Apr 26, 2014 at 6:36 pm #1316109Apr 27, 2014 at 4:13 pm #2096951
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
They were just talking about that on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos"
Exactly!!!! The preferential tax rate for dividends and capital gains and the elimination of estate taxes is designed to benefit the super wealthy. And #1 on the GOP list is to eliminate tax on dividends and capital gains.
All the GOP talk about guns, abortion, and "the war on Christmas" is just B.S. to get people to vote for them.
and gays and racism…May 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm #2098785
The importance of this book is how the incredibly wealthy do not work at all and yet they get richer and richer. It has become a trickle up economy. The United States is reverting back to when the robber barons were in charge like the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, and so on and everyone else was at their mercy. It is ironic that a Republican named Teddy Roosevelt stood up to these corporate giants and brought them back under control and life got a whole lot better for the common man. Today Teddy Roosevelt would be listed as a communist by the new Republican Party. That is how insane the Republican party has become. They would have said he had class envy and was a communist, or some stupid charge like that.
I prayed for a third party and we ended up with the tea party which is comprised of a bunch of angry people in trailer parks scattered across America dressing up like revolutionary war soldiers and expressing their anger over the rich having to pay taxes……These are insane times indeed. Be careful what you ask for when praying.May 2, 2014 at 10:21 pm #2098798
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
"I prayed for a third party…"
It seemed like the Occupy movement was maybe that, but they sort of went dormant, yet everyone's now talking about "the one percent"…
Maybe enough people are now figuring it out?May 3, 2014 at 5:44 pm #2098937
Applied within the United States, the "We are the 99%" narrative popularized by the Occupy movement has been a pretty effective rallying point.
But applied on the global level, as the world's GDP leader (neck and neck with the entire EU), the United States is the "One Percent".
What happens when global populations start rallying around the "We are the 99%" mantra with their eyes on the U.S.?
For anyone that thinks wealth distribution in the Untied States is taking a dangerous and unsustainable direction, compare it to global distribution.May 3, 2014 at 9:11 pm #2098956
You make a compelling point Craig. Thanks.May 4, 2014 at 10:00 pm #2099267
Very compelling because everyone will envy the Arab nation of Qatar!
GDP per Capita Rankings>May 5, 2014 at 10:23 am #2099398
Per capita, the US is consistently in the top 10 by all measures I've seen. And we don't exactly keep a low global profile.May 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm #2099460
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Ah….good old wealth distribution. Nothing like communism for the masses. No thank you.May 5, 2014 at 2:34 pm #2099478
I think you mean redistribution.
Which, incidentally, nobody here has mentioned.May 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm #2099483
And if you're against redistribution of wealth, the review and book linked in this post might be of interest to you. They are essentially exploring the laws and mechanisms by which the wealthiest 1% have managed to game the system in their own favor.
I'd certainly call it a form of wealth redistribution…only in this case it flows from the bottom up.May 5, 2014 at 5:47 pm #2099542
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Oh, it always devolves into that though.May 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm #2099916
"I'd certainly call it a form of wealth redistribution…only in this case it flows from the bottom up."
It's called "trickle up economics", Craig. Where else are the job creators going to get the wherewithal to create all those jobs, and still have a little left over for a couple of mansions, bling for their trophy wives, and maybe a plane or yacht to get around in when the Maserati is in the shop?May 6, 2014 at 6:01 pm #2099950
"They are essentially exploring the laws and mechanisms by which the wealthiest 1% have managed to game the system in their own favor."
I have a few concerns with the whole one percent narrative. It's a convenient narrative, of course, ever more so since Occupy Wall Street made it a rallying cry. And the numbers are easy: 1 and 99. Makes for good media. But I'm not sure it's an altogether true narrative.
— The cutoff for being a one-percenter (income wise) is around $400,000, I believe. While earning $400,000 a year can make you pretty comfortable, I'm not sure too many people at the lower end of the one-percenters (and there are many) spend much time buying politicians and gaming any system (especially since many politicians are already above that threshold themselves). Perhaps the .1 percenters, but that doesn't look as good in the media narrative and it's harder to say while blathering on a talk show or on a sidewalk.
— The narrative is pretty much how 'all of us 99 percenters' are against those filthy rich one percenters. But when you actually start talking numbers, do you really believe that those making $20,000 or $30,000 a year feel like they share a common struggle with those making $200,000 or $300,000 a year? I would think not, not even close.
— You can be a one-percenter income wise one year, and not for the next 10 years, and it's not even all that hard for two working professionals who sell a house/inherit a bit from a deceased parent/etc.
I think we are in danger of becoming intellectually lazy when we begin to expound on things with catchy phrases – those phrases obscure far too much and can allow us to reduce complicated issues to internet memes and he said/she said arguments (not that we'd do that here on BPL…..).May 6, 2014 at 7:01 pm #2099966
That's a very good point Doug.
My concern with the "Occupy" narrative has always been what I mentioned earlier: it may sound appealing on the American level, but it seems to be completely disingenuous if not applying it on a global level.
By an American standard, I'm in the 50th percentile range. But by a global standard I'm a King.
Shouldn't a bunch of Afghans, Indians, sub-Saharan Africans, and Cambodians be moving into my front yard with "We are the 99%" signs?May 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm #2099967
"My concern with the "Occupy" narrative has always been what I mentioned earlier: it may sound appealing on the American level, but it seems to be completely disingenuous if not applying it on a global level."
We agree here. If I remember correctly, there were a lot of conservatives railing against the 'Occupiers' for holding their Starbucks while protesting about being one of the 99 percent. It certainly wasn't their intention, but they were, in a backhanded way, making your point.
There are, of course, people who do live in abject poverty in this country, and as a nation we should feel shame for that. While I'm getting a bit off topic now, I've long agreed with those who believe that how we treat/act toward the most vulnerable among us says a lot about who we are, as people and as a nation.May 6, 2014 at 10:02 pm #2100028
I think you are far from reality. When just the 1% control more than 51 percent of the wealth in comparison to the rest of the population, it is easy to see that the wealthy can make the rules, and these people are not job creators. The guy who owns Amazon is super wealthy and he admits that rich people do not create jobs. That's why he believes in helping the middle class? Why? Because the middle class people make up the majority of who buys products from Amazon. The way things are going if the middle class keeps getting smaller and smaller, then there won't be any need for a lot of goods that he sales because no one can buy them anyway. He realizes this and that is why he was interviewed in the Robert Reich film, "Inequality for all" Wages for the American worker have been flat since the 70's, whereas the wages for CEO's have shot through the roof astronomically. You seem to imply that the occupy people were rich because they could buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. That particular observation of yours shows you are completely out of touch with reality. I know many people who buy coffee at Starbucks and none of them are wealthy. I am sure there are some, but not the majority.May 7, 2014 at 6:06 am #2100089
Scott, I don't understand how your post applies to Doug's.
Edited because I realized Scott was addressing Doug's first post on this thread, not the latter. I still think Doig is more "in touch with reality" than people doing the "lumping".
And this :
"By an American standard, I'm in the 50th percentile range. But by a global standard I'm a King.
Shouldn't a bunch of Afghans, Indians, sub-Saharan Africans, and Cambodians be moving into my front yard with "We are the 99%" signs?"
Is just so true that it makes a lot of people too uncomfortable.May 7, 2014 at 8:46 am #2100160
I think you're totally missing Doug's point Scott.
There is a big difference between a family with a combined income of $450,000/year (Imagine a surgeon and a successful attorney) and multi million/billionaires. Yet both would be in the 1%, statistically. Most of the influential people we're talking about would be the .05 percent or less.
A close friend and climbing partner of mine is an attorney and senior partner in his firm. He typically makes over $300,000/year. His ex-wife was a dentist. The two of them would hover very close to the statistical 1% threshold, yet are hardly major campaign donors, policy makers, or politically influential powerhouses when compared to people that can afford to sink hundreds of thousands, if not millions, into political goals.May 7, 2014 at 10:38 am #2100192
"When just the 1% control more than 51 percent of the wealth in comparison to the rest of the population"
It is the top 5% that control 51%.May 7, 2014 at 11:06 am #2100204
Also,who do you blame more: the 1%/ .1%, or 5% that are looking out for themselves….or the politicians that write policies to favor those mentioned above instead of looking out for public interest?
The above is not a site delving into conspiracies; it's "open secrets" because a lot of the info is available to anyone looking a little deeper into those professing to work for us.May 7, 2014 at 5:18 pm #2100290
Lots of numbers are getting tossed around, but the bottom line for me is that when the wages of the workers who actually design and make tangible goods, or perform services remain flat, or even go down when adjusted for inflation, even as their productivity and/or hours worked increases, while the remuneration of executives/shareholders skyrockets, something has gone seriously wrong. IMHO, those workers should receive their rightful share of the profit from the gains in productivity first. Then let the suits and shareholders engage in an unseemly struggle for what is left over. That's my version of trickle down economics, or should I call it trickle up?
Part of the problem is due to globalization, and part to automation and other technological innovations, but even after eliminating them from the equation, the inequality is egregiously unjust. But then, I'm probably prejudiced. I grew up in an era when a factory worker could support his family on one 40 hour job, and executives were satisfied to make only 30 times as much as the workers.
Edited: As someone posted earlier, either here or in a related thread, "the French aristocracy didn't see it coming either". Might the future repeat the past? wouldn't surprise me a bit if things don't change. That is, if we're not all 6 feet under water by then.May 7, 2014 at 7:16 pm #2100319
Looks like you have some passion on this subject. Good for you, passion is important. But it's far less useful on its own than when it's paired with curiosity, critical thought, and especially a bit of skepticism, lest you believe everything you hear/read from your information sources of choice. No source, not left, not right, not non partisan, gives you all information. And the sources on the left and right tend to omit that information which either doesn't further their narrative or seems to contradict their narrative. It's the nature of the beast.
And the 1%/99% bit is just a narrative. Such hard cutoffs really don't work in the real world. I mean, think about it. Let's say the cutoff is an even $400,000. You make $400,000 you're part of the 1%. That means if you make $399,999 you're part of the 99%. See the silliness of hard cutoffs? They really don't make sense in the real world, only in the world of someone's narrative.
You also have to figure out just what numbers you're talking about. When you talk about the 1%, are you talking about the 1% of wage earners in a given year, or are you talking about the 1% of asset owners? Those can be different people with different agendas. I'll assume when you talk of wealth, you're talking more about the latter than the former.
Some more numbers: In America, the so-labeled 1% actually own about 40% of the wealth. The top 10 percent own about 74% of the wealth. So I'm betting that the bottom 90% don't feel they have a lot in common with the 90-99%, which kind of further erodes the 1% narrative. And, really, even within the 1%, the top half has far more than the lower half. From what I can glean from reading about this issue for awhile now, both wealth and income are super-concentrated in the top .1%. You might find the following article interesting, as it discusses some of this (with data as of 2010): http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html
Two other points I'd like to address in your post: First, you misunderstood my comment about the Starbucks. The comment was made as a follow-on to Craig's post – basically I was saying that the Starbucks-drinking Occupy folks were relatively rich compared to some of the destitute people in other countries, basically agreeing with the point Craig was making.
And second, as far as being far from reality, I agree, but I'm going to give marriage another try anyway. That is, if I ever get the opportunity…..
DougMay 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm #2100321
Well said, Doug.May 7, 2014 at 9:23 pm #2100349
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