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EFRP: Income Inequality

ColeTrain
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12/7/2015 2:23:35 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
Inequality is a broad subject, but I'd like to present a few things that I believe are noteworthy to discussion regarding economic inequality in the US. In short, I don't believe the hype surrounding economic inequality is warranted, and I don't believe the gap is a problem of as much concern as is often expressed. Regardless, I hope this post will facilitate substantive discussion.

Observations:
Prior to delving into this topic, I believe it is necessary to define economic inequality. More broadly known as income inequality (or wealth inequality), it is essentially the gap between the rich and the poor, or unequal distribution of income. Though there are various factors at play (multiple reasons as to why the gap exists), it is imperative to note the gap is noticeable. However, this doesn't mean it's a huge problem. In fact, the Gini index (which measures income distribution [http://tinyurl.com...]) has been generally improving over the past decade (except for the outlier setback in the recession).

[http://tinyurl.com...]

This indicates inequality isn't becoming worse, but rather is on the mend, per the upward trend. To clarify, it's essential to note the reasons behind income inequality. A common hypothesis (and talking point) is that racial divides are a prominent factor in income inequality. A preemptive response to this assertion is rather that poverty is the driving factor, not necessarily the race. Minority (race) groups are more affected by poverty than are whites.

[http://tinyurl.com...]

The difference between percentage rates of poverty between whites and blacks (and Hispanics) is astonishing. There is nearly double the percent in both blacks and Hispanics than for whites. This poverty doesn"t allow for a better education. For good wages, regardless of company, education is a priority. Simply a high school diploma won"t foot the bill, either. College degrees are often necessary for jobs that pay high wages.

The reasoning behind college degree prerequisites is simple: productivity. Economist Scott A. Wolla explains "workers with more education tend to have higher productivity, which means they tend to produce more output with the same inputs." [http://tinyurl.com...] Tendency for higher wages is more favorable to these types of employees. The basis for this is simple economic theory. When firms recognize a worker with good potential and that is efficient and productive, they will make necessary sacrifices to pay them a more acceptable and generous wage.

How, you might ask, does this translate to income inequality? Essentially, this affirms that the key to solving rampant inequality is better education. This can simultaneously alleviate severe poverty as well. Still, though, the problem remains of current income inequality. Perhaps, to better understand the role of education, we should divert our attention to another reasons why inequality exists in the first place, a factor that goes beyond racial differences and poverty-ridden individuals.

Companies, too, are to blame for income disparity. To receive any income at all, one must be employed, obviously. Yet, current economic trends aren't favorable to company availability. Businesses have been noticeably less dynamic since 2005, with business closings and openings become a concern.

[http://tinyurl.com...]

The number of jobs created by new businesses has fallen 21% from a decade ago, 2005. [http://tinyurl.com...] Not only is this quite concerning, it's stifling the productivity of current firms who are pressured to hire as many workers as possible. Often, they are unable to pay higher wages to those who perform rudimentary tasks. On the other hand, successful companies are a constant and increasing driving factor for income inequality, particularly for those who perform similar, elementary jobs.

For example, while large companies can, and often do, raise wages for their employers, that doesn't always result in a net decrease in income inequality. For example, consider the wages for Facebook's basic employees.

[http://tinyurl.com...]

While raising wages, when it is more than affordable for the company (which, in this case, it is), it"s a good idea. Yet, we see that these higher wages actually necessitate a more wide income gap. Facebook raised their wages for nearly all basic jobs such as this, essentially creating a company minimum. [http://tinyurl.com...] However, in so doing, they have widened the gap between the US median pay for low-skill jobs and their own company. This trend has caught on to other big companies. Apple raised contract wages for shuttle drivers by 25% as well. [http://tinyurl.com...] These increases lend to the idea that it is rather the growing gap of largely profitable companies and less profitable companies than the difference in individual employee wages.

Instead of firms paying different wages based on racial divide, there"s an expansive difference between the successes of firms driving economic inequality. Thriving, multi-national corporations like Facebook and Apple are driving up their wages, while smaller, less successful businesses are aligning closer to the minimum. The trends lending to this theory are certainly not falling off, but are rather broadly increasing.

[http://tinyurl.com...]

Across the board, there is substantial evidence contributing to the idea that the driving force behind income inequality is primarily due to business success. In fact, the Wall Street Journal indicated that "economists did find that the top 0.2% of earners in firms with more than 10,000 employees did significantly better than their fellow workers. But for the other 99.8%, the expanding pay gap can be explained by where they work." [http://tinyurl.com...]

Solvency:
This can indeed be concerning in regards to solving the issue and implementing policies to restrict the rampant increase in the economic gap. There have been plenty of proposals, including those regarding minimum wage hikes. However, these don't seem to to foot the bill. They are coupled with economic impacts far more egregious than unequal pay.

For example, entry-level jobs at Levi (e.g. giving jeans the "worn" look) are now being replaced by technology. [http://tinyurl.com...] For individuals with low skills (to which those jobs would be compatible), the wage gap gets even more severe. Higher wages are paid to skilled workers, while low-wage jobs are sometimes replaced by technology which doesn"t require hourly wages. Economic research confirms the wage hike issue. "Since the policy reduces the number of jobs available to low-skilled workers, it restricts access to entry-level positions that the youngest and least-skilled workers need to gain valuable skills and work experience ... the working poor do not benefit from the higher wage; [they] bear a disproportionate share of the jobs lost." [http://tinyurl.com...]

But, if using wages to combat income inequality seems dubious, what would be a feasible alternative? Refer back to the beginning of this article, which mentions college. Here is our logical starting point for a plausible, potential policy procedure. Education is a key component to careers, as is demonstrably obvious in the workforce today. High paying jobs tend to favor those who have a reputable and sufficient education. This could be, perhaps, our solvency to inequality.

Obviously, the problem can't be entirely mitigated; there will always be those employers who pay wages, high or low, for whatever reason. The key is making a policy proposal that is utilitarian, and does the best to help solve the issue of income inequality. Education, in this case, seems the most reasonable manner by which to curb economic inequality. For now, we can only hope for the best.

Thoughts?
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TheProphett
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12/7/2015 10:30:11 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
First of all, good post, and thanks for contributing to the best forum on the website (politics can make a case). Secondly, I will provide some feedback. I also agree that a proper education and eventual employment can not only lift the struggling out of poverty but boost the economy in a favorable way. What I think that you have ignored, despite being fairly solid at proving your points statistically, is the social issue that plays a role into wealth disparity. Education in poverty stricken parts of the United States is often downplayed as unimportant, and those who seek higher education might be outright ridiculed. There is a reason the rich people want to have lesser taxes, because they want to retain as much money as possible purely out of greed. If we were to implement a tax plan that was not flat, and did not favor the rich, then we could tax the poor less and focus on making the top earners in the nation pay their fair share. Economic growth and a decrease in poverty will only be started with a collectivist approach to taxation.
Topics I would like to debate: https://docs.google.com...

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ColeTrain
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12/8/2015 12:26:04 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/7/2015 10:30:11 PM, TheProphett wrote:
First of all, good post,

Thanks, mate! :)

and thanks for contributing to the best forum on the website (politics can make a case).

Eh. Economics rules.

Secondly, I will provide some feedback.

Sweet strawberry shortcake! :D

I also agree that a proper education and eventual employment can not only lift the struggling out of poverty but boost the economy in a favorable way.

Affirmative. I didn't have character space to spend on the education solvency :P
If need be, I can expand on that later.

What I think that you have ignored, despite being fairly solid at proving your points statistically, is the social issue that plays a role into wealth disparity.

I addressed it slightly, in the mention of racial divides. I sort of implicitly referenced it there, but perhaps I could have been more explicit.

Education in poverty stricken parts of the United States is often downplayed as unimportant, and those who seek higher education might be outright ridiculed.

This is pretty rare. Socially, the trends are favoring education, and its increase. Enrollment rates are rising. [http://nces.ed.gov...]
The social aspect is nearly negligible. Perhaps, though, education pursuits should be targeted specifically to these areas, more demonstrable exemplifications of why education is important. Besides rhetoric and talking points, it's really true, and empirically backed, that education can: (1) increase average earnings, and (2) increase chance of employment. [http://www.hamiltonproject.org...] While that may not correlate to a drastic decrease in inequality, it can lessen the severity, and here's how.

It will indeed alleviate poverty, to some degree, as it does raise wages and increase employment. That gets rid of the "bad" of economic inequality, which is severely low wages. Essentially, this is the only *bad* facet of inequality in wages. Otherwise, it helps competition and the influx of capital.

There is a reason the rich people want to have lesser taxes, because they want to retain as much money as possible purely out of greed. If we were to implement a tax plan that was not flat, and did not favor the rich, then we could tax the poor less and focus on making the top earners in the nation pay their fair share. Economic growth and a decrease in poverty will only be started with a collectivist approach to taxation.

I want to know how this became about tax plans. I know you hate on my views for a flat tax... :P But what? I'm a little confused how this is related to economic inequality. I could dispute this, but for the sake of the thread, I'll allow clarification prior to doing so.

Again, thanks! :)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
TheProphett
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12/8/2015 1:03:35 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

You should post something in the thread.
Topics I would like to debate: https://docs.google.com...

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If you are interested in starting a political journal for the site, please contact me.
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
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12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in. Besides, it would help if, instead of derailing the thread, you actually responded to the topic. ;)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
Romanii
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12/8/2015 1:17:06 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in. Besides, it would help if, instead of derailing the thread, you actually responded to the topic. ;)

Nah
ColeTrain
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12/8/2015 1:20:13 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 1:17:06 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in. Besides, it would help if, instead of derailing the thread, you actually responded to the topic. ;)

Nah

Lol, why? Do you not like the idea of the EFRP, or what?
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
Romanii
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12/8/2015 1:23:00 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 1:20:13 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:17:06 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in. Besides, it would help if, instead of derailing the thread, you actually responded to the topic. ;)

Nah

Lol, why? Do you not like the idea of the EFRP, or what?

Not really sure what to say. It's all fine and good to proclaim "education is the solution!" but what exactly does that mean? Are you saying we should make public college education free? Subsidize vocational training? Adopt Common Core curriculum? Implement school vouchers? All you did is describe the problem of income inequality, dismiss a high minimum wage as a viable solution (which you're correct on), and then say "education". That isn't a substantive policy proposal. Doesn't give much to discuss. Be more specific...
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
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12/8/2015 1:26:26 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 1:23:00 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:20:13 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:17:06 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in. Besides, it would help if, instead of derailing the thread, you actually responded to the topic. ;)

Nah

Lol, why? Do you not like the idea of the EFRP, or what?

Not really sure what to say. It's all fine and good to proclaim "education is the solution!" but what exactly does that mean? Are you saying we should make public college education free? Subsidize vocational training? Adopt Common Core curriculum? Implement school vouchers? All you did is describe the problem of income inequality, dismiss a high minimum wage as a viable solution (which you're correct on), and then say "education". That isn't a substantive policy proposal. Doesn't give much to discuss. Be more specific...

Well, that was the point of the thread -- to draw discussion about a solution. I mentioned education, and was hoping people would expand on that with their ideas, or even dispute some of my observations. It's not *just* about policy proposals, it's about getting a discussion going about the problem itself, and how to solve it. My proposal is vague for a reason: to help draw opinion from others. Sorry if it was unclear.
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
Romanii
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12/8/2015 2:09:24 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/7/2015 10:30:11 PM, TheProphett wrote:
There is a reason the rich people want to have lesser taxes, because they want to retain as much money as possible purely out of greed.

Lmao what else are they supposed to want money for. The smell of it?

Anyways, it's not true that they just sit on the money they earn -- they invest it so that they can get even *more* money, and investment spending has its own substantial economic benefits (such as job creation and higher wages). The supply side of the economy matters, and literally every serious economists agrees with that to at least some degree. The empirical literature overwhelmingly agrees that lower tax rates on the rich are generally an economic boon; check out this debate for sources confirming that: http://www.debate.org...

If we were to implement a tax plan that was not flat, and did not favor the rich, then we could tax the poor less and focus on making the top earners in the nation pay their fair share. Economic growth and a decrease in poverty will only be started with a collectivist approach to taxation.

I agree that a flat tax is pretty dumb, but only because it would either require (1) an enormous undue burden on the lower classes, or (2) massive cuts in government spending that just aren't feasible at this point. It simply isn't mathematically possible to have a flat tax rate that is both light on the poor, yet still sufficient to fund necessary public services.

I don't have anything against reducing tax rates on the rich in general, as long as it's not contributing to budget deficit. In other words, tax cuts need to be accompanied by cuts in government spending. Like I said, it generates supply-side economic benefits, and really, taxing the rich just for the sake of ostensibly lowering the Gini coefficient is absurd. Gratuitously high taxes should be avoided. I advocate negative income taxation as a means for raising living standards among the poor, but that doesn't need a tax hike -- it can be accomplished by transferring funds from wasteful government expenditures (e.g. our current mess of a welfare system).

Also, poor people don't really pay that much in taxes anyways under the status quo. Tl;dr -- there really isn't a whole lot that "collectivist taxing" can do for income inequality.
Romanii
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12/8/2015 2:10:26 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 1:26:26 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:23:00 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:20:13 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:17:06 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in. Besides, it would help if, instead of derailing the thread, you actually responded to the topic. ;)

Nah

Lol, why? Do you not like the idea of the EFRP, or what?

Not really sure what to say. It's all fine and good to proclaim "education is the solution!" but what exactly does that mean? Are you saying we should make public college education free? Subsidize vocational training? Adopt Common Core curriculum? Implement school vouchers? All you did is describe the problem of income inequality, dismiss a high minimum wage as a viable solution (which you're correct on), and then say "education". That isn't a substantive policy proposal. Doesn't give much to discuss. Be more specific...

Well, that was the point of the thread -- to draw discussion about a solution. I mentioned education, and was hoping people would expand on that with their ideas, or even dispute some of my observations. It's not *just* about policy proposals, it's about getting a discussion going about the problem itself, and how to solve it. My proposal is vague for a reason: to help draw opinion from others. Sorry if it was unclear.

Okay, well what do you think of the hypothetical education reforms I listed?
ColeTrain
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12/8/2015 2:19:45 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 2:10:26 AM, Romanii wrote:
Okay, well what do you think of the hypothetical education reforms I listed?

I'll respond tomorrow, have to go for the night. Sorry.
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
Stefanwaal
Posts: 54
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12/8/2015 10:09:32 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in.

Well, that hurt a little bit.

Anyway, back to the topic. You believe education is the way to reduce inequality and boost the economy at the same time. But I'm not sure if giving people an education is the best answer. After all, correlation isn't causation.

Allow me to elaborate on this. I'm currently reading the book 'Good to great' and that book made an interesting point about people. It said that it isn't true that people are your best assets. Great people are your best assets. One example of this comes from Nucor, a steel producer. That company wanted to get the best people. Their mentality was: "We hire five, work them like ten, and pay them like eight."(http://inspir.es...) They managed to make people work that hard by finding the right people. Nucor hired farmers and taught them to make steel. After all, farmers have a mentality of working hard.

So I suspect the people with great mentalities want to be valuable. Because of that they go to college and when they start working they earn a lot, because of their mentality.

I doubt sending people with bad mentalities to college will make them more productive. After all, if people aren't willing to work hard to develop themselves they will either drop out of school or the school will start to give degrees away easier.
The first thing won't help and the second one will probably do more harm than good. The sad reality is, I have experiences with the second one. I once had a test only 5% of the students passed. This was so low the school decided to raise the grade of every student a little so more students passed.

So if we really want to reduce inequality and boost the economy we should change the mentalities of people. I suspect the best way to do this is to change education. I once had French for three years. I forgot almost everything I learned in those years. These years really could have been spent better. I suspect teaching less French and working more on mentalities will improve education.

But now the hard questions.
1) What's a good mentality?
2) How do we teach said mentality?
I don't know very well what the answers to these questions are, so I don't have a concrete way to improve education. Nevertheless, I believe answering these questions will be a wonderful start to improving education, reducing inequality and boosting the economy.

TLDR: I doubt education is the answer to inequality. I suspect working on mentalities is even though I don't know how that can be done.
Chang29
Posts: 732
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12/8/2015 12:28:32 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
Inequality of income or wealth, a progressive perennial issue, no matter what is done there will always be a bottom and a top quintile with a large gap between.

Income is not the same as wealth inequality. There are many people with a high income that have little wealth, and vice versus. When talking about inequality income and wealth can not be lumped together. Therefore, I will only talk about income inequality.

Income inequality a fictional problem!

Example, walk outside and look at your neighbor's residence, then ask yourself, how does that person's difference in income effect me? The answer is always, it does not. The income one person earns does not harm or benefit neighbors in any way.

Issue used to imply illicit income
This issue is used to imply that high income people are cheating society some how. I don't think that anyone would question the legitimacy of income earned in the course of voluntary exchange without theft or fraud and not because of special government benefit. If income is gained with coercion, theft, fraud, or special programs, then end these problems. Government programs that benefit a specific group, build resentment quickly, and for most the answer is to add a program to benefit their group. Instead of ending all governmental special programs.

Stats
The easiest way to more into a higher quintile, is to work full time and live with another person that works full time, or work full time and have a family. The census bureau's stats show this, year after year, the more earners per household will increase household income. For example, two married couples living together with each person earning $30,000 per year that household is almost in the top quintile. I don't think anybody would call them rich.

Solutions to this fictional problem
For most politicians, the solution Is to bring the top down by making them pay their fair share not by bringing the bottom up. Education has been talked about as a solution, but education needs to be toward a skill that is in demand, another person with a worthless degree does nothing. Yet, both of these ideas are politically popular, and will only create money people dependent on government.
A free market anti-capitalist

If it can be de-centralized, it will be de-centralized.
ColeTrain
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12/8/2015 6:01:15 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 10:09:32 AM, Stefanwaal wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in.

Well, that hurt a little bit.

What?? I was supporting you, man.

Anyway, back to the topic. You believe education is the way to reduce inequality and boost the economy at the same time. But I'm not sure if giving people an education is the best answer. After all, correlation isn't causation.

Education itself, no. The benefits one can reap from education can be construed as ways to reduce inequality, or at least alleviate the "bad" aspects therein.

Allow me to elaborate on this. I'm currently reading the book 'Good to great' and that book made an interesting point about people. It said that it isn't true that people are your best assets. Great people are your best assets.

I'd agree. There's a lot of disparity between workers, most of the time. You've got great ones and those that aren't so great. I'd agree this is a big factor, and one that would definitely play into income inequality.

One example of this comes from Nucor, a steel producer. That company wanted to get the best people. Their mentality was: "We hire five, work them like ten, and pay them like eight."(http://inspir.es...) They managed to make people work that hard by finding the right people. Nucor hired farmers and taught them to make steel. After all, farmers have a mentality of working hard.

Obviously, this is why the upper-level employees get better wages. Again, education is a big factor in employers hiring people for good wages.

So I suspect the people with great mentalities want to be valuable. Because of that they go to college and when they start working they earn a lot, because of their mentality.

That's partially the case, but I'd argue that anyone who actually wants to make a good living for themselves would make necessary sacrifices to go to college.

I doubt sending people with bad mentalities to college will make them more productive. After all, if people aren't willing to work hard to develop themselves they will either drop out of school or the school will start to give degrees away easier.

This is where the burden is shifted on the individual. If they literally don't care enough to put forth a manageable effort, economic inequality can't be solved by any policy implications. Policy can only help the willing. The mentality begins in the home, and parenting -- and really, just the individual themselves. They need self-discipline to make sure they do what is necessary for a better life.

The first thing won't help and the second one will probably do more harm than good. The sad reality is, I have experiences with the second one. I once had a test only 5% of the students passed. This was so low the school decided to raise the grade of every student a little so more students passed.

That's where education needs to be effective. 5% passing rates means the test is too hard for the level being teached.

So if we really want to reduce inequality and boost the economy we should change the mentalities of people. I suspect the best way to do this is to change education. I once had French for three years. I forgot almost everything I learned in those years. These years really could have been spent better. I suspect teaching less French and working more on mentalities will improve education.

Soft skills, for sure, need to be implemented. I have a teacher now who has been teaching and encouraging soft skills. Those are very necessary, without doubt.

But now the hard questions.
1) What's a good mentality?

I'd say there are a couple of things that come into play here:

(1) Drive
Workers need to have a lot of drive for their company, and a personal attachment to its success. If workers don't care about their success of the firm, and don't have a drive to improve it, they won't be a useful asset. In regards to education, it's necessary for students to have a drive. They need to be passionate in their schooling and have a drive to get a good job, rather than simply suspecting where the social status will classify.

(2) Honesty
If individuals are truly honest in their practices, it renders their mentality positive, and a trait looked highly upon by employers. However, this is normally not the case. Honesty is, though, a driving factor in regards to mentality, be it good or bad.

These are just a couple, and there would definitely be more.

2) How do we teach said mentality?

Soft skills go a long way. I also assert by "advertising" the success of further schooling and contrasting that with the lack of further schooling would be reflective of teaching WHY positive mentality is *better* for the individual. Moreover, doing the same with mentality and character traits (as is often done in elementary/middle schooling) would achieve the self-same result.

I don't know very well what the answers to these questions are, so I don't have a concrete way to improve education. Nevertheless, I believe answering these questions will be a wonderful start to improving education, reducing inequality and boosting the economy.

^ There's my opinion. ;)

TLDR: I doubt education is the answer to inequality. I suspect working on mentalities is even though I don't know how that can be done.

Mentalities alone can't solve economic inequality; if the education isn't there, employers still won't hire. Supporting and promoting education, coupled with mentality work and soft skills, perhaps, would be a good starting point. In essence, you can't advocate for ONLY a mentality change, because that precludes solving inequality, without education -- which is demonstrably necessary.
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"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
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ColeTrain
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12/8/2015 6:20:08 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 2:09:24 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 12/7/2015 10:30:11 PM, TheProphett wrote:
There is a reason the rich people want to have lesser taxes, because they want to retain as much money as possible purely out of greed.

*Censored* what else are they supposed to want money for. The smell of it?

Lol. xD Tbh, money smells pretty bad...

Anyways, it's not true that they just sit on the money they earn -- they invest it so that they can get even *more* money, and investment spending has its own substantial economic benefits (such as job creation and higher wages).

This is definitely true. As I mentioned, large companies are raising wages for their low-level jobs. They're paying their workers more for those rudimentary jobs than most companies pay specialists, in effect.

The supply side of the economy matters, and literally every serious economists agrees with that to at least some degree. The empirical literature overwhelmingly agrees that lower tax rates on the rich are generally an economic boon; check out this debate for sources confirming that: http://www.debate.org...

Mmm... Good debate. Wish they would do it over... :P

If we were to implement a tax plan that was not flat, and did not favor the rich, then we could tax the poor less and focus on making the top earners in the nation pay their fair share. Economic growth and a decrease in poverty will only be started with a collectivist approach to taxation.

I agree that a flat tax is pretty dumb, but only because it would either require (1) an enormous undue burden on the lower classes, or (2) massive cuts in government spending that just aren't feasible at this point. It simply isn't mathematically possible to have a flat tax rate that is both light on the poor, yet still sufficient to fund necessary public services.

I don't have anything against reducing tax rates on the rich in general, as long as it's not contributing to budget deficit. In other words, tax cuts need to be accompanied by cuts in government spending.

Exactly. Besides, we could cut military spending by abandoning the War on Terror... lol

Like I said, it generates supply-side economic benefits, and really, taxing the rich just for the sake of ostensibly lowering the Gini coefficient is absurd.

Particularly as it's on the mend...

Gratuitously high taxes should be avoided. I advocate negative income taxation as a means for raising living standards among the poor, but that doesn't need a tax hike -- it can be accomplished by transferring funds from wasteful government expenditures (e.g. our current mess of a welfare system).

What about the EITC, particularly? I have a thread for that as well...

Also, poor people don't really pay that much in taxes anyways under the status quo. Tl;dr -- there really isn't a whole lot that "collectivist taxing" can do for income inequality.

+1... that's kind of why I didn't understand what he was meaning by talking about taxes.
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
ColeTrain
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12/8/2015 6:22:02 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 2:10:26 AM, Romanii wrote:
Not really sure what to say. It's all fine and good to proclaim "education is the solution!" but what exactly does that mean? Are you saying we should make public college education free? Subsidize vocational training? Adopt Common Core curriculum? Implement school vouchers? All you did is describe the problem of income inequality, dismiss a high minimum wage as a viable solution (which you're correct on), and then say "education". That isn't a substantive policy proposal. Doesn't give much to discuss. Be more specific...

Well, that was the point of the thread -- to draw discussion about a solution. I mentioned education, and was hoping people would expand on that with their ideas, or even dispute some of my observations. It's not *just* about policy proposals, it's about getting a discussion going about the problem itself, and how to solve it. My proposal is vague for a reason: to help draw opinion from others. Sorry if it was unclear.

Okay, well what do you think of the hypothetical education reforms I listed?

Well, I think, before any of those would be functional, we need to change the mindset of those potential college students. We have to ensure that they recognize the benefits if they go, and the detriments if they do not. After that, some of those *might* work, but some might not.
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
ColeTrain
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12/8/2015 8:09:03 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 12:28:32 PM, Chang29 wrote:
Inequality of income or wealth, a progressive perennial issue, no matter what is done there will always be a bottom and a top quintile with a large gap between.

While true, we can alleviate some of the suffering that stems from this.

Income is not the same as wealth inequality. There are many people with a high income that have little wealth, and vice versus. When talking about inequality income and wealth can not be lumped together. Therefore, I will only talk about income inequality.

Okay? I mean, income/economic inequality are effectively the same -- the amount of money people *have* when it's needed.

Income inequality a fictional problem!

It's not as *bad* as many claim it is, but it exists, and there are a couple of problems stemming from it.

Example, walk outside and look at your neighbor's residence, then ask yourself, how does that person's difference in income effect me? The answer is always, it does not. The income one person earns does not harm or benefit neighbors in any way.

This is a very vague and misinterpreted view of income inequality. When Person A is earning 300k, while person B is earning 1k because of person A, that's a problem. When companies don't pay workers enough, while paying others an excess, that's a problem. Essentially, income inequality is a problem when individuals are paid really high wages at the expense of others. Otherwise, it's egalitarian rhetoric, which isn't really substantial.

Issue used to imply illicit income
This issue is used to imply that high income people are cheating society some how. I don't think that anyone would question the legitimacy of income earned in the course of voluntary exchange without theft or fraud and not because of special government benefit. If income is gained with coercion, theft, fraud, or special programs, then end these problems. Government programs that benefit a specific group, build resentment quickly, and for most the answer is to add a program to benefit their group. Instead of ending all governmental special programs.

The premise is that income inequality isn't egalitarian. In definition, this is correct. But, it isn't necessarily required that society is egalitarian. It's a philosophical ideal which can be favored, but not required. The idea, though, that I'm exemplifying is that it's a problem when certain individuals can't have enough economic equality to compete based on racial divide or simply employer favor.

Stats
The easiest way to more into a higher quintile, is to work full time and live with another person that works full time, or work full time and have a family. The census bureau's stats show this, year after year, the more earners per household will increase household income. For example, two married couples living together with each person earning $30,000 per year that household is almost in the top quintile. I don't think anybody would call them rich.

Exactly. However, economic inequality drives the train that bypasses these low-skilled workers, and it's because they pay other wages that are too high. This is also why, given the parameters, a minimum wage increase wouldn't work. Some people simply don't have the opportunity, be it because of race, socioeconomic heritage, or education. That's what I'm targeting in the OP.

Solutions to this fictional problem
For most politicians, the solution Is to bring the top down by making them pay their fair share not by bringing the bottom up. Education has been talked about as a solution, but education needs to be toward a skill that is in demand, another person with a worthless degree does nothing. Yet, both of these ideas are politically popular, and will only create money people dependent on government.

Degrees give metrics by which employers can gauge the effectiveness of their potential employees, so yes, they matter. Education policies, particularly the glaringly obvious contrasts between college graduates and others, would be effective as a starting point. From there, actual policies to *improve* education should be pursued.
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
famousdebater
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12/8/2015 8:21:32 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in. Besides, it would help if, instead of derailing the thread, you actually responded to the topic. ;)

Correct, me and TheProphett are also preparing something.
"Life calls the tune, we dance."
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ColeTrain
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12/8/2015 8:27:34 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 8:21:32 PM, famousdebater wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in. Besides, it would help if, instead of derailing the thread, you actually responded to the topic. ;)

Correct, me and TheProphett are also preparing something.

nac :)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
TheProphett
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12/8/2015 9:26:09 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 8:21:32 PM, famousdebater wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in. Besides, it would help if, instead of derailing the thread, you actually responded to the topic. ;)

Correct, me and TheProphett are also preparing something.

Lol. I have a massive amount of content to go over and courses to outline before finals next week, but immediately Following Friday of next week I'm open. That's also when our debate will start. :P
Topics I would like to debate: https://docs.google.com...

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Stefanwaal
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12/8/2015 9:32:57 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/8/2015 6:01:15 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 10:09:32 AM, Stefanwaal wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in.

Well, that hurt a little bit.

What?? I was supporting you, man.

Oh, that wasn't really aimed at you. It was aimed at Romanii. It hurt a little he overlooked me (and famousdebater).
Chang29
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12/9/2015 12:21:31 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/8/2015 8:09:03 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:28:32 PM, Chang29 wrote:
Inequality of income or wealth, a progressive perennial issue, no matter what is done there will always be a bottom and a top quintile with a large gap between.

While true, we can alleviate some of the suffering that stems from this.

No suffering is caused by one person earning more than another.


Income is not the same as wealth inequality. There are many people with a high income that have little wealth, and vice versus. When talking about inequality income and wealth can not be lumped together. Therefore, I will only talk about income inequality.

Okay? I mean, income/economic inequality are effectively the same -- the amount of money people *have* when it's needed.

There are many people with high incomes that are bankrupt. Higher income does not correct dumb actions.


Income inequality a fictional problem!

It's not as *bad* as many claim it is, but it exists, and there are a couple of problems stemming from it.

What are the problems?


Example, walk outside and look at your neighbor's residence, then ask yourself, how does that person's difference in income effect me? The answer is always, it does not. The income one person earns does not harm or benefit neighbors in any way.

This is a very vague and misinterpreted view of income inequality. When Person A is earning 300k, while person B is earning 1k because of person A, that's a problem. When companies don't pay workers enough, while paying others an excess, that's a problem. Essentially, income inequality is a problem when individuals are paid really high wages at the expense of others. Otherwise, it's egalitarian rhetoric, which isn't really substantial.

Vague but is true. If a person's income is legitament, then not harm is done.


Issue used to imply illicit income
This issue is used to imply that high income people are cheating society some how. I don't think that anyone would question the legitimacy of income earned in the course of voluntary exchange without theft or fraud and not because of special government benefit. If income is gained with coercion, theft, fraud, or special programs, then end these problems. Government programs that benefit a specific group, build resentment quickly, and for most the answer is to add a program to benefit their group. Instead of ending all governmental special programs.

The premise is that income inequality isn't egalitarian. In definition, this is correct. But, it isn't necessarily required that society is egalitarian. It's a philosophical ideal which can be favored, but not required. The idea, though, that I'm exemplifying is that it's a problem when certain individuals can't have enough economic equality to compete based on racial divide or simply employer favor.

The underlying premise for income inequality, is that people with higher incomes are not earning it fairly and must be punished. Another premise is that, if results are not equal then the system is flawed.


Stats
The easiest way to more into a higher quintile, is to work full time and live with another person that works full time, or work full time and have a family. The census bureau's stats show this, year after year, the more earners per household will increase household income. For example, two married couples living together with each person earning $30,000 per year that household is almost in the top quintile. I don't think anybody would call them rich.

Exactly. However, economic inequality drives the train that bypasses these low-skilled workers, and it's because they pay other wages that are too high. This is also why, given the parameters, a minimum wage increase wouldn't work. Some people simply don't have the opportunity, be it because of race, socioeconomic heritage, or education. That's what I'm targeting in the OP.

Opportunity is only limited with force by the collective. A person's race, education, or history can be overcome without punishing every other person.


Solutions to this fictional problem
For most politicians, the solution Is to bring the top down by making them pay their fair share not by bringing the bottom up. Education has been talked about as a solution, but education needs to be toward a skill that is in demand, another person with a worthless degree does nothing. Yet, both of these ideas are politically popular, and will only create money people dependent on government.

Degrees give metrics by which employers can gauge the effectiveness of their potential employees, so yes, they matter. Education policies, particularly the glaringly obvious contrasts between college graduates and others, would be effective as a starting point. From there, actual policies to *improve* education should be pursued.

Except for technical degrees, most degrees are worthless as a gauge. All a degree tells any employer is that a person is willing to follow instructions for the required number of classes. A marketable skill is much more important than a degree.

The way to correct this fictional issue is to correct the perceived problems of special government privilege.
A free market anti-capitalist

If it can be de-centralized, it will be de-centralized.
ColeTrain
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12/9/2015 1:32:43 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/8/2015 9:32:57 PM, Stefanwaal wrote:
At 12/8/2015 6:01:15 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 10:09:32 AM, Stefanwaal wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:07:45 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:38:47 AM, Romanii wrote:
Is it just me or are you two the only people participating in the EFRP

No, Stefanwaal and famousdebater are both in.

Well, that hurt a little bit.

What?? I was supporting you, man.

Oh, that wasn't really aimed at you. It was aimed at Romanii. It hurt a little he overlooked me (and famousdebater).

Ah, okay. :)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
ColeTrain
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12/9/2015 2:57:33 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Bump
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
Chang29
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12/10/2015 12:03:57 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/9/2015 2:57:33 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
Bump

How is a person harmed if another person earns a higher or lower legitament income?
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ColeTrain
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12/10/2015 12:11:15 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 12:03:57 AM, Chang29 wrote:
At 12/9/2015 2:57:33 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
Bump

How is a person harmed if another person earns a higher or lower legitament income?

The harm doesn't stem from the difference itself. Again, it's as if you haven't even read the OP. My advocacy is not that it's a major problem nor that the concept itself is harmful. I'm only saying that, in many cases, wages are paid unfairly. I'll bring up this example one more time: Facebook (and other large companies) are paying $15 wages (or very high) for rudimentary jobs such as the janitorial staff. When the US median pay is much lower, that is unfair. While that, in and of itself, is not a problem, there are some detriments stemming from the disparity in wages. For example, when companies cannot pay acceptable wages to low-skill workers because they pay *too* much to high-skill workers. Or, when the job is replaced by technology, and those low-skilled workers lose their jobs, that ramps up the wage inequality to another degree -- really high wages on one end of the spectrum, and unemployment on the other.

Until you thoroughly read the OP, and respond to the content there (or otherwise points that have NOT already been addressed) don't continue to beat the same horse. I've responded, specifically, to this exact assertion before.

But, thanks for responding, the contribution is appreciated! :)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
Chang29
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12/10/2015 3:55:45 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 12:11:15 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/10/2015 12:03:57 AM, Chang29 wrote:
At 12/9/2015 2:57:33 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
Bump

How is a person harmed if another person earns a higher or lower legitament income?

The harm doesn't stem from the difference itself. Again, it's as if you haven't even read the OP. My advocacy is not that it's a major problem nor that the concept itself is harmful. I'm only saying that, in many cases, wages are paid unfairly. I'll bring up this example one more time: Facebook (and other large companies) are paying $15 wages (or very high) for rudimentary jobs such as the janitorial staff. When the US median pay is much lower, that is unfair. While that, in and of itself, is not a problem, there are some detriments stemming from the disparity in wages. For example, when companies cannot pay acceptable wages to low-skill workers because they pay *too* much to high-skill workers. Or, when the job is replaced by technology, and those low-skilled workers lose their jobs, that ramps up the wage inequality to another degree -- really high wages on one end of the spectrum, and unemployment on the other.

Until you thoroughly read the OP, and respond to the content there (or otherwise points that have NOT already been addressed) don't continue to beat the same horse. I've responded, specifically, to this exact assertion before.

But, thanks for responding, the contribution is appreciated! :)

A harmless problem, so no solution is needed.

The real reason income inequality is an issue is an appearance of higher income people getting special benefits from society. The solution to this real issue is to end all government programs that provide a special benefit.
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ColeTrain
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12/10/2015 4:23:37 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 3:55:45 AM, Chang29 wrote:
At 12/10/2015 12:11:15 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/10/2015 12:03:57 AM, Chang29 wrote:
At 12/9/2015 2:57:33 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
Bump

How is a person harmed if another person earns a higher or lower legitament income?

The harm doesn't stem from the difference itself. Again, it's as if you haven't even read the OP. My advocacy is not that it's a major problem nor that the concept itself is harmful. I'm only saying that, in many cases, wages are paid unfairly. I'll bring up this example one more time: Facebook (and other large companies) are paying $15 wages (or very high) for rudimentary jobs such as the janitorial staff. When the US median pay is much lower, that is unfair. While that, in and of itself, is not a problem, there are some detriments stemming from the disparity in wages. For example, when companies cannot pay acceptable wages to low-skill workers because they pay *too* much to high-skill workers. Or, when the job is replaced by technology, and those low-skilled workers lose their jobs, that ramps up the wage inequality to another degree -- really high wages on one end of the spectrum, and unemployment on the other.

Until you thoroughly read the OP, and respond to the content there (or otherwise points that have NOT already been addressed) don't continue to beat the same horse. I've responded, specifically, to this exact assertion before.

But, thanks for responding, the contribution is appreciated! :)

A harmless problem, so no solution is needed.

By definition, this is correct. The fundamental flaw in this assertion, however is its apparent disregard for extended effect. The ramifications of income inequality are much more far-reaching than you claim, and the scope of consequences is much broader. As I've thoroughly explained, these can have *unfair* and harmful consequences. Though the position is largely egalitarian, there are some pragmatics related as well.

The real reason income inequality is an issue is an appearance of higher income people getting special benefits from society.

The appearance is still, regardless of perception, unegalitarian by definition. Again, I do not advocate this as a major problem, but you are objectively wrong to assert that *no* harms can result from this. I'll agree that there are some special benefits from society, conceivably, which could contribute to displeasure in regards to economic inequality.

The solution to this real issue is to end all government programs that provide a special benefit.

Not necessarily. There are perks to being rich when its well-earned that are both necessary and inevitable. Besides, these benefits can help cultivate job opportunities for those on the suffering end of economic disparity. More money for the company = ability to absorb higher wages and costs.
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW