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Wealth distribution in the United States

SmartCat

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Any effort to achieve a more equatable distribution of wealth and income will require a larger, stronger, and better financed government than most Americans desire. After he had been in office for two years during the much more serious problems of the Great Depression Franklin Roosevelt demonstrated to most Americans that the government could make a positive difference in their lives.

Barack Obama has been in office for nearly eight years during the milder Great Recession. Median income adjusted for inflation is lower than it was when he was inaugurated.

The Income Chart That Explains American Politics - The New Yorker
 

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Lafayette

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Barack Obama has been in office for nearly eight years during the milder Great Recession. Median income adjusted for inflation is lower than it was when he was inaugurated.

Your hindsight needs a new pair of glasses. You are not telling the whole story in that remark.

In 2009, after having been handed on a platter the Great Recession by a Dunderhead PotUS, Obama immediately had a Dem-Congress pass the ARRA-Spending Bill, which spiked a burgeoning Unemployment Rate at 10% - see that fact here.

Total ARRA-spending was a wee-bit less than half a trillion dollars and across Federal agencies, as described here by the CBO (scroll down to chart of spending breakdown by Federal department).

Because Obama demonstrated that he could not "walk on water" and stop-dead the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression, the American electorate in 2010 (that is, the 57% of voters who bothered to show up at the polls) turned the HofR over to the Replicant Party. Who promptly started axing all Stimulus Spending based upon the spurious notion - in a full-fledged recession - that constraining the National Debt was priority.

I submit that their intent was far more malicious. They specifically desired high-employment for the 2012 elections to oust Obama. Didn't work, did it?

But how many of our fellow-Americans continued to suffer unemployment. Look at the Employment-to-population Ratio from 2012 to 2014. Four long years of Employment Stagnation at about 25.5% of the nation's workforce, before employment started to regain momentum in 2014. (The HofR is still controlled by the Replicants.)

And it was all Obama's fault?

Yeah, right - now pull the other leg ...
 

Lafayette

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Barack Obama has been in office for nearly eight years during the milder Great Recession. Median income adjusted for inflation is lower than it was when he was inaugurated.

Your hindsight needs a new pair of glasses. You are not telling the whole story in that remark.

In 2009, after having been handed on a platter the Great Recession by a Dunderhead PotUS, Obama immediately had a Dem-Congress pass the ARRA-Spending Bill, which spiked a burgeoning Unemployment Rate at 10% - see that fact here.

Total ARRA-spending was a wee-bit less than half a trillion dollars and across Federal agencies, as described here by the CBO (scroll down to chart of spending breakdown by Federal department).

Because Obama demonstrated that he could not "walk on water" and stop-dead the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression, the American electorate in 2010 (that is, the 57% of voters who bothered to show up at the polls) turned the HofR over to the Replicant Party. Who promptly started axing all Stimulus Spending based upon the spurious notion - in a full-fledged recession - that constraining the National Debt was priority.

I submit that their intent was far more malicious. They specifically desired high-employment for the 2012 elections to oust Obama. Didn't work, did it?

But how many of our fellow-Americans continued to suffer unemployment. Look at the Employment-to-population Ratio from 2012 to 2014. Four long years of Employment Stagnation at about 25.5% of the nation's workforce, before employment started to regain momentum in 2014. (The HofR is still controlled by the Replicants.)

And it was all Obama's fault?

Yeah, right - now pull the other leg ...
_________________________________________
 

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An interesting video on the wealth distribution in the US
Not really.

The video is a distortion of reality and propaganda by those who are envious and jealous because they lack all the combined abilities to be as successful.

It is not the US's wealth, it is the individual's wealth.
 

Lafayette

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THE INHERENT ROT IN OUR SOCIETY

Any effort to achieve a more equatable distribution of wealth and income will require a larger, stronger, and better financed government than most Americans desire.

I'm not so sure about that. I figure we Yanks are ignorant of the facts in the matter.

It was interesting to debate BigGov in another thread here. And I must repeat exactly the same arguments.

Go to countries that have installed Social Democracies. You will find that BigGov suits them just fine - for a good number of reason, but the first and foremost of which are:
*A National Health System that does not cost an arm-and-a-leg (pun intended! ;^) and delivers 3-years more of life-pan. See that fact demonstrated here: Per Capita Total Health Care Spending Versus Lifespan.
Average HC costs versus Life Span.jpg, and

*A Tertiary Education program that is nearly Free, Gratis and For Nothing, costing no more than about $1K per student-year in any state-subventioned school. (My wife got her law degree in France and it cost us $3000). Compare the cost of education fees in this infographic:
Average Tertiary Education Fees (OECD).jpg

I could go on ... but I wont. If you want to really know what a Social Democracy is all about, put the time and effort to read this document, Understanding Social Democracy, written by a Yank. It is her very cogent interpretation of the cornerstone beliefs of a Social Democracy.

Careful, it is verrrrryyyy longgggggg. The subject is historically complex and cannot be treated adequately in a debate-forum. Succinctly, Uncle Sam missed the boat in the 19th century and the Industrial Age brought with it a pig-headed Rush to Riches, which suited thinking at the time.

And, given what Reckless Ronnie did to Upper-Income Taxation, it is apparent that we, as a nation, have not understood the Inherent Inequity that the amassing of wealth causes for no justifiably good reason.

Excerpt:
The Story of Social Democracy
With the onset of the industrial revolution, liberalism emerged as the first modern
political and economic ideology. As capitalism spread across Europe during the
nineteenth century, liberalism provided both an explanation of and a justification for the
transformations the new system brought. Liberals promulgated a faith in progress, a
belief that the market could deliver the greatest good to the greatest number, and the
conviction that states should interfere as little as possible in the lives of individuals.

Indeed, there was such a match between the times and the ideology that the nineteenth
century has often been called the “age of liberalism.”

Yet by the middle of the century the bloom was already off the rose. The
practical consequences of early capitalism—especially the dramatic inequalities, social
dislocation, and atomization it engendered—led to a backlash against liberalism and a
search for alternatives.

MY POINT?

Otherwise, how could a dunderhead like Trump convince Americans across the societal-spectrum of America, that he has "the solution". He's nothing but one more in a long, long line of American businessmen who "made it big" and now - as his "reward" - wants his four-years in the sun shining brilliantly from the Oval Office!

We should not be wasting our precious time with a Circus Ringmaster ...
 
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Lafayette

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The video is a distortion of reality and propaganda by those who are envious and jealous because they lack all the combined abilities to be as successful.

Hogwash.

Social-Democrats do not hate progress, technological or other, or innate ability both of which that benefit the general population. Neither do they hate millionaires when their riches have been earned fairly and honestly.

What Social-Democrats dislike most, because it is inherently unfair, is when taxation is manipulated to ENHANCE PARTICULARLY THE BENEFIT OF A SELECT MINORITY GROUP.

Which is precisely what the Reckless Ronnie taxable income rip-off (by means of a fixed-rate tax of only 30%) did in the 1980s; thus allowing insufficiently taxed Income to gush into Wealth*.

Meaning this: The rich did not EARN their wealth, Ronnie just reduced the government's "take".

The matter of taxation is something very touchy in our society, and it should be settled as by referendum. "Do we want Fair Progressive Taxation of all incomes or unfair Flat-taxation of the highest amounts?"

At present, American taxation looks (pathetically) like this:
Historical Marginal Tax Rate - Highest & Lowest Wage Earners.jpg

The stupidity of it all is that the last time, in the early 1920s, when we took down upper-income tax rates, we produced within a few years the Stock Market Crash of 1929 (and the Great Depression).

This time around, the same effect produced the Real-Estate bubble from 2002/2008 that produced Toxic Waste and the Great Recession.

When the hell are we ever going to learn .. ?

*And who owns that wealth? See Prof. Domhoff's research results here.
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Lafayette

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It is not the US's wealth, it is the individual's wealth.

How many millionaires have you seen on a deserted island, Robinson Crusoe?

You cannot even earn an income all alone - you need a Market-Economy, consisting of (in the US) a great number of your fellow citizens. And, them, you owe nothing? The market-economy was made just for you?

Especially unacceptable is taxation of "your money" that pays for "give-aways" ... ?
 

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Yes. Everything which followed your declaration was hogwash.
I am glad you admit to that.


That it is hogwash was further established with the following hilarious little gem you made.
"Meaning this: The rich did not EARN their wealth, Ronnie just reduced the government's "take"."

Apparently you don't realize that income comes before it being taxed. Meaning this: A reduction in tax allows the person to keep more of their own income.


How many millionaires have you seen on a deserted island, Robinson Crusoe?

You cannot even earn an income all alone - you need a Market-Economy, consisting of (in the US) a great number of your fellow citizens. And, them, you owe nothing? The market-economy was made just for you?

Especially unacceptable is taxation of "your money" that pays for "give-aways" ... ?
All irrelevant and absurd nonsense.

The wealth belongs to the person, not the nation.

You trying to make an argument by reduction to a sole person on a deserted island is hilarious. While that can be a natural state it is not the norm and is an exception to the rule and rarely happens.
If there is a reduction to be made it would have to be to a state of nature in which the government/nation did not exist. Under such a reduction, trade/barter and profit still would exist and their wealth is still theirs.
 

Geoist

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Any effort to achieve a more equatable distribution of wealth and income will require a larger, stronger, and better financed government than most Americans desire

Or we simply change the tax system to be fairer for all.

Replace most taxes with a land value tax and watch the wealth gap shrink. No need for bloated bureaucracy.
 

SocialD

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Or we simply change the tax system to be fairer for all.

Replace most taxes with a land value tax and watch the wealth gap shrink. No need for bloated bureaucracy.

Not a good idea.
Granny that bought her House in San Fran or Manhattan 50 years ago for 40-50k and how has a house valued at 500k or so would not be able to afford this.
Nor would that family farm for 3 generations that has had industry or condos creep up around it.
You would end up with the very wealthy buying it all up and then just passing on this land value tax to people who leased it because they couldn't own it themselves.
 

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Not a good idea.
Granny that bought her House in San Fran or Manhattan 50 years ago for 40-50k and how has a house valued at 500k or so would not be able to afford this.
Nor would that family farm for 3 generations that has had industry or condos creep up around it.
You would end up with the very wealthy buying it all up and then just passing on this land value tax to people who leased it because they couldn't own it themselves.

For practical reasons, like preventing economic shock, it would have to be phased in over a period of several decades.

Not really all that difficult to do though. Most states already have a property tax, so it's just a matter of each year increasing the tax percentage on the land value, while lowering other taxes, such as the tax on the structures, and reducing property taxes on automobiles, and reducing sales tax. So what if Granny's property tax goes up by $500 this year, if she saves $500 on other taxes - doesn't harm her one bit.

Also, a system doesn't have to be perfect to be worthy of implementing, it just needs to be better than the system (or lack of one) that it is replacing.
 

SocialD

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For practical reasons, like preventing economic shock, it would have to be phased in over a period of several decades.

Not really all that difficult to do though. Most states already have a property tax, so it's just a matter of each year increasing the tax percentage on the land value, while lowering other taxes, such as the tax on the structures, and reducing property taxes on automobiles, and reducing sales tax. So what if Granny's property tax goes up by $500 this year, if she saves $500 on other taxes - doesn't harm her one bit.

Also, a system doesn't have to be perfect to be worthy of implementing, it just needs to be better than the system (or lack of one) that it is replacing.

I would be more concerned that granny's property tax would go up by thousands. a lot of property in that area has a fixed rate, based on the original purchase price. they have tax controls on it.
 

imagep

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I would be more concerned that granny's property tax would go up by thousands. a lot of property in that area has a fixed rate, based on the original purchase price. they have tax controls on it.

I suppose we can create whatever type of system (tax rate, grandfather/mother clauses, etc) that we desire to create.

Like I mentioned, such change in tax schemes would probably need to be made over a period of decades, so the shift could be very little on an annual bases. Or we could also offset those kind of situations by increasing SS payments, etc. There is no end to the number of offsetting policy changes or creativity level of policy shifts. I'm sure that your concern wouldn't be the only concern and that you wouldn't be the only person concerned about these types of concerns.

Another option is that if she couldn't afford this apparently expensive piece of property, she could always sell her house and move to a less valuable place, pocketing a few hundred thousand dollars along the way. That looks like an attractive option to me.
 

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I suppose we can create whatever type of system (tax rate, grandfather/mother clauses, etc) that we desire to create.

Like I mentioned, such change in tax schemes would probably need to be made over a period of decades, so the shift could be very little on an annual bases. Or we could also offset those kind of situations by increasing SS payments, etc. There is no end to the number of offsetting policy changes or creativity level of policy shifts. I'm sure that your concern wouldn't be the only concern and that you wouldn't be the only person concerned about these types of concerns.

Another option is that if she couldn't afford this apparently expensive piece of property, she could always sell her house and move to a less valuable place, pocketing a few hundred thousand dollars along the way. That looks like an attractive option to me.

Yea I suppose eventually those people in that situation would pass away and you could transition in something like that over a long period of time.
 

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Any effort to achieve a more equatable distribution of wealth and income will require a larger, stronger, and better financed government than most Americans desire.

How can you possibly know if we don't try it?

So, "Try it - you'll like it!"

But "trying" - that's what you are afraid of, isn't it?

Given the unfair excesses of the the past 30-years since Reckless Ronnie revamped the upper-income tax code to favor a Plutocrat Class, only good can come of it if Real Change occurs ...
 

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Your hindsight needs a new pair of glasses. You are not telling the whole story in that remark.

In 2009, after having been handed on a platter the Great Recession by a Dunderhead PotUS, Obama immediately had a Dem-Congress pass the ARRA-Spending Bill, which spiked a burgeoning Unemployment Rate at 10% - see that fact here.

Total ARRA-spending was a wee-bit less than half a trillion dollars and across Federal agencies, as described here by the CBO (scroll down to chart of spending breakdown by Federal department).

Because Obama demonstrated that he could not "walk on water" and stop-dead the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression, the American electorate in 2010 (that is, the 57% of voters who bothered to show up at the polls) turned the HofR over to the Replicant Party. Who promptly started axing all Stimulus Spending based upon the spurious notion - in a full-fledged recession - that constraining the National Debt was priority.

I submit that their intent was far more malicious. They specifically desired high-employment for the 2012 elections to oust Obama. Didn't work, did it?

But how many of our fellow-Americans continued to suffer unemployment. Look at the Employment-to-population Ratio from 2012 to 2014. Four long years of Employment Stagnation at about 25.5% of the nation's workforce, before employment started to regain momentum in 2014. (The HofR is still controlled by the Replicants.)

And it was all Obama's fault?

Yeah, right - now pull the other leg ...

I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. I would vote for him again against any of the Republican primary candidates. I would rather have an incompetent president with good intentions than a competent president - like Ted Cruz would be - who has bad intentions.

I am disappointed with President Obama. He has lost on issues where he had popular support on his side. For years public opinion polls have indicated majority support for raising taxes on the rich and opposition to cuts in domestic spending.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=poll+++tax+++rich+++"Social+Security"+++Medicare

Immediately after his inauguration Gallup indicated that about 65 percent of the American people supported Obama.

Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval

That was the time for Obama to raise the top tax rate, and to address unemployment. Instead, he forced through a health plan that most Americans still do not like,

http://kff.org/interactive/kaiser-h...esponse=Favorable--Unfavorable&aRange=twoYear

while unemployment rose to 10%.

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/UNRATE.txt

Franklin Roosevelt did not move on the signature reforms of the New Deal like Social Security until the unemployment rate declined.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104719.html

That gave him credibility on economics that Barack Obama has still not earned.

Of course Congressional Republicans tried to make Obama fail. They also tried to make Roosevelt fail. They failed with Roosevelt. They succeeded with Obama. When the home team keeps losing the fans do not begin to root for opposing teams. They want the home team to get a better coach.
 

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Of course Congressional Republicans tried to make Obama fail. They also tried to make Roosevelt fail. They failed with Roosevelt. They succeeded with Obama.

You should go back to watching "home" games on TV. Your notions of Economic History are, uh, wanting. (This IS an economics-forum, right?)

Also, you have very little understanding of tripartite governance: Executive, Legislative and Judicial - and the balance necessary between all three. Largely because all you can see is "winners and losers". That is not the proper arithmetic.

The American electorate screwed Obama, when they stayed home at the 2010-midterms and gave the Replicants what they wanted most. Control of the HofR, from which they could deny him all Stimulus Spending without the least bit of compassion for the very large number of unemployed in a full-blown Great Recession. Four more years of unnecessary zero-employment growth just so they could screw Obama.

The mind boggles at the crassness of a political-party that would show such disrespect for the well-being of the American people.

When the home team keeps losing the fans do not begin to root for opposing teams. They want the home team to get a better coach.

And you respond with a sports metaphor ...
 
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SmartCat

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The American electorate screwed Obama, when they stayed home at the 2010-midterms and gave the Replicants what they wanted most. Control of the HofR, from which they could deny him all Stimulus Spending without the least bit of compassion for the very large number of unemployed in a full-blown Great Recession. Four more years of unnecessary zero-employment growth just so they could screw Obama.

The mind boggles at the crassness of a political-party that would show such disrespect for the well-being of the American people.

I voted a straight Democratic Party ticket in 2010, as I always do. Unfortunately, on election day 2010 the unemployment rate had grown three percentage points above what it had been two years earlier.

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/UNRATE.txt

By contrast, two years after the election of Franklin Roosevelt the unemployment rate had declined by 6.7%.

United States Unemployment Rate 1920?2013

Most whites distrust the Democrats on social issues. Unless their standard of living increases under a Democratic president, they are likely to vote Republican.
 

Southern Dad

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What is the left's plant to fix it? Oh right, seize it from those that earned it and give it to those that did not.
 

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By contrast, two years after the election of Franklin Roosevelt the unemployment rate had declined by 6.7%.

With Keynesian Stimulus Spending (suggested to Roosevelt by Keynes himself in 1932), yes it finally started coming down.

But it was the spending on WW2 that actually brought it back to "normality".

Great Depression Unemployment Stats:
Great Depression Unemployment.jpg

And it was Stimulus Spending that Obama wanted to re-employ (as he had done in 2010 with his ARRA-bill) in 2011 when the unemployment rate was at 9% that the Replicants in the HofR refused!
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SmartCat

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With Keynesian Stimulus Spending (suggested to Roosevelt by Keynes himself in 1932), yes it finally started coming down.

But it was the spending on WW2 that actually brought it back to "normality".

Great Depression Unemployment Stats:
View attachment 67201321

And it was Stimulus Spending that Obama wanted to re-employ (as he had done in 2010 with his ARRA-bill) in 2011 when the unemployment rate was at 9% that the Replicants in the HofR refused!
_____________________________________________

The Great Depression was ended by high amounts of government spending and employment, paid for by high taxes on the rich. It did not have to be military spending. Nevertheless, until the attack on Pearl Harbor Congressional Republicans prevented sufficient government spending, employment, and upper class taxation.
 

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Oh right, seize it from those that earned it and give it to those that did not.

Old saw, old saw, old saw.

Thank you for the 879th time that old, dull saw has been repeated on this forum, by those genuflecting at the altar of the God of Mammon ...

God of Mammon.jpg

It's all about the muney, isn't it ... ?
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Lafayette

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Whilst researching the Great Depression, I noted that from 1937 to 1938 there was a recession (yes, in the midst of the the Great Depression) in the economy.

Here's the argumentation that surrounds that recession, and it involves predominately the two schools-of-thought (Stimulus Spending vs Money Supply) that arise when such recessions occur: Recession of 1937, Interpetations

Funny enough, this time around, the solution applied (and I don't think it helped all that much) was "Quantitative Easing", which was an effort to take BadDebt off Bank-books thus allowing them more reserves-room with which to lend money.

Unfortunately into an economy that was morose and without great consumer desire to recur indebtedness in order to do BigSpending because of an employment situation that remained precarious ...
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Lafayette

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TBTF THIS

Nevertheless, until the attack on Pearl Harbor Congressional Republicans prevented sufficient government spending, employment, and upper class taxation.

Well, well, well ... something to agree upon.

Under the guise of "too much national debt" the axiomatic response to gummint-spendin' by Replicants is to cut-it.

We have since learned that if (1) you have a reasonably strong currency, and (2) a stalwart economy, and (heaven forbid!) the start of a recessionary-period ... then the national debt does not matter. The world will still buy T-Notes and the debt is "maintained". Not diminished but maintained - that is, government expenditure pays the interest rates on the debt.

Yes, the National Debt did increase throughout the Great Recession. But at what cost in the lives of the Unemployed. We could have done some more Stimulus Spending paid out of additional debt, and avoid the stagnation of the Unemployment-to-population Ratio from 2010 to 2014 at 58.5%.

This fixation with the debt is a displacement of consequences of "personal bankruptcy" to "national bankruptcy". When a country's economy is a major world player and its currency is held by a good many other nations, then "national bankruptcy" simply does not provoke catastrophic failure on money-markets. Sell-offs yes, but not critical devaluations.

Only a war that threatens to close the market-economy will provoke that consequence.

TBTF

Yes, it does exist. (Not at the corporate-level. We've seen that truth.) But at the National Level, it is going to take one helluva major catastrophe to bring the dollar to its knees. Why?

Because a large market-economy as ours "giveth and it taketh away". As long as it is grinding along, cycles occur but not catastrophic depressions. The last Great Recession - which was exactly that, a Great Recession in consumer-demand - proves my point. Yes, excessive Unemployment occurred but not a major economic breakdown.

PS

The only event that would provoke holders of dollar or euro notes to sell-off everything, I suggest, are Martians landing in Central Park. (I am already writing the scenario for the "Martian Take-Over of Wall Street". On your screens soon!!!!! ;^)
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