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The value of-- Redistribution of Wealth ?

  1. ahorseback profile image52
    ahorsebackposted 22 months ago

    I believe that the most important lessons of  life  were taught to me  from being primarily  raised in poverty .. I do NOT nor will I ever believe that any good will come of redistribution of wealth in America .,  There are a thousand lessons , especially  those of   honorable , higher human values , that cannot be learned from  the redistribution  of wealth  process .. I don't know where this came from  but one of the most memorable sayings  that have " struck a chord in me " is one I heard recently .

    "If you give someone  everything they ask for , They will never be happy with anything they get ".
    What do you think ?

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      I think that while a small redistribution is fine for those that actually need it the greatest effect is to teach people to be dependent on government rather than depending on themselves.

      As far as never being happy with what they have, we have only to look to children that are given anything they want without effort on their part.  They are never happy with what they have while those that have worked for their toys are.

      1. Fred Arnold profile image60
        Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        In a world where you have an exponential growth in population with a limited amount of space then government is a necessary thing to tie everyone together in some form. You can think of more government as garnering a dependency or you can think about it as a way to get people out of poverty so they can fulfill something rather than work a pointless job all their life. In my experience, the people I know who have to get government assistance still have issues with paying all their bills and would rather be independent. The corrupt nature of man will only change when the majority are able to think, act, and help one another in a non-biased way unfettered from greed. Obviously I am an optimist, but the humanitarian outlook we all agree on today was once thought up by people who considered themselves optimists back in the day!

        -Fred

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          "n my experience, the people I know who have to get government assistance still have issues with paying all their bills..."

          That's the point - supporting those that won't make the large effort to do so themselves does not promote self-sufficience, no matter how much they claim they would prefer it.  It just creates dependency.

          True help is not done by simply handing out buckets of money.  It is done by (often forcibly) requiring people to take care of their own needs.  Education and training is help, handouts are not except for very temporary needs from disaster, illness or like circumstances.

          1. Fred Arnold profile image60
            Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            One girl I know hardly supports two kids on 2 jobs that pay above minimum wage, plus government assistance. If working 60+ hours a week isn't trying to be self-sufficient then I don't know what is.

            So you'd agree with Obama's plan to spend on higher education? (not to derail the original convo, just wanted to know your opinion on that matter.)

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              And one I know is raising 2 kids on $10 per hour because he is under educated and won't try for more because he likes his weed too much.  You can't get a decent job while smoking as all good employers require drug screens so why get more education for a job he can't land?  Between his pathetic job and charity he has more free "income" than I ever did - why try for more?

              Specific examples mean next to nothing, but I WILL say that the welfare system is broken.  Take your friend off her second job, maintaining a minimal lifestyle, and giver her some training in a better one...but we won't do that.  Instead we will continue to feed her money, forcing dependency on a welfare system that is in shambles.

              No I don't support free higher education.  It is already subsidized heavily from the tax base and students can, if they wish, go through college without massive loans between grants and work coupled with a simple lifestyle.  The problem is mostly that they don't wish to - college has become a play time for far too many and far too few college age kids will consider even part time work while going to school.  It cuts into their entertainment time too much, I guess.

              There is also the concept today that college is necessary for a decent salary.  Somehow blue collar work has become distasteful - hard physical work is supposed to be a thing of the past even though we depend on these people for everything we have - and these workers are looked down upon as somehow sub class.  There is money there, with only job specific education instead of college, though, and we are going to need more such workers in the future.

        2. innersmiff profile image80
          innersmiffposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          Yes, you could think of the government as trying to help people get out of poverty, but it's little known that it doesn't actually succeed. Since the welfare state was implemented, we have not seen a proportionate decrease in poverty.

          This is a pretty good podcast episode on this issue, and what we could conceivably replace it with by looking at what we did before the welfare state:
          http://tomwoods.com/podcast/ep-53-befor … are-state/

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            Oh, I think it's succeeded quite admirably in what has to be the unspoken purpose (our politicians are not as stupid as they seem).  To increase dependency on the largess of those same politicians.

            1. innersmiff profile image80
              innersmiffposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              Can't argue with that.

        3. GA Anderson profile image85
          GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          Greetings Fred,
          I can see the humanitarian perspective you appear to be coming from, but....

          I know it may be picky, but your use of "tie everyone together" raised my hackles. I was with your first sentence until then. If you had said guided the rules of coexistence, (or something to that effect), I could have agreed with you. But "tied" - no thank you. I want choices and guidelines, not strictures and edicts.

          The "corrupt nature" of man, and "greed,"  (in my opinion), has been what has made ours the most prolific economic model the world has seen. Helping one another should be a choice - not an obligation. I will willingly help someone down through no fault of their own, but will also willingly ignore the pleas of a bum.

          Your "humanitarian" outlook ignores the realities of human nature.

          GA

          1. Fred Arnold profile image60
            Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            It doesn't ignore them. Human nature has changed incredibly since the days of castles and kings, since the days of colonies and wars. Humans tend toward peaceful coexistence more than they tend to corruption and chaos. What made all this possible is the simple act of people working together, not the other way around. When you choose corruption and greed you choose to exploit people. I'm really surprised about your outlook with the advancement of humanitarian goals that has led to proper health standards, better socialization, and a better understanding of ourselves. Human nature can change, and it has. Greed and corruption, in a hundred years, might not even exist. And government does tie people together. They get involved and vote. They make decisions that don't just affect me and you, but everyone else. Government is a way to tie people together whether you like the word choice or not...

            -Fred

            1. GA Anderson profile image85
              GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              I think I was less than clear before because my intended meaning was not as it appears you perceived it.

              I do not think human nature has changed incredibly. I think it has just grown more progressively civilized layers - like an onion.

              In the caveman's time one would club another over the head for food because food was scarce and a survival need. Today food is plentiful, (but still a survival need), so there isn't much clubbing going on. Looks like human nature has advanced. But, put two fathers with starving families in a room with the last 2 cans of food known to be available for weeks and I bet you will see a form of "civilized" clubbing return.

              I would venture that you can pick any aspect of human nature that you think has improved incredibly, put it in a life or death scenario, and watch the layers of civilized progression peel away and be replaced by caveman behavior. Of course exceptions can probably be found, but overall I think our new civilized human nature is just a few layers progression over the core caveman human nature within all of us

              As for greed, In the proper context, as in everyone discussing the same thing, (greed is generally defined like porn - hard to pick a definition that everyone agrees with, but individually, everyone knows it when they see it - the problem is "it" is different for each of us), I think Gekko got it right. Greed as in wanting more is a good thing it is a motivator. An electrician's apprentice fulfills his apprenticeship because he wants to earn what a licensed electrician earns. He wants more. That is greed. But when most people think of greed all they think of are the worst examples of greed - as in excessive greed - wanting too much. Like all things in life, proper proportions can be good while excessive proportions of that same good thing can be very very bad. Like that apprentice falsifying his qualifications, getting his license through false pretenses, and charging electrician's rates for substandard apprentice work - that is excessive greed.

              As for your government explanation, it might be mostly the word choice where we appear to differ, but I think it is more than that.

              GA

              1. Credence2 profile image86
                Credence2posted 22 months ago in reply to this

                Were are on the same page on this one. I don't think human nature has changed much. With technology, those negative aspects can be employed faster and with more efficiency. Much akin to military campaigns, strategies changing as our ability to kill faster and more efficiently evolves.

                Because of all this, the concepts found in the Horatio Alger primers simply cannot be applied in the same way anymore. Too often the greed is not merely the ambition to do better, but to take from others who have justly earned. Doing it faster, in more stealth with far greater ramifications to those unsuspecting than ever before. That is what we are speaking of here.

                1. GA Anderson profile image85
                  GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  "Too often the greed is not merely the ambition to do better, but to take from others who have justly earned. Doing it faster, in more stealth with far greater ramifications to those unsuspecting than ever before."

                  Looks like we are on the same page here too.

                  GA

              2. Fred Arnold profile image60
                Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                Human nature and human instinct are completely different topics. They can come together and branch apart, but they are two different beasts entirely. What I refer to are the actual changes in human thought that coalesces into our human motivation, not human instinct. Human instinct has not changed in the entirety of our existence, but how we approach that survival has evolved greatly. Remember, human nature is perceptual; it has to do with our ideals. We differ here, basing our perceptions off of two very rooted philosophical teachings which makes neither I nor you wrong. Maybe it makes neither of us right as well.

                I do agree with you on your ideals on greed, but even that can be swayed for altruistic goals. I see it in all the human interest stories I write for my colleges newspaper.

                And stating there is more to it does not bring much to the conversation! Please, continue! I would like to see your opinion on how government tying everyone together leads to edicts and structures? (I also don't see how structure in society is a bad thing? I can understand edicts, however, a government is meant to bring structure)

                -Fred

                1. GA Anderson profile image85
                  GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  We may be descending into a semantics debate. I think your response is almost entirely correct, ( a few minor differences - like what if one can of food was healthy dog food and the other was canned steak - the survival instinct would be satisfied by either, but I bet there would still be a loss of a few layers of civilized behavior). So you are right, let's move on.

                  As for your government question, once more I agree, with the note that I am agreeing with the purposed essence and not the reality of what is.

                  For example; A government structure of zoning laws defining commercial vs. residential rules would serve to form a structure for the coexistence of both types of property use in a community. But then further government zoning mandates regulating bathroom size, front entrance configurations, etc. have moved beyond providing structure and moved into the realm of control. That's were the real "tying" comes to mind for me.

                  Any society larger than two people will need some form of government. It is when that government begins to serve the needs of a part of that society, (instead of the whole), that it goes off the rails and becomes corrupt. Whether it is efforts in the name of affirmative action, welfare or influence peddling, it is still corruption.

                  GA

      2. GA Anderson profile image85
        GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Greetings guy, not picking on your response, just looking for a starting point and yours provided it.

        It seems like this conversation needs a little clarification of what "redistribution" is intended to mean. From the OP I understood him to be referring to the concept of a fair share for all. Yet, you use the same "redistribution" term to describe what in effect is government assistance programs to help the needy. Not real redistribution in my mind - even if it is technically correct.

        So... further on in the thread Don and Fred's comments seem to be talking about a different "redistribution" than you are talking about.

        But... I think governmental wealth redistribution in any form is wrong. And I also think it is only the "kumbahya" crowd that can find any justification for it. Obviously, by inference, it should be obvious that I am not usually invited to the Saturday night campfires.

        GA

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          I would agree with you...except that I read "redistribution" as a requirement that everyone get that mythical "fair share" whether they have earned it or not.  "Earned" meaning they have produced at least as much as they get.

          And if "redistribution" means cutting earnings for some because some others deserve more than they get, then I have to ask who is doing the defining of "deserve".  A govt. committee or the free market place?  Your "kumbahya crowd"?  The person(s) unable or unwilling to be productive?

          While I think that the upper echelons in many companies are grossly overpaid, along with athletes and other entertainers, the fact remains that that is what the market seems to be saying their value is.  A CEO or quarterback earning millions per year must be able to produce more than that for the company or he wouldn't have the job.  Being unable to actually see or figure the actual worth to an employer I have to assume that is true.

    2. mio cid profile image66
      mio cidposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      I hate to break the news to you ,but redistribution of wealth has not only been part of the American experience since at least Teddy Roosevelt's presidency if not before ,but it has been what made America the  wealthiest ,Most successful economic and political  system the world has ever known.

      1. GA Anderson profile image85
        GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Your response seems to be straddling the fence - the OP seems to point to redistribution as a negative, your reference to Teddy seems to be pointing to a political move, (agreeing with the OP).  - and then you say it is what made America great. I think I see what you intended with you last sentence, and I agree, but I am not sure what side is up. are to clarify?

        GA

      2. ahorseback profile image52
        ahorsebackposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        There is however a  big difference between  basic social  security, medi-aid  - welfare  for  the poor , and  other  basic   security programs  and   the mass re-distribution  and re- designing efforts  of today !   Todays  attempts at  raising  of minimum wage ,  mass pre-accepting of  disability programs  and  free  student loan fiasco  ,  and re- designing  efforts  of " profit sharing ".are far more menacing to the  older concepts of earning one's way in the world  !

        I should have been clearer in my question I think ?

      3. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Appropriate quotes:
        Good intentions pave the way to hell.
        No pain no gain.
        We often learn from the school of hard knocks.

        Individual motivation and effort is more invigorating to an economy than individual inactivity and nonchalance.  A sense of urgency is a great motivator. Take that away and what do you have?
        No motivation.
        Inactivity.

        Assistance must be continual because it is addicting.
        Assistance is crippling because it creates a state of dependance, rather than independence.

        A state of independence is empowering because effort creates power.
        A lack of effort creates weakness.

        Consequences create wisdom.
        A lack of consequences produces a cavalier attitude along with arrogance.

        A little help to those truly in need? Yes… keeping in mind that
        the government's main job is to protect us from harm from without and not cause harm from within.

    3. rhamson profile image77
      rhamsonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      Read up on the creation of the Federal Reserve. It is the single most redistribution of wealth scheme ever concocted by rich bankers to eliminate competition and defray liabilities. They refuse to make an accounting for nor allow the Federal Government a hand in running it (the ties to German and English control over our banking system will astound you). Why worry about the poor getting a piece of the pie when these fat cats have already fooled you into thinking there is a work ethic when they ruin your life.

      1. Credence2 profile image86
        Credence2posted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Rhamson the last sentence of your post was priceless, and in my opinion the 'bottom line"

        1. GA Anderson profile image85
          GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          Greetings Credence2,

          Your "bottom line" agreement seems to ignore the reality that there are a limited number of pie pieces. One hundred people competing for ten pieces of pie... do you make each slice ten times smaller, or have ninety losers? Or eighty losers, or ten losers. How  small can you make each piece before they become inconsequential?

          Or do you introduce a "deserving" test. If you work forty hours you deserve a piece, but twenty hours, sorry, you don't make the cut?

          GA

          1. Credence2 profile image86
            Credence2posted 22 months ago in reply to this

            So, I have awakened a 'sleeping giant'...

            So how big is 'the wedge' of pie that the 'fat cats' take? Maybe we ought to ask the question why do the fat cats take half of the pie and the rest of the crumbs fought over by the rest of us? Is their share of the wealth justified? we are not talking about slices, but crumbs...

            Who limits the pie pieces and determines what is available for distribution?

            The questions you pose are valid, but I don't trust the unfettered 'so called' free market to make all of the determinations.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              If not the free market, who should make the determinations?  A govt committee looking to chain more people to welfare?  Those unwilling or incapable of bettering themselves?  The top echelon that will always go for the dollar regardless of consequences?

              Who?

              1. Credence2 profile image86
                Credence2posted 22 months ago in reply to this

                Wilderness, it should be a combination of both. The only acceptable compromise between a socialist command economy and laissez faire capitalism(which I do not trust).

                I consider the concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands a danger in of itself. They use their wealth to rig the system to their advantage, not just buy Rolls Royces. The foundation of the American economy is the middle class and if that is endanged, there won't remain much for anybody.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  I agree, but that middle class must not be educated but willing to work.  They must be willing to sustain their needs and accept that it takes work to gain their wants.

                  Unfortunately our middle class is becoming sheep dependent on government for both needs and wants.  Until that stops all that is left is the wealthy to make the calls and we have crossed the line between help and simple supporting the people so badly that it is going to be tough to convince people that they have to earn their way now.

                  1. Fred Arnold profile image60
                    Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                    I disagree. The middle class is hardly dependent on the government. They do not qualify for the tax breaks the rich get nor do they make little enough to qualify for government assistance. They are the group that the government cares very little for and the group most affected by the gap in wealth.

                    -Fred

                  2. Credence2 profile image86
                    Credence2posted 22 months ago in reply to this

                    Wilderness, I don't see the middle class as having any less desire to work today then in the past. But if the game is rigged, you make it impossible for them to succeed. That dependence on Government stuff is just Prince Romney spouting off. If anything people are working harder to keep up. Do you remember the days when the bread winner and one income was adequate for the average family?

            2. GA Anderson profile image85
              GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              "Is their share of the wealth justified? "

              So are we back to the "fair share" debate... again? Or just nipping at the edges of the "you don't need that much" rational?

              I agree there are "fat cats" in our economic system, and I also agree with most of their negatives that earn them that moniker - but that isn't what the wealth redistribution argument is about. At least as I see it.

              As for the size of the pie, and the number and size of the pieces, (don't extrapolate this into a defense of the "fat cats"), isn't the division of the pie, (like the division of the rewards of any endeavor), typically determined by contributor's efforts? If the baker wants two pieces, or even one slightly larger piece, don't his effort of providing the pie justify that over the person that rang-up his ingredients at the grocery store?

              GA

      2. innersmiff profile image80
        innersmiffposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Quite right, the Fed is the great elephant in the room on the inequality issue. Perhaps before any re-distribution of wealth is made in the other direction we can tackle the root cause of the issue by reducing the power of the Fed and other central banks around the world.

        'How central banks cause income inequality'
        http://mises.org/library/how-central-ba … inequality

      3. GA Anderson profile image85
        GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        OK, so you don't like the Fed, but do you have a comment relative to the Op's point?

        ps. I almost share your disdain for the Fed. Yet in the complexities of post-19th century monetary needs, the Fed does serve a valuable stabilizing function. Can you imagine the potential corruptive influences that would occur if there were no central bank?

        GA

        1. innersmiff profile image80
          innersmiffposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          More corruptive than the fed? That would be difficult.

        2. rhamson profile image77
          rhamsonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          I don't know anything that is more pertinent to the OP than the Fed! It is the economic barometer of this country and is the "legal" transfer of wealth to the rich. It has done more to undermine competition between "lesser" banks and themselves than any other legislation out there. The value of the wealth is determined by the Fed and the redistribution is determined by the rules of the Fed. I think that is very clear.

          The complexities of the early 1900's banking woes were what made the Fed so important. The bankers wanted to sell high risk loans with the US Government backing up the guarantee when they failed. In effect the Fed was able to rake in the profits and pass the liabilities back to us. What is more of a redistribution than that? To dissolve the Fed at this point with a debt standard rather than a gold standard would crash the worlds economy. It may happen anyway with China and their corrupt economics anyway.

          So what do we do? Move right along to the inevitable or try to fix the unfixable?

          Have you read "The Creature From Jekyll Island - A Second Look at the Federal Reserve" by G. Edward Griffin? Or read "The Secrets of the Federal Reserve" by Eustace Mullins. They are very complimentary texts on the topic. It may answer your question better than I can.

          1. GA Anderson profile image85
            GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            Thanks for your suggested reads. I will be on the look out for those titles. I am not a Fed fan, but as you pointed out - it is a necessary component in a fiat currency economy.

            GA

          2. innersmiff profile image80
            innersmiffposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            'What Has Government Done To Our Money?'
            'The Mystery of Banking'
            And 'The Case Against The Fed'

            All by Murray Rothbard, all essential. PDFs available for free at Mises.org

            1. Castlepaloma profile image23
              Castlepalomaposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              No mystery
              Money comes from banks 95% ofit. Then the Government takes loans out never planning on paying it back. The people by taxes pay the the interest. The people of the entire world are 51 trillion dollars in debt. Ever wonder who our slave masters are?

              1. Moderndayslave profile image61
                Moderndayslaveposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                The ones running the ponzi sceme , bankers. Ever see a poor one?

                1. Castlepaloma profile image23
                  Castlepalomaposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  They always comeout smelling like a rose.

      4. Moderndayslave profile image61
        Moderndayslaveposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Thank You rhamson,
        I understand what the OP wanted to discuss but what is happening to the average American is disgusting.
        Maybe we should also discuss Corporate welfare?

    4. Don W profile image83
      Don Wposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      I think that wealth inequality is a problem
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM#t=121

      because it harms society
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ7LzE3u7Bw

      Wealth redistribution is not about giving someone everything they ask for, and it doesn't mean encouraging people not to be hard working. It's about people getting a fair share for the work they do, and avoiding the harm to society that wealth inequality causes.

      1. Fred Arnold profile image60
        Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        I second that!

        1. GA Anderson profile image85
          GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          Of course you do. Every body claps for the choir.

          GA

          1. Fred Arnold profile image60
            Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            The choir? Who are they? You seem to have some idea that I am following some crowd? Have you read my hubs and the research I have conducted on all my topics? I stand by my opinion because I educated myself enough to have that opinion. No one sways me like you seem to think.

            1. GA Anderson profile image85
              GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              You mean you didn't +1 or express agreement because the poster appeared to agree with your thoughts, or that you agreed with theirs? See it the same as you do. Dance to the same music, hear the same song? That's your choir. It had nothing to do with you following any crowd or being influenced by anyone.

              I am sorry you perceived that to be a slander of your thinking or intellect. Even though I disagree with your perspective I had no intention of demeaning you or it.I just think you are wrong.

              GA

              1. Fred Arnold profile image60
                Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                If you express yourself as being sarcastic, you will be taken sarcastically.

                -Fred

                1. GA Anderson profile image85
                  GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  Oh well, I guess we will leave it there.

                  GA

      2. Credence2 profile image86
        Credence2posted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Well said, Don!

        1. GA Anderson profile image85
          GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          Geesh! Come on Cred, Well said my butt. ( yes, originally it was "well said my ass"). Are you just back from the campfire, or are you in a different reality from the rest of us?

          Wealth inequality is an indicator of a serious problem we need to deal with, but it is not the problem - it is only the barometer of the storm brewing.

          Don W.'s position seems to place initiative and ambition in the basement - below the floor of "fair" humanitarian subsistence,

          Guess I must be part of the dinosaur class that still values ambition and hard work - even if that means that someone has to be left in the dust. We can't all be winners.

          I worked hard for my "white picket fence," why should the guy that left at five on the dot get the same reward? Or why should the dutch digger that never made the effort to improve his shoveling technique get the same pay reward as his buddy that studied to improve his abilities? "Fair" - didn't your mamma ever tell you about fair?


          GA

          1. Fred Arnold profile image60
            Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            You mean wages that companies still can maintain who makes what? If the min wage was 10 then the good employees would still make above that. You seem to think that with a wage increase only the people who have lower wages will benefit. Not the truth.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              You're right - everyone wants a chunk of the pie.  Which brings on inflation and everyone then demands a bigger chunk, and so on and so on.

              1. Fred Arnold profile image60
                Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                Inflation will be slight with a slight increase in wages. I don't agree with a minimum wage increase, however. It just continues a cycle of broken economics. I would rather see a better tax system.

            2. GA Anderson profile image85
              GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              Yes, that is what I mean, a company buying a product, (labor), gets to set the price it is willing to pay, (wages).

              Fred, the minimum wage topic is a good one, and I have participated in many discussions about it. I won't hijack this thread with a lengthy answer on it, just a brief comment asking why bread isn't still 10 cents a loaf? Do you think the cost of boosting the minimum wage won't be reflected in increased product costs?

              GA

              1. Credence2 profile image86
                Credence2posted 22 months ago in reply to this

                GA, over how many eons do I have the listen to  the conservatives tell me the sky is falling every time a raise in the minimum wage is proposed? Surprising enough, I can still afford my Big Mac served by people whose receipt of a few extra nickels and dimes in their wages won't undermine the economy.

                Yes, you and I have spoken at length on the topic.

                1. GA Anderson profile image85
                  GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  Hold on there Sparky, my response(s) were and are not that a  minimum wage hike will bring the sky, (or economy), crashing down. At least not a moderate increase.

                  I do believe a 50% increase, (like DC and some others have tried),  would drop a few rather large chunks.

                  I think your "Big Mac" statement bolsters my point. How much was your Big Mac ten years ago when min. wage was $4.25? (hint: $1.89 - $2.19) and how much is a Big Mac now with min. wage at $7.25? (hint:$3.39 - $3.99)  So a 70% wage increase is accompanied by a 77% Big Mac price increase.

                  Of course the numbers are only approx. examples, and the wage vs. Big Mac correlation is a very simplistic analogy,  but I think it makes the point - one does not happen without the other. If not, then bread would still be  10 cents a loaf and the Big Mac would still be $1.89

                  GA

          2. Credence2 profile image86
            Credence2posted 22 months ago in reply to this

            "Wealth redistribution is not about giving someone everything they ask for, and it doesn't mean encouraging people not to be hard working. It's about people getting a fair share for the work they do, and avoiding the harm to society that wealth inequality causes".

            Wow, GA, I saw that as an innocuous statement that is generally true and has universal relevance in our times. It was true in times past as well.

            So you don't think that there is not a danger in having more and more wealth concentrated into the hands of fewer and fewer people. What does that wealth bring with it, some of the things you mentioned earlier, like greed.To that I will add inordinate political influence, economic exploitation, with changes leading to  a 'lord and serf' scenario .And when they have bought everybody in Washington, they won't need to be concerned about anyone challenging them.  I don't want anyone to have that kind of power. Those that wield it have got the better part of their torsos over the fence now. The disaster with the finance industry and the power their lobbyists control have never really be corrected or adjusted for, in my opinion.

            1. GA Anderson profile image85
              GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              "Wealth redistribution is not about giving someone everything they ask for, and it..."

              Maybe not, but it sure seems to be about giving them something that someone else earned.

              On the other hand I completely agree with your last paragraph, and with the concept that the current wealth inequality gap is a huge and dangerous problem. But I do not agree that any type of enforced wealth redistribution is the answer.

              Even after you do it, the money will percolate right back to the top earners and achievers. Intelligent effort will always win out over good intentions and idealistic desires.

              GA

      3. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Good point, and one I can agree with.

        Now, what is a "fair share" for work performed?  Some arbitrary figure set by a government committee without a notion of the actual value of the work?  "Value" being set, of course, by the free enterprise system we use?

        1. Don W profile image83
          Don Wposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          This is not about an arbitrary "fair" figure. It's about the size of the gap between the different percentiles.

          http://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/files/2013/03/Inequality-video.jpg

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            Really?

            "It's about people getting a fair share for the work they do..." (bolding added).

            I repeat; who decides what that "fair share" is?  You?  I assume that "fair share" includes access to unlimited health care regardless of the value of the work as you are on record as saying that that is a "right" of everyone.  Which in turn means that "fair share" does not include any consideration at all of the  value of the work and can thus hardly be considered "fair" at all.

            1. Don W profile image83
              Don Wposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              Look at that image again. Who decided what the ideal distribution looks like? Do you think 'ideal' means people consider it to be an unfair share, or do you think it means people consider that distribution to be fair (ideal you might say)?

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                You're not going to answer, are you?  Just continue to demand that everyone get their "fair share" without even attempting to define what you mean by that.

              2. GA Anderson profile image85
                GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                Don, you highlight a serious problem, but I think different inferences can be drawn.

                Is the problem that the rich are earning too much, or that the "rest of us" are earning too little?

                Is it that when a certain "plateau" is reached earning increases are by magnitudes not correlated to effort?

                If I win the lotto and suddenly have a few million of interest-only income, (that I have to do nothing to receive), am I exceeding my "fair share?"

                If I work hard for ten or fifteen years to reach upper management levels with salary compensations that allow me to dip my toes into the investment markets - is it more than "my fair share" if I hit a home run on a choice that pays 100 to 1 instead of plugging away with a mutual fund paying 8%?

                GA

                1. rhamson profile image77
                  rhamsonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  I don't think your examples are germane to the topic. Surely someone who earns his way to the top and invests wisely is not the target of a redistribution of wealth situation. What is more important is how large corporations through legislation continue to exploit overseas labor markets to eliminate competition in the US markets. The savings they retain are put in their pockets which in turn destroy the workers ability to earn their way out of it. You may say that those who's jobs were affected should retrain themselves and re-enter the job market with different skills to compete is a good plan. But with education available less due to costs and then job availability this is a crap shoot as well. Are we all to become healthcare workers to fulfill the current trend?

                  The simple truth is that we are finding a new normal that comes with wealth redistribution and capitalism. Germany had problems with it that led to a couple of wars and Japan with it industrialization experienced the woes as well. Read Mein Kampf again and see if the class distinctions were not as real then as they are today

                  1. GA Anderson profile image85
                    GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                    "I don't think your examples are germane to the topic. Surely someone who earns his way to the top and invests wisely is not the target of a redistribution of wealth situation.

                    Wouldn't those type of folks usually be referred to as upper income, or even the rich?

                    Who else do you think the wealth will be redistributed from?

                    GA

            2. Fred Arnold profile image60
              Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              I base fair off of how much a company makes. If they make enough to give each of their employees a 33,000 a year salary then the company should do so off of an obligation to their employees. They are making that company the money. Without them they would have 0 profit. 1 employee walking away will always bee whatever, but if all employees walked away, then what? You make zilch. There's obviously a need for labor and if that labor makes you ridiculous money then you should pay handsomely for that labor.

              It's weird how people think that these CEOs and execs and company shareholders just randomly started making all this money. Like there was no work force behind their profits. It's obvious companies don't think a fair share matters, so someone has to do it for them.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                And if that company is large enough to have 5 million investors?  Investors that will then gain nothing from their share of the company if it is all given to the employees?

                People seem to think that because a company is large and/or has a large profit it means that only the employees need to have a share of it.  It isn't true.  And saying that companies without employees earn nothing is no more meaningful than saying that employees without an employer earn nothing.  No profits means no employer, just as no wages means no employees.  Everybody deserves and should get a share of the pot; a share commensurate with the value of their contribution.  If that means that an employee works but contributes very little to the bottom line receives a very small wage then that's the way it is.

                1. Fred Arnold profile image60
                  Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  You Apperentlydidn't read the article I listed that accounts and shows and cites the math involved in the process. I should've expected a half attempt at a conversation.

                  1. Fred Arnold profile image60
                    Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                    http://fortune.com/2013/11/12/why-wal-m … -50-raise/ in case you missed it. He accounts for shareholders, stock, everything, in a peer reviewed scenario. They have more than enough after everything to give significant raises.

                  2. Fred Arnold profile image60
                    Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                    Sorry for my abrasivenessabove.I'm a little tired lol.

          2. Fred Arnold profile image60
            Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            Think about it this way:

            If a big company gave their employees 50% of the wealth that their company makes. And say it makes 1,000,000,000 after you calculate the expenses for equipment and benefits to employees and all that bs. Then that means the employees are entitled to 500,000,000 correct? Well say you employ 10,000 people ( a low number, but whatever.) That means each person is entitled to 50,000 a year. So now you divide the rest between your big players on a 25-15-10 % split. The 25% goes to the highest of the high, the 15 goes to the mid range players, and then the next level gets 10. Here we are talking about maybe 10-100 people running the company. In any case,

            http://fortune.com/2013/11/12/why-wal-m … -50-raise/

            Here's a good read that has a more in depth explanation of what I was talking about. If a company makes the money and the workers attribute a large amount of effort in the making of said profit  then the employees should profit in some way as well.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              Very few companies earn a profit as high as their payroll.  They already give far more than 50% of profits + wages out as wages.

              1. Fred Arnold profile image60
                Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                Where's the proof of that? From those numbers in that article don't seem to say so. And it doesn't matter how much a company makes.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  That's because the numbers are bogus - the author neglected to include operating costs beyond labor as well as expansion.  Perhaps the term should be "overhead" but in any case it is a very substantial number for a company as large as WalMart.

                  And your link is an example of what I said - WalMarts "profit" (even inflated as they are) was 28B while their payroll was estimated to be on the order of 44B (a 50% raise would be the 66B the author thinks it should be).

                  1. Fred Arnold profile image60
                    Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                    28 Billion a quarter. 112 Billion a year. I could not find that number in google, but I found a number stating the average full time employee makes 27,000 a year. If all 1.4 million employees were full time, which is not the case, it would make: 37.8 Billion a year on payroll. So subtract that number from 85billion from my post above. Where does the other 47.2 billion go? And that's on a fabricated number based on full time employees where they actually have 525,000 part time employees who make a lot less.

        2. GA Anderson profile image85
          GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          Come on buddy... you know better than to ask for a ""fair share" determination! It's all relevant to each particular discussion. If I live in a Malibu beach house my "fair share" needs are obviously going to be different from the laid-off factory worker trying to cover a mortgage in Detroit.

          GA

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            I disagree.  While the value of your work may be higher in Malibu (and it probably is) than in Detroit, that's what counts.  Not what your needs are.

            While you have decided that you "need" a beach house in Malibu it has no effect on the value of your work.  That figure is produced by the marketplace, not what you think you need to live on.

            1. GA Anderson profile image85
              GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              Yep, that's what I said too. I guess my disdain wasn't properly dressed.

              GA

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                Well, when you don't dress your disdain you can expect to be dissed.

      4. GA Anderson profile image85
        GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Don, I did look at your links. And yes, I am a big TED fan, but... your, (and TED's) perspective is one for the weekend campfires.

        Wealth inequality is a BIG problem for us. And it is a BIG indicator of a problem we need to seriously address, but it is also NOT an issue of "FAIRNESS." Our system, ( as it should), rewards innovation and effort.

        If I can take a home-baked cookie and find investors to turn it into a $100 million dollar company, why is there a feeling that I am obligated to give the bakers of my cookie  more than their value as bakers? What if those same bakers baked a cookie for a failing company, should they be paid less for their same effort?

        I have seen multiple comments from you that seem to indicate a reasonableness of factual determination, but whenever I see the "fair' rationalization my "kumbhya" alarms starts clanging. Can you articulate your " determination of fairness?"

        Do your parameters exclude excellence in favor of mediocrity? Is "I tired" enough justification for you?

        I know it is simplistic, but if a job is worth $8 p/hr. to a company barely staying in business, do you think the same job is worth $10 p/hr to a successful company?

        GA

        1. Fred Arnold profile image60
          Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          " What if those same bakers baked a cookie for a failing company, should they be paid less for their same effort? " Not the point. A company should base its payroll off of its bottom line. If a company doesn't make the money to give the employees above minimum wage then there shouldn't be that expectation. I did a lot of research and math in my posts above if you'd like to check out the numbers for walmart. I don't know what kind of system could be put into place so companies treat their employees fairly, but it might have to be based off of percentages, not a flat rate. So even if the percentage to employees is 60% of profit then it will be very flexible for companies who don't make big profits.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            ??  You're losing me at least.  If the point isn't to reduce wages as profits fall, just as it is to raise wages when profits are good, then what is the point?

            While I DO think wages should rise with rising profits (given the same number of employees), the reverse is also true.  My company made an across the board pay cut during the recession, when profits fell to near zero and it seemed more than reasonable.  And when the recession slowly died off and profits rose a wage increase was expected and given.

            But those figures should not apply only to the lower end wage earners; it should apply to everyone.  Management and stockholders as well; everyone should participate in increased profits.

            1. Fred Arnold profile image60
              Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              That's the point in using a percentage and not a flat rate. If you say pay employees 14 dollars then that might be 80% of a businesses profit where a percentage takes into account larger/lower profit. I completely agree with your point that higher profit means more wages all around while lower profit will bring in pay cuts.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                Unfortunately that brings in the concept of "commission" work.  When your income varies with profits it would be much the same as working on a commission basis rather than salary, and relatively few people are happy with that.  In very broad terms, with both employer and employee eating some changes, it can work but not on a month to month or even year to year basis.

                1. Fred Arnold profile image60
                  Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  I agree. There will be some bumps and grooves to work out a well rounded system, but it can be feasible. It's all conjecture, anywho. If the people want it enough, there will be a vote.

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                    Which I would very highly disagree with - government has no place in setting contract prices, which is what the employer/employee relationship is.

          2. GA Anderson profile image85
            GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            Greetings Fred,

            Yes I did see your "numbers" exchanges with Wilderness, but our perspectives are widely separated opposites.

            You say, " A company should base its payroll off of its bottom line. " I say a company should base its payroll on the value of the work performed. As in the "bakers" example.

            It appears that by your logic the baker of the successful cookies should be paid more because the cookie company was successful, and I would then ask Why? The baker's work has provided the same value, (the expertise to bake cookies), so why would one cookie-making labor unit be worth more than its next equivalent?

            A working, (and in use), model of your concept already exists - it's called commission-based earnings. My problem with your perspective is that I see wage-based and commission-based earnings as two different structures.

            GA

    5. MonkeyShine75 profile image81
      MonkeyShine75posted 22 months ago in reply to this

      The way I see it is that all that would be true if America did not allow so many people in our country, and there were jobs for everyone...

      Let's say that a single mother just won't work, does that mean her children should starve, live on the streets, and have no clothes? I believe it's more than laziness that qualifies someone to receive benefits. In other words, it's just not that easy. The government makes anyone receiving benefits to first seek employment, if their poverty is due to the lack of a job.

      It seems no matter which way public assistance is set up, there has always been a tendency for the general public to view those that apply for assistance in a negative way

      Today in America, Welfare is providing benefits to those Americans who are impoverished, and in order to partake in these programs you must meet the resource and income limitations.
      This is done by using several different governmental programs such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, HUD homes programs and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which is usually temporary.
      Each of these have strict guidelines, and once someone is approved, they are made to prove their need over, and over again to continue with the program..

      When you hear politicians and the public speaking of welfare it is normally referring to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families aka TANF. This used to be called Aid to Families with Dependent Children aka AFDC.
      To receive benefits, except in special cases, you must have children, be elderly, or disabled.

      Money has been our source to obtain the things we want for about 3000 years. Before that it's thought that bartering was the only way to pay for anything..services for merchandize, and conversely…for those who had nothing to give, or trade, either did without, or was helped by those who had plenty…
      So I guess redistribution of wealth has always been around
      It's just my opinion, but I'm all for helping the less fortunate. I always think "what if it was me, or a loved one"

    6. Madelline profile image79
      Madellineposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      Hey, you might be interested in the book Developmental Health and the Wealth of Nations, Hertzman and Keating, editors, for a population health perspective. In other words, the issue of distributive justice has less to do with you or me, and more to do with us. "Us" as a society is not something you can ignore when considering social/economic policy, do so at your peril, as human history has shown time and again. Cheers

  2. ahorseback profile image52
    ahorsebackposted 22 months ago

    I sooner think that what so many more  want Now, is a piece of someone else's pie ! And that is my  original point with  re=distribution of wealth , Not the normal  minimal government involvement in minimum wage , social programs , social security etc. but ,   Those that want more of a socialized re-distributed fairness .    Free college , mass programs of social entitlements . Even  a nationalized profit sharing ?  There is a huge gap between the  original intentions of , social security , minimum wages ,  working permits for the young etc. , AND what's being suggested by those for  change !. Wal-mart  shouldn't have to defend itself for profit making .   Whatever happened to  making , earning,  learning .........your own way ?

    1. Fred Arnold profile image60
      Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      I will always disagree with sentiments against free education. If my taxes went to nothing but getting every single person a bachelors degree, I would gladly pay, with a smile on my face.

      And no ones disagrees with making, earning, learning your own way. The system makes it difficult for a lot of people to do so which frustrates many.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Why does a ditch digger need a bachelors?  A framer building your home?  The technician fixing your furnace?  The mechanic repairing your car?

        While we now rather look down on blue collar workers, they are still the basis for our way of life and they don't need college.

        But if they neither want nor need college, will you still hand them the cost of that education in the name of fairness?  Or do they just get to pay for someone else instead of getting a free education?

        1. Fred Arnold profile image60
          Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          I was an electrician and the job required enough  education to warrant a bachelors degree. If academic colleges get a boon like that it is only fair for trade schools to gain the same. However, regardless of your job, I really believe a general AA is a necessary step. You need to take government courses, philosophy courses, history and literature. Those are all things an adult will benefit from within this country. It will breed smarter voters overall, and better critical thinkers. And why doesn't a ditch digger need a bachelors? Is he digging ditches because he wants to? Or because he has to?  And it is on them to take advantage of the opportunity. Also, a lot of general AAs can be geared towards trade work.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            I was too.  It required 4 years of night school twice a week while working full time during the day.  That's not equivalent to a bachelors, and (in my area) electrician requirements are stiffer than nearly all other trades.

            But Fred, regardless of how easy it is to say we all need a bachelors (and I agree it would benefit everyone), an awful lot of people just can't do it.  They will never get the higher dollar white collar jobs because they simply cannot absorb the education necessary no matter how badly they need or want it.  Those are the people that you suggest pay for the free education for others and that just doesn't seem reasonable.

            No, if you want higher education and the jobs that come with it, earn it.  I did, my son and his wife did, all my siblings did and there is no real reason that kids starting college today can't.

            1. Fred Arnold profile image60
              Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              I don't really care about jobs (well I do, but I don't associate education with jobs). I care about an educated public. When I sit down and talk to someone about political issues and they don't know half of what goes on within our government structure, it really becomes clear to me why we have the problems we do. We need to foster a voter base who is educated to our system above a high school level. And remember, it is equal opportunity. It's not like you don't have the opportunity to go forward and get the schooling. And a general AA is relatively easy to attain with minimal effort. And we would mainly be paying for younger generations. Those electricians will have children and that schooling will benefit their children, and their children's children, and so on.

              And the credits I acquired from the trade knocked off half of my workload when I was majoring in computer science for programming. (I later switched to journalism cause that shits boringggg) If I had went into the electrical engineering major I would have had one or two semesters of classes to gain my bachelors.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                Again, I agree and sympathize with an educated citizenry.  I just don't think it is reasonable to expect all (or even a large percentage) of the country to put off starting their life for another 4 years of education. 

                I went the other way with my schooling; college first followed many years later by trade school.  And while college certainly helped in knowing how to study and learn classes were definitely not transferrable.  Which is neither here nor there as we agree that an educated populace would be nice - we just disagree that it is feasible or possible.  I've worked with far too many high school grads to think that a high percentage of them could ever make it through even one year of college.

                On the other hand, much of what you are wanting could be put into high school, particularly if we stop cutting the hours necessary to attend that school.  Not sure the students are mature enough to treat high school as a job, but that continues into college as well.

                1. Fred Arnold profile image60
                  Fred Arnoldposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  We wouldn't really know until we see it in action. And remember, it's only 2 years free.

                  We are definitely two men from different generations! My trade school qualifications transferred over for college credit. I feel that anyone can do college. I've seen enough struggling people make it through schooling from all backgrounds. (Navy A School for ET/Union Trade School/College)

                  And we base our system around the idea of those who try make it. We don't push people to succeed as a social culture. If you want to succeed you have to do it by your own sweat and tears. It differs from Europe and China in a lot of ways where social pressure forces very strict studying habits.

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                    "If you want to succeed you have to do it by your own sweat and tears."
                    Then you support paying for your own college! big_smile

                    But I very much doubt you will find much agreement than any high school grad can also complete a bachelors degree.  Union trade school is not college and does not compare in difficulty but even so around half of my trade school class never managed to obtain their journeyman license.

  3. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 22 months ago

    Lets say there should be no single mothers that just won't work.
    Lets say they should have stepped away from the testosterone in the first place.
    Maybe there should be a manual for that.

    1. MonkeyShine75 profile image81
      MonkeyShine75posted 22 months ago in reply to this

      Perhaps some of their husbands died, or left them and the children. There are legitimate reasons for needing assistance. And even if there never was a father, I don't feel the children should suffer. Just my opinion
      Have I offended you? I'm new here so maybe I'm out of place. Let me know

    2. Castlepaloma profile image23
      Castlepalomaposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      I don't know of anyone over age 60 who has not notice the cost of general living has gone up 10 times and wages lowered. It impossible for Governments to change this and the super elite that own them and us will not let their sickness of wealth be shared.

      Two outcome must happen.

      1. Imprison many of the
      greedy super elite

      2.Wait for the collasps of the American dollar back by oil.
      Suffer for 10 ten years then be the boss of the Government or they will be the boss of you and more damages will follow.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        I have to disagree there.  Comparing wages and costs from nearly 50 years ago, when I stepped out on my own, prices have come down while quality increased and wages remain fairly static.

        Home prices, for example, have increased considerably but are also double the size.  Car prices are similar to what they were but quality and features have increased tremendously.  All while minimum wage remained constant and, although I didn't receive higher wages back then, I assume the "living wage" has also.

        1. Castlepaloma profile image23
          Castlepalomaposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          My parents bought a good house for $11,000, 1500 sq feet.

          Try buying a mid/small house for under $ 200,000 in the city today. Most likely it would not be as built as well as my parents and I lived in.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 21 months ago in reply to this

            Mine did the same: $12,000 for nearly 4,000 sq feet (unfinished basement and 30 years old) on an acre in a town of 10,000.

            But the house, by todays standards, has substandard wiring and plumbing.  No AC.  A coal boiler (converted to gas now) for heat.  No garage.  Wood frame windows that leak air.  Little to no insulation.  Not wired for telephone or TV.  Stairwells that are steep and narrow.  Tiny bathrooms with no shower.  Sewer lines with insufficient fall and that keep plugging up.  (knob and tube with a 60 amp main breaker).  The framing is very well done, but the rest is rather sad by todays standards - to bring it up to par would cost more than to build fresh.

            And $200,000 in the city - don't forget that a good deal of that is the land cost that has skyrocketed with the population.  Find a town the size that your parents bought in (and not a bedroom community of a large city) and you will find cheaper housing.

    3. MonkeyShine75 profile image81
      MonkeyShine75posted 21 months ago in reply to this

      Let's say Kathryn that everyone makes mistakes, and who are we to judge another?
      There's no person who's without mistakes

  4. rhamson profile image77
    rhamsonposted 22 months ago

    The funny thing about wealth redistribution as it is termed has the underlying understanding that the wealthy accumulated their wealth as those that have worked their way up from the bottom. I don't think anybody has an issue with an individual who has worked hard to achieve what they have accomplished nor should we expect any special consideration when trying to equalize their wealth with the average American Worker.

    I think the muddying of the issue comes when you mix in people who have acquired wealth through unfair measures and tactics. This could be through knowing someone influential to their cause or buying or leveraging influence to move ahead in line. Then you come to those (individuals & corporations) who out rightly buy influence or change the rules (laws) to go to the front of the line in acquiring their wealth. People like ex-presidential candidate Mitt Romney who through Bain Capital liquidated companies and eliminated thousands of jobs in the process of becoming a multi millionaire. This created a lot of hard feelings and while legal this was morally reprehensible. He made his money on the backs of others and is lauded for it. He even outlined the differences with his 47% analogy for his campaign strategies.

    You can argue that it is not that widespread and that there are always those who skirt the laws and do nefarious acts to get ahead. Well, we are talking about the 1% of the countries population that have this kind of wealth and power. Soros and the Koch brothers are all but assuring their next candidate gets ahead and in the process getting a open ear of the President to grant their wishes.

    Wealth distribution sounds horrible but so is strangling the middle class with the burdens vacated through legislation favoring the wealthy. Maybe if we put back in place some of the safeguards to our economy and trade agreements that helped everyone prosper in the past might be a step in the right direction. But wait, we no longer have a strong voice in our government to represent us.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      In Obama's latest speech he advocates taxing wealth (not income - wealth) because has "a better use for it than the wealthy does". 

      Here, you advocate equalizing the wealth between the 1% and the average; that can only mean taking what they own and giving it away.

      You continue by saying "Then you come to those (individuals & corporations) who out rightly buy influence or change the rules (laws) to go to the front of the line in acquiring their wealth.".  Very plainly once again advocating exactly what you so abhor; changing the rules to take from one to give to someone else.

      "I don't think anybody has an issue with an individual who has worked hard to achieve what they have accomplished" but we should have issues with those that have been given their wealth by taking from another. 

      It's quite plain, at the end of the road, isn't it?  The liberal mind demands that no one have any more than anyone else regardless of their contribution.  And will try to spin their actions as great and wonderful; the exact actions they so complain about in the wealthy.

      1. rhamson profile image77
        rhamsonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Your conservative bias just precludes you from understanding the concept I offered. I did in no way advocate taking anything from the wealthy. What I advocate is setting the field level. Through legislation the rich have been able to either change or have changed rules that allow them to not participate in the system the rest of us have to adhere too. Tax breaks, loopholes and other tricks have allowed many of the Uber rich to avoid paying what is supposed to help the economy and increase wealth for all in society. You happen to think by hook or crook is any man's game when it comes to participating in supporting this society. Your conservative bias also wishes to find a boogeyman whether it is Obama or the poor. What a shame as you totally don't get it.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          Ah.  Then you disagree with Obama that wealth should be taxed.  And you agree with a flat tax - $1,000 per person, or whatever the govt. needs, instead of taxing the wealthy more than anyone else?  A level playing field, I believe you said?  One that is "fair" to all, where all pay equally?  And you would not change the laws (rules) that the game is played by just because some are good at it while some are not?

          Don't blame the rich for those tax breaks and loopholes - the large majority were created by politicians trying to use the tax code for social engineering.  To get angry (and call names) at those that go along with the engineering project (whether to rebuild inner cities, hire a specific class of people or promote oil drilling) doesn't seem reasonable.

          (Before you get too incensed with me, take a look at my carousel and a hub on tax breaks for buying electric cars.  And I've sent letters to every politician that might listen about the unfair tax break only for the rich).

          1. rhamson profile image77
            rhamsonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            I think it should be reviewed back to a time when the tax code did work for the whole country. During the Eisenhower years there was much new wealth found by building highways and bridges that sparked many jobs and built a strong middle class not to mention the Montgomery GI Bill. Look at how well we have stripped that institution in order for us to pay companies like Halliburton and Blackwater. A flat tax is an idea that has been floated around for quite awhile. Warren Buffet said that his secretary paid a higher tax rate than he did with all the tax loopholes that he could avail for himself. Maybe a mixture of the two? Being good at the game is a whole other issue. Does being good at the game include buying a favorable vote? Does being good mean getting trade agreements with no government oversight or enforcement? (Check out the TPP)

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership

            This is so bad for the US but wonderful for Corporations as they get to unilaterally enforce whatever they want including agriculture, intellectual property, and services with no repercussions from government. It has been negotiated in virtual secrecy much like the Federal Reserve and ACA you rail against.

            ....Don't blame the rich for those tax breaks and loopholes - the large majority were created by politicians trying to use the tax code for social engineering.....

            This is really rich and typically conservative. You flip flop back and forth between politicians being true to having their own big government aspirations and leave the rich out of it as Citizens United and the Koch and Soros mega rich dictate and dominate policy. I don't know what you are thinking when you believe anything gets done in Washington without substantial money influences. Politicians do not bite the hand that feeds them and consequently the one doing the feeding can train the donkey or elephant to do whatever tricks they so choose.

            Social engineering is left to those who can feast on the crumbs of which the Uber rich and elitist politicians string us along.

            I only get incensed when you think the politicians and corporations are harmless in the policy making and cash outs they extract from their mob of thieves on the hill.

      2. Credence2 profile image86
        Credence2posted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Rhamson's point of view reflects mine for the most part. Quite frankly, I could not have said it better. My concern about a 'rigged system' has to play into this discussion as much as your fears of income redistribution.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          But he has now changed his point of view, insisting that it all be equal for everyone.  That he won't take from one to give to another, that we all pay and receive the same.  He wants a "level field" now, instead of one grossly tilted against the rich, where we take hub sums from them just because they have it.

  5. Madelline profile image79
    Madellineposted 22 months ago

    Seriously, I don't know where these ideas come from. Well I do actually, from the British colonial period during the industrial revolution when the titled wealthy few needed to protect their status. The 'empire' required a political ideology to justify dominating and impoverishing  people within their own nation, and every other nation it could subdue. Social Darwinism provided a great  paradigm to entrench social status privilege and stratification, utilitarianism provided another. Empires fall, but those vacant, catchy  idioms  remain. They are really appalling. Nothing personal, but we live in a social world, we are dependent on our brothers and sisters. When the social structures of a  nation, virtually force vast numbers of its own citizens to remain uneducated, unhealthy, unfed, unemployed, unprotected and ...in some cases armed!!  well what can you possibly imagine is going to happen in and to that nation? It will fall from within, the centre cannot hold so you have civil war. We can see that in some of the middle eastern countries, some Asian countries and in the Americas. What if a family lived according to those notions, scrambling over each other for the best at the expense of others members in the family, ..it breeds isolation, conflict, alienation and  harm done. People don't survive that, children don't survive that.  A good read is Developmental Health and the Wealth of Nations, it is a look at research comparing the relationship of just two things,  a nation's per capita income, and a nations health outcomes.  When the nation's income gradient is not too steep,  population health outcomes are better, A healthier people is a more productive people and a wealthier people and a more safe and stable nation. That's how it works. The book is important and a real eye opener. You can find a summary online.

    1. rhamson profile image77
      rhamsonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      Good Post! I will try and fit your recommended reading in with my many other reading projects.

  6. Credence2 profile image86
    Credence2posted 22 months ago

    While I wrote the article below 4 years ago, I need to make it clear, that I my case anyway, I am not attacking 'wealth' per se. I am sure that Marie Antoinette accused her subjects of whining in the manner of class envy in response to an explanation as to the difference between her and their economic outcome. While we have no kings and queens, there are entities within our society with as much power and advantage equal or greater and just as unjustifiable as she had. the danger lies in the fact that this inequity problem is a little more encompassing than just who is the smartest or the hardest working. That is the point of my argument. So we do what the gun lobby does all the time, accept the massacres in our schools and public places as just by product of second amendment rights? Do not discuss and do not touch!

    Conservatives are frequently accusing Progressives of picking on the wealthy merely because of the fact that they have become materially more successful than those in the working and middle classes. Nothing could be further from the truth. I celebrate the success of the wealthy well to do and certainly want to imitate them. The fact that they drive a Jaguar while I drive a Chevy is of no concern to me. After all, they are both modes of transportation and my Chevy can get me to and from my destination just as effectively.





    I am concerned about the influence of money and power as a method of making it less likely that any of us mere commoners can successfully follow in their paths. I speak about Thurston Howell and the corporations coming to my congressional representatives, plying them with bags of money supposedly to help promote their candidacy or hand over large sums to their opponents to insure the incumbent’s defeat. We are not children; we all know that these sums are not merely given to the incumbent or their opponent, without expecting something done on behalf of the donor in return. These obligations may involve the successful congressperson taking positions on issues of the day contrary to the best interests of the majority of his/her constituents to satisfy the obligation to the donor. Whether it is one political party or the other, we know that, in spite of Rush Limbaugh’s statement that the Congress is made up of big boys and girls who are beyond letting large sums of money influence their judgment, we just have to watch the daily broadcasts to see that such is not the case. There is no reason why someone with vast sums of money should have a voice and influence in the corridors of legislative power any greater than you or I, regardless of the fact that he or she owns a Jaguar.



    Yes, I am aware of the Conservative argument that references the power of the Unions, George Soros and such. But, can we all agree that for both sides the tempting influence of money in our political campaigns need to be further curbed? I still see a great deal more resistance to this idea from the Conservative side of the ideological divide than from the Progressives. Conservatives say that this represents free speech, but money to candidates is not speech but more corruption. I also find it very disturbing that the Conservatives in Congress voted not too long ago to resist the idea of the disclosure of the identity of donors to political campaigns. It seems sinister and dishonest on its face, so what gives? Who is trying to hide something and why?

    We all know of the corrupting influence of money in politics, and to try to deny it is sheer lunacy. Yes, Thurston Howell, you can have that fabulous residence and expensive wardrobe, but tenets that form the basis of our democracy are not for sale, ever.

    (Thurston Howell is a fictional character not meant to be representative of the many affluent people who make positive contributions to our society every day)

 
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