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Old 06-07-2019, 08:41 PM   #41
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+1! You've been working continuously for 46 years? Time to retire!
I did. Last few years were mixed part time until I sold the business. Had a big setback in 1992 going through a costly California divorce. But all is good now!
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:19 PM   #42
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:47 PM   #43
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I have been watching wealth inequality grow, steadily and inexorably, since the 70's to the point that the amount of wealth owned by the 3-.1% rivals the 20's.

To many posters, apparently, this is not a problem; to most Americans it explains their reality for the last 30 years, including the carving out of the middle class and the inability of wage workers to make it. I suspect the politics of increasing inequality for another 20 years will not have a good end, but I suppose y'all can somehow convince me that it's all OK (since I'm doing good, after all).

https://www.thestreet.com/politics/i...erica-14927750

I apparently am hanging on to a 12% lifestyle although it is decreasing since I semi-retired. No matter; I never expected more than a 50-60%ile lifestyle. But I submit it is a huge issue. I was one of the lucky ones, although I suppose I earned everything by pulling the bottoms of my Levis up past my underwear.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:06 AM   #44
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Stanley Druckenmiller, the hedge fund king, was on CNBC yesterday. During his interview, he said that the only time in history where the wealth inequality was the smallest was during the 2008-9 Great Recession, because the wealthy had lost so much value in their reale state, stocks and bonds. But it only makes sense that if you have bought something of value, that it's value would fluctuate over time, but you have to be able to purchase something of value.

Someday, my beanie babies will be worth something.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:22 AM   #45
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Oxfam says 26 people own as much as the bottom 50% worldwide (3.8 billion people). If this is not an issue for some of you, at what point (if any) do you think it would be an issue?
IMO using a global measure is an unfair position. Would you go up to a homeless person in the US and say "Stop complaining and be happy. There's 98% of the people in world worse off than you." ?

I tend to worry about things that I can actually do something about.

Abstracts like this make me say "what's it got to do with me?".
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:36 AM   #46
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I think this is because corporate welfare is hard to see, while the "people who don't deserve the money" (so-called) are more visible, and can be interacted with.



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Yep, I have been saying the same thing for years. I have several friends (who do not make much money themselves) who believe that most of the blame for their financial struggles can be placed on government programs to help people in poverty ("my tax dollars wasted on people who don't deserve the money"). Yet, if you actually compare the tax dollars spent on all those programs to the various massive corporate welfare programs, it's not even close. .
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:40 AM   #47
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For those that do not think wealth inequality is an issue, is there any point where it would be too much? What if one person owned 99% of the assets in the U.S and rest had to live on the 1% leftover?
I guess it is fair to ask the opposite question. How much should the top say 10% “be allowed” to own? We are always hearing stats and had bad they are, but what should they be? Are we looking for government intervention until everyone has the same wealth? Until I hear the end goal, I worry about that too.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:54 AM   #48
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I guess it is fair to ask the opposite question. How much should the top say 10% “be allowed” to own? We are always hearing stats and had bad they are, but what should they be? Are we looking for government intervention until everyone has the same wealth? Until I hear the end goal, I worry about that too.


I think appropriate tax law would limit increases and inheritance. I don’t think our system is set up for limiting wealth. Just unfortunate that many of the very rich people benefit from (low income programs to support their workers paid minimum wage, infrastructure to run their corporation, etc - primarily paid for by the middle class taxes)

Instead I got a 16% tax cut on my 1% income.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:16 AM   #49
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I think appropriate tax law would limit increases and inheritance. I don’t think our system is set up for limiting wealth. Just unfortunate that many of the very rich people benefit from (low income programs to support their workers paid minimum wage, infrastructure to run their corporation, etc - primarily paid for by the middle class taxes)

Instead I got a 16% tax cut on my 1% income.
I’ll agree that our system is not set up for limiting wealth and to me that is a good thing. I don’t see the pie as fixed but rather as something that can get bigger meaning potentially more for many if not all.

I also worry about loosely defined terms like corporate welfare. It seems this term was created around a few egregious policies and used until accepted as a bad thing. Now so many things get piled into that category. Folks may scream when a company gets a tax break to move into a struggling area. But without it, they locate their business somewhere else and you get Detroit scenarios. So is it really such a bad thing in this case?

Look at GE. They get demonized for the taxes they pay, or don’t pay. But they are really hurting right now. If they were forced to pay large taxes while having huge losses, what would happen? They would cut costs even more than they have to do now. More layoffs, more cost cutting, etc. they close facilities and we see stories on the communities decimated when the GE plant closes. In many ways I see these businesses as part of a strong infrastructure.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:34 AM   #50
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I think this is because corporate welfare is hard to see, while the "people who don't deserve the money" (so-called) are more visible, and can be interacted with.

Yes, that is exactly right.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:00 AM   #51
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I tend to worry about things that I can actually do something about.

Abstracts like this make me say "what's it got to do with me?".
Well, there's no doubt that the country could do something to address wealth inequality, if the political will was there. The problem, of course, is that the people that most benefit from wealth inequality (the 1%, and especially the 0.1%) largely control political policy (including tax policy), so it becomes very, very difficult to change the current course we are on.

No disrespect intended, but "what's it got to do with me"? seems like a rather narrow, self-centered view of the situation. As RobLJ said, a whole lot of wage workers in this country have been struggling to make it for the last 30+ years, while the rich continue to get richer. Lots of college grads are struggling to make it these days now also (including some relatives of mine). Sure, some have made poor decisions that contributed to their struggles, but plenty did everything right and are still barely keeping afloat. Heck, if I were graduating college today, I'd probably be struggling to make it too, as the situation is much different today than when I got out of college. So I try to empathize with the plight of some of these folks, as I would not want to be graduating high school or college right now in this tough economic environment.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:06 AM   #52
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Someday, my beanie babies will be worth something.
I don't think many of the 1% buy beanie babies, which might help....
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:13 AM   #53
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No disrespect intended, but "what's it got to do with me"? seems like a rather narrow, self-centered view of the situation.
Well as I said, when it gets too abstract--"...26 people own as much as the bottom 50% worldwide (3.8 billion people)...." I just tend to glaze over.

I just don't see the connection between sentences/stats like that and my day to day life; I try to focus on things I can do something about.

And as I've noted over the years here, I do lack an empathy gene on many issues.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:31 AM   #54
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Seems like an issue that has persisted for millennia. I guess it gives us something to grouse about.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:59 AM   #55
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Income disparity in the US may be high because it has a lot of rich and successful entrepreneurs. But is there more poverty in the US compared to elsewhere?

The poorest level one can be is when he lives in the street, or being homeless. Using this definition, I found the statistics of homelessness of all countries. The US fares a lot better in this aspect than many socialistic countries!

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ess_population.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:01 AM   #56
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Seems like an issue that has persisted for millennia. I guess it gives us something to grouse about.

It's actually gotten much, much worse since the 1970s/80s or so, as the graph in the Atlantic article showed. Currently the top 0.1% control as much wealth in the USA (not globally) as the bottom 80%. I don't see how that kind of severe wealth imbalance can be healthy for the country.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:13 AM   #57
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Income disparity in the US may be high because it has a lot of rich and successful entrepreneurs. But is there more poverty in the US compared to elsewhere?

The poorest level one can be is when he lives in the street, or being homeless. Using this definition, I found the statistics of homelessness of all countries. The US fares a lot better in this aspect than many socialistic countries!

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ess_population.
Well, THAT's an interesting chart. Not what I expected.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:37 AM   #58
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Well, there's no doubt that the country could do something to address wealth inequality, if the political will was there. The problem, of course, is that the people that most benefit from wealth inequality (the 1%, and especially the 0.1%) largely control political policy (including tax policy), so it becomes very, very difficult to change the current course we are on.

No disrespect intended, but "what's it got to do with me"? seems like a rather narrow, self-centered view of the situation. As RobLJ said, a whole lot of wage workers in this country have been struggling to make it for the last 30+ years, while the rich continue to get richer. Lots of college grads are struggling to make it these days now also (including some relatives of mine). Sure, some have made poor decisions that contributed to their struggles, but plenty did everything right and are still barely keeping afloat. Heck, if I were graduating college today, I'd probably be struggling to make it too, as the situation is much different today than when I got out of college. So I try to empathize with the plight of some of these folks, as I would not want to be graduating high school or college right now in this tough economic environment.


I’d rather be graduating from college with 3.6% unemployment than 10% plus that some cohorts of college graduates did. I would think an eager, hard working graduate would find getting that first position reasonably easy right now. Inability to find a job in the current economy could be based on a person’s poor choice of major, inflexibility on where they’ll live, or being too selective on finding the “perfect” job.

I tell young people to forget where your family lives and take the path that you think will be best for your career. You can move home later after you are established in your career.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:40 AM   #59
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Without getting political, does anyone remember the top tax rates in the 1950's -1970's?
Look it up as it was much higher than now.
Same with CEO and top level compensation to worker compensation ratio, except reverse from 1950's as much higher ratio now.
2 possible reasons among many for income inequality.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:45 AM   #60
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Well, THAT's an interesting chart. Not what I expected.
Not what I expected either! Eye opening, eh?
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