80% of the American People Only Own 7% of its Wealth

  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 21, 2011 2:47 AM GMT
    Not since the days of the 19th Century robber barons have we had such an imbalance of money and power


    ThisIsNotWhatDemocracyLooksLike.jpg
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    Mar 21, 2011 3:11 AM GMT
    Everyone only makes as much as they earn.
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Mar 21, 2011 3:25 AM GMT
    I don't mind people making more money than me. I am perfectly content living a simple and nonwealthy lifestyle. I find that money complicates things.
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    Mar 21, 2011 3:29 AM GMT
    It would be helpful to have historical context. But also, I'm not quite clear what the issue is. Are you saying that the 7% got rich by taking from the other 93%? Or that perhaps the US government should take from the 7% and redistribute?

    I mean as I'm sure you're already aware the highest income earners are the ones who pay the most by far over the rest of Americans. So there are already attempts to redistribute that wealth through progressive tax policy. Do you differentiate between earnings and assets?

    But I am curious what you see as both the cause of what you see as the problem and the solution?
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    Mar 21, 2011 3:31 AM GMT
    carminea saidEveryone only makes as much as they earn.


    Not really. Lots of people of "unearned income" and I don't consider gambling with other people's money, including some of the pensions that got so fucked up, as "earning" money.
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    Mar 21, 2011 3:34 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    carminea saidEveryone only makes as much as they earn.


    Not really. Lots of people of "unearned income" and I don't consider gambling with other people's money, including some of the pensions that got so fucked up, as "earning" money.


    I think you and I would agree that the outsized comp packages are generally not terribly efficient. But would you agree that the alternatives like government facilitated capital allocation in alternative economies are even more inefficiently broadly speaking?

    I mean more broadly would you agree that the financial services sector is critical to the success of any economy because of its role in capital allocation? ie putting down companies that aren't efficient, funding those who have good ideas and markets, etc.?
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    Mar 21, 2011 3:35 AM GMT
    Capitalism is the worst form of economic system...
    ...except for all the others.

    And it's a pyramid scheme, so why the surprise that the bottom is big and the top is small?
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    Mar 21, 2011 3:43 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    carminea saidEveryone only makes as much as they earn.


    Not really. Lots of people of "unearned income" and I don't consider gambling with other people's money, including some of the pensions that got so fucked up, as "earning" money.


    I think you and I would agree that the outsized comp packages are generally not terribly efficient. But would you agree that the alternatives like government facilitated capital allocation in alternative economies are even more inefficiently broadly speaking?

    I mean more broadly would you agree that the financial services sector is critical to the success of any economy because of its role in capital allocation? ie putting down companies that aren't efficient, funding those who have good ideas and markets, etc.?


    I think it depends on the sector. In terms of most industries, yes, capital markets are probably the most efficient method of resource allocation. But, there are also many markets in which the government funds basic research and then a private company patents the good and services. To my mind, this is a legal theft wherein taxpayer funded research is used to create private wealth. Beyond that, certain industries - education, insurance, public infrastructure - are of such vital public necessity that leaving them to the vagaries of the market, does more harm than good.

    The financial services sector isn't problematic per se, but it no longer does what it's said to do because of rampant corruption and fraud. It has also long ago left behind investment as its primary raison d'tre and moved into gambling with its own and other people's money as that's more profitable. It has also grown so large and influential as to be nearly imperious to any regulatory framework that we currently have. This has accelerated its corruptive nature and influence.
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    Mar 21, 2011 7:15 AM GMT
    You have to realize that that 20% don't have 93% of money hidden in a bank account or under the mattress, in fact most of that 93% of value is based on the present and future activities of the market... most of it is imaginary money that is only real so long as the other 80% of Americans (and importers) keep consuming.

    Doesn't look to different from other countries an in fact, better than many.

    I'm not defending "greed" or whatever, just saying to keep it in perspective.
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    Mar 21, 2011 7:17 AM GMT
    wake up, this is capitalism, no one said anything about democracy. That's for 4th graders to memorize in school
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    Mar 21, 2011 7:20 AM GMT
    Here's a better explanation.

    Here are some hilights:
    The richest 400 people have more money than the bottom 150,000,000 combined.

    Between the years 1980 and 2005, 80% of all new income generated in this country went to the richest 1%.


    Not creating an income gap? Hardly.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 21, 2011 7:26 AM GMT
    And nationalized Laissez-Faire policies want to increase that disparity.
  • trevchaser

    Posts: 237

    Mar 21, 2011 8:56 AM GMT
    Most people in this world, especially North America are comfortable. To achieve things you dream of having you need to do things that most people won't do. Get uncomfortable and at the fringe of your fears to succeed. No success was ever built in a comfort zone. When you can get over that, success will come your way. But you will have to grow mentally into that to match the income you make or else you risk losing it all.
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    Mar 21, 2011 1:30 PM GMT
    Throughout history there will be always someone bringing up the obvious fact that capitalism is inadequate, but they will always be unable to find a better alternative and in their shortsighted quest will end up embracing something much, much worse.

    Our founding fathers and brave men and women who fought in WW2 to give us what we have today would turn in their graves hearing the sentiments of so many young Americans today.

    It's not about what's perfect, it's about what works best.

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    Mar 21, 2011 1:34 PM GMT
    FierceEyes saidHere's a better explanation.

    Here are some hilights:
    The richest 400 people have more money than the bottom 150,000,000 combined.

    Between the years 1980 and 2005, 80% of all new income generated in this country went to the richest 1%.


    Not creating an income gap? Hardly.


    So 400 people were smarter and got luckier than 150,000,000.

    What are you saying? That everybody's money should be everybody's money?
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    Mar 21, 2011 1:37 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie saidThroughout history there will be always someone bringing up the obvious fact that capitalism is inadequate, but they will always be unable to find a better alternative and in their shortsighted quest will end up embracing something much, much worse.

    Our founding fathers and brave men and women who fought in WW2 to give us what we have today would turn in their graves hearing the sentiments of so many young Americans today.

    It's not about what's perfect, it's about what works best.



    Putting aside the emotional portion of your response, I agree it's the best we've got, but doesn't recognizing its imperfections also mean we have to do our best to ensure that those imperfections harm the fewest possible people?
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    Mar 21, 2011 1:37 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie saidThroughout history there will be always someone bringing up the obvious fact that capitalism is inadequate, but they will always be unable to find a better alternative and in their shortsighted quest will end up embracing something much, much worse.

    Our founding fathers and brave men and women who fought in WW2 to give us what we have today would turn in their graves hearing the sentiments of so many young Americans today.

    It's not about what's perfect, it's about what works best.



    Which is exactly what's wrong.

    Capitalism only works if the government guarantees a level playing field, by means of legislation and a functional judiciary.

    The US has neither, and as an economy is completely geared towards the interests of a relatively small selection of large corporates.

    Dragging some veterans into this discussion is classic American cheap demagogy, which always blinds the discussion and leads to inadequate, irrational and anti-pragmatic policy.
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    Mar 21, 2011 1:38 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    FierceEyes saidHere's a better explanation.

    Here are some hilights:
    The richest 400 people have more money than the bottom 150,000,000 combined.

    Between the years 1980 and 2005, 80% of all new income generated in this country went to the richest 1%.


    Not creating an income gap? Hardly.


    So 400 people were smarter and got luckier than 150,000,000.

    What are you saying? That everybody's money should be everybody's money?


    No. They are not "smarter and luckier." Consider that 6 of the top 10 richest are members of the Walton family, some of whom have no active role in managing Walmart. They are living off their father's and siblings' work as well as public policy that gives preferential treatment to big box stores like Walmart.
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    Mar 21, 2011 1:40 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    mocktwinkie said
    FierceEyes saidHere's a better explanation.

    Here are some hilights:
    The richest 400 people have more money than the bottom 150,000,000 combined.

    Between the years 1980 and 2005, 80% of all new income generated in this country went to the richest 1%.


    Not creating an income gap? Hardly.


    So 400 people were smarter and got luckier than 150,000,000.

    What are you saying? That everybody's money should be everybody's money?


    No. They are not "smarter and luckier." Consider that 6 of the top 10 richest are members of the Walton family, some of whom have no active role in managing Walmart. They are living off their father's and siblings' work.


    Umm, that's part of the American dream. Are you saying money should be confiscated before it gets to the children?

    I'm sure everyone here can come up with some convincing rationale that Bill Gates engaged in fraud to get where he is today?
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    Mar 21, 2011 1:43 PM GMT
    If it were ever part of the American Dream to be born into wealth and live as a lazy nogood with all the money in the world stuffed right into your pockets, that dream needs some adjusting.

    Cause nobody seriously likes or respects those people, do they?

    By your logic Paris Hilton should command respect being the epitome of the American dream.
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    Mar 21, 2011 1:44 PM GMT
    Tazo995 said
    mocktwinkie saidThroughout history there will be always someone bringing up the obvious fact that capitalism is inadequate, but they will always be unable to find a better alternative and in their shortsighted quest will end up embracing something much, much worse.

    Our founding fathers and brave men and women who fought in WW2 to give us what we have today would turn in their graves hearing the sentiments of so many young Americans today.

    It's not about what's perfect, it's about what works best.



    Which is exactly what's wrong.

    Capitalism only works if the government guarantees a level playing field, by means of legislation and a functional judiciary.

    The US has neither, and as an economy is completely geared towards the interests of a relatively small selection of large corporates.

    Dragging some veterans into this discussion is classic American cheap demagogy, which always blinds the discussion and leads to inadequate, irrational and anti-pragmatic policy.


    And just how exactly do you propose the government secure a "level playing field"? Do you even know what that means?

    Oh 'I've got a brilliant idea that would fit into your scheme of thinking. Maybe it's unfair for some to win big at a casino and others to lose, so we should make sure that the winners divide all of their earnings with the losers and now we have a level playing field. Of course, now there isn't any incentive anymore to gamble, is there?

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    Mar 21, 2011 1:45 PM GMT
    Sorry, you're an idiot so I'm not going into further arguments with you.

    Look up level playing field in the dictionary.
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    Mar 21, 2011 1:47 PM GMT
    Tazo995 saidSorry, you're an idiot so I'm not going into further arguments with you.

    Look up level playing field in the dictionary.


    A level playing field is what we have right now. Some people take advantage of it and get lucky and win, others sit on their ass and complain.

    Bill Gates was no more on an "advantaged" playing field than many, many other people at the time he became innovative and ultimately very successful at what he did.

    Do you want to argue that Mark Zuckerberg had some distinct advantage over many other self-proclaimed geeks at the time he came up with facebook? Almost anybody with a little money and some designing savvy could have created it.
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    Mar 21, 2011 1:58 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    mocktwinkie saidThroughout history there will be always someone bringing up the obvious fact that capitalism is inadequate, but they will always be unable to find a better alternative and in their shortsighted quest will end up embracing something much, much worse.

    Our founding fathers and brave men and women who fought in WW2 to give us what we have today would turn in their graves hearing the sentiments of so many young Americans today.

    It's not about what's perfect, it's about what works best.



    Putting aside the emotional portion of your response, I agree it's the best we've got, but doesn't recognizing its imperfections also mean we have to do our best to ensure that those imperfections harm the fewest possible people?


    I agree too with what you're saying but the problem is determining how many of these imperfections we can correct without actually destroying the system itself.

    I've proposed solutions for poverty in the past. For instance, I believe the current failing welfare programs should be dropped and we should instead have a negative tax increase for the poor and that would wipe away all the bureaucracy. We should also discourage child growth among the population sections among the poorest by capping benefits at 2 children. No one is saying people can't have more, but they just can't have more than that and be taken care of by the state.
  • bmw0

    Posts: 588

    Mar 21, 2011 2:37 PM GMT
    It gets so annoying that people bitch and moan about the rich. You know, i grew up poor and did really well for myself. At one point was making near six figures a year. If you bust your ass and work hard you can make the money. The largest part of that 80% is either too lazy and lives off of the government, or is content with being who they are. Don't hate on people just because they worked hard to provide for their families. The jealousy i see in this thread amazes me. Go work, go to school, invent something or whatever. We all have the opportunity to do better. Its your choice.. But don't get mad at your neighbor because they made better choices in life than you did. And don't get mad when they don't feel sorry for the person that didn't make the better choices.