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Wealth Inequality In Merica

Disquisition
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10/22/2013 9:21:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Before watching this video, I honestly though we were on the ideal curve. I wish the clowns in congress would stop their egotistical tirade and take care of the American people.

In class today we studied how other countries that are similar to America do not have as much inequality, like Sweden or Norway. In these countries, they invest much more into socialist programs that actually help the poor. I'm not asking for America to adopt egalitarianism since there are obvious benefits to inequality. But honestly this is ridiculous.
slo1
Posts: 4,351
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10/23/2013 11:33:27 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/22/2013 9:21:17 PM, Disquisition wrote:
Before watching this video, I honestly though we were on the ideal curve. I wish the clowns in congress would stop their egotistical tirade and take care of the American people.

In class today we studied how other countries that are similar to America do not have as much inequality, like Sweden or Norway. In these countries, they invest much more into socialist programs that actually help the poor. I'm not asking for America to adopt egalitarianism since there are obvious benefits to inequality. But honestly this is ridiculous.



The charts are a great visual. I will say though, he is somewhat bias when he compares where the middle class is when it is an equal distribution to where they really are and says something to effect that they are struggling. The greater reality is that the mid to upper middle class is doing just fine if they can keep their jobs. Their struggles are probably more to do with too much discretionary spending.

With that said it is a shame that we as a nation continually get caught up in rhetoric and have continuous battles back and forth. The author in the vid admits an equal distribution is an unwanted extreme, but what about the other end?

There has to be a level at which society starts to break down when too much wealth is in the hands too few. I don't know where the most optimal level is, but I believe we are past a health distribution.

Check this article out that describes how the effective tax rate, while it oscillates based upon the economic conditions and prevailing ideology at the time, it always comes back to 12.3%. This is the "invisible hand" that Adams describes that guides and promotes the common good.

http://www.bloomberg.com...

If we were smart we would identify where that effective rate should be, how progressive it should be and then lock it via legislation and then spend time and resources thoroughly analyzing how the monies should most effectively be used to help those dealing with poverty help themselves get out of it.

You can tell how inefficient we are with home growing our capability by seeing how many skilled workers we have to import to the US because we have a lack of skilled labor. It is a shame.

I guess that I am advocating the invisible hand should not be made invisible any longer and should be a stated purpose and empirically studied.
slo1
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10/23/2013 11:40:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/22/2013 9:29:33 PM, DanT wrote:




on the second vid, how can you trust a guys who says, "You tend to start of poor and get richer over time."

I don't have time now, but I though that since the Great Recession labor rates deflated and have yet to get to point of inflation, thus in real terms mid and low class are earning less and that has been a trend for some time.

I'll look that up later, but mobility from poor to middle class while possible is difficult to do, partly because of culture in low socio-economic areas and the programs designed to help are ineffective and in some cases promote gov dependance.
slo1
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10/23/2013 12:48:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Check out this recent study that correlates better income mobility to areas that have higher progressivity of tax expenditures.

http://obs.rc.fas.harvard.edu...
(salties again. I know how many of you love them, but look at the data before you judge)

True laissez faire- ists have yet to prove that mixed hybrid approaches that use capitalism as the base to grow the pie as big as possible for everyone, yet assist those in the greatest need can't flourish as a system. They all make it sound like any type of progressive taxation or entitlement program will crash it to the ground.

That is not to say that we don't have significant problems with the over expansion of entitlement programs, but just being open to progressively taxing the rich can at least put us in a position to discuss where we can get the biggest bang for the buck, versus bickering back and forth on utopian dreams.
CarefulNow
Posts: 780
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10/23/2013 1:38:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The response videos make four points:

1) "That's wealth inequality, not income inequality!" So? Is wealth inequality more justifiable than income inequality? It's certainly no less impactful. For example, not only is parental wealth a better predictor of American income than any measure of merit, but it's in fact a better predictor of American income than parental income.

2) "Rich and poor are often the same person at different ages!" So? Is a geritocracy any more justifiable than a plutocracy? The example in the first response video was particularly amusing to me, because I have a cousin who fits that description: an attorney from a poor background who consequently had to borrow at exploitive interest rates. To measure his quality of life by his income before debt repayment, or his potential income before debt repayment, would be absurd. It would indeed be more absurd than measuring his quality of life by his income before taxes, because the lender may garnish a greater proportion his wages than the taxman.

3) "But the pie is getting bigger!" So? Unless you can prove that the pie is getting bigger because of the inequality, the question of whether the bigger pie is worth the greater inequality is invalid. It's not as if the European social democracies pay for their equality by living in the stone age. No, they have a higher quality of life, lower absolute poverty, etc.

4) "That's wealth, not necessarily unearned wealth!" The gentleman who made that non-point clearly doesn't have the conceptual prerequisites to even venture a guess on whether the rich earned their riches. He makes that clear when he reduces the difference between earned and unearned wealth to the difference between merit and government handouts. What about enclosure, forced urbanization, slavery, indefinite patent, inheritance, market power, unexpected gain, etc.? And why does he assume that the original video or its survey group ignored the difference between earned and unearned wealth in the first place? After all, their ideal inequality was not 0. If it wasn't based on what they thought could be justified by inequalities in merit, what does he think it was based on?
Brain_crazy
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10/24/2013 11:44:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/22/2013 9:29:33 PM, DanT wrote:




There's truth to both sides of the argument, but if you're truly arguing that inequality is not a rising issue in America you're simply off your rocker. Look up any statistic you like comparing industrial nations by inequality, sparing china, the US is right near the top. The poverty rate in the US right now is about 15%, which is also nothing to brag about. From 2009 to present 95% of growth has been to the 1%. While median income is dropping, wealthy american's income is rising.

http://www.economist.com...
Dougram
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10/25/2013 3:09:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This is simple, companies can only cut payroll and costs for so long. When the average worker does not have enough disposable income left to purchase anything, but the basics. The whole economic system breaks down. You do not need to have complete equality, just better equality. The biggest problem is companies only look at the short term quarterly profits. CEO's have complained about this, when back in the past it was concentrated more on market share. Well in an effort to reach the quarterly goals, companies are cost cutting too far to show gains. This in effect pours water all over the flames of the economy. If companies paid a good wage, it would increase purchases ect. It makes the whole system run well. People can't buy products, if they do not have any money left over after buying the basics. That is why you see a low savings rate and higher credit card debt in Americans. Greed is killing the economy. There is enough money to go around.
DanT
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10/25/2013 6:56:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/24/2013 11:44:46 AM, Brain_crazy wrote:
At 10/22/2013 9:29:33 PM, DanT wrote:




There's truth to both sides of the argument, but if you're truly arguing that inequality is not a rising issue in America you're simply off your rocker. Look up any statistic you like comparing industrial nations by inequality, sparing china, the US is right near the top. The poverty rate in the US right now is about 15%, which is also nothing to brag about. From 2009 to present 95% of growth has been to the 1%. While median income is dropping, wealthy american's income is rising.

http://www.economist.com...

Just because something is unequal does not imply it is unfair. Wealth inequality is a joke, because it compares economic classes not individuals. Furthermore, when focusing on classes, the poor is getting richer, despite the wealthy getting richer faster. I rather the poor get richer and the gap get wider, than have the poor get poorer and have the gap get smaller.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
Posts: 780
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10/25/2013 7:31:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/25/2013 6:56:36 PM, DanT wrote:
Just because something is unequal does not imply it is unfair. Wealth inequality is a joke, because it compares economic classes not individuals. Furthermore, when focusing on classes, the poor is getting richer, despite the wealthy getting richer faster. I rather the poor get richer and the gap get wider, than have the poor get poorer and have the gap get smaller.

That's a false dilemma, so you might as well stop pretending to care about the poor. And your classes vs. individuals argument is weak; inequality among quintiles is predictive of inequality among individuals.
DanT
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10/26/2013 8:33:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/25/2013 7:31:19 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 10/25/2013 6:56:36 PM, DanT wrote:
Just because something is unequal does not imply it is unfair. Wealth inequality is a joke, because it compares economic classes not individuals. Furthermore, when focusing on classes, the poor is getting richer, despite the wealthy getting richer faster. I rather the poor get richer and the gap get wider, than have the poor get poorer and have the gap get smaller.

That's a false dilemma, so you might as well stop pretending to care about the poor. And your classes vs. individuals argument is weak; inequality among quintiles is predictive of inequality among individuals.

No its not, because individuals can move from one quintile to another.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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10/26/2013 9:59:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/26/2013 8:33:47 AM, DanT wrote:
At 10/25/2013 7:31:19 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 10/25/2013 6:56:36 PM, DanT wrote:
Just because something is unequal does not imply it is unfair. Wealth inequality is a joke, because it compares economic classes not individuals. Furthermore, when focusing on classes, the poor is getting richer, despite the wealthy getting richer faster. I rather the poor get richer and the gap get wider, than have the poor get poorer and have the gap get smaller.

That's a false dilemma, so you might as well stop pretending to care about the poor. And your classes vs. individuals argument is weak; inequality among quintiles is predictive of inequality among individuals.

No its not, because individuals can move from one quintile to another.

They can also move from one individual rank to another (i.e. 127,234,211th to 127,234,256th), so what's your point? Perhaps you mean that it should compare lifetimes instead of a snapshot, but I've addressed that point. Furthermore, the US would still come out more equal, because its relative economic mobility is lower.
darkkermit
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10/26/2013 10:56:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/22/2013 9:21:17 PM, Disquisition wrote:
Before watching this video, I honestly though we were on the ideal curve. I wish the clowns in congress would stop their egotistical tirade and take care of the American people.

In class today we studied how other countries that are similar to America do not have as much inequality, like Sweden or Norway. In these countries, they invest much more into socialist programs that actually help the poor. I'm not asking for America to adopt egalitarianism since there are obvious benefits to inequality. But honestly this is ridiculous.


And people wonder why some people think schools are liberal-indoctrination camps.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
CarefulNow
Posts: 780
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10/26/2013 11:13:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/26/2013 9:59:52 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 10/26/2013 8:33:47 AM, DanT wrote:
At 10/25/2013 7:31:19 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 10/25/2013 6:56:36 PM, DanT wrote:
Just because something is unequal does not imply it is unfair. Wealth inequality is a joke, because it compares economic classes not individuals. Furthermore, when focusing on classes, the poor is getting richer, despite the wealthy getting richer faster. I rather the poor get richer and the gap get wider, than have the poor get poorer and have the gap get smaller.

That's a false dilemma, so you might as well stop pretending to care about the poor. And your classes vs. individuals argument is weak; inequality among quintiles is predictive of inequality among individuals.

No its not, because individuals can move from one quintile to another.

They can also move from one individual rank to another (i.e. 127,234,211th to 127,234,256th), so what's your point? Perhaps you mean that it should compare lifetimes instead of a snapshot, but I've addressed that point. Furthermore, the US would still come out more equal, because its relative economic mobility is lower.

Should be unequal.
DanT
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10/26/2013 8:17:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/26/2013 9:59:52 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 10/26/2013 8:33:47 AM, DanT wrote:
At 10/25/2013 7:31:19 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 10/25/2013 6:56:36 PM, DanT wrote:
Just because something is unequal does not imply it is unfair. Wealth inequality is a joke, because it compares economic classes not individuals. Furthermore, when focusing on classes, the poor is getting richer, despite the wealthy getting richer faster. I rather the poor get richer and the gap get wider, than have the poor get poorer and have the gap get smaller.

That's a false dilemma, so you might as well stop pretending to care about the poor. And your classes vs. individuals argument is weak; inequality among quintiles is predictive of inequality among individuals.

No its not, because individuals can move from one quintile to another.

They can also move from one individual rank to another (i.e. 127,234,211th to 127,234,256th),
When talking about wealth you don't talk in terms of rank. It is not 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place; wealth is not relative.
so what's your point?
My point is people rarely start out without allot of wealth; people acquire wealth over time. Also, the wealthy can lose their wealth just as easily as anyone else; their fall is just greater, so it has more of an impact on their standard of living.
Perhaps you mean that it should compare lifetimes instead of a snapshot, but I've addressed that point. Furthermore, the US would still come out more equal, because its relative economic mobility is lower.
No it is not. The US ranks far above most countries in regards to economic mobility.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
Posts: 780
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10/28/2013 12:37:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/26/2013 8:17:12 PM, DanT wrote:
When talking about wealth you don't talk in terms of rank. It is not 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place; wealth is not relative.

Oh, so you take offense to any talk of economic inequality, not just in terms of classes. Fair enough. But if you don't mind, some people consider it a worthwhile topic on account of its correlation with just about every bad thing there is.

My point is people rarely start out without a lot of wealth; people acquire wealth over time.

Yes, wealthy parents tend not to dump piles of cash on their newborns; they've found that intergenerational wealth transfer is more effective when said wealth remains nominally the parents' but is invested over time in the child's power to acquire wealth. But even if that makes measures of inequality in individual short-term wealth "a joke", that's not the only way wealth inequality is measured.

Also, the wealthy can lose their wealth just as easily as anyone else; their fall is just greater, so it has more of an impact on their standard of living.

Point?

No it is not. The US ranks far above most countries in regards to economic mobility.

My mistake. I confused intra-generational mobility, which measures the aforementioned realization of the value of inheritance in kind, with inter-generational mobility, which the US indeed has far less of than the Western and especially Northern European social democracies.
DanT
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10/28/2013 4:37:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/28/2013 12:37:23 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 10/26/2013 8:17:12 PM, DanT wrote:
When talking about wealth you don't talk in terms of rank. It is not 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place; wealth is not relative.

Oh, so you take offense to any talk of economic inequality, not just in terms of classes. Fair enough. But if you don't mind, some people consider it a worthwhile topic on account of its correlation with just about every bad thing there is.

Why group people into classes and say "This group makes this much more than that group?"
What is the point? You can also break those classes up and find similar inequality. The classification of each group is purely arbitrary.
Furthermore, inequality of wealth does not imply the distribution is unfair. Picture if you will a society where wealth is distributed perfectly equal throughout the community. You can bet in a heartbeat that less people would invest in institutes of higher learning, and everyone would flock to the easiest job possible, despite the job's worth and contributions to society.

My point is people rarely start out without a lot of wealth; people acquire wealth over time.

Yes, wealthy parents tend not to dump piles of cash on their newborns; they've found that intergenerational wealth transfer is more effective when said wealth remains nominally the parents' but is invested over time in the child's power to acquire wealth. But even if that makes measures of inequality in individual short-term wealth "a joke", that's not the only way wealth inequality is measured.

Nice Straw-man. Maybe the reason you can't move up in the world is not because your lack of economic mobility, but your lack of personal responsibility. You claim the only way to get rich is by inheriting wealth, but I know for a fact that is BS. When you blame your shortcomings on others, you can bet your a** you won't move up in the world.

My grandfather grew up dirt poor and through hard work was able to become upper middle class. My mother grew up in a rich neighborhood, and all her friends had rich parents. Sadly income mobility works both ways, and so I was not given the same opportunities (although I had a small taste through my grandparents). Unlike my mother, I had to pay for my own education, just like my grandfather, and I have to work myself through the ranks just as he did.

Also, the wealthy can lose their wealth just as easily as anyone else; their fall is just greater, so it has more of an impact on their standard of living.

Point?

Income mobility works both ways.
No it is not. The US ranks far above most countries in regards to economic mobility.

My mistake. I confused intra-generational mobility, which measures the aforementioned realization of the value of inheritance in kind, with inter-generational mobility, which the US indeed has far less of than the Western and especially Northern European social democracies.

Intragenerational mobility is the socioeconomic mobility occurring within an individual's lifetime, compared to interdenominational mobility, which occurs between generations i.e. inheritance between father and son.

I am referring to intragenerational mobility, because I am speaking of the individual's change in wealth over time, not the comparison between the wealth of an individual and his parents.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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10/28/2013 2:09:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/28/2013 4:37:46 AM, DanT wrote:
What is the point? You can also break those classes up and find similar inequality. The classification of each group is purely arbitrary.

So would be any other granularity. The alternative would be an inequality index, but those can be less intuitive and the video wasn't meant for professional economists.

Furthermore, inequality of wealth does not imply the distribution is unfair. Picture if you will a society where wealth is distributed perfectly equal throughout the community. You can bet in a heartbeat that less people would invest in institutes of higher learning, and everyone would flock to the easiest job possible, despite the job's worth and contributions to society.

Why would I imagine that? The survey asked people what they thought the inequality should be, and it was indeed unequal. For whatever reason or combination of reasons (fairness, distributive efficiency, social cohesion, etc.), they evidently felt that the current inequality is excessive while stopping short of advocating absolute equality. That happens to be where I stand, and I would venture most economists as well.

My grandfather grew up dirt poor and through hard work was able to become upper middle class. My mother grew up in a rich neighborhood, and all her friends had rich parents. Sadly income mobility works both ways, and so I was not given the same opportunities (although I had a small taste through my grandparents). Unlike my mother, I had to pay for my own education, just like my grandfather, and I have to work myself through the ranks just as he did.

What an endorsement for capitalism; a father's hard-won hope for the future, squandered by his daughter! Anyway, good luck. You'll need it, depending on the smallness of that taste you were talking about, because parental wealth is a better predictor of income than the scholastic performance for whose venue's fee you likely promised a capitalist your earnings, counterexamples notwithstanding.

Income mobility works both ways.

I understand that, but...point? Is the billionaire-turned-millionaire on the rooftop something to be proud of?
DanT
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10/28/2013 6:36:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/28/2013 2:09:37 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 10/28/2013 4:37:46 AM, DanT wrote:
What is the point? You can also break those classes up and find similar inequality. The classification of each group is purely arbitrary.

So would be any other granularity.
That is not true. A more homogenous population would have aggregates that more closely resembles its individual parts. There is nothing homogenous about wealth, so classifying the population into groups based on wealth is fallacious.
The alternative would be an inequality index,
That would just be an inverted equality index.
but those can be less intuitive and the video wasn't meant for professional economists.

Yeah just like urban legends are not meant for historians.
Furthermore, inequality of wealth does not imply the distribution is unfair. Picture if you will a society where wealth is distributed perfectly equal throughout the community. You can bet in a heartbeat that less people would invest in institutes of higher learning, and everyone would flock to the easiest job possible, despite the job's worth and contributions to society.

Why would I imagine that?
Thought experiment.
The survey asked people what they thought the inequality should be, and it was indeed unequal. For whatever reason or combination of reasons (fairness, distributive efficiency, social cohesion, etc.), they evidently felt that the current inequality is excessive while stopping short of advocating absolute equality. That happens to be where I stand, and I would venture most economists as well.

Argumentum ad populum. The mode is not reflective of the rest of the population.
My grandfather grew up dirt poor and through hard work was able to become upper middle class. My mother grew up in a rich neighborhood, and all her friends had rich parents. Sadly income mobility works both ways, and so I was not given the same opportunities (although I had a small taste through my grandparents). Unlike my mother, I had to pay for my own education, just like my grandfather, and I have to work myself through the ranks just as he did.

What an endorsement for capitalism; a father's hard-won hope for the future, squandered by his daughter! Anyway, good luck. You'll need it, depending on the smallness of that taste you were talking about, because parental wealth is a better predictor of income than the scholastic performance for whose venue's fee you likely promised a capitalist your earnings, counterexamples notwithstanding.

I see you are a glass half full kind of guy. The point I was making was that in a capitalist society anyone can become wealthy through their own efforts, and those born into wealth can only remain wealthy by their own efforts.

You sound very entitled. You focus on wealth passed from one generation to the next, rather than the result of the individual's own actions. You seem to see wealth as something to be inherited rather than earned.

Income mobility works both ways.

I understand that, but...point? Is the billionaire-turned-millionaire on the rooftop something to be proud of?

The point is that wealth is earned, even when inherited.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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10/28/2013 7:18:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/28/2013 6:36:53 PM, DanT wrote:
At 10/28/2013 2:09:37 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
So would be any other granularity.
That is not true. A more homogenous population would have aggregates that more closely resembles its individual parts. There is nothing homogenous about wealth, so classifying the population into groups based on wealth is fallacious.

No, it's just a trade-off: comprehensiveness vs. simplicity; I suppose ideally we would discuss inequality by way of itemized lists of each citizen's assets, but nobody would sit through a video that long.

but those can be less intuitive and the video wasn't meant for professional economists.

Yeah just like urban legends are not meant for historians.

The difference is that, while historians reject the veracity of urban legends, economists do not reject the veracity of segmented inequality metrics, but simply understand indices as well.
CarefulNow
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10/30/2013 1:10:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/28/2013 6:36:53 PM, DanT wrote:
I see you are a glass half full kind of guy. The point I was making was that in a capitalist society anyone can become wealthy through their own efforts, and those born into wealth can only remain wealthy by their own efforts.

The latter is only true when the risk-neutral interest rate is negative, and even then the effort required is far less than what would be required to become wealthy in the first place. Wealth after all valorizes labor, as in owner-operated capital (the effort it would take to haul freight without access to a vehicle, for example, would be incalculably and indeed prohibitively high, and drivers who don't own their trucks earn far less for that reason) and labor power-producing capital (with apologies to Will Hunting, assuring a prospective employer that one has learned it all at the free library, even if the elite schools themselves are useless, obviously doesn't go as far as an expensive degree).

You sound very entitled. You focus on wealth passed from one generation to the next, rather than the result of the individual's own actions. You seem to see wealth as something to be inherited rather than earned.

I'm focusing on parental wealth for two reasons:

1) Parental wealth is simply a better predictor of wealth. The US's intergenerational wealth elasticity is, conservatively, .5, meaning that whatever your dear granddad had above the average, you can expect to have .5^2=.25 of that above the average. If you're aware of a measure of "efforts" that's as good a predictor as that (labor hours and scholastic performance certainly aren't), I'd genuinely like to know about it.

2) The topic is the notion that American wealth inequality is excessive. Obviously, I think it's excessive because of the part of it that's unearned, which includes inheritance, not the part of it that's earned. "Inherited and earned" is of course a contradiction in terms. By your logic, that the heir has earned it merely by not squandering it like your mother, even government subsidies are earned (unless of course your mother is the recipient of the subsidy), and anything goes.
Greyparrot
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10/30/2013 6:11:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/26/2013 10:56:38 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/22/2013 9:21:17 PM, Disquisition wrote:
Before watching this video, I honestly though we were on the ideal curve. I wish the clowns in congress would stop their egotistical tirade and take care of the American people.

In class today we studied how other countries that are similar to America do not have as much inequality, like Sweden or Norway. In these countries, they invest much more into socialist programs that actually help the poor. I'm not asking for America to adopt egalitarianism since there are obvious benefits to inequality. But honestly this is ridiculous.


And people wonder why some people think schools are liberal-indoctrination camps.

Especially when these schools teach with the insanely flawed premise that "wealth" is a fixed resource to be allocated socially and not a construct of human labor and ingenuity.
CarefulNow
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10/30/2013 1:51:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/30/2013 6:11:46 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 10/26/2013 10:56:38 AM, darkkermit wrote:
And people wonder why some people think schools are liberal-indoctrination camps.

Especially when these schools teach with the insanely flawed premise that "wealth" is a fixed resource to be allocated socially and not a construct of human labor and ingenuity.

That's not what I was taught. Perhaps you're projecting your own propensity to oversimplify onto your ideological opponents. No one disputes that human labor and ingenuity are factors, but it's indeed generally understood that they would be extremely unproductive without natural resources, which are of course definitively not the construct of humans.
Brain_crazy
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11/5/2013 11:07:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/25/2013 6:56:36 PM, DanT wrote:
At 10/24/2013 11:44:46 AM, Brain_crazy wrote:
At 10/22/2013 9:29:33 PM, DanT wrote:




There's truth to both sides of the argument, but if you're truly arguing that inequality is not a rising issue in America you're simply off your rocker. Look up any statistic you like comparing industrial nations by inequality, sparing china, the US is right near the top. The poverty rate in the US right now is about 15%, which is also nothing to brag about. From 2009 to present 95% of growth has been to the 1%. While median income is dropping, wealthy american's income is rising.

http://www.economist.com...

Just because something is unequal does not imply it is unfair. Wealth inequality is a joke, because it compares economic classes not individuals. Furthermore, when focusing on classes, the poor is getting richer, despite the wealthy getting richer faster. I rather the poor get richer and the gap get wider, than have the poor get poorer and have the gap get smaller.

But DanT as I already said the majority of Americans have not been getting richer. The Median income has dropped to around 38,000. Also the 15% poverty rate is not a good number. The reason for why the wealthy have recovered from the recession while the majority have not seems to be due to a continued lag in the housing market. While The Fed is keeping interest rates artificially low, this really has only helped keep stock-market numbers up (i.e why it has for the most part been the wealthy who have recovered). We need real growth in America, which can help the majority of Americans feel a recovery rather than just the few. (Not to mention for reasons of sustainability)