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Old 05-09-2019, 07:17 PM
 
11,286 posts, read 4,802,467 times
Reputation: 2393

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanLB View Post
Why?! You act like there’s only so much to go around and somehow other people having money hurts you. It’s a truly infantile understanding of how the economy works. This idea that “wealth inequality” is some evil, this stupid buzzword, is completely absurd. There are more people than ever before, so yes, when someone makes an Amazon or a Facebook they are going to be MUCH richer than in 1780 when someone ran a successful tools shop in a city and only had a small client base relative to 7 billion humans. There’s nothing abnormal about that and there’s absolutely zero that should be done about it.

The free market is self-correcting, you don’t just decide “gee this guy makes too much money, I don’t like that, we should take his money and distribute it to these poor idiots!” No, it doesn’t work that way. Workers are paid what they’re worth to the market. If there are 100 people willing to flip burgers and only 40 burger flipping jobs, guess what? No wage increase! Low demand, high supply. If there are a need for 100 qualified doctors at a hospital and only 50 doctors anywhere around to fill the jobs, wages are going up so that maybe some out of town or out of country doctors may consider relocating to fill these 50 empty job openings. It’s really, really simple to understand. Even a 7-year-old can get this math.
IMO wealth inequality in the USA is only a problem if our middle class is not keeping up. And they are not. There have been nice gains by the rich since the 2008 crash, not so the broad middle class. The poor we take care of. If the trajectory of the middle class does not improve, some intervention may be needed. But I wouldn't necessarily take from the rich. I would encourage new central money creation programs that augment the middle class. Lowering Medicare to age 50-55 would be the easiest thing to do that would quickly and significantly impact the middle class in a positive way. Not only would that take OOP HC cost pressure off that age group, it would also lower risks and premiums for those younger with private plans.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Toronto
659 posts, read 191,312 times
Reputation: 779
If you bought a property in the hot spots now when it was cheap as heck, you would be living with 1/3 effort having it paid off and or selling and moving to a cheaper location.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:33 PM
 
6,990 posts, read 2,076,354 times
Reputation: 12045
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoonose View Post
IMO wealth inequality in the USA is only a problem...
It isn't a problem. It's a feature.

Potential for wealth provides incentive to perform extraordinarily and to invest for the future.

That's a good thing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoonose View Post
...if our middle class is not keeping up. And they are not.
That's factually untrue, and you know it from other threads.



Wages Gain, Payrolls Rise as Expansion Rolls Ahead
https://www.wsj.com/articles/hiring-...le_email_share

Hiring, Wages Gain Strength as Jobless Rate Holds Steady
https://www.wsj.com/articles/hiring-...le_email_share


Hardly Anyone Wants to Admit America Is Beating Poverty
https://www.wsj.com/articles/hardly-...le_email_share


U.S. Workers Get Biggest Pay Increase in Nearly a Decade
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-emp...le_email_share


Employers Eager to Hire Try a New Policy: ‘No Experience Necessary’
https://www.wsj.com/articles/employe...le_email_share


The Canard About Falling Incomes
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-can...le_email_share

Capitalism is the greatest force for good yet invented by Mankind. Around the world, capitalism has brought more people out of abject poverty than any other system devised. Closer to home, the US middle class is doing very well and is not recovering from the horrendous anti-business policies of the prior administration.

What about the very poor?

Poverty has declined significantly over the past 50 years. Those who disagree ignore data because they don't like what it shows.

Some argue that the official poverty measure from the US Government indicates little improvement since the early 1970s. But this measure is misleading.

First, over the past 40 years America’s safety net has shifted substantially towards in-kind programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and housing benefits, and towards tax expenditures such as the Earned Income Credit while shifting away from traditional cash-transfer programs (live checks). It turns out the US "Official Poverty Measure" doesn't count in-kind assistance or tax expenditure programs.

Second, the official poverty measure relies on incomplete survey data. Americans are less willing today to take the time to respond accurately to government interviewers. For example, the official poverty survey registered only half of the cash welfare the government actually paid out.

Third, the official measure accounts for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, or CPI-U, a benchmark that does not accurately reflect the influence of new consumer products, changes in the quality of goods, or the shift to low-cost stores. While such errors in accounting for inflation have only a small effect on changes from one year to the next, they accumulate over decades and substantially alter long-term trends.

If, instead of focusing on reported incomes, you evaluate poverty based on actual consumption, you get a much better picture. So look at what food, housing, transportation and other goods and services people actually purchase and consume. The data clearly shows that there is much, much less material deprivation than there was decades ago.

For example, according to the American Housing Survey, the poorest 20% of Americans live as the middle class did a generation ago as measured by the square footage of their homes, the number of rooms per person, and the presence of air conditioning, dishwashers and other amenities.

It still sux to be dirt-poor compared to being wealthy, but life is unquestionably getting better for the bottom quintile. It is unquestionably getting better for the middle-class as well.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,717 posts, read 4,077,880 times
Reputation: 13397
Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalExpectations View Post
It isn't a problem. It's a feature.

Potential for wealth provides incentive to perform extraordinarily and to invest for the future.
More self-serving horse 'ockeys from someone who fancies themselves on the winning side.

Supported by - shock shock surprise oh-wow - reports from those similarly invested in greed as an economic platform.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:51 PM
 
11,286 posts, read 4,802,467 times
Reputation: 2393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
More self-serving horse 'ockeys from someone who fancies themselves on the winning side.

Supported by - shock shock surprise oh-wow - reports from those similarly invested in greed as an economic platform.
There are some who feel that our middle class is doing well enough. That's not what I more typically see, hear and read, but opinions are just that.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:33 PM
 
951 posts, read 330,203 times
Reputation: 1490
Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalExpectations View Post
It isn't a problem. It's a feature.

Potential for wealth provides incentive to perform extraordinarily and to invest for the future.

That's a good thing.




That's factually untrue, and you know it from other threads.



Wages Gain, Payrolls Rise as Expansion Rolls Ahead
https://www.wsj.com/articles/hiring-...le_email_share

Hiring, Wages Gain Strength as Jobless Rate Holds Steady
https://www.wsj.com/articles/hiring-...le_email_share


Hardly Anyone Wants to Admit America Is Beating Poverty
https://www.wsj.com/articles/hardly-...le_email_share


U.S. Workers Get Biggest Pay Increase in Nearly a Decade
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-emp...le_email_share


Employers Eager to Hire Try a New Policy: ‘No Experience Necessary’
https://www.wsj.com/articles/employe...le_email_share


The Canard About Falling Incomes
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-can...le_email_share

Capitalism is the greatest force for good yet invented by Mankind. Around the world, capitalism has brought more people out of abject poverty than any other system devised. Closer to home, the US middle class is doing very well and is not recovering from the horrendous anti-business policies of the prior administration.

What about the very poor?

Poverty has declined significantly over the past 50 years. Those who disagree ignore data because they don't like what it shows.

Some argue that the official poverty measure from the US Government indicates little improvement since the early 1970s. But this measure is misleading.

First, over the past 40 years America’s safety net has shifted substantially towards in-kind programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and housing benefits, and towards tax expenditures such as the Earned Income Credit while shifting away from traditional cash-transfer programs (live checks). It turns out the US "Official Poverty Measure" doesn't count in-kind assistance or tax expenditure programs.

Second, the official poverty measure relies on incomplete survey data. Americans are less willing today to take the time to respond accurately to government interviewers. For example, the official poverty survey registered only half of the cash welfare the government actually paid out.

Third, the official measure accounts for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, or CPI-U, a benchmark that does not accurately reflect the influence of new consumer products, changes in the quality of goods, or the shift to low-cost stores. While such errors in accounting for inflation have only a small effect on changes from one year to the next, they accumulate over decades and substantially alter long-term trends.

If, instead of focusing on reported incomes, you evaluate poverty based on actual consumption, you get a much better picture. So look at what food, housing, transportation and other goods and services people actually purchase and consume. The data clearly shows that there is much, much less material deprivation than there was decades ago.

For example, according to the American Housing Survey, the poorest 20% of Americans live as the middle class did a generation ago as measured by the square footage of their homes, the number of rooms per person, and the presence of air conditioning, dishwashers and other amenities.

It still sux to be dirt-poor compared to being wealthy, but life is unquestionably getting better for the bottom quintile. It is unquestionably getting better for the middle-class as well.
That is as much dribble as one can take.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:52 PM
 
6,990 posts, read 2,076,354 times
Reputation: 12045
Its always amusing — some people dislike actual data and economic analyses that yield answers they don’t like. It’s like that famous scene from Treasure of the Sierra Madre. . Then they attack the messenger.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,717 posts, read 4,077,880 times
Reputation: 13397
Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalExpectations View Post
Its always amusing — some people dislike actual data and economic analyses that yield answers they don’t like.
What's even more amusing are those who find the economic answers they want by choosing their precepts first.

See, if you're rich and greedy, you select precepts that validate that. Easy peasy. Even easier if you believe it's all some kind of rigid science and you've found the periodic table.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
6,848 posts, read 4,523,502 times
Reputation: 11745
Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalExpectations View Post
It isn't a problem. It's a feature.

Potential for wealth provides incentive to perform extraordinarily and to invest for the future.

That's a good thing.




That's factually untrue, and you know it from other threads.



Wages Gain, Payrolls Rise as Expansion Rolls Ahead
https://www.wsj.com/articles/hiring-...le_email_share

Hiring, Wages Gain Strength as Jobless Rate Holds Steady
https://www.wsj.com/articles/hiring-...le_email_share


Hardly Anyone Wants to Admit America Is Beating Poverty
https://www.wsj.com/articles/hardly-...le_email_share


U.S. Workers Get Biggest Pay Increase in Nearly a Decade
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-emp...le_email_share


Employers Eager to Hire Try a New Policy: ‘No Experience Necessary’
https://www.wsj.com/articles/employe...le_email_share


The Canard About Falling Incomes
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-can...le_email_share

Capitalism is the greatest force for good yet invented by Mankind. Around the world, capitalism has brought more people out of abject poverty than any other system devised. Closer to home, the US middle class is doing very well and is not recovering from the horrendous anti-business policies of the prior administration.

What about the very poor?

Poverty has declined significantly over the past 50 years. Those who disagree ignore data because they don't like what it shows.

Some argue that the official poverty measure from the US Government indicates little improvement since the early 1970s. But this measure is misleading.

First, over the past 40 years America’s safety net has shifted substantially towards in-kind programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and housing benefits, and towards tax expenditures such as the Earned Income Credit while shifting away from traditional cash-transfer programs (live checks). It turns out the US "Official Poverty Measure" doesn't count in-kind assistance or tax expenditure programs.

Second, the official poverty measure relies on incomplete survey data. Americans are less willing today to take the time to respond accurately to government interviewers. For example, the official poverty survey registered only half of the cash welfare the government actually paid out.

Third, the official measure accounts for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, or CPI-U, a benchmark that does not accurately reflect the influence of new consumer products, changes in the quality of goods, or the shift to low-cost stores. While such errors in accounting for inflation have only a small effect on changes from one year to the next, they accumulate over decades and substantially alter long-term trends.

If, instead of focusing on reported incomes, you evaluate poverty based on actual consumption, you get a much better picture. So look at what food, housing, transportation and other goods and services people actually purchase and consume. The data clearly shows that there is much, much less material deprivation than there was decades ago.

For example, according to the American Housing Survey, the poorest 20% of Americans live as the middle class did a generation ago as measured by the square footage of their homes, the number of rooms per person, and the presence of air conditioning, dishwashers and other amenities.

It still sux to be dirt-poor compared to being wealthy, but life is unquestionably getting better for the bottom quintile. It is unquestionably getting better for the middle-class as well.
A lot if the reason for this are two-income households. Back in 1967, how many married women worked full time? Half as many as many as today? Fewer?

And the "material" prosperity is not necessarily indicative of much. Builders don't make houses without dishwashers or air conditioning anymore. Only older houses will lack those things, so if you're in an area with housing stock built post 1980, it's going to have air conditioning whether it's a rich or poor neighborhood. The question is, can you afford to repair it?

Your links don't have much about how living costs have gotten more expensive. Employers are paying more, leading to more two-income households making $100k+, because they have to.

I'm definitely making more money, but my relative situation is not better than my parents' was at my age because they didn't have health care costing 20% of their income and their house cost less than half what mine did. My house is bigger and has more amenities, but there were few to no options without those features in my area. It takes a bigger share of my income than my parents' house did for them.

Last edited by redguard57; 05-11-2019 at 08:50 AM..
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:53 AM
 
11,286 posts, read 4,802,467 times
Reputation: 2393
Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
A lot if the reason for this are two-income households. Back in 1967, how many married women worked full time? Half as many as many as today? Fewer?

And the "material" prosperity is not necessarily indicative of much. Builders don't make houses without dishwashers or air conditioning anymore. Only older houses will lack those things, so if you're in an area with housing stock built post 1980, it's going to have air conditioning whether it's a rich or poor neighborhood.

Your links don't have much about how living costs have gotten more expensive. Employers are paying more, leading to more two-income households making $100k+, because they have to.

I'm definitely making more money, but my relative situation is not better than my parents' was at my age because they didn't have health care costing 20% of their income and their house cost a fraction of what mine did.
As you note standard of living is the real issue not the wage number. Concerning HC, although expensive it offers huge advantages over a generation ago. For instance my wife would have been dead several times over if not for ongoing medical technology advances. IMO supporting our middle class with their OOP HC expenses would one good way to augment their standard of living.
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