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Author Topic: Economic Inequality  (Read 34504 times)

nanning

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #400 on: September 11, 2019, 07:20:36 AM »
Thanks sidd. Horrible. Hard to imagine. The richest country in the world. Being rich = low morality (it creates poor people).
I am poor by choice and am so glad that I don't live in the U.S.A.
In the U.S.A. I probably would be suffering and faced with violence and bad food.
I very probably would have left the U.S.A..
Message to poor people in the USA: Go go go now. Leave to the north or east or west. It is a vanishing option. Organise. Cooperate.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell

vox_mundi

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #401 on: September 18, 2019, 05:49:21 PM »
Inequality: What We've Learned from the 'Robots of the Late Neolithic'
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-inequality-weve-robots-late-neolithic.html

Seven thousand years ago, societies across Eurasia began to show signs of lasting divisions between haves and have-nots. In new research published in the journal Antiquity, scientists chart the precipitous surge of prehistoric inequality and trace its economic origins back to the adoption of ox-drawn plows.

... Their analysis of data from 150 archeological sites reveals a steep increase in inequality in Eurasia from around 4,000 BC—several millennia after the advent of agriculture. According to the researchers, it was not agriculture per se that ushered in substantial wealth inequalities, but instead a transformation of farming that made land more valuable and labor less so.

"Ox drawn plows were the robots of the late Neolithic," explains co-author Samuel Bowles, an economist at the Santa Fe Institute. The oxen were a form of labor-saving technology that led to a decoupling of wealth from labor—a decoupling fundamental to modern wealth inequality. "The effect was the same as today: growing economic disparities between those who owned the robots and those whose work the robots displaced."

... "The usual story—that the societies that adopted agriculture became more unequal—is no longer valid because we observed that some societies who adopted agriculture were remarkably egalitarian for thousands of years," says co-author Mattia Fochesato, an economist at Bocconi University.

Before around 4,000 BC, societies across the Middle East and Europe cultivated a patchwork of small garden plots, which Bogaard likens to present-day "allotments" in the UK. Families would have grown a variety cereal grains, as well as lentils, peas, and other pulse crops that needed to be harvested by hand. Notably, they would have tilled the soil by hand using hoes, in some cases also with the help of unspecialized cattle (such as aging milk cows) to pull plows, and carefully monitored their gardens during the growing season to protect them from wild animals. "It was quite a busy landscape, with lots of people working in and around these garden plots."

Then something changed. Farmers who were well resourced enough to raise and maintain specialized plow oxen saw new opportunities in farming additional land. A single farmer with an ox team could cultivate ten times or more land than a hoe farmer, and would begin to acquire more and more land to cultivate. Those who owned land and ox teams also began to opt for more stress-tolerant crops, like barley or certain kinds of wheat, that didn't require much labor.

By the second millennium BC in many farming landscapes fields stretched to the horizon, and societies were deeply divided between wealthy landowners, who passed their holdings on to their children, and land-poor or landless families.

Quote
... "So long as labor was the key input for production, inequality was limited because families did not differ much in how much labor they could deploy to produce crops, " ... "But when the most important input became land, differences between families widened because land and other material forms of wealth could be accumulated and transmitted over generations. By chance, or force, or hard work, some families came to have a lot more than others. Then radical inequality arose."

Open Access: Mattia Fochesato et al. Comparing ancient inequalities: the challenges of comparability, bias and precision, Antiquity (2019)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

nanning

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #402 on: September 18, 2019, 06:21:44 PM »
Thank you vox_mundi!

Re: why do we have rich people? Ownership? High technology? Lower morality?

To me and from reading your excerpts from the article: The answer seems to be just a different mindset; that having rich people is not a logical consequence of settling and agriculture. Not all humans behaved like that. Am I correct?

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By the second millennium BC:
"wealthy landowners, who passed their holdings on to their children"

[sarc]Don't you love it: Our, by culture (tradition), forced monogamous lifestyles with family and inheritance?[/sarc]

In that system, which we have now, you get these: "land-poor or landless families".
These weren't there before. Very very sad for all those humans that have had 'bad luck' (i.e. having a poor father) throughout all of civilisation history.

"Robot"
The term comes from a Czech word, robota, meaning "forced labor"
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell

Aporia_filia

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #403 on: September 20, 2019, 09:39:11 AM »
In different places in Africa, (Senegal,...) not that long ago, being rich was socially rejected. The social believe was that is very easy to go through difficult times when you'll need help from others, when you'll be short of food or any other need. So, the best thing to do was sharing what you have because with everyone doing the same the chances of being in need were minimize.