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Old 03-15-2011, 02:35 PM
 
1,811 posts, read 932,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyNTexas View Post
Didn't miss your point at all ... it was very clear. And I can see why you think the way you do ... citing that HACK Thomas Sowell and his article on the poor. He's the right wing extremist answer to the loony left .. and an advocate for torture, among many other dubious opinions which hold about as much water as a sieve.

Such opinions on issues like torture in many respects are subjective, from a philosophical perspective, so long as you are prepared to ignore the moral implications. But making claims that are patently untrue and in direct contradiction to the facts, as is clearly the case regarding the poor and income distribution, is not a subjective opinion ... it's a distortion at best, and a lie by definition.

As I already stated, the data for the past 50 years shows an increase decade to decade of poor. It also shows that the average earnings have been stagnant for those 50 years also, while costs have risen dramatically due to the loss of purchasing power of the dollar. The mind numbing reality is that the bottom 50% possess just 2.5% of the wealth. Extrapolating further, the top 1% possess more wealth than the combined wealth of 80%, and the top 10% possess more than double the wealth of the other 90%.




There are even more astounding facts and figures (if such things are of any interest) that contradict your ideas that being poor is a temporary state to which most will work there way out of with time.

1) Between 1983 and 1995, the bottom 40 percent of households lost 80 percent of their net worth. The middle fifth lost 11 percent. By 1995, 18.5 percent of households had zero or negative net worth.

2) Household debt as a percentage of personal income rose from 58 percent in 1973 to an estimated 85 percent in 1997.

3) As of 1995 (the latest figures available), Federal Reserve research found that the wealth of the top one percent of Americans is greater than that of the bottom 95 percent, up trend of 5% from 1983's 90% figure.

4) Adjusting for inflation, the net worth of the median American household fell 10 percent between 1989 and 1997, declining from $54,600 to $49,900. The net worth of the top one percent is now 2.4 times the combined wealth of the poorest 80 percent.

5) In 1998, weekly wages were 12 percent lower than in 1973 on an inflation-adjusted basis. Productivity rose 33 percent over that period. At the same time, the average hours worked increased by over 165 hours, equivalent to an additional month's worth of work, for effectively less pay.

6) In 1999 top executives earned 419 times the average wage of a blue-collar worker, up from 326:1 in 1998. In 1980, the ratio was 42:1.

7) In 1982, Forbes 400 list of richest Americans started with $91million. The list then included 13 billionaires. By 1998, $500 million was required and the list grew to 189 billionaires.

Now these figures have only gotten worse over the past decade, which shows that your "Things will be better in 20 years" is hogwash

Here are some even more long term numbers that might be a surprise to many ... figures from the Census Bureau:

Family Income of the 20th Percentile 1967 - $14,002 ... 2003 - $17,984 a rise of $3,982 over a 36 year period ... or $100 Bucks per year. Think the costs of everything didn't double or triple over that time span ? Boy ole boy, those poor people are making PROGRESS ... a whole 100 Bucks at a time. They'll be dead long before they change tax brackets. The reality? They start out poor, and end up POORER.

The 50th Percentile Family income (median income) in 1967 - $36,847 to 2006 $48,201. Wow, the median income rose a whopping $291 Bucks per year for 39 years for a major life altering $11,300 increase in income, which again didn't even come close to keeping up with the times. Your average automobile price increased over $20,000 during that 36 year period.



By now your eyes should be rolling back inside your head



For the sake of length, my answer to this is .... PROPAGANDA .. fashioned by and for the top 10%, justifying the royal screw that the bottom 80% are getting.

Bubba, this nonsense comes from the same crowd that says OH NO ... you can't raise the minimum wage to $10 bucks an hour, it will kill the economy!! HA!! Sorry, but what is killing the economy is the jump from 13 Billionaires in 1982, to 189 Billionaires in 1998. I dare say 189,000 Millionaires would generate more economic benefits than does 189 Billionaires. In reality, if the top 10% chose to spend 50% of their annual incomes (not the 95% to 105% that everyone else spends by necessity) the US economy would be BOOMING, and everyone would be making progress. And those top 10% would still be able to stash away large sums, and wouldn't have to forgo the caviar, champagne, and boats on the lake.

The dense concentration of massive wealth in just a small percentage of hands is an economy killer, because there is only so much one person can spend, and the rest, if not circulated, is hoarded, and not benefiting the society.

There is something fundamentally wrong, and quite evil really, when you have 40 million people relying on food stamps ... 30 Million children living under the poverty line, and a small group at the top squeezing the life out of the country and the society at large so that they can amass more Billions in their quest to all beat Bill Gates, who himself has more wealth than half of the US population combined. But hey, let's not let facts get in the way of good propaganda.

Sure, everybody has a chance ... just like Vegas, there is always the outside chance of winning, which keeps everyone playing the game ... but the reality is, the house never really loses, and there is a sucker born every minute.

As George Carlin said "They call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it".
The interesting thing about capitalism and market-based economies is that people can amass great wealth by "making" it (as opposed to taking it from somebody). If I start a business and by the end of the year make $1B, it doesn't mean that there are people out there who gave up wealth so I could get it.

On the contrary, I got rich by making/manufacturing wealth, by establishing factories, or construction companies, or film crews or whatever my business is and does, to make wealth where none existed before.

Liberals NEVER, EVER get this, partly because the concept of actually being productive and actually "producing" wealth is unheard of to their cloistered world. They wrongly assume that the only way the rich can get rich or richer is to deny or steal it from someone else, and it just is NOT TRUE. In fact, when people get rich, they help others in the process by employing them.

The "pie" is NOT fixed, it its infinitely expandable like a huge rubber band.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:40 PM
 
22,770 posts, read 25,308,934 times
Reputation: 14511
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffington View Post
The interesting thing about capitalism and market-based economies is that people can amass great wealth by "making" it (as opposed to taking it from somebody). If I start a business and by the end of the year make $1B, it doesn't mean that there are people out there who gave up wealth so I could get it.
The problem I have is asset inflation. Entities that already own assets are perpetually benefitting from credit creation.

This occurs at the expense of people who have little or no assets, and are trying to build assets using wages. Their purchasing power is being stolen.

In my opinion, THAT is the problem with our system. The long-term devaluation of the currency hurts the people at the bottom , and helps the people at the top. That is the primary reason that wealth is being concentrated into fewer and fewer hands as time goes by.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:45 PM
 
5,915 posts, read 4,033,533 times
Reputation: 1396
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazoopilot View Post
Here's more on Canada's ecnomic system:
Economy of Canada - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here's Sweden's economic system:
Economy of Sweden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Neither country is all-out socialist, they both have mixed economies, or "social capitalism/capitalistic socialism."
From your link

Canada has one of the highest levels of economic freedom in the world.
Today Canada closely resembles the U.S. in its market-oriented economic system, and pattern of production.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,241,103 times
Reputation: 3200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirdik View Post
From your link

Canada has one of the highest levels of economic freedom in the world.
Today Canada closely resembles the U.S. in its market-oriented economic system, and pattern of production.
I pointed that out. It's thanks to the Conservative Party-dominated government up there. It's exactly why Canada's income inequality is growing. If they don't change direction, they'll end up like us.

I think Canada, and the US for that matter, should move to the system Canada had in the 1980s.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:53 PM
 
5,915 posts, read 4,033,533 times
Reputation: 1396
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazoopilot View Post
I pointed that out. It's thanks to the Conservative Party-dominated government up there. It's exactly why Canada's income inequality is growing. If they don't change direction, they'll end up like us.

I think Canada, and the US for that matter, should move to the system Canada had in the 1980s.
Sweden seems to be moving away from their socialism as well.

The Swedish government has announced that it will privatise a number of
wholly and partly state owned companies. "The income from these sales will
be used to pay off the government debt and reduce the burden of debt for
future generations. The Government's ambition is to sell companies to a
value of SEK 200 billion during 2007-2010."
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,241,103 times
Reputation: 3200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirdik View Post
Sweden seems to be moving away from their socialism as well.

The Swedish government has announced that it will privatise a number of
wholly and partly state owned companies. "The income from these sales will
be used to pay off the government debt and reduce the burden of debt for
future generations. The Government's ambition is to sell companies to a
value of SEK 200 billion during 2007-2010."
That's too bad. Once again, if Sweden starts becoming more capitalist, they'll end up like us -- huge gap between rich and poor, no middle class.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Austin Texas
474 posts, read 742,163 times
Reputation: 531
Many of the European countries with rich government entitlements are moving away from it. I don't think it is reasonable to call most of them socialist countries because they don't really own most of the industry. France, Germany, Sweden, and others are paying a high price right now for the cost of their decades of rich programs.

Most are struggling to deal with the flow of immigrants coming into their countries and tapping into all these benefits.

I shudder to think of a day when government owned companies compete with private companies. The government owned companies will use their friends in government (elected officials) to make up for their poor productivity. The end result will be handcuffed private companies competing with mediocre government owned companies.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,241,103 times
Reputation: 3200
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazznblues View Post
Many of the European countries with rich government entitlements are moving away from it. I don't think it is reasonable to call most of them socialist countries because they don't really own most of the industry. France, Germany, Sweden, and others are paying a high price right now for the cost of their decades of rich programs.

Most are struggling to deal with the flow of immigrants coming into their countries and tapping into all these benefits.

I shudder to think of a day when government owned companies compete with private companies. The government owned companies will use their friends in government (elected officials) to make up for their poor productivity. The end result will be handcuffed private companies competing with mediocre government owned companies.
It doesn't have to be that way. Plus, government is already in bed with the corporations. The bailouts? Lobbyists?
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Austin
29,027 posts, read 15,648,826 times
Reputation: 7764
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazoopilot View Post



Exactly. Awesome post. It is absolutely unacceptable how much wealth the top 10% own, and how little the bottom 50% have. It is disgusting. We aren't becoming a nation of nobles and serfs, we already are one. Our system is evil. Crush capitalism.

Why do you care how much other people have? Why are you concerned about how much money Bill Gates and George Soros have?
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Austin Texas
474 posts, read 742,163 times
Reputation: 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazoopilot View Post
It doesn't have to be that way. Plus, government is already in bed with the corporations. The bailouts? Lobbyists?
Yes - government is already in bed with corporations. But strengthening the tie between government and labor creates a powerful corruption/dependency cycle almost impossible to break. Have you studied Greece? Way too many people derive their living from government employment.

The US should have let Chrysler fail the first time. Same with Harley Davidson (blame that rescue on Reegan). They would have learned that you sink or swim and you can't make crappy cars for twenty years and survive.

I think it is more than coincidental that the somewhat successful semi-socialist countries are relatively small with generally homogeneous populations. Sweden's population is less then New York City. Finland is the size of Chicago. Canada has only 33M people. Germany is the largest of these countries at 66M.
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