What kind of wealth do the 99% have? How much of the 1% wealth is "real"?

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The 99% already own the system,after the 2008 bailout,but we are made to believe we`re the problem for the bailout. But for who know better,we need to answer the question what is "real wealth"? We 99% need to know where we should put our support,the paper of Wall St or government bonds for jobs/prevent foreclosures/unemployment benfits/social security/health care/safety-net. Where we put our support, can make a break us!

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tayl44
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You're on to something, but the details are over my pay grade.

If a company is large enough it is solely owned or through stock and board of directors controlled by the 1%. No exceptions. Sadly, most owners of local businesses foolishly believe that they either are or will be the 1%, so supporting them is not subverting the system. In my experience most "small businessmen" are more aggressively evil than the people they wish to become. If you think that BP is destructively evil try putting someone who's been running a convenience store in charge.

Even if we try to intellectually weed out commonly agreed to illusions like money (which only has value because we all agree to pretend it does) or more realistically "mortgage default swaps", (which are only real because our leaders are in on the fraud) there's a limit on how much good it will do because the 1% outright own most of real things like farm land also and anyway.

Now to contradict what I just said, most of Europe and America's "economic crisis" is a pathetic fraud. The banksters are saying that they have already stolen all our money, so we have to give it to them. Iceland called their bluff and came out the better for it. If Greece, et all do the same maybe America will see the light.

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doh1304
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Not a day goes by when I am not into my car listening to Sirius Left or at home reading a blog talking about income inequality. The class warfare arguement of the haves 1% and the have nots 99%.

When you look at it mathmatically via the Gini Coefficient, I am not seeing much change in the overall wealth distrubtion in the US. Over the last 80 years the USA has fluctuated from 37.6 after WWII to around 46 over last decade. The closer to 0 the more equal dispersion of wealth (equality). The closer to 100 the more wealth is concentrated at the top. Since 2006 thing have actually gotten better as the Gini dropped from 47 to 46.8

  • 1929: 45.0 (estimated)
  • 1947: 37.6 (estimated)
  • 1967: 39.7 (first year reported)
  • 1968: 38.6 (lowest index reported)
  • 1970: 39.4
  • 1980: 40.3
  • 1990: 42.8
  • 2000: 46.2
  • 2005: 46.9
  • 2006: 47.0 (highest index reported)
  • 2007: 46.3
  • 2008: 46.69
  • 2009: 46.8

When you look at it relative to the rest of the world the US is third behind Mexico and Brazil. But the top five are all expanding economies. Brazil, Mexico, USA, China, India. My sense is that when you live in an economy with growth potential that some people will definitely get MORE wealth than others. But I am not sure why we would attack that or or want to be more Norway, Italy (going broke), or Bulgaria which are closer to zero on Gini scale.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gini_since_WWII.svg

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liberalsyndrome
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Quote liberalsyndrome:

Not a day goes by when I am not into my car listening to Sirius Left or at home reading a blog talking about income inequality. The class warfare arguement of the haves 1% and the have nots 99%.

When you look at it mathmatically via the Gini Coefficient, I am not seeing much change in the overall wealth distrubtion in the US. Over the last 80 years the USA has fluctuated from 37.6 after WWII to around 46 over last decade. The closer to 0 the more equal dispersion of wealth (equality). The closer to 100 the more wealth is concentrated at the top. Since 2006 thing have actually gotten better as the Gini dropped from 47 to 46.8

  • 1929: 45.0 (estimated)
  • 1947: 37.6 (estimated)
  • 1967: 39.7 (first year reported)
  • 1968: 38.6 (lowest index reported)
  • 1970: 39.4
  • 1980: 40.3
  • 1990: 42.8
  • 2000: 46.2
  • 2005: 46.9
  • 2006: 47.0 (highest index reported)
  • 2007: 46.3
  • 2008: 46.69
  • 2009: 46.8

When you look at it relative to the rest of the world the US is third behind Mexico and Brazil. But the top five are all expanding economies. Brazil, Mexico, USA, China, India. My sense is that when you live in an economy with growth potential that some people will definitely get MORE wealth than others. But I am not sure why we would attack that or or want to be more Norway, Italy (going broke), or Bulgaria which are closer to zero on Gini scale.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gini_since_WWII.svg

Interesting, but I would be concerned with several things here - the direction of the curve, and the fact that we're keeping company with third world nations. Not to mention that forseeable policy trends would do nothign except increase the curve upward, ie, gut SS, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment. Considering these "entitlements" make up a significant portion of the income of the poor and elderly, reducing these programs would project the curve rapidly upward.

The other thing is whether top incomes are really adaquately reflected here, i.e., declared in other countries or tax havens.

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al3
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The GINI has been used by the UN and other international organization to measure weath disparity around the world. I stick with my question though...

In 1929 the US was 45

At the height of Reaganomics we were at 42-43 (he IMPROVED weath dispersion in the USA)

After Clinton we were back up at 46.2 in 2000

And now we are around 46-47

Seems like there is little to NO measurable deviation. Besides the 99% vs. 1% argument and the fact that wealthy get more wealth (which is result of lots of factors, few of which Government controls) what data is there to support the talking points of radical wealth shift in America? From 1929 through today we have been in a 4 point margin on the Gini scale.

I have lived all over the world and "poor" in the US means something very different that poor in any other country. Poor in America means you have a cell phone with no data plan. Poor in America means you have to fill out paper work to get free air conditioning. Poor in America means you have basic cable and no movie channels. In other countries I have lived, poor means you have no shoes. Poor means sleeping in an alley.

I am not mocking poor and donate lots of time and money to charities that I support. I dont think any child in America should ever be hungry. But most of the 99% marching with their marxist signs tarnishes and minimizes the real poor in America. I sometimes think they do more damage than good to help the people that are trully hurting. Class warfare in America is getting a little out of hand and I worry that it will boil over on both sides. Putting all of your faith in either party to remedy this is a waste. People need to take care of people and get Government out of the way.

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liberalsyndrome
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I agree with #2 & #4 and disagree with #3 & #5 your view is a 1%,you see what you want to see.

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tayl44
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This stat is normalized on an absolute 0 to 1 scale which makes it easy to not even see the scale of the wealth or exactly where it is concentrated. It clearly has a trending direction going in favor of the haves for decades. The blip downward in the past few years probably has more to do with a very bad economy overall as opposed to how well the have-nots are doing. It's interesting to note that we have just recently (past decade) reached a level not seen since 1929. We are at a wealth distribution per this stat that is just like that before the crash leading to the Depression. The data speaks for itself.

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Laborisgood
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Quote liberalsyndrome:

The GINI has been used by the UN and other international organization to measure weath disparity around the world. I stick with my question though...

In 1929 the US was 45

So, we are at about the same point we were just before the bottom fell out of the economy and we had the Great Depression. And the curve is rising. That makes the point of many liberals-we are in dangerous territory.

At the height of Reaganomics we were at 42-43 (he IMPROVED weath dispersion in the USA)

I don’t believe we’ve experienced a “height of Reaganomics” because “height” implies that we’ve seen a decline in Reaganomics, but in fact we’ve seen double down Reaganomics since the 42-43 GINI rating, and nothing in current GOP policy suggests anything else than further pedal-to-the-metal Reaganomics for the foreseeable future.

After Clinton we were back up at 46.2 in 2000

Implicatoin is that under a Democratic President, inequality increased. The might be true, but in fact, Clinton was forced to work with a GOP Congress and adopted many conservative economic policies. For the most part, he doubled down on Reaganomics, particularly the deregulation part.

Seems like there is little to NO measurable deviation. Besides the 99% vs. 1% argument and the fact that wealthy get more wealth (which is result of lots of factors, few of which Government controls) what data is there to support the talking points of radical wealth shift in America?

I wouldn’t call a 18% deviation since 1970 NO measurable deviation. And the government CAN control wealth by taxation. In fact there is an avalanche of data supporting radical wealth inequality, including the GINI scale. And nobody argues the wealth shouldn’t get wealthier, it’s HOW MUCH wealthier, and at WHAT COST to the middle class.

From 1929 through today we have been in a 4 point margin on the Gini scale.

1929 was the height of plutocratic inequality in the 1920’s – that led to the Great Depression. Using that as a baseline for the current debate is meaningless. Rich people had all the wealth then, too.. That's like saying "Well, nothing's changed since the last time it was crappy for the middle class!"....Use the GINI baseline as the height of middle class prosperity -say 1970 – and then try to argue against OWS’ and liberals’ inequality concerns..

"poor" in the US means something very different that poor in any other country. Poor in America means you have a cell phone with no data plan. Poor in America means you have to fill out paper work to get free air conditioning. Poor in America means you have basic cable and no movie channels. In other countries I have lived, poor means you have no shoes. Poor means sleeping in an alley.

That’s like the old saying, “beats a sharp stick in the eye…” It’s the poor white sharecropper vs. poor blacks strategy – there’s always someone lower on the ladder so don’t whine.. I’ll reverse your argument – “Yep, as an executive, you’re only making $10 mil a year, but there are plenty other wretches making $8 mil a year.” Yet that $10 mil per year exec compares himself with the ONE guy making $20 mil a year...wouldn't conservatives beliieve that's healthy?….or say your state has 6% income tax. There are plenty other states with 7% income tax, yet you want to compare with the ONE state that has NO income tax. You get my drift. Trying to minimize growing inequality in the U.S. by comparing their relative wealth to third world standards doesn’t work, sorry. The U.S. middle class has a right to want an increasing share of our overall growth in wealth. Not to mention the right is ever feverishly working to gut even more the institutions that keeps the middle class in the U.S. afloat..

But most of the 99% marching with their marxist signs tarnishes and minimizes the real poor in America. I sometimes think they do more damage than good to help the people that are trully hurting. Class warfare in America is getting a little out of hand and I worry that it will boil over on both sides. Putting all of your faith in either party to remedy this is a waste. People need to take care of people and get Government out of the way.

…There’s that dirty word, Marxist. You let it slip. Your arguments are much better without the Marxist or Socialist charges, because you’re smart enough to know it’s trumped up. Outside of a few kooks, OWS is actually working to save capitalism; they aren’t Marxist. You see, much like the 1920’s, when unbridled and unregulated capitalism ran wild, it failed. The less of a stake that Middle class citizens and consumers feel they have in capitalism, the more they will favor something else. Look what happened after the 1929 crash, plutocratic pro-business conservatives were booted from the national dialogue for 40 years.

And if the price for another Depression is another 40 years of relative egalitarian prosperity unfettered by disruption by greedy oligarchs, it just may be worth it.

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al3
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I attend lots of meetings in DC and walked past OWS DC many times near Freedom Plaza. Over a 3 day period I saw Hugo Chavez signs, at least one Marxx was Right sign, probably a half dozen hammer & sickle logos

Examples:

- Red fist with "Communism is a Fight for Freedom" saw about 2-3 of those, may have been same sign with different bum holding it?

- Hugo Chavez sign with "Fight for Socialism - Abolish Capitalism" from the Workers World Party

- Black & White sign with Karl Marxx on it

- American Flag but in the blue field of stars was Chavez

Those are a few examples. I saw those signs on regular basis and didnt seem they were "discouraged" by OWS. Also seems like the kooks holding them were the most vocal and harassing to anyone in a suite walking by.

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liberalsyndrome
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There's that one dude who shows up at serviceperson's funerals with his "God Hates Fags" posters. I don't think that people who vote Republican, nor Tea Baggers, necessarily agree with him.

FYI:

Top individual income tax rate under Kemp-Roth 1982-1985: 50.0%.

Top individual income tax rate under Clinton 1993-2000: 39.6%.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Some worry about progressive post signs is a sign they have priority problems. Most normal people would be more worry about the reasons for these signs.Knowing the opposition,some of these so call kooks are working for them,give reason to ignore short sighted views.

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tayl44
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Quote liberalsyndrome:

When you look at it mathmatically via the Gini Coefficient, I am not seeing much change in the overall wealth distrubtion in the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gini_since_WWII.svg

Your link and data reflect INCOME distribution, not wealth.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The last Depression led to WW2,that was a hell of a lesson,we don`t want to repeat that for any reason,especially with "today's weapons".We control our money(public bank) from the corrupt system,we can avoid war and get freedom and end poverty on earth. Fail ideas would be bury!

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

There are other possible explanations: 1 - the 1982 "peak" could be a lagging result. I do not personally believe this, but maybe Reagan looked good by taking advantage of the results of Carter's last year. 2 - I personally believe that there is a methodological error involved. In 2007 - 2010 the income demographic that lost the most (proportionately and in terms of total wealth, not necessarily income) was the $1 - $5 million class. I suggest that the reason for this was that that was the class that had the most vulnerable wealth; the explanation I heard was that the majority of those who entered this class during the 2000 - 2007 era came from two sources - real estate inflation and capital gains as people took advantage of cashing out of their brick and mortar businesses and invested in equities. And lost their shirts in 2007.

If you look at 1982 - 4 GDP you see a similar error. Changes in the tax code caused a change in investing patterns, shifting from capital investment in business infrastructure (the only part of which appearing as GDP is construction company profits) to borrowing and investing in stocks (where GDP includes not only the capital gains on the stock but also the lender's profit on the interest - yes, I am saying that the X% of GDP that comes from the financial sector is in reality a -X%. And don't argue that borrowing is necessary to maintain and expand a business - in modern reality that is like arguing that giving John Dillinger a case of bullets was a good thing because he used one to shoot a rabid dog between bank robberies.

btw: "Marxx was right"? Tripp Marxx is a rapper. Carl Marx, however, said that Capitalism, being based on perpetual expansion and an unfair competition between capital and labor, was doomed to result in poverty, failure and revolution. His predictions have not come true yet, but except for failing to include ecological devastation his critique was sound. It is very likely that, like Malthus' prediction, technological advances and resource exploitation beyond a sustainable level have delayed but not prevented the inevitable.

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doh1304
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An Alternative to Capitalism (if the people knew about it, they would demand it)

Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: "There is no alternative". She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: "Home of the Brave?" which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

John Steinsvold
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."~ Albert Einstein

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John Steinsvold
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Marx,was right,all the revolutions that should have been here was happening in the third world.But now with the collapse of communism & capitalism,the "chickens are coming home to roost".

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

John,a very good post. Something is happening in the world,the world is starting to think as one on the solution to poverty. Ignore the 1% arguments and look at the 99% statements,we`re all thinking the same,there is life after capitalism & communism. What can pull us closer together to get our common desire "economic justice & equality"? Logic say a "public bank" can be the heart/foundation of a new system base on economic democracy. Public control of there money from special interests like the state or individual is the answer/solution to "If there is a alternative,if the people knew about it,they would demand it"! Time for the people to learn/know about "public banking",so we can stop this "insanity".

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tayl44
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Quote liberalsyndrome:.. When you look at it mathmatically via the Gini Coefficient, I am not seeing much change in the overall wealth distrubtion in the US....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gini_since_WWII.svg

As anyone who knows something about the 'the 1% own x% of the wealth' figures, there is something wrong with the gini coefficient number. Indeed, reading on, it gives a perfect example of why the gini coefficient has problems:

"...Consider a society where half of individuals had no income and the other half shared all the income equally. As is easily calculated, this society has Gini coefficient 0.5 -- the same as that of a society in which 75% of people equally shared 25% of income while the remaining 25% equally shared 75%"

Foranother way to look at inequality, see figure here:

http://www.alternet.org/economy/153341/10_fun_facts_about_the_top_1_perc...

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Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote John Steinsvold:

An Alternative to Capitalism (if the people knew about it, they would demand it)

Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: "There is no alternative". She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: "Home of the Brave?" which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

John Steinsvold
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."~ Albert Einstein

It's not a question of an alternative to capitalism, but regulated vs unregulated capitalism. Of course, Thatcher was a proponent of unregulated capitalism, which has long since been proven to be destructive and unfair to those not positioned near the top of the unregulated capitalism pyramid. Therefore your Einstein quote is right on the money regarding unregulated capitalism.

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Laborisgood
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Check out the graphic novel, "UPGRADE" on Amazon for free download. Set in the future, it gives a chilling vision of a corporate controlled world, where every aspect of life is moderated by industry, capitalism gone wild. It goes to a creepy extreme where new products are forced on the public through manditory "upgrades". It's satire, both funny and freaky, but so much of it rings true.

The world could really end up this way if industry is left unchecked.

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practical
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Jun. 22, 2012 5:47 am
Quote Dr. Econ:

Foranother way to look at inequality, see figure here:

http://www.alternet.org/economy/153341/10_fun_facts_about_the_top_1_perc...

Great find.

Check out Point 5, Accumulated Wealth, Figure C, Ratio of Wealthiest 1% to Median Wealth.

I can't read the source, though - "Author's Analysis of _________"

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Labor,i disagree,capitalism have proven beyond any doubt, over time & time again it cannot be regulated.Einstein is wrong in this context,because the rulers will keep doing the insanity as long as they keep power and make money.The only one`s fool into believing/looking for different results is the 99%. Alternative of a "grassroots control democratic economy" is the next step solution.Though out human history,everybody had there turn at controlling economics,now it`s the "people turn"! May God have mercy on who ever try to stop them!

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tayl44
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