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Author Topic:   Wealth Distribution in the USA
Taq
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(1)
Message 91 of 531 (699549)
05-21-2013 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Coyote
05-21-2013 1:08 AM


The same is true of redistributed wealth--you didn't earn it so it has far less value than money you actually earned through your own efforts. It is nothing to be proud of.
I really doubt that Bill Gates worked millions of times more hours than I did last year, and yet he received millions of more dollars than I did.

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Taq
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Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


(3)
Message 95 of 531 (699555)
05-21-2013 4:36 PM


Sense of Fairness
There have always been wealth disparities in the American system. What I think has changed in the last 30 years or so is the sense that wealth begets wealth through political influence, that the wealthy are gaming the system so that they can be even wealthier. We have seen middle class wages stagnate while CEO salaries skyrocket. We have seen billionaires make billions by shipping american jobs oversees, and leaving lower paying jobs in their wake. No longer do we see tariffs or duties protecting the worth of american goods and american labor. That doesn't even begin to touch on tax shelters.
In the past one could say that there was even a feeling of mutual repsect between the worker and the big corporation. A worker could spend 30 years on the GM production line and retire comfortably and proudly. Now that relationship has almost become parasitic where the worker is consider a leech on corporate profits.
Perhaps I am romanticizing the past . . . who knows. What I do know is that money spent on lobbyists by major corporations has skyrocketed. I can't help but feel that the people with the most money are writing the rules.

  
Taq
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Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


(2)
Message 161 of 531 (699655)
05-22-2013 4:34 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by Percy
05-21-2013 7:26 PM


I don't agree with the label you're assigning me, but my theory is more accurate because my math works and yours doesn't. Value is determined by markets, not by politicians or bureaucrats.
When we had strong labor unions across the country the worker actually had a say in the market where the workers could collectively bargain for the value set for their labor.
Over the last 30 or so years the strenght of unions has been whittled away by conservatives who get support from those very workers by draping themselves with the american flag and throwing a cross on their back. Blue collar workers have been conned into thinking that voting conservative is the only good thing a christian can do. In the process, they have supported a political movement that has lowered their wages while moving more wealth to the most wealthy. I don't know if I should be disgusted by this, or applaud it as the greatest political ploy of all time.

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Taq
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Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 162 of 531 (699656)
05-22-2013 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by Modulous
05-21-2013 5:32 PM


And workers have little leverage to change this state of affairs. The only thing they can really do, outside of legislation, is collectively withhold their labour. This decreases the supply of workers, and hopefully persuades the market to up wages accordingly.
But this is disruptive to society and those that engage in it are often reviled and legislated against.
So in practical terms, the market is too cruel a force to be the only factor in determining wages.
The big strikes during the early industrial age in the US were quite amazing. At some jobs, workers were not even paid money. They were given credits that they could then spend at the company store whose prices were jacked through the roof. That doesn't even start to touch working conditions and child labor. I don't want to downplay the plight of the modern worker, but at least there has been big improvements over the last 100 years.

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Taq
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Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 163 of 531 (699657)
05-22-2013 4:41 PM
Reply to: Message 157 by Percy
05-22-2013 3:48 PM


I think the lesson of history is that the greater the disparity between have and have nots the greater the likelihood of unrest and rebellion.
Since the 98% outnumber the 2%, it is just a matter of starting a political movement, coupled with worker strikes that are supported by the populace at large (i.e. no scabs crossing the picket lines).

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Taq
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Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 164 of 531 (699658)
05-22-2013 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by Modulous
05-22-2013 3:50 PM


Isn't it odd that raising minimum wages to keep in line with inflation is resisted so strenuously?
The new trend is forcing workers into unpaid internships under the guise of getting work experience.

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Taq
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Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


(6)
Message 167 of 531 (699661)
05-22-2013 5:23 PM
Reply to: Message 166 by Percy
05-22-2013 5:07 PM


In this country, liberals see government as the solution while conservatives see it as the problem. They're both right.
They both see government as the solution. Conservatives have used government to shape the economy just as much as any liberal (in the American vernacular). Conservatives also think that government is the solution for shaping social morality, as well as passing legislation that is meant to weaken labor unions.
One of the biggest cons is that conservatives want a smaller government. They don't. When they are in power they increase the size of government as much as any other political party. Under the most recent Bush president we saw the formation of a powerful new policing agency in Homeland Security, and huge expansions in the TSA. Conservatives want to expand government into your doctor's office and into your bedroom.
The only difference between conservatives and liberals is what they want to accomplish. Both think that government is the best method for accomplishing those goals.

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Taq
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Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 458 of 531 (701476)
06-19-2013 9:46 PM
Reply to: Message 456 by ramoss
06-18-2013 4:33 PM


For one 'If you give tax cuts to the rich, there are more jobs' is a lie is one big one.
And if you 'If you shrink government, you cause jobs'
I think there is a better way to put this.
People are rich because they keep money as profit instead of spending it on employee wages.
If you cut government spending then government workers will be sent home without a job.
These are two unavoidable facts. How it affects the overall economy is not so clear.

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 Message 459 by Coyote, posted 06-19-2013 10:55 PM Taq has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 487 of 531 (701588)
06-21-2013 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 459 by Coyote
06-19-2013 10:55 PM


So you're against profit? Why don't you just leave and find a place where you're going to be happier? Might I suggest North Korea? I suspect the populace there has no benefit from profit at any level.
Just stating a fact. The rich don't get rich by spending all of their money on employee wages. The idea that letting the rich keep more of their money will result in them hiring more people is a bit shortsighted.
Whether this is good or bad is up to each person to decide.
And might have to find some productive line of work that would actually benefit the economy?
Perhaps. At the same time, what can you produce that the unemployed will buy? Like I said, I am just stating the facts.
Aren't you aware that for every government employee there are several taxpayers supporting their salaries and benefits--and that by definition government is a drain on the economy rather than a benefit?
How is government more of a drain on the economy than taking profit out of a company? This isn't a rhetorical question either, I am genuinely curious.
I'll make it very clear for you: more productive workers will benefit everyone, while more government parasites are a drain on the economy.
How so?
Edited by Taq, : No reason given.

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