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(Think Progress)   US income inequality is the worst of the OECD countries and is on par with third-world countries like Uganda and The Ivory Coast. USA, USA, USA   (wonkroom.thinkprogress.org) divider line 237
    More: Scary, Ivory Coast, OECD, United States, Uganda, income inequality, Jan Schakowsky, Organization for Economic Cooperation, D-IL  
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1917 clicks; posted to Politics » on 11 May 2011 at 12:21 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-05-11 12:36:59 PM  

redqueenmeg: This is because if a CEO makes 7,000 times the wage of a minimum-wage worker, he obviously worked 7,000 times harder. Duh, winning.


It wouldn't be so bad that the CEO is making so much money if the average worker was also getting his fair share. Too bad CEO pay is incentivized to cut wages and benefits of the average worker and ship manufacturing overseas. No wonder the bottom 90% of American workers have been getting smaller and smaller incomes over the last 30 years.
 
2011-05-11 12:37:36 PM  
Why do they equate the American "poor" with the poor in other countries who get categorized as living on less then 1$ a day.

Something else that might skew the numbers is how a college student can go from owing 150K in student loans to being worth 70 billion dollars after investors buy his idea for a 3d lolcats news aggregator massively multiplayer online role playing first person shooter video porn site.
 
2011-05-11 12:37:46 PM  

Freep Impact: Where else do the poor have flat screen TVs, 2 cars, houses, free medical care, free food, and morbid obesity?


I love this piece of shiat right here. I'm sure we'll have someone marching into this thread to regale us with the exact same talking point sooner or later
 
2011-05-11 12:38:26 PM  

eraser8: Elvis_Bogart: Ya know, Pol Pot started out calling for "Economic Equality" and he got it...everyone was grindingly poor. Plus it lead to a mountain of skulls, but hey...this time we'll do it right.

Every other civilized country in the world has managed to keep income inequality in check without condemning their citizenry to grinding poverty or erecting a mountain of skulls. But, the United States, in your opinion, can't do the same thing because we're not nearly as competent as France or Germany or Canada.

Way to have faith in the country, jackass.


I'm planning a move to France, Canada, or Germany precisely because I have no faith in the Unites States. This shiats gonna end soon and it's not gonna be pretty.
 
2011-05-11 12:38:52 PM  

DarthBrooks: FireBreathingLiberal: Four hundred obscenely wealthy individuals, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion-dollar taxpayer bailout of 2008 -- now have more cash, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. that's more poor people and fewer rich but keep farkin' that chicken.

Your burning envy must save a fortune on those home heating bills.


Look here Neal Boortz, the wealth-envy argument is on the intellectual level of a 4th grader.

Person 1: "I have a problem with the massive concentration of wealth and the recent economic strain on the middle class of this country."

You/Boortz: "You're just jealous! And poor!"

farking lame man. farking lame.
 
2011-05-11 12:39:06 PM  

Giltric: Why do they equate the American "poor" with the poor in other countries who get categorized as living on less then 1$ a day


No one is doing that.

Do you know how Gini Coefficients work?
 
2011-05-11 12:39:33 PM  

aselene: Car_Ramrod: Poor people have air conditioners, your argument is invalid.

Poor people have air conditioners, multiple flat screen TVs, Sony Playstations, $200 Nike sneakers, personal computers, high speed internet, drive Cadillacs, and are fat. Your argument is invalid.


Sweet! I haven't seen this shameless conservatroll active in a few months! Glad to have you back on board, buddy.

By the way, I know several people who qualify as poor under FPL guidelines, and none of them have any of those things that you listed. They happen to live in America.
 
2011-05-11 12:40:11 PM  

Giltric: Something else that might skew the numbers is how a college student can go from owing 150K in student loans to being worth 70 billion dollars after investors buy his idea for a 3d lolcats news aggregator massively multiplayer online role playing first person shooter video porn site.


Don't forget the easy money pursuing pro-basketball.
 
2011-05-11 12:40:16 PM  
Can one of you water carriers tell me

A: how a concentration of wealth into fewer and fewer hands is good for America as a whole and

B: Is there a tipping point where you could see yourself saying, "okay, this is too much." How would you feel about 1% of the population with 99% of the wealth? .01% with 99.5%?
 
2011-05-11 12:40:20 PM  

DarthBrooks: DamnYankees:
It's a bad thing because its unjust. We are more productive than the other OECD countries, but the fruits of that production are not being fairly distributed - rather, the top few percent are taking most of it, and that's wrong.

I think Vonnegut covered this subject pretty well in Harrison Bergeron.


He did? I must have read a different version of that story.

In the version I read, Harrison Bergeron lived in a society where people weren't allowed to be mentally or physically better than anyone else.

In the version you read, I guess Harrison Bergeron lived in a society where people weren't allowed to be richer than anyone else.

I suppose you'll say something like "it's a metaphor" but the metaphor doesn't work, since a person becoming mentally or physically better than others is largely dependent on a person's determination to work out and hit the books, whereas a person's becoming financially better than others is largely dependent on how wealthy of a family a person has come from or how willing one is to financially screw over subordinates, customers and business associates.
 
2011-05-11 12:40:41 PM  

Felgraf: Tell me, what do you think of Adam Smith?

But, I'll tell you why I think too much money stagnating at the top is a bad thing.
Capitalism is sort of like an engine. It pushes money from the bottom to the top. That's what it's *designed* to do. It creates new things along the way (products, ideas, etc). In fact, it sort of manages to produce some 'wealth' along the way, too, like an awesome perpetual motion machine.
But it runs on, well, money. And if too much stagnates at the top (Because, yeah, the rich have a bit more buying power, but there's still only so much stuff you can buy. And the poor, even if poor, still have to, you know, buy necesseties and some small bits of luxury/entertainment to make life enjoyable), it starts to bog down and sputter.
Which is why we have, and need, a progressive taxation system. That helps balance the natural driving force of a capitalistic market (pushing money to the top) by taking some of that wealth and pushing it back down to the bottom. Because the engine makes money along the way, it's not like you're taking (or NEED to take) all of the upper-tier's wealth. But you do have to take some of it, or things stop working, go to shiat, and, well, the French Revolution or USSR or what-have-you happens.

This is not about 'fair' or 'deserves'. This is about what, you know, WORKS.


Along those same lines, our rich now have a lot of ways to invest that DON'T cause money to flow from the bottom up. If you invest in oil futures or the other investment shenanigans that Wall Street has cooked up, you're making money without funneling it through the working class.
 
2011-05-11 12:40:52 PM  

redqueenmeg: This is because if a CEO makes 7,000 times the wage of a minimum-wage worker, he obviously worked 7,000 times harder. Duh, winning.


Define work.

meat0918: Jake Havechek: All it took for everyone in France to flip out was when bread prices jumped so high most peasants could no longer afford it.

The people aren't hungry enough yet.

Let oil get to $200 a barrel, then we'll talk...


We do not have to wait for that. With the abismal winter wheat harvist and fears that the cornbelt will not get the crops in the ground because of this super wet spring, you may get your wish early.
 
2011-05-11 12:41:06 PM  

Giltric: Why do they equate the American "poor" with the poor in other countries who get categorized as living on less then 1$ a day.


Ah right here it is.
 
2011-05-11 12:41:24 PM  
Jackson Herring: Freep Impact: Where else do the poor have flat screen TVs, 2 cars, houses, free medical care, free food, and morbid obesity?

I love this piece of shiat right here. I'm sure we'll have someone marching into this thread to regale us with the exact same talking point sooner or later


Yep.
 
2011-05-11 12:42:28 PM  

Serious Black: I haven't seen this shameless conservatroll active in a few months!


Me neither, because no one has been quoting his shiat posts lately.
 
2011-05-11 12:43:13 PM  

Jackson Herring: Freep Impact: Where else do the poor have flat screen TVs, 2 cars, houses, free medical care, free food, and morbid obesity?

I love this piece of shiat right here. I'm sure we'll have someone marching into this thread to regale us with the exact same talking point sooner or later


Can you buy anything other than a flat screen at this point?

And those two cars. Were they made in the last decade? The houses are falling apart because they can't afford basic maintenance, free medical care my ass (when I made 14K per year I did not qualify for any free insurance).

The only thing he has is discounted food costs(food stamps don't feed a family of four the whole month), and the morbid obesity caused by poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles.
 
2011-05-11 12:43:57 PM  

Serious Black: aselene: Car_Ramrod: Poor people have air conditioners, your argument is invalid.

Poor people have air conditioners, multiple flat screen TVs, Sony Playstations, $200 Nike sneakers, personal computers, high speed internet, drive Cadillacs, and are fat. Your argument is invalid.

Sweet! I haven't seen this shameless conservatroll active in a few months! Glad to have you back on board, buddy.

By the way, I know several people who qualify as poor under FPL guidelines, and none of them have any of those things that you listed. They happen to live in America.


I forgot to mention houses, because the federal government forced banks to give them home loans regardless of their creditworthiness. Leading to... the great crash of 2008!
 
2011-05-11 12:44:28 PM  

Jackson Herring: Serious Black: I haven't seen this shameless conservatroll active in a few months!

Me neither, because no one has been quoting his shiat posts lately.


I love feeding trolls. It's how I get my jollies off when my wife won't let me fark her up the ass.

/you don't want to know what happens when she won't even give me handjobs
 
2011-05-11 12:47:00 PM  
I think we need to let the free market determine income tax rates in order to curb income inequality.
 
2011-05-11 12:47:42 PM  

Saiga410: redqueenmeg: This is because if a CEO makes 7,000 times the wage of a minimum-wage worker, he obviously worked 7,000 times harder. Duh, winning.

Define work.

meat0918: Jake Havechek: All it took for everyone in France to flip out was when bread prices jumped so high most peasants could no longer afford it.

The people aren't hungry enough yet.

Let oil get to $200 a barrel, then we'll talk...

We do not have to wait for that. With the abismal winter wheat harvist and fears that the cornbelt will not get the crops in the ground because of this super wet spring, you may get your wish early.


I'm involved with a food security plan for the city, so... looks like we need to get crackin' on the plan.

On the plus side, it will help the new crop of Willamette grain growers that used to be growing lawn seed.

//It actually does rely on a bit of communal giving, pooling resources, etc. Some of it is really simple, like not letting all the fruit trees in the neighborhoods drop their fruit and having it left to rot on the ground.
 
2011-05-11 12:47:51 PM  

Gangway Fathead: Can one of you water carriers tell me

A: how a concentration of wealth into fewer and fewer hands is good for America as a whole and


Not a water carrier myself but my guess is: SOCIALISM
 
2011-05-11 12:49:22 PM  

aselene: Car_Ramrod: Poor people have air conditioners, your argument is invalid.

Poor people have air conditioners, multiple flat screen TVs, Sony Playstations, $200 Nike sneakers, personal computers, high speed internet, drive Cadillacs, and are fat. I don't know any poor people. Your My argument is invalid.


/there we are
 
2011-05-11 12:52:09 PM  

meat0918: Can you buy anything other than a flat screen at this point?


I have a 13" TV with a built in VCR :(
 
2011-05-11 12:52:33 PM  

aselene: Serious Black: aselene: Car_Ramrod: Poor people have air conditioners, your argument is invalid.

Poor people have air conditioners, multiple flat screen TVs, Sony Playstations, $200 Nike sneakers, personal computers, high speed internet, drive Cadillacs, and are fat. Your argument is invalid.

Sweet! I haven't seen this shameless conservatroll active in a few months! Glad to have you back on board, buddy.

By the way, I know several people who qualify as poor under FPL guidelines, and none of them have any of those things that you listed. They happen to live in America.

I forgot to mention houses, because the federal government forced banks to give them home loans regardless of their creditworthiness. Leading to... the great crash of 2008!


zombietime.com
 
2011-05-11 12:53:50 PM  

Jackson Herring: Freep Impact: Where else do the poor have flat screen TVs, 2 cars, houses, free medical care, free food, and morbid obesity?

I love this piece of shiat right here. I'm sure we'll have someone marching into this thread to regale us with the exact same talking point sooner or later


It's like you summoned him.

blogs.westword.com
 
2011-05-11 12:54:57 PM  

Jackson Herring: meat0918: Can you buy anything other than a flat screen at this point?

I have a 13" TV with a built in VCR :(


Now you think you're better than me!?
 
2011-05-11 12:55:37 PM  

aselene:

I forgot to mention houses, because the federal government forced banks to give them home loans regardless of their creditworthiness. Leading to... the great crash of 2008!


Wow. Really? Still blaming "poor people" for the crash despite the volumes of evidence pointing to the real culprits?

Keep carrying that water.
 
2011-05-11 12:56:18 PM  

FarkedOver: Now you think you're better than me!?


I won't be happy until the majority of people below the poverty line in this country are literally starving to death in the streets.
 
2011-05-11 12:56:28 PM  
Maybe Americans deserve to be serfs.
 
2011-05-11 12:57:04 PM  

Jackson Herring: I won't be happy until the majority of people below the poverty line in this country are literally starving to death in the streets.


So vote Republican.
 
2011-05-11 12:57:28 PM  
I paid $350,000 in Federal taxes last year. Your argument is invalid.
 
2011-05-11 12:57:53 PM  
 
2011-05-11 12:59:02 PM  
we could adopt the Green Party platform of taxing all income above 10X their new minimum wage of $12.60 (in 2000) at 100%. That would virtually eliminate the income inequality. Then all that would be left is to figure out what that accomplished.
 
2011-05-11 12:59:28 PM  
The most brilliant thing the capitalists ever did is create the false dichotomy between capitalism and socialism, as if there were no market based economic systems that don't rely on fetishizing capital and granting it preferential treatment over labor at every turn.

The second most brilliant thing capitalists ever did was to install a system of farm subsidies to keep food prices artificially low.
 
2011-05-11 12:59:51 PM  

Jackson Herring: FarkedOver: Now you think you're better than me!?

I won't be happy until the majority of people below the poverty line in this country are literally starving to death in the streets.


I know your kind. You'll be laughing the entire time I am crawling and begging for scraps on the street. While you sit in your fancy ivory tower studio apartment, microwaving your 1 lbs. hungry man dinners and watching your basic cable on your unnecessary 13" tv screen. You make me sick. SICK!
 
2011-05-11 01:00:31 PM  
"Poor people have stuff"

yes all poor people have 5 flat screens and 10 Cadillacs.

Imagine if this line of thinking was used throughout history...

*Nazi Germany*

Oh you Jews are such whiners. You get to live in a comfy ghetto, you have jewelry, you have food and money, why are you complaining about our anti-Jew laws?

*British India*

Oh stop whining you Indians. So what if you don't have freedom from our imperialism? You've got food, water, shelter, so shut up you filthy ingrates!

*Third world diamond mine*

Keep working in our diamond mines you filthy commoners! Look, we're paying you 1 cent a day, you're getting plenty of money! And you've got food, water, shelter, so quit complaining about our obscene profits only going to our company management!

*1788 France*

Shut up you filthy peasants! You got food, water, big-assed houses, you live in the richest country in Europe, you people are such whiners! Whats that, you don't like the autocracy of the king and his obscene palace of Versailles? SHOVE IT PEASANT, HE WORKS HIS ASS OFF FOR YOU!
 
2011-05-11 01:01:32 PM  

skullkrusher: we could adopt the Green Party platform of taxing all income above 10X their new minimum wage of $12.60 (in 2000) at 100%. That would virtually eliminate the income inequality. Then all that would be left is to figure out what that accomplished.


Anarchy, but since no one is really, wait, I'll need a citation from the Green Party on this one.

I'd be happy with a new bracket of 49% on amounts over 10 million, but that's just me.
 
2011-05-11 01:01:58 PM  

FarkedOver: I know your kind. You'll be laughing the entire time I am crawling and begging for scraps on the street. While you sit in your fancy ivory tower studio apartment, microwaving your 1 lbs. hungry man dinners and watching your basic cable on your unnecessary 13" tv screen. You make me sick. SICK!


You forgot "cackling with decadent glee as I enjoy VHS tapes of Season 3 of the X-Files"
 
2011-05-11 01:02:30 PM  
economist had a few articles about this and how it relates to happiness in a country. It was pretty good but it never called otu if they were including illegal immigrants.

Even if it did and excluding them bumps us up a few spots it is still a huge problem, just wondering if anyone knows how they come up with this to know if they are included.
 
2011-05-11 01:04:05 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: So what if middle class wages are still at 1970 levels. Flat screen TVs have never been cheaper!


How is a flat avg wage over time bad? All the graphs I have seen are in constant dollars so it is keeping up with inflation.
 
2011-05-11 01:04:10 PM  
Ah yes another problem that is probably the fault of illegal immigrants.
 
2011-05-11 01:04:20 PM  

Jackson Herring: FarkedOver: I know your kind. You'll be laughing the entire time I am crawling and begging for scraps on the street. While you sit in your fancy ivory tower studio apartment, microwaving your 1 lbs. hungry man dinners and watching your basic cable on your unnecessary 13" tv screen. You make me sick. SICK!

You forgot "cackling with decadent glee as I enjoy VHS tapes of Season 3 of the X-Files"


Well, that was a solid season...
 
2011-05-11 01:05:38 PM  

skullkrusher: we could adopt the Green Party platform of taxing all income above 10X their new minimum wage of $12.60 (in 2000) at 100%. That would virtually eliminate the income inequality. Then all that would be left is to figure out what that accomplished.


That's the green party platform? Really? Wow. No wonder no one takes them seriously.
 
2011-05-11 01:07:31 PM  

FarkedOver: Well, that was a solid season...


Well shiat. I suddenly have a strong desire to watch Jose Chung's From Outer Space
 
2011-05-11 01:10:35 PM  

meat0918: skullkrusher: we could adopt the Green Party platform of taxing all income above 10X their new minimum wage of $12.60 (in 2000) at 100%. That would virtually eliminate the income inequality. Then all that would be left is to figure out what that accomplished.

Anarchy, but since no one is really, wait, I'll need a citation from the Green Party on this one.



I'd be happy with a new bracket of 49% on amounts over 10 million, but that's just me.


They even call it "Maximum Income" (new window)

/Feminist Economic Accounting?
 
2011-05-11 01:12:23 PM  
We have poorer not poor people and richer rich people
 
2011-05-11 01:14:36 PM  

skullkrusher: meat0918: skullkrusher: we could adopt the Green Party platform of taxing all income above 10X their new minimum wage of $12.60 (in 2000) at 100%. That would virtually eliminate the income inequality. Then all that would be left is to figure out what that accomplished.

Anarchy, but since no one is really, wait, I'll need a citation from the Green Party on this one.



I'd be happy with a new bracket of 49% on amounts over 10 million, but that's just me.

They even call it "Maximum Income" (new window)

/Feminist Economic Accounting?


Huh, I thought you were joking.
 
2011-05-11 01:14:45 PM  

BMulligan: The most brilliant thing the capitalists ever did is create the false dichotomy between capitalism and socialism, as if there were no market based economic systems that don't rely on fetishizing capital and granting it preferential treatment over labor at every turn.


To me it's a close call. It's either a false dichotomy between capitalism and socialism.

i56.tinypic.com

Or it's spam.
 
2011-05-11 01:15:06 PM  

Saiga410: How is a flat avg wage over time bad? All the graphs I have seen are in constant dollars so it is keeping up with inflation.


Wages are keeping up with inflation, perhaps, but not with increases in productivity. Workers are creating more wealth per unit of labor than ever, but they are not being compensated for it. Instead, that additional wealth is being distributed among people who themselves are unproductive.
 
2011-05-11 01:15:37 PM  

skullkrusher: meat0918: skullkrusher: we could adopt the Green Party platform of taxing all income above 10X their new minimum wage of $12.60 (in 2000) at 100%. That would virtually eliminate the income inequality. Then all that would be left is to figure out what that accomplished.

Anarchy, but since no one is really, wait, I'll need a citation from the Green Party on this one.



I'd be happy with a new bracket of 49% on amounts over 10 million, but that's just me.

They even call it "Maximum Income" (new window)

/Feminist Economic Accounting?


Wouldn't it be simpler and more equitable to have a progressive tax on income, regardless of source?
 
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