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A compilation of articles and videos regarding income inequality in the United States

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    #2
    Joseph E. Stiglitz
    http://www.vanityfair.com/society/fe...percent-201105
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      #3
      I haven't read or watched the video, but every society will have that 1%. We just don't determine that 1% by levels of incest.
      bogative ?

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        #4
        Originally posted by jack_christie View Post
        Another great article. I'd you, but I have to spread some more rep around first.

        Edit: The Vanity Fair article mentions that 12% of American workers are members of a union. What it does not mention is that a large percentage of those are/were government employees. Only 6.9% of private sector workers are members of a union, and the number of public sector workers with union membership has certainly seen a large decline since this article was published in May of this year.

        http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

        If and when the Post Office starts laying people off, the number of workers with union membership is certain to see a large decline again.
        Last edited by Mr. Nice; September 25th, 2011, 4:07 AM.

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          #5
          Originally posted by argatoga View Post
          I haven't read or watched the video, but every society will have that 1%. We just don't determine that 1% by levels of incest.
          Yes, every society has a top 1%. However, not in every society does the top 1% get a quarter of the income.
          Let's take Germany as a counter-example, the top 10% take 24.9% of the income and contribute 51.8% to the income tax total. Same portion of the total income, distributed over ten times as many people.
          The bottom 50% takes 28.7% of the income and contributes 6.5% to the income tax total. Your bottom half takes less than half that percentage, low teens I believe.
          Last edited by narf; September 25th, 2011, 4:09 AM.
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            #6
            Originally posted by narf View Post
            Yes, every society has a top 1%. However, not in every society does the top 1% get a quarter of the income.
            Let's take Germany as a counter-example, the top 10% take 24.9% of the income and contribute 51.8% to the income tax total. Same portion of the total income, distributed over ten times as many people.
            The bottom 50% takes 28.7% of the income and contributes 6.5% to the income tax total. Your bottom half takes less than half that percentage, low teens I believe.
            From the PBS Newshour video link above:



            Edit: Basically, the bottom 80% control less than 16% of the nation's wealth.

            Further Edit: Here is an article with better graphs and figures that are further broken down: It's the Inequality, Stupid
            Last edited by Mr. Nice; September 25th, 2011, 4:03 PM.

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              #7
              The ongoing HP CEO musical chairs is quite funny, seven CEO's since 1999 and about $100 million spent to pay them off mostly for doing a bad job. Bizarre contrast with everyday life.
              Last edited by jack_christie; September 25th, 2011, 5:09 PM.
              Team Black Jack

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                #8
                Originally posted by argatoga View Post
                I haven't read or watched the video, but every society will have that 1%. We just don't determine that 1% by levels of incest.
                I suppose we can be grateful for that.

                But when the 'top' 10% control 80% of the nations wealth (and the 'bottom' 90% of us average 30 grand a year in income) we've got a real problem. I've read a few articles claiming that the wealthy actually know that fact better than most and some are legitimately worried about hordes of the unwashed masses coming after them.

                Originally posted by jack_christie View Post
                The ongoing HP CEO musical chairs is quite funny, seven CEO's since 1999 and about $100 million spent to pay them off mostly for doing a bad job. Bizarre contrast with everyday life.
                All while the company tanks, too. It certainly is alternate reality that those people live in.
                Saying smaller engines are better is like saying you don't want huge muscles because you wouldn't fit through the door. So what? You can bench 500. Fuck doors. - MadCat360

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                  #9
                  These articles speak volumes as to why the crisis is the way it is. What is insane to me is how middle and lower class conservatives ignore the issues and brush them under the mat of capitalism. How bad do things in this country need to get before these people realize? The narrow mindedness that seems to have spread across this country is astonishing and frightening.
                  Originally posted by MadCat360
                  You've never driven your car hard and you never will. Only a professional racing driver can drive a car hard. Everyone else sucks.

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                    #10
                    This kind of thing always crops up more often during recessions. There will always be rich people. Nothing we can do about it. They just get targetted more when the rest of us are feeling the pinch.

                    Just remember this (and I can't remember the source of the theory) but it is said that if all the wealth in the world were to be taken from everyone, put into a pot and distributed equally between every person on the planet, within a generation it would all be back where it originally started.
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                      #11
                      Originally posted by MWF View Post
                      This kind of thing always crops up more often during recessions. There will always be rich people. Nothing we can do about it. They just get targetted more when the rest of us are feeling the pinch.

                      Just remember this (and I can't remember the source of the theory) but it is said that if all the wealth in the world were to be taken from everyone, put into a pot and distributed equally between every person on the planet, within a generation it would all be back where it originally started.
                      It's not just about rich people, it's about the inequality of the upper tax bracket that allows them to get richer and richer, while the nation and it's infrastructure begins to fall apart.
                      Originally posted by MadCat360
                      You've never driven your car hard and you never will. Only a professional racing driver can drive a car hard. Everyone else sucks.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Cellos88GT View Post
                        These articles speak volumes as to why the crisis is the way it is. What is insane to me is how middle and lower class conservatives ignore the issues and brush them under the mat of capitalism. How bad do things in this country need to get before these people realize? The narrow mindedness that seems to have spread across this country is astonishing and frightening.
                        For the last 20-30 years the Democrats have largely quit talking to (and fighting for) the poor and middle class. That let the Republicans step in and slowly convince everyone that up is down, black is white, etc etc etc when it comes to economics. There's an excellent, if dated, book by Thomas Frank called What's the Matter with Kansas? that explains the phenomenon pretty well.

                        Originally posted by Cellos88GT View Post
                        It's not just about rich people, it's about the inequality of the upper tax bracket that allows them to get richer and richer, while the nation and it's infrastructure begins to fall apart.
                        Precisely. The reason for this explosion in income inequality is a combination of factors, lower income taxes, regressive payroll taxes, changes in SEC rules, union busting, increasing cost of education, stagnation of real wages etc etc etc. The massive upwards redistribution of income over the last three decades isn't natural, we allowed it to happen by changing the rules.

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                        Last edited by tigger; September 26th, 2011, 5:59 PM.
                        Saying smaller engines are better is like saying you don't want huge muscles because you wouldn't fit through the door. So what? You can bench 500. Fuck doors. - MadCat360

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Cellos88GT View Post
                          It's not just about rich people, it's about the inequality of the upper tax bracket that allows them to get richer and richer, while the nation and it's infrastructure begins to fall apart.
                          Originally posted by tigger View Post
                          For the last 20-30 years the Democrats have largely quit talking to (and fighting for) the poor and middle class. That let the Republicans step in and slowly convince everyone that up is down, black is white, etc etc etc when it comes to economics. There's an excellent, if dated, book by Thomas Frank called What's the Matter with Kansas? that explains the phenomenon pretty well.


                          Precisely. The reason for this explosion in income inequality is a combination of factors, lower income taxes, regressive payroll taxes, changes in SEC rules, union busting, increasing cost of education, stagnation of real wages etc etc etc. The massive upwards redistribution of income over the last three decades isn't natural, we allowed it to happen by changing the rules.

                          [ATTACH=CONFIG]5140[/ATTACH]
                          Part of the problem is that our lawmakers are legislating for their own prosperity and enrichment. What incentive do they have to raise tax rates on themselves?

                          Number of Millionaires in Congress: 261

                          Top 10 wealthiest senators

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                            #14
                            Being a millionaire isn't as big a deal as it was years ago. Anyone making 200k+ a year individually or in a family can with careful investment and savings save up a fortune over 1 million dollars. So that would include almost every working professional family in the country. Yes there are some mega rich senators, but the median worth for Congress was 765k for House, and 2.38 million for Senate. That is not unreasonable considering lots of them are lawyers, doctors, executives etc. in their previous jobs.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by RaptorJesus View Post
                              Being a millionaire isn't as big a deal as it was years ago. Anyone making 200k+ a year individually or in a family can with careful investment and savings save up a fortune over 1 million dollars. So that would include almost every working professional family in the country. Yes there are some mega rich senators, but the median worth for Congress was 765k for House, and 2.38 million for Senate. That is not unreasonable considering lots of them are lawyers, doctors, executives etc. in their previous jobs.
                              Again, what incentive does someone who is worth $765,000 or $2.38 million have to legislate on behalf of the middle class?

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                                #16
                                Originally posted by Mr. Nice View Post
                                Part of the problem is that our lawmakers are legislating for their own prosperity and enrichment. What incentive do they have to raise tax rates on themselves?

                                Number of Millionaires in Congress: 261

                                Top 10 wealthiest senators
                                I knew there were a lot of millionaires but I didn't know there were 261 of them. Not surprising though, I guess. They've got the time and resources to run a big campaign and that's what it takes to get a federal office. It's obvious that they're willing to ignore the majority of Americans who think that the wealthy should pay higher taxes, but the national debt might force their hand. Even before the recession, there wasn't enough revenue to cover our budgets. And right now even if they scrapped all non-defense discretionary spending they couldn't make up the shortfall. Though I bet some legislators, like the Pauls, would think that's a great idea.

                                Originally posted by Mr. Nice
                                Again, what incentive does someone who is worth $765,000 or $2.38 million have to legislate on behalf of the middle class?
                                Getting re-elected.
                                Last edited by tigger; September 26th, 2011, 6:31 PM.
                                Saying smaller engines are better is like saying you don't want huge muscles because you wouldn't fit through the door. So what? You can bench 500. Fuck doors. - MadCat360

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                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by tigger View Post
                                  I knew there were a lot of millionaires but I didn't know there were 261 of them. Not surprising though, I guess. They've got the time and resources to run a big campaign and that's what it takes to get a federal office. It's obvious that they're willing to ignore the majority of Americans who think that the wealthy should pay higher taxes, but the national debt might force their hand. Even before the recession, there wasn't enough revenue to cover our budgets. And right now even if they scrapped all non-defense discretionary spending they couldn't make up the shortfall. Though I bet some legislators, like the Pauls, would think that's a great idea.


                                  Getting re-elected.
                                  Many of our legislators (including a small number of Democrats) have signed Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge. It's time to vote out the incumbents who have signed.

                                  Edit: I wish getting re-elected worked like that. A lot of people vote based on religious or social ideologies, or because that's the party they've always voted for. Informed rational opinion is something that is rarely found at the voting booth.

                                  Tax Cuts Exceeding Republican Plans Said Considered by Obama

                                  Quote from the article in the link above:
                                  House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, have called for lowering the top individual income tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent. Neither lawmaker has specified how they would achieve such a reduction. A major reworking of the tax code is unlikely before the end of the year.
                                  Paul Ryan also desires a raise in the rate for payroll tax, I'll have to find a resource to cite the exact information from.
                                  Last edited by Mr. Nice; September 26th, 2011, 7:04 PM.

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Mr. Nice View Post
                                    Edit: I wish getting re-elected worked like that. A lot of people vote based on religious or social ideologies, or because that's the party they've always voted for. Informed rational opinion is something that is rarely found at the voting booth.
                                    The number one goal of any politician is getting re-elected. So if the public got fired up enough over taxes then I think you'd see quite a few legislators change their position. Even with Norquist pulling on their strings. It's just not a big, heated issue. Plus the GOP has gotten a lot of Americans to believe in the myth of Reaganomics.

                                    Originally posted by Mr. Nice View Post
                                    Paul Ryan also desires a raise in the rate for payroll tax, I'll have to find a resource to cite the exact information from.
                                    That wouldn't surprise me. I know he was against the payroll tax "holiday".
                                    Last edited by tigger; September 26th, 2011, 7:16 PM.
                                    Saying smaller engines are better is like saying you don't want huge muscles because you wouldn't fit through the door. So what? You can bench 500. Fuck doors. - MadCat360

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                                      #19
                                      I had seen an article where the exact rate that Ryan mentioned for his desired payroll tax rate was quoted, but I can't find it now. The proposed rate was above the previous rate of 6.2%.



                                      Paul Ryan, Herman Cain Push For Tax Increases On Middle Class

                                      An article from several days ago regarding taxation: The truth about 'class war' in America

                                      I forgot to post this article last Friday - The Social Contract
                                      Last edited by Mr. Nice; September 27th, 2011, 1:32 AM.

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                                        #20
                                        Nobody is against the rich. What we are against is them not paying a fair portion in taxes. America is about the only country that has such a huge disparity between the rich and what they pay in taxes and the middle and what they pay in taxes. Will it really make a difference for the rich to pay a bit more? Probably not.

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