## Income Disparity

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### Income Disparity

That the U.S. is currently suffering a giant gap in wealth distribution is way past obvious. So what are the possible solutions? I don't wanna hear the simplistic "kill the lawyers" or "just work hard and bootstrap yourself into affluence". They are solutions, but they resort to violence or are destined to fail from the outset.

What are some plausible realistic steps that could be taken to begin reversing this ugly trend? We are supposedly intelligent people so lets apply those bright lights and come up with some solutions that would actually work. Being a little light on the intelligence part, I have a couple of lame ideas that might work, but I invite all you brilliant people to weigh in. What are the fixes?
IGAYRCCFYVM
Sorry, arguing with the ignorant is like trying to wrestle with a jellyfish. No matter how many tentacles you cut off there are always more, and there isn't even a brain to stun. - Maia

I don't take know for an answer.
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### Re: Income Disparity

Kathrina wrote:
phyllo wrote:
The United States have one of the developed world's largest income gap between rich and poor.

That's certainly a cause for discontent.

That's a reason for riots!

I think that riots are no solution. They are not more than the antithesis in a Hegelian dialectic sense.

So the injustice goes on, the gap between rich and poor will increase.

Kathrina

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### Re: Income Disparity

Arminius wrote:
Alf wrote:POVERTY almost evrywhere IN THE USA

....

MAKE IT GREAT AGAIN?

1% of all US people has 40% of all the nation's wealth. And the poorest 80% of all US people have merely 7% of all the nation's wealth.

Watch the video Serendipper posted (especially 4:41–4:54):

Arminius wrote:
Serendipper wrote:

Thought experiment: Is there anything that one human can do 400X better than another human? Can someone be 400X smarter? Even if the dumbest guy had an iq of 1, a 400 iq is off the chart. Can someone lift 400X more weight? 1000lb is the record bench press, so the weakest person would have to only bench 2.5lbs for a 400X differential. What could possibly justify someone making 400X more money than the AVERAGE person? Being 400X more sleazy I reckon.

According to your video the richest 20% of the US have more than 80% of all the US wealth, the richest 1% of the US have 40% all the US wealth, the poorest 80% of the US have more merely 7% of all the US wealth.

Maybe I will have to change my thoughts about the wealth inequality in the USA.

Arminius wrote:.... 2006:

The richest Finnish 20% have 35% of the Finnish income (GNP).
The poorest Finnish 80% have 65% of the Finnish income (GNP).
The richest German 20% have 40% of the German income (GNP).
The poorest German 80% have 60% of the German income (GNP).
The richest US 20% have 47% of the US income (GNP).
The poorest US 80% have 53% of the US income (GNP).

The richest Brazilian 20% have 65% of the Brazilian income (GNP).
The poorest Brazilian 80% have 35% of the Brazilian income (GNP).

Maybe that the richest Brazilian 20% have already 80% of the Brazilian income (GNP). So at last we will possibly see the following scenario in the world: 20% of all humans have 80% of the global income. So 80% of all humans have merely 20% of the global income. (Cp. Pareto distribution.) ....
Last edited by Arminius on Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

Arminius
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### Re: Income Disparity

"The other guy is the problem". "If only he would change".

More 'us versus them' thinking.
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
phyllo
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### Re: Income Disparity

Kathrina wrote:I think that riots are no solution. They are not more than the antithesis in a Hegelian dialectic sense.

So the injustice goes on, the gap between rich and poor will increase.

I am afraid that you are right.

Arminius
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### Re: Income Disparity

A few questions come to mind when reading the first post:

1. What does wealth distribution look like, ideally? (Assuming the numbers are all that matter)
2. Is there an example of a country that has a more equitable distribution of wealth? What are the numbers like? In comparison to the U.S.?
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### Re: Income Disparity

demoralized wrote:A few questions come to mind when reading the first post:

1. What does wealth distribution look like, ideally? (Assuming the numbers are all that matter)
2. Is there an example of a country that has a more equitable distribution of wealth? What are the numbers like? In comparison to the U.S.?

1. I think it would be safe to assume that an ideal situation would have at least 90% of a society earning a living wage. And what might that be? There might be several definitions of "living wage". I'd be open to any suggestions. I don't believe that numbers are the only criteria, but that's the way we currently keep score.

2. The disparity seems to be quite severe no matter where you look, but I really don't know for sure. That might be another interesting research project. Some society might actually have some workable solutions. If they do, they're keeping it a secret.
IGAYRCCFYVM
Sorry, arguing with the ignorant is like trying to wrestle with a jellyfish. No matter how many tentacles you cut off there are always more, and there isn't even a brain to stun. - Maia

I don't take know for an answer.
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### Re: Income Disparity

demoralized wrote:Is there an example of a country that has a more equitable distribution of wealth? What are the numbers like? In comparison to the U.S.?

All other countries of the first world (developed countries) have a more equitable distribution of wealth than the United States of America have.

Kathrina

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### Re: Income Disparity

Because you believe in such massive national and global economies, the most stable wealth distribution will always be:
$$W = \frac{1}{1 + x^2}$$
.. not a great deal different than the current global economy.

Money is a crude measure of affluence, which is a social term for Affectance. Need more be said?

The "solution" - stop forming such massive economies (of course nothing is a solution if never applied).
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 25425
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

### Re: Income Disparity

James S Saint wrote:Because you believe in such massive national and global economies, the most stable wealth distribution will always be:
$$W = \frac{1}{1 + x^2}$$
.. not a great deal different than the current global economy.

Money is a crude measure of affluence, which is a social term for Affectance. Need more be said?

The "solution" - stop forming such massive economies (of course nothing is a solution if never applied).

Please explain how shifting the economy from global to local changes the equation. I can see how it might reduce the complexity of myriad middlemen, but how does it change greed and the lust for power? It seems possible that a global economy is simply local human activity writ large.
IGAYRCCFYVM
Sorry, arguing with the ignorant is like trying to wrestle with a jellyfish. No matter how many tentacles you cut off there are always more, and there isn't even a brain to stun. - Maia

I don't take know for an answer.
tentative
.

Posts: 12360
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Idaho

### Re: Income Disparity

demoralized wrote:A few questions come to mind when reading the first post:

1. What does wealth distribution look like, ideally? (Assuming the numbers are all that matter)

In my mind: A small number of Upper Class at the top (5%), the majority of people in the Middle Class (85%), a small number of lower class (5%) and poor at the bottom (5%).

Upper class=$200,000-$1,000,000
Middle class=$50,000-$199,999
Lower class=$30,000-$49,999
Poor=$0-$29,999
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.

WendyDarling
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### Re: Income Disparity

In the posted video certain people had to say what the ideal situation of wealth distribution in the United States should be ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM&t=24s ). 92% of them said that for instance the richest 20% should have 30% and the poorest 20% should have 10% of the nation's wealth. This is not even the case in Finland, one of the nations that have a much fairer distribution than the United States have.

Arminius wrote:.... 2006:

The richest Finnish 20% have 35% of the Finnish income (GNP).
**

In that posted video is said that 1% of all US people has 40% of all the nation’s wealth ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM&t=281s ) and that the poorest 80% of all US people have merely 7% of all the nation’s wealth ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM&t=286s ), so that the richest 20% of all US people have 93% of all the nation’s wealth, wheras for instance the richest Finnish 20% have 35% and the poorest Finnish 80% have 65% of the Finnish nation's wealth.

In other words: 92% of the US people who have been asked answered that they wish to have a distribution of the nation’s wealth that is even a bit better than - for example - the Finnish one, which is one of the best on this planet.

Arminius
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### Re: Income Disparity

James S Saint wrote:Because you believe in such massive national and global economies, the most stable wealth distribution will always be:
$$W = \frac{1}{1 + x^2}$$
.. not a great deal different than the current global economy.

Money is a crude measure of affluence, which is a social term for Affectance. Need more be said?

The "solution" - stop forming such massive economies (of course nothing is a solution if never applied).

Those who formed, form and will form such massive economies, didn't, don't and won't stop forming them.

Kathrina

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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:50 am

### Re: Income Disparity

Kathrina wrote:
James S Saint wrote:Those who formed, form and will form such massive economies, didn't, don't and won't stop forming them.

Then don't ask them to. What happens is the combination of what is and what you cause. When asking doesn't cause what you wish, stop asking.

tentative wrote:Please explain how shifting the economy from global to local changes the equation.

Your concern is the disparity between the highest wealth and the lowest. When all of the wealth is under the same domain, the highest will always be that tiny little portion on top of the pyramid. But then imagine that instead of having a single huge pyramid, there are 100,000,000 pyramids. The same "highest wealth" is now distributed over 100,000,000 people. And even better is the fact that the lowest not only didn't get any lower, but are now closer to the wealthiest. They have more in common. They know each other. They know of each other's problems. And if done properly, they even know why each is doing what they do. There comes common understanding between the highest and the lowest.

The result of such nearness tends to be a blending of affluence, wherein there isn't a great deal of difference in suffrage. Isn't it really the equality of suffrage that you are after?

tentative wrote:I can see how it might reduce the complexity of myriad middlemen, but how does it change greed and the lust for power?

All behavior .. ALL .. behavior .. of conscious beings is due entirely to Perception of Hope and Threat, PHT. To alter any behavior, simply alter the person's perception of hope and threat. Greed and lust are no exception. When the need is no longer perceived and the hope has found a new home, the behavior WILL change in every case without exception. There is no option.

You merely have to cast a stone in the eye of David.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 25425
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

### Re: Income Disparity

They are solutions, but they resort to violence

The system itself is based on violence, as its rules are enforced by police and military.

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### Re: Income Disparity

James S Saint wrote:
Kathrina wrote:
James S Saint wrote:Those who formed, form and will form such massive economies, didn't, don't and won't stop forming them.

Then don't ask them to. What happens is the combination of what is and what you cause. When asking doesn't cause what you wish, stop asking.

But I didn't, don't and won't ask them.

Kathrina

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### Re: Income Disparity

Violent overthrow of the system is likely to end in a much more unequal system, as rights and norms of equality are cast aside by whoever is in charge. I don't think the history of violent overthrow justifies an expectation that it would end in a more egalitarian system.

Better is to elect politicians that think that redistribution is a worth goal, and keep pressure on them to pass incremental reforms towards a more equal society. Things like changing capital gains tax and expanding EITC and child benefits are small but make a big difference over time. More radical reforms would include implementing a national land value tax and decreasing income taxes. Taxing income makes social mobility harder, and taxing land is about as close as we can realistically get to a wealth tax, since a lot of wealth is held in the form of land.

The whole idea of just wiping out the entire system is just lazy. Yeah, we all wish we'd done things a little differently in the past, but we've also improved a lot of lives in the interim. And there are many more ways to make things worse than there are to make things better. We should keep what we have and make it better slowly; the alternative is not to make it better quickly, it's to make it worse quickly.
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Carleas
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### Re: Income Disparity

Better is to elect politicians that think that redistribution is a worth goal, and keep pressure on them to pass incremental reforms towards a more equal society.

Explain how to keep pressure on them effectively? Who holds Congress accountable to their word, their handshakes, their written platforms? Once they are elected the public is screwed.

You are advocating more of the same with small failed attempts to get Washingtoneers to stop serving themselves over the best interest of the public. Why would we want more of the same? Today's politicians (particularly Congress, Governors, and Mayors) are in the pockets of corporate America and those folks have no real interest in making their constituents come first so explain to me how working with the current system is going to accomplish any significant change for the better or even stop the downward spiral of our economy and the gaps in wealth?

In the meantime, what about the full-time working poor who aren't earning enough to feed and clothe their families, let alone have money set aside for emergencies.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.

WendyDarling
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Posts: 6203
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:52 am

### Re: Income Disparity

Just a hint (again):
"As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated."

You suffer from hidden judgments, choices, and manipulations (largely that of mass hypnosis).
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend

Posts: 25425
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

### Re: Income Disparity

Our government needs an overhaul, not more of the same.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.

WendyDarling
Heroine

Posts: 6203
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:52 am

### Re: Income Disparity

James S Saint wrote:Just a hint (again):
"As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated."

You suffer from hidden judgments, choices, and manipulations (largely that of mass hypnosis).

It is also a bit comparable with the ILP situation.

Arminius
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### Re: Income Disparity

I agree with carleas that revolution cannot fulfill what is needed. As with all revolutions, nothing really changes except the players. The top and bottom exchange places with the middle being screwed over.

We shouldn't allow frustration dictate a reasoned approach to our problems. Evolution, not revolution.

I grow tired of saying the same thing over and over, but.... EDUCATION. People can and will act when they see their particular ox (oxes?) being gored. You want to put pressure on our so-called representatives? Informed constituants is the answer. Sure, it isn't instant gratification but slowly and surely changes take place. Too slow? Maybe. I want what I want NOW!

It just doesn't work that way. Every generation is in a hurry to fix their parents screw ups, but reality gets in the way most of the time.

All those who voted to "drain the swamp", "drown government in a bathtub" , look around. How's that working for you?
IGAYRCCFYVM
Sorry, arguing with the ignorant is like trying to wrestle with a jellyfish. No matter how many tentacles you cut off there are always more, and there isn't even a brain to stun. - Maia

I don't take know for an answer.
tentative
.

Posts: 12360
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Idaho

### Re: Income Disparity

WendyDarling wrote:You are advocating more of the same with small failed attempts to get Washingtoneers to stop serving themselves over the best interest of the public.

It's worth noting that this same system brought about a society that has raised standards of living for all its members, ushered in world-changing technological advances, and set an example that has been the model of good government for the world for two centuries. You're looking at the last three decades of increasing partisanship and deadlock and calling it "more of the same". Would that it were.

James S Saint wrote:Just a hint (again):
"As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated."

There is some evidence that the increased transparency has led to worse government. A lack of transparency can enable compromises that are too costly to individual politicians when they must made in public, so they don't get made, and we get gridlock instead of better-than-nothing solutions.

A similar argument favors pork-barrel spending. While they are usually wasteful, nepotistic projects when viewed separately, they help to align the personal incentives of legislators and enable cooperation, which pays dividends collectively.
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Carleas
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### Re: Income Disparity

Do we trust the Washington Post? They have recently reported that "almost three-quarters of the rise of Americans living in poverty since 1990 reflects increases in Hispanic poverty — increases linked to immigration, whether legal or illegal."

The first thing we have to do is to diagnose who is rich and who is poor. If, for instance, most poor people are recent arrivals, especially illegal arrivals, we'd have different solutions than if those poor people are mostly legal factory workers. I am not stating that one group is more worthy than another, but just that the causes may suggest the solutions better than a pie chart does. It's also helpful to know what the permanence of poverty in a group is.

We also have to acknowledge that yesterday's middle class may be today's poor class not only because of government policy, or tax laws, but because relative affluence is a moving target. Does anyone know how many poor households have air conditioning, a car and an iPhone?

Faust
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### Re: Income Disparity

Carleas wrote:
James S Saint wrote:Just a hint (again):
"As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated."

There is some evidence that the increased transparency has led to worse government. A lack of transparency can enable compromises that are too costly to individual politicians when they must made in public, so they don't get made, and we get gridlock instead of better-than-nothing solutions.

Exposing a few serpents to the light of day hardly makes for an honest, open governance. Depending on the few you choose, it is certainly likely to make things worse.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend

Posts: 25425
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

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