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Old 12-23-2014, 03:34 PM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,284,110 times
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Don't say it's not a problem in the United States, because it is.

Let's discuss some policy approaches to alleviating the gross income and wealth inequality. For starters, income inequality and wealth inequality are different. Also, inequality is natural. The goal is to create a system where it isn't a drag on the economy and poverty can be minimized. Excessive inequality is a drag on the economy, which is a fact.

Income Inequality - Self explanatory. Refers to new income generated. Most of it is going right to the top 1%. Here are some proposals to reduce income inequality:

1) Raising wages - This can be done through increasing the minimum wage or mandating union membership for certain low-wage industries. I personally favor just increasing the wage floor. If wages were to keep up with productivity, minimum wage would be somewhere over $20 /hour.

Quote:
Proposal: Raising the minimum wage to $20 per hour, phased in with adjustments every 2 years for the next 10 years. If inflation is the historical average of 3%, the cost of living will raise just over 30% over that time. That would make the future value equivalent to ~$14 / hour in todays dollars. Inflation could be a good deal lower than that, given recent inflationary trends (closer to 2%).
2) Tax Reform - Raise marginal tax rates on high income earners. The current income tax rates are fine, but an ultra high marginal tax rate of 50%+ should be used on ultra-high incomes.

Quote:
Proposal: Instituting a "Buffet Rule" tax on incomes over $5 million / year, adjusted in the future for inflation.
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Proposal: - Tax capital gains and investment income with the same schedule as earned income tax rates.
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Proposal: Eliminate corporate taxes. Corporate taxes simply get passed onto the consumer. They unfairly burden smaller businesses that would not qualify for the same amount of deductions as larger corporations.
Wealth Inequality - This one is trickier. Nothing will truly beat excessive wealth inequality. The main goal is just to keep it from affecting our political process and ensuring all citizens an opportunity at the American dream. Don't let it get too extreme. Wealth inequality will always be natural.

1) Campaign Finance Reform - When billionaires can buy elections, they control the political climate and all policies that come with it.

Quote:
Proposal: Public funding of elections.
2) Bank Reform - When banks are profit driven entities, it incentivizes them to make predatory loans

Quote:
Proposal: Public ownership of banks.
3) Higher Education Reform - Privatized schools and tuition fees create a situation where access to a college degree is dependent on the wealth of the parents. Currently, the Federal government spends more money making college more "affordable" than the actual cost of tuition at state universities.

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Proposal: Make higher education tuition-free for public schools.
4) Health Care Reform - Too many Americans are still uninsured or simply can't afford basic health care. Medical costs are the leading causes of bankruptcies.

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Proposal: The United States should join the rest of the 1st world by allowing universal health care for all citizens.
The options are plentiful. Discuss.
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:02 PM
 
12,704 posts, read 9,959,474 times
Reputation: 9515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post
Don't say it's not a problem in the United States, because it is.

Let's discuss some policy approaches to alleviating the gross income and wealth inequality. For starters, income inequality and wealth inequality are different. Also, inequality is natural. The goal is to create a system where it isn't a drag on the economy and poverty can be minimized. Excessive inequality is a drag on the economy, which is a fact.

Income Inequality - Self explanatory. Refers to new income generated. Most of it is going right to the top 1%. Here are some proposals to reduce income inequality:

1) Raising wages - This can be done through increasing the minimum wage or mandating union membership for certain low-wage industries. I personally favor just increasing the wage floor. If wages were to keep up with productivity, minimum wage would be somewhere over $20 /hour.
This would cause increased unemployment (due to the fact that hiring people is not financially beneficial to employers if the cost of labor is more than the value it brings to the business.)

In the remaining cases, it leads to hours reductions (for similar reasons) or inflation (because more money is chasing less production and thus ultimately fewer goods.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post

2) Tax Reform - Raise marginal tax rates on high income earners. The current income tax rates are fine, but an ultra high marginal tax rate of 50%+ should be used on ultra-high incomes.
This makes sense, if you mean a return to pre-Reagan era tax structures. Income and wealth inequality are made worse by Reaganomics, so a reversal of the trouble-making policies would be expected to help. Estate tax exemption is also too high and there are too many loopholes, particularly those related to offshoring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post

Wealth Inequality - This one is trickier. Nothing will truly beat excessive wealth inequality. The main goal is just to keep it from affecting our political process and ensuring all citizens an opportunity at the American dream. Don't let it get too extreme. Wealth inequality will always be natural.

1) Campaign Finance Reform - When billionaires can buy elections, they control the political climate and all policies that come with it.
This is a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post

2) Bank Reform - When banks are profit driven entities, it incentivizes them to make predatory loans
This is related to the previous problem given that usury laws formerly in place have been weakened or repealed by those profit-seeking usurious lenders...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post
3) Higher Education Reform - Privatized schools and tuition fees create a situation where access to a college degree is dependent on the wealth of the parents. Currently, the Federal government spends more money making college more "affordable" than the actual cost of tuition at state universities.
The problem is a lack of appropriations of STATE funds, not federal ones. I think we should have something analogous to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act where the federal government threatens severe cuts to states if they don't have enough college/university appropriations to keep tuition manageable.

Also, either you are an adult at 18 or at 24. Right now we have a garbled and incoherent system where 18 is old enough that your parents are not required to chip in, yet their income can stop you from getting need-based aid. This is totally bizarre - money YOU HAVE NO ACCESS OR RIGHTS TO (parents' income and assets) can make you ineligible.

How would you feel if your ex-spouse's income counted against you for tax purposes even though you were not getting alimony? This is the same thing - someone else's money, which you cannot spend, is being held against you. This is wrong and needs to end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post

4) Health Care Reform - Too many Americans are still uninsured or simply can't afford basic health care. Medical costs are the leading causes of bankruptcies.



The options are plentiful. Discuss.
The Republicans are STILL trying to derail Obamacare, unfortunately.

Last edited by ncole1; 12-23-2014 at 04:07 PM.. Reason: typo correction
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:09 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,482 posts, read 62,084,629 times
Reputation: 32131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post
How to Reverse the Trend of Income and Wealth Inequality Discuss.
100/40 will go a LOT farther than 100/90 can

Reduce the number of poor people and those most likely to be poor.
It's that simple.
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:21 PM
 
595 posts, read 449,216 times
Reputation: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post
Don't say it's not a problem in the United States, because it is.

Let's discuss some policy approaches to alleviating the gross income and wealth inequality. For starters, income inequality and wealth inequality are different. Also, inequality is natural. The goal is to create a system where it isn't a drag on the economy and poverty can be minimized. Excessive inequality is a drag on the economy, which is a fact.

Income Inequality - Self explanatory. Refers to new income generated. Most of it is going right to the top 1%. Here are some proposals to reduce income inequality:

1) Raising wages - This can be done through increasing the minimum wage or mandating union membership for certain low-wage industries. I personally favor just increasing the wage floor. If wages were to keep up with productivity, minimum wage would be somewhere over $20 /hour.



2) Tax Reform - Raise marginal tax rates on high income earners. The current income tax rates are fine, but an ultra high marginal tax rate of 50%+ should be used on ultra-high incomes.







Wealth Inequality - This one is trickier. Nothing will truly beat excessive wealth inequality. The main goal is just to keep it from affecting our political process and ensuring all citizens an opportunity at the American dream. Don't let it get too extreme. Wealth inequality will always be natural.

1) Campaign Finance Reform - When billionaires can buy elections, they control the political climate and all policies that come with it.



2) Bank Reform - When banks are profit driven entities, it incentivizes them to make predatory loans



3) Higher Education Reform - Privatized schools and tuition fees create a situation where access to a college degree is dependent on the wealth of the parents. Currently, the Federal government spends more money making college more "affordable" than the actual cost of tuition at state universities.



4) Health Care Reform - Too many Americans are still uninsured or simply can't afford basic health care. Medical costs are the leading causes of bankruptcies.



The options are plentiful. Discuss.
Higher taxes on the wealthy need to include changes to long term capital gains tax

higher minimum wage will increase unemployed minimum wage workers

Teen employment, poverty, and the minimum wage: Evidence from Canada
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:24 PM
 
5,599 posts, read 3,660,356 times
Reputation: 5416
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
This would cause increased unemployment (due to the fact that hiring people is not financially beneficial to employers if the cost of labor is more than the value it brings to the business.)

In the remaining cases, it leads to hours reductions (for similar reasons) or inflation (because more money is chasing less production and thus ultimately fewer goods.)
When this is actually done, this result is not what happens that often. These raises go right back into the economy. These aren't people who save money, they're the economy's spenders.

IMO, if a business cannot afford to pay it's workers a livable wage (I'd settle for $11/hr, maybe $10.50/hr. $15/hr is outrageous) then it's not very well run and shouldn't be in business.
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:29 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,880,155 times
Reputation: 18049
More people with education and skills that people are willing to pay the big money for it. The it will be more equally divided. But its like middle income skills; the middle class is shrinking its just that more are becoming middle class in many former third world countries called merging markets. Americans are not born with any more right to anything than others in the world. If you cut at the top then they will produce less from not profiting at it and the bottom dependent have less to draw from. Wealth sharing does work because people will only make what they can profit from and taking risk is avoided. besides the country does not need more purely consuming people.

Last edited by texdav; 12-23-2014 at 10:41 PM..
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:17 PM
 
2,485 posts, read 1,844,525 times
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Originally Posted by bigboibob View Post
Higher taxes on the wealthy need to include changes to long term capital gains tax

higher minimum wage will increase unemployed minimum wage workers

Teen employment, poverty, and the minimum wage: Evidence from Canada
A higher minimum wage will increase our unemployment rate the Synthroid more people into poverty. This is eventually going to create more wealth inequality. It's hardly a solution. It will also drive businesses away if they can relocate or find other ways not to be located in the states with higher minimum-wage. Again it leads to economic decline and a higher unemployment rate.

The same thing with the service sector unionization. Unions will price themselves out of the market. They will also drive businesses away. In the global economy we just have to much flexibility to be able to use some of these policies.
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:24 PM
 
2,485 posts, read 1,844,525 times
Reputation: 2140
Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
More people with education and skills that people are willing to pay the big money for it. The it will be more equally divided. But its like middle income skills; the middle class is shrinking its just that more are becoming middle class in many former third world countries called merging markets. Americans are not born with any more right to anything than others in the world. If you cut at the top then they will produce less from not profiting at it and the bottom dependent have less to draw from. Wealth sharing does work because people will only make what they can profit from and taking risk is avoided. besides the country does not need more purely consuming people.
You mean wealth sharing does NOT work?

It looks like the left is just looking for every piece of opportunity to milk more money from those who have a bit more. This will cause those we have a bit more to be even more cautious about their money about their choice of profession, location, and investment strategy.

You know what I think the left is doing? What they're doing is like building a paper wall against a rising sea. The rising sea today is globalization and it's many emerging markets. The 21st century is going to be about the middle class of the world not America alone. The rise of the middle class in other countries will more than make up for the profit loss of the decline of the middle class in the states. Your reality with every human being being equal, Americans don't really have a right to anything more than what people from Third World countries are entitled to. Nor will any policy be able to fulfill such a fantasy. The irreversible tide is that the U.S. and its global power is in inevitable decline. We will be sharing wealth with other countries.
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:26 AM
 
Location: San Diego California
6,797 posts, read 6,315,512 times
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Another post from the free sh*t society wanting something given to them because they don't want to work.
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:42 AM
 
Location: NNJ
9,498 posts, read 5,354,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
Another post from the free sh*t society wanting something given to them because they don't want to work.
Sure, there are people who don't want to work. I'm not denying that. But why lump all into a generalization? There are lazy people at all levels of society.... many simply lucky to be born or married into wealth.

Why is it so easy to come to the conclusion that all "those" people are lazy and yet so hard to accept that there exists a portion that are simply dealt a bad hand in life?

Homeless Man Given $100, Secretly Followed To See How He Would Spend It | WNEP.com


I'm certainly not one to support "free hand outs" to the lazy (of anyone at any income level... including the rich). I'm not responding to that argument. What I'm saying is the first step to a solution is to identify and accurately describe a problem. To cop it off to lazy people simply ignores that there is a fundamental problem that is increasingly more prevalent in our country. I believe that's why the OP started this thread.


Income inequality isn't about those that work for their wealth/living versus those that refuse to work (lazy). Income inequality is about those that DO work... many squarely situated in middle-class... but are slipping. And if the middle class is indeed slipping out of the middle class, the poor are certainly not faring any better.
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