The liberal blogosphere has been expressing outrage over the facts graphically presented in the vid: it's been the top story on the Daily Kos over the weekend, with the headline "If this is true...We no longer live in the land of the Free."
Why just the US? Why not talk about wealth inequality throughout the world? When you look at this video do you picture yourself in the bottom or at the top? What will your income be when you retire and sell your house in one year? Should people who are just entering the workforce be pitied because they make so little money? Are those evil rich the same evil rich as 10 years ago? How about those poor poor? If I took a group of students and put green armbands on 10% and red armbands on 90% and purposely favored the green group, could I get you to resent the green armband group? What principals would you sacrifice to get even? What power could I obtain by promising comeuppance against those green fat cats? Do you enjoy being a victim?
The mere term "distributed" is the key to the Lefts social engineering agenda. Reward Excellance and hard work with increased Wealth or take hard earned money from others in service to Social Engineering and Collectivism like in Castro's Cuba.
It SHOULD: be an incentive for hard work. Unfortunately, big government has completely skewed the factors that once led to financial success, and in doing so, has created an environment of entitlement that keeps people from reaching their full potential. It seems that government no longer rewards success, but punishes it. And rather than see success as something honorable and good, government schools teach that financial success is only achieved through exploitation, resulting in a society that sees financial success as something criminal..unless, of course, the successful people are liberals.
I don't think it is the role of government to punish or reward success... Nor should gov't punish or reward failure... and I have never heard of a gov't school teaching kids that exploitation is a means of achieving success.(Side not: "Success" is not the same as "wealth") Exploitation is something taught to adults working for other adults who exploit others to achieve wealth... I think there is ample evidence for a reasonable young worker to come to the conclusion that exploitation is a means to wealth, and that it is criminal.
@DogLady_1 - Speaking of "criminal exploitation"...
"President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle, as a binge of campaign spending deluged voters with rallies, banners, and of course, TV ads.
The figure comes from a grand total of more than $1.7 billion spent by both sides through mid-October. And that works out to more than $79 million per month, and more than $2.6 million every day, according to data provided by the Federal Election Commission."
That money would have gone a long way to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and help the needy.
@AntiPorcheria - "That money would have gone a long way to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and help the needy." So true! They might have gained alot of voters that way too! LOL But, I think many people would call that "buying votes"... But there is nothing "criminal" about spending money on political campaigns... private Americans gave their money willingly to those causes, and it was spent exactly the way those donors expected it to be spent... outrageous maybe, but not criminal...
@AntiPorcheria There is nothing stopping anyone who donates money to a political campaign from also donating money to charity. Indeed, the majority of political donors do. Regardless, the money spent on the campaign did not "go up in smoke". It put a lot of people to work putting together rallies, printing banners, and paying for TV and radio ad people to put together those ads and broadcast them. The campaign was in reality a $1.7 billion boost to the economy.
Yeah, that's it...keep fighting among our selves...That's just exactly what that upper 1 % want people like you to do...It takes the spotlight off of them and their manipulation of the "free markets" and the US Population. Nice job!
This is from the Daily Kooks, it's already questionable in validity. Besides, wealth is EARNED, not "distributed" as the Daily Kooks would like to see it. Want to be wealthy and successful? Get off your ass and get a job, work for that wealth.
The video does not say that wealth should be distributed by some other force besides earning it... They are simply showing a graph that shows how many people are currently in each level of financial wealth. And since when did a job always guarantee wealth or success? And not all wealth is earned... some of it is achieved through theft and inheritance... But too many people label thieves and heirs as "successful", making "success" a very relative term...
@MarkJM - The vast majority of people who get taxpayer funded checks at the beginning of the month are 1) under age 18; 2) retired workers over age 65, or; 3) disabled... I don't think the word "leech" applies to them, although it does apply to 2% of check recipients... but I doubt they are letting their voices be heard, nor do I think anyone is listening to them.
@DogLady_1 Since 2001, "entitlement" spending has surged 65% while defense spending has gone up only 19%. Federal Spending in 2001 was approximately $2 Trillion. Today it is over $3.75 Trillion, almost doubled. Number of individuals on the dole in 2001 was approximately 20% of the population, today it's 50% give or take, more than double. Problem today is people would rather sit at home and get "free" money (that taxpayers such as myself actually fund) than get off their duffs and get a job. No, a job does not mean automatic wealth, but it is a path towards that goal. Problem today is we have way too many lazy bums out there that no longer believe in hard work, as well as enablers like 0bama who seize upon their ignorant votes for it. If you are one of them, then you're welcome for the taxpayer handout you received on Friday.
I work as hard now as I did 12 years ago when I started my business. But with the added taxes, restrictions, and the economy my business has suffered greatly. I believe this chart is dead on. I feel that the economy and the banking industry killed what growth we had. Politicians, both republicans and democrats fell in step with NAFTA allowing corporations to go to Mexico, India, and China taking not only American jobs, but allowing loopholes that Obama wants closed to generate more tax revenue (which I do believe is fair)! But getting back to the chart, it is not the rich keeping this country down, it is our elected officials who continue to allow China and companies like Walmart, to dictate what they want instead of the American people. Walmart does employ a lot of Americans-most part time with extremely high health plans, but they also are a huge overseas slave labor enforcer. If the congress and the president would repeal NAFTA that would force factories back to American soil along with more tax for the government. We would have more jobs, people would be able to once again buy homes, and get off of welfare and food stamps. It would be great for this country but when you have corrupt politicians taking money from corporations it's a no win situation. Think about this. Why would someone spend millions to get elected to a job that only pays $174,000 a year? I know there are other incentives but it doesn't make sense unless you are already rich.
The global market was great for business but not for the country. It made a handful of companies extraordinarily wealthy, but did nothing to bolster the economy of the country. It separated American business from America.
We have to also remember that America has been a country with an economy dependent upon those in the middle. If you slide too many people one way or the other, those left in the middle can no longer be a reliable fulcrum. And that's exactly what's happened over the last decade. We pushed too many people towards poverty or too many towards massive wealthy. The gap between the two has become so wide that those in the middle can no longer keep things in balance.
Wealth is one thing. Multi-million dollar salaries is another. If a company has enough money to pay these kinds of salaries, then certainly the price of their products (gas, for example) must be scaled to fit. Hence, the consumer is being sucked dry in order to help pay bloated salaries.
I wish more people had open eyes like yourself and could see the real picture going on.
This shows something not mentioned in the video. What happens when the middle class tries to live and budget their money using the government method. Deficient spending. When you live maxed out on your credit and not investing or saving you get this. It's not the fault of the very few that don't live like this. This will be used to try and take the money from those that were smart
Unfortunately, the bail-outs proved that the wealthiest Americans also borrowed their way to the top... that's why they claimed to be "too big to fail"... If their loans were called in, they'd all be living below middle class. The only sector of people who can't be blamed for the financial crisis are those that live within their means... They are the "smart" ones...
@DogLady_1 you have a point. But lets qualify that with irresponsible debt. For example I lease most of my equipment. Which is frees up capital I need for other things. I can't afford to spend $700,000 for a tractor and dirt pans. When I can lease five for the same outlay. The revenue from that equipment more than covers the lease payments. What's important is keeping my debt to income ratio under control. I can always sell out and more than cover my debt. I've been careful with my money and made a decent profit. But we are the only country that obesity is a serious problem among the poorest segment of society. You also don't pay your CEOs according to the average salary. You should pay them for the amount of revenue they generate. I said should. But I resent it when I'm accused of greed. I've earned my money by hard work and smart investing. I took risks and they paid off. But every risk I took could have bankrupted me. That's the key. You have to be willing to lose money to make money. That's why I say I've been broke lots of times but never poor.
"...a public debt is a public curse, and in a Republican Government a greater curse than any other... Allow a government to decline paying its debts and you overthrow all public morality — you unhinge all the principles that preserve the limits of free constitutions. Nothing can more affect national prosperity than a constant and systematic attention to extinguish the present debt and to avoid as much as possibly the incurring of any new debt." -Alexander Hamilton
Meanwhile, the top 10 hedge fund elites make on average nearly $1 million an HOUR. We’ll never find the resources to solve the unemployment crisis until we redistribute some of this obscene wealth.
It starts by putting to rest the notion that hedge fund elites are just like any other. They are not. They make more money than everyone else, including our top movie stars and athletes...and they pay lower taxes.
The Highest Income Celebrities, CEO and Hedge Fund Managers (2010)
Hedge Fund managers $1,753,000,000 Movie directors/producers $126,000,000 Top celebrities from all fields $119,800,000 Pop musicians $87,200,000 Non-financial CEOs $47,100,000 Athletes $44,600,000 Movie stars $42,600,000 Authors $26,900,000 Lawyers $20,000,000 Bank/Insurance CEOs $16,600,000
Now, I don't believe any of these people are worth the kind of money they make, but $1 million dollars an hour!?!?!? I'm all for everyone doing their best and being paid what they're worth, but salaries in some industries are stretching the idea of wealth beyond the boundaries of what is healthful for our economy.
This is old rhetoric that has never proven true; in fact, it's proving itself to be just the opposite and thousands of college graduates find themselves up to their eyeballs in debt with no prospect for a decent job.
Article on TV recently claimed that today's college graduates are least likely to own a home or new car than their peers in years past. How's THAT for success?
I have a college degree, Mr. ASSumption. It gave me the ability to think beyond the right wing radio brainwashing and to see what's really happening in this country.
@PayThatCEO Did you ever consider that the chosen major of these college students may be the reason they can't find jobs? I have a nephew who majored in genetic engineering and computer science and he had a job right out of college. His cousin, on the other hand, majored in graphic arts...she cuts hair. Her fiance majored in theater...he manages a restaurant. There you have it.
Liberal arts degrees are hyped up bullshit degrees that give college professors a cushy job and big $$ for the colleges that push them.
@PayThatCEO Old Rhetoric? You mean getting a degree in an area where you have a chance to get a REAL job doesn't work?(Not women's studies or Manchurian folk dancing degrees)
Colleges these days take about anyone- have a degree that fits whatever they like, then in 4 yrs they wonder why they can't get a job in the real world with a degree in Art History.
Don't blame the successful that you chose a degree with such a narrow scope, you have little luck getting a job. The proven financial basics of education, work hard and save money- shouldn't change because we have a generation of morons who went for an easy degree.
I think the point most people are missing is that these people are not earning this money. It's not as though they built something or invented something or came up with a better idea or solved a problem. These people simply manipulated markets or took advantage of the system. Do those CEOs really earn those multimillion dollar salaries and more than the people who work for the company he or she runs?
Bingo!----Somebody who can reason, and understand that this small percentage of the ultra wealthy are not only controlling the markets (and the right here still believes in "free markets")---They are crafting the "rules" via our bought & paid-for legislators, to keep the whole system rigged....Thank god someone else here understands whats going on.
The spread between rich and poor in america is greater than that of France prior to the revolution (and is increasing). Americans are the least likely, in the OECD, to rise above their station in life and get the least benefit from their tax dollars. Unfortunately americans believe their shibboleths that hard work will improve their lot in life. There will be, no doubt, a plethora of comments on the evils of socialism and big government.
Keyjo---I've been saying that for years...I think that many people just either don't understand what that means or they are "ok" with being controlled and owned by the plutocratic ruling class.. Either way its unbelievable and dangerous!
So much validity in one spot. The charts show what has been obvious for quite some time. Many holler for the 'right' of a free market. What free market? It has been a manipulated market. There is no one willing to admit that. Government has allowed and has facilitated this. Tax rates and regulation are strangling the country but it's not the 'job creators' that are being effected. It is the rest of America that takes the hit. While the ,er,,um,, upper crust scream about unfairly high tax rates, they don't pay that. They scream about regulation but they don't feel it unless they do something truly obvious and get caught at it. They make their own rules and politicians enable that. There is no 'free market' when the futures markets manipulate the current market. The futures market , while it may have been a good idea, is used for one thing only-to manipulate current markets for the benefit of the few. There is no other purpose. Hedge funds have become another fallacy following in the foot steps of the futures markets. It is all just rearranging the true market for the benefit of the few. There is so much more that I haven't touched on here. When you follow the whole progression it gets absolutely mind-boggling.
That was a pretty good video up until minute 6, other than the whiny tone. Then, unfortunately, it veers off into the Labor Theory of Value, a fundamental tenet of Marxism. I thought that was dead and buried by Reagan, but here it is again.
Of course, the main reason for the income disparity is government spending - fix that, and we'll all like the curve.
The charts in the video can be used to support either socialist of free market theories, but if you want to see what is really going on, look for comparisons. I think you'll find that *any* country in the midst of economic collapse looks like that, and it is certainly true of modern countries.
Try Greece, which almost anybody would agree has a socialist government - same income disparity progression. Spain, Italy, France - same thing. Ireland and Iceland - can't find their data right now, but I bet they are the same, too.
@Ryuo We are nothing like Greece. Yes, they have high spending, but that is but one of many issues with their situation. They lose 12% of GDP in income every year due to corruption and tax evasion. They had slower than projected growth starting in 2007. They don't have control over their currency. The biggest contributor is that they continued to deficit spend even though they had higher than average growth between 2000-2007 (sound familiar?).
But forget what caused the scenario for a second and look at what they did to fix them. In May 2010 they slashed the budget for the first time while receiving a bailout to balance the books. It made the recession worse. In July 2011 they passed a 2nd round of bailouts and a 2nd round of cuts, which helped the govt bottom line slightly, but the recession got worse and the 2011 GDP fell nearly 7%. Poverty rose by about the same percentage.
Govt spending has absolutely nothing to do with income disparity. In fact, as shown by Greece, when you remove that spending the disparity grows worse.
@AceLuby Sorry, I'm trying to figure out what your argument is. Mine is essentially that if you impoverish the country, it will hit the poor and middle class worst.
Anyway, Greece is a whole lot worse off than us because, primarily, their whole economy was a bubble, not just the housing and education sectors. They are still more like us than they are like, say, Germany or Canada, countries that have a clue.
I think the insane corruption may have been a net advantage for Greece, because, at least they were not plowing the money back into pensions they had a commitment to paying. Hopefully the bribes went back into the economy, like the Ouzo Sector.
It's amazing how many idiots here think that the CEO of a bank has more value then a firefighter or teacher. Somedays I wonder why I bother coming here to have a discussion when most of the people here are barely intelligent enough to tie their own shoes.
@Republican5150 Exactly, not everyone deserves a trophy or a diploma simply because they participate, they should learn to earn things and take pride in accomplishments. That is what natural selection and survival of the fittest requires for a species to succeed.
Here we go again, class warfare and the disparity of wealth among its its inhabitants, pitting one against the other. This is right out of the Communist Manifesto and Saul Alinsky's book: "Rules for Radicals." There has always been a disparity of wealth in the world and always will be, unless of course, you take from one who has earned it and give it to those who have not. That worked great in Cuba and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics didn't it? The only ones that benefit from these draconian concepts is the Oligarchy that instituted it. For over 200 years this country has led the world in prosperity for all classes of people -- that's why people lined up for generations to get here. This president wants to return to the failed policies of yore that litter the ash heaps of history -- Ignorance knows no bounds!
My father grew up dirt poor! He made every penny he had before his untimely death to be pretti high on that scale. He did spread his wealth by paying his employees fair wages and great year end bonuses that were percentages of the money earned that year. He also gave large amounts to charity and tithed 20% to his churches mission work. Not just spreading the word of Christ, to medical missions that our church always has in multiple places in the world at all times. He sold his businesses at retirement, but kept going with charity as our family is still doing. What would the government do with that money if they do as they want and take most of it when my mother dies. I'm sore not spread it around the way my father did and we do now. They'll do what they do now and piss it away! I forgot to add that my dad also gave money to worthy individuals who needed a leg up.
Good on your father. The thing is that businesses all have the opportunity to do exactly what he did, but most don't. Why? Because greed is human nature and why give 100 employees a $1,000 bonus when you could instead give yourself a $100,000 bonus?
After WW2 until 1980 it was not even a close choice because to give yourself a huge bonus like that would mean you would be taxed at 70-90%, so instead it went to the employees and invested within the company to avoid those high taxes. It's great that your father practiced what he preached and probably had a successful business with happy employees. Unfortunately the norm today is that every employee is replaceable and all profits should be reaped solely by those at the top. It's a sad state of affairs.
@AceLuby It is sad, but I do know many men just like my dad through him. There are those men out there. I wish the corrupt would quit overshadowing. Also, just to be clear the bonuses had nothing to do with taxes. My dad didn't even use loopholes. He was a strong Christian and the Bible says "Give into Ceasar that which is ceasar's", that means taxes.
@BelinKS I know there are people that run good businesses, unfortunately the biggest businesses don't, and happen to hire a lot of people. I never said your dad did what he did for tax reasons, I believe you when you say he actually practiced Christianity in his life, it's a rare trait that you should be proud of. What I'm saying is that we used to have a tax structure that built these incentives into it, so that the greed natural in human behavior could be tamed.
The key ingredients of being wealth is first, to work, which clearly alot of Americans are not doing. Next I would say a plan for being successful is needed, and third assume the risk, take a chance, risk what security yiu have working for someone else, venture out, bet on yourself, hork 89-100 hrs a week, refuse to fail, lise sleep, worry all the time, and maybe, just maybe the American people will live your product or service so much that you become rich, or you go belly up, lose everything. But what ever you do don't just sit on your ass complaining about those that have, don't just let the answer you come to be, well I will just take from them. You have just as much chance to make it as the next guy. Does it seem unfair right now? I will give you that it does. Those people did what they had to to make it, they risk everything, they worked holidays, they had a plan to succeed, and the refused to not be wealthy. You can too. You may not like it once you get it, so be careful what you work for.
I'm not going to disagree with you on most points. You're right, if you want lots of money, start busting your buns.
My gripe is that most of today's wealthy didn't work for it. They inherited it, received it as "gifts", or abused the law. Granted, there are people (Stephen King comes to mind for some reason) who are rich, and worked hard for it, and deserve every penny. It's funny how these people don't chime in and blame the poor/everyone else. In fact, it's these same people that WANT to be taxed harder! This sends a very confusing message to many, or, at least, drives home the fact that there is a difference of "good" rich and "bad" rich.