View Full Version : Inequality in America



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PWitty
02-20-2014, 11:18 AM
Data showing the change in inequality from 2007-2012, and the state of inequality between the 20th percentile and the 95th percentile of households as it stands today. It's shocking how high the household income of the 95th percentile is in SF, even compared to cities like Boston, NYC, and Chicago.

Another surprising stat was that the 20th percentile of households in OKC make more than the 20th percentile of households in cities such as Boston, NYC, LA, and Chicago. All of which have MUCH higher costs of living than OKC.

Inequality in America (http://www.businessinsider.com/inequality-is-rising-fastest-in-san-francisco-2014-2)

PWitty
02-20-2014, 11:33 AM
Here's the PDF showing the full table with all 51 cities. Kind of interesting to compare the 20th/95th percentiles across different cities.

Full Data Set (http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/02/city%20inequality/appendix.pdf)

Zuplar
02-20-2014, 11:58 AM
I'm not sure how I feel about this data. Of course might also be due to where I'd fall in terms of percentiles.

PennyQuilts
02-20-2014, 12:01 PM
Data showing the change in inequality from 2007-2012, and the state of inequality between the 20th percentile and the 95th percentile of households as it stands today. It's shocking how high the household income of the 95th percentile is in SF, even compared to cities like Boston, NYC, and Chicago.

Another surprising stat was that the 20th percentile of households in OKC make more than the 20th percentile of households in cities such as Boston, NYC, LA, and Chicago. All of which have MUCH higher costs of living than OKC.

Inequality in America (http://www.businessinsider.com/inequality-is-rising-fastest-in-san-francisco-2014-2)

Oklahoma City has one of the lowest inequality ratings and that is one of the reasons I love living here.

Zuplar
02-20-2014, 12:20 PM
http://youtu.be/Xd1VsnwC9mg

This pretty much sums up my feelings.

Servicetech571
02-22-2014, 07:37 AM
How many of those in the bottom 20% for OKC work for a living?

Chadanth
02-22-2014, 08:13 AM
How many of those in the bottom 20% for OKC work for a living?

Probably most of them, since we have a comparatively low unemployment rate. I don't know of our LFPR matches other urban areas, though.

Servicetech571
02-22-2014, 08:29 AM
Probably most of them, since we have a comparatively low unemployment rate. I don't know of our LFPR matches other urban areas, though.

Unemployment rate doesn't take into account those that are living off the government and aren't looking for work.

PWitty
02-22-2014, 09:03 AM
I was more shocked to see how low some cities 95th percentile household income was relative to what I had expected it to be. I expected Cleveland and Detroit to be low, but they barely broke $100k! I was also surprised to see Philly, Milwaukee, and Columbus all around $150k. Especially for a city as large and economically viable as Philly, I expected it to be MUCH higher.

MustangGT
02-22-2014, 05:58 PM
Many times the reality of a situation is vastly different than perceptions. Sadly most folks base their thoughts and action on perception and NOT reality.

zookeeper
02-22-2014, 08:25 PM
Many times the reality of a situation is vastly different than perceptions. Sadly most folks base their thoughts and action on perception and NOT reality.

Wow.

You've been so rude to me in other threads, I just have to ask - did you have to get a Ph.D. in philosophy for that deep thought?
You personify, quite honestly, the parody of the simplistic Oklahoman.

RadicalModerate
02-22-2014, 09:34 PM
Is all this "Inequality" stuff based on monetary currency 'r whut?
I guess I just don't get the Standard of Measurement.
Especially if it is metric. =)

one thing that i have learned,
in passing Truth is that:
The Heavier the Ring of Keys
On your KeyRing Is
The Poorer You Are
and where is the "inequality" in that?

a simple reconstruction of something akin
to what we all know is true.
eventually.
And I'm less than 20% irish.=)

RadicalModerate
02-22-2014, 09:45 PM
Wow.

You've been so rude to me in other threads, I just have to ask - did you have to get a Ph.D. in philosophy for that deep thought?
You personify, quite honestly, the parody of the simplistic Oklahoman.

Was that rebuke just a bit harsh?
Or was that simply my misconception of what you intended to say.
Just wondering. No judgment implied.

RadicalModerate
02-22-2014, 09:49 PM
Many times the reality of a situation is vastly different than perceptions. Sadly most folks base their thoughts and action on perception and NOT reality.

Main Thing to Remember ("takeaway"): Perception is NOT Reality. (it is only a personal take on reality)
(oh....wait....i think you already knew that.... sorry ..... not trolling.... )

RadicalModerate
02-22-2014, 10:55 PM
Re: Inequality in America

With apologies to Boscorama,
for liking a previous post ^,

I wish to express my appreciation
as compared to spiteful wrath
at the risk of not recognizing
unintentional hand-wringing
for no reason whatsoever

Other than listening to
the intangible wisdom
On the Poetry Episode
Of Week (weak?) End Radio
on FREE npr/pbs. =)

(featuring Bob and Ray, btw.
the world's" champion BS spotters
even before The Internets.)

RadicalModerate
02-22-2014, 11:05 PM
I'm not sure how I feel about this data. Of course might also be due to where I'd fall in terms of percentiles.

Would those be Metric or SAE percentile?
(trust me: there's a whole lotta folk don't unnerstand even fractions without decimals)

OKCTalker
02-23-2014, 07:44 AM
Unemployment rate doesn't take into account those that are living off the government and aren't looking for work.

And it also doesn't take into effect those who AREN'T living on assistance yet are no longer looking for work.

onthestrip
08-06-2014, 02:23 PM
To some, just talking about it is class warfare (which is ridiculous) but an objective group thats outside of politics has weighed in on the income inequality in our country. Standard and Poor says that our extreme inequality is slowing growth and is more prone for boom/bust cycles.


Economic disparities appear to be reaching extremes that “need to be watched because they’re damaging to growth,” said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P.
The rising concentration of income among the top 1 percent of earners has contributed to S&P’s cutting its growth estimates for the economy. In part because of the disparity, it estimates that the economy will grow at a 2.5 percent annual pace in the next decade.

What makes it worse is their suggestion, which seeing how Oklahoma puts some of the least amount of money to education in the country.

The S&P report advises against using the tax code to try to narrow the gap. Instead, it suggests that greater access to education would help ease wealth disparities.
Part of the problem is that educational achievement has stalled in recent decades. More schooling usually translates into higher wages.

Expanding medicaid and increasing the min wage also seem like reasonable things to combat inequality.

Wealth gap seen as slowing U.S. recovery | News OK (http://newsok.com/wealth-gap-seen-as-slowing-u.s.-recovery/article/5130970)

Teo9969
08-06-2014, 02:57 PM
The best way to do it is incentivize both education and active wealth distribution. Passive wealth distribution being when nothing you do leads to your wealth being distributed and Active wealth distribution being when you give your wealth to others. Passive happens via taxes which are imposed on you by the government. Active happens when you give your wealth to others.

We have very little incentive offered to those who hold a great lot of wealth to give it to more people.

I would really like to see a politician offer up the idea that those who own companies would get substantial write-offs (if not out-right tax credits) if they paid their employees with equity in the company. This would be especially effective with small-cap and smaller companies. As employees gain equity in the company they can choose to either stay where they have a higher vested interest in doing what is necessary to see the company grow, or they can choose to (eventually) leave the company and have access to capital to do whatever they see best with that capital.

If Harold Hamm "only" owned 50% of CLR instead of 70%, there would currently be $5.4 Billion dispersed amongst his employees (and those to whom any employees had sold). That $5.4 Billion would be far more liquid and useful to anyone who owns it other than Harold Hamm who would still be worth an obscene $13.6 Billion…I sincerely doubt that anyone could even consume $1B to $2B in their lifetime, let alone $13.6B…to say nothing of the fact that I don't care how integral he was to the building of the company, were he to not have his employees, he'd never have approached even $100M let alone close to $20B.

You see, it makes sense that those that work actually get a fair share…but until one of the two parties admits that wages will never solve the inequality gap and only serve to widen it, nothing is going to move forward in fixing the problem.

MadMonk
08-06-2014, 06:49 PM
I'm surprised at the negative change in salary for the 95th percentile. With it listing a population of 599k or so, it doesn't look like it takes into account the immediate surrounding, and fairly affluent, suburbs.

TheTravellers
08-07-2014, 12:11 PM
This is not USA-specific, but thought it would be an appropriate place to put it. More bad news about inequality...

The 1% May Be Richer Than You Think, Research Shows - Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-06/the-1-may-be-richer-than-you-think-research-shows.html)

TheTravellers
09-24-2014, 03:20 PM
Another non-USA-specific poll/story...

CEOs Get Paid Too Much, According to Pretty Much Everyone in the World - Gretchen Gavett - Harvard Business Review (http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/09/ceos-get-paid-too-much-according-to-pretty-much-everyone-in-the-world/)

PennyQuilts
09-25-2014, 08:14 AM
The legal business model of publicly held corporations is what is driving this. As long as the bottom line for investors is the driving force, the salary of the CEO is just a number on the spreadsheet and far from the most important - it right up there with the cost of cleaning supplies. People who are offended need to stop supporting publicly held corporations and good luck with that.

Teo9969
09-25-2014, 10:34 AM
The overall problem is the overarching lack of ownership in companies. People have stupidly traded equity for salary. And if you're thinking that they never owned equity, realize that 50 years ago, the small business was still a significant part of the economic fabric. The small business was hurt a ton by sprawl, and since then big business started taking over just about every market. More small businesses = more business ownership in general = less CEO pay.

But if the people who have worked for these companies for so long owned stock instead that grew as the company grew, they'd be worth quite a bit more.

Furthermore, if you cut CEO pay, where do you think that money is going to go? Even if it went to the employees, it wouldn't help many of them out very much at all, but more likely it would be one more thing, as PQ mentioned, slashed for the improvement of the bottom line for investors.

TheTravellers
09-25-2014, 11:09 AM
It seems to all come down to completely unfettered greed, capitalism, must make money/profit at all costs, screw everybody else. Look at IBM for a fantastic (and sad) example of this.

TheTravellers
09-25-2014, 01:25 PM
And America sucks once again at equality:

America Has More Low-Paying Jobs Than Any Other Developed Country (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/23/low-paying-jobs_n_5868350.html)

"The U.S. has more low-paying jobs than any other country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an economic group of 34 developed countries, according to a research note released by Morgan Stanley on Monday."

TheTravellers
01-20-2015, 04:17 PM
Not just the USA, but everywhere. Depressing...

Richest 1 Percent To Own More Than Half Of The World's Wealth By 2016, Oxfam Finds (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/19/world-wealth-oxfam_n_6499798.html)

"The rich keep getting richer, and by next year, just a handful of the upper-class will have accumulated more than half of the world's wealth.

A new report released on Monday by Oxfam warns that this deepening global inequality is unlike anything seen in recent years.

Using research from Credit Suisse and Forbes' annual billionaires list, the anti-poverty charity was able to determine that the richest 1 percent of the world's population currently controls 48 percent of the world's total wealth.

If trends continue, Oxfam predicts that the most-affluent will possess more wealth than the remaining 99 percent by 2016, The New York Times reported.

Drill down the numbers even more and you'll learn that the 80 wealthiest people in the world possess $1.9 trillion, which is almost the same amount shared by some 3.5 billion people at the bottom half of the world's income scale."

TheTravellers
01-20-2015, 04:21 PM
Here's something that's more relevant to America, still depressing...

The Sad State Of America's Middle Class, In 6 Charts (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/20/middle-class-charts_n_6507506.html)

Huskie61
01-20-2015, 06:04 PM
If I hadn't worked hard all my life I could get upset.....I'd be in the lower 20%.

TheTravellers
01-20-2015, 08:10 PM
If I hadn't worked hard all my life I could get upset.....I'd be in the lower 20%.

I *have* worked hard all my life, since I was 13, and my lifestyle is slowly declining from middle class....

jerrywall
01-21-2015, 10:01 AM
Not just the USA, but everywhere. Depressing...

Richest 1 Percent To Own More Than Half Of The World's Wealth By 2016, Oxfam Finds (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/19/world-wealth-oxfam_n_6499798.html)

"The rich keep getting richer, and by next year, just a handful of the upper-class will have accumulated more than half of the world's wealth.

A new report released on Monday by Oxfam warns that this deepening global inequality is unlike anything seen in recent years.

Using research from Credit Suisse and Forbes' annual billionaires list, the anti-poverty charity was able to determine that the richest 1 percent of the world's population currently controls 48 percent of the world's total wealth.

If trends continue, Oxfam predicts that the most-affluent will possess more wealth than the remaining 99 percent by 2016, The New York Times reported.

Drill down the numbers even more and you'll learn that the 80 wealthiest people in the world possess $1.9 trillion, which is almost the same amount shared by some 3.5 billion people at the bottom half of the world's income scale."

Of course, that 1% they're talking about? Chances are, if you're on this board, you're part of it. It's the global 1%, and last time I saw it, it was basically any household making more than 30k a year. The so called poor rising up and eating the rich revolution won't be poor in the US attacking the rich in the US, it will be the rest of the worlds poor attacking the developed first world nations. Not many folks here would be willing to lower their living standard to the $1.25 a day (less than $500 a year) that the world's poorest live on.

Teo9969
01-21-2015, 02:19 PM
Drill down the numbers even more and you'll learn that the 80 wealthiest people in the world possess $1.9 trillion, which is almost the same amount shared by some 3.5 billion people at the bottom half of the world's income scale."

"Possess"

First off, I highly doubt that the wealthiest people in the world are actually among those listed in the list of the Top 80…Maybe some of those at the very top, yes…but there are a lot of rich families whose wealth isn't tied up in stock that can be calculated publicly.

Speaking of that, second off, these people aren't sitting on $15B cash. They own stock in a company that has an abstract value of $15B. They couldn't just cash out those stocks without taking a huge hit to their actual wealth, while likely endangering the companies they worked hard to build. These companies employ tons of workers who all generally depend on the stability of the value of their company's stock which means that there is a certain eco-system working whereby these people don't and likely never will have access to their full net-worth.

That's not to say that I don't think that some of that stock shouldn't have been distributed more equitably to the rest of the people who made significant contributions to the building of these economic giants like Microsoft, Nike, Facebook, etc. I'd love to see incentives for small companies to diversify ownership among the employees who are responsible for the success so that as a company grows from small to medium and from medium to large that there are more people who see the results and can then filter that money through a broader range of channels into the less fortunate parts of the world economy.

But let's not pretend that these people are so far away from us. As jerrywall pointed out…you're likely part of that 1% sucking resources from the rest of the world. How many things do you own made in China? How much food do you eat made in Mexico? If we paid a fair wage to the workers in countries that we harvest labor from, all of our products would be significantly more expensive.

TheTravellers
01-21-2015, 04:00 PM
From Richest 1 percent will own more than the rest by 2016: Oxfam | Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/19/us-davos-meeting-inequality-idUSKBN0KS0SW20150119)

"Members of the top 1 percent had an average wealth of $2.7 million per adult, Oxfam said."

I haven't been able to find out how they got that number, but I'm no-freaking-where close to that (and yes, I know it says *average*).

Another article said that there are millions of people in the top 1% in the world, so it may be possible that I'm in the world's top 1%, I guess. In the USA, however, different story, probably not in the top 30% here.

Mel
01-21-2015, 06:21 PM
Compared to a older handicapped Man from Bangladesh I might rate a 2%.

Huskie61
01-25-2015, 02:00 PM
Frankly, I don't care what the 1% have, that's their business and they've worked for what they have. I care about what I have! However, regarding my quest to be in the middle class, I have worked had all my life to be there but for every step I take forward the gov't pushes me back two steps...
What is the money per year one must make to be in that elite class?

Village
01-25-2015, 10:22 PM
Frankly, I don't care what the 1% have, that's their business and they've worked for what they have. I care about what I have! However, regarding my quest to be in the middle class, I have worked had all my life to be there but for every step I take forward the gov't pushes me back two steps...
What is the money per year one must make to be in that elite class?
Well, what if they inherited said wealth, or got it through corruption? And how does the government push you back?

TheTravellers
01-26-2015, 11:44 AM
Frankly, I don't care what the 1% have, that's their business and they've worked for what they have....

Actually, I'm betting that a huge amount of them did *not* work for what they have. Inheritance, trust funds, investments, etc.

kelroy55
01-26-2015, 12:57 PM
Frankly, I don't care what the 1% have, that's their business and they've worked for what they have. I care about what I have! However, regarding my quest to be in the middle class, I have worked had all my life to be there but for every step I take forward the gov't pushes me back two steps...
What is the money per year one must make to be in that elite class?

The man is keeping you down ....

TheTravellers
01-26-2015, 01:45 PM
Here's How Much You Have To Earn To Be In The 1 Percent In Each State (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/26/1-percent-in-each-state-map_n_6548222.html)

$328K in OK, so I certainly am not in the 1% here...

This Map Reveals Just How Unequal The So-Called Recovery Is (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/26/most-unequal-states-in-america-map_n_6532350.html)

Just the facts
01-26-2015, 01:59 PM
I have worked had all my life to be there but for every step I take forward the gov't pushes me back two steps...


You realize the government is doing the bidding of the 1% right? You are fighting on the wrong side of this issue. I assume you probably like Glenn Beck and he did a pretty good job of documenting the incest between government and the 1%.

Huskie61
01-26-2015, 02:16 PM
Inflation, printing of mega bucks at the Federal Reserve, cost of living etc. Those are but a few of the things that hold the middle class back-actually, all workers.

ctchandler
01-26-2015, 02:37 PM
Actually, I'm betting that a huge amount of them did *not* work for what they have. Inheritance, trust funds, investments, etc.

TheTravellers,
I worked very hard for the money that I invested! And now, that money keeps me off of Medicaid, and any other type of welfare now that I am retired. I ain't rich, but I ain't poor and nobody pays for anything that I receive but me! And actually, I don't have a problem with somebody that inherits what his family worked for either. Not sure I understand trust funds so I can't comment on those.
C. T.

Just the facts
01-26-2015, 02:38 PM
Inflation, printing of mega bucks at the Federal Reserve, cost of living etc. Those are but a few of the things that hold the middle class back-actually, all workers.

And who among us is the primary supporters of those things? Answer, the 1%. This is why the Tea Party and the 99% have soooo much more in common than most people want to believe. We might recognize the common enemy but far too many people still believe in the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" doctrine and so the rank and file of the left and right refuse to work with each other.

TheTravellers
01-27-2015, 10:50 AM
TheTravellers,
I worked very hard for the money that I invested! And now, that money keeps me off of Medicaid, and any other type of welfare now that I am retired. I ain't rich, but I ain't poor and nobody pays for anything that I receive but me! And actually, I don't have a problem with somebody that inherits what his family worked for either. Not sure I understand trust funds so I can't comment on those.
C. T.

Just to be clear, I don't really have too much of a problem with people that inherited their wealth, the problem I have is when they use that money and power to game and rig the system (where system = America) to their massive benefit and to the detriment of a huge percentage of the rest of the population.

Urbanized
01-27-2015, 10:58 AM
The rich do not pay the most taxes, they pay ALL the taxes (http://www.cnbc.com/id/101264757#).

Jersey Boss
01-27-2015, 11:21 AM
The rich do not pay the most taxes, they pay ALL the taxes (http://www.cnbc.com/id/101264757#).

The article is a little misleading in that only income taxes are cited. Also keep in mind that capital gains are not taxed like wages. Then there is this article on the so called "job creators".

20 big profitable US companies paid no taxes (http://www.cnbc.com/id/101917093)

Zuplar
01-27-2015, 11:51 AM
Here's How Much You Have To Earn To Be In The 1 Percent In Each State (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/26/1-percent-in-each-state-map_n_6548222.html)

$328K in OK, so I certainly am not in the 1% here...

This Map Reveals Just How Unequal The So-Called Recovery Is (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/26/most-unequal-states-in-america-map_n_6532350.html)

While that's a lot of money, not as much as I thought it'd be.

MsProudSooner
01-28-2015, 03:04 PM
While that's a lot of money, not as much as I thought it'd be.

Moths of the 1% in Oklahoma probably don't qualify for the 1% overall.

TheTravellers
01-29-2015, 04:33 PM
Why wealthy Americans? delusions about the poor are so dangerous - Salon.com (http://www.salon.com/2015/01/23/why_wealthy_americans_delusions_about_the_poor_are _so_dangerous_partner/)

"The rich are certainly entitled to their own opinions ó but, as the old saying goes, nobody is entitled to their own facts. With that in mind, hereís a set of tax facts thatís worth considering: Middle- and low-income Americans are facing far higher state and local tax rates than the wealthy. In all, a comprehensive analysis by the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy finds that the poorest 20 percent of households pay on average more than twice the effective state and local tax rate (10.9 percent) as the richest 1 percent of taxpayers (5.4 percent).

ITEP researchers say the incongruity derives from state and local governmentsí reliance on sales, excise and property taxes rather than on more progressively structured income taxes that increase rates on higher earnings. They argue that the tax disconnect is helping create the largest wealth gap between the rich and middle class in American history."

TheTravellers
02-10-2015, 11:47 AM
Robert Reich: America is headed full speed back to the 19th century - Salon.com (http://www.salon.com/2015/02/10/robert_reich_america_is_heading_full_speed_back_to _the_19th_century_partner/)

"During the thirty years after the end of World War II, as the economy doubled in size, so did the wages of most Americans — along with improved hours and working conditions.

Yet since around 1980, even though the economy has doubled once again (the Great Recession notwithstanding), the wages most Americans have stagnated. And their benefits and working conditions have deteriorated.

This isn’t because most Americans are worth less. In fact, worker productivity is higher than ever.

It’s because big corporations, Wall Street, and some enormously rich individuals have gained political power to organize the market in ways that have enhanced their wealth while leaving most Americans behind.

That includes trade agreements protecting the intellectual property of large corporations and Wall Street’s financial assets, but not American jobs and wages.

Bailouts of big Wall Street banks and their executives and shareholders when they can’t pay what they owe, but not of homeowners who can’t meet their mortgage payments.

Bankruptcy protection for big corporations, allowing them to shed their debts, including labor contracts. But no bankruptcy protection for college graduates over-burdened with student debts.

Antitrust leniency toward a vast swathe of American industry – including Big Cable (Comcast, AT&T, Time-Warner), Big Tech (Amazon, Google), Big Pharma, the largest Wall Street banks, and giant retailers (Walmart).

But less tolerance toward labor unions — as workers trying to form unions are fired with impunity, and more states adopt so-called “right-to-work” laws that undermine unions.

We seem to be heading full speed back to the late nineteenth century.

So what will be the galvanizing force for change this time?"

His last line kind of annoys me - what the hell will it be, what can regular citizens do, how can this be turned around, etc.? I suspect that nothing much can be done by us, we have no power, we don't have the billions of $$$ that it would take to change things and make America a decent place for regular people instead of a playground for the rich...

CuatrodeMayo
02-10-2015, 12:29 PM
Inequality for All | A documentary film about income inequality, public policy, and economics and features professor Robert Reich. (http://inequalityforall.com/)

Also on Netflix. Worth a watch.

TheTravellers
02-19-2015, 02:42 PM
The big ?middle class? rip-off: How a short sale taught me rich people?s ethics - Salon.com (http://www.salon.com/2014/09/29/the_big_middle_class_rip_off_how_a_short_sale_taug ht_me_rich_peoples_ethics/)

"If regular Americans acted like corporations and the moneyed class, our country would collapse in a week from systemic theft, corruption and greed."

"Middle-class Americans just arenít the same species of human as the wealthy, but we refuse to even discuss the class issue in America. ďClassĒ is for the British, even though the U.K. now has more upward mobility. There have been many great essays and movies about the parallel but unequal capitalist systems in America. There exists a baffling, byzantine maze of corporate and personal benefits enjoyed by the super-rich and investment class both indecipherable and unavailable to regular people.

We pay banks for the privilege of fleecing us, a fact made obvious by the growing slice of corporate profits generated by the financial sector. Employment in the financial sector hovers around 5 percent of the American workforce, while they skim a third of all corporate profits off the top. They create nothing and add nothing, so in essence, a massive chunk of American profit is made up of handling fees."

"When you examine it, you cannot blame the rich for the oligarchy weíve become or for what looks more and more like the return of Dark Age feudalism. Rather, the blame lies with my fellow work-a-day slobs who vote for politicians and policies that favor investment and wealth over the work of regular people. Middle-class Americans are self-flagellating and dispirited over their own lack of wealth, as if it were a character flaw. At the same time, they fall for the deception that everyone can be rich when, of course, most people lack the connections, education and plain old luck to even get close."

"For my entire life (and I donít think this will ever change) Iíve watched friends and family engage in one Fred Flintstone-esque, get-rich-quick scheme after another. Iíve also been caught up in more of these than Iím comfortable admitting, and they always fail, without exception. At the same time (at least in my own circles) this starry-eyed group of middle- and lower-class strivers vote overwhelming for the Republican Party. I find a direct correlation with an unlikelihood to ever become wealthy corresponding with a stronger commitment to vote Republican. They further solidify institutional advantages of the business elite to which they will never, ever belong."

"I beg you, for your own sanity and well-being, stop voting for more benefits for the monocle-wearing, martini-sipping, trust fund class. They care nothing about you, your feelings, your family, or life or death. They already have plenty, so stop enriching them at your own expense." (emphasis mine)

PennyQuilts
02-19-2015, 06:18 PM
Salon.

PennyQuilts
02-19-2015, 06:30 PM
I personally don't care about the 1%. Or the 10%. Find me a very comfortable wage, say, $125,000.00. And once we carve out that group, let's get off into the weeds. I want to know what the average 45 year old is making. I want to know what the average wage is of a twenty year old. I want to know the average wage of a parent of preschool kids. I want to know how much property they have, the sizes of their portfolios, whether they came from wealth or made their own. I want to know the household income of married vs single parents. What is the LEAST useful stat is some average wage across the board. You make more as you get older, if you are educated, if you are healthy, if you can speak English, if you are a third generation citizen, if you don't have kids. Anyone at age 60 will tell you they are way further along, financially than they were at 20. Some groups, say Hispanics, have a younger average age - their wages will reflect that no matter the race. Just the difference in average age of ten years can make an enormous difference in wages or property. Are you married? Chances are you have more money. Single parent? Chances are, you are beating back poverty if you're lucky.

hoya
02-19-2015, 06:52 PM
Engaging in a get rich quick scheme is a sure way to go broke.

Motley
02-19-2015, 06:53 PM
Interesting interactive Chart on incomes. $125000/year is in the top 10% in OKC.


http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/01/15/business/one-percent-map.html

PennyQuilts
02-19-2015, 07:40 PM
Interesting interactive Chart on incomes. $125000/year is in the top 10% in OKC.


http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/01/15/business/one-percent-map.html

It's a very comfortable wage, here - and most places. But it sure isn't close to the 1% we hear so much about.

Motley
02-19-2015, 08:19 PM
I'd say $125,000/year affords a comfortable life in all but a few zip codes around the US, but it is well above most incomes. I would classify it as middle class, but by this chart, it seems to be nearer to the upper class. I know a few folks that pull in well over $500K a year, and they don't live all that much better than someone closer to $125,000. One difference is the absolute security they have in retirement and leaving a big legacy for the kids. However, I find people earning several million a year start to "be different" than the average person.

PennyQuilts
02-19-2015, 09:13 PM
I'd say $125,000/year affords a comfortable life in all but a few zip codes around the US, but it is well above most incomes. I would classify it as middle class, but by this chart, it seems to be nearer to the upper class. I know a few folks that pull in well over $500K a year, and they don't live all that much better than someone closer to $125,000. One difference is the absolute security they have in retirement and leaving a big legacy for the kids. However, I find people earning several million a year start to "be different" than the average person.
I deliberately chose $125,000 because it is very comfortable - see my earlier post. The ones butt hurt about wage inequality to the point where they act like we are divided between the uber wealthy and people living on the street kill the conversation. The mere fact that there is acute wage inequality doesn't mean what they seem to claim it means. I agree, plenty of people who are very well off live well within their means and aren't flashy. Lack of debt is HUGE in being able to live very comfortably on less. At the same time, there are many people making a good salary so deep in debt they are really poor - or at least have poor ways.

Prunepicker
02-19-2015, 10:28 PM
Don't buy things you don't need with money you don't have (credit) to impress people
you don't like.