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Forum Post: What the wealthy really fear. The truth!

Posted 1 year ago on Dec. 1, 2012, 12:04 a.m. EST by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

This is the truth the wealthy don't want you to see. During the last four decades the income for the lower 90% of working Americans has not increased. All of the increase in wealth went to the upper 10%, and the majority of that went to the upper 1%.

Those dollars you make more of every year don't really buy any more because of inflation. The dollars are literally losing value in your wallet as we speak. When you get a pay increase, it's really an illusion.

Do you see that thin blue band at the bottom of the graph? That's the income of the lower 90% of working Americans, flat since 1971. The upper 10% is represented by the light pink, medium pink, and dark pink. Notice the light pink, the top 1%, who took 60% of the increase for themselves.

Now look at the graph from 1921 to 1971. The lower 90% of working Americans actually shared 70% of the increase in income represented by the blue segment of the pie chart.

Follow this link to go to the interactive version of the graph above. Set the sliders for any two years and it will show you just where the wealth went and where it didn't.

http://stateofworkingamerica.org/who-gains/#/?start=1968&end=2008

Some people say it's the fault of the uneducated, if they only got more education they would get their fair share. But if we look at how much the incomes of the well educated have increased over the last 20 years, even they haven't shared in the wealth their educations helped produce.

101 Comments

101 Comments


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[-] 3 points by elf3 (2044) 1 year ago

They've implemented a caste system... remember when the American Dream was that everyone had the opportunity to own a home and lead a decent life (some better than others, some worse) but for the most part we had one of the largest middle classes in the world and laborers and doctors alike could partake in the American Dream? That's gone now, and I can't understand how people have come to believe in the propaganda that is condoning a caste system now... that's never been who we are in this country it's kept us from being like the third world. But we're rapidly now on our way there. It's happening so slowly we're like frogs who don't realize we're being boiled alive. The graphs show what's happening. If the working class in this country stands by and allow this we are fools.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Those so called "middle class" workers who make between $50,000 and $100,000 a year only account for 15% of the population.

http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2011

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3025) 1 year ago

What's happening to wages? What about in relation to Corporate Profits? Please see - 'Corporate Profits Hit Record High While Worker Wages Hit Record Low' - http://www.nationofchange.org/corporate-profits-hit-record-high-while-worker-wages-hit-record-low-1354554553 - and many thanks for your excellent post which gave rise to this very informative thread. Never Give Up! Keep Occupying The Issues! Solidarity.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Interesting graph in your link. Private sector jobs in steady decline since the early 70's, the same time the dollar departed from the it's gold backing.

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3025) 1 year ago

Thank you again for your excellent post and this very informative thread and I draw your attention to - http://www.nationofchange.org/economy . Solidarity. Keep Occupying The Issues! Never Give Up!

[-] -1 points by lignite (-303) 1 year ago

spam

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3025) 1 year ago

What's 'spam' about that? Why did you send me an abusive Personal Message in which you shared that you think that 'Republicans' speak for workers and Labor'? Have you also sent such messages to anyone else? Are you trying to intimidate me? Just keep bumping this thread btw. Thanks 'dumbfuck'!

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Let's see some of you opinions backed by spam free facts.

[-] 2 points by shooz (26680) 1 year ago

There is but one thing the wealthy really fear.

One thing alone.

Loss of their wealth.

They are by and large psychopaths and sociopaths.

In other words. They are ill.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Great post! Where's the outrage? Americans need to wake up to these facts and start fighting for their rights. We need an economic system that has humanity as it's prime motivator, not just profits for corporations and the wealthy. We are heading back to feudal times, no joke.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (4899) 1 year ago

A community or group of people who establish both their own Credit Union AND their own Mutual Insurance Company can provide the foundation for an economic alternative that everyone else can join. With this financial foundation, a cooperative employment service can then be established with each branch of the community to provide a further economic alternative pertaining to employment.

Incentives for growth can be implemented to enlarge the community and its presence in the public's mind. For instance, insurance customer/owners could get slightly lower rates for being credit union customer/owners as well. People who become insurance customer/owners could have the opportunity to bring in other people in turn for a lower insurance rate. For each person that they recruit, their insurance rates could be lower by 1% for the next year. Recruit 10 people and your insurance rates will be 10% lower the next year. Recruit 100 people and your insurance will be free in the next year. Recruit more than 100 people, say 112 people, and your insurance rates will be 0 the next year and 12% lower for the year after. As long as a person recruits new people, they can obtain a lower rate for the next year and save money. The savings will only last for a year and the people they recruit will more than make up for the discounted payments. Thus, the community becomes larger and grows in the public eye attracting even more people tired of the corporate exploitation in their lives.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Good ideas. I have my money in a credit union now. I should look into insurance too, hadn't thought of that. Your ideas are very practical because if we can grow cooperatives we can sort of remove them from the corporate economy and have more control over our lives.

[-] 2 points by bullfrogma (448) 1 year ago

I'm outraged. I feel this the most important thing, that we have a government which can make decisions based on life, not money. Monopoly is a constraining dogma. The sooner we can break free is the sooner we can get back to life/progress. Some thoughts i posted about it here.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Yes, putting people before profits is critical and it is the governments job to ensure that all people have enough. Thanks for the link.

[-] 0 points by Ache4Change (3025) 1 year ago

Spot On! Where IS the outrage? Americans have become dulled and docile and are constantly cowed by MSM programming and propaganda. A human centred economic system won't fall out of the sky or be awarded to us by the consciences of the capitalists as they have none and corporations only exist for the next quarter's bottom line profits. Only workers and the 99% educating and organising will stem and reverse this tide towards - as you say, 'feudalism'. Never Give Up! Go Occupy!

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Thanks, A4C. We need to stay on this message. Solidarity with workers everywhere!

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3025) 1 year ago

Solidarity! An article by Robert Reich on these very matters - http://www.nationofchange.org/organizing-mcdonalds-and-walmart-and-why-austerity-economics-hurts-low-wage-workers-most-1354373264 - either we wise up or let our kids turn into debt peons and wage slaves even more than their parents' generation were. We Can Never Give Up! Keep Occupying The Issues!

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Thanks for the link. Robert Reich has a brilliant way of boiling down complicated information for the lay person.

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3025) 1 year ago

Reich is a honest truth teller and speaks from a 99% point of view. Please try this very short, 6 minute clip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI - and reflect on the cool, clear truth spoken there and which I just found on another recent thread - http://occupywallst.org/forum/message-to-wall-street-employees-consumers/ . Go Occupy!

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

That is a good video with Nick Hanauer. I've seen it before. He is another good one at boiling things down for all to understand. Also, elf's post is great, thanks for pointing me to it.

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3025) 1 year ago

Nick Hanauer speaks clear truths in that clip and 'boiling things down for all to understand', is really very necessary and something you do very well too. So, 'to move forward, we must learn from our progressive past' - http://www.nationofchange.org/move-forward-we-must-learn-our-progressive-past-1354460419 - Your thoughts, observations and comments on this thread are exceptional and very important for OWS. Never Give Up! Keep Occupying The Issues!

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

History often repeats itself. If only we could learn from it. Thanks for that interesting article, and all you do here, A4C.

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3025) 1 year ago

'Five Facts About America's Pathological Wealth Distribution' - http://www.nationofchange.org/five-facts-about-america-s-pathological-wealth-distribution-1354546558 and thank you for your kindness and wise comments. It is ESSENTIAL that we do what we & OWS do what we do, as the kids and our future, is what it is really all about and it makes NO sense whatsoever for them to make the same mistakes as our generation (I'm nearly 50!) so ... Never Give Up! Occupy The Future!

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Those are sad facts, but all true. Time to face them. I'm here for the kids too, but hoping for a little change in my lifetime, lol.

Check out this list of vacation time by country. I find it shocking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_statutory_minimum_employment_leave_by_country

These are mandatory vacation leaves required around the world. The U.S. is the only country that has "none." How sad is that? No workers' rights in the good old U.S. of A. Each man must fend for himself and children must hope that their parents can manage enough time off to say hello.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/07/the-only-advanced-country-without-a-national-vacation-policy-its-the-us/259317/

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3025) 1 year ago

The Working Class made this country and now all we hear about is 'Middle Class'! Are we ashamed of 'working'? As Warren Buffet himself said - '“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” ( http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/123058-there-s-class-warfare-all-right-but-it-s-my-class-the ).

Your links are excellent and outrageous. Workers and the 99% must wise up and come together if their progeny are not to explicitly enslaved ever further. Never Give Up Advocating For Decent Workers Rights! Keep Occupying The Issues!

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Yes, workers used to be revered. Today they are shamed and disrespected in an attempt to exploit them further. It's pitiful and we must shine a light on it to bring about change.

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3025) 1 year ago

Never Give Up! Please also see - http://www.americanrightsatwork.org/ & Keep Occupying The Issues!

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Occupy Workers' Rights!!!

And, thanks for that awesome link.

[-] 5 points by Ache4Change (3025) 1 year ago

Forbes is an anti-99% propaganda front if ever there was one. As I had to ask of you before - 'Why is your head occupying your ass?' when you said - 'Should make one giant parking lot out of the Middle East except for Israel' on another thread and so do I now ask again. With your evident pro-extremism, pro-corporation, anti-human comments, you expose yourself here, for what you are. A Shill. Please try some articles here - http://www.nationofchange.org/economy and do go see if you can learn something. Never Give Up Trying To Open And Occupy Your Own Mind!

[+] -4 points by lignite (-303) 1 year ago

Nation of change ==================== liberal garbage

[-] 4 points by shooz (26680) 1 year ago

Forward!! Into the past!!

Conse(R)vative crap.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Well said.

[-] 3 points by shooz (26680) 1 year ago

I've been putting up with them for 12 months now.

Always, they call for things to move backwards.

I'm growing very tired of being polite to them and calling it crap is pretty polite..

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Ha! Well you're very patient. "Press on" as one of my professors used to say.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

You have a problem with liberal principles?

[+] -4 points by lignite (-303) 1 year ago

You have a problem with liberal principles? Yes I do, libtards suck and are bringing the US to it's knees

[-] 2 points by rayolite (461) 1 year ago

You probably don't know you are using cognitive distortions.

"Nation of change ==================== liberal garbage"

"Nation of change" is a generalization.

"liberal garbage" is a label.

This entire issue begins in partisan politics and together they are an UNconstitutional position politically.

Now here is a fact, not distorted.

A republican president stole and election in 2000, then proceeded to sabotage an investigation into the murder of 3,000 people which was intended to immerse the nation in war economy and "bring the US to it's knees".

Your post confirms that the sabotage worked.

Okay, so are the misguided trying to do the right thing worse?

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

That is a meaningless immature insult & not substantive in any way. Are you unaware of what concepts make up liberal principles? And so you cannot offer an intelligent criticism ?

Are you ignorant of what liberalism is? S'ok, lotsa people spew without knowing why. You might be brainwashed & just parroting Limbaugh talking points.

Issat it?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Not sure if you got this response.

That is a meaningless immature insult & not substantive in any way. Are you unaware of what concepts make up liberal principles? And so you cannot offer an intelligent criticism ?

Are you ignorant of what liberalism is? S'ok, lotsa people spew without knowing why. You might be brainwashed & just parroting Limbaugh talking points.

Issat it?

[-] -1 points by highlander (-163) 1 year ago

When "humanity" is the prime motivator, what does that mean? You can't measure it, you can't quantify it, you cannot spend it for a new home. The only instance where I have seen the human factor is the insane ups and downs of commodity futures; who hasn't gotten motion sickness watching the oil prices? It is best to keep the human factor out of it.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Huh? What is the meaning of life for you highlander? What makes up the earth, highlander? Flora and fauna, right? We are part of the fauna, human beings. Freaking humanity! Why set up an economic system to serve corporations? Corporations mean crap to the earth, they destroy the earth. An economy should only exist if it is serving the human beings who live within it. If it fails to do that, and ours does, it should be scrapped as it completely fails to contribute to the meaning of life. Period.

[-] 1 points by highlander (-163) 1 year ago

hmm, I am really delving into a complex line of thought which I lay no claim to being an expert on. I was hasty on discounting the human element. What should be and is the driving force of an economic system is the drive to earn money, make a profit, better oneself. An individual desires something that will make their life better. Another individual makes that something. Individual #1 will pay money to get that something. Both individuals are happy. That is as far as the human element should go. Perhaps I misunderstand you, beautifulworld, but I interpret your post as putting the human element above profit and/or demonizing money as well.
As long as the economic policy follows that basic creed, happiness should be possible. You bring up the environment. And that is being addressed, in economic terms, There is an environmental concern among consumers that will make them purchase products that are environmentally friendly. The government, in as few regulations as possible, needs to ensure that corporations will find it more profitable to follow environmental regulations than to disregard them Money is the driving force in this world and can be the purest form of trade and should not be vilified.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Very interesting. Thanks for your reply. I disagree with you wholeheartedly that the drive for money and profit ultimately provides what is best for human beings. The drive for money and profit is great for the few, at the expense of the many. An economic system does not have to be all about profit. It can be about what is best for all people. We have lost our way when we worship money as the driving force of the world. The driving force of the world is love, not money! Love leads to compassion and sharing and ends greed. That is the driving force of the world and the direction we should take so that all people benefit from the way our economy is structured.

[-] 1 points by highlander (-163) 1 year ago

God bless you! How many people do you think would follow that kind of system in this world? Love can be used as a weapon too. How many scams do we see where donations are diverted? Love will not pay for anything. Compassion can be used in the money-based system. I am a pharmacist. I want to help each customer that comes in my store. 2 reasons for that - 1. I do care about them, I have been hospitalized, down and out, and sleeping in my car. 2. They will want to come back and spend their money at the store that will listen to them and not look at them as a number and not care about them.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

You are idealizing capitalism. Why worship an economic system that has failed miserably? If you want unregulated Austrian economics the only place to look to see how things would really be is the Industrial Revolution. Think Dickensian times. Capitalism exploits and it exploits without thoughts of ethics or humanity. I'm sure you, yourself, are a good person, and that you do care about your customers, but why should all humans be at the mercy of hoping that capitalists have ethics and do good by their workers and customers?

They don't in many cases. Look at Wal-Mart. 6 Members of the Walton family hold as much wealth as the bottom 30% of Americans yet their workers are paid miserably low poverty wages and many qualify for food stamps? This should be allowed to happen? Not in my book. In my book the economic system should be structured to ensure that this very thing does not happen and that all human beings benefit from the riches of the economic system. I'm not saying everyone has to be equal and that people can't be wealthy, but everyone should have enough to live decently.

[-] 1 points by highlander (-163) 1 year ago

You are right, there is no idealistic capitalism. Unfortunately, there is no idealistic altruism either. And that is the crux of the problem? How do you improve the living wages of the workers without driving job providers to outsource their jobs or wealth? Oh, and by the way, you cannot make the solution compulsory.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

This would all be easy to do if we lived in a society that didn't lionize wealth and materialism over all else. It doesn't need to be compulsory but you are certainly right that it requires a watershed in the way we think about our reasons for being on this good earth. Eliminate greed and the me, me, me mentality and the fear that comes with needing to hoard, and wages would go up and the jobs wouldn't run away to somewhere else where the profits are bigger, because that wouldn't be the priority. Providing for one's fellow humans would be the priority, and truly, all, 100% of people would be happier.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Well said!

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

An old fashioned Barn Raising - I think it started something like :

Bill : Guess I'll start on the Barn Today - looks like it is gonna be a good day to get some work done.

Bill's neighbor : Huh looks like Bill is building something - wonder if he could use a hand?

Bill's neighbor's neighbor : Huh is that Jim over at Bill's - are they building something? Wonder if I can help..............................

Midday - at Bill's : Damn this is really going up fast - where did everyone come from? And Look someone has brought food. Damn this is turning out to be one fine day.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Great example, DKA. Yes, that's how it could be, all around.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Occupy Sandy and others are using this concept. On a very large community oriented scale. Let us all advocate for continuation - past the storm recovery and forward into the ongoing needs of society. Communities uniting with other communities with other communities - to address green energy implementation and banning of fracking - Just For One Single Example. Communities uniting nation wide.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Most definitely. There are so many issues it overwhelms sometimes, but the environment leads the list at this point, because we can't go back on that one. Once the damage is done, it will be done.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

TRUTH

Love and worship the environment and love and support each other. Looking to the health and prosperity of all rather then the very few.


[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (11032) 3 minutes ago

What do the wealthy really fear? A people that decides to love and worship the environment more than them. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

The environment is such a good rallying point for so much that needs changing in this country and in this world. It is ALL ENCOMPASSING - pollution - storms - housing - corpoRAT practices - Government action/inaction - clean power - jobs etc etc etc Health and Prosperity - Peace and Safety and on and on............................

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

What do the wealthy really fear? A people that decides to love and worship the environment more than them.

[-] 0 points by john23 (-272) 1 year ago

"Why worship an economic system that has failed miserably? "

It's such a shame that people view our system and its failures as capitalism. It's a good way for politicians to place the blame somewhere - when in actuality it rested on their shoulders....i'm speaking about the collapse in 08 which everyone seems to blame on capitalism - couldn't be further from the truth.

Don't disagree that I'd want everyone to have enough to live decently in a society.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

What do you think enables all the greed and corporatism? An economic system that has exploitation as it's foundation.

[-] 0 points by john23 (-272) 1 year ago

Greed isn't an unconditional bad thing. Greed can work in the people's favor....greed to want to produce the best product so that the most people will buy it helps the consumer.

I think what you're upset about is crony capitalism....or a gov/business hybrid that is not true capitalism. And i agree....a system based on this never works for the people.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

I disagree. I think greed is a bad thing, but I see your point. I do think crony corporatist capitalism is the worst but I also believe that the basis of any capitalism is exploitation, always has been, always will be. That is why, as far as I am concerned, it doesn't work unless it has checks and balances to ensure that the people who live under that system are protected. For example, the type of capitalism you see in Canada and Scandinavia.

[-] 1 points by john23 (-272) 1 year ago

Yeah i also agree that a capitalist needs a system of checks and balances.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20500) 1 year ago

Good. We agree to a degree.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26680) 1 year ago

Yes. GREED is an unconditionally bad thing. It has nothing at all to do with producing the best of anything.

All capitalism, is crony capitalism.

[-] -2 points by john23 (-272) 1 year ago

Greed is in human nature..it always has been....so to tame greed - society should be set up in a way where greed benefits other people....thus a system that by seeking greed - has the effect of helping others

[-] 2 points by shooz (26680) 1 year ago

Greed is a learned behavior.

It's an illness.

Indeed there are cultures in the World that treat it as such.

If the lady down the street "greeds" herself 1,000 cats, do you consider her sane?

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Highlander, you said: "It's best to keep the human factor out of it." Man, you're either a lousy troll or you're batshit crazy. All there IS is the human factor. They rest is all just blips on a server somewhere. Who do you serve. Listen to the great Bob Dylan: "You gotta serve somebody.". Who do you serve?

[-] -2 points by highlander (-163) 1 year ago

Since it is dollars that pay for my health care, education, home, food, and everything else under the sun, then I guess you can call me a slave to money. I just do not understand the human factor, I guess. when I think about the human factor I think about, sorry, to each according to their need.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Nice charts/facts. Thanks for providing them. This is all so well-known now, I don't see how/why opponents still defend the status quo. Selfishness and greed knows no bounds.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Sure. Let's keep the pressure up on the wealthy as they attempt to keep themselves from falling off the fiscal cliff!

[-] 2 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 1 year ago

Would you please explain who these wealthy people are. Are they only a select few in this country who know how to become wealthy because the rest of our society don't know how to do it?

And if that's the case what needs to be done to help the rest of society so they can become wealthy?

Why is it that there are only a few wealthy people? Could it be because the rest of society doesn't know how to do it? I mean really - success is within the individual - if a person wants to be successful and wealthy they will.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

The real measure of success is not how much money you make, but how much your labor enriches the lives of others. It can't be measured in dollars, but it can be measured in the health and well being of those who you touch.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Do you want to know the secret to wealth? Trade one hour of your own labor for 10 hours of someone else's.

[-] 1 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 1 year ago

I am not sure where you get your ideas from but I shall tell you how I think a person can become wealthy.

Start off by having a goal - once you reach that goal have another goal. Continue on down that path with other goals, until you finally achieve the goal you desire - be it being poor, be it middle class or be it wealthy. It's up to you.

The bottom line is you have to have a goal to achieve those wants and desires.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Looking at the charts above, it's clear that the upper 10% have increased their wealth at the expense of the lower 90%. None of the increase from 1971 to 2008 was shared as it was from 1921 to 1971. If the goal of acquiring wealth only enriches the wealthy, then the many are nothing more than the servants of the few.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Great post!

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Thanks Trevor.

[-] 1 points by Coyote88 (-24) 1 year ago

Many people have known this for years. And you are just discovering this?

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

If the majority of people knew this today there would be revolution tomorrow.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Thanks for laying this out so clearly.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

My pleasure.

[-] 1 points by ShowRealHist (60) 1 year ago

Here is hidden TRUTH: our track record is serial herd behavior. http://patrick.net/forum/?p=1219038

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Just look at the last presidential election. 98.5% voted for two candidates, even though were at least half a dozen. Each party did a masterful job of herding the sheep (voters) into just two corrals.

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4024) 1 year ago

Good post. Says so much.

[-] 0 points by lignite (-303) 1 year ago

Now obama wants automatic debt ceiling increases. Thanks to all of you that voted this loser in

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

There were a sizable number of us here just as much against Obama as you. The Dem partisans here are few but very persistent.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Since 1971....interesting thats the baseline for all of this, and thats the year Nixon closed the gold window.

Seems like the wealthy have created their own wealth at the expense of everyone else.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Yeah, inflation really took off in 1971, blurring the value of money to such an extent that the majority of people don't have a clue what it's worth. Those that understand the value of money have a huge advantage over those who don't.

[-] -2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

1971- Gold Window Closed.

1971- Start of all the monetary bullshit.

I dont think going back to that, in a global economy, would work as well now, but clearly something needs to be done about our currency.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Ridiculous distraction!

Cut tax/debt for the working class, raise tax on the wealthy, reward insourcing/penalize outsourcing, pass the jobs bills. pass a living wage.

That's what needs to be done.

[-] -2 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

"Those dollars you make more of every year don't really buy any more because of inflation. The dollars are literally losing value in your wallet as we speak. When you get a pay increase, it's really an illusion."

In order for your statement here to be true, it must be applied to every dollar in society (because inflation affects every dollar-even the rich's dollars).

Then by default, dollar to dollar, the dollars of the wealthy ARE losing value too. Any increase in the income of the rich is ALSO really an illusion. Right?

Now, regarding the median personal income chart-let's say in 2000, I had a high school degree. And I made $28,000. Then I went to college for two years, get an associate's degree, and get a job making $35,000. (That's an increase in income of $7,000 in two years-pretty damn good!) I get a 4 year degree so by 2004, I've got a bachelors degree and I get a job making $48,000 a two year increase of $13,000-doubling my previous increase and increasing my income in 4 years a grand total of $20,000.

Those are figures for "annual adjusted income" and the chart only goes to $100,000. I can only assume that it ONLY covers money as income earned in an hourly or salaried job.

Most of the income of the top 1% comes from INVESTMENTS-not actual hourly wages or salaries. Investments, by their very nature, are DESIGNED to become worth MORE over time, so it's only natural that someone who owns investments will accrue more value over time.

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Wrong. The three graphs are already corrected for inflation. The increase in the income of the wealthy is no illusion.

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

Sorry..if they were adjusted for inflation for the poor, they were for the rich too-and the same truth applies to their dollars as it does to the poor's dollars.

Again-investments are different than wages. You might not like that, but they are.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Let's look at a graph that shows what the upper one tenth of one percent actually made. Salaries tripled in the last 40 years as well as most other types of income. This graph is also corrected for inflation so again this is no illusion. The wealthy continue to increase income from all sources, while the middle and lower class's income remains stagnant.

http://desertbeacon.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/top-income-composition.jpg

[-] -1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

And here's an article showing what I'm talking about.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/12319/6-myths-about-income-inequality-in-america

And here's one using data from the CBO

http://taxfoundation.org/article/cbo-report-shows-increasing-redistribution-tax-code-despite-no-long-term-trend-income-inequality

Manipulating data so it looks like it proves your point is lying. I'm not accusing you of lying, but your source sure like to use data from other people and then create it's own charts without giving all the supporting data required to make it's claims.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

In the six myths article, the author is quite adept at manipulating data to continue the fallacy that wealth inequality really isn't so wide. In myth #1 he blends the income of the top 1% with that of the other 19% of the upper quintile which completely distorts the true picture of wealth inequality. When we talk about wealth inequality, we're talking about the top 1% or 0.1%, not the top 20%.

The top 20% quintile he uses for his figures include incomes that range from just $55,000 to $50 million and up. Hardly a fair comparison.

You've probably heard the figure that 50% of American workers make $27,000 a year or less. Well here's another, 80% of American workers make $55,000 a year or less.

http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2011

The next deception he uses is to use household income instead of personal income. Women have entered the work force steadily since WWII, increasing the household income. Household income from 1970 can't be compared to income from 2010 because the average number of income earners per household has increased. The only fair way to compare income is by personal income.

The top two charts I included in this post are based on data collected mainly from the IRS by Piketty and Saez. Here are more directly from Saez.

http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2010.pdf

[-] -1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

First-

YOU are confusing "wealth" inequality with "income" inequality. They are two different standards of measurement and include very different sets of statistics.

The author of the article is addressing INCOME and specific myths associated with INCOME statistics.

SECOND-you said:

"The top 20% quintile he uses for his figures include incomes that range from just $55,000 to $50 million and up. Hardly a fair comparison.

You've probably heard the figure that 50% of American workers make $27,000 a year or less. Well here's another, 80% of American workers make $55,000 a year or less."

BOTH statements are essentially saying the exact SAME thing. If 80% of American workers make 55K a year or less. That MEANS by default that 20% of Americans make MORE than that-55k of MORE.

Factually true and applicable when talking about american WORKERS/WAGE earners.

The article I linked to was not SOLELY about "household" income, so don't ignore the parts that aren't.

"The average share over the whole period [1970-2010] for the bottom 20% was 3.8% and 47% for the top 20%. This 43.2% difference between the two groups may be a straw man for what is causing our nation's ills, but the gap overlooks other evidence that indicates otherwise."

"The fact that top income earners tend to gain more of their income from capital investments compared with the bottom 20%, who tend to get theirs from labor hours, provides evidence of the fallacy of income inequality. The Congressional Budget Office noted that capital income can be very volatile, but it has been rising rather dramatically relative to labor income. Since this increases the income for those in the top 20% at a higher rate than those with lower incomes, it is likely there would be an increase in income inequality between the two groups."

"From 1970 to 2010, income inequality rose between the top and bottom quintiles from 39% to 47%, but real gross domestic product expanded briskly from $4.3 trillion to $13 trillion (Figure 4). In other words, the size of the pie kept growing, which allowed everyone to share the wealth created. Once the distribution of the pie becomes a concern, then policymakers may enact policies that will stifle economic growth and reduce the size of the pie, reducing everyone's income. Thus, growing the size of our economy should be the emphasis of government policies, not the distribution of income. "

Now, obviously, if you are getting 5% of a pie that is worth $4.3 trillion and the worth of the pie increases to $13 trillion but you're still only getting 5% of it-you're getting a LOT MORE MONEY even if the percentage of the pie you're getting hasn't changed.

The top two charts are based on the data linked right? Two of the Piketty Saez charts on that link contains data on "family income", and shows a 6.4% "real income growth" for the period between 1993 and 2010.

One is labeled -"Top 10% income shares" (You insist in another thread that a chart from the same website (desertbeacon) taken from Saez-Piketty involves only the top 1/10 of 1%....did you check DB's accuracy of interpreting stats?)

One is labeled- "Top .01% income shares" from 1913-2008 (Again, another one of desertbeacon's charts uses the number 0.1% instead of the number .01%-are you sure they represented Piketty/Saez accurately?)

Based on this alone, I think you need to double check your preferred source for "charts" against the actual data sources to see if the data actually supports their conclusions.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

You completely ignored the heart of the argument against blending the 1% income with the other 19%, thus diminishing the true level of income inequality. The author himself also completely ignores any statistics of the 1% in myth #1. Here it is again.

"The top 20% quintile he uses for his figures include incomes that range from just $55,000 to $50 million and up. Hardly a fair comparison."

By combining low wage earners with high wage earners, it completely blurrs the distinction between both. You can't compare a basket of apples and and a basket of oranges when both apples and oranges are mixed together in one of the baskets.

"The article I linked to was not SOLELY about "household" income, so don't ignore the parts that aren't."

I addressed Myth #1 only, which concerned household income.

Instead of arguing over other authors views of income inequality. Let the statistics speak for themselves. Which statistics and income levels would you like to use?

The social security statistics here are neutral, and reliable and are already divided into percentages so they are easy to compare.

http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2011

As for the income levels, let's compare the upper 1% and upper 10% against the lower 90%. Doesn't that seem like a fair way to determine if income levels really are as great as Saez says they are? Even though the SSA figures don't include capital gains and dividends which go mostly to the top few percent, let's ignore those for the time being, and just concentrate on reported wages to the SSA.

What do you think?

[-] -2 points by lignite (-303) 1 year ago

Some of this forum want to see unions involved in every corporation, organization, small business's, etc. I am for equal wage but having more union infiltration would only cause even more companies to go belly up and or shift their work overseas.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Union membership has declined from 35% in the 50's to 12% today. Even non unionized businesses continue to outsource and/or cut workforces. Unions don't force businesses overseas, greed does.

[-] -2 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

Yes, incomes are unequal. They always have been. I never said that they were not. My points have been arguing against the specific conclusions that your charts seem to "prove" when it is clear that whoever made them used only biased statistics while ignoring others. (In other words they used stats that enhanced the income inequality and ignored the stats that diminish it-thus the charts represent a specific view and NOT actual truth)

Your entire thread here is based on charts that conclude that there has been little or NO "income growth" for any group other than the highest percentage over a course of decades. In order to arrive at such a conclusion and agree upon it, you and I must look at all the data that are involved in that course of decades-and not just stats from the SSA in 2011.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

"whoever made them used only biased statistics while ignoring others."

The chart is based on figures that Saez obtained from federal tax returns provided by the IRS. So far you have provided no credible facts supporting any of your assertions. Here are the actual figures that Saez uses. Provide the evidence that proves that they are biased.

http://emlab.berkeley.edu/~saez/piketty-saezOUP04US.pdf

http://emlab.berkeley.edu/~saez/TabFig2010.xls

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