Comments on: The retail price of America’s income inequality Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: paintcan Sat, 28 Jan 2012 19:26:08 +0000 You make a big mistake NeoDemo thinking that people are going to be threatened with mass extermination in industrial death camps. The Israelis have made an obsessive national ethos out of the Nazi regime and they have become a smaller scale version of it vis a vis the Palestinians.

Notes in the UN new digests (of the past few nights) have stated that the Israeli government is continuing to pursue the most heavy handed and brutal policy of forced displacements, condemnation and demolition of Palestinian homes, without compensation of any kind. The notices claim that tens of thousands of Palestinians are at risk from their overtly aggressive and idiotic tactics.

By: NeoDemo Thu, 26 Jan 2012 18:10:37 +0000 “One of the Sheep” also forgets that there are many people like me who realize that the system doesn’t work anymore and I am targeting people like him (and their children or whatever of “One of The Sheep’s” that I can abscond with, or leverage, or whatever, to get my way with them) to get what was stolen from me and/or what I was fraudulently induced to believe. If the “brains-based” system doesn’t work, then I’ve got to use the “brawn-based” system to get what I need to survive. Optimizing the “brain-based” system (that doesn’t work anymore) included getting an education and working hard, which doesn’t function anymore (but that I did); as a result, I’m now optimizing on “brawn-based” tactics, which include lethal weapons training and related and covert tactics to allow me to get what I need to survive. I’m not going to be like my relatives who were lead to the “death-chambers” without putting up a fight for the survival of me and my family. I will take what was wrongfully gotten by Babu and One of the Sheep so I can share from a system where fraud and unfairness ruled even tho it was portrayed lyingly otherwise. Sorry.

By: paintcan Tue, 24 Jan 2012 23:54:33 +0000 OOTS (and all those who think like him) ignores the effects bad times will bring. And he also ignores his own rise during the good times. We are only about ten years apart in age. He was not a depression child.

To follow China’s example – he should recall that China went through a thorough leveling of the playing field and a start from scratch. They endured a very hot melting pot to get where they are now. And I am sure he wouldn’t have liked it any more than I would.

And it was Lewis Mumford who made that comparison. While citing it I actually came to understand his point. I also have to remind myself that Bookkeeping is not the same as statistics. Statistics can be very creatively and deceptively manipulated and no one gos to jail for that. But fudge the figures and one can do time.

By: OneOfTheSheep Tue, 24 Jan 2012 19:33:51 +0000 paintcan leaps forward once more to equate statistical facts only with the horrors of Adolf Hitler and the America of today with India under English dominance and exploitation. Each is so inappropriate as to be silly.

The “average consumer” does NOT and has NEVER controlled “the cost structure of the economy”. They merely react to it. The same is true of Wall Street. It is the success or failure of America’s business leaders, the movers and shakers who shape our future with their vision, true or flawed, and not the profiteers. paintcan would condemn any of these who read tea leaves in good faith that are less than perfect in predicting an ever uncertain future.

He, and those who think like him, have lived their whole life in “good times”. They have deluded themselves into thinking that “bad times” will never come again and it is for the government to guarantee this at any cost. For this to be true all that history teaches would be wrong. Our government today can’t get out of it’s own way.

The Chinese have literally created their current prosperity by “severe restrictions of family size”. They have advanced from an economy that only made bullets and bombs for war into an economic success many today envy and fear. The third world should follow China’s example.

A world of SEVEN BILLION population (and growing) would do well to follow their example. When it is the uneducated, the unskilled and those without land that comprise the great majority of population growth their impossible expectations are all but certain to bring about events that decimate THEM.

We live in “interesting times”.

By: paintcan Tue, 24 Jan 2012 14:27:00 +0000 Lewis Mumford once said that the fascist regime of Adolf Hitler was obsessed with statistics and the bottom line. They even mindlessly kept accurate records of those they processed in the camps. They were reacting to the collapse of their economy during the Weimar years and the country seemed to have lost all sense of proportion during the War years. Oneofthesheep is using statistics in his usual self-serving manner. He isn’t really concerned for the effects of income inequality but only with preserving his own status relative to the rest of society.

The US must keep the vast majority of income earners in this country from falling through the cracks or it will drag the entire superstructure of wealth down with it. India was a good example of vast fortunes squandered on the idle wealthy while the rest of the country languished at subsistence levels. Anyone who has seen the movie “City Of Hope” can see an illustration of the gruesome logic in the neighborhood boss. The British were able to dominate it and annex it as part of their own empire. It was a dinosaur with a very tiny wealthy brain and a vast body composed of the severely constrained living in misery or mere subsi-stence. And wealth does not equate with intelligence as much as the wealthy would like to flatter themselves that it does. Wealth exerts it’s own gravitational attraction and will clump as surely as the debris that formed this planet 4 billions years ago. The wealthy of India were doing very little useful with that wealth and could not keep pace with the changes the rest of the world were experiencing during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The real estate of this country depends on a very large market of affluent people of most of it will face decay and ruin quickly. A small strata of people affluent enough to buy the dominant building type in this country – the single family home and the private automobile or two or three – will require much larger incomes than minimum wage/ part time workers are likely to see. The pressure now is for all income groups that are not sitting on hoards of investment cash – and that can survive the swindles (or inadequacies) of Wall Street – to all go down. Wall Street has put its faith and funds on money-making-money and it faces reality checks provided by the low income countries who still make the goods that money buys. High tech is a very dubious game of bluff itself. How goods or services are valued in society is a game that somehow escapes analysis (or at least very common understanding), and except for the fact that we tend to shop for the lowest cost elements that will do the job, it is very difficult for the average consumer to comprehend, let alone control, the cost structure of the economy. Wall Street does not know how to do that either and that is why “faith in the free market” is the mantra of so many of those on the street.

Even the value of the dollar is resting on bluff and even lies now. The Chinese on the other hand are living with a very solvent government with little of no debt but severe restrictions of family size. The Chinese are not starving and the vast majority seems to be housed and clothed. Their government is now carefully encouraging consumerism. I doubt they will allow the country to stratify into the vastly wealthy and the squalid poor unless the government becomes so corrupt that the wealthy are able to buy political power and damn the rest of the country to privation.

I say the US must ensure its general population is sufficiently affluent to support its standard of living but I think the time has passed that it can and that is why it is resorting to fascist tactics to preserve its way of life. It is already on the defensive. The moneyed here can use war to try to control markets and disrupt the competition. That is all that is left to it now. One could say – and it has been said frequently, in other words, by many other commenters on this site, that it is clinging to fading glory and hoping bluff and belligerence will support the status quo.

BTW – I think babushkaM is a plant of some kind. There is something very odd about her syntax. And her argument is not ringing very true.

By: GotIQ Tue, 24 Jan 2012 02:17:42 +0000 Life in America seems to be getting angrier and poorer and more entertained and more fat and more dumb by the day. One wonders when the losers are going to band together and say they cannot take it anymore. One also wonders if the masses will rally around the flag again if the US suffers another terrorist act. I know that is not what is on most people’s minds, but nevermind that. The centrifugal forces of hatred and envy and greed that are normally kept in polite check by our system might go off-kilter someday in the land of opportunity and killing-Pakistani-kids-everyday-like-it- did-not-happen. The clownshow of the war in Afghanistan, the cash bonanza of contracting in Iraq, the housing collapse, and under-paying people in America, are all related. Rudeness, competition, anger, violence, and stupidity, and all wonderfully linked. At least we are free to talk about it. Welcome to the USA.

By: OneOfTheSheep Tue, 24 Jan 2012 01:59:59 +0000 p/site/comments/updating_emmerichs_chart _041911/

By: OneOfTheSheep Tue, 24 Jan 2012 01:56:45 +0000 @ronsilvercity,

I said: “For everyone who is above average in income there must be someone who is below average in income”.

You said: “Given the incredible skewing of income distribution in the US toward the top 1% of earners, there are vastly more people with below average income than there are people with above average income.”

We are both right. If the highest earner rakes in a billion dollars and the bottom one earns zero, then the “average income is half a billion dollars (without regard to how many make that much). Unfortunately, this is so divorced from day to day reality as to be meaningless, and such a point was not my intent to make. I therefore apologize to any I unintentionally mislead.

What I had in mind was the “median income of the middle class” today, “middle class” being defined as those above 30% and below 70% of “income”. Those rising out of the “middle class” contribute more to this skewing than those falling out of it. The combination of such “upward” and “downward” mobility, or “earnings polarization” is why the number of “middle class” individuals shrinks.

Yes, there are lots more individuals are at the bottom extreme of earnings than at the top extreme of earnings, but the reality is NOT the pyramid many envision. Even at the very top, the TOTAL income dollars received by those in “the 1%” are quickly dwarfed by the income dollars of those in the 2-30% because the number of individuals at each level IS a rough pyramid. This is also true for the 30-70%.

The number at the “apparent” bottom is grossly distorted. It includes without proper distinction those who do not work that are unemployed but looking, unemployed but not looking (for whatever reason), those who are mentally ill or disabled and genuinely can not work, and those who work in the “underground economy” for cash and yet APPEAR not to work (which would include drug labs and pushers). The bottom 30% expansion is also exploding because this is where most of our population growth is. As the number of the essentially unskilled increases, economic opportunities (demand) is on a permanently decreasing curve making for increased competition for the available minimum-wage jobs.

Here’s a link to an article with interesting statistics:

If you look at the “wealth controlled” in terms of number of people at each level you don’t get a pyramid either. That’s why the “1% vs. the 99%” battle cry of OWS is so misleading as to merely brand those who use it as hopelessly uninformed and incapable of meaningful dialogue. The old French saying is that “If you’re young and not a Socialist, you have no heart. If you’re older and remain a Socialist you have no brains.”

By: NeoDemo Mon, 23 Jan 2012 23:49:11 +0000 @BabushkaM and @OneOfTheSheep: I cannot believe what a selfish world we live in based on your comments. What kind of society has the USA become? The reason I don’t live in China or India or Africa or any of the countries with massive poverty is because they are not pleasant places to live. I don’t know why we in the US continue to allow in other countries’ lifestyles (meaning poverty and poverty level jobs) into our own. @OneOfTheSheep: you seem to say that people have choices, but it’s turning out that in the USA, it’s not about choices because I know people with MBAs and law degrees who have worked hard all their lives and now cannot find a consistent job that makes over minimum wage — they have no choice. It seems that in the USA, it’s only about being born rich or “lucking out” to find a job where you can support a family, or turning to a life of crime and that seems to be a good choice perhaps nowadays. Does our market support having slave level wages like they do in China where you are forced to be sterilized after having one child? Where does the free market and what are the limits? Are we all destined to live in cardboard box shantytowns (like Babu says) where the poor serve as effective slaves to the rich? Where are the limits?

By: BabushkaM Mon, 23 Jan 2012 19:17:57 +0000 What “OneOfTheSheep” and other vulture-Republicans (like Romney) don’t realize is the extent to what we Republicans will do under the guise of the “market economy.” Because I’m retired (at 38 years old BTW) and now feel bad about my success at the expense of others, I’ll tell you the secrets: (1) We Republicans have no problem lying to get to the top and/or make money — I made TONS o dough in the mortgage scam: basically, give anyone a loan for $1 million (or whatever; emphasis on whatever), get my 3% commission ($30k) or more, misappraise the property, don’t look up credit score, get the idiots to sign, and boom, I’m done, did it hundreds of times (emphasis on hundreds); (2) to me, the market bottom for American workers is a global “bottom” and there is plenty of room for more “bottom” — until I see complete starvation/poverty like I see in India and China (meaning I want to see Americans living like dogs on the street in cardboard shantytowns), then the USA is not truly globalized, minimum wage in the USA should be $0.10/hr. because that is what these people/dogs are worth in China (they are worthless), I don’t want to spend nothing on them (go die in a lonely street and not in a hospital using up my tax dollars); (3) we do not nearly have enough women making money on street and with my monies that I have saved I would spend it on this as well so again USA has long way to go.