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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-24-2007, 12:11 PM   #61
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Re: This is truly scary.

youbet--The only problem I see with the chart, is the owner of the blog does not cite where he obtained it. Did he do the research and develop it himself? He is a physics professor. Why is he doing research on finance? Did he get it from a friendly finance professor who developed it? Did he just make up numbers he thought seemed realistic? In short it is a blog, so it is someone's opinion. Until he discloses where he obtained the information, I would not be so sure of the data he presents. After all, he wouldn't accept it as a definitive source for research.
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-24-2007, 12:11 PM   #62
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
I'm not surprised to see you draw such a bold line differentiating between "the people" and "government."
My thoughts, exactly.
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-24-2007, 12:23 PM   #63
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
youbet--The only problem I see with the chart, is the owner of the blog does not cite where he obtained it.
Well, try to find something better. I had already seen the gov report you posted, but that only breaks things up into 20% buckets......not relavent to the top 5% or top 1% discussion we're having.

It's kind of strange that data is tough to find on this......
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-24-2007, 12:42 PM   #64
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Re: This is truly scary.

OK, finally found something interesting......

Table 3: Share of wealth held by the Bottom 99% and Top 1% in the United States, 1922-1998.
Bottom 99 percent Top 1 percent
1922 63.3% 36.7%
1929 55.8% 44.2%
1933 66.7% 33.3%
1939 63.6% 36.4%
1945 70.2% 29.8%
1949 72.9% 27.1%
1953 68.8% 31.2%
1962 68.2% 31.8%
1965 65.6% 34.4%
1969 68.9% 31.1%
1972 70.9% 29.1%
1976 80.1% 19.9%
1979 79.5% 20.5%
1981 75.2% 24.8%
1983 69.1% 30.9%
1986 68.1% 31.9%
1989 64.3% 35.7%
1992 62.8% 37.2%
1995 61.5% 38.5%
1998 61.9% 38.1%
2001 66.6% 33.4%
Sources: 1922-1989 data from Edward N. Wolff, Top Heavy (New Press: 1996). 1992-1998 data from Edward N. Wolff, "Recent Trends in Wealth Ownership, 1983-98," Jerome Levy Economics Institute, April 2000.

I'm glad I stumbled onto this. I see that we have been fairly level since the early 90's. That's different than I had been reading. And we actually had a period when the percentage of wealth owned by the top 1% was higher than today.......1929.

Lots of top 1% data here: http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesam...er/wealth.html

I guess this has been beaten to death. Time to go back to newguy888's original discussion concerning his attendance at Thursnight night Bible study and the ladies who are scaring him.........

Gosh newguy888, being a gym teacher and all, it has to be a gawd awful nightmare for you!!


edited to add 2001
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-24-2007, 12:46 PM   #65
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet

For ERD50...... my interest is with percentage of total US wealth owned by the top 1%, not the top 5% as you seem to be interested in.

The top 5% folks are probably still are in touch with the plebian masses. The top 1% folks, maybe not.......
Well, maybe you don't want to look at the 5% number, because the 5% number might include some of us

Seems like 'those rich guys that are out-of-touch' always refers to 'someone with more money than I have'

More seriously, I was just quoting the 5% number as it includes the 1%, and it was less than 60% control, so the 1% must be lower (I think 38% was quoted along the way).

But yes, ~ 40% controlled by 1% does seem a bit scary. Again, I'm not quite sure it is scarier than whatever it would take to 'fix' it (law of unintended consequences once again). And don't most of the very wealthy tend to invest conservatively? So maybe a lot of that is in t-bills and such, not really anything that wields 'control' over the masses. I guess I'm not sure to what extent 'controlling the wealth' equates to 'controlling the public'. It's easy to associate the two, but is there really a strong correlation? And I agree with some other posters, I think this tends to self-correct, or at least rotate through different groups over time.

Picture two groups of 100 bright people each, one with no significant wealth, and the other with some family fortunes behind them. At first, I assumed the ones with family fortunes would be most successful, after all, it takes money to make money. But then I thought, having money often means you have less desire to take risks with it. So just maybe, the 100 with little would really be the most aggressive, and create more wealth than those that had it too begin with. That might at least be a mitigating factor.

Maybe our political system is scarier than the economic one. Looks like far fewer than 1% have a great deal of control over the rest of us. Of course, to the extent that our political system is bought with contributions and lobbying, I suppose that is where the 'control of wealth' equates to 'control of the public'.

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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-24-2007, 12:47 PM   #66
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Re: This is truly scary.

Forgot a year:
Top 1%Bottom 99%
2001 33.4%66.6%
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-24-2007, 01:20 PM   #67
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
Well, maybe you don't want to look at the 5% number, because the 5% number might include some of us
Hey! Hey! I already discussed that. Did you read my post above? I'm aware there are some swanky folks here! Thats why I just consider myself a guest gawking at all the rich folks!
Quote:

Seems like 'those rich guys that are out-of-touch' always refers to 'someone with more money than I have'
There's some truth to that! But when you're talking about the top 1%, you're talking about folks who don't have many people above them on the wealth ladder to talk about.
Quote:

More seriously, I was just quoting the 5% number as it includes the 1%, and it was less than 60% control, so the 1% must be lower (I think 38% was quoted along the way).
I differentiated because I wonder if the 2% thorough 5% folks, frequently entrepreneurs, business owners, etc., are continuing to be able to compete with the MegaCorps, ultra-wealthy, etc., in the top 1%.
Quote:

But yes, ~ 40% controlled by 1% does seem a bit scary.
Well I guess we'll see where it goes...... The top 1% control even more in Switzerland.

Now, back to Bible study class and scary ladies.
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-24-2007, 01:51 PM   #68
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
I'd like to read about that. Where did you find it?
I read it YEARS ago......however I found another passage that is close. There was a group of socialites called the "Four Hundred" out of New York that ran most everything. Not all were enormously rich, but their influence certainly was.

I think it's in the biography of Rockefeller or Carnegie.....I need to look tonight.......

Meantime, here's another take on it:


Rise of new wealth



If the established social hierarchies were suffering from technological change, industrialisation and the corporation offered poor entrepreneurs unprecedented opportunities for personal enrichment. The amount of railroad track in operation in the United States quadrupled in the twenty years after 1877, reaching a total of over 240,000 miles by 1897.26 Between 1875 and 1900 the UK railway network grew from 16,658 to 21,855 miles.27 The railways succeeded in expanding so fast, since they were a more profitable investment outlet than property. Limited-liability corporations were less risky investments than unlimited liability partnerships; could attract large amounts of surplus capital from the money markets; and proved to give better returns - and Britain and the USA introduced Joint-Stock Companies Acts in the 1850s and 1860s, allowing the creation of limited liability companies.28 Large railway profits hugely boosted share values on the large metropolitan stock exchanges of New York and London - the Dow Jones RailRoad Average doubled just 53 months after it was launched in 1896; and rising prices enticed even more new capital into the market, either from the domestic market or from overseas.29 Joint-stock structures, and nationwide distribution via rail, enabled many other industries to grow. Yet financiers such as JP Morgan took special interest to avoid the competition unleashed by nationwide presence. The twin processes of amalgamation and vertical integration created cost-savings, which could lead to industrial behemoths - particularly in the coal and steel industries. The British firm of Dorman, Long and Co., for example began, in 1876, as ironfounders. Over the next two decades, it ventured into steelmaking; opened rolling-mills; acquired sheet-works and wire-works; and finally acquired its own mines, collieries and limestone quarries. In 1908 it expanded further, absorbing the North-Eastern Steel Co. - the combined firm controlled a capital of over £3 million.30 More impressive was the Carnegie Steel Company of Pittsburgh, which was founded by an immigrant as late as 1875, yet by 1901, the company was sold for $480m to Morgan's US Steel. An even more spectacular rise to dominance was the Standard Oil Trust, which was founded in 1870, and by the time it was broken up in 1899, it controlled 90% of all American oil refineries, and had given John D. Rockefeller a personal fortune of almost $1bn. More widely, the wealthiest 5% of the American population received a third of all disposable income by 1929.31


The main beneficiaries from growth in communications and big corporations were from the social élites. Andrew Carnegie explained the secret of his success to his humble, immigrant origins, by saying 'The emigrant is the capable, energetic, ambitious discontented man.'32 Later, he noted that 'An aristocracy of wealth is impossible. . . Wealth cannot remain permanently in any class if economic laws are allowed free play.'33 It is certainly true that the period saw a remorseless growth in the number of super-rich. Where in the period 1859-79, 30 people died in Britain leaving estates worth over a million pounds, forty years later this figure had more than doubled to 73 millionaires.34 By 1892 there were over 4,000 millionaires in the United States, and at the end of the century 10 per cent of the families owned some three-quarters of the national wealth.35 In Britain, it is likely that the richest commoner of the nineteenth century was the self-made textile warehouseman and merchant banker James Morrison, who left £4-6 million at his death in 1857, in addition to more than 100,000 acres of land. His financier heir Charles left nearly £11 million in 1909.36 Yet even these sums pale in comparison with the immense riches accumulated by American moguls. The railroad magnate James J Hill was worth $53m, JP Morgan left an estate worth $80m, Andrew Carnegie was for some time the world's richest man on retiring from business in 1901 with $250m, and by the time of his death in 1919, he had given away $311m. John D Rockefeller, by 1913, had acquired the staggering figure of $900m.37


Clearly, the balance of economic power was shifting away from old élites towards the plutocratic rich. Yet the prime social status remained with the community which formed High Society. In England just as in the United States, social leadership remained absolute, if not necessarily exclusive - and Society sought to maintain its dominant position by encouraging the new rich to join it. Edward Collins explained this, when he explained that 'A Tory is a man who believes England should be governed by gentlemen. A Liberal is a man who believes any Englishman may become a gentleman if he likes.'38 Since education was necessary to form a gentleman from a young man of means, education too could create gentlemen from mere plutocrats.

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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-24-2007, 10:09 PM   #69
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet

I differentiated because I wonder if the 2% thorough 5% folks, frequently entrepreneurs, business owners, etc., are continuing to be able to compete with the MegaCorps, ultra-wealthy, etc., in the top 1%.
I understand, but I just found this Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans interesting:

http://tinyurl.com/38lv3a

Sort by 'Source' (of wealth) and you see a pretty high representation of those entrepreneurs, business owners, etc., - lot of 'new money' (or at least 'recent').

A few samples:

TECH: Amazon, Apple, Dell, Intel, McCaw Cellular, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Yahoo

plus other recent money, Home Depot, Beanie Babies, Berkshire Hathaway, Hobby Lobby, Public Storage, Starbucks, Subway, Walmart...

Of course, there are some of the 'old money' sources there, oil, newspaper, real estate, etc., but I was a bit surprised at the diversity. I don't imagine that the majority of those on the list are all that out of touch with real people. Or at least as in touch as a billionaire can be.

I think I'm more worried about the unreported wealth and the control those people have. I didn't notice any drug runners on the list.

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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-24-2007, 11:37 PM   #70
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Re: This is truly scary.

OH... OH... OH.....

Almost forgot this one... I read it awhile back when Bill Gates had passed the $100 billion range.. but came back down to a 'normal' level....

But, they said if you started with the poorest American and started moving up the asset list... you would have to add 100 MILLION people to have the same assets as Mr. Gates....

Remember... he was not in the top 1% back in the 70s... As I have seen in other articles, the top 1% keep changing.

I remember one census report that said that a significant number of people move quartiles of assets... and some move from the bottom quartile to the top quartile... so, because we ARE in America where this CAN happen... I don't worry about it...


On a note that the posters are worried, but again no riots... I saw a travel show about (dang can't remember the Carribien nation...) but they said that almost all the wealth was concentrated in the top 150 families for a nation of 7 million... and had been for awhile.. now that is scary..
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-25-2007, 06:21 AM   #71
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Re: This is truly scary.

A question just dawned on me, "how many are in the top 1%?" The answer 3,000,000. That is more the the population of Mississippi. We've been talking like the top 1% is a single group with one goal in mind. We can't get the congress critters to agree on anything, why should we expect 3,000,000 people to get together and agree to work togehter and hurt the middle class.
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-25-2007, 06:36 AM   #72
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Re: This is truly scary.

So, what are the numbers that put you in the top 1%?
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-25-2007, 07:50 AM   #73
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
A question just dawned on me, "how many are in the top 1%?" The answer 3,000,000. That is more the the population of Mississippi. We've been talking like the top 1% is a single group with one goal in mind. We can't get the congress critters to agree on anything, why should we expect 3,000,000 people to get together and agree to work togehter and hurt the middle class.
No, but we can expect them, perhaps more than most, to act out of entitlement and self-interest, to the detriment of others.
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-25-2007, 08:19 AM   #74
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Re: This is truly scary.

Someone a ways back asked what I'd do to change things. Sorry - I ended up working through breaks at work, and then had some other commitments to attend last night, so this is a bit late. But here's my two cents.

What I wouldn't do is "redistribute wealth" in the ways socialist and communist governments do. Fact is, if we took all the money and distributed it in equal shares to everyone, and then went back to the free market economy, it probably wouldn't take long for a good percentage of the rich folk to get it back, and a good percentage of the poor folk to piddle it away. It is true that SOME of the reason that the "have nots" have not is because they don't know how to handle it, and the reason some of the "haves" have is because they do.

But I would do some things to improve the lot of the "have nots". I'd see that minimum wage was a living wage, with only a very few exceptions for teen part-time workers and developmentally disabled workers hired through programs - that kind of thing. NOBODY can live on $14k a year, and I'm sorry, I don't care what your skills are, if you give a company better than a third of your waking life, you should be able to live on what you make. I'm not talking about living rich. But you ought to be able to pay rent on a decent apartment, and afford groceries and healthcare.

I'd also work to fix the healthcare system. Too many people are bankrupted now by major medical events that insurance won't cover. I've been reading about some of the ideas out there and a lot of them are good ones. I think if the $#*()@$# politicians would pull their partisan heads out of their partisan backsides and work together, we could bring healthcare costs under control and assure that every person had basic insurance coverage.

I'd work out big incentives for companies with profit margins above X percent to engage in profit-sharing, so that employees who help to make the business successful can share in the reward.

I'd set up a serious, non-partisan review commission to seriously look at every use of our tax dollars, and to review what SHOULD be done by government and what should not. I am not one who believes in privatization - I saw a study awhile back that went over all the services provided by government, and what they would cost if privately contracted, and trust me, government is actually a lot cheaper and more efficient for a lot of things. But there are things the government is doing that, frankly, isn't the government's job, and there are ways the government wastes money that a common-sense look at the rules and regs could easily fix.

I'd rethink the salaries we pay teachers and people who do jobs that are that kind of important. Teaching is no longer a lifelong profession. Young teachers burn out on average within five years. They aren't paid nearly as well as people they went to college with, and they aren't supported by administrators or parents. And don't talk about "summers off;" most teachers I know either work through the summers to make ends meet, or they are back in school taking the courses they need to maintain certification. And, given that most of them work 10-15 hour days during the school year doing all the stupid paperwork the government loads on them, I don't think if they DID laze around all summer that it would be a bad thing. Ultimately, we need the best and brightest to prepare our young people for the future - because one day we're going to depend on these kids to run the show, and we'd better hope they'll do a better job than we have.

That's a few things I'd do. Anybody else have ideas?

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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-25-2007, 08:24 AM   #75
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKH
No, but we can expect them, perhaps more than most, to act out of entitlement and self-interest, to the detriment of others.
Why do you feel that way? Look at that top 400 list for a representative sample (and the most powerful of the 1%).

Buffet and Gates are giving their fortunes to charity.

The founders of Apple, Intel, Dell, Amazon, Yahoo - created jobs and enabling technologies for the *benefit* of others (and themselves of course - they are not mutually exclusive goals!).

Home Depot, Walmart, Subway, Starbucks - providing products people want, providing jobs to support those industries - what is so 'detrimental' about this?

And the founder of BeanieBabies - ohhhh, now I'm scared

If you want a sample of the thought process of one of these people, read Steve Jobs' impassioned commencement speech to the Stanford class - and then tell me he is not 'connected'.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1422863/posts

or search for it on YouTube or iTunes.

To get back to the OP topic - I'm much more scared by the attitude of those 'sheep' in the Bible class than I am of the people in that top 400 list. People that innovate, challenge the status quo and in general, improve life for all of us. And they got rich in the process - ain't America great!

-ERD50

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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-25-2007, 08:49 AM   #76
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Re: This is truly scary.

LKH--
1. You'd have to continually redistribute the wealth otherwise it would reaccumulate to the wealthy. Teh end result is Russia a capitalist society. Communism doesn't work with and industrialzed country. Many of Russia's military "innovations" were stolen plans from us.

2. Raising the minimum wage does nothing for the workers. It has the end result of increasing the costs of a business resulting ininflation. This inflation results in the minimum wage earner not being able to afford the things the raise in minimum wage was supposed to help them afford.

3. This has been hashed out in other threads and I don't feel like gettin ginto that argument again.

4. This might work, if implemnted by itself. If the wealth is redistriburted then this would fail, because private inductry would fail.

5. This sounds good, hwever even if it were successful in it goal, by the time it finished the report would most likely not be relevent any longer. Government spending is huge and it would takeseveral years to review everything in the budget. By that time several budgets have been passed and the one being reviewed is outdated. Many times teh government is cheaper only because one of the biggest expenses a company has is employee benefits. The government has rather good benefits, but the pay isn't all that.

6. Look at my above comments about pay. That last place I had access to teacher's pay showed the teachers made equivelant to 43,000 straight out of college with all of the benefits of the full year job. If they wanted to increase their pay they could earn an advanced degree or take up coaching or other after school activities. I did not feel sorry for the teacher and I still don't. In that area they were only a few thousand dollars short of the median houshold income. If they decided to get a job for the summer they would be above the median houshold income on thier wages alone. They have the summer off to take care of the education requirements. I have to fit it in after I get off work. They chose a job that they know doesn't pay all that well, sorry no sympathy here.
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-25-2007, 09:44 AM   #77
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
Why do you feel that way? Look at that top 400 list for a representative sample (and the most powerful of the 1%).

Buffet and Gates are giving their fortunes to charity.

The founders of Apple, Intel, Dell, Amazon, Yahoo - created jobs and enabling technologies for the *benefit* of others (and themselves of course - they are not mutually exclusive goals!).

Home Depot, Walmart, Subway, Starbucks - providing products people want, providing jobs to support those industries - what is so 'detrimental' about this?

And the founder of BeanieBabies - ohhhh, now I'm scared

If you want a sample of the thought process of one of these people, read Steve Jobs' impassioned commencement speech to the Stanford class - and then tell me he is not 'connected'.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1422863/posts

or search for it on YouTube or iTunes.

To get back to the OP topic - I'm much more scared by the attitude of those 'sheep' in the Bible class than I am of the people in that top 400 list. People that innovate, challenge the status quo and in general, improve life for all of us. And they got rich in the process - ain't America great!
I'd need to see stats, but I bet money those folks are the exception rather than the rule. Maybe we should start a post here to see what % of income people give to charity. And what charities. Some folks give to things that don't particularly help anyone. Seriously, I work with charities all day. I see what their income/expenditures look like.

L
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-25-2007, 09:59 AM   #78
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
LKH--
1. You'd have to continually redistribute the wealth otherwise it would reaccumulate to the wealthy. Teh end result is Russia a capitalist society. Communism doesn't work with and industrialzed country. Many of Russia's military "innovations" were stolen plans from us.

2. Raising the minimum wage does nothing for the workers. It has the end result of increasing the costs of a business resulting ininflation. This inflation results in the minimum wage earner not being able to afford the things the raise in minimum wage was supposed to help them afford.

3. This has been hashed out in other threads and I don't feel like gettin ginto that argument again.

4. This might work, if implemnted by itself. If the wealth is redistriburted then this would fail, because private inductry would fail.

5. This sounds good, hwever even if it were successful in it goal, by the time it finished the report would most likely not be relevent any longer. Government spending is huge and it would takeseveral years to review everything in the budget. By that time several budgets have been passed and the one being reviewed is outdated. Many times teh government is cheaper only because one of the biggest expenses a company has is employee benefits. The government has rather good benefits, but the pay isn't all that.

6. Look at my above comments about pay. That last place I had access to teacher's pay showed the teachers made equivelant to 43,000 straight out of college with all of the benefits of the full year job. If they wanted to increase their pay they could earn an advanced degree or take up coaching or other after school activities. I did not feel sorry for the teacher and I still don't. In that area they were only a few thousand dollars short of the median houshold income. If they decided to get a job for the summer they would be above the median houshold income on thier wages alone. They have the summer off to take care of the education requirements. I have to fit it in after I get off work. They chose a job that they know doesn't pay all that well, sorry no sympathy here.
A) You clearly did not read my post. I said I WOULD NOT redistribute wealth. So you're arguing some things I did not say.

B) You don't know much about teachers and the hours they work. Most of the teachers I know put in more hours during the school year than the average worker puts in in a full year. And then they're expected to use their off time getting more education - or working another job so they can afford insurance and tuition for their kids.

C) "They chose a job that they know doesn't pay all that well..." The point is that teaching should not pay so poorly that it cannot attract the best and brightest. These people have our children's education in their hands. Do you really want to bank your future - the future of your country, your pension, and your medical care, on educators who are either burned out or stuck in their jobs because they don't have the chops to find better? And please, don't think I'm putting down all teachers. I know there are some who do the job because they love kids and are willing to make the sacrifice. But even they tend to burn out these days because they get ZERO support from parents, administrators, or taxpayers who think they have it so easy.

D) "The government has rather good benefits, but the pay isn't all that." Trust me, I know firsthand. And the benefits aren't all that either. Where I work, our benefits are 49th of 50 state governments. The legislature recently got generous and bumped the employer contribution to 85% of the prevailing market employer contribution. And our insurance rates have surged faster than the private sector, because the State can't hang onto younger workers - turnover among young workers is over 50% - so the average age of the employees here is 6 years above the average. Other states may have it better, but not all government workers have it that great. And the taxpayers are seeing a lot of their money wasted, since hiring and training people who won't stay and serve is a huge drain on resources with no return.

E) Oh, and the minimum wage argument doesn't cut it with me. The US has the lowest minimum wage of all western countries. And other countries, many of them, have much stronger economies than we do right now.

L
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-25-2007, 10:25 AM   #79
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKH
E) Oh, and the minimum wage argument doesn't cut it with me. The US has the lowest minimum wage of all western countries. And other countries, many of them, have much stronger economies than we do right now.
You may want to check your stats. I'm assuming that "western countries" means primarily European Union countries. Things aren't all sunshine in the Old Country.

The unemployment rate in the European Union is pretty bad - almost 9%. The US rate is around half that. The EU unemployment rate among some subsets of the population (namely, minimum wage earners) is much higher than the average due to government interference with the labor market and artificial price setting on wages and employment terms.

The EU GDP growth rate also lags the US GDP growth rate by a significant margin.

The US per capita PPP GDP is also 50% more than the per capita PPP GDP for the EU.

But in spite of that, you would argue making the pie smaller is ok, as long as those worst off get a bigger piece of the resulting pie? I personally like bigger pies, and the ability to chase after as big of a piece of pie as I want.
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Re: This is truly scary.
Old 04-25-2007, 10:29 AM   #80
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Re: This is truly scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKH
I'd need to see stats, but I bet money those folks are the exception rather than the rule. Maybe we should start a post here to see what % of income people give to charity.
Well, look at the list at Forbes yourself then. I didn't cherry-pick that list, those were representative names that I recognized. Plenty more like them, and relatively few of the 'old money' names on the list.

Take the opposite view - go find the names on that list that you feel are clearly doing 'evil' with their money. I'd bet it is a pretty small % of the total wealth on that list.

Maybe '% income to charity' is not the best measure. One Silicon Valley CEO argued that he was *not* going to donate money to charity - he said that reinvesting in his company was the best use of his money. It was what he knew, and his investment created jobs and wealth. Not everyone needs to agree with that, but I think it is a defensible position.

The statement you made was that you were concerned that these 1% with wealth had so much control and would use the money to the detriment of the general public. I'm just saying that, independent of what they give to charity, I just don't see any strong evidence of that. I just don't see any reason to get fearful when I look at that list. I see a list of hardworking, innovative people that will probably do reasonably good things with their accumulated wealth.

In fact, I think one could make the argument for the opposite. How much do the *bottom* 25% contribute to the common good, compared to this top 1%?

-ERD50
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