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Direckshun
10-02-2012, 02:55 PM
Somebody cut these guys' taxes!

Seriously though -- income inequality is one of the greatest threats to this country.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-02/top-1-got-93-of-income-growth-as-rich-poor-gap-widened.html?cmpid=otbrn.sustain.story

Top 1% Got 93% of Income Growth as Rich-Poor Gap Widened
By Peter Robison
Oct 2, 2012 9:01 AM CT

Since 2009, Anita Reyes’ wages have been as frozen as Lake Minnetonka in January.

While the U.S. economy was recovering from the Great Recession, Reyes, 52, a casino dealer from Minneapolis, was dining on $1.67 cans of soup and searching for a way to keep her house, which was foreclosed on last October.

“I went backwards,” Reyes said. “Two years ago, three years ago, I didn’t know I’d be looking at being homeless.”

Stephen Hemsley’s salary has been frozen too. His income hasn’t.

The chief executive officer of Minnetonka, Minnesota-based health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) earned $1.3 million in salary every year since 2007. Still, as the economic recovery took hold from 2009 to 2011, Hemsley, 60, exercised stock options worth more than $170 million and made at least $51 million from share sales, making him the object of an “Occupy Lake Minnetonka” protest on the ice outside his lakeside home each winter.

The divergent fortunes of Reyes and Hemsley show that the U.S. has gone through two recoveries. The 1.2 million households whose incomes put them in the top 1 percent of the U.S. saw their earnings increase 5.5 percent last year, according to estimates released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau. Earnings fell 1.7 percent for the 96 million households in the bottom 80 percent -- those that made less than $101,583.

The recovery that officially began in mid-2009 hasn’t arrived in most Americans’ paychecks. In 2010, the top 1 percent of U.S. families captured as much as 93 percent of the nation’s income growth, according to a March paper by Emmanuel Saez, a University of California at Berkeley economist who studied Internal Revenue Service data.

Political Battleground

The earnings gap between rich and poor Americans was the widest in more than four decades in 2011, Census data show, surpassing income inequality previously reported in Uganda and Kazakhstan. The notion that each generation does better than the last -- one aspect of the American Dream -- has been challenged by evidence that average family incomes fell last decade for the first time since World War II.

In this recovery it’s proved better to own stock than a house. For stockholders like Hemsley, the value of all outstanding shares has soared $6 trillion to $17 trillion since June 2009, the recession’s end. Even after a recent rebound, the value of owner-occupied housing, the chief asset of most middle- income families, has dropped $41 billion in the same period, part of a $5.8 trillion loss in home values since 2006.

CEO Blogger

“Income inequality of the scale we have today is destroying our democracy,” retired American Airlines CEO Bob Crandall said in an interview. Crandall, 76, says he became so frustrated at what he sees as selfishness among his peers that he started writing a blog on his Lenovo laptop. “Anyone else willing?” he titled his first entry in August 2011, which argued that people should pay higher taxes.

While the Census income numbers don’t count benefits from some safety-net programs, such as food stamps, which tend to reduce inequality, the income gap has drawn enough attention to become a battleground in the presidential election. Both candidates say they’ll do more to protect the shrinking middle class.

President Barack Obama’s administration has attributed the growth in inequality under his watch to “a deep recession and dramatic fluctuations in equity prices.” Obama advocates the “Buffett rule,” legislation named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett that would levy a minimum 30 percent income tax rate on anyone making $1 million or more a year.

‘Dividing America’

Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, has said Obama is “dividing America based on 99 percent versus 1 percent.” He calls for cutting government spending and taxes to stimulate job growth, reducing marginal tax rates for all brackets and eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax and the estate tax.

“The best way to bring more prosperity to more Americans is through economic growth and job creation,” said Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman.

Even as a mending economy generated 4.6 million private- sector jobs since February 2010, almost 40 percent of them were in fields such as hospitality and temporary staffing where the average wage is $15 an hour, according to a report last month by Wells Fargo Securities LLC senior economist Mark Vitner. A broken middle class isn’t just an economic challenge -- it also erodes political stability, said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc. in Chicago.

“What is China focused on more than anything? Growing the middle class,” she said.

‘Danger Level’

The income gap between rural households in China under a commonly used gauge known as the Gini coefficient reached 0.3949 last year, nearing a “danger level” of 0.40 set by the United Nations for potential social unrest, according to a study released in August by the state-backed Center for Chinese Rural Studies at Central China Normal University. The figure was 0.47 in the U.S. last year, the highest since at least 1967, the Census bureau estimated.

The patterns reflected by the two recoveries may consign the U.S. to slow growth for years, said Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who explored the income gap in his 2012 book, “The Price of Inequality.” Depressed earnings lead to lower consumption, which stems job growth and keeps the risk of recession high, he said.

“We’re all in the same boat,” Stiglitz said. “If our economy doesn’t go well, the 1 percent will suffer.”

Fewer Stockholders

So far, the boat has been leaving some in its wake. Fewer Americans own individual stocks than before the recession began, so many have missed the chance for income from the market’s rebound. About 11.7 percent of middle-income families owned stock in 2010, down from 14 percent in 2007, according to the Federal Reserve. Almost half of the wealthiest 10 percent of American families owned stock in 2007 and 2010, the Fed says.

At the same time, at least 176 companies lit a “sleeping time bomb” of stock-market wealth in 2009 by awarding “mega” grants of stock options to executives, said Paul Hodgson, chief research analyst at GMI Ratings, a New York corporate governance firm. A mega-grant confers 500,000 shares or more, according to GMI’s reports.

Seagate Technology Plc (STX) gave CEO Stephen Luczo options to buy 3.5 million shares of the computer disk drive maker in January 2009, when the price had plummeted to less than $4 from $20 about six months earlier. That same month, the company, which is run from Scotts Valley, California, and formally based in Dublin, said it would eliminate 2,950 jobs -- or 6 percent of its workforce -- and reduce salaries by as much as 25 percent.

Share Sales

The CEO’s salary was cut 25 percent -- yet Luczo’s options could be exercised starting at $4.05, a price they exceeded within a week of the grant. The options began vesting in 2010 once “specified performance criteria” were met, according to corporate filings. This year, Seagate shares have had an average price of $27.13, and Luczo has sold more than $110 million worth, including some from the 2009 options grant, the disclosures say.

“Awarding stock option grants at record lows allows executives to profit handsomely from a market recovery with which they have nothing to do,” Hodgson said. “It divorces pay from performance even more spectacularly.”

Brian Ziel, a spokesman for Seagate, declined to comment.

The GMI report also cited Richard Fairbank, CEO of McLean, Virginia-based Capital One Financial Corp. (COF), who got options on 970,403 shares in January 2009. The company valued them at $4 million at the time; they would be worth more than $38 million now.

No Salary
Fairbank receives no cash bonus or salary and hasn’t yet exercised the options, said Capital One spokeswoman Julie Rakes. “Bottom line, Rich only gets paid if Capital One shareholders get paid,” she said.

Crandall, the former American Airlines CEO, said that while his blog isn’t a “burning success” -- he’s heard from 50 readers -- he feels compelled to write about income inequality, taxes and CEO pay. “I wake up every morning and read the newspapers and fly into a rage,” he said. Growing up in Rhode Island during the Great Depression and World War II, he felt a sense of collective effort that’s missing now, he said.

“The whole notion of responsibility kind of went away,” Crandall said. “If the boss is going to get a bonus, then everybody in the company ought to get a profit-sharing check.”

Caterpillar’s Contract

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) made headlines this year for resisting wage demands at a plant in Joliet, Illinois, after reporting a record $1.7 billion in second-quarter profit. Machinist Kathy Keifer, 56, started there in 1994 after a friend in a geometry class at Joliet Junior College raved about the opportunities. She said she was trained in welding, machining and assembly, and by 2007, was making $25 an hour, enough to support a daughter as a single parent. After a career detour as a real estate agent, she said she returned in 2010 to a changed employer.

Joliet machinists, who make $14.74 to $25.88 an hour, in August accepted a six-year contract that provided no pay increase for those hired before May 2005. Workers hired later receive a one-time 3 percent pay raise or “market-based” increases, whichever is higher. Employees also got a $3,100 signing bonus.

Compensation for Caterpillar’s CEO, the 37-year company veteran Douglas Oberhelman, rose 60 percent to $16.9 million last year. Keifer said that over the next six years, the most she can expect is a 55-cent increase from $17.39 an hour.

“At $25, I was feeling pretty good, definitely middle class,” she said. “Now it’s like the bottom’s giving out.” As the strike depleted her savings, Keifer put off plans to buy a two-story frame house for $99,000 in Joliet.

Minimum Wage

“I don’t see what good it does our country if companies are hiring at minimum wage,” she said.

Caterpillar takes a “market-based approach” for all employees, and comparing a production worker’s pay to the CEO’s isn’t valid, said Rusty Dunn, a spokesman for the Peoria, Illinois-based company. The contract is fair and necessary to keep the company competitive globally, he said.

“It is not in anyone’s best interests to have the type of labor agreement suited to something you would see years ago,” he said.

Keifer’s postponed home purchase helps explain one factor limiting job growth: Americans don’t have the income to spend as much as they used to. Although U.S. consumer spending climbed to its highest level in four years in August, according to Gallup surveys, it still lags 2008 levels by more than 20 percent. Most of the spending came from higher-income households.

Borrowing Trouble

Easy credit in the last decade propped up consumer spending, masking long-term forces that had been pummeling workers -- among them global competition, increased automation and falling educational attainment, said University of Chicago finance professor Raghuram Rajan. His 2010 book, “Fault Lines,” argued that the financial crisis was caused in part by excessive borrowing to make up for falling incomes.

“Now that people can’t borrow, they look at their paycheck and say, ‘What happened?”’ said Rajan, a former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund who was named top adviser to India’s Finance Ministry in August.

From 1979 to 2007, about $1.1 trillion in annual income shifted to the top 1 percent of Americans -- more than the entire earnings of the bottom 40 percent, according to Alan Krueger, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and an economics professor at Princeton University. If income were distributed as it was in 1979, there might be $440 billion in additional spending each year -- a 5 percent boost to consumption, he said in January.

[to be continued...]

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 02:55 PM
[...here.]

Cut Unemployment

Such a boost might lower the unemployment rate to 7 percent by the end of next year from her forecast of 7.8 percent, economist Swonk said. “It means a lot” because consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the U.S. economy, she said.

About $350 billion more is lost because savers get low rates on deposits and low-risk government securities -- an effect of the near-zero lending rates promoted by the Federal Reserve since 2008, said Todd Petzel, chief investment officer at Offit Capital Advisors LLC in New York. He calculated the amount by comparing current rates of less than 0.5 percent with the historic 3 percent yield on $14 trillion of U.S. debt.

The U.S. central bank’s Sept. 13 statement that it would hold interest rates near zero through at least mid-2015 while purchasing $40 billion of mortgage debt each month until the labor market improves significantly sent stocks to their highest since 2007. That doesn’t help everyday savers who are more comfortable with fixed-income investments, Petzel said.

“It’s going to be a headwind for the middle class for a long time,” he said.

Low Rates

Nibbling on buttered bread next to his walker at Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community in Tacoma, Washington, Ray Morrison, 91, said he got so fed up with low interest rates that he invested in annuities that turned out to be a scam. Now he’s less confident that Social Security and his pension from Boeing Co., where he was a machinist, will last.

“Right now, but who knows?” he said. “You step into a doctor’s office and you’ve got a flat pocketbook.”

“Health Care, Not Wealth Care,” read a banner that 20 protesters unfurled next to a temporary shack on frozen Lake Minnetonka in January. The group has hiked across the lake each winter since 2009 to get within shouting distance of Stephen Hemsley’s 7,800 square-foot home, which is assessed at $7.9 million. Their protest -- aimed at Hemsley’s stock options -- hasn’t drawn much attention. One neighbor told group members they should be more polite, organizer Joel Albers said.

Two-Tiered Society

“People should be furious,” said Albers, a pharmacist and health economist, citing a Census Bureau estimate that 80,000 children in his state had no health insurance in 2011. “It’s another example of a two-tiered society.”

Hemsley owed his options to grants made from 1999 to 2002, when he was president of UnitedHealth, which is the largest U.S. health insurer and serves 78 million people worldwide.

A 1974 graduate in accounting from Fordham University, Hemsley was chief financial officer of Arthur Andersen LLP before joining UnitedHealth in 1997. He still has the quiet, analytical manner of an accountant in contrast to his more outspoken predecessor William McGuire, said David Durenberger, a former U.S. senator from Minnesota and a senior health policy fellow at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. The former senator once ran into the CEO, with his family, on a Christmas Day flight. They were in coach, Durenberger said.

“Every other corporate type in America that makes anything over a couple million bucks a year thinks they’re worth a private jet,” he said.

Backdated Options

Hemsley replaced McGuire in 2006, after a scandal over backdated stock options. More than 100 companies including UnitedHealth had to restate results over the practice of picking grant dates in hindsight to make them more favorable to executives. McGuire agreed to return $600 million in cash and options. Hemsley -- who wasn’t involved in any impropriety, the company says -- agreed to raise the exercise price of options he’d received through 2002 to the highest share price of each year.

In 2009, he exercised options on almost 4.9 million shares dating to the 1999 grant. The exercise price was $8.72 and the market price was $28.94, yielding a gain of $98.6 million. In 2010 and 2011, his gains on exercised options totaled more than $70 million, according to corporate filings.

‘Impressive Performance’

Hemsley has retained a “significant portion” of the shares he acquired through options exercises and holds stock equal to 118 times his base salary, which “fosters a long-term outlook” and aligns his interests with shareholders’, said UnitedHealth spokesman Tyler Mason.

His gains reflect growth in UnitedHealth’s business since 1999 as well as Hemsley’s success in “leading the company to an impressive performance through difficult economic and political environments in 2010,” he said.

UnitedHealth has had “ongoing public discussion about the issues the protesters were voicing” at Lake Minnetonka and is “working to implement the many changes needed to improve access to health care,” Mason said. Hemsley declined to be interviewed.

Wage-earner Reyes, the youngest of eight siblings of Ojibwe native American descent, bought her 700-square-foot Craftsman house not far from Minnehaha Falls in 1995 for $52,900. “It’s only as big as a checkerboard square, but I like it,” she said.

Winged Heart

A cedar bush that fit in her palm when she planted it is 20 feet high now. At 52, and 5 feet tall, Reyes walks with a brisk swagger. She wears sleeveless shirts that show off a tattoo of a heart with wings on her right arm. After two decades of dealing blackjack, Mississippi stud and Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, she makes $14 to $17 an hour, mostly from tips. (One thing she said she’s learned: It’s better to work the low-stakes tables because rich people don’t tip as well.)

As her income from the Grand Casino Mille Lacs in Onamia, Minnesota, dropped in 2009, she sometimes camped overnight in her GMC Safari van in the casino’s parking lot to save on gas. She suspected salt in her canned-soup dinners was aggravating her diabetes. Last year, after her hours were cut, Reyes said she developed vertigo that made her so dizzy it was dangerous to drive. A doctor told her the diabetes wasn’t under control and she had to take time off work, she said. Reyes fell behind on her mortgage.

When the bank foreclosed, she said she started packing, even though her symptoms had improved and she’d found a job at a different casino.

Petition Drive

A friend connected her with Occupy activists. The group helped her negotiate with the bank, promoted a petition that accumulated more than 100,000 signatures on Change.org and got neighbors involved. Several put up “Stop Foreclosures” yard signs. Another reads, “We Are the 99%.” Two dozen neighbors and activists walked with Reyes to the bank in August to hand over the stack of petitions.

“We’re all one payment away from losing our house,” said neighbor Julie Johnson, sitting in Reyes’ cramped dining room.

The community also banded together for a different reason, to get the police to investigate a house where drug dealing was becoming common, Johnson said.

On a sunny August day in Wayzata 20 miles away, BMWs and other luxury cars prowled for parking on the main street as speedboats tied up on the lake. The CEO of Target Corp., heirs of the Dayton’s department store chain and McGuire, who’s bought several plots, all live around the lake.

Dog-Friendly Sushi

“Bone Adventure,” a pet store, has had 10 percent sales growth so far this year thanks to strong demand for such services as $130 hand-strip grooming for wire-haired dogs, said manager Anna Geisler. Periodic “Sushi With Your Poochie” dinners, with an $18 admission fee, have featured hand-rolled dog-friendly maki sushi and “Tail-Waggin’ Mojitos.”

Down the street, Minnetonka Travel, which offers one-on-one vacation planning, boosted sales 20 percent last year -- and 2012 is going well: Three local couples recently paid $100,000 apiece for 60-day European cruises, said travel consultant Jennifer Yokiel.

“Someday, right?” Yokiel said with a smile.

Reyes, who rejected an offer from the bank to lease the home she used to own for $600 a month, got an eviction notice in the mail last week. She jumps when a car door slams, she said, fearing it’s a sheriff.

jjjayb
10-02-2012, 03:42 PM
It's a good thing you had Obama to stop this!

Bump
10-02-2012, 03:42 PM
when people start to understand that this country's only priority is making the rich, richer. Then something might change. Until then, nope. It will keep widening and it will eventually get bad, really bad.

vailpass
10-02-2012, 03:48 PM
not long enough/would read more

Radar Chief
10-02-2012, 03:49 PM
http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/198/460/iwkoqt.gif?1321057725

Mr. Flopnuts
10-02-2012, 04:37 PM
What happens when people start waking up and saying "Ya know, I can't feed my family by going to this shitty job where I'm overworked, under appreciated, and vastly underpaid anyways. Fuck it. I'm done"?

Iowanian
10-02-2012, 04:41 PM
Flop, those people already vote democrat.


I'd ask those people what choices they could make that would improve their situation, job skills and marketability.
Don't like where you are in life? Do something about it.

I want to be a rich guy, so instead of whining, I'm going to work harder and learn from those who are already successful.

vailpass
10-02-2012, 04:41 PM
What happens when people start waking up and saying "Ya know, I can't feed my family by going to this shitty job where I'm overworked, under appreciated, and vastly underpaid anyways. **** it. I'm done"?

They move to America and make a better life for themselves?

Mr. Flopnuts
10-02-2012, 04:43 PM
I want to be a rich guy, so instead of whining, I'm going to work harder and learn from those who are already successful.

That's a good idea. It's precisely why I'm in the industry I'm in right now. Hard work, some luck, and some guidance may allow me to retire by 58 after all. The masses though? They don't have a chance. And if they aren't able to live to the standard they expect, at some point, they will revolt. It's easy to give it, much harder to take it away.

Iowanian
10-02-2012, 04:43 PM
That's on "the masses".

They do have a chance, they just don't tend to put look for opportunity like others.

I'm not saying everyone who is struggling or poor is lazy or anything. I'm just saying, if you don't like making $8, ask yourself if dropping out of school was a great idea. Ask yourself what you can do to get that GED and get a 1yr certificate in something. If you work a 2nd job long enough and cut back, can you save enough money to move to an area with better jobs?

If you work a shit job and go to the same gas station and purchase the same pack of smokes and 12 pack of beer every night at 4pm and or head to the same bar as soon as you're off work, don't cry to me about your life struggle. Life knocks everyone down, the trick is how you get back up. Some people just seem more comfortable in the fetal position.

Fishpicker
10-02-2012, 04:44 PM
http://imageshack.us/a/img854/78/vivdance.gif

bunch of haters in quotes, blech

BigRedChief
10-02-2012, 05:52 PM
I want to be a rich guy, so instead of whining, I'm going to work harder and learn from those who are already successful.Not everyone can be rich. Is that what America is suppose to be about, everyone being rich? Thats an unrealistic goal.

This is more evidence that the middle class is under attack. Without a strong middle class its impossible to have a strong America. Its how we got strong and will remain strong.

CoMoChief
10-02-2012, 05:56 PM
You do understand that Obama pretty much works for Wall St, right?

KCTitus
10-02-2012, 05:59 PM
As long as the printing presses keep printing dollars and the Federal Reserve keeps 'buying' them, this is going to continue to happen. This is no surprise. Frankly, the fact that inflation has not yet kicked in is a major surprise.

If anyone else in the bottom '99', like myself, is smart, they'd invest in tangible metals...gold, silver, copper...brass. It's going to hedge against the inflation that occurs when the first treasury auction fails. Then the top 1% that have nothing but dollars will be just as poor as you. Wont that make YOU feel better?

qabbaan
10-02-2012, 06:01 PM
Are we supposed to be surprised that the poor and middle class are affected by a poor economy more than the rich?

Maybe if Obama's stimulus and his other non-starting policies would have moved the needle on unemployment at all over the past four years, the gap wouldn't keep widening?

BigRedChief
10-02-2012, 06:23 PM
As long as the printing presses keep printing dollars and the Federal Reserve keeps 'buying' them, this is going to continue to happen. This is no surprise. Frankly, the fact that inflation has not yet kicked in is a major surprise.

If anyone else in the bottom '99', like myself, is smart, they'd invest in tangible metals...gold, silver, copper...brass. It's going to hedge against the inflation that occurs when the first treasury auction fails. Then the top 1% that have nothing but dollars will be just as poor as you. Wont that make YOU feel better?Aint going to help you one bit. If the $ fails all of global society will break down. It will be the gangs with the most guns taking your tangible metals.

Brock
10-02-2012, 06:25 PM
Lead will be worth more than gold.

chiefzilla1501
10-02-2012, 06:29 PM
Flop, those people already vote democrat.


I'd ask those people what choices they could make that would improve their situation, job skills and marketability.
Don't like where you are in life? Do something about it.

I want to be a rich guy, so instead of whining, I'm going to work harder and learn from those who are already successful.

This is a huge problem. I don't care as much about the middle class not getting paid their fair wage. I think wages are fair (though would agree that regular employees are being asked to take on more work for less hours on the company dime).

My greater concern is that while executives are pocketing less money, less of that money is being invested into long-term growth.

This is why our economy is shit. Because rather than build a new plant to expand the company, executives are either pocketing that money or they're trying to boost short-term earnings.

If corporations would invest more of this widening gap money into their businesses, we'd be able to create a hell of a lot more jobs.

patteeu
10-02-2012, 06:54 PM
Direckshun,

Is income inequality between the US and everyone else one of the greatest threats to the world?

Taco John
10-02-2012, 06:58 PM
>Top 1% Got 93% of Income Growth as Rich-Poor Gap Widened

Well duh. We're flooding a corrupted market with federal reserve notes. What do you think QE does? Help poor people?

Imagine a dodge ball court with 10 athletic giants, and 20 bookish weaklings. Now flood that court with balls, and balls, and more balls. Do you think the bookish weaklings are going to benefit from the balls? The same principle applies to the market. Adding more dollars doesn't fundamentally change any of the market dynamics. It just causes the water to flow into the coffers of the rich faster, and perpetuate the imbalances.

The only solution to this is liquidation.

mnchiefsguy
10-02-2012, 06:59 PM
Direckshun,

Is income inequality between the US and everyone else one of the greatest threats to the world?

You really expect him to answer a direct question?

Dayze
10-02-2012, 07:04 PM
IMO this is why I don't vote. It doesn't matter in the least.

Not bashing those who do, just saying I don't etc

Radar Chief
10-02-2012, 07:09 PM
Lead will be worth more than gold.

Pretty much, and they can try to "take it" while it's flying straight for their face at >1800 fps.

Dayze
10-02-2012, 07:10 PM
Reported.

Radar Chief
10-02-2012, 07:15 PM
Reported.

:spock:

Dayze
10-02-2012, 07:16 PM
Is your meter calibrated?

Radar Chief
10-02-2012, 07:17 PM
Is your meter calibrated?

Apparently not.

SNR
10-02-2012, 07:18 PM
The solution:

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost.php?p=8815338&postcount=11

Link to the solution: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/07/18/156928675/episode-387-the-no-brainer-economic-platform

Dayze
10-02-2012, 07:18 PM
It happens to the best of us

mlyonsd
10-02-2012, 07:22 PM
So can someone tell me exactly how we'll benefit by raising income tax on just the rich? Other than making us feel good?

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 07:24 PM
Direckshun,

Is income inequality between the US and everyone else one of the greatest threats to the world?

I don't know enough about global economics to answer that, honestly.

But this is irrelevent.

The health of our country is directly affected by income equality. Whether that's also true on an international scale is irrelevent.

You've already made clear in previous threads that you feel like you have no obligation to other Missourians any more than you have an obligation to Ugandans. That's on you, but that's not remotely close to a mainstream opinion on the issue. In my opinion, it's an immoral position.

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 07:26 PM
So can someone tell me exactly how we'll benefit by raising income tax on just the rich? Other than making us feel good?

We're a trillion-and-a-half shy of funding the government effectively, for one.

Brock
10-02-2012, 07:31 PM
We're a trillion-and-a-half shy of funding the government effectively, for one.

Sounds like somebody better start turning some lights off.

BigRedChief
10-02-2012, 07:33 PM
We're a trillion-and-a-half shy of funding the government effectively, for one.another that the rich have benefited more proportionly than any other group of people in the USA in the last 10 years, We are broke. Maybe asking them to contribute a little more is a good idea.

petegz28
10-02-2012, 07:36 PM
another that the rich have benefited more proportionly than any other group of people in the USA in the last 10 years, We are broke. Maybe asking them to contribute a little more is a good idea.

That's kinda BS. How about Congress pass laws that actually give companies incentive to create jobs here? How about the Fed quit keep rates artificially low and as a result send the prices of food and gas soaring? And how about the Fed Gov just quit spening a bunch of money they don't have?

petegz28
10-02-2012, 07:38 PM
We're a trillion-and-a-half shy of funding the government effectively, for one.

If you took every $ "rich people" made it wouldn't fund the government for very long.

In other words would still be a trillion + shy of funding the deficit.

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 07:49 PM
If you took every $ "rich people" made it wouldn't fund the government for very long.

In other words would still be a trillion + shy of funding the deficit.

Well it's a good thing that's virtually nobody's plan to single-handedly close the deficit.

mlyonsd
10-02-2012, 08:04 PM
We're a trillion-and-a-half shy of funding the government effectively, for one.
Are we talking just the Obama tax cuts on the rich (formerly called Bush tax cuts)? I'm reading that only amounts to about $700 billion over 10 years.

How much revenue would expiring the tax cuts generate? This is perhaps one of the most important questions. It’s difficult to answer. For starters, when taxes go up, people change their behavior. Perhaps they spend less or work more (or less if jobs become even more scarce). So the net affect of a tax increase of this magnitude is difficult to gage. But the CBO has made its best estimate. If we let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire, it will increase tax revenues by about $678 billion over 10 years. If we let all of the Bush tax cuts expire, we’ll generate a total of about $3.7 trillion in additional revenue over the next decade.

http://www.doughroller.net/taxes/should-the-bush-tax-cuts-be-extended/

That doesn't sound like very much to me when you're saying we're $1.5T short every year. Or is Obama going to tax them more on top of that?

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 08:05 PM
Are we talking just the Obama tax cuts on the rich (formerly called Bush tax cuts)? I'm reading that only amounts to about $700 billion over 10 years.

I'd call that a good start.

petegz28
10-02-2012, 08:06 PM
Well it's a good thing that's virtually nobody's plan to single-handedly close the deficit.

Seems "tax the rich more" is all we ever hear from your ilk as an answer to everything.

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 08:07 PM
Seems "tax the rich more" is all we ever hear from your ilk as an answer to everything.

Mmmm, nope. You're confusing me with your fixation on Grover Norquist.

I'm actually willing to compromise.

Fish
10-02-2012, 08:09 PM
That's kinda BS. How about Congress pass laws that actually give companies incentive to create jobs here? How about the Fed quit keep rates artificially low and as a result send the prices of food and gas soaring? And how about the Fed Gov just quit spening a bunch of money they don't have?

That's a good question. Why wouldn't Congress pass laws that actually give companies incentive to create jobs here? That seems like a very ideal and logical way to help everyone in America. The only person or entity I could think of that would oppose such a thing would be Companies themselves who are seeing the profit from doing the opposite. But why would Congress be favoring laws that apparently only benefit corporations and rich people?

Perhaps corporations and rich people are influencing the system too much.

headsnap
10-02-2012, 08:09 PM
I'm actually willing to compromise.

:LOL:

compromise on the amount as long as the rich get taxed more...

mlyonsd
10-02-2012, 08:12 PM
I'd call that a good start.
I'd call it more of a political smoke screen, but you probably figured that.

mikey23545
10-02-2012, 08:24 PM
So I guess this proves that Obama policies have savaged the middle class and the poor while allowing the rich to get richer.

And the only solution Ereckshun can see is to rob the ones doing well and give their money to the ones who are starving under his failed administration, instead of adopting policies promoting growth in the middle class.

Wow, that's just ****ing retarded and incredibly shortsighted.

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 08:27 PM
I'd call it more of a political smoke screen, but you probably figured that.

Hundreds of billions is a smokescreen. Got it.

mlyonsd
10-02-2012, 08:30 PM
Hundreds of billions is a smokescreen. Got it.
Over....10...........years.

So yeah, it's a political year smoke screen that doesn't fix anything.

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 08:51 PM
Over....10...........years.

So yeah, it's a political year smoke screen that doesn't fix anything.

What's your figure for no-longer-being-a-smokescreen.

I want to know the figure.

3.7 trillion?

Fish
10-02-2012, 08:56 PM
So I guess this proves that Obama policies have savaged the middle class and the poor while allowing the rich to get richer.

And the only solution Ereckshun can see is to rob the ones doing well and give their money to the ones who are starving under his failed administration, instead of adopting policies promoting growth in the middle class.

Wow, that's just ****ing retarded and incredibly shortsighted.


Regarding the bolded.. how are you expecting that to be implemented? If it were as easy as just adopting policies promoting that growth, why hasn't anything like that been effectively implemented? I don't see either side giving a shit about the middle class right now, or in the foreseeable future.

J Diddy
10-02-2012, 09:55 PM
Seems "tax the rich more" is all we ever hear from your ilk as an answer to everything.

Shit like this cracks me up. Right now Clarke Hunte is getting a blow job from 5 different chicks, all the while giggling at the notion that you think you need to defend him.

Seriously.

ChiefsCountry
10-02-2012, 10:15 PM
I wonder how many millions are employed because of the "1%."

Fish
10-02-2012, 10:20 PM
I wonder how many millions are employed because of the "1%."

The 1% are experiencing record levels of wealth, as evidenced by the OP. Then why is the unemployment rate at record highs?

If the 1% is so vital at creating the majority of jobs, why have the 1% profited to such an overwhelming degree compared to others, while job creation has continued to dramatically suffer. When should we expect to see the results of the continuation of corporate profit on job creation?

Iowanian
10-02-2012, 10:28 PM
I don't know, you tell me. You're the one who has spent a few years here talking about your huge raises and salary and beach front house.

I don't really care to be wealthy. The group that attack the middle class the most are the non-producer Americans and those who want to bring themselves up the food chain on the back of others.


i think both parties will agree that a strong middle class is important. It's the method to get there, and I strongly disagree that the best way to make a strong middle class is watering down the upper class to do it.

Not everyone can be rich. Is that what America is suppose to be about, everyone being rich? Thats an unrealistic goal.

This is more evidence that the middle class is under attack. Without a strong middle class its impossible to have a strong America. Its how we got strong and will remain strong.

ThaVirus
10-02-2012, 10:34 PM
>Top 1% Got 93% of Income Growth as Rich-Poor Gap Widened

Well duh. We're flooding a corrupted market with federal reserve notes. What do you think QE does? Help poor people?

Imagine a dodge ball court with 10 athletic giants, and 20 bookish weaklings. Now flood that court with balls, and balls, and more balls. Do you think the bookish weaklings are going to benefit from the balls? The same principle applies to the market. Adding more dollars doesn't fundamentally change any of the market dynamics. It just causes the water to flow into the coffers of the rich faster, and perpetuate the imbalances.

The only solution to this is liquidation.

Nice analogy.

The 1% are experiencing record levels of wealth, as evidenced by the OP. Then why is the unemployment rate at record highs?

If the 1% is so vital at creating the majority of jobs, why have the 1% profited to such an overwhelming degree compared to others, while job creation has continued to dramatically suffer. When should we expect to see the results of the continuation of corporate profit on job creation?

Hmmmm...

Comrade Crapski
10-02-2012, 11:42 PM
What happens when people start waking up and saying "Ya know, I can't feed my family by going to this shitty job where I'm overworked, under appreciated, and vastly underpaid anyways. **** it. I'm done"?

Uh, tha'ts been happening. Where you been? As a matter of fact, it's hitting epidemic proportions.

teedubya
10-02-2012, 11:55 PM
How many Trillions has the Fed given away? 16 trillion? That we KNOW of?

I read today on http://zerohedge.com that $22 Trillion is missing from the EURO union.

We have how many trillions in unfunded programs like Medicare, Social Security, etc??

The 4 major banks have how many 100s of Trillions wrapped in funky derivatives? This crash always comes with fiat money... if you can print it for $0.06 per $100. And you have unlimited printer ink... what are you gonna do?

The Rothschild central banking system is at the root of all of these issues, IMO.

Yeah...

petegz28
10-03-2012, 07:12 AM
Well it's a good thing that's virtually nobody's plan to single-handedly close the deficit.

Unfortunately it seems to be the only part of "the plan" the Dems seem to have.

Braincase
10-03-2012, 07:30 AM
It's the fault of the multi-generational poor that they are poor and undereducated. The solution, obviously, is to raise the taxes on the poor and reduce spending on public education. Then, we wait on the trickle-down economics to work, and the job creators at the top can finally create those jobs, so long as folks are willing to work for what the job creators are willing to pay.

patteeu
10-03-2012, 07:34 AM
I don't know enough about global economics to answer that, honestly.

But this is irrelevent.

OK, given that you don't understand the dynamics on a world basis, why do you think income inequality is "one of the greatest threats to this country"? I read the article, but couldn't find an answer.

The health of our country is directly affected by income equality. Whether that's also true on an international scale is irrelevent.

You've already made clear in previous threads that you feel like you have no obligation to other Missourians any more than you have an obligation to Ugandans. That's on you, but that's not remotely close to a mainstream opinion on the issue. In my opinion, it's an immoral position.

Since that's not true, I find it highly unlikely that I've made it clear in previous threads.

patteeu
10-03-2012, 07:39 AM
So I guess this proves that Obama policies have savaged the middle class and the poor while allowing the rich to get richer.

And the only solution Ereckshun can see is to rob the ones doing well and give their money to the ones who are starving under his failed administration, instead of adopting policies promoting growth in the middle class.

Wow, that's just ****ing retarded and incredibly shortsighted.

Correct.

patteeu
10-03-2012, 07:40 AM
Regarding the bolded.. how are you expecting that to be implemented? If it were as easy as just adopting policies promoting that growth, why hasn't anything like that been effectively implemented? I don't see either side giving a shit about the middle class right now, or in the foreseeable future.

Because democrats have had control of the ship for the past 6 years. Duh.

Comrade Crapski
10-03-2012, 07:47 AM
So I guess this proves that Obama policies have savaged the middle class and the poor while allowing the rich to get richer.

yeah, that's pretty much how communism works.

Braincase
10-03-2012, 08:08 AM
yeah, that's pretty much how communism works.

You mean "plutocracy", right?

donkhater
10-03-2012, 09:55 AM
I'm sure much of this trend is the result of governmnet policies and their far-to-cozy existence with banks and corporations, but.....

I'm not in the 1%. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth either. I wasn't handed a job from a relative or fraternity brother and I haven't inherited squat.

The last decade has been just fine for me. Why? Because I don't live beyond my means nor carry a ton of debt. My money (assets) work for me instead of against me. Could I be doing even better if our benevolent leaders got their heads out of their asses? Absolutely. But all is not lost for people if a little good old fashioned common sense is applied. That's an unpopular message that is recieved with skepticism, but I've always found it to be true.

KC native
10-03-2012, 10:20 AM
As long as the printing presses keep printing dollars and the Federal Reserve keeps 'buying' them, this is going to continue to happen. This is no surprise. Frankly, the fact that inflation has not yet kicked in is a major surprise.

If anyone else in the bottom '99', like myself, is smart, they'd invest in tangible metals...gold, silver, copper...brass. It's going to hedge against the inflation that occurs when the first treasury auction fails. Then the top 1% that have nothing but dollars will be just as poor as you. Wont that make YOU feel better?

Metals are not an effective hedge against inflation. There's a ton of work out there that demonstrates this.

KC native
10-03-2012, 10:24 AM
Direckshun,

Is income inequality between the US and everyone else one of the greatest threats to the world?

No, if you bothered to read anything other than faux news or the gop's party platform, then you would know that inbour modern economic environment that extreme levels of income inequity are highly correlated with lower economc output and civil strife.

KC native
10-03-2012, 10:28 AM
So I guess this proves that Obama policies have savaged the middle class and the poor while allowing the rich to get richer.

And the only solution Ereckshun can see is to rob the ones doing well and give their money to the ones who are starving under his failed administration, instead of adopting policies promoting growth in the middle class.

Wow, that's just ****ing retarded and incredibly shortsighted.

You are a monumental dumbass. The decline of the middle class started in the 80's.

patteeu
10-03-2012, 10:29 AM
No, if you bothered to read anything other than faux news or the gop's party platform, then you would know that inbour modern economic environment that extreme levels of income inequity are highly correlated with lower economc output and civil strife.

I don't care about correlations. I'm more interested in cause and effect. I'm curious about why Direckshun (or you if you share his view) thinks this is one of the greatest threats to our country.

As for the civil strife argument, OWS is ugly, but it's more of a sideshow than something I'd call real strife.

KC native
10-03-2012, 10:30 AM
I don't know, you tell me. You're the one who has spent a few years here talking about your huge raises and salary and beach front house.

I don't really care to be wealthy. The group that attack the middle class the most are the non-producer Americans and those who want to bring themselves up the food chain on the back of others.


i think both parties will agree that a strong middle class is important. It's the method to get there, and I strongly disagree that the best way to make a strong middle class is watering down the upper class to do it.

That's because you are a rube that swallows whatever the gop feeds you.

KC native
10-03-2012, 10:34 AM
I don't care about correlations. I'm more interested in cause and effect. I'm curious about why Direckshun (or you if you share his view) thinks this is one of the greatest threats to our country.

As for the civil strife argument, OWS is ugly, but it's more of a sideshow than something I'd call real strife.

There are a variety of cause and effects. I'm not wasting my time educating you about income inequity and all the things that come with it. Start with the Gini coefficent and work from there. Extreme levels of income inequity are bad for a society. If yu can't accept that, then you have completed your transition to BEP status.

Bump
10-03-2012, 10:36 AM
Metals are not an effective hedge against inflation. There's a ton of work out there that demonstrates this.

how so? metals have always been used as currency and have always had value? If the paper dollar fails you'll wish you had some.

KC native
10-03-2012, 10:40 AM
how so? metals have always been used as currency and have always had value? If the paper dollar fails you'll wish you had some.

Metals are more correlated with economic activity and gold is more correlated with international uncertainty (things like euro break up, sovereign defaults, etc).

patteeu
10-03-2012, 10:43 AM
There are a variety of cause and effects. I'm not wasting my time educating you about income inequity and all the things that come with it. Start with the Gini coefficent and work from there. Extreme levels of income inequity are bad for a society. If yu can't accept that, then you have completed your transition to BEP status.

The Gini coefficient is a statistic not an explanation. I'll take it that this is just an article of faith for you and not an opinion based on well-reasoned analysis.

King_Chief_Fan
10-03-2012, 11:28 AM
I don't know enough about global economics to answer that, honestly.

But this is irrelevent.

The health of our country is directly affected by income equality. Whether that's also true on an international scale is irrelevent.

You've already made clear in previous threads that you feel like you have no obligation to other Missourians any more than you have an obligation to Ugandans. That's on you, but that's not remotely close to a mainstream opinion on the issue. In my opinion, it's an immoral position.
the moral position is to help when one is in need....to get back on their feet...provide for themselves. The way it used to be done before Government handouts and entitlements. Current system encourages people to do nothing for themselves and hope that their elected socialist will redistribute what belongs to others.
The health of this country is affected by handouts and getting people dependent on those handouts. There is a reason why the national parks don't want you to feed the bears.

vailpass
10-03-2012, 11:36 AM
Metals are more correlated with economic activity and gold is more correlated with international uncertainty (things like euro break up, sovereign defaults, etc).

Ding fries are done. Could I get some hot sauce with that?

HonestChieffan
10-03-2012, 11:38 AM
the moral position is to help when one is in need....to get back on their feet...provide for themselves. The way it used to be done before Government handouts and entitlements. Current system encourages people to do nothing for themselves and hope that their elected socialist will redistribute what belongs to others.
The health of this country is affected by handouts and getting people dependent on those handouts. There is a reason why the national parks don't want you to feed the bears.

Bingo.

Cannibal
10-03-2012, 11:38 AM
Ding fries are done.

You proabably ought throw some salt on 'em and box 'em up then. Keep it up and you might make counter slut in a few years.

vailpass
10-03-2012, 11:45 AM
You proabably ought throw some salt on 'em and box 'em up then. Keep it up and you might make counter slut in a few years.

Good start. Your approach is basic and predictable but you have to walk before you can run. Creativity isn't a gift given to everyone so don't worry, just use what you have.
Going forward you might try to work in a baseless implication of racism. Keep at it.

KC native
10-03-2012, 01:10 PM
The Gini coefficient is a statistic not an explanation. I'll take it that this is just an article of faith for you and not an opinion based on well-reasoned analysis.

You do that BEpatty. Or you could google it for yourself and read the work that has been done. I'm not getting paid to hold your hand and walk you through it. If you want to be a dumbass that lives in a faux news bubble that's your problem.

KC native
10-03-2012, 01:13 PM
Good start. Your approach is basic and predictable but you have to walk before you can run. Creativity isn't a gift given to everyone so don't worry, just use what you have.
Going forward you might try to work in a baseless implication of racism. Keep at it.

ROFL creativity? You use more trite and lame insults than everyone on here other than mikey and dishonest.

Also, your posting history makes any mention of racism and you completely valid.

Racist poster is racist.

patteeu
10-03-2012, 01:14 PM
You do that BEpatty. Or you could google it for yourself and read the work that has been done. I'm not getting paid to hold your hand and walk you through it. If you want to be a dumbass that lives in a faux news bubble that's your problem.

You shouldn't have even bothered to get into this thread if you didn't have anything to add.

KC native
10-03-2012, 01:17 PM
You shouldn't have even bothered to get into this thread if you didn't have anything to add.

I added something. It's not my fault that you either lack the requisite background knowledge or that you are too incompetent to recognize that.

patteeu
10-03-2012, 01:23 PM
I added something. It's not my fault that you either lack the requisite background knowledge or that you are too incompetent to recognize that.

Thanks for sharing your faith with us. I'm more interested in real science and data though.

KC native
10-03-2012, 01:28 PM
Thanks for sharing your faith with us. I'm more interested in real science and data though.

Economics is not a science. Try again BEpatty.

Chief Faithful
10-03-2012, 01:41 PM
You are a monumental dumbass. The decline of the middle class started in the 80's.

Can you tell me anything Obama and the Dems did the first two years while they had the Supper Majority that reverses this middle class decline?

vailpass
10-03-2012, 03:20 PM
ROFL creativity? You use more trite and lame insults than everyone on here other than mikey and dishonest.

Also, your posting history makes any mention of racism and you completely valid.

Racist poster is racist.

Let's settle this old school: a duel.

Leaf blowers at 20 pesos.

mlyonsd
10-03-2012, 04:29 PM
What's your figure for no-longer-being-a-smokescreen.

I want to know the figure.

3.7 trillion?If taxes are to be raised, and I think they do, the burden should be shared by as many as possible.

Removing the tax breaks across the board gives you what you want, the wealthy paying a larger share than the middle class, while at the same time sharing the burden.

3.7 T over 10 years isn't going to do it either but is a start, as you call it.

I know I'm in the minority here in that tax increases will cause another recession yada yada, but I think if a recession is in our future it won't be because of tax increases. It was going to happen anyway.

Time to get everyone used to the medicine.

Direckshun
10-03-2012, 04:39 PM
If taxes are to be raised, and I think they do, the burden should be shared by as many as possible.

Removing the tax breaks across the board gives you what you want, the wealthy paying a larger share than the middle class, while at the same time sharing the burden.

3.7 T over 10 years isn't going to do it either but is a start, as you call it.

I know I'm in the minority here in that tax increases will cause another recession yada yada, but I think if a recession is in our future it won't be because of tax increases. It was going to happen anyway.

Time to get everyone used to the medicine.

I think we can agree on that.

mlyonsd
10-03-2012, 04:45 PM
I think we can agree on that.
Now you're scaring me.

Direckshun
10-03-2012, 05:01 PM
Now you're scaring me.

Heh.

patteeu
10-03-2012, 05:18 PM
Economics is not a science. Try again BEpatty.

It's not apparently baseless assertions based on what KC native feels, either.

BigRedChief
10-04-2012, 10:24 PM
If taxes are to be raised, and I think they do, the burden should be shared by as many as possible.

Removing the tax breaks across the board gives you what you want, the wealthy paying a larger share than the middle class, while at the same time sharing the burden.

3.7 T over 10 years isn't going to do it either but is a start, as you call it.

I know I'm in the minority here in that tax increases will cause another recession yada yada, but I think if a recession is in our future it won't be because of tax increases. It was going to happen anyway.

Time to get everyone used to the medicine.I'm cool with that. Everyone needs to chip in. Share the pain among us all. Spare no one the pain. Thats the only way.

Comrade Crapski
10-23-2012, 01:02 AM
Here you go, communists:

http://www.federalnewsradio.com//189/3085581/Pay-gap-between-government-private-sector-widens-to-34-percent

Mr. Kotter
10-23-2012, 07:54 AM
Here you go, communists:

http://www.federalnewsradio.com//189/3085581/Pay-gap-between-government-private-sector-widens-to-34-percent

Did you bother to READ the article...


On average, federal employees earn 34 percent less than their private-sector counterparts, according to the council's analysis.

BucEyedPea
10-23-2012, 08:03 AM
Somebody cut these guys' taxes!

Seriously though -- income inequality is one of the greatest threats to this country.



...if you were serious about fixing this gap, you'd renounce our use of Keynesian economics.
It favors the rich as it keeps their asset values up. Meanwhile as prices rise it hurts the poor and middle class. The socialist solution locks in the plutocrats positions, along with their intellectual servants, the nomenklatura and keeps this gap permanent. You want fluidity so people can improve their own situations without govt simply redistributing.

Your diagnoses is correct. Your solution is wrong.

BucEyedPea
10-23-2012, 08:04 AM
Here you go, communists:

http://www.federalnewsradio.com//189/3085581/Pay-gap-between-government-private-sector-widens-to-34-percent

I love it! ROFLLMAO

HonestChieffan
10-23-2012, 12:32 PM
Did you bother to READ the article...

IF you did read it and thought about what it said you would understand every study is based on different criteria and the end result id you can find a study somewhere to prove what you want.


Sucker

Mr. Kotter
10-23-2012, 01:23 PM
IF you did read it and thought about what it said you would understand every study is based on different criteria and the end result id you can find a study somewhere to prove what you want.


Sucker

That's not the misleading point he was TRYING to make though, now, is it?

HonestChieffan
10-23-2012, 01:40 PM
Your post #95 was the one misleading.