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Why the income inequality?

  1. 60
    Interestiqueposted 18 months ago

    I understand we villify these 1%er's as being greedy, but is it just them or all of us? For example when we buy designer brands or worship the high end (lamborghini, mansions, lavish lifestyle, etc.) are we not solidiying the idea that if we could we would? And the excess undoubtedly comes at the cost of others (whether it be in our country or other parts of the globe). So is the problem just at the top echelon of society or more widespread?

    1. R K Beran profile image60
      R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      The reason "1%ers" become "1%ers" is because they are either savvy investors who have inherited large sums of money, or because (more likely) they own a business or franchise which provides a useful service or product, which many people are willing to pay to receive...and they have a winning business model.

      So it makes no sense to me when people complain about how disgusting it is that these 1%ers are so rich...while they themselves (like thousands or even millions of others) are buying the products and paying for the services offered by the companies these 1%ers own...which made them rich in the first place.

      They don't get rich via any unfair cost of others...other than the cost consumers pay for the fair compensation of good or services they receive. Meaning, these people wouldn't be rich if people like us didn't willingly choose to buy their crap. Wealthy CEOs and business owners aren't some magical elect, chosen buy God to have an orchard of money trees in their back yards. They get rich because we make them rich, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that.

      I think it's incredibly unfair to judge that someone who is very wealthy *must* be greedy...simply because he or she is wealthy. It's especially unfair when considering that many times greedy consumers are prime contributors to the funds that we say make these 1%ers greedy in the first place. If, for example, people (who could be argued to be greedy) didn't scramble to buy the hottest designer brands or flashiest models (as you mentioned), then the people who produce such things wouldn't have much of an income.

      And this is exactly why it's funny whenever some hipster tweets about the evils of capitalism and big business...from his MacBook, or IPhone.

      Very interesting post, thanks for sharing!

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago in reply to this

        +1!

        1. R K Beran profile image60
          R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          Thanks, Kathryn!

    2. gmwilliams profile image86
      gmwilliamsposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      This problem isn't with the wealthy.  Wealth creates growth, jobs, and other opportunities.  The PROBLEM is with THE POOR who are draining society in one way or another.  Now case closed.

      1. janesix profile image59
        janesixposted 18 months ago in reply to this

        The problem is with both. The super rich control the majority of the world's recourses, thus have most of the power. Do you not see a problem with that?

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
          Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          That is the current problem. There are more of us than them and that is the CHECK! lets use it and stick/work together! ( ...without being forced.)
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXo6G5mfmro

  2. ahorseback profile image52
    ahorsebackposted 18 months ago

    When I look at our nation I see a society that has become obsessed with  whining about everything ,   We work less  hours than ever in America , there are far ,far too many people who for one reason or another , don't even work at all !     The epidemic or  lack  of social maturity has  driven us as neighbors further and further from each others' front porch ' , so to speak .   Everyone wants - no demands - a large  and larger helping of the American dream constantly .

    Or media and government  is dead set on procuring an eternally  divisive atmosphere in America , blacks against whites , rich against poor , them against us !  Where does it end ?

  3. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago

    Whats wrong with excess? and what is the proof that it comes at some cost?
    There is no excess in socialist societies… no rap artists making big bucks… no stars to shoot for or moons to land on…no magnificent goals, hopes or ambitions to achieve. No. in a socialistic society everyone just makes do with just enough.
    Yawn. Good enough for them, I guess. neutral

    1. John Holden profile image61
      John Holdenposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      Who said Kathryn?
      I know of nothing in socialism that militates against either success or reward for that success.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago in reply to this

        cuz you don't look very carefully with yer rose colored glasses on.

      2. R K Beran profile image60
        R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

        Socialism doesn't "militate" against success in the way you're thinking. It's subtle, but devastating. Socialism is a system in which the government takes over the means of production and, thus, meets the needs of the people. The problem is that some people abuse the "safety net" government provides...at the expense of driven people who work hard and pay their fair share. Over time, this wears on the most productive members of society because their hard work is easily abused by moochers in the system. As more and more people seek free lunches and fewer people feel like they have any motivation to keep on being productive, the system collapses.

        So, while well-intended, the Socialist model fails because it inevitably morphs into a system where the productive people are "punished" by having to pay more and more to support the always-growing number of unproductive people...while reaping little reward for themselves.

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
          Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          REPEATING:
          "As more and more people seek free lunches and fewer people feel like they have any motivation to keep on being productive, the system collapses."

          Is the issue really as subtle as "motivation?"
          YES!!!!!!!!!

          of course.
          The reality of Human Nature must be taken into consideration.
          Take off the rose colored glasses.
          Do I care enough about all the welfare mom's cranking out more kids to help them by contributing to them?

          Uh, not really.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IsGUrHNMSM

          1. gmwilliams profile image86
            gmwilliamsposted 18 months ago in reply to this

            Kathryn, how has your afternoon be thus far?  Good to see you are fighting the fight for capitalism, entrepreneurship, initiative, and resourcefulness which is sorely missing in our Obamatized culture.  When there seems to be more deficits than positives the system will falter.  Fortunately, there are more contributors(positives) than takers(deficits).  Although the deficits seems to be increasing, the positives still have the ball in their corner. 

            Those who vilify the wealthy should take some lessons from them.  Many wealthy are self-made.  They made the necessary sacrifices to get where they are.  They invested, instead of wasting their monies on trinkets i.e. stupid entertainment, inane pleasures, and other useless junk.  They do not use credit cards foolishly, accumulating debt after debt.  They also pursued education as they know that education is the ticket to an affluent life.  They furthermore don't have MORE children than they can support thus leaving a legacy to their children.   Good day Kathryn, continue the discussion.  I have said my piece.   

            P.S. The wealthy think and think about the future ramifications of their actions.  They practice delayed gratification which the poor DON'T do,.

            1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
              Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago in reply to this

              +100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000...!!! big_smile

            2. rhamson profile image77
              rhamsonposted 18 months ago in reply to this

              The vilification of the rich should not be in question. Many are not involved in buying influence that create conditions that multiply their wealth. But there are those who exploit the system to make things easier for their gains. The misconception that the wealthy create jobs went out with the trickle down crap fed us for years. The consumer has and always will be the job creator. Without purchase power there is no reason to hire a soul.

              1. R K Beran profile image60
                R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                But how do companies get started so that they can provide to consumers who would buy, besides bank loans (thus, creating wealthy bank owners)? Are they going to go door to door in a middle-income neighborhood looking for investment capital? Heck no! They're going to seek someone with the funds to throw into start-up businesses...which in turn hire people, making jobs.

                Purchasing power provides the reason, but money provides the means.

                1. rhamson profile image77
                  rhamsonposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                  Purchasing power is precisely the reason to hire. The money and the rest is just business. Have you ever marketed a product? I have marketed several and each and every time I had to show viability before anybody would invest or buy the product for their line. Nobody was hired ahead of the products viability was proven. It is a chicken before the egg argument.

                  1. R K Beran profile image60
                    R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                    "I had to show viability before anybody would invest..."

                    Exactly my point. You can't say that wealthy people (who provide investment capital) don't play a part in creating jobs because *someone* still invests...thus causing growth and means to hire more people. The consumer base willing to buy a product is the means by which investors decide what things are worth investing in, but investments are still made.

                2. John Holden profile image61
                  John Holdenposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                  And who provides the money?

                  Answer:- they borrow it off you and me, they don't risk their own money.

                  1. R K Beran profile image60
                    R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                    Exactly how many middle-income people do you know acting as angel investors to cover the large start-up costs of new businesses? How exactly is it you're thinking it is instead "borrowed" from the average consumer?

                    This money comes from wealthy investors who can afford to sink a large amount of money into a business with the expectation of a future profit.

                    I'd be willing to wager that the only money any business has "borrowed" from you was taken fairly in exchange for stock in the company or a product/service they provide, any or all of which was purchased freely by you.

                    And how is it you're thinking that new business owners are not risking their own money? Investors only invest because they hope to turn an eventual profit. If your business tanks and no such profit can be had, not only do you have a mob of angry investors (whom you owe) out to get you, but all your future expenses are completely on your dime. Plus, you'd still have to pay back any loans taken out--regardless of whether or not your business is a flop.

                    There is a huge amount of personal risk involved.

        2. John Holden profile image61
          John Holdenposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          That isn't socialism that you describe. Socialism provides nobody with a free lunch, unless they are incapable of providing for themselves.
          What you describe is liberal capitalism.

          1. R K Beran profile image60
            R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

            Yes, it is socialism that I describe--the practical reality of it. Socialism would be an ideal system if everybody worked hard to ensure that everybody reaped the benefits of a nanny government. But in reality, there will always be people who abuse the system--one of the chief reasons why socialism fails time and time again when played out in the real world. The more and more people abuse the system, the less people who work hard feel like they should.

            Why should you work hard with little incentive when you can live comfortably off the unincentivized hard work of someone else? This thinking works...only until there aren't enough motivated individuals paying in to cover the expense of all those receiving benefits and suddenly you find yourself living in Greece 2.0 (the second verse is just as bad as the first).

            No form of capitalism entails the government assuming control over the means of production (as well as distribution and exchange), so you'd be wrong there. Also, in any capitalist system, people are more or less free to pursue their own business interests and invest, produce, succeed, or fail as their personal choices allow them to...only having to adhere to a limited number of government-set rules designed to keep the market fair for all players involved. In a capitalist system, people who become successful are able to reap a respectable benefit, thus there is incentive to work hard and aim for success.

            This is the polar opposite of socialism, in which all of this is controlled and heavily regulated by the government, hindering and over-taxing any success people are lucky enough to come by. You won't find a capitalist nation where Average Joe is paying upwards of 50-60% of his annual income in taxes, but this is common in socialist nations. That's why the economies of socialist nations grow so much more slowly than those of capitalist nations--because government in any shape or form is inherently slow, wasteful, and stupid. The larger a government is and the more far reaching its power, the more this is true.

            1. John Holden profile image61
              John Holdenposted 18 months ago in reply to this

              No, the practical reality that you write of is liberal capitalism. Capitalism is a system that requires unemployment to keep wages down but gives people enough to stop most of them from stealing and rioting,
              That doesn't matter to the capitalists though because those under the cosh pay to keep others further under the cosh.

              Though there can be an element of government control with socialism, it pales into insignificance besides the amount of government control the capitalists use.
              Tell me a socialist government that has ever tried to exercise anything near the level of TTIP?
              Tell me a socialist government that has ever forced up the price of utilities so that private investors can profit?

            2. rhamson profile image77
              rhamsonposted 18 months ago in reply to this

              "No form of capitalism entails the government assuming control over the means of production (as well as distribution and exchange), so you'd be wrong there."

              Wrong. Capitalism depends on government to be in control of patents and all the legal means they have to defend them. Government guards against monopolies and their devastating effect on fair trade and government, Government is expected to arbitrate bankruptcies and contract disputes as well as prosecuting insider trading in the capitalistic free market.

              You see there is no moral conscience with regards to capitalism. exploitation of a resource, product or people are all free game when it comes to profit. What makes you think government is not supposed to assume any control?

              1. John Holden profile image61
                John Holdenposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                I was born into a successful mixed economy, an almost perfect mix of capitalism and socialism.
                Over my lifetime (so far) I have experienced the country shedding all the socialist aspects and embracing the capitalists.
                During this time I have witnessed the hand of government becoming harsher, more draconian. Aspects of government that were once handled at the local level have been taken over by central government and government has become more and more the representative of the moneyed class.

                Government has colluded in making us all pay for private enterprise.

              2. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                "You see there is no moral conscience with regards to capitalism. "

                And the socialist government has a conscience?  Don't be silly - the only conscience the liberal (socialist) government has is to figure out how to take more of the workers earnings, without regard to the future results of that taking.

              3. R K Beran profile image60
                R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                "...only having to adhere to a limited number of government-set rules designed to keep the market fair for all players involved."

                Apparently you missed this line, rhamson. Yes, the government does have the power to regulate; but it doesn't have the power to control the means of production, distribution and exchange in a capitalist system.

                "cap·i·tal·ism
                ˈkapədlˌizəm/
                noun
                noun: capitalism

                1. An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state."

                The government has the authority to set a reasonable amount rules which all businesses must play by (to ensure fairness of the market), but businesses are free to do whatever they want within these boundaries. In a socialist nation, this isn't the case: the market is completely managed and run by the government.

                1. John Holden profile image61
                  John Holdenposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                  That, quite frankly, is rubbish.

                2. rhamson profile image77
                  rhamsonposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                  "The government has the authority to set a reasonable amount rules which all businesses must play by (to ensure fairness of the market), but businesses are free to do whatever they want within these boundaries."

                  You seem to want it both ways. You want protection from unfair competition practices but when it comes to profits at the expense of individuals and national economies it is taboo. Just because government gets involved with corporates schemes and their wants to undercut the integral workings of their prospective economies does not make it a socialist agenda.

                  1. John Holden profile image61
                    John Holdenposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                    You don't get their thinking.
                    Everything bad, everything that supports corporations at the expense of everybody else, in fact everything that anybody doesn't like however extreme and right wing is the socialist agenda!

  4. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago

    "Did Apple invent the cell phone? They just tweaked it to include more programs."
    Apple has worked hard for its good reputation.
    It provided a superior product. Why are you being so mean to those who come up with things people want and need.
    Things which effect people's lives for the better?

    What is the worst thing about the rich in your opinion?
    What is your definition of "the rich."

    1. rhamson profile image77
      rhamsonposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      I don't have anything against rich people. I know and work for a lot of them. They are just like anybody else. I am against rich corporations buying their way through our government to get legislation which exploits others. They exploit the poor in other countries to sell to us product while taking away our jobs. NAFTA and the threat of the TPP has cost us millions of jobs.

      The Iphone is a great little toy. We did not know we needed it until we got it. Apple really used existing technology and added a few programs and sold it well.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago in reply to this

        "I am against rich corporations buying their way through our government to get legislation which exploits others."
        How does this take place?

        1. rhamson profile image77
          rhamsonposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          Corporations such as Disney are creating and using legislation to displace workers under the immigration law H-1B whereby they can get temporary workers in tech fields to fill jobs they cannot find Americans to fill. Disney has told 250 of this exact type of worker they will be laid off to be replaced by Indian labor being imported. They are also to train these replacements before they leave. The bill is a smoke screen to get at cheaper labor markets as proven by Disney's latest ploy. Southern California Edison is doing the same thing. [1]

          They claim to be hiring more people in an effort to seem like they are hiring fairly but they won't say in what job functions. This effectively is competition temporarily brought in to drive the cost of American labor to compete with much lower labor pools right here in our own country.

          Orin Hatch, a sponsor of the bill H-1B and who is a ranking member on the finance, judiciary, health, education, labor and pensions committee is supported by corporate interest's all over the spectrum. He has been there for 37 + years and is a corporate stooge with family members working as lobbyists.[2]


          This is the beginning of the end of the tech job replacement of manufacturing crap the government has been selling us. There is no end to the greed. [3]


          [1] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/04/us/la … e&_r=0
          [2] https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians … cycle=2014
          [3] http://www.computerworld.com/article/28 … force.html

      2. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 18 months ago in reply to this

        If you think it wrong to sell products made in other countries, don't buy any.  You won't find much agreement as the greed of the American consumer demands ever cheaper prices, but that's life.

        As far as "exploiting" foreign labor - if they didn't want the job they wouldn't take it.  The companies are being "exploited" as much as the laborers are.

        1. rhamson profile image77
          rhamsonposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          It is not wrong to buy products made in foreign countries. What is wrong is that the foreign countries are not playing by the rules they agreed to when they began trading with us. Their safety, human rights and banking practices are in direct violation of the agreements. With the TPP any corporation who has a beef with any country including the US that they have cost them unfair expenses can sue for compensation. This will be ruled by a tribunal of lawyers paid for by the corporations. They can rule against any of our environmental, pharmaceutical regulations and such and win compensation.

          Your simplistic answer of just buy American is not reality as most products are made in foreign countries whose practices have driven out the competition. Try it for yourself and see how much you can buy American regardless of the cost.

          You take exploitation as a bad word yet it is the basis of capitalism. Taking advantage of a situation to gain a profit is in our blood. It is a shame it has to be people that are being taken advantage of. You claim the business's are being exploited yet they continue to thrive. Is it poor profits that make that happen?

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 18 months ago in reply to this

            We've been trading with foreign companies since long before even the concept of human rights came about.  We've just decided all of a sudden that we have the right to demand that other countries behave as we think is right.

            If a company has been treated unfairly by a country then they should be compensated.  Your insinuation that only the US government should be able to decide what is "unfair" is ridiculous.

            I recognize that buying only American cannot happen - it is presented only to point out that corporations buying foreign to sell here are not the reason we've lost jobs.  It's because the American consumer demands it.  Should they demand local made products, that's what we'd find on the shelves.

            Again, your insinuation that agreeing to a contract constitutes exploitation is ridiculous - unless you think the man in the street is "exploiting" the companies they buy from?

            1. rhamson profile image77
              rhamsonposted 18 months ago in reply to this

              It is true that we have been trading with foreign companies for a long time and human rights violations were happening. But since the precedence has taken place it is okay is your answer? Never right the wrong or even out the playing field is your answer? It brings a whole new meaning to the term Capitalist Pigs. The real problem is that if we continue to sell out our humanity what does that make us? To compete as you insist is to have some sort of rules by which to do it. When one side is required to do so and the other exploits those rules as the foreign labor pools have, it is no competition. Then we truly are Capitalistic Pigs selling our souls for the buck.

              "If a company has been treated unfairly by a country then they should be compensated."  I did not insinuate anything of the sort that the US should be the arbitrator. I would like to have an impartial entity do it and not paid stoolies to determine justice.

              The idea that the pricing was constituted through fair trading practices and market trends is ludicrous as legislation was subverted, payoffs made and backroom deals that opened the markets to much lower labor pools taking away jobs and driving out the middle class. For some odd reason you think the type of capitalism we practice is an ethical practical process even with all the laws and regulations it has sidelined.

              A contract with the devil constitutes what? A persons freedom to act accordingly? These contracts are made with foreign companies who lock their people up to work 16 hour days with few breaks. Their agricultural based economies have been devastated by corrupt government officials to pad their pockets and their friends pockets. Merely because the American consumer is ignorant of it willfully or not does not make it right. It also does not make it right for us to compete against it.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                Your whole post here seems to be saying that WE, the US, should control the world.  I disagree, and so do the vast majority of Americans.

                Were it not so (the majority of Americans) we wouldn't be buying so many imports.  You want to sweep this under the rug and pretend it's because of politicians, lawyers and corporate CEO's, but it isn't.  It is because we demand cheap prices as a nation of consumers. 

                You also try to put the devil on me personally, and what I believe.  But what I believe hasn't even been mentioned!  Just trying to point out that you're chasing the wrong villain.  It isn't corporate - it's US.  The U.S. consumer.  As a nation we're too stupid to realize we're cutting our own nose off by insisting on cheap, unethical, evil foreign labor practices.

                1. rhamson profile image77
                  rhamsonposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                  "As a nation we're too stupid to realize we're cutting our own nose off by insisting on cheap, unethical, evil foreign labor practices."

                  This is at the heart of our problem. For some odd reason you believe it is this stupidity that is supposed to figure it out and make a change for the good by suggesting buy American as the solution. What the problem is corporate America exploits this stupidity and gets incredibly wealthy in the process. So by hook or crook is okay? The real problem is the slime ball politicians we elect to look after our best interests. Once again the stupidity of the electorate ignores the pitfalls of electing by party and on throw away issues that cloud the reality of our problems. We both see this as the same problem but for some odd reason we can't come up with a solution.

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                    Nope.  There is no "exploitation" by corporate America in providing what the consumer wants - just simple and necessary business acumen.  Of course they make money at it (no need to exaggerate), but that's what businesses do.

                    And no, the answer does not lie in making laws that our businesses cannot operate overseas.  It lies in education, not baby-sitting, our consumers.  Recognizing that we will never manage to do that to any real degree, I still don't think that hamstringing our businesses with ridiculous laws that remove them from competing in the world market is the right way to solve anything. 

                    Find another way - that one will result in economic tragedy in the future. And fairly near future at that - I'd guess in under 50 years, considering where our labor force was 50-75 years ago and where it is today in both capabilities and potential earnings.  And we had to bootstrap our own way up while the likes of China and India have us to raise their abilities.

      3. R K Beran profile image60
        R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

        "They exploit the poor in other countries to sell to us product while taking away our jobs."

        While I agree that this is a problem, many times this is not the company's first choice, either. Take for instance the number of jobs being shipped overseas in the western states which have recently opted for a ridiculous hike in the minimum wage. They're outsourcing because it's no longer economically feasible for them to invest in American labor. Others are even considering developing automated processes to replace human labor...because it's cheaper.

        1. John Holden profile image61
          John Holdenposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          Automated processes go back a long way before the minimum wage was introduced..

          1. R K Beran profile image60
            R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

            Yes, they do. I don't recall saying they didn't. However, the sharp increase in businesses willing to ditch human laborers in favor of machines (simply due to minimum wage hikes in their states) should be alarming.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 18 months ago in reply to this

              Why alarming?  Machinery, whether automated or not, has produced the standard of living we all enjoy.  It just requires a different skill/ability from the laborer than it used to, while increasing production per man hour by a hundred times.

            2. John Holden profile image61
              John Holdenposted 18 months ago in reply to this

              Evidence of the sharp increase in willing to ditch labour in favour of automation please.

              1. R K Beran profile image60
                R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                http://www.wsj.com/articles/minimum-wag … 1413934569

                http://www.nationalreview.com/article/3 … h-goldberg

                http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-wo … 69117.html

                (^ Just to clarify, Huffington Post is a crappy place to look for unbiased information, thanks to their incredibly liberal slant...but even they agree that increases in automation may likely result from hiked up minimum wages)

                Just a few examples. There are several more. Automation isn't an inherently bad thing--as Wilderness has pointed out. It boosts production, among other things. But when we're seeing businesses lean toward automation for little reason other than to avoid hiring people on at the newly raised minimum wage, we're just needlessly destroying jobs.

                1. John Holden profile image61
                  John Holdenposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                  First link, MacDonalds are losing market share and seeing a fall in revenue. That is the primary cause for looking at automation.

                  Second link. Do you think anybody would be prepared to work for less than 42c an hour?

                  Third link, Andrew Woodman is an independent blogger and so does not necessarily represent Huff Post, but that's beside the point. His blog is full of "ifs" and "buts" and "maybes".

                  So on balance, you don't prove that the minimum wage is causing loss of jobs. There are many other factors in play.

                  The fault lies not with the minimum wage but with the system that puts profits before people. When I was young automation was touted as our salvation, we would all be on ten hour working weeks and living in luxury. We didn't dream that a lot of us would be working 50 hour weeks and a few would be living on incomes beyond all imagination!

        2. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          http://www.inquisitr.com/2135669/mcdona … imum-wage/

          Yes, automation is ever increasing.  Along with non-automated machines that make a single person far more productive, such as bulldozers, tractors and cranes.

          Is that a bad thing?  Sure, we could go back to shovels, horse-drawn plows and ropes and pulleys, but would we have the luxuries we now do?  Or even enough to eat?

          1. R K Beran profile image60
            R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

            I don't think automation is all bad. In many industries (auto industry, for example) it's needed to maintain the efficiency needed for the company's success (or as you've indicated, to meet demand).

            But I think that when businesses are opting for automation for no other reason than because we've made it too expensive for them to hire human laborers, we're kind of shooting ourselves in the foot and can't complain about the increasing number of jobless individuals.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 18 months ago in reply to this

              "...when businesses are opting for automation for no other reason than because we've made it too expensive for them to hire human laborers..."

              Needed for the companies success is what you're looking for here, I think.

              I agree with you, but only to a point.  Were machines, automated or not, denied country we'd have no country.  We depend on machinery, and to go back to hand labor for no other reason than to give someone a job can only hurt.  Might as well pay them to sit home, which is what we do.

              It's definitely a two pronged sword, though.  More machines = more production.  And more machines = less labor.  Education seems to be a key, here - we don't need ditch diggers for good reason, and we don't need burger flippers, either.  We DO need brains, though, and always will.

              1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
                Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                Yes we need people trained and happy doing what they are doing.

              2. R K Beran profile image60
                R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                Perhaps I was ambiguous. I don't think we should remove technology in place and go back to doing things the old-fashioned way just to give Joe Blow a paycheck. As you said, we definitely don't need ditch diggers. But I think that increasing automation just to avoid hiring people (when hiring people *isn't* impractical or unnecessary) is just needlessly destroying jobs that some Americans could be holding.

                But then again, I suppose it's not really automation's "fault" that we've made it the cheaper option in some places. Definitely falls under "needed for company's success", as you said.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 18 months ago in reply to this

                  No, you weren't ambiguous.  It's just that automation is nearly always to save labor, not because human hands can't do the job (exceptions exist, of course, such as creating computer chips).  It's just that needed production, and lower costs, dictate machinery instead of hands.  We could use a dozen people, with horses, rather than one delivery truck, but why?  Employing 12 people to do the job that one could do isn't reasonable, regardless of how many jobs we need.

  5. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago

    The one percent pay close to half of the taxes. Why do we hate them again?
    They hire people… and the less they are regulated, the more they hire. Now, they have to pay their workers Health Care so whoops, here come layoffs and shorter hours.
    Lets put the blame where the blame needs to be put,
    on our elected representatives, not paying taxes, wasting taxpayer money… staying in office for way too long and getting more corrupted every year, catering to their supporters…
    not encouraging a percolating economy through
    attachment to Big Finance and providing bailouts for Wall Street's mistakes.
    money printing
    endless EPA regulations.
    ending oil, coal and natural gas production.
    taking land and denying public ownership.
    gov't sponsored Health Insurance mandates.

    PS Income equality is the result of a free market. Is that okay with the original poster?
    By buying the products we do contribute to all you state.
    " I understand we villify these 1%er's as being greedy, but is it just them or all of us?"
    The answer is Yes.
    And thats life in the big world.

  6. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago

    Maybe the Millennial's could handle not buying stuff form China and from wherever injustice is occurring.
    we need specifics:
    who are the bad guys, what are they doing/selling and where are they located in the world?
    What products should we not be buying because it contributes to injustice?

  7. jacharless profile image82
    jacharlessposted 18 months ago

    It is always difficult for me to engage these types of debates. Coming from an upper -middle income classification for most of my early childhood, then plunged into the working middle-class, by choice I might add, and now nearing the 2% arena, can only argue that most people in America are flat out lazy when it comes to bettering their economic circumstances.
    There are so many in-plain-sight as well as hidden resources out there for the truly ambitious individual.
    I was never a fan of big corporate America until understanding how said corp came to be, and further based upon on my own experience operating one previous brick-mortar and now two digital businesses.
    I worked exceedingly long hours in the first, which paid off in a relatively short period of time. However, in the case of the later worked exceedingly more hours for a long shot payoff, which is now coming to fruition.
    The inequality is not in economics but in the mentality toward the economic. People want more but want to do less, which is fine. But at some point, they must realize the reward is equal to the effort.
    For example - and this is a true story:
    20 odd years ago, I met a fellow who I later discovered was a self-made millionaire. Short, chubby, nearly bald, thick glasses and a cheesy smile. Not much to look at, by public standards. Born to two German Jewish immigrants during the War and dead poor.
    We got to talking about business and was invited to his home, upstate NY. I was dumbfounded driving up to his sprawling mansion and meeting his DDG wife. Arie unfolded his story of becoming a multi-millionaire, by selling the stupidest thing you can imagine: pencils and brooms, door to door, for nearly a decade. He said to me, "Nobody else wanted to do it. Everyone thought it was belittling and silly. But, everyone needs pencils and brooms."
    Arie retired at age 50, house and full college tuition for three sons paid; debt free. At retirement his net worth was over $40M. True, not quite the top 2% but definitely a rung below. In short, economic inequality is just an excuse for people to put the blame on someone else, be it the poor bastard on the street corner begging for change or the corporate tycoon everyone loves to hate. Like my friend, I too faced the challenge and met it with positive ammunition versus being a hater of those ecomomically above or below me.

    1. rhamson profile image77
      rhamsonposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      Rather convenient to say lazy as the reason why some don't seem to try. Do you believe most are poor because of being lazy or is it just the stupid lazy people?  What about the stupid hard working people with two jobs and still not wealthy? However many ways you want to define your theory it does not apply to all.

      Statistics show that the 1% has continuously grown richer over the last forty years for some reason. What that reason no one wants to put a finger on. You think it is hard work that is the separator. Some claim it is economic hardship that keeps them poor. Others claim it is poor education and lack of opportunity. Whatever the reason the gap is growing exponentially and the system keeps running with it by cutting out those at the bottom.

      I knew a kid back in high school who could do calculus in his head and instantaneously come up with the right answer every time flawlessly. The teacher kept giving him failing grades because he could not do it proving the answer on paper. He was brilliant and yet the the teacher branded him as lazy. Just because someone does not do things the way you think they should does not warrant a judgement that may be the farthest thing from the truth.

      1. jacharless profile image82
        jacharlessposted 18 months ago in reply to this

        There has been, and undoubtedly, always will be biased people as in the case of the Calculus Kid. The teacher being the hater.

        With regards to convenient labeling, it isn't. My answer is, YES, laziness is THE reason for this supposed economic inequality. Please do not confuse education or mass of labor as laziness. Neither are laziness. Laziness is the instance of inaction when opportunity presents itself. Laziness is procrastinating, complaining and practically every other "aining" you can think of.
        Working 2 jobs - even 3- yet not reaching one's desired economic result is effectual laziness. Better said, a misappropriation of one's energy and resources, then blaming the corporate ladder or state of the world as reason for said failure.
        I personally worked full time at two restaurants and school full time for 4 years to meet what society branded in my mind as the road to economic freedom. Man, how gullible I was back then. I have since realized the only person effecting my economic growth is me, not the wife, the boss, the Fed, the 2%, the ditch digger or the homeless girl, etc. Opportunity is everywhere. The signs we want are everywhere.

        Now is the same today or 365 days from Now.

        So, yes, without a doubt, laziness is the cause of all economic inequality.

        1. R K Beran profile image60
          R K Beranposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          Beautifully said.

        2. rhamson profile image77
          rhamsonposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          Then you are an extraordinary individual. To be able to realize your potential and set about achieving it. Are we to expect all people are in this same frame of mind or have the capacity to acquire it? Is all of society to have these same attributes? What do you suppose is the percentages of people who do have these abilities? How many can persevere what you did while the odds are against them exponentially as time goes by?

          America used to take all in with the promise of freedom to pursue what their talent would allow them to achieve. America now says you have to become extraordinary as the rules have changed? Who decided this should take place? Competition? With all the different people and cultures mixed into one melting pot it is amazing that you have picked lazy as the basis of their failure.

          "  “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Emma Lazarus

  8. ahorseback profile image52
    ahorsebackposted 18 months ago

    It seems the argument here  is for or against "income equality "  ,  an absolute  atrocity in a capitalist environment .   "The redistribution of wealth ", in other words ,    Two terms  that have risen up out of a socialist mentality of the new left in America .     

    The once  agrarian economy  , morphed into  that  which we  now know as capitalism   ,  was never designed for the  welfare of the lazy ,  period !  What government or society that expects  ' wealth redistribution " can survive to begin with ? None .  At least not on it's own without the monetary infusion from other countries ,ie.  Latin America ?   Africa ? 

    I suggest anyone who wants to take   the  shares from the pockets of the" wealthy "and give it to the pockets equally of the  "poor "  in America , take a hard look at  moving to the former or present  communist or socialist countries and  partake of the redistributed wealth there ! I mean , it worked there ? Right ?

    "I'm not capable or willing  to earn my millions - give me yours "

    1. John Holden profile image61
      John Holdenposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      The catchphrase of capitalists the world over.

  9. Shawn M Williams profile image78
    Shawn M Williamsposted 18 months ago

    Any of you wealthy?  I've been trying to get wealth for a long time.  It only landed me in the company of people who want to take advantage of you and scam you.  I have limited resources to investigate thoroughly like a company and I have even done business with people who were checked out and they still scammed me.  I lost a poor man's fortune going after ideas that came to nothing.  It's really hard being in the right place at the right time with the right resources.  I learned along the way and continually renew my efforts and fix my mistakes.  I simply spent a lot of time helping others and that's where I invested almost all of my extra money.  When it came time to invest in me there was always an emergency with someone else.  As long as I have a heart it seems that I will always be poor, but I can't let my friends and their families die and there have been life or death situations many times.  If I get rich I will not live a lavish lifestyle.  I will be lavish in giving and maintaining and developing ways to sustain giving.  It sickens me that people buy houses and cars that could develop a whole community.  Or enrich many lives so that they can in turn do the same for someone else.  So for all you wealthy people...when was the last time you looked into your soul and saw that it was good?  Who else does that?

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
      Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      - there is abundance: this is true… it is also true that there is richness of soul.
      If you are rich in soul first, material abundance will follow pretty easily...
      But, not the other way around.

      1. Shawn M Williams profile image78
        Shawn M Williamsposted 18 months ago in reply to this

        Kathryn,
        What tradition did you get that idea from as my exposure to Christianity taught me that godliness does not lead to material gain.  There is an untold number of good souls out there who do not have abundance because abundance comes from applying laws of success that have little to do with character even though true success involves good character.

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
          Kathryn L Hillposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          " If you are rich in soul first, material abundance will follow pretty easily…"
          if you also apply the laws of success, of course.

          Many Jews are rich because they have a tradition of earning enough money to help the poor as taught in the Bible.

          I do not say one must be rich.
          I say one must cultivate spiritual qualities first. Love, helpfulness, good will, kindness, sincerity, honesty, integrity, empathy, patience, the ability to follow through on projects and the desire to do a good job. Ask any employer.

          Jesus said: Seek first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added to you.
          What do you not agree with?
          Nothing wrong with acquiring money. In fact, I see business as a spiritual endeavor… Just ask the Helpful Honda People!

          Maybe you were  "trying to get wealth" rather than cultivating a service for others.

          Neil Sperling wrote:
          "My hubs expand on this.... one I recommend is 9 differences between the rich and the poor - study all the links I posted to the thread before judgement."
          Check it out!!!!
          http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/130883?page=4

 
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