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What’s behind inequality?

Lafayette

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From the EPI here: What’s behind inequality and wage suppression in the labor market?

Excerpt:
EPI’s Josh Bivens and Heidi Shierholz find that a decline of workers’ power—not an increase in employer power—has been the main driving force behind inequality and wage suppression in the U.S. labor market over the last four decades. According to the report, employer concentration and labor market power have been considerable (if under-recognized) over this entire time. However, as corporate-friendly policy choices have chipped away at policies and institutions that bolstered workers’ power, employers’ power has been more effective in suppressing wage growth. Bivens and Shierholz urge policymakers to take measures to restore the leverage and bargaining power of workers.


WHICH we've known for a long, long time - since Reckless Ronnie tore-down upper-income taxation - that Income Disparity would skyrocket. As it has done these past 30-years with less than Amazing Grace ...

495px-U.S._Income_Shares_of_Top_1%25_and_0.1%25_1913-2013.png


When did the last upswing of the red-line happen Look closely at that red-line above and note that the upswing took place in the 1980 timeframe. And who was elected PotUS in 1980?

One guess, and only one guess ...
 

Hawkeye10

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From the EPI here: What’s behind inequality and wage suppression in the labor market?

Excerpt:

WHICH we've known for a long, long time - since Reckless Ronnie tore-down upper-income taxation - that Income Disparity would skyrocket. As it has done these past 30-years with less than Amazing Grace ...

495px-U.S._Income_Shares_of_Top_1%25_and_0.1%25_1913-2013.png


When did the last upswing of the red-line happen Look closely at that red-line above and note that the upswing took place in the 1980 timeframe. And who was elected PotUS in 1980?

One guess, and only one guess ...

Tax policy which include the gifts that come from corrupting Washington sure, but immigration both legal and especially illegal as well which has allowed for the exploitation of labor.
 
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KevinKohler

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Perspective is behind inequality.
 

RabidAlpaca

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Perspective is behind inequality.

As the American working class works harder and longer to get less and less, they'll take great comfort in knowing it's all in their heads and a matter of perspective. :roll: Kind of a lazy way to dismiss a very real problem we're facing as a nation.

Tax policy which include the gifts that come from corrupting Washington sure, but immigration both legal and especially illegal as well which has allowed for the exploitation of labor.

As a hardcore Trump supporter you directly support the same behavior you claim to be against.
 

KevinKohler

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As the American working class works harder and longer to get less and less, they'll take great comfort in knowing it's all in their heads and a matter of perspective. :roll: Kind of a lazy way to dismiss a very real problem we're facing as a nation.



As a hardcore Trump supporter you directly support the same behavior you claim to be against.

Eh....if you know me, you know this is a subject on which I harp a lot. Of at least used to. I'm just feeling snarky these days.


Perspective was the first answer that popped into my head based on the title prior to opening the thread.
 

ttwtt78640

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From the EPI here: What’s behind inequality and wage suppression in the labor market?

Excerpt:

WHICH we've known for a long, long time - since Reckless Ronnie tore-down upper-income taxation - that Income Disparity would skyrocket. As it has done these past 30-years with less than Amazing Grace ...

495px-U.S._Income_Shares_of_Top_1%25_and_0.1%25_1913-2013.png


When did the last upswing of the red-line happen Look closely at that red-line above and note that the upswing took place in the 1980 timeframe. And who was elected PotUS in 1980?

One guess, and only one guess ...

Your continuous harping on US upper income taxation rates fails to explain how raising income taxes on "the rich" would increase the pay of other (average?) workers. Income taxes on average (or lower) wage workers are not what is keeping their wages low. if you taxed the Walmart CEO more that would not cause pay raises for the other Walmart workers. In fact, if you paid the Walmart CEO nothing at all (taxed that rich person at 100%) and redistributed all of that "windfall" among Walmart's other workers then each Walmart worker could be paid $1/year more - whoopee!
 

Mycroft

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From the EPI here: What’s behind inequality and wage suppression in the labor market?

Excerpt:

WHICH we've known for a long, long time - since Reckless Ronnie tore-down upper-income taxation - that Income Disparity would skyrocket. As it has done these past 30-years with less than Amazing Grace ...

495px-U.S._Income_Shares_of_Top_1%25_and_0.1%25_1913-2013.png


When did the last upswing of the red-line happen Look closely at that red-line above and note that the upswing took place in the 1980 timeframe. And who was elected PotUS in 1980?

One guess, and only one guess ...

Thanks for the outdated info and point of view, but I'll take the free market over increased government control.

Wage is nothing but a price for labor. In econ 101, price is the point where supply and demand intersect. If left alone by outside forces such as "policymakers" (government), that intersection will reflect the real world conditions. Apply government control and everything goes to hell.

Keep your grubby government fingers out of my economy!
 

Captain Adverse

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From the EPI here: What’s behind inequality and wage suppression in the labor market?


WHICH we've known for a long, long time - since Reckless Ronnie tore-down upper-income taxation - that Income Disparity would skyrocket. As it has done these past 30-years with less than Amazing Grace ...

When did the last upswing of the red-line happen Look closely at that red-line above and note that the upswing took place in the 1980 timeframe. And who was elected PotUS in 1980?

One guess, and only one guess ...

What's behind the power differential? Simple (as I see it), businesses are motivated by profit and try to alleviate loss. :shrug:

As technology advances, labor needs decrease and differentiate.

Tasks that used to take several workers to accomplish now become automated requiring only a minimum maintenance and programming crew.

The profit is increased by the commensurate reduction in variable costs (wages and support requirements for human staffing).

Meanwhile, population continues to grow while technological advances cause jobs requiring human labor to decrease.

This increases competition among workers for available jobs allowing employers to pick the "best" from among competitors.

This process is (and always has been) the prime mover in reducing "worker power."

The question is, what do you suggest we do about it?
 
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OrphanSlug

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This is more or less old news, EPI has been looking to policy makers for years to change the balance of power between employers and employees. The conclusion of this article and dozens others saying governance should look for "opportunities are likely those that lead to more labor market balance in the power between employers and workers by increasing worker power—not trying to move the labor market toward a competitive ideal that is not attainable."

Our issue is the same, what policy are we talking about and how to safeguard the policy against international labor markets?

The reason I phrase the question that way specifically is international labor completion is the key reason why saw erosion of "worker's rights" as the article would put it. Said another way, the only place that unions could continue to flourish is in the public sector where it is a practical impossibility for competition outside those areas *and* the tax payer can be hijacked into funding labor rates based on negotiation having nothing to do with productivity per se and benefits packages that are becoming obsolete in the private sector.

This disparity between private sector unions and public sector unions has become amplified by how quickly we opened up markets for product manufacturing and service outsourcing with labor rates so far behind our own that private sector unions could not negotiate at a competitive rate nor could the isolate themselves from international competition. This was all done with the help of government as well looking at everything on how we opened up China to trade agreements like NAFTA.

Pick any sector of our economy that you want... raw materials output, automotive, major appliances, small retail goods, even things like prepared food and raw food products, service centers for healthcare and banking and others, IT outsourcing, you name it... international labor competition killed off the ability of unions to form again (even with government help) when corporations could look offshore.

At the end of the day there is no real *economic* reason for an uptick in private sector unions (again, even with government help) without adding in massive distortions that always without exception come with a consequence. EPI gave very little weight in their discussion on international labor rate competition and in some ways give the impression that the US labor market is in an isolated and closed condition which we know is not the case.

We are still stuck with the same question, how to deal with income inequality knowing labor rates for 5th, 4th, and even some 3rd income quintile earners has to compete internationally?
 

Myview

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I think income inequality is a problem. There are several things that have contributed to it over a long period of time. To do anything about it our leaders and the executive branch of government have to recognize that it is a real threat to American stability. Technology has changed the American workplace over a period of time requiring fewer workers. Labor unions have declined in the US and all over the world so much so that their are fewer organizations advocating for the worker. Cheap labor in other countries forces American companies to keep costs low in order to compete with them. America's share of global wealth declines as other countries wealth increases. American companies have things made in other countries where labor is cheap debasing and hurting manufacturing in the US. America has lost many manufacturing based jobs which were high paying jobs. Those lost jobs have been replaced by service industry jobs which are low paying jobs.

U.S. Income Inequality: Facts, Causes, Solution


This study lays out some of the stark facts of the problem. I don't know that I agree with some of its conclusions and solutions but I believe it gives a better understanding of the magnitude of the problem.

Some of the figures laid out by the study:

25% of American workers make less than $10 per hour. Less than the federal poverty level. Most probably without benefits.

In 2012 the top 10% took home 50% of all income. The highest rate in the last 100 years. It has gotten worse.

American workers have seen their rate of pay increase over time but not nearly as fast as higher income earners. Inflation and costs increase for everyone.

You would expect that when American worker productivity goes up that wages would increase. Doesn't always happen.

Nearly half of Americans and yes I assume some illegals and new immigrants who used hospital emergency rooms in 2009 reported that they had no other place to go. They had no primary care physician.
The ACA may have improved things some but its fleeting and the use of emergency rooms as primary care remains a problem.

America remains among the lowest taxed countries in the world. The Brunt of allowing America to compete favorably with the rest of the world is a burden which falls mostly on workers; not the rich. At some point there must be a recognition by those in power that something must be done to help those who bear the burden. Either by massive welfare programs or by investing in people. I think healthcare needs to be solved once and for all. I think we need to invest in people in training, schools, colleges, and universities. To often we take the attitude that I am fine why worry about others. But to live in a stable country that is generally happy we have got to worry about others. We can maintain the status quo only so long as Americans accept it. What would need to happen to cause massive up heavel in American society? I would guess not much. A sharp
increase in gas prices? Sharply increasing policies that favor those who don't bear the burden that allows America to compete with the world? A spark set off somewhere in America that galvanizes the nation? Who knows but I hope we have the foresight to make changes before anything happens.
 

Lafayette

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Tax policy which include the gifts that come from corrupting Washington sure, but immigration both legal and especially illegal as well which has allowed for the exploitation of labor.

Let's see the statistical proof or evidence of the above.

Otherwise your accusation is just spurious prattle.

Boring ...
 

Lafayette

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Thanks for the outdated info and point of view, but I'll take the free market over increased government control.

Wage is nothing but a price for labor. In econ 101, price is the point where supply and demand intersect. If left alone by outside forces such as "policymakers" (government), that intersection will reflect the real world conditions. Apply government control and everything goes to hell.

Keep your grubby government fingers out of my economy!

Outdated?

You evidently do not know how to read timeline trends ...
 

Lafayette

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Your continuous harping on US upper income taxation rates fails to explain how raising income taxes on "the rich" would increase the pay of other (average?) workers.

I do it particularly to get under-the-skin of the mindlessly RabidRight on this forum.

Which, yes, is getting kinda borrrrinnnnggggg!

Always the same useless prattle for rebuttal ...
 

Mycroft

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Outdated?

You evidently do not know how to read timeline trends ...

Timeline trends that ignore the last five years...and especially the last two years,,,is an exercise in cherry picking.

Moving on...
 

Mycroft

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I do it particularly to get under-the-skin of the mindlessly RabidRight on this forum.

Which, yes, is getting kinda borrrrinnnnggggg!

Always the same useless prattle for rebuttal ...

Be careful...you just admitted you are a troll.
 

Lafayette

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Tax policy which include the gifts that come from corrupting Washington sure, but immigration both legal and especially illegal as well which has allowed for the exploitation of labor.

Immigration is what brought my father to the US. So I have no qualms with it.

Besides it also provides lo-cost labor from which the Realy-'n-Truly Rich can make their profits. And prance about on TV telling everyone how they would run this planet were they proclaimed KING OF THE WORLD.

Ho hum ...
 

PoS

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What’s behind inequality?

Mankind. Read African Genesis, it will tell you all you need to know about human nature.
 

ttwtt78640

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I do it particularly to get under-the-skin of the mindlessly RabidRight on this forum.

Which, yes, is getting kinda borrrrinnnnggggg!

Always the same useless prattle for rebuttal ...

Such as actually addressing what you present?
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Thanks for the outdated info and point of view, but I'll take the free market over increased government control.

Wage is nothing but a price for labor. In econ 101, price is the point where supply and demand intersect. If left alone by outside forces such as "policymakers" (government), that intersection will reflect the real world conditions. Apply government control and everything goes to hell.

Keep your grubby government fingers out of my economy!

So no restrictions on trade, the free movement of labour and capital? No regulated professions?
 

Mycroft

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So no restrictions on trade, the free movement of labour and capital? No regulated professions?

We are not talking about "regulated professions". We are talking about "regulated wages".

Two different animals.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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We are not talking about "regulated professions". We are talking about "regulated wages".

Two different animals.

Certainly not

When the government restricts people from being lawyers, doctors, etc they artificially skew the market place. That limits the number of people in that profession driving up wages.

Allow anyone to practice law and watch the cost of legal advice drop (at least at the low end of the market). It should not cost over $1000 dollars in legal fees when selling or a house for instance. It certainly does not take someone spending 7 years in school to be able to process the documents for selling a house
 

Bullseye

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From the EPI here: What’s behind inequality and wage suppression in the labor market?

Excerpt:

WHICH we've known for a long, long time - since Reckless Ronnie tore-down upper-income taxation - that Income Disparity would skyrocket. As it has done these past 30-years with less than Amazing Grace ...

495px-U.S._Income_Shares_of_Top_1%25_and_0.1%25_1913-2013.png


When did the last upswing of the red-line happen Look closely at that red-line above and note that the upswing took place in the 1980 timeframe. And who was elected PotUS in 1980?

One guess, and only one guess ...
Why is "income disparity" a bad thing? Doesn't it mean people are getting paid what their talents, skills and knowledge are worth? Would you have a world-famous heart-transplant surgeon being paid at the same rate as a burger flipper? Or the newest hire at your company being paid the same as YOU? OH, and including capital gains is a massive distortion on your chart.
 

Mycroft

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Certainly not

When the government restricts people from being lawyers, doctors, etc they artificially skew the market place. That limits the number of people in that profession driving up wages.

Allow anyone to practice law and watch the cost of legal advice drop (at least at the low end of the market). It should not cost over $1000 dollars in legal fees when selling or a house for instance. It certainly does not take someone spending 7 years in school to be able to process the documents for selling a house

You have your opinion...for whatever it's worth.

But there's not restriction on the number of people who want to enter any profession...nor should there.

You are STILL talking about two different animals.
 

Bullseye

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Tax policy which include the gifts that come from corrupting Washington sure, but immigration both legal and especially illegal as well which has allowed for the exploitation of labor.
One of the interesting points in the EPI study was their point that employees power had declined, which is only partially true. While low/no skilled employee wages have stayed relatively constant wages for people with rare/in-demand skills, training and expertise has blossomed indicating significant employee power when the employee has something to bargain with.
 
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