactly. Wealth is a pot into which excess income is poured each year, adding to the wealth of the rich without hindering the growing poverty of the bottom percentiles.

    Your attempt to diminish these startling statistics with quibbles about redistribution are weird, since the only redistribution we see going on here is from the poor to the rich, and from the middle class to the rich, and from the very wealthy to the filthy rich. I suppose what confuses you is that there is some redistribution to the poor and the middle class. But this is not a gift from the gods, it is a declining residue of much greater redistribution in the past and it is the continuing target of the very wealthy to reduce it further.

    The evidence is stark. You just don't want to see it. That is weird in my view.
  10. 20 Jan '15 10:30
    Originally posted by finnegan
    How can you say a chart of the distribution of wealth is misleading because it is not a chart of income distribution? A weather chart is not a chart of income distribution but that is not the reason it is misleading! As to the claim that wealth is not a determinant of one's standard of living, again that is absurd. Wealthy people have a far higher savings ...[text shortened]... neven distribution of income adds each year to the uneven distribution of wealth. They interact.
    Of course there is a connection between the two, but the wealth distribution is much more unequal than the income distribution. I have no wealth to speak of but my standard of living is pretty decent with an income close to the median.
  11. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    20 Jan '15 10:40
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Of course there is a connection between the two, but the wealth distribution is much more unequal than the income distribution. I have no wealth to speak of but my standard of living is pretty decent with an income close to the median.
    That does not in any way call my points into question.

    Most of the World's population does, like you, rely on income and not wealth for its standard of living. A process which threatens to deprive a growing proportion of the world's population of the ability to stay ahead of poverty, and that threatens to diminish radically the size of the middle classes who were such a large part of the affluent 20th Century, is deeply troubling. It is not unprecedented however. The C20th was unusual in history and we are reverting to a (largely hereditary) plutocracy, which is so well described in C19th literature. I happen to be reading Dickens at present - that is where you can read the tea leaves.
  12. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    20 Jan '15 12:23
    Originally posted by sh76
    Those number are pre-redistribution. If you re-did the chart after accounting for social programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, Section 8, Title IV, TANF, SSI, SSD, WIC, etc. and put those benefits in the income of the poor, the chart would probably look closer to the "think." In fact, with all of the benefits, there's probably very little of a curve between t ...[text shortened]... elfare programs should be taken from budget surpluses, when and if we ever actually create them.
    You might be interested in what the President has to say to Congress tonight.

    Or maybe not.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    20 Jan '15 13:21 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    At about 4:40 to 5:00, after noting that the top 1% owned 40% of wealth while the poorest own almost nothing, beyond "loose change," the video goes on to note that the distribution of wealth has been getting seriously more distorted over time since 1976, as the top 1% take home 24% of income compared to only 9% in 1976. In other words the video makes my po ...[text shortened]... it further.

    The evidence is stark. You just don't want to see it. That is weird in my view.
    Your post is emotional and does nothing to address anything that I said.

    I didn't say there was not a non-ideal distribution. I said the presentation is misleading.

    I think you're looking for a target. Since there are no apparent actual rich people here, I'll do as a proxy.

    I'm on record on this forum many times supporting higher taxation of the rich. The fact that I point out something that should be obvious doesn't make me "weird," only logical.
  14. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    20 Jan '15 13:24
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    You might be interested in what the President has to say to Congress tonight.

    Or maybe not.
    I always pay attention to the SOTU.
  15. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    20 Jan '15 13:47
    Originally posted by sh76
    I always pay attention to the SOTU.
    Seriously why? Nothing Obama proposes tonight has the slightest chance of being enacted into law. He generally gives a good speech but I won't bother to watch it.