5 Responses

  1. Data and statistics on income and wealth inequality in the US is useful. However, such information needs to be constantly supplemented by the the underlying causes of the inequality.

    It is common to hear the refrain from the center-Right and Right that inequality is largely caused by the impersonal forces of technology and globalization. However, “The [impersonal] forces of technological change and globalization…affect everyone. If the rise in inequality has political roots, the United States should stand out; if it’s mainly due to impersonal market forces, trends in equality should have been similar across the advanced world. And the fact is that the increase in U.S. inequality has no counterpoint anywhere else in the advanced world. During the Thatcher years Britain experienced a sharp rise in income disparities, but not nearly as large as the rise [in the U.S.]…, and inequality has risen modestly if at all in continental Europe and Japan.” “[T]he forces of technological change and globalization have affected every advanced country: Europe has applied information technology almost as rapidly as we have, cheap clothing in Europe is just as likely to be made in China as is cheap clothing in America….In terms of institutions and norms, however, things are very different among advanced nations: In Europe, for example, unions remain strong, and old norms condemning very high pay and emphasizing the entitlements of workers haven’t faded away….There is…a…case for believing that institutions and norms, rather than technology or globalization, are the big sources of rising inequality in the United States.” link to detailedpoliticalquizzes.wordpress.com

  2. United States has become an oligarchy – not only do a small percent have 40% of the wealth, they have political power. U.S. has become like Russia, Brazil and Mexico.

  3. The rich billionaires, millionaires and their families, corporations and rich puppets will never approve increasing taxes on themselves. They all helped created the crises.

    Half of Congress members are millionaires and the other half becoming millionaires.

    Solutions:
    1. Get money out of politics.
    2. Prohibit millionaires from all political offices, appointed or elected.
    3. Raise taxes between 50 to 85% on the rich, our corrupt Congress members, corporations and others that created and help to continue the financial crises, foreclosures, offshore manufacturing and lost of US manufacturing.
    4. Limit political terms of office, elected and appointed to 4 years.
    5. Discontinue free health insurance for life for all Congress members and all government positions. Let them all pay as most Americans do. Congress is corrupt.
    6, Nationalize the Federal Reserve, a private corporation whose only goal is making their criminal billionaire owners and private share holders filthy rich.
    7. Close down the Military Industrial Complex. No more illegal wars by the Us.
    8. No more phony bailouts.
    9. Bring back and support unions, fair wages and work condition.
    10. Replace the corrupt, puppet mass news media with all its lies and propaganda with honest news investigation and reporting.
    11. Establish a Federal Department of Honesty and Truth to maintain honesty and truth in all levels government to eliminate the lies, deception, spin and corruption now running rampant in all government offices and work.
    12. Start arresting white collar criminals.

  4. I believe there was also a funneling effect that occurred prior to the crash of 2008. Large sums of money were fed into the stock market bubble that then magically “vanished” (i.e., were transferred). You can see the 2 major dips here.
    link to stockcharts.com

    I recall going to dinner parties where my Dad’s friends (baby-boomer generation) would talk incessantly about stocks. Even classmates made statements like, “If you put your money in the stock market, it will double every 8 months.” So some people became addicted day-traders. A pot of gold lay at the end of the road of a lifetime of hard work! Now entire life savings could be leveraged to make tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars easily. Many small timers from the middle class became “experts” in a game they had never invented or played before. After the crash of 2008, those dinner party conversations came to a crashing halt.
    What happened? The “Meltdown” documentary available on YouTube sheds a small candle on what happened. But the story is much larger than that. Most of us (including myself) will never know the real transactions, agreements, & games played behind the scenes. But, the following will suffice:
    1. As can be seen in the wealth distribution video above, you and I hold a very very small portion of the total wealth.
    2. The American saying, “You can’t get something for nothing.” is an immutable law and has a parallel in the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, AKA The Law of Conservation of Energy. Does it makes sense for money to magically double, triple, without actual work being done?
    3. Let’s say 10 people play a securities game. 2 people have a $1 each (the poor), 7 people have $100 each (middle class), and 1 person has $100,000 dollars (the 1%). The 2 poor people cannot afford to enter the game and decide to leave. The 1 rich guy is in league above. He doesn’t run in the same social circles as others and certainly never has dinner with them. The 7 middle class people eagerly jump into and consider themselves “experts” after a few rounds because they see their money multiply. They happily discuss the game with each other and trade stock market tips. The rich guy plays the game but his assets and transactions are unknown to the others. He watches the market with cold calculating eyes as he releases market information via his PR staff and quietly makes large transactions. He grins in self-satisfaction as the 7 middle class players unknowingly follow his subtle cues, buying and selling in sync with his release of information and market nudges. The 7 middle class people never think of quitting. Why quit when you’re getting ahead? Finally, the market plunge occurs, which was perfectly timed and known by the rich guy beforehand. By the time the 7 middle class people realize what is going on, it’s too late, they’ve lost their life savings.

    Consider the scenario above from the perspective of supply and demand. The rich man’s $100,000 dwarfs the $700 owned by the 7 other players. The intelligence of the middle class 7 is irrelevant. Besides, who gives them the information on which they base their decisions? More importantly, the rich man can buy in large quantities and drive up the price OR sell in large quantities and drive down the price just as easily.

    The lessons we should all take away are:
    You can’t get something for nothing.
    Invest long term. Get rich quick schemes are doomed to failure.

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