'The United States of Inequality'

Discussion in 'Economy' started by midcan5, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Excellent piece that covers many parts of the economic and job puzzle. Worth a read.


    "In 1915, a statistician at the University of Wisconsin named Willford I. King published The Wealth and Income of the People of the United States, the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. The United States was displacing Great Britain as the world's wealthiest nation, but detailed information about its economy was not yet readily available; the federal government wouldn't start collecting such data in any systematic way until the 1930s. One of King's purposes was to reassure the public that all Americans were sharing in the country's newfound wealth.

    King was somewhat troubled to find that the richest 1 percent possessed about 15 percent of the nation's income. (A more authoritative subsequent calculation puts the figure slightly higher, at about 18 percent.)"

    "...Today, the richest 1 percent account for 24 percent of the nation's income. What caused this to happen? Over the next two weeks, I'll try to answer that question by looking at all potential explanations¬órace, gender, the computer revolution, immigration, trade, government policies, the decline of labor, compensation policies on Wall Street and in executive suites, and education."

    The Great Divergence and the decline of labor. (1) - By Timothy Noah - Slate Magazine


    "What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable." Adam Smith 'The Wealth of Nations,' Book I Chapter VIII
     
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  2. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    Oh Boo-frelling-hoo!

    In 1915, how many people had computers, cellphones, big screen tvs, air conditioning, washing machines and dryers, hair dryers, cars, and all the other things that make the middle class and even the poor life styles in America more comfortable and healthier than those of medieval royalty.
     
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  3. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    1915?

    Golly...That was just a couple years after the creation of the Federal Reserve, income tax, 17th Amendment and popular election of Senators, the explosion of federal spending and the dawn of the infestation of Fabian socialist progressives into the federal gubmint.

    Coincidence?...I hardly think so.
     
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  4. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Ignore above wingnut comments and read the piece. Dude's endless cutesy replies grew boring quickly.
     
  5. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    You'd only have a point if the economic pie were static in size, bub. As it is, the standard of living at all levels of income has risen dramatically since that time. It's because The Rich have invested in technology that we enjoy the time saving and life enhancing products that we do.

    Or would you rather be a dirt farmer?
     
  6. william the wie
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    william the wie Gold Member

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    Accepting your premise requires good sense or at least a decent sense of history, what makes you think it exists? By the way where is Dude's post, he is always worth reading.
     
  7. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Read the article before sticking foot in mouth. No one raises dirt, but technology, agribusiness, and WWII changed farming. The Dust Bowl of, I believe '38, changed things too. And there is nothing wrong with being a farmer, many are going back to it as the organic movement grows. Work is work, and so called time saving devices can be a slavery of time, or simply a waste of time. But Madison avenue doesn't want that idea spread around.

    [ Dude is now Oddball, seems identity is a problem for some. ]


    "Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo: not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally, just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences." Lewis Mumford
     
  8. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    Great. Go back to washing your clothes by beating them on a rock, live without electricity, and give up your computer.

    As you feel enslaved by time-saving devices, you should feel liberated by the lack of them.
     
  9. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Be a dirt farmer, we get lots of govt welfare if we want it.
     
  10. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Twelve minutes is enough if you haven't the time.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCu-XnVxhfk]YouTube - Reich: How Unequal Can America Get ?[/ame]
     

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