https://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/ … sone_share
1. Only 3 percent of the super rich are entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs come from the middle classes.
2. America is No 4 from the bottom in terms of equality.
3. 50% of the USA GDP is untaxed and held by rich Americans oversease.
4. Corporations found a way of cutting their taxes in half at the onset of the depression.
5. $50 billion was made by just ten Americans last year.
6.Taxing the rich would pay 100% of the deficit.
7. Single Black or Hispanic women have a networth of $100. I have a network of $0.
8. The Elderly and disabled receive the full food allowance $4.30 per day.
9. American public paid about $4 trillion to bail out the banks...
10l Young people are now worth only 1/3 of what they were worth in 1984.
This is all called the dribble down effect...
I always refer to it as the trickle up effect, Sophia. The money trickles from our pockets at the bottom of the human scrap heap, then defies the law of gravity and trickles up to the billionaires. Sleight of hand, perhaps?
Total confiscation of the wealth (wealth, not income) of the 400 richest people in the country will barely equal the deficit.
Just what are you considering a tax, and what do you consider "rich"?
Don't forget, too, that if you do confiscate that money that the next year it is gone while the spending of our esteemed congressmen will double because they had all that money last year.
Wilderness, have no idea. The article is doing the rounds. Both political sides are guilty of fudging facts. The moment I read it, the most glaring error that hit me was that taxing the rich would absolutely not kill the entire debt of the USA. Having lived through one bankrupt country, I think the USA has so much debt that I'm not sure it's repayable.
Well, it does say "deficit", not "debt", but even so is grossly out of line with reality and that isn't the only place, either. 50% of the GDP is owned by Americans overseas? Total nonsense, and the only way America can be 4th from the bottom in wealth inequity is by very carefully choosing what countries will be considered and eliminating the majority of them.
It's 4th from the bottom for 150 countries. I can't remember the exact number of countries in the world, but I seem to remember it's something like 200 countries - or thereabout anyway. I think it might mean that it's 4th from the bottom for the developed countries. I
Juist found it!
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article … tries.html
It's the bottom third - not 4th from the bottom!
The other thing is that America lost in two ways this year. It dropped out of the number one position for 'soft influence,' and the UK took first position. That is the first time it happened. The other one is that America dropped out of the ten most prosperous nations in the world. It is now number 12.
I think what a lot of people do, and it doesn't matter what their religion, politics, or business do is take the something of the truth and mix it with something that suits their purpose more...
Most common guess seems to be 196 countries, but I don't believe the US is 48th from the bottom there, either. The link was for 34 countries; it should not be too hard to find 30 that are above us.
Nor am I particularly concerned to find that the US is now number 12 in GDP per capita; the recession easily did that much damage. In addition, if you eliminate the oil producing nations that offer little else in GDP, the US will be at or very near the top. If, instead, the wealth of the people is considered instead, I find it very doubtful that the US is not in top place. It's too easy to twist statistics and figures to say whatever you want them to say.
Yes, I agree things can be twisted, and there were a couple of instances here, but not all. The inequality in America is greater than any other well developed country.
"Well developed". As in China, approaching the worlds largest GDP? Don't think so. As in Brazil, with possibly the most well designed and functional city in the world but also with tribes of natives still living without a shred of electronics? Don't think so. How about Australia? Don't they still have extremely primitive aboriginal tribes? India, with nuclear weapons and a large percentage of homeless people? Don't think so either.
I'm sure you're right, but only if you carefully handpick the countries to be compared against.
In any case, inequity is a virtually inevitable result of free enterprise. I don't think you will find any socialistic, or trending toward socialism, country with the average standard of living that US citizens enjoy. Such things as an average ownership of large quantities of land, ownership of an average of several large ticket items (cars, expensive TV's, refrigerator/freezer, common computer ownership, etc.), or anything like the size of average home in the US.
Free enterprise produces inequity, but it also produces a higher average standard of living and is not all bad.
In any case, inequity is a virtually inevitable result of free enterprise. I don't think you will find any socialistic, or trending toward socialism, country with the average standard of living that US citizens enjoy
Well, having read about a number of hubbers here, who have sound themselves homeless because they lost their job, or got sick- even women alone and in their 50's and 60's, (there's a hubber here who has been sleeping in a tent in Nebraska, because she broke her ankle and then lost her job and couldn't pay the rent) I'd have to say, that the less fortunate in the UK are definitely treated with more respect and definitely have a better standard of living of then many US citizens.
Many young people are treated badly in the Uk, but we do at least try to take care of our older people, the US has quite an appalling record in that regard.
The top ten most prosperous countries in the world are all socialistic. The top three (Scandinavian countries) are very definitely socialistic.
yes, I agree, the UK is a mixed economy- not nearly as socialistic as many in the US believe it to be. But I guess those who equate socialism and communism to be one and the same, don't want to heat the arguments in favour of socialism.
Hollie, that's what I don't get here. People think that socialism and communism is the same thing. They don't get that socialism is actually a name for a mixed economy, and that the taxes are used to provide education, public transport, and provide those services which will ensure the common good. The reason Scandinavia works is because they provide excellent services. The reason that the UK and the US don't is because they don't.
Scandinavia also values certain minority groups, such as single parents and women above a certain age, they also value their young people, too. They invest in education, as you say, and child care facilities. They don't demonise these groups, they empower them- and it's to their advantage, fiscally and socially.
How do you measure "prosperous", Sophia?
Tonnage of automobile per capita? Square footage of housing per capita? Miles of roadway (or rail tracks) per capita? Square miles of public land per capita? Acres of privately owned land per capita? Private energy usage per capita (looking at the number of toys and housing size here)? Calories consumed daily per capita?
Most sites that I looked at gave no indication of how that list is compiled, but two included such things as "Governance" (whatever that is) and "social capital" (whatever that is) and "opportunity". All of these seem to be purely personal definition and not particularly what US citizens want.
At the same time, none of the categories included any material possessions, either private or public, but that would seem to be a large part of "prosperous". That socialistic countries and peoples put a different value on both tangible and intangible things should not come as a surprise, but neither should it be used to compare how "prosperous" a country is.
Wow, wilderness. Talk about someone who absolutely and utterly will insist his own country is the most properous, best, whatever in the world, and then when is shown that according to various statistics, that isn't true, suddenly begins to questions what prosperous is. Um.
I guess the 50% of people who don't agree with you, and who are also Americans, don't want those things either. I guess you're wrong because Obama very soundly got socialized health care through congress. He also won a second term as president precisely because the majority absolutely and utterly DO want those things.
And the Dems will win 2016 again because the demographics in the country are changing, so guess what, you go on believing what you want to believe.
I'll just stick with the facts.
What statistics? That we lose in "governance" and "social capital"? And no, I don't really find the US the best country in the world to live in, but it is far from where you place it by comparing selected lists of countries while ignoring the vast majority, or by looking at "data" concerning things I have no care about.
It does appear that 50% of the country wants that same change, to the losing social style embraced by Europe, and the failing economies that it has produced. It doesn't make me particularly happy, but I DO recognize it and have said so for some time now. Americans have learned that they can vote themselves anything they want, paid for by someone else or by future generations, and it will ruin the country in the long run just as it has very nearly ruined Greece, Italy, Ireland and much of the rest of Europe.
2016 - a very wild guess, but I suspect the R's will take that one. No incumbent president to fight, I expect a radical change in much of the R platform (particularly those areas concerning religious belief and demands) and I expect the deficit and debt load to increase to the point that no one can ignore it any longer.
The problem isn't what people want, it's that they cannot afford what they want but insist they have it anyway. When that happens disaster isn't far off, and I don't believe it is far off for America if the govt. spending habits don't change. Tax increases won't help, not at the spending level we demand - you can tax the top 5% at 100% and it won't make much more than a dent in the deficit the people demand any more.
We either voluntarily learn to live with less, or circumstances (and China) will force that learning whether we like it or not. Burying our head in the sand while declaring that "You just want them to starve and die!" won't change that inevitable accounting - America must and will cut its spending habits one way or another in the fairly near future.
At the moment the US is about 15th to 16th of it's GDP in deficit, I have nothing against cutting costs as long as it is done reasonably (there is for example plenty of cutting to be done in the military sector) but what that means is the deficit can be gotten rid of by a 6 or 7% tax increase which would leave our tax rate still much lower than it was in say the 50s so this panic over the debt is transparent as glass, Japan, India etc. etc. have proportionately much much larger debts that we do and are still going just fine.
Of course even that is deceptive because our economy is growing and that growth is speeding up now, plus when you take inflation into account Obama has reduced spending.
Additionally conservatives have a hopeless record with debt, Reagan started the debt addiction and tripled our debt, Clinton almost balanced the budget, Bush 2 massively increased spending by more than any president ever and then Obama has slightly reduced it. So don't expect anyone with half a brain to believe in Republican balanced budgets or fiscal responsibility.
You still haven't told me how Norway is less socialist than the US.
Can you expand on your numbers? I'm not sure what you are saying.
Do you mean that our deficit is 15% of GDP? A tax increase of 7% - does that mean we go from 20% (for instance) to 27% or to 21.4%? And does that include total taxes everywhere, including business, middle class, property taxes, sales taxes, etc or just a select group of income tax payers?
Economy is growing, yes, but can we count on continued growth with a large tax increase? Questionable at best. Obama has cut spending? Since when - the day he took office or before the war started? Or just since the last couple of years, when we had the largest "budget" in history? In any case, he hasn't cut it yet - when Obamacare really takes effect the US budget goes through the roof, or least spending does while borrowing more as we usually do.
Haven't looked at the figures, but did Bush increase spending by as large a percentage as Roosevelt and Truman did when they fought a war? Far too many variables (state of economy, state of world affairs, makeup of congress and presidency, natural disasters, etc.) to make a concrete judgement, but gut feeling is that R's are slightly better at fiscal responsibility. They are certainly no worse; our whole govt. has found it can buy votes and does so with a vengeance while the citizenry roots for anything that will benefit them personally and hang the cost to the country as a whole.
Deficit is 1.2 trillion spending this year.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Unite … ral_budget
GDP is over 15 trillion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of … ted_States
Which means our deficit is about 7%
Which means a complete tax increase of 7% would cancel the deficit, I am not suggesting we do that, in my view about half the deficit should come from spending decreases and half should come from revenue increases in progressive taxation but either way the debt is nowhere near as enormous as people are attempting to make it out to be.
Obama has kept nominal spending at about the same as Bush 2 as you know though inflation reduces the nominal value of "money" if inflation is take into account as it should be for the sake of accuracy spending has been reduced 2.6%, not amazing or anything but a good start especially when in the midst of an economic crisis he inherited.
Obamacare increases spending but is fully funded by the taxes in it (Cadillac insurance tax, drug company taxation etc.) so that will not in any way increase our debt, according to the CRS it will reduce it very slightly because it is a little over funded by those taxes.
The gut feeling is not really something I am willing to address, my facts and figures are powerless before your gut feelings but the reality is this debt problem comes from conservative presidencies and it has been democrats who have eased it in the past and in the present.
Gotcha on the tax increase - I understand what you are saying. The problem, though, is that the 7% must be spread over ALL taxes, not just the income tax of the rich that seems to be what everyone wants. If you leave out income taxes of the middle class, income taxes of corporations, and all the other little fees, taxes and income production of govt, that leaves an enormous increase on the rich - more than they make.
Cut that by 50% in spending and by another 50% in cutting only half the deficit rather than all of it and it is still nearly impossible to get that much from just the rich. You will have to add in tax increases on business and the great unwashed middle class to get it. You will also have to cut spending by 1/4 of the deficit (300 billion) and you won't get that through in one year, either.
No, you can't fight "gut feeling", but I really don't see how you can blame either side for the debt we have incurred - as I say there are just too many variables to consider and balance against each other. You say you have facts, but those facts are extremely limited and in no way even attempt to provide a reasonable answer; the answer that a particular presidency was one side or the other is inconsequential as the president does not set the budget. He plays a major part, but does not set it.
I highly disagree on the cost of Obamacare; figures have ranged from making money with it to huge deficits from the program. My money is more towards the latter, yours slides to the former - we'll see who is right in time. I will say, though, that I have never seen a govt. project of any size come in under (or at) budget and this one has to be the largest ever.
I apologize for not catching the reference to Norway; I'm having a little trouble with the "chronological view" and missed several posts, including that one.
I never said otherwise; the thrust I meant to give was the "prosperous" or "richer" are dependent on what factors make up prosperity. I listed a half dozen or so in the earlier post that I would have looked at when deciding how prosperous a nation or its people is, but those making the lists did not include them, or anything else of the same nature. "Prosperity", then, is a matter of what is considered important and a matter of definition. I highly doubt that you could find any nation on earth that tops Americans in any two or more of the categories I mentioned, but that apparently doesn't make Americans prosperous. Instead the American society must exhibit attributes that are considered important in Europe, such as Governance and Social Capital to be considered rich.
When the word was introduced to the thread I took it for a totally different meaning that what Sophia (the first poster of the term) meant, that's all. I thought of money and material things, she was thinking of social aspects she considered important and valuable with absolutely no concern for the materialism Americans so prize.
*shrug* - You want to discuss how prosperous or rich a person or nation is, you'd better define what "rich" means. Bill Gates is rich - Mother Theresa wasn't, but I guess when discussing national riches the opposite is true.
Yup and I am fine with the tax being spread out, if you are struggling to get by then obviously your taxes shouldn't go up but I believe that people in the middle class should be paying a bit more all the way to the very top with graduating numbers upwards. There is also corporate tax.
This does not have to be done over 1 year or even four, probably over a decade or less is best.
Well my attitude is that presidents need to take responsibility for their terms, if those terms create massive debt then they need to wear that, part of that personal responsibility republicans are always so eager to apply to others
Yeah the independent groups have largely found it to be adequately funded, as you say we will see.
As I said Norway has more wealth per person, higher quality of life, higher pay parity wealth, better distribution of wealth, longer life expectancy, lower crime etc. etc. really whichever way you define it.
I might add, too, that Ireland is on that list of the top ten. With a failing economy that must be propped up by others in the union it seems unlikely that it will retain that spot for long.
Of course, many of those socialistic type countries are failing as well - they are discovering that the thing they value most (social support networks) cannot be sustained at the level they want.
Of course, many of those socialistic type countries are failing as well - they are discovering that the thing they value most (social support networks) cannot be sustained at the level they want.
Rubbish, they don't value social support networks as in welfare benefits, they value the opportunity to work and to become economically independent. A mixed economy is exactly that, a combination of the private and public sector, who also value services which they are willing to pay for by way of taxation. Ireland was ripped off big time- did you ever wonder why Tony Bliar was so keen to promote peace- what did Ireland have that made it so appealing to him and his cronies?
While individuals may all want jobs and responsibility for themselves (untrue in the US and doubtful in Greece, for instance) it is society that wants that safety net for them and that is what I said. Society demands that they be taken care of whether working or not, and it has progressed to the point that the economy has collapsed without outside intervention. Much (or most) of that is because, whether people want to work or not, or are working or not, they want and demand more than they produce. Let the non-productive element grow too large, or receive too much at someone elses expense, and the result is economic failure - exactly what has happened.
Your are picking individual cases, while I plainly spoke of averages. The average wealth of 350 million people is just a little higher than a few hubbers that have found themselves homeless.
While that is very unfortunate, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the average I mentioned.
The hyperbole you and most pseudo conservatives are so fond of have reported the right wing huge political benefit so far, but I think after reaching its highest point is starting to be seen as what it is by a lot of people,a smart way to dupe the simpleton voter.I don't know of any serious LBRL politician that advocates confiscation all of anybody's wealth,or even half of it,hell they would be happy to be able to tax them just one or two points more than they are now when we are at the lowest tax level in history.
Do you disagree with what I said, then? The information came from Forbes, can you provide any other that gives a rebuttal to the idea that total confiscation of the wealth of the richest 400 citizens will pay the deficit for only one year?
Guess I don't really understand what you're saying, except that you don't believe it and therefore it is wrong and nothing but a conservative lie to dupe the voters.
what i said is simple,There is no serious LBRL politician in this country advocating for the confiscation of anybody's wealth,so i say hyperbole because you start off from a false premise.
Yup. That's what's difficult to handle. One says one sentence, and all of a sudden, there is a line of reasoning attached to that that was not even close to what one said!
I was one speaking to a conservative and he asked me what I thought would improve lifestyle. I said a greater sense of community.
He then said, "No, Communism won't work. It's a failed system."
My jaw dropped and I asked the man how he got from community to communism. He never did answer that, but I suppose the words sounded similar to him.
Sorry I missed your post, Mio. My point was that total confiscation of wealth cannot stop the deficit, and it is thus obvious that a fraction of the yearly income won't even come close.
I did not mean to indicate that anyone was proposing confiscation of wealth.
Picking up on the last, added, sentence - don't be silly. Taxing the rich another 2% of their income isn't going to even dent the deficit and won't make anybody happy. If total wealth confiscation won't solve it that tiny additional tax won't either.
It's going to require pretty major tax cuts to do anything with that. Cuts like 30% of all welfare programs to even start, followed by 30% of the military budget to make a good dent. Add in every single earmark and a big tax increase and we might break even with a balanced budget. At least until the bill for Obamacare comes in...
lol. That is so grotesquely inaccurate.
If we end those two wars, recover the funds that Bush II looted from the treasury, end subsidies to firms that are making record profits, outlaw oil and gas speculation, stop fraud, waste and abuse by Congress and then tax the doggone rich at a decent rate... we would be fine.
The article linked to gives no references to support the claims.
I think that the current 'rich people are bad, take all their money and give it to the deserving poor and all the world's problems will be solved' notion that seems to have taken a grip these days is both simplistic and dangerous.
1) 'Taking' someone's money is stealing - whether they are rich or poor - and that is wrong
2) Taxing rich people at a higher rate usually leads to a drop in tax receipts, not an increase
3) In the UK the top 10% of earners already pay more than 60% of all tax collected
4) High earners do pay more in tax - 20% of £200,000 is a lot more money than 20% of £20,000, and there are 40%, and 50% tiers in the UK
5) It's up to governments to close tax loopholes and collect tax receipts - nobody likes paying tax, so the majority of individuals will pay the least possible
6) Even if all the rich people's money was taken away and 'redistributed' to the rest or us, within a decade most of it would be back in the hands of those same people
7) Not all rich people are bad and not all poor people are good
There are some questions which are rarely asked:
1) Why should you pay more tax just because you are rich? After all you are just one person/family and are actually likely to be less of a burden on the state because you are more likely to pay for private health care, education for your kids etc.
2) Rich people are private citizens, not charities. Why do people think that the rich have a responsibility for the welfare of other citizens. Isn't that the job of government? Or of the citizens themselves?
3) Would you be prepared to give over 50%, 75% on a portion of your earnings to government?
Now before you all start howling in outrage, I think that most of us agree that we should all pay tax as countries need infrastructure, services, policing, defence etc. But the empowerment of the poorest in our communities will not happen by dragging everyone in the world down to the same impoverished level. Governments need to be more efficient in the way they collect taxes and shut down any loopholes and pursue tax evaders. Then those tax receipts need to be well spent on providing the best education possible for all children, providing them with the best healthcare and on creating apprenticeships, business mentoring and anything kids need to get their feet on the first rungs of their career ladders.
As for rich people, encourage them to become philanthropists and help them create employment for young people. Engage with them so they do contribute to culture, welfare and humanitarian projects. But his has to be voluntary - educate and show all more prosperous citizens the benefits of giving and working in their communities. Because if governments just go on treating them like cash cows, they will stop producing and become even more creative at moving their money around.
The politics of envy is corrosive and nasty. Shifting all the blame onto one section of society only leads to trouble, divides countries, and alienates those people. And lets governments off the hook! Maybe the question we should all be asking is how much am I giving back to my community and the world, before we start throwing rocks at a group of people about whose financial affairs we actually know very little.
Well said, although I hope you are a fast runner. The socialists of the forums will be beating on your door in a heartbeat, with a rope in hand.
Seems to me that one of the problems is that govt. has created all the loopholes, primarily as a tool for social engineering. Make an effort to "improve" inner cities with jobs = far less taxes than the effort costs kind of thing. Quit doing that, spend the money as necessary (in the open for all to see, unfortunately) and the tax income will go way up. The problem, of course, is that "in the open for all to see" thing.
CMHypno, the uK is a very different country to the US. The US is a dog eat dog society where there are no social welfare programs worth anything. You'd be stunned at what people think is social welfare here. Having lived in both countries for a considerable amount of time, there is no comparison. In the USA, the rich do not pay 60% of their income. They pay less than 15% and most of it they don't pay tax on at all.
Come now, Sophia - millions upon millions of people are feeding themselves on the charity of the US govt. They get free (or reduced cost) housing, free medical care and free schooling. Many can get free utilities and free home improvements. They can even get free cell phones! Or at least if it's not actually free (nothing ever is)they aren't paying for it themselves. That's hardly dog eat dog even though it isn't the full socialism that many seem to want.
If all that isn't worth something to the people getting it, perhaps we should simply stop all those programs and put the funds into reducing the deficit. That is certainly something worth doing and if it isn't reduced soon there will be no economy to provide all that welfare anyway.
wilderness, what you consider welfare in the US would be considered heartless in the UK. As I have lived in both countries, and you haven't, I don't think you know what you're talking about.
I don't know about that - we both seem to have said the same thing. The US gives billions in charity each year, the UK (per capita) gives more.
That doesn't make those billions of no value, but it does say the UK is further down the socialist road than the US. You can see this, too, in the average wealth per capita of the two countries as the inevitable result of socialism is not only to equalize wealth between individuals but to decrease it overall.
Actually, it's not the socialism that's kiliing the UK. The Scandinavian countries are heavily socialistic and have just been declared the most prosoperous countries in the world. I'd be interested to know how you define socialism.
Sorry, Sophia - I missed your post.
In relation to the debate here, socialism is redistribution of wealth. I fully recognize that that is far from a full definition, but it seems the important part of the discussion here. Take from the rich to provide a "safety net" (or total life support in many cases) for someone else. It means requiring a few to provide the majority of support for what the society wants for all, whether that is food, public transportation, health care, military and police, or anything else that society wants for everyone. An inequity in payment to provide equity in "prosperity" , if you will.
Socialism is NOT, NOT, NOT the redistribution of wealth. There is one helluve difference between being paid a livable fair wage and being involved in wage slavery. People are NOT, NOT, NOT asking for a redistribtuion of wealth. They are asking to be paid what their labor is worth.
If big corporations paid the same kind of wages and salaries that were paid in this country 50 years ago, then the government wouldn't have to subsidize their wages by giving them food stamps.
Wilderness, I don't have the time and interest to pursue this with you. You hold the same views which half of Americans hold, and quite honestly, having lived internationally, they're antiquated and irrelevant.
Hogwash. Value of a persons work is set by the market place, not by someone declaring that any work at all is worth a "living wage". Someone flipping burgers simply isn't earning that living wage, no matter how much you may wish it.
As far as 50 years ago, I worked then and earned less in terms of buying power than beginning workers (or that burger flipper) do now. That statement is patently false.
Well, then I think you better get reeducated. I understand that members of the GOP have been brainwashed to believed that socialism is the redistribution of wealth but that is absolutely and utterly NOT what socialism is.
That is pure ignorance on your part, and the fact that you're speaking to people who also think that it means a redistribution of wealth doesn't mean that if everybody is ignorant, that makes it the correct definition. This is why I just can't handle speaking to people like you. I'm accustomed to a certain level of edcucation..
As for your comment, "When the word was introduced to the thread I took it for a totally different meaning that what Sophia (the first poster of the term) meant, that's all. I thought of money and material things, she was thinking of social aspects she considered important and valuable with absolutely no concern for the materialism Americans so prize."
As far as I know, the world over, when one speaks about prosperity, one is speaking about money, and I absolutely and utterly meant that people in socialist countries had more financial wealth and a better quality of life than Americans have. America used to be the top of that particular survey. It is now number 12, and this has been gradually happening over the past twenty or thirty years.
Sophia, that survey had almost nothing to do with money or material wealth; it was all about how and where what wealth there was is distributed and how society is set up. Did you even bother to look at the categories? Some were about quality of life, but that has little to do with material wealth, either. It DOES have much to do with what one considers a "good" government or society, but not material goods.
If we look at GDP per capita (at least a semi decent replacement for actual wealth) the US is #8 and every single country above it is a tiny nation that does not choose to spend but very little on such things as a military - add that huge category to personal income and the income of individual Americans will easily top the list. Now explain once more how that silly chart of "prosperity" actually shows material wealth?
I, too, am accustomed to a certain level of education, and that includes the concept of reason and not simply spouting whatever one finds on the web that agrees with a pre-ordained ethical stance. Stances like imagining that anything but what a buyer is willing to pay determines the value of something, including labor. To put it bluntly, a workers efforts are worth whatever he can sell them for, not some manufactured "living wage" value made up by a third party.
Now that we've sufficiently insulted each other, it's my bed time. May we meet again when we're both in a better mood.
And I stand corrected; the term socialism may commonly be used in the manner I did, but that is an incorrect usage.
I DO, however, stand behind the usage of "redistribution of wealth"; any time a government uses a graduated tax schedule in order to give money, goods or services to poorer people it is by definition a redistribution of wealth and that is exactly what our welfare program does as well as any European government that provides "free" health care or any other form of aid to the poor. It is also exactly what is demanded by citizens throughout both the US and Europe; free health care, free food stamps, free education, free this and free that. All paid for by richer people than the recipients. The wealth of the rich is redistributed to the poor.
While the usage of redistribution of wealth is technically correct (so is saying that a business owner making money from his clients is redistribution of wealth to give an example of how broad that is) it's a pretty pointless usage of the term.
Any functional government needs to redistribute funds to where they are needed for example a child with a loving family does not need foster care funds like the baby abandoned in front of the hospital THIS IS REDISTRIBUTION!!! let's get really mad about it! Actually it's simple logic and doing anything but is moronic. Criticizing a government for using funds where they are needed and calling it redistribution of wealth is thus utterly pointless and I very much doubt you disagree with that redistribution.
When this country was founded, there was no redistribution of wealth at all; the government had no money to redistribute. Nevertheless, the concept grew into the most powerful and rich nation on earth. It was many, many years before any significant govt. redistributing occurred, but it did not stop that growth.
Along the line the idea that government needs to help the poor came into being, a concept I happen to agree with from an ethical standpoint. Unfortunately, that concept has grown to the point that only half on the population supports the country itself (along with the poor citizens of that country). It has crossed any reasonable line of support and help into a lifestyle for far too many that is unsustainable for the country and will bring about collapse. That I do NOT agree with and, yes, tend to get a little angry about.
The people have learned that they can vote themselves freebies at every turn, all paid for by someone else, and the average productivity of the citizenry has fallen in spite of massive improvements in machinery, techniques and automation. This is not how to build a strong nation, not how to build a strong economy, and is not sustainable. IMHO.
Wilderness, all countries in the new world grew. They have done so for the last 300 or 400 years and the standard of living is NOT higher in the United States. I don't know where that idea comes from. Ever been to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada, etc.?
America only became richer than other countries AFTER it was given the reserve currency. Before that, it was NOT the most wealthy country in the world. South Africa was. We had the diamonds, the gold, the platinmum, fertile country,, coal to last millenium, and more;
And of course the correlation in the time line of reserve and increasing wealth absolutely means that one caused the other. Not. The wealth also grew after the industrial revolution, after women entered the workplace and after slavery ended - does that mean that each and every one of these is the primary cause?
Once more you have defined "standard of living" according to what you like to see, or to something that decreases the declared standard in the US while increasing it in other countries.
The wealth of South Africa does no good if it is in the ground. It does not equate to more houses, cars or anything else. The US had resources, too, as did Northern Africa, but they weren't being used. Digging up a few diamonds in no way increases the wealth of a country any more than building a couple of factories does.
No, that post is NOT, NOT, NOT about the redistribution of wealth. You might (wrongfully) assume that people who post that kind of thing want a redistribution of wealth and that the way they want it redistributed it is to take from the rich to give to the poor, but until you have actually checked that that is what the OP meant, I suggest you don't jump to wrongful conclusions.
That post is, in general, about the fact that just as with the monarchies of old, the wealth is very, very unevenly distributed in America, so much so that in terms of equality of the people, it is near the bottom. And, NO, NO, NO, however much you want to believe that it is near the top, it absolutely and utterly is NOT, NOT, NOT. It absolutely and utterly is near the bottom. Why is that? Because in all other countries in the world, a CEO earns on average 40 times what the person at the bottom of the company earns. In the United States - and only in the UNited States, - CEOs earn something like 728 times what the person at the bottom of the company does.
Between three hundred and four hundred years ago, people left the old world en masse. Some left because of religious persecution. others left because they were simply dumped into the new world because they wee criminals, but most left because of the inequality of wealth - the same thing that America is guilty of today.
In this article link below, it tells you that America is one of the most difficult countries for upward mobility in the world. Oh, I understand that 40 years ago, it was one of the easiest, but it has been progressively getting more and more difficult for the past three or four decades.
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/ … in-america
Today, it's not only difficult for young people to find a job when they graduate (my daughter who graduated with high honors in business degree took four years to find a job), upward mobility is reserved for those who, through the resources of their parents, have the necessary resources to do so. Those resources include the ability to buy a car, have a place to stay, food to eat, and some very basic things.
Also, it is an absolute myth and the result of ignorance that Americans 40 years ago became rich through their hard work. America came into this propersity AFTER WWII. Before that, it absolutely and utterly was NOT, NOT, NOT the World's richest country. The UK was - as in the British Empire.
America got rich as a result of two factors. The first is that they were given the Reserve currency by the rest of the world. This meant that America could manipulate the prices of imports and exports. The secod is the same reason that as ALL countries in the New World got rich - they had natural resources and few people, and most people could just move a little way from the mainstream and pick up property for very little, etc.
Next, America did not get to the moon as a result of American brains, but because of the German rocket program of which Einstein and Werner von Braun (both German nationals) were part of. It was part of American policy after WWII to bring all German brains to America (even if they were nazis) so that America could get German brains.
Next, when I grew up, South Africa had a stronger currentcy than the USA, and we had the highest standard of living in the world. In fact, the exchange rate was 75 South African cents for one American dollar. That's because South Africa has massive natural resources. Sure people worked hard to explit them, and South Africans are known internationally as very hard workers, but we had the natural wealth of the ground to exploit - gold, diamonds, coal, fertile land, uranium, platinum, and more.
Next, the average American I.Q. is one of the lowest in the world - 99. In Israel, it's 110, and it's no accident that Microsoft gets all its research and development done in Israel - NOT, NOT, NOT with American brains.
Now, let's get back to this supposed redistribution of wealth. NOBODY, NOBODY, NOBODY wants government handouts. What people want is a livable wage which used to be paid to baby boomers in the 60s. Where you get the point of view that virtual slavery is acceptable, I have no idea, but you have been so brainwashed that this is acceptable, that you don't even question it.
It's time you dropped your brainwashing and did a major rethink.
Your post is too long to respond to each paragraph, but I can respond to a few. As usual, you are picking and choosing while using twisted and incomplete information and opinions.
Equality of citizens in terms of wealth near the bottom. No, it is not, Center perhaps, but not the bottom. What is the average wealth of Nigerian people compared to the richest? Mexican? Brazillian? You are choosing countries with heavy redistribution to compare with - let's use all countries if we want a true comparison.
People don't want govt. handouts? If there were a shred of truth in that we wouldn't see earmarks, the welfare system would be a third the size it is and Obamacare would never have been on the table. The politicians handing out free money are those being elected - why is that? Here's a clue - at least half the welfare payments in the US are not for survival, they are for increasing a low standard of living.
Upward mobility: With twice the population, Europe has half the billionaires the US does - that doesn't sound like an increase in opportunity or mobility to me. Your link compares things like groups born into different "classes" with figures for one class improving being compared to another class that either decreases OR increases - not a particularly valuable point of information. Leaving the link, there is also the matter of class definition - personally I find any family with a six figure income to be rich. With that much increase in disposable income I could buy nearly anything I want and $100,000 earnings is common in the country.
Starting out: When I left college I lived in a one room "apartment" with a community bath down the hall. I had a 15 year old car (but no gas) that is probably equivalent to a 25 year old wreck today as auto longevity has greatly increased. No phone, no satellite (no TV for that matter), no Xbox, no beer in the fridge, no entertainment (movies, eat out etc.) and dinner was normally a box of macaroni and cheese. No kids until after there was a decent income. It took me a year to find a job in my field, but in the meantime I worked a gas station, a tire store and on a farm in the summer - the combination earned me enough to support a very meager lifestyle (meaning survival). Today that sort of thing is totally unacceptable; youngsters demand lots of luxury as they start their lives and won't work menial jobs to get by while searching for something better.
Yes, I vaguely remember the furor (a couple of decades ago?) when the dirt poor blacks of South Africa kicked out the rich white landowners to make a life for themselves. Didn't sound like an equitable place to live to me, and doesn't now (meaning average standard of living was very poor 40 years ago for the average citizen). I wasn't there then, but doubt that you lived outside the rich white enclaves, either.
Sorry, America got rich primarily on the backs of its workers, not by manipulating import prices or currency exchange rates before OR after the war. The war found the highest rate of production the world had ever seen, and the use of women in the workplace (that has vastly increased the wealth of the nation) has continued to this day.
For sure landing on the moon was primarily the work of German brains. After all, there is no difference between sending a primitive rocket 90 miles across the channel with a 100 pound payload and sending one 250,000 miles to the moon, escaping the earth's gravity field as it does and with a payload of tons including living organisms. No difference at all, and German brains accomplished all of it. Don't be silly - you are truly grasping at straws here to "show" the incompetence of Americans.
People only want a livable wage that was paid in the 60s, you think? After inflation, of course? I grew up then - my father was a skilled carpet layer and later a truck driver working 15-20 hour days. We hunted for meat and had a garden the provided nearly all our vegetables. We lived in a 1200 sq ft dump (that Dad remodeled in his copious free time) with 3 kids, clothed from yard sales and the thrift store. One car, no TV and no cell phone. I bought my own bicycle from earnings from a paper route - Mom and Dad could not afford such an expensive luxury for the kids. We were warm and well fed, but not from buying pre-made garbage from the store - mom made everything from scratch. Butter, for instance, was made from cream on raw milk. We were straight middle class, neither rich nor poor. That's the reality of the 60s, not the one you imagine where no one worked more than 40 hours for the American dream of two cars, big house and 2 week vacation each year. Where everyone had a giant (27") TV and ate out every other day.
Is that the "living wage" you refer to? LOL anyone living that way today is either doing it totally by choice or is screaming to high heaven for food stamps, housing allowance, utility help and every other dime they can possibly collect because such a meager lifestyle is totally unacceptable today.
Can you possibly believe that the 3rd generation welfare mama in the slums doesn't want a handout? Or the "disabled" man (you know, the one on the golf course each week) that has collected food stamps for the last 10 years? How about the Katrina "victims" STILL living in the charity mobile home while whining that it isn't good enough? The woman on TV explaining that Obama will now give her a car and a home? Don't talk nonsense - there are a great many people in this country that make welfare payments a way of life. That there are also a great many that will draw those benefits only as absolutely necessary while between jobs or recovering from an accident doesn't change that one iota.
I'm only going to respond to one sentence here... "Upward mobility: With twice the population, Europe has half the billionaires the US does - that doesn't sound like an increase in opportunity or mobility to me."
I didn't read most of the rest because your reasoning defies logic.
Firstly, not it's not a sign of upward mobility. It's a sign that the people who already have money have exploited the people of America in terms of labor, and they have lied, cheated, and manipulated in order to achieve untold wealth. People just aren't allowed to do that in Europe.
Let me give you an example of the kind of skewered laws you have in this country.
In England, if you say something nasty about someone and it affects their reputation, you can be sued for deformation of character or libel - as in America. Here's the big difference, however. In England, if it turns out to be the truth, it's not libel or deformation. In America, if it's the truth, it's still libel. Reagan killed the 'Fair Act,' which means people can lie through their teeth in America (and business does), and it's not illegal.
The other reason is that in Europe, people pay a livable wage. In America, they don't.
The reasons that a handful of Americans have become rich is because they can lie, steal, manipulate, and more. The people who aren't prepared to do this don't get rich.
I had a friend from South Africa buy a business here. He was lied to on every level. After two years, he moved back to South Africa.
Of course; all the billionaires (Like Bill Gates) were born with that money in their pocket. They didn't collect it a dollar a time, moving up as they did so. Or is it that no one has crossed the line in the past week?
We come from different worlds, Sophia, and never the twain shall meet. I firmly believe in receiving (and keeping) the actual value of the work I perform; you just as firmly believe that you can define what every job is worth without regard to what anyone is willing to pay and that if the pay is more than you think it should be then the worker must divest themselves of it until it is equal to what you think it should be. You don't understand free enterprise and don't like it; I do. You want a nanny state, taking care of everyone from birth to death, I prefer freedom, even to the point of death.
Has it occurred to you that Europe pays a "livable wage" because Europeans don't demand the same standard of living? They don't require a huge house with satellite TV, multiple expensive cell phones and two SUV's in the driveway? Cut the American standard of living to that of most of Europe, stop including jobs intended for kids and part time work and suddenly the vast majority of work in the country pays that "living wage".
From the law dictionary, Libel means:
"1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others." (italics mine)
I assume you actually meant slander rather than libel, but in any case it is the same. It is only libel if the words are a lie; truth is not libel. Where did you ever get the idea that you can be (successfully) sued by telling the truth?
Actually Wilderness it doesn't. The UK gives billions in overseas aid, although it's not aid per se, it merely secures the dependence of poorer nations, and secures profits and control for the 1%. Would you like me to offer some stats?
In fact, the majority of welfare benefits given in the UK are to the working poor, not the unemployed. The only thing that is socialistic about the Uk at the present time, is how the tax payer subsidizes large corporations who refuse to offer a living wage.
Overseas aid was never in the equation, just charity to UK (or US) citizens, although perhaps it should be.
Are you saying that the UK equivalent of US welfare is less per capita than the US puts out? That would disagree with what I've picked up from other threads, though it could certainly be true. In this matter, I refer to monies received by an individual from the govt for any purpose, that are unearned. The recipient did no work to earn them. It would also include any "freebies" such as health care where the money is actually paid to a third individual that has earned it. Is the UK budget for that, per UK citizen, less than the US?
UK spending projections for 2013.
£/ billion population 63.5 million
Welfare 117 9.8 of which is spent on unemployment benefits
Source: http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_we … ng_40.html
US projections 2013.
$/billion Population 316.8 million
Welfare 750.1 of which 77.6 is spent on unemployment benefit.
http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_ … ng_40.html
Within the US welfare budget however, 171.4 is allocated for unemployment trust, in addition to unemployment benefits where 77.6 billions is allocated. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't welfare trust given to high income business owners and professionals who wish to reduce taxation, and not unemployed people claiming welfare? If I am correct, and we are discussing welfare for the unemployed then I think we can safely deduct 171 billions from the amount that is actually spent on, dare I say, real welfare.
Furthermore, within the US projections 21.8 billion is also allocated to the workers compensation program. A scheme, correct me if I'm wrong, which is designed to compensate those who have suffered work related illness or injuries? In the UK, those who have suffered work related illness or injury are normally compensated through their employer. However, if the injuries/illnesses are long term, then they may be entitled to certain disability benefits.
So, if we deduct 171.4 and 21.8 billions from the welfare budget of the US in terms of welfare in comparison to the UK, we are left with a little over 550 billion dollars spent by the US on welfare. Then we convert £s to dollars because the figures are given in each nations currency, we are left with:
UK projected expenditure for unemployment benefits 2013.
US projected expenditure for unemployment benefits 2013
$77.6 billion and the US has what, a population approximately 5 times larger than the UK? So, yes, per person I think we can safely say that the UK spends more on unemployment benefits than the US per head.
Wow. Hollie, we have a problem here in that the concepts of welfare are SO different. Some explanation:
Unemployment insurance is paid for by the employer, and the amount paid depends on past history of the business. Producing lots of unemployed people results in a higher charge for that insurance program, keeping people employed results in a much lower premium. It is not paid for by the govt. although it is run and operated by govt. It is not generally considered a form of welfare in the US. Unemployment insurance in my state is maxed out at $360 per week - not enough to live on, let alone make a house and car payment. Another point here is that if you haven't worked (they look at the first 4 of the last 5 quarters earnings to determine amount of benefit) you don't get it. Unemployment insurance is also very limited in the number of payments; 26 weeks is probably the most common maximum duration. The employer contribution can be looked as a part of your compensation, although the govt. takes it to fund the program.
Workmans compensation is the same; an insurance program run by the govt. but paid for by specific premiums paid by the employer and those premiums depend on past history of claims. As in the UK, long term disability results in welfare payments rather than workmans comp.
Pensions are not paid for via the tax base, except for those earned by government workers - a result of the job contract. It is not considered welfare, either. Social Security insurance is funded by contributions levied on both employer and employee and could be considered a form of pension, but does not come from the general tax base. The earnings history (read as contribution history) defines the amount of payment, exactly as it would in a company is paying a pension rather than the government.
Education in the lower grades is free and required of every citizen; there are no particular groups (such as poor) that receive any particular benefits. While it is definitely a redistribution of wealth, it is not a welfare program simply because it is both required of everyone and given to everyone. Welfare is given only to the poor.
"Welfare" in the US will include such things as food stamps (free food), housing allowance (free or subsidized housing), free medical care (for children or disabled only), Free or subsidized utility bills, Free lunch at school for children. All things funded from the general tax base and that the recipient has not paid for in any way.
Other entitlements, with a name change, could also be considered as welfare. Poor college students can receive "Pell Grants" - money to pay for college expenses that comes from the general tax base and is not earned by the student. College loans with the interest subsidized by the government could be considered welfare, I suppose.
There is very seldom any "corporate" welfare, although the recent bailouts are a huge exception. Rather, the taxes of some (or most) companies are played with by politicians to "encourage" certain activities. Investment, R&D, inner city employment, veterans employment, etc. can all reduce the taxes paid by corporations and while it is often claimed to be "welfare" it isn't - those corporations provide a service wanted by govt. and are "compensated" via a lower tax bill for those services. I suppose some companies receive help (welfare) after a disaster, but we've got enough in just these topics without opening another to confuse the issue.
It seems like your "unemployment" benefits are our "welfare" - payments to individuals that have not been earned but are paid because they are poor and cannot make it without them. I would add your free medical care; only tax paying citizens pay for it, while everyone gets it. At least in the US that is the entire purpose of "Obamacare"; to provide medical insurance for those that can't pay for it themselves.
Pretty massive differences, isn't it? I think it would take more than a simple forum post to actually answer the question of how much "welfare" the UK citizen pays for vs the US citizen.
Pretty massive differences, isn't it? I think it would take more than a simple forum post to actually answer the question of how much "welfare" the UK citizen pays for vs the US citizen.
You see, Wilderness, we don't just have a tax base for expenses such as these, we also pay what we call National Insurance contributions. Every working age adult (obviously who earns enough) pays a percentage of their salary into a national insurance scheme, in addition to their normal tax on earnings. National insurance contributions are paid to the government and deducted directly from a workers salary. Those contributions are what is used to pay unemployment benefits when a person finds themselves unemployed. The employer also makes a contribution to the national insurance pot for each worker, although I believe, and I could be wrong about this because their is much change in the air on this front, that certain employers can obtain a national insurance break for a period of time. Pensions are also taken from the national insurance pot of monies, so these payments are not just managed by the government, but are also paid by the government when payout is due. Having said that, individuals can top up their pensions though private schemes if they wish.
So, when an individual comes out of work, the particular benefit that they can claim depends on the contributions they've made, same goes for pensions. So it' isn't necessarily the case that they haven't worked for those benefits or that they haven't earned them, most people have been paying every month into such a scheme throughout their working lives, in the event of redundancy and/or illness/disability. Although, there will inevitably be some people, but by no means the majority, who haven't worked but still receive help.
The Uk government don't offer free housing, but they will pay what they call housing benefit to those eligible. There is some subsidised housing ie, lower rents than the private sector, but depending on the area where you live there might not be that much of a difference. As far as I'm aware, there are no subsidies for utility bills, but pensioners and the disabled do receive quite generous cold weather payments to help with heating bills, my mum receives one.
What might be quite a shocker to you though, Wilderness, is that the majority of housing benefit is paid to those in work, not our of work, because those in receipt of minimum wage couldn't even contemplate managing rents in some areas of the country because they are so high and the government will not control private sector rents. Likewise, I don't know what they call it now, working tax credit and child tax credit, I think are the current terms, are also paid to those in work- earners. Introduced to help alleviate child poverty, so the government/the tax payer is actually subsidising wages which should be payed by the employer- that's what I meant when I said that we are subsidising large companies and corps.
Things may have changed recently, but the cost of childcare in the UK was the most expensive in Europe, so generous subsidies were also given by the tax payer/government to help cover the cost of childcare for those who work and receive a low income. School lunches are also paid for those children whos families receive a low income or are unemployed, as is help with cost of school uniforms and where appropriate a laptop will also be provided for children whose parents earn below a certain level so that the child complete homework tasks. I'm not sure if internet charges are also paid.
The UK pays a lot of welfare to a lot of people, but many of those are working and poor.
I missed the childcare aid in the US - that is also available.
It all sounds much like the US - a tremendous mish-mash of programs to help the poor maintain, with funding from every conceivable source. It also makes a real comparison of "welfare" almost impossible.
Maybe the only real way to compare much of anything is the per capita expenditures by govt. for everything it does. Not a very good way to do it as differences are huge - the US has so much land area, for instance, that roads are a very large cost per capita. Another problem would be in comparing expenses with countries that have no comparable program or a very small one - the military expense per capita of the UK or US, say, compared to that of Kuwait or Switzerland.
It also points out, I think, that designing a system similar to another country is nearly impossible. Interesting.
Agreed, I'm a former student of the social sciences, and for the very reasons you outline and more, Scandinavian countries are normally used for the purposes of comparison to the UK, particularly when it comes to social policy.
That would make sense, and it would also seem to say that the US is virtually alone in the developed nations in how it designs its society and programs.
HAHAHAHA so Obviously Norway is less socialist than America because it is richer per capita the UK gives more per capita because it's a more responsible and caring nation for the well being of it's citizens that is why it's quality of life is significantly better than ours.
http://nationranking.files.wordpress.co … 1-qli2.png
+10,000 percent. The social welfare programs in the United States are quite generous. I would say, overly generous. There are people who purchase lobster and other luxuries on food stamps. I have seen this with my own eyes. Wilderness, you are correct, they live good off the government. That is why the government is cutting down on welfare programs, requiring people to go on workfare, particularly in New York. The conditions of the program is that one must work in order to continue receiving welfare payments, which is only fair.
Food stamps can be used as currency so it's quite possible those food stamps were used at a small business and then that small business owner used them to buy a lobster. The average full food stamp allotment is $5.50 a day, good luck surviving on that if you are buying lobster.
As I recall, that (workfare type of thing) was tried a few years ago throughout the nation. Didn't work - it was demeaning to work and besides, they put a limit on how long you could get food stamps and such and that meant you couldn't live your entire life on govt. charity. Not acceptable.
To CMHYPNO, +1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000! Totally agree with your premise and spot on analysis regarding the issue. IT IS NOT THE RICH who is the problem. They are self-supporting and they generate businesses for others!
I once suggested on a news site about Canada's deficit if Canada uses '3rd Party Management' for First Nations for mismanagement of funds - gov't's should look at applying the same tool. Maybe have the UN do that?
Is there still a 5 year limit to getting welfare in the US? The last study I read said that, but it was written in 2003.
Good question. I seem to recall that that was a part of welfare reform years ago, and seem to remember that it mostly died a natural death as welfare recipients complained that they were entitled to a lifetime of support, but I don't actually know that.
I'm actually replying to your post above Wilderness because it wont let me up there. Tony Bliar adopted the what works and New deal approach from Bill Clinton, which did, by all accounts, work well for the US when you consider the strength of the US economy at the end of Clinton's two terms. And had we not entered into those bloody stupid wars and allowing bankers to behave like they were at a roulette table with an endless amount of chips to gamble away, who knows where both the US and the UK might be now.
You can change the ability to reply by going to the "chronological" view. I don't like it and lost several comments yesterday that way, but at least you can reply.
Don't blame the bankers, at least in the US, for the housing debacle. That came primarily from politicians declaring that everyone had an innate right to a house of their own and then providing govt. loan guarantees while pushing banks to make substandard loans. What banker in his right mind would go against the wishes of strong politicians while losing money from doing it?
Measures of prosperity: America vs the rest of the world.
From the Telegraph in London, the most conservative newspaper in the UK. This was 2010. America is no 10.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/econ … tures.html
This link is from the LA Times and it is the 2012 most prosperous countries in the world. America is No 12.
http://www.ibtimes.com/worlds-top-10-mo … ies-859412
Heres' the same article from the International Business Time which puts Norway (a socialist country) into the number one slot.
Norway has the 4th highest per capita income in the world, and is heavily socialist.
http://www.inc.com/magazine/20110201/in … alism.html
Every single nation in the top ten of prosperous nations is socialist to a greater or lesser extent, and that is measuring prosperity by how much money and possessions everybody has.
And here's yet another measurement. It's the happiness index. It measures three things - well being, long life, and the eco footprint. Guess what. America is near the bottom.
Still trying to prove America is a dog, Sophia?
From your first link, the categories being measured:
"economy, entrepreneurship, governance, education, health, safety, personal freedom and social capital"
Which of these is a measurement of "money and possessions" that you say is prosperity? Safety? Social capital? Personal freedom? Are any of them a measurement of "how much money and possessions everybody has? Doesn't seem like it to me...
re: the happiness index. Do you really think that, in the land of the Big Mac, Phillip Morris and Pizza Hut, Americans care more about well being and long life than they do about what they stuff in their mouth? Or that, in a country of a quarter billion automobiles (and millions of SUVs), that Americans really care about the eco footprint?
Why don't you find stats on the number of bottles of beer per house, or flat screen TV sets with couches nearby? It would be a more accurate measurement of American happiness.
Seriously, though, a measurement of the number of motorcycles, boats and RV's might be appropriate. The number of acres of wilderness land or national parks. Houses with 1,000 sq ft per resident. The number of dogs and cats.
These are what make the American Dream, and what people save for and buy, not long life, health or a small eco footprint for goodness sake! Not 1 in 10,000 Americans cares one whit about their eco footprint - why would you ever measure that as an indication of their happiness?
Yoiu really don't get it, do you?
:"the happiness index. Do you really think that, in the land of the Big Mac, Phillip Morris and Pizza Hut, Americans care more about well being and long life than they do about what they stuff in their mouth"
"Seriously, though, a measurement of the number of motorcycles, boats and RV's might be appropriate. The number of acres of wilderness land or national parks. Houses with 1,000 sq ft per resident. "
Those things are important to plastic, shallow people, and if you're really proud of that, so be it. However, for a growing number of people, there are other things that are a lot more important than those things.
If you read my article on why the Dems will take 2016, you'll understand more about those demographics.
Do you believe that individual Americans spend more on buying big ticket toys or on reducing their eco footprint?
It isn't ME making that call, it is the American people, and it isn't just the Republicans. Somehow I don't think that another Democratic election will change that demographic, although it is faintly possible that when it doesn't you may realize that you simply don't understand much about America or its people - that you just can't project your own wants and desires onto everyone around you.
You're right - ONE of us just doesn't get it. You seem intent on degrading America for some reason and will stoop to almost anything to "prove" it. You don't like it when the foolishness is exposed for what it is, and promptly produce an insult that Americans are plastic and shallow. Well, if loving our national parks and a quiet trek through the wilderness is shallow, so be it. I still appreciate and support both. Along with my RV, and hang the eco footprint. Although I don't have 1000 feet per person, I like my home and wouldn't care to trade it for a tiny apartment in the UK. I even like my Prius, and though it is the cleanest car in the country (barring the new electrics when the engine isn't used) I didn't buy it for that.
I give up, Sophia. For some reason you apparently hate everything about America and Americans and refuse to make the slightest effort to understand either.. I won't "bother" you again here - you can project all the "statistics" and "studies" you want without comment from me.
I wish you lots of "happiness" in learning to live with a low eco footprint.
The kind of people you mention are rapidly becoming a minority in America. They might have been the majority at one time, but that is changing.
Next, I've spent an awful lot of time trying to understand some Americans, and I finally got it. They're Republicans. That said, I just don't think that buying big ticket items, having homes that are a 1000square feet, and living off big macs are particularly what's going to enable the world to be a better place in the future. And it's irrelvant to me that some Americans think that's heaven on earth.
And I'm sorry that you do.
So, yes, we'll part company.
As I say, I wish you the best in your life. Not in changing my homeland into your version of Utopia, because I don't like the lifestyle you want, but certainly in your chase of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
Have a good evening, Sophia.
I cannot change your homeland. I'm not a citizen and don't wish to be. I don't vote. That was never the issue. My only issue is in what is ethically right and wrong i..e. the common good.
No it isn't. Your issue is that YOU know what is best for the masses, and in exactly the same manner that the Christian masses do. A different reason perhaps (you've made it clear in other forums what you think of religion in general) but with the same self assured attitude that only know how everyone else should live their lives
You actually DO want a nanny state, at least as long as it is you determining what "good" and "bad" is, but America is founded on individual freedom and still possesses that to a large degree. It is disappearing as more and more people try to assert they have all the answers, insisting that only their version of right and wrong is correct, but it is still far from gone.
May personal freedom, choice and responsibility live long and prosper here, regardless of what happens in Europe, South Africa or the rest of the world. Humankind is too smart and too good to simply submit to the dictates of any self proclaimed guru of good and evil.
Actually, Wilderness, you must be speaking about someone else.
Wow! What an assumption. I can understand why you respond to me the way you do if you think that.
In psychology, it's called projection. You don't actually hear what someone is saying. You hear what you think they are saying.
So. You did not actually mean that happiness comes from long life, health and eco friendliness; that in reality it can be found in what people choose of their own free will to purchase with disposable income? You definitely said the first - did you mean the second?
You have consistently held up Scandinavia and South Africa as exemplary examples of how a country should be run, while ignoring the majority of Europe operating on the same basic premise of wealth redistribution and failing miserably. Why are those ignored except that they don't fit what you find "right"? They most definitely provide data - why do you ignore them if not because they provide a counterpoint to your social system values?
You present America as a total failure at prosperity, declaring it to be a measurement of money and possessions, while producing "proof" that has absolutely nothing to do with money OR possessions. Of course, America IS a failure in the categories listed, but those categories (governance, social capital, etc.) are what YOU value, so they MUST be proof America is inadequate. Lip service to money, actual value to a particular social system that places little value on it.
If you were truly interested in examining successful countries you would be far more interested in defining what "success" is as well, along with recognizing that the term means different things to different peoples. You won't accept any other definition, though, and thus aren't interested. I have consistently tried to point that out, only to be called uneducated and ignorant, shallow and plastic, all because I don't value the same things you do. Only your values are correct; mine are ignorant, plastic and shallow. Given that, explain once more how it is that you are open to other concepts, desires and values; how yours are not the only ones that matter?
I am no longer reading you, Wilderness. Bye. I didn't read above so don't bother to post to me anymore. If you have $25,000 going spare (that's how much it cost me to come here and how much I will need to relocate back home), I would appreciate the donation. It's only the lack of money that keeps me here.
I thought deep and hard last night as a result of some of the things you said. You deserve an answer, as do others.
I do not hate America. I think hate is a very dangerous emotion, and I don't want to be part of it.
However, I am not happy in a country where I am regarded as stupid and lazy just because I battle to earn a living. Nor does my sense of logic and reality make it easy for me to accept hings that are clearly inaccurate. Nor am I happy in a country where people don't see that calling themselves the greatest nation in the world is braggadocia and totally against the Christian doctrine of humility. I also feel completely let down that I thought that people would speak English and that I would be able to find a job with ease. I also thought that America would be as sophisticated as Europe and was dismayed to find that people here seriously believed in the devil and the creation myth.
That said, there have been some very good things about America that have changed my life for the better. I finally realized that people were self interested. I never knew that one could be. That is partially the result of a disabilty and partially the result that I went to Christian schools and we were taught that we had to be dead to self - which is part of christian doctrine. So, until I came to America, I never understood why people always took what I had and told me the things that they did. It never occurred to me that they were doing things that suited themselves - at my expense. I learned that here. And I wlll always be grateful for that.
The second thing I learned was how my disability affected me and my life. I had 2 1/2 years of disablity counseling and that changed the way I interacted with people - for the better. It is still a difficutl thing for me, but if nothing else, I know in my heart that I try my best, and my daughter tells me that I continue to improve. Other people around me also see the regular change. It is good because it means that I am not ripped off so often anymore.
The last thing that I gained was a sense of self. I never had this before. And it means that when I leave here, I will be better able to look after myself.
I understand that you - and the people like you - will hold all of this in contempt. And that is precisely why I will never like America and I am extremely unhappy here. Because people have your kind of perspective. And I won't be reading any response from you or anybody else. I've had more than enough of hearing how anybody who isn't making money is lazy, stupid, and have no one to blame but themselves. It hurts.
This is my last communication to you. I wish you well in your life.
You too, Sophia. May what you find in the future make you happier with your life - we all deserve that.
Although you and I have many differences of opinion, I do believe that our conversation would have been more pleasant face to face - posting in a forum does not always equate to understanding and I know that I often have trouble making myself understood or understanding what others are saying.
Take care of yourself, Sophia - you deserve more than you have found here.
Goodbye and good luck in your future endeavors.
They will not tell you what it feels like to take a bath in a pool full of gold coins. Believe me, I have tried to ask and they always send a gardener to shoo me off the property with a high-pressure hose.
All Super Rich people are stupid if they think all Black or Hispanic women are worth only 100. I know some other races of people worth less than a penny,"except" they don't know it. Like the ignorant person who felt this was some vital information to share. I pray that all people that see others in the status of color and class all are shipped to Ignorant Island. Because you have a sickness that needs to be removed from society.
More super top rich peoplesecrets revealed!
Has Jimmy Carter's grandson been eavesdropping again?
This time at Bohemian Grove?
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