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Old Jan 16, 2014, 02:53 PM   #26
Eraserhead
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Originally Posted by lannister80 View Post
http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...onomy-wef-says

Income Inequality Most Likely Threat to World Economy, World Economic Forum Says
On a worldwide perspective income inequality is down AFAIK. So this is on a country-by-country basis.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 06:28 AM   #27
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Crazy.

The World’s 85 Richest People Own as Much as the 3.5 Billion Poorest

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The world’s 85 richest individuals now own as much as the poorest half of the 7 billion global population, according to a report released by Oxfam on Monday.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 06:53 AM   #28
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Yep. And we are all letting this happen.

I am not against wealth or the wealthy. I am against the accumulation of wealth beyond reason while people starve. The problem is that if anyone raises the possibility of redistributing the wealth, the middle classes, which actually aren't the issue, get their knickers in a twist and vote in right-wing parties.

In any case, this should dispel finally the old 'even if the rich donated everything it wouldn't matter' idea. The irony is that the data for this statement comes from Credit Suisse....
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 06:58 AM   #29
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This is pretty shocking to be honest.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 09:46 AM   #30
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The Oxfam report is here:

http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam...-200114-en.pdf

One thing I think was missing from the recommendations: Besides begging the super-rich to pledge to pay their taxes, I would like to see a pledge to spend less on toys and invest more in putting people to work.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 11:32 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
...
One thing I think was missing from the recommendations: Besides begging the super-rich to pledge to pay their taxes, I would like to see a pledge to spend less on toys and invest more in putting people to work.
I was thinking less on armaments. Seems like we are awash with weapons. Even in the poorest regions of Africa, there are guns....
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 12:43 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by VulchR View Post
Yep. And we are all letting this happen.

I am not against wealth or the wealthy. I am against the accumulation of wealth beyond reason while people starve. The problem is that if anyone raises the possibility of redistributing the wealth, the middle classes, which actually aren't the issue, get their knickers in a twist and vote in right-wing parties.

In any case, this should dispel finally the old 'even if the rich donated everything it wouldn't matter' idea. The irony is that the data for this statement comes from Credit Suisse....
I don't know what you mean by we're letting this happen. I think the issue with many about redistributing the wealth is that government gets a big piece of it and fritters most of it away to lobbies, cronies, and bureaucracy.

I'd like to see more of this.

http://givingpledge.org

"is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in the world to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy." As of April 28, 2011, 69 billionaires had joined the campaign and pledged to give 50% or more of their wealth to charity. An estimate of the contribution promised by the first 40 donors, based on their aggregate wealth as at August 2010, was at least $125 billion.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/10/news...oupon-buffett/

The Waltons seem to be conspicuously absent.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 01:41 PM   #33
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People ask why wealth inequality is bad.

Wealth hoarding makes economies stagnant.

If you want a 21st century economy to grow you need people to spend and invest. That's harder when 1% hoards and little disperses to everyone else.

Billionaires and mega rich don't spend or invest enough alone to sustain a nation.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 02:16 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Dmunjal View Post
I don't know what you mean by we're letting this happen.
Giving to charity is all very well and fine, but it is optional, it reflects the personal views of the wealthy (thereby distorting how the wealth is redistributed in comparison to the goals of the society as a whole), there is no guarantee that the charities to which money are pledged are dedicated to helping poor people (as opposed, to say, the fine arts), there is no accountability regarding the effectiveness of the organisation to which the money is donated, etc.

We're letting this happen because we fail to demand that our governments do something about it.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 02:26 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post
People ask why wealth inequality is bad.

Wealth hoarding makes economies stagnant.

If you want a 21st century economy to grow you need people to spend and invest. That's harder when 1% hoards and little disperses to everyone else.

Billionaires and mega rich don't spend or invest enough alone to sustain a nation.
[rhetorical]
Then why is it that the mega rich/billionaires are the ones screaming for the tax breaks and are being catered to under the reasoning that they are the ones that create/provide jobs?
[/rhetorical]

In short, I agree; we do need to spend and invest; but lately we've been getting backlash from political figures that we need to cut spending because we are spending too much.

It sounds to me like some people don't know the difference between spending and investing.

BL.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 02:34 PM   #36
Dmunjal
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I
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post
People ask why wealth inequality is bad.

Wealth hoarding makes economies stagnant.

If you want a 21st century economy to grow you need people to spend and invest. That's harder when 1% hoards and little disperses to everyone else.

Billionaires and mega rich don't spend or invest enough alone to sustain a nation.
That's a different issue altogether. I don't think you would argue that wealth disparity is great in China right now. Or even during the late 90s dot com boom when we were minting millionaires everyday. The middle class actually is better off in China right now compared to 20 years ago despite the wealth disparity. No one was complaining during the 90s when everyone could find a well paying job.

The issue is a stagnant economy and lack of investment by the corporations.

Seems to me this is about stimulating corporations to invest today instead of accumulating cash. Redistributing wealth by increasing taxes doesn't seem to be a sustainable model. Why not abolish the corporate tax and bring the trillions of dollars off shore back home? One caveat, require that money to go to job creation, business expansion, and infrastructure.

Can this be done in today's political climate. Probably not.

Last edited by Dmunjal; Jan 20, 2014 at 02:44 PM.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 03:35 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Dmunjal View Post
I don't know what you mean by we're letting this happen. I think the issue with many about redistributing the wealth is that government gets a big piece of it and fritters most of it away to lobbies, cronies, and bureaucracy.

I'd like to see more of this.

http://givingpledge.org

"is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in the world to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy." As of April 28, 2011, 69 billionaires had joined the campaign and pledged to give 50% or more of their wealth to charity. An estimate of the contribution promised by the first 40 donors, based on their aggregate wealth as at August 2010, was at least $125 billion.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/10/news...oupon-buffett/

The Waltons seem to be conspicuously absent.
I'm not against it. The list is interesting because there are a couple of people on there that were either shamed to do it, or, must have done it just to outdo their neighbors. Still, competitive giving is better than no giving.

But, I would rather see a pledge to invest in companies that put people to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post
People ask why wealth inequality is bad.

Wealth hoarding makes economies stagnant.

If you want a 21st century economy to grow you need people to spend and invest. That's harder when 1% hoards and little disperses to everyone else.

Billionaires and mega rich don't spend or invest enough alone to sustain a nation.
Wealth hoarding, in the form of fiat money in a virtual bank vault, does neither good nor harm. But, some types of spending are wasteful and even harmful. Spending on private jets and other toys is massively wasteful of both human energy and fossil fuels.

Investing in enterprises that employ people and provide on-the-job training for unskilled and semi-skilled people is quite different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VulchR View Post
Giving to charity is all very well and fine, but it is optional, it reflects the personal views of the wealthy (thereby distorting how the wealth is redistributed in comparison to the goals of the society as a whole), there is no guarantee that the charities to which money are pledged are dedicated to helping poor people (as opposed, to say, the fine arts), there is no accountability regarding the effectiveness of the organisation to which the money is donated, etc.

We're letting this happen because we fail to demand that our governments do something about it.
Charles and David Koch have given lots of money to non-profits that promote exactly the wrong things. I agree that giving to charities is not always a good thing-- it depends on the charity. Fine arts, I'm OK with generally, although I have come to detest Pop Art.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradl View Post
[rhetorical]
Then why is it that the mega rich/billionaires are the ones screaming for the tax breaks and are being catered to under the reasoning that they are the ones that create/provide jobs?
[/rhetorical]
And then cut jobs and outsource jobs of profitable companies, squeezing even more out of the remaining employees. The mega rich/billionaires should be campaigning to bring back the 40 hour week.

Quote:
In short, I agree; we do need to spend and invest; but lately we've been getting backlash from political figures that we need to cut spending because we are spending too much.

It sounds to me like some people don't know the difference between spending and investing.

BL.
I love spending on certain things. Software, for example. And, investing in new service-oriented companies that hire people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmunjal View Post
I


Seems to me this is about stimulating corporations to invest today instead of accumulating cash. Redistributing wealth by increasing taxes doesn't seem to be a sustainable model. Why not abolish the corporate tax and bring the trillions of dollars off shore back home? One caveat, require that money to go to job creation, business expansion, and infrastructure.

Can this be done in today's political climate. Probably not.
I agree that corporate income taxes don't necessarily make sense, but, in the postwar-to-1980 era, there was an interesting form of redistribution at work, where wealthy people were taxed on spending heavily enough that it encouraged investment in what might be seen as labor-inefficient enterprises. Global trade seems to have virtually abolished the capability to do this, but, it was a healthy form of "socialism" whereby fewer people are unemployed and more people feel they are working at something that benefits themselves and others. There are few prospects today for academically below-average semi-skilled young people who, in a former era, used to get paid a decent wage just for working hard.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 03:45 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
Spending on private jets and other toys is massively wasteful of both human energy and fossil fuels.

Investing in enterprises that employ people and provide on-the-job training for unskilled and semi-skilled people is quite different.
Spending it on nonsense like yachts, private jets etc does mean thet money is gone and has moved to people on a lower economic level (read the workers that build yachts and jets).

Investing on the other hand implies that a positive ROI is expected, read more money flowing into the direction of the allready rich.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 04:04 PM   #39
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Spending it on nonsense like yachts, private jets etc does mean thet money is gone and has moved to people on a lower economic level (read the workers that build yachts and jets).
In some cases, most of the spending goes into energy-intensive materials, combined with energy-consumptive operation. It matters what the spending actually goes for. The ultimate trickle-down is when the super-rich hire servants.

Quote:
Investing on the other hand implies that a positive ROI is expected, read more money flowing into the direction of the allready rich.
Yes, but, way back when, the tax laws clearly encouraged investments in enterprises that had lower ROI than would be attractive today. In the US, in that era, I used to hear the catch-phrase among the emerging Republican majority "overinvesting Democrats" to describe this.
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 05:44 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post
People ask why wealth inequality is bad.

Wealth hoarding makes economies stagnant.

If you want a 21st century economy to grow you need people to spend and invest. That's harder when 1% hoards and little disperses to everyone else.

Billionaires and mega rich don't spend or invest enough alone to sustain a nation.
With the numbers in this report, it's more like the 0.0000024% having as much wealth as the bottom 50%. In terms of the US, it's as if 8 people had as much wealth as the rest of the entire country combined.

There is nothing admirable or sustainable about such a model.

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Originally Posted by Dmunjal View Post
No one was complaining during the 90s when everyone could find a well paying job.
So, with corporate profits at record highs, and the rich having a massive amount of wealth, why aren't we seeing this again? It's not because they don't have enough money, or we need to find ways to give them more. It's simply because they don't want to. They want to keep everything they can for themselves.

Quote:
Seems to me this is about stimulating corporations to invest today instead of accumulating cash. Redistributing wealth by increasing taxes doesn't seem to be a sustainable model. Why not abolish the corporate tax and bring the trillions of dollars off shore back home? One caveat, require that money to go to job creation, business expansion, and infrastructure.
Didn't we try this already before with disastrous results. LINK.

Don't be deluded into thinking that this time will be any different. For once, I'd like someone from the right to just say that corporations do not have any interest in the well-being of the country or its citizens and that they simply strive to suck as much as they can out of the economy.

Quote:
Can this be done in today's political climate. Probably not.
Of course not. And it has little to do with politics, as much as everyone tries to blame the government. It's greed, plain and simple. Do you honestly think these guys are sitting around saying, "You know…I really just hate that all this money keeps flowing to me, and I'd really love to change that. I mean, I could hire some people and pay them, but you know…I can't do that until they just stop sending me money!!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmunjal View Post
I don't know what you mean by we're letting this happen. I think the issue with many about redistributing the wealth is that government gets a big piece of it and fritters most of it away to lobbies, cronies, and bureaucracy.

I'd like to see more of this.

http://givingpledge.org

"is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in the world to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy." As of April 28, 2011, 69 billionaires had joined the campaign and pledged to give 50% or more of their wealth to charity. An estimate of the contribution promised by the first 40 donors, based on their aggregate wealth as at August 2010, was at least $125 billion.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/10/news...oupon-buffett/

The Waltons seem to be conspicuously absent.
There have been numerous reports on how inefficient many charities are, or how many of them are simply a front for funneling money back into the very people who advocate for them. Oftentimes, less than 10% of the money raised actually goes to the cause. The rest gets funneled to marketers and solicitors. This is precisely why I think the rich push for more charity instead of other ways to help people. They know that they can tinker with it to pad their own pockets while deducting from their taxes at the same time.

http://money.msn.com/saving-money-ti...es?ocid=msnnws
Quote:
In some cases, such as with the Cancer Fund of America, if you donated $20, less than 20 cents of your contribution actually went the organization's cause. Among the 50 worst charities, the average amount that went to the cause itself was about 4 cents of every dollar donated.
That's 96% of the money going to the for-profit companies and executives. Again, it's no surprise that many of the rich would support this model of "giving".

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Originally Posted by Bug-Creator View Post
Spending it on nonsense like yachts, private jets etc does mean thet money is gone and has moved to people on a lower economic level (read the workers that build yachts and jets).
It does mean that money is going to the lower economic level, but there are only so many private planes an yachts which can be built and sold. This would employ a very small number of people.

The only way you're going to employ a lot more people is to have more people with money. The only way that's going to happen is with more jobs. And the only way that's going to happen is if we stop promoting windfall profits and massive wealth to very few people as a sound economic policy. It's not. You don't need massively rich people to create jobs. Massively rich people don't open sandwich shops and dry cleaners and pottery studios and toy stores. Normal people with a solid backing to do so, do. And they employ people.

That is what we need. Not to keep funneling it all to the top. I've seen more than one person say the only way to keep the economy going is to give the rich more money because they create jobs. If you fall for that tripe, then you are brainwashed and fighting against yourself….or you're one of them. Or you want to be one of them.
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Old Jan 22, 2014, 07:34 AM   #41
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I think it's possibly worse in actuality.

Growing up and playing countless games of the board game Monopoly taught me something the graphs are illustrating very well, that is, when all the money and property go to one person, it's game over.
But what's the solution?

Will the U.S. accept the answer to their problem?
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Old Jan 22, 2014, 08:46 AM   #42
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I know this thread is about wealth inequality, but I suppose wealth could simply be the accumulation of income, right?

In the UK, income inequality is higher than in the US, pre-tax. After tax, the US has higher inequality.

Perhaps the US tax system can be changed to lower income inequality, which would over time improve wealth inequality.
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Old Jan 22, 2014, 09:54 AM   #43
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I know this thread is about wealth inequality, but I suppose wealth could simply be the accumulation of income, right?

In the UK, income inequality is higher than in the US, pre-tax. After tax, the US has higher inequality.

Perhaps the US tax system can be changed to lower income inequality, which would over time improve wealth inequality.
Utopian, or in the States Communist, thinking.
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