Wealth Inequality in America

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 26, 2013 5:23 AM GMT
    This is shocking if true.....


  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Nov 26, 2013 9:20 AM GMT
    I don't see what's shocking about it. The news has been aggressively reporting it since 2007. What's shocking is that we allow it to go on. The mega rich are treated like demigods in our culture. They think they're better than the rest if us, and many people agree with them. They think they deserve it, and many people agree with them. Our economy is immoral and broken and unamerican, but many people are apparently ok with it, because the rich keep increasing their earnings, lowering their taxes, all while unapologetically destroying the environment. Hell, Jennifer Aniston just built a private runway for her private jet, and she's poor compared to some these billionaires. It's gross. She's gross. There's so much wrong with the world, but people underestimate how wrong this is. It's part of the reason morale is so low among the other 99%.
  • jo2hotbod

    Posts: 3603

    Nov 26, 2013 10:32 AM GMT
    The graphical representation is incredible, it's amazing when a concept can be broken down and explained in as manner that makes sense.
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    Nov 26, 2013 1:55 PM GMT
    why do you think this isn't true? this story has been told many times before. the problem is finding a solution to this economic disparity. the 1% is very effective at regulating government policies that affect their pockets by lining the pockets of the puppets in congress.

    like jo2hotbod said, this is an awesome graphical representation. wish i could make powerpoint presentations like this. icon_cry.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 26, 2013 10:53 PM GMT
    Capitalism is flawed. But so was communism. But I do think communism/socialism is inevitable.
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    Nov 26, 2013 11:34 PM GMT
    Trolliosis said
    Menthol222 saidCapitalism is flawed. But so was communism. But I do think communism/socialism is inevitable.
    Our country already is socialist. Anyone who disagrees is in denial or needs to learn basic English. Still doesn't mean that our economy is equal, though.


    we're talking about america, buddy. america is only socialist to the right wing religious nuts that took this survey - http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/r14/USA/Elections/President/2012/0713/Is-America-becoming-a-socialist-state-40-percent-say-yes.
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    Nov 26, 2013 11:37 PM GMT
    Menthol222 saidCapitalism is flawed. But so was communism. But I do think communism/socialism is inevitable.


    communism/socialism is inevitable if you are talking about the year 3500 when earth has undergone another ice age and you and i are the only two left.
  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Nov 26, 2013 11:58 PM GMT
    Working for a Luxury Hotel astounds me every day, the amount of weatlth coming through those doors will make you head spin. However: i dont have a problem with the wealthy, its those Rude Nouveau Riche Bastards who get on my nerves...The very wealthy will occupy an entire floor and have walls removed to avoid the burden of having to open and close doors.....Its truly unreal.icon_exclaim.gif
  • Paperless_Pen

    Posts: 573

    Nov 27, 2013 12:11 AM GMT
    sean_zuri said
    Menthol222 saidCapitalism is flawed. But so was communism. But I do think communism/socialism is inevitable.


    communism/socialism is inevitable if you are talking about the year 3500 when earth has undergone another ice age and you and i are the only two left.


    When technology is so far advanced, the classes will be eliminated. We can't have the rich so far apart from the poorest.
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    Nov 27, 2013 12:31 AM GMT
    Trolliosis said
    sean_zuri said
    Trolliosis said
    Menthol222 saidCapitalism is flawed. But so was communism. But I do think communism/socialism is inevitable.
    Our country already is socialist. Anyone who disagrees is in denial or needs to learn basic English. Still doesn't mean that our economy is equal, though.


    we're talking about america, buddy. america is only socialist to the right wing religious nuts that took this survey - http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/r14/USA/Elections/President/2012/0713/Is-America-becoming-a-socialist-state-40-percent-say-yes.
    Social security, welfare, public education, national/state parks, etc... We are socialist, but not communist. I'm actually in full favor of socialism. It's kind of kept me alive.


    social programming doesn't make us a socialist nation. icon_rolleyes.gif watch the clip again at the top. wealth is certainly not being redistributed. we live in a capitalist country that's losing its socialist balance.
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    Nov 27, 2013 12:33 AM GMT
    also of no surprise is who is being hurt most by this widening economic gap.

  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Nov 27, 2013 12:58 AM GMT
    Yeah, a lot of americans are really poor and kinda fat./ It's not cute.
  • memphis

    Posts: 19

    Nov 27, 2013 1:50 AM GMT
    It's even worse than the video suggests. A substantial number of people, including me, have a negative net worth because of debts. One day, I hope that the balance on my college loans is less than what I own. I'm not up to zero yet, but it is something I can aspire to.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Nov 27, 2013 2:02 AM GMT
    People always want more, and they want more than the person next to them.
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    Nov 27, 2013 2:03 AM GMT
    1917-1929.jpg

    1929-1969.jpg

    1969-2008.jpg
  • killercliche

    Posts: 948

    Nov 27, 2013 3:25 AM GMT
    The problem with the public perception in America is that they believe that hard work begets wealth and wealth scales equally with hard work. Unfortunately, what really begets wealth is wealth, and while one can work to earn good money in certain circumstances, it is only colossal wealth that rakes in the money of the top 1%.


    America is working as a sort of matured capitalist society, where money saturates every avenue of life, controlling all, even the government.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 27, 2013 10:46 AM GMT
    "America is working as a sort of matured capitalist society, where money saturates every avenue of life, controlling all, even the government."

    Indeed.
  • PIccadilly

    Posts: 240

    Nov 27, 2013 1:19 PM GMT
    Trolliosis saidSocial security, welfare, public education, national/state parks, etc... We are socialist, but not communist. I'm actually in full favor of socialism. It's kind of kept me alive.


    All industrialized countries are socialist to varying degrees. Yes, the US has a public education system and national parks (which country doesn't?), but also a very lucrative private sector managing higher education, health care and incarceration. Compared to other countries, the US is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to socialism.

    And for the record, the video is wrong when associating redistribution of wealth to socialism. That's not what socialism is.
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    Nov 28, 2013 5:37 PM GMT
    Piccadilly saidAnd for the record, the video is wrong when associating redistribution of wealth to socialism. That's not what socialism is.


    Another fuck-up in probably most people's thinking is the delusional notion that wealth redistribution = trickle down. But that is not what wealth redistribution is. That's the bullshit everyone sells themselves, everyone buys into. It's very expensive bullshit as the costs are immeasurable.

    Even in capitalism, in any system, wealth does not inherently belong to the wealthy. It does not originate there. Wealth is absconded by the wealthy, monarchs are thieves, for wealth is not the sovereign domain of the wealthy.

    Wealth inherently belongs to all of the people who live on the planet. What is wealth? Wealth is human labor, intellectual properties which is merely another type of labor, so accumulating the wealth of that is a type of slavery even if paid with food and shelter and new TV set. Wealth is natural resources, which no one is born naturally owning, not even the monarchs who earlier on set themselves up as Gods to be worshipped. All of that is bullshit.

    So it is no more a redistribution of the wealth to make poorer people less poor than it is a redistribution of the wealth to make richer people more rich.

    It is a lie to say social programs redistribute the wealth because the wealth belongs to all of society.

    When the rich become more rich, that is redistributing the wealth to the wealthy.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Nov 28, 2013 5:47 PM GMT
    Piccadilly said
    Trolliosis saidSocial security, welfare, public education, national/state parks, etc... We are socialist, but not communist. I'm actually in full favor of socialism. It's kind of kept me alive.


    All industrialized countries are socialist to varying degrees. Yes, the US has a public education system and national parks (which country doesn't?), but also a very lucrative private sector managing higher education, health care and incarceration. Compared to other countries, the US is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to socialism.

    And for the record, the video is wrong when associating redistribution of wealth to socialism. That's not what socialism is.

    Those are notoriously broken institutions rife with inequality.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Nov 28, 2013 7:34 PM GMT
    In any nation with a central banking system (such as our Federal Reserve which is a privately held institution), money (currency) is by its very nature *debt*. The supply of currency is made out of a promise to repay a debt and, due to compound interest, there is always more money owed to the banking system than there is currency (whether actual or digital) to repay that debt. Thus, like a game of musical chairs, Financial inequality is built into the system and someone is *always* going to end up unable to repay their debt.

    The Outstanding Public Debt as of 28 Nov 2013 at 05:56:53 PM GMT is: $17,224,112,805,037.54. The estimated population of the United States is 317,135,760 so each citizen's share of this debt is $54,311.48.

    Of course what that doesn't tell us is what the financial assets and real wealth (that is, as theantijock points out, not only available currency but the *value* of goods and services) actually amounts to by comparison. And the question everyone should ask but seldom does is, given the national debt and the fact that the vast majority of US citizens could not repay their share of this debt even if they wanted to, *what* is keeping the US solvent within the global economy?

    Of course the answer to that question is going to be complex because the wealth (money, goods and services) of a nation is always greater than its money supply. After all, a debt is acceptable IF one can show one has what it takes (whatever it may take) to repay that debt.

    Of course there are all the "good things" we like to think about: Our natural resources, our ingenuity, our productivity and so on. But there are also things we don't like to think about. For example, the monolithic hegemony of the very wealthy and the institutions they've created and control (including the global banking system itself) that insure everyone of us who participates is 'locked in' to that system. Wage slaves. You want food, clothing and shelter? You'd better be able to pay for it. You want more than that? Ditto. (And there is a whole panoply of industries and social programming in place to guarantee we *will* want more than the basics.)

    Finally there is our ability to wage war. What we call "National Security" and "Defense" (on all its aboveboard and clandestine levels) is our ability to not only protect but *extend* the monolithic hegemony of the elite (their banking systems and the international corporations they own and control). Look at the hydrocarbon (oil-energy) industry for example. I would think it would be obvious that the on-going wars in the Middle East *are* resource (most specifically hydrocarbon but also heroin trade) wars. The idea that this is a "war on terror" would be laughable if it weren't so tragic. That is just a cover story for the real intentions which are to safeguard hydrocarbon resources, insuring they will be within Western (as opposed to, say, easter-block Communist China's) control.

    I want to dwell on this just a bit because it helps explain the situation we're currently in and what we may be facing in the future.

    In the 1970s it was clear to many of us who paid attention to these things that it wasn't a good idea to build an advanced technological civilization based on non-renueable (hydrocarbon) resources. If one thinks about it from the point of view as energy = wealth and then you posit that 'energy' is ultimately limited (thus increasing in value to everyone as it becomes more scarce *and* demand increases) it all begins to make a lot of sense. We are where we are today because those with wealth and power made a decision to retain the monolithic energy pyramid. Who ever controls that resource, controls ever increasing wealth.

    By contrast, think how different our world would be today IF we had begun building a renewable energy infrastructure 40 years ago. Imagine how things would be if the vast majority of our energy needs came from solar, wind, hydrothermal, wave power and so on. It isn't that the technology to do this doesn't exist, it does. But it is suppressed because renewable energy is inherently decentralizing. What would happen to the power and wealth of the elite if they can not CONTROL the energy upon which civilization runs? Imagine if every household, school, hospital, corporation, or nation on earth, could generate enough clean energy to fuel its own needs? Yes, indeed, it would be a much better and *different* world than we have. But it is precisely the world we do *not* have and we do not have it precisely because those with wealth and power saw it as a threat to their own global economic hegemony.

    Things are as they are. The demand for hydrocarbon energy is increasing while the global availability of that energy is decreasing, thus its economic value increases insuring an unstable geopolitical theatre. But for those invested in the military industrial complex, this is a PLUS. The environmental and social consequences be damned. They don't care how many people are killed in their resource wars, they don't care how much damage is done to the environment due to their greed. They will, and are, taking us to the brink of disaster. Then and only then, when they can figure out a way to centralize, essentially monopolize, renewable energy production, will they earnestly begin to make the decisions necessary to implement that infrastructure. And if in the course of events global war is necessary to eradicate much of the existing infrastructure, so be it. Another "plus" in their column as rebuilding an obliterated world can be very profitable *for them*.

    This is the world according to MikeW offered to you on this day of Thanks Giving. tl;dr for most, I'm sure.

    If I'm right the future will be more of the same only worse. In my view the only thing that can save us now is a total revolution and by that I mean a total rejection of the antiquated system of "government" that has evolved in the West out of monarchy and the international banking economy that controls it. Government=control of YOUR life. Yes, it "protects" you but *only* to the extent you are of value to the system as a good little consuming wage slave. Otherwise you're nothing but a useless eater.

    I posted this video once before in another thread. I have no idea if anyone watched it. At 2hours in length is a commitment. But if you've read this and find any of it interesting, it may be worth a watch. I am not apart of the "Zeitgeist Movement" but it fairly well sums up the way I see the world and had already begun to see it long before this paltry "movement" began to get a bit of traction. I have many criticisms of it but, even so, it goes a long way to explaining our situation and the *kind* of out-of-the-box "revolution" I'm talking about. It specifically promotes a rejection of central debt economics in favor of what is called a "Resource Based Economy" (RBE). Personally I'm not a "utopian" (and that RBE is 'utopian' is one of my primary criticisms) BUT what we do know is that a real revolution can NOT be more of the same; can NOT be centralized, monolithic control of wealth and resources by the sociopathic few over the 'unwashed' masses. At the very least we need to VISUALIZE a new world, a better world, a safer world, a cleaner world and then begin doing whatever we can to move in that direction. (Yes, we have solar panels on the house where I currently live.)

    I seriously believe that unless global humanity begins to evolve socially and reclaim our potential as an intelligent, adaptive species, we *will* be our own destruction. We are asleep and it is damn time we began to wake up.

  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Nov 29, 2013 7:09 PM GMT
    ^Wow! Awesome post! I would love to see more people and communities take the power, literally, into their own hands.