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Old 12-15-2012, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
15,784 posts, read 17,757,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VX5650 View Post
That chart only goes to 2007 before the crash.
Real economy and the stock market aren't the same thing, real economy was pretty soft through the 2000s.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
17,389 posts, read 16,091,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
That graph does. That's what real income is. I'm sure shadowstats will present a non-Core CPI graph as if that isn't also reported as if it were some huge conspiracy, perhaps you could find it there? That graph doesn't say, but I assume it's using either Core or Chained CPI.

The UPS entry level job pays the same $9/hr it did over a decade ago. The same is true for many entry level jobs in America. This is basically evidence of the growing disparity in America. It's nice that we do have many high paying jobs, and those wages/salaries have kept up. You also need something on the bottom for the rest of the Americans. Some people are only good for basic work. You can educate them all you want. They're still only going to be capable of performing a basic entry level job. There used to be a place for them in this country many years ago. There is today, except the wages are now paid in part by the tax payers because an honest days work doesn't pay an honest wage. At least not enough to cover average expenses, as COL has outpaced their earning potential.

The first job I had in HS paid $14/hr. It was a union job for an automotive supplier. You could do ok on that 8 years ago. Lost that job when the economy tanked. The guys that kept that job had to accept pay cuts. Crappy health insurance, and $12/hr. Their wages dropped, tons of jobs were shipped off to Poland and other lower wage nations. A lot of the guys that lost their jobs never found anything comparable in pay. Lots of $9-$10/hr jobs. A lot of that has to do with the huge presence of low skilled illegal migrant laborers debasing the wage structure in America. That is why I'm surprised the republicans are the party that doesn't pander to the illegals, but that's another matter entirely.

What I'm suggesting is there is a widening gap between the haves and have not. Opportunities simply aren't as plentiful, and the jobs that used to support the less skilled workers simply aren't paying what they used to adjusted for inflation. A neighbor I used to live next to made good money throughout his life. The problem was his wages kept declining over time, until he basically was making what he made in HS adjusted for inflation. I lived on a street that was full of people like him who just didn't see the "trickle down" that Reagan promised. I know there will always be cases like his, but it seems so pervasive today. Many on that block weren't buying new anything for that reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
And if you continue saving 10%, you'll be offsetting the trend. The average American doesn't save at all. You aren't average. Let me congratulate you on not being average and living below your means!
False, but not far off



The recession spurred a sharp increase in personal savings rates. Likely, people are doing pretty much what I am doing out of fear and uncertainty. Long streaks of unemployment are not uncommon, so the best one can do is buy time.

And while I'm glad you appreciate my effort, one should also acknowledge the importance of healthy consumption, and it's necessity in a free market. If people aren't spending, businesses can't make money. Many large companies continue to turn big profits, but smaller mom and pop companies have had a very rough time during the recession. According to our government mouth pieces, we are not in a recession, but tell that to your average small business owner... They certainly won't be giving raises in such an environment, regardless if COL rises.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Hello straw man, nice to meet you too =D
You claim you are a liberal. Not my brand, but I understand Republipukes aren't any better. You suggest income inequality isn't a problem so long as opportunities equality exists. We are graduating students at record numbers. Scanning through the work and employment forum, it doesn't seem like the opportunities are available in the numbers needed. There are not infinite numbers of those opportunities to match collective effort. If there is no bottom to catch the people that inevitability will fall through, it certainly is no benefit.

Aside from that, "opportunities" are a moving target. I personally consider myself lucky to have the opportunities I have had. Looking back, it was nothing short of luck that I landed in all the right places, at the right times. All the hoops to jump through, just to get an income that supports yourself. A lot of little things could have derailed me along the way. Had that not worked out, who knows where I would be... If the economy has another hiccup, I know what's at the bottom... An awful lot of low paying "helper" type jobs that would totally screw up my personal finances.

There is a big difference in the social and employment structure in this country. The very basic difference is in the wage structure. Honest work never required subsidization from the government so you could feed your children. Americans have responded by having few children, but even one can put you in the poorhouse, and hold you back from seeking better opportunities elsewhere. I know if I stuck around were I used to live, I probably wouldn't be earning terribly much. Took a full time job and two part time jobs to earn what I earn now. All that just to afford to believe you can possibly retire some day.

I'm not saying any of this is not to be expected with stagnant job growth and an oversupply of labor. I am suggesting that income inequality is definitely growing, and opportunities have not grown over the years. Talking with a lot of older folks they all believe opportunities have been on the decline for 30 years.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:23 PM
 
1,245 posts, read 1,602,625 times
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Great posts Andy! The "I got mine" crowd will never understand until it touches them personally.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:29 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 23,746,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post

Pretty much says it all. All income groups are better off today. Many, especially the poor and working-class, are much stupider with their money now than they used to be then, which is why, despite being better off, they accumulate less wealth than they used to. Perhaps it's time to evaluate whether it's really necessary to have an iPhone, designer jeans, ten pairs of shoes, eat out multiple times a week, have 200 channels, and so on? The only way to get get capital income is to accumulate wealth. It'd be one thing if they were worse off, but that isn't the case. Everyone is better off, yet only the middle-class and wealthy (top 40%) have higher capital income while the bottom 60% has less despite being better off. Partly it's the down economy (you can see that graphically) but the trend goes back to the '80s when conspicuous consumption culture took off.

I'd like to see numbers controlling for age, because the country as a whole (as well as those in the workforce) are, on average, older today than they were in 1979 or any other of the intervening years.

Specifically, I think the aging workforce should be a major factor in the increase in real incomes, as the average or median worker is higher today on the lifetime earnings curve than they were in previous years. So my question is, how would today's real incomes compare with real incomes for a workforce which did not age between 1979 and today?

Also I'd like to see numbers controlling for housing tenure, as I suspect that renters faced considerably greater housing cost increases than did homeowners, and possibly greater than CPI. Renters are not only concentrated in the bottom three income quintiles, they are less likely than homeowners to be adequately insured, and therefore renters probably have greater out-of-pocket costs than homeowners for things like healthcare.

So more broadly, I would ask whether the poor and the working class ended up worse off because they faced greater cost increases than the homeowning middle and upper classes, or because they truly mismanaged their money.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
15,784 posts, read 17,757,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andywire View Post
The UPS entry level job pays the same $9/hr it did over a decade ago. The same is true for many entry level jobs in America. This is basically evidence of the growing disparity in America. It's nice that we do have many high paying jobs, and those wages/salaries have kept up. You also need something on the bottom for the rest of the Americans. Some people are only good for basic work. You can educate them all you want. They're still only going to be capable of performing a basic entry level job. There used to be a place for them in this country many years ago. There is today, except the wages are now paid in part by the tax payers because an honest days work doesn't pay an honest wage. At least not enough to cover average expenses, as COL has outpaced their earning potential.

The first job I had in HS paid $14/hr. It was a union job for an automotive supplier. You could do ok on that 8 years ago. Lost that job when the economy tanked. The guys that kept that job had to accept pay cuts. Crappy health insurance, and $12/hr. Their wages dropped, tons of jobs were shipped off to Poland and other lower wage nations. A lot of the guys that lost their jobs never found anything comparable in pay. Lots of $9-$10/hr jobs. A lot of that has to do with the huge presence of low skilled illegal migrant laborers debasing the wage structure in America. That is why I'm surprised the republicans are the party that doesn't pander to the illegals, but that's another matter entirely.
Anecdotal evidence is quite useful when there is limited empirical data, and completely useless when there is. It's a good play on ethos, but that's it. Typewriter repairmen are the classic example. The computer was very bad for typewriter repairmen, but very good for the economy. At one time, we were one of the largest exporters of textiles and apparel. Now we import $90+ billion a year while exporting only $20 billion. Bad for the textile manufacturers and workers, good for the economy which now has cheaper clothing. But now it's your industry and not typewriter repairmen, textile workers, or any of the other countless industries that have been changed drastically by technology and emerging markets, so it's different?

With the exception of electronics, most every household good is readily available American made. If I were to go into your house, would all your furniture, clothing, kitchen stuff, appliances, etc. I'll give you a pass on electronics as those are very difficult to impossible to find made in the US for many things be made in America? Electronics withstanding, they're just really no excuses for it not to be. Unless you practice the me first self-interest while preaching something else. You know, benefit from cheaper goods in your personal life putting hundreds of thousands of American workers out of jobs so you can selfishly live a higher standard of living like pretty much everyone does. I'm certainly in that camp.

Quote:
What I'm suggesting is there is a widening gap between the haves and have not. Opportunities simply aren't as plentiful, and the jobs that used to support the less skilled workers simply aren't paying what they used to adjusted for inflation. A neighbor I used to live next to made good money throughout his life. The problem was his wages kept declining over time, until he basically was making what he made in HS adjusted for inflation. I lived on a street that was full of people like him who just didn't see the "trickle down" that Reagan promised. I know there will always be cases like his, but it seems so pervasive today. Many on that block weren't buying new anything for that reason.
Not true at all. If opportunities simply weren't as plentiful, then real income would be going down. It isn't. There's actually more opportunities. Across the board at every income quintile real incomes are higher. Of course, there will be those like many of your neighbors who don't realize them. Geography plays a large role. While the textile industry was dying in the '70s, there probably wasn't much in the way of opportunity in those areas. In fact, there's still not much opportunity in most of those old mill towns. The workforce mostly dropped out of high school to go work at the mills. Why do anything else? The mills paid pretty good money. So now you've got towns with staggeringly high unemployment where no one has money to buy much of anything. The workforce is mostly uneducated and geographically isolated. Not many opportunities there for sure.

The more inserting timeline to me isn't '79 to 2008. It's 2008-2020. I'm quite interested in what that period holds, and suspect we may actually experience at least a flat period in economic opportunity, as the Japanese have been in for quite sometime, or an actual drop in drop in opportunity. Either way, it will lead up nicely to the insolvency of Social Security and Medicare. It should be an exciting time, especially since both political parties are only interested in partisanship.

Quote:
And while I'm glad you appreciate my effort, one should also acknowledge the importance of healthy consumption, and it's necessity in a free market. If people aren't spending, businesses can't make money. Many large companies continue to turn big profits, but smaller mom and pop companies have had a very rough time during the recession. According to our government mouth pieces, we are not in a recession, but tell that to your average small business owner... They certainly won't be giving raises in such an environment, regardless if COL rises.
Wages are determined by supply and demand, so yes COL rising would have an impact on them since it impacts supply.

Quote:
I'm not saying any of this is not to be expected with stagnant job growth and an oversupply of labor. I am suggesting that income inequality is definitely growing, and opportunities have not grown over the years. Talking with a lot of older folks they all believe opportunities have been on the decline for 30 years.
Quite possibly true if you're only talking to older folks who worked "honest living" jobs. We've been in a knowledge economy for those years where the number of opportunities for those who are proud of not getting an education and working hard with their hands and backs haven't seen much in the way of growth and indeed probably have seen a decline. I'm really seeing that shifting now, however, as relatively few people went into those "honest living" jobs during that 30-year period. You've got a lot of older workers who are coming of age to retire and not too many experienced younger workers. Meanwhile it's the college graduates, more specifically those in the humanities, who are finding there aren't so many opportunities for someone with a degree in history or (insert demographic) studies and no job skills. Hard science and engineers don't seem to be having that problem anymore than normal, and soft science and business majors seem to be somewhere in the middle. I'm sure there are some... there's always people that just aren't employable and there's always unemployed. Just because the people who come on the work boards to gripe that they can't find work doing anything but flipping burgers but refuse to do anything to improve their job skills doesn't mean there's a lack of opportunities. I mean, heck, if it ever hits rock, rock bottom, there's always ND.

Last edited by Malloric; 12-16-2012 at 11:28 AM..
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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Important to realize not all people worship money or make it their life's focus.

We are all individuals with unique goals and desires.

I'm certain we all know people that passed on the opportunity for money because the trade of simply was not worth it...

One of my Grandfather's favorite sayings rings true for me... "Your health is your wealth"
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
8,046 posts, read 14,051,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Pretty much says it all. All income groups are better off today. Many, especially the poor and working-class, are much stupider with their money now than they used to be then, which is why, despite being better off, they accumulate less wealth than they used to. Perhaps it's time to evaluate whether it's really necessary to have an iPhone, designer jeans, ten pairs of shoes, eat out multiple times a week, have 200 channels, and so on? The only way to get get capital income is to accumulate wealth. It'd be one thing if they were worse off, but that isn't the case. Everyone is better off, yet only the middle-class and wealthy (top 40%) have higher capital income while the bottom 60% has less despite being better off. Partly it's the down economy (you can see that graphically) but the trend goes back to the '80s when conspicuous consumption culture took off.
It's interesting that you read that chart (post #5 in this thread) as saying that poor and working-class people are simply "stupid" with their money (as if there are hordes of poor people enjoying all those things you listed -- where on earth are they?!), instead of seeing that between '79 and '07 the people at the top made more than 22 times the gains that the people at the bottom did. Not to be overly simplistic, but it's easier to be "good" with money when you have more of it.

This reminds me of all the discussions about "fair tax rates" etc., in which many people argue that a flat tax rate would be "fair" ... as if a 10% flat tax would be "fair" when it would leave someone making $25,000 a year with $22,500, yet would leave someone making $1,000,000 a year with $900,000. Oh, but the guy making a million a year paid $100,000, so poor him. Really? He's still left with $900,000.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:17 PM
 
27,256 posts, read 55,733,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
It's interesting that you read that chart (post #5 in this thread) as saying that poor and working-class people are simply "stupid" with their money (as if there are hordes of poor people enjoying all those things you listed -- where on earth are they?!), instead of seeing that between '79 and '07 the people at the top made more than 22 times the gains that the people at the bottom did. Not to be overly simplistic, but it's easier to be "good" with money when you have more of it.

This reminds me of all the discussions about "fair tax rates" etc., in which many people argue that a flat tax rate would be "fair" ... as if a 10% flat tax would be "fair" when it would leave someone making $25,000 a year with $22,500, yet would leave someone making $1,000,000 a year with $900,000. Oh, but the guy making a million a year paid $100,000, so poor him. Really? He's still left with $900,000.
In your example, the guy making a million pays 40 times more dollars in taxes than the guy making $25,000 and you say it's not fair to the guy making $25,000

How about poor nobody?
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
8,046 posts, read 14,051,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
In your example, the guy making a million pays 40 times more dollars in taxes than the guy making $25,000 and you say it's not fair to the guy making $25,000

How about poor nobody?
This is the typical counter-argument, and it SOUNDS like the person making a million a year is paying so much more (and of course in actual dollars he is). However, what it ignores is the fact that $2,500 to someone making $25,000 a year MEANS MORE (in terms of earning power, being able to afford "normal" things like living in a decent neighborhood, getting married, having kids, etc.) than does $100,000 to someone making $1,000,000 a year -- who is left with $900,000. (In other words, your kind of argument assumes that $1 has the same meaning to someone who is poor or working-class and someone who is much wealthier -- but that's not the case.)
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:03 PM
 
27,256 posts, read 55,733,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
This is the typical counter-argument, and it SOUNDS like the person making a million a year is paying so much more (and of course in actual dollars he is). However, what it ignores is the fact that $2,500 to someone making $25,000 a year MEANS MORE (in terms of earning power, being able to afford "normal" things like living in a decent neighborhood, getting married, having kids, etc.) than does $100,000 to someone making $1,000,000 a year -- who is left with $900,000. (In other words, your kind of argument assumes that $1 has the same meaning to someone who is poor or working-class and someone who is much wealthier -- but that's not the case.)
I disagree...

First I can't get into the head of someone to know how much they need without making a judgement call.

My criteria on what they need or what a dollar means to them is not relevant.

Even the term normal means different things to different people.

My mom grew up on a small family dairy farm... never more than 25 milk cows. She later learned they were poor... she just never knew it growing up because they always had food on the table and work to do.

I like the idea of a flat tax... with a low threshold.

Everybody has to have skin in the game... the more you earn the more dollars you pay... everyone pays at the same rate so it is inherently fair and takes the guesswork out of income tax...

It seems to work well for sales tax and I think it would work great for income tax... I know many CPA's, Tax Lawyers, and Accountants would disagree... because demand for their services would drop overnight.

The tax code is so large, it is not possible for anyone to comprehend it's entirety...

We need a simpler, straightforward tax code with the cost on non-compliance steep and the cost of compliance reasonable... so it serves as an incentive for economic enterprise as opposed to a deterrent.
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