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Old 12-11-2013, 12:31 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Do you think we have a crisis with income equality and/or economic mobility?

Both are currently at all time lows.

Do you believe we have a severe problem on this front, and what specifically do you believe is the solution to rectifying it?

I look forward to an illuminating thread.
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Old 12-11-2013, 05:06 AM   #2
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This seems to be shaping up as the primary Democrat talking point for the next election.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by blaise View Post
This seems to be shaping up as the primary Democrat talking point for the next election.
You would think it would be for everyone when our economic mobility and inequality are on third world banana republic levels.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:31 AM   #4
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Map: How the world’s countries compare on income inequality (the U.S. ranks below Nigeria)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...below-nigeria/



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The countries that come out looking best include, no surprise, the usual suspects of Northern Europe. Interestingly, Eastern Europe scores quite highly as well, as do some post-Soviet countries in Central Asia. Perhaps that's a legacy of Soviet-era social programs meant to flatten class divides. But it's also a reminder that, while economic equality is great, it's not synonymous with a healthy economy. Some countries are economically equal because everyone is well-off, as in Denmark, and some because most everyone is equally poor.

The countries with the highest income inequality are, by far, those of Latin America and the southern tip of Africa. These countries have been seeing economic growth over the past few decades, but much of the wealth ends up funneling into the top stratospheres of society. This problem tends to be self-reinforcing: The rich are able to secure better education and political access, making it easier for them to stay rich and tougher for everyone else to get a share of the pie.

The United States doesn't come out of this comparison looking great. It's ranked 44th out of 86 countries, well below every other developed society measured. It's one spot below Nigeria, which has some of the worst political corruption in the world and in 2012 saw nationwide protests over perceived income inequality. The United States' Palma ratio ranks it just beneath Nigeria but above Russia and Turkey -- all countries that have experienced heavy political unrest in recent years.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:35 AM   #5
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THE DOWNWARD PATH OF UPWARD MOBILITY

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This week’s Washington Post-ABC News poll reveals what we have all sensed, that most Americans are increasingly concerned about the growing gap between rich and poor in this country. The issue quickly divides along partisan lines, as do so many, with liberals urging government to do more to reduce this gap and conservatives opposing such measures. (Overall, a significant majority does favor government action.)

But on an issue even more significant than income inequality, there does appear to be bipartisan agreement: the importance of social mobility. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) accurately noted that “upward mobility from the bottom is the crux of the American promise.”

Some believe we’re still doing fine. In his address to the Heritage Foundation last month, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) declared, “Class is not a fixed designation in this country. We are an upwardly mobile society with a lot of movement between income groups.” Ryan contrasted social mobility in the United States with that in Europe, where “top-heavy welfare states have replaced the traditional aristocracies, and masses of the long-term unemployed are locked into the new lower class.”

In fact, over the past decade, growing evidence shows pretty conclusively that social mobility has stalled in this country. Last week, Time magazine’s cover asked, “Can You Still Move Up in America?” The answer, citing a series of academic studies was, no; not as much as you could in the past and — most devastatingly — not as much as you can in Europe.

The most comprehensive comparative study, done last year by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, found that “upward mobility from the bottom” — Daniels’s definition — was significantly lower in the United States than in most major European countries, including Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark. Another study, by the Institute for the Study of Labor in Germany in 2006, uses other metrics and concludes that “the U.S. appears to be exceptional in having less rather than more upward mobility.”

A 2010 Economic Mobility Project study found that in almost every respect, the United States has a more rigid socioeconomic class structure than Canada. More than a quarter of U.S. sons of top-earning fathers remain in the top tenth of earners as adults, compared to 18 percent of similarly situated Canadian sons. U.S. sons of fathers in the bottom tenth of earners are more likely to remain in the bottom tenth of earners as adults than are Canadian sons (22 percent vs. 16 percent). And U.S. sons of fathers in the bottom third of earnings distribution are less likely to make it into the top half as adults than are sons of low-earning Canadian fathers.

Surveying all the evidence, Scott Winship, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, concludes in this week’s National Review: “What is clear is that in at least one regard American mobility is exceptional. . . . [W]here we stand out is our limited upward mobility from the bottom.”

When you think about it, these results should not be so surprising. European countries, perhaps haunted by their past as class-ridden societies, have made serious investments to create equality of opportunity for all. They typically have extremely good childhood health and nutrition programs, and they have far better public education systems than the United States does. As a result, poor children compete on a more equal footing against the rich.
In the United States, however, if you are born into poverty, you are highly likely to have malnutrition, childhood sicknesses and a bad education. The dirty little secret about the U.S. welfare state is that it spends very little on the poor — who don’t vote much — lavishing attention instead on the middle class. The result is clear. A student interviewed by Opportunity Nation, a bipartisan group founded to address these issues, put it succinctly, “The ZIP code you’re born in shouldn’t determine your destiny, but too often it does.”
Tackling income inequality is a very difficult challenge. Tax increases on the rich will do relatively little to change the basic trend, which is fueled by globalization, technology and the increasing gains conferred by education. (Getting back to the 1990 levels of income distribution in the United States, for example, would mean hundreds of billions of dollars of redistribution every year, which is exponentially larger than the biggest tax hikes anyone is proposing.)

But we do know how to create social mobility — because we used to do it. In addition, we can learn from those countries that do it so well, particularly in Northern Europe and Canada. The ingredients are obvious: decent health care and nutrition for children, good public education, high-quality infrastructure — including broadband Internet — to connect all regions and all people to market opportunities, and a flexible and competitive free economy. That will get America moving again — and all Americans moving again.
http://fareedzakaria.com/2011/11/10/...ward-mobility/
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:40 AM   #6
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Great political discussion. Topic generates a lot of heat but little light. Its all about how you spin the number if its the greatest issue ever or its not an issue. Politically it accomplishes the goal of divide and focus the classes on each other.

To pull it off the message needs to be delivered by someone people trust. 2014 election is all about trust. 2016 maybe as well. And looking for something to get the focus off of obamas job, foreign failures and ObamaCare will be difficult

Who can take the trust position today?
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
You would think it would be for everyone when our economic mobility and inequality are on third world banana republic levels.
We know, you want minimum wage to be $25 an hour.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Both are currently at all time lows.

Do you believe we have a severe problem on this front, and what specifically do you believe is the solution to rectifying it?

I look forward to an illuminating thread.
We have a crisis with you annoying us with your stupid shit.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Great political discussion. Topic generates a lot of heat but little light. Its all about how you spin the number if its the greatest issue ever or its not an issue. Politically it accomplishes the goal of divide and focus the classes on each other.

To pull it off the message needs to be delivered by someone people trust. 2014 election is all about trust. 2016 maybe as well. And looking for something to get the focus off of obamas job, foreign failures and ObamaCare will be difficult

Who can take the trust position today?
Interesting that under Obama's watch the ability to better your position in society has become much harder. Thought he was about spreading the wealth around? Maybe he's just about spreading the wealth to the Party, just like the rest of the A-Holes. Typically Democrats do not give as much to charity as their GOP counterparts. It's always about someone else's money.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:06 AM   #10
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I think a couple, each working full time, can normally enjoy a middle class lifetsyle, which is probably a better lifestyle that most of the world. I don't see why a billionaire having his billions should matter that much.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:10 AM   #11
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"President Obama bemoans inequality, but much of this concern is a problem in search of reality, caused by problems of measurement and changes in demographic patterns over the past quarter-century. Spending shows remarkable stability over the past 25 years and, if anything, a narrowing rather than an expansion of inequality."

I like that description...a problem in search of a reality. That is so true. And its a issue that divides and allows for spins to create discontent. Its the game of create an issue, define the boogyman and dress him like your opponent.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:13 AM   #12
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We have a problem with pricing people out of living a decent life.

Everything from owning a house, buying a car, gas and groceries is way too expensive for the majority of americans. The cost of living and wage increases hasn't risen at the same rate as inflation.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaise View Post
I think a couple, each working full time, can normally enjoy a middle class lifetsyle, which is probably a better lifestyle that most of the world. I don't see why a billionaire having his billions should matter that much.
Well obviously because they are evil facks who either sell people a product/service they want, or invested money they got from selling people a product/service they wanted. How dare they work hard/smart and get ahead!
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaise View Post
I think a couple, each working full time, can normally enjoy a middle class lifetsyle, which is probably a better lifestyle that most of the world. I don't see why a billionaire having his billions should matter that much.
Pretty much this.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaa1025 View Post
We have a problem with pricing people out of living a decent life.

Everything from owning a house, buying a car, gas and groceries is way too expensive for the majority of americans. The cost of living and wage increases hasn't risen at the same rate as inflation.
That is certainly the narrative. But do the data support it? When house hold is more closely defined in terms of wage earners in the household the results change. We have an increasing number of singles, more single earner households as a result thus less income per household. And to say its all too high for the majority of Americans is a stretch. Has car ownership dropped? Are new and used car sales down? Yes its $$. But people seem to keep buying.

Id agree the majority of people wish stuff was cheaper. But it does not look like being higher has shifted behavior at all
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