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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » US Has Greater Inequality than Egypt, Tunisia? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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panlives
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"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
LobowolfXXX
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Lol
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Dannydoyle
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I love when people just drop links with an idiotic premise and don't comment on them.

Hopefully soon some day we can be as good as Tunisia. OWS should have us right on track.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
balducci
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Quote:
On 2011-11-20 09:12, panlives wrote:

http://utopianist.com/2011/02/us-has-gre......olution/

Says the article above: "Americans continue to be largely oblivious to this widening income gulf, and some remain convinced that it’s not a big deal at all."

For whatever reason that reminds me of an article I saw in a national newspaper yesterday:

"U.S. inequality debate only in the minds of the deniers"

If you look at the numbers even remotely objectively, significant and growing income inequality in the U.S. appears to be a fact. Whether that is a good or bad thing, doesn't concern me. I'm just happy that most of my U.S. relatives are in the top (approximately) 2% or so. For their sake, I hope the rest of y'all don't riot. Smile

From the article at the link I gave:

The Congressional Budget Office, fulfilling a bipartisan request to look at the issue, released a study in October that measured trends in distribution of household income from 1979 to 2007. (Those endpoints allow comparisons between periods of similar overall economic activity, the CBO says, because they were both years before recessions).

- From 1979 to 2007, real (inflation-adjusted) average household income, measured after government transfers and federal taxes, grew by 62 per cent.

- For the 1 per cent of the population with the highest income, average real after-tax household income grew by 275 per cent.

- For the 60 per cent of the population in the middle of the income scale (the 21st through 80th percentiles), the growth in average real after-tax household income was just under 40 per cent.

- And for the 20 per cent of the population with the lowest income, average real after-tax household income was about 18 per cent higher in 2007 than it had been in 1979.
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Big Jeff
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Does egypt or tunisia have an illegal alien problem? Are people entering their countries illegally to live and work there?
Dannydoyle
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No you don't get it Jeff. It is about "fair". "Fair" is when you take something from someone who has worked for it, and give it to someone who hasn't, that is FAIR.

Everyone needs to make exactly what everyone else does this way we encourage people to exell.

So if it is a FACT does that make it a PROBLEM? Oh wait yea I forgot, fair and all.
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rockwall
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A country where everyone only made $100 a year would have better income equality than the USA. Does that make it better?
Dannydoyle
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How does what someone else makes impact my life? I am more impacted by the congress than the rich.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Magnus Eisengrim
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These are all the right questions. Of course, I don't know the answers. But the amount of inequality that is desirable is one thing, and the amount that is tolerable is another. Hopefully our governments will enact policies that put us somewhere in that range.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
landmark
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Quote:
On 2011-11-20 13:52, Dannydoyle wrote:
How does what someone else makes impact my life? I am more impacted by the congress than the rich.

Umm . . . Congress is the rich.
rockwall
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Quote:
On 2011-11-20 14:31, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
These are all the right questions. Of course, I don't know the answers. But the amount of inequality that is desirable is one thing, and the amount that is tolerable is another. Hopefully our governments will enact policies that put us somewhere in that range.

John


OK John, Here's another good question. Why is ANY amount of inequality inherantly a bad thing. Let's say you live somewhere where 90% of the people live a very comfortable lifestyle, let's say upper middle class. But the other 10% live super lavish lifestyles and control the vast majority of the money. Would you want your government to enact policies that made for better equality but in the end, lowered the lifestyle of the 90%?

Let's put it another way. Let's say you have two choices. One is to make $10,000 a year while the owner of the business you work for makes $10,000,000. He's making 1000 times more than you. Your second choice is to make $1000 a year but the owner only makes $100,000. Since he now only makes 100 time more than you, would you choose the second option because it was more fair?

Mike
balducci
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Quote:
On 2011-11-20 14:59, rockwall wrote:

Why is ANY amount of inequality inherantly a bad thing.

Is that the question you really mean to ask? I think that no one here or in any article linked to in this thread ever said or claimed that ANY level of inequality is inherently a bad thing.

Did you mean to ask why SOME amount of inequality is inherently a bad thing?

I don't know WHY. I suppose it would be because society deems extreme levels of inequality to be bad (perhaps also because some holy books say so, although that comes back to what society believes).

Slavery comes to mind. I would say that level of inequality is inherently a bad thing. Wouldn't you?
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
rockwall
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I think you misunderstand me. Inequality 'can' be a bad thing, (like slavery), but it isn't inherantly a bad thing as I tried to point out in my examples. The article that is referenced at the top tries to make the point that inequality is just bad regardless of the results of that inequality. The article and research doesn't make the distinction between a highly un-equal society where everyone might be well fed and happy and a highly equal society where everyone is starving and miserable. Let's pretend you have a total of 200 societies where 199 of them are all very equal in their income but all 199 of them are very poor. And you have 1 society that is extremely un-equal in their income but everyone lives a comfortable life. This article would state that that society has the lowest income equality of ALL societies on the planet! It would imply that there was something very wrong with that particular society and that it needed to do something to become more like the other 199.
balducci
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In that case I did misread your question.

However I disagree with:

"The article that is referenced at the top tries to make the point that inequality is just bad regardless of the results of that inequality. The article and research doesn't make the distinction between a highly un-equal society where everyone might be well fed and happy and a highly equal society where everyone is starving and miserable."

I don't see it making that point at all. Indeed, the article actually points out that things in the U.S. are pretty good (the quality of life is on average higher, elected leaders in the U.S. enter and exit office (generally) according to the rules, etc.).

Rather, it expresses concern that if the gulf in inequality continues to rise that bad things might happen:

"Americans continue to be largely oblivious to this widening income gulf, and some remain convinced that it’s not a big deal at all. But, as the foreclosure crisis continues (a million more people will lose their homes this year), as high unemployment rates remain stagnant, and the very rich continue to make more money than ever before, that gulf will become more and more apparent, and tensions are likely to emerge ... Surely, we’re a long ways off from the kind of discontent that’s rampant in North Africa and the Middle East — but Egypt’s example should, if anything, give us reason to rally to address this inequality before it alienates even greater swaths of our society."
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
rockwall
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I still disagree but I understand your point of view.

The article also says, "Egyptian, Tunisian and Yemeni protesters all say that inequality is one of the main reasons they’re protesting".

I don't believe that they are rioting because of inequality but more because of their miserable existance compared to that of the super wealthy who were running the country. If they were prosperous, they wouldn't mind the inequality so much. It's not the 'inequality' per se but the state of the common man's situation. The article is correct in that if things continue to get worse or even stay as bad as they are, there will be more and more discontent within the country. Much of that discontent will be directed at politicians for not solving the problem. Both sides will try to use this to their advantage to either stay in power or regain power. The side that people believe has a better solution for improving the plight of the common man, (not just rearranging the 'inequality') will probably win.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Rockwall, I agree that equality of income (or net worth, or...) is not necessarily a desirable thing. But it isn't necessarily undesirable, either. There are tensions between productivity, equality of income, equality of economic opportunity, social mobility, etc. etc. I believe that good governance takes theses tensions seriously, and that the balance is always going to be changing as times and values change. And I suspect that every jurisdiction is going to have a slightly different balance it favours at any given time.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2011-11-20 15:16, balducci wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-11-20 14:59, rockwall wrote:

Why is ANY amount of inequality inherantly a bad thing.

Is that the question you really mean to ask? I think that no one here or in any article linked to in this thread ever said or claimed that ANY level of inequality is inherently a bad thing.


Really? If it is such a non issue, why all the lip flapping about it in the first place?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dannydoyle
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John, I believe there should be an equality of opportunity. This is important and essential in America. But an equality of OUTCOME is not the job of any government. I am not suggesting you said this, just pointing out the difference.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2011-11-20 18:34, Dannydoyle wrote:
John, I believe there should be an equality of opportunity. This is important and essential in America. But an equality of OUTCOME is not the job of any government. I am not suggesting you said this, just pointing out the difference.


I agree; having said that, inequality of outcome will always be trumpeted as proof of inequality of opportunity.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Dannydoyle
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Of course it will and then the natural progression is that we have to redistribute wealth through some scheme or another.

I just want to at least talk about it in real terms.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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