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Off-topic => The rest => Topic started by: sidd on August 23, 2017, 02:32:25 AM

Title: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 23, 2017, 02:32:25 AM
I start this thread to discuss economic inequality, and I shall kick it off a paper by Piketty et al.

1) Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States, Piketty et al. 2017 available at  http://gabriel-zucman.eu/usdina (http://gabriel-zucman.eu/usdina)

The paper concentrates on income inequality in the USA, both pre and post tax, including benefits through redistribution. I attach

a) the upper panel of figure 3 showing the share of national income for the bottom 50%
b) the lower panel of fig 3 showing showing real income for the botton 50% flattening in the late 80s and that it has not recovered from the 2008 recession
c) The lower panel of fig 5 share of the national income going to the top 1%, showing steady increase.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 23, 2017, 02:37:43 AM
Another paper by saez has figures for wealth as opposed to income, and I attach Figure 12, showing the rape of the bottom 90% by the top 1%. The top 1% in the USA recovered quite nicely since the 2008 recession, while the bottom 90% did not.

Saez  "Income and Wealth Inequality: Evidence and Policy Implications at http://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/ (http://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/)

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on August 23, 2017, 11:20:59 AM
sidd
Interesting charts!


I believe chart 12, Family Wealth should have an additional $10,000,000 added to the top 3 numbers in the left y axis, correcting to $14M, $12M, $10M.


I'm always mentally adding broad vertical bands to these charts indicating which party held the presidency at such a time, keeping track of the house might also be helpful in some instances.


Those who were not adults when the Reaganites swept into power may see the reality of "The Reagan Miracle" in your charts. When the prices of raw materials turned deflationary many of us were not prepared & took an unexpected bath. 


Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: gerontocrat on August 23, 2017, 03:36:25 PM
The income inequality charts could be entitled "How to get a Trump as President".
A similar chart some years ago in Venezuela could be entitled "How to get a Chavez (and then a Maduro) as President".
How come the very well-off are so dumb?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on August 23, 2017, 04:54:00 PM
The income inequality charts could be entitled "How to get a Trump as President".
A similar chart some years ago in Venezuela could be entitled "How to get a Chavez (and then a Maduro) as President".
How come the very well-off are so dumb?
I'm sorry, but I don't get the connection between a far right president and two leftist presidents, nor how all three are bolstered by charts showing how inequality has varied over a number of decades?


I may well be dumb, but I'm certainly not terribly well off, so what am I missing?
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: gerontocrat on August 23, 2017, 06:50:31 PM
Hugo Chavez got elected because the previous regime, awash with oil money, and run by the rich, was too dumb to give some crumbs to the have-nots. The left, and Chavez especially, gave them hope for a better life. Trouble was he spent the oil money twice or three times, and killed the economy.

Trump (once upon a time a Democrat) found a message that resonated with a bunch of have-nots who hated both the establishment republicans and the establishment democrats. They happened also to be also those who believe that big Government is the problem - so naturally are Republicans. Do you remember how Trump prevaricated about signing the Republican oath of loyalty? He only signed it because his constituency was naturally Republican. But the message was "Drain the Swamp".

The charts only show what have-nots are experiencing - being screwed by guys in Armani suits showing off their wealth.

If you look at it through the political perspective of Left vs Right then you cannot see whether a Government is at least trying to improve the condition of the people - "We, the people".

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 23, 2017, 09:13:15 PM
The Saez paper has data for many countries. For this kind of research i have found Kuznets, Atkinson and Piketty very useful, and the Piketty, Saez, Zucman team has been prolific. I hve posted some references before, but I shall repost them here as i recall them.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 08, 2017, 12:42:03 AM
A perceptive article from the guardian about leftward shift of the young in the usa

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/02/socialism-young-americans-bernie-sanders (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/02/socialism-young-americans-bernie-sanders)

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 15, 2017, 08:19:57 PM
Chancel and Piketty on economic inequality in India:

wid.world/document/chancelpiketty2017widworld/

Figures from India are ... difficult. This work is a painstakig reconciliation of several different data sources.

i attach figures showing the share of the top 1% and the bottom 50%

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 16, 2017, 05:13:42 AM
Inequality in lifespan between the top and bottom income in the USA, from a NAP study:

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/health360/2015/09/18/implications-of-the-growing-gap-in-life-expectancy-by-income/ (https://www.brookings.edu/blog/health360/2015/09/18/implications-of-the-growing-gap-in-life-expectancy-by-income/)

i attach a graph from the study

See also:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/09/12/i-watched-my-patients-die-of-poverty-for-40-years-its-time-for-single-payer/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/09/12/i-watched-my-patients-die-of-poverty-for-40-years-its-time-for-single-payer/)

" I spent a decade at Mount Sinai Hospital, a not-for-profit hospital for the poor in North Lawndale, a neighborhood of concentrated poverty in Chicago. Sinai cares for a mostly minority population that is mostly uninsured or on Medicaid. In my 27 years at these two safety-net hospitals, not one of my patients received an organ or bone marrow transplant. Yet the organs that fed the transplant centers across the region came from the dying patients in these hospitals.  Our patients — the poorest of the poor — gave, but they never received."

Amazing. We got the dystopic organ market right here.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/health/disparity-in-life-spans-of-the-rich-and-the-poor-is-growing.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/health/disparity-in-life-spans-of-the-rich-and-the-poor-is-growing.html)

"The experience of other countries suggests that disparities do not necessarily get worse in contemporary times. Consider Canada, where men in the poorest urban neighborhoods experienced the biggest declines in mortality from heart disease from 1971 to 1996, according to a 2002 study. Over all, the gap in life expectancy at birth between income groups declined in Canada during that period. And a study comparing cancer survival rates found that low-income residents of Toronto had greater survival rates than their counterparts in Detroit. There was no difference for middle- and high-income residents in the two cities."

The USA is getting rid of poverty by killing the poor.

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 on September 16, 2017, 10:57:36 AM
It didn't help to have $27T of bailouts to bankers when $8T Could have cleared everyones mortgages. skip to 9:45
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP-8fgP2yLo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP-8fgP2yLo)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: GeoffBeacon on September 16, 2017, 01:31:42 PM
Sidd

"Why can’t we just rob the rich?"

Operationalism was rejected decades ago but economists still cling to it.

Of course Piketty is one of the few post 1930's economists on the side of the angels.

Since the 1930s economists have been influenced by the fallacious rejection of utilitarianism by Lionel Robbins.

Robbins changed economics, which as a "science" does not have moral content, in ways that made our moral judgements, which are not "science", harder to apply. The key point is that "happiness"/"utility" can be perfectly good scientific terms - although when we "happiness" for moral judgement we step outside scientific method. See Lionel Robbins didn’t understand science. Ravens do. (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/robbins-and-ravens/)

In Thomas Piketty or Robin Hood? (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/thomas-piketty-or-robin-hood/) I wrote:

Quote
In arguing that concentrations of wealth “stirs discontent and radically undermines our democratic values” Piketty plays on the fears of the affluent. We don’t want to be disturbed by discontent and don’t want to believe that we are undemocratic.

A much simpler justification was used by earlier economists, such as Bentham and Mill, that it is right to take from the rich to give to the poor because the rich value what has been taken less than the poor that receive it. This is the utilitarian principle of maximising human satisfaction (or utility or happiness).

Piketty may be avoiding the utilitarianism because of the objections that some moral philosophers can put forward. In the 21st century, few would regard the Roman Games, where the audience delighted in Christians being eaten by lions as morally correct – even if the total pleasure of the crowd exceeded the negative pleasure (the pain) of the Christians. But economics won’t help here either: It has nothing to say. A utilitarianism approach is the best economics can do in the moral field: Not perfect but good enough.

A more depressing reason for Piketty’s coyness may be the legacy of Robbins: the muddled claim that the utilitarian principle was unscientific. A broad moral brush is all that economics can provide, it can’t do better the maximum happiness principle.

Another piece I have written Feeding the geese and robbing the rich (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/rob-the-rich/) asks the question "Why can’t we just rob the rich?" and uses Hume's distinction between theory&facts and internal feelings

Quote
The philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) pointed this out a long time ago. My paraphrase of his view is this:

(1) Theory and facts alone cannot drive our actions

(2) Internal feelings drive our actions.

(3) Some internal feelings are “moral sentiments”
I apologise if this comes across as a bit obsessive but I studied Philosophy of Science in the 1960s. Then in the 1970s developed a proposal for unemployment. (Later, made into proper economics by my good friend Kim Swales (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Swales).) This led me into economics. I was shocked to find they had swallowed Percy Bridgman's view on scientific method, operationalism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/operationalism/) says:

Quote
Both in philosophy and in psychology operationalism is nowadays commonly regarded as an extreme and outmoded position
Wake up, you economists! I have been waiting for over 40 years to say this.

But I think most economists will have a large dose of Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance (https://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html) when it comes to their operationalist roots. Richard Layard sticks to them (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/can-richard-layard-really-be-following-percy-bridgman/) even though he is an advocate of measuring happiness.

I feel better after that.

sidd: Thanks for the opportunity.

And, of course, thanks to Neven.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 17, 2017, 06:41:23 AM
Mr. Beacon, 

I  do not read bruselsblog as often as i should. Thanx for the reminder.

That said,i do not see Piketty as an economist as much as an empiricist, laying bare the gutting of the poor. In the large, i find economists devoid of compassion, and I sympathise with many of the current pope's theses, although I am far from religious. The encyclicals are very good, but here are some extracts from the "Economy and Communion" meeting.

http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2017/02/04/170204a.html (http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2017/02/04/170204a.html)

"The principal ethical dilemma of this capitalism is the creation of discarded people, then trying to hide them or make sure they are no longer seen. A serious form of poverty in a civilization is when it is no longer able to see its poor, who are first discarded and then hidden."

"Gambling companies finance campaigns to care for the pathological gamblers that they create. And the day that the weapons industry finances hospitals to care for the children mutilated by their bombs, the system will have reached its pinnacle. This is hypocrisy!"

"The economy of communion, if it wants to be faithful to its charism, must not only care for the victims, but build a system where there are ever fewer victims, where, possibly, there may no longer be any."

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: GeoffBeacon on September 17, 2017, 09:51:40 AM
sidd

Wow. That amazes me.

The only reference I can find in the main stream media is a picture of the Pope comforting a crying baby: The Telegraph, Pictures of the Day: 5 February 2017 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/05/pictures-day-5-february-2017/pope-francis-crying-baby-audience-members-entrepreneurs-economy/)

Nothing of what the Pope said is reported.

Thanks

Geoff
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 21, 2017, 07:46:14 AM
That the corporate media choose not to report on those papal sayings is not too surprising. They are agencies of power, and a very large part of their function is to distract from systematic inequality engendered by power. In that context of distraction Postman has things to say:

"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions". In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us."

Ellul is a useful guide also. But this is getting quite far afield of this thread subject, perhaps we need a new thread about corporate media as agent of power.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 26, 2017, 05:12:10 AM
A paper that probably belong on this thread is  Gilens and Page (2014) doi:10.1017/S1537592714001595

It is open access. I have posted about this paper before in another thread. I attach some of my previous comment and part of figure 1.

--
I attach two panels of Fig. 1 from the paper, which states:

" ... economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

"Not only do ordinary citizens not have uniquely substantial power over policy decisions; they have little or no independent influence on policy at all."

" ... our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts."
--
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Rob Dekker on September 28, 2017, 06:05:21 AM
Income inequality is already reaching epic proportions in the US (see posts above).
Now Trump wants to make it a even worse :

https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156362122272908/ (https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156362122272908/)

Here is another one :
https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156361093587908/ (https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156361093587908/)

I find it quite astounding why the people that voted this buffoon into power don't realize that they were voting big time against their own interest.

Are they really surprised that this self absorbed billionaire wants to decrease tax rates for the top 0.1 % to be paid for by the rest of us ?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 28, 2017, 06:27:46 AM
I have posted about russian inequality before in another thread. I repost:

--
What the Harvard boys did to Russia, as Zucman says, in one graf:

"From soviets to oligarchs, in one graph"

That graf is Fig 11a in Novokment et al. (2017)

http://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/NPZ2017 (http://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/NPZ2017)

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Rob Dekker on September 28, 2017, 08:42:24 AM
Sidd, another graph from the same article suggests that billionaire wealth (income of billionaires) in Russia is much worse than any western country, including the US, especially over the past 10 years of the Putin regime :

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 28, 2017, 10:11:41 PM
Comparison of fig2 and fig 11a in Novokment et al. shows something interesting. The billionaire fraction takes off about 10 years after the top 1%. The authors do point out in the text that the billionaire fraction is from Forbes, and the data is not complete and cannot be independently cross verified. But recall an exodus of bilionaires from Russia in the 2000s after Putin jailed Khodorkovsky in 2003, and i wonder if being outside Russia raised the visibility of expatriate billionaires in Forbes's vision.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Rob Dekker on September 29, 2017, 08:23:03 AM
Figure 2 shows that "resident" and "citizen" billionaire income is almost the same.
So the argument that "Putin jailed Khodorkovsky in 2003" does not seem to have had a lot of influence.

Billionaires in Russia seem to have more control over the economy than in any other state mentioned, including the US.

So Russia is more of an Oligarchy at this point than any other state mentioned in the report.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 29, 2017, 04:53:42 PM
1) I trust the Forbes data in figure 2 much less than the rest of the analysis.

2) Immense wealth alone does not necessarily translate into control of the economy, or into political control. For a counterexample, see China, where the central Ministries have much more control than the billionaires.

3) Russia under Yeltsin was more politically influenced by oligarchs than under Putin. Yeltsin was installed with considerable western help, and served his purpose. Putin was originally seen as another subservient lackey, but alas, that proved not to be the case. Rather, Putin brought the oligarchs to heel, jailing some, exiling some, intimidating others.

What would be nice is a Gilens and Page type analysis of political influence in Russia, broken up by economic class, after the fall of the USSR.

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 29, 2017, 09:01:04 PM
2016 data for the USA released.

"the bottom 10 percent owns -0.5 percent of the wealth in the country (they are net debtors) while the top 10 percent owns 77.1 percent of the wealth in the country."

"In 1989, the top 1 percent owned 29.9 percent of the wealth in this survey. In 2016, it was up to 38.5 percent."

graphs at the link.  the graphs are interactive, mouseovers have a lot of data in them. i attach a screenshot of one, but do read the article.

http://peoplespolicyproject.org/2017/09/27/new-fed-data-the-top-10-now-own-77-of-the-wealth/ (http://peoplespolicyproject.org/2017/09/27/new-fed-data-the-top-10-now-own-77-of-the-wealth/)


sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: A-Team on September 29, 2017, 10:12:22 PM
Quote
"the bottom 10 percent owns -0.5 percent of the wealth in the country (they are net debtors)"
Fascinating graphic, it looks like the lower 50% have essentially no net worth. Maybe a sofa, fridge and widescreen tv that could bring in some cash at eBay but everything else like home, car, cable, phone, visa, insurance, schooling is on paycheck to paycheck payments. These people may work very hard all their lives yet have nothing to show for it. Has to be stressful, having no reserves to fall back on.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Rob Dekker on September 30, 2017, 05:30:51 AM
Fascinating graphic, it looks like the lower 50% have essentially no net worth. Maybe a sofa, fridge and widescreen tv that could bring in some cash at eBay but everything else like home, car, cable, phone, visa, insurance, schooling is on paycheck to paycheck payments. These people may work very hard all their lives yet have nothing to show for it. Has to be stressful, having no reserves to fall back on.

Spot-on, A-team.
And the Trump administration and Republican Congress intends to make that even worse.
I could not have put it better than Bernie did right here :

https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156367822642908/ (https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156367822642908/)

When will the US Republican voting population wake up and

STOP ... VOTING .. AGAINST .. YOUR .. OWN .. INTEREST
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Rob Dekker on September 30, 2017, 05:34:32 AM
...
3) Russia under Yeltsin was more politically influenced by oligarchs than under Putin. Yeltsin was installed with considerable western help, and served his purpose. Putin was originally seen as another subservient lackey, but alas, that proved not to be the case. Rather, Putin brought the oligarchs to heel, jailing some, exiling some, intimidating others.

Yes. Putin keeps his billionaires on a short leash.
Which is another suggestion that the true political power in Russia rests with one man, and one man only.

I think that is generally called a dictatorship.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 30, 2017, 07:22:12 AM
"Fascinating graphic, it looks like the lower 50% have essentially no net worth ... paycheck to paycheck payments. These people may work very hard all their lives yet have nothing to show for it. Has to be stressful, having no reserves to fall back on."

Quite. One emergency away from homeless.

I know a guy who lost his home in the last wipeout in 2008, marriage went bust too. Homeless forawhile. Got free of debt last year, working construction, asphalt, mowing lawns whatever it took. He's fifty two years old, was just getting on his feet again.

He didn't vote for anybody last few elections, but he used to. But now he figures the game is rigged, lost faith.

Had a heart attack couple months ago, woulda died except someone took him to emergency. Then they found something else wrong. No insurance. Huge bills and more coming. He looked me in the eye and told me he'd rather have died than work himself out of this hole again.

As Mr. AbruptSLR posted in another thread,

--
Anne Case and Angus Deaton (November 2, 2015), "Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century", PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1518393112


http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/10/29/1518393112 (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/10/29/1518393112)
--

He owns firearms. I worry he will b part of the statistic, eat a bullet. I go shoot pool with him now and then. Do what i can.

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Rob Dekker on September 30, 2017, 08:55:46 AM
You can't acknowledge Bernie's message, can you sidd ?
Please tell your friend to

START .. VOTING .. FOR .. YOUR .. OWN .. INTEREST
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on September 30, 2017, 10:26:53 AM
I voted with my feet  :)


Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on September 30, 2017, 10:27:34 AM
sidd, tell your friend to become a superdelegate.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on September 30, 2017, 11:34:19 AM
Russia's flat rate income tax will need to be changed in the near future. It's strange that Forbes, who campaigns for such a tax in America, is so eager to point out the problems it has manufactured in another country.


Terry


BTW
Dictators are not elected, and Putin is far more popular than any recently elected American President.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on September 30, 2017, 11:57:48 AM
Sidd


I regret appearing to have taken your friend's situation so lightly.
I have no advise, or soothing words to offer. I have friends in the States who have died in similar circumstances and it's but one of the horrors awaiting those who fall through the ever widening cracks.


Climate change, nuclear winter, American health care, hurricane victims left to their own devices, crooked oligarchs, crooked politicians, destitution, racism, ...


It's too much to take in. At some point we have to look away from the big picture and do what we can for our pool playing buddies.


Best of luck to you both.
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 on September 30, 2017, 12:30:26 PM
I realised in the mid 90s that not since the 60s had any government done anything to improve things for me or people like me, and haven't voted since, apart from for lost causes like the greens, it's a dog and pony show, part of the entertainment industry. It looks like that in the US too.
With a small elite having access to an endless stream of low interest credit, which never really gets repaid, just rolled over [from even cheaper credit], capitalism died. We now have a new game call it financialism or what have you, but it's all about using the endless credit to secure rentier rights on assets, a game our [UK] pathetic politicians are happy to go along with. Most of the hard won technology developed by working people has been bought up and exported to shift profits and income abroad, improving the income and tax position  for the rentier class, with no thought to the future for those disposessed of their living.
Worse yet with a reduced manufacturing base there are very limited opportunities for the parasitic management class to operate their usual nepotistic placement games, so in the most ridiculoulsly inefficient way they sell off and 'privatise' state assets for 10p in the pound creating endless muddles of management jobs, in one of the most blatant make-work schemes ever devised. Former british rail and the NHS being prime examples.
There can be no happy ending.
It looks much the same, but different, in the US. Same underlying cause
https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/09/15/thad-beversdorf-death-of-an-economy/comment-page-1/#comment-12186
IIRC Putin called meetings with each of the oligarchs and informed them that as long as they stayed within the law, and kept out of politics he would leave them alone. Those who didn't show up for the meets were immediately subject to multiple investigations, they sued for peace, those who didn't abide by the offered terms were dispossessed by all legal means available. How they aquired their fortunes is a whole other story.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 30, 2017, 08:50:19 PM
Mr. Dekker writes:

"You can't acknowledge Bernie's message, can you sidd ?"

Dear me. Since my comment said nothing about Bernie's message, or my thoughts thereof, I fail to see how Mr. Dekker comes to that conclusion.

Or perhaps Mr. Dekker takes issue with the very fact of the omission ? I will draw his attention to the fact that the subject comment did not discuss the price of tea in China either, or the opium wars, the East India Company and the structure of the modern corporate capitalist state. All those might be relevant, and I might discuss them elsewhere and elsewhen. But those discussions will take place when I see fit, and perhaps not entirely in accordance with Mr. Dekker's desires.

"Please tell your friend to ..."

I thank Mr. Dekker for his, no doubt well meaning, advice. But perhaps he will give me leave to consult my own judgement in my conversations with my friends.

Neven writes:

" .... tell your friend to become a superdelegate."

If that is intended as levity, forgive me if I do not smile.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on September 30, 2017, 10:15:47 PM
It was sarcasm meaning to portray how difficult it is for your friend to vote for his own interest.

So far, that is. Maybe Bernie becomes a real option that cannot be eliminated by the machine. Maybe there will be a real movement this time, and your friend will have something to vote for.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: A-Team on September 30, 2017, 11:49:06 PM
When I first started grad school, the university's advisors reviewed my aptitudes and strongly recommended pursuing an advanced degree in Leisure Studies (not joking), the argument being that in the future, no one would need to work and only those with a strong background in teaching recreational crafts and enjoying outdoor pursuits would be employable.

I said no to that, mainly because I didn't want to be the only one working while everyone else was goofing off. Not because I didn't believe robotics + living simply could have taken us a long ways towards the three-day work week.

Indeed they have, at least for the narrowly held capital ownership of the robotics. Still, there's been trickle-down: I can sit in the living room today enjoying a mass-produced artisanal beer and just say "Alexa! Post something lite to one of those Arctic forums."
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Rob Dekker on October 01, 2017, 06:05:37 AM
Mr. Dekker writes:

"You can't acknowledge Bernie's message, can you sidd ?"

Dear me. Since my comment said nothing about Bernie's message, or my thoughts thereof, I fail to see how Mr. Dekker comes to that conclusion.

You completely ignored it. That's why.
And you can call me Rob.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 01, 2017, 07:59:50 AM
Rob writes that I completely ignored Mr. Sanders' message, As I explained in my reply, I choose not to comment on a great many subjects.

For example, if I were uncharitable, I might comment that since Rob is silent about the role of slavery, therefore he does not acknowledge the role of racial bias in economic inequality. But, since I am not uncharitable, I do not. Unfortunately, it seems that same courtesy is not extended to me.

This is getting quite offtopic on economic inequality so here is something on topic: Amartya Sen has been  an early and a  strong voice on this subject and I attach a link to a 1997 article by him.

http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dludden/PovertyDefinitionAmartyaSen2.pdf (http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dludden/PovertyDefinitionAmartyaSen2.pdf)

And I notice I have not linked to a seminal work: "Capital in the 21st Century"  by, of course, Piketty, available in a bookstore near you. Part of the book, the figures, supplementals and the data tables are at:

http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/en/capital21c2 (http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/en/capital21c2)

Do read them.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Rob Dekker on October 01, 2017, 08:31:43 AM
Rob writes that I completely ignored Mr. Sanders' message, As I explained in my reply, I choose not to comment on a great many subjects.
Your choice. I still find it suspicious that so far you have not commented on ANY Sanders message, even though I have posted numerous ones.

Incidentally, since Terry intervenes with his pro-Putin messages like "Putin is far more popular than any recently elected American President", I would like to hear your opinion about that too.

Quote
For example, if I were uncharitable, I might comment that since Rob is silent about the role of slavery, therefore he does not acknowledge the role of racial bias in economic inequality. But, since I am not uncharitable, I do not. Unfortunately, it seems that same courtesy is not extended to me.

When you post about slavery, I'd be happy to respond.

Quote
This is getting quite offtopic on economic inequality so here is something on topic: Amartya Sen has been  an early and a  strong voice on this subject and I attach a link to a 1997 article by him.

http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dludden/PovertyDefinitionAmartyaSen2.pdf (http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dludden/PovertyDefinitionAmartyaSen2.pdf)

Exactly what is the message of this "strong voice on the subject" ?

Quote
And I notice I have not linked to a seminal work: "Capital in the 21st Century"  by, of course, Piketty, available in a bookstore near you. Part of the book, the figures, supplementals and the data tables are at:

http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/en/capital21c2 (http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/en/capital21c2)

Do read them.

sidd

Exactly what is the message in this "seminal work" ?

[edit] Sidd. What is your response to this message, that the Trump tax plan benefits the wealthy and not the 99% :
https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156369697367908/ (https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/videos/10156369697367908/)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 01, 2017, 08:53:47 AM
Johnm33 writes: " ...  Putin called meetings with each of the oligarchs and informed them that as long as they stayed within the law, and kept out of politics he would leave them alone"

This is the same deal that the chinese have with their plutocrats. And they enforce it, more rigorously than Russia does. They dont care how rich you get, but you cannot play in the political realm. Unlike for example, Citizen's United Supreme court decision in the USA.

The powers that be in China, the state council and politburo have had  a mission for the last two decades, that Mandate of Heaven, if you will:  to raise 10 million souls a year out of crushing poverty. Arguably, they have succeeded. They have done this at great expense, turning their economy into a outsource for western consumers, including the huge pollution hit entailed.

But now that is changing. In 2011 they announced that China would no longer be a trade driven economy by 2020. Nobody much paid attention, but that is happening now. I believe the term was "The Great Rebalancing."  The Middle Kingdom is turning inward. And that will entail more pain for the underclass in the USA.

One definition of Fascism used to be the union of State and Corporate power. But that vision saw the State as dominant. What we have in the USA and many other countries is corporate power dominant. And so here we are. Sheldon Wolin "Inverted Totalitarianism" is a useful book in detailing how that came to be.
So is Chomsky's work.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on October 01, 2017, 10:03:52 AM
Exactly what is the message in this "seminal work" ?

I haven't read Piketty's book, but I believe the message is that economic inequality keeps growing.

And that's the problem, of course. There is nothing wrong with inequality per se, in the sense that some people have more others, or that some jobs pay better than other jobs. That's a healthy thing, in principle (I think).

But if that inequality - the economic gap between different social classes - grows and keeps on growing indefinitely, you eventually get huge societal problems (not to mention things like AGW, resource wars, financial bubbles, etc).
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on October 01, 2017, 10:43:24 AM
Rob


You're aware of course that my mention of Putin's popularity was a response to you're characterization of him as a dictator.


Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: gerontocrat on October 01, 2017, 11:50:42 AM
Rob

You're aware of course that my mention of Putin's popularity was a response to you're characterization of him as a dictator.

Terry
Mao Tse Tung was popular.
Stalin was popular.
Mussolini was popular.
Hitler was popular.
Ghengis Khan was popular.
Hugo Chavez was popular.
Erdogan is popular.
Putin controls the judiciary, the executive and the legislature. I think that makes him dictator in reality even if not on paper. And he is very popular.

And they were all (or becoming) dictators and in the end did or will leave a right old mess behind them.

Either you believe in "we the people" ( = the right to make the mess  belongs to the people) or you don't.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on October 01, 2017, 04:50:10 PM
Rob

You're aware of course that my mention of Putin's popularity was a response to you're characterization of him as a dictator.

Terry
Mao Tse Tung was popular.
Stalin was popular.
Mussolini was popular.
Hitler was popular.
Ghengis Khan was popular.
Hugo Chavez was popular.
Erdogan is popular.
Putin controls the judiciary, the executive and the legislature. I think that makes him dictator in reality even if not on paper. And he is very popular.

And they were all (or becoming) dictators and in the end did or will leave a right old mess behind them.

Either you believe in "we the people" ( = the right to make the mess  belongs to the people) or you don't.


I disagree.


Yeltsin, when his tanks were bombarding the Duma, was acting as a dictator, and not a terribly popular one. You may remember Yeltsin due to the electoral support he received from Bill Clinton?


Why is it that Americans are the only ones allowed to interfere in other nation's elections? Why are the CIA's enemies so often depicted as dictators, while their puppets are seen as legitimate- Iran's Shah for example.


As far as my support for allowing the people the right to make a mess, I'm still in favor of allowing Trump to finish his (elected) term. 8)


Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: gerontocrat on October 01, 2017, 05:57:00 PM
I agree that Trump should complete his alloted term. When the people vote for someone they need to live with the consequences - the right to choose also includes the responsibility for the consequences thereof.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 01, 2017, 11:29:57 PM
An article from 2015 details illusions held about economic inequality in the USA:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/economic-inequality-it-s-far-worse-than-you-think/ (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/economic-inequality-it-s-far-worse-than-you-think/)

" ... indifference lies in a distinctly American cultural optimism."

" ... the United States is now the most unequal of all Western nations."

End with a famous quote from Carlin, and a question:

George Carlin joked that, “the reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.” How do we wake up?

The article is good and the references are better. Read the whole thing.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 01, 2017, 11:36:53 PM
Detailed report on geographical variation in income inequality over the USA:

http://www.epi.org/publication/income-inequality-in-the-us/ (http://www.epi.org/publication/income-inequality-in-the-us/)

Very nice data.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 04, 2017, 01:56:21 AM
Mr Schwarz over at the intercept directs my attention to a charming and prescient article by Kalecki (from 1943 !) which details the roots of political opposition to government spending policy directed toward full employment.

Some quotes:

"Indeed, under a regime of permanent full employment, the 'sack' would cease to play its role as a disciplinary measure. The social position of the boss would be undermined, and the self-assurance and class-consciousness of the working class would grow."

"One of the important functions of fascism, as typified by the Nazi system, was to remove capitalist objections to full employment."

"In a democracy, one does not know what the next government will be like. Under fascism there is no next government."

"If capitalism can adjust itself to full employment, a fundamental reform will have been incorporated in it. If not, it will show itself an outmoded system which must be scrapped."

He ends with a warning:

"Fascism sprang up in Germany against a background of tremendous unemployment, and maintained itself in power through securing full employment while capitalist democracy failed to do so. The fight of the progressive forces for all employment is at the same time a way of preventing the recurrence of fascism."

Read the whole thing:

http://delong.typepad.com/kalecki43.pdf (http://delong.typepad.com/kalecki43.pdf)

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 09, 2017, 04:41:25 AM
A very apt article on a Sunday (in some places) : "The Land Belongs to God"

I am of no particular religious persuasion, but i think the discussion on historical treatment of Debt and Jubilee is compelling. This was aan address by Prof. Michael Hudson to Union Theological Seminary, Columbia, with some very cogent comments.

" An even greater argument occurs over the Lord’s Prayer. What does it mean: Is he saying forgive us our sins, or forgive us the debts? Well, most of religion’s leaders, certainly the vested interests, say: “He’s talking about sins,” that religion and Christianity is all about sin, it’s not about debt.

Actually, the word for sin and debt is the same in almost every language."

" At first Jesus said: “Good to be back in Nazareth, let me read to you about Isaiah.” In Luke 4 says it that this was all very good, and they liked him. But then he began talking about debt cancellation, and they tried to push him off a cliff.

"

"We no longer know about aphesis, the core New Testament term for forgiveness, but that is indeed the term you have brought up: the term for deror, for shmita, for yobul, for all the kind of debt release, for release of people from captivity, for release of land from being given away. And that is very much present in the New Testament. We just have kind of suppressed it. It’s suppressed in the theology that most of us have learned somewhere, and not accidentally.

We pray the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our debts.” But we think, “It’s not really debts, it’s sin.” If you listen to the stories from the New Testament you can see that debt and sin forgiveness are not apart. This separation only happens when Christianity was integrated into the whole system of Constantinian state theology: of an empire that lived on debt mechanisms.

"

"So sin is an economic term and it’s a pietistic term."

http://michael-hudson.com/2017/01/the-land-belongs-to-god/ (http://michael-hudson.com/2017/01/the-land-belongs-to-god/)

Read the whole thing. I mean it.

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 11, 2017, 01:52:07 AM
Police killings undercounted in lower income couties of the USA.

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002399 (http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002399)

Elegant work. Open access. Read all about it.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 11, 2017, 02:34:53 AM
China to eliminate poverty by 2020:

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

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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 (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 (https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/10/trump-administration-picks-bizarre-fight-with-imf-over-report-backing-taxing-the-rich.html)

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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/ (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/10/06/americans-deepest-in-poverty-lost-more-ground-in-2016/)


sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: GeoffBeacon on October 23, 2017, 02:28:34 AM
THE HARVARD BOYS, JEFFREY SACHS, AMARTYA SEN ... AND DEGROWTH

sidd

I've just noticed you said (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2143.msg130094.html#msg130094) "What the Harvard boys did to Russia" and just found a piece in the Nation The Harvard Boys Do Russia (https://www.thenation.com/article/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 (http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/15/opinions/climate-justice-is-coming-sachs/index.html):

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 (http://jeffsachs.org/) 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?
 (https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/41203/wp269.pdf) 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 (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/amartya-sen-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.


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: GeoffBeacon on October 23, 2017, 09:51:39 AM
sidd

Thanks

Geoff
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 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.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM 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 (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



Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 14, 2017, 11:39:26 PM
Credit Suisse 2017 wealth report, or how the 1% screw the rest of us.

http://publications.credit-suisse.com/index.cfm/publikationen-shop/research-institute/global-wealth-report-2017-en/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: gerontocrat 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.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis 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.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis 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 :-)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on November 28, 2017, 09:17:26 AM
Yes, my local organic market.

I hope.  ;)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Iceismylife 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.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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 ?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: ivica on December 01, 2017, 08:11:05 AM
Video: Wealth Inequality Most Severe Since Ancient Egypt w/Prof. Richard Wolff at TJDS (https://youtu.be/zHZIVrwOS7Y).  More (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK-6FjMu9OI8i0Fo6bkW0VA).
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: GeoffBeacon 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 (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/rob-the-rich/).

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 (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/robbins-and-ravens/).

Robbins was following the view of science Percy Bridgman advocated, called operationalism  (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/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 (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/can-richard-layard-really-be-following-percy-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 (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/thomas-piketty-or-robin-hood/).   

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? (https://www.quora.com/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 (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/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.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 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.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM 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


(https://cdn.howmuch.net/articles/55-3-801b.jpg)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: oren 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


(https://cdn.howmuch.net/articles/55-3-801b.jpg)
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.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM 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
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on December 17, 2017, 12:18:47 AM
Excoriating report on poverty in the USA:

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

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM 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 (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22533&LangID=E)

sidd


WOW !!


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM 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



Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Gray-Wolf 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.....
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd 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

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 07, 2018, 05:18:50 AM
PBS is airing a show called "The Gilded Age" that traces historical roots of plutocrat takeover of US government more than a hundred years ago. Quite refreshing, PBS has been more an apologist for Empire of late.

I crosspost to the "Must Read" thread.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 08, 2018, 08:35:54 PM
America's finest news source on FBI's latest warning:

" ... millions have already fallen victim to the long-running grift ...promised great prosperity and success ...  only to find themselves swindled and left with virtually nothing ... susceptible parties are made to believe that class mobility is possible simply through ability or achievement ... Many even travelled across the world ...drawn in by wild promises ...  got played for suckers ...investigating a number of upper-middle class white men who have suspiciously benefitted ... "

https://www.theonion.com/fbi-warns-of-american-dream-scam-1822834360

"It's called the American Dream,because you have to be asleep to believe it." -- George Carlin

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 13, 2018, 12:25:56 AM
Choose your parents carefully. Slightly less care needed on grandparents:

" We directly link family lines across data spanning 1910 to 2013 and find a substantial “grandparent effect” for cohorts born since 1920, as well as some evidence of a “great-grandparent effect.” Although these may be due to measurement error, we conclude that estimates from only two generations of data understate persistence by about 20 percent."

http://www.nber.org/papers/w22635

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 16, 2018, 03:07:54 AM
Two papers:

1) Bonica et al. 2013 doi:10.1257/jep.27.3.103

Very good paper. The title enquires why democracy has not slowed rising inequality; the paper shows the beginnings of an answer. I attach figure 6 showing that the politicians now rely on the top ten thousandth of the money pyramid for more than 40% of campaign money. Fig 6 has a more detailed breakup for the Democrats.

2) Presentation by Piketty in January this year which is a closer look at voter breakup in France and USA. He oserves that the leftist parties in France and the Democrats in the USA have been taken over by well educated, highly paid globalists and proposes a model to guide future analysis.

piketty.pse.ens.fr/files/Piketty2018PoliticalConflict.pdf

many nice graphs

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 16, 2018, 07:58:00 AM
Killing off the poor, the rich folk don't need as many of the great unwashed labor force these days:

"On average, a boy born in one of the most affluent areas will outlive one born in one of the poorest by 8.4 years.

That was up from 7.2 years in 2001, the Longevity Science Panel (LSP) found. "

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43058394

and right on cue, dead homeless guy by Parliament. And a comment by Corbyn, reminds me of Helder Camara: "When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-43063019

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Buddy on February 22, 2018, 07:53:30 PM
Gates and Buffet are BOTH known for thinking the economic disparity is far too high....and the wealthy should pay a much higher rate.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bill-gates-paid-over-10-191900392.html?_fsig=uxC7dQ7KyrgFyIyxJLA8sA--

And the graph below shows the following for US income tax:  (1) highest marginal rate (2) lowest marginal rate (3) number of brackets.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 25, 2018, 08:06:56 PM
A (small) study shows that outcomes for disadvantaged children are inversely correlated with their beliefs in a fair and meritocratic society.

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/07/internalizing-the-myth-of-meritocracy/535035/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: zheega on February 25, 2018, 09:37:44 PM
Quote
Gates and Buffet are BOTH known for thinking the economic disparity is far too high....and the wealthy should pay a much higher rate.

And there is also no need to raise the max marginal rates. Just kill all the loopholes and bring back all the untaxed money from tax havens.

US has declared many stupid wars, why not just declare a war on tax havens? I doubt Virgin Islands have much of a military. Domestic tax havens (such as Delaware) and UK's tax havens can be dealt with through legislation.

There is predicted to be ~$30 trillion hidden in tax havens. Tax all money in tax havens at 50% if obtained legally, at 100% if the owner can't prove that it was obtained legally. Distribute it between the countries where those people are from.

Problem solved.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 27, 2018, 12:01:08 AM
Yves Smith at nakedcapitalism pointed me to a 2016 paper by Mir and Storm which compares national carbon emissions on the basis of consumption rather than production. Unsurprisingly they find the Kuznets curve is largely a myth, since developed countries export carbon release. They find that the maximum carbon release, when plotted against per capita income is not at 36K USD as in the production based model but rather at 113 KUSD for the consumption based model. Since the latter level of per capita income is outside the range of all nations in the study, they conclude that "  ... the relationship between per capita income and per capita carbon emissions is monotonically increasing and the consumption-related CO2 emissions per capita do not decouple from economic growth within sample range. "

https://www.ineteconomics.org/research/research-papers/carbon-emissions-and-economic-growth-production-based-versus-consumption-based-evidence-on-decoupling

sidd




Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 27, 2018, 12:08:40 AM
An article in Rolling Stone about climate migrations quotes Solomon Hsiang:

--
"Most people don't realize how much climate affects everything, from their property values to how hard people work," says Solomon Hsiang, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, who led a recent study that predicts, as the climate warms, there will be "a large transfer of value northward and westward." And the wealthy, who can afford to adapt, will benefit, while the poor, who will likely be left behind, will suffer. "If we continue on the current path," Hsiang says, "our analysis suggests that climate change may result in the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in the country's history."
--

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/welcome-to-the-age-of-climate-migration-w516974


Hsiang has many good papers out

http://www.globalpolicy.science/solomon-hsiang-publications

From doi: 10.1126/science.aal4369

"Combining impacts across sectors reveals that warming causes a net transfer of value from Southern, Central, and Mid-Atlantic regions toward the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes region, and New England (Fig. 2I). In some counties, median losses exceed 20% of gross county product (GCP), while median gains sometimes exceed 10% of GCP. Because losses are largest in regions that are already poorer on average, climate change tends to increase preexisting inequality in the United States."

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on February 27, 2018, 02:53:05 AM
A (small) study shows that outcomes for disadvantaged children are inversely correlated with their beliefs in a fair and meritocratic society.

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/07/internalizing-the-myth-of-meritocracy/535035/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/07/internalizing-the-myth-of-meritocracy/535035/)

sidd
Thanks


California was in the process of integrating their schools as I washed up on their shores. What was noticeable was that a number of the minority kids quit trying when thrown to the wolves among the better prepared students.
Kids that may have done well when competing among students with similarly ill prepared peers were disheartened when their best just wasn't enough to compete with children raised in homes where english was spoken, and education was valued.


I don't know the answer, but this isn't working.
Terry

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Iceismylife on February 27, 2018, 03:48:56 AM
I read a letter written in about 1890 or so by someone with the name Rockefeller it went a bit like this he liked the way someone was educating back people as all they were good for when that person was done with them was factory work.

The way black people in the US have been treated has me pissed.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 28, 2018, 09:42:24 PM
Debtors prisons flourishing in the USA:

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/28/criminalization-of-debt-imprisonment-aclu-report/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 28, 2018, 09:54:32 PM
Varoufakis Agoniste:Review of Varoufakis' latest on the rape of Greece:

"It was a bailout—but for banks in Germany, France, and elsewhere, not for Greece."

" the creditors were lending Greece money only so that it could keep paying back those same creditors. In effect, the Greek state was paying a substantial tribute to its creditors each year for the privilege of remaining in debt to them. "

“we were dealing with creditors who did not really want their money back.”

Schauble:
"Europe was losing competitiveness and would stagnate unless social benefits were curtailed en masse. "

"For German conservatives such as Schäuble, Greece is indeed just somewhere to make a start; the real target is the larger and stronger welfare states of Europe—and ultimately their own working class. "

"What if the actual goal was austerity, and the crisis and unpayable debt just convenient openings to pursue it?"

Quote from the Economist lays out motiavations for the rape of things to come:

".The real problem, not just for Italy and France but also for Germany, is that, so far, life has continued to be too good for too many people."

"In short, Greece had to be made an example of so people in the rest of Europe wouldn’t get ideas. "

" The dejected Tsipras has a clearer view of the situation when he replies that new proposals don’t matter: “They want to destroy us.” "

The last sentence is:

"Game theorist that he is, Varoufakis must know that the bargaining power of the weak depends on their exit options.  "

https://bostonreview.net/politics/j-w-mason-austerity-design

Read the whole thing. In fact read all of Varoufakis. A good start is

https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Iceismylife on March 01, 2018, 12:32:26 AM
Varoufakis Agoniste:Review of Varoufakis' latest on the rape of Greece:

"It was a bailout—but for banks in Germany, France, and elsewhere, not for Greece."

" the creditors were lending Greece money only so that it could keep paying back those same creditors. In effect, the Greek state was paying a substantial tribute to its creditors each year for the privilege of remaining in debt to them. "

“we were dealing with creditors who did not really want their money back.”

Schauble:
"Europe was losing competitiveness and would stagnate unless social benefits were curtailed en masse. "

"For German conservatives such as Schäuble, Greece is indeed just somewhere to make a start; the real target is the larger and stronger welfare states of Europe—and ultimately their own working class. "

"What if the actual goal was austerity, and the crisis and unpayable debt just convenient openings to pursue it?"

Quote from the Economist lays out motiavations for the rape of things to come:

".The real problem, not just for Italy and France but also for Germany, is that, so far, life has continued to be too good for too many people."

"In short, Greece had to be made an example of so people in the rest of Europe wouldn’t get ideas. "

" The dejected Tsipras has a clearer view of the situation when he replies that new proposals don’t matter: “They want to destroy us.” "

The last sentence is:

"Game theorist that he is, Varoufakis must know that the bargaining power of the weak depends on their exit options.  "

https://bostonreview.net/politics/j-w-mason-austerity-design

Read the whole thing. In fact read all of Varoufakis. A good start is

https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/

sidd
I've thought that what the Greeks needed to do was issued paper curency that is good only in Greece.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 01, 2018, 12:56:38 AM
"Greeks needed to do was issued paper curency that is good only in Greece."

That was part of Varoufakis' plan, as set forth in the article, to create a nationall parallel payment system.

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Iceismylife on March 01, 2018, 03:00:18 AM
Local currency, good only in there.  Hand it out to the pensioners, that should control inflation.

I'm not conversant with the plan.  But handing out 20 euro notes that are good for paying taxes. At one to one.

If you want to service the debts you need everyone working and at a high rate of pay.  Austerity isn't practical at paying debts. 
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 02, 2018, 12:04:10 AM
I have posted a comment by the Pope previously in this thread:

""The principal ethical dilemma of this capitalism is the creation of discarded people, then trying to hide them or make sure they are no longer seen. A serious form of poverty in a civilization is when it is no longer able to see its poor, who are first discarded and then hidden."

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=post;topic=2143.0;last_msg=144056

Now here is an editorial from the LA times, that unwittingly echoes the point:

"The increasing visibility of homelessness and destitution contributes to the uneasy feeling that the problem is closing in on everyone."

Of course, if they were invisible, this would not happen. Unfortunately, the homeless are, by their too obvious existence, discomforting their betters.

The editorial makes some well meaning suggestions and bemoans the lack of action. In that it once again repeats the Pope:

"Gambling companies finance campaigns to care for the pathological gamblers that they create. And the day that the weapons industry finances hospitals to care for the children mutilated by their bombs, the system will have reached its pinnacle."

Yes, so now the very system that creates the homeless is to build shelters for them. Perhaps easier to not create homeless in the first place? Naah, that might mean looking in a mirror.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-homelessness-impact-on-others-20180301-htmlstory.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 02, 2018, 01:54:29 AM
Jail the poor for twice as long, that'll learn 'em.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43214596

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on March 02, 2018, 10:57:10 AM
Jail the poor for twice as long, that'll learn 'em.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43214596 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43214596)

sidd
And it keeps them out of sight! 8)


In Las Vegas the cops come through with bulldozers about once a year to "encourage" the homeless to move elsewhere, preferably outside the city limits.


With automation and AI threatening everyone's livelihood we'll soon have many more to hide, but far fewer to hide them from.


Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Sleepy on March 02, 2018, 11:40:38 AM
Maybe also reintroduce ättestupan; geronticide? At least for everyone over 50, or some other arbitrary economic efficiency level.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on March 02, 2018, 12:02:44 PM
Maybe also reintroduce ättestupan; geronticide? At least for everyone over 50, or some other arbitrary economic efficiency level.


AAAUUKKK!!!


Firstly, I believe that robot ownership should be limited to humans, corporations need not apply. Secondly, the number of robots owned by each person needs to be regulated and equalized. No one gets two robots until every adult has one.


AI is a bit more challenging. ::)


Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Sleepy on March 03, 2018, 07:21:24 AM
Of course I am, Terry. Unless you refer to, the now extinct, Great Auk?  ;D

You commented sidd's post above on how we deal with those pesky groups in society, so I took it to where all of us risks seeing the effects of discrimination, ageism. As an example:
https://www.nextavenue.org/whats-ageism-got-to-do-with-it/ (https://www.nextavenue.org/whats-ageism-got-to-do-with-it/)
All forms of discrimination intersect with and compound one another.

But maybe we joke a bit more about ättestupan in the Nordic countries, than you over there. What would I know.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 05, 2018, 07:19:52 PM
A doctor describes how the poor get screwed by the medical industry:

"I think it’s appalling that one person’s illness would be an opportunity for another to make money."

" ... employers use employer-sponsored health insurance as a form of control over workers ... If you have a sick person in your family on your plan, you’re afraid to leave your job, because your loved one needs the coverage."

"If you try to organize a strike, you will find your health insurance canceled as soon as the strike starts."

"I’ve written about an uninsured landscaper who didn’t have a steady winter job. He ran a snowblower and drove a plow, but the work was pretty sporadic. When there was a major snowstorm, he tried to work a twenty-hour day, to make up for lost wages. But because he had an infected tooth and had not been able to eat much for a few days, he collapsed after sixteen hours. I ended up admitting him to the hospital."

"President Harry Truman began to champion the idea of national health insurance. In response the AMA hired a Madison Avenue advertising firm to counter Truman’s initiative. They came up with the term “socialized medicine” to defeat Truman’s agenda, again disparaging the idea as a communist plot."

"I once had a clinic patient who needed to be in the hospital, but she refused to take an ambulance after having previously been billed a large amount for one. So I drove her forty miles myself. Some of my colleagues were shocked to hear this, asking, “What if something had happened while she was in your car?” "

"The uninsured pay with their lives. For every million people without health insurance in the U.S., about a thousand deaths occur that could have been prevented."

Kill the poor.

Read the whole thing:

https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/507/the-end-of-insurance

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on March 05, 2018, 07:52:35 PM
sidd
I can't bring myself to even read the article.


When I moved back to Canada I had no idea how the healthcare system would work. I was using a cane and Nevada's best doctors gave me less than 6 months to live. I figured that it didn't matter much at that stage.


I went to a walking clinic on a Tuesday, that evening I had a phone call from one of the world's few specialists in CIDP, and an appointment for the next month, since that was in remission.
Thursday morning I was having my recurring cancer chopped out (again), and this time it didn't come back for 5 years. Quite a difference from the back in 90 days results I'd experienced 6 times in Nevada.


Long story short I haven't picked up my cane in over 7 years, and I've been without cancer for 8 years. So much for the dead in 6 mo. guys.


It's not just that everything is free, it's the quality of the care received.
It's not all about those who die because of crap medical care, it's about the years of pain, and the loss of lifestyle that accompany the high mortality.


American women should have fewer deaths during childbirth than Cuban women. It's a disgrace that costs nothing to fix - except for the costs to politicians who will lose their healthcare gratuity.


Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 05, 2018, 09:26:02 PM
A very nice site on inequality is

https://ourworldindata.org/income-inequality

Especially the list of references. I note it has a graph from Saez, Zucman and Piketty.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 on March 06, 2018, 12:10:13 AM
Our minister for health [uk] is doing his best to demoralise and ruin our health service. I expect he'll grow very rich very quickly if he succeeds. We've had twenty odd years of pfi initiatives diverting funds from healthcare into servicing debt, and increasing privatisation of cherry picked services. Long term i guess they're trying to introduce a private healthcare insurance model similar to the US, but it has to be done by stealth since supporters of every party, in the majority, support the current system. So they have to dress the private sector as a white knight coming to the rescue of a failing [by design] system. https://nhaparty.org/
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 07, 2018, 12:33:50 AM
America's finest news source on health insurance:

https://www.theonion.com/health-insurance-ceo-reveals-key-to-company-s-success-i-1823515696

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: oren on March 07, 2018, 11:07:42 AM
America's health care system is truly horrible.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: ivica on March 10, 2018, 11:32:23 AM
Economic Update: A System Rigged Against Us
https://youtu.be/yomlBtXL4Ks

In this video Richard D. Wolff gives (brief historical: Great Depression ... Today) description of "inequality" situation majority faces today. And the active role of Democratic party in it. He ends (27:45) with:
   "if you don't deal with that institutional arrangement, if you don't deal with that structure of the enterprise, all your efforts and an equalizing of our inequality will come to the sad end that we just saw. They won't work."


< As Concentrated Corporate Power grew so is The CO2 Problem. Can we stop it? >


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 15, 2018, 10:56:14 PM
Parramore on the disappearance of the middle class in the USA:

"In one of these countries live members of what Temin calls the “FTE sector” (named for finance, technology, and electronics, the industries which largely support its growth). These are the 20 percent of Americans who enjoy college educations, have good jobs, and sleep soundly knowing that they have not only enough money to meet life’s challenges, but also social networks to bolster their success ... count themselves as lucky to be Americans. "

...

"The FTE citizens rarely visit the country where the other 80 percent of Americans live: the low-wage sector. Here, the world of possibility is shrinking, often dramatically. People are burdened with debt and anxious about their insecure jobs if they have a job at all. Many of them are getting sicker and dying younger than they used to ... While members of the first country act, these people are acted upon. "

https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/america-is-regressing-into-a-developing-nation-for-most-people

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 21, 2018, 05:47:46 AM
Freeze the poor. In a very cold winter

"According to the Authority’s own figures, between October 1 and January 22, 143,000 apartments, representing more than 80 percent of residents, lacked heat and hot water for periods averaging 48 hours, many for much longer."

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/20/nych-m20.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Sleepy on March 21, 2018, 06:34:42 AM
$1,800 per month for a two-bedroom apartment, that's falling apart?  ::)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: SteveMDFP on March 21, 2018, 02:55:11 PM
$1,800 per month for a two-bedroom apartment, that's falling apart?  ::)

Not surprising, really.  Rents in general are very high in NYC.  In public housing rent is often a third of income.  Very poor people pay much less than middle-class folk.  So a shrinking number of middle-class tenants (moving out because the places are going to heck), means less money from renters to maintain the overall system. This leaves only the poor, paying little rent. This is a socio-economic positive feedback.  "Positive" in this case meaning adverse.

Public housing is part of the nation's *infrastructure*.  But the largest source of funding for this infrastructure is the Federal budget.  There was an effort under R administrations to shift Federal housing spending from public ownership of public housing to Section 8 subsidies, to put people in private housing.  I think it's, in theory, not necessarily a bad idea (though it is a neo-liberal concept).  It only works if enough Section 8 vouchers are available.  Not nearly enough are.

It was an obscene paradox during the housing market collapse.  Many more homeless in America, while simultaneously much housing vacant and being foreclosed.  It shouldn't have been too hard to solve each half of the problem with the other half of the problem.  Didn't happen.  More here:

Chart Book: Federal Housing Spending Is Poorly Matched to Need
https://www.cbpp.org/research/housing/chart-book-federal-housing-spending-is-poorly-matched-to-need (https://www.cbpp.org/research/housing/chart-book-federal-housing-spending-is-poorly-matched-to-need)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Sleepy on March 21, 2018, 04:25:38 PM
Appreciated your explanation, Steve. Thanks.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 on March 21, 2018, 07:16:06 PM
Catherine Austin Fitts wrote about how corrupt public housing was some time ago. https://dillonreadandco.com/hud-is-a-sewer/
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 21, 2018, 11:13:41 PM
How the USA was engineered for inequality: Lapham lays it out

"The prosperous and well-educated gentlemen assembled in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 shared with John Adams the suspicion that “democracy will infallibly destroy all civilization,” agreed with James Madison that the turbulent passions of the common man lead to reckless agitation for the abolition of debts and “other wicked projects.” With Plato the framers shared the assumption that the best government, under no matter what name or flag, incorporates the means by which a privileged few arrange the distribution of property and law for the less fortunate many. They envisioned a wise and just oligarchy—to which they gave the name of a republic—managed by men like themselves, to whom Madison attributed “most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue the common good of the society.” Adams thought the great functions of state should be reserved for “the rich, the wellborn, and the able”; John Jay, chief justice for the Supreme Court, observed that “those who own the country ought to govern it.” "

" ... by the end of the summer of 1787 the well-to-do gentlemen in Philadelphia had drafted a document hospitable to their acquisition of more property."

“The fundamental division of powers in the Constitution of the United States is between voters on the one hand and property owners on the other. The forces of democracy on one side…are set over against the forces of property on the other side.”

" ... by 1980 the only constitutional value still on the table was the one making the world safe for the acquisition of property."

" The separation of values treasured by a capitalist economy from those cherished by a democratic society has resulted in the accumulation of more laws limiting the freedom of persons, fewer laws restraining the license of property, the letting fall into disrepair of nearly all the infrastructure (roads, schools, rivers) that provides the citizenry with the ways and means of its common enterprise."

"What is moral is what returns a profit to the judgment of the bottom line "

Read the whole thing, and the article by Ralph Nader in that issue:

https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/rule-law/due-process

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: ivica on March 22, 2018, 12:33:20 AM
https://youtu.be/pb2ZZ_iqi3w

Segments:
  0:05:00   INEQUALITY IN AMERICA TOWN HALL
  0:21:40   EXTREME POVERTY IN AMERICA
  0:42:10   COLLAPSE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS
  1:03:50   THE RISE OF OLIGARCHY
  1:23:40   WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Nice to hear there that Michael Moore is also one of those who say "there’s more of us than there is of them". (1:14:45)

sidd posted about it already, guardian link here:
Re: The problem of Corporate Democrats and how to kick them out
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1937.msg146635.html#msg146635

< TYT link has 85K views, Guardian has 24K, there are others: HOT NEWS 1.6K, Intelligentsia 0.7K
is that YT pushing on view_counter_break hard there? ;) >

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 23, 2018, 02:03:50 AM
Hudson on debtor's prisons:

"And we’re having a situation now that is very much like antiquity where the entire economic surplus has to be paid out to the creditors."

"They have to spend all of their income paying the creditors. Now if they don’t the enforcer of that is… well, if you don’t, we’re going to have to just put you in jail and you’re going to have to work to make a surplus for the privatizers who run the jail."

"I asked what happens when the credit card companies make more money on penalties than they make in interest. When you miss a payment on your debt (this is before you go to prison) and you can’t pay the electric bill or a credit card bill, your rate goes up from 11 percent to 29 percent.

The answer they gave us was: “That’s not interest. We count that as a financial service, and financial services are an addition to GDP.” So all the added penalties that people pay for falling behind in their debts for arrears are counted as a growth in GDP – as economic growth! "

read the whole thing:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/22/modern-day-debtors-prisons-and-debt-in-antiquity/

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 03, 2018, 07:30:35 PM
Surprise: losing three quarters of all your money increases your doubles of death.

"When people lose 75 percent or more of their total wealth during a two-year period, they are 50 percent more likely to die in the next 20 years, the study found."

if you didnt have any money, your chances are worse ...

"The study also examined a group of low-income people who didn't have any wealth accumulated and who are considered socially vulnerable in terms of their health. Their increased risk of mortality over 20 years was 67 percent."

doi:10.1001/jama.2018.2055

Open access. Read the whole thing. I attach fig1.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 07, 2018, 07:25:50 PM
If anyone can track down the House of Commons Library Research report, please let me know.

" ... if trends seen since the 2008 financial crash were to continue, then the top 1% will hold 64% of the world’s wealth by 2030. "

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/07/global-inequality-tipping-point-2030

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on April 07, 2018, 09:38:00 PM
If anyone can track down the House of Commons Library Research report, please let me know.

" ... if trends seen since the 2008 financial crash were to continue, then the top 1% will hold 64% of the world’s wealth by 2030. "

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/07/global-inequality-tipping-point-2030 (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/07/global-inequality-tipping-point-2030)

sidd


Do we really need to struggle to improve productivity? Why not just raise taxes on the wealthy and distribute it to the poor?
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 08, 2018, 05:14:04 AM
And, of course in the USA, losing your money means your available health care sucks.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 11, 2018, 08:53:31 PM
How municipalities get screwed: Banks game rates, SEC looks the other way

https://www.bondbuyer.com/news/banks-broker-dealers-charged-with-widespread-fraud-and-collusion-over-vrdos

I suspect this administration will do little to prosecute, but state level actions may prove costly for the banks.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 11, 2018, 08:56:28 PM
Some replief for the homeless: Panhandling bans being struck down, violates rights to free speech:

http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/gov-panhandling-homeless-supreme-court-reed-gilbert.html

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 13, 2018, 08:40:23 PM
Some numbers economic gap between the politicians and the citizenry, explaining the Gilens and Page study on how the poor get screwed in legislation.

"In 2015, more than 70 percent of Senators were millionaires with the median net worth of Senators hitting $3,132,848.  In the case of the House, the median net worth of Congressmen and Congresswomen was $888,508."

"not all members of the House and Senate are wealthy when they enter office, however, many of them are wealthy when they depart"

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2018/01/wealth-in-congress.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 15, 2018, 09:32:39 PM
Winant on wage suppression, supreme court unionization battle:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/13/american-economy-wage-suppression-how-it-works

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 20, 2018, 12:46:52 AM
You deserve to get poisoned or die of thirst if you can't afford Nestle bottled water.  This is indeed a strange an terrible land.

"In a turn of events so ironic it could have been scripted by Franz Kafka, on April 2, the state of Michigan awarded Nestlé Waters, the world’s largest bottled water corporation, the right to draw 167 percent more water from the states’ aquifers than it did last year. Four days later, Governor Rick Snyder announced the state would no longer distribute free bottled water to the residents of Flint, Michigan, whose water was contaminated by lead due to actions of state and local officials."

Nestle CEO statements:

"one opinion which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means that as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution."

"I’m still of the opinion that the biggest social responsibility of any CEO is to maintain and ensure the successful and profitable future of his enterprise ... "

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/04/19/nest-a19.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 22, 2018, 01:59:13 AM
A commentary on Piketty in March on the elimination of political parties representating workers

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/04/21/pers-a21.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 28, 2018, 06:18:21 PM
Michael Hudson interview: History of debt and jubilee:

" ... I wanted to study the background of Clean Slates, debt cancellations, and I found out that they begin in Sumer, and Babylonia, around 2500 B.C., and every new ruler, when they would take the throne, would start his reign by canceling the debts. "


" ... the first textual sources are the Laws of Hammurabi, the debt cancellations of the Sumerians, Enmetena, Urukagina … In my book I go epoch by epoch. Sumerian, the neo-Sumerian, Ur III period, the intermediate period, the Babylonian period, right down to the Egyptian Rosetta Stone, which is a similar debt cancellation."

"Business debts were not forgiven. The debts that were forgiven were personal debts, agrarian debts, and the idea was to liberate the bond servants so that they could be available to perform the corvée labor, which was the main kind of taxation in the Bronze Age, and serve in the army."

"The Romans were the first society not to cancel the debts, and there was civil war over that. A century of civil war from 133 BC, when the Gracchi Brothers were killed by supporting the population, to 29 BC when Augustus was crowned. There was a civil war where the advocates of debt cancellation were put to death. Just as Cleomenes in Sparta, in the late third century, was put to death, and Agis, his predecessor earlier in the third century BC, were put to death for advocating debt cancellation. So there was three centuries of constant civil war over this, and ultimately the creditors won, largely by political assassination of the advocates of debt cancellation ..."

" ... the major debt cancellation of the modern era was in 1947 and 48, the German monetary reform, called the German economic miracle. The Allies canceled all German debts, except for debts owed by employers to their employees for the previous month, and except for minimum bank balances. It was easy for the Allies to cancel the debts, because in Germany most of the debts were owed to people who had been Nazis, and you were canceling the debts owed to the Nazis, the Nazis were the creditors at that time. And that freeing Germany from debt was the root of its economic miracle ..."

Hudson is excellent here. Read the whole interview.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/04/michael-hudson-bronze-age-redux.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 28, 2018, 07:12:58 PM
How australians get ripped off:

"failure for advice to be in the best interest of the clients".

"falsely witnessing more than 2,500 customer signatures."

"banning a dodgy financial adviser can take two and a half years."

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-28/banking-royal-commission-financial-industry-culture-exposed/9705504

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: ivica on May 05, 2018, 09:20:30 PM
(fits in a few threads)

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/may-day-militancy-is-needed-to-create-the-economy-we-need/

"Seventy years of attacks on the right to unionize have left the union movement representing only 10 percent of workers. The investor class has concentrated its power and uses its power in an abusive way, not only against unions but also to create economic insecurity for workers."

I wonder how many of US citizebs are aware of it:

"In most of the world, May Day is a day for workers to unite, but May Day is not recognized in the United States even though it originated here. On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the US walked off their jobs for the first May Day in history. It began in 1884, when the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions proclaimed at their convention that workers themselves would institute the 8-hour day on May 1, 1886. ..."

https://youtu.be/Iobe84n7Zug

< As the Concentrated Corporate Power grew so is The CO2 Problem. Can we stop it? >
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 06, 2018, 09:03:01 PM
Surprise, surprise.  Economists have been miscalculatin employment and profuctivity in manufacturing for years. And that might have elected Trump. The article is worth reading, as are the references poste in it.

"Trump’s story of US manufacturing decline was much closer to being right than the story of technological progress being spun in Washington, New York, and Cambridge."

“The dominant narrative is that there’s no problem, that it’s doing very well, and that’s kind of the end of the story, at least among economists,” she says. “Trump won to some degree arguing that trade had harmed US workers and that US manufacturing was not doing well. Very often, the mainstream media and economists were quick to point out that that’s not borne out by statistics. But that’s based on a misreading of the statistics.”

"MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Brendan Price, estimated that competition from Chinese imports cost the US as many as 2.4 million jobs between 1999 and 2011."

"Justin Pierce and Peter Schott argue that China’s accession to the WTO in 2001—set in motion by president Bill Clinton—sparked a sharp drop in US manufacturing employment. That’s because when China joined the WTO, it extinguished the risk that the US might retaliate against the Chinese government’s mercantilist currency and protectionist industrial policies by raising tariffs. International companies that set up shop in China therefore enjoyed the benefits of cheap labor, as well as a huge competitive edge from the Chinese government’s artificial cheapening of the yuan."

“We didn’t have the intelligent debates about what was going on with trade, etc., because a lot of people were just denying there was any problem, period.”

"While the forces of globalization battered America’s middle class, they largely benefited the country’s emerging urban professional elite—managers, consultants, lawyers, and investment bankers "

"the myth of automation continues to have a strong grip on the minds of American policymakers and pundits. The lessons of the populist backlash during the 2016 presidential election didn’t seem to take. As the US gears up for mid-term elections this year, the Democrats have no vision for how to reverse the industrial backslide."

https://qz.com/1269172/the-epic-mistake-about-manufacturing-thats-cost-americans-millions-of-jobs/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: wili on May 06, 2018, 11:03:57 PM
"profuctivity"

Nice (unintentional?) coinage!

But good article, too! Folks on both the left and right knew in this case that the mainstream story did not reflect the reality on the ground.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 06, 2018, 11:36:32 PM
" (inintentional?) "

heehee. I wish.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 06, 2018, 11:58:54 PM
America's Finest News Source:

"You can’t just take a breath whenever you want to—we pay to condition the air here ..."

"I had no choice but to let him go"

"crack down on warehouse worker blinking."

https://www.theonion.com/amazon-fires-warehouse-worker-who-took-unauthorized-bre-1825765390

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Iceismylife on May 07, 2018, 12:10:40 AM
Surprise, surprise.  Economists have been miscalculatin employment and profuctivity in manufacturing for years. And that might have elected Trump. The article is worth reading, as are the references poste in it.
...
Nice one. 

The sacking of America.

Why pay workers to work when you can give them a loan instead.

We need to replace the lost wages.  US minimum wage to all workers making stuff for America and then Up the minimum wage to $30hr.  If we aren't going to have the productive jobs then we need the jobs we do have to pay what those we lost don't.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 07, 2018, 09:10:20 PM
Oldie but a goodie: Galbraith (James) in 2005 on incompetent (and competent) economists

He quotes Dymski [2005] on financial exclusion, a reference also very worth reading:

"... The likelihood in market after market is that potential borrowers will break into two prototypical groups: one group whose assets and position are secure ... and a second group, whose wealth levels are so low that contracts are written with the hope of extracting sufficient returns in the short run to compensate for what will inevitably be (for most) longer term insolvency problems... The financial crisis that is familiar from Minsky's work involves the collapse of expectations and of conditions for refinancing in the formal market ... A second type of crisis, however, involves a collapse of the conditions required for financial reproduction in the informal market. .... This does not mean that these participants will cease to function or to borrow: they have no choice but to borrow and to get ever deeper into hopelessly high levels of debt. When asset exhaustion makes it impossible to renew activities, so that more time cannot be bought, then life and financial crisis can become indistinguishable."

The paper by Dymski continues (not quoted in Galbraith):

"Financial firms operating globally are both reacting to the increasingly polarized distribution of income and wealth around the world, and also behaving in ways that worsen that divide."

"In some nations of the South, the poor and small businesses have never succeeded in winning access to lower-cost formal-sector credit and money services. In these cases, the current trends in banking strategy are hardening the lines between the formal and informal financial markets—between financial citizenship and financial inclusion ... In other nations of the South, governments are withdrawing from the provision of universal formal financial services, or from their withdrawing rules insisting on universal access to formal financial services. Financial globalization operates at both ends of this chain of causation: global financial firms are supplying financial services directly in some developing-economy markets (for example, Mexico); in other markets, these firms’ threats of reduced credit or service flows, or even of market entry, has the effect of weakening governments’ commitment to universal financial access (for example, China). In effect, this financial homogenization/stratification process is eating away idiosyncratic features of many national financial systems from the inside out, regardless of whether financial crises are wreaking havoc from the outside in."



Back to Galbraith:

"the vapor trails of fraud and corruption are everywhere: from the terms of the original mortgages, to the appraisals of the houses on which they were based, to the ratings of the securities issued against those mortgages, to gross negligence of the regulators, to the notion that the risks could be laid off by credit default swaps, a substitute for insurance that lacked the critical ingredient of a traditional insurance policy, namely loss reserves. None of this was foreseen by mainstream economists, who generally find crime a topic beneath their dignity. In unraveling all this now, it is worth remembering that the resolution of the savings and loan scandal saw over a thousand industry insiders convicted and imprisoned. Plainly, the intersection of economics and criminology remains a vital field for research going forward."

Recall, this is in 2005. I was seeing some of this too, and firing all my mortgage banking clients who i thought, like him, would go to jail. None of the went to jail. But they put a whole buncg of people on the street.

"Leading active members of today’s economics profession... have formed themselves into a kind of Politburo for correct economic thinking. As a general rule—as one might generally expect from a gentleman’s club—this has placed them on the wrong side of every important policy issue, and not just recently but for decades. They predict disaster where none occurs. They deny the possibility of events that then happen. ... They oppose the most basic, decent and sensible reforms, while offering placebos instead. They are always surprised when something untoward (like a recession) actually occurs. And when finally they sense that some position cannot be sustained, they do not reexamine their ideas. They do not consider the possibility of a flaw in logic or theory. Rather, they simply change the subject. No one loses face, in this club, for having been wrong. No one is dis-invited from presenting papers at later annual meetings. And still less is anyone from the outside invited in. [Ref 19]"

Read both:

http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/TA09EconomistGalbraith.pdf

The Dymski reference is:

doi: 10.1080/02692170500213319

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Iceismylife on May 07, 2018, 10:46:11 PM
I figured that a $30hr minimum wage would correct the ratio of median house price to median house hold income. it would support house prices above the peak of the last bubble.  Undoing the fraud retroactively.

Then I ran across the idea of a global market.  The Gini coefficient is bad.  But going from a national to global economy means we need to close the global Gini coefficient.

The discussion about a gold standard was based on money not being worth anything. But the minimum wage law pegs the dollar to low end wages.  That can be done globally.  And it can be done with purely domestic US policies. Just put a tax penalty on capital gains of 110% if the company uses labor at less than US minimum wage anywhere on the planet.  The same for dividend income.

This is not "correct economic thinking"
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 09, 2018, 08:18:14 PM
New Republic on the repression of labour in the USA:

"Pay is supposed to increase during periods of low unemployment ...But that hasn’t happened to a meaningful degree today "

"Capitalism, as it’s practiced in the United States, has broken economics. Employers have been allowed, through laissez-faire policies, to build up enough power that they’ve become impervious to how economic models dictate they should react."

"Workers used to have more influence over their employers. But for decades, they have steadily lost whatever bargaining power they once had."

"there’s also the problem of regional inequality—the abandonment of large swaths of the country, while major cities flourish. Workers in abandoned regions cannot bargain up their wages because they have no alternative while living in areas with scarce jobs. Moving to find work is increasingly difficult given scant savings and inadequate government safety nets."

"Many people of prime working age (25-54) have dropped out of the labor market entirely. "

https://newrepublic.com/article/148329/america-broke-economy

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 09, 2018, 11:55:22 PM
World Bank report on integenerational mobility has some warning signs for developing countries: Apparently intergenerational income/education/wealth mobility is stagnating or declining in parts of Africa and South Asia

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/28428/9781464812101.pdf?sequence=8&isAllowed=y

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Iceismylife on May 10, 2018, 12:04:53 AM
New Republic on the repression of labour in the USA:

"Pay is supposed to increase during periods of low unemployment ...But that hasn’t happened to a meaningful degree today "

...
I've thought that unemployment has been misrepresented.  With 25% of our manufacturing workers out of work and not counted as unemployed we will not see upward pressure on wages until they get an opportunity to work for reasonable pay.  So the current 4% unemployment rate does not work like the historic 4% rate did.  It acts more like 6~8%
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on May 10, 2018, 12:35:47 AM
Job openings soar to all time highs!

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-08/job-openings-soar-472000-all-time-high-66-million

wages should be going up.
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: JimD on May 10, 2018, 01:34:29 AM
Quote
...The Richest Households Evade About 25% of Taxes Owed by Concealing Assets and Investment Income Abroad

When we apply this distribution to available estimates of the macroeconomic amount of wealth hidden in tax havens (Zucman 2013, Alstadsæter et al. 2018), we find that the top 0.01% richest households evade about 25% of the taxes they owe by concealing assets and investment income abroad. Throughout our research, we maintain a clear distinction between legal tax avoidance and illegal evasion. Thus, this estimate only takes into account the wealth held offshore that evades taxes; it excludes properly declared offshore assets. When we add the tax evasion detected in random audits, total evasion in the top 0.01% reaches 25-30%, versus 3% on average in the population (Figure 1)....

Think what this means to the citizens of many countries.  Because their govt cannot collect the taxes owed this often results in more national debt and a reduction in services.  And it of course makes the rich even richer.....

https://voxeu.org/article/tax-evasion-and-inequality
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 10, 2018, 05:57:34 PM
Sixteen tons and what do you get ? Laid off:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/08/amaz-m08.html

Bezos is a slaverunner.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: DrTskoul on May 11, 2018, 01:26:16 AM
Sixteen tons and what do you get ? Laid off:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/08/amaz-m08.html

Bezos is a slaverunner.

sidd

No kidding .....

https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-Amazon-RVW13712914.htm
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 13, 2018, 07:00:32 AM
A paper from 2005 arguing that:

"Apparent improvement in the economic position of young black men is thus largely an artifact of rising joblessness fueled by the growth in incarceration during the 1990s."

That rise in incarceration was a clinton thing.

AJS Volume 111 Number 2 (September 2005): 553–78

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 15, 2018, 07:14:36 AM
Well, lookee here. This is as neat a scam as i have seen since 2008.

--

Codere, a Spanish gaming firm, owed money it could not repay. Its bonds were trading at just over half face value. Blackstone, a private-equity firm, offered it a cheap $100m loan. But there was a catch. Blackstone had bought credit derivatives on Codere’s debt that would pay out about €14m ($19m) if Codere missed a bond payment. So Codere delayed a payment by a couple of days to prompt a “technical default”. Blackstone got its payout; Codere got its loan

--

So they pulled the same shit with Hovanian, on a third of a billion.

--
Blackstone bought $333m-worth of credit derivatives on Hovnanian, an American construction firm. It offered Hovnanian cheap financing on condition that it trigger those derivatives to pay out
--

Some more shenanigans later, it is found to be all perfectly legal.

--
company CDSs fall under the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has said nothing. Courts, so far, have upheld the actions of Hovnanian and Blackstone
--

Regulatory capture writ large. Late stage capitalism.

sidd



Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 17, 2018, 05:43:59 AM
In another thread, I wrote about my shock the first time I saw someone flee from an ambulance a decade ago. Since then i recall other instances of people ruined by exorbitant bills for medical emergency, not the least of which is transport.

Some years ago, a neighbour of mine was splitting logs in his driveway when a load of the big round haybales showed up. He quit splitting, was moving the splitter outta way, going to get the forklift. The load hadn't been strapped right, as the driver began to loosen and remove strappage, haybales rolled, came down, smashed my neighbour's head into the logsplitter hard enuf to dent the logsplitter. It was daylight, he was choppered out spent over a month in hospital. Bill for chopper ride was over 30KUS$. He was lucky, he is first responder, fireman, county commisioner  so that insurance covered his ass on that bill.

Flash forward a couple years, same area, late night, see paramedic flashers thru the window, go out to see whats up. Ambulance parked down the road, don't know where they are. I figure out they need the old ladies down the road, so i send em there.

Those two ladies have been living for decades in a poorly renovated pre civil war log cabin. Their rent is $180 a month, and no one is gonna raise it. In winter neighbours make sure they have enuf coal to stay unfrozen. The older one is 90+ and her daughter is 70 ish. Dirt poor, both living on social, no pension. Neighbors drop off groceries now and then.

Mom is in pretty bad shape, they call in a chopper. Chopper cant find the place either, and radio incompatibility means they cant talk to the paramedics. Neighor, as usual, shows up quick, his radio can talk to both of them so he drives out and guides chopper into landing spot with his headlights. Mom goes to hospital.

Mom survives, 40K bill for the ride. She will be paying 25$ a month for the rest of her  life outta social against that debt. Of course it will never get paid. But the lien will hold against her estate when she dies so they screw the daughter too. Not that the estate will be worth much, they pretty poor.

there is no fucking way on God's once green earth that taking 25$ a month for this out of a poor old lady is justified.

So right after this my neighbor's dad keels over. He had been feeling poorly forawhile, refused to go to hospital. His wife (who hadnt driven a car in more than a decade, bad hips, also untreated) stole the neighbors car (everyody leaves the key in the ignition) and drove over three ridges in a storm to the nearest hospital. Wouldn't call an ambulance after what happened. He recovered enuf to get on his feet the next day, but was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. They told him to stop smoking, but he never smoked anything in his life, worked in coal and asbestos mines. The mining companies dont like those diagnoses. He went home, refused any but palliative care, was dead inna couple months. The bill for the two night hospital visit and palliative druggage was large enuf that his wife was gonna take out a mortgage on the farm, fifty years or more after they had paid off their first and only one. But the kids got together and bought their way outta that.

This is a strange and terrible land.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/06/business/rescued-by-an-air-ambulance-but-stunned-at-the-sky-high-bill.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 18, 2018, 03:23:59 AM
Oxford geographer on how economic inequality exacerbates climate harm:

https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/opinion-the-super-rich-are-damaging-the-environmen/p064kjgj

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 19, 2018, 06:50:06 PM
Over at nakedcapitalism, Guiso argues that the rise of populism in Europe is economically driven, the effects most visible in those populationd negatively affected by globalism.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/05/populism-backlash-economically-driven-backlash.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 21, 2018, 09:51:56 PM
Bring back the poorhouses !

"issued hundreds of fixed-penalty notices and pursued criminal convictions for “begging”, “persistent and aggressive begging” and “loitering” "

" the judge admitted “I will be sending a man to prison for asking for food when he was hungry” "

“This approach just pushes people into debt or the criminal justice system.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/20/homeless-people-fined-imprisoned-pspo-england-wales

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 21, 2018, 10:02:05 PM
Plutocrats now worth 9.2 trillion:

 “surged by 24 percent to a record level of $9.2 trillion,”  in 2017.

" the richest 10 billionaires own a combined $663 billion"

 “dramatic improvement in extreme wealth creation” in the United States due to “buoyant equity markets and robust corporate earnings.”

"The United States is home to the most billionaires of any country in the world and accounts for 34 percent of billionaire wealth worldwide. New York maintained its position as the top billionaire city, home to 103 billionaires."

"In 2017, Wealth-X published a report on the world’s “ultra high net worth” population, which includes individuals whose net worth is over $30 million. According to this report, the world’s “ultra wealthy”—some 250,000 people worldwide—owned a combined $25 trillion, including $9.6 trillion in liquid cash alone. "

For just one fifth of the total wealth of the 10 richest people in the world, the following social needs could be immediately addressed:

* The provision of housing for all 634,000 homeless people in the US: $20 billion

* The provision of food to 862 million malnourished people worldwide: $30 billion

* Reduction by half of the total number of people without access to clean water: $11 billion

* Education for every child who doesn’t receive one: $26 billion

* Free maternal and prenatal care for every mother in the developing world: $13 billion

* Treatment and vaccination to prevent 4 million malaria deaths: $6 billion

* Replacement of the toxic water infrastructure of Flint, Michigan with a safe and clean system: $1.5 billion

* Immediate $20,000 bonuses to all 3.1 million teachers in the US: $62 billion

Total cost: $169.5 billion.

Read all about it:

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/21/pers-m21.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 23, 2018, 09:36:09 PM
America's Finest News Source: When will the poor give up ?

"sources close to the 1 percent confirmed. “What exactly is wrong with them? I mean, there’s no possible way they’ll ever stop us from getting everything we want ..."

" ... no one in their right mind could possibly see the use of struggling against those who control the nation’s media, financial, and political institutions ... "

"it’s been over since we somehow got them to accept that trickle-down bullshit"

"we tied their education to their property taxes to encourage them to ass-fuck themselves almost as hard as they ass-fucked their neighbors"

"a sense of renewed hope and optimism upon realizing how few poor people had voted"

https://www.theonion.com/nation-s-rich-and-powerful-wondering-when-rest-of-ameri-1826268763

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 28, 2018, 10:44:04 PM
Another article along the lines that Brill outlined: Stewart at the atlantic:

"there is a lot to admire about my new group, which I’ll call—for reasons you’ll soon see—the 9.9 percent ... By any sociological or financial measure, it’s good to be us. It’s even better to be our kids. "

"The meritocratic class has mastered the old trick of consolidating wealth and passing privilege along at the expense of other people’s children. We are not innocent bystanders to the growing concentration of wealth in our time. We are the principal accomplices ... "

"Every piece of the pie picked up by the 0.1 percent, in relative terms, had to come from the people below. But not everyone in the 99.9 percent gave up a slice. Only those in the bottom 90 percent did. "

"In between the top 0.1 percent and the bottom 90 percent is a group that has been doing just fine. It has held on to its share of a growing pie decade after decade. "

"One of the hazards of life in the 9.9 percent is that our necks get stuck in the upward position. We gaze upon the 0.1 percent with a mixture of awe, envy, and eagerness to obey ... We have left the 90 percent in the dust—and we’ve been quietly tossing down roadblocks behind us to make sure that they never catch up."

" ... it keeps alive one of the founding myths of America’s meritocracy: that our success has nothing to do with other people’s failure ... They have taken their money out of productive activities and put it into walls. Throughout history, moreover, one social group above all others has assumed responsibility for maintaining and defending these walls. Its members used to be called aristocrats. Now we’re the 9.9 percent. "

"We prefer to signal our status by talking about our organically nourished bodies, the awe-inspiring feats of our offspring, and the ecological correctness of our neighborhoods. We have figured out how to launder our money through higher virtues ... Most important of all, we have learned how to pass all of these advantages down to our children."

"We prefer to interpret their relative poverty as vice: Why can’t they get their act together?"

"For those who made the mistake of being born to the wrong parents, our society offers a kind of virtual education system. It has places that look like colleges—but aren’t really. It has debt—and that, unfortunately, is real. The people who enter into this class hologram do not collect a college premium; they wind up in something more like indentured servitude."

“When economists like me look at medicine in America—whether we lean left or right politically—we see something that looks an awful lot like a cartel." ... “The American Bar Association operates a state-approved cartel.”

"Americans now turn over $1 of every $12 in GDP to the financial sector; in the 1950s, the bankers were content to keep only $1 out of $40."

"You see, when educated people with excellent credentials band together to advance their collective interest, it’s all part of serving the public good by ensuring a high quality of service, establishing fair working conditions, and giving merit its due ... When working-class people do it—through unions—it’s a violation of the sacred principles of the free market. It’s thuggish and anti-modern."

"The poorest quintile of Americans pays more than twice the rate of state taxes as the top 1 percent does, and about half again what the top 10 percent pays."

"And—such is the beauty of the system—51 percent of those handouts [Federal tax giveaways] went to the top quintile of earners, and 39 percent to the top decile ... The best thing about this program of reverse taxation, as far as the 9.9 percent are concerned, is that the bottom 90 percent haven’t got a clue."

" the amount of money that married couples can pass along to their heirs tax-free from a very generous $11 million to a magnificent $22 million. Correction: It’s not merely tax-free; it’s tax-subsidized. The unrealized tax liability on the appreciation of the house you bought 40 years ago, or on the stock portfolio that has been gathering moths—all of that disappears when you pass the gains along to the kids."

"we’ve convinced ourselves that we don’t have any privilege at all."

"We’re willing to strip everyone, including ourselves, of the universal right to a good education, adequate health care, adequate representation in the workplace, genuinely equal opportunities, because we think we can win the game."

"Perhaps the best evidence for the power of an aristocracy is to be found in the degree of resentment it provokes. By that measure, the 9.9 percent are doing pretty well indeed."

"We may not be the ones funding the race-baiting, but we are the ones hoarding the opportunities of daily life. We are the staff that runs the machine that funnels resources from the 90 percent to the 0.1 percent. We’ve been happy to take our cut of the spoils. We’ve looked on with smug disdain as our labors have brought forth a population prone to resentment and ripe for manipulation. We should be prepared to embrace the consequences."

"we are next in line for the chopping block."

Read the whole thing:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/the-birth-of-a-new-american-aristocracy/559130/?single_page=true

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 28, 2018, 11:09:49 PM
Gutting of unions: Plea deal shows mechanics of UAW bribery: This will make union rank anf dile even less likely to follow union line when voting. The last time all the union leaders endorsed Hilary, and were met with open revolt among the ranks. This time, the union bosses have even less credibility. Probably best if they say and do nothing, for any candidates they endorse will be seen as tainted.

Quid:

"FCA executives authorized UAW Vice President General Holiefield and other UAW officials to “offer sham employment status at the NTC to a number of their friends, family and allies” who were then hired under a “special assignment” status to the NTC. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments were made to the UAW “in the guise of reimbursements for 100% of the salaries and benefits the UAW paid to members of the UAW International Staff, knowing that those individuals did little or no work on behalf of the NTC.”"


Quo:

"UAW signed agreements imposing historic concessions on tens of thousands of Chrysler workers, including abolishing the eight-hour-day and replacing it with a 10-hour “Alternative Work Schedule,” halving the wages for a new class of “second-tier” workers and expanding the number of temporary part-time workers (TPTs) who pay union dues but have no rights."

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/28/brow-m28.html

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 29, 2018, 12:56:21 AM
Inequality under the law: Rape a five year old, get 90 days house arrest.

"Burgess is very wealthy."

http://www.wafb.com/story/38288064/man-pleads-no-contest-to-5-year-old-girls-rape-sentenced-to-90-days-of-house-arrest

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: zizek on May 29, 2018, 01:38:23 AM
jesus
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 29, 2018, 05:20:14 PM
Over at nakedcap,Strether on the underestimation of the share income that goes to capital owners:

"In the worst five-year period (2007–11) over the last half-century-plus, owners got 25 percent of comprehensive income. Despite protestations about owners “risking” their “capital,” this five-year measure has never gone negative. Over recent decades they’ve often gotten more like 45 or 50 percent+."

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/05/capitals-share-income-way-higher-think.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 06, 2018, 03:24:57 AM
Over in another thread, i posted:

--
Free market except in labor: No wage gains, but more jobs than officially unemployed. Pay 'em more ? No way !

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/05/there-are-more-jobs-than-people-out-of-work.html
--

I think this has relevance to economic inequality in that it shows the results of wage suppression.

sidd




Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Daniel B. on June 06, 2018, 01:52:04 PM
Over in another thread, i posted:

--
Free market except in labor: No wage gains, but more jobs than officially unemployed. Pay 'em more ? No way !

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/05/there-are-more-jobs-than-people-out-of-work.html
--

I think this has relevance to economic inequality in that it shows the results of wage suppression.

sidd

Do not see how that article supports that conclusion.  If this disparity continues, wages must increase more than the slight uptick last month.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: SteveMDFP on June 06, 2018, 04:40:41 PM
Over in another thread, i posted:

--
Free market except in labor: No wage gains, but more jobs than officially unemployed. Pay 'em more ? No way !

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/05/there-are-more-jobs-than-people-out-of-work.html
--

I think this has relevance to economic inequality in that it shows the results of wage suppression.

sidd

Do not see how that article supports that conclusion.  If this disparity continues, wages must increase more than the slight uptick last month.

I wouldn't be so sure of that.  It seems clear that in the globalized 21st century economy, the demand curve for labor has become far more elastic than it was during the 20th century.  The old relationship between a tight labor market and increasing wages has broken down.

"Demand curve for labor" may need a little discussion here.  If you're a typical US business, a very large proportion of the labor you need to operate *could* be outsourced to low-cost labor overseas.  In reality, most businesses would *prefer* to use domestic labor for domestic operations.   There are inconveniences, communications issues, quality control issues, language barriers, delivery delays, time zone issues that make overseas labor inconvenient to use.

So, a typical employer might gauge that domestic labor economically commands perhaps a $15/hr premium (median wage for median labor complexity).  If filling a specific position domestically suddenly costs a $20/hr premium, the domestic position won't be filled--the labor will be done overseas.  The job listing may stay posted, but not above the economically-justified wage.

In other words, the "elasticity" of the "demand curve" for labor has dramatically increased in the 21st century relative to the 20th.

Econ 101 says we just won't see much wage growth domestically regardless of how much GDP grows or corporate profits increase.  Wages will grow only if employers are faced with circumstances that increase the economically viable premium to be paid for domestic labor.

News analysis of the breakdown in the historic relationship between labor demand and wages often say "economists are mystified as to why wages aren't increasing more."  I'm mystified as to why economists are mystified.  It's basic Econ 101.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 16, 2018, 06:44:51 AM
O no!  homeless living too close to the rich. When omeless camps get burnt out, so do the mansions. Cant have that.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/05/17/america-gilded-age-excesses-extremes-mansions-homeless-trump/610748002/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 19, 2018, 10:19:04 PM
rich get richer:

" Wealth is becoming even more concentrated as the ultra-wealthy, those with $30 million or more in investable assets, saw the greatest growth"

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/06/19/wealthy-millionaires-global-stocks/711875002/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on July 18, 2018, 02:47:24 AM
Town Hall meet with Bernie Sanders and employees of several behemoths with obscenely rich owner/management: "CEOs vs. Workers"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v1lBkqE5Pg

Very well worth watching. One hour, eighteen minutes.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on July 28, 2018, 01:11:25 PM
This is the problem:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VRdyZgD3GI

You can't solve things like AGW and have the wealth of people like Jeff Bezos act like The Blob. You need to put a cap on how much a Bezos can own, and that's the end of the line for that person. They're free from then on to do as they like and not be the slaves of their own wealth.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 01, 2018, 07:03:55 AM
Paul Street reviews some literature: Standing and others:

Standing(2016): [ The Corruption of Capitalism, ISBN: 9781785900440 ]
" ... six core constituent elements defined largely by their ability or inability to garner income from the ownership of property and from the political power and policy influence that flow from that possession: “a tiny plutocracy (perhaps 0.001 percent) atop a bigger elite, a ‘salariat’ (in relatively secure salaried jobs), ‘proficians’ (freelance professionals), a core working class, a precariat, and a ‘lumpen-precariat’ at the bottom.” "

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/in-the-age-of-hyper-disparity-the-ultimate-loss-is-a-livable-earth/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: mostly_lurking on August 01, 2018, 07:56:04 AM
This is the problem:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VRdyZgD3GI

You can't solve things like AGW and have the wealth of people like Jeff Bezos act like The Blob. You need to put a cap on how much a Bezos can own, and that's the end of the line for that person. They're free from then on to do as they like and not be the slaves of their own wealth.

How would you aim to do that? What kind of law can be made to decide what is the maximum one can be worth? I would call slippery slope.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on August 01, 2018, 08:52:08 AM
How would you aim to do that? What kind of law can be made to decide what is the maximum one can be worth? I would call slippery slope.

I don't know, but if something of the kind isn't done, nothing can be effectively solved. And so it needs to be discussed.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: mostly_lurking on August 01, 2018, 09:05:44 AM
How would you aim to do that? What kind of law can be made to decide what is the maximum one can be worth? I would call slippery slope.

I don't know, but if something of the kind isn't done, nothing can be effectively solved. And so it needs to be discussed.

Suggesting change without an inkling of an idea of a solution doesn't mean much (sorry-not personal).  Personally, I don't think there is a way to change this. There have always been "elites" and nobility and this is just the same. Only solution historically is "pitchforks and torches" and not sure anyone wants to go there.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 on August 01, 2018, 09:18:10 AM
"How would you aim to do that? What kind of law can be made to decide what is the maximum one can be worth? I would call slippery slope."
Simple transaction tax to replace all other taxes, 2.5% would more than cover it [actually .025% would do it if it included every transaction], if paired with a universal credit system where every citizen was allowed access to the same level of central bank credit at 0.5%pa rate [that the super rich get] then the lifting of the 40% upstream interest charges on every retail transaction would alleviate any distress caused.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: oren on August 01, 2018, 09:22:19 AM
Before pitchforks and torches, there are - wealth taxes, inheritance taxes, income taxes. All of these can be made exorbitant at the very highest levels. Maybe you can't cap at a hard limit but you can severely handicap excessive accumulation. It's been done before.
I think specifically a wealth tax, even a very mild one say 1% per year of accumulated wealth above $1M, can go a long way towards correcting economic equality.
But then the wealthy start expatriating, and it becomes the same problem of lack of global governance.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: mostly_lurking on August 01, 2018, 09:33:32 AM
"How would you aim to do that? What kind of law can be made to decide what is the maximum one can be worth? I would call slippery slope."

Simple transaction tax to replace all other taxes, 2.5% would more than cover it [actually .025% would do it if it included every transaction], if paired with a universal credit system where every citizen was allowed access to the same level of central bank credit at 0.5%pa rate [that the super rich get] then the lifting of the 40% upstream interest charges on every retail transaction would alleviate any distress caused.

Transaction tax instead of all others would be great but how would that keep the ultra rich from becoming ultra ultra rich? They spend such a small amount (percentage wise) of their riches.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: mostly_lurking on August 01, 2018, 09:40:14 AM
Before pitchforks and torches, there are - wealth taxes, inheritance taxes, income taxes. All of these can be made exorbitant at the very highest levels. Maybe you can't cap at a hard limit but you can severely handicap excessive accumulation. It's been done before.
I think specifically a wealth tax, even a very mild one say 1% per year of accumulated wealth above $1M, can go a long way towards correcting economic equality.
But then the wealthy start expatriating, and it becomes the same problem of lack of global governance.

Yup, unless you have a one world government (in practice) then it can't work. All those taxes could bring  in some needed revenue but will not cap wealth and of course these people have the best accountants/lawyers and influence. I'm not being a defeatist - I think it's barking up the wrong tree.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on August 01, 2018, 10:01:53 AM
Suggesting change without an inkling of an idea of a solution doesn't mean much (sorry-not personal).

An idea of the solution is to start talking about it. Sorry, taking it personal.  ;)

There should be a huge social taboo on infinite, concentrated wealth. That's how they used to do it in tribes. Or in some tribes at least. The person who gave away most to others, was highly respected and often made chief. There are many things we find unacceptable as a society. Why couldn't this be one of those things?

Quote
I'm not being a defeatist - I think it's barking up the wrong tree.

No, you're being defeatist. If you don't address this issue in any way, immediately brushing aside any discussion of it, nothing can ever be meaningfully solved. You cannot have a system that behaves like this: trillionnaires -> zillionnaires -> gazillionnaires -> ad infinitum, and solve things like AGW, resource wars, chronic disease/addiction epidemics at the same time. Because the latter are caused by the first.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: mostly_lurking on August 01, 2018, 10:28:53 AM
We can discuss it as we are. Look, one has to separate the theoretical ideal from the real world.

"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one"


Sounds great - not applicable to the real world- at least not in the near future.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: oren on August 01, 2018, 11:25:05 AM
With more songs like this maybe society would change. One can hope even when one realizes it's hopeless.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 on August 01, 2018, 11:33:18 AM
"Transaction tax instead of all others would be great but how would that keep the ultra rich from becoming ultra ultra rich? They spend such a small amount (percentage wise) of their riches."
 At the moment the ultra rich pay almost no taxes, the poor pay 40% tax to the financial sector [the ultra rich] on every one of their transactions. Most of the transactions of the super rich are tax exempt and amount to gaming the system rather than real economic activity. If the largely unnecessary financial transactions of the ultra-rich were treated even equally with selling labour to do useful work then it would become extremely difficult to accumulate vast fortunes. If the ultra rich had no priviledged access to endless credit at .5% to place their bets/buy their own shares/ acquire scarce resources they would mostly have been reduced to penury in the last banking crisis. I don't expect any change, the US needs an endless supply of the desperately impoverished to fill the ranks of it's enforcement arm, just saying the solutions aren't difficult, the politics are.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on August 01, 2018, 11:40:54 AM
We can discuss it as we are. Look, one has to separate the theoretical ideal from the real world.

"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one"


Sounds great - not applicable to the real world- at least not in the near future.

Nowhere in that song do I see Lennon argue for a cap on how much an individual can own.  ;)

There have always been things we take for granted and don't even think about, even though they are quite damaging. Think of slavery or human sacrifice. These things didn't change by themselves. They changed because people started talking about them.

How can we solve something if we aren't even willing to discuss it?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: mostly_lurking on August 01, 2018, 12:00:45 PM
We can discuss it as we are. Look, one has to separate the theoretical ideal from the real world.

"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one"


Sounds great - not applicable to the real world- at least not in the near future.

Nowhere in that song do I see Lennon argue for a cap on how much an individual can own.  ;)

There have always been things we take for granted and don't even think about, even though they are quite damaging. Think of slavery or human sacrifice. These things didn't change by themselves. They changed because people started talking about them.

How can we solve something if we aren't even willing to discuss it?

Imagine no possessions   Close enough.

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on August 01, 2018, 12:11:08 PM
Next you'll be saying I'm a communist.  ;)

I believe in private property rights, and in inequality. But they need to be fixed instead of infinite, or you get this vicious cycle of misery that can last thousands of years and ends up destroying the planet.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on August 01, 2018, 12:12:17 PM
Let's imagine that it's possible/doable to put a cap on how much someone can own. What would happen?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: jacksmith4tx on August 01, 2018, 06:27:20 PM
Let's imagine that it's possible/doable to put a cap on how much someone can own. What would happen?
If the point of having extreme wealth is power and status then forcibly removing that wealth will redirect human ambition to other behaviors that will achieve similar goals. In history we have had kings, spiritual leaders, dictators, generals all make it the top and become immortal (their names will never be lost to history) but money was not the critical factor in their rise to fame. Homer illustrates this when he reveals what Achilles desires above all else:
Quote
"The truly precious things in the world are those that cannot be bought, sold, seized, or commodified in any way. These include glory and life itself."
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on August 01, 2018, 07:01:48 PM
and we combine all those reasons that have their fair portion of truth and find out how we gonna get there.

each discussion above a certain level end in an either or argument instead of as well as and/or co-existence of different ways as long as they don't hurt others.

hope i made myself because i wanted to keep it short, else i'd have to post a few hundred pages ;)

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on August 01, 2018, 07:55:59 PM

How would you aim to do that? What kind of law can be made to decide what is the maximum one can be worth? I would call slippery slope.

we have to talk it out, my proposal would be something like 10 million €uros per 1st degree family member. the downside of getting larger rich families does not only have downsides, after all the fact that the currently overly procreating part of the population is often a bit behind in ethics and education is certainly not helpful, IMO it's kind of a time bomb where a little compensation could be even helpful.

of course it's not that easy to weigh all positive and negative feedbacks but then that would set a clear top to wealth, even for those with 20 kids and then of course this has to be based on a monogamic system and even then, those with 4 wives would make it 4x20x10M which is still way less then what we see now.

this is brainstorming pure, no claim that it's good and can hold all reasoning but as a starting point for a definition of top-wealth-levels the thought could serve and yes, i'm aware, some current billionaires would have trouble to cope since they prefer their own kind (put as political correctly as i could)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: jacksmith4tx on August 02, 2018, 01:39:46 PM
Homer illustrates this when he reveals what Achilles desires above all else:
Quote
"The truly precious things in the world are those that cannot be bought, sold, seized, or commodified in any way. These include glory and life itself."

Despite such ancient truths still next to nobody has worked out why Donald Trump ran for the Presidency in the first place. Despite how obvious it all was and still is.
Trump has a burning hate for Obama and everything Obama touched. Sounds too simple but is Trump such a complicated man? At his core he's narcissistic and vindictive.
By the way, You're Fired!

"Trump administration is making two big moves that will get him closer to his goal of erasing President Obama's biggest policies."
https://www.axios.com/donald-trump-administration-barack-obama-legacy-health-care-energy-36e9b7f3-28ce-476e-8f7c-ccdd095408b1.html
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on August 02, 2018, 08:11:34 PM
Homer illustrates this when he reveals what Achilles desires above all else:
Quote
"The truly precious things in the world are those that cannot be bought, sold, seized, or commodified in any way. These include glory and life itself."

Despite such ancient truths still next to nobody has worked out why Donald Trump ran for the Presidency in the first place. Despite how obvious it all was and still is.
Trump has a burning hate for Obama and everything Obama touched. Sounds too simple but is Trump such a complicated man? At his core he's narcissistic and vindictive.
By the way, You're Fired!

"Trump administration is making two big moves that will get him closer to his goal of erasing President Obama's biggest policies."
https://www.axios.com/donald-trump-administration-barack-obama-legacy-health-care-energy-36e9b7f3-28ce-476e-8f7c-ccdd095408b1.html

he is not complicated but "simple" which is much worse, the seeming complication results from his simple mind that can't cope with complex tasks as well as complex mechanisms and then there is that inferiority complex many such people try to camouflage with bold and often contradictory statements, turning the flag after the wind.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 03, 2018, 08:35:52 PM
Reuters: Poor in the USA get poorer:

"the bottom two quintiles of households make, on average, $11,587 and $29,414 a year in pre-tax income, respectively. Their expenses, meanwhile, are $26,144 and $38,187, respectively. This means that the bottom quintile has an average net loss of $14,557 a year and the next quintile a loss of $8,773, prior to taxes."

"while the bottom 60 percent of the population generally saw its expenses outpace its income between 2012 and 2017, the income of the top 20 percent increasingly outpaced its expenses over this same period. On average, the top 20 percent of the population makes $188,676 and spends $112,846. This layer makes more money than all of the other income quintiles combined."

Read the whole thing:

https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ECONOMY-CONSUMERS/010071CJ2NK/index.html
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/08/03/econ-a03.html

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 03, 2018, 08:54:34 PM
Roosevelt Institute argues that wages are suppressed in favour of stock repurchase to enrich executives and large shareholders:

"The restaurant industry spent more on stock buybacks than it made in profits, funding buybacks through debt and cash reserves. Buybacks totaled 136.5 percent of net profits." 


"Companies in the retail and food manufacturing industries spent 79.2 percent and 58.2 percent, respectively, of their net profits on share buybacks. 
"

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/curbing-stock-buybacks-crucial-step/

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/The-Big-Tradeoff-Issue-Brief-Retail-Industry_072618.pdf

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/The-Big-Tradeoff-Issue-Brief-Food-Manufacturing-Industry_072618.pdf

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/The-Big-Tradeoff-Issue-Brief-Restaurant-Industry_072618.pdf

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/08/02/pers-a02.html

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: SteveMDFP on August 03, 2018, 09:07:55 PM
Roosevelt Institute argues that wages are suppressed in favour of stock repurchase to enrich executives and large shareholders:
 

Sort of true, but not really.  That cash was never going to higher wages, regardless of buybacks.
Corporations aim to pay exactly as much in wages as they need to in order to maximize profits.
Pay less, and the workforce is inadequate in quantity and/or quality for best profitability.
Pay more, and the shareholders get less then they might, due to sub-optimum profitability.

Under the current system, the alternative to share buybacks is more money going out in dividends.  Share buybacks elevate stock price, giving execs bonuses, and giving shareholders capital gains instead of dividends.  Capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than dividends, so this is more valuable to shareholders.

Trying to regulate away buybacks isn't what workers need, and wouldn't help them.  A higher minimum wage, or mechanisms to reduce competition with overseas labor is what's needed.  As the unemployment is low, a higher minimum wage would be my suggested first step.

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 06, 2018, 10:44:46 PM
Killing the poor. Who needs em anymore, right ?

"the rich live longer and the poor die younger"

https://phys.org/news/2018-08-poverty-impact-well-being-hard.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 07, 2018, 12:29:00 AM
Screw the pensioners. No good to us anymore.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/sears-canada-pension-retirees-1.4773283

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 on August 07, 2018, 10:01:09 AM
Looks like the plan is to cut pensions one small group at a time, in the UK they shifted the ground under the feet of women with barely any notice, then populated the protest with quislings who folded straight away. Most company schemes are not only underfunded but have been specifically targeted by M+A then asset stripped. My guess the last two groups standing will be the police and bureaurocrats.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 27, 2018, 11:38:13 PM
County by county map of GINI coeeficient in the USA:

https://www2.census.gov/library/visualizations/2012/acs/acsbr10-18-fig01.pdf

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 27, 2018, 11:57:30 PM
Pink tax on women: they pay more for mortgages, cars, credit rates:

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/pink-tax-applies-to-mortgages-cars-and-other-markets-report-finds/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on August 28, 2018, 01:19:46 AM
County by county map of GINI coeeficient in the USA:

https://www2.census.gov/library/visualizations/2012/acs/acsbr10-18-fig01.pdf (https://www2.census.gov/library/visualizations/2012/acs/acsbr10-18-fig01.pdf)

sidd
A lower # equals more equality

A similar map, but with less detail for Canada that also compares Canadian Providences to various Countries.
https://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/provincial/society/income-inequality.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 30, 2018, 12:40:55 AM
Soak the poor. They don't pay much in taxes, anyway.

"roughly 60 percent—of those fees were charged to people who were represented by a public defender."

Even if charges are dismissed (!!)

But even if the plea fee is eliminated, there are still other fees that can be imposed on Pennsylvania defendants. For example, if a criminal case is dismissed, a state rule allows the imposition of fees and restitution.

Then throw em in jail again coz they can't pay ...

" ... in 2016 more than 4,500 cases where defendants were jailed for failing to pay their court debt in Pennsylvania. "

Criminal justice system is criminal. But this is no justice.

https://theappeal.org/in-pennsylvania-defendants-pay-a-fee-just-to-plead-guilty/

sidd
 
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: jacksmith4tx on August 30, 2018, 02:11:30 AM
John Oliver was all over this public defenders scam.
https://youtu.be/USkEzLuzmZ4
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 31, 2018, 12:44:40 AM
The poor don't deserve a roof over their heads. Let 'em live in the street. Then we can bust them for vagrancy.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/29/private-renting-now-unaffordable-low-income-tenants-risk-homelessness/

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 31, 2018, 12:48:38 AM
Old and poor ? screw em, what did they ever do for us ? Just shut up and die already.

"In the last year, nearly 300,000 Americans 85 and older were working. That number is up 3 percent from the start of the 2006 recession."

https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/national/87-year-old-ohio-man-takes-trucking-job-to-cover-wife-s-medical-expenses-and-he-s-not-alone

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: SteveMDFP on August 31, 2018, 12:59:08 AM
The poor don't deserve a roof over their heads. Let 'em live in the street. Then we can bust them for vagrancy.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/29/private-renting-now-unaffordable-low-income-tenants-risk-homelessness/

sidd

I agree the picture presented for the UK is not good.  From what I can glean, it's far worse in the US, where locally a family of 4 with no income gets only $600/mo TANF, plus inadequate food stamps, and a >1yr wait for Section 8 housing voucher.  Of course, if the kids were put into foster care, the foster parents would get paid more.  Madness and shameful care of the nation's children.  The country will reap what it sows.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 31, 2018, 01:02:12 AM
“We are talking about 10 people have the same as 60 million Mexicans,"

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/10-Richest-Mexicans-Earn-More-than-50-Percent-of-Public-ECLAC-20180830-0011.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on August 31, 2018, 01:04:00 AM
" The country will reap what it sows."

Should be the present tense, rather than the future tense.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 02, 2018, 05:50:48 AM
Pricing the poor out of life:

"He died less than one month after going off of his mother's insurance. His family thinks he was rationing his insulin — using less than he needed — to try to make it last until he could afford to buy more. He died alone in his apartment three days before payday. The insulin pen he used to give himself shots was empty."

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/09/01/641615877/insulins-high-cost-leads-to-lethal-rationing

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 03, 2018, 11:39:49 PM
Scheer and Quart discuss the evisceration of the middle class, the rise of the precariat and the "class ceiling" in the USA:

" ... the delusion of a middle class is supported by the people who basically control the narrative. They write the big stories, they run the magazines, they run television. They’re the tenured professors. And they’re not experiencing the extreme anxiety of the precariat"


'And your book is really about the suffering of people who did everything right by the normal standards of the meritocracy. They paid their taxes, they worked hard, they went to school, they took the opportunities there. And you know what? They were conned into a life of poverty and desperation."

"Yeah, I mean, they were conned. And some of the con still continues. You know, you have $1.5 trillion student debt. You have, an income inequality thrumming under all this ... And you have this whole world of counselors and coaches and certificate programs that, I think of them as like vultures on the carcass of the middle class. "

" I think once you realize that you’re part of a precarious class, you might vote with others that are also precarious. Middle-class and working-class people voting together and finding common cause–that’s the hope. "

"the rise of Trump is best understood by the gap between the elite and suffering middle class, or the disappearing of a real middle class."

" a trap that people fall into, and they can’t get out of it. And they get desperate in how they vote. "

" ... this is the most powerful, corrupting message this society puts out: if you fail, it’s your fault. And you better go to a self-help group, or you better have a better attitude, or embrace your inner blah blah blah. And the whole idea that maybe the game is rigged–rigged–is, you know, that’s considered radical and negative thinking."

"Under Barack Obama, the great president of hope, they bailed out the banks for destroying the economy. Right? And they didn’t bail out homeowners. They didn’t do anything fundamentally to help homeowners who lost their houses, not through any failure on their part, because the game was rigged by these, basically, thieves on Wall Street. So, I mean, isn’t it really cutting to the chase the issue, are you going to blame yourself, or are you going to blame the system?"

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-collapse-of-the-middle-class-and-the-rise-of-a-new-precariat-audio/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 03, 2018, 11:58:09 PM
Ten years later: Still screwed

“If you look at average numbers, the economy is doing great," he added. "If you differentiate the economy by who’s doing well, it stinks.”

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/404653-ten-years-later-wounds-run-deep-from-2008-crash

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on September 04, 2018, 03:42:47 AM
"precariat" - those reduced to being supplicants, from the latin precarious, "to obtain by prayer" -
ouch!


I particularly liked your description of coaches, counselors and certificate programs as "vultures". I'd thought I was unique in despising these cons.


Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: jacksmith4tx on September 04, 2018, 04:04:25 AM
"precariat" - those reduced to being supplicants, from the latin precarious, "to obtain by prayer" -
Canada will be 'precariat' to Trump.
Soon.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on September 04, 2018, 04:45:47 AM
"precariat" - those reduced to being supplicants, from the latin precarious, "to obtain by prayer" -
Canada will be 'precariat' to Trump.
Soon.
That Sucks!

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on September 04, 2018, 05:20:20 AM
" a trap that people fall into, and they can’t get out of it. And they get desperate in how they vote. "

so is it but how get this into peoples head before it's too late and without getting into trouble oneself ? this is what i ponder over for years. the facts are clear and in the open, people even know them, one can see that when carefully listening.

what most people don't do is to make the connections, see the scheme and try to get out of the trap.

it is possible to get out of the trap but one has to leave the reminder of the pseudo-comfort-zone and this is a huge price tag which most are not willing or able to pay.

however i thank you a lot for this post because the absence of this kind of information all over the place is what keeps people from waking up (not a coincidence of course) hence each time this is brought to peoples attention is on step closer to the downfall of the system, which, unfortunately, will not happen quietly and painlessly.

a reboot will be needed, probably several reboots and mankind is only rebooting when not much to loose is left at that time.

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 05, 2018, 09:48:18 PM
Sanders, Khanna introduce bill to tax companies whose workers receive food stamps, housing subsidy or medicaid:

https://www.sanders.senate.gov/download/stop-bezos-act-2018?id=C2E88AC5-C629-4680-8F8D-9EE74F343560&download=1&inline=file

Can you say "snowball's chance in hell ?" But if they can force a vote, that will expose the corporates. Bet the thing doesn't make it outta committee. Too many sweet,sweet campaign contributions on the line.

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 06, 2018, 07:04:49 AM
Plutocracy and effects:

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/09/05/plutocracy-now/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 08, 2018, 06:54:27 AM
Top 1% screwing the bottom 50% since 1980 in the USA: Reagan-Thatcher deform of the economy.

 "the incomes of the top 1% collectively made up 11% of national income in 1980, but now constitute above 20% of national income, while the 20% of US national income that was attributable to the bottom 50% in 1980 has fallen to just 12% today."

Ain't that special.

https://www.thisisinsider.com/income-inequality-us-economy-chart-thomas-piketty-2018-9

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 08, 2018, 07:12:22 AM
28% of 65+ USA thinks they will die in debt.

"I want the last check i write to bounce to heaven." (No that's not in the article, an old geezer told me that once, only to be sharply contradicted by his wife. But as it turned out, he survived her, so he might still do it.)

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/1-in-10-americans-say-they-will-die-in-debt-2017-01-11

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 09, 2018, 05:24:49 AM
31 trillion US$ ain't enuf, it's just a beginning:

"a group of oligarchs equal in number to the population of Plano, Texas or Nottingham, England own more than the poorest 80 percent of the world—some 5.6 billion people."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/09/08/pers-s08.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 11, 2018, 09:42:03 PM
Increasing economic gap between rich and poor cities in the USA:

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-chasm-among-american-cities-is-growing-ever-wider/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 11, 2018, 10:15:11 PM
America's Finest News Source excoriates Trump for taking credit for rise in inequality, should really be attributed to Obama.

“While Trump is right that economic inequality is increasing under him, he cannot ignore the Obama administration’s significant contributions to the current wealth gap,”

https://politics.theonion.com/trump-unfairly-claims-credit-for-rise-in-economic-inequ-1828972539

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 12, 2018, 07:00:54 AM
Frontline on Dayton, Ohio. An hour long, worth watching, to see the death of the heartlands. Left behind, indeed.

They're stacking the dead from the opiod epidemic like cordwood in reefer trailers, they ran outta room in the morgues. Predominantly in areas where people were emplyed in physical labour, wore themselves out, got laid off and pension stolen, got hooked on pankillers thru the pharm lobby, then turned to the street when they had to. Those are deaths driven by desperation.

The plight of the black population is briefly alluded to, mostly in the context of white flight. It does not cover the sorry history of when it was a "sundown town."

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/left-behind-america/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 16, 2018, 09:06:04 PM
Ten years later, still screwed:

"As of June 30, nearly one in 10 American homes with mortgages were “seriously” underwater, according to Irvine, California-based ATTOM Data Solutions, meaning that their market values were at least 25 percent lower than the balance remaining on their mortgages."

"Now 66, she and husband Michael were counting on equity from the sale of their house to fund their retirement in Florida. For now, that remains a dream."

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-housing-underwater-insight/millions-of-americans-still-trapped-in-debt-logged-homes-ten-years-after-crisis-idUSKCN1LU0EP

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 16, 2018, 10:26:46 PM
Graeber and Wengrow in a provocative and challenging piece at eurozine on the origins of inequality. There are a couple videos linked there which i ought to watch.

https://www.eurozine.com/change-course-human-history/

Very much worth reading.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 17, 2018, 07:06:57 AM
A thoughtful article on effects of inequality and segregation in schools in the USA:

"They add that “the only areas where levels of intense segregation have declined since the early 1990s for black and Latino students are in rural areas and smaller towns.” "

"The problem of segregation is thus twofold. First, it physically separates more privileged students from those less privileged. Second, segregation both reflects and reinforces the political, social, and economic inequalities present in the broader society. While much attention is rightly paid to the first part of the problem, the heart of the injustice lives in the second, because inequality isn’t just reflected in school segregation — it’s the root cause of it.


And of course, this general inequality, in schools and otherwise, is in large part due to lack of funding for public institutions in a neoliberal, capitalist economy. US schools receive the vast majority of their funding through property taxes at the local level, allowing wealthier suburban towns and cities to avoid paying for poorer families’ schooling. This is perhaps the largest barrier to fair school funding today."

"Segregated schools have different needs: an upper-income school has no interest in school-based health clinics because those families have employer provided insurance. A low-income school whose families have no health insurance certainly do."

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/07/the-socialist-case-for-school-integration

Read the whole thing. especially the UCLA report linked in the article.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 18, 2018, 10:56:03 PM
More and more men dropping out of the labour force in their prime working years in the USA:

"The share of prime-age men—between the ages of 25 and 54—that is neither working nor looking for work has been rising for decades. "

"in 2013, 11 percent of prime-age men were outside the labor force. "

"only 12 percent of able-bodied prime-age inactive men indicate in household surveys that they want a job or are open to taking one."

"just one in four prime-age inactive men spent time looking for work in the preceding year."

https://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/9/inactive-disconnected-and-ailing-a-portrait-of-prime-age-men-out-of-the-labor-force

No point playing a rigged game.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: jacksmith4tx on September 20, 2018, 03:16:53 PM
This guy knows how to drain a swamp.

Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday hailed steps by the new Congress to cut the salaries of government officials, part of a raft of measures he promised to battle corruption and inequality.

Lopez Obrador vowed to cut his own salary to 40 percent of what outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto earns to 108,000 pesos ($5,718) per month - a sum well below many high-paying government jobs in the current administration.

He has also promised to waive his bodyguards and sell the presidential jet as well as a fleet of government aircraft.

Local media have reported the cuts could hit around 35,000 officials currently earning more than Lopez Obrador’s proposed wage.

On Friday, Lopez Obrador also said the bill would allow him to fulfill another campaign promise - to end generous pensions enjoyed by former Mexican presidents.

Lopez Obrador, who takes office on Dec. 1, won a landslide victory in July after pledging to save billions of dollars through anti-corruption and austerity measures to fund scholarships for students, pensions for the elderly and infrastructure projects in Mexico’s poor south.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-politics/mexico-president-elect-hails-passage-of-public-sector-pay-cuts-idUSKCN1LU2KW
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 22, 2018, 09:46:05 PM
Surprise, surprise.

"profits and pay at Wall Street securities firms soared at double-digit rates last year"

 “Wall Street profited every year since the end of the recession in 2009, and compensation last year reached its highest point since the financial crisis.”

"Between 2016 and 2017 the wage of a typical US worker grew by a negligible 0.3 percent. This year, wages are barely keeping pace with inflation. Meanwhile, according to a report published last month by the Economic Policy Institute, average CEO pay at America’s 350 largest companies grew by 17.6 percent between 2016 and 2017. The typical chief executive received $18.9 million in compensation."

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/09/19/wall-s19.html

Some people don't remember which administration empowered this transfer of wealth. As i have said before, it must be nice to be able to forget so easily.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Sleepy on September 29, 2018, 10:59:22 AM
Thanks. FWIW; he's spot on regarding Sweden.

Edit, downloaded the full interview (linked below the one posted by Lurk above) and snipped out that part where he talks about Sweden, Finland and the US.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Sleepy on October 01, 2018, 08:11:35 AM
https://blog.ted.com/we-the-future-talks-from-ted-skoll-foundation-and-united-nations-foundation/ (https://blog.ted.com/we-the-future-talks-from-ted-skoll-foundation-and-united-nations-foundation/)
Quote
A daring idea to reduce income inequality. Every newborn should enter the world with at least $25,000 in the bank. That is the basic premise of a “baby trust,” an idea conceived by economists Darrick Hamilton of The New School and William Darity of Duke University. Since 1980, inequality has been on the rise worldwide, and Hamilton says it will keep growing due to this simple fact: “It is wealth that begets more wealth.” Policymakers and the public have fallen for a few appealing but inaccurate narratives about wealth creation — that grit, education or a booming economy can move people up the ladder — and we’ve disparaged the poor for not using these forces to rise, Hamilton says. Instead, what if we gave a boost up the ladder? A baby trust would give an infant money at birth — anywhere from $500 for those born into the richest families to $60,000 for the poorest, with an average endowment of $25,000. The accounts would be managed by the government, at a guaranteed interest rate of 2 percent a year. When a child reaches adulthood, they could withdraw it for an “asset-producing activity,” such as going to college, buying a home or starting a business. If we were to implement it in the US today, a baby trust program would cost around $100 billion a year; that’s only 2 percent of annual federal expenditures and a fraction of the $500 billion that the government now spends on subsidies and credits that favor the wealthy, Hamilton says. “Inequality is primarily a structural problem, not a behavioral one,” he says, so it needs to be attacked with solutions that will change the existing structures of wealth.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: silkman on October 01, 2018, 11:19:24 AM
This might be somewhat off topic but economic inequality adds to the issues associated with natural disasters.

The final story of the recent earthquakes and tsunami in Suluwesi has yet to be written but this video, one of the first from the Donggala area, should make the First World step up to the plate. Will it? I wonder.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2018/oct/01/the-car-is-on-top-of-the-house-footage-emerges-from-quake-ravaged-donggala-video
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Sleepy on October 01, 2018, 03:01:29 PM
Thanks silkman. Maybe some activity as long as the spotlight lingers and then sweep it under the rug?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: mostly_lurking on October 02, 2018, 03:20:38 PM
The Pathology of the Rich – Chris Hedges 23 mins interview


Human DNA dictates that it will never change. It might morph a bit like it has over thousands of years but inherently it will be the same. Even "pitchfork and torches" will not change more than on the surface. MAYBE a world wide catastrophe (wiping out all digital records let say) might help for a while (along with everyone else suffering terribly) but even then , those with tendency will rise again and rebuild the"elites"..might not be all the same people exactly but still will happen.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 03, 2018, 12:07:56 AM
A more gilded age: Lord at truthdig compares the gilded age to our own, and we suffer in the comparison.

" no matter which of 1918’s titans of wealth you consider, the corresponding slice of America’s 2018 elite controls a greater portion of the country’s wealth."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/in-2018-the-u-s-is-even-more-gilded-than-in-1918/

I fear more and more, that the remedy will be a very old one. One oligarch, one lamppost.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on October 03, 2018, 03:18:52 AM
A more gilded age: Lord at truthdig compares the gilded age to our own, and we suffer in the comparison.

" no matter which of 1918’s titans of wealth you consider, the corresponding slice of America’s 2018 elite controls a greater portion of the country’s wealth."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/in-2018-the-u-s-is-even-more-gilded-than-in-1918/ (https://www.truthdig.com/articles/in-2018-the-u-s-is-even-more-gilded-than-in-1918/)

I fear more and more, that the remedy will be a very old one. One oligarch, one lamppost.

sidd


The lampposts are further apart since we left that gilded gaslit frieze,
and the cross posts so much higher
make the hangings so much harder.
Strange fruit swinging in the urban breeze
while no tree grows in Brooklyn.


Apologies to Billy H.
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 04, 2018, 11:32:18 PM
Rich get richer:

"The total net worth of the 400 people included on the list hit a record $2.9 trillion this year, up from $2.7 trillion last year."

"The average net worth of billionaires on the list rose to $7.2 billion, an increase of a half-billion over last year’s average of $6.7 billion."

"The $2.9 trillion in the hands of these 400 richest people in the United States is roughly three-quarters of the total federal budget"

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/04/forb-o04.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 04, 2018, 11:33:34 PM
$15/hr minimum wage could result in net loss of income:

"Curtis Skinner of the National Center for Children in Poverty estimates that a raise to $15 an hour could end up costing a parent over $10,000 a year. According to the Center for Community Solutions, an Ohio worker who receives a raise from $11.50 to $15 actually makes $29 less each month as a result of losing eligibility for food stamps, housing subsidies, and Medicaid."

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/04/pers-o04.html#pk_campaign=sidebar&pk_kwd=perspectives

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 17, 2018, 10:59:27 PM
Two generations condemned to poverty: Stankorb at WaPo reflects on the death of the American Dream:

“It’s cancer,”

"her mobility faltered."

"My father has become my mother’s caretaker"

"he’s dealing with respiratory issues of his own"

"I ask what happens if one of them falls, and there’s no good answer, because they don’t have the money for assisted living or whatever comes next."

“I never intended for you to become my retirement plan.”

"we’re paying a mortgage. And we’re still paying off sizable student loans."

" the median annual cost of a nursing facility was $97,455 for a private room, $87,600 for a shared room or $45,000 for assisted living. "

"don’t want our children struggling, like we are "

"In the coming decade, millennials will struggle to help sick parents, raise kids and stitch together a work life with little or no promise of pensions or the social safety net we keep investing in with little faith that it will be there to support us. We’ll work until we die, and pray that something better is in store for the generations after us."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2018/10/17/im-part-sandwich-generation-i-feel-more-stretched-than-squeezed/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 22, 2018, 11:00:15 PM
"Foreign workers, mostly from the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh and impoverished Arabic-speaking countries, are, through the kafala system are often kept as virtual or even literal slaves, cleaning the mansions and 7-star hotels. "

"... the sheer obscenity of shoes that cost $17 million get to the heart (or lack of) of the UAE. It’s an entity that embodies the very worst of the region – states and enterprises built for ultra-rich people over the bones of starving Yemenis, oppressed South Asian slaves and people who don’t deserve lives of basic dignity ... "

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 22, 2018, 11:51:51 PM
Hedges on oligarchy:

"Once the uber-rich take over, Aristotle writes, the only options are tyranny and revolution."

"The state apparatus the uber-rich controls now exclusively serves their interests. They are deaf to the cries of the dispossessed. They empower those institutions that keep us oppressed—the security and surveillance systems of domestic control, militarized police, Homeland Security and the military—and gut or degrade those institutions or programs that blunt social, economic and political inequality, among them public education, health care, welfare, Social Security, an equitable tax system, food stamps, public transportation and infrastructure, and the courts. The uber-rich extract greater and greater sums of money from those they steadily impoverish. And when citizens object or resist, they crush or kill them."


"There is no force within ruling institutions that will halt the pillage by the uber-rich of the nation and the ecosystem. The uber-rich have nothing to fear from the corporate-controlled media, the elected officials they bankroll or the judicial system they have seized. The universities are pathetic corporation appendages. They silence or banish intellectual critics who upset major donors by challenging the reigning ideology of neoliberalism, which was formulated by the uber-rich to restore class power. The uber-rich have destroyed popular movements, including labor unions, along with democratic mechanisms for reform that once allowed working people to pit power against power."

"In “The Postmodern Condition” the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard painted a picture of the future neoliberal order as one in which “the temporary contract” supplants “permanent institutions in the professional, emotional, sexual, cultural, family and international domains, as well as in political affairs.” This temporal relationship to people, things, institutions and the natural world ensures collective self-annihilation. Nothing for the uber-rich has an intrinsic value. Human beings, social institutions and the natural world are commodities to exploit for personal gain until exhaustion or collapse. The common good, like the consent of the governed, is a dead concept. This temporal relationship embodies the fundamental pathology of the uber-rich."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-rule-of-the-uber-rich-means-either-tyranny-or-revolution/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 25, 2018, 10:22:09 PM
Some brighter signs in the USA: it turns out if you follow individuals and families (and make some different assumptions about things like unreported income and benefits) rather than looking at snapshots of economic quintiles as in Piketty, the picture looks better. Of course this means ignoring the changing demographics of quintiles, so Piketty et al. are correct in their view also.

Article with many references at

https://medium.com/@russroberts/do-the-rich-capture-all-the-gains-from-economic-growth-c96d93101f9c

References:

http://davidsplinter.com/AutenSplinter-Tax_Data_and_Inequality.pdf

http://davidsplinter.com/Splinter-Mobility_and_Inequalitya.xlsx

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/11_generations_isaacs.pdf

http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/papers/abs_mobility_paper.pdf

https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2012/pursuingamericandreampdf.pdf

https://www.ntanet.org/NTJ/66/4/ntj-v66n04p893-912-new-perpectives-income-mobility.pdf

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Klondike Kat on October 26, 2018, 01:06:20 PM
Some brighter signs in the USA: it turns out if you follow individuals and families (and make some different assumptions about things like unreported income and benefits) rather than looking at snapshots of economic quintiles as in Piketty, the picture looks better. Of course this means ignoring the changing demographics of quintiles, so Piketty et al. are correct in their view also.

Article with many references at

https://medium.com/@russroberts/do-the-rich-capture-all-the-gains-from-economic-growth-c96d93101f9c

References:

http://davidsplinter.com/AutenSplinter-Tax_Data_and_Inequality.pdf

http://davidsplinter.com/Splinter-Mobility_and_Inequalitya.xlsx

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/11_generations_isaacs.pdf

http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/papers/abs_mobility_paper.pdf

https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2012/pursuingamericandreampdf.pdf

https://www.ntanet.org/NTJ/66/4/ntj-v66n04p893-912-new-perpectives-income-mobility.pdf

sidd

Very nice sidd.  I found it quite interesting the part about mobility; two-thirds of Americans moved out of their parents income status, with over 80% exceeded their parents status.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 28, 2018, 07:49:50 PM
Kids bailing on the USA to escape debt bondage:

"I've put America behind me,"

"I couldn't make the math work in America,"

 "I lost faith in my country."

"I wish I could come back to America and not be scared,"

Debts that cannot be repaid will not be repaid. A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're talking real money.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/26/he-moved-to-a-jungle-in-india-to-escape-his-student-debt--and-hes-not-alone-.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 30, 2018, 06:58:07 AM
Too many poor people ? Redefine poor !

"reducing the number of undernourished people by half before 2015, which, given the population at the time, meant slashing the poverty headcount by 836 million."

" the goal was rewritten ...  the new goal was effectively reduced by 167 million."

"the goal was diluted two more times. First, they changed it from halving the proportion of impoverished people in the world to halving the proportion of impoverished people in developing countries, thus taking advantage of an even faster-growing demographic denominator. Second, they moved the baseline of analysis from 2000 back to 1990, thus retroactively including all poverty reduction accomplished by China throughout the 1990s, due in no part whatsoever to the Millennium Campaign.

This statistical sleight-of-hand narrowed the target by a further 324 million. So what started as a goal to reduce the poverty headcount by 836 million has magically become only 345 million - less than half the original number. "

"But there's more. Not only have the goalposts been moved, the definition of poverty itself has been massaged in a way that serves the poverty reduction narrative. "

"the absolute number of those living on $1 per day or less continues to increase. The worldwide total rose from 1.2 billion in 1987 to 1.5 billion today and, if recent trends persist, will reach 1.9 billion by 2015."

"This amounted to a PR nightmare for the World Bank. Not long after the report was released, however, their story changed dramatically and they announced the exact opposite news ... This new story was possible because the Bank shifted the IPL from the original $1.02 (at 1985 PPP) to $1.08 (at 1993 PPP) ... The IPL was changed a second time in 2008, to $1.25 (at 2005 PPP). And once again the story improved overnight ... creating the illusion that an additional 121 million souls had been "saved" from the jaws of debilitating poverty ... "

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/08/exposing-great-poverty-reductio-201481211590729809.html

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 30, 2018, 08:24:32 PM
Hudson interview on bailout of banks and immiseration of the debtors:

"The problem is, you can’t save the banks and the economy. "

" this is the Democratic Party’s position: The role of wage earners is to make enough money so that all of their income over and above survival needs has to be paid for the banks"

"The first debts to be wiped out are going to be what companies and states owe for pension payments. "

"The first thing Obama did when he was elected was to send a list of recommended cabinet positions to Rubin at Citicorp. So Citicorp got to name the cabinet. Of course, it wasn’t going to accept anyone who would regulate it, or any people in Justice who would throw a banker in jail. "

"But you can’t bail out the banks, leave the debts in place and rescue the economy too. Somebody has to lose."

"a large portion of the politicians elected as Democrats are actually Republicans running as Democrats."

" Ben Bernanke, who was head of the Federal Reserve under Obama, wrote a paper a little while ago saying that there wasn’t any crisis in 2008. In his view, there was a panic, simply because people didn’t have faith. If you have faith in the neoliberal system and its rising debt overhead, everything will be okay. "

"Almost 100% of mortgages for houses under about $600,000 are now guaranteed by the Federal Housing Authority. Banks will not make loans on housing, or student loans, unless the government promises that if the loan goes bad, the government will pay. So the banks take zero risk."

"The Eurozone was designed by rightwing politicians. It was basically a fascist plan, fascist as in the 1930s, fascist as in the Austrian School ...  The Eurozone was created as an anti-labor, organization ..."

"the Eurozone is basically a class war against labor. The intention of the Eurozone from the beginning was to break labor unions, to increase unemployment, to make living standards fall by about 20%, to shorten the life spans, to increase suicide rates, increase disease rates and lower birth rates. All of this was written at the time, as if this is a solution to the inflation problem, not a problem in itself. The solution to the economic problem, the Eurozone said, is people are living too well. We have to cut their living standards by 5, 10, 20% so that all the money goes to the wealth creators, namely the financial sector. "

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/10/michael-hudson-rescuing-banks-instead-economy.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 06, 2018, 10:13:25 PM
Rich folk shouldn't have to see the poor: move em on out

"The first six months of the year saw a rise of almost 50 percent in the numbers of London’s homeless families being rehoused outside the city, some as far away as Cornwall and Manchester."

" ... one of her constituents with a job, a 12-year-old at school and a 14-month-old baby being moved away. She told Buck she had to wake her family at 5:40 a.m. to get her daughter to school and herself to work. They got home at 9 p.m. after nearly five hours spent commuting."

"Birmingham has moved nearly 2,000 households outside the city, and Liverpool has moved 82."

"Figures for January 2018 showed a 169 percent increase in rough sleeping since 2010. The July-September figures show this trend continuing, with outreach workers finding 1,382 people sleeping rough for the first time during this period. This was up 28 percent on the previous three months, and up 20 percent on the same period last year."

" ...  449 deaths since October 2017, well over one per day."

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/06/home-n06.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 07, 2018, 08:41:33 PM
Apparently rich people don't like the poor to look at them: Tate Gallery sued

" a handful of residents in the multimillion-dollar homes — part of the NEO Bankside development that was completed in 2012 — filed a lawsuit against the Tate Modern, arguing the museum has created a state of "near constant surveillance" since opening the terrace"

https://www.npr.org/2018/11/05/664527780/luxury-apartment-owners-head-to-court-against-peeping-from-tate-moderns-balcony

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 08, 2018, 01:31:30 AM
To have and to have not in the USA:

"Estimates of adults living from paycheck to paycheck range from half to 60 percent to 78 percent."

"No American adult in the bottom 40% has more than $31,124 in total wealth, including house and car and savings"

"While 1 in 7 Americans is part of the world’s poorest 10%, nearly 3 in 7 Americans are part of the world’s richest 10%. "

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/proof-poverty-in-the-u-s-is-getting-exponentially-worse/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 19, 2018, 06:24:11 AM
Pope tells it like it is:

"the wealthy few feast on what, in justice, belongs to all. Injustice is the perverse root of poverty."

" "The cry of the poor daily becomes stronger but every day heard less," he said. That cry is "drowned out by the din on the rich few, who grow ever fewer and more rich," the pontiff said. "

https://www.apnews.com/c183ed8b9269499ea0f537d9e8a9f2b6

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/pope-din-rich-drown-cries-poor-59276074

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Red on November 20, 2018, 01:32:24 PM
Not sure if this is in the right place? The more I look at "connect the dots pieces" the more it looks like the path to the place in time we now live in was paved decades + + ago. We have a human tendency to look for an "axis" of evil and for many that live outside its borders it's the US. I think the problem is not the US as many would quickly point to. The US has been highjacked by the forces of moneyed interests and is being used to promote a point of view that is vastly different from what its real power is being used for. Most of the decision making is being influenced by people who aren't even Americans or no longer live there much. After all you wouldn't want to have to look too long at the US hinterlands which tragically reveal the aftermath of five + decades of fiscal policy that has moved the value of industry to other countries, so as to pile more wealth on the few. I love connect the dots in the human enterprise, it really is as simple as follow the money. We very much are the product of our environments, if taken literally means, we soon will be comprised mostly of machine and plastic. I fear the plastic part the most.

In Retinger’s words he founded Bilderberg Group simply to, “foster dialogue between Europe and North America.” That was for public consumption. In reality he built a very dark agenda that drew in the most reactionary circles in postwar Europe and tied them to the most powerful of postwar American oligarch families, that of Rockefeller and their emerging “American Century.” The Bilderberg Group was to insure that that Century would be heavily influenced by postwar Vatican geopolitics. Its first meeting in 1954 was funded by Walter Bedell Smith’s CIA, with subsequent meetings financed by the CIA’s close ally during the Cold War, the Ford Foundation. [10]

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/11/19/bilderberg-group-keeps-europe-and-usa-under-the-thumb-at-a-grand-hotel-in-holland/
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: kassy on November 20, 2018, 10:01:00 PM
It is much older of course.

If you are interested in this see WW1 Conspiracy Corbett Report on Youtube.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 23, 2018, 08:51:01 PM
Killing the poor: In the UK they die a decade earlier than the rich

"the life expectancy gap between the most affluent and most deprived sectors of society increased from 6.1 years in 2001 to 7.9 years in 2016 for women, and from 9.0 to 9.7 years in men."

"Working income has stagnated and benefits have been cut, forcing many working families to use foodbanks. The price of healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables has increased relative to unhealthy, processed food, putting them out of the reach of the poorest."

He added: "The funding squeeze for health and cuts to local government services since 2010 have also had a significant impact on the most deprived communities, leading to treatable diseases such as cancer being diagnosed too late, or people dying sooner from conditions like dementia." "

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-11-poorest-dying-years-younger-rich.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on November 24, 2018, 01:02:08 AM
Killing the poor: In the UK they die a decade earlier than the rich

we can start with nutrition:

i made many test as to the purchase of food over a given period of time and found out that eating:

a) junk = 1x (the base)

b) normal (common often processed and industrialized food) = 2x the price of (a)

c) normal healthy but non-bio or top quality etc. = 3x the price of (a)

d) very healthy and select food without any processed food = 5x the price of (a)
.   that's without fancy stuff like too much booze, caviar or champagne but basics
.   like fresh vegetable, fresh meat, fresh fish and fresh fruit from the markets
.   y tiendas de alimentos saludables

e) top level, bio only and non-processed food = 15x the price of (a)
.   the difference is about what kind of fish and meat, a t-bone, chuleton de buey or a porterhouse
.   costs about 3 times as much as an average entrecote and some fish or crabbs cost about 10
.   times as much  as common fish like rosada and the likes.


hence it's obvious that the vast majority with kiddies cannot afford anything but (a) + (b) and in some countries eventually (c) while (a) and (b) are rarely really healthy, too much salt, sugar and other chemical ingredients.

normally when the two of us stick to a mix of (c+d) the food costs about 1000€ and once we calculated that for a 4-5 people household once can guess that's rarely feasible as an average
amount people can spend for food permanently.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 26, 2018, 10:02:08 PM
Kill the old. No good to us anymore.

"some residents regularly soiled themselves while waiting for help to the bathroom. A woman dying of uterine cancer was left on a bedpan for so long that she bruised."

"One man had been dosed with so many opioids that he had to be rushed to a hospital, according to the inspection reports. During an undersupervised bus trip to church - one staff member was escorting six patients who could not walk without help - a resident flipped backward on a wheelchair ramp and suffered a brain hemorrhage."

"a nurse's aide who should have had a helper was trying to lift a paraplegic woman, the woman fell and fractured her hip"

"my mom would call us every day crying when she was in there ... It was dirty - like a run-down motel. Roaches and ants all over the place."

"Under the ownership of the Carlyle Group, one of the richest private-equity firms in the world, the ManorCare nursing home chain struggled financially until it filed for bankruptcy in March"

"The rise in health-code violations at the chain began after Carlyle and investors completed a 2011 financial deal that extracted $1.3 billion from the company for investors but also saddled the chain with what proved to be untenable financial obligations, according to interviews and financial documents. Under the terms of the deal, HCR ManorCare sold nearly all of the real estate in its nursing home empire and then agreed to pay rent to the new owners."

"we can't afford to have that many people on staff. "

" three falls, multiple infections, dehydration and bedsores"
" multiple falls, one that caused a broken hip"
"fallen six times during four months"
"broke his hip when aides were moving him  ... had to wait two hours before he was taken to a hospital."
"The short-staffing was to the extent that it was very dangerous for the residents,"
 "At times, it was just one aide for 60 patients. And it just kept on getting worse."

Read the whole thing, if you have the stomach:

https://www.themorningsun.com/business/distress-detailed-at-nursing-homes-that-went-bankrupt-after-investors/article_d8ec674c-31e2-5cc8-9f09-7c40fe364c61.html

I go thru Pottsville a lot. Beautiful countryside that conceals these horrors. I find it amazing that none of the the children of these tortured, sick, unfortunates have not yet hunted down and murdered the Carlyle board of directors.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 29, 2018, 12:15:12 AM
Too poor to live:

" she needed to raise $10,000 before she could be put on a list for a possible heart transplant."

asked to raise money on the net:

"  The Committee is recommending a fundraising effort of $10,000 "

"Spectrum Health told the media that the cause of Martin’s rejection was her insurance’s annual deductible of $4,500 and drug co-pay of 20 percent, stating that if she couldn’t afford the immunosuppressant drugs the donor heart would be “wasted.” Costs are sometimes a “regrettable and unavoidable factor in the decision making process,” they said ..."

"the hospital involved is Spectrum Health’s Richard DeVos Heart & Lung Specialized Care Clinic"

"After two strokes and two bypass operations, Richard DeVos travelled to Great Britain to receive specialized care and a heart transplant at the age of 71."

"as many as 25 percent of the poor or uninsured give their organs, but very few receive them."

“GoFundMe is our healthcare system now,”

"Having raised the cash, she said the hospital may now reconsider her case."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/28/char-n28.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on December 14, 2018, 09:48:55 PM
Screw the old. No good to us anymore.

"At 80 years old, Coomer is still working as a part-time greeter five days a week at a Walmart in Oklahoma."

"Over the years, they burned through retirement savings and downsized their house and lifestyle, but still have a mortgage they can never pay off."

And look, we got 'em blaming themselves:

"If I had planned harder when I was younger and if things had went better, I wouldn't be going to work this morning ... That's in my mind a lot and I blame myself for it."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/i-blame-myself-retirement-remains-out-of-reach-for-millions-of-americans/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on December 14, 2018, 09:52:47 PM
Half the USA never recovered from 2008:

" nearly half of all counties nationwide saw flat or declining growth"

"While a handful of places around the U.S. are thriving, most regions are barely trudging ahead. And that trend is creating a widening geographic gap between a relatively few prosperous areas, mostly urban oases, and the desert of stagnation that lies beyond."

"The bottom third of U.S. counties actually saw their economies shrink"

"Between 2007 and 2016, the U.S. added 3.7 million net new jobs, Lettieri said. But more than 90 percent of those were created in the richest 20 percent of ZIP codes."

"that threatens the idea of fundamental fairness to our system."


The "Fundamental Fairness of the System." Now that's funny. Tell me another one.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/half-of-america-hasnt-recovered-from-the-recession/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on December 14, 2018, 11:39:36 PM
Half the USA never recovered from 2008:

make that half of western economy ( countries instead of counties)

Quote

"that threatens the idea of fundamental fairness to our system."

The "Fundamental Fairness of the System." Now that's funny. Tell me another one.

that's an easy task to come up with another one ;)

what about: "that threatens the idea of fundamental un-fairness that is our system"

while we have to put into account that nothing in this universe is fair, sounds perhaps a bit off but i really think that we are fighting kind of laws of nature (creatures) which is why we
make progress so slowly and why each apparent progress is soon replaced with a new scheme
to re-establish and/or keep the idea of "fundamental un-fairness" running

have a nice week end @all
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on December 15, 2018, 12:47:43 AM
Screw the old. No good to us anymore.

"At 80 years old, Coomer is still working as a part-time greeter five days a week at a Walmart in Oklahoma."

"Over the years, they burned through retirement savings and downsized their house and lifestyle, but still have a mortgage they can never pay off."

And look, we got 'em blaming themselves:

"If I had planned harder when I was younger and if things had went better, I wouldn't be going to work this morning ... That's in my mind a lot and I blame myself for it."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/i-blame-myself-retirement-remains-out-of-reach-for-millions-of-americans/ (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/i-blame-myself-retirement-remains-out-of-reach-for-millions-of-americans/)

sidd


Relentless propaganda blaming the victims rather than identifying the perpetrators is probably the only thing keeping torches and pitchforks from destroying our better's enclaves. The armed guards at the gate are primarily to assuage the guilt driven paranoia of the residents.


So many followed the rules, did as they were told, and ended their lives in misery, blaming themselves for circumstances over which they had no control. Wikipedia claims that suicide in America increased 24% between 1999 and 2014. My guess is that it's terribly under reported.
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on December 15, 2018, 09:13:02 AM
"The armed guards at the gate are primarily to assuage the guilt driven paranoia of the residents."


Sorta like US defense spending. But thats for another thread.

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on December 24, 2018, 07:33:39 AM
Mateus at wsws on economic and racial makeup of police killings in the USA:

"USA− includes only the cities and rural counties throughout the country in which a police killing occurred ... "

"The population of USA− has significantly different demographics from the USA as a whole. Non-Hispanic whites made up 44.5 percent, blacks 18.6 percent and Hispanics 26.7 percent of this region. The median household income is slightly lower at $52,218 per annum, and the percentage in poverty (PP) is much higher, at 19.5 percent.

If one compares the poverty rate of USA− to the poverty rate of the remaining nearly three-quarters of the country, where no police killings took place, the disparity is even more stark. The poverty rate is 19.5 percent in what might be called the police killing zone. It is only 9.5 percent, less than half that rate, in the rest of the country."

" the rural regions, which encompassed 463 small and medium towns, including counties with less than 100,000 people, accounted for only 16.8 percent of USA−. However, they accounted for 50.2 percent of the people killed by police, a remarkable 496 victims."

"This data may seem surprising, but it gives credence to the perspective that the focus of many of the most recent high profile police shootings was in large urban centers where blacks were the victims. Poor whites are in essence invisible to the national discussion on police killings. What the present data show is that what whites and blacks who are killed by police have in common is poverty. Rural communities are devastated by low wages and the opioid crisis, rising suicide rates and limited access to social services. This may well be a contributing factor to the higher rate of mental illness seen among white victims of police violence, compared to blacks and Hispanics."

Read all three parts:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/20/kil1-d20.html
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/21/kil2-d21.html
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/22/kil3-d22.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Sebastian Jones on December 24, 2018, 06:15:06 PM
...... What the present data show is that what whites and blacks who are killed by police have in common is poverty. ...
sidd
I think this is true in most places. Here in Canada, it is First Nations citizens who are disproportionately targeted by the justice system, and who are disproportionately poor. I have had he dubious privilege of living in abject poverty and I can attest that the police are feared by the poor in a way that does not concern middle and high income people. So, it is racism, but the racism is primarily directed at keeping some groups poor. Killing and incarcerating them is simply a side effect.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on January 10, 2019, 09:50:26 PM
Rich forever: rich families stay rich for centuries

"the richest families in Florence 600 years ago remain the same now."

" a family’s status in England can persist for more than eight centuries"

https://qz.com/694340/the-richest-families-in-florence-in-1427-are-still-the-richest-families-in-florence/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on January 15, 2019, 02:25:07 AM
Sacrifice zones in the very heart of late stage capitalism: NYC public housing "gone without heat for a decade."

"legal requirements that landlords provide heat and hot water in private residences do not extended to city owned housing."

" lost heat and hot water ... lead paint, leaks, mold, broken elevators, rat and roach infestations"

"the city had suspended lead paint inspection, falsifying compliance reports and failing to notify tenants of the toxic contamination in their homes, putting thousands of children at risk of poisoning. De Blasio was informed of the falsification but suppressed the information for one year while he ran for re-election"

"I have one heater, but the Con Edison bill—I can’t afford it. And we need to use the oven for more heat and that gas costs too much money too. And yes, it is dangerous. We use the oven to heat. We know it’s dangerous but we have to do it. I hate it."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/01/14/hous-j14.html

Fuck the poor. They don't deserve to stay warm. They don't like it, they can go live in the Obamavilles under the freeway ramps.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on January 21, 2019, 12:55:22 PM
World's 26 richest own same as poorest half of humanity: Oxfam
https://phys.org/news/2019-01-world-richest-poorest-humanity-oxfam.html

(https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/gfx/news/2019/findingsofox.jpg)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: ASILurker on January 25, 2019, 03:14:57 PM
The modern myths about "adam smith" is one of those things that really annoys me. The false beliefs run so deep it;s usually impossible to ahve any genuine discussion about the sweeping implications of this in regard economics, politics, neoliberalism, corporatists, income inequality, free trade deals, globalisation on steroids, and so on.

Just found this outtake from Chomsky who addresses many of the core problems from the misinterpretations (aka distortions/disinformation/lies) about adam smith and the usual obscuring of related histories which is sadly the norm too, even among 'educated' people. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mxp_wgFWQo
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on January 26, 2019, 05:12:18 AM
Thanks for the Chomsky link!


"It takes a very effective educational system to prevent people from seeing (it)."


At some point will it be recognized that rather than educating, the education system, to say nothing of the MSM, is at it's heart a system designed to obfuscate the machinations of the .1% as they crush not only the revolution, but the will to even contemplate rebelling against their increasing control.


With the recent uniting of Corporate Government Propaganda, Mass Surveillance & Data Collection, and Individualized Virtual Reality fed through such as Cambridge Analytica, our chance of independent thought, action or response have been diminished and now approach the vanishing point.


Democrats demand more war. Journalists want Assange silenced and call for his imprisonment. The victims of WWII's Waffen-SS praise Stepan Bandera and tear down statues honoring their rescuers.
Black becomes the new White. The Left moves so rapidly to the Right that the Center implodes without a so much as a whimper.


Is the coming bottleneck our only shot at recovery? Must the whole house collapse before sanity dares to come out of the closet?


Noam Chomsky is 90 years old.
Terry


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: ASILurker on January 28, 2019, 03:45:50 AM
May 2016 - Noam Chomsky: After the Electoral Extravaganza

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbYMoUa9_BU

Of course the biggest issue is that America is not a functional Democracy. It is a root and branch Corporatocracy where Bill Clinton signed the Bill to repeal Glass-Stegal which led directly to the 2008 GFC meltdown and the same thing is happening all over again.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-e-levine/the-myth-of-us-democracy-corporatocracy_b_836573.html

Highly recommended doco with Noam Chomsky for the clear thinking, sane, well informed reader – and even better for those still living inside “fantasy land”. http://requiemfortheamericandream.com (on netflix)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 05, 2019, 05:45:24 AM
A family that made 4 billion US$ hooking people on drugs:

El Chapo ? Not quite

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/02/heres-what-the-sacklers-didnt-want-you-to-see-in-the-oxycontin-lawsuit/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on February 08, 2019, 05:57:41 PM
The ephemeral nature of digital currency ...

Where's my paycheck? Wells Fargo customers say direct deposits not showing up after outage
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/02/08/wells-fargo-outage-customers-report-issues-paychecks-deposits/2810562002/

Quote
Social media users said Friday they were having trouble seeing paychecks and direct deposits in their Wells Fargo online and mobile banking accounts a day after the bank suffered a major outage.

Widespread technical difficulties hit Wells Fargo's online banking and mobile app Thursday following a power shutdown caused after smoke was detected at a data center in Shoreview, Minn. The outage was "not due to any cybersecurity event," the bank said.

By late Thursday, Wells Fargo said in a statement that ATM services had been restored and mobile and online banking were "operational" with the exception of some features, like consumer credit card and mortgage balances.

However, some customers reported direct deposit paychecks were not appearing in their accounts early Friday.

Quote
"Alright @WellsFargo once your 'contained issue' is resolved I will be moving every account I have at Wells Fargo elsewhere. A mason jar in the backyard seems like a much better option at this time. #DontFWithMyMoney," Twitter user @ILoveMyRicky10 wrote.
https://twitter.com/ILoveMyRicky10/status/1093824611463192576

No electricity; No money.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: oren on February 10, 2019, 12:33:06 AM
I would love to see a carbon tax distributed as dividend, at such a level that it could provide a basic income to all citizens. This could reduce economic inequality while going some way towards reducing our carbon addiction, and could actually receive voter support, as it includes an immediate strong benefit to a large number of people.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on February 13, 2019, 06:12:55 PM
Russian-Style Kleptocracy Is Infiltrating America
https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/02/russian-style-kleptocracy-infiltrating-america/154749/

When the U.S.S.R. collapsed, Washington bet on the global spread of democratic capitalist values—and lost.

... Washington had placed its faith in the new regime’s elites; it took them at their word when they professed their commitment to democratic capitalism. But Richard Palmer, the CIA station chief in the United States’ Moscow embassy, had seen up close how the world’s growing interconnectedness—and global finance in particular—could be deployed for ill. During the Cold War, the KGB had developed an expert understanding of the banking byways of the West, and spymasters had become adept at dispensing cash to agents abroad. That proficiency facilitated the amassing of new fortunes. In the dying days of the U.S.S.R., Palmer had watched as his old adversaries in Soviet intelligence shoveled billions from the state treasury into private accounts across Europe and the U.S. It was one of history’s greatest heists.

Washington told itself a comforting story that minimized the importance of this outbreak of kleptomania: These were criminal outliers and rogue profiteers rushing to exploit the weakness of the new state. This narrative infuriated Palmer. He wanted to shake Congress into recognizing that the thieves were the very elites who presided over every corner of the system. “For the U.S. to be like Russia is today,” he explained to the House committee, “it would be necessary to have massive corruption by the majority of the members at Congress as well as by the Departments of Justice and Treasury, and agents of the FBI, CIA, DIA, IRS, Marshal Service, Border Patrol; state and local police officers; the Federal Reserve Bank; Supreme Court justices …” In his testimony, Palmer even mentioned Russia’s newly installed and little-known prime minister (whom he mistakenly referred to as Boris Putin), accusing him of “helping to loot Russia.”

The United States, Palmer made clear, had allowed itself to become an accomplice in this plunder. His assessment was unsparing. The West could have turned away this stolen cash; it could have stanched the outflow to shell companies and tax havens. Instead, Western banks waved Russian loot into their vaults.

... this was capital flight on an unprecedented scale, and mere prologue to an era of rampant theft. When the Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman studied the problem in 2015, he found that 52 percent of Russia’s wealth resided outside the country.

As in the Russian case, much of this plundered wealth finds its way to the United States. New York, Los Angeles, and Miami have joined London as the world’s most desired destinations for laundered money. This boom has enriched the American elites who have enabled it—and it has degraded the nation’s political and social mores in the process. While everyone else was heralding an emergent globalist world that would take on the best values of America, Palmer had glimpsed the dire risk of the opposite: that the values of the kleptocrats would become America’s own. This grim vision is now nearing fruition.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.corporatecrimereporter.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F01%2Fkleptocracy.jpg&hash=25afc038218e02e18f90934d3bde6fab)

... Every House district in the country has real estate, and lobbyists for that business had pleaded for relief from the PATRIOT Act’s monitoring of dubious foreign transactions. T... And they persuaded Congress to grant the industry a temporary exemption from having to enforce the new law (International Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-terrorist Financing Act).

Around the time that Trump took up occupancy in the White House, the PATRIOT Act’s “temporary” exemption for real estate entered its 15th year. Without anyone ever declaring it so, the ephemeral has been enshrined.

Much of the money that might have snuck into banks before the PATRIOT Act became law was now used to purchase property. The New York Times described the phenomenon in a series of exposés, published in 2015, called “Towers of Secrecy.” Reporters discovered that condos in the ultra-luxe Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in Manhattan were owned by a constellation of kleptocrats. One condo belonged to the family of a former Russian senator whose suspected ties to organized crime precluded him from legally entering Canada for a few years. A condo down the hall belonged to a Greek businessman who had recently been arrested in an anti-government-corruption sweep. The family of a former Colombian governor, imprisoned for self-enrichment while in office, owned a unit he could no longer visit.

As the Treasury Department put it in 2017, nearly one in three high-end real-estate purchases that it monitors involves an individual whom the government has been tracking as “suspicious.” Yet somehow the presence of so many shady buyers has never especially troubled the real-estate industry or, for that matter, politicians. In 2013, New York City’s then-mayor, Michael Bloomberg, asked, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get all the Russian billionaires to move here?

The warm welcome has created a strange dissonance in American policy. Take the case of the aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a character who has made recurring cameos in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The State Department, concerned about Deripaska’s connections to Russian organized crime (which he has denied), has restricted his travel to the United States for years. Such fears have not stood in the way of his acquiring a $42.5 million mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and another estate near Washington’s Embassy Row. ...

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-37-lLv52q3M%2FUV1irI8A-FI%2FAAAAAAAAGkI%2Fk3s8jEhBj1s%2Fs1600%2FKleptocracy%2B2.jpg&hash=e1ccae63f2cd0784e653ef68b8513b99)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on February 13, 2019, 06:27:32 PM
When the U.S.S.R. collapsed, Washington bet on the global spread of democratic capitalist values—and lost.

Poor Washington, bad, evil Rooskies!
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 15, 2019, 11:05:27 PM
Beams at wsws on Zucman's latest: Rich get richer faster

"the top 1 percent in the US now owns about 40 percent of total household wealth"

"The acceleration is even more marked in the highest income levels."

"The trend is reflected globally. "

"In the US, China and Europe combined, the top 10 percent owns more than 70 percent of the total wealth, the bottom 50 percent less than 2 percent "

"Zucman has calculated that 8 percent of the world’s individual wealth—the equivalent of 10 percent of global gross domestic product or $5.6 trillion—was held offshore on the eve of the global financial crisis in 2007. He cites other analyses that put the figure much higher. According to one study, the global rich held around $12 trillion of the wealth in tax havens in 2007, with another putting the figure at between $21 and $32 trillion."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/02/15/zucm-f15.html

Zucman paper:

http://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/Zucman2019.pdf

A very good companion paper by Kades on perpetuities and dynastic wealth increase: how the rich gutted the Rule Against Perpetuities

"America  is  paving  the  way  for  the  creation  of  dynastic  family wealth. Abolition of the Rule Against Perpetuities in over half the states along with sharp reductions in, and likely elimination of,  the federal estate tax mean that there soon will be no obstacles to creating large pools of dynastic wealth insuring lavish incomes to heirs for generations without end."

https://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2937&context=facpubs

All open. Read and weep.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: oren on February 17, 2019, 11:51:59 AM
Quote
There soon will be no obstacles to creating large pools of dynastic wealth insuring lavish incomes to heirs for generations without end.
The good news, if you can call it that, is that all these dynastic wealth pools will only last one generation (if at all), before the coming societal collapse mid-century wipes all away.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on February 22, 2019, 05:50:40 AM
Biswas at BBC on dispossession and its discontents:

"More than four million of them [tribals in India, i prefer the term "first peoples"], by one estimate, live in protected forest areas, which comprise about 5% of India's total land area. Some 500 wildlife sanctuaries and 90 national parks make up these protected areas. A 2006 law gives tribespeople and other dwellers living on forest land for three generations before December 2005 the legal right to live and work on the land. "

"Now India's Supreme Court has ordered that more than a million such families living on forest land will have to leave soon. "

" four million occupancy claims ... requiring 13 different kinds of evidence - of each family living on forest land ... more than a million claims have been rejected ..."

"Wildlife groups had petitioned the court saying India's limited forests were being encroached upon ..."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-47317361

These are the poorest of the poor. No mention of compensation. Hit the road, Jack.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 01, 2019, 01:01:35 AM
Oldie but a goodie :Ehrenreich at the nation asks whose land is it, really ?

"if a place is truly beautiful, you can’t afford to be there."

"Gentrification is dispersing the urban poor into overcrowded suburban ranch houses, while billionaires’ horse farms displace rural Americans into trailer homes."

"extreme wealth is also a social problem, and the superrich have become a burden on everyone else. "

"when I hear Woody Guthrie’s line “This land was made for you and me.” Somehow, I don’t think it was meant to be sung by a chorus of hedge-fund operators. "

Read the whole thing:

https://www.thenation.com/article/land-their-land/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on March 12, 2019, 05:38:52 PM
Actresses, Prominent Business Owners, CEOs Charged in Nationwide College Admissions Cheating Scandal
https://abc7chicago.com/actresses-ceos-charged-in-alleged-college-admissions-scam/5186103/

Authorities say the operation, dubbed 'Varsity Blues', uncovered 33 parents described by US Attorney Andrew Lelling as a "catalog of wealth and privilege" who collectively paid $25 million to a college admissions counselor named William Singer, who pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate in an investigation into what Lelling called the "widening corruption of elite college admissions."

In exchange for the money, Singer allegedly bribed college officials, coaches and college entrance exam administrators, who then helped students secure admissions "not on their merits but through fraud," Lelling said.

Quote
... "This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth, combined with fraud," ... "There can be no separate college admission for wealthy

- U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling

(https://cdn.newsday.com/polopoly_fs/1.11545797.1457353968!/httpImage/image.jpg)

The plot involved students who attended or were seeking to attend Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA, the University of San Diego, USC, University of Texas, Wake Forest, and Yale, according to federal prosecutors.

"We believe everyone charged here today had a role in fostering a culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for students trying to get into these schools the right way through hard work, good grades and community service," said John Bonavolonta, FBI special agent in charge.

... Parents paid Singer, the founder of a for-profit college preparation business based in Newport Beach, California, between $15,000 and $75,000 per test for someone else to take the SAT or ACT exams in place of their college-aged sons or daughters, according to the court papers.

From 2011 to last month, parents paid Singer roughly $25 million to bribe coaches and university administrators to "designate their children as recruited athletes, or other favored admissions categories," according to the court papers.

(https://whyevolutionistrue.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/nq140613.gif)

The following defendants were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud: 

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2019/03/12/a-slew-of-ceos-are-charged-in-alleged-college-entrance-cheating-scam.html
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: kassy on March 12, 2019, 08:45:41 PM
Well that is one way to teach your kids the value of money...
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 23, 2019, 09:57:05 PM
van Buren at american conservative argues that class, rather than race is key: an "Apartheid of Dollars"

"a newly arrived Chinese migrant and a 70-year-old Mexican American CEO and people from Trinidad, Ghana, and the Bronx with three different levels of education were all seen as having something inherently in common. And they all had something inherently not in common with everyone tainted by various shades of pink."

"Americans spend so much time worried about race they miss what we Europeans understand in our bones. It is class which divide societies."

"It is about money, not melanin.”

"The people at the top are throwing nails off the back of the truck to make sure no one else can catch up with them ... The goal is to eliminate the competition. They’ll have it all when society is down to two classes, the .1 percent and the 99.9 percent, and at that point we’ll all be effectively the same color ... Historians will recognize it as feudalism."

"Convince average Americans to vote against their own interests by manipulating them into opposing any program that might benefit black and brown equally or more than themselves. Keep the groups fighting left and right and they’ll never notice the real discrimination is up and down"

" Whichever candidate admits that we’ve created an apartheid of dollars for all deserves your support."

Read the whole thing:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/americas-apartheid-of-dollars/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 25, 2019, 07:14:04 AM
Food aid for the poor in the USA: meals under wheels

Hungry ? go run over your own food, you deadbeat ! Also, us taxpayers pay less for road cleaning crew.

"27 states have passed legislation allowing drivers to turn their roadkill into their dinner"

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/meals-under-wheels-more-states-make-it-legal-eat-roadkill-n986441

To be fair, this has been goin on for a long time, glad to see they are legalizing.

There are some very poor people out there. I was on the side of a road, cabbage harvester had just gone thru the field beside. I see two kids and a woman gleaning, picking up what the harvester left behind. I got the story from the farmer, they live in a little shack on his property, husband went walkabout, he lets them get what they need from his land.

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 27, 2019, 12:18:26 AM
MacLeod at FAIR on perseverance porn: a fast-growing sub-genre of unintentionally horrifying stories that are meant to uplift the reader, but instead highlight the hellish nightmare much of the country lives in.

"Some parts of these stories—the protagonists’ determination or generosity, for instance—are certainly admirable. But the accounts as a whole can only be seen as uplifting if we unquestioningly accept the brutal logic of neoliberalism, where a person’s worth, standard of living and even their continued existence are determined completely by their wealth and what they can earn on the market. "

"Any of these stories could have been used as a gateway to discuss many of the crippling economic and social problems the US is facing. But under neoliberalism, every problem is understood through an individualist lens, and not a result of systemic forces that dominate society. To be clear, there are elements of triumph over adversity or impressive and admirable feats in these stories, but they occur in a neoliberal framework that forces them into these actions, and that framework is never questioned. The fact that the media, unable to look past their own ideological biases, do not explore these most basic issues, instead presenting these stories as human interest pieces, goes to show how engulfed in ideology they really are."

I have not excerpted any of the examples since I wanted to make the key point: that there is no alternate vies other than neoliberal in the media

Read the whole thing, the examples given are quite shocking:

https://fair.org/home/the-homeless-8-year-old-chess-champion-and-other-horrific-uplifting-stories/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 27, 2019, 05:35:11 AM
Can't have the poor kids playing with the rich kids; both might grow up with the misguided notion that the poor are humans too.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/mar/25/too-poor-to-play-children-in-social-housing-blocked-from-communal-playground

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 27, 2019, 06:04:32 AM
Meanwhile, just scraping by on half a million a year: the tribulations of the rich

https://www.financialsamurai.com/scraping-by-on-500000-a-year-high-income-earners-struggling/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on March 30, 2019, 06:48:11 AM
Go be poor somewhere else: shakytown crowdfunds effort to stop homeless shelter

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/28/san-francisco-gofundme-homeless-shelter-embarcadero

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 02, 2019, 08:43:34 PM
Suwandi et al. review the rape of the global south: the new imperialism is based on labor arbitrage

"commodity chains can be seen as fastened at the center of the world economy, connecting production, located primarily in the global South, to final consumption and the financial coffers of monopolistic multinational firms, located primarily in the global North."

"At issue is the way in which today’s global monopolies in the center of the world economy have captured value generated by labor in the periphery within a process of unequal exchange, thus getting “more labour in exchange for less.” "

"value added, associated with such commodity chains, as we shall see, is disproportionately attributed to economic activities in the wealthier countries at the center of the system, although the bulk of the labor occurs in the poorer nations of the periphery or the global South."

"much of the immense value capture associated with the global labor arbitrage circumvents production in the center economies, at the expense of workers there who have seen their jobs offshored. This has contributed to the amassing of vast pyramids of wealth disconnected from economic growth in the center economies themselves"

"net resource transfers from developing and emerging economies to rich countries were estimated at $2 trillion in 2012 alone"

"the globalization of production is built around a vast chasm in unit labor costs between center and periphery economies, reflecting much higher rates of exploitation in the periphery. This reflects the fact that the difference in wages is greater than the difference in productivity between the global North and the global South"

"This enormous gulf between global North and global South arises from a system that allows for the free international mobility of capital, while tightly restricting the international mobility of labor."

"Although labor is still largely constrained within national borders due to immigration policies, global capital and commodities have far more freedom to move around, further heightened in recent years due to trade liberalization."

"The global labor arbitrage is made possible in part by what Marx refers to as the industrial reserve army of the unemployed—which in this case is on a global scale, thus a global reserve army of labor ... the integration of the workforce of former socialist countries (including China) and formerly heavily protectionist countries (such as India) into the global economy, with the resulting expansion of the size of both the global labor force and its reserve army.[Ref 54] Also central to the creation of this reserve army is the depeasantization of a large portion of the global periphery through the spread of agribusiness.[Ref 55] This forced movement of peasants from the land has resulted in the growth of urban slum populations"

"While competition among corporations is limited to oligopolistic rivalry, competition among workers of the world (especially those in the global South) is greatly intensified by increasing the relative surplus population. This divide-and-rule strategy serves to integrate “disparate labor surpluses, ensuring a constant and growing supply of recruits to the global reserve army” who are “made less recalcitrant by insecure employment and the continual threat of unemployment."

"labor values generated by production are “captured” and not registered as arising in the peripheral countries due to asymmetries in power relations, in which multinational corporations are the key conduits"

"an enormous gross markup on labor costs (rate of surplus value) amounting to superexploitation, both in the relative sense of above-average rates of exploitation and also, frequently, in the absolute sense of workers paid less than the cost of the reproduction of their labor power. "

Long, but worth reading:

https://monthlyreview.org/2019/03/01/global-commodity-chains-and-the-new-imperialism/

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 02, 2019, 08:52:38 PM
Simon interviews Hudson on the origins of debt slavery and jubilee:

Simon: " the Greeks and the Romans learned about interest-bearing debt from their contacts with Middle Eastern civilizations, but tragically failed to institute programs of Clean Slate debt amnesty. Their failure has been a kind of albatross around the neck of Western economies ever since."

Hudson: " Liberty for them was the liberty to destroy that of the population at large. Instead of cancelling debts and restoring land tenure to the population, the oligarchy created the Senate that protected the right of creditors to enslave labor and seize public as well as private lands (just as had occurred in Athens before Solon). Instead of restoring a status quo ante of free cultivators — free of debt and tax obligations, as Sumerian amargi and Babylonian misharumand andurarum meant — the Roman oligarchy accused anyone of supporting debtor rights and opposing its land grabs of “seeking kingship.” Such men were murdered, century after century."

Hudson: "Rome was turned into an oligarchy, an autocracy of the senatorial families. Their “liberty” was an early example of Orwellian Doublethink. It was to destroy everybody else’s liberty so they could grab whatever they could, enslave the debtors and create the polarized society that Rome became."

Hudson: "Once there were no more kingdoms for Rome to destroy, it collapsed from within. It was basically a looting economy. And it didn’t do more than the British colonialists did: It only scratched the surface. It didn’t put in place the means of production that would create enough money for them to grow productively. Essentially, Rome was a financial rentier state."

Hudson: " debt cancellations were not a diffusionist policy from the East, but a spontaneous pragmatic response such as was being widely advocated as far west as Rome"

Hudson: "We see a balance of forces in the ancient Near East, thanks to the fact that its rulers had authority to cancel debt and restore land that wealthy individuals had taken from smallholders. These kings were powerful enough to prevent the rise of oligarchies that would reduce the population to debt peonage and bondage (and in the process, deprive the palace of revenue and corvée labor, and even the military service of debtors owing their labor to their private creditors). We don’t have any similar protection in today’s Western Civilization. That’s what separates Western Civilization from the earlier Near Eastern stage. Modern financialized civilization has stripped away the power to prevent a land-grabbing creditor oligarchy from controlling society and its laws."

Hudson: "What they call a “free market” is an unmixed monolithic, centrally planned financialized economy with freedom for the oligarchy to impoverish the rest of society. That was achieved by landlordism monopolizing the land in feudal Europe, and it is done by finance today."

I shall have to read Hudson's book. This interview is at

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/04/the-delphic-oracle-was-their-davos-a-four-part-interview-with-michael-hudson-about-his-forthcoming-book-the-collapse-of-antiquity-part-1.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 05, 2019, 10:11:14 PM
Rich white people want the homeless to go die quietly out of sight:

" “The optics on this are stunning. You have very affluent land owners who are fighting against impoverished San Franciscans whose very lives are at risk because of the housing crisis,” she says. “And who are we talking about? Who is homeless? Primarily people of color, primarily folks who have disabilities or who are elderly people. To equate an entire class of people with crime is the foundation of prejudice.” "

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/04/san-francisco-mayor-clashes-with-affluent-residents-homeless-shelter

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 05, 2019, 10:13:30 PM
UK cuts welfare while increasing tax breaks for the rich:

"on average, households in the fourth and fifth income quintiles (the top 40%) receive more in tax relief than households in the poorest fifth get in means-tested benefits."

https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2019/apr/05/government-accused-of-promoting-inequality-by-stealth

Meanwhile the rich wonder why Brexit happened.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 18, 2019, 09:27:41 PM
Serfdom blues in merrie olde englande:

" about 25,000 landowners – typically members of the aristocracy and corporations – have control of half of the country."

“A few thousand dukes, baronets and country squires own far more land than all of middle England put together.”

" one effect of the sale of public land was that the public lost democratic control of that land and it could not then be used, for example, for housing or environmental improvements."

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/apr/17/who-owns-england-thousand-secret-landowners-author

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: bluesky on April 27, 2019, 08:27:29 PM
Global warming may boost economic inequality
By Warren CornwallApr. 22, 2019 , 3:40 PM
"Over the past half-century, climate change has been blamed for heat waves, flooding, and rising seas. Now, researchers say warmer temperatures are widening the chasm separating richer and poorer countries, effectively boosting the economies of many wealthy polluters while dampening growth in much of the developing world. As a result, inequality between the haves and have-nots is already 25% greater than it would be in a cooler world, the paper asserts.
Though he disagrees about the numbers, University of California, Berkeley, economist Solomon Hsiang says the paper provides clear evidence that climate change has stunted economies in the developing world. “The study’s statement that warming should have already harmed economic opportunities in poor countries is extremely important,” he wrote in an email.
The new work builds on previous research that found economic activity peaks at an average temperature of 13°C. Call it a “Goldilocks” condition that’s neither too hot nor too cold. Lower temperatures can hamper weather-dependent sectors like agriculture, but hotter temperatures can wither crops, sap workers’ energy, and exacerbate social conflicts. That study found that climate change could reduce overall global economic output by 23% by 2100."

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04/global-warming-may-boost-economic-inequality

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on April 30, 2019, 10:27:02 PM
Starve the poor:

"Stephen Smith, 64, died in an emaciated state "

" his weight had dropped to six stones (84 lbs./38 kgs.)"

"Smith failed a DWP Work Capability Assessment (WCA) "

"more than £4,000 awarded in back payments for benefits denied ... will be used to pay for his funeral."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/04/30/step-a30.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on April 30, 2019, 10:54:38 PM
some will probably like it ;)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 06, 2019, 11:42:00 PM
Health insurance and the lack thereof: murder-suicide as terminal care plan

"a man called 911 to report that he had shot his wife and was prepared to take his own life. "

"  after the wife had surgery eight months ago, her health began declining rapidly and she developed several health conditions, including dementia."

"The medical bills were piling up, and neighbors told News4Jax that John Thombleson had said their insurance was expiring, leaving them no way to pay for the mounting expenses. "

"The couple were high school sweethearts and had been married 47 years. "

"the last time he spoke with John Thombleson, the conversation was about the couple potentially losing their home because of their mounting medical bills. "

https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/jacksonville/family-husband-kills-wife-then-himself-in-mercy-shooting-

I know more than one person without insurance who have flat out told me their plan is a fifth of whisky and a firearm. I knew two people who took the suicide way out. Late stage capitalism at its finest.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 07, 2019, 06:41:26 AM
This is not a function of capitalism. Other capitalist countries have universal healthcare.

This is due to a two right-wing parties system.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 07, 2019, 07:34:42 AM
Re: "health care not a function of capitalism"

Well, would the formulation "late stage capitalism which has captured the regulators" satisfy ?

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 07, 2019, 07:43:18 AM
The US had a lag of universal health care even before Reagan and the neoliberal revolution, right Sidd?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 07, 2019, 09:13:52 AM
It started going downhill in the late seventies, when gutting of defined benefit plans began. Really took off under reagan.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 10, 2019, 01:33:26 AM
Suicide as exit:

"An 81-year-old woman killed herself after running out of money when her pension was frozen due to an administrative error."

"The DWP told Mr Worrall that her basic pension should have continued "

"A DWP spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends ... We apologise unreservedly ..." "

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/may/09/woman-81-killed-herself-after-pension-was-frozen-in-error

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 10, 2019, 01:35:33 AM
Too sick to work ? Pay for your substitute

"On top of footing medical bills, she has to pay for a substitute teacher ..."

"Under a 1976 California law, the cost for the substitute teacher will be deducted from the teacher's salary. "

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/09/health/teacher-breast-cancer-substitute-pay-trnd/index.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on May 10, 2019, 03:26:23 AM
Trump Administration Considering Changes That Would Redefine The Poverty Line
https://www.npr.org/2019/05/09/721559472/trump-administration-considering-changes-that-would-redefine-the-poverty-line

The Trump administration is considering changing the way the government measures poverty, which has anti-poverty groups worried that many low-income individuals will be pushed off assistance programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Head Start.

The possible change would involve adjusting the poverty line annually using a different inflation measure, one that would result in a slower increase over time.

"They have a goal, and the goal is to cut people of low or moderate income off of government assistance," Sherman said of the administration. He noted that the idea is being floated at the same time that the White House is proposing work requirements and steep budget cuts for safety net programs 
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: ASILurker on May 10, 2019, 11:11:13 AM
Remember the 'good old days' of Share Croppers in the south? Some people see a thriving opportunity for Tesla to move into Ridesharing and Robotaxis .... as Uber hits it's IPO and Lyft coming soon.

Moral of the Story - DO NOT believe everything you are told by Corporate Giants and Know-it-Alls
There are all kinds of variations how Uber and others in the Gig Economy are operating in the world from nation to nation. Such as no Uber in France. Here's another example

Delivery rider wins unfair dismissal case against Foodora
They said he was an "independent contractor" the Courts disagreed.
https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/am/delivery-rider-wins-unfair-dismissal-case-against-foodora/10507354

The very same day this happened ...
Foodora enters into administration despite claims it was 'solvent'
Owing ~$8 million to riders and $ millions more to the Tax Office
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-17/foodora-enters-into-administration/10133620

Then comes today - Global Legal Precedent Set against Gig Economy Operators

Ex-Foodora riders will get $2.27m payout
Nearly 1700 former Foodora delivery riders will receive a total of $2.27 million in back-pay, the Transport Workers Union says.

Unfortunately another ~5,000 riders didn't bother to apply under the Class Action - so Foodora (and the Administrators of) got away with Highway Robbery
https://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/exfoodora-riders-will-get-227m-payout/news-story/3caf5f146919e9c05043ec3714a67d97

AUDIO analysis - Food delivery riders have win back-payments from Foodora, setting gig economy precedent
https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/pm/food-delivery-riders-have-win-back-payments-from-foodora/11102612


Foodora owes $8 million to former delivery workers
The failed food delivery company owes nearly $8 million in unpaid wages and superannuation, but its former workers will only get back a small fraction of that in their wallets.

Foodora unable to repay Australian debts, as it owes $28m 'loan' to German parent company
Foodora went into administration owing unpaid wages and superannuation, penalties and interest in Australia — and $28.3 million in "loans" to its German parent company Delivery Hero.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: seancoulter on May 10, 2019, 03:39:01 PM
Global warming may boost economic inequality
By Warren CornwallApr. 22, 2019 , 3:40 PM
"Over the past half-century, climate change has been blamed for heat waves, flooding, and rising seas. Now, researchers say warmer temperatures are widening the chasm separating richer and poorer countries, effectively boosting the economies of many wealthy polluters while dampening growth in much of the developing world. As a result, inequality between the haves and have-nots is already 25% greater than it would be in a cooler world, the paper asserts.
Though he disagrees about the numbers, University of California, Berkeley, economist Solomon Hsiang says the paper provides clear evidence that climate change has stunted economies in the developing world. “The study’s statement that warming should have already harmed economic opportunities in poor countries is extremely important,” he wrote in an email.
The new work builds on previous research that found economic activity peaks at an average temperature of 13°C. Call it a “Goldilocks” condition that’s neither too hot nor too cold. Lower temperatures can hamper weather-dependent sectors like agriculture, but hotter temperatures can wither crops, sap workers’ energy, and exacerbate social conflicts. That study found that climate change could reduce overall global economic output by 23% by 2100."

Visit this link https://au.edubirdie.com/case-study-help (https://au.edubirdie.com/case-study-help) to find different case studies on this crucial matter. People should learn about the consequences of such things so they can be well prepared.
Global warming will boost not only economic inequality but also a mass migration from poor regions like Africa to Europe. From my point, it will cause serious problems due to rising nationalism in some countries in Europe.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 11, 2019, 09:11:48 AM
Hang around outside the emergency room forawhile. It might save you some money. Or you might die. Or your kid.

https://www.vox.com/health-care/2019/5/10/18526696/health-care-costs-er-emergency-room

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Klondike Kat on May 11, 2019, 02:36:27 PM
Global warming may boost economic inequality
By Warren CornwallApr. 22, 2019 , 3:40 PM
That study found that climate change could reduce overall global economic output by 23% by 2100."

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04/global-warming-may-boost-economic-inequality
Global warming will boost not only economic inequality but also a mass migration from poor regions like Africa to Europe. From my point, it will cause serious problems due to rising nationalism in some countries in Europe.

Economic inequality tends to be greatest during boom times, when wealth is abundant, just look at the recent expansion since the last downturn.  Recessions tend to be an equalizer.  Mass migration tends to minimize inequality, as migrants seek better jobs.  I doubt you are trying to say that global warming will lead to an economic boom.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 11, 2019, 03:26:45 PM
Economic inequality tends to be greatest during boom times, when wealth is abundant, just look at the recent expansion since the last downturn.  Recessions tend to be an equalizer.  Mass migration tends to minimize inequality, as migrants seek better jobs.  I doubt you are trying to say that global warming will lead to an economic boom.

These are extraordinary claims, needing extraordinary evidence.

Counterevidence would be >> "Results suggest that income inequality before the crisis potentially contributed to a severer output drops during the crisis of 2007-2008. The effect of the overall population inequality (Gini index) has been found severer than the one of the top 1% earners’ income share." Link >> https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/87739/1/MPRA_paper_87739.pdf

Economics would argue inequality is casing recessions.

Why economic inequality leads to collapse Link >> https://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/feb/05/inequality-leads-to-economic-collapse
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Klondike Kat on May 12, 2019, 06:08:56 AM
Economic inequality tends to be greatest during boom times, when wealth is abundant, just look at the recent expansion since the last downturn.  Recessions tend to be an equalizer.  Mass migration tends to minimize inequality, as migrants seek better jobs.  I doubt you are trying to say that global warming will lead to an economic boom.

These are extraordinary claims, needing extraordinary evidence.

Counterevidence would be >> "Results suggest that income inequality before the crisis potentially contributed to a severer output drops during the crisis of 2007-2008. The effect of the overall population inequality (Gini index) has been found severer than the one of the top 1% earners’ income share." Link >> https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/87739/1/MPRA_paper_87739.pdf

Economics would argue inequality is casing recessions.

Why economic inequality leads to collapse Link >> https://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/feb/05/inequality-leads-to-economic-collapse

It is not rocket science.  The highest earnings have the greatest exposure to the market, in both investments and bonuses.  Check out the graph about inequality before and after recessions.

http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2014/04/want-to-fix-incomewealth-inequality.html?m=1
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 12, 2019, 08:11:20 AM
Kat, this graph shows nothing of that sort. This is not evidence for your claim.

Quote
This chart shows how access to the Fed's free-money spigot causes the very top layer of owners of capital to outpace their less-wealthy peers:

Are you trolling me?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Klondike Kat on May 12, 2019, 03:07:59 PM
Kat, this graph shows nothing of that sort. This is not evidence for your claim.

Quote
This chart shows how access to the Fed's free-money spigot causes the very top layer of owners of capital to outpace their less-wealthy peers:

Are you trolling me?

Trolling?  Are you kidding me?  Yes, it did show how the outpaced their wealthy peers during economic boom times. But is also showed how their income dropped much more dramatically during recessions.  This is not an extraordinary claim, as it can be confirmed in all the data.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 12, 2019, 03:33:16 PM
Kat, when a billionaire has stocks (and this is pretty common for people like that) and the recession kicks in, the stock market would go down, so would the wealth and income of said person. This is what you see in this graph. It has nothing to do with inequality.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Klondike Kat on May 13, 2019, 12:17:34 AM
Kat, when a billionaire has stocks (and this is pretty common for people like that) and the recession kicks in, the stock market would go down, so would the wealth and income of said person. This is what you see in this graph. It has nothing to do with inequality.

So, the billionaires dividends, stock bonuses, and investments do not count towards their income?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 13, 2019, 07:36:27 AM
No, because after the recession is over their wealth is reinstalled (as you can clearly see in the graph). They are economically in a position to wait it out.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Klondike Kat on May 13, 2019, 03:17:45 PM
No, because after the recession is over their wealth is reinstalled (as you can clearly see in the graph). They are economically in a position to wait it out.

Yes, it is reinstalled.  However, that is largely because the economy rebounded.  Should the economy continue to tank, the graph indicates that their wealth will follow suit.  Hence, a falling economy would hit their purse strings harder, leading to diminished inequality.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2019, 11:52:39 PM
Poor and sick ? Can't pay medical bills ? Lawsuit in your future.

"Johns Hopkins Hospital has a shocking record of hounding low income patients for medical debt"

" filed more than 2,400 lawsuits in Maryland courts seeking payment of alleged medical debt"

"For Hopkins, the payoff is minor, but for the families they target the consequences can be devastating"

"of the top 10 zip codes where Hopkins medical debt defendants reside, nine are located in Baltimore, including many in neighborhoods adjacent to the hospital with high levels of poverty."

"Hopkins is a not-for-profit institution that receives tens of millions annually in federal, state, and local tax breaks. In return for subsidies and tax breaks, Johns Hopkins is required to provide charity care or discounted care to low-income patients who lack insurance, or who lack enough insurance to cover their out-of-pocket expenses. "

"In 2018, medical debt sought by Hopkins in court accounted for less than one-tenth of 1 percent of Hopkins’ operating revenue."

"In 2017 alone Johns Hopkins received $164.4 million in tax exemptions and $25 million in rate support to provide charity care, $3.3 million of which was in excess of actual charity care provided."

"Hopkins’ excess charity care funds from 2017 alone could have forgiven nearly all of the $3.4 million sought in medical debt cases filed by Hopkins in Maryland courts from 2015 to 2018."

https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2019/05/14/new-report-johns-hopkins-hounding-thousands-patients-medical-debt-lawsuits

Don't need the money, but screw the poor anyway. It's the principle of the thing, you see, the market must be seen to be supreme. Debts must be paid, especially if the poor are the debtors. The rich paying their debts ? You got to be kidding.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 26, 2019, 07:01:49 PM
A thought-provoking article on economic inequality, and the only thing that has, apparently, ever improved it--disaster:

The Only Thing, Historically, That's Curbed Inequality: Catastrophe
Plagues, revolutions, massive wars, collapsed states—these are what reliably reduce economic disparities
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/02/scheidel-great-leveler-inequality-violence/517164/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/02/scheidel-great-leveler-inequality-violence/517164/)

"Throughout history, only massive, violent shocks that upended the established order proved powerful enough to flatten disparities in income and wealth. They appeared in four different guises: mass-mobilization warfare, violent and transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic epidemics."


This perspective lends an interpretation for exactly why the entire world has been drifting towards populist/right-wing/neo-fascist governments all over the globe.  Modern civilization has done an excellent job suppressing most historical disasters of famine, plagues, revolution, and mass warfare--the usual means of reducing inequality.  With humanity deprived (so to speak) of these mechanisms for reversing inequality, the social-cultural-economic pressure cooker only builds more pressure over time, as the stressors of inequality build inexorably.

The implications are quite concerning.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on May 26, 2019, 11:07:08 PM
Quote
The implications are quite concerning.

Indeed, thanks for the article, Steve. Humanity has clearly been in a vicious cycle for thousands of years, and the stakes just keep getting higher. I still think the best, and perhaps only way, to reduce inequality is to put a cap on wealth, as the inequality invariably comes about by what happens at the top. Inequality is a symptom of a dynamic where concentrated wealth keeps growing and concentrating itself, regardless of who the owner is.

Just like nature always strives towards a forest, human society seems to always be striving towards wealth concentration. How do we start striving for a forest?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 27, 2019, 09:21:38 AM
How do we start striving for a forest?

Eat Tax the rich!
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on May 27, 2019, 04:46:06 PM
How do we start striving for a forest?

Eat Tax the rich!

everyone who speaks about taxing the rich and capping the max wealth should always mention that only a global solution will do the job and global solutions for/against excessive wealth and significant taxing of the really rich have been far away at all times and the "trumpist" disruptions take things farther out of reach again. the moment each nation starts looking more than ever for their own interests, tax-wars will happen on a much higher scale again. one example we shall witness once a brexit has happened which i still think/hope that it won't.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 27, 2019, 05:25:00 PM
everyone who speaks about taxing the rich and capping the max wealth should always mention that only a global solution will do the job

Taxing is a channelling instrument the state has, that has proven to work, is easy to implement and can be taken back easily when the outcome is not matching the goals. I disagree it's only useful when implemented globally. Income inequality is affecting my life directly. When my government implements it, everyone in my country is better off (yes, even the ones taxed higher). This means millions of lives are improved even without a global adoption.

Quote
"trumpist" disruptions take things farther out of reach again.

Sorry, Mag, but i disagree again. I think the orange Mussolini has widened the Overton window in favour of the left. Real progressive politics is being discussed in the US now and according to the polls, they are also popular. Would that be the case if centrist Hillary was president? Would have AOC won against Crowley? Would Bernie be a well-polled candidate for 2020?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on May 27, 2019, 06:47:38 PM
everyone who speaks about taxing the rich and capping the max wealth should always mention that only a global solution will do the job

Taxing is a channelling instrument the state has, that has proven to work, is easy to implement and can be taken back easily when the outcome is not matching the goals. I disagree it's only useful when implemented globally. Income inequality is affecting my life directly. When my government implements it, everyone in my country is better off (yes, even the ones taxed higher). This means millions of lives are improved even without a global adoption.

Quote
"trumpist" disruptions take things farther out of reach again.


Sorry, Mag, but i disagree again. I think the orange Mussolini has widened the Overton window in favour of the left. Real progressive politics is being discussed in the US now and according to the polls, they are also popular. Would that be the case if centrist Hillary was president? Would have AOC won against Crowley? Would Bernie be a well-polled candidate for 2020?


you apparently ignore the fact that big money is very mobile and where it's not can be easily diverted into low tax undertakings and investments.

as to the trump thing, the more nationalistic the system gets, everything else does not matter (when it comes to tax avoidance) the more countries will compete via taxation and conditions for enterprises and loop holes which makes tax avoidance a lot easier for the super rich (about which we are talking here)

only the middle class with some wealth but not enough to escape will pay the bill as it has been most of the time.

what is DISCUSSED is irrelevant as long as it does not come into effect, hene is implemented and even the degree of global approaches we already have/had are not reversed one by one by mr. trump and other right wing governments ignoring treaties or opting out at all.

Last but not least, i did not say anything about what i suggest or like or dislike, too long and too complicated, and then i thank you for the feedback either way because this hole thing is so
entangled and complicated that i can understand that depending on the point of view things can look quite differently, not worth to take things deeper as long as there is nothing we can do against the remaining 98% of world population of which 1% does the right thing only by accident ;)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 27, 2019, 07:09:52 PM
I agree that you will have tax-avoidance in both nations, the one with high taxes and well-funded tax enforcement and the one with low taxes and lax tax-enforcement, but, you are arguing as if there was no qualitative nor quantitative difference between those. But there is.

I also agree that it would be easier if all nations would close loopholes together in an international effort, but there are well-established ways to do so as a nation-state too and they are working. The fact that those loopholes exist is not a function of a lag of globalism per se.

Anyway, i'm all for more cooperation between nation states. It would be great. But this is an even bigger subjunctive than fighting for it in your country.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on May 27, 2019, 07:45:29 PM
I agree that you will have tax-avoidance in both nations, the one with high taxes and well-funded tax enforcement and the one with low taxes and lax tax-enforcement, but, you are arguing as if there was no qualitative nor quantitative difference between those. But there is.

I also agree that it would be easier if all nations would close loopholes together in an international effort, but there are well-established ways to do so as a nation-state too and they are working. The fact that those loopholes exist is not a function of a lag of globalism per se.

Anyway, i'm all for more cooperation between nation states. It would be great. But this is an even bigger subjunctive than fighting for it in your country.

as i said, it depends on where you stand as a person and from which angle you look at things.

if you talk about charging high tax to wealthy people, let's say people with a business who earn more than 200'000 a year (example) and own assets of more than 10 million but less than 100 million, you are right.

but then those are the people who pay most of the taxes aready and drive the economy (not saying i like everything about it but after all social costs have to be produced first)

But i'm talking about he real money, let's say those with 100M to 1B and then those wealthier than 1B and another group with more than 1B per family member (1st degree)

means super reach and filthy rich etc.

and those guys who really should pay taxes in billions, you won't get and those who you get their money will suffer on the re-investment side and carry as much as they can abroad and/or to inland tax avoidance schemes, like the germans have them, the dutch have them etc. etc.

so at the end you cripple the drivers of the economy who work hard 60 years almost 16/7 to finally have 10million euro to enjoy their retirement and all those with more than that and with more they ever need for 10 generations to come and those who buy polititions and those who live from workers life energy (interests and dividends) you won't hurt much.

and this is NOT what i call (it works)

again. it depends, i respect if that sound good enough for you or anyone while i'm for a real but generous hard cap on wealth in any possible form per capita of 1st degree family members.

say husband+ wife+ 2 children = 4 billion max. (we can also divide those numbers by 10, is just an example, i don't claim to know the perfect numbers) anything above goes to the work force who create that money with their labour, education, infrastructure and the likes. you see it's starts to get long winded without even having a chance to make a proper point. you can probably negotiated decades and fill libraries on this topic and until now all past efforts did not prevail because it's not that easy and there is no black and white solution.

on additional point where to start would be to make our leaders of any kind responsible and really send them to jail if they are corrupt etc. without proper consequences and without a high quota of being held responsible (high chance to escape) nothing CAN ever change.

then the monetary system (interest on interest) is flawed on it's day of implementation (forced growth) and with forced growth we are back on topic (climate change, exploitation of resources etc)

in short:

no chance to prosper and benefit from success and/or skills etc does not work ( i.e. communism)
give people room and a chance to benefit from what they do good/better.

no limit to wealth (i.e. neo-liberalism, capitalism) does not work. we need a cap and distribute the rest to those without whom that kind of wealth cannot be generated.

we need the middle way while each of the above two sides defend their current benefits and states with all means they have available which is why there is not significant movement fast enough to solve humanities problems fast enough to avoid collapses like wars, pandemic events and now climate desaster)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 27, 2019, 08:15:08 PM
but then those are the people who pay most of the taxes aready and drive the economy

No! Concentrated wealth is not driving the economy. By no means. Not only is it depriving wealth from the whole economy, it leads to what you and i don't like: Tax-avoidance.

The re-investment argument is a myth. If a company stops re-investing, it will have a disadvantage. Sooner or later another company will take its place. End of story. These are the things the market is good at solving.

We can argue about the economic sides of the topic all day and we wouldn't agree on much. We are just too far away from each other here. I think i can offer an argument for a wealth gap we can agree on though. It's the political one: Concentrated wealth is also concentrated power and therefore inherently undemocratic! Would you give me this one?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 27, 2019, 08:47:43 PM


The re-investment argument is a myth. If a company stops re-investing, it will have a disadvantage. Sooner or later another company will take its place. End of story. These are the things the market is good at solving.
 

The reinvestment argument is a myth, but I'd argue the point from a different direction.  Income goes either to consumption or to investment.  This is true for individuals, for communities, or for entire nations.  Or the world as a whole.

There is likely some optimum balance of consumption vs. investment for global money.  In the post-WW-II era, up until about 1980 we had a much higher percent of income going to consumption.  We had rising standards of living.  We had less money moving around in investments, so interest rates rose until that point.

As wealth inequality increased around the globe after 1980, we saw falling interest rates, and rising prices of stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, and other investment vehicles.  Those with wealth to invest, getting more and more wealth, have been out-bidding each other for these investment vehicles.

We now have a massive surplus of money for investment.  This surplus has resulted in very low bond yields (interest rates that are even negative, still, in some parts of the EU).  Stock prices are up, and thus dividend yields are very low.  Gold is far, far higher than in 1980.  Real estate (and thus rent) is very expensive.

Since investment dollars move about the economy much slower than consumption dollars, we have a very low "velocity of money" and thus persistently low inflation, despite dramatic efforts to increase the money supply.  Massive US budget deficits have not resulted in rising inflation or rising interest rates, despite what textbooks might predict.  These deficits don't soak up enough excess investment dollars to change the picture. 

The global economy is unbalanced, awash with excess money for investment. This is a direct effect of wealth inequality, which is steadily worsening. The only way to restore a more historically normal balance is to soak up those excess investment monies, by taxation or other means.

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 27, 2019, 09:10:32 PM
Yes, the velocity of money is decreasing with wealth concentration. That's what i meant with 'depriving wealth from the whole economy'. Should have been more precise there.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on May 27, 2019, 09:22:15 PM
but then those are the people who pay most of the taxes aready and drive the economy

No! Concentrated wealth is not driving the economy. By no means. Not only is it depriving wealth from the whole economy, it leads to what you and i don't like: Tax-avoidance.

The re-investment argument is a myth. If a company stops re-investing, it will have a disadvantage. Sooner or later another company will take its place. End of story. These are the things the market is good at solving.

We can argue about the economic sides of the topic all day and we wouldn't agree on much. We are just too far away from each other here. I think i can offer an argument for a wealth gap we can agree on though. It's the political one: Concentrated wealth is also concentrated power and therefore inherently undemocratic! Would you give me this one?

please read exactly what i write before replying, else it's useless.

10-100 million while part of it in an enterprise is NOT concentrated wealth, those are people who often run a family business over generations and EARNED some wealth.

concentrated business for me starts at around 100 million made in short time earliest and if 90 of the 100 millin are assets that represent a useful business like a brewery or a tooling company or engeneering company the limit would be higher.

i told you and please digest it once and for all:

it depends on how you see things. if you see a man with a tooling factory who owns 50 million in total as concentrated wealth, then we can stop here because i don't see it that way.

concentrated wealth takes WAY MORE MONEY in one hand than that.

if you can think close along my lines as far as limits and amounts are concerned there is nothing to discuss because then we agree.

as you can see and this is why i stop here, even though we have a similar way of thinking and similar solutions in mind and similar goals, we discuss about a very detail and petty terms.

i dislike that because this is why the good people never can gather forces and use it combined, they fragment their energy into tiny ego-centric bits and i won't take part in it.

i know what you mean, i basically agree and for the rest it does not matter. i look at the big picture and to get there we first have to agree on the principals and methodology and only then lose ourselves over whether the limit is 10 millions or 100 millions or more or less.

if you think you can take everyone who owns 10 millions and more most of the surplus away then remember the appearance of all the communist ruled countries. no development, no maintenance, no progress etc.

consider the consequence of each amount you're testing and you shall see that to keep motivation that is needed for prospering and making progress, a certain level of benefit is needed. else most humans become dull and phlegmatic and power seeking shall overcome money making and that's even worse.

each step we consider to make things better we have to consider the consequences and all dogmatic and extreme approaches will make things only worse and cause disasters and ditoriation.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 03, 2019, 05:59:47 AM
Detailed analysis at zipcode level for the USA from St. Louis Fed of economic recovery or lack thereof from 2010-2018

https://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/regional-economist/first-quarter-2019/unequal-recovery-measuring-financial-distress

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 12, 2019, 01:26:36 AM
Drown the poor. They don't deserve dry land to live on.

Or, Bangladesh comes to the USA.

"When rivers flood now in the United States, the first towns to get hit are the unprotected ones right by the river. The last to go, if they flood at all, are the privileged few behind strong levees."

"To prioritize its resources, the Corps uses cost-benefit calculations ... the calculations favor highly valued property over less affluent communities. "

No shit. Colour me unsurprised.

"The process is “always driven by property values ..." "

https://www.propublica.org/article/levee-valley-park-flood-thy-neighbor-who-stays-dry-and-who-decides

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 on June 12, 2019, 09:57:20 AM
You'll know it's really bad when the rich start using the clay from ancient flood defences to make bricks for their houses on high ground.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on June 14, 2019, 08:29:03 PM
Climate Change Poses Major Risks to Financial Markets, Regulator Warns
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/climate/climate-financial-market-risk.html

WASHINGTON — A top financial regulator is opening a public effort to highlight the risk that climate change poses to the nation’s financial markets, setting up a clash with a president who has mocked global warming and whose administration has sought to suppress climate science.

Rostin Behnam, who sits on the federal government’s five-member Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a powerful agency overseeing major financial markets including grain futures, oil trading and complex derivatives, said in an interview on Monday that the financial risks from climate change were comparable to those posed by the mortgage meltdown that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.

“If climate change causes more volatile frequent and extreme weather events, you’re going to have a scenario where these large providers of financial products — mortgages, home insurance, pensions — cannot shift risk away from their portfolios,” he said. “It’s abundantly clear that climate change poses financial risk to the stability of the financial system.”

... On Wednesday, Mr. Behnam plans to detail the formation of a panel of experts at the trading commission assigned to produce a report on how global warming could affect the financial sector, potentially impacting food costs, insurance markets, the mortgage industry and other economic pillars.

Because the report, expected late this year or early next, would be a product of the federal government, it would most likely put Mr. Behnam in direct conflict with the policies of the Trump administration. The report, which Mr. Behnam said he expected would focus in particular on potential harm to the nation’s agriculture sector, is likely to emerge at a moment when Mr. Trump will be making the case to farm states, which have already been hurt by his crop tariffs, to re-elect him in 2020.

... “We understand that climate change causes a big systemic risk,” said Stefano Giglio, a professor of finance at Yale University who has published studies with the National Bureau of Economic Research on the financial consequences of warming. “But right now, we don’t have enough information, and we don’t have the right financial products to insure this risk. The CFTC can help give that information and help lay out a global marker for what we need to do.”
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 16, 2019, 06:21:42 AM
Milk the poor. Quite vampiric.

"Roughly 70 to 80 percent of global plasma supply is provided by paid donors from the United States, which, unlike the United Kingdom and other developed nations, does not ban the practice of paying donors for their blood. The United States also has fewer restrictions on how often someone can donate plasma, with donors permitted to undergo the process twice a week, every week, all year long."

"plasma donation companies are “surgically placing” donation centers in destitute neighborhoods."

"Significant numbers of donors...would not be able to afford the lifesaving therapies created by their own plasma contributions."

" as little as $30 to $50 for a donation that can be sold for $300 on the wholesale market"

" I’m well aware that I’m getting ripped off for this, but money is money. "

" the simple fact that they’re taking your immune system"

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/28/plas-m28.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: zizek on June 16, 2019, 03:32:55 PM

10-100 million while part of it in an enterprise is NOT concentrated wealth, those are people who often run a family business over generations and EARNED some wealth.


Yes, generational wealth. They definitely earned it. Not the black slaves who built their factories and picked their cotton. Not the indigenous people who were raped, enslaved, and stolen of their resources and land.  Not the Bangladesh worker who's forced into factory.  Not the Iraqi that ate white phosphorous so we could steal their oil. Not the Honduran who drinks from poisoned wells caused by neocolonialist mining projects.

There's no such thing as honest earned wealth in an inherently exploitative economic system. Even for the many members of this board who own investment/rent-seeking properties.  They use their excess capital to purchase additional properties, driving up rent and housing costs, further immiserating the people who can not afford to participate in the system.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on June 16, 2019, 06:06:42 PM
Very well said Zizek. It's said rarely enough!
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Sebastian Jones on June 16, 2019, 06:22:54 PM
Milk the poor. Quite vampiric.

"Roughly 70 to 80 percent of global plasma supply is provided by paid donors from the United States, ... with donors permitted to undergo the process twice a week, every week, all year long."

" as little as $30 to $50 for a donation that can be sold for $300 on the wholesale market"

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/28/plas-m28.html

sidd


Any classically trained economist would approve of this efficient method of allocating scarce resources.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 on June 16, 2019, 11:58:00 PM
Shit Zizek have you been reading Farakhan? or dipping into unz? (http://www.unz.com/ldinh/blacks-jews-and-you/)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on June 17, 2019, 06:20:48 AM
Milk the poor. Quite vampiric.

"Roughly 70 to 80 percent of global plasma supply is provided by paid donors from the United States, which, unlike the United Kingdom and other developed nations, does not ban the practice of paying donors for their blood. The United States also has fewer restrictions on how often someone can donate plasma, with donors permitted to undergo the process twice a week, every week, all year long."

"plasma donation companies are “surgically placing” donation centers in destitute neighborhoods."

"Significant numbers of donors...would not be able to afford the lifesaving therapies created by their own plasma contributions."

" as little as $30 to $50 for a donation that can be sold for $300 on the wholesale market"

" I’m well aware that I’m getting ripped off for this, but money is money. "

" the simple fact that they’re taking your immune system"

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/28/plas-m28.html

sidd

I find that sickening.
The list of what is considered a resource keeps growing. With other humans seen as a resource such as for plasma and organs, the strange thing is it is only poor humans that are the resource. Not all humans.

Resources: Earths minerals, living nature, other human tribes, children, moneypoor humans, healthpoor humans, highIQ humans, production unit humans.

Only what's innocent, non-violent or vulnerable is a resource!


What's not a resource? The rich people:
The people that control the violence throughout history. The conquerors. Extract & Plunder. More more.

You really have to change THEM if you want anything to change about AGW mitigation and societal change.

@zizek
Great synopsis I think. Well said.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: bligh8 on June 20, 2019, 03:50:13 AM
Global warming has increased global economic inequality
Noah S. Diffenbaugh and Marshall Burke

PNAS May 14, 2019 116 (20) 9808-9813; first published April 22, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1816020116

"Significance
We find that global warming has very likely exacerbated global economic inequality, including ∼25% increase in population-weighted between-country inequality over the past half century. This increase results from the impact of warming on annual economic growth, which over the course of decades has accumulated robust and substantial declines in economic output in hotter, poorer countries—and increases in many cooler, wealthier countries—relative to a world without anthropogenic warming. Thus, the global warming caused by fossil fuel use has likely exacerbated the economic inequality associated with historical disparities in energy consumption. Our results suggest that low-carbon energy sources have the potential to provide a substantial secondary development benefit, in addition to the primary benefits of increased energy access."

Abstract
Understanding the causes of economic inequality is critical for achieving equitable economic development. To investigate whether global warming has affected the recent evolution of inequality, we combine counterfactual historical temperature trajectories from a suite of global climate models with extensively replicated empirical evidence of the relationship between historical temperature fluctuations and economic growth. Together, these allow us to generate probabilistic country-level estimates of the influence of anthropogenic climate forcing on historical economic output. We find very high likelihood that anthropogenic climate forcing has increased economic inequality between countries. For example, per capita gross domestic product (GDP) has been reduced 17–31% at the poorest four deciles of the population-weighted country-level per capita GDP distribution, yielding a ratio between the top and bottom deciles that is 25% larger than in a world without global warming. As a result, although between-country inequality has decreased over the past half century, there is ∼90% likelihood that global warming has slowed that decrease. The primary driver is the parabolic relationship between temperature and economic growth, with warming increasing growth in cool countries and decreasing growth in warm countries. Although there is uncertainty in whether historical warming has benefited some temperate, rich countries, for most poor countries there is >90% likelihood that per capita GDP is lower today than if global warming had not occurred. Thus, our results show that, in addition to not sharing equally in the direct benefits of fossil fuel use, many poor countries have been significantly harmed by the warming arising from wealthy countries’ energy consumption."

"The impact of historical warming on economic inequality is of particular concern (2). There is growing evidence that poorer countries or individuals are more negatively affected by a changing climate, either because they lack the resources for climate protection (3) or because they tend to reside in warmer regions where additional warming would be detrimental to both productivity and health."

"Recent research has identified pathways by which changes in climate can affect the fundamental building blocks of economic production (11, 12). Empirical work has included sector-specific analyses of agriculture, labor productivity, and human health (12), as well as analyses of aggregate indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP) (4, 13)."

"Here, we build on past work linking economic growth and fluctuations in temperature (4, 14) to quantify the impact of historical anthropogenic climate forcing on the global distribution of country-level per capita GDP (Materials and Methods and Fig. 1). We use the Historical and Natural climate model simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) (20) to quantify the temperature trajectory of different countries in the absence of anthropogenic forcing. We then combine these counterfactual country-level temperature trajectories with empirically derived nonlinear temperature–GDP response functions to calculate the counterfactual per capita GDP of individual countries over the past half century. Finally, we use those counterfactual country-level economic trajectories to calculate the impact of historical anthropogenic forcing on population-weighted country-level economic inequality, accounting for both uncertainty in the relationship between temperature and economic growth and uncertainty in the climate response to historical forcing."

More within the open access paper....


































Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 23, 2019, 10:27:53 PM
Human trafficking. Forced labour. Sex slavery.

Libya ? No, the USA.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/06/22/wiht-j22.html

https://www.foxnews.com/us/vulnerability-is-the-common-thread-in-human-trafficking-exploitation
https://www.foxnews.com/us/fox-report-jon-scott-human-trafficking-slavery-living-hell
https://www.foxnews.com/us/the-village-of-law-enforcement-agencies-battling-human-trafficking
https://www.foxnews.com/us/invisible-victims-boys-trapped-in-the-sex-trade
https://www.foxnews.com/us/human-trafficking-victims-depend-advocacy-groups-bridge-gap-to-survival
https://www.foxnews.com/us/human-trafficking-in-america-among-worst-in-world-report

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 24, 2019, 09:47:32 PM
Chicago: The city with broad shoulders, where rich,white people live 30 years longer than poor, black people.

"In predominantly white Streeterville, Chicagoans can expect to live to 90. In Englewood, where the population is virtually all black, life expectancy is just 60."

"The median income in Streeterville is nearly $100,000 a year, according to the US census. In Englewood, smack dab in the center of Chicago’s Southside, it’s a quarter of that. "

“Irreversible brain damage just because of where you live, and you’re too poor to go anywhere else? It’s not fair. You’re cheating kids,”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/23/chicago-latest-news-life-expectancy-rich-poor-inequality

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on June 25, 2019, 06:07:26 PM
‘Climate Apartheid’: UN Expert Says Human Rights May Not Survive
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/25/climate-apartheid-united-nations-expert-says-human-rights-may-not-survive-crisis
 

The world is increasingly at risk of “climate apartheid”, where the rich pay to escape heat and hunger caused by the escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers, a report from a UN human rights expert has said.

Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the impacts of global heating are likely to undermine not only basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for hundreds of millions of people, but also democracy and the rule of law... “Human rights might not survive the coming upheaval.”


Climate change threatens to undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health, and poverty reduction,” Alston said. “It could push more than 120 million more people into poverty by 2030 and will have the most severe impact in poor countries, regions, and the places poor people live and work.”

Even the unrealistic best-case scenario of 1.5°C of warming by 2100 will see extreme temperatures in many regions and leave disadvantaged populations with food insecurity, lost incomes, and worse health. Many will have to choose between starvation and migration.

Quote
... “We risk a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger, and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer.”

... The report also condemns Donald Trump for “actively silencing” climate science, and criticises the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, for promising to open up the Amazon rainforest to mining. But Alston said there were also some positive developments, including legal cases against states and fossil fuel companies, the activism of Greta Thunberg and the worldwide school strikes, and Extinction Rebellion.

“When Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on New York in 2012, stranding low-income and vulnerable New Yorkers without access to power and healthcare, the Goldman Sachs headquarters was protected by tens of thousands of its own sandbags and power from its generator.”

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24735&LangID=E
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on June 25, 2019, 06:21:14 PM
He should look at American or European concentration camps. He might fund with surprise that human rights may already have died.

Or perhaps a look at the things happening in the Mediterranean sea? Or asked the dude who was prosecuted for leaving water in the desert so people wouldn't die of thirst.

Or, or, or...

Human rights available for Arians on this planet.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 26, 2019, 09:03:46 AM
Kill the poor: they don't deserve health care, right ?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/the-clinic-of-last-resort/2019/06/22/2833c8a0-92cc-11e9-aadb-74e6b2b46f6a_story.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on June 26, 2019, 11:43:15 AM
Kill the poor: they don't deserve health care, right ?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/the-clinic-of-last-resort/2019/06/22/2833c8a0-92cc-11e9-aadb-74e6b2b46f6a_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/the-clinic-of-last-resort/2019/06/22/2833c8a0-92cc-11e9-aadb-74e6b2b46f6a_story.html)

sidd

The poor have their place.
If we didn't have the poor to despise, we might begin despising each other!  :(
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on June 26, 2019, 12:11:06 PM
I am poor by choice. I don't belong to 'we'. I understand that 'we' are the problem. My conscience is clear.
You were sarcastic, right Terry?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: kassy on June 26, 2019, 03:21:50 PM
Of course he is.

An interesting observation is that 'we' are not poor. I guess this is true for ASIF averaged.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on June 26, 2019, 04:16:44 PM
Completely agree kassy, a correct and significant observation I think.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: magnamentis on June 26, 2019, 05:05:52 PM
the real wealth and the only wealth that can make and keep us "content" "happy" you name it, is inside us and modesty plays a big part in it.

we can like or wish many things, the question is whether we believe that we "need" them or if we think on a "nice to have" basis.

"Neediness" as well as the urge to impress the rest of the world (and harvest envy) are main ingredients to make humans unhappy/discontent and join and get trapped in the sickening
"Hamster Wheel"
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 26, 2019, 07:47:31 PM
Gogol once wrote a book about profiting off dead souls. Here is a late stage capitalism, more macabre version:

"doctors told her that Archie, the man she had been married to for almost five decades, wouldn't make it."

"had never planned a funeral before"

"a bill of over $7,000"

"The cost of Archie's cremation — $3,295 — was more than twice the amount charged elsewhere in Jacksonville by the company"

"most funeral businesses have websites, most omit prices from the sites"

"NPR reporters also found it difficult to get prices"

"federal regulators routinely find the homes violating a law that requires price disclosures"

"Archie didn't have hardly very much life insurance — maybe 5,000 — and I had, you know, a little bit of money in the bank, and it took everything"

"It took me as a longtime lawyer and a professional consumer advocate literally an eight-hour day just to get a solid list of what funeral services were offered by nearby funeral establishments and how much they cost."

"federal regulators shopping undercover have found about 1 in 4 funeral homes break the rule and fail to disclose price information"

https://www.npr.org/2017/02/07/504020003/a-funeral-may-cost-you-thousands-less-just-by-crossing-the-street
https://www.npr.org/2017/02/08/504031472/despite-decades-old-law-funeral-prices-are-still-unclear

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: SteveMDFP on June 26, 2019, 08:24:45 PM
Gogol once wrote a book about profiting off dead souls. Here is a late stage capitalism, more macabre version:

"doctors told her that Archie, the man she had been married to for almost five decades, wouldn't make it."

"had never planned a funeral before"

"a bill of over $7,000"

"The cost of Archie's cremation — $3,295 — was more than twice the amount charged elsewhere in Jacksonville by the company"
The funeral business is an abomination.

A better way, from my experience, is to arrange to "donate the body to science."  Details vary by state in the US.  Here, arrangements must be made by the deceased while still competent to do so (in advance, of course).

Typically, the body will be picked up, used for teaching and/or research and/or organ donation, then the remainder of the remains are cremated and either delivered to the family or interred at a specific, dedicated cemetery site.  Usually zero cost.  The family can hold a memorial service of their choice, if desired.  A good restaurant or bar might be nice, and far more affordable.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 26, 2019, 09:22:07 PM
Re: donate bodies to science

In Ohio, bodies are piling up so fast, they are being stored in refrigerated trailers. Ohio State Med center is routinely turning down donation applications.

Opioids. The gift that will keep on giving.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 26, 2019, 09:23:18 PM
An appropriate song for the topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbWRfBZY-ng

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on June 27, 2019, 02:38:38 AM
Of course he is.

Thanks Kassy
I've been away for some time and didn't consider that to some I'm a totally new voice. One that really should have used the sarc/ tag.
Sorry for the confusion nanning, my bad. :-[


Quote
An interesting observation is that 'we' are not poor. I guess this is true for ASIF averaged.


I doubt that any of us would qualify as "poor" on a world wide basis, though few of us could afford even a modest home in Vancouver, San Francisco or Hong Kong.  ???


Terry

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on June 27, 2019, 03:43:49 AM
Quote
I doubt that any of us would qualify as "poor" on a world wide basis

Not to make it an important point but sorry Terry, I disagree with this.
I think I am not only not in the world's 10% richest, as most on this forum will likely be, but I think I am in the world's 10% poorest (I could be wrong). Not by daily budget because that must be indexed; e.g. food over here is much more expensive than in a poor country. I have hardly any possessions, just like most teenagers, and since recent moving from Amsterdam to a rural town my bankaccount is -ve and it'll take years to get +ve again. If my old fridge breaks down I cannot replace it. Without work (>50yo? then no jobs) I feel trapped in the benefits system, which luckily in the Netherlands is not as bad as e.g. in the UK, the 'hostile environment'. I live very basic and frugal, no wealth, no affluence. I don't need more.

Some relevant articles about western poor people suicides (I am not suicidal btw):
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/sep/21/fit-for-work-assessment-was-trigger-for-suicide-coroner-says (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/sep/21/fit-for-work-assessment-was-trigger-for-suicide-coroner-says)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/13/suicides-of-benefit-claimants-reveal-dwp-flaws-says-inquiry (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/13/suicides-of-benefit-claimants-reveal-dwp-flaws-says-inquiry)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/03/aggressive-debt-collectors-raise-risk-of-suicide (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/03/aggressive-debt-collectors-raise-risk-of-suicide)
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-08-mass-layoffs-linked-teen-suicide.html (https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-08-mass-layoffs-linked-teen-suicide.html)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on June 27, 2019, 07:06:22 AM
Re: bottom 10%

1) by income: you make less than 480 USD/yr

https://ourworldindata.org/global-economic-inequality

2) by wealth: this is weird. The poorest are in India, USA (?!), Bangladesh,Pakistan,Nigeria

" if you’re looking for the poorest 10% of the world’s population, you’ll find 16.4% of them in India, and another 4.4% in Bangladesh. Pakistan has 2.6% of the world’s bottom 10%, while Nigeria has 3.9%.

But there’s one unlikely country which has a whopping 7.5% of the poorest of the poor — second only to India. That country? The United States."

"if you add up the net worth of the world’s bottom decile, it comes to minus a trillion dollars. The poorest people in the world, using the Credit Suisse methodology, aren’t in India or Pakistan or Bangladesh: they’re people like Jérôme Kerviel, who has a negative net worth of something in the region of $6 billion."

"if you take the bottom 30% of the world’s population — the poorest 2 billion people in the world — their total aggregate net worth is not low, it’s not zero, it’s negative. "

http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/04/stop-adding-up-the-wealth-of-the-poor/

the 2018 report from credit suisse (he talks about 2013)  is at

https://www.credit-suisse.com/media/assets/corporate/docs/about-us/research/publications/global-wealth-databook-2018.pdf

The numbers are similar.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on June 27, 2019, 08:28:48 AM
Thanks sidd, a shocking economic inequality contrast in the USA. Wow. Going by the federal policy, it is never enough, rich people 'deserve' a lower tax.Voilà

From the reuters article:
Quote
The answer is that it comes from a pair of tables in Credit Suisse’s 2013 Global Wealth Databook. First of all, you have to find the total wealth in the world, which you can find at the bottom of the fourth column on page 89: it’s $241 trillion.
AHAA,  241.000.000.000.000 dollarrrs (ca. $32000 per Earth capita, to wit = -12x my personal 'wealth')

Nice to 'know' how much wealth (affluence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affluence)) our hamster wheel produced for the rich since the age of enlightenment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment). The results of our total labour. 'We' should better stop with this hamster wheel, what's the point?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on June 29, 2019, 11:23:57 AM
Hypothesis:

These overlapping terms:
    Taking more than you need,
    Affluence,
    Wealth,
    Accumulation of objects,

all start with trade & markets.  These make it possible to have the concept of 'rich' and ownership. This leads to social stratification, leading to social hierarchy and inheritance. Here the concept of 'poor' is born. And winners & losers, profit, economic inequality.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Ranman99 on June 29, 2019, 11:31:56 AM
I thought it all started during the early days of agriculture (and domestication) when a few would begin to store "lock up" the food.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: b_lumenkraft on June 29, 2019, 11:54:24 AM
Hypothesis:

What are markets without currency?

It's not markets what you are interested in i think. You want to look into currency.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 on June 29, 2019, 01:13:17 PM
nanning, you may be interested in what Ellen Brown (https://ellenbrown.com/2012/11/08/its-the-interest-stupid-why-bankers-rule-the-world/) has to say, her blog https://ellenbrown.com/
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on June 29, 2019, 03:49:24 PM
I should have added the context, sorry.

I agree with you Ranman99, concerning the culture we are in. We are civilisation (ahem). I meant another situation.

The hypothesis is about peaceful nature tribes that came in contact with the kind of trade I mean: The trade of the expanding mediterranean tribes. So I mean a period after the mediterranean tribes invented agriculture and settled. Say, for example, the Germanic peaceful nature tribes, 2000BC-0BC.

@b_lumenkraft The currency will be whatever the expanding tribes use. First skins, clothes, ropes? I think initially is wasn't tokens or money because those Germanic tribes had no use for it at first. I don't know many details, but later on came tokens, money and the rest of my hypothesis.
Thank you all for engaging.

I'll read your link johnm33, thanks.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on July 01, 2019, 02:43:51 PM
I should have added the context, sorry.

I agree with you Ranman99, concerning the culture we are in. We are civilisation (ahem). I meant another situation.

The hypothesis is about peaceful nature tribes that came in contact with the kind of trade I mean: The trade of the expanding mediterranean tribes. So I mean a period after the mediterranean tribes invented agriculture and settled. Say, for example, the Germanic peaceful nature tribes, 2000BC-0BC.

@b_lumenkraft The currency will be whatever the expanding tribes use. First skins, clothes, ropes? I think initially is wasn't tokens or money because those Germanic tribes had no use for it at first. I don't know many details, but later on came tokens, money and the rest of my hypothesis.
Thank you all for engaging.

I'll read your link johnm33, thanks.
Earliest currency/coinage that I'm aware of were the copper sheets in the form of a bull hide used by Sumerian traders ~2250 BC Each sheet was apparently equal in value to a bull hide.
Much later the Hudson Bay Co. priced trade items in beaver pelts, although I don't believe that they invented a coinage with large flat tails. 8)
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: kassy on July 01, 2019, 03:12:28 PM
Hypothesis:

These overlapping terms:
    Taking more than you need,
    Affluence,
    Wealth,
    Accumulation of objects,

all start with trade & markets.  These make it possible to have the concept of 'rich' and ownership. This leads to social stratification, leading to social hierarchy and inheritance. Here the concept of 'poor' is born. And winners & losers, profit, economic inequality.

Taking more than you need, Affluence and Wealth are all varieties of Accumulation of objects.

Today some hunter gatherers in Africa still shame the hunter who brings the big catch.
The important divide is a nomadic lifestyle vs a sedentary one. Accumulating stuff is less interesting if you have to carry it all (this is also why you play guitar and not piano by campfires).

The start of agriculture was the start of people settling in places and then Accumulation of objects became possible. Of course as soon as you have more then you need there will be trade and markets and specialization of labor.

 
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on July 01, 2019, 05:42:07 PM
Great post kassy, thank you.
What do you think would be the effects of the expansion of those settlement cultures on the nomadic nature tribes of northern europe? How/when would their culture be changed to have rich people; status; social stratification through the trade, or other, contact?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: kassy on July 02, 2019, 12:13:34 AM
In the end the ´farmer peoples´ settled everywhere. You can still see this pattern playing out in some places. You settle and then worry about property rights while nomads don´t.

This is all before written history and nomadic tribes leave scant evidence so we will never know the details.

And it is slightly more complicated because the horse was the first way to project power. There was a book which made a connection between horse culture and the indo-european languages. There are many replacement events in the genetic history of europe. A lot more went on then market places but for the details read up on ancient archeology and population genetics.

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on July 02, 2019, 05:29:03 AM
Thanks again kassy. It is now clear to me that this (his)story is more complicated than I thought. Too bad we can't know the cultures of the old nomadic tribes.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on July 02, 2019, 04:50:08 PM
More recent examples might be found in North America where nomadic and agricultural tribes interacted with trading, property acquiring "civilized" Europeans.
"Guns, Germs and Steel" by Diamond provides an excellent introduction to the subject.
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on July 02, 2019, 06:08:24 PM
Thanks Terry :)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on July 05, 2019, 08:43:00 AM
You can't make this up: Hampton billionaires against First Nation dispossessed over billboards

"outraged that the Shinnecock Nation has decided to erect two blazing 60-foot electronic billboards on their tiny patch of sovereign lands at the gateway to the Hamptons"

"advertising income from the billboards will generate income for the Nation that will help pay for health and dental clinics as well as a community daycare facility"

"rich Hamptons landowners are condemning the signs as an eyesore"

“The town is appalled by what is going on. I mean we are outraged”

"... 62,000-square foot home owned by junk bond king Ira Rennert. David Koch of Koch Industries lives along Southampton’s Meadow Lane, dubbed Billionaire Lane by Forbes. "

"700 Shinnecock tribal members residing on an 800-acre reservation in the Hamptons live below the federal poverty level ... "

https://truthout.org/articles/wealthy-hampton-homeowners-are-trying-to-suppress-tribal-sovereignty/

"Indeed I tremble for my country when reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever"
-- Jefferson

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on July 06, 2019, 05:28:57 AM
France and the Gilet Jaunes: blindness of the elites

A sympathetic review of the work of Edouard Loius in the point magazine by Stetler.

“I think we’ve all been rediscovering some fundamental values: we want to be able to eat well, to house ourselves, to work decently. We want to make politics about concrete things.”

"Our prudishness towards these needs has long fascinated and enraged Édouard Louis. In 2013, he was a young transplant from working-class Picardy studying among the philosopher-kings of Paris’s ultra-elite École Normale Supérieure."

“For a long time, I thought that politics was the word for a scourge. A scourge that came down upon the poor, on the little people like we said in my family, generation after generation…”

"I did not speak the same language as my classmates with whom I “debated,” who for the large part were children of the bourgeoisie ... I saw too well to what point what they were saying were merely words without any connection to lived experience, because this was in all actuality the case for them ... I saw only too clearly to what point the bourgeoisie sucked the life out of politics ... "

"one must really never have known misery to be able to think that a bit of graffiti on a historical monument is worse than the inability to afford healthcare, to pay for housing, to feed oneself or one’s family."

"The French elite’s long attempt to roll back the French welfare state and weaken labor laws in pursuit of higher profit margins is spelling hardship and misery for swaths of the population. The entanglement of abstractions that they hide behind to wage an economic civil war has ushered in a crisis in public morality—we’re losing contact with the vital reality of politics. Reversing the erosion of democratic life, Louis urges, requires an emancipatory, radical moral politics."

"this book of a man whose life has been stolen from his own hands."

"He writes of his father as a potentially free-spirited, hopeful and decent man that he never knew, cut down by the destruction and violence of working-class life."

" “The history of your body stands as an accusation against political history,” Louis writes in the text’s concluding chapter, where he lists and denounces the political figures and policies responsible for participating in the decimation of his father’s health. In 2006, Jacques Chirac’s government removed a series of medications from the list of government subsidies: “because you’d had to spend your days lying flat since your accident, and because you had bad nutrition, digestive problems were a constant for you. Buying medicine to relieve them became more and more difficult. Jacques Chirac and Xavier Bertrand destroyed your intestines.” "

“If you didn’t take the jobs they offered—or rather, forced on you—you would lose your right to welfare. … Nicolas Sarkozy and Martin Hirsch were breaking your back.”

"the French elite has committed a moral crime, and it’s time they be punished."

"Guilluy’s telling of the irremediable rupture between peripheral and elite France, which has now become a ready narrative relayed by media and politicians alike. The peripheral France thesis, and the rapaciousness with which it has been recycled ad nauseum in the press, has the advantage of reducing the popular rejection of the elite to a tale of solely cultural resentment. Macron’s government has eagerly exploited this opening, delivering mea culpas to a damaged French national identity and the supposedly conservative nature of the masses. "

". The failure of us moderns to make strong moral claims, to declare some activities and comportments fundamentally good and others fundamentally evil, is the mental makeup that leads directly to Emmanuel Macron. Our modern malaise is that we live under the “realm of lesser evil,” unwilling to assert a positive conception of the good life as we hide behind a meek tolerance that empties public life of a necessary moral content."

 “a social movement is precisely the moment when the possibility that those who are suffering might no longer say: ‘I’m suffering because of immigration and because of my neighbor who relies on welfare,’ but rather ‘I’m suffering because of those who govern. I’m suffering because of the weight of the system, because of Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe.’ Social movements are moments to subvert language, a moment where our old languages can finally give way. This is what’s happening today.”

"If we look at politics as the government of some living people by other living people, as well as the existence of individuals within communities not of their choosing, then politics is what separates some populations, whose lives are supported, nurtured, protected, from other populations, who are exposed to death, to persecution, to murder."

"We need to re-appropriate the language of moral condemnation from its abuse in the hands of a sham populism. Common decency can be reduced to a caricature of old-fashioned, pre-1960s morality—and rammed down people’s throats until they ignore all the real evil-doers in this world. It can also be built from the ground up, out of the concrete needs and lived experiences of actual people in 2019. Louis’s faith in this common decency is a welcome sign."

Read the whole thing:

https://thepointmag.com/2019/criticism/the-good-populist-edouard-louis

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on July 06, 2019, 05:40:22 AM
Zucman et al. on inequality:

"The key difference between Europe and many other parts of the world (including Russia and
the United States) is that wealth inequality is significantly lower in Europe today than it was
a century ago. While wealth inequality appears to have returned to its level of a century ago
in both the United States and Russia, European countries have a more developed patrimonial
middle class which did not exist on the eve of World War 1. The high share of wealth owned by
the middle-class is largely the product of a number of policies adopted in the post-World War
II decades, including nationalizations, rent control, and tax policies which led to a historical
compression of wealth inequality during the mixed-economy regime of the 1950s, 1960s and
1970s."

"At the global level, wealth is highly concentrated: the top 10% owns more than 70% of
the total wealth in China, Europe, and the United States combined; the bottom 50% owns less
than 2%; and the middle 40% (which could be described as the global wealth middle-class) owns
less than 30%. Wealth concentration would probably be even higher if Latin America, Africa,
and the rest of Asia were included in the analysis, as most people in these regions would be in the
poorer parts of the distribution. Wealth is substantially more concentrated than income. This
result comes from both tails of the distribution. In most countries the share of wealth owned by
the bottom 50% is close to 0% (while the share of income earned by the bottom 50% is usually
around 15%–25%). That is, on aggregate, total assets for the bottom 50% are typically about
as large as total debts. At the top end by contrast, the wealthiest individuals own fortunes that
are very large compared to average wealth (within country, the average wealth of the top 0.1%
is typically 100 to 200 times larger than average wealth in the entire population today)."

"Zucman (2013, 2014) estimates that 8% of the world’s household financial
wealth—the equivalent of 10% of world GDP—is held offshore, or $5.6 trillion on the eve of the
world financial crisis in 2007. A similar estimate is obtained by Pellegrini et al. (2016). This
order of magnitude is at the low-end of the scale of available estimates. The OECD calculates
that households owned a total of $5 to $7 trillion offshore in 2007 (Owens, 2007); based on
interviews with wealth managers, the Boston Consulting Group (2008) finds $7.3 trillion that
same year; Cap Gemini and Merrill Lynch (2002) have a $8.5 trillion estimate for 2002; Palan,
Murphy, and Chavagneux (2010) write that “the global rich held in 2007 approximately $12
trillion of their wealth in tax havens;” and Henry (2012) finds $21 to $32 trillion as of 2010. One
limitation of Zucman’s (2013) methodology is that it only captures financial wealth, disregarding
valuables, works of art, real estate, and other non-financial assets, which may explain part of
the gap with other studies."

https://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/AJZ2017.pdf

sidd


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: oren on July 07, 2019, 02:29:34 PM
 
In the end the ´farmer peoples´ settled everywhere. You can still see this pattern playing out in some places. You settle and then worry about property rights while nomads don´t.

This is all before written history and nomadic tribes leave scant evidence so we will never know the details.

And it is slightly more complicated because the horse was the first way to project power. There was a book which made a connection between horse culture and the indo-european languages. There are many replacement events in the genetic history of europe. A lot more went on then market places but for the details read up on ancient archeology and population genetics.
I think the book you mention may be "The Horse, The Wheel, and Language", which I've read recently.  One of the things that surprised me was that economic equality actually proliferated among the herders, as it is far easier to accumulate a herd than profit from your own agriculture. Especially as the lucky herder will grow bigger while the unlucky herder will lose his animals to sickness and other calamities.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: kassy on July 07, 2019, 05:45:00 PM
Yes that is the one.

The herders still move all the time so that limits stuff they want to gather. And giving away a small part of a big herd to a fellow herder in need is also insurance for when the luck turns.



 
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on July 22, 2019, 11:32:57 PM
Death by inequality:  Hall at buzzfeed on death sentences at 26

"he was no longer eligible for coverage under his parents’ health insurance ... found himself needing medication to live that he could not afford."

"these young adults are rationing, stockpiling, and turning to the black market for the medication they need to stay alive "

"Smith died of DKA in 2017, one month after turning 26 and being kicked off his mother’s insurance. He couldn’t afford insulin and had been rationing what little he had left."

"Marotta still regularly rations insulin. She regularly buys only one of the two types she needs, because she can’t afford the copays "

" ... rationing is literally just because I don’t have the $20 to pick it up today,"

" ... need to pay for multiple expensive supplies to help control their disease. Patients who can’t afford them cut corners by not regularly testing their blood sugar levels, relying instead on their body’s response to determine how much insulin they need. They also reuse one-time-use medical supplies, such as lancets that prick fingers to test blood sugar and needles to inject insulin, despite the risk of infection."

"a used needle that bent and broke off inside his body "

“Obviously it sucks”

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/turning-26-type-1-diabetes

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on July 23, 2019, 02:26:17 AM
The most infuriating thing about the above may be that insulin's discoverers gave insulin to the world for the payment of $1.00 each.
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: blumenkraft on July 28, 2019, 07:56:03 PM
Debunk: The Neoliberal Education Myth

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyuBy6GRXM8
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: SteveMDFP on August 04, 2019, 02:08:58 AM

Interesting short video about extreme wealth:

How to Spend a Fortune
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go20TljgDcY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go20TljgDcY)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 04, 2019, 11:42:34 PM
disappearing the poor: too many poor people ? just change the definition

"The Trump administration has proposed a change in the way the federal government measures poverty ... would dramatically reduce the number of people who qualify for vital basic assistance programs, including Medicaid, children’s health care and food assistance. "

"the proposal would change the inflation measurement to one that grows more slowly than CPI. That means that even if their incomes remain too low to meet basic living standards, fewer and fewer Americans would fall below the slower-growing poverty line over time."

"at least 250,000 seniors would receive less help in paying for prescription drugs, 300,000 children would lose their health insurance and hundreds of thousands of people would lose food assistance."

https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2019/09/04/poverty-safety-net-benefits-000944

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 05, 2019, 03:10:23 AM
Take heart, poor people: servant class job opportunities expanding

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/americas-hot-new-job-being-rich-persons-servant/595774/

https://www.apnews.com/4fb9e698a6d94f1d8269b5dd032b1333

https://www.nber.org/papers/w25588

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 06, 2019, 09:37:04 PM
Scre the old: they no good anymore

"[UK] pensioners living in severe poverty, receiving less than 40 percent of median household income, has climbed to five times the level of 1986. "

"18 percent of pensioners—nearly 2 million people—are in relative poverty, receiving less than 60 percent of median household income, up from 13 percent in 2011/2012. "

"In February, the government announced another benefit cut, specifically hitting retirees’ incomes. Under Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) plans, pension credit is being withdrawn from all pensioners with working-age partners."

"The problem is not that the wrong generation is hoarding social wealth, but the wrong class—a ruling elite whose drive for profit is throwing pensioners, working-age adults and children alike into poverty in ever-increasing numbers. "

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/06/pens-s06.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on September 07, 2019, 07:08:52 AM
^^
Is the electoral process now so corrupted that politicians have no concern about the needs or wants of the voters?
How many young voters look forward to housing and feeding their destitute parents? How many look forward to a time when they will working until they die still harnessed to their machine?


Has Cambridge Analytica already advanced to this point?
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 07, 2019, 08:53:14 AM
Correct. I have posted b4 on Gilens and Page study in USA. I have little doubt that similar analysis for UK would show similar result. Piketty/Saez/Zucman mafia  have detail on changing demographic support for political parties classified by income/education for various countries, which I have also referenced.

Bottom line is that wealth controls politics in western economies.

sidd
 
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: johnm33 on September 07, 2019, 12:34:16 PM
There was a documentary featuring Chomsky on RT this week that spelled out the corporate takeover of the political process.
The curious thing about being the issuer of the means of exchange, whether as a banker within a nation or a nation in the world is that the cost of goods is the cost of fiat 'money' creation thus a 100 or 1000 dollar bill costing about 12c can be issued freely and provide for all a societies needs without any need for work, organising a prosperous and fulfilled society with that boon should be a piece of cake. Instead the rich waste vast and ever increasing resources to control, suppress and stick it to the poor, worldwide, go figure?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 10, 2019, 10:01:34 PM
Screw the sick. If they can't pay they shouldn't have fallen ill. And they are always free to refuse treatment ...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/uva-has-ruined-us-health-system-sues-thousands-of-patients-seizing-paychecks-and-putting-liens-on-homes/2019/09/09/5eb23306-c807-11e9-be05-f76ac4ec618c_story.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on September 10, 2019, 10:02:57 PM
Killing off the poor:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/09/09/poor-middle-class-americans-are-much-less-likely-survive-into-their-seventies-than-wealthy-federal-report-says/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning 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.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi 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 (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquity/article/comparing-ancient-inequalities-the-challenges-of-comparability-bias-and-precision/A8417180A796B0A86265DA0C81BF5D14/core-reader), Antiquity (2019)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning 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?

-----
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" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Aporia_filia 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.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on September 30, 2019, 07:07:57 PM
High Wealth Inequality Linked With Greater Support for Populist Leaders
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-high-wealth-inequality-linked-greater.html

People who live or think they live in a more economically unequal society may be more supportive of a strong, even autocratic leader, a large-scale international study shows. Their findings appear in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

"The results suggest that the growth in support for populist leaders who are happy to abandon democratic principles to achieve particular outcomes may partly be due to increasing levels of economic inequality," said Jolanda Jetten, a psychological scientist at the University of Queensland in Australia and an author on the report. Led by Stefanie Sprong of Trinity College Dublin, the collaborators conducted a series of surveys and experiments. In these studies, the researchers examine the effects of economic inequality on people's wish for a strong leader, and investigate whether this link can be explained by perceptions of anomie—the perceived breakdown in social fabric in society.

... In analyzing the data, the researchers found evidence that people in countries with high levels of economic inequality, both real and felt, were more supportive of a strong leader. But only perceived inequality appeared to have any relationship with a sense of societal and governmental corrosion.

... "This strengthens our reasoning that economic inequality perceptions enhance the feeling that society is breaking down ... fueling a desire for a leader who will restore order (by whatever means necessary)," the authors conclude.

Sprong, S; Jetten, J; Wang, Z; et al., "Our Country Needs a Strong Leader Right Now": Economic Inequality Enhances the Wish for a Strong Leader" (https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/38327) Psychological Science (2019)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 01, 2019, 01:10:02 AM
Loaded dice: screwing the poor kids

Palast has a revealing article on how the education system is rigged against the poor:

"my daughter wanted to be filmmaker.  Problem:  she was illiterate.  “Dyslexic” was the diagnosis."

"So we sent her to a private school, the best; De Niro sent his kid there too. The tuition – $50,000+ a year. I didn’t have $50K, but I had $5K to pay for expert doctors and a lawyer.  Armed with the expensive doctor’s report, our lawyer successfully sued the City of New York to pay the total tuition for the swish private academy."

"The expensive summer program got her noticed, and she was offered early admission and a scholarship.  Then her mom and I hired the SAT tutors so my daughter could make the minimum score to collect the scholarship."

"I wanted my own kids to have every privilege I didn’t have. "

" what I did was not without victims. What I did meant that a kid who awkwardly filled out their own college application, who didn’t have a clue about the submission date for the scholarships, the campus tours, whose parents or parent lacked the juice for the tutors, French lessons in France, the made-for-applications extracurricular activities, the kid who went to a school like mine, next to the city dump — that child got in to a lesser school, or no school."

"My son had his heart set on a certain top-tier college.  But his test scores sucked and his grades kinda sucked too. So, as with his sister, we shipped my fortunate son to the university’s excellent (i.e. expensive) summer workshop for high schoolers. There, the college, impressed, said they’d ignore his test scores if he could produce a college-level research paper."

"It took him a year of nose-to-the-grindstone, but he finished a truly top-tier research paper. Kinda. He wrote all the words. But every single syllable, statistical chart and footnote was guided, carefully, artfully, by an award-winning author.  Let’s just use his code name: “Dad.” My son got in."

"I wanted my own kids to have every privilege I didn’t have. "

"At my twins’ graduations this year were the uninvited ghosts of those who could have, should have, been admitted to their schools, but were crowded out by the privileged winners of the game."

" what I did was not without victims. What I did meant that a kid who awkwardly filled out their own college application, who didn’t have a clue about the submission date for the scholarships, the campus tours, whose parents or parent lacked the juice for the tutors, French lessons in France, the made-for-applications extracurricular activities, the kid who went to a school like mine, next to the city dump — that child got in to a lesser school, or no school."

"The real crime is not that the privileged kids get these advantages but that well over 100,000 deserving low-income students in California do not."

https://www.gregpalast.com/confession-i-fixed-my-kids-admission-into-top-colleges/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on October 04, 2019, 04:12:00 PM
Uber Seeks to Crush Souls of Greater Pool of Gig Workers
https://gizmodo.com/uber-seeks-to-crush-souls-of-greater-pool-of-gig-worker-1838744088

Uber, a company arguably just exploiting human workers while it figures out how to pivot to automation, is evidently looking to expand its labor pool beyond cab drivers and food delivery.

The company announced Wednesday in a blog post that it is launching Uber Works, a platform meant to connect employers with workers for gigs such as line cook, event staff, or warehouse worker. Uber says that through its Works app, pre-vetted workers can select from a range of shifts and opportunities for temporary roles.

...  Uber said in its announcement that for employers, Uber Works will provide a “reliable pool of vetted and qualified workers.” For workers, Uber said the platform will “ensure timely payments” and provide “more transparency and opportunities for feedback in the marketplace.”

Uber said it’s partnered with the staffing agency TrueBlue, which it notes “employ, pay and handle worker benefits,” among other agencies. The Uber spokesperson said its partner agencies will provide employee benefits to workers as mandated by law.

... Neat as this whole job-on-demand thing sounds on paper, it’s still Uber. And Uber, as history has shown, tends to view human beings as a means of generating more money while it waits out the inevitable automation of service jobs. It also hasn’t been entirely forthright or even decent about employee classification for its Uber drivers. Whatever it claims now, there’s little evidence to indicate Uber will go out of its way to do right by its Works gig workers.

-------------------------

How Corporate Delusions of Automation Fuel the Cruelty of Uber and Lyft
https://gizmodo.com/how-corporate-delusions-of-automation-fuel-the-cruelty-1834627595

Studies have repeatedly found that after fees and expenses, Uber drivers make less than minimum wage in major markets. One found that half of all Uber drivers in Washington, D.C., lived below the poverty line.

... Dara Khosrowshahi, said in a January, 2018 interview that he expected Uber to have self-driving cars on the streets, in operation, within 18 months.

Drivers, meanwhile, are meatbag placeholders whose general wellbeing is a concern relevant only to the extent that its degradation might disrupt service right now. They are therefore temporary and eminently replaceable.

-----------------------------

Stern:   “. . . The Jews themselves receive nothing. Poles you pay wages. Generally they get a little more. Are you listening? . . . The Jewish worker’s salary, you pay it directly to the SS, not to the worker. He gets nothing.”
Schindler:   “But it’s less. It’s less than what I would pay a Pole. . . . Poles cost more. Why should I hire Poles?”

- Schindler's List (1993)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on October 08, 2019, 05:54:02 PM
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-decline-entrepreneurship-west.html

The idea that we are living in an entrepreneurial age, experiencing rapid disruptive technological innovation on a scale amounting to a new "industrial revolution" is a pervasive modern myth.

... "These days Americans are less likely to switch jobs, less likely to move around the country, and, on a given day, less likely to go outside the house at all […] the economy is more ossified, more controlled, and growing at lower rates."

... after 2000, job creation in the US shifted from the creation of high-paying jobs to low-wage (low-skilled) ones.

... the share of entrepreneurs with higher education in the US declined from 12.2% in 1985 to 5.3% in 2014. As economist Nicholas Kozeniauskas puts it, "the decline in entrepreneurship is concentrated among the smart".

... As Geoffrey West has stressed, the same growth curve that characterises living organisms also applies to the growth of cities, economies and companies. After growing beyond a certain threshold, size and complexity stabilises and growth levels off. So it becomes more challenging to create and use new valuable knowledge once you reach a certain size. And, the more complex a production process is, the more that can go wrong.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 09, 2019, 12:45:49 AM
Ryan at wired on the unfeeling rich:

"I was in India the first time it occurred to me that I, too, was a rich asshole. I’d been traveling for a couple of months, ignoring the beggars as best I could. Having lived in New York, I was accustomed to averting my attention from desperate adults and psychotics, but I was having trouble getting used to the groups of children who would gather right next to my table at street-level restaurants, staring hungrily at the food on my plate. "

"There were no shelters waiting to receive them. I saw them sleeping in the streets at night, huddled together for warmth, like puppies. They weren’t going to spend my money unwisely. They weren’t even asking for money. They were just staring at my food like the starving creatures they were. And their emaciated bodies were brutally clear proof that they weren’t faking their hunger."

"With what I’d spent on my one-way ticket from New York to New Delhi, I could have pulled a few families out of the debt that would hold them down for generations. With what I’d spent in New York restaurants the year before, I could have put a few of those kids through school. Hell, with what I’d budgeted for a year of traveling in Asia, I probably could have built a school."

"I wish I could tell you I did some of that, but I didn’t. Instead, I developed the psychological scar tissue necessary to ignore the situation. I learned to stop thinking about things I could have done, but knew I wouldn’t. I stopped making facial expressions that suggested I had any capacity for compassion. I learned to step over bodies in the street—dead or sleeping—without looking down. I learned to do these things because I had to—or so I told myself. "

"people in expensive cars were four times more likely to cut in front of other drivers, compared to folks in more modest vehicles. When the researchers posed as pedestrians waiting to cross a street, all the drivers in cheap cars respected their right of way, while those in expensive cars drove right on by 46.2 percent of the time, even when they’d made eye contact with the pedestrians waiting to cross. Other studies by the same team showed that wealthier subjects were more likely to cheat at an array of tasks and games. "

"people of higher socio-economic status were actually less able to read emotions in other people’s faces. It wasn’t that they cared less what those faces were communicating; they were simply blind to the cues. And Keely Muscatell, a neuroscientist at UCLA, found that wealthy people’s brains showed far less activity than the brains of poor people when they looked at photos of children with cancer."

“It is beginning to seem that the problem isn’t that the kind of people who wind up on the pleasant side of inequality suffer from some moral disability that gives them a market edge. The problem is caused by the inequality itself: It triggers a chemical reaction in the privileged few. It tilts their brains. It causes them to be less likely to care about anyone but themselves or to experience the moral sentiments needed to be a decent citizen.”

“What we’ve been finding across dozens of studies and thousands of participants across this country,” said Piff, “is that as a person’s levels of wealth increase, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and their feelings of entitlement, of deservingness, and their ideology of self-interest increases.”

https://www.wired.com/story/why-are-rich-people-so-mean/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on October 09, 2019, 05:21:26 PM
Thank you very much sidd. I saved (screenshot) your post as "unfeeling rich.SUPREMACY.INSANITY.png". Evidence for my theories and understanding.

Most rich people think that texts like in sidd's post only apply to people richer than them. That is a very wrong thought.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on October 13, 2019, 12:19:47 PM
Ryan at wired on the unfeeling rich:

https://www.wired.com/story/why-are-rich-people-so-mean/

sidd

Awesome stuff, sidd, thanks.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 14, 2019, 12:03:41 AM
Saez and Zucman on tax reform at the NYT:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/11/opinion/sunday/wealth-income-tax-rate.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 15, 2019, 12:51:27 AM
Hobbes at huffpo: meritocracy or idiocracy ?

“There’s a lot of talent being wasted because it’s not able to rise, but there’s also a lot of relatively untalented people who aren’t falling and end up occupying positions they shouldn’t,”

"the likelihood of the rich passing their status down to their children — “stickiness,” in economist-speak — has surpassed the likelihood of poor children remaining poor. "

" “The greater the inequality, the greater the impact on opportunity,” Fishkin said. “There’s a self-fulfilling class anxiety among the middle- and upper-middle class because they sense that the spaces are scarce now. There are fewer secure jobs. And the scarcer they are, the more valuable they are.” "

“There’s a fixed number of people who will be upper class in the future, and elites have the tools to make sure that their children are among them,”

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-glass-floor-is-keeping-americas-richest-idiots-at-the-top_n_5d9fb1c9e4b06ddfc516e076

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 15, 2019, 09:59:45 PM
The rich are different. So are their feces. Starr at sciencealert on economic differences writ large in sewage:

"In wealthier areas, biomarkers were consistent with a better diet. "

" Wealthier and better educated areas also had much higher concentrations of the biomarkers associated with eating a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as grains. All of these are associated with a healthier overall diet."

"In lower socioeconomic areas, there were significantly higher levels of prescription medication for treating depression (desvenlafaxine, amitriptyline and citalopram), chronic pain (opioids such as methadone, codeine, tramadol and oxycodone, as well as pregabalin, for neuropathy) and blood pressure (atenolol)."

"They were even able to link demographics with specific types of antidepressants. A higher proportion of labourers were prescribed desvenlafaxine. Amitriptyline was most often prescribed to people who didn't finish high school. And people taking citalopram tended to live alone, and were often separated or divorced."

paper (open access) at PNAS: doi:10.1073/pnas.1910242116

article at

https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-can-now-distinguish-wealthy-areas-by-looking-at-your-sewage

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 17, 2019, 11:29:40 PM
From the belly of the beast: Former health care shill Wendell Potter on industry efforts to kill the poor

" I led public relations for Humana"

" I began working behind the scenes to help craft a strategy to protect the bottom line of the health insurance industry — by manipulating and misrepresenting democratic will so that the public rejected the very policies that would have delivered the reform they sought."

"Our efforts paid off. "

" The reality is that U.S. health care is a classic example of market failure. For a free market to function, consumers need to know how much a good or service will cost them and then decide whether to purchase it accordingly. But price transparency is largely nonexistent in health care. Moreover, patients often lack agency in the treatment they receive. An unconscious victim of a car accident, for instance, has no ability to decide on the procedures being done or caregivers operating on them. Yet when they are revived, they will be responsible for whatever bill is sent out."

"the outfit running the industry’s propaganda campaign is a Washington PR firm that last year launched a group called the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future "

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/health-care-debate-shows-lies-i-told-insurance-companies-about-ncna1067331

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 19, 2019, 09:16:34 PM
Eubanks at the guardian on the merciless state:

"75-year-old Tim Pegues"

"received a letter from IDHS warning he owed the agency a $7,866 overpayment. They openly admitted that the overpayment was their error"

"set up a payment plan: $5 on the 25th of every month. At that rate, it would take him 131 years to clear the debt. Even this modest payment was a significant loss for him. “A lot of people don’t think $5 is a lot of money,” he said. “But if you don’t have it, it’s like a million dollars. It could be a meal: a can of pork and beans, a loaf of bread.” "

"He wrote the check every month for the next 16 years."

"he received a letter from the Bureau of Collections thanking him for his $5 payment in March 2018 and informing him that it was too late to appeal against the overpayment decision."

" I’m 75, about to be 76, and the fights I’ve had wore me down. I’m tired. They keep saying you’re in the golden years, but I ain’t found no gold.” "

"After the cost of billing and postage, appeals and case management, Illinois is losing money collecting from people like Pegues. "

Read and weep:

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/oct/15/zombie-debt-benefits-overpayment-poverty

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on October 20, 2019, 02:19:15 AM
World Bank Pandemic Financing Scheme Serves Private Sector Interests Over Global Health Security, Analysis Suggests
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-10-world-bank-pandemic-scheme-private.html

The World Bank's Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) – set up to ensure swift funding to countries and agencies responding to pandemic outbreaks of disease—does not deliver on this promise, new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has shown.

... The report shows not only has PEF's insurance scheme not released any funds since its inception, there are only two occasions since 2006 when it would have been triggered: the outbreak of Rift Valley fever in 2006 and Ebola in 2014-16. This is while other emergency funds (such as the World Health Organisation's Contingency Fund for Emergencies or the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' Central Emergency Response Fund) have consistently paid out.

The report finds that PEF has, however, paid $114.5 Million to private investors as coupons, mainly financed through public funders. This has lead the authors to suggest PEF appears to be serving private investor interests more than contributing to global health security.

Bangin Brim et al. Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility: struggling to deliver on its innovative promise, BMJ (2019)
https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l5719
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 21, 2019, 08:42:20 AM
Weird, this thread was locked, i had to unlock it ? wonder if i clicked the lock button by accident.

Nyhoo, here is the state going after dead folks homes for medical bills:

"her mother started showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease. For a while, one of Tawanda’s brothers cared for Edna, but he was sick himself and died in 2004. A guardian of the state admitted Edna into a nursing home and signed her up for the state’s Medicaid program, MassHealth. Tawanda was relieved that her mother was being cared for while she was busy arranging her brother’s funeral. But when she arrived in Boston from Brooklyn, where she and her husband had settled, she heard rumors about MassHealth “robbing people of their homes” as reimbursement for their medical bills."

"A representative for MassHealth told her not to worry: If she took her mother out of the nursing home, the agency would remove the lien and her mother could continue to receive Medicaid benefits."

" the end of 2009, when Edna died, at home, in Oliver’s arms. Afterward, Tawanda received a letter from the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services, which oversees MassHealth, notifying her that the state was seeking “reimbursement from [Edna’s] estate for Medicaid payments made on her behalf.” For Edna’s five years on MassHealth, she owed $198,660.26."

"Tawanda’s hair started falling out soon after. She and Oliver, who was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, had no savings and no jobs. “I said to myself, I don’t care what they do to me. I can take care of myself,” she told me. “But I couldn’t have my dying husband thrown out into the street.”"

"She and Oliver had a combined monthly income of just $1,400, well below the threshold to claim financial hardship, and she had taken care of her mother at home for more than five years. But Tawanda told me the state rejected her requests for both exceptions"

"  “what they didn’t tell me then was that they had the right to reinstate” the claim on the property after her mother’s death.  "

"Bill Clinton signed the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program into law as part of his deficit-reduction act in 1993. Previously, states had the right to seek repayment for Medicaid debts; the new law made it mandatory."

" the overwhelming majority of estates are not worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 2005, the Public Policy Institute of the AARP published a study of the first decade of mandatory estate recovery. Massachusetts, it found, recovered an average of $16,442 per estate in 2003, in total offsetting a little more than 1 percent of its long-term-care costs that year. That made its efforts among the most effective in the nation. In Kentucky, by contrast, the average amount collected from an estate was $93; the state recovered just 0.25 percent of its long-term-care costs."

“It’s a terrible program, it’s a punitive program, and it doesn’t do anything to reimburse the billions of dollars spent,” she told me. “The purpose of recovery was to support Medicaid and bring money back, but how? By collecting anything from the poorest of the poor? It’s ridiculous.”

“It says I owe the state of Kansas a half million dollars or they’re going to take my home.”

"the state can collect his house and land, worth an estimated $40,000, to put toward his wife’s debt."

" If my mother stays on Medicaid, the state will almost certainly take our house when she dies; if she transfers it to my or my brother’s name, her Medicaid benefits will be suspended. Unable to afford other insurance options, and unable to go without insurance as a cancer survivor, she has no choice but to remain on the government program."

"it’s possible to protect your assets by putting them into an irrevocable trust or transferring a deed to a family member before you reach retirement age."

" The mortgage-interest deduction alone—a set of housing subsidies that primarily benefits Americans in the top 20 percent of the income distribution—cost the federal government $66 billion in 2017. By comparison, letting every family of a Medicaid recipient keep their property would cost just $500 million, according to 2011 data "

" a 56-year-old secretary in Nashville, told me she’ll be homeless when the state forecloses on the house she’s been living in for the past eight years to collect on her late mother’s $171,000 Medicaid debt. "

" “No, we’re not able to reduce the bill,” she said was the state’s response. “Go live on the street, live in a box under the bridge. We don’t care; we want our money.” "

"for the first time in her life, Tawanda Rhodes didn’t vote. When Election Day came she pulled up in front of the polling station and sat there for a minute, then drove off. “It did not make me feel good,” she said. “But I felt like, Vote for what? No one cares about me.” "

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/10/when-medicaid-takes-everything-you-own/596671/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on October 21, 2019, 11:23:59 AM
Quote
Weird, this thread was locked, i had to unlock it ? wonder if i clicked the lock button by accident.

I noticed yesterday. I thought I'd await your statement first.  :)

Quote
“But I felt like, Vote for what? No one cares about me.”

Stupid woman, she must have seen one of those Russian ads.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on October 21, 2019, 11:40:20 PM
Study Shows Class Bias in Hiring Based on Few Seconds of Speech
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-class-bias-hiring-based-seconds.html

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e5/3e/8b/e53e8bebb2cb5f960b32db5092342962.gif)

Candidates at job interviews expect to be evaluated on their experience, conduct, and ideas, but a new study by Yale researchers provides evidence that interviewees are judged based on their social status seconds after they start to speak.

... The researchers based their findings on five separate studies. The first four examined the extent that people accurately perceive social class based on a few seconds of speech. They found that reciting seven random words is sufficient to allow people to discern the speaker's social class with above-chance accuracy.

... Prior to sitting for a formal job interview, the candidates each recorded a conversation in which they were asked to briefly describe themselves. A sample of 274 individuals with hiring experience either listened to the audio or read transcripts of the recordings.

The hiring managers who listened to the audio recordings were more likely to accurately assess socioeconomic status than those who read transcripts, according to the study. Devoid of any information about the candidates' actual qualifications, the hiring managers judged the candidates from higher social classes as more likely to be competent for the job, and a better fit for it than the applicants from lower social classes. Moreover, they assigned the applicants from higher social classes more lucrative salaries and signing bonuses than the candidates with lower social status.

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/02/5b/9a/025b9a392f5842e32d3ff89e808a6963.gif)

... Despite what these hiring tendencies may suggest, talent is not found solely among those born to rich or well-educated families.

Michael W. Kraus el al., "Evidence for the reproduction of social class in brief speech," (https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/10/15/1900500116) PNAS (2019)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on October 22, 2019, 01:50:45 AM
Jesus H Christ!
Can any country that treats her elderly and their offspring in this manner hope to escape without a rebellion?
Stealing grandma's house may bring smiles to the beancounters lips, but those who watch as their inheritance is snatched away might do more than simply withhold their vote.
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 22, 2019, 05:40:33 AM
Keeping it in the family: Jones at wsws on nepotism in UAW

"Derik and Justin Jewell, sons of former UAW Vice President for Fiat Chrysler Norwood Jewell, gave their ok to the agreement with GM that sanctions the closure of the historic Lordstown Assembly Plant and there other facilities in Warren, Michigan, Baltimore, Maryland and Fontana, California, and lifts any cap on the use of temporary workers."

"Norwood Jewell pleaded guilty earlier this year to taking $40,000-$95,000 in illegal payments for travel, lodging and other perks from Fiat Chrysler officials"

" the UAW covered $213,000 in Jewell’s legal fees last year and his two sons continue to be employed by the UAW International at its misnamed Solidarity House headquarters in Detroit, making over $120,000 each annually. After Norwood Jewell resigned from his post in 2016 the UAW still paid him a full year’s salary of over $200,000 in 2017 and 2018."

" six of the top negotiators for the 2015 Fiat Chrysler sellout have been convicted or implicated of taking bribes by Chrysler executives to keep them “fat, dumb and happy” or misusing union funds for their personal benefits."

"Another UAW official, David Shoemaker, who added his signature to the GM sellout, may be familiar to veterans of the former Pontiac truck manufacturing complex. David Shoemaker is the son of former UAW Vice President Richard Shoemaker. The younger Shoemaker first got his cushy, annual $139,000-plus position on the International UAW staff in the wake of the 87-day strike in 1997 at the Pontiac truck manufacturing complex."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/10/21/jewe-o21.html

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 24, 2019, 11:51:49 PM
Krugman recants:

"during the 1990s, a number of economists, myself included, tried to figure out how much the changing trade landscape was contributing to rising inequality. They generally concluded that the effect was relatively modest and not the central factor in the widening income gap."

"Does the surge in the trade deficit explain the fall in employment? Yes, a lot of it. A reasonable estimate is that the deficit surge reduced the share of manufacturing in GDP by around 1.5 percentage points, or more than 10%, which means that it explains more than half the roughly 20% decline in manufacturing employment between 1997 and 2005."

But the words stick in his throat. He qualifies:

"It’s possible, and probably even correct, to think of these models as accurate in the long run."

"Consensus economists didn’t turn much to analytic methods that focus on workers in particular industries and communities, which would have given a better picture of short-run trends. This was, I now believe, a major mistake — one in which I shared a hand."

"To make partial excuses for those of us who failed to consider these issues 25 years ago, at the time we had no way to know ... "

That's your fucking job. You should have known. It's called due diligence. Before you screwed over a an entire generation. But of course, it's too late. There is no alternative.

" Rapid change now appears to be largely behind us: Many indicators suggest that hyperglobalization was a one-time event"

"We might have done things differently if we had known what was coming, but that’s not a good reason to turn back the clock"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-10-10/inequality-globalization-and-the-missteps-of-1990s-economics

Fuck off Paul. You sold a lot of people out. Of course, they weren't your kinda people anyway, they didnt count. Until they elected Trump.

I used to see him on the train to NY from Princeton in the early 2000's. By then the gutting of what remained of  the rust belt was almost complete.  Pity I didnt take the opportunity to kick him hard in the crotch. Someone should drag him outta his tony NY apartment and send him to live on a few hundred bux a month from a pizza delivery job in section 8 housing in Lordstown with no health insurance.

He might last a week, before one of the kids of the families he put on the street caps him.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: vox_mundi on October 25, 2019, 04:51:14 PM
Virtual Spaces Mirror Income Inequality
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-virtual-spaces-mirror-income-inequality.html

Income inequality drives social segregation and polarization not just in urban neighborhoods, but in online communities as well. That is the conclusion of a new paper by the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) published in Royal Society Open Science. Importantly, this societal fragmentation is more than just the top one percent versus the bottom 99: it exists between every economic class.

The Internet democratized the exchange of information, but the evolution of online social networks has mirrored the segregation of urban neighborhoods in real cities, according to NECSI's analysis of millions of tweets. Social media users have organized themselves into economically segregated echo-chambers. This breakup of information reinforces the fragmentation and polarization of communities.

... The results show that people primarily interact with their own socio-economic group. Different income groups are distant both in the physical space and online. They are neither found in the same places, nor discussing similar issues. This divide exists not just between the wealthy and the poor, but more granularly between socio-economic classes.

... Analysis of hashtags reveals the divergent topics being discussed in rich and poor neighborhoods. In American cities, lifestyle hashtags abound in richer areas, while sports, zodiac signs and horoscopes seem to be more popular in poorer areas.

Open Access: Alfredo J. Morales et al. Segregation and polarization in urban areas (https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.190573), Royal Society Open Science (2019)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on October 25, 2019, 06:46:35 PM
^^
Very interesting vox, thanks.
I have observed this. Great to have some science backup :).

This phenomenon is very dangerous. Dehumanizing. Us and them etc.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on October 25, 2019, 06:48:51 PM
I'd like to recommend this book in this thread: "Robert Tressell - The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ragged-Trousered_Philanthropists)".
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on October 26, 2019, 05:25:13 PM
Thanks Vox


That's both unexpected and more than a little disturbing.
I would have expected an intellectual/educational divide, but not one based on wealth/income.


Terry


Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on October 26, 2019, 06:54:09 PM
I think this is an example of surpremacy feelings inducing insanity/bad behaviour.

Thanks Terry!
It really ought to change one's worldview, don't you think?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Ranman99 on October 27, 2019, 02:57:55 AM
Well it does seem the hominid with it's hand stuck in the jar would be the most apt plaque for this lineage to leave behind ;-)  8)

Reminds me of the scene in Quest for Fire where the little fellow is having a go with the ladies when their tribe is attacked and the best he can do is go faster ;-)
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on October 27, 2019, 12:48:28 PM
  I had a visit from my benefits assessor – and now I fear the state more than poverty
  by Rob Palk

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/26/benefit-assessor-more-afraid-state-poverty

When the Department for Work and Pensions deemed me ineligible for payments, I realised: there is no safety net

 Quotes:
"Being accused of faking my visual impairment was my first experience of being treated like a criminal"

"Her report said that I had no visual impairment and could see well enough to drive. I was surprised by this, as I hadn’t been able to drive even when I could still see. It said I did not suffer from stress and anxiety, on the grounds that I was engaging, made eye contact and “seemed calm”. While this was flattering it didn’t consider that I had tried my best to be all these things because I was meeting someone with the power to ruin my life. The report complained that I went regularly to the theatre, without mentioning that I’d been working in a theatre and had to quit because of my condition.

It also observed that I “had written a novel”. This was my biggest mistake. Novelists are famously free from mental health problems and bad eyesight."

"The report concluded that I was ineligible for any payments. I lodged an appeal and waited. I’ve been waiting for 80-odd weeks.

During this wait my eyesight has got worse. I have had three more operations on my brain. I have written another novel and have done my best not to starve. I have got used to the panic when an unexpected bill has arrived, the sleepless nights from dreading an undetermined future."

"They wrote to me asking, more in sorrow than anger, why it had taken so long to chase the results of my appeal. The fact that I didn’t know it was happening only added to their suspicion."

"In periods of joblessness I resisted signing on, to avoid the threat of sanctions. I may have known my rights but it felt safer not to assert them."

"More than 17,000 people have reportedly died (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/pip-waiting-time-deaths-disabled-people-die-disability-benefits-personal-independence-payment-dwp-a8727296.html) while waiting to hear if they were eligible for PIP. Sometimes if you avoid tackling a problem for long enough, the problem goes away."

&

Link to interesting comment BTL:
https://discussion.theguardian.com/comment-permalink/134778479
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on October 28, 2019, 05:19:41 AM
Presser at propublica on medical debt in Kansas town: The system, the judge, the victims and the vultures

"medical debt collection day, a monthly ritual in this quiet city of 9,000"

"Some wore eye patches and bandages; others limped to their seats by the wood-paneled walls."

"had to take a day off from work to be there ... if he didn’t show up, he could be put in jail."

"four months pregnant, she had reported a money order scam to her local sheriff’s office only to discover that she had a warrant; she was arrested on the spot. A radiologist had sued her over a $230 bill, and she’d missed one hearing too many. Another woman said she watched, a decade ago, as a deputy came to the door for her diabetic aunt and took her to jail in her final years of life. "

"Judges don’t need a law degree in Kansas"

"The first collector of the day was also the most notorious: Michael Hassenplug, a private attorney representing doctors and ambulance services. Every three months, Hassenplug called the same nonpaying defendants to court"

" If debtors can post bail, the judge almost always applies the money to the debt. Hassenplug, like any collector working on commission, gets a cut of the cash he brings in."

"Some debtors who have been arrested owed as little as $28."

"Since the Affordable Care Act of 2010, prices for medical services have ballooned; insurers have nearly tripled deductibles — the amount a person pays before their coverage kicks in — and raised premiums and copays, as well. As a result, tens of millions of people without adequate coverage are expected to pay larger portions of their rising bills."

"The sickest patients are often the most indebted, and they’re not exempt from arrest. In Indiana, a cancer patient was hauled away from home in her pajamas in front of her three children; too weak to climb the stairs to the women’s area of the jail, she spent the night in a men’s mental health unit where an inmate smeared feces on the wall. In Utah, a man who had ignored orders to appear over an unpaid ambulance bill told friends he would rather die than go to jail; the day he was arrested, he snuck poison into the cell and ended his life."

"collection attorneys have turned this courtroom into a government-sanctioned shakedown"

"Each time she woke up, she repeated: “Don’t take me to the hospital.” "

"Biggs was still on the hook for the bill that had landed him in jail; bail had covered only part of it, and the rest was growing with 12% annual interest. The hospital had garnished his wages, and the radiologist had garnished his bank account, seizing contributions that his family had raised for Lane’s care. Living on $25,000 a year, Biggs couldn’t afford to buy insurance. His family was on food stamps but didn’t qualify for Medicaid, a federal insurance program for people in poverty. Other states were about to expand it to cover the working poor, but not Kansas, which limited it"

"five perfectly maintained motorcycles, Yamahas and Suzukis, were propped in a line. To their left, nine pristine, candy-colored cars were arranged – a Camaro SS with orange stripes, a Pontiac Trans Am, a vintage Silverado pickup with velvet seats. He [Hassenplug] toured me around the show cars, peering into their windows, and mused about what his hard work had gotten him."

Read and weep:

https://features.propublica.org/medical-debt/when-medical-debt-collectors-decide-who-gets-arrested-coffeyville-kansas/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on October 28, 2019, 07:57:01 AM
Thanks sidd for all your great posts here regarding horrors of the USA.

For all the poor people at the receiving end, it really is HELL.
Social security? Safety net? Nope. Just trying to survive in HELL.

Put in jail, just because of being ill and poor. What a dystopia. Imagine it happening to you!

Do empathy and social cohesion still exist?
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on October 28, 2019, 08:49:51 AM
Thanks sidd for all your great posts here regarding horrors of the USA.

For all the poor people at the receiving end, it really is HELL.
Social security? Safety net? Nope. Just trying to survive in HELL.

Put in jail, just because of being ill and poor. What a dystopia. Imagine it happening to you!

Do empathy and social cohesion still exist?


Although it's the elderly and enfeebled that initially are effected, their relatives and prospective heirs will ultimately foot much of the bill. Those directly affected are too weakened to put up much of a fight, but once the heirs understand that they have been robbed a backlash may occur.


Fear that "others" will be advantaged is often what drives voting white Americans. That and $Billions well spent on propaganda.


Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on October 28, 2019, 09:43:19 AM
Thanks for the information Terry.
Please note that poor people don't have heirs or inheritance to worry about. Those are rich peoples' worries ;).

In my post about the UK benefits system, it is not just the elderly and feeble but everyone who is in need of a safety net to survive.
The NHS health system in the UK is still far superior to the USA systems.

In the Netherlands many councils put unemployed <50yo people who are receiving benefits, to mandatory work. A lot of times at a conveyer belt without a contract, a salary, a prospect of a contract or fitting work. It is slave labour. If you refuse to work as a slave you can and likely will get financially sanctioned by those councils.
Most working poor people here have no job security. No contract. My last job-secure contract was with Reader's Digest and ended in 1999. Afterwards only a couple of 1 year contracts and the rest zero-hours contract, stand-by contract, outplacement contract. All temporary and insecure. If you're over 50yo your chances are even lower.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 02, 2019, 01:05:08 AM
Slave markets in your pocket: Google, Facebook, Apple

"The sellers almost all advocated confiscating the women's passports, confining them to the house, denying them any time off and giving them little or no access to a phone.

The 4Sale app allowed you to filter by race, with different price brackets clearly on offer, according to category.

"African worker, clean and smiley," said one listing. Another: "Nepalese who dares to ask for a day off."

When speaking to the sellers, the undercover team frequently heard racist language. "Indians are the dirtiest," said one, describing a woman being advertised.  "

 "Trust me she's very nice, she laughs and has a smiley face. Even if you keep her up till 5am she won't complain."

"You will find someone buying a maid for 600 KD ($2,000), and selling her on for 1,000 KD ($3,300),"

"no significant action has been taken against the platforms"

" at the time of publication, hundreds of domestic workers were still being traded on Haraj, Instagram and other apps"

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-50228549

sidd

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Hefaistos on November 03, 2019, 11:47:48 AM
Fascinating research reported in Scientific american.
The origins of inequality are hotly debated, but might have been hiding in plain sight—in a well-known quirk of arithmetic. This method uses agent-based models of wealth distribution , which begin with an individual transaction between two “agents” or actors, each trying to optimize his or her own financial outcome.
If you simulate a very simple transactional economy, a variant of the yard sale model, you will get a remarkable result: after a large number of transactions between, say, 1000 agents, one agent ends up as an “oligarch” holding practically all the wealth of the economy, and the other 999 end up with virtually nothing.
It does not matter how much wealth people started with. It does not matter that all the coin flips were absolutely fair. It does not matter that the poorer agent's expected outcome was positive in each transaction, whereas that of the richer agent was negative. Any single agent in this economy could have become the oligarch—in fact, all had equal odds if they began with equal wealth. In that sense, there was equality of opportunity. But only one of them did become the oligarch, and all the others saw their average wealth decrease toward zero as they conducted more and more transactions. To add insult to injury, the lower someone's wealth ranking, the faster the decrease.

This outcome is especially surprising because it holds even if all the agents started off with identical wealth and were treated symmetrically.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-inequality-inevitable/
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: gandul on November 03, 2019, 01:07:10 PM
@Heifastos Fascinating and very important piece of scientific work providing evidence of the falsity of "trickle down" economics (and possibly remedies to help valiant politicians).
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: Neven on November 03, 2019, 03:19:25 PM
Thanks for this, Hefaistos. That's very interesting.
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: blumenkraft on November 03, 2019, 03:34:31 PM
+1
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 04, 2019, 01:36:58 AM
I've been following Boghosian for more than a decade now, and i like his work. But i must point out the importance of this para in his SciAm article, that shows how the game is rigged from the start:

“What if I stay for 10 flips of the coin? A likely outcome is that five of them will come up heads and that the other five will come up tails. Each time heads comes up, my ante is multiplied by 1.2. Each time tails comes up, my ante is multiplied by 0.83. After five wins and five losses in any order, the amount of money remaining on the table will be:

1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 x 0.83 x 0.83 x 0.83 x 0.83 x 0.83 x $100 = $98.02

so I will have lost about $2 of my original $100 ante.”

Following Bogossian's notation let the fraction won or lost be w. The simplify the case above to just two transactions. The most probable outcome is that you win once and lose once, for a net resultant wealth of (1+w)(1-w)=1-w^2 which is strictly less than one. Your probable outcome in a repeated game is a loss of wealth.  In general for N repetitions of this game, the most probably outcome is (1-w)^(N/2)  * (1+w)^(N/2) =  ( 1 - w^2)^(N/2) strictly less than one. With some work you can show by summing over all the expected outcomes in pascal's triangle that you will lose.

The rest of his work is showing how this game screws you and some mitigating and exacerbating factors. Nice read all about it. The second paper in the references to the article can be found as open access at arxiv.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 10, 2019, 06:19:40 AM
Some may recall my post in June about a friend, now dead.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1482.msg207954.html#msg207954

I went by an stuck my head in the door, found her crying. They're coming after his wife for the medical bills. the only money left is from a life insurance policy, and the couple had some equity in the house. Both together fall far short of the bills. They gonna put her on the street.

What really worries me is that there are firearms in the house, and she might use one on herself.  I might have to go over and take em away, tell her that i'm gonna get them appraised. Hate to see another death of despair.

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: sidd on November 10, 2019, 06:26:43 AM
Speri interviews Karakatsanis at the intercept on the criminal injustice system in the USA:

"The American legal system ... has been an instrument of ruling class oppression. The legal system, from its founding, was about preserving distributions of wealth and property and white supremacy. "

" if you don’t attack the underlying systems of oppression that lead to a problem, a court ruling isn’t going to solve them."

"we use terms like “law enforcement,” which make it seem like we enforce all laws against all people, when in fact law enforcement in this country just enforces some laws against some people. The language that we use is really important."

"It’s just a really significant bureaucratic achievement to transfer that many people and their bodies and their lives into government-run cages. And to do that, the system basically has to ignore the main constitutional rights that are provided for in the Bill of Rights"

"The way that law is enforced reflects distributions of power in our society."

"If you actually think that its purpose is controlling certain populations, oppressing certain people, conserving the hierarchies of wealth and power, then it’s actually functioning very well. And the people who’ve been running our criminal legal system for decades aren’t stupid. They weren’t trying to do one thing but woefully failed, they were trying to do what the system has been doing, which is to keep certain people controlled."

"It’s a massive bureaucracy, and what do bureaucracies do? They try to expand and preserve themselves."

https://theintercept.com/2019/11/09/criminal-justice-mass-incarceration-book/

sidd
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: TerryM on November 10, 2019, 04:17:16 PM
Some may recall my post in June about a friend, now dead.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1482.msg207954.html#msg207954 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1482.msg207954.html#msg207954)

I went by an stuck my head in the door, found her crying. They're coming after his wife for the medical bills. the only money left is from a life insurance policy, and the couple had some equity in the house. Both together fall far short of the bills. They gonna put her on the street.

What really worries me is that there are firearms in the house, and she might use one on herself.  I might have to go over and take em away, tell her that i'm gonna get them appraised. Hate to see another death of despair.

sidd
Jesus - I'm sorry for him, sorry for her, sorry for you, sorry for their friends & fearful for any family they might have. - are they now in line for the bill(s)?


When I left 15 years ago the misnamed Health Care System was broken. I watched friends die from botched procedures, misdiagnosis, & suicide after botched procedures and misdiagnosis took their toll. Almost all had comprehensive HMOs & at least no one went after their modest estates.


I "saved" a neighbor from suicide, but I'm unsure that I did him a favor. He died 2 operations and 5 years later, after adjusting to pooping into an odiferous bag taped to his side.


I hope this isn't too goolish, but would they have escaped this outcome if he'd survived until 63, or whatever the minimum age is for Medicare/Medicaid? Would lowering the minimum age for these programs help in a case like this?


Stay busy sidd.
Know that your posts are very much appreciated. You've opened many eyes, and many hearts.
Terry
Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on November 10, 2019, 05:19:03 PM
Quote
Stay busy sidd.
Know that your posts are very much appreciated. You've opened many eyes, and many hearts.
Terry
Thank you Terry for your general capacity of empathy

Seconded. Your posts are of high quality and I learn a lot, thanks sidd. I think you are a beautiful human.

Title: Re: Economic Inequality
Post by: nanning on November 17, 2019, 10:09:37 AM
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/15/here-are-some-of-the-real-quiet-australians