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Forum Post: 99% or the 97%?

Posted 6 years ago on Sept. 29, 2011, 3:34 p.m. EST by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The average income in the US (total income per worker) is $127,000 per year. That is more than what 97% of all workers make.

That is the problem: inequality. When 97% of the workforce make a below average income, there is a problem with the economic system!

Capitalism is a system of inequality: unequal income and unequal power. It is the opposite of democracy.

Capitalism should be replaced with democracy so that society works well for the other 97%.

Democracy is a system where power rests with everyone equally. Equal power means equal votes, equal treatment under the law, equal ownership in the economy, and equal pay for equal effort.

Democracy is the only rational and humane way to organize society.



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[-] 2 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 6 years ago

corporate oligarchy is the system we have there has never been a capitalist system on earth. Please be more precise in your language since ethical capitalists are actually our allies, in overthrowing an oligarchic system which prevents capitalism or democracy from existing.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

"Ethical" capitalists have one single purpose: maximize their wealth. And since wealthy people can generate wealth far more easily than everyone else, income inequality grows and grows and grows and grows.

And the more income the wealthy consume, the less income there is for everyone else.

Unless capitalists are for giving everyone a minimum amount of income to live a good life, there is nothing ethical about capitalists.

And capitalism is the system you need in order to create an oligarchy. Capitalism will never end up in anything other than an oligarchy. You cannot have both capitalism and democracy since capitalism is the exact opposite of democracy. So capitalists are no ally of mine.

I stand for the principles of democracy, not capitalism. I stand for the principles of freedom, equality and science.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 6 years ago

no, thats not so, an ethical capitalist system has a high regard for ethics and morals. Your talking about unethical corporate oligarchy. non ethical capitalists still have to sit out and have no game to play aside from corporate oligarchy make believe capitalism. You are out of touch with political science here. I agree with you in general, but you don't know what you are talking about and thats sad. Capitalism has never existed. we don't have a capitalist system, we have an oligarchy make believing its a capitalist system. and i also stand for democracy, freedom, equality and science. lets get to the textbooks then.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

I'm not sure how you think we can have an equal society and capitalism. They are opposites of each other. And since capitalism breeds inequality, I'm not sure what freedoms you think a poor person has. There is only freedom for the independently wealthy in a capitalist society.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 6 years ago

i don't. capitalism and democracy are mutually exclusive. That does not mean capitalism can't be in theory ethical, and more importantly, capitalism as a system has never been tried. you can't say that capitalism breeds inequality, you can only say that is what it would do in theory. corporate oligarchy of course breeds inequality- its an unequal caste warfare system- from the word go. It makes no sense to knock capitalism when genuine capitalists are actually our natural allies against corporate oligarchy. In short. We agree. but you don't understand what the words you are using actually mean exactly in political science.


[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

Capitalism is a system where the means of production are privately owned for profit. Not only has that system been tried, it is currently the dominant economic system across the globe!

And capitalists are only against current oligarchs because they want to be the new oligarchs. So they are not natural allies with anyone who wants to eliminate oligarchy completely.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 6 years ago

No, i am sorry. it is not. It would have been a very different system if it were so, but in fact what is actually going on is that we have a system of government and economics which is a corporate oligarchy- not capitalism- and which USES capitalism as a mask- as a popular fiction. They are USING "capitalism" as GAME the same way a CASINO uses the "Game" of "poker". The SYSTEM is inherently corporate oligarchy. the RIGGED game they want you to play with them is a RIGGED form of pseudo capitalism- but it is NOT capitalism. And you are right about the second half. Capitalism is a FORM of oligarchy. But. Not a form of oligarchy that has EVER existed.


[-] 1 points by Owen (28) 6 years ago

gawdoftruth, thank you for sticking up for the truth. Keep up the good work!

[-] 2 points by littleg (452) 6 years ago

Democracy need not mean every body earns equal amount of money. There should be a job/role which pays a slightly higher salary something which people should work hard for or aspire for. Ex., There are democratically run co-operatives in Spain where workers decide how much the boss should be paid and workers there willingly agree to pay the boss considerably more than they earn. Every worker there including the boss has just one vote. That is the concept of democracy.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

Equal pay for equal effort. How exactly that would be allocated would be determined democratically.

But one example is if you work a job that requires little physical or mental effort (like an office clerk), you would get paid $115,000 per year. And if you worked a job that required a lot of physical or mental effort (science, computers, engineering, doctors, construction, mining, farming), you would get paid $230,000 per year.

Those income amounts are based on the current US income and workforce.

It gets harder to justify paying someone more than twice someone else since it is difficult to demonstrate how someone can work that much harder. And I think getting paid double is enough incentive to get people to do harder work. It seems fair.

[-] 1 points by littleg (452) 6 years ago

Unless these amounts/salaries are decided by voting of all people of that organization, it will be considered as undemocratic or bureaucratic. If majority of employees (at least 51% of them) agrees for the same, then it is democratic.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

The only way democracy can work is if the allocation of income was decided nationally by national vote. Otherwise, you just have a labor market and you are right back to square one.

All workers, regardless of what company you work for would get either the $115k or $230k. If the company you work for cannot generate enough revenue to cover expenses, the workers will just switch to a new company.

Pay, pension, and vacation time should all be determined nationally by democratic vote. The best labor standards should be established. And those labor standards should be applied everywhere.

[-] 1 points by littleg (452) 6 years ago

By the way, it looks like you are still very young and need to read and learn a lot. So have patience and good luck.

[-] 1 points by littleg (452) 6 years ago

We don't want centralized economic planning, every town, state should decide what standards they want for themselves. We want distributed government where the representatives do as the people tell them to do that is all their job is.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

I'm not sure who "we" is. The confederacy? So slavery is fine in the south so long as the local government oks it?

Having national labor standards is not central economic planning.

[-] 1 points by littleg (452) 6 years ago

Let's say there is a town/state where the majority of people voted to keep slavery which is highly unlikely. Fine, let the people who don't want to be slaves move out of that state to a different state and be free. The thing about democracy is the belief that a majority of the people will always take common sense decisions and which confirm to some moral values.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

There is a tiny flaw with your example: the enslaved people no longer have the freedom to move out.

Democracy is a system of equal power. It is not a belief in the majority making common sense decisions.

[-] 1 points by littleg (452) 6 years ago

The constitution of the country which lists the rights of it's citizens still holds. The task of running the country is divided to smaller and smaller size.

[-] 1 points by Peacefulmind (23) 6 years ago

"AWARENESS" is an important thing for people to have. Also "WHEN YOU CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE." A Yogi said this phrase to me, and please pass it on to your fellow Americans. KEEP PREACHING THE TRUTH FOR IT SHALL SET YOU FREE.

[-] 0 points by kestrel2011 (10) 6 years ago

Only one error here...http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/statemedian/index.html then national average income is $49,500.

So pretty much every thing after that is meaningless.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago
  1. What you linked to is the "median" income, not the average income. There is a difference between average income and "median" income. The median income is the income which 50% of workers make less than. It is not the average. In an unequal distribution of numbers, the average is going to be far greater than the median.

  2. I believe the number you quoted is the median income per household, not per worker. The median income for all workers is $33k. The median income for all full time workers is $43k.

  3. The census does report average income per worker which is a lot lower than $127k. But that is only because not all income is paid to workers. The $127k is the amount if all consumption income (wages, profit, interest and rent) was equally divided among all workers. And that number is pre-tax.

You can verify the number from the Bureau of Economic Analysis which maintains a more accurate measure of total income than the census.

Total national income: http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/TableView.asp?SelectedTable=58&Freq=Qtr&FirstYear=2009&LastYear=2011

Divided by total hours worked: http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/TableView.asp?SelectedTable=212&ViewSeries=NO&Java=no&Request3Place=N&3Place=N&FromView=YES&Freq=Year&FirstYear=2008&LastYear=2010&3Place=N&Update=Update&JavaBox=no#Mid