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Topic: Income Inequality< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 3:59 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Saw this graph on the current issue of The Economist:



This chart compares national income inequality using the "Gini Coefficient".  A "0" means perfect equality and a "1" means one guy owns everything.  All countries fall somewhere in between.

It's a real irony that "communist" China has a significantly higher income inequality that we do.  And sadly, I think it equally ironic that we are more unequal in our income distribution than the country we often use as a poster child for income inequality:  India.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 4:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You communist.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 4:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sorry, I mean envious, class-warefare fighting socialist.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 5:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 5:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm mildly surprised that Canada is that different than the US in this regard.

I imagine that's a result of universal healthcare, and perhaps a more generous social safety net (welfare, old age security, etc)?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 6:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm not surprised at all about Canada. Supposedly Cananda didn't have the banking/finance
problems we did too either(Great scenery(especially BC) combined with the right amount of
government involvement apparently seems to make Canada a very attractive country)

as far as China goes obviously they are only communist in name only since their economy
doesn't have much to do with Communism. The only thing about China that has much do with the
communism of the past is that they aren't democratic and how they repress some parts of the
population(maybe a few other similarities).


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 6:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's a huge problem and unless we address it will lead to the decline if not outright collapse of America over time.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 6:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Dennis The Menace @ Jan. 25 2013, 3:37 pm)
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as far as China goes obviously they are only communist in name only since their economy
doesn't have much to do with Communism. The only thing about China that has much do with the
communism of the past is that they aren't democratic and how they repress some parts of the
population(maybe a few other similarities).

Yep.  China is 'communist' in name only.  Its political system is totalitarian (although much less so than three decades ago) and its economic system is a mix of both capitalism and socialism (skewed more toward the former than the latter).


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 6:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It would be interesting to see the trend here. Tough likely to be behind china in say the past two or three decade I would imagine that America has one of the worst trend lines out there.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 7:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Land Rover @ Jan. 25 2013, 3:42 pm)
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It's a huge problem and unless we address it will lead to the decline if not outright collapse of America over time.

Agree.   No society can remain democratic and vibrant with a permanent underclass and/or an ever-widening income gap. Taxing the rich and giving to the poor sound obvious... but the trick is to narrow the gap reasonably without sapping the will (and need) to work and to save for oneself...


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 26 2013, 10:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

History would suggest that when inequality becomes too great, revolution results. Which is better, a redistribution of wealth through violence, or a little social engineering through taxation and economic regulation? Tea baggers might want to take off their tri-cornered hats and think on this a bit.

I'm all for a peaceful investment in our civilization by those that can most afford it. Democratic rule is essential, as is justice. Freedom may be the most abused word in our language, because you have very little if you don't have transportation, health, or rewarding work.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 26 2013, 11:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Teapartiers decry "Obamacare" as an onerous infringement on their freedom (despite the fact it was conceived by conservatives and mostly helps more people buy private insurance). The Affordable Care Act didn't even have a watered down public option, let alone the Single Payer universal health insurance the Left wanted and most advance nations have.

But the point I'm trying to make here involves the concept of freedom. How many Americans who worked hard and played by the rules all their lives were bankrupted or lost their homes due to lack of adequate health insurance? Loss of freedom aside from death or imprisonment doesn't come  much harder than that. How many citizens who would like to change careers or start a small business dare not do so and remain chained to a dead-end job because they can't risk losing their employer-based insurance?

Those who see the solution to our government's fiscal deficits in terms of reducing "entitlement" programs or taking from the rich and giving to the poor are limiting themselves to two-dimensional thinking.

I think we need to start with the premise of what constitutes an advanced society, and that should form the foundation of any solution. Income inequality is very much a part of the problem, and simple redistribution merely treats a symptom.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 26 2013, 11:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ecocentric @ Jan. 26 2013, 10:59 pm)
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History would suggest that when inequality becomes too great, revolution results. Which is better, a redistribution of wealth through violence, or a little social engineering through taxation and economic regulation?

The basic building block of capitalism is redistribution of wealth. If all the resources are in the hands of the few, the entire society stops working and eventually even the wealthy suffer since they have no one to make them money.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 1:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

HighGravity
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The basic building block of capitalism is redistribution of wealth. If all the resources are in the hands of the few, the entire society stops working and eventually even the wealthy suffer since they have no one to make them money.


The very wealthy of the early 1930's realized this too. Hoover, a Republican backed by the 1% of the time, actually advanced in the last years of his
presidency many of the "socialist" programs that Roosevelt got credit for. The 1% of the early 1930's had recently witnessed the Russian Revolution of 1917 and were very worried about a "French Revolution" in the US. Mexico was in the process of a "land distribution revolution" and many South American countries were in the process of their own land distributions.

Hoover saw the economy deteriorating and "Hoovervilles" popping up at he edge of every US city and town. The Bonus Army massacre came very close to starting a French Revolution in the US - and the 1% realized that wealth distribution must be addressed. So projects like Hoover Dam and the TVA were actually started by Republicans as projects to get people employed.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 1:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Bass @ Jan. 27 2013, 10:14 am)
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So projects like Hoover Dam and the TVA were actually started by Republicans as projects to get people employed.

It is a fact that many "make work" projects were started by the Hoover administration.  But TVA itself was an FDR-era creation.


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