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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #50 on: October 11, 2017, 02:34:53 AM »
China to eliminate poverty by 2020:

http://en.people.cn/n3/2017/1009/c90000-9277459.html

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #51 on: October 12, 2017, 08:28:00 PM »
Report from IMF Fiscal monitor on inequality. Many graphs. I attach four, but do reead the whole thing, rather good I thought.

https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/FM/Issues/2017/10/05/fiscal-monitor-october-2017

Also covered at nakedcap by Yves Smith.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/10/trump-administration-picks-bizarre-fight-with-imf-over-report-backing-taxing-the-rich.html

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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #52 on: October 13, 2017, 08:22:06 PM »
Pew research poll, some god news and some bad.

"The share of the U.S. poor population in severe poverty – defined by the Census Bureau as those with family or individual incomes below half of their poverty threshold – reached its highest point in at least 20 years. It was 45.6% in 2016, up from 39.5% in 1996. (The share of the total U.S. population in severe poverty has declined over the past two years, alongside the overall poverty rate.) "

"The Census data show a different trend for American families who were not in poverty in 2016. For the vast majority of these Americans, the average income surplus – the amount a family’s income is above its poverty threshold – was at least $15,000. The share of families above poverty with a surplus at least that large has gradually ticked upward in recent years, from around 84% in 2010 to 87% in 2016."

Based on census data.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/10/06/americans-deepest-in-poverty-lost-more-ground-in-2016/


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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2017, 01:18:58 AM »
The effects of economic inequality extend beyond economics.

Flint, Michigan has a poverty rate of over 40% and has been broke for a decade and is governed by a series of "emergency administrators" who apparently have kept it in a state of emergency. In an attempt to cut costs, the water supply was switched to a cheaper source, which resulted in poisoning the residents. A study by Kansas University now finds evidence for lowered birth rates and more fetal deaths.

" ... we find fertility rates decreased by 12%, fetal death rates increased by 58% (a selection
effect from a culling of the least healthy fetuses), and overall health at birth decreased (from
scarring), compared to other cities in Michigan."

www2.ku.edu/~kuwpaper/2017Papers/201703.pdf

The war on poverty becomes a war on the poor.

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TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2017, 01:58:02 AM »
The effects of economic inequality extend beyond economics.

Flint, Michigan has a poverty rate of over 40% and has been broke for a decade and is governed by a series of "emergency administrators" who apparently have kept it in a state of emergency. In an attempt to cut costs, the water supply was switched to a cheaper source, which resulted in poisoning the residents. A study by Kansas University now finds evidence for lowered birth rates and more fetal deaths.

" ... we find fertility rates decreased by 12%, fetal death rates increased by 58% (a selection
effect from a culling of the least healthy fetuses), and overall health at birth decreased (from
scarring), compared to other cities in Michigan."

www2.ku.edu/~kuwpaper/2017Papers/201703.pdf

The war on poverty becomes a war on the poor.

sidd
The lowered birth rates noted when the economy falters seems to go against the Republican meme that poor people have babies in order to get their welfare checks.


A war on the poor is a fair description of both party's programs in recent decades.


Terry

GeoffBeacon

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #55 on: October 23, 2017, 02:28:34 AM »
THE HARVARD BOYS, JEFFREY SACHS, AMARTYA SEN ... AND DEGROWTH

sidd

I've just noticed you said "What the Harvard boys did to Russia" and just found a piece in the Nation The Harvard Boys Do Russia

Quote
Harvard Professor Jeffrey Sachs and other Western economists participated in meetings at a dacha outside Moscow where young, pro-Yeltsin reformers planned Russia’s economic and political future.

That was a bit weird for me because I was just looking a Jeffry Sachs' card. I spoke to him after a recent lecture at the London School of Economics with the intention of emailing to ask him about the necessity for degrowth. At the LSE, he was talking about climate change, saying things similar to this on CNN:

Quote
Here is a message to investors in the oil industry, whether pension and insurance funds, university endowments, hedge funds or other asset managers: Your investments are going to sour. The growing devastation caused by climate change, as seen this month in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, are going to blow a hole in your fossil-fuel portfolio.

His website lists much more of his work, which should find support for many of us here. (His work looks very good to me.) That aside, I thought it worth pointing to an interesting paper Russian Privatization and Corporate Governance: What Went Wrong?
where the authors say

Quote
In Russia and elsewhere, proponents of rapid, mass privatization of state owned enterprises (ourselves among them) hoped that the profit incentives unleashed by privatization would soon revive faltering, centrally planned economies. The revival didn’t happen. …

First, rapid mass privatization is likely to lead to massive self dealing by managers and controlling shareholders …. Russia accelerated the selfdealing process by selling control of its largest enterprises cheaply to crooks, who transferred their skimming talents to the enterprises they acquired, and used their wealth to further corrupt the government and block reforms that might constrain their actions.

One of the authors was from Harvard Law School.

The other prompt for this post was your comment about Amartya Sen, "Amartya Sen has been an early and a  strong voice on [economic inequality]".  Yes, that's right but Sen is wrong on growth and climate, advocating economic growth as a route out of poverty.  This is not compatible with saving the climate.

Jeffry Sachs obviously takes climate change very seriously. (He is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University). However, from his lecture and response to one question, I don't think he is ready to embrace the rate of decarbonisation we now need. A rate of decarbonisation requires  degrowth. If he answers an email, I will report back.

Of course, with degrowth we also want redistribution to lessen - greatly lessen - economic inequality.


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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #56 on: October 23, 2017, 04:21:57 AM »
I did not link to the article from the nation, but now that I have read it, it reinforces my judgement that there is plenty of blame to go around. Jeffrey Sachs certainly played a role in privatization, but dropped out in 1993. He felt it necessary to issue an apology of sorts at

http://jeffsachs.org/2012/03/what-i-did-in-russia//jeffsachs.org/2012/03/what-i-did-in-russia/

I think Russians who lived through the 1990s have a different view of his responsibility. As to his views on climate change, perhaps we can discuss that elsewhere, rather than this thread ?

Again, as to Amartya Sen, I hold him as an exemplar on economic inequality, but not necessarily on climate change.

As for degrowth being necessary for decarbonization, I think you will have a tough sell in the developing countries. Try selling that to the western economies first since they caused most of the problem. Yet again, perhaps that belongs on a different thread ?

In that spirit I have begun a thread called "Is Degrowth necessary for Decarbonization ?" in this section of the forum ("The Rest")

sidd
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 05:12:20 AM by sidd »

GeoffBeacon

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #57 on: October 23, 2017, 09:51:39 AM »
sidd

Thanks

Geoff
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johnm33

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #58 on: October 25, 2017, 09:28:33 PM »
It was a long time ago, but iirc the 'chicago boys' really did a number on russia, revisionism aside. They set [advised on] up a whole series of share distributions, then by any means they financed the forced purchase of those shares. They made back to back deals to buy the shares at a 'fair' price in Roubles, they arranged for the printing, and purchase at a discount, of billions of new roubles and bought those with jets full of $100bills, both small and large shareholdings were targeted. The roubles were paid for the shares were paid for and suddenly 87% of the economy was in the hands of 19 corporations which in turn were overwhelmingly controlled by 27 oligarchs. On thinner ice, again iirc there were now approaching 5 times as many roubles in circulation as previously, the economy tanked.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2017, 12:54:12 AM »
Rich getting richer:

"Billionaires increased their combined global wealth by almost a fifth last year to a record $6tn (£4.5tn) – more than twice the GDP of the UK. "

"Billionaires’ fortunes increased by 17% on average last year ..."

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/26/worlds-witnessing-a-new-gilded-age-as-billionaires-wealth-swells-to-6tn

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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #60 on: October 27, 2017, 01:00:15 AM »
Meanwhile the bottom quintile in the USA has net worth of -6000US$ ...

From the census

https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/newsroom/releases/2014/cb14-156_net_worth_graphic.pdf

sidd

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #61 on: October 27, 2017, 01:36:05 AM »
Meanwhile the bottom quintile in the USA has net worth of -6000US$ ...

From the census

https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/newsroom/releases/2014/cb14-156_net_worth_graphic.pdf

sidd
The one that struck me was the middle quintile. No wonder opioids are flying off the shelves!
If things continue like this only the top 20% of Americans will be able to afford to retire.


Which demographic can afford a new (EV) car. Which families can send their kid(s) to a decent school. Who can afford a decent vacation?


These are family assets.


Terry




TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #62 on: October 27, 2017, 06:31:36 PM »
Almost one in five renting Americans are self identifying as having "been unable to pay their rent in full in the past 3 months"


https://www.apartmentlist.com/rentonomics/rental-insecurity-the-threat-of-evictions-to-americas-renters/


If you don't pay your rent you get evicted. If you get evicted you'll find it hard to find a rental unit. If you can't find a rental unit, you'll move in with family, or, you're homeless.


If your tenant doesn't pay his rent, you'll evict, clean-up, and find another tenant. If you can't afford to evict, clean it up, and find another tenant, you'll miss your payment. Miss your payments and they will foreclose.


Three months is a very short cycle. 20% of renters is a very huge number. - and these are self reported delinquencies!


Hello Flint Michigan
Terry

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #63 on: November 11, 2017, 08:16:04 AM »
How plutocrats block transparency, as revealed in the Paradise papers. All perfectly legal, of course.


https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/07/tax-haven-lobby-superb-penetration-uk-government-paradise-papers

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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #64 on: November 14, 2017, 11:39:26 PM »

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #65 on: November 22, 2017, 06:17:47 AM »
A look at drivers of capital accumulation, imperatives of the market and the necessity for the left to decommodify as much as possible.

Includes quotes from Oscar Wilde:

"In a community like ours, where property confers immense distinction, social position, honour, respect, titles, and other pleasant things of the kind, man, being naturally ambitious, makes it his aim to accumulate this property, and goes on wearily and tediously accumulating it long after he has got far more than he wants, or can use, or enjoy, or perhaps even know of. "

Chibber :

" It is a remarkable property of the modern class structure that any significant deviation by a capitalist from the logic of market competitiveness shows up as a cost in some way — a refusal to dump toxic sludge manifests as a loss in market share to those who will; a commitment to use safer but more expensive inputs shows up as a rise in unit costs, and so on. Capitalists thus feel an enormous pressure to adjust their normative orientation — their values, goals, ethics, etc. — to the social structure in which they are embedded, not vice versa.… The moral codes that are encouraged are those that help the bottom line."

And Ellen Meiskins Wood:

"The best that socialists can do is to aim as much as possible to detach social life from market dependence. That means striving for the decommodification of as many spheres of life as possible ... "

Read all about it:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/11/rich-people-wealth-inequality-anxiety

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #66 on: November 22, 2017, 06:22:51 AM »
Oxfam 2015:

https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/ib-wealth-having-all-wanting-more-190115-en.pdf

"In 2010, it took 388 billionaires to equal the wealth of the bottom half of the world‟s population; by 2014, the figure had fallen to just 80 billionaires (see Figure 4)."

I attach fig 4.

https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-economy-for-99-percent-160117-en.pdf

In 2017, that number has fallen to eight.

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #67 on: November 22, 2017, 06:27:58 AM »
The share of income from capital to that of labour for the top 1% has also risen, the rich make more money from owning assets:

http://peoplespolicyproject.org/2017/08/05/if-we-care-about-inequality-we-must-confront-capital/

I attach a picture.

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gerontocrat

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #68 on: November 22, 2017, 02:23:26 PM »
Extracts below from an an article by George Monbiot arguing that the current economic model running the world will not sort out economic inequality or even basic poverty, and will of course wreck the biosphere on the way.

It is hard to argue against simple arithmetic.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/22/black-friday-consumption-killing-planet-growth

Research by Oxfam suggests that the world’s richest 1% (if your household has an income of £70,000 or more, this means you) produce about 175 times as much carbon as the poorest 10%.

A global growth rate of 3% means that the size of the world economy doubles every 24 years.

Those who justify this system insist that economic growth is essential for the relief of poverty. But a paper in the World Economic Review finds that the poorest 60% of the world’s people receive only 5% of the additional income generated by rising GDP. As a result, $111 (£84) of growth is required for every $1 reduction in poverty. This is why, on current trends, it would take 200 years to ensure that everyone receives $5 a day.
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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2017, 12:08:34 AM »
I have posted gerontocrats link to Monbiot and some other relevant links to the "Is Degrowth necessary for Decarbonization ?" thread.

Now from the "Straight outta Kafka" section: NYtimes article on debt collectors making it impossible to defaulters to work

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/18/business/student-loans-licenses.html

"Twenty states around the country can seize professional, driver’s and other licenses from residents who default on their student debt. "

South Dakota wont even let you hunt, fish or camp.

"Nearly 1,000 residents are barred from holding driver’s licenses because of debts owed to state universities, and 1,500 people are prohibited from getting hunting, fishing and camping permits"

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #70 on: November 26, 2017, 02:23:54 AM »
A letter from 300 economists supporting tax haven crackdown

https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2016-05-09/tax-havens-serve-no-useful-economic-purpose-300-economists-tell

List of signatories:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4X9dVfLFAGQRk5STUhvZ3ljbXc/view

Suggestion byJeffrey Sachs to put am amonymous wealth tax on all monies in tax havens, bypassing the need for knowledge of beneficial ownership:

"We could easily put even a modest anonymous wealth tax on deposits in the tax havens. What that means is you don't even necessarily have to know who the owners of the accounts are, but the estimate is that the tax havens are home to $20 trillion of deposits right now."

https://www.devex.com/news/q-a-jeff-sachs-on-anti-poverty-financing-a-failure-of-moral-imagination-and-will-90469

(That 20 trillion is more like 30 trillion.)

sidd

magnamentis

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #71 on: November 26, 2017, 07:53:31 PM »
it's not the clear who the thieves are, those who charge huge income tax, say >25% some even close to 50% or those who don't want to be stolen their hard earned assets, earned with their live energy and others decide where it's best used.

V.A.T. where we pay tax on consumption, means if i spend 100'000 i pay i.e. 22'000 tax and if i pay 10'000 i pay i.e. 2'200 tax.

that's the fairest way to tax people and then if we discount all the funds our governments throw out of the window and all the funds they don't invest into necessary projects and calculate carefully a proper and flexible V.A.T. would pay for all that's needed.

income tax is theft and while we may agree to disagree, that's one of my greatest convictions

originally there was the so called 10th, means 10% tax witout exceptions and everything above that is theft.

BTW most income taxes were introduced under the disguise of a a specific need that people thought it would end and then stayed and increased ever since.

as far as i know canada introduced income tax to finance WW2 and i think it was around 5% income tax then, look where they are now and this applies in one form or another to close to all countries.

the other reason for many countries to introduce income tax and other laws BTW was that they saw others doing it and getting away with it.

finally and to make it clear, there is nothing wrong with paying for civil services but then those services have to be:

- efficent
- necessary
- not meant to limit life quality of citizens but to improve it
- limited and subject to plebiscite

etc.

further, tax law is often abused to spy upon and "control" a population and the fact that even
"al capone" stumbled over tax laws is only a nice side effect while the real intention is pointed at all of us.

last but not least, avoiding tax costs a fair share of money and if the tax levels would be more reasonable and less permeable and perforated like a swiss cheese, it would not be beneficial at all to pay for tax-avoidance.matter of factly the vast majority of all self-employed workers and business men i've met in 60+ years are in one or another way trying to or performing tax-avoidance or tax-reduction to the possible minimum. the fact that some do it on larger scales and again others are envious that they can do it does not change the fact that the scale does not alter the doings.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 08:05:43 PM by magnamentis »
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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #72 on: November 26, 2017, 09:25:56 PM »
Flat taxes like VAT are regressive and deepen inequality. As to income tax being theft, as you say, we agree to disagree. But what is proposed by Piketty, Sachs and others is a wealth tax, an idea that goes back to at least Henry George, if not the French revolution.

sidd

magnamentis

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #73 on: November 26, 2017, 11:19:35 PM »
Flat taxes like VAT are regressive and deepen inequality. As to income tax being theft, as you say, we agree to disagree. But what is proposed by Piketty, Sachs and others is a wealth tax, an idea that goes back to at least Henry George, if not the French revolution.

sidd

no problem sidd, i respect other points of view, there are simply many different opinions on the matter which is well documented by the fact that each jurisdiction has it's own, often totally different tax law. there is probably no way that this will ever get unified which would be some kind of a solution as well. after all some of the biggest tax heavens with tools clearly made for tax avoidance in favour of foreign entities are not listed as such.

one good example is the dutch BV / CV structure as documented here:

https://www.google.es/search?q=dutch+cv-bv+tax+structure&oq=dutch+BV+CV&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l2.12163j0j3&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

but as said this is just one of many examples, i only say Wilmington in the US and so many others around the world :-)
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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #74 on: November 28, 2017, 06:08:07 AM »
Libor rigged. Forex rigged. Now we find T-bond auctions rigged: Just another way the rich get richer.

https://nypost.com/2017/11/16/wall-st-bankers-secretly-used-chat-rooms-to-rig-treasury-bond-trades-suit/

Is there a market that's not rigged ?

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #75 on: November 28, 2017, 09:17:26 AM »
Yes, my local organic market.

I hope.  ;)
Compare, compare, compare

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #76 on: November 28, 2017, 06:42:21 PM »
...

income tax is theft and while we may agree to disagree, that's one of my greatest convictions

...
All tax is theft.

Setting up a tax structure to move wealth from the bottom to the top. Is counter productive.

Setting up a tax structure to move wealth from the top to the bottom makes everyone better off.

How this is done doesn't matter.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #77 on: November 28, 2017, 10:02:51 PM »
Scheffer et al have a paper out in PNAS on inequality in nature and human societies. They use fairly simpleminded models to demonstrate that inequality increases with time, unless counterbalanced by crisis or institutions. As scale increases, this effect becomes dominant. They analyze many communities including plants/trees, fish,rodents, insects,nushrooms, bacteria, and plankton and find broadly yhe same picture.

"Starting with a perfectly equal distribution of wealth, inequality quickly rises until a few actors
appropriate most of the wealth (Fig. 3 A and B) and the vast majority ends up with almost zero wealth. Very much the same pattern arises from the ecological model (SI Appendix, section 5). The extreme inequality may seem surprising, as no actor is intrinsically better than the others in these entirely chance-driven worlds. The explanation, mathematically, is that due to the multiplicity (gains and losses are multiplied by the actual wealth), absolute rates of the change tend to nil as wealth goes to zero (19). This causes very low wealth to be a “sticky” state, in the sense that getting out of it is extremely slow."

"There are essentially two classes of mechanisms that can reduce inequality: suppression of dominance (Fig. 2, III) or lifting the majority out of the sticky state close to zero ..."

"Occasional disasters, such as major wars, may have an equalizing effect by destroying capital or inducing redistribution, but in the long run inequality generally returns to the previous level (31)."

"Focusing on Western Europe, we can see how in the Middl Ages, and especially in the 12th to 14th centuries, local communities reduced inequality by limiting opportunities for transacting and accumulating land and capital, and developing mechanisms of redistribution, through guild or community systems, operating at the local level, where most of the exchange and allocation of land and capital took place (4). However, these town and village communities saw their institutional frameworks eroded by the growth of international trade, migration, and interregional labor and capital markets, as well as by the process of state formation with the rise of more centralized bureaucracies in the (early) modern period, triggering a long episode of rising inequality (5, 7, 35). In the late 19th century and early 20th century, institutions aimed at effectively constraining wealth accumulation were developed at the level of the nation state, with the emergence of tax-funded welfare states. Perhaps the most conspicuous of these institutions is the introduction of the inheritance tax, which limits wealth transfer to the next generation (2). Over the past decades, however, globalization has given way to a more unconstrained use and accumulation of wealth (29). The financial playing field for the wealthiest is now global, and mobility of wealth has greatly increased, providing immunity to national tax- ation and other institutional obstacles to wealth accumulation."

doi: 10.1073/pnas.1706412114

Open access. Read all about it.

I attach fig 1.

sidd

Postscript: I notice van Nes is an author. I wonder if he has any empirical dynamics/convergent cross mapping overview on the cycles of inequality ?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 08:18:45 AM by sidd »

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #78 on: November 29, 2017, 08:14:10 AM »
Re: local organic market

How is that not rigged ? If the externalities of monocrop agriculture, animal concentration camps, fertilizer and waste runoff are not priced, what makes the local organic market price fair ?

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #79 on: November 29, 2017, 09:59:35 PM »
sidd


While I confess to a fascination with the nushroom markets, I'm not sure that proving inequality to be the natural way of things helps our cause.


My experience has been that living in a country with greater equality is preferable to living in one where the haves have damn near everything, and the have-nots are often reduced to criminality.


How to dispossess the haves of some of their possessions without resorting to bloodshed may be one of those questions forever unanswerable.


Shame has been tried, but TPTB made greed a virtue. Such is the power of the media.
Nationalizing various industries has worked, but the blowback is fierce.
Progressive taxation works, but with government in the hands of the very rich, a flat tax is more likely than a punitive tax on wealth.


The snowball has been rolling for some time, and it's mass and momentum now threaten everything in the valley.
I want off, and to escape the top heavy avalanche roaring in my direction.
Terry

ivica

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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #81 on: December 08, 2017, 02:07:46 AM »
Lending by big banks to lo income down. No more money there, the banks sucked it all out already. They go to where the money is.

https://talkpoverty.org/2017/12/05/banks-stopped-lending-low-income-americans/

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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #82 on: December 08, 2017, 08:49:07 AM »
Can't have rich people's houses burn.

"  “One Fire Truck Guarded Every Three Houses” in Wealthy Los Angeles Neighborhood Last Night "

https://www.spin.com/2017/12/skirball-fire-bel-air/

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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #83 on: December 10, 2017, 11:12:04 PM »
Kohler et al have a paper out linking rise in inequality to domestication of large mammals enabling more extensive agriculture and mounted warrior elites who could extend their sway over larger areas. They analyzed settlements using house size as proxy for wealth over a period beginning 11,000 years ago. I attach fig 1a) showing disparity in Gini coefficient between eurasia and americas. This disparity is attributed to lack of domesticable large mammals in the americas until european colonization. The last sentence of the article is:

"Even given the possibility that the Gini coefficients constructed here may underestimate true household wealth disparities, it is safe to say that the degree of wealth inequality experienced by many households today is considerably higher than has been the norm over the last ten millennia."

doi: 10.1038/nature24646

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GeoffBeacon

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #84 on: December 11, 2017, 10:22:05 AM »
ROBBING THE RICH TO GIVE TO THE POOR

The philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) pointed out a long time ago (paraphrased):

Quote
(1) Theory and facts alone cannot drive our actions

(2) Internal feelings drive our actions.

(3) Some internal feelings are “moral sentiments”

Most of us have a moral sentiment (with other moral sentiments) for an equal distribution of wealth because of our related sentiment of keeping the most individuals as happy as possible. This sentiment is clearly demonstrated when we feed the geese.

Economics was distanced from these moral sentiments when Lionel Robbins made the claim that happiness (aka utility or satisfaction) was unscientific because it could not be directly measured.

Robbins was following the view of science Percy Bridgman advocated, called operationalism whose ideas were dismissed by philosophers quite quickly. (e.g. an "electron"cannot be directly measured. But the effects of electrons can be measured. Electron is a theoretical term based in several theories.) 

Over 80 years later economists seem still be following Bridgman even though "happiness" is being measured scientifically.

We don't need Piketty's excuses to take from the rich to give to the poor. It's often the right thing to do and we don't need Robin Hood's violent method because we have the vote.   

Right leaning views

However, there are other views:

In countering the Robin Hood principle, right-leaning people emphaise property rights and the laws that uphold them. There are some refreshingly straightforward discussions on Quora answering the question “Can you give me an ethical/moral analysis of the doings of Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest?”. One starts

Quote
Robbing people solely on the basis of their wealth and giving money to people solely on the basis of their poverty is wrong, because it subverts the very nature of a cooperative economy. It undermines property rights and removes incentive to produce.

I'd say it's "robbing the rich to give to the poor" is right (i.e. a moral sentiment) but partially countered by the other stuff.

An argument that may get more traction in our present crisis is that the rich and affluent should be fined for their enormous pollution and the proceeds distributed.  e.g.  World Wide Carbon Fee and Dividend.

P.S. Apologies for the links pointing to too many of my own pieces but I've been struggling with this scientific method/economics and moral sentiments for many years. I still get uptight about it.
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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #85 on: December 11, 2017, 03:31:02 PM »
Until the USA stops forcing it's perverse brand of socialism on the world there's no hope for income equality. That said a simple low universal transaction tax would soon begin to set us free [to build a very different world], personally i'd prefer we all had equal access to credit/debt from a government central bank, which i believe Steve Keen, with the advent of blockchain technology, now advocates. Simon Thorpe, who gets little attention has done a series of posts on the possibilities of transaction taxes, http://simonthorpesideas.blogspot.co.uk/ bear in mind that when you use a card you already pay  2%+ which vanishes from the retailers end.

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #86 on: December 11, 2017, 08:20:44 PM »
Does education pay - if you're white it does.


https://howmuch.net/articles/net-worth-by-race-and-education



sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #87 on: December 14, 2017, 09:18:12 PM »
World inequality report 2018 published, read all about it.

http://wir2018.wid.world/contents.html

There is a reference there to a paper proposing a mechanism identification of individual ownership of financial assets:

Delphine Nougayrède, “Towards a Global Financial Register?
http://www.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/microsites/law-economics-studies/d_nougayrede_-_towards_a_global_financial_register_-_2017_03_30.pdf

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oren

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #88 on: December 15, 2017, 09:29:26 AM »
Does education pay - if you're white it does.


https://howmuch.net/articles/net-worth-by-race-and-education



Actually the graph shows the opposite. For whites a degree gets pay up by a factor of 4, for blacks and hispanics by a factor of 5, and for others by a factor of 6. Of course, it does pay to be white in this graph, but this is regardless of education level.

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #89 on: December 15, 2017, 10:45:52 PM »
Oren
You may be right.


Keep in mind that they're measuring "Individual Net Worth", not "pay".
If the additional years of schooling cost in excess of ~$60K, then the blacks would have been better off if they had paid off their bills, or invested in something other than higher education. At ~$60K a Hispanic would break about even.


The problem, as I understand it, is that $60K, plus the earnings lost while in school, won't buy a BA any more.


Terry

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #90 on: December 17, 2017, 12:18:47 AM »

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #91 on: December 17, 2017, 01:56:52 AM »
Excoriating report on poverty in the USA:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22533&LangID=E

sidd


WOW !!


  • US health care expenditures per capita are double the OECD average and much higher than in all other countries. But there are many fewer doctors and hospital beds per person than the OECD average.
  • US infant mortality rates in 2013 were the highest in the developed world.
  • Americans can expect to live shorter and sicker lives, compared to people living in any other rich democracy, and the “health gap” between the U.S. and its peer countries continues to grow.
  • U.S. inequality levels are far higher than those in most European countries
  • Neglected tropical diseases, including Zika, are increasingly common in the USA.  It has been estimated that 12 million Americans live with a neglected parasitic infection. A 2017 report documents the prevalence of hookworm in Lowndes County, Alabama.
  • The US has the highest prevalence of obesity in the developed world.
  • In terms of access to water and sanitation the US ranks 36th in the world.
  • America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, ahead of Turkmenistan, El Salvador, Cuba, Thailand and the Russian Federation. Its rate is nearly 5 times the OECD average.
  • The youth poverty rate in the United States is the highest across the OECD with one quarter of youth living in poverty compared to less than 14% across the OECD.
  • The Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks the most well-off countries in terms of labor markets, poverty, safety net, wealth inequality, and economic mobility. The US comes in last of the top 10 most well-off countries, and 18th amongst the top 21.
  • In the OECD the US ranks 35th out of 37 in terms of poverty and inequality.
  • According to the World Income Inequality Database, the US has the highest Gini rate (measuring inequality) of all Western Countries
  • The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality characterizes the US as “a clear and constant outlier in the child poverty league.” US child poverty rates are the highest amongst the six richest countries – Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Norway.

  • #3, where Americans can expect to live "shorter and sicker lives" was the one that got my attention.
    I've only been gone >12 years and almost all of my American friends are dead. Amazing.
    Terry


sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #92 on: December 17, 2017, 07:51:08 AM »
A review of some of the literature and an outline of steps toward a more equitable economy with focus on the USA:

https://thenextsystem.org/inequality

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #93 on: December 29, 2017, 02:33:13 PM »
This is strictly an opinion piece, devoid of any provable facts or data.  :(


As I see it, both in Canada and the United States, a financial wall has been put in place between the aged and their children and grandchildren.
I've read and observed that a large percentage of adults under 40 (+) are now living in their parents homes, or at least having a proportion of their living expenses absorbed by their parents. If you're driving dads old car, joining the parents for a summer vacation, or just relying on grampa to pick up the dinner tab, you fit this demographic.


We didn't acquire wealth because we were smarter, or worked harder, we simply lived in less demanding times, and compound interest worked in our favor. I remember 17% interest on a passbook account with the full backing of the US Government. You did need to keep your balance above $5K, but who wouldn't for those kinds of payoffs?
Homes I bought for <$30K were sold at huge multiples of their purchase price, and were rented out at a profit while waiting to get the price I wanted.


I made my parents house payments for the last 10 or 15 years of their lives, and since then I've been paying my step daughter's family's rent and utilities. The safety nets in the States are shredded, and have been for decades.
Receiving Xmas cards that are thinly veiled pleas for the downpayment on another car doesn't really convey the Christmas spirit.  :-\


They'll come into a nest egg when the wife and I leave, but I've no doubt that it will be gone in a year of living well beyond their means.
We didn't plan for this, it just happened. At some point, as this inequality widens, the not so young anymore people are going to lash out. It can't be fun to beg from your parents no matter how accommodating they are.
When it comes they'll find that the police and courts have been bought through our taxes and votes, so they'll lose. Then they'll ask us to go their bail.


Terry




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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #94 on: December 29, 2017, 03:17:52 PM »
This is strictly an opinion piece, devoid of any provable facts or data.  :(


As I see it, both in Canada and the United States, a financial wall has been put in place between the aged and their children and grandchildren.
I've read and observed that a large percentage of adults under 40 (+) are now living in their parents homes, or at least having a proportion of their living expenses absorbed by their parents. If you're driving dads old car, joining the parents for a summer vacation, or just relying on grampa to pick up the dinner tab, you fit this demographic.


We didn't acquire wealth because we were smarter, or worked harder, we simply lived in less demanding times, and compound interest worked in our favor. I remember 17% interest on a passbook account with the full backing of the US Government. You did need to keep your balance above $5K, but who wouldn't for those kinds of payoffs?
Homes I bought for <$30K were sold at huge multiples of their purchase price, and were rented out at a profit while waiting to get the price I wanted.


I made my parents house payments for the last 10 or 15 years of their lives, and since then I've been paying my step daughter's family's rent and utilities. The safety nets in the States are shredded, and have been for decades.
Receiving Xmas cards that are thinly veiled pleas for the downpayment on another car doesn't really convey the Christmas spirit.  :-\


They'll come into a nest egg when the wife and I leave, but I've no doubt that it will be gone in a year of living well beyond their means.
We didn't plan for this, it just happened. At some point, as this inequality widens, the not so young anymore people are going to lash out. It can't be fun to beg from your parents no matter how accommodating they are.
When it comes they'll find that the police and courts have been bought through our taxes and votes, so they'll lose. Then they'll ask us to go their bail.


Terry

Here in the UK our last election painted an enlightening picture with the right only getting the pensioners vote and all age groups below 50yrs voting more left.

If you are born into the neoliberal reality then you know that you are not ever going to be included included with the 'haves' and so need the state to provide that you can no longer afford as rent takes up the wages that once paid for home buying/holidays/ pensions/healthcare etc

Though now the new poor these people are well educated and ,via the internet, very well connected. If ever a political ethos was driving global socialism it is/will be the death throes of the neo Liberal con.....
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ko.yaa.nis.katsi (from the Hopi language), n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life disintegrating. 4. life out of balance. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.
 
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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #95 on: December 31, 2017, 11:47:54 PM »
This paper is discussed in another thread, but has bearing here, so i repost. It is a report on the two way connection between economic inequality and climate change.

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/boiling-points/

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/SHolmberg_ClimateReport.pdf

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #96 on: January 02, 2018, 10:06:50 PM »
Rentier share of national income exceeds wages+benefits in the USA:

https://extranewsfeed.com/working-class-w-no-living-wage-the-absurd-math-of-us-income-18a6dffe25bb

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #97 on: January 02, 2018, 10:07:44 PM »
Inequality drives murder: "Inequality predicts homicide rates “better than any other variable”, says Martin Daly, professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at McMaster University in Ontario ... "

http://economichardship.org/archive//the-surprising-factors-driving-murder-rates-income-inequality-and-respect

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #98 on: January 10, 2018, 09:47:04 AM »
Worse than Piketty thought:

"“The same fact reported [by Piketty] holds true for more countries and more years, and more dramatically,” the researchers conclude."

"Overall, if the average annual return on wealth since 1870 has been 6.28 percent, average annual economic growth works out to just 2.87 percent.

“The weighted rate of return on capital was twice as high as the growth rate in the past 150 years,” the authors conclude."

Data from 1870-2015

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/01/04/massive-new-data-set-suggests-inequality-is-about-to-get-even-worse/

http://nber.org/papers/w24112

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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #99 on: January 22, 2018, 07:23:10 AM »
How to fight for the future: Scotland shows the way.

Recall that one of the first insurance companies, at least in the Western world was the Scottish Ministers Widows Fund ...

" ... future-proofing the powers against the kinds of austerity measures that have devastated vulnerable groups in the rest of the UK."

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jan/21/future-proofed-against-austerity-new-scottish-social-security-system

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