Book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century"
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Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: "Capital in the Twenty First Century" on 05/07/2014 12:06:51 MDT Print View

Also,who do you blame more: the 1%/ .1%, or 5% that are looking out for themselves....or the politicians that write policies to favor those mentioned above instead of looking out for public interest?


http://www.opensecrets.org

The above is not a site delving into conspiracies; it's "open secrets" because a lot of the info is available to anyone looking a little deeper into those professing to work for us.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Lots of numbers on 05/07/2014 18:18:23 MDT Print View

Lots of numbers are getting tossed around, but the bottom line for me is that when the wages of the workers who actually design and make tangible goods, or perform services remain flat, or even go down when adjusted for inflation, even as their productivity and/or hours worked increases, while the remuneration of executives/shareholders skyrockets, something has gone seriously wrong. IMHO, those workers should receive their rightful share of the profit from the gains in productivity first. Then let the suits and shareholders engage in an unseemly struggle for what is left over. That's my version of trickle down economics, or should I call it trickle up?

Part of the problem is due to globalization, and part to automation and other technological innovations, but even after eliminating them from the equation, the inequality is egregiously unjust. But then, I'm probably prejudiced. I grew up in an era when a factory worker could support his family on one 40 hour job, and executives were satisfied to make only 30 times as much as the workers.

Edited: As someone posted earlier, either here or in a related thread, "the French aristocracy didn't see it coming either". Might the future repeat the past? wouldn't surprise me a bit if things don't change. That is, if we're not all 6 feet under water by then.

Edited by ouzel on 05/07/2014 18:21:25 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: "Capital in the Twenty First Century" on 05/07/2014 20:16:06 MDT Print View

Hi Scott,

Looks like you have some passion on this subject. Good for you, passion is important. But it's far less useful on its own than when it's paired with curiosity, critical thought, and especially a bit of skepticism, lest you believe everything you hear/read from your information sources of choice. No source, not left, not right, not non partisan, gives you all information. And the sources on the left and right tend to omit that information which either doesn't further their narrative or seems to contradict their narrative. It's the nature of the beast.

And the 1%/99% bit is just a narrative. Such hard cutoffs really don't work in the real world. I mean, think about it. Let's say the cutoff is an even $400,000. You make $400,000 you're part of the 1%. That means if you make $399,999 you're part of the 99%. See the silliness of hard cutoffs? They really don't make sense in the real world, only in the world of someone's narrative.

You also have to figure out just what numbers you're talking about. When you talk about the 1%, are you talking about the 1% of wage earners in a given year, or are you talking about the 1% of asset owners? Those can be different people with different agendas. I'll assume when you talk of wealth, you're talking more about the latter than the former.

Some more numbers: In America, the so-labeled 1% actually own about 40% of the wealth. The top 10 percent own about 74% of the wealth. So I'm betting that the bottom 90% don't feel they have a lot in common with the 90-99%, which kind of further erodes the 1% narrative. And, really, even within the 1%, the top half has far more than the lower half. From what I can glean from reading about this issue for awhile now, both wealth and income are super-concentrated in the top .1%. You might find the following article interesting, as it discusses some of this (with data as of 2010): http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

Two other points I'd like to address in your post: First, you misunderstood my comment about the Starbucks. The comment was made as a follow-on to Craig's post - basically I was saying that the Starbucks-drinking Occupy folks were relatively rich compared to some of the destitute people in other countries, basically agreeing with the point Craig was making.

And second, as far as being far from reality, I agree, but I'm going to give marriage another try anyway. That is, if I ever get the opportunity.....

Best,

Doug

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: "Capital in the Twenty First Century" on 05/07/2014 20:37:53 MDT Print View

Well said, Doug.

Scott Jones
(Endeavor) - M
Capital in the Twenty first century on 05/07/2014 22:23:41 MDT Print View

The pay between workers and CEO are lopsided.
Example here where the hourly rate is given out what CEO's of McDonalds make, what Starbucks CEO makes per hour, Dollar General, and The Gap so on in comparison to what there employees make.
Wages/Minimum Wage

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Capital in the Twenty first century on 05/08/2014 06:33:58 MDT Print View

"And second, as far as being far from reality, I agree, but I'm going to give marriage another try anyway. That is, if I ever get the opportunity....."

well....I'm waiting.............even if you are, ahem, one of those hammock people.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Capital in the Twenty first century on 05/08/2014 06:38:38 MDT Print View

You guys registering at MLD or Zpacks?

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Re: Capital in the Twenty first century on 05/08/2014 08:20:04 MDT Print View

I think this is our first fight. I vote for Zpacks, but doug...not a fan.

Maybe we'll have to go some other route...MLD (who doesn't love MLD?), HMG, EE...the choices are endless!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Capital in the Twenty first century on 05/10/2014 18:00:59 MDT Print View

"1%" is just shorthand for 0.1% or 0.01%

Someone that makes $400,000 will pay about 50% tax. That is not the person that gamed the system for their own benefit.

A 0.1%er or 0.01%er will get most of their income from investments. A family dynasty that passes wealth from one generation to the next. Like Kennedy, Rockefeller, Koch, Walton,... So they will pay a 15% tax. Plus, you can delay selling your capital and thus delay paying the tax. Plus, if you inherit capital, the basis will be reset to the value when you inherit it so no one has to pay any tax on all the capital gain, except for that "death tax" which was zero for one year but keeps changing.

And average corporate tax has gone down from about 50% (on average) in 1950 to about 15% now - a bunch of loopholes put in by "the best government money can buy".

And there are other rules the "1%" have changed to increase their share of the wealth.

Henry Ford said that his employees have to earn enough to afford their own product. When there's a strong middle class, the economy will be better for everyone.