U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-16-2011, 08:32 AM
 
5,600 posts, read 5,441,276 times
Reputation: 6679

Advertisements

"How many destitute, working, middle class folks & government repression does it take to maintain luxurious lifestyle of a generic 100k "true" middle class type"?

After all, in hierarchical social/wealth pyramid it's not just about your education & hard work, education & hard work are thoroughly pointless if there are no people working less than desirable jobs for less, much less.

It's a serious practical question, not a flame. What is "sustainable" ratio underclass:working:low middle: middle: upper middle:super rich in a laissez-faire economy? Could it be that post New Deal & post WWII America got soft on free market fundamentalism and lamented "shrinking of middle class" is nothing more than "going back to normal"?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-16-2011, 08:49 AM
 
5,226 posts, read 10,140,545 times
Reputation: 4096
Interesting modeling and concepts.

You are totally correct that to create a billionaire, on average, some thousands or millions must be crushed into poverty.

As far as a "sustainable" crush rate . . .

Probably a predator - prey modeling could come close to what your concept seems to be.

Maybe some Food Chain modeling?

African Plains Model --

A few lions and hyenas = the top;
Herds of gazelles, zebras, and water buffalo = the middle class;
Countless blades of grass = the bottom.


Ocean Model --

Sharks = the top
Millions of schools of fish = the middle class
Countless plankton = the bottom

Seems to create the classic pyramid, all in all.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2011, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 18,575,141 times
Reputation: 32398
Default Non-sequitur

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post
You are totally correct that to create a billionaire, on average, some thousands or millions must be crushed into poverty.
How so? That makes no sense at all. Your statement assumes that there is a finite and fixed amount of wealth. If that were true, every bit of population growth would result in the impoverishment of society, on average.

Wealth is actually created by innovations and new technologies. Example: the advent of the automobile. Workers were hired (gradually, over time) and were paid, and their pay was used to buy goods and services from others, some of whom bought automobiles, and so on in an ever-expanding process. Sure, Henry Ford got rich, but his enterprise stimulated America and contributed to its prosperity.

There are corrections and retrenchments over time too; they are called recessions and depressions. But overall, over even longer periods of time, there is growth, and a growth of wealth.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2011, 10:36 AM
 
5,600 posts, read 5,441,276 times
Reputation: 6679
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
How so? That makes no sense at all. Your statement assumes that there is a finite and fixed amount of wealth.
"wealth" & money are thoroughly human constructs and as such they are limitless, you got that right. Recently, a guy made $1,000,000 by selling pixels on his website, examples of this kind of "wealth building" are countless. Let's call this limitless "wealth" unessential.

However, some aspects of the "wealth" (land, energy, mineral resources, water, etc.) are finite and fixed. All that human "innovations" can do is to increase human share of some of these "finite" resources on the expense of lesser forms of life and/or to increase extraction rates of mineral resources on the expense of faster rates of non renewable energy depletion & greater pollution. In other words, human race is getting "wealthier" in the same way a locust swarm is getting fatter&more numerous before collapse.

The problem? "Unessential" i.e. limitless "wealth" is sooner or later got to be exchanged for "Essential" i.e. limited wealth. Superbly rich NYC stock speculators don't want to eat their stocks and $ they made in trading those stocks, for example.

Quote:
If that were true, every bit of population growth would result in the impoverishment of society, on average.
That is true, if you to consider other forms of life as members of your "society". By putting 1 acre of land under plow one kills off/starve off (almost) everything non human that lived off that acre. By increasing application of mineral fertilizers & poisons you kill off other members of your society (including humans) not speaking of greater rates of mineral & energy depletion and so on.

Quote:
Wealth is actually created by innovations and new technologies. Example: the advent of the automobile. Workers were hired (gradually, over time) and were paid, and their pay was used to buy goods and services from others, some of whom bought automobiles, and so on in an ever-expanding process. Sure, Henry Ford got rich, but his enterprise stimulated America and contributed to its prosperity.
Non essential wealth is created in people' mind, first and foremost. But that's is not the question. I don't ask whether or not human can get classless & livable societies going. Whether or not we need to super rich to get "innovation" going. BTW, labor apparently has no part whatsoever in your picture of wealth creating.

The question is "how many workers are required for every Henry Ford, for every upper level manager of Henry Ford, for every engineer of Henry Ford, for every doctor & lawyer of Henry Ford and so on". What is "sustainable" class ratio - under, low, working, middle, upper, super?

Quote:
There are corrections and retrenchments over time too; they are called recessions and depressions. But overall, over even longer periods of time, there is growth, and a growth of wealth.
What does cancer like human growth has to do with class structure? When Capitalist growth began 500 years ago there were "under, low, working, middle, upper, super". 500 years later we still have "under, low, working, middle, upper, super". And in some aspects modern under and low classes have it worse than 500 years ago to preempt standard tide is raising all boats.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2011, 12:00 PM
 
1,784 posts, read 4,107,580 times
Reputation: 4762
Exactly. Wealth is a non-denominational unit, therefore calling it limitless is immaterial. RESOURCES ARE FINITE. Period dot. Scarcity is REAL.

It does take a food chain model to accurately describe human interaction on a purely economic (management and distribution of resources) level. The point of governance is then to civilize our neighbor depriving animal tendencies, and have a stable platform where said STABILITY is the goal for all members of said society, rich and dispossessed alike. That is where wealth redistribution in a myriad of forms (thats where politics come in) is necessary in order to maintain a level where the RELATIVE dispossession of the underclass is ACCEPTABLE to the underclass, and they contribute to the stability that allows lords and peasants to live peacefully in said social contract.

And that's just in America, then you include other tribes (nations) with their own self interest and the dynamics of this global governance become that much more complex. Which is what we call the real world. To simply cover the sun with one hand and assert "ha, weaaall, wealth is infinite, everybody has the potential to live like lebron james, ha" is naive and uninformed.

The problem with that discourse in America is that the suggestion that everything is not under the control of the individual (particularly when said assertion comes out the mouth of those who the recipient of the message considers to be the 'losers' or beggars in our society) really emotionally upsets a lot of people, in particular those who refuse to internalize they too are a form of plankton in this food chain. Americans are soft and sensititve to these cynical realities of human interaction. Which is not surprising how we as a collective place such lopsided amount of time on entertainment and "beer and circuses" as part of our God-like "weekend". Which ironically cements our very place as gazelles in this food chain. It's a thing of beauty really.

I'm a populist, a gazelle that recognizes that there is strength in numbers. I also recognize I am this way because I was born into the herd of gazelles, and that the opportunity cost to living with personal contentment among the gazelles is lower than spending my life unhappy attempting to prop myself above the herd and attain a rare top predator position for an added living standards increase that is not worth (to me) the hassle.

What I'm NOT gonna do is be a disingenuous child and assert we're all winners just because we participate and that those who lose or are perceived to be losers are only so because they are 'lazy' (a term that is almost exclusively Amerian-centric in cultural value) . That's optimism bias at it's worst.

Last edited by hindsight2020; 04-16-2011 at 12:08 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2011, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,977,028 times
Reputation: 6734
Underclass : Working Poor : Working Class : Middle Class : Upper Middle : Upper

10 : 16 : 22 : 20 : 10 : 1
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2011, 03:45 PM
 
5,717 posts, read 8,938,792 times
Reputation: 7949
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post
Interesting modeling and concepts.

You are totally correct that to create a billionaire, on average, some thousands or millions must be crushed into poverty.
l.

This is correct in some cultures. Feudalism for an example.

However the miracle of Democracy (Actually a Democratic Republic) and the creation of machines... is that wealth can actually be CREATED vs transfered.

Population limits are a perfect example.

(Made up numbers)
Hunter/Gatherer can support 10 people

Then, Planting comes into being...

Can support 50 people

Reach the 'limit' at 100

Then technological advances to fertilize and it supports 1,000

I remember reading an Old article about how the earth would reach max density (Ability to feed) in the 70's... but then more advances came along.

Wealth can ether be found (Gold) Taken (Taxes) OR created (Ask Bill Gates)


OTHERWISE... you would be right...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-17-2011, 08:19 AM
 
5,226 posts, read 10,140,545 times
Reputation: 4096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
How so? That makes no sense at all. Your statement assumes that there is a finite and fixed amount of wealth. If that were true, every bit of population growth would result in the impoverishment of society, on average.

Wealth is actually created by innovations and new technologies. Example: the advent of the automobile. Workers were hired (gradually, over time) and were paid, and their pay was used to buy goods and services from others, some of whom bought automobiles, and so on in an ever-expanding process. Sure, Henry Ford got rich, but his enterprise stimulated America and contributed to its prosperity.

There are corrections and retrenchments over time too; they are called recessions and depressions. But overall, over even longer periods of time, there is growth, and a growth of wealth.
That is a fair statement of the mis-education taught into the culture. Even paid for to be chanted to the masses by paid spokesfolks like Rush Limbaugh. But is it true?

Even if we were to totally ignore the bottom part that the middle "cannot see" being exploited and asset stripped (we can get back to that later), a static analysis should show you this myth is not true.

Let's start with 100%. All is all there ever is. Sort of a tautology, but there is no "football" math -- e.g. We will give a 110%, Coach! -- There is no 110%. At any given time, there is only all there is -- 100%.

Is that basic definition of 100% fair enough?

And maybe think of that 100% as a big pizza buffet. Everyone can get all they can eat is the presentation, right?

h o w e v e r . . . . in practice, if we sit back and watch the Great American Pizza Pie Buffet, what we see are some chronic gluttons who shove their way to front and gobble up most of the pizza, yelling "Mine, Mine, Mine" -- like the seagulls in Searching for Nemo. The claim is that if they can take it, because it is All You Can Eat, what they take is theirs, and why share?

[That is static, or one year held-in-time analysis, now let's get dynamic and start moving through time]

But you say, wait a minute, or just wait-a-pizza-refresh/reload cycle. There is always the next fill-up on the buffet. Or as Annie sang -- Tomorrow, tomorrow, there always tomorrow. And there will be more pizza. And if it is a cycle (or year, as we tend to measure these things) of "growth" whether real or make-believe, there will be more pizza on the buffet than there was today! Of course as you observed, in a year of no real growth there will not likely be even be as much pizza as today.

But let's say we have that growth, tomorrow, or the next cycle, or next year. Now there should be yet MORE Pizza on the Great American All Can You Eat Pizza Buffet, right? And thus validation of your claim of new wealth or more new pizza from "innovations and new technologies." Is that a fair example of what you are saying?

And so, if we sit back as observers, now the next day, after having added growth to the Great American Pizza Buffet, what do we see? The same gluttons shoving their way to the front. Perhaps today aided by accountants to track their pizza accumulation and fund-managers to help them acquire even more pizza than they could have carried off on their own.

Even with growth in the model, the value system of the top end glutton is that if "growth" has been 3% (or whatever) they each personally must experience 10% growth, just to stay above average. The gluttons are why no matter how much more pizza or growth is brought out, the middle must stay suppressed and the bottom starves.

On the mythic Great America Pizza Buffet it goes on like this day after day, cycle after cycle, and year after year.

Lather, rinse, repeat . . . until the bottle is empty

It has went on like this since the rise of "Reagonomics." The ethos became "Greed is Good," and such behavior became tolerated.

At this point most assets have been replaced by debt, but middle and (some) bottom folks still mindlessly chant "tomorrow, tomorrow, there is always tomorrow," thinking that they may be reborn as glutton-predators to shove their way to the front of the buffet.

The mass accumulation of wealth -- even as an infinite growth model (whole other false subject) is the ethos of obesity at best and more like the growth of cancer, in full practice. As the cancer accumulates and asset strips the rest of the body, death follows.

Once the objections pass to this Alarm Clock to the American Dream, we can get into the why millions of real people must be crushed into poverty and death to support the rise of just one billionaire.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-17-2011, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
4,444 posts, read 4,859,579 times
Reputation: 3358
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Underclass : Working Poor : Working Class : Middle Class : Upper Middle : Upper

10 : 16 : 22 : 20 : 10 : 1

In my ideal society, it would look something like this:

<No Underclass> : <No Working Poor> : Working Class (40%): Middle Class (50%): Upper Class (10%)

I've always wondered if it was theoretically possible for a society to be wholly upper class or rich, with zero working poor or poverty whatsoever. For example, if the top 1% of the world's best and brightest were brought to a new, Earth-like planet filled with untapped, easy-to-obtain resources - would it be possible to found and maintain a totally "rich" society, in which each person is able to live like a current-day 1st world millionaire?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-18-2011, 12:01 PM
 
1,475 posts, read 2,319,372 times
Reputation: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post
You are totally correct that to create a billionaire, on average, some thousands or millions must be crushed into poverty.
That's not true. It is certainly one way, but not the only way.

The more money *everyone* makes the larger the economy becomes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top