Income inequality has been growing for decades . Do you consider it a problem ? If so , how would you fix it ?
Yes, it is a problem. I'm not sure it is "fixable", though. Although we declare that "All men are created equal" we also know that while it makes fine rhetoric it isn't true. Reducing income for the most capable merely reduces incentive to work and produce, and I'm not sure we can afford that. Or it increases incentive to immigrate out of the country and I know we can't afford to lose the best minds in the country because we only offer them a tenth of what other countries do in order that the less productive members of society can earn as much as they do.
Similarly, reducing income for those with large amounts of capital is counterproductive for the country as a whole and not something that should be attempted unless we're happy to see that capital disappear across the world.
So what's left? Accept that some people will earn more, I suspect.
Good analysis as always on your part . However , although I believe income inequality is inevitable in a healthy capitalist economy there could be excessive benefits in favor of those who accumulate wealth in such a way that you become a banana republic with a few families owning the country and the great majority barely surviving,because let's not forget that the great engine of America's dominance in the world economy has been it's uniquely large middle class in conjunction with the possibility for all to reach their maximum potential .
Ha! If I had a solution I would be richest and wisest man on the planet, and it would be very unlikely that I would be trolling the HP forums...
But I do have a thought and an opinion on this very relevant topic.
The growth of the wealth earnings gap is a very serious, repeat, very serious problem for the us, (I speak of the U.S. but it is also a global problem).
I do not think it is a problem of a particular malfeasance of the wealthy, I think it is a problem of our society not being prepared for the changes technology has made in the economy of our labor force.
The days of manual labor, (ditch diggers and factory workers), and moderately-skilled labor are quickly being supplanted by mechanization and technology. What used to take ten workers now needs only one or two. What used to be a skilled trade can now be done by a novice and a computer program. These are not evil progressions, but they are ones that change the paradigm of what our economic well-being is based on.
Factory and production and corporate owners are being pilloried for modernizing and not keeping ten workers when they can use a machine that only requires one worker to achieve the same production.
Who is looking out for the poor displaced workers... oh woe...
That is progress, that is life. We have to find a way to adjust.
That is also the basic problem we must address - how will we deal with a labor force that is ten times larger than needed?
Then we can jump to the topic everyone loves - the rich, the wealthy, the really wealthy, the "uber" rich. A real go-getter earns his way up the economic ladder until he has his McMansion and 250K salary. Hurray! Nobody is really picking on this guy.
Meanwhile, an "uber" rich guy moves a stock pick from buy to sell based on a penny's difference in stock price and makes millions on one deal in five minutes. Ohh... bad "uber" rich guy.
Yet, consider this, there are two ways to make money; earn it by your labor and expertise and skill, or earn it by making your money do the work instead - ohh... bad, bad, that rich guy did not earn those millions in profits.
The way I see it, we will never be able to go back to the semi-skilled labor economy of factory workers being the backbone of the middle class, (or the white-collar worker in the office). We will also never get away from the "instant million dollar profits" made by rich folks in the financials.
The result - the wealth inequity you asked about. We have a labor force that needs jobs - and is ten times, (or pick any magnitude you like), larger than the labor market can put to work, and we have a financial system that anybody with big, (or even semi-big), bucks can jump into and make
more in five minutes than a production worker can make in a year. That is your wealth equity gap.
How to fix it? I don't have an answer, ( I do have a clue), but I think it is most important to build a foundation of understanding of what the problem really is, (rather than just the polemics of the Jacques), before we can begin to formulate a solution.
Good evening, Mr. Anderson, again you have made some excellent points regarding the changing economic situation in America. Postmodern America is becoming increasingly computerized. In order to have a semblance of a middle class lifestyle, one has to have a speciality, preferably in the STEM subjects-science, technology, engineering, & mathematics. Those are the areas that are increasingly in demand in our computerized society. Anyone who majored in the Liberal Arts, soft sciences, & the humanities will be lucky if they are lower middle class.
The issue of income inequality is an ever tenuous issue. You are succinctly correct when you stated that blue collar jobs are being phased out because of technological automation. Even lower level white collar jobs are being automated. Jobs now require that one possess at least an intermediate knowledge of computers. Those who have computer & technological knowledge are the ones who will thrive in the current job market. They will become middle class, even upper middle & upper class. Those with little or no computer knowledge will become part of the lower classes, even falling further through the socioeconomic cracks.
Also a Bachelor's Degree will be pointless. A postgraduate degree is becoming increasingly essential to even have an entry-level professional job. There are many clerks, secretaries, waitstaff, & other lower level service personnel who possess a Bachelor's Degree. Income disparity will unfortunately increase because of the rising educational requirements to have professional level jobs these days. A Bachelor's Degree is now equivalent to what a high school diploma was 5 decades ago. A Master's Degree is now the new college degree.
However, one CAN succeed with a Bachelor's Degree particularly in the Liberal Arts, humanities, & soft sciences but he/she will have an uphill battle. He/she has to be very flexible, highly aggressive, & have the knack of really marketing himself/herself. There are new rules as to how to succeed in the workplace. If one knows the rules, he/she will THRIVE. If one doesn't, he/she will flounder, even sink. The rule of the survival of the fittest has taken a new meaning in postmodern America.
I agree with your take on the problem except for a few points. Yes mechanization has stepped in and taken many of the jobs left to factory workers. Those factory jobs that are not covered by the new technology have remained offshore where wages are far below that of the US worker. My problem with this scenario is that we continue to expand trade agreements (NAFTA) and are in the process of bringing a newer and more devastating TPP agreement where corporations can unilaterally decide what patents, agricultural and services now under government legislative powers are allowable. In other words the corporations have their own lawyers negotiate any grievance's lodged against other companies and the rulings out of court are binding through that agreement. Nobody knows the full ramifications of this as this agreement has been done in almost iron clad secrecy. What does this mean? The Uber rich whether directly or indirectly have overwhelmingly benefitted from these agreements and cashed in on the "cleansed labor" from the costs associated with their business's. There is the Wall Street and Federal Reserve in the most unhealthy of relationships furthering Mr. Uber rich with fake money and cleansed debt at unprecedented levels. These are not the guys who trade a few pennies to cash in on millions as some can. But these guys are in the mix. Sure they live precariously on the edge but depending who they are and how they fail we bail them out. Giving them more tax breaks only fuels their greed and risk, it does not equalize incomes.
Our most growth happened after WWII and into the fifties. This is because the tax rates that were very high and benefits afforded the GI's gave them money to raise a family, buy a house and go to school. Notice that this money was kept here with us and recycled spawning countless jobs and building the largest middle class in the world.
Where did we go wrong? We lost our way when we allowed business to buy it's way into influencing our political and social system. No longer was the worker a concern. You can fire him. Wait a union got in the way! We will just buy a bill (politician) to be able to fill that job overseas. It is too late and corporations and politicians have become drunk with the money provided by their actions.The American worker as you have stated must evolve into something else. On another front the illegal immigrant labor force that is being more and more mainstreamed through Anchor Baby legislation and drivers license's is becoming a political force for naturalization furthering the plight of those that work with their hands. A drivers license gets them a voting spot even if it is not allowed in some states. What jobs are left that are being filled by these illegals have had the wages negotiated down because they are willing to work for sub survivable wages. I know of families like this who even have their 12 year old working at a car wash to help make up the difference rather than sending him to school. Is this what we have to compete with as Americans workers? Is this the American dream or nightmare?
When it comes to equalizing pay I don't think a ditch digger should make $100,000 a year if he wishes to do only this kind of work. But I do think when it comes to Wall Street and all the phony money and greed, and the job robbing corporations who prefer to hire from foreign labor a higher tax rate should be considered. This would be used to fund job training for those who wish to get better jobs and also to fund work on our failing infrastructure. It is very much like the model we followed after WWII. The money in these legal workers hands would spark the economy immeasurably.
The solution to a problem usually does not even involve the problem. I believe a better educated society will curb the income gap, but American ideals still dictate that we must pay for higher education. Also, I do not just refer to higher education, I mean education for K-12 as well.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ … story.html
This article brings up some very good points. It is not just getting people into college, it is creating an education system that affords forward mobility. Low income households generally send kids to low income schools whose teachers are less qualified, and the engagement of students within school organizations that benefit the student are at an all time low in those schools. (Things like counselors and after school programs that reflect well on college apps) It seems that the low income high school population is less educated about the differing routes one can take for college. (The article refers mainly to the top 10% of students as well, so students who do well academically) If we could find a way to better educate our children overall then I think we would see more forward mobility. Good quote from that article as well, "Under the current system, teachers have more school choice than students do. Rather than sending the most qualified and experienced teachers to educate the kids who need them the most, we do the reverse."
To start with, I don't believe a multi-billionaire hedge fund manager should pay lower taxes than me.
Income inequality has grown as taxes for the rich have fallen to historic lows.
I highly doubt that such a manager does pay less in taxes than you do. Or can you provide information that someone does?
Certainly. The capital gains tax rate is 15%. John Paulson netted $15 billion in 2007 on his stock investments. He paid 15% on those gains. My tax rate, almost entirely on earned income, was 25%.
"To start with, I don't believe a multi-billionaire hedge fund manager should pay lower taxes than me."
Sorry, but unless you're claiming you paid over 2 Billion dollars in taxes, John Paulson paid more than you did. Playing with numbers, saying his percentage was less than yours, that you cannot afford more, none of this will change the fact that Paulson contributed a million times what you did towards the running of the country. You do not have any right whatsoever to make the claim that Paulson paid "lower taxes" than you did.
(Nor do I believe Paulson netted $15 Billion in one year. Particularly as Forbes reports his total net worth as only $13.7 Billion.)
No need to parse words. So I meant a lower tax rate than me.
Paulson's investment shorted the market and actually contributed to the subprime mortgage crisis. So I find it hard to believe that he contributed more to the country than I did.
Look up Paulson in 2007. His net worth is lower than what he made in 2007 because he lost a lot of money in later investments.
Otherwise, do you believe a billionaire should have a 15% tax rate while mine is 25%?
Then you need to explain why anyone should pay a higher percentage (or more money total) than you do. Simply because they have more doesn't seem a reasonable excuse to force them to give any more than you do. They don't, after all, get any more for their money than you do.
(I assume you meant that Paulson earned $X on his 15 Billion of investments, but that is not what you said. Any more than Paulson paid a lower rate of taxes than you did.)
I don't have to explain that at all. You simply seem determined to avoid my point at all costs. One more time: Should a billionaire pay a 15% tax rate while I'm paying 25%?
He should probably pay a .0001% rate - that leaves him paying the same amount for the same thing (whatever the country provides us all). How is any more either fair or reasonable?
And yes, I "get" your point in it's entirety. That people that have more than you do should pay for the country to run while you provide little to nothing. You want something for nothing, someone else to pay for your wants as you cannot afford them yourself. I get that, I'm just wondering if you do or if you rationalize that because they can afford more than you can it makes forcing them to pay your share (and a thousand others as well) somehow "right" or "fair".
Resorting to personal insults doesn't help your cause.
??? I have no intent to insult - I mean no personal attack or offense.
But the fact remains that a great number of our society is quite happy forcing others to provide for their wants - are you one of them or do you recognize that forcing more taxes from one individual than another is inequitable and unfair?
Thanks for your response. I took the phrase "while you provide little to nothing" as personal. I withdraw my previous post.
I agree that plenty of people take advantage of society and don't earn what they are capable of earning. I also believe -- and have personally seen -- wealthy people bend the laws in their favor to gain more wealth. So there is abuse at both ends of the spectrum.
Absolutely there is abuse. But that is no reason to compound it by using force of law to steal from one but not another.
I haven't said, but my view on taxes is that the only "fair" tax is equal to everyone. Worker and homemaker (might exclude children, might not). Rich and poor. Young and old. Influential and "nobody's". Dollar for dollar, everyone pays the same
But it won't work. Total confiscation of half the countries incomes won't pay for what we want. The next best, then, is probably a flat tax. A deduction for each person in the family (to allow for survival) and a 10% (or 15% or 50% - whatever it takes) on what is left. No loopholes, no other deductions, no faux "refunds" of money never paid. No social engineering via the tax code. And no corporate tax - double taxation of monies earned (once by the company and once by the owner as they get their share of what is left).
It will never happen - politicians, wealthy and tax companies will never allow it - but it is probably the "fairest" possible while maintaining the country and its needs.
....And no corporate tax - double taxation of monies earned....
If Corporations are people too then they should pay just as every person has to pay. If they can have a say in the political system representing themselves as people they should pay.
Corporations are not people. That the law has decided that a person(s) can donate money on behalf of a corporations owners or employees does not make it a person. It has no need of a road system, military, or any other infrastructure. Only the people that own it or work for it have such needs.
I will keep my recommendation that taxing corporate profits twice simply because it is owned by a group of people instead of a small handful is neither reasonable nor fair. Tax the corporation, or tax the dividends, but do not do both. That has to be one of the more egregious disparities in our tax code.
They shouldn''t have it both ways but I guess they do. Why is it do you think, considered a person but pay no taxes?
While it may seem reasonable, or popular, for you to take Romney's statement that the Supreme Court says corporations are people, it never did so. It merely said that corporations have unlimited spending rights on political issues.
Your argument that corporations are people is thus a paper tiger. Scary but without truth behind it either legally or factually.
You can argue semantics till you are blue in the face but corporations having the same rights and privileges as a taxpayer is like illegal immigrants getting welfare. They are getting a free ride on the people's tab.
Agreed. And arguing that a group of owners is not composed of people is the same semantic argument. And changing the topic from allowing corporations to contribute to political causes to corporate welfare, with corporations getting federal welfare, is a slick way to change the subject while not seeming to.
Pick your subject, please - either corporate welfare or Romney's misguided comment to the supreme court decision to allow corporate campaign contributions - and stick with it as the two are completely separate subjects. Or stay with the current topic of double taxation of corporate profits - a completely separate third subject.
How do you figure they are double taxed and at same time claim corporations are not people? If we are to believe what you are saying then we are double taxed as well. One for being an individual and the second time for being in the same family. It is not fair especially when the money they are not taxed on is socked away overseas.
Corporations do not pay taxes, they collect them. Corporations are people, just as families are people, churches are people, bowling leagues are people. There isn't a corporation that isn't filled with people. The subtleties of this kind of thinking may elude some.
So according to your surmise Families should pay a double tax as well as Churches who have an exemption and let's not forget the bowling leagues where they should pay double for their membership because they also collect taxes? The corporations filled with people make a double profit as well because the corporation makes a profit as well as the people who are individually taxed? Yes I agree SOME people don't get the subtleties of this kind of thinking. Ridiculous and very one sided thinking to side with.
.....The human mind is an amazing thing.....
So is the fantasy some choose to live.
Per dollar, someone paying 15% on 20k a year is paying more into taxes than a company who pays 1% do to tax breaks. They may pay more because they make more, but a dollar to someone who earns 20k a year is more expensive than someone who earns billions. Perceptually, it is wrong. I agree with your sentiment on tax reform. Do a flat tax of 5%-10%-15% with no tax breaks. It will effectively give the lower class a dollar or two raise without raising minimum wage, and it would bring in more revenue from the wealthy corporations who end up paying nothing in taxes do to the breaks they get. Also, corporations would probably be ok with a lower flat tax because they would spend an even amount on lobbying for tax breaks as the new 15% tax. Just my two cents. People make too much money off of a broken system to warrant that amount of change, but it would be helpful.
Your math is a little (a lot) off - 15% of 20,000 is NOT more than 1% of 1,000,000. It is $3,000 vs $10,000. It's like saying that pi is actually 3.000 because perceptually it is a cleaner number and easier to understand than the actual irrational number 3.14159...
I'm a little lost on your flat tax. Are you proposing varying tax rates instead of a flat rate for everyone? Bad enough that some will pay far more than others, but how do you justify ethically not only requiring more but a higher percentage to boot? Just because they have more and should therefore pay more for the same "product"?
No. Your example of perception does not hold true for a number. You mean visually and mathematically. We are talking about how someone views the price of a dollar. Someone who makes 20,000 a year will view a dollar at a higher value than someone making a billion. Would you say otherwise? Or are you under the impression that Joe Millionaire will not buy cold cuts this week because they are not on sale?
Flat tax in the sense that your total income is taxed x amount. Currently we tax in brackets rather than a solid 15-25-35%. 0-9,000 gets taxed 10% then anything above the 9,000-38,000 gets taxed 15% etc. So the term flat tax still applies to my example. I am altruistic. If I made the money to pay more in taxes to help others then I would be more than willing to do so. So when I apply that to the ability of the rich to give back more then, yes, that is my opinion. Humans have the ability to supercede greed and ego. And like I said, 15% is a lot lower than the 40+ % that those wealthiest have to pay. It is not uncommon for the wealthiest to be fine with paying taxes, most do it happily. So a lower tax overall for everyone seems like a good deal to me.
The world needs to begin focusing on society. If you make it big, you have a divested interest in that society to prosper or you, yourself, will not prosper. If society as a whole benefits from it then the wealthy will still make their wealth just with little concern about social inequality.
But the value of a dollar is defined by what it will buy, not by how many you have. It may or may not mean more to some people, but the value remains the same.
You may be altruistic, I may be altruistic, and Joe down the road may be. Does that give you the right to demand, under force of law, that John (who is NOT altruistic) pay for the wants and needs of someone else? Not to my mind - if John wants to keep what he has earned rather than help the needy that is his choice and not mine.
And pretending that everyone will have a lower tax is nonsense; if you lower taxes for some, while still requiring the same total overall, the tax bill for others will go up. And it's not just a "perception" - they really will pay more. Saying that the wealthy will keep their wealth just doesn't match with the reality of what you are proposing.
So we're back to the same question - how do you justify ethically demanding that some pay more for the same services? Because they have more is insufficient, IMO. A flat tax of 10% is bad (some pay more than others) but necessary to maintain the country; to require that some pay triple what others pay, on a percentage basis no less, is worse. It's like requiring someone to pay $100,000 for a cheap, used Chevy because they can afford it while the next person only pays $10 because they can't. Not reasonable, not ethical.
Yes, that is statistically and mathematically. I said perceptually which they are not the same. You say this, " value of a dollar is defined by what it will buy, not by how many you have" and the amount you make will dictate what you buy and how you view your spending habits.
Ok, And being greedy does not benefit society. My thought process encompasses what will make our society grow, not what will curb advancement. You can say it is not altruistic, but I base it off of societal idealism.
You haven't refuted any of my statements. A 5% tax is lower than a 15% tax. A 15% tax is lower than a 40% tax. I don't see what you mean by paying more? " if you lower taxes for some, while still requiring the same total overall" I did not propose this, and the sentence seems contradictory, and honestly doesn't make much sense. Maybe clarify this for me? I mean, regardless of how you spin it, a percentage will still mean someone is paying more. A flat dollar amount will be the only way to make it "fair." My definition of fair is what benefits society, not the individual. Now if we formulate a way to make society grow exponentially that futhers the ideals based on individualism, I am all for that.
But forcing a handful to pay the expenses of all of society will not benefit it. Only teaching (forcing?) people to cough up their share and support themselves will. It might benefit the individuals getting the huge tax break (paying less than others), but that is not the same as benefiting society as a whole.
Your definition of fair, as being anything that will benefit society as a whole, is badly flawed. It is not society, after all, that is picking up the bill; it is individuals. Individuals that are being treated unfairly by forcing some to pay the lions share.
But forcing that handful to pay more is necessary as the lower paid cannot pay more without starving to death, stopping all payments. So make the rich pay more, but no more than is necessary. And increasing their payment by an additional factor of 3 after already demanding an increase of a thousand fold over the poor is neither necessary nor desirable (at least to anyone paying their share).
You forget that there is a larger number of middle and poor class citizens than there is the rich. Numbers wise, who is to say who would pay the most overall? Probably the rich, but not by much.
See, you take the viewpoint that the individual is separate from society, where I believe we are all connected within this structure, and, for it to work, working together is a necessity. When you take the idea of individualism, which glorifies ego and greed, and you place it within a society, you will be where we are now, or where the French were before their Revolution. I like to feel connected to the society I live within, I like to feel that I contribute to helping it become a better society. You haven't really given a reason how my ideals are badly flawed, you just have given me your opinion that you'd rather a society be driven by individual interests. There is nothing wrong with that, either, as egoism and utilitarianism are solid philosophical and ethical approaches, but they don't do it for me. We can be something larger than the individual, and that is something I'd hope to see one day. (Probably won't)
<"We can be something larger than the individual, and that is something I'd hope to see one day.">
even that urge is a self-oriented perspective.
There is no such thing as altruism.
Why? Because the doer of good deeds is satisfied by the doing of them.
If one claims to only do things for the sake of others, that person would eventually go nuts. Altruism goes against human nature.
Human nature is not infallible. Human nature can be changed. You see it in the consistent development of human thought all through out history, from the great awakening to the enlightenment. You see it in Aristotle's quote:
"We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
You state semantics. So I will refute with more semantics.
I thought you were interested in a debate? I guess not. And going nuts? For being knowledgeable? For having a different outlook on life? For hoping for a better society? Nothing gets accomplished by people who just sit and do nothing. I, for one, will not be that person.
Is that supposed to be an insult or something? You have no basis for your assertion. You do not know my economic stances. You do not know my political affiliation. You do not know me. Your assumptions make me sad for humanity, because most people are like you.
No, I do not. There's your simple answer.
And you are entitled to your opinion.
You are ignoring my valid points. If you do not agree with them, say so.
1. There is no such thing as (pure, selfless) altruism.
Why? Because the doer of good deeds is satisfied by the doing of them.
2. The wealthy need to realize it is in their (OWN) best interest to consider others.
I'm not seeing how that is pertinent to our discussion about altruism, but yes I can agree with you that it would be in their interest to consider others. And sorry for not seeing those posts. I am not on chronological order.
"for it to work, working together is a necessity"
I don't find that "working together" means forcibly taking from one to give to another. Or forcibly taking 1,000 times as much from one individual than another for funding to run the country. That's not "working together".
As far as your ideals; the only one I have a problem with is the innate concept that you have the right to do that forcible taking to satisfy your personal sense of right and wrong, using the force of law to extend it to the entire population. You don't, not unless you give everyone else the right to take whatever you have earned/accumulated and do with it as they choose to.
Give more money to people with less money. Give less money to people with more money.
Simply giving works so well doesn't it? Teaches self sufficiency perfectly.
But where is this money that I'm supposed to be getting as one of those with "more money" (meaning I provide for myself)?
"Give" in this instance is just a shorthand for a transfer in the possession of money. The details of that transfer (including whether there are any conditions) are open to suggestion. Perhaps it is better stated as: transfer more money to people with less money. Transfer less money to people with more money. Either way, on the most fundamental level, this is the answer to the question asked.
Out of curiosity, why should the question of teaching self-sufficiency be a factor in the transfer of money?
How about "Give without thought or requirement for any form of return"? That's what you really mean isn't it, whether actually zero return or a return of far less than was received?
I repeat that this is not a workable solution at all; it has been tried all over the world thousands of times and has failed every time - the biggest result is always increasing dependency rather than self sufficiency.
No, I mean transfer. I've made no suggestion either way as to whether there should be conditions on that transfer. That's why I said it's open to suggestion. Clearly you think it is desirable to transfer money in a way that teaches self sufficiency. Why?
Because if you simply give money away people have a very strong tendency to depend on it rather on their own efforts. The old saw about teaching a man to fish is very, very true.
Why is depending on money given without condition, bad?
See my prior post. Because it makes people dependent on others rather than themselves. Most people would agree that this is a bad thing - that people should support themselves rather than getting someone else to do it for them. It is one thing for children to depend on others; it is quite another for otherwise capable adults to do so.
And certainly it is bad for the country they live in as that country loses anything they might produce in the effort to support themselves. In addition, those doing the supporting lose incentive to increase their own productive efforts as it just goes to take care of someone else instead of into their own pocket.
Okay so people agree it's a bad thing, but why is it a bad thing? Why shouldn't people be dependent on the support of others?
And do you think that people with a large surplus of money (relative to the national average income) are mainly motivated by accumulating more money?
You're asking for an opinion, and I will answer as such.
1. Man is a productive animal - few people are actually happy living the life of a playboy. Most have a much more fulfilling life producing something of value, even if it is only their own survival. Pride plays a part here, although not nearly so much as it used to.
2. Most people are generous, sometimes to a fault, but that generosity often ends when the product of the labor is given to someone not needing it. It is necessary, then, to force that "giving" when the recipient does not need it.
3. As I explained already, too much of this activity inevitably results in a lowering of the standard of living for everyone - givers and takers alike. This is neither ethical nor moral when the giving is forced on someone that doesn't want to give. Playing Robin Hood is not ethical no matter how much Robin tries to claim differently.
Yes, many are motivated by accumulation of wealth. Not that that has anything to do with anything - we all have different dreams and wants and have no right to determine what others should want.
Now, you may agree with this or disagree, but either way you still have no ethical right to play the Robin Hood of the system; forcing one to provide charity is as bad and unethical as forcing slavery on another. Unless you can honestly claim that whatever you have made/earned is open to anyone wanting it, to use as they see fit instead of how you wish it used?
1. Does having lots of money make someone non-productive? Do people who don't need to work for financial reward do nothing all day? Or do they still work and live a productive life, just because that is part of their personal fulfilment?
2. If wealth inequality is a problem, then the solution is for people with less money to have more, and people with more money to have less. That is a transfer of wealth from one to the other. What do you think is the best way to do that transfer?
3. If someone has lots of money, why does giving some of it to someone with none, lower living standards?
I agree that it is a bad practice to just give people money. The dependency upon doing so cultivates a complacency to expect that which is not earned. Having a wage that is livable is another thing entirely. Since it's inception the minimum wage has been in place to guard against employers taking advantage of their workers and make available a wage that someone can live. Unfortunately inflation and political interference has prevented the wage to rise above the poverty level. So the ticket taker or the ditch digger is left in the lurch because he is told he must work harder to make more. That is another form of slavery as there are many that are neither qualified nor have the abilities to earn more.
There are just a couple of things wrong with this.
1. That mythical "living wage" that no one appears willing to define. I have asked dozens of times what it might be and who will set it, but never with an answer.
2. Unfortunately, the minimum wage has NOT fallen. In 1965 it was $1.25; in today's dollars that equates to $6.23. It has risen, not fallen, despite all the complaints to the contrary. In addition, minimum wage is not and never was intended as something to support a family; it is rather something someone just beginning (or ending) their working career might expect. Someone with no work skills or ethic performing a task that, outside of strength needed, a child could do. And today's minimum wage is quite livable, at a minimum level, for that single person just starting out. More so, in fact, than 50 years ago.
You kind of missed the part about adjusted for inflation didn't you.
http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com/fact … inflation/
And yes there has not been a consensus as to what that livable wage should be. But the conversation is stalled before it begins as to whether anyone is entitled to live at a decent level based on their ability and or ambition. With the advent of the illegal immigrant labor this is a problem because as long as there are those who will work at or below minimum wage it will continue the myth that these are entry level jobs for the youth. The livable wage also gets in the way of the ability to exploit the illegal labor force at the cost of the American worker.
No, I didn't forget about inflation. That's why $1.25 (1965) equates to $6.23 (2014) - it reflects the effects of inflation. Why your link and mine disagree, even to the amount of minimum wage in the 60's, I do not know though I do note that one site actively promotes raising the minimum wage while the other appears to simply provide information without an agenda.
But I DO know that personal experience in both era's indicates that they are approximately the same - that minimum wage in the 60's would buy about the same as in the new century. The problem is that we want so much more now than we did then - the standard of living has risen considerably and those earning the minimum want to keep up, too, without increasing their skill or work load.
Yes, conversation stalls just as you indicate with the "decent level" comment followed by the "livable wage" one. Throwing out undefined terms does nothing for discussion. Although I'm not sure what that mythical figure has to do with illegally hiring illegal workers, or how it costs the American worker anything. Certainly the hiring hurts Americans, but where does that "livable wage" come into the picture in that regard?
....Although I'm not sure what that mythical figure has to do with illegally hiring illegal workers, or how it costs the American worker anything....
This is why you don't get it. I guess it is a lot to figure out from all the information and how it connects.
I think you're right - too much for me to "get". Particularly as there is no connection outside of an emotional one you are trying to raise without using truth or factual information.
(Or did you forget that ANY wage paid an illegal worker is also illegal whether it is "living", "minimum" or other? Illegal workers cost Americans jobs, but what they are paid has nothing to do with that mythical "living wage").
....but what they are paid has nothing to do with that mythical "living wage....
Dream on. You still can't connect the dots can you?
Let's compare someone who makes $1 billion a year (such as the founders Google, who are pulling out that much in zero-based stock options) and the ticket taker at the local movie theater who makes $10,000 a year.
Is one of the Google founders really worth 100,000 times more than the ticket taker? Or is that a flaw in capitalism because of a misallocation of capital?
People are paid in this society according to their educational & skill level. They are furthermore paid in relation to the educational & skill relevancy to that particular society. A ticket taker is a very low skilled job; this job will in all likelihood will become automated in a few decades, if not a few years. This explains why a ticket taker is paid $10K a year. The founders of Google have entrepreneurial skills & have a well-known brand; in addition to that, they have a high skill &/or educational level in addition to such components being highly relevant in this society. This explains why they are making billions a year.
If the Google founder was born with an IQ of 160, and the ticket taker was born with an IQ of 80, does that change your thinking? My point being that they didn't entirely earn their place in life. Luck played a part.
Does having a low IQ make what that person is producing worth more? Does it gain in value with a lower IQ of the worker?
There is also the question of that $10,000 the ticket taker makes; $7.25 times 2080 (52 weeks X 40 hours) = $1580. Part time work hardly equates to full time. And no one is earning a billion $ per year, either.
I think you misunderstand what I posted. My original question was whether it is a misallocation of capital. My followup question is whether luck is a factor in what people earn. (Obviously it is for the children of Sam Walton, who haven't earn a dime of their billions.)
The Google founders are taking out $1 billion a year in zero-based stock options and then selling them on the market. Page and Brin acquire and unload 70 to 96 million shares per month. It's public record. As a result, they pay 15% rather than 39% tax rates.
Regarding part time or full time, the resulting factor is insignificant. A full time ticket taker -- like some people I know -- more than likely doesn't get health benefits, paid time off, 401k matching, pensions, paid car, health club, vacations disguised as business trips, a multi-million health insurance policy and of course a seven-figure salary on top of stock options.
Of course luck plays a part, it just doesn't play a part in determining the value of a specific job or task. And pay is based on that value, not some pie-in-the-sky ideal that all should earn equally regardless of the value of their production.
But what makes it a misallocation? Who gets to make that call, if not the owners of the capital (in this case the majority stock holders)?
Just to be clear, I'm not saying that the Google founder shouldn't earn more. It's the scale of the difference that adds to income inequality.
If there is no illegality, there can be no misallocation. And without that, there is no wrong. No ethically wrong actions as they are being taken in accordance with accepted practices.
While the entire system may be wrong somehow, the alternative would seem to be requiring artificially increased or decreased wages based on a committee vote of what they think is right; that in itself is quite unethical. Value, or worth, is not set by committee but by the free market.
Let me give you my personal opinion . I don't think think the google guy is worth 100 000 times more than the ticket taker,however in a capitalist economic system there are valid reasons why he is able to make 100 000 times more ,and I don't have a problem with that .What I have a problem with is that someone would scream bloody murder if the google guy's taxes would be increased by let's say one half of one percent and all of the sudden that would make his life unbearable and would leave for Kuala Lumpur, but if the 10 000 dollar a year guy had to be payed a couple of dollars more per hour the greatest economy the world has ever known would crumble and fall into oblivion .
I do not consider it a problem that requires any outside agency to fix as it is a product of an intrusive Government that seeks to control the economy resulting in such distortions. If you want to fix this misidentified and ill defined thing, strip the government of powers it has no right to possess in the first place.
...middle class with the ability for all to reach their potential has been the engine.
Q. What has produced / created / influenced that ENGINE?
A. Freedom (within appropriate boundaries)
Q. Who / what is taking away that freedom to the extent that the middle class is loosing its steam?
The fix is to not have children before one/two can afford them.
The fix is to educate the ones we already have
The fix is to teach, train and mentor the youth to have the skills society needs to grow, function, rock and roll.
The fix is to get rid of a credit-card dependent society.
The fix is to pay cash for everything and stay out of DEBT.
The fix is to live in the real world.
Let the wealthy be wealthy
It is not as though we don't know how this situation in America came about. Look at the laws passed in the last 30 years. Look at the laws that have been broken and who has been doing it. Look at deregulation and who has benefited from it and who has suffered. America wasn't always like this. We could return our country to a land of opportunity for all. But we've allowed the unscrupulous to become so rich and powerful, it is unlikely they will ever stand for any changes. We were duped into thinking "a rising tide lifts all boats" when in actually we were being drowned in deception. The real tragedy is that so many of us are still being duped.
For instance, can you elucidate?
< "The world needs to begin focusing on society.">
The wealthy need to realize it is in their best interest to consider others.
It is not semantics but understanding the truth of human nature and it is very important to understand it.
Yes. And believing that it is stagnant and infallible is incorrect in my opinion. You disagree, based on your opinion on what human nature is, and that is fine. I can cite extensive changes in how human's regarded human nature through out history, how it has evolved and adapted, but you would not care. You are sound in your opinion, and I am in mine, so we can leave it at that.
You and I may discover there is no debate. We may actually agree.
For instance, what have I said that you disagree with?
Sorry if I jumped to insulting conclusions.
PS < "And believing that it (human nature) is stagnant and infallible…">
I never agreed or disagreed with this.
I believe human nature is such that it must thrive and succeed/survive.
Naturally, whatever promotes survival is the course we must take.
Socialism breaks the human spirit and joy of life.
That is my concern.
If you are not promoting socialism through soft despotism through govt., then fine.
Have a good day.
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