Income Inequality

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Re: Income Inequality

#76

Post by Foggy » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:11 pm

TollandRCR wrote:I don't agree with Stephen Hawking that we have just 100 years to find a planet inhabitable by humans and just 200-500 years to resettle humanity on this new home.
Umm, the fastest spacecraft we've created so far goes 36,000 miles per hour - the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt.

The nearest star to us is about 25 trillion miles away - Alpha Centauri, which doesn't seem to have any habitable planets.

Best I can figure, 25 trillion divided by 36,000 is 694,444,444 hours.

Which is 28,935,185 days.

Which is 79,274 years.

Of course, it would take a lot longer to get to a habitable planet.

We're going to have to invent FTL technology if we want to travel around in the galaxy.

On the bright side, even at Warp 10 the officers on the bridge of the starship Enterprise weren't required to wear seat belts. :blink:


... and how does that make you feel?
What is it you're trying to say?
:think:

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Re: Income Inequality

#77

Post by TollandRCR » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:41 pm

The usual science fiction response to that fact is the "generations spaceship," in which people live their full lives in space flight, producing what they need, recycling everything, and (mandatory) having babies. It resembles Buckminster Fuller's lesson on spaceship earth: https://www.bfi.org/about-fuller/big-id ... eshipearth. Students seem to find this interesting: no PeaPod trucks will deliver things, no garbage trucks will ever be by, the only water and oxygen that the ship will have is what it started with, etc. It strikingly conveys what is almost a full truth (the qualification is that some stuff does come to the Earth from space).


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Re: Income Inequality

#78

Post by neeneko » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:52 pm

TollandRCR wrote:The usual science fiction response to that fact is the "generations spaceship," in which people live their full lives in space flight, producing what they need, recycling everything, and (mandatory) having babies.
Yeah, 'Generation Ships' are the go-to 'science fictiony but not too obviously science fictiony' answer since it avoids the big leap of FTL drives, but actually requires even more science hand waving than the alternative. I get esp annoyed when I see people claiming we could build one today if we just had the will (read: the future not being what I want is someone else's moral failing) or funding.



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Re: Income Inequality

#79

Post by Foggy » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:59 pm

TollandRCR wrote:The usual science fiction response to that fact is the "generations spaceship," in which people live their full lives in space flight, producing what they need, recycling everything, and (mandatory) having babies.
Yes, that's often a construct in science fiction.

But (rounded) 80 thousand years. I doubt we could maintain a stable society with a stable population for even 80 years. Even if we could do perfect recycling for that long.

And how many people will be in a generations spaceship? A million? Even if you could build a ship that size, the US alone would need more than 300 of them. That's a lot of recycled beer cans or wherever the resources are going to come from. Or maybe we just leave all the poor people behind. We'll send the Trumps and the Shkrelis and the Madoffs of this world. Ew, yuck.

This is why I strongly believe there are other planets with intelligent beings out there, but I fear that without FTL technology, we'll never meet any of them.

:smoking:


... and how does that make you feel?
What is it you're trying to say?
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Re: Income Inequality

#80

Post by neeneko » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:05 pm

Foggy wrote: But (rounded) 80 thousand years. I doubt we could maintain a stable society with a stable population for even 80 years. Even if we could do perfect recycling for that long.
Even perfect recycling would not be enough. Carrying enough fuel and atmosphere for even an 80 year trip is a bigger deal than people tend to realize. Both are things that even with perfect recycling will either be consumed or lost over time.



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Re: Income Inequality

#81

Post by Suranis » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:06 pm

ZekeB wrote:This reads like one of those Look At How Rich I Am, Now Buy My Book And Make Me Richer ads I use to see in magazines in the 1960s.
Actually ran across an image of one of those last week. I was reading a very entertaining Project of a guy who posted one panel of the Incredible Hulk Comic book a day for a year. This is from 1970.

http://hulk365.tumblr.com/page/44

Image

Also, ladies, from around 1968, this is for you! (Yes, forgot to note the exact date!)

Image


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Re: Income Inequality

#82

Post by TollandRCR » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:40 pm

Of course, B. Fuller's point was not that we should build generations spaceships. It was that we are already living on one, and life of all forms has been on this one for billions of years.

But there are problems. We did not get an instruction manual with our generations spaceship. There is no skilled repairman to call when we mess up. There is not even a Help Desk to call. We have difficulty contacting everyone on our spaceship, and we may not be able to understand them. Some people may be pulling in opposite directions from us.

We do know that we are heading into uncharted territory: a human population of nine billion in 2050 and eleven billion in 2100. All of them will be demanding a higher standard of living, much like ours. They will seek to reduce income and wealth inequalities across and within countries. We made it into the highly developed world with the aid of 19th century technology (sometimes enhanced). If those other folk use those technologies, it might not be nice. So far we have dealt with such problems with human ingenuity and perhaps an overt willingness to bulldoze the other occupants of our spaceship out of the way (to extinction).

Maybe we can build a Dyson Sphere, encompassing our sun and providing habitat for trillions of people. There may already be one or two Dyson Spheres working. http://www.sciencealert.com/researchers ... phere-star Or maybe Jesse Ausubel can come up with an even better idea. I am less than optimistic about such solutions, but what do I know? https://phe.rockefeller.edu/docs/Di%20R ... nglish.pdf

It could be that the problems of a manufactured generations spaceship would be less than the problems that we now face. Even if that is not true, we really ought to be working on problems that present themselves to us now. It is much, much more than climate change.

One of the most dangerous problems is income and wealth inequality. We currently have in place a pirate administration that seeks to increase those inequalities. I am not sure that there is an organized body that is boldly committed to reducing them.


“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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Re: Income Inequality

#83

Post by Addie » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:22 am

Billmoyers.com
What Happened to America’s Wealth? The Rich Hid It ...

New research suggests that the superrich are hiding their money at alarming rates. A study by economists Annette Alstadsaeter, Niels Johannesen and Gabriel Zucman reports that households with wealth over $40 million evade 25 to 30 percent of personal income and wealth taxes.

These stunning numbers have two troubling implications.

First, we’re missing billions in taxes each year. That’s partly why our roads and transit systems are falling apart.

Second, wealth inequality may be even worse than we thought. Economic surveys estimate that roughly 85 percent of income and wealth gains in the last decade have gone to the wealthiest one-tenth of the top 1 percent. ...

But these aren’t folks making a few dollars “under the table.” These are billionaires stashing away trillions of the world’s wealth. The latest study underscores that tax evasion by the superrich is at least 10 times greater — and in some nations 250 times more likely — than by everyone else.


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Re: Income Inequality

#84

Post by Whatever4 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:40 pm

So let's give them a yuuuge tax break. Shirley they'll hide it in OUR country this time.


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Re: Income Inequality

#85

Post by Addie » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:56 pm

CBS News
Vast number of Americans live paycheck to paycheck

With unemployment in the U.S. at its lowest level in 16 years, experts are prone to talk about the economy as if it has fully recovered from the housing crash. But other measures of how Americans are doing reveal a darker picture.

Almost 8 out of 10 American workers say they live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder. That can force people to take on debt or otherwise struggle when an unexpected bill arises. It also raises questions about the stability of the broader economy given that consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of activity.

The survey highlights a troubling trend in household finances: More than eight years since the end of the recession, the share of Americans who are living on the financial edge is growing, said Mike Erwin, a spokesman for CareerBuilder. While some may want to blame Americans' spendthrift ways, Erwin pointed to two trends that continue to put financial stress on households: stagnant wages and the rising cost of everything from education to many consumer goods.

"Living paycheck to paycheck is the new way of life for U.S. workers," he said. "It's not just one salary range. It's pretty much across the board, and it's trending in the wrong direction."


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Re: Income Inequality

#86

Post by Addie » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:56 am

CAP
New Census Data Show Household Incomes Are Rising Again, But Share Going to Middle Class Is at Record Low

The latest Census Bureau data show that for the second straight year, the typical U.S. household saw its income rise in inflation-adjusted terms in 2016, the last year of the Obama administration, and incomes have now recovered to approximately pre-Great Recession levels. The median U.S. household income was $59,039 in 2016, a 3.2 percent increase from real 2015 levels.

While the data contain some good news, the overall story is still quite bleak.

Median household income is now at roughly the same level it was in the late 1990s—meaning that household income has been effectively stagnant for two decades. Furthermore, 2016’s higher level of income when compared to years prior to 2013 could be partially driven by the survey’s redesign in 2013, which resulted in finding higher incomes than the previous survey design. It also represents a very small share of economic growth over this period.

The majority of gains continue to go to those at the very top, and most households—regardless of education level or race—continue to see little income growth. In 2016, the share of the nation’s income going to the top 5 percent hit a record high, while the share going to the middle class—the middle 60 percent of households—fell to a record low. Since 1967, the first year that the Census Bureau began releasing income-share data, the middle class has never received a smaller share.

On the positive side, the data show that lower-income workers have made gains in recent years and that the poverty rate has fallen dramatically postrecession, suggesting that policies such as increasing the minimum wage can make a significant impact on people’s income but that much more needs to be done. Unfortunately, the policies that the Trump administration is pursuing are unlikely to raise incomes for most Americans.


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Re: Income Inequality

#87

Post by Addie » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:39 am

Axios
The large parts of America left behind by today's economy

Economic prosperity is concentrated in America's elite zip codes, but economic stability outside of those communities is rapidly deteriorating.



What that means: U.S. geographical economic inequality is growing, meaning your economic opportunity is more tied to your location than ever before. A large portion of the country is being left behind by today's economy, according to a county-by-county report released this morning by the Economic Innovation Group, a non-profit research and advocacy organization. This was a major election theme that helped thrust Donald Trump to the White House.


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Re: Income Inequality

#88

Post by Addie » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:19 pm

CNBC
The top 1% of Americans now control 38% of the wealth

America's top 1% now control 38.6% of the nation's wealth, a historic high, according to a new Federal Reserve Report.

The Federal Reserve's Surveys of Consumer Finance shows that Americans throughout the income and wealth ladder posted gains between 2013 and 2016. But the wealthy gained the most, driven largely by gains in the stock market and asset values.

The top 1% saw their share of wealth rise to 38.6% in 2016 from 36.3% in 2013. The next highest nine percent of families fell slightly, and the share of wealth held by the bottom 90% of Americans has been falling steadily for 25 years, hitting 22.8% in 2016 from 33.2% in 1989.

The top income earners also saw the biggest gains. The top 1% saw their share of income rise to a new high of 23.8% from 20.3% in 2013. The income shares of the bottom 90% fell to 49.7% in 2016.


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Re: Income Inequality

#89

Post by Addie » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:37 am

Business Insider
Inequality is getting so bad even Wall Street is starting to pay attention

It’s a sign of just how extreme US and global wealth inequality has become that even the folks on the winning side of the class war are starting to worry about it.

Citi Research has released a new in-depth report on inequality, its causes and potential solutions alongside Oxford University’s Martin School.

The report’s emphasis on "why inequality matters" is especially striking, because it reflects a widespread shift in American discourse about the issue following the Great Recession and financial crisis of 2007-2009.

Before then, the issue of inequality was largely ignored by much of the economics profession, and most certainly on Wall Street. Now, the issue has become a major driving force of US and European politics, forcing even large financial institutions to come to grips with its implications.

The report's findings are striking, if unsurprising, given the flood of alarming headlines on rising inequities. ...

Moreover, the rise is ubiquitous. Inequalities have been rising "between regions, between generations, between industries, and between firms."


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Re: Income Inequality

#90

Post by Addie » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:06 pm

The Guardian
World's witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires’ wealth swells to $6tn

The world’s super-rich hold the greatest concentration of wealth since the US Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th century, when families like the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts controlled vast fortunes.

Billionaires increased their combined global wealth by almost a fifth last year to a record $6tn (£4.5tn) – more than twice the GDP of the UK. There are now 1,542 dollar billionaires across the world, after 145 multi-millionaires saw their wealth tick over into nine-zero fortunes last year, according to the UBS / PwC Billionaires report.

Josef Stadler, the lead author of the report and UBS’s head of global ultra high net worth, said his billionaire clients were concerned that growing inequality between rich and poor could lead to a “strike back”.

“We’re at an inflection point,” Stadler said. “Wealth concentration is as high as in 1905, this is something billionaires are concerned about. The problem is the power of interest on interest – that makes big money bigger and, the question is to what extent is that sustainable and at what point will society intervene and strike back?”

Stadler added: “We are now two years into the peak of the second Gilded Age.”


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Re: Income Inequality

#91

Post by Addie » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:04 am

Quartz
The Paradise Papers leak is about one thing: growing inequality ...

For the common citizen, the real-life effects of these developments are hard to pinpoint. In the long run, it may mean that governments are able to collect more taxes from the rich than they were able to before—because much of what these papers reveal are clever tricks to avoid taxes. But that’s not the main reason why you should care about these leaks.

For the real reason for watching (and worrying) about what happens next in the offshore empire, we can turn to the leaker of the Panama Papers. Known by the pseudonym John Doe, he broke his silence a month after the leaks were published. He said he leaked the information because he was worried about “income inequality” and “understood enough about their contents to realize the scale of the injustices they described.”

What Doe is getting at, as one expert told me, is the difference between the “letter of the law” and the “spirit of the law.” According to the letter of the law, much of what offshore law firms do is legal. But is it in the spirit of the law? Is it just? Is it fair?

Doe’s view is that allowing the rich to avoid taxes is going against the spirit of the law. These safe havens—and the routes that lead to them—were created for historical reasons. In the 1970s, offshore routes could be used for hiding an individual’s money from corrupt governments or helping banks move money to manage currency-rate fluctuations. But thanks to highly paid, smart lawyers, offshore routes are now being abused. Doe believes that the rich people who can afford to protect themselves using these routes are committing “injustices.”

This is why we ordinary citizens should care about the offshore empire. If it were a question of legality, the solution for how to deal with those implicated would be easier: Perhaps we’d taken them to an international forum that holds criminals accountable, for example. Instead, the question is about fairness—and the solution to it is much more complex.


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Re: Income Inequality

#92

Post by Addie » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:37 pm

WaPo
The richest 1 percent now owns more of the country’s wealth than at any time in the past 50 years

The wealthiest 1 percent of American households own 40 percent of the country's wealth, according to a new paper by economist Edward N. Woolf. That share is higher than it has been at any point since at least 1962, according to Woolf's data, which comes from the federal Survey of Consumer Finances.

From 2013, the share of wealth owned by the 1 percent shot up by nearly three percentage points. Wealth owned by the bottom 90 percent, meanwhile, fell over the same period. Today, the top 1 percent of households own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. That gap, between the ultrawealthy and everyone else, has only become wider in the past several decades.



Let's talk a bit about that wealth gap. Wealth, often described as net worth, describes how much stuff you actually have: It's the value of your assets minus the value of your debts. If you have a $250,000 house but you still owe $200,000 to the bank on it, and you have no other debts or financial assets, that means your net worth is $50,000.


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Re: Income Inequality

#93

Post by Addie » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:12 pm

New York Mag
Inequality Is Rising Across the Globe — and Skyrocketing in the U.S.

Every few months, Thomas Piketty (and/or a handful of other economists with a social conscience) will remind the world that a tiny elite is binge-eating the global economic pie while 7 billion humans fight for their table scraps. Journalists will then aggregate some alarming statistics and edifying charts; progressives will share these over social media, adorned with red-faced emoji (and/or jokes about guillotines) — and congressional Republicans will carry on trying to establish a special, zero-percent tax rate for people who inherit private islands.

All of which is to say: It’d be understandable if you felt too familiar with — and hopeless about — the inequities of late capitalism to summon much enthusiasm for reading the 2018 World Inequality Report.

But it is a remarkable document, one that consolidates research from Piketty and more than 100 other economists into a broad overview of global income-and-wealth inequality. So, if you want to get a truly holistic perspective on the inequality problem — and how it can be solved — it’s worth digesting the report’s key findings:

Since 1980, the richest 0.1 percent of the world’s population increased its collective wealth by as much as the poorest 50 percent.


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Income Inequality in the UK

#94

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:15 am

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news ... -wllxdm3w7
We're only on day three of the working year, but by lunchtime Britain's top chief executives will have already earned the annual average wage



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Re: Income Inequality

#95

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:58 am

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-r ... t-a-raise/
The Real Reason Workers Can’t Get A Raise
A preemptive war on inflation will tamp down any real wage growth.


Wages have been stagnant through two official “recoveries” in this century, under both Democratic and Republican presidents. This week, beneath the stock-market gyrations, the mechanics that shackle the average worker’s wages were exposed once more—not in Donald Trump’s White House or Paul Ryan’s Congress but in the supposedly apolitical operations of the Federal Reserve.

Yet the mere hint of rising wages creates warning flags at the Federal Reserve, America’s central bank. Corporations could pass on rising wages to consumers by raising prices, and rising prices could feed inflation. The Federal Reserve has the dual mandate of fostering the highest levels of employment and stable prices. The Fed governors have decided—arbitrarily—that steady 2 percent inflation is the target they hope to sustain. They maintain, despite little evidence, that once inflation starts it can spiral out of control, so they assume that they must act preemptively to slow the economy by raising interest rates. In turn, the economy slows, workers lose jobs, their ability to demand wage hikes is reduced, and inflation is slowed.

Last week, the country got what appeared to be good economic news—a decent jobs report, top-line unemployment remaining at 4.1 percent, and average hourly wages inching up 2.9 percent over the 12 months ending in January, which was the highest increase in the nine years of the recovery. Yet the stock market tanked. The fear that rising wages could lead the Fed to hike interest rates faster, and slow the economy, helped trigger the stock selloff.

That panic is testament to how much the game is rigged against workers. Inflation—at 1.5 percent in 2017—remains below the Fed’s target. Prices aren’t rising too fast; they are rising too slowly. The economy has grown slowly in each of the past three years. Rising wages are more of a dream than a reality. In real terms, wages rose a nearly invisible 0.6 percent in 2017. In previous expansions, they’ve gone up over 4 percent without America turning into Weimar. Unit labor costs are up all of 0.2 percent in 2017—the lowest gains ever at this point in an expansion.


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