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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 23, 2012 12:43 PM. The previous post in this blog was Nuke trouble on Lake Michigan. The next post in this blog is Sam Rands and the Coliseum: epic fail. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's worse than you think

Inequality of wealth in America, that is. [More here.]

Comments (19)

The fallacy of leftism believes wealth is "distributed." By WHOM?

Wealth is created and accumulated.

A proper term would be "concentrated."

No nation the size of the U.S. has ever prospered from government re-distributed wealth.

Violent revolution is another option.

Or, instead of being a layabout green-eyed whinger, one could redirect useless "revolutionary" efforts and work harder to get your own little slice. Win-win.

"Or, instead of being a layabout green-eyed whinger, one could redirect useless 'revolutionary' efforts and work harder to get your own little slice. Win-win."

That's definitely important advice for anybody advocating for a more just society. If the struggles of civil rights, gay rights, women's suffrage, Tahrir square, and others have taught us anything, it's that social advocacy is stupid and pointless.

Man the trolls are out today...must be the lousy weather!

It's not that we're spending too little on public education and health care. It's that a generation of unionized school teachers have dumbed down our public schools, money-grubbing medical providers are hiding behind HIPPA laws to over-test, over-medicate, and over-operate, and the tort lobby reinforces it all with frivolous lawsuits.

7 out of the Top 10 richest Members of Congress are Democrats, including that French looking guy who also once served in Viet Nam.

I would have thought most would have been Repubs.

One clear path to wealth is to work hard and earn it, by marrying into it, as both Kerry and McCain have figured out.

(*cough*) Wyden.

Do you think that the disparity is because of not enough regulation of individuals and free associations (businesses)?

I think that those who are really good at crafting laws use the laws to make it harder for energetic individuals on the outside to innovate, create and get ahead.

Our urban growth boundary has greatly benefited me, but it was because I got there before it was created. My net worth would be far less if regional growth hadn't been restricted by a tight urban noose.

But perhaps if the market hadn't been artificially restricted, my net worth might be higher because I could have bought more houses or even apartments.

Earth calling Concordbridge, over. Come in Concordbridge, over. Earth calling Concordbridge, over.

You are so wrong. Crafting laws to make it harder to innovate? You're typimg this sillyness using a computer. What an oxymoron. The innovation of computer technology and how it has changed the world is a revloution in of itself. No one has or could stop it.

Note to Jack. There is some irony here, given that as a law professor it seems reasonable that your in the top 10% bracket. The link you shared claims that the 10 percents controls 2 thirds of the $$$$.
If you are a ten percenter, you're doing a great job controlling us. :-)

The real fallacy here is that hard work somehow makes one wealthy. If this were true every Mexican I know would be a billionaire.

Another fallacy is the notion that there is a shortage of people willing to work hard. The real shortage is of gainful employment. Ignore the great success stories of the gifted and connected, when the average person cannot live comfortably through their work there is trouble in a democracy.

Lack of ability to earn enough to be independent leads voters to demand more social services. A wealth gap leads to more people in poverty, which leads to more people qualifying for social services.

Without reform this can and will spiral out of control.

"Cowboy up and work harder" is great, and that might be the solution to an individual's money problems. That is not a solution to the macro-economic problem of wealth distribution.

@Indie - You are incorrect. Wealth has been distributed up via targeted tax reforms and incentives, legislative forbearance, blind eye regulatory policy, deregulation, favorable judicial decisions, union busting and straight monetary give-aways amounting to trillions.

While so many right wingers attack the notion of wealth distribution - blaming it on some progressive agenda - we've witnessed the biggest redistribution of wealth in the history of the world.

We've witnessed the bankers and business types the right wing loves to defend, reach into the future and grab the wealth of generations of unborn children and redistribute it amongst themselves, even as their zombie-like admirers rush to decry the concept.

It takes a special kind of idiot to fall for this. Fortunately, the Republican Party is now packed with them - in fact they're leading a stampede of morons right over the cliff.

When I hear Sarah Palin and the current GOP brain trust, I just wish we could distribute a little more brain power. It's one thing to be dumb - it's another to be working so hard to do someone else's bidding. That's a special kind of dumb.

Jo: The real fallacy here is that hard work somehow makes one wealthy.
JK: It does, but only if you are also smart about it. Don’t try to dig a ditch with a teaspoon - get a machine to do it.

Jo: Another fallacy is the notion that there is a shortage of people willing to work hard.
JK: Are we talking of people with training in science or in the arts?

Jo: Wealth has been distributed up via .... straight monetary give-aways amounting to trillions.
JK: Like all the green energy money that went to big campaign donors.

Bill McDonald: While so many right wingers attack the notion of wealth distribution - blaming it on some progressive agenda - we've witnessed the biggest redistribution of wealth in the history of the world.
JK: Yep. Done a our progressive president. And a Democrat Senate. Either one could have stopped it. Wasn’t the house also Democrat at that time?

Bill McDonald: We've witnessed the bankers and business types the right wing loves to defend, reach into the future and grab the wealth of generations of unborn children and redistribute it amongst themselves, even as their zombie-like admirers rush to decry the concept.
JK: That is a big part of reason for the rise of the tea parties - disgust about crony capitalism of BOTH parties (Bush & Obama).

Bill McDonald: It takes a special kind of idiot to fall for this. Fortunately, the Republican Party is now packed with them - in fact they're leading a stampede of morons right over the cliff.
JK: Did you not notice that the Democrats are as guilty as the Republicans? As I said above - that is a big part of reason for the rise of the tea parties.

Bill McDonald: It's one thing to be dumb - it's another to be working so hard to do someone else's bidding. That's a special kind of dumb.
JK: Dumb - you mean like our energy secretary trying to make energy more expensive to benefit solar & wind?
Dumb - you mean like our EPA trying to shut down almost 50% of our electric generation capacity to benefit natural gas?
Dumb - you mean like promoting turning food into fuel to benefit farmers at the expense of starving third world people?
Dumb - you mean like increasing our electric bills by mandating expensive (allegedly) green energy to benefit solar & wind? (Much of it sold by Democrat party supporters! Think recent bailouts.)

Have you considered joining the Tea Party, AFP or 912 to work to change things ( real change, not just change to believe in)?

Have you, at least, considered joining the Clackastanis?

Thanks
JK

Point missed, point missed, agreed 100% :-)

Jo is really onto something.

The saddest thing I see today is that the privileged go to such great lengths to convince themselves that their prosperity was the direct result of some inherent superiority the rest of the masses lack. In reality, they need to appreciate how fortunate they are to be in their position and share their good fortune with the less fortunate. You know, the Christian thing to do.

Michael Lewis said it better than I could ever do here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiQ_T5C3hIM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Income inequality is going to continue to grow due to the power of the internet. I don't know where it will stop, or what it is going to look like in the future, but the internet is in the process of changing the entire process of wealth creation.

Policy makers can wring their hands until the cows come home but they are basically powerless to alter the new direction for wealth creation. As the internet, and the devices attached to it, become more powerful, income enquality will continue to grow.

Thanks Jo, I agree with you... teaspoons for digging, rich... lol... although no one mentioned the lack of integrity it take to get ahead....

Reason magazine has another view:
Surprise: Economic Mobility is Alive and Well in America!

"You can be concerned that there's not enough [economic] mobility or enough opportunity, but you don't have to also believe that things are getting worse."

So says Scott Winship of the centrist Brookings Institution.

Despite having a wealth of empirical evidence on his side, it's a lonely position. Researchers, writers, and politicians on the political right (think Charles Murray in his new book Coming Apart and former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum) and on the left (Timothy Noah in The Great Divergence and President Barack Obama) are convinced that economic mobility is shrinking.

In a series of provocative essays in a wide array of outlets, Winship demonstrates that while income inequality may indeed be growing (especially at the top end of things), mobility is not declining. As he wrote earlier this year in an article at National Review,

http://reason.com/blog/2012/06/21/surprise-economic-mobility-is-alive-and

thanks
JK

JK: That looks like a bunch of cooked up hogwash, but also does not address the big issue really.

In a democracy a divergence like this can only lead to more and more government assistance.


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