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Old 01-31-2014, 06:25 PM  
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Income Inequality and the real reason it needs to be addressed

Okay, the Left loves to rant about "fairness" when it comes to income inequality but that's a bunch of liberal BS. So let's get past the emotional arguments of fair vs. unfair and address why and when income inequality becomes a bad thing.

There comes a point in just about every imaginable scenario where too much of a even a good thing becomes a bad thing. What we have seen in the last decade and even more so in the last 5-6 years is just that. What's good for the rich and big corporations is starting to become bad for the country as a whole. The middle class is being weeded out by liberal politicians as well as what is amounting to nothing more than corporate greed.

A financially healthy middle class is needed for a strong economy. Unfortunately that is not what we have nor are we headed on a path to getting back to healthy. The middle class is what drives this country and it is disappearing for all the wrong reasons. While big business is cutting jobs or import\exporting jobs, creating an environment of job insecurity and stagnant wages, liberal politicians are squeezing more money out of the middle class with their failed policies.

When you look at the last several years, everything has risen except 2 key factors, jobs and wages. The cost of gas has risen, the cost of food has risen, the cost of health care is rising and the stock market is rising. Meanwhile jobs and wages are doing dick.

There comes a point where "what's mine is mine" becomes a bad thing. The rich and big corporations who have enjoyed record profits and a rising stock market are doing so for what is tantamount to nothing more than a fleecing of the middle class. Companies have laid off thousands of workers to increase profits in the name of "shareholder value". As the record profits come in we seem trillions being spent on non-productive things such as share buy-backs and such. Couple with the Bernanke influenced environment of low interest rates, the rich and big corps are feasting while everyone in the middle class continues to famine.

I am a capitalist and a free-market kind of guy but I can also see what is happening right in front of our eyes. Corporations have no loyalty to their employees and thus in the long run their customers. Wall St. now dictates every move of these companies with their "quarterly earnings estimates" and companies are allowing it to happen.

The best analogy I can come up with to describe the problem is one of losing weight. If you are overweight then losing weight is good and healthy. However, losing too much weight becomes unhealthy and though your initial goal was to watch the scale go down the point comes when the scale going down is now bad. Companies have got to start valuing their employees more and their CEO's a little less. The "shareholders" in which whose name all this cutting and thievery is done will benefit just the same if not more so. A healthy employment base gives companies the consumer base they ultimately need to grow.

Right now as Democrats are pushing the Immigration Reform issue so the can garner more voters, the Chamber of Commerce and big business is championing the issue in the name of cheaper labor.

The middle class is running out of money, folks. The jobs are not coming fast enough, the pay is not rising fast enough and the job security is running away too fast.

So when it comes down to it, it is not about what's fair and what isn't. It's about what is healthy for this country's economy and what isn't.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:34 PM   #151
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Dispersion is how much of the pie each group is taking home. A vast majority of the gains/growth in the US economy has gone to the very top over the last 30 years.

Right now there aren't any real proposals out there.
Got it, thanks.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:53 PM   #152
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http://www.businessweek.com/articles...an-ones#r=read

Income Inequality Is Higher In Democratic Districts Than Republican Ones.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:59 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by digger View Post
http://www.businessweek.com/articles...an-ones#r=read

Income Inequality Is Higher In Democratic Districts Than Republican Ones.
I am surprised that DC isn't higher. DC is 1/4th rich and 3/4ths poor. There really isn't a middle class.
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:04 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by digger View Post
http://www.businessweek.com/articles...an-ones#r=read

Income Inequality Is Higher In Democratic Districts Than Republican Ones.
Rich people don't want to live in Mississippi. Shocker.
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:09 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by digger View Post
http://www.businessweek.com/articles...an-ones#r=read

Income Inequality Is Higher In Democratic Districts Than Republican Ones.
It exists in the Obama White House too.
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:11 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by GloucesterChief View Post
I am surprised that DC isn't higher. DC is 1/4th rich and 3/4ths poor. There really isn't a middle class.
True. It's really just a big slum--except for those living well off the Fed govt.
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Old 05-18-2014, 02:01 AM   #157
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1. Define the problem.
For the least several decades, the GDP of the country has gone WAY up, and yet most of the citizens are worse off.

2. Try to determine WHY the problem exists
Depends on who you ask. Some say that those who are worse off are lazy and or stupid. Some say that the jobs have just dried up due to technology. Some say there is no incentive for companies to offer well paying jobs.

3. Figure out solutions that make sense.
We could do nothing (hope that the market works itself out). We could try to make policies that will create some more jobs. Or we could try to create policies that will incentivize companies to create more great jobs.



That about sum this whole thing up?
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:19 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by mcan View Post
1. Define the problem.
For the least several decades, the GDP of the country has gone WAY up, and yet most of the citizens are worse off.

2. Try to determine WHY the problem exists
Depends on who you ask. Some say that those who are worse off are lazy and or stupid. Some say that the jobs have just dried up due to technology. Some say there is no incentive for companies to offer well paying jobs.

3. Figure out solutions that make sense.
We could do nothing (hope that the market works itself out). We could try to make policies that will create some more jobs. Or we could try to create policies that will incentivize companies to create more great jobs.



That about sum this whole thing up?
I don't think I agree with your statement of the problem.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:46 AM   #159
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If income equality were good, N. Korea would be the best place in the world to live.

I don't see how it's possible to reduce the number of poor people in America when our immigration policy encourages a massive increase in the number of poor people in America. America's social welfare and government monopoly education policies are producing more poor Americans than we can deal with. The irresponsible government policy of importing large numbers of poor people can only serve to make income inequality worse.

Instead of rewarding corporate executives and government sponsored industries that benefit from making American workers less competitive in world markets, why not examine ways to change government policies and priorities to help American workers compete in world markets.

One obvious example of government policy making American workers less competitive is our tax code and the hundreds of billions of dollars the government sponsored Tax Code Compliance Industry makes off their tax code. Those hundreds of billions going into the collective pockets of the Tax Code Compliance Industry increases the cost of doing business in America with no real benefit to anyone except the Tax Code Compliance Industry and the politicians and media corporations they pay off. If the tax code were simple enough for any president to explain all it's provisions to a room full of small business owner in 30 minutes it would greatly enhance the competiveness of American workers in world markets.

Another example of a government sponsored industry making it harder for American workers to compete in world markets is the extremely powerful, virtually unregulated, and politically connected U.S. Litigation Industry. If someone gets drunk and falls off an American made ladder or someone gets drunk and burns themselves pouring gas on a fire from an American made gas can, the Litigation Industry buries the manufacturer in lawsuits. Those manufactures go out of business because they have no chance of winning in courts controlled by the Litigation Industry, their employees lose their jobs, and imported ladders and gas cans line the shelves of America's major corporate retail outlets. The immensely powerful Litigation Industry also profits the world's most expensive regulatory bureaucracies. Those profits come at the expense of American workers competiveness in world markets. All the cost of America's regulatory bureaucracies that exceeds the cost of regulatory bureaucracies in countries American workers must compete with makes American workers less competitive. Five decades of dramatically increasing the profits of the U.S. Litigation Industry through burdensome regulatory costs has dramatically reduced the ability of American workers to compete in world markets. Regulating the Litigation Industry's power to control our courts and the politicians who choose judges would make American workers more competitive in world markets.

A third example of government policy making American workers less competitive in world markets is the U.S. government subsidizing workers in foreign countries who are in direct competition with American workers. The U.S. spends billions of dollars annually in military spending to protect the plants and equipment utilized by autoworkers in S. Korea, Japan, and Europe who are in direct competition with American autoworkers. Those billions in military spending have a huge beneficial impact on the competitiveness of those foreign autoworkers and the foreign communities where those billions in military spending occur. If those billions in military spending were used to secure our borders, America's autoworkers would be more competitive because foreign autoworkers would be required to contribute more for the security of the plants and equipment they utilize, American workers wouldn't have to pay billions to support poor people our government imports with it's open border policy, and border communities would flourish as foreign communities have flourished as a result of U.S. government military spending in those communities.

As an industrial electrician who installs the electrical devices and control equipment that makes automation work, I know American workers need to utilize technology to be competitive in world markets. In 1972, the first sawmill I worked in had a crew of 12 production workers with no maintenance or cleanup personnel and produced about 20,000board feet of lumber per shift. In 2005, I helped build a completely new sawmill that has a crew of 10 production workers with 18 maintenance and cleanup personnel and produces 500,000 board feet per shift with state of the art automation. The use of technology is essential to make these American workers competitive with Canadian workers.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:05 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by gonefishin53 View Post

One obvious example of government policy making American workers less competitive is our tax code and the hundreds of billions of dollars the government sponsored Tax Code Compliance Industry makes off their tax code. Those hundreds of billions going into the collective pockets of the Tax Code Compliance Industry increases the cost of doing business in America with no real benefit to anyone except the Tax Code Compliance Industry and the politicians and media corporations they pay off. If the tax code were simple enough for any president to explain all it's provisions to a room full of small business owner in 30 minutes it would greatly enhance the competiveness of American workers in world markets.
You realize that accounting firms do more than tax prep, right? One quick google search reveals an article showing that in 2012 tax represented less than a quarter of the Big Four's revenue.



Quote:
Another example of a government sponsored industry making it harder for American workers to compete in world markets is the extremely powerful, virtually unregulated, and politically connected U.S. Litigation Industry. If someone gets drunk and falls off an American made ladder or someone gets drunk and burns themselves pouring gas on a fire from an American made gas can, the Litigation Industry buries the manufacturer in lawsuits. Those manufactures go out of business because they have no chance of winning in courts controlled by the Litigation Industry, their employees lose their jobs, and imported ladders and gas cans line the shelves of America's major corporate retail outlets.
Citation needed.

Quote:
Regulating the Litigation Industry's power to control our courts and the politicians who choose judges would make American workers more competitive in world markets.
Explain what changes you think should be made and how you think they would impact the cost of labor.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:15 AM   #161
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I think income inequality would matter a helluva lot less if our current government wasn't as easily influenced by money as it is.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:31 AM   #162
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You realize that accounting firms do more than tax prep, right? One quick google search reveals an article showing that in 2012 tax represented less than a quarter of the Big Four's revenue.

He didn't say anything about accounting firms only doing tax work.

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Originally Posted by DaveNull View Post
Citation needed.
You need a citation for that? Here you go.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:47 AM   #163
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I think income inequality would matter a helluva lot less if our current government wasn't as easily influenced by money as it is.
That isn't going to happen. The corrupt seek power after all. The only way to reduce the influence of money on government is to make it so the influence on government is not worth buying. The way to do that is to strip the power from government.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:51 AM   #164
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I don't think I agree with your statement of the problem.
That's fair. In terms of pure quality of living, you probably have a point. The dirt poor today are light years ahead in terms of life expectancy and overall enjoyment of their life than the middle class was 100 years ago purely due to technology. But when it comes to buying power as a percentage of GDP, they are WAY worse off. So, it just depends on how you're measuring. If the point is to make everybody a little bit happier as the species progresses, then we're on point. At least in the states. 3rd world, not so much.

But I think most of us see that as an incredibly low bar. An analogy (which I have no doubt most will find unconvincing): Imagine an orphanage where the kids are forced to do chores all day to "earn their keep." They are given just enough to eat and a place to sleep in return. Flash forward 100 years and the orphanage is filthy rich, having made money off the labor of these orphans. But now the orphans get a very small wage, a little more food, a slightly more comfortable bed, and they get to play some video games every once in awhile while they wait to be adopted into higher socio economic class. Pretty big step up for the orphans. But if we step back a little we can see that they're kinda getting screwed. Then look at the numbers. Holy crap, America used to be 10% orphans, and now we're damn near 30% and climbing... Quickly towards 50%.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:56 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by gonefishin53 View Post
If income equality were good, N. Korea would be the best place in the world to live.

I don't see how it's possible to reduce the number of poor people in America when our immigration policy encourages a massive increase in the number of poor people in America. America's social welfare and government monopoly education policies are producing more poor Americans than we can deal with. The irresponsible government policy of importing large numbers of poor people can only serve to make income inequality worse.

Instead of rewarding corporate executives and government sponsored industries that benefit from making American workers less competitive in world markets, why not examine ways to change government policies and priorities to help American workers compete in world markets.

One obvious example of government policy making American workers less competitive is our tax code and the hundreds of billions of dollars the government sponsored Tax Code Compliance Industry makes off their tax code. Those hundreds of billions going into the collective pockets of the Tax Code Compliance Industry increases the cost of doing business in America with no real benefit to anyone except the Tax Code Compliance Industry and the politicians and media corporations they pay off. If the tax code were simple enough for any president to explain all it's provisions to a room full of small business owner in 30 minutes it would greatly enhance the competiveness of American workers in world markets.

Another example of a government sponsored industry making it harder for American workers to compete in world markets is the extremely powerful, virtually unregulated, and politically connected U.S. Litigation Industry. If someone gets drunk and falls off an American made ladder or someone gets drunk and burns themselves pouring gas on a fire from an American made gas can, the Litigation Industry buries the manufacturer in lawsuits. Those manufactures go out of business because they have no chance of winning in courts controlled by the Litigation Industry, their employees lose their jobs, and imported ladders and gas cans line the shelves of America's major corporate retail outlets. The immensely powerful Litigation Industry also profits the world's most expensive regulatory bureaucracies. Those profits come at the expense of American workers competiveness in world markets. All the cost of America's regulatory bureaucracies that exceeds the cost of regulatory bureaucracies in countries American workers must compete with makes American workers less competitive. Five decades of dramatically increasing the profits of the U.S. Litigation Industry through burdensome regulatory costs has dramatically reduced the ability of American workers to compete in world markets. Regulating the Litigation Industry's power to control our courts and the politicians who choose judges would make American workers more competitive in world markets.

A third example of government policy making American workers less competitive in world markets is the U.S. government subsidizing workers in foreign countries who are in direct competition with American workers. The U.S. spends billions of dollars annually in military spending to protect the plants and equipment utilized by autoworkers in S. Korea, Japan, and Europe who are in direct competition with American autoworkers. Those billions in military spending have a huge beneficial impact on the competitiveness of those foreign autoworkers and the foreign communities where those billions in military spending occur. If those billions in military spending were used to secure our borders, America's autoworkers would be more competitive because foreign autoworkers would be required to contribute more for the security of the plants and equipment they utilize, American workers wouldn't have to pay billions to support poor people our government imports with it's open border policy, and border communities would flourish as foreign communities have flourished as a result of U.S. government military spending in those communities.

As an industrial electrician who installs the electrical devices and control equipment that makes automation work, I know American workers need to utilize technology to be competitive in world markets. In 1972, the first sawmill I worked in had a crew of 12 production workers with no maintenance or cleanup personnel and produced about 20,000board feet of lumber per shift. In 2005, I helped build a completely new sawmill that has a crew of 10 production workers with 18 maintenance and cleanup personnel and produces 500,000 board feet per shift with state of the art automation. The use of technology is essential to make these American workers competitive with Canadian workers.
I really love this post. I don't agree with much of it. But I like that it addresses the problems and tries to clearly lay out what is happening and why. I find these arguments unconvincing. It seems pretty obvious to me that the vast majority of the problems are caused by a lack of over site and regulation and runaway greed in the private sector, leading to policies that have eliminated any pressure on businesses to provide a good wage. That explanation seems so much more obvious and direct. All the new rules of the unmanaged economy have taken away the working class' leverage.
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