How to distribute wealth equally?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Saint, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    23,199
    Citation needed.

    In most estimations, wages for most of the economy have been flat since 1980 - and takehome, after taxes, has been declining. Here's the "average", for example: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tan...rs-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/
    A more optimistic and detailed view: http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/
    The median - a much more informative measure for our purposes - is of course lower: an actual decline.
    And even the mythical 60% wage hikes would not have been enough to drive housing prices as we have seen them.

    Clearly no rising prosperity of the regular American jobholder is accounting for any significant part of the US housing market.

    And the best guess would be that this market, the way it is set up, is contributing to the rise in inequality of wealth. Unless the loss of wealth among the bottom 2/3, caused by the debt and the bubble and the crash and so forth, was just pissed away somewhere, and nobody ended up with it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
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  3. river Valued Senior Member

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    What I don't understand is why the middle class has been so decimated ?

    I mean the more wealth the middle class has , the more profits companies gain .

    So why are corps. making the middle class less able to buy ?
     
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  5. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Education up to university should be free of charge.
     
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  7. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Why would you want to do such a terrible thing?
    No. Certain people will not be able to survive no matter how much money you give them and others don't require you to give them any money to survive.
     
  8. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    That's a falsehood told by liberal politicians and to a lesser extent, the liberal media: most of those who have left the middle class have gone up, not down.
     
  9. river Valued Senior Member

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    8,484
    Hmmmm......

    Russ it's not a matter of who left the middle class ; nowadays it's a matter who can even get to the middle class wealth in the first place .
     
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Most I suggest...that's why its called the middle class.

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  11. river Valued Senior Member

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    Most you suggest ...?
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    23,199
    But the middle class itself has gone down, not up. It's a smaller share of the wealth, a smaller share of the economy, a lesser standard of living, at the median, than it was.

    Also, it's aging. Old people are more likely to be middle class (from wealth accumulated in America's time of greater prosperity), and middle aged people less likely (that kind of job is becoming more scarce) than in times past. So children are less likely to be raised in middle class homes.
     
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  13. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    5,051
    Good try, but 2 out of 3 doesn't make you an all-star like in baseball, it undermines your argument: you are improperly mixing absolute and relative measures. The total wealth available isn't fixed and the fraction of people in the middle class is shrinking, so the middle class can (and does) get a lower fraction of the wealth while simultaneously the people in it get a higher value of wealth --- which then, of course, means a higher real standard of living. Oops.

    And this should be obvious since - again - most people leaving the middle class went up....because most people in the middle class are moving up.

    This is also notwithstanding the fact that "wealth" is a poor measure of status: income is much better... but while river probably didn't realize that, you probably did and selected "wealth" instead of income in order to better obfuscate reality.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  14. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    At best that doesn't make sense and at worst is factually wrong. I'll say it a different way: the status we call "middle class" keeps getting richer and as a result the standards of living are rising, not falling. in other words, a person can get richer while dropping out of the middle class.
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    23,199
    That would be a statistical possibility, taking that factor in isolation - but in context with the other two and the rest of reality, also factual, it isn't the case.

    What happened is not only that the middle class shrank - with many dropping down and out, others rising up, and comparatively few rising or dropping into - but that the "changing" wealth (that isn't fixed, as you noted) was a subtraction from most of the remaining middle class (loss of house equity, in particular, and increasing debt including significantly medical).

    In combination with the stagnant wages, longer working hours, and biased inflation of prices
    (the overall inflation rate was driven by particular inflation in factors central to middle class status - college education, medical care, single family houses, purchase of services, etc).
    we have a falling, not rising, standard of living.
    A lesser standard of living at the median.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,697
    Middle class doesn't suggest size: just location.
     
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,697
    Well, that's true for some folks in the middle class, but not all. You don't seem to realize the middle class is a very diverse group of people. Some middle class folk are doing better; others are not.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_middle_class#Middle-class_squeeze
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Less skilled labor needed due to automation.
    They are not.
     
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    12,438
    In terms of real wages, the middle quintile is increasing, not decreasing, in income.
     
  20. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    I realize it, but as usual you can't read.
     
  21. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    5,051
    [shrug] As always, you have a weak grasp of the concept of "factual". I think you don't understand the difference between "factual" and "fantasy".
    Nope.
    Nope.
    Nope, nope.
     
  22. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    9,232
    A noble goal. Equal distribution of wealth. If you'll just send me your money I shall start on its redistribution the moment it is all in. Please don't delay.
     
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    23,199
    Not according to the data I have seen, graphs of some of which I have linked, above. The last time you asserted something like that, iirc, your claim turned out to be based on average household income - not at all the same thing as median wages, or median accumulated wealth.
    Like this: https://www.advisorperspectives.com...5/u-s-household-incomes-a-49-year-perspective
    Are you doing that again? Because even on that wrong foot approach, things like this still emerge from the numbers: https://www.advisorperspectives.com.../data/08/080198b250f6058c5440ab4517a1686f.png
    Meanwhile, on the topic of wealth: http://cdn.financialsamurai.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/median-net-worth.png
    I get my general notion of what is factual about the the US economy over the past few decades from published data and recorded event. Like this:
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/americas-middle-class-has-lost-nearly-30-of-wealth-2015-12-09
    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-05-13/the-middle-class-has-a-debt-problem
    My claims are in alignment with this published data, some of which has been linked for you, and recorded event, familiar to us all. No similar support for your claims has appeared here - do you have any?

    Mind, the entire discussion is tangential - at least, I am not arguing for "equal" distribution of wealth, or postulating any means of attaining that undesirable goal (I think the economy works much better when people who want to spend their time investing and otherwise putting sums of money to productive use have access to larger sums of it than those who have other priorities, for example - on the same principle that chain saws and CNC milling machines and classrooms full of ten year old children should be in the hands of people who know what they are doing and care about doing it well)

    But even if equality of wealth is a poor distribution, the current situation and trend is creating real trouble - not only common sense, but easily observed world and domestic events over the past few decades, warn us that increasing wealth inequality threatens democracy, civil liberties, overall prosperity, and many other aspects of what the USA regards as its normal arrangements. https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-dangerous-separation-of-the-american-upper-middle-class/
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017

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