Comments on: The politics of America’s wealth chasm Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: paintcan Tue, 18 Oct 2011 14:07:38 +0000 Carlomunificent writes: Ultimately, I think the military will swoop in with Flying Monkeys and occupy power for a few generations. On the bright side, that would give the US a chance to write a modern constitution.

I have been thinking that ten years ago it already started. It will be ironic if China or India and the LA countries become more truly democratic while this country becomes a repressive nightmare. It is more likely that no one will be democratic except at the ritual of voting day.

If agricultural subsidies are removed in the developed countries, the cost of food could add a new dimension to the frustration fueling OWS. The developing countries don’t like the developed country’s agricultural subsidies.

The OWS movement shouldn’t waste their time on protest movements. If they really don’t see a place for themselves in the larger society – they should try to make alternatives. The hippies were too young and inexperienced to succeed at the communes that used to spring up. These people might stand a chance. They shouldn’t try for utopia but something that can sustain them while the rest of the economies of the world may be having a very hard time providing for basic needs.

I think the only reason the US didn’t become as firmly class riven as European and LA society was that it still had vast undeveloped territory until about 100 years ago and that territory took some time to develop. They should be building life rafts while they have a chance. They might even have a chance to rough out that new constitution CarlOmunificent mentions.

I am afraid the future will see a country where the entrenched will be inclined to see all others as pests, expensive tax burdens and military fodder. You can hear the attitude in many of the comment threads in this news site.

The periodic plagues that swept the civilized world since the days of the Roman Empire were one force that acted as a leveler of the constant tendency for economic power to accumulate at the top. Is the world over populated, not sufficiently organized or will it matter? A very crowded world where many are idled or pushed out of chances to make their own way will get on everyone’s nerves.

The best way to avoid mob thinking is not to get caught in one and that may not be possible.

By: matthewslyman Tue, 18 Oct 2011 06:05:46 +0000 @CarlOmunificent- excellent remarks. The “less government” ideology of Reagan is slowly destroying America. Reagan quietly abandoned this philosophy a few years into his presidency, when he found it wasn’t working… nomics-and-prudent-taxation/

@DrJJJJ: If America was being taxed at 40% of GDP, I would certainly recommend the Republican Party and its policies to you (and if it was 50-60%, I’d perhaps even recommend the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party). Only, your figures are wildly inaccurate. US Federal outlays are running at just under 25% of GDP. US Federal tax receipts? Just under _15%_!!! Is this a sustainable policy? No. I’m curious where you get your 40% figure from? Here’s where I get mine: displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

If people are protesting now, they’ll be revolting in a few years time if the government does not tackle the problem while they can… The strange thing is that the protesters’ demands are actually fairly rational! Now if only the American politicians would get off their high horses and ask the Chinese for help fixing the system of world trade. Can we be weaned off the kool-aid?

By: edgyinchina Tue, 18 Oct 2011 05:41:00 +0000 DrJJJJ: NOT ONE of the protesters is asking for “more government”…. What they are asking for is ‘equal opportunity’ … Either get your facts straight, or change your handle to DrJ_Liar

By: hereiam2005 Mon, 17 Oct 2011 08:16:52 +0000 The Gini coefficient might not says much for many people. Numbers may not says much.

But some numbers are more significant than others. a/power/wealth.html. (Thanks to deLafayette).

The last 40% American has 0.3% of the wealth in America. Takes US total wealth at 55,000 billion USD, this means 120 million people have 165 billions in wealth. Or each one of those people have 1,375 USD. In wealth. A little more than a thousand dollars.
Is this the greatest nation on earth?

By: hereiam2005 Mon, 17 Oct 2011 07:39:21 +0000 Why people never learn from history? For better or worse, there were three things that came out of the Great Depression of the 30′: Communism, Fascism, and the Second World War. Keeps this going, and such will be the eventual result. Rhetoric, propaganda can go on forever. But when people face extreme hardship, they will revolt. Don’t push others to the wall, they will fight back. And when they do, things will get ugly. Fast.

By: deLafayette Mon, 17 Oct 2011 07:14:07 +0000 {Anger at the Haves tends to surge when times are tough, only to melt away when former Have Nots are again flush enough to go back to the mall.}

True enough – as the Romans said, “Give them games, porridge and wine”. Is our world that much different today?

It is beyond most people that the Great Recession could easily happen again because there is something fundamentally wrong with our economic system.

That wrong has been well-identified – it is called Income Unfairness and the inequity is awesome. Reckless Reagan precipitously brought down our marginal income taxes from levels of 70% to 30% (effectively 20/24% after deductions), which caused a massive shift of wealth upwards to create the Plutocrat Class in America.

That class, after three decades of net income (after tax) transfers has meant that the top 1% own 43% of our financial wealth and the top 20% own 94% of it. (See info-graphic here: a/power/wealth.html )

This glaring imbalance is at the heart of income unfairness today and the root cause of the demonstrations across America.

And how is that inequity corrected. Easily, by increasing marginal income (and capital gains taxes) to levels where they were for for years (from the late 1930s to 1970) – see info-graphic here: debt.png

Note also in that info-graphic the inflexion point of the green line (National Debt) that coincides with the reduction of higher marginal income taxes in 1980 – when Reagan began to pull taxes down.

By: optimistmiser Sun, 16 Oct 2011 21:20:15 +0000 The greatest threat to Social Security is Social Security itself.

By: optimistmiser Sun, 16 Oct 2011 21:18:32 +0000 Taxation inequality is discriminatory. Everyone should have to pay the same tax rate. Income should not be a determining factor. Fairness is to share the burden of taxation as an equal percentage to each persons income.

By: deLafayette Sun, 16 Oct 2011 04:11:59 +0000 What happened, you ask?

The Gini Coefficient measures the level of Income Unfairness in a nation. The value of 1 means that one individual has earned all the income within a country (which is impossible). A value of 0 means that all individuals have equal incomes (which is not impossible but very, very rare in a market economy).

Have a look at the Gini Coefficent here: ince_WWII.svg

Note how, for the US, it has be consistently above a value of 0.35 and has risen since 1980. It is now at about 0.43.

Who was elected president in 1980? Who reduced marginal income taxation from 70% to 30%? Yes, Reckless Ronald Reagan. Why is everybody surprised that the OWS movement has garnered so much attention.

George Santayana: “Those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it”

By: Philipnaxxar Fri, 14 Oct 2011 23:27:49 +0000 Whenever our species power forward, the global environment suffers, that,s Inequality.