How to distribute wealth equally?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Saint, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    There aren't that many countries that are doing better economically than the U.S. The trade-off here is that there is more opportunity to do well rather than more security to maintain a lower level of income.

    It is a choice and it's not a clear-cut choice. Sometimes it's better to have more security. Other times it is better to have the opportunity to do better than "average". People move here for that reason all the time.

    I think we could/should do better at providing a better safety net but there is a limit and there are definite negative side-effects.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Maybe for rich people. There are several that are doing better for poor people - and most people.
    And the US is not doing as well as it used to, for anyone but the very wealthy - that's the key circumstance. Since it quit redistributing income and allowed rapid accumulation of disproportionate wealth (Reagan), it has been in decline - which is quite possibly reaching a tipping point now, and inevitably will eventually.
    That's apparently not true. By the economic mobility numbers, either there is no longer, as there once was, more opportunity in the US than in some other places for the lower classes to do well, or the lower classes in the US are inferior to those in other countries in taking advantage.
    More security is a component of more opportunity, not less opportunity, for the poor.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    In general, do you feel the "poor" are that way by choice or due to circumstance beyond their control?

    Why, in general, do you think income needs to be redistributed from one person to another person for the system to be fair? Forget whether the 1% should be taxed more, for the moment. Do you think the middle class or upper middle class should have their income redistributed to someone else?

    Why would that be necessary or beneficial to society as a whole?

    What is the determinate as to whether one person should be working to support another person? If you don't have a house, should someone else send you money for that purpose?

    Why does one person of a certain income level need help when others managed without that help?

    I know people who don't own a house/condo. Some make a lot more money than others. Some buy a house and rent out the bedrooms and therefore have roommates. Others just rent and have nothing.

    Some move to smaller towns where their jobs buy more. There are a lot of personal choices that can be made before it should be necessary for one person to work to support someone else, don't you think?

    I see a lot of people around me that don't have high paying jobs and yet they have money in the bank, have housing, transportation, food and have hobbies/fun.

    At some point, do you think we should reassess what "poor" means in the U.S.? Shouldn't we help those who are truly poor rather than to subsidize a better living style for everyone below "middle class"?

    Even though some are poor and need help, others "feel" poor and are unhappy about it but aren't doing much about it. Isn't it counterproductive to give too much "help" to someone who just chooses to not be productive?
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That's not what I posted. That's you avoiding my post.
    For starters, "before Reagan" is the 40s and 60s and 70s - not just the 50s. That's two economic generations difference.
    Second: I never said things were great before Reagan's vandalism. I said they were economically better, and improving. And I pointed out that since that alteration of the US economy to enable massive growth in inequality, things have declined and been declining economically for most people. That's just an observation, ok - a verifiable fact of the situation.
    You don't recall accurately.
    And compound interest is troublesome stuff - that's just another ordinary fact. You're trying to argue with observation.
    "Detroit or somewhere with no jobs". No shit, Sherlock.
    There are hundreds of thousands of abandoned houses all over the country, a serious enough plague that hundreds of cities have had to develop taxpayer backed programs to deal with the hit to their tax base - those are all houses that the owners couldn't sell. Many have been picked up by capital accumulations, are being held as investments or converted into "income property" owned by capital accumulations.

    Another common reason there are so few houses for sale is that people can't sell them for less than they owe, and a very large fraction of those who want to sell know they owe more than they can get. So they don't offer. That's a "problem selling their house". And so forth.
    In specific - for the rich, those who earn from accumulated capital - the economy is doing well. It's not doing well for the bottom 2/3 - did you notice wages dropped again since January?
    ? You haven't been following the argument at all, apparently.
    The bad economy - in Detroit and everywhere else - is significantly due to disproportionate accumulation of capital by a small fraction of the population.
    Where is this silly crap coming from? Not from my posts.
    - - - -
    Same observation applies to teaching, custodial work, service and physical labor of any kind. Soon, anything an AI can do. So Seattle is - according to the rational decision folks - going to be pretty empty pretty soon. Either that, or filled with a population of impoverished servants and a few rich people - like most cities throughout history, and dozens of other cities in the US, and in general any place in which wealth and income inequality have been allowed to grow too much.
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I have never said or argued or mentioned, on my own, anything about being "fair". Being "fair" has nothing to do with my posts, and wherever you got it from needs re-evaluation.
    What "way" is that?
    Everything humans do in real life is a product of their choices and circumstances beyond their control. That's why baseball and poker are better games than football and checkers.
    Makes no difference here. The bad effects of too great an inequality of wealth and income are not restricted to creation of poverty.
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    When I was a kid there was a children's book called "Penney Henney". It was a chicken who was always worried that the sky was about to fall. Perhaps you've read that book?

    From your viewpoint, anyone who has a job or any assets at all are in the upper 2/3's. The "wealthy".

    I know plenty of public school teachers in Seattle. One is 25, and teaches in elementary school, and she is buying a condo. Sure you can say it's anecdotal but you claim that I am ignoring observational "fact".

    People always complain about how much they make or how good it was in the "good old days". Generally, their memory isn't so good.

    The economy is doing pretty well just judging by the unemployment rate. At an individual level people always have to be concerned with job security, money, health, etc. There is no nirvana but in your mind most people are "poor" and it's because of everyone else which to you are "the rich".

    Is a 25 year old public school teacher buying a condo, "rich"? Should she transfer more of her income to someone else?

    When there are areas that don't have lot's of jobs, the rational thing to do is to move.

    Most people who grow up in a small town do move after they graduate from high school or at least by the time they graduate from college. Should they subsidize everyone who didn't move? Why reward people for refusing to do anything about the lack of jobs in a certain community.

    Most everyone used to be involved in farming. Things changed. Many were then involved in manufacturing. Things changed. For those who changed with the times, life wasn't a bowl of cherries but they generally did OK.

    Those that can only complain that life isn't fair, generally don't do as well.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Try dealing with my actual posts, instead of these little fantasies, why not?
    Nowhere in my posts has the term "upper 2/3" appeared, for example.
    And you can find dishwashers who own houses in Seattle, as well. So? These people are not making rational economic decisions, you said.
    The posts. What I post. You know something about that - you don't know jack shit about what's in my mind other than what I post, and that's why you are always wrong when you guess.
    Nothing like that appears anywhere on this thread.
    Which proves the unemployment rate is not worth much as a measure of how well the economy is doing.
    Why are you obsessed with things being "fair"?
    Since 1982 or thereabouts, when constraints on inequality growth were removed, most people in the US have been doing less ok than if inequality had been constrained as in the fifty years prior. And it's going to continue to get worse, unless something is done about that massive burden of inequality we have accumulated over forty years and more.
    - - -
    This illustrates:
    The basic problem seems to be that you are telling little stories to yourself about what has to be going on, instead of thinking about the evidence and circumstances before you.
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You appear to be an angry little man but I don't want to jump to any conclusions. You keep talking about "inequality". "Unfair" is a fair representation of that viewpoint.

    There is equality under the law. There isn't economic equality guaranteed under the law nor should it be.

    You think that the only people who don't need help are the top 1/3. Everyone else should get a slice of their income. Look around, most people are doing OK and most people can't be the top 1/3rd.

    If you are a dishwasher and if I have offended you, so be it.

    A sense of humor is free or should some of my sense of humor be redistributed your way?

    As I recall, you mentioned that you used to work in a factory and you want manufacturing jobs to be brought back so that you don't have to be retrained. If you wait long enough your gaming skills might get you a job but if you get your way you will be in the top 1/3rd and part of your income will have to go to your fellow dishwashers. Would you be OK with that?

    Maybe you weren't in manufacturing, I could have that wrong? Was it sheepherding? Anyway, you get my point.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I thought your two contradictory posts featuring small towns as economic entities were kind of amusing, placed side by side like that. Although it was a bit unkind of me. And your notion of a city dishwasher moving somewhere else for economic advantage - all the rational city dishwashers moving to more rural regions to ply their trade - could be the basis of a standup sketch. Drayloads of dirty dishes headed out to the farm, veggies and racks of clean dishes headed in, some stereotypical truck farmers in overalls chewing on straws and arguing over the best way to get a spotfree rinse on stemware - - - .
    No, it's not. It's not even in the ballpark. It's utterly alien to every single post of mine in this thread or anywhere else on this forum. You are completely wrong about that, without qualification.

    Inequality is a technical, measurable, economic factor. There are tomes of academic economic theory employing it. There is a standard measure often used in news reports and the like, the "Gini coefficient", that actually applies here on this thread (I have some reservations about it). Here, I'll get you started:

    Remember when you asked after my academic credentials? Here you are posting as if people talking about wealth and income inequality were making some kind of accusation of unfairness - on an academic discussion scale, that's about ninth grade Social Studies in an American high school.
    And so is this:
    Nothing remotely resembling that appears in any post of mine here. Nothing about "help", at all. And you are about 0 for 25 telling me what I think.
    Why not address the posting, instead? The thread topic? The modification of the thread topic that has taken over - not equality, but the best level of inequality?
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    And abandon the mortgage and the house? Or would taking a big loss be more rational?
    Here's something dropped into my neighbor's email the other day:
    • Note that this is after at least five years of mortgage payments on these homes, plus whatever down payment they lost completely, plus whatever repairs etc they put in over five years. Note that this does not count the homes transferred to capital ownership, taking them off the resident owned list. Note that these figures do not count auxiliary loans not technically mortgages. Note that if that few of the 35 largest cities go over 9.9, to get a national average of 9.1 there must be some very bad news from areas of less dense population. And for every home that can't be sold, there's somebody who can't buy - two families, minimum, who can't move easily.
    This hampers economic progress - and it was caused in part by Reagan era abetting of disproportionate income and accumulation of wealth, failure of government to curb the natural tendency of corporate capitalism to concentrate wealth in a few hands.
  14. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Man, for someone who might style himself a liberal, you really might have some progressive thoughts.

    Just kidding.
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    If you live in an area where you can't support yourself, it makes sense to move. If you have a mortgage that is underwater, you probably aren't a dishwasher. Also, if your mortgage is underwater long-term, you have no reason to stay. You have nothing to lose.

    I understand that you think it's not fair but that's the reality. Move. Don't stay a dishwasher for life. Don't spend your time being angry. Look around and find others in your situation who are getting better results.

    Blaming society isn't working. Sheepherders aren't in great demand these days. Blaming Reagan makes no more sense than blaming Hilary for everything.
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    How do you take a big loss on something underwater? Why continue to pay on a mortgage year after year that is underwater? If you can't sell it, rent it, and it's underwater after 5 years...what are you waiting for or holding on to?

    You are overusing this concept of "corporate" capitalism concentrating wealth in the hands of a few. If 10% of mortgages are underwater that means that 90% are not.

    The main problem in the U.S. is just the undue influence (big money) allowed in our system of government. If that were fixed you wouldn't have situations (for example) where Amazon can treat so many workers as temp, let them go, only to hire them back for another 3 months a week later.

    There are jobs and if most jobs were full time with benefits then raising taxes in a moderate way on the top 10% would address a lot that is out of balance in our system.

    There still has to be individual initiative. Most problems that individuals experience are still largely ones that they have most of the control over.

    Life isn't fair but as long as an individual has some control over their life, has some certainty of what is going to happen in the future (don't constantly change the rules) then that is about all one should expect.

    Or you can be angry and howl at the wind.
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Because you need a place to live.
    No, I'm not. I'm giving it its proper emphasis. It's lethal.
    Ok - start there. First step - restore the New Deal oversight and tax structures whose repeal launched the decline.
    Only government can curb the concentration of wealth in a corporate capitalist setup.
    Nobody here is blaming society.
    You simply can't let go of that silly daydream about what I'm thinking, can you.
    What would it take to get you to actually read and respond to posts, instead of yammering on about what your voices tell you other people think is "fair"?
    ? This shit cannot be parodied. Seriously - imagine how completely disconnected from physical and historical reality one would have to be to post that.

    That disconnection, that bubbleworld of rightwing fantasy, may be the biggest obstacle we face in rehabilitating this country after this latest Republican administration has done its thing.

    Ok, in response: Ascribing effects to their actual causes is thought by many to be useful and make lots of sense, especially if one is trying to remedy those effects, or avoid the worst of them. The effects of excessive inequality are fairly well recognized now, and the causes of course fairly obvious, so we can - if we want to - do something about it.
  18. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Troll, why don't you understand what rational people try to respond to you about? Or maybe you do...
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The Constitution eliminates the use of term limits at the Federal level. It would be helpful if that were not the case. Citizens United and a conservative Supreme Court makes getting "big money" out of government and campaigns difficult.

    Yes, people need a place to live. If you don't have a job and your mortgage is underwater it makes more sense to move to an area with jobs and you can then rent an apartment and start over instead of just continuing to dig a hole.

    What system do you find to work better than capitalism? It's more fair to give everyone money but it doesn't generally result in a very robust economy.

    There is a too large gap between (generically speaking) haves and have nots but it's not to the degree that you suggest. In your world everyone is either "rich" or "poor". If poor they are being taken advantage of and can do nothing about their situation and therefore income needs to be redistributed.

    That's not going to happen here.

    If you are poor in this country is your life more likely to improve if you become angry, continue doing the same things and are waiting for the government to make your life improve or would it be better to move, get some education, focus on changing jobs, saving, or most anything other than just being angry and feeling that life is unfair and blaming everything on the "rich" and "corporate capitalism"?
  20. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    The Constitution specifies the length of the terms for senators, representatives, and the presidency. It does not specifically address term limits anywhere except in the 22nd amendment, where it limits the presidency to no more than two terms. Thank God.

    People need a place to live, but try homesteading on BLM lands. You know, the lands held in trust by the Federal government for the American people, but said lands are leased to mining and logging companies?

    Most of the rest of your post I agree with. I'm poor, but happy as a lark.
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The Supreme Court ruled that states didn't have the right to limit Congressional limits for their states. Congress itself isn't likely to pass any laws limiting itself so it would require a Constitutional Amendment.

    Most states do have limits and most people do support those limits.
  22. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    As far as Congress protecting it's bureaucracy, no argument, but please cite the SCOTUS decision. Please.
  23. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    this may come as a shock to you but moving is expensive. whats clear is you have no real conceptualization of the problem that ice is talking about. your entire attitude is poor people are lazy so fuck them which just is not the case.

    democratic socialism
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018

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