Is Income Inequality Leading To A Crisis For Capitalism?

Discussion in 'Economy' started by kiwiman127, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. kiwiman127
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    kiwiman127 Comfortably Moderate Supporting Member

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    Capitalism Seen in Crisis by Investors Citing Inequalities

    International investors say capitalism is in crisis, with almost one in three backing radical changes to the system, according to a Bloomberg survey.

    As the global financial and business elite gather in Davos for their annual forum, a majority in the Bloomberg Global Poll agree that income inequality hurts the economy and that governments need to do something to address it -- ideas at the heart of “Occupy” protests worldwide. Those surveyed also voice reservations about the financial industry’s role in society, with seven in 10 seeing at least some truth in the argument that banks have too much power over governments.

    “Capitalism is in crisis because there is a huge and growing disparity in income/wealth distribution in Western economies, and an equally divisive generational disparity,” poll participant Michael Derks, chief strategist for FXPro Financial Services broker in London, said in an e-mail.


    <snip>

    "There is a large and growing wealth disparity and I think it is unhealthy,” Steve Morton, a director at Natixis Securities in New York who took part in the survey, said in an e-mail. “The lower levels of the pyramid don’t have enough money to buy things and keep the economy going.”

    <snip>

    The banking culture has evolved radically, to the point where the perception amongst most members of society is that their actions are driven by the relentless pursuit of earnings with no regard to their potential negative impact on communities,” said Anson Rosewall, a poll participant and sales trader at BBY Ltd., a financial services firm in Sydney, Australia.

    “The fact that banks have taken government cash, while the average person has lost his job and house without help, will probably forever tarnish the reputation of these major institutions,” he said in an e-mail.

    The gap between rich and poor is widening across most developed economies as executives, bankers and skilled workers reap more rewards, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said last month.


    <snip>

    The 459 U.S. investors who answered the survey view capitalism more favorably than their counterparts elsewhere, with roughly one in five saying the system needs an overhaul, according to the poll.
    Capitalism Seen in Crisis by Investors Citing Inequalities - Bloomberg

    The US investors have a more rosey outlook, maybe because Chart 1 leads to Chart 2?

    Discuss.
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  2. TakeAStepBack
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    TakeAStepBack VIP Member

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    We'd first need to have capitalism for it to be in crisis from income inequality. It seems the elite realize that their corporatism is causing a crisis and now want the gubmints to "do something about it".

    They should, too. only certainly not what their corp. leaders want them to do. They should GTFO out of business altogether, restore a sane monetary policy and allow for free markets.
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  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Gold Member

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    The idea that capitalism is in crisis, or failing in some way, is short sighted. It serves only to reinforce the mistaken Leftist view of the rectitude of totalitarian central planning.

    I don't know if you read books, but the latest Charles Murray tome, "Coming Apart," might give you insight into the larger picture.
    He discusses four elements that have historically defined American society which he calls the four founding virtues:
    industriousness, honesty, marriage, and religiosity.

    Any economic inequality can be laid directly to the first of the four rather than any crisis in capitalism.
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  4. Uncensored2008
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    Uncensored2008 Libertarian Radical Supporting Member

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    Oh goody, another "Communism is the only answer" thread...
  5. kiwiman127
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    kiwiman127 Comfortably Moderate Supporting Member

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    So, the world's elite investors are saying that income inequality is hurting capitalism and they are communist lefties driving their ideology? These people live off of capitalism and capitalism is driven by consumer spending.

    As noted in the article, ""There is a large and growing wealth disparity and I think it is unhealthy,&#8221; Steve Morton, a director at Natixis Securities in New York who took part in the survey, said in an e-mail. &#8220;The lower levels of the pyramid don&#8217;t have enough money to buy things and keep the economy going.&#8221;

    Around 70% of the US economy is driven by consumer spending, yet the base of the consumer class doesn't have the expendable income to "keep the economy going". And it's good to keep the status quo and continue to watch our own country's economy flounder? Seems to most folks that the status quo isn't good for the US broad economy.

    So, Corporate America is seeing excellent profits and the profits are making the uber wealthy wealthier and while this is going on wages for the working class remain dormant and this is good? How is this good for the US's economy long-term in a consumer driven economy? Who determines the working class's wages?

    Some people are completely missing the point. A majority of the world's top investors "get it", what do they know anyway, right?
  6. Truthmatters
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    Truthmatters BANNED

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    the right on this site are insane.

    they will accept no facts that dont feed into their ideology.

    They are a failing flailing party
  7. TakeAStepBack
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    They know how to hoodwink the less informed into believing that what is taking place in America, and in many industrial countries around the world, is capitalism. It isn't. I agree that there is a created wealth gap that is killing the "middle class" (cringe, i fucking hate class warfare rhetoric), but it has more to do with government and big business collusion and economic totalitarian planners, than anything else.

    I'd love to see a return to capitalism.
  8. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Gold Member

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    Thank you, Sam Webb.
  9. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    On a different note this is also about Global income disparity.
    Chinese work cheaper so we have less jobs/money.
  10. TakeAStepBack
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    TakeAStepBack VIP Member

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    Thanks, added to my ever growing list of "to read".
  11. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Gold Member

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    The crisis is manufactured to lead to a crisis. There isn't a real crisis.
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  12. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Gold Member

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    1. Earlier I asked if you read books.
    No need to answer...this post is clearly a response in the negative.

    2. "&#8220;The lower levels of the pyramid don&#8217;t have enough money to buy things and keep the economy going.&#8221;

    The broadest and most accurate measure of living standard is real per capita consumption. That measure soared by 74% from 1980 to 2004. U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of Economic Analysis

    a. A study of table 7.1 would show that between 1973 and 2004, it doubled. And between 1929 and 2004, real per capita consumption by American workers increased five fold. The fastest growth periods were 1983-1990 and 1992-2004, known as the Reagan boom.

    b. For those who insist that wealth has fallen, this in a discussion of the recession: &#8220;The decline in home prices and stock portfolios in 2008 wiped out gains in net worth from the previous three years, the Fed said. Median household net worth increased 17.7 percent between 2004 and 2007, but fell 3.2 percent from 2004 through last October, according to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances.&#8221; Average American Net Worth Drops 23% - CBS News

    c. Meanwhile real G.D.P. has increased from $3.771 trillion in 1970 to $9.817 trillion in 2000. Average real consumption per person has increased 66% between 1970 and 1996. Poverty and Wage Stagnation in the U.S.? | Discourse

    3. "...excellent profits and the profits are making the uber wealthy wealthier and while this is going on wages for the working class remain dormant..."

    a. If "lower levels of the pyramid don&#8217;t have enough money to buy things..." where are the profits you refer to coming from?

    4. In actuality, the income of full time wage and salary workers increased between 1980 and 2004, and so did real income- either by 13% or 17%, depending on which price index is used in the calculation. Reynolds, &#8220;Income and Wealth,&#8221; p. 63.

    a. If health and retirement benefits are included, as they should be, worker compensation rose by almost a third. And, even this is illusory, as it doesn&#8217;t include the &#8220;statistically invisible (not on taxes) returns inside IRA and 401(k) plans.&#8221; Reynolds, op. cit., p.64.

    b. And, the way real income is computed tends to understate its growth (money income divided by some price index, to account for inflation), and government indexes are open to questions of accuracy. Many economists regard the CPI as inherently- even intentionally- an exaggeration of inflation. http://www.econport.org/content/handbook/Inflation/Price-Index/CPI.html

    c. But in high income families, the &#8220;rich,&#8221; household size is often the explanation for increased income. With 39 million in households in the lowest 20% vs. 64 million in the households with the top 20% of earnings, it&#8217;s easy to see the reason for the disparity. But wait! The number of workers in those households is even more telling! The top 20% had 19 million heads of households who worked, compared to fewer than 8 million in the bottom 20%! See Sowell, &#8220; Economic Facts and Fallacies, &#8220; chapter five, and Income Inequality: How Census Data Misrepresent Income Distribution

    So, Mr. NO LABELS, I have a label for you....but you're not gonna like it.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  13. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Gold Member

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    1. "For certain classes of goods and certain services, like customer phone centers, it makes sense—economically if not socially—to employ these offshore workers. Americans as a group have too high a standard of living for anyone to employ them making, say, lawn mowers. A mower made overseas costs $250 to $350. One made by American hands would cost $800 to $900—and the utility value simply is not there."
    The Coming Robotics Age

    2. If they [iPads] were built in the USA you basic model iPad would likely cost closer to $800 or $1,00 instead of $499.
    Samsung to seek iPhone 5 ban in Korea – MacDailyNews - Welcome Home

    3. Walmart's new ad campaign says that the store saves the average American family $2,500 a year. What is doesn't say is that you don't actually have to shop at Walmart to take advantage of the savings.

    The study that Walmart is citing in their ad showed that competition from Walmart lowered prices and saved the average family some serious money, regardless of where they actually shopped. Also, Walmart isn't mentioning that after wage depression, the net increase in purchasing power averages only $1,122 annually.
    Walmart "Saves The Average Family $2,500 A Year," But You Don't Actually Have To Shop There - The Consumerist
  14. Dont Taz Me Bro
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    Dont Taz Me Bro USMB Mod Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The only problem we are facing with Capitalism is that we are not using it. What we have is in this country today is crony capitalism and socialism, hence the "crisis."
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  15. kiwiman127
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    kiwiman127 Comfortably Moderate Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I can read things that fit the way I want things to be, but I don't. I prefer the real world instead of a world a world painted with rose-colored glasses that fit my ideology.

    The facts you love to go into denial with are those by the world's top investors, the world's top economist and good ole hard facts by the IRS, the Census Bureau and the CBO. But you choose to ignore reality by reading what suits your ideology

    I see you used the Federal Reserve as a source,what is the Fed saying?


    Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin said the financial inequality resulting from stagnating incomes for most Americans and rapid growth in wealth for the richest 1 percent is hindering the U.S. economic recovery.
    &#8220;This inequality is destabilizing and undermines the ability of the economy to grow sustainably and efficiently,&#8221; Raskin said today to a forum in Washington sponsored by the New America Foundation. The disparities help &#8220;drag down maximum economic growth and are anathema to the social progress that is part and parcel of such growth,&#8221; she said.
    Raskin Says Income Inequality Among Americans Undermining Economic Growth - Bloomberg
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  16. sealybobo
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    sealybobo Beavis

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    Capitalism isn't a political phylosophy, its an economic one.
  17. ilia25
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    ilia25 I can do math

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    And if that leads to more income inequality, then what?
  18. TakeAStepBack
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    If you mean wealth gap, it won't. Removing restrictions to foster capital ventures in America, and removing the subsidies given to "winners" by government and letting insolvent firms fail will foster fierce competition again. This raises the bar for everyone and creates wealth for all.


    "Income inequality" is a nonissue. It suggests that everyone should get the same amount and that is a ridiculous idea.
  19. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Gold Member

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    "...you read ideological friendly books."
    Actually, I read books on both sides, but am able to discriminate between correct conclusions, and the kind of stuff you put on bumper stickers.

    "Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin said the financial inequality resulting from stagnating incomes for most Americans and rapid growth in wealth for the richest 1 percent is hindering the U.S. economic recovery."

    Horsefeathers.

    1. The glaring error in your precis is the underlying idea that there is a 'rich' class in this nation, i.e. the "1%."
    No such class exists in an ongoing basis...merely as a snapshot in time.

    "More than three-quarters of those working Americans whose incomes were in the bottom 20 percent in 1975 were also in the top 40 percent of income earners at some point by 1991, says Sowell."
    Source: Thomas Sowell, "How Media Misuse Income Data To Match Their Preconceptions," Investor's Business Daily, January 12, 2010.
    For text:
    How Media Misuse Income Data To Match Their Preconceptions - Investors.com

    2. So concerned about the "rich" are you hand-wringers (oops...was that a LABEL??) that you don't know what income that requires:
    To get into the “top 1%” of Americans you don’t need to be a billionaire or millionaire or half-millionaire. The minimum wage earners in that group make about $343k/year….The “top 1%” of wage earners earn 17% of the nation’s income.
    Nicole Lapin, Who the Heck Are the "Top 1%"?!!

    $343k/year...do you realize that that income could represent a husband-wife team of police officers who use all the overtime they can get???

    3. They earn 20% of earned income, but pay 38% of federal taxes!
    Hey...do you feel their pain?

    4. “…in 1967 only one in 25 families earned an income of $100,000 or more in real income, whereas now, one in six do. The percentage of families that have an income of more than $75,000 a year has tripled from 9% to 27%. But it's not just the rich that are getting richer. Virtually every income group has been lifted by the tide of growth in recent decades.”
    Great American Dream Machine

    5. Income and wealth inequality…or demographics. In Alan Reynold’s “Income and Wealth,” he studied the data, and found the following. Certainly the top fifth of households has a far greater proportion of same, but it also has six times as many full-time workers as the bottom fifth, heavily composed of two-earner couples with older children or other relatives who work. The bottom fifth is heavily composed of aged or younger couples, the retired or the still in school. Also, some in the bottom fifth because they are part of the underground economy, or in crime, so income is not reported. Or suffer addictions which preclude work.

    a. In 2004, 56.4% of households in the bottom fifth featured no work by anyone for the entire year.
    HINC-05--Part 1

    b.The total number of full time, year round workers in the bottom fifth for 2004 was less than 3 million…which compares to 16.4 million in the top fifth of households. Ibid.


    Did you have to step over any starving bodies on your way to work today?
    No?
    I didn't think so.

    Look at the free education you're getting here!!!

    All that remains to be seen is whether or not your are educable.....
  20. kiwiman127
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    kiwiman127 Comfortably Moderate Supporting Member

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    "4. In actuality, the income of full time wage and salary workers increased between 1980 and 2004, and so did real income- either by 13% or 17%, depending on which price index is used in the calculation. Reynolds, “Income and Wealth,” p. 63." PoliticalChic.

    So in 24 years wages and salaries grew 13-17%, that number does include the top percentile's income growth which of course skews the numbers upwards. Would the 13-17% numbers hold up after eliminating the top percentile earners? 17% growth in 24 years doesn't even equal 1% per year, take out the top percentiles and what kind of annual growth does one get.

    From the conservative The Economist:

    Occupy Wall Street" gets a boost from a new report on income distribution

    OF ALL the many banners being waved around the world by disgruntled protesters from Chile to Australia the one that reads, "We Are the 99%" is the catchiest. It is purposefully vague, but it is also underpinned by some solid economics. A report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) points out that income inequality in America has not risen dramatically over the past 20 years—when the top 1% of earners are excluded. With them, the picture is quite different. The causes of the good fortune of those at the top are disputed, but the CBO provides some useful detail on that too. The biggest component of the increase in after-tax income for the top one percent is "business income" as opposed to income from labour or investments (though admittedly these things are hard to untangle). Whatever the cause, the data are powerful because they tend to support two prejudices. First, that a system that works well for the very richest has delivered returns on labour that are disappointing for everyone else. Second, that the people at the top have made out like bandits over the past few decades, and that now everyone else must pick up the bill. Of course it is a little more complicated than that. But this downturn ought to test the normally warm feelings in America of the 99% towards the 1%.Income inequality in America: The 99 percent | The Economist
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012

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