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Income Inequality

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Humor and Spoofs' started by Texas_Signmaker, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I hear this all the time and my first thought on why the rich get richer is because of inflation. Inflation goes up but the bottom can't get lower. Someone with $0 in savings will still have $0 30 years from now, while someone who has $100,000 will have $1,000,000.

    My other thought was the internet. Back in the 60s, you were really limited by physical locations. Nowadays, your not limited to who can buy your product. If ya got a good idea it could really blow up, which allowed some people to become very rich.

    The other thing that wasn't my idea but made sense to me was the Globalization of the marketplace. Instead of selling to Americans we now can sell all over the world and that has made some people richer.

    --

    We still shouldn't loose sight on thinking about how to help the working poor. Some can't be helped because of poor life choices like drug abuse. But it is disturbing when companies have huge balance sheets and don't spread that out to their low-wage workers.. to me that's greed.

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    CAN we try not to act like fools in this thread? Why not try the one (or two) post rule? I'm only posting once.. If you post 20 times and still can't get your point across then you need to take a break and work on communication skills. Let's not have a "Googled news link" battle. There are very intelligent people here and I enjoy reading their responses, and there are some that act like 10 years olds. I have faith that we can make one thread look civilized.
     
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  2. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    The maintenance guy for the property we rent came in today. He's been working for these MF'ers for for 8 years. The family that owns this property has HUNDREDS of millions of dollars worth of commercial and residential real estate that they inherited from their father's family.... who were literal NJ mobsters in the 50s-60s-70s. They pay this dude close to minimum wage, gave him a pickup truck but its an old POS and they don't even pay for the gas to get between locations. No health insurance, no vacation, no sick time. Which I just informed him is illegal. A NJ law went into effect last year requiring all employees to earn 1 hr of PTO for every 30 hours they work. He had no idea about the new law.

    And what sucks is this dude feels like he has no other options but to keep doing their dirty work with poverty wages because he has a criminal record and doesn't believe he can be employed by anyone else.
     
  3. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

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    You remove the fairness doctrine, buy media stations, spread lies and misinformation, and corrupt the minds of millions of people to vote against their interests.

    Certain groups and people have been trying to exploit and destroy our systems for years and years in order to benefit a select few.

    The other element is people's complete misunderstanding of how a capitalist society is supposed to work. People think regulations are not capitalistic. That's 100% false. Regulations are put into place by the people via elected officials. It's supposed to represent a unified voice of the people, similar to how Unions work.

    But this goes back to point one. If you elect someone corrupt because you've been brain washed by misinformation and a lack of choice, then you can't have the system properly regulated, and rampant corruption occurs.

    Now let's pretend I'm a moral business person. I want to pay my employees well and treat people fairly. If I'm competing against 5 other companies and 2 of them are not moral business persons, 1 is edging that way, and the other is similar to me, guess what's going to happen? Now we're saying "In order to be successful, you need to be a scum bag" and frankly, that's proven pretty accurate and we've elected a President BECAUSE he's a scum bag. They see it as a positive trait.
     
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  4. AF

    AF Premium Subscriber

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    Release the toad...
     
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  5. gnemmas

    gnemmas Active Member

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    It might be God's intention. How else will He created people that have different behavior and make their own choices? You can not social engineer out of his creation. Communism tried, socialism tried. It is against human nature..oops, God's creation.

    We can give every household $100,000/year. Some will turn it into millions, some will live within it, some will blow it in a few month and borrowing from the first group with high interest to live until next pay.

    - higher income families have lower child birth rate.

    - low income families have higher obesity rate.
     
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  6. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Feelings, morals, religion and politics all aside, this exponential income inequality growth is a threat to our economic future as a whole, including the 1 percenters.
     
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  7. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Income inequality is total crap... I'm sorry it is. In the US we have a thing called freedom. We chose the situations we are in and we can chose to change those situations mostly through hard work and sacrifice but sometimes by luck and birthright. If we don't like something, we can stop complaining and start working, move, take risks, vote, etc. Nothing in life is free!

    Case in point, I know of a installer that we have worked with who was living in his truck. He never gave up and one day put his mind to work and ending up coming up with a product that he just recently sold 500,000 units of. He is on a fast track to being comfortable and he isn't well off, privileged, or even white (if people think that matters) he just believed in himself to get out of his situation.
     
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  8. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    Basing one's opinions of something on personal perceptions, anecdotal evidence from a few outlier examples, etc. leaves out an enormous amount of evidence based facts and statistics about the true state of our economy and how it is structured and tilted against the working classes.
     
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  9. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    I think income inequality is a serious and worsening problem. But I think it's a symptom of much worse, structural issues in our economy/society that are unsustainable over the long term. The high costs of health care, higher education, housing and government debt all add up to something that has me very worried over what could be happening when I'm eligible to retire about 20 years from now.

    I've mentioned this before in a couple other discussion threads, but I'm really worried about the high and rising costs of Parenthood. US birth rates are already plummeting to new record lows. If something like a Japan-style baby bust takes hold for the long term our government will go broke due to massive demographic imbalance. Too many elderly, retired people and not enough working age tax payers to sustain the system.

    More young adults in America than ever before are opting out of having kids. Some of it is a social thing, like women wanting more freedom to pursue careers or interests and then think about having kids later. A bunch of the problem is the very high cost of the lifestyle choice to become a parent.

    This is where I'm most concerned about income inequality. The divide isn't just along racial lines, it's also generational. Many young adults are struggling badly. We have a giant $1.5 trillion student loan debt bubble that is growing rapidly. And that's just one of the financial head winds young adults face just trying to get a start on their lives. Even though they're of prime child-bearing age, people in their 20's and early 30's are seeing parenthood as more of an unaffordable luxury. That could be bad for the nation if the trend persists or worsens over the long term. Our nation cannot survive without a steady supply of new Americans being born. Without enough new Americans our tax base will shrink too much to sustain the giant amount of old people no longer of working age. We won't have enough young adults to staff our military, not to mention services like police, fire, etc.
     
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  10. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    This topic tends to get stuck in what you are saying and I could not agree more with what you said. Its really about the concentrated control of wealth and the economic implications that come with it and much less about entitlement. It's been made into a "fairness" argument which IMO is total BS for the reasons you already stated. OTOH, the fairness thing does hold some water if you take into consideration the mass amounts of mergers/acquisitions that have happened in the past 10-15 years coupled with this move to require employees to sign non-competes. With much less competition on the employer side, there's less pressure on wages and you can really get stuck.
    This leads into another topic that has been widely discussed here, concentration of ownership within industries. There are far less options today to purchase materials so little can be done to control those prices. We have all seen it and it really puts undue strain on small businesses. So, I think the more beneficial approach would be to start taking a harder stance on these mergers that concentrate the ownership of industries and some of this could possibly work itself out in the wash.
     
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  11. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Ill take the other side of the student loan argument. When I went to school I worked dang near full time, while my buddys got to go out and party anytime they wanted. I was a bit of an outlier, hardly any of my friends had to work, either ma and pa paid everything, they racked up tons of cc debt or they kept hitting up the bank. I got my 4 year with 0 debt. My wife worked part time while she got her RN license. Then worked full time while she went back for her masters and did all of her clinicals while working 45+ hrs/wk. $5k in debt when it was all said and done. I wont argue the higher cost of tuition but what's happening is people are getting this money and using it for crap besides tuition. In addition, they use school as an excuse to not work and just keep racking up the debt.
     
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  12. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    I'm sure there is still plenty of students abusing the generosity of their parents, lenders, etc. but the reality is that the overall COST of going to college and to live near the school has risen dramatically in the last decade alone. Tracking its rise since the 70's will blow your mind.

    Many of us forget that until the late 70's a resident student could go to most state colleges for peanuts. Higher education has become big business and many of those bankers, investors, etc. driving those costs are of an age which THEIR education cost them much, much less.

    We live near a major university and know lots of students. We also eat out, shop in, recreate, etc. in the town CalPoly is in. EVERY business we patronize has no shortage of students working their tails off trying to afford to live and study in one of the most expensive cities in the entire state. We see it in their eyes and a recently conducted study revealed an outrageously large number of students living in their vehicles and/or homeless.

    When an average future doctor, attorney, etc. accrues $500,000 in student debt, it's not all being spent on kegs and weed.
     
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  13. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Show me hard proof that there is a dark entity working to pigeon hole the entire working populace into a no-win scenario. There is 0 evidence that income equality is an essential requirement to life! Let not even go down the path of religion, let's look at science and natural order for 1 second... Nothing in nature is built equal, you can have 2 exactly the same creatures and 1 will be greater than the other. you can have 2 atoms and 1 will expel the other, you can have 2 galaxies and 1 will swallow the other.

    Income inequality is an excuse for laziness, it is the ludicrous idea that your neighbor should take care of you because they had more motivation to become better off. I'm sorry, when I felt at my last job I wasn't getting paid enough or being treated right, I left and started my own company. I risked my families livelihood and sacrificed and have spent now 10 years working towards being comfortable. Do I ever feel like someone else owes me more because I want better, heck no... I want to earn everything in my life.
     
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  14. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    I agree that college costs have become a bit out of hand but that is a point independent of the student debt issue. My wife could have went on through a bridge program to become an MD but that would have required us to move. That route would be nowhere near 500k, maybe 100 tops. Just like everything else in life, if you can not afford to do something, figure out other options to make it work or at least to minimize the impact. There is no excuse that I will bite on for people leaving school with this crazy amount of debt aside from being an MD of some sort. But that route will lead you to an instant 6 figure job with no ladder climbing needed and yields a great ROI. It is the only one though.
     
  15. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    You are ignoring the destabilizing social factors that are driving the concern about income and wealth disparity by people along the entire wealth spectrum.

    Nobody is saying a field worker on a farm should make what a doctor earns, but the simple fact that more and more workers are losing ground, not being compensated for their contributions to the success of their companies should concern anyone worried about our future as a society. Bobby H nailed it and you gloss right over his dose of reality because it doesn't fit your bias and the narrative you want promoted.

    By nearly any statistical data you want to reference, Americans are the most productive workers on earth. To believe your assertions, you have to ignore that fact.

    We also receive and take advantage of the lowest amount of leisure time ( paid vacation ), least generous social safety net benefits, affordable access to good quality higher education, decent healthcare, etc.

    These are all signs that all is not well in all this "freedom" some of you think exists. This isn't about ideological beliefs, this is about the survivability of a society. It used to take x number of workers taxes to fund the Social Security and Medicare costs of the average working class retiree. Thanks to far higher healthcare costs, longer life expectancy and far lower numbers of pension plans being offered workers, it now takes far more workers to cover that same retiree. AI and fewer workers overall will collide with the federal government's needs, debt service as well as enormous expenditures on climate change related catastrophes. Where will it come from? The upper classes have enjoyed a 40 year run at the expense of everyone else and it's time to rein it in and rebalance the ledger.

    Almost 50% of full time workers earn less than $30k per year. Henry Ford would be rolling in his grave if he knew that so many workers will never be able to afford one of his new cars.

    Almost 75% have less than $400 in savings. One car breakdown, one minor medical emergency, one set back and most of these folks are living meal to meal, not the paycheck to paycheck they are currently constrained by.

    How about age discrimination? Ever read any stories about highly paid workers 50 and above who lose long held jobs being confronted by an economy that has passed them by and now pits them against the young recent college graduate willing to work for ANYTHING if it helps retire their student debt and pay rent?

    If you think those factors are caused by laziness, lack of ambition, work ethic or effort, you must be completely isolated from those around you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
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  16. StarSign

    StarSign Active Member

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    We now live in a world of instant gratification. I want it now and if I don't get it, it's societies fault. No one want to work hard to work their way up. Fast food used to be an entry level workforce position, part time for high school kids. Now people think a fast food wage should support a family and a new home. I also think much of this is caused by people not knowing how to budget and manage their money. I have worked with plenty of people over the years who constantly over extend themselves to keep up with the Jones', only to be digging a deeper hole. I see employees, eating out 5 days a week, 150 channels on the TV, a pack a day habit, and they visit Disneyland twice a year, but they don't understand the concept of rent or a house payment due on the 1st of the month. We read a study about what motivates people and for all the complaining about money, it's never the top of the list.
     
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  17. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    People wanting more and giving less is an issue seen across all socioeconomic levels. Laziness, an unwillingness for people to solve their own problems, irresponsibility, crappy attitudes, mismatched priorities, apathy etc is no doubt a gigantic problem that also needs addressed. That doesn't diminish or nullify income inequality and the wealth concentration though. It exists in absence of the losers.
     
  18. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Again, TimToad those things you are listing come down to choices. We don't have to have health insurance, we don't have to have kids, we don't have to pay taxes, we don't have to have welfare, we don't have to have any of those things to survive.

    There were studies that have shown the Human lifespan, based on nature, should be around 50 years but because of advancements in socialized living and medicine, we are far outliving that. So would you not agree that we are altering nature and creating our own downfall? If we were to go back 250 years at the birth of industrialization, where the average lifespan was in the 40s, would we not say that we were on natures course and our greed to live longer and to gain more material is our own defeat?

    Unless one study shows me that us fixing the inequality of Pay is sustainable and that our natural life has been inhibited prior to fixing that gap, I would still be reasonable to say that income inequality is total crap. To me, we are living beyond our means as it is.
     
  19. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

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    1. It's propaganda to suggest anyone can become rich/successful with hard work and dedication. Selling that idea is part of why we're here in this position. Is there some truth to it? Absolutely. Is it really true? No. There's a plethora of statistics that show upward mobility is quite limited when you start really looking at the numbers. You can move from $35k to $100k but to move from $35k to $500k is just a statistical anomaly.

    2. People don't seem to understand income inequality. They always make it about people wanting hand outs or people being lazy. This is simply not the case. It's about equitable distribution of wealth. It's actually a subject the vast majority of Americans agree upon. This is an oldie, but a goodie that basically explains the situation.

    Now ultimately this discussion boils down to wages vs cost of living. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-ta...rs-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/ https://www.investopedia.com/ask/an...-current-cost-living-compare-20-years-ago.asp

    This shows basically that wages haven't increased and have basically remained flat over time. This isn't inherently bad. It's basically saying that a plumber in 1980 made the same amount of money as a plumber in 2019. The problem is cost of living. Simply put, it's more expensive, when taking inflation into account, than it was 20-30 years ago. Now as other posters have mentioned, the kicker is the cost to earn the same wage. A high school diploma was good enough to get you a good paying job 20-30 years ago. The cost of a 4 year degree was reasonable. Now the cost to get a job making $60k a year is roughly $100-150k a year. That's a dramatic change, especially when you figure in compounding interest on 7%.

    So all of this is not necessarily unique to America or the world. We've had periods of time where life wasn't necessarily ideal. The kicker is, generally speaking, American businesses are doing REALLY well. They are making tons of money. Economic growth among the 1% is insane. It's a completely different trend line compared to that of "normal" people. So the businesses are doing incredibly well while Americans, generally, are just hanging on. This is where the anger and despair comes from. They're working. Doing a good job. Trying their best. But the money simply is not trickling down.
     
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  20. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I'm so proud of y'all, most of the replies have been thought provoking and very little hostility. This has been a good read.
     
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