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Forum Post: Is income inequality just a social issue?

Posted 11 years ago on Nov. 1, 2011, 5:54 p.m. EST by foreverleft (233)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I see outrage expressed at the income inequality in America but ultimately, it is really just relative to other Americans. A "poor" American pounding in his computer, in his home, with a full belly about how horrible it is that someone has more than he does looks moronic to a slumdog in Mumbai who picks through garbage to eat.


I think there may be a case made between various countries having income inequality but for a American to be angry at another American for having more than he does is unseemly and a bit creepy, don't you think?



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[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 11 years ago

Do the 1% work 15.3 times as hard as the folks in the bottom quintile? The income went up 275% while the little guys went a whopping 18%.

Does the bottom quintile get a bonus split of 80% of the company's revenue while the company lost $2billion. Goldman's employes did. That's kind of creepy too, doncha think? Fix it here and then fix it there?Or doncha want to fix it at all?

[-] 0 points by packetStorm (128) 11 years ago

I thought we where talking about the 1% ... the Global Banking Cartel ... the IMF the BIS the Federal Reserve and the World Bank?

We don't have an issue with IBM, CAT, AAPL etc. ... corporation that earn their money and create jobs ... do we?

btw ... are we the %99 of the country or the world?

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 11 years ago

Re Cat, IBM, AAPL etc.Are they lobbying for tax amnesty? Are they supporting the Chamber of Commerce advocating exporting jobs? Are they lobbying the Chinese to keep wages low and safety standards low as well? If they are, then I have an issue with them. If they are lobbying against the interests of their employees and the rest of the 99%, I have an issue with them. Do you?

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 11 years ago

the country.

[-] 0 points by StevenRoyal (490) from Dania Beach, FL 11 years ago

But the politicians keep telling that the 1% are the most productive members of society.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 11 years ago

Maybe you should be listening to your neighbors instead of politicians.

[-] 1 points by StevenRoyal (490) from Dania Beach, FL 11 years ago

But the politicians tell me my neighbors are the enemy.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 11 years ago

Well, I used to live in Coral Springs so I guess they aren't totally wrong? But almost.

[-] -1 points by foreverleft (233) 11 years ago

Fix what? First state the problem then tell me the solution. Are you angry that someone makes more money than you and you believe they shouldn't?

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 11 years ago

When both the 99% and the 1% agree that the taxes on the wealth should go up and Congress (GOP) blocks every attempt, they aren't representing the majority of both groups. It is clear that they have been bought by somebody. Somebody in the 99%? I don't think so. There is no debate that our government doesn't represent the people as a democracy under law. It isn't that some one makes more, it is that the system is rigged to bankrupt states, local governments, pension funds, homeowners, depositors, retail investors, the 99%. There is a thing called willful ignorance. Look in the mirror.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 11 years ago

fix the laws and the status quo that allows our jobs to be outsourced. and dont compare america to a third world country. my ancestors died so that i would never face those atrocities. can you do less for your descendents.? at the rate this is going.. your grandaughter will be eating out of dumpsters because that guy in mumbia has her job. thats ok with you?

[-] 1 points by PuerAeternus (22) from Tolleson, AZ 11 years ago

Illegal activities on Wall Street. Corporate greed has caused many "businessmen" to cheat and steal from innocent citizens. Lobbyists have corrupted our elected officials. These are just a few things that need fixed.

[-] 1 points by OneVoice (153) 11 years ago

Income inequality is what makes capitalism work. However, corporations have manipulated this part of capitalism and in a global market expanded income inequality into the middle class workforce. Capitalism is not based on the wealthy getting richer and everyone else left on the sidelines. Corporations have corrupted our definition of capitalism and their tentacles have reached deeply into our form of democracy to the point that thee majority does not have a voice in their own government. I'm not angry at another American. I'm angry at corporate CEO's who have no boundaries on what they will do to drive corporate profits. I'm also angry at both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party for failing to live up to the oath they took.

[-] 1 points by smitty23522 (1) 11 years ago

It's just logic, as Thomas Payne wrote in his book before the revolution. We are the majority and this is a democracy. If we say it's time to reset the wealth back to an even distribution, then we will eventually win if our numbers far surpass our opposition. I'm not angry at the rich, and I don't blame those who worked for their money, I'm on the same agenda. But obviously without people of this country having a voice, they will continue to be "locked out" of their oppurtunity to achieve what the 1% has had the chance to achieve. How are they locked out? Simply knowledge really; laws, economic systems, are all difficult to understand until you can learn them. Most people don't even know where to look, and without this knowledge of money you don't stand a chance. The only way the system offers this knowledge is through college, but at great expense. They make you pay for it, and make you owe for it your entire life. So you may ascertain the knowledge, but it is off set through further indenture.

[-] 1 points by bruellc (12) from Newark, NJ 11 years ago

The inequality of wealth is the symptom not the cause. To get to where the inequalities are less pronounced we need to fix the problem at its cause. The cause is money in politics. The only way to get money out of politics is to push for a constitutional amendment to fully fund all federal election campaigns and ban all private and organizational money from campaigns. I don't know how it could work but it's the only way to separate the money and the politicians, and all the warped motivations the current dynamic creates due to the intersection of politics and money. The inequities will only be addressed when representatives are chosen based on their ideas, not on who can manipulate the highly influential impact of well run media campaigns.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 11 years ago

i doubt serously if you are making 300k a year. so im not angry at you

[-] 1 points by HitGirl (2263) 11 years ago

I think you are unseemly and a bit creepy. The idea that Americans should use Mumbai standards for anything is a joke. It is a race-to-the-bottom attitude. You make a false comparison like that to drag the U.S. down. Well, I don't live in Mumbai or Kenya or Haiti. I live in America. Our standards are what makes us great and helps to raise the standards of other nations. You are lapdog defending the wealth-hoarders.

[-] 1 points by yasminec001 (584) 11 years ago

I understand where you're coming from, and I've felt the same myself. The conditions of an area/city/nation are different from eachother, and so are the standards of survival. Here in America, most people are only concerned with their welfare and quality of life.

There will ALWAYS be someone (or in this case, peoples) who are in worse condition than us. But for the life we've made here in America, I think people are outraged that their area of living is indecent, and they are not getting the proper sustainability in return for their hard work.

However, I'd really like to see certain individuals of the rich and powerful of this world work in a foreign sweat shop, 14 hour shifts, 7 days a week, to feed a family of 10 or more, and only to be paid a whopping 75 cents an hour. Not even, I'd like to see them grow up in rural Africa or Mumbai, as you said.

It's all a matter of perspective, and the conditions of a living area.

I just really wish people could realize how good they actually have it (though there is no question that if this is the best we can do as a nation/world, we have ALOT to learn).

[-] 1 points by RicoSuave (218) 11 years ago

Yes. It is creepy. Very creepy.

[-] 1 points by skinny (44) 11 years ago

"Democracy only works when your will, your choice is communicated. And it is the responsibility of participants in a democracy to take the world in, and decide. If any citizen is silenced, or vital facts are intentionally withheld or misrepresented, then we are not in fact participating in a democracy.

Therefore each must decide we actually have a right to the truth of information and free communication. That freedom of speech is a fundamental right of everyone, and not a luxury, or a commodity to be bought or controlled. How else can we fulfill our birthright, how else may we decide?

This is not the world we live in, and we know. Education is a luxury, and Politics is a stock market. More fundamentally we let Advertising, formerly a clever way to pay for new communication technologies, control those technologies, and these companies now control our speech, decisions."


[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 11 years ago

Somebody is about to notice, it is also.a political issue. After that, it might become a personal issue.

[-] 1 points by mserfas (652) from Ashland, PA 11 years ago

This should not be about anger, but about justice, and also efficiency. Create a good economic system here and people in Mumbai will benefit, because it will have the strength and moral leadership to help people around the world.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 11 years ago

I think income inequality is bad when we are comparing rich American bankers and middle class American manufacturing laborers, but just fine when comparing middle class American manufacturing laborers and Chinese villagers. The first income inequality needs to go away but the latter should stay.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 11 years ago

Income inequality destroys the fabric of a democracy when there is put in place a system in which the poor have no means of advancement. At that point, cynicism pervades and the belief in meritocracy is abandoned.

Meritocracy is democracy's shy stepsister. She is, however, very important. The correlation of hard work with success is what drives the young to strive, adults to continue on, and the old to encourage.

Income inequality will only be addressed when we face the three issues that are producint it.

First, supply side economics should be exposed for the fraud that it is.

Second, unions and a moderate consensus must help shape trade policy and illegal immigration.

Third, Americans must realize that "muscle" jobs will always go to the lowest bidder and, in order to preserve the American dream, we must take any and all steps leading us towards a nation of engineers, scientists, dreamers, and builders.

You can rail against Wall Street, but you are shouting at the blister while ignoring the holes in your glove.

[-] -1 points by raines (699) 11 years ago

The constitution guarantees equal opportunity NOT equal outcome. Not everyone has the same drive, ambition, or talent. The "poor" have as much of a chance to better themselves as anyone else. Again,..drive, ambition and hard work. Most rich people did not start out in life that way. They worked to achieve what they have.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 11 years ago

Actually, most rich people do start out from a higher socioeconomic status. It's the ovarian lottery.

[-] -1 points by raines (699) 11 years ago

Wrong. Being the Queen of England is a win in the life lottery, working to achieve depends on YOU.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 11 years ago

No, a study that followed 8 years through later life showed that "dumb rich kids" did better than smarter poor children.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 11 years ago

That was rude and unworthy of you.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 11 years ago

That was the study. DRK's is what they were called.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 11 years ago

From a human standpoint it is still unworthy of you to repeat such. Studies as well as statistics can be maneuvered to show a desired outcome, so a study which wanted to prove this point could have just as well have been a study to prove the opposite.

Did this study perhaps say something to the effect that children from more privileged homes performed better? Rather than children from more privileged homes are smarter.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 11 years ago

They, at the age of 8, were matched for equivalent IQ's. Dumb rich kids have advantages that poor smart kids don't. Ignore that and you're a fool....or maybe you were a DRK.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 11 years ago

Ever think that is why I added the phrase 'performed better'?

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 11 years ago

Did better how?

[-] 1 points by PuerAeternus (22) from Tolleson, AZ 11 years ago

Not true.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 11 years ago

Which of these people people started out in life wealthy,.............Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Andrew Carnegie,Bruce Springsteen,Sam Walton?

[-] 2 points by PuerAeternus (22) from Tolleson, AZ 11 years ago

More people have won the lottery. Luck, or in the case of Bill Gates, theft doesn't apply. Besides, Gates father was a wealthy lawyer and taught his son the goodly art of theft.

[-] -1 points by raines (699) 11 years ago

You want a longer list? Baseball players,..football players,.......actors, Not all that are rich are famous,and of course not all that are famous are rich, but the majority of millionaires made it themselves. Ralph Lauren, Jay Leno, Irving Berlin, Louis Armstrong, Stephen King, . I could keep adding names and so could you.

[-] 1 points by PuerAeternus (22) from Tolleson, AZ 11 years ago

Again, totally not true. MOST uber rich did not "earn" it, they either inherited it, or stole it. Period. That is all day long honesty. Maybe your just to brainwashed or stupid to understand the truth. Besides, there is a difference between "rich" and "wealthy". Many baseball players are rich, the guys who pay them are wealthy. Wealth is not earned in this country anymore, it's stolen.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 11 years ago

Uber rich? how much is that? Stolen from who? Most was earned, not inherited, not stolen. Goodnight for now.

[-] 1 points by PuerAeternus (22) from Tolleson, AZ 11 years ago

Look it up. I shouldn't have expected you to be able to understand everything I wrote. I will dumb it down for you from now on. Sorry.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 11 years ago

Look up what?

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 11 years ago

The wealth of baseball players is an area that most fans really struggle with because most can no longer afford to take their children to a game. We don't believe, for example, that a five million per player cap would in any way discourage or chill athletic participation, nor do we believe that a contract of twenty five or thirty million necessarily equates to a better player. But it does effect the price of admission.

This is an example of ever increasing corporate wealth which utilizes the player or the team as a means of televised advertisement. And apparently it's very successful, but I am uncertain, do we attribute this to the ever increasing growth of the market?

This doesn't address the equality issue; just saying... it's a curious thing.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 11 years ago

I you can't afford to go to a game , you dont' go. it's a free market. They can charge what they want to. I I don't go to the movies. I think they're overpriced. I no longer go to concerts for the same reason. I don't care how much money an athlete makes, that's between him and his employer. Free market.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 11 years ago

But it's interesting in the sense that the corporate funding allocated to marketing has far surpassed the fans ability to pay.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 11 years ago

The money that team makes doesn't come from seat sales. It's from T.V. and ad revenue. If they want more fans to come they'll lower the prices.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 11 years ago

They won't lower them; that's my point. It's supply and demand. And the gap has grown farther than many can afford.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 11 years ago


[-] 0 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 11 years ago

It's not that simple.

We have been mislead by Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama, and nearly every other public figure. Economic growth, job creation, and actual prosperity are not necessarily a package deal. In fact, the first two are horribly misunderstood. Economic growth/loss (GDP) is little more than a measure of wealth changing hands. A transfer of currency from one party to another. The rate at which it is traded. This was up until mid ’07′ however, has never been a measure of actual prosperity. Neither has job creation. The phrase itself has been thrown around so often, and in such a generic politicali manner, that it has come to mean nothing. Of course, we need to have certain things done for the benefit of society as a whole. We need farmers, builders, manufacturers, transporters, teachers, cops, firefighters, soldiers, mechanics, sanitationi workers, doctors, managers, and visionaries. Their work is vital. I’ll even go out on a limb and say that we need politicians, attorneys, bankers, investors, and entertainers. In order to keep them productive, we must provide reasonable incentives. We need to compensate each by a fair measure for their actual contributions to society. We need to provide a reasonable scale of income opportunity for every independent adult, every provider, and share responsibility for those who have a legitimate need for aid. In order to achieve and sustain this, we must also address the cost of living and the distribution of wealth. Here, we have failed miserably. The majority have already lost their home equity, their financial security, and their relative buying power. The middle class have actually lost much of their ability to make ends meet, re-pay loans, pay taxes, and support their own economy. The lower class have gone nearly bankrupt. In all, its a multi-trillion dollar loss taken over about 30 years. Millions are under the impression that we need to create more jobs simply to provide more opportunity. as if that would solve the problem. It won’t. Not by a longshot. Jobs don’t necessarily create wealth. In fact, they almost never do. For the mostpart, they only transfer wealth from one party to another. A gain here. A loss there. Appreciation in one community. Depreciation in another. In order to create net wealth, you must harvest a new resource or make more efficient use of one. Either way you must have a reliable and ethical system in place to distribute that newly created wealth in order to benefit society as a whole and prevent a lagging downside. The ‘free market’ just doesn’t cut it. Its a farce. Many of the jobs created are nothing but filler. The promises empty. Sure, unemployment reached an all-time low under Bush. GDP reached an all-time high. But those are both shallow and misleading indicators. In order to gauge actual prosperity, you must consider the economy in human terms. As of ’08′ the average American was working more hours than the previous generation with far less equity to show for it. Consumer debt, forclosure, and bankruptcy were also at all-time highs. As of ’08′, every major American city was riddled with depressed communities, neglected neighborhoods, failing infrastructures, lost revenue, and gang activity. All of this has coincided with massive economic growth and job creation. Meanwhile, the rich have been getting richer and richer and richer even after taxes. Our nation’s wealth has been concentrated. Again, this represents a multi-trillion dollar loss taken by the majority. Its an absolute deal breaker. Bottom line: With or without economic growth or job creation, you must have a system in place to prevent too much wealth from being concentrated at the top. Unfortunately, we don’t. Our economy has become nothing but a giant game of Monopoly. The richest one percent already own nearly 1/2 of all United States wealth. More than double their share before Reagan took office. Still, they want more. They absolutely will not stop. Now, our society as a whole is in serious jeapordy. Greed kills.

[-] 1 points by packetStorm (128) 11 years ago

More than double their share

lmao ... greed kills!?!

Slovenliness is a lazy and beastly negligence of a man's own person, whereby he becomes so sordid as to be offensive to those about him.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 11 years ago

Tell it to a slovenly lazy sordid offensive beast. You're names will have no effect on me.

Say that reminds me: MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Florida is touting the new jobs it created Friday after a positive unemployment report. But based on numbers from all W-2’s filed in the country, the wages simply aren’t keeping up.

According to the Social Security Administration, 50 percent of U.S. workers made less than $26,364 in 2010. In addition, those making less than $200,000, or 99 percent of Americans, saw their earnings fall by $4.5 billion collectively.

The sobering numbers were a far cry from what was going on for the richest one percent of Americans.

The incomes of the top one percent of the wage scale in the U.S. rose in 2010; and their collective wage earnings jumped by $120 billion.

In addition, those earning at least $1 million a year in wages, which is roughly 93,000 Americans, reported payroll income jumped 22 percent from 2009.

Overall, the economy has shed 5.2 million jobs since the start of the Great Recession in 2007. It’s the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930’s.

[-] 1 points by packetStorm (128) 11 years ago

you marxist are @ the wrong game ... this a direct democracy debate ... geez get with the program.

[-] 0 points by EconOneOhWhat (7) 11 years ago

We are a developed nation, the richest the world has ever seen, yet this wealth is concentrated in a small number of people. The purpose of the US government should be to help US citizens. If you are concerned with income inequality across nations, donate to other organizations.

[-] -1 points by foreverleft (233) 11 years ago

My point is the wealth is relative to Americans who are all rich compared to a slumdog in Mumbai. I don't see any relevance to rich Americans squabbling over who has what compared to the reality of actual poor people.

I'm seriously not trying to be an ass I'm just trying to understand why it's a bad thing if wealth is concentrated as long as I'm living like an American as well.

[-] 1 points by EconOneOhWhat (7) 11 years ago

Because "the American dream" of work hard and you can move yourself up economically is a lie! The bottom 20% of income earners have seen their real wage (adjusted for inflation) decrease 2% over the last 30 years while the top 20% have seen their real wage increase by 45%. To put it differently, the rich are robbing the rest of us, we are now saying we don't want to be robbed anymore. You are saying, ya you were robbed but you could be dying of AIDs in Africa. I'm saying, yes but I'm still getting robbed and still want it to stop.

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 11 years ago

Let's look at it another way. Compared to EVERYBODY ELSE ON THE PLANET, the extreme wealthy in the U.S. have it pretty good. So I don't see why they'd go on and on about inequality and quibble over a few dollars in taxes. They express a whole lot of outrage that some extra taxes might be "taken" from them, for the benefit of all, for roads they drive on and to provide a retirement for those whose jobs they've taken overseas. Pretty unseemly.

[-] 1 points by Joyce (375) 11 years ago

Your somewhat valid point, is completely ignored.

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 11 years ago

Not by anyone who's watching/reading the news on this planet.

[-] 1 points by Joyce (375) 11 years ago

I will not " quibble" as you state when elements of OWS stop the vindictive rant.

[-] 0 points by FuzzyThinker (112) from Jacksonville, FL 11 years ago

Fight for #6...2,000 of the $Millionaire Incomes Pay ZERO IRS Tax. Find out what they're hiding behind: Credits, Exemptions, Exclusions, Caps, Deductions, Tax Breaks, Loopholes. Tell Congress Super Committee to 'Make Things Right'. I have 19 more Fighting Points: http://fuzzythinker.WebStarts.com/ows-_fighting_points.html

[-] 0 points by DouginJax (40) 11 years ago

More opposition horseshit. Sounds like a legit argument, but is wrapped in typical racist, derisive epitome.


[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 11 years ago

this was racist?

[-] -1 points by foreverleft (233) 11 years ago

So, there will be no questioning?

[-] -1 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 11 years ago


[-] 1 points by Joyce (375) 11 years ago

A man said to the universe: "Sir I exists!"  "However," relied the universe, "The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation." 

Stephen Crane voiced his OWS opinion, anachronistically,  in 1899.