Income Inequality

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Income Inequality

Unread postby James » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:04 am

What are your thoughts on income inequality and its impact on people and countries?

Economic Inequality
Income Inequality in the United States

Do we really not have a topic on this one? I was able to come across some related topics but not the subject proper. I would estimate it is probably one of the most important issues in the United States right now, and in some other countries as well (I came across a few about Canada the other day).
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Re: Income Inequality

Unread postby James » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:08 am

United States

Study: Wealth Inequality in the United States Since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data
Warning: study. This is some heavy reading. But at the bottom you can find a fantastic mess of charts and visual data which illustrate the way income inequality has shifted in the United States over time and in relatively recent history (to 2002). Inequality has grown since then.

Image

Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession
"The Great Recession, fueled by the crises in the housing and financial markets, was universally hard on the net worth of American families. But even as the economic recovery has begun to mend asset prices, not all households have benefited alike, and wealth inequality has widened along racial and ethnic lines."
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Re: Income Inequality

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:17 am

Well, my own views on the subject certainly won't come as any surprise to you nor, I think, to anybody else on this forum. You guys are already well aware that I'm a dirty pinko Komsomol, albeit one with socially-conservative views.

Personally I think this is one of the gravest problems we're facing right now, if not the gravest. The super-rich play by a demonstrably different set of economic rules than the rest of us do - capital-gains income being taxed in a completely different way than earned income - and what we have been seeing is the result of that.

Most of the political problems we are facing right now, actually, are the result of a few very well-connected financial and industrial plutocrats influencing the entire decision-making calculus in our elected government, and rewriting the laws to be as favourable as possible to their own narrowly-defined self-interests. I realise it's a bit oversimplistic to blame Citizens United for this shift, but the shift has indeed happened, and personally I feel we're at the point now that the practice of our government is 'one dollar, one vote' under the flimsy ersatz of 'one person, one vote'.
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Re: Income Inequality

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:17 pm

It is one of the major economic questions in the UK as well along with regional disparity. Off the top of my head, living wage, strengthening unions (as much as I dislike them), opening up social mobility (top jobs, including charities, going to the rich is hardly going to help), probably need a complete reworking of the tax system and maybe a wealth tax seems like possible measures.
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Re: Income Inequality

Unread postby sakooon » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:44 am

The super-rich play by a demonstrably different set of economic rules than the rest of us do - capital-gains income being taxed in a completely different way than earned income - and what we have been seeing is the result of that.???
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Re: Income Inequality

Unread postby DragonAtma » Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:39 am

All you need to know about inequality, straight from a terrified billionaire.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

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Re: Income Inequality

Unread postby Grzyby15 » Mon May 25, 2015 6:18 am

Inequality is a process which is common to all countries and it can't be changed. People already tried to make everyone equal. It ended badly (comunism).
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Re: Income Inequality

Unread postby Xiahou Ren » Mon May 25, 2015 7:29 am

First, nobody ever actually implement communism before. They all just took the name randomly and practiced dictatorship (Stalin, Pol Pot). The closest one was Deng Xiaoping, but it was more of capital redistribution rather than actual communism. To be fair, pure communism is pretty much bonkers and impossible to practice in real life, because it's just too ideal.

Second, Marx wasn't really applauded for his concept of communism, but rather on his discovery for the "governing mechanism" on capitalism. The problem in society does not simply originated from the disparity of income, but from the concept of a perfect "capital ownership" and their complete freedom in assigning "added value" from each transactions.

Disparity in incomes is a manifestation of a natural transaction process, but the amounts are not. People who owns capital dictate how much profit they would share to others without. So the term "inequality" stemmed from the "unfair" added value comeback (in terms of profit) between capital owners and workers. In this sense, one must not be allowed to become be too rich nor too successful, since all capitals are built from the added values, which are absorbed from other individual. Basically Marx is saying, the richer someone in one hand, the more someone else is unfairly paid on the other hand.

Several government policy such as minimum wages, taxes, social healthcare, is a way to counter this. But sadly the problem remains the same. The only people who could make a better value distribution in society, are the people who owns a great deal of capital, which are either big businessmen or the government. So if both decide to cooperate and hog all the added value, we are pretty much effed.

Again, disparity in incomes is a manifestation of a natural transaction process, but the amounts are not. Some people are poor not because they're lazy, in fact people who are deemed to be the least successful are often work the hardest. I'm just trying to say, huge income disparity is not something we could take for granted.
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Re: Income Inequality

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:04 pm

I don't see that many arguing the current rate of inequality is healthy in, say, the UK. Plenty argue some inequality is needed but not this much
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Re: Income Inequality

Unread postby Xiahou Ren » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:53 am

Yea, basically that's what I was trying to say.
Inequality is not the problem. It's amount is.

A little story I want to share,
I'm usually loathe low-educated labors/workers who scream "INEQUALITY!" as a blanket excuse to get a raise. They think it's only "fair" that they get an equal wage to most white collars; to 3.5 millions from 2.8 millions (in my country). Well who the hell they think they are, people who're mostly dropped out from Junior High, thinking they're equal to people who busted their butt to get their Master degree. Moreover, I could save around 1.8 millions out of my wage of 3.2 millions, each months; making it impossible for me to relate to low-paid labors. I think they're just greedy barbarians, who know only force to get what they want.

Look at me, talking like a bourgeois. Mr.Bumble would be so proud.
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