U.S. Wealth Is Now the Most Concentrated at the Top Since 1916

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MyMac1976, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

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    #1
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/wealth-concentration_b_4002539.html

    "Here is how this top-end income-figure has changed or evolved during the past century: After 1916, it gradually declined from 4.4 percent down to 1.67 percent in 1920. Then it rose again to 3.23 percent in 1928, right before the 1929 crash. Then, it gradually declined from there, to .97 percent in 1943. It then remained consistently between .97 percent and .50 percent until it reached back again above .97 percent, to 1.00 percent for the first time, in 1986, after which it passed 2 percent in 1992, and then passed the 3 percent mark in 2005."

    I'd just like to give a shout out to the folks in DC for watching out for what's important. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #2
    Good to hear hard work is being appropriately rewarded!
     
  3. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #3
    I have an idea that this is also happening here in Europe, maybe not as fast. :(
     
  4. citizenzen, Sep 28, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013

    citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #4
    The database sourced in the HuffPo article can be found here: http://topincomes.g-mond.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/#Introduction:

    Some of their findings ...

    It would seem clear to me that policies of these nations (other than the U.S.) are resulting in less money being concentrated in the top 1%.

    Conservatives are fond of railing against wealth distribution. But it would seem to me that this is just another form of it: policies that distribute money to the top 1%. Government policy distributes wealth. There is no way to avoid it. The question isn't whether it will happen, but rather how we choose to distribute it.

    As is the case with firearms and healthcare, European countries are again leading the way, showing they can achieve results that (IMO) provide more benefit to their societies overall.
     
  5. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #5
    Well, IMO the current trend is not sustainable. Too much concentration of wealth reduces economic activity because the middle and working class don't by anything. The ultra-rich might do well to consider whether or not they might trigger a class war, and what the prospects of the wealthiest 1% would be against the remaining 99%.
     
  6. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #6
    I do realise that it's not as bad here in Europe. The problem is that the trend is slowly starting to change, like the US the ratio between top managers CEO's and the rest of the work force has in the last few years exploded. What has shocked a lot of people in Europe, is this earnings boom also took place in semi/government appointments. In the last few years here in the Netherlands we have had a new law, an administrator of a semi/government organization cannot earn more than the Minster President.

    http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balkenendenorm
     
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #7
    And I'm in no way implying that Europe is perfect, just that you are doing things better than us ... on so many fronts.
     
  8. MyMac1976 thread starter macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

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    #8

    Much like Britain and Russia at around the time of WWI. The change in government in England was peaceful but not so much in Russia.
     
  9. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #9
    No evidence of hard work was given. That's an assumption based on no presented evidence.

    I also know a number of people who work very hard yet aren't at the top of the wealth ladder. Clearly, something other than hard work is a necessary prerequisite.
     
  10. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I sensed sarcasm in his reply.

    Though I could be mistaken.
     
  11. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Putting on the economist hat, this is supposed to be self correcting. Supply drops, prices go up, the market 'sees' the higher rewards, and supply rushes in to correct the imbalance. So why isn't this happening? How is it that year after year, the pool of talented CEOs etc, isn't getting huge?
     
  12. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #12
    On the contrary. Some of the super-rich have been working extremely hard for over 40 years at concentrating wealth and income at the top. And, it is working!

    Selflessly donating millions to the cause, also, even though the benefits accrue not only to themselves but to their business rivals also. Who said chivalry is dead?

    They may be working extremely hard. At their jobs. They should be working harder at their next job. ;)
     
  13. edk99 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I thought Obama was going to redistribute the wealth. :confused::confused::confused:
     
  14. Happybunny, Sep 28, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013

    Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Well I cannot speak for others, but I found that inheriting worked very well for me.:eek:
     
  15. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #15
    You mean he's not the commie-socialist pinko you right-wingers have made him out to be?

    Shocker.
     
  16. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #16
    Yes.

    Yeah, its really good that they have been working so hard at that!

    ----------

    That's because he's centre-right ;).
     
  17. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #17
  18. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #18
  19. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #19
    I forget where I was reading it but some economics professor was speaking on corporations expanding their profits (and CEO pay) by using three tools in the 21st century:

    1-Replacing American labor with cheaper foreign manual labor

    2-Expanding into emerging markets where their cheaper labor resides creating a new class of consumers in places like China and India.

    3-Driving down domestic wages among the educated STEM working pool with imported foreign labor at dramatically lower wages.

    So if Americans are finding it harder to make it to middle class with manual labor and are being pinched in the STEM fields as well, that will absolutely result in a concentration of wealth among the good old boy CEO and executive club.
     
  20. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #20
    And this is where I think much of the problem lies. I wonder how many board of directors of companies are actually independent, rather than being cronies. Certainly during the recent economic downturn it looked to me like there was very little independent evaluation of CEO's.

    Does anybody know, for instance, if CEO salary is correlated with company performance? Or how many applications there per CEO opening? If the number is high, shouldn't that drive salaries down?
     
  21. splitpea macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Poe strikes again.
     
  22. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #22
    One must always be on the lookout for Poe scratches. They look like this: !
     
  23. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #23
    Poe Woe is me.
     

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